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Characters: Roseanne

Roseanne Connor

Portrayed by Roseanne Barr
  • Abusive Parents: Roseanne's father was physically abusive to his daughters.
    • The case is made several times through the show that Roseanne herself is emotionally and verbally abusive. Given that the entire show is a book Roseanne is writing, this may not fully be the case.
  • Author Avatar
  • Big Sister Instinct: Towards Jackie, especially during the two-part Fischer episode.
    "If you ever come near her again you're gonna have to deal with me, and I am way more dangerous than Dan. I got a loose meat restaurant; I know what to do with the body."
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Freudian Excuse: Roseanne's anger and control issues are the result of growing up with an abusive father. The show also implied this might be the source of her compulsive overeating.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With Jackie.
  • The Heroine
  • Housewife
  • Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Your mileage will definitely vary.
  • Mama Bear: To her children, her sister, her daughter's boyfriends who she eventually all but adopts. Basically, if Roseanne considers you family or a loved one, she will unleash full fury on anyone who's wronged you.
  • Progressively Prettier: Roseanne was never straight-up ugly, but she was very overweight and as a hard-working blue collar Midwestern woman, personal appearance was fairly low on her list of priorities. However, as the seasons wore on, Roseanne the actress began to wear much more flattering hair and makeup, lost a bunch of weight, and combined with her real life surgeries, her looks definitely improved.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: It varies.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Eventually becomes this with Leon.

Dan Connor

Portrayed by John Goodman
  • All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: A pretty noticeable aversion. Dan is a nice guy who works an honest nine-to-five job but loves the Harley he's had since high school and was so big into biker culture that he actually owned and ran a shop repairing and selling restored classic bikes.
    Mark: (Seeing Dan's Harley for the first time) Nice bike. Ever think about selling it?
    Dan: Actually, I was planning on being buried with it.
  • Anyone Can Die: Dan, revealed in the final episode he really did die from his heart attack. All episodes from that point onward were just fantasies dreamt up by Roseanne for her book.
  • Big Brother-In-Law Instinct: Do not abuse Jackie. He may be less dangerous than Roseanne, but he's not a threat to be taken lightly.
    • He may actually be more. Roseanne will just kill you, Dan will hurt you. Repeatedly.
  • The Big Guy
  • Henpecked Husband: At times.
  • Oedipus Rex: Dan has very serious, unresolved issues with his father throughout the show's run. It doesn't help when Conner Sr. marries one of Roseanne's friends and has a kid with her.
  • Only Sane Man
  • Overprotective Dad
  • Papa Wolf
  • Parental Neglect: Dan's mother was (literally) insane, and his father was a traveling salesman who was rarely home.
  • Tranquil Fury: If Dan's hollering and yelling, he's just blowing off steam. But when he gets quiet, run.

Becky Connor

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The basis for her relationship with Mark.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: In the early seasons.
  • The Chick
  • The Dutiful Daughter: When Darlene seemed to slip into a depression during her tomboy-to-emo transition, it fell on Becky to pick up the slack. For a while, she ended up doing the majority of the chores without getting any recognition for it, and it only got worse when she saw Roseanne give Darlene money for clothes to try and snap her out of it. She'd have been more sympathetic if she hadn't had such an attitude about it.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With Darlene.
  • Happily Married: To Mark, despite all their issues
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager
  • Hypocrite: Whenever she accuses Darlene of being self-centered, stuck up or lazy.
  • It's All About Me: Her bratty tendencies put her in this territory.
  • Jerkass: The rest of the family puts up with much, much more of Becky's crap than anyone would realistically tolerate, and some of her worst moments are resolved by one of the other Connors apologizing to or appeasing her.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Darlene's Tomboy.

Darlene Connor

Portrayed by Sarah Gilbert

David Jacob "DJ" Connor

Portrayed by Sal Barone in the Pilot, then Michael Fishman for the rest of the series

Jackie Harris

Portrayed by Laurie Metcalf
  • Abusive Parents: Jackie's father was physically abusive to his daughters.
  • Break the Cutie
  • The Chew Toy
  • Freudian Excuse: Her father's aforementioned abuse is heavily implied to be responsible for her promiscuity and inability to have a successful relationship. It goes from being implied to outright stated after her ordeal with Fisher and her inability to let Fred get close.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With Roseanne.
  • The Lancer
  • Large Ham: In later seasons.
  • Really Gets Around
  • Small Name, Big Ego: A common thread among her many jobs was that she always tried to talk them up to make them sound a lot more important than they were. She tried to make it sound like she was the star of a high school play when all she did was raise the curtain. When she was injured in the line of duty as a police officer, she always tried to talk it up as though she took a bullet saving a baby carriage, when in reality she pulled her back after she tackled some fat naked guy and they both fell down the stairs.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: She rotated through factory worker, police officer, truck driver, theater actor, diner owner, before finally settling into stay-at-home mom. (Though she did still help out at the diner a lot)

Beverly "Bev" Harris

Portrayed by Estelle Parsons
  • The Alcoholic: Played for drama in one episode.
    • Specifically though, after she is sent to Alcoholics Anonymous, she uses this as a chance to make everyone else feel bad about not being more sensitive to her "illness" and judge them for supposedly being alcoholics themselves.
  • Butt Monkey: Easily the most abused character on the show, though given her treatment of her daughters at times it's almost justified.
  • Compassionate Critic : She sees herself this way, but everyone hates the things she says, even when she's trying to be nice. To Jackie: "I think it's wonderful that you have ideas, because if you don't keep having ideas, how do you know when you come up with a good one?"
  • Domestic Abuse: Not stated, but it's implied Al was just as cruel to her as he was to Jackie and Roseanne. Not to mention the constant cheating.
  • Extreme Doormat: To her husband, which could explain the way she treats her daughters.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Is a pathological believer in this.
  • Manipulative Bitch: At her worst.
  • My Beloved Smother: At her best.
  • Pet the Dog: Had a lot of these moments to keep her from being entirely unlikeable.
  • Shotgun Wedding: It's revealed in season 6 that she and Al only got married because she was pregnant with Roseanne.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: Outed herself in the final season. Though it turned out to just be a part of Roseanne's book, because she was disappointed in all the crap Bev had to take and wanted her to assert herself more.

Nana Mary

Portrayed by Shelly Winters
  • Blind Without 'Em: "If she wears her glasses, she'll be in Lanford by 9. If she forgot 'em, she'll be in Lansing by midnight."
  • Cloudcuckoo Lander
  • Cool Old Lady: The reason Roseanne and Jackie adore her.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. She revealed in one Thanksgiving episode that she's had two of them in her lifetime.
  • Lady Drunk: Though not as much as her daughter.
  • Open Minded Parent: Played with. She was more of a free spirit, but Bev viewed this as a bad thing because she believed she had no stability when she was a kid, coupled with the fact that she never knew who her real dad was. Mary reasoned that the reason Bev became so straight-laced and conservative was because she was specifically rebelling against Mary's liberal tendencies. Since this was during season nine, which later revealed that the entire show was a book Roseanne was writing, this is most likely Roseanne's interpretation of Bev and Mary's relationship and the reason behind it.
  • Really Got Around: In her younger days, and quite proud of it.

Mark Healy:

Portrayed by Glenn Quinn
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The basis for his and Becky's relationship
  • Big Brother Bully: To David
  • Dumbass Has a Point: He noticed that, between seeing him buy a heavy winter coat and not breaking a work contract he was hired to do, Dan didn't really want to move back to California and wanted to stay and try to mend his marriage.
  • Freudian Excuse: Comes from one hell of a broken home
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: He had shades of this. David once pointed out that the only people who liked having him around were himself and Becky, which doesn't count for much since David is his brother and Becky is his wife.
  • The Glorious War of Brotherly Rivalry: With David
  • Happily Married: He and Becky had their issues and their marriage was on the rocks more than once, but for the most part they were this trope
  • Hidden Depths: Quite a bit in later seasons
  • Jerkass / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Depending on the episode or situation. Mostly the latter in the later seasons, especially during Darlene and David's wedding episode where he not only shows compassion towards the brother he bullied his entire life, but also his own pain over their crappy home life.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents threw him out of the house when he was 16
  • Pet the Dog: Gets a few of these moments with David, especially in the later seasons
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly man to David's sensitive guy
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: In the later seasons, a stark contrast to his early appearances

David Healy

Portrayed by Johnny Galecki

Leon Carp

Portrayed by Martin Mull
  • Bad Boss: Roseanne certainly treated him like one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He kind of had to be to deal with Roseanne. Though really, it was give and take between them.
  • Happily Married: To Scott
  • Jerkass: At his worst
  • Straight Gay: Lampshades the hell out of this during "December Bride":
    Leon: Oh yeah! Well you just think about it, young lady. Hmm? I hate to shop! Huh, I am absolutely insensitive. I detest Barbara Streisand. And for God's sake I'm a Republican!
    Roseanne: But do you like having sex with men?
    Leon: Well it's...
    Roseanne: GAY!
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Eventually becomes this with Roseanne

Fred Oakland

Portrayed by Michael [O'Keefe]
  • But We Used a Condom
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Had this relationship with Jackie at first. When he finally got her (mostly because he impregnated her) they both realized it was a mistake.
  • Only Sane Man: Never seems too effected by the insanity of Jackie's family, aside from occasionally being weirded out.
  • The Stoic: Stood out by being perpetually laid back and calm, often making him the perfect foil for the ever-more-neurotic Jackie.
  • Taking the Kids: A rare example where the couple's not even married; Fred sues Jackie for partial custody of their son Andy before the kid's even born yet. This is mostly because Jackie refused to let Fred have anything at all to do with Andy's life and Fred wanting involvement.
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