31 Facts That Will Make You an Andy Griffith Show Expert

The Golden Days Of TV

The Andy Griffith Show is the epitome of what we think of as "the good ole' days." In the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina, doors were left unlocked, neighbors helped each other out, and the cops were basically just part of the scenery. Here are some facts that'll transport directly to the set of the beloved show, plus a sneak peek at what happened to the actors after the show ended.

Opie Didn’t Really Throw the Rock into the Lake

Since Ron Howard was just 6 years old at the time, he wasn’t strong enough to throw the stone far enough to land in the lake. To circumvent the problem, the assistant director hid a prop man behind a bush who actually threw the rock. On closer inspection, you might notice a very subtle lag between Opie’s throw and the resulting splash.

Aunt Bee Could be a Sourpuss

Frances Bavier, the actress who portrayed Aunt Bee on the show, supposedly did not have much of a sense of humor. Pretty ironic career choice, huh?

Andy Taylor and Helen Crump Sitting in a Tree

They played a couple on the show. But Andy Griffith and Aneta Corsaut are said to have taken their romance off screen. Only thing is he was married at the time! Way to go breaking those Hollywood stereotypes…


There Was a Spin-off

The final episode was called “Mayberry R.F.D.” and it aired on September 23, 1968. The episode set up the premise for a spin-off show of the same name that aired from 1968-1971.

Don Knotts got sent lots of "single bullets

In the show, Barney couldn't be trusted with a loaded gun and Andy would relegate him to a single bullet, which he would often have to take away. Don Knotts said he was sent one bullet from fans all over America.

Andy Was a Real Jokester

Andy was really into playing pranks on his co-stars, with Don Knotts being the main target. Don’s real first name was actually Jesse (a name he hated), and Andy loved to tease him about it by calling him “Jess.”

Aunt Bee did not like Andy

Yes, sadly, this rumor is true- Francis Bavier, for whatever reason, never liked Andy Griffith. Andy Griffith admitted he never quite understood her dislike. In 1972, long after the series was canceled, Andy and Ronnie Howard paid a visit to Francis' home. They were turned away.

In 1989, shortly before her death, Francis told Andy she regretted they were not closer for all those years.


Andy was supposed to be "the funny one"

The original concept of the show was for Andy to be the show's resident comedian, a sort of homey Will Rogers-type cracker barrel philosopher. Andy would comment and make jokes about the show's other characters. But after seeing Don Knotts in the first episode, Andy knew Barney would be the show's resident "funny man" and Andy would be his straight man.

The characters were introduced on another show

Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and his son Opie (Ronnie Howard) were first seen in a February 1960 episode of Make Room for Daddy. Aunt Bee (Francis Bavier) was also featured in this episode, but was introduced as Harriet Perkins.\

Floyd the barber had trouble standing up

Because he had suffered a stroke, Howard MacNear (who played the barber) had trouble standing. A special stool was built to make it appear Floyd was standing when he was, in fact, half-sitting or leaning. Floyd was also often seen sitting in his barber chair or sitting on a bench outside his shop. (Howard's stroke also left his left side paralyzed. Watch Floyd closely in later episodes, you'll notice he will never move his left hand.)

Andy and Barney were originally cousins

In season one, Andy would occasionally refer to Barney as "cousin Barney", and the two were written as cousins. This idea was dropped after a few episodes.


They Quit While They Were Ahead

“The Andy Griffith Show” ended while it was at the top of the Nielsen’s Ratings. There have only been two other television shows in history to do this: “I Love Lucy,” and “Seinfeld.”

Andy's homage to his dad

At the beginning of the show, where you see Andy and Opie walking down the road together, you will see Opie throwing a rock and Andy nodding or shaking his head in acknowledgment. This was Andy's personal tribute to his own father, who he said would shake his head in the same manner to tell him "nice work" or "good job."

Caught in the Act

During one of the cast’s many pranks, a crew member dressed as a waiter and delivered a dinner to Andy’s hotel room. He caught Andy and Aneta in a compromising position. Now that’s one heck of a backfire.

Andy and Frances Had a Prickly Relationship

Andy and Frances had a rather tense relationship for much of the show, as she didn’t care much for his comedic persona. Fortunately, the two made amends before her death in 1989.


Don Knotts Loved the Pickle Episode

Don Knotts particularly loved “The Pickle Story,” which is an episode many fans cite as their favorite. In it, Aunt Bee makes a huge batch of disgusting that Andy and Barney eventually must consume. The episode is chock full of laugh-out-loud moments, and it’s quite clear the actors were having a blast filming it.

The opening theme song was called "The Fishin' Hole

It was composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer. That's Earle you hear whistling the song himself on the show's opening and closing credits. Everett Sloane composed the lyrics to the song, which were never used in the series. Andy Griffith actually made a record of the words to the song. You can hear it on YouTube.

Barney's middle name is disputed

In various episodes, Barney's middle name is given as Milton, Oliver, and once as the initial "P." (Andy's middle name is not, however, nebulous and is Jackson.

The Opening Credits

One of the most memorable aspects of “The Andy Griffith Show” is its opening credits sequence, with the whistley tune and long shot of Andy and little Opie on their way to fish.


Floyd's calendar

Take a good look next time you see the calendar in Floyd's barber shop. It's always during the month of February.

The Pranks Worked Both Ways

The cast pranked Andy right back, one time stealing his shoes. He had to wear his big Sheriff boots home from the studio that day.

The Cast Had Favorite Episodes

Andy Griffith Favorite Episode was “Barney’s First Car.” Ronny Howard’s favorite episode was “The Ball Game,” which was penned by his father, who was a writer for the show.

Andy and Don Were Bros for Life

Their friendship began when they co-starred in the Broadway play No Time for Sergeants in 1955, and it lasted for the rest of their lives. Andy was with Don at his bedside when Don passed away in 2006. Andy died six years later, at the age of 86.


Don Knotts and Andy Griffith Were Real-life Best Friends

The close pal relationship and chemistry exhibited by Don and Andy on the show was no coincidence. It came as a result of their real-life friendship.