Joseph is the best friend and neighbor of Bobby Hill. Unbeknownst to him (and Dale), John Redcorn is his true, biological father, whom he closely resembles; his conception was the result of the 15-year affair between John Redcorn and Joseph's mother, Nancy Hicks-Gribble. Joseph was conceived while Dale was out investigating the Marfa Lights, leading Dale to conclude in one episode that aliens actually impregnated Nancy.
John Redcorn occasionally visits Joseph-- a running gag in early episodes was that whenever Joseph or Dale would mention their relationship as father and son, John Redcorn would appear. In the episode where Dale takes Joseph on his first deer hunt, John Redcorn appears to present Joseph with a hunting knife given to him by his father, and to impart some wisdom about respecting nature and thanking it for the gift of the deer he would slaughter. At one point, he also gives Joseph a ceremonial headdress. Despite all this, Dale seems to have no idea that Joseph is not his biological son and neither does Joseph (attributing Joseph's coloring to a Jamaican grandmother), and he and Joseph enjoy a very close relationship. In "Spin the Choice", it is implied ambiguously that Nancy finally did tell Joseph, as she takes him aside saying "it's time we talked". Then Joseph tells John Redcorn he knows they are both "alike". Even though at times it is implied Joseph knows, he still calls Dale 'Dad' and looks up to him, later telling everyone he feels guilty being a descendant of "white men" (possibly assuming the others don't know) until the episode Vision Quest.
In early episodes, Joseph acts a typical American teen, usually quite bright and resourceful. But he often goes on at length about Dale's conspiracy theories and responding to things with a nasally "Uh-huh!" Normally, he hangs out with Bobby and often relies on him when needs to go ask a girl out. However, he also hangs out with Bobby in order to know more about Luanne Platter, whom he develops a crush on as he is thrust unceremoniously into puberty. Occasionally, he attempts to get closer to Luanne, even if Bobby does not feel comfortable with it. He and Connie Souphanousinphone have shared only a few romantic moments; they held hands when they and Bobby were lost in The Caves; they shared a kiss after Joseph went through puberty, and Connie agreed to go to the middle school dance with him when she was angry with Bobby. Though Connie seems mostly disgusted and annoyed by Joseph, he has admitted to Bobby that he was in love with her. Connie did have feelings for Joseph. This was only mentioned once and never brought up again. As of that point, she never really sees Joseph in a romantic light again. After that, he starts to pursue taller girls, women such as Luanne, and celebrities. By Season 4 his age, personality, and voice begins to change.
In later seasons, (at the beginning of Season 5) Joseph's voice changes completely. His age shows even more, as he climbs violently into puberty with a growing mustache, and grows 6 inches. Minh is the first adult to take notice of his lack of hygiene. After she tended to his injured nose, she proceeded to wash his face. However, as she approached him, he kissed her, and he becomes very embarrassed. She said she will tell Kahn, but she laughs it off as he runs out. Eventually Joseph starts acting quite odd and dim-witted, not to mention clumsy. He also becomes increasingly athletic, as he gets involved in a lacrosse team as the star player and even the school's football team as quarterback; in home he is seen body building. Though Dale is proud of Joseph's fitness, he is also fearful of him. Also, along with this growth spurt appears to have become dumber, as before he used to be sensible and focused, but after will often shout out disturbing ideas: an example being where a fellow student told him about his fruit in his lunch, he suggests they "burn it". It is later suggested he is a pyromaniac, as in a counseling session stating at some points he just wished to burn things, burning Hank Hill's lawn in the episode "Hank Gets Dusted", and enthusiastically wanting to shadow Hank at Strickland Propane during the eight grade shadowing fair at school. Joseph's pyromania is also mentioned in the episode "It Ain't Over Til' the Fat Neighbor Sings" when Bobby stated he was going to give Pong to Joseph for him to burn. In the series, Joseph is shown to have a girlfriend named Lori, but the relationship ended when she broke up with him in the episode "When Joseph Met Lori, and Made Out with Her in the Janitor's Closet" due to him not wanting to have sex, which is ironic considering his weirdly obsessive attitude about women.
Despite that John Redcorn has a very sexy vibe and is very appealing to women, Joseph's personality gets in the way as he acts more like Dale. They both believe the conspiracy that Nancy was impregnated by aliens.
Dale is Joseph's legal father, although Dale seems largely unaware that Joseph was the result of a 14 year long affair of his wife with John Redcorn. Joseph overall seems to have a good, healthy relationship with his dad. The two love and care for each other although Dale has admitted that sometimes he is scarred at the thought of Joseph attacking him during his mood swings that are typical of adolescence but nevertheless he is always there for his son when he needs his "father". A running joke is how much more Joseph has in common with Dale than John Redcorn. This is something that Redcorn finds especially infuriating. However, all three of them have the same mutual distrust for The Government. Also, in "Spin the Choice", it is implied that Joseph knows his true father's identity, but may be putting on an act for Dale.
Nancy is Joseph's mother. Little is known about their relationship as they rarely interact one-on-one but they seem to get along well. When Nancy was still with John Redcorn she often brought Joseph along with her so that John Redcorn could see him and allowed the latter to talk to Joseph and try to teach him about his culture but that ended once his mother and John Redcorn broke up and Nancy did about anything to keep her ex-lover away from her family.
John is Joseph's biological father and Joseph was given the names "Joseph John" after him. John Redcorn often tries his best to spend time with Joseph and teach him about his heritage and shows fatherly concern when Joseph does bad things like spitting on someone else's salad but he becomes depressed when Joseph simply treats him like any other neighbor and shows no interest in Native American culture. When John Redcorn becomes infuriated at being called a cannibal by his son he goes so far as to try to tell Joseph the truth of his parentage until Joseph, after having a talk with his mother, sets things right and John Redcorn agrees to keep quiet.
Kate is Joseph's paternal half-sister. She was born around the same time as him due to their father cheating on Nancy. Upon meeting each other, the two got along immediately due to having so much things in common, although this lead to them developing a crush on each other (since they didn't know they were siblings), much to the disgust of everyone who did know the truth about them and Bobby was frequently sent over to them to make sure they didn't kiss or anything of the sort. In the end, Kate eventually moves in with John Redcorn and apparently doesn't interact with Joseph anymore, although it's possible that Kate's parents told her about her and Joseph being related once they moved in with John Redcorn. It is unknown what became of Kate after that since she was never seen again on the show.
In early seasons, Joseph wears a pale green t-shirt, white shorts, white socks, and teal shoes with black lacing. In later seasons, he wears a pocketed blue t-shirt, brown shorts, white socks, and teal shoes with white lacing, although in several of the later episodes (such as Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story), he is wearing a pocketed pale green t-shirt and white shorts (sometimes with blue shoes instead of teal shoes).
- Square Peg
- The Order of the Straight Arrow
- Shins of the Father
- Keeping Up With Our Joneses
- King of the Ant Hill
- Plastic White Female
- The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg
- The Son That Got Away
- I Remember Mono
- Traffic Jam
- The Final Shinsult
- Peggy's Headache
- Good Hill Hunting
- To Spank, with Love
- Three Coaches and a Bobby
- Love Hurts and So Does Art
- I Don't Want to Wait...
- Spin the Choice
- 'Twas the Nut Before Christmas
- The Exterminator
- Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story
- Bobby Goes Nuts
- Soldier of Misfortune
- I'm With Cupid
- Of Mice and Little Green Men
- My Own Private Rodeo
- Get Your Freak Off
- Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do
- The Son Also Roses
- Vision Quest
- Board Games
- The Good Buck
- Yard, She Blows!
- Dale to the Chief
- Enrique-cilable Differences
- Mutual of OmAbwah
- Smoking and the Bandit
- Bobby On Track
- Hank's On Board
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Clown
- Business Is Picking Up
- The Year of Washing Dangerously
- The Texas Panhandler
- The Peggy Horror Picture Show
- Hank Gets Dusted
- Grand Theft Arlen
- Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
- Lucky's Wedding Suit
- Bobby Rae
- The Powder Puff Boys
- Four Wave Intersection
- Tears of an Inflatable Clown
- Untitled Blake McCormick Project
- Behind Closed Doors
- The Courtship of Joseph's Father
- Strangeness on a Train
- It Came From the Garage
- Dia-BILL-ic Shock
- Earthy Girls are Easy
- Square-Footed Monster
- No Bobby Left Behind
- What Happens at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis Stays at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis
- Master of Puppets
- Bwah My Nose
- Nancy Does Dallas
- The Boy Can't Help It
- Bill Gathers Moss
- When Joseph Met Lori, and Made Out with Her in the Janitor's Closet
- Just Another Manic Kahn-Day
- To Sirloin With Love
- Some fans theorize that Joseph's name might be a nod to Chief Joseph, a leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain (Wallowa) band of Nez Perce, a Native American tribe of the interior Pacific Northwest region of the United States, in the latter half of the 19th century, and would be another hint about his Native American ancestry.
- One of Joseph's names is "John"--a clue to his biological conception by John Redcorn.
- This also makes him one of the two characters to be named after a parent, the other being Luanne, whose first and middle name is "Luanne Leanne" after her mother.
- Joseph has brown eyes.
- Joseph makes the lacrosse team in one episode. Lacrosse is a sport invented by Native Americans--another reference to his conception by John Redcorn.
- He is the only character in the show to have been shown to physically mature, growing almost 6 inches of height during the summer (he was 5'2" when he went to camp and 5'7.75" when he came back), not to mention having a deeper voice and a wispy mustache.
- By Season 5 (Episode 3, "I Don't Want To Wait..."), the show had Breckin Meyer take over as the voice of Joseph from Brittany Murphy, to reflect his pubescence.
- Joseph is naturally great at all sports.
- Joseph has a fondness for vandalizing. He also likes to burn things.
- Joseph has only had one steady girlfriend throughout the series run, Lori. (Even though she was only in one episode, and they break up after she tries to pressure him into sex - implying she only dated him to make out and sleep with)
- Even though Joseph isn't biologically related to Dale, he has facial features from all 3 of his parents. Nancy's eyes & brow, John Redcorn's cheek bones & chin, and Dale's nose & mouth.
- In the episode "The Son That Got Away", Bobby, Joseph, and Connie get lost in the Arlen caves, which causes Peggy to remark "Oh my goodness that is where half of Arlen's unplanned pregnancies begin." The next shot is of John Redcorn and Nancy giving each other a concerned look - hinting that Joseph was conceived in the caves.
- Joseph's favorite food is Spasghetti And Meatbugs as revealed in # When Joseph Met Lori, and Made Out with Her in the Janitor's Closet.
- Joseph also has an episode centered on him The Courtship of Joseph's Father.
- Joseph's Technical term for wanting to burn things is a Pyromaniac.
- In Dia-BILL-ic Shock, Joseph gives his candy bar to Bobby when he was deprived from sugar for days.
- In To Sirloin With Love, Joseph is the first one to congratulate Bobby when he won the meat competition.
- In Business Is Picking Up, Joseph works with Hank at Strickland Propane for a week.
- Joseph Gribble is also the name of a character in the Marx Brothers movie Room Service (1938).
- Joseph is Peggy's middle name.
- Joseph last appearance before he hit puberty was Naked Ambition.
- Joseph's first line in the series was, "What is it daddy?".
- According to "To Sirloin With Love" Joseph's last line was, "C'mon Bobby, eat the whole thing." But according to the last unaired episode his last line was, "I'd like to hear more from the guy who said Hey Johnson."
Pilot When Bobby and Joseph are doing Hank impressions.
"I'll tear you a new one."
To Spank, with Love When Bobby, Joseph, and Peggy are gardening.
"Your mom is as cool as most peoples dads."
Naked Ambition When Bobby and Joseph are outside looking at Luanne.
"I got a monkey on my back and it wants to see Luanne naked."
'Twas the Nut Before Christmas When Bobby, Connie, and Joseph are drunk.
"Look at the stars, they're just so many of them."
Bobby Goes Nuts When Joseph gives advice to Bobby before he goes into the detention room.
"My dad says when you are in a jail type situation.
The best thing to do is take out the tallest guy there. That way you establish who's boss right from the get go. Or you can just hang yourself with your pants, he said that's another way to go."
Of Mice and Little Green Men When Dale tells Joseph he's an alien.
"You missed my damn try-outs and you're calling me self absorbed?
The Incredible Hank When Hank and Joseph cross paths in the alley.
Après Hank, le Deluge When Bobby and Joseph are in the school hallway.
"Hey lets go into the girls locker room. And stand where naked girls have stood."
Mutual of Omabwah When Dale and Joseph are selling bee venom.
"Oh my head hurts, but now it doesn't."
Business Is Picking Up When Joseph goes to Hank's display.
"Hey Mr. Hill, I want to do propane."
Grand Theft Arlen When Joseph is helping Bobby exercise.
"Grab the bar you sissified lady snot."
Four Wave Intersection When Hank asks Joseph to go home.
"Uh I can't take it in my house. My dad has heat cranked all the way up. He said something about fighting fire with fire. But it wasn't working for me."
The Courtship of Joseph's Father When Dale won't let Joseph in the house.
"I forgot what you looked like."
Strangeness on a Train When Bobby, Connie, and Joseph are coming up with what to do.
"We should pee in places where pee isn't supposed to go."
Bwah My Nose When Bobby and Joseph are cheering on their dads at practice.
"Awesome folding dad, really square. Dude I can't do it."
Just Another Manic Kahn-Day When Bobby and Joseph find hank's old records.
"Dude, the computer this goes in must be huge."