Trivia / The Flintstones

The cartoon

  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "Christmas Flintstone," Mel Blanc voices Fred's easily irritated boss that fires him and immediately hires him back. Blanc even uses the same voice as Mr. Spacely.
      "FLINTSTONE! You're fired!"
    • Possibly unintentional, but Gazoo's references to Fred as "dum-dum" bring to mind the fellow Alan Reed-voiced Hanna-Barbera character, Dum Dum, from the Touché Turtle cartoons.
  • Colbert Bump: The Licensed Game based on The Flintstones for NES called The Rescue of Dino and Hoppy was a relatively obscure game until Joel of Vinesauce stumbled upon a Mario-themed bootleg of the game during one of his videos. As a result, the game (though particularly the bootleg version of it, known as "7 Grand Dad") and the 8-bit version of the theme song it featured became a meme almost overnight.
  • Defictionalization: The 1963 episode "Dino Disappears" has a scene where Barney tries to cheer Pebbles up by getting her to eat Pebbles cereal. In 1971, Post created two actual Pebbles cereals, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles.
  • Follow the Leader: The Gruesomes were created to cash in on the then mega popularity of ghoul comedies such as The Addams Family and The Munsters.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The Flintstones: On the Rocks has never been officially released on home video in any format. A small clip of it does exist on YouTube, which proves of its existence, but good luck trying to find the full special online since it aired only once on Cartoon Network.
  • No Export for You: At least in syndication — an episode in which the Flintstones encounter a group of stereotypical Wild West Indians was successfully banned from broadcast in Saskatchewan after protests from Native American groups. The ban became moot when the show began airing on nationally broadcast cable networks and came out on DVD, however.
  • Old Shame: The Flintstones cast promoted Winston cigarettes during the show's first two seasons. Amusingly, those ads are now among the only vintage tobacco commercials that one can easily find online (since showing them is technically illegal just about everywhere on the planet).
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Hanna-Barbera voice actor Daws Butler replaced Mel Blanc as Barney Rubble for a few episodes in 1961 while Blanc was hospitalized after a near-fatal car accident. Hanna-Barbera, however, did not publicly acknowledge this, and Blanc was still listed in the closing credits. There was one episode where it started with Daws Butler as the voice of Barney and right in the middle of the episode, he's replaced with Mel Blanc (and, unlike most modern shows where there would be a fourth wall-breaking joke about it, this mistake slipped by completely unnoticed).
    • Daws Butler also voiced Barney in the original pitch reel The Flagstones. Also, Betty was voiced by June Foray.
    • Wilma's mother was voiced at first by Verna Felton, but was later replaced by Janet Waldo.
    • Post-show examples. At this point, all of the original Flintstones actors have died and been replaced (some multiple times).
      • Gerry Johnson replaced Bea Benaderet as Betty Rubble in the show's fifth and sixth seasons, when Benaderet left to concentrate on her role as Kate Bradley on Petticoat Junction. Johnson died soon after The Flintstones ended its ABC run and would be replaced in 1971 by Gay Hartwig (Benaderet herself died in 1968, during Petticoat's run). Hartwig herself would be replaced by Betty Jean Ward, who was replaced by current voice Grey DeLisle.
      • Alan Reed lent his voice to Fred for the final time in the debut episode of Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics in 1977. He died soon after and would be replaced by Henry Corden. Corden died in 2005 and was replaced by Jeff Bergman, although James Arnold Taylor voices him in commercials. (who, according to the documentary, I Know That Voicenote , almost wasn't chosen because he didn't look like someone who'd be able to do an accurate Fred Flintstone impression. Henry Corden urged the producers to give Taylor a chance, and that's how he was picked).
      • Aside from the aforementioned period of recuperating from his car wreck, Mel Blanc voiced Barney up to his death in 1989. Since then, Barney has been played variously by Frank Welker and Jeff Bergman (and Seth MacFarlane in parodies shown on Family Guy and Robot Chicken).
      • Jean Vander Pyl was the longest-surviving female member of the principal cast, playing Wilma until her death in 1999. Since then, Wilma has been played by Tress MacNeille.
      • In The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown, John O'Hurley replaced John Stephenson as the voice of Mr. Slate.
  • Outlived Its Creator: The Flintstones Stone Age Smack Down (2015) is the first original Flintstones production since On The Rocks in 2001... and the first to not involve the original creators (who passed away in 2001 [Hanna] and 2006 [Barbera]). The film marked also the first time the character of Mr. Slate was voiced by someone other than John Stephenson.
  • Recycled Script: There have been numerous episodes where Fred had a doppelgänger and in a TV movie from the 1970s, Fred took Santa's place. He did the same thing in the original show.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • In a sense. Mel Blanc's previously-recorded yaps for Dino from the original series were re-used for the films. Blanc himself had been dead for five years by the time the first film was released, and his voice was initially used without a screen credit, prompting his estate to slap the studio with a lawsuit before one was put in for the home video release.
    • Several Hanna-Barbera series from around the same time used the show's stock music, most notably The Yogi Bear Show.note 
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Hanna and Barbera originally wanted to do a straight-up cartoon version of The Honeymooners, but couldn't agree on a wardrobe. Finally, Hanna proposed making them into cavemen so they'd just wear animal skins.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The script for the first episode had Fred saying "yahoo". Alan Reed didn't like it, and asked whether he could change it to "Yabba-dabba-doo".
    • Barney's Vocal Evolution came about when Mel Blanc suffered brain damage in a car accident. When he came back to work, he suddenly started using that deeper voice for Barney (which was also a much closer imitation of Art Carney's voice - even though Blanc had originally refused to ape Carney) and no one said anything.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The name of the series in its pilot was originally The Flagstones. An early model sheet of Fred also showed after early name for the series, The Gladstones.
    • Fred and Wilma were originally to have had a son, Fred, Jr. He was cut from the show's final series' bible, but a Golden Book that was based on the original ideas was released just as the show debuted. Then when the character that'd become Pebbles was conceived, Barbera once again wanted it to be a boy, but a phone call form a toy company in New York convinced him to change it to a girl.
    • Jackie Gleason was not happy about learning that Fred Flintstone was based on him without his permission, nor that the Flintstones was based on his old TV series The Honeymooners and tried to file a lawsuit for using his likeness, but friends and colleagues dissuaded him from doing so in light of the show's popularity, telling him it would be bad for his reputation if he became known as "the man who killed Fred Flintstone."
    • Hanna and Barbera tried to get one of the original staff writers from The Honeymooners to write for them, but his scripts were reportedly too dialogue-heavy (which, by HB standards, is saying something).
    • Seth MacFarlane was originally going to revive the show for FOX, possibly as a replacement for The Simpsons, which was about to be canceled in the middle of season 23 due to money issues.note  For better or worse, MacFarlane shelved the show after the cast and crew of The Simpsons took a pay cut to keep the show afloat, and FOX and Warner Bros. could not agree on profit negotiations.
    • There were plans to make a Spin-Off called The Blackstones about an African-American family that moved in next to the Flintstones. It goes without saying why it didn't make the cut.

The film version

  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Rosie O'Donnell, though not the immediate choice for Betty, mastered her laugh and other mannerisms in her audition.
    • Jane Krakowski's Betty in the prequel was slightly more well-received.
  • All-Star Cast: In the first live-action film: John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Rosie O'Donnell, Elizabeth Perkins, Halle Berry, Kyle MacLachlan, and Elizabeth Taylor (in what turned out to be her final big-screen movie).note 
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: John Goodman on playing Fred Flintstone.
  • Casting Gag:
    • The Dictabird is voiced by Harvey Korman, who voiced The Great Gazoo in the original cartoon. He was also in the prequel as Colonel Slaghoople.
    • John Stephenson, who voiced Mr. Slate in the cartoon, appears as the minister who marries Fred and Wilma at the end of Viva Rock Vegas.
    • Rosie O'Donnell, who plays Betty in the original film, makes a cameo as the voice of a masseuse octopus in Viva Rock Vegas.
  • Doing It for the Art: As hard as it is to imagine, the first live action movie. For starters, unless they got John Goodman to play Fred, they wouldn't have even bothered trying to make a movie.
  • Development Hell: No less than 35 writers contributed to the first film's screenplay.
  • The Other Darrin: The prequel Viva Rock Vegas recasts all the characters, due to taking place before Fred and Barney were married to Wilma and Betty.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Director Brian Levant reportedly had the world's biggest collection of Flintstones memorabilia when he took the directing job.
  • Real-Life Relative: Javier Pontón, who voiced Cliff Vandercave in the Latin American Spanish dub, is the brother of Carlos Pontón, who was the ADR Director for that dub.
  • Role Reprisal: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Fred and Barney's Mexican voice actors from many of their animated works since the 70's, Arturo Mercado and Francisco Colmenero, respectively reprised their roles in the movie. This is especially relevant because the dub of the film was recorded at Ultra Video, a Spanish-speaking studio in Los Angeles, and they brought them out straight from Mexico precisly for this in mind. The Los Angeles casting directors assumed that Jorge Arvizu (Fred) and Julio Lucena (Barney) had both passed away (in truth, Arvizu was semi-retired, but Lucena had died in 1985 from cardiac arrest).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • At one point, Richard Donner was attached to direct, Joel Silver was going to produce and Jim Belushi was going to play Fred. When the movie went from Warner Bros. to Universal, Donner stayed around but had to pull out due to conflicting schedules with Maverick.
    • John Candy, James Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Danny DeVito, Bill Murray, George Wendt, and Chevy Chase were all considered for the role of Fred, but they were all deemed too skinny, and putting any of them in a fat suit would look too inappropriate for use in the movie.
    • Geena Davis, Faith Ford, and Catherine O'Hara were all considered for the role of Wilma.
    • Danny DeVito was the original first choice for the role of Barney, but he turned down the role as he felt he was too gruff to do the character properly, and recommended Rick Moranis for the part.
    • Janine Turner, Tracey Ullman, and Daphne Zuniga were all considered for the role of Betty.
    • The role of Sharon Stone the secretary was written for...Sharon Stone, but due to scheduling conflicts with The Specialist, she dropped out and Halle Berry signed on.
      • They tried to change her name to Rosetta Stone, but the studio thought people wouldn't get the reference.

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