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Flintstone Theming

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Twilight Sparkle: Pinkie, you are not the internet!
Pinkie Pie: Oh, you mean ponynet!
Twilight Sparkle: Not everything has to have the word "pony" on it!

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.

Worldbuilding 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. The fact that The Flintstones managed to come up with charming puns continually (getting by on charm when originality was not enough) is a major reason why it has had staying power when most other series like this have not.

Compare Hold Your Hippogriffs, Space "X", Edible Theme Naming. See also "Mister Sandman" Sequence, which is similar, only abusing Popular History instead of the English language.


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  • Sexual Violence with the Birds and the Bees: The setting is populated by anthropomorphic birds and bees, which is also reflected in its theming. Characters use terms like "buzzkill" and "fly the coop", Knoll's house has a bird perch over the front door, Kim is mentioned to be wearing a "bird bath suit" instead of a swimsuit, and — more subtly — another character mentions Kim's "breast" (as in the term used for a bird's chest) instead of her "breasts".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Squid Girl:
    • The 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 Prince and the Stony Cat 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 Bladedance of Elementalers, 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.
  • In BNA: Brand New Animal, many well-known real-world businesses have beastpeople versions, like Burger Kitty for Burger King.

    Asian Animation 
  • Several words in Noonbory and the Super 7 are altered to fit with the theme naming of either "Toobalooba" (the setting's name) or "borys/gurys" (the species of the main cast).
    • Everybody = Everybory/everygury
    • Nobody = nobory
    • Cherries = toobacherries
    • Trumpet = looba-trumpet
    • Hilarious = toobalarious

    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.
  • 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.
  • The Disney Mouse and Duck Comics have endless mouse and duck puns, depending on which specific part of the Modular Franchise is involved in the story, plus puns related to other animals if the story setting needs it.

    Fan Works 
  • All over the place in RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse, but perhaps the most notable one is the way that all the pony Fantasy Counterpart Cultures are just named "Horse Land" in the appropriate language. So we have Cavallia (pony!Italy, with the capital of Roam), Prance (pony!France, absorbed into Equestria ages ago), Caballeria (pony!Spain), Paardenveld (pony!Holland), and so on.
  • Actually justified in the Oversaturated World. A long time ago, a certain king declared his favorite horse to be his heir. His general agreed that even a horse would be a better ruler than any of the king's sons, and so supported the "king". Through a combination of ridiculous luck and some clever politics, the horse and his offspring came to "rule" much of the world. Under its rule, everything was named with some kind of horse pun, and the names stuck around after the kingdom fell.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Sunlight Bride: Given a big ol' lampshade. Sunset asks why the human world uses all sorts of horse puns for naming things, despite having no real special association with horses.
    Twilight: This coming from the walking talking unicorn from a dimension of horses.
    Sunset: Yeah, and when we name everything a pony pun of some sort it's cute and cheeky. When you humans do it, it's weird.
    Twilight: I'm failing to see the problem here.
    Sunset: What do you call that thing in the street, the hole that leads down to the sewer?
    Twilight: A horsehole.
    Sunset: WHY!?

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • 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.
  • Many Starland terms and expressions in Star Darlings have the word 'star' in them, to the point that there's a glossary at the back of the books to explain them.

    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 Batman and Robin used. Batmobile and Batphone — fair enough. But Shark-Repellent Bat-spray is simply silly.
  • Mama's Family: Many sites and businesses in Raytown have the name "Ray" in it, especially when the show went to first-run syndication. There's even a "Rayhound Busline" ("Take the bus and leave the driving to Gus") and a Ray River where you can cruise on the paddle-wheel riverboat, the Ray Queen!
  • Star Trek: 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]".
  • Sigmund and the Sea Monsters: This Krofft children's show about a family of goofy sea monsters had constant sea puns, including watching the Shellevision Set and answering the phone with "Shello?"


    Puppet Shows 
  • Dinosaurs has characters whose names are fossil fuel and petroleum company-themed: we have Earl Sinclair ("Earl" is also the Southern pronunciation of "oil"), Ethyl Phillips, Roy Hess, and B.P. Richfield.

  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Just about everything the Skaven (Rat Men who, yes, scavenge what the other races throw out) have is a rat-related pun. They have very-long-distance communication devices (farsqueakers), rotary-barrel gunner teams (ratling guns) that are allowed to fire into melee as their troops are expendable (coraterral damage), and a professional corps of Elite Mooks (stormvermin).

    Video Games 
  • Crypt Of The Necrodancer has this in spades. Almost every name in the game is related to music somehow, right down to the main character, Cadence.
  • 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 1950s pop culture reference; while about half of anything after the war is a Mad Max reference.
  • Beginning with the fourth game, the Paper Mario series started using written paper jokes, puns, and euphemisms.
  • 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.
  • SongBird Symphony has bird puns everywhere.
  • Splatoon takes place in a World of Funny Animals populated by evolved marine life, and they have a truly epic quantity of fish and seafood puns to go along with it. For example, the names of the Squid Sisters, Callie and Marie, form a pun on "calamari", Spyke and Murch are both Street Urchins and literal sea urchins, the games' selection of weapons includes the Killer Wail and Sting Ray, and bits of fish-based Hold Your Hippogriffs can be found sprinkled throughout the world (For eel?). Extra points go to naming the strip mall in Inkopolis Plaza "Booyah Base", which manages to not only tie in with the game's overall '90s-inspired aesthetic, but also to keep with the seafood theme — Booyah Base is pronounced roughly the same as bouillabaisse, a French seafood stew.
  • Enter the Gungeon, as you might guess from the title, is loaded (HA!) with references to all things gun-related. The lore suggests that the setting is the result of a Cargo Cult.
    • Visually: The Mook enemies are mostly ambulatory bullets and shells, multiple objects are shaped like revolver cylinders, all of the currency is tiny casings, you have items called "blanks" that clear all projectiles from the screen, and even your health hearts are pairs of crisscrossed red bullets.
    • Puns: The levels are called chambers, the protagonists — who aim (HA!) to return to the past and undo a fatal mistake — are described as willing to "risk everything for another shot", the loading screens say "Reloading", there's mention in the lore of a wizard named Alben Smallbore... and then there are the bosses, which include the Ammoconda, the Gorgun, the Beholster, and the Cannonbalrog.
    • There are even references to gunfights in the grand old Hollywood tradition: you can dodge-roll to avoid being hit and flip tables to use as improvised cover.
  • It's very common in the Pokémon series to see gym leaders and elite four members with real-life names that are at the same time a play on their type of choice: Jasmine with steel types, Brock with rock types, Bugsy for bug types, et cetera.
  • Hiveswap often does this with troll slang with insectoid, biological, and "evil" pun themes for many real-life equivalents. There's "Cruel Aid" for Kool-Aid, "Chittr" for Twitter, "Goregle" for Google, "Tomewriggler" for the term "Bookworm", etc.
  • Ring Fit Adventure is set in a world of fitness, and just about everything is themed after some muscle or exercise. This results in people named Calvin or Dashley, goddesses named Solar Plexia, water wheels that look like dumbells, temples that resemble big, empty gyms, the four elements referring to different types of exercise, and so on.
  • Mortal Kombat has a tendency to name the moves of its guest fighters after quotes from their original movies.
  • Dead or Alive 4 has a Halo Spartan as a guest fighter. Just about her entire moveset is named with Halo references, and her favorite food is halo-halo.

  • Restaurante Macoatl does this with its pre-Hispanic setting, we got a pre-Hispanic version of the TV (a hole in the wall); telephones (stone tubes that end on jaguar heads); and the mysterious internet cafe.
  • In Alice and the Nightmare, most things are based on cards — for example, social castes are four card suits and a team of four Suits is a deck.
  • As noted above under Hiveswap, Homestuck leans into this with Alternia where everything either references violence/murder, references the Bizarre Alien Biology of Trolls and their Lusii, or is referred to by a stilted and technical description. When Eridan makes his debut, it turns out the latter is a class thing and highbloods do call a fridge a "fridge" rather than a "thermal hull". But special mention goes out to the Troll version of Will Smith...Troll Will Smith.

    Web Videos 
  • 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.
    • Another Family Guy episode had Fred Flintstone say that his favorite brand of beer is Bud Rock.
  • 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). While on Earth, the series usually does puns and jokes centered around robots.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants oscillates between "everything is replaced with its loose underwater equivalent" (i.e. boats for cars, jellyfishing instead of bug catching) or completely ignoring its setting.
  • The Fairly OddParents! special "Abra-Catastrophe" landed Timmy Turner in a world where the human race had been replaced by anthropomorphic intelligent 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. And then there's Sharky And George, a cop show set underwater, where all the characters were fish, which also 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. There are towns and cities such as Canterlot, Manehattan, Appleloosa (like the breed Appaloosa), they say things like "everypony" and "nopony"...
    • Trottingham is the birthplace of Pipsqueak, 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.
    • Lauren Faust originally wanted the series to take place in Fillydelphia but was forced to change it to Ponyville, the setting of the G3-era direct-to-video productions. Fillydelphia still gets a few offhand mentions, however.
  • 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").
    • And not just that. MH uses plenty of horror-related words to build as many puns as possible around them (like in 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"
  • SheZow really puts either shemazing puns or shewlful puns — depending on if the viewers like puns or not.
  • SWAT Kats did this with Mega-Everything, if not the Kat-themed names of most characters.
  • 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").
  • BoJack Horseman is set in a world full of humans and Funny Animals, and as such there are many animal-themed parodies of celebrities and businesses. One big example is Quentin Tarantulino.
    • One notable exception was one episode that featured "Lowes But Like an Animal Version", which makes it all the more funnier, since it is written like The Home Depot logo.
  • The Smurfs (1981) seem to have their own language with the prefix "smurf" for everything. This was spoofed in Robot Chicken a lot.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears did a similar thing with the word "gummi" using it in many names and places.
  • Fish Hooks did this with fishes, getting results such as "Fish Niagara Falls" and "Fish England".
    • And, the Pamela Hamster-centered episodes did this with hamsters: Pamela Hamster lives in "Hamsterwood", and she's an actress who has been in shows such as Hamsters of Hamsterly Place and Hamster School Musical.note 
  • Gravedale High, an animated show about an All-Ghouls School does the same with the words monster and ghoul adapted to school's terminology, as with Punny Names for most of the characters, for example: Vinnie Stoker (a vampire), Reggie Moonshroud (a werewolf), J.P. Ghastly III (a ghoul), Gill Waterman (a Creature from the Black Lagoon), Mrs. Crone (the witch headmistress).
  • Filmation's Ghostbusters do the same with ghost-related names on all of their artifacts, including: Ghost Buggy, Skelescope, Ansabone, Skelevision, Skelevator, etc.
  • Return to the Planet of the Apes:
    • In "Lagoon of Peril", there is a television news report delivered by the Ape Broadcasting System anchorman Dick Huntley.
    • In "River of Flames", two apes discuss the new film The Apefather.
    • In "Invasion of the Underdwellers", a first edition copy of the collected works of the playwright William Apespeare is stolen from Cornelius and Zira's house by General Urko's troops disguised as Underdwellers. They also steal the famous painting The Apea Lisa from a museum.