The Hills (and Other relatives) | Hank Hill | The Hills' Neighbors | Strickland Propane | Other Characters
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See here for his list of tropes.
Margaret "Peggy" Hill (née Platter)
Voiced by: Kathy NajimyPeggy is Hank's wife, to whom he is Happily Married. Impulsive and ditzy, she causes trouble for the family with hare-brained ideas. She and Hank stay loyal to each other no matter what though.
"In my opinion..."
- Action Mom:
- Something she's demonstrated numerous times when it comes to defending Hank, Bobby, or Luanne. Sometimes she has to defend one from the other. To the point that she handed Leanne Platter a humiliating beat down, to successfully conning a smug con man, to shaming the Alamo Beer Company into apologizing for tainted beer, to threatening three grown men with a wooden spoon. Buck is actually afraid of her.
- We've seen her defend Luanne from Hank, Hank from Bobby, Bobby from Hank, and Hank from Luanne. She generally will not let any member of her family be disrespected, even if it's by each other.
- Alliterative Name: Her maiden name was Peggy Platter.
- Brainy Brunette: Somewhat (though not as much as she thinks).
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's mediocre at just about everything, but she's really good at Boggle, and has a surprising affinity for selling real estate. She's also an excellent softball pitcher, almost striking out a former major league player.
- Can't Take Criticism: Criticism is something she never considers or contemplates in later seasons, being too much of a Know-Nothing Know-It-All to even consider her faults. If anything it just make her more determined to prove her arguments are right.
- Catch-Phrase "Ho yeah!"
- Calling the Father-in-Law Out: With Cotton on his deathbed and tormenting Hank, she gives him a ruthless talking to.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She can rival Luanne in this regard depending on the episode.
- Crying Wolf: In "Peggy's Fan Fair", no one would believe her when she realized Randy Travis stole her song lyrics, and in "Pigmalion", no one would believe her about Trip Larson being bad news.
- Determinator: Partially deconstructed. Her belief that she can do anything through sheer willpower proves to be entirely wrong a lot of the time and gets her into a great deal of trouble. On the other hand, there are occasions where Peggy justifies this mentality, most notably in "Peggy Makes the Big Leagues." Also, clinging to that belief is probably the only thing that allowed her to come out of her childhood as relatively mentally healthy as she did. See Freudian Excuse below.
- Distressed Damsel: Subverted in some episodes, played perfectly straight in others.
- Her ego, originally a mild quirk, eventually became her defining character trait, so much so that her backstory had to be rewritten to explain her narcissistic tendencies (see Freudian Excuse below).
- Remember when her Spanish was initially considered to be pretty good? Hard to believe that later in the series, her Spanish "abilities" would end up with her accidentally kidnapping a Mexican girl while taking her class on a field trip. She is only able to prove her innocence when Hank convinces her attorney to let her plead her case in her own Spanish words to the judge.note
- Freudian Excuse: Peggy grew up with a cold, unpleasable, overly critical mother who constantly told her everything she did was wrong. In her adult years, Peggy believes she is the absolute best at everything she does. She has to believe this, because it's the only way she can convince herself that her mother was wrong and she's not completely worthless.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: It's been noted on more than one occasion that Hank's friends generally only associate with her because she's Hank's wife; Dale flat-out admitted on at least one occasion that he can't stand her. It's not like she is fond of them either. The only exception is Bill who's her Stalker with a Crush.
- Genius Ditz: Peggy believes herself to have a high IQ. She actually does seem to be pretty smart in some ways, but her total inability to ever consider the possibility that she might be wrong about anything means she ends up acting on a lot of really stupid ideas.
- Good Parents: Despite Peggy's Took a Level in Jerkass after season 4, she still remains loyal and loving to her family.
- Gratuitous Spanish: Will often say random Spanish words in conversation, sometimes incorrectly or mispronounced.
- Hidden Depths: She might seem like an egotistical jerk who just suffers from unwarranted self-importance. Well, she kind of is. But her constant insistence that she's a genius in the face of all evidence makes a lot more sense, and even becomes slightly sympathetic, once you find out how her mother always treated her.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Much to Bobby's surprise. Oddly her younger self looks the same, aside from different outfits, slightly slimmer, and a different hairstyle; it's her current dowdy style and old-fashioned hairdo and glasses that don't do it for her.
- It's All About Me: Peggy's worst moments spring from this.
- In "Little Horrors of Shop", she isn't happy that Hank is a successful shop teacher because it's ruining her chance for a third Substitute Teacher of the Year award. She ends up piggybacking off of Hank's popularity to win the award.
- In "Goodbye Normal Jeans", Bobby starts helping around the house thanks to Home Ec. Hank is happy, but Peggy gets jealous because he's a better homemaker than her. She goes so far as to steal the Thanksgiving turkey Bobby made.
- In "Maid in Arlen", Bill falls for Kahn's mother, but they get broken up by Kahn and Bill gets depressed again. Peggy's too busy bitching about how Laoma personally betrayed her by planning to move into a retirement home to care about anything else.
- The Kirk: Much, much more impulsive than Hank, but still more buttoned down than Bobby.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: To a ridiculous degree, especially when it comes to her Spanish speaking ability. She thinks she's "very fluent." She barely knows enough to teach a middle school Spanish class.
- Large Ham: Hooo Yay!
- Mama Bear: To Bobby, Luanne, and Ladybird.
- My Beloved Smother: Can be this to Bobby and Luanne (babying them and making decisions).
- Narcissist: The most notable trope about Peggy Hill. She believes herself to be an ideal mother and wife.
- Never My Fault: Peggy never accepts she did something wrong even when the consequences catch up to her (like accidentally kidnapping a Mexican child because she didn't really speak Spanish) and even if she does, she'll still find some way of justifying it, downplaying how badly she messed up or find a way to make someone else take fault.
- New Job Episode: Rivals Homer Simpson in this regard. Though Peggy works as a substitute teacher, journalist, and real estate saleswoman for some time, she also dabbles in grocery bagging, sculpture, rollerblading and restaurant owning.
- Parental Substitute: To Luanne, to the point that some first time viewers assume that Luanne is Bobby's sister.
- Plucky Girl: Nothing gets Peggy down for long.
- Pride: Be it substitute teacher, housewife or softball player, Peggy can't see herself as not the best.
- Progressively Prettier: In the beginning of the series, Peggy had eyes that almost looked like dots and was drawn rather lackluster. Later seasons had her with a more bright-eyed look and with more vivid coloring with a touch of raspberry-colored lipstick.
- Retcon: Peggy went from being born in Montana and raised in Arlen to being born and raised in Montana. This complicates episodes that have Hank and Peggy as High-School Sweethearts.
- Small Name, Big Ego: She seems to think she's some kind of giant in the teaching world, despite being a small town substitute who won an inconsequential local award twice in a row.
- Smarter Than You Look: There is evidence that suggests that she's pretty clever, it's just that her ego is so big that it hardly ever shines through.
- Too Dumb to Live: In "Fun with Jane and Jane", Luanne manages to escape a cult posing as a sorority. Peggy, who's currently hung up on the fact that she has no friends, drags Luanne back and even joins them herself, not knowing or caring that they plan on sending the girls off to a farm to make preserves.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: She started off smarter and more sensible than Hank. Post-Flandarization, she's a clueless Know-Nothing Know-It-All.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Seasons 1 and 2, Peggy was a genuinely nice, if quirky, housewife. In Season 3, she started to show a little ego, but was otherwise the same. From Season 4 onward, she's a huge Know-Nothing Know-It-All, and often an inconsiderate jerkass.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: After Peggy's mom was retconned from being an overbearing perfectionist housewife to a coldhearted rancher. Her mother apparently never forgave Peggy for abandoning their ranch, even after Peggy singlehandedly saved the ranch to prove herself.
- With Friends Like These...:
- Tends to fall into this at times when the situation benefits her ("Little Horrors of Shop" and "Racist Dawg" are two prime examples).
- Much earlier in the show, Peggy used to associate with a group of unnamed housewives, but chances are she stopped doing so because their 1950s mentality when it came to talking about sex and the fact that they had nothing better to do but talk about clipping coupons didn't really click with her.
- Woman Child: Will sometimes act like a spoiled teenager. Even once mimicking Bobby when both were mad at Hank.
- Women Are Wiser:
- A notable aversion. Although she occasionally does have to let Hank know when he's being a jerkass, for the most part he's nicer, more competent and more practical than she is, and regularly has to rescue her from the results of her own zany schemes. However, there have been times where Peggy is able to function in a situation a lot easier than Hank does, either due to his willing inability to deal with emotions or because it's some cultural event that clashes with Hank's "old days" mind set.
- The best example of this played straight is when Peggy learns that Hank has paid sticker price for every car he's bought for the past twenty-five years. For years, Hank was led to believe he was being offered "special deals" on the cars until Peggy got involved in buying a new car and watched Hank pay full price on a car she was going to pay $2,500 less on.
Robert Jeffrey "Bobby" Hill
- Big Eater:
- His appetite is as bizarre as it is large. Cotton, in charge of a boot camp, once attempted to punish Bobby for his appetite by making him eat a stack of leftovers and run-off. Bobby didn't mind in the slightest.
- In another episode, where Bobby started eating at a New York Style deli, he wound up getting gout from the food. Even when his gout got so bad he couldn't walk and needed a scooter to get around, he still kept going back for more.
- He once ate a 72-ounce steak in under an hour to spite his vegetarian girlfriend he broke up with. He did get sick after eating it, though.
- Getting sick after eating something ridiculous seems to be a pattern with Bobby: he once devoured an entire platter of lutefisk, and as a result befouled the church bathroom so strongly that it led to the whole church burning down. Cotton is of course blamed for the arson. "Look for the man with the terrible smell!"
- Big Fun: A rotund boy who likes comedy, music and dancing.
- Book Dumb: His grades tend to hover around the C and D range, and a few episodes focus on his failing a class or exam. But he also has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and arcane trivia.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: His dad and neighbors don't think much of him because he's a dull-witted, vaguely effeminate chubby kid with a strange sense of humor. But Bobby has shown a broad range of talents over the years.
- He's a crack shot with a gun. He's so good that he carries Hank though a shooting competition, scoring a perfect shot everytime while Hank struggles to hit the target.
- As well as a professional level golfer, making a hole in one on his first attempt.
- And capable of violence when pushed, as when he caught Joseph kissing Connie. Bobby furiously punched his bigger, more muscular friend in the nose. Twice!
- Camp Straight: Oh yes. Even without Hank's rigid view on masculinity Bobby's interests and mannerisms are feminine, such as tending roses and skipping around, but he also fancies himself something of a Kid-anova and dates several girls over the course of the show.
- Catch-Phrase: "I was just trying to help". It's actually a fairly depressing one to have since it's always said after Hank gets angry with him.
- Another is "Look! I'm X" usually while doing an impression or wearing a costume. His quotation above being one example of many.
- Characterization Marches On: Bobby was initially a slow, confused kid who didn't have much in the way of personality. His effeminate characteristics and odd charisma quickly became his defining traits.
- Cheerful Child: In one episode, Hank remarks that every time a bully starts after Bobby, he does some prop comedy, like sticking French fries up his nose, and makes friends with the bully. Of course, Hank considers this to be disappointing.
- Chick Magnet: Oddly enough. Mostly attributable to his confidence and charisma.
- The Chosen One: Bobby may or may not be the reincarnated spirit of the Lama Sanglug.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He's in a world all his own most of the time.
- Crossdressing Voices: His voice actor is Pamela Segall Adlon, who has done voicework for a lot of boy characters (and a few girl characters, like Spinelli and Margaret Rose "Moose" Pearson).
- Even Nerds Have Standards: One of the dispute he has with Connie is that she is a bookworm and they both have a laugh at how geeky both of their attempt to break up (Bobby took Hank advice on how to fire people and Connie wrote a short essay to explain it) is. He also see a bunch of twenty years old men trying to cast a spell on him after refusing to drink dog's blood and admits that even he wants to give them wedgies.
- Extraverted Nerd: Despite his geekyness and unpopularity, he is very talkative and engages in a lot of social activities and school functions, has attended and hosted parties, and has gone out with several girls.
- Fat Idiot: He isn't the brightest bulb in the box, although this varies per episode.
- Flanderization: He became a lot more immature in the later episodes.
- Geeky Turn-On: In "Rodeo Days", after seeing a rodeo clown do an acrobatic stunt:"Wow, I don't think even Kerri Strug could do that while wearing cowboy boots. Mmm … Kerri Strug in cowboy boots …"
- Graceful Loser: Really doesn't let defeat get him down too much. A great example is when he and Hank enter a shooting competition together and place second. Hank is embarrassed at failing, though Bobby is just happy they did that well in their first competition.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Best shot in the family.
- Kavorka Man: More like Kavorka kid. Despite being short, chubby, effeminate and incredibly immature for his age, Bobby is very successful with the ladies due to his charisma and sense of humor.
- Kiddie Kid: Although it kind of depends on the writer.
- Made of Iron: Or as Hank puts it, mush. Cotton repeatedly tries to break Bobby's spirit in a boot camp by overfeeding him with leftover food mixed with one another, have him sit on an ice cube with just underwear on, and imprison him inside a small concrete cell for days. Despite all this, Bobby brushes them all off with ease, all in an effort to build him up into a man. Hank explains that he's like mush- You can't build it up, but it's all give and you can't break it down either.
- Morality Pet: For Cotton.
- The McCoy: Pretty much completely driven by impulse.
- Mistaken for Gay: By Hank, who doesn't understand why his son doesn't like sports or anything considered "manly" (though the last episode "To Sirloin with Love" does reveal one manly thing he can do that doesn't embarrass Hank: grill beef). Various episodes have shown that Hank does actually believe that his son is gay, and he's noticeably relieved when Bobby shows interest in Connie.
- Nice Guy: Bobby is innocent, gentle, sweet, kind-hearted, and good-natured.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Bobby's actions in "Born Again on the Fourth of July" are directly responsible for the residents of Rainey Street and Milton Street to escalate their rivalry to a full-blown war. In his defense, he does try to fix things once he sees the results of his actions.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The only time his full name is shown was on a shelf. Apparently, his other nickname is "Butch", though that's never been used elsewhere, either.
- Soap Box Sadie: He frequently gets invested in various social and/or political causes. Rather than being used to deliver Author Tracts, his activism is handled fairly realistically; like your average 13-year-old, he's admirably idealistic and passionate, but he's also ill-informed and myopic, usually just wholeheartedly buying into whatever his peers or teachers tell him to believe without applying any critical thinking to the matter.
- Strong Family Resemblance: In his flashbacks, Cotton looks like an older, taller, fitter Bobby. His facial resemblance to Hank is likewise much more obvious in flashbacks to when Hank was younger.
- The Unfavorite: In the majority of the time, Hank doesn't like any of what Bobbie does unless it's something that connects real well with Hank. This is taken Up to Eleven because Hank doesn't like Luanne that much either...
- Too Dumb to Live: Sometimes, he does get involved in a lot of things that he knows are bad, but goes along with it as he's trying to find a hobby/interest that won't disappoint his father. He's also shown really poor judgment when it comes to animals, such as playing with a colony of fire ants or trying to befriend a raccoon.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Fruit pies, though he'll eat pretty much anything.
- Vegetarian For A Day: He temporarily went vegetarian to impress a girl.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Bobby sometimes tries to make his father proud of him when it appears that Hank doesn't love him enough. He became terrified of the idea of having a baby sibling because he thought the only reason Hank and Peggy were proud of him was because he didn't have any siblings to be compared to (as Hank has a narrow urethra and a low sperm count, making it impossible for them to have another child). The very first episode actually stated that Bobby was afraid Hank doesn't love him all the time.
- Your Size May Vary: How short Bobby is tends to vary per episode. In most episodes, he seems to reach Hank's armpit or shoulder, but in others, he barely reaches Hank's stomach.
Voiced by: Brittany MurphyThis is Peggy's niece; the Hills took her in early on in the show, partially to get her away from her horrible mother. Luanne isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer (at least in the later episodes. Earlier ones showed that she had a lot of technical skill when it came to fixing cars and some episodes show that she can think for herself in a crisis).
"Class was cancelled today and the library was closed. I love college!"
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: In "My Hair Lady" and "Manger Baby Einstein."
- Bare Your Midriff: Most of her outfits expose her midsection.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
- Despite her lack of intelligence and sometimes childish behavior, Luanne's proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Her highlights include how she handled the Hills' collective cigarette addiction, threatening Cotton for sexually harassing her, tackling an irate woman from harming Peggy, her competency at kickboxing, deciding to have her baby her way rather than listen to what others want her to do, and forcing everyone to give her the wedding gifts she never received.
- "Peggy's Pageant Fever" is a prime example of Luanne being mean on purpose. When Peggy dumps her for a professional stylist, Luanne starts nonchalantly doing things to screw with Peggy's daily routine. Although by the end credits, they've made up and Peggy lets Luanne use her hair to prepare for her beauty school classes, even though Peggy now has hair like a troll doll. The moment Luanne's out of the room, she starts evilly snickering to herself with clasped hands because she did it on purpose.
- Bald Women: Her hair was singed off in the Mega-Lo Mart explosion at the end of Season 2. Very notable in that, while other cartoons would have Luanne's hair fully grown by the next episode, King of the Hill actually showed her hair slowly growing back over the course of several episodes.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted twice:
- Her hair loss in the Mega-Lo Mart explosion, mentioned above.
- Her face is bruised the day after her boxing match against Freeda Foreman.
- Brainless Beauty and Cloudcuckoolander: In the later seasons.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: She's a sweet-natured ditz with a big heart and a thick skull, both of which made her able to go the distance against George Foreman's daughter Freeda in the boxing ring.
- The Ditz
- Dumb Blonde: In later episodes. In the early episodes, she had some smarts (i.e., she knew how to fix a car and she was good at styling hair), but she wasn't like Lisa Simpson when it came to brains.
- Flanderization: Particularly grating because of her initial character development as a young woman who desperately wanted to avoid becoming a redneck.
- Freudian Excuse: The way Peggy sort of began to dominate her life by making nearly all her decisions, as well as Luanne's gradually growing stupidity, could be seen as instigated by the way her birth mother walked out of her life for good after she acted like a complete whore and tried to kill Peggy. With Leanne's permanent absence, Luanne latched onto Peggy as a permanent substitute for a mother figure and started regressing to a more childlike intellect. This stopped (granted she's still dense) after she became a mother herself, and decided that she needed to stop relying on Peggy for everything in order to raise her child with Lucky and give her the childhood she'd been denied.
- Gag Boobs:
- When she jumps up and down, which makes Hank uneasy.
- This was parodied in a short made for the Emmy Awards where she got a wardrobe malfunction because of this.
- Genki Girl
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Young, sweet, innocent (how much is innocence and how much is just plain stupidity is admittedly an exercise for the reader), blonde.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl:
- In one episode, she starts a Bible study class at a swimming pool. She thinks that she's reaching out to people; in reality, they just want to see her in a bikini and enjoy the hugs she gave out as rewards.
- Same thing when she got into boxing. She didn't learn until too late that the only reason guys came to see her was because they had a fetish for seeing a hot, under-dressed woman box.
- Averted in "Return to La Grunta," where she becomes self-conscious after several golfers sexually harass her. Luanne even dresses in unflattering clothes to discourage them, without success.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: She has a big heart and a minuscule brain.
- Likes Older Men: Luanne is around 20 and married Lucky who is 35.
- Ms. Fanservice: Invoked in-universe in "The Trouble with Gribbles", when she temporarily replaces Nancy as the TV weather girl.
- Odd Friendship: Bonds with Bill over their barber skills in "My Hair Lady." She even gets fired trying to stand up for him to their boss. This actually extends as far back as Season 1's "Plastic White Female," though it's never really foregrounded.
- Nice Girl: Luanne is a real sweetheart.
- Punny Name: Luanne shares her full name with a dish at Southern cafeteria chain Luby's: The "Lu Ann" Platter.
- The Unfavorite: It's not subtle how Hank doesn't like her and how she can't move out from the house because she's not financially ready to make a move.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: By the time Season 2 aired, she had done some serious level grinding, and it got worse from there.
- Woman Child: Luanne has a very childish demeanor as it shows in her gullibility and immature antics.
- Wrench Wench: Part of her initial characterization. In the pilot, after Hank spends most of the episode trying to find out why his truck won't start, she offhandedly mentions she borrowed it, noticed the fuel filter was clogged and blew it clear. When Hank's truck is seized as evidence and taken apart after a junkie tries to steal it, she puts it back together.
- Vocal Evolution: Her voice was deeper and gruffer in the early episodes before changing into a high-pitched Simpleton Voice.
Hank's and the Hills' old female dog. It is no exaggeration to think Hank likes her more than Bobby or Luanne.
- Big, Friendly Dog: While not exactly that big, she is portrayed as such and very rarely hurts others.
- Heroic Dog: In "Racist Dawg", Ladybird didn't get an issued command to drag a sleeping Bobby out from a lethal gas leak in their house at night. She did it anyway, but nobody makes a mention of this (and were more concerned by Bill performing CPR with his nacho-filled breath).
- Mistaken for Racist: "Racist Dawg" has everyone believe that Ladybird is violently racist towards black people (and connect the dots that Hank must be too as dogs take after their owners) after attacking a black repairman. In the end, it turns out Hank subconsciously loathes repairmen doing his "job" at the house that Ladybird lashes out violently at them, regardless of their color.
- Perpetual Frowner: She wears a perpetually world weary expression, regardless of what's going on. This is very much Truth in Television as far as bloodhounds are concerned.
Colonel Cotton Lyndall Hill
Voiced by: Toby HussHank's father, a crotchety old man who doesn't seem to approve of anything Hank does. This war vet can never stop talking about how he killed "fitty" (50) men while in service. When it comes to impulsiveness, he's even got Peggy beat. Heaven help Hank. His last appearance in the series sees him die from a horrible accident (or as he puts it, Tojo finally got him).
"I killed fitty men!"
- Abusive Parents: Emotionally, to Hank.
- Accidental Misnaming: Cotton never refers to Peggy by name, only by "Hank's Wife." This even extends to when he's trying to be nice to her.
- Ax-Crazy: It's a pretty fitting description for a man who thinks a loaded shotgun is the perfect birthday gift for a child.
- Backhanded Compliment: He may well have meant it to be sincere, but when he talks about how Hank is a better dad than he is, he says "If it's a contest [on which one of them is the better father], you win. You made Bobby! All I could make was you!"
- Badass Grandpa: He's in his mid 70s, but he's still a fully capable ass kicker.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted. He's one of the strangest looking characters in the series, and definitely one of the nastiest.
- Berserk Button:
- Never call him a Nazi.note
- He seems to view most anything Japanese, with the exception of Michiko, the Japanese nurse who cared for him after the war, with disdain, as in "Unfortunate Son" he refuses to sell a canoe which - so he claims, anyway - belonged to Hitler after discovering the potential buyer is driving a Mitsubishi.
- Black Bead Eyes: His younger self did not have these. Whether he acquired them through age or shell shock is unknown.
- Character Death: Dies from a combination of burns, internal injuries, and an allergic reaction to shrimp in "Death Picks Cotton".
- Colonel Badass: Even if half his stories never happened he still qualifies several times over, especially if he really did beat an entire island of Japanese soldiers to death with a dismembered leg of his friend, Fatty, after getting his shins blown off (even though he achieved the rank of colonel after the war as a National Guardsman).
- Colonel Kilgore: Loved killing Tojos and gutting Nazzies, though was technically not a colonel at the time.
- Demoted to Extra: In the first few seasons, Cotton appears in semi-frequently in cameos and flashbacks, with there usually being one or two Cotton-centric episodes per season. In the latter half of the series, Cotton shows up sporadically and his divorce happens off screen despite him moving from Houston to Arlen.
- Determinator: The man lost his shins and then taught himself how to walk again after the doctors sewed his feet to his knees. As Hank himself remarks, that's pretty damn heroic.
- Domestic Abuser: Cotton doesn't abuse women physically (when Cotton saw Peggy in a body cast, he chastised Hank for allegedly beating her), but does sexually harass them by smacking them on the butt, thinks women are little more than housewives and sex objects, and tried to keep Hank's mom down by verbally abusing her and making her do demeaning things. In a flashback to when he was married to Tilly, he was shown one time using her as a foot stool. Another episode had Cotton smashing a sink full of dishes with a chair while screaming at Tilly.
- Dying Alone: One by one, Cotton's geriatric war buddies kick the bucket over the course of the series. At the start of the show, he's in the company of several, but they soon succumb to poor health, such as Fatty's titular obesity, until Topsy is the last one to go, leading to Cotton fulfilling his bizarre dying wishes. Then Cotton himself dies, after screaming at his son and driving him from the room, with only his much-hated daughter-in-law for company.
- Everyone Has Standards:
"What'd you do to your wife? I didn't teach you that!"
- Cotton is an abusive father and husband. One time, he was even seen using Tilly as a footstool, and holds Peggy in ill regard. However, when he sees Peggy in her body cast following her near-fatal skydiving accident, Cotton immediately assumes it's Hank's fault and is disgusted with him.
- He may be politically incorrect, but he won't tolerate someone mis-identifying someone else's ethnicity. When Dale referred to Kahn as Japanese Cotton correctly identified Kahn as Laotian.
- Evil Old Folks: On his worse days.
- Famous Last Words: During Cotton's last appearance in the series (apart from a few flashback cameos), when Peggy says she hopes Cotton lives forever so he can stay in the hell he's created himself on Earth, Cotton replies, "Do ya now?" and dies just to spite her.
- Fat Bastard: Not as fat as most examples, but he's pretty rotund. And a huge bastard.
- Final Speech: Delivers one to Peggy, presumably to get as much hate as possible out before he goes:Cotton: "This was supposed to happen to you! You're worthless! You're not even good enough to be married to my worthless, nothing of a loser SON!"
Peggy: "Enough! Your son has always loved you despite your constant torture. You want to die alone? Fine. You want to keep coming back and never die? That's fine too. In fact, I hope you do go on living forever as the unhappy person you are in the hell you have created here on this earth. I hope you live forever. I really do."Cotton: *smirks* "Do you now?" *dies*
- Of course, he actually dies when Peggy gives back her own speech to him, presumably as his real last insult towards her.
- Glory Days: Cotton would like you to know that he killed fitty men during World War II. And he would have kept at it if the Japanese hadn't shot off his shins.
- Gonk: Including a medical history, that's simply not credible.
- Groin Attack: Uses his shortness to his advantage and delivers these via headbutt.
- Grumpy Old Man: Oh, yeah. But you'd be grumpy too if you had to walk around with your feet sewed to you knees.
- Handicapped Badass: Had his shins blown off by Japanese soldiers in World War II, but still kicked ass and reached the rank of Colonel in the Texas Militia.
- Heroic Resolve: As Hank lampshades in one episode, Cotton may be a lying jackass, but it's an indisputable fact that the man survived having his shins blown off, an act which required an unfathomable amount of willpower.
- Hey, You!: As mentioned above, Cotton always calls Peggy as "Hank's Wife" and never bothered calling her by her name.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Cotton is a five-star jerkass all his life, which eventually culminates when he revolts against a proposed dinner of leftover lasagna given to him by Peggy, which he finds completely inadequate. He and Bobby hightail it to the nice restaurant they shafted the two of them from going to so they can have a private date. But then Cotton has a PSTD freakout against an innocent sushi chef at the sight of him juggling knifes for show, bellowing that he's a Tojo threatening to kill him. The chef, unaware that Cotton's allergic to shrimp, flicks one into his mouth thinking it will calm him down. This causes him to go in to shock, and Cotton then is convinced the chef's out for blood. He pounces at the man with intent to put him in a death grip, but happens to leap on the boiling hot surface of the chef's grill, immediately melting the soles of his shoes. This causes Cotton to slip and collapse on top of it, which wreaks havoc on his delicate elderly frame. The resulting burns, allergic reaction, and internal injuries do irrecoverable damage to him and Cotton's condition slowly worsens, until he at last dies.
- Home Guard: Joined the Texas State Militia after the war, eventually reaching the rank of colonel.
- Identical Grandson: Looks like a much older version of Bobby.
- Improbable Age: He claims to have entered the military at 14.
- I Was Quite The Looker: He was shown to be very tall and handsome during his war years. Then he got his shins shot off and by the time Hank was born, he looked like a brown-haired version of his present self.
- Jerkass: And that's putting it mildly.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Usually related to Bobby. Hank even puts that while Cotton hates most things, there's no doubt he loves Bobby. It's also seen that while he treats most women as objects, the one woman he is not seen doing this to is his old Japanese lover, Michiko.
- Kavorka Man:
- Despite being a gonk, and having a less than appealing personality (and his shins "… blown off by a Japan man's machine gun"), he's been with three women that we know of: Hank's mother, a Japanese woman during WWII, and his current wife, Didi, who is a childhood friend of Hank's.
- He's admitted to bedding 273 women in the episode Junichiro was introduced. It's heavily implied in previous episodes that he's visited prostitutes a lot, which probably explains a good number of those women.
- Laughably Evil: Well, "Laughably Jerkass" more likely, but still. Cotton isn't someone you'd want to meet if he exists in real life, but he is hilarious to watch.
- Large Ham: And how!
- May–December Romance: Between Cotton and Didi, he's in his seventies and she's roughly forty. Didi and Hank even went to kindergarten together.
- Pants-Free: In "Returning Japanese" he is shown in his uniform shirt and hat but without pants.
- Parental Neglect: When he's not being abusive to women, he shows affection with a criminal disregard for his son's safety. When G.H. was less than a year old, he let him play with his loaded service pistol to learn to shoot,note and he gave Bobby a loaded shotgun for his twelfth birthday (and used the gun to shoot a piñata).
- Phony Veteran: One episode has Peggy realizing Cotton's war stories just didn't add up. It's not that Cotton is a fake veteran or was exaggerating he was just that senile that he doesn't remember which battlefields he was sent to.
- Perpetual Frowner: He usually only smiles when he's recounting his war stories, or tormenting people.
- Pet the Dog:
- Most of his scenes with Bobby amount to these. For all his faults, he genuinely loves and respects his grandson (though the first episode featuring Cotton is kind of debatable, as Cotton was teaching his grandson to treat women like sex objects by slapping their butts and making sexist remarks).
- When he helped Peggy get her job back, and the time where he helped her in her rehab after the parachute incident. In the case of the former, he had no problem barking at her to make him 200 pancakes, but became visibly uncomfortable the moment she broke down sobbing.
- When he politely asked Peggy for a photo of Hank and Bobby to show to Michiko during their trip to Japan. He even thanked her.
- Doubled as a Pet the Dog moment for both of them, as Peggy actually defended Cotton's actions to Hank, rationalizing that no one would cheat on their 40 year old wife with an 80 year old ex-girlfriend.
- At the end of the Japan two-parter, when he notices Bobby seems depressed because he's leaving behind the girl he met, he immediately tells the cab driver to stop so Bobby can say goodbye to her.
- Really, his entire relationship with Michiko. He loved her dearly, fought like a tiger to stay with her, and when they reunite, is nothing but gentle and respectful towards her. Especially considering his usual treatment of women, it's seen that he really did love her.
- A small one. In a flashback, Hank and his friends were taken on a camping trip by their dads. Cotton led the Snipe Hunt with enthusiasm ("Not gonna sugar coat it: Some of you ain't comin' back"). Despite that, he kicked Eustice out of the group for talking during the Test of Silence and ordering the boy to get him a beer, seeing Cotton be involved in Hank's upbringing to any extent note is rare and touching.
- "Next of Shin" also. He actually feels sorry for Hank being unable to get Peggy pregnant, to the point where he's willing to let Hank and Peggy raise Didi's child (though that part's certainly unfair to Didi). He also has a rare heart-to-heart talk with his son towards the end of the episode.
- Politically Incorrect War Hero: He's an unbridled sexist. And damn proud of it.
- Punny Name: Named for the town of Cotton Hill, West Virginia.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: There's no love lost between him and Peggy.
- Racist Grandpa:
- Subverted. He's certainly not nice to anyone, but he does not antagonize people from countries America has not gone to war with as much, and does not use shallow stereotypes. He can tell at first sight that Kahn is Laotian, and does not make the same "Chinese or Japanese" assumption everyone else does. However, Cotton does think that Kahn is Hank's servant and orders him to make him a mai tai and get his luggage.
- He doesn't seem to have anything against Jewish people either. The first thing he said to Gary Kasner after their introductions was "Happy Hannukah" and mentions he served with a Jew in the Pacific Theater.
- On the other hand, he does seem to be less than fond of the Japanese until he discovers he has a half-Japanese son. When being examined by doctors to tell if he has senility and needs to be institutionalized, he attacks a Japanese doctor and takes his stethoscope for a war trophy.
- Rank Up: Apparently started as private in the U.S. Army, was promoted to some sort of leadership position in the Pacific and ended his career a colonel with the Texas National Guard.
- Real Award, Fictional Character: Throughout his appearances, Cotton's decorations are slowly revealed. In "Returning Japanese", his uniform includes the Medal of Honor and American Campaign Medal. In "Cotton Comes Marching Home", his Silver Star is shown in a display case in the Arlen VFW. In Season 12, he shown wearing the third class, Commandeur, of the French Legion of Honour, the highest decoration in France and only awarded to a handful of Americans during the war.
- Real Men Hate Affection: In his words, "Love's for sissies!"
- Retired Badass: He's not in the army anymore, but even Hank is hesitant to give him a fight. At least part of that is childhood trauma, but mostly it's a recognition that Cotton can still kick his ass. He even knocked a young adult down with a headbutt after he called him a nazi.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Though he didn't appear very polite in his younger days either.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran:
- Dale and cops tend to view him as this, usually encouraging them to help him in his more ridiculous schemes without thinking.
- A fit of PTSD when he sees a Hibachi chef juggling knives makes him jump on the grill table and fall onto it back-first, giving him a mortal wound.
- Shirtless Scene: In John Redcorn's sweat lodge in "Returning Japanese".
- Smug Smiler: When he does smile, it's a rather unnerving self-satisfied smirk.
- Straw Misogynist
- Strong Family Resemblance: Looks exactly like an old version of Bobby, who unlike his son and his daughter-in-law he actually gets along with.
- They Really Do Love Each Other:
- Cotton and Didi get a few spread out through the series. When Cotton is awarded a grave in the Texas State Cemetery, Didi comments it's a beautiful grave and that he deserves it. And when Cotton leaves a pregnant Didi, he goes into a homicidal rage when Hank tells him she's found a new man. Hank even points out that he really loves her.
- Cotton and Hank have some as well, such as in "Returning Japanese" when Cotton admits to Hank that he's a good son.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: With Didi. And with Tilly when she was younger.
- Unreliable Narrator: Certain recountings of Cotton's past are rather questionable. Sometime it's boasting sometime he is just confused.Cotton: You forgot Munich.
Peggy: You were never in Munich.
Cotton: I wasn't?
- Use Your Head: A favourite tactic of his and quite effective due to him missing his shins, since this places his head right at crotch level for most people.
- When He Smiles: A kind one at least, during his last days alive with Bobby. His smile looks like one finds in a grandparent instead of a sadistic, arrogant smirk.
- Younger Than They Look: Cotton was around thirty when Hank was born. In flashbacks seen in "Yankee Hankie" (set on the day Hank was born in 1959), he looks the exact same as he does in the present day only with brown hair. However, in scenes set only 15 years prior, he looks more like an extremely fit and slightly older version of Bobby.
Matilda Mae "Tilly" Hill-Garrison
Voiced by:Hank's biological mother.
Tammy Wynette (1997-1998)
Beth Grant (1998-1999, 2010)
K Callan (2000-2003)
Tammy Wynette (1997-1998)
Beth Grant (1998-1999, 2010)
K Callan (2000-2003)
- A Day in the Limelight: "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying", "Escape From Party Island", and "The Honeymooners".
- The Ditz: Hank says that he worries about her because she is an idiot for making stupid decisions such as marrying Cotton, dating another man before marrying him before she broke up with her boyfriend, having her husband sell her house for a RV which she happens to drive recklessly and dangerously on the road, tried to make a coffee out of the RV's cruise control, and selling her gold to someone on TV.
- Extreme Doormat: Actively seeks out men who are abusive towards her.
- Freudian Excuse: Being married to an emotionally, verbally, and sometimes physically abusive man for years, (Cotton once used her as an actual footstool), and only being able to seek comfort in glass figurines, may be the reason why in her later years Tilly makes spontaneous and often stupid and crazy choices. Now that she's free from Cotton, and no longer taking care of Hank, Tilly is free to live her life how she wants and is expressing out decades of repressed emotions, which channel into some questionable antics and an insensitive wild streak.Tilly: Maybe I am an idiot. Who cares?...I want to live on my own terms, Hank. I want to have fun while I can. Let the pieces fall where they may. Some things will work out well, some won't. At least it won't be boring.
- Glurge Addict: When trapped in a severely abusive marriage with Cotton, she became obsessed with unicorn figurines. Hank deeply loathes them until he realizes those figurines were the only thing that kept her going.
- Hidden Depths:
- As the series goes on, it shows she has terrible choice in men, and is constantly making spur of the moment extreme decisions without thinking of the consequences.
- Earlier in the show's history, though, Tilly admitted that she took several odd jobs during Hank's childhood, including a job as a taxi driver, in order to get out of the house. Hank simply believed that she was happily fulfilled in being a stay-at-home mom, and was quite shocked to learn this (when Tilly mentioned the taxi, Hank says that all he remembers is her owning a yellow car).
- I Was Quite a Looker: While she's not ugly (despite Cotton's claims), a flashback of Hank's birth shows her to have been a really pretty young woman with dark hair.
- Long Bus Trip: She disappears from the series after one appearance in Season 5, and doesn't return until one of the unaired episodes almost 10 years later.
- Love Martyr: She really goes out of her way for the love of something, whether its her figurine obsession or a whirlwind romance for a guy she's known for a few weeks.
- Matzo Fever: The last two men she was with (Gary and Chuck) were both Jewish.
- Nice Girl: Generally shown to be a sweet, if overly-passive, woman.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: According to Hank's birth certificate in "Yankee Hankee", her name is Matilda Mae Hill.
- Out of Focus: She appears far less than Cotton and is not introduced until well after he is. Although she made a handful of appearances in the first few years after her introduction, her absences became longer and longer as time went on to the point that it was easy to forget she existed.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: While Cotton wasn't that bad-looking during his time in the army, by the time he married Tillie his appearance had already gone down the tubes. Couple that with his sharp temper, violent outbursts, misogynist beliefs, domestic abuse toward her, and parental abuse toward their son, it's amazing Tillie didn't divorce him far, far sooner.
- Your Cheating Heart: Was revealed in the 13th season to be having an affair with Chuck behind Gary's back.
Deidre "Didi" Hill
Voiced by: Ashley GardnerCotton's 40-year-old second wife.
- Abusive Parents: She seems to mean well, but her absent-mindedness and general stupidity results in her often neglecting G.H., including leaving him home alone because she simply forgot about him.
- Broken Bird: It's implied that Didi isn't happy in her marriage to Cotton but she's too meek to say anything about it. She seems confused and sad whenever she's on-screen.
- Characterization Marches On: Following G.H.'s birth, she had moments where she was more assertive with Cotton.
- The Ditz: Most of the time, it's not clear if she's even aware of what's going on around her. Strangely, it makes her perfectly suited for Cotton, who's free to be as obnoxious as he wants.
- Extreme Doormat: Most of her scenes make her look more like Cotton's servant than his wife.
- Gag Boobs: Cotton paid for her boob job. He got a good price because they're both lefties.
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Averted. There were about six months between the air dates of the episode where Didi was revealed to be pregnant and the episode where she gave birth. Given that the only visible holidays between those episodes were Thanksgiving and Christmas, and how pregnant she was when it was revealed (at least a few months gone), the duration was quite realistic both in-universe and out of it.
- May–December Romance: She's around the same age as Hank (Hank mentions that he went to kindergarten with Didi, and Didi asks Hank if he still likes finger-painting), yet was married to his father.
- Put on a Bus: In the Season 8 episode "Daletech", Cotton is seen screaming at her to call her lawyer as she drives away before explaining that she and G.H. have gone to her parents' house for a few months. Cotton's obituary claims her to be his ex-wife, confirming a divorce. She isn't seen again until a very brief appearance in the final season where the divorce never seemed to have happened, though it could be that they've got back together before his death or he died before the divorce was finalized.
- Robo Speak: Speaks in a very monotone voice that makes it sound as though she's rehearsed whatever she's saying.
- What Does She See in Him?: After Cotton's death, she finally seems to acknowledge the fact that he was an awful man and has actually admitted that, since marrying her new husband, she barely remembers anything about him.
- When She Smiles: See the character image of her smiling? Yeah, that's a rare moment for her.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: She's very good looking for her age while Cotton isn't good looking (or good-acting) for any age.
Voiced by: Pamela AdlonLuanne's ex-con mother. Was sent to jail for stabbing her father with a fork.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Claims to be 34 which would make her only 14 years older than her daughter. However, if that is true, she has aged terribly as she appears to be middle-aged.
- The Alcoholic: She's able to down an entire fridge of Alamo beer in just a couple of nights. And that's after rehab.
- All Abusers Are Male: Averted.
- Ax-Crazy: Once she goes back to drinking, she loses it.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Claims that she's changed. She hasn't.
- Cool Big Sis: What Leanne wants Luanne to see and refer to her as.
- Domestic Abuser: Abused Hoyt throughout the marriage, which eventually resulted in him getting stabbed with a fork (which lead to her arrest). She starts abusing Bill once she starts drinking again.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: One of the rare aversions on television. Her treatment of Hoyt, Bill, and the others is treated as seriously as if she were a male abuser.
- Evil Counterpart: To Peggy, in terms of a mother figure towards Luanne.
- Gold Digger: Downplayed; while she does spend all of Bill's money, it's mostly because he's too meek to say no and she's too clueless to realize that nice things cost money. However, she does seem to have this attitude towards Luanne and Hoyt.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: When she drinks. Poor, poor Bill...
- Hoist by His Own Petard: If she hadn't spent Bill's money so freely, he could have afforded his medication and his toe fungus wouldn't have driven her back to drink.
- Jerkass: And the worst one in the entire series.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Near the end, Luanne attempted to stab Luanne's boyfriend Buckley with a fork, only to be stopped by Peggy, who gives her a speech about her behavior towards Luanne. At first, Leanne obliged to this by apologizing for her behavior, but as soon as Peggy's back is turned..... Leanne attempts to attack her, gloating of how she attacked her ex. Even when Peggy managed to fight back by kicking her in the ass, Leanne left town in a huff after stealing Bill's truck, coldly disowning Luanne when the latter refuses to join her.
- Knight of Cerebus: Her one appearance marks one of the darker episodes in the series, taking all of the comedy out of Luanne's shattered home life and showcasing one of the rare examples of female-on-male abuse treated seriously on TV.
- Lady Drunk: She thinks she's a Hard-Drinking Party Girl, but she's too old, too violent, and has a serious drinking problem.
- Manchild: It is quite clear she doesn't want to be seen as a mother. She even yells at Luanne that she is no longer her "sister" before leaving.
- Off the Wagon: And it gets worse from there. She was already a jerk to Luanne. When she's drunk, she gets violent.
- Parental Neglect: She's rather emotionally abusive towards Luanne. She was even okay with her daughter dropping out of college to get a job to support the two of them. This is mainly because she doesn't want to be a mother, as seen in the episode where she comes back and tries (emphasis on "tries") to be Luanne's Cool Big Sis.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Basically looks like a middle-aged Luanne, only with badly dyed hair.
Voiced by: Johnny KnoxvilleLuanne's biological father (even though earlier episodes revealed that Hoyt was a wussier, male version of Peggy). Was once thought to have escaped to an oil rig to get away from his abusive wife (and wouldn't come back until he got her death certificate in a fax), but a later episode revealed that Hoyt was in jail and, if he screws up again, he'll be there for life.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When he came back, he gave his sister Peggy two lottery tickets that were already scratched (and weren't even winning tickets). Things got worse from there until he was arrested again.
- Chronic Villainy: Seems incapable of passing up the opportunity to commit a crime.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: He's stinking in jail forever, Luanne.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He sincerely loves Luanne (as shown in his last scene with Hank), but still seems willing to sell her out to avoid jail. A rare example of this trope making a character less sympathetic.
- The Ghost: Was this for most of the show's lengthy run, only being mentioned in a few episodes that concerned Luanne.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After getting Lucky to take the fall for a crime he committed, Hank and Peggy set him up to get his third strike.
- Jerkass: He's almost as bad as his wife in this regard.
- Manipulative Bastard: He uses his daughter's happiness of seeing him back to get away as an excuse for any stupidities he pulls on the Hills and her husband. In the end, karma gets him good and Luanne is led to believe he got a better position at the oil rig.
- Retcon: A jarring example. Originally Hoyt was a male version of Peggy who ran away and joined an oil rig to get away from Leanne and wouldn't return until her death certificate was faxed to him. When he finally made his appearance, he was shown to be a convict on his last strike and that the "oil rig" story was a lie, and he'd been gone for most of Luanne's life (originally, she was an adult still acknowledging just having seen him). He was such a manipulative bastard he would've even thrown his own daughter under a bus if it meant him avoiding jail.
- Stupid Crooks: Not only does he commit random crimes for no good reason, but he fell for Hank and Peggy's obvious plan to get him his third strike.
Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt
Voiced by: Tom PettyA 35-year-old hillbilly introduced later in the series whose personal income consists primarily of nothing but personal injury suit victories. Becomes involved with Luanne, then later marries and has a child with her.
- Ascended Extra: His most noteworthy scene in his debut episode ("The Redneck on Rainey Street") was when he told the story of why he was called "Lucky" (he slipped on a spill while running for the bathroom in a department store and was paid off to avoid a lawsuit), yet he was eventually elevated to main character status. His friends Elvin and Mud Dauber, more prominently featured in that episode, are conversely Demoted to Extra.
- Character Development: For all his faults he has a personal code of honor, sincerely loves Luanne (and later their daughter Gracie) and does try to improve himself with Hank and Peggy's help.
- The Ditz: He's definitely not all there. Hell, Luanne looks like a genius compared to him.
- Early-Bird Cameo: First appeared on "The Redneck on Rainey Street" as one of Kahn's new trailer trash friends.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Frequently lampshaded by Hank and Peggy, due to his laziness and lack of common sense of how to spend his settlement checks. The others only hang out of him out of pity and goodwill, and one of he only few sincerely loves him for who he is is his wife Luanne.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: His primary source of income.
- Hidden Depths: Despite his slovenly appearance and attitude, Lucky occasionally displays surprising wisdom and insight.
- Nice Guy: Despite his laziness, Lucky is a good-hearted person and loves and cares for his wife Luanne and his daughter Gracie dearly.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He's referred to exactly once by his given name.
- Simple-Minded Wisdom: He's definitely no genius, but he has some unexpectedly deep thoughts from time to time.
- The Stoic: Incredibly laid-back most of the time.
- Straw Loser: He's a walking redneck stereotype with no job, no education, and no common sense who survives mostly on settlement checks. His original appearance was meant to demonstrate how far Kahn had fallen by hanging out with him. Then he and Luanne get involved...
- Took a Level in Kindness: He was just a belligerent redneck in his first appearance, but became far more chill once he met Luanne.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Once he and Luanne are married.