Gomer Pyle (played by the comedian Jim Nabors) was the bumbling gas-station attendant on The Andy Griffith Show
. However, Gomer became so popular, he was eventually put right in his own spin-off. The series ran on CBS
from 1964 to 1969, a total of 150 episodes in 5 seasons.
Here, Pyle enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps
. Every episode has Pyle doing something crazy, mostly enraging his superior, Sergeant Vince Carter (Frank Sutton), who should not be confused with the basketball player of that name
- Armed Farces
- Artistic License - Military: This is a sitcom, after all, and follows the Rule of Funny. Getting details of military life exactly right are of ... secondary importance.
- Especially considering this was filmed during the Veitnam conflict. Gomer saw about as much front line action as Beetle Bailey did. The show's opening credits were filmed with actual Marines, many of whom never made it back home.
- Breakout Character: Gomer Pyle broke from The Andy Griffith Show.
- Casanova Wannabe: Both Sgt. Carter and Duke Slater.
- Catch Phrase: Gomer Pyle has a few of them.
- "Well Goll-eee!"
- "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Gomer Pyle delves into this in some episodes.
- Declining Promotion: Gomer's unit (all privates) are to take the Corporal's test. Gomer doesn't want to at first because "the Private is the backbone of the Marines" and he likes being the backbone.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Notably Subverted by Sgt. Carter, Carter does shout a lot and is angry sometimes but he is kind at heart. And the troops respect him a lot more than they let on.
- Epic Fail: The plots frequently revolve around Pyle's ability to turn even the simplest assignments into major crises, such as the time a simple errand into town ended up as a twenty-four-hour transatlantic odyssey.
- Everythings Smellier With Skunks: In one of the first episodes Gomer adopts a wild ( and fully loaded ) skunk.
- The Fool: Gomer Pyle. Pretty much all of his early antics in the show revolve around this trope.
- Friend to All Living Things: Gomer has a wonderful way with animals, and the trope is lampshaded angrily by Sgt. Carter from time to time.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Thanks to this, Gomer is often the target of very unscrupulous folks from time to time. Such folks include a mother-daughter bandit team, an owner of a Chinese food restaurant which is actually the leader of a gambling den, 'Friendly Freddy' and more.
- The Ingenue: Gomer Pyle is a male example, and Lou Ann Poovie is also one to a lesser extent.
- Large Ham: Carter, Again.
- Loud Last Name: "PYYYYYLLEEEEE!!"
- Love at First Sight: Subverted with Gomer in regards to Lou Ann. When they first met at the nightclub, Sgt. Carter and Duke Slater fell for her, but Gomer couldn't get past how awful a singer she was. Later in the series Gomer and Lou Ann eventually become a couple.
- The Masochism Tango: Though not married yet, Sgt. Carter and his girlfriend bunny frequently have elements of this. They fight fairly often, but Sgt. Carter does believe Bunny may be the one for him.
- Oblivious to Love: Gomer gets a lot of female admirers throughout the series (especially the first half), but most of the time his intentions with them are purely platonic.
- Peeling Potatoes: Weeks of K.P. were the very first punishment inflicted by Sergeant Carter on the laid-back Pyle, all the way back in the pilot episode.
- Which is totally lost on Pyle: "Goollee, Sarge, you're right! This IS fun!"
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The show's premise was established in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show itself, also titled "Gomer Pyle, USMC".
- Required Spinoff Crossover: Opie and Andy Taylor turn up in "Opie Joins the Marines", as do Aunt Bee in "A Visit from Aunt Bee" and Goober in "A Visit from Cousin Goober".
- "Gomer Goes Home" has Gomer visiting Mayberry on furlough, only to find that the Taylors and Goober have gone out of town on a camping trip. (They do finally turn up...just as Gomer's returning bus is leaving town in the very last scene.)
- The Slacker: Duke Slater as Sgt. Carter angrily points out.
- Southern-Fried Private: Gomer, of course, is a quintessential example.
- Shout-Out: Gomer makes frequent reference to his friends from Mayberry, and characters from the earlier series make crossover appearances about once a season.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Phil Silvers Show, with more antics and less zany schemes.
- Tranquil Fury: Sgt. Carter usually got extra loud when he was angry, but if he got quiet, it meant he was really angry.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Sgt. Carter and Gomer Pyle is a type 1 example.