The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

The Brave and the Backache 

Rob suspects his illness is psychosomatic when he develops sudden and severe back pains after he and Laura make plans to spend a weekend at Lake Sissy Manoonoo for the fourth time.


Jerry Paris


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Episode cast overview:
Dick Van Dyke ... Rob Petrie
Rose Marie ... Sally Rogers
Morey Amsterdam ... Buddy Sorrell
Larry Mathews ... Ritchie Petrie (credit only)
Mary Tyler Moore ... Laura Petrie
Ann Morgan Guilbert ... Millie Helper
Ross Elliott ... Dr. Philip Nevins
Ken Berry ... Tony Daniels


Since Jerry has to go to a convention, Jerry and Millie can't go to Millie's sister's cottage at Lake Sissimanounou for their planned romantic weekend getaway. The Helpers would offer the cottage to Rob and Laura, but Jerry, based on casual conversations with a psychiatrist with whom he commutes into the city, believes Rob has some psychological block in going there since he has always come down with some ailment every other time the cottage has been offered to them. Millie further believes the block has something to do with Rob not wanting to be "alone" alone with Laura. To prove them wrong, Rob agrees to go despite the effort it will take to get time off from work, but in trying as hard as he can not to get sick from Sally's head cold prior to the trip, he ends up throwing out his back. Rob begins to think that Jerry and Millie may be right, as does Laura, especially as the orthopedist can't find anything medically causing the problem. To determine if his back problem is indeed all ... Written by Huggo / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family



Did You Know?


There is no definitive spelling of the lake where Laura wants to take Rob (made up just for this story). Variously on the Internet you will find it spelled as Lake Sissy Manunu, Lake Sisimanunu, Lake Sissimanunu, Lake Sissy Manoonoo, Lake Sissy-Manunu, and Lake Sissimanounou. See more »


Sally has a head cold, which she manages with a handkerchief held in her left hand. When Rob enters the office, she's suddenly wiping her nose with the handkerchief held in her right hand. See more »


Millie Helper: Rob, you found out something! What did you find out? No. No. Never mind. You're right. It's none of my business. Laura, you call me later and tell me what he found out.
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References The Twilight Zone (1959) See more »

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Release Date:

12 February 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Calvada Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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