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"Not in my Back-hoe"
King of the Hill episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 8
Written by Paul Lieberstein
Directed by Shaun Cashman
Production no. 4ABE08
Original airdate November 28, 1999
Guest stars

Drew Carey

Episode chronology
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"Happy Hank's Giving" "To Kill a Ladybird"
List of King of the Hill episodes

"Not in My Back-hoe" is the 68th episode in the Fox animated situation comedy King of the Hill and is the eighth episode of the fourth season. The title references Not in MY Backyard, a common objection to unwanted development in residential neighborhoods.


When Bill buys a new septic tank, Hank rents a backhoe to help him install it. It soon becomes evident that neither Bill nor Dale have the slightest idea how to install the septic tank or operate the backhoe; Hank becomes exasperated at their ineptitude and takes off without them to fetch an L-pipe for the installation. During an argument with an incompetent Mega Lo Mart hardware clerk over the pipes, he overhears a similar argument with another clerk, and notices that the other customer bears a striking similarity to Hank himself. Later, when Hank tries to return home, he again sees the other customer, parked next to him, with a completely identical pickup truck to his own - in fact, they had gotten their trucks confused. Some time later, Hank runs into him again at a gas station, and Hank strikes up a friendship with the man, whose name is Hal. Hank invites Hal to have beer in the alley with the guys, but when it becomes apparent that Hal and Hank's friends don't mesh well, Hank leaves with him to go look at a track-hoe, leaving Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer behind, to the shock of the guys.

Later that night, Hank returns to find Bill and Dale, still angrily waiting for him and, by then, quite drunk. After they incoherently confront him about his absence, they muse between themselves that they are 'being phased out'. They decide to follow Hank and Hal on a subsequent outing, but lose them partway through the excursion; they return home to find Hank and Hal using the backhoe to put the finishing touches on Bill's septic tank installation. Bill and Dale give Hal their coldest shoulders until he shrugs and leaves; when Hank angrily questions their ingratitude, they retort with jealous indignation over Hal's involvement in 'their project' and demand that Hank choose between them or Hal. Hank, fed up with their petty behavior, chooses Hal and walks away, leaving them to reason that his departure is due to their own inability to operate the backhoe. To improve their skills, they take the backhoe to an abandoned pet cemetery to practice digging; however, the side of the hole they dig gives way, causing the backhoe to fall in and trapping them inside along with it.

Meanwhile, Hank and Hal begin to have too many conflicts in scheduling their meetups, and so agree to mutually part ways. Later, Hank is approached at his house by the backhoe rental agent, who requests the return of the backhoe. When Hank finds out that neither Dale nor Bill have returned it yet, he inquires after their whereabouts and discovers that they have been missing for a couple of days. He follows the path of destruction left by the backhoe to the pet cemetery, where he finds them, still in the hole, using a stick to pry open an exposed coffin seeking something to eat. Amused by their antics, Hank asks after them, and they stubbornly respond that they were just getting back to work. Hank accepts their indirect desperation and asks if they were planning to get out of the hole with a particular series of maneuvers, then guides them step by step through those operations as they finally lift themselves out of the hole. Bill and Dale remain indignant over Hank's having abandoned them until they pick up on the fact that Hal is gone and accept Hank's offered apology; Hank then drives the backhoe, with his friends riding in the bucket, back home.

Quotes and Exchanges

  • Hank: ...No, that's a straight pipe. I'm looking for an L-pipe.
    Mega Lo Mart Clerk: Ls are straight.
    Hank (sighing): Lower-case, maybe, but- okay, fine, I'm looking for a capital-L-pipe. It bends, at a right angle.
    Clerk: Pipes don't bend. All pipes are straight.
    Hank: All pipes can't be straight! If they were, your department store wouldn't be selling those U-pipes right behind your shoulder!
    (The clerk glances indifferently behind him at the U-pipe display.)
    Clerk: Those aren't pipes.
  • Dale: You're lucky. You're in the Army - you've got a tracking device in your teeth. They'll find you.
    Bill: I'll tell them where you are.
    Dale: You're good people.
  • Dale: An exterminator in a pet cemetery! I have many enemies here.


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