|A House Divided|
|Season 7, episode 24|
|Air date||May 17, 1994|
|Writer(s)|| Tom Burkhard, Adam Lapidus & Carolyn Omine |
Story by: Dennis Rinsler & Marc Warren
|Previous||Too Little Richard Too Late|
|Next||Comet's Excellent Adventure|
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.
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 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 roommate's hand, and her roommate to give chase and demand it back, only to be denied and refused. She 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. This leads to a fight between the "Harmonica Stealer" (Stephanie) and the "Music Murderer" (Michelle).
Meanwhile, in the bathroom, all Joey wants is an hour of peace and quiet so he can gather his thoughts. If that's not bad enough, Joey is delivered a pizza, thus allowing him to literally eat his dinner in the bathroom! 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 doesn't stop Joey from playing a game of "bath hockey" with a rubber duck and a rubber shark (see Trivia below). Then Jesse comes into the bathroom and 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.
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, Danny calls a family meeting. After a small fight between everyone, Stephanie and Michelle fight over what to do with each other, with Michelle suggesting that they send Stephanie to a "Be a Nicer Sister camp", and Stephanie suggesting they send Michelle to "Harmonica camp" so she can study in peace without the annoying harmonica. Jesse, making good on his promises and despite Becky urging him to reconsider, lodges a ton of small complaints into a large one. He explains that on March 4, 1989, Danny waxes the banister without his permission, and because Danny did that, Jesse slid down the banister on his way to an interview, and thus was nicknamed "skunk pants". While Danny insists that he still has the floor, Jesse says "if you have the floor, and you're going to wax it, tell us."
With that out of the way, Danny has the floor again, and his point regards the house sale. 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. Danny then realizes that this is the first family meeting where everyone agrees on something for a change, and decides that the decision is final...they're 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. As they all express happiness about having their own things, the camera pans from left to right, to a very unhappy and depressed Michelle.
After the meeting ends, 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 (no, not the insect). What Joey doesn't know is that the condo is in a nudist colony...which may or may not perk his interest.
Upstairs, Michelle is entertaining her friends Denise and Teddy with her harmonica, when Stephanie and D.J. 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 put their heads together to come up with a plan to stop the sale.
Using Michelle's plan, from Teddy squirting Bond with a water gun for the "leaky roof", to Comet and his friends showing up in her room and causing D.J.'s room to be "slanted" in the process, Michelle's plan seems to be coming to fruition.
Suddenly, everyone else comes home from their various housing explorations. With the help of her friends, and even Comet's friends (the "vermin" and "infestation"), Michelle succeeds in stopping the sale, and Joey succeeds in getting Comet's friends out of the house with a "doggie bag", 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. With this to think about, Danny changes his mind and decides to not sell the house, eliciting applause from the audience, just as the music stops. 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 bedroom to their own bathroom, from a hot tub to a telephone in the bathroom. So everyone decides to hold off on wanting their own thing in their own house...maybe just a little longer, as each of them has a little something they want in their current house, for the time being; because, as an old proverb suggests (and it's a lesson they've all learned growing up): "you can't always get what you want".
Kimmy, who showed up earlier to meet Bond, shows up again, asking whether her sneakers or her clogs stinks more. The family, of course, knows that both stink equally, as they run away, holding or even waving their noses to get the odors out. Bond says that the sneakers stink more, but even that's enough to scare him into not selling. D.J., happy to see her, says that the family's staying. But Stephanie, on the other hand, says the shoes are leaving. She throws them out, and they stink enough to scare the rest of the dogs into clearing the yard.
What they do not know is that Comet ran off with his friends after they saw the "doggie bag" bait and the stinky shoes, and when Denise notices this, she takes him back home, telling him, "Comet, you live here!", and the episode ends with the family reuniting not only with each other, but their four-legged best friend, too, and all's well that ends well.
Michelle reminds everyone (as Jeff Franklin's EP credit appears), "We all live here." A split-second later, everyone hugs each other and pets Comet (as Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett's EP credits appear and the audience applauds).
Danny: 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.
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.
Lou Bond: [with a Transatlantic accent] You again. Who arrre you?
Kimmy Gibbler: [imitating his accent] The next-door neigh-barrr.
- This episode was considered to be the series finale, but they decided to honor a season eight
- This is the last appearance of Steve Hale as a main character; the next time he appears in briefly at the end of "Michelle Rides Again (Part 2)," the series finale
- 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)
- This is the second episode to feature Michelle's pout known as "The Lip"; the first was in "Stephanie Gets Framed", after she was too late to buy anything from the ice cream truck and D.J. suggested she save up her piggy bank money for other things, and treat herself to some Fudgsicles from the back of the freezer
- Joey's "bath hockey" with a rubber duck and rubber shark is a homage to a popular NHL rivalry between the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the San Jose Sharks; in fact, around the time of the season premiere, this was the Ducks' first season in the NHL
- 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"
- This is a reference to Secret Agent 007, James Bond, and how he introduces himself to someone