Last Man Standing centers around Mike Baxter, who is the face of a major outdoor supply store and all things manly. Baxter is also a husband and father of three very different and strong-willed young ladies. The series follows the Baxter family and their cooky band of friends as they go through life trying to make their way in the world.
After the sixth season, the show was canceled on its original network but was quickly picked up by Fox Broadcasting Network. As the show enters its eighth season, a look at the best episodes of the series seems appropriate.
10 "The Road Less Driven"
In the fifth episode of the fifth season, while his wife deals with their daughters' fighting, Mike Baxter buys a 1967 Impala and is ecstatic to spend some quality time fixing up the classic. The previous owner, however, is reluctant to let it go and continues to show up and give Mike his two cents. Jay Leno guests stars and the audience is introduced to Joe, the previous car owner. Mike and Joe's dynamic provides laughs and is the start of a love-hate relationship that seems to be common in Mike's friendships.
9 "Eve's Band"
Episode sixteen of the fifth season, shows Mike interfering in the life of their youngest daughter, Eve. Eve starts a band with her friends, which is going horribly, and Mike is not sold on the idea of her pursuing music so he tries to break them up. His plans of sabotage don't quite work out and although he breaks up the band Eve becomes convinced music is her path.
When Eve has her very first gig, Mike is impressed by her talent and commitment. Even though his plans backfired, Mike comes around to see the validity of his daughter's pursuits and is there to support her.
8 "Man vs Myth"
The show was picked up on another network for its seventh season and the same Baxter family was back. In the second episode of the season, Mike is dealing with the loss of his father, Bud, and his emotions. The Baxter men always avoid dealing with their emotions but with his father's passing, he now has to express his feelings. Mike opens up and has the heart-to-heart with his father that he never had while he was alive. The rest of the Baxter family are also trying to move on with their lives, including Kyle preparing for his new job.
7 "The Gift of the Mike Guy"
In the ninth episode of the seventh season, it is the holiday time and the whole Baxter clan is feeling the pressure. The Baxter family holidays are in full swing, with Eve returning home and the whole family together. Mike is preoccupied with trying to find the perfect Christmas gift for his long-time friend, Ed, which seems to allude him. While Mike is trying to find an ideal gift, Vanessa is concerned with the changing family dynamics. Vanessa is trying to convince the family of the importance of their holiday traditions.
6 "Cabin Pressure"
In season seven episode twelve, Mike and Vanessa take their daughters on a getaway to the family cabin. Mike challenges his family to unplug and stay off their phones for the duration of the weekend. Mike wants to spend some quality family time together but the family together in close quarters causes some issues.
The challenge to go phone-free seems to be too much for the family but in the end, they make it work.
5 "Welcome Baxter"
The seventh season came back to be one of the best seasons of the show. In the premiere of the season, new people are introduced and original cast members return but the Baxter family is back. The Baxters wait no time to return to their crazy antics and family discourse. Mike and Vanessa await the return of their youngest daughter and there are a few shocking announcements from the family members.
4 "Precious Snowflakes"
In the ninth episode of the sixth season, the Baxter's are facing some challenges. Eve is dealing with the fact that her friends have moved on to college and are thriving, leaving her discouraged about where her life is at the moment. At the same time, Mike is asked to make a speech at Mandy's graduation ceremony and deals with political correctness in his speech. Mike struggles with whether he should speak his mind or abide by Mandy's wishes and deliver an unproblematic speech.
3 "Trick or Treat"
In the fifth episode of the sixth season, it is Halloween and the family is headed to a holiday party. The annual Baxter Halloween party has everyone excited about the holiday except for Mike who is not looking forward to the party.
Mike is not feeling the holiday spirit and doesn't want to participate so he devises a plan to turn everyone else against the day. He persuades everyone to dress up as one another, which causes some issues as planned. Mike soon realizes the importance of the party and spending time with his friends and family so he has to clean up the problems he caused.
2 "The Ring"
In the fourteenth episode of the fifth season, Mike gets concerned about the future of his daughter Mandy. Mike's concern, as usual, turns into a meddling plan that interferes with his family's lives. Ed secretly tasks Kyle, Mandy's boyfriend, with an errand involving an engagement ring. Mike jumps to conclusions and thinks Kyle is preparing to propose to Mandy so he jumps in and tries to control the situation. Since Mike believes he knows what is happening, he causes more problems as the idea of a proposal spreads through the family.
1 "Helen Potts"
Audiences love a reunion. In the twelfth episode of season four, there is a Home Improvement reunion with guest stars Patricia Richardson ad Jonathon Taylor Thomas. The episode is full of inside jokes referencing the hit-90s show and providing nostalgia to viewers. Mike Baxter confronts his neighbor Helen Potts, portrayed by Richardson, for all the noise coming from her property remodels. To Mike's displeasure, Vanessa befriends the neighbor and he has to get to know her.