These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: King of the Hill
Acceptable Targets: Intellectuals, or rather, people whothinkthey are intellectuals. Usually appearing without any advanced education, working experience in their field, or anything approaching common sense, the closest the series has to a usual "villain" type are people who believe themselves competent activists, authors, philosophers or educators, who show up to denigrate or swindle the Hills. Perhaps lampshaded, as all these "intelligent" and "progressive" people are unable to find employment or acceptances anywhere except Arlen, Texas, and even there everybody knows how ridiculous they are.
Jokes about fictional town Durndle and the people from it are pretty commonplace, as well.
A good example of a recurring Acceptable Target would be Anthony Page— the activist / social worker who has: attempted a fruitless investigation into Hank's parenting of Bobby in the pilot episode, attempted to implement an ill-thought out Texan workers disability equality program at Strickland Propane that resulted in a druggie have free reign over the place in "Junkie Business", etc.
One episode had Hank get a thrown-out back. He attends Yoga sessions to relieve this, but he dislikes the self-absorbed, skirt chasing Yoga teacher (though softens slightly once he realizes the Yoga is helping). Immediately after he is fully healed, the guy in charge of disability finds out about this, automatically assumes he was taking advantage of worker's comp, and reports Hank to court. Hank's defense is that if he wasn't in agonizing pain, he would have punched the Yoga instructor out. This instantly convinces the judges.
People who actually do have advanced educations like the archeology professor and Bill's doctor are still often portrayed negatively, so the portrayal as self-important but unqualified may just be another aspect of the treatment of intellectuals, rather than unqualified intellectuals being the target itself.
It's worth noting that the doctors in Arlen all seem to be bitter, hostile burnouts who fully expect their patients to have done or are about to do incredibly stupid things and then lie about them...and the show often bears them out in this regard. It may be a subtle bit of Lampshade Hanging.
Anyone who owns any sort of animal that isn't a dog is considered a freak no matter how much they love their animal or how it's just one example being the deciding point for all types of animals.
In one episode, Hank seems to get harassed by a female cop, and nobody seems to find anything weird with it at all.
Zig-zagged with one episode, which features a new employee who constantly makes sex jokes and slaps other coworkers behinds. They at first find this funny and Hank is portrayed as overreacting, but it grows out of hand and everyone else starts to become annoyed. Hank tries to find legal help, and responds to the comments of "Male on Male Sexual harassment" with "BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!". Enrique refuses to do anything about it because he's afraid of being made fun of (or not being taken seriously) This is actually startlingly truth in television - aggressors of male-on-male or female-on-male sexual harassment are much more likely to get away with it than male on female aggressors, simply because most people, when confronted with this issue, respond like Hank and Enrique did.
Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch: Many who haven't watched the show when it first came on or barely know anything about it except for what's in the promos will conclude that the show is nothing but white trash humor akin to what's on Squid Billies and Beavis And Butthead. King of the Hill is more like The Simpsons back when the stories were more about the trite whatevers of life note (trying to raise your children right in a world that's slowly going insane, troubles on the job, marriage issues) and exploring social issues (such as bullying, child abuse, the incompetence of government officials, sexual harassment, abusive relationships, depression, suicide, infidelity, exploring new careers, religion and faith, crime, the decline of the American public school system, parenting, technology, indecency in the media, medical problems, money issues, and coping with loss). On top of that, King of the Hill doesn't have the random, pop-culture-filled, dysfunctional humor of Squid Billies, Beavis And Butthead, or The Simpsons, opting for being subtle and down-to-Earth (even if the characterization would get grossly exaggerated in later episodes). Writers on the DVD commentary has described the show as a "live-action sitcom that just happened to be animated," and always pushed to make the show as real as possible (even if the situations feel cartoonish).
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The tragic premature death of Brittany Murphy has turned many of Luanne's moments into this, especially the two-parter where the Megalo-Mart blows up and Luanne is feared to be dead ( she survived, but lost her hair and her boyfriend, Buckley), the final season episodes where Luanne has a child (before her death, Brittany Murphy stated that she wanted to have children in 2010) and the episode where Luanne is visited by the angel of her dead boyfriend, Buckley (not just because of Brittany Murphy's death, but because of the death of her husband five months later).
Genius Bonus: In one episode where everyone at Strickland Propane is trying to get in on the Americans with Disabilities Act after a drug addict's addiction is diagnosed as a disease, one employee claims he has priapism and requires a roomier workstation and a view of Debbie. "Priapism" is the medical term for an erection that doesn't go down or soft, even after intercourse or masturbation.
Bobby's clown school persona "Tartuffe the Spry Wonder Dog" takes its name from a Moliere play.
The one where everyone makes a big deal about Hank's constipation
, Peggy has a nightmare where Hank dies from complications of his constipation and his father flushes his son's casket down the toilet-cum-grave. Around thirteen seasons later, Cotton dies (after being burned on a flat-top grill at a Benihana-style Japanese restaurant) and requests that his ashes be flushed in a bar toilet once used by General George S. Patton (even though an early episode revealed that Cotton was supposed to be buried at a veteran's cemetery).
Nightmare Fuel: The episode "Pigmalion," where Luanne is forced to dress up as a advertising character for a pork products business by an insane man who later dresses up as a pig — and ends up mangled on the sausage assembly line after getting electro-shocked and recovering from his schizophrenia.
One-Scene Wonder: Plenty of otherwise recurring background characters who'd occasionally get a scene or line every so often most of which were fairly funny. Notable ones include Chuck Mangione, Dooley and Emily the hall monitor.
Peggy to a lesser extent, especially in the later seasons.
Tear Jerker: Pretty much the entire "Wings of a Dope" episode, in which Buckley's angel comes back, particularly the scene in which he and Luanne bounce on the trampoline after first meeting. Fireflies appear around them and fittingly enough, Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town" plays in the background. The last scene is even more powerful - Buckley bounces on Luanne's trampoline high enough to disappear from her sight, after which she believes he is gone for good and says, "Goodbye, Buckley's angel." She goes back into the house as he returns to Earth, exclaims, "Cool, a new record!" and then, as the song begins to play again, is shown walking off toward the horizon, pulling a halo from his pocket and donning it as the credits begin to roll.
We're Still Relevant, Dammit: The MySpace-centric episode — in 2008. Justified (sort of) in that most places in the South and Midwest United States (like Arlen, Texas) don't really embrace modern trends until after they've been established as commonplace or after they've run their course and aren't popular anymore. Even when Hank does hear about it, it's clear he's the last.
Buck Strickland: What the hell is MySpace?
Hank: I think it's a cult.
The Woobie: Although he's usually the designated Butt Monkey, there have been a few times where Bill's misery wasn't portrayed as all that funny. The best or maybe worst example being "Pretty, Pretty Dresses," where he starts dressing up as his ex Lenore because his loneliness during the Christmas season drove him suicidally insane.