Warning: MINOR SPOILERS below for Fuller House Season 4
It's been almost three years since Fuller House, the Full House spin-off series centering on the Tanner sisters, DJ (Candace Cameron Bure) and Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), as well as their long-time friend and neighbor Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) debuted on Netflix, and yet Michelle Tanner, the youngest of the three Tanner kids, still remains to be seen. Debuting on Netflix in 2016, the show now has four seasons under its belt and was able to bring back most of the original cast members reprising their respective roles - except for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who alternately played the adorable Michelle in the original show.
In the years leading up to the debut Fuller House, and even months after its first season dropped on Netflix, there had been a lot of rumblings regarding whether or not the Olsen twins will appear. Conflicting reports came out about their involvement, with Ashley supposedly not having any intentions of returning in front of the camera. Mary-Kate apparently briefly considered the gig, but decided to pass on it. The first episode of the show quickly provided an explanation why Michelle isn't back in San Francisco to get the confusion out of the way and prevent the issue from weighing down the series. Apparently, Michelle is too busy running her fashion empire in New York (mirroring the twins' current real-life job with brands like The Row and Elizabeth & James) that she can't take time off and see her family
In the next three seasons, the show has continued to operate on this notion. The whole family still talks about Michelle, sometimes in a playful way that doubles as a jab at the Olsen twins for not wanting to participate in the reboot spin-off - case in point: a casual comment about how expensive clothes from Elizabeth & James are concludes with, "no wonder they don't need to act anymore." Season 4 didn't waste any time doubling down on the offshoot's original explanation, as the premiere episode revealed that Danny, Jesse (John Stamos), and Rebecca (Lori Loughlin) couldn't spend Christmas in the Tanner family home because they're in New York visiting Michelle. For such a tight-knit clan, it's curious why no one even called to wish each other happy holidays.
For a show that relies heavily upon its nostalgia factor targeting long-time Full House fans, it's definitely jarring to not see Michelle in the show, or at least be in communication with her sisters. While all three kids were equally given focus on the main show's eight-year run, it's the youngest of the Tanner sisters who was arguably the fan favorite. Her relationship with her Uncle Jesse resulted in several heart-warming stories and the last multi-episode arc for the '80s/'90s sitcom revolved around her, proving that she was the main star of the series.
Frankly, at this point, fans have just accepted the fact that Michelle Tanner will never appear in the show - especially since rumor has it that after season 4, Netflix is pulling the plug on Fuller House. The Olsen twins have moved on from their acting roots and since then have become multi-millionaires running a fashion empire. Despite their high-profile status in the fashion industry, the pair has been fairly private - rarely doing any interviews or any showbiz-related activities. They occasionally run into their former Full House co-stars, and it doesn't look like there's bad blood between them. Perhaps the twins' sister, Elizabeth Olsen (who plays Scarlet Witch in the Marvel movies) could be approached for a small guest role as Michelle, but for now fans will just have to accept Michelle's absence from Fuller House.
Fuller House season 4 is available now on Netflix.