Back to School Blues
Season 3, episode 2
Back to school blues
Air date September 29, 1989
Writer(s) Jeff Franklin
Director Bill Foster
Previous Tanner's Island
Next Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (in 22 Minutes)

Back to School Blues is episode two of season three on Full House. It originally aired on September 29, 1989.

Opening Teaser

Jesse and Michelle are playing hide-and-seek in the living room, and Michelle thinks she has the concept down (see #Quotes).


Stephanie, who is entering 2nd grade, is the only Tanner left in her school, and she expects her first day of the school year to turn out to be a bad day, as she won't have her older sister to stick up for her anymore. But instead, against her expectations, it turns out to be a good day for her. In fact, she will be able to be recognized more, because when anyone says "Tanner", they will know that they are talking to her. On the other hand, as happy as she is about not having to deal with recess anymore (see Quotes), and the fact that she is entering her "young woman" years, the same can't be said for 12-year-old D.J., who is entering 7th grade, which is a step closer to becoming a teenager. On her first day in junior high, she is separated from her best friend Kimmy except for one class. At lunch, she is humiliated by a mean girl and her clique. To make matters worse, all of the other kids see that she is wearing the same outfit as lunch monitor (teacher) Mrs. Agbabian, so she has to eat lunch in a phone booth. It is times like these that has her wishing she was back in the 6th grade.

Meanwhile, Joey tries to teach Jesse how to play golf in order to impress a golfing client. When Jesse comes out wearing a pink golfing shirt and pink patchy pants, it brings laughter from Joey and Michelle. They practice their swings. As Jesse gets set, he moves his hips and legs like Elvis did, and his swing makes a tear in the lawn and continues to do so even after Joey has him use one of the balls from Michelle's toy mini-golf set, which she has brought out to participate with. But they are both put to shame when Michelle uses her mini-golf set and putts a hole-in-one.

The next morning, D.J., along with Kimmy, decides to put on makeup. The reason why is because she believes the only way to fit in among the other students is to do what virtually the other 7th graders are doing when they put on makeup—look twice as old as she really is, and to show that she is indeed a "young woman". Stephanie wants to join them, but D.J. turns her down (see Quotes).

Before they head off to school, while Danny does approve of the blue dress that Kimmy's wearing, he does not approve of the black dress that D.J.'s wearing. She insists that she wants to look more "junior high-ish", but he thinks that not only is she overdoing it, she is going way too far (see Quotes). She storms off upstairs, leaving the guys shocked and speechless, and in more ways than one. But then they realize that they are raising, not just a "young woman", but a young woman about to become a teenager; meaning that she will soon be driving a car, going to wild parties, and even dating guys.

In her room, while D.J. wants Danny to leave her alone, he tells her that he can't do that, as he is her dad. As they sit on her bed (see infobox photo) and discuss her aptly-titled "back-to-school blues", she mentions all the above events (complete with inspirational music; see Quotes).

Just as soon as their chat ends (and the music stops), Becky comes in, and Danny lets her help D.J. with the makeup. Then Michelle comes in, takes D.J.'s lipstick, and colors some on his nose (see Quotes).

Later that day, Kimmy's schedule changes so that she and D.J. can have the same lunch time. They, along with two new friends, take over Colleen's gang's table (see Quotes) (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).

Guest star

Lucy Lee Flippin plays Mrs. Agbabian. She is known for playing Miss Wilder (also a teacher; though no relation to the author) on Little House on the Prairie (1979–1981).


[The opening teaser: playing hide-and-(go)-seek.]
Jesse: [sits on the couch with his eyes covered] ...9, 10... Okay, ready or not, here I come!
Michelle: [emerging from behind the couch] Here I am!
Jesse: Michelle, come here. We're gonna have to have a little chat, you and I. See, the name of the game is 'hide-and-go-seek'. You're playing 'hide-and-say-Here-I-am'. Capisce?
Michelle: Capisce.
Jesse: OK, let's play again. But this time I'll hide, and you come seek me, OK? So you count to three. Cover your eyes! [She does so, or so she thinks.] Cover your--No! No peeking! No peeking! Alright, ready? [She turns her head, but gets caught.] Ah, ah, ah! [She turns her head back around, and he hides behind the couch this time.] Alright, count!
Michelle: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... [uncovers her eyes] Here I am! [Jesse pops up from behind the couch.] I win again! Capisce?
Jesse: [gives up] Capisce. [She goes to kiss him. Then he jumps over the couch, and tackles her.]

[As D.J. and Stephanie get ready for their first day of the new school year, Stephanie finishes filling her backpack, and D.J. is looking in the mirror and doing her hair. Stephanie walks up to her, and looks at her watch, preparing for the last few minutes of freedom... well, for quite some time.]
Stephanie: D.J., if it's not right by now, put on a hat. [She sits on D.J.'s bed as her sister explains the hairdo.]
D.J.: Stephanie, today's my first day of junior high school, and I wanna look perfect. [She turns back to the mirror.] Wait... almost... there! Quick! Spray! [There are two hairspray bottles on the bed, and Stephanie hands her sister one while she helps out with the other.] Alright. All over. Keep spraying. Get... every... inch. [At last, the spraying comes to a stop.] Alright... perfect.
Stephanie: [She puts her bottle down and taps D.J.'s hair.] Very natural.
[Her sister takes the other bottle back as both girls sit down at their little table and make their final preparations before departure.]
D.J.: Finally, I'm going to a school that doesn't have a sandbox.
Stephanie: How can you be so happy? This is the first time we won't be at the same school. Aren't you gonna miss me like crazy? [She smiles and wiggles her eyebrows at her sister.]
D.J.: Stephanie, try to understand. You are a child. I'm a young adult. And starting today, we live in different worlds.
Stephanie: We don't even live in different rooms.
D.J.: [cringing at that remark] Please don't remind me.
Stephanie: Come on, Deej. Stay at my school. I need my big sister to stick up for me. What if some kid calls me a "lame-oid zombie dog"?
D.J.: I dunno, bite 'em. Look, I didn't have a big sister to stick up for me, and I did fine. So will you.
Stephanie: But when I get to junior high, you'll be in high school. When Iget to high school, you'll be in college. And when I get to college, you'll... be working at McDonald's.

Danny: Girls, I got your lunches!
D.J.: Dad, we're right behind you!
Danny: Well, here are your lunches [handing the brown bag to D.J and lunch box to Stephanie].
Kimmy: Mr. Tanner, wake up. In junior high, the cool kids buy their lunch. If you wanna be a good dad, give her a bag of cash.
Danny: Here, D.J. [gives her some cash] Buy yourself some lunch... [gives her more cash] and make some new friends.
Becky: You guys are gonna have such a great time. Junior high was when I got my first boyfriend, my first slow dance, my first slow kiss. [sees Danny give her a look] ...And then I woke up, and it was all a dream.
D.J.: Goodbye, Dad. See you later [starts to leave with Kimmy].
Danny: Bye-bye. Have fun.
Michelle: [running] Wait for me. I go too.
Joey: [quickly stopping her] Hold on, you little sesame streaker. You don't start nursery school till next year.
D.J.: But, Michelle, you can practice with a real school lunch [gives her the brown bag].
Michelle: [looks inside] No cookies?
Stephanie: Well, I'm going now. The only Tanner left in my whole school.
Danny: Steph, it's gonna be...
Stephanie: No, really, it's a beautiful thing.

[At Van Atta Junior High School, D.J. picks up her new schedule and feels "like a fish out of water" (meaning "being uncomfortable in an unfamiliar situation") as she bumps into Colleen and her friends.]
Colleen: Look out, scrub! These new kids are so tiny. They're embryonic.
Kimmy: [having picked up her own schedule] D.J.!
D.J.: Kimmy! [They almost hug.] Don't ever leave my side again. ... That kid has a mustache.
Kimmy: These people. They're like totally mature.
D.J.: [They see a couple kiss] Where are we? Young and the Restless Junior High?
Kimmy: Let me see your schedule. ... We only have one class together – sixth-period Spanish.
D.J.: Great. The only time we're together, we can't speak English.
Kathy: D.J., Gibbler, hi.
D.J.: Hi. Do we know you?
Kathy: Duh! We only went to school together for the past six years! Kathy Santoni.
D.J. & Kimmy: Kathy Santoni?!
Kimmy: [sees her "body"] You grew up.
D.J.: Big time.
Kathy: Pretty intense summer. Okay, here's what I found out so far: All the cute guys take metal shop, and everyone makes out after school on the football field.
Kimmy: Everyone?
Kathy: Well... maybe not everyone.

[In the yard, Joey is practicing his golf swings as Michelle comes out with her Little Tikes mini-golf set.]
Michelle: I play golf too.
Joey: No, Michelle. You sit right here [in a little lawn chair] and watch Uncle Jesse get a golf lesson first. Okay, babe?
Michelle: Got it, dude [with the thumb sign].
Jesse: [emerging with a pink shirt and part pink plaid pants, and Joey (then Michelle) laughs] Thanks for the clothes. If the sun goes down, we can play by the light of my pants.
Joey: Hey, we're doing this to impress the client.
Jesse: How? By burning out his retinas?
Joey: Get your mind off your pants. Watch my swing.
Jesse: Right. That's it? That's the whole thing? Piece of cake. Watch the kid take care of business here. [He shakes his hips like Elvis, and Joey immediately takes notice.]
Joey: Jess... Elvis never made one golf movie.

Jesse: Easy target. Here we go [swings and makes a big divet].
Michelle: Daddy be mad.
Jesse: Not if Michelle be quiet.
Michelle: My turn. [She putts.] I'm good.
Joey: See how she kept her head down?
Jesse: Shut up.

[Lunchtime at Van Atta Junior High School, day 1:]
Colleen: Over here! I saved you a seat.
D.J.: Thanks. My name is...
Colleen: Not you, scrub. This seat's taken. [The girl behind D.J. sits down.] Oh, here comes Mrs. Agbabian. Good way to lose your lunch.
Mrs. Agbabian: [to D.J.] Young lady, keep the aisle clear! [The kids laugh because she is dressed just like D.J. She blows her whistle to stifle them.] That will be enough of that. [to D.J.] Now, find a seat. That's a very snappy outfit. [Which makes the kids laugh even more. And that makes her want to be by herself. So, she goes into the phone booth, puts her tray on the shelf, pops in a coin, and acts like she needs to call someone (when she actually called the recorded line that tells the time).]

[In the kitchen:]
Danny: My beautiful lawn... hacked into pieces. Another senseless act of backyard violence.
Michelle: 'Gopher'.
Danny: A gopher did this?
Joey: [entering with his golf bag on his shoulder with Jesse] Hello.
Jesse: Hi.
Michelle: Two gophers.
Danny: Oh, you mean two golfers.
Joey: No, one golfer [pointing to himself], one gopher [points to Jesse and laughs].
Danny: You were hitting golf balls in my backyard?
Jesse: I swear, I didn't hit one ball.

[The girls come home from school.]
Joey: Hi, Deej.
D.J.: Hi, guys.
Danny: Hey, how was your first day of school?
D.J.: Oh, it was your typical first day. I got my classes, I went to them, and now I'm home. Dad, would you mind tomorrow if I dressed a little more 'junior high'-ish?
Danny: Oh, no. Hey, I understand. You wanna be hip like your rad dad.
D.J.: Yeah, that's it. Thanks, Dad, you're the best.
Stephanie: Second grade is so cool!
Joey: Hey, great. What happened?
Stephanie: Everything! You happen to be looking at the room seven official fish feeder. And, Uncle Jesse...
Jesse: What?
Stephanie: Now that D.J.'s finally gone, when people say, 'Hey, Tanner', I know they're talking to me.
Jesse: All right, kid.
Joey: Way to go.
Stephanie: And, Daddy, you'll love this: One of the shrimpy little first-graders asked me: 'Where's the cafeteria?' I said, 'Can't you read that big sign that says 'cafeteria'?' And the kid says, 'No, I can't read.' They can't even read. What a great day.

[The next morning in D.J. & Stephanie's bedroom, D.J. and Kimmy, both in blue robes, try on makeup. They then look in D.J.'s compact mirror to see how they look.]
Both: [cut to the mirror, as they cringe] Eww! [They wipe off the extra makeup.]
D.J.: Well, it's almost time for school. Do you think we look old enough?
Kimmy: How old do we wanna look?
D.J.: Old enough to keep me out of that phone booth during lunch.
Kimmy: At least you got to eat. I had to give my lunch to a girl with a tattoo. We could use a little more mascara.
D.J.: Yeah. [She picks up a handheld mirror and both use it.]
Kimmy: Assume the position. [Their mouths drop wide open as they brush their eyebrows and Stephanie enters.]
Stephanie: All right, a makeup party. I wanna look just like Superstar Barbie.
D.J.: Chill, child. You are way too young.
Michelle: I want makeup.
D.J.: Here, Michelle, you can put on a little lipstick.
Stephanie: And I'm too young? How rude.
Danny: Let's go, girls. It's getting late.
D.J.: We're coming, Dad. Well, how do we look?
Stephanie: Cheap.

[As the girls prepare to go to school, Danny runs to block the front door, apparently having issues with his oldest daughter's clothing choice.]
D.J.: Dad, we have to get to school.
Danny: You have to get past me first.
D.J.: You said I could look a little more 'junior high'-ish.
Danny: Where is this junior high? Caesars Palace? [to Stephanie] You may go to school.
Stephanie: I guess we're not as old as we thought we were, are we now?
Kimmy: I'll see you at school, Deej. So long, boys.
D.J.: Dad, before you say anything, you were not at school yesterday and you did not see the other girls.
Danny: D.J., I don't care about the other girls. My daughter is not going to school dressed like Jessica Rabbit.
D.J.: Uncle Jesse, Joey, you're from this century. Tell him he's wrong. [But they say nothing.] Fine. I’ll go tie some bows in my hair, put on my Garanimals and go skipping off to school. I’ll be Daddy’s little girl forever [heads back upstairs].
Danny: Not forever. Just until you’re my age.

[Having a heart-to-heart:]
D.J.: In the 6th grade, I was cool. Now I’m a joke.
Danny: Oh, I know it feels that way. But that’s because you were a big fish in a small pond. Now you’re in a big pond, so you feel like a small fish. But you don’t have to look like the big fish, especially if the big fish are bad fish and smelly fish. And, well, now I’m lost, and I’m rambling, and I just want to hug you and take you to Sea World.
D.J.: I just want people to like me.
Danny: They will, as soon as they get to know you. [turns to the mirror with his oldest daughter] But, look, D.J., this girl isn’t you.
D.J.: Then', who am I?
Danny: Well, I guess to me, you’re still my little girl. Honey, I don’t want to stop you from growing up. But, you just can’t go from 12 to 25 overnight.
D.J.: Kathy Santoni did. [...]
[Danny is trying to remove D.J.'s makeup when who should enter but...]
Becky: Come on, Danny. We're gonna be late. [D.J. turns to look at her.] Oh, D.J., don’t ever let your father do your makeup.
D.J.: [takes the tissues from her dad's hand] I did it. It looked better before.
Becky: You know, when I first started wearing make-up, I made the same mistakes.
Danny: Really? How old were you? 18? 19?
Becky: No, actually, I was right around D.J.’s age.
Danny: [sarcastically] Glad I asked. [...]
Michelle: [walks in the doorway with lipstick around her lips] I look pretty.
Danny: Yes, little Zsa Zsa, you look very pretty. [picks her up] But 'the secret to makeup is to make it look like you're not wearing any'.

[Lunchtime at Van Atta Junior High, day 2: Mrs. Agbabian and D.J. are not dressed alike. They stop and glance at each other, then D.J. breathes a sigh of relief.]
Kimmy: D.J.!
D.J.: [happy to see her] Kimmy! What are you doing here?
Kimmy: I got my whole schedule changed. We have the same lunch now.
D.J.: All right! What happened to your "bod"?
Kimmy: It's back in my sock drawer. My mom saw me getting on the bus, and she freaked out.
[They head over to a table and...]
D.J.: Hi. You're in my English class, right?
Susan: Yeah. I'm Susan Erickson, and this is Karen Sykes.
Karen: Hi.
Susan: Do you guys wanna sit with us?
D.J.: Sure, thanks. I'm D.J. Tanner, and this is my best friend, Kimmy Gibbler.
Susan & Karen: Hi.
Colleen: You're sitting at our table.
D.J.: Well, now it's a scrub table, but you're welcome to join us.
Colleen: [laughs] I'd rather eat in a phone booth. [She walks away and finds another table.]
Susan: All right!
Karen: Good job!
Susan: Way to go, D.J..
D.J.: Someone should tell her she's wearing a bit too much makeup. [The other girls laugh.]


  • The first episode to feature the abbreviated (but not truncated) theme song
  • The first appearance of D.J.'s friend, Kathy Santoni (and only appearances of Colleen, Mrs. Agbabian, Karen Sykes, and Susan Ericson)
  • The first of four episodes to deal with peer pressure; however, this focuses on the topic in general, and not just one particular thing (i.e. smoking, drinking, ear piercing, etc.)
  • The dress Stephanie wears to school in this episode is the same one from the opening credits, where she comes out the door holding her lunchbox in her right hand and giving a "thumbs up" with her left
  • Stephanie's "different worlds" remark would be repeated in "Take My Sister, Please" (season 5) by D.J., regarding the "room switch"; specifically, her being in high school by that time ("Land of Maturity") meant she deserved her own room, while Stephanie and Michelle being in elementary school/grade school ("Tiny Town") deserve to share a room
  • While Joey remarks Michelle doesn't start nursery school until next year, she starts preschool later in the season
  • This episode is part of the basis for the Full House book Same to You, Duck Face
  • Goof: While Stephanie remarked that she'd be in junior high when D.J. got to high school (see Quotes), that wouldn't happen; as she would still be in elementary school at the time (season 5)


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.