Series: American Restoration
is a show on The History Channel
Viewers were first introduced to the star of the show, Rick Dale, by his appearances on Pawn Stars
, where he is the preferred restoration specialist of the other Rick. Finding that Rick Dale was also an interesting fount of information, History decided to give him his own show to highlight the interesting work he does and his wacky cast of employees. Basically, think of a cross between Pawn Stars
and American Chopper
(which is amusing
, considering that Pawn Stars
is already a cross between American Chopper
and Antiques Road Show
This series provides examples of:
- Anti-Climax: One episode spent quite a bit of time building up to Rick telling Brettly that he (Rick) intended to marry his (Brettly's) mom. When the moment actually came, Brettly basically just shrugged and said "Yeah, you guys are good for each other" and that was that.
- The Bet: When Kyle and Kowboy find a very old Pepsi bottle at the bottom of a cooler they're restoring (they guess that the bottle must be about 40 years old), they make a bet about whether or not Kowboy will lose any parts from the cooler while they work on it. The loser has to drink the old Pepsi. In the end, both Kyle and Kowboy drink their respective half of the bottle after Kyle finds the missing part and Kowboy argues that Kyle is partially responsible for the mess.
- Basically, once every several episodes either Tyler and Rick get into a Bet, or Rick and his crew get in on the Bet.
- Catch Phrase: Kowboy will often say, "If there's one thing you don't do, it's (thing someone did that annoyed Kowboy)".
- When things don't go Ron's way, he'd usually say "Crap".
- Continuity Nod: The episodes are usually self-contained, with rare references to the past episodes. However, Rick and the crew do sometimes refer to the days at the old shop.
- Every couple of episodes or so, Big Mike comes to the shop to have items restored.
- The curator of the Nevada Northern Railroad Museum is a regular customer.
- Crisis Crossover: The episode "Picks & Ricks." More information can be found on the pages of the shows it crossed over with, American Pickers and Pawn Stars.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Ron, who prefers flip flops.
- Don't Try This at Home: Kowboy has a loose tooth...and he decides to take matters into his own hands ("Kowboy up") and pull it out with a set of pliers. It's nasty.
- Averted with some of the trivia bits in the newer seasons, where Rick actually does give the viewers advice on things done on the show that the audience can also do at home.
- Expository Opening Narration: Remember back in the day when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work? My name's Rick Dale, and I bring these things back to life. Every restoration has its own set of challenges. There's no owner's manual for what we do, but there's no job we can't handle.
- Family Business: Rick's brother Ron and his son Tyler are both employees at the shop, with Tyler being the heir apparent to eventually take over the business.
- And Brettly is his stepson.
- Foregone Conclusion: Do you really think they're going to show items being brought in and their history being explained if people aren't going to let them restore it?
- Actually, this has been shown happening at least once. The customer got the quote, attempted to bargain with Rick, Rick insisted that he simply couldn't get the project below his estimate, and apologized. He lamented that he hates having to do this and does it as little as possible, but in some cases it would simply lose the shop too much money to do it within the customer's budget.
- This seems to be happening more often in newer episodes. It would seem that Rick's greater exposure has resulted in more "casual" collectors coming to him to seek restorations, as opposed to the more hardcore clientele he's used to who think nothing of dropping a five figures on something for their rec room.
- In another episode, Rick was asked to restore an antique gun. Rick first consulted with an expert who told him of the gun's rarity. The expert advised him NOT to restore it. Rick and the client agreed.
- Giftedly Bad: Tyler's attempt at hand-painting lettering.
- Brettly in general, especially in earlier episodes.
- Hot Mom: Kelly is Brettly's mom.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kowboy is a good worker and takes pride in what he does, but Rick calls him "the grumpiest bastard I ever met", and when his interactions with the other employees are shown at more than a glance, he lives up to it.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kowboy.
- Lazy Bum: Ron, the shop's delivery driver, and Rick's younger brother. He often takes advantage of his time on the road to indulge in other things that have nothing to do with work, like enjoying extra-long lunches or getting himself another tattoo. Tyler commented after joining Ron for one expedition that he now understood why it took Ron three hours to get back from the hardware store.
- Missing Mom: It's unclear if Tyler's mom (Rick's ex) is alive or not.
- Morality Pet: Kowboy's pet cat The Boy. A subplot in one episode involves him having to take him to the vet.
- Paintball Episode: It gets kicked off by a pedal car modeled off of a Farmall tractor.
- Readings Are Off the Scale: The foot x-ray machine (known to be a big radiation leakage source to begin with) Is brought in to be restored. A radiation specialist is brought in to see if/how badly this one leaks. He turns it on and it leaks more radiation than Chernobyl. His detector doesn't read high enough to properly quantify the extent of the leakage.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Embarrassingly subverted when one episode features the team restoring a Kotex vending machine for a breast cancer fundraiser auction. Despite all the strange items they've seen and restored, they're squeamish about the simple idea of the machine existing, much less having to restore it.
- Re Tool: A new intro, and commercial bumper trivia questions were added to the show after so many episodes.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps
- Spin-Off: The show was green-lighted by virtue of Rick's frequent and well-received guest appearances on Pawn Stars.
- Though of note is that Rick Harrison doesn't seem to consider it an actual spinoff, as it was originally part of their agreement with The History Channel that there would be no spinoffs of Pawn Stars.
- Tampon Run: Rick sends his son on one when they need to stock the Kotex vending machine they are restoring. Squick (and for the audience) hilarity ensues.
- Team Pet: For the first two seasons, it was Honika, the horse. Starting partway through season 3, it's Brettly's pet dog Nana.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Brettly's fixer-upper truck.
- “Well Done Son” Guy: Rick's son, Tyler. He often tries to impress his Dad by taking the initiative on various projects, only to screw things up somehow.