The pilot of King of the Hill introduces us to the town of Arlen, Texas, and the life of propane salesman Hank Hill. Hank spends much of his time standing in the alley outside his house, drinking beer with his three old friends: Dale Gribble, a conspiracy theorist who never notices that his wife Nancy is having an affair with her "healer" John Redcorn (or that his son Joseph looks a lot like Redcorn); Bill Dauterive, a divorced army barber; and Boomhauer, a ladies' man of indeterminate employment and even more indeterminate speech. Hank lives with his wife Peggy, a substitute Spanish teacher at Tom Landry Middle School; his son Bobby, who seems to like comedy records better than sports; Peggy's niece Luanne, an aspiring beautician; and his dog Ladybird, a bloodhound whose mother tracked down James Earl Ray.
Peggy is assigned to teach a Sex Education class. She has to teach herself to overcome her crippling sense of shame and call body parts by their right names -- but her newfound sexual frankness makes Hank so uncomfortable that he pulls Bobby out of the class.
Hank and his friends take Bobby's scout troop on a rite of passage journey in the wilderness. The point of "The Order of the Straight Arrow" is for the kids to realize that their parents are ganging up to play jokes on them, and the joke Hank and the guys choose is to put the kids through a series of fake Native American rituals. However, Bobby takes the rituals seriously, and things become very serious indeed when, on a "snipe hunt," Bobby accidentally clobbers an endangered whooping crane.
Hank is worried because Bobby seems to have no goal in life and no role model. He takes Bobby to the golf course, where Bobby accidentally hits Hank's idol, Willie Nelson, with a golf club. Meanwhile, Peggy is upset because Hank pays more attention to his guitar "Betsy", than he does to her. Luanne is failing braidwork at the beauty academy.
Luanne is dumped by her boyfriend Buckley, and she drives Hank crazy by crying all day and all night. Peggy warns Hank not to interfere, but Hank decides to find a new boyfriend for Luanne. Unfortunately, the all-American guy he picks out for her turns out to be no good, and to Hank's horror, Luanne goes home with Boomhauer. Hank is so disgusted, that he issues an ultimatum.
Hank is constipated, and everyone wants to offer an opinion on how to cure it. After a humiliating visit to a proctologist, he is told that unless his condition improves, his colon will have to be surgically removed. Peggy makes Hank change his diet and his living habits in an attempt to become regular again, but Hank decides he'd rather die with a burger in his colon than live and eat faux-food.
Laotians Kahn and Minh Souphanousinphone and their daughter Connie move into the house next door to Hank. Hank and Kahn take an immediate dislike to each other, but Peggy makes Hank go to Kahn's barbecue, for fear that people will think Hank is a racist. Dale refuses to eat the burgers at the Bbq, citing that they are dog meat, and when Ladybird and Doggie go missing, Hank thinks he ate them.
Hank's father Cotton, a sexist loudmouth who lost his shins fighting in WWII, makes a grand entrance at Bobby's birthday party, saving the day. Peggy can't stand his ways, but he is Bobby's hero, and when Bobby begins to emulate his chauvenistic behavior, Hank reluctantly steps in.
Peggy goes to Dallas to represent Arlen in the Texas State Boggle Championship, and brings Hank along as her coach. Hank abandons his coaching duties and sneaks away with his friends to see the Dallas Mower Expo. Meanwhile, back in Arlen, Bobby and Luanne set off a disasterous series of events, sparked by a cup leaving a water ring on the coffee table.
Hank catches Bobby smoking, and punishes him by making him smoke a whole carton of cigarettes. The plan backfires when not only does Bobby get addicted to cigarettes, but Hank and Peggy get re-addicted. They enlist many ways to help them quit as a family. Luanne saves the day, when she becomes "fed-up" with the addiction.
Hank wants to have the best lawn in the neighborhood for Cinco de Mayo, and he decides that Dale's weekly bug-spraying is hurting his lawn. He tells Dale not to spray his lawn anymore. The war begins. Meanwhile, Bobby captures the Queen Fire Ant, and her hold on him becomes hypnotic.
Bobby is worried because he's been invited to his first boy-girl party, where the kids will play Spin the Bottle. Luanne is worried because she has a big hairstyling test coming up. When Luanne brings home a plastic "practice head," Bobby secretly starts using it to practice interacting with the opposite sex. To Peggy's horror, she walks into Bobby's room and finds him kissing the plastic head.