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

In the kitchen, as they get ready for breakfast, Jesse surprises Michelle with her favorite cereal, Fiber Bears. Michelle is anxious to eat, so she dumps the whole box until cereal ends up in and around her bowl, and then the usual cereal box surprise falls out: a Party Teddy toy. Jesse, noticing the mess, asks her if she still wants breakfast; to which she responds, "two eggs, over easy".


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 (and is setting a 2-week goal in which to do it), she advises her that a good way to take off a couple pounds is to have a good diet. And to her, that should include sensible foods like boiled fish, skinless chicken, fresh fruits, steamed vegetables, and whole grain pasta with a light tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese. While D.J. says she's trying to keep her mind off of food, Becky suggests she just keep her mind off of junk food and she'll be just fine.

Meanwhile, Jesse brings home some wedding cake samples (mostly chocolate, with one carrot cake; seeing as the bakery where they purchased the samples had only one carrot cake and he decided to get it, despite Becky only wanting chocolate), and Michelle sees it as an opportunity to literally have her cake and eat it too. When everyone else offers it to D.J., she just decides to eat a water pop (in fact, she's made plenty for everyone).

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 she also secretly begins a crash diet that becomes dangerous. That night in her room after dinner, she is preparing to weigh herself and is shocked upon stepping on the scale: two days in, and she has only lost half a pound! Jesse, who enters the room upon hearing the bad news, says that she is right in that she does not need that diet anyway and that she just needs to focus more on exercising properly.

The first person to notice the diet's adverse effects is Stephanie, who not only catches D.J. giving her ham sandwich lunches to Kimmy, but also catches her giving Comet another ham sandwich Danny saved for her, after forcing her to promise to eat that sandwich. After finding out she's also been skipping breakfast and dinner to boot, and suggesting she have a diet that includes a glass of milk and an apple, Stephanie reluctantly promises her older sister/roommate via "pinky swear" that she will stay quiet about it.

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 when Stephanie asks if she has got any requests, she "requests" that Stephanie either not practice in their room or go practice somewhere else, sarcastically adding, "Well, when it happens to be music, I'll appreciate it."

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.

After this goes on for three consecutive days, Stephanie is afraid D.J. might hurt herself even more by continuing the diet. She can't stay quiet any longer, so she breaks the "pinky swear" promise and tells the guys and Becky about the diet. At dinnertime, Joey serves up D.J.'s favorite, chicken Parmesan; at the same time, he warns her that while she may be losing weight now, starving herself can do herself long-term damage in the future. Also, Becky again reminds her that she should not stay away from food, just junk food. Thinking that the whole family has turned this into a big deal, D.J. storms off upstairs, and Danny goes upstairs to have a chat with her. Jesse assures Stephanie she did the right thing in stopping her older sister/roommate from doing any more damage to herself than she's already done.

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 looks do not matter to her friends as much as she thinks; as it is not what's on her outside—but rather, her inside—that counts. He adds that growing up, he wanted to look like the guy who transformed into The Incredible Hulk—but not actually the Hulk himself (see Quotes and Trivia). He reminds her 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, 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.


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.
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)

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