Everyone in the Walton house is too busy to pay attention Jim Bob so he takes matters into his own hands.



(created by) (as Earl Hamner), (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode credited cast:
Olivia Walton (as Miss Michael Learned)
Erin Walton (as Mary Elizabeth McDonough)
The Narrator (voice) (as Earl Hamner)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christopher Beaumont ...
Greg Walker (as Chris Beaumont)
Mrs. Tibbs


Everyone in the Walton house is too busy to pay attention Jim Bob so he takes matters into his own hands.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance




Release Date:

3 October 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The name of the guinea pig that Jim-Bob brought home from school was Porthos. See more »


Sgt Strong: [Jim-Bob is at an army recruiting office, and wants to enlist] What's your name?
Jim-Bob Walton: Jim-Bob Walton
Sgt Strong: No... Last name first, first name last
Jim-Bob Walton: Oh... Walton, Bob-Jim
See more »

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User Reviews

Jim-Bob gets an important lesson
10 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was an excellent episode featuring Jim-Bob, beginning with him being assigned to bring the class mascot, a guinea pig, home during a school break (unspecified, but clearly in the fall of 1934.) It is not a spoiler to reveal that the guinea pig died overnight, causing Jim-Bob much sadness, like any normal kid would feel.

More frustrating to him was that after he discovered the body, everyone was so busy, they all shooed him out of their way and never let him tell them that the animal had died. John was busy with a big order he needed to complete, John-Boy was excited about not only going to see a lecture from a famous writer, Bennett Holmby, but about a sort-of date with a young woman who, because she was not a student, thus not eligible to buy a ticket for the lecture, had asked John-Boy, who was in line behind her, to take her to the lecture, since students could get two tickets if they wanted to. The other siblings were busy with their chores and activities for the day. Jason and Ben were up extra early to get chores done so they could, hopefully, play in a big baseball game later that day.

So Jim-Bob buries the guinea pig and decides to run away, leaving a note and walking "toward town." He gets a ride from John's customer, who had picked up the first half of his load of lumber, to Westham.

After finding the note and asking around, John learns which way Jim-Bob was headed and thinks he might have been seen by his customer. Knowing they were headed toward Westham, he phones John-Boy who drops his plans to search for his brother.

I don't think I'm spoiling anything by revealing that he found him, and was able to learn what had troubled Jim-Bob so much. An encounter with a stranger helped both of them learn a valuable lesson.

Before that, fans of the old McHale's Navy show will want to look for a scene involving an Army sergeant, played by Gary Vinson, who was "Christy" on McHale's Navy.

Before Jim-Bob ran away, director Harry Harris did a super job of letting us see scenes from Jim-Bob's perspective, as he tried to tell everyone about the guinea pig, but couldn't get anyone to listen. I loved a marvelous scene late in the show where the stranger had some great words of wisdom. (I purposely am being vague here to avoid spoiling everything.) Jim-Bob's motivation for running away, and lack of any real planning for what to do and where to go seemed quite real to me. I could see a 10-year old doing that.

On the ongoing "inconsistency" theme, we hear that Jim-Bob was born on June 13, 1924 here. On an episode the next season, we hear, positively, that he was born January 13, 1923. Later on, he seems to be younger than either birth date, as he graduated high school in 1944.

I know that David Harper get criticism for his acting. I think it is mostly the fault of writers leaving him only a few words in many episodes. When he is featured, such as this episode, he seems to do a fine job—maybe not award-winning, but there was nothing wrong with his performance here. A thoroughly enjoyable episode—another 10.

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