This episode is above average for the 10th season, that is. While not as dismal as "Hank Fixes Everything" and "You Gotta Believe in Moderation", "24 Hour Propane People" is still not up to the entertainment standard of King of the Hill that we all came to expect. Generally, episodes with Buck Strickland and the Strickland Propane crew are some of the funnier episodes (like "The Propaniacs," "Hanky Panky/High Anxiety" and "The Good Buck"). And while Joe Jack and Donna have some of the funnier lines in the episode, overall the characters' situations and dialogue are underwhelming.
While the idea of Strickland Propane being turned into a place where employees do magic tricks and make balloon animals may sound like a good plot, the story line falls flat. There were few highlights, although Joe Jack attempting to swallow a sword, then admitting to Buck he was lying about his ability to do so, and had actually cut his "talk tube" was one of the funnier moments in the 10th season.
Buck forces the employees to go miniature golfing, have pizza parties and stay late at the store to play Trivial Pursuit and other games. This is where the episode deviates from characters' standard behavior. Buck forces the employees to spend the night at Strickland Propane, but his philandering is a running plot point. Surely he would not pass up a chance to meet a pretty young girl or go out drinking to play Risk. Also, why not just find another strip club? One of the biggest downfalls of this episode is the poor secondary plot. Almost every episode has a small storyline involving one of the other characters that is funny, but not the focus of the episode. In "The Year of Washing Dangerously," Peggy tries to find out why Nancy won't pick up her phone calls and ends up hiding in the Gribbles' closet to solve the mystery. In "Get Your Freak Off," Peggy, Minh and Nancy rate the men on the alley by sexiness and Peggy is appalled to find out her friends don't find Hank sexy. Two of my favorite subplots are from "Mutual of Omabwah!" where Dale begins selling bee stings to Arlenites and Boomhauer and Bill begin deep-frying everything they can gets their hands on. However, "24 Hour Propane People"'s secondary story is the idea of Peggy using her Arlen Bystander press pass to gain entry to movies and free food is ridiculous. Peggy is already a character that grates on many viewers' nerves. Watching her scream "PRESS" and cut in line to steal a stall in the bathroom is just annoying. The writers should have had Peggy get in trouble for her lack of control and lying to restaurants and other companies, claiming she would review their products when she wasn't even assigned to do any reviews. Instead, she gets free items the entire episode with no consequences.
Overall, the episode is decent, but not memorable. It falls way below the later-seasons' standards set by "Redneck on Rainey Street" and "Church Hopping," but it's definitely is better than ninth season flop "Smoking and the Bandit" or the eighth season's snoozer "Reborn to be Wild" (other than the last meal subplot).