‘Little House on the Prairie’: Why a Fan Once Threw a Soda Can at Alison Arngrim’s Head

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by NBCU/Getty Images)

Fans of “Little House on the Prairie” are quite familiar with different personalities on the show. One character fans loved to hate was Nellie Oleson. 

Audiences knew Nellie for her difficult and annoying tendencies and considered her nothing short of a bully. Allison Arngrim was so good at portraying Nellie’s role that one fan took it too far and came after her for her on-screen behavior. 

“I mean, the things people have said to me—you wouldn’t believe it!” Arngrim once said. “One time I was in a Christmas parade and someone [in the crowd] threw a cup of orange soda at my head. People have freaked out when I’m around.”

Clearly, “Little House on the Prairie” fans were very triggered by the character that Arngrim was tasked to play. Though we imagine it was challenging for the actor to deal with the wrath of fans at times, it seems she took it all in stride. Furthermore, she can take pride in the fact that she created a character that caused such intense feelings.

Allison Arngrim Almost Didn’t Play Nellie on ‘Little House On The Prairie’

As it turns out, Arngrim wasn’t anything like her character when she was a child. Moreso, when she went to audition, she wasn’t even considering playing the role of Nellie on “Little House on the Prairie.”

In an interview with Zoomer, Arngrim shared that she originally auditioned for the roles of both Laura Ingalls and Mary Ingalls. 

However, since so many people audition for the role of Laura, the casting department asked her to audition for Nellie instead. 

After her audition, the casting director hired her immediately on the spot for the role of Nellie. 

However, Arngrim did find it challenging to keep her off-screen personality and her character separate. In addition, “Little House on the Prairie” fans had similar issues regarding their wrath for Nellie.

However, playing Nellie’s role also gave Arngrim a sense of freedom since the part was so zany. 

“I was very shy as a kid—I was more the type who got beaten up by a Nellie Oleson in the schoolyard,” she shared. “This character was the opposite of me—I was never that brazen, and the things Nellie did and said to people I would never dare do or say. But I got to be somebody else completely and it was outrageous.”