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A Plaque for Mayberry

Season 1, Episode 25


Original airdate
April 3, 1961
Directed by
Written by


The Women's Historical Society is all set to throw a celebration in honor of the last living descendant of a Revolutionary War hero named Nathan Tibbs, who has been traced to Mayberry. But their excitement turns to horror when they discover that the intended honoree is the town drunk, Otis Campbell.


According to a historical society, Nathan Tibbs, the hero of the Revolutionary War's Battle of Mayberry Bridge, has a direct descendant living in Mayberry. The two historians set out to find who this person is so they can award them a plaque in honor of their forefather's bravery. As the two ladies search the Mayberry records in search of this living relative, there is much speculation about who the person is. Barney is so convinced he is the living descendant of Nathan Tibbs that he goes ahead and pens his acceptance speech. It is revealed, much the disappointment of the Mayor and town council, that the Tibbs relative is none other than town drunk Otis Campbell. Mayor Pike, convinced that Otis will shame both himself and Mayberry if the two ladies find out who he is, orders Andy to not allow Otis to come to the ceremony. After talking with Otis, Andy realizes that despite his bad habits, Otis considers it an honor to represent his town and give his wife, Rita, a reason to be proud of him. As the ceremony begins, Andy confesses that he did not find a replacement for Otis. When Otis is a few minutes late, Barney and Mayor fear the worst --- that Otis is drunk and will appear and embarrass the whole town. Otis shows up a few minutes later, sober, clean shaved, and wearing a suit. He accepts the plaque, not on behalf of himself, since he didn't really do anything to deserve it, but on behalf of the town of Mayberry


  • What did Nathan Tibbs do to make him a Revolutionary War hero? It was said that he ran eight miles through the snow to set the Mayberry bridge on fire. This act turned back the enemy and allowed George Washington and his troops to capture an entire Regiment.
  • In a rather touching moment, Otis tells Andy that he's given his wife some awful times. This would not be the last time Otis' alcoholism would be addressed, but it's typically played for humor. Otis would eventually sober up for good. In the TV Movie "Return to Mayberry" Otis tells Andy he'd been sober for ten years. Interestingly - Hal Smith had never drank nor had he ever been drunk in his life.
  • In this episode, Andy states that Barney's middle name is Oliver. In later episodes Barney refers to himself as Barney "P." Fife and in the episode Class Reunion, the Mayberry Union High Yearbook lists Barney's name as Bernard Milton Fife.
  • Barney is unable to recite the tongue twister: "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" while giving Otis' sobriety test. However, in season 5 "The Pageant" he says many with ease. (However, he did get tongue-tied on "rubber baby buggy bumpers".) Maybe Barney was selective with the ones he could do correctly.
  • The Idaho map behind Andy's desk is turned right side up in this episode where usually it is upside down.
  • When they make a toast at the end of the show, there is nothing in the glasses.


  • Barney: "I almost started to cry right there in the library."
  • The Historical Ladies: "Now what was that name again?" "Otis Campbell!"
  • The Historical Ladies: "I just can't wait to tell him and watch his face light up."
  • Barney: "I can just see Otis showing up for that plaque now....where's my plaque.. give me my plaque."


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