Home Improvement: Season 8, Episode 21

A Hardware Habit to Break (30 Mar. 1999)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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Harry is selling the hardware store. It comes as a shock to the guys that gather there for man talk and tools. Al owns a percentage of the store, and Tim buys the rest. The business starts slow and then grows more than they can handle.

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Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)
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Thom Sharp ...
Jimmy Labriola ...
Benny Baroni (as Jim Labriola)
Tom La Grua ...
Eddie McCormack (as Tom LaGrua)
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Dolores
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Storyline

Harry is selling the hardware store. It comes as a shock to the guys that gather there for man talk and tools. Al owns a percentage of the store, and Tim buys the rest. The business starts slow and then grows more than they can handle.

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Comedy | Family

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30 March 1999 (USA)  »

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My Kingdom for a Hardware Store!
27 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Good ol' Harry's Hardware, a melting pot of men and tools. It'll always be there for a guy to come to not only shop for tools, but to have intellectual conversations about sports and wives with other guys, and for future generations of guys with wives they can't stand. Harry's will always be there. Right? Well, it was a dark day when Tim walked into the store and Harry told him the awful news: he has to sell the hardware store so he and Deloris can move to Arizona for her health. What to do? Al owns 20%, but he can't afford the other 80, and he doesn't feel right asking Trudy for the money (remember how he felt when she gave him that Ferrari)? And with possibly proposing to her in the future weighing him down, it seems Al becoming sole-owner doesn't look like a possibility. They'd better think of something fast, because a nail salon already has a bid on the property! Meanwhile, Brad's scheming for a way to go down to Florida on Spring Break, but that's a B plot that goes nowhere. Why can't this show ever have decent B plots? Anyway, Tim still racks his brain to figure out how to save the hardware store, and if he didn't have a bitch of a wife, he'd be able to buy it himself. That's when he hits upon a solution: a mixer.

Tim throws a big mixer for potential buyers, without letting them know it's a fundraiser. Harry and Deloris are there too, and I think we've found what's aggravating her asthma: her jerkoff husband smokes around her. Eddie, Sparky, Rock, Al, the gang was all there. Tim gathers them all around and makes a patriot speech about saving the small American business from those faceless monster chains that take them over. When he asks who's gonna buy it, they all refuse. Then they goad Tim into buying it, and he agrees to it to shut them up. Oh well, it's only $70,000. But because Harry's a pal, he doesn't have to pay it all at once. So now Tim and Al have got a business. How hard could it be? Well, right away, it becomes a major pain in the arse. Marty proves to be a TERRIBLE salesman, inadvertently sending customers to Tool Mart, then he and Tim start bickering, then both Benny and Wilson point out that Harry was more than just a salesman. People knew him, he was eager to please. So, Marty and Tim bicker some more, then it's on to Fool Time where Tim destroys a radiator. After that he, Al and Heidi do a plug for Harry's Hardware. They even set up a 24-hour hotline, urging all viewers to call them with ANY tool related questions. They're soon going to regret this. Tim and Al are now on their cell phones all day, every day, and every night. Non-stop. It totally disrupts their lives. Today, that's not uncommon, and even back then, cell phones were being used more often. Anyway, Tim finally tires of the extra workload and breaks it to Marty that he wants to sell. However, Marty's brought in Jeff to help out, and they both believe this was too good of an investment to let go. So it looks like Taylor Bros. Hardware might stay afloat. To celebrate, they think about digging a hole and putting Al in it. Because.... it's an attempt at a joke.

Well, an era has come to an end. Harry has moved, and the hardware store is never seen again on the show. I guess we can assume Marty, Jeff and Tim kept it running for as long as they could. So while this episode isn't very funny and its attempts at jokes fall flat, it does deliver a very good message about how small businesses are being pushed aside to make way for franchise chains. It was just starting back in the '90s, and today it's gotten worse. Countless small businesses have closed because of stores like Wal-Mart. The biggest problem is price comparison, the bigger stores carry everything cheaper, but don't offer the same customer service as the smaller businesses. I really wish people would just WAKE UP and support the little guy. But anyway, again, don't watch this episode if you're looking for a laugh, but if you want to see the guys fight to save Harry's Hardware and show how a few good men won't let a good business die, check out A Hardware Habit to Break!


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