While most adult animated series are pretty wacky, King of the hill it was loved because it was grounded. The Mike Judge sitcom had characters based on real people and, more often than not, situations those characters would reasonably face. That extended to the holiday episodes of the show. Season 4, Episode 7, “Happy Hank’s Giving” was a masterpiece because it played to the strengths of the series rather than trying to follow the Thanksgiving theme.
In “Happy Hank’s Giving”, the Hills packed up to visit Peggy Hill’s family in Montana. However, before they could leave Rainey Street, Hank’s carefully crafted travel plan fell apart. Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland’s script hit one great joke after another and still had the expected emotional payoff at its conclusion. But it was, above all, a well written King of the hill episode.
King of the Hill’s ‘Happy Hank’s Giving’ played in Holiday Tropes
Most Thanksgiving TV episodes focus on the actual family reunion and all the things that can (and do) go wrong as a result. King of the hill he followed this basic template into other episodes, with varying degrees of success. Season 5, Episode 4, “Spin the Choice” focused on the Hills’ annual Thanksgiving party, but it was about Bobby Hill’s misguided protest and whether or not Dale Gribble found out about his brother’s affair. wife. “Happy Hank’s Giving” was different by focusing on travel a the family reunion, and hilarious because it stayed focused on the humor that came from it.
The plot used everything viewers despised about Thanksgiving trips, giving the audience plenty to laugh about, but the jokes were on the characters. Peggy’s ego was on display again when she told her husband that “in my opinion” the day before Thanksgiving was one of the busiest days of the year. Hank’s insistence on always being honest caused a traffic jam at the check-in counter. “They let that woman bring an oxygen tank on the plane!” he complained, honestly not understanding that it wasn’t the same as propane. Only one great line was really specific to Thanksgiving: When asked if his people ever celebrated the holiday, John Redcorn replied soberly, “We did. Once.”
King of the Hill’s ‘Happy Hank’s Giving’ still had a touching moment
King of the hill it really put the family into a “family sitcom.” The show didn’t simply focus on the hills; many of its episodes focused on family dynamics and showed how they helped or hindered the characters. “Happy Hank’s Giving” delivered the emotional moment TV fans expect from Christmas episodes by teaching Hank about the meaning of family. Hank began to care less about Peggy’s difficult relationship with her mother than about her mother insulting propane and not buying her resilient niece Luanne Platter a plane ticket because she wasn’t part of “the Hill family.”
He finished the episode without being able to get to his literal family, but spent it with his extended family after the Gribbles, the Souphanousinphones, Bill Dauterive, and John Redcorn ended up at the airport for one reason or another. And Hank wasn’t just part of his impromptu dinner; he was running it, using the aforementioned hidden propane tank to heat up Thanksgiving pizza. It was genuinely touching to see all the characters make the best of a bad situation, as opposed to the obviously warm and confusing scenes in other Christmas TV movies. Everything about “Happy Hank’s Giving” felt authentic and hilarious, making it the gold standard for Thanksgiving sitcom episodes.
King of the Hill is now streaming on Hulu.