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YMMV: The Brady Bunch

YMMVs for the series

  • Critical Research Failure: In his retrospective about The Brady Bunch, Lloyd Schwartz recalled a dispute he had with Robert Reed over a line in the script for Jan, the Only Child where Mike walks into the kitchen, sees Carol and Alice cooking strawberry preserves for the Charity Hoedown, takes a whiff and remarks, "This smells like strawberry heaven!" Reed contended that, per various encyclopedia articles, strawberries don't have scents and got into a huge argument with the writers. After several days of fighting and not wanting production delays over a minor point in the script, the writers conceded and changed Reed's line to "This looks like strawberry heaven."
  • Fair for Its Day / Values Dissonance : The boys bring the dog to the wedding in the pilot, and then leave the dog LOCKED IN THE CAR!
    • Another Season 4 episode "Bobby's Hero" is set off when Bobby, pretending to be Jesse James, brings a cap-gun to school and pretends to hold all the other students hostage during recess. Mike and Carol are called up to the school and everyone becomes more concerned with Bobby's idolization of a villain than anything and Bobby gets off with little more than a stern talking to about Jesse James later on. With how sensitive and violent schools are today, it's rather...off-putting...
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment/Reality Subtext: During Oliver's official introduction, his clumsiness causes so many accidents around the house that he's convinced he's a jinx. It was played for comic relief and mild angst, but it's not so funny when you remember the series was cancelled shortly after the addition of the character.
    • Straight example of Reality Subtext: In "Tiger! Tiger!", Bobby worries the titular pooch may have been hit by a car...which was exactly the fate of the original Tiger's actor much earlier in the season.
    • In Season 4's "Greg Gets Grounded," Greg is prohibited from driving after his distracted driving nearly causes an accident on the freeway. Ironically enough, nearly a year after that episode aired, Barry Williams was involved in an accident caused by distracted driving (although it was the other driver who was to blame).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Greg's stage name in the first movie, Johnny Bravo.
  • Hollywood Homely: Jan and occasionally Peter, but it's almost always all in their heads.
  • Les Yay: Maureen McCormick's autobiography also says/claims/admits that there was some attraction between Maureen and Eve Plumb
  • Narm Charm: Pretty much the shows' defining characteristic.
  • Never Live It Down: "Marcia, Marcia, MARCIA!"
    • What about "Porkchopsh, and appleshaush."
    • "OW, MY NOSE!"
    • "She always says, 'don't play ball in the house.'" A TV Land promo actually referenced that Carol never said this, and even crudely stitched together sound bites of her saying each individual word to give some idea of what it might sound like.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The tarantula in the Hawaii episodes, as well as the music that plays during Bobby's dream when he sees the UFO.
  • The Scrappy: Cousin Oliver. Probably one of the most well-known scrappies ever.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The entire premise of the show, about a mixed marriage family, has fallen victim to this since nontradtional families have become far more common.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes
  • Took The Bad Show Seriously: Robert Reed, by all accounts.
  • What an Idiot: Robert Reed, in his scathing critiques of various episodes, often suggested that the characters were not written as reasonably intelligent adults (or children/teenagers in the case of the kids) but as complete idiots. Some of those examples follow below, and were published in Barry Williams' book "Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenaged Greg":
    • "The Practical Joker," with particular emphasis on the tag scene, wherein Alice is fooled into thinking a legitimate ink stain on one of her uniforms is a gag stain placed there by Jan; as Alice is pulling what she thinks is the gag stain off, she tears the uniform. Reed suggests that Alice, as reasonably intelligent, should have been able to tell whether the stain was real and that perhaps a pen (with its cap left off) would have been noticed before placing the uniform in the washing machine.
    • "And Now a Word From Our Sponsor": Various aspect, including:
      • The scene where two competing laundry detergents are tested – to decide whether the Bradys will agree to accept the TV commercial offer – which ends with Alice forgetting to write down on a sheet of paper which pile corresponds with which soap (in the sealed envelope). Reed was also irritated by the parents allowing the kids to splash each other with paint, motor oil and so forth, to make their clothes dirty.
      • Mike's inability to make sense of the contract with Skip Farnum Enterprises. Although one could argue that the idea of the line was, "consult your attorney" (to make sure everything is legal), Reed called Mike's comment "nonsense," as "he is an adult in business and therefore capable of understanding contracts."
      • Carol's "We'll have to wait until Mr. Brady gets home" comment after a delivery truck brings dozens of crates of laundry detergent, the thank you gift for starring in the commercial (Reed suggests she could have called a number printed on the delivery receipt).
    • Reed refers to several late Season 5 episodes in his infamous critique of "The Hair-Brained Scheme," including "Two Petes in a Pod." Here, Peter meets Arthur (Christopher Knight in a dual role) at school, and decide to see if they can fool their parents. Reed was irked that even Mike and Carol are fooled by the "faux Peter" due to his exact resemblance, suggesting that even with Peter and Arthur being so identical his parents surely would be able to tell who's who.
      • Not mentioned in the critique, but noticeable to fans: Arthur cozies up very closely to Jan when helping her with her homework at the kitchen table, and nobody – neither Jan nor Mike or Carol – even bats an eye about "Peter" showing unusual affection for his stepsister. Also, only Alice comes remotely close to sensing something is amiss when she notices Arthur's shirt ("Did you change your shirt at school today, Peter?").
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Why a climatic scene featuring Robert Reed and Barry Williams was shot a day after production was to have ended. Reed – already disgusted with the script as a whole – was particularly annoyed at a scene where Mike and Greg talk to Greg's pet mouse to get it to run through a maze. When Reed lost his argument with Sherwood Schwartz over the script and was told he wasn't being written out, Reed promptly went out, got very drunk and returned to film his scene with Williams. Lloyd Schwartz, who was also on the set, realized that if the scene was filmed, someone – most likely, at ABC or in the very least Paramount Studios – would easily figure out that Reed was highly intoxicated, a media frenzy would ensue and it would ruin the integrity of the show ... prompting Lloyd to knock over a flood light onto the set and cause an overnight stopdown ... and time for Reed to sober up. To the Schwartzes, a day late with production and related costs were worth the price of saving the show. Both Williams and the Schwartzes have related this incident in their respective autobiographies.

YMMVs for the movies

  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Brady Kids performing "Good Time Music" while flying a plane to Hawaii in A Very Brady Sequel.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Christopher Daniel Barnes, the actor who plays Greg, was on a sitcom in the The Eighties called Day by Day, and his character was obsessed with The Brady Bunch. In one episode, he even dreams he's a seventh Brady sibling named Chuck. Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Robert Reed, Christopher Knight, and Mike Lookinland all made appearances as their old characters. Good thing it was All Just a Dream, because "Chuck" soon realizes he's doomed to live the same wacky situations over and over again in reruns.
  • Hollywood Homely: Jan and occasionally P
  • Sequelitis: The Brady Bunch in the White House is unanimously considered less funny than The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In A Very Brady Sequel, after Bobby unsuccessfuly stops Cousin Oliver from running out into the street after Tiger, he and Cindy hear a car screech. Instead of checking for an accident, Bobby and Cindy just shrug their shoulders and continue eating.
    • For those who aren't kosher with the idea of a PG 13 comedy movie offing a dog and a child for laughs, take heart that if the producers really wanted to drive that joke home (no pun intended), you would've heard a screech AND a thump.
  • What an Idiot: For both movies, generally, the Bradys being completely clueless that they are being perceived not as an all-American family but outdated idiots who don't fit in to the 1990s culture. For instance, a classmate Flipping the Bird at Greg, who takes it as a friendly hello.
    • In The Brady Bunch Movie, Mike being unable to differentiate Cindy's tattling on her siblings with her reporting Larry Dettemeyer was stealing the family's mail – a federal offense in every state – that could potentially cause the family to lose their home (since Mr. Dettemeyer had stolen the Bradys' past-due tax notices). In the original series, Mike would have immediately reported it to the police and then explained to Cindy the difference between tattling and reporting wrongdoing.
    • In A Very Brady Sequel, con man Trevor Thomas is easily able to maneuver his way into the Brady household by the Bradys' unquestioningly accepting his claim that he is indeed Roy Martin, Carol's first husband. For instance, Mike would know who Carol's first husband was and know about what he looked like, but is too addle-brained and preoccupied with his family's minor problems to recognize a genuine threat to his family. Carol would also be able to recognize that "Roy" is an imposter, as even with careful research there are personality quirks, mannerisms, etc., that Thomas would not be able to replicate (even with any reasonable explanation). Carol's daughters also would be able to tell quickly whether "Roy" was who he claimed to be, but yet they all accept him as their biological father. Of course, Thomas easily being able to fool the Bradys provides much of the humor during the first part of the movie. (Incidentally, the only one who does seem to come close to sensing that "Roy" is a con artist is Alice.)

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