The Competition was the seventh episode of Season 1 of The Golden Girls TV series, also the 7th overall series episode. Directed by Jim Drake, and written by series co-executive producer Susan Harris and Barry Fanaro, it originally aired on NBC-TV on November 2, 1985.
Rose and Blanche enter a local bowling tournament together, and after they tell Dorothy, she is interested and asks for them to find her a partner. After Sophia reveals that Dorothy is a much better bowler than Blanche, Rose dumps her and signs Dorothy up as her partner, remembering how she and Blanche lost the trophy to the Nielsen twins the prior year. When Blanche and Dorothy find out, both are upset with Rose, but Blanche admits that she is now partners with Olga Nielsen, who is angry with her sister, Sonja, for sleeping with her boyfriend. Dorothy reluctantly accepts Rose's offer, only to be dumped when Rose decides to team up with Sonja Nielsen. However, to the chagrin of Blanche and Rose, the Nielsen twins reconciled when the man they fought over suddenly died. Dorothy and Blanche team up to leave Rose alone.
Meanwhile, Sophia's first love as a teenager in Sicily, Augustine Bagatelli, arrives for a visit. They reconcile their relationship, and he invites her to come back to Sicily with her to attend the festival at which they met, 65 years earlier. Dorothy disapproves, and, in retaliation, Sophia teams up with Rose to take Dorothy and Blanche on in the bowling match. Sophia and Dorothy make a side bet; if Sophia won, Dorothy would finance her trip, however, if Dorothy won, Sophia would have to hand over her antique silver earrings. However, Dorothy sees how close her mother and Augustine are, and takes a dive in the tournament, handing the win to Rose and Sophia, and giving her blessing on Sophia's trip. After the tournament, Rose reconciles with the girls.
Rose Nylund: [walks into the kitchen while Sophia is cooking] Oh, Sophia, it smells heavenly. Is it Chef Boyardee?
Sophia Petrillo: [holds a knife in her hand] Stick it in my heart, Rose! It'll hurt less!
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: Honey, aren't you forgetting something? Rose dumped you.
Blanche Devereaux: That's right, she did. I hate being dumped. Just hate it! I haven't been dumped since Wade Hunnicut threw me over for Rebecca Wilkinson, a girl who did not value her reputation.
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: Did you let him get away with it?
Blanche Devereaux: Hell, no.
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: What'd you do?
Blanche Devereaux: Slept with his brother.
Sophia:(to Dorothy) I can't believe you're denying your own mother.
Rose: Denying her what?
Dorothy: Springsteen tickets, Rose.
- Instead of the usual music played at the start of Part One, we hear Sophia singing a "la-la-la" tune.
- Sophia's first kiss was with Augustine in Sicily, when she was 15 years old.
- The background shot in the closing credits shows Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche looking at Rose's bowling trophy.
- In the beginning of the episode, Sophia is making her famous "14 hour" sauce. When Dorothy dips the spoon in to sample it, twice she sticks it in and both times it's revealed to have no sauce on it.
- When Blanche comes home to show off her new bowling ball, you can see 6 or 7 studio lights reflecting on it when she shows it off.
- In paying close attention to the bowling alley scene, the extras behind the girls are laughing at the witty slams they are saying to each other.
- When the girls start bowling, Dorothy says they're bowling in Alley 7, but when she makes the last shot, the camera shows it as Alley 1.