Season 3, Episode 14, “Misadventures in Babysitting”

Pre-Credits Gag:  Joey shows Michelle one of those mechanical flowers that dance when you play music.  Remember those?  They were pretty big around the time this episode aired, which is just the first of many tidbits of evidence in this episode that 1989 was a glorious year.  Exhibit B: check out Michelle’s cool shades.

Everybody in the full house is standing around waiting to use the phone because DJ wont stop gossiping with Kimmie Gibbler about all the heavy petting that’s going on at their middle school.  While they’re all waiting, Joey mentions to Danny that he needs a spot to play his poker game and Danny offers to join the game and host it at the full house.  Joey is hesitant to accept the offer because he’s wary of the social ramifications of Danny’s obsessive compulsive cleaning addiction but since he really doesn’t have anywhere else to go he eventually agrees.  Danny sees the game as an opportunity to make some changes to his behavior, probably because once Joey’s embarrassed of you, you can’t help but realize that it’s time for some personal growth.

Rebecca Donaldson and Jesse enter the scene and make a big point about how they’re finally getting along.  They discuss a disagreement they’re having about whether to visit either Rebecca Donaldson’s family or Graceland for the holidays and instead of reaching an agreement they just make out in front of everybody.  How could that even be a real argument?  Why are Jesse’s ideas always so fucking ludicrous?  Seriously, his girlfriend wants to go visit her family for the holidays and he wants to go to some tourist attraction instead?  There’s never any reason to take his side.

DJ’s phone hogging reaches a climax when Kimmie Gibbler comes over to the full house and, utilizing the cutting edge wizardry of cordless telephones, continues her phone conversation with DJ while they’re in the very same room.  Danny enters the scene and tells those broads to hang that shit up already and so DJ protests that she needs her own phone line.  Danny explains that he has two worthless assholes living in his house who don’t pay rent and a bunch of bratty materialistic daughters so even though he has a sweet job as a morning show host he can’t afford to get her a phone line of her very own.  Kimmie Gibbler breaks down the expenses of her own phone line at her house and Danny agrees to set it up if DJ can pay for it with her own money.  Kimmie Gibbler graciously offers up one of her babysitting gigs to DJ to help her earn money and with that you have:  a premise.

While the dads all play cards Stephanie is put in charge of putting the baby to bed and, boy does that baby give her a hard time!  Meanwhile, the dads put on their poker game with two guests, including that actor Bruce Baum, who kind of looks like Gallagher.  Those of you who have been taking notes may remember that he made an appearance as an MC at a comedy club in Season 1, but there’s no mention of whether he’s reoccurring as the same character or if that actor just happened to be hanging around the parking lot again when they were casting this episode.

So Danny tries to prove that his cleaning tendencies are not a psychosis by ignoring the poker guests slobbish behavior even though most of what they do defies basic human decency.  The guest who isn’t Bruce Baum brings a big stack of cigarette packs and chain smokes inside the full house the whole time they play the game.  You can’t just go to someone’s house and pull that shit!  I know that smoking has a lot more of a stigma these days than it did in the magical age of 1989 but even then you couldn’t just go into someone’s house and light up like that.  It’s hard to laugh at Danny suppressing his cleaning neurosis when you can actually sympathize with him.  Not that it would have been funny anyway, but I’m always really annoyed when I can actually empathize with these shitty characters.

Jesse starts bitching about Rebecca Donaldson at the poker game and is quickly whipped into a chauvinistic frenzy by the other players that results in him calling her up and acting like a gigantic asshole.  Doesn’t Jesse know better than to take advice about women from a bunch of gross dudes who never get laid?  Guys like that are always trying to recruit you into their ranks.

DJ starts her first night of babysitting by meeting a kid who, like Bruce Baum, has appeared on full house before as a bit character (he’s one of Stephanie’s friends) even though it’s not acknowledged in this episode.  The kids name is Brian and his parents are dirty hippies who are going to a Grateful dead concert.  Even though the parent’s personas are cartoonishly bad and totally unnecessary, it’s at least an attempt to represent some sort of archetype of the kinds of parents you might encounter in San Francisco.  So even though the representation is terrible, I’m so happy to see some element of the show where it seemed like someone almost sort of tried to do something that involved some consideration.  Anyway, as soon as the parents leave, Brian starts acting like a total shithead and jumping all over the furniture and yelling about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and DJ’s like, aw hell no, this babysitting shit aint all it’s cracked up to be!

Kimmie Gibler comes over and helps DJ assuage Brian.  They take their eyes off him for about ten seconds and he manages to get his head stuck in the banister.  While DJ searches for a way to free him, Kimmie Gibbler torments Brian by making him smell her stinky feet, which is just the first of many, many Kimmie Gibbler stinky feet references to come.  DJ rubs butter all over Brian’s head but when that doesn’t work she considers calling Danny to bail her out.

All of the poker players are forced to pretend that they’re sleeping in order to get Michelle to finally go to bed.  I guess when you sign up for an evening at the full house you have to be ready to participate in some corny bullshit like that.  DJ calls the full house and tells Danny that she needs his help so he leaves the game, but not before condemning the poker guests for being disgusting assholes.  The moment Danny exits, Rebecca Donaldson enters the scene and cuts Jesse’s balls off in front of his little boyfriends, which you totally can’t even blame her for.

Jesse and Rebecca Donaldson continue their inane debate after the guests flee the scene and finally decide to settle their issues with a poker game.  Before the game is won the two of them come to their senses and decide to discuss their issues rationally and reach a compromise.  It’s weird how we’ve barely seen Rebecca Donaldson at all this season and then we get two episodes in a row where she’s featured prominently and they’re pretty much exactly the same.  It’s like if she’s not arguing with Jesse about something he’s totally wrong about then the writers just have no idea what to do with her at all.

While Danny saws the banister apart so he can free Brian, DJ apologizes for being such a shitty babysitter and says she doesn’t deserve to have her own phone.  Danny consoles her and says that running to get her daddy to bail her out was better than trying to solve the problem herself and fucking it up even worse, which is a pretty confusing moral if you ask me.  At least the music never comes on.

Anyway, Brian’s parents come home before Danny is even able to free him from the bannister so it doesn’t even end up making any difference that he came, but they’re both peaking on acid when they get back anyway so they don’t even give a shit about what’s going on and hire DJ to babysit again next week.   Danny gets her a phone line of her very own in the final scene but then Stephanie gets a phone call instead of DJ.  Wah wah!

Firsts:  Kimmie Gibbler’s stinky feet, DJ’s own phone

56 thoughts on “Season 3, Episode 14, “Misadventures in Babysitting”

  1. so i’ve gone through and read most of this blog this week, and it struck me how much it almost reads like someone’s write up of the activities of their Sims, because the characters act so inexplicably all the time sometimes-kind-of-sort-of based on a few stock characteristics assigned to them in the beginning. i find this to be especially true whenever someone is angrily gawking at people making out or a random person just appears in the Tanner household without being let in, that is classic Sims behavior. so, props Full House for being about as emotionally complex as a computer game where the fake computer people can’t even figure out how to walk around a fucking plate if they place it on the ground in front of themselves.

    but, anyways: great blog, thanks for the procrastination fodder, i hope you do not come out of this project too psychologically damaged. keep it up.

    • omg! you are incredible- this is the greatest comment I have read! SPOT ON about the Sims and the Tanners!!!

      (teebore, your comments are great too, i just have a crazy love/hate relationship with the Sims and the Tanners)

    • I emphatically LIKE this comment!!

      PS For viewers of Teen Mom, I once made Sims of Amber and Gary and they acted pretty much as you’d expect. One night they had a party and no one put the baby to bed, and some nights Gary would refuse to sleep in the master with Amber, taking the child’s bed instead.

  2. Ah, the one where DJ babysits the kid who gets his head stuck in the railing (that’s how I remember it, at least)…

    DJ wont stop gossiping with Kimmie Gibbler about all the heavy petting that’s going on at their middle school

    Don’t they live next door to each other? Why are they even bothering with phones?

    Kimmie Gibbler comes over to the full house and, utilizing the cutting edge wizardry of cordless telephones, continues her phone conversation with DJ while they’re in the very same room.

    Well, that answers that. Sorta. Also, 1989 rules!

    They discuss a disagreement they’re having about whether to visit either Rebecca Donaldson’s family or Graceland for the holidays and instead of reaching an agreement they just make out in front of everybody. How could that even be a real argument? Why are Jesse’s ideas always so fucking ludicrous?

    Seriously. It would be one thing if they were arguing over a vacation during, I dunno, spring break, but for the holidays? It’s not that unreasonable for people to want to spend time with family and not at an Elvis museum.

    Also, isn’t Jesse essentially a freelance ad guy at this point? Couldn’t he go to Graceland whenever?

    Doesn’t Jesse know better than to take advice about women from a bunch of gross dudes who never get laid?

    Seriously, between the Gallagher lookalike and the guy who appears to still be wearing his letter jacket, where does Joey meet these people?

    Brian starts acting like a total shithead and jumping all over the furniture and yelling about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    1989 rules!

    Seriously…

  3. I can recall exactly the way Lori Laughlin says the phrase “macho idiots” when she storms the poker game. It reminds me of the part at the lake in Tommy Boy where the horrible love interest yells at the two boys.

    • Interesting fact: Julie Warner’s, who plays aforementioned horrible love interest, father wrote jingles for a living. I guess there’s something about that profession.

  4. I can’t help myself. I love this blog. My innocent child brain loved Full House when it was on, because it didn’t know any better. And now my cynical adult brain loves to see it ripped apart.

  5. So we finally get to the Kimmie Gibbler stinky feet gags. The two things I remember about Kimmie Gibbler is that she’s annoying (well, annoying to the rest of the cast which, in turn, makes her incredibly tolerable to the audience) and she has stinky feet.
    That’s two character traits and, as you know, that’s all a character gets on Full House (unless it’s Uncle Jesse, who gets the bonus character trait of liking fried chicken). John Stamos must’ve entered a secret code or something to get that….

  6. As someone who still occasionally watches the 6 AM showing of Full House on Nickelodeon while getting dressed for work–yeah, what of it?–I just want to thank you for what you’re doing. (It’s inspiring. I would do it with Golden Girls, except Golden Girls is actually terrific and awesome, and it wouldn’t be nearly this much torture).

    • thanks, caroline! you are the writer of our 200th comment! a few friends of mine have talked about doing a similar blog and the golden girls is always the top choice (i’ve also heard some rumblings about a night court one….). i think it’d be neat to do one of these about a show you actually liked. i say go for it!

      • I’m in the process of doing a similar blog for Degrassi: The Next Generation. It’s a wonderfully terrible mix of ridiculous drama portrayed by ugly Canadians who can’t act.

        Few people realize that rapper Drake had his start as Jimmy Brooks from Degrassi: TNG.

        • I am years late to this comment but I desperately need to locate this blog!! I (shamelessly) love Degrassi enough to have purchased several seasons on DVD, including Degrassi Junior High, and still follow the show now, in season 13 (shamefully.)

  7. I’m fairly certain I actually saw this episode. The image of girls talking on the phone on their beds on their elbows and with their feet kicked up in the air like that was imprinted on me so strongly that it was like, a) you’re supposed to talk to your best friend on the phone for hours at a time, and b) you must do it in this position. (Although in full disclosure, this was–and probably still is–portrayed ubiquitously and uniformly as the position all teen girls talk on the phone in, so this may not be an all that great sign that I’ve definitely seen this episode.)

    Anyhow, when it finally came to my turn in junior high to join the ranks of millions of other girls and talk to my best friend on the phone all evening, I assumed this position, and found it extremely uncomfortable. I never did it again. I usually laid in bed normal-style, or sat at my desk. Who are all these weirdo stomach-down-layer teen girls that this position is supposedly based on?! My theory? It’s the most photogenic, or what 40-something male, childless writers decided a spoiled teenaged brat would be doing while talking on the phone.

    But the second clue that I’ve seen this episode is the idiot kid getting his head stuck in the banister and their greasing his head with butter. But even this isn’t a sure give-away that I’ve seen this episode, because it sounds like a pretty common trope that must have been mandatory for all 80s sitcoms. But it’s kinda weird that I would remember that, and not, say, anything about the poker game. It’s just interesting to note what was so traumatizingly stupid that I still remember it, nearly twenty years later, and what was just blandly stupid.

  8. In that screen cap of Jesse and Rebecca Donaldson making out it totally looks like Joey is trying to rub one out as he looks on.

  9. Okay wtf at that second screen cap. Let’s sit down on the coffee table here in a super awkward and uncomfortable position and suck face!

    The pre-credit gags are really starting to bother me. They really are just a toddler acting like a toddler. I’m pretty sure the writers for the show were men, and not that men can’t love babies, but dude. The only people I can picture liking this show are overly conservative dumb women who want to land a man and have babies, but can’t. Plus kids, because kids will watch anything that somehow gets dubbed as “cool”. I honestly can’t figure out how the Olsen twins got so popular, either. Maybe because they were the only babies who were able to take any sort of acting cues? But there’s obviously a reason they don’t act anymore… because they suck at it. They only stayed in the spotlight because of horny pervs who decided they would be hot when they grew up, aka they already found them hot as children and needed a way to express that without sounding overtly pervy.

    • The olsen twins still act, that’s why they’re billionares… they own their own movie production company, which, you guessed it, cranks out shitty movies starring the olsen twins. they’ve made DOZENS of movies.. They have even made a movie on location in paris. They got money, and a laundry list of teen fans… they are a popular as can be without being marketed by disney.

      • Well, all those shitty movies and the 2 TV series they had were marketed by ABC Family, so that technically is the same thing as Disney.

      • Manos: “they are as popular as can be”
        You’re joking right? The Paris movie you’re referring to came out about 15 years ago. I’m pretty sure most teens don’t even know who they are.

  10. PS: what the hell is Danny wearing at the poker table? His clothing is always questionable at best, but is he trying to be cool? Hey chain smoker in a high school letter jacket – check out my totally badass sideways baseball cap and unbuttoned shirt!

    And Kimmy’s stinky feet… the most boring part of Kimmy Gibbler. She really is the best character on the show, and I love how she pisses off the Tanners… but the feet thing is so dumb and doesn’t even really make sense. But why am I looking for sense in this show?

  11. Oh, yes. The butter. When I watched this show for the first time, I was a little kid….like, seven. And even I thought it was MORONIC to put butter on the kid’s HAIR in an attempt to free him. As if that was what was holding him back. “If only we could restrain that one unruly cowlick, this kid would slide right out of the banister.”

    • My favorite line from this episode is when the kid finally gets out of the banister and his mom says, “Go get a piece of bread and wipe the butter off your head.”

  12. and why, WHY did “the head caught in the stairs” happen on like every tv show? i dont know about you, but i was totally a child once and it never occurred to me to shove my head places it didn’t belong. can they find some kind of device even slightly more based in reality?

      • When I was a kid, I tried to crawl through a similar chair and got stuck halfway at the waist. That’s right, I ended up wearing that chair like a belt.

        The sad part is, I must’ve been around 10 when it happened. My dad had to help me out. My sister laughed her ass off.

    • i got my head stuck in a stairway railing when i was 2 or 3, right about this time. must have got the idea subconsciously from this shit. i was a stupid child.

    • I got my head stuck between the railings too saying goodbye to someone when I was like three or four. I don’t remember how I got unstuck but I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve butter.

  13. I remember when I was a kid (same time around Michelle’s age) my cousins had a dancing 7UP can when you played music, I thought that was the coolest thing.

  14. This episode came on today…

    First…why do the dress michelle like all Danny can afford is goodwill…

    Secondly….I think this may be the point that bob sagat realizes he hates his life….you can see the hatred and disdain for the full house in his every line and nuance….

  15. “DJ’s phone hogging reaches a climax when Kimmie Gibbler comes over to the full house and, utilizing the cutting edge wizardry of cordless telephones, continues her phone conversation with DJ while they’re in the very same room.”

    OK, I don’t care how close the row houses in S.F. are. There is no way a 1989 cordless phone would have worked next door. At least she didn’t say “you’ll never guess where I’m calling you from!”

    “So Danny tries to prove that his cleaning tendencies are not a psychosis by ignoring the poker guests slobbish behavior even though most of what they do defies basic human decency.”

    By wearing his hat sideways over messy hair with an unbuttoned shirt? Grunge era, I think you owe some props to Danny Tanny for pioneering your fashion. Kurt Cobain who?

  16. So, the guy smoking is supposed to be right out of high school? His Letterman’s jacket says ’88. Why the hell is he hanging with a bunch of 30 year olds? And furthermore, isn’t poker illegal until you’re 21? Shame on you Full House.

    • What is funny about this image of the panda is in the last image of said panda, wasn’t it Rebecca Donaldson walking past it in a black dress just like this one? I might be mistaken, but for a second I thought it was the same pic. What a boring show… that is how you know you are watching Full House! When every scene looks exactly the same….

  17. The film quality in 1989 is surprisingly good. Seinfeld was around the same time and looks SUPER old, just sayin’.

    • I know nobody cares, but the difference in the look of this show and something like Seinfeld is because Full House was shot on videotape, while Seinfeld used actual 35mm film. Some of the syndication prints floating around were wonky-looking, but they actually did a full HD restoration of Seinfeld a few years ago and now it looks excellent, probably better than it did when it first ran.

      • Speaking of Seinfeld, I’m pretty sure the kid playing Brian also plays the sick kid on Seinfeld that wants Paul O’Neil to hit 3 home runs or he won’t give Kramer the signed birthday card back.

  18. I saw Stephen King’s “Storm of the Century” and in one scene at the day care, 5 year old Pippa Hatcher has her blond head stuck in the bannister. Her face is covered in strawberry jam and the kids want to feed her like a monkey at the zoo. The teacher tells them to stop and her husband the sheriff and Pippa’s dad arrive at the school. Sheriff Mike pushes Pippa’s nose and tells her that when he does that, her head will shrink enough to free her. In her mind, her head does shrink and they free her. My point is, they could have tried that and not get Brian messy with butter!

  19. My main thought while watching this episode “did that Grateful Dead concert last about an hour or what?” The parents left, went to the arena, watched the concert, drove back home, and the brat is still awake? What the hell? And that butter was fricking gross too. These parents make another appearance soon, pawning another baby off on the Tannners, stay tuned!

  20. Remember when waiting for the phone was a big deal? Nowadays, everybody has a cellphone and I bet it is a non-issue…and knowing this shitty show, if it was set today, even Michelle would have her own phone (but Stephanie would probably be jilted.)

  21. Also, the chain-smoking “19-year old” looks about 30-35, so I would be willing to bet that he’s borrowed the jacket from a young girl he’s recently taken advantage of….

    • LOL I almost spit out my water reading this.

      But, I assume it’s a high school male’s jacket, tying in the theme of all these homosexual men doing things together.

  22. I didn’t remember this episode at all up until the kids head got stuck in the banister. Then it all came back to me. What’s confusing is why that shit is the part I remember.

  23. I have been reading through these for the past two weeks, and I out of some weird masochistic nature, want to rewatch the episodes now. I don’t remember loving the show, and I only vaguely remember some bits, mostly the annoying catch phrases and that Joey is really not funny. And that DJ is not pretty, but I think you’re supposed to think so. Actually, none of the girls are pretty. I had a crush on Uncle Jesse, which is now a bit embarrassing. But I never thought Kimmie was the cool one, but rereading it, I realize she is the normal one. I always thought SHE was the rude imposing one.

  24. Just to clear up the letterman jacket. It’s not supposed to be from the class of 1988 because the guy is clearly about 30 years old. I think it’s a Roots jacket from Canada because you can see Canadian flag patch on the sleeve. The jacket might have come out in 1988 for the Calgary Olympics. Those letterman jackets were somewhat popular in the early 90′s usually without lettering. You can see Jerry Seinfield wear one without any patches or lettering.

    The actor’s name is Mike Binder. He used to do a lot of stand-up in the 1980′s. You would see him occasionally on “Catch A Rising Star” on HBO. He probably knew Dave Coulier and maybe got the job through him. He’s done some films probably most notably “Minority Report”. He also wrote & directed the 2007 film “Reign Over Me”. He also wrote and directed “The Upside of Anger” in 2005.

  25. I must have been home from college when this originally aired because I remember this episode. My sister would bring over my 4 year old niece to my mother’s house and we were “forced” to watch this show.

    I never understood how the kid’s head got stuck in the first place because the opening seemed way too narrow? Wouldn’t you logically be able to just get your head out of the same opening?

    The thing that stuck out re-watching this is that 7-8 year Stephanie is in charge of putting the 3 year old toddler to sleep while all the adult males are playing poker. WTF? Take care of damn child before you start playing cards with your loser friends. It’s odd to me in retrospect watching this in that it was perceived that Danny was such a great parent. Half of the time D.J. or Stephanie are responsible for taking care of Michelle. And this is another episode where Michelle is eating cookies. It seems like her diet is basically cookies and ice cream.

    And Danny come across like a massive cheapskate as he tells his daughter to pay for her phone line. Isn’t he some kind of big time morning t.v. guy??

    It’s also funny how people just casually smoked back then. Second hand smoke was like believing in Bigfoot or something. It’s actually kind of shocking to see people smoke and drink beer in the full house.

    And Jesse wanting to go to Graceland for Christmas is ridiculous. Seriously why the hell is she even dating this loser. It’s like the writers just come up with these ridiculous arguments between Jesse and Rebecca.

    • The dumb thing is when they actually decide to get married they have the same damn argument about whether they should get married in nebraska where here family is or graceland. Why is this even a question?

  26. Don’t know if this has been mentioned but Tony’s parents were played by the same people as the parents of that kid Brian who DJ had to babysit for.
    Were Tony and Brian supposed to be brothers or did they just reuse the same actors for a different storyline?

  27. I actually agree with Danny’s advice to her. If some shithead kid got his skull stuck through a banister, and you’re DJ aka a kid who either would just smear butter on his face or cut it off, then yeah, going to Danny was probably an A+ decision on your part.

  28. Why is someone as irresponsible as the deejay allowed to watch anyone?

    That kid could have strangled himself between the banister. And putting butter spread on the kid’s head was somehow going to solve all of this? As a father, if my kid was in charge of someone else and they did this, I would be so mortified that this was even a thought in my see, let alone an actual creation.

    And if some sitter allowed for this to occur, I would be freaking out beyond belief. I would probably rule out going Deen Castronovo (Journey Drummer) on the sitter, but wouldn’t rule out going Chris Brown on the irresponsible one either.

    There’s no reason to put the motherless one in charge of anyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


+ five = 12

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>