Money was a necessary evil in Mayberry just as it is wherever we live today. But it didn't seem to have the all-consuming allure for the Mayberry folk that it does for some people today. Let's think about different instances where money is mentioned, becomes the focus of an episode, or just assumes great importance for someone in The Friendly Town.
Opie, along with Barney and Andy, have a suspenseful week waiting to see if anyone will claim that change purse with, what was it? $50.00? Lessons are learned along the way: Finders are not necessarily keepers - We should have faith in those we love - and it's not good to count your chickens before they're hatched.
Barney laid out $300 for that car driven by Mrs. Lesh's dear departed husband Bernard. I think there were a few lessons learnt that day.
Roger needed $400.00 (?) for him to move on to Florida.
Barney hit it big when he became a finger print specialist up in Raleigh - enough dough to afford a room with a view at the Parkers! He perhaps was able to have the whole house to himself after they all got busted.
Opie gave Malcolm Tucker that penny that got run over by a train. It's real value couldn't be ascertained though because you can't put a value on good luck.
Money WAS involved when Andy bought the canning jars for Aunt Bee's birthday. But some things are worth more than money. He gave up ole "Eagle Eye Annie" for the Mayor's bed jacket he'd bought for his wife.
'Course Andy sort of blackmailed him out of the fishing pole when all was said and done.
Money is what motivated Luke the cow rustler to put shoes on Fletch's ornery old bull. Almost worked too cept he was near sighted and thought it was a cow. I think that moolage helped though.
"Everybody knows ol' Luke ain't got no money"
In the Season 8 episode "Emmett's Anniversary", Emmett wants to buy his wife a fur coat for their 25th wedding anniversary which costs $1,800, even with 40% off. Then a cheaper one for $1,100, then another for $850. At first he says he can't afford it, but ends up buying one, one of the cheaper ones I assume.
$1,800 (in mid/late-60s money) would seem way beyond the means of most Mayberry people I'd imagine. I think they'd even hesitate at the cheaper prices. Mayberry doesn't strike me as a "fur coat" type of town.
Charles (Chuck) O’Malley simply married into the money. Jensen Orthopedic Loafers. Lots of bad feet.
Daddy you are so right!
The first “case” Barney “solved” was the Walker’s Drug Store robbery. A masked man came in with a gun, made Ellie open the cash register and give him TWENTY FOUR DOLLARS! “Good for him!” “Came right in and held ya up, did he?!”