The Golden Girls (season 4)

The fourth season of The Golden Girls premiered on NBC on October 8, 1988, and concluded on May 13, 1989. The season consisted of 26 episodes.

The Golden Girls
Season 4
DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes26
Original networkNBC
Original releaseOctober 8, 1988 (1988-10-08) –
May 13, 1989 (1989-05-13)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of The Golden Girls episodes

Broadcast historyEdit

The season originally aired Saturdays at 9:00-9:30 pm (EST) on NBC from October 8, 1988 to May 13, 1989.[1][2]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
771"Yes, We Have No Havanas"Terry HughesMort Nathan and Barry FanaroOctober 8, 1988 (1988-10-08)32.6[3]
Blanche dates a senior citizen named Fidel Santiago, but gets a surprise when he starts seeing Sophia as well, and the two women soon bitterly fight—only to get a surprise when Fidel unexpectedly dies. Dorothy teaches a history class for General Equivalency Diploma candidates, who include Rose.
782"The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo"Terry HughesKathy Speer and Terry GrossmanOctober 22, 1988 (1988-10-22)28.7[4]
Sophia plans to go to the market and buy a nectarine, which she does every day. The other girls worry that she is too old and frail to enjoy life. However, the tables are turned: Sophia has a full, active day of rallying fellow seniors to fight return policies at a supermarket, leading a charity band on the boardwalk, and volunteering at a hospital, while the other girls sit around the kitchen table talking about how to pass the time.
793"The One That Got Away"Terry HughesChristopher LloydOctober 29, 1988 (1988-10-29)31.3[5]
Blanche is expecting a visit from a high-school friend who, she claims, is the only man that ever rejected her. She becomes determined to seduce him to "perfect" her record—even when it turns out that he has grown fat and bald. Meanwhile, Rose claims to have seen a UFO and gets the Air Force involved.
804"Yokel Hero"Terry HughesMartin Weiss and Robert BruceNovember 5, 1988 (1988-11-05)34.5[6]

Rose is nominated to be St. Olaf, Minnesota's "Woman of the Year," but feels that her list of accomplishments is too bland to merit the prize. Blanche and Dorothy secretly change the list to make Rose sound more impressive, which wins her the award—and sends all four Girls on a lengthy trip to St. Olaf itself.
Special Guest appearance by Richard Mulligan.

This episode begins a crossover with Empty Nest that concludes on "Fatal Attraction".
815"Bang the Drum, Stanley"Terry HughesRobert Bruce and Martin WeissNovember 12, 1988 (1988-11-12)33.1[7]
Stan, hard-pressed for money, asks Dorothy and Sophia to a baseball game to butter up his ex-wife and get a loan. When Sophia is hit on the head by a ball at the game, Stan hatches a scheme to sue the ballpark, while Blanche and Rose prepare to be in a local musical production of Cats.
826"Sophia's Wedding: Part 1"Terry HughesBarry Fanaro and Mort NathanNovember 19, 1988 (1988-11-19)35.7[8]
Sophia's dearest friend, Esther Weinstock, has died, and Sophia must confront her friend’s widower, Max, whom she has always blamed for causing the pizza-knish stand owned by Max and Sylvia’s husband, Salvador, to go out of business by betting a day's profits on a horse race. But at the repast, the truth comes out: Salvadore was the one who gambled the money away, and Max lied to save his marriage. This leads to Sophia to see Max in a new, romantic light, and the two eventually marry, much to Dorothy's frustration. Meanwhile, Rose and Blanche start an unofficial Elvis Presley Fan Club.
Minor appearance by then unknown future director Quentin Tarantino as an Elvis impersonator.
837"Sophia's Wedding: Part 2"Terry HughesBarry Fanaro and Mort NathanNovember 26, 1988 (1988-11-26)38.2[9]
A stressed-out Dorothy starts smoking cigarettes again, 15 years after quitting. Sophia and Max return from their honeymoon, and they try to resurrect Max and Salvador's old pizza-and-knish stand at the beach which unfortunately burned down.
848"Brother, Can You Spare That Jacket?"Terry HughesKathy Speer and Terry GrossmanDecember 3, 1988 (1988-12-03)34.5[10]
Sophia accidentally donates Blanche's jacket to a thrift shop, with a winning lottery ticket worth $10,000 in the pocket. The jacket is purchased for Michael Jackson, who donates it to a charity auction after wearing it during a performance; a congressman buys it and donates it to a homeless shelter. Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia spend the night at the shelter, where each has a meaningful conversation with someone who sleeps there by necessity. Rose connects with former hotel porter Ben Wheaton, a fellow Minnesotan who found himself without marketable skills in middle age. Blanche feels maternal towards Kenny, a young alcoholic who holds a doctorate. Sophia and Dorothy learn that Sophia's friend Ida Perkins, formerly of Shady Pines, became unable to pay her bills after outliving her entire family. Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy search among the diverse homeless population; Blanche finds the ticket, and the women donate it to the shelter.
859"Scared Straight"Terry HughesChristopher LloydDecember 10, 1988 (1988-12-10)34.2[11]
When Blanche's newly divorced brother, Clayton, comes to town, he confides to Rose that he is gay; scared to tell Blanche the truth, though, he pretends to have bedded Rose. With Blanche furious at her roommate, Clayton is eventually forced to reveal the truth, sending Blanche into a tailspin of confusion and anger.
8610"Stan Takes a Wife"Terry HughesWinifred Hervey-StallworthJanuary 7, 1989 (1989-01-07)35.2[12]
Stan breaks the news that he is engaged to be married for the third time. At first, Dorothy is thrilled at the prospect of getting him out of her life—but after Stan stays by her side when Sophia is hospitalized, old feelings start stirring. Rose and Blanche team up to keep Dorothy from interrupting the wedding, but a chance encounter with Stan's new bride Katharine eventually convinces Dorothy to do the right thing.
8711"The Auction"Terry HughesEric CohenJanuary 14, 1989 (1989-01-14)33.5[13]
The Girls face a badly-leaking roof, but cannot afford to replace it. To get their minds off their troubles, they head to a gallery opening at Blanche's museum, where the obnoxious and rude Jasper DeKimmel is being feted. When hospital-volunteer Sophia reveals that DeKimmel is dying of a rare blood disease, Blanche hatches a scheme to purchase one of his paintings on the cheap and then sell it for a big profit after he passes away.
8812"Blind Date"Terry HughesChristopher LloydJanuary 28, 1989 (1989-01-28)32.8[14]
After being dumped by her boyfriend, Blanche befriends a man at a bar and makes a date with him, not realizing that he is blind; Dorothy and Rose try their hands at coaching a children's football team.
8913"The Impotence of Being Ernest"Steve ZuckermanStory by : Kevin Abbott
Teleplay by : Rick Copp and David A. Goodman
February 4, 1989 (1989-02-04)36.3[15]
Rose hits it off with new beau Ernest, but the two hit a snag when their relationship never quite gets physical. Meanwhile, Sophia fears a vendetta when she receives a black feather in the mail.
9014"Love Me Tender"Terry HughesRichard Vaczy and Tracy GambleFebruary 6, 1989 (1989-02-06)34.8[16]
Sophia objects to Dorothy's "completely physical" relationship with a nondescript new lover, Eddie (John Fiedler). Blanche and Rose become pals to two motherless girls, who also happen to be juvenile delinquents.
9115"Valentine's Day"Terry HughesKathy Speer, Terry Grossman, Barry Fanaro, and Mort NathanFebruary 11, 1989 (1989-02-11)36.0[16]
The ladies remember the unique ways they have celebrated Valentine's Day in the past.
9216"Two Rode Together"Terry HughesRobert Bruce and Martin WeissFebruary 18, 1989 (1989-02-18)34.9[17]
Dorothy hopes to spend "quality time" with Sophia, while Sophia just wants to ride Space Mountain at Walt Disney World. Rose and Blanche collaborate to write a children's book.
Special appearance by Freddie Jackson.
9317"You Gotta Have Hope"Terry HughesBarry Fanaro and Mort NathanFebruary 25, 1989 (1989-02-25)34.9[18]
Dorothy is in charge of a talent show and things are not going her way: she cannot find any talent for the show and her emcee has just canceled. She only groans when Rose insists she can get Bob Hope to appear.
9418"Fiddler on the Ropes"Terry HughesKathy Speer and Terry GrossmanMarch 4, 1989 (1989-03-04)35.9[19]
Sophia invests the roommates' money in a prizefighter, but are surprised when they discover he also an aspiring violinist.
9519"Till Death Do We Volley"Terry HughesRichard Vaczy and Tracy GambleMarch 18, 1989 (1989-03-18)30.8[20]
Dorothy is visited by high school friend Trudy (Anne Francis), whose friendship with her is based on competition and practical jokes. The competition gets out of hand when Trudy collapses and apparently dies during a game of tennis and Dorothy must break the news to their assembled classmates. Unfortunately, it was another prank.
9620"High Anxiety"Terry HughesMartin Weiss and Robert BruceMarch 25, 1989 (1989-03-25)31.1[21]
After Sophia accidentally knocks a bottle of Rose's pills down the sink, the girls learn that Rose is addicted. She battles withdrawal. Meanwhile, Dorothy and Sophia are hired to be in a pizza commercial.
9721"Little Sister"Terry HughesChristopher LloydApril 1, 1989 (1989-04-01)30.7[22]
Rose catches her visiting sister Holly with Blanche's boyfriend and tries to tell Blanche and Dorothy, who have been charmed by Holly and refuse to believe Rose. Meanwhile, Dorothy trusts Sophia to watch a dog.
9822"Sophia's Choice"Terry HughesRichard Vaczy and Tracy GambleApril 15, 1989 (1989-04-15)29.7[23]
Sophia's friend Lillian moves from Shady Pines to Sunny Pastures, a terrible facility. Sophia brings Lillian to stay at the house, where the women quickly realize Lillian requires full-time care they are unable to provide. Dorothy and Sophia try to force Sunny Pastures to provide better care, only to find that there is no malfeasance they can address; the facility operates at a loss with insufficient government funding, and the overworked administrator is genuinely open to ideas, though Sophia and Dorothy have none. Rose identifies a better place for Lillian to stay, but the monthly cost exceeds Lillian's benefits by $150. Blanche had been planning to use a work bonus for breast augmentation but decides to use it to pay for two years of Lillian's care. The women, realizing this solves only one person's problems, vow to stay together as they age.
9923"Rites of Spring"Terry HughesEric CohenApril 29, 1989 (1989-04-29)27.8[24]
Sophia obsesses over regaining a lost pound, while the other women decide to lose weight before a friend's pool party. They recall previous self-improvement attempts: Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy joined a gym, where enthusiastic trainer Yvonne convinced Blanche and Dorothy to buy expensive workout accessories and then injured herself leading an aerobics class; Sophia convinced the other women to visit hair stylist Eduardo, an attractive man who passionately described wildly different concepts for each woman's makeover but then styled their hair identically to Sophia's; and the women rejected Stanley's invitation to join a guru's encounter group and ended up arguing over Dorothy identifying Sophia as her best friend. Sophia accepts her lower weight after Dorothy determines Sophia's height has shrunk. After learning the party is a day later than expected, the women devour Sophia's decadent cake.
10024"Foreign Exchange"Terry HughesHarriet B. Helberg and Sandy HelbergMay 6, 1989 (1989-05-06)29.3[25]
In the 100th episode, Sophia's old friends come to Miami, Florida, United States from Sicily, Italy for a visit and have shocking news for Dorothy: they believe she is theirs, switched at birth with the daughter they raised. Meanwhile, Blanche and Rose take "dirty dancing" lessons; uncharacteristically, Blanche is not any good at it, while Rose is a quick study.
"We're Outta Here"Terry HughesBarry Fanaro, Mort Nathan, Kathy Speer, and Terry GrossmanMay 13, 1989 (1989-05-13)30.2[26]
Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose return home from a play to discover Sophia in the midst of selling the house. A "For Sale" sign was accidentally placed on the front lawn, but Blanche considers going through with the sale after learning the amount that she has been offered.


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  2. ^ TV Listings for May 13, 1989
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External linksEdit