This is a tough one because Almanzo's character is introduced in Season Six and has a lot of great storylines. While "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not," is my overall favorite, there are so many others that are close seconds:
- "Back to School" because this is where Laura falls head over heels in love with Almanzo and accidentally calls him "Manly." He is also sweet to Laura when she fails her teaching exam.
- "The Werewolf of Walnut Grove because we see him acting as a protective brother to Eliza Jane and admits to his young friend, Laura, how much he will miss her when they leave Walnut Grove.
- "Wilder and Wilder" because we see what a responsible, capable young man he is and he finally starts to notice Laura is maturing.
- "Sweet Sixteen" because this is where Laura and Almanzo's courtship begins; he finally sees her as someone more than a "young friend" and he even makes an idiot out of himself when he fears Chad Brewster is making advances toward her.
"Laura Ingalls Wilder" is a definite favorite, probably for most fans. Almanzo loses his crop to a drought and can no longer build his house of dreams for Laura. His stubborn side rears its ugly head when she wishes to take a job in Radner to help him get back on his feet. Their engagement is broken off more than once, but eventually the two reconcile and they marry at the blind school in Sleepy Eye.
"Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow" is an important Almanzo episode. It finds him devastated with the loss of his crop, battling diphtheria, suffering a stroke, and retreating into a deep depression. The poor guy can't even enjoy the birth of his first child, because he's stuck in a wheelchair. It isn't until Laura finally gives up that he realizes he must fight to gain back his life and begin making plans for the future.
While my favorite episode of Season Nine is "A Child With No Name," my favorite Almanzo episode is "Welcome to Olesonville." Harriet Oleson finds a bearer's bond in Lars Hanson's old house (Yes, I know it burned down in an earlier season, but just go with it.) and uses her power to try to get Nels Oleson elected mayor of Walnut Grove. Some people encourage Almanzo to run, but it isn't until Harriet insults him that he decides to do it.
What are some of your favorite Almanzo episodes?