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Yankee Hankee is the ninety-fourth episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on February 4, 2001. The episode was written by Kit Boss, and directed by Adam Kuhlman.

Synopsis

When Hank determines to get a special Native Texan license plate for his truck, he first seeks out his birth certificate, certain it will come into play later. Hank contacts Tilly, and then his father, but neither claims to have a copy. Hank grows concerned…and convinces himself he may be adopted. His attempts to gain access to adoption files at a Methodist mission, however, proves fruitless. Help arrives in the form of Dale, who uses his computer to search birth records. To Hank’s horror, Dale determines that his true birth place is New York, New York. A furious Hank confronts Cotton and demands the truth. In flashback, Cotton and a very pregnant Tilly traveled to New York City on a visit. As Tilly wasn’t due for several more weeks, Cotton purchased her a fancy maternity dress and took her dancing at the Rainbow Room. But during the dance, Tilly’s water broke and she was rushed to a hospital. Three days later, the “premature bundle” was driven back to Texas. After Cotton finishes his story, a dejected Hank returns home. Meanwhile, Cotton contacts his friends Topsy, Stinky and Irwin Linker by phone and arranges a mysterious, final mission. They make a nighttime journey to the Arlen V.F.W., where they unearth a metal trunk containing a cache of weapons. Meanwhile, Dale secretly affixes an “I (heart) New York” bumper sticker to Hank’s car. Hank drives to an eatery, where he discovers, to his horror, a fondness for bagels. When Hank returns home, he picks up the phone and dials his mother. Tilly drops a bombshell when she reveals that Cotton fabricated the story of how Hank was born in New York. Tilly then recounts a tale of how Cotton and Topsy used her pregnancy to slip through a police line at Yankee Stadium so they could pull off a plot to assassinate a young Fidel Castro by blowing a poison dart-which was hidden in a cigar- at the Cuban dictator. But just as the men were about to pull it off, Tilly went into labor and the dart accidentally hit a ball boy by mistake, spoiling the entire mission. As pandemonium erupted at the stadium, Hank was delivered inside an empty ladies’ room. An outraged Hank confronts his father, who, surprisingly, seems apologetic. Cotton takes Hank out on the town and gets him drunk. Unbeknownst to Hank, he is a pawn in yet another of Cotton’s schemes.

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Cotton and his friends drive to San Antonio to pick up an acquaintance named Jorge Lopez, a Cuban-Mexican who will serve as a ticket into Cuba for them. While in San Antonio, Cotton and his friends drive Hank to that “cradle of Texas liberty,” the Alamo. Cotton then thrusts a rifle and newspaper into Hank’s hands and takes a Poloroid snapshot, making him a patsy for the upcoming assassination of Fidel Castro. Wearing nothing but his underpants, a tied-up Hank is left shivering in the Alamo courtyard. While stumbling around in the dark, Hank happens upon an array of 32 state flags, which honor the birthplaces of Alamo defenders. To Hank’s surprise, one of them is the flag for New York State. Hank manages to free himself. Helping himself to clothes from the mannequin of Davy Crockett, Hank heads for the Corpus Christi harbor. There, he confronts his father and his cohorts. During the confusion, Hank tumbles over the side of a boat, dragging Linker's oxygen tank with him. When he emerges from the water, Hank announces that he removed the spark plugs from the boat’s motor, foiling the gang’s plot. The old timers then lose their steam and decide to go home. Peggy says that because Hank should have died from prolonged exposure to the water, his survival assures his "rebirth" in Texas, but Hank says that he is no longer concerned with that, both in that he married a woman from Montana and that he learned many of the heroes of the Alamo were not native Texans. He sarcastically remarks, if "you get a connecting flight in Dallas, you're a Texan", as a lighthouse beams over the Corpus Christi harbor.

Characters

Non-Speaking Characters

  • Fidel Castro
  • Young Cotton
  • Young Tilly
  • Young Topsy

Gallery

Trivia

  • In this episode, Hank discovers that he was born in New York City.
  • Cotton moves into an apartment at "Casa Linda," which is the same apartment complex Dr. Vayzosa resides in the Season 6 episode The Substitute Spanish Prisoner
  • Hank stood in front of the Alamo to have his photo taken of him holding an M2 Carbine and a newspaper. This is a spoof to the picture of Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle and either a newspaper of brochures.
    • In an odd way, this episode is one entire allusion to JFK's assassination as Cotton wanted to assassinate Fidel Castro as JFK was assassinated by Oswald.  

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Goofs

  • This episode implies that Hank has never needed his birth certificate before (otherwise he would have seen it and noticed it said New York as place of birth). This is somewhat surprising, considering there are many situations in life when one may be asked to present an original birth certificate, such as when obtaining a driver's license. However, this is hardly a goof:
    • It's possible that he used it, but never looked at it closely since he had no prior suspicions about the instances of his birth.
    • A Social Security card can be used in lieu of a birth certificate to obtain a driver's license in Texas and other states, as well as for almost any other purpose requiring proof of identity.
    • Hank likely obtained his driver's license in high school (he is shown driving during his high school years in flash backs), probably at age 16. He likely would have been brought to the DMV by his mother, who would have likely presented the birth certificate on his behalf, without Hank ever having a reason to inspect it.
  • To look up Hank's birth records, Dale visits www.hankhill.com. Needless to say, this is not how domain names work. It is very unlikely that anyone would have registered Hank Hill's name as a web domain just to host his birth certificate.
  • While Hank is in the Alamo, a South Carolina state flag is shown on the wall on the right, but its color is wrong. It shows a palmetto tree and crescent moon on a yellow background, but the background should be blue.

The narrative surrounding Hank's birth contains numerous historical inconsistencies and incredulous pieces of information, and as with all of Cotton's stories, it is unclear how much of it is meant to be understood as entirely fabricated by Cotton, how much of it might be historical goofs on behalf of the writers, or whether the inconsistencies should be simply explained as aspects of the show's fictional "alternative history":

  • Tilly reveals that Hank was born in the bathroom at the Yankees game where Fidel Castro was visiting. However, when Dale looked up Hank's birth certificate online earlier, it had stated that Hank was born in a New York hospital some time past midnight. It's possible that Tilly delivered the placenta at the hospital, and the staff simply marked it as his birthplace, as this sort of thing is common practice. At any rate, she was likely rushed to the hospital right after giving birth.
  • Hank's birth is recorded as having taken place in April 1953, which does not square historically with the Castro storyline. On the date Cotton claims to have attempted assassination at Yankee Stadium, Fidel Castro would have been imprisoned at the Presidio Modelo on Isla de Pinos in Cuba. Castro was not released from prison until May 1955, beginning his revolution in 1956, and taking control of Cuba on January 1st, 1959. Fidel Castro's first official visit to America took place on the week of April 15th, 1959, at which time he did indeed visit New York.
  • Other pieces of information in Cotton's story suggest that his account could only have taken place in 1959, such as a news ticker reading "Ike favors Hawaiian statehood". Although President Eisenhower did indeed take office in January 1953, congress did not take up the question of Hawaiian statehood until early 1959. Eisenhower would then have stated his position on the matter, as depicted in the episode, in early 1959.
  • Tilly reports the weather on April 19th as having been "unseasonably warm", but the weather recorded in New York City on April 19th, 1953 was in fact cold, only reaching a high temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather on April 19th, 1959, on the other hand, was indeed unseasonably warm, reaching a high of 74 degrees Fahrenheit (this is still hardly a sweltering heat as described by Tilly, but as she was pregnant she may have perceived it as such).


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
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