Home Improvement: Season 6, Episode 14

The Karate Kid Returns (14 Jan. 1997)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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While shopping in the mall, Mark uses karate to stop a bully from beating Randy. The incident is written in the school newspaper. Randy is embarrassed, and punches the boy who wrote the story.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
A.J. Sanders
Josh Paddock ...
Michael Luckerman ...
Sales Clerk
Seth Dillon ...
Al Jardine ...


While shopping in the mall, Mark uses karate to stop a bully from beating Randy. The incident is written in the school newspaper. Randy is embarrassed, and punches the boy who wrote the story.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

14 January 1997 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wilson says that he wrote the book 'The Psychophysiological Indices of Amorous Connections Among Termites of the Southwest'. In 'Wilson's Girlfriend', that book was supposedly written by Jill's psychology professor. See more »


References The Karate Kid (1984) See more »


Barbara Ann
Written by Fred Fassert
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User Reviews

Mark and Randy Get Their Kicks.
14 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Today, Tim learns a very interesting fact about Wilson: his cousins are the Beach Boys! Who'd-a-thought, huh? In honor of Tim's hot rod, they put on a live rendition of Little Deuce Coupe. While that's going on, Randy goes to the mall with Lauren, shoe shopping. According to Tim, if a woman goes shoe shopping with you, she wants to be more than friends. They reluctantly take Mark along, per Jill's request, but I think it will be a good thing he was along. So the teens pick out their new shoes, and Randy makes "friends" with a big guy whose shoes he accidentally stepped on. Not buying Randy's apology and jokes, the bully prepares to deck him, when luckily Mark the Karate Kid steps in and gives that punk whatfor! At home, as Tim tells Jill how Wilson is at odds with his cousins because they never used any of his lyrics, Randy and Mark come in, raving about the latter's heroic deed...and here comes another Stupid Jill Moment: she chastises Mark for using his Karate because "we don't let you take Karate so you can use it." Then why does he take it? "Because you'll have the confidence of knowing you can defend yourself if you have to, but you shouldn't have to, because you shouldn't get into a situation where you should have to use it." Dumb-ass. However, Mark's deed is lauded at Randy's high school, and they tease him about it non-stop. How did they find out? It was printed in the school newspaper, of course. It was a slow news day. But the salt in the open wound was Randy spying Lauren laughing at the paper, probably at that article. It's a possibility, anyway.

Brad shows the article to Tim and Jill, and when Randy comes home, we get another Stupid Jill Moment where she tells him he shouldn't be ashamed, and if he is ashamed, he shouldn't be. Can somebody please get this woman's head out of her rear? However, Randy decided to take it like a man. He turned the other cheek? Nope, he walked up to Alan Bishop, author of that little piece of juicy gossip, and socked him one. Now, on to Tool Time, where Tim, Al and Binford technician A.J. Sanderson, look at some futuristic tools, with all things laser. With predictable results. After that, Randy tries to boast about his bout of violence to Lauren, who thinks he's a jerk. Apparently they weren't laughing at Alan Bishop's column, but rather something Randy had written. Feeling beside himself, Randy retreats into his locker. At home, Tim witnesses a spat between Wilson and one of his cousins, and this time, it's Tim giving the words of wisdom, letting him know that the Beach Boys would no sooner need his help writing songs than he would their help on...bugs. Then he learns what Randy did, and how he blew it with Lauren, but he tells his son that his woman will eventually give him another chance. So Randy has himself some humble pie and writes an article about what he'd learned from this experience. So, Lauren forgives him, and Wilson makes amends with his cousins. We end on Jill singing along with them to Barbara Ann.

So, let's recap: Mark saves Randy in the mall and he gets a lecture on how he shouldn't have done it. Real mixed message there, because in this case, violence did pretty much solve the problem. It was a last resort. On the flip side, Randy lets his emotions get the better of him and uses violence as a first resort, thus not solving the problem at all and only creating more of them. Also, we've got a nice cameo by the Beach Boys, minus Brian Wilson, who had separated from the group, so I guess they had Wilson Wilson to fill in for him. I definitely recommend The Karate Kid Returns, great message, plenty of funny moments, it's a real joy.

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