If we learned anything from the “Brady Bunch,” it’s that major family crises can be resolved in under 30 minutes–as long as you have a father who is unwavering in his moral certainty, a supportive and unquestioning mom, and a live-in maid who’s never at a loss for a well-timed (yet corny) quip. Here, we present are our favorite intentional and unintentional life lessons from the quintessential ‘70s sitcom family:
1. You are beautiful, no matter what they say
Jan Brady was feeling a little under-appreciated, so she decided to don a black curly wig to “stand out” at a birthday party. Instead, her friends pointed and laughed at her ridiculous hairdo. After leaving the party in tears, Jan’s friends explained that the only reason they were laughing was because her natural blonde hair is beautiful–and so is she.
2. If you’re bullied for being in the glee club by your football team, Deacon Jones will set them straight
Peter, who sang in the glee club, was mercilessly teased by the guys on his football team for being a “canary.” Luckily for Peter, it just so happened that football great Deacon Jones was on hand to give his team a few pointers during practice. After one of Pete’s teammates dismissed him for being a “sissy,” the famed defensive end set the team straight in a hurry. “I sing. Does that make me a sissy?” No. No, Deacon Jones, it does not.
3. Don’t let your gender define you
After being interviewed about the women’s liberation movement by a local reporter, Marcia decided to prove that girls can do anything boys can do by joining the Frontier Scouts. Meanwhile, Greg had Peter join the Sunflower Girls to show his sister how ridiculous she’s being. Naturally, Peter was humiliated when he was forced to sell cookies door-to-door. Meanwhile, Marcia scored a victory for feminism by excelling as a probationary Frontier Scout.
4. Don’t visit a random ghost town, or you may be locked up by Thurston Howell III
During a brief detour on their trip to the Grand Canyon, the Bradys encountered a kooky old prospector who was convinced that the clan was going to steal his gold claim. The prospector, who looked suspiciously like the wealthy retiree from "Gilligan's Island," locked up the Bradys–and Alice–overnight in the abandoned jail. Naturally, the Bradys worked as a team, stringing shoelaces together to lasso a set of keys and make their daring escape.
5. Promising your school that you can get Davy Jones to sing at the dance will result in Davy Jones singing at the dance
Marcia didn’t really have insider access to the Justin Bieber of the ‘70s, but she was president of the local Davy Jones fan club, and figured that would go a long way in convincing the superstar to sing at her high school dance. Wrong! Or right? After a series of shenanigans, Marcia managed to persuade Davy Jones’ manager to have him do some crooning at the dance. Marcia even got a kiss from the Monkees star!
6. Don’t befriend a plain Jane because she may secretly be hot
Ever the do-gooder, Marcia Brady decided that she’s going to help shy and nerdy Molly Webber become more popular with the help of a makeover. Trouble was, Marcia’s makeover worked a little too well, and Molly became the new class hottie–much to Marcia’s consternation. All is set right in the world when Molly apologized to Marcia after she realized that she’d been a bit of an arrogant jerk.
7. If you find an ancient tiki during your trip to Hawaii, just leave it alone or Vincent Price may hold you captive
Not long after Bobby found an unusual amulet in Hawaii, the entire Brady clan had a series of unfortunate incidents. Greg wiped out in a surfing accident, Peter had a run-in with a tarantula and Bobby was almost hit with a framed picture that fell off a wall in their hotel room. When the boys tried to break the curse and return the tiki, they were held hostage by a slightly deranged archeologist. Happily, the boys were released and all was forgiven at the Brady family luau.
8. The family dentist is just not that into you
Marcia had a crush on a sexy, older man–too bad he’s married with kids. However, Marcia was not put off by the challenges facing a high school student wanting to date a 30-something dentist. She spent her days fantasizing about Dr. Vogel cleaning her teeth, among other things. To Marcia’s chagrin, Dr. Vogel was more interested in her skills as a babysitter than as a jailbait lover.
9. Wield power wisely
Bobby became a pint-sized dictator at his grade school when he was named Snitch–um, Safety–Monitor. Marching around the hallways with a clipboard, Bobby’s mini-power trip got out of control when wrote up classmates–and his siblings–for excessively minor infractions. Detested and ignored, Bobby realized that finking can leave you friendless.
10. Necessity is the mother of invention (or of singing groups, anyway)
Math was clearly not Jan’s best subject, as she miscalculated the price of engraving a silver platter that the Brady kids bought for their parents’ anniversary. Needing cash quick, the six siblings performed “Keep on Movin’” and “Sunshine Day” on a local TV talent contest. The kids may not have won the contest, but they won their mom and dad's hearts (and fear not–Mike and Carol finally got the platter).
11. Don’t break a date with a nerd, lest you be bonked on the nose with a football
Marcia wanted to dump dull Charley for a date with hunky Doug Simpson, and used Greg’s favorite excuse to ditch an unwanted date, “something suddenly came up.” But the day before her date with big man on campus Doug, Marcia got a football in the face, ruining her perfect little nose. Superficial Simpson had no use for a girl with a swollen schnoz and dumped her. Marcia goes out with sweet Charley, and realized that looks don’t matter– it’s the person inside that counts (yeah, right).
12. Don’t think you’re all that, Cindy Brady
Cindy, not usually the brightest bulb in the Brady chandelier, inexplicably earned a spot on a local quiz show. Naturally, “the youngest one in curls” became very full of herself, to the annoyance of her siblings. Cindy got her comeuppance when she froze on camera and couldn’t answer any of the show’s questions.
13. If the suit fits...don't wear it anyway
After hearing Greg perform in a studio with his siblings, a slick talent scout and his foxy assistant tried to get the eldest Brady sign a record contract–without his brothers and sisters. Greg’s proto-fame went to his head and he announced to his family that he was going to forgo college for rock stardom as “Johnny Bravo.” Unfortunately, Greg learned that they only wanted to sign him because he “fit the suit,” not because of his musical talents. Ever the Brady, Greg walked away from the lucrative deal on principal.
14. Lying about knowing Joe Namath gets you a chance to meet Joe Namath
Bobby’s imagination got the better of him when he started bragging to friends that he knew New York Jets superstar Joe Namath. Naturally, his friends didn’t believe him, so sister Cindy stepped in and wrote “Broadway Joe” a letter claiming that Bobby was critically ill and his last dying wish was to meet the quarterback. Cindy’s plan worked, but not before having their fraud discovered by mom and dad. (Side note: Why was Bobby, who lived in what was then Rams country, a Jets fan?)
15. Goats in the attic are a baaaaad thing
Greg was somehow tasked with caring for a goat that was swiped from Coolidge, a rival high school. Because of nosy siblings and an acoustically favorable air vent, the mascot, named Rachel, is misunderstood to be a girl that Greg had snuck into his bedroom. As a result, Greg and dad Mike had the most sexually suggestive conversation in the series’ run.
16. Don’t get an after-school job where your sister works
Marcia, drunk with power after landing the coveted job of soda jerk at the local ice cream parlor, turned into a real jerk when her sister Jan ended up working with her. Despite Marcia’s ambitions to become manager–and eventually partner–of the shop, their boss, Mr. Haskell, decided that Jan is just “a little bit better” than Marcia at the job, and she got the boot.
17. Blended families don’t include cousins
Midway into the fifth season, the Bradys welcomed a small, round-headed interloper into their tight-knit family. Well, perhaps “welcome” isn’t the right word. Cousin Oliver was labeled a “jinx” and never really fit in with the Brady clan. Ominously, the show was cancelled just a few episodes after his first appearance.
18. Quit while you’re ahead or your hair will turn orange
After failing to sell a single bottle of “Neat & Natural” hair tonic, mom Carol reminded Bobby that “quitters never win and winners never quit.” Maybe Bobby should have quit before he unloaded a bottle of the stuff to his big brother Greg. Big mistake. On the eve of his high school graduation, an application of the tonic turns Greg’s bright orange. But don’t worry–a quick trip to the beauty parlor solved everything.