So, how many wells did Timmy fall down, anyway?

How many wells must a boy fall down before they call him a man?

This morning, Morning Edition did a story on the remake of the original Lassie movie. And in passing, someone mentioned that Timmy “fell down a lot of wells.”

Which got me thinking. Timmy falling down a well is the classic “help, Lassie!” scenario in pop culture. But how many times did that happen in movies and on the TV show? And if it didn’t happen that often, why is this the example that gets invoked all the time?

I was more of a Benji fan when I was a kid, so I’ve seen maybe two episodes of Lassie ever, so I have no idea. (I’m looking for a GQ-level answer, but figured this should go in CS because it’s about entertainment.)

According to this FAQ page, Timmy never did fall down a well. In fact, the only character that ever fell down a well was Lassie, in Season 17’s two-part episode, “For The Love Of Lassie,” aka “The Well Of Love,” which aired 2/28 and 3/7/71.

Timmy did fall in a lake twice, though, in “Transition” and “The House Guest.”

A little off-topic, but I remember an interview with June Lockhart (who played Timmy’s mom for 6 seasons) talking about the unbelievable things they asked Lassie to do.

In one episode, she was caught in a bear trap and told Lassie to go home and get a C clamp (she pantomimes a “C” with her hand.) Lassie gallops home, fetches a knife and gallops back.

Lockhart tried to free herself with the knife, and when it didn’t work, told Lassie to go back home and get the clamp.

The second time, Lassie got it right.

The website 2lazy2pee links to also points out all the dangerous situations Timmy did get himself into.


sorry …

I don’t know what it’s really from but it seems the “What’s that Lassie? Timmy fell down a well?” line if from something spoofy and not the actual series but it sure has been around a long time.

Which included getting stuck in two mines and in a pipe. I suppose “fell down a well” just sounds better than "“fell down a mineshaft” or “got stuck in a pipe.”

“What’s that, Lassie?” “Bark! Bark, bark!” “Timmy fell down the well again? Well, throw down a bar of soap. It’s Saturday night, so he might as well take a bath.”

Well there was the time Timmy O’toole fell down a well in the Simpsons…sort of…not really…

“We’re going to need another Timmy!”

NoClueBoy…42 indeed!!

Took ya long enough!

I watched the show when I was very young and don’t remember much of it. I do remember hearing the line, “What’s that girl? Timmy’s fallen down the well?” in the '80s as part of a stand-up comic’s riff on how ridiculous the show became when it made Lassie seem capable of understanding complex human speech.

I can’t remember the comic’s name, but I think it was a white guy from the USA, who was not a newcomer. Some possiblities are: George Carlin, Robert Klein, Robin Williams, Steve Martin. I tried Googling before posting to see if I could ID the comic, but nada.

Well, it wasn’t just that - it was also that the humans could understand dog speech, to the point where “Bark-bark, woof!” could be instantly and correctly divined as a succinct account of a perilous situation. Clearly if Lassie were to continue vocalizing, the listening human would also glean the exact GPS coordinates of the calamity and Lassie’s various suggestions for a speedy resolution in accordance with OSHA guidelines.

“What’s that, girl? Be sure to bring our carbon monoxide detectors and protective eyewear, as specified in Sections 3 and 6 of the Occupational Safety Handbook, 1954 edition? Good idea.”
Anyway, the concept of “fallen down a well” got a big boost in 1987 when it happened then-toddler Jessica McClure, and it seemed every reporter in the world converged on the site to describe the two-day rescue effort.

Lassie obviously expected her to hack off her foot.

“What’s that, Lassie? You want to play a game?”

Dave Barry had a bit about Lassie…Something about how her owners were the most inept farmers ever, always getting pinned under their own tractors or getting stuck in mineshafts…How did they find time to farm anything? He speculated they must survive on farm subsidies that Lassie filled out the paperwork for.

Was she stuck for 127 hours?:eek:

“Bark, bark, growl, woof, woof!”

“Yes, Global Thermonuclear Warfare”

Enough about Timmy and Lassie, what I wanna know is how many times did someone get stuck in an underwater cave on Flipper.