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Jan, the Only Child
Season 4, Episode # 8
Number (#80) in series (117 episodes)
Network: ABC-TV
TV series:
Guest star(s) None
Production code: 081
Writer(s) Ralph Goodman
Director Alex Dechowny
Original airdate 10 November 1972
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Jan, the Only Child is the eighth episode of Season 4 of The Brady Bunch, and the 80th overall episode of the series. Written by Ralph Goodman and Al Schwartz and directed by Alex Duchowny, it first aired 10 November 1972 on ABC.

Short Summary[]

Because of a perceived lack of identity and no privacy, Jan wants to be an only child, so her siblings try to help her feel what it's like.


Jan feels that her siblings don't treat her with respect, almost like she is invisible, that she has to line up after all five of her siblings have finished using something first, or that she has no privacy to be able to do what she really wants to do. She makes a rash comment that she wished she was an only child. After thinking about it, she admits that she truly does wish it was true. She even doesn't want to attend the upcoming charity hoedown as a member of the family, where the eight were going to be a square for the square dancing.

Her parents won't force her to go, and they also want Jan's brothers and sisters to treat her a little more kindly as she works through what they hope is just a phase. After that tactic ends up being a miserable failure, the other five kids decide to give Jan exactly what she wants: the feeling of being an only child. Meanwhile, Carol and Alice embark on a competition of the homemade strawberry preserves for the charity hoedown, each using a secret family recipe.


  • This episode caused an argument on-set between Robert Reed and Sherwood Schwartz over a particular line in the script, how the kitchen "smelled like strawberry heaven". Reed argued that cooked strawberries do not have an odor according to the encyclopedia, with Schwartz arguing that they could be smelled all over the set. Schwartz suggested that the line be changed for Mike to say the preserves "looked like strawberry heaven", which Reed seemed to accept. The final like became Mike Brady saying, "I do believe I've died and gone to Strawberry Heaven!"