Little House on the Prairie

Season 5 Episode 10

Men Will Be Boys

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 13, 1978 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Men Will Be Boys

Exasperated by Albert's and Andy's attitudes toward school and personal care, Charles and Jonathan present them with a wager that hinges on their return to Sleepy Eye and back - all by themselves.

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  • Albert proves his manhood by lies and manipulation

    What takes the fun out of this episode for me is Albert. Conniving and sly as a little garter snake, I just can't get into the plots in which he's featured because they universally involve him weaseling his way in and out of unlikely situations with a nauseating combination of blatant deception and overblown acting. It would have been more enjoyable to see what happens when Quinn, his biological father, gets custody of the little viper for a week.moreless
  • Jonathan and Charles set a special task for Andy and Albert but it is their fathers who end up learning the lessons.

    Jonathan and Charles feel that it's about time Andy and Albert grew up and took on more responsibility so they send them off alone, across rough land, on a trip to Sleepy Eye where they are to live by their own wits, getting their own food etc. To prove they have actually made the journey, they are told to collect a letter addressed to Charles from the post office in Sleepy Eye and bring it back with them.

    The boys set off overland on their journey, unaware that their fathers are following not far behind to make sure that they don't get into any difficulty. Their cooking skills don't exactly rate well but in all other respects, their fathers have no choice but to admire them, especially when they talk a lady who runs a boarding house in Sleepy Eye into giving them free room and board from the night.

    All is well that ends well and the boys promise to be better behaved and more responsible in the future, which is what Charles and Jonathan wanted in the first place.

    A fun episode with lots of giggles to be had.moreless
  • Jonathan and Charles allow their boys to prove their manhood by allowing them to take a trip to Sleepy Eye by themselves; the boys have to live off the land on the way.moreless

    This is a hilarious episode, very funny, well worth the viewing.

    Jonathan and Charles allow their boys to prove their manhood by allowing them to take a trip to Sleepy Eye by themselves; the boys have to live off the land on the way.

    Jonathan and Charles secretly follow the boys, expecting them to fail and return home by nightfall.

    Albert and Andy end up having all the good luck and fortune, making the trip with no problems at all.

    However, the fathers get into some embarrassing situations following their boys.

    My favourite moment from this episode is when the boys reach Sleepy Eye and end up in a Boarding House eating a nice warm supper, the fathers are on the outside standing in the rain, cold wet and hungry. There are some very funny moments during this episode.

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

Andrew 'Andy' Garvey (1977 - 1981) (as Patrick Laborteaux)

Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux

Albert Quinn Ingalls (1978 -1982)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Lindsay Greenbush

Lindsay Greenbush

Carrie Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When the vagrant mountain man chases Albert and Andy away, the food he steals from them is what appears to be a roasted chicken. How would they have gotten this out in the middle of the woods? Even if the boarding house matron had sent something along, meat would not have lasted that long in their backpacks.

    • The story that Albert and Andy use to get to stay at the boarding house for free is the same story that Laura and Albert used to get money for their grandpa to publish a book in Season 6's Author! Author!

    • At the boarding house, Albert and Andy make up an elaborate story to the owner about how they are orphans who live on the street. Given that the woman running the boarding house was so sweet and sympathetic to them, it's a bit of a stretch that she didn't insist on having them stay with her a little longer. Instead, the boys just up and left without a problem the very next day.

    • Near the end of the episode, when the boys are spending their final night in the woods, it looks to be dusk while they're under the tree. When they run from the vagrant man, it looks like it's in the middle of the day, with the sun shining. When Charles and Jonathan reach the boys' campsite, it looks like dusk again, and you can hear the crickets, but the sky is clear blue.

    • When Charles and Jonathan fall into the river while trying to cross across the fallen tree, Jonathan lets out a yell, and then there is a splash as they hit the water. They weren't that far behind Albert and Andy, and it's a bit of a stretch that the kids weren't able to hear them.

    • In hindsight, Charles probably should have realized that Albert could skate his way to Sleepy Eye and back without spending a cent. At this point in the series, it hasn't been that long since Albert was living on the streets of Winoka, and Charles was aware of the boy's lying and stealing habits from back then.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

    • This is one of Merlin Olsen (Jonathan Garvey)'s favorite episodes, and he actually helped form the plot for it! He approached Michael Landon himself with an idea to give Andrew and Albert a story line that tested their strength and helped them merge into manhood. From there, Landon extended the concept further by suggesting that the fathers secretly tag along after them.

    • Series producer Kent McCray made a cameo appearance in this episode. He's the crazy mountain man who chased Albert and Andy away, then stole their food and fire at the camp.