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File:Extrememakeover 298.jpg

"Come on out, Cohen family! You have cancer! You have cancer!"

ABC Reality Show where a group of people build (or rather get other people to build for them) a Big Fancy House for the poor, downtrodden family of the week. Frequently features handsome handyperson Ty Pennington; later seasons frequently include various celebrities in the construction teams.

The story behind this one: ABC had a series called Extreme Makeover which was about improving people's looks through plastic surgery. Someone decided to make a spinoff -- technically, what this show is supposed to be doing is like plastic surgery, only to houses. As it happens, while majorly rebuilding a person is a little uneasy even among the mainstream, majorly rebuilding a house for deserving people is definitely feel-good programming, besides offering ample opportunities for Product Placement -- and the show always tries to make sure that those who are having their houses rebuilt appear deserving. Thus, while the original Extreme Makeover only lasted two seasons, this is a Long Runner. In December 2011, however, it was announced that the show would end in January 2012 after nine successful seasons.

This show tends to do major rebuilding during its makeovers. They keep a time limit, but there seems to be no expense spared. (There are willing donors, natch.) On occasion, this has led to a remodel that would end up unmaintainable, but only a few of those have ever been made public. And those houses are impressive.

This show provides examples of:

  • Artifact Title: It has been much more successful than Extreme Makeover, outlasting it by five years, yet the spinoff-style title was never changed.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Ty Pennington literally has it, which may explain the overwhelming enthusiasm he shows for everything.
  • Big OMG
  • Catch Phrase: A few.
    • "Goooooooood morning, [name] family!"
    • "Welcome home, [name] family. Welcome home."
    • And, of course, "Bus driver, move that bus!"
    • "Oh my god/gosh!" heard from the families' mouths when seeing a new house and its rooms for the first time.
    • "So here's the thing..."
    • "There's only one thing left to say. Welcome Home [family's name] family, welcome home."
  • Celebrity Edition: The 2009-10 season.
    • Muppet Cameo: The celebrities in the first 2010 episode.
      • Elmo showed up a few seasons ago, back when Tracy Hutson was still pregnant. In fact, Tracy's unborn child actually kicked Elmo when he put his ear to her stomach.
        • Kermit took over as team leader for Ty twice, once when he had appendicitis and the other time when he was helping build homes for people who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina.
  • Celebrity Star: Rapper Xzhibit was on the building team for about a year.
  • Cool House: The whole point of the show.
  • Enforced Plug: For Sears, Disney, and, apparently in the newer seasons, other Mouse shows and acts.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: ABC moved this show to Friday nights, and was somehow shocked when they had to cancel it.
  • The Glomp: The design team will often get this from the more energetic and outgoing families.
  • Happily Ever After: Following the events of the Walswick family episode in season one, designer Constance Ramos fell in love with and married J. J. Carell, the Walswick family friend who nominated them for the show and helped build their house.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Most episodes features either this or a severely disabled family member. Some, however, do feature people who have worked hard to help others.
    • The Stott family. The mother had leukemia and was saved by a bone marrow donation by a guy who helped with the project.
    • The Okvath family in Season 2. Their eight-year-old daughter Kassandra was dealing with cancer, and had sent a video to the design team requesting that they help redecorate the interior of the pediatric hospital that had helped treat her cancer. They set her up with a redecorating team for the hospital and left her and her family to take charge of that project--and doubled-back to rebuild her family's home as well.
  • Melodrama: OH, BOY.
  • Men Don't Cry: Highly averted.
    • If one of the guys on the Build Team isn't crying or teary-eyed, you're watching the wrong show.
  • Nice Guy: All families.
  • Product Placement: Lots of it.
  • Punny Name: One of the building companies is called Holmes' homes. No, seriously.
  • Reality Show Genre Blindness: Every family that appears on the show in how they (over)react to their new house.
    • It Makes Sense in Context, considering that several of the families lived in giant rat holes, even though they may be encouraged by the producers.
  • Side Bet: In a first season episode, Constance and Tracy took on Paul and Michael in a boys-versus-girls competition to build the best room. The losers were to make dinner for the winners. It was amusing until they started sabotaging each other's rooms, endangering the timeline of the entire makeover.
  • Strictly Formula: The show usually goes as such:
    • Ty and the crew are in the bus watching the family's story. One or many or all the children or members of the family have some chronic disease or something else, the family may or may not be working for the good of the community but all of them lives in a crappy house or the house has been destroyed.
    • "GOOD MORNING [family name])!!!" (though they have tried to shake it up by simply surprising them at an event)
    • We hear more of the family's sappy story and then, they send the family to Disney World or some other vacation spot.
    • With the family in [vacation place], a massive horde of people comes to the ramshackled house just so the family can see them and Ty commentating the destruction of the house, to the wishes of the family.
    • Horde of people builds the house, Ty and the crew does some challenges.
    • They bring back the family.
    • "Bus driver, MOVE THAT BUS!"
    • [reactions of the family as they tour the house]
  • Tempting Fate: When Ty asked the Teas family what they should do with their old house, the mother replied, "You could burn it." So they did.
  • Up to Eleven: Why did they give Ty Pennington a loud-hailer?
    • Because it's funny.
      • Maybe they're onto him.
      • Lampshaded in one commercial for the network, where someone takes the horn away from him and he continues speaking in the same voice.
      • In one episode, somebody got fed up with it and pushed Ty into a pool. That didn't stop him, though, and he continued to use it. However, since it got waterlogged it started making a squelching sound very much like a barking seal.
      • In another episode (The McPhail family), Ty actually opts not to use it when greeting the family (because the autistic boys are sensitive to loud noises). Then, toward the end of the episode, the others fish the megaphone out of the river. Ty explains that he's been looking for it and the others comment that they'd been trying to hide it somewhere he wouldn't find it.
      • Ty also chose not to use it in the episode with the Hill family because of the father's PTSD, as loud noises triggered episodes.
    • The Vardon Family is a subversion. Ty used the megaphone to yell a TTY messsage, which makes no sense, because the latter is used by the deaf and hard of hearing. There was no indication of whether or not the TTY folks went deaf.
  • You Have 48 Hours: Or seven days, as the case may be. Much to Ty's embarrassment, the deadline was missed at least once.
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