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Trivia / The Flintstones

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The cartoon

  • 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.
  • Adored by the Network: You couldn't go a single day on Boomerang without seeing The Flintstones several times a day to the point of devoting entire weekends to the show. It seemed if a show wasn't Tom and Jerry, a show on Boomeraction, one of the more popular Hanna-Barbera or Warner Bros. Animation series, or an older show from sister channel Cartoon Network, it was going to get pushed around (or outright removed) for more Flintstones. When the channel went through various schedule changes in 2014 and the eventual rebrand in 2015, the show only aired during the wee-hours of the morning before being removed in March 2017.
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  • Banned Episode: MeTV skips over "The Prowler" due to the martial arts instructor being a Japanese stereotype.
  • 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 its 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.
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  • 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  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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and several times on Cartoon Network UK.
    • 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. When MeTV began airing the series in 2019, they used the "Meet the Flintstones" theme and credits sequence for the first two seasons as well.
  • Name's the Same: In the Quebec French dub, Fred Flinstone shares his last name, Caillou, with an imaginative preschooler.
  • 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.
  • Non-Singing Voice:
    • 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).
  • 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 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.
      • 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, Jeff Bergman, and Kevin Michael Richardson, the latter does imitations of Barney's season 1 voice (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 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.
  • 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 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 
  • 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:
    • The late 1970s The New Fred and Barney Show featured CB radios and microwave ovens.
    • The 1980s spinoff The Flintstone Kids featured video games.
    • The 90s TV movies I Yabba Dabba Do and Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby feature desktop computers, VCRs, CDs and car alarms.
    • The 2015 WWE crossover movie The Flintstones: Stone Age SmackDown! shows Bedrock now has flat-screen TV sets, cell phones, and tablets.
    • 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.
    • A cover illustration for a collectors’ magazine showed the Flintstones and Rubbles sitting in the Flintmobile, with the adults wearing seatbelts and Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm in stone car seats.
  • 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", 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.
  • Trope Namer:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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.
    • According to a MeTV article, Jean Carson; best known for playing the raspy-voiced Daphne, one of the Fun Girls from The Andy Griffith Show, at one point auditioned for the voice of Betty Rubble.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Flintstones Wiki, and another Flintstones Wiki.
  • Word of God: Cartoonist Gene Hazelton said he based Bamm-Bamm's design on his son, Wes.
  • Working Title: The name of the series in its pilot was originally The Flagstones. An early model sheet of Fred also showed another early name for the series, The Gladstones.

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 
  • Artist Disillusionment: This was one of the roles that convinced Rick Moranis to eventually retire from acting in the late 90s, as he was catching on that studios were only hiring him as a box office draw rather than for his acting or improv talents.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: John Goodman on playing Fred Flintstone.
  • Creator Backlash: Joseph Barbera didn't exactly hate the film, per se, but felt that he could've written a better plot.
  • 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.
  • Looping Lines: Hlynur and Marinó Sigurðsson played Bamm-Bamm on set, while Elizabeth Daily looped the character's lines during post-production.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: A scene shows Fred Flintstone playing with a sing-along rock with him yelling "YABBA DABBA DOO!"
  • 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.
  • Posthumous Credit: Though he was initially uncredited in the theatrical release, Mel Blanc reprised his role as Dino through the use of pre-recorded voice-overs.
  • 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).
  • Quote Source:
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Twin sisters Elaine and Melanie Silver portray Pebbles Flintstone.
    • Bamm-Bamm was played by twin brothers Hlynur and Marinó Sigurðsson.
    • 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.
  • Saved from Development Hell: Plans for the film started in 1985. 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).
  • Uncredited Role: John Landis was brought in for uncredited reshoots.
  • 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.
    • Mitch Markowitz wrote a draft that was described as a cross with The Grapes of Wrath:
    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.
    • John Candy, James Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Danny DeVito, Bill Murray, 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 and Catherine O'Hara were 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. Dudley Moore was also considered.
    • Tracey Ullman was 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. Nicole Kidman was also offered the role.
    • Elizabeth Montgomery was considered for the role of Pearl Slaghoople.
    • In addition to the ones released for Super NES and Game Boy, there was to be a Flintstones Movie game for the Sega Genesis. Beyond a prototype, this version was reportedly once available on Sega Channel.


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