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Crap, I’m Older Than Danny Tanner: 5 Life Lessons From "Full House"

After realizing he was the same age as the quintessential '90s TV dad, our man looked to the classic sitcom for answers on navigating life after 30.

Photo: Warner Bros. Television/ Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014


There are certain things life tosses your way as a subtle reminder that you’re no longer a spring chicken. Things like grey pubic hair, hangovers after only a few beers, and that butcher’s knife-like jab in your lower back when you attempt certain sexual maneuvers. I went from carefree to old-as-dirt in 23 minutes – the exact length of the “The Big Three-O” episode of Full House – when, shortly after I turned 30, I learned that I was officially the same age as Danny Tanner. For the next several weeks, I tuned into repeats of the show regularly, hoping that Full House could teach me how to get my shit together. After all, Danny Tanner was a widowed father of three with a cushy TV job who owned a fancy house by the time he was my age. I, on the other hand, had none of those things. I was Season 1 Jesse Katsopolis and Joey Gladstone (minus the dopey impressions). I needed advice, and Full House delivered. Here’s what the show taught me about getting older.

Reevaluate Your Living Arrangements
“Jesse on top, Joey on bottom” may sound like a ‘90s version of “2 Girls 1 Cup,” but it was in fact the living arrangement Danny Tanner cooked up for himself and his three impressionable children. Sure, the initial reason his extended family moved into his house was to help out after the death of Danny’s wife; but why the hell were they still there after new spouses and additional kids arrived? At its peak, there were eleven people and a dog living in that Victorian-style townhouse. Plus, Kimmy Gibbler was always there. At a certain age, roommates are like cats: The more you have, the weirder you seem to people. Stop it.

Don't Be Afraid to Dabble in an Office Romance
Conventional wisdom dictates that you shouldn’t shit where you eat, but when you get a little older (and have a man with puppets living under your stairs), the dating applicant pool tends to dwindle. But in reality, every workday is a potential date, and any conversation with a co-worker is a chance to insert sly subtext like, “Just so you know, I go down as often as the Wi-Fi in the conference room!” When Danny managed to nab a lady friend on the set of Wake Up, San Francisco, he also instilled a very important lesson: Work is a totally acceptable place to meet a woman. And also, if you can’t sleep with your best-looking co-worker because she’s married to the guy from the yogurt commercials, there’s no shame in going for the next best thing.

Dating a Younger Woman Can Make You Feel Like a Creep
It’s hard to accept that once you’re north of 30, MILFs and cougars are less a fetish and more a peer group. In one classic episode of Full House, Danny lands a 21-year-old college student after his birthday and is unsure how he should feel about dating a girl who can better relate to his daughter than she can to him. By all means, date a younger girl. But just know that there WILL BE GUILT and awkward silences. Your hilarious jokes referencing MC Hammer (and, um, Full House) will fall on deaf ears, because when she was getting her umbilical cord cut, you were already hiding copies of Penthouse under your mattress. This will eventually cause problems.

Keep Your House Clean
In the eyes of a potential mate, your home is really an extension of your penis. Is it dusty? Is there suspicious ooze in the corner? Is it small, with a mysterious, lingering odor? (You should probably see a doctor about that…) In short, if you can’t keep the place around you clean, then chances are you’re never gonna get any action. Was Danny Tanner a little overbearing when it came to being clean? Absolutely. But when you’re a widowed father of three with two strange men on the premises, your house better be immaculate if you ever expect to get laid again.

Understand That You're No Longer Cool to Teenagers
Despite that fact that we’ve all suffered through the terrible teen years ourselves, that personal experience never seems to come in handy once we are adults and try to interact with teenagers. No matter the kind of car you drive or updated sartorial trends you follow, to an adolescent you’re a washed up freak. Danny Tanner tried Hawaiian shirts. He tried leather jackets. He tried listening to Bobby Brown. He couldn’t win, and neither can you. Stop trying.


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