Season 3 Episode 9

Bird is the Word

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Nov 13, 1990 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • In the beginning scene, Darlene stumbles off the step in the kitchen as she asks Becky about her school picture.

    • When Jackie and Roseanne are looking at Becky's class picture (when it is placed on the table), you can see that they are looking at it upside down.

  • Quotes

    • Jackie: Hey, guys-- your son just gave Gilligan the finger.
      Dan: Well he's the reason they're stuck on that island!
      Rosanne: (Sternly) Dan!

    • Roseanne: (Becky's school calls informing Roseanne that Becky got suspended and that a parent has to come to the school for a meeting) Now I gotta go to your school. And I don't want to go to school.
      Dan: Ah, don't worry. It'll be alright honey. Hey if you run into that assistant principal that told me I would never amount to anything, tell him Dr. Conner says hi.

    • Roseanne: (Roseanne discovers Becky "flipped the bird." Becky tells her to remember she thought it was funny when the other kids did it.) Yeah, but the other kids aren't my kid. Right Dan?
      Dan: Not to my knowledge dear.

    • (about Becky's obscene gesture in the picture)
      Jackie: Right up there with Dan's version of "we're number 1" at the homecoming game.

    • Becky: I can't believe this! You guys weren't mad when you thought I did do it, now you're mad because you know I didn't? God!, maybe next year I oughta moon the class photo so you guys are proud of me.
      Roseanne: Make sure it's your own butt.

    • DJ: Mom, how come Becky's got three hands in this picture?
      Roseanne: Three hands...?
      DJ: Yeah, look.
      Roseanne: Lem' me see. (looks through DJ's magnifying glass and gasps) She didn't do it. I'll kill her!

    • Dan: (tries to explain the middle finger to his son) Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the door, see that big guy sitting third from the left? Don't wave him at anybody.
      DJ: But Mom did it in the car.
      Roseanne: Hey, the idiot cut me off.

    • (Roseanne is speaking to other mothers at the principal's about the picture)
      Roseanne: Ah, do your kids do this in the family pictures?
      Mother: No way.
      Roseanne: (To Principal Hiller) No, they do it here.
      Annemarie: That's right.
      Principal Hiller: Oh I see, following that logic, Mrs. Conner, as long as they're not stealing anything out of your living room, it's not your fault if they hold up a convenience store.
      Roseanne: Hey, we're not talking about armed robbery here, OK?
      We're talking about some teenagers flipping the bird. I think we should get over it.
      Principal Hiller: Maybe you're right but I don't think so. And neither do all these parents who have called in to complain about the photo. They want us to reshoot it at our cost and quite frankly, Mrs. Conner, this is not within our budget. So, what would your have me tell them about what your daughter did?
      Roseanne: (Remembering her own teenage years with Annemarie) Ahh, that it's a political statement?

    • Roseanne: We can't control everything thing our kids do. Sooner or later they're just gonna do what they're gonna do. They're like people that way.

    • (Over the school PA system)
      Roseanne: Attention: Anyone taking Latin, you're wasting your time!

  • Notes

    • Actor Dan Florek, who plays the gruff "Principal Hiller" in this episode, will later play Darlene's sympathetic ObGyn doctor in two consecutive episodes of the final season: "Second Chance" and "The Miracle."

  • Allusions

    • Jackie: (about DJ watching TV in the living room) Hey, guys-- your son just gave Gilligan the finger.
      Roseanne: Dan.
      Dan: Well, he's the reason they're still stuck on that island.
      Roseanne: Dan!
      Dan: Alright, alright! DJ, get in here, Little Buddy.

      In this conversation, Dan is alluding to the popular 1960's television sit-com, Gilligan's Island. The Skipper on the program always referred to Gilligan as Little Buddy.

    • Becky (in a sugar-coated voice) Look, everybody-- Daddy's home! Oh, hi, Daddy!
      Dan: (to Becky, DJ, Darlene, and Roseanne) Hi, Princess...Bud...Kitten...Margaret.

      Dan's response to Becky and the rest of the family is an allusion to the 1950's television series, Father Knows Best. Princess, Bud, and Kitten were the nicknames Jim Anderson, the father character in the program, called his three children. Margaret was his wife's name.

    • The title of this episode is adapted from the catchline of the title song of the successful film, Grease (1978). The memorable line from the song (repeated several times) is: "Grease is the word." (The title of this episode might also be an allusion to "A-well a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word", lyrics from the 1963 song, "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen.)

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