14 '90s References & Jokes In 'Fuller House' That Prove The Tanners Still Love Their Heyday
The reviews of Fuller House have been mixed, but for a spinoff/reboot/revival/whatever you want to call it, I thought Fuller House nailed it, even if "nailing it" meant it was as painfully corny as the original series at times. While I could have done without the multitude of direct callbacks to the original series of Full House (if I didn't remember that stuff, why would I be watching the show?), I was digging all of the '90s nostalgia in Fuller House. Since I'm the same age as Michelle Tanner (err, I mean the real humans Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen), I obviously don't have crystal clear memories of watching the show Full House in the '80s. The series ran for nine seasons from 1987 to 1995, but, because of my age, it will always be cemented as a truly '90s show in my heart which is why I loved all the Fuller House '90s jokes.
As previously mentioned, the series has plenty of references to Full House ("references" is honestly not a strong enough word for what Fuller House does), so those obviously date back to the years of the initial run of the show. Yet, that didn't stop the series from embracing the '90s in additional ways. Fuller House didn't neglect its '80s roots either with the ladies dancing to New Kids on the Block's "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and the ladies dancing (again) to Dirty Dancing's "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." However, this list will deal solely with the references from the decade of the 1990s since as Stephanie told Kimmy, "Let's face it, OK? You're stuck in the '90s."
So, in honor of the Netflix series getting a Season 2, let's go back to the '90s in the 14 references that Fuller House made to that decade.
1. The Circle Of Life
When D.J. and Stephanie were discussing how weird it is to be back in their old shared bedroom, Stephanie said, "It's the circle of life. Oh, look! And there's Simba" as D.J. raised baby Tommy, echoing the iconic Rafiki-Simba lift from 1994's The Lion King. (Stephanie also made Uncle Jesse play "Forever" shortly after this moment — it was a hit in Japan in 1992! — but for the sake of purity in this list, I consider that a meta joke, not a '90s reference.)
2. Kimmy's Big Finish Showstopper — The Carlton
Although the "Gibbler gallop" was never a thing on the original show, when Kimmy tried to help her daughter Ramona's dance team, she did reference an actual classic '90s dance from a different hit sitcom — the Carlton. Kimmy must feel a kinship to Carlton since, on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was the frequently mocked character.
3. Kimmy's Big Finish Showstopper — Hammer Time!
Kimmy was filled with '90s nostalgia in the Romana dance team scenes and though her reference to the running man is technically from the '80s, MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" was released in 1990, which led to people other than just Kimmy stopping for hammer time.
4. All The Cool Kid Lingo
In her '90s dance fever, Kimmy also resorted to spewing tons of slang that was popular during the Full House era. The entire list is as follows: "As if!," "All that and a bag of chips," "Talk to the hand," "Loser," "Oh snap," "You go girl!" and later in the episode she tells DJ Tanner (not to be confused with D.J. Tanner) to "Put some stank on it!" But, Gibbler wasn't alone in the '90s slang. When Steve took D.J. on a date, D.J. dropped a "We're on like Donkey Kong," while Steve said she looked "totally rad" and that they were "Outtie 5000."
5. DJ Tanner Spinning The Jock Jams
Speaking of DJ Tanner, Stephanie tried to spin some sweet jams at Ramona's 13th birthday party. And, she got the party pumped up by yelling, "Y'all ready for this!," inspired by 2 Unlimited song's "Get Ready For This." Get ready, party people! ... you just have to wait until the electricity comes back on.
6. Movie Date Night At The Tanners — Part 1
Stephanie is such a badass now that she could even admit to her dad Danny that she and David Cantone watched the 1990 movie Gremlins 2: The New Batch on the couch buck naked. (Even if Full House had continued past its eight seasons, I don't think there would have ever been an episode covering that.) And can we talk about the fact that the Tanners should really have a new couch after 28 years? Especially considering that couch has seen a lot of action.
7. Channeling Leonardo DiCaprio
Even the kids got in on the '90s fun in Fuller House. D.J.'s precocious middle son Max is rightfully not allowed to watch Game of Thrones, but he apparently has seen the 1997 film Titanic. While riding a fire truck to his friend's birthday party, Max did his best Leonardo DiCaprio impression and cried out, "I'm the king of the world!"
Jenga is a game that has been around for years, but when older brother Jackson played against Max, he creepily said, "Jengaaaaaa" to throw Max off. This moment had to be a direct reference to Jenga's '90s commercial where a bunch of cool teens were playing Jenga in an intense, empty warehouse setting.
9. '90s Stylin' & Profilin'
I spotted Kimmy with a scrunchie in her hair earlier in the series, but otherwise, the series kept the wardrobe pretty modern. One exception was when on D.J.'s date with Steve, Deej knew she needed a scrunchie and shoulder pads. She relived her glory days of being one half of the hottest couple at Bayview High while wearing a slap bracelet and a neck choker. She even subbed in Tommy's diapers for shoulder pads.
10. Who Needs Cell Phones?
Steve was a bit of a creep (or a lot of a creep) when he was trying to woo D.J. by reliving the '90s. Yet, it allowed D.J. to make the joke that she would need a beeper on their date, just in case anyone needed to reach her in the '90s. Better than the cell phone in baby Tommy's diaper.
11. You Oughta Know
On this date rife with '90s jokes, Steve also said that he had Alanis Morissette bumping in his car, which led to another softball setup for D.J. to gossip about who Morissette's "You Oughta Know" is really about.
12. The Wahlberg Brothers
Aunt Stephanie took over the Uncle Jesse pep talks in Fuller House, and she tried to help younger brother Max understand that one day he will be able to compete with his brother Jackson by listing the Wahlbergs as an example. (His response? "What's a Wahlberg?") She explained how older brother Donnie Wahlberg had been the big star because of NKOTB, but that younger brother Marky Mark took over after his Calvin Klein underwear ads.
13. Movie Date Night At The Tanners — Part 2
Turns out that like Stephanie, D.J. had her own date-night movie. D.J. and Steve's "make-out movie" was 1990's Ghost and they awkwardly reenacted the movie while making hamburgers. Bonus reference goes to Steve for being thankful that Blockbuster shut down since he would have owed like $200,000 in late fees for never returning the Patrick Swayze movie.
14. Zigazig Ah
After Kimmy's bachelorette party, Kimmy, D.J., Stephanie, and Becky came home drunk, singing Spice Girls' "Wannabe." While the original show might have been over before this song was released, it's epic girl power was perfect for the female reboot of Full House. Plus, how fun was it to see these girls down the tequila throughout Season 1? As D.J. said, "We should drink all the time." I agree — and keep the '90s jams flowing.
Images: Saeed Adyani/Netflix; Giphy (12); Caitlin Gallagher/Bustle (12)