To Spank, with Love is the 46th episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on January 19, 1999. The episode was written by David Zuckerman, and directed by Adam Kuhlman. The title is a reference to the 1967 film "To Sir, With Love" which shares a reference with a later episode.
Peggy receives a phone call from the dispatch office. She is asked to fill in for a Spanish teacher at Bobby’s school and warned of a "surprise" in-class evaluation. While the class begins well enough, the mischievous students Dooley and Clark Peters soon pull a series of pranks on Peggy, causing her great embarrassment and frustration as well as making it appear that she cannot control a classroom. When Peggy returns home, she shows her family the results of the in-class evaluation, which concludes she "needs improvement." The next day, Peggy takes a more proactive approach with the bullies. But Dooley ends up pulling down Peggy’s pants in front of the class, causing the students laugh at her, much to Peggy’s embarrassment. Furious, Peggy grabs Dooley, places him over her knee, and gives him a spanking. Suddenly, she looks at the students who are shocked at this, and immediately realizes what she just did in disbelief.
A short time later, Hank attempts to assure Peggy that she will not lose her job over the incident. He recalls how, as a child, he was disciplined with a paddle nicknamed "Ol' Spanky." Bobby comes in who was mad at his mother for what she had done saying how she should of simply pull up her pants and moved on. The next day, she visits Dooley's parents at the principal's office. Despite Hank’s words of reassurance and Dooley's parents forgiving her actions, Principal Moss promptly fires Peggy, due to the fact that there are procedures to administering legal spankings she "violated at every turn" and for terminating a teacher until he calls in Emily to escort Peggy from the school. Emily sadly informs her that it's over while taking her away. Later back at home, Peggy starts sobbing on the bed with her trophies, and when Hank, feeling bad, tries to give her a book about designing software, she throws it down at the floor and continues blubbering in sadness. Later, she tries to find comfort while gardening when Cotton pulls up saying he needs Peggy to make 200 pancakes for the Arlen VFW breakfast. Peggy's crying gets Cotton's attention, which makes him asks about Bobby as Peggy mentions he hasn't talked to her since she is fired for spanking Dooley. Cotton finds this reason for her dismissal ridiculous and in a rare instance of cooperation and support, offers his help by turning to his friend Jeter Turbeville, who disciplined thousands of students by spanking them during his tenure as principle at the Middle School. Turbeville and his fellow veterans circulate a petition in an effort to get Peggy reinstated. He then gives Peggy Ol' Spanky, the same paddle he used as Principal. Shortly thereafter, the school board votes on the matter and Peggy wins back her job. But when Peggy returns to school, she brings Ol’ Spanky along for good measure--much to the concern of her students.
Bobby approaches his father about his mother’s aggressive attitude. He explains that fear of the paddle is giving his friend Joseph nightmares which is why he won’t come over to hang out at His house. Bill suggests that Peggy is letting power go to her head, but Hank explains that she has been hard to talk to. Meanwhile, word of "Paddlin' Peggy" spreads throughout town, and a local television news channel stops by the house to tape a segment on the famous substitute teacher. Peggy begins to panic when she realizes the paddle is nowhere to be found. She discovers it protruding from Dale Gribble’s trash, and immediately assumes that his son, Joseph, tossed it there. Joseph strongly denies the accusation, but Peggy is certain he is the culprit. She raises the paddle over her head, prepared to strike the boy as Dale pleads for somebody to stop her. Suddenly, after accusing Bill, who calmly denies the claim, Dale frantically confesses it that he who stole the paddle, saying she had gone crazy. Peggy, horrified by a nearby reflection of herself looming over a frightened Joseph with the paddle poised to strike, realizes she has gone too far. She drops the paddle and Dale comforts his son, calling Peggy a bully, and Bobby shakes his head in disapproval.
Back home, Peggy regrets ever using the power of the paddle in the first place, after she was fired for showing her true nature on live television. Hank tells her that he was saving an important speech for when Bobby would be bullied, but thinks he can apply it to the situation. Peggy is grateful for Hank's support but denies the speech and later returns to the school hoping to find her old self--the one who could teach children without "scaring the bejesus out of them." When Dooley again makes her the brunt of a practical joke with a fake drawing of her, she swings a mace over her head, swipes the picture clean off the school map, and then recounts how innocent people were brutally punished with just such a device during the Spanish Inquisition, even though they did nothing wrong. She concludes her lesson by saying the worst part of the Inquisition was that no one apologized to the victims, as a subtle apology to Joseph. Later, Peggy asks Joseph to aid her in her garden, and he agrees to help out of heart and forgiveness. They both help spread a mulch made from chips of Ol' Spanky, along with some chips of goat manure.
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Nancy Gribble
- Joseph Gribble
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Bill Dauterive
- Kahn Souphanousinphone
- Minh Souphanousinphone
- Connie Souphanousinphone
- Cotton Hill
- Eustice Miller (cameo)
- Randy Miller (cameo)
- Principal Carl Moss
- Clark Peters
- Stuart Dooley
- Emily (cameo)
- Ms. Eris (cameo)
- Mr. and Ms. Dooley (cameo)
- Nurse (cameo)
- The "mace" that Peggy uses is actually a Morning Star or Medieval Flail. A mace didn't have the chain.
- Principal Jeter was nicknamed "Jeter the Beater" because he used the paddle "Ol' Spanky" often when Hank and his friends were students at Arlen Middle School during their youth.
- The episode title is a spoof on the 1967 movie To Sir, with Love, which is about students coming to terms with a 'different' type of teacher.
- This episode marks the first appearance of the recurring character and hall monitor Emily.
- Bill reveals that his father spanked him from the age of nine until sixteen.
- Mega Lo Mart is shown being in the process of being rebuilt and remodeled (due to the explosion.)
- This is the only episode to ever show the garden at The Hill residence. The garden never appears again.
- This episode reuses animation from Square Peg
- When Peggy takes out the mace, Stuart Dooley's jacket disappears, it's back on once she talks about the Spanish Inquisition.