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Brother, Can You Spare That Jacket was the eighth episode of Season 4 of The Golden Girls, and the 84th overall episode of the series.


Sophia accidentally donates Blanche's jacket to a thrift shop, with a winning lottery ticket worth $10,000 in the pocket. The girls go through a series of mishaps chasing after the jacket to retrieve the lottery ticket before it's too late.


Rose and Blanche return home in the evening, with Rose having bought scratch-off lottery tickets for the group and Blanche showing off a leather aviator jacket she bought. To their surprise, Dorothy's ticket contains the winning combination for $10,000. In their excitement, the girls decide to celebrate by going out for dinner, and Blanche keeps the winning lottery ticket in her aviator jacket for safekeeping. As Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche get ready, Sophia answers the door to find the owner of a thrift shop coming to pick up a box of donations the girls had called to take away. Sophia then mistakes Blanche's aviator jacket as an "old" jacket and assumes it was meant to be donated as well, and gives it to the thrift shop owner along with the box.

Later in the evening, the girls are in a panic trying to find Blanche's aviator jacket. Sophia realizes what she has done and admits her mistake to the girls, causing them to rush to the thrift store to retrieve the jacket. Once there, they discover a large bodyguard has taken the jacket for a celebrity named "Michael," who has chosen Blanche's jacket to wear for his performance for the evening. The girls fail to convince the bodyguard to allow them to speak to "Michael" when he assumes they are just excited fans.

The next day, the girls are dejected as they fail to find clues for where the jacket ended up. Rose, however, finds an advertisement in the newspaper for a charity auction, stating a jacket worn by a "rock star" the previous night will be donated as an item for the auction. Deducing it must be the jacket they're looking for, they head to the auction house. There, they are immediately outbid by a congressman for the exact amount of $10,000, who states he is immediately donating the proceeds and the jacket itself to a local homeless shelter due to recent accusations of his insensitivity toward the homeless.

The girls track down the jacket to Mission Street Shelter, and head there in hopes of retrieving it. They are greeted at the doorstep by Father Campbell, and Blanche pretends the group needs to stay overnight at the shelter as a guise to search for the jacket. Inside, each of the girls meet and have conversations with neighboring shelter residents. Rose meets Ben, a man also from Minnesota like Rose, who is a former hotel porter that has fallen on hard times since he was let go and businesses were reluctant to hire him. Blanche meets Kenny, a young man who achieved a doctorate in sociology, but succumbed to alcoholism due to social and familial pressures. Dorothy and Sophia meet Ida, who Sophia recognizes from living at Shady Pines together in the past, but Ida herself has fallen to homelessness after outliving all her immediate family with no one to help her. As most people in the shelter fall asleep, the girls gather themselves to look for the jacket through the night. Sophia had stayed up talking with Ida, where Sophia urges Ida not to lose hope, and to look forward to tomorrow. Ida, however, simply tells Sophia that it is already "tomorrow," while gesturing that the sun had come up. After being sobered by their experiences, Blanche quietly reveals she had found the winning lottery ticket from the jacket they were looking for. As Father Campbell came to wake the residents of the shelter, the girls thank him for the stay, and give the winning lottery ticket to him.

Guest Cast[]

  • Bodyguard - Andre Rosey Brown
  • Auctioneer - Howard Goodwin
  • Philip Starr - Stan Wojno
  • Father Campbell - Matthew Faison
  • Ben - Teddy Wilson
  • Kenny - Karl Wiedergott
  • Ida - Herta Ware


  • The celebrity named "Michael" most likely alludes to Michael Jackson, as the audience can only see a single hand waving from him, wearing a bedazzled glove reminiscent of the ones Michael Jackson typically wore during his performances.
  • The title is based on the song "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" by George Michael.
  • A cover of the song "Brother Can You Spare a Dime" is used in the episode, performed by a female vocalist, but is largely uncredited. IMDB lists Judy Collins as the vocalist.