Andy Saves Barney's Morale


Original airdate
February 20,1961
Directed by
Written by
Frank Tarloff (credited as David Adler)


When Sheriff Andy Taylor has to leave Mayberry for the day to testify in a court case held in Centerville, Deputy Barney Fife is left in charge of the sheriff's department - and he proceeds to arrest just about everyone in Mayberry!


It's Barney's big chance - his first opportunity to be sheriff. Despite being reluctant to leave Barney in charge, Andy gives Barney a chance. He returns to Mayberry that afternoon to find things outside the Courthouse quiet and peaceful. He congratulates Barn on a job well done. But it's a different story inside the courthouse. It seems that Barney has arrested about half the town! Having not been sworn in as Justice of the Peace , Barney was unable to process anyone and has them stuffed into the Mayberry's two cells like sardines in a can! The prisoners include the bank president, The Mayor, and even Opie and Aunt Bee. After Andy dismisses all charges for various reasons and sends everyone on their way, he convinces Barney to keep his chin up because it was his first time being sheriff and he's learned a lot about what not to do. Barney seems convinced but quickly finds that he's the laughing stock of the entire town, being made fun of and picked at almost constantly. The toll on Barney's pride is considerable, which culminates his decision to quit the force. However, Andy, realizing that most people don't realize how their friendly picking is hurting Barney, tells everyone in town he's got to fire Barney because he can't have a deputy that nobody respects. Andy's plan works perfectly! The townspeople start filing into the jail and arresting themselves in support of Barney.


  • When the citizens are leaving the cells, Andy speaks to one woman and says "That's a nice dress Nellie". This would be the initial appearance of the extra that came to be known as Nice Dress Nellie. She would appear in scores of shows over the next 7 years, but would never again be named or credited. Despite the scores of appearances, she would never utter a line, except perhaps in A Wife for Andy When one woman said, "I wonder what this is about," it may have been she who replied, "I wish I knew."
  • Chester Jones appears in two places at the same time. First when Andy visits Jud and Chester, who are playing a game of checkers, to inform them that he is firing Barney. In the next scene, Andy has stopped in Floyd's Barbershop with the same news. Chester Jones is there and seems to be hearing the news for the first time.
  • Andy mentions that Barney has arrested everyone in Mayberry, but Floyd doesn't appear in jail.
  • This episode marked the first use of a flashback when Barney's girlfriend, Hilda Mae, recounted her date with Barney the night before.
  • This is the last appearance of Barney's girlfriend Hilda Mae.
  • On a variety of charges, Barney arrested some of the following folks: Harry, Miss Mary, Jud Fletcher, Mayor Pike, Tom, Miss Johnson , Franklin, Charlie, Nellie, Aunt Bee, Chester Jones, and Otis Campbell.
  • Jud Fletcher stated he was 74 years old in this episode. When this episode aired Burt Mustin (the actor who played Jud Fletcher) had actually just turned 77.
  • A count of the imprisioned citizens in each photograph [below] show there are just about 9 persons in each cell 9 x 2=18


  • Jud: Code 721-8 Disturbing the Peace.
  • Aunt Bee: Code 421 Unlawful Assemblage and Inciting to Riot.
  • Mayor Pike: Code 438 Vagrancy and Loitering
  • Otis: Intoxication


Barney: Age...
Aunt Bee: You say one more word, Barney Fife, and you'll regret it!


Behind the ScenesEdit

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Mayberry on Record Andy and the Gentleman Crook