Fuller House saved its funniest Michelle joke for last.
Of the Netflix comedy’s many recurring gags, few are as appreciated as its good-natured jabs at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Full House character, the only member of the Tanner family who never appeared in the spinoff.
The fourth wall-breaking trend began in the Fuller House pilot, when Danny mentioned that Michelle couldn’t make it to the reunion because she was “busy in New York running her fashion empire” at which point the entire family gazed knowingly at the studio audience. The jokes continued in later episodes, from DJ and Stephanie drunk-dialing their little sister (“You got it, dude!”) to Jesse literally extending an invitation to his niece. (“Come, it’ll be fun!”)
And Fuller House kept this long-running tradition alive until the very end, dropping the best Michelle joke of all in the series’ penultimate episode. While the She-Wolf Pack is rummaging through the Tanners’ attic looking for something old, new, borrowed and blue, Kimmy comes across Michelle’s bike. (You remember, the one she thought was stolen back in the original series, a misunderstanding that nearly got Jesse killed by a pro wrestler?)
“How long are you going to keep Michelle’s bike?” Kimmy asks DJ and Stephanie. “If she hasn’t come for it by now… [turns to the audience] she’s not coming.” Hold. For. Laughs.
“Michelle gets at least one little poke per season, so we had to do it one last time,” Andrea Barber (aka Kimmy Gibler) tells TVLine of the perfectly delivered line, which she says she filmed three different ways. “It’s not meant to be mean, obviously. It’s all good-natured, in good spirits. We poke fun at everybody.”
Fuller House always had an open door policy for the Olsens, in case one or both of them ever decided to reprise their role, but series creator Jeff Franklin stopped asking them after the third season.
“They just don’t seem interested in coming,” Franklin told TVLine at the time. “It’s been three years of invitations, so they know the door is open. It’s up to them to decide if they want to come play or not.”
To be fair, neither of the Olsens seem particularly interested in acting. Mary-Kate’s last major role was in the 2011 movie Beastly, while Ashley hasn’t acted in any significant capacity since she co-starred with her sister in 2004’s New York Minute.
Did you enjoy this last Michelle jab as much as we did? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the youngest Tanner’s conspicuous absence below.