The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)
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The Lucky Letter 

Barney gets a chain letter that predicts bad luck it he doesn't make copies and send them to friends. To prove to Andy that he's not superstitious, he doesn't send any. A constant stream of... See full summary »


Richard Powell (as Richard M. Powell)

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Episode cast overview:
Andy Griffith ... Andy Taylor
Ron Howard ... Opie Taylor (as Ronny Howard)
Don Knotts ... Barney Fife
Howard McNear ... Floyd Lawson
Betty Lynn ... Thelma Lou
George Lindsey ... Goober Pyle


Barney gets a chain letter that predicts bad luck it he doesn't make copies and send them to friends. To prove to Andy that he's not superstitious, he doesn't send any. A constant stream of back luck is the result. Things look bad when he has a marksmanship test coming up, which he has to pass in order to keep his job. Written by Ronny Bailey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family







Release Date:

25 January 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mayberry Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Once Barney starts having "bad luck" any time the letter or luck is mentioned there is a rapid beeping sound in the sound track of this episode. This was probably meant to act in a subliminal way; either as an implication of menace, or just to irritate and thereby induce emotion.(This is incorrect, the only sound on the track is "spooky" music, the same as in "Opie's Wish.") See more »


Deputy Barney Fife: What's the matter with you, Norbert? What kind of drivin' you call that anyways? I oughta write you a citation for speedin', reckless drivin', and failure to observe an officer. What's the matter with you? You...
[turns to Opie]
Deputy Barney Fife: You better go back inside, Ope. You're a cramp on my language.
[Opie leaves]
Deputy Barney Fife: You know what you are, don't you Norbert?
See more »

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User Reviews

Mayberry chain gang
7 July 2018 | by Bfyke5See all my reviews

This is just a fun episode all around with Floyd egging Barney on into believing, once again, that forces outside nature are in control of our destinies. Theirs is an interesting relationship--they seem to like each other okay, and yet Floyd knows how to push Barney's buttons to get him riled up, sort of like the way Andy, according to Barney, gets a kick out of making him mad to see that vein in his neck stick out. The writers include a nice reference to the earlier story about the the lamp and Opie's three wishes and even get in a sly plug from Goober for "Gomer Pyle, USMC." The funniest line has to be Barney's crack about Ms. Hudgens's weight problem after the boys find her shopping list at the town garbage dump. And we're not surprised to learn that Barney, a womanizer if only his his own mind, had a subscription to what would have been Playboy in the real world at that time. What male teen didn't appreciate a fast lens back then! The producers must have liked the set serving as the dump since they saved it for the later episode of Opie's newspaper. TAGS has its moments of subtle humor, as it does here when Andy and Opie are on the front porch and Andy is wondering aloud where Barney has got off to on the eve before the pistol qualifying. He muses that he can't think like Barney does, and almost immediately he realizes the key to finding him is sitting next to him on the porch. Subtle and very funny. And when Frank at the diner answers Barney's call to Juanita, the joke is, that for a second, Barney doesn't realize it's a man's voice, and we're left to imagine just what kind of woman this Juanita is. It brings to mind Barney's unflattering review of one of the diner's specials that featured a chicken that, for his money, must have done a lot of flying. Finally, something that didn't translate to his special appearances in the last three seasons, Don Knotts was a master at conveying his feelings and getting laughs with his eye movements, especially whenever he was caught trying to get away with something or attempting to hide his many faults. A good example here is when he is behind the typewriter copying the lucky letter, and he suddenly catches on to Andy's tone of mild reproach about not distancing himself from the childish thinking of people like Goober and Floyd. As I have said before, in the color episodes Barney borders on clownishness. It's as if Don Knotts thought that for color film he needed to ramp up the character's antics to compete with a more vibrant Mayberry. Unfortunately, he only did a disservice to a beloved character.

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