THE FIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

(Season Two, 1989)

EXT. CONNER HOME - MORNING

A still shot of the Conner home as a gentle gust of snow sprinkles from the sky.

INT. CONNER HOME - LIVING ROOM - SAME

DAN sits on the couch, lounging around watching Christmas-themed television shows. ROSEANNE, vacuuming, finds herself blocked by Dan's legs.

She shoves the vacuum gently into his leg. He doesn't budge.

ROSEANNE

Move your feet!

Dan looks up.

DAN

Oh what? Were you talking to me?

ROSEANNE

No. I was talking to your feet.

Dan grabs his foot and moves it toward his ear.

DAN

What's that Mr. Foot? You don't want to move?

ROSEANNE

I'll take off your big toe, Dan Conner. Don't tempt me.

Dan smiles and retreats - spreading his entire body across the couch.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

That's right, Dan. Just lay there while I do all the work!

DAN

Hey, I helped! I got that Christmas presents out of the trunk.

ROSEANNE

Yeah, after I spent five hours at the mall shopping for them!

DAN

(naively)

So?

ROSEANNE

So! I've been working my butt off all morning to get this place somewhat presentable before my neurotic parents get here and you won't even lift a finger because you're too busy watching Frosty!

Dan scoffs.

DAN

Frosty? FROSTY? It's Rudolph, Roseanne. You need a refresher on your Christmas cartoons.

ROSEANNE

I need a new husband.

DAN

That atop your Christmas list this year?

ROSEANNE

Along with a new house and new kids.

Roseanne laughs and continues doing her work as DJ storms in from upstairs.

He plops next to Dan on the couch.

He's holding a list.

DJ

I have some last minute Christmas wishes, Dad.

DAN

Oh you do, DJ?

DJ

Yup!

He hands Dan the list - who then scans it and raises a brow.

DAN

You're dreaming!

DJ

Oh come on!

Roseanne finishes up vacuuming.

ROSEANNE

What's he want?

DAN

A Nintendo.

ROSEANNE

You're dreaming!

Dan looks at DJ and laughs.

DAN

(childishly)

That's what I said!

DJ

Aww, c'mon guys! Can't you call Santa up?

Roseanne walks over to the phone in the kitchen and grabs it.

ROSEANNE

Sure!

ROSEANNE

(into the phone)

Get me Santa!

She hangs it up.

DAN

Sport, I'm sorry. But it's a recession. Even Santa is having trouble paying the light bill up there in the North Pole. Maybe next year.

DJ

I hate Christmas!

ROSEANNE

Now you're learning. Go wake up your sisters. They need to finish the laundry before Grandma and Grandpa get here.

DJ takes off back up the stairs. Roseanne joins Dan on the couch.

DAN

Ouch.

ROSEANNE

Yeah. Remember when we promised we'd give our kids everything they asked for on Christmas?

DAN

We also promised to love them unconditionally.

ROSEANNE

I don't remember that!

She laughs and cozies up to Dan.

EXT. CONNER HOUSE - AFTERNOON

The snow has now picked up. A few inches have covered the front yard.

INT. CONNER HOME - KITCHEN

Roseanne, now dressed, washes off the kitchen table. Dan has just come in from shoveling the walks.

DAN

Heard from your parents yet?

ROSEANNE

They're still stuck in Elgin.

DAN

Good!

ROSEANNE

Keep it up and we'll spend Christmas at their house.

DAN

You wouldn't dare!

ROSEANNE

Try me!

Dan sneers as he sits down at the table and grabs the paper. Becky then enters the kitchen, innocently glaring at Roseanne.

BECKY

Need help?

Roseanne seems suspicious.

ROSEANNE

Did you finish the laundry?

BECKY

Yup. Fluffed and folded.

ROSEANNE

Room cleaned?

BECKY

Darlene is working on that.

Roseanne's eyes rise further in doubt.

ROSEANNE

You want something!

BECKY

Do not!

ROSEANNE

Yes you do! You're never this obedient!

BECKY

Dad!

DAN

Sorry, Beckster, your mom's got you there.

BECKY

Oh right. Can't even offer to help without an ulterior motive.

ROSEANNE

I created ulterior motives.

Roseanne laughs as Becky looks onward, deadpanned.

BECKY

It's nothing big.

ROSEANNE

Uh huh.

BECKY

Jimmy and his folks are spending Christmas at their cabin down at Shabbona Lake.

ROSEANNE

Uh huh

BECKY

And he invited me.

ROSEANNE

Absolutely not.

BECKY

Mom!

ROSEANNE

No, Becky. You're spending Christmas with your family.

BECKY

That's not fair.

ROSEANNE

Exactly! If I have to suffer through it, so do you.

Becky turns to Dan, who forcefully tries to ignore their fight.

BECKY

Dad?

DAN

Your mom's right, Becky. Your grandparents are coming.

BECKY

I saw them at Thanksgiving.

ROSEANNE

And you're gonna see 'em at Christmas! With a big ol' jolly smile on your face because you're gonna enjoy it.

BECKY

Real fair! I hate this house!

ROSEANNE

Yeah well so do I.

Becky storms out of the kitchen.

Roseanne grabs a piece of paper off the counter.

ROSEANNE

Think it's too late to send Santa my Christmas list?

INT. CONNER HOME - BECKY/DARLENE'S ROOM

Becky is packing, while Darlene lays on her bed tossing her baseball up in the air.

DARLENE

You're not going to get away with this, snot face.

BECKY

What do you know?

DARLENE

I know Momzilla watches over this place like it was the last slice of pizza in the pizza box.

BECKY

Well I don't care. I'm going with Jimmy.

Darlene sits up and tosses her ball at Becky, who ducks out of the way.

BECKY

Jerk.

DARLENE

You're the jerk. You're gonna go and tick off mom and dad the day before Christmas and it's going to be DJ and me who suffers. I want my gifts! I've been good for the last month and a half. I deserve them!

BECKY

Yeah, well, that's your problem.

Becky, now packed, begins walking toward the door. Darlene quickly bolts off her bed and blocks her.

DARLENE

No. It's your problem. You're not ruining Christmas.

BECKY

Get out of the way, Darlene.

DARLENE

Or what?

BECKY

Or I'll use your head as a baseball.

DARLENE

You don't scare me.

Becky jerks forward and Darlene flinches back.

BECKY

Thought so.

She then pushes her out of the way and exits into the HALLWAY.

But before she can get any further, Roseanne stands. Menacing.

ROSEANNE

Where do you think you're going?

BECKY

Uh - I was - uh

Darlene, seizing the upper hand, snidely interjects.

DARLENE

With Jimmy…

ROSEANNE

I told you no.

BECKY

Mom, you're being unfair.

ROSEANNE

That's what's great about being a parent. You never have to be fair. And when you have little joys yourself, you'll know exactly where I'm coming from.

DARLENE

I think you're fair, mother.

ROSEANNE

Put a sock in it, Darlene. I've already done the Christmas shopping.

Darlene retreats back into her bedroom.

BECKY

You're so not cool

ROSEANNE

You're just now figuring this out?

Becky doesn't answer.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

Am I going to have to stand guard the entire day or are you going to start acting like a mature teenager?

BECKY

(annoyed)

Fine.

INT. CONNER HOME - KITCHEN - LATER

The kitchen is finally cleaned. Roseanne, alone, cooks a plump turkey as JACKIE enters through the back door. She's carrying a large bag filled with gifts.

JACKIE

Hey.

ROSEANNE

Oh hey.

JACKIE

They here yet?

ROSEANNE

They? Oh you mean our lovely parents?

She pauses for a second, smiling.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

No.

JACKIE

Good. Do you have something to drink?

Roseanne points toward the fridge.

ROSEANNE

I think we have some pop.

JACKIE

I was thinking something a bit stronger.

ROSEANNE

Oh. Na, sorry. Polished it off this morning.

To show a hint of her sarcasm, Roseanne laughs.

JACKIE

So where do you want the gifts?

ROSEANNE

Oh I don't know - under the Christmas tree?

Just as Jackie goes to grab the bag, Becky enters. She angrily opens the fridge, takes a glance inside and slams the door shut and storms out of the kitchen.

JACKIE

What's her problem?

ROSEANNE

She hates me.

JACKIE

Well how's that different from any other day?

ROSEANNE

Well I guess it's not.

JACKIE

So what'd you do?

ROSEANNE

I didn't do nothing! She wanted to spend Christmas with Jimmy.

JACKIE

And you said no?

ROSEANNE

Of course I said no. It's Christmas.

JACKIE

Remember that one Christmas when you wanted to go up to Chicago with Mike Sullivan?

ROSEANNE

Yeah. What about it?

JACKIE

Mom cried and cried because she thought it meant you didn't want to spend Christmas with her.

ROSEANNE

I didn't - and still don't!

JACKIE

Yeah well, kids do that.

ROSEANNE

And I didn't go, did I?

JACKIE

But you were miserable the whole Christmas break.

ROSEANNE

Oh wake up, Jackie! I've been miserable my whole life.

Then a commotion from the living room - the grandparents have arrived.

DAN (from living room)

Rosie, your folks are here.

Roseanne looks over to Jackie, fighting back laughter.

ROSEANNE

Think Jimmy Meltrigger's family would mind if I tagged along?

In the living room, there is a lot of hugging. Dan, who had been watching television, tries to maneuver around it.

Jackie and Roseanne enter from the kitchen.

BEV

Roseanne! Jackie!

BEV walks up and gives them both a hug.

ROSEANNE

Hi mom. How're the roads?

BEV

Just awful. And worse with the way your father drives.

ART

I thought about tying a sleigh to the back and forcing your mother to ride in it just to shut her up.

BEV

Oh Art, you're terrible.

Bev does a quick glance around the living room.

BEV (CONT'D)

Where are my wonderful grandkids?

ROSEANNE

In another dimension?

Roseanne then walks up to the stairs and yells up them.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

Children! Your grandparents are here!

From upstairs, you can hear the sound of footsteps thumping closer to the stairway.

BEV

Roseanne, looks like you've put on a few Holiday pounds…

ROSEANNE

(under her breath)

I'd like to pound you.

BEV

What was that dear?

ROSEANNE

Nothing mother!

DJ and Darlene storm down the stairs.

DJ

Grandpa! Grandma!

DARLENE

Where's the presents?

Bev and Art both shower them with smooches.

ART

Not even a kiss from your favorite grandpa?

DARLENE

What's it worth to you?

ROSEANNE

Darlene!

Darlene relents and allows Art to plant one right on her cheek. After the smooch, Darlene quickly wipes it away.

DARLENE

Okay. I lived up to my end of the bargain. Now those gifts?

ART

They're out in the car. I'm sure your old man wouldn't mind getting 'em.

Art tosses Dan the keys, who reluctantly agrees.

BEV

Where's Becky?

ROSEANNE

(yelling upstairs)

BECKY! GET YER BUTT DOWN HERE!

BEV

Do you always have to be so loud?

ROSEANNE

Yeah.

Becky slowly ambles down the stairs, shooting Roseanne with a death glare.

BECKY

Hi Grandpa and Grandma.

ART

Well get down here and give your old grandpa a kiss.

DARLENE

Yeah, Beck, pucker up!

BECKY

Cram it, Darlene.

ROSEANNE

Now, now. Save the fighting for dinner.

INT. CONNER HOME - KITCHEN

Jackie and Roseanne sit at the kitchen table drinking coffee, while Bev pours herself a cup.

BEV

Have you checked on the turkey?

ROSEANNE

Yes, Mom.

BEV

Maybe I should give it a little look.

ROSEANNE

It's fine, Mom.

BEV

Just a peek.

Bev opens the stove and takes a glance.

ROSEANNE

(whispering to Jackie)

How much would you give me if I pushed her in?

Bev quickly bolts up.

BEV

Don't think I didn't hear that.

Bev joins them at the table.

BEV (CONT'D)

Jackie, you're looking a little gaunt. Have you been sick?

JACKIE

No, Mom. But thanks for pointing that out.

BEV

You need a little color. Get some sun.

Roseanne takes a look out the back window, the snow continues to pile up.

ROSEANNE

Yeah because Lanford is such a tropical paradise.

Jackie laughs. Bev looks less amused.

BEV

(to Roseanne)

So I noticed some tension between you and Becky. What'd you do this time, Roseanne?

ROSEANNE

Why do you think it's my fault?

BEV

Oh Roseanne, I know you.

ROSEANNE

Well you're wrong.

BEV

Want me to talk to her?

ROSEANNE

Not if you want things fixed.

INT. CONNER HOME - KITCHEN

A bit later, dinner is about to be served. The kitchen table has been expanded and the turkey fresh out of the oven. Bev and Jackie are setting the plates.

In the living room, Roseanne notices Becky is missing.

ROSEANNE

Where's your sister?

DARLENE

Hopefully under a pile of snow.

ROSEANNE

I'm serious, Darlene.

BECKY

She went upstairs.

INT. CONNER HOME - BECKY/DARLENE'S ROOM

In the bedroom, Becky lays on her bed, looking out the window as the snow falls.

Roseanne knocks on the door.

ROSEANNE

Can I come in?

BECKY

Not like you won't anyway.

ROSEANNE

You're right.

Roseanne enters and plops down next to Becky on the bed.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

I know you're mad at me, Becky.

BECKY

That's an understatement. So just leave.

ROSEANNE

No.

Becky sits up.

BECKY

Why do you always have to try and make things right? Why can't you just leave me alone?

ROSEANNE

Because I'm your mother. It's my job to bother you.

BECKY

Yeah, well, you're good at it.

Becky lays back down.

ROSEANNE

I've had practice.

Becky doesn't respond.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

C'mon, Becky. See it from my point of view.

BECKY

I'm always forced to see it from your point of view.

ROSEANNE

It's because I'm right.

BECKY

You're not funny.

ROSEANNE

No - but I am right about this.

Becky again sits up.

BECKY

What makes you so sure? It's a stupid two days and you couldn't even give me that.

ROSEANNE

It's not just two days. It's Christmas Eve and Christmas. You know, we've never been apart for Christmas?

BECKY

Yeah, well, some day we will. So you should get used to it.

ROSEANNE

Exactly my point, Becky. There isn't a limitless amount of Christmases we're going to spend together. So why rush it?

BECKY

Because it's the same thing every year. So why does it matter if I take one year off?

ROSEANNE

'Cause before you know it, you'll have a family of your own and it'll just be me and your dad - and probably DJ - celebrating. I just want to spend as many Christmases as I can with you, Darlene and DJ because I know one day you won't be here anymore.

BECKY

Grandma and grandpa are here every Christmas.

ROSEANNE

Only because no one else will have 'em.

Becky laughs.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

You'll have plenty of Christmases to go off and do your own thing. But not now. Not today. And you'll hate me, but when you have children of your own, you'll see where I'm coming from.

BECKY

I guess.

ROSEANNE

So you gonna come down and eat?

BECKY

Yeah.

INT. CONNER HOUSE - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER

Most the family has already found their way to table as Becky and Roseanne enter the kitchen.

BEV

So have you two made up?

ROSEANNE

I guess you can say that.

DARLENE

It's a Christmas miracle!

BECKY

Quiet, Darlene.

The two join the rest of the family at the table.

Dan, sitting next to Roseanne, grabs her hand.

The scene ends with the family abuzz while they eat their Christmas Eve feast.

EXT. CONNER HOUSE - MORNING

It's Christmas Morning. A few flakes of snow shakes from the sky.

INT. CONNER HOUSE - LIVING ROOM

The entire family eagerly awaits the opening of gifts, though minus one member - Dan.

DJ

Can we please open them?

DJ shakes with anticipation.

ROSEANNE

Not until your dad gets his butt out here.

She turns toward the bedroom and yells.

ROSEANNE (CONT'D)

DAN! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?

BEV

Oh Roseanne, a woman shouldn't yell like that. Get up and go into the other room if you want to communicate with your husband.

ROSEANNE

Well let's give it a try, Mom. Why don't you go sit in the kitchen and when I'm ready to communicate, I'll come in and join you?

Art grabs Bev's hand, subtley telling her to back off.

DJ

(whining)

Mooooom.

ROSEANNE

(yelling)

All right, Dan. I guess I'll just have to give all your gifts to goodwill. And it looks like Santa brought you a nice new fishing reel.

That gains his attention, as Dan quickly bolts out of the back hallway and into the living room.

DAN

You wouldn't dare!

ROSEANNE

Okay, DJ - Christmas is officially here.

DARLENE

'Bout time.

The family begins tearing open their gifts with reckless abandon. Roseanne, though, just sits and watches - smiling.

THE END