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    Bill Dauterive 

William Fontaine de la Tour "Bill" Dauterive

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/char_6992_2382.jpg
Voiced by: Stephen Root

Bill, one of Hank's closest friends, was a promising high school football player who later joined the Army with big hopes and dreams. He married someone he thought was the perfect woman, but that relationship soon went south and never looked back, and Bill found a new companion in the throes of laziness, regressed to a washed up and rotund balding man. Now middle aged, broke, and divorced, Bill's constantly depressed and full of self-loathing. The guys try to put up with him as best they can.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: It's not subtle he has the hots for Peggy, though many of his flirtatious comments fly over Hank's head. He has no shame in watching Hank and Peggy having romantic moments...while they are supposed to be intimate inside their own house.
  • Absurd Phobia: Of balloons, for some reason.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Occasionally when things actually go well for him. Especially when he got into bodybuilding in "Bill, Bulk and the Body Buddies".
  • Alone Among the Couples: Happens to Bill several times. Several of the episodes that revolve around him focus on his misery at being alone while Hank and Dale are married and Boomhauer always has a new girl.
  • Animals Hate Him: Dale acquired a falcon in one episode, and every time he took its hood off, it would start attacking Bill for no apparent reason. Then, after Dale states he set the falcon free in the woods, Bill starts a conversation about sausages and the falcon appears out of nowhere and starts attacking him again. He's also been attacked by emus and a rottweiler. It should be noted the rottweiler was just mean in general, as he's been shown to be friendly with other dogs. It's just birds that hate him. Dogs have mixed reception with him, but only because he thought an aggressive pitbull was a good dance partner.
  • Attention Whore: Almost anytime Bill finds himself successful or liked for doing something, he'll continue to put all of his time and effort into whatever it is he is doing until it eventually ruins him. Notable examples include when he dressed as Santa and entertained children, continuing this until well into February, or after finding out Peggy, Dale and Minh were secretly using him as an everyman to base their stock purchases on, he wastes away all of his money and ownings just to get their attention again.
  • Awful Wedded Life: What little we now of his marriage to Lenore certainly qualifies; they fought so loud the whole block could hear it, she started cheating on him two weeks after they were married, and he was Exiled to the Couch on their honeymoon. In "Pretty, Pretty Dresses", Hank (pretending to be Lenore) outright tells him that "she" left him because he was lazy and no-good, but most of all, "she" doesn't love him anymore.
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe example. He was exceptionally strong in his youth, able to hold off three big angry punks at a bar without getting a scratch. Depression ruined him but flashes of the old Bill do emerge from time to time.
  • Beady-Eyed Loser: Is drawn with sad-looking circular eyes unlike most other characters.
  • Big Beautiful Man: Although he's gotten fat and old over the years it's been shown several times that with a little bit of self-care and confidence, he can still be just as hunky as he was in his prime. Especially notable in the episode Bill Bullk and the Body Buddies where getting into lifting weights in order to pass an army physical results in his inherent muscle from playing football coming back, turning him into an absolute beefcake.
  • Big Eater:
    • Once entered a Competitive Eating Contest and was a marked favorite to win. In the same episode, he ate an entire platter of hot dogs Hank had cooked for the whole neighborhood. This is met with disgust by those in attendance, although Hank is awed at Bill's ability to do such a thing.
    • It bites him in ass in "Dia-BILL-ic Shock'', when he finds that his eating habits have given him diabetes.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: His family tree has gone through many misfortunes; from sudden death, alcoholism, insanity, consumption, and being barren (an entire half of the family).
  • Broken Ace: Has tragic shades of this. From what we see of his past, young Bill basically ruined his life by idolizing Hank, undervaluing himself, and falling into endless cycles of toxic relationships and behaviors, when he was and still is an extremely talented, loving, and capable individual.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The man is a mess in practically every aspect of life. But he's a damn good barber.
  • Butt-Monkey: He is always getting the short end of the stick.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In "Pretty, Pretty Dresses", when Hank forces him to admit that his wife Lenore won't come back, he snaps and starts dressing as and pretending to be Lenore. Hank resolves the situation by doing the same, telling Bill "I'm the real Lenore, and I don't love you", which finally gives him the chance to get closure by venting at "Lenore" and telling "her" off the way he was never brave enough to do in the past.
  • Character Development: Possibly the show's shining example. Bill starts the show obsessed with his ex-wife Lenore (and Peggy to an extent, despite her being married to Hank), self-loathing and suicidally depressed. While retaining many of his flaws throughout the series, Bill does shed most of these traits, gains healthier relations with his friends and certainly recoups most of his self-esteem.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes:
    • A skilled barber who is bald. Not that being able to cut the hair of others automatically equates to being able to cut your own, but Bill doesn't even have the option. Played straight in that he can give others haircuts, but since he's an army barber, the army has a very tight grip on outside-haircuts and charges non-army members up to hundreds of dollars, as Hank found the hard way.
    • A couple of episodes show him to be a skilled chef when he's cooking for other people. When eating alone, it's usually a frozen dinner or eating straight out of a can. His low self-esteem and desire to please other people might have a hand in it. However, this is ALSO common with real-life cooks since they often get sick of cooking.
  • Chekhov's Skill: His "Billdozer" abilities still come in handy sometimes.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: If sufficiently riled, he's a force to be reckoned with. Out of the four man band, he's second only to Hank in terms of fighting capability and it's always a good idea to remember that while he is a barber, he's an Army-trained barber. Even Boomhauer, who's a Texas Ranger, is wary of tangling with a pissed-off Bill.
  • Crossdresser: During his insane spell at Christmas time, he dresses like a woman and pretends to be Lenore. This is perhaps due to his father making him crossdress when he was younger.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Largely as a result of his ex-wife leaving him without so much as a "Dear John" Letter.
  • The Ditz: He's not too bright and sometimes makes Luanne look like a genius in comparison.
  • Drunk with Power: Anytime Bill gets put into a position of authority, expect it to go straight to his head. "Bad News Bill" has him at his worst; he gets put in charge of a snack counter and starts acting like he owns the stadium.
  • Eloquent In Their Native Tongue: He sounds much less oafish when he speaks Creole.
  • Everyone Has Standards: As emotionally needy as Bill can get, he does show a hard limit on what he's willing to go along with for it in "The Trouble With Gribbles". Dale takes on acting like a jerk as part of a strategy to win a lawsuit against Manitoba Cigarettes (to finance plastic surgery Nancy thinks she needs). This involved Dale insulting Nancy nonstop, and spending more time hanging out with Bill (away from his wife) as part of his plans. Bill was thrilled at first, but, racked by guilt, Bill eventually broke down and called Dale out on how his plan was going to cost him Nancy. He admitted that he knew Dale's plan was going to backfire and was looking forward to it because it meant Dale would be spending even more time over at Bill's house, but he ultimately believed Dale saving his marriage was more important, and pushed him to patch things up with Nancy.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Eats garbage on a semi-regular basis, not to mention his fondness for dog-hormone biscuits. And according to Dale, often makes a meal of unpopped popcorn.
  • Fat and Skinny: Frequently pairs off into a classic example of this with Dale, where he naturally plays the fat one.
  • Fat Bastard: In his worst moments, especially when he can kick Hank while he's down.
  • Fat Best Friend: Noticeably heavier than Hank, who's not exactly trim and fit himself.
  • Fat Idiot: His issues blind his better judgement at times.
  • Fat Slob: He's a testament to bad hygiene.
  • Forbidden Love: He dated Reverend Stroup because he enjoyed knowing their love was seen as sinful. But once she is forced to quit her job, Bill is very disappointed that their love is just normal love, and the relationship ends after she's heard snapping out at him.
  • Formerly Fit: As shown in his high-school flashbacks. While he still had the cruder eyebrows of his adult self, he was more muscular and handsome in his youth, and had a full head of hair resembling a mullet.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's strongly implied that he had an abusive relationship with his father. In perhaps unintentional foreshadowing for "Pretty, Pretty Dresses," it's mentioned in a Season 2 episode that Bill's dad made him dress up in girl's clothing to humiliate him. There is also his ex-wife leaving him which devastated him emotionally and mentally.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: While Dale and Peggy are the most openly contemptuous of him, pretty much everyone casually insults him on a regular basis. It's often implied that he's kept around because Hank feels obligated to.
  • Friend to All Children: He genuinely enjoys making kids happy. At one point, he starts a Christmas fair in his yard and spends time dressed as Santa, giving gifts to kids who visit. He later takes it a bit too far with his insistence on keeping the village until well past Christmas, but the good intentions are there.
    "Hank, there'll be plenty of time for these kids to be beaten down by life. I can help bring a little extra joy and love into their world now. Shouldn't I?"
    • Though he appears to have a limit on this. In "Three Men and a Bastard", He vented that he's not cut out for parenting, and hates kids, at least to the point of them always being around.
  • Future Loser: He was really in his prime during his high school years. Now? He's a slovenly, balding, and perpetually depressed man with a completely failed marriage and a truckload of issues. Everyone around him, meanwhile, has moved on with their own lives and are doing well to varying degrees.
  • Gonk: Bill's eyes are drawn round with dot pupils instead of the realistic style of the others, making them sadder looking and too small for his head. He also has cruder eyebrows than most of the other characters, and if any of his unsightly features are brought to attention, the features in question will often be far more detailed than a standard character design.
  • Graceful Loser: In Season 4 episode 3 "Bills are Made to be Broken", a promising young football player named Ricky Suggs ties Bill's record for most career touchdowns. Hank is understandably worried about Bill's mental state as one of the great accomplishments in his life comes under threat. However, Bill seems fine and even supportive of Ricky. When Ricky get a Game-Breaking Injury that will put him out for the season, Bill is sympathetic, even sharing an experience about hurting himself to get his record. It becomes a Deconstruction, when at the next game, the opposing team lets him score the record-breaking touchdown and the entire crowd cheers except for Bill and his friends, who see it as unfair since the player didn't earn it. While Bill tries to be a good sport at first, he admits to Hank that he's devastated to lose his record in an unfair way. It becomes a Reconstruction when Bill gets back in the game to re-tie the record. When given a chance to win back the record, Bill decides he is happy to share the tied record with Ricky, because Ricky earned the record with him and he is honored to share it with Ricky. Hank says it best.
    Peggy: Why are you in such a hurry to witness Bill's soul-shattering collapse when Ricky Suggss crosses that goal line.
    Hank: Have you been talking to Dale? Because he's saying the same thing. You both think Bill will be depressed. Well, I'll tell you what, I am impressed with the way Bill has handled this with sportsmanship and dignity.
  • Groin Attack: Would constantly receive one to the point where it became a Running Gag.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Had hair akin to Roger Daltrey when he was younger. Then he got it buzzed in the Army. Then he went bald from age, and years of depression and neglect.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • A particularly sad case. After his wife, Lenore, leaves him, Bill spends a long time convincing himself that she'll be back. This mentality eventually cultivates in him breaking down into depression and suicidal impulses during a Christmas Episode. He gets over it in the same episode thanks to Hank helping him come to terms with Lenore's departure by pretending to be "Lenore".
    • Another example is when he finds out that he's been unknowingly used as a guinea pig to test a super soldier formula that would give him attributes of a walrus, which explains his current appearance. This is even worse when you see flashbacks of him where he was physically fit and a borderline example of The Ace, leaving him in depression which leads to him stealing a tank. It's later revealed that he only received a placebo, meaning everything wrong with his life really is his fault.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: "Tankin' It To The Streets" saw Bill and the gang trapped in a stolen tank during war games, being fired upon with live ammo. Bill (who is the reason they were all there in the first place) tells Hank, Dale and Boomhauer to get out of the tank, while Bill locks it into moving forward, intending to jump out at the last minute. When it looks like Bill doesn't make it out in time, Bill, Dale and Boomhauer actually break down and weep for their (apparently) fallen friend, who gave his life for them. Obviously, Bill actually made it out in time.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Hidden behind his failures, Bill is shown to be an excellent barber and professional caregiver.
    • He also speaks French (Creole, not European) and can play a zydeco-style accordion.
    • "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Neighbor Sings" shows that he's a pretty decent singer.
    • Pretty much any Bill-centric episode will reveal something he really enjoys and/or is very good at, but circumstances force him back to square one by the end of the episode.
    • In the episode, “Tankin’ It To The Streets”, he has some training or the pure skill to drive a tank. While drunk off his ass, no less.
    • When Boomhauer goes through a bad break-up Bill Gives him some genuinely insightful advice that allows Boomhauer to pull himself out of his depression.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Despite being pudgy, homely, and so desperate to please that he comes off as a creep, nearly every episode centered around Bill involves him getting involved with a smart, attractive, successful, kind-hearted woman who genuinely likes him. He usually manages to mess it up by the end of the episode.
  • Honorary Uncle: More than any of Hank's other friends, Bill seems to bond well with both Bobby and Luanne though the latter is more of an Odd Friendship since she's a legal adult. In "Blood and Sauce," Bill even lets Bobby have the recipe for his family's sauce and says that he'd be honored to share it with him.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: In his youth, he was in excellent shape and was a star football player for Arlen High, and he had "hair like Roger Daltrey".
  • Jerkass Ball: Has his moments, like in "Après Hank, le Deluge", where he has Hank locked up in a cage after the town blames the latter for negligence. He is especially savage on Hank whenever something bad happens to him and tries to ensure he suffers for it just for the attention.
  • Jerkass to One: He may consider Hank his best friend, but this man never stops for a single vulnerable moment whenever there is tension between Hank and Peggy just to get closer to her, or whenever there are moments when Hank and Peggy are enjoying their time together in front of him. Hank always brushes him off, though.
  • The Juggernaut: On the football field, where fans dubbed him "The Billdozer".
  • Kavorka Man: For all his unattractiveness, he has dated Reverend Stroup, Charlene, Ann Richards, and Laoma Souphanousinphone, Kahn's mother.
  • Keeping the Handicap: He attempts this in "Dia-Bill-Ic Shock". After misinterpreting his jerkass doctor's angry ranting after being diagnosed with diabetes, Bill mistakenly believes that he is about to lose the use of his legs, and obtains a wheelchair and starts using it. He is depressed at first, but learns to enjoy life again when he meets up with a wheelchair rugby player (who calls himself Thunder) and his team. While getting drunk at a bar with his new friends, Bill subconsciously gets out of his wheelchair. He tries to explain his situation and tests his blood sugar, attempting to prove that he has a legitimate medical condition. His blood sugar level comes up normal (all the exercise he had been getting with the team had gotten his diabetes under control), and he is accused of faking. Back home, Bill starts eating handfuls of sugar in hopes of bringing back his diabetes and restoring the new life he had forged for himself. Fortunately, Hank and Thunder show up to explain that he had gotten his diabetes under control after his doctor thought he was a lost cause — that he could be an inspiration despite having working legs.
  • Lazy Bum: When he's not working, he's either drinking beer in the alley or laying at home sulking.
  • Likes Older Women: He's went out with Ann Richards and Laoma Souphanousinphone (Kahn's mother).
  • The Lost Lenore: While she never dies, the fact that Lenore left Bill without a goodbye or even a Dear John letter left him pretty miserable.
  • Momma's Boy: While not much is shown about his relationship with his mother, it's hinted that it was better than the one with his father. Bill once mentioned that his mother used to give him cookies when he was sad as a child.
  • Oblivious to Love: In "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Neighbor Sings", Bill fails to pick up on the not so subtle hints that Reverend Stroup gives him.
  • The Pig-Pen: He's sometimes visibly dirty and his awful breath and body odor are often commented on. Plus he's shown to be quite hairy when shirtless.
  • Ragin' Cajun: It's well-hidden most of the time, but it's there. For the most part he's a depressed sad-sack who's been beaten down by life and a total Butt-Monkey, but if anyone manages to really piss him off, it ain't gonna be pretty. Even Dale, Arlen's resident conspiracy theorist, is wary about provoking him because of this.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives a blistering one to "Lenore" (actually Hank pretending to be his ex-wife) for leaving him because she didn't love him anymore, and didn't even bother to call him back after the fact.
    Bill: That's all? That's why you left? It's as simple as that? And you didn't even have the courtesy to send me a Dear John letter? Well, I'll tell you what. I consider that rude. And I'll tell you something: I am worth a Dear John letter, I'll tell you that right now. And there are a lot of women who would agree with me! So, you know what? You go ahead! You get out! Get out! You don't deserve William Fontain De la Tour Dauterive!
  • Red Baron: Known during his high school football prime as "the Billdozer" for pushing past any defensive line.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: As if the poor guy didn't have enough things working against him, he also shrieks in a decidedly un-manly way in response to danger.
  • Self-Deprecation: During his version of the story in the "Rashomon"-Style episode, he is twice as fat and completely bald. However, since the episode was a Shout-Out of sorts to The Three Stooges, he might have been seeing himself as Curly.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • He is obsessed with Peggy. In "The Texas Skillsaw Massacre", he tells Hank "I once made a vest out of your wife's underpants". In another episode, he steals Peggy's used body cast from the garbage, takes it to his house, puts a picture of Peggy where the head would be and plays Boggle with it.
    • He's also uncomfortably fond of Hank, hanging on every word he says and being freakishly attached to their friendship, to the point of idolizing him.
    • His stalker tendencies are referred to by Peggy in "The Nut Before Christmas" where upon hearing that Bill has a date, Peggy is happy to hear that Bill "will be spending time with a woman who knows he's there."
    • In "Escape from Party Island", he tries to unsuccessfully win Peggy over while Hank is watching over his mom and her friends. This episode dialed Bill's stalker tendencies up from the way he told Bobby "you know how your mother and I worry about you" to revealing he held on to a spare key the Hills gave him when they went on vacation. Six years ago. This leads to a moment of Fridge Horror when you stop to consider Bill could've gone into their house whenever he wanted and they probably never knew.
  • Status Quo Is God: The plot of most Bill-focused episodes is as follows: Bill finds something he's really good at, or someone who actually likes him, and starts turning his life around; something turns out to be wrong with the situation, so his friends convince him to give up his new activity; Bill returns to being a sad sack and no one even suggests that he just try finding a new way to pursue his passion. While his reconciliation with his ex-wife was dropped in the same episode, his dating Kahn's mom was referenced vaguely the following episode, with it implied that Bobby accidentally jinxed the relationship with a tarot card reading.
  • Stout Strength: While he's not as fit as he was during his football days, several episodes have shown him being able to throw his weight around when needed. Occasionally his skills as an effective blocker are used like when he had to keep a load of heavy furniture from rolling out of a truck in "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane". In "Bill, Bulk and the Body Buddies" he got obsessed with weight lifting, resulting in him having massive arm and leg muscles while still keeping his large gut.
  • Straw Loser: Fat, bald, divorced, broke, hopelessly depressed and a creep at times. His existence on the show is solely to make the other characters look better by comparison.
  • Supreme Chef: His family barbecue recipes are an instant hit with everyone who tried it. They were so good that Buck offered to use his own connections with the food industry to let Bill sell his barbecue sauces commercially.
  • Teen Hater: In "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg", Bill outright admits that "teenagers are cruel" when a group of teenage bullies beat him and the guys in a paintball match and capture and "execute" them (in reality, just torturing them with their paintball guns).
  • Tuckerization: He shares a last name with the co-producer.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: When he gets diagnosed with diabetes, he confines himself to a wheelchair and makes friends who are genuinely paraplegic. Later on, Bill unconsciously gets up from his wheelchair and walks around, and his new friends accuse him of faking his disability. In actuality, Bill was so physically active with his new paraplegic friends that his diabetes regresses.
    • There wasn't really anything wrong with Bill's legs and he didn't really need the wheelchair to begin with. Bill's doctor at the hospital was a Dr. Jerk who tells Bill that he didn't believe that Bill would ever be willing to diet or exercise and that eventually he would end up losing his legs to gangrene. He went on to tell Bill that he might as well just give up and get a wheelchair now rather than try to manage his diabetes. A discouraged Bill takes this literally and gets a wheelchair he doesn't need yet. However, strenuous exercise with his new friends did help him manage his diabetes, proving the doctor wrong.
  • Thrill Seeker: In regards to love, he seems to like getting hitched in the most unconventional relationships; Lenore was an abusive ex who took advantage of whatever she could take from him, all his failed attempts to woo Peggy despite being married to Hank, getting the attention of three girls whom he didn't know much about that he didn't know one of them was a cousin but he didn't care to find out until after having sex at least, him dating Kahn's mom who was older than him, and then his Forbidden Love with Reverend Stroup which only fails when she quits her religion to be with him and he tells her to back off (and then she snaps). He does draw a line trying to date underage girls, though.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • In "A Beer Can Named Desire", he visits family in New Orleans and gets the attention of three attractive cousins (one by blood, two by marriage). While the Hills are at the Cowboys-Saints game, Bill finds out which cousin is blood-related and sleeps with the two who aren't. (Until they all die.)
    • There is also his relationship with Ann Richards, and finally getting back at his ex-wife.
    • "Wild Bills Can't Be Broken" saw Bill successfully save his touchdown record, reliving his old football glory days and earning the respect and adulation of fans..
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice was also initially deeper at the show's start.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": He named an iguana after his ex-wife, Lenore.
  • With Friends Like These...: "Après Hank, le Deluge" is a triumphant example.
  • Worth It: Claims to have made most of his life decisions at a Foghat concert. He stands by them.
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    Boomhauer 

Jeffery Dexter "Jeff" Boomhauer III

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/char_6993.jpg
Voiced by: Mike Judge

A very fast-talking ladies man and one of Hank's childhood friends. His dialect can be hard to keep up with, but none of his friends seem to have any trouble talking to him.


  • The Ace: Initially portrayed as this, but his flaws become clearer later on. Even with his flaws more apparent, though, he's still an attractive, intelligent and modestly wealthy man who seems to enjoy himself on a day to day basis much more than any of his friends do.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Though normally unflappable, he finds Dale's jokes at Hank's expense hilarious.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Notably the only main character to possess these. It lends to his normally stoic and unflappable disposition.
  • Boring, but Practical: His approach to hooking up with women is to simply ask out every woman he sees until one of them says 'yes', never getting hung up on rejections. Which is basically how real life dating works.
  • Cain and Abel: With Patch, being the Abel to Patch's Cain. Patch's willingness to lie about his own brother being a patron of prostitutes and seduce underage girls despite being due to marry his fiancee eventually led to his relationship with Boomhauer deteriorating.
  • The Casanova: For the first six seasons. See Characterization Marches On. It turns out that he does get plenty of action, but people never took into account his rejections.
  • Cassandra Truth: In "Patch Boomhauer," he tries to expose and correct his brother Patch's womanizing moves behind Katherine's back, but since Katherine used to be Boomhauer's old flame, Hank and everyone else think that he is trying to ruin Patch's wedding. Luckily, Patch's sleaziness is found out.
  • Characterization Marches On: Early seasons portray Boomhauer as being fairly one-dimensional, with the primary function of his character being the Running Gag of the improbableness of his simultaneously being The Ace and The Unintelligible. As time went by and the joke began to wear thin as the audience became increasingly more accustomed to his speech, he began getting treated more legitimately as a character, gaining more obvious flaws, having his successfulness downplayed and even experiencing some Character Development in the form of dialing back his womanizing after getting his heart broken in season 6's "Dang Ol' Love".
  • Chick Magnet: He's very popular with the ladies.
  • Cool Car: His classic Dodge Charger. In general, he seems to have an interest in vintage cars to go along with the rest of his "cool guy" persona.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: A grown up example with both Dale and Bill. He's a handsome, confident and level-headed playboy while Dale is a weirdo Conspiracy Theorist and Bill is a Fat Idiot with cripplingly low self-esteem. Despite this, he constantly hangs out with both of them and even frequently willingly participates in their Zany Schemes. Arguably also applies to his friendship with Hank, who is a risk-averse stick-in-the-mud that is generally opposed to serial womanizers like Boomhauer.
    • Downplayed when they were in high school. They were all in the football team together with Boomhauer as the quarterback, Hank was less awkward and a very good running back and Bill was a handsome and confident safety. Still played straight with the scrawny towel manager Dale, though.
  • Depending on the Writer: Depending on the episode he's in, Boomhauer is either standing aside (on account of being the Only Sane Man or not even a part of whatever kind of zany things Bill and Dale are doing), or he's going along with them.
  • Due to the Dead: Subverted, by accident. In "A Fire-fighting We Will Go", senior volunteer firefighter Chet Elderson dies and Hank, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer are pallbearers at his funeral. Thanks to Dale refusing to touch the casket ("It's bad luck'), they drop him, fall into his grave and Boomhauer accidentally pantses him. Then Hank accuses Chet of burning down the firehouse in order to protect the real culprit, Dale.
  • Everybody Has Standards: He may be a chronic womanizer, but even he takes exception to cheating on one's fiancee/wife, or sleeping with girls who are barely legal.
    • When Luanne briefly moves in with him, he's quick to assure Hank that nothing amorous is going on.
      Boomhauer: Hank, I don't know what you're thinkin', but no, man, I ain't no Woody Allen with that little ol' Soon-Li, man, nothin's gonna happen.
    • In the episode "Patch Boomhauer", he is furious with his younger brother, Patch, for trying to seduce Luanne (despite being due to marry Catherine), and reminds him of his wedding vows. Patch's refusal to listen leads to a shoving match that turns to a fistfight, and it leads to them rolling into the streets while beating each other up.
  • Foil:
    • To Bill. Where Bill is a fat, slovenly, self-loathing guy whose wife cheated on, argued with, and eventually left him, Boomhauer is a lean, handsome-looking, relaxed, introspective ladies man.
    • To Hank. Hank is married to Peggy and has a son, Bobby, while Boomhauer is single. And while usually The Stoic, Hank is more prone to anger than Boomhauer is, though Boomhauer is more willing to display his emotions in general than Hank is.
    • To his younger brother, Patch. Both are Casanova Wannabes, except Boomhauer is calmer and introspective. Patch is a womanizing sleazebag who's willing to cheat on his fiancee, Katherine, with underage girls like Luanne. And while Boomhauer is loyal to his friends/loved ones, Patch isn't, as he was willing to lie about Boomhauer's patronage of prostitutes to save his own skin.
  • Forgot About His Powers: With the final episode of the series, To Sirloin With Love, revealing that Boomhauer's job is being a member of the Texas Rangers.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic. Like Hank, he normally has a calm, stoic, and unflappable disposition, and comes across as the Only Sane Man of the group compared to Dale's outrageous paranoia and Bill's self-loathing.
  • Generation Xerox: Apparently, Boomhauer's unintelligible way of speaking was passed down from his mother, who also talks like that. And his Meemaw, for that matter. Patch as well.
  • Greek Chorus: In a limited capacity, given his status as The Quiet One. But since he often stays away from the plot, sometimes he gives commentary near the end of the episode about the moral of the story or its larger themes.
  • Hidden Depths: This is a major component of nearly every Boomhauer-centric episode.
    • Boomhauer is possibly the most philosophical and intellectual character on the show. Just listen to him explain the meaning of life.
    • In "Four Wave Intersection", we learn he was a talented surfer in his youth.
    • He turns out to have an excellent singing voice that is free from his usual Motor Mouth and Verbal Tics and perfect for singing bluegrass.
    • At the end of "To Sirloin with Love," it's revealed that he somehow has a job with the Texas Rangers.
    • He seems well-versed in governmental legalese, in "The Arrowhead".note 
    • In the season 5 episode "It's Not Easy Being Green", Bobby tells Boomhauer that his father Hank often quotes him, implying the level of regard Hank has for him. This touches Boomhauer so much that he opts to reduce the time he was originally going to stay mad at Hank for swamping his prized muscle car "Sally" decades ago (alongside Bill and Dale) from 3 weeks to 1.
  • Informed Attribute: Boomhauer is often said to be the most mature, best put together of Hank's friends to the point that out of them he's the only one of them Hank respects, but the thing is Boomhauer often goes along and willing participates in many of the zany harebrained schemes his friends will come up with, and shows himself to be just as irresponsible and stupid as they are at times. Knowing his true job does lend more credence to Hank's assessment, as the Texas Rangers required either three years of military service or 90+ units of college credit. Since Boomhauer never served in the military, this would make him the most educated person on the block, besides Kahn.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: To the people that know him well, including the viewer, if they've heard him speak enough times. People from outside Arlen can't understand him, however; this even gets him committed in one episode.
  • Kavorka Man: He's considered to be good-looking compared to his neighbors/friends, but he is damn near incomprehensible to anyone he isn't friends with, which makes his excellent skills with the ladies somewhat improbable. One episode reveals that he simply asks out every woman he sees until one of them says yes.
  • Ladykiller in Love: In one episode, which showed his Hidden Depths.
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • Both his friends and family call him Boomhauer, though his first name is (eventually) revealed to be Jeff.
    • Boomhauer himself does this to Dale, whom he always calls “Gribble.”
  • Mellow Fellow: He's very laid-back and generally just goes with the flow.
  • Motor Mouth: YeahmanyaknowdatdangolBoomhauermantalksofastcantunnerstandawordhesdangolsayinman. Notably, he sees himself as speaking normally while everyone else is speaking like he is.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • He seems to find Dale's jokes hilarious, against his will.
    • In "Propane Boom", he was understandably terrified when Mega-Lo-Mart explodes thanks to a propane gas explosion caused by Buckley's blatant ignorance of safety protocols, and immediately tries calling 911. Unfortunately, his Motor Mouth tendencies ends up confusing the operator, forcing him to speak slowly. Thankfully, Buckley was the only casualty, but no one can blame him for thinking his friends were caught in the crossfire, too.
  • Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: His job/source of income on the show was given multiple explanations: one was that he was a former electric lineman on worker's comp, another was that he doesn't work because he lives off the money he won in a lottery, and a third explanation was that Boomhauer came from a moderately wealthy family and lived off a trust fund set up for him. The last episode "To Sirloin with Love" reveals that Boomhauer actually does have a job: he's a member of the Texas Rangers.
  • Older Than They Look: He's the same age as the rest of his friends, but while Hank, Bill and Dale have all gone to seed to varying degrees, Boomhauer doesn't look all that much different from when he was in high school.
  • The One That Got Away: His ex-girlfriend Catherine, for whom he has unresolved feelings. Boomhauer's none too happy when Catherine gets engaged to his younger brother, Patch, especially when Patch's infidelity comes to light after he tries seducing Luanne.
  • Only Sane Man: Will usually play this role if Hank is absent, or if Hank has been unable to get Dale and/or Bill to stop acting like idiots. Generally speaking, Boomhauer has better judgement than Dale and Bill but frequently goes along with the zany schemes they concoct regardless. Notably, he is the only one of Hank's friends who Hank genuinely seems to respect.
  • Out of Focus: The number of episodes focusing on him can be counted on one hand. Now, compare that to the amount that focus on Hank, Dale, and Bill.
  • The Philosopher: Seems to enjoy introspection, and occasionally voices his beliefs on the human condition to his friends. Due to him being borderline-unintelligible, however, this is entirely played for laughs.
  • The Pornomancer: Always seems to have a rotating series of women over at his house. One episode lightly deconstructs this by revealing that his primary method of picking up women is to simply ask out every single one he sees until one eventually says yes.
  • The Quiet One: Generally keeps quiet during conversations, but when he speaks, he doesn't hold back. Notably, during Hank's friend group's signature "Yep" circle, he always simply grunts "Mmhm" instead of actually saying yep.
  • Ranger: The last episode reveals that he is a Texas Ranger.
  • The Reveal: The last episode finally reveals what his job is: he's a Texas Ranger.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With his brother, Patch. Patch has the same casanova tendencies as Boomhauer, but he's willing to seduce underage girls, while Boomhauer refuses to sleep with women who are either engaged, married, or barely legal. While Boomhauer still loves his ex-girlfriend Katherine despite them having long since broken up, Patch is disloyal to her and was willing to cheat on his fiancee the moment he sees another pretty girl. And while Boomhauer is frequently willing to participate in his neighbors' hijinks, he's very loyal to his friends. Patch is not, being willing to lie about his own brother just to protect himself from being exposed as an adulterer.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Unlike when he speaks, Boomhauer's singing voice (provided by country singer Vince Gill) is clear and actually quite nice to listen to.
  • Skintone Sclerae: The lack of whites in his eyes gives him an impressive poker face.
  • The Stoic: Generally about as unflappable as Hank, though he's much more willing to emote.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: His younger brother, Patch, looks almost exactly like him, except he's a darker blonde and has a mullet.
  • The Unintelligible: His fast-talking, slurred and heavily-accented speech (based on an angry hillbilly who called Mike Judge to complain about Beavis and Butt-Head, which he called "Porky's Butthole") can make figuring out what he's trying to say an impossible feat for new viewers. That said, once you become accustomed to his speaking patterns he becomes much easier to understand, and his dialogue always makes sense in the context that he says it in. Humorously, in The Rashomon episode, everyone else is unintelligible when he tells his side of the story.
  • Verbal Tic: Intelligible parts of his speech tend to include "yeah man", "Talkin' 'bout", and "dang ol'."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Gets annoyed with Dale easily and exclusively refers to him as "Gribble" rather than his first name, but still clearly considers him to be one of his best friends.
  • You're Just Jealous: Everyone's reaction in "Patch Boomhauer" when he tries to warn them, and his ex-girlfriend Catherine, that his brother Patch has not given up his womanizing ways. While Boomhauer is jealous that Catherine chose his brother over him, he is genuinely trying to keep her from marrying a creep who'll inevitably break her heart. Thankfully, Patch accidentally confesses to his infidelity at the end, vindicating Boomhauer.

The Gribbles

    Dale Gribble 
See here for more information about him.

    Nancy Gribble 

Nancy Hicks-Gribble

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nancy_2_4808.jpg
Voiced by: Ashley Gardner

Dale's wife is a reporter for a local Arlen TV station. Smarter and more responsible than Dale, she nonetheless has a 14 year affair with John Redcorn which Dale never learns about. She eventually breaks it off, but not before she gives birth to a child whom Dale is convinced is his own flesh and blood.


  • Alpha Bitch: Implied to have been one (or still be one!). Just ask the weather girl before her. Most of the time she’s a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In the season 5 episode "Spin the Choice," it's vaguely implied that she told Joseph the truth about his parentage, though the season 6 episode "Of Mice and Little Green Men", where Joseph is clueless as ever, would suggest otherwise.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The beauty to Minh’s brains and Peggy’s brawn.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Dale, subtle but there. See above.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A less extreme example than most, but she is one of the most beautiful female characters on the show, has a charming personality, and a great public image. But even once you get past the decade plus affair, she can come off as the most self-absorbed, vindictive and two-faced narcissist on the block. In episodes like "Gone with the Windstorm" and "Nancy Does Dallas", she makes no bones about her willingness to destroy her coworkers' careers for personal advancement. This is lampshaded and Played for Laughs in "Gone with the Windstorm."
    Peggy: You may look like a Southern Belle, but instead you're as vicious as a bulldog. Why, I've seen you ruin whole wedding showers with one catty remark.
  • Blue Boy, Pink Girl: With Dale. Downplayed example, since in addition to her pink shirt, Nancy has blue pants but hers are rather muted in comparison to the deep blue of Dale’s, which is the richest blue out of the guys’ jeans.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Dale met Nancy in middle school, when she was running a kissing booth at their school carnival.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: With Dale and Joseph/John Redcorn/Peggy they are Pink/Blue/Green. With Minh and Peggy they are pink/yellow/green (with blue and red for good measure).
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Her voice can get very shrill whenever she loses her cool.
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted. Peggy and Minh try to paint her as this when they compete against her for a school board seat in "Board Games", but she proves to be quite savvy in using her fanbase to get votes. And of course "Gone With the Windstorm" and "Nancy Does Dallas" shows her ruthless, manipulative side, scheming and using undermining tactics to get ahead.
  • Good Parents: A devoted and loving mother to Joseph. She calls him ‘lil sug’ and notably, though he may disrespect his dad(s), he never disrespects his mother. Not least of all, she is the breadwinner of the family and always provides for Joseph.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: In bed she wears a beautiful periwinkle nightie.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • She cheated on Dale with John Redcorn, and John Redcorn cheated on her with some "isolated incidents."
    • This is acknowledged when she realized Dale was being hit on by a very attractive female exterminator shortly after she broke off her affair. Nancy feels too guilty to tell him not to see her, so she has to watch them grow ever closer. Dale never has an affair, though.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: In the episode "Night and Deity", when a beautiful female exterminator falls for Dale, Peggy tells Nancy to forbid Dale to associate with her. Nancy acknowledges that she lost the right to say that to her husband because of her cheating on him. Even when (in the end) she capitulates and tells Dale she does not want him to see the woman (ostensibly they were working on a job), he points out that he never had a problem with her seeing John Redcorn all those years, guilting her into letting him go. The exterminator does make a move, but Dale firmly rejects her.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The earlier seasons would have a lot of gags of her passing serious judgment on the other characters, blind to the fact that she was an adulteress. One quick scene had her shake her head disapprovingly when she saw Hank walk (horrified) out of the porno section of a video store, ignoring that she was walking through that same store with her lover.
  • In the Blood: Nancy cheated on Dale, just like her mother cheated on her father, and is now going bald after breaking off the affair (again, like her mother).
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: She and Redcorn parted ways in season 4 without Dale ever discovering the affair. However, the three episodes "Night and Deity"note , "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow"note  and "The Untitled Blake McCormick Project"note  shows that she didn't get off scot-free.
  • Lady in Red: When she doesn’t wear a blue suit on television she wears a red one. But everyone knows this trope refers to her minuscule red bikini.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • She cheated on her husband for fourteen years, and had her son Joseph by John Redcorn. The only two people who aren't aware of Nancy's affair are Dale and Joseph. She also only slept with Dale on Christmas and his birthdays until she broke it off with John Redcorn. It seemed that Nancy managed to get away with her fourteen years of unfaithfulness, until her hair started to fall out as a result of breaking it off with John Redcorn, according to her mother.
    • She gets it again when we learn that John Redcorn had actually been seeing other women while he was seeing her, and there's the highly probable chance that he conceived his daughter Kate on the same day he conceived Joseph.
    • This was once averted when she sees clearly that an attractive exterminator has a crush on Dale, and sees the potential for Dale to start doing to her what she did to him for years. Fortunately for her, Dale is a devoted husband who would never cheat on her and stopped hanging out with the other exterminator when he found out she was into him.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Apparently she can still break entire wedding showers with one catty remark. But most of the time she’s a Nice Girl, former beauty queen, television personality—and she’s won’t let you forget it!
  • Ms. Fanservice: No question about it. She looks damn good in that red bikini. She also looks good in her periwinkle nightie or Hank’s naughty grilling dreams.
  • Morality Pet: To Dale. With most people, Dale is paranoid, suspicious, and really pretty selfish. However, he's an incredibly loving and devoted husband and father (even though his son is not biologically his). Despite all his craziness, he's actually a better family man than Hank in some ways: unlike Hank, Dale has no problem showing affection toward his family or saying "I love you."
  • Nice Girl: Despite Nancy's long period affair with John and that she can be quite amoral and smug, she is very nice towards others. She calls everyone "sug"(short for "sugar" a really nice, sweet, friendly nickname)
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The nice to Minh’s Mean and Peggy’s in-between.
  • Noodle Incident: "Do you ever wonder what happened to the weather caster before me?" Seems that people will have to keep wondering, because whatever happened to that weather caster was never explained throughout the entire run of the show.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Her signature blouse.
  • Riddle for the Ages: “Anyone want to see Nancy in an art film?”
  • Sexless Marriage: Downplayed. Apparently, while the Redcorn affair was still in full swing, she only had sex with Dale on Christmas and on his birthday. She became very depressed during the holidays.
  • Sleeping Single: She and Dale sleep in separate bedrooms until she breaks the affair.
  • Southern Belle: Much like Luanne, a modern take on the belle. But while Luanne is firmly on the Bonne end of the spectrum, Nancy combines aspects of both. Lampshaded by Peggy.
  • Stacy's Mom: Bobby admitted to Peggy that he considers Nancy to be a very beautiful woman.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: She's never given a really sympathetic reason for cheating on Dale (Dale is legitimately hard to live with, but that doesn't actually seem to be her motivation). However, she becomes fairly sympathetic once she realizes how badly she abused his trust and makes a painful decision to break off her relationship with John Redcorn. Even before that, the fact that her affair with John Redcorn is far more complicated than a cheap side fling — they've been carrying it on for thirteen years and are actually quite devoted to each other — arguably makes it harder to judge her.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Peggy’s tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the season 5 episode "Spin the Choice", she forbids John Redcorn from having any contact with their son and does whatever she can to prevent this.
  • True Blue Femininity: Her signature pants, her dressing gown, and especially her onscreen television tailored suit.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Blonde, pouty lipped, in shape woman. Married to a bald, unhinged, skinny nutjob.
  • Verbal Tic: She calls everyone "Sug" (pronounced as “shug,” and acting as an abbreviation to "sugar") — even God.
    Nancy: Why is God punishing me?! (Skyward) Why, Sug?!
  • What Does She See in Him?: Deconstructed: it's implied that Nancy fell for Dale, largely because he legitimately loved her and that she didn't start sleeping around on him until they were already married for two years. Furthermore, it's implied that Nancy was driven to John Redcorn, originally for legitimate headache treatment, due to Dale's antics, which ironically keeps Nancy's bitchiness in check since she is too busy cleaning up Dale's messes to scheme anymore.

    Joseph Gribble 

Joseph John Gribble

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_koths1e10015_3042.jpg
Before puberty.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/char_11493_6406.jpg
And after.
Voiced by:
Brittany Murphy (seasons 1-4)
Breckin Meyer (seasons 5-13)

Nancy and John Redcorn's son. Joseph is an awkward, dim, and horny young man who spends most of his time hanging out with Bobby. Like Dale, he has no idea that John Redcorn is his biological father.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Connie, who finds Joseph attractive physically but is too weirded out by his poor social skills for anything to develop between them.
  • Brainless Beauty: When he hits puberty, he becomes taller and more muscular, and is noted to be quite handsome in-universe. In exchange, however, he seems to have lost a few brain cells.
  • Chocolate Baby: Is half Caucasian and Native American, being raised by his (both) Caucasian parents Nancy and Dale. He and Dale are completely unaware of this, though, and Nancy originally claimed Dale's grandmother was of Jamaican descent.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He was a tad off to start with, but he becomes a crackpot akin to his dad when he hits puberty.
  • Cool Loser: Actually a completely justified example. He's tall, athletic and quite attractive, but he's just so awkward that he tends to act like a complete creep when talking to pretty much anyone. This is in contrast to Bobby, who is short, fat, and relatively unattractive but manages to be pretty popular through sheer charisma.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Until his growth spurt, Joseph was voiced by a woman (Brittany Murphy).
  • The Ditz: When he hit puberty, though some of it might be from having Dale for a father.
  • Dumb Jock: His growth spurt seemed to simultaneously make him athletically stronger and intellectually dumber. He eventually joins the football team in high school.
  • Flanderization: He was always mildly awkward and a bit dim, but it really got ratcheted up in the later seasons. Somewhat justified, as he's going through puberty, which is an awkward time for a lot of kids and it does screw with their behavior. However, it doesn't explain how Joseph went from Bobby's more streetwise friend to practically a ditz who needs Bobby to tell him how to function basically. (This is even evident in Breckin Meyer's voicing of the character. In Joseph's early post-puberty episodes, his voice is mellow and slightly accented; later on, it becomes positively manic.) Then there's the fact that a conspiracy nut like Dale mostly raised him and John Redcorn didn't...
  • Foil: To Bobby, post-puberty. Bobby is short, fat and about as athletic as a stoned sloth, but despite this he manages to be pretty popular, especially with girls. Joseph is tall, handsome and incredibly skilled at sports but he has trouble getting a steady girlfriend and is generally disliked by everyone other than Bobby and his parents.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Played with. After he hits puberty, he becomes taller and more muscular, and is generally seen as being fairly handsome. Despite this, however, he becomes, much, much more awkward and hormonal, which makes him substantially more off-putting than he ever was as a kid. This is visually signified by his perpetual skeezy-looking peach fuzz, which completely counteracts his otherwise attractive face.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: After puberty, the kid is unable to stop talking or thinking about girls in stuff that don't involve them much.
  • In the Blood: Seems to have inherited John Redcorn's libido and some of Dale's delusional tendencies. This is also an example of Nature Versus Nurture. John Redcorn's genes make Joseph tall and athletic, but he is awkward and has poor social skills thanks to Dale's influence.
  • Informed Attribute: He is often stated to be around six feet tall post-puberty, yet he is still several inches shorter than the other adults, including Dale, who is said to be 5'10". When Dale is forced to stop exterminating and take an office job, he borrows one of Josephs suits and it fits him perfectly, even though Dale is still much bigger than Joseph.
  • Kavorka Man: Inverted. Joseph is tall, athletic, and attractive post-puberty. However, he is so socially awkward that he has a lot of trouble getting girls. The one girlfriend he did get was only interested in him physically.
  • Lovable Jock: Despite being a star football player in the later seasons, he's more a Dumb Jock than a jerk and he's still friends with Bobby (who would normally get bullied by jerk jocks).
  • Morality Pet: To Dale. With most people, Dale is paranoid, suspicious, and really pretty selfish. However, he's an incredibly loving and devoted husband and father (even though his son is not biologically his, though Dale is unaware of this). Despite all his craziness, he's actually a better family man than Hank in some ways: unlike Hank, Dale has no problem showing affection toward his family or saying "I love you."
  • Nature Versus Nurture: Joseph has traits of both Dale and his biological father John; he's much more traditionally masculine and athletic than Dale ever was, but he also has Dale's silliness and paranoia.
  • Perma-Stubble: His permanent peach fuzz mustache.
  • Pyromaniac: After puberty kicks in, he develops a strong desire to burn things.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Played-with. At first glance it appears Joseph plays the trope straight. Given his hair and skin color, both as a child and especially as teenager he'd be the spitting image of his biological father except for his Perma Peach Fuzz. The joke being neither he nor Dale (and for while, nor Peggy) seem to notice the resemblance at all. However, a careful viewer will notice that, beyond his complexion, Joseph shares physical attributes from all three of his parents, besides John Redcorn’s strong chin and cheekbones, Joseph has Nancy’s soft eyes and eyebrows, and Dale’s wide mouth and nose. Besides the athletic prowess of his biological father, Joseph vacillates between his mother’s charm and his adoptive father’s awkwardness. He does share the vanity and explosive temper with both.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: It seems as if some of his brain cells apparently died off when he hit puberty.
  • Visual Development: When he starts puberty. Not only does he get taller and grow a crappy moustache, his clothing changes to reflect his shift in personality from confident jock to awkward ditz. When he was younger he wore a green shirt and white shorts, the same colors as John Redcorn's clothes, while after puberty he switched to blue and brown clothes, the same colors Dale wears.
  • Vocal Evolution: Puberty aside, in early seasons, his voice was much less so grave-sounding than in latter seasons.
  • Younger Than He Looks: At 13, he resembles more a high schooler or even a young 20-something man after hitting puberty. He was even offered the wine menu by a waitress.
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The Souphanousinphones

    Kahn Souphanousinphone 

Kahn Souphanousinphone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kahn-002_5071.jpg
Voiced by: Toby Huss

This irritable Laotian-American systems analyst moved onto Rainey Street from Los Angeles with his wife and daughter in the series's first season. Kahn is regularly rude towards his neighbors and dismisses them as dumb rednecks. Nobody really listens to him, however, especially not his daughter, Connie.


  • Action Dad: In "The Redneck on Rainey Street," Kahn displays significant skill as a martial artist when he gets into a fight with another redneck. This is notably the only time in the series that he actually gets into a fistfight.
  • Always Someone Better: *Wants* to be this to Hank Hill and the rest of the neighbors. Hank and the others couldn't really care less as he doesn't live that much better than everyone else. Ted Wassanasong is this to him, and Kahn desperately tries to get into his good graces to increase his social standing.
  • Asian Rudeness: Very openly hostile towards his "redneck" neighbors. Hank even referred to Kahn as "rude and nasty" upon meeting him.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: A parental version. After the children are lost in the caves and he and Hank get lost looking for her, they all get rescued and rather than be stern with her, he's so relieved that he takes her out for ice cream. And tetanus shots. This is the case in the finale when Kahn tells Connie to take a night off from studying.
  • Be Yourself: After the events of "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana," Kahn realizes he doesn't have to cater to Ted Wassanasong's every whim to gain his approval and shouldn't let Ted tell him or his family how to live. Kahn likes his American lifestyle, and it makes him and his family happy, so if Ted calls him a banana (slang for an Asian person acting like a white person), so what?
  • Boomerang Bigot: He has even less respect for Laotian culture than Hank, his friends, and even Cotton.
  • Character Development: He goes from being a much stricter father who demanded constant excellence from Connie (who he even had named Kahn Jr. as he wanted a boy) to be much more relaxed. This is shown in the episode "To Sirloin, With Love" when Minh suggests they go to the Hill's barbecue and lets Connie take the night off from her studies.
  • Covert Pervert: The resolution of the plot of Season 8's "Daletech" reveals that he and Minh have been sneaking into the Hills' residence to get their jollies by trying on their clothes, eating their food, and getting in on in various areas of the house. They also have been doing the nasty in the reading room at the public library.
    • In "The Redneck on Rainey Street", Minh compels him to take her in the back of an El Camino.
    • They also get freaky on a bed of quarters in "The Year of Washing Dangerously".
  • Cranky Neighbor: Really obnoxious and mean-spirited towards the other neighbors and likes to gloat to Hank about his superior possessions (job, house, wife).
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kahn doesn't come off as a particularly tough guy by any stretch, but he handles himself so well in a short brawl with Elvin that he gets entered in a "sticking" fight tournament in "The Redneck on Rainey Street".
  • Depending on the Artist: In scenes where Kahn ends up shirtless, his body is portrayed in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes he looks similar to the other guys and has a slight gut ("De-Kahnstructing Henry"), in others, he has a flat stomach and good pecs ("The Fat and the Furious"). A few times, he's been shown to be quite ripped and has a six-pack ("Get Your Freak Off").
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: He and Hank actually took off as good neighbors by the end of his debut episode. After that...well, you know.
  • Education Mama: A male example. Drills Connie to be uber smart and successful.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: "Jerk" is more accurate, but he definitely has a strong fondness for his mother Laoma, fawning over her and doting on her to the extent it drives his wife Minh nuts.
  • First-Name Basis: Due to how difficult his surname is to spell and pronounce, most people usually refer to him as just "Kahn" or "Mr. Kahn". This eventually went away as time went on and people got to know him better.
  • Foil: Acts as one of the many towards Hank. Their names are even anagrams of each others to reinforce this idea.
  • Former Teen Rebel: "Father of the Bribe" reveals that, back when Kahn was a young man during The '70s, he was a rebellious punk with a moped, a pompadour, and a love of disco. Minh instantly took a liking to him, preferring his company over that of the stuffy, pretentious suitor her father tried to get her to date.
  • Freudian Excuse: In "Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men", he admits to having "father issues." His jerk father-in-law probably doesn't help either. In fact, just about every episode that focuses on Kahn will reveal one of these.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: His aggressive attitude and superiority complex over his "redneck" neighbors has understandably caused some issues. However, it is shown that when push comes to shove, Kahn really does care about them and consider them his friends (Hank at least).
  • Funny Foreigner: Averted; most of the humor comes from Kahn trying to be as non-foreign as possible.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: While his job is systems analyst, when he's off his manic-depression medication he and Hank manage to design and construct The Commander In Beef: the "Swiss Army Knife of Grills" which is a souped-up outdoor propane grill that includes a Miter Saw purposed for cutting bread, a sno-cone machine, a flatscreen TV, a stereo sound system, robotic arms for flipping, assembling, and serving hamburgers, and a sensor that can detect if anyone in its immediate vicinity is hungry.
    Kahn: It has every accoutrement that a tailgating Football junkie could ever desire.
  • Happily Married: He really loves Minh and while not a high bar they are the most passionate couple in the neighborhood.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He seems like a pretty stereotypical depiction of an Asian-American at first, but you eventually find out his tightly wound personality has nothing to do with his ethnicity or culture, and everything to do with his family life and brain chemistry.
    • His manic depression revealed that he's very good at robotics, even though his official job is systems analyst.
    • He used to be a delinquent in his youth, the reason why Minh fell for him, and can actually defend himself in a fight.
    • Is more upset at Buckley's death than anyone else, and calls out Luanne for her lack of grieving. He even gives a touching eulogy (in the form of a short story) at Buckley's funeral.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: A Running Gag. It was even made the subject of an episode where Kahn sings karaoke. Made doubly annoying/funny by Kahn's affection for '80s pop music.
    Hank: Pretty good job, Kahn. I never heard that song with only one note before.
    Kahn: Yeah, it all about rhythm.
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: Grows a pair in "The Redneck of Rainey Street", and becomes more short-tempered along with it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: For all his complaints about hillbillies and rednecks, Kahn enjoys partaking in their activities without shame. It comes to a head later on when his Laotian roots explicitly forbid them and drives his family crazy for it until he goes back to being a hypocrite.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: Acts this way after returning to America from Mexico in "Three Days of the Kahn-Do", but mostly just to rub into Hank that he legally got his citizenship while Hank technically sneaked into the country illegally. He also expresses a jingoistic attitude towards both Russia and Canada.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: A few episodes have implied that Kahn's arrogance and desire to be better than everyone else stems from deep insecurity and pressure to succeed.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Averted, with several episodes focusing on Kahn and Minh's Laotian background. It takes Hank and company awhile to catch on, though.
    Hank: So, are you Chinese or Japanese?
    Kahn: I live in California last twenty year, but uh, first come from Laos.
    Hank: Huh?
    Kahn: Laos. We Laotian.
    Bill: The ocean? What ocean?
    Kahn: We are Laotian, from Laos, stupid! It's a landlocked country in southeast Asia, it's between Vietnam and Thailand! Population 4.7 million!
    Hank: (after a moment of pondering) ...So, are you Chinese or Japanese?
    • Kahn's backstory is generally presented as one better fitting an Asian immigrant from North-East Asia opposed to South-East Asia. The vast majority of Laotian immigrants came to the US as refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and a Communist coup displaced US aligned groups, mostly in the back country. Kahn being an engineer who ran off with a General's daughter better fits Korean or Taiwanese immigrants during the same time period. At the same time, extended family has been shown off to be lower on the socioeconomic scale, and several episodes are devoted to Kahn's rejection of his Laotian roots.
  • Jerkass: Generally presented as a rude and short-tempered showboat who intentionally does things to anger and annoy other people.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a pretty terrible person most of the time, but he does genuinely love Connie, Minh, and his mother Laoma, and if pressed, really, really pressed, he'll even admit that he considers Hank a friend.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Kahn gives two of these in "Maid in Arlen". The first is when the other neighbors take advantage of his mother Laoma, pointing out that Hank would have been furious if he did the same thing with the latter's mother. The second is after it's discovered that he sabotaged the relationship between his mother and Bill. While receiving accusatory glares from everyone, Kahn unapologetically demanded to know if any of them wouldn't have done the same thing if they were in his situation. No one says anything.
    • In "Death of a Propane Salesman," he's the one who calls Luanne out for her bizarre, misguided attempts at becoming socially aware after Buckley's death, forcing her to confront her feelings about him.
    • Kahn in general can read people fairly well. For example, in "Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men":
    Kahn: Give us a break, Hank. When you were little redneck boy you couldn't defend your mother. Now you compensate by defending your mower. You confuse personal issues with technological.
  • Narcissist: Quite full of himself, and goes to great lengths to display his accomplishments to his neighbors as loudly as he possibly can.
  • Odd Friendship: With Buckley. Though he implies he liked Buckley mainly because he annoyed Hank.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe, he views his days as a delinquent this way. He tells Connie that he met her mother at a national science museum, when in truth they met at a discotheque.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Saving Hank from the border guards in "Three Days of the Kahn-Do." Singing "Blue Moon Over Kentucky" with Bobby and Connie in "The Bluegrass Is Always Greener" for another.
    • His last scene in "To Sirloin with Love." He tells Connie that she can stop studying (she's three grades ahead anyway) and come to the barbecue next door. Also in the last aired episode "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day," he and Hank make a high-tech grill together and realize that they're not so different (their names are even anagrams of each others').
    • In the episode where the kids get lost in the caves, Kahn tells Hank he's afraid Joseph might try something with Connie, but says "Bobby's a good kid" so he knows Bobby would never do anything like that.
  • Pride: Frequently motivated entirely by his desire to show others up.
  • Poirot Speak: Does this to a degree, but not to the same extent as Minh does.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: When it comes to Ted Wassonasong, to the point of Ho Yay, but even he's got limits.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: He's about as good with it as Hank.
    (walks in on his daughter crying)
    Kahn: MINH! She's doing it again! Help me, make her stop!
  • Self-Made Man: part of the reason he's so proud of his current wealth.
  • Significant Anagram: "Kahn" is an anagram of "Hank." While manic, he points it out during "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day."
  • Sixth Ranger: Occasionally acts as a fifth member of Hank's friend group.
  • Smug Snake: Very full of himself, but frequently lacks the skills necessary to back his boasts up.
  • Social Climber: Tries hard to raise his status in the Asian community in Arlen. It never gets him anywhere as they have as less patience with him than he does with Hank and the rest of his neighbors.
  • Spell My Name with an S: His name is sometimes mistakenly spelled "Khan" (which is actually the correct way to spell it).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: By the later episodes, it's hard to deny that he and Hank have genuinely become friends. Despite this, their relationship is still incredibly antagonistic.
  • The Whitest Black Guy: In "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?", Khan's Asian ethnicity is called into question by Ted Wassanasong and Laotian war veteran Nguc Phong when they say he's forgotten who he is and call him a banana (a slang for an Asian guy who acts like a white American). Khan tries to go back to his roots, even though it makes him and his family miserable. He draws the line however, when Ted and Nguc plan to launch a guerrilla attack on Laos and liberate it from the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, something that Khan knows will result in everyone either getting killed or reeducated. In the end, thanks to some words of advice from Minh, he tells Ted that he won't be joining him and he won't let him feel guilty for how he wants to live his life.

    Minh Souphanousinphone 

Minh Souphanousinphone (née Hexumalayasabrath)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/minh.jpg
Voiced by: Lauren Tom

Kahn's wife. Just as materialistic and spiteful as him, but a smidgen more down to earth.


  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She chose Kahn, a rebel from a working-class background, over the boring "corporate boy" her father pushed on her.
  • Asian Rudeness: Like Kahn, she is quite often rude to the other Rainey Street residents.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Wears a midriff-baring top in "The Redneck on Rainey Street" as part of their new "redneck" lifestyle.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Not quite as much as Kahn, but she's definitely close.
  • Covert Pervert: The season 8 episode "Daletech" reveals that she and Kahn at one point were sneaking into the Hills' home, eating their food, trying on their clothes, and having sex in various areas of their house.
    • Kahn mentions at one point that they've also been getting in on in the public library's reading room.
    • She and Kahn do it in the back of Kahn's new El Camino in "The Redneck of Rainey Street".
    • In "The Year of Washing Dangerously" the couple have sex on a bed covered in quarters.
  • Cranky Neighbor: She's generally more pleasant and tolerant than Kahn is, though.
  • Deadpan Snarker: At least, her insults are usually more clever and better thought-out than Kahn's.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Again, like Kahn, she has difficulty getting along with the others (in her case, fellow wives Peggy and Nancy), but is more willing to actually spend time with them.
    • Kahn is hardly shown hanging out with anyone unless the plot requires it. Minh at least is implied to hang out semi-regularly with Peggy and Nancy, even if they can barely stand each other.
  • Full-Name Basis: Calls Peggy, Hank and other characters by their full name most of the time.
  • Good Parents: Really loving and protective of Connie.
  • Happily Married: With Kahn. Not only are they quite passionate with each other, he is the first person she wants to share gossip with.
  • Hidden Depths: "The Minh Who Knew Too Much" reveals that she is a crack shot with firearms. She joins Dale's gun club (as part of her and Kahn's plan to join the Nine Rivers Country Club), but gradually starts to take a shine to the "rednecks" and in the end considers them friends.
  • Jerkass: Usually openly rude and dismissive of others for no good reason. Sometimes she is just really tactless such as when she accidentally makes fun of Peggy's shoes in their first encounter.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Like Kahn, you really gotta dig deep to see it. But it's there. Unlike her husband, who is often deliberately hostile and condescending to his neighbors, Minh seems to honestly be nice, but often thoughtlessly says arrogant or dismissive things.
    • She joins Dale Gribble's gun club in "The Minh Who Knew Too Much" to take advantage of their gun range as part of her and Kahn's latest scheme to join the Nine Rivers Country Club. But despite her usual leanings, she gradually starts to like the "crazy rednecks" who comprise Dale's club, and they worship her for being easily the best marksman they've got. In the end, she does abandon them to join Nine Rivers (however reluctantly), but when the gun club invade Nine Rivers (originally to wreck it, but they change their minds and decide to support Minh), Minh intercedes on their behalf when they are about to be ejected for trespassing, saying that they're her friends and invited guests.
  • Narcissist: Like her husband, she values posturing above all other things.
  • Obnoxious Entitled Housewife: She shares Kahn's snobbishness towards their neighbors and is very overbearing towards her daughter Connie.
  • Odd Friendship: With Dale in "The Minh Who Knew Too Much". There's also "Bill Full of Dollars" when she joins Dale and Peggy in their stock investment schemes.
  • Pet the Dog: Once she invited Peggy and Nancy to a nail salon run by Laotians. When one of the employees complains about working on Peggy's giant feet, Minh plays Tactful Translation and gives the employee a Death Glare. Given she tactlessly made fun of Peggy's shoes in their first meeting, it shows Minh has grown some compassion toward her.
  • Poirot Speak: Out of all the Souphanousinphones, she speaks the least fluent English. Though this may be a put on to make her seem more innocent to the neighbors, since she speaks noticeably better English when talking to Kahn and Connie.
  • Pride: Seemingly driven entirely by her desire to be the best at everything.
    • Season 5's "The Buck Stops Here" saw Minh and Peggy literally almost kill themselves trying to outdo each other by donating the most blood.
  • Sadist: She seemed to enjoy being the daughter of a Laotian general. In her own words "I peasants' worst nightmare!"
  • Smug Snake: Acts like she's above almost everyone that she interacts with, despite not having much to back up her boasts.
  • Stacy's Mom: Joseph developed a short-lived crush on her. This was mainly due to him having just hit puberty and experiencing the onslaught of confusion and distress that comes with it (she was also wearing tight jeans and a cleavage-bearing shirt at the time). Bobby is also attracted to her as he admitted to Peggy that he considers Minh to be a very beautiful woman.
  • Women Are Wiser: Mostly averted; she's greedy, ambitious and kind of a Jerkass just like her husband, but she is slightly more willing to interact with her neighbors than Kahn is. She's much more accepting of Bobby and Connie's relationship than Kahn, though; in "Father of the Bribe", when it looks like they might break up, Minh tells Connie how she and Kahn met and that, despite their differences, she knew he was right for her, and that the only person who knows if Bobby is right for Connie is Connie herself.

    Connie Souphanousinphone 

Kahn "Connie" Souphanousinphone, Jr.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/conniec_8200.jpg
Voiced by: Lauren Tom

The overachieving daughter of Kahn and Mihn who is great friends with Bobby, even dating him for quite some time.


  • A-Cup Angst: She catches Joseph staring at Luanne's bust, and promptly covers her flat chest with a forlorn look on her face.
    Connie: Who'd want to look at me when they could look at her?
  • Amicable Exes: She and Bobby remain as good friends with each other after their break up and regularly hang out with each other.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Subverted in that while she's very smart, she would prefer to be herself instead of pursue what her father wants.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As nice as she is, she has little tolerance for nonsense and can become quite nasty when enraged, as Bobby often finds out.
  • Brainy Brunette: She has black hair and is an intelligent academic.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Unlike her parents, she does not speak broken English and has an American accent. This is because her parents are from Laos while she was born in the US. She also isn't very fluent in Lao as shown in "Orange You Said I Didn't Say Banana", when she can't tell if Kahn is greeting her or cursing her.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Bobby.
  • Chubby Chaser: She's genuinely physically attracted to Bobby, though she does show affection for slimmer guys on a few occasions. She's very much attracted to Joseph physically, but is repulsed by his awkward and sleazy personality.
  • Demoted to Extra: She becomes less important to the show after she and Bobby break up, but they still remain good friends.
  • First Period Panic: Somewhat downplayed. Connie gets her first period while she's staying with the Hills (Kahn and Mihn having gone out of town on a business trip), but apart from embarassment about having to tell Hank (the only adult around at the time) and briefly breaking into tears, she doesn't "panic". At least until she goes shopping for sanitary pads, at which point she gets overwhelmed and breaks into angry tears from a combination of Mihn not having prepared her and realizing she doesn't have enough money to get any (Hank buys them for her instead).
  • Foil: To her parents. Kahn and Minh speak in broken English and are rude and nasty to everyone but do have kindness deep down, while Connie speaks fluent Americanized English and is very nice and pleasant most of the time, but can be almost as mean as Kahn and Minh when someone really gets on her nerves.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Her actual name is Kahn Jr. Justified as Kahn wanted a son.
  • Girl Next Door: She fills this role for Bobby, and fits the profile perfectly.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She's incredibly jealous of Bobby's crush on her cousin Tid Pao, even though the two had broken up quite some time ago. She also doesn't like Joseph staring at Luanne or kissing Minh (long story).
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Frequently annoyed by her parents constantly pushing her into being an overachiever. Though this is subverted in at least one episode ("Father of the Bribe"), when Connie admits that she actually likes studying.
  • Nice Girl: Generally a friendly and pleasant girl who gets along with everyone she meets.
  • Odd Friendship: With Hank in a few episodes such as "Aisle 8-A" and "The Bluegrass is Always Greener".
  • Only Sane Man: Arguably the truest one in the whole series, as she lacks any of the character flaws prominent in most of the other characters, such as Hank's unwillingness to show emotion.
  • Out of Focus: See Demoted to Extra above.
  • Plucky Girl: In "The Redneck on Rainey Street", Hank mentions to Kahn how hard Connie has been working while her parents gave up. In his words, "you couldn't bring that girl down with you if you tried."
  • The Smart Girl: She's very intelligent and does excellently in school.
  • Straight Man: Mostly to Bobby, though she occasionally plays one to her parents and other members of the cast.
  • White Sheep: She's very nice, polite, and down-to-earth which is a stark contrast to the rest of her family; Her parents are arrogant jerkasses, her maternal grandfather is a sadistic Laotian general who verbally abuses Kahn, her paternal grandmother is a control-freak who always nitpicks Minh's homemaking, and the two of her cousins we see on screen are both delinquents: Tid Pao being a gang-banger from Los Angeles who knows how to cook meth, and Phonsawan being an obnoxious street racer who cons other people into buying beer for him.
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