Season 1, Episode 4, “The Return of Grandma”

The Full House is a big disgusting shithole.  Jesse neglected his laundry duty and Joey is too busy doing terrible impressions of cartoon characters (featured in this episode:  Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam) to do the dishes.  There are also clothes flung around all over the place, but it’s never made clear whose negligence they’re a result of.  Danny shows his frustration by looking at everyone like he is going to kiss them.

Jesse comes home to share a new story about his night out.  This marks the first time in the series that he regales the family with an anecdote that doesn’t end with him talking about all the pussy he gets in front of the kids.  Now that’s progress!  Instead he unveils his new pet turtle, Bubba, who he found on the way home and developed an immediate emotional attachment to.

He exclaims, “I love this amphibian!” which becomes a reoccurring catch-phrase throughout the episode.  How is that even supposed to be funny?  I only know it is because the laugh track goes off every time he says it, which is often.  Maybe it’s supposed to be a humorous phrase, or maybe it’s because turtles are not actually amphibians.  I guess it doesn’t really matter because either way, there’s nothing funny about it.

Amidst all this chaos, Stephanie casually mentions that Grandma’s coming to visit today.  Naturally, Danny freaks the fuck out.  When he asks her why she never mentioned this before, she replies that nobody asked her.  If that’s not obnoxious enough, it turns out that Joey knew, too, and provides the same explanation for why he kept it to himself.  Wow, as if doing a bunch of terrible impressions all the time and being totally unqualified to take care of the kids wasn’t bad enough, he also can’t relay a simple phone message.  Sometimes I just hate Joey so much.

Everyone flails around in a futile attempt to get the house together before Grandma shows up, although most of the time is filled up with Jesse talking about his stupid turtle.  The place still looks like the thunderdome when Grandma arrives 5 hours earlier than expected.  You could probably guess this, but the reason she shows up so “early” is because Joey got the time of her arrival wrong.  That’s right, not only did he neglect to tell anyone that she’d be showing up at all, but when someone finally squeezed the news out of him, he couldn’t even get it right.  Seriously, if you were Danny, wouldn’t you be realizing about now that no help at all is better than help from Joey?

I’d also like to take a moment to point out that Joey keeps a mannequin in his alcove that he dresses to match whatever he’s wearing.  There’s something really fucked up about that.  I got ten bucks that says that he dry humps it when everyone else is sleeping.

Anyway, Grandma enters and is understandably terrified at the state of things.

Jesse and Joey respond by telling her to clean it up herself and then make them dinner while they go out on the town.  Dang, that is some raw shit right there!  When they return and the house is still in a state of disarray, Jesse declares that Danny is “totally mommy-whipped.”  On that note, Grandma enters the scene with Jesse and Joey’s moms in tow.  What a wacky situation!

Jesse’s mom makes him tuck in his shirt and Joey’s mom assists him in an unfunny impression of a vacuum cleaner.  After these bizarre displays, the moms point out the obvious fact that these 3 guys are horrendously unqualified to raise children by themselves.  The moms make plans to come by every day to supervise things, which is a prospect that really freaks out the dads.  A deal is struck that if the dads can’t get the house in order in the next few hours, the moms can move in and run their lives forever.

As soon as the moms leave, the dads learn that the kids have lost Bubba.  Despite the fact that their entire futures are contingent on cleaning the entire house in the next few hours, they squander the entire time looking for Jesse’s stupid fucking turtle.  The moms come back to find the house in the exact same state of disrepair, but are so moved by the dads heartwarming speech to the kids about the loss of Bubba (followed by lots of hugs) that they agree to give them another shot at cleaning the house.

The cleaning of the house is represented by a brief dance number set to “I Feel Good.”

I imagine that James Brown turns over in his grave every time this airs, but at the time I’m sure he was just glad to cash a big check.  The moms return and are amazed at how clean the house is.  While they’re inspecting the kitchen, a cleaning woman opens the back door and requests to be paid in cash.  Bus-ted!  Joey tries to pass her off as his fiancée, but she’s clearly out of his league.

So, even though the dads have failed to honor their part of the deal twice, the credits are about to roll so the moms agree not to move in after all.  Then Bubba rolls in on a skateboard.

Firsts:  Jesse tells a story that’s not all about how much pussy he gets, Bubba the turtle, Jesse’s mom (Irene), Joey’s mom (Mindy)

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40 Responses to Season 1, Episode 4, “The Return of Grandma”

  1. maggie says:

    it is difficult to put into words how happy reading these makes me.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Chrissy says:

    Me too. And what really pisses me off is that next season Danny is a clean freak and Jesse Cochran becomes Jesse Katsopolis


    • PuppetDoctor says:

      That really drives me nuts whenever I see this episode that Danny becomes a clean freak later and that in the future episode when Jessie’s mother shows up she is completely different. Especially, considering I watched the later seasons before actually seeing Season 1 so I knew Danny was a clean freak.

      The continuity in this show can be just horrible at times.


  3. K says:

    Somehow I know without a doubt in my mind that, no matter how long it takes me, I’m going to read every damn one of these. Because they’re AMAZING. Seconding what Maggie said.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jbone says:

    That mannequin in Joeys alcove is really creepy. Before Jeffrey Dahmer started murdering, molesting and eating young men(in that order) he used to keep a mannequin in his closet presumably to practice. Makes you wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bridget says:

      I live in Wisconsin where Dahmer was killing everyone and that’s all one heard about on TV when he was doing these crimes. One lady juror was so freaked out by his crimes, she threw herself in a poison ivy bush so she could stay home covered in calamine lotion and not attend court. The judge said extreme illness or death was the only way to get out of it!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Zozo says:

    The cleaning lady couldn’t look more uncomfortable with Joey’s arm around her.


  6. Lisa says:

    We have to assume that when Joey went shopping for clothes, he bought everything twice. That’s seriously messed up.


  7. Josh says:

    What shouldn’t be forgotten is this guy lives under the stairs and behind the living room couch! You know what lives behind my living room couch?…..Lint


  8. Nicky says:

    Jesse and Joeys moms –> Jesse and Joey’s moms

    is, “totally mommy-whipped.” –> is “totally mommy-whipped”.

    set to, “I feel good.” –> set to “I Feel Good”.

    fiancé –> fiancée


  9. Yogurt Baron says:

    I assume the point of the amphibian “joke” is that Jesse is so dumb that it’s funny that he would know such a big word.


  10. Glenn says:

    what the fuck is up with joey’s belt in the picture? why is it backwards? more importantly, is the mannequin’s belt backwards too?


  11. Daniela says:

    Also, bear in mind that three actresses ended up with the role of Danny’s mom (ultimately settling for Doris Roberts) and two with the role of Jesse’s mom.

    By the way, I LOVE this website. Keep up the good work! 😀


    • LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

      It was actually two actresses Daniela. This woman played Danny’s mother in both pilot episodes. She reprises her role in this episode…

      She also played Annie Camden’s mother on 7th Heaven…


  12. Brad says:

    hey, Jesse’s original Mom was Mrs Rossini from Who’s the Boss.


  13. Laura says:

    I know I already said this, but seriously this blog is wonderful. I am so excited to read all of them, hi-fucking-larious!


  14. lora says:

    it always pissed me off that there was nothing said about danny’s dead wife when her mother came to visit … did the girls even refer to her as grandma? [ i haven’t watched the episode in years]


  15. Cassie says:

    Sweet mother of God, I never noticed that damn mannequin dressed as Joey… poor thing. I’m talking about the mannequin…


  16. One quick thing says:

    If Jesse is the brother of Danny’s dead wife than isnt his mom the ex-mother in law of Danny?

    Does she even hint at showing that she is back in the house of her dead daughter and her ex-son-in-law.

    Thought you could’ve pointed that out.


  17. maggie says:

    I thought there was a time when Steph said “nobody asked me” Danny said something along the lines of people weren’t always thinking of every possible question that could be asked. He asked her how many questions she thought there were and she answered “Eight.”


  18. Talk to me says:

    A friend of mine shared this website on my facebook… I have already wasted 3 hours of work time and look forward to wasting many more reading these. Best thing I’ve read in my entire life. Thank you!


  19. Kiana says:

    Like I’m watching Full House right now and I absolutely have always loved this show. Until now. You seriously have opened up my eyes! I love this blog okay. And Jesse’s mom in this “Stephanie Goes to the Dentist” episode is soooooo not the same one from the episode your reviewed. Wtf. So done.


  20. Jeanne says:

    Ugh. That 2nd picture with Joey eating cereal and the clothes “randomly” (and I use that loosely) strewn about. Look where the pieces of clothing are… Seriously how do jeans get wrapped around a staircase like that? Someone clearly took time to do that.. They weren’t thrown like that.. And furthermore.. How are these dirty clothes so far away from everyone’s bedrooms? How did these clothes get into the living room, and onto the tv for god’s sake? I can understand being strewn around on a bedroom floor, even a bathroom, but this is ridiculous. I just hate the unbelievability of some of these scenes, and the lack of attention to detail.


  21. Ashley says:

    That mannequin thing bothered me even as a kid. And also, I could understand why Jesse and Danny’s mother would come supervise one a week but why would Joey’s? She has no connection to those little girls. She’s not their grandmother.

    Danny becoming a neat freak later on bothers me as well.


    • Bridget says:

      Ashley, with all due respect, I think you’re wrong about Mindy not being the grandmother of the girls! I said it once and I will say it a million times if the show continued there would be a big reveal of Joey being the biological father of DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle. I think Stephanie and Michelle will be snooping in the attic and they find their late mother Pam’s diary she kept as a young girl and as a young mother. On one page, Pam wonders if she should reveal the true parentage of her daughters and that they all belong to Joey. I think DJ looks like Joey especially!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Martin Tanner's Ghost says:

    If Danny’s such a neat freak, how’d his house get so fucked and why isn’t he having an aneurysm over it?


  23. Kourtney says:

    You and this blog are fucking perfection and I cherish you. I remember thinking this exact shit back when I watched it as a kid. If I understood it was messed up and that Joey was obviously a pedophile when I was 11 (the fucking mannequin though!), what were adults thinking and how did they let it go on so long?

    I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one that thought Michelle was an ugly and all around awful creature they decided call a child. I’m tempted to watch the show again. I will definitely regret it.

    Also, “Then Bubba rolls in on a skateboard.” killed me. So good.


  24. Hargila says:

    It’s a tortoise not a turtle…


  25. Hargila says:

    Can I point out that when Jessie goes to talk to his mom his shirt is first tucked in then untucked then tucked then untucked all before she tells him to tuck it in…


  26. Flora Fauna Maryweather says:

    “Joey tries to pass her off as his fiance, but she is clearly out of his league”.

    This is why this is my new favorite place to be.


  27. ColdFusion says:

    It’s funny how this show perfectly illustrates cliches and occasionally breaks them at the same time (usually not in a good way, but in this case…)
    all late 80s early 90s shows were required to use certain stock phrases that I am almost certain were published in a ‘how to write jokes’ book. Since there was no internet and libraries were tedious and limited to search, it was all they had. Stuck on some writing with a deadline? Just.. just pick something. Calling turtles amphibians is one of those. Clearly “amphibian” was considered a funny enough word to use it even when it’s not appropriate. As in “that amphibian is totally bodacious, dude!” you can just smell the arcade games, right?
    Meanwhile though, this is a rare example of a show remembering that A) the father of small children and his peers should only be in their late 20s or early 30s, and B) their mothers shouldn’t be blue-haired wrinkled old biddies, but simply middle-aged women. The casting here is refreshingly rare, about as rare as an animated show remembering how tall children are at any given age.


  28. Jessie says:

    The real question is: why does Joey have 2 of each outfit???? Who buys two….
    Also the mannequin may be creepy, but honestly it’s just an Easter egg.


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