|King of the Ant Hill|
|Season 1, Episode 11|
|Air date||May 4, 1997|
|Written by||Johnny Hardwick and Paul Lieberstein|
|Directed by||Gary McCarver|
Keeping Up With Our Joneses
Plastic White Female
Hank is lawn obsessed. He is one proud man of his mower, his grass, and his entire layout. He would gladly sacrifice his life for his lawn. When the Cinco de Mayo block party approaches, he decides that Dale's weekly spraying onto the lawn is harmful after talking to Peggy about the problem, so he lets him go. Hank later decides to upgrade his lawn to the expensive St. Augustine grass.
Dale is livid, Hank is one of three customers that he has as regulars. He goes the distance, to prove to Hank that he could still maintain the beautiful lawn, with holistic measures. Hank declines. Dale sets up the trap to win Hank back, and get a bit of revenge in the mean time. He maps out a schedule to set out Fire Ants onto the prized grass. Meanwhile, Hank is the envy of all the neighborhood, especially Kahn, who is always competitive with Hank.
Slowly, Hank is noticing patches of the St. Augustine browning, and dying, with no explanation. He is crushed, and returns to Dale. Of course, Dale is aware of the problem, he is the one planting the Fire Ants strategically throughout the lawn. Dale sets to work on killing the problems, and completely destroys Hanks lawn in the process.
Meanwhile, Bobby has discovered the Queen ant, and her workers coming in and out of their nest, and captures a jar full. Days go by, with Bobby feeding them a sugar diet, and becoming hypnotized by the Queen's powerful pheromones. The Queen demands Bobby set her free, and Bobby is hesitant, at first, but complies with the Queen's orders.
The next day, Hank is heart broken. He has no shred of grass left on his dirt lawn now. Dale has completely ruined his beautiful trophy lawn.
Peggy goes on over to Nancy's house to talk about the Cinco de Mayo block party. Nancy offers her some sugar, but they are out, so Peggy volunteers to go on down to the basement and grab a bag. On her way down, she notices a strange display of fire ants, and wanders over for a look. She sees that Dale has a map drawn out, with all of the dates and times of release for the ants. Next to the map, is a huge tank of the remaining Fire Ants. She confronts Dale in a falls cont anywhere match, then heads home to tell Hank.
In the alley, Bobby releases the ants and as he talks proudly of the insects, the ants circle around and head strait for the unwitting boy. Peggy tells her husband what his neighbor has, and he is furious. Just as Hank is set to beat Dale up, he hears Bobby call his name. Hank orders Bobby to stand back and wait a minute, but when Bobby tells Hank that it is an urgent situation, Hank turns, and sees his son is covered, from head to toe with fire ants. He was attacked when he decided to obey the Queen, and release her and her subjects. Dale yells for Bobby to take his hand, and be still. Bobby obliges, the fire ants all scramble onto Dale, and subsequently sting him all at once.
Hank is hunched over Dale's limp body, crying at his heroism for saving his boy's life. Forgiving him, for the lawn fiasco, as Dale wakes up. He is immune to the fire ant bites, and pulled through. Hank is relieved, and drops the lawn issue. As Cinco de Mayo rolls in, Hank is depressed, and decides to stay in. Peggy is dancing around him, offering him one of her Margaritas. Hank is annoyed, and corrects her on the pronunciation of the drink's name. The doorbell rings, and Peggy calls him to the door, and all of his friends and neighbors are out there, holding squares of beautiful, plush, green lawn. They all pitched in to replace Hank's lawn, knowing how much it meant to him. The squares didn't cover the entire area, but Hank was on his riding mower, detailing sections at day's end.
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Nancy Gribble
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Bill Dauterive
- Kahn Souphanousinphone
- Minh Souphanousinphone
Non Speaking Character
- The episode name is a pun on the series name.
- Contrary to the episode, fire ants do not cause significant damage to St. Augustine grass, rather, the Chinch bug is the likely culprit.
- In this episode, it seems as though Bobby knows that Dale is not Joseph's real father. (He asks Joseph, "You mean, Dale Gribble's truck?") However, it is never mentioned again. However, in a later episode when Nancy is listing everyone who knows about her affair with John Redcorn, she says "...and maybe Bobby".
- At the beginning of the episode, the ant on Dale's truck is upside down (the way it usually is) but then, later, is right side up. The position of the ant changes throughout season one. After that, it is always upside down. (They actually make fun of this on the DVD commentary)
- Throughout the episode, Peggy often refers to her neighbors as gringos while she herself is white.
- When Dale raises his hat up, he has a full head of hair. A receding hairline, to be exact.
- Dale's license plate number is LXD 352.
- The scene where Peggy's in Dale's basement and discovers his ongoing plot to destroy Hanks lawn, spoofs the Silence of the Lambs (1991) ending, with Buffalo Bill's night vision POV of Clarice.
- When Dale regains consciousness after being swarmed and bitten by the ants, he asks Hank if anything had been inserted into him while he was 'blacked out', but Hank doesn't answer the question even after Dale demands an answer a second time, indicating that Hank may have inserted something into Dale while he was unconscious. Or Hank may have refused to answer Dale's question because he found it to be too ridiculous to be worthy of a reply, however if that's the case then Hank's refusal to answer Dale seems rather callous considering Dale had just been through a very traumatic experience in which he potentially saved Hank's son Bobby's life. Under these circumstances, Hank not uttering a simple, "No" to humor Dale after Dale's tremendous sacrifice on Hank's behalf seems peculiar.
- When Dale is arguing with Hank about the fireants' attack method, his pesticide tank disappears, then reappears gray instead of orange.
- When Hank Hill stares at everyone, Stuart Dooley randomly walks up to Hank Hill and says "You got ants." Look in the crowd where Hank stares at. When he first walks out, Stuart Dooley isn't there, but then he randomly walks up to Hank, appearing out of nowhere. However, when Dooley approaches Hank he has already walked up Hank's sidewalk, so he may not have been visible in the initial shot since the sidewalk to Hank's house was not visible in that shot. But the real goof here is that Bill, Dale and Boomhauer are in the crowd in the initial shot, but are no longer in the crowd in the background behind Dooley in the next shot, and many of the other people in the crowd change into other people (including a hunched-over man and a fat man wearing a white vest).