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"Hank's Unmentionable Problem" is the 6th episode of the first season of the Fox animated series King of the Hill.



Peggy notices her husband exit the bathroom without flushing the toilet. Hank assures her it was unnecessary since he didn't "do anything." Concerned, Peggy fixes Hank a glass of Megamucil, an all-natural laxative. Being a manly Texan, he refuses to heed her advice and her bran muffins opting for sausages instead. Peggy tells Nancy about her husband's constipation. Soon after, word spreads throughout the town, and well-wishers stop by the house with tips on how to become regular once again, causing Hank great embarrassment. As time passes, Peggy grows more and more concerned. She tries sneaking melted chocolate laxative onto Hank's ice cream, but the scheme fails. Peggy experiences a nightmare in which Hank dies from his irregularity. Hysterical, Peggy rushes to her husband and begs him not to die. Moved, Hank promises to see a doctor. With great embarrassment, Hank keeps his promise. Assisted by Tasha, a beautiful medical student, Dr. Morley inserts a sigmoidoscope, a wandlike camera device, into Hank's backside for a view of his colon. When the procedure proves inconclusive, Dr. Morley tells Hank that his "low fat, high fiber diet" isn't effective. Peggy insists the diet simply needs more time to work. To be on the safe side, Morley books an operating room. He tells Hank that, unless his condition improves, his colon will have to be removed by the end of the week.

The Hills later go to a local health food store. Hank shows little enthusiasm for tofu dogs and other vegetarian offerings. Growing increasingly desperate, Hank tries everything from bacon grease to acupuncture needles but they, too, fail. While chatting with Nancy, Peggy realizes her husband's new diet and lifestyle is making him miserable. A short time later, Hank tells his wife that he'd rather die with a burger in his colon than spend the rest of his life eating faux-fu. Surprisingly, Peggy agrees and tells Hank how much she loves him. Tears in his eyes, Hank tells his wife how lucky he is to have her in his life. Suddenly, a strange look passes over Hank's face. He races to the bathroom, and after a simple flush echoes through the hallways, Hank flings open the door and triumphantly enters the hallway. Peggy and Bobby rush to his side and the Hill family shares a hug as Ode to Joy blasts in the background.



  • This episode implies Hank's irregularity is a psychosematic symptom of his repressed, uptight character, as his bowels fail to move until he embraces his emotions by declaring his love for Peggy.
    • Hank's constipation problem would later come up in "Love Hurts and So Does Art", where he discovers that Dr. Morley had given his x-rays to an artist for use in an art exhibit highlighting world hunger.
  • Dr. Morely fails to instill confidence in his knowledge as a physician when he tells Bobby that Hank's intestine would go all the way around the planet if layed out in a straight line, which Hank accurately surmises would be impossible.
  • When C. Everett Coop talks about constipation on TV, Hank mistakes him for Howard Stern, the controversial comedian known for covering vulgar subjects.


  • When Peggy enters the bathroom to give Hank a product to help him "make", her hair color goes from a light brown color to her normal hair color when Hank turns around.
  • In the scene where C.E. Coop talks about constipation, Hank changes the channel only to find Nancy telling the whole city about Hank's Unmentionable Problem. Hank takes out the TV plug from the outlet. When the scene focuses on Hank and Peggy talking, the TV is glowing on, despite Hank taking out the TV plug from the outlet.
  • Hank is persuaded to see a doctor. He goes to the Heimlich County Medical Center, according to the outside sign seen on the screen shot. Later, when he is told to fill out a form, the top of the paper clearly says Hillview Hospital, which is not said on any sign outside of the hospital.
  • When Hank goes to the restroom at the end of the episode after holding Peggy in his arms, he throws Bobby out of the bathroom who is seen clearly wearing his pajamas, but when Hank emerges from the bathroom, Bobby is seen to be clearly wearing his regular clothes, but when the family goes in for a hug, Bobby is seen to be back in his pajamas.

Season 1 Season 2

Pilot · Square Peg · The Order of the Straight Arrow · Hank's Got the Willies · Luanne's Saga · Hank's Unmentionable Problem · Westie Side Story · Shins of the Father · Peggy the Boggle Champ · Keeping Up With Our Joneses · King of the Ant Hill · Plastic White Female