|Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor|
|Season 4, episode 2|
|Air date||September 28, 1990|
|Writer(s)||Scott Spencer Gordon|
|Next||The I.Q. Man|
In his room, Jesse has gotten rid of Stephanie's pink bunny wallpaper that had been adorning it for the past three years, replacing it with pictures of The Rat Pack and, of course, Elvis. Stephanie notes that it's about time it was taken down, and when he asks why she didn't say something sooner, she says, "You didn't ask." (in a variation of her "Nobody asked me." from the earlier seasons) Michelle comes in and is not happy with this. But Jesse cheers her up by showing her that he had taken one bunny, framed it, and hung it up on the (from-now-on) rabbitless wall. Finally, she says, "Now this room is cool!"
Though three-year-old Michelle has been more mischievous than usual the last few days, she can always count upon her status as "Daddy's Little Princess" to get away with her various misdeeds – and failing that, she has an infallible knack of shifting the blame, and thus, "buck passing", to D.J. and Stephanie, thus getting a Get Out of Jail Free card in the process.
For example, as D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy each bet using food to determine what will happen on the "Music Video Awards", Michelle encourages her sisters to have a pillow fight with her, and a window in their bedroom ends up getting broken (eliciting an "OH!" from the studio audience). Danny punishes D.J. and Stephanie for it, but he fails to punish Michelle, who started the whole thing and thus ends up getting a "Get Out of Jail Free" card. Despite Jesse and Joey's advice to Danny to set limits for Michelle, he is reluctant.
Even lectures about how important sleep is don't seem to deter Michelle into doing things such as staying up late to watch The Arsenio Hall Show, and even peeping in on D.J. and Stephanie, who are looking at the stars outside, when in reality, they're watching the "Music Video Awards" using the TV at Kimmy's house after they were banned from watching them at their house. When Danny catches this, he orders both girls in bed (after joking that they were probably looking at "stars" as in celebrities).
Danny is having a hard time accepting that Michelle is old enough to be punished because he finds it hard to accept that his last baby is growing up. In addition to being banned from watching the "Music Video Awards", D.J. and Stephanie are outside raking leaves as part of their punishment, and when they see her stomping around in the piles they just raked up, they make her do it, which surprises Danny when he sees this. But the problems don't stop there.
After Danny, D.J., and Stephanie tell her that it is too cold to swim outside, Michelle drags her wading pool inside. She also drags the hose into the kitchen, uses it to fill her pool, and even brings in her pool toys. Coming in from their raking, D.J. and Stephanie spot this and see that she's having fun, to which she says "Surf's up, dudes!" D.J. remarks, "'Surf's up, dudes?' No, your time's up, dudette." Both she and Stephanie realize they have to put a stop to this, and fast. They realize that there's no way they can be held liable this time. As D.J. says that their little sister is officially "a sitting duck", and Stephanie excitedly says, "We got her now!", they yell for Danny to hurry up and come into the kitchen, ASAP.
And because of that, they open Danny's eyes to the situation, but only after he accidentally steps into the pool and gets his shoe wet. He tries to blame them again (which elicits an "OH!" from the audience), but D.J. tells him the obvious: "Michelle dragged in her pool, Michelle filled it with water, Michelle blew up her floaties, and Michelle threw herself a pool party!" Stephanie stresses this in 6 words: "Dad, the keyword here is Michelle." He asks the 2 older girls why they didn't stop her when they had the chance, and they give the obvious reason that he lets her do whatever she wants, and of course, Michelle stresses her status of "Daddy's Little Princess". The older girls think she's off the hook again, but he says that she's not off the hook this time.
It's this moment in which they give him the courage to give Michelle her first punishment and finally revoke her "Get Out of Jail Free" card, with D.J. suggesting he remind her of his "wet shoe" and to nail her if she "pulls any of that 'cute stuff'" (her "Little Princess" status, for example). She asks the obvious question, "Am I in big trouble, mister?" And it's apparent that she is.
After dismissing the older girls, Danny dries off Michelle from her pool party (and the inspirational music plays). He tells her that she has had it pretty easy so far, but he tells her, "Things are about to change." And things are indeed about to change, starting right now, with the first punishment in her life. He says that the truth is, she's very, very special to him in that she's his last little girl, and, in a way, he wanted her to stay that way. But the reality is that she is growing up now. He tells her that he is only punishing her because he loves her, and with her growing up, she should be old enough to accept the consequences of her actions (just like her sisters from earlier). She asks if his lecture is over, and in a way it is, but his lecturing is not the same as her being punished, although it does help her to go to sleep. He then takes her upstairs, still wearing her bathing suit and still wrapped up in the towel, as he repeatedly says, "My shoe is wet" (much to the audience's laughter and applause).
And said punishment results in her sitting in her room looking at the wall, as she sings about how boring and "no fun" it is (see Quotes). When Danny comes in, they have a talk about how she has to follow the rules from now on, such as "No swimming in the kitchen." He then puts her in bed as she accepts her fate, and when asked, he says that she will always be his "little princess" (bringing an "aw" from the audience), responding with her trademark thumbs-up and "You got it, dude!" (as the audience applauds).
Meanwhile, Jesse buys an expensive engagement ring for Becky, who tries to stop him from selling his Elvis Presley-signed guitar in order to pay for the ring.
Danny: Michelle, did you start a pillow fight?
Michelle: Yes, I did.
Danny: Michelle, that was wrong. [to Stephanie and D.J.] You girls are in big trouble.
D.J.: Why are we in trouble?
Danny: Because she's just a little girl. You're supposed to set an example.
D.J.: We did. We set an example of how destructive pillow fights can be.
Danny: Nice try. Now, according to the Official Dads Handbook, the punishment for furniture through a window is raking the yard to pay for it and no music video awards.
[The older girls attempt to watch Kimmy's TV from way across at her house.]
D.J.: Good, the video awards are starting. Now, Kimmy move the TV a little over to the left. Keep going. There. That's perfect.
Michelle: Who wants to play?
Stephanie: We can't play. We're grounded, thank you very much.
Michelle: You're welcome very much.
Danny: Michelle, there you are. D.J., what are you looking at?
D.J.: Oh, just the stars.
Danny: Really? Oh, I see stars, all right. M.C. Hammer, Billy Idol... Oh, hi, Mr. Gibbler! I think he's yelling something at me. He said, get a new hobby or he's calling the police. That's it. I want both you girls in bed right now.
D.J.: What? Michelle's not even in bed yet.
Danny: Don't you worry about Michelle. Just get a good night's sleep. You got a full day of raking leaves ahead of you. [He takes Michelle with him.] All right, come on, little princess.
D.J.: What is happening here? All of a sudden, Michelle is Cinderella and we're the ugly step-sisters?
Stephanie: Who are you calling "ugly"?!
[As D.J. and Stephanie rake, Michelle comes by and sees the piles of...]
[She immediately starts stomping in them.]
D.J.: Michelle! Cut it out!
[But Michelle is too busy stomping around to listen...]
D.J.: That's it! You wreck 'em, you rake 'em.
[She gives the rake to Michelle, at which point Danny comes out and see what's going on.]
Danny: Girls, I can't believe you're making Michelle do your punishment.
Stephanie: But Dad, she ran---
D.J.: Steph, save your energy. You'll need it to rake.
[Suddenly, Michelle stands in her wading pool.]
Michelle: Daddy, I wanna go swimming.
Danny: No, Michelle. It's too cold outside. No swimming. [to the older girls] But it's a beautiful day for raking leaves.
[He gives the rake back to Stephanie and then exits.]
Stephanie: Let's get this over with.
[Suddenly, Michelle drags her wading pool towards the house, and the raking girls quickly notice this.]
D.J.: Michelle, what are you doing?
Michelle: Going swimming.
Stephanie: But Dad said "No".
Michelle: Well I said "Yes".
D.J.: But it's too cold outside.
Michelle: Well, I'm swimming inside.
Michelle: [singing] This is no fun, no fun, looking at the wall...
[Danny enters her room]
Michelle: Yes, Daddy?
Danny: Are you ready to be a good girl now?
Michelle: I'll be a very good girl.
Danny: Good. And did you learn a lesson from all this?
Michelle: Yes, I did. No swimming in the kitchen.
Danny: Yes, no swimming in the kitchen, that's a very important lesson. But there's a bigger lesson here. Daddy, Uncle Jesse, and Joey, we know what's best for you. So, honey, when we ask you to do something, you should do it. Deal?
Michelle: You're the boss.
- The episode title is likely a take on the Woody Allen film Crimes and Misdemeanors, which is named after the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors", found in the U.S. Constitution
- D.J.'s reference to Michelle being "Cinderella" and herself and Stephanie being the "ugly stepsisters" (see quote) is a reference to Michelle always getting special treatment (similar to Cinderella getting to dance with the prince at the ball instead of her step-sisters)