"The Buck Stops Here" is the eighty-sixth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on November 5, 2000. The episode was written by Norm Hiscock, and directed by Mike DiMartino. Brad Renfro guest stars.
Hank is annoyed with Bobby's attutude; treating summer vacation as a time to loaf. Buck Strickland hires Bobby to work as a caddy at the Everwood Country club, a job he is fired from quickly after riding a block of ice down a hill and accidentally colliding with Corky Raywood, the club's membership chairman. After this mishap, Hank takes Bobby to Buck's house to apologize, but Buck not only forgives him, but hires him as his personal caddy. Although Hank is glad Bobby has been put to work, some of Buck's negative traits begin to rub off on Bobby.
Meanwhile, Peggy and Minh race against each other to reach the milestone of a gallon's worth of blood donated to earn a coffee mug. However after both were deemed ineligible to donate (due to having to wait several weeks before donating again), they are sent home. Peggy travels to Houston to donate and gets the mug, enraging Minh. However, this comes at a cost as Peggy suffers from weakness due to loss of blood.
After one game where Buck convinces Bobby that "it is only cheating if you get caught", he gives Bobby his watch as a tip. Hank, fed up with Bobby copying Buck's attitude and language, orders Bobby to return the watch. Hank says that there is no cheating in the Hill residence, and says if Bobby wants to cheat he should go to the Strickland residence. Hank figures Bobby will learn his lesson, surmising Buck does not run a daycare center and will refuse to invite Bobby the night over. However, Buck welcomes Bobby, backfiring on Hank. The next morning, Hank goes to get Bobby, only to learn that he left with Buck for Hot Springs, Arkansas. An enraged Hank then makes the long trip from Texas to Arkansas in order to retrieve Bobby from possible danger.
While in Hot Springs, Buck takes Bobby to a dogtrack and orders him to hold onto his wallet. Later, both Bobby and Buck are relaxing in a mineral bath. Buck says that Hank is too uptight to have a good time like them, to which Bobby agrees. However, when Buck bribes an attendant for information about Rooster's crap game, he throws the money into the mineral bath and laughs as the attendant retrieves it, causing Bobby to feel uncomfortable about Buck's attitude. Things only get worse as Buck loses big time at the crap game and Bobby is threatened by some of the locals. Hank arrives in time to rescue Bobby and Buck, with the latter riding back to Arlen in the back of Hank's pick-up truck.
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Joseph Gribble
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Bill Dauterive
- Kahn Souphanousinphone
- Minh Souphanousinphone
- Connie Souphanousinphone
- Buck Strickland
- Lupino (cameo)
- Bradley (cameo)
- Corky Raywood (cameo)
- Rooster (cameo)
- Vargas (cameo)
- Carla (cameo)
- Security guard (cameo)
- Lane Pratley (cameo)
- Unnamed Women (cameo)
- Unnamed Boys (cameo)
- Buck Strickland: "MISS LIZ! TWO HOT TODDIES!!"
- This episode is the first time Buck Strickland mentions that he has a son. The later episode "Untitled Blake McCormick Project" is partially centered around and revealing him to be Jody "Rayroy" Strickland.
- Despite his resemblance to former U.S. President and Texas native Lyndon Johnson, Buck appears very energetic at the crap game. In Johnson's case, this high level of energy would've been unrealistic, as the former President had a history of heart attacks which gave him high levels of hypertension.
- When Hank enters Hot Springs, he locks his car doors. This is done in the same matter in the episode "Peggy the Boggle Champ" when Hank enters Dallas.
- Buck: "Yeah, I lived in a different town, different woman. His name is Roy/Ray something like that".
- This is also the first appearance of Rooster. He appears in another episode, "Trans-Fascism" running an illegal lunch truck to compete with Buck's own illegal lunch truck. In that episode, he appears much younger and has a higher voice
- While those days are long gone, Hot Springs' portrayal of a town of ill-repute is historically accurate. In the 1800s and early 1900s, it was a hotbed of gambling, prostitution and bootlegging, as well as a well-known spot for numerous mobsters, including Al Capone, Frank Costello, and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel.
- Buck and Bobby go the dog track in Hot Springs, Arkansas. However, Hot Springs is actually home to a horse track instead.