Mayberry Class Episode Summaries

Opie’s Charity

Our first class and a good one! Opie’s Charity is one of the funniest episodes we showed all quarter. The scenes of Andy trying to explain to Opie why he should give more to the children’s charity drive are classic. Pay special attention to Andy accusing Annabelle of having too much pride, then falling into the same trap himself. Also notice the way Opie was unimpressed with the publicity of the charity drive, but was concerned with meeting the need of a friend.

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Man in a Hurry

Probably our most popular class of the quarter. If any episode is applicable to our lives today, this is the one. Many good points on how our priorities in life can become misguided (my favorite scene is Malcolm Tucker’s tirade beginning with "You people are living in another world!"). This episode really drives home the point that we are the ones that must make the decision to change our lives. Along with the obvious lessons Malcolm gives us, pay attention to the serving attitude of Andy, Aunt Bee, Opie, and Gomer. They are all willing to give of their time and comfort to make Malcolm’s visit a little better.

Andy on Trial

This is a more serious episode, but very powerful. It really shows the dangers of exalting ourselves at the expense of others. It also shows the value of close friendships. Even though Barney’s actions were not malicious, he came close to costing Andy his job. Barney’s defense of Andy on the witness stand is one of the more touching scenes in the show’s history.

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Opie and the Spoiled Kid

A great lesson for kids and grownups alike. It highlights the responsibility for parents to teach kids manners and to expect proper behavior from them. It also graphically shows a disrespectful child in his true selfish light. The father/son conversations between Opie and Andy are classic, including Opie’s attempt at a temper tantrum in the courthouse. Very powerful ending.

Opie the Birdman

My personal favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show series. This episode’s lesson of personal responsibility is applicable for people of all ages. Opie’s punishment from Andy for killing the mother bird (forcing him to listen to the cries of the baby birds) produced much discussion. Remember that in the show Andy was a widower, so Opie had also lost his mother. The fact that being sorry doesn’t erase the consequences of our actions is another great lesson brought out by this episode.

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Andy Forecloses

Very popular class with many good lesson points. Pay attention to Andy’s positive attitude throughout the whole affair. Also notice the giving spirit of the town of Mayberry when it is made known that a local family is in trouble. The rummage sale at the courthouse offers some classic comedic scenes. At the end, we can see how easy it is to hurt other people when we are so caught up with ourselves.

Rafe Hollister Sings

An episode that I decided to do at the last minute, but one that worked out very well. This show deals with the problem of pre-judgement and prejudice. It is a very humbling look at how we can be very callused in the way we treat others. It also highlights the decision to go against the peer pressure of others and do what is right in such situations. On the lighter side, Barney’s performance in this episode is hilarious.

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Opie’s Hobo Friend

Another good episode on the importance of raising our kids right. Opie is subjected to all the glamour and flair of living the hobo life without seeing the consequences. Before Andy knows it, Opie is caught up in the hobo lifestyle to the detriment of his other responsibilities. Notice the scene between Andy and Mr. Dave discussing the best way to bring up Opie. Outstanding performance by Buddy Ebsen as Mr. Dave, the hobo.

Barney and Thelma Lou, phfft!

Definitely a different approach. I originally used part of this episode as part of a Sunday morning young married couple’s class. Similarly, the purpose of presenting this episode was to discuss the building of relationships between couples. Barney provided us a lot of examples of how NOT to treat your significant other! We discussed such issues as communication, trust, and giving. As you can imagine, this episode promoted a great discussion period.

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Bailey’s Bad Boy

A very timely episode about personal responsibility and operating "above the law." This episode is especially applicable to teenagers growing up in today’s society. Pay particular attention to Ron Bailey’s evolution from a spoiled rich kid to a young adult who is willing to stand on his own feet and take responsibility for his actions.

Barney Fife, Realtor

A good episode dealing with how we approach common situations in life with honesty and integrity. A very pointed lesson of how easy it is to rationalize the practice of having different rules for different situations. Also a good example of how important it is for us to provide a good example to the young people in our lives. A very popular and funny episode.

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Mr. McBeevee

A touching episode with a powerful message of faith. The scene up in Opie’s bedroom literally shows the development of Andy’s faith in his son. This episode lends itself well to a discussion of our struggle to strengthen our own faith. If possible, get an episode copy that includes the epilogue.

Christmas Story

The only Christmas episode of the eight year series. This traditional "Christmas Carol" deals with store owner Ben Weaver’s transformation from a heartless Scrooge to a more humble man who realizes the true meaning of Christmas. Also notice Andy’s attitude - that no matter what our situation in life, the choice of happiness and good cheer is always ours to make.

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Mayberry goes Bankrupt

A pointed story of forgiveness and how we treat one another. It is very easy to forget about compassion when we feel we are in the right. This episode allows us to see the human factor in the situation and how easy we can forget what is really important.

The Sermon for Today

Another one of my favorite episodes. The church scene is classic, but pay special attention to the words of Dr. Breen as he asks some very pointed questions. In our frantic lives today, do we ever take the time to ask ourselves: "What is our hurry?"  The irony of this episode is that in their efforts to slow down, the citizens of Mayberry end up exhausted and frustrated.

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A Feud is a Feud

A funny story about two families feuding for no apparent reason. This story allows us to look at the values we teach our children and the reasons we believe what we do. Another point is the subject of bitterness and how it can destroy our lives if we allow it to do so. Finally, we see how a spirit of unity nurtures our relationships with each other.

The Jinx

Have you ever avoided walking under a ladder, or panicked if a black cat crossed your path? We have all confronted superstitious behavior at one time or another, but have we considered how our attitudes and opinions might affect others? Barney and the town of Mayberry don’t realize the hurt their superstitious beliefs are causing until it is almost too late.

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A Medal for Opie

A great story about dealing with setbacks in life.  We can learn a great deal from Opie's situation including the fact that no matter how hard we try, we're not going to finish first every time.  More importantly, this episode shows us that there is a way to win and a way to lose.  This lesson can apply to many situations in our lives today.

The New Housekeeper

The very first episode of the The Andy Griffith Show. This is a wonderful story about young Opie dealing with some major changes in his life. While the changes may seem small to us as adults, I believe we can learn much about the way we handle changes in our own life to include expectations, acceptance, and changes of heart.

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Opie and the Bully

This episode reminds us that we begin facing life’s trials at a very early age. Opie is confronted by a bully and he learns a powerful lesson of faith and courage. Andy also deals with the fact that he must let his son stand on his own. A wonderful story of a father and son growing up together.

Deputy Otis

I often get the question, "have you done an episode featuring Otis, the town drunk?" Well, this is it! And the focus is not the pitfalls of alcohol, but the tendency to pretend we are someone we’re not. The point is we all have problems, but how we address our problems is the real issue.

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Opie and His Merry Men

Are we rich? A good question for Opie and for us as well. This episode explores what really makes us rich, and to what extent we should go to help those in need. When dealing with the less fortunate, should we follow the law or our hearts?

The Pickle Story

One of the most popular and well-known episodes of the entire series. The Pickle Story graphically depicts the trouble we can get into when we plan to deceive - no matter how innocent our intentions may be. Being aware of the feelings of others is also a point brought out by this episode.

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A Date for Gomer

An extremely funny and heart-warming episode. The contrast between Barney and Gomer is obvious – one is looking out for himself and the other is concerned with the needs of another. Who should we emulate?

Opie’s Newspaper

A timely episode highlighting the problems of slander and gossip. The town of Mayberry is almost turned upside down by Opie and Howie’s newspaper. But where did they get the idea to print that stuff? It will make you think!

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The Case of the Punch in the Nose

Sure we value old friends but do we sometimes take them for granted?  A twenty-year-old assault case sparks division between two long-time citizens of Mayberry and before long the whole town is involved.  Will the feud tear the community apart or will Andy's "first law of friendship" prevail?

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