Little House on the Prairie

The Talking Machine

Season 2, Ep 13, Aired 1/14/76
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  • Episode Description
  • Nellie and Laura both begin clamoring for the affections of a boy at school. Angered when Jason indicates a preference for Laura over her, Nellie attempts to sabotage their relationship by using her brand-new talking machine as a malicious tool for blackmail.

  • 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 (2)
  • Nellie is up to her old tricks again and, as usual, Laura is the target.

    By Lady_Lancaster, Apr 07, 2011

  • Laura is humiliated when Nellie and her "talking machine" spill the beans about her crush on a fellow classmate.

    By ceosmom, Oct 26, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (15)

    • Mr. Godfrey: You know, I bet that you would get a pure pleasure out of hearing your wife's voice on this here machine. Harriet: (calling to him) NELS! Nels: The only joy I'd derive from that, Mr. Godfrey, would be in turning it off. Good day.

    • Laura: If Ma says it's all right, can I invite Jason to supper tomorrow night? Charles: If your Ma says it's all right, I don't see why not. Laura: Thanks, Pa. If I'm not gonna be afraid of Nellie's talking machine, I don't see why she should be afraid of Ma's dumplings!

    • Nels: (about the talking machine) That's amazing...but who cares? Mr. Godfrey: Who cares?! Nels: I mean, what is it for? Mr. Godfrey: Well, you heard it. It plays music! Nels: Well, we've got a piano. Mr. Godfrey: Yeah, but you can put your own voice on there. Nels: (pauses) What for? Mr. Godfrey: So you can hear your own voice talking back to you. Harriet: I am quite capable of hearing my own voice, Mr. Godfrey. I can hear quite clearly right now, and it tells me no. We don't want to buy your machine. Mr. Godfrey: Is that your final word? Nels: Well, it's my wife's, so that makes it the final word.

    • Laura: I'm not pretty enough. Charles: Come on, you are too pretty enough. Besides, pretty isn't everything. Laura: Almost. Charles: Nope, not even almost. It's what's in your heart and in your mind that's important. If a boy has any sense, that's what he looks for.

    • Laura: Nellie sure is lucky. She can have anything she wants. Charles: What about friends? Laura: What do you mean? Charles: Well, you said Nellie can have anything she wants. What you mean is anything she can buy. You can buy friends, too, but not real ones. There's not enough money in the whole wide world to buy a real friend--or a boyfriend, either. Laura: (about Jason) Then why did he run off with her? Charles: Because he was interested in the machine. How would you like it if a boy only liked you because you had something like a talking machine? Laura: Not so good, I guess.

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    Notes (3)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

    • When a boy whom Nellie and Laura both have a crush on seems to prefer Laura, Nellie snobbishly remarks that she's "surprised he wears shoes." Later, though, Nellie seems to be far less particular when she dates (and marries) Luke Sims in "Here Come the Brides." Luke NEVER wore shoes--a fact that Mrs. Oleson sniped about throughout that episode.

    • Edison demonstrated the phonograph in late 1877, which would probably place this story at least a year or so later in time. So it seems to be a contradiction that the later episode "Centennial" from the same season of Little House on the Prairie indicates the year 1876 (the Centennial was the 100th anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence in 1776).

    Trivia (2)

    • WhileJasonis having dinner with Laura and her family Mary says "you will have a talking machine on your steam engine airplane". Since this is the late 1800s, the word airplane did not exist, they were first called flying machines when invented by the Wright brothers.The word airplane was in fact just invented by the French around this time, however it would hardly have been known as being a popular word in English yet.The word airplane first appeared in use by the English around 1907, so Mary simply followed a script writers mistake.

    • When Nellie is in her room throwing a temper tantrum after dinner, her squeaky mattress can clearly be seen bouncing up and down as she pounds her fists on it. Though patented in Germany in the mid-1870's, innerspring mattresses were rarely available in the United States until Sealy Co. began mass producing them in 1906. Nellie would more likely have had a bed like everyone else in Walnut Grove, a thin "mattress" filled with horsehair, down and/or hay, atop a wood bed frame.

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