Season 5, Episode 20, “Driving Miss D.J.”

Well, here we are again.  Another week, another Full House review.  I wonder if this episode is going to be any good.  What do you think, everybody?

Pre-Credits Gag:  Joey tries to convince Michelle that Mr. Woodchuck can actually talk but she figures out that it’s bullshit.  He admits that he was just trying to trick her and she says, “duh!”  Man, she says that like every episode.  I have no memory of that being a thing on this show but it’s actually like her #1 catch phrase.  Well, shit, I guess I should feel good about watching every episode of this shitty garbage every week because now I know things like that.

Becky tells Jesse that she wants to have a family picture taken but he refuses because he always has to give her shit any time she wants to do anything, even something simple like this.  He finally agrees to do it under the condition that the kids look “cool,” which is pretty much going to end up exactly how you think it will.

DJ comes home with her new learners permit and wants Danny to let her take the car out.  Danny is clearly reluctant to help her learn to drive but is eventually persuaded into giving her a lesson.

Stephanie is hanging out with her friend Rita when Michelle comes in and interrupts them by being a big attention starved asshole.  Rita is like the most amazing friend in the history of the show (excluding Kimmie Gibbler, of course.  She’s more than a friend.) because she has these really emotive reactions the second anything happens.  She’s really working hard for that $45 a day (plus craft services) that her Mom’s going to spend immediately.

So Michelle wont leave Stephanie and Rita the fuck alone so Stephanie tells her that she’s going to summon the “hairy, scary monster.”  Michelle gets freaked out and runs to Joey’s room so she can bother even more people with her stupid bullshit.  Joey explains that there’s no such thing as the hairy, scary monster and that Stephanie just told her that because she’s an annoying pain in the ass.  He tells her that she should learn a lesson from all of this but she just proclaims that she’s going to seek revenge instead, which Joey makes no effort to discourage.

Danny’s obsessive compulsive disorder really flies off the charts when he tries to teach DJ how to drive.  It’s kind of refreshing to see an episode that focuses on what a bad father Danny is.  I feel like he’s gotten off kind of easy a lot of the time, especially in the earlier Seasons when he was the only one with a job.  But, no, Danny Tanner is a terrible father with horrible kids, and don’t you ever forget it.  His compulsions don’t end with his constant irresistible drive for cleanliness.  He’s also a controlling weirdo, and completely incapable of giving his daughter simple driving instructions in an empty parking lot without getting into a big shitty argument and then driving home all pissed off.

So, yeah, naturally, Jesse dresses his kids up like biker guys for the family portrait.  Becky doesn’t even get mad because at this point she’s just totally resigned to a lifetime of this shit.

Danny and DJ enter the full house and continue their big argument about driving instruction.  Jesse interjects and accidentally volunteers himself as DJ’s new driving instructor in the process.

Rita and Stephanie read a trashy teen magazine article about Doogie Howser’s most intimate secrets, which is a pop culture reference that has aged like a fine wine.  Michelle comes in and starts being a big pain in the ass again so Stephanie brings back her hairy, scary monster routine.  After she fails to summon the monster, Michelle’s like, “what now, bitch?” so Stephanie opens their door in protest, only to find a monster behind it.

So obviously the monster was Joey, which makes me wonder yet again what the fuck this guy is doing still living in the full house.  He’s a grown man who even has a good job now, but for some reason he totally wants to sleep in a shitty room that shares a hallway with a bunch of young girls.  Why?  I don’t know.  I guess because he couldn’t pass up on all these choice opportunities to do things like scare the shit out of them, or to show them his terrible impressions, or enforce heavy-handed morals onto them.  I don’t know, man.  What a stagnant, facile character.

Wait, Uncle Jesse’s got a baller ass Mustang?  Since when?  That’s totally new, right?  I remember that Danny had a real fancy car in that episode where Jesse accidentally wrecked it, and I remember Joey inexplicably having a fancy car in that one episode where Stephanie ran it through the kitchen, but I don’t remember Jesse ever having a fancy car.  It’s almost like there’s some sort of pattern forming here, but I can’t quite figure out what it is just yet.  Well, anyway, Jesse starts spouting this real Zen approach to driving and tells DJ to be cool and feel the car and shit like that.  About 5 seconds after she starts driving, she makes a real bad turn and scrapes the shit out of the side of the car.  Oh!  I get it now!  The dads on Full House get a car when someone needs to fuck it up!

Back at the full house, DJ works really hard to make both Jesse and Danny feel guilty about not being more supportive of her driving.  She never once acknowledges that she just totally fucked up Jesse’s car.  Danny tells her that it’s hard to see her grow up and all that shit and then both Danny and Jesse agree to work together to teach her how to drive.  Seriously, though, she just totally fucked up Jesse’s car.  I think that there should be repercussions for that.

Gentle music plays as DJ drives for the first time and I guess we’re supposed to feel all sentimental, like she’s really growing up now, but fuck that shit, man.  DJ can eat my ass.

Firsts:  Jesse’s Mustang, which we’ll totally never see again; DJ drives a car

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43 Responses to Season 5, Episode 20, “Driving Miss D.J.”

  1. Hebrewersfan says:

    I had never thought about the fact that they only have nice cars when they need to get fucked up. Hilarious. Haven’t they all been red cars too? And I could be wrong, but when we get to the episode where DJ manages to get her principal’s car on the roof, wasn’t that a nice red car too?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane says:

    I’ll tell you why Joey is still living there – housing in SF is expensive! I doubt he’s making enough doing a local children’s TV show to afford a house like the Full House. Plus, having his own place will mean having to take on adult responsibilities.


    • Uncle Jersey says:

      Yeah, like wiping his own ass.


    • Tess says:

      He can live in Oakland and fucking commute then, like some damn adults that I know.


    • BlondieRock13 says:

      Was it really that expensive in the 90’s though? Not to mention Joey’s been living there for like 5 years and not paying for anything. There’s no way that guy doesn’t have at least $20k tucked away by now and the ability to get a studio apartment. What I debate is how much money Danny actually makes. I doubt it’s more than $200k a year. So I’ve always been under the assumption that he’s sitting on a massive life insurance policy payout from his dead wife. Because there’s no fucking way he could afford to support 3 kids and 3 adults otherwise.


      • JPR says:

        It’s mentioned that his wife was killed by a drunk driver. Maybe the drunk driver was rich so Danny was able to take him to the cleaners?


  3. Bridget says:

    I think DJ should have channeled Don Draper and slapped Danny in the face when he was being hysterical and said, “Dad, calm down! I swear I feel like I’m driving with a little boy!”


  4. SZA says:

    Could DJ dress any less sexy? Is it just me, or does she always look like a great big les???


  5. “The dads on Full House get a car when someone needs to fuck it up!”


    “Fuck that shit, man. DJ can eat my ass.”

    Oh, man I died.


  6. Shawn Hambright says:

    “Rita and Stephanie read a trashy teen magazine article about Doogie Howser’s most intimate secrets, which is a pop culture reference that has aged like a fine wine.” Absolutely brilliant. There is a reason this is pretty much the only blog I read.


    • Comet says:

      It’s up there with that time Danny is prepping DJ for testimony during Danny’s traffic court. Instead of a Bible, he makes her swear on a Teen Beat or something and says “please place your hand on Fred Savage”, to which she replies “any time”. Gross.


    • Tess says:

      This episode is very much the turning point for me in this series. I remember this episode 100% for real. It’s one of my more clear memories from this show. Here’s why:
      It’s when Stephanie takes over DJ’s role as budding pre-teen, and Michelle takes over Stephanie’s role as, I don’t know… Middle child? The point is we now have two dumb drooling babies to take over Michelle’s role.
      Everybody moves up one spot in the “child hierarchy”. I guarantee you, within the next couple episodes we will start seeing more of that guy who provided the voice for Aladdin and DJ will fulfill some kind of role that never existed on the show before… I’m not sure what that is. Maybe as another example of everything this show does wrong.
      One thing I am not clear on, but remember vaguely, is who takes over for Kimmie Gibbler? Is it this Rita character, or somebody else? I seem to recall that in the later episodes Stephanie acquires a friend Michelle hates. Much in the same way everyone in the tanner household hates Kimmie. Uhm…. wow… sorry. I got off on a tangent. I was trying to say something about Dougie Howser.


  7. Teebore says:

    He finally agrees to do it under the condition that the kids look “cool,” which is pretty much going to end up exactly how you think it will.

    Ah, Christ, let it go, Jermsey…

    Danny is clearly reluctant to help her learn to drive but is eventually persuaded into giving her a lesson.

    Man, if only this episode ended with DJ driving the car through the kitchen too.

    …so Stephanie tells her that she’s going to summon the “hairy, scary monster.”

    Crap, now I suddenly remember this episode. And I can’t get Stephanie doing her summoning routine out of my head. It’s almost worse than Joey!

    He’s also a controlling weirdo, and completely incapable of giving his daughter simple driving instructions in an empty parking lot

    But hey, location shooting!

    So, yeah, naturally, Jesse dresses his kids up like biker guys for the family portrait.

    Seriously, when was the last time Jermsey dressed like that? Season one? He’s not even cool anymore, even if you buy into the notion that the biker look is “cool”.

    She never once acknowledges that she just totally fucked up Jesse’s car.

    To be fair, she did get some pretty shitty driving advice. I mean, if you tell someone to do something but not how to do it, it’s not really fair to blame them when they suck at it.

    DJ can eat my ass.

    Not that I don’t disagree with that sentiment, however.


  8. Uncle Jersey says:

    I really thought the kids were gonna be dressed like Elvis instead of bikers.


  9. Khoreia says:

    Why are all of them always in the house?? We are supposed to believe that a moderately well to do white middle class SF family with children at that age are always inside their impossibly large home? At the same time? During the day? Why am I even asking. Nevermind.


  10. Madeline says:

    I’m so fascinated that the awfulness of nearly every aspect of this show went largely unnoticed for over a decade. How did this slip by under the radar for so long, and what does it say about our culture that it did? It’s just so entirely shitty and backwards. Thank god someone noticed and was brave enough to point it out. You are doing crucial work here. I really hope that somewhere an anthropologist or sociologist is filing away each recap for some sort of research synthesis.


  11. Kamdan says:

    That stuff with Danny teaching DJ how to drive is gold!

    “Dad, I have to learn to drive with music, like a normal person.”
    “I don’t want you driving like a normal person, I want you to drive like me!”

    “Check for pedestrians, stray cattle…”
    “Dad, we’re in an empty parking lot.”
    “Are you going to question everything I say?”
    “Sorry… no cattle.”

    “Now, secure the liter bag secure!”


    “Lets master the fine art of riding the brake.”
    “Dad, I think a snail just passed us”

    “STOP THE CAR! You’re heading straight for that tree!”
    “Dad, you can’t mean that tree on the other end of the lot. I’m nowhere near it!”


  12. Nathaniel says:

    Now that I’m caught up, what the fuck am I suppose to do? I do wish you would review something that didn’t make you want to kill yourself. “the Cosby show”? Maybe?


  13. Bridget says:

    Everyone, there is another cool snarky website titled “You Miss Your Old Familiar Friends” and it is about Full House. You can type Ugsnot Michelle Tanner and get on it that way as well.


  14. Kelli says:

    So… she got her learner’s permit but doesn’t know how to drive… ?


    • Stacy says:

      It’s been forever and a day since I’ve done all the getting licensed to drive stuff, but I think in most/a lot of places you take a written test (no driving) to get your learners permit. Once you have that you’re supposed to start learning how to actually drive in a vehicle (time honored traditions seem to dictate that it’s dad teaching the kid in an empty parking lot). After bit of time the person with the learners permit goes back to the DMV and takes the road test and if they pass will be granted a real license so they can drive by themselves if/once they are of legal age. (For example, I passed my road test before I was 16, so just had to wait until I turned 16 to drive by myself. In the meantime, I could drive on the roads but with a licensed driver.)

      (Sorry if you were just being sarcastic and knew all this and I missed your sarcasm.)


      • Stacy,

        It has been a long time since I got a learner’s permit, but I had to take Driver’s Ed and Driver’s Training classes in school PRIOR to getting it. Which means we actually had to know how to drive before subjecting our licensed adult companion to our terrible driving skills. By the time we got learner’s permits, we could damn sure drive. This was in California in 1971.


      • Swimmer says:

        I got my license a few years ago and it works the same way as in the show: you get your permit when you turn 16 (by passing a written test) at which point you can learn to drive with a parent. In PA you have to wait until 6 months of having a permit to get a license.


  15. fullhousereviewedfan says:

    For starters, I love this site!! As a classic car guy, Uncle Jesse is a dumbass for letting DJ, an inexperienced driver, get behind the wheel of his antique Mustang in the first place!! There would be no way in Hell I would let a 15 year old drive that car!! Even Dannys stupid ass was smart enough to teach her in a Taurus instead of his classic Oldsmobile Convertible he drives in the opening credits!!


  16. Ashley says:

    Joey is never going to move out. He’ll still be the full house even after the twins move out. He’s found his free ride for the rest of his life.


  17. Odotry says:

    Jesse looks like a kid trying to combine the biker look with the gangster look, failing miserably in both regards. Seriously, his dick must be 20 inches long if Becky’s putting up with all this shit.


  18. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    Do the Tanners get free shit because of Pam’s brains being splattered across Lombard Street, and people feel sorry for them in all?

    This is truly a white minstrel show, and I’m lovin’ every minute of it.

    But while we’re on the subject of naughty driving…

    1) You would think that Mr. T would have brought up what happened to Gloria’s mother before they went out onto the parking lot.

    2) Hermset freaked out when he saw G Money drinking a Genny Cream in the school locker. I don’t want him giving driving tips.

    At least they said no radio in the car.


  19. bleh says:

    Everyone in my family still refers to the far right lane on highways as “the geeks and nerds lane” from this episode! I guess that is one mildly funny thing that came from this show.


  20. Matt says:

    You forgot another first – Rita. And in true Full House fashion, Rita is also a last.


  21. ANoelle says:

    Why couldn’t the writers have made Danny super nervous about DJ driving because of what happened to her mother instead of some generic “afraid to let you grow up” crud?


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