The 1 Major Mistake in ‘Golden Girls’ That Audiences Might Have Missed

The Golden Girls debuted in 1985, and this unusual quartet of stars quickly became a beloved part of television history. The show had many rare qualities, some of which are still uncommon today. It featured an all-woman main cast, and all of them were over retirement age. On top of that, it was fearlessly progressive about issues such as homelessness, gay rights, HIV, and health care. 

Much of the genius of The Golden Girls stands the test of time, and there are still plenty of devoted fans. However, while many people enjoy reliving the episodes, they can’t help but notice a problem.

‘The Golden Girls’ was unique and enduring

Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux,  Betty White as Rose Nylund in 'The Golden Girls'
The cast of ‘The Golden Girls’ | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The Golden Girls was on the air for seven seasons, and although it ended in 1992, it gathers new fans even today. The funny, straight-talking, sex-positive older women captivated audiences. Each season was roughly 25 episodes long, while today’s sitcoms usually have ten to 22 episodes per season.

But that enthusiastic pace seems to have resulted in some problems with continuity. With a total of 173 episodes, there were a lot of details to keep track of, and some of them slipped through the cracks along the way. But that wasn’t because people didn’t care about the show – it was actually the opposite. 

There was a reason details got confused

Because The Golden Girls was such a successful show, many writers wanted to be a part of it. As one entertainment writer put it, “it became a training ground for so many writers.” There were a lot of talented writers who contributed to the show, which is one of the many reasons it did so well.

However, with all these different writers coming and going, it was impossible to keep every part of the story straight. At the time, some of these small mistakes weren’t noticed by the viewers. But now, with so many people streaming the show and rewatching every episode, those continuity errors have become more obvious. 

Sometimes, things seemed a little strange

Not the characters; they often seemed quite strange, but that was a part of their charm.

One of the problems that came up was the layout of their house. The exterior shots of their home had nothing to do with the rooms where the show was filmed. The Golden Girls set was built to make the most effective backdrop for the story, which is why the entrances of the house didn’t always match up with what you saw from the inside. On top of that, the rooms seemed to move between seasons, and sometimes the women shared bathrooms, while other times they each had their own. 

The physical details weren’t the only things that got muddled. The people in each woman’s family also shifted through the years, with changes to the number of kids, their names, and how many other relatives they had.

Their histories also got mixed up, such as the fact that Rose, who was played by Betty White, talked about going to college, and once mentioned being valedictorian of her high school. However, she later enrolled in a GED class taught by Dorothy, who was played by Bea Arthur. It’s not clear how she could have graduated at the top of her high school class or gone to college, yet never have received her high school diploma.

Regardless of the problem the series had with continuity, fans today are just as enthusiastic about The Golden Girls as they were in 1985. The clothes may not look as fashionable today as they did back then, but the smart, funny, and brave women are still a lot of fun to watch.