Written by Brad Radnitz
Peter breaks Carol’s favorite vase just as he’s due for a weekend camping trip. The other kids take the rap for him but causes him to get the guilts. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
CLERK AT DRUG STORE
(The episode begins in the boys’ room, where Peter is getting ready for his upcoming camping trip. Greg and Bobby come in with their basketball.)
Peter: Hi, you guys. I’m packing my stuff.
Greg: What’s all this stuff doing out? You aren’t going camping till Saturday.
Peter: I know, but I want to make sure I don’t forget anything. Not that time.
Bobby: What’s so special about this time?
Peter: Well, it’s my first overnight camp-out with just the guys.
(Peter passes the ball to Greg.)
Greg: Come on you guys, let’s play free throws in the wastebasket.
(He throws the ball to the garbage can but knocks it down.)
Bobby: We better not. Mom will get mad.
Greg: No she won’t, nobody’s home. (to Bobby) Set it up again.
(Bobby sets it back up and Greg makes another throws. Peter grabs it.)
Peter: Pete Brady intercepts and goes for a shot.
(He throws the ball but misses. It bounces out to the hallway and to the stairs. It goes down the stairs and breaks a vase into three pieces. The guys come out after it.)
Peter: Oh, no!
Greg: Mom’s favorite vase.
Bobby: She always says don’t play ball in the house. (Note: Carol was never known to actually say this. Perhaps she mentioned it off-camera)
Peter: I’ll be grounded. there goes my camping trip.
(The scene fades. The next scene has the boys coming down the stairs.)
Peter: Boy, I can just hear Mom and Dad now. I’m going to get it for sure.
Bobby: Good-bye, camping trip.
Greg: Wait a minute, maybe not.
Peter: What do you mean?
(They get to the bottom of the staircase.)
Greg: You’ve got to tell Mom and Dad in order to face up to this, right?
Peter: Yeah, so?
Greg: So, suppose you don’t tell them right away. Suppose you wait till after this weekend to tell them.
Peter: I’ll still be punished, but I’ll get to go on my camping trip.
Bobby: Well, they’ll see that’s it’s broken.
Greg: Not if we glue it together. Look, there are only three pieces.
Peter: That’s a great idea! You guys are sure swell brothers!
Greg: Oh, but remember we have to keep this thing a secret till after this weekend.
Marcia (from the top of the stairs): I won’t tell anybody, I’m very good at keeping secrets. Ask anybody.
Greg (fuming): I guess it will have to be all right.
Bobby: As long as she doesn’t say anything.
Jan (coming out with Cindy): About what?
Cindy: Look, Greg broke Mommy’s favorite vase!
Greg: I didn’t break it.
Peter: I did.
Bobby: But he’s not telling till later.
Marcia: Till after he comes back form his camping trip. Until then, it’s a secret.
(They go down the stairs and join the guys.)
Greg: Come on you guys, help me put this thing back together again. If one more Brady finds out, it won’t be a secret anymore.
(Later on, Mike comes home with flowers.)
Mike (calling): Carol!
(Cindy sees him and runs inside to tell Marcia and Jan.)
Cindy: Daddy’s home with some flowers!
Marcia: Oh no!
Jan: What if he wants this vase?
Mike: Carol! Where is everybody?
Alice: Oh, hi Mr. Brady, I didn’t hear you out back. Oh, beautiful flowers.
Mike: Yeah, where did everybody go?
Alice: Well, Mrs. Brady is out picking up a few things, including a new potato peeler for our special treat tonight, potatoes ala Alice.
Marcia (from upstairs): Come on, I’ve got an idea.
(She and Jan leave the room.)
Jan: You stay here Cindy and guard those pieces.
(Cut back to downstairs)
Alice: The boys are out playing.
Mike: Well, that accounts for half the silence. What about the rest of them?
Alice: Well, the girls are, (Marcia and Jan come downstairs) here come two of the thundering herd now. (she walks away.)
Mike: Every man for himself.
Marcia and Jan: Hi, Dad.
(They give him a big hug.)
Marcia: Oh, they’re beautiful flowers.
(They smell them.)
Mike: That’s quite a greeting. These, however, are for your mother.
Marcia: We know just the vase for them.
Jan: We’ll put them right in it.
Mike: Okay, be careful. thank you.
(They take off with the flowers and head toward the kitchen. Mike goes upstairs.)
(The next scene has the boys at the drugstore, buying glue to put the vase back together.)
Clerk: This is the best glue we got, kids.
Peter: Is it good for vases?
Clerk: Is it good for vases? Does it say on there it’s good for vases?
Peter (looking on the tube) Yeah.
Clerk: Then it’s good for vases.
Greg: Will it be invisible, mister?
Clerk: Will it be invisible, mister? Does it say on there it’s invisible?
Peter (checking it out): No.
Clerk: Then it’s not invisible.
Bobby: We need something that’s invisible.
Clerk: This is as close as you can get. Believe me, you’ve got to squint to see it.
Peter: Okay, we’ll take it.
(He hands the clerk money.)
Clerk: They’ll take it.
(Carol comes by and sees them.)
Carol: Hello, boys.
Bobby: Oh, no!
(Peter shushes him.)
Greg: Hi, Mom.
Carol: I thought you guys went out to play ball.
Greg: Well, not exactly, we…
Peter: We came to buy something.
Bobby: Yeah, candy.
Greg: Well, actually, it’s a…
Peter: It’s a corn popper.
Greg: That’s right, for popping corn.
Peter: I figured I’d take it with me on my camping trip.
Clerk (coming up to them): Gentlemen, here’s your change. Thank you for your patronage and come again.
(Carol tests the glue that came in a paper bag.)
Carol: That, uh, looks awfully small to be a corn popper.
Peter: It only pops a few corns at a time.
(Bobby nods and smiles.)
Carol: How ingenious. (She gets suspicious) Come on fellows, what’s up?
Peter: Nothing, Mom.
Bobby: Yeah, nothing at all.
Greg: Nothing at all.
Carol: Well, if you say so.
Greg: Well, we got to get going. We’ll see you at the house.
Carol: Well, why don’t you wait a second and I’ll take you. I only got one more stop after here.
Peter: That’s okay. We need the exercise.
Bobby: We’d rather walk.
Greg: Or jog. Jogging’s real good for you.
(The guys start jogging out to Carol’s surprise. Next, they’re at home with the girls gluing the vase back together, while Bobby and Cindy are outside standing guard.)
Marcia (to Jan): Wet rag. (She hands her the wet rag and Marcia wets the vase) Dry rag.
(Bobby goes back to join Cindy from seeing what is happening downstairs.)
Bobby: All clear. Dad’s still reading and Mom hasn’t got back yet.
Cindy: What about Alice?
Bobby: I think she’s in the kitchen trying to mush up potatoes with an egg beater.
(Cut back to the girls’ room.)
Marcia: There, that should do it.
Jan: How long will it take to dry?
Greg: Uh, I don’t know. (He picks up the glue tube to check) it says ( he gets dismayed) 2 to 4 hours.
Peter: We better put it back and let it dry.
(Downstairs, Alice is making dinner as Carol comes in from the store.)
Carol: Hi, Alice.
Alice: Um, hi, potato peeler?
Carol: Oh yes.
Alice: Thank you, I’m running out of fingers to nick.
Carol (noticing the flowers): Oh, those are pretty flowers. Are they for you or for me?
Alice: Well, since your husband brought them, I think I’d better say they’re for you.
(Carol laughs. The next scene has Carol and Mike joining the kids at the dinner table. He notices the girls staring at the vase they put the flowers in.)
Mike: What are you staring at?
Marcia: Uh, the flowers are so pretty.
Jan: Oh, aren’t they beautiful?
Bobby: Yeah, they sure smell great in that vase.
Carol: Well, I think they should use a larger vase. This one looks like it’s going to tip over. That one on the chest there would be just right.
Peter (getting up): Mom, don’t you think it would be nice if we did something else with the flowers?
Carol: Like what?
Jan: Why don’t we replant them.
Bobby: Yeah, they might smell better in the garden.
Cindy: Yeah, that’s a great idea.
Carol: Now, you know you can’t replant cut flowers. (Mike smiles) Boy, I wish you’d all been this interested in gardening when I was doing the weeding.
Greg (getting up): Wait a minute, Mom. I’ll get the vase for you.
Peter: I’ll help. I’m great at arranging flowers.
Carol (disbelieving): you? Since when?
Peter: I hardly ever get a chance.
Mike: Say, would you hurry up before dinner gets cold?
Carol: Yeah, and put an aspirin in the water.
Peter: In the vase?
Carol: Well, of course! You’ve got to put flowers in water.
(Greg and Peter head out to the kitchen, where they cautiously fill the vase with water.)
Peter: It doesn’t leak.
Greg: Great, put the flowers in.
(Peter puts them in and they bring it to the table.)
(Next, the family is having dinner but the kids are too busy staring at the vase to eat. Carol and Mike notice.)
Carol: Will you kids stop daydreaming? Why aren’t you eating?
Jan: It’s just that everything is so good we want to make it last.
Mike: Well, there’s plenty here for seconds. Come on, dig in.
(The kids start to eat a little but it’s not long before the vase starts to crack and water leaks out. Peter starts eating faster while Greg puts his finger over it. Carol notices.)
Carol (getting up): Mike! (Mike takes notice) Alice, help! (Mike gets up to pick up the vase) Alice, oh, dear. What in the w…
Alice (coming in); Anybody got three coins for the fountain?
Carol: Alice, get a towel, would you please?
(The kids start eating their food normally and pretend not to notice.)
Mike: You know, I don’t recollect this vase having any cracks in it when your mother bought it!
Carol: Obviously, it’s been broken and glued back together again.
Mike: The question is, who broke it and who glued it together?
(The kids continue eating as if to avoid the question.)
Mike: Your mother and I expect an answer, after dinner.
(The next scene has Greg coming up to Carol.)
Carol: Yes, Greg?
Greg: I got something to tell you. I should have told you right away. I knew it was your favorite. I broke the vase, I’m sorry.
(Next, Marcia confesses the misdeed to Mike, along with the other kids after.)
Marcia: I was skipping rope in the living room. I know I’m not supposed to, and that’s how I broke the vase. I’m sorry.
Bobby (to Carol): I know I’m not supposed to play ball in the house, Mom. But I did it.
Jan (to Mike): I’m sorry, Dad. I’m the one.
Cindy (to Carol): I did it, Mother.
(After all these confessions, Carol goes to Mike in his den.)
Carol: Do you want to know something peculiar about that vase?
Mike: Yeah, you broke it?
Mike: Seems to be the trend.
(They laugh as the scene fades out.)
(The next scene has Carol and Mike further discussing the situation.)
Mike: Greg, Marcia, Jan, Bobby and Cindy. That’s five suspects, five confessions.
Carol: You know what I think, Mike?
(There’s a knock on the door and Mike gets up to answer it. It’s alice.)
Alice: Excuse me, can I interrupt you folks for just a second?
Mike: Sure, Alice.
(She enters the den and Mike shuts the door behind him.)
Alice: I really should’ve said something sooner, I guess. I was kinda hoping I could replace it, but, you see, I broke the vase.
Alice: Yeah, clumsy me. I’ve got ten thumbs on each hand.
Mike: Now, come on, Alice. You didn’t break that vase.
Alice (impatiently): Yes, I did, I was reaching for that high shelf, you know, the one that’s always too high for me and I kind of knocked it off.
Carol (disbelieving): Alice, the vase was on the cabinet next to the living room stairs.
Alice: Right. I was moving the vase to that high shelf so it wouldn’t get broken. That’s when I broke it.
Carol: Well, it’s awfully nice of you to own up to it, Alice.
Alice: Well, I know it was something kinda special to you and I didn’t want you to blame the kids.
Mike: Sorry Alice, no dice.
Alice: Well, would you believe…
Mike: Uh uh, it’s nice of you to try to protect the kids.
Carol; Yeah, thanks anyway, Alice.
Alice: Okay, but I’ll go to my grave believing I was guilty. (She bumps into a lamp as she leaves) See?
(She leaves the den and Mike and Carol continue the discussion.)
Mike: Well, we still have five suspects and five confessions.
Carol: Correction, six suspects. and number six is looking forward to an overnight camping trip this Saturday.
Mike (mocking a British accent):By Jove, Holmes, you’ve deduced that young Peter Brady did it.
Carol (also with a British tongue): Elementary, my dear Watson, the five who confessed are covering up for the sixth who didn’t.
Mike: Right, and if Peter is guilty, then the other kids are accessories to the crime.
Carol: Well, what are we gonna do about it, Mike?
Mike: Well, why don’t we play along with their little game and punish everybody who confessed.
Carol (astonished): What, and allow Peter to get away with it?
Mike: Honey, Peter’s not going to get away with it, his conscience won’t let him.
(The next scene has all the kids in the family room in their pajamas, preparing for bed. Peter comes in with a glass of milk.)
Peter: Does anybody know why Dad called this meeting?
Marcia: I do. He’s gonna tell everybody I broke the vase. I confessed.
Greg: Oh, no.
Marcia: Well somebody had to take the blame.
Greg: I told Mom I did it.
Bobby: Me too.
Jan: Thud. (She lays back on the couch)
Bobby: You too?
Cindy: I guess we all confessed.
Peter: I didn’t.
Greg: You didn’t.
Peter (angry): I wanted to in the first place, but yo guys drained up this whole thing!
Marcia: Peter’s right. We’re as much to blame for this as he is.
Jan (hearing the parents come in): Shh, here they come.
Cindy: I think we’re all gonna get it now.
(Carol and Mike walk in.)
Mike (to the kids): Yes, well, one of you broke your mother’s vase, but five of you claimed you did it.
Carol: There seems to be a slight communication gap in this family.
Mike: Look, no matter who broke it, the others of you who confessed are just as guilty for hiding the truth, and I’m afraid you’re all gonna have to be punished.
Jan: But when people admit their guilt, aren’t they supposed to get a lighter sentence?
Mike: Well, that’s not up to me, Jan.
Greg: What do you mean, Dad?
Mike: In this case, your punishments are not going to be decided by your mother or by me.
Carol: They will be decided by a jury of one, your brother, Peter.
(Peter looks surprised.)
Cindy: How come?
Mike: Well, see now, he’s the only one who didn’t confess. Doesn’t that seem fairly obvious that he alone is innocent
Peter: I, I don’t think I’d make a very good jury.
Mike: Well, we’ll be the judges of that.
Carol: Now Peter, you tell us what you think your brothers and sisters should get for punishments , and if it sounds reasonable, your word will be law.
Peter: I’m not really old enough to make laws.
Carol: You can start with your sisters.
(Peter pauses for a few minutes.)
Peter: Wait, Mom. Would it be all right if I thought about it for a while?
Mike: You want to sleep on it, son?
Peter: Yes, please.
Mike: Okay. You can make your recommendations in the morning. (to the others) In the meantime this court is recessed till old 800 tomorrow, scat.
(The kids all get up and go upstairs to their rooms.)
Carol: Good night.
(She slaps Jan’s behind as she walks by. Next, Peter is in his room with Greg and Bobby.)
Peter (morosely, to Bobby): I can’t do it, I can’t hand out punishments.
Bobby: Why not?
Peter: Because it’s not fair, I’m the guy who busted the vase.
Greg: Look, you kept it a secret this far, so forget about it till you come back from your camping trip.
Bobby: Yeah, then you can blab all your life.
Peter: Don’t you want to go camping?
Peter: Do I, real bad. But what’s gonna happen to you guys?
Greg: It’s up to you.
Bobby: Why don’t you ask Mom and Dad to give us time off for good behavior.
Greg: All you have to do is make the punishments easy.
Peter: Like what?
Greg: I don’t know.
Bobby: Me neither, it’s kind of hard to punish myself.
Peter: Hey, that’s it! You guys can think up your own punishments.
(The next morning, Peter is brushing his teeth while Jan gives him the punishment she requests for herself.)
Peter: Are you sure?
Jan: Yeah, I’ll help Mom all day long in the kitchen next time she makes cookies.
Peter: Okay, who’s next.
Peter: Send her in.
(She leaves and Marcia comes in.)
Marcia: I’ve got a great punishment for myself.
Marcia: I’ll take Bobby to the amusement park.
((Next, Peter is downstairs giving the punishments to Mike and Carol.)
Mike: Taking care of Bobby at an amusement park?
(He and Carol look at Peter with suspicion.)
Peter: Kids can be a lot of trouble at his age.
Mike: Yeah, well, going to an amusement park and helping your mother make cookies. Don’t you think those punishments are a little bit lenient?
Carol: Peter, your brothers and sisters have done something wrong. We’re trying to discourage them from doing it again.
Mike: I don’t think Greg’s going to get the message if you sentence him to a Saturday matinee with Cynthia. I mean…
Peter: No, I guess not.
Carol: Well if I were you, I’d ground him from playing ball next Saturday.
Carol: Have him spend the day taking the screens down.
Peter (upset): I told you I’d make a terrible jury.
Carol: Peter, I think you’re going easy because they’re your brothers and sisters.
Mike: Why don’t you give it some more thought, and this time, let the punishment fit the crime.
Peter: Yeah, okay. (He starts to walk off) I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.
Carol: Mike, I think his conscience is getting to him.
Mike: Yeah, if I know Peter, he’ll be ready to admit it by morning.
(Upstairs, the boys are getting ready to leave for school.)
Greg: Come on, Peter, you’ll be late for school.
Greg: What is it?
Peter: This Saturday you’ve got to take off all the window screens.
Peter: They got to be washed and stored in the cellar. Bobby will help you.
Bobby: What do you got to wash screens for? The water goes right through.
Greg: That’s not the punishment we gave ourselves.
Peter: I know, but Mom and Dad didn’t like your ideas so I had to get new ones for you and the girls too.
Greg: But I’ll miss the ball game Saturday.
Peter: I know, I’m sorry. (He starts to get angry) Look, I didn’t want to give out punishments. I wanted to confess. But you guys kept on saying ‘no, go camping”. And now that you talked me into it, you’re mad at me.
Greg: I guess we did start it, and we’re not quitters.
Bobby: We’re not quitters.
(Next, Mike is in his den getting ready for work when Carol comes in.)
Carol: Mike honey, wait a minute. You forgot this.
(He hands him a pamphlet.)
Mike: Oh, thank you sweetheart. (He takes it and puts it in his jacket pocket) You know, this morning I was sure Peter would admit breaking that vase.
Carol: Yeah, me too. and tomorrow’s his camping trip.
Mike: Yeah, well, I’ve been thinking of a new approach. Why don’t we reward him.
Carol (surprised): For breaking my vase?
Mike: No, for being the only one who wasn’t involved, see. That ought to give his conscience a little nudge.
Carol (mocking a British accent): Right again, my dear Watson.
Mike (with the same accent): It’s elementary my dear Holmes, elementary.
Carol: What do you think we oughtta give him?
Mike: Well, how about camping equipment, you know, like a lantern. He’s wanted one of those for a long time.
Carol: A lantern?
Mike: Mmm hmm.
Carol: Mike, that is inspiring.
Carol: Yeah, wasn’t it Diogenes who went around with a lantern looking for an honest man?
(The next scene has Mike, Carol and Peter shopping for the lantern.)
Peter: Thanks, but, I don’t think I want it.
Carol: Why not?
Peter: It’s, it’s too big.
Mike (after a long pause): Well, how, how about this one? (He picks out a smaller one.) This looks like a pretty good size.
Peter: Gee Dad, I don’t have to be rewarded.
Mike: you were the only one who didn’t confess. We want you to really enjoy your camping trip.
Peter: It’s an awful lot of money.
Carol: But you deserve it. We want you to have it.
Peter: You do? Let me think it over a minute.
Carol: Sure. (Peter excuses himself to ponder. She whispers to Mike) I think he’s ready to tell.
Mike: This did it.
Peter: Okay, I’ve made up my mind.
Peter: I’ll take it.
(Mike looks shocked. That evening, Peter has dreams about the incident with the ball cracking the vase and Greg’s quote Mom’s favorite vase, and Bobby saying she always says don’t play all in the house.)
(The next day, Peter is awaiting his ride to the camping trip and is witnessing the other kids doing chores i.e. Marcia mowing the lawn, Cindy and Jan doing gardening and Bobby removing the window screen, with Greg helping. Mr. Cramer, the man who is to drive Peter, arrives and honks.)
Mike (coming outside): Hi Doug, Peter will be right out. (calling) Peter!
Carol (joining him): He’s coming, honey.
(Carol waves to Doug Cramer as Peter comes out.)
Carol: Hurry up, dear.
Mike: Come on, you’ve got everything, son?
Carol: Now remember, stay warm and dry and do everything Mr. Cramer tells you. (Note: Douglas Cramer was an executive producer for the series during its first two seasons.)
Peter: Thanks, Mom.
Carol: Good-bye dear. (He kisses his cheek)
Peter: Good bye.
Mike: Good bye, Peter.
Peter: Good bye. (He starts to go but then stops) I can’t go, Mom, Dad, it’s my fault. I broke the vase. I should have told you. I really meant to but it was the camping trip that I really wanted.
Mike: It’s okay, it’s okay, son.
(Carol hugs him.)
Carol: Mr. Cramer’s waiting.
Peter: I better tell him I can’t make it. What reason shall I give him?
Mike: The truth Peter, just tell him the truth.
Peter: Yeah, the truth.
(Mike winks at him as Peter goes to cancel. Mike and Carol proudly look on and the scene fades.)
(The final scene has Peter mowing the lawn. Carol comes out to see him.)
Carol: Hi, Peter.
Peter: Oh, hi Mom.
Carol: Why are you doing that?
Peter: I’m taking over all the punishments I gave the other kids.
Carol: Well that’s a very nice gesture, Peter. And I’ve got one more job for you to do.
Peter: What’s that?
Carol: When you’re finished, would you mind gluing this (the vase) Back together again? And this time, try to do a better job.
(She hands him he vase but before Peter gets ahold of it, it drops and breaks into a bunch of pieces.)
Carol (upset): Oh, no!
(We see the completely destroyed vase down by peter’s sneaker.) Well, Peter, it looks like we’re going to need a lot more glue.
Peter: First you better tell dad the truth.
(Carol laughs and hugs him.)