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 who thinkthey 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.
Averted by Hank's proctologist (who, while irritating to Hank is friendly and professional) and the Sports Psychologist from the rifle episode, who, while wacky, does genuinely help Hank out.
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.
California is a big one in the show (and to a lesser extent: Oklahoma and New York) especially with Hank. He never misses an opportunity to express his dislike towards those three states, especially the former. Bobby being into show business however, loves California and New York so it balances out.
When Peggy, Mihn and Nancy are running for a position on the school board, Dale goes to a trailer park to pick up voters for Nancy, only to find out from a man fixing a satalite dish that Peggy abducted them before Dale arrived. The man then says Dale has a nice hat and attacks him, causing Dale to flee in terror.
In "Peggy's Pagaent Fever", after he makeover, the scene switches to Bill washing his car and singing out of tune to Bachmann Turner Overdrive's Takin' Care of Business. Bill stops and stares blankly when Peggy passes by in Buck Strickland's car.
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 Squidbillies 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 Squidbillies, Beavis and Butt-head, 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).
Designated Hero: A common complaint about the series is that, all too often, Hank's characterisation as a stereotypical middle class Conservative Bible Belter with rather Skewed Priorities is not played for comedy (of the "look at what a dumbass this guy is/can be" variety), but as something to be respected and admired. Many episodes make Hank into, frankly, a bigoted self-righteous Jerk Ass and yet viewers are still supposed to be on his side.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Dale and Boomhauer are considered by many to be the funniest characters on the show.
"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.
There are also numerous references to the works of Tennessee Williams over the course of the show, most notably Bill's cousin Gilbert (pronounced Jill-Bear) being a parody of him.
Hilarious in Hindsight: On the season one episode, "Hank's Unmentionable Problem" note 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).
In "Bills Are Made to be Broken" in season four, Hank tells Bill to "Suit Up".
In an episode made during the campaign trail of the 2000 election:
Hank: Governor Bush needs every vote he can get or they won't call it a landslide [win].
Hollywood Pudgy: Leanne tends to muffin-top slightly but noticeably when wearing outfits that reveal her midriff.
Jerkass Woobie : The one-shot character Barry Rollins from the episode Cops and Roberts. He is shown as being non-confrontational yet Hank thought he stole his wallet, and decides to take it back. Rollins declares that he is tired of being the victim and chases after the group with a baseball bat, viewing himself as a Vigilante Man.
"I sell propane and propane accessories," along with several variations of it. A common joke is replacing "propane" with "cocaine". It has even made its way into becoming parodies of many images, including other memes.
THAT'S MAH PURSE, AH DON'T KNOW YOU.
Hank's face after showing Bobby how to inhale a cigarette. Mostly because, even though it's an ordinary tobacco cigarette, he looks stoned out of his mind. Hank's giant smile seen for a split-second in another episode also became a bit of a meme, dubbed "Happy Hank."
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.
Misaimed Fandom: King of the Hill started as a parody of middle America. But because the humor wasn't mean-spirited it quickly became beloved by the very demographic it was poking fun at. After the first couple of seasons the show became a straight up Affectionate Parody, and to this day it's still remembered warmly by conservative middle Americans for being a show that didn't portray them in a negative light.
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.
Chuck Mangione in at least one episode per season (starting with the episode "Luanne's Saga" as a spokesman for Megalo-Mart). Those that weren't about him as Mega-Lo-Mart's pitchman were guaranteed to be hilarious.
Seasonal Rot: Many fans see season 9 as the start of the shows downfall, this is around the time Lucky became a regular cast member and married Luanne, robbing her of her character development. This is also about the time Hank was flanderized into being an uptight Black Hole Sue.
Lucky gets a lot of hate, mainly due to his relationship with Luanne (combined with Luanne's Flanderization) turning her into the exact kind of person she didn't want to be in the earlier seasons, his lazy lifestyle, (which Hank, for some reason, mostly seems to roll with despite being established as treating hard work and effort seriously) and this combined with his greater importance in the show's last legs despite contributing very little to the plot other than said relationship with Luanne.
Though there are those that like him for his personality, being played by Tom Petty definitely helps.
Peggy to a lesser extent, especially in the later seasons.
Slippery Slope Fallacy: * In the "Trans-Fascism" episode Hank had to struggle between what was legal and what was right when he and his pals started running a lunch truck that sold food banned by the city council. In a Dream Sequence during the episode where he was confronted by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Tom Landry (who all faced Slippery Slope crisis on a much bigger scale) Washington quoted the Trope directly.
"The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg" features a sound-alike to the theme from The Great Escape.
They Just Didn't Care: Some fans feel this way about the various retcons to be seen in the later seasons, especially since many of them undid what had been good character development.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: "Death Picks Cotton", which seems like the writers tried to cram a far too huge and important two-part storyline into a single episode. As a result, Deedee and GH are absent, Bobby is exiled to a subplot and doesn't even get to say goodbye to Cotton.
Unfortunate Implications: The portrayal of Special Needs kids, the tests that determine them, as well as the curriculum comes off as uninformed at best, downright offensive at worse. Not to mention Peggy treating the lazy Bobby as a downright idiot and baby when she thinks he's 'mentally retarded' comes off as offensive.
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.
Episodes take some time to be completed. This one was probably made around 2007 where MySpace was at its peak; 2008 was where the decline began.
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.