The Return of Grandma
Season 1, episode 4
Air date October 9, 1987
Writer(s) Russell Marcus
Director Joel Zwick
Previous The First Day of School
Next Sea Cruise

The Return of Grandma is episode four of the first season of Full House. It originally aired on October 9, 1987.


The episode starts with D.J., Stephanie, and Joey enjoying a nice Saturday morning in front of the TV, until Danny calls him into the kitchen.

There, Jesse shows Danny and Joey a turtle named Bubba, which Jesse brought home because Bubba saved his life while he was on his way home from a gig. He then leaves the kitchen to get his guitar and bring it into the house. By the time he returns, the girls have noticed Bubba, and they talk their dad into letting the turtle stay.

Stephanie happens to mention that Danny's mother is coming to visit from Seattle. It turns out that Joey forgot to mention that to Danny after Claire called and said she would be over. Joey tells Danny that Claire will be arriving at the airport at 5:12 pm. A now frantic Danny wants the messy house cleaned up as soon as possible, so he can prove to Claire that he can handle things on his own, now that Pam is gone.

The guys take the girls out shopping for cleaning supplies with them. When they get home, it is still about five hours away from Claire's arrival time. Minutes later, as the guys are about to start cleaning, Claire shows up and sees the mess.

It turns out that Joey mixed up her arrival time; it was 12:05 pm, not 5:12 pm. A shocked Claire has Joey's mother Mindy and Jesse's mother Irene come over to see the mess. The guys tell the mothers to go shopping for a couple of hours, saying that the house will be clean by the time the mothers get back, Danny telling them that if the house isn't in "house-shape" (instead of "ship-shape") by then, they can move in and make their lives a living hell. After the mothers leave, the girls tell the guys that Bubba is missing. They search the whole house, even the girls' room, but to no avail.

When the mothers return, the house is still a mess, but the mothers see how the guys help the girls handle the loss of Bubba, to which all sides feel a little bit better. The mothers still threaten to make good on Danny's deal and move in because the house is still a mess, so Danny has the mothers take the girls to the zoo. After a huddle break, the guys actually get to work, and, as they clean, they sing and dance along to James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (after which, the performance garners applause from the studio audience).

This time, the house is clean when the mothers return, and with five seconds to spare, per Danny. Claire admits that Danny can handle things on his own, and the moms check to make sure the guys held true to their word, and they did.

Then, Jennifer Sianski, Joey's fiance and a housemaid, enters the back door and asks for payment. Mindy's surprised at this, but that doesn't stop Danny from paying her for the "services" that the guys did themselves, though the only things they really needed help with were the toilets and all the other hard stuff. The moms then realize that they will not need the guys' help anymore, but they can still come by anytime.

Claire again admits how hard it is for the guys to juggle housecleaning with raising the girls, saying that they may be a little sloppy, but the girls are getting a lot of love. The guys and their moms hug just as the girls get downstairs. The girls wish Bubba were there to see this, and that wish is granted (see Quotes), which elicits laughter throughout. And everyone hugs each other (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).


[In the living room, Joey, Stephanie, and D.J. are enjoying a nice Saturday morning in front of the TV.]
Joey: Cereal, cartoons, pajamas. This is why God created Saturday.
D.J.: Let's watch MTV.
Stephanie: No. Let's watch Bugs Bunny.
Joey: But Steph, Bugs Bunny is kid stuff. We gotta watch Yogi Bear.
Stephanie: But I like Bugs Bunny.
Joey: Yeah, but Steph, every episode is the same. Elmer Fudd says "Why, you pesky wabbit." Then he takes a shot at Bugs. Then Yosemite Sam comes in, "Ooh, I hates that rabbit!" And he takes a shot at Bugs. I mean, with all that shooting going on…I don't know why Bugs ever pops his head out of that hole. Let's face it. The rabbit has a death wish.
Stephanie: Better than watching Yogi steal the same picnic basket. Boring.
Danny: Morning, kids.
Joey, Stephanie & D.J.: Hi, Dad!
Danny: [noticing how they're eating their cereal] I don't really see you eating cereal out of pots with wooden implements, do I?
D.J.: Yes, you do.
Danny: Great. After breakfast, why don't we take this laundry to the bay…and beat it against some rocks? Joey, can you come with me, right now, into the kitchen please?
Joey: What, now? I'll miss the start of Yogi.
Danny: It's not Agatha Christie. You'll catch up.
Joey: Girls, take accurate notes.

[The guys end their cleaning and singing by doing the splits on the very last note of "I Feel Good".]
Joey: I split my pants!
Danny: I can't stand my pants!

Danny: From now on, things are gonna go a lot smoother around here.
Claire: I'm sure they will. Does that mean you won't need us anymore? [They all do "The Lip".]
Joey: They're good [at "The Lip"].
Jesse: Of course we still need you. You girls come by and visit anytime.
Claire: OK, listen, I have to admit I was worried how you boys…were managing the girls. Well, you may be a little sloppy, but those kids are getting a lot of love.
Danny: Thanks, Mom.
Claire: Honey.
D.J.: Aw, this is nice. I wish Bubba was here to share this. Bubba!
[And in comes Bubba on a skateboard.]
Stephanie: I love that amphibian!


  • This is Alice Hirson's last appearance as Claire Tanner (later played by Doris Roberts [Everybody Loves Raymond] in the season three episode "Granny Tanny")
  • Jesse's mother, Irene, was first played by Rhoda Gemignani before being replaced by actress Yvonne Wilder
  • At one point in the episode, an audience member can be heard saying "Turtle"