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"Won't You Pimai Neighbor?" is the seventy-eighth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on March 19, 2000. The episode was written by John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, and directed by Kyounghee Lim and Boohwan Lim.

Summary[]

When Buddhist monks arrive in Arlen, they suspect Bobby is the reincarnation of the Lama and the ordeal puts Bobby in a difficult situation by family and Connie.

Plot[]

Hosting a neighborhood Pimai (Lao: ປີໃໝ່) party to celebrate the the Laotian new year, Kahn soon learns that a group of Buddhist monks are searching for the reincarnated Lama Sanglug in the vicinity of Arlen. The monks are planning to attend the party and test the two most likely candidates, Chane Wassanasong and Connie.

At the party a number of objects, one of which belonged to Sanglug, are laid out on a rug for the candidates to choose from; the idea being that Sanglug's reincarnated spirit will be drawn to the object he had possessed. In an attempt to distract Chane and give Connie first pick, Bobby picks up a cane from the rug and does an impromptu soft shoe dance. The cane is in fact the object that Sanglug had possessed, and the monks are awed by the possibility that Bobby may be the reincarnated lama, adding the fact that Sanglug was known for a sense of humor akin to Bobby's. The monks decide that one of them should stay behind with the Souphanousinphones while the others make preparations for a further test. Peggy revels in the attention that Bobby begins receiving, but Hank disapproves of the entire matter, believing Buddhism to be "hooey". Meanwhile, the monk who stayed behind notices that some of Bobby's mannerisms bear striking similarities to those exhibited by Sanglug, reinforcing the idea that he may indeed be the reincarnated lama, and gives Bobby some books about Buddhism to read. Bobby begins to offer pieces of transcendental advice that usually prove helpful to the situations at hand; however, he soon admits that he does not understand either Buddhism or Methodism, the faith in which he has been raised, very well after an indignant Hank discovers him meditating in his room. Hank begins to fear that Bobby is abandoning the family's Christian beliefs, and to his dismay finds no help from Reverend Stroup, who thinks that Bobby's use of Buddhism to strengthen his spirituality is fine since Bobby still claims to "love Jesus."

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As the date of the second test approaches, Bobby and Connie are dismayed to learn from Chane that if he truly is the lama, he will have to take a vow of celibacy. Bobby is ready to refuse to take the test or deliberately fail it, but Connie tells him that she will not feel right dating him unless he makes an honest effort, in case he really is Sanglug. Kahn, initially displeased that Bobby could be the new lama, is overjoyed by this and hopes that he passes. The night before the test, a despondent Bobby tries meditation and prayer to figure out what to do about the test, since he is unwilling to part ways with Connie; Hank, meanwhile, prays at his own bedside for Bobby to fail the test.

When the test day arrives, a senior monk shows Bobby a new group of items laid out on a rug and asks him to choose any one item that he sees on it. Among the objects is a mirror, and Bobby, seeing Connie's face reflected in it, chooses her. Despite Kahn's objections, the monk declares that the choice was a valid one and that Bobby is not the lama. After the others leave, however, a junior monk notes that the mirror was the correct item, and that Bobby had at least used it despite not choosing it outright. "Tough call," the senior monk admits, "but it's mine, and I made it."

Characters[]

Stinger Quote[]

  • Kahn: "Yeah, yeah. Buddhist. Whatever. Monks."

Trivia[]

  • The title of this episode is a play on Mister Rogers' famous quote, "Won't you be my neighbor?"
  • Pi Mai, also known as Songkran, is the Laotian New Year celebration which is held for three days or up to a week in April. This is a solar new year, not a lunar new year as is celebrated in countries using forms of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. The New Year in many South and Southeast Asian cultures is traditionally determined by the time of the year when the Sun enters the constellation Aries, although as constellations slowly shift over time, the Sun now enters into Aries a few days later in the year than when Pi Mai is usually celebrated.
  • The episode's depiction of Laotian Buddhism is inaccurate, as the lamas, and particularly reincarnated lamas or tulkus, are religious figures in Tibetan Buddhism, whereas most Lao are followers of Theravada Buddhism.
  • The "Buddha" statue that Kahn tries to give to Bobby is actually a statue of the Chinese monk Budai, who is also known as the "Laughing Buddha" and is often mistaken for the original Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama).
  • In Bobby's room, the same cassette tape player/recorder with microphone that he used to perform comedy routines in the episode "Traffic Jam" can been seen.
  • Hank prays: "Lord, Hank Hill here, Methodist. Sorry about missing the homeless prayer service. Now about Bobby -- I'm pretty sure we're on the same page about this Lama thing. I was kind of hoping that You could just have him fail this test tomorrow – You know, like You've had him fail so many other tests in the past. [Hears Peggy coming back] Oh, uh, and, uh, the starving kids...gotta go. Amen."
  • The scene where Bobby is trying to meditate in his room is featured in the "Blackout" episode of the FX sitcom Better Things, which is created by and stars Pamela Adlon (the voice of Bobby).

Goofs[]

  • In one scene where Bobby and Connie are meditating, the sole of Connie's sandals are brown but in the next scene, they are grey.

Gallery[]


Season 3 Season 4 Season 5

Peggy Hill: The Decline and Fall · Cotton's Plot · Bills are Made to be Broken · Little Horrors of Shop · Aisle 8A · A Beer Can Named Desire · Happy Hank's Giving · Not in My Back Hoe · To Kill a Ladybird · Hillennium · Old Glory · Rodeo Days · Hanky Panky · High Anxiety · Naked Ambition · Movin' On Up · Bill of Sales · Won't You Pimai Neighbor? · Hank's Bad Hair Day · Meet the Propaniacs · Nancy Boys · Flush with Power · Transnational Amusements Presents: Peggy's Magic Sex Feet · Peggy's Fan Fair
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