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Series / Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

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"Come on out, Cohen family! You have cancer! You have cancer!"
I'm Nice!, a Creation Nation parody of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

ABC Reality Show where a group of people build (or rather get other people to build for them) a Big Fancy House for the poor, downtrodden family of the week. Frequently features former Trading Spaces carpenter Ty Pennington; later seasons frequently include various celebrities in the design teams.

The story behind this one: ABC had a series called Extreme Makeover which was about improving people's looks through plastic surgery. Someone decided to make a spinoff — technically, what this show is supposed to be doing is like plastic surgery, only to houses. As it happens, while majorly rebuilding a person is a little uneasy even among the mainstream note , majorly rebuilding a house for deserving people is definitely feel-good programming, besides offering ample opportunities for Product Placement — and the show always tries to make sure that those who are having their houses rebuilt appear deserving. Thus, while the original Extreme Makeover only lasted four seasons, this ran for nine. In December 2011, however, it was announced that the show would end in January 2012 after nine successful seasons. The series has been resurrected for special episodes, including a Christmas Special in December 2012.


During its original nine-season run, the show completed a total of 203 single family homes, as well as two schools, a Wilmington, Delaware duplex, and a Colorado duplex for homeless families. They keep a time limit, but there seems to be no expense spared. (There are willing donors.)

In 2019, HGTV announced that they would be reviving the show, along with acquiring reruns of 100 of the original episodes. The new episodes are scheduled to air in 2020.


This show provides examples of:

  • Amazing Freaking Grace: On the final night of the Teas family build, a camper at Camp Barnabas thanked the volunteers and sang this song.
  • Artifact Title: It has been much more successful than Extreme Makeover, outlasting it by five years, yet the spinoff-style title was never changed.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Ty Pennington literally has it, which may explain the overwhelming enthusiasm he shows for everything.
  • Badass in Distress: Recipients of home builds included three United States Marines, fout Army soldiers, their families, and a family with ties to the United States Army, Navy, and Marines.
  • Big "OMG!": Quite a few of them, especially once the family sees their new house. Even once they go inside, there tends to be a lot of shouting.
  • Bridal Carry: Sometimes Ty helps disabled children and their parents by performing this carry.
  • Catch-Phrase: A few.
    • "Goooooooood morning, [name] family!" [Family members] Wake up and come on out!
    • And, of course, "Bus driver! Move! That! Bus!"
    • "Oh my God/Oh my gosh!" heard from the families' mouths when seeing a new house and its rooms for the first time.
    • "So here's the thing..."
    • "There's only one thing left to say. Welcome Home [family's name] family, welcome home."
  • Celebrity Edition: The 2009-10 season.
    • Muppet Cameo: The celebrities in the first 2010 episode.
      • Elmo showed up in an episode when Tracy Hutson was still pregnant. In fact, Tracy's unborn child actually kicked Elmo when he put his ear to her stomach.
      • Kermit took over as team leader for Ty twice, once when he had appendicitis and once when he was helping build homes for people who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina.
  • Celebrity Star: Rapper Xzibit was on the design team for about a year.
  • Cool House: The whole point of the show.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Season one, when the show was still finding its niche, is a bit different from the latter seasons. The first total demolition didn't happen until episode fourteen, and early episodes emphasized the struggle of building a house in a week's time, while later seasons don't mention that as a problem, seeing as how they'd built up enough good karma to have hundreds of volunteers to help them every time. Also, the first build outside California didn't take place until during the second season.
  • Enforced Plug: For Sears, Disney, and, apparently in the later seasons, other Mouse shows and acts.
  • Fanservice: One episode involved the designers having to work on a very hot summer day. Ty and the others took a break at one point to jump into a pool, but not before disrobing a bit. Ty and Paul went shirtless, while Tracy Hutson took her pants off.
  • The Glomp: The design team will often get this from the more energetic and outgoing families.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Most of the volunteers for the builds are the neighbors of the families receiving houses. The application for the show asks what kind of relationship applicant families have with their neighbors, presumably to ensure that their will be volunteers to speak of.
  • Happily Ever After: Following the events of the Walswick family episode in season one, designer Constance Ramos fell in love with and married J.J. Carell, the Walswick family friend who nominated them for the show and helped build their house.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Amy Hawkins, whose family received a house in season 4, shielded her children during a tornado, saving their lives. However, she suffered punctures in both lungs and broke her back, becoming a paraplegic in the process.
    • Anaiah Rucker saved younger sister Camry from an oncoming truck, but ended up needing a leg amputation because of it.
  • Home and Garden: Up to Eleven.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Most episodes feature either this or a severely disabled family member. Some, however, do feature people who have worked hard to help others.
    • The Stott family. The mother had leukemia and was saved by a bone marrow donation from a guy who helped with the project.
    • The Okvath family in Season 2. Their eight-year-old daughter Kassandra was dealing with cancer, and had sent a video to the design team requesting that they help redecorate the interior of the pediatric hospital which had helped treat her cancer. They set her up with a redecorating team for the hospital and left her and her family to take charge of that project... and doubled-back to rebuild her family's home as well.
  • Melodrama: The opening before every family gets their new house frequently plays up how bad their house is, while also emphasizing the family's good qualities.
  • Men Don't Cry: Highly averted.
    • If one of the guys on the Build Team isn't crying or teary-eyed, you're watching the wrong show.
    • Lampshaded in one of the show's commercials on CMT (which ran reruns for quite some time). The announcer comments that "You won't wanna cry... but you're gonna cry!" while showing a montage of clips of different men weeping copiously.
  • Monochrome Casting: The show often features very white construction crews. If you are used to seeing mostly, if not only, non-white construction workers in Real Life, this looks very odd.
  • Moral Guardians: Averted. Most family organizations loved the show; the Parents Television Council, for one, absolutely adored it. In fact, they loved it so much that they gave it their Seal of Approval and named it the best show on television for the vast majority of its run.
  • Nice Guy: All the families, as well as the people who volunteer to help build the houses. The design team members usually count; Ty Pennington always counts.
  • Oh, Crap!: After making some progress on the Burns family build, the design team realized Ben would have to travel quite a long distance to get from his room to that of his parents, not the best thing for someone with osteogenesis imperfecta note . To compensate for this lack of foresight, they decided to incorporate construction of a hatch which would make things easier on Ben by giving him immediate access to the living room.
  • One of the Kids: Ty; Ed, when he's with the team.
  • Product Placement: Lots of it, mostly for Sears, which was one of the show's largest sponsors.
  • Punny Name: One of the building companies is called Holmes' homes.
  • Race Against the Clock: The team has 7 days to construct a new house. Typically the house itself was constructed in 4-4 1/2 days, with one build in Michigan note  completed in 56 hours, 54 minutes. There was one build in Washington state which could not be completed in time due to an issue involving mold contamination in the old house.
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness: Every family that appears on the show in how they (over)react to their new house.
    • It Makes Sense in Context, considering that several of the families lived in giant rat holes. Even though the families were encouraged by the producers to overplay their reactions, a lot of it is genuine happiness.
  • Rule of Pool: The design team may install a pool for a family who's never had one if there is a therapeutic reason to do so.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Families with a predeceased member will have memorials built into their new house.
  • Side Bet: In a first season episode, Constance and Tracy took on Paul and Michael in a boys-versus-girls competition to build the best room. The losers were to make dinner for the winners. It was amusing until they started sabotaging each other's rooms, endangering the timeline of the entire makeover. Ty was not pleased.
  • Spin-Off: Though technically far closer to the original Extreme Makeover, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition was spun off due to the success of Home Edition. Basically, though, that one is Extreme Makeover meets The Biggest Loser. The third season re-named it to just Extreme Weight Loss
  • Spiritual Successor: Game of Homes on Discovery Family.
  • Strictly Formula: The show usually goes as such:
    • Ty and the crew are in the bus watching the family's story. One or many or all the children or members of the family have some chronic disease or something else, the family may or may not be working for the good of the community but all of them lives in a crappy house or the house has been destroyed. Move often than not, there will be crying involved.
    • "GOOD MORNING [family name])!!!" (though they have tried to shake it up by simply surprising them at an event)
    • We hear more of the family's story and then, they send the family to Disney World or some other vacation spot.
    • With the family in [vacation place], a massive horde of people comes to the ramshackle house just so the family can see them and Ty commentating the destruction of the house, to the wishes of the family.
    • Horde of people builds the house, Ty and the crew does some challenges.
    • They bring back the family.
    • "Bus driver, MOVE THAT BUS!"
    • [reactions of the family as they tour the house]
    • Ty ends every episode by welcoming the family home.
  • Tempting Fate: When Ty asked the Teas family what they should do with their old house, the mother replied, "You could burn it." So they did.
  • Title Confusion: Also unofficially known as Extreme Home Makeover and referred to as such by some fans and media, and even by ABC affiliates themselves who promote the show.
  • Tranquil Fury: Ty, following the Side Bet incident listed above. He called off the bet, said he was buying everyone pizza, and pointed out that they could eat a slice with one hand while painting with the other. His demeanor was still relatively jovial, but his eyes and his tone (which was a bit less perky than usual) made it clear that he was very displeased with his designers' antics.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Vardon house was actually finished early, allowing the design team to spend the extra time perfecting their work.


Example of: