Home Improvement: Season 8, Episode 12

Ploys for Tots (15 Dec. 1998)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 59 users  
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While Marty and his daughters are staying with Tim and Jill, everyone becomes exasperated with Claire's selfishness and tantrums.



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Title: Ploys for Tots (15 Dec 1998)

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Episode cast overview:
Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)
Ashley Trefger ...
Lindsey Trefger ...
Ed - Contractor #3
Wally - Contractor #2
Darnell Suttles ...
Bill - Contractor #1 (as M. Darnell Suttles)
Richard Willgrubs ...
Desk Clerk


While Marty and his daughters are staying with Tim and Jill, everyone becomes exasperated with Claire's selfishness and tantrums.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

15 December 1998 (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 refers to the Toys for Tots Christmas campaign sponsored by the United States' Marine Corps; new toys collected for underprivileged kids. See more »


Gracie Taylor: [the girls got Spice Girls dolls] I got Posh Spice!
Claire Taylor: [disappointed] I got Sporty Spice. I want Posh Spice.
Jill: But you love Sporty Spice. You were Sporty Spice for Halloween.
Claire Taylor: I want Posh Spice!
Gracie Taylor: But they gave ME Posh Spice.
Tim: Upstairs I got some Old Spice.
See more »

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User Reviews

Bratty is as Bratty Does!
13 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

How does one find a good contractor? Check references, ask friends of friends, OR if you're Tim Taylor, host a mock game show and ask tough questions to your contractor contestants to see who is fit for the job. The long and the short of it, Contestant #1, Bill, wins when answering Tim's request of trying to get a parquet floor by saying he would sacrifice his own family's needs just to do the job. But, when Bill discovers there is no actual job involved and Tim was just playing a game, he was none too pleased. As a consolation prize, he is given a can opener, which he intends to use to, and I quote, "open up a can of whoop-ass on the Tool Man." At home, it's the girls' birthday. They receive new bicycles, Legos and new Spice Girls dolls. Unfortunately, Claire receives the wrong Spice and whines about wanting the one Gracie got, so Marty begs her to switch with her sister. After the fact, Jill tries to play psychologist and diagnose Marty's parental woes, while Tim rightfully stays out of it and keeps busy by adjusting the girls' bikes. Claire begs to ride outside, but it's too wet. She gives Tim the ol' puppy-dog eyes and he gives in, though instead of riding outside, she and Tim ride inside. Jill plays responsible parent and breaks it up, only to be chastised by Marty when he comes home from his embarrassing job. He won't listen to the experienced parents, because he's one of those idiots who, whenever somebody tries to offer them parenting advice, snaps back, "don't tell me how to raise my kids!" Jill warns him that giving in to his daughter's demands will only make matters worse, but Marty won't listen because he's a world-class dweeb.

Claire continues her bratty streak by making a mess at the breakfast table, raiding the cereal box. Now it's Tim's turn to try and maintain order, but still Marty gives in to his little princess. So, Tim goes down to the pet emporium for a heart to heart with his brother, but the stubborn mule still won't listen to him. But that night, when Claire pitches a fit about wanting a cookie, Marty tries to stand firm and denies her request. He sends her upstairs, where she continues her tantrum...and why does she sound like Lil from Rugrats? When Marty can't bare his little girl's screaming any longer and it about to cave, Tim shows him a really neat trick: ride the tantrum out and play with Legos. Eventually, Claire is all screamed out and calmed down. So everything worked out. Claire has a sandwich, Marty has himself a slice of humble pie, and Tim gets carried away with the Legos.

This is a good one, and even though Season 8 was kind of a letdown, it did have its share of great episodes, and this is one of them. It's funny, and it has a great message. Great story, great character development, everything works. However, there is one part that bugs the hell out of me: Claire's screaming is not being done by the girl who plays her, but by voice actress Kath Soucie, doing her Lil DeVille voice. What, was the actress who played Angelica not available? It's both jarring and it takes you out of the show because you instantly place this voice somewhere else. I guess Lindsey Trefger couldn't scream loud enough, or after so many takes her voice got tired? I dunno, somebody less recognizable than one of the Rugrats might have helped, but anyway, Ploys for Tots has got it where it counts!

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Anybody else HATE the theme song? hankysmom57
This show went really down hill... mcfly2004
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rewatching and jill is so annoying!! Itsaduck
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They had the best holiday episodes... bsmale
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