|Silence is Not Golden|
|Season 6, episode 17|
|Air date||February 16, 1993|
|Previous||The Heartbreak Kid|
|Next||Please Don't Touch the Dinosaur|
Michelle and Denise are watching TV in the living room when they see a commercial for the "Funny Buddy" riddle line (a 900 number). Both realize they need parental permission to use it, as each call costs $2 a minute. Denise says that she asked her dad if she could call, but he said to her, "Do you think money grows on trees?" But Michelle says that Danny did not say anything when she asked him – because he was vacuuming at the time. She then picks up the phone to dial the number.
Charles, a particularly annoying classmate, is paired up with Stephanie for a writing assignment for "finding the best in people," after teasing each other in class. After school, Charles goes to her house.
Michelle interrupts their interview and tells Stephanie that she forgot to take the garbage out, and that Danny will deal with her later. Charles mistakes the situation for abuse, which forces him to admit to Stephanie that his father beats him up all the time. He feels helpless because, like Stephanie, he does not have a mother because she died. Charles makes Stephanie promise not to tell anyone about the abuse.
When Stephanie goes to school, the teacher tells her that Charles will not be coming to school for a week because he "fell down the stairs". Even though Stephanie knows what really happened, she reluctantly decides to keep it a secret.
Later, Michelle becomes angry at Danny for punishing her because she ran up the phone bill by calling the "Funny Buddy" riddle line several times (see Opening Teaser). She tries apologizing, but he tells her that her mistake was a major one that requires more than just an apology to get out of, so he moves her bedtime up an hour (for this week only) in the hopes that she will think about what she did.
That night up in their room, when she tells Stephanie that their dad is being mean, Stephanie angrily tells her that she is lucky to have a father who does not hit her. However, younger roommate still says that she's never talking to Danny again because he is a "big meany" and his "unfairly" moving up her bedtime is a "big deal" to her, and older roommate suggests otherwise on both counts.
Stephanie, the big sister and "boss" that she is (despite the fact that she and Michelle have gotten in trouble together before), reminds her little sister that she can't call Danny names. Michelle says that she can't tell her what to do, but Stephanie says that she can because she's the big sister in their room, and is responsible for teaching Michelle right from wrong (just like she was by D.J.). Michelle tells Stephanie that she is not that big, but Stephanie says she is still bigger than her (not just in size and age, but maturity as well). This leads to a war of "So?"'s from both sides.
Jesse, hearing the commotion from outside, enters the room and listens to each side: Stephanie remarking that Michelle's saying terrible things about Danny, and Michelle saying the obvious that Danny punished her. Jesse then explains to his "little Munchkin" that Danny's a very fair person and if he punished her it must've been for a very good reason (taking a cue from "The Devil Made Me Do It").
This makes Jesse wonder where Stephanie's behavior is coming from. She breaks her promise of silence and tells what Charles told her. Jesse then calls the police to report the abuse.
When Stephanie comes home from school the next week, she tells him worriedly that Charles still did not come back to school. Jesse tells her that Charles has been placed in a foster home, while his father is being dealt with. Stephanie angrily regrets that she told Jesse about the abuse in the first place. Jesse tells Stephanie that even though she feels pretty lousy about the situation, she did the right thing by telling him about it. He explains that Charles was not safe in his own home, but now he and his father will get the help they really need, and thanks to her, Charles' father can't hurt him tonight. Jesse wonders how anyone could hurt their own child. The situation makes Stephanie appreciate Danny more than she already does.
At the same time, Steve Hale and Jesse, since they are both reading The Catcher in the Rye for class, decide to each read one-half of the book and fill each other in on what happened. After trying to do this and being clueless, they decide to read the whole book.
Danielle Fishel guest stars as one of the two "Jennifers". She is known for portraying Topanga Lawrence in Boy Meets World and its spin-off Girl Meets World. Her first FH appearance is in "I'm Not D.J." (6.10).
Stephanie: I’m not exaggerating, dad. Nobody in school can stand this kid Charles. He’s a total obnoxitor.
Danny: Well, come on, Steph. How bad can he be?
Stephanie: Bad. Flufner, our class bunny, tried to bite him. Deej, help me out. I have to do a project with a real jerk. You have tons of experience dealin’ with someone who’s rude and crude.
Kimmy: Deej, do you have a friend I don’t know about?
DJ: Um, look, Steph, sometimes people can seem obnoxious from the outside. But when you spend time alone with them, really get to know them, become friends with them, you realize they’re not so bad.
Kimmy: Who is this person?
Danny: Steph, come here. I know Charlie can seem like a jerk. But, honey, there’s good in everybody. Beck, let me ask you something. Remember that guy we interviewed on the show a couple of weeks ago? Was it Tommy Bun?
Becky: Oh, yeah. What a jerk.
Danny: Yeah, he did charge over a million dollars on other people’s credit cards. But remember later in the interview? He showed a different side of himself.
Becky: Yeah. He mooned us.
Danny: Actually before that. Remember before he told us all that other stuff, he told us how he used to carpool? Of course, it was a stolen car, and he was fleeing the country.
Charles: I don’t care if you swear on your mother’s life.
Stephanie: My mother's not alive.
Charles: Oh. I’m sorry. Mine’s not alive, either.
Stephanie: I’m sorry.
Charles: Look, the truth is, my dad does hit me sometimes. But it’s my own fault for ticking him off. Boy, did he clobber me last week.
Stephanie: You mean that day you came in and said you ran into a door?
Charles: Yeah — a door named “Dad”.
Stephanie: Why did they have to take him out of his house?
Jesse: They had to. He wasn’t safe there.
Stephanie: What’s gonna happen to Charles?
Jesse: Well, Charles and his father need help, and now they’re gonna get it.
Jesse: I know how hard this has been for you. But the bottom line is, thanks to you Charles’ father can't hurt him tonight.
Stephanie: What made his father so mean?
Jesse: I don't know. I look at you girls and I look at Nicky and Alex. How could anyone hurt their child?