"Identical" episodes are common on television.
Whether played for laughs — for instance, The Patty Duke Show, where an entire series was built around the antics of two Patty Dukes, one as a typical American teenager and the other as her cousin — or high drama (such as an episode of Gunsmoke, where Festus fights losing odds in proving he's not a bloodthirsty killer), "identical people" episodes often provide a unique look at what would happen if a character met his double, especially if they are very different people personality-wise. After all, they do say that everyone has a "double" somewhere.
Peter finds out that this might be true ... and that there might be "Two Petes In a Pod."
In this episode — which, if you go by Robert Reed's critique on the final episode, "The Hair-Brained Scheme," he certainly hated — Peter literally runs into his double at school. He's late for class after talking with this hot, hot, HOT girl named Michelle about a date to a costume party ... and when he runs around the corner ...
... he sees himself.
Well, himself in glasses.
Meet Arthur Owens, a new student at Westdale High. He's not too different from Peter personality-wise: He's kind of cute and kind of awkward but very nice, sort of a slacker but fully capable of doing well when they want to. The two become fast friends and it isn't long before they decide to have a little fun with their respective families.
First up, the Bradys, where "Peter" offers advice on a checker game between Cindy and Oliver note , helps Jan with her homework (cozing up very closely), eats a piece of cherry pie and then agrees to Mike asking him if he'll go out on an evening date with Mr. Phillips' niece, Pamela (who is visiting from out of town). Arthur then excuses himself to go outside ... switches places with Peter, and then confuses the family when he literally is a different person than who just walked through the house.
When Peter realizes that Arthur-as-Peter had accepted a date with Pamela Phillips — which happens to be on the same evening as that costume party with Michelle — Peter has to do some fast thinking. He'll invite Arthur over to the house and have him follow through with the commitment he made while masquerading as Peter, and then Peter can follow through with his date with Michelle.
It seems like things will work out, especially since Mike and Carol are going out for the evening, Bobby, Oliver and the girls went to the movies, Greg is on a date of his own, and Alice is out on a date with Sam.
And then the fun really begins.
First, Pamela arrives and Peter makes her comfortable. Then Michelle stops at the house, ready for her date. That leads Peter to have to keep Michelle and Pamela from seeing each other ... but that's quickly the least of his worries.
The phone rings, and it's Arthur. He's delayed because he has to watch his younger brother until the folks get home. It'll just be a few minutes, he says ... and it is, but how will Peter keep them apart in the meantime and follow through with both dates?
It all leads to Peter getting dressed in his Dracula costume and making hasty changes as he goes back and forth between the family room (where Pamela is) and the living room (where Michelle is patiently waiting to go out on their date). Then Arthur finally arrives ... and, after removing his glasses, begins to entertain Pamela.
And then, Mike and Carol arrive home ... Carol forgot something, and when they walk through the living room, they see "Peter" and Pamela dancing and think all is well ...
... until they come to the living room and see a strange girl sitting there. They greet Michelle, and she explains she's waiting for Peter to come down from upstairs. Mike and Carol are confused; they just saw "Peter" in the living room dancing with Pamela, and begin to explain this to her.
Before they can throw this crazy girl out ... they see Peter — the real Peter — hastily running from upstairs, in his Dracula costume ... "Oh no!"
Carol remarks she's seeing double, and Mike now wants to know exactly what is going on.
Finally, Peter explains matters ... that they played a joke on the family and that when Arthur-as-Peter made the date with Pamela, that put him in a bind, especially since he didn't know about it until Mike told him how much he appreciated the favor later. So he had to concoct this crazy scheme to try to follow through with his original commitment with Michelle.
But before an unhappy Mike can really tell Peter he screwed up, Pamela tells him she's glad things worked out this way. Arthur's a neat guy and a great dancer. While still not exactly happy, Mike and Carol accept what Pamela told them, and let Peter go to his party.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Alice talks to Carol about how Peter's Dracula costume gave her nightmares where monsters all captured her.....and none of them proposed to her!
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Pete is chasing after the bitchy and bra-outline showing blonde Michelle and Arthur has this reaction to Jan.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Michelle wears a snug and sheer on top pink cashmere dress that hugs her frame.
- Head-Turning Beauty: Arthur has this reaction to Jan.
- Identical Stranger: The whole premise of the episode.
- Incest Subtext: Arthur, masquerading as Peter to see if he can fool the family, helps Jan with her homework. Arthur gets really, really close to Jan ... and nobody not even Jan says a word or even blinks an eye.
- Meganekko: Pamela, Mike's boss's daughter, is portrayed as a cute and curvy brunette with black-rimmed glasses.
- Pink Is Feminine: Michelle is wearing a see through pink dress when Pete tries to get a date out of her.
- Two-Timer Date: Peter tries to pull one of these off to both entertain the daughter of Mike's boss (which Peter's lookalike friend, Arthur, had agreed to) and to keep his (Peter's) original date for a costume party.