Home Improvement (1991–1999)
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He Ain't Heavy, He's Just Irresponsible 

Tim wants to install a central vacuum system and Jill is opposed. She agrees when he promises it will be a fast and small project. Of course, things get out of hand. Tim's brother Marty arrives and tells Tim he is leaving his wife.



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Episode cast overview:


Tim wants to install a central vacuum system and Jill is opposed. She agrees when he promises it will be a fast and small project. Of course, things get out of hand. Tim's brother Marty arrives and tells Tim he is leaving his wife.

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Comedy | Family




Release Date:

18 October 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode's title references the Bobby Scott/ Bob Russell song "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", performed e.g. by Neil Diamond or The Hollies. See more »


When Marty goes to help Jill pick up the towels, he squats down. When they change cameras, he is standing again and then squats down for the second time. See more »


Al: I think one of these days, you're going to run out of flannel jokes.
Tim: I don't think so, Al. Not with my "Complete Flannel Joke Book".
[Tim pulls out a heavy dictionary-sized hardcover book labelled "The Complete Flannel Joke Book" from behind a prop and opens it]
Tim: "Why did the flannel cross the road? 'Cause Al was over there!" "Oh waiter, there's a fly in my flannel!" "Please... take my flannel!"
[Al snatches the book from Tim]
Tim: Then there's your handy wallet-sized version!
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User Reviews

Why Wasn't I An Only Child?
27 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tim wants to install a central vacuuming system in the house. Well, his intentions were good, but not so much his planning. In short, he damages a water pipe, soaking the foyer carpet and putting a big-ass hole in the floor...similar to the one Jill will put in him when she sees this. On the lighter side of the news, Tim gets a visit from his younger brother Marty, in town on a sales trip. He tried calling, but the phone was dead, thanks to you-know-who. On to Tool Time, where Tim reveals his source of never-ending flannel jokes: The Complete Flannel Joke Book, it's the size of a dictionary. He's also got the smaller, pocket-size edition for good measure. After the show, Tim and Marty head on down to Big Mike's for some manly talk. It seems all is not well in Marty's marriage, ever since the birth of their daughters. Tim advises him to suck it up and help Nancy wherever he can, but all they seem to do is fight. Marty feels he can't take it anymore and says he thinking about leaving her. Tim won't have that and criticizes him, the two have a big fight and Marty walks out. Tim calls him a gutless loser and then yells at some woman for no reason.

Meanwhile, at home, Jill has taken to the backyard to try and study, but the boys just won't leave her alone, far too concerned with their own needs. Up to and including Brad desperately needing to talk to his girlfriend but the phone won't work. Tim comes home, still P.O.'ed at Marty, who disappeared to who knows where. Hopefully a talk with Wilson will help. It usually does. Tim tells him how Marty was only a year old when their father died, so Tim has acted as his surrogate father, teaching him all the important things of life, such as hawking loogies, shooting spitwads, you know. Wilson suggests that Tim revert from father mode to brother mode and be willing to listen and a little less judgmental. So just as Tim finishes putting back the carpet, the little dweeb shows up for his stuff. Eager to bury the hatchet, Tim orchestrates a little brotherly powwow and listens while his brother rambles on about the new-father blues. There's sexual frustration too, as he and Nancy haven't done the deed in six months. But despite it all, Marty couldn't bare to leave his wife or their babies. Times may be tough now, but Tim assures him they will get better. Now that this little problem has worked out and Marty's gone home to the wife, we're left with one more question: whatever happened to the vacuum system Tim was setting up? Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is it works. The bad news is that Jill held her research paper too close to the nozzle.

So, we finally get to meet one of Tim's brothers on the series. Marty Taylor, probably the biggest dweeb of them all. We meet Jeff in Season 6, and as for the other two...nope. We also get a keen insight on what Tim's childhood was like: growing up with so many boys and no father. It's admirable that he was there for Marty during that time. Not very many funny moments, save for the Flannel Joke Book, but this episode does have a lot of heart. Tim and Marty seemed like genuine brothers and not actors. So if you've got a troubled younger brother, troubled older brother or whatever, check out this episode. And if you're an only child (like me), consider yourself lucky.

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