‘The Waltons’: Judy Norton Remembers Tadpole Scene She Disliked Very Much in ‘The Love Story’ Episode

by Keeli Parkey

The season one episode of “The Waltons” titled “The Love Story” is mostly remembered for the romance between John-Boy Walton and Jenny Pendleton. However, Mary Ellen Walton actress Judy Norton also recalls something very different about this episode of the classic family drama.

What Norton recalls has to do with another storyline from this episode. She discussed “The Love Story” during a February 2021 installment of her “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons'” video series.

“I had a lot of fun with the subplot in this story about the tadpoles,” the actress said with a laugh. “I’m not real fond of tadpoles. I don’t mind little frogs. And in fact, at one point, a house I lived in where we had a swimming pool sometimes little, tiny frogs would get in our pool and they were awfully cute.”

Judy Norton also recalled a scene where she was very angry at a dog for causing issues with the tadpoles.

“Later in the episode when the tadpoles, where there’s a problem with them and stuff, and I’m asking for a shotgun because I’m going to go after him – after the dog who’s going after the tadpoles,” she also said. “So, it was just a fun subplot for me.”

‘The Waltons’ Actress Judy Norton Shares Story About Being Scared By a Frog

Even though she thinks frogs are cute, “The Waltons” actress Judy Norton did get really frightened by one once. She shared this humorous story while talking about the tadpoles in “The Love Story” episode.

“But I had the living daylights scared out of me at one point because I had this watering, this watering can, and I went to pour water onto some plants, and for some reason, it wasn’t coming out,” Judy Norton recalled. And so, I reached down into the spout to see what might be blocking it and encountered a small frog. It just, totally scared me. I mean, there was nothing particularly frightening about the frog. It just was that I was not expecting to encounter something.”

Watching the frogs in her pool was entertaining for Norton.

“But these frogs would sometimes jump into the pool and they were so fast and they were so cute,” she shared. “But tadpoles, meh, not so fond of.”

You can watch Judy Norton talk about “The Love Story” episode of “The Waltons” below. Her comments about the tadpole scenes begin just after the 1:30 mark of the video.

Norton Also Shares Details About the Romance in ‘The Love Story’

Before talking about tadpoles, Judy Norton talked about the romance that was at the center of “The Love Story.”

In it, John-Boy Walton, played by Richard Thomas, finds what Norton describes as his “first true love.” That “first true love” was Jenny Pendleton. She was played by Sian Barbara Allen. According to Norton, Thomas and Allen were dating at the time. They met while working on the film, “You’ll Like My Mother.”

“Richard won an Emmy for his work on this episode, ‘The Love Story,’ in particular,” Norton shared. “The character of Jenny Pendleton first appeared in this episode, and then later she returned in the episode ‘The Thanksgiving Story.’ So, we were happy to have her for those couple of episodes.”