The Rivals


Original airdate
April 8, 1963
Directed by
Written by


Opie falls in love with Thelma Lou after failing to catch the affection of Karen Burgess and Barney gets jealous, but then Karen begins to miss Opie.


When Opie can't do anything to catch the eye of little Karen Burgess, Thelma Lou steps in to cheer him up and ends up the object of Opie's affections. Barney suddenly finds he's the third wheel and demands Andy have a talk with the boy. Andy drives the point home, and Opie dumps Thelma Lou for Karen.


  • Barney's age is given as 35 years old by Andy.
  • The viewer gets a rare glimpse of Thelma Lou's kitchen in this episode.
  • Opie mentions Walker's Drugstore, confirming that it still exists, even though it hasn't been visited on screen since Season 1.
  • The newspaper from Sheriff Barney is seen hanging on the wall in the back room.


Barney: Well, ask her if she wants to go for a little ride tonight.
Opie: You goin' ridin' tonight, Barney?
Barney: Ask her. Ask her.
Opie: (to Thelma Lou) Would you like to go for a ride tonight?
Thelma Lou: It might be fun. Where to?
Opie: Where to, Barn?
Barney: Well, nowhere in particular. Just around.
Opie: You mean around in circles?
Barney: Anywhere! The duck pond.
Opie: Why go to the duck pond at night? You won't be able to see the ducks.

Opie: "Children? I don't think we'd have any children, Pa, we already know plenty of kids to play with."

Barney: "Be nice?! Oh come on, Andy, nice guys finish last!. I know! I went through it!"

Barney: "She use to bite off the end, sip out all the syrup, and leave me with nothing but the ice!"

Andy: "Well I'll tell you the truth, Barn, if I was Vicky Harms and a 35-year-old man come up to my house with a sno-cone in his hand, I wouldn't even answer the door."


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Barney's First Car A Wife for Andy