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Trivia / The Brady Bunch

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The series is the Trope Namer for:

Trivia for the TV show

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • "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 , and then The Brady Bunch Movie.
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    • 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. Likewise (and contrary to actress Christine Taylor's recollections) Marcia does not mispronounce "school" as "sküle" in the TV show; this is original to the movies.
  • 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.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • 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  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.
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  • The Danza: Linda Gibboney plays Sandy's cousin Linda in "Peter and the Wolf".
  • Directed by Cast Member: Robert Reed directed four episodes. This was partially done in an attempt to ease some of the ongoing tensions between him and the producers.
  • 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 Henderson’s—until it started falling out in clumps. Both of them hated it.
  • First Appearance:
    • 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).
    • Welcome Aboard introduces Cousin Oliver.
  • Follow the Leader: Sherwood Schwartz wrote the original Brady pilot script in 1966. Two years later, while he was pitching it to the networks, the movies Yours, Mine, and Ours and With Six You Get Eggroll, which also dealt comedically with the resulting Blended Family Drama after two single parents with kids get married, were released. While Schwartz always hastened to point out that he was working on the concept before then, he admitted that it was the success of those films (especially Yours, Mine, and Ours, one of the top 10 box office hits of 1968) that led ABC to greenlight The Brady Bunch. Some people feel the series ended up as a Spiritual Adaptation of those films.
  • 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, one possibility Schwartz considered was 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."
    • The full list of missing episodes are:
      • Season 1: "Katchoo", "A Clubhouse Is Not A Home", "Sorry, Right Number", "Every Boy Does It Once", "Is There A Doctor In The House?", "54-40 And Fight", "The Undergraduate", "The Possible Dream"note 
      • Season 2: "Alice's September Song"
      • Season 3: "Ghost Town U.S.A.", "Juliet Is The Sun", "Getting Davy Jones", "Dough Re Mi", "Jan's Aunt Jenny", "Cindy Brady, Lady", "My Fair Opponent" note 
      • Season 4: "Hawaii Bound", "The Show Must Go On??", "Greg Gets Grounded", "Amateur Nite", "A Room At The Top"
      • Season 5: "Adios, Johnny Bravo", "Snow White and the Seven Bradys", "Never Too Young", "Two Petes In A Pod", "The Snooperstar" note 
  • 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.
  • Name's the Same: Don Simpson is not to be confused with the producer of Top Gun and Crimson Tide.
  • Nobody Poops: In arguably one of the most famous examples, the bathroom shared by the Brady children didn't have a toilet. They weren't allowed to show a toilet bowl on television, and the crew couldn't figure out an angle that would conceal a toilet if one were present.
  • Only Barely Renewed: According to Ann B. Davis, only once was the series renewed for a full season (for the rest of the run, it was half-season renewals).
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Robert Reed, Sherwood Schwartz and Florence Henderson had daughters who were cast in an episode centering on the girls having a sleepover. Schwartz's daughter Hope (credited as Hope Sherwood) then went on to appear in three additional episodes (two as a semi-steady Greg girlfriend named Rachel), and after that helped out behind-the-scenes on The Brady Brides and The Bradys, and co-wrote The Brady Bunch in the White House with her brother Lloyd Schwartz.note 
    • Music composer Frank De Vol's son Gordon played Jesse James in Bobby's dream sequence in "Bobby's Hero".
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Much like the sisters they played, Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb did not get along in real life.
    • The bass guitarist for the theme song, like Carol Brady, was a single mother of three. The bassist? Legendary session musician Carol Kaye.
  • Shoot the Money: Episodes took the Bradys on location to Grand Canyon and Hawaii.
  • Spin-Off Cookbook: Alice's Brady Bunch Cookbook by Ann B. Davis. This was the actress who played Alice, the Bradys' housekeeper (and cook) on the show.
  • Technology Marches On:
    • "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.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • 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.
  • Typecasting: The actor who played the bully Buddy Hinton (Russell Schulman) also played a bully on The Andy Griffith Show.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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 Paramount more or less pushing Reed (still under contract to the studio) to be castnote . At one point, Jeffrey Hunter was also considered for the Mike Brady role.note 
    • As mentioned above, Robert Reed wasn't going to come back if the show got renewed for a sixth season. According to different reports, either Mike was going to get killed off, or was going to get The Other Darrin treatment with Robert Foxworth taking over the role. If the '90s dramedy Sequel Series The Bradys hadn't been cancelled after just six episodes, Mike would've been killed off there as well.
    • 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.
  • Word of God: While the pilot episode makes it clear that Mike's first wife had passed away, Sherwood Schwartz has said that Carol was divorced. It was never brought up on the show since divorce was taboo at the time.
  • 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."

Trivia for the movies

  • Actor-Inspired Element: Marcia's memetic pronunciation of "school" as "sküle" was a specific affectation cooked up by Christine Taylor, based around Maureen McCormick's quirky San Fernando Valley accent.
  • 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.
  • Edited for Syndication: Some "family friendly" networks remove the Mushroom Samba, cutting directly to disheveled Roy waking up the next day, late for the auction.
  • 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.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Due to the TV series dating back to 1969 and some of its cast being too old or having died long ago,note  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.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Christine Taylor as Marcia looks uncannily similar to a young Maureen McCormick, to the point where the latter reportedly mistook footage of the former as being of herself. Taylor says when she was in high school she was constantly told she looked like Marcia.
  • 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 
  • Star-Making Role: Of a sort for Gary Cole. While he was already an established actor, his performance as Mike Brady marked the first of many roles he would go on to have as a comedic actor.
  • 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.)
    • Florence Henderson's Remake Cameo in the first movie was reportedly intended to be as the trucker who takes Jan home (her CB handle was going to be "Wessonality"), but she turned it down and Ann B. Davis took the role instead. After focus group audiences kept asking why Henderson wasn't in the movie, the producers convinced her to participate and the Grandma Brady scene was quickly written and filmed.


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