The Brady Bunch (1969–1974)
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Her Sister's Shadow 

Jan is tired of being compared to Marcia and constantly being told how great her older sister is, so she tries to do something that Marcia never accomplished--make the pom-pom team.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Mike Brady
Carol Brady
Alice Nelson
Marcia Brady
Cindy Brady
Greg Brady
Peter Brady
Bobby Brady
Principal (as Lindsay Workman)
Mrs. Watson
Peggy Doyle ...
Julie Reese ...
Nancy Gillette ...
Pom-Pom Girl


The gushing that Jan's teacher, Mrs. Watson, does over former pupil Marcia is the last straw for Jan in always being compared to her older, seemingly perfect sister. The plethora of Marcia's awards and trophies in their bedroom does not help matters. To get out of Marcia's shadow, Carol and Mike encourage Jan to find out what she's good at and develop that talent. Jan wants to find something specifically that Marcia has never done. However, an unexpected talent emerges as an essay Jan wrote for Mrs. Watson's class wins first prize in the honor society essay contest with the highest mark they ever awarded. Jan is excited by the fact that the award will be presented at a school assembly with her parents present. However, Jan notices that there is an error in the grading and that she didn't actually win. She has to decide to accept the award or tell the truth and continue to be in the shadows. Written by Huggo

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Comedy | Family





Release Date:

19 November 1971 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although it is one of the series' best known quotes, this is the only episode of the entire series in which Jan says, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" and she only says it once. Jan's feelings of inferiority when compared to Marcia were heavily parodied in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), which used the line much more extensively. See more »


Jan Brady: Well all I hear all day long at school is how great Marcia is at this or how wonderful Marcia did that, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!
See more »


Spoofed in Robot Chicken: Suck It (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Slow, but notable episode
4 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For an episode with some notable highlights, the pacing seemed slower than I expected.

In a thematic followup to "The Not-So-Ugly Duckling" from last season, Jan again feels like she's second fiddle to Marcia. This time, she's intimidated by Marcia's awards displayed on the dresser.

Eventually, Jan decides to make herself distinct by trying out to be a pom-pom girl. She practices a routine, tries out, and doesn't make the cut. But then, she's saved by winning an essay contest. Unfortunately, she realizes that her score was added wrong, and she came in second. After some inner turmoil, she decides to come clean. The praise she gets for telling the truth is enough for her to feel special.

First, this is the first time that I remember any character having an inner monologue. This was borrowed in the Brady Bunch movies. Second, this is the appearance of Jan saying "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" It honestly isn't that funny. Third, Jan's pom-pom routine is a trainwreck. It's hard to stop watching it, because it's hard to tell if it's supposed to be bad, if it's supposed to be good, or how we're supposed to react. When we see the other girl's routine at the tryout, she seems to be doing pretty well.

While the writers seemed to get a grasp on what they wanted most of the characters to do, they still seem to struggle with Jan. She's defined by being Marcia's sister.

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