Think you know the TV show Little House on the Prairie?

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: NBC

About This Quiz

If Laura had a remembrance book, there's one thing she'd want to put in it: her adventures in the American Midwest. The TV series, though, was only loosely based on the book series, and took liberties with the story over its nine seasons. Albert Ingalls, for instance, appears only on the show. Mary's husband, too. See how much you remember about the pioneer life of the Ingalls family and the town of Walnut Grove.

What nickname does Charles Ingalls call his daughter, Laura?

Charles calls Laura "half-pint." The nickname is used in both the book and TV series, and comes from a quote of him saying, "Where's my little half-pint of sweet cider half drunk up?”

Who does Laura marry?

Although her Pa worries about the 10-year age difference between his daughter and Almanzo, he gives them his blessing when Laura turns 18.

Who regains their sight, Mary or her husband, Adam Kendall?

Mary's husband Adam, played by Linwood Boomer, regains his sight after an accident. You may also recognize Linwood Boomer as the creator of the TV series "Malcolm in the Middle."

Before "90210," which actress played Jenny Wilder, niece and adopted daughter of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder?

While all of these actresses appeared on "Little House," Shannen Doherty played role of Jenny Wilder. Jenny is the daughter of Almanzo's brother Royal Wilder. When Royal dies, she's adopted by Almanzo and Laura.

Merlin Olsen was a defensive tackle with the Los Angeles Rams before he played which Walnut Grove homesteader?

Merlin Olsen, who played Jonathan Garvey, was selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times in a row during his 15-year NFL career as a defensive tackle with the Rams.

Which of the following wasn't one of Charles Ingalls' jobs through the seasons?

Charles Ingalls had many jobs, but he never ran the mercantile. In Walnut Grove, it was the Oleson family who ran the mercantile.

Which Ingalls' sister often provided voice-over narration in episodes?

Although not every episode has narration, Laura's character was often the voice-over.

Walnut Grove had a church, a school and a general store, but it didn't have a jail. What was used in place of a proper lock-up?

Because Walnut Grove didn't have a jail, anyone who was awaiting trial cooled their heels in the Oleson's ice house.

What's the name of Laura's horse?

Laura's horse, Bunny, won the first Hero Township horse race against Nellie Oleson's thoroughbred, Sparks. Patty is Bunny's mother. And Barnum? That's Almanzo's horse.

How did Alison Arngrim get those Nellie Oleson-perfect curls?

Although they originally tried using a curling iron to get those perfectly fat ringlets in Alison Arngrim's hair, after the first few weeks of filming Arngrim started wearing a wig.

What causes Mary to lose her sight?

Mary's blindness is blamed on scarlet fever in both the book and TV series. Today, though, based on newspaper and first-hand reports of her illness, scientists believe she was afflicted with optic neuritis caused by an inflammatory brain disease, viral meningoencephalitis.

Mr. Edwards knows that which of these is Laura's favorite perfume?

Laura's favorite perfume is lemon verbena. How do we know? Mr. Edwards gives it to her twice throughout the series: once when she's a kid, and then once when she's an adult.

Who became Mr. Edwards' second wife (who then ended up divorcing him)?

A widower, Isaiah Edwards' meets Grace Snider at the Walnut Grove post office and the two began courting. They married and adopted three children: John Jr., Alicia and Carl Sanderson.

What was Almanzo's nickname for Laura?

Almanzo Wilder, whom she would marry, called Laura "Beth." (It was Harriet Oleson who called Almanzo, "Zaldano.")

Laura's friend Olga Nordstrom was born with one leg shorter than the other. Who, now known as a "Real Housewife" from the reality series, played the role of Olga?

Before she became one of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Kim Richards, who is aunt to socialite Paris Hilton, was a child actor. Among her roles included Olga on "Little House."

Where does Laura commute to for her first teaching position?

At 16, Laura, who passes her teacher's exam, begins a teaching position in Currie. (And Mary's first teaching position was in the small town of Willow Run.)

After the Ingalls, Oleson, and Garvey families (among others) move from Walnut Grove to Winoka, what business do Charles and Caroline manage?

When hardship hits, many residents of Walnut Grove move to Winoka, including the Ingalls family. While there, they manage the Dakota Hotel, owned (as everything in the town is) by Mr. Standish. The Dakota is conveniently located near Mary and Adam at the Winoka School for the Blind.

The musician who composed the show's theme song also wrote the theme song to all but which of these TV shows?

Composer David Rose is also known for his work composing for "Bonanza," "Father Murphy" and "Highway to Heaven" -- all involving Michael Landon, but he did not compose for the show "Cheyenne" (in which Landon had a small role).

Which set of twins appeared as young Grace Ingalls?

Wendi and Brenda Turnbaugh were the twins who appeared as Grace Ingalls, in Seasons 5 through 8. Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush were also twins who appeared on the show, as Caroline "Carrie" Ingalls.

Did Michael Landon really play the fiddle on the show?

Unlike the real-life Pa Ingalls, Michael Landon could not and did not play the fiddle during the show.

Which actor, known for his role in the holiday movie, "A Christmas Story," played Gideon Hale, a 9-year-old boy with a stutter, who is teased by the schoolkids?

Before you knew him as Ralphie in the holiday movie "A Christmas Story" in 1982, Peter Billingsley appeared on an episode of "Little House" as a new boy in town, teased because of his stutter.

When who auditioned for the role of Caroline Ingalls, it was under her stage name "Gabriel Tree"?

Karen Grassle was using her stage name, Gabriel Tree, at the time she auditioned for Caroline Ingalls. It was Michael Landon who asked her to use her given name on the series.

Is Walnut Grove a real place?

Yes, it is! It's the home of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, which is dedicated to the Little House on the Prairie books and the Ingalls family.

Who appeared in more episodes?

Michael Landon appeared in a lot of episodes, 177 of them! He also directed almost 90 episodes. But it's Melissa Gilbert who tops this list though.

Who made his acting debut in a Season 1 episode named, "The Voice of Tinker Jones," directed by not Michael Landon but Leo Penn, as an uncredited kid in the school yard?

It's probably not a coincidence that Sean Penn's acting debut was on a 1974 episode of "Little House" directed by his father, Leo Penn. (In the same episode, Sean Penn's mother played the character Mrs. Kennedy.)

Mary marries Adam Kendall, but who was her first fiancé?

Mary and John Jr., Mr. Edwards' adopted son, were engaged to be married. Mary, sensing his unhappiness and the growing distance in their relationship, bows out, and John Jr. goes to study at the university.

Which of these towns is close enough for a resident of Walnut Grove, Minnesota, to travel there and back by stagecoach in one day?

All of these Minnesota towns -- Sleepy Eye, Sanborn and Tracy -- were among those that were day trips by stagecoach for the residents of Hero Township.

Who founded the TV version of Walnut Grove?

Lars Hanson, who also owned the town's lumber mill, founded Walnut Grove.

Walnut Grove's schoolteacher, Etta Plum, was played by whose daughter?

The role of Etta Plum, one of Walnut Grove's schoolteachers, was played by Michael Landon's daughter, Leslie Landon, from 1982 to 1984.

Which was a sort of spinoff, starring Merlin Olsen as frontiersman John Michael Murphy, and created by Michael Landon?

Merlin Olsen and Michael Landon, along with other "Little House" alums, were back on the 1870s American frontier in "Father Murphy."

Actor E.J. André was a popular guest star on the show. He appeared in five different roles during the series. Which of these isn't one of them?

E.J. André appeared seven times as these five different characters: Amos Thoms; Jed Cooper (twice); Matthew Simms, St. Peter and Zachariah (twice). He did play a character named Eugene Bullock on the show "Dallas" during the same time he made appearances on "Little House."

Michael Landon agreed to direct the 1974 two-hour pilot, "Little House on the Prairie," where the Ingalls family moves from Wisconsin to Kansas, under what condition?

The "Little House on the Prairie" two-hour pilot episode, which closely followed the written story of the Ingalls family move from Wisconsin to the Kansas prairie, aired in March 1974. It was directed by Michael Landon, who agreed to direct if he also played the role of Charles Ingalls.

After their parents died in a wagon accident, James and Cassandra Cooper were adopted by the Ingalls'. Melissa Francis, now a broadcast journalist, played Cassandra. Who played James?

After working at CNBC in 2012, Melissa Francis got her own show on Fox News Channel, "MONEY with Melissa Francis," as well as anchor of the Fox News Channel's afternoon news show, "America's News HQ." Her TV brother, James, was played by Jason Bateman, whom today is probably best known for his role as Michael Bluth on the sitcom "Arrested Development."

Who in the cast admitted she had a nose job while on the series, although the media never noticed?

Melissa Gilbert has said she got a nose job during those nine seasons she played Laura Ingalls. But unlike today, no one posted photos of it online.

What happens to the town at the end of "Little House: The Last Farewell," the series finale that aired in 1984?

In "Little House: The Last Farewell," the town really was destroyed. As the story went in the series finale, it turns out a railroad tycoon actually owns the land the town is built on. The residents destroy their town themselves rather than let the tycoon do it. In real life, the buildings were all blown up for the finale -- except for the Ingalls' homestead. Although the iconic house was spared, in 2003 it was destroyed by California wildfires that ravaged the area.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes