"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!" is said more times on this page (twice) than it was on the actual show (once). As with many other so-called catchphrases, it entered the popular consciousness through parodies: first Saturday Night Livenote that sentence is told by Melanie Hutsell playing Jan, against Beth Cahill as Marcia, and then The Brady Bunch Movie.
Confessions; Confessions: As with the even-more famous "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!", the lines "Mom's favorite vase!" and "She always said don't play ball in the house" are uttered once. (They are repeated, yes, but through Peter's nightmare.) Some people also misquote the latter as, "Mom always said don't play ball in the house," which sounds less vague out of context than the original line does.
Marcia's "Sure, Jan" is from A Very Brady Sequel, not the TV show.
Cast Incest: Barry Williams (Greg) went out to dinner once with Florence Henderson (his TV-(step)mom) and the media made a bigger deal out of it than it actually was. A full-fledged relationship did not come of it, but came to a head at one of the many reunions when Barry straight-up made out with her, as "something I've been meaning to do for a long time". Barry Williams and Maureen McCormick also got hot and heavy, as did Chris Knight and Eve Plumb. Finally, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen had a fake marriage as little kids, which ended when Mike developed a crush on Eve. They dissolved their fake marriage with a fake divorce, which they figured was doing the marriage ceremony backwards.
Eve Plumb was one hell of an artist, which made its way into a few episodes and eventually became Jan's major talent. Florence Henderson was also known for her beautiful voice, which led to two episodes revolving around Carol singing.
Florence Henderson also sang the theme to The Bradys.
The kids, with their singing talents, although in real life, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick and Mike Lookinland had genuine singing talent, and as Williams said, Lookinland was the most musical of all six of them. Although by the time The Brady Bunch Hour was being made, it became apparent that he was a terrible dancer. Susan Olsen also had a somewhat decent voice, and Eve Plumbnote Whose father, Neely Plumb, was a respected Record Producer was OK, but Chris Knight was—by his own admission—a terrible singer. And when the Brady kids, Henderson and Robbie Rist (who played Cousin Oliver) reunited on The Weakest Link in 2001, Knight struggled with music questions.
The Danza: Linda Gibboney plays Sandy's cousin Linda in "Peter and the Wolf".
Dyeing for Your Art: Mike Lookinland (Bobby) is a natural blonde. And for a time, Susan Olsen(although also a natural blonde)s hair was dyed to match Florence Hendersonsuntil it started falling out in clumps.
Of Sam Franklin, the owner of Sam's Butcher Shop where the Bradys get all their meat and Alice finds her boyfriend and future husband. Veteran character actor Allan Melvin took on what became one of his two signature roles (the other being Barney Hefner in All in the Family).
Friday Night Death Slot: ABC aired The Brady Bunch on Friday nights, giving it only enough ratings for it to be renewed for half seasons after its second.
Hostility on the Set: Robert Reed hated starring on the "silly" show and constantly butted heads with creator Sherwood Schwartz, often having temper tantrums on set and sending memos criticizing the writing. There were some episodes that Reed outright refused to participate in for being too absurd for his tastes, including the show's final episode "The Hair-Brained Scheme". As a result, Mike Brady was said to be "out of town" for Greg's graduation. Schwartz later stated that he had planned to drop Mike for Season 6 had the show not been cancelled. Despite his problems with Schwartz, Reed got along very well with the kids on the show, and often bonded with them off-screen. He also reprised his role as Mike Brady in all Brady sequel series and TV movies.
Killed by Request: Robert Reed hated everything about the show except the kids playing the young Bradys. This led to him and producer Sherwood Schwartz butting heads on numerous occasions. And in fact, had it not been cancelled Schwartz actually planned to kill off Mike Brady over the summer hiatus so he'd be gone for the sixth season and beyond.
Method Acting: "And Now a Word From Our Sponsor" displays this to the extreme, particularly by Mike and Carol after they take lessons from acting coach Myrna Carter, who is a bad, bad actress and couldn't teach a pencil how to draw.
Missing Episode: As of 2019, CBS All-Access and Hulu have been unable to stream certain episodes for copyright reasons. One notable missing episode is Season 1's "Is There a Doctor in the House?" in which the kids all catch the measles. This may have been pulled because it treats a potentially fatal illness as just an excuse for sitcom hijinks and because anti-vaxxers have sometimes used it as "proof" that the disease is "no big deal."
Milestone Celebration: In 2019, CBS/Paramount celebrated the Brady Bunch's 50th anniversary with a DVD boxset of every Brady show or movie they own. Meanwhile, HGTV bought the house used for exterior photography, then teamed up with the Brady Kids' actors to renovate the interior and backyard into replicas of the sets; the miniseries A Very Brady Renovation documents the project.
Money, Dear Boy: This may be the only reason Robert Reed stayed with the show, but he said before he died that the show was pitched to him as being more adult and less like Gilligan's Island, which was why he agreed to do it. Another reason he stayed with the show was that he had grown fond of the cast and treated the children like they were his own. Also, as a Paramount contract player during the waning days of the studio system, he was obligated to do the pilot.
"The Underground Movie": Super 8 movie cameras were the "in" thing in 1970, and the fact that this is a camera that also records sound made it even cooler. Of course, 8-mm films and the projectors used to play the films have long since bit the dust, replaced by video cameras and eventually camera phones. Additionally, until the advent of today's tablets (including those with movie-making applications) being issued to students, movies and videos as school projects was relatively novel.
Most famously, Geri Reischl as "Fake Jan" in The Brady Bunch Hour
As well as Cindy in A Very Brady Christmas and Marcia in The Bradys. The Brady Girls Get Married was the only project which reunited the entire original cast.
The Mexican Spanish dub of the TV series suffered one of the biggest casting shifts ever: Only the first three seasons were dubbed in Spanish in the 70s, since the series was canceled possibly due to low ratings in Mexico. The last two seasons weren't dubbed until the 2000s (about 26 years after the TV series ended both in the U.S. and when the series was canceled in Mexico) and when they dubbed the last seasons, they had to replace the entire cast, since almost all the original voice cast were retired from voice acting or dead.
Starting with midway through the first episode (due to the real Tiger's death before the essential scenes were taped), and continuing through to his final appearance in late 1970, a number of dogs played "Tiger." None of them worked out, and since the focus was more on the human members of the family, Tiger was ultimately retired.
Throw It In!: While shooting Season 1, Chris Knight was heard singing the show's theme song. Schwartz took this idea and rearranged the theme to have the six Brady kids themselves sing it from Season 2 onward.
Unintentional Period Piece: The show screams "early '70s" harder than just about any other product of its era. The show even captured a picture of how mainstream American society was moving at that time; from the early episodes where Carol had a bouffant, the girls wore skirts and dresses, the boys and Mike all had short hair to the later episodes where Carol relaxed on the haircare product, Mike and the boys let their hair grow out to their temples or shoulders, and the girls were seen in more slacks and jeans. This was a series that also depicted a married couple sleeping together (and with no additional children being conceived, likely a reference to the increased availability of birth control) and of a blended family where both parents have been married before. note The Goldbergs in 1954 depicted Molly and Jake in bed in an episode, but it wasn't a Once per Episode aspect like The Brady Bunch.
Vindicated by Reruns: Was Only Barely Renewed several times until its cancellation in 1974. Afterward, syndication markets aired the series in the afternoon hours, and it become a hit among younger audiences.
Schwartz originally wanted Gene Hackman to play Mike but the network turned him down. At the time, Hackman was mostly unknown when the Brady Bunch was first cast; with Paramountmore or less pushing Reed (still under contract to the studio) to be castnote By the mid-point of the Brady Bunch's run, Hackman would have gone on to stardom - and received an Academy Award for Best Actor - as Popeye Doyle in The French Connection. At one point, Jeffrey Hunter was also considered for the Mike Brady role.note He died in May of 1969, by which time the pilot - filmed almost a year before the show went into production - had already been completed.
As mentioned above, if the show continued for a sixth season, Mike Brady would likely have been killed off. If the '90s dramedy Sequel SeriesThe Bradys hadn't been cancelled after just six episodes, he would have been killed off there too.
The plan was originally for Carol to be the wacky comic relief character with Alice as a more traditional Straight Man housekeeper (helping to explain why a household with a stay-at-home mom even needed a housekeeper in the first place). To this end, Joyce Bulifant (later of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Match Game) was tapped to play Carol and Kathleen Freeman (a character actress perhaps most famous for her role as foil for Jerry Lewis in many of his films and also for playing Sister Mary Stigmata the Penguin in The Blues Brothers) was to play Alice. Florence Henderson was considered a dark horse for the part of Carol but absolutely nailed her screen test... but as she was a Straight Man herself, for balance, the housekeeper would have to be the comic relief. Ann B. Davis, known at the time for her Emmy-winning role as Schultzy in The Bob Cummings Show, was then cast to play the new "goofy" Alice.
Write Who You Know: In "And Now a Word From Our Sponsor"; this is how Skip Farnum envisioned the Bradys when he hired them, expecting natural performances.
You Look Familiar: Chris Beaumont, a teen actor of the late 1960s and early 1970s, plays four different characters always, opposite Barry Williams' Greg during the final four seasons. Chris first appeared in Season 2's "Our Son, the Man" as a high school senior Greg tries to emulate (none too well). In Season 3, he was slick-talking Eddie in "The Wheeler Dealer," who tries to sell him a wreck of a used car. Season 4's season finale was "A Room at the Top," where Chris' Hank is a college sophomore and one of Greg's buddies (no indication if he's the same kid that Greg encountered a couple of years earlier, but still ... ). But perhaps Chris' most prominent, best-received role was that as the unethical quarterback Jerry Rogers in "Quarterback Sneak."
Dawson Casting: Christine Taylor (Marcia), Jennifer Elise Cox (Jan), and Christopher Daniel Barnes (Greg) were all in their twenties when cast. Interestingly, Cox is actually older than Taylor in real life.
Follow the Leader: Although the Dragnet movie did it first, it was the success of this film that inspired other big screen remakes to lampoon their source material rather than play it straight. Films such as Starsky & Hutch, I Spy, The Green Hornet, and 21 Jump Street, to name a few.
Method Acting: To help maintain the tension between Marcia and Jan, Christine Taylor and Jennifer Elise Cox (both huge fans of the original series) decided to stay in character between takes.
Missing Trailer Scene: The trailer for the first movie showed Peter delivering his Humphrey Bogart impression ("Porkshops and appleschause") to one of the girls at school. The original trailer for the second movie featured two gags involving the Brady Bunch grid: one in which the clan breaks the fourth wall to exclaim, "We're back!", and one in which Trevor walks into Mike's square.
Orphaned Reference: In the Sears musical number scene, Dittmeyer is shown in the store wearing a neck brace and buying a new toilet with no explanation ever given for the brace or toilet. This was a reference to a deleted subplot in which Dittmeyer attempts to use his daughter's science experiment, a jar full of termites, to infest the Bradys' home. The termites, instead, infest Dittmeyer's home which causes him to fall through the floor of his bathroom while sitting on the toilet. The sublot was eventually reinstated in the TV edit.
Due to the TV series dating back to 1969 and some of its cast being too old or having died long ago,note such as Robert Reed every member of the Bradys were inevitably recast.
Since The Brady Bunch in the White House came six years after A Very Brady Sequel, all of the kids received new actors. Alice received one as well.
Reality Subtext: Mrs. Cummings encourages Jan in the first movie to stand out with a new look, and in the second movie to act true to herself, even if others mock Jan for doing so. This sounds rather meta coming from drag queen Ru Paul, especially since Mrs. Cummings' lecture in the sequel contains a "drag" pun.
Spiritual Adaptation: While the movies are obviously an adaptation of the series, they also owe a lot to The Real Live Brady Bunch, a stage show debuting in 1991 that simply re-enacted episodes of the series, but with heavy doses of Irony and Affectionate Parody. The connection is very direct because Christine Taylor and Jennifer Elise Cox played Marcia and Jan, respectively, in regional productions of The Real Live Brady Bunch before they were cast as those roles in the films.note The original Chicago production of The Real Live Brady Bunch had Kate Flannery as Carol, with Jane Lynch as her understudy, and Melanie Hutsell as Jan. When it moved to New York for an off-Broadway run, Flannery and the original Mike dropped out, so Lynch took over as Carol and Andy Richter was brought on as Mike
Unintentional Period Piece: The premise of the movie was to bring the Bradys into the current world of the 1990s, including alternative music and Seattle as the center of the music world, carjackings, Sears, "her"story, red meat being bad for you, etc. A Very Brady Sequel has Mike dismissing cable TV as a hoax.
What Could Have Been: Original plot lines/character changes for the first movie and as a "sign of the times" would have had Mike flipping burgers instead of his usual career of an architect and Marcia being a lesbian. Fortunately, a successful lawsuit put an end to these radical changes, though they were worked into the films in other ways (Greg ended up being the Burger Fool in the sequel, though it's only shown in one scene and Marcia is given a lesbian friend who, of course, is in love with her.)