Dierdre "Didi" Hill (born December 17, 1966) was Cotton Hill's second wife, standing at 5'10".
Though shown to be dim-witted, Didi is also shown to be non-energetic, exhausted, kind-hearted, timid and, surprisingly, an obedient wife. Much of her personality is perhaps the result of psychological trauma. However, even when she first met Cotton at Arlen's Veterans Administration Hospital, she appeared to be tired, timid and hoping to find relief. In spite of years of Cotton's verbal abuse and demeaning nature, she remained with him until his death. Her true age is not known, as claims have varied throughout the show's run. Following the birth of son G.H., she is also revealed to suffer from Postpartum Depression, which is depression connected to childbirth. However, her personality early into the show's run strongly suggests that she may have very well started suffering from depression long before her childbirth.
Relationship with Cotton
Didi met Cotton when she was a candy-striper at the hospital that Cotton attended to have his shins drained. He fell in love with the depressed and hopeless Didi, who playfully told him 'Oh, you look like a baby in that gown" and "ooh, coochie, coochie," when she knocked over a glass and bent down to pick up the tongue depressors inside of it while the Andrew Sisters version of the World War II-era song Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree was heard playing in the room. The glass was turned in Cotton's direction, which made her butt look huge. He proposed to her shortly afterwards until a few months later. Cotton, in "Shins of the Father", gave Didi breast implants to make her look more endowed as Cotton called them her "tatas". She was soft-spoken and often appeared very tired.
Cotton generally treated Didi like a maid: she performed all the household chores for him, and he often verbally abused her, which caused her to be very timid. Cotton briefly threw her out of his home in "The Final Shinsult" after he disapproved of her decision to not knit him new socks and also take up a job, which is revealed to be at a mall pharmacy. In the same episode, she agrees to become a full-time housewife after Cotton is legally obliged to remain under 24-hour supervision due to his declining mental state.
It was revealed in "Next of Shin" that Cotton had gotten her pregnant. Initially, Cotton decided that he didn't want another child, so he ran away to Las Vegas. Hank convinced Cotton to return to her. During Hank and Peggy's 20th Anniversary, Cotton and Didi agreed to babysit Bobby. Bobby believed it would be a fun trip, but Cotton explained that Didi was too heavily pregnant to perform the household chores, so Cotton made Bobby do them. Later, Didi's water broke while Cotton and his friend Topsy were at a strip club, so 13-year-old Bobby drove her to the hospital, and was then her lamas coach. Didi delivered a son, but didn't even bother to give him a name, even going as far as saying "what's the use?" after Cotton asked her if she thought of any names for the baby; she very well avoided giving the baby a name in order to avoid a spat . Cotton named their newborn son Good Hank, but she suffered postpartum depression and wanted nothing to do with him. After Didi and the baby were released from the hospital, Bobby was the only one willing to take care of "G.H.", as Peggy was in a full-body cast following a skydiving accident. When Bobby was starting to get tired of babysitting, he handed the baby to Didi. When Didi was unable to stop G. H.'s crying, the tired Didi put her baby down after only a few seconds and left him with the disabled Peggy, who calmed him by rocking his carrier with the only part of her body that she could move: her big toe. Didi took parenting classes and got better at taking care of her baby. Her voice and character seemed to be modeled on Carol Wayne.
Whether Didi actually cared for Cotton is hard to know, when she became pregnant she made numerous comments that implied she didn’t want to be pregnant and considered the baby a mistake.
After Cotton's death
Cotton died in "Death Picks Cotton", Didi didn’t appear in the episode, and wasn’t seen again until the Season 13 episode, "Serves Me Right for Giving General George S. Patton the Bathroom Key," where she revealed that she was getting married to a wealthy professional wrestler and was taking G.H. with her.
Relationship with Other Characters
Hank mentioned in Shins of the Father that he and Didi went to Kindergarten together, to which Didi responds, "Hey, Hank. Do you still like finger-painting?"
Her exact age is unknown. In one episode it is said that she’s younger than Hank (39, 01, 08), but in the same episode even in the same scene, they say that they went to Kindergarten together. And in another episode she’s older. (three years older than Peggy, 04, 01)
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 11
- "Lucky's Wedding Suit" (cameo)
- Season 13