the flapjack contest
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The Flapjack Contest Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #06, Episode #15

The Flapjack Contest, a gem among classic Bonanza episodes, premiered on January 3, 1965. In this comedic tale, Hoss Cartwright embarks on the titular competition, only to be subjected to a starvation diet by his brother Joe in hopes of securing victory. Amidst the contest, various subplots unfold, featuring a bank heist, a smooth-talking con artist, a counterfeit ruby, and a plethora of amusing property mishaps. The ensemble cast includes Johnny Seven as Trager, Mel Berger as Big Ed, Joan Huntington as Lily, Howard Wendell as the Banker, and Olan Soulé as Ira. Crafted by Frank Cleaver, “The Flapjack Contest” delivers an unforgettable blend of humor and excitement.

Delve into its plot intricacies and trivia, or indulge in the episode below for a memorable Bonanza experience.

Watch the Full Episode of The Flapjack Contest

Watch the Full Episode of The Flapjack Contest:

Main Cast

Apart from the main cast, “The Flapjack Contest,” the fifteenth episode of Bonanza Season 6 presents various recurring and guest-supporting actors. The cast includes:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright
  • Johnny Seven as Trager
  • Joan Huntington as Lily
  • Mel Berger as Big Ed Simpson
  • Bern Hoffman as Bartender Sam
  • Olan Soule as Ira
  • Howard Wendell as Banker
  • Eddie Baker as Townsman (uncredited)
  • John Bose as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Gene Coogan as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Betty Endicott as Townswoman (uncredited)
  • Charles Fogel as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Jack Lilley as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Mike Morelli as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Sammy Shack as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Cap Somers as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Victor Sen Yung as Hop Sing (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Flapjack Contest

Ben and Hoss sit at the breakfast table, with Ben expressing his displeasure over Joe’s late-night poker games and subsequent disruptive behavior. Hoss, tasked with waking Joe, humorously douses him with water, prompting Joe to retaliate by throwing a boot and accidentally shattering the window in the process. When Joe finally awakens, nursing a headache from a bump on his head, Hoss remains indifferent to his complaints.

As the morning unfolds, Joe recounts his poker escapades from the previous night, boasting of a hundred-dollar win but lamenting being ambushed on his way home. Ben reminds Joe to replace the broken window pane and tasks Hoss with retrieving a package Adam sent containing a valuable uncut ruby. Meanwhile, Joe heads to the saloon in pursuit of the man who attacked him, only to discover bets being placed on an upcoming flapjack eating contest. Joe impulsively wagers against the man he suspects of bushwhacking him.

Returning to the ranch, Joe deceives Ben about Hoss’s whereabouts, claiming he’s preparing for the contest. Ben instructs Joe to fix the window, but Joe conveniently forgets the replacement pane, inadvertently causing further damage. At dinner, Hoss eagerly anticipates a hearty meal, only to be served a meager salad, much to his disappointment.

Later that night, Hoss sneaks downstairs for a midnight snack, but Joe’s makeshift obstacles cause him to stumble and make noise. Joe intercepts him, ensuring he can’t access the kitchen, leaving Hoss resignedly hungry upstairs.

Hoss and Joe venture into town, and Joe heads into the saloon for a drink. There, he encounters Trager and impulsively bets an additional five hundred dollars on Hoss, defeating Big Ed in the upcoming contest. Hoss joins him, questioning the stakes, but Joe assures him they’ll make a profit to compensate for Adam’s lost ruby. However, Joe reveals that if Big Ed wins, they’ll owe twenty-five hundred dollars, angering Hoss.

As they discuss the window pane, Sam reveals his involvement in the broken saloon windows, complicating their search. Lily, a barmaid, offers Hoss pie, but Joe intervenes, leading to a messy confrontation that leaves Hoss covered in pie.

Back at the ranch, Ben scolds Joe for carelessly placing the window pane on the sofa, leading to its destruction. That night, Hoss’s attempt to sneak to the kitchen ends with a painful encounter with a mouse trap, prompting Ben’s intervention and a warning to behave.

The next day, as the contest commences, Joe rushes to replace the broken window pane. Meanwhile, Trager perpetrates a bank robbery, but Joe’s intervention leads to Trager’s arrest and a five hundred dollar reward. Joe encounters Lily, accidentally breaking what he believes to be the stolen ruby, only to discover it’s a fake. Ben informs Adam about the incident, prompting Joe to offer to buy a natural ruby for one thousand dollars. However, Adam is offered fifteen hundred dollars by another buyer, prompting Joe to ask Hoss for the extra five hundred dollars, which Hoss refuses, supported by Ben, as Joe heads off to purchase another window pane.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Flapjack Contest

- Black coffee?
- No, thanks, Pa.

What's gotten into your
young brother lately?

Tearing around the countryside,

playing poker, getting
home at all hours.

Pa, he's just young,
sowing his oats.

Well, I wish he'd straighten out

and confine his oat-sowing
activities to the ranch.

Run him out of bed, will you?
He'll spend the whole day there.

I'll get him for you.




Hey, Joe.

Joe, wake up. Wake up. Wake up.

Up and at 'em. Come on. Hey.


Oh, Joseph.


What's going on up there?



Why in tarnation
did you do that?

Oh, my head. Ooh.

Let me see.


Hey, Joe, did you that just now?

No, I didn't do it just
now. It's a long story.

Yeah, well, tell
me about it later.

Pa is waiting for you downstairs
and he's in a bad mood.

Oh, just my luck. He's
gotta be in a bad mood.

Why does everybody
gotta be in a bad mood?

What a lump.

JOE: Morning.

What time did you get in last
night anyhow, little brother?

Oh, I'm gonna guess about 4:00.

It's a good thing Pa didn't catch
you. You'd have more lumps than one.


Hoss, I must have laid in that road
for hours after they bushwhacked me.

How much did they
get off of you, anyhow?

Oh, I started out with about
$20, and after the poker game,

I guess I had
close to a hundred.

Well, you sure got a talent
for trouble, little brother.

Pa sends you into
town to get the mail,

and you end up in a poker game,

win a hundred dollars
and then get bushwhacked.

How do you get in all
them messes, anyhow?

Well, there's this new tinhorn
gambler in town named Trager.

He was bragging to everybody
about how great his cards were,

so I thought I'd show him.

Show him what? Like, how
to draw to an inside straight?


You know, I did too, I drew
an inside straight against him.

He was a big loser in that game.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he
wasn't the one that bushwhacked me.

He's a real bad loser.

Here comes Pa. Talk
about something else.


- Hoss.
- Yes, sir.

Here's a list of supplies.

And you, young fellow,
don't forget that windowpane.

Yes, sir.

Make sure that he
gets up at a decent hour.

Stop in at the post office, see
if a package arrived from Adam.

HOSS: Yeah. When's
he coming home?

BEN: In about a week.

I got a letter from him, which
this young man finally brought.

It seems he bumped
into an old friend of his,

a clipper captain who
needed some ready cash.

So the fellow offered to sell
Adam a beautiful uncut ruby,

which he picked up in India.

Adam buy it?

He sure did, for a thousand
dollars, worth much more, of course.

HOSS: That Adam.
Ain't he a shrewd one?

Yeah, he sure is.

He didn't want the ruby
stolen or maybe lost

so he put it in a small
plain box and sent it home.

So check at the
post office, huh?

Are you feeling all right?

- Yeah.
- You look awfully pale.

Well, I didn't get a whole
lot of sleep last night, Pa.

I know that.

Then try to make up
for it tonight, will you?

HOSS: Ho. Ho. Ho.
- Hoss, start ordering those supplies.

Be back in a minute
to help load them.

- Wait, where you going?
- Saloon.

Joe. Don't you think you got
enough troubles without going and

getting yourself in
another poker game?

Look, stop worrying.

I'm not gonna get into
another poker game.

Just want to see if
that tinhorn's over there,

or whether he skedaddled out of
town after he bushwhacked me.

Joe, you ain't got no proof
that he's the one that done it.

If he's throwing my
money around, I got proof.

Hey, Joe.

How can you tell it's
your money or not?

SAM: Morning, Little Joe.

What will you have?

Nothing for me, Sam.
I'm just killing time.

Say, uh, has that Trager
fellow been around?

You getting in on it too?

- Getting in on what?
- The Flapjack Contest.

Heh, the what?

The Flapjack Eating
Contest Saturday,

you know, on Founder's Day.

The Merchant's
Association is sponsoring it.

- Here, just sign up for it.
- Oh, yeah?

Heh, "Flapjack Contest."

What's Trager got to do with it?

Why, he's taking bets on Big
Ed Simpson winning the contest.

That's why I thought
you wanted him.

- He's taking bets, huh?
- Yep.

Giving 5-to-1 if Big Ed
Simpson wins the contest.

- Hi, Little Joe.
- Hi, Lily.

- Give me two beers, Sam.
- Right.

- Where is Trager?
- In the back room.

- Right. Thanks.
- Two beers.

I hear you're throwing all
kinds of money around, Trager.


Last night after the poker
game you said you were broke.

Now you're throwing all kinds of
money around on some contest.

It ain't none of your business, but
I ain't throwing no money around.

All I'm doing is making
bets on Big Ed here

winning the Flapjack Contest.

Flapjacks is my favorite food.

Especially when
the prize is $500.

Now, Big Ed, you simmer
down. Stop your bragging.

Otherwise, I'm gonna have
to raise the odds on you.

How are you gonna
pay off if he loses?

Big Ed ain't gonna lose.

But if he does, the
payoff is my business.

So like I was saying,

I'm taking bets on Big Ed, at
5-to-1, and I'm paying off by the book.

Put me in for $10.



What's so funny?

I'm afraid this deal is a little
too big for you, Little Joe.

When I talked about 5-to-1,

I was talking 500 to $100.

Oh, well, that's fine. Put me
down for a hundred dollars.

Oh, well.

"Cartwright, $100."

That's right.

And I'll be right here
Saturday to collect.

You better be right
here Saturday to pay off.


- See you, Sam.
- See you, Joe.

Well, little brother,

you sure have been a
big help this morning.

I had to load all these
supplies by myself.

What have you
been doing in there?

Oh, just signing up for
the Flapjack Contest.


I never knew you
was fond of flapjacks.

Oh, I'm not.

You are.

What's that supposed to mean?

I just signed you up
for the Flapjack Contest.

That's crazy.

If I wanted flapjacks, I'd just get
Hop Sing to mix me up a batch.

The winner of the
Flapjack Contest gets $500.

- Is that a fact?
- Yep, that's a fact.

After you win the
contest and I win my bet,

there's a thousand dollars.

- What bet?
- Well, Trager's in there.

He's giving 5-to-1 odds

that Big Ed Simpson is
gonna win the contest.

I know you can out-eat
him any day of the week.

So naturally I had
to bet against him.

Joe, all you're doing is making
a lot of trouble for yourself.

If Pa finds out you've
been gambling again,

he's gonna clobber you.

Gonna get more than
clobbered if I don't get $1000

before Adam gets back.

Now what in tarnation
has Adam got to do with it?

- When I got bushwhacked?
- Yeah.

They also stole a little package
that I picked up at the post office.

Adam's $1000 ruby?

Adam's $1000 ruby.

See, Hoss, I gotta get
that money. I just gotta.

Well, I'll tell you what
you got to do, little brother.

You gotta tell Pa this
whole miserable story.

Just lay it on the line,
that's what you gotta do.

But stop to think for a minute.

Try to visualize what's gonna
happen when I tell him the truth.

Can you see it?

Wouldn't it be easier
just to win the $500?

They had good flapjacks.

JOE: Whoa.

- Where's Hoss?
- Oh, he'll be along in a minute, Pa.

He's just walking the
rest of the way home.

He's walking? What
in heaven's name for?

For exercise. That will
build up his appetite.

He eats more than
all of us put together.

Why does he have to
build up his appetite?

Well, for the Flapjack Contest.

The Flapjack...?

Say that again.

This Saturday is Founder's
Day in Virginia City, right?

BEN: Yeah.

Part of the big doings
is a Flapjack Contest.

I entered Hoss. I figure
he's a cinch to win it.

Sure. Of course, you fellas
have nothing better to do.

- Hmm.
- I'd unload those supplies.


And very first thing,

put that windowpane
back in your room.

Holy Toledo, Pa, the windowpane.

You forgot it.

Oh, Pa, I was so busy
it just slipped my mind.

Sure, you were busy. Entering
Hoss in a Flapjack Contest.

- I'm sorry. I'll go back and get it.
- Oh, no, you won't.

Stay right here, there's plenty
for you to do around here.

- Now just unload the supplies.
- Yes, sir.

JOE: Oh...

I guess Hoss
thought of it for me.



What have you got out there,
Hop Sing? Smells delicious.

- Fried pork chops.
- Pork chops!

Hot dog, that's my favorite. Bring
them on, I'm starving to death.

Hungry enough I
can eat fried bear fat.

No, Hoss, please.

Didn't I tell you exercise
would improve your appetite?

Pass me the butter.

- Oh, yeah, Pa. BEN: Ah.

Hmm, smells good.

No, thanks, Hop Sing. I
don't care for any salad.

I'll just have the pork chops.

Mr. Joe say this your supper.

- What?
- Yeah, it's a diet.

Oh, it's real good. Carrots
and celery and an apple.

It'll keep you alive.

Joe, I'm starving to death
after all that exercising.

I can't live on
this rabbit food.

Do you want to win
the $500 or don't you?

Yeah. But, Joe, this ain't fair.

All right. Go ahead.
Go on, stuff yourself.

Eat the pork chops,
have the bread, the peas.

Have dessert. Go
on, gorge yourself.

Don't worry about the
promise you made to me.

Go ahead, lose the $500.

I've done everything I can do.

Oh, wait a minute, wait a
minute, hold your horses.

I didn't say I wouldn't
eat this rabbit food.

I'm just worried about
who's gonna pick me up

when I fall over in a
dead faint from hunger.

Hoss, you know
you can count on me.

I'll be with you every
minute... until Saturday.


I reckon I could bet on that, if
you'll pardon the expression, Pa.


Joseph. Joe...

Have you ever thought
of going into politics?


Oh, Hoss, do you have
to make all that noise?




BEN: What in tarnation
is going on down there?

JOE: Oh, nothing, Pa. It's
all right. Go back to sleep.

- What are you doing down here?
- Hmm?

What are you doing down here?

What are you doing
down here, Joseph?

It's too cold to sleep in my
room with the window broken.

And what is your excuse?

I came down here
to get a drink of water.

A drink of water, my foot.

You came down here to sneak some
food out of the kitchen, didn't you? Hm?

Heh, heh. And you're
sorry, aren't you?

Oh, you're not sorry?

I'm hungry, Joe.
Hungry, that's what I am.

And you are going to stay
hungry until the contest is over.

Now go upstairs and go to bed.

BEN: Hoss!

Coming, Pa.

Don't forget, I'll be
here all night long.

Right there.



BEN: Little Joe!

Yeah, Pa, I'm coming up.
I'm just straightening up.

You finish, Mr. Cartwright?

Yes, thank you, Hop Sing.

- Joseph.
- Huh!

Yeah, Pa. Yeah, Pa.

Look, either you eat your
breakfast or you go back to bed.

Either one, but do
one of them, will you?

I'm sorry, Pa. Sorry.

What with Hoss banging
around half the night.

I just didn't get much sleep.

Well, let me remind
you, young man,

that nobody got too
much sleep last night.

Everybody would have been
better off if you had stayed in bed

instead of sitting around
spying on your brother.

- Morning, Pa. BEN: Hmm.

Hop Sing, you got
any breakfast for me?

Hey, where's the apple?

Mr. Joe say apple
only for supper.




listen to me,

I'm going to seek the peace
and quiet of the upper pasture.

And against my better judgment,
I am forced to send both of you

into Virginia City again

to get some more fencing, which we
need, and I'm going to count on you

to see that your young
brother keeps out of trouble.

- That ain't always easy, Pa.
- I'm making it your responsibility.

As for you, young man,

don't come home
without that windowpane.

You know you can
count on me, Pa.

I'm sure trying,
son. I'm sure trying.

Excuse me.

All right, let's go.

I ain't finished
my breakfast yet.

- Whoa. Whoa.
- Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

- Hey, where are you going?
- In the saloon.

Joe, I promised Pa I'd
keep you out of trouble.

Trouble? Who's
getting into trouble?

I just got an idea to
get us out of trouble.

More trouble than what
we got out of yesterday.

Hey, don't forget the
windowpane. The windowpane.

Giddyap. Giddyap.

Hi, Sam.

You're getting to be
a regular customer.

How come you're back
in town again today?

Hoss and I came in to
pick up some fencing.

Just killing time
till he gets it ready.

Oh, that's hard
work. Waiting, I mean.

- Ha, ha.
- So have a beer.

I'll take you up
on it, sounds good.

Well, if it ain't the big old
spender from the Ponderosa.

Heh, heh. What's on your mind,
Trager, besides the usual larceny?

I hear you got that
big, fat brother of yours

entered into the
Flapjack Contest.

Yeah, that's right.

That big brother of
mine is gonna ruin you,

when you have to
pay off all those bets.

- Is that so?
- Yeah, that's so.

What do you think
about that, Big Ed?


That Hoss has been
eating so high on the hog

out there at the Ponderosa

that he ain't gonna be
no competition at all.

You gotta be poor to be hungry
and I ain't had a job in six months.


What do you think
about that, Cartwright?

I think your friend's
head is as fat as his belly.

I tell you why he hasn't worked
in six months, because he's lazy.

And that's why you're gonna
lose because my brother Hoss

is not only a big eater, he's
also a fast, ambitious eater.

You, uh, wouldn't be willing to put
your money where your mouth is?

Are you talking
about another bet?

Now what else would
I be talking about?

Let's see, my confidence
in Big Ed was 5-to-1.

What's yours in
that brother of yours?

Well, I don't wanna terrify you,
Trager, so we'll leave it the same, 5-to-1.

- Good. I'll put 500 against Hoss.
- Mark it down.

- Ha, sure. JOE: Heh, heh.

Ah, let's see.

- That's "five hundred
- Five hundred, right.

- against Hoss
Cartwright." JOE: H-O-S-S.

Now you be sure to be here
tomorrow after the contest.

Oh, don't you worry. I'll be here
with a new and bigger wallet.

- Thank you, sir.
- You're very welcome.

You've been making
more bets to that tinhorn?

JOE: Shh.

Keep your voice down.

I don't want him to hear you.
He's liable to try to change his mind.

Oh, did I trap him. Did I
trap him into a bet! Ho-ho-ho.

What kind of trap?

See, I figure when Trager
hears you're entering the contest.

He's gonna start welching
on the bets with Big Ed.

So I play like him
frightened, see?

I'm worried about the competition.
So I get him to bet against you.

Joe, just how much you got
riding on this contest, anyhow?

If Big Ed loses, I get $500.

If you win I get another 500.

Five hundred and 500, that's
the thousand I need for Adam,

plus the 500 you get
for winning the contest.

We split that down the
middle and it's a nice little profit.

Yeah, yeah. What happens
if I lose and Big Ed wins?

Don't talk that way,
it makes me upset.

Yeah, well you just stay
upset until you can examine

the other side of that coin.


If Big Ed wins, I lose
a hundred dollars. Heh.

If Big Ed wins, that means
I lose, don't it? Then what?

Twenty. Twenty-five...


Twenty-five hundred
dollars? Plus that other...

Joe, are you crazy?!

Will you stop talking that way?

Don't talk that way, think how nice
it's gonna be when I win all that money.

Look what you're doing,
you're making me nervous.

Sam, let me have another beer.

Hey, uh, yeah, me too, Sam.

No, no, no, a glass of water.

- What?
- You heard me. A glass of water.

Look, Hoss, beer has hops in it.

It's filling, it's
fattening. Now, no beer.


Water, carrots and celery. You're
trying to kill me, ain't you, Joe?!

Will you keep your voice
down? Keep your voice down.

They're right there.
They're right there.

You know, that Little Joe,
he's a lot smarter than he looks.

But not as smart as you, Trager.

Prettier, maybe,
but not as smart.


Heh, heh, heh. You bet he ain't
as smart as I am. Now, listen.



Come on, finish your water.

Did you get that windowpane?

Jake didn't have no more.

He what?

He didn't have no more of them.

After I bought that one yesterday,
the one you busted, he ran out.

He said he'd had
a big run on them.

Oh, no.

Oh, Pa's gonna have my hide.

Well, I guess that's kind
of my fault, Little Joe.

- What?
- The windowpanes.

You know the
rooms I got upstairs?

Well, I've been renting them to out to
cowhands who can't afford the hotel.

Well, a couple of them got to
whooping it up a few nights ago

and broke five of them, so I had to
go over to Jake's and replace them.

Sam, I'll buy a
windowpane from you.

I already got them
set in the windows.

I'll take it out of the window.

Then how am I
gonna rent the room?

Hey, how long did Jake say it would
be before he got another windowpane?

He said it would
be at least a week.

Sam, what do you get
a night for the rooms?

SAM: Fifty cents.
- All right.

I'll buy the
windowpane from you.

I pay 50 cents a night till Jake gets
the new windowpanes in, a deal?

Heh, heh. If it means
that much to you.


I'll be right down.

Be strong, Hoss.

- It ain't easy on
water, Joe. JOE: Ugh.

Sam, is this the
strongest water you got?

SAM: Hi, Lily.

Little early for
work, ain't you?

You run such a lovely place
here, Sam, I just can't resist it.


- Hello, Hoss.
- Howdy, Miss Lily.

What you got in the package?

Remember your
birthday last month

when I forgot to
get you a present?

Oh, that was all
right, Lily, I didn't mind.

Oh, well, I did. And it's
been bothering me ever since.

So today I got you a present.

Got it from Mrs.
Hawkins, it's her specialty.

SAM: What kind is it?

Lemon cream meringue.

I'd like you to
have the first bite.

Lilly, that is the
tastiest pie I ever ate.

I sure appreciate
this, I surely do.

I'll go get some plates.

How about you, Hoss?

No, thank you, Lily.

LILY: Hoss, what's the matter?
You're not sick or something.

I've seen you turn down
the best-looking girl in here,

but never something to eat.

Oh, come on, baby,
for Sam's birthday. Hm?

- Now, cut that out, Lily.
- Why?

- What's wrong with a little bit
of pie? TRAGER: Ha, ha, ha.

Well, I promised Little Joe.

What's he got to do
with it? Don't worry.

We'll save him some.

- No, that ain't it.
- Oh, come on, honey.

If not for Sam,

then do it for Lil, huh? Please?

What's the big idea?

That's what I'd like to
know, what is the big idea?

Where'd the pie come from?

I bought it for Sam, for his
birthday, if it's any of your business.

Sam's birthday, my foot. You're
working for Trager, aren't you?

LILY: I haven't got the slightest
idea what you're talking about.

The heck you don't. You've
been going with Trager

ever since he came into town.

He paid you to tempt
my brother, didn't he?

I'm not that type of girl.

You're no pie maker
either, Jezebel.

- Why, the nerve.
- No, Lily!




Cut that out.

Sam, I need another pane.

That means rent on another room.


Money is getting to mean
less and less to me all the time.

Will you leave it alone?
Come on, weakling.


Run in and see if see
if Pa is here. Whoa.

JOE: Whoo.

Made it.

Mr. Joe say you
stay out of kitchen.

Mr. Cartwright say take fence
to upper pasture, chop-chop.

All right. All right.

Oh, Joe, Pa wants to get
that fencing up to the pasture.

I'll be with you in a minute. I
want to find a safe place for this.

Hurry it up. It's gonna be
dark before we get back.

JOE: Whoa.

Ah, let me see.

Fellows, you put my horse
up, I'm plumb tuckered out.

JOE: Right, Pa.

Come on, Hoss. Shake a
leg and get down from there.

HOSS: About all I can do.

I'm all tired and tuckered
out, I'm gonna go in the house

and lay me down on that sofa.

The sofa!

Holy Toledo! The sofa!


BEN: Joseph!






BEN: What's going down there?

I don't know, Pa. I think maybe
we caught a Hoss in a trap.


BEN: Hoss, what in
tarnation's going on down there?

Hoss, what's all
that yowling about?

Ow! Pa, some little...

You were in the
kitchen, weren't you?

What were you doing?
Trying to steal some food?

Joe, my belly's so dang
nippy it's killing me. Argh!

And it's gonna stay that way
until after the contest tomorrow.

Yes, and it's a dang
good thing it is tomorrow.

One more night like this,
you'll both be out in the barn.

Now listen to me, get to bed!

Yes, sir.

BEN: Hurry up,
fellows, let's go.

Yeah, we're coming, Pa.

- What's that for?
- Huh? Oh, that's for the pane of glass.

It would be cheaper to go ahead
and buy a whole glass factory.

Well, after you win
that contest today,

Hoss, I just might be able to
afford a whole glass factory.

There, lie down and rest.

That's it.

I want him to save his
strength for the contest.

This I gotta see.

It will be some compensation
for the last few days, anyway.


SAM: Ladies and gentleman,
your attention please.

With all the contestants
here, we can begin.

Rules are simple.

The man who eats the most
flapjacks in an hour wins.

The hotel will keep them
coming from the kitchen.

Hey, Ira, what are
you doing here?

You couldn't be over a
15- or 20-flapjack man.

You see, Hoss, my wife's
been away visiting her sister.

I ain't been eating so good.

So I figure this here would be a
good chance to store up. Ha-ha.

SAM: Plain or with something
on them, any way you want.

Now if you'll all be seated
and ready, we'll begin.

One, two, three, go.


Take your time,
you got a long time.

Don't worry about the
competition, just take it easy.

Come on, boy, just
keep thinking of that $500.

Just keep thinking about
it, now. Go ahead, boy.

BEN: Joseph?
- Yeah, Pa.

Joseph, this contest is
taking exactly an hour.

So let's you and I get some
errands done in the meantime, huh?

Pa, don't you think I ought to
stay? Hoss might need some

- syrup or something.
- The hotel provides all those services.

Wanna get to the post office,
see if there's any mail from Adam

and you might try persuading
Jake to open up his shop

long enough to get
that windowpane.

He hasn't got any left.

Huh? Why'd you
bring that mattress?

Oh, I've been getting them
from Sam at the saloon.

He's got a couple extra.

Well, you just get over to that saloon
and get an extra windowpane, huh?

- I'll meet you back here.
- All right, Pa.


- Howdy, Mr. Trager.
- Howdy.

- Be with you in a moment.
- No hurry.

- How's the contest going?
- Just fine.

I do believe the whole
town is out there watching.

Yes, I know.

I was counting on watching myself
when the bank closed at noon,

but they went and
upped the starting time.

Yeah, I know.

All right, sir. Now,
what can I do for you?

Well, you can put the
money in this here valise.


You holding up this bank?

And shoot the
bank, if I have to.

Now you just do as I tell
you and you won't get hurt.

- What's that, Hoss?
- My secret weapon, Ira.

- Try it.
- No!

- Ain't got enough to go around.
- Hoss.

Stop him! Stop him!

He robbed the bank! Stop him!






JOE: Hey, sit down, sit down.
Wait here. You'll be disqualified.

It's one of Trager's tricks.

- Are you sure?
- Sure. Now sit down, start eating.





Go right on and eat.



All right. That does it!

What are you doing here?

Nothing, Joe.


Well, you'd just go to any lengths
to break a windowpane, won't you?


- Good job, boy, good job.
- Thanks.

Trager robbed the bank.
He was trying to get away.

- He, what?
- Trager robbed the bank.

He was trying to get away.

- You mean he's a crook?
- Sure.

You saved the bank
thousands of dollars, boy.

Heh, but now I
can't collect my bet.

You've just earned
yourself a $500 reward.

Come over the
bank and pick it up.

Joe, did you hear that?
Five hundred dollars.

Yeah. But that's only
half the loaf, Hoss.

Listen, that was a pretty slick
job you almost got away with there.

You are no ordinary
bank robber, are you?

- What's your real name?
- You might as well tell us.

We'll find out anyway,
soon as we get you to the jail.


- Cunningham.
- Cunningham.

Ain't there a price
on your head?

Best there is for
bank robbing, $500.

HOSS: Hey, Joe, you hear that?
- Hey, this is your lucky day, Joe.

Five hundred dollars.

That 500 plus another 500,
that's a thousand you're looking at.

And the $500 you won for
winning the pancake contest.

Hey, Sam, where's my $500 at?

You haven't won yet, Hoss.

There's still one
contestant at the table.

Ira's still at the table

and in the remaining time, if
he eats more than you, he wins.

That danged Ira. He
ain't no bigger than my leg.


All right. Let's get
this jasper off to jail.

JOE: Well...
tough luck, brother.

- Wait, wait a minute, now.
- Huh?

Where you going?

- Over to the jail, see by my reward.
- Uh-uh, first things first.

Pa, what's more
important than my reward?

A windowpane.

Oh, come on, Pa,
for crying out loud.

You don't expect me to
drop everything just to get a...

A windowpane.

A windowpane.


Oh, by the way.

Got a letter from Adam, he's
coming in on today's stage.

That Little Joe, he
made it just in time.

- What?
- Nothing, Pa. Nothing.

Hi, Little Joe.

Hey, what was all
that shooting about?

All the shooting was at
your boyfriend, Trager.

He was robbing the bank while
everybody was at the contest.

No. How about that.

You can't trust nobody no more.

Hey, what's that?

A little trinket that
bank robber gave me.

- Probably a phony.
- Hey. Let me see that.

- Yeah.
- Oh!

I told you, a phony.

"Priceless ruby," he said.

Well, what did you
break this time?

A ruby.


Not your brother Adam's ruby.

Yeah, they stole it
from me the other night.

They stole it?

Here comes the stage, Pa.

Joseph, your brother
Adam is in that stage.

I sure don't envy you the
trouble of having to tell him

that they stole
his valuable ruby.

His, what? Pa, this
isn't a valuable ruby.

It's a phony. I was worried
about having to give Adam $1000.

I don't have to give him
anything. It's nothing.

You know your brother Adam.

He's gonna want that ruby

or whatever he paid
for it, in hard cash.


There he is now.

Well, Ira, it looks
like you done it.

I'm so full I'm
gonna bust, Hoss.

You can't stop now,
just ten more minutes.

If you finish that plate,
you win the whole contest.

I'm gonna hate flapjacks
the rest of my life.

- I just can't eat another bite.
- Oh, sure you can.

Look, uh, since
Little Joe is all set,

I ain't got no interest in
winning this contest no more.

So I'm gonna give
you my secret weapon.

Yes, sir.

You see what happens, if you eat
all of them sugars and them syrups,

it gets monotonous.

A man needs to shake up
his taste buds once in a while

with something like this.

- What is it?
- Vinegar.

IRA: Ugh!

Ira. Ira.

ADAM: Thank you.

By the way, you get that
package I wrote to you about?

BEN: Oh, yeah, well, uh,

- as a matter of fact, uh...
- What's wrong? Didn't it arrive?

Yeah, yeah, it arrived. I'll buy it
from you for a thousand dollars.

Well, what in the world
would you want a ruby for?

Oh, haven't you heard?

Little Joe has become a
collector of rubies, windowpanes...

Well, you're out of
luck if you want my ruby.

Man on the stage
offered me 1500.


Now, give me the ruby or $1500.

- Howdy, Adam.
- Hey.

Hey, um, what's
the matter with Ira?

Oh, poor little Ira took sick.

Hey, you mean you
won the contest?

Yeah, yeah, guess I did at that.

What contest? What
are you talking about?

Well, what they're talking about... At
lease what Little Joe is talking about

I think is, uh, money, hmm?

Adam here wants,
uh, $1500 for that ruby.


JOE: That's what
the man said, $1500.

I'm $500 short.

So, what you want is my
contest money, right, Joe?


The way I figured, Joe,

what you already owe
me and Sam, the bartender,

figured it will take you at
least a year to just get even.

I reckon that will be a good
lesson for you, little brother.

Oh, I doubt that very much.

I'd be willing to
make a little wager

that your young brother here
takes more than a year to pay you off.

- Oh, yeah? You giving any odds?
- What's that, huh?

Oh, nothing. I was only
kidding you, Pa. Heh.

Just a joke. You
know I don't bet.

Well, of course you don't,
and I know that. Heh, heh.

But what was that you
said a little while ago,

when Mr. Trager was
taken into custody,

about a bet being ruined?

And while we're
at it, young fellow,

what about these
poker-playing activities of yours?

- And then it...
- Pa, Pa.

Why don't we just
talk about that later?

I got important things to do.

I gotta get that windowpane
and I know that's important.

Oh! Hello.

I know you want that windowpane
and I'm gonna get it. I promise you.

Excuse me. I'm gonna it.
I'm gonna get it fixed too, Pa.

I'm gonna fix it.

Behind the Scenes of The Flapjack Contest

This is reminiscent of an episode from “Little House on the Prairie” in which Pa (Michael Landon) continually deals with his picture window getting shattered.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza offers wholesome entertainment suitable for individual viewing or family gatherings. The Flapjack Contest is the 183rd episode out of 430 in the series. From September 1959 to January 1973, Bonanza, produced by NBC, graced their network, spanning 14 seasons.

You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>

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