"Life and Stuff" was the premiere episode of the new ABC series Roseanne, also the 1st episode of the Season 1 of the series. Directed by Ellen Falcon and written by Matt Williams, it originally aired on ABC in the United States on October 18, 1988.
Roseanne and Dan, parents of a middle-class income family, deal with the trials and tribulations of suburban domesticity. Roseanne must keep her sanity while keeping her family together and dealing with her troubling daughter, Darlene.
Roseanne tries to keep it together, but becomes stressed as she deals with the problems of her husband and children. As if trying to buy Becky a new backpack after work wasn't enough, Darlene reluctantly hands over a note from her 6th grade history teacher, Miss Crane. Miss Crane requests that Roseanne meet with her after class to discuss Darlene's behavior. Forced to argue with her boss and take time off of work, Roseanne heads down to the school only to find out that Darlene has been barking in class.
Returning home after a long day, Roseanne gets dinner ready while questioning Dan's role as a partner in the family. Dan says he is going to fix the sink, as it is just one of his numerous responsibilities. Roseanne disagrees and says she's the one who does all the work in the relationship, claiming Dan is just sitting on the throne of some mysterious "magic kingdom".
Roseanne and Dan continue to argue until Darlene cuts her finger; this leads the two to work together. In doing so, Roseanne and Dan, although it's never spoken, realize that the only way to battle petty disagreements is to work together and raise the family as a team.
- Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner
- John Goodman as Dan Conner
- Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris
- Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner
- Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner
- Vonda Green as Charlayne Woodard
- Sylvia Foster as Anne Faulkner
- Judy Prescott as Miss Crane
- Ron Perkins as Pete Wilkins
- In this episode, D.J. is played by Sal Barone. D.J. was recast after the first episode because the producers wanted someone younger to play the role. There were also some problems between Sal Barone and Sara Gilbert on the set.
- The original opening sequence consisted of the Conner family eating dessert.
- Laurie Metcalf wore a curly-haired wig in this and a few other early episodes so that she could look more like Roseanne's actual sister.
- During the breakfast scene, Roseanne asks Dan to save her the coupon from the paper. He starts tearing it off nice and straight, and the scene cuts to Becky complaining about her bookbag. When the camera goes back to Dan, he's finishing tearing out the coupon, which is now in a peanut shape.
- Roseanne does a throwback to this episode in the episode "Into That Good Night". In that episode, Roseanne is talking to Darlene about raising kids, and she says, "Do you remember when I was called down to your school because you had been barking in class?"
- This is the only episode of "Roseanne" to date to be published: in Donald McQuade and Robert Atwan, eds., Popular Writing in America: The Interaction of Style and Audience, 5th. edition. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993 (721-35).
- "Life and Stuff" was also the working title of the series.
- The pilot episode features a slightly different title sequence with a different Roseanne logo than the one used throughout the rest of the series, the kitchen looks different, and Sal Barone plays D.J. instead of Michael Fishman.
- At the very end of this (and every) episode, you see the Carsey-Werner logo and copyright. In this episode, it has white text matching the end credits, rather than the orange text used by Carsey-Werner at the time.
- In the current TV reruns, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) has been edited out so that it looks like she does not appear in the pilot.
- Roseanne: You think everything is done by some wonderful wizard, oh, poof, the laundry's folded, poof, dinner's on the table.
- Darlene: Mom, where's my math book?
- Roseanne: I sold it!
- Dan: Are you ever sorry that we got married?
- Roseanne: Every second of my life.
- Darlene: I said I'm sorry, what do you want me to do, jump off a bridge?
- Roseanne: Yes, and take your brother and sister with you.
- Becky: Our school is having a food drive for poor people.
- Roseanne: Well, tell 'em to drive some of that food over here.
- Roseanne [when the kids leave for school]: Quick, they're gone. Change the locks.
- Becky: All right, I'll just look like a freak, that's all.
- Darlene: What's new?
- Becky: Shut up!
- Roseanne: This is why some animals eat their young.
- Dan: I do plenty around here.
- Roseanne: Like what?
- Dan: I clean the gutters.
- Roseanne: And?
- Dan: What's the point here, Roseanne?
- Dan: You want me to fix dinner? I'll fix dinner. I'm fixing dinner!
- Roseanne: Oh, but honey, you just fixed dinner three years ago!
- Dan: You don't think I can cook? I can cook. I'm cooking!
- Roseanne: Yeah, and I'll spend the rest of the night washing all the dishes.
- Dan: Hey, I do the dishes!
- Roseanne: When?!
- Dan: Thursday. 6:45 PM.
- Roseanne: Nineteen Seventy what?!
- Miss Crane [to Roseanne about Darlene]: Your daughter barks.
- Roseanne: Our whole family barks!