Aunt Bee / Frances Bavier

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FAQ: Aunt Bee / Frances Bavier

How do you spell Aunt Bee's name?

The correct spelling is B-E-E. The spelling can be seen on a couple of episodes, color ones. When she had the Chinese Restaurant (Aunt Bee's Restaurant episode #209) and when she ran for council (Politics Begins at Home episode #200). The spelling can also be seen on the closing credits of almost every episode of TAGS.

Sure, Bea is short for Beatrice but she still spells her name B-E-E. I guess if you can get Bill from the name William or Jim from James, you can get Bee from Beatrice. Bee is listed as a short form of Beatrice in "The Name Book" which list names for expecting parents.

Aunt Bee speaks these lines in an episode: "Mum's my name. Silence is my game. Tick a lock!" In which episode does she speaks them?

Those lines come from episode 118 "Andy's Vacation" when Andy decides to head up to the mountains by himself for a few days. The dialogue goes something like this:

Andy: Remember now, not a word about where I've gone.
Aunt Bee: Silence is my game, Mum's my name, tick-a-lock! Barney also says "tick-a-lock" in "High Noon in Mayberry," and Otis says it in "Hot rod Otis."

--Paul Mulik

Aunt Bee one time said Opie was coming down with the "pip." What's the "Pip?

Dear Allan, a dedicated TAGS person wrote you referring to the scene at the dinner table in OPIE THE BIRDMAN wherein Opie seems to have lost his appetite (He's actually distraught about the bird he killed) Aunt Bee does her best to minimize, saying Opie "probably just has the pip. "QUESTION .. WHAT'S THE PIP?

I first heard the word from my wife who grew up in Michigan. I thought it was a hoot, couldn't wait to get it into an episode. She says it is a catch-all word for any general malaise, lethargy..etc .almost anything. If there wasn't a medical term for anyone's ails, you could say your sick friend had the PIP and you had the situation covered nicely.. It's also in the lyrics of a good ol country song "LIFE DO GET TEEJUS, DON'T IT" - Harvey Bullock (writer of "Opie the Birdman")

Aunt Bee was Andy's father's sister, because they have the same last name. Since Barney's last name is different, but he still calls Bee "Aunt", his mother was probably their sister, as well?

Not quite. We learn in "Aunt Bee's Invisible Beau" that Aunt Bee is not Barney's aunt. He says, "Boy, for the life of me, I can't figure you out, Andy. If Aunt Bee was my aunt, I wouldn't be staring out of windows. I'd get in the car, I'd drive straight over to Mt. Pilot, I'd get that Hendricks out in the alley and POW!" In other episodes, Barney refers to his mother's side of the family as if Andy does not know any of them. An example is in "Cousin Virgil," when Barney says, "You're really gonna like my cousin Virgil. He comes from my mother's side of the family; they're the fun ones." So, the correct relationship must be: Andy's mother is the sister of Barney's father (assuming that they are FIRST cousins.)

How many other characters (besides Opie, of course!) call Bee "Aunt"? Don't Goober and Gomer call her Aunt?

Just about everyone in Mayberry who is younger than Aunt Bee calls her "Aunt Bee." Most folks who are close to her own age, such as Clara, Floyd, and Mr. Foley, usually just call her Bee, or once in a while, Beatrice. --Paul Mulik

Has anyone noticed that the stove in Aunt Bee's kitchen never has all the burners turned off when she is not cooking. In "Romeo & Juliet", she was not cooking anything, but the knobs on the stove were turned on.

Now how come I never noticed that? That's a good observation. Aunt Bee must have one of them special combination stoves. In "The Pickle Story" Andy and Barney smell something suspicious, which prompts Andy to ask "You don't reckon that gas stove's leakin'?" In episodes in which the stove can be seen, it is clearly electric. The courthouse is also equipped with some sort of prototype multi-fuel heating system. In some episodes, they heat with steam, while in other episodes, they use a gas heater. We learn in "Opie and the Spoiled Rich Kid" that there is a woodshed behind the courthouse, which seems to indicate that they have an unseen fireplace or wood stove somewhere on the premises. Then in "The Luck of Newton Monroe," Barney sends Newton down to the basement to clean the furnace. Judging by the huge clouds of black smoke that pour from the vent, they must have a coal-burning furnace, too. --Paul Mulik

Was Aunt Bee's bedroom ever shown in an episode?

In episode 125, "The Rumor," they fixed up Andy's room when they thought he and Helen were going to get married, then when it turned out they didn't Aunt Bee took the room herself. So, her bedroom was seen in that episode. It's seen in a few color episodes, too. In the one where she dates the ex-congressman, Andy enters her room and finds her soaking her feet in a pan of water. Also, we see the room in "A Baby in the House" and "Lost and Found" (the one in which she loses a valuable piece of jewelry.) --Paul

What was it that Andy and Barney thought Aunt Bee's marmalade smelled like?

Barney asked Andy if he had been painting, but he didn't specify exactly what he thought he was smelling -- he might have meant paint, thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits, or some other product. Then Andy thought the smell was model airplane glue, which prompted Barney to guess ammonia. Finally, Andy wondered aloud if "that gas stove's leaking" (that last guess wasn't too likely, since Aunt Bee's stove is ELECTRIC.) --Paul Mulik

I've noticed Aunt Bee sings Chinatown in several episodes. How many was it?

I think you'll find that there are three: "Aunt Bee's Medicine Man," "Aunt Bee the Swinger," and "Aunt Bee's Restaurant." In the last, she confides to Andy that it's one of her favorite songs. --Paul Mulik