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Peggy Hill

Peggy Hill

Margaret J. "Peggy" Hill (née Platter) is a fictional character in the animated series King of the Hill. The character is voiced by actress Kathy Najimy.[1] Peggy is the wife of Hank Hill and the mother of Bobby Hill. She is also the paternal aunt of Luanne Platter. She is a substitute Spanish teacher at Tom Landry Middle School and a freelance writer for the local newspaper, the Arlen Bystander. She is also a notary public and a real estate agent.[2]

DescriptionEdit

Peggy wears square, rimless glasses and is generally seen wearing sleeveless blouses and culottes. She is a large framed woman who wears a size 16½ shoe on her left foot, and size 16 on her right.

BiographyEdit

Born in Montana to cattle ranchers in 1965, she moved to Texas for high school. Her family includes Doc Platter (father)[3], Maddy Platter (mother), Luanne Platter (niece), Hoyt Platter (twin brother), Laverne (aunt)[4], and Boppo (uncle).[5]

Peggy's mother was extremely critical, and her father was aloof and spoke in obtuse, nature-based metaphors that were the foundation of Hank's admiration towards Doc. These portrayals of her parents, from the episode "A Rover Runs Through it", are actually a retconned version differing quite noticeably from the homemaker mother – and presumably equally suburban father – displayed in flashbacks in earlier episodes, "I Remember Mono" and "Transnational Amusements Presents: Peggy's Magic Sex Feet". In early episodes, Mrs. Platter is seen visiting in the Hills' home, implying that she lives in or near Arlen, Texas, and is on speaking terms with her daughter (although the episode "Happy Hank's Giving," in which she appears in her original incarnation, implies that her mother either still lives in Montana or moved back). These appearances are discarded by "A Rover Runs Through It". In fact, the suggestion in the later episode is that Peggy left her parents behind when she went to Texas, which is a significant alteration. In both versions her mother tends to be critical of her, albeit for different reasons. Peggy also has a twin brother named Hoyt who is Luanne's father, and lied to Luanne about Hoyt working on an oil rig when he was actually in prison for his second offense. When Hoyt returned to Arlen, Peggy tried to help him out and gave him money, but eventually realized Hoyt was an incorrigible criminal and would destroy the entire family; Hank then tricked Hoyt into committing an obvious crime and convinced Hoyt to confess to it and an earlier robbery that would send him to prison for the rest of his life, in order to preserve Luanne's false image of her father as a good and hard-working man (the cover story Peggy and Hank came up with was that Hoyt accepted "a lifetime contract" to work on an oil rig).

CharacterEdit

As a child, she was teased constantly for her unusually large feet--women's size 16 1/2--and she remains insecure about them in adulthood, though she was comfortable with them at times. She has great difficulty shopping for shoes and sometimes has to resort to men's shoes. In one episode, when Minh and Kahn show up to the Hills' for a housewarming party, Minh walks around in Peggy's shoes, pretending to be a little girl walking around in her mother's shoes. This, unsurprisingly, provoked a negative response from Peggy. Hank, trying to comfort her, accidentally stepped on her feet, even though they were standing roughly a foot apart. In one particular episode, it was revealed that Peggy's feet are even bigger than Hank's. In one episode she has to drive to Lubbock to buy a new pair of size 16 shoes after the specialty store where she usually buys them closes. In that episode, after being informed by a clerk that she now needs a size 16 and 1/2, and that she quite possibly could reach the "Big 2-0," she is approached by a woman who gives her the card of a man who will make her feel "secure" about her huge feet. It turns out he is a pornographer specializing in foot fetishes, displaying her feet on the internet. In another episode, Peggy's abnormally large feet proved useful in defeating Luanne's unstable mother, Leanne, when Leanne became violent at what was supposed to be an engagement party for her and Bill. A third episode features country star Randy Travis stealing Peggy's anecdote about being teased as a child, and being told by her mother that she is "just as God made her." She eventually finds a shoe store that covers her footwear needs but is actually designed to cater exclusively to transvestites, which leads to an uncomfortable situation in which she is mistaken for a man by one of the customers, although it does allow her to find feminine shoes in her own size.

Peggy unseated Cissy Cobb (voiced by Laurie Metcalf) as the Boggle champion of Texas, a game she is extremely fond of and excels at, to the point where her friends and family dread playing with her as she far out scores them and it inflates her ego to huge proportions. Peggy does genuinely appear highly intelligent in many respects; in several episodes, she saves the day through quick and creative thinking, as in the episode where she finds the loophole in Robert's Rules of Order that allows Hank to filibuster a town meeting to prove his point about low-flow toilets. Similar scenes occur in the aforementioned Cissy Cobb episode, when Peggy wins with a 16-letter Boggle word, and in an episode where she gets the Alamo beer company (a series staple) to recall a batch of tainted beer through a clever act of sabotage. In the episode "Joust Like a Lady", Peggy uses her knowledge of the labor laws of the state of Texas to improve the working conditions of the women at Arlen's Renaissance Faire, as well as demonstrating better knowledge of medieval grammar and cuisine than the regular Faire employees. However, Peggy is also all too aware of her cleverness, and frequently allows her ego to cloud her judgment, leading her to act with full confidence on ideas that are naive, impractical or simply wrongheaded. Despite the fact that she often teaches Spanish, her remarkably poor Spanish (and intolerance of any corrections) is one of the series' running jokes.

As the series progressed, increased emphasis was put on Peggy's superiority complex and her egotism. In one instance the writers indicated they had perhaps gone too far with this and were considering "dialing her down" to some degree.[6] She frequently aggrandizes her own accomplishments and is often unintentionally encouraged by others, such as her continual recognition as substitute teacher of the year, although she won the first award because she created it. Her belief that someone can do anything if they put their mind to it often leads her into trouble when she takes the philosophy too literally; she often believes she can do something for which she has not the skill or background. It is perhaps not the fact that Peggy thinks so highly of herself, but in her assumption (and expectation) that everyone else thinks equally highly of her, which leads her into predicaments. In one episode, Peggy assumes that an actor, Eduardo Felipe, star of TV's Monsignor Martinez is madly in love with her and wants to have an affair with her. This idea is based somewhat on a cultural misunderstanding, over wine he tells her his wife is "with the ancestors" and acts in a way her friend Nancy agrees is "flirting", but largely on her presumption that she is irresistible. She also has the habit of using the phrase "in my opinion" when stating well known facts, such as, "In my opinion, the day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year," and "As I like to say/call it," when using common expressions. She occasionally makes claims that seem to have no basis in reality at all, such as "Swiss cheese is not Mexican, it's American." When she is particularly pleased with her own cleverness, she coyly raises her hand to her chest and chuckles, "Oh, Peggy!" In an interesting spin on Peggy's self-confidence, she reluctantly recruited Bill Dauterive, who she usually avoided because of his obvious and unwelcome crush on her, to a pyramid sales scheme, only to be surprised as Bill proved to be a much better salesperson than she was.

She is often gullible enough to fall for scams. Cindy Wasanasong tricked her into taking over as Cozy Kitchen representative. An archeology professor tricked her into signing off her property as a legalized dig site. A scam artist tricked her into paying $999 for a fake PhD degree (although Peggy later came up with a counter-scam that ended with her getting back the money for herself and all of the other victims). She and Luanne were even lured into a cult that wanted her to work in a jelly factory, and were saved when Hank broke the cult's spell by barbecuing steak and ribs outside their HQ.

She once claimed her song lyrics were stolen by country singer Randy Travis, though Mr. Travis (who was a guest star on the episode) claimed to have written them independently. It is later revealed that the lyrics (and the story which Peggy tells Mr. Travis inspired her to write it) were, in fact, Peggy's, but her reputation for self-promotion make even Hank think she is crying "wolf". Travis also steals an anecdote about her large feet and tells it to his audience during a performance.

Peggy Hill is incapable of riding a bicycle as seen in the "Bill's House" episode, although in an earlier episode[7] she is seen riding a bike after stealing Bobby's Thanksgiving turkey. In the episode "Lupe's Revenge", Peggy volunteers to lead Tom Landry Junior High's Spanish class on a field trip to Mexico. Because of her inability to speak or understand Spanish, she mistakenly kidnaps a Mexican child by forcing her onto the bus ride home. When a Mexican court tries her for said kidnapping, Hank demonstrates her poor Spanish to the court. The judge is so amazed by her lack of skill in the language that he pronounces her not guilty by reason of insanity.

Peggy once ran for the school board, along with Minh Souphanousinphone and Nancy Gribble to save the after-school program. However, Peggy, Minh, and Nancy began to turn on each other to win. In a classic example of her self-aggrandizing nature Peggy treats her run for local school board as though she were a candidate for national office, using a backgammon set as a fake briefcase and answering her cellphone with "War Room". In the end, they all lost to a Christian zealot, who planned to get rid of biology, geometry, the after-school program, and all "offensive" encyclopedias.

After not having seen her parents for years, Peggy went to Montana at the request of her mother to see her childhood home one last time. To save the ranch from Henry Winkler, and in an attempt to win her mother's favor, Peggy was able to locate an old law that allowed them to transfer their cattle through the main street of town. Afterwards, Winkler allows them to cut through his land for their cattle drive. In what appears to be a moment between mother and daughter, Peggy expects a warm thank you from her mother but is instead blamed for the whole thing; her mother says it would have never happened had she stayed on the farm. Peggy leaves accepting the fact the her relationship with her mother is over and that she should focus on her relationship with Bobby.

Peggy is a fan of Billy Crystal[8] and Rob Reiner.[9] She also responded affirmatively when Hank asked if she was reading her "rabbi mysteries", a probable reference to the novels of Harry Kemelman. Peggy also uses a catch phrase "Ho yeah!" when she feels accomplished, or even during sex.[10]

References in popular culture Edit

In the Real Time with Bill Maher episode aired on October 24, 2008, Bill Maher compares Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin with Peggy Hill.

External linksEdit


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