A 198795 ABC Dom Com about Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), a San Francisco TV sports anchor left to raise his three young daughters alone after his wife was killed by a drunk driver. He asks his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos), a musician with a love of Elvis and later The Beach Boys, and his best friend Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier), a stand-up comic with no shortage of impersonations, to move in with him and share the duties of raising Danny's daughters, fifth grader Donna Jo aka D.J. (Candace Cameron), kindergartener Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and baby Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). In season four, Jesse marries his girlfriend Rebecca (Lori Loughlin), who moves into the house, whereupon they have twin boys and both families end up living under the same roof. 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.
In April 2015, nearly twenty years after the final episode, Netflix announced plans to create a revival series, titled Fuller House. The story focuses on the now-grown-up D.J. and Stephanie, along with D.J.'s best friend Kimmy Gibler, as they live in San Francisco with families of their own. That show is now in its fourth season(!).
This show provides examples of:
- 555-6410, the phone number of Steve's residence.
- The number of the Tanner residence is 555-2424.
- DJ's phone number is 555-8722.
- '80s Hair: All three primary male actors are shown wearing mullets at different points in the show's run.
- DJ and Stephanie have pretty huge hair, and all of the pre-Becky love interests have variations on the trope.
- Abandoned Catchphrase:
- When Michelle was a baby and started talking, she would say "Don't worry, be happy" whenever someone is upset. As she got older, this one got phased out in favor of her other catch phrases. Eventually those were abandoned too.
- In the early seasons, Kimmy would address Danny as "Mr. T" and he would give her an exasperated look and say, "Don't call me Mr. T." In later seasons, she's still calling him Mr. T, but he's given up on trying to correct her.
- 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.
- Jesse trying to make a name for himself in the music business after The Rippers (formally of Jesse and the Rippers) kick him out of the band and become an overnight, international success. Jesse records and releases a single and music video for a power-ballad version of his original song "Forever" only for the storyline to be quietly dropped.
- 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.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Mrs. Carruthers is both this and Stalker with a Crush toward Joey.
- Oddly, she was also his Sitcom Arch-Nemesis several times.
- Then there's Rusty, the son of Danny's girlfriend during the first half of Season 4 with a similar attitude toward DJ.
- Acting Unnatural: In "Little Shop of Sweaters" D.J and Stephanie are entering a store at the mall to return a royal blue sweater Stephanie accidentally shoplifted (she thought it was credit, as evidenced by the "Buy Now, Pay Later" sign, not knowing it required a credit card). D.J. tells Stephanie to act casual, to which she begins strutting leisurely while humming. D.J. then tells Stephanie to "just act regular," to which she does, until the stolen sweater sets off the door alarm.
- 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.◊
- 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 actually voiced Animal, with Russi Taylor doing Gonzo).
- Affectionate Nickname / Ironic Nickname: Kimmy calls Danny "Mr. T".
- Jesse always calls Michelle "Munchkin," among other nicknames. Becomes a heartwarming point in the series finale, wherein Michelle loses her memory temporarily.
- Danny's nicknames for his girls are Princess (Michelle), Ladybug (Stephanie), and Tennis Ball Head (D.J.)
- The Alleged House: Invoked in "A House Divided", where Michelle tries to prevent the house from being sold to a previous owner, which means she'll have to move out, by making everything go haywire for him.
- Alone Among the Couples: Joey never sticks to dating a girl for more than a few episodes, while mostly everyone else is in love and in a relationship.
- An Aesop: Every episode has one. Sometimes even twice.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing / Fun in the Funeral: The funeral of the (unseen) owner of Smash Club, who died from heart failure (and left the club to Jesse in his will). Justified in that he wanted his funeral to be joyous.
- Annoying Patient: Stephanie when she has chickenpox. Joey deserves much of the blame for this; he was the one who gave her an air-horn and told her to blow it whenever she wanted anything. And Joey after catching the pox himself.Joey: Danny!
Danny: I'm coming! Why can't chickenpox cause laryngitis?
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Michelle in the later seasons. Could also be applied to Stephanie in the early seasons.
- Armor-Piercing Question: In the season 6 episode "Silence is not Golden" When Stephanie admits to Uncle Jesse that her classmate Charles admitted to being abused by his fatherStephanie: But what'll happen to Charles if we report it?Jesse: What'll happen to Charles if we don't?
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: This line in the episode "Taking the Plunge":Kimmy: But, Deej, it wouldn't be the same without you. I mean, who am I going to hang out with? Talk to about boys? Copy my homework from?
- 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.
- Asleep in Class: In "Fogged Inn," Kimmy sleeps over at the Tanner house and keeps D.J. and Stephanie awake by snoring very loudly. D.J. comments that this is really weird because Kimmy "never snores when she's sleeping in class."
- 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 (though this contradicts an earlier episode where Jesse was previously shown to have graduated and attend his high school reunion).
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Kimmy tends to suffer from this when she babysits Nicky and Alex.
- During the episode "Five's a Crowd", Kimmy shows strong aversion to feeding the boys with baby food because she had to eat the stuff herself in the past, so Stephanie steps in... for a fee. Near the end of the episode, the amount of times Stephanie steps in to feed or change the babies ends up causing Kimmy to lose the entirety of the money she was promised for babysitting to Stephanie.
- The episode "Subterranean Graduation Blues" has Kimmy giving finger-paint to Nicky and Alex to keep them occupied. They end up causing graffiti all over the house, resulting in Kimmy spending the whole episode cleaning up the mess.
- Bare Your Midriff: Stephanie and her classmates in this dance routine.
- The cheerleaders on the Season 3 telethon episode.
- 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 , 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.
- Betty and Veronica : Nelson and Viper, for DJ.
- 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.
- Big "SHUT UP!": DJ screams this in "Super Bowl Fun Day".
- In "Our Very First Show," in an attempt to get baby Michelle to stop crying, Jesse yells "HEY, SHUT UP!" at her. It doesn't work.
- 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.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jesse's cousin, Stavros, who combines this with The Thing That Would Not Leave.
- Bland-Name Product: Great American Amusement Park. Anyone from the San Francisco Bay Area knows this is based off of Marriot's/Paramount's/California's Great America in Santa Clara.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: In "Fraternity Reunion," at said reunion when a male waiter hits with Danny Disguised in Drag, Danny says in his falsetto voice "How rude!" which was Stephanie's catchphrase for a long time.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Aaron, especially towards Jesse.
- Some fans (and non-fans) think of Michelle as this especially in later seasons, partially because Danny rarely disciplined her for several years. Could be justified because she's the youngest, but many people found her "cute" antics and smart-mouthing bratty.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
- In "Pal Joey," Stephanie gets mad at DJ and yells, "You rat! You skunk! You skunky rat!"
- In "Terror In Tanner Town," Joey does an impression of Mr. Woodchuck, then an impression of Bob Hope, then an impression of Mr. Woodchuck doing an impression of Bob Hope.
- British Royal Guards: Appear in one episode when Joey and his Girl of the Week were going to meet HM The Queen. 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 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.
- In another episode, Danny dumps a woman he's been dating after seeing what a slob she is. When he tells Joey and Jesse about this, they gently, but firmly tell him that, every time he meets a woman he likes, he dumps her for some ridiculous reason because he still misses his late wife and doesn't want to let her go. They lecture him about how unhealthy this pattern is, etc, etc. This is all true. . . except Danny didn't break up with this woman for a dumb reason. He dumped her because her apartment looked like a trash heap, something that would bother anybody, especially a Neat Freak like Danny.
- 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.
Jesse: No more junk food!
- The Season 2 opening shows the family shopping where everyone buys junk food much to Danny's annoyance. In "Play It Again, Jesse", Jesse, Steph, and Michelle are shopping, with Steph and Michelle getting junk food.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Technically, the "old man" is an uncle, but the trope fits otherwise: Late in "Comet's Excellent Adventure", Michelle does this to Jesse after Jesse tells Michelle to walk Comet in his stead, resulting in Comet running away when he starts chasing a car that looks like a hot dog with bun (this is after Danny advised against it when Michelle volunteered to walk Comet earlier, and he replies with: "You're too little to walk Comet. Comet will be walking you."):Michelle: Why did you tell me to walk Comet by myself? What were you thinking?!Jesse: That's the thing. I-I wasn't.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Mostly Joey and Jesse, although Danny could be involved.
- Canadian = Hockey Fan: In one episode, Joey imitates a hockey fan and does a French Canadian accent.
- Car Meets House: A grade-school-age Stephanie once drove Joey's car into the kitchen.
- The house's kitchen seems to be a target for this, as a cement truck is accidentally set to begin pouring cement while D.J. and Steve are making out; thus resulting in the area near the back door and table slowly being covered in cement.
- Cassandra Truth: DJ's dilemma in "Just Say No Way".
- Casting Gag:
- 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.
- Also, in a season five episode, Michelle runs away to her friend Teddy's house and spends some time with his family. Teddy is portrayed in the series by Tahj Mowry, and Teddy's older sister is played—in a double-cast role—by Mowry's real-life older sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry.
- In the Walt Disney World episode, at several points, D.J. hallucinates her boyfriend dressed as various Disney characters, including Aladdin. Her boyfriend was portrayed by Scott Weinger, who voiced Aladdin in the movie, sequels, and TV series (and still voices him today).
- Catapult Nightmare: Jesse at the end of "The Seven-Month Itch" (part 1).
- Catch-Phrase: Every original main character EXCEPT Danny had at least one.
- Joey: "Cut. It. Out!"
- Jesse: "Have mercy!"
- Stephanie: "How rude!", "Well pin a rose on your nose", and "Hot dog."
- 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"
- 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!"
- In earlier seasons, D.J. would often call someone a "nerd-bomber" when they annoyed her. The insult was usually directed at Stephanie.
- Kimmy (sometimes used by D.J. and Michelle): "Whoa, baby!"
- Also Kimmy would often use "Hola, Tanneritos" when entering the Tanner house.
- Not really a Catch-Phrase, but in the earliest seasons, when somebody (Joey) was being useless, Jesse would 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 (and Jesse's sister), showed her saying this.
- It seems to be an imitation of Archie Bunker. Why is anyone's guess.
- Nicky and Alex had a couple of mad libs catchphrases they used a few times. One would comment on something with an exclamation, and the other would agree with "double" before it ("Cool!" "Double cool!") Or one would call something "bad," and the other would call it "yucky" (such as their new beds they disliked in "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night," or Stephanie pretending to smoke with a crayon in "Fast Friends.")
- Dwayne, a recurring character (as Kimmy's boyfriend): "Whatever." The same slang word was also used in Clueless when Cher Horowith (Alicia Silverstone's character) says this while holding up two thumbs and fingers which resemble the letter "W". Also subverted in the 1999 DVD release (as she, Dionne and Tai Fraiser were walking down the stairs, talking to each other on their phones, showing the shortened version of the 1995 teen movie's tagline which is "Sex. Clothes. Popularity. 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. Stephanie: I'm gonna wreck it!
- 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.
- DJ was kind of bratty and prone to emotional outbursts in the first season, and one episode also showed her as being insecure about her appearance. In later seasons, she basically becomes The Ace of the three Tanner Girls. Granted, there was no way they could believably write her as being insecure once Candace Cameron grew up into a very attractive young woman.
- 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.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
- Michelle's friend Denise from seasons 5-7 disappears without an explanation after the season seven finale.
- Mickey, who appears as Stephanie's friend when Stephanie enters middle school, disappears midway in season 7 without explanation or further mention, while Gia becomes Stephanie's pal.
- Clip Show: Multiple episodes.
- Cloud Cuckoolander:
- Joey could often be like this, especially in the show's final season.
- Danny has had moments like this as well.
- 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.
- Completely Off-Topic Report: D.J. gives Kimmy a job writing for their school's newspaper and assigns her to write a story about a school basketball game. Kimmy comes back with an interview with the team's equipment manager. Written on a napkin.D.J. (reading): "Ever wonder about that mega-cute guy on the basketball team who's always wiping up the sweat puddles?...And girls, he spots those puddles with eyes of blue. Not sky-blue, but more like turquoisey-grey-blue with little specks of green"?!
Kimmy: How's THAT for investigative reporting?
D.J.: Kimmy, you forgot to investigate who won the game!
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat / Paper-Thin Disguise: Stephanie tried this in "A Pox In Our House," when attempting to sneak out of the house with her chicken pox to get to her ballet class (as a real ballerina was visiting that day.) Uncle Jesse was not fooled for a second, though he teasingly played along.
- 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 the Season 1 episode "Danny's Very First Date", when Danny re-sets up the titular date DJ and Stephanie had previously guilt tripped him out of, he blames the previous cancellation on his "Evil Twin, Manny Tanner." Later on, in Season 5, when Jesse is freaking out over Becky being pregnant with twins, he has an Imagine Spot of Danny and Joey possessing Evil Twins of their own, with Danny's introducing himself as Manny Tanner.
- Cool Uncle:
- Joey, although not an actual uncle.
- This can also pertain to Uncle Jesse.
- Steve Urkel from Family Matters bizarrely showed up in one episode, in which he jams with Jesse, gives Michelle a penny for her piggy bank (and tells her about how her penny will be worth three cents by the year 2000 with then-current interest rates), and helps Stephanie through her fear of wearing glasses (as he himself wears glasses).
- Urkel also appears in a Step by Step episode. Later in that series, John Stamos makes a cameo As Himself 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. Not really surprising, since both programs were created by Jeff Franklin.
- Curse Cut Short: In "To Joey, With Love", 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.
- Most of the cast members seem to qualify.
- Death Glare: Jesse, usually towards Joey.
- Duet Bonding: While it's not on instruments, in the first season when they are giving Michelle a bath for the first time, Jesse ends up singing to Joey in the bathtub. While Danny was weirded out, the interaction was rather nice and gives a lot of points to the people who ship them.
- 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.
- Disguised in Drag: Danny and Joey in "Fraternity Reunion", when they try to steal back their fraternity seal from a sorority. A waiter falls for Danny until he learned the truth, and was angry at him for playing with his emotion.
- Dog Walks You: In the eighth-season episode "Comet's Excellent Adventure", when Michelle volunteers to take Comet out for a walk upon seeing Jesse's unwillingness to do so, Danny responds with: "You're too little to walk Comet. Comet will be walking you." Later in the episode, when Michelle asks Jesse to walk Comet, Jesse, who's busying himself with negotiations on the phone, tells Michelle to do it in his stead. This trope gets played with: First, Michelle has a hard time keeping up ("Comet, slow down!... What have we been feeding you?"); and then Comet runs off when a car shaped like a hot dog drives by, though Michelle isn't dragged along because her grip on the leash was loose when Comet starts running. It's still Played for Drama, though, as eventually the entire Tanner household gets involved in the search.
- Dom Com
- Dramatically Missing the Point: Jesse does this from time to time, such as with Todd Masters' invitation to both Becky AND him for dinner in "Luck Be A Lady" which he interprets to be exclusively for Becky (before she later is FINALLY able to clarify), but even more so in "Just Say No Way" when he falsely accuses DJ of drinking beer after "witnessing" her offering beer to the boys, when in fact, she was actually mocking their stupidity in her attempt to stop them.
- Dreaming of a White Christmas: Invoked by Jesse in one of the Christmas episodes. Becky grew up in the Midwest where it snows heavily in winter, and she doesn't think she'll ever get used to California Christmases without snow. So Jesse fills the backyard with man-made snow as a surprise gift. Everyone loves it.
- Dream Sequence: Several throughout the series, one of which has a...
- Dream Within a Dream: One bizarre example midway through the show's final season. In the episode "My Left and Right Foot", Michelle has a nightmare that her feet grow to an extremely large size.
- Drop-In Character: Kimmy.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Joey and Michelle argue during a baseball game:Joey: It was a ball!Michelle: It was a strike!Joey: It was a strike!Michelle: It was a ball!Joey: Oh, so it was a ball. Thank you very much.
- 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.
- Ear Worm: An in-universe example when Michelle discovers Raffi's "Baby Beluga," listens to it on a loop for a week, and Stephanie can't get it out of her head.
- Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: In "Captain Video, Part 1", Kimmy translates DJ as she's speaking Spanish to her family. But as DJ spoke the last sentence, Kimmy said "She either said dinner's ready, or it's time to clip your nose hairs."
- El Spanish "-o": DJ helps Kimmy study Spanish for their trip to Spain, in "Captain Video, Part 2".Kimmy: (exhausted) Please, Deej, I can't conjugate anymore Spanish, it's after midnight, can we stop now?
DJ: En español.
Kimmy: El sleepo beg-o please-o!
- Embarrassing First Name: Jesse's real name is Hermes.
- 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.
- Epic Fail: Jesse's hilariously miserable debut as Vulture in "Matchmaker Michelle".
- Escalating War: In an attempt to teach Nicky and Alex about forgiveness in "Under The Influence", Jesse and Joey do increasingly mean things to each other knowing their friend would forgive them, starting with Jesse placing one of Joey's Flounder Tarts in his shirt pocket and smacking it, and ultimately ending with Becky breaking it off before Joey could jam a running egg beater up Jesse's butt.
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Played for Laughs during the episode "Day of the Rhino", in which DJ gets a bad haircut that is so awful even the family dog, Comet, runs away from her!D.J.: Now I'm scaring the dog!
- Extra Long Episode: "Happy Birthday, Babies" and "Michelle Rides Again" were both originally broadcast as hour-long episodes.
- 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.
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: "Bicycle Thief"; see the funny moments page for details.
- First Gray Hair: In one episode, Jesse discovers to his shock he has some gray hair. He demands Becky to yank them off, but tells her not to touch when she says should one gray hair gets plucked two hair take its place. He takes this as a sign that he won't be able to make it to the music business.
- 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.
- Follow the Leader: In-Universe example, the Sitcom Joey gets a role on is reformatted to a cartoon series due to the successes of The Simpsons.
- Foreshadowing: At the end of "Happy Birthday Babies, Part 1", Becky holds her stomach for a moment.
- In "Designing Mothers", before Danny meets Vicky's mother, Joey says when that happens Danny and Vicky's relationship will change. He insists nothing will happen until (thanks to Kimmy) Vicky's mom questions about their eventual engagement. Then after Vicky's mom redecorates Steph and Michelle's room, Danny and Vicky starts to argue.
- Forgotten Birthday: "Birthday Blues" has DJ forgetting Kimmys 16th birthday due to her and Steves six-month anniversary so she makes the rest of the Tanners scramble together a last minute party for Kimmy.
- "Getting My Own Room" Plot: One episode has DJ wanting her own room after dealing with Stephanie's snooping one too many times. DJ ends up getting the approval of Danny and moves into Michelle's room, while Michelle moves in with Stephanie who was against the move since she was afraid she and DJ will drift apart.
- 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.)
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Michelle: (frustrated) Are they going to be doing their taxes every night?!?!
- How about the episode "The Greatest Birthday on earth" Joey dressed up as a clown mentioned about having a "party in his pants?" Really obvious!
- 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.
Joey: (beat) For the first few months, yes.
Jesse: (wiggling uncomfortably) What is this monkey doing in my pocket? Well, I know what it's doing....but why is it doing it?
- 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 Business", 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.
- 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-13 "whore-a-scope", which was clearly by intent.
- During a date auction, Rebecca forced Danny onto the auction block. He got a few bids, and when they started to slow down he said: Dont stop now, ladies. I can go all night! Which caused the bidding to speed up again. Danny gave a look, showing that he just realized how what he said sounded dirty.
- In the episode "Under the Influence", Kimmy gets incredibly drunk after a party.
- Another Kimmy example in Season 7's "The Apartment" episode: she calls Danny "T-Bag." No, really.
- In Season 7's "The Test", when Jesse enters D.J.'s classroom during the dream sequence wearing a black leather jacket, Ms. Twitchel mistakes him for a crook and yells to do what he wants with her but leave the children alone. Then she gets another look at him, and her tone changes as she says "Please, do what you want with me..." Jesse even gives her a suggestive smirk.
- In Season 8 episode "On the Road Again", we find out Jesse's band name is "Hot Daddy and the Monkey Puppets". No further explanation needed!
- A mild and perhaps unintentional example: Season 7 had an episode where the Tanners were considering moving to a bigger house. Michelle is the only family member who doesn't want to move, so she and her friends Denise and Teddy try different ways to flunk the upcoming home inspection (ex.: Teddy firing water guns from the top of the stairs to simulate a badly leaking roof). Michelle tries to order some vermin from a local pest control company since D.J., unaware of her plans, told her vermin would cause a bad impression. The kids can't get their hands on any vermin so they use the neighborhood dogs. When the dogs all run out of the house later, Denise says, "We should've gone with the dead vermin," but the way she says "dead" almost sounds like "damn." Becky and Danny's reactions indicate that may have been what she actually said.
- When the runaway dog gives birth on Jesse's bed, he declares, "This is the most amazing thing to ever happen in my bed", then pauses, indicating that he's thinking of. . .other things to happen in his bed.
- Another perhaps unintentional example occurs at the end of "Bachelor of the Month." Danny catches Michelle spying as he and Vicky kiss, and tells her to go upstairs. She responds with a giggle and a "Toot, toot!" On the surface, this is a reference to her current favorite bedtime story, which involves a tugboat. However, it could also be the writers' commentary on Danny finally getting some action. Yes, lades and gentlemen, they made a sexual comment on a family Dom Com via the five-year-old.
- The Ghost: Kimmy's parents and older brother. She also has two older sisters that were mentioned once in the first episode.
- Hands Go Down:
Rebecca: Who wants ice cream?
- In "To Joey, With Love", when Rebecca is about to give Nicky and Alex ice cream while the house is filled with guitarists auditioning for Jesse's new band:
[hands go up]
Rebecca: Let me rephrase that. Who wants ice cream but can't read yet?
[some hands go down]
Rebecca: How about this — who wants ice cream, can't read yet, and has no tattoos?
[only Nicky and Alex's hands stay up]
D.J.: Have any of you guys been to a dance? [two out of three have hands up] With a woman? [one puts his hand down] Who wasn't in your family? [all hands are down] O.K. Thank you. We'll, uh, get back to you.
- Early in "Michelle Rides Again, Part 1", Kimmy finds Nerds as potential prom dates for D.J., who, already unimpressed, starts her vetting process with the three who remain:
- Happier Home Movie: In a season two episode, the family watches the video of the now-dead mom arriving home from the hospital with then-newborn baby Michelle.
- Happily Married: Jesse and Becky
- Has Two Mommies: The girls essentially had three fathers. There was no sign of an influential female presence until Becky married Jesse and became a mother figure to the girls.
- Hates Being Touched:
- Ranger Roy. When Joey hugged him after being named his replacement, Roy hyperventilated into a paper bag.
- In the earlier seasons, Jesse never really cared for all the hugs.
- HeelFace Turn: When Gia is first introduced, she's the resident "bad girl" in Stephanie's class and her arch-rival. Shortly thereafter, Gia becomes Stephanie's best friend.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Joey and Jesse (Danny can sometimes be added). At the start of the show, it was Danny and Joey.
- Hidden Depths: Joey Gladstone, known in the series as something of a Manchild, 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.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Played straight with D.J. and Kimmy.
- Hot Teacher: In "Pal Joey", Jesse use to fantasize about Ms. Borland, a rather attractive-looking teacher.Ms. Borland: Until you learn to stop chasing girls, Jesse Katsopolis, you're gonna sit on the bench all recess with me. (crosses her legs)
Young Jesse: Have mercy!
Jesse: I wonder if I still have her number?
- Humiliation Conga: Jesse suffers from this in the episode "Making Out is Hard to Do": After he swears off music for good, he eventually ends up leaving the Tanners, all of whom speak of him in unflattering terms (yes, this includes Michelle), Rebecca divorces Jesse and dates Joey, Jesse himself has become washed-up, overweight and balding, and, to top it all off, he's engaged... to Kimmy (who looks like Peggy Bundy and acts obnoxiously towards him, too) of all people. It's a good thing the whole incident was All Just a Dream, though that doesn't prevent him from having a Freak Out upon seeing Kimmy again.
- Hurricane of Puns: Joey and Jesse rattle off a series of bad egg puns in "Mr. Egghead."
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Several early episodes were titled, "Our Very First..."
- Idiot Ball:
DJ: You're not having a good day.
- Danny grabs it once every season. Namely around or prior to the 7th episode.
- Stephanie grabs it at the end of Nicky and/or Alexander, DJ even lampshades it
- 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). This is also the episode where Jesse matured a bit and decides to become more responsible.
- Impossible Pickle Jar: Danny laments to his girlfriend Vicky, who revealed that she was actually one year older than him, that he had always believed that the man of the house should be older, taller, and stronger while struggling to open a jar. Vicky starts to respond while unconsciously taking the jar and opens it no problem, and pauses when she realized what just happened. Danny laments that at least he's still taller.
- In Love with Love: Stated word by word by Danny while trying to defuse the tension between Jesse and Joey for falling for the same girl simultaneously.
- Insult Backfire:
Michelle: You got a bad attitude.
- In "The Devil Made Me Do It":
Bad Michelle: Thanks.
Gia: Come on, Steph. Right now she's all we got.Stephanie: But you don't know Kimmy like I do! She's rude, lewd, and crude.Gia: That's perfect!
- In "We Got The Beat", when Stephanie and Gia decide to start a band but know no one who can fill the role of a keyboardist, Jesse introduces Kimmy to them. Stephanie is NOT thrilled with the prospect of having Kimmy as a band member and describes Kimmy in unflattering words to Gia, only for Gia to tell Stephanie that those unflattering terms make Kimmy a perfect fit for the band.
- I Resemble That Remark!:
DJ: Dad, stay cool. Steve's a wrestler, he needs his strength.Danny: What about Kimmy?DJ: Kimmy just has bad manners.Kimmy: I do not! (beat) This meatloaf is really dry. Here you go, Comet.(Kimmy feeds the sandwich to the dog)
- After Kimmy and Steve each steal half of Danny's meatloaf sandwich:
Kimmy: (to DJ) Your sister is such a tattletale.Stephanie: I am not, and I'm telling you said that!
- It's All My Fault: In "Cutting it Close", Steph blames herself for causing Jessie's accident, all because she accidentally cut his hair in her pretend haircut game.Steph: I only scalped him, crashed his bike, and broke his arm. No wonder he's mad at me.
- It's Been Done: In "The Prying Game", Jesse made a hair guard using an old helmet face glass and a handle. He's convinced to sell the idea to make millions. While demonstrating his invention on live TV, he got a call from someone who already made a similar device years ago.
- "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.
- It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: In "Fraternity Reunion", DJ and Kimmy carry the big TV upstairs so they can watch two TVs, until Steph pointed out they should have brought the small TV downstairs. Kimmy accidentally drops the big TV from high up. When DJ tries to explain to Danny what happened, she realized their plan sounded better before she said it out loud.
- 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Michelle
- 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".
- Kids Play Matchmaker: In one episode, DJ and Stephanie (whose mother died) set their father Danny up with Stephanie's dance teacher. It goes well until Danny, who is a Neat Freak finds out that she's a slob. They sort things out by the episodes end, but she is never spoken of or seen ever again.
- Lame Rhyme Dodge: Becky's mom sends the newborn twins some colourful booties and Jesse complains about not wanting them to wear "tutti-frutti booties." When Becky is offended, Jesse tries to convince her that he actually said "cutey-wutey booties" and meant it as a compliment.
- 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.
- Lead In: Just another chance to display the cute factor of Michelle, Nicky, and Alex.
- 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?
- Like an Old Married Couple: Jesse and Joey.
- 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.
- Little Miss Snarker: Stephanie, later Michelle.
- Look Behind You: In an early episode, DJ and Kimmy are practicing soccer and Kimmy is the goalie. DJ points past her and says, "Look, Kimmy, jeans on sale!", then scores a goal when Kimmy turns to look. Kimmy then admonishes DJ to never make jokes about a sale.
- 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.
- 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.
- Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: After Danny breaks up with yet another terrific woman because of her messy apartment (though that's understandable for anyone, but especially for a Neat Freak like Danny), Joey and Jesse gently, but firmly point out to him that he finds imperfections in every woman that he dates and uses it as an excuse to dump them, all because deep down, he isn't over Pam.
- 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. In the series finale, amnesiac Michelle asks about her mother.
- Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Joey and Jesse when they inadvertently begin acting like a couple around their boss.
- Mistaken for Servant: At the local horse stables in the finale:Mother: (hands a $20) Could you comb out my little girl's?
Danny: I'm a parent, not a groomer.
Mother: Oh, I'm sorry. You just have the air of stable help.
Danny: In that case, I'll take the money.
- 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.
- Which could make this an example of Back for the Dead.
- Moral Luck: When the Tanners go to Disney World, Stephanie and Michelle line up for some kind of draw. Michelle pushes ahead of Stephanie in the line, draws the winning ticket, and spends the rest of the day being treated as a princess. Stephanie resents Michelle for this, and the script is clearly on her side. Now, you could certainly see how pushing ahead of her sister wasn't a very nice thing to do. But the fact that she drew the winning ticket really was just dumb luck. It could just as easily have gone the other way - with Michelle drawing a losing ticket followed by Stephanie drawing the winning one. Presumably Stephanie wouldn't be resenting her sister then.
- However, when you consider that Michelle had been getting her way in really stupid matters throughout the entire episode (i.e., claiming that not getting whatever she wanted would make her gag), it's easier to see why the script slanted toward Stephanie.
- Neat Freak: Danny.
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: DJ complains in an episode that on the first day of school, the nerds brought homework.
- Nobody Touches the Hair: Jesse, to the point where it borders on being a catch phrase.
- No Periods, Period: On a show that featured four young girls, two of whom (DJ and Kimmy, possibly three if you count Stephanie ) 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. Or even tearjerkers at the fact that their mother isn't around to have this talk with them.
- A period episode was specked. The plot was to revolve around a sex ed program at Stephanie's school and the uncomfortable changes for the dad-trio who were required to attend a parent session. The episode was reworked to have Joey attending a mother-daughter sleepover.
- Not Me This Time:
- In "Lust In The Dust," Michelle has been hiding various people's possessions as a joke. So when Jesse can't find his keys, everyone assumes she's the culprit. Michelle repeatedly denies hiding the keys, but no one believes her. Jesse left his keys in the front door and Michelle was innocent. Subverted a few minutes later when Jesse loses his keys again. This time Michelle really did hide them under her bib.
- In "Terror In Tanner Town," Cindy and Rusty join the family for lunch. During the meal, someone unscrews the lid on the saltshaker, punches a hole in the milk carton, and tucks the tablecloth into Danny's pants. Joey gets blamed because he recently played two of those exact pranks at the Sizzler and loves practical jokes in general. The actual prankster is Rusty, who goes on to play several more jokes throughout the episode.
- Not What It Looks Like:
Jesse: How could you do that right in front of me?!Rebecca: Joey had cream filling in his eye.Joey: Those boing-boings really pack a punch. You squeeze one and — pffft.Jesse: So there's nothing going on between the two of you? Joey's just an idiot?Joey: Is there a third option? *beat* I need to wash out my eye.
- "Just Say No Way", when Jesse walks into the main area and sees DJ sardonically mocking the boy's stupidity, which he falsely concludes to mean she's offering them beer for real and then goes off the deep end to falsely accuse her until her friend, Kevin, clears up the misunderstanding later.
- In "Making Out is Hard to Do", after Jesse wakes up from his nightmare (where he ends up washed-up, overweight and ''bald'' and Rebecca ends up divorcing him and is romantically involved with Joey), he sees Rebecca and Joey face-to-face in close proximity, prompting the following conversation:
- One Steve Limit:
Jesse: It was me, Little Ed, big Ed, and uh, Medium Ed.Becky: They didn't have a lot of names back then.
- 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.
- Played with, when Jesse talks about his first band.
- Averted with Stephanie's fifth grade class. There are two popular girls and they're both named Jennifer.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Played for Laughs. When the whole Tanner family dine at a restaurant late in the Season 8 episode "The Producer", Jesse takes Nicky and Alex to the lobby for acting up. After they return to their dining table, Rebecca, upon seeing the boys in their well-behaved moment, asks: "Jess, where are our children?"
- 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. Danny thinks Joey stole her from him 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.
- Overprotective Dad: Danny, Jesse, and Joey are protective of the girls, particularly when it comes to dating. In addition, Jesse can display this trope when he gets protective of his nieces due to them potentially dating guys who are similar to himself at that age. See DJ and her rock musician boyfriend, Viper (however, Danny and Jesse ultimately come to accept Viper upon getting to know him).
- 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.
- Passed in Their Sleep: Played straight in the Season 7 episode "The Last Dance." Jesse's grandfather, whom also becomes very close to Michelle, dies in his sleep while staying at the Tanners.
- 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.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Andrea Barber and Lori Laughlin (as Kimmy and Rebecca, respectively).
- The Olsen girls were added to the credits in season two. They weren't in the season one credits until the show was syndicated.
- And with Lori Loughlin; during Season 3 (the year Becky first became a main character) whether she appeared in the opening titles depended largely on whether her character appeared or not.
- Also used with Scott Weinger, who made a one-off appearance in Season 5 as Steve before getting credited as a member of the main cast in Seasons 6 and 7.
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: In the episode "Sisterly Love", Stephanie does this while rehearsing for a commercial.
- 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 between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, and also wreaked havoc on elements of the Bay Area's transportation system that hadn't been retrofitted (such as the Embarcadero Freeway, Cypress Viaduct, Oakland's Amtrak station, and the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge; all have since been demolished and replaced). However, this effect is lost during reruns, and may make some people feel Lost in Medias Res.
- Repeated Cue, Tardy Response: Michelle is in a play with her friend who has stage fright. She keeps giving the cue, "Look, here comes that Yanky-Doodle Boy" but he doesn't come out. She has to go backstage and talk him into giving his dance number.
- Retail Riot: "I've Got a Secret" has Danny, Jesse and Joey trying to buy a Mighty Mutant Super Fortress play-set for Michelle and her club, only it's such a hot-selling toy that the three men encounter such a riot at a toy store.
- Rewrite: Jesse's last name.
- 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.
- Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Nelson vs. Viper.
- Right in Front of Me: Early in "Making Out Is Hard To Do" when Barry Williams is trying to promote a new single by The Rippers, he makes a joke about the previous leader while sitting next to Jesse. Luckily for Barry, Jesse isn't too offended to let Barry promote the new song.Joey: Isn't that a winky-dink of a coincidence? Jesse's old band was the Rippers.Barry: It couldn't be. I heard that the old leader spent more time moussing his hair than practicing on his guitar.
[Joey and Barry start laughing, & then Joey stops once he sees Jesse standing up and casting him a Death Glare]
Jesse: You try keeping this hair this way with only shampoo. It doesn't work, man!Barry: *realizing what he'd done* I'm sorry. I didn't realize that it was you.
- Runaway Bride: Before Jesse and Rebecca got married the first time, she learns that they don't agree with each other on certain subjects and she gets cold feet.
- 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 "Matchmaker Michelle", where D.J. and Kimmy switch identities for a school project, Kimmy gives disgruntled Danny and Steph a hug, knowing that's what the family does.
- The way Joey laughs at Jesse whenever something happens to him. The role was reversed in "Cutting it Close".
- Steph and Jesse's "No he doesn't!" "Yes he does!" thing in season 1. The last episode they do this is "Cutting It Close", where Jesse says she's getting too old for the crying routine.Steph: I knew this would happen someday.
[She resorts to sighing sadly, which worked.]
- Michelle often uses it when she's old enough to walk and talk.
- Kimmy is constantly copying DJ's homework.
- Scenery Censor
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: Used in "The Perfect Couple" with Stephanie and the twins, complete with a soundalike of the theme song to The Benny Hill Show and Hanna-Barbera Stock Sound Effects.
- Security Blanket: Stephanie's Mr. Bear.
- Sentimental Music Cue: The former Trope Namer, it was once called "Full House Music" based on how every episode ended with this and a sappy moral.
- Sequel Series: Netflix's Fuller House, which focuses on a widowed DJ with three boys of her own.
- 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. He could have easily denied never having the chicken pox.
- 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.]
- She Is All Grown Up:
- DJ is the most popular example. Nearly everybody who has ever watched the show has commented on how she....developed nicely in the show's later seasons.
- Stephanie also became many times more crush-worthy as she hit puberty. More fitting to the trope, Jodie Sweetin has become very attractive as an adult.
- Ship Tease: There were a fair bit of jokes about Jesse and Kimmy, mostly her having a crush on him. This was played entirely for laughs.
- Shoe Size Angst: In "My Left and Right Foot", Michelle begins to worry about her feet after a visit to the shoe store reveals they've grown two sizes. This culminates in her having a nightmare where her feet inflate until they begin to engulf the house.
- One scene involving Jesse and Kimmy being a couple features Kimmy resembling Peggy Bundy. Lucky for Jesse it turned out he wasn't married to her after all. That doesn't stop him from having a Freak Out when Kimmy shows up for real next time after he wakes up, though.
- In season four, Michelle is shown to own stuffed animals of Buster and Babs Bunny.
- Show Within a Show: Wake Up, San Francisco once Danny gets the job as (co-)host of the show.
- Sickening Sweethearts: D.J. and Steve, as far as Stephanie is concerned, especially when they make sweet talks to each other with her around.
- Sit Comic: Not one but TWO comedians as part of the main cast (Bob Saget & Dave Coulier).
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Stephanie to Kimmy once Michelle takes over the Little Miss Snarker title; Kimmy insults back only occasionally because she isn't as witty.
- Smelly Feet: Kimmy Gibbler.
- Smoking Is Glamorous: Although D.J. eventually decided against smoking. Stephanie, too.
- Spoiled Brat: Michelle. A side effect of her becoming a huge Creator's Pet.
- Aaron was also a spoiled brat in all of the seasons he was on the show.
- 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.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: In "My Left and Right Foot":Michelle: I was trying to shrink my feet.
Joey: [snaps fingers] I would have been right.
- Streaking: In "Blast From The Past," Patty Fogerty says that when she first saw Joey, he was "streaking the whole length of the [college] football field, buck naked." Joey protests that he wasn't buck naked because he was wearing high-tops and a Nixon mask.
- "Stuck at the Airport" Plot: One Christmas Episode has the Tanners Snowed-In at the airport on Christmas Eve, with Stephanie worried that Santa won't know where they are and not deliver their presents.
- Suddenly Always Knew That: In "Nice Guys Finish First," Jesse tries to do commentary at a hockey game and fails miserably because he knows nothing about hockey. Becky takes the microphone from him and starts doing a play-by-play worthy of a professional sportscaster, mentioning in an aside to Jesse that she "grew up with five hockey-crazed brothers." Jesse is quite surprised because Becky never expressed any interest in hockey before.
- Super OCD: Danny upgrades from Neat Freak to this during Spring Cleaning.
- Suspiciously Specific DenialDanny: Now I'm gonna go upstairs and see if your sisters are up there.Michelle: They're not doing anything wrong.Danny: Well, that pretty much means they are, doesn't it?
- Take That!: In "Making Out is Hard to Do", during Jesse's Imagine Spot of his whole family turning their backs on him and he ending up washed-up, overweight and balding, Kimmy is his obnoxious fiancée, who sports a big red bouffant hairdo and wears a leopard-print top, tight black leggings and heels. Sounds familiar?
- Tastes Like Diabetes: In-Universe. Stephanie shows disdain towards D.J. and Steve when they're making sweet talks with her around.
- Telethon: The Season 3 finale has Danny and Becky (and the rest of the family) hosting the "We Love Our Children Telethon '90". Chaos ensues.
- Tempting Fate:
Jesse: Yup.Danny: My kitchen!
- After Danny witnesses the mess in Stephanie and Michelle's room as the result of Michelle's leaf-collection "hobby", Danny meets Jesse in the kitchen and asks him if the day can get any worse. Then they see the cement truck pouring cement into the house as the result of Car Meets House.
- Early in the episode "Making Out is Hard to Do", Jesse tells Barry Williams, who's trying to promote the Rippers at the time, that one shouldn't expect to make it big in music quickly. Cue the new Rippers song becoming a smash hit and pushing the band to stardom quickly, causing Jesse to give up music altogether, a decision that would haunt him later (see Humiliation Conga above for more details).
- Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: DJ wanted to go to Spain at the end of the 5th season. The Spaniard dub kept this unchanged, even as she put a Mexican hat on Comet when talking about it to Danny. When she was about to come back in the 6th season, inexplicably, the dubbing team decided that she had gone to Italy instead of Spain. While Danny was clearly holding a postcard from DJ that had a picture of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia on it.
- This Is My Side: D.J. once divided the room she shared with her younger sister Stephanie. Too bad Stphanie's half didn't have access to the door.
- This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: When Michelle climbs a fence and gets stuck, Danny refuses to help her, and he talks Michelle down from the fence instead.note
- Toilet Humor: In the seventh-season episode "High Anxiety", Jesse, struggling to decide on details for the reopening of the Smash Club, tells the caller inquiring about toilet to "send something over". Just his luck, the company he tries to order toilet seat from does send something over — a large collection of toilet samples. Jokes with this trope in mind abound.D.J.: Good luck, Uncle Jesse, and, uh, don't forget to put the seat down.Joey: (upon seeing Jesse sitting on one of the toilet samples) Oh, I'll come back later.Rebecca: Jess? (then sees Jesse on a toilet seat) Don't get up.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Stephanie and D.J. Stephanie tends to be more into sports, is outspoken, and doesn't mind dressing in t-shirts and jeans. D.J. cares a lot about how she looks, tends to dress more femininely, and is boy-crazy.
- Tone Shift: From family-friendly sitcom to aesop-dropping kid's show within the last three seasons.
- Trademark Favorite Food:
- Kimmy loves trout.
- Vanilla Weasels for Joey.
- Two Scenes, One Dialogue: One of the biggest examples was in Season 4's "Rock the Cradle." Jesse explains how excited he is about going on tour with his band, talking about his "natural raw talent" and the fact that he's practiced for years in basements and garages. The family thinks he's talking about the impending birth of his first child, which Becky hasn't managed to tell him about yet. Hilarity Ensues.
- The Unintelligible: Good luck trying to figure out what Nicky and Alex are saying. The writers would constantly give them dialogue even though neither twin could fully form words.
- Vacation Episode: At times, the family went to Hawaii and Walt Disney World.
- 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.
- Walk the Plank: Parodied when the family goes to a pirate-themed restaurant where customers who don't finish their food are forced to walk the plank and plunge into a ball pit.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Danny siding with Jesse over DJ for being caught with a beer in her hand at a school dance, although from what Jesse walked in on, it was justified (she reeked of beer, which was sprayed on her by another kid and she was waving it around in her hand, as to mock them for drinking it).
- Played straight with DJ herself in an episode where Stephanie was taking dancing classes. She casually pointed out that if she practiced as much and as often as her sister did, she'd have no life. This causes Stephanie to stop taking dance so seriously, stop practicing and nearly blows her recital. Even worse, DJ is never called out on this, either.