Back to School Blues
Season 3, episode 2
Back to school blues
Air date September 29, 1989
Writer(s) Jeff Franklin
Director Bill Foster
Previous Tanner's Island
Next Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (in 22 Minutes)
Full House 302 Back to School Blues 038 0001

Back to School Blues is episode two of season three on Full House. It originally aired on September 29, 1989.

Opening Teaser

Jesse and Michelle are playing "hide-and-(go)-seek" in the living room, and Michelle thinks she has the concept down. But, in reality, she doesn't. So Jesse has to have a "little talk" with her and explain how the game really works, and explain that she's playing a different game called "Hide and say 'Here I am'". When she tries to be the seeker, it fails, so it is clear that she has a lot of comprehension and practice to do; especially the fact that, as the seeker, she has to cover her eyes all the way.


Stephanie, who is entering 2nd grade, is the only Tanner left in her school, and she expects her first day of the school year to turn out to be a bad day, as she won't have her older sister to stick up for her anymore. But instead, against her expectations, it turns out to be a good day for her. In fact, she will be able to be recognized more, because when anyone says "Tanner", they will know that they are talking to her.

On the other hand, however, as happy as she is about not having to deal with recess anymore (see Quotes), and the fact that she's entering her "young woman" years, the same can't be said for 12-year-old D.J., who is entering 7th grade, which is a step closer to becoming a teenager. On her first day at Van Atta Junior High, she is separated from her best friend Kimmy except for 6th period Spanish, humiliated by a mean girl Colleen and her clique, all the kids see that she is wearing the same outfit as Mrs. Agbabian, and she has to eat lunch in a phone booth. It is times like these that has her wishing she was back in the 6th grade so her sister can stick up for her, just like the other way around.

Meanwhile, Joey tries to teach Jesse how to play golf in order to impress a golfing client. When Jesse comes out wearing a pink golfing shirt and pink patchy pants, it brings laughter from Joey and Michelle. They practice their swings. As Jesse gets set, he moves his hips and legs like Elvis did, and his swing makes a tear in the lawn and continues to do so even after Joey has him use one of the balls from Michelle's Little Tikes miniature golf set, which she has brought out to participate with. But they are both put to shame when Michelle uses her mini-golf set and putts a hole-in-one.

The next morning, D.J., along with Kimmy, decides to put on makeup. The reason why is because she believes the only way to fit in among the other students is to do what virtually the other 7th graders are doing when they put on makeup—look twice as old as she really is, and to show that she is indeed a "young woman". While D.J. having to eat in a phone booth is bad enough, Kimmy says she gave her lunch to the girl with the tattoo. Stephanie wants to join in on the makeup fun, but D.J. insists that the "child" is "way too young".

Before they head off to school, while Danny does approve of the blue dress that Kimmy's wearing, he does not approve of the black dress that D.J.'s wearing. She insists that she wants to look more "junior high-ish", but he thinks that not only is she overdoing it, she is going way too far, thinking she's dressed as if she's headed off to Caesars Palace. She tells him that he was not at school yesterday and did not see the other girls, but he does not care about the other girls, he only cares about her, and says that she is not going to school "dressed like Jessica Rabbit". She storms off upstairs, leaving the guys shocked and speechless, and in more ways than one. But then they realize that they are raising, not just a "young woman", but, of all things, a "young woman" about to become a teenager; meaning that she will soon be driving a car, going to wild parties, and even dating guys.

In her room, while D.J. wants Danny to leave her alone, he tells her that he can't do that, as he is her dad. She mentions the above events, explaining that she was cool in the 6th grade, and as she begins the 7th, she starts out as a joke. He explains that in grade school she was "a big fish in a small pond", and with her starting junior high, she feels like she is "a small fish in a big pond", but she does not have to look like the "big fish", especially when she has to deal with "bad fish" and "smelly fish", as she did yesterday. All she wants is for people to like her, and he assures her that they will, as soon as they get to know her. He also reminds her that she can't go from 12 to 25 overnight, but she says that Kathy Santoni did.

Just as soon as their chat ends, Becky comes in, and Danny lets her help D.J. with the makeup, explaining that the secret is to make it look like she's not wearing any makeup, as Becky herself made the same mistakes when she was D.J.'s age. Then Michelle comes in, and Danny tells her the same thing. She says "Daddy pretty" as she takes D.J.'s lipstick and colors some on his nose.

Later that day, Kimmy's schedule changes so that she and D.J. can have the same lunch, especially with D.J.'s new friends from her English class, Karen Sykes and Susan Ericson, who are sitting at Colleen's gang's table. Colleen refuses to sit with them. So she and her gang split up and go eat at different tables. D.J. remarks, "Somebody needs to tell her she's wearing too much makeup", making the four friends laugh.

Guest star

Lucy Lee Flippin plays Mrs. Agbabian. She is known for playing Miss Wilder (also a teacher) on Little House on the Prairie (1979–1981).


[The opening teaser: Jesse and Michelle are playing "Hide and (go) seek" in the living room, with Jesse sitting on the couch with his eyes covered. Apparently, he is the "seeker".]
Jesse: 9, 10... OK, ready or not, here I come!
[Michelle comes out from behind the couch.]
Michelle: Here I am!
Jesse: Michelle, come here. We're gonna have to have a little chat, you and I. See, the name of the game is called "Hide and go seek". You're playing "Hide and say 'Here I am'". Capisce?
Michelle: Capisce.
Jesse: OK, let's play again. But this time I'll hide, and you come seek me, OK? So you count to three. Cover your eyes! [She does so, or so she thinks.] Cover your--No! No peeking! NO PEEKING! Alright, ready? [She tries to peek, but gets caught.] Ah, ah, ah! [He hides behind the couch this time.] Alright, count!
Michelle: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Here I am! [Jesse pops up from behind the couch, humiliated.] I win again. Capisce?
Jesse: [humiliated] Capisce. [But his humiliation turns to joy when he kisses her, jumps over the couch, and tackles her.]

[As D.J. and Stephanie get ready for their first day of the new school year, Stephanie finishes filling her backpack, and D.J. is looking in the mirror and doing her hair. Stephanie walks up to her, and looks at her watch, preparing for the last few minutes of freedom... well, for quite some time.]
Stephanie: D.J., if it's not right by now, put on a hat.
[She sits on D.J.'s bed as her sister explains the hairdo.]
D.J.: Stephanie, today's my first day of junior high school, and I wanna look perfect. [She turns back to the mirror.] Wait...almost...there! Quick! Spray! [There are two hairspray bottles on the bed, and Stephanie hands her sister one while she helps out with the other.] Alright. All over. Keep spraying. Get...every...inch. [At last, the spraying comes to a stop.] Alright...perfect.
Stephanie: [She puts her bottle down and taps D.J.'s hair.] Very natural.
[Her sister takes the other bottle back as both girls sit down at their little table and make their final preparations before departure.]
D.J.: Finally, I'm going to a school that doesn't have a sandbox.
Stephanie: How can you be so happy? This is the first time we won't be at the same school. Aren't you gonna miss me like crazy? [She smiles and wiggles her eyebrows at her sister.]
D.J.: Stephanie, try to understand. You are a child. I'm a young adult. And starting today, we live in different worlds.
Stephanie: We don't even live in different rooms.
D.J.: [cringing at that remark] Please don't remind me.
Stephanie: Come on, Deej. Stay at my school. I need my big sister to stick up for me. What if some kid calls me a "lame-oid zombie dog"?
D.J.: I dunno, bite 'em. Look, I didn't have a big sister to stick up for me, and I did fine. So will you.
Stephanie: But when I get to junior high, you'll be in high school. When I get to high school, you'll be in college. And when I get to college, you' working at McDonald's.

D.J.: Where are we? Young and the Restless Junior High?

Kathy: D.J., Gibbler, hi.
D.J.: Hi. Do we know you?
Kathy: Duh! We only went to school together for the past six years? Kathy Santoni.
D.J. & Kimmy: Kathy Santoni?
Kimmy: You grew up.
D.J.: Big time.
Kathy: Pretty intense summer. Okay, here's what I found out so far: All the cute guys take metal shop, and everyone makes out after school on the football field.
Kimmy: Everyone?
Kathy: Well, maybe not everyone.

D.J.: Fine. I’ll go tie some bows in my hair, put on my Garanimals and go skipping off to school. I’ll be Daddy’s little girl forever. [She heads over to the staircase.]
Danny: Not forever. Just until you’re my age.

D.J.: Yesterday was the worst day of my life. Everyone looked so much older than me. I was dressed exactly like the teacher that everybody hates. I ate lunch in the phone booth listening to the time lady for 25 minutes and 30 seconds – beep.
Danny: I wish you would’ve told me this yesterday.
D.J.: I was too embarrassed. I don’t know what happened. In the 6th grade, I was cool. Now I’m a joke.
Danny: Oh, I know it feels that way. But that’s because you were a big fish in a small pond. Now you’re in a big pond, so you feel like a small fish. But you don’t have to look like the big fish, especially if the big fish are bad fish and smelly fish. And, well, now I’m lost, and I’m rambling, and I just want to hug you and take you to Sea World.
D.J.: I just want people to like me.
Danny: They will, just as soon as they get to know you. [turns to the mirror with D.J.] But, look, D.J., this girl isn’t you.
D.J.: Then who am I?
Danny: Well, I guess to me, you’re still my little girl. Honey, I don’t want to stop you from growing up. But, you just can’t go from 12 to 25 overnight.
D.J.: Kathy Santoni did.

Becky: Oh, D.J., don’t ever let your father do your make-up.
D.J.: [puts down the tissue Danny was using to wipe the make-up off her face] I did it. It looked better before.
Becky: You know, when I first started wearing make-up, I made the same mistakes.
Danny: Really? How old were you? 18? 19?
Becky: No, actually, I was right around D.J.’s age.
Danny: Glad I asked.
D.J.: Really? You wore make-up when you were my age?
Becky: Uh-huh. Only my mom taught me that the secret to wearing makeup is to make it look like you’re not wearing any.
D.J.: Well, how do you do that?
Danny: Yeah, how do you do that?
Becky: Well, by bringing out D.J.’s natural beauty. For instance, you’ll want a very subtle pink eye shadow. Can I show her?
D.J.: Can she?
Danny: [smiles] Go for it.
D.J.: [smiles back] Thanks, Dad. And don’t worry. No matter how old I get, you can always think of me as your little girl. Give me a hug, Dad.
Danny: Oh, I love those words. [hugs D.J.] And I love you.


  • The first episode to feature the abbreviated (but not truncated) theme song
  • The first appearance of D.J.'s friend, Kathy Santoni (and only appearances of Colleen, Mrs. Agbabian, Karen Sykes, and Susan Ericson)
  • The first of four episodes to deal with peer pressure; however, this focuses on the topic in general, and not just one particular thing (i.e. smoking, drinking, ear piercing, etc.)
  • The dress Stephanie wears to school in this episode is the same one from the opening credits, where she comes out the door holding her lunchbox in her right hand and giving a "thumbs up" with her left
  • Stephanie's "different worlds" remark would be repeated in "Take My Sister, Please" (season 5) by D.J., regarding the "room switch"; specifically, her being in high school by that time ("Land of Maturity") meant she deserved her own room, while Stephanie and Michelle being in elementary school/grade school ("Tiny Town") deserve to share a room
  • This episode is part of the basis for the Full House book Same to You, Duck Face
  • Goof: While Stephanie remarked that she'd be in junior high when D.J. got to high school (see Quotes), that wouldn't happen; as she would still be in elementary school at the time (season 5)