The Andy Griffith Show

Season 6 Episode 17

The Return of Barney Fife

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Jan 10, 1966 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • Alberta Nelson makes her first appearance in this episode as Nettie Albright, former classmate of Andy and Barney.  Nelson would appear again later in this season as Flora Malherbe, a waitress at the diner who becomes Goober's steady girl.

    • In this episode, Barney drives into Mayberry in his "new" car, a turquoise and white Edsel convertible. Andy inquires if the car is a '61 model. Barney replies that it actually is a '60 but it has a '61 grill. This is all totally wrong. The car is a 1958 Edsel. It has a 1958 grill and there was never a '61 Edsel. They started production with the 1958 model year and were discontinued after the 1960 model.

    • Sweet Nettie fetchingly stares right into the camera for an instant as she's delivering her dialogue to an off-screen Barney. Was this a goof or charm? You decide.

  • Quotes

    • Thelma: Gee, you'll never know how often I've thought about you, Barney.
      Barney: I've thought about you too, Thel.

  • Notes

    • The previous class reunion episode had a banner that welcomed the class of 1945. This episode the banners says welcome class of 1948.

    • There are a couple of things that don't add up in this episode. First, since Thelma Lou was invited to the class reunion we can safely assume that she graduated from high school in 1948 with Andy and Barney. Where was Thelma Lou during the first class reunion in season three? Also, in a previous episode Barney tells Andy that he met Thelma Lou at a funeral in the early 1960's and it certainly seems, in season one that Thelma Lou and Barney had just met each other.

    • Despite the pain of seeing Thelma Lou betrothed to another man, Barney (and disgusted fans) do finally get some retribution in the Mayberry reunion movie "Return to Mayberry" by getting to see old Barn finally marry his soul mate. It is mentioned very breifly at the beginning of the movie that Thelma Lou divorced her then husband very soon after marriage though no reason was given.

    • This was Thelma Lou's final appearance in the series.

    • Don Knotts won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy in this episode in 1966.

    • Don Knotts by this time had already left the show and evidently it had been decided to discontinue the relationship between Barney and his lady friend Thelma Lou by having her marry some other suitor. Now this was a perfect shame. Barney and Thelma Lou enjoyed felicity, union, and were indeed a fine couple. The 2 characters deserved better than to have their relationship end like this! However, it was real smart thinking to create the character "Nettie Albright" as Barney's heroine here. Nettie was everything a girl next door personality should be and she went along very well with Barney. Her meekness and heart would have added an extra dimension to the show so 'twas a pity, really, that sweet Nettie {Alberta Nelson} was not made a member of the cast. Yes indeed.

  • Allusions