Full House

The Return of Grandma

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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 Jesse's life while Jesse was on his way home from a gig.

Jesse then leaves the kitchen to get his guitar and bring it inside the house. By the time Jesse 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 5:12pm. 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 12:05pm, not 5:12pm. 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 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 Stephanie finds Bubba.


  • 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"

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