The Return of Barney Fife


Original Airdate
January 10, 1966
Directed by
Written by


Barney makes a triumphal return to Mayberry to attend his high school reunion and is elated to find Thelma Lou will be attending...until he learns she is with her new husband.



  • This episode marks the last appearance of Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) in the series and also the only color episode in which she appeared.
  • In Class Reunion, the graduating year is given as 1945. In this episode, the class graduated in 1948.
  • Barney drives a blue Ford Edsel convertible in this episode. In the story's dialog, Barney describes it as a "1960 model with a 1961 grille" with no mention made of the car brand However, the car clearly has the famous Edsel "horsecollar/toilet seat" vertical center grille from the 1958/1959 model years. The 1960 Edsel had a plain all-horizontal grille similar to full-sized 1960 Fords. There was no 1961 model year for Edsel.

The Edsel make was a huge blunder for Ford Motor Company, so they were probably reluctant to have any mention made of it by name in this show. However, Ford was the gratis supplier of new (and some used) vehicles on the show, so in the Mayberry universe most vehicles were Fords. Using an (unnamed) Edsel as Barney's car helped keep the show "all-Ford" and perhaps was intentionally done to underscore Barney's characterization as a loveable loser, since to mid-1960s America no other car screamed "failure!" like the Edsel.



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Otis the Artist The Legend of Barney Fife

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