Season 7 Episode 25

Couch Potatoes

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM May 17, 1995 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
40 votes

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Episode Summary

Couch Potatoes
Roseanne's nesting instincts disrupt the family routine; The Conners have been selected to be a Nielsen Family; Jackie and Fred decide they've met the end of their Marriage.

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  • Once again, in this episode, I didn't care for how Roseanne dealt with the Nielsen box being in the Conner's home.

    This has the making of being a good episode, and with Jackie's marriage coming to an end. But, Roseanne wanting the family to only watch more educational programming for an entire year. Granted the nesting stage of pregnancy angle, but that is tied in only later in the episode. I think it needed to be interwoven earlier and better. Roseanne is attempting to prove that working class and lower class people don't just sit around watching trashy television. First, Roseanne doesn't care what people think. If you can explain this away by saying she is trying to affect the country in a way, it is still contradictory in that, she is not allowing her family to watch tv as they normally do. So, isn't she then saying that the television shows that they normally watch are "non-wholesome" and therefore, trashy. And then, in then continuing in forcing her family to only watch educational programming, she would not only being lying about her family's television watching habits, but her behavior is contradictory in that she is attempting to show the country that lower class people don't only watch trashy television when she herself knowingly or not is implying that her family watches "non-wholesome" television and using this as the tool to disprove as she says ideas like "poor people are to blame for shows like Jerry Springer." It just seems too much anyways, one family making a difference by watching only educational programming for an entire year, and kinda makes for a boring episode as is this review is getting (Although Jackie heckling a moose that she had picked against Roseanne to win a fight on the nature channel telling it to use its antlers and getting upset when it protects its young makes for a great little scene). This, to me culminates when Roseanne won't allow Dan to watch a Bull's playoff game. For one thing, middle and upper class people enjoy playoff sporting events too. I just find this unnecessary, Dan not being allowed to watch the NBA playoffs. Even if only educational programming is to be watched, a basketball playoff game doesn't take away from that.

    Additionally, it seems like in this episode the audience doesn't seem to be reacting to Roseanne, the show, as they usually do and the cast is obviously reacting to that. It seemed like the audience wasn't reacting and also differently that normal changing the atmosphere of the show which existed and was genuinely honed in earlier seasons. This upset me.

    Finally, that being said, having to get rid of the old familiar couch replacing it with Bev's old couch is too much for this episode to withstand under the previously mentioned circumstances. The couch is an important piece of the show and the episode wasn't strong enough to express this (reminiscent of The Cosby show where Claire replaces the couch and chair with new ones without talking to Cliff about it). And, one last thought. As, Roseanne and Dan are watching educational television programming alone as a family, they are inevitably eating in front of the television. They are using what appears to be nice tv trays resembling small tables that are never shown on the show before or after this. One assumes, maybe they got them from Bev when Dan went to pick up the couch or they could be because you never see the family eating a major meal in front of the television besides in this episode, but this is all left for speculation. The additional pieces of furniture don't mesh well with the audience also adjusting to the new couch. The trays also don't look like typical pieces of furniture the Conner's would own.moreless
John Goodman

John Goodman

Dan Conner

Laurie Metcalf

Laurie Metcalf

Jackie Harris

Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Conner

Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke

Rebecca "Becky" Conner Healy

Michael Fishman

Michael Fishman

David Jacob "D.J." Conner

Michael Mantell

Michael Mantell

Nielsen Rep

Guest Star

Johnny Galecki

Johnny Galecki

David Healy

Recurring Role

Michael O'Keefe

Michael O'Keefe


Recurring Role

Estelle Parsons

Estelle Parsons

Beverly "Bev" Harris

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Kato Kaelin appeared in a cameo, but it was edited out.

    • In this episode, there are two folding tables in front of the couch where Roseanne has the plate of peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. As she and Dan talk, the plate moves back and forth from table to table several times.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • (Jackie's heckling a moose she picked to win against Roseanne's choice, a wolf, as they're watching educational programming.)
      Jackie: Don't stand there fight back. Keep your head down. Use your antlers for gods sake. Oh, it's protecting it's young. Fixed. Idiot. Stupidest moose in North America.

    • Roseanne: (telling Dan they aren't going to be able to change their ways for the sake of their new baby) We're white trash and we will stay white trash til the day they hull us out to the curb.

    • Roseanne: (about the sofa they inherited from Bev) Burn it!
      Dan: I can't.
      Roseanne: Yeah, you can-- it's Mom's sofa. It will burst into flames if you just sprinkle Holy Water on it!

    • Mark: (after helping Dan carry in Bev's old sofa) I gotta get out of here; my backs killing me after carrying that ugly thing.
      Roseanne: That's what we said when you use to live here.

    • Dan: (when Roseanne wants to revamp the house in preparation for the arrival of their new baby) Honey, you do this every time we have a new baby. With Becky, you wanted new wallpaper. With Darlene, you wanted to get rid of the carpeting. With DJ, you wanted to get rid of Darlene...

    • Dan: (when Bev asks why he and Roseanne don't get rid of their old sofa) Well, around here, we don't throw things out just cuz they're old and ratty. And, I mean, hell, they can be old and ratty and ANNOYING and we still keep them around.

    • Roseanne: (about Neilson Media Research) No, see, they want to make sure that people like us watch crap like tractor pulls and Jerry Springer, ya know, so the advertisers can sell us all this stuff we don't really need, and then they take our money and they give it to those Right Wing Washington politicians that cut school lunches and all these other budget cuts, ya know, to make sure that people like us have no choice but to stay people like us. And, WHO THE HELL WANTS TO BE PEOPLE LIKE US?!?

    • Neilson Rep: (about the device attached to the Conner TV) For the next year, that box will monitor everything your family watches. And, your viewing habits will affect the lives of millions of other people.
      Roseanne: Man, this must be what it's like to vote!

    • Roseanne: (talking about the piece of furniture Bev gave them) Okay? It's a bad sofa, and, now I know why Mom put plastic covers on it-- it's to keep the evil fresh!

  • NOTES (0)


    • Bev: (to Roseanne about her old sofa) If you don't want it, I'll donate it to my theater group-- they're doing Fiddler.

      Bev is making an allusion to the stage musical, Fiddler on the Roof, about a Jewish peasant and his family in pre-Revolutionary Russia.

    • Jackie: (throwing the TV remote control to Roseanne in a game of "Keep Away" with Dan) Kinda like Mom and her "Midol".

      Jackie is making an allusion to "Midol", an over-the-counter medication for menstrual cramping and other effects related to premenstrual syndrome and menstruation.

    • Dan: (acting comically romantic and speaking with a heavy French accent as he tries coaxing Roseanne into letting him watch the game on TV) Ohhh, your lips say "no", but your eyes, they say... (returning to his natural voice) How 'bout that? Your eyes say "no", too.

      Dan's distinctive actions and accent are an allusion to Pepe' Le Pew, a fictional character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. Pepe' is a French anthropomorphic skunk who always strolls around Paris in the springtime, when everyone's thoughts are of love; he is constantly seeking "l'amour" of his own.

    • Roseanne: (defending her right to watch educational television to Dan) I want a better environment for our kid. Look at the other three kids we got off of watching WrestleMania-- do we really have anything to lose?

      Roseanne is making an allusion to WrestleMania, a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment.

    • Dan: (worried about how having a Neilson Box attached to their television might affect his regular TV viewing) Can we still watch Montel?
      Roseanne: No, we are not gonna watch nothing but PBS and the Discovery Channel and all that other smart crap. We'll show them.

      Dan is making an allusion to The Montel Williams Show, a television talk show hosted by Montel Williams, which unlike many contemporary talk shows, focuses on subjects that are less controversial.

      Roseanne is making an allusion to the Public Broadcasting Service, a non-profit public broadcasting television service with over 300 member TV stations in the United States. She is also making an allusion to Discovery Channel, a cable and satellite TV channel that provides non-fiction programming focused on science, history and nature.

    • Roseanne: (pointing to the TV) See that little box, there, Dan? That there Neilson Box is a conspiracy.
      Dan: Yeah, that's what you said when they added blue diamonds to "Lucky Charms".

      Dan is making an allusion to "Lucky Charms", a brand of cereal produced by the General Mills cereal company. The cereal is a combination of small toasted bits of oats and multi-colored marshmallow bits in various "magical" shapes.

    • Roseanne: (referring to Neilson Media Research) They just want to hook up some poor, uneducated slobs so the country has somebody to blame Funniest Home Videos on.

      Roseanne is making an allusion to ABC's reality show, America's Funniest Home Videos, in which viewers are able to send in videotapes containing humorous, silly, or just plain dumb acts for entertainment, and with the intention of winning cash prizes.

    • Roseanne: (after finding out they've been chosen to be a Neilson Family) I'll tell you what, two weeks from now, you're gonna see Bryant Gumbel spinning plates in Vegas!

      Roseanne is making an allusion to Bryant Gumbel, a television personality for news and sports, best known for his 15-year stint as co-anchor of NBC's The Today Show.