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  • Has anyone ever noticed that, an inordinate percentage of the lessons Jill learns are the wrong lessons? It could just be that Tim screws up so much more often, and usually for the entire episode, that they have time to sit back and figure out how he'll mis-learn the lesson of the week before learning it properly, whereas the Jill episodes usually have her refusing to admit the possibility of being wrong (in the episodes that there is an actual aesop, and not just family or emotional or college or filler stuff). The most painful example I noticed was the episode where Randy gets his driver's license. She spends the last third of the episode learning that instead of punishing each kid for the errors of the elder, she should treat them how they each deserve to be treated. So when Brad asks why Randy gets a week of no driving (for taking the car after dark without permission, and accepting whatever punishment he got as soon as he got home) while he got a month of no driving (for crashing the car, getting sued, and trying to hide the whole thing), Jill repeats Wilson's advice (judge each kid separately) verbatim and out of context. It sounded like she didn't even understand it, and was just better at remembering Wilson Quotes than Tim! This instead of a nicer wording of "because he was far more responsible and 'fessed up immediately, and has great driving skills, whereas you were a jerkish lying danger to yourself and others". And she's supposed to be not merely The Smart One, but a freakin' psychologist well into her studies with decent marks.
    • Right on. This episode bugs me as well.
    • I love Home Improvement, but it's arguably one of the worst examples of The Unfair Sex in the history of American television. Tim is almost always the screwup and Jill is almost always the reasonable smart person. The few times when Jill actually does screw up it's almost always treated as an honest and innocent mistake. Whereas Tim's screwups are almost always chalked up as selfishness, stupidity, pig-headedness, misogyny, and [insert negative male stereotype here]. Tim has to apologize for his screwups, while Jill often has other people apologizing to her for overreacting to her screwups.
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    • There are a few times where Jill is completely wrong and called on it, granted it's not often, and is mostly Played for Laughs. For example: Despite majoring in Psychology Jill is actually absolute shit at it when it comes to applying that knowledge, especially when it comes to comforting grieving people. When her father died she pretty much shut down completely while Tim took over and was able to make sure things ran smoothly. When Al's mother died she once again was completely worthless and only managed to make things worse until she almost ruined the funeral and once again Tim had to step it to make it into a Heartwarming Moment.
    • Even educated parents can lapse into what makes intuitive sense without questioning it logically, but the logic in the difference in punishments for Brad and Randy are still fair. Rules exist to prevent certain actions from inviting certain results; Randy broke a rule, but didn't cause any of the results that rule is intended to prevent by behaving responsibly and then immediately confessed to what he did so he could accept the consequences. Brad broke the rule, caused exactly the results the rule was meant to prevent, and then made it worse by trying to avoid the consequences. In other words: Randy knew what he was doing and handled it maturely, both in estimation of his skills and understanding the consequences of his actions, while Brad handled it childishly and irresponsibly and caused huge problems for others in doing so. Giving Randy the same punishment for a much lesser offense wouldn't have been fair.
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    • It's also established that Jill presenting herself as a fully-fledged psychologist when she's really a student in the middle of an education (who hasn't completed her degree or gotten any kind of license) and handling problems as if she were is a very bad and potentially dangerous idea.
  • The absolute worst was toward the end of the series when Brad had the opportunity to play pro soccer in England straight out of high school and they talked him out of it by telling him that he could always do that after college. Completely backwards much!?! There's a reason why certain things are called a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity", and it's college that'll always be there!
    • Come to think of it, that's a classic Broken Aesop: "Education is important" becomes "Live your life according to the standard blueprint, don't grab the Big Chance if it comes earlier in life than others around you are comfortable with", or more succinctly "CONFORM".
      • This episode was so ludicrous that it defies description. What rational parent would tell their kid to turn down what could be a more lucrative career than they'd ever have to go college and HOPE that you can even gain employment after you do? I'm not "anti-college" but it is always there whenever you want to go.And going in your mid 20's after a successful professional career in ANYTHING probably wouldn't be that bad.
      • Not to mention that if he saved wisely he could probably pay for the entire thing himself and save his parents some money for their retirement.
      • The most annoying thing about that (to me, anyway) is that they made this huge deal about how awesome it was for Jill to go back to school. Sorry, but what? You can't have it both ways, Home Improvement!
      • Jill was able to go back to school because Tim was quite successful. If Brad's football career never panned out, as is incredibly common, then he would've been stuck playing for day to day money, and that isn't going to last into your later years. He couldn't afford to go back to school, and might instead hope to get ahead in the game, a pipedream.
      • Sorry, I have to disagree there. The issue here is one of opportunities. College is an opportunity that will always be there. Even if Brad's budding sports career fell apart he could still go back to school. It might take hard work, sacrifice, and working an extra job or two to afford it, but it's possible. On the other hand, the mere chance to play on a professional sports team is something that only comes along once in a blue moon. Pass on it, and it's gone forever. Unlike college. And I have to object to your claim that Brad playing pro soccer was a "pipe dream". Was there a chance that it could fail in an absolutely hideous fashion? Sure. But the fact that Brad was even offered the opportunity to try out for a professional team meant he had a decent chance at being successful. Sport scouts are very good at their jobs and they don't extend these offers lightly. If the scout thought Brad was good enough then Tim and Jill owed it to their son to at least let him try. But instead they forced him to throw away this once in a lifetime opportunity in favor of the "always there when you need it" option that is college. And while we're on that subject, it's not like college doesn't have its own risks and pitfalls. Student loan debt, anybody?
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    • One thing is that this wasn't the first time Brad has backed away from his education for an easier path. He did the exact same thing when he was doing good working at a sports store. Tim and Jill are probably worried that Brad is jumping at opportunities just because they're easier and not because they are legitimately better offers.
      • I think Tim and Jill also wanted Brad to have something to fall back on, kind of like insurance, in case his sports career didn't pan out (anything could happen that would end up derailing it), and felt it would be better for him to have that insurance before going into his sports career instead of getting it after.
      • Maybe, but the chance at a sports career isn't usually something you can just pick up again later. Unless Brad was an absolute God of Soccer, I doubt the team would be willing to wait 4 or more years while he finishes college. If Brad passed on the opportunity the scouts would go looking for someone else to fill that spot ASAP. And who knows when or if another chance for Brad to go pro will come along?
      • The average athlete isn't paid 10 million a year, and after expenses he might have something of a nice nest egg, but a lot of athletes go bankrupt within 5 years after retiring because of poor money management. Ultimately neither option is universally better than the other, Tim and Jill just wanted Brad to have some education to fall back on.
    • There is also a counter-moral that could be equally as bad. "Your kid is good at sports, let them coast entirely on that." There are so many examples of high school sports stars who crack under the pressure at higher levels. They may be good at their level, but put them in the big leagues and their normal skills are put to the test. Kobe Bryant is one of the few exceptions to that. Brad had a full-ride scholarship in play, while he might be able to make big bucks that scholarship and the university of his choice has a limited lifespan.
    • There's probably now an element of Society Marches On to this as well, the notion that going to college right after high school was the best option when possible was VERY firmly entrenched in the '90s, it's only since the Great Recession that people have started to rethink it.
      • Something to ponder. The writers may have been trying to go for a "college is more important" moral, but that all falls apart when you remember that Jonathan Taylor Thomas left the series to finish college, and he got criticized for it.
    • His intention was probably to finish College but then he did a couple more movies after that. I don't know the full story but there was apparently some bad blood between the staff and JTT's manager
    • There's also the risk of injury to consider. Brad's knee injury towards the end of the series put his scholarship in jeopardy; it could just as easily have happened again in a professional game in the UK and put an end to his career. No income, no scholarship, and no degree. At least if it happened at a UCLA game he'd still be registered as a student and working towards a degree, even if his scholarship's gone.
  • Not a big fan of this show (nor of Tim Allen) but wouldn't it have made sense for him to get a LOT better at using tools and fixing given that is WHAT HIS JOB WAS? I can see him starting off poorly,but unless he was a complete idiot (not missing any parts) why wouldn't have Tim gotten much better w/ time?
    • Tim was always portrayed as an excellent handyman and craftsman when he took his time and didn't try to overdo things (MORE POWER!). He built three hot rods practically from scratch over the course of ten years, the washing machine he repaired ran without issue until the end of the series, and the intercom he installed (mostly) worked the entire show. Not to mention that he does things that require a great deal of expertise and skill (a jet-powered leaf blower might not be practical, but it shows that he has a fundamental knowledge of the workings).
    • Don't forget the episode where Tim had to fix Al's board games. Not only is Tim able to instantly identify the problem, he fixes the wiring problem, recruits family and friends to the cause, and he's able to train someone like Jill how to do it without supervision.
    • It's more to portray Al as the Hypercompetent Sidekick, like Bob Vila and Norm Abrams on the early seasons of "This Old House." There was a particular episode where Tim and Al agreed to switch roles, and we see that Al couldn't handle the show after they changed roles (Al as comedian and Tim as the responsible guy, whereas Tim showed he could do both in that episode).
    • Even many of his "More Power" inventions worked according to what they were designed to do, they were just so supercharged they caused collateral damage as opposed to exploding. The vacuum cleaner wind tunnel, the stovetop fan that sucked the spaghetti out of the pot, and more. It's more than he overestimates the quality of the components he builds with rather than not knowing what to do.
      • Or underestimates and over-compensates, in many cases.
    • I think that, due to losing his father at a young age and growing up with multiple older and younger brothers, Tim has a burning desire to impress or one-up other people. After all, what do 99% of Tim's crazy inventions have in common? The presence of an audience. He creates them for his tv show or for his family, and he always makes a big show of unveiling and activating them. The problem is Tim is so eager to impress that he tends to rush through a project, disregarding safety and good sense, which inevitably leads to an embarrassing accident or Explosive Overclocking. By contrast, during his multiple(!) hot rod projects he wasn't trying to impress anyone but himself. As a result he was happy to take his time and not take foolish risks.
  • There are at least two occasions where I can remember Wilson's full face being shown, even for a split second. Do you recall any such instances?
    • Well, there was the finale when he came out to take his bow.
    • The episode that features The Beach Boys, Wilson's face appears for a brief second, because one of the Beach Boys moved out of the way unintentionally in one shot.
    • There's a moment in Season 8's "Whitewater" where you can see a full side-view of Wilson's face, when the bus that Tim called for arrives at the camp grounds. It happens while Tim and Jill are arguing, and Wilson walks by behind Tim. It looks like Tim's arm was supposed to obstruct Wilson's face as he's walking past, since Tim raises his arm to point at the bus at that moment, but he's a pinch to late doing so.
  • Tim never remembers to duck when he goes up or down the basement stairs, so he bangs his head on the same pipe every time. Why doesn't he just wrap the pipe in foam rubber or another material that would cushion the blow?
    • Rule of Funny.
    • Also it's actually pretty easy to let something like that keep happening due to "Out of sight, out of mind". Probably every time Tim bumps his head he thinks "I gotta do something about that pipe". But also every time he's coming down to the basement it's to do something else, and probably by the time he heads back up he's forgotten about it.
  • What I don't get is why does Tim get all the blame in "A House Divided". It was Benny's fault for not telling the Tool Time crew that there were two gas leaks, and not making sure all the electronics were unplugged. Tim didn't know these things so he shouldn't have been held responsible.
    • Initially that was part of the joke, especially when Benny starts taking advantage of Tim, but the series has never been shy about it running on Rule of Funny and Tim's whining insistence was funnier.
  • In the episode where they go to couples' counselling, Tim complains about Jill booking a weekend away at a B&B with no TV on Indy weekend and Jill claims it was the only weekend they had an opening. The Indianapolis 500 is held on Memorial Day weekend; what country bed and breakfast isn't booked weeks in advance on Memorial Day weekend?
    • Rule of Drama? she could of booked it months in advance hoping she could drag/force Tim away from the race.
  • I read recently that since Tim Allen had called Michigan his home, universities in Michigan sent him sweaters to wear on the show to advertise their school and he did. But there was never an in-show reason on why he has so many sweaters from different universities.
    • Tim's a football fanatic. He's supporting his favorite college teams.
  • In the episode "Joke's On You", why was Tim so butthurt over Randy mocking "Tool Time" and his father's accident-prone behavior, with his friend? The show, and Tim himself are frequently made fun of by his other sons, and his wife on a fairly regular basis. Also, Jill points out that Tim tends to insult other people, including Al, so it's a little hypocritical for Tim to be offended. Tim's excuse is that he insults people to their face, while Randy insulted him behind his back. This is a pretty lame excuse as Tim does this as well. Also, when he talks to Wilson he exaggerates the comments Randy made (for example, he says Randy called him an "idiot", although the term he actually used was "goofball"). My problem with all this is the episode seems to head to a moral that it's wrong to make fun of your parents or disrespect them in any way. However, isn't it kind of a Broken Aesop when Tim does this himself to other people in pretty much every episode? The fact that he expects 100% respect, and to not be the butt of any jokes just makes him a full-on hypocrite.
    • You can make fun of someone and still respect them. Tim flat out says in one episode that he makes fun of Al (who gives it right back to Tim, don't forget) because he considers him a close friend and a brother. Tim and Brad/Randy make fun back and forth because they are joshing around. Randy, OTOH, is being flat out disrespectful of Tim and his job, which provides for everything they have and was given to him by his mentor/father figure. It's akin to the child of an NFL lineman mocking him for being a big, fat brute who is going to end up with brain damage.
  • If Al seriously hates working with Tim on Tool Time so much, why doesn't he just leave the show?
    • Because he doesn't seriously hate working with Tim.

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