Cadet Eric Hanson is Francis' friend at the Marlin Academy and at the Alaskan Lodge who has a slight addiction to pornography. Eric was Francis' reluctant sidekick and normally suffered the consequences by the antics caused by Francis. Eric was also Francis' roommate during season 2 and season 3 when they shared a cabin in Alaska with Pete and Artie
On several occasions, Eric has mentioned that he has two fathers. At the start of season three, he turned 18 and dropped out of the academy to go work at the Alaskan Lodge. Francis emancipates himself to follow Eric to Alaska, finding out that their job is not as great as they hoped. Eric has a big fear of Lavernia and has mistrusted Piama once when he thought she was having an affair with someone else. However after Francis learns that she was reconciling with her estranged father, he ran back to the logging camp to get even with Eric.
In Dewey's Dog, Eric is also confronted by the former, drunk commandant Spangler. However because his anger is geared towards Francis, Spangler barely recognized him. After Francis got Spangler his first job, he was fired immediately on the first day when he showed up drunk. Eric wisely tells him that the only thing that made Spangler happy was bullying helpless students and without that purpose there's nothing left for him. He and Francis help him get a second job at the Snow Haven Retirement Home where he has free reign to bully the elderly.
After the logging camp closes down, Francis eventually gets a job at the ranch, but Eric is left to hitch-hike in the road, possibly as revenge for dragging him to Alaska. His fate is left unknown.
- Water Park
- Traffic Jam
- Old Mrs. Old
- New Neighbors
- The Grandparents
- Traffic Ticket
- Reese Cooks
- Book Club
- Health Scare
- Reese's Job
- Lois's Makeover
- Company Picnic Part 1
- Company Picnic Part 2
- Cynthia's Back
- Hal Coaches
- Dewey's Dog
- Poker #2
- Jury Duty
- Clip Show #2 (Flashback)
- His actor's first name is Eric too.
- Of all the minor characters to disappear from the show, Eric is one of the very few to be given an in-series reason to go away. His final appearance was in the episode Monkey, where Lavernia fired everyone who worked at the logging camp and they all had to find new jobs somewhere else. Eric had no way of getting around, so he just started walking. His best friend, Francis and his wife, Piama would both drive off in a car to go back home and when he tried to get in with them, they completely ignored him, leaving him in Alaska to hitchhike home to Texas. This scene was focused on when it happened, meaning that this was the reason he never appeared again.
- As he was the one who suggested they work in Alaska, Eric found out the hard way that the job sucked. Instead of finding a job as a logger, he ended up being a cook to Lavernia and of which Francis blamed their horrible situation on him. In turn, he got revenge on Eric by leaving him stranded in Alaska.
- Eric was supposed to return in a season 6 Christmas episode which had him in New Mexico in taking advantage of Otto's naivety by secretly stealing his money with a fake ATM scam. Francis, Malcolm and Dewey immediately catches him in the act and confronts him for it. Eric claims this is revenge on the latter for abandoning him to hitchhike home to Texas while they were in Alaska. He had been humiliated by a truck driver in wearing women's clothes in Washington, almost got raped by a gay serial rapist in Utah and left stranded here. Thus by stealing Otto's money, Eric could get Francis fired and he would have enough money to fly home to his home town. Annoyed, the boys beat Eric up and he gets arrested by the cops. While being taken away, Francis points out that was the reason he left Eric at Alaska. That he should've visited Francis earlier when he was in an Alaskan jail to warn him about Lavernia and the job sucking.
- It's possible that he is the older brother of David Hanson, given their same last name and similar physical appearances.
- However, David won't appear until long after Eric's final appearance on the show. Thus, it's highly unlikely they're related at all