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Episode 214: The Pride of Walnut Grove

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Title.prideofwalnutgrove
Little House on the Prairie
Season {{{season}}}, Episode {{{number}}}
Air date January 28, 1976
Written by Arthur Heinemann
Directed by William F. Claxton
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Mary enters a statewide math competition, but Charles can't afford to pay the travel expenses necessary for her to compete. The entire town council foots the bill, with great pride in her. This causes Mary to worry she will let them down. Her return to Walnut Grove shows her that the town is proud of her whether or not she comes first.

Cast

Trivia

  • Laura wears her hair in a bun for one scene in this episode. This is the first time we see her in anything other than braids or wearing her hair down, and she doesn't have a bun again until Season 6's Sweet Sixteen, four years after this episode was filmed.?
  • The clerk who checks Mary into the math competition is actress Beth Howland, who would go on to play the ditsy waitress Vera on the TV comedy Alice.?
  • 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.?

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