The Perils of Polling
Season 5, Episode 1
Air date October 1, 2000
Written by Jim Dauterive
Directed by Kyounghee Lim and Boohwan Lim
Episode guide
Peggy's Fan Fair
The Buck Stops Here

The Perils of Polling is the eighty-fifth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on October 1, 2000. The episode was written by Jim Dauterive, and directed by Kyounghee Lim and Boohwan Lim. The title is a play on the 1914 serial film "The Perils of Pauline".


Inside the garage, Hank observes as Peggy tests a voting booth to ensure no one can see inside. Bobby and Luanne enter and beg Hank to take them to the Heimlich County Fair. Hank wishes that Luanne would show the same amount of enthusiasm for the upcoming presidential election. But Luanne admits she never filled out the registration forms. Later, as the Hills roam the fairgrounds, Hank is approached by Ted T. Gannaway, a presidential fringe candidate. Luckily, Bobby interrupts with news of a diving pig named Mitch. Hank seizes the opportunity and makes his escape, leaving Ganaway behind. An enthusiastic crowd watches as trainer Rooks Epperson introduces Mitch the Diving Pig. For the finale, Mitch dives through several hoops of fire and disappears beneath the water. Unfortunately, he does not resurface. Thinking quickly, Bobby dives into the water and rescues the animal, whose hoof had become entangled in a hose. As the heroic Bobby is photographed with the rescued swine, Charlotte Humes, George W. Bush’s campaign manager, approaches. She invites Hank and Bobby to attend an upcoming “Get Out the Vote” campaign rally. Hank, a Bush supporter, enthusiastically embraces the idea. A short time later, Hank learns that Luanne registered to vote…and is supporting Robert Parigi, a Communist, due to him having the shortest line of supporters.

When Hank returns home, Luanne turns to The Manger Babies in an effort to get Hank to vote for Parigi. Hank tells Luanne she is behaving like an idiot, causing her to burst into tears. Afterward, Peggy convinces Hank to take Luanne to the Bush rally. Later, inside the Hotel Arlen, an enthusiastic group of reporters greets George W. Bush. But when Hank shakes Bush’s hand, his euphoria turns to utter shock: Bush’s handshake is completely limp.

When Hank returns to the alleyway, he tells his friends the shocking news. He is completely beside himself, as he will only vote for someone with a strong, firm grip. Dale convinces Hank to accompany him Christmas shopping at an outlet mall, which he does every year on Election Day because people are too busy voting to go shopping. At first, Hank thinks it’s a bad idea not to vote. But later, Hank reviews videotape of Bush in action. By carefully studying the tape, he concludes that other men are shocked by Bush’s limp handshake. When election day arrives, Hank changes his mind and joins Dale on his shopping spree. When word reaches Luanne of Hank’s decision not to vote, she reacts with shock. She dials his pager number, but does not receive a response. Peggy explains that the number she dialed is only to be used for propane emergencies…which voting clearly is not. Meanwhile, Dale heads the Bug-A-Bago for Mexico in case civil unrest breaks out during the election. Luanne tricks Hank into answering his pager by phoning from Goobersmooches, one of Strickland Propane’s clients. Luanne warns Hank that if people like himself stop voting, communism will rule the land. And when Luanne threatens not to cast her ballot unless Hank votes and believes voting isn't so important after all, Hank jumps in the van and crosses over the border. A police officer pulls over the speeding vehicle, but when the cop finds out Hank is trying to vote, he escorts him home. Hank makes it back just in the nick of time, and he and Luanne cast their ballots.



Hank: Get that penguin back here, I'm not done". 

Highway Cop: "You havn't voted?"

George Bush: Is that the pig-saving boy or the boy with a pig heart?

Stinger Quote

Was it a wriggler?


  • George W. Bush, the then governor of Texas, was asked to do his own voice for the episode, but declined.
  • This episode, which aired one month before the official season premiere, was intended to be a public service announcement to vote in that year's election. Apparently, it didn't work, as only 51% of all registered voters turned up to pick their president.
  • This episode title alludes to The Perils of Pauline, a 1947 film about a minor silent era performer who suddenly becomes an important star of her own action pictures, which took its title from a 1914 melodramatic silent film serial featuring the heroine ending each episode in a cliffhanger situation. Similarly Hank realizes the dangerous potential importance of Luanne's uninformed voting in the presidential election and of his not getting to vote at all, so his heading back to Arlen in time constitutes a cliffhanger at the climax of this episode.
  • When Hank is reviewing a tape of George W. Bush shaking a man's hand, he rewinds the handshake over and over while saying "Surprised, and then disappointed." This is a reference to Oliver Stone's JFK (1991), with Kevin Costner as New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison rewinding a film while describing Kennedy's movements repeatedly as "back, and to the left."
  • The diving pig's tough stunt when it jumps through hoops of fire, called "The Ring of Fire." This is a reference to the famous Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire."
  • The Communist Party candidate Luanne supports in this episode is named after one of the show's producers: Robert Parigi.



George Bush (man in the blue suit) declined to do his own voice in this episode.

Season 4 Season 5 Season 6

The Perils of Polling · The Buck Stops Here · I Don't Want to Wait · Spin the Choice · Peggy Makes the Big Leagues · When Cotton Comes Marching Home · What Makes Bobby Run? · 'Twas the Nut Before Christmas · Chasing Bobby · Yankee Hankee · Hank and the Great Glass Elevator · Now Who's the Dummy? · Ho Yeah! · The Exterminator · Luanne Virgin 2.0 · Hank's Choice · It's Not Easy Being Green · The Trouble with Gribbles · Hank's Back Story · Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story