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Jon Vitti Presents: Return to La Grunta is the 51st episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on February 23, 1999. The episode was written by Jon Vitti, and directed by Gary McCarver.



Hank loans Luanne sixty dollars, hoping it will keep her afloat monetarily—and stop her from borrowing money in smaller quantities—for some time to come. The next morning, Hank hangs out with a group of regulars at the local hardware store. One of the customers announces that there is a job opening at the La Grunta Hotel. The establishment is looking to fill the position of golf course drink girl. When Hank returns home, he discovers Luanne selling her possessions on the curb. Luanne explains that she spent every dollar Hank gave her the previous evening. Hank convinces her to apply for the drink girl position at the hotel. Luanne lands the job, and soon discovers that lascivious, drunken golfers tip young females rather generously. Luanne is so pleased with her new job that she determines to buy her uncle a thank-you gift. She enters the La Grunta gift shop and speaks with the cashier, who recommends a gift certificate for a round of golf.

That evening, Luanne presents Hanks with a large, gift-wrapped box. Inside is a card for Dolphin Encounter, which allows the recipient to swim in the hotel pool with a live dolphin. Hank isn’t sure what to make of the gift and hopes it can be exchanged for a round of golf. Luanne bursts into tears and runs from the room. Hank smooths things over with Luanne and reluctantly promises that he will give Dolphin Encounter a try. Supervised by a trainer, Hank climbs into the swimming pool occupied by the dolphin Duke. At first, Hank enjoys his encounter with the playful Duke. He strokes Duke's stomach, which blushes pink. Shortly thereafter, Duke attacks Hank, and then drags him underwater.


Hank is pulled from the pool. The hotel director explains that Hank’s display of affection aroused Duke and the marine creature attempted to become physically intimate with him. Hank is horrified. The hotel management bribes Hank with free merchandise in hopes of preventing a lawsuit. Shortly thereafter, Hank tells Luanne not to discuss the incident with anyone. But Hank soon discovers that keeping everything internalized comes with a price. He cringes when bed-springs make a sound similar to the dolphin’s squeal, and during a boating trip he reacts with horror when he reels in a live fish that flops on his lap.

At the hotel, Luanne accepts a “putting lesson” from an overly friendly golfer and soon finds herself being groped. At first, she keeps the incident to herself. Later, however, she tells Hank and Bobby what happened. Luanne tells Hank that if she can put the incident behind her, then so can he.

The next morning, Luanne dresses in long pants and a baggy suit so as to discourage unwanted advances. Eventually, Peggy senses something is wrong and confronts her husband. Hank describes the incident with the dolphin and by doing so, begins to feel much better. In fact, Hank’s spirits rise so much that he also describes the incident to his drinking pals. At first, everyone laughs, but then Bill breaks down, sobbing. He confesses that he too was raped by Duke, but the Hotel “bought him off” with the t-shirt he now wears. Hank gathers the merchandise he was given and returns to the hotel. He dumps them by the pool, refusing to take a payoff. As Hank storms off, he sees a golfer, the one Luanne mentioned, stuffing money down her cleavage. Outraged, Hank grabs the golfer, dumps him into the pool, feeds Duke and rub his stomach, causing the dolphin to rape the golfer, in front of witnesses, one of them being a boy with a camera, who takes a picture. As a result, Duke is relocated to the ocean and Luanne tells Hank she sent the videotape of Hank's dolphin encounter to When Animals Attack.



  • The "Return to La Grunta" part of the title references when Hank and Bobby visited there before. (Good Hill Hunting)
  • This is the last episode where Luanne has shorter hair (it was produced before it grew back)
  • Music similar to Orinoco Flow by Enya is heard while Hank's dolphin encounter. Although the video of Orinoco Flow doesn't have dolphins in it, the tune is very similar to Adiemus. Their music was used in 1994 for a Delta Airlines TV commercial which deployed dolphins. Both songs were later put on the Pure Moods CD compilation.
  • It's revealed in this episode that the white tank top Bill always wears (he refers to it as a t-shirt) was gifted to him by La Grunta in return for keeping his mouth shut about being attacked by Duke the dolphin.
  • The trainer tells Hank that the dolphin would not harm him as it came to love him from the arousal. However, later in the episode, Hank once again give the dolphin arousal, but it attacks the golfer Hank threw in the pool. This would insinuate that the dolphin doesn't grow attached to an individual but instead just wants to mate with the closest available option once aroused (whoever is in the pool).

Season 2 Season 3 Season 4

Death of a Propane Salesman · And They Call It Bobby Love · Peggy's Headache · Pregnant Paws · Next of Shin · Peggy's Pageant Fever · Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men · Good Hill Hunting · Pretty, Pretty Dresses · A Fire Fighting We Will Go · To Spank with Love · Three Coaches and a Bobby · De-Kahnstructing Henry · The Wedding of Bobby Hill · Sleight of Hank · Jon Vitti Presents: Return to La Grunta · Escape from Party Island · Love Hurts and So Does Art · Hank's Cowboy Movie · Dog Dale Afternoon · Revenge of the Lutefisk · Death and Texas · Wings of the Dope · Take Me out of the Ball Game · As Old as the Hills