Episode PremiereNovember 17, 1998
Show Period1997 - 2009
Production CompanyDeedle-Dee, Judgmental, 3 Art, Film Roman, Fox TV
Cast and Crew
ScreenwriterGreg Daniels, Jim Dauterive
- Mike Judge
- Kathy Najimy
- Pamela Adlon as Bobby Hill (voice)
- Brittany Murphy as Luanne Platter/Joseph Gribble (Age 12)
- Johnny Hardwick
- Stephen Root
- Toby Huss
On the day after Thanksgiving, Hank attends a lawn mower focus group.
Hank and his buddies discuss attending an upcoming focus group run by the manufacturer of Hank's favorite lawn mower, the Mason 1500. Hank believes that the mower is one focus group away from being emasculated. Shortly thereafter, Hank turns his attention to Thanksgiving dinner. He is thankful that his mother, Tilly, could join the family for the celebration. But Hank's happiness is short-lived: Cotton and Didi drop by unexpectedly. Hank reminds his father that according to the rotation schedule, it is Tilly's turn to spend Thanksgiving with the family. Cotton promises not to "make a fuss," but he manages to ruin the holiday nonetheless by insulting Tilly repeatedly. That night, Peggy makes final preparations to awaken in the wee hours of the morning so she can beat other shoppers to the holiday bargains. When the time arrives, Cotton, Didi and Tilly accompany the Hills to the mall. But the rubber sole on Peggy's shoe comes loose. As the shoe is being repaired, Peggy falls asleep. Meanwhile, Hank and his friends make their way to a conference room beneath the mall. There they are greeted by Jonathan Burrows, the group moderator. To Hank's disappointment, Cotton joins the group. As the focus group gets under way, Burrows pulls a tarp off of a lawn mower, revealing the Mason 5500, which resembles a futuristic concept car. Hank is aghast.
Hank tells his friends that the new, yuppified machine is his worst nightmare come true. But the other members of the group are swayed by the mower's many options, such as the electric seat warmer and cup holder. Hank's anger rises when Burrows describes the 1500 model as "obsolete." Cotton agrees with this assessment, and suggests his son "trade up." Hank accuses Cotton of "trading up" Tilly for Didi. But Cotton insists he "scrapped" Tilly outright. Hank addresses the group, insisting he will not be swayed by its bells and whistles. But when Burrows asks for a show of hands, all of the men in the focus group,save Hank, indicate their approval of the machine. Meanwhile, at the mall's ice skating rink, Bobby encourages Luanne to put Buckley behind her and get on with her life.
Hank decides to defend his prized mower. He addresses each of the new model's options. He tells Lane, a car dealer, that he would be paying for the mark-up out his own pocket. Lane changes his vote. Hank then addresses Boomhauer, who liked the seatwarmer option. Hank points out that Boomer always rests his beer between his legs, which would cause the drink to warm. Boomhauer changes his vote. The paranoid Dale also changes his vote when he realizes that corporate executives are observing the group from behind a one-way mirror. Hank wins more converts to his side when he demonstrates that the mower's zero turning radius can cause it to crash. Cotton is the last holdout. The old man again berates Tilly, unaware that she is observing from the other side of the one-way mirror. An angry Hank defends his mother, and threatens to ban Cotton from his home should he ever again speak of her in a disparaging manner. Frustrated, Cotton waddles out of the room. Afterward, Hank asks Tilly if she has thought about what she wants for Christmas. Tilly tells her son that he has given her enough already.