"If you carry a joke too far, someone is liable to get hurt."
That's the admonition Carol gives the kids at the end of the show, and fortunately it's just the bust — a sculpture of Mike's head — that's busted in this, the The Brady Bunch Halloween episode "Fright Night."
Carol's project of sculpting her husband's head is so she can enter a local art contest. While Mike is bored out of his wits being a live model, the kids divide up, by gender (of course), and are busy scaring each other. First, the boys try to scare the girls by making them think someone is in the attic, but Mike finds a rocking chair and an open window in the attic on a windy October night.
Later, the girls — seeing they've been duped — get back at the boys by daring them to sleep in the attic. Sure enough, the girls create a ghost of their own and manage to scare Peter and Bobby; Greg instantly sees that it's a phony.
The next night at supper, the kids are talking about the recent series of events, and Mike and Carol tell the kids that they've had their fun, now's the time to cool it. During the conversation, Alice brags that she's not easily scared. The kids think she's bluffing, and on a night where the folks go to their art show and Alice goes on a date with Sam to the movies, Greg gathers his siblings to rig the house full of booby traps; they darken the house and hope to spring a big surprise on Alice.
However, the whole thing is blown up when Mike and Carol arrive home ahead of Alice. They see everything set up and, when the lights won't work, instantly figure something's going on that involve the kids. While Mike and Carol go to the fuse box to switch the lights back on, Alice comes in and, in the dimly lit room, sees a battery-operated skull and little else. She thinks an intruder had broken into the house when she sees the bust of Mike on the ledge and swats it away. The bust busts into a thousand pieces, ruining Carol's third-place entry.
Mike and Carol are met by the kids, who admit the whole thing. Mike and Carol are upset and announce they are withholding their allowances for two weeks. An expensive price to pay when you take a joke too far.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Deadly Prank and Gone Horribly Wrong: Averted, which is exactly why Mike and Carol are justifiably pissed at the kids Alice could have fallen and hurt herself very badly, she could have had a heart attack, the bust of Mike she busts apart with the bat could have been the real Mike ... on the list goes.
- Halloween Episode: See episode description.
- Home-Early Surprise: Mike and Carol arrive home ahead of Alice, blowing up the kids' prank.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night:
- In the opening act, the girls hear noises in the attic and think they've seen a ghost. (Actually, it's Greg rigging a sheet in the backyard and projecting a ghostly image on it to scare his sisters.)
- Alice, coming home early from the movies, is scared out of her wits as she tries to guide herself through the booby-trapped, darkened house, not knowing if she's going to trip or someone/something is going to jump out at her.
- Zany Scheme: The Brady kids' teaming up to scare Alice.