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The life and adventures of the Ingalls family in the 19th century American West.

Genres: Drama | Family | Western
Station: NBC (US)
Rating: 9.33/10 from 3 users
Status: Ended
Start: 1974-09-11

Little House on the Prairie Season 4 Air Dates


S04E01 - Castoffs Air Date: 12 September 1977 04:00 -

Laura is shocked and devastated to find Jack, her beloved dog, dead in the barn. After an emotional burial, Charles brings home a stray named Bandit to curb his daughter's pain, but Laura refuses to bond with the new dog. Meanwhile, the Walnut Grove townspeople have mixed reactions to the idea of welcoming an eccentric new townsperson into their Church community.


S04E02 - Times of Change Air Date: 19 September 1977 04:00 -

When Charles gets the opportunity to visit Chicago on business, he hopes to turn it into a romantic getaway for Caroline and himself, but he ends up escorting Mary, who longs to visit her fiancé, John. As father and daughter navigate a city that is very different from their simple Walnut Grove, unexpected revelations are on the way for both of them.


S04E03 - My Ellen Air Date: 26 September 1977 04:00 -

A young girl loses her life during a trip to the local swimming hole. The girl's mother blames Laura for the accident and alienates everyone around her. With Eloise now disconnected from the entire Walnut Grove community, Laura attempts to cheer her up with a home visit and some flowers, but the woman's emotionally unstable condition puts Laura in real danger.


S04E04 - The Handyman Air Date: 03 October 1977 04:00 -

Charles begins building a kitchen onto the back of the house, but a sudden business trip leaves him unable to complete the job. A charismatic handyman named Chris is hired to help finish while Charles is away. Chris bonds with Caroline and the girls. This causes several rumors to sweep around town, and nobody is more affected than Mary, who fears that Chris may be breaking their family apart.


S04E05 - The Wolves Air Date: 17 October 1977 04:00 -

Laura and Andy come across an injured female wolf and her pups. When they bring them back to the Garveys' barn, Jonathan reluctantly agrees to let them stay until Doc Baker nurses the mother back to health. As the town gradually finds out what's going on, they are concerned that more wolves will show up, threatening their families and livestock.


S04E06 - The Creeper of Walnut Grove Air Date: 24 October 1977 04:00 -

Laura and Andy are determined to find out who has been robbing the Mercantile and stealing food from people. The "Garvey and Ingalls Detective Agency" is officially in business, but it ultimately causes more harm than good.


S04E07 - To Run and Hide Air Date: 31 October 1977 05:00 -

After two miscarriages, Beth Novack is thrilled to be experiencing a healthy pregnancy, but when her husband takes a tumble from the roof, she becomes a widow within 24 hours. Devastated that he could not save his patient, Doc Baker decides to leave his practice and pursue a farming career, to the dismay of the townspeople.


S04E08 - The Aftermath Air Date: 07 November 1977 05:00 -

Jesse and Frank James hide out in Walnut Grove. The people of Walnut Grove find out who they really are when bounty hunters come looking for them.


S04E09 - The High Cost of Being Right Air Date: 14 November 1977 05:00 -

Jonathan Garvey is convinced that he has a great crop coming up, but as he is celebrating with his family at the dinner table, a fateful fire burns their entire barn down. With all their plans destroyed, Alice has a plan to help them get back on their feet, but Jonathan's pride threatens their marriage.


S04E10 - The Fighter Air Date: 21 November 1977 05:00 -

Fourteen years after being abandoned by his wife and son, a famous boxer named Joe Kagen passes through Walnut Grove. When a fighting match goes horribly wrong, Doc Baker and the townspeople learn that the ailing man, who sacrificed his family for his career, will only survive if he agrees never to enter the boxing ring again.


S04E11 - Meet Me at the Fair Air Date: 28 November 1977 05:00 -

The Ingalls and Oleson families spend a fun-filled and exciting day at a county fair. Sparks fly between Mary and a smooth-talking balloonist, Caroline and Harriet face off in a pie-baking contest, and Charles and Nels enter a gritty competition of their own. Laura wastes all her spending money in a surprising way, and Carrie faces serious danger when Laura fails to supervise her.


S04E12 - Here Come the Brides Air Date: 05 December 1977 05:00 -

Adam Simms and his son Luke move into town. Adam and Miss Beadle quickly fall in love, while Luke and Nellie develop a whirlwind romance of their own. Luke is a decent young man and very loyal to Nellie, but when Harriet does not approve of this farm boy, the young couple makes secret plans to elope.


S04E13 - Freedom Flight Air Date: 12 December 1977 05:00 -

A Native American man arrives in Walnut Grove with his tribe, seeking medical attention for his ailing father. Doc Baker provides his best treatment for the Chief, but when certain community members refuse to let them stay in town temporarily, Charles proposes a secret plan with Doc Baker to keep the tribe safe – but it could have deadly consequences for everyone.


S04E14 - The Rivals Air Date: 09 January 1978 05:00 -

Charles and Jonathan leave on a business trip that will greatly increase their incomes, but they both have a change of heart when they regret the extensive time spent away from their families. Meanwhile, Laura develops a crush on a classmate and finds herself asking help from Nellie. Laura's desperate efforts lead to humiliation, but she learns an important lesson about being herself.


S04E15 - Whisper Country Air Date: 16 January 1978 05:00 -

Reverend Alden offers 15-year-old Mary her first temporary teaching position in a backwoods community. Unfortunately, it ends up being one of the most difficult jobs a young girl could ever encounter. Now she must decide if her career – not to mention her family values – are worth putting up the fight of her life.


S04E16 - I Remember, I Remember Air Date: 23 January 1978 05:00 -

On the cold, rainy evening of his wedding anniversary, Charles is stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken wagon wheel. Caroline and the girls wait at home with a special celebration dinner all prepared. Caroline passes the time by reminiscing with her daughters about her youthful beginnings with Charles.


S04E17 - Please Be My Friend Air Date: 30 January 1978 05:00 -

After finding a number of bottles containing messages and a photograph from a mysterious girl, Laura finds an abandoned baby. Laura takes the child in and cares for it as if it were her own, not knowing it belongs to a timid young woman with an abusive father.


S04E18 - The Inheritance Air Date: 06 February 1978 05:00 -

Charles inherits the entire estate of a wealthy uncle. Within 24 hours the family suddenly becomes Harriet Oleson's best pals. They are pressured to make various contributions throughout the community and even receive newspaper article offers to chronicle this tremendous change in their lives. Things get worse when this newfound fortune threatens the family's relationship with their real friends.


S04E19 - The Stranger Air Date: 06 February 1978 05:00 -

When young Peter Lundstrom is expelled from his private school for petty theft, his wealthy father sends the boy to stay with Uncle Nels Oleson in Walnut Grove for a long-overdue lesson in values.


S04E20 - A Most Precious Gift Air Date: 27 February 1978 05:00 -

A misinterpreted remark from husband Charles plants a seed of worry in newly pregnant Caroline Ingalls that he will be disappointed if the baby isn't a boy.


S04E21 - I'll Be Waving As You Drive Away (1) Air Date: 06 March 1978 05:00 -

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Long hours studying by candlelight for the state teacher's exam results in tired, blurry eyes for Mary Ingalls, prompting a routine visit to the eye doctor; but when Charles is told that Mary's worsening sight is just the beginning of a much more serious problem, the concerned father can't bring himself to tell his beloved daughter that she will, most certainly, soon be completely blind.


S04E22 - I'll Be Waving As You Drive Away (2) Air Date: 13 March 1978 05:00 -

Feeling lost and abandoned, Mary battles anger and self-pity at a school for the blind. But soon, she finds a source of hope in her new teacher, Adam Kendall, and as they work together, they find they have much in common. Meanwhile, back in Walnut Grove, many are forced to consider the real possibility of having to start a new life elsewhere as the town's economy erodes and work becomes scarce.

NOTE: After her blindness at age 14, the real-life Mary Ingalls attended the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa. Mary's actual stay was much longer than the few months' time depicted on the show. Her parents took her there on November 23, 1881, and she did not graduate until June 11, 1889 at age 24, meaning she was a student for eight years. However, Mary was absent during the 1887-1888 school year as her parents could not afford the tuition and needed more time to come up with the money.

Little House on the Prairie Actors

Stan Ivar(John Carter)

Patrick Labyorteaux(Andy Garvey)

Charlotte Stewart(Eva Beadle Simms)

Pamela Roylance(Sarah Reed Carter)

Jason Bateman(Ingalls)

Shannen Doherty(Jenny Wilder)

Melissa Gilbert(Laura Elizabeth Ingalls)

Dabbs Greer(Rev. Robert Alden)

Scottie MacGregor(Harriet Oleson)

Merlin Olsen(Jonathan Garvey)

Matthew Laborteaux(Albert Quinn Ingalls)

Lucy Lee Flippin(Eliza Jane Wilder)



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