‘The Golden Girls’: Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche’s Greatest Fears

Throughout The Golden Girls’ seven-season run, viewers discovered a great deal about Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche. From Rose’s winding and wacky St. Olaf stories and Blanche’s tales of her greatest adventures between the sheets to Dorothy’s failed marriage with Stan, the writers were always finding new webs to weave. However, some stories reversed older ones, and some narratives defied prior tales, yet such didn’t impact the show’s success.

The Golden Girls
THE GOLDEN GIRLS – 9/24/85 – 9/24/92, ESTELLE GETTY, BEA ARTHUR, RUE MCCLANAHAN, BETTY WHITE | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Fans even got to discover Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche’s greatest fears — two of which were revealed in the very same episode, “Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself,” which premiered as part of season 3. 

Rose is terrified of public speaking 

in season 3, episode 5, Rose discovers that her aunt died, and she has been selected to give a eulogy at the service. Rose cannot cope with the pressure, and she fears she won’t be able to stand before all those people and speak. Dorothy and Blanche travel along with her for moral support. 

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While on the plane, the pilot announces that they will have to turn the plane around for safety reasons. Rose realizes that she still has a chance to overcome her fear, and she gives a speech to the other travelers on the flight. 

Dorothy is afraid of flying…which makes no sense

In the same episode mentioned above, viewers discover that Dorothy has a fear of flying. She is terrified before and during the flight. Throughout much of the plane ride, she remains convinced that the plane is going to crash and burn. 

Though Dorothy is afraid of flying in this episode, there was an episode in season 2 in which Dorothy was set to fly, and there was no mention of her phobia whatsoever. Not to mention, she has to fly in later episodes again and the phobia is not mentioned, as if fears simply vanish altogether. 

Blanche is afraid of growing older 

Blanche’s greatest fear is evidently aging, and losing the beauty she so strongly identities with. Several episodes in The Golden Girls reveal that Blanche is debating plastic surgery. 

In one episode, she has trouble dating a blind man, because she finds it hard to believe that he can like her without seeing her. Her looks have, for so long, been a large part of what she believes attracts people to her.

In another episode, she struggles to accept that she is going through menopause. Blanche and her beauty go hand-in-hand and, any episode that confronts getting older with realism and poignancy tends to hit Blanche the hardest.