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The Clubmen Sheriff Barney

The Pickle Story

Season 2, Episode 11

Andy barn pickels

Original airdate
December 18, 1961
Directed by
Written by
"What's small potatoes to some folks can be mighty important to others"


Aunt Bee and Clara Johnson are both canning homemade pickles. Clara's are so good she's won the blue ribbon at the fair eleven years counting while Aunt Bee's taste like they've been floating in kerosene.


Aunt Bee is a wonderful cook but she just can't seem to make a tasty pickle. She's at it again, though, putting up another batch for the boys, who have never had the heart to tell her they taste terrible.

Rather than choke down any more of her "kerosene cucumbers", Andy, Barney, and Opie substitute good store-bought pickles for her bad homemade ones. Having lost to Clara Johnson in the best pickles contest at the fair eleven years in a row, Bee thinks her latest batch is a winner and decides to enter. Knowing it would be unfair to the other contestants, especially Clara, for store-bought pickles to be entered, the boys must eat every one of the substitutes so Aunt Bee will have to make another batch of her own for the contest.


  • This was voted the #1 favorite episode of the entire series.
  • This was Don Knotts's favorite episode.
  • A fly lands on one of Aunt Bee's pickles and dies.
  • Barney tells Andy that Aunt Bee's pickles are scattered from Oregon to Nova Scotia.
  • The music playing while Andy, Barney, and Opie gulp down eight quarts of pickles deserves special notice for how well it fits the scene.
  • If Aunt Bee only moved to Mayberry last year from Mt. Pilot, how could she have entered the pickle contest and lost to Clara 11 years in a row? Mt. Pilot is only 12 miles from Mayberry, a small distance to travel once a year.
  • When Barney and Andy are singing before Aunt Bee brings them lunch, they're singing a song and Barney is off-key. This could be a prelude to Barney and the Choir. Barney is actually singing in Harmonic Counterpoint to the melody, not off key.
  • The song Andy and Barney are singing when Aunt Bee brings in lunch is "Don't tell my darling mother I'll be there". This is the same song Andy and Barney hummed as they looked through files in the opening scene of "Citizen's Arrest".
  • Aunt Bee's entry number in the pickle contest was 11; Clara's was number 4.


Barney: "Shoo fly...It's dead!"

Barney to Aunt Bee: "I think I'll just wait and smoke if after supper".

Barney: "I would have brought my own suitcase, but it's at the cleaners."

Barney: "You actually want her to make another batch of them kerosene cucumbers."

Andy: "Well, there's only one thing to do, that's what we should have done in the first place..learn to love 'em."


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