Runaway Kid – The Andy Griffith Show, season 1
After giving Opie a lesson on trust, loyalty and keeping promises, Andy learns that “Tex”, one of his son’s playmates, is a runaway kid from a nearby town. Who Opie promised he wouldn’t tell on. Opie is confused when Andy expects him to break his word and give him the boy’s last name. Andy must find a way to reunite the boy with his worried parents. And show a disappointed Opie that sometimes breaking your word is the best thing to do. Original airdate: November 7, 1960
In Runaway Kid, there’s a cute subplot where the new pharmacist, Ellie Walker, won’t give pills to an elderly woman without a prescription. Even when the woman sneaks in, hiding behind the counter, to help herself! Eventually, the problem’s resolved …. The woman’s a hypochondriac, and Ellie’s uncle only gave her sugar pills.
In the meanwhile, Sheriff Andy delivers some homemade soup to her, courtesy of Aunt Bea. And Emma’s milking the community’s kindness for all its worth. Then, Ellie brings some more soup …. And Emma’s pills. Afterward, Ellie explains the situation to Andy.
Rules are made to be broken?
Ellie talks Andy out of writing a ticket to someone who parked in front of a fire plug. Using his own, merciful, “human equation” on him. Once he agrees, she …. Gets in her car and drives away! More than just comedy, however, this ties into the main conflict. Earlier, Andy needed to explain to Opie why he needs to break his word to his runaway friend. For the boy’s own good.
Sheriff Andy Taylor: [Andy is trying to explain to Opie why it’s sometimes okay to break a rule or promise] Well, uh, uh, um now, let me see… uh… suppose, uh… Suppose, suppose there was a little lake, and there was a sign on it saying no swimming allowed. Now that’s a law, and a law is pretty much the same thing as a rule, ain’t that right? Well now, uh, suppose, suppose there was a little boy and he broke that law, and went swimming anyway and started to drown. Now suppose there was a fellow standing there watching. Now, should he obey the law and let that little boy drown, or should he break the law and save the little boy?
Opie Taylor: Well, you couldn’t let him drown.
Sheriff Andy Taylor: Well, of course not!