One episode has Opie, attempting to emulate Robin Hood, stealing food to give to a homeless man faking a bad leg. To teach Opie a lesson Andy goes up to the man and offers to assist him in finding a series of jobs he believes the man could do in spite of his leg. The man keeps making excuses for why he can't do each one, until he runs off, revealing himself to be a fraud. In short, "never help the homeless, they're just lazy." Bizarrely, the finale scene has Opie point out that none of the jobs Andy offered were actually available, so if the man had been telling the truth and accepted one of them, Andy would have looked like a complete jerk.
Just three episodes after that we get "Aunt Bee the Crusader" in which Aunt Bee tries to stop Andy from evicting a man because of a highway project. Both sides make some really good points, but in the end it all turns out to be moot because the man was a moonshiner. As a result the message comes across as "never fight for someone else's rights, because they're probably criminals anyway."
Hilarious in Hindsight: All the times the male characters wished they could be as good with the ladies as Rock Hudson... Rock Hudson was later revealed as a homosexual.
Idiot Plot: Numerous episodes would have been resolved in under a minute had someone decided to tell a slightly uncomfortable truth rather than try to spare someone's feelings. "Dinner at Eight" is probably the worst offender, when Andy was 'forced' to eat three spaghetti dinners in one night and be blamed for being late to one of them, when all he had to do was admit he didn't get a telephone message. Or call when he did get the message and say he was going to be late. Or if the host had called and made sure he had gotten the message. Or the host called when he didn't arrive and ask what had delayed him.
Replacement Scrappy: Warren Ferguson. The guy didn't have an ounce of what made Barney so funny. The fact that he tried to fill Barney's role, but ultimately failed, is what made his character particularly unfunny.
Lee Van Cleef, in a very small role as—surprise—a bad guy in the carnival episode.
A then-unknown Jack Nicholson in some brief scenes in one of the later episodes.
Pre-MASH Jamie Farr and William Christopher had made memorable guest appearances; Farr as part of a band of gypsies, and Christopher as Mayberry's new town doctor, Doc Peterson.
Much earlier, a pre-Jeannie Barbara Eden arrives in Mayberry as the town's pretty new manicurist.
Seasonal Rot: A pretty serious case. After Don Knotts dropped out of the show after the fifth season to pursue a film career, the series went on without him for three more years. Most fans dislike these episodes (easily recognized because they were shot in color) for being unfunny and moralistic. Without Barney to play off of, Andy loses much of what made his own character funny, and he becomes a rather solemn grump.
Also, the sudden addition of new neighbors in Mayberry, such as Howard Sprague and Emmett Clark, really didn't help matters much either.
Values Resonance: A clip of Andy erasing a recording Opie made of a conversation of a suspect and his lawyer made in secret while defending the right to privacy and attorney-client privilege has been making the rounds on YouTube ever since the revelations of the NSA's spying program.
Wretched Hive: Raleigh. Bit-part bad guys hail from there more often than not, and it is often used as the foil to Mayberry's wholesomeness. Nonetheless, the show is as beloved in Raleigh as it is anywhere else in North Carolina.