14 teeny details you never noticed in 'The Brady Bunch'

It truly was a family affair for some actors on the show.

We know the Brady house like our own childhood home. That mod staircase. The orange kitchen. The astroturf backyard. The Jack-and-Jill bathroom. Mike's office. The brick entryway. The clown paintings in the boys' room.

That being said, we bet there are some details in the home — and throughout the entire show — that escaped your eye. It's no wonder, these are small props and inside references we're talking about.

Take a look at 14 fascinating things your eyes perhaps missed.

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1. There's a tiny Star Trek cameo, of sort.


In the episode "Kitty-Karry-All Is Missing," Cindy's beloved baby doll disappears. She blames Bobby, who never liked the thing. To show he cares for his stepsister, Bobby heads to the toy store to buy a replacement. At the start of the scene, the shopkeeper helps a mother and her child. Behind him, you can spot a strange Star Trek toy from the era, the Flying Rocket Plane. It was made by Remco, who produced an entire line of not-related-to-the-show-at-all toys for Star Trek.

2. The Bradys go camping at a familiar Mayberry pond.


In "A-Camping We Will Go," the entire gang pitches tents in the wilderness alongside a tranquil lake. It should look familiar to TV fanatics, as its the very same body of water seen in the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show. The Franklin Canyon Reservoir turned up in several episodes of that show, not to mention an episode of Star Trek.

3. Mike has a drawing of the Bradys' backyard in his office.


Mike was pretty proud of his own backyard. In his office, behind his desk, he has a drawing of the Bradys' backyard hanging on the wall, as you can see in "Is There a Doctor in the House?" Perhaps this was a concept sketch used in the production of the show?

4. There's a reason for the random close-ups of seat belts.


Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard went into effect at the start of 1968. The federal law required — for the first time — that cars had to be equipped with seat belts. To help encourage the use of seat belts, The Brady Bunch threw in a couple unnecessary close-ups of buckling belts in "Tiger, Tiger." After all, if this family did it, shouldn't yours?

5. The show paid tribute to a special Dodger.


Hall of Famer and 1962 Cy Young Award winner Don Drysdale guest stars in "The Dropout." There's a minor tribute to the Dodger legend on Greg's uniform. He's wearing number 53, the same worn by the baseball star.

6. The Bradys keep changing their phone number.


No wonder nobody called Jan for a date — her home phone number kept changing. In "The Babysitters," we see Carol call home from a restaurant. She dials 222-1116 on a rotary payphone. In "The Not-So-Ugly Duckling," Jan tells the operator the home number is 762-0799. Then, in "Mail Order Hero," the one with Joe Namath, we learn that 555-6161 is the Brady number. At least they didn't have to deal with cellphone plans.

7. The real daughters of Robert Reed and Florence Henderson make cameos.


A gaggle of teenage girls turn up for a sleepover in "The Slumber Caper." A few of them had special ties to the show. Redheaded Ruthie was played by Barbara Henderson, daughter of Florence, while Karen in the red pajamas and pigtails is Carolyn Reed (now Karen Rietz), daughter of Robert. Oh, and of course there is Hope Juber portraying Jenny. She was the daughter of series creator Sherwood Schwartz, and popped up in a few episodes herself.

8. A Peanuts character pops up.


An infamous black wig steals the show in "Will the Real Jan Brady Please Stand Up?" However, pay close attention to the party scene, being held at the house of a schoolgirl called "Lucy." Why was the character given that name? Well, she was played by Pamelyn Ferdin, who voiced the beloved Peanuts character Lucy in many Charlie Brown animated television specials. It was a little in-joke.

9. Hey, that's Uncle Fester!


Speaking of famous faces answering the door, let's jump ahead to "Double Parked." Alice and the kids go door to door in the neighborhood to help save a local park. Cindy and Bobby ring the bell of an older fellow. He's played by Jackie Coogan, best known for playing Fester on The Addams Family, though it's hard to recognize him with a mustache and more hair.

10. Eve Plumb played her own aunt.


In "Jan's Aunt Jenny," Jan gets a vision of her older self when she learns her elder Aunt Jenny once looked just like her. To prove the point, they show us a photo of young Aunt Jenny. Eve Plumb posed for the retro photograph.

11. Cindy sticks her tongue out.


Susan Olsen later confessed she was having trouble memorizing lines for "Cindy Brady, Lady." At the end of one scene in the kitchen, after she and Tommy Jamison give Alice flowers, Cindy leaves the frame… and breaks character. Olsen sticks out her tongue and makes an icky face. The frustrated actress thought they were still rehearsing. The shot stayed in.

12. Meet the original Jan Brady.


When the series was in development, Sherwood Schwartz cast brunette Debi Storm in the role of Jan Brady. He later decided he wanted all the girls to be blonde and the role was recast with Eve Plumb. At least Storm got to appear on the show. She plays classmate Molly Webber, who memorably appears in the Pygmalion spoof My Fair Opponent.

13. Marcia must have donated her clothes.


Marcia Brady was quite the fashion plate. The oldest Brady girl was always sporting the hippest fashions. It seems as if her classmates got her hand-me-downs. In "Greg's Triangle," we see Westdale High beauty Jennifer Nichols in an orange top over a black-and-white skirt. Well, that look was so last year. Marcia wore the exact outfit in "Getting Davy Jones." Jennifer later wears another Marcia outfit — a baby blue turtleneck — from the same episode during the cheerleader tryouts.

14. Christopher Knight's dad plays a game show host.


The host of Question the Kids looks like a dead ringer for modern-day Christopher Knight. With good reason. That is Edward Knight in the role of Monty Marshall.

SEE MORE: 17 little details you never noticed in the 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' opening credits


Take a trip around Minneapolis in this detailed look at the classic sitcom's intro. READ MORE

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Amandamia 11 months ago
Can someone please tell me why Mr Brady always got out on the passenger side of the car when he parked in the driveway?? Don't know why it bugs me so much!!
Blue52 16 months ago
Robert Reed's real name was John Robert Reitz. He was born in Highland Park Illinois and was burried in a cemetery in Skokie Illinois. Reed was a closeted gay man in real life. Although he did play a transgender character on television; a character transitioning from male to female; in a 1975 episode of the tv drama "Medical Center".
Blue52 16 months ago
Chris Beaumont was on this show 5 different times playing 5 different characters, (usually villains). He also played a character named Jerry on this show and the Partridge Family!
bradyguy Blue52 15 months ago
Oops...no. Chris Beaumont appeared only FOUR times on The BB. He was in "Our Son, The Man" (Groovy threads guy), "The Wheeler-Dealer" (Greg's friend, Eddie), "A Room at the Top" (Hank Carter), and "Quarterback Sneak" (Rival quarterback Jerry Rogers). ONLY Jerry is a villain.
Blue52 16 months ago
I think it's hilarious when any kid has any kind of a party on this show, they're all dressed super fancy to the nines like they're going to the opera. And these were teenagers. In the 60s. In Los Angeles. They more likely would have all been wearing tie-dye t shirts and bell bottom jeans!
bradyguy Blue52 15 months ago
Well...the 70s actually (The first BB party is Lucy Winter's party...). But, yeah...
JDnHuntsvilleAL 41 months ago
"Sherwood Schwartz cast brunette Debi Storm in the role of Jan Brady. He later decided he wanted all the girls to be blonde and the role was recast with Eve Plumb."

So, instead of dying Debi's hair blonde, which girls often did, he selected another actress, but he forces Mike Lookinland to dye HIS hair from blonde to dark brown.

May the Schwartz go with you.
bradyguy JDnHuntsvilleAL 28 months ago
Hmmmm...has anybody ever seen or heardANY actual evidence to support this statement about Debi Storm being cast as Jan??? Where did you get this information, MeTV?

Schwartz did not "LATER" decide that he wanted all the girls to be blonde. He had always planned on the girls ALL matching their mother's hair...and the boys all matching their father. As the stories go, he was prepared to hire brunette girls and blonde boys, if necessary...once he had decided on his Mike and Carol.

This is one of the GRAND BB trivial pursuits of all time. WHO, exactly, were the brunette girls and blonde boys that were ALMOST the Brady Kids? I, along with several others, have tried to find answers for many, many years now; Sherwood Schwartz, nor anybody associated with the show, never really said much about it. My own suspicion is that frequent BB guest start Chris Beaumont might have been in the mix as a "blonde Greg".

Perhaps Storm simply wasn't a "must-have" worthy of hair dye. Schwartz described Lookinland as the best actor among the kids...get that blonde boy some Just for Men!!
Blue52 bradyguy 16 months ago
It's a well-known fact Debbi Storm was the original Jan. If you notice, she's Marcia's age, not Jan's. The original Marcia was going to be much older than Maureen McCormick.
bradyguy Blue52 15 months ago
I gotcha. But I'm not sure if I'd call it a "well-known fact". Several articles have used the exact same wording used here about Debi Storm supposed being cast as Jan, but there's never been any attribution from either Sherwood, or anybody involved with the casting process. It's very possible...just never verified. There's a really bad YouTube interview with Debi Storm about her ep, but she doesn't mention it at all. I've also seen a message board where a "Debi Storm" herself posted to talk about "My Fair Opponent", but also doesn't mention the "Jan" thing.

But your comment about their ages is wrong. Debi Storm is NOT "Marcia's age". Debi is a few months younger than Eve Plumb...and nearly TWO YEARS younger than Mo. Why would that have any relation on how old "Marcia" was going to be. And again...you say "the original Marcia". What does that mean? To whom are you referring? And what are your sources? If you've got some info on the "Brunette Brady Girls" and the "Blonde Brady Boys", I'd love to see/hear it. There are many of us who have been searching for those trivia nuggets for years! That would be a good get!
JohnBates 42 months ago
Adam-12 did the "seatbelt thing" as well.
JohnnyBravo1955 53 months ago
I've noticed in "My Sister, Benedict Arnold" that during the scene where Greg was whining about Warren Mullaney, he cried tears of anger. When Mike starts talking to him, you can notice Greg wiping his eyes when the camera focuses on his dad. I can totally understand it, because a lot of people (such as myself) shed tears when they're angry.
jholton30062 56 months ago
#12 - I think Debi Storm would have been happy to dye her hair blonde for the part. But I'm glad Eve Plumb got it.
Wiseguy 56 months ago
Pamelyn Ferdin also starred in the 1968-69 series Blondie (as Cookie) with Peter Robbins (as Alexander), who was the original voice of Charlie Brown. Ferdin and Robbins both voiced their Peanuts characters in "It was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown" and the first Peanuts movie "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" (both 1969).
Blue52 Wiseguy 16 months ago
She also was a recurring character on The Odd Couple. She played Edna Unger, Felix's daughter, and three episodes and even uttered the iconic catch phrase line from the series: "Oscar! Oscar! Oscar!"
bradyguy Blue52 4 months ago
Hmmm...did she say the line in SEVERAL episodes??? (She only appeared in three, right???) Otherwise, it's not a catchphrase, is it??

Coincidentally, it's very similar to "Marcia Marcia Marcia", which people keep calling a "catchprase"...but isn't. Jan said it one episode. Melanie Hutsell made it a "thing" on SNL in the early 90s...
Wiseguy 56 months ago
Not only is #10 not something nobody noticed it's also quite obvious. Did anyone think that was an old picture of Imogene Coca?
bradyguy Wiseguy 28 months ago
LOL....I love Imogene...but I'm not sure she was a pretty young thing like Plumb.

Of course, they had to use a picture of Plumb...this sets up the whole ep...
Blue52 bradyguy 16 months ago
It makes sense they had Eve Plumb pose for the "Young Jenny" picture. But hilariously they used a black and white photo (like they didn't have color photos back then!) And even more hilariously they also have her in braids and with a pioneer girl dress as if it's the 1870s or something. Jan is about 15 in this episode. Imogene was born in 1908. That means the picture of "Young Jenny" would have been taken in about 1923. She should have been wearing a "Thoroughly Modern Millie" flapper girl type outfit; not dressed as a pioneer girl. Their timing is way off!
bradyguy Blue52 15 months ago
Yeah, you're right, Blue...they messed that one up big time...Aunt Jenny was NOT 110!!

Although the ages of the Brady kids have often come into question...I would put Jan at about 13 in this ep, (Eve Plumb’s age!) as she’s about 15 when the show ends… There are only a few direct references to the BB kids' ages during the show, but most fans have assumed (rightly or wrongly) over the years that the kids are each about one year apart…sort of.

From "A Room At The Top" - Mike says Greg is a year older than Marcia. She gets her license in "Driver's Seat" and Greg has already been driving for over a year...or maybe even 1 ½ or 2...so that tracks...sort of. BUT...Greg is a high-school freshman in 70-71...and "Today I Am A Freshman" has Marcia starting high school in 1972. So, perhaps he's one year older, but TWO grades ahead???

Hmmm...that would make Marcia an 8th grader in October, 1971. Which would track with her "Getting Davy Jones" and battling "My Fair Opponent" (we're back to Molly Webber now!) later that year.

But this where it gets a bit murky for Peter/Jan AND Bobby/Cindy The "school" thing has always screwed up the timelines a bi!

Marcia, Peter, and Jan are all at the same school together - when they all perform in Romeo and Juliet in "Juliet is the Sun". Two weeks before, we had the ep "My Sister, Benedict Arnold" where were treated to Kathy Lawrence's classic cheer F,F,F-I-L, L,L,L-M-O, O,O, O-R-E...FILLMORE Junior High...But here in Southern California (where I grew up in the 60s and 70s and most BB fans agree the show was set) - "Junior" High Schools were nearly ALWAYS 7th and 8th grade, which would put Peter and Jan in the SAME grade. We didn’t really have “Middle” Schools here, but if it WAS 6,7,8, then perhaps Peter was in 7th grade, and Jan was only in 6th? Which could actually make her closer to 12(!) in “Jan’s Aunt Jenny”.

When Cindy gets on the quiz show in "You Can't Win 'Em All", it SEEMS like she and Bobby are in the same grade, because Bobby gets picked from HIS class to take the test. Yes, the quiz show could have featured one kid from EACH grade, but when Cindy finally appears on the show, all of the kids appear to be the same age.

But there ARE problems with their ages/grades/positions/activiies in school in some episodes…but perhaps that’s another post.

Jon 56 months ago
Jackie Coogan played a longer part as Harry Duggan in "The Fender Benders". In this one, Harry tried to blame a small accident on Carol & wore a phony neck brace for sympathy in court later. Mike later proved the neck brace a fake.
Wiseguy Jon 56 months ago
Sounds like The Partridge Family episode with Harry Morgan.
RobCertSDSCascap Jon 56 months ago
Mike got him with the ol' briefcase trick!
AllisonWunderland 56 months ago
Wow! Christopher Knight really resembles his Dad a whole bunch
And (unfortunately) Carolyn Reed looks like her father.
bradyguy MaryMitch 28 months ago
LOL...that's a bit insulting... I think most people would describe Robert Reed as handome...above-average at least... Compared to say...Fred MacMurray...Bill Bixby...Ozzie Nelson...Hugh Beaumont??

"Ruthie", played by Barbara BERNSTEIN, NOT Henderson, actually seems less attractive...but I think it's the hairdo...or lack thereof... Also, "Jenny" was played by Hope SHERWOOD...she was years away from marrying a Juber...
Pacificsun 56 months ago
Good article. Enjoyable backstory details!
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