The Andy Griffith Show

Season 3 Episode 7

Lawman Barney

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Nov 12, 1962 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Barney's ability to be a lawman is put to the test with some itinerant peddlers and he fails. His confidence is shattered until Andy steps in behind the scenes and warns these peddlers of "Fife the Fierce Barney's next encounter with them leads him to believe he is truly respected. Unfortunately the peddlers learn the truth and confront him again. This time, with some help from Andy he rises to the challenge and truly demonstrates where his power comes from.moreless

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  • One of the five best episodes of the Andy Griffith Show.

    This is one of the best episodes of the Andy Griffith Show. Barney finds two farmers selling vegetables inside of city limits and overreacts, as usual, waving his arms and yelling orders at them. The farmers are having none of it, and they scare him away. A while later, Andy shows up and asks them men to please sell their vegetables outside of city limits, using as much authority as necessary, but doing so diplomatically. The farmers agree to leave, noting that Andy put it to them reasonably, unlike the "clown" who had been there earlier. Andy realizes that they mean Barney, and to try to help Barney out, he lies and tells them how tough and feared Barney is, using names such as "Barney the Beast", "Fife the Fierce", "Crazy Gun Barney". When Barney comes back, the two men are understandably afraid of him, and they jump at his orders. This, of course, leads Barney to believe that the men actually respect him for who he is. Later in town, the men learn from the locals (mainly Floyd) that Barney is really a creampuff and that they had been fooled by Andy. The men aren't happy about this, and they tell Floyd to be sure to let Barney know that they are "back in business." Floyd goes to tell Andy and Barney about it, and Andy tells Barney what he did. Andy offers to handle the situation, but Barney stops him and insists that he has to do this himself. Andy goes along, but stays at the squad car, while Barney faces the two farmers alone. This episode illustrates the complexity of Barney's character and how, ultimately, he realizes that he has to fight his own battles. In contrast to other episodes, such as "Barney's Uniform" (in which Andy enlists the aid of a judo instructor to pose as Barney in order to get a bully off of Barney's back), Barney actually faces up to the task and does the dirty work himself. Returning to the scene where the farmers have set up their illegal "shop" again (and with Andy waiting back at the squad car), Barney approaches the two men. He asks the men to move along, but they move closer to him instead. A bit nervoiusly, Barney insists that he's a sworn member of the law and that they'll have to move along. Instead of obeying, they take two more steps towards him so that they're right in his face. At this moment of truth, Barney finds his inner-strength and takes a stand. He squares his shoulders, looks the men in the eye, and, in a no-nonsense voice, delivers one of the finest lines written for the show: "You're both a lot bigger than I am. But this badge represents a lot of people. They're a lot bigger than either one of you. Now are you going to get movin'?" The two men eye each other, realize that they can't fight the system, and shuffle away to pack up their truck and leave. As they do so, Andy approaches and rightfully says: "Nice work, Barn, nice work. That was as fine a job of stalkin' as I've ever seen."moreless
  • Barney stands up for what is right.

    Barney is the man. You cheer and root for Barney. You feel bad when he is made fun of a little. He warned the guys, and they disobeyed. The guys should have been quiet, but Floyd cared enough to tell Andy. It is exciting to see Barney, despite being scared, stand up and confort the guys. Awesome.
  • Barney meets his Waterloo

    A very special episode that unfolds gradually and with great power. As Barney must confront these peddlers, he is forced to look within himself for true courage. The scenes with Andy as he struggles with his humiliation and pain are among the best I have ever seen. It is truly a touching moment. We have seen Barney the Clown many a time--but seeing this Barney is so personal and so real that we root for him and understand his need to achieve and to overcome the obstacles he meets. A must see for Barney fans!moreless
Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith

Sheriff Andy Taylor

Ron Howard

Ron Howard

Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)

Don Knotts

Don Knotts

Deputy Barney Fife

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • (the farmers are back selling illegally; alone, Barney confronts them)
      Barney: You fellas, I warned you before. Now, I'm warnin' you for the last time. You take your truck and you get outta here. You get movin', now! (they approach him) Do you see this badge? It says that I'm sworn to uphold the law. Now, that's what I mean to do and you fellas better respect it. You understand? It's just as simnple as that. (they get right in his face) You're both a lot bigger'n I am; but this badge represents a lot of people. They're a lot bigger than either one of you. Now are you gonna get movin'?
      (they turn to pack up and leave; Andy comes around the front of the truck)
      Andy: Nice work, Barn. Nice work! That's as fine a job of stalkin' as I've ever seen.

    • (Andy has told the truck farmers to leave; they comment that Barney told them to do so earlier and they scared him off; Andy tells them Barney is dangerous)
      Neil: Now, hold on, Sheriff. Are you sure we're talkin' about the same fella? A little skinny fella that was down here earlier.
      Andy: (nods) Little skinny fella... Deputy Barney Fife. Got a few other names, too: "Barney the Beast", "Fife the Fierce", "Crazy Gun Barney".

  • NOTES (1)