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King of the Hill Wiki


"My name is Shackleford. Rusty Shackleford."

Dale Alvin Gribble (born July 12,[1] age 42[2]) is one of the main characters of King of the Hill. Dale is a pest exterminator, bounty hunter, chain smoker, gun fanatic, and conspiracy theorist. He is Nancy Hicks-Gribble's husband and Joseph Gribble's legal father.

Dale is known for his lifestyle which includes smoking, guns, and fishing. He is also known for his political views and conspiracy theories.


Dale stands at 5'10" and is often portrayed as skinny and scrawny, albeit with a bit of a beer belly. He has sandy blonde hair that is balding, but the fact is hidden due to him almost always wearing an orange Mack cap that covers it.

Dale is seen typically wearing a button up pale maroon shirt with a white undershirt, navy blue jeans and work boots. He has a brown pouch clipped to his belt where he keeps his cell phone, and wears a watch on his left wrist.

He is almost never seen without his signature Mack cap and aviator eye glasses with sunglasses clipped to the frame which he wears at all times, including indoors and to bed. Occasionally, Dale will be hatless and his eyes will be seen, namely at times when it is blatantly rude to wear a ballcap indoors, such as church, or when he had to give up his exterminating business and get an office job, to which he had to abide by company policy and dress in a suit.


General: Dale is usually a curious person but often bases his knowledge on his own assumptions or uncredible information found on the internet. Dale is a large believer of conspiracy theories and space aliens, many of his shenanigans are stemmed from these beliefs which often cause problems for those around him. He is also shown to be a big talker but is actually a coward who will abandon those around him for his own preservation. Although not the primary breadwinner of the Gribble family, Dale cares very much for his wife and son and will often spring into action to help them however he can.

Smoking: One of Dale's best known traits is his chain smoking. He can often be seen smoking a cigarette and it was stated by the CEO of his favorite brand company that he most likely should have died years prior due to the sheer amount of cigarettes he has smoked. Dale keeps cartons of cigarettes in his basement and will become deeply emotional if they are ruined. When Hank had relapsed and began smoking again, Dale was the only one happy to see this.

Conspiracy theories: Another large part of his character is his deep belief of conspiracy theories, ranging anywhere from easy to/already debunked theories to space aliens and government cover-ups. His theories often become his sole focus and he will spiral out of control when absorbed in the theories until he is forced to face reality.
Such theories include:

  • Sex education is the U.N.'s way of cutting down population
  • Peanuts are made from people
  • Space aliens stole his genetic material and impregnated Nancy
  • Thinking the post office is in league with organ harvesters to put human kidneys on pizza
  • Thought the U.S. Army was experimenting on Bill
  • Thinking vikings were the first visitors to the moon
  • Time travel and cloning is possible

Self-preservation: While often portraying himself as a big talker and fearless man, Dale is in reality a big coward and shows no hesitation at leaving his friends behind to save himself, such as leaving Hank behind when they crossed the border from Mexico and when he abandoned Bobby at the school when opposing students tried to steal the mascot costume.

Guns: Dale is a member and eventual/current president of his gun club. He owns several firearms and knows the mechanics and statistics of guns quite well. However, he himself is a terrible shot and had revealed when Minh joined the club that he, and others, tended to close their eyes when shooting. Despite this, he appears aware the most people are intimidated at the sight of firearms and will simply show his gun at hand to prevent escalation or get what he wants.

Employment: Throughout the series, Dale is shown to be a somewhat steady exterminator and boss of his own business. While he appears fairly knowledgeable of the pests he is hired to rid a home of, his biggest and potentially fatal flaw is that he often does not properly measure the poisons he uses, in "King of the Ant Hill" his overuse of poison is theorized to be the reason why Hank's lawn is not as lush as it should be.
During a time when he was forced to seek a regular nine to five job to help Nancy financially, Dale was shown to be quite miserable and not use to following others rules and regulations. In the same episode, he quickly abused newly appointed power by threatening others jobs in order to fit his needs. In another episode, "Dream Weaver", he attempted to become a basket weaver, but his creations were poorly constructed. This made him feel threatened due to thinking Hank was being given his dream of being a professional basket weaver, causing him to attempt attacking Hank with a forklift.

Friendships: While he often abandons his friends to save himself, Dale is still a loyal friend to Hank, Boomhauer, and Bill. During times of crises, he will come up with solutions to help get them out of their particular situation.


  • Bug Gribble: Dale was estranged from his father for twenty or so years after Dale and Nancy married due to Bug kissing Nancy in a panic to cover his homosexuality. During the time that Dale and Nancy were going to renew their vows, Dale and Bug re-established their relationship. They did hit a minor snag when Dale believed that Bug was trying to woo Nancy but eventually learned the truth about his father and accepted him.
  • Nancy Hicks-Gribble: Dale's wife. Dale is very protective of Nancy and often threatens others if he believes someone is trying to make a romantic and/or sexual connection to her.[3][4] In contrast to the usually shallow demeanor he has towards his friends, and being ridiculously self centered, Dale is fiercely devoted to his wife, and frequently displays his love for her. He blames himself for all of the problems Nancy herself caused between them while she was cheating on him,[5] has an explicit trust in her, and pampers her constantly. He lavishes compliments, favors and gifts upon her, often in the presence of an embarrassed John Redcorn. Although highly suspicious of the government and of other people, Dale is unaware that his wife Nancy had a very lengthy affair with John Redcorn for nearly fourteen years, and that his son, Joseph, is not actually his biological son. This is apparently due in part to his blinding love for Nancy, his incredible naivete, and the fact that he for the longest time believed John Redcorn to be homosexual.[3] Dale is very supportive of Nancy and many things she does. During the time that Nancy was losing her hair, Dale fully stands by Nancy and accepts that she may go bald,[6] and he is attentive to her work life as demonstrated by the time he consistently spends watching Nancy's weather reports on Channel 84 News.[5] Moreover, Dale is very faithful to her. He once thought that Peggy was trying to come onto him and he rejected her compliment by saying that Hank was a good man,[7] and likewise he proudly rejected Sheila Refkin coming onto him by citing his vow to God in front of others and to his wife.[8]
  • Joseph Gribble: Before Naked Ambition, Dale is extremely proud of Joseph, towards whom he is highly generous and supportive, especially for his athletic prowess, which Dale never possessed. Unlike Hank Hill's relationship with Bobby, Dale is extremely attentive to Joseph's needs and feelings, and is not afraid to express his affection for him. Although Dale's attempts at good parenting go astray due to his many eccentric ideas, he is usually the first person Joseph turns to when in trouble. Dale, unlike Hank with Bobby, has very little conflict with Joseph. Dale highly respects the athletic prowess that Joseph has and provides emotional availability and acceptance of his son's activities and tendencies—an area in which Dale outshines Hank.

There are noticeable disputes between the two, as there is a subconscious drift. As Joseph began an early puberty, they drifted apart even further after "I Don't Want to Wait...". During this time he occasionally is afraid of Joseph's prowess, and greeted his puberty by bullying him, compelling Joseph to steal The Bugabago, and run away. Bobby Hill and Connie Souphanousinphone put their differences aside and said what every body wanted to hear while still being the truth at the same time. When Dale asked, they agreed to answer "Teenagers", knowing that Dale would not understand. Hank Hill and Peggy Hill were also not ready to accept Bobby as an Adolescent. The three were not punished. Unfortunately, there were other times that Joseph got in to trouble. Some times Dale was away at hospital and Joseph wondered if he is ready to have sex. Dale talked him out of it. However, there were other times that Dale encourages Joseph to break the law as Dale respects gangsters. Dale at times does not know what is best for Joseph's potential career in sports so he abandoned Joseph with a random couple. Other times Dale and Joseph get along perfectly and wrestle each other.

While he is comfortable and unworried about his son's development, Dale is very protective of Joseph; despite his cowardly nature. An example is when Dale once rushed into what he believed was the tractor beam of an alien ship to save him, even though at the time, he believed that Joseph's real father was an alien.[9]

Dale resigns his executive office job in order to spend more time with Joseph.

  • Hank Hill: Dale often likes to tease Hank about numerous things but also acknowledges that Hank is the person he can turn to when he's in a difficult situation and needs help to get out of it. Like he does with many others, Dale will be loyal to Hank but will quickly turn on him if he believes things have gone bad. Still, there are times when Dale will stick by Hank for the whole duration.
  • Peggy Hill: Similar to Cotton, Dale has a somewhat hateful nature toward Peggy. Dale often points out how Peggy is not an excellent wife and mother, or that she is not as skillful in several areas as she thinks she is. Dale has also found joy in the fact that Peggy's birthdays always seem to be ruined. Despite his animosity toward Peggy, Dale has been seen pairing up with her for numerous plans one or both of them have in order to get out of something.
  • Cotton Hill: Despite his hatred toward the government, Dale is shown to be a loyal and willing friend and accomplice to the colonel. He often acts in a very kiss-up manner toward Cotton and is usually the first to volunteer to whatever plan Cotton has going on and will often go overboard in helping carry it out. During Cotton's final days, Dale is one of those most affected by the news of Cotton potentially not pulling through and promised the ailing man that he would carry out some of his final wishes. Additionally, Dale shares Cotton's sense of humor and frequently addresses him as "colonel".


Dale runs his own business, Dale's Dead-Bug, (although Dale states that he doesn't make a living wage and Nancy gives him an allowance--Dale pays the cable bill) and drives a white Dodge Caravan called the "Bugabago" (a reference to the Winnebago brand of RVs) with a large queen ant model perched on the roof. The ant, which can be rotated to appear dead (legs up) or alive (legs down), was a group project of Dale and friends/neighbors Hank Hill, Bill Dauterive and Jeff Boomhauer to help them over the emotional turmoil they shared over the death of actor Hervé Villechaize. Dale also breeds small, odd animals, and once won 2nd Place in the 12th Annual Heimlich County Tortoise Breeding Competition.

Dale is an accomplished musician, with the electronic keyboard as his principal instrument (though on some occasions, it was set to continuous replay). His résumé includes a stint with the Propaniacs, Big Mountain Fudgecake, and The Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience.

Also, whenever Cotton visits, he gives much respect to him, even going as far as stealing a fake leg for Cotton's driver's license.

When the chemicals he used to kill roaches forced Dale to briefly give up his job, he took a position as a corporate hatchet-man and was spectacularly good at firing people, but his action to deal with a roach infestation (which he caused inadvertently) at this job led him to return to extermination. Dale's favorite TV shows are Sanford and Son and What's Happening!!. He enjoys drinking Alamo Beer with Hank, Bill, and Boomhauer. He also drinks a lot of Mountain Dew, explaining in one episode ("Dale Be Not Proud") that his kidneys like it. He also stockpiled barrels of Mountain Dew in preparation for Y2K in the episode "Hillennium".

Perhaps owing to the research he has conducted as a conspiracy theorist, Dale has a thorough knowledge of the workings of the American government, legal system and bureaucracy. He has used this knowledge to assist his friends, both to help Hank with problems related to renewing his driver's license, and to help John Redcorn with his land claim and lawsuit against the American government. Ironically, Dale's help for Hank in that instance came about after he realized the Warren Commission report was accurate and became obnoxiously patriotic, to the point of painting a huge American flag on Hank's house and trying to turn Hank in to the Department of Homeland Security after he tried to remove it. However, he has a habit of horribly misconstruing information, having misunderstood the word "placebo" (a fake drug, usually sugar water) for a top secret government research project and Hank for cleaning off the paint he put on Hank's roof as "defacing an American flag" in the aforementioned case.

His schemes also tend to run out of steam or collapse; he bought a low-power radio transmitter, and launched his own talk station "serving the entire tri-house area" Art Bell-style, but soon ran out of things to talk about on the air. (He later indicated that "Dale's Dead Bug", of which he is owner and sole employee, was offended by things he said on air. He sold the transmitter to "Mexican interests"—namely, his friend Octavio.)

His trademark line is "She-she-sshhaa", usually heard too fast to phonetically understand, and he says it whenever he is impressed with himself carrying out a plan or when springing a sudden move. He also exclaims "Wingo!" when excited and "That's a Gribble of an idea!" when someone thinks of a solution to his problems. He's also known for exclaiming "S'go, s'go!" (a contraction of "Let's go") when rushed or excited and "G'h!" when he is startled or learns something that feeds into his paranoid nature.

A recurring gag early on in the series was that whenever Dale would make a comment about being Joseph's father, John Redcorn would show up. The theme was that, whenever there was a real conspiracy going on, Dale would be totally oblivious and misread the situation. Occasionally, Dale's predictions would be spot on, such as when Hank was in denial about his pickup truck being on its last legs; Dale warned Boomhauer and Bill that the three of them were going to be "the chumps who push Hank's truck" or "rides to AutoZone". When Hank asked Dale to give him a ride to AutoZone for a car part, Dale remarked to himself, "So it begins".

In the episode "Tankin' It to the Streets", Dale claims to have completed a Russian correspondence course he downloaded from Vladimir Putin's website and can speak the language, though his application of this in handling an Abrams M1A2 tank is not exactly flawless (having flattened Kahn Souphanousinphone's new SUV, or, as Hank put it, "hit a curb"). He also spoke Russian with some men in a shady deal while Nancy was gone.[10] Moreover, Dale is further shown to have some competency in Tagalog.[8]

Despite Dale's personal shortcomings in physical combat, his home is very well protected by a system of fortified gates, booby traps, alarms, and security cameras, with Dale's own firearms as the last line of defense. Presumably the various mechanical devices were installed by Hank or another competent tradesman as they are generally shown to be in good working order. As a result, Hank trusts Dale to guard the Polaroid of his injury in "New Cowboy on the Block" and instructs Bobby to run to the Gribble house when there is a dangerous person at the Hill residence in "Leanne's Saga".

Although Dale certainly enjoys the company of Hank, Boomhauer and Bill, it is shown that Dale also has no respect for Bill and consistently abuses him or teases him in some occasions, often by reminding him how Lenore left him or even in some cases, physically attacking him. But despite their relationship, Dale and Bill still show their friendship in some cases, such being when left alone together. Though Dale often finds Bill's misfortunes comedic, Dale shows a desire to help prevent the very worst possible outcomes for Bill, and does not show resentment on the atypical occasions that positive events occur in Bill's life.


Dale smokes heavily and always with Manitoba brand cigarettes. According to a high-ranking Manitoba employee, Dale should have died a long time ago. They calculated that he has smoked over 991,863 cigarettes, enough to earn every item in their catalog (and he has). Dale said that if he were a Canadian, he would smoke pot instead.

Dale reveals that he doesn't know what to do with his hands and is consequently a heavy smoker ("Of Mice and Little Green Men"). This is also proved when he runs back for his cigarettes, despite the fact that a bomb he created is armed. He once attempted to quit smoking and switched to chewing tobacco, but when his wife prohibited spitting in their house, he started packing the tobacco into a rolled newspaper and inhaling the fumes, which led him right back to smoking after Boomhauer lit the newspaper. Dale also once reacted to a cigarette being taken out of his mouth by screeching "My oral fixation!" ("Torch Song Hillogy"). Dale has been smoking since the 3rd grade (with the same brand). This could be traced back to the fact that in elementary school Dale had social acceptance issues. When heavy rain caused flooding, Dale, fearing a Noah's ark type of flood, tapes a cigarette to one of his turtles and tells him to find dry land and plant it.

Dale's near-constant cigarette smoking has provided serendipitous opportunities. Dale's only cigarette, protected in a plastic sandwich bag, enabled a signal fire to be started when Dale, Hank, Bill, and Boomhauer become stranded in the ocean after failing to lower a ladder from their boat. Dale, with his general lack of regard for etiquette, lights his cigarette using the Olympic Torch when it arrives in Arlen on its trip from Athens to the Olympic Games. After the Torch is accidentally extinguished, Bobby Hill's quick thinking allows the Olympic Torch to be re-lit with its original flame using Dale's cigarette.


Dale owns a large number of guns, mainly shotguns and handguns. He is the President of the Arlen Gun Club simply because he had the most guns, according to Hank). In one episode when Peggy opened a book store, Dale stated that he "literally has oodles of guns" and started selling them in the back of the store, complete with a makeshift firing range. He violated a social norm when he cut a hole in a book to hide a gun. Ironically, Dale (like the rest of the gun club) is a remarkably bad shot. In "The Minh Who Knew Too Much", it's revealed that Dale, and possibly other members, tended to shut their eyes when they shot guns. It has been stated before that Dale once tried inserting a water-gun, which he has nicknamed Greg, into Hank's bedroom window, and tried unloading it onto Hank's crotch in attempt to make Hank believe he wet himself. However, he caught Dale in the act, promptly dragged him to the roof, and dropped him into a wagon of manure.

Political views[]

Dale is highly suspicious of all levels of government and ardently defends his Second Amendment rights, once remarking, "Guns don't kill people; the government does." Dale also refuses to pay taxes, does not vote,[11] and occasionally prints his own currency (Hank Hill typically appearing on the "Hundred-Gribble bill").[12] He runs away and sweats a lot when the IRS comes knocking on his door. In the episode "Movin' On Up", he refused to give Hank his social security number so the quartet of friends could rent a house on the block to use as a clubhouse. In another episode, he believed the government had tested "deadly placebo drugs" on Bill, supposedly made by "Puh-fizer" (Pfizer). Dale reveals he is also a member of the N.R.A.

Rusty Shackleford[]

Due to his beliefs, he uses the alias Rusty Shackleford whenever he doesn't want his real name known, including when ordering pizza. However, Dale inevitably reveals his identity anyway after a few minutes through one act of stupidity or another, such as using the two names interchangeably with the same person.

In the episode, "Peggy's Gone to Pots", the original owner of Dale's stolen alias paid him a visit and asked him to sign some paperwork so that Rusty could get on with his life. Apparently, Rusty Shackleford is the name of a third-grade classmate of Dale's who Dale thought was dead, but in fact simply moved away. Dale has claimed to have the birth certificate of a child who died in 1953 with the name Rusty Shackleford. It is not known whether this document is real or fake. The neighborhood block charter was the only document he has ever signed with his real name. He refuses to sign any document authorized by a government official. Along with the alias, he often wears a faux mustache to "tighten" his security.


Dale, unlike Hank and Bill, has very little physical strength. According to "The Texas Skilsaw Massacre", Dale can only bench press 35 pounds. In "Get Your Freak Off", Dale himself admits that a little girl could probably beat him up. On his wedding day, when he tried to slap his father for kissing his wife, it was a very soft hit and left no mark on him.

Character Creation and Possible Influences[]

Mike Judge and Greg Daniels named him in tribute to Mike Gribble, a film animator close friend of Mike Judge. Gribble had passed away from pancreatic cancer in 1994 at age 42,[13] and Dale himself is age 42 as mentioned in Season 9.

Johnny Hardwick has stated in an interview that the voice he uses for the character is essentially a "really lousy" impression of William S. Burroughs. Dale bears a slight resemblance to Burroughs and he speaks slowly and hesitates between words, except when excited, much like Burroughs. In the fifth season episode "The Exterminator", Dale took a job in an office and was forced to shed his hat and dark glasses and don the type of generic grey suit that was Burroughs' trademark. Like Dale Gribble, William S. Burroughs worked as an exterminator and had an interest in firearms.

Dale is clearly modeled on Hunter S. Thompson, with his bald head constantly covered with a hat, always wearing sunglasses, chain smoking, distrust of government, and love of firearms. (Boomhauer, however, has slurred speech that exaggerates that of Hunter S. Thompson, suggesting that both characters are partial caricatures of Thompson). In one episode, a scene change shows the end of a conversation with Dale, the subject of which bears a striking resemblance to Hunter S. Thompson's funeral (having his ashes shot out of a cannon atop a tower), and ends with Dale saying something along the lines of "That's how I'd do it."

The first appearance of a character resembling Dale Gribble was on an episode of Beavis and Butthead. The Gribblesque character was sitting in his underwear chain smoking while Beavis and Butthead had phone sex with his girlfriend.

Mike Judge has also said that he has modeled the character after Robert Patrick, as he originally wanted him to voice the character.[citation needed]


  • Dale appears to fail at everything Hank excels at; work, women, sports, lawn care etc. but succeeds at what Hank fails at. He is very close with his son, has no problem with expressing emotion or affection, and isn't ashamed to have interests or hobbies that aren't necessarily "manly" such as basket-weaving, and baking, being able to cook macaroons and cookies.
  • Despite his stubborn personality he is, ironically, much more accepting and tolerant of other people's lifestyles than his friends. For example; He not only had no issue with his father being gay, but also showed little discomfort at the flamboyant rodeo, unlike Hank, Boomhauer, and Bill.
  • Despite spending much of his time in his basement, and his belief in many international conspiracies; Dale is somewhat worldly compared to his friends. Dale regularly travels to Mexico as a patron of small businesses. Dale has no doubt about the legitimacy of the, "New Age Healing," (perhaps a misnomer) practiced by John Redcorn, and actively helps John Redcorn find resources for Redcorn's work in recovering lands stolen from his Indigenous ancestors by the U.S. government. Dale is largely ignorant regarding Laotian and Japanese cultures, though he does show some interest in learning about them.
  • Dale presumably suffers from Paranoid Personality Disorder, although it is unknown how he acquired the disorder.
  • Dale's mother is deceased, this fact being stated in the episode "Bobby On Track" by Dale himself.
  • In "Soldier of Misfortune", Dale gives his middle name as Alvin when holding an impromptu vote for president of the Arlen Gun Club. It is reasonable to assume that this is his actual middle name, given the respect that Dale holds for the club and the position of President.
  • Even after countless clues, Dale never found out about the affair between his wife Nancy Hicks-Gribble and his close friend John Redcorn. The closest he ever came to learning of the affair was when Peggy was about to tell him but did not since Peggy knew that Dale was a good father and did not want to ruin the relationship between him and his family. He once had a subconscious dream in "Vision Quest" that was telling him about Redcorn's involvement, but he seemed to misread the situation completely: a Native American man with a ceremonial headdress was making love to his wife and he was handed Joseph wearing the same headdress; instead, Dale interprets the dream as a sign that he himself is of Native American descent. It is possible he does know and is simply in denial or allowing it to take place since he cares about Nancy's happiness so much and allows the affair to take place since it made her happy.
    • However, it is also likely that he truly doesn't know, and his inability to see the truth of Nancy and Redcorn's relationship is an intentional joke from the writers; as despite his paranoid personality and habit of creating ludicrous conspiracy theories from little to no evidence, he is unable to figure out what is happening right in front of him despite overwhelming and obvious evidence.
  • Nancy has also noted to Hank that it is easy to fool Dale if that person is someone he trusts. Suggesting that once he trusts somebody he never doubts them, no matter what.
  • In "The Exterminator", it is revealed that Dale likes eating nine small meals per day. Based on time stamps of his bagged meals, he generally eats every forty-five minutes.
  • In two episodes, Dale has been known to speak fluent Russian[14][10] and have an interest in Russia's controversial president Vladimir Putin.
  • Dale seems to understand Bobby and be more attentive to his personal interests than either of his parents.
  • The license plate on Dale's truck is LXD-352.
  • Dale wears a hat with the Mack truck company on it.
  • In "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do", it was revealed by Bobby that Dale reads romance novels.
  • Dale shares his last name with Gribble, an underwater crustacean that is, in essence, the equivalent of an underwater termite. This by chance coincides with Dale being an exterminator.
  • He has been known to try surviving outside his house. Quite possibly this helped keep him alive when he thought he had rabies in "To Kill a Ladybird" and again in "Master of Puppets".
  • Dale always wears eyeglasses with clip-on sunglasses on a hinge.
  • He personally seems to respect Bill the least, taking nearly every opportunity to insult him.
  • The first time that Dale uses the alias Rusty Shackleford is at a Mason Lawnmowers seminar.
  • Dale's "Bugabago", a reference to RV manufacturer Winnebago, is a 1992 Dodge Grand Caravan and later a 95' caravan.
  • Dale has also been seen owning and driving a dark green 1971 Ford F-100 in the early seasons.
  • Dale was originally going to be voiced by Steven Root, but Root did not feel he suited the character. He was instead voiced by Johnny Hardwick.
  • At the end of "Night and Deity", Dale reveals that his favorite show is Sanford and Son. In "Hilloween", he is also seen watching it. This is also referenced in the episode "Pregnant Paws" when Dale briefly stops in front of the TV set (which is playing Sanford and Son) before proceeding to arrest Jim Helstrom. In the closing credits of the same episode, he is seen watching the show with Jim. In "The Texas Skillsaw Massacre" Dale has a poster of Fred Sanford in his basement, covering the entrance to his secret tunnel.
  • In the episode "King of the Ant Hill", Dale attempts to persuade Hank to reconsider hiring him to spray his lawn, explaining to Hank that he has dedicated his professional career to the study and control of arthropods. Dale, continuing to elaborate on his experience and expertise as an exterminator, explains that he's "personally taste-tested each and every household insecticide."
  • Dale and Boomhauer are very close. In one episode, it is revealed they take a yearly fishing trip together without Bill or Hank. Also, when Hank isn't the one to talk Dale out of something, it is usually Boomhauer - that, or Boomhauer is almost always with Dale on his crazy schemes. Dale also rarely insults Boomhauer or has a bad word to say about him, being the first to stick up for him in "Luanne's Saga" after Hank jumps to the conclusion that Boomhauer is dating Luanne. Dale also has remarked "Boomhauer you're a genius!" In multiple situations.
  • In the episode "DaleTech", Dale tells Cotton that he's allergic to citrus fruit when Cotton asked him if he was the one who drank Hank's grapefruit juice. However, it is unknown if this was just something he said to remove himself from Cotton's suspicion.
  • According to himself, he shares a birthday with Van Cliburn (July 12).[1]
  • In the episode "Dog Dale Afternoon", it is revealed that Dale has an immunity to tear gas due to his frequent exposure to pesticides.
  • In the episode "The Order of the Straight Arrow", we see that as a child, Dale was tallest in his friend group.
  • It is implied that Dale suffers from multiple eating disorders. For example, in the episode "Tankin' It to the Streets," Kahn refers to him as an "anorexic chain-smoker." In the episode "Dog Dale Afternoon," Dale mentions "The binging, The purging," indicating that he suffers from bulimia, not anorexia. This contradicts the episode "Peggy's Headache" where he appears very confident about his own "track team" body, saying that Hank "may not have the best body on the block, but he has a good head on his shoulders."
  • Although he has eating disorders, Dale has great metabolism, once accomplishing the feat of eating 34 hot dogs in a hot dog contest tryout, which is more hot dogs than Bill ate.[15]
  • Dale continues to question John Redcorn's sexual orientation well into "Untitled Blake McCormick Project", despite seeing him with other women.
  • In addition to considering Joseph Gribble as his biological son, he considers Kate as his biological daughter.
  • Dale is revolted at Bill raising any of Dale's children. However, he gladly accepts John Redcorn instead.
  • Though Dale is financially dependant on his wife Nancy, whose income pays for all her family's expenses except for Dale's contribution which pays, "the cable bill;" Dale's dramatic and bizarre schemes are, ironically, crucial to Nancy's own well-being, as the energy demands of keeping Dale in check prevent Nancy from engaging in risk-taking behaviors.
  • His last name "Gribble" came from Mike Gribble, who was one of the co-founders of the animation film festival "Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation" who had died three years before KOTH premiered. Interestingly enough, Mike Judge's other show "Beavis and Butthead" had their pilots showcased there.

Episode appearances[]

Dale appears in every single episode of the series except for the Season 7 episode "An Officer and a Gentle Boy".



  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Bluegrass is Always Greener"
  2. In "Smoking and the Bandit", Dale states "Dammit Hank, I'm 42 years old, it's kinda late for me to start the whole 'being a man' thing."
  3. 3.0 3.1 "My Own Private Rodeo"
  4. "Sug Night"
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Nancy Boys"
  6. "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow"
  7. "Peggy's Headache"
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Night and Deity"
  9. "Of Mice and Little Green Men"
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Nancy Does Dallas"
  11. "The Perils of Polling"
  12. "Megalo Dale"
  13. "Michael Gribble, Film Animator, 42", written by The Associated Press. New York Times, retrieved April 2024.
  14. "Tankin' It to the Streets"
  15. "The Fat and the Furious"