‘Real Power is Something You Take’ Turns 35

Bobby Ewing, Dallas, Executive Wife, Jim Davis, Jock Ewing, Patrick Duffy

Power and glory

It’s another red-letter day in “Dallas” history.

Thirty-five years ago today, CBS aired “Executive Wife,” the episode in which Jock famously schools Bobby on the Ewing creed: “Real power is something you take!”

I ranked the scene fifth on my list of “Dallas’s” greatest moments a few years ago and also wrote about it when TNT’s sequel series paid homage to the exchange.

Earlier today, I paid tribute again by recreating the scene on Twitter (similar to what I did when another famous scene — the “Who Shot J.R.?” revelation — turned 35 in November).

Click on Bobby’s tweet below to read the full transcript. I hope it will spark a fresh conversation about “Dallas,” the Ewings and the use of “real power.”

What are your perspectives on Jock and Bobby’s famous “real power” scene? Share your comments below and read more features from Dallas Decoder.


  1. The truth is, Jock was wrong in this episode, and this exchange exemplifies his failings as a father, when it comes to raising his son’s as businessman. We always saw him bemoaning the fact that his sons couldn’t work together, but that’s Jock’s fault for raising with a “might makes right” attitude. In this particular instance, yeah, it was still Jock’s company, but he wasn’t running it. Before he would withdraw that large of an an amount of cash OF COURSE he should have talked to the guy running the company first. He really didn’t even occur to him that Bobby MIGHT have had some other plans for that cash that this could interfere with? That’s just not the way to run a business.

    • J. R. as always you r right on the mark here. Brother J. R. was willing to work with Little Brother Bobby in this episode in a somewhat limited fashion, but Jock Ewing with his violent tone through the kibosh on it and J. R. had to warn Bob not to “cross Daddy” ever again. He had to back off himself to a degree to. Still, Bob had the legal right to run Ewing Oil as he saw fit with the Presidency in his hands at the time. But I’d also argue as the sole legal owner of all 100 shares o f what was then constituted as the Ewing Oil Company Limited of Dallas & Braddock County, Texas (now Ewing Oil), I would argue Jock had the full right to move any Ewing funds around as he saw fit. Because J. R. & I emphasize this enough, until Jock was declared legally dead by a Judge from his South America copter crash, he retained the title of sole Chairman Of The Board of that said company & therefore had the sole legal right to remove whomever he put in the Presidency no questions asked, whether that be a son or not!

      • Yeah, like I said, it was still Jock’s company, so technically he did have the right to take the money out. My point is that from a strictly business perspective, he should not have done that without telling the person who was actually running the company first.

      • J.R., I agree. I also think this scene underscores Jock’s reckless leadership style. Sure, you can seize power, but that doesn’t always inspire goodwill among your followers. And leaders are rarely successful when they don’t have the respect of their followers. Sooner or later, those leaders fail.

        Nevertheless, this is still a fun scene!

        Thanks to you and R.J. for your comments.

      • now that should read now Ewing Global rather than now Ewing Oil.

  2. Still a good scene after 35 years.

  3. But the basic point Jock made still stands up – if someone gives you power you ain’t got nothing – real power is what you take!

  4. Elizabete says:

    Great scene and very good comments, Dallas’ fans!

  5. Dan in WI says:

    This was certainly an instance that made me question whether or not Bobby was Jock’s favorite son. Whether or not Jock needed to clear this with Bobby first (I think he did need to) if Bobby is the favorite you’d sure think he’d give the heads up.

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