‘The Conners’ Fans React To Heartbreaking Twist To Darlene’s Storyline

Viewers of the ABC sitcom were disappointed by Darlene's false news.

Jay R Ferguson and Sara Gilbert in a scene from The Conners
Eric McCandless / ABC

Viewers of the ABC sitcom were disappointed by Darlene's false news.

Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Conners episode “Birthdays, Babies and Emotional Support Chickens.”

The Conners fans are reacting to a major twist that played out after it was teased that Darlene (Sara Gilbert) was expecting a baby with her boss-turned-boyfriend, Ben (Jay R. Ferguson).

In previews, Darlene’s pregnancy news was heavily promoted. The 43-year-old was shown telling her sister Becky (Lecy Goranson) that she was pregnant, and she was also seen hugging Ben as they celebrated. Some viewers were even annoyed that the happy storyline was “spoiled” in the promos for the ABC sitcom.

During Wednesday’s episode, viewers saw things take a sad turn shortly after an excited Darlene confided to Becky that she took a positive pregnancy test after missing two periods. During a tele-med visit with her doctor, Darlene found out that her test was a false positive and that she was actually perimenopausal. She was also told that she would not be able to have children in the future.

After she broke the news to Ben, he admitted he was heartbroken that their dream of having a biological child together would never happen.

On social media, The Conners fans reacted to the cut-short maternity twist.

“Wait no I was so excited for Darlene being pregnant this is so sad #TheConners,” one fan tweeted.

“I wondered if Darlene wasn’t actually pregnant…it’s still sad to see her be disappointed though. #TheConners,” another Twitter user added.

“Darlene not being pregnant is the definition of 2020,” a third viewer tweeted.

In comments to a post on the official Conners Instagram page, seen here, some claimed they saw the twist coming.

“They need better writing,” one viewer wrote. “The pregnancy/menopause plot was totally predictable. Also, it needs more humor, less serious plot lines. Roseanne had a lighter feel.”

The cast of The Conners pose for a portrait
  Andrew Eccles / ABC

Of course, had Darlene’s pregnancy actually played out, some viewers would have been skeptical over the fact that she got pregnant so easily. The Conners already dealt with that issue in its first season when Becky had a “miracle” baby in her mid-40s.

Goranason even told Entertainment Tonight that she wondered if it was “irresponsible” to put out in the universe that “someone in their forties could get pregnant as a miracle when there are so many women that are really struggling with their fertility at that age.”

Last season, fans were surprised when 43-year-old Darlene agreed to have a baby with Ben after living as a single mom for so long. She joked that her older children, Harris (Emma Kenney) and Mark (Ames McNamara), were “soul-sucking monsters” and admitted she didn’t want to “start over” as a mom in her 40s. Darlene finally agreed to have a child with Ben under the condition that should they ever split up, he would take full custody of all three kids.