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Citizen’s Arrest

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Citizen’s Arrest - The Andy Griffith Show season 4 - Don Knotts, Jim Nabors
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In Citizen’s Arrest, a minor argument between Barney and Gomer over a traffic ticket erupts into an all-out feud that leads to reckless driving, staged burglaries, and eventually Barney’s resignation from the force. Can Andy get the two friends to make up before things really get out of hand?

Top-10 favorite “Andy Griffith Show” episode.
Original airdate: 12/16/1963

Citizen’s ArrestThe Andy Griffith Show season 4

In Citizen’s Arrest, Gomer does an illegal U-turn, and Barney gives him a ticket, despite Gomer’s protests. Tempers flare, and a moment after, Barney also does a U-turn. And remembering what Barney said a moment ago, Gomer places Barney under citizen’s arrest!

Deputy Barney Fife: Gomer, I have to uphold the law, no matter what! It’s only what any responsible person should do. Why, even if I weren’t a policeman, I would still arrest you for making a illegal U-turn… any person can do that, you know… it’s called a citizen’s arrest. 
Gomer Pyle: [seeing Barney make a U-turn with his squad car as he drives away] Hey! HEEEYYYY – – BARNEY! You made an illegal u-turn YOURSELF! You’re breakin’ the law, and so I, as a responsible person, need to arrest you! Citizen’s arrest! Citizen’s arrest! 

Sheriff Andy Taylor then orders Barney to write himself a ticket, to defuse the situation, since a crowd has formed. But Barney’s pride is flaring, so in lieu of paying the ticket, he puts himself in jail for five days!

A drunken Otis comes in, and after some confusion about Barney being in jail, Andy puts him in his own cell. And Otis begins teasing Barney mercilessly. The next morning, Aunt Bee brings Barney breakfast, but prideful Barney refuses. He then gives Andy his official resignation — which Andy accepts. And Barney realizes what he’ done …

Later, Opie tells Gomer about Barney’s resignation. Shortly after, a phone call comes in — there’s been a robbery at Wally’s gas station! And Sheriff Andy arrives, to find out that the call was a hoax by Gomer. Barney shows up a moment afterward. And Barney decides to throw the book at Gomer! Even though he was only trying to repair the damage that he caused. And when Barney and Andy drive off, it’s another U-turn! And Gomer runs after them, shouting “citizen’s arrest”.

Back at the courthouse, Barney swallows his pride an apologizes for “making a dang fool” out of himself. And the episode ends with Andy filing Barney’s resignation with all of his previous resignations! It’s a funny episode, available on The Andy Griffith Show season 4 DVD.

Cast of characters

Additional cast

  • Joseph Crehan (The Green Hornet Serial) … Townsman
  • Tom Jacobs … Townsman (uncredited)
  • Colin Male … Announcer (voice) (uncredited)

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