Full House
Full House
Tanner's Island
Season 3, episode 1
Tanner's island123.jpg
Air date September 22, 1989
Writer(s) Jeff Franklin
Director Bill Foster
Previous Luck Be a Lady (Part 2)
Next Back to School Blues


Tanner's Island is the season three premiere on Full House It originally aired on September 22, 1989.

Opening Teaser

In the kitchen, Danny prepares a surprise party for Jesse and Joey, with his co-host Rebecca Donaldson and the girls watching. He brings a beautiful cake over to the table, as D.J. sets the table with paper plates and pours paper cups of punch. Stephanie spots our surprise guests coming, and when they enter the door, the family does the usual "Surprise!" with confetti. The party is for their two-year anniversary of becoming a family. But the real surprise is that Danny is taking the family to Hawaii (see below), to which Stephanie remarks that she likes their punch (see Trivia). And even better, Danny has asked the station to air repeats of Wake Up, San Francisco while he is gone. D.J. asks Michelle if she is excited about the trip, and Michelle is indeed excited and just wants the cake to be cut so she can get her sweet tooth filled. Danny grants Michelle's wish and cuts the cake and starts serving (ending the longest teaser in the series' history – clocked in at 2 min.).


Danny takes the Tanners and his co-host, Rebecca Donaldson, to Hawaii in honor of their two-year anniversary since becoming a family. Once there, however, Danny takes charge, being his usual controlling self, and marking all the families' activities together on what he calls a "Clipboard of Fun", which puts a bit of a damper on things.

Some activities are boring, like sitting and watching Joey play golf alone, or watching Jesse pose at spots where Blue Hawaii was filmed. Others are more fun, like sightseeing Hawaii, where Stephanie learns about Menehunes. Then, at an ocean marina, Jesse rides a killer whale, Joey and Michelle feed a dolphin, and D.J. and Stephanie ride dolphins, while Danny and Becky take pictures and videos.

Among the various activities they do, he and the family decide to take an off-site trip to the Hawaiian island of Pua for a picnic and a Polynesian show. They stop for a rest on a (seemingly) deserted island, where Danny realizes he did not tie up the boat correctly, and (for now) the family is stranded.

Both Danny and Jesse try to go after the boat, but they realize that the water is just too fast and just too strong for them, so they run back to shore and literally go at each other's throat until they calm down. Stephanie says that if they believe in the Menehunes (as Becky showed her a sign of along the way), they will come and help them. D.J. just pets her sister on the head. Just then, the "Clipboard of Fun" floats over to them, but the minute Joey picks it up, Jesse snatches it out of his hand and throws it back into the water where it belongs.

The girls are also having their own troubles. When D.J. goes fishing the next morning, the only catch of the day she gets is the "Clipboard of Fun", which she tosses back into the water, hoping that it is shark bait, because she and everyone else has had enough of it (see Quotes). Stephanie, on the other hand, thinks that she has found a Menehune, and believes that they are saved. D.J., however, believes otherwise and assures her sister that they will be just fine and the grown-ups have everything under control (as the inspirational music plays, see Quotes).

Meanwhile, Joey thinks he is seeing an attractive hula girl and gets knocked out by a falling coconut, and Jesse and Rebecca have an argument about Elvis Presley, while Joey and Danny argue over whose fault it really is when the boat drifted away. In the hopes that they will be rescued and the flying planes will see and hear them, Danny digs away in the sand, hoping to create at least an "SOS"-type message. Unfortunately, their waving did not work, so the planes just fly by. And while Stephanie was assured by D.J. that they have everything under control, they don't. Realizing the rising tensions are going to hurt her feelings as well as Stephanie's and Michelle's, D.J. finally steps in as mediator, asks everyone to "Stop fighting!", and focus on what they haven't done this entire episode: teamwork (see Quotes).

At the end, Danny agrees with her and common ground's finally found. Everyone sets aside their differences and builds a hut to stay in until they are located. Stephanie, who keeps believing she sees Menehunes, finally proves it by taking the others to where the inhabitants of the island are at a Polynesian show on the other side of the island. It turns out that they were on Pua after all, just the wrong side of it.

They end up dancing with everyone on stage. Joey again sees the hula girl and they begin to dance together. At the end, Rebecca speaks to the music director and apparently asks him to play a certain song that Jesse can lead the singing on, that being "Rock-a-Hula Baby" (see Trivia and video).


Despite all the events that occurred that earlier caused tensions to rise, it is a happy ending (as the performance elicits applause from the crowd and the studio audience, as the EP credits appear).


[At a golf course, Joey tees off.]
Joey: You sure nobody else wants to play golf?
Everyone: No.

[On the road...]
Danny: Okay. Joey had his turn for fun. Now I've scheduled us to study the history and culture of Hawaii.
Jesse: Where you takin' us? The Don Ho museum?

[At the beach...]
Danny: All right, everybody. We have an hour and 20 minutes to meet and greet over 57 varieties of marine life.
Everyone: All right. Yeah. [They all get into their swimsuits and hit the water.]
Jesse: [Climbing on the back of a killer whale and riding though the water] Becky, get a picture!
Becky: [Watching Jesse, and holding a camera] Tell him to swim more to his left!
Jesse: It's a killer whale. You tell him! [The whale blows a quick gust of water through its blowhole]
Michelle: [feeding a dolphin with Joey] Nice fishy. Big fishy.
Danny: [to the older girls, after they feed their dolphins] Wait a minute. [But they're anxious to get on the dolphins themselves.] Okay. Hold on, honey. Hang on, girls. Those things don't come with seat belts. [The two girls ride the dolphins through the water, laughing with delight the whole way, as Danny films them]
D.J.: That was rad!
Danny: Totally rad.
D.J.: Dad, did you see it?
Danny: It's all on tape.
D.J.: That was so cool!
Danny: [as his watch beeps] Okay, time's up. Everybody out of the pool. [He blows his whistle, but the dolphins jump, mistaking him for a real dolphin trainer.] Not you guys.

[In Drums of the Island...]
Jesse: Wait, this might be it. Hang on a second. This is it, folks. This is the exact tree Elvis floated by singing "Drums of the Island" in his 1965 Technicolor classic, Paradise, Hawaiian Style. Please, let's take a moment and let it all soak in.
Becky: Well, I'm soaked. Let's go. [And they do, but Jesse stops them.]
Jesse: Becky, please. Show a little respect. This is an historical Elvis landmark. Now take some pictures. Thank you. You're a beautiful family. [Each takes out his or her camera, and takes a picture.] All right. Get one with the real kind of whole lip thing. [And the cameras click again, off-screen.] Right here, baby.
Michelle: He's nuts. [And Becky nods in agreement.]

[In the boat, as they row...]
Everyone: Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. [Suddenly, Joey spots, on a bicycle...]
Joey: My girl! [And he jumps off to swim after her.]
Danny: Joey! Swimming is tomorrow from 9 to 10:15!
[But Joey doesn't listen or stop. He keeps swimming and swimming...until he's too late.]
Joey: She's gone! And I'm alone. And I'm wet. [He walks back to the boat forlorn.]

[In the car...]
Danny: The Clipboard of Fun says today I get to be the skipper.

[In the boat...]
D.J.: Skipper, we've been out here for hours.
Jesse: Danny, do you even have a clue where we are?
Danny: Ahoy, mateys, gather round ye skipper.
Stephanie: Aye, aye, skipper.
Danny: According to my map, we should be arriving at the beautiful island of Pua for a picnic on the beach and a Polynesian show.
Joey: Which island?
Danny: This island. Hey, where'd the island go?
D.J.: It's on your finger, Dad.
Jesse: Ahoy, mateys. Your skipper has been sailing all morning to a potato chip crumb.
Danny: Great.
Stephanie: Dad, are we lost?
Danny: Of course not. We're exactly two hours and 46 minutes due this way of our hotel.
Becky: Look, an island.
Everyone: All right! All right, you see?
Danny: See, I told you.

[At the island...]
Danny: What a beautiful beach. Anybody find anything?
Becky: Nothing up the beach.
D.J.: There's nothing down the beach.
Jesse: I haven't seen one sign of intelligent life, skipper.
Danny: Whoa, island crankiness. Look, nobody panic. Let's just go back to where your skipper tied up the boat. I'll radio the Coast Guard and tell them our location and they'll guide us to Pua, okay? Now, follow me.
Michelle: Aye aye, skipper.
Joey: Michelle, don't encourage him.
Danny: Okay, guys, we're gonna have our picnic on the boat. Now, if the trade winds are favorable, we can still make the Polynesian show. Of course, if we're late, this could spell disaster for the Clipboard of Fun.
Michelle: Bye bye, boat.
D.J.: How cute. [cut to the boat floating away] Michelle's waving bye-bye to... [then notices] our boat!
Danny: D.J., don't be silly. I tied up our boat right... [as he points, his brother-in-law moves his arm in said direction] There! It is our boat! [And he chases after it.] Come back!
D.J.: Hurry, Dad!
[And Jesse also gives chase.]
Becky: Jesse, you'll never catch that boat.
Jesse: I don't wanna catch the boat. I wanna catch Danny. Come back here!

[Returning from the break, the boat has floated away and everyone's now stranded.]
Jesse: [quietly] First thing I like to say is... [He lets his anger out as he snatches the clipboard out of Danny's hand] I hate this 'Clipboard of Fun'!! [He tosses it into the sea.] How... can a person... lose... a boat?!
Danny: It's not my fault. The rope must've slipped off the rope thingy.
Jesse: The "rope thingy"? Skipper! We're stuck! What're we gonna do?!
Joey: Well, if we were on "Gilligan's Island", the Professor would make a radio out of coconuts.
Jesse: Joseph! This is no time for comedy. It's time to blame Danny.
Joey: Relax, Jesse. We have the rest of our lives to blame Danny. Right now, we need to keep things light and easy so the girls don't get scared. So I don't get scared.
D.J.: Are we in really big trouble?
Danny, Jesse & Joey: No.
Stephanie: If we believe in the Menehunes, they will come and help us, and then we'll live happily ever after.
D.J.: [petting her sister on the head] 7-year-olds; aren't they adorable?
Stephanie: Don't ever pet me.
Becky: Well, we better start looking for food, shelter, water, and some Krazy Glue because I know I'm gonna break a nail.
Joey: [noticing the "Clipboard of Fun" floating towards their feet] Hey, what the heck is this? [He picks up the clipboard.] The clipboard comes back, but the boat keeps going.
Jesse: [tossing the clipboard back into the water] Come on. Let's go to work. We got a lot to do, you guys. Come on, let's go. [And get to work they do.]

Stephanie: Look, Mr. Bear, orange things. You taste them first. [She sees what she thinks is...] Menehune! Menehune! [She runs back towards her sister who is just hoping for a good catch of the day.] D.J.! D.J.!
D.J.: Wait a minute. I caught a... "clipboard of fun". [She tosses it back into the water.]
Stephanie: D.J., come here. I saw... I've seen... I need... to catch... my breath. Okay, I'm ready... We're saved! I saw a Menehune! I do believe! I do believe!
D.J.: I do believe you've been in the sun way too long.
Stephanie: How rude. It wasn't just me. Mr. Bear saw him too!
D.J.: Steph, your only witness has buttons for eyeballs. Trust me. There are no Menehunes.
Stephanie: Well, if that's true, then what's gonna happen to us? We have no house or bed or phone. We can't even call out for pizza. We're doomed.
D.J.: We're not doomed. Dad, Uncle Jesse, and Joey would never let anything happen to us. They have everything under control.
Stephanie: Are you sure?
D.J.: I'm sure. There's nothing to worry about.
Stephanie: Thanks, Deej.

[A plane flies by, and the family sees it, but the pilot doesn't see or hear them (see infobox photo). And now, let the finger-pointing and blame games begin.]
Danny: [getting a glare from Joey] Oh, and I suppose that's my fault? [looking back at him] Don't answer that.
Jesse: I'll answer it. Of course it's your fault. I say we leave you and start our own tribe.
Becky: What's it gonna be? A tribe of Elvis impersonators?
Jesse: That's funny.
Becky: All you talk about is Elvis.
Jesse: Enough with the Elvis stuff.
Becky: Elvis this, Elvis that.
Danny: It's not my fault.
Joey: It's your fault.
[All 3 girls can only watch as the bickering gets out of control.]
Stephanie: D.J., I thought you said they had everything under control.
[As the adults continue to argue, D.J. picks up a white conch near her feet, puts it in her mouth, and blows into it to make a sound to get their attention and quiet down.]
D.J.: Stop fighting. We're all in this together. The whole reason for this trip was to celebrate being a family. We're lucky to have each other. I bet if we start working together as a team, we can make Potato Chip Crumb Island a totally rad place to hang. Thank you.
Michelle: You're welcome.
Danny: I'm very proud of you, Deej.
Joey: Come on, let's do it, guys.
Jesse: All right, fellas, let's do it. I say, the heck with Elvis. Let's build a hut, everybody, all right?
Becky: And we can call it "Grassland".

[At the hut...]
D.J.: I'd like to make a toast. Here's to Dad, Uncle Jesse, Joey, and Becky for building our beautiful new home.
Danny: Thank you.
Jesse: All right.
Stephanie: And for being the best big sister on this whole island, here's to D.J.
Danny, Jesse, Joey & Becky: Yeah.
Michelle: Here's to Big Bird.
Stephanie: [they hear a drumbeat] It's the Menehunes! We're saved! Come on, everybody!
[She dashes out, and others follow her.]
Danny: Stephanie, wait a minute. Honey, hold on, it's dark out there. Steph!
Stephanie: Don't worry. The Menehunes are very cute and friendly. [Until they yell and startle the family, with spears pointed at them.] Or not.
Jesse: All right, leave the women and children, just take the men. Actually, just take the man responsible [pointing to Danny].
[They lead them to where they see a stage with dancers.]
Danny: Uh, excuse me, sir. I don't mean to pry, but... where are we?
Menehune leader: Pua.
Danny: Pua?! We're here! The skipper got us to the right island, just the wrong side.
Menehune leader: You must be the owners of the boat that washed ashore. Sorry if we scared you but we like to tease tourists before we put them on stage. Pretty funny, eh? [They all laugh.]
Jesse: What is this?


  • The first of six episodes to use the extended theme song
  • The first of two episodes to feature D.J. asking her family to "Stop fighting!" ("A House Divided" being the second)
  • The episode title is a take on the classic TV show Gilligan's Island, which Joey references
  • The second time any of the characters get stuck someplace (the first is "Our Very First Christmas Show")
  • Stephanie's remark that she likes "Hawaii's punch" is a reference to the Hawaiian Punch juice drinks
  • Becky's "Grassland" remark is a pun on Elvis Presley's home, Graceland
  • The song that Jesse sings at the end is Elvis' "Rock-A-Hula Baby", a featured song in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii (It was recorded two years before John Stamos was born)
  • When Jesse asks Danny if they are taking the family to the "Don Ho Museum", it is in reference to the famous Hawaiian singer Don Ho, known for the song "Tiny Bubbles"
  • Starting with this episode, the show leads off ABC's new TGIF block (see Season 3#Time change for more info)
  • The first episode to feature the new teaser graphics, namely the title shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, as the logo in yellow, flies out to the left
  • The Hawaiian music played during the "Promotional consideration" plugs (below) carries over to the credits, with no change in imagery
  • Promotional consideration:
    • Northwest Airlines – transportation for the cast and crew
    • Turtle Bay Hilton and Country Club – accommodations and locations
    • Sea Life Park
    • Polynesian Cultural Center