Season 5, Episode 8, “Gotta Dance”

Pre-Credits Gag:  Hey, the pre-credits gag is back!  Can anyone tell me why they don’t always have them anymore?  I’m stumped.  Anyway, this one opens with DJ looking sad while staring at the phone because she’s waiting for some boy to call.  Although that’s funny enough all on its own, Michelle soon enters the scene and asks DJ why she’s just sitting there, looking desperate.  DJ explains that she’s waiting for a boy to call but she’s tired of hanging around by the phone and then the minute she gets up the phone rings and Michelle answers it.  Naturally, Michelle tells the boy that he’s a shithead and hangs up on him, salting DJ’s game.  Poor DJ, she’s never gonna get any ass.  Never.

Stephanie’s teacher thinks that she might have a chance at a career in professional dance for some reason but Danny isn’t sure if she should pursue it so Stephanie decides to constantly nag him until he changes his mind.  Danny warns her that it’ll be an awful lot of hard work and that she’s never been exposed to anyone with any sort of a work ethic because she grew up in the full house but Stephanie is pretty fucking determined to keep harassing him until he caves in.  Danny starts reminiscing about his youthful dream of being a high-jump champion and Stephanie uses this unrequited passion to successfully manipulate him into allowing her to take the lessons.

Everyone tells Becky that there’s no way that she’ll be able to convince Jesse to attend her baby shower but she protests that it’s the 90’s and men are way cooler about that kind of shit now.  Remember when everyone used to always say “it’s the 90’s”?  I wish I didn’t.  After everyone reminds her that Jesse’s like the shittiest husband in the world and he won’t even get a job to support his unborn children much less attend an event that’s important to his wife, Becky decides to construct an elaborate lie about it just being a regular party by inviting a bunch of Jesse’s friends.  Everyone agrees to keep it a secret but just then Jesse enters the scene and gets all suspicious.  Becky tells him that she’s organizing a party for them as a last hurrah before they become parents and then when Jesse offers to help organize it she says, “I’ll take care of everything and all you have to do is show up,” which pretty much defines their entire relationship.

Jesse, ever wiling to disregard his wife’s wishes, decides to bribe Michelle with ice cream so he can find out what the big secret behind the party is.  This sequence goes on for several minutes because apparently an ugly child’s desire for sugary treats is comedy gold.  Eventually Michelle, equally willing to disregard the wishes of others for her own personal gain, tells Jesse about the baby shower so she can disgust the audience by gorging on ice cream.

DJ invites Stephanie to help with decorations for the baby shower which leads to an exchange of expository dialogue about how all of Stephanie’s time has been taken up by her dance lessons lately.  I guess that’s much more efficient storytelling-wise than ever actually showing us these dance lessons.  Even though the situation is made abundantly clear by the girls’ exchange, Stephanie proceeds to complain to Comet about how hard the dance lessons have been and then decides that she’s going to tell Danny that she wants to quit.  It seems like these pity-parties that Stephanie has with Comet have become a pretty regular thing.  I guess that when you have two actors with such an incredibly limited range of abilities you’ll just stick with anything that even sort of works.

Becky shows Danny, Joey and DJ all of the corny activities she has planned for the baby shower but then she has to hastily conceal them as Jesse approaches.  Jesse asks if there isn’t anything he can do to help set up for the party and then makes a bunch of references that only a fucking idiot wouldn’t see as a dead giveaway that he knows about the baby shower.  Becky eventually hands him $10 dollars and tells him to go see a movie, which is yet another extremely telling exchange about their relationship.  Man, they’re really breaking it down this episode.

Stephanie comes downstairs to tell Danny that she wants to quit the dance lessons but instead they engage in an incredibly overused sitcom cliche in which he preempts her statements with a series of lengthy pronouncements about how proud he is of her for taking the lessons.  He revisits his regrets about not pursuing his dream of being a high-jumper as a youth which prompts a lengthy fantasy sequence about her future as a dancer.

Well, fuck, here we go.  Another painful fantasy sequence.  This one’s quite a doozy, too.  The most remarkably thing about it is that, for a fantasy about Stephanie becoming a dancer, it’s surprisingly short on dancing and seems much more focused around singing.  The whole cast dance around in white suits and they don’t even do us the courtesy of having them lip synch over people who can actually sing.  There’s also a surprisingly self-aware song lyric about how Danny is using Stephanie to compensate for his own unrequited childhood ambitions that’s almost actually funny.  Also, that’s a pretty goddamn cheap looking set if you ask me.

After Danny comes back to reality (relatively speaking), he grabs Stephanie and tells her again how proud he is of her and then, as is always the conclusion when this particular sitcom cliche is utilized, he asks, “now what was it you wanted to tell me?”  She tells him that it was nothing but he’s not even listening anyway because what the fuck does he care about how she really feels?

After some corny party games are played at the baby shower, Jesse comes homes and everyone yells “Surprise!”  Can I just say that this is the most convoluted premise in the series so far?  Let me see if I’ve got this right:  Becky wanted Jesse to come to her baby shower but she knew he wouldn’t so she told him that it was going to be a regular party.  So what exactly was supposed to happen when he figured it out?  Why would she put herself in that situation?  But anyway it doesn’t even matter because Jesse already knew about the secret baby shower and invited a bunch of filthy biker guys as revenge, adding an extra-ridiculous twist to an already inexplicable narrative.

Becky immediately blames herself for the mishap but then Jesse tells her that he knew about her scheme and was just playing a joke on her.  Yeah, but the baby shower’s still ruined.  Where’s the joke?  After an exchange with Michelle about how she spilled the beans about the party, Becky continues to blame herself for Jesse inviting a bunch of disgusting greasy strangers to her baby shower.  Jesse admits that he’s also to blame because he bribed Michelle into telling him about the baby shower and then they agree to always be honest with each other.  Wait, what?  Well, that may have been the most carelessly slapped together plot of the whole series but at least it’s over.

Before Stephanie’s big dance performance, Danny sneaks backstage and tells her that if her performance goes well she’ll be admitted into a rigorous Summer dance program.  Stephanie is clearly distressed over the idea but Danny continues to willfully ignore her feelings.  After the presenter has to tell Danny to turn his bright ass camera light off because it’s bothering everybody, that delightful tune “Motown Philly” by the timeless Boyz II Men comes on and a bunch of little girls dance onstage in bastardized versions of that Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation get-up except with sequins and an exposed mid-riff.  Creepy!  All of a sudden Stephanie starts to bust out some really odd dance moves that clearly aren’t part of the routine and then all of the other girls just stand there and stare at her like, “what the fuck?”  Stephanie says she’s sorry and runs offstage and then an intermission is called.

Danny goes backstage and asks Stephanie what the fuck her problem is.  She says that she doesn’t have what it takes to be a dancer and then Danny displays an abrupt and uncharacteristic insight into Stephanie’s inner workings by saying that he thinks she fucked up on purpose.  The music comes on as Stephanie admits that dance classes are hella hard and she doesn’t want to do them anymore.  Danny says that he understands and they decide that she should continue to practice dance but not so rigorously and I have to tell you that I’m totally fucking amazed.  For a second I thought that they were gonna present a bogus lesson about how it’s ok to quit when something’s hard but they’re actually bestowing us with the most elusive and necessary lesson of the entire series:  moderation.  Sweet, sweet moderation!  Up until this point it’s been totally unheard of.  Could this be the start of a bold new era of logic, tact and consideration for others?  Somehow I doubt it…

Danny and Stephanie hug and say that they love each other and then she apologizes to the other girls for fucking up the dance but none of them seem to even give a shit.  They all just shrug it off.  She asks if they can have another shot at doing the routine and then, even though there shouldn’t be any mulligans in dance if you ask me, the presenter says to go right ahead because what the fuck else are they gonna show the audience?  It’s not like parents ever expect this kind of shit to be any good anyway.

The episode closes out with a lengthy redo of the Motown Philly dance routine.  As awkward as it is to watch a bunch of little girls gyrating around for several minutes in those totally inappropriate outfits, it’s not nearly as uncomfortable as watching the cast clap their hands and bob their heads to a Boyz II Men song.  But what can I say, it’s the 90’s!

Firsts:  Moderation is practiced


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72 Responses to Season 5, Episode 8, “Gotta Dance”

  1. Paddles says:

    Yeah, Jesse totally has biker friends that like to hang out with him. Probably because they dig the Rippers so hard. Love to imagine the scenario where he heads over to the biker bar and:

    “Hey guys, want to come to a party at my house?”
    “How about you come to our party in the back?”

    Closing lesson should have been: “Stephanie, I don’t care if you dance or don’t dance. I’m proud of you because you ruined the dance recital of 6 other girls to prove a point. When you take something that alot of people have a stake in, and make it all about you, that’s what makes the full house happy.”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hebrewersfan says:

    “Becky shows Danny, Joey and DJ all of the corny activities she has planned for the baby shower but then she has to hastily conceal them as Jesse approaches.”

    This is the only sentence in the whole episode review that has Joey’s name in it. It must be a treat to recap the episodes where Joey is basically a background character.


  3. Ryan says:

    Didn’t Danny do some ridiculous high jump routine in the middle of the dream sequence? And why the hell do I remember that?


    • Glenn says:

      Tyler… wtf.

      He watches them so that we don’t have too. You should have to endure a Danny Tanner 1 on 1 with music for that.


      • Sault says:

        I actually appreciate it when I can get these glimpses of what I thankfully missed by not watching Full House. It’s like a strange insight into television that should never have been and these small, terrible video clips just make me feel bad for Billy so much more.


    • Ryan says:

      Damnit. Not only did I watch that clip, but I started watching a bunch of other “musical” moments from the show.


    • TayciBear says:

      Why did you do that? Now I’m going to have nightmares. No wonder I dont remember anything from this show.


    • kp199 says:

      OMG, look at this embarrassing first comment on the video:

      I could watch this over and over again! Bob Saget has a really good singing voice actually! ~Erin

      Wow Erin, wow.


      • Oh Mylanta says:

        Eh. Bob Saget does have a decent singing voice, but let’s not put him on a pedestal…


    • JohnMo says:

      Can you hear the sound of my eyes rolling as I watch this vIdeo? BRUTAL!!!


  4. Wilkins says:

    “Hey, the pre-credits gag is back! Can anyone tell me why they don’t always have them anymore? I’m stumped.” Season 5 was 1991-1992, which I think was when most TV shows started going from 23-24 minutes long to 22-23 minutes. So, they probably didn’t have time for the cold open if the main part of the episode filled up enough time.

    “and then when Jesse offers to help organize it she says, “I’ll take care of everything and all you have to do is show up,” which pretty much defines their entire relationship.” Frankly, I’m shocked Jersey even offered to help at all. “Ho ho ho. Ya koo tocha ka poonoo nee sok nyee.”


    • BOTR says:

      The lack of a pre-credits gag in the last episode could also have been because it was a “very special” episode.

      (I’m reading these in order so I don’t know whether or not there was a pre-credits gag in the “door named Dad” episode.)


    • Lloyd Mongul says:

      I think they did it more when they could just have the baby say a word or some other dumb trick and they’re doing it less because now they have to write something


  5. Pete says:

    Damn, I forgot about that phrase “it’s the 90s.” I gotta start using that to get myself out of jams.


  6. Lisa says:

    Speaking of Michelle gorging on food… you’re in for a real treat because (spoiler alert) in a later episode you will see Michelle gorging on spaghetti.


  7. Mario Speedwagon says:

    Michelle gorging on food? So that’s where the bulimia started.


  8. Jenn says:

    I have (unfortunately) been WAITING for this episode! I didn’t know what the other plots were, but I remember VERY clearly the Motown Philly sequence. My best friend was also a dance and, as was legally required that year, also performed a routine to the Boys II Men song. She was SO excited that Full House had used the same song as her dance troupe in suburban Virginia. And I’m pretty sure their outfits were similar – maybe also had knee pads.

    Anyway, this dance sequence and about three other things are all I can remember from Full House, so I thank you, sir!


  9. CerebralPaulZ says:

    This is one of your all time best reviews. I laughed at several points. “Yeah but the baby shower is still ruined.” Almost got me in trouble at work for laughing so hard. The screen grab of michelle running toward the camera got me and then her nasty ice cream covered face took me over the edge. Bravo! I love this blog so fucking much.


  10. Bridget Hainline says:

    It is not healthy for anyone to gorge on food because our digestive system is delicate and will rebel if we pig outon copious amounts of food.


  11. Kayla says:

    “Remember when everyone used to always say “it’s the 90′s”? I wish I didn’t.” This cracked me up.

    Also, I am ashamed to admit it, but I really like that dance routine. Maybe it’s because I remember that part so well from childhood? Who knows. But kinda neat that Jodie Sweetin can actually dance. As others have said, can’t hear that song without thinking of this episode.


  12. Erica says:

    I have to say, I’m pretty impressed by Becky’s preggo kick. Kudos to her.

    I also wanted to share a dream I had that was basically a mashup between Battlestar Galactica and Full House. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that the Tanner girls got selfish and fucked everything up for the human race (though why everything depended on them in the first place is a giant mystery only my subconscious knows).

    In short, you still rock. Thank you for keeping this up!


  13. Navarro says:

    I hate DJ. shes a bitch and she wears her pants up to her chest. and shes not attractive at all


  14. Teebore says:

    DJ explains that she’s waiting for a boy to call but she’s tired of hanging around by the phone

    You’re desperate, fine, but like, read a book while you wait or something.

    Danny starts reminiscing about his youthful dream of being a high-jump champion

    What a terribly dorky and perfectly appropriate dream…

    I guess that’s much more efficient storytelling-wise than ever actually showing us these dance lessons.

    Also, cheaper. Don’t forget cheaper.

    then they agree to always be honest with each other. Wait, what?

    Good conclusion, awful way to reach it.

    that delightful tune “Motown Philly” by the timeless Boyz II Men comes on and a bunch of little girls dance onstage

    Ah yes, *that* episode. Like many others, this episode has scared my appreciation for that all time classic Motown Philly. Sadly, it’s probably in my top five things I think of when I think of Full House, right up there with DJ’s eating disorder.

    As awkward as it is to watch a bunch of little girls gyrating around for several minutes in those totally inappropriate outfits

    And nowadays we have an entire TV show devoted just to that…

    But what can I say, it’s the 90′s!

    Firsts: Moderation is practiced

    Well done. 🙂


  15. Colin Sean says:

    Growing up (aka probably last year), it was always embarrassing to watch episodes like this one if there were people in the house. Whenever one of those fantasy sequences happen, you just cringe through the whole thing and pray someone doesn’t enter the room during. Of course someone ALWAYS does and you get serious flop sweat, like the catastrophe happening on the screen reflects on your validity as a human being.

    I’m waiting for the Last Great Dance Sequence of Stephanie’s. I think it’s when Tommy Page (?) shows up to her birthday just after she and her friends randomly break into full choreography while facing the audience (a big wall in their world), while Michelle stands on the sidelines like an asshole trying to keep up.

    Also, speaking of dancing it’l be a LONG time from now but I’m sticking to following this blog if for nothing else, to see The Last Dance, the episode when Jesse’s Greek uncle dies. The music literally goes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding to Schindler’s List in two seconds. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


    • Ashley says:

      I still loved this show when I was 10/11 years old but my sister hated it. It was always my luck that she’d walk in during one of the embarrassing scenes. Her comments would be: “I can’t believe you like this show.” “You’re so pathetic for liking this crap.” at least I finally came to my senses and realized she was right.


  16. Zozo says:

    I always lol when you write about everyone salting DJ’s rickety game.


  17. motoxchick says:

    NNNNOOOOO!!!! I’ve come…to the end of the road…(see? Ya like my B2M reference there? I knew you did.) Now I am forced to wait for Fridays for new reviews. Sad face.

    Billy, I want to personally thank you for continually and selflessly torturing yourself weekly so that we readers may bask in the ridiculousness that is the full house and reminisce just why we used to watch this awful show week after week. Hell, I remember having sleepover parties just so we could watch TGIF. Ahh, those were the days when we had no idea how great television could really be and just watched whatever the network decided to throw at us.


  18. Kishwick says: all of stephanie’s dances together in one very 90s video. enjoy. 😛


  19. kp199 says:

    So, Stephanie has danced for a day and decides she’s done, or are we just supposed to believe that weeks have passed?

    And I HATED the fantasy scene when I was a kid, because the only thing I could focus on was how out of sync the Olsen twins were with the dancing, and how horrific Jodie Sweetin sounded as she yelled, not sang.

    And of course she’s front and center during Motown Philly. The Tanner’s always get their way.


  20. carrick says:

    My brother got me season 1 of Full House because I mentioned I was reading this blog. THANKS A LOT!!!! >:C


    • Billy Superstar says:

      carrick! where have you been? you’re the original fhr fan! it’s probably all of your fault that this project still exists.


  21. marino says:

    The last screen cap makes me wonder if Joey is somehow secretly the girls’ father. They look a lot more like him than they do like Danny.


  22. e_x_i_t says:

    I remember Stephanie’s dance routine with the Boys II Men song, but I could have sworn this was in another Star Search cross over episode. Also what an odd choice in music, usually they play it safe and use terribly dated oldies songs, I mean fuck I’m surprised that Jersey’s band didn’t some how end playing the music, since that’s always what ends up happening in these types of situations.

    Speaking of Jersey, he went to great lengths on getting Michelle to blab her ugly fat face, I’m sure he could’ve simply asked her what was going on and she would’ve just told him with no remorse.


  23. Bridget says:

    I think you’re right about Joey being the bio father of DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle. I think this happens a lot more than people think! If you ever read “The Thornbirds” Father Ralph is Dane’s birth father and Luke isn’t. Justine belongs to him. I remember seeing a Dateline episode about a woman who had three kids. She and her husband had one child and then she had two children with a priest who was helping her with marital problems.


  24. Automne says:

    I loved how Michelle got so affronted over being bribed by Jesse when the whole thing came out. Bitch, everybody knows you turn tricks under the slide at recess for a cookie.

    Also, upon looking back at these episodes with Michelle’s binging, it’s like no wonder one of the twins developed an eating disorder. Kind of goes hand-in-hand with Tracey Gold on Growing Pains.


  25. Pin a rose on your nose says:

    I’m the same age as Jodie Sweetin and I found her attractive in that dance outfit when I saw this as a kid…


  26. catwalkspy says:

    Why is Stephanie begging Danny for dance lessons? Wasn’t she already taking dance lessons? I thought that was one of her 4 character traits. Danny wanted to bang her dance teacher in an earlier episode I thought…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. JohnMo says:

    I just want to puke every time Danny Tanner gets that look of concern on his face.


  28. jannghi says:

    “She dances better than that McHammer guy.” Earlier in the series, Danny correctly pronounced the rappers name “Em-See Hammer,” but here he pronounces the M.C. as if it were written “Mc” (as in McDonald’s). Was he suddenly ” out of it” on current pop culture? Also, this episode occurred after Hammer dropped the M.C., but most people ignored that. He brought it back years later.


  29. Von Williams says:

    Actually, the dance outfits aren’t really that creepy. I danced all my life, and those are rather conservative compared to what some other girls their ages dance.

    When dancers compete, they expose their body so the judges can see their technique and skill, so in a way – less is better. I know this probably sounds bizarre if you’ve never seen any competitive dancers, but it’s true. Youtube it.


    • Lisa says:

      I can attest that these dance outfits are conservative compared to what many dancers this age wear, but that doesn’t make it OK. Still pretty creepy. This sexualization of young girls (and it’s never boys, only girls) is why we took our young daughter out of dance lessons. The 4-year-old class was the last year their costumes were cute instead of sexy. Disturbing.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Melanie says:

    The girl to the right of Stephanie looks like a mini Kimmie Gibbler.


  31. Kylie says:

    I know I’m late, I’m going through the archives, but I just had to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ending dance. Maybe its just because I’m a dancer myself but honestly that was probably my favorite moment of the whole series. But anyway, great review as usual! You’ve really made me realize how stupid of a show Full House really is hahaha.


  32. beautifulsorta says:

    In all seriousness, I’m on Jesse’s side here. Think about how fucked Becky’s actions are. I mean, sure, if it meant that much to her, he should be there…but instead of having a mature conversation about the issue or *gasp* there being some sort of compromise, she lies to him. And how does she lie to him? By saying he could have one last great party before his life is truly over. I could see why a person would genuinely want that. I don’t have children myself, but that’s got to be one hell of a buzzkill.

    It’s pretty cruel what she does to him. It’s like yelling “JUST KIDDING! YOUR LIFE IS OVER! By the way, enjoy this totally lame party that no man in his right mind would enjoy.” I’ve been to baby showers. They honestly suck, and I am female. Why a man would be expected to enjoy that is beyond me.

    Although, expecting any sort of genuine human emotion and interaction with this show is ridiculous to propose. I guess in their messed up universe this entire episode was just the normal going ons that day. But I still had to get my rant out…


  33. Marco says:

    Ugh Michelle’s hair in these season five episodes is atrocious! I never really thought she was so ugly when I first watched this show but have reconsidered after reading these. The bowl cut and big face are so terrible!!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    Danny: “I feel just like Liberace’s Dad…”

    …What? Filled with shame?


  35. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    And do people like “Tiny” and “Braindead” actually exist? I’ve drank at biker bars in Northern New York and New England, and I can tell you the difference between who is a savage and who isn’t. Sorry, I’ve met people who are nothing like those animals crashing the Baby Shower.

    And those poor girls who have to dance with Stephanie after her mini meltdown…


  36. JCC says:

    Michelle wearing that tuxedo and her shitty singing and dancing cracked me up!

    Much like Britta Perry, Stephanie looks better with curly/wavier har instead of straight hair IMO.


  37. Alishia says:

    Anyone else wonder why are there bows on Michelle’s dresss for no reason at all but hey its the 90’s


  38. Nicole says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that that is NOT Boyz II Men singing Motown Philly? It’s a cover that kind of freaks me out for some reason.


  39. garth gibbler says:

    Danny: “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!”


  40. NotADragon says:

    This episode’s about to start. I must watch & read. Here we go…


  41. BlondieRock13 says:

    What cracks me up is that Stephanie is doing the same shit that Jesse used to do with Michelle when she was a baby. Whining to someone who can’t tell her she needs to just shut her hole and learn how to deal. I feel sorry for that poor dog, but alas, I never felt sorry for the dumb baby. Especially because she grows up to be an asshole on the show.


  42. Near the end, Stephanie says she saw Danny was doing high jumps in his fantasy, but how would she know that if only Danny was imagining it? Did he actually do one over the table during the fantasy like how he was still air kicking when it was over or was it a joke to point it out even though we only saw it and him in his head?


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