Home Improvement: Season 8, Episode 11

Home for the Holidays (8 Dec. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 45 users  
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It's Christmas time, and that means decorating in Tim's neighborhood. Al is excited to decorate his home for the first time, and proves to be competition for Tim. Randy comes home for Christmas and finds things changed since he left.

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Title: Home for the Holidays (08 Dec 1998)

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Cast

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Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)
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Thom Sharp ...
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Lindsey Trefger ...
Ashley Trefger ...
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Storyline

It's Christmas time, and that means decorating in Tim's neighborhood. Al is excited to decorate his home for the first time, and proves to be competition for Tim. Randy comes home for Christmas and finds things changed since he left.

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Comedy | Family

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8 December 1998 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode marks the last appearance of Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the series. He refused to appear in the finale. See more »

Goofs

Tim is working on the Christmas display on the roof and Randy joins him. A moment later, Jill appears with a thermos of hot chocolate. Even though she didn't know Randy was up there, she still brought three paper cups. See more »

Connections

References Home for the Holidays (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
There's No Place Like Home... Thank Goodness for That.
15 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's Christmastime once again, and Fool Time begins with a segment on installing Christmas lights on your rooftop. Al is especially excited since he finally has a house on which to hang lights, and of course Tim has to lord over the fact that Al is renting the house from him, rubbing in how everything is "mine, mine, mine" to a point where it is no longer funny...but then it wasn't to begin with. He even passes on to Al some of his old decorations: tangled lights and a melted elf. No matter, Al is still confident he can outdo Tim in the lighting contest. He's even got his girlfriend Trudy to help. But if you're as bored with this premise as I am, we now move to inside the Taylor household, all festively decorated for the season. Jill and the girls have made a gingerbread house, Brad and Mark helped by eating the candy, then they decorate the tree as Tim gets ready to add an armed Wise Man to his roof display. Truly a happy time was being had. What more could they ask for? All of a sudden, in comes Randy! Home from Costa Rica. Unfortunately it isn't a very warm welcome, as Jill has to console Claire and Gracie on their first Christmas since their parents' divorce, and Tim is called away to check on his damn lights. So, Randy goes down to his old room which looks like a tornado blew through it. Mark and Brad share it, and they're pigs. The two of them joke and kid so much that Randy hardly recognizes them anymore. But unfortunately, this was only the beginning of a string of events that would make Randy Taylor feel like a stranger in his own home.

That night, Christmas Eve, the family is joined by Lucille, Jeff and Marty who attend a lovely, yet monotonous church service. Tim, of course, ducked out to have a chili cheese dog. Oh well, time for presents! Randy insists they open his first, but not before Lucille has to get on Marty's case over the divorce, kiss-ass Jeff takes Mommy's side, of course. Finally, that dies down and Tim opens the gift Randy wholeheartedly bestowed upon him and the family: a tree in the forest is being protected in their name. However, they think little of the gift and blow him off to go outside to check the lights the boys put on the Manger. Exactly WHY the hell did Randy want to come home again? Anyway, on to the lighting competition. Doc Johnson may be happy that Al's in the neighborhood, because Tim has new target practice. And he's more of a dick than usual. Al and Trudy have to step up their tactics. Christmas morning does get off to a good start, as Randy and Jill have some alone time...for five seconds. Thankfully, there was one person willing to lend an ear: Wilson. He helped Randy to realize that the home you left is not the same home you're returning to. Fortunately, after the talk with Wilson, things began to look up. Randy manages to spend quality time with Tim on the roof as he sets up his yuletide militia for World War Borland. Jill joins them, they have a nice chat, and of course, a Taylor Christmas wouldn't be complete without Tim falling off the roof. And despite his best efforts, Al wins the lighting competition. His strategy: living decorations. Yep, Al and Trudy as Santa and Mrs. Claus...and leave it to those doofuses to get themselves stuck.

Not sure how I feel about this one. It's not one of my favorites by any means, but it's not a bad episode. It's actually very effective. You really sympathize with Randy here, as he feels totally left out in all the chaos that happened over the 9 episodes he'd been gone. This is Home Improvement's final Christmas episode, and the final appearance of Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Randy. From what I understand, his reception upon returning to the show in real life wasn't much different than in the episode. He and Tim Allen didn't get along, because apparently Tim believed that Jonathan was leaving the show to go to school, when in fact he was filming a piece of crap movie called I'll Be Home for Christmas. I urge you NOT to see it, it's terrible. So I guess I do recommend Home for the Holidays to see Randy one last time and for something to watch over the holidays. By the way, why didn't Randy call first before he showed up? Might have saved himself a lot of grief. Oh well, feliz navidad.


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