Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding was the second episode of Season 1 of The Golden Girls, also the 2nd overall series episode. Directed by Paul Bogart, and written by Susan Harris and Winifred Hervey, it premiered on NBC-TV, first airing on September 21, 1985.
When Dorothy's daughter Kate gets married, Dorothy must confront her ex-husband Stanley, who walked out on their 38-year marriage for a younger woman.
Dorothy's daughter, Kate, comes to Miami with news that she's engaged to a podiatrist named Dennis. Dorothy is thrilled but her happiness quickly turns to anger when she realizes that her ex-husband, Stanley, will have to be invited to the wedding. After 38 years of marriage, Stan had left Dorothy for a younger woman. Dorothy threatens to make a scene at the reception, which places Rose and Blanche in the roles of peacemakers. After going through the reception, Sophia tells Dorothy if she's still mad at Stan, tell him once the party is over. When it is and the guests have left except Stan, Dorothy asks to talk to him privately, on the lanai Dorothy pulls off Stan's toupee, telling him off for walking out on her, it turned out Dorothy's anger is mainly because he used his lawyer to tell Dorothy about his plans, Dorothy reminds him of all the things they did in 38 years, Stan realizes the hurt his leaving did to his ex-wife and she asks Stan to leave.
- Lisa Jane Persky as Kate Zbornak
- Dennis Drake as Dennis Griffiths
- Herb Edelman as Stanley Zbornak
- Kurt Smildsin as Priest
- This is the first appearance of Dorothy's ex-husband Stanley Zbornak.
- Despite Stan being written as a one-off character, Stan would reappear throughout the series due to the positive reception as Herb Edelman.
- Dorothy's children, Kate and Michael, are seen several times throughout the run of the show, yet they are never seen together and neither one ever speaks of the other.
- The shot of Dorothy squeezing Blanche's hand so hard she falls to the ground and Dorothy telling Sophia she was a good mother are used in the opening.
- While Dorothy is talking to Stanley near the ending, a camera wire can be seen on the edge of the screen.
Rose enters carrying a tray with drinks.
Rose: "Shall I set this down someplace?"
Dorothy: (sarcastically) "No, Rose. Go to the corner and open a stand".
Dorothy: Oh, Rose I'd like you to meet my ex-husband Stan Zbornak.
Rose: (shaking Stan's hand) Hello.
Dorothy: (referring to Stan's wig) And this is his hair.
Rose: It's a pleasure to meet you both.
Blanche: "Rose, where's Dorothy?"
Rose: "I don't know. She was here a minute ago, I..."
She spots Dorothy with a knife approaching the wedding cake which Stan happens to be standing by.
Rose: "Oh, my God!"
She hustles Dorothy into the kitchen.
Rose: "Give me that knife!"
Dorothy: "What are you doing?"
Rose: (snatching the knife): "I can't let you go through with this! Do you want to spend the rest of your life rotting away in some disgusting jail cell, bribing screws for cigarettes and toilet paper?"
Dorothy: "Rose, in Miami it is not a felony to cut the wedding cake".
Rose: "Cut the... wed, Oh, I thought you were gonna stab Stan".
Dorothy: "Don't be ridiculous! Do you honestly believe that I would stab Stan at my own daughters wedding?"
Rose: (handing the knife back to Dorothy) "No, I guess not".
Dorothy: "Well of course not. I would wait until after the wedding. There are too many witnesses".
She holds up the knife as if she's about to stab someone.
Rose: "Oh, don't do that to me".
(Outside, Dorothy confronts Stan after all the years they spend together.).
Dorothy Have a seat.
Stan: What can I do for you? (He sits down).
Dorothy: Well, the first thing to do is start by taking this ridiculous toupee off your head. I want to speak to the man who left me! (Dorothy yanks off Stan's hairpiece.).
Stan: Ow! What's the matter with you?
Dorothy: You walked out on me, Stanley Zbornak!
Stan: Now I know why.
Dorothy: You walked out on me and you didn't even have the decency to tell me you were leaving. I heard it from some lawyer over the telephone. A stranger, Stanley. A total stranger told me that my marriage was over.
Stan: Dorothy, look, things happened.
Dorothy: "Things happened"? You're damn right things happened. Thirty-eight years happened. Thirty-eight years of sharing and crying and dreaming and fighting and loving and children and diapers and...school plays and little league and worrying if you'd get through your gallbladder surgery and wondering if I'd get through another Sunday dinner at your mother's house. And the lean years when the business failed, and the good years and the happy Christmases. All those things happened Stanley and because they did I deserved better than a stinking phone call from my husband's legal representative. You had a choice Stanley and you took the easy way out and it was a rotten thing to do! But now you're here in front of me and you can't run away. And I finally get to have what you tried to cheat me out of. I finally get to say "Goodbye, Stanley".
Stan: Look, Dorothy we...
Dorothy: I said "Goodbye, Stanley".