King of the Hill is set in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas. In a 1995 interview prior to the show's debut, Judge described the setting as "a town like Humble." In a more recent interview, Judge has cited Richardson, Texas, a Dallas suburb, as the specific inspiration for Arlen. Despite the fictitious locale, the show strives to portray the region accurately, going so far as to have annual research trips to Texas for the writing staff. Time magazine praised the authentic portrayal as the "most acutely observed, realistic sitcom about regional American life bar none".
Arlen includes settings such as Rainey Street, where the Hills reside, and Strickland Propane, Hank's employer. Also included are parodies of well-known businesses, such as Mega-Lo Mart (a parody of Wal Mart), Luly's (a parody of Luby's), and Bazooms (a parody of Hooters). Most of the children in the show attend Tom Landry Middle School (named after the former Dallas Cowboys coach). Early in the series, the school is referred to as being in the Heimlich County School District (according to markings on the school buses), though in later seasons this is changed to Arlen Independent School District. The school's mascot is a longhorn steer. The local country club is the Nine Rivers Country Club, though this club almost exclusively admits Asian-Americans.
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