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"The Texas Skillsaw Massacre" is the seventh episode of the seventh season of King of the Hill, and the 133rd episode overall. It was first aired on December 15, 2002. The episode was written by Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland, and directed by Shaun Cashman.

Synopsis

Hank accidentally cut off Dale's finger with the saw

As Hank makes breakfast one morning, he falls through his kitchen floor. He discovers a tunnel at the bottom and, after crawling through it, ends up in Dale's basement. As they survey the damage, Hank discovers that Dale removed his floor joists (which Dale called "underground driftwood"). Dale does not apologize and calls it his "2-way intersection" between his house and Hank's. As a punishment, Dale cannot help with the building project, to his dismay.

The city inspector shuts the Hills' house down as structurally unfit for habitation. The Hills are forced to stay at the Gribbles' house, after Nancy pressures Dale to make the gesture. They are soon forced to put up with Dale's annoyances.

Then, at the construction site, Dale arrives with more complaints about them. Hank, cutting wood with a circular saw, ignores Dale's comments until he realizes something horrible has occurred: he has accidentally cut off Dale's right index finger with the saw, causing him to scream in horror.

As Dale is wheeled out of the Emergency Room, he claims that he will sue Hank. The staff and police believe that the accident was a domestic abuse situation. The officer asks Dale if he wishes to press assault charges, which he does and orders him to arrest Hank. At the courthouse, Hank tries to explain himself, claiming it was an accident (It was also Dale's fault, as he had his hand in front of the blade). Dale refuses to believe it was an accident. The judge issues a restraining order against Hank, specifying that he has to stay 100 feet away from Dale, and sentences him to anger management, believing he has rage issues.

While at the anger management class, Hank puts up with the teacher's vapid ways of anger managing, such as the "avoid dance". He meets a rebellious fellow classmate named Big Jim, who becomes his new friend. As the pair go to work fixing the tunnel after class, the others come by and explain the plan of digging multiple tunnels to each house using a portable tunneling machine known as a "ditch witch." Dale had planned a three-way intersection between their houses, and Hank was not invited. As Dale and Hank fight about the plan, Big Jim defends Hank and shouts at Dale. Suddenly, as Big Jim barks through his now frothing mouth, he suffers a stroke and drops dead. At Big Jim's funeral, Peggy shows Hank that if he doesn't control his anger, he'll end up like Big Jim.

Soon, Hank graduates the class and his restraining order is lifted. He arrives at the alley, only to find no one is there because Big Jim passed away. Hank discovers the tunnel plan was completed and everyone is underground. As they dig another hole for beer cans, Hank sees a massive garbage truck heading down the road and knows the trio will be killed since Dale did not reinforce the tunnel and the thin layer of asphalt above them won't be able to withstand the weight of the garbage truck driving over them. He calmly tries to tell them to get out, but they refuse. Hank manages to briefly stop the truck, but the driver decides Hank's story about men lurking underneath the alley is preposterous, so he assumes Hank is drunk and ignores his pleas. Now desperate, Hank loses his temper for his friends and yells at them to leave the tunnel and they quickly leave seconds before the truck crushes the tunnel. They soon realize that Hank was trying to save them, and apologize to him.

As Hank drinks beer with his grateful friends again, Dale shows off his newest completed plan: ziplines, much to Hank's dismay. When Dale attempts to demonstrate his plan, he only gets several inches off the ground as the line sags and he awkwardly sinks down, but he says that hopefully Hank understood the concept.

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Trivia

  • When Big Jim says he loves doing two things: building dollhouse furniture and kicking ass, and that he doesn't see any dollhouse furniture around, this is a variation of Roddy Piper's famous line from the movie They Live: "I came to chew bubblegum and kick ass and I'm all out of bubblegum".
  • This episode marks the fourth time someone has died in the series, the first person to die was Buckley, the second was Debbie Grund, and in Season 3, Chet Elderson dies in "A Firefighting We Will Go."
  • The title is a parody of the horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • The unnamed Instructor of Hank's anger management class is remarkably similar to the character Phillip Frond (also voiced by Dave Herman) on the animated series Bob's Burgers. Both men have brown hair and wear eyeglasses, green sweater vests, brown pants, and neckties. They also have similar demeanors, mannerisms, and approaches to conflict resolution.
  • Hank crawling through the poster into Dale's basement is a parody of The Shawshank Redemption, in which the main character escaped from prison via a hole dug through his cell wall, which was concealed with a stack of posters.
  • The episodes seen in Hank's flashbacks of his angriest moments are Pilot, "Hank's Got the Willies", "Life in the Fast Lane, Bobby's Saga", "A Fire Fighting We Will Go", "The Arrowhead", "The Trouble with Gribbles", "I Remember Mono", "'Twas the Nut Before Christmas", and "Hank's Unmentionable Problem".
  • More of a goof than trivia; In the opening scene, Hank is shown to be cooking his breakfast on an electric stove. Hank is proprietor of a propane and propane accessories, and his house is shown in numerous episodes to have propane heat, a propane water heater, a propane clothes dryer, and a propane range/oven.
Season 6 Season 7 Season 8

Get Your Freak Off · The Fat and the Furious · Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do · Goodbye Normal Jeans · Dances With Dogs · The Son Also Roses · The Texas Skillsaw Massacre · Full Metal Dust Jacket · Pigmalion · Megalo Dale · Boxing Luanne · Vision Quest · Queasy Rider · Board Games · An Officer and a Gentle Boy · The Miseducation of Bobby Hill · The Good Buck · I Never Promised You an Organic Garden · Be True to Your Fool · Racist Dawg · Night and Deity · Maid in Arlen · The Witches of East Arlen
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