Finders keepers, losers weepers. That's what some people, especially children, sometimes go by. Such as the Brady boys, when they found "The Treasure of Sierra Avenue".
Greg, Peter and Bobby are playing football in a vacant lot, when Bobby suddenly finds a wallet. They go home and count all the money in the wallet, amounting to $1,100. Of course, Marcia, Jan and Cindy have heard about it, and think that boys will also share with them, which would amount to $183.33 to each of the kid. For "we're their loving sisters, and they're our loving brothers", the boys will share the money, right?
- harsh losing NBC game show buzzer as heard on Card Sharks*
In the boys' room, which they have blockaded with the chair, Greg is dividing the money between the boys only, per the finders keepersnote which would amount to $366.66 apiece.note And once the girls come in and learn that the boys have no intention of sharing the money, they decide that if the boys are being selfish, they won't talk to them. Then Mike comes in and takes the wallet, to turn it in to the police station, to which the girls wholeheartedly agree.
Albeit that the relations between the kids don't improve, as they (well, the boys at least) are still holding on to the thin probability that the money could still be theirs. As Peter has found out from his friend's father, who is a lawyer, that if nobody claims the wallet in six months, it's theirs. And Mike and Carol are getting disturbed by the fact that the kids still won't give up on the money.
And the girls are doing just as they said - if the boys don't share with them, they don't share either. For example, when Greg asks Marcia for some paper, and mentions that he always shares, Marcia mentions that "not when the paper is green and has numbers on it". However, Mike and Carol sets the kids straight that they're supposed to share with each other, and that it's a crying shame that the dispute has come over something that the kids do not even own, and the boys get the message and agree to share the money with their sisters, for even split six ways they would still get a very good sum.
Except that, Greg jumps to the conclusion that the reason Mike gave them this talk is that they might be getting the money. And the kids are already prepared for this, and started getting quotes on things - Peter offering to buy his friend's ten-speed bike, Greg wanting to buy a car to fix up, and Cindy wanting to buy a horse. Mike puts his foot down that if the wallet goes unclaimed, they will not be buying anything, and the money will go to their college funds instead. And just then, the phone rings, and the police informs Mike that the wallet's owner had just came forward and claimed it. And naturally, the kids are disheartened by the news.
Well, in the tag scene, the owner visits the Brady house, and not knowing what plans the kids had with the money, he offers Greg, Peter and Bobby a reward of $100 for their honesty. Except that Mike argues it is too much (and the boys agree), to which he brings it down to $50 and then to $20, to which Mike finally agrees, but the boys don't. The reason? 100, 50 and 20 don't divide by six and they will be still be getting this annoying metal called "cents". $18 would have been okay, as then each kid would have $3, or $24, as then each kid would have $4.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Bait-and-Switch: Alice takes at least one call from someone while crying, making viewers think they're telling her a sob story and that she's finding it hard to say no...until she hangs up and says "Darn onions!"
- Informed Wrongness: The boys are portrayed as being in the wrong for not wanting to share the money with their sisters, despite the fact that the girls not only weren't there when they found the money, but automatically assumed that the boys were going to allow them some of it too, and the girls proceed to throw a tantrum by refusing to "share" anything with them until Mike and Carol have to step in and force the boys to split the money if they get it in order to get some peace back in the house.
- Nouveau Riche: Although it is only $1,100 split six ways, even $183.33 is a LOT of money (especially by 1970 standards) for pre-teens, or even Marcia (who had just turned 13) and even 15-year-old Greg.note The kids each have wild ways to spend their money, including Cindy wanting a horse and Greg hoping to buy a car to fix up. Mike eventually puts his foot down and suggests that if indeed the rightful owner doesn't come forward, they will be putting it in the bank in the form of education bonds.
- Shout-Out: The episode title is a play on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.