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Usually a large amiable sort of man, good-natured, affable, physically strong and sometimes although not always good looking and in good physical shape, this is the guy who knows how to fix things, make things, and repair a host of problems around the home and garden. Probably a builder by trade, his idea of heaven is a toolbox, a great stack of wood, and a plan to work to.

Men admire him and want to be his friend; women love him and indulge him, especially if he has put right a DIY disaster perpetrated by the Henpecked Husband or else is effortlessly getting right what the hapless male has just got utterly and spectacularly wrong.

He is related to the Grease Monkey and exudes similar justified confidence in his work. (Another aspect of his character that has aphrodisiac qualities). He is laid back and easy-going and never, ever, loses his temper.

Examples of Handy Man include:


  • In Manly Wade Wellman's "John The Balladeer" stories, one story John tells is of an itinerant handyman who mends a feud between two neighbors by building a bridge where he was asked to build a fence.

Live Action Television

  • In gardening makeover show Ground Force, unflappable builder Tommy Walsh is this trope made flesh – happily building gazebos, patios, and sheds or laying down acres of wooden decking for the householder to marvel at.
  • In Fawlty Towers, we have Mr Stubbs the builder, who to Sybil Fawlty’s relef sets about putting right the destruction caused by her Henpecked Husband Basil and Mr O’Reilly.
  • Al Borland from Home Improvement fits this trope to a tee. Tim "The Toolman" Taylor has some aspects of this, but his confidence far outreaches his abilities, which is why he has a whole different trope named after him.
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