The Partridge Family Episode #16

The Partridge Family Episode #16

The Partridge Family Episode #16

Welcome to my Partridge Family review! The Partridge Family Episode #16 is called Old Scrapmouth and originally aired on January 15, 1971. FYI, the number one song on that day was George Harrison‘s My Sweet Lord. This episode is about when Laurie gets braces. How many other sitcoms used this plot? Laurie is freaked out, there’s a love interest involved, there’s a Big Dick involved, and everything works out in the end. Enjoy.

The show opens with Tracy carrying Simon into the garage. How did that little girl carry that big dog? Danny and Chris are playing catch like two feet apart. How fun! Keith is bitching because Laurie is late for rehearsal. Shirley walks in and tells him to cut her some slack because she’s going to have to get braces. Laurie walks in looking so cute in her little dress. The kids all make a lame excuse to leave so Shirley can break the bad news to Laurie alone.

Laurie Partridge The Partridge Family Episode #16 ZTAMS
I don’t need braces!

Brace Face

Shirley tells Laurie that she’ll have to wear braces for six months. Shirley also says that she’s not going to lie and tell her it’s not going to change her appearance. That was cool. I think what she was basically saying was “U be ugly for half a year”.

The kids are outside washing the bus. Jeremy Gelbwaks looks very cute in his tiny little shorts. Jerry, the boy who is crushing on Laurie keeps walking by. Nowadays we call that a stalker. Some boys who weren’t looking where they were going run into Jerry and I swear one of them hit him in the nuts. Oops. Jerry is played by Mark Hamill, the dude who later went on to be Luke Skywalker. This was one of his first roles ever.

Reuben drives up in his groovy convertible with some exciting news. He has booked The Partridge Family to appear on the Wink Burgess show and they’re going to film it right in their own house! Laurie comes home with her new hardware and is not happy at all about the show. In fact, she rarely opens her mouth. She comes to dinner and drinks her soup through a straw. Funny. She writes notes to her mom instead of talking. Stupid. Grow up.

Wink Burgess, AKA Mr. Big Dick, arrives at the house. He gives Laurie autographed pictures of himself and then wants to pose with her. He doesn’t understand why she won’t smile. She runs out and hides in the bus where Jerry finds her. Jerry asks her to go steady with him and she says she can’t and runs away. Poor guy. Shot down.

Mark Hamill The Partridge Family Episode #16 ZTAMS
I love Laurie…..and Star Wars.

Music in My Mouth

The band does a sound check and Laurie is sucking big time. She’s playing in the wrong key and fracking all over the place. She says there’s a funny buzzing in her ears. Keith stops and tells her it’s a 2/4 count. Stupid. She’s in the wrong key, not the wrong time signature. Laurie is freaking out because she can hear music in her mouth. She thinks it’s The Rolling Stones. Her dentist just happens to be there and says it could be the metal in her mouth picking up radio signals. Didn’t that happen with Gilligan too? The dentist says radio signals can be transmitted through the mouth but it’s usually with fillings. Mr. Big Dick (played by Alan Oppenheimer) is freaking out because he’s on a time thing. He has everyone go out to search for the person playing the radio.

While everyone is gone, Jerry walks in with his radio. Laurie finally starts talking when she realizes it’s his radio that she can hear in her mouth. Jerry shockingly says “Laurie! Did you know you have braces?” Laurie apologizes for being ugly and Jerry says “You’re still you. You’re a beautiful person even if you do have an ugly mouth.” I love honest people.


The Wink Burgess show finally gets to tape. Keith somehow got a haircut while he was out looking for the person with the radio. This is one of the songs that someone else recorded. David Cassidy is not singing this. Tracy is playing her hands. It looks like she’s playing patty cake.

The tag is of the dentist telling Laurie that she has another option. He can remove the braces and instead have her wear a night brace. Ummm…..why wouldn’t he give her this option before putting the braces on? Stupid. FYI, you can see Jeremy Gelbwaks trying to wrestle a cookie away from Suzanne Crough in this last scene. It’s very realistic and I’m sure it wasn’t scripted.

I hope you enjoyed my review of The Partridge Family Episode #16.  If you want to read some of my other Partridge Family reviews, please click here.


Tammy is a teen pinup collector and entrepreneur who has been offering an exceptional selection of vintage and modern teen pinups and rock magazines on Ztams for many years now.

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