The Greatest Birthday on Earth
Season 3, episode 10
The greatest birthday on earth
Air date December 1, 1989
Writer(s) Jeff Franklin
Director Bill Foster
Previous Dr. Dare Rides Again
Next Aftershocks

The Greatest Birthday on Earth is episode ten in season three of Full House. It originally aired on December 1, 1989.

Opening Teaser

In D.J. and Stephanie's room, D.J. and Michelle are playing with a cassette player and its microphone. D.J. wants to record Michelle on tape for their grandmother to hear, so they start with a greeting. Michelle then asks where their grandmother is, and D.J. says that she is at home. So, they decide to add in the two of them singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider."


It is Michelle's third birthday, and to make it "the greatest birthday on Earth" (See Trivia), the guys have decided to throw a circus-themed birthday party for her, complete with clowns and other things that are seen in circuses. Before the party, Danny complains about a problem with his car, and Jesse agrees to fix it. Upstairs in their room, Stephanie reads Comet a poem she wrote about him for school (see Quotes).

Then D.J. comes home from school, and she and Stephanie are planning what they want to be for the party. D.J. decides to be a lion tamer, and Stephanie realizes Danny's never going to let them use a real lion in the house, so D.J. decides to improvise and use Comet as her "subject"; however, during a practice run, he is not as mean, tough, and ferocious as she wants him to be, as he licks her all the time. Stephanie, on the other hand, wants to be a juggler, but it turns out to be an epic fail, as she forgets that you have to alternate between tossing and catching simultaneously (see Quotes). Tossing (no pun intended) that idea out the window, she decides to be D.J.'s assistant. She again tries her juggling downstairs in the kitchen, but comes up with another epic fail.

Jesse is unable to fix Danny's car, so he takes it (along with Stephanie and Michelle) to a garage at a gas station to have it fixed. After the mechanic, Elmer, repairs the car, they decide to use the restroom before they leave. However, during that time, Elmer locks the station up, not knowing that they are still inside. This saddens the trio, especially the birthday girl. Stephanie comforts her sister the best she can.

The neighbor kids arrive at the house, and clowns Danny and Joey, and lion tamer D.J. and her "subject" Comet all try to keep them busy in hopes that Jesse, Stephanie, and Michelle will be home soon. To impress the guests, D.J. improvises on how to get Comet to jump through the hoop, like a lion, but she just carries him through, pretending he jumped right through it.

At the gas station, Jesse does some clever improvising, and he and Stephanie throw a makeshift "circus" party for Michelle within the grimy garage, even though he has always hated clowns. And even better, he and Stephanie put on a puppet show, and even show off their juggling talents, despite Stephanie's difficulty. Just before Elmer returns (after three hours), Jesse presents a "birthday cake", made from over a dozen Hostess Twinkies, to Michelle. Elmer is surprised, not only that they got locked in, but at how they look.

By this time, Michelle's friends have gone home, but she is still satisfied with the party that Jesse and Stephanie gave her at the station. However, they saved her a special surprise from the real party, and it is out in the backyard—an elephant. And despite wanting to keep it, they tell her that it is only to ride, and she does just that (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).


Michelle: [enters the kitchen] Happy birthday to me.
Joey: No Michelle, it's not your birthday until you get down to one last birthday cake [drawing, which there are five of]. Now, take one away for today. [She does so.] Good girl. Now, how many till your birthday?
Michelle: [points to each paper] One, two, three, four. Too many.
Jesse: Ah, hang in there, kid. It's not gonna be long before you're how old?
Michelle: [holds up 3 fingers] Three years old.
Joey: Then you and your play-group friends get a big circus party.
Jesse: Joseph, forget about this. The circus is for kids. I got a better idea. [gets down to her level] Michelle, wouldn't you rather have an Elvis party? Instead of all those goofy little hats, your friends can wear little tiny sideburns. [Elvis voice] What do you say, little mama?
Michelle: No, thank you, big daddy.
Joey: Jess [pulling him up by the shoulder]. Sorry. What can you possibly have against the circus?
Jesse: Clowns. I hate them.
Joey: How can you hate clowns?!
Jesse: They bug me, man. They think they're so funny.
Joey: C'mon, get in the spirit. Danny and I are gonna dress up like clowns.
Jesse: You already are clowns. Look, Joseph, I'm happy to do what I can. I'll cook, I'll put up decorations. But if you want me to dress up like a chucklehead, I say, take your rubber nose and honk it.

[In D.J. & Stephanie's bedroom...]
Stephanie: Comet, listen to this poem I wrote about you for school: 'My family has a new puppy/He's bigger than a guppy/My dad puts down paper for Comet/But he always forgets to go on it.'
D.J.: [entering the room] I decided what I'm gonna be for Michelle's circus party. I'm gonna be a lion tamer.
Stephanie: Oh, yeah. Like Dad's really gonna let a lion in the house.
D.J.: I'm not gonna need a lion. I'm gonna tame Comet. [takes him over to their little table, and then, with demeanor...] Okay, Comet. Try to look mean. Try to look tough. Try to look ferocious. [But he's none of them, as he just licks her.]
Stephanie: I'm gonna be a juggler.
D.J.: Steph, do you know anything about juggling?
Stephanie: Technically... no. How hard can it be? All you do is throw three balls up in the air and keep them there. [She does so... and makes a complete fool of herself.] So, Deej... need a lovely assistant?

Danny: I got a great cake.
Joey: Did ya get the triple chocolate with pink frosting in the shape of a clown's face with a big cherry-red nose? Did ya? Did ya? Did ya?
Danny: Yes, Joey. Look at this. [He shows Joey the cake.]
Joey: Yes!

[Michelle puts on a pointy birthday party hat, then notices...]
Michelle: My birthday cake. [She scoops the middle (the clown's nose) with her hand and stuffs it in her mouth.]
Danny: Okay, that’s it. [He reaches over and closes the cake box cover.] She’s gone birthday bananas.
Joey: Why don't we take the little conehead upstairs while we get the big top all set up, huh?

Stephanie: [after failing to juggle] I hate gravity!
Jesse: Steph, don’t worry about it. It’s a party for 3-year-olds. You’ll be lucky if they’re even looking at you. Let’s go take a nice drive, okay? [turns to Michelle] It’s gonna be so much fun. But Michelle can’t go because she’s not 3 years old yet.
Michelle: I’m 3 years old.
Jesse: Then you get to go.
Michelle: Yay!
Jesse: Yay!
Danny: Jess, are you just being this nice to get out of blowing up more balloons?
Jesse: Absolutely. Chao, babe.

Elmer: Well, I’m goin’ home and siesta.
Jesse: All right. Well, have a nice nap.
Elmer: No, I’m goin’ home to see Esther – my wife. [He laughs then Jesse fake laughs.] Gets ’em every time!

[In the gas station...]
Jesse: All right, hurry up. It's time to go to Michelle's circus party.
Michelle: Time for presents.
Jesse: You got it, babe. We're out of here. [He tries one door, but it's locked.] We're out of here. [He tries another, but it's locked, too.] Anyone have to potty again?
Stephanie: Uh-oh.
Michelle: Why you said "uh-oh"?
Stephanie: Because if we can't get out of here, you're gonna miss your birthday.
Michelle: No 'Happy Birthday' to me? [And Stephanie comforts her the best she can by hugging her.]

[In the living room, D.J. tries to entertain the guests as they await the birthday girl's return.]
D.J.: [singing] 'Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.' Take it, boys... [Silence.] Take it, girls... [More silence.] 'Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily. Life is but a...' nightmare. Dad! Joey! I'm dying out here! [She plops down on the couch.] Why didn't we just go to Chuck E. Cheese?

[Danny and Joey come upstairs from Joey's room dressed as clowns. Joey helps Danny up because he's wearing the big shoes.]
Joey: There you go. Come on, Danny. We gotta start the circus.
Danny: Without Michelle? We're gonna put on a circus for the neighbors' kids?
Joey: Danny, it'll be lots of fun. And when Michelle gets back, we'll do it again for her.
Danny: Oh, goody. We've added a second show.
[There's a knock on the back door.]
Joey: I got it.
Karen: Hi. [seeing how they look] I hope this is the birthday party.
Joey: It sure is. Come right in. [shakes her hand] Hi, I'm Joey Gladstone.
Karen: Hi. I'm Karen Penner, [motioning to the little boy] Robert's aunt.
Joey: Have we met before?
Karen: No... I think I'd remember that face. [Joey laughs.]
Danny: Hi there. [shakes her hand] I'm Danny Tanner. I'm a single parent, and I love foreign films and long walks along the beach.
Karen: Well, nice to meet you both.
Danny: Thank you.
Joey: Thank you.

[In the gas station...]
Jesse: We're stuck in here. Bars on every window. They afraid someone's gonna break in and clean the joint up?
Michelle: Where’s my circus party?
Stephanie: Don’t worry. Uncle Jesse is coming up with a plan right now to get us out of here. [She turns to Jesse.] Well?
Jesse: Well, my plan is to wait here until Goober lets us out.
Stephanie: I was wrong. There is no plan.
Michelle: I want my circus party.
Jesse: Michelle, I’m sorry. I know it's your birthday, pal. But I don’t know what to do. We’re stuck in here. I’ll tell you what. You want a circus party? I'll give you the best darn circus party in the history of circus parties. How’s that?
Michelle: Oh, boy!
Jesse: You know what? We're gonna have it right here in this gas station.
Stephanie: In this gas station?
Jesse: Steph, trust me on this one. This time, I got a real plan. Come here. I'll tell you about it. [to the birthday girl] And you, don't listen. [She covers her ears while he and Stephanie discuss their plan privately to keep it a surprise.]

[In the living room...]
D.J.: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, presenting the greatest show in this room: The Tanner Family Circus!
Children: Yay!
D.J.: Starring me, Tanner the Tamer.
Children: Yay!
D.J.: Stand back, I'm about to release, Comet the Ferocious. [She releases him from his "cage", the toddler gates.]
Robert: Hey, that's not a lion!
D.J.: That's what the last kid said just before Comet ate him. Now watch as this vicious creature obeys my every command. Come on, Comet. Come on. Come on, honey. Jump through the hoop. [She picks the puppy up and puts him through the hoop.] Ta-da!
Children: Yay!
D.J.: Now get ready to laugh your heads off. Send in the clowns!
Children: Yay!
Joey: [singing] 'Make them laugh! Make them laugh!' Look. Hi, boys and girls. I'm Jo-Jo the Clown. And this is my sidekick, Clean-o.
Danny: Hi, kids. Remember, a clean circus is a fun circus.
Joey: But the best circus is a messy circus [shoots silly string on Danny].
Danny: Okay, Jo-Jo, you made your point.

Danny: Joey, what is an elephant doing in my living room?
Joey: Surprise, Clean-o! [The elephant catches Joey's underwear with his trunk.] The surprise is on Joey. She got my underwear!

[In the gas station...]
Jesse: Welcome to Michelle's Big Top Circus of Love! [And he pulls Stephanie, who rides on a floor jack and uses a broom as an oar (pretending she's rowing on water), as he hums the circus song "Entry of the Gladiators".]
Jesse & Stephanie: Ta-da [see infobox photo]!
Michelle: Yay!
Jesse: Hi. I'm Greasy the Clown!
Stephanie: And I'm Stephabell, the other clown!
Jesse: And we're here to say:
Both: [blowing confetti pipes] Happy Birthday, Michelle!
Michelle: Thank you, very much.
Jesse: And now, let the circus begin!

Elmer: What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks (see Trivia) is going on in here?!
Jesse: Elmer! Don’t you check a bathroom before you lock up? What’s the matter with you?!
Elmer: What’s the matter with me? You’re the one that's wearing a funnel on his head.

[As Danny cleans up, Jesse, Stephanie, and Michelle come home.]
Jesse: Hi.
Danny: Aw, come here, Michelle [picks her up]. Hi, honey [and kisses her]. Hi, Steph. Jess, I have just one word for you: How?!
Jesse: Danny, I told you on the phone it wasn't my fault.
Danny: Oh, sure. You read about it every day: 'Family Trapped in Gas Station. Child's Birthday Ruined.'
Jesse: Look, I'm sorry, but what...
Danny: How could you let this happen? We just put on a three-hour circus for the neighbors' kids. Michelle, honey, I know you were looking forward to a big party with your friends. But we can still have fun.
Michelle: Daddy, I saw clowns.
Danny: Yes, honey, I know you saw clowns. Daddy's dressed up like a clown.
Michelle: Uncle Jesse was a clown.
Danny: Uncle Jesse was a clown? Uncle Jesse hates clowns.
Jesse: More than ever.
Stephanie: But he was a great clown. He made a whole circus at the gas station. With a tightrope walker, a puppet show, and two jugglers. Thank you very much.
Danny: Jess, you really put on a circus for Michelle?
Jesse: Hey, it was my niece's third birthday.
Danny: Oh, man, I'm sorry. Shame on me. There's nothing lower than a cranky clown. You were a great uncle today. Heck, you're a great uncle every day. Thanks, buddy.


The episode title is a take on "The Greatest Show on Earth," the moniker for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (1871–2017).

Elmer uses the phrase "H.E. double hockey sticks". "Double hockey sticks" means two Ls. The phrase is a more family-friendly way of saying the word that was considered a curse word.

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