Because Mayberry was so idyllic, the town residents only wished to live in the moment. So throughout the entire series, only one episode of The Andy Griffith Show showcased a flashback scene. Or at least, only one that we know of.
To recount history, the characters of the 1960s classic tended to tell stories about their past or just drop bits of information in casual conversations.
Andy Griffith would later use plenty of flashbacks for Matlock. The courtroom drama used the method to explain cases and also to recall Matlock’s father, who, interestingly, was also played by Andy Griffith.
That series is also famous for being the first television show to intertwine clips of earlier episodes into new shows. And, of course, Hollywood commonly uses that method of storytelling to this day.
But despite Griffith’s heavy reliance on flashbacks for Matlock, only one episode of The Andry Griffith Show features one.
The lone flashback scene happened on Three Wishes for Opie. In it, Andy tells a tale about Mayberry’s past. And nearly the entire episode highlights the flashback.
Or we should say that we think Three Wishes for Opie is the only flashback episode. Because according to comments on a MeTV post, there was actually another episode that went back in time. It was just so gruesome that the producers axed it.
Two ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Fans Insists a Flashback Episode Explained the Death of Andy’s First Wife
According to two fans, The Andy Griffith Show explained how Andy’s first wife died through a flashback episode. But it was too violent for the era. So the producers made it disappear.
“In one of the earliest episodes, there is a flashback to when Andy was married and his wife is brutally murdered by a wandering maniac that escaped from the mental hospital in Mount Pilot,” wrote Chucklehead. “After the murderer escapes, Andy vows to never let such a thing happen again in Mayberry. And [he] becomes a law officer. I believe this episode was later removed from syndication because of the violent content.”
To our knowledge, the series never did give away how Opie’s mother died, so it’s believable that it explained the event in the past only to scrap it. But nevertheless, a few MeTV users argued that The Andy Griffith Show would never write such an episode. And they were certain that Chucklehead was playing a twisted joke on the community.
But another commenter chimed in to cooperate Chucklehead’s story. He too remembered that episode. And he explained why.
“The reason I so vividly remember that episode is because Pat Boone portrayed the maniacal murderer from Mt. Pilot,” a MeTV user named Thortwell wrote.
Neither MeTV nor Outsider was able to verify the rumor. But it is definitely an interesting story.