The Conners will continue a tradition first started 30 years ago on Roseanne. The ABC spinoff will feature a Halloween-themed episode this season, and it will even resurrect an old haunt from Roseanne’s past.
According to Broadway World, the upcoming Conners episode, titled “Nightmare on Lunch Box Street,” will feature Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) finding out that the local Chinese restaurant is going out of business and will see it as an opportunity to reopen the Lunch Box, the eatery previously owned by her and her late sister, Roseanne (played by Roseanne Barr). Fans of the original sitcom may recall the Lunch Box’s specialty, “loose meat sandwiches.”
In ABC’s synopsis for the episode, it is revealed that Jackie is “caught by surprise when she uncovers a secret” about her old business.
The Conners has already treated fans to Easter eggs from its Roseanne past – earlier this season, fans noticed a cameo by Meagan Fay, the actress who played neighbor Kathy Bowman on the original series –but the Lunch Box holds a special place in fans’ hearts. And so does the Halloween theme.
The original Roseanne series aired Halloween episodes every year starting in 1989, with titles like “Skeleton In the Closet” and “Satan, Darling.” to celebrate the October holiday.
Now-fired star Roseanne Barr once told Yahoo TV the Halloween episodes were among her favorites from the long-running ABC comedy. But the actress revealed that there was some controversy when trying to get the scary episodes on the air and that the Halloween tradition was “the first dragon we slayed on the Roseanne show.”
“For a while, they refused to let us have a Halloween episode because they said the Bible Belt doesn’t like Halloween, that they think it’s satanic, so they didn’t want it on ABC,” Barr told Yahoo.
For its first season on ABC, The Conners celebrated Halloween without Roseanne for the first time after the matriarch died from an opioid overdose.
In 2018, the episode “There Won’t Be Blood” dealt with a Halloween costume ban at Mark’s (Ames McNamara) school and introduced Jackie’s new boyfriend Peter (played by Matthew Broderick) to the family.
Halloween definitely wasn’t the same without Roseanne, who went all-in for the October holiday. Ahead of her firing from ABC, Barr had hoped to shoot Halloween episodes for the Roseanne revival before it was unceremoniously canceled after one successful season.
The “Nightmare on Lunch Box Street” episode of The Conners airs Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. on ABC.