Movie Reviews

King Of The Hill's 30 Best Episodes


  • King of the Hill
    offers a blend of humor, relatable characters, and poignant moments that explore everyday situations with depth.
  • The best episodes showcase the show’s ability to balance comedy and emotional resonance in exploring themes like self-acceptance and family dynamics.
  • The show’s upcoming reboot on Hulu will revisit Hank, Peggy, and Bobby while the original episodes are still valued for their timeless humor.

The best King of the Hill episodes are hilarious, heartfelt, and at the same time a biting satire of some of the stranger values of American culture. Created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, King of the Hill takes place in the fictional city of Arlen, Texas, and revolves around mild-mannered all-American propane salesman Hank Hill, his wife Peggy, and his son Bobby. Unlike similar adult-oriented animated series like The Simpsons and Family Guy, King of the Hill was noteworthy for being grounded in reality.

King of the Hill told stories about everyday situations that audiences could relate to. Hulu’s upcoming reboot will see an older Hank, Peggy, and Bobby adapting to the modern world, but while a few decades have passed since, the best King of the Hill episodes from the original 1997-2010 run are still just as funny. King of the Hill has always found humor in the mundane aspects of daily life, and the most memorable episodes from its 13 seasons showcase the show’s uncanny ability to turn the ordinary into the hilarious.


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30 “Hank’s Bad Hair Day”

Season 4, Episode 19

“Hank’s Bad Hair Day” is an exemplary episode of King of the Hill that delightfully encapsulates the show’s unique blend of humor, relatable characters, and life’s simple truths. In the episode, Hank experiences a disastrous haircut after his barber loses his mind, leading to an amusing yet poignant exploration of vanity and self-image.

“Hanks Bad Hair Day” stands out among the best
King of the Hill
episodes for its ability to entertain while subtly addressing the importance of self-acceptance

Hank’s journey to cope with the unwanted change, alongside looking for a new barber, showcases King of the Hill’s strength in finding humor in everyday situations. The episode also has some brilliant low-key lines, such as when Buck tells Hank he looks like “that fella that killed the other fella.” “Hanks Bad Hair Day” stands out among the best King of the Hill episodes for its ability to entertain while subtly addressing the importance of self-acceptance and the value of looking beyond appearances.

29 “Pilot”

Season 1, Episode 1

Hank, Peggy, and Bobby in the car in King of the Hill

Most TV shows take a while to find their feet, but King of the Hill had figured out its characters and its comedic sensibility from the get-go. The pilot episode immediately introduces Hank and Bobby’s relationship as Hank desperately wants Bobby to do well in his baseball team but finds he’s completely hopeless. When Bobby gets a black eye in a sporting accident, rumors start to spread, and social services get involved.

King of the Hill’s pilot established the show’s penchant for setting up a comical situation and escalating it to its most absurd extreme. The episode takes off running from the start, with Hank’s friends getting plenty of time onscreen as they work on Hank’s truck, and Luanne makes her big debut as she moves in with the Hills after her parents go to jail.

28 “Jumpin’ Crack Bass”

Season 2, Episode 5

Hank and his friends go fishing in King of the Hill

Many of the best King of the Hill episodes come from Hank being placed in situations that make him uncomfortable (of which there are many), though few are as funny as when he makes a significant error when fishing. After Hank unwittingly buys crack cocaine as fishing bait, he’s arrested for drug possession in the season 2 episode “Jumpin’ Crack Bass.”

Hank is so aggressively averse to drugs that any episode where he accidentally gets himself involved in the world of drugs is guaranteed to be a classic. As far as Hank’s drug-related storylines go, mistakenly buying crack as fishing bait is second only to inadvertently smoking a joint. There are some arguments that the episode goes off the rails with the plot, as it makes almost no sense, but the entire situation is so funny that King of the Hill can be forgiven for going a little absurd once in a while.

27 “Soldier Of Misfortune”

Season 6, Episode 2

Dale wearing a fake mustache in King of the Hill

When Dale accidentally shoots a cash register in “Soldier of Misfortune,” his chances of being re-elected as the president of his gun club become extremely slim, so his friends rally around him to cheer him up. Gary Busey gives a typically unpredictable turn as Dale’s aptly named rival, Mad Dog. Dale is the wildcard of Hank’s group — he’s the most eccentric but arguably the most sensitive and vulnerable — so it’s always a delight when he takes center stage in his own episode.

The entire episode is a nice showcase for Dale, as, despite his kindness, he really lays into the idea that he is a CIA agent (which was a lie set up to protect his role as the president of the gun club) and even when Dale admits he isn’t, he still saves everyone and just continues to lay into the lies he built up. Between Dale’s character work and the always-fantastic Gary Busey, this is an episode every King of the Hill fan should enjoy.


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26 “Jon Vitti Presents: Return To La Grunta”

Season 3, Episode 16

Hank is assaulted by a dolphin in King of the Hill

In a very special King of the Hill episode tackling the issue of sexual harassment, Luanne faces constant harassment at her new job at a country club, and Hank is assaulted by a dolphin who tries to mate with him. The Hank storyline is a fun send-up of When Animals Attack, but the Luanne storyline is a real meditation on the struggle of dealing with workplace harassment.

“Jon Vitti Presents: ‘Return to La Grunta'” uses an absurd storyline about a dolphin trying to mate with Hank to explore the dark world of corporate enablers and scandalous cover-ups. On the other hand, Luanne’s storyline really goes deeper into the idea of women’s struggles in the workplace, and in a show that takes place in a rural location like King of the Hill, it is a nice look at a very real problem.

25 “Pretty, Pretty Dresses”

Season 3, Episode 9

“Pretty, Pretty Dresses” is a standout King of the Hill episode that ranks among the best thanks to the way it brilliantly melds dark humor with genuine emotion. It follows Bill Dauterive as he spirals into depression around Christmas, unable to cope with his ex-wife Lenore’s absence. The episode deftly handles themes of loneliness and mental health, with Hank stepping in to help Bill through his toughest time.

This season 3
King of the Hill
episode is so memorable thanks to its blend of heartfelt moments, coupled with the show’s characteristic humor

This season 3 King of the Hill episode is so memorable thanks to its blend of heartfelt moments, coupled with the show’s characteristic humor — like Bill’s eccentric decision to wear one of Lenore’s dresses — makes this episode a good exploration of friendship and the importance of support during low points in life. The guys always give each other a hard time, but episodes like this show that they are always there for each other.

24 “Hilloween”

Season 2, Episode 4

Hank dressed as the Devil in King of the Hill

In King of the Hill’s first of two Halloween episodes, appropriately titled “Hilloween,” a busybody from the church tries to get Halloween celebrations banned from Arlen for the holiday’s supposed roots in witchcraft and Devil worship. Sally Field gives an unforgettable guest performance as Junie Harper, the villain of the episode. In no surprise, Hank Hill is the one who gets angry that someone is making ridiculous demands and rallies his family to help him stand up to her.

Hank usually represents authority in King of the Hill episodes, making up senseless rules for Bobby and Luanne to follow, so it’s great to see an episode in which he’s the one standing up to authority and its senseless rules. Seeing Hank in a devil costume yelling “trick or treat” as he walks down the street is just icing on the cake.

23 “Chasing Bobby”

Season 5, Episode 9

Hank's engine gives out in King of the Hill

Hank refuses to give up his old truck in the season 5 episode “Chasing Bobby,” even when a mechanic tells him it’s on its last legs and will soon die. Like many of the best King of the Hill episodes, Hank’s unfathomable stubbornness makes for a truly unforgettable story in “Chasing Bobby.” A suburban dad’s love for his trusty old truck is hysterically relatable, as is Hank’s steadfast refusal to let go of an aging truck that holds a dear place in his heart.

This is one of several surprising sentimental
King of the Hill
episodes that unexpectedly bring Hank and Bobby closer together.

The entire episode is a touching one as Hank’s refusal to let go of his truck strains his relationship with Bobby, who is only trying to help his dad, to the point where Hank blames Bobby when his truck finally dies. Chasing Bobby is one of several surprising sentimental King of the Hill episodes that unexpectedly bring Hank and Bobby closer together.


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22 “A Firefighting We Will Go”

Season 3, Episode 10

Bill waves from a fire truck in King of the Hill

The work of volunteer firefighters has been satirized in everything from The Simpsons to I Love Lucy. There’s something inherently funny about such a dangerous and important job being done by amateurs. In King of the Hill’s season 3 episode “A Firefighting We Will Go,” Hank and his friends become volunteer firefighters, and hilarity ensues.

Their firefighting career kicks off just about as horrendously as it possibly could: they burn down the firehouse. This King of the Hill episode is also a fun take on the Rashomon effect, as Hank, Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer each have their own version of what happened. The editing and design of this episode offer something new for King of the Hill fans, and they work perfectly to show the inner workings of Hank and his friends’ minds as they reveal how they see the world.

21 “How To Fire A Rifle Without Really Trying”

Season 2, Episode 1

Hank and Bobby at a shooting range in King of the Hill

Bobby finds that he has a knack for shooting and wants to take part in a shooting tournament in season 2’s “How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying.” Hank is torn between his pride in Bobby for finally finding an athletic activity he’s good at and the past trauma he suffered at his father’s hands as a child.

This episode is an important one for Hank and Bobby. While Hank has always been hard on Bobby and never seems to understand his son, he shows one big problem here. Hank had a tough relationship with his own dad, and this is an important episode that shows how he at least tries to be better. The unmistakable voice of Wallace Shawn appears in this episode, and the animators designed his character, Phillip Ny, to look just like the iconic actor playing him.

20 “Square Peg”

Season 1, Episode 2

Peggy and Luanne sitting at the table in King of the Hill

The King of the Hill writers came up with one of their all-time greatest episode premises for just the second installment of the series. In “Square Peg,” Peggy is called on to teach sex education to Bobby’s class. This premise presents both a raunchy situation for the usually old-fashioned, dyed-in-the-wool Peggy and an embarrassing situation for the already socially outcast Bobby.

And, of course, Hank is a reliable comic foil caught in the middle of it all as he does everything he can to keep Bobby from learning anything that Peggy is teaching in the class. This episode is not only one of the funnier ones in the first season, but it also set the bar high from the start. As only the second-ever episode, it earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. It showed that animated comedy was here to stay.

19 “Texas City Twister”

Season 2, Episode 2

“Texas City Twister” is an exceptional King of the Hill episode, blending action, humor, and heart. It centers on Hank’s efforts to save his family from a looming tornado. The episode highlights Hank’s deep care for his family, especially his complex relationship with Luanne. This moment comes after he forces Luanne to move back into her trailer to get rid of her right before the dangerous storm arrives. When Hank learns how dangerous trailer parks are in tornados, he goes to rescue his family, only to need to be saved himself.

…showcases the show’s ability to handle both dramatic and comedic elements with ease.

Its mix of suspenseful weather chaos and the emotional resolution between family members showcases the show’s ability to handle both dramatic and comedic elements with ease. This episode is a testament to King of the Hill’s strength in character development and storytelling, making it one of the most memorable episodes of the show and one of the best.


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18 “And They Call It Bobby Love”

Season 3, Episode 2

Bobby hangs out with an older girl in King of the Hill

Season 3’s “And They Call It Bobby Love” is one of Bobby’s best coming-of-age episodes. When Bobby falls for an older girl who finds him funny (voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar), he gets all the best parts of first love, like a feeling of unwavering optimism for the future, but he also gets the worst parts. When his new love interest is dancing with other guys, Bobby immediately gets jealous and possessive because he doesn’t know how to control those emotions yet.

“And They Call It Bobby Love” is basically King of the Hill’sLicorice Pizza. There is also a very funny moment when it comes to their breakup, which occurs because Marie is a vegetarian, and Bobby is intent on winning the 72 oz Top Sirloin Steak challenge (which is a real thing in some Texas restaurants). Between Gellar’s guest spot and the final scene of Bobby becoming a hero for winning the contest, this is a great Bobby-centric episode.

17 “Ho, Yeah!”

Season 5, Episode 13

Hank dressed as a pimp in King of the Hill

When the Hills unwittingly invite a sex worker to stay at their house, Hank comes into conflict with her pimp, Alabaster Jones, in the season 5 episode “Ho, Yeah!” This is one of the best King of the Hill episodes not only for the plot but also because it’s anchored by a pair of memorable guest performances: Renée Zellweger as Tammi, the sex worker who comes to stay with the Hills, and Snoop Dogg as Alabaster Jones, the pimp who becomes a rival of Hank’s.

Throughout the episode, Hank unknowingly becomes a pimp and starts pimping Tammi all around town. This is another episode where Hank is completely oblivious of the effects of what he is doing, which is always the template for the show. With Snoop Dogg in the voice cast, this is an episode all King of the Hill fans should remember fondly.

16 “The Final Shinsult”

Season 2, Episode 18

Dale and Cotton smoking cigars in King of the Hill

Hank’s father, Cotton, features heavily in several of the best King of the Hill episodes, and he returns in season 2’s “The Final Shinsult,” and this time, he plots a museum heist with Dale. They want to steal the wooden leg of a legendary Mexican general while it’s on display at a museum exhibit in Arlen.

Dale’s hair-brained schemes are always a joy to watch, but this one is especially hilarious because his partner-in-crime is Hank’s cantankerous father. Hank is always having to clean up his dad’s messes, and this criminal plot is one of the biggest messes Cotton has ever made on the show. The episodes with Hank and his dad also show why the Hill patriarch acts like he does, as he wants to be nothing like his father, which is also how he grows because he realizes he can’t end up like his father in the end.

15 “Naked Ambition”

Season 4, Episode 15

Luanne talking to Bobby in King of the Hill

It’s one of the oldest sitcom tropes in the book: one character accidentally sees another character naked, and they have to deal with the embarrassing fallout. When Bobby walks in on Luanne naked in “Naked Ambition,” Joseph becomes jealous, which leads Connie to grow paranoid that they’re talking about her. King of the Hill took this well-worn sitcom premise and put a unique spin on it through the show’s fun characters.

A fun B-plot also sees Boomhauer mistakenly being sent to a psychiatric hospital. The entire story, with Joseph’s frustration that it seems he is the only person who hasn’t seen his girlfriend naked, is brilliant, with the final scene of someone else catching a stray glimpse at her through the bathroom window. This is also the episode where Bobby and Connie share a kiss, which is great for him but terrible for her dad, Kahn, who catches them in the act.


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14 “Love Hurts And So Does Art”

Season 3, Episode 18

“Love Hurts and So Does Art” is another one of the best King of the Hill episodes with a Bobby-centric plot. It follows Bobby’s humorous encounter with gout, brought on by his excessive consumption of deli meats, juxtaposed against Hank’s mortifying discovery at an art museum. Hank’s own subplot unfolds at an art museum, where he anticipates seeing his high school football photo but instead finds an x-ray of his colon on display.

The episode cleverly uses these scenarios to explore themes of young love, parental embarrassment, and the lengths to which individuals will go to avoid discomfort. Seeing both Hank and Bobby in different modes of discomfort at the same time also shows how they each deal with their pain, with Bobby finally declaring he will “play through the pain” to get to dance with Connie at the end.

13 “Hank’s Unmentionable Problem”

Season 1, Episode 6

Hank sits on the toilet in King of the Hill

Hank suffers from a case of constipation in the season 1 episode “Hank’s Unmentionable Problem.” But for the conservative Hill patriarch, the worst part isn’t the constipation itself; it’s that Peggy has been spreading the news around town, so everyone in the neighborhood starts offering him advice on how to beat it. The entire episode shows Peggy wanting to help him, but now realizing that she is humiliating him — at least in his own mind — along the way.

Hank spends the entire episode trying to avoid people as a result because he can’t accept the fact that they know about his condition. Any King of the Hill episode in which Hank is very publicly humiliated and has to put up with the consequences is bound to be hilarious, and “Hank’s Unmentionable Problem” was one of the earliest to show just how funny these scenarios can be.

12 “A Beer Can Named Desire”

Season 4, Episode 6

Hank and Peggy on a football field in King of the Hill

When Hank wins an Alamo Beer contest in “A Beer Can Named Desire,” he earns the chance to win $1 million by throwing a football through a hoop at a Dallas Cowboys game. Hank is faced with a dilemma: he can either make the throw himself for the chance to win $1 million, or he can hand the ball to former Cowboys quarterback legend Don Meredith for the chance to win $100,000. In a fun moment, Don Meredith voices himself in the episode.

While Hank is grappling with this decision, the B-plot takes a trip to Chateau Dautrive to meet some of the wacky characters in Bill’s extended family. Things take a turn when he meets his three very attractive widows, but he realizes that one of them is his cousin, and the other two were just married to his late cousins, and he wants to sneakily figure out which one he is related to.

11 “I Don’t Want To Wait”

Season 5, Episode 3

Bobby and Joseph dancing with other kids in King of the Hill

When Bobby turns 13 in “I Don’t Want to Wait,” he finds that his 12-year-old friend Joseph has entered puberty — he’s gotten taller, his voice is deeper, etc. — while he remains his old short, high-pitched self. This episode is a relatable exploration of adolescent insecurities as Bobby grows more and more jealous of the attention that his more physically mature friend is getting.

It has a touching message, too: everyone is insecure about something. Bobby finds that Joseph is just as jealous of him because he envies Bobby’s confidence and outspokenness. When it comes to Bobby-centric episodes, it is always about his insecurities about being different, and it is a nice chance to show that he isn’t alone in these sentiments. He can finally relax for a little bit in his own body with his friend in the same predicament.


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