While Full House is a nostalgic ’90s sitcom with warm and fuzzy wholesomeness, not every character living under the Tanner roof got the best send-off.
With a larger-than-life family at the center of its stories, Full House had plenty of characters to develop and storylines to juggle across its eight-season run. The series’ development was often more episodic than continuity-based, which makes development more difficult to measure than in other series. But even still, some characters clearly changed quite a lot by the time the series ended, while others were left still in the middle of finding themselves.
By the time the show aired its finale, it’s clear that every character was given a happy ending fitting of this sweet and comforting sitcom — though some are far more deserved than others.
Fitting Ending: Steve Hale
More than any other love interest introduced for the Tanner kids, Steve remained a fan favorite throughout the series’ run. Equal parts goofy and charming, even when he wasn’t the brightest bulb or when he ate his way out of a welcome, Steve was clearly made for D.J. from the moment these two high school love birds first met.
That’s why Steve’s return in the series finale as D.J.’s prom date is so satisfying, even after they had broken up. As far as the original series’ run is concerned, Steve is the one for D.J., and their happily ever after feels more than earned.
Deserved More: Vicky Larson
Danny Tanner struggled to find long-term love during Full House’s run. When the series began, he was a young widower, hesitant to even think about dating again after the sudden loss of his wife, Pam. Everything changed in Danny’s world with the arrival of his temporary cohost, Vicky Larson.
Vicky and Danny clashed at first, with their strong personalities and peculiarities standing in stark contrast to each other. But soon enough, the tension thawed between them, and these two fell head over heels. They would eventually become engaged before Vicky moved away to pursue a career opportunity. Just like that, she was never heard from again.
Fitting Ending: Kimmy Gibbler
For most of Full House’s run, Kimmy Gibbler is an unwanted presence in the Tanner family house. Though she may be D.J.’s lifelong best friend, it’s virtually impossible to find any other member of the Tanner clan who cares for her in the slightest.
But as the series progresses, Kimmy clearly becomes more and more a member of the family, accepted into their daily life, even as she is made fun of along the way. She remains D.J.’s faithful friend, and finds love (albeit temporarily) in the soft-spoken Duane. For a quirky sidekick, that’s not a bad ending at all.
Deserved More: Joey Gladstone
As the third banana of the adult men trio, Joey is often stuck in the middle. He might be one of the girls’ caregivers, but he’s not their father or their uncle. While he’s one of Jesse and Danny’s best friends, but he doesn’t share their family bond.
For one of the series’ main characters, Joey doesn’t receive the narrative attention the other two men do. He never has a long-term relationship in the series, and he undergoes various career changes at the drop of a hat. Joey’s ending isn’t so much an ending as an abrupt stop. Frankly, he deserved a lot more than that.
Fitting Ending: Rebecca Donaldson
When Rebecca joined Full House in its second season, it was clear that she would become a major part of the series, even if she herself protested her eventual role. Originally Danny’s cohost, Rebecca would go on to become much more than that, marrying bad boy Jesse and giving birth to their adorable twins, Nicky and Alex.
By the show’s end, Rebecca is the rare character allowed to have it all in the world of a sitcom. She’s still empowered in her role as cohost of Wake Up, San Francisco, while also maintaining domestic bliss at home with her beloved boys and extended family.
Deserved More: Michelle Tanner
Full House’s series finale may end on appropriately saccharine and comforting notes, but that doesn’t make its premise any less puzzling or downright disappointing, especially where Michelle is concerned. The series’ final episodes find Michelle suffering a bout of amnesia after falling from her horse.
Looking past the shockingly dour turn for the usually sunny sitcom, the finale nevertheless presents an entirely unsatisfying end for Michelle’s character. Apart from a gimmicky moment that allows both Olsen twins to share the screen, there’s no clear reason for this to be the note that Michelle’s young story ends on, even after all these years.
Fitting Ending: D.J. Tanner
As the oldest Tanner child, D.J. often gets some of the more developed storylines when it comes to adolescence and growing as a young adult. By the end of the series, she is succeeding academically and on her way to college.
She’s also well supported by her family and friends, including best friend Kimmy, who reunites her with her lost love, Steve. D.J. has the whole world ahead of her when Full House ends, and that’s a perfect way to end things for a high school senior.
Deserved More: Stephanie Tanner
Unlike her older sister, Stephanie often winds up stuck with some of the more difficult and disappointing teenage storylines. As a junior high student, Stephanie isn’t as far along in developing her dating life, which leaves her with no suitable future match by series’ end.
She’s also still hanging out with the wrong crowd, most notably the bad girl with a bully streak, Gia. It’s unclear what Stephanie has to look forward to when the series ends, and that’s a true shame.
Fitting Ending: Jesse Katsopolis
When Jesse Katsopolis first arrives at the Tanner home, he’s a bad boy with an edge and emotional baggage he’s unwilling to explore. At first, he rejects the softness and cuteness that comes with raising three young girls, but soon enough, he gives in and loves the girls with all he has to give.
Over time, Jesse only softens more and more, becoming a well-rounded family man and a successful businessman alike in his ventures with his various bands and radio show. In many ways, Jesse becomes the series’ male protagonist by the end, serving as the family’s grounding leader in moments of crisis.
Deserved More: Danny Tanner
As the patriarch of the Tanner family, Danny begins the series as the show’s ostensible protagonist. It’s his life that Full House revolves around, and his journey to rebuilding his life with his best friend that viewers are meant to be invested in.
Yet as the series progresses, the focus inevitably shifts toward the younger members of the family, and Danny often feels lost in the shuffle. In Full House’s later seasons, Danny sometimes feels like a supporting character, and his storyline receives no real conclusion as a result.
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