Three's a Crowd


Original airdate
April 9, 1962
Directed by
Written by


Barney frustrates Andy's attempts to become better acquainted with county nurse Mary Simpson.


Mary Simpson, Mayberry's County Nurse, comes into the courthouse one day for some information and Andy, apparently unattached (what happened to previous girlfriend Ellie Walker we'll never know), asks Mary out on a date. Barney overhears and takes it upon himself to invite both himself and Thelma Lou. The look on Andy's face says it all. Busybody Barn has struck again.

After a rousing evening of fun and singing, made even livelier by Barney's bongos, Thelma Lou sees what Barney seems oblivious too: that Andy's real interest is in courting Mary. She asks Barney to take her home and he reluctantly agrees. Unfortunately, just about the time Andy seems to be making a little progress, in charges Barney.

The gang singing at Mary's house.

The next day Andy attempts to make another date with Mary but Barney is right there, offering to again invite himself and Thelma Lou. Andy reminds him that he has to update the filing cabinet and can't make it. That night, when it seems like Andy is finally going to get some alone time with Mary, Barney starts calling about a missing letter and ruins the whole evening. To make matters worse, he actually shows up at Mary's house later.

After two failed attempts, Andy finally just comes out and suggest to Barney that he and Mary need some alone time. Barney happily agrees. There's only one problem. Barney assumed that Andy is going to ask Mary to marry him! After all, why else would Andy not want fun Barney and his bongo drums along.


Barney playing his bongos.

After spreading the news all over town, Barney organizes an engagement party for Andy and Mary and again tries to barge in on the courting couple. When Barney finds no one home (Andy and Mary decided to go for a drive), Barney and a gang of about 30 people armed with all the fixings for a fine shindig set out to find them. Andy finds a secluded spot near the lake and thinks he's finally got Mary alone and can court her proper. Just as he's about to kiss her, Barney strikes again! As the festivities are going on around them Andy finally asks Mary if he can court her in public since it seems he's never going to get a change to court her in private. Mary agrees and the new couple share their first kiss as Barney is trying to pawn off a bucket of potato salad.


  • This is the first time that Barney "assumes" that Andy is getting married and causes trouble based on said assumption. This would be a common plot device throughout the series.
  • The only episode we see Barney playing the bongo drum.
  • The gang sings "Bringing Nelly Home".
  • The night filter illusion trick is used again so that they can portray night time but be able to shoot during the day. When Barney and the gang are getting into cars and set out to go look for Andy its supposed to be night time, yet the sun in the sky casts a shadow that aims straight down and that indicates it's noon outside. The next scene shows them arriving at Mary's house and is supposed to be only minutes later, but this scene was filmed much later in the day between 6pm and darktime as the sun and their shadows create a 45 degree angle.
  • Andy sings "Red Rosy Bush" for Mary, a song he later serenades Helen Crump with in "Man in the Middle" (Season 5, Episode7).


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Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee The Bookie Barber

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