Pet Birds Make For Good Sitcom Plots

Judge Judy quite often ruffles the feathers of the litigants before her, which is one of the reasons she remains one of the most popular people on television. A case on a recent session of her show, however, involved a more literal interpretation of ruffling feathers.

The plaintiff had 42 birds, and she was suing a couple who had purchased two macaws from her. The case got a little heated at times, and Judy shortly wrapped it up by informing the plaintiff that she already had too many birds.

Pet birds have appeared on TV long before Judge Judy, as proven by a quick look into the history of sitcoms. Here are episodes from nine shows where a regular character runs into trouble with someone’s pet bird.

Three’s Company

In the episode called “Bird Song” Jack Tripper (played by John Ritter) and Chrissy Snow (played by Suzanne Somers) agree to take care of a parakeet Mr. Roper plans to give his wife as a gift.

The Andy Griffith Show

Opie (played by Ron Howard) accidentally kills a mother bird with his slingshot, prompting Andy to make him take care of the trio of newborns (which he named Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod) until they could fly off on their own.

The Simpsons

Bart accidentally kills a bird and, like Opie a few decades before him, the Simpsons son tends to the little bird he was responsible for orphaning.

Mayberry R.F.D.

In this spin off of The Andy Griffith Show the son of Sam Jones loses the prized pet bird of Howard Sprague, setting off a cover up that even involves Aunt Bee.

Gilligan’s Island

The castaways pin their hopes of a rescue on a carrier pigeon, only to find that Gilligan (played by Bob Denver) grows so fond of the bird that he cannot bear to let it leave the island.


Kramer (played by Michael Richards) takes on the responsibility of baby sitting the birds of a neighbor, who gets upset when Jerry inadvertently kills the feathered pets.

The Munsters

Scientifically, bats are not birds, but in an episode titled “Bats of a Feather” Eddie (played by Butch Patrick) takes one to school for show and tell, only to learn that the bat was actually Grandpa.

The Big Bang Theory

In a show called “The Ornithophobia Diffusion”, Sheldon must confront his fear of birds when a magpie jay lands on his window sill.

Full House

Michelle is delighted with her turn to bring the class pet bird home in “Bye Bye Birdie” until the thing flies away.

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