"Her Sister's Shadow"
Season 3, Episode # 10
Number (#59) in series (117 episodes)
Network: ABC-TV
TV series:
Guest star(s) C. Lindsay Workman
Gwen Van Dam
Peggy Doyle
Julie Reese
Nancy Gillette
Production code: 056
Writer(s) Al Schwartz & Phil Leslie (teleplay), Al Schwartz & Ray Singer (story)
Director Russ Mayberry
Original airdate November 19, 1971
Episode Guide
IMDB Her Sister's Shadow
Episode chronology
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Her Sister's Shadow was the 10th episode of Season 3 of the The Brady Bunch TV series, also the 59th overall episode in the series. Written as a teleplay by Al Schwartz and Phil Leslie from an original story by Schwartz and Ray Singer, the episode, which was directed by Russ Mayberry, the episode originally aired on November 19, 1971


When Jan's teachers constantly compare her to Marcia, Jan makes her famous cry of in frustration: "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!" Can her entry in a school-sponsored patriotic essay contest help Jan escape "Her Sister's Shadow"?


Jan is tired of her teachers constantly comparing her to the popular and successful Marcia. She dumps Marcia's awards in the closet and complains that all she hears is "Marcia this, Marcia that... Marcia, Marcia, Marcia." Jan is thrilled to establish her own successful identity by winning an Honor award for an essay she wrote. When she realizes there is a scoring error and she actually came second, Jan grapples with her conscience and considers keeping secret her discovery. At assembly with her parents in attendance and minutes before the presentation, Jan reveals her discovery to her teacher. The teacher's presentation depicts Jan as gracious and mature for revealing the error.


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.

Guest starring/Recurring cast


  • This episode features Jan saying the quote "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.", which would unintentionally become a world-famous catchphrase, that would be recognizably affiliated with the show forever. This is actually the only time in the series, Jan said this, though it would be returned in The Brady Bunch Movie.
  • Alice reveals that she used to be a cheerleader when she was a teenager.
  • At the end of this episode, Jan finally gets the respect she worked for, only for Cindy to become jealous of her. A similar ending to this would be reused in The Brady Bunch Movie, where Jan evies Marcia throughout the entire movie, and when she gets a slight bit of respect at the end, her jealousy is passed down to Cindy.

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