Leap Date:

July 4, 1964

Episode adopted by: Sherdran <aka> Eleiece
Additional info provided by: Cindy & Brian Greene


On a cross-country car trip which rivals his real-life experience as a kid, Sam finds himself in the shoes of a 13 year-old boy who's sister constantly torments him. But while dealing with the frequent humiliation, Sam has to find a way to keep his mother from running away from the family and never being heard from again.


Audio from this episode


TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into

Music Artists
Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode
Miscellaneous Trivia
Kiss with History

Broadcast Date
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Personal Review
Best Lines
Best Scenes
Say What?
Quotable Quotes

Production # 66405

TV Guide Synopsis:
As a teenager in 1964 traveling with his family, Sam must prevent his mom (Sandy Faison) from making a fatal mistake and abandoning them. Hank: Sherman Howard. Bill: Joseph Hacker. Alex: Ami Foster. Beth: Amber Susa. Lew: Jason Logan. Sam: Scott Bakula.

Leap Location:
Carbon County, near the Wyoming/Colorado border

Leap Date / Day of the Week:
July 4, 1964 / Saturday

Original Air Date / Day of the Week:
January 4, 1991 (Friday)

Kiss with History:
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill (#64) into law on July 2nd, 1964, two days before Sam leaped into Butchie.

Name of the Person Leaped Into:
Butchie Rickett

Family of Leapee:

Hank & Emma Rickett (parents)
Alexandra Rickett (older sister)

"What'll I Do?" (written in 1924, words and music by Irving Berlin)
"Crazy" by Patsy Cline
"Runaway" Dell Shannon
"Our Day Will Come" Ruby & The Romantics
"Moon River"
"Walk Like a Man" by Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons

Project Trivia:
Ziggy comes up with a unique theory...the 'Big Sister Theory"...as to why Sam hadn't yet leaped after saving Emma.

Sam Trivia:

He remembers the book "The Feminine Mystique" and who wrote it and the impact it made.

Sam's memory is further prompted by the radio announcer's comment (re: Sam murmurs to himself, "Civil Rights Bill, ' 64.")

Sam remembers a similar type of family vacation he took with his own family when he was 12 years old. ("Guess I must've blocked it out, huh?").

Al Trivia:
'Runaway' is the third episode in which we learn about Al's interest (which mirror Dean's real life interest and passion) in and for taking care of the environment: 

To Sam after he let the card blow out the window: "Now don't ever litter again. This was a special occasion."

Previously, in "Sea Bride" Al talks about trash being thrown into the ocean. Then in "One Strobe Over the Line" he demands Sam use a paper cup instead of styrofoam.

Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode:
First - White leisure suit with a multi-colored (muted earth tones) shirt, a black string tie with a round tie clip (looks like there's an eagle on it) and gold shoes.

Second outfit (the rescue scene) Black pants, a red/orange shirt, the 'STOP' jacket (sort of a dark teal with a large red STOP sign emblem on the back of the jacket and narrow white stripes above each pocket) and red shoes.

Miscellaneous Trivia:
Scott Bakula fell down some stairs during the production of this episode and dislocated his foot. In the following episode, "Future Boy" had a slight re-write to include Sam falling out of the mock spacecraft at the begging of the episode so that it would explain the characters' limp.

Pop Warner is a nationwide youth football organization.


"What'll I Do", Emma & Hank's 'song', was written by the prodigious and fabulously talented Mr. Irving Berlin in 1924. It has been used in many films. One film in which it was used was "Big City" in 1948. That would work out to about right for when Hank and Emma graduated high school. Perhaps...and this is my own speculations...Hank took Emma to see that movie and that's when "What'll I Do?" became their song.

***"What'll I Do"***

What'll I do?
When you are far away
And I am blue
What'll I do?

What'll I do?
When I am wond'ring who
Is kissing you
What'll I do?

What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?
When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?

What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?
When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Congress and signed by President Johnson on July 3, 1964.


The "Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan was published February 19, 1963.


There were several colleges named in this episode, and interestingly enough, their locations span the U.S:

Northwestern (North - Chicago, IL)
Florida State (South - Tallahassee, FL)
Yale (East - New Haven, CT)
Cornell (North - Ithaca, NY)
Berkley (West - Berkley, CA) and, though not specifically named,
the University of Miami (where Emma got her doctorate in speech and drama)


Emma and Billy McCann only recited a handful of lines from the famous balcony scene of 'Romeo & Juliet':

EMMA/JULIET:     "What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?"

BILLY/ROMEO :    "The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine."

EMMA/JULIET:    "I gave thee mine before thou didst request it: And yet I would it were to give again."


There is a trail with rock formations called Devil's Backbone, and it's located nearly Loveland in Larimer County, Colorado. Here's the link, if you'd like to take a look.


Alexandra's favorite methods to torment her little brother/Sam: Noogies, wedgies, Charlie horses, ear flicks and 'purple nurples.'


Here's the poem Sam mentioned to Emma during the roadside scene.

***"The Road Not Taken"***

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

        -- Robert Frost --

Sam's outfits:
First (Leap-in) - A red & white striped polo shirt, dark purplish-red madras plaid shorts, a green ball cap with 'Butchie' on it, orange socks and white tennis shoes.

Second (Walking with Al at Camp Chipmunk) - The 'Wild Willie's" yellow tee shirt, orange plaid madras shorts, same orange socks and white tennis shoes.

Third (The running scene with Hank) - 'Wild Willie's' tee shirt, green shorts, same socks & tennis.

Fourth (The night time/rescue scene) - Blue jeans with the cuffs rolled up, dark blue jacket with stripes on the sleeves, red & white large check shirt, white socks and tennis shoes.

Last (with Hank & Emma at the pavilion) - Jeans, a button down shirt, a gray windbreaker, the green ball cap, and white tennis shoes.

Regular Cast:
Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett
Dean Stockwell as Al Calavicci

Guest Stars:
Sandy Faison as Emma Rickett
Sherman Howard as Hank Rickett
Joseph Hacker as Billy McCann
Ami Foster as Alexandra Rickett
Amber Susa as Beth McCann
Buff Borin as Butchie Rickett
Jason Logan as Park Ranger

Guest Cast Notes:
In addition to being a talented actress, Ms. Faison is also a producer.

Sandy also originated the role of 'Grace Farrell' in 'Annie' in 1977.

In September 2002, Sherman Howard appeared in the title role of Enrico IV, a rarely performed dramatic tragic-comedy by Italian dramatist, Luigi Pirandello, at the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.

SANDY FAISON (Emma Rickett):
Get A Clue! (1998)
Play Nice (1992)
An Eight is Enough Wedding (TV) (1989)
All the Right Moves (1983)
Street Killing (1976)
Anything but Love (1989)
The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (1987)
The Edge of Night (1983-1984)
Party of Five (1997)
Grace Under Fire (1995)
The Wonder Years (1992)
Coach (1990)
The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (1987 - 1988; 10 recurring role as Maimie Bickford Grulnick)
Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1985)
Serpico (1976)
Another World (1977, date is approximate; Day Player)
The Guiding Light (1977; Day Player)

SHERMAN HOWARD (Hank Rickett) - Besides the impressive list of his film and television credits, Mr. Howard, is also a classically trained stage actor. His numerous classical theatre credits include, to name but a few, the title roles in HAMLET and MACBETH, Tom Stoppard's JUMPERS and Clifford Odet's THE BIG KNIFE. During his career, Mr. Howard has also been a member of the resident companies of The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island (2000) (Voice)
The Stand (1994) TV Mini-Series
Casualties of War (1989)
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
K-9 (1989)
Batman Beyond (1999)
Dante's View (1998)
Retroactive (1997)
Jumanji (1996)
The House On Carroll Street (1988)
Day of the Dead (1985)
The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley (1984)
Charmed (2002)
Invader (2001)
Star Trek: Voyager (2001)
Law & Order (1999)
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1998)
Nash Bridges (1997)
The Jeff Foxworthy Show (1996)
Mad About You (1996) (1996)
Sliders (1995)
Walker, Texas Ranger (1995)
seaQuest DSV (1994)
Melrose Place (1992)
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1990)
ALF (1990)
Dallas - (1988; recurring role as Japhet Harper)
Miami Vice (1989)
Tales from the Darkside" (1984)
General Hospital(1973-1974)

Stop At Nothing (1989)
Out on the Edge (1989)
Dangerous Affection (1987)
Little Treasure (1985)
Call To Glory (1984)
Happy Endings (1983)
The Ultimate Impostor (1979)
Ultimate Imposter (1978)
Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (TV) 1977
Mr. Ricco (1975)
Providence (2001)
21 Jump Street (1990)
Moonlighting (1989)
Starman (1987)
Highway to Heaven (1986)
T.J. Hooker -(1986)
It's a Living (1986)
The A-Team (1985)
Remington Steele (1982)
Charlie's Angels 1978 & 1979)
Laverne and Shirley (1977)

AMI FOSTER (Alexandra Rickett):
Changes (1991)
Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Gary Coleman for Safety's Sake in the Neighborhood (1987)
Wrinkles: in Need of Cuddles (1986)
Wrinkles in need of cuddles (Ami)
This is America, Charlie Brown (Lucy)
Punky Brewster (Margaux)
Pound Puppies (1986)
It's Punky Brewster (1985)
Punky Brewster (1984)
Step by Step (1991)
Empty Nest (1991)
The Wonder Years (1991)
Full House (1988)
Circus Of The Stars (1985/1986/1987)
Webster (1983)

AMBER SUSA (Beth McCann):
An American Summer (1991)
Who's The Boss? (1991)
Small Wonder (1989)
Married...with Children (1989)

Guest Who Appeared In Other Quantum Leap Episodes:
Holly Fields from "Camikazi Kid" was nearly cast as Alexandra. During the casting process near the end of the day, Ami Foster was cast instead. 


Music by:
Velton Ray Bunch

Mike Post

Paul Brown

Michael Katleman

Supervising Producer: Harker Wade
Co-Executive Producers: Deborah Pratt and Michael Zinberg
Co-Producers: Paul Brown and Jeff Gourson
Producer: Chris Ruppenthal

Best Lines:
"I may not be able to read a stupid map but I know a lot more about more important things."

"13? I'm old enough to be my own father." (Sam to Al)

"When you least expect it...expect it." (Alexandra to Sam)

"She's got a great future as a mud wrestler, and she's only fourteen and a half." (Al to Sam)

"The good news was that Emma was still with her family. The bad news...so was I." (Sam)

"I want to spend some part of my life as me." (Emma to Sam)

"Don't you see? You're gonna lose her if you don't start listening to what she needs." (Sam to Hank)

"I'm sorry, but I don't have a damn orgasm waxing the kitchen floor." (Emma to Hank)

"You're alright...for a twerp." (Alexandra to Sam)

Best Scenes:
There are two best scenes in Runaway. The first best scene is Sam and Emma's roadside conversation:

Sam: "What's going on, Mom?"

Emma: "You wouldn't understand."

Sam: "C'mon. I'm thir...teen."

Emma (laughing): "Yeah. My little man!" (takes Sam's cap off and ruffles his hair): "Gosh. How'd you grow up so fast? You and Alex will be off to college before you know it and... I don't know. I'm just kinda..."

Sam: "Afraid of being alone?"

Emma: "No. I'm already by myself most of the day. Daddy's at work, and you kids are at school. I've got time to do whatever I want. It's just... not like I though it would be.

(she pauses)

I know I've got no right to complain; not with what grandma went through. And other folks struggling for money and jobs. And your daddy makes a good living."

Sam: "Uh huh."

Emma: "I know I should be happy."

Sam: "No, mom. Not if you don't feel fulfilled."

Emma: "Now this doesn't mean that I don't love you and Alex and Daddy."

Sam: "I..I know. I know, Mom."

Emma: "It's just that I..um... want something more? I want to spend some part of my life as me. Whoever that is. Not just as someone's daughter or wife or... (she glances at Sam) ...mother. I want to... I want to stop feeling like..."

Sam: "A non-person."

Emma: "Yeah. A non-person. I feel like a...non-person."

Sam: "Then you should do more. You should do something more."

(Emma laughs)

Sam: "What?"

Emma: "'Do something more.' That was the theme of my speech at graduation."

Sam: "You were valedictorian?"

Emma: "Yep. Wrote this great speech. About taking chances and reaching beyond the expected. Guess I should have listened to myself, huh? Instead of wondering..."

Sam: "About the road not taken."

Emma: "Yeah. (she pauses). Well, guess it's too late for that now."

Sam: "No, it's not. That's what I'm saying. You can do anything you want. You could in a whole new direction. You could go back to school!"

Emma: "Oh, not with all those young kids! I can't do that!"

Sam: "You're young, too. In the '60s housewives started...will start going back to college."

Emma: "How do you know?"

Sam: "Well...my...a lot of my friends' moms are starting classes again."

Emma (surprised): "Really?"

Sam: "Yeah. And you're smart. And you owe it to yourself to do the best thing for you."

The 2nd best scene is when Sam and Al are walking through Camp Chipmunk, talking:


Sam: "They must've gotten ahead of us when we pulled over. This is weird, Al. No matter what we do, we keep running into him."

Al: "Well maybe she told him where you were going."

Sam: "Maybe sometimes you can't fight fate."

Al: "Well, you have to, Sam."

Sam: "How? I'm a kid. Nobody listens to me. All I do is...I get teased and ignored."

Al: "Well you've dealt with a lot tougher guys than that nozzle over there."

Sam: "Hey, it would be a lot easier if this guy, Bill, were a jerk but he's not. He's actually a pretty 'okay' guy."

Al: "So's Hank. Hey, it's 1964. Guys were different then. But they're gonna change."

Sam: "I don't know..."

Al: "You gotta give Hank a chance, because if you don't, Alex gets pregnant in two years. And Butchie doesn't even finish high school. If she leaves, she destroys the whole family."

Sam: "What happens to her?"

Al: "I don't know. We don't have anything on Emma. Just that some time tonight she runs away."

Sam: "Well even if I stop her, who's to say she's gonna hang around here waiting for Hank to change?"

Al: "Maybe you're right. Maybe any mother that leaves her kids isn't worth saving."

Sam (pauses, looking closely at Al): "You're taking this personally, aren't you, Al?"

Al: "No." (pauses...thinks) "Alright. Yeah, maybe I am. My dad wasn't there for my mom, so sometimes I can understand that she left him. But, she left Trudy and me, too, and I could never understand that." (he pauses again) "So just make sure they stay together, Sam."

Personal Review:
I've always enjoyed this episode. It's fun because poor Sam learns what it's like to have a big sister who enjoys her 'job' too much. On the other hand it reminds me of how important it is not to take someone for granted. From the point of thinking you know what's best for them to thinking that they will always be there ("You're mom's been running away since the ninth grade. She'll come back." [Hank to Sam/Butchie]). And even more, that when life gives you a second change with that someone, don't make the same mistakes twice.

Say What?
Emma states "The Feminine Mystique" has just been published, but it's over a year old at this point in time.

The sign “Nothing Without the Diety” was spelled incorrectly. It should have been “Deity."

It becomes dark impossibly quickly near the end of the episode.

When Sam goes to catch Emma, her hand is a good distance away as she falls. Somehow he catches her anyway.

Quotable Quotes:
She's gonna have a big future as a mud wrestler, and she's only 14 and a half.
-- Al, "Runaway"

You look even prettier than I remember.
That is the oldest line in the manual.
-- Bill to Emma, and Al, "Runaway"

I've seen this scenario before ... and I don't like it.  Please don't let it happen to Emma and her family.
-- Al, "Runaway"

Daddy, maybe we can take a before picture ... so we can remember what he looks like.
-- Alex, before throwing her "little brother" to the monkeys, "Runaway"

I'm old enough to be my own father.
That's a first.
-- Sam and Al, "Runaway"

Butchie, think fast!
-- Hank, "Runaway"

Sam ... toss it out ... go ahead.  OK, good, and now don't ever do it again.  That's just a special case this time.
-- Al on littering, "Runaway"

I'm a kid ... nobody listens to me.
-- Sam, "Runaway"

She called me 'monkey boy'!
-- Sam, "Runaway"

I'm here to stop the big sister from noogie-ing him to death?
-- Sam, "Runaway"

The good news was that Emma was still with her family.  The bad news ... So was I.
-- Sam, "Runaway"

I'm sorry, but I don't have an orgasm waxing the damn kitchen floor!
-- Emma, "Runaway"

Maybe sometimes you can't fight fate.
-- Sam, "Runaway"

"When you least expect it...expect it."

"I want to spend some part of my life as me."

"Don't you see? You're gonna lose her if you don't start listening to what she needs."

"You owe it to yourself to do the best thing for you."

Back to top