Little House on the Prairie

Little Women

Season 3, Ep 15, Aired 1/24/77
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  • Episode Description
  • As a special school activity, Miss Beadle allows the children to create group skits that they will later perform for their parents. Mary and Laura team up with Nellie and Ginny Clark, a lonely young girl whose widowed mother has been neglecting her daughter's emotional needs. Meanwhile, Willie is having trouble getting the other boys to perform "Tom Sawyer" with him.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Melissa Gilbert

    Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

  • Melissa Sue Anderson

    Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

  • Richard Bull

    Nels Oleson

  • Charlotte Stewart

    Miss Eva Beadle/Mrs. Simms (1974 - 1978)

  • Michael Landon

    Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • nellie wants lead in the school play

    By JenniferHarris1, Sep 04, 2013

  • The daughter of a bitter widow yearns to make her mother happy.

    By ceosmom, Oct 20, 2006

  • The wig!

    By 1lawfan, Jan 26, 2012

  • Miss Beadle allows the class to put on small plays in groups and rarely have I been so bored.

    By Lady_Lancaster, Apr 17, 2011

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (8)

    • Charles: (when his daughter is crying) Carrie? What's the matter, honey? Carrie: I want to be in the play with Mary and Laura. Charles: Aww. Well, you will be, when you get bigger. Carrie: Everybody always says that. What if I don't get bigger?

    • Laura: I still don't see why we had to let Nellie in our group. Mary: You saw the look on Ginny's face. It meant so much to her, getting to go to Nellie's and all. Laura: That's like wanting to go to hell instead of Heaven! Mary: Laura Ingalls! Laura: Well, like Pa always says, it's gotta be there for somebody!

    • Caroline: Laura? Laura: Yes, Ma? Caroline: Have you see the mop? Laura: The mop? Caroline: Yes, the mop. Laura: The new mop? Caroline: Yes, the new mop. Laura: Well, I...... Charles: Laura? Laura: Yes, sir? Charles: Would you come to the stairs please, dear? Laura: Right now? Charles: Right now. (Laura comes to the stairs, wearing the mop on her head; Charles and Caroline laugh) Charles: Well, I can see you found the mop. Now why do you have it on your head? Laura: Well, Nellie gets to wear a wig in the play. I was just seeing how it looks. Caroline: Well, you look more like Medusa than you do like Beth. Laura: Who's Medusa? Charles: Never mind who Medusa is. You just get that thing off your head and back on the handle where it belongs.

    • Charles: You've been calling on the Widow Clark, have you? Mr. Mayfield: Not that you'd notice. She's just not interested in me, I guess. I've tried everything. Mr. Edwards: You know what you ought to do? What you ought to do is, you gotta let her know how you feel, see? Then you tell her how it's gonna be. I mean, there ain't a woman nowhere that don't appreciate a firm hand! Well, take Grace, for instance. I mean, she'd still be pining her nights away alone if I hadn't spoken up. Yes, sir, I mean, I told her how it was gonna be, I told you what was gonna happen, and I-- Charles: (looks behind Mr. Edwards) Oh, good morning, Grace! Isaiah was just talking about you. We'll leave you two alone. (he and Mr. Mayfield leave) Mr. Edwards: (gulps multiple times, is nervous) Gracie, I...... (turns around, realizes that nobody is there)

    • Harriet: (after volunteering to write the script for Nellie's school play "Little Women") Well, after all, Willie needs a part, so I'll just write something in for him. Willie: I'm not gonna be a little woman! Harriet: Oh, don't be silly! Nels: This is one time that I tend to agree with Willie.

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    Notes (7)

    • This is one of the only episodes of the series where Alison Arngrim's real hair is shown.

    • When Willie gets paint dumped on him, he rushes over to talk to his parents, and white paint splatters all over the desk top. Yet in the very next shot of the desk, which only occurs a few seconds later, there's no paint anywhere.

    • It seems odd that Grace Edwards does not attend the play, since her son Carl is in the opening skit.

    • Nitpick: All the schoolchildren broke up into groups of 3 or 4 to perform skits for the school play. Yet, after just one skit (the pivotal "Little Women"), Miss Beadle announces, "the play is over". Granted, a very touching moment has just occurred between Ginny and her mother, but would Miss Beadle really call off the rest of the skits, when all the other parents were waiting to see their children perform? The viewer can't assume that she only meant the Little Women skit was over, because several parents are seen standing up and leaving.

    • Warren Vanders (Mr. Mayfield) previously appeared in five episodes of Bonanza with Michael Landon.

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    Trivia (12)

    • Actor Roger Bowen, here playing wigmaker Mr. Mason, played Col. Henry Blake in the original M*A*S*H movie. Ironically, in 1996, he died just one day after actor MacLean Stevenson, who had played Colonel Blake on the TV show M*A*S*H.

    • Laura, Mary, Mrs. Oleson, Mr. Mayfield, and just about everyone in this episode refers to the little girl as Ginny, but her mother clearly says Jenny. One has to wonder which pronunciation is correct.

    • The actress who plays Ginny wears a wig throughout the episode, as evidenced by the almost unnatural light blondeness of the wig, as well as the way it hangs awkwardly on the sides.

    • This is one of the first and only times that we see Harriet Oleson really toughen up on Nellie near the end of the episode, when she refuses to be in the play with her ugly curled wig. Harriet even threatens to whip her if she doesn't come out of her room, which is quite shocking coming from her!

    • During the uproarious laughter that occurs after a paint-covered Willie enters the classroom, the viewer can clearly hear Michael Landon laughing much, much louder than everyone else, even though he's in the last row of the classroom. It seems odd that he had a mike on or nearby, as no one in that scene in the back of the room had any dialogue, including Landon.

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