|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 (see Quotes).
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, but it turns out to be an epic fail, as she forgets that you have to alternate between tossing and catching simultaneously (see Quotes). 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: [enters the kitchen] Happy birthday to me.
Joey: No Michelle, it's not your birthday until you get down to one last birthday cake [drawing]. Now, take one away for today. [She does so.] Good girl. Now, how many till your birthday?
Michelle: [points to each paper] One, two, three, four. Too many.
Jesse: Ah, hang in there, kid. It's not gonna be long before you're how old?
Michelle: [holds up 3 fingers] Three years old.
Joey: Then you and your play-group friends get a big circus party.
Jesse: Joseph, forget about this. The circus is for kids. I got a better idea. [gets down to her level] Michelle, wouldn't you rather have an Elvis party? Instead of all those goofy little hats, your friends can wear little tiny sideburns. [Elvis voice] What do you say, little mama?
Michelle: No, thank you, big daddy.
Joey: Jess [pulling him up by the shoulder]. Sorry. What can you possibly have against the circus?
Jesse: Clowns. I hate them.
Joey: How can you hate clowns?!
Jesse: They bug me, man. They think they're so funny.
Joey: C'mon, get in the spirit. Danny and I are gonna dress up like clowns.
Jesse: You already are clowns. Look, Joseph, I'm happy to do what I can. I'll cook, I'll put up decorations. But if you want me to dress up like a chucklehead, I say, take your rubber nose and honk it.
[In D.J. & Stephanie's bedroom...]
Stephanie: Comet, listen to this poem I wrote about you 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.'
D.J.: [entering the room] I decided what I'm gonna be for Michelle's circus party. I'm gonna be a lion tamer.
Stephanie: Oh, yeah. Like Dad's really gonna let a lion in the house.
D.J.: I'm not gonna need a lion. I'm gonna tame Comet. Okay, Comet. Try to look mean. Try to look tough. Try to look ferocious. [But he's none of them, as he just licks her.]
Stephanie: I'm gonna be a juggler.
D.J.: Steph, do you know anything about juggling?
Stephanie: Technically... no. How hard can it be? All you do is throw three balls up in the air and keep them there. [She does so... and makes a complete fool of herself.] So, Deej... need a lovely assistant?
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.]
[Michelle puts on a pointy birthday party hat, then notices...]
Michelle: My birthday cake. [She scoops the middle (the clown's nose) with her hand and stuffs it in her mouth.]
Danny: Okay, that’s it. [He reaches over and closes the cake box cover.] She’s gone birthday bananas.
Joey: Why don't we take the little conehead upstairs while we get the big top all set up, huh?
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.
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!
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: 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.