The Brady Bunch was one of the famous American sitcoms that never got too much popularity but was still known by most people. The show started airing on ABC in September 1969 and came to an end in March 1974, after its cancellation.
The series was all about a large blended family with six children. The series extended to five seasons but went into syndication after it got canceled in 1974. It was not too popular when the seasons were aired originally; however, the show gained enough popularity among children and teenagers after the syndication. This syndication later led to the production of several spin-off series such as “The Brady Bunch Hour,” “The Brady Girls Get Married,” “The Brady Brides,” “A very Brady Christmas,” and “The Bradys.”
Later in 1995, the series was again used to adapt a satirical comedy film called “The Brady Bunch Movie,” followed by a sequel in 2002.
Even after many years of being aired, The Brady Bunch is still a topic of discussion and debate. The Brady Bunch wasn’t just another sitcom but the story of a family that came together from completely different backgrounds.
Here is a list of five top episodes from The Brady Bunch that every sitcom lover should watch at least once in their lifetime:
1. Her Sister’s Shadow (Season 3 – Episode 10)
This episode is about Jan, who is tired of being compared to her older sister Marcia. Marcia is a popular and intelligent student who is also the teacher’s favorite. Hence the teacher always compares both sisters, but Jan is done with this comparison and wants to do something that Marcia couldn’t.
Jan, in this episode, dumps all of the awards that Marcia had received and says how everyone always keeps talking about Marcia. Her famous dialogue from this episode is “Marcia this, Marcia that… Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.”
However, in this episode, Jan can be seen being happily thrilled after she wins an Honor award for writing an excellent essay. But later, she realizes that the scoring of the essay was mistaken, and she actually came in second place; Jan doesn’t reveal this secret. However, later in assembly, before the presentation, she tells the truth to her teacher, who then announces the rightful winner and praises Jan for being mature and honest for telling the truth.
2. Hawaii Bound (Season 4 – Episode 1)
Throughout the five seasons, the Bradys went to different places for vacation. The first episode of season 1 was also one of those vacation episodes. Mike has to leave for Hawaii for checking and monitoring a construction project, and his firm allows him to bring his family and Alice along with him. The Bradys enjoy a fantastic trip to Hawaii while before Mike goes to check the construction site.
On his way to the site, Mike joins his father; however, he runs into an ancient tiki, which according to the Hawaiian people, is related to a legend that says that whoever touches it faces bad luck in life. Even after listening to the legend related to tiki, the son and father ignored and laughed it off, thinking that it is just a superstition. But the table turns when Greg gets into a surfing accident, and Mike and his father start thinking about the tiki legend differently. The Brady family also learns about the history of Pearl Harbor during the sightseeing.
3. Fright Night (Season 4 – Episode 6)
This episode wasn’t a Halloween special; however, the themes of this episode were perfect for Halloween. After the boys scare the girls one night, the girls decide to take revenge. Later, when the girls have gotten the revenge, Mike asks everyone to end the strand of pranks. But the kids still team up so they can scare Alice, who claimed that she couldn’t be scared by anything. The scheme breaks off when Carol and Mike come back home earlier than expected; however, Alice arrives at the scene where the prank had to be done.
Alice panics and destroys Mike’s bust that Carol had made for her art competition; Alice, however, thinks of it as the head of some burglar. After the incident, the kids are punished by Carol and Mike, and their allowances are suspended for two weeks, as their action could’ve resulted in a bigger and tragic incident.
4. Will The Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up? (Season 2 – Episode 15)
This is another episode about Jan, who always feels inferior and is compared to her older sister Marcia. The episode is about the discovery of Jan’s self-worth. She is invited to a party, but the name on the envelope was Marcia, which troubles Jan’s thoughts.
Later on, Jan decides to get a new look and wears a black wig to the birthday party to create a new identity. But the wig turns out to be a mess, and all her friends laugh at her, thinking that Jan was just playing a joke on them. Jan gets upset, and her friends realize their mistake soon and apologize. Jan finds self-esteem, takes off the hideous wig, and enjoys the birthday party with her friends. Jan’s friends tell her that she is the best when she is her real self.
5. The Slumber Caper (Season 2 – Episode 3)
In this episode, Marcia is the one who gets in trouble, as her school principal J.P. Randolph accuses her of drawing a weird picture of Mrs. Denton (the English teacher). However, Mike and Carol believe Marcia and her statement that she never intended it to be Mrs. Denton’s picture; instead, she just copied George Washington’s portrait and never wrote the name of her English teacher on it.
Marcia still gets the permission for the slumber party she had to give to her friends, but she is punished in school by getting a detention for a week. Marcia thinks that Jenny, her best friend, was guilty of getting her in trouble and doesn’t invite her to the party.
At the same time, Greg and his brothers plan to ruin the party and spread itching powder in the sleeping bags. Later, when the girls clean up everything, Paula (Marcia’s friend) confesses that it was her who took Marcia’s drawing and wrote those comments on it. Marcia realizes that she misjudged her best friend Jenny and re-invites her to the slumber party.
The show was a perfect source of entertainment for children and teenagers alike. Every episode had an important life lesson for the viewers that could save them from a lot of trouble. Especially in the episodes where Jan felt inferior to her sister, the viewers learned about self-love and self-acceptance more than anything.
The Brady Bunch was a series that would make families come closer to each other in a jolly and funny way. Even for today’s modern audiences, the show serves as a safe-seeming and beloved staple. This popular American sitcom enjoyed a very long shelf life and was even parodied in the 1990s’ two films. It was undoubtedly a groundbreaking show of all time, and it will always be remembered as one of the series that focused more on the day-to-day life of a blended family.