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Characters / The Brady Bunch

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The Brady Parents

    Both 
  • Good Parents: The ur-example of perfect sitcom parents. They are cheerful, reasonable, patient with their children, rarely yell even when they are angry, open-minded, and even cool.
  • Happily Married: It's implied as strongly as is possible for a family show that Mike and Carol have an active sex life, with most episodes featuring scenes of the two together in their double bed.
  • Single Sex Offspring: Each of them only has children of their own sex.
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    Michael Albert/Paul Brady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mike_brady.jpg
Played by: Robert Reed

  • '60s Hair: He starts the series with closely shorn hair, a conservative style befitting most businessmen of the decade.
  • '70s Hair: As the series goes well into the the 1970s, Mike grows out his hair and it becomes a poufy curly crop.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mike serves as one not only for his wife and children, but also to pretty much anyone he encounters, including total strangers.
  • Standard '50s Father: Perhaps the last straight example on American television (most that would follow were either parodies or satirical, or were conscious rejections of the Bumbling Dad), Mike was authoritative and intelligent and always imparted lessons to his children without ever needing to learn very much himself. Only his groovy outfits and hairstyles belied this image.

    Carol Ann Brady (nee Tyler) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/carol_brady.jpg

  • '60s Hair: She starts the series in a poufy, helmet-like bouffant with heavy bangs.
  • '70s Hair: Her hair gets longer and sleeker, a very perky shag haircut.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She is a good-natured and doting mother and wife, but she makes it clear that her children shouldn't mess around and even issued a Death Glare to Alice when she attempted to cover for the boys in one episode.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments.
    Carol: (reading Little Red Riding Hood to Cindy and anxious about Beebee Gallini) ...a big pink wolf.
    Cindy: I never saw a pink wolf.
    Carol: Let's hope you never do.
  • The Fashionista: Of the suburban housewife in Southern California sort, she is one of the first TV housewives to be seen in miniskirts, a-line dresses and skirts, and slacks.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: She starts out as a single mom of three young girls in a very nice two-story Victorian style home in the suburbs of Los Angeles and has no occupation mentioned, it's lampshaded in that she thanks her parents for supporting her financially all those years.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Is young-looking, pretty and sweet.
  • Housewife: She stays at home and does some chores but she is also active in many community activities and works and unlike the usual image, she isn't often seen in a housedress and apron.

The Brady Boys

    All Boys 

  • Deadpan Snarker: Always ready with funny, sarcastic one-liners.
  • Missing Mom: Mentioned a few times, most explicitly in the pilot. Bobby is afraid Carol will be sad to see his birth mother's picture still sitting out.
  • Nice Guy: Sure, they could be rough around the edges and prone to mean tricks and smart-aleck remarks, but they were all good guys. Especially Peter.

    Gregory "Greg" Brady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/greg_9.jpg
Played by: Barry Williams

  • '70s Hair: As he got older, he grew his hair out and shows up as very curly.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To all his siblings, especially his younger brothers and Marcia.
  • Big Man on Campus: Popular student, friendly to all, offers to help Marcia acclimate socially when she starts high school as a freshman.
  • The Casanova: He always ends up dating or wooing the Girl of the Week.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: In "The Undergraduate" he has a crush on his very sweet and beautiful red-haired teacher.
  • Lovable Jock: Good-natured and friendly in personality, very athletic and purposely tries different athletic activities to stay in shape.
  • Team Dad: When it was just the kids in a situation.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Seems to have a fondness for sandwiches.
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    Peter Brady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/peter_4.jpg
Played by: Christopher Knight

  • '70s Hair: He has a curly crop that is grown out close to the end of the series.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Buddy Hinton found this out the hard way when he gets revenge on him for bullying Cindy.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Protective and playful with Bobby and supportive of Jan. Most notably shows for Cindy in "A Fistful of Reasons".
  • Butt-Monkey: Despite his good nature, he was usually the first of the siblings to get into trouble, or become involved in some sort of physical mishap whether he endured it or caused it. In every episode where he got a job, he always ended up getting fired (he even got fired by Marcia once!). Even in the specials, he was often shown as struggling and unhappy as an adult, whether as an army corporal, or as a businessman. As Barry Williams once commented in his book on making the series, "Peter was probably the closest [the Bradys] came to a black sheep."
  • Catchphrase: "Pork chops and applesauce!"
  • Endearingly Dorky: Very awkward and funny, he manages to charm a Girl of the Week from Greg one episode!
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Most notably in "A Fistful of Reasons", "The Hero", and "The Personality Kid".
  • Hot-Blooded: He is a good-natured guy but if he gets angry, he is quick to snark, yell, or insult by name-calling.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: "The Personality Kid". He wanted to be anybody at all.
  • The Klutz: Not to the extent of Cousin Oliver, but he was always breaking things, dropping his school books, or exhibiting clumsiness in general.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In "The Liberation of Marcia Brady" when his brothers talked him into being a Sunflower Girl. He was less than pleased.

    Bobby Brady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bobby_9.jpg
Played by: Mike Lookinland

  • Celebrity Lie: Claimed he was close friends with Joe Namath.
  • Cheerful Child: He's neck and neck with Cindy; Mike notes that like his older brothers, Bobby can go from miserable to grinning from ear to ear in an hour.
  • First Kiss: The show's only episode on this subject was focused on him.
  • Height Angst: Bobby had this in one episode, hating that he was little. But in the end, he and one of his brothers got locked in Sam's meat locker while picking up meat for one of the boys' delivery job and only Bobby fit through the window to get out and get help.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Not within the middle set, but as the next-youngest of the kids, he showed signs of this during his endeavors to be greater than just a little kid.
  • Mr. Imagination: Bobby had a lot of daydream sequences in the series.
  • Sweet Tooth: Was majorly fond of ice cream, pastries, and popcorn.

The Brady Girls

    All Girls 

  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Even mentioned in the theme song. Young, beautiful and innocent.
  • Disappeared Dad: It's implied their mother was TV's first divorcee, but the network left it purposely ambiguous. At least one fan theory states he left Carol, then died.
  • Girl Next Door: Sweet, everyday suburban girls who were the idllyic image of daughters for the late 60s and early 70s.
  • Magic Skirt: Some of the skirts the girls wore in the later years were pretty tiny.

    Marcia Brady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marcia_1.jpg
Played by: Maureen McCormick

  • '70s Hair: Her long, sleek sheet of blonde hair that is parted in the center made her and her portrayer the fashion icon for young teenage girls of the 70s.
  • The Ace: She has trophies and ribbons for almost everything.
  • Always Someone Better: Jan feels overshadowed by her because Marcia is an ace in everything, has gazillion of trophies and ribbons etc.
  • Broken Ace: Often. She gets over her head in her confidence to the point she gets shown up, one episode by her Butt-Monkey sister.
  • Catchphrase: "Oh my nose!" became one in the movies.
  • Girlish Pigtails: In the first season she wore pigtails.
  • Jerkass Ball: She becomes egotistical after picking up the role of Juliet in a school play. At first she's insecure and desires a confidence boost from her family to make herself feel better about pursuing the role. After she receives such encouragement, she develops a big ego and becomes snarky toward her family, shooing her siblings out of the room for her to rehearse her lines. She even goes as far as to rewrite Shakespeare's dialogue. Of course, she becomes better in the end when she promises to behave professionally after being dismissed from the initial act of the play.
  • Older Than They Look: Downplayed because she starts to look her age as the series progresses, but in the first season at least, Marcia could have definitely passed for a 10-year-old girl despite Maureen McCormick being 13 at the start of the series, as she was lacking obvious adult physical traits and had quite the little girl voice.
  • Pubescent Braces: After she gets braces, they become the subject of her insecurities and awkwardness.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: The iconic scene where she's beamed in the nose by her brothers' football.
    Marcia: Hi guys! [gets hit by the football] OW, MY NOSE!!!
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Quite often, her dentist and Desi Arnaz Jr. are among a few on her list.
  • Tender Tears: She cries pretty frequently in the first few seasons.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the first second seasons, Marcia has a prepubescent-sounding little girl voice due to her actress having not yet completed puberty at the time.
  • You Go, Girl!: When she tried to join Greg's Frontier Scouts. She succeeded.
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    Janet "Jan" Brady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jan_47.jpg
Played by: Eve Plumb

  • '70s Hair: Center parted, sleek blonde hair with Ojou Ringlets, later to copy Marcia's simpler style.
  • Catchphrase: "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" became one in the movies.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Her made-up boyfriend George Glass.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: It seems a lot doesn't go right no matter how hard she'd tried, but in the episode Marcia Gets Creamed, she proves to be a very dependable employee that shows up Marcia.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Most of her spotlight episodes were this trope
  • Meganekko: She gets glasses at some point and ends up getting contact lenses towards the end of the series.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Practically the poster girl for this trope.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: She is around the beautiful and popular Ace Marcia (she can't even succeed academically without a teacher mentioning her older sister), cute and younger sister (Cindy; Bobby, while the second-youngest, was not generally seen as cute younger child), Big Man on Campus Greg, and clownish Peter.
  • Tomboy: While she did have a prominent girly side, she tended to dress more boyishly than her sisters every now and then, and had less of a problem picking up frogs and mice once she got past her initial "yuck" stage regarding them.

    Cindy Brady 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cindy_8.jpg
Played by: Susan Olsen

  • '60s Hair: Her first hairstyle was modeled after the character Buffy on the then popular series Family Affair, which premiered before the 1969 pilot of The Brady Bunch.
  • '70s Hair: She has the straight bangs associated with the decade towards the end and in one episode, does her hair in a very elaborate updo with curls up the top of her head.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Even in the Reunion Show A Very Brady Christmas Cindy, who is now 19, resents the fact that since she's the youngest they rest of her family all treat her like a baby. At Christmas she's still seated at the "kids table" along with the offspring of her siblings while those same siblings (including Bobby who is only a year or so older than her) are all seated at the adults table.
  • Cheerful Child: Very often very cheery in her appearances.
  • Companion Cube: Kitty Karry-All in season 1.
  • The Cutie: Very naive, sweet, and innocent with pigtails.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: She definitely gave off this vibe in the first few seasons, especially when she wanted to get her way.
  • Dumb Blonde: Like most small children in the show, she often says really dumb things that are supposed to sound "cute", and stands out more for her blonde hair. One episode even had Carol remind her that peanut butter and jelly is her favorite sandwich.
  • Girlish Pigtails: They were even the focus of the theme song and she didn't loosen her hair until the last season or so.
  • Panty Shot: Had a few innocent ones in season 1.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Inverted in A Very Brady Christmas where she is about 19 (in 1988) whereas following the timeline of the original show, she would really be pushing 30.
  • Static Character: Something that annoyed Susan Olsen was the fact that, by the time Cindy had begun to mature, Marcia and Jan had already exhausted most of the typical "teen drama" stories, meaning all Cindy could be was “the youngest one in curls.” Meaning Cindy had to be the wide-eyed, naïve little girl, even as she became a teenager. At one point, Cindy ruins a poster by spelling words wrong (including her sister's name!) and even writing her letters backwards. Olsen herself pointed out that Cindy was much too old for that to be funny by then.
    • Bear in mind that by the time the show entered its final season, the actress playing Cindy was as old as the actress playing Marcia had been when the show started!
    • Olsen also became upset with the episode in which she mistakenly believes that a talent scout coming to visit the family wants to make her the "next Shirley Temple", and so dresses up in a childish pink dress and sings "On the Good Ship Lollipop." The trouble was, this episode came rather late in the show's run, and it simply ended up making Cindy look ridiculous. Olsen acknowledged that had the plot been written in the first season, when she was a genuinely young girl, it would have made a lot more sense—but it was ludicrous to see a preteen acting in that way.
  • Sweet Tooth: Like Bobby, she had a thing for ice cream and other desserts.

Other Characters

    Alice Nelson 
Played by: Ann B. Davis

  • '50s Hair: She has the prim and short style with the poufy bangs of the decade.
  • Brainy Brunette: Her hair is brown (especially in the earlier seasons) and she is noted to be a very intelligent woman with a sharp wit to match. She quickly figured out the key difference in sports jackets worn by Greg and a friend of his given that she stitched Greg's jacket up.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She serves this up, albeit lovingly, with the family. She snarked about how Jan's grades in math are far behind her money knowledge in The Treasure of Sierra Avenue.
  • Kindly Housekeeper: A smiling, kind, doting member of the family.
  • Seen It All: She rarely reacted to the wacky hijinks happening in the house, instead treating them as part and parcel of the job.
  • Self-Deprecation: Played for laughs with the character herself.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When she gets out of her uniform and wears nicer clothes, she often gives this reaction, especially in Alice's September Song where she wears a curve-hugging green silk dress and red lipstick leading to the boys remarking how knock-out she looked.
  • Team Mom: When Carol wasn't there. It was also suggested she looked after the boys while Mike was at work before he married Carol; she'd later serve as a maternal figure to the girls.
  • True Blue Femininity: Her blue uniform serves as a marker of her traditionally feminine role and personality.

    Sam Franklin 
Played by: Allan Melvin

  • The Butcher: Sam is a notable aversion of the trope's usual sinister connotations.
  • Nice Guy: Always a good friend to the family.
  • Recurring Character: He actually appeared in only eight of the show's 117 episodes, although he's talked about in numerous others.

    Warren Mulaney 

  • The Ace: Was voted class president and made the basketball team over Greg. Greg said he got it by flattery and lies, but when we see Warren, he seems genuinely nice, so Greg might just be bitter.
  • Always Someone Better: Warren beat Greg out for class president, and took his place on the basketball team. Greg says he only beat him through flattery and false promises, but Warren seems like a Nice Guy when we see him, so it’s hard to tell if he did cheat, or if he really was more skilled and Greg was just bitter.
  • The Rival: To Greg.

    Kathy Lawrence 

  • Always Someone Better: She beat Marcia out for the last spot on the cheerleading squad.
  • Friendly Enemy: She herself seems to hold no ill will towards Marcia, even saying that she wished they could have been on the squad together.
  • Pom-Pom Girl: She’s a cheerleader, and she loves it. She hardly questions Greg when he asks her to perform the school cheer in the living room.
  • The Rival: To Marcia.

    Jennifer Nichols 

  • '70s Hair: Has long, sleek, dirty-blonde hair that is parted in the center.
  • The Cheerleader: She is auditioning to be head cheerleader.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Only started dating Greg so he would pick her to be head cheerleader
  • Ms. Fanservice: She is often seen wearing clothes that showcase her shapely, leggy, slim figure and tries to use her feminine wiles to convince Greg to make her head cheerleader.

     Doug Simpson 

  • Adaptational Villainy: He’s much worse in 1995 movie than in the series. Not only is he a Bastard Boyfriend who coldly dumped his last girlfriend for Marcia, he’s only asks Marcia out so he can try to sleep with her.
  • Big Jerk on Campus: A handsome and popular but shallow guy who asks Marcia out, only to dump her when she ruins her nose.
  • The Casanova: Marcia’s friend expresses admiration and envy when he asks her to the dance.
  • Ironic Echo: Marcia tells her date “something suddenly came up” so she can go out with Doug. When she disfigures her nose, Doug breaks their date by saying “something suddenly came up.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Marcia is thrilled when Doug asks her to the dance, and even breaks up with the less popular Charley to go out with Doug.

    Oliver Tyler 
Played by: Robbie Rist

  • '70s Hair: His John Denver-styled haircut didn't help to avert the show's status as an Unintentional Period Piece.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Cousin Oliver never appears or is mentioned in any subsequent Brady project... excepting the ending of A Very Brady Sequel, where is introduced only to promptly get run over by a car.
  • Cousin Oliver: The Trope Namer, he was introduced late in the show's run as even the youngest Brady kids had now entered their awkward adolescence and there was nobody "cute" anymore.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: To replace the aging Bobby and Cindy. It didn't work as planned.
  • The Klutz: In the span of his first day at the Brady house, he caused so many accidents that by the end of the day he and the others were convinced he was a jinx.
  • Nerd Glasses: Is wearing round, thin-rimmed "John Lennon" glasses.

    Tiger 

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappeared midway into Season 2, due to his original actor being run over and none of the replacements working out.

    Fluffy 

    George Gunther Glass 
Played by: Michael Lundberg

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