Full House's Jodie Sweetin Shared The Best Reasoning For Why The Olsen Twins Didn't Return For Netflix's Fuller House

A lot of Full House fans made a big deal over the fact that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen didn’t rejoin their TV sisters Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin for the Netflix spinoff Fuller House in 2016. Heck, the characters even made several remarks about Michelle’s absence in the show. However, all of the original cast members who did reprise their family friendly characters have always made it clear that they respected the Olsen twins’ decision, and Sweetin recently gave a particularly good explanation about why it makes sense that they didn't come back.

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Jodie Sweetin, who played middle sister Stephanie Tanner on the ABC sitcom Full House and Netflix’s Fuller House, spoke to Kaitlyn Bristowe on her Off the Vine podcast about the career-defining role. Sweetin said there’s always been an assumption that there was some kind of negativity behind the celebrity siblings’ absence, but the reasoning is actually extremely valid. She explained: 

It wasn’t like anything bad ever happened. It was just, they were 8 years old when the show stopped, so, you know, their whole life existed after. All of their memories, they’re pre-8 years old. How much of your life do you remember before you were 8 years old? Not much. So people are like, ‘Why didn’t they want [to return for Fuller House]?’ Because they were so little. For me, I was 5 to 13, that was like my formative years, my middle school, my elementary school. Like that was it, that was my growing up. For them, they barely were in, like, first grade and they were, like, done.

It actually makes a lot of sense when you consider they probably don’t even remember much from their Full House days. For Jodie Sweetin and co-stars Candace Cameron Bure, Andrea Barber, and more, there was a lot of nostalgia tied to their Full House characters, since they literally grew up on the sitcom. 

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, however, were still so young, they likely didn’t have the same kind of emotional connection to the series. Also, as Sweetin pointed out, they hadn’t acted in well over 10 years and had busy careers in other fields. She continued:

So, you know, it’s just a different experience, and it wasn’t like anything bad ever happened. They went off and they’ve been wildly successful fashion designers… They’re like, ‘We’ve moved on, we don’t want to do that anymore,’ and I think it was interesting how, like, hung up on that people were. That, like, somehow, it had to be a bad thing, or it had to be an experience, and it was like, ‘No, dude, they quit doing this when they were young, and they don’t want to do it anymore.’ It’s like, that’s OK.

Can you imagine them being so successful in fashion and then choosing to go back to what they were doing at 8 years old? That was a different lifetime to them. 

The TV Tanners may have been accepting of the Olsen twins’ decision, but Jodie Sweetin previously said they tried everything to get them to make an appearance, before they just stopped asking. Even the twins’ consistent refusals didn’t keep the spinoff characters from breaking the fourth wall several times throughout the series to make a pointed Olsen twins joke. It was often said that Michelle Tanner’s own fashion career was the reason she was never around.

For fans who want to relive the good ole days with the Olsen twins on Full House, all eight seasons are available for streaming with an HBO Max subscription, and Fuller House can be streamed with a Netflix subscription

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.