Little House on the Prairie

Back To School (2)

Season 6, Ep 2, Aired 9/24/79
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  • Episode Description
  • Laura decides that becoming a teacher will convince everyone of her maturity, but first she must pass the graduation exam.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Dean Butler

    Almanzo James Wilder (co-star prior to season 7)

  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Patrick Labyorteaux

    Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (1977 - 1981) (as Patrick Laborteaux)

  • Lucy Lee Flippin

    Eliza Jane Wilder (1979 -1980)

  • Kevin Hagen

    Dr. Hiram Baker

  • Fan Reviews (5)
  • Fun episode

    By 1lawfan, Feb 14, 2012

  • A great episode!! Laura and Nellie engage in their dirty tricks to win over Almanzo.

    By lisgirl978, Jan 26, 2007

  • Laura wants to grow up quickly, mainly to impress Almanzo. To do so, she intends to become a teacher.

    By Lady_Lancaster, May 08, 2011

  • Laura believes Almanzo Wilder is the man she will marry, he is much older than she is. She takes her teaching exam because she believes that will make her appear older. She ends up failing and it was Nellie's fault.

    By redsoxchic852, Jun 28, 2006

  • Laura falls in love with Almonzo, who is older than her, she tries to grow up quickly.

    By pisces_t, Sep 28, 2005

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (16)

    • Laura: (overvoice) I took Ma's advice and didn't say anything more about Almanzo. I guess I knew I'd always be Hafe-Pint to Pa, but I was just as sure that I would someday be Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    • Laura: You were out on your own, and working, when you were 12. Albert: You did say that, Pa. Charles: Albert, you're not in this conversation. Albert: Yes, sir. Charles: It was different for me. I was a man, I was supposed to go out and support the family. Caroline: Now, wait just a minute. I do agree that it's a little early for Laura to be teaching, but not because she's a woman. Now, I know this is a sore spot with you, Charles, but a woman is supporting this family right now. Albert: That is true, Pa...... Charles: Albert, please!

    • Nellie: Oh, hello, Laura. How did the test go? Laura: (through clenched teeth) It was all history. Nellie: You're joking! Laura: Miss Wilder says they're always all history. Nellie: Really? (smiles smugly) Well, now that I thin back.....I guess there was more history on it than I thought. I hope you're not angry. Laura: Why should I be? It wasn't on purpose, was it? Nellie: Of course not. Laura: Well, neither is this! (grabs Nellie around the neck and drags her toward mud) Nellie: Aaah! Ah, you wouldn't dare! Laura: You bet I will! (throws her in)

    • Charles: (after punching Almanzo) I'm really sorry, Mr. Wilder. My wife told me not to act with haste, and I did. Almanzo: That's okay. If I had a little girl, I'd probably have done the same thing. Laura: Stop it, all of you. Stop calling me a little girl--and talking about me like I'm not even here! I'm a woman--a woman! And I hate all of you!

    • Laura: Oh, and one more thing, Pa. When we're around other folks, would you please call me Laura or Beth instead of Half-Pint? Charles: (long pause) Sure....of course. If that's what you want. Laura: Thanks, Pa. Charles: Of course, we're not around other folks now, so finish eating your greens, Half-Pint!

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    Notes (2)

    • Alison Arngrim (Nellie) has discussed in previous interviews the famous mud fight scene with Melissa Gilbert (Laura). Arngrim has often mentioned how physically strong Gilbert was in real life, and not only did she really thrash Arngrim around, but Arngrim vividly remembers how Gilbert's hand came around suddenly and got her right in the mouth with a handful of mud!

    • Mrs. Oleson and Nellie Oleson are credited as guests stars in this episode.

    Trivia (6)

    • During the scene around the dinner table, Charles mentions that he quit school to go to work when he was twelve, but that he had to do it because he was "the man of the house" and was expected to support his family. But in Season 3's Journey in the Spring, we are introduced to Charles' parents, who are happily married, even though the husband was always a self-pitying downer. We know from this episode that Lansford was clearly in his son Charles' life as a child, and furthermore, Charles has an older brother named Peter, so if any of the Ingalls boy were the "man of the house," it was older child Peter. Reply: True, but in Season 3's Journey in the Spring, Part 1, we met Peter as an adult, and it was clear that he was very bitter and resentful toward their father. It's reasonable to believe, then, that Peter had that anger when they were kids, forcing Charles to step up and be the mature one.

    • After being tricked by Nellie, Laura angrily informs her that the examination was "all history." ALL history?? This may just be nitpicking, but I think what she meant to say was "a lot of history." Surely the whole thing wasn't just that subject area.

    • Even considering everything, it's a little unrealistic that the super-gentlemanly Almanzo would drive Laura home after the fight with Nellie and leave Nellie just sitting there in the mud.

    • This is the second time in the series that Laura is forced to humble herself to Nellie Oleson and apologize to her. The first time was in Season 5's Fagin. However, in this episode, Laura is clearly the one at fault, doing something to Nellie when Nellie hadn't done anything to her at that exact time. This wasn't the case in Fagin, when Nellie had it coming.

    • Reality is suspended a great deal in this 2-part episode, regarding the Laura/Nellie relationship. In Part 1, Laura sweetly offers to cook Nellie a full dinner for her and Almanzo. Then, in Part 2, Nellie acts all friendly and agrees to loan Laura the books for the exam--and give her some "advice" about the actual test. Given the negative history that these two girls have with each other, I find it incredibly hard to believe that either of them would be so stupid as to think that the other would do something so amicably for them. Laura, especially, should have known that after deliberately ruining Nellie's dinner with Almanzo, Nellie would absolutely have a revenge plot of her own. This could be considered nitpicking, though.

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    Allusions (1)

    • As Nellie lies in the mud, kicking and screaming in anger after her big fight with Laura, the viewer can hear a heavily orchestrated, yet campy version of the tune "Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie" as the background music. This song is an "old standard" and an American classic, but it wasn't written until 1905, so it's technically out of place here.

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