Shape Up
Season 4, episode 8
Shape up
Air date November 9, 1990
Writer(s) Jeff Franklin
Director Joel Zwick
Previous Viva Las Joey
Next One Last Kiss

Shape Up is episode eight in season four of Full House. It originally aired on November 9, 1990.

Opening Teaser

See #Quotes.


It is getting close to Kimmy Gibbler's 14th birthday. Of course, D.J. is among the invited guests to the birthday party, which is scheduled to take place at a local hotel's indoor swimming pool.

Anxious to lose weight, D.J. tapes pictures of skinny models on the kitchen fridge, which Becky notices. While Becky is elated that D.J. wants to look like her, she advises her that a good way to take off a couple pounds is to have a good diet (see Quotes).

Meanwhile, Jesse brings home some wedding cake samples, and Michelle sees it as an opportunity to literally have her cake and eat it too (eliciting applause from the studio audience). When everyone else offers it to D.J., she just decides to eat a water pop (see Quotes).

After eating a box of cookies in her and Stephanie's room, D.J. is too afraid to let her friends see her in a swimsuit, so she not only ditches the box of cookies that Kimmy retrieves later, but also secretly begins a crash diet (which is actually a fast in this case) that becomes dangerous. The next morning, she is preparing to weigh herself and is shocked upon stepping on the scale (see Quotes).

After Stephanie catches D.J. giving her sandwich to Comet, D.J. forces her to "pinky swear" that she will stay quiet about her skipping so many meals (see Quotes).

In addition, Stephanie is learning to practice the recorder for music appreciation class, and every time she practices "On Top of Old Smoky", she hits a wrong note. When Jesse tries to help, he too hits the wrong note, and when Michelle comes in during their practice session, he plays the wrong note really loud, causing a piece of Stephanie's gum to land on Michelle's forehead. Of course, D.J. does not want to hear it when she's making a collage for Kimmy's birthday card, so she "requests" that Stephanie either not practice in their room or go practice somewhere else (see Quotes).

Later, while the family is at a local gym, just as she finishes working out on a treadmill, D.J. collapses. Stephanie is the first to notice this and alerts Danny. Hearing both of them, the rest of the family arrives to tend to D.J., and even Jesse allows her to take a sip of his water bottle, after which they all go home.

D.J.'s dizzy spell makes Stephanie afraid that D.J. might hurt herself even more by continuing to fast. She can't stay quiet any longer, so she breaks the promise and tells the adults about it, and this time, it's the guys (including Joey) who give their two cents (see Quotes). Jesse responds by telling her that she did the right thing by stopping her sister from doing any more damage to herself.

Upstairs in her and Stephanie's room, after she shows him more pictures of models that inspired her crash diet, Danny helps D.J. realize that her outside does not matter to her friends as much as what's on her inside (see Quotes). He reminds her (as the inspirational music plays) of who the real D.J. is, in that she should see herself the same way her friends see her: she has a good heart and cares about people, and that is why they care about her in return. After their talk, they hug (as the music stops), and she decides to go to Kimmy's party anyway and have fun with her friends. Heeding all the words and taking all the advice given to her today, D.J. promises Danny that she will exercise the right way and eat healthy, starting with a salad—with dressing on the side rather than on the salad itself, followed by a roll with no butter. They then head downstairs for dinner (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).


[In the teaser, Jesse and Michelle are in the kitchen.]
Jesse: Okay, Shorty, what cereal have you been bugging your uncle Jesse to buy for breakfast?
Michelle: Fiber Bears!
Jesse: [taking the box from behind his back] You got it, dude!
Michelle: I'm glad I woke you up.
Jesse: Me too. If you hadn't come and jumped on my stomach, I would have missed a beautiful sunrise this morning. I'll get the milk.
[While he does so, Michelle turns the cereal box upside down, so all the cereal ends up in and around her bowl. Then she starts searching it until she finds the toy.]
Michelle: Here he is! Party Teddy!
Jesse: Michelle! What about breakfast?
Michelle: Two eggs, over easy. Thank you.

[As D.J. munches on a box of cookies, Stephanie comes in...]
Stephanie: Hey Deej, look what I got from school today: a recorder. Any requests?
D.J.: Yes, please don't play.
Stephanie: "On Top of Old Smokey"? You got it!
[She starts playing, then hits a wrong note.]
D.J.: Oh yeah, that's not gonna drive me nuts.
Stephanie: This happens to be my homework for music appreciation.
D.J.: Well, when it happens to be music, I'll appreciate it. Will you please practice somewhere else? I'm making a collage for Kimmy's birthday card.

Becky: Deej, if you wanna lose a couple of pounds, all you have to do is eat sensibly. You could have boiled fish, lean chicken without the skin, fresh fruits, delicious steamed vegetables, a nice whole grain pasta with a light tomato sauce and just a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
D.J.: Becky, I'm trying to keep my mind off of food.
Becky: Sorry. The most important thing is to keep the junk food out of the house.

Jesse: Alright, we need you guys to help me and Becky pick out our wedding cake.
Becky: I thought we decided on a chocolate cake.
Jesse: Well, chocolate's just not chocolate anymore. [He opens a box filled with samples of different chocolate cakes.] See what I mean?
Michelle: Whoa, baby!
Jesse: You see, you got your dark chocolate, your white chocolate, your chunky chocolate, your mocha choco-chocolate, your double-fudge chocolate, your triple chocolate-chocolate-chocolate, and carrot cake. [Everyone looks at him.] Well, the carrot was sitting there so lonely, no one picks carrot cake.
Michelle: Let's pig out!
Danny: Now, now, Michelle, you're not being very polite.
Michelle: I'm sorry. Let's pig out, please!
Joey: Come on, Deej. You're gonna miss the cake.
D.J.: Oh, who needs cake when you can lick ice on a stick. [She licks it.] Mmm, wet and cold and.. that's about it.
Michelle: I can't take it, I need that cake! [She eats all the cake.]
Danny: Whoa, Michelle! Michelle!
Jesse: Alright, Michelle. Michelle, which one do you like the best?
Michelle: Chocolate.
Danny: Let's go give her a bath.

[In the morning, D.J. goes to weigh herself.]
Stephanie: You need some weighing music [as before, she plays the song on the recorder, hitting that sour note].
Jesse: [enters their room] Steph, have mercy on my ears, will ya?
D.J.: This can't be right! Two days and I've only lost half a pound? I'm going off this stupid diet.
Jesse: Good. You don't need to be on a diet anyway. You wanna shape up a little bit, just exercise. In fact, why don't you work out at Michelle's gym?
D.J.: Oh, yeah, like I really want Michelle's body.
Jesse: They have an adult gym down there, too. I tell you what, Saturday we'll get the whole family to go down there. They can all use a little toning up. Of course, in my case I'd just be toning tone.
Stephanie: I'll provide the workout music. [Once again, she plays and hits the bad note, then Michelle walks in.]
Michelle: [with hands on hips] Stephanie!
Stephanie: Yes, Michelle?
Michelle: You are not good.
Jesse: Ah, see, she's just missing one note, here. [He takes the recorder and he plays the song, then hits that same note.]
Michelle: You are not good, too.
Jesse: Wait a minute, there's something stuck in here. [He turns it around and blows through it and a wad of gum shoots out and lands on Michelle's forehead.]
Stephanie: That's where I stuck my gum!
Michelle: That is not funny.

[D.J.'s crash diet is underway, as Kimmy comes over.]
D.J.: I'm skipping lunch, you want my sandwich?
Kimmy: Yeah, sure. [looks in it] Ham, again? [gives it back] I've been eating your lunch for three days, and every sandwich is ham. [Stephanie's listening in from the kitchen staircase.] Did your dad hit a pig with his car?
D.J.: Bye, Kimmy [waving]. [Kimmy leaves.]
Stephanie: D.J., you're giving your lunches to Kimmy?
D.J.: Yeah. So what?
Stephanie: You've been skipping breakfast and dinner, too. I'm not an expert on this, but shouldn't a person eat?
D.J.: Uh, you're right Steph. I'll eat my sandwich.
Stephanie: You promise?
D.J.: I promise. [She takes a bite.]
Stephanie: Much better. Now get yourself an apple and a glass of milk, and your basic food groups are covered. [She leaves.]
D.J.: [spits it out into a napkin] Come here, Comet. Look what I have for you – people food. [She feeds it to him as Stephanie comes back downstairs and sees it.] You're lucky. Dogs don't have to wear bathing suits. [Stephanie is stunned and not happy.]

[After the break...]
Stephanie: D.J., you promised to eat your sandwich. You lied!
D.J.: Comet stole it right out of my hand.
Stephanie: You're lying again!
D.J.: No, I'm not.
Stephanie: Lie number three! When will this end?!
D.J.: Look Steph, I've got one week to look good in a bathing suit in front of my friends. Now, when the party's over, I'll start eating again. But, until then, this is our little secret. Now, give me your pinky.
Stephanie: No, not the pinky.
D.J.: Yes, the pinky. You have to pinky swear that you won't tell anyone I haven't been eating. Now, hook up. [She puts Stephanie's pinky in hers.] Now, say it: 'Pinky swear'.
Stephanie: 'Pinky swear'... But I don't like it.
D.J.: Well, too bad. Your lips are sealed.

[At dinnertime...]
Joey: Deej, I made your favorite: chicken parmesan. Come here, and check out this sauce.
D.J.: I... can't. I just brushed my teeth.
Jesse: Before dinner?
D.J.: Doesn't anyone care about dental hygiene around here?
Danny: Whoa, D.J., calm down. I happen to care very deeply about our family's teeth and gums. Now, what's going on?
D.J.: Nothing is going on! I'm going to Kimmy's for dinner.
Stephanie: Don't believe her, Dad.
D.J.: Steph, you pinky swore.
Stephanie: I don't care. I don't want you to get sick. Dad, I know why D.J.'s acting so cranky and why she got dizzy today. She hasn't eaten anything in three days.
Danny: Is that true? You haven't eaten anything in three days?
Jesse: D.J., I think you should sit down and eat, right now.
D.J.: I can't! I'm finally starting to lose weight.
Joey: D.J., you're starving yourself. You could do serious damage to your body.
Danny: D.J., this kind of behavior can lead to serious eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia... You're heading down a dangerous road here.
D.J.: I don't care! I'm the one who has to wear the bathing suit next week. It's my life, and I can do whatever I want! [She runs upstairs and Danny follows her.]

Danny: D.J., we have to talk.
D.J.: You don’t understand! I don’t like the way I look. I want to look like these models.
Danny: Why?
D.J.: Because they’re beautiful.
Danny: Well, so are you.
D.J.: Oh, yeah? Well, show me one girl in here with this round face and these Charlie Brown cheeks.
Danny: Honey, people come in all different shapes and sizes. Everybody wishes they could change something about themselves. Heck, when I was a kid, I wished I could’ve been more like that guy on The Incredible Hulk (see Trivia).
D.J.: You wanted to be a big green monster with muscles?
Danny: No, not him – the other guy. The guy that turned into the Hulk. He was just nice and average. He wasn’t too tall. He wasn’t too skinny. He didn’t stick out like I thought I did. Then I realized he didn’t have it so easy either. Every time he lost his temper, he had to buy a new shirt.


  • When they were shooting this episode, Lori Loughlin made sure the kids on the set knew that D.J.'s eating disorder was a storyline for the character, and not about Candace Cameron in real life (as was rumored after it aired)
  • When Danny talks to D.J. about how he wanted to be like "the guy that turned into the Hulk", he was referring to the character on the TV series The Incredible Hulk, David Banner
  • Another episode where Stephanie breaks a promise in order to protect someone's safety is "Silence is Not Golden", where Stephanie breaks her promise to Charles not to tell anyone that his dad is abusing him (in both episodes, Jesse assures her that she did the right thing)
  • The somber inspirational music is used as the break cue
  • The episode is part of the basis for the Full House book Way to Go, Chipmunk Cheeks