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Trivia / King of the Hill

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  • Acting for Two
    • In addition to playing Hank, Mike Judge also voices Boomhauer, Stuart Dooley and Ted Wassanasong.
    • Johnny Hardwick voices both Dale and the unseen, overactive announcer for sporting events in Arlen.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Jonathan Joss spent a lot time pushing for his character, John Redcorn, to receive Character Development in fear that he'd become a Native American stereotype. According to Joss, Mike Judge and the show writers were happy to accommodate him, but Fox executives vetoed several early concepts for focus episodes featuring John Redcorn, including a proposed storyline where he becomes a pro wrestler to impress Joseph. Eventually they relented and John Redcorn did receive significant character development in the later seasons, notably his evolving relationship with the Gribbles and his failed rock band, Big Mountain Fudgecake, which invokes Joss's more successful musical career.
  • Banned Episode:
    • "Revenge of the Lutefisk" was pulled on some Colorado local stations following the Columbine school shooting (even though the episode depicted a church burning down and allegations that it was a hate crime, not a mass shooting).
    • In 2003, the British satellite channel Sky1 pulled the episode "Leanne's Saga" due to its domestic abuse theme (Luanne's alcoholic mom, Leanne, comes to town, falls in love with Bill, and begins abusing and taking advantage of him).
  • Casting Gag
    • In Season 12, we are introduced to Kate, who is revealed to be Joseph Gribble's half-sister. She was voiced by Brittany Murphy, who — in addition to playing Luanne — was also Joseph's original voice up until the character underwent puberty. When playing Kate, Murphy used the exact same voice she used for Joseph.
    • Luanne's three house-mates in "Movin' On Up" were played by Maura Tierney, Andy Dick, and Vicki Lewis - three cast members of the sitcom Newsradio. Ironically, Stephen Root, who voices Bill, Buck Strickland, and several one-off characters was actually uncredited early in the series because he was also a regular on Newsradio, which aired on a different network.
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    • "Joust Like A Woman" has British Alan Rickman playing a Fake American who, In-Universe, is a Fake Brit, meaning the character's fake British accent is just Rickman speaking normally. The episode ends on a particularly meta joke of Rickman's character "dropping" his British accent and speaking in his normal Texan drawl, with Rickman affecting a comically obviously fake Texan accent.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Most minor characters were voiced by celebrities (such as Mary Tyler Moore as Reverend Stroup, Brad Pitt as Boomhauer's troublemaking brother, Owen Wilson as a nervous virgin whom Luanne temporarily dates, Reese Witherspoon as Buck Strickland's mistress who ends up dead in a Dumpster, Johnny Knoxvillenote  as a waste management executive and Luanne's father on two non-consecutive episodes, or Johnny Depp as a yoga instructor who helps Hank with his bad back). The characters who were lucky enough to appear more than once were usually recast after their initial appearances (such as Ashley Gardner replacing Mary Tyler Moore as Reverend Stroup), with a few exceptions (Tom Petty stayed on as Lucky when he became a regular character).
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  • Creator Backlash: Series co-producer Jim Dauterive hated the Plot Twist of Hank having been born in New York and, when given the chance to co-write the series finale, proposed handwaving it off as a fever dream that Bill had.
  • Crossdressing Voices:
    • Pamela Adlon voiced Bobby Hill (and played other boy characters with a similar-sounding voice, like Clark Peters and several one-shot boy characters).
    • Brittany Murphy, Luanne's voice actress, voiced Joseph Gribble in the first four seasons.
  • The Danza:
    • Jonathon Joss voices John Redcorn.
    • Chris Elliott voices Chris Sizemore.
  • Descended Creator
    • Just like on Beavis and Butthead, series creator Mike Judge does voice-work for his characters (Hank Hill, Boomhauer, Dooley, Ted, and a handful of one-shot characters).
    • Johnny Hardwick was also the show's script editor and one of the co-producers and a writer on top of voicing Dale (and several one-off voices).
  • Divorced Installment: Was meant to be a Beavis and Butt-Head spin-off centered on Tom Anderson, but Fox couldn't legally get the rights to the character from Viacom (the owners of MTV, the network Beavis and Butt-Head airs on) , so Tom Anderson was redone as Hank Hill (and plans to make Tom Anderson Hank's war veteran father also fell through, which is why Cotton Hill was created).
  • Dueling Works: With The Simpsons (which co-creator Greg Daniels used to write for), as those were the only two animated series on Fox before Family Guy, Futurama, and other animated sitcomsnote  started appearing. Simpsons writer, Mike Reiss, bashed the show, saying (paraphrased), "if I wanted to not be funny, I'd write for King of the Hill".
  • Executive Meddling: Fox executives demanded the writers drop or at least scale back the recurring plotlines to minimize consequences of airing episodes Out of Order on syndication, which accounted in part for the Negative Continuity in later episodes. It's also claimed that in later seasons, network executives interfered to the extent that they were demanding rewrites while episodes were being animated, which does explain why the newer episodes aren't as consistent or beloved as the older episodes (though the finale where Hank and Bobby bond after Hank discovers Bobby's talent for identifying cuts of meat and analyzing their flaws is considered by some to be the best episode).
  • Friday Night Death Slot: It never aired on Friday nights, but during much of its later seasons, Fox would air it at 7 PM/6c on Sundays, which is the slot infamous for being preempted by sports programming (which also contributed to ''Futurama's first cancellation).
  • In Memoriam: "The Order of the Straight Arrow" was dedicated to Victor Aaron, the original voice of John Redcorn who had passed away by the time the episode aired.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: In 2006, the DVDs only went up to Season 6, though many people felt the prospect of a DVD release was unnecessary as the series is easily and legally obtainable through Hulu streaming. Netflix and the iTunes store used to carry the entire series, including the four leftover episodes, and [adult swim] and many local stations aired all of the episodes, including the missing four from Fox, since the show was in its final seasons. However, in 2014, Olive Films picked up the rights to the DVD releases and began releasing the remaining seasons two at a time.
    • As of 2020, the series is no longer shown on syndication on local stations or cable networks on American television and is not available for purchase on digital storefronts, meaning Hulu and the DVD box-sets are your only option to legally watch the series.
  • Life Imitates Art: In one of the more startling examples, two years after "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?,"note  in which Kahn joins a Laotian-American paramilitary group lead by a former general planning an attack on the communist government of Laos, a real-life Laotian American group lead by a former general planned an attack on the communist government of Laos.
  • Missing Episode:
    • Fox wanted to get rid of the show as quickly as possible, as they needed room for The Cleveland Show after the cancellation of the ill-fated Sit Down, Shut Up; the network decided to pick two episodes out of the last six they ordered and unaired the remaining four. The last two episodes to air were "The Boy Can't Help It",note  and "To Sirloin with Love".note  The four episodes that didn't air on Fox aired in network syndication, on [adult swim], were on Netflix and are currently on Hulu. Those episodes are: "The Honeymooners",note  "Bill Gathers Moss",note  "When Joseph Met Lori and Made Out With Her in the Janitor's Closet",note  and "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day".note 
    • Starting in late 2014, [adult swim] stopped airing the Season 1 and 2 episodes. Now, the show isn't on the network at all (and disappeared from American TV altogether after its failed run on Comedy Central).
  • Name's the Same: Before Donna from accounting was introduced, there was an overweight background character with the same name, who was fired for stealing office supplies.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Boomhauer is usually voiced by Mike Judge, but when he sings in "The Bluegrass is Always Greener", he is voiced by country music star Vince Gill.
  • The Other Marty: In the original pilot pitch to Fox, Bill, Bobby, Peggy, and Luanne are voiced by different actors. By the time the series debuted, they had their proper voice actors in place.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • In John Redcorn's first speaking role, in the Season 1 episode "Order of the Straight Arrow", he was voiced by Victor Aaron. When Aaron died in a car accident, Jonathan Joss was hired to take over as the voice actor of John Redcorn for the rest of the series.
    • M.F. Thatherton was voiced by Burt Reynolds in his first appearance. In all other appearances, he was voiced by Toby Huss.note 
    • Hank's mom, Tilly Hill, was voiced by three actresses: first by country singer Tammy Wynette for two episodes in Season 2. When Wynette died, she was replaced by Beth Grant during Season 3 (plus the unaired episode "The Honeymooners"). Finally, K. Callan voiced Tilly in two Season 5 episodes and one Season 8 episode.
    • Roger "Booda" Sack was voiced by Chris Rock in his first appearance. He would be voiced by Phil LaMarr (who, coincidentally, did a Chris Rock impression on MADtv twice: once on a fake commercial where people can hire Chris Rock to tell bedtime stories to children and again on a music video parody of "No Sex in the Champagne Room" called "No Blacks on the TV Screen", which made fun of the Monochrome Casting and lack of racial diversity on American TV in the 1990s) in his subsequent appearances.
    • Enrique was first voiced by Eloy Casadoes from 1997 to 1998. But from 2003 to 2009, he is voiced by Danny Trejo.note 
    • Debbie Grund was voiced by an unknown actress during her one talking scene in Season 3 (possibly Ashley Gardner). In her only other speaking appearance (the two-part episode where Hank gets seduced by Mr. Strickland's wife and mistress and becomes a suspect in the latter's murder when she's found dead in a Dumpster), she was voiced by Reese Witherspoon.
    • Special circumstances are behind this one,note  but it's worth noting that for the first four seasons (and a few episodes in Season 5), Joseph Gribble was voiced by Brittany Murphy. When Joseph hit puberty on the episode "I Don't Want to Wait for Our Lives to be Over," he was voiced by Breckin Meyer and wrote the voice change off as Joseph hitting puberty.
    • Bug Gribble (Dale's closet homosexual father) was originally voiced by Johnny Hardwick in "Now Who's the Dummy?" In his next and last appearance, "My Own Private Rodeo," he's voiced by David Herman in his generic gay man voice (originally, Charles Nelson Reilly was going to voice Dale's dad, but he backed out).
    • Reverend Karen Stroup was voiced by Mary Tyler Moore in her first appearance in the episode "Revenge of the Lutefisk". Subsequent appearances have Ashley Gardner voicing her.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Asexual queen of snark Janeane Garofolo voices a flirtatious, heterosexual Romantic False Lead to Dale in "Night and Deity."
    • Danny Trejo as Enrique in the later seasons, with him playing the role of a normal, milquetoast Mexican man instead of a badass Mexican man.
    • In Johnny Knoxville's first role in the series, he provided the voice of a cool but responsible small business owner who mentors Bobby in "Business is Picking Up." Later, he returned to provide the voice of Luanne's dad, who is sleazy, manipulative, and disgusting.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: There is one that says that the show aired in the early mornings on Fox Kids at one point in time, around the same time as the block's "Fox Kids Heads For The Hills" promotion.
    • The episodes "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do?" and "Pigmalion" were said to have scenes that only aired once, and then were edited from all reruns ("Bad Girls..." had Tid Pao calling Bobby a "pig fucker" changed to "pig farmer" while "Pigmalion" had a scene showing Tripp's dead body after the pork kill line does a number on him). Currently, it's unknown if these scenes actually existed in some capacity (pitched as an idea, but never written; written, but never animated; part of the original storyboard, but never animated; recorded, but never put on the soundtrack [in the case of the "pig fucker/pig farmer" line]; or animated, but never put in the actual show due to the FOX standards and practices people vetoing it).
  • Post-Script Season: Seasons 12 and 13. The Season 11 finale is explicitly designed as a series finale, with the Lucky-Luanne wedding, cameo appearances by everyone from Cotton and John Redcorn to Hank's half-brother Junichiro and Tammi Duvall to Chuck Mangione, and the ending with Hank and the gang drinking beer in the alley. Fox then decided to renew the show for two more years. Some fans think the show should have ended after Luanne's wedding, while others think "To Sirloin with Love" was a better ending, as most of the series centered on Hank and Bobby trying to bond as father and son and "To Sirloin with Love" showed that Bobby does have a hobby that doesn't disappoint/embarrass Hank (along with showing that Mihn and Khan can let their daughter take a break from studying, Dale can heal Nancy's headaches better than John Redcorn, Luanne and Lucky are happy as parents, and that Boomhauer's real name is Jeff and that he's a member of the Texas Rangersnote ).
  • Screwed by the Network: King of the Hill was a huge hit in its first few seasons, but Fox interfered with the show's ratings by constantly shuffling its time slot and episodes being preempted by sports programming. Even during its last few seasons, when it returned to its original 8:30 Sunday slot, King of the Hill was pointedly treated as the lesser show of Fox's "Animation Domination" block due to the continued popularity of The Simpsons and the network banking everything on Seth MacFarlane's shows at the time (Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show; the last of which replaced King of the Hill, leading to a lot of King of the Hill fans to hate The Cleveland Show).
    • Comedy Central snatched up the rights from Cartoon Networks's [adult swim] in 2018. But only ever aired the show late at night or very early in the morning before removing the show from its lineup entirely after a year. note  Time will tell if the cable rights to the show will be bought by another network in the future.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Mike Judge voiced Hank, Boomhauer, and Ted.
    • Pamela Adlon voiced Bobby, Clark, and Chane.
    • Toby Huss voiced Kahn and Cotton.
    • Lauren Tom voiced Connie and Minh (in yet another example of Lauren Tom playing Asian-American girls and their mothers. See also: Kuki Sanban and her mom, Genki on Codename: Kids Next Door and Amy and Inez Wong on Futurama).
    • Brittany Murphy voiced Joseph (during the first four seasons) and Luanne.
  • Tuckerization: Bill Dauterive is named after script writer Jim Dauterive.
  • Uncredited Role: Stephen Root (voice of Bill Dauterive, Buck Struckland, and other minor characters) was uncredited during the first three seasons.
  • Vindicated by Cable: FX, during the show's original run, and Cartoon Network's [adult swim] treated King of the Hill much better than Fox ever did, with the show finding new fans through syndication years after it ended. When [adult swim] briefly removed King of the Hill from its lineup in fall of 2013, they encountered enough viewer backlash to not only bring it back, but place it in a more prominent timeslot. Sadly, by 2018, Cartoon Network gave up the rights to the show to Comedy Central, which screwed it over by airing the reruns late at night or early in the morning.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to the DVD commentary for the pilot episode, the show had a lot of titles before King of the Hill was chosen. Some examples include Dale Gribble and the Other Guy, I'm Gonna Kick Your Ass!, Citizen Hank, Propane Man, The Hank Hill Family Hour, and Hank Hill and His Clan.
    • The first episode was originally going to be "Westie Side Story" (the one where Kahn and his family move into the neighborhood). However, for unknown reasons, it was replaced with the episode where a social worker accuses Hank of beating Bobby.
    • The show was originally going to be a Beavis and Butthead spinoff centered on Tom Anderson. Due to legal issues, this never came to be, so Tom Anderson was redesigned as Hank Hill. Judge tried again to incorporate Tom Anderson into the show by making him Hank's father. This, once again, failed, which led to the creation of Cotton Hill.
    • The Spanish Soap Opera, Monsignor Martinez, was actually planned to be a live action spin-off, but it got killed mid-production when the crew couldn't find a network that would accept a show about a Catholic priest assassin.
    • The episode "My Own Private Rodeo" originally focused on Dale suffering from toothache and refusing to go to a dentist, fearing a tracking device would be implanted in him by his father's cohorts. Most of the episode's events, like Hank going to the rodeo, remained the same, but the ending was different in that Bug, feeling Dale would reject him if he told the truth, covered his sexuality by explaining he was monitoring the gay rodeo's activities - a relieved Dale then had his father hold his hand while he went to the dentist. Also, Charles Nelson Reilly voiced the part of Bug in the original storyline.
    • Daniel Stern auditioned for the role of Dale (as did Stephen Root, who ended up voicing Bill).
    • As mentioned above, Jonathan Joss and Greg Daniels collaborated on a script which would have featured John Redcorn doing a stint as a pro wrestler who becomes Joseph's hero.note  This episode was never produced, though elements of it found their way into later episodes, notably "Vision Quest" and "Smoking and the Bandit", albeit with Dale trying to impress an oblivious Joseph rather than John Redcorn in the latter.
  • The Wiki Rule: The King of the Hill Wiki.
  • Write Who You Know
    • Mike Judge based Boomhauer's voice on a fast-talking, mush-mouthed hillbilly who left a message on his answering machine complaining about Beavis and Butt-Head, referring to it as "Porky's Bunghole". Boomhauer's line in the first episode "I been callin' y'all fer bout a month now..." is a direct quote from the voice message.
    • Stuart Dooley was based on a bully Mike Judge had as a kid who would always bluntly state exactly how he was going to bully him (he's also technically an expy of Butt-Head, who was based on the same bully).
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Chris Elliott is Chris Sizemore, Peggy's real estate boss in the later seasons; he also played at least two other jerks- Rob Holgwen, the mold guy from "After the Mold Rush", and Ed Burnett, the city councilor from "Square-Footed Monster" (the last one also had his father Bob as Edgar Hornsby and his daughter Abby in a minor role as a clerk).
    • David Herman voices just about every minor male character that isn't played by a Celebrity Voice Actor or Toby Huss. Especially whenever they're a "Twig boy" who antagonizes Hank or other characters— Anthony Page, Eustace, Lloyd Vickers, Tony Pope, etc.
    • Fred Willard played the recurring Officer Brown in later seasons, as well as the nigh-identical Park Ranger Bradley in "Phish and Wildlife".

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