Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"I am so amazing. If I ever get off this couch, I'll be unstoppable."

A popular sitcom that ran from 1988 to 1997 on ABC, Roseanne focused on the trials of the working-class Conner family. There was mother Roseanne (Roseanne Barr); father Dan (John Goodman in the role that made him famous); preppy daughter Becky (originally played by Lecy Goranson, and taken over by Sarah Chalke -- one of the most famous instances of The Other Darrin outside of Darrin himself); sarcastic daughter Darlene (Sara Gilbert); son D.J. (Michael Fishman); and Roseanne's younger sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf).

Probably the Trope Codifier for the Dysfunctional Family on American TV. The Conners were generally stable but were still prone to dealing with domestic arguments, problematic neighbors, daughters who seemed to like bad boys and taking in a kid whose home life was far worse than theirs. The Healey brothers, Mark (Glenn Quinn) and David (Johnny Galecki) were added to the show as long time boyfriends to Becky and Darlene, eventually marrying them. The show was also noted for a welcome subversion to the Ugly Guy, Hot Wife rule.

A revival/Sequel series -- which almost entirely Retconned the tenth season out of existence -- premiered in 2018 to a short but tumultuous run. After Roseanne Barr was fired for an offensive tweet in early 2018, the revival was canceled, and a true Sequel series centered around Darlene, The Connors, followed it.

Has character sheet.

Tropes used in Roseanne include:
  • A-Cup Angst: Jackie's small breasts are a source of embarrassment to her. Doesn't help that Roseanne teases her about them, and a woman at the health spa in Season 9 says they're "much too small for her body".
  • Absurdly Bright Light: One Christmas, Roseanne and co. defy their POA with a light display designed for this (they wear sunglasses to turn it on). We don't see the display, but we do see that it does indeed create absurdly bright light.
  • Abusive Parents: Mark and David's mother, especially to poor David. Roseanne's father was physically abusive to his daughters. Dan's mother was also (literally) insane, and his father was a traveling salesman who was rarely home. You'd have an easier time finding parents who aren't abusive on this show; even Roseanne herself has an episode where, in a fit of anger, she strikes DJ, and then panics over it because she very badly doesn't want to be the kind of parent her father was.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: “Crime and Punishment”… Roseanne thought the comics Darlene created was funny, in her words.

 Roseanne: Finally Darlene’s personality pays off.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Becky. Not just marrying Mark, but in the first season she cheated on her boyfriend with a leather-clad stud. Roseanne and Dan's early relationship was apparently built on this as well.
  • Anything That Moves: Nancy. After coming out as a lesbian, she would occasionally casually say, "Ugh, I'm so fed up with women. I'm gonna go back to men this week."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: An inversion in the context of the episode. In one, Jackie is upset that she's done something she regrets. To try to get her to open up and tell them, everybody else starts talking about bad things they've done. They're all very forgiving when Roseanne mentions pledging (but never donating) a huge amount of money to a telethon just to hear Jerry Lewis say her name on TV and when Bonnie reveals she and her husband once robbed a liquor store. However, when Jackie announces that she slept with Arnie, everybody else is disgusted and outraged (apparently in high school, they all took a blood oath and promised he would never be allowed to breed). In fact, when Roseanne realizes, "She will forever be known as the woman whose sister slept with Arnie", everybody ignored Jackie and starts to comfort Roseanne. Sleeping with Arnie was just that unforgivable.
    • The list of complaints lobbied against her former husband by Bev goes from jaywalking back to arson: "He was rude to my children, cheated on me, had horrible table manners and made me drive an old car with bald tires!"
  • Ascended Extra: Mark was supposed to be a one-shot date for Becky. He ended up lasting the rest of the series and marrying into the family.
  • Author Avatar: Being originally based on Barr's work as a stand-up comedian, this show screams it, almost from day one. By the time she has bought into her own media hype, it all but beats you over the head with its self-indulgence. The final episode proves it's also an in-universe example, as Roseanne reveals that the entire series was the book she's been writing in her office in the basement, and the self-indulgence the show descended into is her way of escaping from and fixing the things she felt were out of place in her life, but out of her control.
  • Babies Ever After: The series finale has Darlene and David's baby daughter Harris coming coming home from hospital, the reveal that Becky and Mark are expecting a baby, and Leon and Scott adopting a toddler in a few months.
  • Book Ends: Though not exact, it comes close. The very first episode has Roseanne going to Darlene's school because she was barking in class. In the finale, during a conversion Roseanne brings it up and when Darlene says she can't believe that she barked in class, Roseanne replies with almost exactly what she told the teacher at the time: "Oh honey, we all barked".
  • Bottle Fairy: The prince introduced in the final season will slip into a Texan accent if he drinks.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Goranson's Becky. The best example for many fans.
  • Brick Joke: The lottery ticket that would make the Conner family one hundred and eight million dollars richer shows up briefly in the episode before when Bev almost uses it as a coaster.
  • Burger Fool: Roseanne does a stint at a chicken joint as one of her many odd jobs over the series to keep her family afloat. It's not too bad, but her barely legal boss has a superiority complex and can't understand how her family comes before her responsibility to him. The family actually makes more fun of her when she gets a job sweeping hair at a salon.
    • Her waitress job at the restaurant in Rodbell's had some tones of this as well. The ridiculous costume for starters, and her boss Leon seemed to enjoy making them suffer (when the restaurant finally went under, he told them that management had phased out those horrible uniforms years before).
  • Butt Monkey: Bev. She's easily the most abused character on the show. Molly is also treated this way by Darlene.
    • With Bev she was My Beloved Smother: But, it was justified. Her daughters screwed their lives up. She reminded them of it, which bugged them. They are also mad at her for being a Extreme Doormat to their abusive father, standing by and doing nothing while they were abused (they mention in one episode that she was always washing dishes when their father would take a belt to them.) As far as the grandkids, well, she was something of a pretentious, shrill, holier-that-thou harpy to everybody, including them (and there's always the possibility that Roseanne taught the kids to be deliberately disrespectful to her so she wouldn't come by as often).
    • Although to be accurate, everybody was a Butt Monkey when Roseanne was around. The only possible subversion was Darlene.
  • Call Back: In the pilot episode, Dan and Roseanne have a fight about how Dan doesn't do anything around the house, leading to this exchange.

Dan: You want me to fix dinner? I'll fix dinner! I'm fixing dinner!
Roseanne: Oh, but honey, you just fixed dinner three years ago!

    • In the eighth season finale, they have the same argument following Dan's heart attack after Roseanne refuses to cook the unhealthy foods Dan likes. The only difference is now Roseanne says "eleven years ago."
  • Character Development: Quite a bit, but Mark is a particularly notable example, going from your standard bad boy rebel to a goofy dork with rough edges.
    • In the first seasons, Darlene was a sports-obsessed tomboy who always had her hair tied back into a tight braid to give a boyish appearance. But the moment she started going through puberty she let her hair down, started avoiding sports all together, and abandoned all of her friends to become a Deadpan Snarker. This was discussed and pointed out frequently, as her family members tried to understand the change in her.
  • Chew Toy: Poor Jackie had some of the worst luck of anyone on the show.
  • Christmas Episode: Several.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Virtually everyone who didn't live in the house completely disappeared without explanation by the end, neighbors, best friends, rather important characters. Although sometimes justified at least one neighbor moved away, and coworkers lost touch because of the main characters getting a new job.
    • Crystal, one of Jackie and Roseanne's closest childhood friends gets married again to Dan's father Ed and she vanished from the show pretty quick. Becoming more of The Ghost up until the end of the series where she actually had one last appearance during Roseanne's baby shower. Why neither her nor Dan's father appeared at later notable events like their granddaughter/honorary niece Darlene's wedding or following the Conner's lottery win is a mystery.
    • Jackie's husband/ex-husband Fred stopped appearing altogether a couple episodes after they divorced, although was occasionally referenced as taking care of their infant son in various episodes. Like other characters, his absence in the face of the Conners winning the lottery (including his best friend and boss Dan, his ex-wife Jackie and his infant *son* Andy) is nigh-inexplicable.
    • One neighboring family introduced a few seasons into the series got tons of episodes and development, including one daughter pursuing main character David Healy and her overweight wallflower sister catching Roseanne's attention as somebody who needed support and guidance. The Conners even all traveled to California with them in an RV at one point. Unlike their previous sets of neighbors who'd had proper send-offs, they eventually just stopped appearing.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Nancy and Nana Mary could definitely be this at times. D.J. was too at times.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Roseanne is the master at finding creative and downright twisted ways of disciplining her children. To punish D.J. for skipping school, she walked him to school wearing patched overalls and plaid shirt with a straw hat sporting a sunflower. To top it off, she kissed him goodbye with caked on bright red lipstick.
    • Dan was no slouch in this department, either. In one episode, Becky and Darlene try to get permission to go to a concert in Des Moines by buttering up Roseanne and saying that Roseanne and Dan deserve a weekend to themselves. When she realizes they were just trying to manipulate her (instead of being actually nice), it really hurts her feelings, which sends Dan into Tranquil Fury. In the end, they get their weekend to themselves... by shipping Becky and Darlene off to Bev's for the weekend. The very end of the episode lets us hear Dan suggesting vacation slides, and making Darlene sing show tunes.
    • After D.J. pulls a prank on Darlene, Roseanne asks Darlene how he should be punished. Darlene suggests that D.J. wear a suit and tie to school the next day. They actually go through with the punishment, but Roseanne says she would have made him wear a dress (it was too late for Darlene since she only got one wish).
  • Cool Old Lady: Nana Mary.
  • The Couch
  • Creepy Child: D.J. "Barbie Killer" Conner.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: There was an entire episode dealing with the fact that DJ was going through puberty and had locked himself inside their bathroom to masturbate for hours on end. In another later episode, after his girlfriend leaves, he looks down at his dad's photo of Julie Newmar in his hand, then gives the cameras a naughty look and rushes to his room.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After puberty, Darlene goes from a tomboy to this. Pretty much everyone in the family cracks wise, though.
    • D.J. slips into this toward the end of the series.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Crystal was kicked out of her parents' house at 16, moved in with a crazy aunt, and her past love life is messy and traumatic enough to rival Jackie's. Plus, she lost the only man she ever did love in a strange and bizarre accident and was left to raise her young son all by herself! Thankfully, her life seems to turn around some after she marries Ed.
  • Diet Episode: Played for Drama when Dan is put on a diet following his heart attack. It eventually leads to the largest fight Dan and Roseanne ever had on the show.
  • Discontinuity Nod: David had his name changed after his first appearance (where he was called Kevin). In a later episode, Roseanne remarks facetiously that "David" is just a name Darlene gave him and not his real one.
    • The name change is especially odd because although rarely used, "David Jacob" was already DJ's full name. In one episode one of his sisters actually just called him "David!" while yelling at him.
  • Disnot: Edelweiss Gardens, in an episode that aired immediately after the two-parter where they visited Disney World. And with a pretty hefty dose of Those Wacky Nazis, complete with the other "Hans the Hare" mascots dressed as Hitler Youth.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: One of the Halloween episodes featured everyone pulling an elaborate prank on Roseanne during the credits. Roseanne and Jackie began to suspect their mother is secretly bald, after finding a wig that looks exactly like Bev's hair. Bev reveals that she is indeed bald, followed by everyone else revealing to a shocked Roseanne that they're bald too. Roseanne wonders how she could manage to top this prank. She then pulls out an old-fashioned detonator and blows up the house.
  • Domestic Abuse: A serious episode centered on Jackie's boyfriend beating her. Roseanne's father was revealed/retconned to have been unrepentantly abusive to his family in the second season-ish.
  • Double In-Law Marriage: Sisters Becky and Darlene Conner to brothers Mark and David Healey.
    • This is Lampshaded right after Becky and Mark get married. David says to Mark, "Thanks to you, I'm now related to my girlfriend."
  • The Dutiful Son: Charlotte is the Tildens' dutiful daughter: she's easygoing to the point of being a doormat and does all the cooking and housework while Molly runs around being a wild child.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: Young George Clooney.
  • Extreme Doormat: Charlotte, see above. There was one time when she was locked out of her house and was planning to stand outside in the rain for hours instead of being able to muster up the courage to ask Roseanne if she could stay at their house.
  • Fake Guest Star: Roseanne in its nine years never added actors to the main billing whose characters were newly introduced. The only character who was dropped from actor billing was Crystal after she stopped appearing, but numerous other characters were introduced who became indispensable to the show's plot, particularly Bev, David, Jerry, Leon, Mark, Nancy, and Scott. However, none of their actors ever got more than a guest credit, as the main billing became strictly limited to the fictional immediate family (minus Jerry, who was born later) and Jackie.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flanderization: Bev, Roseanne and Jackie's mom, who starts out as a slightly annoying, overly-critical conservative woman, but later in the series becomes an insane, ultra-fundamentalist closeted lesbian who nags everyone around her in a shrill, high-pitched shriek of a voice.
    • A one-time gag at the end of a later episode had her only faking that personality; her "real self" in the gag was a Ladette with a deeper voice who drank beer with Fred. When asked why she didn't act this way all the time, she said, "Well that wouldn't be much fun now, would it?"
    • A particularly bad example happened with Mark. Originally a leather-jacket-clad greaser bad boy who wasn't booksmart, but always seemed sharp and was shown to be even better than Dan at fixing motorcycles. After marrying Becky and returning to the show he became an idiotic dope/manchild who routinely shocked the rest of the characters with his lack of sense. Only when teaching David how to tie a bowtie before the latter's wedding at the end of Season 8 did Mark's original stoic, streetsmart badboy persona get one last moment in the spotlight.
    • And David. He went from a mildly sensitive artist from the wrong side of the tracks to an uber-sensitive, in-touch-with-his-fem-side, snobbish doormat.
    • Jackie is one of the worst sufferers of this. In the earliest seasons, she's a confident, clever woman with bad luck in love. She's slightly neurotic, but it just added to her charm. Later on, the neuroticism completely engulfed her character to the point where any little thing would reduce her to a babbling twitching mess. It was amazing to think that she wasn't in a mental hospital with her kid taken away.
      • Leads into Fridge Brilliance when you remember that this began after she was physically abused by Fisher. She goes on something of a man-hating screed after that (most of her arc with Fred while pregnant). When Roseanne calls her out on it, Jackie says something to the extent of "You don't know what I've been through, you don't just snap out of that." Apparently, the one-two punch of an abusive father and an abusive boyfriend left her a broken woman.
  • Foreshadowing / Hilarious in Hindsight: The episode "Ladies Choice" becomes funnier after Bev comes out in the final season. Granted, it was all part of Roseanne's book, but still.
    • Outside of Roseanne's stories, Jackie did come out as a lesbian, and looking back, there are a quite a few (probably unintentional) references. Aside from picking traditionally masculine jobs as a police officer and trucker (and remembering that Roseanne did make use of gay stereotypes quite frequently), there were frequent jokes about it. When Nancy came out to Roseanne and Jackie, they mentioned that she didn't act it, since she wasn't a flannel-wearing trucker (Jackie was wearing flannel at the time, and had been a trucker), and during her wedding Jackie said to Dan that if she didn't know there were nice guys like Dan in the world, she'd have given up on men a long time ago.
    • Also, in one episode of the final season, Roseanne is talking to Jerry as she's feeding him. She talks about the more bizarre things happening, and then says, "It's almost like some crazy lady made it all up."
    • An early episode has Crystal lamenting her dead husband, Sonny, and wondering what her life would have been like if he'd lived. Once she leaves the room, Roseanne hugs Dan tenderly, and jokingly ponders what her life would have been like if Dan had lived.
  • Free the Frogs: Since Becky Connor refuses to what she considers as murdering a defenseless frog, she takes home a C in Biology.
  • Freudian Excuse: Roseanne and Jackie are implied to have quite a few issues with men due to their father's abuse -- mainly Jackie's promiscuity, but a case could certainly be made for Roseanne's control issues. Mark also reveals a few of these later on due to his and David's Abusive Parents, and even Bev seemed to have these with her own mother.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Driver’s Seat", Nancy told her about the voting process that was done without Roseanne and explains the toucan was voted. Roseanne just blocks her right hand with her left… it was one way to seek in a gesture as she states:

 Roseanne: Would you like to see the bird I voted for?

    • In "The Getaway, Almost", Roseanne spots a sexist truck driver and exchange insults towards him, including Flipping the Bird. However, when she and Jackie cause the truck driver to get into a road accident, they pull up to a rest area so Rosanne can “breast-feed” her infant son, Jerry while Jackie tries to make phone call. A police officer comes by after the incident was reported, and he finds himself in an uncomfortable position while Rosanne was feeding Jerry, and she almost switches side.
    • In "A Bitter Pill to Swallow", Crystal tries to “breast-feed” her son, leaving Dan nervous although both Roseanne and Darlene unfazed. To top it off, the episode is about Becky asking about birth control.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Becky and Darlene.
    • Helllll-oooooo? The titular Roseanne and her sister Jackie, maybe?
      • Yeah, no. Roseanne and Jackie had nothing on Becky and Darlene.
        • Mark and David also serve as a male example of this trope.
  • Glurge Addict: Played surprisingly sympathetic with Crystal.
  • Greasy Spoon: Loose meat sandwich, anyone?
  • Halloween Episode: Halloween probably meant more to the Conners than any other holiday on the calendar. The lengths they'd go to were pretty epic and adorable. Roseanne was even depressed the year Becky couldn't come over (having married Mark and moved to Minnesota), resulting in a Halloween Carol.
  • Henpecked Husband: Dan at times, David all the time.
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Roseanne once her novel series goes off the rails -- i.e., in the final season.
  • 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.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Played dead straight with Becky, largely averted with Darlene.
    • Darlene became quite moody after puberty, going from a tomboy-athlete to a goth navel-gazer.

Darlene: I don't take drugs, it dulls my hatred.

  • Housewife: Roseanne.
  • Informed Flaw: Dan despises his dad and repeatedly explains that he is a horrible person. Every time he's shown, though, he is wonderful and kind to the entire cast, and never once, not even to his new wife, does he seem bad. This was on purpose, and not played for laughs.
    • His onscreen behavior was the biggest part of Dan's loathing. His complaint was that his father was always gone and put work before his family. His doting father "routine" when he was around was, in Dan's mind, one big cover for the fact that he didn't give a crap about his family and would buy them off with gifts in the minimal time he spent with them.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Both Leon and Nancy, and almost anyone each of them was paired with. Roseanne played this trope straight regularly before many other shows did.
  • Jail Bake: The morning after Dan beats up Fisher and spends the night in jail, Crystal comes over and gives him a cupcake with a nail file baked inside it.
  • Jerkass: Roseanne; Darlene and Becky (to a less extent when compared to their mother).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mark 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dan, revealed in the final episode he really did die from his heart attack. All episodes from that point onward were just fantasies dream up by Roseanne for her book.
    • Technically every episode was a fantasy, as the whole series was written by Roseanne in the downstairs office.
    • Also Roseanne's dad. Given their strained relationships, his death brought out mixed feelings in Roseanne and Bev, but in the end he was missed.
  • Large Ham: Jackie in later seasons.
  • walks on camera to odd one-knee pose* "I helped pick the numbers!"
  • Mama Bear / Papa Wolf: Roseanne and Dan, respectively. They're not only protective of their own children, but also of Jackie, Roseanne's sister (as Fisher found out the hard way), and David, Darlene's boyfriend (as his real mother found out the hard way). Messing with anyone the Conners consider family is generally a bad idea.
    • Also Becky's boss, who fired her using abusive language. Dan was mean to him, but Mark actually hit him. Although Dan likely was about to beat him senseless himself until he found out Mark had beaten him to it.

Dan: *whining* Well, maybe I wanted to hit him.

  • Meat Versus Veggies: Darlene and David are both vegetarians. Roseanne acts like a real bitch toward them because of it.
    • Darlene is quite the bitch about it too. Her interfering with the operation of Roseanne's diner--the chief source of income for the family--doesn't help her case at all.
  • Mental Story: The last season turns out to be a book that Roseanne is writing.
  • Moebius Neighborhood: The neighborhood's geometry is extremely vague, and the Conners deal with arriving, recurring, and departing neighbors, but never more than one family at a time.
  • Monochrome Casting: Especially blatant in a series that supposedly focused on the working-class income bracket.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Edelweiss Gardens (although it certainly fits other creepy brainwashing cult tropes). German, employs a vast a majority of blonds fitting the Aryan phenotype, one of the employees even makes a one-handed salute that, apart from a closed fist, is disturbingly reminiscent of the Nazi salute? Yeah. Roseanne even says, "Today, it's "Hi, I'm Hans the Hare", tomorrow it's "I was only following orders"."
  • Nested Story Reveal: In the season 2 finale, Dan builds Roseanne an office in which she can realize her dream of becoming a writer. In the final episode, it's revealed that the entire series has been based on a semi-autobiographical story she's been writing in the office. In the story, she's changed a number of details about her life that she didn't like, while in reality, Dan actually died from his heart attack during Darlene's wedding; Darlene actually married Mark, while Becky married David; her sister, rather than her mother, was a lesbian; and Roseanne didn't win the lottery. This is seen by some fans as brilliant, but by others as a desperate attempt at a Retcon to justify some of the series' poorly-received plot lines (particularly in latter seasons). So it's not entirely played straight, but Not a Subversion either.
  • Nobody Poops: Completely averted. Roseanne probably had one of the most visible bathrooms on television. Characters were shown in the tub, dyeing their hair, getting high, brushing teeth, and even taking a pregnancy test. An entire episode focused around D.J.'s new-found love of the bathroom.
    • In fact, the show had three bathrooms. Becky and Darlene's bathroom upstairs, where Darlene dyed her hair and Becky had her first hangover, D.J.'s bathroom, where Darlene saw Jackie with her bruises after Fisher beat her, and the downstairs bathroom, where most of the show's insanity occurred (it was used frequently as a safe haven to gossip and hide from everyone else, such as when Roseanne and Jackie were gossiping about their parents). These people were supposed to be poor, right?
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Aside from episodes centered on Roseanne's comically insane mood-swings, Darlene's first period, and a pregnancy scare, periods are pretty much the domain of cheap jokes.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Repeatedly lampshaded with David and Darlene, after the Conners took him in.

Roseanne (to Dan): Oh, look honey, our kids are necking.

  • 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.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: When the Prince starts to drink, a Texan accent starts to show up.
    • In the series finale, Glenn Quinn's normal Irish accent slips out slightly.
  • Out of Focus: An in-universe example. While not an Unfavorite, DJ was often forgotten about by both his parents and the writers because he kept to himself while his sisters caused endless grief and drama. One episode had him totally silent for almost the entire thing, but then ended with him telling his horrified parents he'd gone three days without speaking and they hadn't even noticed.
  • Overprotective Dad: Guess.
  • Playing Gertrude: The math on Bev and Nana Mary's ages is a little hazy, but Shelly Winters is only seven years older than Estelle Parsons.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: In one episode, Roseanne is in New York and meets the women of Absolutely Fabulous. It didn't really seem to be a pilot, until you realize that Roseanne was attempting to produce an American version of the show. It then seems like she brought over the Ab Fab ladies to see if their British style of comedy would fly in America.
  • Progressively Prettier: Roseanne was never straight-up ugly, but she was very overweight 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.
  • Put on a Bus: When Roseanne's real-life marriage to Tom Arnold fell apart, his character was written out of the show. He left his wife a letter claiming to have been kidnapped by aliens. The episode's tag showed it was true.
    • This was also due to Arnold getting his own short-lived series.
    • The Bus Came Back: Arnold's character returned in one episode to try to patch things up with Nancy, claiming his alien story was him panicking at being married. The end, however, reveals he was abducted by aliens and was trying to get Nancy to go back with him.
  • Rags to Riches: In the ninth and final season, the Conners win a multimillion-dollar lottery jackpot. Only to be retconned at the last episode where it's revealed Roseanne's just writing all of the season as a way to deal with the loss of Dan.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: In a symbolic sense, the final season. Since the show was a reflection of Roseanne's real life, they needed to create a rags to riches plot to reflect Roseanne achieving success as a stand-up comic. That's where winning the lottery came from.
  • Really Gets Around: Jackie and Molly.
    • The similarity between the two was Lampshaded by Darlene, who also compared Molly's sister Charlotte to Roseanne.

Darlene: You two are so screwed up.
Molly: We are not!
Darlene: Oh please. Why do you think she eats so much and you'll sleep with any guy who'll give you a little attention?
Molly: Oh shove it, Darlene. Where the hell do you get so much insight?
Darlene: *looks over at Roseanne and Jackie* Trust me. I know.

    • In one episode, Jackie has a discussion with her boyfriend Fred.

Fred: How many men did you date before we met?
Jackie: Well, do you mean dated at all, or dated seriously?
Fred: Well, oh, I mean seriously.
Jackie: Okay, I have to say... just a few.
Fred: Good. It's not that I mind if you slept with lots of guys...
Jackie: [chuckles] Oh, well slept with! Well... *stops laughing* That's not what you asked me.
Fred: No I guess it wasn't.
Jackie: Well, Fred, don't worry... it's not that many. I'd - I'd saaay - three a year.
Fred: Since you were, what, eighteen?
Jackie: Uh, sure.
Fred: Oh, oh wow.
Jackie: Well, Fred! It's not *that* many! Three a year for 20 years is, 60 - wow.
Fred: I don't even *know* 60 people.
Jackie: Well, I didn't *know* all of them!

  • Runaway Train: Played straight in the infamous episode "Roseambo", but is a deliberate runaway set up by women-hating terrorists.
  • Service Sector Stereotypes: When working with the public, Roseanne is every bit as surly as with her own family.
  • Shout-Out: During the surreal, multi-episode odyssey of the Conners mingling with the upper-crust in Season 9, they meet an Indian doctor named Hrundi V. Bakshi.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Deadpan Snarker Roseanne vs. Stepford Smiler Kathy Bowman. It is glorious.
  • The Snark Knight: Darlene could own this trope outright.
  • Something Completely Different: The episode "The Fifties Show", which transports the characters into a parody of 1950s Dom Coms.
  • Spartan Sibling: Played straight between Darlene and Becky; subverted between Mark and David. David assumed that all of the abuse his brother slung at him was malicious -- when finally called on it, Mark reveals that he always thought it was just friendly teasing, and doesn't understand why David is so upset about it.
  • Spinoff Babies: "Little Rosey". Look it up. Considering the mentally and physically abusive childhood she and Jackie had from their horrid parents, making an animated kids show about it seems... not smart.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: Interestingly, if you factor out the tilted wall in the kitchen, their house actually works.
  • Stop Copying Me: In one episode, D.J. does this to Darlene, much to her irritation. Eventually:

Rosanne: What's going on in here?
Dan: Darlene is repeating everything D.J. says a second before he says it.
Roseanne: (to Darlene) Don't be so childish!

  • Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss: Roseanne making out with bisexual Nancy's girlfriend. Moral Guardians were furious!
  • Take That: When Disney purchased ABC all their shows were forced to do a Disney World episode, Roseanne obviously didn't enjoy having to make a two-episode Disney World commercial, so in the very next episode they turned around and created an elaborate slam against Disney for being forced to do so (including mocking their treatment of employees), and made it's mascot a rabbit as a way to cover their butts if they get called out on it.

Becky (Chalke): I always wanted to go to Disney World!
Roseanne: Aren't you glad you were here this week?

  • The Talk: Subverted. Roseanne and Dan are preparing themselves to give this to Becky, when they discover that Darlene actually needs it more.
    • Another version of Type 1 occurs with DJ, when he was beginning to get erections in class. Roseanne, who doesn't trust Dan to do this right, decides to try and tell DJ that awkward moments happen to everybody, and tells the story of her first period. This sends DJ screaming from the room. When Dan stops him and tells him that he shouldn't run from the room, DJ says it's about her period, and Dan simply says "As you were."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sort of, it seems like for the first few seasons, the Connor family lived on Roseanne's notorious meatloaf.
  • Tranquil Fury: If Dan's hollering and yelling, he's just blowing off steam. But when he gets quiet, run.
  • True Love Is Boring: Zig-zagged in a way. Since we later learn that the series proper was a story-within-a-story told by Roseanne, and she changed the details about her own life she didn't like, it would seem she thought it certainly wasn't boring. However, played straight with the actually series finale itself, where we learn that her husband died a year ago.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Roseanne and the other producers consciously subverted this, but Roseanne's real-life plastic surgeries over the years diluted it somewhat.
    • At least one of those surgeries was explicitly worked into the show's plot.
      • Like pregnancy, it was convenient to do so, being a necessary surgery in real life as well as on the show. The others weren't.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: One of the clip shows had frame stories first set in the past and then in the future. In the past, Michael Fishman plays a young Roseanne. In the future, John Goodman plays an adult DJ.
  • The Unfair Sex: Roseanne was often verbally and emotionally abusive to Dan. She belittled him and often denied him the chance to father the kids (which those kids needed). Not that Dan was much better, given the chance; their whole family was situated at Dysfunction Junction, after all.
    • Unlike most sitcoms, there was an episode that dealt with this. When D.J. started dating, the first girl he went out with bossed him around and treated him like dirt, and he did nothing to stop it. Roseanne saw it and was forced to accept that it was because he thought this was perfectly acceptable, since he grew up watching Roseanne and Darlene step all over Dan and David respectively. After the girl basically bosses D.J. into going to Chicago with her without permission, Dan and Roseanne actually sit him down and explain that it is not okay for him to let someone control his life like that, and he needs to break it off with a girl if she tries it. Naturally, after the talk is over, Roseanne refuses to practice what she preaches and keeps treating Dan the same way she always does.
      • However, David later reveals the real reason D.J. is dating her is because she slips him the tongue. Of course, he's not gonna tell his parents that.
    • Another episode talked about this. Jackie went on a date (although nothing sexual happened) with another man while she was married to Fred. When they separated for a few days, Roseanne made it her priority to get Fred to move back into the house and pull Jackie out of her depression (by telling her it wasn't her fault). When Dan saw how hurt Fred was at this betrayal of trust, he confronted Roseanne for blaming everyone except Jackie for what she did.
  • Vacation Episode: Dan and Roseanne went to Las Vegas for one episode.
    • And two episodes in Disney World.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Dan had this relationship with his dad, who was a traveling salesman who rarely ever saw his family. As an adult, they're still tense with each other at best.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The 9th Season's Halloween episode(/AbsolutelyFabulous crossover) was one elaborate Rosemary's Baby shout-out.
    • And a Halloween Carol, warning against apathy and grumpiness rather than greed.