Roseanne TV Poster Image




Blue-collar sitcom with language, sarcasm, social issues.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series takes a comedic look at blue-collar family life and the realistic ups and downs that come with raising kids, dealing with in-laws, work issues, money struggles, etc.

Positive role models

The parents are a loving, hard-working couple trying to make ends meet and do the best they can for their kids. Their parenting tactics might strike some as unconventional, but they care deeply about raising responsible, well-adjusted kids. Roseanne is very sarcastic and snarky with her kids.

Not applicable

Comments about a girl slipping her boyfriend the tongue, going on the pill, and having sex are part of typical household conversation.


Adults and teens alike use strong language like "bitch," "damn," "ass," and "suck." Moderately graphic talk about sexual issues are common.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults often kick back with a beer (or six) after work or in social gatherings, but there's no underage drinking (except in one episode where Dan finds Becky's underage boyfriend at a bar). Occasionally an adult character will smoke, but again, it's limited to the over-21 crowd.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series is fraught with strong language, fiery arguments, and examples of blue-collar lifestyles rarely seen on TV. Although it's clear that family members love one another, theirs are not "warm fuzzy" relations. The dominant character, Roseanne, relies on sarcasm and belittling comments in relating to her husband and disciplining her kids. The family faces a variety of challenges, which aren't necessarily handled with grace, making this one sitcom that doesn't sanitize the day-to-day life of regular folks. 

What's the story?

ROSEANNE is an unusually realistic look at the family life of working-class Americans, bringing to light their challenges in balancing the demands of work and home. The Conners of fictional Lanford, Illinois, are a typical blue-collar family of five living on a tight budget and struggling to keep their heads above water. Dan (John Goodman) works hard to provide for his family, and Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) chips in where she can, taking various minimum-wage jobs at factories and fast-food restaurants. Meanwhile, their three kids -- Becky (Lecy Goranson/Sarah Chalke), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), and DJ (Michael Fishman) -- are growing up, and keeping pace with their changing needs is another full-time job. Roseanne's sister, Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), practically lives with the Conners as well, often requiring as much guidance as the kids.

Is it any good?


Roseanne's plotlines can be mature, tackling issues like sex, poverty, homosexuality, and unplanned pregnancy. Characters speak frankly about any and all subjects, and parents will want to preview a few episodes to determine whether their tweens or teens are ready for the subject matter.

As a mother, wise-cracking butt-insky Roseanne personifies "tough love." She domineers her kids and Dan, and she manipulates situations to get her way. Dan often finds himself left out of decisions that involve the household, which leads to heated arguments. But even though she'll never win parent of the year, it's clear that Roseanne's love for her family is her strongest motivation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the family is similar to or different from their own. Do the members of your family talk to each other like the Conners do? Has your family faced any of the issues that the series highlights? How have you handled them?

  • Even though the Conners fight a lot, it's clear that they love each other. How do they show this love? 

TV details

Premiere date:October 18, 1988
Cast:John Goodman, Roseanne Barr, Sarah Chalke
Networks:Nickelodeon, Oxygen, Syndicated
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Roseanne was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 11 year old Written byExerSarah May 27, 2010

Disagree with Common Sense Review

I'm sorry, but I am completely offended by the "Common Sense" review. You say, "Both parents are obese and show no intention of altering their diet or activity to improve their health." First of all, the fact that Dan and Roseanne are overweight is not a huge focus of the show, and when it is, the portayals of their struggles with their weight issues are realistic. They certainly don't revel in being overweight, and your review makes it sound as they glorify it. How completely far from the truth. Your review should not have even touched on this topic.
Teen, 13 years old Written bythe Liberator August 4, 2009

Very good show for children 11-18

this is a really good show i enjoy watching it a lot and i think it is really funny ill admit there is some not age appropriate stuff in there but come on there's probably a little bit of non age appropriate stuff in everything
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byrmcavoy June 11, 2013

Roseanne's Weight?

Really, that's what you want to focus on, the Connor's family health? Never mind the fact that they struggle to find work, pay bills, and pay for their kid's education. Never mind the fact that healthy food is hard to come by for a struggling family. Never mind the fact that Roseanne Barr and John Goodman are talented, beloved actors who can teach the teens who watch this show that there's more to life than meeting society's narrow standards of beauty. They're fat, therefore they must be shamed and talked down to. Future reviews need to better than this.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement