Jan the only Child
Written by Al Schwartz and Ralph Goodman
Jan alienates herself from the other kids in a quest for privacy. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(The episode begins with Jan standing outside the bathroom, waiting to get in. She knocks on the door rather impatiently.)
Jan: Come on, Peter. (She knocks again) Give someone else a chance.
Peter (opening the door): All I was doing was brushing my teeth.
Jan: Well, how many teeth have you got?
Peter: The same amount as you, (a little louder) but my mouth isn’t as big as yours! (Jan laughs) It’s all yours, your highness.
Jan: Oh, very… (Cindy runs in there) Cindy!
(Peter laughs and exits the room. Jan knocks again and gets upset.
(Next, Marcia is in the backyard. She gets on a bike and prepared to leave. Jan comes out.)
Jan: Marcia, wait a minute, that’s my bike.
Marcia: I know. Mine has a flat. I won’t be long.
(We next see Jan in the family room, watching television. Greg and Bobby come in and they change the channel.)
Jan: What are you doing? I was watching a movie.
(She gets up and changes the channel back )
Greg: Jan (He changes it back) We want to watch the ball game.
Bobby: Yeah, you can watch your movie any old time.
Jan: I want to see this movie.
Bobby: Come on.
(They struggle with the knob until it falls off ?
Bobby: That’s your fault!
Jan: It is not! You broke it!
Bobby: You made me!
Greg (annoyed): Now we’re gonna miss the ball game.
(They get into an argument until Carol comes in.)
Carol: Hold it, please! Now what’s the problem?
Jan: I’ll tell you what the problem is! You have to wait in line for everything around here! Someone is always borrowing your things! I never have any privacy because I’ve got too many brothers and sisters! I wish I was an only child!
(The scene fades away.)
(The next scene has Jan talking to Mike and Carol in the living room.)
Jan: I have to live with 5 brothers and sisters all day, every day.
Carol (laughing): Okay, honey. But they have to live with you too.
Jan: Well I wish they didn’t. I’m tired of getting pushed around.
Mike: Jan, you’re not getting pushed around. Listen, when you live in a large family, you have to learn to give and take a little bit.
Jan: My friend Donna doesn’t. She doesn’t have any of these problems.
Mike: Yeah, but does your friend Donna have any brothers and sisters?
Jan: No, and she couldn’t be happier. She doesn’t have to wait for the phone or the bathroom or anything. She has all the privacy she wants.
Carol: Just a minute, Jan. There are two sides to that. Donna also doesn’t have anyone to help her with her homework, or to play with, or to go places with.
Jan: Well, that sounds great.
Mike: Well, Jan, what’s good for one person isn’t always good for another. Listen, I think you oughtta consider yourself a very lucky young lady.
Carol: Here, here.
(Mike gets up.)
Jan: Mom, Donna invited me to spend Saturday night at her house, okay.
Carol (surprised): Saturday night? Now Jan, you know that’s the night of the square dance. We’re gonna be a square.
Jan: Couldn’t Alice take my part?
Carol: Yes, I suppose she could. But it wouldn’t be the same without you, honey. We’re going as a family.
Jan (whining): That’s what I mean. Donna doesn’t have to do family things. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have any brothers or sisters. Then I could do whatever I want without anyone to bug me.
(Next, Jan comes into the kitchen. She sees Alice.)
Jan: Hi, Alice.
(She opens the door to the refrigerator. Bobby rushes over and grabs an apple.)
Bobby: Good, there’s one left.
Jan (yelling): Bobby, you come back here! Alice!
Bobby: Yeah, Bobby, you come back here! Why am I hollering for Bobby to come back here?
Jan: Because he just took my apple!
Alice: Well, if that’s all that’s bothering you, no problem.
Jan: But that was the last apple, Alice.
(Alice reaches for the cupboard.)
Alice: Oh no, no. (She takes an apple from the cupboard) This is the last apple.
Jan (grateful): You’re something else, Alice. Thanks.
(She walks away with the apple and Carol starts to come by.)
Carol (calling): Alice, Mr. Brady is gonna drive me to the market to pick up a few things.
Alice: I thought we finished all the shopping yesterday.
Carol: Well, this is for something special. I decided to make strawberry preserves for the auction at the charity hoedown.
Alice: You did?
(Alice looks disappointed )
Carol: No, no, it’s just that, I was gonna make strawberry preserves for the auction myself.
Carol: Well, mine are from my grandmother’s secret recipe, Alice. Won four blue ribbons with it.
Alice: Must have been really something.
Carol: Mmm hmm.
Alice: My aunt’s secret recipe won six ribbons.
Carol: Look, Alice, why can’t we both make preserves. There’s no contest between us. Right?
Carol: Okay, I’ll go pick up those things. (She stops) By the way, what’s in your aunt’s secret recipe?
Alice: Oh, I guess, most of the same things that are in your grandmother’s secret recipe.
Carol: Okay, bye.
(We next see Greg and Marcia go into the garage.
Greg: There they are.
(They take some sacks out.)
Greg: These sacks will be great for the potato sack race at the hoedown.
(He sets them down and Marcia notices how dusty they are.)
Marcia: Don’t you think we better clean them out first?
Greg: Nah, we’ll just jump the dust out of them.
(They jump up and down on top of the sacks. Mike and Carol come home.)
Greg: Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad.
Mike: What are you doing?
Carol: You got a problem?
Greg: No. We’re just getting the sacks ready for the race.
Marcia: Maybe we’ll win a prize.
Carol: Yeah, wait till you see what we got for the square dance.
(He takes out some out some cowboy hats and pipes )
Marcia (impressed): Wow!
(Mike puts a hat on his head, a pipe in his mouth, and talks with a southern accent.)
Mike: Think the range is gonna hurt the rhubarb?
Carol: No, but I sure hope it kills the corn.
Greg: Hey, it should be a lot of fun Saturday night.
Marcia: Yeah, you know, I hope Jan changes her mind and decided to come with us.
Carol: Well, honey, don’t worry if she doesn’t. Jan’s going through a phase. She thinks she doesn’t have any privacy.
Mike: It’ll pass.
Greg: We all treat each other the same. She has just as much privacy as the rest of us.
Mike: Just be a little more considerate of her until she gets over her phase.
(He hands out the hats to each of them.)
Greg (in a southern twang): Okay, we’ll try and take kindly to the critter.
Marcia (grabbing a pipe): Yes I will try.
(The parents laugh. We next see Greg in the living room talking on the phone.)
Greg: The reason I called, Amy. Your groovy red hair and your mysterious green eyes really turn me on. (Pause) It’s Greg Brady. You remember, I talked to you in school yesterday about the charity hoedown Saturday night. I thought if you were going with your folks we can…
Jan (coming by): Oh, it never fails. One of them’s always on the phone when you want to use it .
Greg (to Jan): Do you mind? I’m trying to… (He sees it’s Jan and has a change of heart) Jan, listen, if you need it I’ll let you have the phone. (he gets back on) Listen, Amy, can I call you back later? Okay, good bye. (He hangs up)
Greg: Here you are, Jan. It’s all yours.
Jan: Gee, thanks.
(Cut to the kitchen, where Peter and Bobby are garnering money together.)
Peter (counting): 75, 80, 90, 95. I got 95 cents. How much you got?
Bobby: I got 60 cents.
Peter: Let’s see. 95 and 60 (he figures out) That’s $1.55.
Bobby: Hey, that’s more than we need.
(Alice is over by the sink and hears them.)
Alice: What is this big financial transaction?
Bobby: We finally got enough money to buy a trick rope for the square dance Saturday night.
Pet: Don’t forget, 95 cents of that rope is mine. You only get to use 60 cents worth.
Bobby: Okay. I’ll just use 30 cents off each end.
Alice: I don’t understand that, but it sounds mighty shrewd.
(Jan comes in the kitchen with a magazine.)
Jan: Look, Alice. (She shows her) Isn’t that a pretty bracelet. (Alice agrees) Absolutely free.
Alice: Well, you better read that small and see how free that free is.
Jan: Well, you do have to subscribe to this new teen magazine for a dollar and fifty cents. And as usual, I’m broke.
(She goes into the family room.)
Peter (to Bobby): You think we oughtta lend Jan the money?
Bobby (petulant): Are you nuts? What for?
Peter: To be considerate, like Mom and Dad said. Look, she’s done a lot of nice things for you.
Bobby: Like what?
Peter: Well like, well like, she helps you with your homework.
Bobby: Homework’s one thing, money’s another.
Peter: Well, I’m gonna lend her my money.
Bobby (whining): There goes to rope trick.
Peter: You go put your money back in your bank, or, you can be a nice guy.
Bobby: What a rotten choice.
(They go into the family room to see Jan.)
Peter: Jan, how would you like to get that money for the bracelet?
Alice: Would I?
Bobby: But it’s just a loan.
Jan (suspicious): What’s the catch?
Peter: No catch. Just pay it back whenever you can. Don’t rush. We’re just trying to help you, that’s all.
Jan: Gee, thanks.
(They give her the money and leave. Alice meets them at the door.
Alice: That was a very nice gesture, fellas. You deserve to have something nice done for you.
Bobby (jokingly): How about giving us a dollar and fifty-five cents.
(Peter grabs his arm and they walk away. Upstairs, Marcia is putting spots on Cindy’s face on)
Cindy: Ow, freckles aren’t supposed to hurt. That’s enough.
Marcia: Cindy, you wanted to see how you looked before you go to the square dance, don’t you.
Cindy: Yeah, but you better not put too many on me, or else they won’t let me in.
Cindy: They’ll think I have the measles.
(Marcia laughs. Jan enters the room.)
(She and Cindy get up.)
Cindy: I’m sorry, Jan. I was sitting on your bed. I’ll straighten it out.
(Marcia takes some books and magazines off the desk.)
Marcia: I’ll clean these things off the desk in case you wanna use it
Cindy: And anytime you want your bed straightened, I’ll be glad to do it.
Marcia: Cindy, let’s do the freckles downstairs,. okay.
(They both leave the room.)
Cindy: Have a nice privacy.
(Jan has a baffled look while we cut to the kitchen, where Carol and Alice are making strawberry preserves. They can’t help but try peeking in each other’s pots.)
Carol: Alice, would you like to see what’s in my recipe? I really have no secrets.
Alice: Oh, I know you don’t, Mrs. Brady. I wouldn’t want my recipe to be a secret either.
Carol: Alice, can I borrow some of the sugar, please?
Alice: Oh, sure, sure.
(She puts a spoonful in her pot and turns her back so Alice can’t see.)
Alice: Hmm, very interesting. 1 cup of sugar and three quarters of a cup of fruit.
Carol: Is that what it is?
(They laugh as Alice puts strawberry juice in her cup.)
Carol ( laughing): Three dashes, huh.
Alice: Who counts?
Carol: I think mine is ready to boil.
Alice: Mine too.
(Mike enters the kitchen with a pair of folded pants )
Mike: Hey, what’s cooking?
Carol: Oh, hi, honey. Alice and I are making strawberry preserves for the charity auction.)
Alice: Mrs. Brady and I are both making preserves for the auction.
Carol: Honey, which pot do you think looks the best?
Mike: What is this? A contest?
Carol (laughing): A contest? Oh no, are you kidding? Not at all. We were just curious.
Mike: Listen, to satisfy my own curiosity, I came in about my overalls. These things were made for Paul Bunyon or for two guys to wear at the same time.
(We next see Carol and Alice helping Mike with his overalls in the family room. Carol accidentally sticks him with a pin. Mike screams.)
Carol: Oh, honey, I’m sorry. Look, look, just stay still, okay.
Mike: Could you use shorter pins there?
Carol: Try not to move.
Alice: How’s that for length, Mr. Brady?
(Mike bends over to check but gets stuck again. He screams.)
Carol: Mike, I told you not to move.
Alice: You leave the lengths to me, Mr. Brady. I’ll make sure the high and up will show your purple checkered socks.
Mike: Return it because I’m bleeding to death.
(Jan comes in.)
Jan: Alice, have you seen my magazine?
Alice (pointing): Isn’t that it?
Jan: Oh, yeah. Thank you.
Alice: Think I better get myself some more pins.
Carol (to Mike): Okay, now stand still like that. Oh, Jan, listen, would you like to try on your dress for the square dance?
Jan: How come you got me one?
Carol: Well, I just thought maybe you’d change your mind and come with us.
Mike: Yeah, we’re gonna have a lot of fun.
Jan: Well, I promised Donna I’d spend Saturday night with her.
Carol: Well, couldn’t you spend some other night with Donna?
Jan: I guess. I’ll have to think about it.
(She leaves and Carol notices Mike standing there still as a statue.)
Carol: What are you doing?
Mike: Standing still.
(She laughs and playfully slaps his hips. Cut to the living room, where Cindy is sitting on the couch and gets ready to go upstairs. Jan comes by.)
Cindy: Oh, you can use the stairs if you want to. I’ll wait till later.
Jan: Cindy, what’s going on around here?
Cindy: I was just trying to be considerate.
Jan: Everybody is. Why is everybody so nice to me all of a sudden?
Cindy: Because we’re supposed to be.
Jan: What do you mean supposed to be?
Cindy: We’re supposed to be nice to you until you get over your problem, then we can forget about you again.
Jan: So, that’s it. (She grabs Cindy’s hand and rushes her up the stairs)
Cindy: I didn’t really mean…
Jan (calling): Greg, Bobby, Peter! (She and Cindy come in their room) Marcia, come in here a minute. I want to talk to you.
Greg: Jan, what’s this about?
Jan (angry): Okay, you can all cut out the special treatment (Marcia comes in) Cindy told me everything!
Cindy: Well, not everything. Just what I wasn’t supposed to.
Jan: You’re a bunch of fakes, that’s what you are!
Peter: What do you mean fakes?
Jan: I don’t need your help, and I don’t need ypur special treatment!
Marcia: Jan, take it easy.
Jan: and I don’t need you for brothers and sisters.
Bobby (to Peter): See, never lend a relative money.
Jan: Who asked you to do it? If I were an only child, I wouldn’t have any phony brothers and sisters! Who needs you?
Greg: You mean that, jan?
Jan: You’re right. I sure do!
Greg (getting up): Well, if that’s what you want, I’m sure it can be arranged! nRight, you guys?
(They all agree and gang up on Jan.)
Peter: You just lost yourself five brothers and sisters!
Marcia: And you can have the whole house to yourself!
Cindy: For us, too!
Greg: As far as you’re concerned, we don’t even exist !
Bobby: Yeah, we’re not even here!
Greg: Consider us invisible! Come on, gang, let’s disappear.
(They all leave the room. Suddenly, the guys come back.)
Peter: What are we leaving for?
Bobby: Yeah, this is our room!
(Jan leaves and Greg hold sthe door open and points for her to get out. He shuts the door behind her and he and the guys resume what they were doing. The scene fades away.)
(The next scene has the rest of the family practicing square dancing. Jan is on the phone with her friend, Donna.)
Jan: Isn’t this great, Donna? I can talk on the phone whenever I want, as long as I want. I’ll explain Saturday night when I sleep over at your house. Oh, that music is just my family practicing for that corny square dance.
(Cut back to the living room. The family is still practicing, then decide to wind down.)
Mike (sweating): I think that’s enough for tonight. Let’s stay out of the barn. Daddy’s pooped.
(They scatter around and then Jan comes out. Greg and Marcia are standing in front of the stairway.)
Jan: Do you mind? I’d like to go upstairs.
Greg: Don’t mind us, we’re invisible, remember.
(She goes up. Mike and Carol witness this and intervene.)
Carol: Now, what was that all about?
Greg: We agreed to make a deal with her.
Mike: What kind of deal?
Marcia: Well, she’s always complaining about wanting to be an only child.
Carol: So, what’s the deal?
Greg: If that’s the way she wants it. When she’s around, we don’t exist. We’re invisible.
(They go up the stairs.)
Carol: Uh, oh, Mike, what do you think?
Mike: Well, I think it’s better if the kids sometimes work things out for themselves. If that’s the kind of medicine Jan wants, think she’s about to get a big dose of it.
Carol: Oh, here we go.
(The next day, Carol is outside on the patio knitting and Jan comes out.)
Jan: See you later, Mom.
Carol: Where are you going?
Jan: To the library.
Carol: Okay, but be back by 1. Alice doesn’t want an all day lunch counter.
(Marcia comes out.)
Marcia: Hey, just a minute, you.
Jan: What do you think you’re doing?
Marcia: That’s my sweater.
Jan: So what? I always borrow your sweater.
Marcia: Well, not anymore. You no longer have a sister named Marcia, and if there’s no Marcia, there’s no Marcia’s sweater.
Carol (getting up): Okay, kids, okay.
Marcia: But Mom, we made a deal, remember?
Carol: I remember.
Marcia: And I’m sticking to it.
Carol (sternly): Jan, do you want to stick to it?
Marcia: Fine, I’ll just take my invisible sweater and (she snaps her finger) vanish.
(She walks away.)
Jan: That’s not fair.
Carol: I’m afraid it is, honey. You can’t have it both ways. (Jan leaves and Carol slaps her behind) So long.
(Later, Alice is in the kitchen making lunch, with Bobby sitting down eating.)
Alice: You finished your second hamburger already, partner?
Jan: For a little varmint, you got the fastest mouth in the west.
Jan (coming in): I’m sorry I’m late, Alice. (she goes to sit down) I guess Bobby ate the last hamburger.
Alice: Oh no, remember, honey, I came from a large family myself, and it teaches you to be ready for all emergencies. (She pulls a burger out of the oven) This is the last hamburger.
Jan: Thank you, Alice.
Alice: And I can’t tell you where I got them stashed, but in case you need them, I also have the last pear, the last peach and the last banana.
Jan: Thanks. Pass the potato chips, Bobby. (He ignores her) I said pass the potato chips.
Bobby: Alice, would you pass what’s her name the potato chips?
Alice: They’re right in front of you. Your arms suddenly got short?
Bobby: Well you see, I can’t pass them, I’m not here.
Alice: You’re not here?
Bobby: That’s right.
Alice: How about you, Jan,are you here?
Jan: Of course I’m here.
Alice: You’re here but he isn’t?
Jan: That’s right.
(Greg comes in.)
Greg: Hi, Alice.
Alice: How about you, Greg?
Greg: How about me what?
Alice: Are you here?
Bobby: He isn’t here either.
Greg: That’s right.
Alice: Will someone please tell me what’s not going on around here?
Greg: I guess we should have filled you in, Alice. Sit down and I’ll explain.
Alice: Before I sit down, tell me one thing.
Alice: Is that chair here?
(Cut to the family room, where Peter and Cindy are watching television and laughing. Jan comes in and their mood changes She starts to laugh and they frown.)
Jan (laughing): Right in the face, I wonder what kind of pie that was. Isn’t that funny, Pete?
(Peter gets up and walks out. Next, we hear dog noises coming from the TV.)
Jan: Isn’t it terrific the way they can make those dogs do those backflips. I wonder how they do that. Isn’t that cute, Cindy?
(Cindy gets up and leaves. Jan finds herself alone. She considers playing a record album but decided not to. Then she sees the checkerboard on the table.)
Jan: Hey, Marcia, would you…
(We next see Carol and Marcia making more preserves in the kitchen. Mike comes in )
Mike: : Hi, honey, I’m home.
Carol: We’re in here, Mike.
Mi: Hey, I do believe I died and gone to strawberry heaven.
Note: Robert Reed’s original line was ‘This smells like strawberry heaven.’ Reed objected due to his claim that strawberries have no odor while they’re cooking.
Carol: Want a taste?
Mike: Sure. (Carol gives him a taste) Mmm, fantastic.
Carol: Well, that’s Grandma’s old recipe for you.
Alice: Try mine, Mr. Brady.
Mike: Yeah. (He tastes) Alice, that’s out of this world.
Alice: Good old Aunt Millie.
Carol: Do you think Alice’s tastes better than mine?
Mike: I didn’t say that.
Alice: Mrs. Brady tastes better than mine?
Mike: I didn’t say that, either.
Carol: Well, then, what do you say?
Alice: Tell it like it is, Mr. Brady.
Mike: Let me put it this way.
Mike: I don’t want to scrub the kitchen. I don’t want to sleep in the den. I ain’t saying.
( He walks away.)
(The next scene has the kids outside having a potato sack race me)
Peter (to Bobby and Cindy): On your mark, get set, go.
(Bobby and Cindy race over to Greg and Marcia, who cheer them on. Jan sadly watches from inside, while Greg and Marcia take the sacks and they race. Bobby and Cindy then race again but fall. Jan walks away and goes to see Mike, who’s working in his den.)
Jan: Hi, Dad.
Mike: Hi, honey.
Jan: Mind if I watch?
Mike: No, not if you find supermarkets interesting.
Jan: I’m crazy about supermarkets.
Mike: Wouldn’t you rather be doing something more interesting?
Jan: Mmm Mmm, this is very interesting.
Mike: I think the kids are out back practicing the sack race.
Jan: I know. It looks dull. Besides, they probably wouldn’t want me out there anyway.
Mike: Well, you know, sweetheart. Sometimes when you make a deal, and it turns out badly, the best thing to do is to get out of it.
Jan: Did they say it was a bad deal?
Mike: No, but you never know. Sometimes when you find out it’s turned out badly, there’s every chance they have too.
Jan (crying): I don’t know.
Mik: Oh, come on, come on, (he raises her chin) think about it, hmm.
(Jan smiles and he kisses her cheek.)
Jan (quietly): Yeah.
Mike: Go get ’em.
(Meanwhile, the other kids have a slight argument over who races who next.)
Greg: Boys against girls.
Marcia: Wait, wait, wait, Cindy can’t run this far.
Cindy: Yeah,bI have shorter legs.
Greg: All right, well, I’ll be your partner.
(They continue to argue until Peter interrupts.)
Peter: Hold it, hold it, hold it. Come on, we’ll team up and we’ll beat ’em.
Greg: I’ll be the lineup.
(Bobby and Cindy grab the sacks and Greg lines them up.)
Greg: On your mark, get set, go!
(They race, with Marcia begging Bobby to hurry. Jan comes out and blocks them.)
( The others gather around.)
Peter: Move it, Jan.
Jan: I won’t! No!
Greg: Run along, Miss only child.
Jan: Well, if I’m an only child, this is my back yard.
(The others loudly protest.)
Jan: All right! I’ll get out of your way on a couple of conditions.
Jan: That you’ll let me in the race.
Jan: And that you’ll promise to be my brothers and sisters again.
Marcia: Are you sure that’s what you want, Jan?
Jan: Positive. Once you’ve been pushed around by brothers and sisters like you, you sure do miss it.
Greg: Nice to have you back.
(Cindy and Marcia hug her and Peter and Bobby scream their approval.)
Greg: Hey, Jan, grab a sack. I’ll be your partner.
Jan: Wait a minute, I forgot something, I’ll be right back.
(The adults come out while Jan is on her way in.)
Carol: Hey, where are you going, honey?
Jan: To call Donna to tell her I can’t stay over, because I’m going to the hoedown.
Carol (hugging her): Oh, that’s terrific.
Jan: Hey, I got an idea. Is it all right if I invite Donna to come with us.
Mike: Sure, that’s a good idea.
Jan: Good, then she won’t be an only child either.
(She goes inside.)
Greg: Hey, Alice! Why don’t you fill in for Jan. I need a partner.
(The others encourage her. She resists until Mike and Carol talk her into it.)
Alice: Well, I’ll give her a try.
(She joins the kids.)
Mike (to Carol): Hey, what are we standing around for? This looks like fun.
Carol: Well, I’m game if you are.
(We next see the whole family taking part in the race.)
Mike: Okay, on your mark, get set, go.
(They all race. Mike and Greg fall while Peter wins. The scene fades .)
(The final scene has the Bradys coming home form the dance.)
Carol: Now I know why they only have these hoedowns once a year.
Carol: Whoo, it takes that long for your feet to recover.
Mike: Okay everyone, it’s been a big night. Let’s hit the sack.
Peter: Okay, Dad. We’ll be up in a minute.
(The parents go upstairs while the kids all ask Alice to wait on them. She does her signature whistle.)
Alice: Hold it, hold it, now. I had a long, hard day and I am pooped. So please, till tomorrow morning, it’s my turn to be invisible.
(She opens the refrigerator door and the kids all help themselves.)