In "Arlen City Bomber", Bobby says that his dream is to eat a corn chip right off the production line. Lucky tells him "I'm gonna help you run down that dream". Lucky's voice actor has a song called "Runnin' Down a Dream".
Actor-Inspired Element: Jonathan Joss spent a lot time pushing for his character, John Redcorn, to receive Character Development in fear that he'd become a Native American stereotype. According to Joss, Mike Judge and the show writers were happy to accommodate him, but Fox executives vetoed several early concepts for focus episodes featuring Redcorn (including a proposed story line where he becomes a semipro wrestler to impress Joseph). Eventually they relented and Redcorn did receive significant character development in later seasons, notably his evolving relationship with the Gribbles and his failed rock band, Big Mountain Fudgecake (which invokes Joss's more successful musical career).
Author Existence Failure: Averted. Brittany Murphy, the voice actress of Luanne Platter and Joseph Gribble before he hit puberty,note From Seasons 1 to 4 was a cast member on the show who did die. However, her death came three months after FOX aired the last episode.note "To Sirloin with Love," not "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day". Still, for any fan who wants King of the Hill to come back, it probably won't happen without Murphy.
Also averted with Lucky's voice actor, Tom Petty, who died in 2017.
Also averted with Principal Moss's voice actor Dennis Burkley, who died in 2013.
In 2003, the British satellite channel Sky1 choose not to air the second season episode "Leanne's Saga" due to its depictions of domestic abuse.
Following Leelah Alcorn's suicide in 2014, some American local stations skipped over "The Peggy Horror Picture Show" due to perceived stereotypical depictions of drag queens and male-to-female transsexuals.
"Revenge of the Lutefisk" was pulled on some Colorado local stations following the Columbine school shooting (even though the episode depicted a church burning down and allegations that it was a hate crime, not a school shooting).
Casting Gag: In Season 12, we are introduced to Kate who is revealed to be Joseph Gribble's half-sister. She was voiced by Brittany Murphy, who — in addition to playing Luanne — was also Joseph's original voice (up until the character underwent puberty). When playing Kate, Murphy used the exact same voice she used for Joseph.
The Character Died with Him: Averted. Victor Aaron, the original voice actor of John Redcorn, died in a road accident after recording his lines for his only episode "The Order of the Straight Arrow" (though he is still credited in "Luanne's Saga"). Rather than drop the character, he was recast by Jonathan Joss.
Brittany Murphy (Luanne's voice actress) voiced Joseph Gribble in the first four seasons. It's averted starting in season 5 when Breckin Meyer took over.
Pamela Adlon voiced Bobby Hill.
Executive Meddling: FOX executives demanded the writers drop or at least scale back the recurring plotlines for the reason of airing episodes Out of Order on syndication, which accounted in part for the Negative Continuity in later episodes. It's also claimed that in later seasons, network executives interfered to the extent that they were demanding rewrites while episodes were being animated, which does explain why the newer episodes aren't as consistent or beloved as the older episodes.
Friday Night Death Slot: It never aired on Friday nights, but during much of its later seasons, Fox would air it at 7 PM/6c on Sundays, which is the slot infamous for being preempted by NFL football (see also Futurama).
Genius Bonus: In Hilloween, Junie Harper tries to smugly quote the Bible ("The complacency of fools shall destroy them. Proverbs."), Hank counters with "Get out of my house! Exodus." In Exodus 10:28, the Pharaoh says this to Moses as he banishes him from his home and demands to never see his face again.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: As of 2006, the DVDs only went up to Season 6, though many people felt the prospect of a DVD release was unnecessary as the series is easily and legally obtainable through the iTunes store. Netflix used to carry the entire series (including the four leftover episodes), and [adult swim] has been airing all of the episodes (including the missing four from FOX) since the show was in its final seasons. However, in 2014, Olive Films picked up the rights to the DVD releases and began releasing the remaining seasons two at a time.
Life Imitates Art: In one of the more startling examples, two years after "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?,"note The episode where Kahn feels like a sell-out after Ted Wassanassong calls him a "banana". It is a slur towards Asians who have lost touch of their heritage. in which Kahn joins a Laotian-American paramilitary group lead by a former general planning an attack on the communist government of Laos, a real life Laotian American group lead by a former general planned an attack on the communist government of Laos.
Missing Episode: Because FOX wanted to get rid of the show as quickly as possible (as they needed room for The Cleveland Show), the network decided to pick two episodes out of the last six they ordered and unaired the remaining four. The last two episodes that aired were: "The Boy Can't Help It",note Where Bobby is taken advantage of by three high school girls. and "To Sirloin with Love".note Where Hank discovers Bobby's talent for identifying flaws in beef cuts and puts him on the Heimlich County Community College meat inspection team. The four episodes that didn't air on FOX aired in network syndication, on [adult swim], and were on Netflix. Those episodes are: "The Honeymooners",note Hank's mom breaks up with her longtime boyfriend and dates a man she barely knows., "Bill Gathers Moss",note Bill rents his house out to roommates on Craigslist. "When Joseph Met Lori and Made Out With Her in the Janitor's Closet",note Dale commits himself to a mental hospital to get out of talking to his son about sex; meanwhile, Nancy searches for the best human interest story. and "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day".note Hank recruits Kahn to build a grill by forcing him not to take his medication, which he needs for his manic depression; meanwhile, Bobby tries to find the humor in an old comedy record Peggy likes.
Name's the Same: Before Donna from accounting was introduced, there was an overweight background character with the same name, who was fired for stealing office supplies.
In John Redcorn's first speaking role, in the Season 1 episode "Order of the Straight Arrow", he was voiced by Victor Aaron. When Aaron died in a car accident, Jonathan Joss was hired to take over as the voice actor of John Redcorn for the rest of the series.
M.F. Thatherton was voiced by Burt Reynolds in his first appearance. In all other appearances, he was voiced by Toby Huss.note Whom many Pete & Pete fans will recognize as the guy who played Artie, The Strongest Man in the World.
Hank's mom, Tilly Hill, was voiced by three actresses: first by country singer Tammy Wynette for two episodes in Season 2. When Wynette died, she was replaced by Beth Grant during Season 3 (plus the unaired episode "The Honeymooners"). Finally, K. Callan voiced Tilly in two Season 5 episodes and one Season 8 episode.
Roger "Booda" Sack was voiced by Chris Rock in his first appearance, and was voiced by Phil LaMarr doing a Chris Rock impression (the same one he did on a couple of episodes of MADtv) in subsequent appearances.
Enrique was first voiced by Eloy Casadoes from 1997 to 1998. But from 2003 to 2009, he is voiced by Danny Trejonote fans were wondering why Enrique began sounding badass.
Debbie Grund was voiced by an unknown actress during her one talking scene in Season 3 (possibly Ashley Gardner). In her only other speaking appearance (the two-parter where she vows to kill Buck Strickland after he broke up with her and ends up dead in a Dumpster), she was voiced by Reese Witherspoon.
Special circumstances are behind this one,note Brittany Murphy's movie career, which was expanding at the time of Season 4. but it's worth noting that for the first four seasons (and a few episodes in Season 5), Joseph Gribble was voiced by Brittany Murphy. When Joseph hit puberty on the episode "I Don't Want to Wait for Our Lives to be Over," he was voiced by Breckin Meyer.
Bug Gribble was originally voiced by Johnny Hardwick in "Now Who's the Dummy?" In his next and last appearance, "My Own Private Rodeo," he's voiced by David Herman in his generic gay voice.
Reverend Karen Stroup was voiced by Mary Tyler Moore in her first appearance in the episode "Revenge of the Lutefisk". Subsequent appearances has Ashley Gardner voicing her.
Janeane Garofolo provided the voice of a sexy exterminator who tries to act as a Romantic False Lead to Dale. He doesn't bite.
Danny Trejo as Enrique in the later seasons, with him playing the role of a relatively normal guy for once.
In Johnny Knoxville's first role in the series, he provided the voice of a cool but responsible small business owner who mentors Bobby in "Business is Picking Up." Later, he returned to provide the voice of Luanne's dad, who is sleazy, manipulative, and disgusting.
Post-Script Season: Seasons 12 and 13. The Season 11 finale is explicitly designed as a series finale, with the Lucky-Luanne wedding, cameo appearances by everyone from Cotton and John Redcorn to Hank's half-brother Junichiro and Chuck Mangione, and the ending with Hank and the gang drinking beer in the alley. Fox then decided to renew the show for two more years. Some fans think the show should have ended after Luanne's wedding, while others think "To Sirloin with Love" was a better ending, as most of the series centered on Hank and Bobby trying to be father and son and "To Sirloin with Love" showed that Bobby does have a hobby that doesn't bore him or disappoint/embarrass Hank.
Screwed by the Network: King of the Hill was a huge hit in its first few seasons, but Fox damaged the show's ratings by constantly shuffling its time slot. Even during its last few seasons, when it returned to its original 8:30 Sunday slot, King of the Hill was pointedly treated as the lesser show of Fox's "Animation Domination" block due to the continued popularity of The Simpsons and FOX banking everything on Seth MacFarlane's shows (Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show).
Talking to Himself: Whenever Bobby and Chane interact (they're both voice by Pamela Adlon), or Connie and Minh (Lauren Tom).
"Revenge of the Lutefisk" premiered the same day as the Columbine High School shooting. It was not broadcast in the Denver area or rerun there for quite some time. Many other Season 3 episodes which dealt with death, grief, or suicide including "Propane Boom"/"Death of a Propane Salesman",note the arc about the Mega Lo Mart explosion and Buckley's death "Pretty Pretty Dresses",note The episode about Bill's suicidal depression and "Dog Dale Afternoon"note which contains a scene where Dale is mistaken for a sniper in a tower and is almost killed were not rerun there for a long time. Two of the four remaining episodes of that season, specifically "Death and Texas"note Peggy visits a death row inmate and "Wings of the Dope",note the Buckley's Angel episode were almost not shown at all there but were ultimately permitted to air, and at least one of them proved helpful to a young woman who had lost a friend in the shooting.
A throwaway line in "Joust Like a Woman" in which a teen boy calls the make-believe king at a Renaissance Faire "gay" was edited out of airings on [adult swim] following several high-profile suicides of teens who had been bullied for being gay in late 2010. The scene was reinstated on Adult Swim two years later.
Tuckerization: Bill Dauterive is named after script writer Jim Dauterive.
Urban Legend of Zelda: There is one that says that the show aired in the early mornings on Fox Kids at one point in time around the same time as the block's "Fox Kids Heads For The Hills" promotion.
Vindicated by Cable: FX, during the show's original run, and Cartoon Network's [adult swim] have arguably treated King of the Hill much better than Fox ever did (in terms of putting it in a consistent timeslot where people would actually be able to watch the show), with the show finding new fans through syndication years after it ended. When [adult swim] briefly removed King of the Hill from its lineup in fall of 2013, they encountered enough viewer backlash to not only bring it back, but place it in a more prominent timeslot. As of 2014, it's now the first cartoon that airs when Cartoon Network stops broadcasting for the day and [adult swim] starts (8:00pm Eastern Standard Time).
The Spanish Soap Opera, Monsignor Martinez, was actually planned to be a live action spin-off, but it got killed mid-production when the crew couldn't find a network that would accept a show about a Catholic priest assassin.
According to the DVD commentary for the pilot episode, the show had a lot of titles before King of the Hill was chosen. Some examples include Dale Gribble and the Other Guy, I'm Gonna Kick Your Ass!, Citizen Hank, Propane Man, The Hank Hill Family Hour, and Hank Hill and His Clan.
The first episode was originally going to be "Westie Side Story" (the one where Kahn and his family move into the neighborhood). However, for reasons unknown, it was replaced with the episode where a social worker accuses Hank of beating Bobby.
The episode "My Own Private Rodeo" originally focused on Dale suffering from toothache and refusing to go to a dentist, fearing a tracking device would be implanted in him by his father's cohorts. Most of the episode's events, like Hank going to the rodeo, remained the same, but the ending was different in that Bug, feeling Dale would reject him if he told the truth, covered his sexuality by explaining he was monitoring the gay rodeo's activities - a relieved Dale then had his father hold his hand while he went to the dentist. Also, Charles Nelson Reilly voiced the part of Bug in the original storyline.
DanielStern auditioned for the role of Dale (as did Stephen Root, who ended up voicing Bill).
As mentioned above, Jonathan Joss and Greg Daniels collaborated on a script which would have featured John Redcorn doing a stint as a wrestler who becomes Joseph's hero (though Joseph never discovers Redcorn's true identity). This episode was never produced, though elements of it found their way into later episodes, notably "Vision Quest" and "Smoking and the Bandit" (albeit with Dale trying to impress an oblivious Joseph rather than Redcorn in the latter).
Write Who You Know: Mike Judge based Boomhauer's voice on a Motor Mouth phone call he received complaining about Beavis and Butt-head (which the caller referred to as "Porky's Bunghole").
The unseen, overactive-sounding announcer for sporting events in Arlen is voiced by Johnny Hardwick. He also provides the voice of Dale.
ChrisElliott is Chris Sizemore, Peggy's real estate boss in the later seasons; he also played at least two other jerks- Rob Holgwen, the mold guy from "After the Mold Rush", and Ed Burnett, the city councilor from "Square-Footed Monster".