Don’t Forget That Hank Hill Would Rather Be Accused of Murder Than Marijuana Consumption

The ‘King of the Hill’ star would rather be a prisoner than a pothead
Don’t Forget That Hank Hill Would Rather Be Accused of Murder Than Marijuana Consumption

In Texas, marijuana possession is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000 while first-degree murder can earn you execution. For Hank Hill, the former crime carries a worse punishment than death — pothead humiliation.

Calling the King of the Hill star’s principles rigid is like calling his backside flat — it’s a Texas-sized understatement. Whether it’s soccer, barbecue or proper lawn care, the issues that Hank considers important all carry a strict set of rules based on his personal morals, and to sway Hank away from his firmly held beliefs requires extenuating circumstances that exceed what the Texas penal code has to offer. 

In the two-episode King of the Hill storyline that, like many good things, starts with “Hanky Panky” and ends with “High Anxiety,” Hank nearly lands himself in prison on murder charges and almost allows an innocent man to sit on death row for the same crime because he couldn’t bring himself to admit that he accidentally smoked weed — or, as he calls it, “an inferior grade of tobacco.” If Hank’s alibi was accidental use of charcoal at a barbecue, both men would have fried.

The two-part Season Four arc revolves around Buck Strickland’s scheming and philandering, which compel his wife Liz to leave him and take ownership of Strickland Propane with her. Hank finds himself in the middle of the messy divorce as well as the subject of attempted seductions by Liz and by Buck’s mistress Debbie, played by Reese Witherspoon. Hank resists carnal temptation at every turn, but gives in to the corruption of his one vice: sweet, high-grade Manitoba cigarettes.

While visiting Debbie’s apartment in an attempt to quell the chaos that the homewrecker started, Hank accepts a light from Debbie’s roommate Gale, whose weak flame on a suspicious hand roll inspires Hank to take a puff, unintentionally rendering himself irresponsibly high. That night, Debbie’s lifeless body is found in a nearby dumpster next to a shotgun, and, without an alibi beyond the shame of reefer madness, Hank becomes a prime suspect.

Meanwhile, Buck’s under-the-bus-throwing tendencies lead him to try and frame Hank for Debbie’s supposed murder, and, fully misunderstanding the effects of marijuana, Hank briefly believes that he could be the killer. Ultimately, Gale is arrested, and only when Hank’s moral indignation over an innocent man facing horrible punishment overcomes his shame over accidental cannabis consumption does he come clean about the dirty doobie.

As it turns out, Debbie’s death was her own accidental doing, and everyone involved walks off scot free — except for Hank, of course. Bobby Hill holds his old man to his own moral code, and, in a punishment fitting for a pothead, Bobby decrees that Hank will lay off the grass — cutting it, that is. Hank may as well have been in prison.


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?