Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘Of Course We’re Not Enemies’

Dallas, J.R. Ewing, Larry Hagman, Lessons

His alone

In “Lessons,” a first-season “Dallas” episode, J.R. (Larry Hagman) sits on his office sofa and chats with Bobby (Patrick Duffy).

J.R.: I want to tell you how you filled your daddy’s heart with joy when you decided to settle down and come into the business with me.

BOBBY: Well, that’s just it. I’m in the business. I think I have a right to know everything there is to know.

J.R.: Do you? Well, it’s not as simple as that. [Gets up and moves to his desk]

BOBBY: I don’t see why, J.R. We’re brothers – we’re not enemies. [Sits on the desk’s edge]

J.R.: No, of course we’re not enemies. But while you were out there sowing your wild oats, I was learning the business. While you were out there playing football and winning all those honors and everything – I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that – but I was here, busting my butt under our father. And let me tell you, he’s not an easy man to work for.

BOBBY: I think I can appreciate that.

J.R.: Can you? [Sits and leans back in his chair] And in the last few years, you’ve been out there spreading the b’s around, wining and dining friends of Ewing Oil, and hanging out with fancy women and, in general, being charming. I’ve been making the company work – and I’ve been making it grow.

BOBBY: Well, that’s true enough. Ever since I can remember, all you ever thought about was running Ewing Oil. Seems to me you’re doing the thing you love best.

J.R.: I am. Yeah, I truly am. [Chuckles] But what I’m trying to say is this: I’ve had to make decisions and I’ve had to make deals that the man who runs the company has to make. And that’s my business – and mine alone. [Leans forward] And as long as I’m running this company, Bobby, that’s the way it’s going to stay. Does that answer your question?

BOBBY: Oh yeah. Answered a few of ’em I didn’t even ask. [Leaves as J.R. chuckles]


  1. I like how in this exchange J.R. is clearly prodding Bobby for a rise but Bobby manages to deflect him every time. Later, he doesn’t show that level of skill in dealing with J.R.

    • This is a great scene. It really captures J.R. and Bobby’s relationship. The producers use it as a flashback in the show’s 300th episode, “Three Hundred,” which J.R. and Bobby spend trapped in a Ewing Oil elevator.

  2. Dan in WI says:

    This scene is a classic “early show where the characters aren’t fleshed out yet scene.” Andrew is right in that the Bobby we know well never would have meekly taken that lecture from JR.


  1. […] wonderful character-building moments here, including Miss Ellie and Pam’s coffee talk and the precedent-setting office scene between J.R. and Bobby. As an added bonus, “Lessons” concludes with that ’70stastic disco […]

  2. […] the producers to concentrate on fleshing out their characters. For example, “Lessons” includes a conversation between J.R. and Bobby that establishes J.R.’s envy over his youngest brother, as well as a nice scene where Miss […]

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