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Recap / King Of The Hill S 4 E 12 Rodeo Days

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After initially joining the rodeo, Bobby finds a new calling and becomes a rodeo clown, which he hides from his family, who have a disdain for rodeo clowns.


  • Acceptable Targets: In-universe; Hank and Peggy talk about how disgusting rodeo clowns are, and even make jabs at them, with Hank even joking they get their clothes from Montgomery Weird (something he got from Joan Rivers). Even Joseph's rodeo friends get in on it too, with Joseph even making one of the same jokes he overheard when denying he knows Bobby. And also Hank laughs at Bobby for falling in the mud before he found out who he really was.
    • Peggy's uncle used to be a rodeo clown, named Uncle Boppo, and hid that secret for a long time as it was something she was personally ashamed of, even lying that he was a rodeo cowboy.
    • And when Hank takes back the stuff Bobby stole (such as Bill's underwear off his clothesline, a back-up pair of glasses presumedly belonging to Hank, Peggy's shoes and Luanne's makeup), Hank still declares being a clown is worse than being a thief.
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    • Subverted in the end when Hank and Peggy help apply makeup on Bobby so he can go out and save Joseph.
  • Artistic License – Sports: In real life, if both clowns ended up incapacitated, it would be the job of the pick-up men to rescue Joseph from the bull. And strangely enough, they're not seen until Bobby saves him and they help Joseph off the field.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the end, Joseph gets thrown off the bull and when the two rodeo clowns try to save him, they get knocked out, with the bull getting ready to attack Joseph. Bobby sees him in danger and takes an older woman's hat and glasses, with Peggy and Hank putting lipstick on him as make-up and he runs in, even managing to distract the bull to make it go after him, saving Joseph.
  • Butt-Monkey: Naturally, Bill, as he gets used by Bobby and Joseph for their rodeo practice. Implied to be invoked by Hank after he didn't want them to use Ladybird.
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  • Continuity Nod: Bobby makes one after he compliments Joseph from jumping from one wall to another while wearing cowboy boots at a fast food burger restaurant, to which Bobby says not even Kerri Strug can do that in cowboy boots, then saying sensually Kerri Strug in cowboy boots. A reference that calls back to his Celeb Crush on Kerri Strug from the season 2 Valentine's Day Episode "I Remember Mono".
  • Cowboy: Of the rodeo cowboy variety, with other boys seen prominently competing and Joseph finding great success, with winning awards and being given a chance to ride a bull.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Played for Laughs with Bobby and Joseph practice their rope throwing on the giant queen ant on Dale's van, which sets off the car alarm and Dale charges in with his shotgun. After seeing the boys, he has a laugh about it before cocking his shotgun ordering them to untie the queen.
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  • Dude, Not Funny!: After his failure in knocking down a cow results in him being dragged around the stadium by the young calf, Bobby yells "It's not funny" while the other goers laugh at him.
  • Epic Fail: Bobby is shown to be quite inept at football and baseball and his lack of athletic prowess definitely doesn't translate well into the rodeo. When he finds a small young calf, he throws his rope around it and struggles mightily to force it down to the ground (especially with other cowboys there having no such issues), only to end up getting his leg caught on the rope and dragged around the stadium.
  • Fat and Skinny: The rodeo clowns with Zippo being the Skinny and Frep Tapley being the Fat. And with Bobby joining them, they become a Big, Thin, Short Trio.
  • Friendship Denial: Being weirded out by Bobby embracing his clown techniques, shown when he distracts Dooley from bullying a boy. And then when Hank finds out Bobby is a clown during the show, Joseph denies being friends with him to his fellow cowboys; while he admits he's his neighbor, he then repeats the "rodeo clowns smell like cow pies but I heard it's the other way around" joke he heard from them, to get laughs and distance himself from Bobby, something that hurts him bad.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bobby falls into this in the final act, after Hank finds out Bobby is a rodeo clown, much to his embarrassment and when Joseph denies they're friends so he doesn't get laughed at by the other rodeo boys.. He would spend his time in a deep funk until he goes out to rescue Joseph.
  • Horsing Around:
    • Bobby's first day being a rodeo clown proves unsuccessful when he gets tasked to distract a wild horse who thrown off its rider and attacks him. After the horse just ignores Bobby, Zippo and Frep come out and manage to get the horse away from that poor cowboy.
    • Later on, Bobby gets on the receiving end of this when he tries to make a speech to Zippo about how cowboys and clowns should set their differences aside and get along, only for the horse to kick the fence, which happens to smack him hard on the ground, giving him a concussion.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Very downplayed and low-key variant. After his struggles, the Zippo becomes impressed with Bobby's skills and makes him an official rodeo clown and even gives him an ass pad.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: A variant, with Hank cleaning out Bobby's stuff, with him calling him a clown and a thief and not sure on what's worse before deciding on clown.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Zippo is surly, initially dismissive of Bobby and implied to be a Disappeared Dad among several children (based on his dialogue), but he listens to Bobby's pointers to improve their act and let him train to be a rodeo clown. And while Bobby struggles at first, he gets better, making Zippo admit he was wrong and makes him a full-fledged clown.
  • No Pants Reveal: At a cowboy clothing store, Bobby tries on some cowboy chaps, not thinking he should wear pants with them, showing off his bare butt, to which Hank screams in horror upon seeing his ass through the three-way mirror.
  • Sexual Euphemism: Bobby learns about the concept of Buckle Bunnies, where a lady gets a buckle for being "friends" with a cowboy, which of course flies over Bobby's head and states if he doesn't win his own buckle, he can be a buckle bunny. The concept itself is Truth in Television.
    • And in the final scene, after he rescues Joseph, Bobby gets one of Joseph's buckles and proudly proclaims himself as his buckle bunny.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While still thinking Bobby is still a cowboy in the rodeo, Hank asks Bobby when he'll next perform and calls him "Ben Cartwright".
    • Then shortly after, Hank laments that how good the rodeo is for Bobby and how it's kept him away from video game, to which he states he was playing this Tomb Raider game where he was a girl.
  • Take That!: Hank convinces Peggy and Luanne the kids rodeo he's trying to get Bobby to go into is good clean fun, with the animals running around with no game plan. Like if Barry Switzer were coaching them. Barry Switzer was best known as a football coach, winning championships with the Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboy, and in his reign with the latter team, was notorious for his lack of discipline with those teams.
  • Toilet Humor: Bobby manages to save Joseph from the bull by comically pretending he's sick from the nachos and uses a fire extinguisher to make farts, which distracts the bull and makes him go after Bobby and when he hides in the barrel, the bull knocks it in the air where it lands hard, but Bobby shows he's OK by "farting" again.

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