Full House

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"I still don't know what the premise of the show is. Three guys living together in San Francisco? Draw your own conclusion."

A 1987-1995 Dom Com about the widower father Danny Tanner with three young daughters. He asked his brother-in-law Jesse Katsopolis (a biker/greaser with a love of Elvis) and his best friend Joey Gladstone (a stand-up comic with no shortage of impersonations) to help him with the day-to-day needs. The three share a house and the duties of raising Danny's three daughters, 5th grader Donna Jo aka D.J., kindergartener Stephanie and baby Michelle. The show was the flagship of ABC's TGIF lineup in the early 1990s.

Even when it first aired, it was considered a fairly generic family sitcom with little bite. To the surprise of just about everyone, the show became a cultural icon. Later attempts to figure this out has 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 friend. Though really, the massive superstars the Olsen twins became for being the cute baby character Michelle has as much to do with it as anything. 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.

In 2016 a sequel series, entitled Fuller House, premiered on Netflix.

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

Tropes used in Full House include:
  • 555:
    • 555-6410, the phone number of Steve's residence.
    • The number of the Tanner residence is 555-2424.
  • 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 D.J.
  • 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.
  • Affectionate Nickname / Ironic Nickname: Kimmy calls Danny "Mr. T".
  • An Aesop: Every episode. Sometimes even twice.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing / The Fun in Funeral: The funeral of the (unseen) owner of Smash Club, who died from heart failure (and left the club to Jesse in his will). Justified in that he wanted his funeral to be joyous.
  • 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.
  • Back for the Finale: DJ frets over not being able to get a prom date, but Kimmy finds one for her - Steve.
  • Back to School: Jesse, to the high school he dropped out of initially.
    • This results in some Negative Continuity, as Jesse was previously shown to have graduated and attend his high school reunion in an earlier 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 driver, hence D.J.'s particular upset.
  • Big Eater: Steve, D.J.'s boyfriend for a season, is SO WELL-KNOWN for this that presence of food (or lack thereof) is actually an indicator as to whether he's around or not.
    • Lampshaded in the Season 6 intro, where Steve is shown having just pilfered the Tanner's fridge before turning to the camera.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The opening credits show their house as one of those iconic multistory Victorian homes in San Francisco. The buildings themselves are actually quite small and are usually duplexes. Yet somehow on the show the home has a living room about the dimensions of the entire building, and attached kitchen, multiple bedrooms on the second story, and against all logic a well-sized backyard.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jesse's cousin, Stavros, who combines this with The Thing That Would Not Leave.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Aaron, especially towards Jesse.
  • British Royal Guards: Appear in one episode when Joey and his Girl of the Week were going to meet the Queen of England. Joey attempted to get a rise out of one, presumably failing. He turns away, and the guard then kicks him.
  • Car Meets House: A grade-school-age Stephanie once drove Joey's car into the kitchen.
  • Casting Gag: To an extent. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were named Executive Producers at the start of Season Seven.
    • Actually, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were never credited as executive producers of Full House, but they were E Ps of their later sitcom So Little Time.
  • The Cast Showoff: Two examples being John Stamos' music skills (Stamos occasionally would tour with The Beach Boys during this time) and Dave Coulier's cartoon voice impressions, particularly Popeye and Bullwinkle. In a sort of inversion, the show demonstrated Bob Saget's skills as a host on "Wake Up San Fransisco" that led to America's Funniest Home Videos.
  • Catch Phrase: Every original main character EXCEPT Danny had at least one.
    • Joey: "Cut it out!"
    • Jesse: "Have mer-cy!
    • Stephanie: "How rude!" "Well pin a rose on your nose."
      • "Hot dog."
    • Michelle: Michelle is just a catch phrase spewing machine, the following catch phrases she has had in the show include: "You got it dude!" "Aw nuts" "You're in big trouble, mister!" "Oh Puh-leaze"
      • When she was a baby and started talking, she would say "Don't worry, be happy" whenever someone is upset.
    • D.J.: "Oh my Lanta."
    • Kimmy (sometimes used by D.J. and Michelle): "Whoa, baby!"
    • Not really a Catch Phrase, but in the earliest seasons, when somebody (Joey) was being useless, Jesse reply, in a high-pitched voice, something to the effect of "Just do it, hah?" Later seasons referenced this with Stephanie and Michelle.
      • An old home video of Pam, Danny's late wife, showed her saying this.
    • Dwayne, a recurring character (as Kimmy's boyfriend): "Whatever."
      • Not so much a catch phrase, as much as a character schtick, since that's all he ever said with two exceptions. Once when he quoted Shakespeare and another time when he said "I guess."
    • In the episode in which Stephanie wrecks a car into the house, nearly every character reacts with their catchphrase upon seeing the wreck.
  • Characterization Marches On: An early episode had Danny reluctantly cleaning the house when the boys' mothers descend upon them. The same Danny Tanner who in later episodes is shown cleaning his cleaning supplies.
    • A lesser example - in the early seasons, Jesse was shown being a sports fan such as watching games, and playing football. In later seasons, he hates sports and is shown being uncoordinated.
      • Especially hilarious considering John Stamos (and by extension, Jesse) is a drummer and by necessity very coordinated.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the episode "Knock Yourself Out", Stephanie gives Danny a colorful tie tack as a present. Later that night, while on TV as a sportscaster, he interviews a boxer called "The Sandman" and asks about his wife leaving him. Apparently, the boxer never knew this and gets knocked out in the next round. Danny later apologizes to him on the air, and the boxer forgives him, but then fires his trainer for keeping it from him. Infuriated, the trainer punches Danny in the abdomen, but Danny is still standing and unhurt while the trainer holds his fist and moans in pain as he walks off. Looking in the camera, Danny opens his suit jacket and reveals the tie tack pinned to his tie, and thanks Stephanie on the air.
  • Clip Show: Multiple episodes.
  • Companion Cube: Mr. Bear to Stephanie. In "Goodbye Mr. Bear" (where it appears to have been lost), we learn that her affection for it stems from it being the gift her mom gave her when Michelle was born.
  • Continuity Nod: The Texaco gas station a block away from the house gets mentioned frequently in the first seasons. Only occasionally through the rest of the series.
  • Cool Uncle: Joey, although not an actual uncle.
    • This can also pertain to Uncle Jesse.
  • Crossover:
    • Steve Urkel from Family Matters bizarrely showed up in one episode.
    • In Step by Step, Steve Urkel appears in one episode. Later in the series, John Stamos makes a cameo and mentions being the star of Full House. It made a bit more sense the very first time the episode aired; directly before Step by Step was a new episode of Family Matters. At the end of the Family Matters episode, Steve got stuck flying through the air on a jetpack he made. At the beginning of the Step by Step episode, he falls through their ceiling.
      • And this Step by Step note is on this page because... Uh...
        • Of course, it's not surprising that all three shows would crossover with each other, given that they were all packaged by Miller-Boyett Productions.
  • Curse Cut Short: during Viper's guitarist audition for Jesse's band, Danny doesn't appreciate Viper's interest in tattooing D.J.'s name on his arm:

Danny: "Hi, I'm D.J.'s father Mildew, and you can tattoo that name on your—-"
Jesse: "Hey ho ho ho! Mildew, take five."

  • Dead Air: Used for a brief joke when some of the family is visiting Jesse and Joey at their job at the radio station. At one point, they all realize that nothing is being broadcast, and rather than allow the dead air, they all begin chattering, singing, etc. into the mic at the same time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Stephanie in the later seasons. Jesse also, to a lesser extent.
    • 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.
  • Dom Com
  • Dream Sequence: Several throughout the series, one of which has a...
  • Dream Within a Dream: One bizarre example midway through the show's final season. In the episode "My Left and Right Foot", Michelle has a nightmare that her feet grow to an extremely large size.
  • Drop-In Character: Kimmy.
  • 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.
  • Eighties Hair: All three primary male actors are shown wearing mullets at different points in the show's run.
  • Enforced Plug: The Season 6 finale was the first of several ABC sitcoms forced into shooting an episode at Disneyland in the period leading to Disney's purchase of the alphabet channel.
  • Expy: The Movie Three Men and a Baby.
  • 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.
  • Full House Music: The Trope Namer. This ended virtually every episode with a one-on-one chat between an adult and a child.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Every so often. Joey once had to explain to Michelle how newlyweds Jesse and Rebecca are "doing their taxes" and don't want to be disturbed.

Michelle: (frustrated) Are they going to be doing their taxes every night?!?!
Joey: For the first few months, yes.

    • In the episode where Jesse's old flame comes to town with his great-grandparents, Jesse finds himself unable to remember Becky's name, leading him to visibly mouth "Oh Shit."
    • Mild example: Steph and Gia are putting on makeup before school, and Gia says that eyes are the first thing a guy notices. "Really?" "Well... for now"
    • In another, D.J. is defending her boyfriend Viper from Jesse, saying that "there's more to him than long hair and rock and roll!" Kimmy chimes in "I know! Have you seen him in tight pants?"
    • In "Too Much Monkey Buisness", when Jesse first meets Danny's sister's pet monkey, the monkey takes a liking to him and sticks her hand down his pants pocket.

Jesse (wiggling uncomfortably): What is this monkey doing in my pocket? Well, I know what it's doing....but why is it doing it?

    • Another mild example occurs when Michelle realizes being a girl is fun. Becky tells her, "and really fun stuff is coming up" While it could be argued the she meaning you wedding day and prom. There's a good chance she means sex. And Michelle has no clue. Nor would any kid watching the show. Which could make it double as Parental Bonus.
  • The Ghost: Kimmy's parents.
  • 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.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Joey and Jesse (Danny can sometimes be added).
  • Hidden Depths: Joey Gladstone, known in the series as something of an Adult Child, also has a pilot's license, a teacher's license, could give a surprising detailed response to a question about cartoon violence, and on occasion substituted for Becky on Wake Up, San Francisco.
  • Hoist By Their Own Petard: In "Be True to Your Preschool", the girls played "ring around a Chevy" in front of a group of nerds walking. Only to lock themselves out, much to the nerds' amusement.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Candace Cameron was criticized for being too chubby and was pressured by the show to lose weight. Luckily, she didn't let it get to her, as she felt she didn't have a weight problem, and ended up losing a healthy amount of weight by the end of the show.
    • Well actually, she apparently DID let it get to her seeing as how she's admitted to having suffered from an eating disorder.
      • Her eating disorder was over-eating. It came after the show ended and it was not Hollywood-induced.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Joey and Jesse often acted like a couple in raising the girls, particularly Michelle. One bemused boss of their 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.
    • They called him Uncle Joey in nearly every episode.
      • Nope, you're thinking Uncle Jesse, who actually was their uncle.
    • Though in "Bicycle Thief", Jesse pretends to be Joey, so he's effectively "Uncle Joey".
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Played straight with D.J. and Kimmy.
  • Hot Mom: Rebecca once Nicky and Alex were born.
  • 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.
  • Important Haircut: Stephanie accidentally gives Jesse one in the Season 2 premiere, ultimately forcing Jesse to lop the rest of his mullet off (basically spoiled in syndication by using the standard Season 2 intro).
  • In Love with Love: Stated word by word by Danny while trying to diffuse 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.

  • Jerkass: Becky's snobbish cousin in "Trouble in Twin Town". He's not hesitant to tell Jesse how much he dislikes him to his face.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Michelle.
  • Karma Houdini: Michelle. "And how" doesn't even begin to cover it, even though the plot of Season 4's "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor" involved Danny realizing he was letting her get away with too much. Lampshaded occasionally in the rest of the series.
    • Although usually when Michelle does something wrong she DOES get a talking-to and occasionally she'll get punished, ex: The episode "Sisters in Crime".
  • Laugh Track: Used for scenes shot outside without the audience and sometimes for pre-taped sequences, particularly with the kids.
  • Lead In: Just another chance to display the cute factor of Michelle, Nicky, and Alex.
  • Lethal Chef: Rebecca suffers from this reputation, much to her annoyance. An episode involves her and Michelle learning how to cook together, however, with rather appetizing results to subvert the trope.
    • Joey also. Flounder Tarts, anyone?
  • Let's Have Another Baby: Jessie spends a whole episode trying to be the perfect stay-at-home dad to convince Becky they can have another baby. In the end, it's Becky covering a miraculous birth on Wake Up, San Francisco! that changes her mind. Although they never do have another baby during the course of the show...
  • Licked by the Dog: Jesse has much fondness for his nieces, yet much less fondness for animals. Of course, expect every animal to walk through the door, be it their dog Comet (especially as a puppy, less so in the later seasons), a warthog, a monkey, and a donkey, to take an instant liking to Jesse.
    • Most notably Comet's mother, who decided Jesse's bed was the perfect place to give birth.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Stephanie, later Michelle.
  • Making Use of the Twin: Michelle was played by both Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Child labor laws wouldn't allow one actor to work enough hours to play the part, so one would be swapped in when the others' time was up.
    • Taken advantage of in 4 different episodes when the two appear on screen together for various reasons (character dream, hallucinations, identical cousins).
  • Meaningful Rename: Not that it was addressed in-series, but Jesse's last name was Cochran in Season 1. John Stamos asked for the character's last name to be changed in order to better reflect his own Greek heritage, so he became Jesse Katsopolis, and nods to his heritage were put in--including an in-series example of this trope, when Jesse admits that his birth first name was Hermes, the real-life name of Stamos' paternal grandfather.
  • Mighty Lumberjack: Joey spent some time hosting a children's television show and invited a Jesse to join it. Jesse scoffed at the idea, thinking it below him, till he was offered a role whose manliness satisfied him: "Lumberjack Jess".
  • Missing Mom: The reason why her younger brother and Danny's best friend are helping out raise the girls. She died in a car accident a few months before the series began.
  • Neat Freak: Danny.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: DJ complains in an episode that on the first day of school, the nerds brought homework.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Jesse, to the point where it borders on being a catch phrase.
  • No Periods, Period: On a show that featured three young girls, two of whom (definitely D.J.) reached that age during the series run, the fact that we never got a Very Special Episode related to all this really stands out.
    • Especially since there's probably a lot of comedy to be mined from the only people they have to talk to about it being three dudes.
  • 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.
  • Pinocchio Nose: In "The Wedding, Part 1", Danny won't look Rebecca or her father in the eye when he lies.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Andrea Barber and Lori Laughlin (as Kimmy and Rebecca, respectively).
    • The Olsen girls were added to the credits in season two. They weren't in the season one credits until the show was syndicated.
  • 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. However, this effect is lost during reruns, and may make some people feel Lost In Media Res.
  • Retcon: Jesse being a high school dropout. He actually attended his high school reunion in one episode and a flashback has him talking about graduation. Additionally, Danny and (to a lesser extent) Joey knew him back in the day. They're just as surprised as anybody when Jesse admits he dropped out of high school.
  • Rewrite: Jesse's last name.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Nelson vs. Viper.
  • 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?"

    • The way Joey laughs at Jesse whenever something happens to him. The role was reversed in "Cutting it Close".
  • Scenery Censor
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Used in "The Perfect Couple" with Stephanie and the twins.
  • Security Blanket: Stephanie's Mr. Bear.
  • 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.

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 normally means that they are.

  1. (Canadian Edition) Week of May 27 - June 2, 1995.