The Waltons kids couldn't agree on what a Waltons-flavored ice cream should taste like

Did you try Walnutchocolatechipjellycrunch at Baskin-Robbins in 1973?


After Erin Walton graduated high school, she didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. However, she did know that she wanted to help John-Boy chase his dreams, so she decided to find work so she could buy her brother a typewriter.

In The Waltons episode "The Career Girl," Erin gets permission from mom and dad to become a waitress at Shirley's Truckstop, and soon Jason gets a black eye from a disrespectful customer after defending his sister's honor during one of her shifts.

This dose of tough reality doesn't stop Erin from taking on a second job, still secretly intent on helping John-Boy. In the end, Erin's selflessness leads her on her own satisfying career path.

When this episode aired in 1977, the actor who played Erin, Mary Beth McDonough wasn't yet 16 years old yet, but here she was, making grown-up decisions and showing a maturity that rivaled John-Boy's wisdom beyond his years.

Watching McDonough grow up on The Waltons, it's easy to forget she was just a kid when the show started, but just a few years into doing the show, McDonough was acting more her age and making decisions of a decidedly different flavor than her older character faced in "The Career Girl."

In 1973, McDonough joined her TV siblings David Harper (Jim-Bob) and Kami Kotler (Elizabeth) at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream plant to create a flavor of ice cream that tasted like watching an episode of The Waltons: sweet, classic, and maybe just a little nutty.

That summer, the ice cream company wanted to market a new flavor created by The Waltons kids, and there was a lot more thought put into it than you might expect.

The child stars met with a chemist who didn't just explain how to make a good ice cream flavor. He literally just laid out syrups, flavorings, and fun toppings and let the kids have at it — including pouring their unique mixes into the freezing machine, so they could taste test their new flavors right away.

You can imagine how many rounds each kid went, given an ice cream machine and limitless ingredients.

This must've been the sweetest day in The Waltons kids' lives. And that's saying something, considering the source material.

And like you might expect, Mary, David, and Kami overdid things a little, eating way too much ice cream before settling on a final flavor. So when it came time to make the ultimate decision for kids everywhere to enjoy that summer, they just couldn't agree.

Mary was all about citrus, pushing for a lemon-walnut flavor.

David wanted the ice cream to be sweeter — add chocolate chips! And jelly!

The youngest, Kami, was actually the most diplomatic of all the kids, insisting they could pick any flavor they liked as long as the ice cream, in the end, was "crunchy."

The brave chemist remained on-hand to see the kids through to the end of their task, but after two hours of testing different flavors of ice creams that they'd concocted, the kids grew fairly sick of the process.

So the chemist, who clearly took careful notes during the kids' flavor debates, meshed the three kids' ideas together and created a flavor he called "Walnutchocolatechipjellycrunch." You can see pictures of the three kids testing the ice cream at the Burbank factory here.

The story goes that none of the kids could stomach a bite of the winning flavor, so instead, they brought a batch back to the set. There, cast and crew became the first to taste The Waltons ice cream.

Did anyone out there actually try The Waltons ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins in 1973?

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KamiCotler 25 months ago
It's a fascinating tale, but I don't remember it that way at all. It wasn't unusual for us to spend a weekend day doing something promotional, and I do remember being taken to Baskin & Robbins to invent a new ice cream flavor. I think we each got to make our own, and many photos were taken. I don't remember that the goal was a "Walton flavor." I don't remember any freezing machine, just basic ice cream flavors and lots of mix-ins. Afterward, I checked the list of ice cream varieties at my local 31 Flavors every time we visited, wondering if my flavor might appear. I think mine had lots of different berries? It never appeared. And for the record, my last name starts with a "C".
deby 37 months ago
I never knew about the flavor, I would have tried it if I had known. Ha 😃
Deleted 39 months ago
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scott 39 months ago
This is a web site for fans of classic television.

Please keep your political beliefs elsewhere.

Oh, and it’s 2021 and Trump lost.
Andybandit 39 months ago
They should have cookie dough and cookies and cream like at sonic. I love those flavors.
scott 39 months ago
Hey Waltons Fans!

I TOTALLY remember this flavor as an 9-year old kid. Seeing the long name and that it was tied to a TV show we watched as a family, I asked for it. I recall that my mom said that I might not like it (as I ALWAYS had a scoop of chocolate). I even remember her asking the B/R ice-cream scooper if I could have a free sample to taste — and the scooper said “no!” I guess that they didnt give a free taste in ‘73. But I insisted that I wanted the Waltons ice cream and my mom got me a scoop on a cone.

It was AMAZING is all I remember — because I kept asking to go back for more. We usually went once a week and that’s all I got for months. And I “graduated” to two scoops! I also clearly remember being told that they were “out of that flavor” one weekend — only to learn that it was really discontinued. I was bummed and probably pouted.

I have no memory of this being a “32nd” flavor or that the actors had a voice in creating it. There was a photo of the Waltons kids on the counter.

I imagine that this flavor was much like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream concoctions today: lots of ‘stuff’ mixed together.

And the “Here Comes The Judge” Flavor was tied to “The Flip Wilson Show” — right?
F5Twitster 39 months ago
The Mad Magazine parody of "The Waltons' was called, predictably, "The Walnuts," and that's just what should have been in the ice cream.

PS: re "When this episode aired in 1977, the actor who played Erin, Mary Beth McDonough wasn't yet 16 years old yet..."

You get only one "yet" per sentence (or, better still, paragraph) per customer.
Corey F5Twitster 39 months ago
The Carol Burnett Show did a skit called The Walnuts.
idkwut2use 39 months ago
Sounds terrific! I’m with Mary, can never go wrong with citrus. Or jelly...
KevinButler 39 months ago
I never even heard of this ice cream flavor..or? even eaten any Baskin/ cream shop?
ScoobyDoo169 39 months ago
Cute story, I agree with Ji-Bob's idea, the chocolate chip and jelly which by the long name for the ice cream that the chemist came up with, he leans more toward Jims likes as well.😁
ScoobyDoo169 ScoobyDoo169 39 months ago
Uh oh I meant Jim-Bob's😂
Tlor 39 months ago
Baskin Robbins was too expensive for our family, we used to get Berkeley Farms, a the grocery store. Mom like Cherry Sheri or something like that and that was about it for ice cream.
cperrynaples Tlor 39 months ago
Didn't Cherry Sheri used to be on Saturday Night Live...LOL
dth1971 39 months ago
Baskin-Robbins had in the past ice cream flavors tied in with TV shows and movies. Remember Dating Game ice cream in the 1960's?
daDoctah 39 months ago
I trust we all know that the pink parts of the B and R in the Baskin-Robbins logo form the number 31?

lynngdance daDoctah 39 months ago
🤯 Mind Blown....gee I feel dumb for never noticing that after all this time 😆🤦‍♀️🤪
daDoctah lynngdance 39 months ago
Next check out the "MOM" hidden in the collar of the Wendy's girl, the bear on the side of the mountain on the Toblerone label, and the arrow concealed in the empty space between the E and x in the FedEx logo.

(The arrow points "forward", meaning to the right. There's an arrow in the Arabic version of the logo as well that points to the left, which is also "forward" since Arabic is read from right-to-left.)

And did you ever notice that Homer Simpson's fringe of hair and his right ear form the letters M and G, the initials of "Matt Groening"?
retro6 daDoctah 39 months ago
I was today years old finding this out! Mind is truly blown!!
daDoctah 39 months ago
And Amazon smile is an arrow starting at A and ending at Z meaning you can get anything from A to Z with Amazon.
harlow1313 39 months ago
I remember a Slurpee flavor called fulla-bulla.
harlow1313 39 months ago
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harlow1313 stephaniestavr5 39 months ago
Right, 7-11. We bycycled to the local store, back in the sixties, the air filled with Beatles, Motown, and Monkees. I was partial to the blue raspberry. Similarly, I dug Otter Pops. Louie Blue Raspberry.
cperrynaples 39 months ago
A warning: If you want to see those pictures, you have to subscribe to a newspaper research site! I always hate it when you do a Google search and then in order to read an article, you have to pay for it!
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LoveMETV22 stephaniestavr5 39 months ago
Lol! Suspense........
LoveMETV22 scott 39 months ago
She narrowed it down for you.
Wiseguy cperrynaples 39 months ago
What do you mean "There are no more Baskin Robbins stores"? There's one in my area, been there for years in the same shopping center as a Walgreen's, Big Lots! and Office Depot. There's another one on the same street not too far away.
texasluva cperrynaples 39 months ago
Yeah. That makes me mad when looking at news stories and then they ask for money to read further. Thinking.........why should I pay you when I can get the same story at another web site for free. Even if its a buck for a few days, no way I am paying them
Barry22 39 months ago
So a perfect Walton-Flavored ice cream would consist of plain boring vanilla with chunks of chicken and sprinkled with sawdust.
Michael Barry22 39 months ago
No, it would be vanilla flavored with The Recipe.
Deleted 39 months ago
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Tlor 39 months ago
Dreyer's is the only other ice cream store I remember
Tlor 39 months ago
Dairy Queen could be I was thinking Dreyer's
AndreaUlstrom 39 months ago
Peter_Falk_Fan 39 months ago
I believe you're talking about Bresler's 33 flavors glass
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