In 117 episodes, Mike Brady and his blended family of eight captured hearts across the world, setting the stage for a new era in pop culture history.
It’s been five decades since Fluffy and Tiger wreaked havoc on the otherwise perfect nuptial ceremony of Mike Brady and Carol Martin, leaving the newlyweds desperate for a way to restore the peace within their newly blended family.
Following the family of Mike Brady, a widowed father of three sons, and Carol Martin, a single mom with three daughters, “The Brady Bunch” is widely considered one of the last old-style family sitcoms.
The five-seasons run of the series was both engaging and entertaining, as the boys and girls attempt to cohabit amid their differences.
The resulting sibling rivalries, reluctant adjustments, teenage tantrums, and resentments kept viewers glued to the TV screen for hours on end, as the kids gradually came to realize that the only “steps” in their new home were those leading to the second floor.
The enchanting storyline inspired several spinoffs over the years, greatly increasing its popularity. While hundreds of episodes of the series’ various sequels are scattered across streaming platforms, some episodes from the original have stood the test of time, remaining fan-favorites several decades later.
1. The Honeymoon
The series introduced the bunch in its first-ever episode, “The Honeymoon,” which opened with Mike and Carol’s wedding.
The pair’s attempt to pull off the perfect family-blending ceremony turned out chaotic, giving the couple and millions of viewers the first taste of what was to come in their life as a large blended family.
As the pilot episode of “The Brady Bunch,” it had its fair share of drama, enough to keep viewers transfixed to their movie screens, awaiting the perfect climax. Little wonder it remains one of the most-watched episodes to date and Greg Brady’s roleplayer Barry William’s top pick.
2. Her Sister’s Shadow
The tenth episode of Season 3 titled “Her Sister’s Shadow” is another hot pick of the seventies family sitcom. It followed Jan’s desperate attempt to break out of her elder sister’s shadow after a lifetime of being compared to her.
The youngster embarked on a mission to do something Marcia had never done before. That proved tough given Marcia was an epitome of perfection.
After trying for the pompom squad and an essay writing contest, she eventually snagged first place in the latter. While the family was thrilled by her performance, only Jan understood the significance of that win.
The episode was particularly thrilling as it mirrored a common happening in families almost everyone could relate with. Hence, following Jan on her journey, viewers easily re-lived every emotion the preteen felt at every turn.
3. “The Subject Was Noses”
This episode of the beloved family sitcom portrayed the height of teenage drama. Very lovesick Marcia was forced to cancel her date with the average nice guy Charlie when the most popular kid in school, Doug, asked her on a date on the same night.
In her bid not to hurt Charlie’s feelings, she resorted to telling the little white lie that “something suddenly came up.” However, that seemed to have triggered the Pinocchio curse.
As she dreamily anticipated her date, she, unfortunately, got hit across the face by a ball, causing her nose to become reddened and swollen. She spent the rest of the episode avoiding Doug to prevent him from seeing her sorry state.
When he eventually ran into her, it became clear Doug only cared about a pretty face.
4. “Amateur Nite”
There is nothing sweeter than seeing the Brady kids work together for a common good. The season 4 episode “Amateur Nite” captured that and more when the six came together to perform two of their favorite songs, “It’s A Sunshine Day,” and “Keep On” to raise money to give their parents the best wedding anniversary surprise.
This episode showed just how far the blended family had come in terms of love and unity since they first became parts of each other’s lives.
5. “Fright Night”
It never hurts to experience a little thriller even in a funny family drama. Even better when it doesn’t happen on Halloween. Unsurprisingly, another most-watched season 4 episode of “The Brady Bunch” is “Fright Night.”
The episode followed the kid’s attempt to scare Alice using a fake ghost. Their prank went sideways when Alice returned home to find the dark silhouette of a supposed intruder. She attacked the “ghost,” but ended up breaking Carol’s prized sculpture. Lesson learned.
6. “Hawaii Bound”
Who wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of “The Brady Bunch” cast members when it came at the price of vacationing across the globe. One of their numerous vacations played out in the dream holiday destination, Hawaii.
The season 4 episode, “Hawaii Bound,” featured the first of the Bradys’ three-part adventure in The Aloha State. The episode brought in a bit of mystery after Bobby found a weird statue believed to be cursed.
At first, the family dismissed the curse as a myth, but when bad things began to happen to each of them in the most unlikely places, they were forced to rethink their stance.
Like the Bradys, many doubtful viewers have tried to analyze the secret behind the small statue to determine if the curse was indeed real or mere coincidence. Perhaps that explains the high viewer ratings and countless views across platforms.
7. “Will The Real Jane Brady Please Stand Up?”
In the season 2 episode, “Will The Real Jane Brady Stand Up,” Jan’s self-esteem is stretched to the limit when she received an invitation to an anticipated birthday party. Only it did not bear her name, but her sister’s.
As someone who spent her life feeling inferior to Marcia, Jan could not but feel even her identity was being stripped from her. Hence, she decided to create a new identity by wearing a wig, which sent her friends on a laughing spree.
In the end, Jan’s friends reassured her they preferred the real “Jan” and would never think of replacing her. Their reassurance firmly renewed the youngster’s self-worth and confidence for good. Sibling rivalry at its finest!
8. “Father Of The Year”
One honorable mention when ranking the most-watched episode of “The Brady Bunch” now is the season one’s 14th episode, “Father Of The Year.”
After several episodes of rebellion, Carol’s eldest daughter Marcia realized how lucky she was to have her new dad. Determined to reveal this fact to the world, the teenager secretly entered a newspaper contest nominating Mike as the father of the year.
However, she had to break a house rule to meet the deadline, which got her grounded. Despite the punishment and the forfeiture of her chance to join the family on a weekend ski trip, she kept her secret until the end.
Marcia’s resilience, maturity, and pure love left the couple and millions of viewers shedding happy tears when her guarded secret eventually came to light. Also, for the first time, viewers saw an episode where the boys and girls were not at loggerheads.
Since the late “The Brady Bunch’ writer/producer, Sherwood Schwartz, named this his favorite episode, millions of viewers have stormed streaming platforms hoping to see the episode in a new light.
9. “The Winner”
“The Brady Bunch” house was certainly a minefield of talent with extraordinary parents best at their jobs and gifted kids who stood out effortlessly. Yet, Bobby couldn’t help but feel like an outcast when compared to his siblings who all had trophies.
In the 21st episode of season 2, “The Winner,” he showed the full extent of his inferiority complex and harbored jealousy towards his siblings. That only made him more of a loser, earning him the nickname, Stinker.
In an attempt to redeem himself, the youngster entered an ice cream eating competition hoping to win his first trophy. At the end of the contest, he did not emerge as the winner but received a customized trophy from his siblings for putting in the effort.
He went on to win more trophies in later seasons, but his first remained dearest to his heart. This episode taught an important lesson on family.
10. “Out Of This World”
A fake UFO alert left an astronaut more than a little pissed. But who could blame Peter and Bobby when Greg the prank master went all out to pull a fast one on them.
Although the dirty trick went south, it is undeniable that the brother’s efforts to prove their history-making “discovery” made for a good show.
Which of these top picks was your favorite “The Brady Bunch” episode?