‘Little House on the Prairie’: Fans Still Can’t Get Over How Mary and Adam’s Baby Died in the Fire

Little House on the Prairie is decades old yet it remains a popular and beloved show for many TV viewers. It’s all thanks to the timeless themes and nostalgic feel that’s missing from so many modern programs. Fans still love catching up with the Ingalls family, but even so, they don’t think the show was perfect.

One of the most controversial storylines on Little House on the Prairie was also the most tragic. In Season 6’s “May We Make Them Proud (Part 1),” Mary and Adam’s baby tragically dies in a fire.

But some fans are still wondering if it was necessary to kill the infant in that way.

‘Little House on the Prairie’ explored some dark themes

Overall, Little House on the Prairie was an uplifting show about the strength of family and neighbors. But the writers didn’t shy away from tough themes including addiction, child abuse, racism, disease, and death. These moments were meant to teach lessons and reflect real life.

However, the death of Mary’s baby struck fans hard, especially due to the preventable nature of it. And some fans argue that while the fire and forgotten pipe were plausible, Mary would never have left the building without first grabbing her newborn.

‘May We Make Them Proud’ is one of the most tragic episodes

Little House on the Prairie
Linwood Boomer as Adam Kendall, Melisssa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls Kendall | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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Episode 18 of season 6 of Little House on the Prairie left fans emotionally distraught.

In the plot, Albert and his friend Clay sneak into the basement of the School for the Blind to smoke a pipe they stole. When the pair get caught, they leave behind the lit pipe, which later causes a fire.

Adam helps hurry everyone out of the building once he realizes what’s going on. Mary is in the room with their baby but the newborn is in a crib. Somehow, Mary follows Adam out without mentioning the baby is there.

Alice attempts to go back into the burning building to rescue the infant but gets tied up saving another child who is stuck in a bathroom. By the time she gets back to her first mission, the building is compromised, and both Alice and the baby die in the fire. It’s an extremely difficult time for everyone, especially Mary and Adam.

Fans can’t figure out how Mary forgot her baby

Writing the baby’s death into the storyline was a sobering reminder about the dangers of fire, and it’s not totally out of place to have that as part of Little House on the Prairie. Certain fans take issue with the method, however, and think writers could have accomplished the same outcome with a more realistic lead up.

“The death of Mary’s baby was completely unnecessary as she was right with her baby and she’s the one who left him when Adam dragged her away. And he knew she was with the baby too,” one Redditor argued. “They could have at least done something where Mary was downstairs and let her baby sleep in the crib upstairs or something. Bad direction on their part.”

Even with the implausibility of the events, “May We Make Them Proud” remains one of the most memorable, talked about episodes on the series.