Home Improvement: Season 8, Episode 13

Chop Shop 'til You Drop (5 Jan. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
7.0
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Brad is excited to finally get his first car, but when it's stolen and stripped, Tim is determined to track down the culprits.

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Title: Chop Shop 'til You Drop (05 Jan 1999)

Chop Shop 'til You Drop (05 Jan 1999) on IMDb 7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)
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Thelma McCready
Brent Hinkley ...
Carl
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Tiffany Gutierrez
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Dan Tullis Jr. ...
Police Officer
Adrienne Evans ...
Policewoman (as Adrienne Brett Evans)
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Storyline

Brad is excited to finally get his first car, but when it's stolen and stripped, Tim is determined to track down the culprits.

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Genres:

Comedy | Family

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5 January 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title is based on the war cry of American consumers: Shop until you drop. See more »

Quotes

Tim: [on the phone with the police] My son's car was stolen and I'm offering free Tool Time tickets to the man that finds it... Officer? I fail to see the humor in what I just said.
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User Reviews

 
A Fool and his Car are Soon Parted.
18 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Brad has a date. It's true, however it may not last when he doesn't have a car to show off to her. The Taylors have three cars and Brad can't use any of them on this particular night. However, since he has managed to save two grand and he's been getting high marks in school, Tim and Jill give Brad their blessing to get a car of his own. Naturally, Tim is more excited about the prospect of his eldest son getting a car than the latter, but he spirits drop when he realizes this will come out of his car budget. Anyway, on to Fool Time, and I call it that now because at this point, it's just fooling around without any contribution to the plot...except this time, it may lead to Brad getting a car. Tim and Al are doing a salute to used cars, and the subject is a 1988 Mustang, giving a thorough looking over. Actually, Al and Heidi did all the work as Tim just stood around and looked pretty. Worse yet, he is extremely rude to Thelma McCready, the mother of the owner of the car. He chastises her for bringing homemade jelly donuts, which Al quickly scarfs down, dripping a big glob of jelly on the car manifold as he does. Finally filled up with Tim being a jerk-off, she decides not to sell the car. Thankfully Brad was in the audience and he was able to appeal to her good nature, and now, he had a car! You couldn't find a happier lad than Brad, or a happier dad than Tim. But as happy and carefree as things were now, disaster was looming on the horizon.

Sure enough, Brad's car got jacked. He reported it to the cops, who hoped he was insured, while Tim called the precinct and offered free Tool Time tickets as an incentive... somehow, I don't think that will help, Tim. Well after a few days of wait and worry, the Taylors receive a call from the police. They found Brad's car...which is the good news. The bad news: the bastards who stole it also stripped it. Officer Dan from Married with Children is on the scene, and basically, there's little if anything the cops can do. Brad feels somebody should be held accountable for this, and Tim agrees, launching into the speech of a lifetime about how he's pulled off some amazing feats, albeit brought on by disaster, and that the Tool Man can fix anything! First, he uncovers a salvage yard that sells stolen parts, but the cops need a warrant, so Tim decides to take the law into his own hands. He remembers Al dripping boysenberry jelly on the manifold, which may be their hook. So he and Al go incognito down to A-1 Salvage and browse. Instantly, Al recognizes an "old friend": George, whom they met in prison when they were scalping tickets. So they find the manifold, Al tastes the noticeable jelly stain and confirms it was one stolen from Brad's car. It's at this point the shop's proprietors recognize them, but thankfully the cops show up before it escalates. So in the end, Brad gets a new car and Tim installs a brand new security system in it, which he tests out on Al. Incidentally, they did this gag a hell of a lot better in Season 3. But then, they did everything better in Season 3.

Okay, here's the rundown: Tim's responses of "this is coming out of my car budget, isn't it?" were not funny. They borrowed the "news reporter with a funny foreign name" gag from Married With Children, which did it much better. Also, I think this episode should have been a little more serious and downbeat. I mean, this is Brad's first car, and it gets stolen, it's a big deal. It's a very dramatic situation, they didn't need to cram it with juvenile, unfunny gags. Home Improvement became a caricature of its former self by Season 8, the characters don't act like real people and they go out of their way for a laugh. I hate that about sitcoms. Just let it come naturally, don't try to make us laugh every five seconds! So as far as story and plot, this one was really good, but the jokes were awful, forced, and just not funny. In real life, Tim would get his ass kicked for the way he acted here. I don't really recommend Chop Shop 'Til You Drop, it's painfully unfunny, but it is a standout episode in its own right. Oh, and by the way, Al and George did NOT shower together in prison. Remember "No, No Godot"? That's the episode in question. They did not take a shower. Just another stretch to add a bad joke. Well, guess what? It's not god-damned funny! "Based on the stand-up comedy of Tim Allen", I'm sure he found that insulting.


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