Post Mortems
Fuller House Spoilers

Fuller House Boss Explains Stephanie's Tragic, 'Touching' Twist in Episode 5

Fuller House‘s trip to Coachella turned out to be an emotional one for Stephanie Judith Tanner.

At the end of the Netflix comedy‘s fifth episode, Jodie Sweetin’s character revealed that she’s unable to have kids of her own, a confession that elicited even more hugs and tears than you’d expect under that roof.

TVLine turned to series creator Jeff Franklin and executive producer Robert Boyett for the story behind Stephanie’s unexpected tragedy.

“First of all, I didn’t want Stephanie to have children,” Franklin tells us. “I wanted one of the three to not have kids. The backstory I created for her was that she’s a free spirit, traveling the world. She’s into her career and into having fun, and I thought this would be a really interesting aspect to that character — and touching. I love the way that scene played between the two girls. I thought they knocked it out of the park.”

As for whether or not we can expect Stephanie to pursue her own family through other avenues, Boyett tells us, “That may be something that’s referenced again in the series.” (Cryptic, but we’ll take it!)

Were you surprised by Stephanie’s news? Moved by her chat with D.J.? However you’re feeling, drop your emotions in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Eh says:

    I haven’t seen any episodes but have they encountered any lgbtq people in their version of San Francisco yet?

    • Andy Swift says:

      D.J. and Kimmy are mistaken for lesbians in one episode, but I’m pretty sure that’s as close as they get.

      • Falcon says:

        I will add that THANKFULLY there wasn’t a homophobic cop out of “Oh no! We’re not gay!” when they get mistaken for lesbians. Given that it’s Candice Cameron Bure, I was ready and waiting for it. Still, no actually gay people see yet. In San Francisco. In 2016. Please.

      • Luli says:

        Matt and Steve kiss in an ep….

    • Jer Gray says:

      No, and who cares? Get over yourself.

      • Dude says:

        Because San Francisco is known for its thriving gay community so setting a show in an all-straight San Francisco is the equivalent of setting a show in an all-white Compton.

        • David H says:

          These litmus tests for inclusion are getting absolutely ridiculous. Please provide us with a spreadsheet of exactly how many African-American, Asian-American, Latino, Middle-Eastern (as long as they are not playing terrorists!), homosexual, transgender, overweight and handi-capable characters you require before providing any series with your seal of approval.

          • Anna says:

            You can think inclusion is ridiculous as you want, but that doesn’t erase the fact that it doesn’t make much sense to set a TV show in the gayest city in the country in 2016 and not have any gay characters. If the show were set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, no one would bat an eye, but when the city in question is so gay that around 2 million people attend their annual Pride festivals and half the major buildings in town (including the airport and city hall) are lit up in rainbow colors at various times of the year for LGBTQ related events/celebrations, then wondering about gay characters is completely valid.

          • Mike says:

            It is the PC nannies out in full force online 24/7. God forbid we just make some shows and enjoy them without their agenda included. It has gotten positively suffocating to be constantly told what to think, how to act, what to eat and what to believe in by these types. The only opinions allowed are theirs.

        • sierrah says:

          Not EVERYTHING has to be incorporated. It’s a sitcom, not exactly reality.

    • Steve says:

      Not if evangelical Candace Cameron is on. Ironic as the original show meant a lot to kids being raised by 2 dads

    • Stephen says:

      No openly gay characters, but the guys who are vying for Das heart accidentally kiss.
      Kimmys ex husband is very flamboyant although he’s straight.
      That’s about as gay as you’re going to get.

    • Evie Eden says:

      I totally thought that when Stephanie referenced Harry Takayama as her husband that he was going to end up being gay…. but no. I was actually pretty disappointed, it was the perfect opportunity. But maybe when Michelle comes home she brings her partner? Huh huh?

    • Maggie says:

      One of the kids goes to a school named after Harvey Milk. That was pretty much the most solid LGBTQ reference I heard, other than stuff played for jokes.

  2. Ugh says:

    How about just having an adult female character on a TV show who doesn’t have children because she doesn’t WANT to have children? There are millions and millions of us out here, and we’re not freaks. Why did the show have to make her “unable” and upset about it???

    • Kbmc says:

      THIS ^^^
      I was just going to comment the same thing. Some of us women simply don’t want children. It annoys me characters state over & over again how they don’t want children only to be told they’ll “change their mind when they meet the right man!” Then lo & behold- they see a handsome fella and get that baby fever.
      Why couldn’t Stephanie simply not want children and be completely fine with it?!?

      • Sarah says:

        “Why couldn’t Stephanie simply not want children and be completely fine with it?!?”

        Because it’s a family sitcom, built around family. If you’re spending your life helping to raise children, and you’re good at it, it’s a little weird that you simply wouldn’t want any.

        If Jeff really decided that, then I think since Michelle is off building a fashion empire, they should of have had her be the career-driven one. Stephanie’s “free spirit traveler” background doesn’t mean much when she actually wants to settle down.

        • Jemeg says:

          I don’t think “it’s weird that you simply wouldn’t want any.” I work in a school library and see hundreds of kids every week. I enjoy what I do, would like to think I’m good at it, but I’m exhausted at the end of the day. I also have a niece that I am crazy about and I’m perfectly happy being able to be there for her – and those school kids :)

      • Mona says:

        It’s called sexism baby ..get used to it :(

      • Frances says:

        this isn’t “A feminists guide to Full house – I don’t need no man”, sweetie. It’s a sitcom from a show that started in the 80s. Get over it.

      • A fan of TV says:

        Not fair. She WAS fine with it, until she started basically acting as a second mother to a bunch of kids. Why can’t her character have a change of heart? It wasn’t even that significant a change of heart, you know? like she cried about it in the moment she told DJ but it wasn’t dwelled on at any other point in the episodes. She very well could wind up being a satisfied “spinster aunt.”

      • Emma says:

        Well if she didn’t want children why would she be voluntarily and happily helping raise a group of children? Stephanie’s basically co-parenting with Kimmy and DJ. Doesn’t make sense she’d move in permanently, if she didn’t enjoy helping raise the kids and the “family life”.

    • Wendy says:

      How about those of us women who would love to have children, but for whatever reason can’t? Shouldn’t we get a voice? There are plenty of us out there too!
      That being said, it’s a show. And the writers went for the “emotional moment” with this trope. Should have left well enough alone.

    • Ange says:

      Thank you

    • Nick Choo says:

      Oy. Why does everything have to evoke an indignant reaction? In the first episode, Stephanie tells DJ she doesn’t want to have kids as she’s enjoying her life, which struck me as even more of a television trope than not being able to have kids. Obviously they went with what I consider the more interesting character twist for a family sitcom FILLED with kids. And it *was* a surprise, for this show and its legacy.Nobody mentioned freaks. Not everything you see on TV that you don’t agree with is intended to be sexist, or misogynist, or insulting. Sometimes it’s just what feels more unexpected storyline and background-wise. Netflix and chill, high horsers.

      • Frances says:

        because people have to complain about anything and everything nowadays. That’s what people are like in this day and age. Everything angers them. Everything bothers them. Everything offends them. Makes me miss the 80s and 90s all that more.

      • YoLo says:

        Full House wasn’t a show about gay people so I doubt Fuller House will be. Not all families have gay people sorry. But your in luck every other show on TV does. For all the gay people they put on TV you would think that half the population in America is gay.

    • Gigi says:

      Thank you.

      The reason I loved Bones in the beginning was that she thought the same things about having kids as I do. Then it turned into a soap so I tuned out.

      Also, on HIMYM, Robin didn’t want kids but then they made her infertile just to force some tears out of her about not having kids.

    • vbarkley39 says:

      YES! Then they could name her spinoff Empty House.

  3. C says:

    Thanks for putting a spoiler in the title.

    • Cut it out says:

      I am so tired of reading comments where people complain about spoilers. First of all, saying there is a tragic twist isn’t a spoiler and b. If you are such a spoiler-phobe don’t go on entertainment sites like this. Grow up and stop whining.

      • It’s on Google, retard. Just searching Fuller House got me here, spoiler an all.

      • Plus, this IS a spoiler. You literally don’t know what a spoiler is.

      • Dysturbed says:

        If she specifically came to this site and then saw the vague headline and is still complaining, then you have a great point, but that may not be what happened. There are other ways to be directed to this specific article (and any other one) than doing so directly through this site. Through social media or other entertainment sites, links sometimes appear to the exact same articles, but with different headlines…ones that are blatant with spoilers.

        I myself am not complaining btw, rather explaining to you something that you didn’t seem to be aware of.

        • Stephen says:

          Why read and articles on it at all if you haven’t watched all episodes? It’s a Netflix show, all episodes have been released, spoilers are everywhere.
          Don’t get mad at those who’ve watched it and written about. Why are you searching for the show? Why click on anything when there are things that could spoil it for you?
          Take Downton Abbey. I know it’s aired in the UK, thus I don’t read anything on it. And this title doesn’t give much context, so I really don’t see what the complaint is.

    • Frances says:

      you didn’t have to click on the article to see what the title actually meant. EPISODE FIVE, should’ve been clue enough.


      • Falcon says:

        Yes! To agree with you and further prove your point, when I saw this headline earlier in the day and it said “Episode FIVE” while I had just finished Episode One, I moved on. I came back and read it after I saw the 5th episode. It’s really not that hard people! No one is forcing you to click the link before you are ready.

  4. Fuller house fan says:

    I actually loved watching this brought back memories of when I saw full house as a child my kids also enjoyed it


  6. Cas says:

    I never wanted kids. But after I got married we decided on one. Best decision I have ever made in my entire life! I think considering it is a “family” sitcom it makes sense there is a reason she doesn’t want kids. And there are millions of people who struggle everyday with not being able to have kids. It’s sad.

  7. Jaqui says:

    I guess when it’s Netflix and some people watch 13 episodes the first day, spoiler alerts are no longer in play on TV line

  8. Kat says:

    For those of you who are upset that Stephanie wasn’t just a woman who didn’t want children…THNK ABOUT IT!! This is a show where she has agreed to help her sister raise her children! Essentially becoming another “mother” to the children. Would it really fit into the storyline of the show if she just “didn’t” want children?? That is better suited for another show!! I understand your frustration and desire for that to be presented more in the media, tv shows, etc., but taking it out on this show isn’t really fair when raising children is the primary premise for this show.

    • xoxo says:

      I’ve always found Full House to be a show that said “families come in all shapes & sizes and even people who aren’t your blood relatives can be your family” so- in 2016 especially- I don’t think in a show about family that it would be so horrible to show a woman CHOOSING not to have children of her own. Not wanting to be a mom doesn’t automatically mean you are anti- children. You can be a fantastic aunt, godmother, friend, whatever and love the hell out of the kids in your life without choosing to be a mom.

      • Emma says:

        ^^ It is about families coming in all shapes and sizes and even people who aren’t your blood relatives can be your family etc. Showing a main character choosing not to have her own children doesn’t make sense. Based on your definition of the premise (which I agree with), as time goes on, it becomes clear that Stephanie she does have kids and *is* a parent/mom/second mom. The kids aren’t her biological kids, but it doesn’t matter that she didn’t give birth to them, she doesn’t think of them as anything less. She is basically co-parenting with her sister and Kimmy as they all help raise the kids together. Stephanie didn’t just come to stay for a couple of weeks to help out DJ and be a doting aunt. She is living there on a long-term basis, and while she may have started out as just an excellent aunt (and a family friend to Kimmy’s daughter), eventually Stephanie comes to love the kids as if they were her own (and they love her back in the same way). After Stephanie tells her sister about her infertility, DJ even says to Stephanie that DJ’s children have become as much Stephanie’s as DJ’s, and they are her kids too. So it wouldn’t make sense to make Stephanie a character who doesn’t want kids of her own, DJ’s kids become like her own kids (and Kimmy’s daughter) and the premise of the show revolves around showing how that can happen.

    • Stephen says:

      I understand where they’re coming from, but I agree. The original wasn’t about being ground breaking or being anti-tradtional family. I mean, the premise was three men raising three girls only because their mother died tragically.
      I expected some modernization, but I never expected this show to push boundaries or get people to think differently about deeply held pre-conceived notions. It’s just family entertainment. . It’s not Sex and the City

      • Kat says:

        Not only is this NOT groundbreaking television, it doesn’t even take itself seriously!! There are plenty of times when you can see that the actors are saying their lines with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks. For the most part, not necessarily this scene about Stephanie’s ability to have children, the actors are hamming up their characters and not taking any of this too seriously. If you look at the original series you realize that it was pretty cheezy but that is what made it so good! COMPLETE escapism and this is continuing that tradition. It is complete and utter fun! So stop looking for some social meaning or for the show to save civilization. Stop looking for EVERY ethnic group to be represented or for the show to put an exclamation point on the gay marriage debate (and yes there still seems to be some debate no matter what the SCOTUS says) just because the show is set in San Francisco (I don’t remember any gay story lines in the first series but I also don’t remember anyone bitching about it either)! The show has been available for two days and all of these complaints have been made and many, many more!! This show is NOT going to save the world!! Sit down with a treat and laugh for some time and enjoy that this is a little time in your life when you DON’T have to think/worry about all of those things. Fuller House is just some good mindless fun! ENJOY!! (And if you don’t like it, STOP watching it and furthermore STOP reading about it and finally STOP writing about it!!) THANK YOU!!!

  9. lilnovelette says:

    I grew up with Full House being a huge part of my tumultuous childhood, it was a beacon comfort and peace so often, especially Stephanie. When I got glasses not 2 episodes later Stephanie got glasses, sharing the same fears and emotions I couldn’t. As she dealt with jealousy, peer pressure, even a broken arm my life so often mirrored hers and her character gave me a voice when I had none. 20 years later and Stephanie Tanner is still mirroring my life and helping my pain – I also cannot have children and lately it’s been a daily struggle. Watching that episode brought me back to being that little who who learned she was not alone and she could persevere no matter what came. Thank you Jodi Sweetin for helping this Jodie once again :)

    • Kat says:

      I too can’t have children but have been lucky enough to help raise my sister’s son and he is “the love” of my life. It has made things a little easier. Due to medical problems I am also unable to adopt! No court will EVER give me a child to raise and even if by some miracle a court would give me a child my health would never let me keep up with the child so unfortunately that is not an option for me in any way shape or form. There are many other ways that you can “have” a child. I know the loss you are feeling, I have been there but I promise there are many other lights in this process. You will come out on the other side of this, in some ways, a better mother than if you got it the “easy” way!! You are in my thought and prayers and you are NOT alone!!

      • Emma says:

        Lovely, heartwarming comment! Thank you for sharing! Sounds like even though you can’t give birth or adopt kids, you are still able to be a mother and mother a child! your sister’s son is lucky to have you! God bless

  10. I want to know why Steph. made a career out of music instead of dance. She was a dancer and a good one at that…………. That was her thing….. they never… ever depicted her as a music enthusiast

    • Fullhouse4eva says:

      I agree, dancing was definitely Stephanie’s thing, but she did play in a band w Kimmie & Gia(?) I believe. They played at the Smash Club and sang Ace of Bases’s “The Sign.” So it’s not like she never showed any interest in music.

  11. Jared says:

    Jodi Sweetin is def the breakout of Fuller House. She played that scene so realistic and has continued to impress throughout the series. Who knew Stephanie Tanner grew up to be so damn cool?!?

  12. Judy Coleman says:

    Yes, the scene between Stephanie and DJ did tug at my heart as well as my daughters. Reason being my daughter was told that she and her husband cannot have children either. Thank you for addressing that issue. We cried and moved past it during the show, just as we had to do when the doctor told her the news we did not want to hear or even expected to hear. Job well done. Thank you.

  13. Evie Eden says:

    This honestly was one of my favorite moments in the whole season. It hit home for me. I love that Stephanie wants to be close to her sisters kids and be the cool aunt. I’m that aunt. I think it would be cool it keep it up. Stephanie should stay the life loving free spirit. She can be a great aunt and not have to have kids of her own. It’s perfect.

  14. Deez Nuts says:

    I got hit in the face with a carrot

  15. It brought tears to my eyes, but there women out in this world who can’t have children. This was a awesome storyline for Jodie Sweetin…….

  16. mary says:

    i was shocked to hear that stephanie cant have kids, as growing up she was my role model on the show since in real life we are the same age, ironically i too am unable to bear children

  17. I LIKE THE SHOW and i watch them kiss good

  18. sruss745 says:

    The scene between DJ and Stephanie about her not being able to have children was very touching. It made me like Stephanie more and hope good things for her future. I think it’s a plausible reason too, for her to want to help her sister. She will be filling a need in her life without going out of a safe circle. I love the dynamic between the three girls but I absolutely hate the few references I have seen about lesbians and gays in general. Can’t we have anything without reference to that???? Even if they are older and it is now, we don’t need that in this series.

  19. yg says:

    Fuller House Season 1 Episode 1 Our Very First Show, Again
    copy below
    Fuller House Season 1 list episode
    copy below

  20. Annoyed says:

    Why do so many people take this show so personal? First of all, it’s a show based on fictional characters. The writers don’t have to write in a character that portrays gays, women who want kids/don’t want kids, etc. Secondly, why come on this forum to talk about your personal situations? Why would any of these people care why you decided to have kids or not have kids? Also, there are many straight families in the world. Why is it so wrong for them to be a straight family? They’ve shown that they have nothing against a gay lifestyle. Why can’t this just be what it is.. A fictional TV show?

  21. Amanda says:

    In all honesty it was touching because there are numerous people who cannot have children at all. I agree that someone should just simply not want to have kids BUT uncle Joey has no kids and hes fine with that. It would be way to similar to Full House if they did that. Having someone from the LGBTQ2S+ community in this show would be great too maybe like another kimmy Gibbler( best friend of one of the cast members) maybe even having Stephanie dating a man who wasnt caucasian would also be pretty cool as well. Lets not forget there is already a interracial couple though.

  22. Kevin Fallen says:

    Series 5 was great. In fact, I love the way this series has unfolded. The twist that Stephanie can’t have children gives us an emotional side. At first, I was disappointed but then I realized it could set up for new adventures. Maybe she adopts to add more but regardless a nice different approach.

    On another note, I love the kids in this show. I hope you explore into more of kids today and what they go through and continue learning life’s lessons. I’d like to see a show where maybe one of the kids are going through bullying.

    All in all, it’s a great show and I hope it continues being successful for much more series to come.

  23. willie says:

    Steve and matt kiss and kimmy and Stephanie kiss

  24. Emma says:

    There already are TV shows that have female characters who are child-free by choice. I’ve been home sick watching Netflix all day and I just watched a couple of Grey’s Anatomy episodes before checking out Fuller House. The character Cristina Yang (who was on Grey’s Antomy for a decade) did not want children, and oddly enough, the episodes I just watched featured the character accidentally getting pregnant anyway, and having an abortion, despite her husband desperately wanting kids and trying to talk her out of it. She isn’t a freak. She’s one of the best characters on the show! Fuller House is a family show, and revolves around family and raising children. Going out of the way to portray a child-free by choice character for this specific show isn’t necessary and it doesn’t make sense. Stephanie willingly moved in with her sister to help her raise her kids and is like a second mother to them. If she didn’t want children, why would she voluntarily and happily be helping raise her nephews? She’s basically co-parenting with DJ and Kimmy, like the Danny, Joey and Jesse did in the original show. This is the last show I’d picture a character who doesn’t want children fitting in – not because they’re freaks, but because the show is about raising kids and parenthood lol.

  25. Maya Jemerson says:

    How about dj have a baby for her itll be like a surogate mother i believe.

  26. Charlize says:

    If Stephanie adopts a child I would like to play that person so please email me. I am 11 years old