Here's why David left his family on 'Roseanne'

Cheryl Kahla
Apr 18, 2018
07:28 A.M.
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Fans of the series Roseanne were excited about the reboot, but hearing that Darlene's husband wouldn't be part of the new season was a hard pill to swallow.


His departure was explained in the fifth episode, aptly titled Darlene v. David, which aired on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. It included a guest appearance by actor Johnny Galecki who portrays David. 

Please note that this article contains spoilers. 

As reported by Pop Culture, David informed Darlene that he would be in town for his daughter Harris' birthday party. This upsets Darlene because he made and broke similar promises in the past. 

When Roseanne remarks that Harris would be happy to see David after all these years, Darlene replies that David's promises do more harm than good. 


She adds that Harris gets anxious over her father's visits, and constantly worrying about whether David will show up or not isn't good for Harris in the long run. 

Darlene also didn't know that Roseanne and her older sister, Becky, had kept in contact with David throughout the years. Due to their line of communication, Roseanne can confirm that David truly will attend Harris' birthday party. 

The audience later learns that David has been 'running around the world building houses for people in third world countries,' and that his failure to provide for his family infuriates Darlene's father. 


According to Vulture, Darlene refers to David's selfless volunteer work as 'Deadbeats Without Borders,' but Roseanne explains that David isn't necessarily a deadbeat father.

She tells Darlene that David walked out of the family because of the constant fights. Roseanne acknowledges that he's a good father, but that Darlene and David, as a couple, just aren't a match. 


David also gives his reason for leaving, saying that he felt guilty for leaving his family but "rationalized that is was O.K because [he] was helping people."

He added that he felt overwhelmed with all the responsibility after his brother, Mark, passed away and it was easier for him to walk away from the people he loved. 

In the end, Darlene and David agree that they simply don't work as a couple and that the logical option would be to file for a divorce.