Tanner's Island
Season 3, episode 1
Tanner's island123
Air date September 22, 1989
Writer(s) Jeff Franklin
Director Bill Foster
Previous Luck Be a Lady (Part 2)
Next Back to School Blues

Tanner's Island is the season three premiere on Full House It originally aired on September 22, 1989.

Opening Teaser

In the kitchen, Danny prepares a surprise party for Jesse and Joey, with his co-host Rebecca Donaldson and the girls watching. He brings a beautiful cake over to the table, as D.J. sets the table with paper plates and pours paper cups of punch. Stephanie spots our surprise guests coming, and when they enter the door, the family does the usual "Surprise!" with confetti. The party is for their two-year anniversary of becoming a family. But the real surprise is that Danny is taking the family to Hawaii (see below), to which Stephanie remarks that she likes their punch (see Trivia). And even better, Danny has asked the station to air repeats of Wake Up, San Francisco while he is gone. D.J. asks Michelle if she is excited about the trip, and Michelle is indeed excited and just wants the cake to be cut so she can get her sweet tooth filled. Danny grants Michelle's wish and cuts the cake and starts serving (ending the longest teaser in the series' history – clocked in at 2 min.).


Danny takes the Tanners and his co-host, Rebecca Donaldson, to Hawaii in honor of their two-year anniversary since becoming a family. Once there, however, Danny takes charge, being his usual controlling self, and marking all the families' activities together on what he calls a "Clipboard of Fun".

Among the various activities they do, he and the family decide to take an off-site trip to the Hawaiian island of Pua for a picnic and a Polynesian show. They stop for a rest on a (seemingly) deserted island, where Danny realizes he did not tie up the boat correctly, and the family is stranded.

Both Danny and Jesse try to go after the boat, but they realize that the water is just too fast and just too strong for them, so they run back to shore and literally go at each other's throat until they calm down. Stephanie says that if they believe in the Menehunes (as Becky showed her a sign of along the way), they will come and help them. D.J. just pets her sister on the head. Just then, the "Clipboard of Fun" floats over to them, but the minute Joey picks it up, Jesse snatches it out of his hand and throws it back into the water where it belongs.

The girls are also having their own troubles. When D.J. goes fishing the next morning, the only catch of the day she gets is the "Clipboard of Fun", which she tosses back into the water, hoping that it is shark bait, because she and everyone else wants to have their own fun. Stephanie, on the other hand, thinks that she has found a Menehune, and believes that they are saved. D.J., however, believes otherwise (see Quotes) and assures her sister that they will be just fine and the grown-ups have everything under control.

Meanwhile, Joey thinks he is seeing an attractive hula girl and gets knocked out by a falling coconut, and Jesse and Rebecca have an argument about Elvis Presley, while Joey and Danny argue over whose fault it really is when the boat drifted away. In the hopes that they will be rescued and the flying planes will see and hear them, Danny digs away in the sand, hoping to create at least an "SOS"-type message. Unfortunately, their waving did not work, so the planes just fly by. And while Stephanie was assured by D.J. that they have everything under control, they don't. Finally tired and having had enough of all the fighting, and realizing the rising tensions are going to hurt her feelings as well as Stephanie's and Michelle's, D.J. picks up a conch/shell near her feet, puts it in her mouth, and blows into it really hard to get their attention and to get them to stop their bickering, namely to remind them that the point of the trip is to show they are a family and that they are all in this together and lucky to have each other. She says that they need to work together as a team.

At the end, Danny realizes that she is right, and is proud of her for finally getting them back on the right track. Everyone sets aside their differences and builds a hut to stay in until they are found. Stephanie, who keeps believing she sees Menehunes, finally proves it by taking the others to where the inhabitants of the island are at a Polynesian show on the other side of the island. It turns out that they were on Pua after all, just the wrong side of it.

They end up dancing with everyone on stage. Joey again sees the hula girl and they begin to dance together. At the end, Rebecca speaks to the music director and apparently asks him to play a certain song that Jesse can lead the singing on, that being "Rock-a-Hula Baby" (see Trivia).

Despite all the events that occurred that earlier caused tensions to rise, it is a happy ending, as the performance elicits applause from the crowd.


Danny: Okay. Joey had his turn for fun. Now I've scheduled us to study the history and culture of Hawaii.
Jesse: Where you takin' us? The Don Ho museum?

[The boat has floated away and everyone's now stranded.]
Jesse: [quietly] First thing I like to say is... [lets his anger out as he snatches the clipboard] I hate this 'Clipboard of Fun'!! [tosses it into the sea] How... can a person... lose... a boat?!
Danny: It's not my fault. The rope must've slipped off the rope thingy.
Jesse: The "rope thingy"? Skipper! We're stuck! What're we gonna do?!
Joey: Well, if we were on "Gilligan's Island", the Professor would make a radio out of coconuts.
Jesse: Joey, this is no time for comedy. It's time to blame Danny.
Joey: Relax, Jesse. We have the rest of our lives to blame Danny. Right now, we need to keep things light and easy so the girls don't get scared. So I don't get scared.
D.J.: Are we in really big trouble?
Danny, Jesse & Joey: No.
Stephanie: If we believe in the Menehunes, they will come and help us, and then we'll live happily ever after.
D.J.: [petting her sister on the head] 7-year-olds; aren't they adorable?
Stephanie: Don't ever pet me.
Becky: Well, we better start looking for food, shelter, water, and some Krazy Glue because I know I'm gonna break a nail.
[Just then, the "Clipboard of Fun" floats back towards them.]
Joey: Hey, what the heck is this? [picks up the clipboard] The clipboard comes back, but the boat keeps going.
[Jesse tosses the clipboard back into the water.]
Jesse: Come on. Let's go to work. We got a lot to do, you guys. Come on, let's go. [And get to work they do.]

Stephanie: Look, Mr. Bear, orange things. You taste them first. [She sees what she thinks she sees and runs screaming...] Menehune! Menehune! [She runs back towards her sister who is just hoping for a good catch of the day.] D.J., D.J.!
D.J.: Wait a minute. I caught a..."Clipboard of Fun". [She tosses it back into the water.]
Stephanie: D.J., come here. I saw, we screamed, I need to catch my breath. [She calms down from her long jog back.] Okay, I'm ready. We're saved! I saw a Menehune! I do believe, I do believe.
D.J.: I do believe you've been in the sun way too long.
Stephanie: How rude. It wasn't just me. Mr. Bear saw him too.
D.J.: Steph, your only witness has buttons for eyeballs. Trust me, there are no Menehunes.
Stephanie: Well, if that's true, then what's gonna happen to us? We have no house or bed or phone. We can't even call out for pizza. We're doomed.
D.J.: We're not doomed. Dad, Uncle Jesse and Joey would never let anything happen to us. They have everything under control.
Stephanie: Are you sure?
D.J.: I'm sure. There's nothing to worry about.
Stephanie: Thanks, Deej.


  • The first of six episodes to use the extended theme song
  • The episode title is a take on the classic TV show Gilligan's Island, which Joey references
  • The second time any of the characters get stuck someplace (the first is "Our Very First Christmas Show")
  • Stephanie's remark that she likes "Hawaii's punch" is a reference to the Hawaiian Punch juice drinks
  • Becky's "Grassland" was a pun on Elvis Presley's hometown of Graceland, with "grass" being used to represent the fact that most of Hawaii is covered with grass
  • The song that Jesse sings at the end is Elvis' "Rock-A-Hula Baby", a featured song in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii (It was recorded two years before John Stamos was born)
  • When Jesse asks Danny if they are taking the family to the "Don Ho Museum", it is in reference to the famous Hawaiian singer Don Ho, known for the song "Tiny Bubbles"
  • Starting with this episode, the show leads off ABC's new TGIF block (see Season 3#Time change for more info)
  • The first episode to feature the new teaser graphics, namely the title shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, as the logo in yellow, flies out to the left
  • The Hawaiian music played during the "Promotional consideration" plugs (see below) carries over to the credits, with no change in imagery

Promotional consideration

Northwest Airlines provided transportation for the cast and crew, and accommodations and locations were provided by the Turtle Bay Hilton and Country Club. Sea Life Park provided the bulk of the action, and the Polynesian Cultural Center provided Jesse's performance.

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