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Recap / The Brady Bunch S 1 E 6 A Clubhouse Is Not A Home

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Chronologically, "A Clubhouse is Not a Home" logically would be the second episode in The Brady Bunch. There's never so much more evidence than the boys helping move cartons and boxes of their new step-family's items into their new shared home, plus other evidence that suggests the wedding just recently took place.

Indeed, "A Clubhouse is Not a Home" – filmed in May 1969, just weeks after ABC agreed to a 13-week run of Sherwood Schwartz's new sitcom – was the second episode filmed, nine months after "The Honeymoon" was filmed. But in the original airing order – and as most Brady fans came to know it in syndication – the episode didn't air until the end of October 1969, the sixth in the series.


The boys agreed to help Mike, Carol and the girls move their belongings into their new shared home – a modern, two-story home on Clinton Avenue in a Los Angeles suburb, albeit with a shared children's bathroom and two children's bedrooms. After a long, hot, sweaty morning, the boys grow tired and cranky and want to take a break. They balk at having to continue moving "girls" stuff into the house and – already annoyed at the girls and their interests – decide to retreat to their clubhouse.

And we mean their clubhouse. Y'see, before Carol, Marcia, Jan and Cindy became a part of the Brady men's lives, the boys had a clubhouse, which they didn't have to share with anyone. Now, the girls have moved in and want to be included, too. The boys won't let them enter and soon, relations between the genders reaches an all-time low. Carol (naturally) sticks up for her daughters, but Mike suggests that sometimes growing boys need their space and decides that the clubhouse needs to be an exclusive men's club. When Carol insists to know where women shouldn't be allowed, Mike – predicting the future, given later publicized stories over female reporters enduring sexual harassment in locker rooms – suggests that women shouldn't be allowed "in men's locker rooms," leading Carol to tears. Mike is immediately sorry and, given all the fighting that's happened today, suggests that "paradise has sure taken a beating today."


Well, Carol isn't about to take this kind of segregation lying down. Neither are the girls. If the boys can have a clubhouse, well, so can they. So that's exactly what happens – the girls and their mother rustle up a few supplies and set out to build their own clubhouse. Or at least they try to ... their workmanship leaves much to be desired, to say the least, which draws plenty of laughs from the boys, who are perched at the window watching the shoddy construction job. But the fun is over once a beam nearly knocks little Cindy in the noggin.

Mike and the boys step in and decide they are going to help the girls build a clubhouse ... together! Which is exactly what happens, and the result is a neatly-built structure that the girls can have for their own.

Or, make that everyone can share. Why? It seems that when the boys ran out of nails to finish the girls clubhouse, instead of asking his father to go to the store to buy some more, Bobby gets the great idea to tear the nails out of the boys' clubhouse. The whole thing collapses into a pile of rubble, and the boys now have no choice but to agree to share the new clubhouse with their new sisters.


Ah – family bonding ... at last! Until the boys begin to argue with their sisters over whether to watch a ball game or a "sissy" movie.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Bizarrchitecture: Thanks to the horridly constructed walls of what was supposed to be the girls' clubhouse.
  • Ditzy Genius: While Carol is obviously very intelligent, when it comes to doing men's work – such as in this case, building a simple frame structure – she hasn't a clue. This would become somewhat of a running gag throughout the series, as she shows similar lack of talent in teaching the boys baseball and learning how to play golf.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Barry Williams, in his autobiography Growing Up Brady, suggests in this episode the kids (along sibling lines) "fought like real brothers and sisters." Indeed, this is where the quarreling and not getting along in general reached its peak like never before. The occasional disagreements and fighting in later episodes would remain, but never so much like this again – generally, sibling-hood reigned.
  • First-Name Basis: Mike – fed up with his sons' cranky attitudes toward their new stepsisters – speaks to them in their clubhouse, referring to their new stepmother by her first name, Carol. The point he was making, and only Greg understood immediately, was when the boys gave their endorsement to their father getting re-married to Carol, they also agreed to accept their new stepsisters as part of the package.

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