|Season 6, episode 6|
|Air date||October 27, 1992|
|Previous||Lovers and Other Tanners|
|Next||Trouble in Twin Town|
D.J. and Kimmy Gibbler are working together on a project that has the goal of encouraging students to stay in school. They ask Jesse and Joey to talk about it on their radio show, but Jesse refuses, and after talking with the family about it, he tries to escape. However, the family quickly blocks each possible escape route, saying that he's not going anywhere unless he gives a straight answer to the obvious question: Why won't he help D.J. with her "Stay in School" campaign?
Jesse is forced to admit that the reason why he does not want to help is that he did not stay in school. He dropped out late into his senior year, shortly before graduation, because his English teacher, Mr. Pearson, deliberately humiliated him in front of the entire class, and he could no longer face his classmates because of it. He just suggests everyone move on with their lives and then goes upstairs, shocking the family (and the studio audience). Michelle reiterates Jesse's point to the family.
While this is going on, upstairs in their room, Michelle again asks Stephanie to tie her shoes. But Stephanie insists that Michelle is going to learn to tie her shoelaces on her own one way or another, and one day it'll happen. Danny comes into the room and decides to teach a song that might help Michelle, but Stephanie debates the lyrics that he just created.
Downstairs in the kitchen, Becky teaches a bunny-themed song that just might help Michelle with her shoe tying. While she does so, Danny and Stephanie come downstairs and continue to compromise on their method.
Meanwhile, Becky convinces Jesse to enroll in night school so he can get a diploma, and even Kimmy and Steve stop by to give him some encouragement. Michelle even recites the songs taught to her, hoping they'll do her some good in learning to tie her shoes, and while Danny's happy that she's learning the methods, he hopes she'll actually put them to good use. Kimmy even has her own method, but as usual, it meets with everyone's disapproval (see Quotes).
However, Jesse's teacher at night school turns out to be Mr. Pearson, who humiliates him again, and Jesse once again leaves school.
Back home, D.J., Kimmy, and Steve are still deciding on a slogan for their back-to-school campaign (see Quotes), and Kimmy even bribes Stephanie to help. Stephanie says that Kimmy can't buy her vote, as she takes the money. But it backfires when Stephanie decides to go with her sister and Steve is Kimmy's only supporter.
Upstairs, when she learns that Jesse dropped out again, Michelle quits trying to learn to tie her shoes and tosses them outside the room and into the hallway, which she thinks is okay because Jesse quit school. That leads both to have a "little talk" about not quitting (complete with inspirational music, see Quotes). They shake on it—using their whole bodies (as they did in "The Devil Made Me Do It").
After they talk (and the music stops), he decides to go back to night school to get his G.E.D., and she decides to keep learning how to tie her shoes. Then, the rest of the family come in to talk tough to Jesse about not quitting (see Quotes).
As soon as the coast is clear, Michelle walks over to the little table where her shoes are (as Jeff Franklin's EP credit appears), and gets to work learning to tie her shoes on her own (The episode ends with a cut to a full shot of the house as the audience applauds and Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett's EP credits appear).
[D.J. and Kimmy are in the living room coming up with a "Stay in School" campaign slogan.]
D.J.: I've come up with 20 slogans for the "Stay in School" campaign, and they're all lame.
Kimmy: [paying no attention whatsoever] Hold on. I'm taking a personality test. I'm this close to having a personality.
D.J.: [surprised her best friend isn't taking this seriously] Kimmy.
Kimmy: OK. You want a "Stay in School" slogan? How about this one: 'Be smart and get your schooling, or you'll be living on a couch burping and drooling.'
[When Jesse can't help D.J. with her "Stay in School" campaign, he comes up with the lamest excuse.]
Jesse: Um, I'm sorry, I can't help you with that one.
D.J.: Why not?
Jesse: A lot of projects.
Joey: Like what?
Jesse: I have to paint the house.
D.J.: The house just got painted.
Jesse: And it looks great, too. Actually, I have to paint the driveway. Doesn't match the curb.
[Upstairs in their room, Michelle is at the little table doing her homework while Stephanie is lying on her bed reading a book, just as Danny enters.]
Danny: Dinner's ready.
Stephanie: Great! I'm starved.
Michelle: Stop! You forgot! Somebody's got to tie my shoe.
Stephanie: Michelle, I tied your shoe at breakfast, on the way to school, on the way back from school, and twice since we got home.
Michelle: Well, then you're not doing a very good job.
[In her room, Stephanie and Danny debate on the correct order to tie shoes, for Michelle to learn.]
Danny: [singing] Over, under, around the tree.
Stephanie: Dad, it's not 'over, under'; it's 'under, over'. [singing] Under, over, around the tree.
Danny: That's a beautiful rendition, honey, but I'm positive it's over then under.
Stephanie: Dad, you've been wearing loafers too long. It's definitely under then over.
Danny: Sweetheart, I've been tying my shoes for 30 years.
Stephanie: Maybe you've been doing it wrong for 30 years.
[Michelle decides to head downstairs.]
[Danny and Stephanie come downstairs and have come up with a compromise.]
Both: [singing to Michelle] Over or under, around the tree; swing past the knothole, pull and see.
Joey: Hey, have you guys seen Jess?
D.J.: He's been acting so strange. I can't believe he backed out of our "Stay in School" campaign with some weird excuse about having to paint the driveway.
Danny: You know, that's not a bad idea. Never really did match the curb.
Jesse: What's the matter with you people? If I'm busy, I'm busy, that's all.
[But nobody's buying what he's selling, and he heads for the basement entrance, but Joey's quick on his feet to block him.]
Joey: Painting the driveway?
Jesse: What? You got something against home improvement?
[He heads for the staircase, but Danny's quick on his feet to block him.]
Danny: You know, uh, it really is a good cause.
Jesse: I'm sure it is. [He heads towards the laundry room entrance, but Stephanie and Michelle are quick on their feet to block him but don't give a reason to take part in D.J's cause.] There's gotta be a way outta here.
[So he heads towards the living room entrance, but D.J.'s quick on her feet to block him.]
D.J.: Uncle Jesse, you know at my school, one kid drops out every week.
Jesse: So go talk to him and stop bugging me about it.
[He finally heads towards the only escape route left, the back door, but his wife is quick on her feet to block him.]
Becky: Oh, no, you don't. No, you are not leaving here until we get a straight answer. Now, why won't you help D.J. with her campaign?
Jesse: [knowing he's (been) defeated] OK. You wanna know why I can't help D.J. with her campaign? I can't help you with your Stay in School campaign because I didn't stay in school.
Jesse: Yeah. Let's just move on with our lives.
Michelle: You heard the man. Let's move on with our lives!
[Michelle finally has figured out a way to tie her shoelaces.]
Michelle: I got it! 'Over, under, around the tree; swing past the knothole, pull and see.'
[Kimmy has her own method to teach Michelle how to tie shoelaces.]
Kimmy: Here, squirt. Let me show you the Gibbler way to tie your shoe.
[She takes her shoe off, and...]
Everyone: Ew! Whew! Whoa! [...they notice the odors. Everyone either holds their noses or waves away the odor. D.J. and Steve quickly hide behind the couch and Steve grabs one of the cushions to keep the odors away from him and his girlfriend.]
Stephanie: Ugh! Gibbler! Put that shoe on before you set off the smoke alarm.
[After Jesse gets humiliated on his first, and what could possibly his last time in night school, he asks a favor.]
Jesse: Can I use the bathroom?
Mr. Pearson: Sure, it's right where you left it.
[Jesse leaves, still humiliated, and his parting words are...]
Jesse: See ya in 10 years.
[Back home, Michelle's shown everyone she can tie her shoes, but little do they know that she cheated.]
Michelle: Hi, Daddy.
Danny: Hey, sweetheart. [He gives her a kiss.] How's your shoe-tying?
Michelle: Piece of cake!
Joey: What the heck is that glob of pink stuff on your shoe?
Michelle: A piece of bubble gum. [And cut to the evidence that she did cheat.]
Becky: Sweetheart, why did you tie your shoe with a piece of bubble gum?
Michelle: The Play-Doh didn't stick.
Danny: Michelle, I know how hard you've been trying to tie your shoe, but bubble gum can get pretty messy.
Michelle: I'll keep trying. Where's the stapler?
Danny: Forget about the stapler. The only way to keep trying is to keep practicing.
Michelle: [as she walks out] Practice, practice, practice.
[The teens come downstairs, still arguing over a good "Stay in School" campaign slogan.]
D.J.: OK, here is my slogan: People who are smart finish what they start. Stay in school.'
[There are mixed emotions on that one.]
Kimmy: And now, the second choice; the only choice: 'Stay in school. Don't be an idiot. Don't drop out even if you have to glue your butt to a chair.'
[There are mixed emotions on that one, too.]
[On his way up, Jesse notices Michelle's shoes near the door to what was his room. More shoes come flying out until he catches one, and catches on to what she's doing.]
Jesse: What's going on, Munchkin? Throwing out all your shoes?
Michelle: Only the ones with laces.
[Before she can even throw another one, let alone a pair...]
Jesse: Ho, ho, ho, hold it! Now, come here. I know you're having a little trouble with the shoe-tying thing, but don't you think you're being a little hasty?
Michelle: No, 'cause I don't know what 'hasty' means.
Jesse: Means you're not thinking things through. What are you gonna wear on your feet?
Michelle: Sandals, slippers, anything with Velcro.
[Jesse and Michelle have just made a deal and committed to it, when...]
Becky: Jess, we just had a family meeting.
Danny: And we've decided that we're not gonna let you quit.
Joey: Yeah, you may hate our guts for this.
Stephanie: You might kick and scream.
D.J.: But it's only because we love you.
Jesse: OK. You guys win. I'm going back to night school. [He exits the room, and it seems to them that their tough talk worked. As they leave individually...]
Danny: You know what it is? I think he realized I meant business.
Joey: Yeah, I wasn't taking 'no' for an answer.
Becky: I'm glad we played hardball.
Stephanie: We're so good, we're bad.
D.J.: [She opens her mouth to say something but decides not to, since everyone else has left.]
The episode title is a take on the award-winning 1980 play and 1983 film Educating Rita.
The family teaching Michelle how to tie her shoes was most likely adapted from the teaser of "Granny Tanny" (3.5)
The ending music cue is taken from that of the opening teaser cue from "Our Very First Christmas Show" (2.9)