|A Pinch for a Pinch|
|Season 4, episode 6|
|Air date||October 26, 1990|
|Writer(s)||Charles A. Pratt, Jr.|
|Previous||Good News, Bad News|
|Next||Viva Las Joey|
It is Joey's week to be a parent volunteer at Michelle's preschool, but on the Thursday of that week, he has an appointment with a dentist, so he gets Jesse to cover for him at the preschool on that day.
Meanwhile, Kimmy Gibbler, who is now in charge of the horoscope in the school newspaper, writes a horoscope under Stephanie's sign. As a result, Stephanie freaks out when all of those things start coming true. It turns out to be Kimmy playing tricks on Stephanie, as she slips a dollar bill into Stephanie's pocket for her "good fortune", the first sign (see Quotes).
The volunteer gig starts out okay as Jesse plays "The Farmer in the Dell" on his guitar, and passes out animal crackers at snack time, and then Aaron Bailey starts bullying Michelle, and he pinches her.
Jesse loses his temper with Aaron, and he tells Michelle to retaliate by doing to Aaron exactly what he did to her. When the teacher, Mrs. Manning, sees Michelle and Aaron both pinching each other at the same time, she punishes both Aaron and Michelle. Jesse, who believes Aaron should be the only one to be punished, angrily takes Michelle out of the preschool.
When Joey returns from the dentist, Danny and Becky ask him to try some cappolini upon his return. However, he can't, because he has to have a root canal. He goes into the kitchen to start taking some aspirin as part of what his dentist prescribed him. Stephanie finds out that the second sign of her horoscope comes true when she tries to comprehend his communication (see Quotes).
When Jesse and Michelle return, Jesse explains his situation. Danny understands that his brother-in-law was trying to protect Michelle from Aaron, but feels that those actions were unjustified.
Later, Stephanie's the latest victim of Michelle's pinching, as she gets pinched for "stealing" Michelle's lamp from her room, when Stephanie was merely borrowing it, per the final sign of her horoscope (see Quotes). But Jesse stops Michelle and decides to have a little talk with her, privately, about using words instead of hands to solve problems. Then, Danny has "good news": Jesse will be volunteering all next week! (see Quotes). (Then the studio audience applauds and the EP credits appear).
[In the teaser: Joey and Michelle are wearing hockey jerseys and holding hockey sticks as Joey teaches Michelle about hockey. They use a plastic ball instead of a puck.]
Joey: Okay, Michelle. Now, the key to house hockey is no high-sticking, no cross-checking, and breaking a lamp will cost you 10 minutes in the penalty box with Comet [Cut to a sad-looking Comet in the 'penalty box'].
Michelle: Daddy said, 'No hockey in the house'.
Joey: Right. But the beauty part is, Daddy's not home. And if you don't tell, I won't tell.
Michelle: This is very sneaky but I like it.
[Joey stands in front of the kitchen doorway, using it as a goal.]
Joey: [with a French-sounding accent] Now you must try to shoot ze puck past ze world-famous goalie: moi [me]. You must be very, very tricky because nothing gets by Pierre de la Pate.
Michelle: Look! Daddy's home! [He does look, and... she scores a goal.] Score! In your face, Pate!
Joey: You think you are too tricky. Sacre bleu, les enfant [which basically means "OMG, child" in English].
[Upstairs, Stephanie, D.J., and Kimmy prepare for school.]
D.J.: Here you go, Steph. Hot off the press. Your free copy of our school newspaper.
Stephanie: Gee, thanks. News about kids I don't know from a school I don't go to.
Kimmy: Check out my new column, 'Madame Kimmy's Horoscope'. Oh, if the words are too big for you to read, you can always color on it.
Stephanie: Horoscope? What's that, Kimmy? A telescope that can only see your face? Ha ha ha ha ha!
D.J.: Well, as editor of the school paper, I must say that Kimmy did a fine job. She got all the astrological signs right... except for 'Aquarium', the fish tank [instead of 'Aquarius'].
Stephanie: Are you saying that Kimmy can tell the future? She can barely tell time.
Kimmy: D.J., read Stephanie's horoscope. I'll bet you, all of Madame Kimmy's predictions come true.
D.J.: [sounding like a gypsy] Let us see what the stars read, young Capricorn. 'Your day starts with good fortune.'
Stephanie: Wrong already. [motioning to Kimmy] Kimmy's here.
D.J.: [continuing in her gypsy voice] 'Afternoon brings unpleasant surprise'.
Stephanie: What happens? Kimmy comes back?
D.J.: [continuing in her gypsy voice] 'Then, a misunderstanding will occur at home. Exercise extreme caution after dark.' Go now. I must rest.
Michelle: Hey, you ate my elephant!
Aaron: It's in my tummy now. Ha ha ha!
Michelle: Give me your cookie!
Aaron: That was my camel!
Michelle: It's in my tummy now. Ha ha ha!
[Later that day, in the living room, we find Joey entering from the front door upon his return from the dentist. He looks awful and mumbles all his dialogue incoherently... ]
Joey: Hi. [Danny and Becky are seated eating celebrity pasta...]
Danny: Good, Joey. You're back from the dentist. You have to taste this Ted Koppel Cappollini.
Joey: [His tongue keeps falling out of his mouth and he keeps stuffing it back in.] I can't. I had Novocaine. And then they went... [makes drilling and water jet noises] And then they said I had to have a root canal.
Danny: What did you say?
Joey: I had to have a root canal.
Danny: What did he say?
Becky: You heard him, he had to have a... [saying it like Joey] Root canal.
Danny: Thanks for clearing that up.
[The phone rings...]
Joey: I got it. [He answers the phone and ad-libs an animated conversation, covers the phone to fill in everyone as to what's going on, then goes back to his phone conversation and exits laughing.]
Danny: [to Michelle about the things she’s holding in her arms] Where’d you get all this stuff?
Michelle: At the zoo. I saw lions and tigers and bears.
Danny: Oh my. What happened to preschool?
Michelle: I quit preschool.
Danny: You quit preschool?
Jesse: Well, she didn’t actually quit. I kind of pulled her out of there. Danny, this preschool thing is—is way overrated. [turns to Michelle] Michelle, tell your daddy what you learned today in the real world.
Michelle: A camel can spit.
Jesse: Danny, one day you’re gonna be glad I pulled her out of that place.
Danny: How could you do this? It happens to be an excellent preschool. Michelle is getting an academic foundation that’s gonna carry her through grades K through 12, through college, through Harvard law school. Jess, you have robbed our nation of one of the finest legal minds the Supreme Court has ever known.
Michelle: I gotta go potty. [She exits the living room.]
[Joey is in the kitchen, groaning from the pain in his mouth. He gets a bottle of aspirin, but he can't get the cap off...]
Joey: Oh great. Childproof!
[Stephanie enters the back door.]
Stephanie: Joey, I'm freaking out. Kimmy's horoscope said I'd have an unpleasant surprise. And it happened. Instead of pizza, the cafeteria served pimento loaf. It was like eating bologna with eyes.
Joey: [mumbles incoherently] I know what you mean. I hate pimento loaf.
Stephanie: Joey, I can't understand you. ... Hey, wait a second. [reading from horoscope] 'A misunderstanding will occur at home.' I'm at home. I'm misunderstanding you. I'm freaking out again! [She heads upstairs, as Joey finally gets the bottle open, puts the aspirin in his mouth and drinks a glass of water, which dribbles down his chin as a result of the Novocaine shot. Next, he uses the dishwasher sprayer and sprays water in his mouth.]
[Stephanie enters her and her sister's room, wearing a catcher's mask, and holding a tennis racket and a clown lamp. She looks around the room cautiously then goes to her bed and stands guard with the tennis racket. D.J. and Kimmy notice.]
Kimmy: What are you doing... practicing for the nerd Olympics?
Stephanie: Kimmy, everything in your horoscope came true. Now, it says to exercise extreme caution after dark. That's why I'm sleeping with Michelle's nightlight.
Kimmy: Well, I guess I better tell you the truth, kid. I don't know anything about astrology. I just copied those horoscopes out of old newspapers.
Stephanie: [to her sister, as she puts the racket down on her bed] You mean, thanks to this woman [Kimmy] I spent the whole day freaking out over nothing? [She goes nose to nose with Kimmy and flips her catcher's mask up.] How rude!
Michelle: Hey, you stole my clown lamp!
Stephanie: Michelle, I just needed to borrow it.
Michelle: That's mine. You're in big trouble, mister. [She pinches Stephanie's arm.]
Michelle: [to Stephanie, regarding her lamp] Give it back or you're getting it again. [She raises her hands and takes a pinching stance.]
Jesse: Whoa, crab girl. Put away those pinchers. Come on, follow me. We're going to my room.
Michelle: [to Stephanie, regarding her lamp, again] I'll be back for the clown.
[In Jesse's room...]
Jesse: Alright, Michelle, we're gonna have to have one of our 'world-famous' talks [puts her on his knee]. I'm not happy about saying it, but your Uncle Jesse was wrong today. [Her mouth drops open wide, and he closes it back up.] I know. I'm as shocked as you are. But I lost my cool today and acted like a big jerk.
Michelle: No problem.
Jesse: But, it is a problem. See, Michelle, when I was a kid, I used to get into a lot of fights. And looking back, I realized I handled those fights all wrong. I should've led with my jab more. No, I'm just kidding. I'm not proud of those fights.
Michelle: No problem.
Jesse: Well, what I should've said today was if you have a problem, you should try to solve it with words like, "knock it off" or, the ever-popular, "buzz-off Bucko." And if that doesn't work then you find a parent or a teacher to help you. But absolutely no pinching or hitting. Capisce?
Michelle: Capisce. No more pinching.
Jesse: Danny, I'm sorry. I owe you an apology. I should have talked about all this stuff before I turned Michelle into a preschool dropout.
Danny: That's okay, Jess. I know you were just trying to protect her.
Jesse: I wish there was some way I could make it up to you.
Danny: You know what? There is. You are a very lucky guy because I told the school you were gonna be the special helper all next week. Isn't that good news, Michelle?
Michelle: That makes me verrry happy.
The episode title is a take on the old birthday saying: "A pinch to grow an inch".
The lines by Michelle: "I saw lions and tigers and bears", and Danny: "Oh my", are alluding to the well-known line from the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz: "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!".