|The Play's the Thing|
|Season 6, episode 8|
|Air date||November 17, 1992|
|Previous||Trouble in Twin Town|
|Next||Nice Guys Finish First|
D.J. and Steve are kissing in the living room, as Michelle walks in on their love-fest. D.J. angrily asks if her little sister's ever heard of "privacy", and Michelle says she has, but she doesn't believe in it. Steve tempts her with a shiny new quarter, and she's anxious to grab it. But he tells her she can only have it if she goes upstairs and leaves them alone. However, she says that their kiss is more interesting than that shiny new quarter, and asks them not to mind her and go ahead and do it.
Michelle's first-grade class is preparing to perform a play titled "America the Beautiful". When D.J. was in the first grade, she played the role of Yankee Doodle and when Stephanie was in the first grade, she was also Yankee Doodle. Michelle wants to continue that tradition and play the role.
Michelle thinks that she has the role already locked up when Jesse and Joey volunteer as the play's directors, and Stephanie signs on as choreographer, but Michelle feels hurt when Jesse and Joey choose Derek Boyd to play the part because Derek's audition was better than Michelle's. The way Michelle's classmates treat her after Derek was chosen makes her feel left out in the cold. Jesse and Joey later admit that they feel terrible about making Michelle feel so hurt, and they convince her to play a different part. When Derek gets nervous before the play starts, Michelle helps him.
Meanwhile, Danny has had a tradition of taking the girls to Johnson's Hardware to ride Quacky the mechanical duck when they were young. Michelle refuses Danny's latest offer to take her there, saying that she is in the 1st grade now. As a result, Danny, missing having a baby of his own and noticing how much the girls have grown up so far, starts spending a lot of time with Nicky and Alex – even intruding on Becky's time with them. The past couple of days, whenever Becky has tried to do something with the twins, Danny had already done it. Becky explains to him that her time with Nicky and Alex is precious, saying that they are only that age for so long. Danny apologizes to Becky and tells her that, when Michelle told him she was now in the first grade and was getting too old to ride Quacky, "my last little duck-rider had left the pond".
Becky understands and says that they can set aside time for Danny to spend with the boys, which Danny agrees with.
Also, Steve gets annoyed with D.J. – who has gotten into the habit of speaking on his behalf – and thinks that she is making all the decisions in their relationship. Luckily, they work things out, and Steve apologizes to her and vice-versa.
[While the guys plan animal impressions for the radio show, Stephanie and Michelle come home from school.]
Michelle: What a day.
Jesse: Fried bologna in the lunchroom again?
Michelle: I wish.
Danny: Oh, sweetheart... I tell you what. How about I take you down to Johnson's Hardware and you can tell your dad all your problems while you're riding on Quacky, the mechanical duck?
Michelle: Quacky? Dad, I'm in first grade. I would look silly on a mechanical duck.
Stephanie: Dad, she's bummed 'cause they're gonna cancel the 1st grade play. And I was gonna be the choreographer!
Danny: Oh, that's a shame.
Stephanie: Our only hope is to find a parent-volunteer to direct it.
[And Jesse and Joey shrink down in their chairs as a sign that neither want to do it.]
Danny: Guys, don't worry. I'm a parent. I volunteer.
[As Danny takes the twins out to ride Quacky, D.J. and Steve come in.]
Michelle: Guess what? I'm gonna be in 'America the Beautiful'. You wanna come?
D.J.: We'd love to.
Steve: We would?
D.J.: Of course we would. It's the sweetest, cutest, most adorable little play. You know, I was Yankee Doodle when I was in the 1st grade.
Stephanie: So was I.
Michelle: Both of you? I gotta be Yankee Doodle.
Stephanie: OK, but you're gonna have to work for it. Ready for that, Michelle?
Michelle: [solemnly] I guess so.
Stephanie: [like a drill sergeant] I can't hear you!
Michelle: [like a soldier] I guess so!
Stephanie: OK, let's march! [And both 'sergeant' and 'recruit' march upstairs to rehearse, when she turns back.] I think I'm gonna like this job. [She turns back to her 'recruit' and marches her upstairs.]
Danny: Sixteen men on a dead man's chest. Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum!
[In their room, Stephanie and Michelle are rehearsing before going to sleep.]
Stephanie: OK Michelle, let's try the song again.
Michelle: One question: You know the part where Yankee Doodle sticks the feather in his hat and calls it "macaroni"?
Michelle: Is he calling the hat "macaroni" or the feather?
Stephanie: The feather.
Michelle: Well, then what does he call his hat?
Stephanie: I don't know, Michelle.
Michelle: He must call it something.
Stephanie: [albeit angrily] "Bob". He calls it "Bob".
Michelle: Should I sing "stuck a feather in his 'Bob'"?
Stephanie: [sounding like Jesse] Just sing it the way you learned it, huh?
The episode title is taken from a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "the play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king."
The guest stars are credited by their roles for the play: