Season 3, Episode 1, “Tanner’s Island”

Pre-Credits Gag:  The cheaply produced animated openers have been replaced with a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Now that’s progress!

The Uncles come home to find that the rest of the family has made a surprise party for them.  Danny explains that the streamers and cake are to celebrate the Uncles’ having been at the full house for two years.  Two long, horrible years.  Danny then surprises both the Uncles and the rest of the family by announcing that he’s bought them all tickets for a week long trip to Hawaii.  I guess the rest of the family thought that streamers and cake were the whole surprise.

Usually the pre-credits gag is just some throwaway bit where the baby says a phrase or eats a cookie or something, but in this case it sets up the premise for the entire episode.  It’s also the only time you see the full house, as the rest of the episode is filmed on location in Hawaii.

As we come into Season 3, the credits are pretty much the same except that there are a few updated vignettes and Lori Loughlin has been given a spot for her role as Rebecca Donaldson.  That’s right, y’all, Rebecca Donaldson is down for life!

A lot of shows did these types of episodes where the cast goes to Hawaii or Disneyworld or something, so much so that you have to assume that it was part of a promotional deal with the network.  There was always something fundamentally unappealing about these episodes, even when a good show did it.  I don’t know if it was because the whole thing felt like a big endorsement or that they always had a different look and feel than other episodes because of the way they were filmed.  Regardless of the reason, these episodes were always fucking duds, and when you come across one when you’re watching reruns on tv, it’s always a disappointment.  So, even though it’s a given that the episode of Full House you’re about to read about sucks a bunch of ass, this one is extra fucking lame in its own unique way that stands out from the rest of the series (except for when they inevitably go to Disneyworld.).

So the Tanner’s get to the resort and exemplify the horrible injustice that the natives of Hawaii have to endure due to American tourism.  Joey sees some Hawaiian dream Woman who makes goo goo eyes at him because this show really needed another Uncle Joey romantic subplot.

Everyone wants to go do separate shit but Danny insists that they all do everyone’s activities together as a family.  This sounds somewhat reasonable until he further explains that he’s dutifully scheduled out their whole week on his, “clipboard of fun,” which is just the latest example of Danny’s anal retentive bullshit ruining everyone’s good time.

So everyone sits around looking bored and miserable while the one person whose activity it is tries to enjoy themselves.  There are a bunch of location shots of Hawaii (kind of makes you want to go there…) and Stephanie learns about Menehunes, which are kind of like Hawaiian Leprechauns.  There’s an extended sequence of the family riding around on dolphins in a big pool that doesn’t even have any jokes in it.  Seriously, the script for this episode must have been like 3 pages long.

Jesse makes everyone go look at every piece of the island that ever had anything to do with an Elvis movie and then the family goes on a canoe ride (or whatever they call canoe’s in Hawaii).  Joey sees his Hawaiian dream girl and jumps off the canoe to go hump on her but she gets away.  And now, here’s a little sumthin’ for you ladies:  wet t-shirt Joey.

Danny rents a boat so he can take the family to a smaller island but after hours at sea he realizes that the island he was looking for on the map was a potato chip.  The family start to think about who they’re going to eat first until they see an island off in the distance.  Once they get to the island they wander around trying to figure out what to do and then their boat floats away.  Even though it’s visible from the shore and letting it get away means being trapped on a presumably deserted island and having to pay for the boat if they’re ever rescued, the family just can’t seem to find the motivation to swim after it.

The whole family accepts being trapped on an island and decide to forage.  Joey gets hit on the head with a falling coconut, which is the greatest moment in the whole series.

Jesse and Rebecca Donaldson get into an argument because he won’t ever stop talking about Elvis for five fucking seconds.  As understandable as that is, I’m kind of surprised that the squabble never ventured over into whose outfit was more amazing because, man, look at those two.

Anyway, Rebecca Donaldson gets so mad that she jumps off the cliff they’re on into a waterfall and Jesse leaps after her, exclaiming, “have mercy” on the way down.  I guess that if he was gonna die right then he wanted to be sure that his last words were his annoying catch-phrase.

Stephanie spots a menehune but DJ wont believe her.  Stephanie worries aloud to DJ about their impending doom on the island but the music comes on and DJ reassures her with the power of sisterly love.  Hugs.

The family all try to flag down a plane from the beach but they’re not spotted even though Jesse is wearing the loudest neon green shorts ever made.  All the adults start to argue but DJ interjects and gives an inspiring speech that ends with, “I bet if we start working together as a team, we can make potato chip crumb island a totally rad place to hang.”  This miraculously inspires the family to get along, leaving DJ two for two in the inspiring speech department in as many minutes.

After sundown, the family follow the sound of jungle drums and are accosted by a group of island savages.  Yeah, they totally went there.

The suspense last for about 5 seconds as the natives quickly reveal that they’re actually just fucking with them and are leading them to a Tahitian dancing stage performance.  The weirdest thing about all of this (which is really saying something) is that that native who explains all of this clearly has a New Zealand accent.  Gee whiz, not only does this show totally stereotype Hawaiian culture for the whole episode, but then they can’t even hire an actual Hawaiian to play the big scary Hawaiian native?

So the Tanner’s are invited to go up on stage for the performance because they seem to get to do that everywhere they go and even if they’re not invited to they just do it anyway.  The family dance for several minutes and Joey finally meets up with his Hawaiian dream girl.

Rebecca Donaldson asks the band if they’ll play “Rock-a-Hula” while Jesse sings and sure enough, they let him do it.  The family all dance around like assholes while Jesse sings and the audience loves it for some reason and then the credits come on.

As if that ending weren’t terrible enough, there are also built-in advertisements for Northwest Airlines and Turtle Bay Hilton and Country Club.  Does Northwest Airlines even still exist?

That was the season premiere, you guys.  That was supposed to get us excited about the rest of the season.  I feel upset.

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65 Responses to Season 3, Episode 1, “Tanner’s Island”

  1. Teebore says:

    Does Northwest Airlines even still exist?

    As a Minnesotan, I can assure you it does not. It “merged” with Delta a few years back and all the Northwest planes and stuff were re-branded as Delta.

    Which just means Uncle Jesse’s deafening neon shorts aren’t the only horribly dated thing in this episode.

    A lot of shows did these types of episodes where the cast goes to Hawaii or Disneyworld or something, so much so that you have to assume that it was part of a promotional deal with the network.

    I’ve always heard that after Disney acquired ABC in the early 90s they mandated that all their shows send their characters to Disneyworld at least once, which is why this show went there even though they’d already done their obligatory “we’re going to Hawaii!” episode.

    I have no idea if that’s true or just one of those urban legends that gets repeated so often it becomes true, but it sure sounds like something Disney would do…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corey says:

      Can’t say if Disney actually *required* them or not, but every single ABC show definitely took advantage of the merger. Family Matters, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, and Sabrina the Teenage With all have Disney World episodes, too. (There are probably more, but those are the only shows I remember watching.)


    • Kenny says:

      What pissed me off about the Roseanne episode was they even made THAT show incredibly lame stupid and fucking corny all at the same time.

      It was especially grating when Darlene started acting like a school girl because she met fucking goofy or pluto what the fuckever cant remember thats how bad the episode was lol


    • wizardduck says:

      When this episode aired, Disney didn’t yet own ABC. That didn’t happen until 1996.


  2. Alexis Alexander says:

    I thought sending the cast to Hawaii was the prescription for very low ratings.


  3. Eron says:

    As a New Zealander, let me tell you, it was pretty exciting realising the Hawaiians were actually Maori. Almost as good as the time Stephanie and Michelle accidentally flew to Auckland when they thought it was Oakland.
    What can I say, we crave recognition, we don’t care what form it takes.


    • Charles says:

      Why the diseased fuck were they FLYING to Oakland? They live in SF, it’s literally 20 minutes away by car.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Simone C. says:

      That’s what I thought was a bit offensive though…I could tell they were Maori because of the facial tattoos, but they were in Hawaii? It’s just amalgamating 2 different Polynesian cultures into one.

      But you’re right in the natives of New Zealand needing more representation.


  4. vincemgray says:

    OMG this is like that movie when Amy Adams cooked all of the food in a Julia Childs cookbook and blogged about it ! Awesome!


  5. Megan says:

    When I was younger (19) and bored at work I made a list of female celebrities I would do if I were to become a lesbian. I then compared that list to my gay co-worker’s list of female celebrities he would do if he were to become straight.

    Lori Loughlin as Rebecca Donaldson appeared on both lists.


    • billysuperstar says:

      seriously, hands down, that is the best comment ever.


    • tildeloltilde says:


      This. Close the comment section. Nothing will ever top this.



    • Megan says:

      After watching this Jimmy Fallon YouTube video I felt the need to update this comment. I’d just like to say that now in 2016, at the age of 30, married, a kid on the way, I’d still put Rebecca Donaldson on my list. That sweater…


  6. Leroy Cook says:

    the plane did see them. said fuck that and flew on by.


    • marino says:

      Didn’t want to have to deal with the obligatory “now some of the Tanners get to fly the plane while the rest of the Tanners sing a Beatles cover of ‘Baby You Can Drive My Car'” tacit contract upheld by everyone in the Full House universe.


      • Martin Tanner's Ghost says:

        And then they would use that footage of the Tanners flying the plane in the intro.


  7. Ruby Lee says:

    Your blog is way cool, but I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive you for the wet t-shirt photo of Uncle Joey.


  8. Satan says:

    I would’ve appreciated if this episode offered a deeper exploration into the mystery girl plot. Basically her only use was to serve notice that Joey was horny while roamin around the island.


  9. Lisa says:

    Celebrating Uncle Jesse and Joey’s 2-year anniversary at the house would essentially be celebrating Pam’s 2-year anniversary of her fatal car accident. How morbid, Tanners.


    • PuppetDoctor says:

      I never thought of that at all. That is very morbid and now that I think about it disturbing.


      • Austin says:

        Maybe they’re just trying to put a positive spin on it? “2 years since uncles moved in” does sound a lot better than “2 years since mom died”


      • Grace F says:

        My family did that. Three years after my dad died, on the anniversary of his death, when I was, like, eleven, my mom bought a kitten.


    • LaChavalina says:

      We’re told in the first episode that grandma was staying with the family for some time before the uncles arrived, so it wouldn’t be the anniversary of mom’s death.


  10. djkatyk says:

    HAVE MERCY. We stayed at the Turtle Bay resort back in October. I wish I would have known before. I am ashamed to admit that when we went to a luau, it totally reminded me of those Full Housers up there completely shitting on a cultural experience that those tourists came to see. I cant believe the audience gave him a standing ovation for that piece of shit performance. Those things are expensive. I would have been pissed.


  11. kp199 says:

    The only thing that I could ever think of while watching this episode, was how absolutely tanned Stephanie was. They must have filmed for a week straight, because DAMN.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jenna says:

    What a ripoff, there is a Golden Girls episode almost identical to this one (vacation, boat floats away, “we’re stranded on an island”, “oh wait, we’re just on the wrong side!”. What a cheap imitation, how is that even legal in Hollywood?


  13. Lisa says:

    The concert (or whatever it was) at the end of the episode looks absolutely huge, yet when they get to the island they imply that they’ve looked up and down the island and have found no sign of life. How did they miss a huge arena set up for a luau, which presumably included tons of workers and possible sound checks going on?


  14. Take-away: “I would’ve appreciated if this episode offered a deeper exploration into the mystery girl plot. Basically her only use was to serve notice that Joey was horny while roamin around the island.”

    Firsts: Take-away that comes from another comment


  15. Stacy says:

    I have not actually seen this episode (or if I did when it was originally aired I’ve since blocked it from my memory), so maybe there is a logical answer. However, based on the screenshots – where the hell did Rebecca Donaldson get her dress? In the first screenshot she is in her bikini and coverup. The next shot is of her in a dress. If they were stranded on some island – where did this wardrobe change come from?


  16. Megan says:

    Jesse is so freaking hot!!!


  17. Erica says:

    Omg I was thinking the exact thing about Uncle Jesse and Rebecca’s outfits. Also, potato chip crumb island had me laughing so much. One of her best lines


  18. Sara says:

    “I don’t know if it was because the whole thing felt like a big endorsement or that they always had a different look and feel than other episodes because of the way they were filmed. ”
    See, in that case, shouldn’t the episodes be amazing if they’re so different than the usual crap? But they’re still not!
    I just saw this episode on this morning and came back to read this again, plus I needed to be cheered up and your blog always does the trick, every time!
    Haha I couldn’t stop laughing!


  19. Bojan says:

    This is the best episode in the earlier seasons of a fantastic sitcom…


  20. Laura says:

    I just want to point out that in the first photo of Jesse and Rebecca on the island, Rebecca is in that weird bikini cover-up ensemble, and in the next photo she’s miraculously changed into a sundress even though they’re supposed to be stranded on an island with no resources. Continuity at its finest.


  21. JDA says:

    Reruns are on, and of course I still have this blog open because I am trying to get through every single skewering of this awful show. Naturally, I had to look up your take on this episode… thank you for saving me 22 minutes of my life I would never get back.


  22. williec29 says:

    Anytime you can get Rebecca into a swimsuit, that’s a good day for everybody!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Mare says:

    Uncle Joey’s eyes are so close together that you could blacken both of his eyes with one well aimed punch to the face.


  24. Charles says:

    The only way this episode would have worked is if it turned out they were stranded on R’lyeh and Cthulhu ate them all.


  25. Ashley says:

    The odd thing is, I noticed that every time they brought that clip board back out of the water it was dry. I don’t know why, of all the things I can notice about this episode was that and I don’t know why it annoyed me so much.


  26. Odotry says:

    I love you forever for including that bikini photo of Rebecca. Your sacrifice is not in vain my friend.


  27. JCC says:

    LOL. Everyone got brown from the sun except for Bob Saget, the poor dope.


  28. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    Somewhere in one of the shots, there was a red house off to the distance as Danny and Jesse were fighting over the clipboard of fun. Continuity issues galore.

    Also, are these people supposed to know who the fuck the Tanners are? Like, if I were there in the crowd, I would be like “Who the fucking fuck are these assholes performing Elvis? Also, am I supposed to give two shits?”

    Once thing that I will say about Full House and their writers. They were equal opportunity offenders in making light of every culture and religion.


  29. Angie says:

    The thing that pissed me off the most about this episode is when Jesse claimed to be riding a killer whale when it clearly wasn’t. Uncle Jesse would never ride a killer whale and he never will. Ignorant piece of shit.


  30. This episodes is one of the ones that irks me the most. No one is really panicked at the thought of being marooned, and of course they would happen to be plucked up by people who are part of a show, and then made the center of the show.


  31. Mr Egghead says:

    Also, where Danny says that he can go to Hawaii because he convinced the network to play reruns of Wake Up San Francisco for a whole week?? What the fuck?? Yeah I’ll just bore the whole city with shitty reruns of my shitty show for a week just so I can take my family on holiday.


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