The pilot episode, where Mike Brady and Carol Martin are married (in a typically memorable wedding) and combine their formerly separate families into one.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Early Installment Weirdness: The house where Mike, the boys and Alice live is different (a different exterior and different set; the house itself is also smaller). Cindy's doll is made completely of cloth, rather than the plastic one seen in later episodes. Who could forget Fluffy, the girls' cat, making her only series appearance? And of course, you have a very young Bobby and Cindy. (Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen were just 7 when this, the pilot episode, was filmed.)
- First Episode Marriage: According to several retrospectives of the series, Sherwood Schwartz initially wanted part of the first episode to establish the dating relationship of Mike and Carol, prior to their big day. Instead, we skip ahead right to Mike and Carol, and their children, each getting ready for the wedding.
- "Friends" Rent Control: How did a single mother like Carol, with no prior occupation mentioned and with three girls under the age of 13, afford a lovely suburban two story with a large beautiful backyard? Carol later thanked her parents for supporting her those few years, which could suggest her parents are of some means and supported their daughter's and granddaughters' lifestyle.
- Gilligan Cut: Mike telling the boys that Tiger cannot come to the wedding. Cut to a shot of Tiger's face at the house and immediately dissolve into a scene of Tiger riding in the car on the way to the wedding.
- Missing Mom: The tender scene where Bobby explains he put his deceased biological mother's picture away for fear of offending Carol, thereby establishing why Mike is a widower. No hint is ever given as to why Carol's first husband is no longer in the picture; the only reference to why she was a single mother is during a scene in an elegant hotel room "A few years ago, I thought our world had come to an end."
- Wedding Day: A fracas unfolds shortly after the "I dos" when Tiger gets loose from the car to chase after the girls' cat, Fluffy. Both Fluffy and Tiger race across the buffet table and across the guests' laps, and in the end, the huge wedding cake falls off the table. Mike save it just in time ... only for him to lose his balance and have the cake land smack into his face!
- Wackiness also ensues in the final scene, when the kids (for some of the older ones, childishly) jockey for position to go upstairs. Mike quickly restores order and lines them up, oldest to youngest.
- Welcome Episode: This, plus several of the early episodes, establishes several key facts about the new family. In particular, that Mike was a widower with three sons, a dog, Tiger, and a housekeeper, Alice; and that Carol was a single mother (of ambiguous circumstances that are vaguely hinted at) with three daughters.