"I guess that girls really must love dollhouses more than boys love kazoos." That right, Bobby Brady, as he had witnessed that Cindy could really throw a fit when... Kitty Karry-All Is Missing.
Six-year old Cindy is in the living room, playing with her favorite doll, Kitty Karry-All, when eight-year old Bobby (and Tiger) come in, playing the kazoo. Cindy wants him to stop, because she's "putting her baby to sleep", to which an annoyed Bobby retorts that it's not a baby, but a dopey-old doll, even going as far to wish that the doll left and never came back. Although annoyed, he just leaves the room (albeit without Tiger). However, the next moment, Cindy also leaves to bring a new bottle for her doll, except that when she comes back, Kitty is gone, nowhere to be seen.
Just then, Bobby comes in, and the insults he threw at Kitty fresh in her mind, Cindy quickly accuses Bobby of taking her doll. Although Bobby says he's innocent, and Carol thinks Cindy must have just misplaced Kitty, she refuses to believe him.
Now, in the boys room, Greg and Peter tell Bobby that if he hid Cindy's doll somewhere, he can still tell them, but Bobby asserts that he did not take Cindy's doll, and even when he swears to it, "even with the sacred oath", they of course believe him. Only that across the bathroom, a teary-eyed Cindy is telling Marcia and Jan the exact opposite, that Bobby must have taken the doll. They believe her, as they also had heard Bobby voice his dislike over Kitty a few times. And they go to the boys' room to confront Bobby about it and get the doll back...
...just when the boys have decided that if Bobby didn't take the doll, Cindy shouldn't accuse him of it, and have just gone to the girls' room, to tell her to stop accusing Bobby. Both parties come across empty rooms, then they meet each other in the bathroom, and a scream-fest begins. Mike and Carol come in, and resolve it by sending the kids to their rooms, before calling them back, and a housewide search for the doll is on.
Of course, no one can find the doll in the house, not the kids in their rooms, nor Mike and Carol anywhere else in the house. And just, annoyed at having spent their whole morning looking for the doll, and as a result - having just wasted their time, the boys leave their room, which is now in a rather disorderly state. Except that Bobby again retorts his previous statement, that he hated the doll anyway, and that he's glad the doll is gone.
Ouch. Wrong time, Bobby.
Having just wasted the whole morning looking for the doll, Greg and Peter are annoyed at Bobby's sudden statement, and think that maybe he actually did take the doll after all, and shun him. And next up, in the garden, none of the other five kids want to play with Bobby, which Mike and Carol witness. As they then leave for a shopping trip, Mike calls Greg and Marcia aside and reminds them of a golden rule of the law - an accused man is innocent until he's proven guilty. Greg seems to have gotten the point - that no one actually saw Bobby take the doll, and they decide to give him a trial, and Marcia agrees, only adding that "then we'll hang him."
The court is set up, with Alice as the judge, Greg as the barrister, Marcia as the D.A., Peter and Jan as the jury, Bobby as the guilty party and Cindy as the witness. Bobby makes a profound speech that even if he hates Cindy's doll, he would not hurt his sister and take the doll away. Then it's time for the jury to make their decision. Of course, Greg and Marcia believe that Peter, being extremely close to Bobby, would not vote against him, and vice versa about Jan. Only that... Jan, moved by his speech, declares that she believes Bobby didn't take the doll, and Peter states that he believes Bobby did, ending on a hung jury. Only that Alice had forgotten about her pot-roast, and when it now burns, she dismisses the case.
Mike and Carol come back from the store, and see Greg and Bobby playing catch. Just as Mike is about to think that his speech may have done some good, Greg asks Mike to pitch for him as Bobby isn't so good at it, to which Mike responds that Greg could ask Peter instead, for he's a good pitcher, "but he's still a rotten jury." Greg retorts.
Next day, Cindy is again in the living room, reading a comic book, while a toy elephant is near her, when Bobby (and Tiger) again walk in, playing his kazoo (again). He plays a bit with the elephant, and is very impressed on what tricks it can do. And when Tiger begins barking, he tells him to get out, as "dogs don't belong in jungles". Only that Cindy isn't half as impressed of the elephant, for she still misses Kitty, who used to "talk to her all the time," and leaves in a huff. Then, wanting to play some music for the elephant, he decides to take out his kazoo again, only that it's gone. And now when Cindy comes back into the room moments later, he retaliates for yesterday's incident by now blaming her for taking his kazoo. And now Mike comes in again, giving them both a lecture about deceptive appearances and circumstantial evidence - that while he believes that Bobby didn't take the doll nor Cindy took the kazoo, then sometimes people can be blinded by circumstantial evidence, which can cloud their judgement. To which Bobby believes that Cindy didn't take the kazoo, but Cindy is still upset and storms off.
Having really taken this talk seriously, Bobby goes into his room and empties his piggy-bank, going to the store and buying another Kitty Karry-All for Cindy. Only that when he presents it to her, she can still tell that this is not the real thing. Only that just then, Tiger comes in again and snatches the doll. Mike and Carol chase after him to the doghouse, where Mike finds the missing Kitty-Karry All and the kazoo. And all's well again.
And indeed, Kitty Karry-All stuck around for the remainder of the series. As late as the Season 5 episode "Snow White and the Seven Bradys," Cindy could be seen clutching Kitty, her beloved doll. Guess even girls who want to grow up still get sentimental sometimes.
Barry Williams, in his autobiography "I Was a Teenaged Greg," reported that Susan Olsen, who played Cindy, actually got to keep one of the two Kitty Karry-All dolls that was kept on the set, and — at least as of 1996, when the second edition of "Greg" was published — was still in her possession years later. Eve Plumb also reportedly got the other Kitty Karry-All doll and it, too, remains in her possession.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Blatant Lies: In 1969, Remco marketed the Kitty Karry-All doll, hoping to cash in on the success of The Brady Bunch. In the Brady universe, Kitty Karry-All is a hot seller; as toy store owner Mr. Driscoll (making the first of two appearances) points out to Bobby, he had just bought the last one in stock ... "Keep running out!" Driscoll says with a smile. In real life, the doll — which was sold as late as 1971 through Sears' Wish Book catalog — was at best a modest seller, although copies have appeared on both eBay and Amazon and have sold for several hundred dollars each. That means that the 69 cents ($4.53 in 2016 dollars) that Bobby invested in the purchase the doll would have been repaid several hundred times if eBay and Amazon asking prices are any indication.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Tiger, twice - first when he's in a room when Cindy is playing with Kitty Karry-All, and gone (along with Kitty Karry-All) when she leaves for a moment and gets back, then when Bobby comes in with him, playing his kazoo, and then, when he's about to play his kazoo again, Tiger is again gone along with his kazoo.
- Companion Cube: Cindy and Kitty Karry-All, forming much of the emotional pathos of this episode when the two become separated and Cindy sure that Bobby had stolen the doll.
- Courtroom Episode: Sort of, as Alice tired of the fighting between siblings and finger pointing hastily arranges a trial for accused doll-napper Bobby, where both siblings are questioned and cross-examined. Bobby is later acquitted, only because the two-person jury Peter and Jan is hung.
- The Doll Episode: Played straight, with Cindy's missing doll, Kitty Karry-All, driving the main plot. Cindy with Bobby's comment about wishing that the doll would go away forever still fresh in her mind worries about the doll's whereabouts or safety until it is found, the fear of what might be going on with it increasing as the doll continues to be missing.
- Fate Worse than Death: What Cindy fears has happened to Kitty Karry-All when several thorough searches are unsuccessful in locating the doll. Keeping in mind this is a 6-year-old girl. Keeping in mind this is a doll. Keeping in mind the one place nobody thought to look Tiger's doghouse was never searched until the end of the episode.
- Idiot Ball: Keep in mind that when Bobby came into the room, Tiger was with him, and yet when he leaves, the mutt doesn't tag along. And with Cindy having just left for the kitchen only a few minutes after Bobby left, she could still have easily seen Bobby if he actually went to the living room and took Kitty.
- Nobody Poops: Averted. Mike comments that Kitty Karry-All would need a diaper change if Cindy keeps feeding her.
- The Other Darrin: In-universe, with the replacement Kitty Karry-All doll that Cindy instantly recognizes as not the real thing.
- Replacement Goldfish: Bobby's attempt to show that he loves and cares for his sister by buying her a new Kitty Karry-All doll, after thinking the original is gone forever. Averted when Cindy knows the difference.
- Spot the Imposter and Invisible Subtle Difference: Cindy can easily tell the difference between her beloved doll and the new one Bobby had purchased to replace the one that was thought to be lost.