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The Operation was the 18th episode of Season 1 of The Golden Girls TV series, also the 18th overall series episode. Directed by Terry Hughes and written by series co-executive producer Susan Harris with Winifred Hervey, it originally aired on NBC-TV on February 8, 1986.


Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy are part of the tap dancing Tip Top Trio. But worse comes to worse when Dorothy is taken out due to a foot condition called Morton's neuroma. She is admitted to the hospital where she initially refuses treatment because of her past phobia with doctors and hospitals.

After going to the hospital again Dorothy meets a patient called Bonnie who talks about how afraid she was having the surgery but she is glad she did it and Dorothy feels silly for her fear.

Ultimately, she had the surgery, but it cast aside by Blanche and Rose who dance as The Two Merry Widows.

Guest Cast[]

  • Anne Haney as Bonnie
  • Robert Picardo as Dr. Revell
  • Bill Quinn as the Priest


  • When Rose and Blanche are done dancing, studio equipment can be seen on the top of the screen.
  • Blanche reveals she has a fear of flying, however in later episodes she has a fear of funeral homes.


Scene excerpts[]

  • Bonnie: [In hospital, Dorothy is very nervous about surgery on her foot. Bonnie, the lady in the bed next to her, is exercising] I hope my exercising doesn't bother you.
  • Dorothy: No not at all. What is it some kind of therapy you have to do?
  • Bonnie: No - I just like to stay healthy.
  • Dorothy: Well, I hate to break this to you, Bonnie, but you're in a hospital the exercises aren't working.
  • Bonnie: Surgery today, huh?
  • Dorothy: Yes. And I might as well warn you I am the best patient in the whole world.
  • Bonnie: Oh I can put up with it for one night. And then tomorrow it is my turn in the operating room.
  • Dorothy: You're having surgery too?
  • Bonnie: Yep.
  • Dorothy: And you're smiling?
  • Bonnie: I've had this procedure before, the first time I was as nervous as you are. This time I know what to expect.
  • Dorothy: You're having the same operation, again? I mean, don't they get it right around here the first time.
  • Dorothy: Oh no, its nothing like that. About three years ago I had a mastectomy and - now I'm in for another.
  • Dorothy: And you're not scared?
  • Bonnie: I'm petrified. No one's that brave accept in the movies and on television. But at least this time I know what I'm facing. I've gone through all the steps before. I have considered the alternatives... dealt with the reality. The last time - I think I cried the moment the doctor told me and I didn't stop until they wheeled me off to surgery. And later, I cried because there was so much pain I didn't think it would ever go away, but it did. And it will again. You get through it. You go on. When it comes right down to it what other choice do we have? It could have been a lot worse I could have missed out on these last three years. [Dorothy is teary eyed and silent] Dorothy, are you alright?...How'd you feel?
  • Dorothy: Like a fool. Like a damn fool.