Retroactive continuity is defined as new information being added to a fictional piece that contradicts already established facts. When a show like Married…With Children goes to 11 seasons, you can’t blame the writers for changing a few things to sustain themselves for the future. Such an example is that of Gary, Al Bundy’s boss at the shoe store.
Although Al Bundy works at Gary’s Shoes & Accessories, he has never met Gary and questions the actual existence of the store’s namesake. Early on in the series run, there was talk that millionaire playboy Gary was in a plane crash off of Hawaii. To gain favor with his boss, Al spent the family’s life savings on flowers for the family when he thought Gary had died.
Learning that not only was Gary still alive but donated all of the flowers to charity, Al threatened to quit if Gary did not acknowledge him and his work. Although quitting at first, Al was able to convince a buddy of his to pretend to be Gary in order for Al to gain back some of his humanity…for a price of course.
That was pretty much the end of Gary the shoe store owner until Al Bundy took a stand against women and their breastfeeding in the shoe store. Converting it to a men’s shoe store, that brings Gary out of the shadows and into the forefront.
Believing Gary to be a man, he doubts he is in trouble for the store change. When he meets the actual Gary, the female Gary, Al basically must throw himself on his knees to beg “Please don’t fire me.”
Gary is there for a reason. She was left off the Forbes 400 List because the shoe store never made any money. Instead of firing Al, she does the next worst thing…encourages him. Claiming that the shoe store will cater to ALL women’s needs, she declares that Al “will sell women’s shoes for the rest of your life.”
Never was there a truer statement on the show.