Mad Money
Season 1, episode 21
Mad money123
Air date April 29, 1988
Writer(s) Rob Edwards
Director Jeff Franklin
Previous The Seven-Month Itch (Part 2)
Next D.J. Tanner's Day Off

Mad Money is episode twenty-one of the first season of Full House. It originally aired on April 29, 1988.


In the living room, Stephanie profiles Michelle as part of her "show-and-tell".

Then, Jesse enters the house holding a blue gym bag. It seems he's keeping some secrets from the family, as he won't reveal what's in the bag.

After that, Joey enters the house saying he loves everyone (in order: Jesse, Danny, D.J., Michelle, and Stephanie). He also has some really good news: his mother has found an old $5,000 savings bond in her safety deposit box, and the savings bond has his name on it, and that impresses the family. When he receives the money, he starts spending it left and right.

He starts with some gifts for the girls: D.J. gets Bruce Springsteen concert tickets, Stephanie a new bicycle, and Michelle a new toy lawnmower.

While Stephanie's trying out her new bike (see Quotes), Jesse and Danny are anxious to know what gifts they'll get. Jesse's hoping for a new motorcycle, while Danny already knows what he'll get from Joey: $800 in cash. He explains that he's trying to collect an 11-year-old debt from Joey: on March 12, 1977, in Palm Springs, Joey's car broke down yet again, and Danny lent Joey his last $800 (in cash) to get the car fixed, and now that Joey has come into enough money, Danny asks Joey to fork over $800 of it in order to cover the debt, leading to a feud between Danny and Joey. Jesse points out Danny should get the money while he still can, but Danny says he "doesn't want the money". The fact that Joey's paying him back is a beautiful and touching gesture that he decides to give the $800 right back to Joey. Jesse, however, thinks that is the most generous and stupid thing he has ever heard in his life.

Back in the living room, D.J. is still curious about what's in Jesse's bag. So much so, she tricks Michelle by dropping a cookie into the bag and having her find it, to which both girls are caught. Jesse says Michelle's "punishment" is to give her one kiss, and that's exactly what happens.

Then, Joey does indeed have presents for Jesse and Danny as well: They each get a lifetime pass to the Great American Amusement Park. He then reveals to Danny that he bought a 1964 Gumby & Pokey pinball machine for $1,275 of the $5,000 he has. Danny, as usual, is still not happy that Joey doesn't know how to use his money wisely. He asks Joey to invest that $800 in cold hard cash. And Joey says he will invest it... in getting Danny off his back!

Meanwhile, Jesse is working as an Elvis impersonator in order to make some extra money which is so that he and the Rippers will be able to record a demo, but he does not want the family to know. Of course, when they do eventually find out as they enter his room, they ask him what he's wearing under his bathrobe. And when they find out it's obviously an Elvis costume, they support him anyway, and they decide that he should have the money for his demo tape and everything else for the gig. When Joey comes into the room and sees Jesse in his Elvis costume, he laughs his head off as he leaves.

The family goes out to see the show that night, which starts out with a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, with Jesse's Elvis act following (see Trivia).

That night, the girls do their own Elvis impersonations the minute they get home. As usual, the fight over who deserves Joey's cash continues... until Jesse and Marilyn enter the house. Jesse gives them the good news that he will keep the Elvis gig for as long as he wants. Everyone congratulates him, including Marilyn, who kisses him, leaving lipstick on his cheek. As she leaves, she tells him to call her, before giving him another kiss on her way out.

The next day, Joey tries to make a ham and cheese sandwich, but Danny does not think that he is making one maturely. He says that a clean knife should be used. The reason is obvious: he sees Joey "washing" the knife he was just using in plain water only, then wiping it on his pants. He teaches Joey to use a clean knife each time he spreads mayo and mustard on each slice of bread and alternate when doing so, and then alternate between ham and cheese. In any event, Danny makes two sandwiches: one for him and one for Joey. Joey insists that Danny is the most predictable person he has ever met. He knows what Danny's going to do before he does it. Of course, what he did not predict was Danny calling him out for still watching cartoons at the tender age of 30, despite the fact that that is what led to him being a comedian in the first place.

And of course, Joey is still scared to take back the money. Danny calls him for being such a baby, and Joey digs into his "comeback bag" again by imitating Pee-wee Herman and saying, "I know you are, but what am I?" And so they decide to settle this dispute just like when they were kids back on June 22, 1979, and arm-wrestle; loser keeps the cash. But before they can do so, Jesse still isn't sure he should take the gig, and they decide he should do it for both money and fun.

Danny and Joey reminisce on their friendship and realize that it is their differences that keep them together. Joey realizes Danny was there for the money, and Danny realizes Joey was there to help raise the girls. And in the end, the situation between Danny and Joey is also resolved as well. Joey asks Danny to take the money, and Danny does. Danny takes it a step further and decides to use that $800 in cold hard cash to get Joey a closet organizer and a savings bond of his own. Joey disagrees with that, but Danny says that it is his money now and he can do whatever he wants to do with it.


[In the kitchen, Stephanie is riding her new bike non-stop.]
Joey: Come on, we'll try it out in the backyard.
Stephanie: I can't stop, open the door.
[He does, and she safely goes outside, because she almost hits the staircase on her way out. In any case, she is able to safely make it outside, as Joey closes the door.]
Joey: Okay, guys, don't go away. You got presents coming too.
Jesse: All right! Thank you. I'm through with that. Thanks. Man, I hope Joey gets me a new motorcycle. That would be cool.
Danny: I already know what Joey's getting me.
Jesse: What's that?
Danny: Eight hundred dollars in cash.
Jesse: Whoa, nice chunk of change. Why?
Danny: Well, 11 years ago, I loaned Joey $800 to fix his car. But he hasn't had the money to pay me back until now.
Jesse: Better get it fast.
Danny: I don't want Joey's money. The fact that he's finally paying me back is such a beautiful and touching gesture. That's why I'm gonna give the $800 right back to him.
Jesse: That's the most generous, stupid thing I've heard in my life.