Loveable Deputy Barney Fife of Mayberry

He was only allowed to have one bullet for emergencies.  He was supposed to carry this one bullet in his shirt  pocket.  Somehow it would find its way into the gun and often the gun would “accidentally” go off.

We are, of course, referring to Barney Fife (Don Knotts)  the fictional deputy sheriff of Mayberry

Barney had delusions that he was a good lawman,  an expert on firearms, knew how to sing, and was expert on women.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our loveable deputy had a habit of overacting to the smallest situation and blowing it out of proportion.  He was always finding lawlessness in the peaceful, law abiding town of Mayberry where there was very little actual crime.

Deputy Fife had the town ordinances memorized.  What he lacked was the judgment to apply these ordinances to everyday events.  Once when Andy Griffith was out of town and Barney was in charge, he locked up almost every citizen in the entire town.  He jailed them for minor perceived infractions of the law.

It was not unusual for Barney to accidentally lock himself and Sheriff Taylor in a cell with the keys just out of reach.  Both men would have to holler for help until a towns person heard them and freed them.

Barney had hair trigger emotions.  He would get bug eyed and very flustered when he was in a panic mode .  One such time he and Andy had to handle a goat who had eaten dynamite.

Many times the town drunk. Otis Campbell, would  be in Barney’s sights.  Barney would devise elaborate schemes to apprehend this “criminal”.    Once Barney was gleeful because Otis couldn’t walk the line he indicated.  Barney announced Otis was drunk of course.  Otis’ question was what line?  He didn’t have his glasses on and could not see any line at all.  Sometimes Otis would just put himself in jail.

Barney was a bit of a gossip and has been known to spill secrets about stakeouts, armored car arrivals, or crimes Andy was looking into.  He may have been totally inept, but he was a good-hearted soul.  He could drive others in the town to distraction, but they were still fond of him.

Once in a while Barney was able to find his inner courage and apprehend an actual criminal and save the day.

In one episode it was his parent’s anniversary and Barney came up with an unusual present.  He bought then a septic tank as a gift.

When not working and patrolling the town Barney dated Thelma Lou most of the time.  Occasionally, he would date other women, mainly a waitress from the Diner named Juanita.  She was never seen.  Barney  fancied himself a worldly ladies man.

Barney Fife played a major role in the Andy Griffith  Show for only the first five seasons.  He did make some guest appearances after that.

Recommended : Many fans of the  Andy Griffith show felt like the show was in it’s peak when Don Knotts was part of the cast as Barney Fife. If I had to pick one season it would be Season Three where we had some of the series all time classic epsiodes. Of course Barney was a big part of what made Season 3 so good, you can pick it up on Amazon for around $17.00, a great value.

If you don’t  collect DVD’s, but want to watch the Andy Griffith show on your schedule,  you may want to check out Netflix streaming service, for $8.99 you get access to not only all of the seasons of the Andy Griffith show but a huge lineup of old TV and movies. If you haven’t tried it then you can Click Here For A One Month Free Trial To Netflix



  1. robert says:

    There’s a little Barney Fife in every man.

  2. Amelia Lanning says:

    I was lucky to have seen Don Knots and Barbara Edin in a play at the Stevens Center in Winston Salem, NC. The crowd went wild over Mr Knots. He played the part of ‘Barney’.

    He made “The Andy Griffith Show” what it was. After he left, it wasn’t the same.

    Barney, you’ll always be loved.!

  3. Rob says:

    My Dad worked with Don Knotts in radio back in the late 40′s – early 50′s. Dad was a writer, Don a character in the show (Bobby Benson Show). They remained friends through their entire lives and I was fortunate enough to hang out with Don many times right up to the time of his death. He was a wonderful human being. Kind, gentle, and actually kind of shy. Dad always said Don wasn’t really acting, he was pretty much being himself. He was just fun to be around, not the pompous, self centered type that so many celebrities are…He was just a great guy!

  4. Don Knotts was so very funny. I think my favorite thing about him was when he would get scared, upset, or excited. His eyes would get so big, I was always afraid that they were going to just pop right out. I wish there were more shows like “The Andy Griffith Show” on these days.

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