This section offers a list of goofs and glitches in consistency, and (in the same vein) a list of actors who portrayed more than one role on the series.
Ever notice the continuity problems that occur in televisions shows? Empty Nest had its share and here are just a few of them. If you have another, send it my way.
1. In “Fatal Attraction,” Charley mentions going to his father’s funeral, but his father later appears during seasons 4 and 6.
2. In “M.D. P.O.V.,” Charley mentions being his parents’ middle child, yet the only sibling ever mentioned again is his younger brother Deiter.
3. In “The R.N. Who Came to Dinner,” Laverne mentions that Mama Todd’s name is Dorthula, but in “Mama Todd, the Sequel,” she refers to her as Belva.
4. The Westons are neighbors of the girls on The Golden Girls. The Westons’ street address is 1755 Fairview Road, but the ladies’ address is 6151 Richmond Street. It was never said exactly how far apart they lived, but it was clearly supposed to be very close…close enough to exchange house keys for emergencies.
5. In one early episode in which a Spanish speaking patient visits the clinic, Harry can hardly speak the language but Laverne speaks it fluently. But, in “And Kevin Makes Three,” Laverne can’t speak it at all so Maxine and Harry (who speaks it fluently) help teach her. Harry also speaks some Spanish in “Love and Marriage” and “Family Practice.”
6. In “Family Practice,” Carol mentions having studied the art of clowning one summer in Paris, but in “My Sister, My Friend,” (although not actually saying so) she talks as though she has never been there.
7. After the Westons get robbed in the episode “The All-American Boy — Not!” during season five, Carol and Emily are looking through catalogs and picking out new furniture. Carol sees a coffee table and says that they used to have one just like it in the old house and she would do her homework on it while Emily would sit next to her coloring. However, in the episode “Windy” from season four, Barbara remarks that they have lived in their current house for twenty-four years. The problem is, Emily is only 23.
8. In “R.N. on the Rebound,” Laverne says that she never dated before she met Nick at age 15, then they were in love, then engaged, and finally married. But in “Hog Heaven,” she says that Sam, an old flame who comes to Miami, was her first true love and they had met the summer after she graduated high school.
9. In “Just You and My Kid” from season two, a former patient of Harry’s asks what happened to “that nice Nurse McConnell” he used to have. Laverne replies that she was caught dipping into the petty cash. In the season four episode “My Nurse is Back and There’s Gonna Be Trouble,” Harry’s former nurse Winifred McConnell shows up to fill in for the vacationing Laverne. Harry says Winifred was his nurse for 20 years before she retired and he hired Laverne.
10. In the episode “‘Drive,’ He Said” from season three, Charley is celebrating his 35th birthday. But in “Das Boob” from season six (3 years later), Charley is 41.
11. In the episode “Father of the Bride” from the first season, Harry says that Carol eloped when she got married. But in “More to Love” from season five, Carol tries to loan Emily one of her bridesmaid’s dresses from her wedding. She also remarks in another episode that her ex-husband slept with one of her bridesmaids.
12. In season one’s “The More Things Change,” Harry’s office is moved from the 12th floor of the hospital to the 2nd floor. But in season five’s “Love & Marriage,” Charley mentions that the hospital only has seven floors.
Same Actor7, Different Character
Also in the field of inconsistencies, ever notice how actors turn up in several episodes as different characters each time? Sure they are just hired to play their parts but seeing the same woman as a doctor once and a babysitter the next time does take away from the realism, so I thought I’d point some of these out.
1. Fred Applegate plays neighbor Mr. Patrick in “Someone to Watch Over Me,” FBI agent Clifford McGraw in “The Sting,” and owner of the clinic Mr. Hackler in “Lordy, Lordy, Landlordy.”
2. Richard Stahl plays a bellman in “The Fracas in Vegas,” and had a recurring role as Charley’s father Fred Dietz.
3. Christopher Castile played Larry in “Barbara the Mom,” and Barry in “Final Analysis.”
4. Liz Sheridan played Elspeth the maid in “Take My Mom, Please,” and Laverne’s neighbor Mrs. Coover in “Charley’s Millions.”
5. Debra Jo Rupp played Claire in “Talk, Talk, Talk,” animal therapist Dr. Simmons in “Dog Day Afternoon,” and babysitter Danielle in “Lordy, Lordy, Landlordy.”
6. Tony Longo played Stan in “The More Things Change,” an airplane passenger in “My Nurse is Back…,” and ex-convict Jake in “Cruel and Unusual Punishment.”
7. Eric Allan Kramer played an apartment manager in “‘Drive,’ He Said,” Sven in “The Boomerang Affair,” and Laverne’s old friend Sam in “Hog Heaven.”
8. Nana Visitor played Dr. Dawn Phelps in “Honey, I Shrunk Laverne,” and Margie in “Talk, Talk, Talk.”
9. Grace Zabriskie played Eva Barrett in “Pilot” (the first episode), and Laverne’s mother Scarlett Higby in “Life Goes On” (the last episode). Note: Grace and Park Overall again played mother and daughter in the film Sparkler.
10. Judith-Marie Bergan played Janet in “Here’s a Howdy-Do,” Paula in “Harry Knows Best,” and Libby Weston in “Life Goes On.”
11. Brady Bluhm played Joey in “The Tortoise and the Harry,” Matt in “R.N. on the Rebound,” and Little Boy in “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”
12. Jaclyn Bernstein played Amanda in “The Tortoise and the Harry,” and Nancy in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
13. Dee Dee Rescher played Mrs. Swenson in “Harry Snubs Laverne,” and Dana Anderson in “Talk, Talk, Talk.”
14. Elmarie Wendel played Agnes in “Charley for President,” and Vivian in “The Ballad of Shady Pines.”
15. D. David Morin played Greg, who came on to Carol when he was about to marry her friend, in “The Son of a Preacherman,” and had a recurring role as Kevin Millen, Carol’s boyfriend-then-husband, during season seven.