From 1937 to 1958 MGM
produced 16 Andy Hardy films starring Mickey Rooney. Judy Garland
co-starred in three of the films.
This film series provides examples of:
- Betty and Veronica: Polly and Cynthia in Love Finds Andy Hardy.
- Breakout Character: Earlier films in the series focused on the entire Hardy family, but starting with Love Finds Andy Hardy Andy became the central character.
- The Cast Showoff: Judy Garland gets three songs in Love Finds Andy Hardy.
- Christmas Episode: Love Finds Andy Hardy takes place during the holidays.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Hardys' eldest third child, a married daughter named Joan, disappears without a trace after the first film.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The series format wasn't really nailed down until the fourth film, Love Finds Andy Hardy, so the first three have some unusual aspects in retrospect. Also, several characters were recast after the first film. (Lionel Barrymore, who played Judge Hardy in A Family Affair, was replaced thereafter by Lewis Stone.)
- Easily Forgiven: Andy gets the car and the girl.
- Everytown, America: Andy's hometown, Carvel.
- First Girl Wins: Polly in Love Finds Andy Hardy.
- Grammar Nazi: Judge Hardy.
- Happily Married: Judge and Mrs. Hardy.
- Huge Girl Tiny Guy: Andy and Coffey Smith (played by Dorothy Ford) in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy.
- Large Ham: Andy.
- Non-Actor Vehicle: Swimmer Esther Williams started a screen career with a major supporting part in Andy Hardy's Double Life.
- Oblivious to Love: Andy to Betsy's crush on him.
- Oh, Crap: In Love Finds Andy Hardy when Andy gets a telegram saying Polly will be able to make it to the party and when he found out his friend wouldn't be giving him the eight dollars. Again in Andy Gets Spring Fever when Andy realizes he has to perform in front of a large crowd.
- Open-Minded Parent: Judge Hardy is this at home and a Reasonable Authority Figure at work.
- Precocious Crush: Betsy on Andy.
- Andy on the drama teacher, Ms. Meredith, in Andy Gets Spring Fever. He even asks her to marry him.
- Recurring Character: Judy Garland played Betsy Booth in three films.
- Revival: 1958's Andy Hardy Comes Home was the first Hardy film in 12 years and was intended to re-start the series, but poor box office ended up making it the final entry.
- Status Quo Is God: No matter what romantic complications ensue, Andy ends each film in the arms of Polly, his regular steady girlfriend. Averted in the end by fiat of the actress herself. Ann Rutherford refused to return for the revival, Andy Hardy Comes Home, because she thought the High School Sweethearts trope was unrealistic.
- Statuesque Stunner: Coffey Smith in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy.
- Work Off the Debt: In the classic Merrie Melodies short Hollywood Steps Out, a cartoon version of Andy gets into trouble, and as usual has to ask his dad for help. Since they can't pay the bill, Andy and dad end up washing dishes to the rhythm of the music being played by the band.
- Your Cheating Heart: Andy in Love Finds Andy Hardy.