10 Reasons Dale Knows Nancy Is Being Unfaithful in King of the Hill

Dale Catches John Redcorn In The Act

Despite being portrayed as paranoid and overly suspicious about government conspiracies and other global issues, Dale is ironically trusting and naive when it comes to his familial relationships. The show plays this off comedically, highlighting the irony that Dale, someone who questions everything else, fails to question the glaringly evident infidelity of his wife.

But what if Dale knows about Nancy’s affair? With Dale monitoring all incoming calls, Nancy’s talks with John Redcorn definitely failed to go unnoticed. Plus, he literally catches Redcorn sneaking into his bedroom with Nancy’s help in the middle of the night. If Dale lives such a paranoid conspiracy theorist, why hasn’t he figured out that his wife has been cheating on him for 14 years? According to fan theories on Dale Gribble in King of the Hill, he has figured it out, and the proof lies in his story.

1. Dale Monitors All Incoming Calls

A subtle throw-away joke appears when Dale claims he “monitors all incoming calls.” Okay, that makes a lot of sense because Dale clearly suffers Paranoid Personalty Disorder. But if he listens in on all of Nancy’s phone calls, he likely also heard conversations between her and her “secret” lover John Redcorn.

2. Dale Catches John Redcorn In The Act

Dale Catches John Redcorn In The Act

In an early episode, Dale walks in on Redcorn sneaking into his house through a window. Assuming he’s been caught red-handed, Redcorn tells Dale “he regrets him finding out in this way“, but Dale gives absolutely no reaction. Later on, Redcorn even mentions Dale’s complete and intentional obliviousness to the situation “really takes the fun out of it.”

3. John Redcord Is Obviously Joseph’s Biological Father

Seriously, just look at them. Joseph looks nothing like Dale, a scrawny, white guy who reads romance novels. But still, Dale remains extremely proud and supportive of Joseph’s athletic prowess, because Dale possesses none of his own. John Redcorn, on the other hand, sports the same skin tone, eye color, hair color, jawline, and overall personality traits as Joseph.

4. Dale Literally Has The Perfect Life

Dale Literally Has The Perfect Life

Dale has it easy. His wife Nancy takes care of the bills because of her high-paying job at the Television studio, which leaves him free to run his exterminator business and drink beer in the alley with the guys. Plus, he has a great relationship with Joseph, and getting a divorce would ruin that.

5. He’s Afraid Of Ending Up Like Bill

He's Afraid Of Ending Up Like Bill

Dale watches Bill go through his divorce, and sees how it affects Bill’s entire life. Bill loses his job, his health, and his self-respect. When Bill was with Lenore, he lived just like Dale, happily together with someone and still able to hang with the boys. But now, Bill is overweight, balding, and emotionally crippled. Why would Dale ever want to risk that happening to himself? 

6. Dale Is Killing Redcorn With Kindness

Dale finds himself between a rock and a hard place here. Since he can’t reveal his wife’s affair without jeopardizing his relationships with all of loved ones, Dale decides instead to kill John Redcorn with kindness. Dale is fully aware Redcorn wants to be a part of Joseph’s life, but Redcorn can only go so far with his affections. As a result, Dale constantly taunts Redcorn by bonding with Joseph and subtly rubbing it in Redcorn’s face.

7. Dale Ignores The Affair Instead Of Going Into A Homicidal Rage

Dale Ignores The Affair Instead Of Going Into A Homicidal Rage

Reddit user wwantstoknow thinks that Dale’s motivation for ignoring the affair is to keep his sanity:

“Dale obviously knows what’s going on with his wife. He is extremely paranoid, monitors all incoming and outgoing calls from his home, has surveillance cameras all over Rainey St., and has mentioned he had a tracking chip put into Nancy.He ignores her indiscretion because without her in his life his fragile grip on sanity may dissolve completely, possibly into a homicidal rage. He has proven in the past that he can and will kidnap, steal from, abandon, and betray anyone even those close to him. His only thing keeping his killing to insects and vermin is his wife.”

8. Dale Is Super Paranoid, But He’s Not Suspicious Of His Wife and John Redcorn?

Despite being a textbook conspiracy theorist who believes the government and aliens keep tabs on him, Dale vocalizes no suspicions about Nancy’s affair with John Redcorn. Why wouldn’t he ever question why Joseph looks just like John Redcorn? Because he doesn’t want to lose his family.

Early in the series, a recurring gag turns up where anytime Dale makes comment about being Joseph’s father, John Redcorn appears, an awfully over coincidence for a conspiracy theorist to look past…

9. John And Nancy’s Excuses Were Paper-Thin

John And Nancy's Excuses Were Paper-Thin

By the end of the series John and Nancy don’t even try to keep it a secret anymore. Early on subtle nods pop of everywhere, such as when Redcorn pulls up in his Jeep to pick up Nancy and “Feel Like Making Love” blares through the stereo. But all gets excused because Redcorn is an Indian masseur, trained in the ways of herbal healing, and all too happy to help Nancy get rid of her “migraines.”

10. It’s Not Like Dale Could Easily Find Someone Else…

It's Not Like Dale Could Easily Find Someone Else...

Dale like understands he doesn’t exactly fall under what most would call “boyfriend material.” He’s extremely paranoid, a chain-smoking conspiracy theorist, and works as an exterminator. Nancy meanwhile is actually kind of a babe, and way out of Dale’s league. Why would he ever let her go? If Dale got a divorce he would die a single man, and he prefers to live in a potentially strained marriage than die alone.