Michael Kotler's Brady Bunch FAQ





Michael Kotler's Brady Bunch FAQ

The following is The Frequently Asked Questions list for alt.tv.brady-bunch, a sporadically updated document by Michael E. Kotler. It's incomplete and inaccurate in a few spots, but I'm making it available since it answers many of the most common questions about the show. I've made some minor additions, which are noted in bold.

If you have suggestions, corrections or comments, send them to Kotler, not me.

From: mekotl@aol.com (Michael Kotler)
Newsgroups: alt.tv.brady-bunch,alt.culture.us.1970s
Subject: The Brady Bunch FAQ List
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 15:27:50 GMT

After an absence of over three years, the FAQ is BAQ!  Enjoy.

The Frequently Asked Questions list for alt.tv.brady-bunch

The Brady Bunch FAQ list version 3.0             Last Modified 6/22/98
This FAQ represents major changes from previous versions. Most of the
questions have been edited or completely rewritten.


      1. Background of the Bunch
           [1.1] What is The Brady Bunch?
           [1.2] How many spin-offs were there to the original BB?
           [1.3] Were there any "Lost Episodes" of BB?
           [1.4] What books are there about the Brady Bunch?
           [1.5] Where can I find Bradys on the World Wide Web?
           [1.6] What is the "Brady Bunch Movie"?
      2. The actors and actresses
           [2.1] Who was in the original BB cast?
           [2.2] Why wasn't Susan Olsen in "A Very Brady Xmas?"
           [2.3] Did the actress that played Marcia/Jan/Cindy later 
                  go on to perform in adult (X-rated) movies?
           [2.4] Did Robert Reed really die from AIDS?
           [2.5] Why did the four Brady men all have straight hair at 
                   the begining of the series, but curly hair at the 
           [2.6] What other TV series / movies / stage performances 
                   have the Brady cast members appeared in?
           [2.7] Did Barry Williams really date his mother once?
           [2.8] Are the Bradys a family in real life?

      3. The characters
           [3.1] Was Carol Brady originally a single mother? If not, 
                   what was the fate of her first marriage in which 
                   Marcia, Jan and Cindy came about?
           [3.2] Were Mike and Carol Brady the first TV couple to 
                  sleep in the same bed?           
           [3.4] Did Alice ever marry Sam the butcher?
           [3.4] Who is Phoebe, the supposed "Lost Brady"?

      4. Production
           [4.1] Was BB filmed in a real house?
           [4.2] If the Brady house is just a set, what was that house

                   we saw in the establishing shots every day?
           [4.3] Where is this house located?
           [4.4] Where was that big amusement park they all went to?
                  (where Jan almost lost Mike's blueprints)

      5. Questions concerning the show's premises and logistics
           [5.1] In what city was The Brady Bunch set?
           [5.2] What technical/logistical errors were there in the 
           [5.3] What errors/inconsistencies are there regarding the 
                  architecture and layout of the Brady house?
           [5.4] Why was there only one bathroom for six kids?
           [5.5] How many bathrooms were there in that house?
           [5.6] Why wasn't there a toilet in the kids' bathroom?
           [5.7] What was the door at the top of the stairs used for?
           [5.8] Why did Mike say "The attic? That'd be great if Greg 
                                               were 2 1/2 feet tall"?

      6. Brady Miscellany
           [6.1] What is the connection between BB and Gilligan's 
           [6.2] What is "Eve's Plumb"?

      7. Credits



[1.1] What is The Brady Bunch?

The Brady Bunch was a Television series that ran on prime-time TV from
1969 to 1974.  Its premise, delineated in its opening theme sone, was
a single man with three boys who married a single woman with three
girls, creating a blended family. The parents and the six kids live
together with a housekeeper named Alice to sort of "referee" among

The series dealt with a host of domestic and social issues.  The
overall feeling presented was one of happiness, laughter, and most
importantly "Ozzie and Harriet"-type wholesome family values.

(Note to readers: accepting entries for a better description here)

[1.2] How many spin-offs were there and what were they called?

- Original Series: The Brady Bunch. 1969-1974. Five seasons: 116
episodes + the pilot.

- The Brady Bunch Hour. 1977. A Donny-and-Marie-type variety show.
Lasted 6 episodes.

- The Brady Girls Get Married. 1981. Three part special. Double
wedding for Marcia and Jan.

- The Brady Brides. 1981. Series about Marcia and Jan and their new 
    husbands. Lasted 6 episodes. 

- A Very Brady Christmas. 1988. Christmas special. Very high ratings.
- The Bradys. 1989-90. Series about the grown Brady kids, and _their_
spouses and kids. Bobby was in a wheelchair from a racing accident,
and Marcia became alcoholic. Lasted 6 episodes. 

- The Brady Kids. A Saturday morning cartoon about the kids only.
Included the actual voices of their real-life counterparts.

- The Brady Bunch Movie. 1995. See question 1.4

- A Very Brady Sequel. 1996

Incidentally, the "Kelly's Kids" episode, where a neighbor adopts 3
kids, (one Caucasian, one African-American and one Asian-American) was
actually a pilot for a proposed spin-off series. The concept was
resurrected in 1986 with "Together We Stand".


[1.3] Were there any "Lost Episodes" of The Brady Bunch?

No.  "Lost episodes," for the uninitiated, are those which were
produced but never aired, or which for various technical or legal
reasons didn't get sold into syndication with the rest of the series.
"The Brady Bunch" was cancelled in March 1974, several weeks after
production for the last season was finished and well before actual
production of the new season had begun.  This is called "hiatus" in
the business.  It is unlikely that scripting had even been done, since
producers are unlikely to spend money on material which had not been
ordered.  This is also the reason why there was no "farewell" episode
of the Bunch.  Generally, only shows which leave voluntarily and are
not cancelled do farewell shows.  The modern farewell show tradition
began with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1977.  This was three years

Part of the speculation for this stems from the last few pages of "The
Brady Bunch Book" which includes a list of "lost episodes."  But these
"episodes" (in which, for example, Jan became a Moonie and Mike &
Carol became swingers) are obvious parodies of the Bunch. 

(Thanks to Tony L. Hill for this information)

[1.4] What books are there about the Brady Bunch?

- "The Brady Bunch Book," by Andrew J. Edelstein and Frank Lovece.
Foreword by Florence Henderson. (268 pages, Warner Books, 1990) 
ISBN: 0-446-39137-9

  The BB Book has a strong emphasis on real-life personalities.  It
has many trivia tidbits about the show as well as an episode guide.

- "Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg," by Barry Williams with
Chris Kreski. Foreword by Robert Reed. (286 pages, HarperPerennial,
1992)  ISBN: 0-06-096588-6

   Barry Williams, you may recall, was the actor that played Greg
Brady. This book is sort of a memoir, describing Barry's experience
with The Brady Bunch from many different angles.  Williams also
includes an episode guide peppered with lots of things he remembered
from the productions.

- "Bradymania!" by Elizabeth Moran. (240 pages, Bob Adams Inc., 1992)
ISBN: 1-55850-154-1
   A new edition of this book, with information about the movie, is
due out in the spring of 1995.

- "Alice's Brady Bunch Cookbook," by Ann B. Davis with Ron Newcomer
and Diane Smolen. Foreword by Sherwood Schwartz. (258 pages, Rutledge
Hill Press, 1994).  ISBN: 1-55853-307-9

   This book contains recipes and trivia about the show.

- "TV Treasures guide to The Brady Bunch" (need info)

- "Life Lessons from the Bradys" (need info)

Additionally, there are several Brady Bunch novels from the early
70's. Long out of print, these occasionally turn up at garage sales or
on e-bay.

[1.5] Where can I find Bradys on the World Wide Web?

[section under construction]

Visit Brady Bunch Internet Resources.


[1.6] What is "The Brady Bunch Movie"?

"The Brady Bunch Movie" is a feature film based on the original ABC
series, with new actors in the familiar roles. Directed by Betty
Thomas, the Paramount production started shooting on location in
California's San Fernando Valley in July, 1994. Here is the main cast:

Mike..................Gary Cole 
Carol.................Shelley Long

Greg..................Christopher Barnes
Peter.................Paul Suttera
Bobby.................Jessie Lee Soffer
Marcia................Christine Taylor
Jan...................Jennifer Elise Cox
Cindy ................Olivia Hack

Alice.................Henriette Mantel
Mr. Ditmeyer..........Michael McKean
Mrs. Ditmeyer.........Jean Smart

Set in the present day, in the BB Movie the Bradys act, dress and talk
as if they were still living in the 1970s. Much of the film's humor
involves the family's unwillingness to conform with modern culture,
although the main plot is Larry Ditmeyer's attempt to force the Bradys
from their home so that a shopping center can be built on the site.
The script also draws many of its subplots and dialogue from episodes
of the original series.  For example, the words "Pork Chops and
Applesauce" are written on the blackboard in the kitchen. A list of
references may be found at: 

The movie set for the Bradys' house was meticulously re-created from
the original blueprints and a facade was built to resemble the
familiar exterior, since the original house had been slightly
modified. The film also features cameos by several original "Brady"
cast members, including Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, and Ann B.
Davis. Also appearing are Davy Jones and RuPaul. The movie was
released on February 17, 1995. 

Note: Two cameos with Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen were edited out
of the film to reduce the running time.  Susan Olsen played a
disgruntled postal worker, and Mike Lookinland was a police officer
who came to take a report on a burglary of the Brady home (nothing was
stolen, as there was nothing worth stealing. Afterall, what good is a
1971 stereo system?).

"A Very Brady Sequel" was released in 1996. Employing a theme similar
to the first movie, the plot of this film revolved around the familiar
horse sculpture underneath the stairs and the fate of Carol's first


[2.1]  Who was in the original BB cast?

Character             Actor                    Actor's real name
---------             -----                    -----------------
Mike..................Robert Reed..............John Robert Rietz
Carol.................Florence Henderson

Greg..................Barry Williams...........Barry William Blenkhorn
Peter.................Christopher Knight
Bobby.................Mike Lookinland

Marcia................Maureen McCormick
Jan...................Eve Plumb
Cindy.................Susan Olsen

Alice.................Ann B. Davis

Oliver................Robbie Rist
Sam (the butcher).....Allan Melvin (non-regular; appeared in only 8

[2.2]  Why didn't Susan Olsen play Cindy in "A Very Brady Christmas"?

Contrary to the rumors that abounded (including one that she had
died), she was actually just away on her honeymoon while "Brady Xmas"
was being filmed.  Jennifer Runyon stood in for her.  But this was not
the first time a Brady had a stand-in. In "The BB Hour", Geri Reischl
played Jan in lieu of Eve Plumb.  And in "The Bradys", Leah Ayres
played Marcia in place of Maureen McCormick.  

The only reunion show in which everyone played their original role was
"The Brady Girls Get Married".

[2.3]  Did the actress that played Marcia/Jan/Cindy go on to perform
in adult (X-rated) movies?

Absolutely not. This does not mean that there wasn't a widespread
urban legend to the contrary, though.  Here are some possible reasons
for the popularity of this "porn-star" rumor:

1) Because the Brady girls were "squeaky-clean" on the series, it
amuses us to think that one of them could be making adult movies.

2) Lots of male viewers were sexually attracted to the Brady girls,
and this rumor provided a sort of vicarious fantasy fulfillment. (Some
of the postings on alt.tv.brady-bunch would seem to bear this out)

3) Other child actors and actresses got into trouble as they grew up.

4) Some of the Brady girls did in fact play the part of promiscuous 
females on subsequent made-for-TV movies and/or as guest stars on TV 

5) Some adult strip-clubs like to name their dancers "Marilyn Monroe"
or after some other female sex-symbol (to give class and/or wangle
higher tips from gullible patrons who believe them).  Perhaps one day
some club announced "...and here's Marcia Brady!!" and people caught

6) A certain nude GIF image has been seen circulating around the Net.
There are rumors that this picture is of Marcia Brady taken around the
time the latter part of the original series was being filmed. The
model in the picture, however, actually only bears a very faint
resemblance to Marcia -- mostly by the hairstyle, since her eyes are
closed and her head is tilted back -- so there is no evidence that it
is actually a shot of Maureen McCormick. One netter speculates that
the picture was actually Marcia's face carefully spliced onto another
body using Adobe Photoshop or Corel Photo-Paint.

(see also alt.folklore.urban for further discussions of urban legends)

See my list of the Top 10 Questions About
the Brady Bunch for a more thorough answer.


[2.4]  Did Robert Reed really die of AIDS?

See my list of the Top 10 Questions About
the Brady Bunch for a more thorough and accurate answer.


[2.5]  Why did all four Brady men have black straight hair at the
beginning of the series, but have curly hair at the end?  Did they get

Despite the rumors, only their hairdressers know for sure.  But here
are some theories.

Observation from "Johnny Bravo":

>       Just saw the Hawaii episode (well part 1 of 3) and I
>        noticed something I hadn't noticed before....
>        In the begining, when Mike brings home the box of airline
>        tickets and anounces the trip to Hawaii, his hair is straight
>        as an arrow. Next scene, getting off the plane.....
>        Put your hands togrther and give a warm welcome to
>        Mike "My hair is gigantic" Brady. Did he get a perm
>        on the plane? Because I have never seen such service
>        on domestic flights!!!

An anonymous post replied:

   The official story is that Robert Reed never had a perm, just let
   his hair go to its naturally curly state when he realized that 
   there was no way to keep it straight in the Hawaiian humidity.   
   Then Barry Williams and Christopher Knight said "Us, too!"  thus 
   the groovy Brady-men 'fro."

And on the Herman's Head episode, Mike says "You have to get a perm.
All the Brady men have perms."  However, that was a parody of their
own show, so that line was really not meant to be taken seriously.
But it does illustrate the prevalence of the "perm" rumor.

Of course, one might wonder why all the men were initially given flat
hair in the first place. Possible reasons: (a) straight hair was the
style at the time for men, (b) the producers wanted them to look
especially nice and neat so they'd contrast with the shaggy,
long-haired hippies of the late 1960's.

Speaking of hair, Carol's "Bubble-do" in the first several episodes
was really a wig. The flip-do came later.

[2.6]  What other TV series / movies / stage performances have the
Brady cast members appeared in?

Far too many to list here, although subsequent appearances were
largely limited to made-for-TV movies and guest shots on the likes of
Love Boat and Fantasy Island. "The Brady Bunch Book" has a nearly
comprehensive filmography for each Brady cast member. 

Perhaps the most significant subsequent Brady role was when Eve Plumb
played in "Fudge-a-mania", a Saturday morning kids' show based on the
Judy Blume books.  While Eve was the mother, Florence Henderson played
the Grandmother, making them mother-and-daughter once again!

Another interesting encounter was when both Robert Reed and Florence
Henderson  appeared on the same episode of "Love Boat".  Although
their love interests on the show involved other people entirely, there
was a scene in the dining room where someone dropped something, and
Reed and Henderson both bent down to pick it up putting the two of
them face-to-face.  At that moment, they looked at each other with an
expression of "don't I know you from somewhere?"

Some BB cast members appeared in commercials. Here is a partial list: 

Florence Henderson ........... Wesson Oil, Tang breakfast drink
Maureen McCormick ............ Living Barbie, Starburst Fruit Chews
Christopher Knight ........... Kellogg's Frosted Rice
Ann B. Davis ................. Miracle White laundry spray 

[2.7]  Did Barry Williams really date his mother once?

I should certainly *hope* not!!! :^)  Now, if you're asking if Barry 
Williams dated the woman who _played_the_part_ of his mother on TV, 
that's a different story.  (If the idea of Greg dating Carol seems too
unsettling for you, see next question.)

Williams has an entire chapter in his book "Growing up Brady"
describing his one-time date with Florence Henderson.  Why on earth
would he want to?  Although us TV viewers might think of Henderson as
a motherly figure, Williams saw her as little more than a co-worker.
The following quote from the book says it all "...for a minute, put
the apron and the six kids out of your mind and think of her _that_
way."  He also describes other romantic interludes involving the
members of the cast -- including one between himself and Maureen
McCormick (his TV sister, Marcia).

See my list of the Top 10 Questions About
the Brady Bunch for a more thorough answer.


[2.8]  Are the Bradys a family in real life?

No.  While there may certainly be some kind of camaraderie among the
cast for having worked closely together for several years plus the
occasional reunion, none of the characters are related in real life.
The actors all went home to their real families in the evening.  And
their names are not Marcia, Jan, Cindy, Greg, Peter, Bobby, Mike,
Carol, and Alice (although Bobby's real name is Mike, and Mike's real
name is Bobby. [OK, Robert])  See Question 2.1 to learn their real
names, or wait till the closing credits next time you watch the show.

Some of you are probably wondering what such a ludicrous question is
doing in the FAQ to begin with.  Simple: an awful lot of people seem
to think that the Bradys are a real family.  People often call the
actors by their TV names upon recognition and ask them this very

Indeed, the illusion of a real family seems particularly strong with
the Brady Bunch. Why don't people think this as much of, say, the cast
of "Facts of Life" or "Eight is Enough"?  My feeling is that (a) the
Brady actors had few other recognizable roles, (b) there was a certain
closeness about the family that seemed real, and (c) the family life
portrayed in the series seemed so ideal that, consciously or not, many
viewers _wanted_ them to be a real-life family.

But no matter how convincing a performance may be, aren't people smart
enough to know the difference between truth and fiction?  Well, a few
weeks after Gilligan's Island premiered, a few dozen people sent
telegrams to Vandenberg Air Force Base asking the military to rescue
those castaways before they starved to death.  That's the power of
television for you: people tend to believe what they see.


[3.1]  Was Carol Brady originally a single mother? If not, what was
the fate of her first marriage in which Marcia, Jan, and Cindy came

Although we did learn in "the Honeymoon" that Mike's first wife had
died, we never found out about Carol's first husband.  However,
Sherwood Schwartz, the producer, has stated several times that Carol
was TV's first divorcee (but "A Very Brady Sequel" alleges that
Carol's first husband died at sea.) In those days, divorce was too
controversial to mention on TV.  Even 2 years later, the Mary Tyler
Moore show changed a divorce to a "broken engagement" to avoid
controversy.  The first mention of divorce on TV was around 1975
(anyone have exact show and date?)

This leads to other questions, though.
According to someone whose name I accidentally deleted:

  "If Carol was divorced, what about the girls' father?  He would have
had visitation. And why didn't the girls ever talk about their father?

Did he move to the moon, or what?  Also, why didn't the boys ever talk
about their biological mother?" 

Perhaps such discussions were not considered appropriate in that age
of television. Or, they discussed these things only on days when the
show was not broadcast.

See my list of the Top 10 Questions About
the Brady Bunch for a more thorough answer.


[3.2]  Were Mike and Carol the first TV couple to share a bed?

Contrary to popular belief (and at least one trivia book), they were
not.  Although many TV parents slept in twin beds in those days (e.g.
June and Ward Cleaver, and even Fred and Wilma Flintstone!), Mr. and
Mrs. Brady got beat to the double bed by a number of other TV couples.
They included:

            Herman and Lilly ...... "The Muensters"
            The Nelsons ........... "Ozzie and Harriet"

(Thanks to Sandra L. Griffin for identfying Ozzie and Harriet as the
first TV couple with a true means for having children :) )
Speculation on the net has included the "Green Acres" couple as well,
but this has not been confirmed.

[3.3]  Did Alice ever marry Sam the butcher?

Yes. Actually, it was still in the series that Alice Nelson announced
her engagement to Sam (but he only agreed to set the month, date, and
year, not the century). In "The Brady Girls Get Married", Alice
parenthetically mentions that she married Sam Franklin four years
earlier (which would have been 1977). And yes, they had last names. We
heard Alice's surname on TV when she won the sweepstakes.

[3.4]  How did "that lady meet that fellow"?

Although the series said nothing about how Mike and Carol first met,
in "A Very Brady Xmas" we learn that the building contractor (name
needed here) of that ill-fated construction project was the one who
introduced the two of them.

[3.5]  Who is Phoebe, the supposed "Lost Brady"?

According to some recent promos on the cable TV network Nick-at-Nite,
Phoebe was a seventh Brady kid that was in all of the episodes
originally, but edited out when the show was sold into syndication.
The reason?  Red-haired Phoebe had an obnoxious personality that did
not quite match the Brady profile.  She was the one _really_
responsible for all the mishaps in the series, e.g., Phoebe broke
mom's favorite vase but framed Peter for it, she (deliberately) hit
Marcia in the face with the football, etc.  She even picked her nose
during the opening credits!

During a Brady Marathon in June, 1998, Nick-at-Nite aired a few of
these rare scenes with footage of Phoebe, and even showed interviews
with several of the original cast members, reminiscing about how
Phoebe didn't really fit in with the rest of the family.

Of course, there was never any such character on BB.  The scenes they
showed on TV were from actual episodes, but with a red-haired girl
superimposed into the scene.  I might add that the special-effects
technology was quite impressive -- they didn't just use the typical,
obviously phony chroma-key effect.  This was such that you could even
see Phoebe's shadows on the walls!  Someone unfamiliar with the Bunch
would never know that the scenes were faked.  The fact that
Nick-at-Nite has never said otherwise (to my knowledge) explains why
so many people seem to believe that this Phoebe story was true.

See my list of the Top 10 Questions About
the Brady Bunch for a more thorough answer.



[4.1]  Was BB filmed in a real house?

No. The home you see on TV was just a set constructed inside Stage 5
on Paramount Studios' Hollywood lot. But the "first floor," from the
backyard to the front door and including the staircase, were all
really connected in one large set. The children's bedrooms and
bathroom were also connected like you saw on TV.  But Mike and Carol's
bedroom, Alice's room,  the attic, and the seldom-seen laundry room
were each independent sets.
[Question: was the upstairs hall set tied in to any of the bedrooms?
An unconfirmed report says that at any given time during production,
only 4 sets were operational.]

Notice that you never see the foreground of the bedrooms (except
occasionally the girls' bedroom window) or the front living room wall
between the dining table and the front door.  Rarely see ceilings,

[4.2]  If the Brady House is just a set, what was that house we saw in
       the establishing shots every day?

That was a real house, which was chosen solely by its appearance and
surroundings to represent the Brady home.  It is located in
California's San Fernando Valley (near Los Angeles).  According to a
recent L.A. newspaper article, the house is still there -- but is less
recognizable because of 25 years of plant growth, a missing window
(see below), a slightly different color paint job, and a fence
installed around the front yard to discourage sight-seers.  Because of
the area's nebulous boundaries, there is some disagreement as to
whether the house is located in Studio City or North Hollywood. 

Ironically, that house has only one floor -- so an extra window was
_nailed_ on to simulate the presence of an upstairs.  That prop
window, BTW, had lights in it for use when establishing an evening
scene.  Watch for it!

[4.3]  Where is this house located?

For fear of lawsuits and respect for the elderly widow that lives
there, I've decided to expurgate that information from the FAQ.  But
if you do find out the location (on the web or elsewhere), and you
must make a pilgrimage, please, PLEASE, for heaven's sake, DO NOT try
to peek in the living room window in hopes of catching a glimpse of
the inside of the Brady's home. You won't see the living room that you
saw on TV (it was all just a studio set; see previous question 4.1)
but you might see a criminal charge for trespassing and voyeurism.
This was probably why the owners of the house built a fence around the
front yard. 

People on the net have commented that the vista surrounding the house
rings more of a bell than the house itself, altered as it is, so you
really don't need to get too close to it anyway.

[4.4]  Where was that big amusement park they all went to? 
       (where Jan lost Mike's blueprints)

The park is called King's Island, and it is indeed near (but not in) 
Cincinnati, Ohio. The episode "The Cincinnati Kids" was filmed there
in 1973, one year after KI was first opened.  Many of the rides seen
on the show have long since been removed, but "The Racer" roller
coaster -- the one we saw them all ride on -- is still intact
(although they now run one of the trains backwards).

"Growing up Brady" has a whole chapter devoted to this episode. 
Williams describes how the cast escaped serious injury from a loose
film camera while shooting the roller-coaster sequence.

FWIW, a Partridge Family episode was also filmed there around the same
time, and the park was even used in a movie version of "The Banana

BTW, that park is now called "Paramount's Kings Island", as it was
bought by Paramount pictures in late 1992.  Yet Paramount is the same
company that did the Brady Bunch.  Kind of makes you wonder.

(see also rec.roller-coaster under PKI or "Beast" references)


[5.1]  Were there any technical or logistical errors in the series?

Several, though some are kind of hard to pick up out.  Here are some 
famous ones:

- In "What Goes Up...", when they get a trampoline, Greg says to Jan
"Let's see you try it, Eve."  (Jan was played by _Eve_ Plumb!)
Apparently, Carol says to Peter as "Oh, Chris!" (as in Chris Knight)
in this same episode.

- In "54, 40, and Fight", Peter's shirt changes colors while placing a
card on the house of cards.

- In the episode where Bobby appears on a kiddie TV show, they leave
in a blue convertible but return in the brown station wagon.

- In one episode (which needs identification here), Carol somehow
changes her outfit when walking from the living room to the dining

There are lots of more subtle goofs as well. Here's an error for those
of you who need proof that the Brady house was really just a set.  In
"What goes up", there is a scene where Bobby accidentally lets his pet
bird loose in the house from the the top of the steps. As the camera
follows the bird's flight path, the pitch-black ceiling of the
soundstage can be seen for a split second.
(You might need a single-frame capable VCR to see this, though.)

[5.2]  What errors/inconsistencies are there regarding the
architecture and layout of the Brady house?

Quite a few, it seems. Many of them stem from the fact that the 
house seen from the outside was not consistent from the interior -- 
since, afterall, they were not the same structures.

1) DJ Cheezy Whiz wrote:

> ... I couldn't help notice that the interior of their (Bradys')
> house never matched the exterior.  The interior was always
> larger and more spacious than you would surmise from the exterior
> shot (perhaps due to some spacial anomaly?) and the room layout
> seemed different.

Keith Ammann replied:
    Yep ... it always seemed to me that all the upstairs bedrooms HAD
    to be cantilevered off the side of the house instead of over the 
    kitchen, which wouldn't have been deep enough anyway if they WERE 
    over it.  And to think Mr. Brady was supposed to have been an   
    architect ... :-)

2) Someone noticed that the area of the house with Alice's bedroom and
the laundry room actually altered its appearance during the course of
the series. This makes sense, as the door at the far end of the
kitchen seems to have led to two different places. On one episode, we
saw soap bubbles coming out from under the door (when Bobby used a
whole box of detergent to wash his dry-clean-only slacks), so the
laundry room must have been there. But we also saw Alice retire to her
bedroom lots of times through that same door.  Was there a second door
off the laundry room?

Notice that a delivery boy once entered the kitchen through that door
as well.  There must have been a third entrance back there somewhere.

3) Mike asks Greg to hose down the screens and store them in the
cellar.  We never saw a basement, though, nor did we ever see any
stairs to get there.

4) In "A Room at the Top", when the boys are hauling the mattress up
the attic stairs, the steps go straight to the door.  But when
observing someone going down the steps from the attic itself, the door
is on the left side.

5) According to Chris Mulvihill:

    The Mailslot/mailbox.  In various episodes, there is a mailbox
(fine, I have a mailbox too.)  In others there is a mailslot (also
fine, many well-adjusted people have mailslots) the problem is from
what I know about the house, the mailslot led into a wall.  The
mailslot was on the left hand side of the front door on the wall.
Where would this lead to? A closet?

[5.3]  In what city was The Brady Bunch set?

The show was set somewhere in southern California.  My best guess is
one of the Los Angeles suburbs but not the city itself.  There was
really nothing, other than the southern locale and California license
plates, in the original series to suggest a location.  In "A Very
Brady Christmas," they used Los Angeles International Airport and its
famous Theme Building as the setting of the airport, and the "Miracle
on 34th Street" scene used Los Angeles city street signs.  In "The
Bradys," Mike was elected to the city council, but nowhere was it
stated which city, so it could be Burbank or Riverside or Covina or
Torrance or Fountain Valley or possibly 200 others.  

Recent observation: When Jan once to buy some freckle remover, we saw
an exterior shot of a "Valley Pharmacy".

The BB Variety Show, OTOH, was set in Malibu, with Greg's bachelor pad
in Santa Monica. However, this cannot be considered canonical since
that spin-off was not produced by the original creators. 

[5.4]  Why was there only one bathroom for six kids?

Maybe Mike wasn't such a good architect afterall. (Sherwood Schwartz
and some of the cast members report that they are asked this question
more than any other.) Here are some explanations.

1. When the house was built, Marsha, Jan, and Cindy didn't live there.
2. Homes, even ritzy ones, had fewer bathrooms then than they do
3. Another bathroom would have eliminated a lot of the interplay among
the kids.
4. Having another bathroom would require another set 
5. When there's only one bathroom for six kids, you need to have
"calm, cool reasoning".

The one-bathroom issue was also brought up in the series. The whole
discussion of moving was sparked by one of the boys cutting through
the girls' bedroom (walking in on a partly undressed Marcia) because
the other two bathroom doors were locked. The ensuing argument ended
with the words "we need a bigger house." [editor's note: I always
found it amusing that Marcia was too embarassed for her brother to see
her in her underwear, but OK for 30 million TV viewers.]  Of course,
the prospect of losing the famous Brady house quickly gets the kids to
reconsider, one bathroom or not.

[5.5]  How many bathrooms were there in that house?

Let's see, there was... 
-- The ever-popular kids' restroom.
-- The bathroom in the parents' bedroom.  We saw Mike go back there
once to get some after-shave off the shelf for Greg's hot date, but we
never saw the rest of its interior. 
-- A bathroom behind the stairs. Although the door was always there,
we didn't learn what it was for until "A Very Brady Xmas" when the two
boys were searching for it in the middle of the night. This one must
have served as a powder room for company use.
-- Speculation on the Net says that Alice had her own bathroom as
well. Otherwise, in order to take a shower she'd have to go upstairs
and either compete for the already overcrowded kids' bathroom, or use
the one in Mike and Carol's bedroom (not a likely situation for the
help to use the owners' facilities). But where could it be located?

Regarding that last point, it is entirely possible that the bathroom
behind the steps, though presumed to be a 1/2 bath, may actually have
been a full bath for Alice.  Taking this a step further, we could
conjecture that the restroom had a second door leading directly to
Alice's bedroom for maximum privacy.

Note: In The BB Movie, a neighbor character stated that there was only
one bathroom for nine people.  Given the evidence listed above,
perhaps  we should assume he was just being sarcastic. That character
also said he "...never did see a toilet" (see next question)

[5.6]  Why wasn't there a toilet in the kids' bathroom?

One of the books says that a toilet was put in there when the set was
first constructed, but the network executives quickly ordered it

The best explanation is that the Brady Bunch, as well as all TV of the
time, was supposed to portray an immaculate image of the family. 
Despite the fact that having a toilet obviously does not make one 
"immoral" or "unclean", a commode would still serve as a reminder that
the Brady kids would, ahem, have a need to use it.  (Just try to
mentally juxtapose your favorite Brady kid and a porcelain throne, and
you'll see what I mean.)  But how many other TV shows had toilets in
them back then?  Or even bathrooms for that matter.

This leads to one other question: How did the Brady kids answer calls
to nature?  Sorry, I don't know the answer to this one either.  Maybe
they used an outhouse out behind the carport.  :)

Actually, there was a toilet in there -- somehow we just couldn't see
it.  In "My Brother's Keeper", Bobby yells to Peter "The bathroom's on
_my_ side of no-mans land!!"  He then walks into the john off-camera,
and we hear a toilet flush. But this was a later episode, after Archie
Bunker had made TV flushing popular.

[5.7]  What was the door at the top of the stairs used for?

No one knows for sure, although it was apparently opened in "Brady
Christmas".  Perhaps that's where the toilet was kept .

[5.8]  Why did Mike say: 
       "The attic? That'd be great if Greg were 2 1/2 feet tall"?

Mike uttered this line in "Our Son, the Man" in reference to a
separate bedroom for Greg.  Only problem is, Greg did in fact move to
the attic 2 years later in "A Room at the Top".  There are several
possible explanations for this continuity error:  

1) Schwartz decided that the idea of a bachelor apartment for Greg
outweighed an insignificant story constraint.  

2) Mike knew that the attic was big enough, but had collectibles or
adult magazines stashed up there that he didn't want Greg to get his
mitts on.  

3) After some storm damage or a tree fell on the house, the roof was 
partially rebuilt with the clearance of the rafters raised to a height
suitable for human habitation.  

4) All the junk stored up in the attic (which was cleaned out the day 
Greg moved in) made it impractical for a taller person to live up

Other theories state that the house was actually built by M.C. Escher 
(thanks, Chris Mulvihill) or Greg shrunk to a height of 2 1/2 feet in
the interim.


[6.1]  What is the connection between The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's

1) Sherwood Schwartz was the creator and producer of both. 

2) In "The Snooperstar", Penelope Fletcher was played by Natalie
Schaefer, alias Mrs. Howell.  Jim Backus, a.k.a. Thurston Howell III,
appeared twice on BB:  as Zacchariah (the swindling gold prospector)
in "Ghost Town USA", and as Mr. Matthews (Mike's boss) in "The

3) In "The Brady Girls Get Married", when Mike was asked if he was
busy, he jokingly replied: "No. Unless you consider watching re-runs
of Gilligan's Island to be important." 

4) There were BB and GI episodes which used the same device.  One
example: a magic trick is performed in which a volunteer steps into a
booth to disappear, and, once inside, sneaks out the secret door and
hides, causing a stir.

5) The Brady Bunch Movie had two references to GI. Both involved
Holly, Peter's love interest in the film. The lines were: 

-- HOLLY: Peter is cute ... in a Gilligan sort of way.

-- PETER: (After Holly plants a lingering smooch on Pete's lips) 
"Wow, you're better than Ginger and Mary Ann combined!"

6) A Very Brady Sequel had an even stronger reference to GI.  The
point is made that Carol's first husband was named Roy Martin, and he
died in a shipwreck -- in a boat called the "Minnow" captained by
someone named Gilligan! (Actually, the professor on Gilligan's Island
was named Roy Hinkley)

[6.2]  What is "Eve's Plumb"?

Eve's Plumb is a New York-based rock band named for the actress that
played Jan Brady.


Keith Ammann 
David Brady (yes, that's his real name!)
Sandra L. Griffin 
Tony Hill 
Karen (Miss Midi) 
Chris Mulvihill 
DJ Cheezy Whiz 

Got any additions/corrections/gripes/queries/comments? Write me.

Michael E. Kotler

Michael E. Kotler
[clear spamfilter before replying]
The return address is really "erols.com". (Er[r]ol Flynn, get it? ;) )
I've had to get creative to foil the spammers.

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