When you talk about the great sitcoms of the ’90s, you can’t forget Home Improvement. The family comedy was a highly rated staple for years, thanks to Tim Allen’s relatable gruff character and the hijinks that ensued with his family.
And for a show that lasted eight seasons, you can bet there is a ton of trivia about its production. And even if you’re a die-hard fan, there is still a TON of trivia you never knew about! Lucky for you, we compiled ten incredible tidbits about the show that will have you saying “AEEEUHHH?!”
1. Originally, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor’s grunts were to be a stream of racial slurs, varied for every scene. Network heads were unsure, so grunts were decided upon, but at least 17 still slipped through! Can you find them?
2. The running gag of Wilson’s never-seen face came about due to actor Earl Hindman’s lower jaw being completely absent, blown away by a mortar shell during the Vietnam War. Famed voiceover artist Frank Welker supplied all of Wilson’s lines.
3. To help set up the proper father-son dynamic, Allen would hit the children on set with a belt whenever they flubbed a line.
4. The toilet in the upstairs portion of the house actually worked, and was constantly clogged.
5. To this day, it’s never been revealed what “Aaaayyyyuuuhhhh?” actually means and the cast has sworn they’ll never tell.
6. The Al Borland character was originally intended to slowly take over the show. It would start with an accident to Tim and Al would host Tool Time with great ratings. Tim would go into a downward spiral and ultimately Al would bed Jill and become the patriarch of the family and show. Halfway through season one the plan was abandoned because, like the rest of the cast, Richard Karn was afraid of Tim Allen.
7. At the height of the show’s popularity, the producers’ offices were inundated with erotic fiction based on the characters, mostly involving Tim’s grunt-filled sexual conquests of Al during particularly raucous “Tool Time” tapings.
8. The actress who played Heidi has confirmed in multiple interviews that the show was written as a metaphor for the AIDS epidemic.
9. Johnathan Taylor Thomas’s well-known avoidance of media is a result of his time on the show. He often told co-stars that he would like to “live under a rock where no one can touch me anymore.” He reportedly will only consider returning to acting if the right script of Jungle 2 Jungle 2 Jungle is penned.
10. In a forgotten episode that aired only once, it is revealed that the Taylor family had a fourth son, but he was tragically killed on the Tool Time set during one of his father’s characteristic mishaps with a table saw. Tim Taylor is wracked with guilt and any of his emotions are from that point forward marked by nothing more than a guttural, animalistic grunt, which became the trademark of the show.