Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Western Animation: The Flintstones
The modern Stone Age family.

Fred Flintstone, every single episode, ever.

Fred Flintstone, also every single episode, ever.

The most famous and beloved of Hanna-Barbera's cartoons that isn't Scooby-Doo, this one was set in the Stone Age—sort of—and based about half its humor on prehistoric versions of modern technology. Usually an animal was shown rigged to perform some menial task, eg a baby mammoth used as a vacuum cleaner, a parrot used as a recording device, etc. Said animal usually makes an Aside Comment about their lot in life.

The other half was ordinary sitcom material, springing from the antics of boorish Fred Flintstone — based on Jackie Gleason in The Honeymooners — who was constantly hatching insane schemes with the help of his neighbor Barney Rubble and subsequently getting them both into trouble with their wives, Wilma and Betty. Later in the series the Flintstones had a daughter, Pebbles; this inspired the Rubbles to adopt a son, the comically super-strong Bamm-Bamm. Dino and Hoppy were the respective family pets.

This show was the most successful prime-time animated series ever until The Simpsons debuted in 1989. The latter broke the former's record with the season eight episode "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show" — explaining why, in syndicated reruns, the opening Couch Gag has the Simpsons finding The Flintstones already sitting in their living room. The Flintstones was also the first animated sitcom to win a Primetime Emmy, which opened the door for a lot of animated sitcoms (mostly Family Guy and The Simpsonsnote ) to do the same. The show was also the first to have an animated character (Wilma) be openly pregnant.

Like many very popular shows from the 1960s and 1970s, The Flintstones just would not die. It survived cancellation in any number of subsequent forms, from Saturday morning cartoons featuring teenaged versions of Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles (the latter voiced by Sally Struthers) through a pair of live-action motion pictures, all the way to a breakfast cereal which is still marketed in the early 21st century (and which is the occasion for continuous new Flintstones animation), not to mention the chewable vitamins.

Similar shows to this have been made by Hanna-Barbera, such as The Jetsons (The Flintstones in the future), Where's Huddles (The Flintstones with football players), Wait Till Your Father Gets Home (The Flintstones meets All in the Family), and The Roman Holidays (The Flintstones in the era of the Roman empire).

The various incarnations of the Flintstones in the media:

  • Animated Series
    • The Flintstones (1960 - 1966). Lasted 6 seasons, 166 episodes.
    • The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971-1972). Lasted 1 season, 16 episodes.
    • The Flintstone Comedy Hour (1972 - 1973). Lasted 1 season, 16 episodes.
    • Fred Flintstone and Friends (1977-1978). Lasted 1 season, re-editing of older episodes.
    • The New Fred and Barney Show (1979). Lasted 1 season, 17 episodes.
    • Fred and Barney Meet the Thing (1979). Lasted 1 season, 13 episodes.
    • Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo (1979-1980). Lasted 1 season, 13 episodes. Episodes of the previous series, combined with a new segment.
    • The Flintstone Comedy Show (1980-1981). Lasted 2 seasons, 18 episodes.
    • The Flintstone Funnies (1982-1984). Re-editing episodes from previous series.
    • The Flintstone Kids (1986-1988). Lasted 2 seasons, 24 episodes.
    • Dino: World Premiere Toons (1995-1997). Only broadcasted 7-minute shorts.
    • Cave Kids (1996). Lasted 1 season, 8 episodes.
  • Animated films
    • The Man Called Flintstone (1966). The only one theatrically released.
    • The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987).
    • I Yabba-Dabba Do! (1993). Pebbles and Bamm Bamm get married.
    • Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby (1993). Pebbles becomes a mother.
    • A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994).
    • The Flintstones: On the Rocks (2001). Fred and Wilma face marital problems.
    • Untitled WWE Studios Collaboration (Scheduled for 2015). To feature John Cena and Vince McMahon.
  • Television specials
    • A Flintstone Christmas (1977)
    • Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue (1978). Crossover of various Hanna-Barbera characters, with Fred as the host.
    • The Flintstones: Little Big League (1978).
    • The Flintstones Meet Rockula And Frankenstone (1980).
    • The Flintstones' New Neighbors (1980).
    • The Flintstones: Fred's Final Fling (1980).
    • The Flintstones: Wind-Up Wilma (1981).
    • The Flintstones: Jogging Fever (1981).
    • Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper (1982). Crossover with other characters.
    • The Flintstones' 25th Anniversary Celebration (1986).
    • The Flintstone Kids' "Just Say No" Special (1988). Anti-Drug Special.
    • Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration (1989). Features multiple characters.
    • A Flintstone Family Christmas (1993).
  • Live-Action Films
  • Pinballs
    • The Flintstones (1994). Based on the first live-action film.
  • Video Games
    • The Flintstones - MSX
    • The Flintstones - Sega Master System
    • The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy - NES
    • The Flintstones - Sega Genesis
    • The Flintstones: The Surprise at Dinosaur Peak! - NES
    • The Flintstones: The Treasure of Sierra Madrock - SNES

The Flintstones provides the name for the following tropes:

"Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, they're a modern Trope Age family":

    open/close all folders 

    A to I 
  • Absurdly Long Limousine: Done once or twice. Often the gag would be further reinforced with a secretary or switchboard operator at the halfway point of the limousine.
  • Accidental Dance Craze: Twice...
    • In one episode Fred stubs his toe and starts hopping up and down. Bystanders join in, and soon everyone is doing the 'Flintstone Frantic'. "Yabba-dabba-doo...woo-woo-woo! Yabba-dabba-die...yie-yie-yie!"
    • "The Twitch" is created when singer Rock Roll has convulsions as a reaction to his pickled dodo eggs allergy.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Very, very much inverted in the first live action movie with regards to Betty.
    • Played straight with Barney and Wilma's mother.
  • Adjective Noun Fred: In Japan the series was called Primitive Family Flintstone.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Had several such episodes for Fred (such as "The Swimming Pool"), but averted in the episode where Pebbles has her first birthday.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Dino is a dinosaur that acts just like a big dog.
  • Anachronism Stew: We have dinosaurs and large mammals living at the same time, along with modern-esque technology and culture. And they celebrate Christmas thousands of years before Christ.
    • Apparently, Fred knows the words to "When the Saints Go Marching In". And can sing it in someone else's voice.
  • The Artifact: Ads for the aforementioned vitamins, being marketed to parents, haven't featured the characters in any form other than what appears on the packaging or the product itself in years (preferring to feature footage of active, healthy-looking kids).
  • Aside Comment: The animals used as part of the Bamboo Technology are likely to do this.
  • Babysitting Episode: In the Gruesomes' debut episode, Fred and Barney agree to babysit Goblin, whose antics and pets make it near life-threatening.
  • Back to School: When a law has been passed stating Fred's job could not be held by people who didn't finish High School, Fred had to finish it because he owed two weeks of class. Then, in another episode, it's revealed Fred went to college but didn't graduate because he spent most (if not all) of the time playing football. He returned to college but ended up playing football again.
  • Badass Adorable: Bamm-Bamm Rubble could shake an entire house with his club even as a toddler. At times he even got Barney and Uncle Fred out of a pinch with his super strength.
  • Bamboo Technology: pretty much the main thing that makes The Flintstones any different from just setting it in 1960s America, this trope provides much of the humor after the standard sitcom plots and all the silly names. Cars? Telephones? Airplanes? They had 'em. Radio? Television? The only reason they didn't have any electronics more advanced than that was because of when the show was made. If one takes the Fruity Pebbles commercials as canon, then they actually have not only computers and robots, but Humongous Mecha.
    • Later spinoffs and TV movies usually update the technology equivalents to match when the spinoff/movie was made. Thus the late 1970s The New Fred and Barney Show featured CB radios, 80s spinoff The Flintstone Kids featured video games, while the 90s TV movies I Yabba Dabba Do and Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby feature desktop computers, VCRs, CDs and car alarms.
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: Wilma and Betty tried this on Fred and Barney.
  • Beta Couple: The Rubbles.
  • Big Damn Movie: The first film has ambition, loyalty, betrayal, corporate intrigue, and a climactic battle upon an elaborate makeshift Death Trap. An average episode of the TV series is basically just Wacky Hijinks.
  • Big Darn Movie: The Man Called Flintstone made at the same time as the Original Series. Originally intended as a multipart season premire, it was adapted instead into a movie parodying the hot Secret Agent genre.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Dino, even though he's not technically a dog.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Some characters, especially Barney and Wilma.
  • Bowling For Ratings: Fred and Barney are frequently shown bowling, either by themselves or as part of an organized group.
  • Broken Aesop: In "Samantha", after some ridicule, the wives are determined to prove they can handle a camping trip with Fred and Barney. They are joined by the secretly magical Samantha. The episode ends with everyone thinking Wilma and Betty outdid Fred and Barney, but as the viewers saw, Samantha cheated - using her magic to make things vastly easier for the wives than it would've been otherwise.
  • Broken Streak
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes.
  • Bumbling Dad: Fred, when Pebbles was born.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: Gazoo.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Dino is a pretty startling example. In his debut episode, he has a different colour, usually walks on his hind legs, and can not only talk, but can act and fast-talk people, with a vocabulary to match. At the end of the episode, he goes home with the Flintstones... and then turns into a dog with only the usual level of cartoon animal intelligence (in that he can understand the exact sentences people say and act upon them, but is never seen to be able to talk).
    • How about Barney being Mister Slate's long-lost nephew? Didn't last past the end of the episode that used it.
  • Catch Phrase: "Yabba-dabba-doo!"
    • In the teenage years spinoffs, Pebbles uses "Yabba-dabba-doozy!" Befitting, as her schemes usually were.
    • "Wiiiiiiiilllmaaaaaaa!!!"
    • (In the cereal commercials) "Barney!!!!! My Pebbles!!!!" (Followed by Barney making a lame pun based on his latest scheme)
  • Celebrity Is Overrated
  • The Celebrity Lie
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas Flintstone." Fred gets a second job at the mall and eventually becomes a Mall Santa. He loves it, but then he gets approached to stand in for a very real, very sick Santa Claus.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: If you go by historic timelines, it could be said that Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were the very first pair for this trope. Upon first meeting as babies, they were the best of friends and had many adventures as they grew up together, eventually falling in love, getting married, and having children of their own. It was even lampshaded by Bill and Joe themselves during a cameo appearance at their wedding.
  • Closer to Earth: Wilma is much more mature and level-headed than Fred, who borders on Man Child.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch
  • Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: The Flintstone Kids compared to the original series.
  • Cousin Oliver: The Gruesomes. They appeared in only two episodes of the original series before disappearing and didn't come back until an episode of The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show.
  • Crossover: with The Jetsons, Bewitched and others.
  • Crunchtastic: Their aforementioned cereal. The short-lived Dino Pebbles Cereal, for instance, used "Marshmellow Dinolicious" in their ads, prompting Dino to glomp whoever said it.
  • Darker and Edgier: The animated movie Flintstones on the Rocks. Fred and Wilma's silly cartoon fighting turned into them being a genuinely unhappy married couple, and the opening scene is them fighting in a marriage counseling session.
    • At least one episode of the original series - a parody of Goldfinger - goes this direction unexpectedly when a mook is actually killed by the villain. OK, he's dropped down a bottomless pit so technically he isn't dead-dead, but still, this is The Flintstones.
    • The Man Called Flintstone film - ironically, another spy spoof - also has a darker feel to it, such as one sequence where Fred contemplates the end of the world while watching kids play, and the villain is killed off, in part due to Fred and Barney.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Fred and Wilma, more so on the latter.
  • Deus ex Machina: There is a {{Western}] themed show that is resolved when a stone-age version of the Cartwright family, with no warning whatsoever, charge in out of nowhere to rescue the main characters.
  • Diet Episode: At least one episode has Fred getting shamed into dieting.
  • Dinner with the Boss: Mr. Slate does this a few times.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Often played straight throughout the series.
    • Especially in first episode "The Flintstone Flyer" when Wilma and Betty find out about their husbands feigning illness to avoid going to the opera, in order so they can sneak off and go bowling. What's worse is that Fred and Barney's scheme got surely blown at home in the Flintstone's house, where the two wives became domestically abusive. Wife beater may be considered a serious term, but not sure to say the same for husband beater.
      • Thanks to Character Development, they both became more sweet-natured, although Wilma isn't above hitting Fred whenever he behaves in an exceptionally bad way.
  • Does Not Wear Shoes: Due to the prehistoric setting, the entire cast is constantly barefoot (an exception is footwear worn with tuxedoes, but even then it just covers the top of the foot). Lampshaded in a Comic Book Adaptation story in which shoes are invented, but fail to catch on.
  • Doorstop Baby: Bamm-Bamm
  • Dream Sequence
  • Drive-In Theater: Featured in the (second) opening and (second) closing credits.
  • Driven to Suicide: A heartbroken Barney attempted this when thinking that the Stonyfellers won their court case and were free to adopt Bamm-Bamm, by roping a boulder to his torso from a bridge. Fred saved his life, but caught the boulder by accident and wound up (alive, but grumbling) in the river.
  • Drunk with Power: Fred, in the first live action movie.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The show did not feature its famous `Meet the Flintstones' theme song until the third season. Instead, it used an instrumental piece of music that sounded very much like the theme song from the concurrent The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show. Which may explain why for decades the syndicated version of the series transplanted the later theme song.
    • Dino, as mentioned above.
    • Betty had a different hairstyle in the original pilot ("The Flagstones"; itself an example), and in the first episode.
    • In early episodes, Barney had a nasal, high-pitched voice. When he returned to playing the role after being incapacitated in a car accident (during his recovery another voice actor played the role), Mel Blanc played Barney with a deeper voice more similar to how Art Carney played Ed Norton on The Honeymooners.
    • Fred was more of a Jerkass in the first few episodes (especially "The Flintstone Flyer"). Fortunately, he mellowed out pretty quickly.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Betty in the Stony Curtis episode. She's playing maid for Wilma who is putting on airs for Stony's arrival.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Because a Flintstones which only used creatures that lived during the Paleolithic wouldn't be nearly as interesting, although those kinds of animals are around as well.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Meet the Flintstones", beginning in the third season.
    • "They're the modern Stone Age family..."
  • Fan Disservice: Fred and Barney in speedos in the Flintstones: On The Rocks special.
  • Feuding Families: "Bedrock Hillbillies."
  • The Film of the Series: The two Live Action Adaptations.
  • First Name Ultimatum: See this page's quote.
  • Five-Temperament Ensemble: Wilma Flintstone (melancholic), Betty (phlegmatic), Fred Flintstone (sanguine), and Barney Rubble (leukine).
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: As a baby Bamm-Bamm had super strength, but later in The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show he never used it. It could be explained that he lost it as he grew up, except it later came back in the 1993 TV movies.
  • Four-Fingered Hands
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: A number of times, including once where Fred and Dino swap bodies.
  • The Gambling Addict: Fred is a compulsive gambler. Simply mentioning the word "bet" around him will cause him to get a crazy look in his eyes and start repeating the word over and over in a loud voice:
  • Gentle Giant: Fred, at his best.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Betty apparently kept her pledge paddle, when asked what it was used for she simply took a big swing and said "Whacko"....make of that what you will.
    • Wilma is pregnant, so Fred takes her to the hospital, with Barney helping. The two of them semi-carry her to the hospital entrance, which is a revolving door. Barney is even more nervous than Fred, and takes Wilma through the revolving door so fast that Fred is spun out, and across the street through the revolving door of a hotel. Slamming into the counter, Fred thinks he's in the hospital, so he innocently says to the desk clerk, "I'm looking for my wife, she just came in here with my best friend." Hilarity Ensues.
    • Speaking of Wilma's pregnancy, the very fact the Flintstones procreated was a case of this trope, given that this was the early 1960s. The fact they even slept together in the same bedroom was groundbreaking enough; the fact it is implied they had a sex life was unheard of. (Remember, when I Love Lucy had Lucy Ricardo become pregnant, this was only due to the fact the real-life actress was pregnant and they couldn't stop the show for nine months. With an animated series, there was no need other than for story reasons to have Wilma become pregnant.)
    • The episode in which Bamm-Bamm is adopted by the Rubbles all but explicitly indicates that either Barney is impotent/sterile, or Betty is unable to conceive children. Try to name one other animated TV series ever that addressed this issue, and this was at a time when discussing such topics in live-action programs was simply not allowed.
    • Meanwhile, there was also the episode in which Dino fell in love with a neighbour's pet dinosaur and by the end of the episode she's pregnant with his puppies...
    • A scene in 70s primetime special "Fred's Final Fling" has Fred at the doctor's office. When the doctor examines his x-ray, Fred jokes "How 'bout that, Doc? Flintstone in an x-ray-ted picture!"
    • And probably the most baffling, blatant and awesome moment ever: Fred and Barney enter a costume store to look for costumes. Fred asks Barney what costume he's gonna get, in which he replies he wants something to make him look tall. Fred suggests another head, cue audience laughing. Barney answers: "A head? What do I need THREE of them for?" Cue audience laughing louder.
  • Gilligan Cut
  • God for a Day: Well, more like "Boss For A Day" when Fred is envious of his boss and the Great Gazoo turns him into a boss. He finds that it's actually a burden, since he has to deal with higher-ups, stay late in meetings, etc.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress
  • Hair Reboot: In the episode featuring Stony Curtis, when Wilma quickly gets herself cleaned up to meet the celebrity, four quick strokes of her brush are all that is needed to bring her hair to its usual style.
  • Happily Adopted: Bamm-Bamm is notable for being one of the first examples on a cartoon.
  • Happily Married: Both couples, but Barney and Betty are portrayed more often in this way than Fred and Wilma, specially when the latter have marital issues.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: There's an episode where they and the Rubbles end up camping with a group of Boy Scouts. In one scene, a pair of boys "help" (she didn't need it) walk Betty across the camp. When Betty tells the second boy he already walked her, he tells her she only counts half as much as an old lady.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The alien who created 10 clones of Fred.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: The premise of the whole show is to displace modern stories into a prehistoric setting, so language was obvious to follow.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Dino is just like a dog, except he's a sauropod dinosaur; Hoppy is a kangaroo-like "hopparoo".
    • Dino's official species is apparently "snorkasaurus".
  • Housewife: Both Wilma and Betty.
  • Hypocritical Humor: "Wilma, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!"
  • Identical Stranger: Fred's lookalikes J.L. Gotrocks (in "The Tycoon") and Rock Slag (in The Man Called Flintstone movie). Not to mention his robot doppelgangers in "Ten Little Flintstones".
  • Incessant Chorus: The end of "The Hot Piano" involves Barney and a troupe of policemen who keep singing "Happy Anniversary" to Fred and Wilma, much to Fred's annoyance.
  • Incessant Music Madness: Fred and Wilma find the perfect maid/cook, and everybody's happy—except that Fred keeps singing (badly) an inane song he made up. The hired help finally quits.
    Fred: Oh, Lola Brigada/Your food I dig-ada!
  • Inexplicably Awesome: It's never explained why Bamm-Bamm has super strength.
    • Possibly a sendup of the sort of people who coo over babies and find their every smelly fart to be evidence of what an exceptional child they have on their hands. "Oooh, look at him grip my finger! Feel how strong he is!" Well, this kid really is.
    • The Movie with John Goodman explained it as a Raised By Mastadons situation.
  • Injury Bookend: In an early episode, Fred gets hit in the head with a bottle. When he comes to, he becomes a "formal" personality who insists on being called "Frederick", but who ends up of being a bit too sickeningly sweet. Eventually, Wilma and the others decide We Want Our Jerk Back, so he is hit in the head again.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: James Darren, Tony Curtis, Ann-Margret, Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York gave voice to their cartoon likenesses on the show.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: "Rise and Shine", used in the first two seasons.
  • Invisible to Normals: Gazoo is invisible to everyone but Fred and Barney, and later, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.
  • Intellectual Animal: Dino, in his debut episode. He reverts to a standardly intelligent non-talking cartoon animal in the next episode he features in and stays that way.

    J to P 
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: No matter the series, movie or special, Fred always falls into this trope.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: In "Frantic City", the cake at the Water Buffalos' convention was supposed to have showgirls inside. It had their angry wives instead, rolling pins in hand.
    • The "I Yabba Dabba Do" special played with this when the woman supposed to jump out of the cake at Bamm-Bamm's bachelor party walked out because she wanted more money. This leads to Barney being forced to substitute.
  • Kangaroo Pouch Ride
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Hoppy, the "hopparoo."
  • Knife-Throwing Act: "Dial S for Suspicion."
  • Last Day to Live: This was the plot of the prime-time special "Fred's Final Fling".
  • Last Minute Baby Naming: Pebbles doesn't get named until she's born. Ditto for her own children Chip and Roxy.
  • Laugh Track: Notably edited out in the syndicated airings on Boomerang.
    • Obviously absent from the first movie, which made it a surreal viewing experience for those used to watching the show with canned laughter.
  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Man in a Kilt: Pretty much every male character wears a prehistoric man-kilt.
  • Meaningful Name: In The Movie, the character of Rosetta Stone was so named because the Producers had hoped to get the actress Sharon Stone to play her (they ended up with Halle Berry instead). Which becomes Hilarious in Hindsight when you consider that in the 2004 Catwoman movie, Halle Berry's Catwoman fights a villain played by Sharon Stone.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Bamm! Bamm! BAMM-BAMM-BAMM!
  • Mistaken for Dying
  • Mistaken for Quake: Fred thinks there's an earthquake. Turns out it was Bamm-Bamm inexplicably destroying an addition to Fred's house.
    Fred: Barney! We're having an Earthquake!
    —-> Barney: No, Fred, It's just a truckload of ice from the Glacier Ice Company.
  • Motionless Chin
  • The Movie: The Man Called Flintstone.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, one episode had them entering Bamm-Bamm in a singing competition. But he can only sing in the shower, so they solved this by having him singing while wearing a small green Speedo and soaking himself in water in front of all his classmates. Sadly it wasn't nearly as hot as it sounds though.
    • Said episode was also a Recycled Script of an original series episode with Barney having a similar singing problem/solution to such.
  • Mythology Gag: In the live-action movie, Fred is mistakenly named as "Flagstone" a couple times. The Flagstones was the original planned name for the series.
    • It was changed to "Flintstones" because there was a comic strip called Hi And Lois (co-drawn by Mort Walker) whose family was named the Flagstons.
    • It has been said that Bamm-Bamm was inspired from Ubble-Ubble, the cave boy in the Ruff & Reddy story arc "The Chickosaurus Caper."
  • Nice Kitty: Subverted: Barney sees a Bantydactyl and cheerfully says "Here, pussy pussy" to it until it cheerfully opens its mouth and grabs him leaving only his feet exposed.
  • Never My Fault: In "The Astra' Nuts" Fred and Barney go to get their physical, but Betty gives the wrong address and they end up accidentally enlisting in the army. Of course Wilma and Betty blame them for "bollixing" it up.
  • Never Sleep Again: In one episode, Wilma, Betty and Barney are led to (falsely) believe Fred has an ailment that will kill him if he falls asleep. Also, he must not be informed of this or he'll die too. The gang uses increasingly creative methods to keep Fred awake.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Fred isn't a bad person per se, but he's not putting as much effort into the marriage as Wilma, who is often forced to suffer his tantrums and schemes. Subverted in one of the movies, though, where Fred had to struggle to get Wilma's favor back after a fight during a holiday trip.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: With all the rock-based playing on celebrity names, The Flintstones almost deserves to be the Trope Namer. Subverted with Ann Margrock, who was voiced by Ann Margret.
  • No Indoor Voice: Fred is frequently guilty of this.
  • No One Could Survive That: The Green Goose and his henchmen, as Fred and Barney trapped them inside the doomsday missile/rocket, which is launched into space, that Fred set it to. The screen fades to black just as the rocket is about to ascend into space.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The Great Gazoo is only visible to Fred and usually Barney.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Wilma's Mother.
  • One Million BC: Subverted, kinda; although Fred and Barney are still the lunk-headed image of the standard cavemen, they and their wives still act like sophisticated modern suburbanites. At least their wives do.
  • On One Condition
  • The Only Ones: Fred and Barney in The Man Called Flintstone, when Rock Slag and the Chief were incapacitated, and their double agent XXX is really The Green Goose.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Fred. Literally and frequently.
  • Out of Focus: Betty has the less amount of screentime of the four main characters and possibly she has the weakest characterization of all them.
  • Overprotective Dad: Fred, in regard to Pebbles.
  • Panty Shot: Pebbles in a couple of viewer participation segments of the NBC Flintstone Comedy Hour. (It is important to note this refers to the teenaged/20-something version of Pebbles!)
    • Wilma had a panty shot in a one-page comic in an issue of Scooby-Doo (Archie series). She's wearing a fancy new dress that subsequently gets eaten by moths.
  • Paranormal Episode: This had a handful of such episodes, such as the time they traveled to the present day on the world's first Time Machine, or when aliens cloned Fred as part of an invasion plot. Then in the sixth season they introduced the Great Gazoo, and every episode became this.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Roxy and Chip from Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby.
  • Plot Allergy: In "The Twitch" Rock Roll loses his voice after accidentally eating pickled dodo eggs, which he's allergic to, leaving Fred having to fill in for him.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: A few episodes appear to qualify, most notably the "Rip Van Flintstone" episode in which Fred dreams that he's slept for years and he finds a teenaged Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm getting ready to be married. Aside from foreshadowing one of the reunion TV movies of decades later, the episode also appears to set the groundwork for the later Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm spin-off series by introducing audiences to the concept of older versions of the characters.
  • Pretty in Mink: Fred is having some sort of problem, making him almost completely lethargic. Wilma buys an expensive fur coat of "genuine Siberian mammoth", knowing the cost will make Fred freak out. That and their clothes are most likely all animal skins.
  • Punny Name: Pretty much every character or locale on the show has one, based on some variant of "rock" or "stone." Also, "Barney Rubble" (nearly always shortened to "barney") was Cockney rhyming-slang for "trouble" long before movies were invented.
    • The Latin-American Spanish dub version changed everyone's names for no apparent reason, but still followed this trope. The Flintstones (who should have been called Los Pedernal) were instead called Los Picapiedra (the Stonecutters). Made even stranger because occasional characters with the last name Pedernal DID appear in this version!
    • The Film of the Series would have lampshaded this - the producers wanted actress Sharon Stone to play character Rosetta Stone (the role ultimately went to Halle Berry, and the character was immediately renamed...Sharon Stone).
    • The original Hungarian dubs also renamed almost all of the characters (most famously Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble to Kovakövi Frédi & Kavicsi Béni, and Wilma & Betty to Vilma & Irma, in keeping with the rhyming-theme the dub had going on), but the dubs of later spin-offs and movies restored the original English Flintstone surname. Could get confusing, since there were at least three kind of dubs, with wholly different voice-casts.
    • A Robot Chicken sketch parodied the phenomenon when a deliveryman rattles off a long, awkward URL mishmashing and at least three shoehorned rock puns. Fred looks at him for a minute and he says, "Look, not all of these rock puns are easy."
  • Purely Aesthetic Era
    • The show is a Retool of a concept for an animated version of The Honeymooners. Not The Honeymooners with any sort of gimmick, just vanilla The Honeymooners.
  • Pygmalion Snap Back: When Wilma and Betty changed Fred and Barney.

    R to Z 
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The Honeymooners in the stone age. The short-lived spinoff Cave Kids is Rugrats in the stone age.
  • Replaced the Theme Tune: They used an orchestral theme (and completely different opening sequence) early on before switching to the iconic "Flintstones, meet the Flintstones..." This first opening directly influenced that of The Simpsons (Fred drives home from work through town and ends up in front of the TV).
    • That first theme sounded eerily like "This Is It," the theme to The Bugs Bunny Show, which premiered the same season on ABC.
      • Possibly due to this - or in order to simply standardize the opening credits - the syndicated version of the series used only the second opening for decades until the original opening was restored in the 1990s for cable TV broadcast and later DVD release.
  • Reset Button
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The entire Hungarian dub is in rhyming prose. Often considered a Woolseyism.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: The Green Goose and his pet sabre-tooth tiger Ferocious in The Man Called Flintstone.
  • Running Gag: A number of them, such as Fred going "Bet-bet-bet-bet-bet!" whenever gambling is mentioned, or the image of a shoe heel being superimposed over various characters' heads if they feel guilty or remorseful about something they've said or done.
    • Also a recurring gag/theme involving Fred's often fruitless attempts at inventing things.
  • Schemer: Both Fred and teenage Pebbles.
  • Schizo Tech
  • Scout Out: one episode features the Cave Scouts who all decided to go camping in the same valley that Fred and Barney decided to go camping in.
  • Series Fauxnale: A Man Called Flintstone was originally planned to be the series' swan song.
  • Shameful Shrinking: Happened quite often:
    • In one episode, Fred goes to Mr. Slate's office after attending a masquerade party where he thinks he was schmoozing up to Slate, expecting a pay raise. Instead, Fred discovers that Slate was the guy at the party to whom he was bad-mouthing the boss, and as Slate hurls back the insults he gave him, Fred gets smaller and smaller. This after he had told Barney to "Think big and be big."
    • In another episode (titled "My Fair Freddy"), Fred, under the tutelage of the Great Gazoo (who for once isn't using magic to help him), does ballet in a tutu. He unknowingly attracts attention from various people throughout Bedrock, even those from the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes. Fred finishes and discovers he had been watched the whole time, and promptly shrinks.
    • Another example: after Fred and Barney go behind Wilma and Betty's backs, quitting their jobs, opening their own drive-in restaurant, and hiring cute waitresses, neither Wilma nor Betty let them live it down, and embarrass them by re-enacting the waitress' song-and-dance routine at dinner, causing Fred and Barney to shrink in humiliation.
    Fred: Well, Barney, it's like you said, some wives will find a way to make a guy feel small.
    Barney: Yeah, ain't it the truth.
  • Shout-Out: The poster for The Man Called Flintstone is a parody of the Our Man Flint poster. The movie in general is a shout out to various spy movies and tropes.
  • Show Within a Show: Several; none particularly important or prominent — just parodies of then-current shows. Captain Caveman comes to mind , in Flintstone Kids.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: Hanna-Barbera openly admit that this show was inspired by The Honeymooners.
    • Jackie Gleason, who starred in The Honeymooners, thought the resemblance was too close for comfort so he almost filed a plagiarism suit against Hanna-Barbera. His lawyers actually talked him out of it, knowing that he'd win and fearing he'd be most known for stopping the show.
  • Sleeping Single: The early seasons; although the show was the first animated show to portray a married couple sharing a bed later on.
  • Smoking Is Cool: During the first couple of seasons, Winston Cigarettes sponsored The Flintstones (the show itself, although always family friendly, was originally meant to appeal to adult audiences), and the commercials had the four lead characters extolling the virtues of said cigarettes. In the actual show, there was rarely any smoking, and never by any of the main characters. The only time this occurred was in a few rare animated commercials for Winston which could easily be snipped out from reruns.
  • Sound Effect Bleep
  • Special Guest: Several.
  • Spinoff: Several.
  • The Sponsor: Fred Flintstone once joined Eaters Anonymous, and his sponsor would grab whatever food Fred got a hold on while giving the group's secret call, "Gobble, gobble, gobble!"
  • Springtime for Hitler
  • Spy Speak
  • Stonepunk: You can't miss this, it's all over the place.
  • The Theme Park Version: It's early-1960s suburban America transposed into the Stone Age, with dinosaurs.
    • Later, in a more literal sense, a number of actual Flintstones-based theme parks opened around North America.
  • Thick-Line Animation: The early episodes when the animation drawings were hand-inked on cels. Later on they switched to xerox and the line art got thinner.
  • Time Machine: Besides The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, a season 5 episode of the original series has the Flintstones and Rubbles stepping into one of these at the Bedrock World's Fair and traveling to the future to encounter several Historical Domain Characters (including Emperor Nero, King Arthur, Christopher Columbus, and Benjamin Franklin) before ending up at the New York World's Fair of 1964!
  • Title Sequence Replacement: The famous "Meet the Flintstones" theme song and title sequence was not introduced until several seasons in. Early seasons featured an instrumental theme called "Rise and Shine". In syndication, the opening and closing credits were standardized to "Meet the Flintstones" — even if the actual credits themselves were erroneous. The original Title Sequence was not widely circulated again until it appeared on the Cartoon Network and the series was subsequently released on DVD.
    • Syndicated versions of some later episodes substitute a closing credits sequence featuring Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm singing "Let the Sunshine In" in lieu of the regular closing.
  • Title Theme Tune
  • Tsundere: Wilma is a Type B, a sweet and adorable housewife who only explodes when Fred goes Jerkass.
  • Turn Out Like Their Fathers: As teenagers, Pebbles is often a schemer that gets in way over her head and Bam-Bam is a loyal accomplice prone to urging caution. Fortunately, Pebbles physically took after her mother.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Both couples.
    • Except in the 1994 Live-Action Adaptation where Betty was played by Rosie O'Donnell.note 
    • Every couple to appear on the show, really, with the exception of the second generation of the leads.
  • Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm eventually got married and had fraternal twins... much to the surprise of Fred and Barney who were expecting them to have only one child (Fred wanted a boy, Barney a girl).
  • Uptown Girl: When Fred and Barney first met Wilma and Betty, the four of them were holding summer jobs at a hotel but a series of misunderstandings caused Fred and Barney to think the girls were wealthy guests and the girls to think the boys were wealthy guests.
  • Ventriloquism: "Ventriloquist Barney"
  • Vocal Evolution: Barney has a high nasally voice in the earliest episodes. This is because Mel Blanc had initially refused to imitate the voice of Norton from The Honeymooners, the character on whom Barney was based, and so devised the nasal voice instead. However, after nearly being killed in a car crash, he came back to work with an entirely different voice for Barney (incidentally, one much closer to that of Norton), and it stuck. In addition, a different voice actor filled in for Blanc for several episodes while he was recovering from the crash, and thus Barney also sounds different.
  • Watch Where You're Going!: Happens a few times in the series. One person is running, and literally runs into someone else because neither were paying attention.
  • Weirdness Censor: The human characters rarely acknowledge that the animal appliances talk, though this may simply be that they're so used to it that they barely notice. There are a couple of rare occasions where Fred, Wilma or one of the regulars actually do talk back to the animals.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Fred loses his patience with Betty and Barney coming around every night since Pebbles came and yells at them, Wilma angrily chews him out for being possessive of Pebbles and points out that the Rubbles have not been blessed with a child, prompting him to go and apologize.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Barney. By the time of some of the later shows, Barney is shown to be working alongside Fred for Mr. Slate's quarry.
  • Wild Child: Bamm-Bamm, in the live action film, was found with wild mastadons.
  • Wraparound Background: One of the most famous examples, and is cited whenever the technique is lampshaded.
  • Zany Scheme: Fred attempts this on almost a Once an Episode level.

Zeno ClashStone PunkThe Herculoids
Fish PolicePrime Time CartoonFuturama
Fridge BrillianceChristmas SpecialScooby-Doo! Haunted Holiday
Extreme DinosaursDinosaur MediaGertie the Dinosaur
The Fantastic Four (1967)Western Animation of the 1960sFrankenstein Jr.
Off The AirCreator/[adult swim]G.I. Joe: Resolute
Fantastic MaxCreator/BoomerangThe Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show
Felix the CatThe Dark Age of AnimationFred and Barney Meet the Thing
The Fantastic Four (1967)Creator/Cartoon NetworkFreakazoid!
Fireman SamThe Kiddie RideThe Koala Brothers
Fantastic MaxCreator/Hanna-BarberaThe Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show
Lt Robin Crusoe USNFilms of the 1960sA Man for All Seasons
Super SpeedImageSource/Comic BooksGreat Gazoo
Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying MachinesUsefulNotes/World War ILooney Tunes
Felix the CatImageSource/Western AnimationBeta Couple
The Dot And The LineThe SixtiesThe Jetsons
FlashForward (2009)Creator/ABCThe Flying Nun
Fleabag MonkeyfaceWestern AnimationThe Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show

alternative title(s): The Flintstones; Flintstones
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy