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The Bob's Burgers Connection To King Of The Hill You Likely Missed

"Bob's Burgers" really enjoys a quiet joke. For instance, the intro sequence at the start of every episode frequently changes to reflect whatever new company has moved into the building next to the Belchers' restaurant. It always has a silly name that's a pun based on the profession currently offered within. That's pretty common knowledge, right? Good, because it's endearing and clever and more shows should do this kind of thing. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that there are other bits and trivia hiding in plain sight in "Bob's Burgers" just waiting to be spotted. 

As it turns out, there's a likely (although as yet unofficial) connection to another popular animated Fox series, "King Of The Hill," that's out in the open for everyone to see. Once it's spotted, it can't be unseen. Even better is that there is a logical (albeit, again, unofficial) explanation for how this connection could make total canonical sense. The Easter egg in question is that one character from "Bob's Burgers" appears to actually predate the show itself.

Did Mr. Frond once live in Arlen, Texas?

In a subreddit dedicated to "Bob's Burgers," u/Evan1016 posted an image alongside text that read, "TIL: Mr. Frond was briefly an anger management counselor in King of the Hill S7E7. Both characters are voiced by David Herman." The image features two pictures stitched together — one from "Bob's Burgers," which shows Mr. Frond in front of a chalkboard, and the other from "King Of The Hill" which shows ... Mr. Frond in front of a chalkboard? The observant reader will note that these are different shows which aired at different times. "King Of The Hill," in fact, ended before "Bob's Burgers" aired a single episode, so it wasn't a cross-promotional event. What's going on here?

The answer is most likely that Jim Dauterive, who wrote on and produced both of the previously mentioned animated shows for Fox, probably thought it was a fun little thing to do. He's also listed as a co-creator for "Bob's Burgers," so it isn't as if he wouldn't have the authority to shove a cool reference like this into the narrative, and he'd probably have significant leeway to recast David Herman for another in-studio project. That being said, there's no official statement confirming that these two characters are one and the same ... so let's do a little theory work. 

Connecting the dots is pretty easy

First, let's clarify that these two are absolutely (unofficially) the same character. Aside from sharing a voice actor, aside from the two images depicting strikingly similar-looking people in their respective cartoon styles, their behavior is literally the same. Unfortunately, the one thing that would nail this case closed is a mystery. In the "King Of The Hill" episode in question, "The Texas Skill Saw Massacre," David Herman's anger counselor character goes officially nameless, at least on IMDb. That's likely not to shroud him in intrigue, it just wasn't a relevant detail to the episode. Here's how the two appearances can be stitched together with a little logic. 

Mr. Frond admits in the "Bob's Burgers" Season 4 episode "The Frond Files" that he isn't licensed as a counselor in the state he's in, which implies that there is a state that he's licensed in, it's just not New Jersey, where "Bob's Burgers" takes place. "King Of The Hill" is set in Texas, and at the end of the possible Mr. Frond's brief appearance in Season 7, one of the adult students under his anger management care suffers an anger-induced heart attack and dies. After that, the possible Mr. Frond is never seen again. Presumably, an anger-related death on his record would not go over well, so what if he skipped town? What if he skipped state? What if he traveled to New Jersey and began counseling children under a pseudonym? Considering all the other characters who have seedy histories on "Bob's Burgers," is that so impossible? Perhaps we'll get an answer in that planned "King of the Hill" revival series.