The Brady Bunch

Season 1 Episode 15

54-40 and Fight

Aired Unknown Jan 09, 1970 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

54-40 and Fight
The Brady family learns that a trading stamp company is going out of business. A fight breaks out over who should get all of the saved stamps, the boys or the girls. If the girls get them, they plan to buy a sewing machine. If the boys get them, they plan to buy a rowboat. But who will get them? The winners are decided in a match to build a house of cards.moreless

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  • Pretty bad TV, I don't really wonder why this series struggled in the ratings.

    The Brady boys and girls must decide what to get with their combined books of trading stamps. Hilarity does not ensue.

    A fairly standard episode for season 1, and an example of a rare exception where the first season is the weakest on a series. The "problem" in this episode is a small one, what should the kids get with their trading stamps, with the boys and girls disagreeing. What's unpleasant is that while Mike and Carol fawn over the children and their feelings, they have no real desire to step in and make any kind of decision, therefore forcing a "contest" of building a house of cards to settle the trouble (even this low grade solution is Alice's idea). The first season trivia is lessened a little later in the series as the kids grow up - at least at this point, the children have more complex situations - friends, dating difficulties etc. that make the episodes more interesting. This episode ranks with those that deal with the "crushing" problems of missing dolls, what pediatrician to use, or if Jan is really allergic to the family dog. I sometimes wonder what Sherwood Schwartz wanted this series to be, other than trading on the movie "Yours, Mine, and Ours". The bland adults and kids are actually a step backward from earlier shows like" Leave it to Beaver" or "My Three Sons".moreless
  • A sewing machine!?! You gotta be kidding me; This means war!

    I mean it! Why in the heck would you want to buy a sewing machine? I mean, of course, its a girls thing, and I'm a guy, so what? But a row boat can be used for the entire family. It can be used to have fun and for everybody to ride. You don't find five boys using sewing machines. Sewing machines are boring anyway. Right? Aren't I right? Of course I am. (: The storyline was average, I wish there were food stamps this day, its better than using real money, but nope, no more food stamps. Oh well. The quest to see who would pick what to do with the food stamps was dumb. If Marhsa's bracelet made the cards fall down, it should count because she was crazy enough to wear it. Greg's incident was different. It was an accident/ He had no idea that Tiger was gonna come inside and ram into his behind and force him to knock the house of cards down. The girls cheated!moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • When it's Jan's turn for the house of cards, when they show the card that she's about to put down in a close-up shot, it's the ace of spades. But then when they have the camera showing Jan about to put the card down, it changes to the 5 of clubs. But when they show the close-up of the card, it goes back to the ace of spades.

    • The scene of Alice giving Tiger a bath is the exact same footage of her used in the previous allergy episode "Katchoo."

    • Could Greg really have known that it was a color TV just by looking at it? There was no marked box, and no tags or stickers to indicate that it was any different than the more common black and white sets.

    • During Marcia's last turn at the house of cards, several angles of her are shown. At the beginning of the scene she carries the card with her right hand, and holds her dangling bracelet with her left, and most shots are consistent with this. However, in the third shot her bracelet is suddenly hanging free, and her left hand is nowhere to be seen.

    • When the girls go to the trading stamp store, there is a stuffed cat sitting up on the shelf-it looks just like Shirley's Boo Boo Kitty from Laverne and Shirley

    • In the same scene where the card house falls down, just before the scene fades, you can see Mike pushing on the cards that are standing up (they pop back up after he pushes them down)

    • During the house-of-cards building scene, Jan's hairstyle keeps changing. In all shots with just the girls, her hair is pulled back into a ponytail, and in all the shots with everybody else her hair is hanging down.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Cindy: Me first!
      Bobby: Why you?
      Cindy: 'Cause I'm a lady!
      Bobby: Aaaawwhhhh
      Cindy: I am a lady, if you say I'm not, I'll bop you!

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode is parodied in A Very Brady Sequel.

    • The "house of cards" scene was filmed over two days, and the people in charge weren't very careful about everyone dressing the exactly the same way both filming days. Watch and you'll notice Peter's shirt change colors--twice--and Jan's hair go from ponytail to bobby-pinned. It's very obvious and amazingly, the editors let it slip by.

    • Nitpick: Marcia stresses over the possibility that her charm bracelet could knock down the house of cards. Why didn't she just remove it?

    • The girls (who win the "house of cards" building contest) decide on a present that benefits the whole family -- a color TV! Remember that color TVs were still a relative novelty in the late 1960s/early 1970s; less than half of all homes had one.


    • The title of this episode is a take on the slogan "54-40 or Fight!".  The slogan came from what is known as The Oregon Boundary Dispute which took place in the early to mid eighteen-forties between the United States, Great Britain and Mexico over control of the Pacific Northwest Territory of North America.  American citizens wanted the US government to annex the territory from other nations or go to war with them to claim it.  The slogan is derived from the area's line of latitude which is 54 40.

    • Alice: That's like asking Garcia if he's got any messages.

      This comes from "A Message to Garcia", an 1899 literary work by Elbert Hubbard which, with over 40 million copies published, had a larger circulation than any other literary venture has ever attained during the lifetime of an author.

  • 10:00 pm