The show had two recurring "unseen" characters (those continually mentioned throughout the run of the show but never depicted onscreen), these were: Philip (Phil) Petrillo, Dorothy's cross-dressing brother (and Sophia's son), and Charlie Nylund, Rose's late husband. Sophia and Blanche's late husband's were depicted either in flashbacks, as a visiting "ghost", or in a "dream" episode.
This reminds me of something that happened back in St. Olaf.
Dorothy: Oh, Rose, stop! Rose, why is it that every time one of us makes an observation, the first thing we hear from you is "Back in St. Olaf?" I mean, did it ever occur to you that maybe we're ...
The layout of the house changes between the pilot episode and the rest of the series.
Season 1 (1985-1986) had a slightly different opening sequence consisting of a different shot of the city behind the show's title, one different clip in-between the credits for 'Beatrice Arthur' and Betty White, and a different clip behind the credit for Rue McClanahan. This open was replaced with the 1986 opening for syndication. The original opening has been restored to the season 1 DVD release.
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