'The Conners': Roseanne's Absence Leads to Heartbreaking Reveal

The Conners made a sad mistake during Tuesday's fall finale that lead to a difficult conversation. The ABC comedy series celebrated the holidays with a hilarious episode featuring the family's wacky tradition of taking pictures with Santa dressed as Santas themselves. The episode also featured a sad callback to family matriarch Roseanne Conner (played by Roseanne Barr on Roseanne) after the family forgot a special occasion.

Spoilers ahead for The Conners Season 2, Episode 9: "Smoking Penguins and Santa on Santa Action"

The episode followed as Dan (John Goodman) worked to ease the longstanding tensions between his new friend Louise (Katey Sagal) and Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), and as he tried to get through his birthday without much fuss.

Becky (Lecy Goranson) shares a depressing, yet hilarious, poem with Jackie she wrote for Dan in honor of his birthday. She admits she has no money to buy him anything nice for the occasion, but Jackie tells her to keep trying after listening to the "haiku."

Louise gives Dan a sweet present for his birthday, and he returns her kindness by inviting her to the "Santa on Santa" family tradition. However, the invitation leads to tension back home when he breaks the news to Jackie. He tells her that she cannot go with them to take the photos if she cannot be kind to his friend and potential love interest.

Dan later feels conflicting emotions when the family gathers for dinner. Becky arrives with her handmade present, a beer koozie with a photo of her baby daughter Beverly Rose. She then gave the floor to the rest of the family, with Dan expecting a "surprise" but Darlene and the rest of the family admit they did not remember the special occasion this year.

Darlene reveals that Roseanne would always remind them of the special day in advance, and not having her there led the birthday to slip their minds. Dan walks into the garage saying he has to get a beer, and the family stews in silence feeling guilty.

As Louise and Jackie decide to make amends and try to move on from the past, Becky finds Dan at the house and they talk about what happened. Dan admits he is only upset about the family forgetting his birthday because it made him think about if he will be remembered once he is gone. He says he doesn't have his name on any buildings, or sandwiches named after him at the deli so what will happen? Becky assures him he will always be special to the family no matter what, and agrees to take over family birthday reminder duties from her mother.


The family makes amends to spend time together during the Santa on Santa photoshoot, but the show cheekily sneaks in some shade for Louise when Jackie is seen in the final moments of the episode cutting her out from the family photo.

The Conners returns with new episodes Tuesday, January 21 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.