Betty Lynn was told Thelma Lou was replaceable

Don Knotts said that they wouldn't have let her go, but Betty Lynn wasn't so sure.

If you've ever taken a televised mosey down Mayberry's Main Street, then you know exactly how special the town and its characters are. What would that place be without Floyd's Barbershop? Or, for that matter, what about Wally's Filling Station? Everything about the town makes it special and memorable, and that's true for its inhabitants as well.

One such local who made Mayberry what it is was Thelma Lou, as portrayed by Betty Lynn. As Barney's sometimes-girlfriend, Thelma Lou brought a good-natured optimism to the stories she populated. More importantly, she really grounded Barney who, at times, definitely needed it.

Fans of the show will agree that Betty Lynn was invaluable to The Andy Griffith Show. She wasn't just another Mayberry resident. She was important. Without her, who would have married Barney in the reunion television movie? 

However, producers on the show may not have agreed with her pricelessness. Andy Griffith Show fans will note how frequently the show's leads had different romantic interests. This may have been for many different reasons, but chief among them was money. Because the more episodes an actor appeared in, the more money he or she would be entitled to. Recurring roles earn an actor more than one-off guest roles. Similarly, joining the show's main cast would net more than would be available to a character who only shows up occasionally.

According to a 2007 article in the Elizabethton, Tennessee Star, Betty Lynn was paid $250 a day, or roughly $500 per episode. There came a time when she thought she should be earning a bit more. So, Lynn asked for a $50 raise. It may shock you to learn that she was told, "We can replace you."

Betty Lynn took the issue to Don Knotts months later. 

"I told Don about it, and he said, 'They wouldn't have done that. They wouldn't have let you go," she recalled. However, if you take a look at the show's credits, you'll see that Barney had already had two other girlfriends who were ultimately disposed of. Lynn didn't want to take the risk of being replaced, so, she gave up.

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10 Comments

JohnnyWalker 18 hours ago
Thelma Lou could be weird. Like the episode "Man in the Middle" she gets so bent out of shape cuz Andy said she might not be the girl for Barney...not taking any regard for context just flips out. Then flips out about being referred to as "3rd party."..and Helen flips too saying "that's a terrible thing to say." I mean...come on.
BrianThetubewatcher 1 month ago
Betty reminds me of my 9th grade English teacher.
trogg888 1 month ago
I know people get replaced all the time in a series but often times it messes up the series enough so that people stop watching it.i think you could have gotten rid of miss crump and no one would have minded.she was too winey
Sway 1 month ago
They might have put her on Juanita statusโ€ฆ only on the phone with Barney, not seen, not heard.
trogg888 Sway 1 month ago
I always wondered what Juanita looked like.
Muleskinner 1 month ago
Barney and Thelma Lou were made for each other. ๐Ÿฉท๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿฉต
Runeshaper 1 month ago
WOW! I think I would have taken the same approach as Betty and let it go lol
harlow1313 1 month ago
Well, Skippy might have made for an interesting replacement. When she and Bernie paired up, it was a scream! Perhaps Bernie would have finally scored, parked down by the duck pond.
trogg888 harlow1313 1 month ago
The way barn spoke to Juanita on the phone I think he was getting that
Irish 1 month ago
I loved Betty Lynn. I couldn't see Barney Fife with any other girlfriend. They were the perfect match. I'm glad they were finally married on the made for TV movie. ๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿคต ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•
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