Flintstone Theming

Flintstone Theming is when a single pervasive concept that is basic to the show is used repeatedly for as many jokes as it can possibly yield, especially with character names. Some shows shoot for the moon and try to make a pun out of everything.

World Building is sometimes hard. Coming up with an endless string of bad puns based on the concept of your show, on the other hand, is usually pretty easy. At least at first. It gets progressively harder to come up with decent, original puns the longer and longer your show is on the air and the more puns you’ve already used up.

Compare Hold Your Hippogriffs, SpaceX. See also "Mister Sandman" Sequence, which is similar - only abusing Popular History instead of the English language.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • Common in many light novels and works derived from them, because the medium often omits dialogue tags. A Verbal Tic like this (along with several other kinds) helps to identify who said a line without having it stated explicitly.
  • Shinryaku! Ika Musume's main character constantly spouts aquatic puns like "What the gill!" or "Let's get kraken! (cracking)" in the English dub. The meme "You've got to be squidding me!" even made it into the dub.
    • In Japanese she's very fond of ending her sentences with "janaika" (basically instead of saying "X is Y" she says "Isn't X Y?!")...mostly because its last two kana are "ika", i.e. "squid", "de geso."note 
  • Despite cultivating an image as The Ojou, Azuki Azusa in Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko often uses animal metaphors—frequently bizarre ones—because she's secretly an animal-obsessed middle-class girl whose apartment doesn't allow pets.
  • Ellis in Blade Dance of the Spirit Users, a Magic Knight whose hobby is cooking, frequently threatens to turn people into bizarre dishes (all of them are actually just metaphors for "beat them savagely", along the lines of "make mincemeat out of"). The protagonist starts complimenting her on her eclectic tastes in food once he's used to her threats.

    Comic Books 
  • The adventures of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! were set in Follywood, Califurnia, in the United Species of America. And it didn't stop there.
  • Marvel Apes and its simian-themed naming.
    • Same goes for Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, which is essentially a Marvel version of Captain Carrot.
      • More like a Marvel version of Just'a Lotta Animals.
  • Silex and the City has an endless string of puns on "silex" (flint) and "evolution," though the latter mostly is used for Fun with Acronyms and the former rarely appears in names of any sort.

  • Howard the Duck showed that Howard's homeworld was like this with a duck theme.
  • In the Mouse World of the An American Tail movies, every mouse character's surname is a pun either on mice or on cheese, hence you have Fievel Mousekewitz, Tony Toponi ("topo" is Italian for mouse), Nellie Brie, etc.

  • In Rudolph The Nasally Empowered Reindeer, a story in James Finn Garner's Politically Correct Holiday Stories, some older reindeer scold Rudolph for "rocking the kayak." (Because they're in the Arctic.)
  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Who-ville does this with the word "who". For example, their Christmas feasts involve "Who-pudding" and "Who-roast-beast".
    • Same deal for Horton Hears a Who!. Lampshaded in the film by the mayor, who says that putting the word "who" in front of everything doesn't make it better.
  • The Berenstain Bears does this with, naturally, bears, in a lot of areas.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The "new" version of The Mickey Mouse Club (the one from the late 1980s and early '90s) lampshaded this trope in a reunion special that brought back Annette Funicello and several other alumni from the original 1950s series. A black-and-white vintage skit "shows" that the Mouseketeers became so universally popular when the show first aired that everyone was putting a "Mouseke-" in front of every third or fourth word. Typical dialog:
    Mother: Finish your Mouseke-peas.
    Daughter: Mouseke-yuck!
    • Then, of course, there was the chant of "Meeska, mooska, Mouseketeer!" Given that the original show premiered during the height of the Cold War, the Slavic sound of those first two words results in a bit of Fridge Humor.
  • The 1960s Batman series had a 'Bat' prefix to the name of every piece of equipment they used. Batmobile and Batphone - fair enough. But Bat-Shark Repellent Spray?
  • Countless humor sites on the Web have tried to predict how things would go if the dreaded Borg ever assimilated us Earthlings. They always have long lists of common catchphrases into which words like "quadrant," "implants," and "irrelevant" have been shoehorned, as well as the word "burger" being respelled "borger."
  • Wizards of Waverly Place uses "wiz" as a prefix a lot. Lampshaded in one episode where Mason calls an echo a "wiz-echo". Alex tells him it's just an echo and that they don't just put "wiz" in front of everything, right before Jerry screams "the wiz-mergency wiz-light is on!"
  • The Cybermen of Doctor Who refer to damn near everything they own as a "Cyber[XXXX]".


  • Subverted in one episode of I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again: at the beginning of a sea-based sketch, John Cleese irritatedly recites all the fish puns he can think of right at the start, to get them out of the way.
    John Cleese: Good evening. Here are the fish jokes. Come back to my plaice and we’ll have a whale of a time. Then you put your skates on and I’ll wear my new shoes with Dover soles with the electric eels to give you a nasty shark on porpoise. Then we’ll go for a long hake on the road to Manta Rays singing the tune of “Salmon Chanted Evening,’ ‘Oyster the Mainsail,’ and ‘Clam Every Mountain.’ Finally, we’ll visit the home of whales, kippers, and whelks made out of the hide of eels. … (Audience sounds unsettled) Whale-Kipper-Whelk Home in the Eel’s Hide… And you can have that in whiting. And that concludes the fish jokes for today. Thank cod!
  • Kip Addotta's "Wet Dream" also goes for the fish puns; it often gets played on the Dr Demento show.
    • Addotta followed this up with "Life in the Slaw Lane," which consists entirely of vegetable puns.

    Video Games 
  • The Fallout series manages to pull double duty on this. Everything from before the war is either Atomic- this, Nuka-that or some kind of 50s pop culture reference; while about half of anything after the war is a Mad Max reference.
  • Plants vs. Zombies uses as many plant puns as it possibly can. It starts with the relatively mild "Pea Shooter" and goes on from there.

    Web Comics 
  • Explained (and used) in this comic.
  • Restaurante Macoatl does this with its prehispanic setting, we got a prehispanic version of the TV ( a hole in the wall); telephones (stone tubes that end on jaguar heads); and the mysterious internet cafe.

    Web Original 
  • Ultra Fast Pony parodies, defies, and lampshades this. Characters will occasionally use insufficiently pony-fied dialogue, for which the captions will criticize them. Then the characters themselves comment on the practice:
    Twilight: Pinkie, you are not the internet!
    Pinkie: Oh, you mean ponynet!
    Twilight: Not everything has to have the word "pony" on it!

    Celestia: Want to name a country after horses, even though there are plenty of other creatures living here? Do it! You're immortal, who cares?

    Western Animation 
  • The Flintstones is the Trope Namer, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has ever seen an episode. Between the Stone Age equivalents of modern technology and the rock-and-stone puns tossed out at a rate of four or five per minute, these jokes are basically the only thing that make the show not The Honeymooners.
    • An episode of Robot Chicken lampshaded the fact that the rock-based puns sometimes just didn’t work well.
    • And, of course, The Jetsons did the same with "futuristic" and/or planetary themed puns.
    • The Roman Holidays did this as well, with the puns being obviously Ancient Roman in theme.
    • A Family Guy episode with a Flintstones parody had Stone Age Lois (playing the part of Wilma) use the word "rockgasm" instead of "orgasm", at which point Stewie and Brian decided they had had enough of the Stone Age.
      Stewie: Hey Brian, wanna get the rock out of here?
      Brian: Rock yeah.
  • Futurama either parodies this or just uses it brilliantly by twisting the Planet of Hats concept into providing a different one of these almost every episode (using up every possible joke about shellfish along the way).
  • SpongeBob SquarePants oscillates randomly between "everything is replaced with its loose underwater equivalent" and completely ignoring its setting, depending on whatever makes the joke at hand work.
  • The Fairly OddParents special "Abra-Catastrophe" landed Timmy Turner in a world where the human race had been replaced by sentient apes. The primate-related puns flowed like water.
    • Lampshaded at least twice: Timmy by expressing his desire to "wish for a world without puns," and AJ by noting that "The Declar-ape-tion of Independence" would sound like an Incredibly Lame Pun if it weren't historically accurate.
  • Fish Police, a cop show set underwater, where all the characters were fish, seemed to exist solely to make loads and loads of fish-related puns.
  • The characters in Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends replaced the –body suffix with –buggy (anybuggy, somebuggy, busybuggy, and so on).
  • The Geronimo Stilton series lives and breathes puns related to rodents and cheese.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has this in spades. The main cast is called the mane Six by fans, there are towns and cities such as Canterlot, Manehattan, Appleloosa (like the breed Appaloosa), they say things like "everypony" and "nopony"... Naturally, Fan Nicknames continue the trend (Stalliongrad, Trottingham, San Franciscolt, etc.)
    • Trottingham eventually became canon as the birthplace of Pipsqeak, one of the series' minor characters.
    • Common expletives include "What the hay" and "bucking [noun]". One comic pointed out that using the latter had the unfortunate effect of making Applejack's job (applebucking, i.e. knocking fruit out of trees) sound horrible.
      • Laura Faust originally wanted the series to take place in "Filly-delphia", but was forced to change it to Ponyville, the setting of the G3-era direct-to-video productions.
  • Birdz, with an entirely avian (except one) cast, was up to its beak in bird puns. These usually manifested themselves in the names of celebrities (e.g. "Whippoorwill Smith"), but also in the setting of Birdland and the occasional "anybird".
  • Monster High uses "ghoul" as a substitute for everything possible (though most usually "girl").note 
    • And not just that. MH uses plenty of horror-related words to build as many puns as possible around them (like in the latest toyline and CG film tie-in, called Scaris: City of Frights, which is set, as you might have guessed, in a twisted version of the French capital).
    • Even better, the characters use puns and neologisms specific to themselves as well. "Frankie Stein", being a Lost in Imitation Frankenstein monster (daughter of the original Frankenstein monster, although the Alternate Continuity books make her more of a granddaughter) uses "Voltageous" to mean "cool"
  • The names of the inhabitants of the game "Sugar Rush" in Wreck-It Ralph all are based on candy and candy flavors. Vanellope Von Schweetz, Taffyta Muttonfudge, Sour Bill... pretty much the only two things in Sugar Rush not named for a candy pun are King Candy and Candlehead.
  • SheZow really puts the she either shemazing puns or shewlful puns — depending on if the viewers like puns or not.
  • SWAT Kats did this with Mega-Everything.
  • Hercules is this because it takes place in ancient Greece.
  • The Snorks is a great example of this. They have Shellovisions, not Televisions.
  • The Centsables love their puns focusing mostly on economics and finance with some superhero jokes thrown in.
  • Mixels, in reference to the Fusion Dance aspect of the show, themes various objects, sports, and ideas around combining two real-world items into one new unique one (such as coconapple trees or ice-half pipes).