Little House on the Prairie

NBC (ended 1983)
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  • show Description
  • This award-winning family drama was based upon Laura Ingalls Wilder's 9-part series of autobiographical books. Television producer and NBC executive Ed Friendly became aware of this enduring story in the early 1970s. He asked Michael Landon to direct the pilot movie, who agreed on the condition that he could also play Charles Ingalls. TIME: beginning in the 1870s. PLACE: the American frontier - more specifically, Walnut Grove in the state of Minnesota. THE CHARACTERS: Charles/Pa Ingalls: a homesteader farmer/woodworker; compassionate and loving, yet quick-tempered and ready to throw a defensive punch whenever necessary Caroline/Ma Ingalls: Patient and understanding wife and mother; the ideal prairie woman Laura Ingalls Wilder: The winsome, tomboyish second daughter of Charles and Caroline, who serves as the voice of the entire series, and eventually married Almanzo Wilder Mary Ingalls Kendall: Charles and Caroline's pretty and ultra-responsible oldest daughter, who longs to be a teacher and goes completely blind at the age of 15. She later marries Adam Kendall, although this is a fictional piece created just for the TV series Carrie Ingalls: The cute third daughter of Charles and Caroline, who didn't have a large role but was always portrayed as a very sweet little girl Grace Ingalls: Charles and Caroline's fifth and final child, who was only about 4 when her role in the series ended Jack: the loyal, lovable family dog, who was replaced by Bandit when he died in Season 4. Albert Quinn Ingalls: The fictional adopted son of Charles and Caroline--an orphaned runaway whom the Ingalls meet while living temporarily in Winoka James Cooper Ingalls: The fictional adopted son of Charles and Caroline, who comes to live with them after the death of his parents Cassandra Cooper Ingalls: The fictional adopted daughter of Charles and Caroline, and the younger sister of James Supporting characters include: Miss Eva Beadle: The first teacher of Walnut Grove, who taught Laura to read and helped Mary realize her dream to teach Dr. Hiram Baker: the loyal town physician Reverend Robert Alden: The town's devout and hugely caring Church minister Mr. Isaiah Edwards: The mountain-man/drifter-turned-farmer who settled in Walnut Grove, who had a drinking problem and, despite his happy-go-lucky exterior, had a lot of emotional turmoil in his life Grace Snider: A widow and town postmistress who marries Isaiah and adopts three orphaned children with him John Sanderson Edwards: the oldest adopted son of Isaiah and Grace, who lives with them after the death of his widowed mother, and becomes a writer Carl Sanderson Edwards: Isaiah and Grace's second adopted child, brother of John and Alicia Alicia Sanderson Edwards: The sweet youngest adopted child of Isaiah and Grace, and the younger sister of John and Carl Lars Hanson: The beloved founder of Walnut Grove, and proprietor of the Hanson Lumber Mill, where Charles and Isaiah worked Nels Oleson: father and proprietor of the mercantile (general store). Harriet Oleson: The rude, gossiping woman who spoils her children rotten and has a perpetual hold on her ever-patient husband Nellie Oleson Dalton: The bratty oldest child of Nels and Harriet, who butts heads with Laura throughout their childhood and later marries Percival Dalton (another fictional event). Willie Oleson: Nels and Harriet's youngest child, who is mischievous but has more of his father's kindhearted traits; eventually marries Rachel Brown Adam Kendall: Mary's husband, who is also blind and wins her heart by teaching her to reclaim her life when she first goes blind. Has two children with Mary, but they both die in infancy Almanzo Wilder: Laura's charismatic husband, a farmer who has two children with Laura, one of whom dies in infancy John Carter: A blacksmith and family man who moves from Walnut Grove to New York in Season 9 with his wife and two sons, moving into the Ingalls house when they relocate to Iowa. Sarah Carter: A newspaper editor and loving mother, wife of John Carter. Jeb Carter: John and Sarah's oldest child, fairly underdeveloped, but always a good kid Jason Carter: John and Sarah's adorable, endearing youngest son who was often Michael Landon's go-to kid for comic relief in some of the darker episodes from Seasons 9 and 10 Jenny Wilder: the sweet, effervescent fictional niece of Laura and Almanzo, who comes to live with them permanently after the death of her father, Almanzo's brother Royal. Nancy Oleson: A young girl that Nels and Harriet adopt once Nellie is grown; a monstrous, manipulative child who has her mother wrapped around her little fingermoreless

  • Latest News
  • Episode Guide
  • S 9 : Ep 22

    Hello and Goodbye

    Aired 3/21/83

  • S 9 : Ep 21

    May I Have This Dance?

    Aired 3/14/83

  • S 9 : Ep 19

    For The Love Of Blanche

    Aired 3/7/83

  • S 9 : Ep 19

    The Last Summer

    Aired 2/21/83

  • S 9 : Ep 18

    A Child With No Name

    Aired 2/14/83

  • Cast & Crew
  • Dabbs Greer

    Rev. Robert Alden

  • Jason Bateman

    James Cooper Ingalls (1981-1982)

  • Karl Swenson

    Lars Hanson (1974-1978)

  • Kevin Hagen

    Dr. Hiram Baker

  • Shannen Doherty

    Jenny Wilder (1982-1983)

  • Photos (7)
  • Top Contributor
  • millerem99

    User Score: 833


  • catsmeow3

    User Score: 508


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1123)

    • Mr. Edwards: Oh, Mr. Montague, I might have known you'd show up here once we got the wagon all loaded. Mr. Montague: My labors are intellectual, not physical. Mr. Edwards: You're not gonna translate any of them words into English, are you?

    • Sarah: (when Laura is near tears because of Albert) Laura, I could finish this if you would rather. Laura: No, that's all right. It helps to keep busy. You know, I keep thinking this is all just a dream, and I'm going to wake up. Sarah: I know. Jeb and Jason haven't known Albert for very long, but that didn't make it any easier to tell them. I think it's easier for a child to accept an adult dying, but when it's somebody like Albert.......

    • Amy: Jason Carter, I wouldn't kiss you if you were the last boy on Earth! (runs away) Jason: (to Jeb) See what you've done? Jeb: I didn't do nothing! Jason: You heard her. She said she wouldn't kiss me if I was the last boy on Earth. Jeb: And you believe that? Jason: You think she was lying? Jeb: Of course I do. Jason: (eyes light up) Yeah! Jeb: Now all you have to do is wait for the rest of us to die! (laughs and leaves) Jason: Thanks a lot, Jeb!

    • Nels: (Nancy sinks to the floor after after her father asks her to go and chop down a tree) Nancy, what are you doing? Nancy: I'm not feeling well. Nels: Well, you're going to feel a lot worse when you don't have any presents on Christmas morning. Nels: I have lots of presents. Nels: No tree, no presents. Nancy: Mother sent me those presents! Nels: And Father will take them away. If I were you, I'd get to chopping.

    • Nancy: (to Jason) You hate me, too! (storms off) Jason: I hope you don't mind me saying this, Mr. Oleson, but your daughter is awful strange. Mr. Oleson: I know, Jason. I know.

    • Mr. Edwards: (to Jenny) Before you know it, we'll be back here, all loaded down with Christmas cheer! Mr. Montague: Ah, yes, in the form of baubles and trinkets, no doubt. Mr. Edwards: Oh, now, Montague, don't tell me you've got something against Christmas. Mr. Montague: Not Christmas, Edwards. Crass commercialism and sentimentalism masquerading as Christian love. Emphasis on gift-giving is compromising our souls! Mr. Edwards: Well, I'll tell you something, old buddy, I would never want to compromise your soul, so I'll tell you what. I'll just skip over buying you a Christmas present this year. Mr. Montague: Suits me just fine.

    • Albert: Mr. Carter? Mr. Edwards agreed to give our team a rematch. What do you say? John: (smiles) I'm gonna do it, snake ball and all. Albert: (smiles, looks at Jenny, and tugs fondly on her braid) Come on. (the two of them leave) Mr. Edwards: I can't believe it. The boy wants to play baseball. Charles: He wants us to treat him like nothing's wrong, and that's what we're gonna do. That's exactly what we're gonna do.

    • John: I thought you and Jeb were supposed to be sharing the chores in this business adventure of yours. Jason: Yeah, so did I. John: You shouldn't let him get away with it. Jason: I can't do nothing. He's bigger than me! I wish you guys had me first. John: (smiles) Just poor planning on our part, I guess.

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    Notes (639)

    • It should be noted that Charles, Laura, Mr. Oleson, Willie Oleson, Doc Baker, and Reverend Alden are the only main characters to appear in every single season in the series.

    • This is the second time in the series that Albert addresses the children at the Walnut Grove School about the importance of living life to the fullest and making good choices. He did this previously, in Season 9's Home Again, Part 2.

    • If the young man playing Miss Plum's fiance Vance Reed looks familiar to you, it's because he is Cooper Huckabee, the actor who also appeared in Season 2's Troublemaker as one of Miss Beadle's problematic older students. It's been eight years since Huckabee appeared last, but when they show close-ups of his face, you can see that he looks exactly the same as he did back then, when he was just a big, immature schoolboy.

    • Of all the main characters in the series, the only ones to appear in all three of the final "Season 10" movies are Laura, Almanzo, Jenny, the Carters, Nels, Nancy, and Mr. Montague.

    • For whatever reason, the writers of this episode chose to portray the current Minnesota winter as a very mild one, where it's so warm that nobody is wearing so much as a light jacket. Michael Landon provides a very convincing reason for this at the beginning of the episode, but one still has to wonder why this was done. Perhaps something like this really did happen in Minnesota one time, or maybe the warm weather was just a nice contrast to the unforgiving winters and Christmases that were conveyed in the pilot movie and throughout the series.

    • Some viewers may notice that actor Joel Graves, who plays Samuel, closely resembles David Friedman (Jason Carter). When you start watching the episode, it may be hard to distinguish the two at times!

    • Notice how much different Shannen Doherty (Jenny Wilder) sounds in this episode, in comparison to Season 9, and even just the previous episode, Look Back to Yesterday, where she had a smaller role and it wasn't as noticeable. She has obviously grown up a great deal in just one year, and her voice is probably the biggest difference.

    • Sadly, Katherine MacGregor (Harriet Oleson) did not appear in any of the three final Little House movies. Aside from Mary, Adam and the younger Ingalls kids, she is the only main cast member not to make an appearance at all for these last few episodes. It's been said that MacGregor was on a pilgrimage in India during the filming of this epiosode, so that's why she couldn't be there.

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    Trivia (1121)

    • Even if there is no court order to get rid of the citizens of Walnut Grove, the U.S army could not compel it. Minnesota is a state which meant the Army would have illegally been used for law enforcement duties. County deputies or state police should have been sent to enforce the court order.

    • Adam is mentioned one last time when Charles says "There Berk and Davis that's the law firm my son in law use to work for".

    • When Charles and Caroline first arrive at the boarding house, and after Caroline hugs Almanzo, Charles tells her to go on up. How does she know where Laura's bedroom is, if she hasn't been there before?

    • In the last scene, when Laura and Albert are on top of the mountain, there are two close-ups of when they raise their hands together. The first time, you can see that the sleeve of Laura's dress is unbuttoned, and the second time, her sleeve is buttoned up.

    • Nitpick: The restaurant where Charles and Caroline go for dinner is the same place where in season 9's Once Upon a Time, Laura and Mr. Matthews go for dinner. But where Laura and Mr. Matthews goes is in Minneapolis, amd Charles and Caroline are in Burr Oak, Iowa.

    • Notice the scene where Albert comes back to Walnut Grove for the first time since his illness was revealed, and everyone is there to greet him. Melissa Gilbert (Laura) confessed in her 2009 memoir, Prairie Tale, that she had been out drinking the night before, and she was still hung over as she filmed this scene. She says it's particularly noticeable when she goes to hug Albert, and the camera zooms in on her face. To this day, she still feels a little guilty about it.

    • The classical violin piece that Mr. Montague plays for Charles is "Flight of the Bumblebee".

    • Although this was one of the final episodes, it was filmed prior to Season 9's finale The Last Goodbye.

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    Allusions (23)

    • The plot from this episode is based heavily on the timeless Christmas story known as The Gift of the Magi, written by O. Henry.

    • This episode name is just like Ebenezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol.

    • In the Big Inning is a pun on the first line of the Bible, "In the Beginning..."

    • Sutter's Mill is referenced several times in this episode. John Sutter was the owner of Sutter's Mill in Colona, California. There, in 1848, a mill worker discovered a few flakes of gold that would eventually lead to the California Gold Rush.

    • -: -
      In a way, this episode addresses hazing, an issue that gained mainstream media attention in the 1980s and 1990s following lawsuits against colleges and their fraternities. Nellie doesn't use sex or alcohol to pull her hazing-like stunt, but forcing Anna to quickly read a tongue-twister (the "Peter Piper" one) without stuttering is wickedly cruel.

    • In reference to Nellie and her political tactics, Laura quips, "Bossy Nellie Tweed's at it again!" This is a clear reference to "Boss" Tweed, a crooked New York politician who went to jail for corruption in the 1800's.

    • Charles tries to cheer Mary up about the election and reminds her that "Hayes won by one vote." This is an allusion to Rutherford B. Hayes winning a bitterly disputed presidential election by one vote in 1876, after the outcome was turned over to a special congressional commission.

    • Andy Garvey references Allan Pinkerton in this episode. Pinkerton, a Scotland native, emmigrated to the United States and served as a spy for the Union during the Civil War. He fought in the bloody Battle of Antietam, and in 1862, he foiled an assasination attempt on then president Abraham Lincoln. After the war, he founded the Pinkerton Detective and Security Agency, which is still in existence today.

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  • Fan Reviews (70)
  • TODAY SHOWS CORNY FAKE KIM KARTRASHIAN or other fake reality shows,can't COMPARE !!!!!!!

    By AmandaBauer7566, Oct 01, 2015

  • I love Little House on the Prairie

    By JordanRumsey, May 18, 2015

  • I Love Little House!

    By amanda2004ok, Feb 25, 2014

  • The book was better

    By Raven77, Feb 18, 2014

  • outstanding program

    By Richie52, Nov 24, 2012