S1 E20 Brace Yourself

untitled braces

Brace Yourself

Written by Brad Randitz

Marcia needs to wear braces and is extremely self-conscious. To make matters worse, Alan, a boy who she would go to her first dance with, needed to cancel. How will she handle it? Hope you enjoy the script.











ALAN ANTHONY, Marcia’s date to the dance

EDDIE, the delivery boy

JOEY, Greg’s friend

HAROLD, son of Mike and Carol’s friend

WOMAN at dress shop

(The episode begins in the kitchen, with Alice and Carol making spaghetti for dinner, along with a salad. Mike comes in.)

Mike: Hi, honey, hi, Alice.

Carol: Hi, honey.

Alice: Hi, Mr. Brady.

Mike: Where are the kids?

Carol: Oh, they’re around somewhere. (She and Mike kiss.)

Alice: Just hit the dinner bell, they’ll come out of the woodwork.

Mike: You know, I think I just worked up an appetite.

Carol: Well, I didn’t know my salad shook you up like that.

(They kiss again.)

Mike: How did Marcia’s appointment go with the dentist?

Carol: Uh, they but braces on her.

Mike: I was hoping that wouldn’t be necessary.

Carol: Well, the x-rays confirmed it. They say if we wears braces now, it’ll save her bite.

Mike: Well, if it had to be, it had to be.

Alice: Cheer up, Mr. Brady. They won’t hurt her looks at all.

Mike (having a bite of salad): Thanks, Alice.

Carol: Well, they say she only has to wear them for a little while. Dr. Russell said that the correction isn’t that difficult.

Mike: How’s Marcia taking it?

Alice: Like a real trooper. That girl hasn’t said a word since she got home.

(Marcia is upstairs in her room looking at her braces in the mirror.)

Marcia (upset): I’m ugly, ugly, ugly!

(She starts to cry as the scene fades out.)


(The next scene has Marcia still looking in the mirror. She’s trying a bunch of different ways to smile and speak.)

Alice (yelling from downstairs): Marcia! Soup’s on!

(Greg, Peter, Jan and Cindy are downstairs at the dinner table talking about Marcia and her new braces.)

Greg: Yeah, can’t hardly wait.

Jan: Me either.

(Alice goes out in the kitchen where Mike, Carol and Bobby are waiting.)

Mike: Where’s Marcia?

Alice: I just called her.

Carol: So did I, a couple of times.

Mike: I’ll go get her, you and the kids start without me.

Carol: Okay.

(Mike heads upstairs while she cuts back to the dining room table.)

Cindy: I can hardly wait to see Marcia’s braces.

Greg: Didn’t she show them to you?

Jan: No.

Peter: Bobby and I offered her a quarter, but we wouldn’t open her mouth. (Bobby nods)

(Marcia is still in her room moping and Mike comes up. He knocks on her door.)

Mike: Marcia. (He knocks again) Marcia.

Marcia: What is it, Dad?

Mike: Honey, it’s dinnertime, we’re all waiting for you.

(Marcia pretends to be downstairs speaking during dinner.)

Marcia: Pass the butter, please.

Mike: What?

Marcia: Uh, my teeth are sore. Is it okay if I don’t come down?

Mike: Alice made your favorite spaghetti, honey. That’s very soft.

Marcia: I’m not hungry.

Mike: Well, okay, you don’t have to come down now, but if you get hungry later, you can have your dinner in the kitchen, all right?

Marcia: Okay.

(The next scene has Marcia in the kitchen, eating dinner.)

Marcia: How’s the spaghetti, dear?

Marcia: I don’t know.

Carol: Why don’t you open your mouth and chew some.

Marcia: It tastes like lead. These braces even ruin spaghetti.

Carol: Honey, you’ll get used to them soon and everything will taste like normal again.

Marcia: I’ll never get used to them. I hate them.

Carol (coming over to her): Marcia, lots of children have to wear braces. Dr. Ruskin will take them off soon and you’ll be prettier than ever.

Marcia: By that time I’ll be an old maid, 20.

Carol: You only have to wear them for a little while.

Marcia: The school dance is in two weeks. I don’t think I wanna go, Mom.

Carol: Alan’s going to be very disappointed.

Marcia: Well, how do you think he’ll feel if he has to dance with me all night? Every time I smile, I’ll look like an electric can opener.

Carol: I don’t think that’s fair. I mean, after all, you did accept his invitation, braces or no braces.

Marcia: I don’t want Alan or anyone else to see me now, at least not with my mouth open.

Carol: Marcia, braces can’t change the feelings of a real friend, and they could never change the feelings of those who love you.

Marcia: Maybe you’re right, Mom.

Carol: Well, your dress for the dance will be ready tomorrow. Do you still want me to pick it up?

Marcia (smiling): I guess so. Maybe Alan will like me more, when he realizes what I’m willing to go through for him.

(She and Carol share a hug.)

Carol: That’s my girl, now eat.

(The next scene has Mike and the other kids in the family room. Mike is talking to them about Marcia’s braces.)

Mike: You know, it’s not going to be easy at first, so we all have to be very understanding. Your sister is at an age in which she’s very conscious of her looks.

Cindy: You mean she’s boy crazy.

Mike (laughing): Yes, some people call it that, though there’s nothing very crazy about it, and someday you’re going to make that same wonderful discovery too.

Jan: Like you and Mom did when you met each other?

Mike: Yes, just like that.

Bobby: Would you have married Mom if she wore braces?

Mike: Sure I would. She’d be just as beautiful to me, and so is Marcia, and that’s what I want you to reassure her of.

Peter: I don’t think any girls are beautiful.

Jan: That’s because you’re not girl crazy yet.

Mike: Marcia is not just a girl, Peter, she is your sister.

Greg: I don’t know if I could tell her she’s beautiful. I never said anything like that to a girl before.

Mike: All right, then don’t say it now. Just treat her like you always have. Ignore the braces, pretend they’re not even there, see.

(The next scene has Cindy heading to the bathroom, while Marcia is occupying it.)

Jan: Marcia’s in there.

Cindy: Daddy said to act natural, and I always barge in on Marcia when she’s in the bathroom. (She tries to open the door) It’s locked.

(She knocks on the door.)

Marcia: Who is it?

Cindy: It’s me.

Marcia: Can’t come in.

Cindy; Why not?

Marcia: I’m brushing my teeth.

Cindy; Well, I got to brush mine too.

(Marcia opens the door and lets her in.)

Jan (whispering): Remember, don’t look at her braces.

(Cindy walks in the bathroom. She starts to brush her teeth as Marcia combs her hair. Marcia notices she won’t even look at her, so she puts her hair in curlers and smears cream all over her face to get Cindy’s attention. She then goes right over to her.)

Marcia: Cindy, look at me!

Cindy: What for?

Marcia (moving Cindy’s face over to her): Tell me the honest truth, do I look (Pause) funny?

Cindy: Of course not, you look beautiful.

Marcia (smiling): Thanks, Cindy.

Cindy: But how do you get the toothpaste through all that barbed wire?

(Marcia sighs. Later on, she goes into the kitchen, looking depressed. Alice and Peter are down there. Marcia sits down and drinks some orange juice.)

Peter: Marcia, I think your braces are neat.

Marcia: You haven’t even seen them.

Peter: Billy Minkus needs them, he’s in my class and his braces are neat.

Marcia: Well, mine aren’t.

Peter: He can make great bird noises by whistling through them. Sometimes he makes noises without even trying.

Marcia: Great.

Alice: Peter, you’re late for school.

Peter: No, I’m not.

Alice: Oh, yes you are.

Peter: Okay, see you later, Marcia. Oh yeah, braces are great for magic tricks. Billy puts a magnet up to his braces and runs it clean across his mouth with his tongue. He’s a riot.

Alice (sternly): Peter!

Peter: Okay, I’m going.

(He leaves. Alice comes over to Marcia.)

Alice: Don’t forget your milk, sweetie. They’re good for… your teeth.

Marcia: Nothing will help mine.

Alice: Hogwash. When your braces come off of there, you’re going to be gorgeous, just gorgeous.

Marcia: How do you know?

Alice: Because I used to wear them myself.

(She smiles. Marcia gets even more upset.)

(Next, Alice is helping Marcia with her dress in the family room.)

Alice: You look scrumptious, just like Cinderella. Turn.

Marcia: I feel more like one of the ugly stepsisters. All the kids at the assembly today stared at me.

Alice: You were just imagining it.

Marcia: No, I wasn’t. Greg told a joke and I laughed, and I got my lip caught in the braces and everybody stared at me.

Alice: Well, you’re just self-conscious about it. Like when you got a run in your stocking, you’re sure the whole world is looking.

Marcia: I saw Alan start at me. He made funny faces.

Alice: It’s all in your head.

Marcia: It’s all in my mouth. Even my own family’s making fun of me.

Alice: Marcia.

Marcia: I don’t think I want to go to the dance anymore.

Alice: Marcia, it’s a woman’s privilege to change her mind, but you change yours so often, you’re going to wear it out before your 13th birthday.

(Jan and Bobby come in.)

Bobby: Wow!

Jan: Is that your new dress for the dance?

Marcia: Mmm, hmm. do you like it?

Jan: Oh, it’s divine.

Marcia (smiling): Thanks.

Alice: Well, I’m glad you told her, she won’t believe me.

Marcia: Well, sometimes people say things just to be nice.

Jan: Would we say things just to be nice to you?

Bobby: We’re your brother and sister.

Marcia: Then you didn’t really mean it.

Alice: Of course they meant it.

Marcia: I wonder if I can believe anything anyone in this family says to me, at all.

Jan: Honest, it’s a real pretty dress.

Bobby: Even if it doesn’t cover up your braces.

(Alice hits Bobby with the wrap the dress came with. Marcia scoffs away while Jan gives Bobby a dirty look.)

(Next, Marcia is laying face down on her bed when Mike comes to talk to her.)

Mike (knocking on the door): Marcia. Marcia, you in there? (He comes in.) Alan’s downstairs. He wants to talk to you about the dance.

Marcia: I’m not going.

Mike (sighing): Well, if that’s your decision, I think you oughtta tell him yourself.

Marcia (raising her head): Can I write him a note?

Mike: Well, come on. (She starts to sit up) Honey, let me give you some advice, man to woman.

Marcia: You’re going to tell me that braces won’t make any difference to my real friends.

Mike: Mmm, hmm. That’s right. Listen, did you know that the encyclopedia says that some of history’s most beautiful women wore braces when they were young girls? did you know that Cleopatra, some authorities say, wore braces?

Marcia: Cleopatra? Wow! Her braces must have been gorgeous.

Mike: Yeah, and they improved them in the last few thousand years, too. (He starts pointing to her braces) See there, and you can put a diamond in there, and a big pearl and a big lumpy emerald right in the middle.

(Alan is downstairs waiting for Marcia. She comes down the stairs to greet him.)

Marcia: Hi, Alan. I’m glad you dropped by. This is a very nice surprise.

Alan: Well I’m glad you’re glad, because I have another very nice surprise, which isn’t so very nice. I can’t take you to the dance.

Marcia (devastated): Why not?

Alan: Well, my parents have to go out of town next weekend.

Marcia: So what?

Alan: I’ve got to go with them?

Marcia (very upset): I don’t believe you!

Alan: Honest, it’s the truth.

Marcia (starting to cry): You’re lying! You just don’t want to be seen with a girl who has braces, like I do now! I hate you, Alan Anthony! I hate everybody!

(She runs back upstairs.)

Alan: But Marcia, honest.

(The scene fades out.)

marcia and alan

(The next scene has Mike and Carol discussing the issue in the living room.)

Carol: Hey, you look like an expectant father.

Mike: Well, I am. Listen, is my daughter going to have a little trauma, or is it going to be a big one?

Carol: A little one. (She goes to sit down) I think she’s over it already. She stopped crying and she’s invited Cindy into the bathroom with her.

Mike: Hey, that’s a good sign.

Carol: Hmm, I wonder why Alan’s parents decided to leave town at this time.

Mike: She didn’t believe him. Listen, maybe if you had his mother call, hmm?

Carol: Oh, I don’t think that would do much good. Right now, Marcia’s convinced that she’s Dracula’s daughter.

Mike: That makes me Dracula?

Carol (laughing): Sorry, dear. Hey, how about another boyfriend?

Mike: Hmm?

Carol: I mean, if someone else invited Marcia to the dance, it might restore her confidence.

Mike: Honey, where is she going to find another boy at this late date?

Carol: How about our address book? We have a lot of friends with sons.

(She takes out the address book, goes over to the phone and starts looking in the book.)

Carol (looking in the book): How about, uh, Rosalyn Shaller, she has a son, doesn’t she?

Mike: Yeah, uh, I think he’s a lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

Carol: Yeah, uh, I guess he’s a little old.

Mike: A little old, yes.

Carol (still looking): Well, uh, how about Mary Jane Reynolds? She has a son just the right age.

Mike (laughing): Harold?

Carol: Well, he always liked Marcia, I’m sure he’d love to take her to the dance.

Mike: Isn’t he that shy kid?

Carol: Well, right, well, he’ll need a little encouragement. Well, I think I’ll call Mary Jane. (She dials) Mike, suppose he doesn’t want to take her.

Mike: He better, (mocking a Transylvanian accent) or he’ll have to tangle with count Dracula.

(He runs over and playfully bites at Carol’s neck.)

Carol: Mike, oh, Mike, stop it.

(Next, Greg is in the kitchen with Alice massaging his neck.)

Alice: How did you get the kick in your neck?

Greg: I gave Joey Michaelson a karate chop.

Alice: And you got a stiff neck?

Greg: Then he gave me a karate chop.

Alice: Oh. Say, isn’t Joey the boy who used to have a crush on Marcia?

Greg: Yeah, but he swore off girls. He likes karate better.

Alice: Yeah, it’s less dangerous.

Greg: Why did you ask me about Joey?

Alice: Well, I wonder if he might be interested in taking Marcia to the dance.

Greg: Nah, no chance.

Alice: That’s too bad. Aw, it’s a shame she’s not going.

Greg: Yeah, that is a shame.

(Greg and Joey are outside wrestling. Joey has Greg in a headlock.)

Greg: All right, all right. You sure are strong, Joey.

Joey: I got you down that time.

Greg; Too bad you don’t know about leverage. You’d be a great wrestler.

Joey: What’s leverage?

Greg: Well, it’s applying force with a lot less pressure. We studied that in physics. You know, you’re the worst student in the whole class.

Joey: You keep telling me that.

Greg: It’s true.

Joey: Okay, so it’s not my best subject. That’s why I asked you to help me study for the final.

Greg: I changed my mind.

Joey: Why?

Greg: I guess I don’t have the time.

Joey: Greg, if I flunk physics, I’m gonna lose my place on the wrestling team.

Greg: How bad do you want it?

Joey: Real bad.

Greg: Well, they say every man has his price.

(Alice is in the kitchen when Eddie, the delivery boy, comes in with groceries.)

Eddie: Hi, Alice.

Alice: Hi.

Eddie: That’ll be $8.21. (He puts his hand out.)

Alice: Uh-huh. Thank you Eddie.

Eddie: What’s wrong?

Alice: Very little. You’ll do just fine. (He gives her a puzzled look as she gets money from her purse. She gives him a $10 bill.) Keep the change.

Eddie (excited): $1.79?

Alice: $1.79.

Eddie: Wow, that’s the biggest tip I ever got.

Alice: Well, there’s  lots more where that came from.

Eddie: Just for delivering groceries?

Alice: Not exactly.

(Mike and Carol are in the family room when the doorbell rings.)

Carol: That must be Harold.

Mike (looking at his watch): Yeah, I’ll get it.

(Mike answers the door and is surprised to see that it’s Eddie.)

Eddie: Mr. Brady.

Mike: Yes, who are you?

Eddie: Eddie, the delivery boy.

Mike: Oh, what have you got?

Eddie: I didn’t bring any groceries, Mr. Brady. I came to see Marcia.

Mike (taken aback): You did?

Eddie: Yeah. (Mike turns around) Aren’t you going to let me in?

Mike: Oh, yeah, yeah. Come on in.

(Alice comes in.)

Alice: Eddie, what are you doing here at this late hour?

Eddie: I got here when you told me to.

Alice: Isn’t that nice? Well, suppose I go upstairs and get Marcia.

Mike (firmly): Wait a minute, Alice. I think you’d better let me handle this.

Alice: Of course, Mr. Brady. Well, I’ll be upstairs with the other children in case there’s any good news to tell.

(She leaves.)

Mike: Uh, come on Eddie, sit down. (Mike goes to sit down with him then the doorbell rings again.) Eddie, I’m expecting someone, Now, you just make yourself comfortable and I’ll be right with you. (He answers the door and it’s Joey) Joey.

Joey: Anything wrong, Mr. Brady?

Mike: No, no, I was just expecting someone else. Come on in. (he calls) Greg, there’s somebody here to see you!

Joey: I didn’t come to see Greg.

Mike: Who did you come to see?

Joey: Marcia.

Mike (flabbergasted): Joey, I think you better come sit down. (Joey goes to sit down with Eddie) You to know each other?

Joey: Yeah. (to Eddie) Hi.

Carol (coming out): Hi, Eddie. Hi, Joey.

(They both rise.)

Eddie: Good evening, Mrs. Brady.

Joey: Hi, Mrs. Brady.

Carol: Sit down boys. (They sit. She whispers to Mike) What’s going on.

Mike (whispering): I don’t know.

(The doorbell rings again.)

Carol: Oh, it’s Harold.

Mike: Another county heard from.

(He answers the door and Marcia comes downstairs.)

Marcia: Hi, Eddie. Hi, Joey.

(They both rise.)

Eddie: Hi, Marcia.

Joey: Hi.

(Mike comes in with Harold.)

Marcia: Harold, what are you doing here.

Harold: I, uh, I…

Mike: Harold, why don’t you take a seat with the others in the bullpen. (Harold joins Eddie and Joey) Marcia, I think we ought to have a little talk, alone.

Marcia: Now?

Carol: Marcia…

Marcia: Mother, please, you’re both embarrassing me.

Carol: Marcia.

Marcia: Mother, please, I’d like to see what they want.

Mike (to Carol): Come on, honey. We’ll both be in the den.

(They both move to the den while Marcia looks at the boys and they look at her back.)

Carol: We should have told her.

Mike: Well, we tried to.

Carol: I guess it was a bad idea to begin with.

Mike: No, it couldn’t have been that bad, if three people in the same house had the same idea.

Carol: Well, maybe it will all work out. Maybe only one of them will ask her. Maybe…

Marcia: So you’ve all been bribed! All of you, Good night!

(They hear her angry footsteps going upstairs.)

Carol: I better go upstairs and talk to her.

Mike: I better say something to her male visitors and I’m not sure what.

(The next scene has Alice returning Marcia’s dress to the store.)

Alice (to the cashier): Miss, I’d like to return this dress.

Woman: Oh, uh, doesn’t it fit?

Alice: Oh, it fits. Doesn’t fit me. Not that it matters.

Woman: Would you be interested in something else?

Alice: A volume on child psychology, without braces.

(Next, Mike and Carol are in the kitchen, drinking coffee.)

Carol: Stop brooding Mike. Marcia’s a very sensible girl. She’ll get over it.

Mike: I know. the question is, can I get over the disappointment.

Carol: Well, we did all we could. Maybe too much. There will be other dances.

Mike: I guess you’re right.

(The doorbell rings. Mike gets ready to get up and answer.)

Carol (stopping him): Alice is there.

Mike: I’d better go. The stag line may be forming again.

(He comes out to the living room, where Alan is waiting.)

Mike (shaking Alan’s hand): Hi Alan, how are you?

Alan: Hello, Mr. Brady.

Mike: What’s new.

Alan: Nothing much. Alice went up to get Marcia. Your daughter sure spends a lot of time upstairs.

Mike (laughing): That’s the way girls are. When are you leaving with your parents?

Alan: We’re not going, that’s what I came to tell Marcia.

Mike: You mean you are gonna take her to the dance?

Alan: You bet, that’s what I want to tell her.

(Marcia comes down with Alice.)

Mike: Did you hear that, Marcia?

Marcia: Yeah. (to Alan) How much are they paying you?

Alan: Paying me? Who? What are you talking about?

Marcia: Why are you going to take me to the dance?

Alan: Gee, Marcia, that’s a silly question.

Marcia: Tell me, Alan. I want to know.

(Mike and Alice go to the kitchen.)

Alan: I want to take you to the dance because I like you, I really like you. Marcia, you act real crazy sometimes, but you’re still the grooviest looking girl in the whole school.

Marcia (smiling): Thanks, Alan.

Alan: Will you go with me.

Marcia (nodding): I’m so happy I could cry.

Mike (to Alice): What, again?

Alice: That’s what young ladies are made of.

(Alice returns to the department store to buy back Marcia’s dress. She sees the same cashier and confronts her.)

Alice: Miss, miss, yesterday I returned a party dress.

Woman: Yes, I well remember.

Alice: It’s black, white with a pink (Pause) for a young girl.

Woman: You said it wasn’t quite your size.

Alice: Well, have you sold it yet?

Woman: No, it’s still here.

Alice: Oh good, I want to buy it back again.

Woman: You must have found your volume on child psychology.

Alice: No, it’s just that Alan’s family decided not to go out of town after all. (The woman looked puzzled) You see, what happened was…

Woman: If it ends well, there’s no need to explain. And I’m sure it will end well if the girl wears this…

Alice: She’ll look like a dream.

(That evening, Marcia is coming down the stairs in her new dress. Alan and the rest of the family are waiting. She goes up to Alan.)

Alan: Are you real sure you wanna go with me?

Marcia: Of course I do. Why shouldn’t I?

Alan: I flew over the handlebars on my bike, nearly knocked all my teeth out. (He shows her his new braces.) I have to wear these things until the roots get strong again.

(Marcia laughs. They take each other by the arm and leave, as the family looks on and the scene fades.)


(The final scene has Mike and Carol in their room, getting ready for bed.)

Mike: You know, I’d go through it all over again, just to see the expressions on their faces as they went out the door.

Carol: I felt like crying.

(Mike laughs as he kisses her cheek.)

Mike: That must run in the family.

Carol: Mike.

Mike: Hmm.

Carol: Would you love me if I had to wear braces?

Mike: Every chance I got.

(He kisses her again and they turn out the lights to got o sleep.)

                             THE END

untitled allen

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