Home Improvement: Season 7, Episode 21

The Son Also Mooches (21 Apr. 1998)

TV Episode  |  TV-G  |   |  Comedy, Family
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When Tim's brother Jeff's business fails, he moves in with their mother. Tim is upset that Jeff is taking advantage of their mother by living there, rent free, and borrowing her retirement money.



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Episode cast overview:
Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)
Thom Sharp ...
Graham Jarvis ...
Montrose Hughes ...


When Tim's brother Jeff's business fails, he moves in with their mother. Tim is upset that Jeff is taking advantage of their mother by living there, rent free, and borrowing her retirement money.

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Comedy | Family




Release Date:

21 April 1998 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode's title references The Sun Also Rises (1957), based upon the novel by Ernest Hemingway. See more »


References The Sun Also Rises (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

The Price of Family.
27 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Today's Tool Time finds Tim messing around in a blacksmith's shop, having put Al's shirt on a horse, calling him Mr. Al. After the real Mr. Borland shows up, they meet with the blacksmith himself, a surly, no- nonsense man named Delvin. He tries to show off the tools of the trade, but doesn't take kindly to Tim's incessant joking. Things come to a head when Tim tries to help him unshoe a horse. He predictably pinches Delvin's thumb with the pliers, and then the blacksmith chases him out with a pair of tongs. At home, Jill is turning into Mrs. Magoo, having to read a book from across the room. She's in denial about climbing ever further up the ladder of age and needing glasses. Tim comes home, happy as a claim, because his brother Jeff is in town, which means he can dust off all 1 of his bald jokes. In addition to being somewhat of a freeloader, Jeff is also an amateur businessman, having recently started his own business: a drive-thru pet shop called Auto Pet, and get ready for a ton of jokes about that name. Well, at least his intentions are good. He's staying with Lucille, who invited Tim and Marty for dinner, and it's there that she breaks the news: Jeff's business went belly-up, so he's going to be staying with her for a while. Lucille, as well as Jeff, are confident that the Taylor man will get back on his feet in no time. Still, knowing his brother like he does, Tim isn't so sure. Especially after he hears Jeff is taking a date to front row seats at a Red Wings game, instead of using that money to pay back his debts with the family. Jill, meanwhile, has finally decided to look at some glasses, and no matter which pairs she tried on, she still looked like a librarian. Also, one pair somehow made her butt look bigger. That night, Jeff came over with his date, Marty...his real date stood him up, or so he says, which gives Tim and Jeff a chance to talk.

Turns out, Jeff's started a new business. He says he got a loan from a private backer, and even square his debt with Tim. When asked who this private backer was, Jeff admits that it's Mom. Tim's suspicions were accurate. Once again, feeling it's his duty to right the wrongs in the family, Tim heads over to Lucille's apartment, just as she's in the middle of bridge with all her friends. Jeff wasn't home, so while he waited, Tim joined in the bridge game and quickly lost his shirt. When the hairless wonder finally gets home, he and Tim have it out, but of course, Jeff won't listen to reason nor will he talk about his financial obligations with him. Needing someone to lend a supportive ear, Tim heads over to Wilson's garage, where he's draining the Studebaker's radiator. After hearing of Tim's plight, Wilson suggests he talk to his mom. It may hurt her feelings, but at the same time, her life savings may be a stake. So Tim has a talk with Lucille, who reveals Jeff was reluctant to take the money at first, and that he secretly looks up to Tim and the successes he's had in life. Finally, Tim and Jeff clear the air, so now all is well again. We end on Jill having finally gotten a pair of glasses, though expensive, they do the job. It turns out she and Lucille have the same glasses, except she got hers for free at the car wash. Cue muted trumpets.

Well, at least Jeff isn't as bad of a mooch as Benny, because at least he has ambition. His business is seldom if ever talked about again. Now, even though we got to see all of Jill's sisters on the show, how come we never got to see all of Tim's brothers? We never saw John and Steve, but if they're anything like Tim described, I doubt they'd get along very well. The Son Also Mooches has plenty of laughs, like the infamous "Samuel Foghorn Leghorn" joke, playing on the name Samuel Langhorne Clemmons (Mark Twain). The blacksmith gag at the beginning was a bit excessive, but I guess now they're just obligated to stick Tool Time into an episode as a non sequitur. So anyway, if you like Home Improvement and you're a fan of character actor Thom Sharp, whom you may recognize from those Good Year commercials, check this one out.

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