|The Trouble with Danny|
|Season 5, episode 22|
|Air date||March 17, 1992|
|Writer(s)||Ellen Guylas & David Pollock|
|Previous||Yours, Mine and Ours|
|Next||Five's a Crowd|
As he prepares for the annual spring cleaning, Danny gives Michelle her very own cleaning belt, and he has a secret for her...D.J. and Stephanie have never appreciated the beauty of tidiness, but Michelle can help her father take the tradition of Tanner cleanliness into the 21st century (started nine years after this episode was produced). He intends to turn her into a "lean, mean, cleaning machine" just like him.
Spring cleaning is Danny's favorite time of the year. After gathering the "troops" in the kitchen, the "General" assigns an area to each family member, with Michelle being his "special helper". After they get their assignments the "troops" sound off (see Quotes).
After their cleaning, the "inspectors" do their jobs, and they are not happy. But the family is not too happy about Danny either. Later, they gather in D.J.'s room, where each one rants about their "trouble with Danny"... and they agree that he rules the house with an iron fist (see Quotes).
However, unknown to them is that Danny is in D.J.'s closet installing shelf paper and he overhears the whole meeting. So, he decides to pack up and head for the mountains, where he rents and rides a donkey named Norman, with whom he communicates about his family's hatred and complaints of the annual spring-cleaning ritual (see Quotes).
Back home, Jesse and Becky try to teach Nicky and Alex how to crawl. Jesse makes it even more interesting by turning it into a race. The only problem is, while he's moving, they're not. Without warning, the twins start crawling right before everyone's eyes, just as the girls announce that Danny's back.
When he enters, the family tries to hug him, but noticing he was in the wilderness, they just wave the odors out and back away from him, thinking he smells like a donkey. When that is done, Danny tries to be as sloppy as he can, surprising even Stephanie. From munching on Joey's potato chips and putting a chocolate syrup smiley face on the fridge, to drinking milk and eating chocolate chip ice cream out of the carton, there's one thing the family agrees on: Danny's been acting very strange lately (see Quotes).
Eventually, Danny slips up and mentions something that he heard Joey say during the meeting. When Danny adds to his finding a balance by trying to mess up his room a little, Joey asks him what he meant back in the kitchen. Danny initially says that he does not know, and Joey calls him out on it (see Quotes).
He then heads up to his room, and starts disorganizing everything (see Quotes), from his closet to his bed, and even dumping the box of baking soda from his sock drawer down on the floor. When the family sees what he is doing, they all remark that they do not like "the new Danny" and would rather have "the old Danny" back, as he is what keeps the family running with nine people living in the house.
With that, Danny is forced to admit that he was in the closet at the time of the meeting. The family apologizes for hurting Danny, and they were just upset. He admits that he needs to find a balance between clean and dirty instead of going too far in either direction—and so does Michelle, something Stephanie ad-libs. Danny holds true to his promise to balance himself, and Jesse asks him to go take a shower.
That night in her and Stephanie's room (as the inspirational music plays), Danny mentions to Michelle what he talked about to the family (even preaching a proverb variation, see Quotes). To that end, Michelle decides to sleep with all her stuffed animals, and he lets her do that, but only if she sleeps in her own bed. After he kisses her (and the music stops), she does get in her own bed and he tosses all her stuffed animals her way (as the audience applauds and the EP credits appear).
["General" Danny has gathered the "troops" into the kitchen, including Becky for the first time. He puts Post-It notes on their clothing that show what area(s) each member is responsible for cleaning.]
Danny: Each area of responsibility has been personally selected to reflect the strengths and abilities of each member of the cleaning crew.
Joey: Oh, man! I got toilets again?
Jesse: Well, who knows them better than you, really?
Michelle: What's my job, Daddy?
Danny: What's your job? You're Daddy's special helper. [He kisses her.]
Michelle: I'm Daddy's special helper.
Stephanie: Well, pin a rose on your nose.
Danny: OK, troops, dirt is the enemy. Get out there and make me proud.
Michelle: On your mark, get set, clean!
[The "troops", sans Michelle and Danny, sound off as they march off.]
Joey: [singing] Grab your Brillo and your broom!
All: [singing] Grab your Brillo and your broom!
Joey: [singing] Danny is a looney-tune (see Trivia).
All: [singing] Danny is a looney-tune.
Joey: Sound off!
Kimmy: What's wrong with you people? How can you get this house any cleaner? It's already the cleanest house in America.
Jesse: For the first time, Gibbler actually is makin' some sense.
Kimmy: Had to happen sometime.
Michelle: Fresh sponges!
Danny: Get 'em while they're hot.
Jesse: Danny, we did all our jobs. The house is clean. We're outta here. [They all leave, but...]
Danny: Freeze! [They do.] Are you telling me you cleaned this house in two hours?
Michelle: Oh, puh-lease!
Becky: Danny, we've been working in the house! Check the statue.
Danny: OK. A little wax in his ear, but he's OK. [But the rest of the house is not really in tip-top shape.] [...] Come on, guys. Once a year, I ask you to roll up your sleeves and really do a job on this house. Now, if you're gonna do a job, you gotta give it 100%; otherwise, don't do a job at all.
Joey: Good idea. Don't do a job at all. [They all leave.]
Danny: Come on, I know you all don't mean that. [They all return.] You all take as much pride in a clean house as much as I do. Now, let's get back out there and really clean! And when you're all done, I got a special surprise for you.
Stephanie: You're taking us to Happy Mountain [Amusement Park]?
Danny: No, it's even better than that, honey. I'm putting shelf-paper in each and every one of your closets.
Michelle: Yay! [Everyone looks at her as if she's crazy.] What?
D.J.: Everyone, come in here. I have to tell you something. [They all enter her room, and she quickly closes the door so the "man of the house" can't hear them.] Is it just me, or is Dad worse than ever this year?
Joey: Hey, there's nothing wrong with your dad wanting to be a little clean. [The looks on the older girls' faces suggest otherwise.] OK, wanting to be very clean. [The look on Jesse's face also suggests otherwise.] OK, he's a psycho with a dust mop!
D.J.: It's not just the cleaning! He got so carried away. He's the only parent who packs a coaster in your sack lunch.
Stephanie: What about all those rules? Does it matter if you chew every bite of food 24 times? Yesterday, I only did it 22, and let me tell you: it felt good.
Becky: Well, your dad likes to pay attention to detail. Every detail... on every subject... in the universe.
Jesse: What drives you crazier: his stories or his rambles?
Joey: What's the difference?
Michelle: [storms in] There you are. Did we forget that today was spring cleaning?
D.J.: [scoffs] That's another thing. He even turned our sweet, little Michelle into a 'junior neat freak'.
Jesse: Michelle, do you really care if the inside of the chimney is clean?
Michelle: Yes, I do. And so does Santa Claus.
Stephanie: She's totally brainwashed!
Michelle: Everything should be washed! Now, let's get cleaning! [She leaves.]
D.J.: Poor kid. Now she's really turning into Dad.
[As he's out in the mountains for some fresh air (and not just literally)...] Danny: What an eye-opener. [to Norman the donkey] You should've been in that closet with me. The people I love most in the world think I'm nothin' but a compulsive, neurotic, ramblin' jackass. No offense. [Norman makes a certain movement, which seems to mean 'None taken'.] How did I get so messed up? Guess it goes back to my mom (see Trivia). On my fifth birthday, she gave me my own set of vacuum cleaner attachments. She used to call me her 'special helper'. Oh, my God ... that’s exactly what I’m doin’ to Michelle. She’s probably gonna grow up and write one of those tell-all books, Daddy Cleanest. I gotta make some changes in my life.
[Danny returns home, but the family isn't really happy to see him.]
Becky: Danny, aren't you gonna pick that up [his jacket that he aimed for the coat rack but then ends up on the floor]?
Danny: Sure, I'll pick it up next time I go out. See, I've changed all my priorities. You can say goodbye to Captain Clean because now, I'm gonna live my life totally natural.
Joey: Hmm, naked?
Danny: Oh, great. Potato chips. [He snatches the bag out of Joey's hand and munches away, leaving a trail of crumbs for the family to follow as he then tosses the (now-empty) bag onto the floor.]
Stephanie: Who the heck is that guy? [They follow him to the kitchen.]
Danny: A man works up an appetite riding a burro [drinks milk straight from the carton (as shown in infobox photo)]
D.J.: Dad, you're drinking from a milk carton! You said that was illegal.
Danny: The new law says, hey, it's legal!
Jesse: The Danny Tanner I know would not tolerate a nice glob of chocolate on his nice, clean refrigerator: [pulls out a bottle of chocolate syrup and puts a glob] What do you think of that?
Danny: I think it's cool.
Joey: Oh, that's fine. But what if someone a little less mature came along and turned that glob of chocolate into a happy face? [He does so.]
Michelle: Daddy, do something! Joey's making a mess!
Danny: I'll do something. Let's add some hair.
Kimmy: I'll find out if it's for real. [She quickly smudges the face, then leaves handprints on the cabinet, counter, and even Danny's shirt!] OK, Mr. T. Have a cow, and toss my rear outta here!
Danny: Oh Kimmy, I love your hi-jinks.
[Danny heads up to his room, and starts by messing up his bed.]
Danny: Oh yeah. That looks a lot more natural. [He then takes some of his clothes off the closet rack, just as the family walks in.]
D.J.: Dad, what are you doing?
Danny: Oh, I'm 'un'-organizing my closet. What kind of nut lived in here, huh?
Joey: Hey, Danny. Back in the kitchen when you said 'psycho with a dust mop', where'd you get that from?
Danny: Well, I don't know.
Joey: Yes, you do. You heard me say it, didn't you?
Danny: OK. Look, I was in D.J.'s closet installing shelf paper when you were having your little family meeting.
Jesse: Ouch. [He walks over to him.] Danny, we're sorry about that. We're embarrassed by that. We didn't mean all those things we said. We were just letting off a little steam, that's all.
Danny: No, no. What you said was true. I mean, you hurt my feelings, but I'm glad to know how you really feel about me. And I've changed. Let me show you. No more baking soda in my sock drawer [as he takes out the box, opens it up, and dumps the powder onto the carpet, before dropping the empty box onto the carpet]. There. You girls have a brand new dad.
Stephanie: I don't want a new dad. I'll chew each bite 24 times each day, just like you say. I just want my old dad back.
D.J.: So do I. [She and her sister hug their dad.] Who cares if you're a 'neat freak'? If it wasn't for you, I'd never make my bed.
Joey: [putting his hand on his friend's shoulder] Me neither.
Danny: You know, maybe I went too far the other way. I got to find a balance between Captain Clean and Sergeant Sludge.
Stephanie: And could you help Michelle find a balance? Today, she made my bed—and I was still in it.
[Michelle organizes her stuffed animals before going to bed, just as her dad comes in.]
Danny: Michelle, I think we need to have a 'little talk'.
Michelle: I lined up all my animals, from smallest to big.
Danny: Look, sweetheart, why do you want all your animals lined up?
Michelle: I want them to be neat and clean, just like you want them.
Danny: Sweetie, come here. [They sit on Stephanie's bed.] Honey, I think it's wonderful that you like things to be neat and clean. But sometimes your dad likes things to be a little bit too neat and too clean, and too much of anything is not good.
Michelle: Even ice cream?
Danny: Yes, even ice cream. Look, I just want you to be a little less like me and a little more like your sisters.
Michelle: You want me to be a slob?
Danny: No, I don't want you to be a slob. But just because your dad likes things to be neat and tidy, doesn't mean you need to be like me. I just want you to be Michelle Tanner.
- The only time in the series where the Ancient Mariner statue is mentioned (indirectly; in Fuller House it's mentioned by name only once)
- The last time Danny is seen as a neat-freak
- The only time Michelle acts completely like a neat-freak
- The only known time Michelle's "little talk" is with someone other than Jesse (as he's the one who coined the term)
- The second episode to have Danny's "Christmas" (spring cleaning) – the other being "Goodbye Mr. Bear" (2.18)
- Joey (then the others) singing in cadence "Danny is a looney-tune" is a reference to Looney Tunes cartoons – because looney means crazy (short for lunatic)
- In the scene where Danny is on the hill thinking about his life while riding Norman, he mentions his mom (last appearing in season 3's "Granny Tanny"), who apparently is revealed to have been a neat-freak (whom Danny takes after)