Pre-Credits Gag: DJ reads The Cat in the Hat to Michelle at bedtime and Michelle keeps asking questions to delay having to go to sleep.
Everyone in the full house who has a real job comes home to find Jesse baking gingerbread men in the kitchen. Joey, of all people, takes pity on Jesse and offers him a gig writing the intro to the cartoons on his Ranger Joe show. I like how the hosts of tv shows on Full House always have this amazing range of responsibilities, like finding someone to write their jingles.
The girls come home and then there’s this weird scene of everyone talking over each other until Stephanie stands up on a chair and whistles to get their attention. She announces that she won her class’s spelling bee and is now going to compete in the 4th grade finals. Danny gets all excited about Stephanie having a talent he might be able to exploit but then Stephanie warns him that there’s this really smart Asian kid named Davey Chu that totally always wins. Everyone hypes Stephanie up and tells her that she’s gonna kick Davey Chu’s ass and then she starts flexing.
Jesse writes a jingle for the Ranger Joe show but even though the audience totally loses their shit when he performs it, Joey tells him that it sucks. Joey tells Jesse that he’ll loan him a cassette of his favorite cartoons to watch for research and then he does an impression of Sylvester the cat that involves him spitting in Jesse’s face.
Danny tries to help Michelle learn how to read by associating letters with cleaning products. I wonder how often Danny makes his children wash their hands. I’d like to see a very special episode about it. Anyway, Stephanie interrupts their educational session by coming in and freaking out about the spelling bee. Danny tells her to chill the fuck out and teaches her how to use mnemonic devices to remember how to spell certain words. Dang, that’s gotta be the most competent parenting that we’ve ever seen on this show.
In the moments leading up to the 4th grade spelling bee, Stephanie and Davey Chu talk hella shit to each other while Danny takes photos from the front row. When the spelling bee begins, Stephanie is called up first (naturally) and asked to spell “mnemonic,” which, ironically, she can’t do.
Stephanie tries to weasel out of having to spell the word until the judge tells her to hurry the fuck up, at which points she totally spells it wrong. I like how the very first thing that happens in the school spelling bee is Stephanie fucking up. It really appeals to my asshole attitude towards this stupid show. The best part is when Davey Chu is called up to spell “mnemonic” afterwards and he totally struts up there like it aint nuthin’ and spells the shit out of it. He even emphasizes the silent M, which is what Stephanie fucked up on. Davey Chu is the man, you guys.
So, as if it’s not already awesome enough to see Stephanie totally fail, she completely flips her shit right afterwards. She pleads like a heroine addict for another shot at the spelling bee in front of an entire auditorium full of people until the judge finally tells her to get the fuck off the stage. What a glorious display of indignity!
Bringing this embarrassing spectacle to a climax, Stephanie straight up rushes the stage and tries to spell the next kid’s word, so the dads have to pull her off stage. I have to say that Stephanie reacting this way is totally not surprising. She gets away with that shit all the time in the full house. Maybe if she got some constructive discouragement at home she wouldn’t act like that in public.
DJ tries to help Michelle learn how to read but then she starts telling her all of these really complicated rules about vowels. She asks Michelle if she did a bad job of explaining things and Michelle says, “duh!”
Danny and Stephanie walk through the living room while she rants about losing the spelling bee and then, just as the doorbell rings, Danny tells her to wait for him because he needs to have a talk with her. I love that kind of nonsense sitcom staging. He just drove her home. Why didn’t they talk then? But anyway, who cares because Davey Chu shows up at the door under the pretense that he’s brought Stephanie her prize ribbon but really it’s just to show off his enormous trophy. Stephanie gets all shitty with him and challenges him to a spelling rematch which Danny sort of tries to discourage for about 2 seconds before agreeing to be the judge.
Jesse writes another Ranger Joe cartoon intro song and once again the audience loses their shit and once again Joey doesn’t like it. Finally, Joey decides that he likes a boinging sound that Jesse makes on his keyboard and then they argue over whether or not Jesse should be paid for it.
Jesse comes across Michelle declaring that she’s giving up reading because she’s too dumb and he gives her an inspiring speech about what a dumb ass moron he used to be before he started applying himself. They then go through a really long and boring little-kid-reading-lesson that doesn’t even have any jokes in it. Well, anyway, I guess Michelle can read now.
Davey Chu gets tired of spelling words correctly and tells Stephanie that he needs to go home to eat dinner. Danny gives Stephanie one last word to spell, sarsaparilla, and she fucks it up, losing to Davey Chu yet again. She has yet another big hissy fit and storms off to the kitchen while Davey Chu grabs his enormous trophy and goes home. Danny goes into the kitchen and tells Stephanie that she shouldn’t be such an asshole about losing because no matter what you excel at, there’s always some Asian kid who’s going to be better. Finally, some constructive discouragement! The music comes on and then, hugs.