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Time to Move

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The man of the house decides to sell his family's home, but ends up meeting stiff resistance from the other members of his family. By the end of the episode, though, the move is cancelled.

This may or may not require the other family members, often the kids, faking household disasters or otherwise trying to sabotage attempts by Dad or a real estate agent showing the house to buyers.

"Real" moves invariably take place between seasons, so that the show's tech crew can build the new sets at a reasonable pace.

See The Moving Experience and Moving Angst for when the move isn't cancelled.


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  • Ur-example from the movies: Meet Me in St. Louis, one of the biggest films of 1943. Features the 1904 worlds fair, Judy Garland singing "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and, yes, the businessman father decides to stay in St. Louis for the sake of his family instead of taking a promotion to New York.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Brady Bunch "To Move or Not To Move," in which the Brady kids engage in a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax to frighten potential buyers.
  • Clarissa Explains It All: Clarissa's father is going through a midlife crisis, and decides to move the family to a remote Pacific island. In the end, they just have to tell him what an incredibly bad idea it is.
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray is lukewarm about moving to a house opposite his parents. The then-innocent Debra asserts that having the soon-to-be-born child's grandparents nearby, so Marie and Frank could drop in and help out, would be a really good idea.
  • The first season finale of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 featured Jim Walsh getting a promotion back to Minnesota, and was met with resistance from Brenda, Brandon, and surprisingly, Cindy, all of whom grew accustomed to life in Beverly Hills. It went as far as a going-away party thrown by Brenda and Brandon's friends before Jim changed his mind, thus allowing the family to stay in Cali.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air featured a slight inversion in that Phillip Banks wasn't initially looking to sell the house; a real estate agent had shown up offering to buy it from him, explaining that it was his client's childhood home. Initially the entire family is against it. However, the agent continues to raise the offered price, winning over the family one by one until young Ashley is the only one who will resist. Sure enough, her pubescent natter is enough to convince the family to remain where they are. However, in a minor subversion, the agent's client (who turns out to be none other than Donald Trump himself) shows up to explain that the agent had the wrong address and withdraws the offer.
  • Averted with Friends when, in the final season, Chandler and Monica move out of their house despite their friends (mostly Joey's) laments.
  • Happens in an episode of Full House. There is a slight subversion in that out of the nine people living there, eight of them are completely in favor of it (and the move wouldn't take them out of San Francisco...just to a bigger house in a nearby or perhaps the same neighborhood). The only one against it was seven year old Michelle.
  • The Golden Girls had a Clip Show episode, "We're Outta Here!", which had this overarching plot. A "For Sale" sign had been mistakenly put on the house, and Blanche receives a large offer from a wealthy Japanese businessman on a real estate shopping spree. The clips involved the grils' various misadventures during their life together, and while Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia didn't really want to move, they agreed that the offer was too large for Blanche to pass up. However, they're kept from moving at the end when the potential buyer spent all his money on other properties and withdraws his offer.
  • Good Luck Charlie: Amy decides to move the family into a bigger house thinking their current one will be too small for their soon-to-be-born fifth child. On the day of the move however, she has memories of the children coming in through the door when they were born, prompting her to cancel the move.
  • Home Improvement, with Tim Taylor's plan to sell the Taylors' Detroit house and move to their summer home. The family doesn't like the idea.
  • In Kenan & Kel across two episodes Kenan's Dad moves the family away so he can fulfill his livelong forest ranger dream, leaving Kel friendless. They move back when they find out how bad their new house and Roger's new job actually are.
  • NUMB3RS: Dad wants to sell the house, at least in part so that Charlie will finally grow up and move out on his own. The house sells quickly — to Charlie, who promptly becomes his father's landlord.
  • In Outnumbered, precociously bright daughter Karen repeatedly sabotages viewings of the Brockman family home, as she is adamant that she does not want to move. She goes so far as to warn viewing families they're going to get her as a sitting tenant.
  • The Partridge Family: "For Sale by Owner" starts out as an inversion - the kids want to move, while Shirley wants to stay. Eventually the kids come around to Shirley's point of view, but by that point Reuben has already made a deal to sell the house. The kids spend the rest of the episode trying to get out of the contract.
  • Step by Step used the same plot as previous, and it was Lily who objected.
  • Sydney to the Max: In "As Bad as She Gets", Max's childhood friend Leo considers moving back to Portland, but his son Leo Jr. doesn't want to move and enlists Sydney and Olive to sabotage his plans by acting like a bad person. They steal a bike from the store, which not only cancels the move, but almost destroys their fathers' friendship with each other.

    Western Animation 
  • In the The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Sale", the Robinsons are trying to sell their house to get away from the Wattersons for good. Gumball and Darwin do their best to sabotage the sale and eventually come to the conclusion that the couple trying to buy the Robinsons' house is only there because there's oil under their property, which at first seems like it is true, causing the Robinsons to stay. Then it turns out that they didn't strike oil, they punctured a sewage line. Because of this, the couple is now too disgusted to purchase the house.
  • Amphibia: Marcy reveals that on Anne's birthday, her dad got a new job out of state and her whole family is moving away; the reason she used the Calamity Box to teleport the girls to Amphibia was so they'd never have to be apart.
  • Bobby's World played with this in one episode, where they actually DID move, but to a house just across the street which was in every way identical to their old house except for having an extra bedroom for the new baby. This was lead into with an inversion of another trope: "Are we there yet?" "Yep!"
  • Cow and Chicken did the exact same thing, except it was because the old house was full of ants (which promptly moved right along with them).
  • Dexter's Laboratory once had an episode titled "The Big Move" in which Dexter was afraid that the family was going to move, so he tried to make the house as nice as possible so they'd want to stay. In the end it turned out that the titular Big Move was just moving the furniture around- but once he mentioned the idea of actually moving...
  • Casper's Scare School, the episode "Ghost Bust a Move" had Mr. Bradley wanting to move the family from Deedstown to a small desert town since he couldn't find any more decent sales jobs in Deedstown. His son Jimmy and Casper were less than thrilled about this idea and spend the enitre episode sabotaging the move, untill Mr. Bradley (after seeing Casper with Jimmy) decided to give up being a salesman and become a creature catcher, providing him with a new form of income in Deedstown.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: As Billy's dad has to move, Billy wants to bring Grim, but Mandy wants to keep him in Endsville. They go to court to see who gets custody of Grim. The judge rules that Billy's family be outlawed from moving. Or apparently from even leaving his house. Which sucks for them since Billy's Mom already broke a wall down.
  • Subverted in Hilda: Hilda spends most of the first two episodes trying to convince her mom not to move to the city, and appears successful after making peace with the local elves. Then their house gets crushed by a giant and they have to move anyway.
  • Hey Arnold!!, "Casa Paradiso", with Grandpa Phil's attempt to sell his boarding house and move himself along with Grandma Pookie and Arnold (one of those who are putting up stiff resistance) to the titular retirement home.
  • The Kim Possible movie A Sitch in Time was about Ron's parents unexpectedly moving to Norway, a move Ron did not like, at all. Being eventually revealed to be a result of time traveling, the entire move got completely reset'd out of existence in the end.
  • The Loud House: In "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos", initially the Santiagos were going to Great Lakes City to spend two days with their extended family the Casagrandes, but Maria reveals they're moving there permanently because she got a job at the city hospital and Bobby is being promoted to co-owner of the Mercado. Faced with the prospect of missing Lincoln and Lori and Bobby's relationship hitting a roadblock, Ronnie Anne asks the two to sabotage their plans; however, she changes her mind when she realizes how much the family cares for her, to the point of converting Rosa's closet into a bedroom for Ronnie Anne like Lincoln's. Thus she chooses to stay, which sets up Ronnie Anne's spin-off show The Casagrandes.
  • Rocket Power, "Shack Attack", with Ray Rocket's attempt to sell his diner in order to move to "Shoobietown" (that's what his kids are calling it, and they don't like the idea)
  • The Simpsons: Homer gets a new job under businessman (and part-time super-villain) Hank Scorpio. He loves it, but Bart is held back in school, Lisa is allergic to everything in the area, and Marge becomes incredibly bored due to a self-cleaning house. By the end of the episode, the Reset Button has been pushed and the family is back in Springfield. (And Scorpio has seized control of the entire U.S. East Coast.)
    • This happens a few other times, too:
      • In the movie, they move to Alaska after being chased away by an angry mob.
      • In an episode where some carnies take over their house, they're forced to move.
      • In an episode where Homer goes back to the old family farm, they move to the farm for a short time, where they grow "tomacco" plants (with a little help from nuclear material from the power plant.
      • In an episode where they go to spring break in Florida and end up running from the law, they end up living in a trailer.
      • In an episode where they go on a reality show, they move into a 19th century home.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Home Sweet Pineapple," SpongeBob's home gets destroyed by nemotodes. When his attempts to room with his neighbors fail, he decides to go live with his parents, much to his friends' distress and Squidward's delight. However, the "pebble" SpongeBob saved as a memento of his house turns out to be a seed that sprouts into a perfect replica of his old pineapple house.