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Arlen, Texas is a fictional town in the state of Texasmarker where the television show King of the Hill takes place. It has a population of 145,300.

Location

Arlen is located in the fictional Heimlich County. The town's slogan is "Someplace Special." While Dallasmarker and Houstonmarker are featured in numerous episodes as big-city destinations, the nearest large Texas city seems to be Austinmarker, as a number of Arlen's high school football games are played against cities like Beltonmarker and Killeenmarker which are both just over an hour north of Austin. However, it is never revealed in the show where Arlen is specifically located. Dallas is also well-known for its many exurbs, the definition of which fits Arlen. In a recent interview, creator Mike Judge has cited Garlandmarker, a Dallas suburb, as the specific inspiration for Arlen. In episode 29, "Hank's Dirty Laundry," address labels are printed which state that Arlen's ZIP code is 78701 which is in use in Austin (although in the final episode, "To Sirloin with Love", the ZIP code on Boomhauer's driver license is 73104 (which is Oklahoma City, OK)). In episode 190 Arlen's original name of "Harlottetown" is revealed. In the Episode "Apr├Ęs Hank, le Deluge," a flash flood threatens Heimlich County, it is mentioned that Travis County is already under a flash flood warning, implying that Heimlich County is near Travis County, further reinforcing the theory that Arlen is a suburb of Austin, as Austin is in Travis County. A road sign with the text "Welcome to Arlen Texas" states that the population is 145,300 and that the area is 8,793.

Irving is listed as another Possibility. Irving is the home to Tom Landry Middle School the school Bobby Hill Attends. The Neighborhood West of the school has the same configuration as the houses on Rainy St. With an Alley in the back fences and well groomed lawns.

Educational Institutions

Colleges

  • Arlen Community College, Luanne attends it after dropping out of beauty school
Public Education

Arlen Independent School District (called Heimlich County School District in earlier episodes)

seen in "Kidney Boy and Hamster Girl: A Love Story" when Bobby pretends he is a high school student with a kidney problem and ends up winning No Doubt for the prom.

Media

The town's main newspaper is the Arlen Bystander, as referred to in episode "Bystand Me". Another newspaper, The Arlen Advocate, is mentioned in the episode "My Hair Lady."

Channel 84 is the main Television Station, where Nancy Gribble is first a Weathergirl, and later News Anchor. It is unclear whether 84 is an affiliate station, or independent. It is most definitely not a Fox station as Bobby tries to unblock the Fox station in the episode Enrique-cilable Differences. It is also previously mentioned by Hank that the only time the Fox station is unblocked is during football season.

Places

  • Rainey Street, the main alleyway of the show
  • Strickland Propane, owned by Buck Strickland and where main character Hank Hill sells "propane and propane accessories."
  • Thatherton Fuels, main rival of Strickland Propane formed by a former Strickland employee named M. F. Thatherton.
  • Mega Lo Mart, A retail store/Parody of Walmartmarker, one of a chain that opens "400 new stores a year." Chuck Mangione is their celebrity spokesman (although he now hides out in the storage space behind the toilet paper shelves.) The store was damaged in an explosion caused by Buckley's mis-handling of some propane tanks; he was the only person killed as a result.
  • Get In, Get Out, a parody of 7-Eleven.
  • Arlen Barn, popular restaurant famous for meat loaf sandwiches.
  • Arlen First United Methodist Church, which burns to the ground shortly after it gets its first female minister (due to an odd chain of events started by Bobby gorging himself on her lutefisk).
  • Hotel Arlen, which in the past was populated by large numbers of prostitutes, as seen when Cotton took a teenage Hank, Bill, Dale, and Boomhauer there.
  • 9 Rivers Country Club, an all-Asian membership club with golfing, swimming pools, cafeterias and lounges, and other athletic sports.
  • Luly's, a buffet restaurant, is a direct parody of Luby's Cafeteria, which is only located in four states (Arizona, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas). The vast majority of the locations are in Texas.
  • Casa Linda Apartments, a series of singles apartments (mostly for singles but families are allowed there). It is where Cotton Hill and his family stayed after they were kicked out of their house in Houston, and where Buck Strickland stayed for a time during his estrangement from his wife, "Miz Liz."
  • Whataburger, a real Texas based chain of fast food restaurants that the members of the show eat at, often used as a reward for doing something good.
  • Shiney Pines, a trailer park that Luanne Platter lived in and that was hit by a F5 tornado
  • Goobersmooches - a fictional restaurant based on Fuddrucker's
  • Waffle house - Parody of Waffle House Most mentioned in "the smoking bandit"
  • Sugarfoot's - A barbecue restaurant owned by the Strickland family. Peggy managed it briefly after Buck signed it over to the Hills in an attempt to hide assets from Miz Liz, who was threatening to divorce him; he later reclaimed it from her. When business was threatened by a ban on trans fats, Buck set up a mobile lunch van to get around this rule.


Residents



In "Hank's Cowboy Movie", it is disputed whether the residents are called "Arlenians" or "Arlenites." The issue is never precisely resolved, however, Peggy states that the proper term is "Arlenian," but TV sites that deal with the show prefer "Arlenite."

References


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