Cotton’s 5 Most Cutting Insults on ‘King of the Hill’

The shinless menace’s most memorable put-downs and pettiest acts of assholery
Cotton’s 5 Most Cutting Insults on ‘King of the Hill’

According to the legends, Cotton Hill killed fiddy men during World War II using everything from a bayonet to a barrel of sake to fell his foes. Then, in his post-shin days, Cotton used his words to murder hundreds more.

The caustic, cantankerous Cotton is inarguably the worst father in the entire King of the Hill universe, which makes Hank’s positive paternal instincts that much more impressive. No one in Arlen or beyond had a tongue as acidic as Cotton’s, and the loss of his lower legs must have helped him to proverbially kneecap his oldest son at every opportunity. Cotton is the meanest, nastiest, most misogynistic SOB in the entire King of the Hill canon — even when he finally croaked, he only did it to piss off Hank and Hank’s wife.

Standing at a shinless 5-foot-0, Cotton could cut any character down to size, with only his dear grandson Bobby escaping his scathing snark. Everyone else in the show — especially Hank — might as well have been a “Tojo” in the jungles of Saipan when Cotton came waddling around. Over in the King of the Hill subreddit, fans recently discussed which of Cotton’s many burns was the most blistering. Here are their top picks, starting with…

“If It’s A Contest on Who’s A Better Daddy, You Win! I Mean, You Made Bobby! All I Made Was You!”

Even when he’s giving Hank arguably the most heartfelt compliment he ever paid his least favorite son, Cotton had back-hand him hard enough to knock his glasses clean off. Of course, Cotton’s assessment of his own qualities as a father weren’t completely accurate — he also made Junichiro.

Everything He Ever Said To, And About, Vietnam Veterans

The Vietcong invited Arlen’s Vietnam War veterans back before Cotton and the local VFW was willing to extend an olive branch — and the “reefer-smokin’ losers” are lucky they only faced the former when they served. Cotton Hill’s non-apology for excluding them goes down as one of his best burns: “I’m sorry, I guess we weren’t used to losing a war.”

“Good God, You’ve Got A Fat Neck Hank!”

Even when he’s sitting perfectly still with his eyes on the road and his hands at ten-and-two, poor Hank can’t escape criticism from his old man who will use his limited vantage point from the middle seat to zero in on his son’s imperfections. 

“Pump Jockey! Works for Tips!”

I don’t know what’s funnier — the fact that Cotton continues to insist that Hank works at the “family gas station,” or that he considers Bobby’s career aspirations of being a prop comic to be a more respectable calling than selling propane and propane accessories. To be fair, it’s not like Carrot Top’s living out of a tip jar down in Las Vegas.

Naming His Youngest Son “Good Hank”

Along with being Cotton’s pettiest put-down, this one is also the most permanent. Cotton wasn’t even present at G.H.’s birth — he was at a strip club when his “new dependent” entered the world — but he still took it upon himself to sideline the needs of his wife or his newborn to stick it to B.H.

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