Home Improvement TV Poster Image

Home Improvement

Laughs and lessons abound in whole-family sitcom.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series offers lessons about family and problem solving. There's some male/female role stereotyping, but it's always played for laughs. A major theme is communication.

Positive role models

Both parents stress values like doing the right thing, education, and respect, while encouraging their kids' exploration of other interests. Wilson often offers philosophical guidance to the Taylor family.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Very occasional boy/girl flirting and kissing. Tim and Jill trade affectionate banter.

Not applicable

Occasional brandless soda and junk food.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Home Improvement finds its humor in family-friendly issues like sibling dynamics, parenting challenges, and an accident-prone Mr. Fix-It dad. Very little about this series is cause for concern; it lends a pretty realistic view of life within a typical nuclear family. Each episode offers an obvious lesson (sometimes for parents as well as kids) in moral judgment, communication, or responsibility. The series occasionally touches on more-serious topics like divorce or a family member's death.

What's the story?

In HOME IMPROVEMENT, Tim Allen stars as Tim Taylor, a Michigan native who hosts a local cable show called Tool Time. The show celebrates all things manly: tools, hardware stores, cars, and the like. A firm believer that "more power" is always a good thing, Tim often tweaks and adjusts his way to disastrously funny on-set mishaps that delight the Tool Time audience but test the patience of his mild-mannered assistant, Al Borland (Richard Karn). Tim is no less accident-prone at home, but even though his wife, Jill (Patricia Richardson), has been known to call in professionals to pick up the pieces of her husband's work, she remains his biggest fan. Like many couples, Tim and Jill often struggle with understanding each other and their children, but they're guided by their slightly mysterious, philosophical neighbor, Wilson Wilson Jr. (Earl Hindman).

Is it any good?


This series was a favorite for eight seasons on ABC in the '90s, and it continues to entertain fans in syndication and on DVD. Tim and Jill have a loving, respectful relationship that allows them to be an effective parenting team for their three boys: Brad (Zachary Ty Bryan), Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Mark (Taran Noah Smith).

Although much of Wilson's intellectual advice is lost in translation to Tim (and his misinterpretations are hysterical), Tim and Jill always learn a little something about their own feelings and each other's with Wilson's help. Strong writing, relatable storylines, and a great cast make Home Improvement a winner for families.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of communication within a family and in Home Improvement. Why is this an important character strength? Why do family members need to be honest and open with each other?

  • Families also can discuss when teasing is appropriate and when it isn't. Why do the Taylor boys pick on each other? How do you feel if someone teases you? How do the Taylors work out their problems? Does their situation seem realistic to you?

TV details

Premiere date:September 17, 1991
Cast:Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Patricia Richardson, Tim Allen
Topics:Book characters
Character strengths:Communication
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Home Improvement was written by

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Kid, 11 years old July 6, 2013

Hilarious, good natured

This show is great but it does have some inappropriate content. In almost every episode Tim ether blows up something or gets hurt. Theirs a lot of language in the 1st and 2nd seasons but not that much in the other seasons. Wilson helps Tim with his problems witch usually help him. Tim usually has a beer in some episodes. This show is very good natured.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byIsabel14 February 19, 2013

Great and funny show

I love this show. It is one of my favorites besides full house and the middle. My favorite episode is when Tim blew up Benny's aunts house.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byJInsinna13 April 17, 2015

One of my favorite sitcoms

I watched this show in reruns when I was younger, and I still love it to this day. It's so funny. Tim is accident prone, and I always laugh at how bad his projects turn out. I also love the kids. Brad, Randy, and Mark are funny. They're also authentic. A lot of the kids on shows nowadays(especially the kids on Disney Channel shows)act so fake. Brad, Randy, and Mark act how kids really should act. This show also teaches good lessons that all kids should learn. If you watch this show, be prepared to laugh and laugh a lot.
What other families should know
Great messages