The fact that there are no color episodes included in here is not strange at all – not just the critics, but also the fans, believe that the Andy Griffith Show completely changed after they switched from black and white to color. For example, Andy himself went from being calm, strong and wise to being a typical sitcom character.
So the first Andy Griffith episode to remember is The Pickle Story (11th episode of season 2), in which Aunt Bee and Clara Johnson are both jarring homemade pickles. Of course, something has to be out of place, in this case being Aunt Bee’s pickles, who taste as if containing kerosene.
This early episode is considered by most of the fans (and by Don Knotts himself) to be the best in the entire show, encompassing everything The Andy Griffith Show was meant to be.
Another best episode would be Wedding Bells For Aunt Bee (26th episode of season 2), in which Aunt Bee almost gets married. In this episode, Bee is convinced by Clara that she keeps Andy from getting married. So Bee responds in kind when Mr. Goss shows his interest in her, even if she doesn’t really like him.
This particular episode can also be remembered for two very emotional scenes. The one that I would like to recall is the one in which Andy talks with Opie about love. This scene presents, in fact, what the show really meant for the audiences: a subtle presentation of traditional values.
Another favorite episode from The Andy Griffith Show is Mr. McBeevee (the first episode of season 3), in which Opie tells Andy about his new friend. But upon listening to the way Opie describes his new friend, Andy finds it hard to believe. Of course, in the end he is proven wrong, with Opie gladly accepting the apologies of Andy.
This isn’t the usual sitcom episode focusing on a misunderstanding. Instead, this is an episode about believing in somebody, even if logic tells you otherwise.
Of course, there are many other episodes that could be mentioned, episodes such as The Christmas Story (which is, basically, a retelling of A Christmas Carol), Opie the Birdman (in which Opie accidentally kills a bird and then has to take care of her younglings), or even Opie and the Bully (an episode which, even if outdated and quaint when compared to what is happening nowadays, still pulls no punches).