Michelle Tanner was born on November 12, 1986 to Pam and Danny. She is the youngest daughter in the Tanner family. Michelle has blonde hair like her sisters, D.J. and Stephanie. She was nine months when her mother Pam died instantly from her injuries in a car accident after getting hit by a drunken driver. Since Michelle does not remember her mother, her family tells her what Pam was like in the final episode. She turns one year old in the first season and by the end of the show Michelle is eight. Michelle appears in every episode of every season. As she gets older, she has a wild streak and is a smart-aleck. She is shown having many friends, and spending much time with them. She always tries to follow in D.J. and Stephanie's footsteps. Michelle is the character with the most catch phrases. She mentions that her favorite color is green in "Tough Love".
Michelle often feels left out when D.J. and Stephanie get to hang out together. Michelle wants to be just like her sisters. Michelle's hobbies include Honey Bees, ballet, soccer, and horseback riding. She is very close to Jesse, who nicknamed her "munchkin". Becky sometimes helps her and her sisters with girl and boy problems, among other things. She is the cousin of Jesse and Becky's children, Nicky and Alex.
When she does not get what she wants, she often does "The Lip", her way of pouting. There are two known instances of this: "Stephanie Gets Framed" (season 4), where she learns to save up money to buy more important things than ice cream with the piggy bank money she saved up with D.J. warning her against the latter, and "A House Divided" (season 7), where she uses Comet's friends to stop the sale of the Tanner house, and eventually upset Danny in the process; however, he praises her efforts to successfully stop the sale and even takes back his promise to ground her "for life".
Michelle attends Meadowcrest Preschool. After Michelle's first day of preschool, when she accidentally puts her dress on backwards (and D.J. notices) and then later lets the class bird Dave fly away by accident, she wants to quit preschool, and Jesse agrees to let her drop out, but Danny won't let her. After graduating from preschool, Michelle goes to Frasier Street Elementary School until the end of the series. Like D.J. and Stephanie, Michelle is a good student.
Michelle is best friends with Teddy, having a strong bond with him. After she finds out that Teddy is moving away to Texas, she does everything she can to make him stay, such as tying him to a chair and bringing him breakfast and dinner (but not lunch, because of the fact that she still has to attend school). After she has a talk with Joey about it, Michelle learns she has to let Teddy go (although she feels better after learning that she and Teddy can call and write letters to each other sometimes). Eventually, Teddy comes back from Texas, but in that time, she gets another best friend named Denise Frazer. At first, Teddy and Denise were very competitive to be best friends with Michelle, thinking that she could only have one best friend. Luckily, they all became best friends very soon.
She is also friends with Derek and Lisa. Lisa was the one who suggested Michelle try soaking her feet in ice water in "My Left and Right Foot" (season 8) to shrink them. This causes her sisters to be concerned for her health and safety, and, against her wishes, remove her, shrink-wrap and all, from her frigid foot bath (and keep an extremely tight grip on her so she can't get back in the tub and insist she'll get permanent damage-causing bunions if she continues). Derek became friends with her after Michelle helped him get over his stage fright in a play. Aaron has been Michelle's bully ever since preschool, doing things such as pinching her, making her feel bad and manipulating Teddy into not playing with her because she is a girl (even though Teddy still played with Michelle afterwards). Aaron and Michelle dislike each other sometimes, but they often get along.
She is possibly friends with her cousin, Howie. As toddlers, she and Howie are enamored with each other. Later on, when they are at Becky and Jesse's wedding, they dislike each other because of her being a girl and him being a boy. However, they come to an agreement to get "married" because they both want to be served cake.
- Danny Tanner (father)
- Pamela Tanner (mother; deceased)
- D.J. Tanner (sister)
- Stephanie Tanner (sister)
- Wendy Tanner (aunt)
- Jesse Katsopolis (uncle)
- Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis (aunt)
- Nicky Katsopolis (cousin)
- Alex Katsopolis (cousin)
- Claire Tanner (grandmother)
- Nick Katsopolis (grandfather)
- Irene Katsopolis (grandmother)
- Iorgos Katsopolis (great-grandfather)
- Gina Katsopolis (great-grandmother)
- Teri Tanner (stepmother)
- Jackson Fuller (nephew)
- Max Fuller (nephew)
- Tommy Fuller, Jr. (nephew)
- Tommy Fuller, Sr. (brother-in-law; deceased)
During the run of the series, the character of Michelle uses many catch phrases (more than any other character).
- "Don't worry, be happy"
- "You're in big trouble, mister!"
- "Don't cry, be a big boy!"
- "Capiche?" (Kapeesh; Italian for "understand?" – which Jesse taught her)
- "Thank you very much"
- "You got a bad attitude!"
- "This is nuts!"
- "Just doing my job"
- "It will be my pleasure"
- "Go to your room!"
- "No way, José!"
- "Don't touch my ice cream!" (pronounced: "ouce cream" – when she's very young)
- "I'm not busy"
- Favorite movies: The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast
- Favorite character on Sesame Street: Big Bird
- One of the main characters who is in every episode
- Jesse calls her Munchkin or Shorty (the "Munchkin" nickname is a reference to the little people in The Wizard of Oz)
- Mary-Kate and Ashley's younger sister, Elizabeth's agent was approached about her possible interest in taking over the role of Michelle for the Fuller House spin-off series, but the offer was rejected
- It seems like she is ambidextrous (both left- and right-handed) because Mary-Kate is left-handed and Ashley is right-handed
- After the events of Full House, Michelle graduated from high school and moved to New York City to become a fashion designer
- She is the only main character to not appear in Fuller House
- Main article: Fuller House
In "Our Very First Show, Again", it is revealed that Michelle is living in New York pursing a career in fashion. In "Love is in the Air", D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy call her after Kimmy's bachelorette party. While they only get her voicemail (her voice is not actually heard), they do leave a message, quoting her famous catch-phrases: "You're in big trouble, mister!"; "No way, José!"; "Aw, nuts!"; and "You got it, dude!"