Little House on the Prairie

Season 9 Episode 21

May I Have This Dance?

4
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Mar 14, 1983 on NBC
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
70 votes
3

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Episode Summary

EDIT
Laura receives an unexpected inheritance from an ailing friend, which promises huge changes for the Wilder family. Meanwhile, young Willie is finally ready to graduate and propose to his girlfriend, if only he can find the courage to tell his parents that he doesn't wish to attend college.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One Of The Best Olsen Story Lines!

    10
    So I Have To Say That This Was I Think The Best Olsen Story Line Because Willie Finally Just Gives His Mother What She Deserved All Those Years. I Just Wished He Would Have Done It Sooner. I Think As Willie Got Older He Firgured Out That His Mother Was Plain Out Crazy. And I Guess That Willie Took It Until She Tried To Come Between Him And The one He Loves! I Guess That Was The Final Straw. I That nellie Started To See She Was Crazy Too When Nancy Ran Off.But I Think Thats All! Peace Computerchick91moreless
  • Notes section contains an error

    8.2
    After having recently viewed this episode, Willie or his father stated that he was 18. The actor may have really been 14, but in the story he was 18. That's why he was ready for college, and marriage. It was somewhere in the first 30 minutes of this episode when they mentioned this and they were standing in the Oleson's store. Can anyone tell me if the two hour shows are on the DVD's. Also, why is the scene when Charles tells Caroline about Mary's blindness prognosis, left out of DVD's. IS that on the regular DVD season box set? Great show.moreless
  • Willie Oleson grows up and gets married, defying his ever-controlling mother.

    6.8
    This is one of the last well-writen episodes of the LHOTP series, and it nicely brings little Willie Oleson into adulthood. When Willie wants to marry a lovely young girl from town, his mother forbids it, telling everyone who will listen that the girl in question is ruining his chances at a good future (and going to college). The bride-to-be actually begins to think she may be right, but Willie assures her otherwise and the wedding goes on as planned. Harriet shows up for the ceremony in head-to-toe black, including a veil, and sobs not too quietly at the back of the church.



    It's fun to see bratty little Willie all grown up. A later episode portrays his wife as quite a little sexpot (!), who instigates some "newlywed time" at every opportunity. Hmm..can you say "desperate for ratings?".moreless
Dean Butler

Dean Butler

Almanzo James Wilder (co-star prior to season 7)

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Katherine MacGregor

Katherine MacGregor

Harriet Oleson

David Friedman

David Friedman

Jason Carter (1982 - 1983)

Jonathan Gilbert

Jonathan Gilbert

Willie Oleson

Sherri Stoner

Sherri Stoner

Rachel Brown

Guest Star

Jack Ging

Jack Ging

Mr. (Harrison) Brown

Guest Star

Barbara Townsend

Barbara Townsend

Mrs. (Mae) Flannery

Guest Star

Ruth Foster

Ruth Foster

Mrs. Foster

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Willie tells Rachel that he kissed a girl named Amy Horn when he was six years old. That would have been around Season 1, which is when someone by a very similar name lived in Walnut Grove--Amy Hearn.

    • Willie's age is never confirmed, but couldn't have been older than 5 or 6 in Season 1's Country Girls, which would make him 14 or 15 now. This means that he is the youngest person on the show to ever get married. Mary was 16 whe she married Adam, and Laura and Nellie were both about 17 on their respective wedding days.

    • After Willie asks Rachel's father for permission to marry her, Mr. Brown says, "I guess you better start calling me Dad," and Willie responds, "Okay, Dad"-- although in the 1800s, Dad was not a common term. It was always Father or Pa. And, later, when Willie has his heart-to-heart talk with Nels in the storeroom, he calls him both Pa and Dad at different times throughout the scene. When confronting Harriet about her attitude, he refers to Nels as Father. It seems the writers couldn't make up their minds!

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Mae: (about her late husband) Oh, Laura, you should have seen William's face when he found all those old love letters of mine. Oh, he was so jealous! He made me promise to burn every last one of them.
      Laura: Oh, what a shame.
      Mae: What is?
      Laura: That you had to destroy all those letters.
      Mae: I said I promised. I didn't say I did it. (laughs) Laura, never destroy a love letter. You never know - it might be your last.

    • Willie: Mother, I have something to say, and I'm only going to say it once, so listen carefully.
      Harriet: I am not going to listen to you--
      Willie: Mother, I am talking! You are listening! You've been complaining to me, and to Father, and anyone else who will listen, that Rachel is ruining my life. I kept quiet about it because I thought you would realize how wrong you were, but I am not going to keep quiet about it any longer. If anyone is ruining my chances at being happy around here, you are!
      Harriet: Me?!?!
      Willie: Yes, you! Rachel is my best chance at a happy life, and I don't ever want to hear you say another unkind word about her. Now, we are going to go and open up the restaurant, and you are going to stay here until you can accept the fact that we are getting married!
      Harriet: Oh, go ahead. Fine! Fine, marry her! See if I care! But I won't be there, I promise you that!
      Willie: Fine! That's your decision. Oh, and by the way, I've asked Mr. Edwards to be my best man! (he and Rachel leave)
      Harriet: Oh, there, you see? Do you see what that wench has done to my Willie?
      Nels: (smiles) Astonishing.

    • Nels: (about Rachel and Willie's wedding) Brings back a lot of memories, doesn' t it? Remember how upset my mother was? She didn't want me to quit college and get married. I believe she said that it would ruin my life. But she was wrong. Marrying you was the smartest thing I ever did.
      Harriet: Do you really mean that?
      Nels: If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

    • Willie: (about foregoing college to marry Rachel) You don't think I'm doing the right thing, do you?
      Nels: Son, if it feels right to you, then it's right. You've got to live your own life, not your mother's or mine.
      Willie: You really mean that?
      Nels: Of course I mean it. And congratulations. You've picked yourself a fine young lady.
      Willie: I know.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Actor Jack Ging, who plays Rachel's kind and laid-back father in this episode, was also in Season 1's Survival, where he played a decidedly more evil character--a Marshal out to kill an American Indian. Ging went on to co-star as Colonel Fullbright on another hit NBC program, The A-Team

    • Featured characters: The Olesons

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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