Little House on the Prairie’: Melissa Gilbert Said This Episode ‘Marked the Beginning’ of Her Lifelong Friendship With Alison Arngrim


Melissa Gilbert was a household name for nine seasons as Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. 

Despite the fact that Alison Arngrim portrayed her adversary, Nellie Oleson, in the historical drama, the co-stars became fast friends off-screen. Gilbert remembers one incident in particular that cemented their tight relationship. First season of "Country Girls"

In the first season of Little House, in the episode titled "Country Girls," Laura and Mary Ingalls (Melissa Sue Anderson) attend formal school for the first time. They cross encounters with Nellie and Willie Oleson (Jonathan Gilbert), who are from the wealthiest family in town, while meeting other children from Walnut Grove.

 Nellie and Willie instantly display contempt for the less privileged Ingalls sisters by insulting them with the term "country girls." The episode sparked a rivalry between Laura and Nellie that lasted throughout the entirety of the series.

 Gilbert recalls how much she enjoyed filming the scene. Gilbert stated in My Prairie Cookbook, "This episode was a fun!" "For starters, there were so many children nearby to play with. This episode also marked the beginning of Laura and Nellie's epic feud." Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim were on-screen adversaries and real-life best friends.

Laura and Nellie's altercation on the playground, as described by Gilbert, appeared quite lifelike to viewers.

"She pushed me, and I shoved her," the former Little House star revealed. "'You wish to fight?' I shall fight! You want to play? The game is Uncle John!' Recently, my youngest son, Michael, and I watched this episode together. During one of the first close-ups of Alison Arngrim in the classroom, he exclaimed, "Whoa! She appears to want to kill you! " 'Slowly!'" Despite their on-screen enmity, the two performers swiftly became best friends off-screen and have remained so for decades.

"In actuality, this experience marked the beginning of one of the most significant and long-lasting friendships of my life, with Alison Arngrim, my sister from another mother," Gilbert noted. "We are still pretty near to today." An alumnus of "Little House" remembers "pure, unadulterated fun" on set.

In one scene from "Country Girls," Laura and Mary's mother shares dressmaking materials with her daughters. Gilbert brought out something that viewers may have missed the first time they viewed the scenario. Gilbert recommended viewers to pay particular attention to the scene in this episode in which Ma (Karen Grassle) reveals the cloth for her blue outfit. 

"When I reached out to touch it, Melissa Sue Anderson slapped my palm so hard that I laughed and then cried. Rewind and replay the video. It's quite amusing." Gilbert has numerous fond recollections from her time spent on Little House. The former Little House star, who began working on the series when she was just 10 years old, participated in numerous children activities on set.

How can I even find the words to describe the early filming years of Little House on the Prairie? Gilbert wrote. It was amusing. Pure, unadulterated enjoyment! Playing dress-up in pioneer garb and collaborating with such a friendly and skilled cast and crew made each day an exciting new experience. We formed a family really rapidly."

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