Trivia / Roseanne

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     Original Series 
  • Actor Allusion:
    • When Michael O'Keefe (Fred) left the show, he went to another show on ABC called Life's Work, where he was the husband of an assistant district attorney with two children. In one episode of Roseanne, while complaining about Fred's Christmas present to Jackie, Roseanne says that they never see him "since he moved in with that D.A. chick with them two kids."
    • It could be coincidental, or Hilarious in Hindsight but "Good Girls Bad Girls" alludes to Danielle Harris' work in the Halloween franchise. She's flirting with two guys, and she asks Darlene "Which one do you want?" Darlene replies "Whichever one will kill you and stuff you in the trunk."
    • Roseanne blowing up the house to get revenge counts as an allusion to Roseanne Barr's role in She-Devil.
    • Played with in Season 5's Yet Another Christmas Carol episode, "Halloween IV." Teenage Dan (played by Abraham Benrubi) wears a caveman costume. The next year, John Goodman played Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones, and Benrubi himself would appear in George of the Jungle.
  • Adored by the Network: There have been times you would think this was the only show Nick At Nite owned the rights to. ABC wasn't exactly neglectful of the show, either. WE, TVLand, and Logo like to show marathons of it as well.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • John Goodman is an adept impressionist, as seen on his countless Saturday Night Live appearances. This was worked into the show fairly often, with Dan launching into impressions of anybody from Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando to The Three Stooges to Julia Child. He also showed off his singing talents in a handful of episodes - notably season one's "Radio Days" and season two's "Sweet Dreams."
    • In the episode in which David Crosby and his band appear, Roseanne's fellow waitress at Rodbells, Bonnie, turns out to be quite the singer. Bonnie was played by Bonnie Bramlett, a successful recording artist in real life.
    • Roseanne herself dabbled in this a few times.
  • The Danza:
    • Roseanne Barr plays Roseanne Conner.
    • Tom Arnold plays Arnie Thomas.
  • Dueling Shows: With Married... with Children. Both were blue-collared (and comedy), wisecracking dysfunctional families from Illinois and both shows ended the same year. Although Roseanne received more critical acclaim and numerous Emmy wins (mostly at the expense of MWC), the latter show lasted a full decade and is usually remembered more fondly. See Old Shame and YMMV.Roseanne for more details.
  • Fake Nationality: Glenn Quinn was Irish, and had a couple of slips through the show, including once when Mark came home drunk, which seemed oddly fitting, since the struggle between the two accents sounded pretty much like someone who has had a few too many and are slurring their words. Sarah Chalke was also a Canadian actress, playing the American Becky.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: They tried to do this with Laurie Metcalf's pregnancy. They started with loose clothing that got larger and larger and then resorted to putting things in front of her (the most memorable moment being when Jackie sits in the bathtub with a heavy quilt over her when she, Dan and Roseanne get high on twenty year old pot). However, Metcalf ended up with one of the biggest baby bumps ever, forcing them to write in a one night stand conception so they didn't have to remove her from the rest of the season.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • Allegedly the main reason for the departure of Sal Barone, the original D.J., after the pilot. He and Sara Gilbert didn't get along.
    • But the show was notorious for star Roseanne Barr constantly fighting with and belittling her writers, which was a problem from the very beginning. She resented the pilot writer and initial showrunner Matt Williams being credited as the sole creator of the show despite it having been based on her "Domestic Goddess" stand-up persona (she felt that he should have been credited as the show's developer, with herself as the creator; as a compromise, she received a credit for "based on a character created by"). The two constantly butted heads over how her character was portrayed; she outright refused to say a line he wrote ("well, you're my equal in bed, but that's it"). Williams approached her co-stars John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf hoping to entice them to go along with a Re Tool in which Barr's character would be written out; they both supported Barr, and Williams, outflanked, left the show after the first season. (He would go on to co-create Home Improvement.) From then on, Barr made it clear that she was in charge, and often spoke poorly of her writers in particular and of television writing in general to anyone who would listen. Most writers and writer-producers who've worked on the show have little nice to say about the atmosphere in the writers' room, and even writers on other shows would make digs at Barr's tyranny (The Golden Girls had Dorothy snark about taking abuse like being on "The Roseanne Barr Show" as early as 1989). Most notably, Chuck Lorre had his first of many run-ins with The Prima Donna stars on this show before moving on to Grace Under Fire, Cybill, and Two and a Half Men in his later career.
  • Old Shame: As mentioned above, Joss Whedon wrote 5 episodes, but he doesn't look back on it fondly. Apparently Roseanne Barr's prima donna behavior was at its worst and the crew bore the brunt of it.
    • The final season of the original run seems to have become this, with Dan's death being written out in the new season, along with the lottery win that led to season 9's infamous Genre Shift.
  • The Other Darrin/The Original Darrin:
    • One of the most egregious and ridiculous examples of all time, with plenty of unabashed Lampshade Hanging. When Lecy Goranson left the show for school, Becky was written out as having moved to Minnesota, but eventually returned, now played by Sarah Chalke. At the beginning of the 8th season, Goranson returned and played Becky steadily for a run of episodes, with Chalke actually cameoing as a different character in the Halloween episode. After this, Chalke was brought in again as Becky on-and-off over the course of that season for any episodes Goranson was unavailable for, including the Disneyworld two-parter and Darlene's wedding. Finally, at the beginning of the 9th and final season, Chalke took over again all the way until the finale.
      Becky (Chalke), while watching Bewitched: I like the second Darrin much better.
      Roseanne (to Goranson): Where the hell have you been? It feels like you've been gone for three years!
      • "Ladies and gentlemen, the role of Becky Conner, formerly played by Lecy Goranson, then by Sarah Chalke, and then Lecy Goranson again, will be played tonight by Sarah Chalke."
      • Naturally, Lampshaded in one episode: grown-up D.J. is shown curled into a ball, rocking back and forth and chanting, 'They says she's the same, but she isn't the same, they says she's the same, but she isn't the same...'
      • Also, Becky (Sarah): "I've always wanted to go to Disney World!" Followed by Roseanne: "Aren't you glad you're here this week?"
      • One of the credits scenes was a throwback to fifties era "Two of a kind" style show introductions using both Beckies that features deliciously lampshaded lyrics. "They walk alike, they talk alike, abruptly leave the show alike!" Actually, it was a Shout-Out / Affectionate Parody of the credits from "The Patty Duke Show." You can see the two scenes back-to-back here.
      • For the revival, Goranson once again returned as Becky - but Chalke was cast as a new recurring character for whom Becky is paid to act as a surrogate mother. In keeping with the show's tradition of Lampshade Hanging, their first scene together has them acknowledging that "it's like we're the same person!".
      • This means that, ultimately, Becky was played by Lecy Goranson, then by Sarah Chalke, then by Lecy Goranson, then by Sarah Chalke, and then by Lecy Goranson.
    • In addition to Becky, D.J. was played by a different kid (Sal Barone) in the first episode.
  • Post-Script Season: As the show neared the end of its eighth season, which had been expected to be its last, the ratings improved enough for the network to ask for one more season, in which the show completely lost its moorings as the Conners' lottery win allowed the writers to indulge in all the "what-if" plotlines they had never otherwise dared to touch.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Sara Gilbert and Johnny Galecki dated briefly while on the show. They admitted it was a light teen crush and nothing too serious, as they were 16-17 at the time. Gilbert also figured out she preferred women while dating him.
    • Laurie Metcalf dated and later married Matt Roth, the actor who played her abusive boyfriend Fisher on the show.
    • Writer and story editor Amy Sherman dated and later married fellow writer Daniel Palladino. Sherman and Palladino would later also work together on Gilmore Girls, which Sherman created, as executive producers until 2006, when they both left the show after it moved to The CW, due to creative differences with then CW president of entertainment Dawn Ostroff, and were replaced by former Ellen co-creator David S. Rosenthal.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Michael Fishman so uncannily resembles Roseanne Barr that they even remark on the resemblance In-Universe (even though a child looking like one of his parents is hardly remarkable in Real Life). That said, Roseanne Barr has remarked that Fishman looks more like her than her actual children do.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • Undoubtedly put John Goodman on the map.
    • Debatably did the same for Johnny Galecki (if not this one, then definitely The Big Bang Theory).
    • Laurie Metcalf also got a sizable career boost, winning three Emmys for the role and going on to become a reliable supporting actress in film, TV, and theatre.
  • Troubled Production: See Hostility on the Set. Roseanne quickly became notorious as the worst workplace on television very early into its run (The Golden Girls even joked about it during Roseanne's second season). Turnover among the writing staff was astronomical.
    • On top of that, towards the show's end, John Goodman's burgeoning film career, coupled with his now known alcoholism, made him noticeably less cheerful and easy to work with towards the end of the show's run. By his own admission, he was extremely stressed and "not very grateful".
  • What Could Have Been: While talks about a revival were in the works, Roseanne was very tight-lipped about what the Connor family was up to, saying it was intellectual property which might be developed later. However, apparently the talks fell through, because at the end of 2009 she posted a blog that gave a few details as to what the family was up to:
    • DJ gets published.
    • Mark dies in Iraq.
    • David leaves Darlene for a woman half his age.
    • Darlene meets a woman and they have a test tube baby.
    • Becky works at Wal-Mart.
    • Roseanne and Jackie open the first medical marijuana dispensary in Lanford, Illinois and pay off the mortgage before the house is foreclosed on.
    • Arnie becomes the best friend of the governor of Illinois.
    • Mom sells a painting for ten grand.
    • Nancy and Arnie remarry.
    • Jerry and the grandsons form a band like the Jonas Brothers
    • Dan shows up alive after faking his death.
    • Leon has a sex change op.
    • Bonnie gets busted for selling crack.
    • In-universe, one episode had Roseanne's father getting injured, and Roseanne going on a trip to see him, and Jackie babysitting for about a week while she was gone. This turned into an interesting version of What Could Have Been had Dan married Jackie instead of Roseanne. While Roseanne's gone, Becky is polite, Darlene is nice, and there was even one scene where Jackie is sending them off to Leave it to Beaver-style music.
    • There were talks for Roseanne's boss and Sitcom Arch Enemy Leon Carp and his husband, Scott, to get a spin-off series, but this was ultimately rejected by ABC executives.
  • Working Title: Life and Stuff.
  • Written by Cast Member: Sara Gilbert received story credit for the episode "Don't Make Me Over."

     2018 Revival 
  • Absentee Actor: Michael Fishman (D.J.) does not show up in the episode "Darlene v. David", even though D.J.'s daughter Mary appears and the episode revolves around his niece Harris' birthday.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The second actress to play Becky (Sarah Chalke) shows up as the intended mother of a surrogate child.
    • In the second episode of the revival, Roseanne and Dan call Darlene gay, though she denies it. Sara Gilbert is a lesbian in real life.
  • The Character Died with Him: Mark's actor, Glenn Quinn, died a few years after the original series ended. When the show returned in 2018, it was mentioned that Mark was dead.
  • Creator Backlash: Several writers from the original run were dismayed at the revival's portrayal of Roseanne as a right wing Trump supporter, saying it doesn't fit at all with the character they were writing.
  • Production Posse: Whitney Cummings is an executive producer on the 2018 revival, and her former Whitney costar Rhea Seehorn plays the animal rescue worker in "Eggs Over, Not Easy".
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Users in this Reddit thread have commented on the resemblance between Emma Rose Kenney and Sara Gilbert. Some even thought that the posted picture of Kenney on the set of the revival was a picture of Gilbert.
  • Sequel Gap: This one is pretty huge, as the last episode of the first run aired in 1997.
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