|The Greatest Birthday on Earth|
|Season 3, episode 10|
|Air date||December 1, 1989|
|Previous||Dr. Dare Rides Again|
In D.J. and Stephanie's room, D.J. and Michelle are playing with a cassette player and its microphone. D.J. wants to record Michelle on tape for their grandmother to hear, so they start with a greeting. Michelle then asks where their grandmother is, and D.J. says that she is at home. So, they decide to add in the two of them singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider."
It is Michelle's third birthday, and the guys have decided to throw a circus-themed birthday party for her, complete with clowns and other things that are seen in circuses. Before the party, Danny complains about a problem with his car, and Jesse agrees to fix it.
Upstairs in their room, Stephanie reads Comet a poem she wrote about him for school: "My family has a new puppy/He's bigger than a guppy/My dad puts down paper for Comet/But he always forgets to go on it".
Then D.J. comes home from school, and she and Stephanie are planning what they want to be for the party. D.J. decides to be a lion tamer, and Stephanie realizes Danny's never going to let them use a real lion in the house, so D.J. decides to improvise and use Comet as her "subject"; however, during a practice run, he is not as mean, tough, and ferocious as she wants him to be, as he licks her all the time. Stephanie, on the other hand, wants to be a juggler, though D.J. asks her if she knows anything about juggling. Stephanie tries to demonstrate, using three tennis balls (like any juggler), but it turns out to be an epic fail. She says, "all you have to do is throw three tennis balls into the air and keep them there", forgetting that you have to catch them and alternate between tossing and catching them. Tossing (no pun intended) that idea out the window, she decides to be D.J.'s assistant. She again tries her juggling downstairs in the kitchen, but comes up with another epic fail.
Jesse is unable to fix Danny's car, so he takes Stephanie and Michelle to a gas station with him to have it fixed. After it's done so, they decide to use the restroom before they leave. However, during that time, Elmer, the mechanic, locks the station up, not knowing that they are still inside.
Michelle's friends arrive at the house, and clowns Danny and Joey, and lion tamer D.J. and her "subject" Comet all try to keep them busy in hopes that Jesse, Stephanie, and Michelle will be home soon. To impress the guests, D.J. improvises on how to get Comet to jump through the hoop, like any lion, but she just carries him through, pretending he jumped right through it.
At the gas station, Jesse does some clever improvising, and he and Stephanie throw a makeshift "circus" party for Michelle within the grimy garage, even though he has always hated clowns. And even better, he and Stephanie put on a puppet show, and even show off their juggling talents, despite Stephanie's difficulty. When Elmer returns three hours later, he is surprised that he locked them inside, and lets them out.
By this time, Michelle's friends have gone home, but she is still satisfied with the party that Jesse and Stephanie gave her at the station. However, they saved her a special surprise from the real party, and it is out in the backyard—an elephant. And despite wanting to keep it, they tell her that it is only to ride, and she does just that (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).
Michelle: [smiles upon noticing her birthday cake for the first time] My birthday cake. [She takes a piece and eats it, while Danny, Joey, and Jesse laugh a little]
Danny: OK, that’s it. [He reaches over and closes the box with the cake in it] She’s gone birthday bananas.
Elmer: Well, I’m goin’ home to siesta.
Jesse: All right. Well, have a nice nap.
Elmer: No, I’m goin’ home to see Esther – my wife. [he and Jesse laugh] Gets ’em every time!
Stephanie: [after failing to juggle] I hate gravity!
Jesse: Steph, don’t worry about it. It’s a party for 3-year-olds. You’ll be lucky if they’re even looking at you. Let’s go take a nice drive, okay? [turns to Michelle] It’s gonna be so much fun. But Michelle can’t go because she’s not 3 years old yet.
Michelle: I’m 3 years old.
Jesse: Then you get to go.
Danny: Jess, are you just being this nice to get out of blowing up more balloons?
Jesse: Absolutely. Chao, babe.
Michelle: Where’s my circus party?
Stephanie: Don’t worry. Uncle Jesse is coming up with a plan right now to get us out of here. [She turns to Jesse] Well?
Jesse: Well, my plan is to wait here until Goober lets us out.
Stephanie: I was wrong. There is no plan.
Michelle: I want my circus party.
Jesse: Michelle, I’m sorry. I know it's your birthday, pal. But I don’t know what to do. We’re stuck in here. I’ll tell you what. You want a circus party? I'll give you the best darn circus party in the history of circus parties. How’s that?
Michelle: Oh, boy!
Danny: Joey, what is an elephant doing in my living room?
Joey: Surprise, Cleano! [the elephant catches Joey's underwear with his trunk]
Joey: The surprise is on Joey. She got my underwear!
Danny: I got a great cake.
Joey: Did ya get the triple chocolate with pink frosting in the shape of a clown's face with a big cherry-red nose? Did ya? Did ya? Did ya?
Danny: Yes, Joey. Look at this. [He shows Joey the cake]
Danny: Jesse, I have just one word for you: How?!
Elmer: What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is going on in here?!
Jesse: Elmer! Don’t you check a bathroom before you lock up? What’s the matter with you?!
Elmer: What’s the matter with me? You’re the one with a funnel on your head.
The episode title is a take on "The Greatest Show on Earth," the moniker for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (1871 – May 2017).
Elmer uses the phrase "H.E. double hockey sticks". "Double hockey sticks" means two Ls. The phrase is a more family-friendly way of saying the word that was considered a curse word.