Season 2, Episode 18. “Goodbye Mr. Bear”

Pre-Credits Gag:  Michelle sings along with a wind-up ballerina, creating a song where every word is “baby.”  She makes Uncle Jesse sing it, too, but then she interrupts him and sings it herself again.

Danny assembles the full house together at 7 am for Spring cleaning, which is pretty goddamn fascist if you ask me.  Just to drive the point home, there’s another installment of the reoccurring joke in which Danny brainwashes Michelle with anti-dirt propaganda.

As Stephanie sorts old toys to give away to charity, Michelle tries to purloin Mr. Bear.  Stephanie intercepts and explains that Mr. Bear is very important to her just as Joey enters the room with a big garbage bag to take the old toys away in.

Jesse enters Danny’s freshly-cleaned kitchen and accidentally breaks a handle off of a cabinet door.  Danny totally flips out but Jesse assures him that he’s going to fix it.  When Jesse asks Michelle if she wants to drive to the hardware store with him she refuses with the explanation of, “car dirty.”  I bet Howard Hughes’ dad was a lot like Danny.

Stephanie gets all freaked out because she can’t find Mr. Bear.  As Joey helps her retrace her steps, he realizes that he might have accidentally given Mr. Bear to charity.  Once Stephanie is left alone, she actually prays to God to bring Mr. Bear back.  This is pretty interesting to me because this show always seems like it follows some sort of Christian Fundamentalist set of values but they never really discuss religion, probably for the sake of marketability.  So even though religion is never directly addressed, you know there’s some God-fearing value set behind everything, kind of like Family Circus cartoons.  I wonder if this is the only time in the whole series where religion is overtly practiced?  I guess if you were gonna pray to God just one time in your whole life, it’d be to bring Mr. Bear back.

DJ discovers that Uncle Jesse’s attempt to replace the broken handle has lead to a complete remodeling of the kitchen.  They do one of those tired ass routines where DJ tries to stall Danny from seeing the kitchen but then he sees it anyway and flips out.
There’s an endless segment where Jesse frantically explains why he fucked up the kitchen and Danny is supposed to be so mad that he can’t speak and, man, anytime they emphasize Danny’s face you just wanna run your fist through it so bad

Stephanie literally pulls a cop into the full house (where from?  I have no idea!) to report that Mr. Bear is missing and for some reason he’s totally willing to help her.  Joey enters the scene and confesses that he probably gave Mr. Bear away by accident and you can see in Stephanie’s eyes that this is the exact moment that she truly realizes what a worthless fuckhead Joey is.

As Stephanie makes search posters for Mr. Bear, DJ tries to console her by recounting the loss of her beloved Pillow People doll.  Stephanie then immediately finds DJ’s doll and of course DJ is elated, which is not as much an entirely predictable gag as it is a blatant product placement for Pillow People.


Jesse unveils the newly redone kitchen.  I guess the producers decided to update the set or something.  Meanwhile, in the living room, Grandma and Grandpa show up with a bunch of new stuffed bears for Stephanie and Michelle lunges for them.

Stephanie refuses any substitutes for Mr. Bear and the whole family all sit around eating chicken and wondering why the fuck she’s so smitten by that stupid fucking stuffed bear.  The family all head up to Stephanie’s room to console her some more, sans Grandma and Grandpa, who apparently had something better to do.  It’s kind of weird how they just sort of force the Grandparents into these brief scenes every few episodes for no real reason.

As the family all stand around and waste their valuable time reminiscing about Mr. Bear, they arrive at the revelation that Mr. Bear was a gift from the kids dead Mom on the day Michelle was born.  The music comes on and DJ talks about how it’s getting harder to remember their mom and Danny reveals for the first time that the cause of her death was a car accident.  I always assumed that she died in childbirth or, more likely, at the sight of the hideous child she’d just unleashed into the world.  It also seemed pretty feasible that she took a good look at the obnoxious bunch of morally self-righteous cornball assholes that she’d come to share her life with and made the very rational decision of doing herself in.  This seems even more probable after everyone shares their memories of her, all of which are about how she would enable or accommodate their stupid bullshit.  Jesse story actually ends with, “she must have really loved me.”  After an endless series of schmaltzy remembrances it is concluded that Pam will never die because she’ll live forever in their self-absorbed memories, and then they all agree to sit together in the living room to watch old home movies of her.

As they watch the home videos we see Pam onscreen for the first time.  I’m still mystified by her having blonde hair, what with her Greek heritage and all, but I guess there needed to be some justification for her and Danny having three blonde daughters, no matter how implausible it was.  Mr. Bear also appears in the video, which prompts Michelle to pull him out of the hiding spot she’d stashed him in.   Remember when she tried to take him earlier, and how excited she got when Grandma brought all those replacement bears over?  Yeah, I know, it’s a pretty obvious and lame outcome, but at least they made an effort to lay groundwork for something this time.  So Stephanie is reunited with Mr. Bear, once again divulging this shows primary life lesson:  everything will be fine as long as everyone gets exactly what they want all the time.  The episode wraps with a long silent pan of the whole family watching the videos, with occasional shots of Pam interspersed.  I kept waiting for her to fall over or get hit in the face with a football but I guess this episode must predate America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Firsts:  Praying to God, new kitchen, Pam onscreen, cause of Pam’s death revealed

38 thoughts on “Season 2, Episode 18. “Goodbye Mr. Bear”

  1. Danny assembles the full house together at 7 am for Spring cleaning, which is pretty goddamn fascist if you ask me.

    You know, when I was a kid my mom had a Danny Tanner-esque approach to cleaning, and I’m going to ask him the same question I asked her: if you’re ALWAYS militant about cleaning, what’s the point of spring cleaning? If he’s that obsessive, shouldn’t the house ALREADY be clean?

    You can see in Stephanie’s eyes that this is the exact moment that she truly realizes what a worthless fuckhead Joey is.

    Great screen cap of that.

    Jesse unveils the newly redone kitchen.

    Wait, so Jesse remodeled the entire kitchen in an afternoon, by himself? That might be the most unbelievable thing yet.

    And seriously, this show has proven time and again it cares fuck little about continuity, but they have to write a set redesign into the show?

    the whole family all sit around eating chicken

    They seem to eat a lot of chicken…

    • dang, thanks for all the feedback, teebore! i actually pointed out how uncle jesse seemed to be eating fried chicken all the time in season 1 and later listened to a commentary track by the series’ creator where he revealed that john stamos actually wanted uncle jesse to eat fried chicken all the time as a character trait. why? i have no idea!

    • If you think a half-ass musician remodeling a whole kitchen in an afternoon with no training to speak of is the most unbelievable thing on this show yet you must have missed the entry where they talk about Uncle Joey having a girlfriend.

  2. it’s amazing when they stare hauntingly at the television at the mother, and the episode ends in silence not filled up with corny jokes or baby talk. a historic, one-time-only moment in the series! also, to comment on the other post I’ve read today — it really is impressive how little attention the writers paid to any sort of continuity. gibler has a brother? and what about joey’s GF cheryl?

    • Watching the show has a kid, I remember being flabbergasted when they made Comet a recurring character. Even eight year old me recognized their lack of continuity.

  3. The most horrifying thing that’s dawned on me about this show is that I’m sure getting a place on the writing staff was pretty competitive, and that this, nevertheless, is the best they could do. Although I’m sure the writers would blame the network. Do you dare defend yourselves, writers?!

    • i think that the only reason it was competitive is because it was the cushiest gig in show business. the time spent writing these scripts is probably less than the length of the episodes themselves.

  4. Danny: I’m gonna start dinner.
    DJ: Uh, Dad, let’s go have some Chinese food.
    Danny: OK, why don’t we go to Chinatown?
    DJ: We always go to Chinatown. Let’s go to China.

    Jesse: You called the police because I messed up your kitchen?

    And why couldn’t he glue the handle back on? If the design was discontinued, then the handle must have been pretty old and bound to break off any time soon.

    • I’ve noticed that all of the hairstyles DJ has in the early seasons are exactly what Michelle Duggar and other fundie bitches are rocking some 20 plus years later.

  5. “I always assumed that she died in childbirth or, more likely, at the sight of the hideous child she’d just unleashed into the world. It also seemed pretty feasible that she took a good look at the obnoxious bunch of morally self-righteous cornball assholes that she’d come to share her life with and made the very rational decision of doing herself in.”

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHA that made me laugh so hard that i had to pinch the tip of my dick to keep from pissing the front of my pants!

  6. “You can see in Stephanie’s eyes that this is the exact moment that she truly realizes what a worthless fuckhead Joey is.”
    This with that perfect screen cap of Stephanie is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a looong time. Oh, how I love how you hate Joey.

  7. The actress who plays Pam is full blown blonde, and as you pointed out awhile ago, she SHOULD be dark haired, because both of her parents are, and because she’s Greek.

    • Very late to the game commenting here, but my mom is half Greek and quite a few of her relatives in Greece have blonde hair, so *shrug* I guess it’s possible. Then again, it raises the question of how she can have blonde hair while Jessie has dark hair, assuming they have the same parents.

      • White people are weird like that. I was born with black hair, had toehead blond hair as a toddler, and now have matured to a mixture of light brown and blond hair that looks like delicious ale in the sunlight. Plus my beard has brown, blond and red hairs in it. Nobody tops whites when it comes to genetic diversity.

        It’s entirely possible for her to be blond, is what I’m saying. What is QUITE improbable though, is all three of her kids being blonde. Especially with Danny Tanner contributing the Y chromosome.

        • While my knowledge of genetics is somewhat incomplete – in the same way an orchestra with just a violin is somewhat incomplete – I’m pretty sure Danny Tanner didn’t contribute any Y chromosomes to his three, female, daughters. Females have XX while Males have XY.

          Also, I’m VERY late to the party, but I’m enjoying this blog very much. Reading them all in order and loving it.

        • I know it’s late, but was your misspelling of “towhead” an intentional homage to Joey thinking his head was shaped like a toe??

  8. ” I always assumed that she died in childbirth or, more likely, at the sight of the hideous child she’d just unleashed into the world. It also seemed pretty feasible that she took a good look at the obnoxious bunch of morally self-righteous cornball assholes that she’d come to share her life with and made the very rational decision of doing herself in.”

    Another classic from Billy Superstar. Thank you for all the great entertainment!

  9. Just to contribute to the whole Greek/blonde hair debate… I also am Greek, blonde, and have naturally dark-haired parents (in fact, my brother and I are both natural blondes.) So it’s definitely possible, but I do agree that it’s less likely all three girls would be blonde with Danny having the dominant dark-haired gene. Then again, who am I to fathom the minds of the writers of Full House.

    I’m working my way through your blog from the beginning and I’m loving it so far. So funny and you are so entertaining!!! Can’t wait to keep reading.

    • Since Danny’s mom is blonde, he carries the blonde gene so it’s not out of the ordinary to have a blonde child, but 3 of them in which no brown haired child is born?

  10. Hi, Im not greek but my father and his sisters had blonde hair so did my paternal grandparents, my mother has dark brown hair and my brothers and i are all blonde, Now if Pam’s grandfather was blonde it would be possible, However like the other commenters it’s defiantly impossible for Pam’s children to all be blonde

    @ billy, I didn’t realize Pam was killed in a car crash until i watched the episode when kimmy came home drunk from a party. I thought she died in childbirth but i guess that’s show business

  11. Does it bother anyone else that in the home video, Joey is there when Pam comes home? If the show has any continuity at all, which I guess we’ve established it doesn’t, he shouldn’t be living there yet. So why would they let his pathetic, obnoxious ass be there when Pam comes home with their newborn, when he’s not even related? Isn’t it supposed to be an intimate family moment? I guess I’m just annoyed at what an out-of-place freeloader he is.

    I know I’m late but this is such a great blog! I keep bursting out laughing at awkward silent moments as I read it. Keep it up!

    • I have always wondered that too, and figured maybe Joey was babysitting Deej and Steph? Expectant parents didn’t bring their whole fam damnily into hospital delivery rooms back in those days, like they do now. Them kids be staying at home.

      As for why Pam is so damn blonde, maybe Mrs. Katsopolis had a special visit with the milkman, or the Grecian Formula delivery man, way back when?

      Also, a shout out to all the North American Bear Co. bears appearing in this episode! I didn’t have Humphrey Beargart but I had his wife and acting partner, Lauren Bearcall. She was a sexy, sexy bear, wearing a black veil and faux fur coat (because bears need fake mink coats?).

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