We all know that what we see on the screen doesn’t always match what was going on behind the scenes when a television show was made, but it can be difficult to match the stories that cast and crew members report with our perception of our beloved series. It can be especially jarring to find out that things were bad on the set of a feel-good show. Community fans, for instance, had to grapple with the fact that the cast members were definitely not feeling the love on the set. Kourtney Kardashian has even called out the set of her own reality TV series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, as “toxic.”
When you get a bunch of creative people working in close quarters and put them up against tight deadlines and steep expectations, emotions are bound to spill over now and then. That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what it was like on the set of the sitcom Full House.
‘Full House’ ran for eight seasons
Premiering in 1987, Full House was a beloved sitcom that provided career-boosting roles for many of its ensemble cast members. The general premise of the show is that Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) has lost his wife in a drunk driving incident and needed help raising his children. He and his three young girls D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and Michelle (portrayed by both Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) ask Danny’s rock musician brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) and best friend Joey (Dave Coulier) to move in and provide support. The misfit family provides plenty of teachable feel-good moments as they deliver memorable punchlines.
Fans got to watch the youngest members of the cast grow up over the years, and the show became a platform for future success — especially for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who managed to roll their popularity into first a series of films and then a fashion empire. It was also a move for star Bob Saget to transform his racy, adults-only stand-up routines into a much more family-friendly image that would serve him well throughout the rest of his career.
Things were not always great on the ‘Full House’ set
On-screen, fans were treated to a loving picture of a family supporting one another through ups and downs. This image was made even more solid by the return of many cast members for the reboot. That rosy image of co-stars who were also friends was far from accurate, however. The reality is that the set was a toxic environment for many. As Ranker reports, there were lots of tensions to navigate. For one thing, John Stamos apparently hated working alongside Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who he saw as acting immaturely and throwing tantrums behind the scenes. Of course, the twins were very young when the show started, so perhaps Stamos was expecting a little too much from them. Whatever the case, the sisters did not return for the reboot.
The adults may not have gotten along with the kids, but some of them were friends with each other. John Stamos, Dave Coulier, and Bob Saget were close — perhaps too close to keep it professional. Apparently the trio sometimes got high on set, including by huffing nitrous oxide from backstage props. In fact, the crew was just generally immature, drawing inappropriate pictures during note-taking sessions and cracking lewd jokes about the stand-in doll used for the kids during rehearsals when they couldn’t be present.
Pants weren’t always standard on the ‘Full House’ set
One place where the immaturity seemed to spread was to the idea of professional attire. The grown men in the cast were clearly jokesters who had a sophomoric sense of humor, so it should be no surprise that they thought performing pantsless would be hilarious.
Of course, thanks to the magic of camera angles and editing, no one seeing the final project knew about this particular costume decision, but there were plenty of parents watching from backstage with their kids, and they were horrified by the behavior. Dave Coulier admitted to Oprah that the prank was his idea, and he didn’t realize the consequences: “What we didn’t realize is that the kids are backstage, and they have monitors in their rooms.”