A complete history of Andy and Helen's love on The Andy Griffith Show
Opie: “You mean, you and Miss Crump might get married someday?”
When Andy Taylor meets Helen Crump, everything changes for Mayberry's most eligible bachelor. The marriage talk starts almost right away (although Barney's the one initiating all of it), but in reality, Andy and Helen took their time getting to know each other through a lot of ups and downs in the five seasons they spent dating.
Do you remember every minute of Mayberry's sweetest love story? In honor of Valentine's Day, we recreated all the romance below, so you can see in one scroll the complete history of Andy and Helen's love on The Andy Griffith Show.
Andy's first impression that he makes on Helen Crump is definitely not a good one. He's foolishly put the notion in Opie's head that the history lessons Miss Crump is teaching are beyond Opie's age, so Opie's told his teacher he doesn't need to listen. When Helen goes to confront Andy, sparks do not fly, at least not for the teacher, who refuses to call him anything but Sheriff Taylor in her most pained voice.
She leaves in a huff after asking Andy for just one thing: "Would you please do me just one favor? Just stay out of my business, please."
Of course, Andy doesn't stay out of her business, and instead inserts himself back into the situation further, getting the boys to reverse their bad behavior in Miss Crump's class. The teacher notices, and when she comes to thank Andy for the difference he's made in her pupils, Andy asks her if he can walk her home. It's the first glimpse we have of the two exchanging glances.
The very next episode featuring Helen Crump is appropriately called "A Wife for Andy," but in the episode, it's not just Helen after Andy, it's practically the whole town, as Barney seeks a soulmate for his best pal. Sensing Andy's interest in Helen, Barney invites Helen to dinner at Thelma Lou's without telling Andy she'll be there. So Andy's surprised to see Helen, looking beautiful in sparkling earrings and the first of many broaches we see the lady wear on date nights.
"You know I hardly recognized you without your uniform," Helen tells Andy before Barney badgers her into admitting she doesn't know how to cook a leg of lamb – Andy's favorite. Instead, she tells Barney, her future husband will have to settle for frozen dinners.
Good thing Andy says, "What's wrong with frozen dinners, Barn? They're good. I like 'em."
We don’t see Helen again until season four, when she makes a brief and 100% professional appearance in “Opie’s Ill-gotten Gains” to alert Andy that Opie’s lying about a mistake on his report card. Two episodes later, though, we get to see Andy and Helen’s first date in “A Date for Gomer.”
In "A Date for Gomer," Helen and Andy go on a triple date with Thelma Lou and Barney, as well as Gomer and one of Thelma Lou's cousins.
When Andy first sees Helen, he says, "You look lovely." She thanks him and says, "You look awful nice."
Barney lets it slip that Andy let him press his britches before their date, trying to prove to Helen that Andy likes her. By the end of the episode, Thelma Lou's slapped Barney, Gomer and the cousin discover they're excellent dance partners, and Andy's made his second date with Helen, the woman he'll one day marry.
Andy and Helen’s next date came with “Barney and the Cave Rescue.” It opens with Andy and Helen and Barney and Thelma Lou on a double date picnic. Andy and Helen break away to see a cave he explored when he was a boy, and once she peers inside, Andy says, “You’re not afraid of the dark, are you?” Helen says, “Well, you’ve got a flashlight.”
Andy gets a little flirty and says, “Well, if we find a nice comfy place in there, the batteries might run down.”
The couple – definitely now a couple – share a knowing laugh, but the laughter stops when they end up getting lost in the cave. However, it results in this precious moment, the first time we see Andy protecting Helen. For what it’s worth, he does get her out of the cave, both emerging from the cave a little soiled from the experience.
It wouldn't be a love story without a first fight, though, and that comes in the episode called "Fun Girls." The episode starts with Thelma Lou and Helen begging Andy to put off his and Barney’s work for the night and go see a movie with them. Andy says they can’t because they need the next night to take the girls to the dance. Later, when the “fun girls” show up, Andy and Barney pack them into the squad car, only to be seen by Thelma Lou and Helen leaving the movies.
This doesn’t sit well with the girls, who cancel their plans for the dance the next night. High jinks ensue when the girls arrive at the dance with Gomer and Goober, and Andy and Barney with their fun girls, but don’t worry. Andy and Helen make up, and Andy lovingly holds Helen’s face as he says, “You’re pretty, you know that?”
Next comes “The Rumor,” an episode where Barney catches Helen and Andy smooching in a jewelry store and starts a rumor that they’re getting married.
Barney responds by throwing a surprise party to congratulate them, and the whole party goes on up to Andy’s room, which they’ve decorated just for the soon-to-be newlyweds. When Andy corrects the whole town, he suggests they go have a party anyway, and he and Helen talk it out.
In the end, they both agree that they're not ready to get married, but Andy ends the conversation with a teasing notion that, "I expect we'll both know when we're ready."
It becomes clear at the beginning of the fifth season that Opie does not yet know about dad’s new girlfriend. In “Opie Loves Helen,” Opie develops a crush on his teacher, and Andy has to figure out how to tell Opie that he’s the one dating Helen.
Helen tries to get out of the uncomfortable talk, but Andy tells her, “No, no, no. You stay.” He sits them both down, and it’s the first time Helen’s been part of these most intimate father-son moments, a glimpse of her joining the family.
At the end of the talk, Opie leaps to the conclusion we all want: “You mean, you and Miss Crump might get married someday?”
Andy's response is coy, "Oh, I dunno. We might."
Over the next few episodes with Helen, we watch Ernest T. Bass try and steal her away from Andy, and we even see Andy and Helen get to more bickering when Barney and Thelma Lou have a fight that leads to everyone fighting everybody. Luckily the next big Helen-and-Andy date is just around the corner.
In "Andy and Helen Have Their Day," Andy's just trying to take Helen on a nice picnic lunch, but everybody in town keeps interrupting — even in the middle of the woods!
At the end of the episode, again, Barney assumes they are getting married, and Andy and Helen have to insist again that they are not, only this time, the difficult conversation takes place in front of Opie. Once they smooth it over with Ope, Andy and Helen get their alone time, cuddled up listening to music. Andy says, “Nice, isn’t it?”
Of course, Barney interrupts that, too.
The whole “Are they getting married?” thing continues into “Three Wishes for Opie,” where Barney thinks Opie wished on an oil lamp for Andy to marry Helen and once again gets the town talking nuptials not yet scheduled by the actual couple. This time, Helen gets mad, but it’s all smoothed over in time for Andy and Barney to be so smitten with their girlfriends that they try to edge Goober out from tagging along on their dates. This leads us to the first moment when Helen truly gets jealous of another woman with Andy…
In “Guest in the House,” a close friend of Andy’s family, Gloria, comes to stay, and Helen can’t help but notice how pretty she is.
Andy pretends not to notice what Helen means, then later, they all have dinner at Andy’s before Helen and Andy have a movie date, and Andy invites Gloria along too. On top of that, he invites her along on their next date, too. In the end, it works out that Gloria has her own guy, and Helen sums it up saying, “Things got a little sticky there,” to which Andy replies, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
As the love story continues, we watch as Aunt Bee worries she’s getting in the way of Andy and Helen’s marriage and the return of the fun girls leads to more jealousy from Helen, but soon enough, it’s Andy’s turn to feel the burn of jealousy…
In “Andy’s Rival,” a visiting teacher seems to offer Andy some competition for Helen’s admiration, and when Andy meets him, it bruises his confidence just a bit. Just look at how Andy’s sitting on the arm of the couch to figure out his comfort level of Helen next to another man on his own sofa.
Later the teacher even gives Andy a run for his money on the guitar, apparently a virtuoso.
Near the end of the episode, Andy walks into the diner and sees Helen with the teacher, and he loses his mind, eventually accusing Helen of “running with” the strange man.
Helen stands up for herself, and she and Andy have it out, until the tension builds and Andy can’t stand it. He kisses the woman he loves.
Over the next few episodes, we go on another disastrous picnic, Helen gets upset about a publicity photo of Andy with a famous movie star, Andy gets hounded my Flora Malherbe for a date, the couple tries their own hand at matchmaking with Howard Sprague and a new woman in town, and Helen’s niece even comes to town and develops a crush on Opie.
The couple charges through it all together. That is until Andy’s ex shows up...
By the time we watch “Andy’s Old Girlfriend,” we know full well that Helen has a bit of a jealous streak. So, when we see Andy greet his old flame by whistling and saying, “You look pretty as ever!” we know that trouble is coming.
The trouble ends up being that Andy and the other girl get lost together in the woods, a story Helen finds suspicious until Andy is able to show her how easy it is to get lost. They make up… BUT THEN!
Once again it’s Andy’s turn to be jealous, this time of the publisher who agrees to publish Helen’s book, which Andy says will make Mayberry “the literary center of the South.” As the whole town gossips about how Andy will be wealthy as the husband of an authoress, Andy bristles at being a “kept” man, rather than a lawman.
Andy lets it get to him, and he yells at Helen that he doesn’t have to sit around and wait for her as she finishes her book deal. He asks out someone else on a date!
The date is just awful, and by the episode end, Andy says he sees no reason why a lady author and a sheriff wouldn’t get along just fine.
Perhaps the end of the jealousy arrives in the 8th season with the episode “Andy’s Trip to Raleigh.” In it, Andy travels to meet a lawyer who turns out to be a really pretty blonde woman. Knowing how jealous Helen gets, Andy keeps the woman’s looks a secret. In fact, he doesn’t even tell her she was a woman. (This should end well.)
When Helen finds out, Andy pretends he didn’t skirt around that conversation on purpose, but Helen’s not buying it, so then Andy doubles down on his lie.
He describes the woman as unattractive in great detail. This is Helen’s face when she eventually sees the lawyer:
Don’t worry, though. Andy fixes it all with some candy.
Over the course of their relationship, we watched Andy and Helen tell each other little harmless lies here and there, but nothing like the whopper Andy believes he stumbles on when he finds an old news clipping that seems to reveal Helen's scandalous past.
In it, Helen’s being arrested, apparently in connection to gangsters in Kansas City. Of course, Andy jumps to some wild conclusions, launching his own investigation into her history, but by the episode’s end, it’s little Opie pointing out that next time Andy wants to know something about Helen, he should just ask her himself.
The Andy Griffith Show ends without seeing Andy and Helen married, but the very first episode of its spin-off Mayberry R.F.D. fixed that quick enough.
When Miss Crump walked down the aisle with Andy Taylor, it satisfied five seasons of ups and downs that kept fans glued to the TV nearly as much as all the laughs. Perhaps the only person who was waiting for this to happen even more than fans was Barney Fife.
What was your favorite moment between Andy and Helen during their whole relationship? Swoon with us in the comments.