|Season 7, episode 5|
|Air date||October 12, 1993|
|Next||Smash Club: The Next Generation|
In the living room, Michelle is getting Comet to roll over, but he just sits. So it's up to her to get Nicky and Alex to show Comet how it's done, and she rewards each of them with a cookie. Then Comet rolls over by himself, and gets his cookie. Then he rolls over along with Alex and Nicky, as Michelle remarks, "I'm gonna need some more cookies."
For two weeks, Stephanie has been in 6th grade at DiMaggio Junior High School. Her old friends all attend different schools now because of a redistricting plan, and she is desperate to make new friends. She finds an unexpected blessing in Mickey, a 7th grader who helps her adjust to the school. And then Mickey's cigarette-smoking pals, led by Gia Mahan, want Stephanie to smoke cigarettes with them, to which she remarks, "No thanks, I'm trying to quit." That is why she is not sure that these girls are her kind of friends, which leads Gia to remark, "Sixth graders are terminally pathetic."
Later that day, just as she gets home from school and enters her and Michelle's room, Stephanie is annoyed when she finds out that Aaron and Michelle are playing a card game that has absolutely no rules whatsoever. When she makes a bad play, they call her out for cheating, which leads to an argument. Stephanie, shocked as she is, can only ask how she could cheat if there are no rules. Aaron, in a sing-song voice, says she's a "Cheater, cheater, cheater", and Stephanie, in the same style, says "This game is stupid, stupid, stupid." The argument escalates and Michelle tries to calm them down, but to no avail. Hearing the commotion outside, Danny enters the room to calm all three of them down, jokingly saying that "The airports called and complained about the noise". Danny, like Michelle before him, asks where Stephanie's new friends are, and of course, this has Stephanie at a loss for words, saying that she's through "playing with 6-year-olds".
And with that, she heads downstairs to the kitchen for some coloring book fun with the twins. She asks Nicky to stay inside the line, but he doesn't do much in the way of coloring. Paying no attention to them, she grabs a crayon and uses it as a pretend cigarette, taking a cue from Gia earlier and remarking that "Preschoolers are terminally pathetic." Just then, Becky comes home from a supermarket trip and has a talk with Stephanie about how miserable junior high can be. She talks about how miserable she felt with coming in second in the "Winter Princess" contest...and cried. Like with D.J. in the earlier seasons, she tells Stephanie if she has any issues, she can come to her. Just as she's about to put the groceries away, she spots the twins eating the animal crackers she just bought.
Meanwhile, Jesse and Joey are having a special segment of their radio show, Rush Hour Renegades, where they have brought in D.J., Steve Hale, and Kimmy Gibbler to talk to teenagers who call in to seek advice on anything from school to dating, from homework to peer pressure, etc. While the teens take the calls, Jesse and Joey argue about what the title of the segment should be. As it turns out, Stephanie is one of the callers, identifying herself as Olga, a foreign student.
Later that night, Danny realizes that it was Stephanie on the radio (even going into "Olga" mode himself). He tells her (as the inspirational music plays) that she must trust her instincts and go with her gut sometimes, and that Mickey and her friends smoke because they are either feeling or have felt the same pressure that Stephanie is currently feeling, and that Stephanie is not strong enough to stand up to Mickey and her friends to resist the pressure, and she remarks that she will just stay home and finish junior high "by mail", because she is afraid of what will happen tomorrow if and when she sees Mickey. He even tells her that, growing up, even he was tempted to try smoking. After the talk, he hugs and kisses her (as the music stops).
The next day, Mickey and her friends find Stephanie in the restroom and try to get her to try smoking again, but she refuses, and Mickey's own friends call her out for wanting to be friends with a "scrub". And when Gia finds out about Stephanie being in the restroom alone, Stephanie asks when Gia is going to try that herself, which elicits an "OOH!" from Gia (as well as the studio audience, in addition to the laughter). She remarks, "Sixth graders are a waste of skin", and Stephanie reaches into her "comeback bag" and says, "You should know. You were there for three years" (resulting in another "OOH!" from the audience, in addition to more laughter) to which Gia remarks that she was only in 6th grade for two years. After Mickey's friends leave, she herself decides to quit, like Stephanie (and as they leave, the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).
Michelle: [To Aaron about Stephanie as they leave the kitchen] Yesterday, nobody would even talk to her.
[After her appearance on the radio, Stephanie is pacing around in her room, when there's a knock from none other than...]
Danny: Hey, Steph. How's it going?
Stephanie: [in her "Olga" voice] It's good. [switches to normal voice] I mean, fine.
Danny: Olga. [Now he gets to imitate "Olga".] So it was you on the radio, huh?
Stephanie: You heard me?
Danny: Yeah. Steph, I'm glad I did. I knew something was bugging you, but I didn't know what it was.
Stephanie: Dad, I didn’t want to tell you about this whole cigarette thing ‘cause I was afraid you’d be mad at me.
Danny: Mad at you? [He walks over to the little table and sits down.] Steph, I am proud of you. I know how hard it is to go against the crowd.
[She sits down at the table, too.]
Stephanie: Dad, did kids ever try to get you to smoke?
Danny: Well, yeah. But actually, you know, it never appealed to me. I always figured if I wanted to fill my lungs with smoke, I’d just stick my head in a barbecue pit, you know?
Stephanie: But what am I gonna do about Mickey? I think I still want to be her friend.
[He puts his hand on her shoulder, as the end-of-episode inspirational music plays.]
Danny: Well, you know...you gotta trust your instincts, honey. If you like Mickey, and you think she's a good person, then you should be her friend. But if you don't wanna be her friend, that's OK, too, you know.
Stephanie: Why does she have to smoke?
Danny: Well, you know, it's possible she's feeling the same pressure you are. You're just not strong enough to stand up to her.
Stephanie: Maybe. But what do I do if I see her tomorrow? Do I tell her how I feel? Should I wait for her to talk to me? Maybe I'll just stay home and finish junior high by mail.
[The audience laughs at the last remark, as Danny hugs and kisses her.]
Danny: You know what? You just hang in there, 'cause, believe it or not, it gets easier.
This episode's plot is reminiscent of "Back to School Blues" (season 3), when D.J. first experienced peer pressure in junior high (with the "scrubs" remark), as well as "Just Say No Way" (also in season 3), when she was offered beer and refused. Last season's "I'm Not D.J." also deals with peer pressure; namely, Stephanie getting her ears pierced to look cool like her friends.