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Hank's Choice is the one-hundredth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on April 1, 2001. The episode was written by Jon Vitti, and directed by Kyounghee Lim and Boohwan Lim.

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Synopsis

It turns out that Bobby is allergic to Ladybird, and Hank must decide whether Bobby goes or Ladybird goes. When Hank chooses Bobby however, his neighbors get proud of him, until it turns out that they were mocking him. Hank wasted no time giving Bobby allergy pills!

During the ending credits Bobby, Hank, and Ladybird are playing the Frisbee, and Peggy crawls out from the doghouse and chastises them for causing a racket. She crawls back inside and continues her tutoring with Stuart Dooley, who's excellent pronunciation of "a-guar-a" earns him a freshly dispensed handful of jelly beans.

Plot

Bobby is taken to the doctor’s with what appears to be a cold which turns out to be an allergic reaction to pet dander. Hank, who has owned Ladybird for 13 years, wonders if Peggy didn’t get “the dander” from one of her students. Hank prefers putting Bobby on medication to getting rid of Ladybird, which the doctor suggests.

Dale is all for killing off Ladybird, and Bill volunteers to take her in. Hank, unsure of which option is worse, decides to finally build her a doghouse he'd been planning since Bobby was born (even though it was shown in “Pregnant Paws” that she already has a doghouse inside a chain-link fence enclosure). When Hank unveils a scale-model of the doghouse, Dale’s reaction is “It looks too small”.

The finished doghouse, dubbed “Barkingham Palace” by Hank, has windows, a skylight, exterior lighting, gutters, a picket fence, and radiant heating in the floor. Ladybird, however, won’t go inside. Hank blames himself for designing it for himself instead of for the dog. Yet he doesn’t show the same consideration for Bobby, suggesting he just double the dosage of his allergy meds. Hank then gets the idea to move Bobby into Barkingham Palace since it’s dander-free and would spare them the cost of steam-cleaning the house for Bobby’s sake. With promises of a cable TV hook-up, a mini-fridge and a cordless phone, Bobby agrees.

Bobby's life in the dog house becomes the new laughingstock around Rainey Street. Peggy bridles at a joke Minh makes about Bobby living a dog’s life; “if Bobby were living in a plastic bubble,” she tells Minh, “I would be having lunch with Elton John.” Connie visits Bobby and observes that he’s resting on one of Ladybird’s old, hairy pillows. The penny drops: Bobby’s either not allergic anymore (a possibility the doctor spoke about) or the meds are doing the job. Bobby’s reaction: “I may be well, but I’m not stupid. I am not giving up this doghouse.

At the Gun Club, where the Gribbles are celebrating their wedding anniversary, Dale makes a "doggy bag" joke about Bobby, which gets to Peggy. She pays to have the house steam-cleaned and orders Bobby to move back in. Ladybird, however, still refuses to live in the doghouse, so Hank is reduced to letting Bill take care of her.

At dinner, Bobby begins fake-sneezing and he’s sent back out to Barkingham Palace, where he trashes the cheesy broccoli made for him and orders a pizza.

Hank and Peggy redouble their efforts at cleaning. Connie tells Bobby, who’s letting things go in terms of house-keeping, that he should move back into the house. She also tells him how miserable Hank is about Bill taking care of Ladybird. Bobby stands his ground: “As long as I keep sneezing, the lady next door can’t say ‘boo’.” Bobby then aggressively barks down a dog which pokes its head in the house to Connie's bewilderment.

The next time Connie comes to visit, Bobby is wearing only his “tighty-whitey” briefs and drinking cereal out of a dog bowl. Bobby is called into the house where he discovers that the carpet has been taken out, the furniture is covered with plastic, and there’s visqueen in the doorways. Yet even a weak fake-sneeze causes Hank and Peggy to despair at their 'failed' efforts. Bobby finally realizes he’s pushed things too far. The next day, he brings Ladybird back into the house and tells his parents that he’s found a working allergy medication dosage. Under the closing credits, we see that Peggy has moved her office into Barkingham Palace and has repurposed the dog food dispenser to hold gummy candies to reward her 'estudiantes'.

Characters

Gallery

Notes

Ladybird already had a doghouse: a plain structure inside a chain-link pen, as seen in "Pregnant Paws." "Barkingham Palace," as Hank calls it, never makes a reappearance after this episode.

Featured Songs

"Thank You for Loving Me" by Bon Jovi


Season 4 Season 5 Season 6

The Perils of Polling · The Buck Stops Here · I Don't Want to Wait... · Spin the Choice · Peggy Makes the Big Leagues · When Cotton Comes Marching Home · What Makes Bobby Run? · 'Twas the Nut Before Christmas · Chasing Bobby · Yankee Hankee · Hank and the Great Glass Elevator · Now Who's the Dummy? · Ho Yeah! · The Exterminator · Luanne Virgin 2.0 · Hank's Choice · It's Not Easy Being Green · The Trouble with Gribbles · Hank's Back Story · Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story
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