YMMV / The Flintstones

The Cartoon

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: A few viewers have speculated that the Flintstones are actually a Post-Apocalyptic society using what it can to recreate the destroyed technology, even if it means reverting back to the Stone Age. This doesn't explain where all the prehistoric animals came from.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: A bit of a meta example, but this is the reason why the infamous cigarette and beer ads are considered surprising for so many people, as the show was first created before the Ghetto even existed.
  • Ear Worm: The aforementioned theme song.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: A meta-example. Betty Rubble, who had been basically Demoted to Extra in terms of merchandise, apparently generated a lot of sympathy by fans wondering why she was being upstaged by, of all things, the Sabre Toothed Tiger from the end credits, a car, and even The Great Gazoo. In the end, a huge campaign to bring her to prominence was launched, and Betty finally got her vitamin, with 91% of the votes!
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Though by no means a "family friendly" commercial due to alcohol, this commercial seems to promote getting people good and drunk to get them to do whatever you want.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The infamous cigarette ad becomes this when you realise that Jean Vanderpyl, (Wilma's original voice actress) died of lung cancer in 1999. The commercial even shows Fred lighting up a cigarette for Wilma, before lighting one up himself.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The show and its live-action movies were very popular in Quebec.
    • The cartoon's localized version was also a major hit in Hungary, as the entire dialog had been rendered in witty rhymes by a famous poet. Due to the dub's success, some later dubs of cartoons and comedy movies used the same tactic. The show's later seasons and the spin-offs aren't that well known, though.
    • The same goes with the Mexican Spanish dub, since it uses lots of local references in the dub, not to mention the great quality of the acting.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Most Beautiful Baby in Bedrock is a lot less funny in the age of Toddlers & Tiaras.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One episode in the second season had a piranha-parakeet hybrid.
  • Ho Yay / Les Yay: Fred and Barney. Also, Wilma and Betty.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Betty's not a vitamin!"
    • The Flintstones cigarette ads
    • "Braaack, it's a livin'."
    • The theme song itself is a meme, by way of Joel's exasperated remarks when he encountered it in a bootleg Mario game. A conglomerate of musicians known as GiIvasunner (or SiIvaGunner) have taken this and run with it.
  • Mondegreen: "How do they always manage to bollix things up, Betty?" Brits aren't familiar with the word bollix and mishear it as bollocks, resulting in the word getting bleeped out on British TV. To be frank, you'd be hard-pressed to find many from today's American audience that are familiar with the word.
  • Older Than They Think: The idea of "Flintstones and wrestling? Those don't go together" in response to a direct-to-video animated film starring the Flintstones with stone age versions of WWE wrestlers has become a web reaction, even though, yes, an episode of the original series had a wrestling match take up most of the plot. This not counting all the times Fred and Barney watched "the fights" on TV either.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Great Gazoo, which was a contributing factor for the show's eventual cancellation.
    • Pebbles herself has this distinction to the older seasons.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some have noted that after Pebbles was born, the show shifted its tone to be a bit more child friendly, and consider it to have dropped in quality as a result. While this viewpoint isn't universally accepted among fans, a way more common viewpoint is that the show's quality took a major drop when the Great Gazoo showed up.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: It's easy to forget, but much in the same vein is modern shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy, The Flintstones was a Primetime cartoon aimed at adults. This is what led to things like the cigarette commercial. At wasn't until later on, much like the Looney Tunes, that the Flintstones was wrongly associated as a Children's only franchise.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The original theme music sounds a bit like the song "This is It", the theme to The Bugs Bunny Show. The music heard in the bowling alley scene from the first live-action film, sounds a lot like the theme song for The Ren & Stimpy Show.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • There were commercials for Winston cigarettes promoted by Fred and Barney.
    • There are also quite a few jokes sprinkled throughout the series that would, today, be seen as sexist or misogynistic.
    • One early episode featured Wilma and Betty taking judo lessons to defend themselves against a burglar whose been breaking into houses around Bedrock. Considering the time period that the show was released in, their judo instructor looks and sounds exactly like you would expect.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The 2001 made-for-TV movie Flintstones: On the Rocks is rated TV-G. However, the special is significantly Darker and Edgier, as it turns Fred and Wilma's cartoon bickering into genuinely real feeling marital problems, and has many instances of Does This Remind You of Anything?
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The series was a primetime sitcom that was never geared towards only children, as most of the situations and jokes were way over the heads of most kids at the time (and now), hence the sponsorship by Winston's Cigarettes, and Busch's Beer. Hanna Barbera's usual marketing directive was more "family". As in there's jokes for the older crowd but still plenty for the kids to see. This of course being one of the many reasons several of it's shows made for primetime found easy grounding on Saturday Morning for decades. When more spinoffs were created on Saturday Morning such roles were easily reversed, with kids more first priority, but still nice the adults could watch too.
  • The Woobie: A meta-example. When it came to merchandise, Betty always seemed to get the short end of the stick, having notably been left out of the Flintstones Vitamin assortment, and even being upstaged by the Sabre Toothed Tiger from the end credits for a Push Pop flavour (which was, to add insult to injury, blueberry flavoured.) Apparently, enough people complained about this, as Betty finally got her own Vitamin in 1995, twenty years after that fact. There is even an FAQ on the official website, the last question asking about her presence in the Vitamin lineup.

The Live Action Films

  • Moral Event Horizon: Cliff Vandercave crosses this by kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and trapping them on a giant mining machine. He then starts the mining machine on with the intent of killing both the children even though Fred and Barney has given him the Dictabird before, and attempts to shoot Fred and the Dictabird, but not before Sharon knocks him out with a money bag.
  • So Bad, It's Good
  • Special Effects Failure: The Dicta-Bird from the first film was pretty obviously an animatronic.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Rosie O'Donnell played Betty in the live-action movie, of all people. She was apparently given the part because of her perfect imitation of Betty's giggle.
    • A bigger "WTH" goes to Elizabeth Taylor as Wilma's mother.
    • Rick Moranis raised a few eyebrows in being cast as Barney, too. About the only actor whom virtually everyone agreed was perfect for his role was John Goodman as Fred Flintstone.
    • The casting decisions for The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas were generally felt to be much better... with the glaring exception of Stephen Baldwin as Barney.

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