The Best B-Plots in ‘King of the Hill’ History Prove That Hank Wasn’t Really the Star
That boy ain’t right, but he belongs in the spotlight.
If you lived in Arlen, Texas and you had to pick one of your neighbors to be the star of a comedy TV show, the very last serious, straitlaced propane salesman you’d ever list would be Hank Hill — unless you were his cousin Dusty, of course. Hank is the straightest of straight men, so much so that even his ass is as flat as his voice. In his family and on his block, Hank Hill is always the most aggressively normal person in any conversation, which is part of why the King of the Hill formula works so well — the audience gets to experience all the show’s wonderful weirdos through the eyes of the biggest normie in Texas. It’s the same reason Seinfeld was successful — Jerry let the rest of the gang get the best jokes.
However, this dynamic means that when a plotline in an episode is a little too Hank-heavy, it’s liable to be overshadowed by whatever more engaging antics an eccentric side character is up to in the B-story. The King of the Hill subreddit recently listed all the times they felt that the secondary plotline overshadowed the main event, and, in almost every case, the A-story was a whole lot of Hank. Here are their top picks, starting with…
In “A Beer Can Named Desire,” Bill’s Horny Family Is Funnier Than Hank Throwing A Football
When Hank wins a contest put on by Alamo Beer that allows him the chance to win $1,000,000 by throwing a football into a giant beer can (or $100,000 to let a real quarterback do it for him), the family goes on a road trip down to Louisiana where, to Bill's delight, the Dauterive family is missing a male heir. The possibility that Bill might get laid with his own cousin is far funnier than a failed football toss.
In “Pregnant Paws,” Dale’s Bounty Hunting Business Is Better Than Hank Getting Baby Crazy
Sitcom characters deciding that they want to have a baby is always a boring episode plotline, even when it starts with Hank trying to get his dog Ladybird pregnant (by a sire, not himself). Meanwhile, Dale Gribble decided he wanted to “hunt humans” for profit, roping poor Ladybird into the plan as well. Dale’s scheme was better for the audience, but worse for Ladybird.
In “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo” the Alamo Wasn’t All That Memorable
When Hank discovers that Bobby isn’t receiving a proper education on the most famous battle in the Texas Revolution, he decides to take Alamo education into his own hands. However, Peggy’s renegade Flat Stanley photoshoot was much more engaging, no matter what the school thought.
In “Peggy the Boggle Champ,” A Stain on A Carpet Was Funnier Than Hank Bringing Peggy A Pencil
In all fairness, this A-plot was mostly Peggy action as Hank brought her to Dallas to compete in a Boggle championship, but she never would have beaten that prissy Cissy Cobb if her coach didn’t bring her the trusty pencil — and we’d never rewatch this episode if it weren’t for Bobby and Luanne’s increasingly unhinged attempts to repair the damage they did to the house while Hank and Peggy were gone.