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An Oral History of the ‘King of the Hill’ Episode Where Bobby Kicks Everyone in the Balls

‘Bobby Goes Nuts’ has long been remembered (and meme-ified) for its hilarious nut-shot mantra, ‘That's my purse! I don’t know you!’ But it’s what all those nut shots says about fathers and sons that truly stands the test of time

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There are many classic lines from King of the Hill. There’s Hank’s “I tell you what,” and “I sell propane and propane accessories.” There’s Dale’s “Pocket sand!” and Peggy’s “Ho yeah!” But none are quite as bizarre, random or hilarious as Bobby Hill’s nut-kicking battle-cry, “That’s my purse! I don’t know you!”

The quote comes from the first episode of Season Six of the animated series. After being forced to eat dirt by a bully, Hank tells Bobby to join a boxing class at the YMCA. The class is full though, so Bobby enrolls himself in a women’s self-defense course where, in addition to the battle-cry, he learns that kicking a guy in the groin is the best way to protect himself. 

Bobby proceeds to land a nut shot on every bully in school, landing himself in detention. Horrified by Bobby’s actions, Hank tries to teach his son how to box, but Bobby snaps and kicks Hank in the nuts as well. Bobby’s ball-busting reign of terror finally concludes when his mom — who is impervious to groin shots — puts him in his place by tackling him in front of the neighbors.

When it came out, “Bobby Goes Nuts” earned writer Norm Hiscock an Annie Award for outstanding writing and Pamela Adlon — the voice of Bobby Hill — an Emmy for her handiwork. Twenty years later, the episode is mentioned in just about every King of the Hillbest episodes” list, and “That’s My Purse! I Don’t Know You!” has become perfect fodder for a multitude of memes.

Here to tell the story of every last nut shot — Bobby delivers eight in total — is Hiscock, the episode’s director Tricia Garcia and artist Deborah Winslow (along with a bit of groin-kicking expert commentary).

Nut Shot #1: Bobby vs. the Padded Man

In the women’s self-defense class at the YMCA, Bobby is instructed to kick a man in head-to-toe padding square in the groin. While he’s hesitant at first, Bobby does it and immediately feels empowered.

Norm Hiscock, Writer of “Bobby Goes Nuts”: In 1996, I was writing for Saturday Night Live when I got a phone call from [King of the Hill co-creator] Greg Daniels asking me to write for this new animated show. My contract wasn’t up yet though, so I told him, if he’s still interested in a year, to give me a call. A year later, he phoned back and having done SNL and Kids in the Hall, I’d had enough of sketch comedy and I knew [co-creator] Mike Judge’s stuff, so I made the leap to King of the Hill

“Bobby Goes Nuts” was a room pitch. At King of the Hill, sometimes you’d pitch stories you’d get to hold onto, but this one came from the writer’s room, I think from J.B. Cook, who pitched the idea of Bobby taking a women’s self-defense class. When we were developing the story though, we couldn’t just have him take a women’s self-defense course straight up. It had to come from Hank. Hank had to tell Bobby to take a boxing course at the YMCA, then the course would be full, then Bobby would join the class. Hank had to hang himself a little bit for the story to work. 

Both Mike Judge and Greg Daniels always wanted some truth to the show — they wanted it funny and real. So I did some research on women’s self-defense classes. I made some phone calls and did some online research and found out what a women’s self-defense class would be like. The line “That’s my purse! I don’t know you!” came out of my research. I thought that would be a funny thing for Bobby to yell out every time he was attacked, even if he knew the person.

Cathlene Miner, Women’s Self-Defense Coach, Founder of Hopefull Handbags: “That’s my purse, I don’t know you” actually would be a helpful thing to shout if you’re a woman being attacked, so it’s fairly accurate. It lets people around you know, “I don’t know this person,” which puts everyone on alert. I haven’t specifically instructed women to say, “That’s my purse,” because, generally, I tell them that if an attacker wants your purse, just give them your purse.

Hiscock: I’d also heard that, to kick a man in the crotch, was the thing to do with a male attacker. 

Miner: The goal is not to have contact with an attacker, but, yes, kicking a male attacker in the groin is one of the moves I instruct.

Hiscock: The script for this episode came together really nicely, and Mike Judge really liked this idea. On King of the Hill, if you got Mike Judge on board, you were good. I will say though, as we were developing the story, I did have a concern that we were kicking the crotch a lot during the episode. I worried that it was a cheap gag, but Jim Dauterive, another writer on the show, said, “No, more is more in this situation.”

Nut Shot #2: Bobby vs. Chane Wassanasong

Having been forced to eat dirt by bully Chane Wassanasong earlier in the episode, Bobby gets his revenge when Chane targets him again. This time, instead of giving in, Bobby puts his new power to use. He shouts, “Let go of my purse!” to Chane’s confusion. Then he yells, “I don’t know you!” And finally, he kicks Chane in the nuts, taking him down.

Hiscock: I think the episode works so well because it really does make sense for Bobby. I mean, if he found a life hack, why wouldn’t he use it? Bobby actually thinks he’s doing the right thing in the episode because he’s defending himself, just like Hank wanted him to. But, of course, he’s not doing it in a way Hank would approve of. Hank would be a guy who would want his son to hit above the belt — he’d want him to fight clean.

I liked telling Bobby and Hank stories on King of the Hill because I really related to Bobby. Bobby was a sensitive boy who was open to things, whereas Hank was more close-minded, so Bobby would drive him crazy. It was always a nice mash-up. That, for me, was the heart of King of the Hill, and I could certainly relate to that. My dad had his philosophy on living and my philosophy was not his. So if I said something, it sounded like crazy talk. Bobby was the same, he was this wild card that Hank didn’t really understand. 

Benjamín Los Altos, Co-founder of the King of the Hill Facebook Group: A huge part of the appeal of King of the Hill is that people can see themselves in Bobby and their father in Hank. Hank believes in hard work, yet Bobby is usually looking for an easy way out. I certainly was like Bobby when I was a kid. 

But King of the Hill remains popular because it grows with you. When the show was originally on, maybe you used to identify with Bobby, but maybe now you identify more with Hank. I know that’s true for me. 

Nut Shots #3, #4 and #5: Bobby vs. the Boys in Detention

Bobby gets detention for kicking Chane, and as he’s walking in, Bobby’s friend Joseph tells him to assert himself in detention by taking down the biggest guy there. When he enters, Bobby proceeds to kick three bigger boys in the nards. 

Lenny Burnside (pseudonym), High School Principal: In reality, if a child was kicking multiple people in the groin, he’d get more than detention. He’d be suspended, with the possibility of a sexual assault charge. But we’d have obligations to investigate the bullying as well.

Deborah Winslow, Character Layout Artist on “Bobby Goes Nuts”: A funny thing happened to me when this episode aired. At the time, I was sharing a house with my sister, who was a middle school English teacher. The day after this episode aired, she comes home after work like she’s had the worst day ever. She turns to me and just says, “Thaaaaanks!” 

Apparently, the entire day, she was dealing with boys kicking each other and yelling, “I don’t know you! That’s my purse!” I still remember her face 20 year later — and people are still saying that today! It’s such a funny catchphrase, and the less it applies, the funnier it is!

Nut Shot #6: Bobby vs. Clark Peters

Bobby soon decides to use his new ability not just to defend himself, but to stick up for others who are being bullied as well. When he sees the obnoxious Clark Peters roughing up a smaller kid in the hallway, Bobby calls Peters out and delivers a perfectly-timed blow to the testicles.

Tricia Garcia, Director of “Bobby Goes Nuts”: On King of the Hill, the director began working on an episode when there was a finished script and a rough voice track. I remember, right from the start of “Bobby Goes Nuts,” just how funny this episode was. It was a little tricky to figure out though because the animation couldn’t be too crude since that wouldn’t work for this show. King of the Hill was a bit more realistic than other cartoons. It still made use of certain, classic cartoon elements — like squash and stretch — but it was more subdued. There was more realism to that world than something like The Simpsons, for example. 

I remember having all of these hilarious conversations about just how Bobby should kick everyone, and how it would differ when he kicked a kid versus him kicking his father, or him kicking his mother. It had to be a believable journey for Bobby, because that’s what King of the Hill was all about — the storytelling and the characters, as opposed to just jokes.

Nut Shot #7: Bobby vs. Hank

Having found out from the principal just how Bobby is winning his fights, Hank sets out to teach Bobby the right way to settle his conflicts and begins giving him boxing lessons. But Hank’s soft jabs to Bobby’s face infuriate the boy, and Bobby eventually explodes, kicking Hank in the Hill family jewels.

Garcia: Bobby kicking Hank is my favorite part of the episode. The whole garage scene is so funny. Despite the subject matter, I gave that scene to a woman, actually — layout artist Deborah Winslow — and she did such a great job.

Winslow: My job on that episode was as a character layout artist, which comes right in between storyboarding and animating. Character layout is when you get a storyboard and you basically set it all up for the animators. You draw certain keyframes and you make sure the composition is exactly as you want it and that the characters are exactly on-model. The animation was done in Korea, so everything had to be really clear. 

Tricia gave me the sequence where Bobby kicks Hank, but I didn’t know anything about fighting or boxing or hitting people at all. Hank, though, he would know that — he would have proper form and all that — so I went to one of the directors on King of the Hill, Robin Brigstocke, who was an MMA fighter. I had him show me proper form, and he leant me a pair of boxing gloves. That’s the kind of stuff you’ve got to get right. That’s a big thing in animation — always get reference.

I’m so proud of how that scene turned out. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done — the “pop pop” of Hank jabbing Bobby in the face. He’s being kind of sadistic, but he doesn’t really notice it because he’s so wrapped up in his own head. It’s also a bit unusual for Hank because we don’t often see him enjoying things so much. The audience knows where it’s going, but Hank doesn’t and it’s so funny. 

Just last week, as a reaction to something, one of my Facebook friends sent me a GIF of that scene where Bobby kicks Hank in the nuts. It just makes me so happy because I drew that GIF!

Don Caldwell, Internet Historian and Editor-in-Chief of Know Your Meme: There’s a lot of GIFs from that episode, because it’s just such a striking image to have this little boy kicking people in the nuts. “That’s my purse!” has become a meme too. It isn’t the biggest King of the Hill meme, but it’s certainly popular. I think that’s because, out of context, it’s a very funny line. It’s become the subject of original artwork and several memes — people even have tattoos of it. YouTube is definitely the biggest place for “That’s my purse!” as it’s become the subject of several remix videos. 

Brianna Henderson, Founder of the King of The Hill Memes Facebook Group: The meme “That’s My Purse!” will forever be funny. You can use it whenever without any context and you’re guaranteed a laugh. 

Nut Shot #8: Bobby vs. Peggy

With Hank incapacitated from Bobby’s kick, Bobby goes on a power trip, defying his father at every turn. Peggy then steps up to get Bobby in line. When Bobby kicks her, nothing happens, and she proceeds to humiliate him by pinning him down in front of the neighbors.

Los Altos: Again, there’s just so much that’s relatable about King of the Hill. Like at the end of the episode, where Hank calls in Peggy for help with managing Bobby. I can remember times like that when I was a kid, where it felt like my parents were ganging up on me.

Hiscock: Mike Judge had very strong feelings about Bobby kicking Peggy in the crotch. He said, “He’s got to kick her in the crotch!” 

Miner: Actually, kicking a woman in the groin is uncomfortable too. 

Hiscock: The response to the episode was really good. I remember Greg got a phone call from a Simpsons writer saying they liked it, and rarely did you get people phoning up like that. It was cool to hear that they enjoyed it.

Garcia: King of the Hill had all these little slice-of-life moments that felt real. You also got to know the characters in a really in-depth way, especially when it came to Bobby and Hank’s relationship. Hank is this guy who’s been taught that things are black-and-white — that’s how he sees the world. Yet, as all these problems present themselves, he realizes that everything isn’t black-and-white. That’s really that character’s whole journey. This is especially hard with Bobby because he can’t control his son, nor can he write him off, so Hank finds himself in these uncomfortable situations. Hank’s a guy who’s uncomfortable with being open, yet Bobby puts him in these situations where he has to talk openly and be a little more open-minded. 

Winslow: To me, the show overall is about Hank’s reaction to the world not being what he was told it was going to be. This wasn’t the world he was prepared for. He thought he’d get a son like himself, yet he got Bobby — this weirdo — and he’s learning how to deal with that. Bobby, meanwhile, is a weirdo in a really straight, upright society. And he’s okay with it. That’s what we love about Bobby — that he’s completely unafraid to be Bobby.