Season 9 Episode 22

Arsenic and Old Mom

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM May 13, 1997 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Arsenic and Old Mom
Dan's eccentric mom heads straight for Lanford after she's released from hospital, claiming to be cured.

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  • 3 cheers for Debbie Reynolds!

    As the show nears it's fateful end, the show takes it's last shot at an extrely hilarious episode and pass with flying colors! This episode was lightened greatly by special guest-star Debbie Reynolds, who plays Dan's mother returning back to town claiming she's cured. But she's stopped medicating herself and is trying to kill Dan! Despite how dark this episode sounds, it was completely funny when Roseanne confronted Audrey tring to "Bury Dan alive! Ha! Ha! Ha!". We still love Debbie and we still love, John, and we still love Roseanne. But this was a great episode that brought their twisted dark humor and character together for a great episode!moreless
  • Dan's mom tries to kill him.

    Ok, its no secret I hated the final season of Roseanne, but this episode was a exception. I found it quite funny Dan's mom tried to hard, but yet badly to kill Dan. It was also funny to see her and Roseanne fight. Still I didnt find it a great episode it is one of the few of the last season I can stand to watch more than twice.
Lawrence Broch

Lawrence Broch


Guest Star

Heather Matarazzo

Heather Matarazzo


Guest Star

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds


Guest Star

Cole Roberts

Cole Roberts

Jerry Garcia Conner

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • This is the second of two episodes that Dan's mom is in. The first is the Thanksgiving episode from season 2. In that episode Dan's mom is played by Ann Wedgeworth. In this episode, Dan's mom is played by Debbie Reynolds.

    • Writer Carrie Fisher is the actress known as Princess Leia from the "Star Wars" movies. Audrey Conner is portrayed by Fisher's real-life mother Debbie Reynolds according to There was an inside joke in the episode about DJ commenting on how hot Leia was, and Reynolds hitting DJ in the gut as a response to his comment.

    • DJ said that Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was a 70's era Sci-Fi flick, but that movie was made in the 1983. Certainly a super movie expert like him wouldn't make that mistake, and even if he did, his girlfriend would correct him.

    • Debbie Reynolds revealed on Roseanne's talk show that while they were wrestling in this episode that Roseanne had accidently broke one of her ribs.

    • When Roseanne and Audrey are wrestling in the backyard, you can see Roseanne is trying hard to keep a straight face.

    • There's some questionable dialogue in this episode. In regards to Dan's mom:

      Dan: I think she's still mad at me for putting her in the hospital.
      Roseanne: That was over 20 years ago. I'm sure she's over it by now.

      The history behind Dan's mom is that in the episode from season 6, Lies my Father Told me Dan has, in the previous episode, taken his mom to a mental institution after he goes to her home to give her the money that his dad was supposed to give her and finds her sitting on the porch in the rain, not knowing who Dan is. He tells Roseanne she was institutionalized twice when he was a kid which both times, were caused by, what Dan thought, how his dad was treating her. Roseanne tells Dan that Crystal called her and told her some stuff about Dan's mom. She had been institutionalized a lot when he was a kid, but his dad told him she was visiting a relative so Dan wouldn't think bad of his mom. Also, Roseanne says that she was institutionalized before her and Dan's dad even met. I think what the dialogue was trying to portray was Dan was saying his mom was mad at him for once again putting him back in a hospital, and Roseanne was trying to say, why would she still be mad about being institutionalized all along when it first happened a long time ago. It's still not written totally correct and comes across, obviously as confusing. The first time Audrey, Dan's mom, was institutionalized had to have been at least over 45 years ago.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Roseanne: Dan, your mom is out of her freaking mind!
      Dan: Roseanne, people with glass mothers shouldn't throw stones.

    • Roseanne: (Dan's mom is back from the mental hospital and is trying to kill Dan for putting her there. Roseanne is wrestling her on the ground) Audrey, what happened to you out there in California? Did you have one too many frozen mocha frappacinos?

    • Roseanne: I thought I heard glass breaking.
      Dan: You didn't hear me screaming? I couldn't get out.
      Roseanne: To get out, you do what you did to get in, only backwards.
      Dan: I went in and a motorcycle was on and somebody locked the door...I could've died.
      Roseanne: Yeah, or you could've turned the motorcycle off.
      Dan: I did, but by that time, the whole garage was filled with exhaust. Somebody shut the door.
      Roseanne: Like Mr. Wind?
      Dan: Yeah, and maybe Mr. Wind also turned on the motorcycle. I don't think this was an accident, I think somebody tried to kill me.

    • Audrey: I tried to scare him into having another heart attack, and then I realized I couldn't count on that, so now I'm going to bury him alive.

    • Roseanne: For some strange reason, Dan thinks you're trying to kill him.
      Audrey: I'm not trying to kill him, I'm going to bury him alive.

    • Dan: I should call the hospital.
      Roseanne: Don't do that, they could take anyone of us.

  • NOTES (0)