"The Reincarnation of Nellie (Part 1)"
Season 8, Episode 1
#161 overall in Series
Series: Little House on the Prairie
Network/Country: NBC
Original air date October 5, 1981
Episode Guide
IMDb logo.png IMDb The Reincarnation of Nellie (Part 1)
Written by Michael Landon
Directed by Michael Landon
Guest starring: Allison Balson, Ivan Bonar, Elizabeth Hoffman, Melora Hardin, Melissa Sue Anderson
Episode Chronology
Previous episode:
The Lost Ones (Part 2)
(Season 7 finale)
Next episode:
The Reincarnation of Nellie (Part 2)

Nellie and Percival move to New York City to take over Percival's father's store upon his death of illness, he passed away in his sleep peacefully. Adam and Mary also move there so Adam can work at his father's law firm. Harriet Oleson becomes very depressed, and to cheer her up, Nels agrees to go to an orphanage to find a little girl to adopt. Trouble is, Harriet wants someone who is just like Nellie, and soon the Olesons have adopted a brat named Nancy. She quickly causes trouble in Walnut Grove, and her shenanigans quickly become far worse than what Nellie ever did.



Guest Stars



Caroline: Cassandra, it's your turn to say grace tonight. Maybe you could remember Nancy in the blessing.
Cassandra: Do I have to?
Caroline: No, you don't have to, but I think it would be nice if you did.
Cassandra: Yes, ma'am. Dear Lord, thank you for all your blessings. Please watch over our family and gives us strength. And Lord, I'm sure you know by now that we have a new student in school. Her name is Nancy. Please help her change her ways and be nice. I know it won't be easy, so if you can't change her, just do what you feel is best. (Charles bursts out laughing, Caroline gives him a dirty look) That's about it, Lord. Thank you. Amen.

Mrs. Oleson (to Nancy): All right, Nancy. If you won't open the door, you're going to have to listen to me. You know, I had a little girl once, oh, very much like you. She was...uh...different from the rest of the children, and the little girls hated her. They were so jealous because she had, ooh, such pretty clothes, great, big, lovely dollies. I bought them from Paris. The little boys didn't like her very much either. I always told her, of course, that it was because she was too mature for them. But that wasn't the truth. I'm going to tell you something, Nancy... Something I have never, ever told anyone ever before, not even my husband. Children hated my-- my little Nellie because she was...mean and spoiled, and conniving. (Chuckles) I understood that. Oh, I understood that because I was exactly the same way when I was a child. So, you see, I do understand you, Nancy, and you don't have to change. I'll love you just the way you are. And I'll spoil you with beautiful dresses and big lovely big dolls and all the candy that you can eat. And maybe...maybe someday...maybe you'll love me, too. Please, Nancy. Please give me a chance. Give me a chance to be your mother.

Mr. Oleson: Harriet, be reasonable! This child is just... so....
Mrs. Oleson: She's just what, Nels?
Mr. Case: I believe a kind word to describe her would be "impossible."
Mrs. Oleson: Oh, men! You just don't understand little girls.
Miss Mason: Mrs. Oleson, I have to be honest, I don't understand, either. In just the 4 weeks that Nancy has been here, she's set fire to her bed, broken more windows than I can count, poured plaster into the indoor plumbing and bitten half the children in the orphanage.
Mrs. Oleson: Girls will be girls.
Mr. Oleson: Harriet, I believe the term is "Boys will be boys." Or in this case, it should be "Monsters will be monsters!" Harriet, I don't understand you! Out of all the children in the orphanage, why her?
Mrs. Oleson: I don't know. But I want her.

Charles: Cassandra, what on Earth did you say to Mrs. Oleson?
Cassandra: She asked me how I liked living with you and Ma, and I told her I loved you like you were my real folks. And the next thing I knew, she was running around yelling for hot water!

Charles (to Harriet): Cassandra heard you weren't feeling very well, and she wanted to just come by and visit for a while.
Harriet: Oh, how nice! What a sweet little girl. Want to come over here and sit by me?
Cassandra: (sits down on edge of the bed) I have a storybook here. I can read it to you if you'd like.
Harriet: Oh, well, I think that would be very nice.
Charles: All right, well, I've got to get back to the mill.
Harriet: Okay, Mr. Ingalls. We'll be just fine.
Cassandra: What kind of story do you want me to read: happy or sad?
Harriet: Oh well, what do you think?
Cassandra: Well, when I'm sad, I like to read a really sad story because then I don't feel so sad myself.
Harriet: Oh, why, I never thought of it that way! Well, then, why don't you tell me a really sad story?

External links

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The Lost Ones (Part 2) The Reincarnation of Nellie (Part 2)
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