Little House on the Prairie

For The Love of Nancy

Season 8, Ep 9, Aired 11/30/81
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  • Episode Description
  • A new student named Elmer joins the class in Walnut Grove, and while he is a sweet kid who gets along well with the other children, the students can't help but snicker over his obesity. Essentially clueless about the person she really is, Elmer can't take his eyes off the beautiful Nancy, who agrees to be his girlfriend as a malicious effort to satisfy her own ulterior motives. While he is originally good-natured about the fat jokes, Elmer finally makes a drastic choice of his own after enduring too much verbal torment from Nancy.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Jason Bateman

    James Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

  • Richard Bull

    Nels Oleson

  • Matthew Laborteaux

    Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

  • Missy Francis

    Cassandra Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Overweight new kid in class falls for the evil Nancy.

    By DrCook920, Apr 10, 2008

  • Almost everyone of us has went to school with a kid like Elmer!

    By Angelucias, Oct 07, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Elmer: (after overhearing Willie comment on his weight) The kids at my other school called me Piggy! Albert: Oh, um, he didn't mean that, Elmer. Elmer: Aw, that's okay. Everyone has to have a nickname. It makes you feel like you belong.

    • Albert: (about Elmer) He seems friendly enough. Willie: Fat people are always friendly. Well, they are!

    • Albert: (to Elmer) I thought it was mean to call you those names, but you seemed to enjoy it. Maybe if you had asked us to stop, things wouldn't have gotten so bad. I'm not blaming you--I'm just saying we all have our faults. Isn't that right, Nancy? Nancy: Mother and I spent hours trying to think of one for me, and we couldn't come up with a single solitary fault.

    • Mrs. Miles: (to Jess, who isn't eating his food) Why can't you be more like Elmer? Elmer: Leave him alone, will you? Mrs. Miles: Elmer! Elmer: Why do you make him eat all the time? Do you want him to get fat and have all the kids make fun of him, and not have any friends? Is that what you want? Well, maybe he's just not hungry! (storms out) Mrs. Miles: What on Earth has gotten into that boy? Mr. Miles: Sounds like good sense to me.

    • Elmer: Nancy, please! There must have been some mistake, I swear! Nancy: Don't ever talk to me again, you big fat slob!

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (3)

    • In Season 3's The Election, the episode focused on the plight of a timid and tormented student named Elmer--which is also the name of the targeted child in this episode.

    • Michael P. Alan, who plays Joey in this episode, appeared in Season 5's The Wedding as a boy named Peter at the blind school.

    • Featured characters: Nancy Oleson and Elmer Miles.

    Trivia (3)

    • In the scene after Elmer quits school, he is having dinner with his family. There is a shot of their house from the outside, and it's clear that the sun is almost completely down. However, in the next scene, when Elmer and his father are outside and the school children come to talk to Elmer, it is full daylight. These two scenes were obviously filmed at very different times.

    • Nels Oleson is usually the voice of reason throughout the series, especially in contrast to his wife. In this episode, however, when Elmer is over for dinner at the Olesons, Nels allows Willie and Nancy to laugh at Elmer's voracious eating stunt and doesn't tell them to stop. It's as if Nels literally doesn't know what to say, but in other episodes, when Harriet is away, he usually jumps at the chance to discipline his children the way he sees fit, and that's certainly not the case here.

    • In the emotional scene where Elmer reads his essay, announces his withdrawal from school and runs out of the classroom, Laura doesn't budge from her desk. After hearing something like that from a student, a teacher should have at least called out to him or run after him.

  • Add a Comment
    In reply to :
    • Kentish_Man Apr 06, 2014

      Why did Harriet go away? She clearly explained to Nancy in the opening scene that she was going to Minneapolis on her annual buying trip for merchandise for the Mercantile, and it had to be her because she thinks Nels has no business sense. It probably was a plot device to allow Nancy to show her 'incorrigible' side again, after a quiet period when she has been kept under control by Harriet's cosseting and indulgence of her demands.

    • dlatreset Jul 29, 2013

      Drcook920 asked why Harriet went away at the beginning of this episode. I wondered the same thing myself. I finally figured out that it's because Nancy sees Elmer as useful to her because of all the work she now has to do because her mother is gone. She realizes Elmer is good at math, so she zeros in on him as a possible means to get her homework done for her. Her mother is not there to do the nature study either, so she enlists Elmer.