Home Improvement (1991–1999)
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Brother, Can You Spare a Hot Rod? 

Everyone is stunned when Tim impulsively sells his hot rod to a pizza magnate - especially Brad, who helped him build it, so Tim and Brad try and talk the millionaire into selling it back. ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Wilson Wilson, Jr.
Mark Taylor
Al Borland
Doug O'Brien
Laura Hill ...


Everyone is stunned when Tim impulsively sells his hot rod to a pizza magnate - especially Brad, who helped him build it, so Tim and Brad try and talk the millionaire into selling it back. Meanwhile, Randy is embarrassed that Jill still goes along with him when shopping for clothes. Written by scgary66

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Comedy | Family






Release Date:

10 January 1995 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is from the depression era song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" See more »


Doug O'Brien tells Tim his hot rod has a great looking short block. The show's writers seem to have a penchant for the term "short block" in comments about car engines. A short block is the part of an engine above the pan and below the head gaskets. It is not very easily seen when the engine is installed in the car and its appearance would not likely be commented on in real life. See more »


Jill Taylor: What if Papa Mia doesn't care?
Tim: Maybe we can talk to his wife.
Jill Taylor: Mama Mia?
See more »


References Brother Can You Spare a Dime (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

The Tool Man Sells Out.
29 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

On the latest episode of Tool Time, Tim demonstrates the wrong way to use heating coils to eliminate ice from your gutters, which simply burn off the whole gutter. Speaking of things that are hot, Tim learns that his hot rod has been chosen to appear in a car show, and being located between the beer stand and the bathroom, it's guaranteed to be seen by every man in the place. However, these plans may soon go south, because the next day on Tool Time, their special guest is Doug O'Brien, a classic car collector as well as the CEO of Papa Mia's Pizza, of which Al is an enormous fan. Tim shows O'Brien his hot rod and talks about the work put into it, while all Al can think about is pizza. One thing leads to another, and that night Tim informs Wilson, also a fan of Papa Mia, and that is this episode's running gag, that he actually sold O'Brien the hot rod. Wilson is understandably shocked, but Tim seems to be standing by his decision, as it was the work he put into the car that meant more to him than the car itself. This decision doesn't sit well with the rest of the family either, particularly Brad, who helped his father put so much work into the hot rod. Now feeling regretful for screwing the pooch, Tim attempts to call O'Brien and haggle for the hot rod, but unfortunately the operator also has Papa Mia Pizza on the brain and proves unhelpful. When he finally does get ahold of the Pizza- Meister, he refuses to sell back to the hot rod. Only thing to do now is talk to him car guy to car guy.

Our B plot features Jill forcing Randy to go clothes shopping, and I'm sure many male viewers will be able to sympathize with Randy here and how embarrassing this kind of ordeal can be. So Jill picks out all these "darling" pairs of pants, accumulating a mountain of trousers and ushers Randy into the dressing room. Naturally, she opens the door on him prematurely and does the ol' pants jiggle, and sure enough, Randy's girlfriend Beth sees him. He puts on a ruse that he's shopping by himself, and Jill goes along with it...until the saleslady comes up with a pair of underwear Jill had apparently requested for Randy. To make up for this, she tells Randy an embarrassment story of her own, which doesn't measure up to what happened to him. But back to the hot rod, Tim goes to O'Brien's classic car garage with Jill and Brad. If you thought Tim was a car nut, get a load of this guy. He's even got Jay Leno working for him, polishing his rides! Long story short...too late... O'Brien once again refuses to sell Tim his hot rod back. It all had to do with his father once owning a car just like it and selling it so that O'Brien could buy his first pizza oven, and now that it's Daddy's 75th birthday, and he really liked Tim's hot rod... well, that was the end of it. All may not be lost, however, as Tim and Brad spot a rusted '46 Ford and, well, say hello to Hot Rod #2. It may not look like much now, but by Season 8, it'll look stunning, with more power!

Now if you're like me, one of the first things you'll notice how it was somewhat out of character for Tim to sell something he put so much work into and be content with the decision... then again he's always made decisions without thinking them through, and you may also find yourself thinking O'Brien was unreasonable for not wanting to sell back the car. Sentimental reasons were his motives, though. It was a nice looking hot rod, though. Blue's my favorite color and brown leather interior was a nice touch. And of course, the classic scene of Jill making Randy go clothes shopping. I remember when The Simpsons did that in "Lisa the Greek". When it all comes down to it, a kid wants to wear what they want to wear and you can't really force that. So, Home Improvement fans, classic car fans, pizza fans...clothes shopping fans, watch this episode! Very entertaining, funny and poignant.

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