Dallas Scene of the Day: ‘I Finally Whipped J.R. Ewing’

Laugh while you can

Laugh while you can

In “Dallas’s” fifth-season episode “Five Dollars a Barrel,” Cliff (Ken Kercheval) is seated on the edge of his office desk when J.R. (Larry Hagman) enters.

CLIFF: Come right in. Did you come to pay your note early? It’s not due until tomorrow.

J.R.: [Steps forward] You know why I’m here.

CLIFF: I just want to hear you say it.

J.R.: [Another step forward] I need that extension.

CLIFF: [Smiles] Do you? [Walks behind his desk, sits] Well, I’m a man of my word. I have the papers right here. Sit down. [J.R. walks to Cliff’s desk, sets his hat on it] It’s all right here. Ten-day extension, at $200 million, 25 percent. But first, my lawyer drew that up. [Hands J.R. a document] It gives me total and permanent ownership of Ewing 6. [Hands a pen to J.R., who retrieves one of his own from his jacket’s inner pocket] You know you’re only buying a temporary delay because the price of oil is still dropping. And when this 10-day extension is up, there’s no more time. You can’t pay, you’re out. [J.R. signs the paper, tosses it onto Cliff’s desk, grabs his hat and begins walking away.] I can’t believe it. After all these years, I finally whipped J.R. Ewing.

J.R. turns, glares and smiles slightly as Cliff laughs uproariously.


  1. I said it before, JR is his own worst enemy. Psalm 106:6
    “We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.”

    It seems that Cliff Barnes is built up for no other reason than to got knocked right back down.

    Cliff and J.R. go after each other the way Ahab goes after Moby Dick.

    “All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    JR finally gets Ewing Oil back from Cliff.


  1. […] decades earlier. J.R. all but laughs Cliff out of his office when he hears these terms. But by the end of the episode, with J.R.’s confidence fading, he goes to Cliff, hat in hand, and signs over the field to get […]

  2. […] season, when the roles were reversed and J.R. was the one who had been backed into a corner, Cliff gloated over J.R.’s misfortune. He should have known […]

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