LIFE

11 Surprising Things You Never Knew About ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

by Nicoletta Richardson

Although shows are on air for a few years and movies are one-time things, some are truly timeless in America’s hearts.

Take It’s A Wonderful Life, for example, which will soon be playing on every TV around the holidays.

Fans come to know and love characters who end up feeling like real friends as we become accustomed to their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.

But there are also things going on behind the scenes that the average viewers don’t get exposed to.

These can involve drama with co-stars, real-life tributes that are inserted into the show, and flukes in the scripts that we normally wouldn’t notice.

And The Andy Griffith Show is chockful of these secrets. This beloved long-running show has some truly surprising trivia that will impress even the most loyal fans.

Did we miss any secrets? Let us know in the comments below, and please feel free to SHARE with your family and friends on Facebook who are huge fans, too!

Thumbnail source: Wikipedia Commons

1. Barney Had Multiple Middle Names

1. Barney Had Multiple Middle Names

If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that a wide range of middle names are given to Barney throughout the show. In one instance, it’s Oliver, and in another episode, it’s Milton. Even in one situation, you’ll notice that the initial “P” is used to imply Barney’s undecided name. All three of these couldn’t be further away from one another!

2. Griffith Paid Homage To His Real Father In The Intro

2. Griffith Paid Homage To His Real Father In The Intro

When you watch the theme-song reel in the beginning, Andy and his son, Opie, walk to the end of the water. This is where Andy gives a nod of approval when the boy throws a rock into the lake (which has a secret of its own that you’ll find out about later). This simple gesture means much more than meets the eye.

Turns out, Griffith’s actual father would shake his head in the same manner when he showed approval.

3. Andy And Barney Were Cousins Only On Season One

3. Andy And Barney Were Cousins Only On Season One

In the beginning of season one, Andy would often refer to his partner in crime as “cousin Barney.” However, you’ll notice that as the season goes on, this habit stops — and they are never referred to as relatives again.

4. Andy's Nickname "Ange" On The Show Was Griffith's Real Nickname

4. Andy's Nickname "Ange" On The Show Was Griffith's Real Nickname

Barney often calls Andy “Ange” on the show as his nickname, but what’s really interesting is that Knotts also called Griffith that in real life. Just combine “Andy” and “Griffith!”

5. Beaver Didn't Like Griffith Off-Set

5. Beaver Didn't Like Griffith Off-Set

Frances Bavier, who played Aunt Bee within the show, had a pretty good fictional relationship with Griffith on-screen, but off-screen was another story. Rumors have it that Bavier couldn’t stand working with Griffith. It isn’t uncommon for actors and actresses to not get along on set. They just have to act as though they like each other, and luckily, they’re good at that!

6. Don Knotts Received Single Bullets As Fan Mail

6. Don Knotts Received Single Bullets As Fan Mail

In the show, Andy often limited Barney to just one single bullet in his gun, due to the fact that he was careless with the weapon. So actor Don Knotts would often receive single bullets in the mail as a sign of love from his fans.

7. "The Andy Griffith Show" Ended At Number One

7. "The Andy Griffith Show" Ended At Number One

When The Andy Griffith Show said goodbye, it wasn’t because of low ratings: In fact, the show was number one when the curtain closed. There are only two other shows that have done this in the history of television: I Love Lucy and Seinfeld, according to Neotorama.com.

8. Griffith And Knotts Were Opposite Of Their Characters In Real Life

8. Griffith And Knotts Were Opposite Of Their Characters In Real Life

Andy was known to be more reserved compared to Barney, who was a goofball half the time (or more). However, fans will find it interesting that their off-screen personalities were quite different from what people saw on the show. Yes, that means that Knotts was actually a pretty serious guy — imagine that!

9. Knotts Went Into The First Episode Not Knowing If He Would Return

9. Knotts Went Into The First Episode Not Knowing If He Would Return

When most of the actors and actresses started working in the very first episode, most didn’t have a secure contract guaranteeing if they were staying for at least the first season. But after seeing the great chemistry between characters Andy and Barney, the director made sure to lock Knotts into a contract.

10. Opie Was Not The One Who Threw The Rock In The Intro

10. Opie Was Not The One Who Threw The Rock In The Intro

In the intro, Andy’s son, Opie, flings a rock into the nearby water. However, Opie wasn’t the one doing that: The 6-year-old boy tried numerous times to fling the rock far enough, but it always fell short. So the crew decided to pretend. When Opie made the motion of throwing the rock, someone backstage threw another that made it look like it was the same action.

11. Knotts Asked For Part Ownership Of The Show And Griffith Declined

11. Knotts Asked For Part Ownership Of The Show And Griffith Declined

When the team thought the show was over after the fifth season, Knotts went off and found work almost instantly. But when Griffith came aboard for a sixth season, Knotts agreed to do the same — but under one condition: He wanted part ownership of the show. Griffith declined, and that’s when Knotts decided to not return as Barney.

Did we miss any behind-the-scenes secrets that you know about The Andy Griffith Show? Let us know in the comments below, and please SHARE this with your family and friends!