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Series / Full House

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"I still don't know what the premise of the show is. Three guys living together in San Francisco? Draw your own conclusion."
Bob Saget, TV Guide note 

A 1987–95 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 Bure), 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 ran from 2016 to 2020, spanning five seasons.

Not to be confused with the Korean Drama of the same name.

This show provides examples of:

  • 555:
    • 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. Possibly justified, in that the show's run could've eventually been cancelled.
    • 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. He starts a new band Hot Daddy and the Monkey Puppets, but other than one road trip gig, they're not heard much from again.
  • Absent Animal Companion:
    • In one episode, DJ and Kimmy decide to buy a horse, which is sold cheap but its daily food is expensive. At the end, Becky decides to keep the horse somewhere for them, and the horse is never mentioned again.
    • After it saves his life, Jesse adopts a turtle/tortoise (I forget which) and names it Bubba. Bubba never appears again after its debut in "The Return Of Grandma".
  • 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.)
      D.J.: Anybody want to trade?
  • All Cloth Unravels: In the episode "Wrong-Way Tanner", D.J.'s necklace is stuck to the sweater Steve is wearing, while Stephanie videotapes her family for her school project. Once Stephanie makes it clear she intends to share her videotaped footage to her classmates, D.J. starts chasing her, leaving behind a trail of sweater thread in her wake, while Steve futilely holds onto the thread. When the Tanner family views the clip late in the episode, the sweater is shown in the footage to have been already in tatters and Steve mentions that his mother can use the remaining parts of the sweater — the sleeves — as leg-warmers.
  • 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.
  • 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 father
    Stephanie: 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.
  • 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.
  • Bowdlerise: Season 7's "Fast Friends" got hit with this when rerun on ABC Family, during the scene where the "bad" girls smoke cigarettes in the girls' restroom, cutting out any shots of a lighter being used or any of the girls taking a drag, thus cutting out parts of dialogue so it now makes little sense (like Stephanie's "You should've seen my last chest X-ray" when she made up she was trying to quit smoking, or the girls mocking Stephanie's "Uh-oh, there's the bell!") Compare the ABC Family edit with the original.
  • 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.
    • In "Girls Will Be Boys", Michelle is hanging out with Teddy and Aaron. Aaron wants to play guns, Michelle wants to play house, then Aaron says, "Let's play house and blow it up with our guns!"
  • Brick Joke: In one earlier episode, D.J. tries to date a car enthusiast she likes. When he asks her what kind of car she'd like, she can only respond with, "Red." Several seasons later, Joey buys her a vintage convertible for her 16th birthday. However, she's most excited about it being red.
  • 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.
    • The Season 2 opening shows the family shopping and everyone picking out junk food; Danny disapproves, but gives in. In "Play It Again, Jesse", Jesse, Steph, and Michelle are shopping, with Steph and Michelle getting junk food.
    Jesse: No more junk food!
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Technically, the "old man" is an uncle, but the trope fits otherwise: Near the end of the episode "Comet's Excellent Adventure", Michelle does this to Jesse for telling her to walk Comet in his stead, resulting in Comet chasing a car that looks like a hot dog with a bun and running away. Danny had advised against it when Michelle volunteered to walk him earlier, saying "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 puts on 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".
  • Cast Herd: Some later episode split the cast up for different storylines, with D.J., Steve, and occasionally, Kimmy taking the B plot while any of various other household members take the A plot.
  • 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).
  • Catchphrase: 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 catchphrase spewing machine, the following catchphrases 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 Catchphrase, 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 catchphrase, 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!
  • Chained Heat: During the episode "Blast from the Past", Kimmy gets D.J. and Stephanie stuck with magic handcuffs and can't get them out, so they have to wait for Kimmy's older brother to return while hiding this from everyone. They end up sleeping on the same bed. The next day, Kimmy tells them her brother won't be back for a week. Near the end of the episode, Jesse, who knows how to do the trick, gets D.J. and Stephanie uncoupled before proceeding to have Kimmy's hands cuffed, under the premise of showing everyone how the trick is done.
  • 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.
  • Cheerful Funeral: The funeral of the (unseen) owner of Smash Club, who died from heart failure (and left the club to Jesse in his will). The owner wanted his funeral to be joyous.
  • 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.
  • Chickenpox Episode: In the season 1 episode "A Pox in Our House", Stephanie gets chickenpox, which eventually spreads to Jesse (who initially thought he had them as a child) and Joey (who claimed he was immune to chickenpox). This leaves the family in a bind as Michelle (who was a baby at the time) is too young to get them and having to choose between Danny (who has the chance to interview the Golden State Warriors) and DJ (who has a slumber party planned) to look after the family. In the end, it's DJ who agrees to look after them.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Michelle's friend Denise from seasons 6-7 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.
    • Kimmy.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Kimmy includes a "crisp $20 bill" when she applies to Stanford, in the hopes that this will convince them to overlook her underperformance in school. It doesn't work and she's rejected with $40 and a note that said "let's pretend this never happened".
  • 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!
  • Compliment Backfire:
    • After Rebecca gives birth to twins Nicky and Alex, Joey goes into Cuteness Proximity mode, saying that they look like miniature Elmer Fudd. To this, Becky screams "MY BABIES LOOK LIKE ELMER FUDD!" and breaks into tears. In this case, the Compliment Backfire was explicitly stated to be because of leftover pregnancy hormones turning Becky into a Mood-Swinger.
    • Overlaps with Digging Yourself Deeper in the episode "Making Out is Hard to Do", in which Michelle tries to console Jesse when he feels down after finding out that the Rippers became more popular under the new leadership from Barry Williams than they ever were when Jesse himself was the leader:
      Michelle: I liked the Rippers better when Uncle Jesse was in the band.
      Jesse: Aw, that's sweet, Munchkin.
      Michelle: Before they had a hit song, and everybody loved them, and they opened for the Stones
      Jesse: W-W-Whoa, the Stones?
      Michelle: Only on the west coast.
      Joey: Uh, I think that's all the cheering up that Uncle Jesse can stand right now.
      Michelle: *awkwardly* Gotcha.
  • 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.
    • Uncle Jesse is referred as this in the earlier seasons.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe:
    • In Season 3's "Back to School Blues", feeling out of place during an embarrassing first day of junior high school DJ and Kimmy decide to makeover themselves to look like the older girls in school, donning themselves (through much trial-and-error) in heavy makeup and tight clothing. Danny catches DJ before she can leave the house and they have a heartfelt talk, and Becky comes in and offers to help DJ do a more subtle, age-appropriate look, giving her advice "the secret to wearing makeup is to make it look like you're not wearing any".
    • During the Season 5 episode "Too Much Monkey Business", D.J. tries to give Kimmy a makeover, as, in D.J.'s own words, Kimmy can't afford anyone but her to do it. Too bad Danny's sister happens to visit with a pet monkey of her own, and the monkey adds more hair-dye solution than one would apply normally without anyone noticing (the monkey applies the extra dye while D.J. and Kimmy are having a beauty rest with slices of cucumber over their eyes and talking to each other, preventing them from seeing the monkey and drowning out what little sound the monkey makes in pouring the dye). The result is Kimmy having magenta '80s Hair, but, luckily for D.J., who believes that she's solely responsible for Kimmy's bad hairdo, Kimmy is thrilled by the outcome.
    Kimmy: I love it! And finally, I am one step ahead of Madonna. And the best part of this is, my mother is going to freak out. Thanks, Deej.
    *Kimmy and D.J. hug*
    D.J.: (awkwardly) Happy to help.
    • The episode "Day of the Rhino" starts with D.J. deciding to get a hairdo, but she ends up going to the one that's... not very good, all so that Kimmy can get a free neck shave. The result is so bad that Even the Dog Is Ashamed, and Rebecca and Vicky have to step in to get D.J.'s hair back to its pre-"makeover" appearance.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: "The Bicycle Thief" turns out to be a case of this. Michelle loses her bicycle and assumes someone must have stolen it, getting the whole family — plus Kimmy and Mrs. Carruthers, the neighborhood "crime catchers" — tangled up in the whole affair, only for Derek to return her bike at the end of the episode, reminding her that she left her bike at his residence while his mother gave her a ride back. Had she asked her peers, of whom Derek is one, about her bike, instead of jumping to the wrong conclusion and getting others for help based on said wrong conclusion, the whole mess in this episode would have been averted. Not surprisingly, everyone else reacts to the news by giving Michelle a look of utter annoyance.
  • Crossover:
    • 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 jet-pack 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.
  • Crying Wolf: In "Our Very First Promo", Stephanie tells DJ and Danny that she heard some spooky noises in the garage, but they don't believe her because she's "always making up monster noises." Then other people start hearing the noises as well; it turns out that a ferret has gotten into the house.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In "Is It True about Stephanie?", Gia spreads a nasty rumor about Stephanie, prompting her and Mickey to get revenge by stealing a copy of Gia's terrible report card, making a gigantic version of it, and posting it in the school hallway for all to see. Gia storms by the display at first, but when Stephanie comes over to gloat, she turns around and reveals that she is silently crying.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Jesse and Joey's attempt to pave the backyard driveway in "The Apartment", in which they decide to rent a mixer truck and do the cementing themselves to save themselves the potential cost of hiring professionals to do it, falls into this. The cement-paving itself is fine, except for the part that they start the project at the end of the driveway. Once they finish the project, they're forced to wait out the time it takes for the cement to dry up before they can drive the truck back, so the truck has to stay in the backyard in the meantime, which would, in turn, drive up the cost — precisely what they hoped to circumvent when they decided to rent said mixer truck and do the work themselves in the first place.
  • 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.
  • Dodgy Toupee:
    • Lionel, the middle-aged businessman in "Our Very First Christmas Show," has one. Two-year-old Michelle thinks it's a "kitty" and tries to pet it, but ends up pulling it off Lionel's scalp.
    • D.J.'s high school principal has one, and Jesse mentions that his high school prank involved snatching said toupee and flying it on the flagpole.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": When the family first gets Comet and discusses potential names for him, Stephanie suggests "Mr. Dog." DJ then sarcastically asks if she's planning to name her future child "Mr. Baby."
  • 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
  • Dope Slap: Jesse does this to Joey on a regular basis.
  • 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. Upon waking up, Michelle pulls back the covers, to see that her feet are still huge. Stephanie runs over to the bed to wake Michelle up again, Michelle repeats her action, only everything is normal this time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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!
  • Elderly Future Fantasy: In the episode "Those Better Not Be the Days", Danny, Jesse and Joey have to deal with DJ and Stephanie taking them for granted; the girls having the dads doing things for them and not once receiving a "thank you". The dads try to give them a taste of their own medicine by playing the "kids" and the girls being the "parents". But it backfires when the girls get fed up with the dads and send them to their rooms (missing the point of the lesson). The dads then have a fantasy with them being much older and the girls still use them without saying "thank you", even beginning to resent the girls. Back to the present, the girls catch the dads and lecture them on not expressing gratitude before it dawns on them that they were guilty of the same thing and they agree to start saying "thanks".
  • Embarrassing First Name: Jesse's real name is Hermes.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name:
    • The episode "Pal Joey" reveals Danny's is Ernest and Joey's Alvin.
      Danny: We have horrible middle names.
    • D.J.'s is treated like this in season 1's "Sisterly Love".
      Jesse: Margaret?
  • Embarrassing Relative Teacher: Subverted when Joey was hired to teach for Michelle's class. She and her friends expected him to let them play and goof around in class. However, he insisted on acting very professional and enforcing discipline in the classroom, which led to Michelle getting angry because he wasn't acting silly and giving her preferential treatment.
  • Enforced Plug: The Season 6 finale was the first of several ABC sitcoms forced into shooting an episode at Disney World in the period leading to Disney's purchase of the alphabet network.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Jesse's hilariously miserable debut as Vulture in "Matchmaker Michelle".
    • Jesse again, this time in his attempt to be a one-man band by playing multiple instruments at once in "Comet's Excellent Adventure" — it ends with an amplifier short-circuiting.
  • 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!
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When Michelle explains to Joey through the phone about why Comet is missing in "Comet's Excellent Adventure", Joey asks Jesse whether he let Michelle walk Comet on her own. Jesse says "no" and proceeds to recount the scenario... only to stop himself short before finishing it, as he remembers at that moment that, yes, he did do just that.
    Jesse: I'm an idiot.
  • 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 Kimmy’s 16th birthday due to her and Steve’s six-month anniversary so she makes the rest of the Tanners scramble together a last minute party for Kimmy.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Jesse nearly faces this delimma in "To Joey, With Love" when auditioning for a guitarist for his new band and Danny is the best candidate by far, which Rebecca and Jesse both agree on, but Jesse is much more reluctant because Danny is too squeaky-clean for the image Jesse prefers. Luckily for Jesse, D.J. comes in at that moment with Viper, who turns out to be better than Danny, as evidenced by Jesse after Danny concedes defeat to Viper and leaves after the audition.
    Jesse: (hugs Viper) Thanks for being born.
  • Gag Nose: Nicky and Alex both don the Groucho Marx disguise, which comes with a pronounced big nose, in "Making Out is Hard to Do", to show how ashamed they are to have been fathered by Jesse. And the Humiliation Conga at Jesse's expense only grows and gets worse from there...
  • "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.)
  • The Ghost: Kimmy's parents and older brother. She also has three older sisters that were mentioned once in the first episode.
  • Glasses Pull: When attempting to seem sophisticated in order to impress Becky, Jesse practices this "No More Mr. Dumb Guy."
    Joey: Well, if anything else comes up, just take your glasses and say, "Interesting but terribly overrated."
    Jesse: Thanks. I'll try that. Okay. "Interesting, but terribly overrated."
    Joey: Congratulations, Jess. You are now a sophisticated intellectual.
  • Grounded Forever: Danny's plan after finding out from Teddy's parents that Michelle ran away from home to their house as retaliation for being punished is to "hug her, then kiss her, then ground her for life". Jesse talks him out of it and tells him of a better plan that worked on him as a child that will ensure she won't run away again.
  • Hands Go Down:
    • 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:
      Rebecca: Who wants ice cream?
      [hands go up]
      Rebecca: Let me rephrase that. Who wants ice cream but can't read yet?
      [only 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]
      Rebecca: We have two winners!
    • 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:
      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.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Face 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.
  • Hide and No Seek: Possibly referenced, at the end of "Girls Will Be Boys", if Michelle's words to Aaron before he goins Michelle and their fellow peers are any indication.
    Michelle: "Okay, we'll play Hide-and-Seek. You hide and we'll try to find you. (Beat) Maybe."
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Be True to Your Preschool", the girls played "ring around the 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. Played straight for him with Nicky and Alex, as Jesse and Becky teach them to call him Uncle Joey.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Played straight with D.J. and Kimmy.
  • Hot Teacher:
    • In "Pal Joey", Jesse used 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 (crosses her legs) with me.
      Young Jesse: Have mercy!
      * flashback ends*
      Jesse: I wonder if I still have her number?
    • A downplayed version has Stephanie finding her new, male 4th grade teacher "a major babe" (and the only time she shows an interest). When Michelle sneaks into Stephanie's class that day, Michelle echoes that statement in front of the entire class.
  • 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."
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Michelle takes a bite into a dog biscuit late in the episode "Five's a Crowd". It's justified since her curiosity gets the better of her judgment, though the result is still regrettable for her.
    Michelle: (to Comet) I should have known. You drink from the toilet.
  • Identical Grandson: Early in the episode "You Pet It, You Bought It", Danny shows a portrait of his grandfather, who looks just like Danny.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Several early episodes were titled, "Our Very First..."
  • Idiot Ball:
    • 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
      DJ: You're not having a good day.
    • Jesse takes hold of it in the episode "Comet's Excellent Adventure". He does acknowledge his role in the ensuing disaster later on, at least.
  • 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 in the relationship should be older, taller, and stronger, all while he struggles to open a jar. Vicky starts to respond while unconsciously taking the jar and opening 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:
    • In "The Devil Made Me Do It":
      Michelle: You got a bad attitude.
      Bad Michelle: Thanks.
    • 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.
      Gia: Come on, Steph. Right now she's all we got.
      Stephanie: But you don't know Kimmy like I do! She's rude, crude, and lewd.
      Gia: That's perfect!
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    • After Kimmy and Steve each steal half of Danny's meatloaf sandwich:
      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)
    • Also, in season 2:
      Kimmy: (to DJ) Your sister is such a tattletale.
      Stephanie: I am not, and I'm telling you said that!
  • Ironic Echo:
  • It's All My Fault:
    • In "The Miracle of Thanksgiving", while Danny says this verbatim when he accidentally recooks and burns the turkey after lying about it being fine, it's DJ who invokes the trope by saying she was in charge of making the turkey and had she defrosted it properly in the first place Danny wouldn't have needed to put it back in the oven.
    • In "Cutting it Close", Stephanie blames herself for causing Jesse's accident, all because she accidentally cut his hair in her pretend haircut game.
      Stephanie: I only scalped him, crashed his bike, and broke his arm. No wonder he's mad at me.
    • In "Comet's Excellent Adventure", Jesse is about to confess to Danny about his role in Comet going missing.
      Jesse: Uh, before I say anything, I just want you to know upfront this whole thing was my fault.
  • 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.
    • A version of this happens in "Room for One More?". Danny's been calling Scruffy, the neighbor's pig they're pet-sitting, "that pig" and Michelle and Stephanie point out Scruffy has a name too and that Danny wouldn't call either of them "that human".
  • 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.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: In Season 6's "The Dating Game" Danny makes the dish he first cooked for Vicky "turkey in a boot" (diced turkey and creamed vegetables in a pastry shaped like a boot) for their anniversary. After Joey accidentally drops the dish on the floor, Vicky confesses to Danny that she never actually liked the dish, explaining that it tasted like it sounds.
  • Jerkass:
    • Becky's snobbish cousin Dick in "Trouble in Twin Town". He's not hesitant to tell Jesse how much he dislikes him to his face. Becky agrees that he's a jerk and she's glad they kicked his butt in the twin competition.
    • 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. The plot of Season 4's "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor" involved Danny realizing he was letting her get away with too much, and he gives her first 4 years old. 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 set their father Danny up with Stephanie's dance teacher, Karen. It goes well until Danny, who is a Neat Freak finds out that she's a slob. They sort things out by the episode's end, but she is never spoken of or seen ever again.
    • The episode "Matchmaker Michelle" in which Michelle tries to set Danny up with Ms. Wiltrout, her kindergarten teacher, when she discovers her teacher also likes cleaning.
  • 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. Moreso in the first 2 seasons. Then in season 8, Flounder Tarts anyone?
  • Let's Have Another Baby: Jesse spends the whole episode "Room for One More?" 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.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Jesse and Joey.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias:
    • In one episode DJ says her name is "Janet Abdul" after seeing posters of Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. Then Stephanie says "And I'm Barbie Dollenbear" after seeing a Barbie doll and Mr. Bear.
    • In another episode, Jesse and Becky decide to make lists of all the people they dated before they got married, and Becky eventually just starts making up names such as "Larry Couchman" (she was sitting on the couch.)
  • 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.
  • Local Hangout: The Smash Club. Once Jesse receives the ownership of the place, reopens it, and keeps it running, outside the house the cast members congregate there fairly frequently, especially since D.J. and Kimmy also work there.
  • 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.
  • Massage of Love: In "Shape Up", right before the family sits down for dinner, Jesse is seen giving Becky a romantic foot massage in the background as she sits on a countertop.
  • 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. It should be noted that the suffix -polis means "city" and as someone snarked on Television Without Pity: "Why did Stamos [and also the actor who played the dad on Webster] not let the writing staff know that he didn't have municipal aspirations?".
  • Memory Wipe Exploitation: In the Grand Finale, Michelle suffers Trauma-Induced Amnesia. Her cousins Nicky and Alex manipulate her into thinking she let them keep a Rigby the Rhino doll before the accident. After regaining her memories, Michelle catches Nicky and Alex with the doll and makes them give it back to her.
  • 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.
  • Missed Meal Aesop: The episode "Shape Up" centers around this. It's a few days before Kimmy's swimming pool birthday party and DJ feels insecure to put on a swimsuit because of her chunky figure. Wanting to lose weight, DJ skips meals and starves herself, even making Stephanie "pinky-swear" to keep quiet. It all comes down bad on DJ when she's at the gym where she gets a dizzy spell and collapses. Afterwards Stephanie tells the guys about how she's starving herself, they all talk to DJ and tell her about the dangers of fasting and how it can lead to eating disorders. Danny even tells DJ to love herself for who she is.
  • 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.
  • Missing Your Own Party: In the episode "The Greatest Birthday On Earth", Michelle has a circus-themed birthday party at home but she, Jesse, and Stephanie accidentally get locked in a gas station for three hours, so they are unable to make it, while Danny and Joey throw a party with her friends. Jesse makes up for it by giving Michelle a makeshift birthday party at the gas station. When they finally get home, all Michelle's friends have left, but Michelle still gets to ride the elephant left over from the party.
  • 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. (takes the bill) Thank you!
  • Mocking Music: The popular song performed by the Rippers (now with Barry Williams as its leader) serves as this to Jesse in "Making Out is Hard to Do", as it's a painful reminder that the Rippers are more popular now than they ever were when Jesse was leading the band. Unfortunately for him, all of the local radio stations — including the Spanish-speaking one — play it frequently due to the sheer popularity of the song, much to his immense exasperation.
  • 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. This 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 weaseling to get 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.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe. In the episode "Another Opening, Another No Show", Joey tells Jesse that he has managed to book R.E.M. for the grand opening of the Smash Club. Unfortunately, he doesn't find out until mere hours before the club is set to open that the group he books is composed of a triplet of older women (who name themselves "R.E.M." because their names are Renee, Esther, and Martha, respectively). Jesse is not pleased upon discovering this.
  • Neat Freak: Danny.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: DJ complains in an episode that on the first day of school, the nerds brought homework.
  • New Year's Kiss: Played with in the season 4 episode "Happy New Year's". Rusty, the son of Danny's girlfriend Cindy, threatens to kiss Stephanie when the New Year hits, and keeps taunting her about it throughout the episode. Stephanie gets back at him when she bites an onion right as the New Year comes and forcibly kisses Rusty.
  • 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 considered. 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:
    • Played for Drama in "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.
    • Played for Laughs in "Making Out is Hard to Do", after Jesse wakes up from his nightmare (where he ends up washed-up, overweight, and BALDING, while 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:
      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 choice? *beat* I need to wash out my eye.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Averted. The girls' cousin Steve, played by Kirk Cameron, appeared in the first season, with Steve, DJ's boyfriend appearing in later seasons. And Steve Urkel from Family Matters showed up in one episode.
    • 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.
      Jesse: It was me, Little Ed, Big Ed, and uh, Regular-sized Ed.
      Becky: They didn't have a lot of names back then.
    • Averted with Stephanie's fifth grade class. There are two popular girls and they're both named Jennifer. Lampshaded in season 7's "Fast Friends" when Stephanie mentions how she ended up at different schools than each Jennifer.
      Michelle: Maybe you'll meet a new Jennifer.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Played for Laughs.
    • D.J.'s remark about the contrast between the reluctance from Jesse and Danny in teaching D.J. about driving and the grudging willingness Kimmy's father is implied to exhibit towards Kimmynote  late in "Driving Miss D.J." is: "For the first time in my life, I wish I was a Gibbler."
    • Jesse actually agrees with Kimmy when she voices her opinion he finds agreeable despite being no fan of Kimmy in "The Trouble with Danny" when she sees the Tanner family cleaning the house.
      Kimmy: What's wrong with you people? How can you get this house any cleaner? It's already the cleanest house in America.
      Jesse: For the first time, Gibbler is actually making sense.
      Kimmy: It had to happen sometime.
    • 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?"
    • When Danny and Jesse, at D.J.'s request, try to talk Kimmy out of her would-be wedding to Dwayne late in the episode "Taking the Plunge" and their prepared speech isn't getting the desired effect, the exchange below takes place:
      Jesse: Uh, Kimmy, what we're trying to say here is that we-we-we-we... *beat* care about you.
      Kimmy: Really? You do? I can't believe what I'm hearing.
      Jesse: I can't believe what I'm saying.
  • 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.
  • Pest Episode: Jesse spends an episode trying to catch a ferret that made its way the Tanner house. He's convinced to set it free once he catches it.
  • 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).
    • D.J.'s problem in "You Pet It, You Bought It" comes with her being allergic to a donkey Michelle brings home that stays in the night a day before her own Picture Day. Come the next morning, she has a stuffy nose and blood-shot eyes due to said allergic reaction.
      D.J.: (upon realizing she's allergic to Michelle's donkey) Well, get him out! I'm breathing donkey dander!
  • Pillow Pregnancy: Toyed with. Rebecca is already pregnant when she puts a pillow under her pajamas in "Rock The Cradle."
    Jesse: Whoa! This baby thing happened a lot faster than I thought!
    Becky: Honey, will you still love me when I look like this?
    Jesse: 'Course. It'll be great, too, 'cause I'll have a place to set my popcorn when we watch TV.
  • Pinocchio Nose:
    • In "The Wedding, Part 1", Danny won't look Rebecca or her father in the eye when he lies.
    • Stephanie notes that whenever D.J. lies to her, she looks at the top of her head. This causes her to be the only person to believe D.J. when she claimed she wasn't drinking at the school dance because she looked her in the eye when she said it.
  • Platonic Co-Parenting: The plot of the show is about a widower, his best friend, and his brother-in-law raising his children together.
  • Precious Puppy: The opening teaser in "Baby Love" has Michelle, DJ and Kimmy playing with the Gibbler family's new litter of sharpei puppies.
  • Present Peeking: In "Our Very First Christmas Show", DJ tells Michelle that she got a sneak peek at all their Christmas presents, which she found while she "just happened to be wandering through the crawlspace in the attic."
  • Promotion to Opening Titles:
    • Andrea Barber and Lori Loughlin (as Kimmy and Rebecca, respectively).
    • 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.
    • The Olsen girls were added to the credits in season two. They weren't in the season one credits until the show was syndicated.
    • Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit starting in season 7, after being cast as Nicky and Alex in season 6.
    • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: Jesse's arc of being a struggling musician shows how difficult it is to become a successful musician. Even though he has genuine talent on both the guitar and singing, his band isn't considered distinct enough or good enough to get signed. Once he gets married and has kids, his band becomes more or less a hobby and his career is concentrated in other areas of the music industry like being a radio DJ and owning his own club
  • Repeated Cue, Tardy Response: Michelle is in a play with her friend Derek, who has stage fright. She keeps giving the cue, "Look, here comes that Yankee 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.
    • Michelle's friend Denise makes a single one-off appearance in the penultimate season 5 episode, "Girls Will Be Boys". In the second episode of season 6, "The Long Goodbye" (where she becomes a recurring character), she's introduced as the new girl in school, seemingly for for the first time.
  • 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 they got rid of the old leader because he spent more time moussing his hair than playing 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 just gel. It doesn't work, man!
    Barry: *realizing what he'd done* I'm sorry. I didn't realize that it was you.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: At the beginning of the episode "On the Road Again", Viper does this to his own guitar at the end of their band's rehearsal.
    Jesse: Hey, Viper, save that for the actual performances.
    Viper: Sorry, Jesse, but I really loved the song.
    Stephanie: *whisper to Michelle* What happens if he hates it?
  • 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 uses it in one episode, 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.
  • Security Cling:
    • Early in "Room for One More?", Stephanie and Michelle, who are taking care of a neighbor's pet pig, try to convince Danny to let the pig stay inside the house. Joey is on board with the idea, but Danny is unwilling and asks Jesse for his opinion when he turns up. Jesse assumes Danny was referring to Joey until Danny points to the pig in question, at which point the shock of seeing the pig causes Jesse to grab onto Joey, if only for a second, as Joey happens to be next to Jesse at the moment.
    • Late in "All Stood Up", Rebecca convinces Jesse and Kimmy for a truce with each other to help Jesse keep his blood pressure low. Kimmy agrees, but only on condition that Jesse gives her a hug, which Jesse obliges, if reluctantly. The hug is broken up at once when an ostrich Kimmy keeps in her yard turns up, and Jesse calls Rebecca for emotional support, only to grab onto Joey because he's distracted by the ostrich, requiring Joey to point to Rebecca's location for Jesse.
  • Seesaw Catapult: Late in the episode "D.J.'s Choice", the Tanner family joins the neighbors to clean up and rebuild a vandalized local park. Danny is tasked with the seesaw, but he secures the bolts too tightly, as evidenced when Stephanie and Kimmy try it out, with Kimmy on the lower end. Several of the adults then push Stephanie's side of the seesaw down, which sends Kimmy flying off the seesaw and into a nearby tree.
  • 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.]
  • Shave And A Haircut: Subverted in "Stephanie Gets Framed". Someone knocks at the front door "Shave and a haircut, two"...with everone nearly falling over when the expected "bits" doesn't land. (What kind of psychopath would do such a thing? Steve Urkel!)
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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 "It's Not My Job" while Jesse's band is rehearsing a song for an advertising jingle pitch, Joey suggests adding a harmonica solo and proceeds to play a few notes. When Jesse stops him, he says "Lucy I didn't say you could be in the show!", and Joey pouts "Aw Ricky!"
    • In season four, Michelle is shown to own stuffed animals of Buster and Babs Bunny.
    • In the season 4 episode "Terror in Tanner Town", Danny has his family aligned in height order to meet his new girlfriend and her son. Jesse comments "What is this, a Julie Andrews movie?'", prompting everyone to sing a couple of bars from Do Re Mi.
    • During the time Jesse and Joey are smoothing the cement of the backyard driveway in the Season 7 episode "The Apartment", they start to sing The Addams Family theme song — Danny and Rebecca, who watch Joey and Jesse at it, oblige with the finger-snapping, which catch the attention of Joey and Jesse.
    Rebecca: So... Lurch, Gomez, how's the project coming along?
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Wake Up, San Francisco once Danny gets the job as (co-)host of the show.
    • The Ranger Joe Show with Joey.
  • 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 Gag: Kimmy Gibbler has smelly feet. Every time she takes off her shoes, it causes everyone in the room to plug their noses and jump away from her. Apparently this runs in her family, as she mentions in one episode that DJ probably won't want to spend the night at her house since her father has just run out of foot deodorant.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: The dilemma in "Fast Friends" when Stephanie feels pressured to do it since her first friend of middle school and her clique do, but she ultimately never does it.
  • Snapback
  • So Proud of You: During the episode "Up on the Roof", this is Jesse's reaction to D.J. (with help from Kimmy and Duane) pulling a prank on the high school principal that's bigger than the one Jesse himself pulled on the same high school principal during his own high school years.
    Jesse: I always knew, one day, some crazy, devil-may-care maniac would surpass my prank. I am proud to call that maniac my niece. Hug me!
    *Jesse and D.J. hug*
  • Spaghetti Kiss:
    • Joey' and his old ex-girlfriend Patty Fogerty in season 2's "Blast from the Past". She asks if they can do it, as "Lady and the Tramp was the most romantic cartoon ever made".
    • Joey and Rebecca kiss via sharing a Boing-Boing in "Making Out is Hard to Do". This is part of the Humiliation Conga at Jesse's expense.
  • 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.
  • Sticky Situation: In "Bye Bye Birdie", Stephanie tries to snoop through DJ's diary, breaks the lock, and glues the diary to her hand while trying to fix it. Joey manages to free her hand, but accidentally glues his own hand to the diary in the process.
  • 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.
  • Strangely Specific Horoscope: "A Pinch For A Pinch" where Kimmy does horoscopes and Stephanie's one is that her day will start off with good fortune, then an unpleasant surprise at school, and finally a misunderstanding will occur at home. It spooks Stephanie when the predictions start to come true.
  • 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.
  • Students Playing Matchmaker: There is an episode where Michelle tries to set up her father with her first grade teacher.
  • 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 Denial:
    Danny: 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?
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Danny quits during the episode "The Producer" after Rebecca, now the new producer of "Wake Up, San Francisco", turns down on a proposal Danny makes for the show, necessitating Rebecca finding a temporary replacement co-host.note 
  • Taped-Over Turmoil: One episode had D.J. and Kimmy goofing around with Jesse's recording equipment, accidentally taping over an important jingle for a national commercial that he had composed earlier. This caused him to explode in anger, which he subsequently tried to make up for by purchasing D.J. a drum set.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In-Universe. Stephanie shows disdain towards D.J. and Steve when they act like Sickening Sweethearts around her. One episode has her and Kimmy sharing the disgust.
  • Teacher/Parent Romance: Michelle tried to invoke this in "Matchmaker Michelle" because she wants a mommy and her teacher also has a fondness for cleaning like Danny.
  • 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:
    • After Danny witnesses the mess in Stephanie and Michelle's room as the result of Michelle's leaf-collection "hobby" late in the episode "The Apartment", Danny meets Jesse in the kitchen and asks him if there's anything worse than leaves on a carpet. Then they see the cement truck pouring cement into the house as the result of Car Meets House.
    Jesse: Yup.
    Danny: My kitchen!
    • In the episode "Wrong-Way Tanner", Danny tries to prove Jesse wrong when Jesse casts doubt on Danny's athletic skills by kicking a soccer ball in the backyard. Unfortunately for Danny, he proves Jesse right when he misses the aim while kicking the ball, resulting in it flying far away from the goalie's net — Danny's intended target — and into the Gibbler residence instead. To make it worse for Danny, Stephanie happens to have been secretly videotaping it and got it all on tape.
    Stephanie: THIS is a double two-thumbs-way-up. They'll probably show this on parent-teacher nights.
    • When Jesse's attempt at playing multiple instruments at once goes badly wrong (it ends with an amplifier short-circuiting) during "Comet's Excellent Adventure", he orders Joey out of the basement studio, claiming that he doesn't need Joey anymore. The phone rings right as Joey is about to leave, prompting Jesse to request Joey's help by getting the phone and answering the call while Jesse himself tries to fix the broken amplifier.
    • 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).
    • Early in the episode "Up on the Roof", Jesse claims "Finally, peace and quiet" once nearly every other Tanner household member leaves and tilts his chair back for a moment of relaxation, which ends abruptly within seconds when Kimmy barges inside the house screaming "D.J.!!!", the shock from which causes Jesse to fall back -- literally -- on his chair.
  • 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 Gonna Suck: Late in "Comet's Excellent Adventure", Danny has this feeling when Jesse is about to confess to Danny about his role in Comet going missing.
    Jesse: Uh, before I say anything, I just want you to know upfront this whole thing was my fault.
    Danny: I hate stories that start like that.
  • This Is My Side: D.J. once divided the room she shared with her younger sister Stephanie. Too bad Stephanie'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 Humour: 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, he should have specified that he wanted them to send a catalog, because 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 sorry, I'll come back later.
    Rebecca: Jess? (then sees Jesse on a toilet seat) Don't get up.
  • Token Houseguest: The series centers on Danny Tanner, a widowed father of three girls, who lives with his brother-in-law Jesse joined by Danny's best friend Joey Gladstone.
  • 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 entirety of Season 4's "Secret Admirer" is this trope. Rusty tries playing a prank on D.J. by writing a phony love note from her crush, the paper boy, but when Michelle delivers it to Stephanie (Rusty said "Give this to your sister" and didn't specify which sister), a comedy of errors begins wherein almost everyone in the house thinks the letter is for them from somebody else. Whenever they try to discuss seemingly unrelated things with one another, it's mistakenly considered a declaration of love. It isn't until Michelle tells everyone what happened that the constant double-conversations stop.
  • Undisclosed Funds: In "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanors", Jesse looks to buy an engagement ring with a traveling salesman. He's actually able to find a genuinely good one, but when the salesman calculates the cost, Jesse later sells his Elvis Presley autographed guitar to pay for it.
    Jesse: Have mercy I hope that's your telephone number.
  • 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 Could Possibly Go Wrong?: In one episode, Jesse's friend tries to talk him out on redoing a crazy motorcycle stunt he did when they were young, since no one dared him to. Jesse respond, "What's the worst that could happen? Don't answer that!".
  • 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 and purposely blow her recital. Even worse, DJ is never called out on this, either.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: "The House Meets the Mouse" reveals that Joey is deathly afraid of sharks... and possibly eggs.
  • Yoko Oh No: When Joey's new girlfriend senses that Joey isn't happy with the way Jesse always takes the lead and makes decisions in their friendship and partnership, she encourages him to stand up for himself. This results in a huge fight between the two, in which Jesse outright refers to the woman as "Yoko". note 
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back
  • You Didn't Ask:
    • An early Running Gag consists of Stephanie knowing information that her dad, uncle, or Joey needed to know earlier. When asked why she didn't reveal this news sooner, she would respond, "Nobody asked me."
    • Early in the episode "Room for One More?", Danny praises Stephanie and Michelle for taking their responsibility seriously with taking care of "Scruffy", which belongs to a neighbor. Danny assumes that it's a dog, only for Michelle to enter with the pet in question — a warthog.
    Danny: T-That's a pig. You didn't tell me Scruffy was a pig.
    Michelle: Well, you didn't ask.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Kimmy in the episode "Under the Influence" stays over at the Tanner residence after getting drunk at a fraternity party, and Michelle gets the full brunt of her alcohol-induced bad breath at one point, with her reaction being this trope from a Little Miss Snarker.
    Michelle: Whoa. Next time Dragon Breath sleeps in here, I want to be notified.
  • Your Other Left: D.J.'s prank of choice on the school principal in the episode "Up on the Roof" involves having his car hoisted onto the roof of the school building with a crane, with Duane operating said crane on the ground and D.J. monitering the progress on the roof. At one point D.J. shouts for Duane to move the crane slightly to the left, but the crane doesn't move, so D.J. shouts to him "YOUR LEFT!", which clears up the confusion and helps to get the task accomplished.
  • Your Television Hates You: After Danny's attempt at teaching DJ how to drive ends poorly in "Driving Miss D.J.", Jesse agrees to teach her, over Danny's concerns that he isn't cautious enough. Waiting for them to return, Danny turns on the TV and sees a movie with a wild car chase.


Video Example(s):


Full House - Steve as Aladdin

When the family goes to Disney World, D.J. hallucinates Aladdin looking like her boyfriend Steve Hale. Scott Weigner, who voices Aladdin, also played Steve.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ActorAllusion

Media sources:

Main / ActorAllusion