|A Fish Called Martin|
|Season 4, episode 17|
|Air date||February 1, 1991|
|Previous||Stephanie Gets Framed|
|Next||The Wedding (Part 1)|
Jesse and the Rippers are rocking and rolling in the living room, with Michelle accompanying them in singing "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", which elicits applause from the band (and the studio audience). Then, she asks them to do "I'm a Little Teapot", and they attempt their spin on the music, and that act also elicits applause from the band (and audience).
Michelle wins a goldfish at the Fun Fair, and names him Martin. Joey teaches her the proper ways to care for him, such as keeping his bowl clean and feeding him plenty of food. When she decides she wants to take him for a walk, fishbowl and all, Joey reminds her the first rule in pet care: "If they don't have legs, you don't walk 'em."
Martin dies after Michelle gives him a bubble bath in the tub, by putting the entire bowl in and letting him swim out into the bathwater. When she takes him and his bowl out, his lifeless body floats about (much to the groans of the audience). In fact, she says that he is clean. But Joey says he is "clean...as a door nail." She then asks if he is sleeping, and Joey says that he is taking a nap... "a very long nap." And unfortunately for her, that "very long nap" just turned out to be a permanent one.
When Joey explains the situation to Jesse and Danny, they are just as shocked, and they (have to) tell Michelle in different ways that Martin is dead. When they arrive in her room, they see her putting her pig next to Martin as a "sleeping companion". However, as they move the pig away from the bowl, they again tell her that Martin's sleep has just become permanent and he's not waking up, something she still isn't wanting to believe, let alone accept.
Danny says that he is still in the bowl in the physical sense, "but in another sense, he's everywhere." Jesse, after telling Danny that they do not teach philosophy until after kindergarten, and trying not to say the "D" word, tells her that the fish is "the best sleeper in town". Joey, who had to break the bad news earlier, reminds her of an old Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon, to no avail. Danny again reminds her of the news she did not want to hear: Martin is indeed gone (eliciting groans from the audience). Jesse reminds her of the good times they had from the car ride home to the walk to her room. Danny suggests that they give him "a proper burial at sea", and Jesse says they are "eventually" going to the ocean. Joey again reminds of Martin's death in the bubble bath, and he should have told her that by "clean", that does not mean "bubble bath clean". Danny reminds her that it was an accident, and Michelle still insists that it was all her fault (eliciting groans from the audience for the 3rd time this episode).
In an effort to help her feel better, the guys have a surprise for her, hidden under a towel (which she thought was the surprise). The surprise is that they got her a new fish in a tank, whom they name Freddy, but she wants nothing to do with him, because she is afraid that she will somehow cause him to die in a bubble bath, too. The guys realize that they have to come up with a solution in case the new fish also dies, and for some odd reason, they reveal a secret stash of spare fish and their bowls. So at this point, all is not lost.
While at the fair, D.J. meets a boy named Bobby, who is a car expert, so she tries to learn as much about cars as she can, so she can impress him. However, this backfires on her when she realizes the mistake she made. Later, Stephanie quizzes her sister about cars, and unfortunately, as it shows, she's not smart about cars at all. So she calls Bobby and tells him the truth, only to have him hang up on her. Of course, Becky is there, and tells D.J. how proud she is of her for taking her being rejected really well.
Later, Becky insists on square dancing at the wedding, and Jesse initially balks at the notion of learning how to do so. While she is trying to teach D.J., Stephanie, and the guys, Michelle tells everyone to come to the kitchen, where they notice that her new fish has become a mother and therefore is a female named Frieda. She feels better when the guys praise her for telling them about the school of new baby fish, as Joey takes the mommy fish and puts her in a special bowl of her own. Michelle, like most kids, wants to know where babies come from (as Jeff Franklin's EP credit appears), and Danny says that they will tell her later after their square-dancing lesson. But she is anxious to know, so she runs out of the kitchen constantly asking everyone to answer her (as the audience applauds and Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett's EP credits appear).
Danny: Oh, gee, I love carnivals. The chili dogs, the fudge, the cotton candy, the nachos, the rides that go round and round...the cramps, the gas, the nausea. Excuse me. [goes and lies down on the sofa]
- The only appearance of Martin
- The episode title is a take on of the 1988 movie A Fish Called Wanda
- Joey's "clean...as a doornail" remark is a reference to the idiom "dead as a doornail", found in the quote "Marley was as dead as a doornail" (the opening quote to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and referring to Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge's partner)