Every 90s kid remembers the overwhelming feeling of relief and happiness that came along with getting out of school on a Friday afternoon. Not only were you free from pug-faced teachers and asinine busy work for a few days, but you were also in for that magical night of television comedy perfection known as TGIF.
I never understood why ABC abolished the hilarious, family-friendly Friday night lineup, but they must have had their reasons. At the time, there wasn’t a single channel that could compete with the likes of Step by Step, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, Boy Meets World, and the magnum opus of family-friendly comedy: Full House.
Now, I’m not discounting the suave Greek looks of Uncle Jesse or the childlike genius of Joey Gladstone, but we must face the fact that Michelle Tanner was the star of the show. From infancy to adolescence, she was the face of the franchise. The Olsen twins were nothing short of spectacular.
However, the toeheaded, doe-eyed, charismatic little youngsters went through several iterations spanning the eight seasons of Full House’s respectable primetime run. Some were lovable and some were downright annoying, but they were all Michelle.
The most useless of the Michelles made her onscreen appearance in the late 80s. After the death of her mother, the Tanner family inherited 2 surrogate dads to round out the parental duties and baby Michelle was the adorable comic foil that always proved an obstacle in a successful bout of babysitting. Beyond crying, drooling, and looking somewhat cute, she had no redeeming qualities. Her greasy hair and godawful baby clothes distracted me from staring at Uncle Jesse’s epic mullet. I hate her.
By far my favorite Michelle, Princess Michelle was the first speaking role for the tiny Tanner. She held the audience in her miniature hands as she spouted off punchline after punchline. The innovator of such phrases as “You got it, dude” and “No way, Jose,” Princess Michelle took America by storm. She added hilarious banter to any scene and really brought Full House into its golden era. Who else had the balls to fill up a baby pool in the kitchen or superguilt Uncle Jesse into moving his new bride to the attic of the freakishly dysfunctional Tanner household?
Another Michelle you love to hate, bratty Michelle was the prickly thorn in Stephanie’s side. After DJ became too cool for school and moved into her own room, it was Stephanie’s job to deal with this little piece of shit. Besides being the annoying little sister who followed you around, she fucking butted in front of Stephanie at Disney World and stole her chance to be princess for a day right out from under her. A coldhearted bitch through and through, bratty Michelle was the kind of little girl you’d like to beat upside the head with a rusty sledgehammer.
The last one in the lineage, Emo Michelle was the oldest of the troupe. Not particularly annoying, funny or cute, she was the whiner of the bunch. Every episode focused on her being butt hurt about something completely stupid and inconsequential, and I grew quite tired of her bullshit. Whether it was her friend coming back from Texas and slighting her, her failures in the Mighty Mutant Super Kids Club, or falling off of a horse in the series finale, Emo Michelle should’ve just jumped off of the Golden Gate bridge. She did everything in her power to erase our fond memories of Michelle Tanner and replace them with an overall indifference and quiet hatred. Fuck her.
So, there you have it. Princess Michelle stands atop the pile as the greatest and most influential incarnation of our favorite little munchkin. The rest of them can fuck off, but at least they left room for other, lesser characters like Gibbler and Comet to share a piece of the spotlight.
This has been a Miller-Boyett production in association with Lorimar Television.