The Most Texas-y ‘King of the Hill’ Episodes, Characters and Tropes

Don’t mess with Texas — or Hank Hill, for that matter
The Most Texas-y ‘King of the Hill’ Episodes, Characters and Tropes

Is there anything more Texan than a swift kick in the ass?

If you asked Hank Hill that question, he’d probably rattle off something about propane, football or the disdainful denizens of the accursed Oklahoma. King of the Hill is creator Mike Judge’s love letter to the state he calls home and the honest (and dishonest) folk who he calls neighbors, and, fittingly, each episode is dripping with references, homages and sayings swiped from the Lone Star state along with a bag of Whataburger. 

Here are the most Texan tropes, story arcs and side characters in the entire King of the HIll canon as chosen by a lifelong yankee who once had a layover in Dallas Fort Worth…

Mr. Holloway The Rhinestone Cowboy

Starting off with a curveball, it’s a distinctly Texan experience to roll your eyes at some John Wayne wannabe wearing a 10-gallon hat and a pair of cowboy boots that have only ever touched pavement — or so I’m told. In the Season Two episode “The Company Man,” Hank is tasked with schmoozing a slimy out-of-state potential client played by Futurama star Billy West sporting his best Bostonian accent as he drags Hank through a montage of cowboy hats, steak dinners and saloon fights, only for Hank to discover that Holloway’s wife wears the pants and has already decided to sign with Strickland Propane.

Shout-out to one of King of the Hill’s best name gags when Hank takes Holloway to a titty bar called “The Jugstore Cowboy.”

“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo”

If there’s one thing everyone must remember about Texas it’s, well, you know. Late in the show’s run, Hank takes it upon himself to preserve a piece of Texas history when he discovers that Bobby’s school books don’t commemorate the most memorable battle of the Texas Revolution. Hank attempts to honor the Texas legends who lost their lives at the Alamo by putting on a play about the iconic event, only for his creative partner Bruce Tuttle to sully the story by showing the dark sides of the Texan heroes.

Romanticizing history through selective memory might be characteristic of America as a whole, but, in Texas, they simply do it bigger.


They got tons of it. Texas produces a whopping 4.3 million beef cows annually (more than double the second-place finisher, the dreaded Oklahoma) so it’s only fitting that half of King of the Hill should revolve around the inspection, preparation and consumption of Lone Star cattle. There’s nothing Hank likes to grill more than a medium-rare steak over a propane flame, and there was perhaps never a time when Hank was more proud of his effete first born than when Bobby became the Heimlich County Junior College meat inspection team’s star player in “To Sirloin with Love.”

Hank loved beef so much that he even went into the organic food business with a bunch of hippies one time — but the Mega-Lo Mart took over everything and ruined his rancher dreams. Superstores swallowing up small businesses is, sadly, also very Texan.

Everything High School Football

In case anyone never watched Friday Night Lights, football is more of a religion than a sport down in Texas, and Hank and his buddies are basically Arlen’s patron saints. With Hank at running back, Boomhauer under center and the Bill “The BillDozer” Dauterive as the star offensive lineman/fullback, the roadside drinking buddies brought Arlen all the way to state — before God smote Hank for his touchdown dance and snapped his ankle.

Whether it’s through mowing the field or motivating the players, Hank remains a watchful guardian of his hallowed high school team long into adulthood. Like most Texan men, Hank can recount his rushing numbers in a heartbeat. Unlike most Texan men, however, he’s (almost) accepted that his son will never do the same.

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