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"I tell you what..."

King of the Hill is a long-running animated sitcom created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels that aired from 1997 to 2010.

In the fictional Texas suburb of Arlen lives Hank Hill (Judge), a long time salesman of propane and propane accessories who's trying his hardest to always do the right thing. A lot of the humor in the series comes from the fact that Hank's a gigantic stick-in-the-mud. His friends, who are also his neighbors, include down-and-out divorced Army barber Bill Dauterive (Stephen Root), cuckolded Conspiracy Theorist and pest exterminator Dale Gribble (Johnny Hardwick), and Boomhauer (Judge), a womanizing motormouth whose job was unknown until a last-second reveal in the series finale.

Hank's family include his wife Peggy (Kathy Najimy), a substitute Spanish teacher who is a little too prideful of her abilities; his son Bobby (Pamela Adlon), a sensitive, naive and somewhat awkward child who's far from the athletic type that Hank hoped for (though he loves him all the same); and his ditzy niece, Luanne Platter (Brittany Murphy), who fled her trailer-trash upbringing to come live with the Hills for the first few seasons. Hank also has plenty of conflicts with his father Cotton (Toby Huss), a misogynistic World War II veteran, and his uptight Laotian next-door neighbor Kahn (Huss).

One thing that stands out the most about the series is that unlike most other animated sitcoms that feature wacky or outlandish situations (e.g. The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, and all of their myriad offspring), King of the Hill attempts to retain realism by seeking humor in the otherwise conventional, making it the polar opposite of Judge's previous show Beavis and Butt-Head.

After running for numerous seasons, the show finally ended its run on Fox on September 13, 2009. Four unaired episodes were released in syndication and on [adult swim] in 2010.

The entire series is currently available on DVD and Hulu. Re-runs can also be seen on Adult Swim and FXX.

In January 2022, after months of silence, Greg Daniels and Mike Judge said they would reunite and oversee a reboot of the series through their new animation company, Bandera Entertainment. While the full extent of the series is unknown, Daniels has stated the reboot's setting will be 15 years after the original series ended. In January 2023, the reboot was officially announced on Hulu.

King of the Hill sells tropes and trope accessories of:

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  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Dale's swarm of bees in "Mutual of Omabwah".
  • A-Team Firing:
    • Dale and all of his gun club buddies are terrible shots.
    • Apparently, the Japanese soldiers who tried to take down Cotton were afflicted with this, as all they were able to do was blow his shins off, when they really should have turned him into Swiss cheese.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Hank and Peggy trying to have another child is an important plot point throughout Season 3 and is mentioned in the first episode in Season 4 before it's dropped completely - though it should be noted, it understandably was brought to an end with Peggy being paralyzed in a skydiving accident and requiring months of painful rehabilitation.
    • Luanne going to college after meeting Buckley's angel in Season 3. In Season 8, she drops out of college and goes back to hairstyling, despite Buckley's angel telling her she was meant for something better. Technically, this is a Retcon, but it also aborts the ongoing arc of Luanne getting away from her trailer trash origins. This is especially the case once she hooks up with Lucky, who Peggy points out represents the life from which Luanne was originally trying to escape.
  • Above the Influence: Boomhauer, when Luanne gets dumped and stays at his house. She thinks he's going to make a pass at her, as he has never made any secret of his womanizing ways. Instead, Boomhauer tosses a pillow and blanket on the couch for her and leaves the room without even making eye contact.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • In "Hank's Got the Willies":
      Willie Nelson: Bobby wants to play your guitar, ride your mower and swing your golf club. Seems to me that boy does have a hero, and his name is Hank Hall.
    • Hank's anger management instructor pretended to do this by misspelling his name as "Hink Hall" on his certificate. It turned out this was a final test to see if he'd properly channel his anger. He passed, but the same can't be said for "Chick" Mangione.
  • Accidental Pervert: The main plots of "Hank's Dirty Laundry"note  and "Naked Ambition"note  played with this.
  • Accidental Suicide: In "High Anxiety", this is ultimately the answer to the murder of Debbie Grund, Buck Strickland's former mistress. Debbie wanted to kill Buck for going back to Miz Liz, and she hid in a dumpster with a rifle waiting for him to pass by. After a while, she got hungry and ordered take-out, after which she tried to climb back into the dumpster while carrying her food and the rifle. You can probably figure out the rest.
  • Action Girl: Peggy can be this when she wants to be, like as a member of the Wrecking Street Crew who goes after an abandoned building, tearing it down with help in short order. It's just that she'd prefer not to.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "Arlen City Bomber", Bobby says that his dream is to eat a corn chip right off the production line. Lucky tells him "I'm gonna help you run down that dream". Lucky's voice actor had a song called "Runnin' Down a Dream".
    • Ben Stein voices a quiz bowl host in one episode.
    • Hank, like Mike Judge, is a musician, though unlike Judge, Hank never played professionally.
    • In "The Perils of Polling," Hank asks why the false identity that Dale gave him is Ecuadorian if he wasn't born in Ecuador. Mike Judge, though raised in Albuquerque, NM, was born in Ecuador.
    • Alabaster Jones was played by an actual pimp, albeit a retired one.
  • Adam Westing: The rare celebrity voice actor to appear as themself usually does this:
    • Chuck Mangione as the spokesman of Mega Lo Mart.
    • Randy Travis as a pompous, thieving Small Name, Big Ego.
    • Henry Winkler as a Cloudcuckoolander.
    • Former Texas governor Ann Richards voiced herself as a love interest for Bill. She played up some of the campaign-trail mannerisms and off-the-cuff remarks that endeared her to Democrats, but were considered gaffes outside of Democratic circles that contributed to her losing the governorship to Republican George W. Bush.
  • Adoption-Induced Pregnancy: A variation. "Pregnant Paws" revealed Ladybird was adopted by Hank to cheer Peggy up after they had initially failed to conceive a child. Playing with Ladybird de-stressed Hank and his narrow urethra enough that he and Peggy were able to have Bobby.
  • Advertising by Association: Many of the early previews mentioned, "from the creator of Beavis and Butt-Head."
  • Advice Backfire:
    • "Suite Smells of Excess" has a double-backfire version: Hank and his friends sneak into the box seats at the Texas-Nebraska football game, only to discover it belongs to a famous Nebraska player. Late in the game, the Nebraska coach calls the box to ask for advice and Hank, pretending to be the player, gives him a terrible suggestion, only for it to improbably work perfectly, costing Texas the game.
    • "Luanne Virgin 2.0" has Luanne joining an abstinence group at her church - and getting engaged to the first naïve, repressed guy she meets there so they don't have to wait. Thankfully the wedding is called off.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Hank has learned to forgive Bobby's lack of athleticism and appreciate his other skills about 37 times, and it never sticks. Maybe it's genetic, as Hank has earned the grudging respect of his father Cotton on several occasions, and that never stuck, either.
    • No matter how many times Hank learns to loosen up, this still happens a lot:
      Bobby: Hey Dad, guess what? I joined the (insert incredibly effeminate and/or non-traditional activity here)!
      Hank: BWAAAHHH!!!
    • Hank constantly forgets that Bobby is good at a few masculine sports, like shooting, football, and wrestling.
    • Hank doesn’t seem to understand that his mother's marriage to his father wasn’t the happiest period in her life, and is honestly baffled every time he’s told this. Good examples of this are when he learned that she repeatedly took odd jobs to get out of the house, and that her miniature collection was literally her Sanity Ball. It barely sinks in later in the show, where Hank believes his dad's obviously-fake story about taking his mother on a dream vacation at first, but only requires minimal prompting to understand the (quite abusive) truth.
    • Kahn and Minh quite frequently learn to respect their redneck neighbors, only to be back to their usual jerkass attitudes next episode.
    • Quintessential to this is Buck Strickland, who fails to learn that his illegal schemes will put his business at risk. By the same token, Hank, who worships Strickland, never has the Aesop sink in that his boss is an immoral jackass and that he'll always get in trouble for trying to clean up after Buck's schemes.
    • "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" has John Redcorn attempting to rekindle his affair with Nancy, even though in "Nancy Boys", John Redcorn was the one who ended the affair because he felt guilty about betraying Dale's trust after the latter helped him file a lawsuit against the government.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Earlier on, Hank affectionately calls Peggy "Peg-Leg." In later seasons, Hank loses his ability to show affection in such a way, so this is dropped.
    • Lucky calls Luanne "babygirl."
  • Airport Novel:
    • In "I Remember Mono", Peggy tells a romantic story about Hank to her friends. One of them says she could write that story into a book, put Fabio on the cover, and sell it at airports.
    • In "Ho, Yeah!", Peggy, in her efforts to educate Tammi, gives her a copy of Congo. Tammi exclaims "This is the kind of book people read in airports!" with a certain amount of awe.
  • Albinos Are Freaks: When Peggy gets a letter from a former student of hers who's currently in prison for murder, she tries to think of which of her former students could've become a killer, remarking, "I think he might've had wavy blond hair," before adding disdainfully, "Or was he that albino boy?"
  • The Alleged Expert: It probably would be easier to count the amount of people that appear on the series that aren't this. Even then, there's a chance they at least look this way at the beginning through Bunny-Ears Lawyer performances or eventually become this through Flanderization.
    • The series' pilot episode had a smug and completely idiotic Social Services agent that wanted to take Bobby away without doing the proper research about his home life (and got fired by his superior, who did). The same man appeared later working for the local welfare office, clearly having not learned his lesson, and forced Strickland Propane to hire a completely incompetent junkie (and allow him to run roughshod over the place) because he clearly didn't understand the letter or the spirit of a disability act.
    • Peggy's work is supposed to be a substitute teacher, and the writers eventually made her so incompetent yet full of herself that she once accidentally kidnapped a local child during a class field trip to Mexico.
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts:
    • Hank says fighting Chane Wasanasong must have been difficult for Bobby, because Chane must know all kinds of Oriental martial arts.
    • When Kahn becomes a hillbilly, he shows himself to be quite proficient at a distinctly non-hillbilly fighting style, besting a significantly larger man. This results in him being invited to "stick fights", where Buck assumes he has "real crafty ninja moves". Careful observers will note that Kahn is using Pencak Silat.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: Mentioned by Bobby after Cotton tells Bobby's class how he garroted a German soldier with dental floss:
    Connie: So did you kill the German corporal?
    Bobby: *snort* This was World War II, Connie. He was a Nazi!
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Minh as a young "General's daughter" in Laos was attracted to the teen rebel Kahn instead of the elitist boys her father set her up with.
    • Bobby is a gender-flipped example when he falls for Connie's juvenile-delinquent cousin from Los Angeles.
    • In a hilariously lame version of this, Peggy seems to get turned on when Hank starts driving a secret lunch truck after Arlen bans transfats in "Trans-Fascism".
  • Ambiguously Gay: When Peggy joins the PTA, one of the board members acts like a flaming gay stereotype... but is married with children. This becomes a running gag through all of his appearances - notably in "Strangeness on a Train", where he seems to be "dating" Bob Jenkins. Also his memorable line:
    "Who's gay in the PTA? Spicy!"
  • Anachronism Stew: invoked In the episode "Joust Like a Woman", Hank and Peggy visit a Renaissance fair that is stated to imitate England in 1590. The boss is "King Philip." In 1590, England had a queen. Also, the costumes for the working wenches exposes too much skin, and King Philip's outfit looks more like a medieval outfit. Peggy attempts to correct some of the inaccuracies, and that is the start of Philip disliking her.
  • "Anger Is Healthy" Aesop: The Texas Skilsaw Massacre, in this episode Hank is sentenced to anger management classes after accidentally cutting off Dale's finger. After seeing Big Jim die of a stroke caused by his uncontrolled anger, Hank takes the classes much more seriously and learns to suppress his anger. However, when he learns that his friends have a series of poorly made tunnels to connect their houses, Hank tries to calmly explain that they could get crushed inside the tunnel by an approaching garbage truck because the tunnels are only supported by a thin layer of dirt. When patiently reasoning only leads to being rudely ignored (by both his buddies and the truck driver), Hank snaps and yells angry threats of committing violence if they don't get out. This outburst actually saves his friends as they quickly get out before the tunnel collapses under the weight of the garbage truck.
  • Anti-Climax: In "Three Days of the Kahndo", Bobby and Connie buy some fireworks and want to set it off in a public place. Even after the fuse is lit, it doesn't explode, causing the duo to be bummed they wasted money on a dud. Later, during the end credits, the fireworks are again shown, with the music building to indicate that the fireworks might finally go off. Nope; they still don't go off. They really were duds.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • A few supporting characters were killed off. The first to go was Buckley,note  followed by Buck Strickland's mistress Debbie Grund,note  and finally Cotton Hill.note 
    • Bill's extended family consists of a colorful assortment of effete New Orleans layabouts. Almost all of them are either dead, institutionalized in a mental hospital, or have been revealed to be not blood-related to the Dauterives between episodes, except Gilbert (who isn't interested in marrying a woman and keeping the Dauterive bloodline alive — and probably can't anyway, since there are heavy hints that he's a homosexual).
    • Cotton's war buddies. Topsy, the creepy old guy with the balloon-face, was the last to perish before Cotton.
    • Big Jim, though he was only featured in one episode. He befriends Hank when they meet at an anger management class. At one point, he gets so angry that he ends up dying of a stroke.
    • Trip Larson's death involved him being utterly messed up in the head while trying to shape Luanne into his wife's image as seen in the products. While wearing a pig outfit and riding on an active conveyor belt (he was chasing after Luanne), he gets shocked in the head (which makes him snap out of his mental state), but he gets skewered alive and turned into human pork.
  • Anyone Remember Pogs?: Played for Drama in "Reborn to Be Wild", where Hank fears that Bobby's conversion to Christianity through a skateboarding ministry is too shallow to form a lasting faith, and will turn out to be yet another passing fad like his interest in Tamagotchi, Beanie Babies, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Appeal to Audacity: In "Hank's Back", Hank is accused of worker's compensation fraud. He can't sway the oversight board into believing him. He then brings the yoga instructor who helped him as a witness. When the instructor acts obnoxious, Hank points out that he would never spend time with a guy like that unless he absolutely had to. This is enough to convince the board that Hank is telling the truth.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: When Luanne stays over at Boomhauer's for a few nights, she assumes it is a pretext for sex and tries (unconvincingly) to let Boomhauer down gently, and is then bewildered when he puts a blanket and pillow on the couch and goes to his bedroom.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    Dale: I have dedicated my professional career to the study and control of arthropods. I have personally taste-tested each and every household insecticide. I have read a book.
  • Art Evolution:
    • During Season 1, there's a small but noticeable improvement after the pilot episode.
    • Many of the characters were tweaked to look more easy on the eyes by season 2. For example, Hank got a few less facial wrinkles starting in Season 2, and his glasses shrunk down. Also, Peggy's tank top switched from gray to green starting in Season 2, along with no longer wearing tall socks. And Bobby's face was altered to be more cheerful and less sullen. The colors also became brighter and less washed out.
    • Later seasons switched from cel animation to digital animation and some occasional CGI mixed with 2D (as seen on Futurama, Family Guy, and The Simpsons). As a result the animation became much more cleaner and on-model and the color saturation became even more vibrant than ever thanks to digital coloring. The typeface of signs suffered from this switch, as they no longer looked blended in with the animation.
  • The Artifact: Buckley still appears in the intro through the end of the series, even though he was dead since the start of season 3.
  • Artifact Title: "Hank and the Great Glass Elevator". Only the first act ties into the episode title, as it centers on Hank getting in trouble for mooning while in a glass elevator; the rest is about Bill's relationship with the former governor of Texas, Ann Richards (although mooning does come into play at the very end). Presumably the chance for such an on-the-nose Punny Title was just too good to pass up.
  • Artistic License – Biology: It's said that Hank has fertility problems caused by his narrow urethra. But in reality, the width of the urethra has little, if any, impact on male fertility. The episode "Next of Shin" clarifies that Hank also has a low sperm count, which actually is a factor on male fertility.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: In the episode "Bystand Me" Peggy, desperate to continue her streak of household tips she "borrows" from the neighbors, claims that mixing ammonia and bleach is a powerful cleaning solution. Hank, absolutely horrified by this, claims to Peggy that she just gave the recipe for mustard gas. In actuality this produces chloramine, which is still toxic and lethal in high concentrations; hence why you shouldn't mix cleaning products.
  • Artistic License – Geography: "Uh Oh Canada" depicts Boomhauer and his newfound girlfriend kayaking with mountains in the background, in a scene supposedly taking place in Ontario, Canada. In reality, Ontario lacks mountains. On a related note, the idea that Boomhauer would hook up with a French-speaker in Guelph, Ontario — while not a logical impossibility — is improbable given the demographics, and seems more the product of the writers thinking that all of Canada is bilingual when really, it's just metro Ottawa, New Brunswick and a select number of Quebec cities (Montréal and Gatineau are functionally — but not officially — bilingual). Sure, lots of Canadians are English/French bilingual, but that's like assuming that every Southern US state has residents that are all English/Spanish bilingual.
  • Artistic License – Geology: In "Uh Oh Canada," Boomhauer's French Canadian girlfriend Suzette is mentioned as having a former lover or the like that is in an aluminum mine. While Quebec is one of the largest smelters of aluminum in the world, there are in fact no bauxite (aluminum ore) mines in Canada.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Invoked in "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying", where the safety instructor for Bobby's class explains that he lost an eye and a thumb by excitedly running downrange to show off his target - presumably he got the job for being a walking example of how not to act on a firing range. He later repeats this when he sees Bobby's target, while Bobby is more concerned with proving his rifle is safe.
  • Artistic License – History: In "Harlottown," Vance Gilbert says that witches were burned at the stake in Salem, Massachusetts. In actuality, most were hanged, and one was crushed under stones. No burnings.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • "Junkie Business" gets several things wrong on the ADA. First, the law says you have to provide reasonable accommodations, not tolerate every absurdity. There is an interactive process, potentially including medical professionals, to determine what those accommodations would be. More critically, addiction is only granted limited protections compared to other medical conditions, and someone actively using alcohol or drugs would not be covered. That said, considering the welfare worker who's letting a junkie get away with all of this is the same guy who showed a clear lack of competence at investigating child-abuse claims back in the pilot episode, this might be intentional.
    • "Redcorn Gambles With His Future" shows John Redcorn trying to open a casino, only to have it shut down on the grounds that Texas Indian tribes had lost their gaming rights in exchange for Federal recognition. This is a garbled rendering of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, which actually states that Federally recognized tribes are allowed to operate gaming establishments so long as they do not offer forms of gambling which violate state laws.note  Texas tribes have resisted efforts by the state government to close down their casinos on these grounds, with some of their legal battles dragging on for decades; in June 2022, a related case reached the Supreme Court with SCOTUS ruling in favor of Indian sovereignty.
    • In "Love Hurts...and So Does Art", Hank gets the picture of his impacted colon removed from the art exhibit on the grounds of it violating Texas' law against defaming beef, but a law that would have been even more appropriate is not mentioned: a medical photograph being given to be shown in an art exhibit without the patient's permission would violate HIPAA, which was passed a few years before the episode aired.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: "Hank's Unmentionable Problem": They wouldn't do a colonoscopy without flushing your system first. Which would've rendered the entire episode pointless, since constipation was the reason he was getting one in the first place. Also, patients are most often sedated for the procedure, but of course if Hank was asleep then there would be less potential for Cringe Comedy.
  • Artistic License – Religion:
    • Junie Harper, the antagonist-of-the-day in "Hilloween", tells Luanne that Halloween was created by druids, and later gets the holiday banned in Arlen by claiming separation of church and state. That's the opposite of how separation of church and state works; even if she were right about Halloween being a druid holiday, that would mean that the state government wouldn't have the power to ban it without a very good reason. She is, naturally, also wrong about the origins of Halloween on multiple counts. Halloween is a secularized version of a Christian holiday (Allhallowtide) whose celebrations draw somewhat on ancient Celtic traditions. Also, druids were just the priests of the ancient Celtic religion, not a sect in and of themselves, let alone one that could "invent" a holiday. She goes on to host a "Hallelujah House", a Christian version of haunted houses which intends to convert by scaring patrons with images of Hell, which is based in the very wrong (but sadly, not particularly uncommon) belief that "everything I disagree with is Satanic". Such "Hallelujah Houses" are real, though.
    • Peggy was wrong to suggest Bobby might be "god to billions of Asians". A lama is more like "reincarnated prophet to millions of Tibetans," though this is pretty in-character for her, given that she's a Small Name, Big Ego (in this case especially, reacting to someone else's bumper sticker claiming her child is an honor student) and the Hills are the kind of family that wouldn't know anything about other religions, except the Christian-based ones that are prevalent in the Southern and Midwestern United States. Additionally, Hank tells the monks to stay away from Bobby and that he has no control over what they do at airports. Buddhist monks don't preach at airports; it's a Hindu sect, Hare Krishna, who are well known for doing so. In fact, Hare Krishna airport evangelism was a staple joke in comedy films until most airports banned such solicitation around the start of The War on Terror following a 1992 Supreme Court ruling. Hare Krishna members often wear saffron robes similar to Buddhist monks, and Hank likely wouldn't know the difference.
    • In "Won't You Pimai My Neighbor", the episode centers on who is supposed to be reincarnated as the next lama Sanglung following Kahn and Minh's Pimai party, the Laotian celebration of New Years following the Buddhist calendar. Given that this takes place in April, suggests that the Souphanousinphones are Theravada Buddhists, the branch of Buddhism primarily practiced in Laos. A lama is a uniquely Tibetan Buddhist concept, not Theravada, making this depiction of Buddhism grossly incorrect. Not to mention that the monks who do visit Arlen are clearly designed after Tibetan monks, not Theravada bhikkus.
    • A minor example in "Won't You Pimai My Neighbor" is during Bobby's final reincarnation test, Kahn gifts Bobby a "Buddha" statue. This figure, often misattributed as the "Fat Buddha", is not actually Buddha, as in the founder of the religion, Siddhartha Gautama, but rather "Budhai", who is a Buddha, but not Gautama Buddha. However, this makes it even worse as Budai is a figure in Mahayana Buddhism, which would not be practiced by Laotians.
    • Arlen First Methodist in one episode displayed the trademarked logo of the United Methodist Church. Its disappearance in other episodes afterwards leads one to assume that the show mistakenly believed it was a generic Methodist logo. Moreover, due to the UMC's status as the majority organization in its brand of Christianity, Methodist churches in America almost always have the word "United" before the word "Methodist."
    • In "Luanne Virgin 2.0," Luanne participates in a church ceremony to become a "born again virgin" and agrees to join a Christian abstinence outreach program. While Methodists do believe premarital sex is a sin, "born again virginity" and a heavy focus on "purity" are more characteristic of Evangelical and Baptist denominations. This one may be the product of Reverend Stroop being pretty breezy with the actual tenets of her faith, and trying desperately to be relevant to younger parishioners, though it's a little unusual for her to approach the issue by being more puritanical than her faith calls for.
  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • In "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg," both Hank's team and the teenage bullies do things that would get them thrown off the paintball range instantly in real life. No one's wearing face masks or eye protection; these are required before even stepping onto the playing field, and taking them off is an automatic DQ. There are no marshals or range masters anywhere to be seen to watch what's going on and enforce the rules. The bullies line up Hank's friends in a firing squad-style shooting; technically possible, but extremely unlikely. In a rematch, Hank and company use tape recorders, and Hank even dressed up as a range master to fool one of the teens, all of which wouldn't be allowed.
    • In the "Torch Song Hillogy" episode, there's a crisis when Hank accidentally extinguishes the Olympic flame while running with the torch. There's actually Olympic personnel with "backup flames" in lanterns. But if that fact was acknowledged, the plot or conflict wouldn't exist.
  • Art Shift: In "Bad News Bill", after the opposing baseball team starts laughing at Bobby's performance, they suddenly turn into extremely distorted caricatures as if viewed extremely close up through a wide-angle lens, with different shading than usual.
    • The dream sequence in "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret Hill" is animated with digital Ink & Paint instead of the traditional style of the rest of the episode, a full season and a half before the show switched over to it full time. This also applies to the intro and fellow Season 6 episode "Bobby Goes Nuts" and the Season 7 episode “Megalo Dale” in their entirety, as well as a scene of Bobby and Peggy walking through the house in “Board Games” and a couple of scenes in the subplot of "The Miseducation of Bobby Hill".
  • As Himself: Chuck Mangione, who's more or less a part of the supporting cast as he has so many appearances. At first, he's just the spokesman for Mega Lo Mart.note  Then he apparently moved to Arlen and could be spotted around town at various places. Unofficially this was due to the fact that his contract with Mega Lo Mart states he has to be at every store opening they hold, so he started hiding out in the one in Arlen for free as a form of revenge.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Souphanousinphones are often portrayed as shouting angrily in Lao, but it's really just gibberish. Also, Souphanousinphone isn't a real Laotian surname. In fact, it isn't even a real surname at all. It is, however, an oblique reference to Prince Souphanouvong.
  • As the Good Book Says...: In "Hilloween", Junie Harper cites Proverbs 1:32: "The complacency of fools will destroy them." Hank retaliates: "Get out of my house! Exodus!"
  • Ascended Extra: David Kalaiki-Alii's mother actually appeared in a Season 2 episode as a tax worker before she returned for when her son got his spotlight in Season 5. And she Took a Level in Jerkass.
  • Asian Rudeness: The Souphanousinphones can sometimes seem like this, especially Kahn, whose rudeness is justified when it's revealed that he's a manic-depressive and the medication he takes to curb his mood swings make him act like an ass. Likewise, Minh was raised by elitist parents, whose father, as a general in a Revolutionary Party-led country, had presumably one of the most powerful positions in the country, leading her to be raised like she's better than everyone else. This is averted with Connie though, who's friendly, patient, polite, and typically ashamed of her parents' conduct.
  • Asshole Victim: In "Après Hank, le Deluge", the refugees at the Tom Landry Middle School endlessly try to blame Hank for them supposedly thinking he destroyed their homes in south Arlen by opening the flood gates (to lessen the potential chaos of the dam breaking through a growing crack). Bill gets on this by being too much of an Innocently Insensitive person holding the Jerkass Ball.
  • Athletically Challenged: Bobby, who can't play sports to save his life, in stark contrast to his father, Hank, who was a star football running back in high school. The pilot episode has Bobby on the softball team and gets a black eye because he wasn't watching where the ball was going. Another episode has Bobby on the football team and Hank tries to talk the coach into NOT playing Bobby. Another one has Bobby on the track team and the coach using Bobby's lack of athletic abilities to motivate the rest of the team, much to Hank's chagrin.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Hank threatens and often invokes this literally to keep people in line.
  • Baby Don't Got Back: Famously, Hank Hill. There's been jokes thrown his way all through the series about his lack of ass, and at least one entire episode about it where he's diagnosed with "diminished gluteal syndrome" (which seems inspired by an actual condition). Outside the show, his small butt has been the subject of Memetic Mutation for years.
  • Bad Habits: She's not evil, but in "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret Hill", Peggy, who is desperate for a full-time teaching job, dresses and tries to pass herself off as a nun to get a teaching job at a Catholic school.
  • Badass Native: John Redcorn, when he serves as frontman for a heavy metal band. This is subverted in the same episode when he decides instead to play children's music.
  • Badass Preacher: Frequently shows up on the Spanish Soap Opera program Los Dias y Las Noches de Monsignor Martinez."
  • Band of Brothers: Hank thinks this extends to all his old football buddies. At one point, he wants to finally give up on Bill but doesn't because "a good running back never abandons his fullback." His former teammates share this sentiment - when Hank is trying to organize a state championship rematch over twenty years later, one player responds, "Hank, I live in Phoenix now. You want me to drop everything, fly back to Arlen to play a flag football game against our high school rivals? Of course I will." The only reason he moved to Phoenix in the first place was to get away from the constant yearly hazings that came afterward from their rivals. When they win the game, he's happy that he can finally move back home and "get the hell out of Phoenix."
  • Bar Brawl: Buck Strickland and his bastard son "Ray Roy" get into a good one towards the end of "What Happens at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis Stays at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis".
  • Bat Scare: This is why Dale's plan to get rich selling guano failed. Dale planned to collect bat guano to sell, so he, Bill and Boomhauer go into a cave. Inevitably, they run out screaming after waking up the bats:
    Dale: We've awakened a sleeping, pooping giant!
  • Batman Gambit: In "Lupe's Revenge", Peggy's poor grasp of the Spanish language leads to her unwittingly kidnapping a young Mexican girl. In court, her lawyer wants to use this as a defense, but Hank is afraid it'll destroy Peggy since she's convinced she's fluent in the language. He then hits upon the idea of having Peggy speak in her own defense: the judge gets to see first-hand how poor her Spanish is and realizes it was all a misunderstanding, while Peggy remains convinced that her passionate appeal was what saved the day.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Ms. Wakefield," the neighbors nag Hank and the whole family for denying Ms. Wakefield's wish to die in their house. Hank eventually relents and lets her do as she wishes to stop everyone from giving the family bad looks...only she decides to die in front of everyone during a Christmas party. They all instantly regret the choice when they start feeling incredibly awkward having her sitting and waiting to die, understanding that Hank was right about his disgust with her demand.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: In "After the Mold Rush" a Mold Inspector forces unnecessary tests and repairs on the Hill's house to test for mold that isn't there as part of a scam with Hank's insurance company. This includes damaging their property and forcing them into a disgusting motel. Hank manages to get his own certificate as a Mold Inspector and when the inspector won't back down, Hank does a test on the inspector's own house and purposely does it near Bill's toe fungus infected feet. Hank threatens to send the results to the company and they will do to the inspector's house what he did to Hank's house, forcing the inspector to leave Hank's house alone and admit that it is mold free.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Hank in "The Bluegrass is Always Greener". Connie first starts playing bluegrass with Hank and the guys because it's more fun for her than solely playing classical music, and because Hank (usually) isn't overbearing like Kahn is. At first, Hank just likes having fun playing too, but when Hank, Connie and the guys enter a bluegrass competition, Hank slowly becomes just as obnoxiously obsessed and competitive as Kahn.
    Kahn: I make sure she practice Mozart get into Van Cliburn, then Ivy League orchestra. From there, she play Paris, Rome, then I take her back to my hometown of Louangphrabang and stick it up their nose!
    Hank: That's why she ran away from you.
    Kahn: Oh?
    Hank: She'd rather play bluegrass and win this contest and then get a record deal and open up the Connie Souphanousinphone Theater and... ugh, I'm a jackass.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Hank essentially runs Strickland Propane while Buck gets drunk in the office. Both of them are aware of this, but Hank sticks around entirely out of loyalty and because he loves his job, and Buck is too self-centered to give Hank the credit he deserves.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Implying a sexual attraction to Nancy will piss Dale and Peggy off big time, as Hank learned in "Sug Night" when John Redcorn told Dale that Hank had an erotic dream about her and Dale told Peggy while trying to kill Hank because of it. John Redcorn also wasn't happy about this.
    • Never denigrate propane or suggest that charcoal is superior for grilling in front of Hank. He'll be pissed. That just ain't right. This is lampshaded in "Hank Gets Dusted" where the Jerkass Reality Show producer suggests making fun of propane to get a rise out of Hank, and Dusty, who had been trolling Hank for a long time prior to this, tells him that there are just some lines you don't cross. Bobby also mentions to his friends that Hank considers butane to be the "bastard gas".
    • Hank:
      • Don't question Texas. On a closely related subject, don't speak favorably of California or Oklahoma in front of him.
      • Don't get Arlen confused with Austin.
      • Want your ass kicked? Insult Hank's lawn or otherwise abuse it.
    • Peggy:
      • Never question her fluency in Spanish, no matter how strong the urge.
      • Don't imply that her intelligence is anything below genius.
      • Don't ever bring up the subject of her shoe size.
    • One example in "Boxing Luanne": you should never classify George Foreman's grills as a "novelty" in front of him. "Fight's on!"
    • Don't call Cotton a Nazi. Especially when his friends are nearby.
  • Bicolor Cows, Solid Color Bulls: The episode "A Rover Runs Through It" features bulls, and they're all brown. The episode "Raise the Steaks" features both a cow and a bull. The cow is black-and-white and the bull is brown. At the end of the episode, they have a baby cow that's brown-and-white.
  • Big Applesauce: Hank's true birthplace.note  He is distraught to learn it.
  • Big "NO!": Several times over the course of the series, and almost always by Hank. "Bwah!"
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Peggy's crappy Spanish is only really funny if you know the language. Her mutilated Spanish can either be funny or painful.
    • Ted Wassanasong's pronunciation of the Lao name "Ngoc" is hilariously wrong if you know Lao pronunciation, and it also drives the point home that he's a complete poser. Ironically, this is done in the episode "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?" where he criticizes Kahn for not being Lao enough.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: Parodied in "Plastic White Female" as Hank is going through the bills:
    Hank: Bills … bills … bills … why do we keep getting Bill's mail?
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: "Strangeness on a Train" reveals that Peggy has this happen to her every single year, leading her to feel like her birthday is cursed. It's mentioned that past birthdays involved flash floods, food poisoning, Peggy getting hit by a foul ball, and being robbed at gunpoint, while the one depicted in the episode is part of a Disco-themed murder-mystery party on a train. The things that go wrong include Luanne spoiling the mystery when asking about why a specific character would want to kill her and Dale announcing the murderer to the rest of the car, the train's freezer breaking (meaning no food), being stuck in dry counties (meaning no liquor), and having to deal with a rude conductor with a zero tolerance attitude. On the other hand, Hank and Peggy have sex in the bathroom, and after they get kicked off the train and end up in a bar for a Dance Party Ending, meaning it's probably the best birthday Peggy's ever had.
  • Bitter Almonds: Cotton claims that Tilly tried to poison him with a chicken laced with cyanide, which Tilly claims was just chicken almondine (chicken with almonds).
  • Bittersweet Ending: Luanne eventually overcomes her sorrow at the death of Buckley and finds the place in the world she has been so desperately seeking from the start. Unfortunately, this comes about through her marriage to Lucky, a three-toothed conman hillbilly who makes a living by suing various businesses. While Lucky is genuinely goodhearted, it doesn't change the fact that he's lazy, shortsighted, and content with barely scraping by. Thanks to her baby and lack of education, there is little doubt that she has trapped herself and her child in the same situation she fought every episode up to Lucky's arrival to escape from and avoid. Hank, however, has shown that while he does dislike the fact that Luanne was mooching off of him, he's still willing to help her wherever and whenever she needs it. This makes her modest birthday present (a little coupon for a local getaway and some advice from Hank) all the more awesome and heartwarming, since Hank basically told her so and ensured a good future for her child.
  • Black Comedy Pet Death: In the episode Hilloween, the resident busybody-ehem, Moral Guardian runs over her cat while chasing Bobby and Hank in her car. She presents his sad carcass to the town hall meeting where she gets Halloween cancelled, to cries of "poor kitty!" and a distraught man making a beeline for the doors. The comedy is more in people's reaction to her dumping him out of a cooler onto a desk in full view of everyone.
  • Black Comedy Rape: In "Return to La Grunta", Hank is raped by a dolphin. This isn't unheard of in Real Life.
  • Blackmail: In "Trans-Fascism," Hank manages to overturn the ban on transfats by threatening to release damning evidence of people eating transfats secretly at his food truck...which include the members of the very same city council's board. They all vote to overturn it (and agree to destroy the evidence because it'd be unnecessary).
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Mega Lo Mart is Walmart.
    • Frozen Cow Creamery, an over-the-top Expy of Coldstone Creamery.
    • Hank and Peggy have a date at the Pasta Garden in "Master of Puppets."
    • This line from Bobby:
      Bobby: My mom's making Pork Pockets!
    • Luly's Cafeteria for the real life Texas-based restaurant chain Luby's Cafeteria.
    • The series has an odd relationship with this, in that several other real life businesses, usually regional chains that aren't as well known outside the Southern U.S., have appeared unmodified throughout the series, such as Whataburger and Pancho's Mexican Buffet.
  • Blessed with Suck: "Peggy's Turtle Song" has Bobby having to take medication to focus in class better. On one hand, the medication ends up giving him Hyper-Awareness, which borders on Super-Senses. On the other hand, he ends up acting perpetually stoned out of his mind:
    Bobby: *sniff sniff* There some milk in the fridge that's about to go bad. *sniff sniff* And there it goes...
  • Blond Republican Sex Kitten: Luanne in some of the later seasons. Earlier on, she's the stereotypical apolitical '90s teenager. Later, she becomes even more staunchly conservative than Hank. Though, unusually for this, her values are the result of her naiveté.
  • Blood Knight: The police in the final scenes of "Dog Dale Afternoon". Arriving on the scene and mistakenly believing Dale is a sniper holed up in a tower is understandable, especially between Dale accidentally setting his stream of bug spray on fire (making it look like he's firing wildly), claiming to have taken his alter-ego Rusty Shackleford hostage, then claiming to have killed him (then claiming Shackleford wants pizza). Their refusal to consider any plan of action that is not "shoot him in the head", even after it's made repeatedly and plainly obvious that this is not the case — even after Hank has already talked him down and is coming back out with him — not so much.
  • Bluff the Eavesdropper: "The Trouble with Gribbles" centers around Dale attempting to sue the Manitoba Tobacco Company for "ruining Nancy's skin" with their cigarette smoke, so he can use the money to get her some plastic surgery. They send him a singing placard fish that's bugged in order to get proof against Dale's claim. Being the paranoid nut he is, Dale almost immediately recognizes the bug, and decides to counter-bluff them. Unfortunately, he does this in some of the saddest and most painful scenes in the series by acting like a total Jerkass towards Nancy.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Season 2 ends with Mega Lo Mart on fire while Hank, Luanne and Buckley are still inside.
  • Book Ends:
    • The pilot begins with a shot of Arlen from above, with the water tower visible. "To Sirloin with Love," the intended Grand Finale, ends with a similar shot.
    • The first line in the series is the now-famous "Yep, yep, mm hmm, yep." The last line in the original finale ("Lucky's Wedding Suit"), not counting the Deedle-Dee tag, is this as well. The show tried at this again in the actual finale, with the last in-show lines being Bobby and Hank's "yeps." This time, the tag is simply the guys saying it, instead of a quote from the episode.
    • "Soldier of Misfortune": Towards the beginning of the episode, Dale's militia group asks him to re-tell a story of heroics. Dale replies, "Again?... Gladly." At the end of the episode, the group asks Dale to re-tell how he defeated Mad Dog. Dale: "Again?... Gladly."
  • Book Safe: Of course, this one involves Peggy.
  • Boomerang Bigot:
    • Frequently Kahn, especially when he wants to a join a country club with only Asian members. Depending on the episode, he's something of a Tragic Bigot: he wants to assimilate, and it really bothers him that he doesn't fit in anywhere in his new home in America. He also hated his life in Laos (and by extension, anything that reminds him of it).
    • In "Lady and Gentrification", the hipsters that move into Enrique's neighborhood really hate white people, despite most of them being white themselves.
  • Boot Camp Episode: In "An Officer and a Gentle Boy", Cotton enrolls Bobby in a boot camp to toughen him up. It doesn't work - even after Cotton, incensed that the camp "went soft" (meaning they weren't borderline abusing the kids like in his day because of lawsuits about such abuse), takes it over and turned it back into what it used to be - but Cotton comes to embrace the fact that, in a strange way, Bobby's laziness and lack of motivation actually make him a really tough nut to crack.
  • Booze Flamethrower:
  • Boring, but Practical: Hank embodies this most of the time.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • "Hank's Dirty Laundry" has Hank watching a porno for clues in his defense against renting and not returning a porn movie. He's hunched over while writing notes when his pen runs dry and he starts shaking it for the last bit of ink, which Peggy, watching him from outside at that moment, mistakes for masturbating and yells at Bobby to get out of the house. The part with the pen was changed to Peggy freaking out over Hank being hunched over for TV airings, but the original pen part remains in the DVD version.
    • In the original version of "Joust Like a Woman," a teen at the Renaissance Faire calls King Phillip "gay" (in the insulting context meaning "stupid," which has come under fire for being politically incorrect). This scene was edited for a time on [adult swim] around the time that anti-gay bullying (and the resulting suicides) become a big issue in fall 2010. This scene has since been reinstated.
    • In the episode "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do", where Bobby befriends Connie's delinquent cousin, Tid Pao (voiced by Lucy Liu), she calls Bobby a "pig fucker" (with "fucker" bleeped out). In all reruns, including the [adult swim] version, the line is changed to "pig farmer."
    • Hank muttering "Jesus Christ!" as he watches Bill down the entire platter of hot dogs in "The Fat and the Furious" was muted on Adult Swim.
    • The season 12 episode that saw Bill date a single mother (who turns out to have an illegitimate daughter by John Redcorn) was originally titled "Three Men and a Bastard", but was renamed "Untitled Blake McCormick Project" (after the episode's writer), likely due to the use of the word "bastard" in the title.
  • The Boxing Episode: "Boxing Luanne."
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Dale seems to have a knack for putting together various words in the series. One of them involves trying to figure out the new persona Bill adopts for his job at a hair salon:
    Dale: Pirate! Waiter! Pirate waiter!
    Objection! Conjecture! Objecture!!
    Potential Pod Person, probable robot. Possible Podbot.
    You laugh now, but after a few weeks of eating nothing but irradiated cockroaches, you will be BEGGING for Gerbster!
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: Cotton was emotionally abusive to Hank, leading his son to repress most emotions. Hank tries to be a better father to Bobby, but Bobby is a very different person than Hank, and Hank ends up being somewhat abusive in his attempts to help him. While he does give genuinely good advice and loves his son, he has to relearn the same lesson (that accepting Bobby for who he is leads to a better outcome than trying to change him) multiple times a season. Hank once expressed worry that he is a bad father to Cotton who responded with this gem:
    Cotton: Oh, Hank. You ain't in competition with me! Hell, if it's a contest on who's the better daddy, you win. I mean, you made Bobby! All I made was you.
  • Breather Episode: "A-Firefighting We Will Go" is a purely comedic episode after the more serious "Pretty, Pretty Dresses".
  • Brick Joke:
    • In "Pregnant Paws," Hank asks Peggy to call up Buck Strickland, saying he's on speed-dial under "Peggy's Mother". Later on, Peggy is mad at Hank and goes to the phone: "Mom? Is it alright if I stay with you for a few days? … Oh, sorry Mr. Strickland."
    • Two in "Sleight of Hank":
      • At one point, an annoyed Hank asks Bobby if he has to be at school. Bobby replies "No." Hank asks, "What about Sunday school?" Bobby yelps. Later, Hank asks Bobby if he has any homework. Again, Bobby replies "No." Hank asks, "What about Sunday school homework?" Bobby says "Oy," and leaves.
      • At the beginning, Peggy says the only thing Bobby can see at night is Bill dancing with his mop through his window. Towards the end of the episode, Bill is seen dancing with the mop.
    • In "Little Horrors of Shop," Peggy attempts to impress her students during chemistry class by dipping a rose in liquid nitrogen and shattering it, only to accidentally throw it through the window. Later in the episode, Hank talks about the state of disrepair the school is in and asks, "Has anyone noticed that broken window in the chemistry classroom?"
    • In "The Final Shinsult", Cotton and Dale steal Santa Anna's prosthetic leg. While at the museum where it is displayed, Cotton entertains Bobby's class with a story about garroting a German soldier with dental floss, saying that it's always important to carry dental floss. Later in the episode, Dale betrays Cotton to the police and Cotton tries to strangle him with some dental floss.
    • In "Cotton Comes Marching Home," there's a throwaway brick joke where Hank and Peggy are reading the paper at breakfast, and Hank remarks that the city council has voted to remove a yield sign in town. Later, while he's driving:
      Hank: You're supposed to yield! Oh, right. Thanks Councilman Everett.
    • Layaway Ray in "Jumping Crack Bass." He is first seen burning down his bait shop for the insurance money. Later in the episode he's on trial for insurance fraud. He's seen again in "Propane Boom" working at the Mega Lo Mart with other former business owners who lost their shops to the aforementioned superstore.
    • In "Hank's Bad Hair Day", Hank flashes back to getting haircuts from his father — done with a straight razor and a Pickelhaube helmet, with little Hank saying "I think you cut off part of my ear!" Later, when Bill is describing all the unique quirks he's noticed about Hank's head over the years, he mentions that Hank's ear looks like it's missing a tiny piece; "I'm sure there's a story there."
    • In "Hank Gets Dusted," Hank advises Bobby to never ask Cousin Dusty what time it is, because he'll just respond "It's time to rock!" Later on, Dusty asks Hank if he has the time; Hank starts to check his watch, but then catches himself and refuses to answer.
    • In "Full Metal Dust Jacket", Peggy buys the lease to a bookstore. When she gets invited to a book club by the former owner, they are reading a book called A Dinner of Onions. The episode features several other characters reading it as well and trying to figure it out. Several seasons later, random characters can be seen reading the same book. It also got a film adaption in "Stressed for Success" where Bobby is watching it with DVD Commentary.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Dale in "Tankin' it to the Streets" when they find out they're stuck in an Army firing range during target practice:
    "Gentlemen, the crap has literally been scared out of me."
  • Brother–Sister Incest: invoked In "Untitled Blake McCormick Project", Bill starts dating a single mother and a distrusting Dale does a DNA test on her daughter. The results reveal that she has the same father as Joseph. Peggy notices that Joseph and the girl are growing attracted to each other, and sends Bobby to hang out with them and play third wheel in order to keep things from getting Squicky.
  • Buffyspeak: Joseph after he hit puberty:
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
    • Despite his numerous flaws, Bill is one hell of a barber.
    • Dale can be a pretty good exterminator despite being... well, Dale.
  • Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie:
    • Cotton's final wish is to have his ashes flushed down a toilet once used by General Patton before Pershing's expedition into Mexico to pursue Pancho Villa. This causes a slight continuity issue, since Cotton arranged to be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in a previous episode.
    • Cotton's other wish was for his head to be sawn off and delivered to the Emperor of Japan. Hank is distraught but hesitant to refuse his father's final wishes. Peggy lies to him, claiming Cotton rescinded that wish on his deathbed.
  • Bus Crash: Bill’s cousin Gilbert reveals to him in “Blood and Sauce” that his three Cajun cousins and Aunt Esme from “A Beer Can Named Desire” are all dead.
  • But I Read a Book About It: Dale:
    Dale: I have dedicated my professional career to the study and control of arthropods. I have personally taste-tested each and every household insecticide. I have read a book.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Junichiro, Cotton's illegitimate half-Japanese son.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Everybody casually insults and makes fun of Bill.
    • "Strangeness on a Train" shows that every single one of Peggy's birthdays goes horribly, horribly wrong. Her party getting robbed one year is the least of it.
  • Butterfly Effect: Referenced/spoofed in "Joust Like a Woman"; Dale spends much of the episode wearing a sweater with a Starfleet badge on it and acts like he and the rest have actually time-traveled to the 16th century. After Peggy bests King Philip at a joust and rides off into the sunset with Hank:
    Dale: The prime directive has been breached! Women's liberation has happened too soon! I must warn the future! (starts imitating a Star Trek teleporter)
    Bill: Take me with you! I hate it here.

  • Call-Back:
    • Season 3's "Pretty, Pretty Dresses" is named after an offhand remark Bill made in Season 2 that his father would make him wear dresses to punish him. He then says, "Pretty, pretty dresses".
    • In "Grand Theft Arlen", Hank (playing a video game) can be seen beating up a pimp who looks exactly like Alabaster from "Ho Yeah!", an episode aired two seasons before.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
  • Calling Your Attacks:
  • Camp Gay:
    • Dale's dad. He explains that he plays this up at his day job in the gay rodeo, but he's still pretty campy in his day-to-day life too.
    • When Bill decided to become a stylist, he pretended to be a stereotypically camp gay hairdresser. His customers were disgusted when they found out that wasn't the case.
  • Camp Straight:
    • Peggy's hairdresser Ernst, a fit Germanic guy who speaks in a lisping singsong voice, wildly gesticulates when speaking, wears flashy outfits... and has a wife and kid at home.
    • Bill when pretending to be Camp Gay, as mentioned above.
    • Bobby is this when he's not Ambiguously Bi.
    • Bill's all-male chorus in "It Ain't Over Till the Fat Neighbor Sings", at first it seems like they're typical effeminate theatre-loving gay men but Hank makes the one-off comment: "I noticed a lot of those chorus guys have wives." The chorus leader also stated to Bill that he's had members quit because they had to spend more time with their children or go to couples therapy.
  • Canada Eh: Inverted nearly into Personality Swap as Canadian neighbors act as Flavor 2 Eagle Land for the sake of conflict and let Hank remain Flavor 1.
  • Canon Discontinuity: An unused scene in the original series finale, "Lucky's Wedding Suit", would have revealed the episodes "Tankin' It to the Streets"* and "Yankee Hankee"* were just vivid fever dreams Bill had after eating at a Hungarian restaurant in McMaynerbury.
  • Captain Obvious: Stuart Dooley, an Expy of Butt-Head.
    • In "Chasing Bobby", as Hank is test-driving the new truck:
    Hank: Huh. "Anti-lock brakes." (impressed) That's why they didn't lock!
  • The Cassandra: You'd think every word out of Hank's mouth prior to the series was a horrible lie, considering nobody will ever listen to him until after everything's gone to hell (and that's assuming they don't immediately blame him for it).
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • In "Life in the Fast Lane: Bobby's Saga", Hank doesn't believe Bobby's complaints about his boss, Jimmy Wichard; he assumes Bobby is just whining. But Hank changes his tune at the end of the episode when Jimmy forces Bobby to cross a busy race track. Hank chases Jimmy down and kicks his ass, literally.
    • In "Texas Skilsaw Massacre", Dale, Bill and Boomhauer dig a tunnel under the street and are about to be run over by a garbage truck. They assume Hank is lying about the truck, while the driver dismisses Hank as a drunk, saying "I used to drink, too." Hank gets them to leave by threatening to cut off all their fingers and toes, then the truck crashes into the tunnel.
    • A very odd twist; in "Yard, She Blows", Bobby damages Peggy's lawn gnome and Hank, who despises it, uses this as pretext to bury it in the woods. Eventually he confesses, but tries to take all the blame. Peggy correctly guesses that Hank's covering for someone, but incorrectly believes that Bobby is entirely to blame and punishes him very harshly. At the end of the episode, Hank buys a replacement gnome and lets Bobby give it to Peggy; again, she gets this right but assumes that Hank was taking pity on Bobby rather than trying to salve his own guilt.
    • In "Dia-BILL-ic Shock", Bill becomes diabetic and accepts the fact that his life will change for the worse. When he meets a new friend in the park, said friend gets Bill to take control of his life and have a more active lifestyle, even though the two of them are in wheelchairs. Bill does so for a while and manages to become healthy enough to the point where not only he can walk again, but his diabetes has vanished. When Bill's friends find out about this, they assume he actually lied about having diabetes in the first place and are angry with him. On top of this, Bill is shunned by the same women that loved him when he was in a wheelchair. Bill gets depressed and tries to ingest a bag of sugar to induce a diabetic blood sugar spike since he thinks people liked him better handicapped and would listen to him then. Luckily, Hank manages to stop Bill in time and give him a heart to heart talk. The doctor told him he'd just end up in a wheelchair and that he's a lost cause, he could always walk, but the diabetes were real, he had two diabetic shocks in a short amount of time.
  • Cat Fight: Bill's three Cajun cousins (one by blood, two by marriage), all while wearing lingerie. They were voiced by the Dixie Chicks.
  • Cats Are Mean: In "The Petriot Act", Hank gets very excited about housing a dog from an army soldier after watching Bill and his guest dog having a great time. As fate has it, he gets a cat named Duke that...
    • ...arrives a little earlier, preventing the Hills from going on a planned vacation.
    • extremely violent and has it out for anybody (especially Hank) that isn't a pet doctor.
    • very messy and territorial.
    • ...has no fear of dogs, so that keeps Hank from convincing the soldiers to take it away.
    • ...drives Hank to pay for expensive medical bills from lousy doctors trying to give him the very best methods to calm him down, which happen to be expensive and he doesn't know any better.
    • ...eventually, makes the Hills cancel their vacation once they finally get rid of him for good.
  • Caught in a Snare: Hank and Boomhauer get snared, and Bill trips the wire for one but is too fat for the tree to pull him up. He removes the foot-lasso and runs to get help but falls into a pit trap instead.
  • Celebrity Paradox: At one point in “The Redneck on Rainey Street,” Kahn’s redneck friend Elvin Mackelston wants to steal the new Trace Adkins CD. Take a wild guess on who Elvin’s voice actor was.
  • Central Theme: One such theme is Hank's struggle to bond with Bobby; this is resolved at the very end, when Bobby demonstrates the ability to judge and grill cuts of beef well.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • Hank has:
      • "Dang it, Bobby."
      • "I sell propane and propane accessories."
      • "I tell you what..."
      • "Shut up, Dale."
      • "Damn it, Dale!"note 
      • "I'm gonna kick your ass!"
      • "That boy ain't right."
      • "BWAAAHHH!!!"
    • Dale has:
      • "S'go!"
      • "Sh-sh-sshhaa!"
      • "Wingo!"
      • "Gih!"note 
    • Peggy has:
    • Boomhauer often started sentences with: "Yo man, I tell you what man …" before going on an almost incoherent, fast-talking rant. Lampshaded in Boomhauer's flashback in "A Firefighting We Will Go", in which Boomhauer himself, normally The Unintelligible, is actually intelligible and the other three are speaking gibberish consisting mostly of their catchphrases.
    • Cotton has "I killed fitty men!"
    • Monsignor Martinez has: "Vaya con Dios."
    • Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer have: "Yep." "Yep." "Yep." "Mm-hmm."note 
    • Principal Moss says variants of "My hands are tied" whenever describing why he made a decision regarding school policy.
  • Character Development: Bobby initially aspired to be a prop comic. By the last few seasons, he more favored observational humor.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • In the early seasons, Luanne is not nearly the ditz she is by the end of the show. Seeing her grab Cotton by the wrist and snarl at him to never touch her again is wildly out of character of her later on. Heck, in early episodes, she was such a competent mechanic that Hank allowed her to touch his truck unsupervised. By the second season she became far less competent.
    • Peggy goes from a down-home Texas homemaker who understood Spanish and spoke a decent amount of it (in the pilot, she says, Los estudiantes son mis amigos ["The students are my friends"]) to a Small Name, Big Ego who was terrible at speaking Spanish by the end of the third season.
    • Hank and Cotton's relationship changed radically after the first season. Originally, Cotton was portrayed as a boisterous, short-tempered, and sexist old man who was on good terms with his son, to the extent that he sabotaged his own car just so he'd have an excuse to stay at Hank's house longer. Starting with Season 2, Cotton was portrayed as being a verbally abusive parent who had zero respect for Hank, though it could be chalked up to the fact that Hank chose his wife over his father during the climax of "Shins of the Father," and Cotton being Cotton, probably hasn't forgiven him for it. If he can't let go of the fact that Japanese soldiers shot his legs off, then he probably can't let go of the fact that his own son betrayed him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The cigarette Dale lit off the Olympic torch, coming back into play when the torch was dropped later on in the episode.
    • In "The Buck Stops Here", Buck briefly mentions having a son in another state "named...Ray, or Roy or something." It's not until several seasons later that we actually meet his illegitimate son, Ray Roy.
    • Bobby's aiming skills - in Season 4, when Dale and Hank think he shoots Ladybird and misses, Bobby actually aimed at a raccoon.
    • Minh actually becoming somewhat friendly with Dale — later episodes would show her at least on friendly terms with Dale.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Connie and Bobby until they broke up.
  • City People Eat Sushi: In one episode, Bobby tries to impress a girl from Los Angeles by taking her to a new sushi place. He even remarks "You may have thought we're too hick to have a sushi place in Arlen, and a month ago you'd be right." His date was able to tell the fish came from a can just from tasting one piece.
  • Chocolate Baby: Joseph, clearly fathered by John Redcorn during his long-standing affair with Nancy. Of course, Dale never figures this out. Everyone else knows, but won't tell Dale (though John Redcorn admitted to dating "his best friend's wife" during a reality show taping, but Dale thought John Redcorn was talking about Bill's wife). When he does figure out that he couldn't possibly have been there on the night Joseph was conceived, he immediately concludes that Joseph is the result of an alien impregnating Nancy in her sleep. Then he and Joseph convince themselves the aliens must have used Dale's own semen.
  • Christian Rock: Satirized in "Reborn to Be Wild". As Hank tells the musicians, "You're not making Christianity better, you're making rock and roll worse!"
  • Christmas Episode: "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying", "Pretty, Pretty Dresses", "'Twas the Nut Before Christmas", "The Father, the Son and J.C.", "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane", and "Ms. Wakefield".
  • Cliffhanger: Naturally occurs for the two-part episodes:
    • "Propane Boom": Ends with the Megalo Mart exploding, with Hank, Luanne, and Buckley unaccounted for.
    • "As Old As the Hills": Ends with Peggy's parachute not opening and Hank watching her hit the ground after falling hundreds of feet.
    • "Hanky Panky": Ends with Peggy coming across Debbie's body in the dumpster behind Sugarfoot's: "Someone... shot... Debbie!"
  • Clown School: Bobby attends a clowning class at the local college. He's disappointed to learn that the class teaches Commedia dell'Arte-type clowning instead of circus clowning, and the teacher takes it very seriously.
  • Clueless Aesop: A number of conflicts in the series are effectively resolved by blackmail. This is understandable in cases where this is done towards the corrupt people that screwed over the Hills in the first place. But then you get scenarios like Hank threatening to empty Reverend Stroup's congregation, by steering them towards a megachurch, unless he gets his preferred seating.
    • A number of episodes also end on the Aesop "conformity is good." Especially episodes where Hank encourages Bobby to give up some unorthodox new calling or interest on the grounds that Bobby will get bullied or ostracized for it, Hank is worried how Bobby's new hobby will make him look to the neighbors, or Hank steers him toward a socially acceptable alternative hobby (like grilling instead of baking).
    • The show flip flops on how Hank deals with Peggy’s Pride having him either feed into her delusions when she does things like accidentally kidnapping a Mexican child, or nearly gets herself arrested for smuggling drugs into prison, or having him put his foot down, only for him to turn out to be wrong. These instances are treated less as Peggy Crying Wolf and more as Hank being in the wrong for not believing in her.
  • Cold Open: The pilot episode, "Order of the Straight Arrow," "Three Days of the Kahndo," "Life in the Fast Lane: Bobby's Saga", "Good Hill Hunting", "To Spank with Love", "The Bluegrass is Always Greener," and "Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story." Definitely more common in earlier episodes.
  • Comic-Book Time: Notable here because nobody ever gets any older, yet at one point, Hank explicitly says that Luanne had been in school for two years by that point, giving a definite amount of time that has passed. Bobby is a rather weird example, in that he does age a bit over the first two seasons, but then that growth is suddenly paused, allowing for both Connie and Joseph, who are both younger than him, to go through puberty long before him. This is at least partly explained by Bobby being a late-bloomer, but it still gets odd in the final season, when Hank's comment on having waited "thirteen years" to hear Bobby take an interest in something refers to both Bobby's in-story age and how long the show had actually been airing.
    • Further, an unused scene in "Lucky's Wedding Suit" (which was planned to be the original series finale) would have revealed the entire 11 seasons up to that point had taken place over the course of a single year, despite the numerous holiday episodes and such.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Connie's attempts to get impressive experiences for her private school application by shadowing Peggy is going poorly:
      Connie: Dang it, Mrs. Hill! I've seen the test scores for Arlen High. If I have to go there, my only options will be DeVry or the University of Phoenix. Which one, Mrs. Hill?
      Peggy: Well, on the radio they both sound like good institutions, but...
      (Connie glares at Peggy)
    • In "Unfortunate Son", Peggy makes a parade float for Veterans Day consisting of three skeletons raising a Jolly Roger flag in the Iwo Jima Pose, with "THE FUTILITY OF WAR" on the sides of the float. She apparently had no idea that the veterans at said parade would find it incredibly offensive. Originally her float was a standard Iwo Jima pose, but she changed it when Cotton refused to lend her his medals (though he did offer to rent them for $400 a day), because authentic medals would apparently add a special element to it... even though such a detail would go unnoticed and the actual men involved weren't wearing medals at the time (the flag was raised during combat on the fifth day of the 35-day Battle of Iwo Jima).
    • Dale on several occasions almost realizes either that something has been going on between Nancy and John Redcorn, or that Joseph isn't his real son, but then has his logic veer off in a direction where regular human logic could not have possibly taken him. For instance, in one episode he does realize Joseph isn't really his son, but concludes the "real" father was aliens that used his own seed. In another, while trying to make Joseph have a spiritual vision on John Redcorn's advice, Dale ends up having a vision of a Native American man in a massive Indian headdress making love to Nancy, and then Nancy giving birth to Joseph who is wearing the same headdress, and immediately comes to the conclusion that it means he himself is a Native American.
    • When told that trans fats are being restricted for health reasons, Bill concludes that means even still fatty trans free foods are healthy and stops eating with any restraint. He's eating in every scene and gradually gains weight through the episode until Hank confronts him with the fact that all his eating has made him unhealthier.
  • Comical Overreacting: Hank, upon finding out Peggy and Bobby grilled using charcoal instead of propane in "Hank and the Great Glass Elevator":
    Hank: You brought charcoal into our house!
    Peggy: I didn't know what it was. Luanne asked me to hold it for her. I thought it was drugs.
    Hank: There's soot under my boy's nails! You don't get that from a clean-burning fuel.
    Bobby: You don't get the rich smoky flavor, either.
    Hank: Shut your mouth. Now, we're gonna sit here and pray. (holds hands with Peggy and Bobby and shuts his eyes)
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: One of the most intense ones was in "Texas City Twister": A worried look on Hank's face as he drove towards the gigantic tornado that was careening towards Luanne's trailer, where she and Peggy were.
  • Companion Cube:
    • Hank and his truck. Especially in "Chasing Bobby", where he actually cries at the thought of it dying.
    • Hank's love of propane to the point of him affectionately calling it "Lady Propane" in a few episodes. In "Sug Night", it is almost implied that he has a fetish for it.
  • Confirm Before Reveal: In Season 12 "Suite Smells of Excess", Hank and his friends take Bobby to watch a college football game and Bobby leaves to buy a drink at the concession stand. While watching the game, Dale, watching the game through his binoculars because they're all seating in the last row of stadium, asks Hank if Bobby knows an oil tycoon or a Saudi prince. When Hank responds with a confused look, Dale reveals he sees Bobby sitting in a luxury box by himself and Hank goes to the box to see why Bobby is there.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Buck talks about a son he may have named Ray Roy in season 5's "The Buck Stops Here", whom he meets in season 13's "What Happens at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis Stays at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis" and calls by the same name (despite it not being his actual name).
    • Peggy mentions offhand in one of the first seasons that she had never kissed a man until she was 20, and even then he was gay. Many seasons later, she reveals that man was also the first person she ever slept with.
    • In "Now Who's the Dummy?", Hank is making a ventriloquist dummy for Bobby modeled after various football players; one of his reference pictures is David Kalaiki-Alii, from the episode "Peggy Makes the Big Leagues".
    • Mrs. Kalaiki-Alii appears as the Hill's insurance adjuster when Hank has a deal with his accident with Kahn in "Traffic Jam".
    • In "Grand Theft Arlen", the Pro-Pain video game has a virtual reproduction of Alabaster Jones from "Ho Yeah".
    • In "Not in My Back-hoe", Hank and his new friend Hal visit a revolving hardware store in McMaynerberry and Hal mentions it used to be a restaurant. Hank and Peggy ate at that restaurant for their 20th wedding anniversary in "As Old as the Hills."
    • In "Leanne's Saga", it's mentioned that Luanne's dad is "hiding on an oil rig" and won't come ashore until Hank faxes him Leanne's death certificate. A few seasons later, when he makes an appearance, it's explained that the oil rig was a lie and Luanne's father really was in jail (and, if he commits one more crime, he'll be there for life).
    • Bill orders meat from Larson Pork Products for his barbecue in "Blood and Sauce." That's fairly disturbing if you remember "Pygmalion."
  • Continuity Porn: The original series finale was initially going to be Luanne's wedding, which explains why the episode's closing scene featured characters throughout the series who only appeared in one or two episodes attending the wedding. The show was greenlit for more seasons and the actual final episode is the episode where Hank discovers Bobby's talent for identifying flaws in cuts of beef, puts him on the meat inspection team at the local community college, and when Bobby wins, the two have a celebratory barbecue in their backyard. The only continuity porn we get are the neighbors coming over for a barbecue.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Cotton's Cadillac. The body style changes every time it appears. Most times it resembles a Cadillac Eldorado, either an early '70s or a mid '80s model, sometimes it resembles a Fleetwood sedan, and at least twice it was a convertible.
    • Hank's truck. In some episodes, it resembled a 1980s Ford Ranger and other times it resembled a late '90s Ford F-150. It would also have an automatic transmission in some episodes and a manual in others.
    • The writers can't seem to agree on what Lucky went into the Costco to do. The only consistent detail of that story is slipping on pee in the bathroom.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In "Jumpin' Crack Bass", a judge with a preference towards "creative" punishment presides over a car thief's trial. He sentences the thief to 90 days in the cab of pickup since he liked trucks so much and reasons if he went to prison, he would just learn how to be a better car thief. For added measure, he orders the truck be a foreign make.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Dale goes into this on regular occasions. Subverted at one point — his duty on a suicide watch involves threatening to kill whoever's being watched. The shock of it actually works.
  • Couch Gag: A soundbite from each episode is played over the production company's title card. Often the quotes are taken out of context for added humor, such as "Hank Gets Dusted", whose quote is Hank saying, "It's time to rock". In context, he was warning Bobby not to ask Dusty Hill what time it was, because that would be his inevitable answer.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: Dale has lit a cigarette on a variety of weird things, including:
    • The Olympic torch. This became a plot point when the actual torch was accidentally extinguished later on.
    • An engine fire.
    • A fake volcano in Las Vegas.
    • He claims to have used two rocks while camping.
  • Credit Card Plot: Done in the episode "Rich Hank, Poor Hank" where Bobby thinks Hank is wealthy and overly thrifty, so he decides to steal his credit card and buy a ton of stuff with it.
  • Credits Jukebox: Most episodes used the usual ending theme (a slightly different version of the opening), but a few episodes had different music:
    • "The Final Shinsult" has the National Anthem of Mexico over narration about Santa Anna's leg.
    • "Hank's Dirty Laundry" played the theme in a porn style.
    • "Hank's Cowboy Movie" played "Go You Dallas Cowboys, Go!"
    • "Ho Yeah!" played the theme in a 1970s blaxploitation (think Shaft) style.
    • "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane" has a parody of the song "Convoy" by CW McCall.
    • "Harlottown" has a melody used earlier in the episode.
  • Cringe Comedy: Any post-Season 2 scene or episode centering around Peggy will take this up to eleven, given that she is Small Name, Big Ego incarnate, but really, you could say quite a bit of the show involves either characters getting embarrassed or, if they're slow on the uptake, the audience getting embarrassed for them.
  • Crossover: With Silver Surfer: The Animated Series of all things during the "Head For The Hills" promotion with Fox Kids.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Dale actually often appears to be one, even though his extreme paranoia and tendency to panic and overreact can normally make him look like The Ditz. He will often manage to devise surprisingly efficient solutions (of course, more often than not, they are solutions to problems which he had caused in the first place), and was occasionally portrayed performing some remarkable feats, including infiltrating a heavily guarded military base, learning fluent Russian with nothing but a correspondence course, and being able to successfully drive an M1A2 Abrams on the first try after only reading its manual.
    • Bobby somewhat exemplifies this, being a mediocre student but a pop culture whiz, excellent cook, crack shot and expert at grading meat.
  • Crying Wolf: In "Peggy's Fan Fair", Peggy discovers that Randy Travis recorded a song with lyrics she herself had written and mailed to him. Unfortunately, Peggy is such a Know-Nothing Know-It-All who enjoys taking credit for other people's work that nobody believed it was true. Not even Hank.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In You Gotta Believe (In Moderation), Hank plays against The Ace of Diamonds and his Jewels, a Harlem Globetrotters-style entertainment baseball team that consists of former MLB players. For whatever reason, Hank thinks that Ace is sick of the comedy-style of baseball he's built his career on and tries to actually play seriously against him, as opposed to playing along with his shenanigans. After Hank scores a point against him, Ace realizes that Hank's team is actually playing to win, so he returns the favor. The result is exactly what you'd expect from a team of former MLB players going up against a small-town amateur softball team. It ends in a humiliating 83-1 blowout in Ace's favor.
  • Cultural Personality Makeover: In "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?", Kahn gets a pool as a way to impress Ted Wassanasong, but is alarmed after Ted criticizes him for being too Americanized and calls him a "banana" (yellow outside, white inside). Afterwards, Kahn goes to extremes in making his family reconnect to their Laotian roots, e.g. turning their new pool into a reflecting pond and only eating Laotian dishes, much to their frustration. However, when he's talked into joining a guerilla squad planning to overthrow the communist government, he remembers he left Laos because he wanted to escape people telling him how to live, so he tells Ted off and embraces his American lifestyle again.
  • Cultural Posturing: Usually Kahn and Minh complaining about the "dumb hillbillies" they have as neighbors, while ignoring how much they neglect their own culture.
  • Cure Your Gays: In "Luanne Virgin 2.0", Peggy admits that before she met Hank, she slept with a gay male friend in an attempt to "fix" him. This is presented more sympathetically than most examples, as the man was the one who asked because (as Peggy puts it), being gay in Texas in the '70s wasn't exactly a lot of fun. When Luanne asks "Did you fix him?", Peggy responds "Oh, he wasn't broken. Just gay."
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • In "The Order of the Straight Arrow", Bobby and Joseph are camping in the backyard and Bobby says, "Fuh-" That instant, Peggy pulls open the tent and cuts Bobby off.
      Bobby: I was going to say "Fuh … get about it."
      Peggy: Bobby, Peggy Hill knows half a swear word when she hears one.
    • In "The Company Man":
      Thatherton: M.F. Thatherton.
      Hank: The "M.F." stands for …
      Thatherton: "My friend".
    • In another episode, Bobby says "In school they told me that you're not supposed to call them Indians. You're supposed to call them Native Americans. Just like you say 'same-sex partners' instead of …" and is immediately cut off by both parents delivering a First-Name Ultimatum.
    • In "Escape from Party Island":
      Hank: (behind a vehicle) "How am I driving?" Mom, take down this number. "1-800-E, A, T, S, H"... uh, never mind.
    • In "The Little Horrors of Shop", Hank and his shop class are fixing up a bathroom at the school. Hank comes across an infamous poem graffitied in one of the stalls.
      Hank: "Here I sit broken hearted, came to..." Ugh, who's got a cordless power sander?
  • Cut Short: Not the show itself, which is a Long Runner, but the DVD releases ended after Season 6 due to low sales (the entire series, however, is available for purchase on iTunes). However, in 2014, the DVD releases resumed under a new company and beginning with Season 7.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Minh was the daughter of a general in her native Laos, and enjoyed terrorizing the peasants.
  • A Day in the Spotlight: Most of the supporting cast get a few episodes focusing on them:
    • Boomhauer: "Dang Ol' Love," "Patch Boomhauer," and "Four Wave Intersection."
    • Kahn, Buck, and Cotton have enough focus episodes that they could almost count as main characters.
    • Nancy has "Nancy Boys," "Spin the Choice," "Gone With the Windstorm", and "Hair Today, Gone Today" among others.
    • Minh: "Board Games" and "The Minh Who Knew Too Much."
    • John Redcorn: "Spin the Choice," "Vision Quest," and "Redcorn Gambles with His Future."
    • Reverend Stroup: "Revenge of the Lutefisk" and "Passion of the Dauterieve."
    • Principal Moss: "Bill Gathers Moss."
    • Monsignor Martinez (or the actor who plays him): "Flirting With the Master."
    • Debbie: "Hanky Panky."
    • Donna: "Lost in MySpace."
    • Enrique: "Enrique-cilable Differences" and "Lady and Gentrification."
  • Death Seeker: "Ms. Wakefield" focuses on the titular elderly woman, who used to live in the Hill house, returning because she wishes to die there. The Hills are aghast by her request and try their hardest to get her to leave. However, Hank is treated as the Designated Villain by the neighborhood for supposedly tormenting a harmless old woman. By the end, Hank decides to let her have her way and offers her permission to die during the Hills' Christmas party. Ms. Wakefield concedes that it's not an appropriate time, and Hank offers that she can come back again whenever she wants instead.
  • Decade-Themed Party: In "Strangeness on a Train", Peggy plans her birthday party on a train: a murder mystery theatre train ride combined with 70's disco theme. Hank is not sure it's such a great idea, especially the disco part, but agrees with it to make Peggy happy. Their friends show up in their disco outfits, as well as most of the actors (but those have also costumes for their roles in the play). The episode ends with a small impromptu disco-themed party at a random bar. The bartender hangs up a disco ball and finds an appropriate soundtrack.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: "A-Firefighting We Will Go": Hank blames Chet Elderson for inadvertently burning down the firehouse. Dale was really at fault (for plugging in a malfunctioning beer sign).
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Luanne trying to flirt with customers for tips in "My Hair Lady":
      Luanne: Your hair is so sexy! It reminds me of ... Sex.
    • In "Pregnant Paws", Dale attends a bounty hunter class. The teacher begins by saying: "All right, we don't have much time, so let's get right to it." He then puts in an instructional videotape taught by the same teacher, which begins with him saying, "All right, we don't have much time, so let's get right to it."
    • Bobby showing his modelling shots to Hank in "Husky Bobby":
      Bobby: That's the one that's gonna be in tomorrow's paper tomorrow.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Hank Hill veers between the Only Sane Man standing up to obnoxious twig boys and bureaucrats, and a hopelessly outdated man completely adrift dealing with the modern world, almost between episodes. In fairness, the writers seem aware of this and often try to find a middle ground.
    • Dale as an exterminator. Sometimes he's a bunny ears exterminator, while other times he's incredibly incompetent to the point where it's life-threatening.
    • The relationship between Hank and Kahn always flip-flops between being friends, enemies, or in-between.
    • Bobby's maturity. Sometimes he tries his best to act like a young-adult, while other times he's a full on Kiddie Kid.
    • Dale's gun club regarding gun safety. In one episode, they elected their president with "all those in favor, fire once into the ground!". However, in another episode, Dale was shunned by the gun club after him recklessly playing with a gun resulted in an accidental discharge.
    • Boomhauer. In some episodes, he is the Only Sane Man who either distances himself (or is never brought into) the weird situations that Hank&Co are in - but in others, he happily follows Dale and Bill into obviously stupid situations (Such as taking the propeller off of a boat for no apparent reason).
    • The circumstances of Bill's divorce. It's either his fault because he's a fat lazy slob or he turned into a fat lazy slob because his marriage was terrible and was doomed from the start. The writers really couldn't decide and it's jarring that they apparently still couldn't decide even after Lenore turned out to be a manipulative shrew who forced her way into Bill's life because he was prom king with someone else and only came back because he was with Ann Richards at the time.
    • Arlen alternates between having Shady Pines and Shiny Pines as a trailer park.
    • Cotton jumps between being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Jerk with a Heart of Jerk every episode with little to no in-between. Unfortunately, he died firmly in the latter.
  • Deranged Animation: The show is mostly grounded in reality, but on the occasion that a character has a nightmare/daydream, things can get pretty trippy. This is especially true in "Plastic White Female" and "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg".
  • Did You Die?: In "Nancy Boys", Dale helps out John Redcorn, but has to lie to Nancy and tells her he was at the gun club playing Russian Roulette:
    Nancy: Did you win?
    Dale: You're not really familiar with the game, are you?
  • Didn't Think This Through: In "Smoking and the Bandit", Bobby and Joseph decide to emulate the Smoking Bandit by becoming the "Math Test Bandits" which has them refusing to take a math test and walking out of class. Once they do that, they have no idea what they're supposed to do next.
  • Disaster Dominoes: In "Peggy the Boggle Champ", Bobby and Luanne go to extraordinary lengths to clean up a drop of varnish that accidentally gets on the carpet, up to and including hiring a full-on cleaning crew. When Hank and Peggy come home from their vacation, Hank mistakes the men working for a Wild Teen Party, while Peggy grounds Bobby and Luanne.
  • Disney School of Acting and Mime: Discouraged by creator Mike Judge; he was the opinion that animated characters who moved their arms around while talking looked "effeminate".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: This is the main plot of "Cops and Robert" when Hank accidentally steals a man's wallet because Hank thought he just pickpocketed him. The man, Barry Rollins, is a timid pushover who lets people walk all over him, and when Hank takes his wallet, Barry decides he's tired of being a victim and chases Hank across town with a baseball bat when he comes to Barry's house and tries to give the wallet back.
    • Hank’s action in "An Officer and a Gentle Boy" is treated as this. After another instance of Like Father, Unlike Son’ Hank sends Body to his fathers old military academy’ a place he’s been told all of his life is a Boarding School of Horrors that turned Cotton to who he is today. Peggy initially thought he was joking when he told her only to become horrified when she realized that wasn’t the case.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: From "Plastic White Female":
    Hank: You're just using this head as a crutch.
    Bobby: It's not a crutch, Dad. It's something I've come to rely on to help me through life.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Hank catches Bobby smoking and punishes him by making him smoke the whole carton until he pukes. But during the punishment, he also feels compelled to correct Bobby's smoking technique: "Whatever you do you should do right, even if it's something wrong."
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • In "Hank and the Great Glass Elevator", Peggy and Bobby try out charcoal and do their best to hide it from Hank. When he finds out, the scene is treated like a father finding his child with drugs, complete with Peggy giving the "I was holding it for a friend" excuse. Peggy outright says "I thought it was drugs!"
    • In the Christmas Episode "Livin on Reds, Vitamin C, and Propane," the friendly trucker who helps out Hank and the others toward the end is a portly fellow with a red shirt and a white beard. Sound familiar?
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The Souphanousinphones' West Highland Terrier is named "Doggy".
  • Domestic-Only Cartoon: Only the pilot pitch, which was animated by Heart of Texas Productions.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: In "Take Me Out of the Ball Game":
    Coach: Like I tell my gym class, girls can't play sports.
    Thatherton: At least I've found one who can get it over the plate, if you know what I mean. (coach stares blankly) I'm having sex with her. (coach and Thatherton laugh)
  • Double Entendre: In "Happy Hank's Giving", Nancy tells Dale that maybe she should see John Redcorn to the gate and make sure he gets off OK.
  • Double Standard: Hank gives this as his answer when Bobby asks why it's considered okay for a guy to have had sex, but not a girl:
    Hank: It's called the "double standard", son, and don't knock it. We got the long end of the stick on that one.
  • The Dragon:
    • Emily, the 12 year old hall monitor at Tom Landry Middle School, is this to Principal Moss. She takes the job dead serious.
    • "The Exterminator" had Dale as the very eager Dragon to Amy Pittman, the manager of Stik-Tek, who was trying to downsize after a disastrous product rollout.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty:
    • Cotton is this to Peggy when he coaches her back through rehabilitation following her skydiving accident. He even tells her that if she can walk up the cemetery hill where his burial plot is located, she can dance with him on his grave. She does make it, and they do.
    • Hank becomes one in Dale's imaginary version of past events, complete with an immaculate uniform and a Smokey hat.
    • Cotton again in flashbacks of Hank's childhood:
      Hey! Shakey! Close the other eye before I poke it out!
  • Dumb Blonde: Luanne and Didi. Didi moreso in all of her appearances. With Luanne, it zigzags. Yes, she does come off as a Brainless Beauty, but then, you have episodes like "Boxing Luanne," "Pigmalion," "Shins of the Father," "The Good Buck," and "Lucky See, Monkey Do" where it shows that Luanne has a brain in her head and, with some encouragement, can use it.
  • Dumb Jock: Deconstructed in "Peggy Makes the Big Leagues" with David Kalaiki-Alii, the high school's star running back. David is neither dumb nor a jerk, merely lazy and spoiled. After his mother embarrasses him by telling Hank and Peggy he's learning disabled, David takes his studies seriously and proves to be a good student.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Cotton makes four minor appearances in flashbacks and dreams before his proper introduction in "Shins of the Father."
    • Lucky first appears as one of Kahn's redneck friends in Season 8's "The Redneck on Rainey Street" before becoming a reoccurring character in the middle of Season 9.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The later seasons were more energetic. The first few episodes are really laid back, with a bit of difference in the characters' speech as the actors "found" their voices. Hank has more of a temper (he spends an early-season Halloween episode urging Bobby to commit minor acts of vandalism and the pilot episode had him accused of beating his son after Bobby comes home with a black eye he got during a baseball game when he got hit by a line drive while standing on first base), Luanne is viewed as an Idiot Savant when it comes to auto repair, and Peggy is actually sane and has an okay grasp on the Spanish language. Conversely, the Season 1 episode "King of the Ant Hill" features Bobby getting hypnotized by a fire ant queen. This sort of surreal humor would become less common on the show in later seasons.
    • Hank in later seasons is so loyal to propane that he refuses to go near anything else to the point where he's outraged that Buck Strickland has an electric stove in his house and was disappointed in Peggy and Bobby for eating charcoal-grilled burgers behind his back. But in Kahn's debut episode, Hank tries a burger cooked by mesquite and actually enjoys it.
    • In early seasons, Strickland Propane had a lot more employees, most of them being nameless background characters. But as the series progressed, the Strickland team was cut down to just being Hank, Joe Jack, Enrique, Donna, and occasionally Roger. Joe Jack and Enrique were also just bobtail drivers early on, but later became regular office workers, with the former actually serving as a rival sales person to Hank in one episode.
  • Easily Swayed Population: The population of Arlen seems to have this in spades, as Hank and his friends and family seem to need to pull their town out of mistakes they have latched onto.
  • Education Mama: Gender Flipped in that it's Kahn who's really hard on Connie, not so much Minh.
  • Election Day Episode:
    • Hank is unsatisfied with some laws passed by the Arlen city council and thus decides to run for a seat. However, when he goes to file for his campaign, he's informed that there's a vacancy and he wins it by default.
    • "The Perils of Polling" centers around the 2000 presidential election. Hank faces a crisis of conscience after finding out that his hero, George W. Bush, has a weak handshake.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: In "Traffic Jam":
    Booda: 'Sup, Boom-Boom.
    Glen: I told you never to call me that.
  • Enter Stage Window: This is how Bobby comes over to Connie's room, because Kahn can't stand him.
  • Epunymous Title: In both the English and Spanish translations. In the English translation, Hank is "King of the Hill" family. In Spanish, Hank goes by "Hector Reyes" ("Reyes" means "kings" in Spanish) and the show is called Los Reyes de la Colina.
  • Erotic Dream: Hank has a series of them about Nancy, which squicks him out, until he realizes the dreams were more about him being at peace while he grills burgers and have nothing to do with being sexual.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: Dale once used a pirate radio station to ask viewers if they had ever seen any proof that Hawaii was real.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Dale stands up to Peggy when she gains a reputation as "Paddlin' Peggy". Her spur of the moment spanking of Dooley gains her a reputation as a fearsome disciplinarian, which goes to her head and causes her to almost hit Dale's son, Joseph, for stealing her paddle. Dale intervenes and says he took it, because "Somebody had to stop [her]!"
    • In "The Perils of Polling", Hank loses faith in George W. Bush just because he has a weak handshake. Even Dale, of all people, thinks he's crazy.
    • There are plenty of people who have earned Dale's scorn or fear, like Jimmy Wichard, or Bill, when he tried competitive eating.
    • Speaking of Jimmy Wichard, Dale mentions that he was kicked out of his gun club for being too crazy. The gun club members themselves are pretty nutty at times but even they thought Jimmy was too much.
    • Peggy is usually far more supportive of Bobby's interests compared to Hank, but even she draws the line when he joins an impossibly geeky gang of "warlocks" in "The Witches of East Arlen:"
      "I am not just a mother, but I am also a woman, and I know a girl repellent when I see it. FIX THIS!"
    • John Redcorn who, although a womanizer, will not sleep with the wives or relatives of his friends. He tells Hank this in the Season 3 episode "Peggy's Headache," and this plays a role in his and Nancy's breakup (Dale had done a very valuable favor for John Redcorn, and he couldn't bring himself to continue sleeping with the man's wife after such a display of friendship).
    • When Peggy is injured in a skydiving accident and is put in a full body cast, the first thing Cotton says on seeing her is "What did you do to your wife?! I didn't teach you that!"
    • Bill is desperate for any sort of female companionship but he was horrified at the thought of sleeping with his cousin.
    • Minh was willing to go redneck with Kahn but drew the line when he and his buddies robbed a music store.
    • Hank worships the ground Buck walks on but objected when his attitude began rubbing off on Bobby and when Buck got Bobby involved in his shady gambling.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: Hank and Peggy's computer is an iMac.
  • Everything is Big in Texas:
    • "Big Tex".
    • "I think my truck might be too much vehicle for me." — Hank after learning that he wasn't born in Texas.
  • Excuse Boomerang: Unsuccessfully attempted by Hank in the episode "Junkie Business". When the employees of Strickland Propane start claiming to suffer from ridiculous disabilities in order to take advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Hank answers them by claiming to suffer from "Good Worker Syndrome", which requires people around him to give 110%. However, the lawyer accuses him of trying to abuse the system:
    Hank: You see, I recently came to realize that I, too, suffer from a disability: Good Worker Syndrome. I get sick to my stomach unless everyone around me is giving 110 percent. The symptoms include pride, responsibility, and a feverish enthusiasm. It used to be a common condition among Americans.
  • Expospeak Gag:
    • Subverted. Hank immediately figures out what the mold expert actually meant, and it's highly mundane:
      Rob: Everything from frictional irrigation with a concentrated chlorine solution to forced atmospheric dehydration.
      Hank: So, wait, you're gonna rub it with bleach and then blow it dry?
      Rob: [smug] Well, in layman's terms, yes.
    • In "Junkie Business", one of Hank's co-workers takes advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act to claim that he has a medical condition called a "priapism" and needs a roomier desk with a view of Debbie in order to be able to work properly. Priapism is the medical term for an erection that doesn't go away naturally.
  • Expy:
    • Hank is significantly based on Mr. Anderson from Judge's Beavis and Butt-Head.
    • There is a recurring character (a classmate of Bobby's named Stuart Dooley) who talks and behaves like Butt-Head.
    • One-Shot Character Andy Maynard from "Husky Bobby" resembles a more abrasive version of Stewart Stevenson(another Beavis and Butt-Head character).
    • The Texas Ranger brought in during the investigation of Debbie Grund's murder is a lot like Sidney Poitier's Virgil Tibbs. Particularly being more competent compared to Arlen's investigator.

  • Fag Hag: Bill pretends to be gay in order to work at a hip salon, and all the women fawn over him. When it's revealed that he isn't gay:
    Boss: When you were gay, you were intriguing, with an artistic bent. Now you're just a sleazy barber.
  • Faint in Shock: In the episode "Revenge of the Lutefisk," Bobby accidentally starts a fire which destroys the community church. He spends an entire day consumed with shame and remorse, and the next day, upon hearing an official announcement that the police are on the trail of the "arsonist," the sheer terror on top of it all drives him into a faint.
  • Faking the Dead: In "Peggy's Gone to Pots", Peggy gets involved in a pyramid scheme while the real Rusty Shackleford shows up, alive and well, demanding Dale stop using his name as an alias and sign a document. They stage a hilariously awful fight that ends with Hank's shed exploding. Part of the floor collapses and reveals Peggy and Dale in a bunker, popping champagne (Dale suggests they pretend to be ghosts as a last-ditch). Peggy's higher-up in the pyramid scheme asks to be reported dead as well.
  • False Friend: The plot to "New Cowboy on the Block". Hank initially hits it off with Willie Lane, an ex-NFL player, but after Willie harasses Kahn and repeatedly breaks the block rules, Hank sees Willie for what he is. This is only exacerbated when Willie slugs Hank in the face.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • For some reason, Dale, not the even-less-attractive Bill, is the Butt-Monkey with this. In "The Exterminator," he wears a hospital gown in the alley after being hospitalized and bends over in a gratuitous butt shot, then later stripteases attempting to be sexy for Nancy before standing on their bed and wiggling side to side. Even Nancy is repelled by this. In "The Trouble with Gribbles", he is shown naked and crying in a bathtub in fetal position, in "Get Your Freak Off," the camera zooms in on a thong being swallowed by his buttcrack as he mows, and in “Vision Quest,” he dresses in a Native American outfit that leaves almost nothing to the imagination (complete with a gratuitous butt shot).
    • Seeing Kahn shirtless in "De-Kahnstucting Henry" is pretty gross since you'd expect him to have a decent physique, instead he looks like a saggy old man.
    • The shots of Hank's butt, or lack thereof, in "Hank's Unmentionable Problem" and "Hank's Back Story."
    • "After the Mold Rush" lampshades this, when Hank is rushed out of the house in a hospital gown:
      Dale: (disgusted) Leave it to you to make a hospital gown unsexy, Hank.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Hank isn't very happy about the fact that Bobby wishes to be a comedian and regularly tries to talk his son out of it.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: The opening is in sped-up-film style. As Hank and his friends stand in the alley and drink beer, an entire day passes.
  • Fat Best Friend:
    • Bill, who is this played straight as an adult. Flashbacks showed that Bill wasn't fat as a teenager. He was more-or-less muscular, as he was a high school football player who went on to join the Army.
    • Bobby is this for Joseph.
    • Clark Peters is this for Dooley.
  • Fat Slob: Bill became one after his divorce.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Discussed in "Unfortunate Son" by a Vietnam veteran.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: "Is life as a banana better than Death, or is it worse?"
  • Felony Misdemeanor: In "Born Again on the Fourth of July", Bobby stays home from church and steals 20 bucks from Peggy's purse to order pizza. When Hank and Peggy find out, Peggy immediately acts like he used it to buy drugs, saying she's going to check between his toes for needle marks.
  • Female Groin Invincibility: The "Bobby Goes Nuts" episode shows Bobby taking a women's defense course in which he learns to use a Groin Attack against all of his opponents, including his father at one point. When he tries to use the same attack on Peggy, she tells him, "I believe you will find that I have no testicles!"
  • Fictional Counterpart: The Mega Lo Mart.
  • Fictional Province: Arlen is located in fictional Heimlich County, Texas.
  • Fiery Redhead: One-Shot Character Stacey Gibson from “Talking Shop” is this of the Stalker with a Crush who’s Not Good with Rejection variety.
  • Fingore: In "The Texas Skillsaw Massacre", Hank accidentally saws off one of Dale's fingers while distracted by the man's criticisms of his woodwork (complete with a shot of the severed finger on the wood, still curled around Dale's cigarette). This kicks the anger management plot into motion, as well as briefly causes a rift between the two.
  • First Period Panic: In "Aisle 8A", Connie has her first period while her parents are away on business and she's left in Hank's care. Connie doesn't panic; she's just embarrassed and has to write down the news because she can't bring herself to say it out loud. It's the adults who freak out — first Hank, then Connie's parents when he tells them.
  • Fitness Nut: Bill falls under the influence of a trio of these during an episode where he buys a home gym in order to get in shape for an army physical. They're very much meatheads obsessed with pumping their muscles up to ridiculous levels, a fact that quickly drives away Bill's other friends when he develops the same obsession. Backfires horribly when Bill hurts himself overdoing the exercises and his new training buddies don't notice and instead try to get him to do more weightlifting.
  • Five-Second Rule: In "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret Hill," Peggy (while posing as a nun) is giving her students communion. One boy's falls from his mouth, and Peggy simply wipes it on her habit and pops it back in his mouth while citing the trope.
  • Flanderization: For the most part, averted, but Bill became more pathetic, Dale became more insane, Luanne is now a Dumb Blonde (instead of somewhat dim, but can show Hidden Depths of being smart and/or able to care for herself), Bobby isn't as much of a troublemaker as he was in the pilot episode, and Peggy apparently is suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect, as she prides herself in being able to understand and speak perfect Spanish, even though "Lupe's Revenge" showed that she sucked at it and has no self-awareness of the fact. The weird thing about the show's Flanderization, is that it is paired with character development. This is why it is hard to detect: they evolved while having their personalities exaggerated.
    • More overt with Principal Moss, who starts out as a reasonably competent authority figure who plays it a little too safe, but who by the last few seasons becomes so woefully incompetent that it's mindboggling how he ever got his position.
  • Flash In The Pan Fad:
    • Parodied by the super-trendy Katt Savage, who makes it her life's calling to be ahead of the pop-culture curve and has a storage room full of fads that stopped being cutting-edge. It leaves her a Stepford Smiler on the verge of a breakdown.
      Katt: See, I follow trends. All of them, no matter what — piercings, colonics, trendy surgeries, online affairs. I've even done some street fighting.
    • Played for Drama on the episode "Born Again to be Wild", wherein Bobby becomes part of a radical Christian youth group that is essentially The Moral Substitute skater punk rocker gang. Bobby associating religion with "radical" heightens his love of God. But Hank, ever the Fantasy-Forbidding Father, comes to detest the group because he's afraid Bobby will eventually grow bored of the skater fad and ditch religion altogether as a result.
  • Flashback Cut: "The Texas Skilsaw Massacre" features a brief batch of clips from previous episodes of Hank getting angry.
  • Flawless Token: Averted; everybody has their own flaws. Token Minority Kahn is the biggest jerkass of the regular cast and a rather overt bigot, Peggy fancies herself to be wiser but is really an egomaniac who constantly overestimates her abilities, and John Redcorn is a womanizer who cuckolded one of his best friends for years and exploits Magical Native American stereotypes to get laid.
  • Floorboard Failure: Hank falls through his kitchen floor to find that the guys have dug a Secret Underground Passage underneath his house.
  • Flying Under the Gaydar: Inverted. Bill has to pretend to be gay in order to work at Hottyz, a trendy salon that does not believe straight men have what it takes to cut hair.
  • Food and Body Comparison: Hank's been stripped naked and refuses to go into a tornado shelter until his niece, Luanne, covers her eyes. There's also an elderly woman in the shelter, who says blandly, "Don't mind me. I've seen a barrel of pickles in my day." That's apparently good enough for Hank, and he joins them.
  • A Fool for a Client: Dale represents himself at a lawsuit in "The Trouble With Gribbles," with predictable results. The judge tries talking Dale out of it and is visibly annoyed throughout Dale's "examination."
  • Forbidden Holiday: One episode had a Christian woman successfully get Halloween banned in Arlen. The ban is apparently overturned by episode's end after Hank organizes an impromptu costume party.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Lost in MySpace," Peggy brags about posing as Ted Danson and getting her friends to open up to her about their problems. She then adds that Kahn is a manic-depressive for seemingly no reason. In "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day" (about 20 episodes later), it's revealed that Kahn needs to take medication in order to curb the mood swings he has from being manic-depressive.
  • Forklift Fu: Dale tries to kill Hank with a forklift in "Dream Weaver."
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Of course... Dale (choleric), Hank (melancholic), Boomhauer (leuquine), and Bill (sanguine).
    • For the Hill family: Peggy (choleric), Hank (melancholic), Bobby (leuquine), and Luanne (sanguine).
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Depending on the Writer with Hank's group, most of the time it's either Dale or Bill. However, on a rare occasion it's Hank.
    • Kahn, who does (grudgingly) hang with the main group of friends every once in awhile.
    • Other than occasional bursts of fatherly love from Cotton, of all people, baby G.H. seems to engender more annoyance and resentment in his family members than love, for various reasons.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit:
    • Dale tries to do this to the Manitoba Tobacco Company, figuring they wouldn't bother refuting a suit in Small Claims court for "a measly five large". Not only do they contest the suit, they countersue him for $1.5 million.
    • Lucky sustains himself on these:
      Lucky: (to a paramedic) "I find that 3cc's of Morphine nicely dulls the pain without affecting the admissibility of my testimony."
  • Full-Name Basis:
    • Everybody refers to John Redcorn solely as John Redcorn. Every time.
    • Kahn and Mihn, particularly Mihn, tend to refer to everyone in this manner.
  • Fully-Clothed Nudity:
    • In "Yankee Hankee", despite still being in boxer shorts, Hank says "I've got to hide my nudity!" and runs into the Alamo.
    • Hank, getting an Icy-Hot backrub, freaking out and pulling on his shirt when Bobby walks into the room, despite being fully dressed from the waist down.
    • In an early episode, Luanne walks in on Hank and Peggy getting ready for bed. Hank mentions wanting to get "dressed" and then puts on his glasses. Apparently, this suffices as they continue the conversation.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral":
    • In "Death of a Propane Salesman", instead of saying some words about the deceased Buckley, Luanne put up a poster of Bobby in his underwear, claiming it to be of "a starving Irish child", and shouted "Fight the occupation! Fight the occ-u-pa-tion!"
    • In "A-Firefighting We Will Go", Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer are pallbearers for Chet Elderson's funeral. However, they lose their balance while carrying the casket and fall into the grave, with Chet's pants accidentally pulled off in the process.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • In the pilot, Dale claims to know what's wrong with Hank's truck:
      Dale: It's a Ford. You know what they say Ford stands for, dontcha? It stands for Fix It Again, Tony.
      Hank: You're thinking of a Fiat, Dale.
      Dale: Fix It Again...
    • In "The Company Man", M.F. Thatherton stands for either "motherfucker" (according to Hank) or "my friend" (according to M.F.).
    • John Redcorn's rock band is named Big Mountain Fudgecake.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In "Shins of the Father", when Joseph asks Cotton where his legs are, Bill and Hank, knowing how Cotton will react, share a smile.
    • In "Order of the Straight Arrow," when the ranger is talking to Hank about the missing whooping crane, a hippie chick can be seen crawling out of Boomhauer's tent.
    • In the ending of "Pretty, Pretty Dresses", after Hank puts on a dress and pretends to be Lenore to give Bill closure (and get him to stop wearing a dress and acting like Lenore) and they both take off the dresses, Dale can be seen walking into the alley wearing a dress and a purse (Hank had said it was "that kind of party"), then runs off when he sees no one else is wearing a dress anymore.
    • In "Yard She Blows", Joseph is frequently seen driving recklessly on his motor scooter. Near the end of the episode, he is seen walking down the sidewalk with a crutch and a cast on one of his legs.
  • Funny Foreigner: The Souphanousinphones.
  • "Gaining Confidence" Song: Needing to escape his Jerkass father-in-law who's staying over at his house, Kahn goes to a karaoke bar and sings "The Morning After". At first, he's uncomfortable and nervous. But as the crowd gets into it, Kahn gains more confidence and enjoys himself. He becomes a hit with the audience, finding this to be a good outlet for him. Unfortunately, his karaoke days end when the aforementioned father-in-law sings his own rendition of the song, to out-stage Kahn for good.
  • Game Show Appearance: In Season 7's "Vision Quest", Bobby dreams of himself appearing on the Whoopi Goldberg version of The Hollywood Squares a panda.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Kahn named his daughter Kahn Jr. (because he wanted a son) but she is referred to as Connie the majority of the time.
  • Genre Savvy: Peggy in "Gone With the Windstorm," when she, Dale, and Nancy were surrounded by a wildfire with a live TV camera, says:
    Peggy: They'd never let us die. We're on TV, how would they show that?
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme:
    • In "Bill of Sales" Peggy and Bill get involved in a pyramid selling scheme. Peggy is only in it for the opportunity to be a manager, and Bill for the opportunity to be near Peggy, though.
    • In "The Year of Washing Dangerously", Kahn tries to set one up by watching Dr. Money's VHS tapes, which only contain vague advice such as "leverage your assets" or "take a shortcut". When taking over a car wash isn't enough, he starts his own VHS scheme under the alias Dr Quarters, whose advice is even more asinine than Dr Money.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Joseph's reaction to seeing a bunch of girls (in line to pick an elective):
  • Glad I Thought of It: A variant occurs in "It's Not Easy Being Green" when Hank, Dale, and Bill ponder what to do about Boomhauer's car in the quarry, which is about to be drained:
    Hank: I've got a plan. Dale, we're gonna need your scuba gear.
    Dale: Why?
    Hank: Because they can't find Boomhauer's car if it's not there.
    Dale: But it is there.
    Bill: Maybe we should use Dale's scuba gear to pull the car out.
    Dale: Now that's a plan, Hank! (Hank groans in annoyance)
    • Peggy also does this a lot.
      Peggy: Bobby! I just took your horrible idea and made it a great one!
  • Glurge Addict: Hank's mom, who had to collect porcelain figurines, as they kept her sane while she was married to Cotton.
  • Go-to Alias: Dale likes to go by Rusty Shackleford, generally whenever he's doing something sneaky, although he also refuses to sign his real name to almost any document, being a comical Right-Wing Militia Fanatic.note  At one point in the series, the actual Rusty Shackleford shows up.note  It turns out that Rusty had just moved away and wasn't happy being connected with Dale's various acts of stupidity.
  • Go to Your Room!: Hank to Bobby, after Bobby cuts up in school and church and pranks Hank with a whoopie cushion at the dinner table.
  • God Guise: Thanks to her self-absorption, Peggy thinks this is happening to her when the Mexican villagers are thanking God for the return of a child she accidentally kidnapped ("Do not worship me, worship my actions"), but she finds out soon enough that this is not exactly the case when she is handcuffed.
  • God Help Us All: A variant is said by Hank in "Bills Are Made to Be Broken" when nearly everyone in the crowd cheers Ricky Suggs's phony touchdown (which beat Bill's record):
    Hank: (angrily) May God have mercy on you all.
  • Going by the Matchbook: In "Revenge of the Lutefisk", a matchbook is found at the church after it burned down. Due to his prior altercation with Reverend Stroup (and the fact that the matchbook is from a strip club Cotton frequents), it is believed that Cotton committed arson. It turns out that Bobby did it when he accidentally started the fire in the bathroom. He was trying to use the matches as an incense in order to get rid of the smell of his own lutefisk induced odors.
  • Golden Mean Fallacy: Peggy's therapist in "Cotton's Plot" tells her therapy takes time, using the Grand Canyon as an analogy: "It took over 200 years to make." Peggy counters by saying it was "millions of years." Next time they meet, the therapist tells Peggy "We were both right. It was 200 million years!"
  • Gone Horribly Wrong:
    • In "Father of the Bribe", Bobby and Connie pretend to break up in order to screw with Kahn (who hates their relationship). Connie flunks a test, claiming that the break-up distracted her, and the school catches her passing a note and assumes she's suicidal. Kahn panics and sets them back together, but forces them to spend so much time together that they have a fight and really do break up.
    • In "Patch Boomhauer", Patch hires strippers for his bachelor party and then pins the blame on Boomhauer when his fiancée Katherine walks in. At the reception, Katherine says that she's re-discovered her feelings for Boomhauer because she thinks the strippers were a crazy, desperate act to break up the wedding; when Patch confesses, she calls it "just plain sleazy" and calls off the wedding. He then tries to blame Hank.
  • Good Ol' Boy: Hank is the poster child for this, but is portrayed as a decent-hearted man.
  • Gossip Evolution:
    • In the pilot, Hank yelling at a Mega Lo Mart employee who was too stupid to help him find a tap and die and some WD-40 while Bobby is nearby turns into "Hank beat his son and a Mega Lo Mart employee who tried to stop him". Not helped by the fact that Bobby accidentally hits Peggy with a baseball right before a CPS worker arrives.
    • In "Bobby Goes Nuts", Bobby kicking a few students in the testicles is embellished to the point where Connie thinks Bobby was suspended for kicking Principal Moss in the testicles.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Peggy actually isn't very good at it and her pronunciation is horrible. In addition, she occasionally pronounces some words as if they were Spanish. Good examples are "Monterrey Jack" and "Iwo Hima".
  • Green Around the Gills: In "Keeping Up with Our Joneses", Bobby's face became green after smoking several packs of cigarettes, which his father Hank had him do to teach him a lesson after learning his son had been smoking.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball:
    • At one point, Bill rejoins his old high school football team in his forties to reclaim his rushing TD record because he dropped out to join the Army and never graduated. Texas High School football has an age limit, regardless of academic status.
    • In "Husky Bobby", Bobby is in a photo shoot for a children's clothing magazine. In one shoot, Bobby is dressed as a football player and the photographer shouts at him "go for the fifty yard line, go for the sixty yard line! This is your Olympic dream come true!" Hank cringes at the photographer's lack of football knowledge.
  • Groin Attack: The natural conclusion of Bobby accidentally taking women's self-defense classes. It does not work on Peggy, though, because "I do not have any testicles!"note 
  • Gun Nut: Take a guess. Of course, he likes all weapons, not just guns.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: In "Dog Dale Afternoon", when Dale claims to have killed Rusty Shackleford, a police officer makes a pumping motion on the forestock of his weapon like a pump-action shotgun. Granted, there are actually shotguns, including pump-action models, with detachable magazines like his gun has - but the weapon in question is otherwise a straight animated copy of the M14, which is an automatic battle rifle, not a manually operated shotgun.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow:
    • Dale and (especially) Bill.
    • This is the actual name of the episode where Nancy loses her hair. It's Laser-Guided Karma for her cheating on Dale for years with John Redcorn.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Big Jim in "The Texas Skilsaw Massacre". Heck, he dies of anger.
  • Hard Truckin': A Christmas Episode had Hank's mother inherits furniture from a deceased friend. But she can't take it with her as she lives in Arizona. Hank rents out a truck-and-trailer, as he and Bobby deliver the furniture to his mother. Unknown to them, Bill, Dale and Boomhauer stow away with them.
  • Hartman Hips: Donna of Strickland Propane.
  • Half-Witted Hillbilly: Lucky, who debuted amongst a menagerie of other rednecks in the episode "The Redneck on Rainey Street" is a prominent example as a guy whose family had had shotgun marriages, and his primary income consists of frivolous lawsuits.
  • Halfway Plot Switch:
    • A few episodes have these. For example, "The Father, The Son and J.C" starts out with Hank losing a promotion after accidentally telling Mr. Strickland that he loves him. It then switches in mid-stride to a story about Hank and Cotton.
    • Most two-part episodes do this, feeling less like a single story cut in half and more like two stories with a connecting event in the middle.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: After a tornado blows off his clothes, Hank is left between using either the Texas state flag or a cactus to preserve his modesty as he makes his way to shelter. He chooses the cactus.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Pocket sand, which is one of Dale's attacks.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: Bobby sports one in "Joust Like a Woman", though it's hard to tell whether or not there are any bells.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Bobby does this with Hank in "The Little Horrors of Shop". Of course it goes over Hank's head:
    Hank: Make sure you clamp your butt joint.
    Bobby: *laughs* ... I'm sorry, Dad.
    Hank: No, no, it's my fault. You should use a miter joint, that would look better.
    Bobby: Than a...?
    Hank: Butt joint.
    Bobby: *laughs even harder*
    Hank: Okay Son, now you're just rubbing it in.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Hank idolizes Willie Nelson in "Hank's Got the Willies". This is arguably a case of Early-Installment Weirdness, since Hank has recurring fantasies of talking to Tom Landry and asking him for guidance in later episodes.
  • Hidden Depths: Who would've thought that the short-tempered, hyper-masculine Big Jim makes dollhouse furniture for a living? According to his words, he likes it.
  • Hidden Wire: In "Death of a Propane Salesman", Buck tries to record Hank saying he blew up the Mega Lo Mart. He tries to get him to say it by asking if Hank has a guilty conscience; when Hank asks why he would have a guilty conscience and denies blowing up the Mega Lo Mart, Buck replies, "I'm glad you said that, Hank. I'm wearing a wire for an unrelated matter."
  • Hipster: Hank and friends confront a particularly obnoxious group of hipsters in "Lady and Gentrification."
    Dale: They walk so slow 'cause they got nowhere to be, man!
  • Historical Character's Fictional Relative: Hank Hill is cousins with Dusty Hill of ZZ Top.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: In "Movin' On Up", Luanne moves out from the Hills' house and ends up with roommates at her new place. However, they turn out to be stereotypical lazy college students who invoke Godwin's Law any time anyone attempts to exert any authority over them; when Luanne tries to set rules about smoking in the house, one of them complains:
    "You know who else had anti-smoking laws? Hitler!"
  • Holding the Floor: In the episode "Flush with Power", Hank filibusters by reading Peggy's old newspaper columns (she carries them around in her purse) at a town hall meeting in order to make the board members use the restrooms in the hall so that they realize the terrors of the lo-flow toilets that were recently installed.
  • Hollywood Law: In "Junkie Business", various employees abuse the Americans with Disabilities Act to bring Hank's workplace to a virtual standstill with frivolous requests for accommodations. The ADA does not work that way! For one thing, you cannot get an accommodation from an essential job function. One of the ways to determine whether a job function is essential is if that function applies to all employees similarly situated. For instance, if a disabled employee wants his employer to relax a production quota, which is universally applied to all employees similarly situated, then that employee may well be out of luck. However, if the employer has a policy or practice of relaxing the production standard for any reason, then they must relax it (within reason) to accommodate the disabled employee. Even then, an accommodation cannot be overly burdensome on the employer, as the string of frivolous accommodations obviously were in the episode in question.
  • Homage: The Out-Gambitted entry below begins when Peggy recreates the con from The Sting.
  • Hood Hornament: Occasionally seen driven by wealthy Texans. In "The Company Man", Hank rents a '70s Cadillac Eldorado from Buck in order to impress a potential client named Mr. Holloway. Kahn notes the bull horns and calls it a "silly cow car".
  • House Amnesia: Luanne puts a Communist party sign at her yard when someone tells her to go home. She simply enters the house.
  • House Inspection:
    • In the pilot episode, a DCS worker catches wind of perceived abuse, as well as a poorly timed injury from Peggy and hearing Bobby exaggerate Hank's blustered threats to someone who had angered him and sends an investigator out. In an aversion of the Simpsons episode, the investigator find zero evidence of abuse, and the Worker gets chewed out by his boss for jumping to conclusions and taking matters into his own hands, getting shilled off to some far off place he can't embarrass his company anymore.
    • "Six Characters in Search of a House": Hank's skills come in handy when he fakes grievous damage to his house in an attempt to discourage a very interested buyer from acquiring Hank's family house; so, invoked. The inspector fails them, but after the customer leaves, he reveals that he knows the place is in perfect shape and recognizes Hank's craftsmanship.
  • How's Your British Accent?: Alan Rickman guest stars in "Joust Like a Woman" as the American owner of a Renaissance Faire. He spends most of the episode as the "king" of the fair speaking in his own voice, until the end, where the "king" slips back into a Texan accent.
  • Hypocrite: Hank repeatedly emphasizes how honest he is and always pushes to be honest during the course of the series. While he does live up to his claims in most cases, it does not stop him from lying or having people lie on his behalf to dissuade Bobby from aspirations that differ from what he wants Bobby to be/do. It also doesn't stop him from committing all sorts of illegal and underhanded acts for Buck Strickland.
  • Hypocrisy Nod:
    • In "The Arrowhead", Hank finds a Native American artifact in his yard and asks John Redcorn what it's worth. John Redcorn severely says, "Hank, it's wrong to take what belongs to someone else for-" and is interrupted as Nancy says, "Come Back to Bed, Honey". Blushing, John Redcorn says, "Well, food for thought" before making a hasty retreat.
    • Dale's quote, from a time when a restraining order stated that Hank had to be more than a hundred feet from him, sums it up nicely:
      "Hank Rutherford Hill, you are within one hundred feet of me. And as much as I like to scoff at the law, I also like to arbitrarily enforce it!"
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In the Souphanousinphones' debut episode, "Westie Side Story", Hank and the others continually misunderstand that their new neighbors are not poor Chinese immigrants. About halfway through, Hank is angry that Kahn called him a redneck, stating, "He thinks just 'cause I'm from Texas that means I'm a redneck. Damn Chinese and their stupid stereotypes!"
    • In "Hank's Dirty Laundry", Bill is the one who rallies against pornography the most, but he was the one to anonymously deliver his own porn tapes to Hank's house so Hank could get enough evidence to clear his name.
    • In "Junkie Business", when Hank's had enough of the rest of Strickland Propane blatantly taking advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, he makes up his own disability that he claims requires everyone else around him giving 100%. Anthony Page, the unqualified social worker who let a drug addict in rehab basically take control of the company in the first place, guilt-trips him over this, claiming that people like him make it harder for people with real disabilities - as he shows his "disability" is a sprained wrist, in a cast that was not present fifteen seconds prior.
    • In "Keeping Up With Our Joneses", Boomhauer complains about secondhand smoke when Hank lights a cigarette, even though Dale is standing next to him, smoking a cigarette.
    • The episode "Nancy Boys" takes the traditional "wife discovers cheating" plot and shuffles the players: John Redcorn, Nancy's long term boyfriend is hurt and upset that she's cheating on him with... her husband, Dale. Nancy's desperately trying to retain both relationships, and Dale winds up trying to apologize to John Redcornnote  and covering for his absences with Nancy by giving lame excuses.
  • I Call It "Vera": Hank named his prized acoustic guitar Betsy. Peggy makes fun of Hank's use of this in "Hanks Got the Willies" by naming her brush Carlos saying, "You name your things, I name mine." Hank also lampshades this in "To Kill a Ladybird" in response to Bobby naming a wild raccoon he met: "You name a pet, you name a guitar, you do not name a wild animal!"
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Hank in "Now Who's the Dummy?" after seeing Bobby practicing his "labials" (which is basically repeating "Fluttering Butterflies" over and over) with a ventriloquist dummy. While he doesn't actually say it, the next day in the alley, he's pounding a beer back and when he finishes it he demands another.
  • I Was Quite a Looker:
    • Bill. This is lampshaded a few times.
    • Cotton before he got his shins blown off.
  • I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!:
    • Said by Bobby in "Love Hurts, And So Does Art" when he's asked if he's had enough liver at the deli.
    • A variant occurs in "Now Who's the Dummy?"; Hank finishes a beer and asks for another. Bill asks Hank if he's had enough, but Hank interrupts and reaffirms: "ANOTHER." Bill immediately gives him another beer.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Hank's encounter with a monk whose order suspects Bobby of being their reincarnated lama, much to Hank's dismay:
    Monk: There is a Buddhist saying: "As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart, the wind cannot overturn a mountain."
    Hank: You're talking like a song from The Lion King. Stop it. It makes no sense.
    Monk: Or does it make perfect sense?
    Hank: What the …? See, that's the type of — I'm gonna kick your ass!
    Monk: If my ass is going to be kicked, then it will be kicked.
    Hank: (grunts in frustration, then wanders off)
    • Then there's Peggy's father, who's an old school cowboy who likes saying pure cowboy nonsense that Hank enjoys but Bobby really can't understand.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Spoofed in "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying". Hank has trouble shooting a gun and so sees a sports psychologist. In the middle of their session, Hank starts talking about how when he was a kid, Cotton would scream and curse at him while trying to teach him how to shoot — but the therapist interrupts his would-be breakthrough and says they're wasting valuable session time.
  • Impoverished Patrician: As if Bill's life didn't suck enough, the Dauterive family were once a noble bloodline that heralded generations of statesmen and artistes, but have long since fallen from grace. "Blood and Sauce" really hammers in how much influence they've lost; Bill throws a family reunion for every relative he knows, only to be disappointed when his cousin Gilbert is the only one to show up. Gilbert explains not only that he had to sell the ancestral manor to publish a magazine, but that all of the blood relatives Bill invited are either dead, institutionalized, infertile, or outed as impostors, leaving (as Hank put it) "a crying drunk and an angry sissy" as the last living vestiges of the dying aristocracy.
  • Improvised Armour: In "Ceci N'est Pas Une," Dale acquires a full on suit of medieval armour and begins terrorizing the neighborhood. Bill retaliates with a suit of homemade armour, made up of boxing gloves, a trash can and a colander among other things, and engages Dale in combat.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: Hank attempts to cause this in order to discredit Professor John Lerner whom Peggy has allowed to dig up their lawn after Hank found an arrowhead there while mowing. He creates a necklace out of twine and fried chicken bones and plants it for Lerner to discover. However, his plan backfires when Peggy finds it instead. She then embarrasses herself by declaring it to be authentic. When Lerner hands it to his grad students, they immediately recognize it as a fake.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: One of the sources of humor for Hank. Just one example, from a flashback to high school in "It's Not Easy Being Green":
    Dale: Why don't we take Boomhauer's car for a joyride?
    Bill: Joyride? That sounds fun.
    Hank: And you know what would be even more fun? If, after we drive it, we fill it with gas, so the next time Boomhauer uses it, he's like, "How'd that happen?"
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • Rumor has it that John Redcorn was modeled after Victor Aaron, his original voice actor, who was later replaced with Jonathan Joss after Aaron's death in 1996.
    • The one-off character Alabaster the pimp resembles Snoop Dogg if he were a white guy.
    • Jack the barber also somewhat resembles his voice actor, Brian Doyle-Murray. He originally looked younger and had a mustache just like Doyle-Murray).
    • M.F. Thatherton looked like a redheaded doppelgänger of his original voice actor, Burt Reynolds.
    • Hal, the man who's like Hank and has a brief friendship with him, looks like Drew Carey if he were built like Hank.
    • Officer Brown, voiced by Fred Willard, also looks like him.
  • Insane No More: While on a trip to the lake, Boomhauer falls asleep in an inner tube and floats downstream to a bridge in a city center. His speech pattern and his bathing suit get him involuntarily committed to a hospital for a psych evaluation. Too embarrassed to call Hank, he calls Dale to help him out. Dale bribes a patient to get in... and can't get out, so he calls Bill, who voluntarily commits himself after reading a pamphlet. They try to escape and fail, so they call Hank. Hank talks to the doctor and the latter reveals the following: Boomhauer was only committed for 72 hours and had been deemed not a danger to himself or others, so he was free to go; Dale was never officially admitted to the hospital, so legally, he was free to go (but the doctor felt he should keep taking his medication); and Bill voluntarily committed himself, so he could have left at any time, and his medical insurance wouldn't pay for his stay.
  • Insecurity System: Dale's front door is protected by a rather ridiculous security system which included primed crossbows (as befitting his personality). However, John Redcorn comes and goes as he pleases through the unlocked bedroom window. He does get shot with a BB gun one time, but Dale set that up to protect his new lawn mower. Another instance has Dale lock three locks on his front door before heading to work, only for John Redcorn to unlock them with his own key.
  • Insistent Terminology: "I sell propane and propane accessories."
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Played by The Refreshments.
  • Insult Backfire:
    • In "Father of the Bribe", Bobby sneaks into Connie's room to talk. She tells him if Kahn catches him in there, he'll make her play that song he wrote about Bobby. Bobby responds, excitedly:
      "'Fat White Lump' is about me?!"
    • invoked Another has a little Values Dissonance, when the friend of an overly-permissive dad refers to him as "Ronald Reagan" in a pejorative sense:
      McB: Oh, don't call me that!
      Hank: Yeah, don't call him that.
  • Insurance Fraud:
    • The episode "Jumpin' Crack Bass" features Layaway Ray burning down his bait shop. His next scene features him being taken to court for insurance fraud.
    • Hank is accused of this in "Hank's Back", when he tries to go back to work when his back feels better after trying yoga. He makes his case by bringing the yoga instructor to the hearing, arguing that he would never willingly put up with someone that annoying unless he absolutely had to.
  • Involuntary Smile of Incapacitation: In "Hillennium", Hank gets high on varnish fumes while fixing up an old grandfather clock and gives a goofy grin to boot.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles:
    • Played straight in "I Remember Mono". Peggy is dismayed to find out that the story of hers and Hank's blossoming love is based on a lie. Hank told her that he threw out his back playing football when in reality he had mono. Peggy realizes the real possibility that Hank cheated on her since she never had mono. After some snooping, she finds the woman who gave it to him. She tells Peggy that she forced a kiss onto Hank. Peggy's response: she punches a side of beef hard enough to break several of its ribs, wipes her hands on the woman's apron and walks away.
    • Averted in "I Don't Want to Wait (etc.)". Bobby punches Joseph in the face, and immediately remarks: "If my hand didn't hurt so much, I'd do it again. Oh what the hell. (punches Joseph again)"
  • Irony:
    • From "Nancy's Boys":
      Dale: All John Redcorn did was make your head feel better, and all I did was make his head feel worse. It's almost ironic.
    • Peggy complains about such a situation in "Peggy Hill: The Decline and Fall", venting how she and Hank have consistently failed to have another child and that in her current state (stuck in a full-body cast after a skydiving accident) she, "one of the finest mothers in Texas", can't even wipe a baby's bottom, while "Cotton and Stupid" are parading about trying to find someone to take care of their new baby that they don't even want.
    • In "Smoking and the Bandit", Dale observes that he became the Smoking Bandit so Joseph would respect him, only for Joseph to become more disrespectful since he wants to be like the Smoking Bandit.
    • Lucky's sister Myrna distanced herself from her family because everyone else was a proud country bumpkin with wild values and insane thoughts, leading her to learn how to be a parent herself. However, her idea of raising a baby is to put a baby in a room full of black and white items and frowny dolls, which Peggy describes as "joyless." Her children can't even emote well and prefer to drink water and read a book over drinking juice. Then she plans to have Luanne bring her baby into the world away from a hospital, delivered by a doctor in a speedo.
  • It's All About Me: Peggy in "Little Horrors of Shop."
  • Iwo Jima Pose: Done three times. First, when Peggy makes a float for the Veterans' Day parade and again when she changes the soldiers to skeletons raising the flag and the caption to "The Futility of War." The pose appears again when Hank and the gang put up a flagpole in Bill's yard.
  • Jerk Jock:
    • Chane Wassanasong thinks he's the greatest thing the world has ever seen and has the hots for Connie. She can't stand him, but her parents keep trying to set them up together, mainly because they'd love any connection to Chane's father, Ted.
    • Hank was one when he was younger:
      Hank: Hey fatty! You are fat!
    • The gang's treatment of Eustice in "The Order of the Straight Arrow". They all call him "Useless" and this is also referenced in flashback.
    • In "Peggy Makes the Big Leagues", it seems at first that Peggy is dealing with one in David Kalaiki-Alii because he won't study. David, for the most part, isn't a jerk, but is just lazy and a little self-absorbed. He isn't happy when he learns that his mother is willing to pretend that he has a severe learning disability to get Hank and Peggy to stop inquiring about his grades, which they immediately believe. David admits that he deserves to have Peggy think of him as mentally challenged after neglecting all her attempts at making him better in math and explains to her it was a lie his mom made up.
    • Played straight with Willie Lane, the boorish, hard-drinking ex-Dallas Cowboy who moves into Rainey Street in "New Cowboy on the Block" and causes trouble for Hank and his friends.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much most of the cast at some point or another, especially one time characters. The only real exception to most of the time is Connie. Notable examples include:
    • Cotton. He's angry, selfish, foulmouthed, and hostile to nearly everyone. He's emotionally abusive to Hank, completely dismissive towards Peggy, and generally picks fights with everyone he meets. The only people he seems to get along with are Bobby, Kahn and Minh to a limited degree, and his fellow veterans.
    • Dale, to an extent; while he's not normally a jerkass, he can be very quick to throw his family and friends under the bus to save his own skin, can hold some very petty grudges, and some of his more harebrained schemes can be shockingly inconsiderate or outright dangerous to his friends with little concern on his part. To his credit, at least, he usually either gets his comeuppance or else realizes his mistakes and apologizes for them.
    • Kahn: he's an unrepentant racist and can be very selfish, likes to antagonize the Hills or his other neighbors for his own amusement, he goes out of his way to brown-nose Ted Wassanasong at his or his family's expense, and while he genuinely means the best for Connie, his aggressive parenting puts her under a lot of pressure that she admits she can't always cope with. Minh shares a lot of these traits, but not to the same extent as Kahn.
    • Peggy can fall into this at times, usually when her ego gets the better of her. She can also be prone to bad cases of Never My Fault. Again though, she usually either gets hit with Laser-Guided Karma or else realizes My God, What Have I Done?.
    • Peggy's mom. She emotionally abused and dominated Peggy for most of her life, trying to control her and never showing any love or appreciation. Peggy tries to reconcile with her emotionally as an adult, but she hasn't changed one bit, essentially blaming Peggy for their struggling farm, despite the commercialization and urbanization of the local town being the biggest problem. Even when Peggy busts her ass to save it, she still refuses to show appreciation, eventually causing Peggy to give up on her entirely. She's even hostile to Hank, claiming Peggy wasted her life and ruined their farm by marrying him instead of another local farmer.
    • Buck possesses little to no redeeming qualities and rarely gets any comeuppance for his behavior. He's sleazy and selfish to an extreme, and worst of all is that the morally-upright Hank is not only blindly loyal to him but also idolizes him.
    • Bill's wife, Lenore, who treated him like crap and openly cheated on him before dumping him and ruining his life. Her only actual appearance in the series has her coming back because his relationship with former Texas governor Ann Richards attracted her attention.
    • Luanne's mother, Leanne. She's a raging, alcoholic psychopath who terrorized Luanne's father. In her spotlight episode, she returns, hooks up with Bill, and proceeds to terrorize him. By the end of the episode, she's flashed the Hills in front of Bill and Luanne, tried to seduce Buckley, who was Luanne's boyfriend at the time, and violently tries to attack him and the rest of the group after he rejects her advances. Her last appearance is her marching off in a drunken, angrily-sobbing heap, blaming Luanne for all her problems.
    • Luanne's father, Hoyt. He's a crooked slimeball and two-bit criminal. He spent time in prison.note  In his spotlight episode, he robs a diner, manipulates Lucky into taking the heat, and shows absolutely no remorse after the fact. Once the Hills trick him into getting arrested anyway, his first reaction is to try and throw Luanne under the bus for his arrest. At the very least though, Hoyt gets a bit of redemption in the end, as he finally owns up to his mistakes and accepts life in prison in exchange for Luanne not finding out about his criminal record.
    • Anthony Page in the pilot. He's immediately willing to jump to conclusions based on highly circumstantial evidence to assume that Bobby is being abused, refuses to believe anything any member of the Hills or any of the neighbors says otherwise, and without any form of legal proceedings tries to have Bobby taken away and sent to foster care. In this case at least, nobody is on his side, and he ends up losing his job for going behind his boss's back. He shows up again in "Junkie Business". This time, he forces Strickland Propane into rehiring Leon Petard, a (not really) recovered drug addict, who proceeds to drag the business through the dirt, and prevents them from firing him due to a legal loophole even when it's clear he isn't clean at all. Fortunately, Hank is able to use a loophole of his own at the end.
    • Jimmy Witchard, the dim-witted jerk who Bobby is forced to work concession for. He pushes Bobby around and forces him to do humiliating and dangerous things, and Hank unknowingly guilt trips Bobby into accepting it without complaint. Luckily, he digs his own grave when Hank happens to catch him trying to force Bobby to cross a speedway mid-race to deliver something, leading to a literal asskicking. In almost all of his future appearances, everyone treats him like the overly aggressive moron that he is and he's often used as an easy way to instantly tell how stupid something is if it's something he can and wants to participate in.
    • Professor John Lerner in "The Arrowhead." He lies to the Hills about the value of an arrowhead they found, mocking Peggy in the process, then tricks Peggy into signing a document turning their property into a protected dig site, allowing him to destroy it with the protection of the law. While he's doing this, he starts seducing Peggy with his knowledge, even giving her a traditional romantic Indian bracelet in the process. After a jealous Hank concocts a scheme to humiliate him with a fake artifact, Lerner ends up using it to humiliate Peggy instead, and when Peggy realizes that it was Hank who did it to try to discredit Lerner out of jealousy, he snidely jokes that he could have "scored" with her for the price of a cheap bracelet. The ending of the episode is one of the series' best combinations of funny moments and Laser-Guided Karma.
    • The Ace from the episode "You Gotta Believe (In Moderation)"; his entire schtick is hosting celebrity softball games against local teams, where he and his team humiliate their opponents through wild stunts and upon winning, gives the money to charity. Hank didn't get the joke and convinced his team to play a very boring bunt game, causing a very distraught Ace to declare Let's Get Dangerous! and absolutely destroy Hank's team; this time, on winning, he keeps the money for himself rather than give it to charity, and blames it on Hank. Later on, when Hank and the others confront him, Ace reveals he only gives away the charity money because he makes so much from endorsements and lands attractive dates because of his celebrity status, and Hank's performance put that in jeopardy. After forcing Hank to humiliate himself in exchange for donating the money, Ace reneges on his word and refuses to donate anyway.
    • The Workers Comp people in "Hank's Back". They at first relentlessly assume that Hank's faking his injury or, when they can't anymore, try to pressure him into suing Strickland. And when he recovers, the agent who handled his case deliberately took out-of-context pictures to make it seem like he was faking the entire time, and plans to have him dragged to court for fraud. Oh, and she gets no comeuppance.
    • Lucky's lawyer, Edward Johnson. He's the driving force behind the frivolous lawsuits that Lucky uses to stay afloat, but after an accident renders Dale the target of his latest one, the lawyer realizes Dale has nothing worth suing over, and uses Insane Troll Logic to blame Strickland Propane for it. Lucky realizes that the lawsuit would sink his and Hank's shaky friendship and likely sink Strickland Propane, so he tries to call it off. The lawyer refuses since he wouldn't be able to make a profit that way. It's only through some shenanigans on Lucky, Hank, and Dale's part that they're able to get him to back down.
    • Everyone besides Hank in "The Accidental Terrorist." Hank finds out his dealer has been manipulating him into overpaying for his cars for years, and in retribution tries to organize a peaceful protest. He enlists the aid of some teenagers, and for his part places flyers on all the dealership's cars...while the teenagers, later on and without Hank's knowledge, firebomb them. Everyone in the episode is utterly convinced Hank did it, from the dealer to the police to the lawyers to even his own friends and family. At no point does Hank successfully convince anyone he was innocent; the only reason the plot is resolved is because the dealer decides Hank could drag the case out longer than it's worth (ruining the dealer's reputation in the process) and lets him off the hook.
    • Willie Lane, the ex-Dallas Cowboy who was briefly Hank's neighbor. Though Hank and the others are starstruck at first, when Willie hijacks their usual spot and Hank politely inquires, Willie responds with smarmy hostility, and it only gets worse from there; worse, because of his celebrity status, he's able to do things like punch Hank and flip a car into his lawn and the police immediately believe it was Hank. Hank eventually succeeds in taking him down by blackmailing him with the imprint on his bruise being a perfect match for Willie's Dallas Cowboys ring.
    • The artist who humiliates Hank and invades his privacy by obtaining a picture of his colonoscopy from the earlier episode "Hank's Unmentionable Problem" and submits it to an art museum. When Hank politely explains that it's humiliating and an invasion of his privacy, the artist responds by harshly accusing him of censorship and having him banned from the museum. Even when he explains his case, nobody is on Hank's side; he's only able to get the picture taken down through a legal loophole.
    • Junie Harper, who wants to get Halloween banned for being a pagan holiday. She does so by spouting the most extreme, absurd strawman beliefs, and condemns anyone who tries to call her out on it. She briefly won Bobby over, but Hank was able to convince Bobby just how full-of-it she was.
    • Everyone in the episode "Jumpin' Crack Bass." Hank makes an honest (if highly circumstantial) mistake in buying crack thinking it was fishing bait. No one believes him; it's even made a point that the judge at his trial is familiar with Hank and knows what an outstanding citizen he is, but when he finds out what Hank is accused of, he's immediately ready to convict him for it. Hank only avoids prison by a legal technicality.
    • Mr. Holloway in "The Company Man". Hank is tasked by Buck to win over Holloway's business, but the man is a jerk who insists that all Texans are stereotypical hicks. When Hank tries to convince him otherwise, Holloway threatens to walk. Hank plays along, but when he's had enough of Holloway's antics, the latter leaves and takes his business to Thatherton's out of spite.
    • Bobby's meat team. They're willing to throw pepper in their opponents' eyes, and even the organizer who sought Bobby agrees with the mentality, and they all practically crucify Bobby when he makes a minor mistake during training. Their opponents are no better. They commit a busjacking, leaving Bobby and all of his teammates stranded in the desert, not caring if they die, all to cheat and win at a meat judging competition. Notably, despite Bobby carrying his team when they were stranded, not a single one of them thanks him for covering up for them but tell him to buzz off.
    • Bill's second doctor in "Dia-Bill-ic Shock", who derisively tells Bill he'll never walk again and gives him a wheelchair. Later in the episode, he rudely told Bill, "Are you upset or something? I said you had diabetes, not cry-a-betes." This is in stark contrast to his first doctor, who is sympathetic to his plight and says that he can control his diabetes with diet and exercise. Not even his assistant likes him and happily pretends she never saw Bill kicking his ass to next Sunday behind closed doors at the end of the episode.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • In "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo", Hank butts heads with a man who has a less-than-flattering interpretation of the Alamo (namely, that the Texans involved were a bunch of drunken cowards). The other man points out the logic behind his views, such as citing Sam Houston's troubled life and documented alcoholism and pointing out that the only people who know exactly what happened at the Alamo are long dead so all they have to go off of is historical records. In the end, Hank is dissuaded from smashing up the stage when he realizes that it's wrong to censor someone else just because you don't like their message, but he insists on giving a speech to relate the bare facts of the battle before the play begins.
    • In “The Arrowhead”, Professor John Lerner’s humiliation of Peggy, while undoubtably mean, isn’t entirely unwarranted. She was walking around thinking that digging around in her yard with the professor for a week pretty much put her on the same level as the grad students who had been studying archaeology for years. While he certainly didn’t need to be such a jerk about it, Peggy definitely needed to be taken down a notch.
    • In "Straight as an Arrow", Wesley Cherish, the new leader of the Order of the Straight Arrow, comes off as seeming overprotective and uninteresting because he doesn't allow the children to eat candy or perform outdoor activities. However, it's justified in that his two children that are in the group: one has ADHD and the other is hyperglycemic, and thus too much sugar can be dangerous to them. When he tells Hank and the gang they have no business telling him how to raise his kids, everyone quickly looks away in resigned guilt.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • In "The Bluegrass is Always Greener", Kahn tells Hank he wants Connie to become a famous violinist so he can go back to his home village and rub her success in everyone's faces. When Hank scolds Kahn for using Connie like that, he realizes he was doing the same thing, using Connie to fulfill his dream of being a bluegrass star.
    • In "Now Who's the Dummy?", Peggy accuses Hank of using Chip Block as his ideal son. Realizing she's right, Hank remakes his new Chip to look like Bobby.
  • Jump Scare:
    • "Gone with the Windstorm" has a subplot of Bobby being terrorized by a classmate that just loves to give these.
    • When Hank, Bobby, and Bill are startled by the HDTV Peggy bought (and no one knows how to operate) when it comes out of Sleep Mode.

  • Kafka Komedy: Bill's life is tragic enough to fall under this.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Peggy gets away with being an asshole to others a little too much. The only time anyone calls her out on either this or on her massive ego are the episodes in which she's portrayed sympathetically, and as such, turns out to have been right all along.
    • Randy Travis in "Peggy's Fan Fair", mostly because as the one with the microphone, everyone only hears his side of the story, and because Peggy has a reputation for trying to gain credit when she doesn't deserve it.
    • Nancy basically got away for years with cheating on Dale and mothering a child with John Redcorn. Even worse, just about everybody except Dale knows, but nobody says anything to him. Karma did eventually creep up on her when she began to go bald after she ended the affair.
    • John Redcorn. He cheated on Nancy without being caught and he doesn't get called out on it. He would eventually receive a karmic punishment in being repeatedly denied a role in Joseph's life and having to watch an idiot raise his son. And there was also that time Dale mistook him for an intruder and whacked him across the head with a lamp. Also, while he found some minor success being a children's entertainer, "Redcorn Gambles With His Future" shattered his dreams of becoming a famous rockstar and losing his Native American casino after investing thousands of dollars on it. While these unfortunate events may not be directly connected to his prior sins, it does go to show that not everything goes his way.
    • Kahn took a big risk showing Hank the top secret project he was working on and specifically told Hank to never tell anyone. Hank immediately told Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer and after Bill blabbed about it at work, Kahn was fired for treason. The only way he was able to get another job was to take one in Houston, three hours away. Hank blamed it on Kahn being an asshole, despite the fact that he was the one went back on his word and got Kahn fired in the first place. The only punishment Hank got was a What the Hell, Hero? from Peggy and doing some housework for Mihn, which he liked anyway. In Kahn's case, he did it purposefully to brag about his new promotion by luring Hank to his workplace under the pretense that they needed propane, then after showing off everything he did, revealed they actually had no need for propane at all.
    • Buck has gotten away with illegal activities several times. He's bet branches of his company and employees on poker games. He refused to pay child support for his illegitimate son Ray-Roy, and freely admitted that he would've planted evidence that Hank murdered Debbie Grund in front of a Texas Ranger and still gets off scot-free. The reason Hank works for him in spite of all this is that he believes somewhere deep down inside him, is the amazing businessman he used to be. The only time karma ever really hit this man is when his emus attacked him in a parking lot since he was trying to have them killed to commit insurance fraud.
    • In "Junkie Business", instead of hiring the incredibly well-qualified and knowledgeable Maria Montalvo for the new Accessories Associate position at Strickland Propane, Hank hires Leon Petard, who later turns out to be a drug addict. While Anthony Page later giving Leon free run can be seen as Laser-Guided Karma, Hank committed two various obvious forms of discrimination as not only did he refuse to hire a woman but he asked her about her religious belief despite knowing it was illegal. Given the fact that Strickland could have been sued because of Hank’s actions, Leon seems like a mild inconvenience. At least they're shown hiring her at the end.
    • In "Get Your Freak Off", Hank is flanderized to a level that would make the Amish look modern. Basically, Hank punishes Bobby for seeing him and his girlfriend do suggestive dance moves at a concert by literally stripping his room clean of everything except his bed, and when he leaves, he says something along the lines of: "Okay have fun!". Not to mention the fact that he forces Bobby to cut off all ties he has with his friends. Nobody bothers to call Hank out on his overreaction, not even Peggy says anything, and this episode had her portrayed as smarter than she normally was Post-Flanderization.
    • The hijackers from the Grand Finale were never caught. Though Bobby's team acted like general jackasses, the opposite team went a little too far.
    • The three terrorists in "The Accidental Terrorist" never got caught after bombing the car dealership and leaving Hank to take the blame.
    • In "Bad News Bill", Bobby's new Little League coach tries an over-enthusiastic approach to encourage Bobby to do well in baseball and makes Hank look like a horrible dad for "giving up on Bobby" when he really was just being realistic, not wanting Bobby to feel disappointed if things go bad instead of giving him false hope. Nobody calls out the coach on his attitude towards Hank, even when his techniques eventually fail to help Bobby and only humiliate him, though Peggy says Hank knows what is best for his son. In the same episode Bill is given a position of authority and rubs it in Hank's face. He refuses to let Hank watch Bobby play without doing meaningless tasks, where he has to deal with hostile people who call him a bad father. Hank is eventually banned from watching Bobby play and Bill remains in his position. The only consequence Bill receives is Dale and Boomhauer agreeing with Hank that Bill is in the wrong and running off after Hank has enough of his attitude and threatens to kick his ass.
  • Kayfabe: In "Glen Peggy Glen Ross", when Peggy starts working for Sizemore Realty, she learns that Chris Sizemore has his employees do things like pretend to be married in order to improve their sales. Near the end of the episode, Peggy impresses him by having Connie pose as her adopted daughter.
  • Kicked Upstairs: In "When Cotton Comes Marching Home Again", Cotton works as a greeter but causes a commotion. Since he was hired by the owner, his boss can only "promote" him to men's room attendant.
  • Kids' Meal Toy: invoked In "Aisle 8A", Peggy takes Bobby to Whataburger so she can explain how Connie has had her first period and is now becoming a woman. He doesn't take it well.
    Bobby: She can't be a woman! I'm still a kid! I even got the kids' meal! I love this toy!
    Peggy: Oh, Bobby, honey, you will catch up eventually. This year, next year, it does not matter when, because you will always be Mommy's little man.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • Played with. Hank and Peggy punish Luanne and Bobby by making them think they have to get married since Bobby messed Luanne's birth control pills, telling him that he caused her to get pregnant,note  then telling them that Bill, the officiant for their fake wedding, was an actual ordained minister and they really were married, but Bill breaks down immediately and tells them the truth. Of course, Kahn isn't surprised by the "hillbilly cousin wedding":
      Mihn, it's finally happened! Hillbilly neighbor marry trailer trash cousin! You owe me five dollars! In your face!
    • In "A Beer Can Named Desire", Bill travels to New Orleans with the Hills to visit his family and Bill's three cousins — two married in, one blood — fight over him because he is the last straight Dauterive male and they want to continue the family line.
  • Kissing Warm-Up: Bobby practices kissing on Luanne's hairdresser dummy.
  • Kitsch Collection: Hank's mother and her porcelain miniatures. Played for Drama in that her kitsch collection was the only thing keeping her sane when she was married to Cotton.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Plenty of villains, none morso then Trip Larson and Luanne's parents.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
    • Peggy, especially in later seasons after she underwent Flanderization to make this trait progressively more pronounced. She's convinced she's perfectly fluent in Spanish even though she's worse than some of the students she teaches, frequently acts like the smartest woman in the room on any subject, and generally goes into something with such ferocity and tenacity that people learn to just stay out of her way so as not to get caught in the collateral damage.
    • The Hills tend to run into a lot of so-called "experts" over the course of the series. Frequently, someone will stroll into Arlen with more self-assurance than talent, only to get exposed by Hank Pulling the Thread or having their own hubris undo them.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The car dealer that Hank goes up against in The Accidental Terrorist. After Hank finds out that the dealer has been ripping him off for decades, he decides to fight back and recruits some people to help him. Unfortunately, the people that Hank recruits have a very different idea of how to go about that and firebomb the dealership. Since Hank was the only one who showed up on camera, it looks like he's going to take all the blame until the dealer walks in and drops the charges against Hank, saying that Hank is an honest man and if Hank says that he's innocent, he'll believe him. At the end of the episode, the dealer reveals to an underling that he actually doesn't believe that Hank is innocent at all, but he knows that if Hank is given the platform of a court case, he'll reveal the dealer's dirty tricks to everyone, adding that Hank is the kind of person who would take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if given the opportunity. He decides that he's already made plenty of money off of Hank and decides to cut his losses.
  • Large Ham: Bobby. This makes sense considering he wants to be a comedian.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Hank believes in this, according to "Torch Song Hillogy" — he states that his ankle breaking before he could win the biggest football game of his life in high school was God punishing him for showboating after a touchdown just minutes before.
    • Nancy cheated on her husband for over a decade and abused his trust without a single negative consequence. Until she started to go bald. It is implied that she started to go bald because she stopped cheating on her husband. Her mother had the same thing happen to her.
    • John Redcorn gets his comeuppance for his affair with Nancy by having to watch his only son be raised by a deranged conspiracy nut (even though Dale actually does show glimmers of being a better father figure, even if the son he has isn't his biologically). At one point, he gives Joseph a hunting knife that had been passed down from father to son for generations as a symbol of burgeoning manhood and as a rite of passage, only for Joseph to not care and not understand the significance.
    • Dr. Weissman tells Bill that he'll lose his legs to diabetes and claims he'll be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life, acting incredibly insensetive and dismissive of Bill throughout. When it turns out he wasn't telling the truth and Bill's legs are in fact perfectly fine, Bill goes to complain over his undue stress, only to be mockingly dismissed once again. Bill then pushes Weissman into his office, closes the door behind him then proceeds to kick his ass:
      Hank: My friend is erm, er...
      Nurse (who Weissman had insulted earlier): I don't hear a thing.
    • In "Hank's Back", Hank has to take some Yoga classes with a very pretentious instructor, Yogi, due to his immense back problem. To his surpise, it works, and he begins to feel much better and quits his session early in excitement. However, after being accused of faking his injury for worker's compensation and goes to court, Hank brings in Yogi to confirm he did come to yoga class for his back problem. During which, Hank badmouths Yogi and Yoga itself, despite the immense help it did, in order to help his case. However, despite winning, Hank is ordered to continue has classes because Yogi revealed he was still in pain, and the court can't have him having a relapse, much to his displeasure and to Yogi's justified satisfaction.
    • In "Strangeness on a Train," Dale takes great pride in Peggy having horrible birthdays. When Peggy arranges for a Disco -themed murder-mystery dinner party on a train ride, Dale anticipates it becoming yet another lousy Peggy Hill birthday. When it does happen (due to Luanne accidentally revealing the murder victim before the train even pulls out of the station, the refrigeration going out (and ruining the planned dinner and cake), the train traveling through dry counties (meaning no alcoholic beverages), and Hank and Peggy having sex in the train's restroom leading to Khan trying to match up the couple's feet with the footprints on the mirror), Dale initially enjoys it and tries to fuel Peggy's misery. But when everyone gets kicked off the train (Hank distracted everyone from the mystery by scaring the engineer into stopping the train), Dale notices how upset Peggy really is and starts to genuinely feel sorry for her...
      "This is Peggy Hill's worst birthday ever. I should feel on top of the world, yet I'm not. I feel strangely hollow inside."
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Hank and Peggy decide to have another child, despite fertility problems, and Cotton and Didi end up getting pregnant by accident shortly thereafter. This is lampshaded by Peggy shortly after G.H. is born, while she is also in a full-body cast:
    "I was once one of the finest mothers in all of Texas, and now I can't even wipe a baby. And I have to watch those two, Cotton and Stupid, with their beautiful new baby that they don't even want!"
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the final episode, when Bobby expresses an honest interest in a manly hobby, Hank says "I've been waiting thirteen years to hear you say that." 13 is both Bobby's age and the number of seasons the show ran. Also from the finale: as the episode draws to a close, Hank and Bobby are grilling steaks. Bobby looks at the final steak left to be cooked and says meaningfully "Well, dad, I guess this is the last one." Finally, the finale aired as the second half of a two-parter with the penultimate episode, which began with the foursome in the alley realizing, "Oh no, we're out of projects!"
  • Left Hanging:
    • The vigilante who tried to shoot Dale in "Dog Dale Afternoon" was never identified, but it's possible he was arrested off-screen.
    • At the end of the show, Dale never learns that Nancy cheated and had an illegitimate son with John Redcorn due to every attempt to explain it to him being muddled by his neurotic mind spinning wild conspiracy theories.
    • Bill remains hopelessly single, with any chance of getting a new woman in the future very unlikely due to his unattractive mannerisms.
    • While Bobby and Connie don't get back together, they never truly stopped having feelings for one another.
  • Leitmotif: Dale gives each guy in the alley one in "Behind Closed Doors". Gets a Brick Joke halfway through when Hank hears keyboard music outside and says, "Good, Boomhauer's home."
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: Defied. In "Rich Hank, Poor Hank", Bobby mistakenly thinks that his father is rich when he overhears Hank telling Peggy about his $1000 annual bonus from work but mistakenly gets the idea that Hank makes that much per day. At first, Bobby tries to get his father to spend his money, which backfires when Hank tries to teach Bobby the value of a dollar by showing how much money Bobby spent and suggests Bobby could make money by taking littered cans to the recycling center, but this only reinforces Bobby's misjudgment that Hank is being stingy. Bobby steals Hank emergency credit card and goes to the mall. After Bobby is caught and he tells Hank he knows he rich, Hank clarifies Bobby's earlier misconceptions — the $1000 check was an annual bonus and the strongbox of oil receipts was a collection of receipts what Hank has spent on the truck, such as oil changes, instead of deeds to oil wells that Bobby assumed them to be. Bobby also learns that he's personally responsible for spending their entire monthly entertainment budget on music CDs. They return all of the items which Bobby had purchased, save for a nonrefundable jet ski. Bobby, feeling bad for the trouble he caused and learning of his family's real income, works hard at his punishment and adopting Hank's attitude towards the value of a hard day's work and an honest dollar. At first, Hank is happy and proud of Bobby, but when they try to sell the jet ski to a rich father buying it for his spoiled son Eric, Hank becomes uncomfortable when he sees that Bobby is too eager to please Eric, who treats him like garbage. This prompts Hank to decide not to sell the jet ski to Eric's father. As Hank and Bobby ride the jet ski to test it, he tells Bobby they're not selling the jet ski, they will sell it in a year and carry it on his credit card until then. The episode ends with Hank and Bobby talking about a responsible way to use a credit card and Hank happy that Bobby learned his lesson about earnest work and not behaving like that spoiled brat.
  • Let's Have Another Baby: Hank and Peggy get the urge to have another child after dealing the whole episode with Hank attempting to have Ladybird impregnated. The next episode deals this when Peggy fails a dozen pregnancy tests because of Hank's narrow urethra resulting in a low sperm count, which is why Bobby is their only child. They give up afterwards.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: An electric shock to the head cures the Ax-Crazy Trip Larsen of his insanity... just in time for him to realize that his crazy self was in the middle of gleefully committing suicide-by-pig-grinder.
  • Literal Ass-Kicking: Hank has a habit of doing this to people who really piss him off, so much so that "I'M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS!" has become somewhat of a catchphrase. Hank actually 'did'' manage to kick a couple of people's asses in the literal sense during the show's run, too.
  • Literal Genie: Discussed by Hank in one episode.
    "This is awful; it's like when you get a wish from a genie but you ask for it in slightly the wrong way and wind up with a solid gold head or something."
  • Logic Bomb: In "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying", Hank asks Dale how he can support the NRA, an organization based out of Washington, D.C. After thinking about it, Dale responds:
    "That's a thinker."
  • Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Luanne's dad, who was already retconned into a felon for the episode.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Buck Strickland may as well be the poster child for this:
    • Apparently, he usually bets Joe Jack, meaning this must occur quite often. But Joe Jack's not the only one this has happened to;
    • He once bet — and lost — Hank to Thatherton in a game of poker. He also lost his North Branch this way.
  • Love Triangle: Kind of; Joseph has an unrequited attraction to Connie, but he seems to interpret it as her being interested. In one episode, he outright tells her to choose, and she responds that Bobby's her boyfriend; the next day, Bobby asks if he understood that it was just a friend date, and Connie says it doesn't seem that way, looking a bit creeped out.
  • Mad at a Dream: Dale, when he finds out Hank had an erotic dream of himself and Nancy.
  • Magical Native American: Zigzagged; in the early episodes, John Redcorn played it straight, complete with an unexplained breeze blowing his hair whenever he spoke, even indoors. In the later episodes, it was subverted, as John Redcorn only plays up being this to get women to sleep with him.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: David Herman, Stephen Root and Toby Huss voice many of the incidental/minor male characters in the series.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Monsignor Martinez, a priest/crime boss on a popular Mexican soap opera. When Peggy meets his actor, Eduardo Filipe, the latter's shown to be a humble, down-to-earth family man.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Kahn" is an anagram of "Hank". Lampshaded in "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day", where Kahn points out the anagram and says it's proof that he and Hank were destined to be friends.
    • Combined with Bilingual Bonus in the "Returning Japanese" two-parter. "Junichiro" translates to "genuine first son".
    • Coach Sauers, Hank's old football coach from "Three Coaches and a Bobby," seems to be in a perpetually foul mood.
  • Medication Tampering: Bobby tries to get even with Luanne when her then boyfriend throws a party at Boomhauer's house which he was house-sitting. He set up pranks against Luanne and she retaliates back. Finally, he goes far enough to change Luanne's birth control pills with candy. Hank and Peggy decide to make Bobby "marry" Luanne to teach him a lesson.
  • Metaphorically True: When Joseph crashes the Bug-a-Bago into a telephone pole after having just hit puberty, the parents want to know who did it. Bobby (who was with Joseph and Connie in the van) replies, "It was probably teenagers." The parents react as if that meant unknown teenage hoodlums instead of the teenage trio that stands before them.
  • Mic Drop: In "Manger Baby Einstein", Luanne grabs the microphone at the local kid's pizza joint and scolds her former puppet show fans. She ends her rant by dropping the mic.
  • Military School: Fort Berk, Cotton's old boarding school. Implied to be what turned Cotton into the Jerkass he is through constant beatings, psychological torture and solitary confinement, the memories of which made him work up some of his "pain water". Hank wanted to go but Cotton didn't allow it as he didn't think he was good enough for it. Bobby got sent there for a two week bootcamp but to Cotton's dismay the school had been defanged. As Cotton put it, "[They] went and turned my childhood home into a giant sissy factory!"
  • Mirror Character:
    • In "The Bluegrass is Always Greener", Kahn is seen pressuring Connie to be a concert violinist, but she hears Hank and the guys playing bluegrass and gets into it. They form a band, but Hank quickly becomes just as bad as Kahn.
    • In "Cops and Robert," Hank accidentally steals a man's wallet because he mistakenly thinks the man just pick-pocketed him. Throughout the episode, the man is shown, like Hank, to be sick and tired of getting ripped off by slimeballs; in fact, before the wallet incident, Hank sees the man getting ripped off by a pretzel vendor and remarks on it to Peggy.
    • Hank and his father have a lot in common, mainly in how they treat their son and how that affects them. Hank's so uptight because Cotton would scream at him any time he ever showed the slightest hint of emotion. It has been hinted numerous times that Bobby’s naïevete is mainly due to the fact that Hank refuses to appreciate his other skills. For example, in "The Witches of East Arlen", Bobby loses his part in the play Oklahoma! to Ken Hayashi, another actor, and begins to doubt what he is good at. He always thought that acting was his "thing." At the behest of Peggy, Hank takes him to the flea market to find something new, preferably something Hank would approve of. And anyone who saw the sheer loof of determination in Bobby's eyes in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Clown" after Hank told him that he didn’t find him funny will know that he went on that stage to prove Hank wrong.
  • Misleading Package Size: Luanne gives Hank a shoebox gift. However, it turns out that it only contain a tiny gift box containing a pass to swim with the resort's dolphin.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: invoked Luanne's "Manger Babies" characters. The premise of her show being about the animals who witnessed the Nativity of Jesus. The donkey is the only one that makes sense. The other animals are a cat, an octopus, and a British penguin with a bow tie, top hat, and monocle.
  • Mistaken Ethnicity: When Kahn Souphanousinphone and his family moves in, Hank assumes they're either Chinese or Japanese (they're from Laos originally). He jokingly tells his father Cotton, a Pacific Theater vet, that Kahn is Japanese. Cotton is able to tell he's Laotian by sniffing him.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Dale thinks John Redcorn is gay, explaining why he was never suspicious about all the time the latter spent with his wife Nancy. Though in "Hank Gets Dusted", when John Redcorn outright says "I slept with [Hank's] best friend's wife!", Dale dismissively assumes he's talking about Bill's ex-wife Lenore.
    • Peggy mistakes her hairdresser for this in "Goodbye Normal Jeans" and finds out that he has a wife and child.
    • The police and medical personnel briefly think that the conflict between Hank and Dale over the former sawing off the latter's finger by accident in "The Texas Skillsaw Massacre" is an abuse case between domestic partners. Hank and Dale's arguments over the tunnel the latter built under their houses don't help matters.
    • Hank was mistaken for gay in "Be True to Your Fool" after he sees a doctor to get his "BILL" tattoo removed. The doctor warns Hank that tattoo removal is a long and painful procedure and asks if it would be easier to just "work things out with this Bill."
    • Dooley mistakes Joseph for being gay for Bobby in "I'm With Cupid". Their school has a Valentine's event where girls buy carnations for boys they like, Bobby already has two while Joseph has none. Bobby helps Joseph talk to a girl by lending him his carnations. After Joseph succeeds in asking the girl out, he happily returns the carnations to Bobby and thanks him. Dooley walks in on Joseph pinning the second carnation on his shirt. Dooley tells Joseph, "That took courage."
  • Mistaken for Insane: In "Naked Ambition" Boomhauer falls asleep in an inner tube and drifts all the way to Houston, where his condition (sunburned, wearing only speedos and his usual gibberish speech) get him locked up in a local mental institution. In the same episode, when Boomhauer calls Dale to get him out of the mental hospital, Dale decides to infiltrate the place and sneak out. When he accidentally gets locked in, he goes to the director and rants about a conspiracy theory before telling him that he and Boomhauer are in there by mistake and should be released, but this convinces the director that Dale is just another delusional patient.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: In "Hank's Dirty Laundry", Hank is getting unjustly fined for not returning a pornagraphic video that, being Hank, he clearly did not rent. At one point, someone (i.e. Bill) sends him some videotapes to provide evidence (that the date Hank supposedly rented the film was before it was even made) that he did not rent it so Hank locks himself in the bedroom to watch them. Peggy walks in on him thinking he was masturbating and runs out; he was actually crouched down and taking notes.note  The original scene can be found on DVD and in some non-FOX broadcasters.
  • Mistaken for Profound: Hank does this to his father-in-law.
  • Mistaken for Racist: In "Racist Dawg," Ladybird attacks a black repairman trying to fix the water heater, prompting everyone to think that Hank and Ladybird are racists. Turns out Ladybird is actually responding to Hank's hostility toward any outside person, black or white, having to make repairs to his house.
  • Mistaken Nationality: Kahn. When Hank first meets him, he asks him, "Are you Chinese or Japanese?" Cotton correctly identifies Kahn as Laotian at first glance (as he fought in World War II, so he would know the difference between a Chinese person, a Japanese person, and a Laotian), surprising even Kahn:
    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're 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, okay? Population 4.7 million.
    Hank: *beat* So are you Chinese or Japanese?
  • Monster Clown: A gag from "Lucky See, Lucky Do" has Peggy digging up Bobby's old things from when he was a baby. One of them is a clown doll with a creepy stare and grin:
    Bobby: {eyes narrowed} We meet again, Mr. Giggles.
    Suddenly jump to an extreme closeup of Mr. Giggles' face, complete with Scare Chord. Bobby gasps and immediately backs off.
  • Mood Whiplash: In "Jon Vitti Presents: Return to La Grunta", Hank comes clean about how the dolphin "attacked" him (really trying to become intimate). What starts as derisive laughter from Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer abruptly turns serious when Bill reveals the same thing happened to him years prior.
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: In "Meet the Manger Babies", Dale suggests that the Super Bowl is pre-selected and is filmed in an unidentifiable location where they filmed the fake Moon landing, months before the game ever began. In "Dale to the Chief", Dale discovers that the government report on the Kennedy assassination actually made sense and said, "If the government was right about this then maybe we really did go to the moon."
  • Mooning:
    • In "The Order of the Straight Arrow", Dale repeatedly moons Hank, Bill, and the troop members as Boomhauer passes them in his vehicle. Boomhauer is forced off the road briefly, scraping Dale's ass against a treeline.
    • A plot point in "Hank and the Great Glass Elevator": Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer guilt trip Hank into feeling like he's no fun, so when the trio want to moon the hotel lobby as they ascend an elevator, Hank decides to prove them wrong. But Hank is the only one who pulls down his pants, and he accidentally moons former governor of Texas, Ann Richards:
      Hank: I'm doin' it! I'm a mooner!
    • Dale and Cotton moon Hank in "The Final Shinsult". In a twist, Dale has to pick Cotton up so he's high enough for his ass to be seen.
  • The Moral Substitute: In "Reborn Again to be Wild", Bobby joins a youth group consisting of skater punks, so he starts listening to Christian rock and is even seen playing a Bible video game. Memorably skewered by Hank who says:
    "You aren't making Christianity any better, you're only making rock and roll worse."
  • Morality Pet:
    • Even though Peggy is a complete Small Name, Big Ego and generally annoying and incompetent, she genuinely cares about Hank and Bobby and can do some pretty badass stuff to defend them. She is also really protective of Luanne.
    • Bobby plays this role for Cotton. Cotton may be a misguided Jerkass, but he does love Bobby.
    • Bobby interestingly works as a sanity pet for Bill on occasion. With Bobby being the closest thing to a son he has due to his "closeness" to the Hills, Bill and Bobby often bond over things, reaching a very heartwarming Pet the Dog peak in "Blood and Sauce" where Bill and Bobby bond over the preparation and cooking of barbecue, ending with Bill making Bobby an honorary member of his family.
  • Motor Mouth: Boomhauer. It can be very difficult to make out what he's saying most of the time.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Miz Liz, Strickland's wife, who is visibly a much older woman, who has an emotional breakdown after mentioning that everyone calls her madame now instead of miss. She also went after Hank in the episode she shows up in.
    • Leanne Platter (Luanne's mother) made a drunken, sleazy play for Buckley, her daughter's boyfriend(!)
  • Ms. Fanservice: Luanne during most of the show (bikini scenes, close-ups of bouncing breasts, and "hands over boobs" shots, as well as an episode where Bobby accidentally sees Luanne naked and becomes depressed over it, while Joseph wants to see Luanne naked for himself).
    • Nancy often shows up in a tiny string bikini (or nude) at other times.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: From Bobby's point of view, at least. When Hank gets his head shaved to get rid of his headlice problem, Bobby acts like it's the coolest thing ever:
    • Peggy competes in a Boggle championship in Dallas that's structured almost like a regional chess tournament, but with excited sportscasters, coaches, and heavily regulated matches. The soundtrack even has an inspirational montage track in the final match between Peggy and Cissy Cobb.
  • Mushroom Samba: Hank accidentally inhales too much varnish in "Hillennium", and passes out. What follows is a dream sequence where he imagines he's one of the Whack-a-Moles.
  • My Car Hates Me:
    • Hank is about to be mowed down by a train in "Chasing Bobby" but desperately tries to start his old truck so he can drive off the train tracks. Eventually he does exit the vehicle but his truck is destroyed.
    • In the pilot, Hank tries to unbolt the truck's alternator, but Dale moves the worklight and the wrench slips off. The hood then collapses on him for no apparent reason.
  • My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad:
    • The plot of "Bobby Goes Nuts" is set in motion when Bobby tries to invoke this and Hank tells Bobby to fight for himself.
    • Humorously referenced and inverted in "Bwah My Nose". After seeing Hank's busted nose, Bobby worriedly asks if he has to beat up someone's son.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: In "The Arrowhead", before entering the professor's office, a student walks out with a distracting T-shirt. She admonishes Hank for reading it:
    Student: That's right, they're breasts! Big deal!
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Peggy's Spanish skill amounts to this. Fortunately, it also serves to convince the Mexican court that her kidnapping of a young girl was really a terrible misunderstanding as she had no clue what the girl was saying:
    Judge: No es culpaldo (Not guilty).
    Peggy: Oh God, I'm going to jail!!!
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Hank is willing to overlook a lot of Buck Strickland's faults, but even he has his limits. Later episodes hint that Hank knows perfectly well his boss is an total moron and is constantly having to run damage control to mitigate his screw-ups. Hank even states his actual loyalty is more to the company he's dedicated the last 15 years of his life to, than the man who runs it.
  • Naked Nutter:
    • Dale is tasked with getting a raccoon out of Hank's house after it goes underneath. Dale ends up scratched by the raccoon, leading to fears he might have rabies. Throughout the episode, he goes animalistic and insane (not helped by feeding himself via mushrooms he's found). And towards the end, he's only wearing a hat, his sunglasses, and his underwear.
    • Boomhauer is mistaken for one in "Naked Ambition", after waking up sunburned (and a little hungover) in a float tube that flowed down the stream and into a sewer that ultimately left him stranded in Houston. He wanders through the streets of a strange neighborhood, disoriented, in nothing but a speedo, spewing his usual gibberish, and is picked up by the cops.
  • Nasal Trauma: In "Bwah My Nose", Hank suffers a broken nose while practicing for a football game. After surgery, he finds himself more attractive and becomes obsessed with protecting it.
  • Nausea Dissonance: In "My Own Private Rodeo", when Dale recounts how he caught his father, Bug, kissing his wife Nancy on their wedding day, his story starts off catching Bill puking in the bathroom, and afterwards, nonchalantly heading straight to the kitchen, where he caught Bug in the act.
  • Near-Miss Groin Attack: Hank sits on a magnet to improve his sperm count when Bobby comes in and talks to Hank about how Hank and Peggy are planning to have another child. When Bobby talks to him, he's holding a screwdriver and puts it down after he says his piece. The screwdriver flies to the magnet as Hank reacts and spreads his legs, narrowly missing his crotch.
  • Negative Continuity:
    • Cotton's Cadillac was always a different model or bodystyle every time it appeared.
    • In "Hilloween", Bobby mentions Hank made him eat chopped liver. Just one season later in "Love Hurts and So Does Art", when Bobby gets gout, Hank says they've never fed Bobby chopped liver because they're not "ghouls."
    • In "Lady and Gentrification", Hank's coworker Enrique has a quinceañera for his daughter, Inez. This contradicts "Enrique-cilable Differences", where Enrique and his wife are having marital problems and he mentions the kids have moved out of the house.
    • In "Cotton's Plot", Cotton fights to get a burial plot at the Texas State Cemetery and ultimately succeeds. However, in "Serves Me Right for Giving General George S. Patton the Bathroom Key", his ashes are flushed down a toilet General Patton used back in World War I (before pursuing Pancho Villa in Mexico, not while serving in France).
    • The episode "A Rover Runs Through It" portrays Peggy's mother with a completely different appearance, personality, and life to her previous appearances. The episode also claims that Peggy has not spoken with her mother in twenty years. The other "version" of the character appeared in the episode "I Remember Mono", a subplot in a Valentine's Day episode as Bobby's secret admirer, and the plot of the Thanksgiving episode revolved around the Hills trying to get to Peggy's parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner.
    • In "Untitled Blake McCormick Project," it is revealed that John Redcorn had another child, from a woman named Charlene, who was the same age as Joseph. Charlene was initially dating Bill but moves in with John Redcorn at the end of the episode. Neither she nor her and John Redcorn's child are never seen or mentioned again, as if this episode never happened.
    • A minor one, but social worker Anthony from the pilot transferred back to L.A. after being taken off the Hill case, but he reappears in "Junkie Business" to represent Leon, as if he never left town to begin with.
  • Never My Fault: Peggy's ego renders her incapable of recognizing she made a mistake or taking responsibility for it:
    • "Death and Texas". A prisoner on death row claims that Peggy was his substitute teacher and wants her to teach him before he's put to death. It's obvious to everyone, except Peggy herself, that his man is clearly in his 40s and is only using her naive belief in her skills as a teacher. He reveals he was indeed lying and used her to smuggle cocaine into his cell. She tells Hank this, but doesn't admit her fault in believing the lies. Instead, she makes Hank out to be the guilty one and makes him help her. In fact, she insists that Hank apologize to her after he saves her.
    • "Goodbye Normal Jeans". When Bobby takes a home-ec class and must wash a cheerleader's uniform for homework, Peggy puts it in the washing machine and dumps bleach on it, then has Bobby push the on button. When the uniform ends up full of holes and Hank's (apparently only) pair of jeans are ruined, Peggy merely states "surgeons make mistakes" and "people die". In other words, she never apologizes.
  • New Media Are Evil: Played with. Hank expresses disappointment when all of the violent video games Bobby plays don't affect him, wondering "What's the point?"
  • The New Rock & Roll: Referenced in "Father of the Bribe", where the school mistakes a note Connie wrote ("I'm so bored I could kill myself!", which she wrote sarcastically because of how boring class was) for a suicide note, and Principal Moss notes that they want to avoid a double suicide "Dungeons & Dragons thing".
  • Nice Guy: Many characters show a sense of decency at some point:
    • Hank is a normal, well-meaning family man.
    • Bobby is a really sweet, kind-hearted, and caring kid.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the episode "Pretty, Pretty Dresses," Hank's misguided attempts to keep Bill from killing himself only make the situation worse (he even yells at Bill for being a burden and abandons him). It's almost a checklist of what not to do when dealing with a suicidal person.
  • Nightmare Sequence: "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg" features one.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Bill's jerkass doctor in "Dia-Bill-ic Shock" is an obvious Expy of Dr. House.
    • Bill's cousin Gilbert is very much a modern-day Tennessee Williams.
    • Buck initially appears modeled on Lyndon Johnson (he even holds staff meetings on the toilet), though the resemblance is downplayed in later seasons.
  • No Full Name Given: Boomhauer lacks a first name for most of the series, until it's revealed online and in the episode "Uh-Oh, Canada" to be Jeff.
  • No Matter How Much I Beg: In "To Kill a Ladybird", Dale goes underneath the house after a raccoon, instructs Hank to put the grate back on, and tells him that no matter how much he begs, to not remove the grate until he's subdued the raccoon. Within only a few seconds, Dale is begging for Hank to remove the grate so he can get out. In an amusing subversion of this, the grate gets loose and the raccoon gets out, fights Ladybird, and runs away. Dale then emerges and says, "I give you one task, and you screw it up!"
  • No Periods, Period: Subverted in the episode "Aisle 8A" when Connie is staying with the Hills while her parents are out of town:
    Hank: What's wrong, Connie?
    Connie: Um... (hands Hank a note)
    Hank: Lessee... (reading) "Mr. Hill, I just got my first period." (beat) BWAAHHH!
  • No Sense of Personal Space: The B-plot of "Uncool Customer" revolves around a new restaurant that seems to have this as a gimmick. The food is terrific, but they have a rather casual view on customer seating and encourage diners to sit at the large, central table that has no assigned seats (with the justification that "Nobody's a stranger at the Arlen Barn!"). Hank, who places a very high value on his personal space, finds this to be quite a dilemma when he develops a craving for their meatloaf sandwiches.
  • No Sympathy: Hank tends to have this as a character trait:
    • This is one of the major snags between Hank and Bobby; not that Hank is trying to be a Jerkass, it's just that the two have such differing personalities, Hank can never understand why he should be sympathetic to Bobby. When Bobby gets a job as a towel manager he's miserable since he's constantly yelled at and insulted by the coach and team, and left doing thankless, ugly gruntwork nobody appreciates, but Hank is just happy Bobby's part of a team and is assured he'll come out of this as a better person. When Bobby inevitably quits, Hank reacts with anger and confusion. In another episode where Bobby is stressed over being part of a Quizbowl team to the point of having a panic attack, Hank is baffled that he could be stressed over something so silly, complaining to his friends that Bobby's life is laughably easy.
    • While Hank isn't unsympathetic to Bill's depression, he tends to regard it as a nuisance rather than a serious issue. When Bill becomes suicidal, Hank waits for him to "snap out of it," and eventually blows up in anger at him.
    • Hank is on the receiving end of this in "Ms. Wakefield," when the titular old woman obsessively tries to die in his house. His friends and neighbors see him as the villain for trying to prevent Ms. Wakefield from breaking into his home for the purpose of dying there.
  • No, You: In the pilot:
    Anthony: Mr. Hill, you are out of control!
    Hank: You're outta control, twiggy!
  • Non-Residential Residence:
    • In "Megalo Dale", Dale discovers that Chuck Mangione has secretly moved into the local Mega Lo Mart.
    • In "Bill Gathers Moss", Principal Moss is shown living in his office at the school after his wife kicked him out.
  • Non Standard Prescription: During marriage counselling, the councilor prescribes Hank and Peggy a motorcycle, because they had been planning on buying a pair of motorcycles and riding around the country together.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Hank's Bad Hair Day", Hank's old barber, Jack, is seen gradually going insane throughout the beginning of the episode. After Hank tells Jack that he will no longer be going to his shop during a haircut, Jack walks outside, clotheslines a bicyclist and steals his bike. Bill visits Hank that night and says: "I heard about Jack, I'm really sorry." Hank asks how did he hear about Jack and Bill responds with: "It was on TV, didn't you see the high speed chase?"
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Not allowed to hit puberty in Bobby's case. He does age a year or two over the course of the series, but he never changes, in spite of being older than Joseph and Connie, both of whom have episodes about them growing up.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Commented by Hank and Kahn in "Westie Side Story" when they both punish Bobby and Connie:
      Hank: You know, Kahn, we may deny our kids completely different desserts, but they both go to bed hungry, and that's what really matters.
    • In "The Perils of Polling", Hank criticizes Luanne for supporting George W. Bush for entirely shallow reasons (she thinks he's handsome and has a nice smile). But when Hank questions his support of Bush due to a weak handshake, Luanne calls him on the fact that he's being just as shallow.
  • Not What I Signed on For:
    • Hank in "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo", where the director decides to "reinterpret" history and make the Alamo's most famous figures look like incompetent, drunken, cowardly boobs, much to Hank's dismay.
    • Hank does this to Bobby at times, whenever Bobby expresses an interest in something mildly competitive, to which Hank responds too much and ruins the joy. In one episode, Bobby becomes interested in growing roses, which Hank is against until he learned that there are Rose competitions, at which point he completely muscles Bobby out of the picture and takes over.
    • In "Soldier of Misfortune", despite being a gun club, Mad Dog is the only one who's serious about holding Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer hostage and torturing them for real:
      Earl: Twenty minutes ago, we were talking about ordering a pizza. What happened here?!
  • Not What It Looks Like: Many instances, but "Dog Dale Afternoon" really stands out. When Hank, Bill and Boomhauer secretly steal Dale's lawnmower as a prank, Dale becomes increasingly paranoid, but forgets about it when he finds out he has an appointment to spray for silverfish at the community college. Bill sees Dale spraying the bell tower and thinks he has a gun and intends to shoot people (similar to Charles Wittman), and calls the police, then calls Hank and Peggy.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: According to the opening, anyway. Apparently all four regulars didn't have any work that day, allowing them to hang out in the alley most of the day drinking beer and shooting the breeze. This is lampshaded in one episode, when a reality TV show producer watches footage of Hank and the gang drinking beer in front of their fence, and subsequently exclaims "This is not INTERESTING!"
  • Obfuscating Disability:
    • Bill is told by a doctor that he has diabetes and will eventually lose his legs to gangrene. In order to prepare, he starts making all his movements in a wheelchair and seems to have forgotten he could actually still use his legs until he was drunk in a bar and stood up, shocking and majorly pissing off the wheelchaired rugby players he had befriended.
    • Inverted in "Lucky's Wedding Suit", when Lucky gets talked out of suing Strickland Propane, and obfuscates not having a disability so his Amoral Attorney can't go through with suing them. When it was just about to fail, Hank gets Dale to "injure" Lucky in the office in the same stunt that caused the actual injury, forcing the lawyer to match Lucky's settlement from Costco.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws:
    • Cotton always treats Peggy with contempt and never even addresses her by her name.
    • Minh's Laotian military general father is this to Kahn. Kahn's mother is this to Minh.
    • Inverted with Peggy's family, who get along better with Hank when the Hill family visit the ranch.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Anthony Page. In the pilot, he investigates Hank for child abuse (Bobby got a black eye in baseball) without interviewing the little league coach and gets removed from the case for it. In "Junkie Business", he lets a clearly incompetent druggie take over Strickland Propane because he went into rehab before he was officially fired, and therefore qualified for the Americans with Disabilities Act (and who is only fired when Hank quits and makes the company too small to be covered by the act).
  • Obstructive Zealot: Dale, very often.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Hank's reaction when Dale tells him how much of an idiot Jimmy Witchard (who Bobby was working for) is and he realizes that Bobby was right about him being an abusive sociopath.
    • Hank's reaction in "Propane Boom" when he smells a propane leak just before Mega Lo Mart explodes as a result.
    • Trip Larsen's reaction when he was zapped while on the pig grinder and became sane just in time to see where the conveyor belt was taking him.
  • On Three: In "Peggy Hill: The Decline and Fall", this occurs when Hank, Boomhauer, Bill, Dale, and the doctor try to get Peggy (who's lying on a gurney) into the house. She doesn't fit, so they have to tilt the gurney, on three. There's confusion as to what that means, so Hank sighs and says, "Just lift."
  • Once an Episode: Though, not always in this order:
    Hank: Yep.
    Bill: Yep.
    Boomhauer: Mm-hmm.
    Dale: Yep.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Comes up often when Nancy's affair with John Redcorn is involved, as his act of "healing" her "headaches" is used as a euphemism for their relationship which only Dale is oblivious to.
  • One-Steve Limit:
    • There were two separate characters named Donna that worked at Strickland Propane. The first Donna was a black woman around Hank's age who never had a speaking role. The second Donna was a Caucasian woman, also the same age as Hank, with a relatively minor role in some episodes. Apparently, Buck has had an affair with a Donna but it's unclear which one. It's possibly the former because she was fired for stealing office supplies.
    • Cotton's various war buddies include two "Brooklyn"s, three "Fatty"s (there was a fourth, but he died during the events that lead to Cotton losing his shins), and at least five "Stinky"s.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Most of Cotton's war buddies are only known by their nicknames, primarily because the only people who refer to them is Cotton (who likely gave them the nicknames) and Hank (who doesn't know a whole lot about them to begin with).
    • Elroy Kleinschmidt is known as "Lucky". He got his nickname from a lawsuit he filed against Costco for slipping on urine in the restroom.
  • Only Sane Employee: Hank at Stickland Propane.
  • Only Sane Man: Boomhauer, although Hank sees himself as this.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "Death and Taxes", Hank realizes something's up with Peggy about halfway through the episode when she A) messes up a meal, and B) responds by actually calling her own intelligence into question.
  • Out of Focus:
    • Connie after she breaks up with Bobby.
    • Luanne at various points in the series.
  • Out-Gambitted: In "The Substitute Spanish Prisoner", Peggy, of all people, manages to successfully con a tricky bastard of a Con Man into successfully conning an obviously bad con so that he'd put the money in his room safe, which was actually not a room safe, but a safe Peggy had put there. If that plan had failed, Peggy was just going to steal his car.
  • Outside/Inside Slur: Kahn's idol, Ted Wassonasong, calls him a banana, after which Kahn tries to get in touch with his Laotian culture.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: Amusingly, Sharona gives herself one in "Wings of the Dope", even though she's trying to one-up Luanne:
    Sharona: Well you are going to fail the hair dye test and flunk out of beauty school, and you'll have to work at the mall at the pretzel place, and we'll all be famous hairdressers and we'll be on the third floor of the mall working on the people's hair who eat pretzels at the pretzel place.

  • Pac Man Fever:
    • Averted; Bobby is shown playing a Tomb Raider-style game in "Get Your Freak Off", plays a Dance Dance Revolution-style game in "Returning Japanese", and Hank gets addicted to a Grand Theft Auto clone (based on the 3D games of the series) in "Grand Theft Arlen". All feature visuals on par with the rest of the show.
    • Somewhat played straight in that the show suggests two guys in their early twenties are able to create an entire 3D open world sandbox game with multiplayer, sounds, voice acting, etc. within 24 hours of meeting Hank. Even a mod would take significantly more time than that.
    • When Bobby pretends to be playing a game (to throw his family off the trail) by mashing buttons randomly... on a GAME OVER screen. Justified, however; one can spot that the D-pad and the buttons were swapped.
  • Papa Wolf: That boy may not be right but he’s HIS boy I tell you wHat! Hank is usually very good at keeping his temper, but anyone who threatens or abuses Bobby soon learns how dangerous an angry Texan can be. And let's not even consider Peggy, who simply goes overboard with this.
    • Dale (despite not being his true father, but Dale doesn't know that) is also very protective of Joseph.
  • Parent-Preferred Suitor: Kahn would very much prefer his daughter Connie date fellow Laotian Chane Wassonasong instead of Bobby. Note that his reasons probably have absolutely nothing to do with race, his dislike of the Hills, or even Chane himself; and everything to do with Chane's father Ted, who Kahn utterly worships and will shamelessly brownnose at every available opportunity. Kahn probably figures that if he can get Chane and Connie together, it will get him closer to Ted. Funnily enough, his wife Minh reveals Kahn himself was not her own father's first choice of husband material for her, so this apparently is a running trend in their family.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: What Laos is (correctly) portrayed as. At one point, Kahn is almost tricked into joining La Résistance against the regime, but wisely decides to back out while he still can.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word:
    Dale: Objection: conjecture. Objecture!
  • Pervy Patdown: In "Lupe's Revenge", a female officer Hank unintentionally seduced pulls him over and doesn't let him go until she can frisk him. Which she uses an an opportunity to grab his butt.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Cotton, despite his cantankerous nature, does have a heart of gold, which he demonstrates on a couple of occasions:
      • Cotton takes the fall for Bobby when the latter accidentally set the church on fire in the church's bathroom by claiming that he was the one who did it.
      • Cotton doesn't have much respect for Peggy. However, when she's learning to walk again, for no apparent reason, Cotton helps rehabilitate Peggy in his own way. It seems like an almost Out-of-Character Moment until Hank explains to Peggy that Cotton had been in the same situation that she was in when the doctors thought that he would never walk again.
    • Bobby's clown professor is really hard on and sarcastic to Bobby, but when he notices that he actually hurt Bobby's feelings, he tries to encourage him (albeit in the wrong way). That said, he still remains the antagonist for the rest of his episode.
    • Dale always insults and mocks Bill openly, except for when he temporarily became a paraplegic from a diabetic shock. He then became most encouraging and supportive.
  • Picked Last: In "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Clown", Hank and his friends find a kickball and decide to start playing. When their other family members and neighbors come to join the game, they split into teams. Dale is picked last, even after Connie, a 12-year old girl who wasn't the most athletic person to choose from. Team captain Bill is obviously disappointed at having Dale on his team.
  • Pie Eyes: Almost all characters have pupils like this, with Bill and Kahn being the few exceptions.
  • Ping Pong Naïveté:
    • Hank about certain issues, like the concept of being transgender. In one episode, he references "the bank teller who is between genders". However, in the episode where he's informed that Peggy's new friend is a crossdresser, he replies, "Now hold on there, that doesn't make any sense!"
    • Hank is frequently shown to be extremely careful with money, yet is for some reason under the impression that the sticker price is the best price possible on a car in "The Accidental Terrorist." In the same episode, he's shocked to see a salesman trick people ("I know you're a salesman, that's why this doesn't make any sense"). However, in "Death Buys a Timeshare", the episode where Cotton buys a timeshare, he is very savvy to various sales tricks.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything:
    • Bill, an Army barber and sergeant, seems to spend relatively little time on base.
    • Even though he is supposed to be a Texas Ranger, Boomhauer is never shown doing his job, what with all the standing around in the alley with the guys and his excessive canoodling.
  • Plague of Good Fortune: The subplot of "The Peggy Horror Picture Show" involves Bobby and Joseph trying to prank various people around Arlen, only for them to run into good luck as a result.
  • Planet of Steves: Luanne once unwittingly joined an all-woman Cult masquerading as a sorority where all the members were named Jane.
  • Platonic Valentine: Bobby wanted to give Joseph a valentine saying, "Hey, hot stuff", with Bobby intending for a simple compliment due to his skateboarding skills, but Hank takes it as something else before he throws it in the trash.
  • Playing Catch with the Old Man: "How To Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying" is entirely this trope. Three generations of the Hill men play out their relationships through shooting. note 
    • First, we see Bobby failing at game booths at a fair until he starts doing very well shooting ducks with a BB gun, which makes Hank proud of him.
    • Hank and Bobby bond while shooting, but then we flashback to Cotton being an absolute jerk while teaching Hank to shoot. Cotton's relationship with Hank is perfectly encapsulated in that moment.
    • Bobby and Hank are meant to go to a father-son funshoot tournament. Hank is troubled because he thinks he will damage his relationship with Bobby by letting him down in the tournament.
    • After working out his inadequacies, they go to the tournament. Hank indeed loses the contest by missing a critical shot at the end. Hank thinks he will hurt his improved bond with Bobby, but Bobby is thrilled to share something with his dad and he is very proud of their second-place trophy.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Hank to Luanne when she's coming out of the shower:
    Hank: Bwaaah! Put some pants on, Luanne!
    Luanne: (lifts her shirt up to reveal a pair of Daisy Dukes) I'm wearing shorts, Uncle Hank.
  • Plot Allergy: Bobby becomes allergic to Ladybird in "Hank's Choice". Lampshaded by the doctor who makes the diagnosis, who tells Hank that "allergies come and go."
  • Poke the Poodle: In "Be True to Your Fool", Bill wants to get stuck in jail because the prisoners treat him better than Dale, Hank, and Boomhauer do. Hank tries to get arrested so he can go apologize. His first two attempts are using a crosswalk when the "Don't Walk" sign is lit, and taking off his shirt in a store; both times he's in full view of policemen, both times they just kind of shrug and don't care. Then he just barely taps a patrol car's rear bumper and gets arrested immediately:
    Police officer: You scratched the bumper sticker from my daughter's school, jackass!
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Every time the cops show up, it's to misunderstand things and blame the good guys for something, leaving it to Hank and his friends to solve the problem of the week. Police in Arlen seem bored, lazy, easy to annoy, and overly committed to doing things with instructions even when they turn out to be useless. On the other hand, "High Anxiety" has a Texas Ranger show up to investigate a murder case and he turned out to be very competent and attractive, in contrast to the fat local sheriff who was more focused on getting an arrest than actually finding out who the criminal was.
    • Averted in "Love Hurts, and So Does Art" when a policeman helps Hank get the picture of his colon taken down from the art museum, as the X-rays are considered defamatory to Texas beef, which is considered an offense.
  • Political Overcorrectness: In "Tears of an Inflatable Clown", a diversity expert inflicts white guilt (and black guilt, and every other kind of guilt) on Bobby and his classmates, nearly derailing the school fair they were organizing. Thankfully Hank and the others keep the fair going and convince the kids not to beat themselves up over what other people did in the past.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Cotton, who is a war hero.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In "Cops and Robert", Hank accidentally steals a man's wallet because he mistakenly thought the man had picked his pocket. When Hank realizes his error, he calls the man up to say that he wants to return the wallet and apologize...only he words it in such a way that it sounds like he's coming to assault and/or kill the guy. The man is waiting for Hank with a baseball bat, and at that point is beyond any further attempts at reasoning.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure:
    • Hank's knowledge of famous people, such as how "Weird Al" Yankovic "blew his brains out in The '80s because no one bought his music" (Yankovic is still alive and still making music parodies), or that Rudy from Rudy died of cancer shortly after the big game (he actually spent ten years pitching the movie to studios afterwards, though this isn't exactly common knowledge).
    • In "The Peggy Horror Picture Show", Peggy tells a Diana Ross impersonator: "If she wasn't dead, I would swear you were the real thing." Like the "Weird Al" example, Diana Ross is still alive, though unlike "Weird Al", she's not in the spotlight much.
  • Potty Emergency: In "Beer and Loathing", Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer go all the way into Mexico to get beer when there's none left in Texas. Unfortunately the beer they get is contaminated and causes diarrhea and vomiting, which hits them on the drive back.
    Dale: Step on it, Bill! I don't know which way it's comin' out, but it's comin' out!
  • Prank Punishment: "The Wedding of Bobby Hill" has Bobby and Luanne get into a prank war. After Bobby replaces Luanne's birth control pills with children's vitamins, Hank and Peggy get involved. First, Luanne tells Bobby that she has to take those pills to avoid becoming pregnant (conveniently leaving out the part that she also has to have sex) and since she couldn't, Bobby now has to marry her. After the ceremony with Bill officiating, Luanne asks when they're going to reveal the prank. They then tell Luanne that they just discovered that Bill was an ordained minister so the marriage is now legal. They decide to let Bobby and Luanne sort things out before telling them that isn't true.
  • The Prankster: All of ZZ Top, but especially Dusty (Hank's cousin) towards Hank in "Hank Gets Dusted". However, after the Jerkass Reality Show producer goes too far, Dusty tells him to back down by pointing out "You've seen what we do to Hank, and we like him!"
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Bobby saying, "That's my purse! I don't know you!" in "Bobby Goes Nuts".
  • Precision F-Strike: Peggy manages to deliver this in "Death and Texas", without even using an actual f-bomb:
    "I forgot to add the meat! How could I be so freaking stupid?!"
  • Pretty in Mink:
    • In the episode "Snow Job," Luanne is shown standing outside in her normal skimpy outfit and a white fur muff, which probably doesn't do much considering it's cold enough that it has snowed in Texas.
    • In "The Hank's Giving Episode," Luanne wears a white fur jacket.
  • Prisoner's Last Meal: Referenced in "Reborn to be Wild" where Bill, Dale, Boomhauer, and Khan are inspired by stories of death row prisoners' last meals and plan a dinner party featuring their own choices of what they would want for their last meal. When the dinner party does happen, everyone, except Bill, bails out for fear that the dinner would indeed be their last meal.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • In one episode, a theory Dale had was actually right. Of course, it's probably pretty rare to find an example of that.
    • Dale's conspiracy paranoia (which he gave up for flag-waving patriotism after discovering that the U.S. government could be right about who killed John F. Kennedy) plays into another episode where he helps Hank get his driver's license corrected by threatening a DMV attendant with going to his superiors, which he correctly lists in order of ascending authority:
      "I am your worst nightmare! I have a three-line phone and absolutely nothing at all to do with my time!"
    • Early in "Death of a Propane Salesman", the following exchange happens:
      Dale: (smugly) That's what they want you to think.
      Arson Investigator: (Matter-of-factly) Sir, we are 'they'.
      Dale jumps back in shock and fear, then runs away.
  • Public Service Announcement: Hank gives one during the end credits of "The Perils of Polling" (which aired before the 2000 presidential election):
    Hank: Hello. I'm Hank Hill from TV's King of the Hill.
    Bobby: And I'm Bobby Hill from TV's King of the Hill.
    Hank: We're here to remind you to register to vote. So go ahead, fill out your registration card, and you'll be eligible to win these valuable prizes: Freedom, civic pride, and a brand-new president.
    • Boomhauer gave one during the end credits of "Keeping Up With Our Joneses":
    Boomhauer: Y'all listen up, man. This is Boomhauer. This is your lungs on air. This is your lungs on smoke. See the difference, man? It'll stunt your growth all over. End up in a dang old hospital bed like Morton Downey Jr., Robert Downey Jr., or even worse, man. Y'all talk about oral gratification. All that dang, it's gonna give you a low sperm count, man. Give you ear hair, yo. It just ain't no good. (walks off with his latest date)
    • Parodied during the end credits of "Traffic Jam":
    Hank: Hello, I'm Hank Hill.
    Roger: And I'm Roger Sack. Tonight's episode dealt with racial stereotypes, especially the myth that white people do not have butts. As you can see from the man standin' next to me, that's simply not true.
    Hank: Thank you, Roger.
    Roger: It's a damn fine butt.
    Hank: (uncomfortable) Oh, yeah, thank you.
    Roger: That butt is the bomb!
    Hank: Yeah, I think it's time for The X-Files... Now!... GO!
    • In "Serves Me Right for Giving George S. Patton the Bathroom Key":
    Hank: Hello, I'm Hank Hill. Clogged toilets are a serious issue that affects everyone. I'd like to take a moment to give you a few pointers on proper toilet usage so what happened in this episode won't happen to you. First off, items like cotton swabs, chewing gum, cigarettes, and, uh, lady things should not be flushed. The basic rule is, never flush anything down a toilet that doesn't come directly, uh, from you. For tougher clogs, purchase a snake at a local hardware store, or consult your local yellow pages for a certified plumber in your area. If it's a father and son company, request the father. And finally, I want you to know that no pipes were actually damaged in the making of this episode. Thank you.
  • Punishment Box: Bobby is put into one of these at a military school. It most assuredly does not break him:
    I've slept on a mattress. I've slept on cement. I'm a mattress guy.
  • Quote-to-Quote Combat: "Hilloween" parodies this when this conversation happens between Hank and an overzealous priest:
    Judy Harper: "The complacency of fools will destroy them." Proverbs.
    Hank: "Get out of my house!" Exodus.
    • Another example in "Nancy Boys" regarding Nancy's polygamy:
    Peggy: There's an expression I once heard, it goes something like "Two's company, three's a crowd."
    Nancy: Well, I've heard another expression: "The heart wants what it wants." — Woody Allen.
    Peggy: Oh, Nancy, wait! He married his daughter!
  • Radish Cure: In the episode "Keeping Up with Our Joneses," Hank makes Bobby smoke a whole carton of cigarettes as punishment for catching him smoking. The plan backfired spectacularly; not only does Bobby end up hooked, but Hank and Peggy fell victim to their own past cigarette habits as well.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Luanne leases a house with others in an attempt to move out of Hank's house. These unbelievably immature assholes don't lift a finger to help, make up a series of one lame excuse after another to avoid paying the rent, and are mind-blowingly rude to everyone. Luanne finally gets even with them by paying all the utility bills and then closing the accounts, figuring that if they want food or water so badly they can pay for it themselves. Then one of the roommates meets Cotton and one of his wartime buddies, Topsy, and calls them Nazis. This particular roommate becomes an Asshole Victim when Cotton and Topsy actually have an awesome moment when they wade in and beat him up.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: In "Chasing Bobby," Hank's truck stalls on a railroad track. Hank barely makes it out, but the truck is "killed."
  • "Rashomon"-Style: How Hank and company burned down the firehouse. Bill, Hank, Boomhauer, and Dale tell their versions of what went wrong. They also have their own interpretations of the other three:
    • Dale's version has himself as being tall and muscular with long-flowing hair (and Hank was dressed as a Drill Sergeant Nasty).
    • Bill's version has himself being a good hundred pounds fatter and completely bald.
    • Boomhauer's version has himself speaking normally, while everyone else speaks with his Verbal Tic.
    • Hank's version pictures the four of them as children, including himself, who all grow to adults once the fire alarm goes off and they get ready for duty.
  • Real Award, Fictional Character: Cotton is a heavily decorated World War II vet, with his decorations are slowly revealed throughout his appearances. In "Returning Japanese", his uniform includes the Medal of Honor and American Campaign Medal. In "Cotton Comes Marching Home", his Silver Star is shown in a display case in the Arlen VFW. In Season 12, he shown wearing the third class, Commandeur, of the French Legion of Honour, the highest decoration in France and only awarded to a handful of Americans during the war.
  • Real Fake Wedding: A prank war erupts between Bobby (who's twelve) and Luanne (his older cousin). After he replaces her birth control pills with candy, she convinces him that women have to take a birth control pill every day or they get pregnant. Hank and Peggy actually get in on the joke and put on a fake Shotgun Wedding, to Bobby's horror. Then, to teach Luanne a lesson too, they claim that the celebrant, Bill, is actually an ordained minister and their marriage is valid. Also, you supposedly can't get divorced in Texas for at least a year.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: The point of the hunting trip in "The Order of the Straight Arrow".
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Hank fervently believes this. On "Hank's Unmentionable Problem," it's implied that Hank is so ignorant (or abhorrent) of vegetables that he orders macaroni and cheese to balance out the meat he ordered at a cafeteria.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Comically subverted. Dale's "macho" gun club is fond of desserts, with Dale regularly baking macaroons as part of (or possibly his entire) campaign for presidency. His opposition in one election, Mad Dog, is basically a walking macho stereotype and prepared a wide variety of cakes to one-up Dale:
    You're going down, Gribble. And unlike your macaroons, you're staying down!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In "The Incredible Hank", Hank shoots down Dale's theory that he's a clone of a warrior from the future, using four bullet points. Dale gets progressively more meek with each point Hank makes.
    • Dale gives one to Bill (and the rest of the Harmonaholics) near the end of "It Ain't Over Till the Fat Neighbor Sings".
    • Kahn receives an absolutely brutal one from his father-in-law in "Pour Some Sugar on Kahn," but instead of getting upset, he concedes it.
  • Refuge in Audacity: A lot of the schemes dreamed up by many characters fall into this territory, like Peggy's scam against an Internet con-artist who made her blow her life savings on a fake doctorate.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Seems to be the viewpoint of the both the characters and the writers, if the unfortunate fate of the snake in "SerPUNt" is any indication.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: After Big Mountain Fudgecake collapses, John Redcorn repurposes their songs for children and becomes "the Native American Raffi". For example, he rewrites a song about suicide into being about personal hygiene:
    "Wake up, just want to … wash myself, clean my wrists, scrub my brains out …"
  • Restaurant-Owning Episode: In the "Hanky Panky" and "High Anxiety" episodes, Peggy takes over running Sugarfoot's Barbecue and adds some "innovations" to the restaurant that prove unpopular with its customers and the owner, Buck Strickland.
  • Retcon: This series has had a number of 'em:
    • Peggy's background was rewritten so that she spent most of her early life in Montana, rather than spending her high school years in Arlen. This complicates the episodes where Hank and Peggy are shown as High-School Sweethearts. Not only that but Peggy's mother went from being older-looking version of Peggy, who was a bit critical of her, into a downright mean and verbally abusive bitch who never forgave Peggy for abandoning the family ranch, even after saving it. It also contradicts the episode "I Remember Mono" where she sends Bobby a gift and is all-but stated to be on good terms with Peggy.
    • Luanne's father. In the first episode, Luanne, then aged 18, is dropped off at the Hill residence after her mother stabs her father during a drunken scuffle. In later episodes, it is revealed that he is working on an oil rig just to stay safely away from Luanne's psycho mother, refusing to come back until Hank faxes him her death certificate and even visiting his and Peggy's family for Thanksgiving. All this is chucked out the window when he finally makes an appearance. He's introduced as a manipulative drunken bastard and Hank and Peggy decide to cover up the truth about him to his grown daughter. He claims that Luanne was five when he last saw her. He's a felon out of prison, rather than having been working on an oil rig (he used the "oil rig" story to keep Luanne from knowing that he is a felon). And he looks nothing like his sister Peggy. In an earlier episode, he was described as strongly resembling Peggy but with smaller feet.
    • Hank and his old Arlen High School football teammates challenged the team that they lost against in the state championship to a rematch that they eventually win. This one is made more glaring by the fact that Hank had come to terms with losing the game in an earlier episode.
    • Cotton's second starring episode deals with him going senile. Hank notices that Cotton has gone from being his crazy old self to just plain crazy and Cotton is portrayed as such. The only reason Cotton avoids being institutionalized is by having Didi be his caretaker. However, in all subsequent episodes, Cotton's senility is either toned down or abandoned entirely and Didi eventually divorces him (and is implied to take Good Hank with her, since we don't hear about Good Hank ever again following the divorce).
    • Dale's understanding of John Redcorn's sexuality. In "My Own Private Rodeo", the episode where Dale and Nancy renew their vows, Nancy asks Dale if he is truly OK with his dad being gay. Dale replies, "Why would have a problem with it? John Redcorn's gay and I've been friends with him for years". A later episode, "Untitled Blake McCormick Project", has him send John Redcorn after Bill's new girlfriend Charlene, to break them up, and even calls him a "chick magnet".
    • In his initial appearances, Dale's dad, Bug, appears to be an ordinary guy, looking a lot like his son. In his focus episode "My Own Private Rodeo," Bug is revealed to be a gay rodeo star with no physical, let alone personality resemblance to Dale.
    • Cotton's wartime service, though some of it is heavily implied to be lies and senility like claiming to have been in Münich on April 30 and Okinawa on May 2.
    • It was originally established that Dale's alias, Rusty Shackleford, came from the birth certificate of a child that died in 1953. However, in "Peggy Goes to Pots", it is revealed that the alias actually came from a third grade classmate whom Dale thought had died.note 
    • Cotton's funeral. In "Cotton's Plot", he earns a plot in the Texas State Cemetery in recognition of his service and he is later stated to have been buried there. However, in "Serves Me Right for Giving General George S. Patton the Bathroom Key", it's revealed he was cremated with a final request to be flushed down a toilet once used by General Patton. It is also revealed Topsy and the rest of Cotton's platoon were flushed down the same toilet, yet Cotton stated that he scattered Topsy's ashes over a prostitute.
  • Reused Character Design: Ms. Stovall is basically a palette swap of one of the first ladies of propane, both seen in "What Happens at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis Stays at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis."
  • The Reveal: The Grand Finale reveals, in a quick shot during the final couple of minutes, what Boomhauer's job is: he's a Texas Ranger.
  • Rewind, Replay, Repeat: In "The Perils of Polling", Hank repeatedly plays the tape of George W. Bush shaking a random guy's hand:
    Hank: Look, look: Surprise, then disappointment. Surprise, disappointment. Surprise, disappointment. (etc.)
  • Right on Queue: In "Hank Fixes Everything", Lucky, Luanne, and Bobby waiting line for several days to get the first tickets to see Brownsville Station (of "Smokin in the Boy's Room" fame). When the box office opens, not a single person has gotten in line behind them. Then Lucky starts waiting at the door:
    Lucky: "I want to be sure they don't run out of my shirt size, Women's Medium."
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: Dale is a comedic, mostly harmless version. The one-shot character Mad Dog provides a straighter example.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: Spoofed. Bobby slides in his underwear just as Luanne is watching the scene on TV. Turns out he hasn't seen the movie.
  • Road Trip Plot: "Three Days of the Kahn-Do," "Escape from Party Island," "Shins of the Father," "A Beer Can Named Desire," "The Bluegrass Is Always Greener," "Queasy Rider," "Living on Reds, Propane and Vitamin C," and "The Honeymooners."
  • Romantic Ride Sharing: In "Queasy Rider", Hank and Peggy get a motorcycle to try and fix their strained marriage. At first, Hank drives with Peggy holding on. When Peggy wants to switch, he makes excuses. Eventually, he reveals he doesn't want to ride in the back because "it just doesn't work that way with biker couples" and the back seat is called the "bitch seat", and they have a fight. By the end, they make up and ride home together with Peggy driving (because Hank's glasses broke). He starts out holding onto her shoulders, but as he grows more comfortable, moves his hands to her waist and holds her closer.
  • Rousing Speech: Bobby gives one at the end of "Old Glory", which is more meant to be an apology for taking the credit for Peggy's work on a paper, but ends up being more of a Patriotic Fervor speech:
    Bobby: What has this school taught us about the flag? I say the Pledge of Allegiance every day, but I don't know what it means. I hear "The Star-Spangled Banner" before every football game, but by "Oh say can you see," I'm looking for the guy with the peanuts. But today, I watched a grown man cry while his flag burned. And when I saw how much it meant to him, I realized how much it should have meant to me. So tomorrow, if you're sitting near me in detention, and one of your spitballs comes anywhere near that flag, you better watch your back. Tom Landry rules! (audience cheers)
  • Rule of Animation Conservation: The show's very decidedly low-key nature has often begged the question "Why is it even animated to begin with?" While the show rarely has outlandishly "cartoony" situations, some plots do require situations that would either be too dangerous for live actors or involve children and would be inappropriate for them to participate in. There's also comic timing that'd be awkward in live-action, and a large variety of locations and settings that would seriously stretch the budget of a live-action show.
  • Rule of Drama: Lampshaded in one episode:
    "Caroline" (Peggy's drag queen friend): HURRY!
    Peggy: Why?
    "Caroline": It's simply more dramatic!
  • Rule of Three: In "What Makes Bobby Run":
    Hank: Look, Peggy, Bobby's got Mr. Crackers! Bobby's got Mr. Crackers! Bobby's got Mr. Crackers!
  • The Runaway: Bobby is briefly one in "Death of a Propane Salesman" due to overhearing (and misinterpreting) Bill and Dale competing over who would get him after Hank dies.
  • Running Gag:
    • Every time Chuck Mangione starts to play a tune on his flugelhorn, he ends up shifting into "Feels So Good" after a few bars. Discussed in "Death of a Propane Salesman", where a therapist suggests it is a coping mechanism after surviving the explosion.
    • Hank usually introducing himself as the assistant manager of Strickland Propane, even if it's irrelevant to the discussion.
    • In earlier seasons, a running gag was for the gang to fail to understand Boomhauer for some reason other than his characteristic incoherence (background noise, speaking legalese, etc).
    • Nancy's years of cheating on Dale with John Redcorn (resulting in Joseph's birth) and Dale continuing to be completely clueless.
  • Russian Reversal: In "The Bluegrass is Always Greener", Bobby wrote a joke for Yakov Smirnoff:
    "In America, you put "In God We Trust" on your money. In Russia, we have no money."
  • Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times:
    • Hank's seen The Great Santini dozens of times.
    • Bobby claims to know a ton about golfing due to having seen Happy Gilmore fifty times.
  • The Scapegoat: Exploited. In "Bobby On Track", Hank makes Bobby complete the 5K run at the school track as punishment for not completing the Fun Run charity race. The track and field coach approaches and is eager to have Bobby on his team, puzzling Hank. It turns out that the coach is using Bobby's lack of ability to motivate the rest of the team. The coach has Bobby substitute for players that misbehave or otherwise fail to achieve to embarrass them, so they try harder to avoid the humiliation of being replaced by Bobby. At first it works, to Hank's dismay, with Bobby seeing himself as a motivator. But when the team gets to the final it works a little too well when a player hyper-extended because he saw the coach talking to Bobby and was afraid he was going to get replaced. The coach has no good athletes to replace him in the relay, until Hank suggests using Bobby. The coach is unhappy because this was a situation where they can't afford to lose an event. The coach tries to motivate Bobby by telling him to imagine himself as a different person, Bobby 2.0; Hank tells Bobby to forget that nonsense, and just try. Bobby understands, and joins the race. At first he loses the lead, but the other runners trip, allowing Bobby to gain the lead. When the other runners catch up to Bobby, he still runs as fast as he can and wins the race.
    • In "A Firefighting We Will Go", Hank and friends join the volunteer fire department, but the firehouse ends up burning down while they're on call. Dale unintentionally started the fire by plugging in a neon Alamo Beer sign with faulty wiring just before they left, but Hank ends up shifting the blame to Chet Elderson, the sign's original owner and a fellow firefighter who had died earlier in the episode. The investigator is fully aware that Elderson loved plugging in the sign in spite of the bad wiring (and he can't understand that Boomhauer is telling the truth and chewing out his friends for scapegoating a dead man), so he accepts Hank's explanation and declines to punish anyone, but still kicks them off the force.
  • Scenery Censor:
    • Crops up often in "Sug Night." In Hank's erotic dreams, Nancy's breasts are covered with either a burger or a plate and she's holding a bag of buns over her rear. Not a case of Hand-or-Object Underwear since this is not deliberate covering on anyone's part. Later in the same episode, Hank and Peggy are covered by various objects as part of their grilling, and two nudists are always behind waist-high bushes. One of them has Godiva Hair, the other is perpetually covering herself by holding a volleyball.
    • Near the beginning of "Naked Ambition," Bobby accidentally catches Luanne naked in the shower. When shown from Bobby's side, his head blocks the viewers from seeing anything.
  • Scout-Out: The Order of the Straight Arrow. Much to Hank's dismay, the more scout-like survival lessons have been gutted in favor of "safer" activities like "camp-ins" with toy knives and indoor campfires with streamers for flames.
    • Averted in "Flush With Power", when Hank said he made it to Eagle rank in the Scouts.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Inverted; Hank has a very manly scream, which sounds so ridiculous that it became a Running Gag. "D-WOOOAAAGH!"
    • Played semi-straight with Bobby:
      Hank: I have a surprise for you, but you have to promise not to squeal like a girl. I've decided to let you grow your roses. (cue Bobby squealing like a girl)
    • Hank says as much about Dale: "I don't hear any girlish screams so either Dale's not here yet or he's dead."
    • As if he wasn't enough of a Butt-Monkey already, we also find out Bill has a very high-pitched, unmanly scream.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!:
    • Cotton, although he was probably always like that regardless of his age.
    • Tilly's friends in "Escape From Party Island" are this, the opposite of Nice to the Waiter, and The Load.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Famous!:
    • "Peggy's Fan Fair" featured Randy Travis (played by Randy Travis himself) plagiarizing lyrics to a song that Peggy wrote. Much to her aggravation when she found out about it. At the end of the episode, he claimed that he saved Hank from drowning when in reality, it was the other way around. Hank would've punched him but Peggy stops him, having come to the conclusion that feuding with Randy Travis isn't worth it.
    • "New Cowboy on the Block" had a former Dallas Cowboys player moves into Hank's street. Despite being a horrid neighbor such as teaching Bobby foul sportsmanship, having rowdy parties late in the night, and using pieces of Hank's fence for a bonfire; he uses the fact he used to play for the Cowboys to avoid legal trouble with the police. Even the police tries to pin the blame on Hank when the latter tried to report to the former.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In "Bobby Rae", Bobby brings a bunch of rioting students to Hank to stop them from burning City Hall. He proceeds to "prepare" theme by telling them what's going to happen involving firefighters, chaining themselves to trees, police, and all the stuff they're willing (not really) to go through. This demoralizes them all to leave, especially when Hank starts giving them tips to go read at the library to be better prepared.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Subverted when Hank enters a shooting competition with Bobby, who is glad they did that well in an actual competition.
  • Second Prize: In "Dances with Dogs", Bobby gets second in the dog dancing tournament, which he and Peggy are both proud of. Hank ultimately doesn't place, much to his disappointment.
  • Sent Off to Work for Relatives:
    • In "Glen Peggy Glen Ross", Connie is desperate to get a summer internship with Peggy because the alternative is spending the summer on a "family fishing boat in Laos" because her father Kahn thinks it will look good on her college applications.
    • At the end of a later episode, Connie's bad girl cousin from LA, Tid Pao (voiced by Lucy Liu) is punished by being sent to work on her Uncle's ranch, who gives her a stern warning upon arrival:
      "I'm last Uncle you got. You screw up here, we send you back with Grandma in Laos!"
  • Series Continuity Error: In "Hilloween", Bobby mentions how Hank once made him eat chopped liver. In "Love Hurts and So Does Art", when Bobby gets gout from eating too much chopped liver, Hank mentions they never feed Bobby foods like that.
  • Serious Business:
    • Propane and propane accessories. Not in the "be careful around it, it's flammable" way, but in a "insult or disrespect it and I will kick your ass" way. Hank takes this to absurd levels, due to his job (and how seriously he takes it). For example, he calls butane a "bastard gas", he has a beeper specifically for "propane emergencies", and when Peggy and Bobby eat a burger grilled on a charcoal grill, he drags them into the kitchen and makes them pray to God for forgiveness.
    • In "Love Hurts and So Does Art", when an artist embarrasses Hank by putting the latter's colonoscopy that shows his colon clogged by beef up in a museum, the artist is arrested for "defaming beef", which is apparently serious business in Texas. This is probably a reference to a famous case involving Oprah Winfrey.
    • In another episode, Hank describes medium rare as the perfect way to grill a steak. When Bobby asks what they should do if someone wants their steak well done, Hank responds:
      "We ask them politely yet firmly to leave."
    • Football at any level is serious business. This is very much Truth in Television in Texas.
    • In the final episode, Bobby joins a junior college meat grading team and has a lot of fun until he sees the darker side of competition and rivalry. Best emphasized when, at dinner, his teammates see an opposing team and say they should blind them by throwing red pepper flakes in their eyes. Bobby laughs, but when the rest of the team shoots a glare his way, he asks "Wait, you guys are serious?!"
    • Having a masculine haircut. After Hank's barber Jack bleaches Hank's hair (due to dementia), Hank is told by Buck that he can't be paid for the day and has to take the afternoon off to get his hair dyed back to "a boy's color."
    • Hair is always serious business to Bill; despite all his quirks, he's one hell of a barber. In "Hank's Bad Hair Day", Bill offers to cut Hank's hair after his regular barber is forced to retire due to going senile, but Hank declines. Later on Bill tells Hank that the refusal feels like a massive insult ("It's like you're callin me an IDIOT!!") and actively dismisses Peggy's remarks on the matter — which, considering his massive stalker-crush on her, is pretty shocking.
    • Lawn care for Hank. The day Bobby was born Hank bought a whetstone, to be presented to him when he becomes a teenager. The whetstone is for sharpening mower blades, which is what Bobby is to do every Saturday until he has shown himself to be responsible enough to mow the lawn. In other words, a common chore assigned to teenagers is treated as a rite of passage and a privilege that must be earned. Another episode has Hank see Kahn using mowing the lawn as a punishment for Connie and being completely bewildered by it.
    • Beer is worshipped by the guys. Beer is so sacred that it even supersedes the lawn in the Serious Business hierarchy, with Hank saying he wouldn't pour out a beer to extinguish a grass fire. Spitting out beer is to be avoided at all costs, so much so that when someone actually does it, it's for a serious reason. Even that which contains beer, the cooler, is treated with respect. When Cotton blindly drives his Cadillac Car down the alley and nearly kills Bill, Hank's immediate concern is whether or not the cooler was dented.
    • That's Pong, kiddo.
    • Boris is taking this class for the ninth time, and he is almost a clown.
    • Boggle.
  • Sexy Flaw: Discussed when Bobby starts growing roses competitively. When Hank notices a flaw on one of his roses, Bobby explains that sometimes a flaw can improve something's attractiveness, comparing the flaw to Kathy Ireland's mole. Hank doesn't see it that way and clips off the flaw. After the rose is damaged during a contest, Hank tries to defend the damage this way. The judges don't see it that way either.
  • Sexy Priest:
    • Monsignor Martinez from Los Dias y Las Noches de Monsignor Martinez.
    • Bill sees Reverend Stroup as this. The (perceived) forbidden nature of their relationship is shown to be a necessary part of his interest in her (though she claims in "It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Neighbor Sings" that she isn't technically bound by chastity.)
  • Shoddy Shindig: In "Strangeness on a Train", Peggy plans a Themed Party on a train: a mystery theater train ride with 70's disco theme. Hank is not sure it's such a great idea, especially the disco part, but agrees to make Peggy happy. The mystery is solved in two minutes because ditzy Luanne blabs and Dale screams it for everyone to hear. The actors leave just as the train departs. Then the train caterer announces to Peggy that the refrigeration has gone out and spoiled their dinner as well as melted Peggy's ice-cream birthday cake. They only have cheese-and-cracker snacks. Luanne tries to entertain others with her hand puppets. They've just entered a dry county so they can't serve any alcohol. Everybody is grouching in the dining car because they are bored.
  • Shoe Size Angst: A few episodes show Peggy being ashamed of her unusually large feet, which are nearing size 20.
  • Shooting Gallery: In "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo", Peggy puts a Flat Stanley cutout into one of these for a series of photos to "teach kids lessons", it then gets shot to pieces.
    • Hank and Bobby practice at one before their father/son shooting competition.
    • Dale's gun club has one (even though they're all crummy shots).
  • Shout-Out:
    • Luanne Platter's name is one to the Lu Ann Platter, a combination dish served at a Texas-based restaurant chain called Luby's. Which has a Bland-Name Product Shout-Out in the form of Luly's.
    • Bill's obsessive longing for his ex-wife Lenore can't possibly be anything else except this for Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.
    • Boomhauer's "disco" outfit in the episode "Strangeness on a Train" makes him look a lot like Robert Garcia.
    • In "Dream Weaver", Dale tries to kill Hank with a forklift. Hank even utters the line from Mystery Science Theater 3000, "He tried to kill me with a forklift."
    • In one episode, Bobby is reading an issue of Unvincible. Aside from the one letter difference, Mark doesn't look any different.
    • Bobby has a doll of Bart Simpson in his room.
    • In "Dog Dale Afternoon", Dale, having been finally driven around the bend by a prank played by his friends, takes refuge at the top of a local clock tower and is mistaken for a sniper.
    • In "The Passion of Dauterive", Bill begins contemplating the meaning of life after the roof collapses on his bed. Boomhauer responds by talking about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
    • Hank's flashback to his childhood Halloween fun has obvious elements of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, such as the music and Boomhauer's ghost costume.
    • Stuart Dooley is an Expy of Butt-Head, while Hank is pretty much Tom Anderson if he were younger, had a son, and sold propane and propane accessories.
    • In "Little Horrors of Shop", Peggy tries to get the students to vote for her as Substitute Teacher of the Year; three votes go to "Lara Croft, whoever the heck that is".
    • "A Fire Fighting We Will Go", where Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer are under investigation for burning down the firehouse, features an amount of slapstick that is excessive by the show's standards, and the show ends with a riff from "Three Blind Mice".
    • In "Yard, She Blows," the neighborhood where Hank goes to buy lawn gnomes was basically traced from photos of Solvang, California.
    • In "Death and Texas", Peggy receives a letter from "Wesley Martin Archer", a reference to director Wes Archer.
    • In "Peggy Makes the Big Leagues", David Kalaiki Alii has a poster in his room of Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager.
    • In "Joust Like a Woman", Dale cites the Prime Directive when telling Hank that he can't help the latter win the joust against King Phillip Motzinger.
    • In "Pigmalion," some background partygoers at the Halloween costume party are recognizably dressed as Batman and the more obscure Hawkman.
    • One of Bobby's classmates from the newer episodes is wearing an Incredibles shirt.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: In "Six Characters in Search of a House," Peggy's boss Chris Sizemore recites part of a monologue from Pericles, Prince of Tyre, one of Shakespeare's more obscure plays.
    • In "Full Metal Dust Jacket," Dale and Cotton use the Complete Works of Shakespeare as a target for shooting practice.
      Dale: Congratulations Colonel, those hollow point bullets penetrated all the way to the so-called "joyous comedies." As You Like It? I like it plenty!
  • Shower of Angst: Dale in "The Trouble with Gribbles", after Nancy leaves him.
  • Shower Shy: This happens to Bobby in "The Incredible Hank."
  • Shown Their Work:
    • A lot of Texas references are completely accurate, from Big Tex at the state fair, to a Laotian minority population, football (whether it's the NFL or high school) and beef being a big deal, to a Shout-Out to Luly's cafeteria.
    • Murray Hoggarth was the long-time president (okay, not commissioner) of the Texas Propane Gas Association. Hoggarth's business, Action Propane, is the inspiration for Strickland Propane; it's still owned by Hoggarth's wife Wanda.
    • A number of Dale's conspiracy theories (such as his rant about the gold fringe on a U.S. flag indicating an Admiralty Court, and that he's not subject to its jurisdiction) are based on actual, recognized conspiracies. And yes, they are just as nonsensical and untrue in real life.
  • Show Within a Show: Los Dias y Las Noches de Monsignor Martinez. Now with its own page.
  • Silent Credits: For the most part, the credits to "Fun With Jane and Jane" are like this; it's just a group of emus standing around like Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer do, with no music playing during it.
  • Single-Issue Psychology: When he is seeing a psychologist to fix his aim, Hank tries to interpret his problem this way and connects it to Cotton yelling at him as a boy, but the actual psychologist cuts him off and has him do visualization techniques.
  • Skewed Priorities: See that Long List of things that are considered Serious Business? Any one of them can lead a character to making stupid, painful decisions. A particular example was when Hank and the Booster Club attempt to keep the aforementioned football star David Kalaiki-Alii out of getting a proper education, and come down on Peggy for actually trying to make sure he studied, just because doing so might limit his chances to play football. Hank and the waffle board are willing to ruin David Kalaiki-Alii's future by letting him coast through high school, despite Peggy failing him for not doing his work. Hank (eventually) changes his stance when he realizes that Peggy made the right decision.
    Hank: Peggy, a hundred years from now, nobody'll know what a hexagon is, but if we go to state? That winds up on the water tower.
    • In "The Final Shinsult," Cotton almost runs over Bill but comes at a complete stop when the car bumps into the cooler's lid, closing it. Hank then points out Cotton could have destroyed the cooler.
  • Skintone Sclerae: A few characters, most notably Boomhauer and Cotton.
  • Skyward Scream:
    • In "Of Mice and Little Green Men", Nancy wonders why God is punishing her. Then she shouts to the sky, "WHY, SUG?!"
    • In "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret Hill," Peggy gives one of these when she dreams that her lack of knowledge about the Catholic faith has damned her students to Hell forever. "I JUST WANTED A FULL-TIME JOB!"
  • Slice of Life: A relatively rare Western-animated "adult" example.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Mostly Level 3, with earlier seasons leaning further towards Level 4 and later seasons leaning back to Level 2. Major changes to the status quo in the first five seasons include Buckley's death, Luanne quitting beauty school, Didi giving birth to G.H., Luanne moving out of the Hill house, Nancy breaking up with John Redcorn and Joseph going through puberty.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The show is very mundane and can head in either direction. However, this show does still have a lot of heart and feel-good moments.
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic vs. Fantastic: As close to "Mundane" as animation could be.
  • Slow Clap: Occurs in "Plastic White Female".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Peggy, to the point where she could have been the Trope Namer had The Mary Tyler Moore Show never existed. And let's not forget Cotton, though part of this also seems to be dementia brought on by his old age - while he did have to be a legitimate badass to survive the injuries he took during World War II and kill fitty men, he also seems to believe he fought on both the Western and Pacific fronts within days of each other and essentially won the war on his own.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Lucky has often shown that he's pretty savvy in certain areas, even if he gives off the vibe that he's just … not.
  • Smoking Hot Sex:
    • Subverted in "Nancy's Boys"; there's a close-up of Dale smoking and saying, "Oh yeah." The camera cuts back to reveal that he and Nancy still have their clothes on and haven't begun yet.
    • Parodied in another episode, where Dale claims the last time he did this, the bed caught fire.
  • Smug Snake: Peggy, in Flanderization the later episodes.
  • Snipe Hunt: "Order of the Straight Arrow".
  • Soapbox Sadie: Averted with Bobby. He's often just as obnoxious as a straight example, but thankfully never portrayed as being in the right.
  • Soap Punishment: In "That's What She Said", Hank washes out the foul mouth of a new employee with soap. Said employee manages to make one last filthy joke before Oh, Crap! sets in.
  • Soccer-Hating Americans: Hank disapproves of Bobby's switch from football to soccer, and eventually convinces him to switch back, because real Americans play football.
    Hank: Bobby, I didn't think I'd ever need to tell you this, but I would be a bad parent if I didn't: Soccer was invented by European ladies to keep them busy while their husbands did the cooking.
    Bobby: Why do you have to hate what you don't understand?
    Hank: [offended] I don't hate you, Bobby!
    Bobby: I meant soccer.
    Hank: Oh. Oh yeah, I hate soccer, yes.
  • Spin-Offspring: There was talk of the show being a Beavis and Butt-Head spin-off with Hank being their neighbor, Tom Anderson's son but they couldn't get the copyrights to use the characters.
  • Spin the Bottle: Played in "Plastic White Female".
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Beavis and Butt-Head. Whereas Beavis and Butt-Head was a cynical, aggressive work of satire, King of the Hill is a lot more idealistic and restrained in its' social commentary.
  • Spiritual Successor: The episode "The Exterminator" could pretty much act as a sequel to Mike Judge's Office Space, given that it also takes place in an oppressive white collar office, skewers the corporate rules and social situations of working in an office, and deals with firing people in the last act.
  • Spit Take:
    • Hank plays it straight in "Square Peg" when he spits beer when he hears Peggy yelling "VAGINA!"
    • Two examples in one when Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer do a synchronized spit-take upon discovering that the beer they've been drinking has been tainted:
      Hank: We had bananas and beer, we came home. What else could have made us sick? … Oh my God, the BEER!
      (Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer spit out their beer.)
      Hank: And Peggy knew!
      (Bill does another spit take, apparently having taken another drink of beer he just learned was tainted.)
    • Subverted in "Hilloween" when Peggy tells Hank that Bobby has gone off to Junie Harper's anti-Halloween party, he comes about as close as possible to a spit take before swallowing hard:
      Hank: I came very close to spitting out beer!
      Peggy: I knew you'd be upset.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Dale applies for a job at a Hooter's knockoff in order to sue for sexual harassment, only he's hired. Also See Advice Backfire.
  • Stab the Scorpion: At the end of "To Kill a Ladybird", Dale was telling Bobby to shoot Ladybird because he thought she was rabid while Hank begged him not to. Bobby fires and Hank with relief thought he missed but he actually was aiming at (and killed) a raccoon that was about to bite Hank from behind.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: Completely averted. Every house on the show is designed like a real house, which would be a pain to shoot on a live action three camera sitcom.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • In "Returning Japanese" Hank calls his half brother Junichiro a crazy bastard. Considering his parents aren't married, it adds a new layer to Hank's term of endearment.
    • Hank Rutherford Hill. HRH. His Royal Highness. KING of the Hill.
  • Sting: From "The Perils of Polling":
    Hank: Oh my GOD … his handshake … (three note dramatic sting) it was limp!
  • The Stinger:
    • Nearly every episode from the second season on featured a sound clip from earlier in the episode over the "Deedle Dee Productions" logo. It's usually a line that is made funnier due to there being no context, though in some episodes ("The Arrowhead", for example) it's a continuation of what was happening before the credits.
    • The show itself, considering after the series finale, there were still four unaired episodes.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Inverted in "The Company Man", where Hank is dealing with a client from Boston named Mr. Holloway, who expects everything in Texas to be cowboys and country, meaning Hank has to act stereotypical in order to draw Holloway's attention. Eventually, Hank gets sick of it and tells Holloway off, saying (in effect) "If you want dumbass cowboy antics go with Thatherton, but if you want quality propane stick with Strickland." The guy ends up going with Thatherton.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Life in the Fast Lane, Bobby's Saga", Hank takes Bobby to the Arlen Speedway and shows him the NASCAR pace car behind a velvet rope. Bobby is more impressed by the rope, saying it's "soft and pretty." A few days later when NASCAR arrives; Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer meet Dale Earnhardt by the pace car. The starstruck men start talking about racing but Earnhardt just looks at the rope and says it's "soft and pretty."
  • Straw Misogynist: Cotton, most definitely. Coach Kleethammer, with his constant claims that girls can't play sports.
  • Strawman Political: A number of the one-off smug Northerners who make appearances in Arlen, usually voiced by David Herman. Like Hank's new boss who fired the truck drivers, or the disability advocate.
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: In "Yankee Hankee," Hank gets left nearly naked in the courtyard of the Alamo. He ends up having to take clothes off a Davy Crockett mannequin, before wondering why he bothered putting on the raccoon hat.
  • "Stuck at the Airport" Plot: "Happy Hank's Giving" has this happening to the Hills, the Gribbles and the Souphaniousinphones, along with Bill, Boomhauer and John Redcorn over Thanksgiving (which involves the destruction of Hank's propane-smoked turkey when a bomb-sniffing dog barks at his luggage). After everyone misses their flights, the families and friends eventually settle for eating dinner at the airport with whatever they can scrape together.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Debbie Grund, who previously appeared on the show but was not given any lines, has some dialog in "Hanky Panky".
  • Sunglasses at Night: Dale who almost always wears them 24/7.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Bill in "Pretty Pretty Dresses." He even tries to slam his own head in a drawer, kill himself using an electric oven, and is kept from shooting himself by Dale threatening him with a gun.
  • Suicide Watch: In the episode "Pretty, Pretty Dresses", Bill becomes suicidal as the approaching Christmas season reminds him of his ex-wife Lenore. This prompts Hank and his other friends to take turns watching over him to make sure he doesn't kill himself, including one memorable scene of Dale threatening him at gun point.
  • Superficial Suggestion Box: A variation. When Peggy takes over Sugarfoot's BBQ, she immediately calls a meeting to discuss her upcoming changes to the restaurant, justifying them with slips from a locked suggestion box she obviously wrote herself. The cook points out that the suggestion box might work better if it actually had a slot in it.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying". It ends with Hank missing the final shot in the father/son shooting competition. At first it looks like a Downer Ending because Hank let down Bobby (who was a better shot) but Bobby's ecstatic that they won second place and wants to compete again next year.
    Bobby: (runs up holding certificate) We did it, Dad! Second place in a real Father-Son tournament. Can I put it on my wall? We were so good out there. We should always be shooting. This is the best day ever! You're the best dad ever. I'm the best son ever.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The end of "Cops and Roberts" has Hank finally get Barry Rollins to calm down so he can explain that he mistakenly took the guy's wallet and the whole thing was just a simple misunderstanding, which he apologizes for. Of course, that doesn't mean Hank is cool with he and his friends being chased down and attacked with a baseball bat:
    Officer Brown: Sir, will you be pressing charges?
    Hank: Well, hell yeah!
    • In "Life: A Loser's Manual", Dale builds the guard tower he always wanted (despite repeated denial for permission from the proper authorities), he makes sure to do so without actually violating any codes by building it just slightly under-spec and doesn't build a foundation for it. The authority Kahn calls on him pauses at the last part and asks Dale if he's a complete idiot for building such a large structure without a foundation to hold it in place...and the moment Dale leans against it the entire thin tips over and crushes his shed.
    • In "Peggy Makes the Big Leagues" David 'The Flyin Hawaiian' Kalaiki-ali'i is the quintessential Dumb Jock whose talent for earning his school trophies make teachers overlook his academic failures and let him pass without actually learning anything. When they try to get compel Peggy to let him pass, the booster club and his mom set up his room to make him look like he's mentally challenged. It works, but when David comes home and finds out what they did and have been doing the entire time he's been playing ball, he's rightfully insulted that everybody especially his own mother thinks he's stupid. David resolves to study and earn good grades.
    • In "Keeping Up with Our Joneses", Hank finds out Bobby and Joseph have been smoking and he attempts the Radish Cure on Bobby; making him smoke an entire carton of cigarettes. Bobby vomits before he can finish the last pack and gains a crippling addiction to nicotine as a result. Hank and Peggy also end up relapsing into their old smoking habits because of this. When Hank tells a support group what he did? They react with complete and utter horror and throw him out.
    • In "You Gotta Believe (In Moderation)", after learning that the middle-school Baseball Team has been dissolved due to a lack of funds, Hank and his softball team decide to play against "The Ace of Diamonds and his Jewels," a Harlem Globetrotters-style comedy baseball team consisting of former Major-League Baseball players; because they always donate the proceeds of the game to a charity of the host's choice. Hank somehow gets the idea in his head that Ace would appreciate it if he and his team actually played to win (exploiting the fact that Ace's team only has three players). Ace realizes what Hank is doing and responds in kind. The result is that Ace wins in an extremely un-entertaining 83-1 blowout. He also keeps the proceeds from the ticket sales as opposed to donating them because the boring game drove off the crowds, and Ace is extremely dependent on selling merchandise to make money.
    • Various episodes have shown the effects of what an unhealthy diet can do to someone. In "Hank’s Unmentionable Problem" Hank becomes constipated due to his low-fiber, high meat diet and almost needs surgery to fix it. Tied with this is "Love Hurts and So Does Art", where Bobby develops gout from eating a high amount of processed deli meats. In "Dia-Bill-Ic Shock", Bill's love of junk food causes him to develop adult onset diabetes.
    • In Just Another Manic Kahn-Day, when they finally get Kahn's medication for him, everyone waits intently until he tells them that the meds aren't an instant fix to his moodswings. Sure enough, he goes through another manic episode before he stabilizes.
    • In Dale Be Not Proud, Dale is rightfully upset that Hank gave away his kidney to sick child because he was under the impression that NHRA John Force was going to need it; it doesn't help that the doctors basically guilt trip Hank into signing on it. Sure Dale's reaction to it is more "unique" to most, but given that it's his organ, no one can really blame him. It helps that Dale meets the ill kid and graciously makes a "trade" with him for the kidney.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: This is what Hank believes.
    • Kahn feels he is this as well, (usually) including Hank in the above.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: From "Hank's Got the Willies":
    Willie Nelson: Hey I know you; you're the kid who rakes my yard.
    Bobby: No, I'm the kid who hit you in the head.
    Willie: With a rake?
    Bobby: No, with a golf club.
    Willie: You've been raking my yard with a golf club? I want my quarter back!

  • The Tag: Occasionally done, usually with Hank giving the viewer a humorous disclaimer.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • In "Bobby Slam", Connie and Bobby have to wrestle each other for the last spot on the team, but each has too much to lose. So they take Refuge in Audacity and stage a full-on WWF style chair throwing extravaganza so that they'll both be kicked off, but be hailed as heroes by the other students.
    • In "Won't You Pimai Neighbor?", when Bobby is thought to be the Lama, he uses the third option of "Pick anything you see on this rug", and he picks Connie, whose reflection he could see in the mirror.
    • In "Movin' On Up", Luanne moves out of the Hills' den, but ends up with a bunch of lazy jerkass roommates who won't pay their share of the bills and call her a Nazi whenever she tries to exert any authority. Given the choice between putting up with them or admitting defeat and moving back with the Hills, she closes the house's accounts, meaning the roommates can't sponge off of her for power, heat, water or phone lines anymore, while living in the yard with a hidden stash of food at the bottom of the pool.
    • In "Lupe's Revenge", Peggy's poor grasp of the Spanish language results in her accidentally kidnapping a young girl during a field trip to Mexico. Hank knows they can prove her innocence, but is worried about crushing Peggy's feelings by outright telling her that her Spanish sucks. The solution he finds: have Peggy testify herself, in Spanish; the judge realizes that she didn't know what she was doing and declares her innocent, while Peggy remains convinced that her impassioned plea won him over.
  • Take That!: Dale does not think Julia Roberts is attractive. In "The Trouble with Gribbles":
  • Tan Lines: Hank, Dale, and Bill in hot weather.
  • Teen Hater: In the episode "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg", Hank, Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer are outmatched by a group of cruel teenage boys in a game of paintball, the boys previously having ambushed Bobby and Joseph. The boys capture and "execute" Hank and the guys, leading him to have nightmares of being shot. During his rematch with the boys, Hank and the guys begin taking observational notes on teenagers. In the aftermath, Hank concludes an agreement with Bill's previous statement that "teenagers are cruel".
  • Temporary Blindness: Hank, after witnessing his mother and her boyfriend having sex, temporarily goes blind in "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying".
  • Tempting Fate: In "Bobby Goes Nuts," when the guys hear about Bobby kicking Hank in the groin:
    Bill: I wish I had a son to kick me in the nuts.
    (Dale obliges him)
    Dale: (sips his beer) Be Careful What You Wish For.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In their addiction support group, Bobby mentions that he's been an addict since his dad "let" him smoke a whole carton, to horrified reactions. Hank tries to correct him, in that he "made" him smoke them, neglecting to mention it was a punishment for smoking at all, to even more horrified reactions.
  • That's What I Call "X"!: "Traffic Jam" has: "BAM! Now THAT'S what I call general haberdashery!"
  • That's What She Said: The plot to the title of the same name; a new employee at Strickland Propane, voiced by Ben Stiller, frequently replies to people with this catchphrase. At first, everyone thinks he's hilarious, but soon they begin to feel uncomfortable because every time they open their mouth, they fear he will turn whatever they say into a Double Entendre.
    Hank: Don't you wish we could still say words like "meat", and "tool", and "unit", without someone turning it into something foul? Those are our words. I say let's take 'em back!
    • At the end of the episode, after they finally get rid of him, they do indeed take their words back and talk about a grill deliberately using as many of them as humanly possible since they couldn't before with him around.
      Hank: Okay, team, gather round. I'm going to tell you about the new improvements on the Vogner 2800 Series. The first thing is that it'll smoke your meat, and it's got a nice big rack for your buns.
      Enrique: Or... wieners!
      Hank: Or wieners. Why not?
  • That Was Objectionable: When Dale has a restraining order put on Hank after he accidentally saws off Dale's finger:
    Dale: Objection: conjecture. Objecture!
  • The Theme Park Version: In "The Company Man", Hank has to do business with a pushy Bostonian who seems to think Texas is/should be this. In order to keep his business, Hank tries to conform to the man's beliefs, making himself an Extreme Doormat (as Peggy points out). After a heart-to-heart with a stripper, Hank finally tells the man off, who goes to Thatherton Fuels to get what he wants. However, in the deleted scene from the DVD version, his wife, who was kept by Peggy's company, is the actual owner of the business and decides to go with Strickland Propane.
    • In "Harlottown", the new city manager Vance wants to use Arlen's history of being one of the most notorious brothels in Texas as a way to bring in tourist dollars. However, he goes a bit too far when he does things like reveal his plan to convert an old soldier-and-sailors home into a museum of prostitution (complete with an erotic bakery and a gentleman's reading room) and have Arlen become the home of the Texas Adult Video Awards. Hank and Peggy realize that instead of learning from its past like Peggy wanted, Arlen is becoming a Disneyland for pornography. They, along with a former adult film star, appeal to the townspeople attending the awards show and ask if this is what they want their kids to learn.
    Hank: We have a choice to make. Which version of Arlen do we want? The uncut, x-rated one with shocking footage? Or the PG one that's grown-up but still appropriate for kids?
  • Themed Party: In "Strangeness on a Train", Peggy plans her birthday party on a train: a murder mystery theatre train ride combined with 70's disco theme. Hank is not sure it's such a great idea, especially the disco part, but agrees with it to make Peggy happy. Their friends show up in their disco outfits, as well as most of the actors (but those have also costumes for their roles in the play). The party goes terribly wrong in so many directions. For instance, the train toilet ends up clogged with an Andy Warhol wig and Elton John sunglasses.
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: The Québécois dub did this to this one of all series, changing the setting from Texas to small-town Quebec (Ste-Irène)... despite the fact that the setting is almost always referenced as being warm, the times snow actually does pop up (which often tends to be a light coating at most), it's treated as a major crisis in universe, and the plots and setting being very steeped in Texan culture (the characters are all obsessed with football and barbecues).
  • 13th Birthday Milestone: In the episode "I Don't Want to Wait for Our Lives to Be Over, I Want to Know Right Now, Will It Be... Sorry. Do Do Doo Do Do, Do Do Doo Do Do, Do Do Doo Do Do, Doo..." (a title parodying the Paula Cole song "I Don't Want to Wait", famously known as the theme song for Dawson's Creek), Bobby's 13th birthday is coming up and he expresses annoyance over everyone still treating him like a little kid after Joseph has returned from a vacation and grown six inches over the summer.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: In "Death of a Propane Salesman (Part 2)", at the funeral, Dale opens a casket and looks into it as a part of uncovering one of his conspiracy theories involving Mega Lo Mart and insurance fraud. The sight of the corpse causes him to turn pale and he throws up.
  • Throwing Out the Script: Played with:
    Bobby: (rehearsing) I rehearsed a speech on the way over here, but I'm throwing it out, because nothing says I'm sorry like "I'm sorry."
  • Title, Please!: The episode titles don't appear onscreen.
  • Toilet Humor:
    • The pilot episode where Hank is mistaken for a child abuser (after Bobby gets a black eye during a baseball game and rumors spread of Hank losing his temper with a Mega Lo Mart clerk) had Hank listening to a "Funny Phone Jerks" audio recording, which consists of farting noises (he mistook it for some music Bobby was listening to).
    • "Hank's Unmentionable Problem", which is about Hank's severe case of constipation. The final scene where Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" plays after Hank finally poops is a highlight.
    • "The Company Man" has Buck Strickland giving Hank an assignment while he's on the toilet.
    • In one episode, Peggy says, "Hope in one hand, poop in the other, and see which fills up first."
    • Dale, in "Beer and Loathing", after drinking some tainted beer: "I don't know which way it's coming out, but it's coming out!"
    • "Flush With Power" is all about toilets that don't flush efficiently, with the town council members having to use the john in the last act.
    • "Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story" has a subplot with a port-a-potty being put in the neighborhood, which culminates in it collapsing and revealing to the rest of the guys Hank doing his business.
    • In "That's What She Said", the new Strickland employee makes several fart jokes along with his sexual innuendos. Peggy also mentions how her students always ask her what the Spanish word for "poop" is and Bobby attempts to get revenge on a bully by placing fake poop on his desk chair.
    • "Business is Picking Up" is all about Bobby getting a job cleaning pet poop from people's yards and Hank's and Peggy's discomfort with it.
    • In "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Clown", Bobby resorts to entertaining the class talent show with fart jokes and a whoopee cushion after his jester act failed.
    • "I Never Promised You an Organic Garden" had a B-plot of Dale trying to gather bat feces to use as an organic fertilizer.
  • Token Houseguest: The show centers on Hank, his wife Peggy, and his son Bobby. They are later joined by Luanne, Peggy's niece, who has left her alcoholic mother. Luanne subsequently becomes one of the show's main characters and a frequent annoyance to Hank.
  • Token Minority: In an interesting variation, Hank is invited to join a country club because Ted Wassonasong is concerned that its all-Asian membership looks bad.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: In "Snow Job", when it starts snowing, Peggy says, "Nobody lick any flagpoles!"
  • Tonight, Someone Dies:
    • The Mega Lo Mart explosion and the shooting cliffhangers both were advertised as this. Fox actually spoofed this with the Mega Lo Mart explosion cliffhanger, which left four characters — Hank, Luanne, Buckley, and Chuck Mangione — unaccounted for, one of whom viewers were told would die. Over the summer, Fox ran a series of commercials in which their execs threatened to kill off Hank unless he agreed to let the show be retooled and moved to Los Angeles (where it would be renamed "King of the Hollywood Hills"). Eventually, Hank got ahold of some compromising photos of Fox executives and they agreed to let him stay in Texas without killing him off. In the end, Buckley was the one who died.
    • Hank's co-worker and Buck Strickland's mistress Debbie dies. She accidentally kills herself with a shotgun while attempting to hide in a dumpster, lying in wait to murder Buck.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Everyone in the cast does something genuinely selfish or rude throughout the series:
    • Depending on the Writer, Kahn. He's a downright jerkass during the earlier seasons, yet sometimes in the later seasons, he seems to genuinely want to help or be friends with everyone else, just is too stubborn (though an episode from season 13 reveals that Kahn's jerkass ways stem from the side effects of the medication he has to take for his bipolar disorder). Minh is a bit better at it than he is, though.
    • Dale invokes this in "The Trouble with Gribbles", where he is attempting to sue the Manitoba Tabacco Company on the premise that they ruined his wife's skin. When they try to bug him to expose him, Dale counter-bluffs them by acting as an emotionally abusive husband to Nancy. It doesn't end well, and nearly costs him his marriage.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: In "Harlottown", it's revealed that Arlen started off as the most notorious brothel in all of Texas. It started off as a watering hole on the Chisholm Trail. Some enterprising women invested in a tent and a cot and Harlottown was born. It used to be called Harlen because people were in so much of a rush to come, they were too tired to say "Harlottown". Famous visitors included President Garfield, the Texas Rangers, the 1884 Notre Dame football team and Mark Twain. Eventually, the prostitutes pooled all their money together and they turned Harlottown into a prosperous town and some of them even started their own legitimate business while others became involved in politics.
    • Hank, being a closed-minded conservative, thinks it's horrific to learn that Arlen started off as a whore house. However, he later came to respect the town's "founding mothers" since they became honest legitimate people once they found the chance to quit.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Bobby sure loves his fruit pies.
    • Hank is quite fond of burgers and steak.
    • Played with whenever it comes to grilling; no matter what kind of food it is, if it's made on a charcoal grill, Hank will not only refuse to eat it, but lecture whoever is within the vicinity about how it's essentially toxic waste. Of course, Hank doesn't like any method of cooking food that doesn't use propane (he felt extremely betrayed upon finding an electric stove in Buck's house), but he seems to hold a special hatred of charcoal. An entire episode centred around Peggy and Bobby trying charcoal-grilled food for the first time and finding it so delicious they're addicted to it, sneak out of the house every night to secretly grill with charcoal, and have to hide evidence of their activities from Hank.
  • True Companions: Hank, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer for sure. No matter how much of a creepy loser Bill is or how much of an untrustworthy idiot Dale is the four will always be best friends. Even when Hank, Dale and Bill stole Boomhauer's beloved car, accidentally destroyed it after a joyride and lied about it for 20 years, Boomhauer told Bobby he'd only be mad at them for two weeks, maybe three. Hank was then reduced to one week after Bobby told Boomhauer that Hank always quotes him.
  • Twofer Token Minority:
    • When Dale is being opposed for Gun Club President, he laments that his opponent has "already got the black vote — Earl — and the gay vote — Earl."
    • Buck is told that he isn't allowed to fire a drug-addicted employee because he is in rehab, which makes his addiction legally classified as a disability, and it's illegal for a business of his size to fire an employee based on their race, sexual orientation, disability, weight, etc. Buck then utters this line in his frustration:
      Buck: Hell, I'd kill for a big, fat, black, blind, deaf, gay guy if he would just get some damn work done around here!
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
    • Cotton is a short, stocky, grumpy old misogynist whose face looks like a roadmap, and yet he's married to the much younger, shapely, buxomly Didi.
    • Lucky the middle-aged redneck wed the stunning young Luanne.
    • Dale isn't particularly ugly, but he's still a scrawny, balding weirdo married to the shapely blonde Nancy.
    • Kahn is more average-looking than ugly (and he's sometimes drawn with an impressive physique) but Minh is said to be attractive by several characters.
    • Ted Wasonasong is pencil-thin and has an unflattering combover, while his wife is rather pretty. Maybe it's the money...
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: In "Grand Theft Arlen", Hank gets addicted to a Grand Theft Auto clone programmed by local college students and featuring a badass version of himself as the hero. Somewhat subverted in that the game lets the player be a "good guy", which is how Hank plays it, rather than just being a straight-up criminal.
  • Un-Cancelled: After spending its last few seasons being constantly victimized by sports preemptions and schedule changes, Season 11 was finally announced as being the last, with Luanne's wedding being the series finale. It was unexpectedly picked up for two additional seasons, however, when Fox decided to revamp its animation lineup in the Fall of 2007, but was later cancelled for good at the end of Season 13, leaving four unaired episodes to debut in syndication.
  • Underdogs Never Lose:
    • Averted in "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying". The episode concerns Hank overcoming his problems with firing a rifle. However, even when he manages to get it together during the shooting tournament, he still loses on the final shot. However, it's still a happy ending because Bobby's thrilled that he and Hank got second place and wants to compete again next year.
    • Averted in "Hank's Back Story", where Hank loses the mower racing competition. He's content that he placed high enough to compete again next year, and that Dale, his rival in the race, also lost.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Brought up during one episode:
    Hank: Now I don't want to name names, but due to last year's unfortunate "kissing incident", Mistletoe is banned from this year's Christmas party. (glares at Bill)
    Bill: Peppermint Schnapps makes me sloppy.
  • The Unfavorite:
    • Hank was this to Cotton even before G.H. was born.
    • To a lesser extent, Hank glaringly prefers Ladybird to Bobby, though he does love Bobby. For what it's worth, Hank also makes it no secret he views his niece Luanne as a burden.
  • The Unfair Sex: This is subverted concerning Dale and Nancy's relationship. Her cheating on him is played for laughs rather than to make Dale look like a bad husband. In fact, he's usually portrayed pretty sympathetically as far as this issue goes. It gets brought up in the episode "Night and Deity" where Nancy thinks Dale is flirty with a female exterminator and Nancy is afraid that he will cheat. Dale mentions that he never had any problems with Nancy spending so much time with John Redcorn.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • In "Care-Takin' Care of Business," Hank and company help restore the football field behind Smitty; the senile caretaker of the field, who is an absolute mess and shouldn't be doing any more fieldwork. Smitty never once realizes they helped, but he eventually becomes irate when he starts Stealing the Credit from them and proclaiming that he's the best there is (he is shit).
    • Hank uses the American way to get his temporary obnoxious Canadian neighbor out of jail by sacrificing his "kegerator" to pay the defense attorney to get him out. What does the guy do after reuniting with his family whom acted more civil and apologized to the Hills? Boast that Canada is better than America. Despite this, Hank feels he did the right thing.
    • The entire HCJC meat team and their manager is this. After being hijacked by their rivals (for having thrown pepper flakes in their eyes the previous night), Bobby is the only one to show up and does every event flawlessly without their help. Once they finally arrive to the event, they all kick Bobby aside without thanking him for holding things down singlehandedly. And they still would have lost the competition, if hadn't Bobby hadn't decided to step in when they ignore a fatal flaw on the meaty carcass. Bobby still gets no credit for this last minute save.
  • Unishment: In "An Officer and a Gentle Boy", Bobby is able to withstand all of Cotton's punishments, including sitting on a block of ice, eating the mixed-up leftovers of cafeteria food, and having to sit in a tiny cell for days.
  • The Unintelligible: Boomhauer. This is lampshaded several times. For example:
    • In the pilot, after the child services investigator asks Dale (who tells him Hank does not abuse Bobby), he talks to Boomhauer, who complains about Ladybird barking, so the social services investigator slowly backs away.
    • Played with in an episode where Boomhauer has a flashback: Hank, Dale, and Bill all talk like him, while he talks normally.
    • Played with again in an episode where Boomhauer falls asleep in an inner tube and floats all the way to Houston; the locals don't understand him and he's committed to a mental hospital.
    • Hank will often say "Boomhauer, I can't understand a word you just said", attributing the lack of intelligibility to interference, like loud music or the echoes of a cave.
    • Subverted on the episode "The Bluegrass is Always Greener", where Boomhauer's singing voice is actually coherent. And sounds just like Vince Gill.
    • When Boomhauer makes an impassioned (and barely intelligible) plea to Dale to surrender to the police before they use force against him, Dale responds "Boomhauer, if I ever heard anyone reading from a script, that was it."
    • In "Propane Boom", the episode where the Mega Lo Mart explodes, Boomhauer gets on the phone to call 911 and the operator tells him she can't understand what he's saying, urging him to speak more slowly, which he does and it's just as unintelligible as whenever he speaks normally.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Certain elements of Cotton's story regarding his experiences in World War II, as well as his medical history, are rather questionable.
  • The Unreveal: Boomhauer's first name, Jeff, isn't revealed until near the end of the series, but was mentioned on various websites years prior.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: By Season 2, everybody takes turns being this. It's hard to feel bad for Hank when his problems are often caused by his own naivete or even flat-out ignorance, or Peggy when her problems are caused by her ego, or the rest of the cast, who apparently juggle Idiot Balls or make JerkAss decisions.
  • Van in Black: Invoked and subverted in "Dale to the Chief". Dale expects an FBI agent to arrive in a black Chevy Suburban. Instead, the agent arrives in a green Ford Taurus. Dale still assumed it's a Suburban:
    Dale: Whoa. A black Suburban. The new models are much smaller and greener than last year's.
  • Vanity License Plate:
    • Boomhauer has one, "MSSALLY", for his 1965 Mustang, after the Wilson Pickett song.
    • Kahn has "KINGKAHN" on his van which is either a pun on King Kong or a sign of his snobby narcissism.
  • Varying Competency Alibi: In "Lupe's Revenge", Peggy accidentally kidnaps a Mexican girl while taking her class on a field trip to Mexico and gets arrested. At the trial, Hank convinces the court to let her testify in Spanish, knowing she'd never pass up a chance to demonstrate her "fluency". The jury concludes that her grasp on the language is so bad, the incident had to have been a misunderstanding, and she's declared not guilty.
  • Verbal Business Card: Hank will often introduce himself as "Hank Hill, Strickland Propane." or "Hank Hill, Assistant Manager [of] Strickland Propane." even when he's not at work or the people he's being introduced to have nothing to do with the propane industry.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • I'll tell you what, that dang ol' Boomhauer, man.
    • Joe Jack saying "Honey".
    • Nancy saying "Sug":
      "Oh, sugar! I'm out of sugar, sug."
  • Very Special Episode:
    • "Keeping Up With Our Joneses," complete with a funny PSA at the end with Boomhauer holding up a clean white air filter for his car engine next to a greasy black one and compares them to "your lungs on air" and "your lungs on smoke," respectively. Even with his garbled speech, he manages to make the dangers clear: "Dang ol' ear hair, mang, low sperm count."
    • "Death of a Propane Salesman" deals with the effects the Mega Lo Mart explosion had on Hank and Luanne. Hank is afraid of propane and in denial of the problem, while Luanne's grief over Buckley's death and the loss of her hair has manifested itself in the form of anger at the general injustice of the world.
    • "Return to La Grunta," about sexual harassment and assault. Bonus points because Hank, a male, goes through it too.
    • "That's What She Said" deals with the stigma against men reporting sexual harassment, although the harassment in that episode comes from incessant unwelcome sexual jokes.
    • "My Own Private Rodeo" was nominated for a Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Award for its portrayal of Dale coming to terms with his dad being gay. It aired in 2001 - two years before Lawrence v. Texas made it legal to be gay in the state and across the country.
    • "Aisle 8A" and "I Don't Want to Wait..." deal with concerns about puberty. The former deals with Connie's first period and Bobby struggling with being a late bloomer and being treated like a child, while the latter deals with Joseph lamenting about being an early bloomer.
  • Vice City: Arlen used to be a giant, city-sized brothel (Harlot Town -> Harloton -> Arlen).
    • It got dangerously close to becoming one again thanks to a councilman wanting to cash in on Arlen's controversial history. Peggy was originally on board with the original plan of opening a heritage museum but the councilman revamped it into a "Museum of Prostitution" featuring such amenities like an erotic bakery and a "gentlemen's reading room". Then Arlen got the attention of the adult film industry and made it their new venue to hold their annual adult video award show. This resulted in Hank and Peggy protesting these changes to avoid their beloved community becoming smutty.
    "Arlen, Come up and see us sometime."
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: invoked Gale, Debbie's roommate. When he is charged Debbie's murder and his arrest is shown on TV, Luanne believes that he is a woman because of his name and appearance. Even after Hank corrects her, she still thinks that Gale's a woman.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: For such a down-to-earth slice of life cartoon, KOTH has had some nasty villains.
    • Trip Larson from "Pigmalion" is a controlling, emotionally abusive, and completely psychotic pork mogul who forces Luanne to conform to his standards of perfection before trying to kill her when she refuses.
    • The sorority from "Fun With Jane and Jane" is a disturbingly realistic depiction of a cult: they force their members to dress exactly the same and change their names to Jane, deprive their members of proper food or bathroom breaks, forcibly sever their group members' ties with family and the outside world, strictly punish those who even think of breaking their rules, and eventually send off their newly-brainwashed members into a life of slavery on a jam-and-jelly farm. The lead Jane also displays an eerie knack for manipulation, convincing Luanne and Peggy to join by appealing to the former's desire for friendship and the latter's ego within seconds of meeting them.
    • Mad Dog is a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic who, unlike Dale, is totally humorless, scarily competent, and unashamedly evil to the point where he comes within a hair's breadth of successfully murdering Dale and his friends.
  • Vocal Evolution: Dale and Bill both were initially given lower voices, Dale's voice actor has even admitted that his performance in the earlier seasons was based on Jack Nicholson. Both characters' voices got higher in subsequent seasons as the voice actors gave them more range. Hank originally had a more forceful voice but it gradually softened a bit.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In "The Buck Stops Here", Bobby has to wait in the alley while Buck gambles inside. A woman begins to vomit from having drunk too much alcohol, though it's not shown in graphic detail:
    Man: You all emptied out, Carla? (resumes kissing her)
    Bobby: Oh GOD!
  • Wannabe Diss: Bobby, when getting interested in Tarot reading, joins a group of losers claiming to be genuine wizards or … something. When he sees that these idiots are ineffectual dorks that have likely been emotionally broken due to being picked on and are just throwing together a bunch of crap they likely saw in Dungeons & Dragons, he tells them that even he wants to kick their asses.
  • War Hero: Cotton Hill is a World War II veteran who killed 50 men and lost his shins to a Japanese gunner. He's been awarded both the Silver Star and the Medal of Honor.
  • Warrior Poet: Minh's father General Gum considers himself one. When his poetry is actually heard, though...
    "We must not forget, yet we cannot remember/Death be not proud?/Then who?"
  • "Wash Me" Graffiti: In the episode "Dog Dale Afternoon", Dale borrows Hank's lawn mower and abuses it— going to a burger joint's drive-thru and filling it with soda instead of gas. Hank and Bobby find the mower in a not-so-great part of town, and when Hank sees "Wash me" written on it, he hurriedly tries to cover it from Bobby's sight.
  • Wedding Episode:
    • "Lucky's Wedding Suit" features the long awaited marriage between Luanne and Lucky, with Hank and company trying to help Lucky find a way to pay for Luanne's lavish wedding plans.
    • "The Wedding Of Bobby Hill" becomes this when Peggy and Hank attempt to teach Bobby and Luanne a lesson as a result of an escalating prank war. There's even a faux bachelor party for Bobby.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy:
    • Hank. He constantly seeks his father's admiration (or at least his respect), but Cotton is a jaded World War II veteran who has absolutely no regard (and just barely a little love) for Hank, going so far to name his new baby son "Good Hank":
      "I gots mah shins blowed off by a Japan man's machine gun, so don't crying to me about your problems!"
    • Bobby, Hank's son, has it rough. But compared to his grandfather, Hank is far easier to please.
      "Bobby, if you weren't my son, I'd hug you."
    • Female variation with Peggy and her mom. Even saving her family's Montana ranch is not enough to impress her mother, though, so Peggy just gives up on trying.
    • When Cotton's confronted by Hank after he runs off to Las Vegas to avoid raising G.H., Cotton admits that Hank is a better father than he ever was in the most insulting manner possible:
      "You made Bobby! All I made was you!"
    • Kahn is this to his father-in-law, who apparently worked for several dictators in the past, calls Kahn a "descendant of fishermen," and generally has no respect for him.
    • Minh can't seem to get any respect from Kahn's mother. The difference between Kahn and Minh is that Minh doesn't care if Laohma respects her, she just doesn't want to deal with her. Laohma's insistence to show Minh how to do housework "the right way" comes more from her being a professional homemaker than wanting to show Minh up. Kahn is constantly trying to prove himself to Minh's dad, whereas Minh and Laohma are more than happy to stay out of each other's way. For that matter, Kahn does nothing to stop his mom from criticizing Minh, nor does he seem to care, whereas Minh is very bothered by how her dad treats Kahn and tries to make him stop.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Not only do Cotton's wife, Didi, and infant son, Good Hank, not appear at his deathbed, they aren't even mentioned (though it is implied that Didi divorced Cotton and took Good Hank with her). In the episode "Daletech", Cotton finishes an argument with Didi with "Fine, call your lawyer!" before Didi speeds off and Cotton informing the Hill family Didi has "gone to visit her folks" and telling the family he doesn't know when she will be back, suggesting Didi divorced him and moved away. Didi does show up, in a new Cadillac (having remarried less than a year after Cotton's death) to give Hank some of Cotton's possessions and will in "Serves Me Right for Giving General Goerge S. Patton the Bathroom Key", including a final wish to flush his ashes down the toilet Patton used during WWI, which contradicts his earlier securing of a burial plot in a veteran's cemetery.
    • This happens to Kahn's mother, who in "Maid in Arlen" is in a relationship with Bill. She is mentioned in the next episode, but never appears again.
    • This has happened quite a few times: in "Pretty, Pretty Dresses", Bill gets a pet iguana whom he names Lenore, in "Returning Japanese" Luanne buys another bloodhound whom is presumably male after she thinks she's killed Ladybird, and in "I'm with Cupid", Bobby gets a new girlfriend named Debby, but none of these characters are ever seen again.
    • One of John Redcorn's old flings and his newly discovered daughter end up moving into his trailer with him in "Untitled Blake McCormick Project". They are never seen or mentioned again.
  • The Whitest Black Guy: Kahn is accused of being the whitest Asian guy in the episode "Orange You Sad I Did Say Banana?" when Ted calls him a banana.note  So, he tries to avert this by restyling his entire life to get more in touch with his ancestry. After finding he doesn't enjoy his new lifestyle, he comes to terms with himself and accepts he should just be happy with who he is, and enjoy what he likes:
    Kahn: "If you want someone to play round of golf, give me call! If you want someone to feel guilty about the way they choose to live, call someone else."
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's established that Arlen is in Texas. Where in Texas varies from episode to episode. Some episodes have it close to the Mexican border,note  while others have it in central Texas, and a couple have it somewhere near Dallas or Houston in the eastern half of the state.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men" is a parody of 12 Angry Men, the difference being a focus group instead of a jury deliberation.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Peggy, scoffing at Steinbeck during a performance of Of Mice and Men.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?:
    • Bobby, as viewed by Hank:
    • A few episodes showed Bobby having a similar attitude towards Hank. Wishing his dad was cooler, had more money, was more open-minded, etc.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Discussed. When Bobby is planning on stealing a rival school's mascot (an armadillo), he asks Dale if he could pump poison into the school to render the mascot's guards unconscious. Dale points out that the amount of poison needed would kill an armadillo. Plus the kids probably wouldn't wake up.
  • Win Her a Prize: A Gender-Inverted example in "Chasing Bobby" with Connie winning a claw machine prize for Bobby.
    *Bobby and Connie walk into the movie theater lobby with Bobby ecstatically holding a stuffed animal.*
    Bobby: And they say nobody beats the claw machine!
    Hank: That's great, son. Now give it to Connie.
    Bobby: No, she won it for me.
  • Women Are Wiser: Inverted with Hank and Peggy, though played straight for Kahn & Minh and Dale & Nancy.
  • Word Salad: Hank actually accuses Dale of this at the beginning of "Dale to the Chief" after one of his characteristic conspiracy-theorist ramblings:
    Hank: Did you mean for all those words to come out together or did they just fall out randomly?
  • The Worst Seat in the House: In "Suite Smells of Excess", Hank, his son, and a few of their friends attend the Texas-Nebreska game. They buy absurdly expensive seats that turn out to be in the bloodiest of the nosebleed section, but through some good luck they end up in a luxury suite by the end of the game.
  • Wrench Wench: Luanne was bad in beauty school and the community college, but she was good with a wrench. In early episodes, the men in the alley would move out of the way and let her fix cars.
  • Wrote the Book: Crossed with Metaphorgotten:
    Storekeeper: This fella never went to school. He grew up in the hills, but he wrote the book on homemade bait. 'Course it's just a bunch of scribbles 'cause he never went to school.
  • Xanatos Gambit: By Peggy, of all people. After getting conned, she hatches up a scheme with all the other victims to get their money back. They trick the conman into bringing the money to a motel where they've set up a phony gambling hall. If he keeps betting, it's rigged so that he'll lose it all. If he tries to leave with the money, they have several other ways of stealing it back from him.
  • X Days Since: In the beginning of “Father of the Bribe”, the sign outside the school reads “48 Hours Without a Dress Code Violation.”
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: This usually happens to Bill whenever anything positive happens to him, thanks to Status Quo Is God. This is especially true if it involves women in any way.
  • Your Mom: In "Traffic Jam," Roger "Booda" Sack launches into a series of these against Hank's mom when Hank tells Sack that his mother didn't raise him right. Also Hank's urethra.


Hank meets Ward Rackley

Ward is in his 30s or 40s but still suffers from classic Chuunibyou symptoms

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / Chuunibyou

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