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‘Communication Breakdown’ Quotes Page 1 of 2

Home Improvement: Communication Breakdown

619. Communication Breakdown

Aired March 11, 1997

When Tim hires Harry's son, Dennis (David DeLuise), to install a second phone line, Harry is furious when Dennis leaves in the middle of the job.

Quote from Tim

Tim: Hey, Wilson.
Wilson: Hidey-ho, neighbor.
Tim: What are you doing over there?
Wilson: Tim, are you familiar with the I Ching?
Tim: Sure. The "I Ching," the scratching, the chafing. That's why I switched to boxers, my friend.
Wilson: Oh, my!

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Quote from Jill

Jill: Mark, wait! None of you is using the phone until we work out a system of phone usage for you boys.
Tim: All right, listen up.
Jill: OK, it's very simple. Each of you will be allotted 45 minutes a day of phone time. You can't use it continuously unless nobody else is waiting. Of course, none of these rules apply during off-peak times, which would be 9:00 to 5:00 on weekdays, all day on the weekend, and any time your father and I are home. Also, keep in mind, if you fail to use your daily allotment, you can't apply that to future phone usage. Does that sound fair, Tim?
Tim: I lost you after "it's all very simple."

Quote from Delores

[Harry walks in on Delores hugging Tim]
Harry: Tim? What are you doing here?
Tim: Well, certainly not what it looks like.
Delores: He came over because he's a caring, loving human being who recognizes the importance of family unity.
Harry: Are you drunk?
Delores: I'm gonna leave you two alone. Now, try and open that thick skull of yours and listen to what he has to say. He's a lot smarter than he looks.

Quote from Tim

Tim: Now, this is like an automated doll house. Of course Al would have an automated dull house.
Al: Well, what would be so great about your automated house?
Tim: Yeah? I'll show you. In my house, let's say I want my plants to have perfect sun, all right? Press this plant icon, and my house rotates from a northern exposure to a beautiful sunny western exposure.
Al: Well, I wouldn't want to be living in a spinning house.
Tim: Who invited ya? Now, here's a good one. Let's say your neighbors put on a two-story addition, you can't even see the stockyards anymore. Press this. And your house rises to the occasion. "When you go get the paper, honey, watch that first step. It's a mean one."
Al: This feature is also good for keeping away pesky door-to-door salesmen. [laughs]
Tim: And speaking of keeping people away from you... You know, when the mother-in-law comes to visit you, perfect opportunity to use the automated house. She's not getting in here. No way. [the house disappears below the ground and a "Lot for sale" sign springs up]

Quote from Jill

Tim: As long as he's here...
Jill: No.
Tim: Can't we just try...
Jill: No.
Tim: Can't we just...
Jill: No!
Tim: One time. Just think...
Jill: No!
Tim: Think...
Jill: No!
Tim: Home automated system!
Jill: No!

Quote from Randy

Tim: Uh-oh.
Randy: Not a word you want to hear in this house.

Quote from Delores

Tim: Hi, Delores.
Delores: What do you want?
Tim: Well, I heard about Dennis wanting to move away. And I came over to talk to Harry about it.
Delores: Let me get this straight. You're taking it upon yourself to fix our family problems?
Tim: Not if you're gonna yell at me.
Delores: Tim, you're a marvelous person. [hugs him]
Tim: No, no...
Delores: Would you like a beer? Some cheese and crackers? Can I glaze you a ham? Oh...

Quote from Harry

Harry: Hey, Delores. You want to get Tim another beer, please?
Delores: I just got off work. I'm starving to death. And my feet are swelled up like a couple of bloated toads.
Harry: Is that a "yes" or a "no?"
Tim: Hey, I'll get it.
Harry: Absolutely not. You're a guest in this house. You shouldn't have to get your own beer.
[Harry stands up, fluffs his pillow and then sits back down]
Tim: But I'm so comfortable as a gosh-darn guest here, I prefer to get my own beer.
Harry: Get me one, too?

Quote from Harry

Dennis: Actually, I came in to hook the power supply up for the video phone.
Tim: Video phone?
Delores: Yeah. Dennis has one at his place. He also put one in at the hardware store.
Harry: Yeah. Delores loves it. I call it "Must-Nag TV."

Quote from Tim

Tim: Do you install those automated-home systems?
Dennis: Oh, yeah, I install those all the time. I can automate just about anything my customers want.
Tim: Yeah? What if I wanted to flush my toilet from the car?
Dennis: Then you'd be a strange, strange man.

Quote from Jill

Jill: Three weeks? Don't you think that's a little extreme?
Tim: Well, what would you have done?
Jill: I would have given him a warning.
Tim: You give me warnings all the time. Does it ever do any good?
Jill: No. But I still have hope for the children.

Quote from Tim

Dennis: Whoever did your last wiring job really didn't know what he was doing.
Tim: Well, that guy's not allowed to work around here anymore.
Dennis: It's too bad. Now all I gotta do is run the fish tape upstairs, hook it to the new line and yank it through.
Tim: Right. I can give you a hand if you want.
Dennis: I thought you said "that guy" wasn't allowed to work here anymore.

Quote from Randy

Randy: This is ridiculous. Dennis has been gone for three hours.
Brad: And Mom won't get off the phone. [sighs] Angela's probably married by now.
Mark: By the time I get to use the phone, all my friends'll be in a retirement home.
Tim: [pretending to cry]
Randy: Mark, quit exaggerating. You don't have any friends.

Quote from Tim

Dennis: Hey, guys. Hey, Dad. Sorry I'm late. Whoa! What happened?
Tim: That guy showed up.

Quote from Tim

Brad: [over intercom] Dad?
Tim: What?
Brad: What should I do?
Tim: Take up the lost art of letter-writing.

Quote from Tim

Tim: This isn't just about the phone, you know. You heard him come down with that attitude. I had to say something.
Jill: Well, as the kids get older, the problems and the attitudes are just gonna get bigger. You have to pick your battles and be more sensitive.
Tim: [sighs] You know, you probably are right, you know? Gosh, you are right. Next time one of the boys smarts off to me, I'm gonna take him out for a nice little cup of tea. And while they're buttering their scones, I'll ask what punishment they would prefer.

Quote from Wilson

Wilson: Actually, the I Ching is the ancient book of Chinese wisdom. You ask a question about your life. And then you toss these coins. And you try to divine the answer from the book.
Tim: I've got a question for those coins.
Wilson: Mmm. Shoot.
Tim: You think I'm too tough on my kids?
Wilson: Might I inquire what brings that issue to the fence?
Tim: In a word? Jill. She says I should be more sensitive about how I discipline my kids.
Wilson: Well, it's true the way you talk to your children now can have a profound effect on your future relationship.

Quote from Tim

Tim: I say some tough things to them, but certainly not as tough as Harry says to his kid.
Wilson: Oh! Dennis tells me that Harry has quite a lexicon.
Tim: Lexicon? No, he drives a Buick.

Quote from Wilson

Wilson: You know, Tim, I ran into Dennis at the coffee shop today. And he was so angry at Harry, he told him that he was leaving town.
Tim: What? Just because of what Harry said to him?
Wilson: Well, I guess so. You know, as Longfellow says, "A torn jacket is soon mended. But hard words can bruise the heart of a child."
Tim: You think I should have a talk with Harry?
Wilson: Well, let's see what the I Ching says. [sighs] [coins clattering] Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yes. It says "The situation is a microcosm juxtaposed against, and created by, the macrocosm of the universe." [Wilson sniffs] And there, my neighbor, you have your answer.
Tim: Yup. Though I've forgotten the question.

Quote from Tim

Tim: I want to talk to you about Dennis.
Harry: Look, nothing you can say could possibly change my mind.
Tim: Well, how about some words of wisdom from Longfellow during his itching period? He said don't "jucapose" anything in a "macroscope" in this universe.
Harry: Are you drunk?

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