"The Sound of Quacking"
Season 1, Episode 7
The Castaways are in a food drought and are faced with starvation. Will Gilligan's duck "Everett" become a messenger of rescue––or a duck dinner?
Basic Info
Air Date: 11/7/64
Written By: Lawrence J. Cohen and Fred Freeman
Directed By: Thomas Montgomery
Guest Cast: None
Episode guide
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The Sound of Quacking is the Seventh episode of Gilligan's Island. It aired November 7, 1964.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

When the Skipper shows up for breakfast, Mary Ann greets him with two tiny spots of mackerel and bananas. She reveals that some sort of blight is going on, and that the Professor is doing what he can to stop it. Gilligan does his part by dressing as a scarecrow to keep birds away from the healthy seeds Professor is trying to plant. With all the food being rationed, Mr. Howell starts bribing people for their olives. The Professor soon comes back with evidence the blight has hit all the edible plants on the Island except for bushes full of berries the Professor believes could be poisonous. They soon see a migratory duck head for the lagoon. The Professor suggests that instead of eating it that they try tying a message to its leg to get rescued. They try various means to catch it, finally luring it in with Gilligan's old boot disguised as a decoy.
Gilligan adopts and names the duck Everett, but everyone else wants to roast it as food. Meanwhile, Gilligan exercises Everett by letting him fly with a leash on him, but after sending him off with a message, Everett refuses to leave the island, landing again laying an egg. Gilligan renames him Emily, but after failed turns trying to send him off, everyone still wants to cook him as food. With the Professor as the only voice of reason, Gilligan keeps guard over Emily during the night and dreams he's a sheriff in the Old West. The Skipper is his inept deputy, and Mr. Howell and the Professor are the bad guys trying to steal Emily. Ginger tries to get him drunk so she can take Emily, and Mary Ann comes in as a concerned citizen. Mrs. Howell is a Spanish Senorita trying to help, but she has ulterior motives. Freeing Emily to keep her safe, Gilligan shoots it out with Mr. Howell and the Professor and drives them out of town, but when he fires his guns to celebrate, he accidentally takes out Emily. He wakes to find the Skipper coming for Emily. Gilligan still won't let him hurt her, so the Skipper leaves him with the hatchet and the choice to make for himself. Waiting at the table, everyone starts feeling guilty that they took Emily's life to save their own. Gilligan brings out a covered tray, but no one can bring themselves to eat. As they hear quacking, they realize Gilligan didn't kill her after all. He left her near the bushes of berries which she's now eating, proving they're not poisonous. With the means to survive the blight, they send Emily off after all, but Gilligan has forgot to attach the note. Everyone walks away in disgust as Gilligan holds out the note trying to lure Emily back.

Message[edit | edit source]

  • "When we are faced with two difficult alternatives sometimes we can find a third alternative that's better than both."

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Gilligan as a Scarecrow.
  • Gilligan and Skipper quacking like ducks.
  • Gilligan's dream of a Western which he's protecting Emily from the Castaways trying to eat her.

Credits[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • None

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode features the first dream sequences in the series. These sequences would become one of the most favorite parts for the cast to do in the series.
  • In Gilligan's dream sequence, Gilligan is a Town Marshall determined to protect his duck from everyone else. The Skipper is a dopey deputy with a knife and fork ready to eat the duck, Ginger tries to get him drunk, Mrs. Howell tries to give him an unworkable gun while getting caught with a bottle of duck sauce, Mr. Howell and the Professor are the bad guys and Mary Ann is the girl of the golden west. It should be mentioned though that Mrs. Howell and Ginger's parts in the dream sequence are edited out in syndicated versions of the episode.
  • Both Gilligan and Mary Ann reprise the same roles from Gilligan's dream in Mr. Howell's dream in The Sweepstakes.
  • Even in his own dream, Gilligan still can't do anything right and shoots his own duck. This would suggest a sense of constant insecurity in his personal self-worth.
  • When Gilligan shoots the duck in his dream and it falls from the sky, it's the duck decoy he made out of an old shoe.
  • The Western set is also seen in Mr. Howell's dream sequence in The Sweepstakes; it is best known as the set of the long-running TV series, "Gunsmoke," which ironically edged out "Gilligan's Island" from reaching its planned Fourth Season in a controversial dispute with CBS.
    • The incidental music played between Gilligan and the lynch mob, the Professor and Mr. Howell, is a variation of "Gunsmoke"'s quick draw music during its early to mid-1960s era.
  • In Gilligan's dream, the storefront for Carr Brothers Land Office appears repeatedly all over the street. Mr. Howell and the Professor walk past it once, and Gilligan passes it once only to end up standing in front of it, although this could just be attributed to the surreal nature of the dream.
  • When the Skipper buries the axe in the table, it's in a different place in the table when Gilligan pulls it out of the table.
  • It is highly unlikely that anyone would find a note on the leg of a migratory duck.
  • Everett's cage later turns into a purse for Mrs. Howell in The Big Gold Strike.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Mary Ann - "You want me to keep your breakfast warm?"
    Skipper - "No, Mary Ann, just keep it from blowing away."

  • Mr. Howell - "Thurston Howell III in a soup line. I'll be drummed out of the social register."

  • Marshall Gilligan - "When the mayor pinned this badge on my chest I made him two sacred promises."
    Ginger - "What promises?"
    Marshall Gilligan - "First off, I wouldn't drink when I was on duty."
    Ginger - "Forget the drink, Marshall. You don't have to drink to have a good time. What was your second promise?"
    Marshall Gilligan - "Never to have a good time."
    (Ginger gets upset and storms out.)
    Marshall Gilligan - "I wish I never made that second promise."

  • Mr. Howell - "The minute I see that Gilligan, I'm gonna fill him full of gold."
    The Professor - "Don't you mean lead?"
    Mr. Howell - "A Howell use lead? Such a vulgar metal."

  • Gilligan - "Okay, Everett, now, and please be careful. Remember, glide a lot. It's a long way."
    Skipper - "Fly below the clouds, don't go near the mountains and, for goodness sake, stay away from the airplanes."
    Ginger - "And remember, if you meet a cute little lady duck along the way, business before pleasure."
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