|Won't You Pimal Neighbor?|
|Season 4, Episode 18|
|Air date||March 19, 2000|
|Written by||John Altschuler & Dave Krinsky|
|Directed by||Kyounghee Lim & Boohwan Lim|
Bill of Sales
Hank's Bad Hair Day
Hosting a neighborhood Pimai party to celebrate the beginning of the Laotian lunar year, Kahn soon learns that a group of Buddhist monks are searching for the reincarnated Lama Sanglug in the vicinity of Arlen. The monks are planning to attend the party and test the two most likely candidates, Chane Wassanasong and Connie .
At the party a number of objects, one of which belonged to Sanglug, are laid out on a rug for the candidates to choose from; the idea being that Sanglug's reincarnated spirit will be drawn to the object he had possessed. In an attempt to distract Chane and give Connie first pick, Bobby picks up a cane from the rug and does an impromptu soft shoe dance. The cane is in fact the object that Sanglug had possessed, and the monks are awed by the possibility that Bobby may be the reincarnated lama, adding the fact that Sanglug was known for a sense of humor akin to Bobby's. The monks decide that one of them should stay behind with the Souphanousinphones while the others make preparations for a further test. Peggy revels in the attention that Bobby begins receiving, but Hank disapproves of the entire matter, believing Buddhism to be "hooey". Meanwhile, the monk who stayed behind notices that some of Bobby's mannerisms bear striking similarities to those exhibited by Sanglug, reinforcing the idea that he may indeed be the reincarnated lama, and gives Bobby some books about Buddhism to read. Bobby begins to offer pieces of transcendental advice that usually prove helpful to the situations at hand; however, he soon admits that he does not understand either Buddhism or Methodism, the faith in which he has been raised, very well after an indignant Hank discovers him meditating in his room. Hank begins to fear that Bobby is abandoning the family's Christian beliefs, and to his dismay finds no help from Reverend Stroup, who thinks that Bobby's use of Buddhism to strengthen his spirituality is fine since Bobby still claims to "love Jesus".
As the date of the second test approaches, Bobby and Connie are dismayed to learn that if he truly is the lama, he will have to take a vow of celibacy. Bobby is ready to refuse to take the test or deliberately fail it, but Connie tells him that she will not feel right dating him unless he makes an honest effort, in case he really is Sanglug. Kahn, initially displeased that Bobby could be the new lama, is overjoyed by this and hopes that he passes. The night before the test, a despondent Bobby tries meditation and prayer to figure out what to do about the test, since he is unwilling to part ways with Connie; Hank, meanwhile, prays at his own bedside for Bobby to fail the test.
When the test day arrives, a senior monk shows Bobby a new group of items laid out on a rug and asks him to choose any one item that he sees on it. Among the objects is a mirror, and Bobby, seeing Connie's face reflected in it, chooses her. Despite Kahn's objections, the monk declares that the choice was a valid one and that Bobby is not the lama. After the others leave, however, a junior monk notes that the mirror was the correct item, and that Bobby had at least used it despite not choosing it outright. "Tough call," the senior monk admits, "but it's mine, and I made it."
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Bill Dauterive
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Kahn Souphanousinphone
- Minh Souphanousinphone
- Connie Souphanousinphone
- Karen Stroup
- Chane Wassanasong
- Junior Monk (cameo)
- Monk (cameo)
- Buddhist Girl (cameo)
- The episode's depiction of Buddhism is relatively wrong, as Laotion people like Kahn do not make use of the Buddism title of "lama" used by these monks, as they study dfferent types of Buddism.
- Because Laotians are majority theravada, the show adds a vajaravana or tibetan buddhist element to the episode.
- The title of this episode is a play on Mister Rogers' famous quote, "Won't you be my neighbor?"
- Hank prays: “Lord, Hank Hill here, Methodist. Sorry about missing the homeless prayer service. Now about Bobby -- I’m pretty sure we’re on the same page about this Lama thing. I was kind of hoping that You could just have him fail this test tomorrow – You know, like You’ve had him fail so many other tests in the past. [Hears Peggy coming back] Oh, uh, and, uh, the starving kids … gotta go. Amen.”