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Caroline "Carol" Ann Brady (formerly Caroline Martin, nee Caroline Ann Tyler), portrayed by Florence Henderson in the TV series and Shelley Long in movies, is the wife of Mike Brady. At the beginning of the pilot, her last name is Martin from her first marriage, during which she had had three daughters. She gains three stepsons when she marries Mike Brady. Carol enjoys singing in the church choir, and with her daughter Marcia in the high school Family Frolic Talent Show. In the episode "A Fistful of Reasons," in which Cindy is bullied because of her lisp, Carol confesses that she too overcame a lisp while growing up in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Her parents are depicted only in the pilot "The Honeymoon", and her maternal grandmother, Connie Hutchins (Florence Henderson), appears in "You're Never Too Old". She has an unseen brother, Jack Tyler, and sister-in-law, Pauline (the parents of Cousin Oliver).

During the original Brady Bunch series, Carol is a stay-at-home mother. In the sequels, she becomes a real estate agent, converting the boys' old room into her home office.

How Carol's previous marriage ended (i.e. due to a death or divorce) is not mentioned. Creator and Executive Producer Sherwood Schwartz had originally intended for Carol to be a divorcee; however, ABC refused to allow the fate of her first marriage to be revealed on the show. Sherwood Schwartz later wished to use her divorce to his advantage, and wanted to use Carol's previous husband as a mechanism to replace Robert Reed on the show should the show enter its sixth season. The show was canceled before Schwartz could execute his plan.