The Conners Reveals On-Brand Reason Why Darlene Is Banned From Chuck E. Cheese In Fun New Episode Clip

Darlene and Harris in their living room in The Conners
(Image credit: ABC)

As it often goes for everyone’s favorite middle class warriors, the Conner family has dealt with heavy issues in many of the episodes that have aired thus far in 2023, from Dan’s suffering empty-nest fears to Becky falling back on her addictive habits to Harris’s two-episode pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. This is a family that deserves an escape — perhaps set to the driving, frolic-inspiring tones of…Mark’s contrabassoon — and it sounds like at least one of them will make an attempt in Episode 517, “Road Trip and Guilt Trip,” with Darlene venturing out of town and leaving Becky and Ben with a load of responsibilities to deal with. But as it’s made clear in the exclusive new clip below, Darlene won’t be heading to Chuck E. Cheese for her relaxation needs. 

Okay, so I doubt Darlene would be opting in on playing redemption games at any fine Chuck E. Cheese establishments while out on a solo excursion, but there are no guarantees where the Conners are involved. Because in the clip below, featuring Darlene’s attempt to get some hangtime in with Harris, it’s made clear that Sara Gilbert’s playful-lite character was in one of the locations perhaps more recently than expected.

For those who didn’t get to watch, Emma Kenney’s Harris mentions Darlene being banned from Chuck E. Cheese, which warrants the explanation:

Mr. Cheese and I got into a small argument. It got slightly physical, but I mean my God, that was like two months ago.

On behalf of many parents around the country who would love to wallop the high-voiced mouse, I give Darlene a bunch of blue ribbons, and she gets to keep as many as she can grab while inside the Ticket Blaster. Now, was Darlene’s situation likely due to the actual person inside the costume being a turd, and didn't just serve as a blanketed swing at the franchise as a whole? Probably. I guess how widespread the ban is depends on how "slightly physical" things got. The fact that she's calling him Mr. Cheese doesn't sit well with me in any case.

The clip seems to be setting up the idea that Harris is now hanging out with Becky more than Darlene might be comfortable with, especially if Becky's cleaning ideas are all as brilliant+ as foot-scrubbing. Which may be why Darlene ends up leaving a bunch of notes and tasks for Ben and Becky to deal with while on her road trip. And I'll just blindly trust that Ben did something to deserve it. 

Perhaps while out on her trip, Darlene would be more interested in taking on another kind of game-ified experience more to her dark interests, such as the IT escape room that just opened in Las Vegas, or perhaps a crossover between The Conners universe over with that of Nicolas Cage’s horror-comedy Willy’s Wonderland. Which, yeah, I’ll admit started off as a dumb joke, but now I can’t think of anything I’d like to see more than Darlene and Nicolas Cage teaming up to take down sassy costumed mascots.

For now, though, I’ll live with the reality that The Conners brings to ABC every Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET, with episodes available to stream the next day with a Hulu subscription.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.