10 times The Andy Griffith Show slightly changed the names of memorable Mayberry residents

The writers have confirmed you're not crazy.

For fans of The Andy Griffith Show, the small town of Mayberry feels like a second home and its residents? Practically neighbors.

That's why it can be jarring for viewers who have come to know a certain character by a particular name to suddenly hear them addressed as someone else. Because many character actors played varied roles on the show, the confusion only furthers, leaving an attentive viewer to wonder: Am I nuts, or did the writers change that character's name?

Well, we're here to confirm that you are not crazy and the writers have admitted there are some continuity issues when it comes to character names on the show. The simplest answer is that in many cases, the writers just forgot what a character was called and never verified before filming started.

Here, we've combed through The Andy Griffith Show's credits to see how many characters we could find with names that slightly changed over time, including big ones like Floyd the Barber, Clara Edwards and the Darlings. See how many you caught!

Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

Weeknights at 8 & 8:30, Sundays at 6 & 6:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets

1. Floyd Lawson


Perhaps the most famous character whose name noticeably changes is Floyd the Barber. Most folks remember Howard McNear as Floyd Lawson, the last name given the character once McNear took over the character after Walter Baldwin portrayed him as simply Floyd the Barber. But in McNear's very first appearance in "Mayberry Goes Hollywood," he is randomly called Floyd Colby. After that, he was called Floyd Lawson every time.

2. Dean, Doug and Mitch Darling


The Dillards famously portrayed the Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show, and for the most part, the band members used their own first names as their character names: Rodney Dillard was Rodney Darling, Doug was Doug Darling, Dean was Dean Darling, and Mitch was Mitch Darling. But in the band's first appearance in "The Darlings Are Coming," Doug was called Jebbin Darling and Dean was called Oether Darling, while Mitch was called Brother Darling and Mitch Brother before he became known as Mitch Darling.

3. Clara Edwards


A gossip and one of Aunt Bee's besties, Clara Edwards is actually first introduced as Bertha Edwards in "Andy and Opie, Housekeepers." Then, in "Barney's Replacement," she became Clara Johnson, which stuck for a while, until "The Church Organ" episode. That's when she became Clara Edwards, the name she'd take for the rest of the series.

4. Bobby Fleet


Bobby Fleet and His Band with a Beat has a great ring to it, which is probably why the character was featured in three episodes. However, in addition to changing the actor playing Bobby Fleet from Henry Slate in "The Guitar Player" to Herb Ellis in "The Guitar Player Returns" to Joseph Sirola in "The Mayberry Band," they also called the character Freddy Fleet on his last appearance. Freddy Fleet and His Band with a Beat sounds almost just as good, don't you think?

5. Johnny Paul Jason


Everybody loved seeing Richard Keith, who played Little Ricky on I Love Lucy, suddenly appear in Mayberry as one of Opie's best friends Johnny Paul Jason. But few probably remember that the first time Keith appeared in the episode "One-Punch Opie," he was called Carter French when Andy lectured the boys. The rest of his time on the show, though, he'd go by JPJ.

6. Howie Pruitt


Another one of Opie's pals was Howie Pruitt, a good kid who only occasionally gave Helen Crump a hard time. Across all Howie's appearances, he's known as Howie Pruitt, son to Mrs. Pruitt – except for his second to last guest spot. For "Barney Fife, Realtor," Howie's dad is identified as Mr. Williams, making him Howie Williams, not Pruitt, for just one episode.

7. Sharon Porter... or is it Sharon McCall?


Apart from Opie's crush on Helen, the boy's love for a girl named Sharon Porter is one of the boy's biggest romances. She shows up in four episodes, but in the first two, "Opie Loves Helen" and "The Education of Ernest T. Bass," she's called Sharon McCall. Later in "Opie's Job" and "Look, Paw, I'm Dancing," the same girl is called Sharon Porter.

8. Emma Brand


Emma Brand has a reputation in Mayberry as a busybody and hypochondriac, but Barney Fife would tell you her biggest offense is her jaywalking. Although the character is billed as Emma Brand in every appearance but one, Barney keeps a file on Emma's pedestrian foul play called "The Emma Watson Case," and in the actor's final appearance in "The Manicurist," she is called Emma Watson, not Brand.

9. Asa Breeney


Mayberry's got a jack-of-all trades in Asa Breeney, who pops up in several odd jobs through the series run. Portrayed by Charles Thompson, the character is called Asa Breeney in four of five episodes, but in his second to last appearance as the character (the same actor would later appear as Doc Roberts), he was called by a different last name. In "Barney's Physical," Thompson is credited as Asa Bascomb.

10. The Reverend


Heading Mayberry's church is the Reverend, known as Reverend Hobart M. Tucker in the first three episodes he's in. Then, randomly, the reverend's name switched in "Opie's Newspaper" and "The Church Organ" to Reverend Martin. The writers must've thrown in the towel at that point, because for his final appearance in "The Church Benefactors," the character is simply referred to as Reverend.

See also: Here's proof that Mayberry picked the finest musicians to perform as the Darlings


Watch Andy perform "Duelin' Banjos" with the band. WATCH NOW.

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


TuesdayTuesday 34 months ago
I vaguely remember Andy referring to Barney as his cousin early on. A memorable one for me was Jack Prince playing Rafe Hollister ("Rafe Hollister Sings") and Ben Sewell ("Alcohol and Old Lace"), primarily because those were a couple of my favorite episodes.

It looks like there were quite a few writers on the show (that worked in pairs) and with that many writers, it's possible that they weren't paying as much attention? But Script Supervisors should be keeping a close eye on discrepancies like we have all noticed. Hazel W. Hall was in the Script and Continuity department for the Andy Griffith Show from 1960-1964 (according to IMBd). She should have piped up about these obvious changes. Hard to believe that anyone would have thought that no one would notice.
mjkelly7472 TuesdayTuesday 16 months ago
Jack Prince was also “Luke Ranier” in an episode, I believe it was “the inspector”. A state inspector named Ralph Case came to Mayberry instead of Andy’s friend, Sam Allen…and Luke was shooting at them.
It was mentioned in the first episode that they were cousins and in the episode where the state police were looking for a convict and looked down their noses at Andy and Barney that Barney mentioned it again. After that, never another word.
denny 45 months ago
TAGS seem to have more continuity issues than any show that I can remember. In other shows you can tell when a stuntman /double is used etc... On one particular Rockford Files, Jim is driving a 1978 Firebird, with double headlights, during the chase you see a 1974 Firebird with single headlights. Also in the 70's and 80's, how many times did you see a car go over a cliff that was a totally different car in those cop shows? They'd be driving a big LTD and when it goes over the cliff it a Vega.
vonstockhoff denny 15 months ago
The A Team was really, really bad for that. So was CHIPS. They would show a car being wrecked and the next second it was perfect again. In Smokey and the Bandit there must have been 100 of those snafus. I think Hollywood is simply so arrogant they think the viewing public is too stupid to notice, so it doesn't matter.
MattLinson 49 months ago
There was one name missing from the list for Sharon Porter. In the season 3 episode, "The Rivals", she is known by a completely different name, Karen Burgess.
mjkelly7472 MattLinson 16 months ago
I can’t remember the episode, but she was also known as “Ethel” in an episode where Ms. Crump walked her home.
JohnBates 49 months ago
Goober's last name was Beasley in an early appearance,but Thelma Lou's last name was never revealed. (Unless you count her taking Barney's last name when they were married in "Return To Mayberry.)
ELEANOR 62 months ago
It's an iconic show, so what if they "forgot" certain details. Yes, a compendium of names, places, etc. would have helped but sometimes writers do better when not having to pay attention to such details.
62 months ago
The writers also changed Barney's middle name several times during the series. (Bernard B. Fife, Bernard P. Fife. Bernard Milton Fife, Bernard Oliver Fife.)

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?