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Peggy's Turtle Song is the thirty-fourth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on May 10, 1998. The episode was written by Brent Forrester, and directed by Jeff Myers.



The episode begins set at the morning time at which Bobby finishes eating a bowl of Oatmeal Cookie Crunch in the kitchen, Peggy rushes in, glances at the clock, and realizes she is late for a school field trip. Peggy hastily pours him another bowl of cereal, onto which Bobby adds more sugar.

A short time later, Bobby has another bowl, and at Hank's suggestion, adds even more sugar.

At school, a teacher notices Bobby acting in a hyperactive manner, as a result of consuming too much sugar. Bobby is sent to the nurse's office, where he is misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder, with the nurse halfheartedly informing Hank that Bobby must begin taking medication. Later, Peggy suffers enormous guilt when she hears the news, wrongly assuming developed attention deficit disorder due to a lack of attention towards him on her part. She decides to quit her job as a substitute teacher so that she can focus all of her energy on being a mother, giving Bobby the attention she presumes he lacks. Viewing this as Peggy returning to "traditional family values", Hank strongly supports the idea.

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The medication prescribed Bobby leaves the boy in a stupor. Meanwhile, Peggy quickly descends into utter restlessness staying at home all day, and eventually accompanies Hank to a guitar shop to pick up some new strings. There, she notices a flyer advertising guitar lessons, and decides to pursue them out of boredom. The next day, Peggy visits the bohemian apartment of Emily, an outspoken feminist with green hair, a tattoo and combat boots. When Emily later visits the Hill home to teach the guitar lessons, Bill notes she is dressed "kinda pro-choice." Hank looks on with concern. Later, Emily encourages Peggy to write a song of her own. Peggy responds by singing a few lines about a turtle and its shell, which is both the animal's home and its prison, unknowingly channeling her recent frustrations into song lyrics. Interpreting these as feeling oppressed by her marriage to Hank, Emily immediately responds to the song, with Peggy completely missing her implications. Hank meanwhile takes the lyrics literally, believing it to simply be a song about a turtle. Though Hank labels Emily "weird", Peggy nonetheless invites her over for dinner. During the meal, Peggy reveals that one of Hank's most cherished possessions is a Guild Solid Top guitar, nicknamed "Betsy". Emily encourages Peggy to finish writing her song and suggests she perform it at a Mother's Day recital, during which performers take a "pot shot" at the holiday. Hank disapproves of the idea, insisting plans for Mother's Day have already been made. But Peggy insists she can do as she pleases.

Luanne complains she is unable to concentrate on studying for her beauty exam. Concluding she may have contracted attention deficit disorder from Bobby, she snatches a pill from the boy's hand and pops it in her mouth. On Mother's Day, Hank watches as Peggy heads out the door with her cheap guitar slung over her shoulder. Later, Bobby and Hank show up at the venue where Peggy is scheduled to perform. Bobby hands his mother Betsy, Hank's prized guitar, explaining how she should have a special guitar with which to play her song.

Peggy takes the stage and performs. As she sings, the women in the audience misread the turtle song as a pro-feminist statement, while Hank suddenly understands the true meaning behind the song's lyrics. Peggy stops singing, but Emily encourages her to continue. Singing from her heart, Peggy tells how a turtle, named "Hank" saved the turtle's heart with the magic of love. Though the women in the audience are both taken aback and irritated by the song's ending, Hank and Bobby give Peggy a standing ovation. Later, during the drive home, Peggy considers returning to her teaching job. When Hank notes a marked improvement in Bobby's behavior that day, Bobby explains it can only be attributed to the absence of the medication, as Luanne ingested his pill. Upon returning home, the family discovers a hyperactive, hyper-focused Luanne, causing Hank to suggest he and Peggy re-examine the pamphlets explaining ADD.



  • BOBBY: There's some milk in the fridge that's about to go bad! (sniffs) And there it goes.
  • BOBBY:...There are 96 ridges on every checker...except this one

Stinger Quote

  • Bobby: (sniffs) "And there it goes."


  • Tilly and Gary clearly live together by this point in time, with Gary even claiming to Tilly "I can't return it" as a reference to his exposed body after Hank finishes his phone conversation with his mother; the door which was heard opening was clearly from within Tilly's home, very well likely a bedroom or bathroom door, as Gary would've taken too big of a gamble by risking a criminal charge of indecent exposure if he had arrived to her home naked in public. However, when he returns in "I Don't Want to Wait...", he is confirmed to have a bachelor pad.
  • When the episode first aired, following the episode but prior to the credits, information was given so that viewers could learn more about ADD (which Bobby is mistakenly believed to suffer from in the episode).
  • This episode reveals that Bill's ex-wife Lenore left him to pursuit her career in the motivational poster industry. However, when she appeared in-person in "Hank and the Glass Elevator", Bill reminded her it was because she told him he was "bald, lazy, dependable" and that he was "jealous whenever you had a date," which revealed her habit of ridiculing him and also cheating on him with other men.
  • The ADD medicine mellows Bobby out to the point of extreme concentration. But when Luanne takes it, she is extremely energetic. This could mean that Bobby does indeed have ADD. Some people who do not have AD(H)D and take medicines for it (such as Adderall and Ritalin) often become over-hyper, while those who do have it and take the medicine become more "mellow" and focused.
  • It is revealed Hank's mother Tilly occasionally took small jobs to relieve her boredom and frustration of being a stay-at-home mother during her marriage to Cotton, including being a Taxi driver, which Hank falsely remembered as her simply owning a yellow car.


  • Hank looks through ADD medicine leaflets and goes through the one that the doctor gave him for information about ADD, not about medicine.
  • The school bus reads "Heimlich County School District." But in later seasons the name has been changed to "Arlen Independent School District." It is possible in the time between episodes, Arlen split off from Heimlich County's School District to become its own district; it is not uncommon for school districts to be changed over time.
  • When Hank looks at the calendar in the boiler room, Mother's Day is shown to be on the third Sunday of May, rather than the second Sunday.

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