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Series / Canada's Worst Handyman

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A Canadian Reality Show that tries to rehabilitate the country's constructionaly challenged in much the same way as its sister program does for driving. This involves sending candidates (usually nominated by their relatives) to a central location (referred to as the "Handyman Rehabilitation Centre") to take classes on various techniques from professionals, and then (hopefully) apply their new-found skills to perform various DIY tasks in their designated rooms. All of these quests are aimed toward "refurbishing" their building into something, such as a bed and breakfast, dorm rooms, honeymoon suites, etc. (which will invariably be labelled as "Canada's Worst ..."). The contestants also work on tasks in a group project (such as re-doing a kitchen or building a spa area) throughout the season, where the previous day's "most improved" serves as the foreman.


Unlike Canada's Worst Driver, there is no elimination; the 5 contestants stay for the entire season (with one rather glaring exception in Season 4). Despite this, the most improved and worst people of the day are singled out at the end of each episode, the latter also has to hang their head in shame (in the Hall of Shame. With a nail. And a picture frame.) In the end, after final judgement, one person is ultimately crowned Canada's Worst Handyman. Your mileage may vary on whether this should be described as "winning" the show. As with its sister, while the show is serious about trying to rehabilitate these unfortunate subjects, much of it is still Played for Laughs

The series started in 2006 and lasted six seasons before going on hiatus; however, in July 2014, Discovery Channel started advertising a casting call for what could possibly have been a seventh season ... it ended up being a reboot called Blood, Sweat & Tools and premiered in April 2015.


This show provides examples of

  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow:
    • "A vibrating bed?!"
    • In Season 5, their efforts to explain "chemical welding."
  • Brick Joke: In Season 2, the frames for each contestant's shed were built for them, but they still had to specify their own dimensions. However, the contestants were warned not to make their frames taller than a specific height. As usual, most of them did not Read the Freaking Manual. Only during the finale did most of the contestants realize why there was a height limit in the first place: their sheds wouldn't fit through the front door of the workshop! They had to find, ahem, creative ways to get their sheds out of the workshop, one of which involved cutting the entire building in half — the contestant who resorted to that, Terry, ended up being named the season's Worst Handyman for doing so.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Jaime from Season 2 was a distinctly non-comedic example, due to the outright abuse that his mother-in-law frequently subjected to whenever he screwed up, or even did a job right but refused to follow her advice.
    • Season 4 had a straightforward example in Johnnie, who constantly screwed up with often hilarious results, and a more unusual one in Eric, who was (aside from possibly Angie) easily the most competent handyman in his season, but was never named the most improved, generally got little credit from the experts until the final episode, and even had his original nominator thrown off the show because they thought the duo were enjoying the experience too much.
    • Similar to Johnnie, Simon from Season 5 enjoyed this status thanks to how spectacularly wrong his challenges usually went.
  • Clip Show: The first two seasons ended with one, recapping the season, demolishing the apartment used (in Season 1), and delivering the ecosheds that were constructed and sold for charity (in season 2)
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Simon from Season 5's grasp on reality tended to be tenuous at best. Justified in that he had chronic problems with high blood pressure, and that his detachment from reality was in part how he kept it down.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Andrew, of course.
    "Of course, water is known for pushing itself uphill all the time"
  • Decided by One Vote: Even more so than Driver, with only two expertsnote , it almost always comes down to each giving their opinion, and Andrew being the tie breaker. If Andrew argues with one of the experts, and the other expert is the tie-breaker, it's probably because both experts agreed and the producers are playing up Rule of Drama by throwing in a Conflict Ball.
  • D.I.Y. Disaster: Those on the show are on it because they've caused more than one in their time. The hope is to reform them so that this doesn't happen anymore, though with varying success.
  • Doom It Yourself: Of course, it wouldn't be a show about DIY gone wrong without ... well ... DIY going wrong.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: A common sight among amateur do-it-yourselfers.
    • Merle in the first season takes to an extreme, utilizing duct tape to fix virtually every problem (often caused by his insistence on measuring by eye or with body parts instead of with a measuring tape). At one point he even uses it to bandage himself after cutting himself while using duct tape to patch wood that he split from hammering parts together. In Episode 4 he would have used duct tape to patch leaky pipes from a bad cutting job, but the production crew headed him off and removed every single roll from the premises (he ended up using plumber's putty instead).
  • Dumb Blonde: Subverted by Angie from Season 4, who was prone to saying and doing really stupid things, but ended up showing by far the most improvement out of any of that season's contestants. Angela from Season 5 however, plays with this to a mild extent.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Joe from Season 3's time on the show in its entirety could qualify, as he was named the worst of the episode on three different occasions (more than anyone else, ever) on his way to being named Canada's Worst Handyman, but it was really all summed up by the chair he made in one episode, which had the front legs installed upside-down. What's worse is that he was completely oblivious to it until Andrew pointed it out.
      • Let me put it another way: when you routinely try to hammer in SCREWS, you qualify.
    • Brian P. from Season 4 may well have been the show's worst-ever handyman. The number of challenges he passed while on the show? Zero. He probably avoided being named the worst only because he got thrown out of rehab (see Non-Gameplay Elimination below).
  • Insane Troll Logic: In the second-last episode of Season 5, Cory installed a vent hood for the kitchen stove a foot higher than Ontario building codes (and the stove's own instructions) permitted. Not wanting to bother with the effort of removing the hood and reinstalling it, Cory resorted to just standing the stove on a box instead. As you'd expect, the experts were not happy with this.
  • Henpecked Husband: Mostly these have been justified examples, given how bad the men on this show have generally proved to be at handiwork and finishing jobs, but the way that Darryl from Season 1 and Casey from Season 3 were treated by their respective wives went way beyond what you'd expect.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Several of the nominators can prove to be this:
    • In Season 2, Terry's original nominator Harvey was clearly the brains of their operation early on. Tellingly, after Harvey was forced off the show due to a back injury, the quality of Terry's work went down the toilet, eventually resulting in him being named the worst.
    • Season 4 had two examples. The first was Brian P.'s son Brennan; granted, anyone would qualify as this compared to the unbelievably inept Brian, but Brennan showed himself to have a good knowledge of handiwork, and was the only person in rehab (besides Eric) to successfully assemble the electric fireplace at the first go. The second example was Angie's husband Roy, who was a major help on their jobs, and was actually allowed to take part in the season's final challenge (they were a man down due to Brian P. having been kicked out), where he proved way more competent than Johnnie or Brian M.
    • Season 5 had Deen's twin brother Doug, who was basically the only reason why Deen (the eventual worst) got anything finished in rehab.
  • The Load: While a lot of the nominators have been at best lacking in knowledge, and at worst outright impossible to work with, Matt H. from Season 5 stands out as the only one who was actively trying to make his nominee, Angela be the worst so that she'd give up handiwork. The experts quickly caught on, and after she did poorly in the season's fifth episode, named him as the episode's worst instead of Angela.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted as it's Real Life, but several bad handymen learn the wet way that just because the main water line is turned off, that doesn't mean the water in the pipes goes away.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The handymen's various introduction videos show just how incompetent and/or dangerous they've been with home repairs and they come on the show to learn how to do things the right way. Not that it stops them from making horrific mistakes over the course of the show. One notable instance occurred during Season 4, when the handymen were using a circular saw in a way that almost guaranteed that at least one of them would be disemboweled. Andrew stormed onto the set yelling at them to stop, dressed them down, and taught them how to do the job safely.
  • Non-Gameplay Elimination:
    • Only one contestant actually got thrown off the show: Brian Pugh from Season 4, who was ejected after threatening physical violence against fellow contestant Brian MacDonald, which caused the other handymen to threaten to walk if he wasn't removed.
    • There were also two instances where a nominator had to be replaced. The first was in Season 2, when Terry's nominator Harvey injured his back, and the second was in Season 4, when Eric's nominator Marc was sent home by the producers because they felt he was a bad influence and encouraging Eric to goof off; in both cases, the men's respective wives took over as the nominators.note 
  • Point-and-Laugh Show
  • Read the Freaking Manual: This happens so much that "Read the instructions!" is pretty much the show's Catch-Phrase! There are people who don't read then, people who only read a bit of them and give up, and people who mess up even with them. By Season 6, the experts pretty much had a policy that anyone who made a major mistake caused by failing to read the instructions would automatically be named the episode's worst.
  • The Silent Bob: Keith from Season 5. But when he did speak...
  • The Smurfette Principle: Every season has had a gender makeup of four men and a woman, the only exception being Season 2, which had three men and two women.
  • Spoiler Opening: Season 5 had the spoiler that Matt would eventually receive a mohawk helmet (although it didn't go into why)
  • Take a Third Option: Occurs in various forms...
    • Is the common way of getting out of a situation you don't know how to get out of. As usual, even this will end up not going so well.
    • On a more serious note, Season 5 had a very interesting way of dealing with Angela's partner Matt during an episode. The turmoil he created (mainly surrounding a pact they made that she would quit doing such work if she was declared Canada's Worst Handyman) affected her performance, and as such, he was declared the day's worst "handyman" instead.
    • In Season 2, Terry managed to get named the most improved, and the worst of the day, at the same time. The same thing happened with Johnny in season 4 and Dan in season 6, although in the latter case it was because the handymen nominated Dan as the best, while the experts nominated him as the worst.
  • The Unfair Sex: A pretty mild instance, since she was never realistically going to be named the worst anyway, but Angela from Season 5 got a free pass on being named Canada's Worst Handyman since the experts agreed that her husband was at fault for the screw-ups she did make. By comparison, Darryl from Season 1 and Casey from Season 3 were told that the controlling behaviour of their wives was no excuse for their bad handiwork. It could also be argued that while the wives of the two men named were "controlling", they weren't outright trying to sabotage their partners!
  • Women Are Wiser: Played straight by the wives who nominate their husbands as contestants, and subverted when the wives themselves are nominated by their husbands.
  • You Get What You Pay For: Ajay in Season 6 tried to do everything as cheaply as possible, which backfires as it's usually done wrong, requires redoing it and creates a lot of waste. Andrew points out that doing it the cheap way is far more expensive than doing it the right way.


Example of: