Bonanza Wiki
Bonanza episode
“The Flapjack Contest”
Season 6, Episode 15
#183 in Series
Air date January 3, 1965
Production code
Guest starring:
Written by Frank Cleaver
Directed by William F. Claxton
Episode Guide
Previous Episode:
The Saga of Squaw Charlie
Next Episode:
The Far, Far Better Thing
External links
The Flapjack Contest on IMDb


Hoss is entered into a flapjack-eating contest by Joe, who needs money to replace a ruby that was stolen from him. To insure a win, Joe puts an unhappy Hoss on a starvation diet, rigging up the kitchen with alarms to keep him away from the food. In the meantime, the boys' attempts to replace a broken window with a new pane of glass proves to be an impossible task.


Ben and Hoss are at the dining table eating breakfast when Ben tells Hoss to go and wake up his brother Joe. Ben is not happy about Joe's poker playing and his coming in at all hours of the night. Hoss throws water at Joe and Hoss ducks a boot that Joe throws at him. The boot goes through the window shattering it. When Joe finally wakes, up he complains of a headache from a nasty bump on his head but Hoss doesn't seem interested in hearing about it.

Hoss asks Joe what time he got in and Joe answers that it was around four in the morning. He had been playing poker and ended up with a hundred dollars, but had been bushwhacked on the way home. Ben reminds Joe to get a new window pane and for Hoss to check for the package that Adam sent containing an uncut ruby worth one thousand dollars. Joe heads over to the saloon to see if he can find the guy that bushwhacked him. The bartender asks Joe if he is going to be in the big flapjack contest on Founder's Day. Joe laughs until he hears that Trager, the man he thinks bushwhacked him, is taking bets on the contest as to who will win. Joe bets one hundred dollars that Trager's man, Big Ed, won't win.

Hoss asks what Joe has been doing in the saloon all morning. Joe informs Hoss that he signed him up for the flapjack eating contest and put in a bet. Joe says that Adam is going to be mad if he doesn't have one thousand dollars before he gets back. Joe says that when he was bushwhacked, they not only stole his hundred dollars but the plain package picked up from the post office with an uncut ruby in it. Hoss says Joe should tell Ben, but Joe asks Hoss to visualize what would happen when he told Ben the truth. Hoss then begins to agree with Joe and becomes part of Joe's scheme.

Joe comes back to the ranch and Ben asks Joe where Hoss is. Joe informs him that he is walking home to get hungry for the flapjack contest. Ben tells Joe to put in the window pane and Joe says he forgot it and will go back to get it. Ben tells him just to unload the supplies and Joe jumps in the back and crushes the window that Hoss had picked up. At dinner, Hoss is excited to finally get food and when he finds out that all he'll get to eat is a salad.

Later that night, Hoss slips downstairs to sneak some food, but Joe has rigged pots and pans on the stairs and Hoss trips over them. Joe wakes up when he hears the clatter and tells Hoss that he will be downstairs making sure that Hoss can't get to the kitchen. Hoss goes upstairs, still hungry.

Hoss and Joe go into town; Joe goes into the saloon. Joe is drinking a beer when Trager comes up and Joe bets five hundred more dollars that Hoss will beat Big Ed. Hoss comes in and asks Joe how much is riding on the contest and he tells Hoss that it'll be fine as they'll end up with a nice profit--enough to pay Adam back for his lost ruby. Hoss then asks what will happen if Big Ed wins and Joe says that he'll owe twenty-five hundred dollars. Hoss gets angry and Trager and Big Ed watch from a table nearby. Hoss asks for beer, but Joe won't let him have one. Joe asks Hoss if he got the window pane and Hoss says the store doesn't have anymore. Sam says that it's sort of his fault because he bought five of them to replace the windows that were broken in the saloon upstairs. Joe says he will rent a room for a week if he can have the window out of it. Sam agrees.

While Joe is upstairs getting the new window, Lily, a barmaid, says that she had brought Sam a pie for his birthday. Sam says it is absolutely delicious. Lily asks Hoss if he wants any of the pie, but Hoss says he can't do it. Joe gets angry at Lily for trying to feed pie to Hoss. She gets angry at Joe and throws the pie; Joe ducks and it hits Hoss in the face.

When they get back, Joe goes to find a safe place for the window pane and then he and Hoss head for the high pasture. When they get back, Ben tells Joe to put up his horse because he is tired. Hoss tells Joe how he is going to go lie down on the sofa when he gets done in the barn. Joe suddenly remembers that he put the window pane on the sofa. Joe runs towards the house, but Ben has already cracked the window pane and is extremely angry at Joe.

That night, Hoss sneaks to the kitchen again and thinks that Joe is asleep. He crawls to the kitchen just to make sure that Joe doesn't hear him. Hoss screams when he gets caught in a mouse trap and Ben comes down to see what the fuss is about. Ben threatens to put them in the barn if they keep it up.

The next morning, the contest starts and Ben tells Joe to go get another window pane since the contest will last an hour. Meanwhile, Trager pulls a gun on the bank teller and says to empty all the cash into his briefcase. He is leaving the bank when the bank teller comes out and yells for someone to stop the man that robbed the bank. Joe is coming out of the saloon and Trager breaks Joe's latest window. Joe runs after Trager and after a long fight, wins and brings Trager in for bank robbery. Joe learns he gets a five hundred dollar reward! It also seems that Trager's real name is Cunningham, who also has a five hundred dollar reward on his head.

Joe is walking to the saloon for another window and runs into Lily. Joe tells her about the robbery and Joe asks to see the ruby in her hand. She throws it to Joe and he drops in and it breaks it all over the ground. Ben comes over to see what Joe had broken now and sees it was the ruby. Joe says it was just a fake and wasn't real. Ben tells Joe that Adam will want to see the ruby, be it a fake or not. Joe and Ben greet Adam as he gets off the stage and Joe says he'll pay one thousand dollars for the ruby. Adam says that a man on the stage offered fifteen hundred dollars so Joe asks for five hundred dollars from Hoss from winning the flapjack contest. Hoss declines to give the money to Joe and thinks it will be a good lesson for him. Ben agrees with Hoss as Joe goes off to get another window pane.

Cast and Characters[]

The Cartwrights



  • Howard Wendell: Banker
  • Joan Huntington: Lily
  • Johnny Seven: Trager
  • Mel Berger: Big Ed Simpson
  • Olan Soule: Ira


Did you know?[]

  • Similar to an episode of Little House on the Prairie where Pa's (Michael Landon) picture window keeps getting broken.
  • German episode title: "Hoss Cartwrights schwerster Kampf", meaning "Hoss Cartwright's Hardest Fight".


"Wow. You sure got a talent for trouble, little brother. Pa sends you into town to get the mail and you end up in a poker game, win a hundred dollars and you get bushwhacked. How do you get in all them messes anyhow?"
Hoss to Little Joe[src]




See also[]