Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 14

The Pride Of Walnut Grove

Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Jan 28, 1976 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
129 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Mary qualifies for a state-wide mathematics contest, the town rallies together to help cover the expenses. While Caroline accompanies her oldest daughter on the trip to Minneapolis, Laura delights in the opportunity to step up and take care of her father and younger sister at home.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Mary's academic prowess shows through when she is chosen to compete in a large mathematics competition.

    Mary and the rest of her family are delighted when she is chosen to compete in a big, statewide mathematics competition. Unfortunately, Charles does not have enough money to send her along on the trip so the whole town of Walnut Grove rally around in order to raise the necessary funds for Mary to go and for Caroline to accompany her.

    Naturally, Mary is very nervous when the big day arrives but Caroline tells her to do her very best. It turns out that, as far as Mary is concerned, her best isn't good enough when she places second overall, but when she and her mother return home, the town is thrilled that she has put them on the map. Great episode. Good to see Mary getting a little more of the spotlight too.moreless
  • Mary gets chosen to compete in huge math competition. When Charles can't afford to pay for her to go, The entire town pays. Mary gets second and is afraid they'll be disappointed.moreless

    This was an excellent episode. Mary does well in the competition, even though she doesn't win. She's afraid that the entire town will be disappointed because they paid for her to go when Charles couldn't afford the trip. Laura does a good job of caring for the house while Caroline is gone with Mary. She makes one minor mistake with the cake she made for Mary, but the cake is not ruined. Mary's nerves before the competition is something most of us can understand. Charles felt bad when he realized there was no way he could afford to send Mary himself. At least, she still got to go.moreless
  • Sorry, but as okay as this episode is, I still don't get why it's in the Top Ten! Mary the Brain gets to compete with other brains and becomes afraid of failure when her town is excited at her prospects. Laura is envious of her big sis.moreless

    One thing I was so not feeling was the fact that Laura was hating on Mary's success and then later (don't want to spoil things) was supportive of her. It reminded me of when Mary went blind. Laura had been jealous because they liked the same guy and then when her sister cannot see, she's nice to her. Gee, thanks a bunch! This episode is interesting and all, but I would hardly put it in the upper echelon of LHOTP episodes. It's good, it keeps one's interest, but it's also overrated. I can think of epsiodes more deserving of Top Ten status.moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Patrick Labyorteaux

Patrick Labyorteaux

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

Bonnie Bartlett

Bonnie Bartlett

Grace Snider/Edwards (1974 - 1977)

Lucy Lee Flippin

Lucy Lee Flippin

Eliza Jane Wilder (1979 -1980)

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • In the scene where Caroline asks Mary if she's going to eat her sandwich or just play with it, you can tell that there is nothing in-between the two pieces of bread in Mary's hands.

    • After finishing her test, Mary stands in front of the hotel room window in the middle of the night, watching the rain beat down. The writers used this exact type of scene for several serious moments in the show; whenever a main character was frightened or going through something, they'd stare out their hotel room window at night, watching it rain. This also happened with Charles and Caroline in Season 3's To Live With Fear, with Charles in Season 4's I'll Be Waving as You Drive Away, and with Laura and Almanzo in Season 9's Marvin's Gardens.

    • Notice the expression on Charles' face after he tells Mary he can't afford to send her on the trip. When she quickly runs downstairs on the verge of tears, Charles is sitting all alone in the loft, and for a brief moment, he sticks his entire lip out like a pouting child. It's a credit to Michael Landon's acting with his range of emotions for this little scene, but at the same time, you may find yourself laughing out loud as he does this.

    • The clerk who checks Mary into the math competition is actress Beth Howland, who would go on to play the ditzy waitress Vera on the TV comedy Alice.

    • Mr. Hanson tells Charles that the school board unanimously agreed to finance Mary's trip for the math competition. Mrs. Oleson was on the school board, and it's surprising that she voted "yes" for this decision, especially since she really gave the Ingalls family a hard time with most things.

    • Major Goof: When Mary tells Miss Beadle she is forfeiting her spot at the math competition, and Laura is waiting for her in the back of the room, notice the girls' clothes. Mary has on a solid purple dress, and Laura is wearing a greenish, flowered calico. When they are walking home, though, Mary suddenly has on a blue pinafore over her dress. Then, when Laura runs back to the school suddenly and gets back into town, screaming Miss Beadle's name, she is wearing a white pinafore that she didn't have in the previous scene a few seconds earlier!

    • This is the first episode where Laura and Mary outwardly express their jealousy for one another. In a 2005 interview, Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary) admitted that there was a little bit of rivalry between her and Melissa Gilbert on the show, but only when it came to competition over who had more to do on-screen at the given time. Laura was always the center of the series from the very beginning, and Anderson acknowledged that there was a bit of rivalry about that--but then on the other hand, as Mary grew up, went blind and became an adult, her character had more mature material to work with, whereas Melissa Gilbert's character remained childlike for a couple more years.

    • This is the first time Mary expresses an emotion that is probably obvious to many viewers as they watch the show: Charles' apparent favoritism toward Laura, who is so much like him in many ways. Even though it isn't true, some fans may feel for Mary as she talks about this.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Laura: (about Mary) I'm feeling the jealousies again.
      Charles: Now, what for?
      Laura: I wrecked the dinner, and I wrecked the cake. I just can't do anything right!
      Charles: Half-Pint, now you listen to me. You did the cooking this week, the chores, and everything. You took care of your sister. Why, any man would be proud to have you for a wife.
      Laura: They would?
      Charles: Sure they would.
      Laura: What about the cooking?
      Charles: Don't you worry, your mom burned a few cakes in her day. And even with all that, I bet you I gained five pounds this week.
      Laura: You did?
      Charles: I know I did.

    • Caroline: (about the children) Everyone's down for the night.
      Charles: (about Mary) Did she say anything else?
      Caroline: No. Just how glad she is not to be going.
      Charles: Being so brave. I wish she had yelled, screamed, said it wasn't fair.....all of that beats being so brave.
      Caroline: But she is brave. Maybe if she got everything she wanted in this world, she wouldn't be.

    • Laura: This may sound silly.....but when Pa said you wouldn't be able to go on the trip, I felt a little glad inside.
      Mary: That is silly.
      Laura: That's what I just said! I guess I got a little jealous, you being so smart and all. You know what I mean?
      Mary: Yeah. Sometimes I get jealous, too.
      Laura: You do?
      Mary: Sure I do.
      Laura: Of me?
      Mary: Well, not the man on the moon!
      Laura: Well, why would you be jealous of me?
      Mary: I don't know. Sometimes I think Pa loves you more than he does me.
      Laura: That's silly!
      Mary: No sillier than you being jealous over some old contest.
      Laura: You're right. Well, anyway, I'm sorry.
      Mary: Me too.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Railtown State Park, Jamestown, with newly filmed train segments and 1975 stock clip of Shay Locomotive No. 3 at Red Hills, Chinese Camp, California, and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.