Little House on the Prairie: Season 8, Episode 10

Wave of the Future (7 Dec. 1981)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Romance
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Mrs. Oleson decides that reopening Nellie's Restaurant and Hotel as a franchised restaurant will result in big business for the fledgling business. Does she have what it takes to meet the ... See full summary »



(based upon the series of books "Little House" by),
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Title: Wave of the Future (07 Dec 1981)

Wave of the Future (07 Dec 1981) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Harriet Oleson (as Katherine MacGregor)
Allison Balson ...
Melissa Francis ...
Cassandra Cooper Ingalls (as Missy Francis)
Wendi Turnbaugh ...
Brenda Turnbaugh ...
Ketty Lester ...


Mrs. Oleson decides that reopening Nellie's Restaurant and Hotel as a franchised restaurant will result in big business for the fledgling business. Does she have what it takes to meet the demands of a tough franchiser, and can she fight off unexpected competition from Charles and Nels when they open up their own restaurant? Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Release Date:

7 December 1981 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The old man at the end is supposed to be Colonel Harland Sanders of the Kentucky Fried Chicken industry. This episode is set in/around 1886. Harland Sanders was born in 1890 and his fried chicken empire didn't start until the 1930s. See more »


Nels Oleson: The same pan fried steak?
See more »

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User Reviews

Wave of the Future is fast food!
16 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've always liked this episode. A man comes to town claiming he has the "wave of the future" in restaurants. He knows a way he can decrease the work load and increase prophet in Harriet's restaurant. They will serve just three meals a day, and the food will be pre-cooked so all they have to do is warm it up. Sound familiar? Yep, the idea of fast-food is coming to Walnut Grove!

But in typical Harriet Oleson fashion, Harriet signs without carefully reading the whole contract. Almost immediately, they discover all sorts of problems. They have to have signature tables, signature napkins, curtains, and everything - and of course the owners pay a little above cost! We also notice that everyone works harder. They are expected to be open seven days a week from breakfast to supper...

By the way, I've always known Caroline to be totally against any kind of work on Sunday, yet in this episode she's totally fine with working on Sunday night. And with that said, Charles didn't really like Caroline working, yet now he's letting her work like a dog while he stays on and does the domestic stuff...just a bit off-kilter if you ask me.

The episode ends in an interesting twist as the Colonel Sanders comes wanting to open a restaurant serving only one meal - fried chicken.

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