Tough Love
Season 7, episode 4
Tough love
Air date October 5, 1993
Writer(s) Ellen Guylas
Director Joel Zwick
Previous Wrong-Way Tanner
Next Fast Friends

Tough Love is episode four in season seven of Full House. It originally aired on October 5, 1993.

Opening Teaser

Michelle shows Stephanie that she can make her pig sock-puppet talk. What neither of them knows is that the "voice" is Joey, who is hiding in their closet.


Three-year-old Nicky and Alex are having behavior problems that are adversely affecting the lives of those who love them, and it gets out of hand when Becky and Jesse cannot bring themselves to put their feet down (see Trivia).

It all starts when they have a squirt gun battle, especially after when Danny and Vicky show up, as well as Joey. When Becky and Jesse tell them that playtime's over, they don't listen. Joey and Danny both confirm the fears in this episode: they are out of control. However, it seems that neither Becky nor Jesse know the meaning of the term "out of control", although Becky thinks that she is the better disciplinarian, because she is harder on the twins than Jesse. Danny notes the obvious: kids need limits. And while Jesse and Becky say they do set limits, Danny thinks otherwise.

Next, when they play "hide-and-(go)-seek" in D.J.'s room (with Jesse as the "seeker"), the boys go over to hide in Stephanie and Michelle's room. But when Michelle comes into the room, she sees them destroying her science project, which was a model of the Solar System (see Quotes). Jesse and Becky make Nicky and Alex apologize (see Quotes). Danny assures her that she is a "big person" on the inside. By that, he means generous; and he even allows her to demonstrate that with a hug to Jesse and Becky. So with that aside, he asks her to put the "Sun" (a grapefruit) in the juicer. Jesse decides to help Michelle fix her science project, but first helps fish Joey's watch out after the boys flush it down the toilet (see Quotes). But the problems do not stop there...

After they misbehave at dinner (see Quotes), that really is the last straw. Jesse agrees with Danny that the boys do need some tough love (hence the episode's name), as he takes them to their bedroom for their first punishment – a time-out, and Becky revokes their dessert privileges for good measure (see Quotes). Jesse feels guilty when the twins call him "Mean Daddy" (see Quotes). Becky assures him that the twins obviously did not realize that what they said would be hurtful, nor did they realize that when they told Michelle that they were not truly sorry for what they did, that it would hurt her feelings even more.

Meanwhile, Vicky decides to cook dinner for the family for the first time, and she makes spaghetti with pesto sauce and goat cheese pizza for everyone, including D.J., Kimmy, and Steve. Danny, who fears that the girls are too finicky to like Vicky's cooking, bribes Stephanie and Michelle into giving Vicky compliments at the dinner table instead of complaints; he decides on a $2 raise in their allowance, however they decide on a $5 raise, and he grants them their wish, reminding them that they're going to pay him back when they're 30, as he can't believe what he just did. However, the girls reveal that they really like the new dish, so it seems their wish worked after all. Danny apologizes to Vicky, telling her that he knew how finicky the girls could be and that he did not want them to hurt her feelings before admitting that he should have had a little faith in her and her goat cheese. Vicky agrees with Danny about that and tells him that since he did what he did out of caring, she will forgive him—right after he washes the dishes.

For dessert, everyone gets vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, and even the twins get them since they have behaved. Unbeknownst to Becky, Jesse sneaked the ice cream upstairs, and confronts him about it in their room. While she mentions that at least she did not hear "Mean Mommy", Jesse still thinks about why dads have to be harder than moms when it comes to discipline.

That night, Jesse and Becky continue to talk about how disciplinary they should be. Jesse adds that when he disciplined the boys, he acted like his dad, Nick. Becky understands how he butted heads with Nick, as well as with Danny, but then he realizes that he does have to be hard sometimes, just that he does not want to be too hard like Nick or Danny, and Becky assures him that he does not have to; he just has to be hard, no more and no less. The twins are released from their time-out, get their ice cream, and then prepare for bath time and bedtime.

And to make the point clear, Jesse and Becky decide that the twins will sleep in their race car beds tonight – no big bed. The twins finally accept their fate and get hugs from their parents as a result, and it is a happy ending indeed.


[Stephanie and Michelle enter the kitchen through the back door, as Stephanie carries Michelle's school science fair project.]
Michelle: OK, a little to the left. [Stephanie complies.] OK, a little to the right. [Again, Stephanie complies.] Easy, easy. [They finally get it on the table, revealed to be a model of the solar system.]
Stephanie: Michelle, next time you make a diorama, put a window in it [so she can see where she is going as she carries it].

[Nicky and Alex are in Stephanie and Michelle's room, ripping apart Michelle's science project.]
Michelle: [her mouth wide open upon entering] Stop it! Stop it! Daddy! My planets! Oh no! Why'd you guys have to do this?! I worked so hard on it.
Jesse: [entering upon hearing this...] Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! What's all the mayhem? What's going on? [viewing the evidence] Nicky, Alex, what did you guys do?
[The other grown-ups come in.]
Becky: What happened?
Danny: What's going on, honey?
Michelle: Daddy, Nicky and Alex wrecked my solar system. Look, it's leaking sun juice [showing the leaking grapefruit]!
Danny: Oh sweetheart, that's terrible. But I'm sure it was just an accident.
Becky: Michelle, we are so sorry.
Joey: Michelle, Nicky and Alex probably don't even realize they did anything wrong.
Michelle: But I told them to stop. Why didn't they listen?
Danny: Well, Michelle, children have to be taught to listen.
Michelle: Who's supposed to teach them?
Danny: In many cases, it's the people who are responsible for their growth and well-being.
Michelle: Who's that?
Danny: Well, in most cultures, that'd usually be, uh... their parents.
Michelle: [sarcastically looking at her aunt and uncle] Way to go.

[After Jesse and Becky talk to the twins (upon returning from the break)...]
Jesse: Michelle, now, I'm sure Nicky and Alex feel really bad. Alright boys, now you tell your cousin that you're sorry.
Alex: I'm sorry, Michelle.
Michelle: Are you really sorry?
Nicky: No!
Alex: No!
Joey: Alright, I'll take the boys before they incriminate themselves any further. [He escorts them out.] Alright, you two! Get in the squad car! You have the right to one phone call and one clean diaper!
Becky: Michelle, we're terribly sorry. We promise we'll make it up to you.
Jesse: Yeah, I'll help you rebuild this [her solar system]. I remodeled the whole attic; surely, I can help rebuild the solar system. There's no plumbing in space, is there? ... OK, you're not laughing.

[After the twins and Michelle leave the room, the grown-ups talk about the boys' behavior.]
Danny: I love Nicky and Alex but... they're way out of control.
Jesse: Oh, come on, Dan. They're not out of control. They're... Alright, they're a little bit... What's the word I'm looking for?
Becky: Feisty?
Jesse: Feisty is a good one... and they'll give you a little...[snaps his fingers to come up with the right word]
Becky: Rambunctious.
Jesse: Rambunctious. Right. But there's no way my kids are out of control. I mean...
Joey: [off-screen audio, from the bathroom] Nicky! Alex! My watch! [Flushing sound]
Becky: Jess, they're out of control. [...] Danny's right. We can't wait until the boys are knocking off liquor stores. [...] You're always Mr. Softie.

[At dinner time...]
Becky: Nicky and Alex are actually enjoying it. In fact, some of it is actually getting into their mouths. ... [But then Alex holds his bowl of pasta over his head.] Alex, put down that bowl! [He doesn't obey.]
Jesse: I'll take care of this. Time to lay down the law. [sternly] Son, put down the bowl. [Then, Nicky does the same.] Alright, you guys are ganging up on me. Now, I'm not kidding this time. Both of you, put down the bowls!
[They both toss them onto the floor behind them.]
Joey: Well, they put 'em down [smiling].
Danny: I may be going out on a limb here, Jess, but I think they're testing you.
Becky: Danny's right. We gotta be tough. No more waffling.
Jesse: That's it. Now you guys are in trouble. You know what happens next, right? Becky, what happens next?
Becky: I think the boys should get a time-out.
Jesse: That's right. You boys are gonna sit up there until it's time to come out. Hence the term 'time-out'.
Becky: And Jess. No dessert.
Jesse: Why? I was tough. I didn't waffle.
Becky: Not you! The boys!

Jesse: I'm not trying to be mean, it's just, uh, you kinda backed me in a corner down there in front of everybody with that pasta incident. I mean, uh, you don't want your old man looking like a weenie, do you?
Alex: Weenie.
Nicky: Weenie.
Jesse: No jokes. Sit down. Put the chair down, and sit down. Look, we're all on the same team here, let's just do this time-out thing and get it over with. [But when he gets raspberries from his sons...] Okay, now you've gone too far. I'm trying to be a good guy. Nicky, Alex, you keep those little butts in those chairs and you do not move a muscle until I say it's okay. Do you understand me?
Alex: Mean Daddy.
Nicky: Mean Daddy.
Jesse: Mean Daddy?
Alex: Mean Daddy.

[Jesse comes back to the table after successfully punishing the twins with a time-out.]
Becky: How did it go?
Jesse: Oh, fine. Good. There were no tears. And, uh, the boys took it pretty well, too.
Vicky: [serving everyone ice cream] Well, maybe this will make you feel better. Um, there's an extra two (bowls). They were for Nicky and Alex. [And all those at the other side of the table say "awww".] [...]
Becky: [putting her hand on Jesse's arm] Honey, you did the right thing. [He takes the bowls to the counter, where the memory of his sons saying "Mean Daddy" plays over and over in his mind (as the images appear in the bowls). So, he decides to sneak the bowls of ice cream upstairs.]


  • The opening teaser cue used in this episode is one used in seasons two to five
  • In this episode, Danny tells Jesse and Becky "Kids need limits", which is the same thing he tells Jesse and Joey in "Our Very First Night" (1.2), but sort of the opposite of in "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor" (4.2) because it is Jesse who tells Danny "kids Michelle's age are gonna test your limits"
    • Another difference is that for Michelle's time-out, Danny had her face the wall (the twins' didn't)
    • In addition, "Joey Gets Tough" (2.7) and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (4.24) are the only cases where Danny discusses "putting down the foot"; however, in all cases, the adults discipline the kids with love
  • The second time Danny is addressed as "Dan"; he previously was addressed as such in "Slumber Party" (4.4) (also in "Kissing Cousins")
  • Mr. Bear is briefly seen in the opening teaser on Stephanie's bed, which suggests that he and the other stuffed animals were successfully raked up, along with Michelle's "Hobby Day" leaves, in "The Apartment"
  • The second of two episodes where the copyright date is shown as "© 1993 Warner Bros. Television" (the season premiere was the first)
  • Joey's plush doll of Baby Gonzo of Muppet Babies may have been an in-joke on the actor Dave Coulier's voice-acting work on that animated series (as various characters in 1986–1991)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.