|Michelle a la Carte|
|Season 7, episode 20|
|Air date||March 15, 1994|
|Previous||Love on the Rocks|
|Next||Be Your Own Best Friend|
After being insulted by a neighborhood boy named Kenny, Michelle decides that she wants to be in the annual downhill soapbox derby championship, and she gets Becky to help her build a soapbox car. But Michelle feels like dropping out of the race when she hears comments about how girls should not be doing things like entering a soapbox derby race. Feeling guilty about what they had said, Jesse and Danny apologize to Michelle (saying that sometimes people make a joke, but don't realize they're sending out a bad message) before encouraging her to not give up. Becky reminds her (as the inspirational music plays) that being a girl makes her special, and Michelle agrees, so they get to work on putting the finishing touches on her car.
The day of the race, the elimination/quarterfinal heats soon begin, and Michelle makes it past that stage and on to the semifinals (which her friend Denise also makes it to, and stays around for the rest of the race), and then the finals. In the final race, it's Michelle against Kenny, who has never lost a race. Denise, who lost to Kenny in the semifinals, tells Michelle to give him "No mercy." After a pep talk from the rest of the family, and despite being behind midway through, per D.J. (her words of "She's behind!" can barely be heard through the roaring crowd), Michelle races past Kenny, and wins the championship "by a rose" (hence the rose that she took from Becky's bouquet and placed at the hood of her car; see "Trivia" below). After the race, all Kenny can muster to Michelle is a simple "Congratulations", as he walks away, head hung low, and his perfect streak finally broken and put to a stop dead in its tracks (no pun intended). Everyone runs out onto the track to celebrate Michelle's victory near her car at the finish line, as she hoists her trophy (and the applause from both the crowd and studio audience continue as the camera zooms out).
Meanwhile, Stephanie gets a broken arm after slipping on a discarded slice of pizza in the parking lot outside a skating rink. In order to regain her strength, she gives Joey ballet lessons as a way to help Joey improve his skills in ice hockey. During the lessons, Joey ends up accidentally ripping the seat of his pants. Luckily, by practicing over and over, he gets really good at it, and, after he gives Michelle back the tape he borrowed from her, Jesse and Danny also apologize to him for making fun of his wanting to learn ballet.
Also, D.J. and Steve Hale decide to try to give friendship a try after their recent breakup, but all he wants is his CD back.
Stephanie: [to Joey with a smile, after seeing how well he’s doing with his ballet lessons] Somebody’s been practicing.
Joey: Thank you for noticing. Steph, I just imagined myself as a squirrel on the first day of spring, gathering nuts.
The music from Michelle's tape is "The Dance of the Reed Flutes" (also "The Dance of the Mirlitons") from The Nutcracker ballet, composed by Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky, and based on the story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffman.
The announcer's "by a rose" remark is a play on "by a nose", which means a close finish. To illustrate this, the camera freezes "instant-replay" style at the exact point when both cars are about to reach the finish line, but Michelle crosses first.