A 1987-1995 Dom Com about the widower father Danny Tanner with three young daughters. He asked his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (a biker/greaser with a love of Elvis) and his best friend Joey Gladstone (a stand-up comic with no shortage of impersonations) to help him with the day-to-day needs. The three share a house and the duties of raising Danny's three daughters, 5th grader Donna Jo aka D.J., kindergartener Stephanie and baby Michelle. The show was the flagship of ABC's TGIF lineup in the early 1990s.Even when it first aired, it was considered a fairly generic family sitcom with little bite. To the surprise of just about everyone, the show became a cultural icon. It was a mixture of being a show for kids when that was increasingly less common on Network TV, provided the most truly family-friendly fare you could get on TV (when parents were most likely looking for that sort of thing) and the superstardom of the Olsen twins. The Twins became famous for playing the cute baby character Michelle, and started popping of catchphrases left and right — The "Little baby/toddler says cute things" power exploded like a super-charged version of The Family Circus, and pandering to the audience with cuteness nearly always works, especially with moms and little kids. Some have also suggested that despite the wholesome sugar, the show represented the idea of "alternative" families. The three girls were essentially raised by their uncle and their dad's best friends.Not to be confused with the Korean Drama of the same name.
'80s Hair: All three primary male actors are shown wearing mullets at different points in the show's run.
Aborted Arc: Joey lands a role on a sitcom which is reformatted to be an animated series, though there's no mention of his role beyond that episode.
Absurdly Youthful Mother: It's stated in-series that Danny and Pam married not long after their senior prom, and one early episode had a college-aged Danny show a picture of D.J at around elementary school age, so it's highly likely that Pam gave birth to her almost immediately after they married. Judging from Danny's 30th birthday in season one (while DJ was 10 or 11), he was at most 19 when she was born, meaning that both Mother and Father were very youthful.
Then there's Rusty, the son of Danny's girlfriend during the first half of Season 4 with a similar attitude toward D.J.
Actor Allusion: In part one of Season 6's finale, D.J. begins to see hallucinations of her boyfriend Steve in various Disney costumes. The first she sees is Steve as Aladdin, who was voiced by the same actor, Scott Weinger.
Also, Candace Cameron (D.J.)'s big brother Kirk Cameron appeared in a season one episode as D.J.'s favorite cousin, who was like a big brother to her. What's somewhat irksomeFreakin Hilarious about this is that he shares the same name as D.J.'s eventual boyfriend.
In one episode, Joey picks up a plush toy of baby Gonzo and does an imitation of him. Dave Coulier was a cast member of that series (though he didn't voice Gonzo, Russi Taylor did).
The Artifact: Joey. Unlike Jesse, he was just a good friend that agreed to move in to help Danny raise the girls. Over time, the girls had gotten old enough to take care of themselves and Rebecca also moved in after marrying Jesse. A later episode Lampshades this by having Joey openly asking why he's still living there.
Ascended Extra: DJ's boyfriend Steve first appeared in "Sisters in Crime". In the next season, he becomes her steady boyfriend and a recurring character for the whole season. The season after, they break up until they got together in the final episode.
Audience Surrogate: Kimmy Gibler and Aaron Bailey were always on hand to make fun of the family's corniness or the grown-ups' obliviousness.
Back for the Finale: DJ frets over not being able to get a prom date, but Kimmy finds one for her - Steve.
Back to School: Jesse, to the high school he dropped out of initially.
This contradicts an earlier episode where Jesse was previously shown to have graduated and attend his high school reunion.
Berserk Button: After a fashion. D.J.'s friendship with Kimmy nearly self-destructs partly because D.J. wouldn't let Kimmy drive home drunk from a party. It's clarified later in the episode that the Tanner girls' mother was killed by a drunk drivernote Until then, it was never explained how their mom died, hence D.J. being particularly upset.
Best Friends In Law: Danny and Jesse are an interesting variation. Danny was married to Jesse's sister Pam for about eleven years but they only became best friends (along with Joey) after Pam died.
Big Eater: Steve, D.J.'s boyfriend for a season, is SO WELL-KNOWN for this that presence of food (or lack thereof) is actually an indicator as to whether he's around or not.
Lampshaded in the Season 6 intro, where Steve is shown having just pilfered the Tanner's fridge before turning to the camera.
Bigger on the Inside: The opening credits show their house as one of those iconic multistory Victorian homes in San Francisco. The buildings themselves are actually quite small and are usually duplexes. Yet somehow on the show the home has a living room about the dimensions of the entire building, and attached kitchen, multiple bedrooms on the second story, and, against all logic, a well-sized backyard.
This is lampshaded in the last episode by Michelle.
British Royal Guards: Appear in one episode when Joey and his Girl of the Week were going to meet the Queen of England. Joey attempted to get a rise out of one, presumably failing. He turns away, and the guard then kicks him.
Broken Aesop: Thanks to the magic of retcon Jesse was made into a high school drop-out (see above) and the Aesop of the episode was the importance of staying in school and getting a high school education. The Problem? Jesse had his own radio show with Joey and owned his own Club. See how important a high school education is kids?
In one episode, Michelle gets into a fight at preschool with Aaron, who steals her cookie. Michelle asks Jesse what she should do about it and Jesse (busy with other tasks) just tells her that if someone does something to her, she should just do it right back. Michelle then steals Aaron's cookie and the two start pinching each other. When both kids are punished, Jesse initially overreacts (even pulling Michelle out of preschool), but later realizes Michelle's "do it right back to them" behavior was wrong. The episode tries to paint the lesson as "if you have a problem, just go to an adult"... but Michelle did go to an adult (Jesse) and that's how the whole mess blew out of control in the first place.
Call Back: The men of the house cover Elvis Presley's "Teddy Bear" to sing a toddler Michelle to sleep; they perform a reprise in hopes of jogging her memory in the finale.
Car Meets House: A grade-school-age Stephanie once drove Joey's car into the kitchen.
Catch Phrase: Every original main character EXCEPT Danny had at least one.
Joey: "Cut it out!"
Jesse: "Have mer-cy!
Stephanie: "How rude!" "Well pin a rose on your nose"
Michelle: Michelle is just a catch phrase spewing machine, the following catch phrases she has had in the show include: "You got it dude!" "Aw nuts" "You're in big trouble, mister!" "Oh Puh-leaze"
When she was a baby and started talking, she would say "Don't worry, be happy" whenever someone is upset.
D.J.: "Oh my lanta!" (D.J. borrowed this bizarre catchphrase from the TV ads for Mylanta heartburn medicine.)
Rumor has it that the catchphrase came about because actress Candace Cameron, a devout Christian, objected to saying "Oh my god!"
Kimmy (sometimes used by D.J. and Michelle): "Whoa, baby!"
Not really a Catch Phrase, but in the earliest seasons, when somebody (Joey) was being useless, Jesse reply, in a high-pitched voice, something to the effect of "Just do it, hah?" Later seasons referenced this with Stephanie and Michelle.
An old home video of Pam, Danny's late wife, showed her saying this.
Dwayne, a recurring character (as Kimmy's boyfriend): "Whatever."
Not so much a catch phrase, as much as a character schtick, since that's all he ever said with two exceptions. Once when he quoted Shakespeare and another time when he said "I guess" twice.
In the episode in which Stephanie wrecks a car into the house, nearly every character reacts with their catchphrase upon seeing the wreck.
Characterization Marches On: An early episode had Danny reluctantly cleaning the house when the boys' mothers descend upon them. The same Danny Tanner who in later episodes is shown cleaning his cleaning supplies.
A lesser example - in the early seasons, Jesse was shown being a sports fan such as watching games, and playing football. In later seasons, he hates sports and is shown being uncoordinated.
Especially hilarious considering John Stamos (and by extension, Jesse) is a drummer and by necessity very coordinated.
Chekhov's Gun: In the episode "Knock Yourself Out", Stephanie gives Danny a colorful tie tack as a present. Later that night, while on TV as a sportscaster, he interviews a boxer called "The Sandman" and asks about his wife leaving him. Apparently, the boxer never knew this and gets knocked out in the next round. Danny later apologizes to him on the air, and the boxer forgives him, but then fires his trainer for keeping it from him. Infuriated, the trainer punches Danny in the abdomen, but Danny is still standing and unhurt while the trainer holds his fist and moans in pain as he walks off. Looking in the camera, Danny opens his suit jacket and reveals the tie tack pinned to his tie, and thanks Stephanie on the air.
Companion Cube: Mr. Bear to Stephanie. In "Goodbye Mr. Bear" (where it appears to have been lost), we learn that her affection for it stems from it being the gift her mom gave her when Michelle was born.
Continuity Nod: The Texaco gas station a block away from the house gets mentioned frequently in the first seasons. Only occasionally through the rest of the series.
In Step by Step, Steve Urkel appears in one episode. Later in the series, John Stamos makes a cameo and mentions being the star of Full House. It made a bit more sense the very first time the episode aired; directly before Step by Step was a new episode of Family Matters. At the end of the Family Matters episode, Steve got stuck flying through the air on a jetpack he made. At the beginning of the Step by Step episode, he falls through their ceiling.
It's not surprising that all three shows would crossover with each other, given that they were all packaged by Miller-Boyett Productions.
Michelle (and several of her classmates) appears in an episode of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Jesse also makes a quick appearance.
Curse Cut Short: during Viper's guitarist audition for Jesse's band, Danny doesn't appreciate Viper's interest in tattooing D.J.'s name on his arm:
Danny: "Hi, I'm D.J.'s father Mildew, and you can tattoo that name on your—-"
Jesse: "Hey ho ho ho! Mildew, take five."
Dead Air: Used for a brief joke when some of the family is visiting Jesse and Joey at their job at the radio station. At one point, they all realize that nothing is being broadcast, and rather than allow the dead air, they all begin chattering, singing, etc. into the mic at the same time.
Deadpan Snarker: Stephanie in the later seasons. Jesse also, to a lesser extent.
Did You Think I Can't Feel?: While trapped in a storage closet on the opening of Jesse's new club, Kimmy calls him out for his remarks about her waitress outfit, stating that the reason why she was in the storage closet in the first place was because of his comments.
Dump Them All: D.J. takes this option when asked to choose between Nelson and Viper, reasoning that if she were really into either of them, then she wouldn't have any trouble deciding who to be with.
Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first few episodes Danny wasn't as OCD about cleaning, and cleaned the house because his mom was the anal one. They also used hell and damn in occasional dialogue, Jesse's last name was Cochran, and some minor characters smoked.
Enforced Plug: The Season 6 finale was the first of several ABC sitcoms forced into shooting an episode at Disneyland in the period leading to Disney's purchase of the alphabet network.
Family of Choice: The three girls are raised by their father, their maternal uncle Jesse and their father's best friend Joey. The three men (and later, Jesse's wife and kids) all live in the house together. At first, it was practical, to help raise the girls, but the arrangement continued long after the girls had grown beyond needing that level of care because the bonds of family were so strong.
First Pet Story: First was an episode dedicated to the family getting a dog. In a later episode, Michelle got a goldfish as her first pet. She accidentally killed it, but was later able to overcome her sadness by taking better care of the second goldfish. Other episodes covered the kids trying to get animals like a horse and a donkey, and running into the issues that come with those animals.
Flanderization: Jesse's obsession with his hair and Elvis, Danny's obsession with cleaning.
G-Rated Sex: In the episode "Stephanie Plays the Field." In 4-year-old terms, Danny (and Joey as well) explain to Michelle – in very G-rated terms – why the door to Jesse and Becky's room is locked and she's not being invited in. (Indeed, no sex scenes are shown; viewers see only what Michelle sees – a closed door that's been locked to preserve the young lovebirds' privacy.) Michelle complains when she can't get to Jesse so he can play with her, leading Danny to finally explain that sometimes, when two people are married they want their privacy and "alone" time and that she needs to respect that. The word "sex" is not used, nor is Michelle told what Jesse and Becky are doing. (Except for Joey's "tax" explanation.)
Every so often. Joey once had to explain to Michelle how newlyweds Jesse and Rebecca are "doing their taxes" and don't want to be disturbed.
Michelle: (frustrated) Are they going to be doing their taxes every night?!?! Joey: For the first few months, yes.
In the episode where Jesse's old flame comes to town with his great-grandparents, Jesse finds himself unable to remember Becky's name, leading him to visibly mouth "Oh Shit."
Mild example: Steph and Gia are putting on makeup before school, and Gia says that eyes are the first thing a guy notices. "Really?" "Well... for now"
In another, D.J. is defending her boyfriend Viper from Jesse, saying that "there's more to him than long hair and rock and roll!" Kimmy chimes in "I know! Have you seen him in tight pants?"
In "Too Much Monkey Buisness", when Jesse first meets Danny's sister's pet monkey, the monkey takes a liking to him and sticks her hand down his pants pocket.
Jesse (wiggling uncomfortably): What is this monkey doing in my pocket? Well, I know what it's doing....but why is it doing it?
Another mild example occurs when Michelle realizes being a girl is fun. Becky tells her, "and really fun stuff is coming up" While it could be argued that she is referring to her wedding day and prom, there's a good chance she means sex, and Michelle has no clue. Nor would any kid watching the show. Which could make it double as Parental Bonus.
Yet another mild example happens when Danny wonders why are there so many phone calls being billed at $2 dollars each. Joey says he has NOT been calling any 976 numbers- then gives an example of a dating service one he dialed a long time ago. While a dating service is pretty innocent- 900 numbers are also used for not so innocent purposes.
Stephanie quips in one episode that a horoscope is a telescope that can see Kimmy's face (after Kimmy insults her intelligence). This can be taken as the G-rated "horror-scope" or the PG-rated "whore-a-scope", which was clearly by intent.
Hidden Depths: Joey Gladstone, known in the series as something of a Man Child, also has a pilot's license, a teacher's license, could give a surprising detailed response to a question about cartoon violence, and on occasion substituted for Becky on Wake Up, San Francisco.
Hoist By Their Own Petard: In "Be True to Your Preschool", the girls played "ring around a Chevy" in front of a group of nerds walking. Only to lock themselves out, much to the nerds' amusement.
Homoerotic Subtext: Joey and Jesse often acted like a couple in raising the girls, particularly Michelle. One bemused boss of theirs declared, "Your private life is none of my business!"
Honorary Uncle: Averted in that the girls never referred to Joey as their "uncle," but played straight in regards to his relationship with them.
Idiot Ball: Danny grabs it once every season. Namely around or prior to the 7th episode.
Important Haircut: Stephanie accidentally gives Jesse one in the season 2 premiere, ultimately forcing Jesse to lop the rest of his mullet off (spoiled in syndication by using the standard Season 2 intro).
Michelle: You got a bad attitude. Bad Michelle: Thanks.
"It" Is Dehumanizing: In the episode where Jesse learns he's having twins, before that he wants to know if it's a boy or girl because he doesn't like calling the baby "it" and knows it can hear outside the mother.
Jerk Ass: Becky's snobbish cousin in "Trouble in Twin Town". He's not hesitant to tell Jesse how much he dislikes him to his face.
Joey's rival Hershel "Stonewall" Binkley in "Nice Guys Finish First", who joined the charity hockey game only to beat and humiliate Joey like when they were kids. Though Joey beats him by winning the game.
Karma Houdini: Michelle. Even though the plot of Season 4's "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor" involved Danny realizing he was letting her get away with too much. Lampshaded occasionally in the rest of the series. Although usually when Michelle does something wrong she DOES get a talking-to and occasionally she'll get punished, ex: The episode "Sisters in Crime".
Large Ham: Danny is an in-universe example whenever he's on air. All three young girls were prone to this as well, as VOLUME IS POWER to them or something.
Stephanie gets special mention during the scene of the wedding episode where she reads Jesse's letter explaining his wanting to go skydiving before the wedding.
Laugh Track: Used for scenes shot outside without the audience and sometimes for pre-taped sequences, particularly with the kids.
Lethal Chef: Rebecca suffers from this reputation, much to her annoyance. An episode involves her and Michelle learning how to cook together, however, with rather appetizing results to subvert the trope.
Joey also. Flounder Tarts, anyone?
Let's Have Another Baby: Jesse spends a whole episode trying to be the perfect stay-at-home dad to convince Becky they can have another baby. In the end, it's Becky covering a miraculous birth on Wake Up, San Francisco! that changes her mind. Although they never do have another baby during the course of the show...
Licked by the Dog: Jesse has much fondness for his nieces, yet much less fondness for animals. Expect every animal to walk through the door, be it their dog Comet (especially as a puppy, less so in the later seasons), a warthog, a monkey, and a donkey, to take an instant liking to Jesse.
Most notably Comet's mother, who decided Jesse's bed was the perfect place to give birth.
Little Brother Is Watching: An episode had Joey giving up on his comedy career only to find out that DJ has quit trying to play the guitar as a result. A few seasons later there was a similar episode; Jesse has quit going back to school so Michelle quits learning to tie her shoes.
MAD: A rare crossover satire with "America's Phoniest Home Videos Visits Fool House," featuring host "Bob Saggy" relentlessly tearing into the sitcom he starred in because while he was only one of six main players there, he was the only regular on the video show ("I should care? No way, dude!"). It's unlikely Saget minded much - see Old Shame.
Making Use of the Twin: Michelle was played by both Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Child labor laws wouldn't allow one actor to work enough hours to play the part, so one would be swapped in when the other's time was up.
Taken advantage of in 4 different episodes when the two appear on screen together for various reasons (character dream, hallucinations, identical cousins).
Meaningful Rename: Not that it was addressed in-series, but Jesse's last name was Cochran in season 1. John Stamos asked for the character's last name to be changed in order to better reflect his own Greek heritage, so he became Jesse Katsopolis, and nods to his heritage were put in—including an in-series example of this trope, when Jesse admits that his birth first name was Hermes, the real-life name of Stamos' paternal grandfather.
Mighty Lumberjack: Joey spent some time hosting a children's television show and invited a Jesse to join it. Jesse scoffed at the idea, thinking it below him, till he was offered a role whose manliness satisfied him: "Lumberjack Jess."
Middle Child Syndrome: One episode revolves around Stephanie constantly feeling ignored due to being the middle child. Jesse, Danny and Joey reassure her, adding that being "the middle" has its advantages.
Missing Mom: The driver for the series' main premise (Danny's brother-in-law and best friend moving in to help raise his three daughters). Several months before the series' began, Danny's wife and the girls' mother, Pam, was killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver.
The absence of Pam in the girls' lives drove several of the series' plots throughout its run. Most emotional are those episodes where either Stephanie or — in the later years — Michelle are seeking a mother figure in their lives and try to play matchmaker for their father. However, Becky — especially after marrying Jesse — would effectively soon fill the void and become the girls' de facto mother.
Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Joey and Jesse when they inadvertently begin acting like a couple around their boss.
Mood Whiplash: Rare, but a particularly jarring one happens in "The Last Dance." First, you have a heartwarming scene of Michelle and Papouli (Jesse's grandfather) dancing to Greek music that ends with them hugging with happy music in the background. It then fades to the next day with somber music playing in the background. The first thing you see is the family in mourning, with Papouli absent from the group for the first time in the episode. It's even more depressing considering that wasn't his first appearance on the show.
No Periods, Period: On a show that featured three young girls, two of whom (definitely D.J.) reached that age during the series run, the fact that we never got a Very Special Episode related to all this really stands out.
Especially since there's probably a lot of comedy to be mined from the only people they have to talk to about it being three dudes.
Old Shame: Bob Saget would like to get the show behind him and concentrate on his stand up act, featuring jokes that would make Danny Tanner blush.
One Steve Limit: Averted. The girl's cousin Steve played by Kirk Cameron appeared in the first season, with Steve, DJ's boyfriend appearing in later seasons.
Averted again, Danny's mother's name is Claire and in the eighth season Danny dates a woman named Claire.
Operation Jealousy: Danny finds out Joey had gone out with a girl he once dated in high school. Joey started going out with her a few seconds after she and Danny broke up. They both got into an argument about which of them she truly loves until Danny decides to call her and she explains everything. They both learned that the only reason she went with either of them was to make someone else jealous. And to both their surprise, it was Jesse.
The Other Marty: John Posey replaced by Bob Saget. At the time the original pilot was done, Saget was unavailable due to working as a "comic correspondent" on the CBS Morning Program.
Parachute in a Tree: When Jesse goes skydiving, his parachute gets stuck in a tree, causing him to be late to his own wedding.
Parental Substitute: Rebecca becomes a sort of mom substitute to D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle. Jesse and Joey are additional dad figures to the girls as well.
Picture Day: The episode "Mr. Egghead" sees Stephanie end up with a broken nose shortly before Picture Day (due to a botched prop during Joey's tryout for a local kids show).
Pinocchio Nose: In "The Wedding, Part 1", Danny won't look Rebecca or her father in the eye when he lies.
Playing Against Type: Bob Saget, who was - and still is - an incredibly vulgar comedian with dirty language, played Danny Tanner. He stated in an interview that he played a cleaner role to earn money to support his family.
Real Life Writes the Plot: The 1989 episode "Aftershocks" was written as a response to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that famously interrupted Game 3 of the World Series. However, this effect is lost during reruns, and may make some people feel Lost in Medias Res.
Retcon: Jesse being a high school dropout. He actually attended his high school reunion in one episode and a flashback has him talking about graduation. Additionally, Danny and (to a lesser extent) Joey knew him back in the day. They're just as surprised as anybody when Jesse admits he dropped out of high school.
Running Gag: Jesse never remembers the name of a member of the Rippers (Lanny). He got called out on it by Lanny himself, Rebecca, and Michelle. It also happened with a classmate of Michelle's. Every time he's corrected, he snaps his fingers saying he knew it.
Kimmy and her smelly feet. Every time she removes her shoes everyone can smell it, even at a far distance.
Before Joey moved down to the basement, there was a mannequin that was sometimes seen in the alcove of the living room. It always had on the same outfit as whatever Joey was wearing in that episode.
The hugging, or rather how frequently it occurs. Lampshaded by an Amnesiac Michelle in the finale:
"Is it me or does this family hug an awful lot?"
In the episode where D.J. and Kimmy switch places for a school project, Kimmy gives disgruntled Danny and Steph hugs.
The way Joey laughs at Jesse whenever something happens to him. The role was reversed in "Cutting it Close".
Series Continuity Error: In "A Pox in Our House", Stephanie get chicken pox. Joey claims he is immune, saying he "never had it, never will." He, of course, catches chicken pox halfway into the episode. Much later in "Viva Las Joey," though, Joey is reunited with his estranged father, who recalls when Joey was suffering through chicken pox as a child. Joey nods along in agreement.
Sexy Discretion Shot: When Jesse and Becky decide that they'd be okay with having another baby (even though that doesn't end up happening).
Jesse: Just one question... when would you like to start? Becky: Now works for me. [They get in bed, lights out, and the episode ends.]
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The show was suppose to be more about the 3 adult men raising these kids, but then Danny Tanner's daughters (ESPECIALLY Michelle) got more & more popular. Granted, when it comes to sitcoms packaged by Miller-Boyett Productions, it's not the worst offender -- but still. People were even referring to it as "The Michelle Show" towards the end of its run.
Stop Copying Me: Michelle annoyed Stephanie by shadowing her. Steph eventually got Michelle to shadow Kimmy instead.
An episode had Stephanie copying D.J.'s clothing, room, and mannerisms in order to seem more grown-up, much to D.J.'s chagrin. Towards the end, Michelle starts doing the same thing with Stephanie.
Unintentional Period Piece: Full House could be the definition of this trope. The fact that this show is a half hour late 80s/early to mid 90s time capsule may explain its current popularity with adults, who enjoy the show as a nostalgia piece.
Verbal Tic: The way the casino manager says "F-abulous" in "Luck Be a Lady".
DJ's "Oh Mylanta!" borders on this (especially in the later seasons when it went from merely an expression of surprise to an interjection), both because of how she always says it in the same cutesy rising intonation almost as if asking a question and the frequency.
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Early during the show, Jesse and Joey work for an advertising firm; they leave sometime during the third season. They go through several different jobs for a while until both finally settle for being radio DJs for a local radio station in the sixth season.