The Andy Griffith Show

Season 9 Episode 250

Return to Mayberry

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Apr 13, 1986 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
29 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Return to Mayberry
Andy and Helen Taylor return to Mayberry after being gone for nearly 20 years. Many of the townsfolk want Andy to run for Sheriff again, but there's a problem - the man he’d be running against is his old friend and deputy, Barney Fife.

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  • The Case Of The Disappearing Child

    I always figured since they never mentioned Andy Jr in the reunion movie the character must have died.
  • The Magic Is Gone

    Return To Mayberry is a good reunion show but the silliness of the Loch Ness type monster spoils it. This was 1986 and this type of camp belong to the 1960's. It also made a mistake by not introducing an African American or any other minority to make Mayberry more diverse. It was wise that there was one reunion movie cause it would cheapen the show if they made another one.moreless
  • One of the best reunion movies!

    The last episode of the Andy Griffith Show was really dissatisfying (although some closure may have been provided in the first episode of Mayberry RFD).

    Still it was always kind of sad how Barney and Thelma Lou's relationship pittered out in the original series. Return to Mayberry patches things up by bringing them back together. It was also great that many of the original actors were able to return and take up their characters. It's a shame that Frances Bavier wasn't feeling well enough to film the movie--but the writers did the right thing by having Andy visit Aunt Bee's grave in remembrance--instead of casting another actress to play Aunt Bee. I hate when they do that! I loved the gag with Howard's hair.

    Return to Mayberry is aptly name because it really does return the viewers to all the characters that made the show great!moreless
  • Andy and Helen return to Mayberry. Andy has plans to run for Sheriff but changes his mind when he discovers Barney also plans to run for the office.

    Out of all the TV reunion movies, this is the only one (other than the possible exception of the "Star Trek" movies) that got it right. Everybody fits into their old characters perfectly. The relationship between Andy and Barney is shown to go both ways. Andy won't run against Barney, but when Barney finds out Andy came back to run for sheriff, he is quick to do what he considers "the right thing" even though in his eyes that means losing the love of his old sweetheart Thelma Lou. It's a very moving scene. "Return to Mayberry" is also very funny thanks to Knotts, Nabors, and the rest of the gang. As a result, watching this reunion movie is like getting together with a bunch of old friends.moreless
Aneta Corsaut

Aneta Corsaut

Helen Crump Taylor

Guest Star

Jack Dodson

Jack Dodson

Howard Sprague

Guest Star

George Lindsey

George Lindsey

Goober Pyle

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Although the series and both of its spin-off's aired on CBS, Return to Mayberry aired on NBC and had huge ratings putting in solidly in the top ten for TV movies of all time. The next season Andy Griffith would make his debut as Matlock on NBC and many think this movie helped revive has acting career.

    • Frances Bavier, who originally played Aunt Bee in the series, was ailing and homebound when this movie was made. She considered recording a brief audio segment but decided against it. Another actress does that part, which is heard as Andy lays a flower on Aunt Bee's grave

    • Although Elinor Donahue (Ellie Walker) and Jack Burns (Warren Furgeson) were alive and still acting at the time this film was made, neither character was included. None of the Mayberry RFD characters Ken Berry (Sam Jones), Buddy Foster (Mike Jones), and Arlene Golonka (Millie) were included. Other notable absences were Hope Summers (Clara), Howard McNear (Floyd), and Paul Hartman (Emmett) - all were deceased by 1986.

    • Ken Berry was set to reprise his role as Sam Jones but could not due to his commitment to Mama's Family which was on at the time.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Andy and Helen's son, Andy Taylor Jr. (christened during an episode of "Mayberry RFD"), is curiously absent in this film and never mentioned. He would have been around 17 years old at this time. Andy Jr. might be off to college or the writers forgot that he existed since this seems to happen to siblings of characters in Ron Howard shows (Chuck Cunningham of Happy Days being the other victim.)

    • Apparently Gomer and his long time sweetheart LuAnn Poovey went their separate ways, as Gomer is unattached in this TV movie.

    • In season six's "The Return of Barney Fife," Thelma Lou is married to another man. Apparently this marriage didn't work out and only lasted 18 months. Thelma Lou never explains further. Of course this was to the delight of fans who were never happy about the way things turned out for Barney and Thelma Lou.

    • Otis Campbell (Hal Smith) makes a brief appearance as Mayberry's long since sober ice cream man.

      Hal Smith's lovable drunk would appear on screen one more time - in 1991 he played Otis for the final time in Alan Jackson's video "Don't Rock the Jukebox." Hal Smith passed away three years later.

    • By 1986 the original outdoor set from "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960) had been destroyed, so the Mayberry town square had to be re-created in a small town in California. This results in the road that originally came to an end in front of the courthouse now going straight on by, being much wider, and a flagpole being in the middle of the street.

    • Frances Bavier, who originally played Aunt Bee in the series, was ailing and homebound when this movie was made. She considered recording a brief audio segment but decided against it. Another actress does that part, which is heard as Andy lays a flower on Aunt Bee's grave.