The Andy Griffith Show: Season 2/ Episode 11- The Pickle Story: December 18, 1961. 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS.
Aunt Bee might be great at making those apple pies- but her pickles are notoriously awful. Her best friend Clara Edwards [ who is called Ms. Johnson for some reason] makes great pickles. In fact she has won the pickle making championship 11 years running at the Mayberry Fair. Clara walks in on Bee making pickles- Bee has entered and lost to Clara for a decade- she’s not going to enter this years tournament. Clara tastes one of Bee’s pickles and makes an awful face- yet does what about everyone would do- she tries to be nice. She says they are ‘nice’- and then proceeds to tell her a number of things she could do to make them better.
Bee brings Andy and Barney lunch at the jail. She tells them she has a special treat- in addition to roast beef and coleslaw- she has a treat- it’s not apple pie but pickles. At the mention of pickles Barney claims he had a big breakfast and can’t eat anything. Both Barney and Andy frown when they hear the word pickles. The pickles are bad. Bee leaves a quart with them to ‘enjoy.’ When Bee leaves Andy says they have to find a way to get rid of the pickles- Bee has made 8 quarts. They can’t just come out and tell her how awful they are. They decided to load up a suitcase and get them out of the house- as Barney leaves out the back door- who walks in- Aunt Bee. The ‘story’ is Barney is going to visit a cousin. Of course Barney makes it difficult by talking way too much -before finally Andy just shoves him out the door. Barney takes them to the highway and pulls a car over and awards a driver from Oregon- for his safe driving- with a quart of pickles. They get rid of all the quarts. Mission accomplished.? Oh forgot to mention they had replaced the bad Bee pickles with store bought ones- so at dinner they are eating the store bought ones- and they are good- Bee even has one [why didn’t she try hers earlier?] She thinks they are her pickles and thinks they are great- not knowing they aren’t hers. She is now encouraged she will enter the pickle contest at the fair after all.
Andy and Barney at first think this is funny- a joke of sorts- Bee winning with store bought pickles. Then trouble arrives for their plan. Clara stops over at the jail with some pickles for Andy. Andy has had more than enough pickles and tries to beg off- but eventually eats on- and Clara’s pickles are very good. Clara then goes on about how winning that pickle contest means so much to her- gives her self worth. Andy now realizes that while they think this isn’t a big deal- it is to Clara. They have to make sure Bee enters her pickles and not the store bought ones. So they have to eat all the store pickles. They do. Andy-Barney and poor Opie eat away all the pickles- even the good store bought pickles become a chore to eat after a while.
When Bee sees they are gone- she is disappointed -she can’t enter the contest- until Andy plants the idea of making a new batch- which she does- and enters into the pickle contest.
At the contest- when the two judges get to Bee’s pickles- they take a bite and whisper to each other what Barney called the pickles- kerosene. Barney called them kerosene cucumbers. Clara wins her 12th straight pickle making championship- the Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut of pickle making. Everyone is happy for Clara. Bee tells they boys at least they will have those pickles she made to enjoy. Andy looks at Bee’s jar of pickles – and tells Barney’ start eating.’
The final segment- Andy is eating breakfast and Barney walks in- there is a terrible smell but they can’t identify it- Barney finally zeroes in on it- marmalade. Bee has made jars and jars of it. Andy tells Barney to get the suitcase- they have to get rid of it.
In a survey this was voted the #1 favorite episode in the entire series. Don Knotts also said it was his favorite episode.
Ronny Howard later stated he never liked pickles. Neither does Hans.
Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
Ronny Howard- Opie Taylor
Frances Bavier- Aunt Bee Taylor
Hope Summers Clara Edwards [Johnson]