Episode Commentary Leave It To Beaver "Beaver Won't Eat" (S4E1) I'd like to rename this episode "Beaver's Cruciferous Crisis" because, unlike the actual title suggests, Beaver has no problem actually eating. In fact, his plate is as clean as a nun's conscience save for eight little green brussel sprouts. Even in black and white TV, you can sense how green they are. And probably cold too, now that they've been sitting untouched for so long. A cold congealed sprout is a fearsome thing. It practically shouts "Eat me and you'll have noxious gas for the next five days!" Beaver nervously spreads the sprouts around into various geometric shapes while mom June (Barbara Billingsley) exhorts him to eat the damn things or else. Eventually they find their way into his shirt pocket, which is the only sensible place to hide sprouts. It doesn't work. June's sharp eyes immediately spot the deception. Her anger irrationally shifts to Ward (Hugh Beaumont) for not belting the kid over his poor eating habits. The whole affair is rapidly turning into a family cruciferous crisis. Ward has been lax because deep down inside he's not a sprout fan either. "Dear, aren't you making a mountain out of a brussel sprout?" he meekly points out. June shoots him a withering look as if to suggest that their sex life might rapidly be coming to a long dry spell. Beaver is forced to sit alone at the table until he chokes down his veggies. If no eating brussel sprouts, then he can't join the family for dinner and the football game the following evening. It takes the devious mind of Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond) to furnish a scheme for Beaver. "Just sit around and look sad until you parents give in and offer you a deal." Taking advice from Eddie is akin to asking an arsonist how to work a fire extinguisher. Surprisingly, a compromise is worked out and a deal is reached. Beaver has promised to eat brussel sprouts the next time they're served. Beaver creates a sprout montage; Eddie dispenses advice; Ward learns of impending lonely nights... Cut to the fancy restaurant the following night. Beaver is served a plate of roast beef, mashed potatoes and--you guessed it--brussel sprouts. He tries one and actually likes it, which proves the point that restaurants can cook brussel sprouts better than any mom.* Notes: I didn't eat brussel sprouts until I was around 40 years old. Maybe my palate had changed, or maybe as an adult I just started to pay attention to how good cruciferous vegetables were for one. But to this day, you still can't make me eat a cold one. In the restaurant scene, Beaver's brussel sprout crisis is overseen by the manager, played by Hal Smith--better known as Mayberry's friendly drunk Otis Campbell: I've got to hand it to show creators Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly to come up with a very funny premise around something so simple as brussel sprouts. *After dinner, the family heads to the football stadium to watch Clemson beat the pants off Alabama.