How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying
Season 2, Episode 1
How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying
Air date September 21, 1997
Written by Paul Lieberstein
Directed by Adam Kuhlman
Episode guide
Plastic White Female
Texas City Twister

"How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying" is the thirteenth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on September 21, 1997. The episode was written by Paul Lieberstein, and directed by Adam Kuhlman. Wallace Shawn guest stars in this episode as Philip Ny.



Hank takes his son to the state fair, where Bobby shows little talent for winning prizes at any of the game booths. But everything changes when Bobby discovers a knack for downing mechanical ducks with a BB gun. Hank has never been so proud of his son. Despite Peggy's initial objections, he takes Bobby to the Mega Lo Mart and purchases an expensive rifle. The pair travel to a clubhouse shooting range, where Bobby again displays expert marksmanship. While watching the boy take target practice, Hank learns of an upcoming father/son funshoot tournament. Excited, and convinced he and his son will win the competition, Hank picks up Bobby's gun for some target practice of his own. While aiming the rifle, Hank suddenly grows confused, his hands shaking. In his mind, he recalls a childhood memory in which his own father, Cotton, berated him as he learned to shoot a gun for the first time. The experience was a traumatic one, and Hank cannot overcome the psychological damage. As a result, his marksmanship skills suffer.

Embarrassed, Hank enrolls Bobby in a safety course, hoping the experience will drain all the fun out of target practice and thereby end his son's interest in attending the tournament. When this fails, Hank brings his son to the clubhouse early in the morning, reducing the odds of humiliation on the shooting range. A sports psychologist named Philip Ny notices Hank's dilemma. Stressing the importance of mental concentration over physical ability, Ny hands Hank his business card, which Hank places in his pocket. Later, Hank declares that guns are dangerous, and tells his friends he will not participate in the competition. But he tells Peggy the real reason for dropping out is that he cannot shoot straight. Peggy convinces her husband that quitting isn't fair to Bobby.

Desperate, Hank turns to Philip Ny. The psychologist's technique slowly builds Hank's self-confidence, improving his aim. The day of the tournament finally arrives. Slowly, Hank and Bobby rise through the ranks until they tie for first place. Then, without warning, Cotton shows up at the tournament. Hank's face falls. A few moments later, Bobby successfully hits his target...leaving the outcome of the game on Hank's shoulders. Despite his best effort, Hank misses. Bobby, however, is overjoyed when he and his father are awarded a second place certificate.


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201 - How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying

201 - How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying


  • The rifles that Hank and Bobby are using appears to be pump action .22 caliber rifles (possibly Remington Model 572 Fieldmaster rifles). Despite that, it fires semi automatic and has the trigger guard of a lever action.
  • The character of Phillip Nye was drawn to look just like the actor voicing him, guest-star Wallace Shawn.
  • However The Cel animation turns out to be different For An Example : Character's skin's turns out to be darker The kitchen's floor is green instead of orange Characters eye size turns out to be bigger and so have the rest of the characters some of the comedy turns out to be a lot more funny than season 1 the running gag starts from where Hank and Peggy keeping secrets from bobby every time Bobby ask about sex or love and the refrigerator in the kitchen is green instead of red.
  • Big-Tex makes its debut in this episode.
  • This is the 2nd episode where Bobby immediately shows a natural ability with a hobby. The first being golfing in the Season 1 episode Hank's Got the Willies.
  • Hank states the last time he fired a rifle a Texas was in the White House. Only two Texas natives have been President: Lyndon Johnson & Dwight Eisenhower. Hank's birth date is unknown but his likely age and timing of the series would line up with him being a kid during Lyndon Johnson's term (1963-1969).
  • Heck Dorland is mentioned in this episode when Hank says he's planning on buying his motorcycle from him. He appears in two episodes later in the series: Season 3 episode A Fire Fighting We Will Go and Season 13 episode Born Again on the Fourth of July.

Stinger Quote: 

  • Young Hank: "I want my binkie back."


  • To help him hit the target, Hank visualized a McDonnell Douglas L-1011, but the L-1011 was manufactured by Lockheed, not McDonnell Douglas.
  • When Bobby arrives at the gun counter, he's looking directly down at the pistols with the rifles to his right. However in the next shot, he's looking directly down at the rifles.

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3

How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying · Texas City Twister · The Arrowhead · Hilloween · Jumpin' Crack Bass (It's a Gas, Gas, Gas) · Husky Bobby · The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg · The Son That Got Away · The Company Man · Bobby Slam · The Unbearable Blindness of Laying · Meet the Manger Babies · Snow Job · I Remember Mono · Three Days of the Kahndo · Traffic Jam · Hank's Dirty Laundry · The Final Shinsult · Leanne's Saga · Junkie Business · Life in the Fast Lane, Bobby's Saga · Peggy's Turtle Song · Propane Boom