Little House on the Prairie

Season 8 Episode 9

For The Love of Nancy

0
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 30, 1981 on NBC
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
67 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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For The Love of Nancy
AIRED:
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

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Overweight new kid in class falls for the evil Nancy.

    7.9
    Poor Elmer. Not only is he fat, he's also dumber than a box of rocks. It doesn't take a genius to meet Nancy Oleson and almost immediately come to the conclusion that she's a self-centered witch. But poor Elmer is blinded by love and adores her anyway. This episode provides further evidence, as if it were needed, that Nancy is a sociopathic maniac. She's not just mean, she's downright abusive to this poor boy who would do just about anything to pleasr her. It's disturbing. I was also a little taken aback that Willie really got into egging Elmer on in the dinner scene. He's not "mature Willie" yet, but I thought at this point he wouldn't go much farther than making a few fat jokes.



    Harriet goes away at the beginning of this episode and I am wondering if we are supposed to believe that Nancy only behaved this way toward the boy because her mother, just about the only person who thinks she can do no wrong, isn't around to coddle her nonstop. If this isn't the case then why did Harriet go away? So Nels could invent chores for the kids so they could surprise her with a clean house and store?? That never made much sense to me.



    One other thing, just a small one, that irks me about this episode. Since when did Laura become squeamish about creepy crawly things? She jumps back after opening the box and then asks Albert to remove them. So out of character for a girl who hooked her own worms for fishing when she was 9!



    Overall, I thought it was a good episode. I cannot stand Nancy and I am pleased whenever she gets a comeuppance of some sort. I felt for the boy and was so proud and pleased that he committed to getting himself in shape. Dr. Baker's role here is small, but he is effective as a supportive force in Elmer's life.moreless
  • Almost everyone of us has went to school with a kid like Elmer!

    10
    It's amazing how people pick on the easiest people they can. Overweight kids are a very easy target. I like the way Elmer betters himself and looses as much weight as he can and finally realizes he's being used. What I don't like is the way he is used by Nancy, since he genuinely likes her, but she turns on him and makes fun of him. A lot of us have encountered an Elmer or two in our day. I'd like to think that the majority of us have taken their side, stood by them, and stood up for them, insteadof making fun of them.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

James Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Missy Francis

Missy Francis

Cassandra Cooper/Ingalls (1981 - 1982)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

J. Brennan Smith

J. Brennan Smith

Elmer Miles

Guest Star

Elizabeth Rogers

Elizabeth Rogers

Mrs. Miles

Guest Star

Charles Shull

Charles Shull

Mr. Miles

Guest Star

Carl Pitti

Carl Pitti

Stage Driver

Recurring Role

Ruth Foster

Ruth Foster

Mrs. Foster

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Elmer: So, Nancy, notice anything different about me?
      Nancy: No.
      Elmer: I lost 12 pounds!
      Nancy: Big deal. You'd have to lose 100 before anyone would notice!

    • Nancy: Elmer, they won't let me pitch. ELMER!
      Elmer: Sorry, Nancy, you're gonna have to work things out for yourself from now on.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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