Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from the “Slappy Holidays” episode of The Conners.
The Conners did not have a happy Thanksgiving. On the latest episode of ABC’s Roseanne spinoff, things came to a head at the Turkey Day table in one of the most intense scenes ever on the show, and viewers had a big reaction to a moment they never saw coming.
The late Roseanne’s (Roseanne Barr) presence loomed over the clan’s unhappy holiday as Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) continued to fight over ownership of the Lanford Lunchbox, Roseanne’s former eatery.
The stunning exchanged occurred when a tequila-drinking Jackie slammed Darlene for “sleeping around” with her two exes, then accused her niece of being power-hungry.
“You think you’re the almighty decision-maker around here? You think you can replace Roseanne as the mom of this family? What a joke! ” Jackie screamed at Darlene, per TV Line.
Darlene fired back with a shocking retort.
“You want to talk about my mom?” she screamed. “Let’s talk about her because she spent her entire life trying to fix you and every time she picked you up you fell down! You know why? Because you’re a loser and you were the bane of her existence.”
The scene ended with Jackie slapping Darlene across the face, hence the episode’s title.
In the comments section to photos from the episode on The Conners official Instagram page, fans called the shocking scene Emmy-worthy.
“Conners keeping it real. The slap,” one fan wrote.
“That slap made me tear up… Felt it over here,” another added.
“Tonight’s episode felt more and more like the original,” another fan wrote in reference to the original Roseanne series.
The Conners star Katey Sagal previously teased that the “Slappy Holidays” episode would have a “dramatic” scene, but fans seemed caught off guard by the slap as well as by the bold mention of Roseanne, the late Conner matriarch whose absence weighed heavily over the episode.
Last year, The Conners executive producer Bruce Helford told Gold Derby that former star Roseanne Barr’s late character would never be forgotten by her family and that she would continue to be mentioned on The Conners. Helford noted that no family just stops talking about their mother when she dies. But the show rarely mentions Roseanne by name, so this episode was surprising on many levels.
Roseanne Barr previously expressed anger over her character’s opioid overdose death, but she has not publicly commented on the multiple mentions of her character this season on The Conners.