Season 5, Episode 17, “Spellbound”

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.

The dads point out that Stephanie’s been hella good at reading since she was four and then Michelle’s like, “Hey, what the fuck?  I’m five and I can’t read for shit.”

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.

After Stephanie leaves the scene, Michelle recites the alphabet and the audience fucking loses their shit. What an easy crowd!  It almost justifies how fucking smug she looks while she does it.

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.


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53 Responses to Season 5, Episode 17, “Spellbound”

  1. Leslie says:

    Firsts: constructive discouragement! Come on man, that one was handed right to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hebrewersfan says:

    Davey Chu is the shit! I think I remember this episode most for all the times the audience loses their mind for things. It has to be the most out of any episode, Jessie’s songs, Michelle trying to spell, I think maybe when Stephanie spelled some words right. That applause sign was working overtime for sure.


  3. Jordan says:

    The thing I remember most about this episode was “S-A-ARRRRRRRRRRR-” and then the rest of the word.

    I hate this show, and love this blog.


  4. Bridget says:

    I think DJ should have used the word globe instead of date. When you take the e off of globe you have glob and that is a word. I remember Danny at the spelling bee with a camera and him saying that intelligence runs in his family and Jesse telling him he has the lens cap on the camera when he snaps Stephanie’s picture.


    • Tess says:

      But DJ is a horny teenager, and all horny teenagers can think about is dating? Amiright? Uhhhggg…. fuck this show.


  5. Dr. Bitz says:

    For a moment I thought this was the episode Stephanie dabbles in Jewish mysticism…must’ve been a different one.


  6. Lacerracer says:

    I have to admit that this episode is why I know how to spell “success”…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tess says:

    Though I had completely forgotten this episode, once I saw the post for it, I remembered it instantly and mostly in its horrible entirety. I think the reason this one sticks out in my mind is because it actually had a valuable lesson hidden within it.
    It taught me a mnemonic device for spelling “success,” (“double c, double s, and you will always have success”). It also taught me mnemonic is a ridiculous looking word, but I wouldn’t actually learn to spell it until I got really into William Gibson.

    I think it is telling that Danny specifically taught her to spell “success” (and if my memory serves me, pretty much nothing else). The Tanners just sort of expect to win at everything all the time. It’s actually probably the best written episode of the show, just because, I guess, learning to spell success and then failing instantly is as close as the show will ever get to understanding “irony” or “thematic elements.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billy Superstar says:

      there’s also some creative editing, with scenes cutting between stephanie and davey chu’s spelling battle and michelle trying to learn to read. it’s almost like someone gave a shit or had some sort of actual creative aspiration when they made this episode.


  8. “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.”

    I don’t know, i won a big blue eyes contest. Let’s see an asian kid win that!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sean says:

    My version of hell would be to have to watch this shit 24/7. I’m amazed if you don’t have little knife scars all up and down your arms Superstar.


  10. Uncle Jersey says:

    Well, after being super late to this party and not discovering this blog until a few days ago, I am officially caught up.

    Seriously though, I love how Davey Chu is smarter than everyone in the full house. When Stephanie goes to spell her word in that spelling bee, and gets it dead ass wrong, the dads all stand up and cheer before the judge has a chance to say that she actually totally fucked up and got it wrong. This proves that they all thought it was spelled “numonic” or however the fuck she spelled it, and it shows yet again that those fucking Tanners are so obnoxious, you literally cannot take them anywhere.


    • Katie says:

      They also cough “do over” which only encouraged her whining when she was eliminated. Kind of disappointed that was left out of the review. Totally understand all things can’t be covered but I think that was an important aspect. Yeah the guys had to drag her off stage, but they were obnoxious fucks just prior.


  11. Corey says:

    And now, Full House begins to how us how fucking stupid and useless Michelle is. While DJ and Stephanie were both shown to be smart, athletic, and reasonably talented at singing/dancing, Michelle can’t fucking read, can’t tie her fucking shoes, can’t kick a fucking soccer ball into the right goddamn goal, and can’t sing Yankee Doodle fucking Dandy.

    (I think these traits were unavoidable, considering that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were always behind the curve of normal development. Seriously, they’re 8 when the show ends but still have the speech patterns of a 4-year-old.)

    But do you think they stop trying to shove Michelle down our throats as the greatest ape-faced child to ever walk this earth? No. For some reason, they want us to keep believing that.


    • Katie says:

      Interesting point. The other girls have some form of talent or extracurricular activities. What does Michelle do other than shove food in her face and act like an asshole?


    • trlkly says:

      I guess that’s what you get when you hire a baby. They had no idea what kind of talents they would have, and with everything Hollywood being handed to them, had no reason to learn at the time.

      Also, she can’t sing, unlike all the others. We find that out in that dream sequence about Stephanie becoming a dancer.


      • Bridget says:

        Trikly, did you ever read “Flowers in the Attic”? In that book, Corinne the mom tells her 4 kids what she will do for them when their grandfather kicks off. She said she would send the oldest son, Chris to med. school, oldest daughter can continue with ballet lessons, youngest twin son, Cory would get music lessons and for Cory’s twin sister, Carrie, she would do whatever she wanted. When I read that, I felt sorry for Carrie because all her siblings had these talents she didn’t have! Chris was so brilliant and very artistic as well and I wondered why VC Andrews didn’t give Carrie that talent. Michelle reminds me of Carrie because both of them seem to have no talents or abilities in anything! VC did make it up to Carrie in “Seeds of Yesterday” because she made her a wonderful cook, seamstress, and secretary only to kill her off! Michelle never develops talents and she is like that older version of Michelle from her dad and uncles’ nightmare!


      • Bridget says:

        Oh, wait, Carrie was dead in “Seeds of Yesterday” and I meant “Petals on the Wind.”. Cathy was the ballerina in the family as well.


  12. Bridget says:

    Not to mention dialing 800 numbers on the phone when she thought that’s what a 1-800 number is.


  13. Bridget says:

    Michelle thinking she married Steve for real and Denise was the minister who married them and I don’t remember Denise taking religious courses at all.


  14. DawnieP says:

    “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.” She’s such an asshole Parthenon!


    • motoxchick says:

      Thank you. Thank you for bringing back an almost extinct catchphrase, I’d almost completely forgot!

      I see we are starting to take a swing into Stephanie territory, where most of the episodes seem to revolve around her and her amazing dancing and…wait…what’s her other talent? It’s been a while since I was on the blog, has she done her fuck up of the Motown Philly routine yet? Well, at least the focus has swung toward her and we get less and less Michelle the Ape Child, whose only talents are eating sugary foods and acting like an imbecile.


  15. Teebore says:

    Oh man, Davey Chu is awesome!

    She announces that she won her class’s spelling bee and is now going to compete in the 4th grade finals.

    Two Stephanie-centric episodes in a row? Crazy!

    …then he does an impression of Sylvester the cat

    For a moment I read that as “does an impressive Sylvester the Cat” and I thought I’d slipped into Bizarro World for a moment…

    I wonder how often Danny makes his children wash their hands.

    ‘Til they’re raw.

    Stephanie is called up first (naturally) and asked to spell “mnemonic,” which, ironically, she can’t do.

    Dramatic irony aside, that seems like a tough word with which to start a 4th grade spelling bee.

    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.

    Seriously, I love this kid.

    Well, anyway, I guess Michelle can read now.

    Not that this show has ever bothered itself with logic before, but why wasn’t she learning any of this in, you know, school? I get that it’s good for parents to work with their kid on reading outside the classroom, but shouldn’t she have picked up some of the basics in school already?


    • Tayci says:

      I was thinking this. Isn’t she in Kindergarten? They learn that shit there although they don’t seem to mention anyone taking her. Anyways, my 3 year old knows his alphabet, it ain’t that hard for a 5 year old.


      • sherlokiana says:

        yeah, well it depends on the child… I learned my alphabet at five, but it was because i only spoke spanish before kinder and i had to know the english alphabet, so i learned it at kindergarten…
        My little brother could read at four and had finished all seven narnia books the day he turned six (he was reading them since age five) but my six year old sister has trouble larning the alphabet… mk and ash olsen must have been homeschooled, and they probably didnt have much time to study… my six year old sister knows the sounds of the letters, and she can read a little, but she cant say the alphabet, she knows the letters, just not the order… shes actually very smart, but she has a hard time paying attention… she plays the violin and that helps her, but she not stupid because she doesnt know the alphabet, my five year old sister, she still doesnt know how to read, but shes one of the smartest kids i know… it reaññy just depends on the child….


  16. Bridget says:

    It’s Mary-Kate and Ashley’s 26th b-day today! I thought they were quite funny on SNL when they did the fake commercial for their perfume line.


  17. kp199 says:

    You know, with all of this failed musician crap going on, I’m REALLY surprised the FH producers never made Jesse become some big star. Usually on crappy sitcoms, the character gets to become what they ~dreamed of when they were young. I’m glad they didn’t, because no way in hell would he have become some big star. His music sucked.


    • sherlokiana says:

      i actually liked his music… maybe because i was moe concentrated in how hot he was than in his actual singing, but hey, hes not thqt bad… by the way, im new here, i found this awesome blog a few weeks ago and i started commenting today… haha


  18. missi says:

    I just want to thank you Mr. Superstar. Your screenshots do such an amazing job making these idiots look like the dicks they are. I hate these people.


  19. e_x_i_t says:

    The “Stephanie fucks up at the spelling bee” episode, I could’ve sworn she ended up winning somehow, with the other kid losing by default for using steroids or some shit. This also show just how truly obnoxious Stephanie really is, she chokes and then demands a second chance. Who the fuck does she think she is, Michelle? Seriously, why hasn’t she just jumped off the Golden Gate bridge by now is beyond me.

    Speaking of bratty children, Michelle bitches that she doesn’t know how to read. This is the same girl that bails out of class within 30 seconds and is almost never in school, probably because she always manages to manipulate the Dads into letting her stay home. Well duh Michelle, you can’t read because you never tried to learn in the first place.


  20. Dawn says:

    Hey…no one mentioned that they brought back Stephanies ‘hot ass’ teacher as the moderator of the spelling bee. They can’t get Jessies horrible band the same from episode to episode but they remember to bring back this tool WTF I don’t get it But….I Love this Blog!


    • JPR says:

      The high turnover in “Jesse & The Rippers” is probably the most accurate thing this show did. Bands ALWAYS have members jumping in and out. See Spinal Tap for further info.


  21. Yousuck says:

    If you think the show is so fucking stupid dont reveiw it for god damn sake is it your show to add a bad word to every sentance to judge them when there actors man fuck you


  22. cincee says:

    Was…was that English?


  23. catwalkspy says:

    I miss Rad Harry.


  24. Cara says:

    “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.”

    HAHAH I’m surprised no one else commented on this hilarity. You have quite the way with words, Billy Superstar🙂


  25. Ashley says:

    I don’t understand how Michelle didn’t know a little about reading. I used to volunteer in preschools, Kindergarten classes and a first grade class. They were always learning the letters and the letter sounds. I understand she didn’t know how to read, but how didn’t she know vowels and everything? What is she learning when she is in school then? She should know the letter sounds by then. One of the classes I volunteered in knew the letters, the sounds and the the letter in sign language. She must go to a crappy school.


  26. Rob says:

    I remember taking issue with this episode because Dat is totally a word. There was this brainiac Vietnamese kid in my 7th grade class and his name was Dat Vu. Was there a point to everything I just said? No. Just that this show totally sucks donkey balls.


  27. Waterlily says:

    I usually like Stephanie but she really is obnoxious in this episode, especially at the spelling bee. That’s what makes me like Davey Chu’s digs at her so much.

    “That trophy will look nice in my room.”
    “Only if I let you borrow it.”

    “They don’t call me The Human Dictionary because I’m good at kickball.”

    “Can I put this trophy down? It’s getting heavy.”

    I second everyone’s comment about him being awesome.


  28. Odotry says:

    Go David Chu! Show these Tanners what for!

    Michelle is 4 and doesn’t know how to read? I mean by now she should know the alphabet and the pronunciation of each letter, enough to read simple words. I guess considering Danny displayed some decent parenting in this episode, they had to show how much he fucked up with Michelle.


  29. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    Loser should have been teleported back three years to Tienanmen Square in 1989.


  30. John Q says:

    I love how this cheap-ass show only has 4 kids in a single elimination spelling bee. How long was it going to last, 6 minutes? And mnemonic for the first word in a forth grade single elimination spelling bee?? I don’t think I even knew what the word meant let alone how to spell it until high school or college. And I guess they didn’t want the bee to last very long because Stephanie gets the first word wrong.

    *What was the point of the jingle B story? It was kind of pointless and never resolved, it was just a bunch of nonsense.

    *I love how Danny gives a mildly racist remark in that “There will always be a Davey Chu that’s better than you”.

    *Where the heck is Becky during this whole stupid episode??

    *As somebody said before, this might be the most ape-shit the audience ever went over rather mediocre or ordinary stuff.

    *They never really talk about how Stephanie lost the wager and will now have to be Davey Chu’s personal school slave for a week.


  31. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    Does Davy Chu own half of ‘Murica these days? Like half the Asians?


  32. Emaleeyah says:

    This episode you guys… I LOVE this episode because finally someone in their family didn’t get their way.
    I swear when Stephanie started getting all upset and saying she wanted a do over I thought the judge would be moved and bend at her whim, disregarding all the normal rules to give Stephanie her damn do over because that shit happens A LOT in this show.
    Then when she had the spell off with Davie Chu in the living room I was like “well they just have to let her win somehow” but she lost AGAIN I lost it when that shit happened😄 best episode ever.
    I do have a couple questions though, did Chu walk to the Tanner house from the spelling bee?
    You would think someone drove him there on the way home but… Were they just sitting in the car the whole time while he had that mini spelling bee?
    Idk but I sure am glad he stuck around to whip her ass again really quick.
    It seems


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