YMMV / Roseanne

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Dan's father; he presents himself as something of a martyr to his son, explaining that he spent so much time away from his family and allowed his son to think he was an asshole to shift the attention away from the fact his wife was going insane, as he didn't want Dan to remember her as a bad mother. Conversely, Dan's father was just a coward who couldn't deal with his wife losing her mind, and when an out came in the form of his work, he took it and happily abandoned his family because it was easier on himself, making up the excuse later to appease his guilt. The latter interpretation is very heavily hinted as to what Dan actually thinks about his father.
  • Broken Base:
    • The series finale.
    • The series being Uncancelled 20 years after it was put to rest. With the controversy surrounding Fuller House many fans are skeptical about the series being brought back for an 10th season after such a long time.
      • There's also the issue on if the new season should follow the narrative from the majority of the 9th season (Dan is still alive and the Conners actually did win the lottery) or the series finale (Dan purportedly died of a heart attack and the series was just a book written by Roseanne to cope).
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Disney World episode is full of them, mostly involving members of the extended Connor family having trouble realizing that various Disney characters aren't actually real. Granted, the episode was only shot because of Executive Meddling, so there was probably a certain amount of Snark Bait deliberately included.
    • The whole "Sweet Dreams" episode in Season 2.
    • The season nine Halloween Episode "Satan, Darling" has a newly-rich Roseanne and Jackie at a society Halloween party. While there, a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is just standing in the middle of the party like a statue, saying nothing, which causes both sisters to do a double take on more than one occasion. Their reactions to her were similar to the audience's.
  • Designated Villain: The woman Roseanne and Jackie's father was seeing for over two decades, though this is more in the episode where he died. When Roseanne meets her at a bar to try and talk about the last years of his life, Roseanne learns that her dad told her that his kids never appreciated the sacrifices he made for them and storms off in anger. Though, this is mostly because the woman only had Al's side of the story.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A lot of people have this reaction to the show's final season, and the final episode in particular.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Watching Roseanne and Dan yell at Becky for underage drinking is kind of hard to watch after John Goodman admitted he struggled with alcoholism.
    • Dan saying he was having an affair in "Roseanne in the Hood", which was Played for Laughs if you watch the episode's plot becomes less so when he has an affair in the season finale with one of his mother's nurses...but that becomes even more hard to watch when it's revealed it was just a moment Roseanne made up in her book after Dan died, stating that his death felt like he was with another woman.
    • In the series finale, Nancy comments that baby Harris might be the first woman president. 20-years later, the US came very close to that.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Roseanne has lost a winning lottery ticket with a connection to the number one-hundred and eight.
    • In one episode, Roseanne is posing for a sexy photograph for Dan for their anniversary. As she's having second thoughts, she says, "What if the negatives get out, I'll never be President." Roseanne Barr actually did run for President in 2012.
    • In some early episodes, DJ is a Creepy Child who destroys his sisters' Barbie dolls. Laurie Metcalf, who plays Aunt Jackie would go to be the voice of Andy's mom in Toy Story, which features a character who tortures toys.
    • In Season 4's "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" Becky says to Darlene "Why don't you just run away?" Could also be Foreshadowing, as Becky does that exact thing a few episodes later.
    • In season five, after Dan gets into a fight and the rumor mill gets going, a friend says to him, "We heard you beat up three guys at a bowling alley!"
    • In season seven, a young child confesses that he doesn't think DJ likes him, to which Roseanne replies, "That's because you're very boring." She's saying this to a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, now widely recognized as one of the best actors of his generation.
    • In "Kansas City, Here We Come," a subplot involved Becky having a horrible boss who calls her a bad name. Trying to avoid saying it in front of DJ, we get this exchange.
      DJ: The "B" word?
      Darlene: Worse.
      DJ: The "F" word?
      Dan: Deej!
      DJ: The "L" word?
      Darlene: What's the "L" word?
      DJ: I don't know, what's the "F" word?
      • Not only did a popular show called The L Word debut years later, but DJ's asking this question to Darlene, whose actress, Sara Gilbert, actually came out as "the L word" later in her life.
    • In "Dances with Darlene," Darlene backs out of going to a school dance after her family starts treating her differently when she dresses up for it. Rosanne tells her that there are better ways of getting back at her than that, giving the example that "Becky's boyfriend might have a little brother!" Sure enough, not long after, Darlene begins dating and eventually marries Mark's little brother, David.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the Season Four finale, Dan and Roseanne's bike shop, which they sunk virtually every penny they had into, goes under. Becky is particularly devastated—not only did her parents gamble her college tuition on the shop, but Mark, who was working there, was given a lucrative job offer in another city. When Becky finally reaches her breaking point, she takes it out on Dan, blaming him: "I don't have college, I don't have Mark, I don't have ANYTHING! You blew it, Dad! You blew it for me and this entire family!" While she is being insensitive and ignoring the pain Dan and Roseanne are going through, her argument is a valid one—Dan did go into business without any real knowledge of economics or management, chose a niche market instead of something that would broadly appeal to customers, and staked the family's fortunes on a longtime dream without considering the consequences. Roseanne even seems to acknowledge it in-universe, outright telling Becky to shut up when she starts her rant as if she knows it's hurting Dan.
  • Narm: Watching the beginning of the tornado episode with them treating a tornado watch with gallows humor and panic can be rather ludicrous to viewers from Tornado Alley. (For the record, a tornado watch, basically means "Conditions are right for a tornado; stay tuned, one might form. A tornado warning means "A tornado has been spotted, You Can Panic Now.") They are vindicated soon after though...
  • Never Live It Down: The series finale, which revealed that the entire series was a book written by Roseanne and that she had changed numerous details about her life. The revelation that Dan actually did die of his heart attack left many surprised fans completely blindsided.
    • The entire ninth season may count owning to its jarring Genre Shift, which many saw as too far removed from the blue collar tales upon which the whole series had been built on.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Given all the fights and arguments to be had between Dan and Roseanne, some of them are bound to have hints of this. Most infamous however is their biggest blow-up in "Fights And Stuff"; anyone who's dealt with such scenes in childhood are likely to find these moments very unsettling.
    • Dan's mother trying to kill him by locking him inside his garage with the motorcycle engine running.
    • Roseanne, who is harsh but not physically abusive towards her children spanking DJ after he wrecks their car, finally having been driven to the end of her rope. Roseanne is so horrified she can't even speak, recalling it was just like what her father would do. Thankfully she makes things right with DJ.
    • Dan's drunken stupor in one episode where he tries to confront his dad over his mother's worsening mental health. He ends up scaring both Crystal and her son Lonnie as they try to keep him calm, forcing Roseanne to intervene and drag him back home.
    • Roseanne's run-in with an unfriendly customer on the first night of business at the diner. The man becomes increasingly unhinged and aggressive as Roseanne goes to fetch him coffee, clearly alarmed at his behavior. The customer then grabs her and just stares her in the face, only to storm out moments later. The incident unnerves Roseanne so much that she seeks out a self-defense class while Dan becomes overprotective.
      • Perhaps more unsettling is the fact that we don't know what the customer's deal was or what became of him after the fact.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Rewatch Bonus: There are possibly some subtle hints throughout the final season that everything is a fantasy of Roseanne's—note that the bedrooms and garage aren't redecorated like the main rooms, an odd omission for someone refurbishing their house.
  • Seasonal Rot: The ninth and final season. The show had been in decline for some years before then, and opinions vary on when it started, but the last season is generally seen as being by far the worst (the drastic Genre Shift did not help matters).
    • The controversial and shocking revelation that the whole show was Roseanne's book, and the last season represented Roseanne's decline as an author after the death of her husband rescued it for some people, though for others, it was just the icing on the cake.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In "Troubles with the Rubbles," Roseanne's neighbor becomes angry with her after her son runs off to a construction site with DJ while staying at Rosanne's house and badly cuts his arm, while Rosanne never knew where they were. While the neighbor had been condescending and snotty to Rosanne throughout the episode and the show seems to want us to sympathize with Rosanne when she tells her off for being overprotective and judgmental, the point that two eight year olds should not be allowed to wander around town unsupervised when the adult in charge has no idea where they are is definitely not without merit.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Even as being the bratty teenage daughters throughout much of the series (until both became Older and Wiser), Becky and Darlene get hit with this. The former is so obsessed with her love of Mark, she feels nothing for either her father losing his job and the family more or less being broke but super-pissy because Mark now has no job and has to move away. Also, even as Roseanne being a know-it-all jerk sometimes (although at the time, she was much nicer and relatable), her attitude in "No Talking" towards her was rather snotty and to everyone in the family, not just her mother. The latter, even as a Goth who hated "everything" also had her nasty moments and came off as being difficult just to be difficult, mainly when she cheated on David for no reason, who basically worshipped the ground she walked on, yet in "Snoop Davey Dave" when he reveals that she did drugs in the past, we're supposed to sympathize with her as David has no right to be angry/bitter about their breakup.

  • What an Idiot: Dan and Roseanne for opening up a bike shop (that was previously failing) in a small town like Lanford, where the bike demographic would be very small, and having no education in business or economics.
  • Values Dissonance: In one episode, Dan describes Roseanne as person who can only deal with pain by spreading it; while ostensibly to humanize her, it sounds uncomfortably like how one would rationalize/justify the behavior of an emotionally abusive spouse and parent.
  • Values Resonance: The realistic focus on the usual challenges and struggles of a working-class American family still remain relevant 20+ years later. Roseanne Barr even said during a recent interview that they're even more relevant than they were back then.
  • Vindicated by History: As bad as the final season is, it's redeemed slightly by the revelation that it was all a fantasy Roseanne escaped into following Dan's death.
  • The Woobie: David. Especially once we meet his mother.