Follow TV Tropes


Funny / The Golden Girls

Go To

In general

  • Whenever Rose insults someone. Because she is so nice and sweet, you never see it coming.
  • "Back in St. Olaf..." Anything said after this is bound to end up on this page.
  • After the first few episodes, whenever Rose or Sophia are about to tell a story ("Picture it..."/"Back in St. Olaf..."), the studio audience starts laughing, as they know something funny is about to be said.
  • Some of Dorothy's reaction shots.
  • Dorothy giving Preemptive Shut Ups to Sophia when she's about to say something rude. In one episode, instead of telling her to shut up, she covers her mouth before she gets a chance to say something.
    Clayton: I’d do anything for Doug, and he’d bend over backwards for me!
    • In another memorable instance, Dorothy pops a cookie into Sophia's just-opening mouth without missing a beat.
    • In yet another instance, she does so again, this time with a spoonful of cheesecake. And when she anticipates the next potential moment barely a minute later:
    Dorothy: Chew it carefully, Ma. Like they taught you at SHADY PINES.
  • The one time Sophia doesn't say something rude. Rose is interested in a coworker, who happens to be a little person. Sophia unexpectedly returns from a trip, and everybody who knows what she's like panics quietly.
    Sophia: I’m sorry if this may sound rude, [everybody winces] but i just came home from a long trip, and I’m very tired if you excuse me.
    Dr. Newman: Of course. Lovely to have met you.
    Sophia: Likewise. Dorothy, eh. [quietly] Dorothy, is that man a midget?
    Dorothy: [confused] Yes, Ma.
    Sophia: Thank God, I thought I was having another stroke.
  • The show ran on "Ask a Stupid Question..." humor. Some examples:
    • When a friend of Sophia's backed out on a commitment:
    Blanche: Sophia says she has no appetite after she was stabbed in the back.
    Rose: Oh my God, who stabbed Sophia?!
    Dorothy: The chef at Benihana, Rose!
    • When Rose gave it back:
    Dorothy: (sees Rose walking out of her room with a bucket in each hand) Oh, Rose, is your roof leaking too?
    Rose: No, Dorothy. I just finished milking the cow that I keep in my closet. Gee, with only three hours sleep I can be as bitchy as you.
    • Dorothy comes in from the pouring rain as a hurricane threatens Miami:
    Dorothy: Whew! It is really coming down!
    Rose: What's coming down?
    Dorothy: [pauses, then responds crossly] The Liberace marquee at Caesar's Palace!
    • When Rose is having heart surgery:
    Blanche: Oh that's right, you had heart surgery too, didn't you, Sophia?
    Sophia: No, I take nitroglycerine because I want to explode!
    • The (second)episode about Blanche's gay brother.
    Blanche: I don't really mind Clayton being homosexual. I just don't like him dating men.
    Dorothy: You really haven't grasped the concept of this gay thing yet, have you?
    Blanche: There must be homosexuals who date women!
    Sophia: Yeah, they're called lesbians.
    • When Sophia says that an old friend died.
    Dorothy: What happened?
    Sophia: She was fighting an oil rig fire in the gulf of Mexico. She was 88!
    Rose: Well, it's great that she was able to keep working right up until the end.
    Dorothy: Ma, what are you doing?
    Sophia: I'm giving the leftover meatloaf a thrill. What do you think I'm doing? It's hot as hell in here!
    Dorothy: Ma, close that before the food spoils!
    Sophia: Okay! (closes her robe)
    • When Blanche asks for volunteers to sign up for a dirty dancing class with her.
    Blanche: Have you ever heard of something called dirty dancing?
    Dorothy: Well of course, Blanche. They did it in that movie.
    Rose: What movie?
    Dorothy: Lawrence of Arabia, Rose.
    • When they discover that their candidate in a local election is a female-to-male transsexual.
    Rose: What's it made of?
    Dorothy: Silly putty, Rose!
    • The other time Rose gives it back.
    Rose: She's [her sister] a flautist.
    Dorothy: Oh, she plays the flute?
    Rose: No, Dorothy. She plays the flaut. It's a Scandinavian instrument that looks like a tuba except it's got hair on the bottom. Of course she plays the flute!
    • While talking about Dorothy's boyfriend Eddie:
    Dorothy: But the only thing we have in common is under the sheets.
    Rose: What's under the sheets?
    Dorothy: His cappuccino maker... Sex, Rose. I am talking sex.
    Rose: [shocked] Oh, Dorothy, all that and cappuccino, too?
    • When Rose is nervous about going away with her boyfriend.
    Blanche: Rose, is this about Arnie?
    Dorothy: No, Blanche, she's upset because they keep changing the taste of Coke.
    • Blanche tells the girls about an old boyfriend who had big ears.
    Blanche: By the way... did you know that the size of a man's ears is directly proportional to the size of his other... bodily organs?
    Rose: What do you mean?
    Dorothy: He had a big floppy pancreas, Rose.
    • When Dorothy talks about an old flame coming to town:
    Dorothy: Barry was the man I wanted to be the first.
    Rose: ...First where?
    Dorothy: On Mars, Rose!
    • When Blanche's sister sought Blanche out for a kidney transplant.
    Rose: Why would you need a kidney?
    Dorothy: TO FEED THE CAT, ROSE!
    • When Dorothy has to give a eulogy.
    Dorothy: I'm so nervous. Have you ever given a eulogy?
    Rose: You mean at a funeral?
    Dorothy: No, Rose, at a pie eating contest!
    • When Dorothy tells a story about Stan putting her engagement ring in a glass of Dom Perignon and her accidentally swallowing it.
    Dorothy: It turned up three days later.
    (long beat as Blanche, and the audience, laugh,)
    Rose: Where'd it turn up, Dorothy?
    (long beat, more laughter)
    Dorothy: On the Home Shopping Network.
    • When Dorothy walks in with a pizza box.
    Blanche: We brought dinner.
    Rose: What did you get?
    Dorothy: A bucket of chicken. I hope you like it extra flat and crispy.
    Blanch:: It's a pizza, Rose.
    Rose: I know that, I just meant what kind.
    Blanch: Did you really?
    Rose: No, but I thought I could cover.
    • At the cinema:
    Rose: What kind of a movie is this, Dorothy?
    Character on screen: Rip his throat out!
    Dorothy: It's a musical, Rose.
    Rose: Whatever happened to your grandmother, Dorothy?
    Dorothy: She colonized life on Venus. Rose, she was ninety-four when I was six. She died, you idiot.
    Rose: How did she die?
    Dorothy: You know, we're not sure. One day, she went out in her wheelchair, and never came back. The next day, the neighborhood kids had a go-kart with two really big back wheels.
    Rose: *GASP*
    • When discussing Dorothy's current boyfriend.
    Dorothy: We... experimented.
    Rose: With what?
    Dorothy: Sulfer-Dioxide, Rose.
    Rose: How will I know they're ready?
    Dorothy: The little man in the refrigerator will tell you. You know, the one that turns on the light?
    Rose: I don't need to be lectured Dorothy, especially about the little man, he scares me.
    • When the girls are trying to clean out the cupboard and locate some cookies:
    Rose: Oh, cookies! You're not going to eat those, are you?
    Dorothy: No, Rose: we're going to go to some dumb country and use these as money.
    • One might notice that Rose is responsible for a lot of these.
    Rose: Can I ask a dumb question?
    Dorothy: Better than anyone I know.

Season 1

  • "I'm Blanche Devereaux. That's French for... Blanche Deveraux."
  • After Sophia gives Blanche's grandson a well-deserved slap;
    Blanche: Is that all you Italians know how to do; scream and hit?
    Sophia: No. We also know how to make love, and sing opera.
  • In the episode where the girls are robbed, Blanche borrows Rose's "Hair spray" and goes down to the police station. There, she sees a police officer she finds cute, so she decided to "touch up" her hair.
    Blanche: So I took out your hairspray to give my hair a final spritz? Only surprise, it wasn't hairspray... it was mace. You had mace, your hairspray was mace, I maced myself right there in the police station! Almost died! I fell to the floor, blinded, writing in pain, couldn't move for 20 minutes.
    Rose: Well, what do you know? It works!
    Blanche: [flings a pillow over her head] WORKS! They thought I was on angel dust! They wanted to arrest me. I'm lying there dying and they're harassing me. Murderers are free, rapists are free, but a poor widow on the floor they try to lock up! Who'd I hurt? Me?
    • Later in the episode, Rose hears voices and thinks the robbers have come back. She ends up shooting Blanche's vase only to find out that the voices were Blanche and her date. It's a serious situation made funny by Blanche and Sophia's reactions.
      Sophia: I live eighty, eighty-one years. I survived two world wars, pneumonia, a stroke. One night I'll belch and Stable Mable here will blow my head off!

      Blanche: You shot my vase!
      Rose: I didn't shoot Lester!
      Blanche: I'd rather you shot Lester!
      Lester: I think I'll pass on that nightcap, Blanche.
      Blanche: Go on home, you old fool!
  • "In a Bed of Rose's" had her boyfriend dying in bed after sleeping with her. This being the second time a man died after sleeping with her (the first being her husband Charlie), Rose decides to stop sleeping with men, convinced that she's an angel of death. By the episode's end, she returns from a vacation with a new boyfriend, and reveals to Blanche and Dorothy that she slept with him. And he died. And that to prove to the local sheriff that it was her fault, she slept with him too. And then he died. And then Rose reveals to a horrified Blanche and Dorothy that it was all a joke. The two storm out of the room, angrily commenting that they believed her.
    Dorothy: I was set to go to her hanging!
  • In "The Operation", after Rose and Blanche have been practicing for weeks for a tap dance recital, Blanche gets stage fright before the show and tells Rose a story about when she was a little girl wetting herself at a dance recital, which is why she can't do the show. Rose won't have any of it.
    Rose: [harshly] Hey, we've all got our sad stories.
    Blanche:... What?
    Rose: Look Blanche, we've practiced for six weeks, we've paid for our costumes, we told everybody we'd be there, now you're not gonna wimp out on me! You're gonna go to that recital, and if you end up in a puddle tonight well you just better break into Singin' in the Rain!
  • "Come on Dorothy, if the Egyptians built the pyramids, then we can move this toilet!" "Fine, get me 20,000 hebrews and I'll have it out of here in no time."
    • Earlier in that episode, when Rose wakes up Dorothy with her pounding on the bathroom wall (which happens to be on the other side of Dorothy's room):
    Dorothy: Honey, do you know what's behind that, ah, wall that you're banging on?
    Rose: A lateral fusion pipe.
    Dorothy: Uh-huh. And do you know what's on the other side of that lateral fusion pipe?
    Rose: No...
    Dorothy: MY HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Rose: I'm sorry. It's just that I was so excited - I think I might have stumbled on something that could change the face of plumbing as we know it!
    Dorothy: Great, Rose. Call the Ty-D-Bol man. He'll jump in his boat and spread the news.
  • From "Job Hunting", after a phone call has frightened Blanche and Dorothy awake:
    Blanche: I'm jumpier than a virgin at a prison rodeo.
    Dorothy: Boy, that's... pretty jumpy.
    Dorothy: Sure, you're five years older. So am I. So is Blanche.
    Blanche: *Surprised look*
    Dorothy: Okay, you've grown a few more wrinkles. So have I. So has Blanche.
    Blanche: *Irritated look*
    Dorothy: So you're a bit thicker in the middle. So is Blanche.
    Blanche: *Epic Death Glare*
  • In one episode, Sophia bursts into the kitchen with a large knife, scaring the bejeezus out of the others, much to her amusement, which leads to this:
    Dorothy: Ma, that is NOT funny!
    Sophia: Are you kidding, it's a riot! I pulled it once on Old Man Peterson, after we saw "Psycho" at the home. They had said he would never walk again. He walked!

Season 2

  • In "Ladies of the Evening", Blanche wins a date with Burt Reynolds and invites Dorothy and Blanche along, but has to leave out Sophia. Hijinks ensue which end with the girls going to a hotel reception and getting arrested after being mistaken for prostitutes, causing them to miss their chance to meet the actor. The episode ends with the girls sitting at home pissed at the turn of events, when Burt Reynolds comes to their take out Sophia! Before they leave, he asks which of the younger three is The Slut, and all three of them yell "I am!"
    • When Rose berates Blanche for getting them into this mess — "All it is with you is men and sex, sex and men!" — a hooker in the background yells, "Hey! There's nothing wrong with being career-oriented!"
    • Dorothy manages to break up a would-be fight in the cell. "I worked in the public school system. It's not that different from this."
  • From "Isn't It Romantic":
    • The whole opening scene. Sophia rents a porno. Hilarity Ensues.
    • When Dorothy and Sophia try to explain to Blanche that a visiting friend of Dorothy's is a lesbian, Blanche gets the word confused with "Lebanese". And then she gets outraged when she learns that Dorothy's friend wants Rose and not her.
  • From "A Piece of Cake", an episode featuring flashbacks to the girls' birthdays:
    • Dorothy's flashback is one of her worst birthdays ever. Rose decided to take her to "Mr. Ha-Ha's Hot Dog Hacienda." Dorothy is obviously miserable, which isn't helped by her having to lead a Birthday Parade. After she has to make a wish and blow out her candle, Mr. Ha-Ha says, "I hope everybody gets what they wished for." Dorothy gets a gleam in her eye, picks up her hot fudge cake in throwing position and says, "Do you really, Mr. Ha-ha?" Mr. Ha-Ha warns her that A) his musician's brother is a lawyer, and B) that's not a very mature thing to do. Dorothy agrees, and puts her cake down. However, a little boy named Bobby walks up behind Ha-Ha, gets his attention, and when Ha-Ha turns around, he hits him in the face with the hot fudge cake. Then, with a big toothy grin he says, "Happy Birthday, Dorothy." It's hilarious, a little heartwarming, and even the normally deadpan Dorothy lets out a big belly laugh.
    • Sophia's flashback is to her 50th, when she and Dorothy still lived in Brooklyn. For context, she thought it was her forty-eighth until her husband showed her the paperwork immigration had screwed up when they came to America.
    Sal: Enough with this "old lady" business! You're acting like an ass! You don't look fifty. You don't look forty-eight. You're just as beautiful as the day I married you.
    Sophia: Oh Salvatore. Salvatore say that again.
    Sal: You're acting like an ass!
    Dorothy: [facepalm]

Season 3

  • In a flashback with Sophia's late husband:
    Sophia: Where are you going?
    Sal: To get some air.
    Sophia: We got air in the house.
    Sal: I like beer with my air.
    • Sal's running commentary from the kitchen as he tries a TV dinner for the first time, constantly interrupting Sophia and Dorothy's conversation out in the living room.
  • Rose says something stupid and Dorothy tells her to pass her the newspaper, which Rose refuses to do since she thinks Dorothy's going to hit her on the head with it. When Dorothy promises not to, Rose hands the newspaper over, and Dorothy immediately passes it over to Blanche so she can do it instead.
  • In "Brotherly Love", Stanley's little brother is visiting and begins to go out with Dorothy. Stan starts noticing his little brother is doing many of the same things he did the first time he proposed (namely planning a vacation to Acapulco,) and believe he's about to propose to Dorothy. In the end, he was merely trying to sweet-talk Dorothy into baby-sitting the two kids of the girl he was really trying to propose to. Dorothy appears to take the high road and simply leave, but before she does, she delivers one final parting shot over the host's microphone.
    Dorothy: Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention, please? The gentleman at table five, in the blue suit, is impotent. Bon appetit.
  • Their visit to a therapist due to problems at home, leading to Rose's (arguably) most memorable line:
    Blanche: When she's not saying something stupid, she's doing something stupid, or wearing something stupid, or cooking something stupid!
    Doctor: Rose, what do you think of Blanche saying those things?
    Rose: I think she's a garkonganokin.
    Doctor: Well, what exactly does that mean?
    Rose: Literally, it means the precise moment when dog doo turns white...
    (cut to Blanche's horrified expression)
    Rose: But in general, it refers to the kind of person you don't want to share your hudencakles with.
    Dorothy: Rose, if you say one more of those stupid words-
    Rose: Oh, blow it out your tubenburbles!
  • In "My Brother, My Father", when Blanche and Rose are rehearsing as the Nuns in The Sound of Music:
    Rose: The Nazis are coming! The Nazis are coming!
    Sophia: [bursts into the room] Everybody! Grab a gun and run to the basement! Come on, move, move!
    • Also, when Uncle Angelo visits, having been led to believe Dorothy and Stan were still married by Sophia who feared he'd disapprove of their divorce. After just finishing his confession that he actually was not a priest:
      Angelo: Can you ever forgive me?
      Dorothy: Oh of course, Uncle Angelo. Actually, we've all been deceitful too; Stanley and I are divorced. I hope you're not disappointed.
      Angelo: No, I'm thrilled! I never liked him, he's a yutz.
    • In the same episode, Rose and Blanche have to rush home from rehearsal when a hurricane moves toward Miami...problem is, they're still in their nun costumes. For the rest of the evening, they're forced to pretend to be "Sister Rose and Sister Blanche." Highlights include:
      • Blanche saying they're going door to door to collect "...lingerie...for needy sexy people" (she had to make do with what she was holding, which of course was a pair of her panties).
      • Upon hearing that the hurricane may strand them for days, Blanche screams "Oh, JESUS!" She then catches herself and adds "...please protect us and watch over us, in this our hour of need."
      • The normally slow-witted Stan gets in a good barb when Blanche, trying to cover up the fact that she was once married, claims instead she was Mary in a Christmas pageant. Rose remarks that Blanche is an excellent actress, and Stan quips, "She'd have to be to convince anyone that she's a virgin."
      • Blanche had a date planned with a gentleman that evening, and when he calls, she starts talking dirty about how she's wearing a nun costume. When Uncle Angelo enters without her knowing it, she's forced to devise another lie: "...he's a leper. And I'm the only one who's willing to touch him."
      • In short, putting the epitome of Really Gets Around in a nun outfit is apparently inherently funny.
  • The joke between the two crows.
    • "GET OUT!"
  • In "And Ma Makes Three", after Blanche offends Rose by saying that Rose has no taste, Dorothy walks in and asks for fashion advice:
    Dorothy: Okay, girls, which goes better, the silver chain or the pearls?
    Rose: The chain.
    Blanche: An amateur's mistake. Can't you see that the chain accentuates the many folds of that turkey-like neck?
    Rose: Well, that may be, but the pearls draw attention to the nonexistent bosom.
    Blanche: Yes, but the chain leads the eye even lower to that huge spare tire jutting out over those square, manly hips.
    Dorothy: Why don't I just wear a sign that says, "Too ugly to live"?
    Blanche: Fine, but what are you gonna hang it from, the chain or the pearls?
    Dorothy: Neither! I'm gonna spray paint it on my hump!

Season 4

  • Blanche and Sophia arguing in "Yes, We Have No Havanas":
    Blanche: "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a long, hot, steamy bath, with just enough water to barely cover my perky bosoms."
    Sophia: "You're only gonna sit in an inch of water?"note 

    Blanche: "[to Fidel] Midnight for dessert."
    [Fidel leaves]
    Rose: Dessert at midnight?
    Sophia: There's always room for Jell-o.
    Blanche: I just hate you. I regret the day you ever moved in here.
    Sophia: And I regret the day I gave birth to you!
    Dorothy: Ma! Ma, I'm your daughter!
    Sophia: Oh, yeah...I need a Bromo-Seltzer!
    • Also from that episode:
    Sophia: I realized today I haven't showered with a man in twenty-two years!
    Dorothy: Ma, pop's been dead twenty-seven years.
    Sophia: What's your point?
    Dorothy: Ma, what are you saying?
    Rose: Isn't it obvious, Dorothy? She showered with a dead man for five years.
  • Sophia negotiating with a grocery store clerk over a nectarine in "The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo":
    Clerk: I've never seen a more beautiful piece of fruit.
    Sophia: Oh yeah? Then try kissing my behind! It's a real peach!
  • In "Stan Takes a Wife", after Stan stays with her all night when Sophia is sick with pneumonia, Dorothy decides she's still in love with him, and can't let him marry someone else. She tries to tell him how she feels on the day of the wedding, only for Rose and Blanche to pull out all the stops to keep her from ruining everything. What follows is an almost non-stop laughtrack as they scramble to keep her from doing something she'll regret.
  • From "Valentine's Day":
    • The girls' recount of their attempt to look more beautiful by getting a new hairdo at a salon. The practitioner commented on a different attribute of each girl (sans Sophia), followed by giving them the same lousy hairdoSophia's hairdo!
    • Hard to put this line in context, so....
    • In the flashback to the worst Valentine's Day the girls had ever had, Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche wind up accidentally going to a nudist resort, thanks to Rose making the wrong reservations for Valentine's Day. Rose is regretful, Dorothy is unsettled... and Blanche is looking out the window, watching a bunch of people outside playing volleyball. Then she calls Dorothy over to look at one of the guys.
    Dorothy: Blanche, you have seen a naked man before, what is the big deal — oh... [beat] Is that a legal serve?
  • Despite the serious nature of the main storyline in "High Anxiety", the episode features a number of laugh-out-loud hilarious moments, notably the scene in which Rose introduces the girls to St. Olaf's version of Monopoly, "Gugenspritzer."
    Dorothy: How odd... I can either buy the library or the phone booth in the center of town. I think I'll buy the library.
    Rose: If I were you, I'd buy the phone booth.
    Dorothy: Why?
    Rose: People use the phone booth!
    • Or the time Blanche recalls the time she tried giving up something crucial to her very identity after her husband died...
    Blanche: SEX, Dorothy! I tried quittin' sex.
    Dorothy: Obviously, you fell off the wagon.
    Sophia: And onto a naval base.
    • And Sophia and Dorothy filming a commercial for a local pizzeria. First off, there's another trademark Sophia zinger...
    Dorothy: Do I look at Ma or do I look at the camera [when I say my line]?
    Sy: Look at the camera. And here's a tip: look at it like you're making love to it.
    [Cue "smoldering look" from Dorothy - another example of how Bea Arthur could induce belly laughs using just her face]
    Sophia: [to Sy] It might help if you give her a reference she's more familiar with.
    • Then there's Dorothy's hilariously lousy acting. Then, there's Dorothy's trying to rewrite the script to fix a grammatical error, and as a result being demoted from the role of Sophia's daughter to the role of waitress (and slamming the pizza down on the table when she serves it). But the real kicker is...
    Sophia: [tasting the pizza] Mmmm... that's a mighty... that's a mighty LOUSY PIZZA! [spits it out into a napkin]
    Dorothy: Ma, you never tasted it before?
    Sophia: No, and I never will again!
    Sy: What the HELL are you doing?!
    Sophia: Sorry, Sy! You can't pay me to endorse that slime on a shingle!
    Dorothy: Ma, this is a national commercial! There's a lot of money at stake here!
    Sophia: Sorry, Dorothy. There are two things a Sicilian won't do: lie about pizza, and file a tax return.

Season 5

  • From "Sick and Tired (2)":
    • Dorothy goes to see a friend of hers.
    Dorothy: Am I going to die?
    Harry: I'm afraid so.
    Dorothy: [clearly disturbed] You really think so?
    Harry: ...Sooner or later I guarantee it! Unless the Japanese come up with something!
    • Sophia discovers Rose separating egg yolks from whites, putting all the yolks in a Ziploc bag. Rose explains that she's removing the yolks to make low-cholesterol omelets...but she didn't have the heart to throw them out, so she'll donate the yolks to the homeless. Sophia snarks that that just leads to a nice Final Solution for the homeless problem—having them die of cholesterol. Rose looks at her in shock. Cue Sophia's punch line:
    "Your heart's in the right place, Rose, but I don't know where the hell your brain is."
    • Blanche, delirious after apparently writing all night, comes across these egg yolks, and her reaction to them is along the lines of "yellow eyeballs" and "little balls of sunshine in a bag."
    • Blanche decides to let Rose read her manuscript, because she's honest and from Minnesota. And in her words, people from Minnesota don't lie.
    Blanche: What could you possibly find to lie about on a farm? Must be some state. Lots of lakes. Nice pale people. I'd drown myself.
  • From "Love Under the Big Top":
    • Dorothy's attorney boyfriend Ken Whittingham tells her he's leaving the law profession to become a full-time circus clown. He does this by putting on a red clown nose while Dorothy's eyes are closed. He tells her to open her eyes and guess what his announcement is, and Dorothy responds thusly:
    Dorothy: You're becoming Irish?
    • Rose, during a "Save the Whales" demonstration: "All creatures must learn to co-exist. Back where I come from, they do. That's why the brown bear and field mouse can share their lives and live in harmony. Of course they can't mate or the mice would explode." Cue WTF looks from the entire picket line.
    • At said demonstration, Blanche gets in trouble for punching a dock worker trying to interfere with the protest, and as a result the girls end up in court. Sophia mentions to Dorothy that she's called Ken and he's coming over to take care of the matter, which Dorothy's overjoyed to hear. What Sophia did not mention, however, was that he would be handling the case in full clown get-up.
  • From "Mary Has a Little Lamb":
    Sophia: You think that since Mary went out and got herself pregnant, she's a slut. Well, let me tell you what a slut is. A slut is a girl who gets knocked up in the back of a Studebaker. It was a Studebaker, right, Dorothy?
    Dorothy: It was a Nash, Ma.
    Sophia: Now that's a slut.
    • The subplot involving a criminal who was pen pals with Blanche while in prison. He's never seen her. So when he's out, and looking for Blanche...
    Blanche: You wouldn't like Blanche, anyway.
    Rose: She's not your type.
    Blanche: That's right, she isn't.
    Rose: She's very cold.
    Blanche: Frigid. Hardly likes men at all.
    Rose: And she's ugly, isn't she?
    [Blanche starts looking annoyed]
    Blanche: Ugly is a pretty strong word, Rose.
    Rose: And wrinkled, isn't she?
    [Blanche gets even more annoyed]
    Blanche: She is not wrinkled.
    Rose: And fat.
    Blanche: Stop that! You just stop that right now! She is none of those things, Rose Nylund. She is gorgeous! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
    Moose: Alright. Sounds good. Tell Blanche I'll be back.
    [Merrill leaves]
    Blanche: ... And stupid! Stupid, stupid, stupid!
    • And this:
    Sophia: Hi, Mary. When's the baby due?
    Dorothy: Ma, you're talking to a sixteen year-old girl.
    Sophia: A knocked-up sixteen year-old girl.
    Mary: [nods awkwardly]
    Dorothy: Ma, how did you know?
    Sophia: Because you had the same look of panic on your face when you got pregnant. Kind of like a deer caught in the headlights of a car. I thought only pregnant teenagers had that expression until I saw Dan Quayle on TV.
    Dorothy: I was desperate!
  • From "Like the Beep-Beep-Beep of the Tom Tom":
    • The girls singing "Over There" to Blanche as she's being wheeled to surgery. What completes the scene is an old doughboy walking by and saluting them.
    • Rose's story explaining that her mom used to sing it to her when she was little.
    Rose: She said no one could be afraid when they hear that song... except maybe the Kaiser.
    • Just before Blanche is being wheeled to surgery, she tells the girls that her doctor wants to "rip [her] open from stem to stern!" Sophia responds, "Your two favorite parts."
  • In "The Mangiacavallo Curse Makes A Lousy Wedding Present," Dorothy won't let Blanche out of a bathroom stall (It Makes Sense in Context), while the two of them offer insight to a young woman. Dorothy ends up pounding the stall door in frustration, leading to the following:
    Blanche: Dorothy, if you do that one more time, I'm going to write all over these walls "For a good time, call Dorothy Zbornak"!
    Dorothy: (Chuckles) Blanche, this is a ladies room!
    Blanche: Right.
    [cue Oh, Crap! look on Dorothy's face]
    • There was a lot of good Bathroom Humor (pardon the pun) in that scene.
    Blanche: You can't do this, it's a violation of my civil rights.
    Dorothy: Well, you have the time, you have the paper, why don't you sit down and write a long letter to your Senator.
    • And later:
    Blanche: Dorothy, let me out of here right now.
    Dorothy: There's only one way out, Blanche, and I don't think you can hold your breath long enough.
    • There's also the revelation of one of Rose's biggest turn-ons... weddings. How bad is it? When the girls head for the reception, her first question is "Did anyone else notice the buns on that priest?"

Season 6

  • In the beginning of "Once, in St. Olaf", Blanche is giving Dorothy grief about allegedly being the cause of Sophia's hernia (by asking Sophia to move a wicker sofa). At first Rose comes to Dorothy's defense but then pulls out this zinger when she asks for orange juice:
    Rose: Would you like me to pour you a glass, or have Sophia come in and bring you the refrigerator?
    • When Sophia goes to the hospital, one of the other patients is none other than Rose's biological father. The other three react accordingly
      Blanche: He's alive?!
      Dorothy: He's in Miami?!
      Sophia: He's an earthling?!
  • When Dorothy fails a star football player, one of the people who tries to talk her out of it is a local priest. Dorothy finally gets fed up and kicks him out, prompting Sophia to do the sign of the cross and say;
    Sophia: You threw a priest out of the house. You disgust me.
    • It's followed up by this great exchange:
    Sophia: I can't believe I have a daughter who threw a priest out the door!
    Dorothy: Ma, you have relatives who threw priests out of windows!
    Sophia: That was business!
    • And later on...
    Dorothy: [talking to Kevin, the athlete] Oh, a student works hard and gets good grades - does that make him a geek?
    Kevin: No, that makes him a dork. A geek is more like, you know, someone with no friends, stays home every Saturday night, nose always buried in a book.
    Dorothy: [to Sophia, who is gleefully opening her mouth to speak] One word out of you and I cut off your supply of Metamucil.
  • When Rose displays some knowledge of psychology, referencing such concepts as Cognitive Dissonance, Dorothy, Sophia, and Blanche are shocked and wonder how she knows those terms.
    Rose: I guess it's from reading The American Journal of Abnormal Psychology. It's published in St. Olaf, you know. In fact, my uncle Gunther used to be the editor.
    Sophia: And what were you, the centerfold?
    Blanche: I'm sorry but I refuse to believe you have ever read a scientific journal.
    Rose: "Believe what you want, see if I care. ''[walks away) Hypersexual bitch."
  • "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sophia?" sees Sophia considering becoming a nun. A nun from a local convent comes over to interview her. During the same episode, Rose and Blanche are in the middle of an argument. She storms into the living room to whine to Dorothy.
    Blanche: [angry] Can you believe Rose is trying to blame the whole thing on me? That woman has one hell of a lot of nerve! [notices Dorothy and Sophia motioning with their eyes and turns to sees the nun sitting in her living room and says very sweetly] Hello. [beat] I'm a Baptist. [turns on her heel and promptly exits]
  • In the B-Plot of "Mrs. George Devereaux," Dorothy must contend with two men fighting for her affections - Lyle Waggoner and Sonny Bono.
    Blanche: Sonny Bono, get off my lanai.
    • Dorothy's deadpan recital from one of Bono's famous songs over the phone:
    "Babe. I got you babe. I got you babe. Babe."
    • Earlier from what was a serious moment:
    Blanche (gets up and sees who her admirer is): Oh God, no!
    Rose: All right, so he's not a ten.
    George: Blanche, honey, please-
    Blanche: Oh my God, what in hell?! Why do you look like that?! I don't believe it!
    Dorothy: Blanche, who is this?
    Blanche: If I didn't know any better, I would swear my dead husband George!
    [Blanche runs off while everyone in the restaurant suddenly turns their attention to George and the girls]
    Dorothy (sincerely): Well, George, we've heard so much about you.
    • Also this little gem from Sonny:
    Sonny Bono: But Dorothy, before I go, could I make one last plea for your heart?
    Dorothy: Oh alright, alright Sonny, go ahead.
    Sonny Bono: [beat] That was it.
  • From "Stand By Your Man":
    • Sophia pretending to be Blanche's grandmother, complete with a fake southern accent.
    "We was po'!"
    • How did Blanche get Sophia to go along with it?
      Blanche: (to Dorothy) I need a chaperone, now do I need to call in the favors you owe me?
      Dorothy: I don't owe you any favors.
      Blanche: (turns to Sophia without missing a beat) I need a chaperone, now do I need to call in the favors you owe me?
      Sophia: I don't owe you any favors.
      Blanche: Really? "But officer, the little old lady was with me. She couldn't possibly have put that banana in your tailpipe."
    • Blanche explaining that she has never been a man's mistress. Except that one time.
    Blanche: But that was not my fault, she was declared dead! Those paramedics never give up.
  • Rose is trying to give Sophia a pep-talk about why she should support Dorothy and Stan's re-marriage, which goes about as well as you'd expect. (Rose tells her this: "If you hold the bird gently, it'll stay; but if you squeeze the bird... his eyes'll bug out. And then Mr. Pet Store Owner gets upset and won't let you touch the birds anymore...") Blanche decides to intervene:
    Blanche: Rooose... what is eight times six?
    Rose: [stops, begins counting on her hands]
    Blanche: Okay, now that we have a few minutes...
    • And after the discussion between she and Sophia, Rose is still trying to deduce the solution.
    Blanche: Rose, pencils down.
    Rose: I could've used a pencil?!
  • Dorothy's reaction to Sophia walking into the kitchen with a pair of sunglasses.
    Dorothy: Ladies and Gentlemen, Roy Orbison.
    • And she can't see well in them, either. Not too long after entering the kitchen, Sophia mistakes Blanche for a black man and Blanche is horrified to learn her great-grandmother was not only a Yankee from Buffalo, but also Jewish.
      Blanche: What?! Oh no! Oh, no, no, no, no! That can't be! I can't be Jewish!
      Sophia: Well, I'll be damned! The black guy's prejudiced.
    • Blanche then attempts to hide her Yankee lineage from the Daughters of the Old South. It goes about as well as you'd expect. One woman faints.
  • "Never Yell Fire in a Crowded Retirement Home" has Rose do something smart, which surprises the other women. When she says that's not the only time she's done something smart, they all try to remember another time, but they can't.
  • In "What a Difference a Date Makes" Blanche is on a diet, where she can eat only one "sensible meal" a day. She comes to the kitchen, looking for it, while the other three are preparing food:
    Blanche: Time for today's sensible meal. (opens the fridge) Where's my tuna quiche? You heard me. I said, where's my tuna quiche? I get 5 ounces of solid food a day, and I want my tuna quiche.
    Rose: You mean that little pie?
    Blanche: Little pie? Little pie?
    Rose: I wanted a snack.
    Blanche: Snack?
    Rose: I thought it was a little fishy...
    Blanche: You ate my sensible meal, (shakes Rose) you ate my sensible meal!
    Dorothy: Blanche, stop! (stops her) Blanche! You're out of control!
    Blanche: Oh, my God. Oh, Rose, honey, I'm sorry. What did I just do?
    Rose: This! (shakes Blanche)
    Dorothy: Honey, we know dieting is hard. We've all been there. I remember the time Stan and I went on that weight-loss- through-sex diet. The idea being every time you felt hungry, you would substitute food with some sexual activity.
    Blanche: Did it work?
    Dorothy: I gained 18 pounds!
    Blanche: Well, fine! I won't have my sensible meal. Tomorrow's my anniversary anyway, I'll just have my last shake tonight. (opens the fridge, then closes it) Where's my shake? (Rose hides behind Dorothy) You heard me, I said, where's my shake?
    Rose: I needed something to wash down the little pie. (Blanche screams) It was so fishy!
    Blanche: I don't believe you!
    Rose: Well, if it's any consolation, I'm still hungry.
    Blanche: Oh, shut up! Just shut up, you babblin', bubble-headed, bleach-blond...
    Sophia: Baboon.
    Blanche: Baboon! (storms out, Rose and Dorothy look at Sophia)
    Sophia: She needed a B!

Season 7

  • "The Case of the Libertine Belle" is a gold mine of these moments.
    • The running gag about Rose being Captain Obvious and just about everyone guessing she's from St. Olaf.
    Rose: Maybe that bloody dagger will lead us to the murder weapon.
    Det. Spade Marlowe: St. Olaf?
    Rose: Boy he is good!

    Rose: Then there must be a gun!
    Det. Spade Marlowe: South Side?
    Rose: Uncanny!

    Hotel Security Vaczy: He's dead, all right. Steak knife right through the heart.
    Rose: That must be what killed him.
    Hotel Security Vacsy: St. Olaf?
    Rose: It's like I'm wearing a sign!
    • Then parodied:
    Dorothy: You're not helping, Rose! It's almost as if you believe Blanche is guilty!
    Rose: Well, she lied about my earrings, and she took them. I mean, deceit, then theft — isn't murder the next logical step?
    Dorothy: St. Olaf, right?
    • Rose randomly stands up with the accusations are flying for the first mystery...
    Rose: [pointing at a waiter] The Butler Did It!
    Waiter: [deadpan] I'm a maître d'.
    Rose: [pleasantly] Thank you. [points again] The maître d' did it!
    • At the same time:
    Man: [pointing at a suspect] Phil did it!
    Woman: [pointing at a different suspect] Gloria did it!
    Sophia: It was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick. [everybody gives her a "Seriously?" look] Oh, she says the butler did it and I'm the idiot?
    • And later, while Dorothy gives her summation of the staged murder...
    Rose: I've got it! A maître d' is some kind of waiter!
    • When Dorothy is solving the mock murder. Sophia has been giving her grief about being such a mystery fangirl for the whole episode.
    Dorothy: Statistics show patricide is overwhelmingly a male crime. [glares at Sophia] Although daughters frequently murder their mothers!
    Dorothy: [grabs a knife off the table] A throat... [grabs Sophia in a headlock] A throat is almost always cut from behind! [points the knife at Sophia's throat]
    Sophia (scared): Not part of the show, people, not part of the show!
    • Near the end when Blanche is about to be arrested for murder and she tries to charm the police detective.
    Blanche: My my, officer, your sweet words could charm the morning dew right off the honeysuckle.
    Dorothy: Blanche, not now!
    Blanche (scared): If not now, when?!
    • Sophia interrupting Dorothy's summation:
    Dorothy: I think I see now how it happened. Last evening at dinner, when Ms. McGlynn saw Blanche give Kendall Nesbitt her room key she was furious. She slipped a steak knife into her purse —
    Sophia: Big deal, I took a whole place setting.
    Dorothy: NOT NOW, MA!
  • From "Beauty and the Beast":
    • Sophia has been pretending to be malingering, sitting in a wheelchair and letting everyone fuss over her. Dorothy walks in on her trying to leave (on her own two feet) and singing merrily. This happens:
    Dorothy: Get back here, you deceitful little Sicilian gecko!
    Sophia: [thinks quickly, then says in a sickly sweet voice] I wuv you!
    Dorothy: [deadpan] Too wittle, too wate.
    • When Sophia's nurse was driving the other girls insane...
    Blanche: Dorothy, at 2 AM this morning I was entertaining a gentleman caller, when she opened the door, at the most inopportune time. I could have lost my balance and chipped a tooth!
    Rose: You think that's annoying. She came into my room last night when I was reenacting the gang-plank scene from Peter Pan!
    • Of course, there's the way Sophia broke her ankles. She initially tries to blame Dorothy for it, who merely retorts, "Ma, you're the one who sneezed and blew yourself off the stool!" And why was she on the stool?
    Dorothy: Ma, you know the rules. When we eat Mexican food you sit at the counter.
  • After a near-death experience, Sophia went on a "live life to the fullest" kick. After a road trip, this happens:
    Dorothy: I still cannot believe what you were doing on the interstate.
    Sophia: I was living for the day, Pussycat!
    Sophia: Did you see the smiles on their faces, they probably hadn't seen a woman in years!
    Dorothy: No, I guess not. They kept up with us through four warning shots.
  • When Sophia is figuring out her will and figures Dorothy is just anxious to get at her valuables, Dorothy tells her to calm down and have some tea. All the while, Dorothy has a sinister look on her face and mentions "it'll... relax you". Sophia tells Rose to try it.
    Dorothy: Rose, DON'T! (more calmly) That tea was for my mommy.
    • This turns into a Brick Joke at the end of the episode when Dorothy adopts the same sinister look and says "let me make you a cup of tea..."
  • Rose telling Dorothy and Blanche that if they don't help her, she'll lose her job and have nothing to do but stay home and tell St. Olaf stories.
  • Is Blanche the biggest slut? Nope, it's Rose!
    Dorothy: She is the easiest person in this room!
    Blanche: Dorothy Zbornak, you take that back!
    Dorothy: The slut is dead! Long live the slut!
  • "I'm Dorothy's roommate, Blanche, and I'll be filling in for her tonight because she's dead."
  • Never has popping a balloon generated such a laugh.
  • Rue McClanahan once said one of her all time favorite moments on the series was Blanche's disastrous attempt at sexily singing "I Wanna Be Loved by You" in "Journey to the Center of Attention."
  • From A Midwinter Night's Dream:
    • Sophia is reminded of an old curse placed on Dorothy surrounding the first full moon of a leap year, and tries doing what she can to get it removed. One of the goals she has to complete is "Reveal the betrayal of a loved one." But she ends up convincing Barbara and Carol Weston that the other was responsible for "the thing that made you feel betrayed," and gets them so angry they decide to get revenge on each other.
    Carol: [Barbara] was the one who—?!
    Sophia: She laughed about it.
    Barbara: [Carol] was the one who-?!
    Sophia: She laughed about it. I had to laugh too because... I had to play along.
    • The first time it happens, Sophia feels guilty. The second time it happens, she specifically sets Barbara on Carol to get out of any blame. Then she realizes "Maybe the paper boy was right, I'm just a mean old lady." The paper boy comment then turns out to be a Brick Joke.
  • From "Rose, Portrait of a Woman":
    Dorothy: No, see, I've thought it all out. And by level four, you can just nuke her. I mean, nuke the HELL out of her.
  • Blanche brings home her date who's a priest who is a virgin but always thought of sex.
    Blanche: This brings out the artist in me.
  • Rose's extended dream sequence of her, Dorothy, and Blanche as severed heads, and Sophia with her head attached to the body of a twenty-year-old, as well as Dorothy's disgusted reaction.
    Blanche: That moron made us promise we would freeze our heads and meet a hundred years later!
    Dorothy: And we did it?!
    Blanche: Ooh Rose Nylund I could strangle you!
    Rose (with a smug grin on her face): With what?
    • The hilarious ways in which Blanche and Dorothy died. Blanche went at 92 when she made a move on her cute young tennis instructor in the bathtub; she was very happy in the moment, and her last words were "Thank you, baby, glub glub glub." And Dorothy...fell into a gorilla enclosure at the zoo.
      • Even better is when Sophia reveals that she entered the footage of Dorothy falling into the enclosure to America's Funniest Home Videos. And she won!
    • Dorothy's commentary on the whole situation.
      Dorothy: We look like a reunion of Henry VIII's wives!
    • When Rose wakes up and is telling everyone about her dream of the future, instead of telling Dorothy she got mauled by a gorilla, she tactfully says "You met a man who just couldn't keep his hands off you." Which turns out to be surprisingly prophetic when, in the next two episodes, Dorothy falls in love with Blanche's uncle and they get married.
  • From both parts of One Flew Out Of The Cuckoo's Nest:
    • Dorothy teams up with Blanche's uncle Lucas to get back at Blanche for lying to them. They pretend to fall hopelessly in love and Lucas fake proposes to Dorothy in front of the girls. Blanche is horrified while Rose and Sophia are completely shocked.
    • Sophia tries to cozy up to Lucas when she finds out he's rich.
      Sophia: Your mother is she still alive?
      Lucas: No.
      Sophia (placing her head on Lucas's chest): She is now.
      • Blanche faints.
    • What solidifies Dorothy's thirst for revenge is learning Blanche refers to her as "A Brooklyn Italian" in the letters she wrote to Lucas.
    • Lucas "Discusses" with Dorothy how they're gonna tear down Hollingsworth Manor and rebuild it more "Cape Cod." Blanche clutches her chest and cries out in pain. To further drive the knife in, Dorothy adds they'll be holding a hoedown on the anniversary of General Lee's Surrender. Blanche can't hide her disgust.
    • In the second part, we're told the sex Dorothy and Lucas have is so good they literally named it "Freddy Peterson." And Dorothy enjoys telling people it's "So good we NAMED IT!"
    • While walking down the aisle in the church, Dorothy looks at Lucas and thinks to herself how he can probably hear her thoughts. Lucas looks back at Dorothy and we hear him thinking "Yes Dorothy, I can." The momentary shock on Dorothy's face is priceless.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: