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TV-Y | | Comedy, Drama | Episode aired 1994
Ellen asks the question every kid does - why do we need to know word problems - to her Math teacher Ms. Fingerwood, making the teacher question her whole life.


Katherine Dieckmann, Will McRobb (created by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode credited cast:
Michael C. Maronna ... Big Pete Wrigley
Danny Tamberelli ... Little Pete Wrigley
Alison Fanelli ... Ellen Josephine Hickle
Syd Straw Syd Straw ... Miss Fingerwood
Steve Buscemi ... Phil Hickle
Janeane Garofalo ... Ms. Brackett
Gordon Gano Gordon Gano ... Mr. Zank
Toby Huss ... Artie
David Martel ... Teddy Forzman
Emily Peri Collyns Emily Peri Collyns ... The Baby
Owen Rackleff Owen Rackleff
George Kmeck George Kmeck ... Mr. Shrek
Michael Moran Michael Moran
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tracy Spurrier Tracy Spurrier ... Student


Ellen asks the question every kid does - why do we need to know word problems - to her Math teacher Ms. Fingerwood, making the teacher question her whole life. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

1994 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wellsville Productions See more »
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Did You Know?


Toby Huss, who usually plays Artie, is the man in the teacher's lounge serving food. He is uncredited in the role. See more »


Big Pete Wrigley: It's no secret that Miss Fingerwood lives for math. She named her cat the square root of seven, and bakes Pi pies accurate to a hundred and twenty-one decimal places. Rumor has it that the first time she saw the number two, she thought is was her mother.
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Crazy Credits

Nickelodeon Balloon logo after end credits See more »


Spoofs Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Syd Straw does an excellent job in this intelligent episode.
25 January 2015 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This episode asks the question that we have all thought about during our lifetime, 'What the heck with math word problems?'.

Miss Fingerwood (Syd Straw) is giving the class some kind of long and wordy math word problem that has the students reeling. Ellen finally has the guts to stand up and say "WHY"? When Miss Fingerwood cannot give a good answer to Ellen's question, she decides to quit teaching. And for someone that has been around numbers her entire life, it is going to be hard to adjust to regular life.

But it does not stop there. Now Ellen is destroying all the substitute math teacher by asking the same question. It look like word problem are a thing of the past until Ellen must use math to find someone that she has hurt. She may finally know the reason that math word problems are taught.

An enjoyable episode that was well written. The story gets into nearly every teenager's life that has had the slightest trouble with math. Syd Straw does an excellent job of playing the homely looking teacher. She is so good at the character that it reminds us all of some teacher we had from our past. A surprisingly well rounded story that one remembers long after viewing. Good watch.

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