Many people of a certain generation grew up with Full House, finding in Bob Saget's Danny Tanner a surrogate father figure. This was the neat freak, cleaning obsessed, endlessly supportive, strict but never harsh father we all loved, always ready with a wise Dad speech and a hug. Was he as hip as Uncle Jesse or a jokester like Joey? No, but he always gave audiences a healthy dose of laughter and love during the nine-year run of Full House and the five-year run of Fuller House. Saget was beloved by many, so for all those who loved him and his most well-known character, here are Danny Tanner's greatest moments.
Danny Is Excited To Meet Annette Funicello
Season 4, Episode 23 “Joey Goes Hollywood”
When Joey lands a Pilot for a new comedy sitcom, the entire Tanner clan heads to Los Angeles to support him. Danny is especially excited because the series will star an original Mouseketeer, Annette Funicello. As a fan of the show growing up, Danny remembers he sent her a fan letter and is confident she will remember him despite the thousands of letters she surely received. Danny's belief proved to be true because when he meets Annette herself, she remembers the name Danny Tanner as the person who sent him a letter scented like Lemon Pledge and included an offer to clean her house. Only a cleaning enthusiast would have done such as thing, and it is as hilarious as it is endearing.
Danny Overhears His Family's Complaints About His Cleaning
Season 5, Episode 22 “The Trouble With Danny”
If there is one thing Danny Tanner's character is defined by, besides his loving nature, it is his intense cleaning habits. Much to the chagrin of his family, these seem to be getting worse year after year. When he overhears them complaining, he gets his feelings hurt and flees to nature to clear his head. He comes back determined to be the exact opposite. Instead of a neat freak, he will be a relaxed slob. Reactions from both sides notwithstanding, in the end, a happy medium is what is needed. It is a fine conclusion, but the funniest is when he lets loose with a Tarzan-like yell atop a mountain and tells the donkey he rode up there to join in. It's corny but still guaranteed to make you smile.
Father/Daughter Bonding With DJ
Season 5, Episode 4 “Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Girl Gone?”
In this episode, Danny is hurt that DJ isn't confiding in him and asking for help the way she used to when she was younger. Thinking she's keeping something serious from him, he changes his sacred cleaning schedule and snoop in her drawers to find a card from a friend who writes that she is thinking of DJ during her “mega-crisis.”
In truth, it was just a rumor a boy spread about her that DJ handles on her own. Danny tries everything to get her to open up, including an afternoon of father/daughter bowling that doesn't last long and eventually turns into an argument when she realizes he invaded her privacy. This is a good-natured family sitcom, so they talk it out with Danny realizing that his little girl isn't so little anymore and needs to learn to let go at times and let her handle things on her own. It's a prescient moment about the trying time all parents and children face handled in a loving and understanding way.
Danny Explains Dog Romance to Stephanie
Season 3, Episode 7 “And They Call It Puppy Love”
When a beautiful golden retriever wanders into the backyard of the Tanner house in this episode, Stephanie is thrilled because she has always wanted a dog. Of course, this isn't their dog to keep. Her name is Minnie, and not only is she lost, but she is about to give birth to puppies. Stephanie asks what many parents expect but often struggle with answering – where do babies, or in this case, puppies, come from? Yet, her second question comes as a complete delight to him when she asks how he thinks Minnie met her husband.
He proceeds to tell a sweet little tale of dog romance that was “love at first sniff,” where Minnie's husband gets down on three paws and says, “You make my tail wag.” It is adorable and satisfies her question. Even when he says he knows everything because he is a dad, he makes up what he doesn't know.
Danny Is a Ringer at Pool
Season 4, Episode 24 “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
Danny didn't get to show off his skills very often besides his cleaning abilities. Even more rarely Danny did get to one-up Jesse. In this episode, Jesse and Joey buy a new pool table, and Danny asks if her can play, wagering a dollar a ball. Soon we find out that Danny was not as inexperienced as he seemed. He is a ringer of sorts and proceeds to make every shot, including intricate trick shots, and destroys the competition. This moment is so funny, and it's great to see Danny prove that he has impressive hidden talents, but he can also be as smooth as his brother-in-law.
Danny Gives Michelle Her First Punishment
Season 4, Episode 2 “Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor”
Although every parent is different, it is not uncommon to have a soft spot for your youngest child and let them get away with more than they should. This episode clarifies to DJ and Stephanie that Michelle can do whatever she wants without punishment, such as staying up late and starting a pillow fight that results in a broken window. It takes Michelle dragging her pool into the kitchen and this little three-year-old saying that he does indeed let her do anything because she is his “little princess.” At this moment, Danny realizes his errors in judgment and that he was resisting being tough on her because she is his last baby, and he did not want that to change. However, she isn't a baby anymore, and he decides she is old enough to be punished. When he talks to her after said punishment, it is sweet, and he helps her understand that things may be changing but that she is still going to be loved and treated fairly.
Hawaii Vacation and The Clipboard of Fun
Season 3, Episode 1 “Tanner Island”
When the Tanners head to Hawaii for a family vacation, each one has plans about what they want to do. Still, Danny being the meticulous planner he is, has already planned out every moment of the trip, marking out time for each member to do what they want. The important thing is that they do it together for a healthy dose of family fun and togetherness. The carefully planned itinerary is all on his trusted “Clipboard of Fun,” which eventually becomes a point of contention when they get lost on a boat trip because they'd been sailing to a potato chip crumb on the map.
Everything works out in the end, of course, but his intensive planning skills are humorous and provide a point of connection between Danny and his oldest daughter, DJ. She turned out to be very much like her father as we see her break out her “Clipboard of Fun” a few times on Fuller House. Thanks for the inspiration, Danny!
Danny Tells Michelle She Can Do Anything
Season 7, Episode 20 “Michelle A La Cart”
Adults have to remember how impressionable children can be and that they will not always understand what we are saying or pick up on jokes or sarcasm. That is precisely what happens in this episode where Becky is helping Michelle build a car for a soapbox race. In one scene, Danny and Jesse joke about Becky's ability to make a car while Becky facetiously agrees. Because Michelle is young, she takes their jokes literally, but in the end, they all explain that they weren't being serious and apologize for confusing her.
Most importantly, Danny's speech to his daughter challenges traditional gender roles and implores her that she can do anything she wants as long as it does not hurt anyone. That may seem simple and obvious, but it is a powerful message that still needs to be said today.
Danny Comforts Jesse About Pam
Season 1, Episode 9 “The Miracle of Thanksgiving”
For the first Thanksgiving without Pam, the Tanner family has some trials and moments of sadness when they all attempt to make dinner themselves and it all goes wrong. To console Stephanie, Jesse takes out of photo album of Pam from when they were children. She feels better after looking at photos of her mother, but it brings out some deep sadness in Jesse. Danny asks if he wants to talk about it, Jesse asks, “When is it going to stop hurting?” Danny then tells him that the pain never really goes away, but it helps to talk about her and remember the good memories.
It's a poignant moment that shows Danny's (and Jesse's) vulnerable sides and showcases how grief is tricky, and we all deal with it in different ways. This moment holds more profound meaning for the audience after Saget's passing, as he gives us advice on dealing with his loss.
Danny Asks Vicky To Marry Him
Season 6, Episode 24 “The House Meets the Mouse: Part 2”
The episodes when the Tanners visit Walt Disney World are some of the most memorable for many reasons. One of the sweetest is that it is where Danny proposes to his love, Vicky. He keeps trying to pop the big question during their trip and is repeatedly interrupted. Finally, he decides to do so in a way that couldn't possibly be missed or interrupted.
During Jesse and the Ripper's performance of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” in front of Cinderella's Castle, Danny arranges for a fireworks display to read “Vicky Will You Marry Me?” From her overwhelmed reaction to “somebody is asking someone named Vicky to marry them” to Danny's endearing response, “Your name is Vicky, and my name is somebody,” this was one of the loveliest and most romantic moments of the series and for his character. Although sadly, the characters did not end up getting married, this moment reigns supreme as far as magical proposals.
Danny's First Speech of Comfort to His Daughters
Season 1, Episode 1 “Our Very First Show”
The first episode of the series ends with what the show became known for heartfelt discussions where problems are worked out with understanding, love, and a hug. Here, Danny talks with his three girls about how being without their mother and his wife is hard, but they need to stick together. Mistakes will be made, grief will remain, but they will get through it with love and patience. Losing anyone we care about is difficult, but we see how Danny is a voice of wisdom and hope for a generation.
Danny's Musical Moments
Season 2, Episode 7 “Joey Gets Tough” / Season 3, Episode 24 “Our Very First Telethon” / Season 4, Episode 15 “Ol' Brown Eyes”
Danny didn't get to show off his musical skills that often on the series as the actual musical star was Jesse. When he did, each performance resulted in a range of emotions from absolute hilarity to incredible sweetness. Danny always wanted to be seen as cool like Jesse to his daughters especially, but truly to everyone. When he sings “Proud Mary” on the talk show Wake Up San Francisco, he gives it his all with his, shall we say, creative dance moves.
Similarly, he gives it his all when he sings a duet with Becky while hosting a telethon and is forced to be creative while she is stuck in a magician's cabinet. His dance moves with the moving apparatus are hilarious. Still, none are as amusing as when he gives his all practicing for a school fundraiser, donning a leather outfit, an earring, and rocking out to The Who's “My Generation.” His daughter is horrified at his display, and one can understand why.
At the end of the day, DJ realizes his good intentions, while Danny learns he should stick to something more his speed. And so we are treated to one of the show's sweetest moments as he sings “My Girl,” a song he used to sing to her when she was little, and it is the perfect expression of the love a father can have for his daughter.
Danny Tells Stephanie He'll Always Love Her
Season 3, Episode 20 “Honey, I Broke the House”
Many of us can relate to Stephanie's problem in this episode when she makes a big mistake and accidentally drives the car into the kitchen. Perhaps not to the same degree as her, but who hasn't done something as a child and then feared what their parent would do? What makes this moment so poignant is that she did not so much fear punishment or anger; she feared her mistake was so grave that it would make her unlovable, saying she should go away where her father would never have to hug or kiss her again.
Being the wonderful father he is, Danny assures her that nothing she could do would make him stop loving or showing affection to her. In this instance, it's a mistake, but it could be analogous to many situations, and is that not something every child wants to hear from their parent? That no matter what, they will always love them. Because of this, it makes this moment emblematic of Danny's character and the most touching example of what it means to be a loving and supportive parent.
Special Mention: Danny Holds Baby Danielle for the First Time
Fuller House Season 5, Episode 18 “Our Very Last Show Again”
Fuller House was as charming and funny as the original but focused on the DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmy navigating their adult lives. Consequently, Danny did not appear as much, but the times he did were always heartwarming. The most touching moment was when Stephanie finally revealed what she named her newborn daughter. She is naming her Danielle after her father, Daniel, and when he holds his new granddaughter with tears in his eyes, it gives us one of the most heartwarming moments we have ever seen for his character.
In conclusion, it bears repeating that Danny Tanner and Bob Saget hold a lasting impression on our hearts, and all we can honestly say is thank you. Thanks for the laughs, and thanks for the love, especially from the generation who found a father in you. Your impact will remain everywhere we look.