Dad’s Casa – S6E13: Dad’s Casa-Nova

Some consider later seasons of fictional late 90s TV series Dad’s Casa a bit of a letdown.  The cast has aged by this point, and Tim Allen clearly has lost interest in what made Dad so special earlier on in the run.  It still has charming episodes, but the added weight of new characters and even the tendency to set episodes entirely out of the titular Casa drags the energy right out of the show. Gone is the mystery of the Red Door in the basement (a third bathroom?  We spent 3 seasons wondering what was back there and it was this?  That killed two running gags if you count the famous Battle of the Bathroom Thanksgiving episodes.)  Added is Uncle Patrick, Dad’s old roommate from his failed semester at University of Michigan.  Ably played by Roger Rees (Robin Colcord of Cheers fame), he was an attempt to freshen up a show that some thought had gone stale.


Despite this reputation, time has been kinder to the later half of Dad’s Casa, and season 6’s Dad’s Casa-nova is a reminder of why the first years aren’t the only glory years. Dad’s Casanova is the 13th episode that year, and it’s culmination of the half-season arc where Uncle Patrick establishes a whole backstory of Dad in the pre-Casa days, particularly how Dad met his first girlfriend and how he ultimately decided he would buy the Casa.


By the end of the episode we still haven’t learned Dad’s real name.  I’m beginning to suspect he doesn’t have one.  The fact that they gave the college flashbacks 14 minutes of screentime and showed two of his dates without Dad’s girlfriend ever saying his name is a remarkable feat of writing.  The reservations were under his name; the phone call to the restaurant to bail him out required the waiter to call out to him; they even have names on the dorm room doors, but his is missing due to a “puke stain from the party last night”.

The ultimate reveal of the episode is how Dad bought the Casa.  Having teased it through the entire season to this point, it was mentioned in a single line at the very end of the last act. Under most circumstances this would feel like a cheat, like the audience was robbed.  But here, it tied so perfectly into what was considered a huge mystery but ultimately was revealed to be a shaggy dog story.  Why did Dad buy the Casa?  Because he needed a place to live, and this was the only place he could afford.




  • A last reference to Rees’ role as Robin Colcord: Uncle Patrick claims to having once owned a bar out east and having lost his fiancee to a plumber.
  • ”What’s your favourite song?” “One Tin Soldier”
  •  There’s a red door in the dorm clearly marked with a washroom sign.


Dad’s Casa House Inspection:


Was there a closeup of the Red Door? No

Did Dad hit his head on the low beam in the kitchen? Yes (twice, once in a flashback)

Did the doorbell ring? No