Home Improvement (1991–1999)
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Karate or Not, Here I Come 

On Tool Time: Tim has invited an expert to demonstrate how to cut wood using karate. Al believes he can do it too - and he does! Tim's ego can't take this and he tries it too - with ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Lisa (as Pamela Denise Anderson)
Robert Cho
Ryan Tomlinson ...


On Tool Time: Tim has invited an expert to demonstrate how to cut wood using karate. Al believes he can do it too - and he does! Tim's ego can't take this and he tries it too - with predictable results. At home: Brad and Randy won't let Mark play football with them. They say Mark is a geek and a chicken. Tim and Jill agree that Mark should find a way to improve his confidence. Tim suggests karate, Jill gymnastics. Naturally, Mark chooses karate. In karate class, Mark's partner is a bully, and the boy's mother gets into a fight with Jill and Tim. Written by Toni Tapola, Finland

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Plot Keywords:

karate | bully | dojo | See All (3) »


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

24 February 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title comes from the child's game of "Hide and Seek" when after the person who is "It" has finished his counting he cries out "Ready or not, here I come!" See more »


Wilson begins reciting the state capitals in alphabetical order and then continues over the closing credits. When he gets to the letter S, he gets the order wrong when he puts "Saint Paul" behind Salem, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, and Springfield. See more »


Mark: You guys are lying.
Jill: Mark, let me handle this. You guys are lying.
See more »

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User Reviews

Tool On, Tool Off.
14 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Today on Tool Time, how to cut wood when there are no saws available. Tim brings out Karate expert Robert Cho, who can break a board by using his head. Then Tim and Al get into a battle of wits on which of them could perform that feat, so Tim sets up another piece of wood and, amazingly, Al successfully breaks it, as he has actually studied Karate. So going with the mindset of whatever Al can do, Tim can do better so he attempts breaking a board himself...and fails miserably. I wouldn't hurry about head trauma, though, as there isn't much that could be damaged. At home, Brad and Randy are being buttholes to Mark, including not letting him play football with them. However, it's not just a matter of Mark being lousy at sports, Tim and Jill feel he's lacking in self confidence and they want to find him an activity that can boost it. Tim suggests Karate, but Jill nixes it for reasons of being too violent and suggests gymnastics. But, why not let Mark decide? Jill tells Tim not to try and influence his decision...but then she goes right ahead and does that herself! But despite her best, yet pitiful efforts, Mark chooses Karate. So, they enroll Mark in Sensai Cho's Karate class, and it seems like a perfect fit. But leave it to Jill to find problems...especially when two advanced students demonstrate 'free fighting.'

Cho pairs his students up, Mark getting a boy bigger and chubbier than him, and of course, the boy's mother cheers him on. It wouldn't be so bad, except the boy, Artie, kept slapping Mark when his back was turned. When this persists, Jill confronts Artie's mother who, not only doesn't see this as a big deal, but calls Mark "stick boy" with no remorse. Jill gives her pudgy cheeks a little tap, demonstrating what her son was doing, and when the fat biotch took a swing with her purse, it hit Tim instead. When Brad and Randy hear, they make fun of Tim and Mark over it. Jill yells about how she just wants everybody to love each other, the big bunch of jerks. So now, back to Tool Time with a new segment: Camouflage Corner. In short, he paints a wall the same color as Al's clothes and gets him to stand in front of it. Not too shabby. At home, Tim talks with Wilson over the whole Karate thing, and the wise neighbor points out that knowledge is just as important as self-defense, and it's knowledge that helps a person know when to use their skill, or when to simply walk away. Tim relays the same message to Mark, but apparently didn't retain it for himself, because he decides to be intimidating with a man who claims to be with Artie, and shorter than Tim, and he bluntly tells him there'll be trouble if his kid picks on Mark again. However, this man is Artie's uncle, and so he introduces him to the boy's father, who, shock of all shocks, is bigger than Tim. Well, let's just say Tim sustained his third head injury of the week. So, lessons learned? Be sure that if you pick on someone, he's your own size, or better yet, just walk away and let jerks be jerks. Oh, and stay tuned during the credits for Wilson's recital of the state capitals.

If Artie's mother looks and sounds familiar, that's because she's played by that woman who usually showed up on Married with Children at Al's shoe store, always saying, "I need shoes!" As for Mark taking Karate, I believe it isn't talked about again until Season 6's "The Karate Kid Returns" where he defeats a punk who was picking on Randy. So anyway, "Karate or Not, Here I Come" is a very good episode, the message about standing up to your enemies is very solid, and of course, no matter how big and tough you are, there's usually somebody else bigger and tougher than you out there. Depressing fact of life. But take the lessons this episode has to offer and know when to walk away.

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