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The Golden Girls was a groundbreaking show in a lot of ways. The series was among the first to follow an older female-driven cast. It tackled important issues and never shied away from discussing sex. Its somewhat provocative (for the time) nature makes it easy to believe the rumor that a penis pan was hanging in the Golden Girls’ kitchen in plain sight. Was it, though? The internet has investigated and established that the pan in question is not a penis cake pan, after all. There is a much more innocent explanation.

‘The Golden Girls’ fans think they spotted a penis cake pan hanging in the kitchen

In 2017 a Buzzfeed writer made a startling discovery while watching The Golden Girls. The viewer took to the internet to ask other fans what they thought was hanging up behind Sophia’s head while she cooked in the kitchen. The writer seemed pretty certain that a cake pan in the shape of a penis was hanging in plain sight.

Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo stands in the kitchen next to an unidentified kitchen tin in 'The Golden Girls'
Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo | Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Internet fans seemed to agree. In a poll taken by Buzzfeed, 48% of respondents thought it was a novelty cake pan that Blanche Deveraux hung in the kitchen, and another 15% of respondents thought it was a plausible theory. The cake pan discussion has been had multiple times since 2017. Now, more people are investigating.

The cake pan is not phallic, as it turns out

The Golden Girls weren’t shy about their sexuality, but they probably wouldn’t have used a phallic cake pan to decorate their kitchen. As it turns out, the pan in question isn’t shaped like a penis, after all. Upon closer inspection, the cake pan appears to be a cooper tin in the shape of a lobster. So, what exactly makes it give off a phallic vibe?

According to Snopes, the set designer’s decision to hang the tin by the lobster’s tail makes all the difference in the world. The position of the tail and the claws give it a rather distinct appearance. If you were to flip the tin around, it would look a lot more innocent.

Still, there are questions about the décor choice. The lobster doesn’t exactly go with the rest of the motif, other than the tin’s color.

There were other interesting set abnormalities in ‘The Golden Girls’

Several sources claim that the pan in the kitchen is not, in fact, a penis-shaped cake mold. The jury is still out, though, according to some fans. The kitchen décor isn’t the only set design decision that fans of the famed series have discussed. An exclamation point on the door to the housemate’s home has been talked about at length.

Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak and Mario Lopez as Mario in the kitchen in an episode of 'The Golden Girls'
Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak, and Mario Lopez as Mario | Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

‘The Golden Girls’ Had More Love Interests Than the Ladies of ‘Sex and the City’

For years, The Golden Girls fans have theorized that Bea Arthur placed an exclamation point on the set’s front door for good luck. The mark can be seen throughout the series. As it turns out, the actual explanation is a lot less exciting. It’s just an anomaly in the wood’s grain. The story of Blanche’s bedspread is a lot more interesting, though.