Michelle Tanner was born on November 12, 1986 to Pam and Danny. She is the youngest daughter in the Tanner family. Michelle has blonde hair like her sisters, D.J. and Stephanie. She was nine months when her mother Pam died instantly from her injuries in a car accident after getting hit by a drunken driver. Since Michelle does not remember her mother, her family tells her what Pam was like in the final episode. She turns one year old in the first season and by the end of the show Michelle is eight. She grows up on the show. Michelle appears in every episode of every season. As she gets older, she has a wild streak and is a smart-aleck. She is shown having many friends, and spending much time with them. She always tries to follow in D.J. and Stephanie's footsteps. Michelle is the character with the most catch phrases. She mentions that her favorite color is green in "Tough Love" (7.4).
Until "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor" (4.2), she is spoiled and always gets what she wants, which causes Stephanie frustration. Michelle often feels left out when D.J. and Stephanie get to hang out together. She wants to be like her sisters. Michelle's hobbies include Honey Bees, ballet, soccer, and horseback riding. She is very close to Jesse, who nicknamed her "munchkin". Becky sometimes helps her and her sisters with girl and boy problems, among other things. She is the cousin of Jesse and Becky's children, Nicky and Alex.
Jesse, in addition to being her uncle, is a surrogate dad to her just like he is to her sisters. In "The Devil Made Me Do It" (5.19), after they come home from her temporary stay at Teddy's, he has a little chat about the mistakes she made. While she still understands it was wrong to break his rules about not touching any of his musical instruments or other equipment in his studio, he says that her running away from home was just as wrong (if not more), as it was dangerous (because she crossed the street by herself, or for fear of kidnapping or other possible injuries). He reminds her that if she has a problem, big or small, she can come to him, Danny, Joey, Becky, Stephanie, or even D.J. for help. He adds that he really didn't want to get her in trouble, but, as a surrogate dad, he has to make sure she follows the rules of the house even if he is her uncle. He decides to let her be her "little Munchkin" again if she stops calling him "Uncle Tattletale", and both make good on their deal. He then shows that he really wasn't going to leave her anything in the big suitcase he brought over despite saying it had all her essentials.
When she does not get what she wants, she often does "The Lip", her way of pouting. There are two known instances of this: "Stephanie Gets Framed" (4.16), where she learns to save up money to buy more important things than ice cream with the piggy bank money she saved up with D.J. warning her against the latter, and "A House Divided" (7.24), where she uses Comet's friends to stop the sale of the Tanner house, and eventually upset Danny in the process; however, he praises her efforts to successfully stop the sale and even takes back his promise to ground her "for life".
She often says and/or does things that her sisters find weird, and her reasons for them are even weirder:
In "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" (7.1), when they find out that she brought home a rabbit named Gilbert from Camp Lakota, D.J. says she was supposed to release him before they left, and she explains that she wanted to do so, but he didn't want to because "it was his decision", but neither of her sisters were buying what she was selling.
In "My Left and Right Foot" (8.15), when they found out she was soaking her feet in ice water because she wanted to shrink them, they not only found it weird, but dangerous as well (see below).
In "Leap of Faith" (8.21), she gets roped into going to a Counting Crows concert with D.J. and Stephanie, even going so far as to confuse the band with the Counting "Cats", "Cars", and even "Cows". Eventually her sisters have to correct her each time.
Michelle attends Meadowcrest Preschool. After Michelle's first day of preschool, when she accidentally puts her dress on backwards (and D.J. notices) and then later lets the class bird Dave fly away by accident, she wants to quit preschool, and Jesse agrees to let her drop out, but Danny won't let her. She tries to quit again after a session with Jesse as substitute teacher doesn't go well either, but again, Danny stops that from happening. After graduating from preschool, Michelle goes to Frasier Street Elementary School until the end of the series. Like D.J. and Stephanie, Michelle is a good student.
Michelle is best friends with Teddy, having a strong bond with him. After she finds out that Teddy is moving away to Texas, she does everything she can to make him stay, such as tying him to a chair and bringing him breakfast and dinner (but not lunch, because of the fact that she still has to attend school). After she has a talk with Joey about it, Michelle learns she has to let Teddy go (although she feels better after learning that she and Teddy can call and write letters to each other sometimes). Eventually, Teddy comes back from Texas, but in that time, she gets another best friend named Denise Frazer. At first, Teddy and Denise were very competitive to be best friends with Michelle, thinking that she could only have one best friend. Luckily, they all became best friends very soon.
She is also friends with Derek and Lisa. Lisa was the one who suggested Michelle try soaking her feet in ice water in "My Left and Right Foot" to shrink them. This causes her sisters to be concerned for her health and safety. Not wanting her to jeopardize her health, they remove her, shrink-wrap and all, from her frigid foot bath (and keep an extremely tight grip on her so she can't get back in the tub and insist she'll get permanent damage-causing bunions if she continues). Derek became friends with her after Michelle helped him get over his stage fright in a play. Aaron has been Michelle's bully ever since preschool, doing things such as pinching her, making her feel bad and manipulating Teddy into not playing with her because she is a girl (even though Teddy still played with Michelle afterwards). Aaron and Michelle dislike each other sometimes, but they often get along.
She is possibly friends with her cousin, Howie. As toddlers, she and Howie are enamored with each other. Later on, when they are at Becky and Jesse's wedding, they dislike each other because of her being a girl and him being a boy. However, they come to an agreement to get "married" because they both want to be served cake.
- Danny Tanner (father)
- Pamela Tanner (mother; deceased)
- D.J. Tanner (sister)
- Stephanie Tanner (sister)
- Wendy Tanner (aunt)
- Jesse Katsopolis (uncle)
- Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis (aunt)
- Nicky Katsopolis (cousin)
- Alex Katsopolis (cousin)
- Steve (cousin)
- Claire Tanner (grandmother)
- Nick Katsopolis (grandfather)
- Irene Katsopolis (grandmother)
- Iorgos Katsopolis (great-grandfather; deceased)
- Gina Katsopolis (great-grandmother)
- Stavros (first cousin)
- Teri Tanner (ex-stepmother)
- Jackson Fuller (nephew)
- Max Fuller (nephew)
- Tommy Fuller, Jr. (nephew)
- Tommy Fuller, Sr. (brother-in-law; deceased)
- Danielle Jo "DJ" Tanner-Gibbler (niece)
- Pamela Katsopolis (adoptive cousin)
During the run of the series, the character of Michelle uses many catch phrases (more than any other character).
- "You're in big trouble, mister!"
- "You got it, dude!"
- "Capisce?" (Kapeesh; Italian for "understand?" – which Jesse taught her)
- "Thank you very much"
- "You got a bad attitude!"
- "This is nuts!"
- "Just doing my job"
- "It will be my pleasure"
- "No way, José!"
- "I'm not busy"
- ”What a rip-off!”
- Favorite movies: The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast
- Favorite fictional character: Big Bird from Sesame Street
- One of the main characters who is in every episode
- The only character to not have an informal name
- The only Tanner sister to not have babysat by herself (this is proven in the Michelle book "The Baby-Sitting Boss")
- The only role on Full House that is shared
- Jesse calls her Munchkin or Shorty (the "Munchkin" nickname is a reference to the little people in The Wizard of Oz)
- It seems like she is ambidextrous (both left- and right-handed) because Mary-Kate is left-handed and Ashley is right-handed
- Besides sharing the role of Michelle, the Olsen twins appear on screen together in four episodes:
- "The Seven-Month Itch (Part 1)" (season 1); two Michelles in Jesse's dream sequence
- "Greek Week" (season 4); Jesse's Greek cousin looks a lot like Michelle
- "The Devil Made Me Do It" (season 5); Michelle battles apparitions of her good and bad consciences
- "Michelle Rides Again (Part 2)" (season 8); having amnesia, in an apparent dream sequence, Michelle's memory appears and looks just like her
- After the events of Full House, Michelle graduated from high school and moved to New York City to become a fashion designer
- Mary-Kate and Ashley's younger sister, Elizabeth's agent was approached about her possible interest in taking over the role of Michelle for the Fuller House spin-off series, but the offer was rejected
- She is the only main character to not appear in Fuller House
In 1992, she is featured in episode two of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, titled "Hangin' with Michelle". In it, she takes care of Mr. Cooper when he hurts himself while substituting for her class. Also making appearances are Denise Frazer, Aaron Bailey, and Uncle Jesse.
Full House Michelle series: These 40 books, similar to the Stephanie series, feature different friends other than those in the TV series. Her teacher, Mrs. Yoshida, is the only minor character from the TV series to reprise the role in the books.
Full House Sisters series: These 14 books focus on Stephanie's friendship with her younger sister and comical situations that occur between them. The two often alternate points of view in the story.
Dear Michelle series: These four books revolve around Michelle as an advice columnist for her school newspaper (all published in 2003, yet the events take place around season 8).
- Main article: Fuller House
In "Our Very First Show, Again", it is revealed that Michelle is living in New York pursing a career in fashion. In "Love is in the Air", D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy call her after Kimmy's bachelorette party. While they only get her voicemail (her voice is not actually heard), they do leave a message, quoting her famous catch-phrases: "You're in big trouble, mister!"; "No way, José!"; "Aw, nuts!"; and "You got it, dude!"
Okay, we know that Michelle has not appeared in Fuller House. Should the producers have handled it differently?