Accidentally Correct Writing: One episode has Fred playing (and getting roundly beaten at) Scrabble with the paper boy. To save face, Fred makes up the word "zarf" for some extra points. Turns out, zarf is a real word, if a very esoteric one.
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 featured a Mario-themed bootleg of the game in one of his videos. As a result, the game (though particularly the bootleg version of it, known as "7 Grand Dad") and it's featuring 8-bit version of the theme song became a meme almost overnight.
Creator's Favorite: According to the liner notes of the now out-of-print album "The Flintstones: Modern Stone-Age Melodies", Bill Hanna's favorite musical moment is Fred mangling the lyrics to Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" from "The Hit Songwriters".
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. Since 2018, there have been Peanut Butter and Cocoa Pebbles, as well.
Development Hell: 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 the last episode would have been the Christmas Episode in the future where Bart tries to bond with his kids while divorced from Jenda while Lisa tries to bond with her teenaged daughter and Maggie is pregnant 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.
Friday Night Death Slot: The show averted the fate that usually met Friday night shows. It aired on Fridays during its first three seasons to great success, moving to Thursdays for the fourth and the first half of the fifth season. It moved back to Fridays for the rest of the run, but its eventual cancellation had more to do with The Great Gazoo than with the timeslot.
The first two seasons had a completely different theme song and opening sequence, and closing credits. When the show entered syndication, however, this was replaced by the better known "Meet the Flintstones" theme and credits sequence (even though this rendered many syndicated episode credits incorrect). It was not until the series was recirculated in the 1990s that the original versions of the episodes were again broadcast. MeTV began airing the series in 2019, as well.
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.
Fred's renditions of "When the Saints Go Marching In" in "Hot Lips Hannigan" and "Listen to the Rocking Bird" were dubbed by Duke Mitchell. However, Reed did most of Fred's off-key singing himself in other episodes. Averted near the end of his life when Henry Corden, who would later take over as his speaking voice, did Fred's singing voice in Alice in Wonderland, or What's a Nice Kid Like You... and The Man Called Flintstone.
Wilma's rendition of "Bill Bailey" and the "Rockenschpeel" jingle in "The Happy Housewife" were dubbed by B.J. Baker, who also did Jane Jetson's singing voice for "Bill Spacely" in "Miss Solar System". Jean Vander Pyl did her own singing in other episodes.
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).
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 difference slipped by almost completely unnoticed).
Daws Butler also voiced Fred and 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 retired 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.
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 SmackDown! (2015) is the first original Flintstones production since On The Rocks in 2001... and the first to not involve the original creators, Hanna (who died in 2001) and Barbera (who died in 2006) It also marked 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.
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 all later releases.
Several Hanna-Barbera series from around the same time used the show's stock music, most notably The Yogi Bear Show.note A couple episodes of which even have what would later become "Meet The Flintstones" snuck into the music.
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. Eventually, Hanna proposed making them into cavemen so they'd just wear animal skins.
Technology Marches On: Later spinoffs and TV movies usually update the Stone Age technology equivalents to match when the spinoff/movie was made. Thus:
If one takes the Fruity Pebbles commercials as canon, then they actually have not only all that, but also Humongous Mecha.
The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones crossover film features George and his family introducing the Flintstones to futuristic technology and gadgets while the Jetsons spend time in the Stone Age. Later on, the Flintstones' car absorbs energy from the time machine, and it transports the Flintstones and Rubbles back to Bedrock and the Stone Age.
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", which was a play on "A little dab'll do ya", which was the slogan of Brylcreem, a hair gel.
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.
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 series was based on 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).
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.
Dawson Casting: The two pairs of twins who played Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were both considerably older than the toddlers they were playing, and looked it. Elaine and Melanie Silver were five years old, and Hlynur and Marino Sigurthsson also turned five during production.
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 fewer than 35 writers contributed to the first film's screenplay (and yet none of them turned up to accept the Razzie they all won for Worst Screenplay). Plans for the film started in 1985.
Missing Trailer Scene: A scene shows Fred Flintstone playing with a sing-along rock with him yelling "YABBA DABBA DOO!"
The Original Darrin: Through archive recordings, Mel Blanc returns to reprise his role as Dino.
The Other Darrin: Production of the prequel Viva Rock Vegas led to all the characters, due to the film taking place before Fred and Barney were married to Wilma and Betty.
Playing Against Type: Rosie O'Donnell is known for playing "tough girl" characters. Betty, while not a complete wallflower by any stretch of the imagination, was generally the more placid one between her and Wilma in the series.
Rick Moranis usually plays eccentric nerdy characters in his roles, but with blond hair, no glasses, and a deeper voice than usual, he's almost unrecognizable as Barney.
Promoted Fanboy: Director Brian Levant reportedly had the world's biggest collection of Flintstones memorabilia when he took the directing job.
Role Reprise: 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).
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.
I don't even remember it that well, but Fred and Barney leave their town during a terrible depression and go across the country, or whatever that damn prehistoric thing is, looking for jobs. They wind up in trailer parks trying to keep their families together. They exhibit moments of heroism and poignancy.
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. Dudley Moore was also considered.