Back to Mayberry: Top 10 greatest and most memorable The Andy Griffith Show episodes.
Ah, Mayberry. A quiet, peaceful little town with some of the quirkiest, goofiest and hilariously funny townfolk you ever did see, all headed by level headed and good natured Sheriff Andy Taylor and his goofball, incompetent but pure blooded lawman Deputy Barney Fife. I didn’t grow up watching this show but over the past 5 years that I’ve been watching it on Tv Land and METV I feel like I did and now can’t imagine life without it.
The Andy Griffith Show stopped airing new episodes in 1968 yet it has never been off the air since then. Reruns have been on nonstop on many networks including Tv Land, METV and Nick at Nite and was a highly popular show on Netflix streaming service for a while. What makes this show still so beloved today? If I had to guess It’s three things: 1. The characters are one big family and we see them as members of our family. 2. Everyone wishes they lived in a town like Mayberry where the worst crimes committed are rocks being thrown at windows and stealing cows. and 3. It’s universally and hilariously funny. Here are ten of my favorite episodes, and believe me this show’s writing, acting etc is so perfect I could easily have made this a top 25 or top 50 list but for the purpose of time I had to brutally narrow it down to 10 golden eggs.
10. Barney’s First Car.
A truly funny episode about buying something on pure faith and not verifying as well as being duped because you’re too trusting that we can all relate to at some point in our lives. Barney purchases his first car by a sweet little old lady and it turns out to be a terrible lemon. Andy helps Barney get even and saves Barney’s behind as usual. You really feel for ol’ Barn in this one and Don Knotts effortlessly made laugh at him and feel genuinely sorry for him simultaneously.
9. Barney And The Choir.
An episode both hilarious and touching. Barney can’t sing worth a lick but due to the Church choir being short one voice they have no choice but to bring him on. Things get more complicated once Barney gets a solo and it takes Andy’s ingenious quick thinking to save the day once again, not only to save Barney embarrassment but also the choir. Barney bellowing silently and proudly to unbeknownst to him is actually a really great baritone singer is one of the show’s best and funniest moments and one of Don Knotts’ finest comedic moments.
8. Citizen’s Arrest.
I think this one is on everyone’s top ten list and possibly taking the number 1 spot for many TAGS fans, as well as one of the most oft quoted episodes of the series. This hilarious episode has both Gomer’s naivete and Barney’s peacock strutting, cocky ways at its best. To get even with Barney for giving him a ticket for a minor infraction, Gomer formally protests to arrest Barney for a minor infraction and it stirs up a heap of trouble that poor Andy’s stuck in the middle of.
7. Aunt Bee The Warden.
A great Aunt Bee and Otis episode that never fails to give me a big belly laugh. Andy decides to help rehabilitate Otis by keeping him at the house with Aunt Bee there to watch after him and Bee finds her true calling as a prison warden, making Otis do household chores until he finally cracks and straightens up his life.
6. The Pickle Story.
One of the all time classic episodes, The Pickle Story is pure bliss as an Aunt Bee centric episode and as one of the most memorable episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Aunt Bee enters her bad pickles into the county fair pickle contest and Andy, Barney and Opie make it their mission to save her embarrassment by switching her nasty pickles with store bought pickles.
5. Andy On Trial.
The show had many core elements that made it iconic like the tight bond between Andy and Opie, the quirky and hilarious townfolk of Mayberry, the Taylor family of Andy, Opie and Aunt Bee, of course all of Barney Fife’s antics… but in my personal opinion the absolute strongest core of this series is the relationship between Andy and Barney which represented true friendship, partnership and brotherhood and this episode where Andy goes on trial for giving a powerful businessman a ticket is one of the best examples of how important the Andy\Barney relationship was to the show. The scene at the trial where Barney goes up to the stand to defend Andy is one of the most touching and emotional scenes in the entire series. Don Knotts, I believe even won his first of five Emmys for this scene.
4. The Shoplifters.
A classic and hilarious episode with so many funny and memorable lines throughout. Andy and Barney try to help a local store owner catch a shoplifter. Of course Barney goes over the top as usual while Andy handles things with more finesse. This episode was a great example of the distinctive ways Andy and Barney go about law enforcement.
3. Barney’s Uniform.
Another great Barney episode where a bully threatens to beat up Barney if he ever catches him out of his Deputy uniform. An episode with equally funny and poignant moments, making this a very classic episode. It also has one of the most memorable scenes of the series where Barney tries to show Andy Judo.
2. Mountain Wedding.
A return of the Darlings and introduction to the lovable rascal Ernest T. Bass makes for an iconic episode. Andy and Barney try to help the Darlings get daughter Charlene and her fiancee Dud married in spite of Ernest T’s objections. In my opinion this episode had some of the most laugh out loud moments and dialogue of all the episodes and gave us some real gems like Ernest T. Bass’ declaring for Charlene.
- Bargain Day.
A very frugal Aunt Bee refuses to waste money on a new freezer and decides to store a whole bunch of meat into the one they have. When it busts Andy and Aunt Bee argue over buying a new one or getting the old one fixed.
I don’t know what it is about this one but it happens to be my all time favorite episode of the series. Maybe it’s because of how relatable it is because I know quite a few people like Aunt Bee in this episode as I’m sure we all know someone like this in our family or maybe even us. It’s just so hilariously funny and Aunt Bee was just fantastic in this. I make a point to watch this one and Barney’s Uniform on Black Friday every year.
Opie and The Birdman, Convicts at Large, Those Gossipin’ Men, Barney and The Cave Rescue, Manhunt, The Dinner Party, Opie and The Bully, Barney and The Governor, The Clubmen, Class Reunion.
The Andy Griffith Show is a true classic and its ultimately timeless which is why it’s still watched and beloved by millions of people to this day and in Mt. Airy(Griffith’s hometown that Mayberry is based off of) hosts Mayberry Day every year in September. I hope if you haven’t seen the show yet this makes you check it out and let it hook you, and if you’re already a huge fan like me I hope this gives you a huge smile and laugh. Thanks for reading!