Gilligan's Island Wiki
"Agonized Labor"
Season 2, Episode 8
A radio broadcast reveals the Howells are broke.
Basic Info
Air Date: November 11, 1965
Written By: Roland MacLane
Directed By: Jack Arnold
Guest Cast: ???
Episode guide
Previous Next
Castaways Pictures Presents Nyet, Nyet, Not Yet

Agonized Labor is the eighth episode of the second season of Gilligan's Island. It first aired November 11, 1965.


Listening to the radio one night, Gilligan and the Skipper learn that Howell Industries is bankrupt and that the Howells are broke. The Howells become traumatized by the news, and their fellow castaways decide to try to teach them skills they can use as jobs for after they get rescued. Ginger and Mary Ann try teaching Mrs. Howell how to sew and cook, but despite her best attempts, she fails at both. Mr. Howell, however, is not used to any physical labor and instead watches the Skipper dig a new well while trying to teach him. When it is suggested that they become domestic servants, the Howells try to throw themselves off the cliff, but Gilligan comes to the rescue with a revised new report, it was Powell Industries that went broke, not Howell Industries, and the Howells are not broke.


  • "Real riches are in the mind, not in the bank."


  • The Howell's discover they don't have enough skills to work in the "real world" when they get rescued.
  • Mrs. Howell causes a big explosion by cooking coconuts in their shell which explode when the milk reaches the boiling point.


Main Cast

Guest Cast


  • It's revealed that the Howells have just petty cash on the Island, around $100,000.00!
  • In this episode, Mrs. Howell proves to be a terrible cook, and Mr. Howell is even worse as a butler; however, in The Producer, they end up being a butler and maid for Harold Hecuba, and in Gilligan Goes Gung-Ho, Mrs. Howell bakes a cake without Ginger and Mary Ann helping her.
  • Mrs. Howell actually proved she could already sew, as well as cook, in both The Matchmaker and Three Million Dollars More or Less.
  • Traveling through the jungle, Mr. Howell comes across the wasubi berry, which he claims causes whoever eats it to have long hair, fang teeth and claw hands, adding without another thought that Mrs. Howell's mother (his mother-in-law) must have had a basket full of them.
  • When Gilligan goes off the cliff, a freeze-frame of the scene gives a clear view of the stunt man's face.
  • The Castaways must have the worst radio announcer in the world; in Mr. and Mrs. ???, he also mispronounces the Howell's minister, Buckley Norris, as Boris Nuckley.


  • Gilligan - "Mr. Howell's broke? Don't you think we should go tell him?"
    Skipper - "Not now, Gilligan, in the morning. You can wake a man up in the middle of the night and tell him he's rich, but you can't wake him up and tell him he's poor!"

  • Mr. Howell - "Now, I'll return in one moment with the soup du jour."
    Gilligan - "Skipper, what's soup du jour?"
    Skipper - "Gilligan, everybody knows what soup du jour is. For goodness sake, they're the simplest words in the world."
    Gilligan - "You don't know, either."
    Skipper - "I do, too, Gilligan, but I just don't want to show off. Tell him what it is, Professor."
    Professor - "Soup of the day."

  • Skipper - "Would you try getting some in the bowl, Mr. Howell?"

  • Mr. Howell - "There must be a decent way to go. There must... Ah, the dreaded wasubi berry. One succulent drop, your body's covered with hair, your teeth turn into fangs, your hands into claws… My mother-in-law must have had a batch of those."

  • Mary Ann - "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"
    Mr. Howell - "No, no, no... It's very nice to see an old friend."
    Mary Ann - "Oh, that's one thing you can always count on when you've lost everything. I mean, friendship does mean more than money, doesn't it?"
    Mr. Howell - "Well, I know where you can get five to one against that."
    Mary Ann - "Oh, it's wonderful how you've kept your sense of humor."
    Mr. Howell - "Yes, laughter just keeps rolling down my cheeks."