King of the Hill Top 15 Episodes
During the 1990’s television audiences saw a surge in animated programming aimed at a more adult audience. Shows such as; The Simpsons, South Park, Futurama and Ren and Stimpy combined cartoonish slapstick with mature content in order to appeal to an audience that had grown up on the art of animation but there tastes had matured. One of most prominent shows of this movement was unlike any of its contemporaries, King of the Hill. Created by Mike Judge and his pal Greg Daniels the show combined Judge’s social commentary and irreverent humor with Daniel’s focus on strong characters. Whereas show like The Simpsons and the others which featured very cartoony elements, King of the Hill was grounded in reality, as the main characters dealt with issues that the viewers themselves may deal with. The show featured uptight Texan Hank Hill as well as his family and his beer drinking buddies. For thirteen seasons the citizens of Arlen entertained viewers and appealed to a wide range of fans. Here are the ten episodes of this run that showcase the best of what King of the Hill had to offer. So gather in the alley with a cold Alamo and wonder why your boy ain’t right while you read on.
15. Just Another Manic Kahn-Day: A constant foil for Hank Hill throughout the series is his obnoxious neighbor Kahn. But in this episode of the final season the two finally gain respect for each other as they are forced to work together on a robotic grill. Unfortunately Hank and his pals have to contend with a Kahn who has refused to take is medication and he wreaks havoc on the project.
14. Meet the Propaniacs: A constant theme throughout the show’s run is the fact that Hank and his son Bobby were very different in every aspect. But in this episode the father and son connect over Hank’s favorite thing in the world, propane as his world combines with Bobby’s passion for performing comedy. But as their group grows in popularity only one man can stop them.
13. Patch Boomhauer: Of the four men who hang out in the alley it is the fast mumbling Boomhauer who is most often the one glossed over as far as character development. But in this episode the man who could never settle for one woman is confronted with the fact that his amoral brother is marrying the only woman he truly loved. In this episode Boomhauer goes from being a simple tool of comic relief and becomes a fleshed out character. And Brad Pitt’s performance as the womanizing Patch is well worth a watch.
12. The Substitute Spanish Prisoner: Peggy Hill has always been confident about her intelligence to say the least, but a moment of doubt leads her to take a test to prove her smarts. The trouble is she is conned by a smooth talking salesman (hilariously performed by Jeff Golblum) forcing Peggy to have to come up with a clever way to outsmart the con man and get her money back.
11. Church Hopping: His church traditions is one thing that Hank Hill takes very seriously, but when a new family starts sitting in his pew, the Hill clan must find a new place of worship. This lands them in a mega church, which has everything they could want except for spiritual fulfillment. Will Hank go back to his old church home with his tail tucked in defeat? Or will he suffer in silence in this new church?
10. Smoking and the Bandit: Nicotine addict and conspiracy theorist Dale Gribble is confronted by the fact that his son, Joseph held him in lo regard. After a mishap at Waffle House gets out of hand, Dale finds himself as a Robin Hood-esque anti-hero, The Smoking Bandit. Hoping to take advantage of this new persona to get his son’s respect he finds himself unwittingly a part of Hank’s efforts to capture the mysterious thief.
9. Hank and the Great Glass Elevator: Hoping to shed his stuffy image with his pals on the birthday trip for Bill, Hank accidentally moons the former governor of Texas, Anne Richards. Strangely enough this is the beginning of Bill becoming romantically involved with the governor which is thrown into turmoil when his ex-wife seems to take an interest in him again. Bill’s confusion over his love life can be easily related to by many viewers, but the subplot of this particular episode that earns it a spot on this list. With Hank away Peggy and Bobby grow a fondness for charcoal, which is sure to infuriate the propane-selling patriarch. This balance of silly and cartoonish with realistic conflict is what made this show so great.
8. Returning Japanese: We all know Hank’s father Cotton Hill killed “fitty men” and left his shins in Japan during World War II. But in this episode the Hill clan has to deal with something he left behind. Peggy tries her hand at journalism (and earning her family a vacation) and they follow Cotton back to Japan to find the woman he loved while he was stationed over there, and discover he fathered a child as well. Naturally the cantankerous vet turns to his anti-Japanese ways and goes on a warpath forcing Hank and his newfound brother to join forces and stop him.
7. Mutual of Omabwah: It is not uncommon for a television show to have multiple plot lines connected to a single plot, Seinfeld did it all the time. But it was the entertainment which arose from this episode of King of the Hill as the Hill’s losing their insurance temporarily had a great impact on the entire Rainey Street gang. Upon learning the art of deep frying Bill and Boomhauer let things get out of control, as does Dale with his attempt at making money via bee stings. But their troubles are ignored by a paranoid Bobby. Elsewhere Peggy and Luanne are stranded at a rest stop devoid of the safety net to continue on. If nothing else fans must see Bill’s reaction to trying a deep fried banana for the first time.
6. A Beer Can Named Desire: When Hank wins a shot at a large cash prize by throwing a football at the target on a large beer can, will he go for the gold or settle for the silver wherein a football legend takes the throw. The highlight of this episode is perpetual loser with the ladies, Bill leads the crew to his family home in New Orleans and finds himself the target of three women. It is Bill’s cousin Gilbert who brings a good portion of the laughs to this episode, from his tutoring of Bobby to the way he makes Hank uncomfortable, all in a theatrical Southern drawl.
5. Movin’ On Up: All of us at some time in our lives have to deal with the responsibilities of growing up. And in this episode Luanne moves out of the Hill house and into her own house with a whole host of mooching roomies. Despite being polar opposites it is in this episode that Hank and his niece understand each other. No other character in this show grew or evolved over the course of the show like Luanne, thanks in large part to the stellar voice work of the late Brittany Murphy, and this episode is the episode that best displays her strengths.
4. Soldier of Misfortune: One of the greatest accomplishment’s in Dale Gribble’s life is becoming president of his gun club, based on his (false) reputation as a dangerous soldier of fortune. But in this episode he runs into rough competition at the hands of the deranged Mad Dog (voiced by Gary Busey). To rebuild his self esteem, Hank and the others send him on a “secret mission” which goes hilariously out of control.
3. Love Hurts and so Does Art: A brand new celebrity inspired deli opens in Arlen much to the chagrin of Hank, but Bobby gravitates towards it and develops a case of gout. But on the eve of the big dance he is to take Connie to, Bobby refuses to give up the deli food. But Hank has troubles of his own as a sensitive X-ray of him found its way onto an art display. The memorable ending to his episode is bound to touch the hearts of viewers
2. Bobby Goes Nuts: In the ultimate episode where that boy ain’t right, fans are given a catch phrase that still inspires giggle fits: “That’s my purse! I don’t know you!” In a situation we can all relate to, Bobby finds himself bullied and is only given the vague fatherly advice to stand up for himself. After attending a women’s self defense course at the YMCA, Bobby Hill has the perfect anti-bully weapon in his arsenal, and it involves a kick to the groin. This new move sends his father into a panic as he has to teach Bobby how to fight fair and takes a bit of suffering in the process.
1. Jumpin’ Crack Bass: Over the course of the thirteen season run of the show one thing remained constant, Hank Hill is a moral upstanding citizen who held traditions in high regards. One of those traditions is fishing with a “hand dug American worm”. In this episode Hank has a moment of weakness and falters in his convictions by accidentally using cocaine as bait. Of course he is arrested and has to prove to the judge that he’s telling the truth. This episode is the perfect character study for Hank as it displays both his naivety about the ways of the world as well as his high moral character.