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No Bobby Left Behind

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No Bobby Left Behind
Season 13, Episode 5
S13e05
Air date November 9, 2008
Written by Chip Hall Tim Croston
Directed by Klay Hall
Episode guide
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Lost in MySpace
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A Bill Full of Dollars

No Bobby Left Behind is the 5th episode of the 13th season of King of the Hill and the 240th episode overall.

Synopsis

In order to raise the school's average for standardized tests, Principal Moss classifies Bobby as a low achievement student. However, the plan backfires after Bobby is placed in a class where he no longer has to do homework and doesn't have to take the tests.

Plot

A math teacher meets with Hank and Peggy after Bobby receives a “D-minus” on a test. Bobby says he’s not very good at math and apologizes. The math teacher considers the possibility that Bobby is simply a “bad test taker.” However, Hank blames Bobby’s low score on his son being lazy. Peggy vows to improve Bobby’s grades by tutoring him with flash cards. Meanwhile, a school board member named Stu tells Moss about their “No Child Left Behind” problem—namely, that the students haven’t passed the yearly standardized test in two years. If the students fail again, the state will fire the teaching staff, including Moss. The teachers have only a few weeks to prepare the kids for the test. Moss addresses the student body, telling the kids that if they don’t pass the test, they’ll be shipped off to a school in Durndle. This gets the kids’ attention—and they gasp in horror. With the test rapidly approaching, all classes, including gym class, focus on math and reading. Coach Kleehammer uses different-sized medicine balls to demonstrate a math problem. When the dumbfounded kids are unable to answer the question, Kleehammer tells Moss the situation is hopeless. Moss notices something in the standardized test manual that gives him hope: any child labeled as “special needs” is exempt from the standardized government test. At first, Bobby isn’t too sure about the idea. But when Moss states that any child labeled “special needs” is exempt from homework, Bobby embraces it. And to top things off, the “special needs” kids can accompany honor roll students to the Alamo Land theme park the following week. Later, Mister Terkelson evaluates the students and categorizes Bobby as “special needs.” Bobby returns home and tells his parents the news. Hank reacts with horror.

Hank drives to Bobby’s school to speak with Moss, but Moss bolts out in a panic, so instead he speaks to Terkelson. He accuses the school of placing his son in the “special needs” class to prevent him from taking the standardized test. Hank demands action, but Terkelson assures Hank he has the final word in such matters. Later, Moss speaks with the math teacher, telling him that all “C” and “D” students have been accounted for. But when the math teacher points out a student named Jack who appears to be daydreaming, Moss has Jack removed from the classroom and placed with the “special needs” kids. Jack tells Bobby that he doesn’t belong in the class. But when Bobby lists the advantages—including ice cream treats, a beanbag chair and the trip to Alamo Land—Jack changes his mind and embraces the class. Later, Bobby and his fellow “special needs” students accompany the honor roll kids to Alamo Land, with Dale coming along as an effectual chaperone. There, Bobby, Jack and Joseph take an interest in a log flume ride. As the log is about to plummet into a “bottomless pit,” the boys stand up—and are tossed into the water. As horrified bystanders observe, Bobby and his friends plunge over the edge and into the “bottomless pit.”

When Peggy finds out about the flume incident, she vows that someone will pay dearly for letting it happen. The local news media picks up the story, prompting school board member Stu to warn Moss that he’ll probably lose his job. Moss tells Stu he put the boys in the “special needs” class so they would be exempt from the standardized test. Stu puts his hands over his ears. A short time later, Moss tells Hank. Hank decides there’s only one thing left to do: let Bobby and the other slow learners take the test. Hank thinks the kids just need to be pushed. Later, Bobby learns that he passed the test. However, because of Moss' decision and the park incident, the school as a whole fails. Principal Moss is put on suspension, and Coach Kleehammer is made interim principal. Later, Hank and Peggy discover that Moss now earns a living selling steaks.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Mark Sainsbury and Paul Henry from TVNZ's Close Up guest star in this episode.
  • It is revealed that Bobby was afraid of Puppets when he was a little kid and didn't like Sesame Street.
  • When the teachers prepare the students for the test, the song Kids in America by British singer Kim Wilde can be heard in the background.
  • Bill has one line in this episode while Boomhauer does not have any lines. Also they both appear in only one scene together.

Quotes

  • Coach Kleehammer: "Okay, students, circle up! Today, the only muscle you'll be stretching is your noggin."
    Bobby: "What happened to kickball?"
    Coach Kleehammer: "Gone. Over. Eliminated. Effective immediately, all classes, including gym, will be teaching math and reading to help prepare you for the test. Okay. Dooley! I've got a five-pound medicine ball in this hand and a ten-pound medicine ball in this hand. If you were to multiply the weightage of both balls together, what would you get?"
    Dooley: "I pass."
    Coach Kleehammer: "Oh, for..."(groans) "Hill?"
    Bobby: "Can you use it in a sentence, please?"
    Coach Kleehammer: "I just did, you little knucklehead!"
  • Peggy: "I will tutor you, and flashcard you until you're up to a C-."
  • Bobby: "I hate letter grades. Why can't we just go ba ck to the gold star smiley face stage?"

Allusions

The title is an allusion to "No Child Left Behind", the 2001 US government initiative designed to reform public schools.

Season 12 Season 13

Dia-BILL-ic Shock · Earthly Girls are Easy · Square-Footed Monster · Lost in MySpace · No Bobby Left Behind · A Bill Full of Dollars · Straight as an Arrow · Lucky See, Monkey Do · What Happens at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis Stays at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis · Master of Puppets · Bwah My Nose · Uncool Customer · Nancy Does Dallas · Born Again on the Fourth of July · Serves Me Right for Giving General George S. Patton the Bathroom Key · Bad News Bill · Manger Baby Einstein · Uh-oh, Canada · The Boy Can't Help It · To Sirloin With Love · The Honeymooners · Bill Gathers Moss · When Joseph Met Lori, and Made Out with Her in the Janitor's Closet · Just Another Manic Kahn-Day

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