The Return of Grandma
Season 1, episode 4
Air date October 9, 1987
Writer(s) Russell Marcus
Director Joel Zwick
Previous The First Day of School
Next Sea Cruise

The Return of Grandma is episode four of the first season of Full House. It originally aired on October 9, 1987.


In the kitchen, Jesse shows Danny and Joey a turtle named Bubba, which Jesse brought home because Bubba saved his life while he was on his way home from a gig.

He then leaves the kitchen to get his guitar and bring it inside the house. By the time he returns to the kitchen, the girls have noticed Bubba, and they talk Danny into letting Bubba stay. After that, Stephanie says that Danny's mother Claire is coming to visit from Seattle.

It turns out that Joey forgot to mention that to Danny after Claire called and said she would be over. Joey tells Danny that Claire will be arriving at the airport at 5:12 pm. A now frantic Danny wants the messy house cleaned up as soon as possible, so he can prove to Claire that he can handle things on his own, now that Pam is gone.

The guys take the girls out shopping for cleaning supplies with them. When they get home, it is still about five hours away from Claire's arrival time. Minutes later, as the guys are about to start cleaning, Claire shows up and sees the mess.

It turns out that Joey mixed up her arrival time; it was 12:05 pm, not 5:12 pm. A shocked Claire has Joey's mother Mindy and Jesse's mother Irene come over to see the mess. The guys tell the mothers to go shopping for a couple of hours, saying that the house will be clean by the time the mothers get back, Danny telling them that if the house isn't in "house-shape" (instead of "ship shape") by then, they can move in and make their lives a living hell. After the mothers leave, Stephanie and D.J. tell the guys that Bubba is missing. They search the whole house, even the girls' room, but to no avail.

When the mothers return, the house is still a mess, but the mothers see how the guys help D.J. and Stephanie handle the loss of Bubba, helping the girls feel a little bit better. The mothers still threaten to make good on Danny's deal and move in because the house is still a mess, so Danny has the mothers take the girls to the zoo; then, after a huddle break (similar to the one used by sports teams), the guys actually get to work, and, as they clean, they sing along to "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown (which garners applause from the studio audience).

This time, the house is clean when the mothers return, and with five seconds to spare, per Danny. Claire admits that Danny can handle things on his own, and the moms check to make sure the guys held true to their word, and they did.

Then, Jennifer Sianski, Joey's fiance and a housemaid, enters the back door and asks for payment. Mindy's surprised at this, but that doesn't stop Danny from paying her for the "services" that the guys did themselves, though the only things they really needed help with were the toilets and all the other hard stuff. The moms then realize that they will not need the guys' help anymore, and they throw in "The Lip" for good measure, but they can still come by anytime. Joey remarks that they are good at "The Lip".

Claire again admits how hard it is for the guys to juggle housecleaning with raising the girls, saying that they may be a little sloppy, but the girls are getting a lot of love. The guys and their moms hug just as the girls get downstairs. D.J. wishes Bubba were there to see this, but wish no more, as Stephanie finds Bubba coming in through the back door riding on a skateboard, which elicits laughter throughout. And everyone hugs each other (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).


[The guys end their cleaning and singing by doing the splits on the very last note of "I Feel Good".]
Joey: I split my pants!
Danny: I can't stand my pants!

Stephanie: [noticing Bubba on the skateboard] I love that amphibian!


  • This is Alice Hirson's last appearance as Claire Tanner (later played by Doris Roberts [Everybody Loves Raymond] in the season three episode "Granny Tanny")
  • Jesse's mother, Irene, was first played by Rhoda Gemignani before being replaced by actress Yvonne Wilder
  • At one point in the episode, an audience member can be heard saying "Turtle"