'Roseanne' Reboot Crows About Chicken Shirt That Turned Into a Cultural Icon

The new season of Roseanne is not only bringing back all of the main cast, but also countless references to the original show. Some are obvious, like the quilt on the Conner family coach, but others are Easter eggs for die-hard fans, including Roseanne's iconic chicken shirt.

roseanne chicken shirt new series
(Photo: ABC/Adam Rose)

The ugly white shirt features a chicken with an egg behind it, and surrounded by smaller chickens and smaller eggs. The shirt became a running gag throughout the show and was beloved by fans. You can even buy one on Amazon.

"The chicken shirt, it was just the ugliest shirt I ever saw and we had this bet between us, the actors; if you show something really bad on TV it takes off," Roseanne said in the season five DVD commentary, reports TVWeb. "It was like another rebellious artistic statement, that it looks like art when it's on TV."

The shirt first appeared in season two, and was eventually worn by every member of the Conner family. In the season five episode "Daughters and Other Strangers," Roseanne is seen wearing it while she cleans Darlene's (Sara Gilbert) room. In the very next scene, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is inexplicably wearing the same shirt!

Darlene wears the shirt in a scene in the kitchen. Later, D.J. (Michael Fishman) is seen swimming in it. During the end credits, Dan (John Goodman) is seen wearing it, even though it clearly does not fit.

Roseanne Barr confirmed that the shirt is coming back in the new episodes by wearing it in an on-set video she posted on Instagram back in November.

Watching the new open #Roseanne

A post shared by Roseanne Barr (@officialroseannebarr) on

Her fans loved seeing the shirt again. "Glad to see the chicken shirt made a revival too," one person wrote. "Yes! The chicken shirt is back!" another added.

The original Roseanne ran from 1988 to 1997, and all of the main characters are back for the new episodes. John Goodman is even back as Dan, since the new episodes will completely ignore his death in the season nine finale. Sara Gilbert, Alicia "Lecy" Goranson, Michael Fishman and Laurie Metcalf are all back for the nine new episodes.

The new series will play up the Conners' working-class roots, which made the show so unique when it first aired. Barr decided she wanted to show a family that might have voted for President Donald Trump, who she supported in real life.

"I have always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and of working-class people. ... And, in fact, it was working-class people who elected Trump. So I felt that was very real, and something that needed to be discussed," Barr said in January, reports ABC News.


The new season of Roseanne - chicken shirt and all - begins on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC/Adam Rose