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Recap / The Brady Bunch S 3 E 15 Big Little Man

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Bobby Brady, the youngest and shortest boy of the Brady clan, would prove himself to be quite the... "Big Little Man".

Greg is busy fixing the girls' room window shutters and Bobby wants to help him, but Greg keeps dismissing him. Then the phone rings, and Alice informs him that he has a phone call. When he goes to take it, Bobby decides to take over where Greg left off, but Greg says he's too short and tells him to stay off the ladder. Wanting to prove that he is big enough, he waits until Greg is on the phone and goes on the ladder anyway.

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Bad move.. as while he is up there, his movements get a bit erratic and the ladder falls away from under him, and he barely manages to hang on the ledge and scream for help. Just then, Greg, having just finished the phone call and hearing his screams for help, runs into the girls' room and pulls Bobby inside. "Told you to stay off that ladder!"

However, just then, Mike, Carol and Jan return home from shopping, and it is very well known how Cindy can keep a secret when she tells them that "Bobby nearly fell off the house!"

The next scene features Carol extracting the splinters from Bobby's hand. Mike and Carol scold him for climbing the ladder especially when Greg had told him not to do it. But the damage has been done, and now Bobby hates being short. Carol tells him that lot of boys his age are just his size, but no - in his class, he actually IS the smallest. Mike tries to calm him down - that everybody grows at their own speed, and maybe in a couple of years, Bobby would have a chance of being one of the tallest guys in his class. Bobby quickly retorts "No, I won't. And being little is the worst thing in the whole world!"

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Meanwhile, it's time for the subplot. The reason for Greg's phone call earlier? He was trying to get a deal on a surfboard. He walks into the kitchen and asks Alice for the paper, as he wants to look for the want ads to raise funds for the surfboard. Just then, Sam walks in to deliver the meat to Alice, since his delivery boy had just quit when Sam refused to give him three fillet mignons a day as fringe benefits. Just then, remembering what Greg was talking about, Alice thinks that Greg would be the good delivery boy for Sam's business. She then shows Greg to Sam and Greg is hired on the spot.

While Greg then leaves to get a look of the surfboard he now has a chance to get, Bobby walks in, albeit Sam, not knowing about Bobby's recent phase, calls him a "Shrimpo", causing Bobby to run off to his room and sulk on his bed. Sam comes in to apologize, and explains to Bobby that he was once in his shoes - weighing only 4 lbs. when he was born, his father wanted to send him back; and because of him being so short that the teacher kept marking him absent, he even managed to flunk out of kindergarten. But eventually, he would grow six inches in one year. This inspires Bobby, and he takes to stretching himself on the bar so that he would grow.

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After some time of stretching, Bobby returns to his room to measure himself - albeit he has not grown a single inch. Marcia tells him that he has to give himself some time to grow, and he decides that he'd have to stretch more. In the next scene, while he is stretching, all three girls are looking in on him and feel sorry for him. The next time, Bobby returns to his room to measure himself again, and suddenly, he has grown a half an inch. Inspired, he does it twice more, before rushing down to tell his parents that the stretching helped him grow 1-1/2 inches. However, each of the girls, in turn, admit they each had - and without consulting each other - moved down the bar down a half an inch each to make Bobby believe he had grown. Bobby is really hurt from this ordeal and tearfully storms off, exclaiming he will never grow an inch more.

The next day, Bobby comes home with a black eye and torn clothes and admits to his parents that he picked a fight with a classmate who was twice his size. Carol admonishes Bobby, telling him that it wasn't appropriate to try to pick a fight to prove he was a big shot, then tells him about Napoleon, a short man who tried to prove how much of a big shot he was before he met his Waterloo. She then tells him that many of history's great men were also short but used their brainpower to prove their worth. This gives Bobby a boost, albeit temporary, as he quickly begins to bore his siblings and others with his sudden brain-teasers. He then gives up, saying "knowing a lot is great, but it sure isn't very fun."

Later, Alice has Bobby run an errand for her to Sam's Meat Market to buy some sausage. Down at the Meat Market, Greg has earned Sam's trust enough to lock up for the night, and just as he's leaving, he reminds Greg that since the meat freezer door does not have a two-way lock, it must be open at all times when someone is inside. As Greg is at work putting the meat away, Bobby comes in with Alice's order. As Greg is working to fill the order, Bobby comes in to "help" and shuts the door, trapping them both inside.

After a couple of escape attempts fail to open the door - a fire axe is damaged - Greg manages to use the broken axe handle to break the window. Greg is too big fit through, but Bobby isn't ... and then finally realizes that being small has its benefits after all. He easily fits through the window, and a phone call home later, Sam and Mike are finally able to open the freezer door. (Sam, who had previously announced plans to update the meat freezer, decides he has to now to avoid incidents (and possible lawsuits) in the future.

In the closing scene, Bobby exclaims, "Boy, am I glad I'm little."

He wouldn't be little for long. In fact, he'd be taller very soon. By the time the Brady Bunch Variety Hour rolled around four years later, the youngest Brady boy was now taller than all of the Brady women. In real life Mike Lookinland has ended up a respectable 5-foot-8, the shortest of the Brady men (Robert Reed was 6-foot-3, while Barry Williams is 5-foot-11 and Christopher Knight is 5-9) but taller by at least four inches than any of the females; both Florence Henderson and Ann B. Davis were 5-foot-4, Maureen McCormick and Susan Oleson are both 5-foot-3 and Eve Plumb was the shortest at just 5-foot-1.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • The Napoleon: Even pointed out by Carol after Bobby is hurt trying to prove himself in a fistfight against a bigger kid.
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