April 16 is National Eggs Benedict Day.
According to National Day Calendar, this brunch favorite with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce was named either for 19th-century stockbroker Lemuel Benedict or for Pope Benedict XIII. It was not named for Benedict Arnold. But let’s just ignore that fact, because today’s post is about Benedict Arnold—sort of.
You’d probably be hard-pressed to think of a Benedict Arnold-related episode in any other sitcom, but The Brady Bunch has two of them.
In Season 3 Episode 5, titled “My Sister, Benedict Arnold,” the figurative Benedict Arnold is Marcia, who makes Greg feel butt-hurt when she dates his basketball-team rival, Warren Mullaney.
Greg pouts that Warren Mullaney is “at the top of [Greg’s] crum list,” as well as being at the bottom of the list and “every crum in between.” I’m not sure if that’s “crum” as in “crummy,” or “crumb” with a “b,” like saying he’s insignificant as a breadcrumb. A Google search didn’t answer my question, but I did learn who George Crum was (an American chef). Also, there is a creek in Pennsylvania called Crum Creek. Anyway, Greg calls Marcia “Miss Benedict Arnold” and gets even by asking out Marcia’s rival—because of course she has one—named Kathy Lawrence. Kathy’s crime is that she beat out Marcia for the cheerleading squad.
Greg invites Kathy over to the Brady home at the same time that Marcia has Warren over. In a memorable scene, Asshole Greg cajoles Kathy into doing a loud cheer in the Brady living room:
F, F, F-I-L!
L, L, L-M-O!
O, O, O-R-E!
Fillmore Junior High!”
When the Brady siblings abandon their guests to go snipe at each other, Warren and Kathy leave together. Maybe they bond over their rivalries with Bradys. Or maybe they discuss the romantic sparks between Greg and Marcia that no one ever acknowledges. We don’t know, because their exodus happens offscreen.
There’s also a B-plot with the Bradys building a carnival dunking booth, which stuck in my memory, probably because it’s the type of Brady activity that my family would never have engaged in, like sack racing. It’s really a very good episode, especially if you like to hate on Greg and Marcia. If you have CBS All Access, you can watch it here. If not, here’s a delightfully snarky recap I found.
The other Benedict Arnold episode is Season 4 Episode 12, “Everyone Can’t Be George Washington.” In this one, Peter is shunned by classmates when he is cast as Benedict Arnold in a school play. It doesn’t make any sense—surely these kids are old enough to understand the concept of an actor playing a role.
Watch Peter get ostracized by three different classmates in this clip:
Peter and his problems bore me, so that’s all I have to say about that. The only thing worse than a Peter episode is a Cindy episode.
Have a Very Brady National Eggs Benedict Day!