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** Blanche's Southern Belle persona sometimes brushes up against some uncomfortable racism, such as when she casually mentions her family owned slaves and that she had a black nanny (whom she calls Mammy). Blanche is shown involved in Daughters of the Confederate South-type organizations, one of which rejects her upon learning that her great-grandmother was Jewish (and a Northerner). On another occasion, she tells a story about her high school sweetheart Benjamin and the controversy surrounding Benjamin taking her to a dance. The other girls assume Benjamin was black; the "punchline" is that Blanche, horrified, explains that he was a ''Yankee.'' (She also makes a few remarks confirming that BlackIsBiggerInBed, which at least proves that she doesn't seem prejudiced about ''dating'' black men, though it does perpetuate the stereotype.)


** Blanche's initial rejection of her brother Clayton for being gay might seem explainable considering the era the show takes place in, her age and her southern protestant background. But the possible true reasons for her reaction become evident once you consider the Golden Palace episode "Tad". In this episode , it's found out that Blanche has another brother Tad, who's mentally handicapped. Blanche lets Rose know that her family and herself never spoke of Tad because he was considered an embarassment. With an upbringing such as this, is it any wonder that Blanche would be horrified at her seemingly "normal" brother suddenly coming out as gay after years of heterosexual marriage?

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** Blanche's initial rejection of her brother Clayton for being gay might seem explainable considering the era the show takes place in, her age and her southern protestant background. But the possible true reasons for her reaction become evident once you consider the Golden Palace episode "Tad". In this episode , it's found out that Blanche has another brother Tad, who's mentally handicapped. Blanche lets Rose know that her family and herself never spoke of Tad because he was considered an embarassment.embarrassment. With an upbringing such as this, is it any wonder that Blanche would be horrified at her seemingly "normal" brother suddenly coming out as gay after years of heterosexual marriage?



** A running joke through the whole series is that Sophia's memory is slipping. Toward the end of her ''The Golden Girls'' run and the beginning of her role in the spin-off ''The Golden Palace,'' actress Estelle Getty was suffering undiagnosed dementia to the consternation of her costars, who suspected something was wrong when she began forgetting her cues and lines.



* HarsherInHindsight: A running joke through the whole series is that Sophia's memory is slipping. Toward the end of her ''The Golden Girls'' run and the beginning of her role in the spin-off ''The Golden Palace,'' actress Estelle Getty was suffering undiagnosed dementia to the consternation of her costars, who suspected something was wrong when she began forgetting her cues and lines.

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* HarsherInHindsight: A running joke through the whole series is that Sophia's memory is slipping. Toward the end of her ''The Golden Girls'' run and the beginning of her role in the spin-off ''The Golden Palace,'' actress Estelle Getty was suffering undiagnosed dementia to the consternation of her costars, who suspected something was wrong when she began forgetting her cues and lines.


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* Many episodes dealt with the difficulty of seniors seeking healthcare and affordable housing. The girls frequently encountered less-fortunate people their own age living in inadequate assisted living facility (or even homeless shelters) that make them realize their own comfortable circumstances are the exception, rather than the rule. Other episodes addressed various serious senior issues such as end-of-life care, dementia, and euthanasia.

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** The episode ''Ebbtide's Revenge'' went out of its way to humanize Phil Petrillo after making so much humor of his crossdressing, showing he and his wife Angela loved each other very much and Angela gladly supported his crossdressing. It's thanks to Rose of all people that a message is dropped on how there was nothing wrong with Phil nor was he suffering from some mental problem that made him want to wear dresses instead of suits. [[spoiler: Too bad all this happens after Phil passes away.]]


*** Not to mention that for some women, cross-dressing men make them very uncomfortable.

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*** Not to mention that for some women, especially victims of sexual violence, cross-dressing men make them very uncomfortable.

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*** Not to mention that for some women, cross-dressing men make them very uncomfortable.


** Blanche, Rose, and Sophia's poor treatment of Dorothy starts losing its humor as the jabs move from snarky to outright cruel, leading up to the episode where Dorothy is put on trial with Stan for running a slum they inherited from a deceased relative, that Dorothy wanted no part of. Rose (who works as a consumer reporter for a local TV station) runs an exposé on the apartment, and when she finds out that Dorothy is one of the landlords, she only considers how she could have punched the story up to make herself look better. Blanche is easily fooled by the prosecutor into claiming that Dorothy is callous, and Sophia testifies that Dorothy put her in a home (this is treated by the court as a horrific crime). Keep in mind Dorothy could have gone to ''jail'' over this. At no point in the episode do Blanche, Rose, or Sophia say anything genuinely helpful or reassuring to Dorothy.

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** Blanche, Rose, and Sophia's poor treatment of Dorothy starts losing its humor as the jabs move from snarky to outright cruel, leading up to the episode ''Ebbtide VI: The Wrath of Stan'' where Dorothy is put on trial with Stan for running a slum they inherited from a deceased relative, that Dorothy wanted no part of. Rose (who works as a consumer reporter for a local TV station) runs an exposé on the apartment, and when she finds out that Dorothy is one of the landlords, she only considers how she could have punched the story up to make herself look better. Blanche is easily fooled by the prosecutor into claiming that Dorothy is callous, and Sophia testifies that Dorothy put her in a home (this is treated by the court as a horrific crime). Keep in mind Dorothy could have gone to ''jail'' over this. At no point in the episode do Blanche, Rose, or Sophia say anything genuinely helpful or reassuring to Dorothy.


** Not helping Stan's case is his relentless pursuit to win back Dorothy's heart and constantly butting into her life, despite her vehemently protesting that she hates him and will never forgive him for the misery he's caused her, being looked at in a time when the DoggedNiceGuy trope is becoming less and less tolerated. Stan becomes less of a schlub to be laughed at and more of a creepy stalker who's constantly harassing a woman who doesn't like him to sleep with/marry/go out with him.

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** Not helping Stan's case is his relentless pursuit to win back Dorothy's heart and constantly butting into her life, despite her vehemently protesting that she hates him and will never forgive him for the misery he's caused her, being looked at in a time when the DoggedNiceGuy trope is becoming less and less tolerated. Stan becomes less of a schlub to be laughed at and more of a creepy stalker who's constantly harassing a woman who doesn't like him to sleep with/marry/go out with him. Many modern viewers who've gone through the same thing don't appreciate him being given so many second chances.


* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Stan. Yes he's often shown to be a pathetic deadbeat who wrecked his and Dorothy's marriage by cheating on her, but the show frequently went out of its way to present he did have ''some'' redeeming qualities (being a good father, sometimes showing a spine, [[spoiler: bringing Dorothy to her wedding in style and granting her his blessing to make up for how miserable he made her]]). Modern viewers find those redeeming qualities hard to take seriously once Dorothy revealed she was unconscious throughout the tryst that led to her pregnancy, with her belief Stan gave her something to knock her out. Meaning Stan ''raped her'' and [[KarmaHoudini never got punished for it in any serious way]]. (Of course, since this is ''The Golden Girls'' we're talking about here, it's worth noting that we were given [[NegativeContinuity several different stories]] about the events that led to Dorothy's pregnancy, so we're not exactly sure ''what'' happened that night.)

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* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Stan. Yes he's often shown to be a pathetic deadbeat who wrecked his and Dorothy's marriage by cheating on her, but the show frequently went out of its way to present he did have ''some'' redeeming qualities (being a good father, sometimes showing a spine, [[spoiler: bringing Dorothy to her wedding in style and granting her his blessing to make up for how miserable he made her]]). Modern viewers find those redeeming qualities hard to take seriously once Dorothy revealed she was unconscious throughout the tryst that led to her pregnancy, with her belief Stan gave her something to knock her out. Meaning Stan ''raped her'' and [[KarmaHoudini never got punished for it in any serious way]]. (Of Of course, since this is ''The Golden Girls'' we're talking about here, it's worth noting that we were given [[NegativeContinuity several different stories]] about the events that led to Dorothy's pregnancy, so we're not exactly sure ''what'' happened that night.)night.
** Not helping Stan's case is his relentless pursuit to win back Dorothy's heart and constantly butting into her life, despite her vehemently protesting that she hates him and will never forgive him for the misery he's caused her, being looked at in a time when the DoggedNiceGuy trope is becoming less and less tolerated. Stan becomes less of a schlub to be laughed at and more of a creepy stalker who's constantly harassing a woman who doesn't like him to sleep with/marry/go out with him.


-->'''Sophia:''' I got a little frisky, so I went up to Geriatrics and sang "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better".
-->'''Dorothy:''' ''(outraged)'' Ma...
-->'''Sophia:''' And some crowd they were; they threw Jell-O at me... [[UpToEleven if you can call that throwing!]]

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-->'''Sophia:''' I always think it's nice when you're in a hospital to go around and cheer people up. So, after I got a little frisky, so my prescription, I went up to Geriatrics and sang "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better".
-->'''Dorothy:''' ''(outraged)'' Ma...
-->'''Sophia:''' And some
Better". Boy, tough crowd they were; - they threw Jell-O jello at me... [[UpToEleven if me. If you can call that throwing!]]throwing!

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** The episode with Rose dealing with her asshole sister Holly showed just because you're related to someone doesn't mean you have to automatically like or forgive them if they keep treating you like garbage and won't change their behavior or show any remorse for their actions.



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* TheWoobie: Phil Petrillo, Dorothy's brother and Sophia's only son who [[TheUnseen never appears on screen]] but is often mentioned. The show repeatedly made jokes alluding to Phil being a WholesomeCrossdresser, but then came the episode ''Ebbtide's Revenge'' where [[spoiler: he's KilledOffForReal]] and we learn more about his relationship with Sophia that [[CerebusRetcon made a lot of the jokes about him unfunny]]. It turns out Phil's relationship with Sophia was strained for years on account of his crossdressing, and for the longest time Sophia made it seem like this was because of Phil's wife Angela. Angela mentions how difficult it was for Phil to be estranged from Sophia and how, in the process, their kids never really got to know Sophia as a grandmother. As it turns out, Sophia hated Angela because Angela "Didn't stop the dress thing" which meant Sophia was afraid people would blame her for it. For years, Sophia feared [[ItsAllMyFault she had somehow abused or did something to Phil]] that made him the way he was, and poor Phil can only get his mother to understand nothing was wrong with him nor had she hurt him [[spoiler: after he dies and isn't around to hear it for himself]]. What's especially painful about all this is Phil was often considered to be a perfectly happy person, a good husband and loving father who provided for his kids, who just happened to prefer dresses.


* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Stan. Yes he's often shown to be a pathetic deadbeat who wrecked his and Dorothy's marriage by cheating on her, but the show frequently went out of its way to present he did have ''some'' redeeming qualities (being a good father, sometimes showing a spine, [[spoiler: bringing Dorothy to her wedding in style and granting her his blessing to make up for how miserable he made her]]). Modern viewers find those redeeming qualities hard to take seriously once Dorothy revealed she was unconscious throughout the tryst that led to her pregnancy, with her belief Stan gave her something to knock her out. Meaning Stan ''raped her'' and [[KarmaHoudini never got punished for it in any serious way]].

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* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Stan. Yes he's often shown to be a pathetic deadbeat who wrecked his and Dorothy's marriage by cheating on her, but the show frequently went out of its way to present he did have ''some'' redeeming qualities (being a good father, sometimes showing a spine, [[spoiler: bringing Dorothy to her wedding in style and granting her his blessing to make up for how miserable he made her]]). Modern viewers find those redeeming qualities hard to take seriously once Dorothy revealed she was unconscious throughout the tryst that led to her pregnancy, with her belief Stan gave her something to knock her out. Meaning Stan ''raped her'' and [[KarmaHoudini never got punished for it in any serious way]]. (Of course, since this is ''The Golden Girls'' we're talking about here, it's worth noting that we were given [[NegativeContinuity several different stories]] about the events that led to Dorothy's pregnancy, so we're not exactly sure ''what'' happened that night.)

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* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Stan. Yes he's often shown to be a pathetic deadbeat who wrecked his and Dorothy's marriage by cheating on her, but the show frequently went out of its way to present he did have ''some'' redeeming qualities (being a good father, sometimes showing a spine, [[spoiler: bringing Dorothy to her wedding in style and granting her his blessing to make up for how miserable he made her]]). Modern viewers find those redeeming qualities hard to take seriously once Dorothy revealed she was unconscious throughout the tryst that led to her pregnancy, with her belief Stan gave her something to knock her out. Meaning Stan ''raped her'' and [[KarmaHoudini never got punished for it in any serious way]].

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** Some of the jokes about Phil's cross-dressing could be considered homophobic or transphobic now. Even though "Ebbtide's Revenge" did have the characters accept that Phil was a good man despite his feminine tendencies- [[ValuesResonance a touching message, especially in 1990-]] it still never really denied the idea that Phil's cross-dressing was some sort of mental problem and still made it the punchline of several jokes in that very episode.

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