‘The Brady Bunch’: Why Didn’t the Family’s Bathroom Not Have a Toilet?

by Joe Rutland

OK, every house on a TV sitcom has a toilet in it. Especially if your show is “The Brady Bunch” with three boys and three girls, right? Nope.

It was one of those items that didn’t get included on the set. According to an article on BestLifeOnline.com, the popular ABC show just fell in line with other shows of its ilk.

Television executives back in those days were looking to present a pristine, nearly perfect family picture.

Apparently, even giving off a hint of one of those Brady kids going to the bathroom would have been too much to handle. So you don’t see a toilet in their shared bathroom on the show.

‘The Brady Bunch’ Stayed Toilet Free Throughout Its Run

Today’s TV viewers would consider that just silly. It actually took a show like Norman Lear’s “All In The Family,” which challenged both societal and TV norms, to get a toilet flushing sound past Standards and Practices.

The Bunkers flushed for the first time in 1971, breaking that toilet taboo. Later on in the 1970s and into the 1980s, TV shows began actually having toilets show up on TV shows.

Nowadays, you couldn’t name a popular regular network show that does not have a toilet.

When looking at the no-toilet situation on “The Brady Bunch,” you just have to remember the times and how innocent TV networks wanted their shows to be. It was, like, an altered state of reality for viewers at home. That’s exactly what executives wanted viewers to feel when watching sitcoms like “The Brady Bunch” and other shows of the time.

Florence Henderson Was Second Choice For ‘Brady Bunch’

Fans of “The Brady Bunch” know that Robert Reed plays father Mike Brady and Florence Henderson plays mother Carol Brady. But that almost didn’t happen.

Guess who was in line for the Carol Brady role first? Would you believe Shirley Jones? Yep, the veteran movie and Broadway star was up for the role.

In Jones’ 2013 book, “Shirley Jones: A Memoir,” she talks about her personal and professional life. That includes her time starring on “The Partridge Family” on ABC.

She also writes about getting that offer to be on “The Brady Bunch.”

“While the idea of playing the mother in ‘The Brady Bunch’ was initially attractive to me,” Jones said, “I turned it down because I didn’t want to be the mother taking the roast out of the oven and not doing much else.”

That’s OK. Jones and Henderson both nailed their TV roles and are remembered by their shows’ fans to this day.