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.
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?
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.
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.