Episode 5: My Sister, Benedict Arnold

Hello again readers, friends and family.  This week we resume our regular review of “The Brady Bunch” with “My Sister, Benedict Arnold”. It is a fun episode overall and has Greg and Marcia really playing with the emotions of others. There is a subplot involving a dunking booth for a junior high school carnival as well. Let’s commence to reviewing “My Sister, Benedict Arnold”!


The story opens with Alice and Peter hard at work on a dunking booth for the junior high school carnival.  Did Mike Brady build this thing?  If so, they must be expecting to make quite a haul dunking people in it to cover the cost of all those materials.  If it was something the school system had on hand, was it delivered to the Brady house, stripped of paint, to be decorated?  One final scenario is some other parent or school board patron donated it for the cause and had it sent to the Brady driveway for cleaning and decorating before having it trucked over to the school.  The thing is not on wheels, so one would expect a forklift or hydraulic lifter of some sort would be needed to get that thing moved.


While the work is being done, Greg arrives home looking really hacked off.   We soon learn he has lost his place on the first string basketball team to Warren Mullaney.  Since we see Greg carrying a basketball,  one must wonder if he stole one from the school as severance for his demotion or maybe he carries his own around to show his love of the sport, hence his ire at being reduced to second string.   Peter now understands Greg’s angst as this same Warren Mullaney also beat out Greg for student council president.  Warren ran on a campaign of false promises!


While Greg is having a terrible day, Marcia arrives home walking on air.  A high school boy has asked her to the pizza parlor!  References like this on any old sitcom always made me laugh.  Was the Brady’s suburb so small that it had only one pizza place?  Never in my own life have I heard a pizza restaurant called a pizza parlor.  And if pizza is the food of choice, the place it is to be purchased is always named (Papa John’s, Dominoes, etc).  For now, her destination with her suitor is “the pizza parlor”.  Perhaps that was the name of the restaurant.  The owner sought to be clever and named the establishment “The Pizza Parlor”.  Marcia’s great news brings with it some bad news for Greg.  The fellow who wants a date with Marcia is Greg’s arch nemesis Warren Mullaney!  With this scene, we get another glimpse of some of the hallway seating offered in the Brady house!

Tan crown molding is the perfect compliment to gray pressboard paneling.

The next scene begins in the boys’ room and it shows the molding that tops their talkbedroom wall.  I don’t recall ever seeing this before.   Mike comes in to chat with Greg about the events of the day.  Mike assures him that if what Greg says about Warren always goofing off is true, the coach will soon see this and take appropriate action.   Surely the coach did not put Warren on the first string squad because he doesn’t play the game well!  Even if he is a goof-off, he must have some skills on the court.   The next visitor to see Greg is Marcia.  She is looking for the knowlow down on Warren.  Before she can reveal to Greg the classmate she will be seeing that night, he makes known his distaste for Warren.  He states Warren Mullaney tops his crumb list, can be found at the bottom and everywhere in between!  Such harsh name calling in referring to a most hated person as a “crumb” takes us back to a much simpler time.  If such a reference were made on a sitcom today, there’d no doubt be some language parents would find objectionable for small children to listen to or repeat.


Downstairs, Marcia and Carol work on the booth decorations and discuss Marcia’s new suitor.  Carol says she and Mike will want to meet the boy before he takes her to the pizza parlor.  Marcia questions the situation of Greg not liking Warren Mullaney.  Carol assures her that is Greg’s problem.  Based on Greg’s description of the guy thus far, it seems Mike and Carol might have reason to be concerned.  He sounds to be a lying and conniving student politician who sucks up to the basketball coach and likes to goof off!  It would be interesting to see Warren arriving smelling like an ashtray, cussing like a sailor and making crude remarks to Carol.  How would Mike and Carol cancel Marcia’s pending date right in front of the boy?

Marcia is concerned about Warren and Greg crossing paths when arrives, but Alice distractassures her Greg is at the library.  Alice cracks a joke about Greg getting a book on witchcraft and to not be surprised if Warren turns into a frog.  Marcia does not find this to be funny at all.  With the chime of the doorbell, Marcia knows Warren has arrived.  In the most inconvenient of timing, Greg arrives home.  Alice distracts Greg by giving him some pie.  He says this will be his third helping, but obliges her.  Meanwhile, Marcia and Warren are in the living room being spied on by the remaining Brady siblings.  Greg has finished his slice of pie and wants to go up to his room and arrivedstudy for a test the following day.  I pondered what kind of test it was if he was checking out a library book the night before to study for it.  Alice tries to detain him by offering a fourth slice of pie with ice cream but he is not having it.  As he enters the living room, he notices Warren sitting there.  Warren greets Greg warmly, but Greg ignores his cordiality.  Somehow, Greg’s disdain of Warren escaped the guy’s notice.  He greets Greg as though they are friends.  He even questions what Greg is “so sore” about.  Maybe this is part of his good politicking and sucking up skill.    Mike and Carol enter the room to meet Warren as Greg storms angrily upstairs.


The next scene beings with Carol on the phone with Martha.  She is just as chatty as we have experienced her being in previous episodes.  Between Martha and Ellie calling, Carol must rue answering the phone as she always seems irritated when speaking to them.  Marcia arrives home and says her date with Warren was nothing special.  He even wore some smelly aftershave she mistook for pepperoni pizza.  This is one of those small throw-away jokes that dotted the Brady Bunch.  They were never that funny and added only to the “corny” label the show gets with so many detractors.  I’ve often pondered what the producers sought to accomplish through them.


As the kids make their nightly toilet, we get one of those classic sitcom moments where a character speaks too soon and either continues or escalates the dilemma at hand.  The audience knows what was about to be shared by Marcia and then experiences with her the increased ire generated by Greg demanding she not see Warren.  Not wanting to be bossed by her older brother, Marcia will continue seeing Warren out of spite!

The next morning, in a laugh out loud moment, Marcia and Greg leer at one another over their bowls of cereal.  The other kids are arguing over the contents of their lunch bags.  Why doesn’t Alice just pack the same thing for each of them, or know what they like and pack and label each bag?  Such arguing every morning would get old quickly!  Alice puts a stop to it announcing whatever they hold in their hand at that moment is their lunch for the day.  With the other kids gone, Mike and Carol discuss Greg and Marcia’s dilemma.  Greg has been made aware that Marcia is seeing Warren after school and asking him to junior high carnival!  Marcia is dismissed to leave and Greg is kept back.  He is told by Mike and Carol that as long as they approve, Marcia may have over any guest she likes.  Greg asks if the same applies to him and they confirm it does.  Greg does refer to Warren as “My worst enemy in my own home”.  Geez Greg, it seems like the guy has never targeted you specifically, just horned in on things you felt entitled to.  Declaring him your worst enemy is kind of extreme.

The scene that follows shows the dunking booth decorated and in action.  One will notice here the sign across the front that reads “Brady Booth”.  Did each family taking part in the carnival identify their booth via surname?  One would think a booth would be identified with the “Athletic Department”, “Debate Team”, etc.  I guess the Bradys put a lot of time and effort and wanted it known the dunking booth was THEIR contribution to the carnival.  Cindy is the first to be dropped into the water.  Bobby is very anxious for his turn in the dunking booth.  Peter asks Bobby when is he going to grow up.  In a funny reply, Bobby says, “When I get older.”  Before Bobby can have his turn, Carol calls Peter inside to work on his homework and will hear no objections.  I recall the scene ending here with poor Bobby not getting his turn being dunked into the water.  However, the DVD has him activating the dunking device himself and Peter saying Bobby “makes a dumb looking mermaid”.


That afternoon we see Greg and Marcia at their worst.  I don’t recall such levels of underhandedness on their part occurring on the series any other time.    While Marcia and Warren study in the family room, Jan calls Marcia away.  She tips her off that Greg is bringing home Kathy Lawrence.  She is a classmate of Marcia’s who beat her out of a spot as a cheerleader.  That must have been an interesting tryout if those wanting to be cheerleaders knew it was down to two final students.  Marcia feels the same way about Kathy as Greg does about Warren.  I doubt Kathy pulled a Tonya Harding and smashed Marcia’s ankle and prevented her from making the cheerleading squad; Marcia’s dislike of the girl here is just as shallow, if not more, than Greg’s dislike of Warren.  Soon after, Greg and Kathy enter the family room.  Marcia rubs some salt into Greg’s wounded pride by introducing Warren as being part of the first string basketball team.  Greg shares that Kathy is now head cheerleader.

Before we move forward, let’s review the short resumes of the episode’s guest stars.  Gary Rist played Warren Mullaney.  A Google search confirmed he is no relation to Robbie Rist who played Cousin Oliver later in the series.  Gary Rist, with only one acting credit prior to this episode, would have no further on camera acting after 1973’s “Brother On The Run”.  The 1980s saw him with two music/composer credits.  The last one being in “Soldier’s Revenge” in 1986.   Sheri Cowart, who played Kathy Lawrence, fared somewhat better.  She did not act again until the 1980s and then took another hiatus until 2001’s “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical”.  A Google search and her IMDB page suggest she has also done work onstage.

Greg and Kathy move to the living room to work on homework.  Kathy shares with Greg her surprise that he even remembers her.  Kathy must really pine for the attention of an older boy as she seems to have made afternoon plans with Greg on very short notice.  The scene with Greg and Kathy is so absurd it is hilarious.  Greg asks Kathy to do one of her junior high school cheers.  At first she understandably feels silly doing it, but with Greg’s encouragement of “Louder!” she is soon cheering at full volume in the Brady living room.  This poor girl thought that this older boy was genuinely interested in her cheering.   It would have been even funnier if Mike, Carol and Alice were home and all walked in with quizzical looks on their faces at some teenage stranger belting out a cheer.  Instead, we get some extra salt in Greg’s room a la Marcia as she enters and shares “Warren thinks it (the cheer) is better than the cheer for his first string basketball team.”  It was very humorous how petty and silly Greg and Marcia were acting.  Marcia’s comment is the final straw and she and Greg go into the kitchen to duke it out verbally.  The hilarity continues as the younger Bradys stand outside and spy Marcia and Greg’s fight with glee.  I’d have been doing the exact same thing if such things were occurring at my house at their age.


The fun is over when the adults arrive home.   This is the second time I’ve noticed Mike coming home from the supermarket wearing a sports coat/blazer.   I do most of the newsgrocery shopping for my family and usually go on Sunday afternoon clad in running shorts and a t-shirt.  The other kids share the drama taking place indoors.  Mike and Carol thoughtlessly load Alice down with the grocery bags and go inside to handle matters.  Peter just stands by and watches Alice struggle with a big grin on his face.  Mike must be working from home this week as he seems to be home a lot while the kids are heading off to and coming home from school.  Marcia and Greg are taken to Mike’s den for a talk.  Over the years, the Brady kids did some really underhanded things to one another.  towelsHowever, this episode’s “talk” points out that this time around, they used other people in their scheming.  That had never occurred to me before.  At the conclusion of the talking to, Greg and Marcia go to apologize to Warren and Kathy and find they have all ready split.  Alice relays the two hit it off right away and left for “The Pizza Parlor”.  It would be interesting to know if they heard Marcia and Greg’s argument and knew the jig was up or if they were just super-fickle hopeless romantics who took no issue abandoning Greg and Marcia without a word of explanation.  Warren did seem a bit star struck with Kathy when she entered the family room with Greg.  Greg and Marcia still leave to apologize to them.  Alice then commences to clean up some towels strewn everywhere.   Seeing how the other Brady kids were all bone dry and the adults had just returned from the market, I questioned the origin of all those towels.  Had they been laying out there for a day or so?  Did some neighborhood kids take a few dunks when nobody was home.  Alice’s grabbing one of the towels activates the dunking device and she finds herself submerged in the tank and begins to playfully splash around.


The epilogue has the entire family coming home from the carnival.  Surprisingly nobody is heard mentioning how the dunking booth was such a hit.  The family brings in the typical carnival wares and Alice says her prize was just a pair of trick handcuffs.  With the Brady family headed upstairs, it is revealed the trick handcuffs have her baffled and she is stuck!  As wacky as Alice could be at times, one must wonder why being stuck in those cuffs was such an embarrassment that she couldn’t ask for help.

Don’t make Alice angry.  You won’t like her when she’s angry.


“My Sister, Benedict Arnold” is one of the most fun and memorable of the entire series.  The drama and conflict is on a totally believable scale and is played well.  Seeing Greg and Marcia at their worst was interesting.  As always, your thoughts and observations are most welcome.  Next week, we will review another very memorable episode, “The Personality Kid”.  It will be another fun one!  See you then!

Author: bradybunchreviewed

I am a lifelong fan of the Brady Bunch. I love it for it's wholesomeness, it's absurdity and how it serves as a time capsule for a time that really never existed, but so many of us wish it did. The show was off the air by the time I was born, but I enjoyed it daily at 4:35 PM for years on Atlanta's Superstation 17, TBS. Through the years I've enjoyed the Brady Bunch spinoffs (however short lived), revivals in pop culture, books, reunions, movies and spoofs. Now, I am excited to be revisiting the show after nearly a decade's hiatus from viewing. I am a parent now, so there may be some new perspectives never before experienced. I hope my fellow fans, lovers and haters alike of the Brady Bunch will join me on this blogging adventure and share your own thoughts and observations.

66 thoughts on “Episode 5: My Sister, Benedict Arnold”

  1. 1. I’ve never seen Greg so sore.
    2. I bet Carol wishes she had Caller ID. (Even then, I bet Martha would be one of those finks who blocks their phone number.)
    3. As you mentioned is a previous review, Peter is most certainly a leftie.
    4. When Greg and Marcia are DUELING in the kitchen, we hear a banjo version of the Brady Theme (…get it?!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for those thoughts! The only other time I remember Greg being so angry was in “Vote For Brady” when he shrieked “And you were going to be impartial!”

      I didn’t notice the banjo version of the Brady tune! It’s ideal for a family feud!


  2. “Pizza parlor” is either a regional term for establishments that sell pizza, or a veiled reference to Pizza Hut, a restaurant chain that has had distinctive locations throughout the country. This website features places where former Pizza Hut restaurants have been converted for different purposes.


    There are several pizza places that are within walking distance from where I live; we call them “pizzerias”, if not by their proper names.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing that! I live in the south, and we always refer to the pizza restaurant my name. Pizza parlor has always seem to be a generic term reserved for television shows. I will definitely check that website out. Here is another one that is not just limited to Pizza Hut, but for many establishments that have since taken on new identities.



    2. In the episode where Greg uses Peter (last season) and has Peter pretend to be older, the guests of the Bradys want pizza and the girls say “we always go to Mariano’s”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this episode more than words can say! It’s in my top three episodes of the entire Brady Bunch series! We see REAL family tension and conflict here that made The Brady Bunch fantastic when it maintained realism in the show. I love Kathy’s cheer and Greg encouraging her and Marcia coming in to further insult Greg about how “Warren thinks Kathy’s cheer is even better than Warren’s cheer, for his first string basketball team! I hope your still not sulking about being replaced!” WOW! Two low blows here! As Peter puts it “Greg invited Kathy over to bug Marcia for asking Warren over to bug him!” As Alice puts it, “Sounds like an unpopularity contest!” LOL!

    When Greg and Marcia are fighting over each other, bringing the other’s most-hated rival over, she refers to Kathy as “Miss Ra Ra!” Greg calls Warren, “that Sardine.” I think Barry’s original line could have included a more profane word! LOL! But Sherwood Schwartz would never allow that in the script! Barry and Maureen’s acting and being really pissed at each other is outstanding here!

    “Pizza Parlor” historically for pizza referred to Italian sit-down restaurants that served pizza.” Pizza parlor” was also used to distinguish a higher grade of pizza from many dominant pizza chains. Shakey’s Pizza was a very popular pizza chain in the early 70’s that sill exists today in some West Coast areas. Their website still refers to them as a “Pizza Parlor”

    Also, The Galleria Mall, which was a popular California hang out in the Mid 80’s had “Perry’s Pizza.” it was made famous in the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemount High.” It is referred to once as a “Pizza Parlor in the movie.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This may or may not have been the funniest episode in Brady Bunch history but, IMO, it was the funniest one up to this point in the series. I think it was around this time that the show really started to evolve and find it’s footing. The actors seemed a lot more comfortable in their roles and working with each other. Yeah, the silliness and corniness would always be there but that’s what gave the show it’s charm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting Tripp. This was the time the show really started hitting its grove. Going forward we will enjoy those episodes full of stand out lines and scenarios that made the show the pop-culture icon it is today.


  5. Great review, as usual! We trust you and your family had a wonderful time during your well-deserved vacation! Welcome back!

    Random thoughts:

    1) Re: The Brady Booth – certainly is a mystery. Did Mike build it? Calling it “The Brady Booth” certainly was strange. And the materials couldn’t have been cheap, especially all that glass. Was it something the school used every year at these fairs? It had no decoration in the beginning of the episode. And you’re right, it would definitely take some heavy duty equipment to haul that thing to the school grounds.

    2) I never got Greg’s carrying a basketball with him like he did. The school would have basketballs for the guys to use in practice. Maybe he would shoot around after school on an outdoor court somewhere and use his own basketball.

    3) High School Basketball Coaches don’t put players in the starting five because the player “buttered them up”. That’s just stupid. I played HS Basketball for four years, three as a varsity starter, there was no instance on our team or any other team we played of a crappy player starting over someone who was demonstrably better. There’d be way too much pressure from the local community for coach to get away with that. And coaches can spot false hustle as well.

    4) Pizza Parlor – I grew up in NJ and we called pizza places by their name. If we were old enough to be driving through another town and felt like getting some pizza, we would wonder if the town had a good “pizza place”, but we never called them parlors. Still, watching this episode as a kid and as an adult, I never thought it unusual that Marcia used that term. I just never considered it one way or the other.

    5) GREAT point about Greg calling Warren a “crumb” lol! Even back then, if someone called me a “crumb” i’d have probably laughed. Greg calling Warren a crumb remindes me of the #1 insult in the world of “Leave it to Beaver”… calling someone a “rat”. Beaver would yell “Rat! Rat! Rat!” at Wally and Wally would throw something at Beaver (until he got older and would just laugh at Beaver’s attempted insult). One can just imagine what words would be used today.

    6) At first it doesn’t seem that Marcia should be “afraid” of Warren and Greg meeting in the Brady home, especially after Carol told her not to worry about it…but, being (at that time) a good sister, I understand her wanting to avoid trouble.

    7) Re: Greg checking out the library book on the night before a test… it’s possible the book was out when Greg first tried to get it, and it was finally available that day after being returned by someone else (maybe Warren was hogging it!)

    8) When Marcia is talking to Warren and Greg comes in, Marcia’s attention is quickly focused on Greg (who’s behind Warren)… but Warren keeps looking at Marcia and does not react at all to the obvious fact that Marcia’s attention has been diverted. Marcia’s a beautiful girl all right, but if she’s clearly looking at something behind him, I’d think Warren would turn around to see what it is that has caught her eye.

    9) lol, it is funny that Carol keeps talking on the phone to these women that clearly annoy her.

    10) Marcia’s “I thought it was the pepperoni pizza” line is definitely lame.

    11) It always seemed a bit annoying to me the way the kids would leave and have their lunches handed to them like an assembly line. If Alice is fixing individual lunches for each kid, intending each of them to have something they like, why not put their initials on the bags? Each kid’s first name starts with a different letter, it wouldn’t be that tough. You wouldn’t have to write out six names every morning, just six first name initials.

    12) Great point about Warren not targeting Greg and Greg feeling entitled to be Class President and a starter on the basketball team.

    13) Kind of funny having Kathy Lawrence being on the bottom of Marcia’s “list”. In the very next episode, she’ll be seen trying to help Marcia convice Peter that he does indeed have a nice personality.

    14) lol, I would have bet ANY amount of money that Gary Rist was related to Robbie Rist. He looks like he could be Robbie’s older brother.

    15) Someone pointed this out in a Sitcoms Online thread about the other four kids peering “through the window” of the sliding door… but check out the picture you posted… Bobby and Cindy are in front of Jan and Peter… but if Bobby and Cindy have THEIR eyes and hands up against the sliding glass door, there’s no way that Peter and Jan could have THEIR faces against the glass to, because they’re standing behind Bobby and Cindy. And Peter and Jan holding their hands like that is not going to get rid of the glare caused by trying to look through glass during daytime.

    16) Very thoughtless of Mike and Carol to load Alice down with grocery bags…why not bring them in the kitchen and put them down on a table??

    17) lol Alice as the Hulk!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. About Warren:

      * Warren had the book out and I’m guessing he returned it on time. (Remember, 10 cents in 1971 wasn’t a small amount, especially if all he had was a typical parents’ allowance of the era.)

      * Warren probably was aware of Greg’s sour attitude toward him and, in keeping his eye on Marcia, was probably just ignoring him.

      * Greg calling Warren a “crumb” … again, I suspect sour grapes and that Greg’s accusations against him were unfounded. Which, why Mike not addressing that confounds me, but then again, that’s just me. But anyway, things like that happen to every kid who’s in high school — there’s always someone better and that Greg was choosing to be bitter about it rather than suck it up, admit Warren was the better man (in both basketball and in the school election) and then go about things or trying to improve so that one day, he can win at the things Warren did. (And yes, I suspect Warren was none of those things Greg claims he was.)

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I strongly agree with #1, #5, #8, #10, #11 and #14!
      #1 = I wanna know how the Brady booth was constructed, and if anybody has tried to recreate that.
      #5 = Greg is just jealous because Warren was chosen as class President and basketball captain
      #8 = That’s a really good observation. I’m surprised Warren didn’t catch Marcia looking at Greg.
      #10 = Definitely one of the weakest lines in this episode.
      #11 = I was thinking the same thing. Alice really should’ve written the children’s initials on their lunches. Each of the kids have names that begin with different letters of the alphabet.
      #14 = There’s a pretty good chance that Gary Rist is related to Robbie Rist, even if they’re third or fourth-cousins.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing those thoughts! Good explanation on the library book. I like the idea that Warren had it. They could’ve added a line or two explaining he had it and was late returning it in place of the aftershave line!


    1. very true… they could have made Greg look even more petty than he was in this episode..

      Peter: What’s wrong Greg?
      Greg: It’s that sardine Warren again! I was trying to check out a book from the library for a week! You know who had it? Warren!!
      Peter: You’re right Greg, he IS a crumb! Now he’s on the bottom of MY crumb list too!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My version was Greg telling Alice he really needed to study. He needed the book all week but some chucklehead was a week late returning it. When he sees Warren in the living room, Warren says, “That book’s a bore. I returned it to the library today.” Greg just leers at Warren before storming off.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. About the library book … so? Warren had it first — so what?

      Really, so what?

      I am assuming Warren knew when the due date was and returned it on time. Too bad it was inconvenient for Greg. First come, first serve; Warren was not being a dickhead here.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I honestly thought they should have taken Greg’s feelings a little more seriously. If he truly didn’t like Warren (and had good reason considering he was a conniving snake) they should have a little respect for it. Maybe he should’ve warned Marcia about him like he may have been using her for something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If Warren got to be class President by “making a lot of phony promises he didn’t keep”, then he probably would have ended up being the most unpopular person in school (kind of like Jan’s promises in “Miss Popularity”). And he would have also probably screwed up in a basketball game if he wasn’t all that good and only became a starter after “buttering up the coach”. Greg was kind of being a jerk during this whole episode.

      But Mike and Carol had met Warren and given him the once over and approved of him, and the date was only to go to the pizza parlor. If Greg had told Marcia that Warren was only trying to use her, it would have made Greg look even worse. Marcia never said anything about Warren not being a gentleman with her, only that he wasn’t that much different from the guys in Jr High that she knew. Marcia was going to stop seeing Warren but Greg brought more trouble on himself by being a jerk and “ordering” Marcia not to see him. Marcia made it still worse by lowering herself to Greg’s level and keeping things going with Warren just to “get Greg’s goat”. Greg then became an ever bigger jerk than he was by using an obviously sweet girl like Kathy to try to get back at Marcia.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Here’s the thing: Sometimes in life, your sibling will date someone you don’t exactly like. In this case, Greg’s peeved only because Warren beat him out twice and was frustrated he didn’t win against him. I wonder if Greg would have been OK with Warren dating Marcia had he never beat him out for first-string varsity basketball team or lost the class president election to him … honestly or not? My bet would be a — to quote Stone Cold Steve Austin — “Oh, hell yeah!”

        Greg’s sour grapes (as I view it anyway) were blinding his attitude toward Warren and it really made him act up, to the point where things escalated to the breakfast scene where he tried to threaten Marcia if she took Warren out again.

        And yes, I really do think this was sour grapes for Greg … blaming the winner for being better than him. This is very common and I think Mike should have, at one point, really called Greg on this. (The conversation implying the Brady patriarch talked to his coach and Warren about Greg and his attitude and finding out Greg’s comments about Warren were unfounded.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Greg was a colossal jerk in this episode. He spent most of the episode complaining about how Warren outshone him on both the basketball team and for student body president, and gets even furious when he learns that Marcia goes on a date with him. I really don’t understand why Marcia kept seeing Warren even though she said that he’s not that great.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Interesting thought Jim. It seems Mike and Carol might’ve at least sought Greg’s input a little more in depth since Warren was taking Marcia out. Heck, even if Greg didn’t hate the guy, it would have been prudent of them to ask Greg’s thoughts on the boy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ann B. Davis remembered that it was over 100 degrees on the set that day, and she couldn’t wait for the scene where she gets dunked in the dunking booth with “some nice cold water.”

        Liked by 2 people

  8. An open question,

    Based on how Warren and Kathy acted in this episode? What do you think of them as people? Warren actually seemed like a nice guy. Or maybe that was part of his “snake-oil salesmen” manipulation. The fact that Warren beating out Greg for Student Council and Greg claiming that Warren made “Phony promises he didn’t keep” I think could be upsetting. “Buttering up the coach” and than “goofing off when the coach isn’t looking.” This shows that he may not be an honest person. I could see Greg upset over losing his first string basketball spot, and Greg developing a hate for Warren.

    Interestingly enough, when Warren is at the Brady home he shows no friction or animosity toward Greg. Now, maybe this is because his conniving schemes worked, so he played up the charm and it worked for Mike and Carol to find him acceptable for Marcia to date. Despite the fact that they knew Greg’s animosity towards Warren. Should Mike and Carol have been more understanding of Greg’s feelings against Warren?

    Similarly, Kathy shows now friction against Marcia at the Brady home, even apologizing to her for not making cheerleader. I could see Marcia having a lighter resentment towards Kathy than what Greg had for Warren. It is interesting that Kathy and Warren agree to go for pizza at the end. One wonders how their relationship would develop? Marcia must get over her grudges quickly because in “The Personality Kid” Kathy is in that episode, and not one mention is made of Marcia’s dislike for her! They should have found another actress in this regard. Huge credibility issue here! Unless Marcia’s apology to Kathy really hit home in her conscious, realizing how hurtful she had been to her, and especially Greg to Warren.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is a great question Jack! I don’t think we saw enough of them to determine what type of people they would be considered. I still wonder if they knowingly just left Marcia and Greg high and dry or knew they were planning to scheme against one other using each of them.


    2. I really do think Warren was a nice guy, or in the very least not the “snake oil salesman” persona Greg makes him out to be.

      As I point out repeatedly in this thread, Greg’s accusations are common, including by teenagers: Someone repeatedly beats you out at everything. Often, it’s just because the other kid was plain better. In this case, Warren made a better case for why he should be class president (and never made phony promises he never intended or knew he couldn’t keep), and that he was simply a better and more-skilled basketball player than Greg was, and that the “goofing off behind the coach’s back” was unfounded or nothing worse than what other student athletes do and isn’t exactly “goofing off.”

      Greg was simply bitter and needed to cool his jets. I think a good talking to by Mike would have helped his attitude.

      Thing is, he doesn’t have to be best friends with Warren. Nobody ever said that. But he does need to respect him and — if there are indeed valid concerns he has — address it with a teacher or coach.

      Warren dating Marcia despite the age difference was common in that era and an artifact of the time, in case anyone wonders. Today, Warren, a sophomore in high school, eyeing a junior high student would get him kicked out of the house and told — very angrily to put the fear of God in him — to stay the eff away from the Brady home or else risk physical harm.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A lot of Junior High Schools were grades 7-9 in that era…..Marcia could have been in 9th grade (still considered a Freshman). One year age difference is no issue at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Love Greg’s night time colors…orange and avocado green. Perhaps so he can sneak down to the kitchen and totally blend in with the decor there so no one sees him take food?

    Jack..you beat me to the comment about Ann B Davis looking forward to getting dunked. Can’t remember whose book that was in but it was in one of them.

    I wonder if Greg would have felt it all guilty trying to sell his lemon of a car to Warren Mulaney. Let the crumb beware?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. One more quick observation: this episode demonstrated that the show was moving in a different direction as far as the sibling relationships went. Most notable: when Greg and Marcia were going at it, all four of the remaining sibs got together and were loving it! In the first two seasons, sides were usually taken. It was almost always the boys against the girls. That storyline for the most part ceased starting in season 3.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Battle of the sexes continued through the series. A little less than early on but the difference was that the remaining siblings didn’t automatically take sides with their sex. It was no longer boys against girls. Bobby and Cindy competed to get on the TV program and Marcia and Jan competed with Peter (and eventually each other) over finding and keeping a part time job.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Something else about Warren –

    I would assume that he is Greg’s age, as they ran against each other for “Class President”.

    Marcia is at least two years younger than Greg (and Warren).

    It is interesting that Mike and Carol would allow Marcia (who’s in 8th grade) to go out with a 10th grader…that can be a big difference at that age. I never knew anyone in 10th grade who dated an 8th grader. And it is kind of strange that they wouldn’t ask Greg if he knows Warren.

    But then, at the end of the episode, with Greg and Marcia going at it, Warren then hits on Kathy, another girl who’s an 8th grader (i’m assuming she’s in 8th grade and Marcia’s age since she’s the “Head Cheerleader” for FILL-more JUN-ior HIGH!!!).

    Tenth grader Warren going after eighth graders… well, he showed mighty good taste, I’ll give him that.

    Maybe that was his angle… going up to a cute girl in Jr. High and saying “…hey there…how’d ya like to go out with a “high school boy”?

    We know that Kathy was really flattered that Greg “even remembered her”. Now all of a sudden, here comes another high school boy! Her diary must have had a busy week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marcia was only one year younger than Greg. This was stated early on, in the episode where Greg and Marcia run against each other for Fillmore Student Council. It was stated again later when they fight over the attic bedroom. Also, Marcia was in 9th grade when she dated Warren. Fillmore was a junior high, grades 7-9, and Westdale was a senior high, grades 10-12.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. An artifact of the time, and it was perfectly acceptable. This was before there were concerns — perfectly valid ones — about sexual abuse and predatory behavior made the mainstream news.

      Note that all the adults approve of the relationship, and this was likely no different than when them came of age and began showing interest in dating and the opposite sex (Alice probably in the early 1940s, Mike and Carol likely in the late 1940s, when they all would have been teenagers). It was common then for men in their early to mid 20s to date girls who were still 16 and 17 years old (and sometimes even younger); one famous example was “Mooney” Lynn, who was 20 years old when he married a then-14-year-old coal-miner’s daughter named Loretta, although some sources put Mooney’s age as several years older(!). No one blinked.

      It was still relatively common in the early 1970s for high school students to be in exclusive dating relationships with junior high members of the opposite sex, and it was still not frowned upon. Social conventions were different — TV Tropes calls this “values dissonance” — so this should be seen as what was still acceptable for the time.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Here Marcia is in 9th grade. The junior high is established as having 7,8 and 9th grade. Greg would be in 10th grade. This being season 3 leaves him in 12th grade in Season 5 . Marcia is shown to enter high school in season 4, which would be 10th grade, Greg would be in 11th grade.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Regarding “pizza parlor,” this was a term sometimes used in the forties, fifties and sixties, especially out west. Pizza, while popular in the US since the twenties, was not the huge staple that it became in the seventies and eighties, when the big delivery chains began to really dominate. Prior to that, mom and pop places were most frequent, and especially in places were there were fewer Italian-Americans, these were often called parlors, as they often did not have much to eat beside pizza. The same was true with “ice cream parlors.” Those had been popular since the turn of the century, and the term ice cream parlor survived when establishments later tried to maintain what we now consider a retro look. The term pizza parlor was also used in another episode, the bicycle shop where
    Peter gets fired, where at the end Peter comes home and announces that he got a job at the Leaning Tower of Pizza parlor. It was a term that was on its way out, but was indeed used.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually the episode where Peter gets fired then ultimately lands a job at the Leaning Tower of Pizza is “Marcia Gets Creamed”. The episode starts with Peter struggling to find a job, only to find out a job practically landed in Marcia’s lap. Marcia then recommends Peter to work with her at the ice cream parlor but he becomes a slacker and she ultimately fires him.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. ClassicTVLover – re: Marcia’s age vs Greg’s… i think that’s one of the things that’s a little confusing about their ages… where I went to school in NJ, Jr High was 6-8, high school was 9-12…

    9th grade was freshman year.
    10th grade was sophomore year
    11th grade was junior year
    12th grade was senior year

    If Marcia was in 9th grade at the time of this episode, then why is she a “Freshman” in Season 4 (“Today I Am a Freshman”)? Did they dispense with the “sophomore” year and simply have 3 years of high school; freshman, junior and senior? That was never the way it was done when I was in school, and I started high school in the fall of ’74. Maybe California was different…

    When Greg got his drivers license, Carol told Marcia that she’ll be getting her license “in another year or two”. Another year or TWO ? What does THAT mean?

    I understand that other references put Greg as being a year older… I think when they were baby sitting for the younger kids, Greg said he was 14 and Marcia was 13. Same thing with the Student Council, which you referenced. I agree that there were more references to them being one year apart in age than any other age difference.

    My confusion may be due to my interpretation of what a “freshman” is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the implication here was that Marcia was still in junior high — i.e., eighth grade — when this episode took place, as she was two years behind Greg.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m also confused. This episode never explicitly stated that Marcia is in 9th grade, however, 5 minutes into the episode, Marcia does reference that she’s in her late junior high years, suggesting that she’s either in 8th or 9th grade, depending on what you consider “junior high” and “high school”, and the grades taught at those schools. My mom grew up in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and didn’t start high school until 10th grade, where she was considered a “sophomore.” There’s not a big distinction between “freshman” and “sophomore”, as they kind of mean the same thing. The adjective “sophomoric” describes someone as naïve, immature, and/or uneducated, but the word “sophomore” itself refers to a person’s second year of high school or college. Theoretically, lots of people realized how terrible middle school was and how students were emotionally ready for high school, and thus 9th grade was added to high schools.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The connotation of the pizza parlor is a teen hangout where local, well-behaved teens, could have a slice of pizza or just a soda (root beer float?), play pinball or the jukebox, sit around for a while…a casual, local joint.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. A commentary of 1971-1972: Note that Carol has no problem with her eighth-grade daughter, Marcia, dating someone in high school (Warren). In fact, she even chuckles — as Alice nods approvingly — that “next, it’ll be college kids,” although I’m sure Carol did mean that as Marcia is growing up fast and she’ll be old enough before we know it.

    Anyway, had Warren — a high school sophomore, as he is said to be in Greg’s high school class — tried dating Marcia even 20 years later, he’d be warned (no pun intended, as “Warren” and “warned” sound the same) to stay the hell away from the Brady family … or else. (And we don’t just mean a trip to the sex offender registry.) Instead, Mike — when he counsels Greg over trying to control Marcia’s social life — does a “so long as we approve” speech.

    Speaking of Mike counseling Greg … note that Greg’s accusations against Warren — the politician who doesn’t keep his promises, and a basketball player who sucks up to the basketball coach — seem more like sour grapes than valid concerns about a (supposed) lying, smooth-talking, woman-charming fraud. Ergo, Warren never made promises he didn’t intend to keep, and his “goofing off” either was completely inaccurate or something else that Greg, in his frustration, viewed as that.

    If there was something I’d change about the episode’s script, it would be that … Mike tells Greg he suspects his view of Warren is one borne of frustration that he lost twice to him, and that Warren was just better and maybe instead of being frustrated he should learn something from it.

    And that’s life sometimes. We all lose to a lot of people, sometimes decisively, once in awhile … but there are also times when we lose twice to them, and it’s not because the winner was being a dishonest shill, but because he simply did better. Rather than sulk, maybe Greg should have taken a deep breath, forget about Warren and focus on other things in the very least, or — if those things (a leadership position on the student council, a key role on the basketball team) were really important to him — swallow his pride, apologize to Warren and then ask for advice on what he can do to be better or earn those things.

    But that gripe aside, I think the episode was well done and is justifiably among the top episodes on many Brady fans’ lists.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Wow, all these comments and nobody posted “the cheer”, so here you go:

    “F, F, F-I-L,
    L, L, L-M-O,
    O, O, O-R-E,

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Greg was not bitter about getting beat by Warren, it was the way he got defeated. Warren made a bunch of bogus promises he never kept (remember Jan tried the same approach a couple seasons later) and he beat him out for 1st string by sucking up to the coach, and would goof off like crazy when the coach wasn’t around. Anyone would be pissed off over that. I also thought Warren had a lot of gall for hitting on Marcia, and using that Eddie Haskell approach to the parents. I also couldn’t blame Greg for being resentful to Marcia dating him and I really think the parents should’ve been more sensitive to the way he felt. Remember Marcia wanted to dump him when she figured he wasn’t as cool as she thought, perhaps she saw through him that Greg was right about him.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The scene of Jan, Peter, Bobby, and Cindy peering through the window clearly shows the lack of an actual window in the sliding doors. There’s no way Jan and Peter would need to put their hands around their eyes as if they are leaning up against the window when they are clearly behind Cindy and Bobby. Guess it was easier to fit everyone in the frame that way than have them line up in a row.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Great analysis of this episode! I agree with many of the other posters that Greg’s dislike of Warren seems to be more sour grapes on Greg’s part than any real character defect on Warren’s part. So the guy is your “nemesis” just because he beat you out for a couple of things? As many people pointed out, if he was such a goof-off, he’d have been cut from the basketball team by the coach. You can’t schmooze your way onto a competitive high school team! But aside from this I felt the episode was funny and well-acted. I agree that it was fun to see the two older ordinarily we’ll-behaved Brady kids at their less than finest.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think Greg’s dislike for Warren is a combination of ignorance and jealousy. I don’t think he has anything personal against Warren, but simply doesn’t associate with him because he doesn’t hang out in the same clique.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This episode contains one of my least favorite TV tropes: we meet, or hear of, a character whom we’ve never heard of before, and that same exact day another main character mentions that same person. What are the odds?
    I went to junior high in Southern California from 1979-1982, and unless things had changed radically in less than a decade, a high schooler dating someone from junior high was EXTREMELY rare and bordering on socially unacceptable. First of all, it was never a girl from a good family like the Bradys, it was usually some trashy girl from the wrong side of the tracks and a broken home whose parents didn’t know she was out dating older men. Second of all, the guy was usually some weaselly weirdo who couldn’t get a date from a girl in his grade, and not some classically handsome athlete. As the class president and member of the first team in basketball, I have a hard time believing that Warren would have to cruise the junior high to scare up a date. Sure, Marcia is extremely attractive, but Warren could easily score a date with a girl just as beautiful in his own grade given what a catch he appears to be.
    Otherwise I liked the episode and the lesson learned about not using other people in your personal vendettas. I like Marcia’s nonchalance at seeing Kathy with Greg (thanks to Jan’s forewarning), and her devastating burn about how Warren thought Kathy’s cheer was better than the ones for the first team in basketball. Ouch!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The thing about a “catch” like Warren having to date Jr high schoolers, is probably due to some type of character or personality flaw that Greg was talking about from the beginning. Warren probably had all of the adults fooled (coaches and school faculty) but it’s likely that the high school girls his own age, probably saw through his act just as Greg had, and wanted nothing to do with him. He had better luck with younger girls who were still a bit naive and lovestruck at the idea of a high school boy asking them out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve watched this episode so many times but only now, after reading yours and some of the other posts, I think Greg may have been on to something about Warren. We’ve talked about how Greg and Marcia used the other two get back at each other, but I’m thinking Warren only dated Marcia to stick it to Greg. Amazing what all of us Brady Bunch lovers can come up with.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Marcia is a year younger than Greg. They state this in the class president episode and also the episode where the two babysit their younger siblings. Fillmore Junior High includes 9th grade during the third season. That’s why Marcia is running against Molly to be hostess for senior night – they likely wouldn’t have a senior night for 8th graders. And think about how old Peter is in the final season when he’s still at Fillmore. No way he’s in eighth grade at that point. When Greg was a freshman in high school in season 2, 9th grade was at the high school. Our town flipped back and forth a few times in the 70s and 80s. Clearly the title of “Today I am A Freshman” was wrong, but you’ll notice that Marcia never actually says she’s a freshman in that episode – she’s just going to a new school. For 10th grade.

    Anyone else notice that Marcia consistently pronounces Warren as “Warn”? “Warn Mullaney”. Weird.

    I also think it’s funny that Greg has a “crumb list” and Marcia too has a “list”. Very Nixonian.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have noticed just now in the scene where Bobby gets dunked, his hairstyle changes. At the start of the scene when Cindy gets dunked and Bobby is watching Peter, his hair is darker and more straight, yet when he climbs up the booth and tries to get dunked by Peter, his hair mysteriously changes to that of something similar to his season 4 hair

    Liked by 2 people

  23. You’ve earned a link to your “delightfully snarky recap” from the latest post to “Michael’s TV Tray” here: https://michaelstvtray.com/2020/04/16/today-on-the-tray-eggs-benedict-brady-style/

    He also mentions the other major Benedict Arnold episode, “Everyone Can’t Be George Washington”. I think we’ve determined that this particular traitor has earned mentions in at least 2 or 3 other episodes, likely making him the most-mentioned historical figure in the history of this series.


  24. LOVE this blog! It’s been my primary quarantine activity the past few days.

    I was born & raised in a suburb of NYC & was roughly cindy’s age when tbb came along. Tens of thousands of Italians emigrated to US in the late 40s & through the 50s. While the late 19th-early 20th century Italian emigrants to US were 3-4 generations on & solidly in the middle class, these newer arrivals were often uneducated & had to make a living & fast.

    While Italian restaurants were nothing new in mid-Atlantic & northeast US, a small snack bar/ice cream stand kind of place which served pizza, soda, calzones etc. were new & different. They were indeed called “pizza parlors” through maybe the 60s. By the time I started frequenting them in early 70s, we called them by their names which were nearly always the name of the owner; Magnotta’s is the one that stands out in my memory. My parents called it “Magnotta’s Pizza Parlor,” which made me cringe. It sounded so stilted.

    If we were in an unfamiliar town, we’d say, “let’s find a pizza place/pizzeria.”

    Domino’s, Pizza Butt, Papa John’s (reportedly vilest pizza ever) eventually showed up in strip malls, but no one who knew how good pizza tasted went there.

    That doesn’t seem to have changed much. I now live in a college town about 75 miles north of NYC, and we have Rino’s, DiBella’s, Pasquales, & Rocco’s, along with a few others I’ve never tried.

    The West Coast had very different immigration populations, along with Hispanics who were there first, so the Bradys probably wouldn’t set foot into s Taco Bell or Chipotle because they knew what a good taco or burrito tasted like. Same with Japanese food. Maybe the “pizza parlor” was a specific one that everyone in the Brady universe went to because it was the only one near their home & schools.

    Thus ends my pizza essay.

    More generally, I wanted to dress like Marcia but as a middle child, I felt far more empathy with Jan. She also had the best hair. Marcia’s dark blond was pretty, but Jan’s long locks were like spun gold.

    Regarding the continuity issues & lame props & ridiculous plot lines of TBB, I think my generation of tv kids had far lower expectations of our shows than did the following ones. Back stories and fake magazine covers & weird instrumental music that didn’t exist on any top 40 radio station didn’t make a dent in my enjoyment.

    Have sitcoms really become more realistic? My daughter & I quarantine binged Broad City a couple of weeks ago. Was it authentic? Some probably was, but Ilana stuck to the back of a truck with Abbi in hot pursuit on foot and Abbi in a boot cast hanging upside down out a 2nd floor window? That’s pure I Love Lucy grade hijinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Warren asks Marcia out but Greg asks out Kathy so the age difference isn’t any issue. Warren makes phony promises? So did Jan, would Mr & Mrs Brady say Jan wasn’t worth dating (I know it happened later but still)?

    We have already seen that Greg isn’t particularly stellar at sports and that woul continue on through the series.

    Warren didn’t suck up to the parents, it was Carol that insisted she meet him first. And we are talking about a trip to a neighborhood pizza place, what would Marcia waste, 2 hours of her life?

    Outside of Bobby were any of the children really sore losers? They didn’t seem to be. But this episode is classic and easily one of the best. The “I hope you’re still not sulking about being replace” was both cruel and deliciously evil at once.


  26. Here are ten things I liked about this episode:

    1. Bobby, Cindy and Alice all fall in the dunking booth and get wet.
    2. The conflict in this episode centers around Marcia going out with Warren, and Greg going out with Kathy. They both get a taste of their own medicine.
    3. Greg is pissed because his enemy, Warren Mullaney, made the basketball team instead of him.
    4. “The guy is at the top of my crumb list. In fact, he’s on the bottom of my crumb list too and he’s every crumb in between.” – Greg
    5. Mike and Carol help Greg and Marcia see the errors of their ways.
    6. Warren asking “who are they” after spotting Marcia’s younger siblings upstairs. Marcia appropriately answers by saying “that’s a new group called the nosy bodies.”
    7. Greg gets back at Marcia by taking home the cheerleader who won over Marcia, Kathy Lawrence.
    8. “Let her rip, Peter. Wait till I get out of here, when I take a bath, I want hot water, a little privacy and a lot of bubbles.” – Alice
    9. Greg and Marcia learn that Warren and Kathy went down to the pizza parlor and while they’re happy for them, they still take the time to go down there to apologize.
    10. Mike and Greg have a nice father-to-son chat.

    This was a very enjoyable episode! Before this episode, I had no idea that a dunking booth existed!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. In the “small world” department……
    This episode was on METV today and I caught it. Then came here to read the review and the comments and I got a kick out of the discussion about the term “Pizza Parlor.” I’ve never used that term myself, but I have heard it plenty of times. Then this evening, while watching Match Game PM on the Buzzr network (because I can’t get enough of 70s TV shows!), one of the answers offered up by Bret Somers was “Pizza Parlor”. What a coincidence! I just had to share.
    (This is my first time commenting here – thanks for putting this site together – it’s a great companion to the show!)

    Liked by 2 people

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