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Behind Closed Doors is the two hundred-twenty-eighth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on March 16, 2008. The episode was written by Christy Stratton, and directed by Tony Kluck.


After Dooley runs away from home, Peggy attends an emergency school meeting with family "guru" Stephens Davies. Fresh off The Montel Williams Show, and pimping his new book, "Good People, Bad Parents," Davies eggs her on in front of the rest of the parents because she doesn’t know exactly where Bobby is. Feeling suddenly ashamed that she, Hank, and Bobby seem to be drifting apart, Peggy decides that she’s going to do whatever it takes to bring her family closer.

Peggy schedules a family Christmas portrait with Ron, the top portrait photographer in town at Portraits by Ron; buys a dry-erase board that Hank, Bobby, and herself will use to track their comings and goings; and buys cell phones for everyone so they can stay connected-even though they can only make and receive calls to and from her. Furthermore she decides that the family is only allowed to wear underwear in the house; and she removes all of the doors — including the bathroom doors and shower curtains — in hopes of the family being more open with one another, therefore creating a sense of closeness. Instead, freaked out by her new behavior and smothering changes, Hank and Bobby begin avoiding her. When Peggy discovers that her family portrait is scheduled a day earlier than she originally thought, she begins calling Hank and Bobby frantically in hopes of getting them to the studio on time. When Hank and Bobby hear their cell phones ring, they both decide that they can’t handle any more of her extra attention and sharing. They avoid the calls altogether, leaving Peggy to take the family portrait alone. Peggy comes home, and realizes that Hank and Bobby didn’t call her back because they were avoiding her. She leaves the house with a broken heart, and Hank and Bobby sit on the couch feeling guilty.

The next day Hank discovers that Stephens Davies is going to be signing books outside Boremans' Books at the Arlen Mall. Hank decides to force him to call Peggy to tell her that she’s a good mom. Bobby thinks maybe he can convince Ron the photographer to reschedule a portrait of the family, to help make his mother happy. At the Arlen Mall, Bobby is having no success begging Ron to reschedule, and Hank is threatening Stephens Davies, who is now nervous as he realizes that his methods provoked Hank in the first place, into calling Peggy. Peggy just happens to walk by and discovers Hank threatening Stephens Davies. With Hank distracted, Stephens Davies runs away in a panic. Peggy finally realizes that both her husband and her son were trying to make things better for her. Realizing that they don’t need all that new-age "guru" stuff to prove that the family loves each other, the Hills make up. They plot to steal the undeserving Dooley-family’s portrait session. Bobby bribes Dooley into running away once more so that they can step in line. As they stand there ready for their portrait, the happy family truly knows that they are fine just the way they are. Just as Bobby begins to sneeze, Ron snaps the portrait.

In the subplot, Dale hauls out his keyboard, which he hasn't played in public since "The Bluegrass is Always Greener", takes it to the alley, and adds a soundtrack to the goings-on.



  • This episode's title is a reference to the 1973 song and album "Behind Closed Doors" by Charlie Rich.
  • When Hank is pulling out of the driveway (to get away from Peggy), he is shown to have an automatic transmission. Yet, in other episodes, his truck is clearly shown to be a manual transmission. 
  • Tim (Dooley's dad) doesn't react when Dooley returns from being lost. Melinda (Dooley's mom) gets up and hugs him but Tim stays seated and claps like he's not phased. This is probably just a reference to the subdued mannerisms of Dooley and his family, although his dad was more expressive in the episode To Spank, with Love
    • It's entirely possible that she had misinterpreted Dooley's note. As he comes back, it's possibly meant it was a note meaning he was going out for a bit.
  • Peggy says the phones can only call her and receive calls from her. She doesn't think that it would make more sense for them to be able to call one another- in case Peggy could not be reached, such as Bobby being able to call Hank in case of an emergency. 
  • This may be the first time it is implied Boomhauer has a job, as Dale plays his theme song, Hank goes "Oh, good. Boomhauer's home". 
  • Lucky mentions he makes something in his bathtub that can make you happy. This seems to imply Lucky makes his own illegal drugs ('bathtub speed'), or home-made spirits ('bathtub gin').
  • This episode revealed that the Hills have not once taken a good Christmas photo.
  • It is very clear that Boreman only cared about selling his books. He instantly called everyone back to the meeting after Dooley returned. He even goes so far as to make Peggy look bad and alter her already gold parenting to obnoxious smothering levels.
  • One of the portraits in Ron's studio appears to be Doug Funnie as an old man posing with an unidentified woman.


  • Hank: "Well you know what I always say. If you plan ahead, then when things happen, you're prepared."
  • Bobby: "Mr. Ron?"
    Ron: "Speaking."
    Bobby: "My family missed our appointment yesterday and my mom is really upset. Is there any way you can squeeze us in? This photo means a lot to her and she means a lot to me."
    Ron: "You know, I shoot families all the time who I know hate each other. It's nice to see there are some out there who have real love and devotion between them. Reminds me of why I got into this business."
    Bobby: "So, you'll give us a new appointment?!"
    Ron: "No, no, no-- there's nothing I can do. Sorry."
    Bobby: (sobbing) "Oh, please!"
    Ron: "No."
  • (Hank already had an unsettling morning when Peggy decided to start wearing just her underwear 'outside the master bathroom. Now, he has walked in on her)
    Hank: "Bwah! Close the door!"
    Peggy: "Hank, there are no doors."
    Hank: "What?! No!"
    Peggy: "Only when we take down our inner doors can we put them back up and then not use them."
    Hank: "So, let me get this straight: To keep Bobby from running away, you have to do your business in front of me?"
    Peggy: "It's the only way."
    Hank: "How did you even do that?"
    Bobby: (from down the hall) "I'm trying to take a shower and there's no curtain! Come on!"
  • Peggy: "I bought each of you a cell phone."
    Bobby: "Cool!"
    Peggy: "It only makes calls to me."
    Bobby: "Oh. Does it get incoming calls?"
    Peggy: "Yes. From me."
  • Peggy: "First one to breakfast gets to sit on my lap!"
  • Bobby: "Can I hang out with you for awhile?"
    Joseph: "You can if you want, but my dad's been testing Tasers, so you really have to watch out."
  • Peggy: (reading from her diary) "'Dear diary, Bobby's eyebrows have still not grown in. It is disturbing.'"
    Bobby: "Mom!"
  • Stephen Davies: "This is the real problem with parenting" (points to Peggy) "- complacency! Self-satisfaction!! Igno-rationalization!!! It's a word, I coined it in my book".


  • International Airdates:
    • Denmark: August 8, 2008 on TV3
    • Brazil: June 6, 2008 on SBT
    • Latin America: May 30, 2008 on FOX

Stinger Quote

  • Peggy: "First one to breakfast gets to sit on my lap."


  • Bobby: "I even had a dream that I was a bunny and you kept petting me, and petting me, and petting me..."

Allusion to "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, in which one of the main characters (Lennie, who has some mental differences) has an affinity for small animals, but they often wind up dead from his love because he does not know his own strength or that he is smothering them with too much affection.

  • The comic Bobby is reading "Unvincible" is an allusion to the real life comic "Invincible" by Robert Kirkman. The heroes' costumes are virtually identical and even the lettering for the title is the same.

Season 11 Season 12 Season 13

Suite Smells of Excess · Bobby Rae · The Powder Puff Boys · Four Wave Intersection · Death Picks Cotton · Raise the Steaks · Tears of an Inflatable Clown · The Minh Who Knew Too Much · Dream Weaver · Doggone Crazy · Trans-Fascism · Untitled Blake McCormick Project · The Accidental Terrorist · Lady and Gentrification · Behind Closed Doors · Pour Some Sugar on Kahn · Six Characters in Search of a House · The Courtship of Joseph's Father · Strangeness on a Train · Cops and Robert · It Came From the Garage · Life: A Loser's Manual