"Smoking and the Bandit" is the one hundred-eighty-third episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on April 17, 2005. The episode was written by Dan McGrath, and directed by Cyndi Tang-Loveland.
Hank, Dale, Bobby and Joseph head for a local shopping center, where Hank disciplines Bobby for misbehaving. Bobby immediately stops goofing off and listens to his father. But when Dale attempts to discipline Joseph, he doesn’t listen. The guys make their way to an ice cream parlor, Billy Sundae's where Dale lights up a cigarette. A waitress reminds him about the new no-smoking law and asks him to put it out. Dale meekly obeys. Meanwhile, during an Arlen Bystander staff meeting, Roddy Rae assigns Peggy the Waffle House beat. Peggy hates being stuck with the boring assignment, but her attempt to be reassigned goes nowhere. Peggy decides to blow the whole thing off and never shows up at the Waffle House.
Meanwhile, Dale asks Hank how he can get Joseph to respect him. Hank tells Dale the easiest way is for Dale to act like a man. That night, Dale makes his way to the Waffle House to wallow in his sorrows. A waitress tells Dale to put out his cigarette. This time, Dale takes Hank’s advice and, instead of acting meek, announces to everyone in earshot that he’s not extinguishing his cigarette. Instead, he pays the bill and exits. One of Peggy’s colleagues, who was covering Peggy’s beat, writes a story about the mysterious “Smoking Bandit” and his act of defiance. When the article is published, Peggy kicks herself for blowing off work. Meanwhile, Nancy reads the article aloud so Joseph and Dale can hear. Concerned that the police will track him down, Dale decides to toss out all his cigarettes. But when he realizes that Joseph worships the bandit, he has a change of heart and embraces the idea of continuing his acts of “manly defiance.”
Dale makes his way to several bars, where he lights up, refuses to put out his cigarette, then runs off into the night. In the common alley, Joseph excitedly tells Hank and his friends the latest about the “Smoking Bandit’s” adventures. Dale smiles when he hears the excitement in Joseph’s voice. Later, Dale asks Joseph how he’d feel if it turned out that he (Dale) was the “Smoking Bandit.” Joseph says it would make smoking seem “uncool.” Meanwhile, at school, Bobby and Joseph decide to imitate the “Smoking Bandit’s” defiant ways by refusing to take a test. They end up being sent to Principal Moss's office. Hank tells Dale the best way of earning Joseph’s respect is to help catch the “Smoking Bandit.”
Hank, Dale, Bobby and Joseph begin surveying local nightlife spots. Dale shows an unexpected knowledge about the “Smoking Bandit’s” thought processes, leading the group to a rundown bar. Dale pretends to trap the “Smoking Bandit” inside the bar’s restroom. He tells Hank it might be a good idea to let the “Smoking Bandit” escape. Hank slowly realizes that Dale is the bandit. He decides to play along. As Bobby and Joseph observe, Dale gives the "Smoking Bandit" a stern warning. Bobby and Joseph are impressed. Meanwhile, a determined Peggy tries to find the "Smoking Bandit" by talking her way into a hip nightclub. The bouncer tells Peggy repeatedly that her name isn’t on the guest list. Peggy invents a bunch of names, saying them aloud in hopes of stumbling upon a name that is on the list. Eventually, the bouncer tires of Peggy’s game and says he will let her in. All Peggy needs to do is pay the cover charge. Peggy says she doesn’t have the money.
- Peggy is seen working at the Arlen Bystander in this episode, even though she doesn't start until the Season 10 episode Bystand Me as this episode was announced to air in place of Bill's House a few days later.
- When Dale is inside Attaché, the Arlen Bystander building can be seen across the street; however, Arlen Bystander is misspelled as Arlen Bistander.
- The title "Smoking and the Bandit" is a parody of the movie Smokey and the Bandit starring Burt Reynolds, Jerry Reed and Jackie Gleason.
- The name of the ice cream parlor where Hank, Dale, Bobby and Joseph have ice cream, Billy Sundae's, is a play on that of William Ashley "Billy" Sunday.
- When Bill says that the smoking bandit is, "...cool, just like the guy who rides his bicycle faster than French people.", he is referring to professional cyclist Lance Armstrong.
- Johnny Hardwick, who voices Dale Gribble, was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production for his work in this episode.
- Dale's "Give me smoking or give me death" quote is a reference to the famous 'Give me liberty or give me death' speech by Patrick Henry from March 23, 1775.
- Bobby: "I can't believe I thought the Bandit was cool. You know who's cool? That rapper with the bullet in his nose. 'Bullet-Nose.'"
Joseph: "Yeah. One sneeze and the whole joint goes up."
- Hank: "Yeah, maybe we should let the Bandit go. But does the Bandit swear he will never do anything this asinine again, or I will kick his ass?"
- Nancy: (reading the Arlen Bystander) "'The Sheriff vows to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.'"
Dale: "The fullest extent of the law?"
Nancy: "That's what the Sheriff vows."
Dale: "But our extent is pretty full. We have the death penalty in this state and we're not afraid to use it."
- Dale: "Oh, hey, Hank. Listen, I just had sort of a quick question: how do I get my son to respect me?"
Hank: "Well, boys need their dads to be strong role models. You just need to, you know, be a man."
Dale: "Dammit, Hank, I'm 42 years old. It's kind of late for me to start the whole "be a man" thing. Is there a shortcut, or at least a website?"
Dale: "This is going to be tough. I can't even take that like a man."
- Hank: "Bobby, never run in a parking lot. Those cars look parked, but they could be driven by slow-moving seniors."
- Hank: "It's that dang smoking bandit idiot - he's a bad influence!"
Dale: "Yeah, he's making my own son defy me even more. It's pretty ironic."
Hank: "How is that ironic?"
Dale: "Oh, um, well, I'm probably just misusing the word 'ironic' as people so often do."
- Dale: (complaining about Arlen's new smoking ban) "Outrageous! Sure, today it's us smokers, but who tomorrow?" (glances at Hank) "Pudgy white guys with strange propane fixations?"
- Hank: (to a trembling, sniveling Dale, about the smoking Bandit) "The whole point of tonight was to let the boys see his sniveling, whining face!"
- Joseph: "No way! Hey, let's give him a swirlie!"
Bobby: "Let's give him an atomic wedgie!"
- Dale Gribble: "See you in the history books, people."