Joey Gets Tough
Season 2, episode 7
Joey gets tough.jpg
Air date November 25, 1988
Writer(s) Lenny Ripps
Director Jeff Franklin
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Joey Gets Tough is episode seven in season two of Full House. It originally aired on November 25, 1988.

Opening Teaser

In his room, Jesse is working out with some dumbbells, and right next to him is Michelle, who is working out with some dumbbells that are her size. He shows off his muscles and asks her to do the same. Finally, he proudly proclaims that "By day, she's a mere toddler; but by night, Superbaby!", and flies her around the room like Superman.


While Danny and Jesse are at the TV station, Joey is left in charge of the girls. D.J. and Stephanie want to stay up late so they can watch a Tiffany concert on TV (see Trivia), so they use the "bunny nose" on Joey to allow them to do that. When Danny comes home and notices this, he ensures Joey learns his lesson from "D.J. Tanner's Day Off" and not be afraid to be a disciplinarian and get tough (hence the episode's name).

The next day, D.J. arrives home from school an hour late without calling and telling Joey that she was with friends, practicing for an hour for the karate tournament that weekend. He does get tough and grounds her for that weekend. She stands her ground (see Quotes and infobox photo), and he stands his.

Meanwhile, Jesse and the Rippers appear on Wake Up, San Francisco, where their appearance is changed a little when Becky suggests to Danny's boss, Mr. Strowbridge, that Danny could sing with the band, which Mr. Strowbridge takes a liking to.

The next day, Joey successfully stops Michelle from being a picky eater, and Stephanie takes D.J.'s lunch to school after D.J. declines (see Quotes). But instead of dropping D.J. off at school, Kimmy's mom drops her off at the TV studio, so that she and Danny can have a talk. Danny decides the talk will have to wait until after she gets off school and he gets off work. In the meantime, Jesse decides to take his niece to school.

After D.J. tells Danny what had happened with Joey, they have a family meeting about it – along with Stephanie and Jesse – complete with a baseball bat as a "talking stick", where only the person who holds the stick can talk, and everyone else has to listen and hear that person out. But the "talking stick" itself and its idea both turn into a fight that Joey does not want to be a part of, and the minute it gets out of control, he grabs the stick out of Danny's hand and asks everyone to "Stop it!" and, for once, listen to his side of the story and hear him out (see Quotes).

While everyone's in agreement that D.J. should've called if she was going to be late (including Stephanie), Danny questions why Joey's blaming himself. Joey says it all started when he tried to be “Mr.Discipline”, and then explains how his own family was always fighting and how he just wants the love and fun of a real family rather than bitter tension.

Jesse feels a little sorry for Joey, but says that almost every family has their fights, adding that even Herman and Eddie Munster (see Trivia) had them. Danny adds that the love and fun go together with the responsibility and discipline, and that when Joey is in this family, he is in all the way. He says that Joey did the right thing and D.J. deserves to be grounded.

Joey gets tough123.png

D.J., still unhappy, heads upstairs. After she tosses her karate uniform in the closet, Joey knocks on the door for a talk (shown at right). He tells her that when she was born, her parents wanted to name her Farrah (see Trivia and Quotes). He reminds her that they have been great buddies, but when he moved in and became more "parent-like" that changed. He says (as the inspirational music plays) that when he did not know where she was, he was scared to death that something bad might have happened to her. She apologizes for blowing off steam at him. They give each other a hug. He agrees to let her compete in the karate tournament, but she is still grounded for the following weekend. As he is about to leave (and the music stops), she tells him that she had plans for that weekend (half-joking), but they both know that she was not going to get that wish (see Quotes). (The audience applauds and the EP credits appear.)


[The family just finished eating dinner – except for Michelle.]
Danny: Mmm, great fried chicken. Joey, this could be your most delicious meal of the year.
Joey: Thanks. I was a little nervous at first but once I actually drove up to the takeout window, I felt strong.
Danny: Let's clean up.
D.J.: No, no, no. Sit. I'll clean up.
Stephanie: It's our pleasure to serve you.
Joey: And for dessert, I am proud to present genuine imitation pudding.
D.J.: None for me. I have a karate tournament this weekend. I wanna stay lean and mean. Ha [making a karate move with the karate sound]!
Joey: Here, Michelle. Kung fu this. [She breaks a crispy breadstick] Attack of the ninja baby. She has broken our dinner. She must pay.
Danny: Michelle, you haven't eaten a thing. Don't you like your potatoes?
Michelle: Cookie.
Joey: Doesn't that chicken look good?
Michelle: Cookie, Joey.
Danny: Okay, here are some Boston baked cookies.
Michelle: Bean.
Danny: Beans? Oh, so they are. My mistake.

[After Danny sends the girls to bed after turning off the TV, Joey also decides to get some shuteye; however...]
Danny: Hold it, son. Joey, face it. You're a soft touch. You let those girls take advantage of you.
Joey: I know, Danny. I don't wanna be a bad guy.
Danny: No, no. Freddy Krueger is a bad guy. Sometimes a parent has to say 'no'. If you put your foot down, they'll respect you more.
Joey: Are you sure?
Danny: Trust me. I know my dad stuff.
Joey: Okay. From now on, no more Mr. Pushover.
Danny: Good.
Joey: I can be as tough as any authority figure in this house.
Danny: You can do it.
Joey: Maybe I ought to tape the rest of that special for the girls. But they'll watch it when I tell them they can watch it.

[Joey hugs D.J. the moment she gets home, but something concerns him.]
Joey: You're an hour late.
D.J.: Oh, sorry. After karate, we all hung around and planned strategy for the big tournament on Saturday. It's gonna be so rad. What'd you make for dinner? [She looks in the pot.] Can we order pizza?
Joey: D.J., I was scared to death. I didn't know what happened to you.
D.J.: I'm fine. I was with my friends. It's no big deal.
Joey: It's a very big deal. ... D.J., you know the rules (shown in infobox photo). Why didn't you pick up a phone and call me?
D.J.: I forgot.
Joey: That's no excuse. If your father was here, you would've remembered.
D.J.: Joey, why are you acting like this?
Joey: Because you had me worried sick and you don't seem to care.
D.J.: Joey, don't have a cow.
Joey: [offended] "Don't have a cow?!" That's it! This weekend, you are grounded.
D.J.: [stops in her tracks, turns around and looks at him] This weekend is my karate tournament. I've been practicing for months.
Joey: Well, then I guess you're just gonna have to miss it.

D.J.: You got to be kidding! I can't miss it!

Joey: Yes, you can!

D.J.: No, I can't! When Dad comes home he'll say I'm ungrounded

Joey: I wouldn't count on that. I'm in charge here, and I say "you're grounded!"

D.J.: No, I'm not! I'm going to that karate tournament!

Joey: D.J.!
D.J.: You can't tell me what to do! You're not my father! [She storms off upstairs, while Joey sits, disappointed and depressed.]

[In the morning, Joey tries again to get Michelle to stop being a picky eater.]
Joey: Michelle, you want some egg? I made it look like the sun. See, there's little rays made of cheese.
Michelle: Cookie.
Joey: Now, Michelle, I know I'm not your father, but it would make me very happy if you ate some breakfast.
Michelle: Okay, Joey.
Joey: Okay, here, Michelle. Thank you.

[Jesse has a chat with Joey regarding last night.]
Joey: Hey Jess, have you seen D.J. this morning?
Jesse: Yes, and she's not your favorite person this morning. Joseph, kid was late; She didn't call. You had to do something. I'm Just glad it was you and not me.
Joey: I hate having D.J. mad at me like this. It's driving me nuts! I hate all this tension. I'm gonna go upstairs right now and just let her off the hook.
Jesse: Whoa! Joseph, take it from a guy whose father grounded him a lot-- Most of the '70s. We yelled and we screamed, but it all blew over. You're doing the right thing. Stick to your guns.

[D.J.'s about to head off to school.]
D.J.: Hi, Michelle. Hi.
Joey: Good morning, D.J.
D.J.: Good day, Mr. Gladstone.
Joey: I... made your lunch.
D.J.: No, thank you. I'll be purchasing my meal. [Kimmy's mom pulls up.] There's my ride.
Joey: Have a nice day.
D.J.: I intend to.

[At the family meeting...]
D.J.: I'll start. [taking the talking stick (bat)] Dad, Joey had no right to try to ground me when I have a karate tournament. Dad, tell Joey, he can't do that.
Danny: [taking the bat from her] D.J., you know that when I'm not here, I turn over all responsibility for you three girls to Uncle Jesse and Joey.
D.J.: Dad, that punishment is way too unfair!
Stephanie: [noticing that her sister isn't holding the stick] Cheating! No stick. [But when everyone else shushes her...] That wasn't talking, that was explaining.
Danny: D.J., I think the reason this is so hard for you is it's the first time Joey's put his foot down.
Jesse: [snaps his finger and motions the stick to be handed over to him] I have to say that I side with Joseph 100%. 'You do the crime, you do the time.' 'You pay the piper.' 'You face the music.' Man, 'you got to bite the bul...' I've been watching too many old movies. [He puts the bat on the table, at which point D.J. picks it up.]
D.J.: This meeting is not fair. Everyone's against me. Dad, do something.
Danny: [taking the bat from her] Joey's decision is final.
D.J.: How can you do this to me?!
Danny: I am not doing anything to you! If you were gonna be late, you should've called!
D.J.: But it's not fair! It's not fair!
Jesse: D.J., you should have called! You were an hour late; You should've called...
[They end up overlapping each other, and Joey's had enough. He gets up, grabs the bat out of Danny's hand, and asks everyone to...]
Joey: Stop it!!! I hate to see everyone fighting. Now, just sit down and listen to what I have to say. [They comply, as he puts down the bat, which is no longer used for the rest of the discussion.] Danny, you told me that if I put my foot down, the girls would respect me. Now D.J. hates me and my foot.
Danny: D.J. was the one who came in late without calling. Why are you blaming yourself?
Joey: Because this whole thing started when I tried to be Mr. Discipline. That's not me. The best part about being in this family is all the love and all the great times we have together. My family was always fighting. I don't wanna go through that again.

[After D.J. heads upstairs...]
Danny: I'll go talk to her.
Joey: No, I'll go talk to her.

Joey: Well, I did you a big favor that day. Do you remember?
D.J.: Joey, I was a day old.
Joey: Well, I remember. Your mom and dad wanted to name you Farrah.
D.J.: Farrah?
Joey: I said, 'Hey, we can’t name her after a hairstyle'.
D.J.: That was close. [...] Hey, if it weren’t for you, I’d be Farrah Jo Tanner.
Both: Ew! [...]
D.J.: You're gonna make a great dad.
Joey: Why? 'Cause you got what you wanted?
D.J.: No. 'Cause you're fair.
Joey: Thanks. Now remember: next weekend, you're grounded.
D.J.: Oh, that's fine. That's great. That's perfect. Oh, wait. I just remembered. Kimmy and I had plans to go horseback riding. [He does the "dad face".] [smiles] You know I had to try [laughs]. Okay, just karate. [He does (what he thinks is) a karate move. Then, she shows him a real one, and he puts his hands up and backs away.]


  • The second episode to feature the "dad face" ("D.J. Tanner's Day Off" [1.22] was the first)
  • The first of two episodes to teach about picky eaters and how to get them to eat new foods ("Designing Mothers" [6.11] is the other)
  • One of two episodes that involve Joey becoming a serious authority figure (the other is "To Joey, With Love" [8.5])
  • Tiffany (full name: Tiffany Darwish) was a teen pop star (with her first hit in 1987)
  • Jesse's mention of Herman Munster (and Eddie) is a reference to the '60s sitcom The Munsters
  • Joey's mention of "Farrah" is a reference to Farrah Fawcett (1947–2009), known for her role on the series Charlie's Angels – and although she only had a leading role in season one (1976–77), her hairstyle became a trend, known as a "Farrah-do" or a "Farrah-flip"
  • The first time someone other than Danny is tough on the girls; in this case, Joey (hence the episode title)
  • Songs:
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