Melissa Gilbert sure had her fair share of moments while filming the classic TV show Little House on the Prairie. One moment stands out. And it was not on your TV screens, either. Embarrassing moments did happen while shooting different scenes. This moment might rank up there as an all-time one for the veteran actress. She remembered one involving some cowboys on the show’s set.
‘Little House on the Prairie’ Actress Melissa Gilbert Does Her Own Spit Take
“We were shooting in Tucson, Arizona at Old Tucson, which is an amusement park and old Western town,” Gilbert told the Chicago Tribune. “They had actual legitimate rides you could go on there. I think I was 14 at the time, and for the kids it was a lot of fun because between set-ups, if we weren’t in school, we could go to the haunted gold mine. They also had an ice cream shop where they served sarsaparilla and root beer floats.” Hold on to your saddles. This is where it gets interesting.
“This was probably five or six seasons in,” Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie says. She adds that she was the “uncomfortable, awkward girl” who strove to be really cool around other kids on the show. “So we had a break,” Gilbert says. “And all us kids went and got root beer floats. And then we came back to where we were filming, which was in this old bar. It was a big Western bar.
“The other thing you have to know is there were a lot of cowboys on our set,” she says. “They were stuntmen and wranglers — so, a lot of people who chewed tobacco. And there was a rule that they weren’t allowed to spit on the ground. So they handed out, like, red solo cups for the guys to spit in.” Can you see where this is going?
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“We go back into this saloon where we’re filming and we’re getting ready to rehearse a scene,” Gilbert says. “And I set my root beer float down on a counter next to a bunch of other stuff and I rehearse my scene. And then I come back and I pick up my root beer float and take a giant sip. It wasn’t root beer float. It was one of the guy’s spit cups.”
How did she respond? Spitting all of it everywhere. But she also has this reaction. “At first, I stopped and thought, maybe I can swallow this and no one will know? But it was the most disgusting — I can’t even. It took me a second to realize this wasn’t root beer.”