My Thoughts - The Andy Griffith Show: Opie's Ill-Gotten Gain (1963)

Synopsis: When Andy (Andy Griffith) sees Opie's (Ron Howard) perfect report card, he rewards his son with a new bike. However, Opie knows the report card was a mistake and doesn't know how to tell his dad.

My Thoughts

The opening sequence with Opie doing math at the kitchen table reminded me a lot of my kids. Both are home schooled and also sometimes find it hard to do homework when there are people around them, for similar reasons (the cats don't always help either). The opening scene is a great reminder for parents to pay attention to that.

Sure, Opie doesn't come clean about his grades but I kind of feel like others should be sharing the blame. For one, his teacher, Ms. Crump (Aneta Corsaut) should have taken two seconds to double check it before handing it out or, at minimum, told Opie and Andy together. And did Andy really believe Opie got perfect grades despite plenty of evidence of his school struggles? I know I'd be a bit suspicious.

Barney (Don Knotts) is the best. That scene with him trying to recite the preamble to the US Constitution is a classic and one of the things that makes this show funny even today. I'm normally not a huge fan of scenes that have nothing to do with the actual plot, but this is one of the few series I make an exception for.

Andy has to be the least observant dad ever. I've already mentioned him not realizing the report card was a mistake, but he also didn't seem to notice Opie was obviously upset about something. The fact he suddenly wanted to study all the time versus riding his new bike should have been a very large red flag.

Of course, to be fair, Opie's overreaction also seemed unfounded. It wasn't as though he was the one who made the mistake about his report card and Andy has demonstrated multiple times how much he respects honesty. Running away toward the end seemed to be a bit much.

Final Opinion: I wasn't a big fan of the way Ms. Crump got a bit of a free pass even though it was her glaring mistake that started all of this. However, the episode does have a nice parenting message and that scene involving Barney and the preamble is worth watching just by itself.

My Grade: A


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