|Silence is Not Golden|
|Season 6, episode 17|
|Air date||February 16, 1993|
|Previous||The Heartbreak Kid|
|Next||Please Don't Touch the Dinosaur|
Charles, a particularly annoying classmate, is paired up with Stephanie for a writing assignment for "finding the best in people," after teasing each other in class. After school, Charles makes a visit to the Tanner house.
Michelle interrupts their interview and tells Stephanie that she forgot to take the garbage out, and that Danny will deal with her later. Charles mistakes the situation for abuse, which forces him to admit to her that his father beats him up all the time. He feels helpless because, like Stephanie, he does not have a mother because she died. He makes her promise not to tell anyone about the abuse.
At the same time, since Steve and Jesse are both reading "The Catcher in the Rye" for class, they decide to each read one-half of the book and fill each other in on what happened. After trying to do this and being clueless, they decide to read the whole book.
When Stephanie goes to school, the teacher tells her that Charles will not be coming to school for a week because he "had an accident". Even though Stephanie knows what really happened, she reluctantly decides to keep it a secret, and lashes out at the Jennifers for making fun of it (see Quotes).
Later, Michelle becomes angry at Danny for punishing her because she ran up the phone bill by calling the "Funny Buddy" riddle line several times. She tries apologizing, but he tells her that her mistake was a major one that requires more than just an apology to get out of (see Quotes). When she explains the situation to her older sister, Stephanie suggests otherwise on both counts, and also cautions her younger sister to watch her mouth and her words about their dad (see Quotes).
Stephanie, the big sister and "boss" that she is, reminds her little sister that she can't call Danny names no matter how bad the situation is. Michelle says that she can't tell her what to do, but Stephanie says that she can because she's the big sister and "boss" in their room, and is responsible for teaching Michelle right from wrong (just like she was by D.J.). Michelle tells Stephanie that she is not that big, but Stephanie says she is still bigger than her (not just in size and age, but maturity as well). They yell and go at each other until Jesse, hearing the commotion from outside, enters the room and hears them out (see Quotes).
This makes Jesse wonder where Stephanie's behavior is coming from. She breaks her promise of silence and tells what Charles told her. Jesse then calls the police to report the abuse.
When Stephanie comes home from school the next week, she tells Jesse, worriedly, that Charles still did not come back to school. He tells her that Charles has been placed in a foster home, while his father is being dealt with (presumably arrested). Stephanie is upset and asks her uncle why. He explains that Charles was not safe in his home, but Stephanie did the right thing, and now Charles will get the help he needs, and thanks to her, his father can't hurt him anymore. The situation makes Stephanie appreciate Danny more than she already does. Jesse decides that she needs to focus on something else for a while, such as dinner, as D.J. calls everyone into the kitchen (as the music stops). Danny brings home pizzas for dinner. Stephanie gives her dad a hug (see Quotes) (as the EP credits appear).
[The opening teaser: Michelle and Denise Frazer are watching television in the living room...]
Host: Okay kids, to hear today's new jokes ask your parents if you can call your 'Funny Buddy' at the number on your screen.
Michelle & Denise: [laugh like the TV host]
Host: And remember, it's only two dollars a minute, and don't forget to ask your parents.
Michelle & Denise: [laugh like TV host]
Denise: Are you going to call 'Funny Buddy' again?
Michelle: Sure am, last time I told one of his jokes, milk came out of my daddy's nose.
Denise: I asked my daddy if I could call and he said: 'Denise, do you think money grows on trees?'
Michelle: My daddy didn't say anything.
Denise: How come?
Michelle: 'Cause I asked him when he was vacuuming the rug.
Denise: He probably didn't hear you.
Michelle: That's the idea. [As she picks up the phone to make a call, they both laugh about it.]
Stephanie: I’m not exaggerating, Dad. Nobody in school can stand this kid Charles. He’s a total obnoxitor.
Danny: Well, come on, Steph. How bad can he be?
Stephanie: Bad. Flufner, our class bunny, tried to bite him. Deej, help me out. I have to do a project with a real jerk. You have tons of experience dealin’ with someone who’s rude and crude.
Kimmy: Deej, do you have a friend I don’t know about?
D.J.: Um, look, Steph, sometimes people can seem obnoxious from the outside. But when you spend time alone with them, really get to know them, become friends with them, you realize they’re not so bad.
Kimmy: Who is this person?
Danny: Steph, come here. I know Charlie can seem like a jerk. But, honey, there’s good in everybody. Beck, let me ask you something. Remember that guy we interviewed on the show a couple of weeks ago? Was it Tommy Bun?
Becky: Oh, yeah. What a jerk.
Danny: Yeah, he did charge over a million dollars on other people’s credit cards. But remember later in the interview? He showed a different side of himself.
Becky: Yeah. He mooned us.
Danny: Actually before that. Remember before he told us all that other stuff, he told us how he used to carpool? Of course, it was a stolen car, and he was fleeing the country.
Charles: I don’t care if you swear on your mother’s life.
Stephanie: My mother’s not alive.
Charles: Oh. I’m sorry. Mine’s not alive, either.
Stephanie: I’m sorry.
Charles: Look, the truth is, my dad does hit me sometimes. But it’s my own fault for ticking him off. Boy, did he clobber me last week.
Stephanie: You mean that day you came to school with a black eye, and you said you ran into a door?
Charles: Yeah — a door named 'Dad'.
Mrs. Patterson: Good morning, class. Stephanie, I'm afraid we're gonna have to find you another partner for your assignment.
Stephanie: Why? I thought I was working with Charles.
Mrs. Patterson: Well, he's gonna be out all week. He had an accident.
Jennifer S.: He is an accident. [She and Jennifer P. laugh.]
Stephanie: Hey, cut it out! That's not funny!
Jennifer P.: Hey, don't have a freak attack.
Mrs. Patterson: Alright, that's enough, let's take our seats.
Stephanie: Mrs. Patterson, what kind of accident did Charles have?
Mrs. Patterson: Well, his father said he fell down the stairs.
Stephanie: Oh no.
[As her teacher sits down at her desk, Stephanie goes to tell her something.]
Mrs. Patterson: What is it, Stephanie?
Stephanie: [then, remembering what she swore to Charles] Um... nothing.
[In the living room, Danny confronts Michelle about the phone charges.]
Danny: Michelle, did you know these Funny Buddy calls cost money?
Michelle: Yes, I did.
Danny: You did. And did you know that every call you make shows up on this bill?
Michelle: No, but I do wish that somebody told me.
Danny: So, you knew you were doing wrong and you still went ahead and did it?
Michelle: I'm really sorry, Daddy. I'll never do it again [quickly, starts to leave the room].
Danny: Hold it. [She stops.] Not so fast. [She starts walking very slowly.] I mean, come back here, please. [She turns around and walks normally to him.] You know, sometimes saying 'I'm sorry' is not enough.
Michelle: But, sometimes it is.
Danny: But not this time, okay? Every night this week, you're going to bed an hour earlier, because I want you to think about what you did wrong.
Michelle: That's not fair!
Danny: I think it is fair. I want you upstairs.
Danny: No. No 'buts'. I want you upstairs, pronto. [She looks back at him, wanting to say something, but he just shows her the stairs.]
Michelle: [angrily, she stomps her way upstairs and mutters:] I can't make a phone call. Daddy is so mean, I can't do anything around here.
[In Stephanie and Michelle's room, as the older sister sadly pets Comet, the younger walks in angrily.]
Michelle: I'm never talking to Daddy again. He's a big meany.
Stephanie: Don't say that.
Michelle: He's making me go to bed early.
Stephanie: Big deal.
Michelle: It is to me.
Stephanie: [walks over to her sister] Look, I'm telling you, don't ever call Dad names.
Michelle: You can't tell me what to do.
Stephanie: Yes, I can. I'm your big sister.
Michelle: You're not that big.
Stephanie: I'm bigger than you.
Both : [alternating] So? [Both raise their voices and get in each other's faces with each one, until Jesse, hearing the commotion outside, enters.]
Jesse: Hey hey hey, Itchy, Scratchy, what's going on in here? I'm trying to read [holding a book in his hand] out here.
Stephanie: Michelle's saying terrible things about Dad.
Michelle: Daddy punished me.
Jesse: [putting down his book and removing his glasses] Hey now, Michelle, your dad is a very fair man. If he punished you, I'm sure there must have been a very good reason [taking a cue from "The Devil Made Me Do It"].
[About a week after the "accident", Stephanie comes home from school as Jesse prepares to give her what may sound like bad news, but actually is good news.]
Jesse: Listen, I made some calls today and the child welfare people.. they took Charles and they put him in a foster family.
Stephanie: They took him away from his home?! I never should have told you, now he's gonna hate me, this is all your fault. [She storms off.]
Jesse: Stephanie, knock it off. [But she still won't listen.] Stephanie, listen! It's not my fault, it's not your fault, we weren't the ones hurting Charles.
Stephanie: [on the verge of tears] Then why did they have to take him out of his house?!
Jesse: They had to. He wasn’t safe there.
Stephanie: What’s gonna happen to Charles?
Jesse: Well, Charles and his father need help, and now they’re gonna get it. Sweetheart, please believe me, you did the right thing.
Stephanie: Then why do I feel so lousy?
Jesse: It's a lousy situation, kid. ... I know how hard this has been for you. But the bottom line is, thanks to you Charles’ father can't hurt him tonight.
Stephanie: What made his father so mean?
Jesse: I don't know. I look at you girls and I look at Nicky and Alex. How could anyone hurt their child?
[Everyone is seated at the table for dinner as Danny enters the back door.]
Danny: Okay everybody, I got pizzas. Eat them while they're hot.
Joey: Mmm-mmm-mmm. Pass it around.
Becky: Hey, Nicky, want some pizza?
D.J.: Is there any pepperoni?
Michelle: Oh boy! I'm starved.
[...as Stephanie gives her dad a hug and kiss.]
Danny: [pleasantly surprised] Thanks. What was that for?
Stephanie: Nothin'. I just felt like it.
Danny: I'll take a free hug anytime [hugs her back – as Jesse looks on and smiles].
Jesse's mention of "Itchy, Scratchy" (see Quotes) refers to the characters on "The Itchy & Scratchy Show", a running gag on The Simpsons.