|Season 4, Episode 11|
|Air date||January 9, 2000|
|Written by||Norm Hiscock|
|Directed by||Gary McCarver|
Peggy hears from Bobby that an old rival of hers, Peggy Donovan (Heather Locklear), has returned to substitute teaching after a three-year absence, during which time she has apparently earned her Master's degree. When Bobby later receives a failing grade on an English essay and is tasked with writing another, Peggy assumes that Donovan is taking her rivalry with her out out on her son, suspecting that it all goes back to Peggy having been assigned a better parking space. Meanwhile, Bill is on the Army base when he notices an enormous American flag about to be ceremonially incinerated according to flag retirement protocol. Overcome with nostalgia, he requests that the flag instead be allowed to continue to fly at his own residence, and Hank, Dale, and Boomhauer help him install a new flagpole for the occasion (in a scene recalling the Iwo Jima flag raising).
Bobby, struggling for a topic for his new essay, finds inspiration in Bill's oversized flag but still encounters difficulty in composing any text. Pandering to his mother's ego, he talks Peggy into writing the essay for him; she, eager to show Donovan up, is all too glad to comply. Peggy writes the opening of the essay as If you take the "U" out of USA, what do you get? "SA", an essay that will explain to "U" why Bobby Hill loves America. Sure enough, the essay receives an A, but Peggy becomes jealous when Bobby takes full credit, even as Donovan openly praises 'his' writing skills in front of her. Her frustrations are compounded when her Musings column is cut from the Arlen Bystander, and come to a head when Hank's attempt at reassuring her is to tell her to be more like Bobby, whereupon she indignantly reveals to Hank's angry dismay that she is the real author of the acclaimed essay. Meanwhile, word of 'Bobby's' talents spreads to his classmates, who begin asking him to write subsequent essay assignments for them. Stumped, Bobby secretly raids Peggy's unpublished Musings stockpile for material. The plan backfires, however, when Peggy begins 'submitting' her columns again by buying advertising space in the Bystander to print them in, and Donovan runs across one, noticing that it reads word for word the same as another student's essay. Noticing that the rest of the class has turned in similarly-written essays on unlikely topics, she tracks down Peggy, who assumes that her computer had been hacked into - until Donovan also reveals that several students had confessed to having Bobby write their essays for him. Peggy furiously summons Bobby, who reveals to Donovan that Peggy had written the original flag essay for him, saddling him with newfound expectations to maintain. A triumphant Donovan then insists that Peggy and Bobby confess and apologize at an upcoming schoolwide assembly, under the threat that she will otherwise lodge a formal plagiarism complaint with Principal Moss.
Too proud to acquiesce to Donovan's demands, Peggy proposes instead that the two of them save face by giving an inspirational salute to the flag in a similar vein to the original essay, believing that any attempt by Donovan to turn them in will thereafter be dismissed as unpatriotic. The night before the assembly they decide to set up an elaborate display using Bill's oversized flag, which they set about stealing - only to tear and dirty it when they inadvertently run it over with Hank's truck. Later, their amateur pyrotechnics attempt causes the flag to catch fire during a rehearsal of their intended salute, and they are forced to abandon the idea entirely, anonymously leaving the charred, tattered remains of the flag in Bill's yard. Out of guilt, Peggy and Bobby accompany a distraught and tearful Bill to the Army base, where the flag is ceremonially incinerated at last. Later, at the assembly, Bobby admits that Peggy wrote his essay and many others', but then launches into an eloquent speech about finally coming to appreciate the flag upon witnessing a grown man crying to see one destroyed, thus foiling Donovan's plan to exact revenge from Peggy... over the aforementioned parking space.
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Nancy Gribble
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Bill Dauterive
- Kahn Souphanousinphone
- Minh Souphanousinphone
- Connie Souphanousinphone
- Peggy Donovan (cameo)
- Principal Carl Moss
- Hank's remark about Frank Gorshin's birthday means this episode was set on April 5th, 3 months after the episode aired.
- It could also take place in 1999, considering that Peggy still has her Kaypro in this episode.
- Peggy's Kaypro and daisy-wheel printer are seen in this episode, despite the fact that she got rid of them in "Hillennium"
- Although this episode aired after "Hillennium," it was produced before that episode. Therefore, it could possibly take place before "Hillennium."
- Bobby uses Peggy's extreme arrogance to his advantage, stroking her ego, and causing her to overlook his obvious intentions and write his essay for him.
- Peggy calls herself a "professional writer", despite the fact that she did not legally work at the newspaper office at the time. But Peggy has an inflated opinion of himself so this sort of sentiment is not uncommon with her.
- When Bill discovers his precious flag soiled, charred, ripped and crumpled on the ground he wails in dismay and asks his friends who have gathered around, "What kind of animal could've done this . . .a bear?"