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Handy Man

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"Patch the drywall, clean your gutters and mow the lawn
Make that phone call, I'll install anything you want
Yeah, check my big staple gun, my socket wrenches are second to none
I won't quit 'til I'm done, don't even care if I hammer my thumb
[whacks thumb with hammer] OW!"''
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Handy"

Usually a large amiable sort of man, good-natured, affable, physically strong and sometimes (though not always) good looking and in good physical shape, this is the guy who knows how to fix things, make things, and repair a host of problems around the home and garden. Probably a builder by trade, his idea of heaven is a toolbox, a great stack of wood, and a plan to work to.


Men admire him and want to be his friend; women love him and indulge him, especially if he has put right a D.I.Y. Disaster perpetrated by the Henpecked Husband or else is effortlessly getting right what the hapless male has just got utterly and spectacularly wrong.

He is related to the Grease Monkey and Mr Fix It and exudes similar justified confidence in his work. (Another aspect of his character that has aphrodisiac qualities). He is laid back and easy-going and never, ever, loses his temper. He can often come off as The Engineer's blue-collar cousin. Very often a True Craftsman.



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    Comic Books 
  • Handy Smurf in The Smurfs fits the trope in most of its aspects, except that in the appearance department, aside from his trademark overalls and visored hat, he looks no different from your average Smurf.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jerry "The Marble Faun" Torre, the mild-mannered teenaged handyman who seems to be the only friend of Edith "Big Edie" Beale and her daughter Edith "Little Edie" Beale, the Crazy Cat Lady stars of the documentary Grey Gardens. He seems to be busy helping the Beales keep their filthy, dilapidated mansion semi-habitable.

  • In Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John stories, one story John tells is of an itinerant handyman who mends a feud between two neighbors by building a bridge where he was asked to build a fence.
  • In Lords and Ladies, Terry Pratchett coins the phrase "approximate handyman" as in bang a couple of nails into it and it'll stay up.
  • In Pact, Blake Thorburn became a handyman after running away from home for his artist friends. He knows where all the galleries and who the owners are.
  • Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys has an extended sequence where he demonstrates the kind of psychological damage these guys inflict, just by existing, on the average mechanically-inept male.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Schneider, the superindent of the building in One Day at a Time, who adopts a Casanova Wannabe attitude around divorcee Ann Romano but is actually a good friend to Ann and her daughters.
  • In gardening makeover show Ground Force, unflappable builder Tommy Walsh is this trope made flesh – happily building gazebos, patios, and sheds or laying down acres of wooden decking for the householder to marvel at.
  • Averted by Frank Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, who only thinks he is.
  • Marty Crane in Frasier is another "approximate handyman"
  • In Fawlty Towers, we have Mr Stubbs the builder, who to Sybil Fawlty’s relef sets about putting right the destruction caused by her Henpecked Husband Basil and Mr O’Reilly.
  • Al Borland from Home Improvement fits this trope to a tee. Tim "The Toolman" Taylor has some aspects of this, but his confidence far outreaches his abilities, which is why he has a whole different trope named after him... in the Show Within a Show Tool Time, where it's mostly played for laughs; in his private life he's a much straighter example, except for whenever it's funnier that he isn't.
  • Dan from Roseanne. Although in one episode, he's shown to resent being called a handyman, as he's a professional contractor and finds the term patronizing.
  • The Red Green Show's title character closes off every "Handyman Corner" segment with "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
  • George Utley on Newhart serves as this for the inn which is the show's main setting.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 


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