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A House Divided
Season 7, episode 24
A house divided
Air date May 17, 1994
Writer(s) Teleplay: Tom Burkhard, Adam Lapidus & Carolyn Omine
Story: Dennis Rinsler & Marc Warren
Director Joel Zwick
Previous Too Little Richard Too Late
Next Comet's Excellent Adventure

A House Divided is episode twenty-four of season seven on Full House, as well as the season finale. It originally aired on May 17, 1994.

Opening Teaser

Jesse and the twins are playing with their new outdoor play set indoors, when Becky comes in. He explains to her that the reason for this is that Danny reseeded the grass outside, and he is about to go blame Danny, one-on-one when Becky tells him that Danny is waxing the hallway floor, which makes things worse. When the twins ask Jesse to slide on the slide, he does not want to, and they give him "The Lip" (apparently borrowed from Michelle), so he helps them go down the slide.

Synopsis

When the family starts complaining that there is not enough room in the house for nine people, they consider finding other places to live. The problems are various, ranging from Joey being in the bathroom for almost to a little over an hour (despite reserving it for exactly that long) and an irritated D.J. wanting to take a bath since she's got a date tonight, to Michelle annoying Stephanie with playing "Down in the Valley" on her harmonica when Stephanie needs to study, and thus leading Stephanie to snatch it out of her hand, and ask her to go practice "down in the basement" (a.k.a. Jesse's studio). As she snatches it right back, her current roommate even adds that her name above her bed indicates that the room is also hers, despite Stephanie having had it since day one, when she shared it with D.J., her former roommate.

Stephanie also points out that she has had to put up with "Harmonica Girl" for three whole days, and is not about to make it four (see Quotes).

Danny goes into the bathroom and tells Joey that he thinks he has been in there long enough, even though Joey may think otherwise. But Joey states that he shares a bathroom with three girls and there is always someone in there blow-drying, moisturizing, or even tweezing. All he wants is an hour of peace and quiet so he can gather his thoughts. Danny realizes that he is right, and that every man deserves a chance to sit back and reflect on the deeper meanings of life.

If that's not bad enough, Joey is delivered a pizza, thus allowing him to literally eat his dinner in the bathroom! After the pizza man leaves, Danny warns him not to even think of dropping a pepperoni slice in the bathwater or tub, and Joey is very considerate and careful of that. But that does not stop him from playing a game of "bath hockey" with a rubber duck and a rubber shark (see Trivia), and even adding in the Charge (fanfare) tune for good measure.

Then, amidst the girls fighting outside, Jesse comes in and says that Danny needs to show a little consideration for some of the other people living in the house. And speaking of which, for starters, Joey says that Jesse could do that by knocking on the door when someone's in the tub, like him! And Jesse just asks the "bubble boy" to just focus on eating his pizza.

In any event, Jesse says that Danny does everything without consulting him first: closing the backyard, waxing the floor, rearranging the cupboard, defrosting the fridge, and even Scotchguarding his old high school yearbook. He asks if Danny sees a pattern developing, and Danny does...except there is another pattern developing, and it's that Jesse complains too much. What he does not know is that Jesse's small complaints have turned into one large one.

Suddenly, the doorbell rings and Danny remarks, "That better not be the falafel guy." In any event, everyone heads downstairs complaining. But as soon as he calms everyone down and opens the door, there's nobody there! The complaining starts up again, and after Danny quiets everybody, he decides to hold a family meeting after dinner. Then Joey comes downstairs, squeaky clean as ever. This leads to more mayhem as the girls rush upstairs to see who'll get to use the bathroom first (and D.J. wants to make good on her date plans by going first), but suddenly, Joey realizes he left his garlic bread in there! So he rushes back to get it.

Then, millionaire industrialist Lou Bond shows up, wanting to buy the house from Danny, because Mr. Bond used to live in the house before the Tanners moved in years ago, and it is the house that Mr. Bond grew up in. Michelle is the only one who is against the idea of selling the house and moving out of it, so she tries everything to stop the sale from happening.

Later that night, after dinner, Danny calls a family meeting as planned. After a small fight between Stephanie and Michelle fight over what to do with each other, Jesse tells the two roommates to make up, Then, making good on his promises and despite Becky urging him to reconsider, he lodges a ton of small complaints into a large one (see Quotes).

With that out of the way, Danny has the floor again, and his point regards the house sale. While D.J. says that there are enough people living in the house already and Joey says that Bond is sharing their bathroom, Danny clarifies that Bond does not want to live with them, he wants to buy the house from them. The thing is, Bond's offer for the house is double its current value, thus allowing the family to buy a bigger house in the same neighborhood where no one's going to drive each other nuts. D.J. realizes she can have her own bathroom, Stephanie can have her own bedroom, Jesse says that he and Becky can have their own kitchen, living room, backyard, etc. Becky says that it is not a bad idea, as the boys could use some more "growing space". Joey also agrees that it is time for him to move into his own place. Danny then realizes that this is the first family meeting where everyone agrees on something for a change, and says that the decision is final—they are all moving out and into their own places! And while everyone is happy with the fact they can have their own thing, from their own bathroom to their own bedroom, they forget about the thing that keeps them together: The fact that they are a family. They all express happiness about being able to have their own things, except for a very unhappy Michelle.

The next day, everyone looks at various housing options, and even Steve comes by to help. He chats with Joey about buying a condo from his mom's real estate office and Steve himself getting half the commission, plus a yellow jacket. What Joey does not know is that the condo is in a nudist colony—which may or may not perk his interest. On another note, Jesse and Becky find a house on Linwood Street complete with a hot tub—which they define for the boys as "an outdoor bathtub with no soap". When Michelle walks by, they tell her that, when they move in, there will be a hot tub party, and she is invited.

Upstairs, D.J. and Stephanie talk about what will happen when Stephanie gets her own room, and Stephanie says that she will put her bed by the window, the dresser by the door, and Michelle down the hall so Stephanie herself can study in peace. The latter just sarcastically says "Ha ha ha", and is told by D.J. that when the two former roommates move out, she can have her own room again.

And speaking of whom, Michelle is entertaining her friends Denise and Teddy with her harmonica, when the older girls come in and warn her about the upcoming inspection. After they all learn what happens during an inspection and what it is, as well as what "infestation" and "vermin" is, the three of them (literally) put their heads together to come up with a plan to stop the sale.

Their first plan involves the Yellow Pages and a phone call to "buy" some vermin, but it fails. Michelle's words put it best: "They don't sell vermin; they kill them." So they put their heads together to come up with another plan, Teddy saying not to do the head bump again.

From Teddy squirting Bond with a water gun for the "leaky roof", to Comet and his friends showing up in her room for the "vermin" and "infestation", and slanting D.J.'s room for the "broken foundation", Michelle's new plan seems to be coming to fruition.

Suddenly, everyone else comes home from their various housing explorations, as well as having gone out to eat during the inspection. With the help of her friends, and even Comet's friends, Michelle succeeds in stopping the sale. Coincidentally, at the same time that the dogs leave, Joey puts a doggy bag on the dining table—with the smallest one snagging the bag on the way out, and Jesse commenting it was Comet's "poker night".

Thanks to Michelle, and "The Lip" (her pout), everyone realizes that the house they are in has been a part of the family for years. Everyone reminisces about their own memories in the house. And they realize one thing: It is more than just walls, ceiling, and a roof—it is their lives, where they have had so many good times together.

D.J. remembers the first time they moved in with Pam, the house was as big as a castle. Stephanie says since she was too small to reach the counter, she couldn't reach the cookie jar, so Joey had to help her. Joey says that he was not going to leave his fingerprints on the jar's lid. Jesse says that when he moved in with Joey to help Danny raise the girls for a few months, he did not realize that those few months would turn into seven years, including raising his own family. He realizes it was the best move he ever made and the right move, too. Becky decides to wait on the hot tub, as they have had a lot of love, laughs, and babysitters.

With this to think about, Danny changes his mind and decides to not sell the house. And to make things better for Michelle, he takes back his promise to ground her "for life". He now understands why she was depressed; as indeed, everyone was talking about wanting their own thing, from their own bedrooms to their own bathrooms, from hot tubs to telephones in the bathroom. She points out the things that were discussed in the family meeting, including the main thing: that nobody cared that they weren't going to live in the house anymore and that they would all break up if they all moved out of the house.

Danny tells her that they do care, and they were just trying to make things a little better, but Michelle says that everything already is better. She even adds that it is the best house she has ever lived in, to which D.J. remarks it is the only house she has ever lived in. So everyone decides to hold off on wanting their own thing.

Just after the decision is made to stay, Kimmy arrives. She says that she and her mom have been arguing about whether her sneakers or her clogs stink more, and wants their opinion. As soon as she reveals them, everyone backs away. When Mr. Bond finds out that she is the next-door neighbor (see Quotes), he is glad that it turned out the way it did after all (and he leaves).

D.J. then tells her that the family is staying. And Stephanie adds that the shoes are leaving, as she takes them and throws them out, which then causes the rest of the dogs to howl and clear the yard. What they do not know is that Comet ran off with the other dogs. When Denise notices this, she takes him back home, telling him, "Comet, you live here!". After she leaves, Michelle reminds everyone, "We all live here."

Quotes

[Michelle is sitting on her bed and playing her harmonica as Stephanie enters.]
Stephanie: Oh, no. Harmonica Girl lives. Michelle, give me a break. It's been three days.
Michelle: I have to practice "Down in the Valley". [She tries to start up again, but her sister quickly snatches the harmonica out of her hand.]
Stephanie: Why don't you practice down in the basement? [Michelle looks at her, disgusted.] I have to study.
Michelle: In case you're wondering why my name is on the wall [as the camera cuts to a wide shot to reveal such], it's because it's my room too. [She takes back her harmonica.]


[Stephanie dashes into the hall with harmonica in hand, causing Michelle to give chase.]
Michelle: Give it back, harmonica stealer!
Stephanie: No way, music murderer!
[Michelle makes a dash towards her sister, but Stephanie keeps a tight grip on it.]
Stephanie: [as they wrestle and yell] No!
Michelle: Dad!
D.J.: [running towards them and breaking them up] Guys! Guys, stop fighting! Dad does not want to hear your petty problems! ... Dad, I'm not going to have enough time to dry my hair! [All 3 begin complaining to their father at the same time.] Joey's been in there for over an hour!
Danny: Guys, guys, guys! Hey! Hey! I can only handle one problem at a time, OK? Now cover me, I'm going in. Get back! [He heads into the bathroom.]


[Joey comes out of the bathroom wearing his bathrobe.]
Joey: Well, I'm squeaky clean. [He squeaks his ear.]
D.J.: Bathroom's free.
Michelle: I gotta go!
Stephanie: Me first! [They all make a mad dash upstairs when Joey realizes he forgot something...]
Joey: My garlic bread! [He too dashes back up.]


[Kimmy comes out of the kitchen holding a milk carton.]
Kimmy: You're running out of moo juice, Pops.
Danny: I'm running out of patience, Gibs.
Kimmy: [as she drinks the milk] Eww, this stuff's gone chunky!
Danny: And it's yours as a lovely parting gift! [in a game show announcer voice] Kimmy Gibbler, go on home! [She exits, closing the door on her way out. Danny then returns to the matter at hand.] Wait a minute. Lou Bond? Of the Bond Foundation? Bond Plaza? The Bond Trade Towers?
Lou Bond: Ah, the Bond Trade Towers was my father. And, this was our house before daddy hit it big. I lived here the first 12 years of my life. Lots of marvelous memories.


[Up in the attic apartment...]
Jesse: Alright, if he wants a family meeting, I will make a list of complaints [with a pencil in hand]. First complaint: I hate family meetings.
Becky: Jess, give it a rest, huh? Hey, the boys are napping. And you know what that means [smiling].
Jesse: [tosses the pencil in the air, looks into her eyes, and in a sexy voice...] Oh yeah.
Becky: We get to use the slide! [They make a mad dash to see who gets to go first.] No! No, honey! I wanna go!
Jesse: I'm going first! [pulling her off the steps]
Becky: No! Honey, let me go first. No, get back here.
Jesse: [sliding down and she grabs his ears] The ears! Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow [as Danny and Mr. Bond walk in].
Danny: Guys, I hope we're not interrupting anything... weird.
Becky: [She freezes.] No problem [as she releases her grip on his ears].


[In the living room, the family meeting is underway.]
Danny: OK, you all know I called this family meeting because we've all been getting on each other's nerves, which is bound to happen when so many nerves live so close together. What I'm about to say may solve everyone's problems.
Stephanie: We're sending Michelle to harmonica camp?
Michelle: [angrily to her older sister/roommate] We're sending you to "Be a Nicer Sister" camp.
Jesse: Girls, girls, girls, girls, girls. Make up. OK, now that that's taken care of, on to more important matters. Alright. [He clears his throat as he flips his notepad to address the first item on his complaint list.] Lack of consideration: On March 4, 1989, Danny paints the banister without telling anyone. I slide down said banister on my way to a job interview, at which I am nicknamed "skunk pants".
Danny: Jess, I still have the floor here [in the family meeting].
Jesse: Fine. If you're gonna have the floor, and you're going to wax it, tell us.


Danny: Michelle, if you were this upset about moving, why didn't you say something?
Michelle: You were all going crazy. Everyone was talking about hot tubs and telephones in the bathroom. Nobody cared that we're not gonna be living together anymore.
Danny: Sweetheart, we care. We were just trying to make things a little better around here.
Michelle: It already is better. It's the best house I've ever lived in.
D.J.: Michelle, it's the only house you've ever lived in.
Michelle: It's a great house. Everything happened here. Don't you guys remember?
Jesse: Yeah, sure we remember, Michelle. We all love this house.
Michelle: Well, if you love this house, then why are we moving? Aren't you guys gonna miss us [pouting]?
Jesse: There it is. "The Lip". "The Lip". That's where Nicky and Alex get it [originally passed on from Stephanie to Michelle].
Lou Bond: [watching close by] Well, that was a Hallmark moment.


Lou Bond: [with a Transatlantic accent] You again. Who are you?
Kimmy Gibbler: The next-door 'neigh-bar' [imitating his accent].

Trivia

  • The last appearance of Steve Hale as a main character (though he makes an appearance toward the end of the series finale)
  • This was considered to be the series finale, but they decided to renew with season eight
  • The second episode to feature Michelle's pout ("The Lip"); the first being "Stephanie Gets Framed" where after she is too late to buy from the ice cream truck and D.J. suggests that she save up her piggy bank money for other things, and treat herself to some Fudgsicles from the freezer
  • A plot line very similar to this one was used for the series finale of the popular sitcom Step by Step (also produced by Miller-Boyett Productions, in association with Lorimar Television/Warner Bros. Television, and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution)
  • Joey's "bath hockey" with a rubber duck and rubber shark is an homage to a popular NHL rivalry between the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks (in fact, around the time this season began, this was the Ducks' first season in the NHL)
  • When Kimmy says that the Tanners' milk has gone sour, the audience can be heard going "Ewww!"
  • Goof: In Stephanie and Michelle's fight for Michelle's harmonica, when Michelle asks Stephanie to give her harmonica back, the harmonica is in Stephanie's right hand. But when the fight actually starts, it's in her left hand.

Allusions

  • A House Divided:
    • The episode title comes from the beginning of a quote by Abraham Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand", referring to the Civil War
  • Bond: "The name is Bond, Lou Bond"
    • From Secret Agent 007, James Bond, and how he introduces himself to someone

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