Arsenic and Old Mom was the 22nd episode of Season 9 of Roseanne, also the 220th overall series episode. It was written by Carrie Fisher, and was directed by Mark K. Samuels. It originally aired on ABC-TV on May 13, 1997.


Dan's mother Audrey Conner, visits unexpectedly and keeps trying to kill her son for putting her away for so many years.



The knock on the door at the Conner house that night revealed an unexpected guest. Dan's mother showed up after being released from her long stay at a psychiatric hospital. Both Dan and Roseanne were leery of the visit, but after a phone call to the doctor, her release was verified.

As long as she continues to take her medication, she should be OK. A little bit of tension is alleviated. Audrey seems perfectly adjusted when she is dealing with all the family members, except Dan.

After Dan gets locked in the garage from the outside, while the garage fills up with smoke, he begins to suspect foul play. Roseanne dismisses Dan's thought as paranoia. As Dan naps on the couch, Audrey sneaks up on him, ready to attack, just as he opens his eyes. She pretends to fluff and arrange a pillow for him. Several incidents occur, including his mother trying to choke him, as Dan tries to persuade Roseanne that he is not imagining the whole situation.

The final straw happens when Audrey is in the backyard digging a hole to bury Dan in. When questioned, she admits that she would like to kill Dan, for "putting her away." A fight ensues, Roseanne overpowers her, and Audrey is sent packing.





  • This is the second of two episodes that Dan's mom appears in. She first appeared in the episode "We Gather Together" from Season 2 played by Ann Wedgeworth. Debbie Reynolds takes over the role for this episode.
  • This episode was written by Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia of the Star Wars movies), daughter of Debbie Reynolds and 1950s singer Eddie Fisher.
  • Debbie Reynolds revealed on Roseanne's talk show that while they were wrestling in this episode, 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.
  • Despite being credited, Laurie Metcalf (Jackie Harris), Sara Gilbert (Darlene Conner) and Sarah Chalke (Becky Conner) do not appear.
Roseanne: Season Nine
Call WaitingMillions from HeavenWhat a Day for a DaydreamHonor Thy MotherSomeday My Prince Will ComePampered To A PulpSatan, DarlingHoi Polloi Meets Hoiti ToitiRoseamboHome is Where the Afghan IsMothers and Other StrangersHome For The HolidaysSay It Ain't SoHit the Road, JackThe War RoomLanford's EliteSome Enchanted MergerA Second ChanceThe MiracleRoseanne-FeldThe Truth Be ToldArsenic and Old MomInto That Good Night, Part 1Into That Good Night, Part 2
Season Episode Guides

Roseanne: Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10
The Conners: Season 1Season 2

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.