|Silence is Not Golden|
|Season 6, episode 17|
|Air date||February 16, 1993|
|Previous||The Heartbreak Kid|
|Next||Please Don't Touch the Dinosaur|
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 her that his father beats him up all the time. He feels helpless because, like Stephanie, he does not have a mother because she died. He makes her promise not to tell anyone about the abuse.
At the same time, since Steve and Jesse are both reading "The Catcher in the Rye" for class, they 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.
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 and Quotes). 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 (see Quotes).
When she explains the situation to her older sister, Stephanie suggests otherwise on both counts, and also cautions her younger sister to watch her mouth regarding her recent comments about their dad (see Quotes).
Stephanie, the big sister and "boss" that she is, 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 and "boss" 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 hears them out (see Quotes).
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. She angrily regrets that she told him about the abuse in the first place, and says they're each at fault. He tells her that it's nobody's fault, and 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.
She says she feels lousy (as the inspirational music plays), but he says that she was in a lousy situation, as he wonders how anyone could hurt their own child. The situation makes Stephanie appreciate Danny more than she already does. Jesse decides that she needs to focus on something else for a while, such as dinner, which D.J. calls everyone into the kitchen for. Danny provides the meal by buying everyone pizzas. Before anyone grabs a slice, Stephanie hugs her dad, which he says he will gladly accept even if it is a free one. Then, the eating begins (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).
[The opening teaser: Michelle and Denise Frazer are watching television in the living room...]
Host: Okay kids, to hear today's new jokes ask your parents if you can call your 'Funny Buddy' at the number on your screen.
Michelle & Denise: [laugh like the TV host]
Host: And remember, it's only two dollars a minute, and don't forget to ask your parents.
Michelle & Denise: [laugh like TV host]
Denise: Are you going to call 'Funny Buddy' again?
Michelle: Sure am, last time I told one of his jokes, milk came out of my daddy's nose.
Denise: I asked my daddy if I could call and he said: 'Denise, do you think money grows on trees?'
Michelle: My daddy didn't say anything.
Denise: How come?
Michelle: 'Cause I asked him when he was vacuuming the rug.
Denise: He probably didn't hear you.
Michelle: That's the idea.
[Michelle and Denise laugh as Michelle picks up the phone to make a call...]
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'.
[Danny confronts Michelle about the Funny Buddy phone charges.]
Danny: Michelle, did you know these Funny Buddy calls cost money?
Michelle: Yes, I did.
Danny: You did. And did you know that every call you make shows up on this bill?
Michelle: No, but I do wish that somebody told me.
Danny: So you knew you were doing wrong and you still went ahead and did it?
Michelle: I'm really sorry, Daddy. I'll never do it again. [She tries to leave, but he stops her dead in her tracks.]
Danny: Hold it. Not so fast. [She starts walking slowly back towards him.] I mean, come back here please. You know, sometimes saying 'I'm sorry' is not enough.
Michelle: But, sometimes it is.
Danny: But not this time, okay? Every night this week, you're going to bed an hour earlier, because I want you to think about what you did wrong.
Michelle: That's not fair.
Danny: I think it is fair. I want you upstairs.
Danny: No. No 'buts'. I want you upstairs, pronto.
Michelle: [angrily, as she heads upstairs] I can't make a phone call. Daddy is so mean, I can't do anything...
[In Stephanie and Michelle's room, as the older sister pets Comet, the younger walks in angrily.]
Michelle: I'm never talking to Daddy again, he's a big meany.
Stephanie: Don't say that.
Michelle: He's making me go to bed early.
Stephanie: Big deal.
Michelle: It is to me.
Stephanie: Look, I'm telling you, don't ever call Dad names.
Michelle: You can't tell me what to do.
Stephanie: Yes, I can. I'm your big sister.
Michelle: You're not that big.
Stephanie: I'm bigger than you.
Michelle / Stephanie: So? [Both raise their voices and get in each other's faces with each one, until Jesse, hearing the commotion outside, enters.]
Jesse: Hey hey hey, Itchy, Scratchy, what's going on in here? I'm trying to read [holding a book in his hand] out here.
Stephanie: Michelle's saying terrible things about Dad.
Michelle: Daddy punished me.
Jesse: [putting down his book and removing his glasses] Hey now, Michelle, your dad is a very fair man. If he punished you, I'm sure there must have been a very good reason [taking a cue from "The Devil Made Me Do It"].
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?
Jesse's mention of "Itchy, Scratchy" (see Quotes) refers to the characters on "The Itchy & Scratchy Show", a running gag on The Simpsons.