Greg Brady got his first job in Season 2 as Mike's assistant at the architectural company, and Peter got his first job toward the end of Season 4. Now it was Marcia's turn, but in the end ... "Marcia Gets Creamed."
Things all begin when Peter comes home, discouraged that he had not been hired at yet another job ... just when he wants to buy a deluxe, state-of-the-art (for 1973) stereo system. Just then, Marcia comes home, excited that she had gotten her first job, at Mr. Haskell's Ice Cream Parlor. Peter can just watch as everyone congratulates Marcia.
Marcia soon learns, however, that having a job comes with some social costs, particularly with her dating life and a budding relationship with new beau, Jeff. It seems Jeff had been constantly trying to arrange dates but the lack of communication undermines them all; for instance, he reserved the tennis courts at 6 p.m., when Marcia is able to get off, but she has homework to do.
However, while she doesn't have time for Jeff, Marcia is doing well at her job, being promoted to the afternoon manager, and even suggests Mr. Haskell to take an afternoon or two off, to which he asks if she can recommend anybody to fill in for him. She then suggests Peter, who was working so hard to find a job.
And Peter is promptly hired ... and it isn't long before he is promptly fired. It seems like he's the ultimate bad employee, goofing off, doing things in a lackadaisical, haphazard way ... doing anything and everything except doing the job correctly. Peter not only refuses to believe that his own unacceptable work performance got him fired, he gets Bobby to sympathize with him.
Marcia, meantime, has no time again for Jeff, who — thinking she was free for a Saturday night rock concert — had gone out of his way to procure the tickets. When Marcia tries to explain herself, Jeff has had it and gets a new girlfriend to go to the concert.
In the meantime, Marcia recommends Jan as the newest employee at Haskell's. Haskell is a bit skeptical at first, given how badly Peter worked out, but Jan turns out to be 100 times the employee Peter was. She takes her work seriously and quickly proves her maturity and worth.
Just then, Jeff shows up at the parlor, his new sweetie in his arms. The two are pawing it up and ramp things up when they see Marcia, specifically to annoy her. The final straw comes when Jeff orders two "Lover's Delight Specials" before they're going to a drive-in movie. Annoyed he's rubbing it in her face, Marcia retaliates by deliberately spraying whip cream on Jeff and his girlfriend. Not surprisingly, they are outraged and leave in a huff. Marcia is really annoyed at Jeff's behavior and says she's going to dedicate herself to her new career, hoping that Mr. Haskell would make her his partner one day.
Not so fast, as just then, Mr. Haskell walks in and sits Marcia and Jan down. He explains he's tried taking golf up as a hobby but it hasn't worked out, and besides, he's worked all day, every day at the ice cream parlor for many years. He's used to the grind and used to having just one worker alongside him. He has always appreciated Marcia and her work ethic and ability to get the job done ... but then adds: "I'm afraid Jan's a little bit better."
He's letting Marcia go. Perhaps unstated, perhaps just coincidental although the timing ... Haskell heard about the fracas Marcia initiated toward Jeff and his girlfriend ... and indeed, it would get anyone fired immediately for pulling that stunt.
But no matter what Haskell's reasoning was, Marcia is out of a job, and now is accusing Jan of stealing her job. The two get into a very heated argument, and Jan nearly offers to quit just so Haskell can rehire Marcia. Just then, Jeff calls, asking for Marcia. He explains that what happened at the parlor was just a play, for him to get even with her (and she admits she covered them in whip cream for the same reason) and has made plans for them for every afternoon next week. Realizing that now being out of a job, she would have more time for Jeff, Marcia happily retires and lets Jan keep her job.
Just then, Peter walks in, having learned from his errors at goofing off at Mr. Haskell's, and having gotten himself a new job at "The Leaning Tower of Pizza".
Postlogue: With four older Brady kids now having had their after-school jobs - whilst Bobby and Cindy were just 12 and 11 at the time, they would, sort of, also get "jobs" in the upcoming series finale, as entrepreneurs, when Bobby attempted to sell hair tonic and Cindy breed rabbits and sell bunnies for profit. Or, without this, in the 1988 reunion TV movie, "A Very Brady Christmas", Bobby said that his first job was at Sam's butcher shop. As for Cindy, it's up to the viewers to imagine if she ever had an after-school job or not.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Diet Episode: The subplot involves Mike being put on a diet ... shamed into doing so after he laughs off Alice going on her own strict diet (of celery and carrots) and her ability to resist temptation. Mike has a few sneaky tricks to try to get around this, but Carol and Alice are always a step ahead. note
- Full-Name Ultimatum: Marcia when she fires Peter.
- Hilarity Ensues: Although as stated in the episode Marcia loses her job through cutbacks and Haskell's preference for Jan and her work skills ... the timing of the job loss does come, maybe coincidentally and maybe not, shortly after her confrontation with Jeff and his new girlfriend that night at the ice cream parlor.
- Nepotism: Marcia gets to work alongside Peter, then Jan at the ice cream parlor, with varying results.
- New Job Episode: Marcia, Jan and Peter all getting jobs at the ice cream parlor, with varying results.
- Professional Slacker: Peter, who goofs off and refuses to help Marcia (his boss) when she asks — nicely, mind you — for it.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: This is the only episode in all 117 where Jan would win out over her sister for anything.