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Luanne Kleinschmidt
Luanne Platter.jpg
Luanne Kleinschmidt (Left), her aunt Peggy Hill (Right)
First appearance Pilot
Last appearance To Sirloin With Love
Cause/reason series conclusion
Portrayed by Brittany Murphy
Gender Female
Occupation Student, Hair stylist at Jack's Barbershop, Kids puppet show
Family Leanne Platter (mother)
Hoyt Platter (father)
Spouse(s) Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt (husband)
Children Gracie Margaret Kleinschmidt
Relatives Hank Hill (uncle)
Peggy Hill (aunt)
Bobby Hill (cousin)
Doc Platter (grandfather)
Maddy Platter (grandmother)

Luanne Leanne Kleinschmidt (née Platter) (voiced by Brittany Murphy) is a fictional character in the animated series King of the Hill. She is the niece of Peggy Hill and Hank Hill (her father is Peggy's brother) and a cousin of Bobby Hill. She is drawn voluptuously, with an hourglass figure that she highlights with her standard outfit including a midriff-baring green tank top, red spandex cycling shorts, and white athletic shoes.



Luanne, as a character, has undergone some drastic changes as the show progressed. In the first season, she was portrayed as being of somewhat ordinary intelligence, had a husky voice that closely resembled Joseph Gribble's (Murphy also provided the voice of Joseph until season five, when Joseph had hit puberty and was replaced by Breckin Meyer), and would easily stand up to people who wronged her.

However, the show has since changed her character significantly, raising the pitch of her voice and portraying her as a completely naive character who is easily swayed by ideas presented to her. She was unaware of even some simple words such as the meaning of "ignorant" (at one point in the show she attempts to assert herself by stating that she is a "proud, ignorant woman"). She briefly joins a Jack Chick/Fred Phelps-inspired evangelical movement, registers as a Communist when a recruiter informs her that George W. Bush devours puppies, and is lured into a cult, which she thinks is a sorority at the time, that wants her to work on a farm, growing fruit to make jelly.

During the initial seasons of the show, Luanne is presented as somewhat promiscuous, although in an episode midway through the series run ("Luanne, Virgin 2.0"), she becomes a born again virgin who puts on a puppet show (she is a Methodist, like most other characters on the show) and vows to remain celibate until marriage. However, in a 2006 episode, she announces to Hank, Peggy, Bobby, and Lucky that she is pregnant with Lucky's child. Throughout the course of the show, her character and that of Joseph Gribble (who hits puberty in Season 5) are two of the few characters on the show to "age," and Luanne is one of the few (if not only) characters to have a character arc.

In the Season 10 finale, "Edu-macating Lucky", Luanne's middle name is revealed to be "Leanne," her mother's first name.

Coming to live with the Hills

In the pilot episode, Luanne stays with the Hills while her parents sort out some marital issues; near the end of the episode, a tearful Luanne informs Hank that her mother stabbed her father with a fork and that their trailer home has capsized. She apparently moves in with the Hills permanently between the first and second episodes, turning Hank's beloved den into her bedroom, remaining with them for the majority of the series run.

In an early episode ("Texas City Twister"), Hank, wanting to get Luanne out of his den and help her become self-reliant, tried to get her to move back into her trailer (which she was convinced was no longer there merely because of the fact it had tipped over.) Hank, Dale Gribble, Bill Dauterive, and Boomhauer attached a winch to the trailer and righted it, much to Luanne's consternation. A tornado struck shortly thereafter, tipping the trailer back over and nearly killing the Hills and Luanne in the process. The near-death experience changed Hank's views on his niece staying with him. Nevertheless, Hank wanting Luanne out of his den became a recurring theme (although he does love her).


In another early episode ("Meet the Manger Babies"), a glum Luanne discovers a box of cheap sock puppets at a garage sale and uses them to create a Christian-themed puppet show called "The Manger Babies", about the adventures of the animals who witnessed the birth of Jesus Christ. Oddly, the Manger Babies include a six-legged octopus and a penguin. The popularity of Luanne's show lands her a part-time job performing weekly shows for local TV station channel 84, a job she has maintained throughout the run of the series. A few of the manger babies are:

  • Obadiah the donkey
  • Hosea the cat
  • Gurgle Gurgle the octopus
  • Sir Reginald Featherbottom the Third, a 'very British' bird

In the season 13 episode "Manger Baby Einstein", Luanne was able to produce a Manger Babies DVD with the help of John Redcorn, which sold out on release. Luanne's success was short-lived, and her popularity soon waned. In an attempt to regain her popularity, she revamped the Manger Babies into a modern "gangsta" style theme, replacing Gurgle-Gurgle with a gun character. However, she stole the idea for the gun from a children's book that Dale was intending to write. To get revenge on Luanne for stealing his idea, Dale stole the Manger Babies and destroyed them in a dryer. Only Gurgle-Gurgle remained, who Luanne still uses to entertain Gracie.

Relationship with Buckley

For the first two seasons, Luanne dated Buckley (voiced by David Herman), a monosyllabic, incompetent clerk at the Mega Lo Mart. Their relationship was characterized by Buckley's lack of affection and Luanne's low self-esteem; Buckley's romantic zenith was presenting Luanne with a birthday present that consisted of some old CDs that he didn't want any more. They were rarely seen speaking, and when they were presented engaging in conversation, it usually consisted of Buckley making vague sexual remarks. It was very clear throughout the series that Hank did not like Buckley, and thought of him as a degenerate.

In the second season's finale, Buckley ignored Hank's advice not to drag around propane tanks by their nozzles, causing a gas leak that eventually blew up the Mega Lo Mart. Luanne, Buckley, Hank, and Chuck Mangione were trapped inside; in the third season première, we learn that Buckley was killed in the explosion. Luanne survived, but all her hair was singed off. In an apparent reference to Lot's wife she claimed that, because she "did not look back" at Buckley after she had broken up with him seconds before the blast, she was able to retain her eyebrows. She was more upset at the loss of her hair than Buckley's death, but she came around at the end of the episode.

Each successive episode featured Luanne's hair steadily becoming longer and longer until it had grown back to its previous length. Her hair did realistically regrow within the episode from smooth bald to fuzzy stubble over a couple days. The incident led her to claim that she would quit beauty school, stop "making the world look pretty," and become a "photojournalist" (taking pictures of news broadcasts running on television). She also briefly became outspoken about starving Irish children, if not knowledgeably so as she claimed a picture of Bobby was what a starving Irish child "looks like", and screamed "Fight the Occupation" at Buckley's funeral. Later Kahn confronted her indicating that she merely "put on strange Sinéad O'Connor act" due to her grief. Eventually, she realized that her anger was a result of her pain over Buckley's death. ("Death of a Propane Salesman")

Later relationships

Following Buckley's demise, Luanne briefly dates self-proclaimed genius Rad Thibodeaux (TIB-uh-doh, although he pronounced it phonetically as Thi-bo-DAY-ux), voiced by Matthew McConaughey. He is extremely careful not to actually make a commitment to her, and uses her to hold a party in Boomhauer's house while he is away. She later becomes a "born-again virgin," participating in a church ceremony in which she vows to never have premarital sex again. Initially, Luanne buckles under stress and nearly marries fellow virgin Rhett Van Der Graaf (Owen Wilson) just so that she could have sex again, but eventually decides against it and remains celibate.

Luanne nearly gets married a second time to a meat-packing tycoon named Trip Larson (Michael Keaton). Luanne eventually learns that Trip is only attracted to her because she is a dead ringer for the woman in the company's advertisement featuring a Swiss girl and a mountain climber posing with a pig. Trip, a schizophrenic, had fantasized since childhood of being the pig in the advertisement, and planned to turn Luanne into the Swiss girl by dyeing her hair red and forcing her to dress in a frilly blue and white pinafore, so that she could care for him. Trip is subsequently killed in a bizarre accident in the slaughter shed when he tries to lure Luanne into committing suicide with him. In a bit of tragic irony, he finally becomes sane after suffering an electrical shock, which serves as ad hoc electroshock therapy seconds before his death.

In Seasons Ten through Twelve, Luanne dates, then marries Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt (Tom Petty), a stereotypical redneck who supports himself by intentionally injuring himself inside stores and then suing the owner. Lucky loves to play in rock bands, including Big Mountain Fudge Cake with John Redcorn, and he dropped out of school in the 9th grade because he wasn't allowed to smoke. Luanne is apparently attracted to him because of his resemblance to the trailer people with whom she grew up. They announce her pregnancy in the season 10 episode, "Edu-macating Lucky," but she does not show any signs of pregnancy until the season 13 episode "Lucky See, Monkey Do". She gives birth to their child in that same episode, a daughter she names Gracie Margaret Kleinschmidt (after Peggy convinced her not to name her Lasagna Kleinschmidt). Lucky consistently shows his devotion and love for Luanne, such as in "Life: A Loser's Manual," when he protects her from learning of her father's true location: not on an oil rig as she believes, but in prison.

Luanne is often seen with "in" girls who wear trendy clothing. On one occasion, Luanne seems to mutter "Lucy" and a blonde, trendy teen turns around, but she goes off into a group of more girls before a conversation ensues. After a time, Lucy can be seen as a background character in mall scenes, school scenes, and the like. No other friends have been named.


When the series began, Luanne was beginning classes at the Arlen Beauty College, with the ambition of becoming a Hollywood makeup artist and successfully hiding the bags beneath Michael Douglas' eyes. Luanne proved to be a terrible hairstylist, and struggled to complete beauty school. Following Buckley's death, she had visions of Buckley in angelic form, who informed her that Jesus wanted her to take a different path. During one of these visions, Luanne crashed her car near the parking lot of a community college, where she was mistaken for a student. Luanne took this as a sign to begin pursuing a higher education and dropped out of beauty school and enrolled in the community college. What she was studying was never made explicit, though in one episode she mentions "pre-med", in another she states she is a "pre-education major", and in yet another, implies that she's taking psychology, though her definition of the word to Peggy ("the disease of psychology") indicates she was probably failing the course.

Luanne's enrollment in college provided the impetus for her to move out of Hank's den, a move made easier when Bill's next door neighbor, "Pops" Popacito, suddenly died of a heart attack while mowing his lawn. Luanne moved into the home with a trio of arrogant slackers and radicals, who criticize her lifestyle and personal philosophies while at the same time refusing to clean up after themselves or cover their share of the household expenses. Finally taking matters into her own hands, she paid the overdue bills and then closed all the accounts (which were in her name alone), so that the others would have to be responsible for themselves. Luanne's roommate problem was apparently solved when Pops' WWII buddies, Cotton Hill and "Topsy" Toppington, arrived at her house in the middle of the night looking for Pops. The two were instead greeted by one of Luanne's roommates (voiced by Andy Dick), who accused Cotton of being a Nazi; enraged, Cotton attacked the roommate. He is briefly seen in the fifth season episode, "Hank and the Great Glass Elevator" at Luanne's party.

Production history

The "Lu Ann Platter" is a popular combination platter served at the Luby's cafeteria chain, and is a half portion entree with two vegetables and a choice of bread. This plate was the inspiration for the character name Luanne Platter. The cafeteria itself is characterized as "Luly's" on the King of the Hill, and is claimed by Hank to have "8 types of ketchup and 3 types of catsup".

Reduced role

Shortly after Luanne began attending college, her role in the series was diminished, almost to the point that the character was written out of the show (for an extended period, she did not appear in any episodes). This was due to Brittany Murphy's increasing popularity at the box office and her pursuit of a movie career. One prominent episode that came around the time of Murphy's temporary departure was a 2000 "election special" in which Hank encouraged her to become involved in politics so that she could vote for George W. Bush in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election. During voter registration, though, Luanne was informed by a "lady in a poncho" that Bush ate puppies; Luanne took the woman on her word, and registered as a communist.

Series finale

Notably, Luanne's role in the series finale was both brief and minor. She appears at the end of the episode when she, Lucky and Gracie smell Hank and Bobby's barbecue. The finale aired three months prior to the death of her voice actress, Brittany Murphy, who died on December 20, 2009.

Career fulfillment

After a few seasons, Luanne becomes a full-time character again, as she begins working part-time at a hip unisex salon called "Hottyz" with Hank's friend Bill Dauterive, where her ability earns her the position of First Chair (the closest chair to the door, reserved for the best stylist in the salon). Bill is only permitted to work at the salon because the other employees believe him to be a homosexual, under the assumption that only gay men can properly style hair, and because they want to use him as a status symbol. When the manager of Hottyz finds out that Bill is heterosexual, he and Luanne are fired. Hank approachs his mentally ill barber, Jack, about giving Luanne a job. Upon discovering that he would be "stealing" Hottyz' first chair, Jack happily accepts. Luanne drops out of college and becomes a full-time hair stylist for Jack, and moves back in with the Hills (after an offer from Peggy) in order to save money. However, in later episodes, she moves into her own house.

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