The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: "Barney and Thelma Lou, Phfftt"

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 4 television episode that first aired in May 1964.

Synopsis: After Gomer (Jim Nabors) mentions Barney's (Don Knotts) comment about having her "in his hip pocket," Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn) decides to teach her boyfriend a lesson by pretending to date Gomer. Things backfire, however, when she goes a bit too far and kisses Gomer and he believes he is supposed to marry her as a result.


I haven't watched this show all that much the past few weeks. However, I had an opportunity to last night while the girls were getting ready for bed and this particular episode happened to be on TV. 

When I read the description, I had a good idea what the episode was going to be about and was afraid it would end up being very predictable. As it turns out, I was right.

I think the biggest problem with this episode is the script was a little too simple. The idea of making a loved one jealous by dating someone else is a premise I've seen quite a few times on TV, including, I believe, a few different times on this particular show, and those episodes always have the same basic story. This time around, the writers really didn't make much of an effort to change things up a bit.

One thing I did find I liked about this particular episode was Gomer. Nabors, in my opinion at least, doesn't get enough credit for the wonderful job he did with that character. And, in this episode, he really manages to carry what is otherwise a weak plot. In particular, I loved the early scene where he is driving Thelma Lou to her dentist appointment and has a conversation that both compliments her and angers her (when she learns about Barney's comments).

The fact he wasn't really trying to do much more than have a casual conversation with her just made that scene enjoyable to watch because I knew he was going to somehow repeat Barney's comments (as I said, the episode was predictable). I just didn't really know how exactly he was going to accidentally work them into the conversation.

Also, while the part about him thinking he should marry Thelma Lou over a kiss seems a to be a bit too much on the surface, his simple personality really does make that plot twist work. After all, he's just too nice of a guy to let a woman develop a reputation.

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Final Opinion

As I mentioned, it was predictable and wasn't was good as other episodes from this series as a result. However, Jim Nabors does an excellent job making something out of nothing and the episode did manage to be somewhat funny and was watchable as a result of that.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 05/14/2015, StevenHelmer
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StevenHelmer on 04/27/2015

I recently got my oldest daughter watching this show. It's not her favorite program. But, she likes it enough for it to count as a compromise when she wants to watch TV but I don't want to watch her cartoons.

Mira on 04/27/2015

I enjoyed this. It's the first time I watch an episode of the Andy Griffith show. I liked the writing and humor, even though it was overdone at times. But that was part of the charm.

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