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Western Animation / The Flintstones

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Flintstones! Meet the Flintstones!
They're the modern Stone Age family!
From the... town of Bedrock,
They're a page right out of history!
Let's ride... with the family down the street,
Through the... courtesy of Fred's two feet!
When you're... with the Flintstones,
Have a Yabba-Dabba-Doo time!
A Dabba-Doo time!
We'll have a gay ol' time!
— "Meet the Flintstones", the theme used for seasons 3-6note .

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 and culture. Usually an animal was shown rigged to perform some menial task, e.g. a baby mammoth used as a vacuum cleaner, a parrot used as a recording device, etc. The animal then usually makes an Aside Comment about their lot in life.note 

The other half was your typical sitcom material, springing from the antics of boorish Fred Flintstone — based on Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners — who was constantly hatching insane schemes with his diminutive 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.

The original series, which aired for six seasons (1960–66) on ABC, was the most successful prime-time animated show ever until The Simpsons debuted in 1989. The latter broke the former's record with the Season 8 episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" and for 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 be nominated for a Primetime Emmy, which opened the door for a lot of animated sitcoms (mostly Family Guy and The Simpsons) to have the same opportunity. The show was also the first to have an animated character (Wilma) be openly pregnant. Of course this was probably the result of something else that no other TV show since about 1948 had done: Wilma and Fred were shown sleeping in the same bed, together.

Like many very popular shows from the 1960s and '70s, The Flintstones just would not die. The original series has continued in syndicated reruns for decades, and its characters have lived on 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 movies, 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), plus the chewable vitamins. The year 2016 in particular saw a resurgence of the franchise in multiple media: first, a Chinese bootleg of the NES game The Flintstones: The Rescue Of Dino & Hoppy received Memetic Mutation on the Internet (especially the theme song) thanks to the works of Vinesauce and SiIvaGunner. That game actually received a sequel on the NES, The Flintstones: The Surprise At Dinosaur Peak! Unrelated to both, the series also got the same year a Darker and Edgier reboot as comic book published by DC Comics.

In 2021, it was announced that an Elizabeth Banks-produced Distant Sequel, Bedrock, had been picked up by Fox and would be jointly produced by Fox Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation.

Hanna-Barbera has produced shows similar to this, 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 Flintstones provides the name for the following tropes:

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

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    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.
  • Accidental Pervert: No, really. An early episode featured Fred (needing to meet Wilma at a dress-making store she's currently visiting) borrowing a trampoline from Barney to play a joke on Wilma by bouncing through a window on the upper level of the store when he gets there. Unfortunately, when he gets there with the trampoline he bounces up to the window he thinks Wilma is standing at....and instead sees a (fortunately still clothed) woman in a dressing room, much to his and said woman's horror. Wilma is most displeased once she finds out that the "man in the window" is Fred, even after he explains himself.
  • Acquainted with Emergency Services: According to I Yabba-Dabba Do!, Pebbles started using skates as she got older and always left them out in the open. Fred says he slipped on them so often that the local hospital put in a revolving door just to accommodate him.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In "Christmas Flintstone," Mel Blanc voices Fred's easily irritated boss that fires him and immediately hires him back. Blanc even uses the same voice he does for Mr. Spacely.
      "FLINTSTONE! You're fired!"
    • Possibly unintentional, but Gazoo's references to Fred as "dum-dum" bring to mind the fellow Alan Reed-voiced Hanna-Barbera character, Dum Dum, from the Touché Turtle cartoons.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • 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.
  • Amusingly Awful Aim: Big Sparkle, the villain of "Fred's New Car", is first seen playing a game in which he attempts to shoot a can on the head of his underling Shorty who is understandably nervous about his boss missing. Sparkle fires and the sound of a body falling to the ground is heard, prompting this exchange between Sparkle and another underling named Linko.
    Linko: You missed.
    Big Sparkle: So I did. Tsk tsk tsk.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • There are 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.
    • At least one episode has Fred call Dino "Benedict Arnold."
  • Angrish: You know Fred's had a really bad day when he only speaks in angry growls.
    • In "Operation Switchover", when Fred and Wilma switch jobs, Wilma works at the quarry, and Mr. Slate utters some angrish to keep from losing his cool while Wilma tries to get the hang of the quarry work.
  • Animation Bump: In Season 3, the animation quality got somewhat better. Unfortunately, that's also when the quality of the writing began to drop.
  • 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 (with advertisers 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.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: There are at least two episodes where Fred dresses as a woman, and in both someone inexplicably finds him irresistably attractive. (Well, inexplicably if you discount "because it complicates the plot" as a viable reason.)
  • Babysitting Episode: In the Gruesomes' debut episode, Fred and Barney agree to babysit Goblin, whose antics and pets make it nearly 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: What 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.
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: Wilma and Betty tried this on Fred and Barney.
  • Belly Dancer: In a Flintstone Comedy Hour episode called "Sands of the Saharastone", Wilma and Betty are kidnapped by men of an unknown sheik/sultan, who treat them comfortably before revealing their true roles as the latest additions of the sheik's harem. Blissfully unaware, the two ladies feel so relaxed in their situation that they decide to dance for their captors. Fred and Barney see this, and attempt to break into the tent disguised as two other dancers, quickly leading to hi-jinks.
  • Beta Couple: The Rubbles.
  • Big Damn Movie:
    • The first live-action 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.
    • The Man Called Flintstone made at the same time as the Original Series. Originally intended as a multipart season premiere, 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.
  • Big Fun: Fred, at his best.
  • Big Honking Traffic Jam: One episode has Fred, who is stuck in loud, stationary bumper-to-bumper traffic, comment that the highway is "the world's biggest parking lot".
  • Birthday Hater: In "The Birthday Party", Fred pretends to despise birthdays as childish foolishness. However, he's upset when he thinks everybody's forgotten his birthday.
  • Birthday Party Goes Wrong: In "Pebbles' Birthday Party", Fred arranges both his daughter's b-day party and the Water Buffalo lodge's stag party with the same caterer. The apathetic "only caterer in town" carelessly mixes them up, sending a clown to the lodge, and a troupe of dancing girls to the kiddie party.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Golf Game: Happens in "The Golf Champion". At the 18th hole, Fred Flintstone begins by ricocheting the golf ball off several trees and rocks and into a water hazard, atop a dinosaur's head. The second shot overshoots the hole and rolls into the mouth of a sleeping dinosaur. Flintstone goes inside the dinosaur's mouth to finally shoot the ball in the hole, and win the tournament.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Some characters, especially Barney and Wilma.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: "Meet the Flintstones" began as a piece of incidental background music used during the first two seasons, with a vocal version performed by the cast released as a record. Beginning with the third season, "Meet the Flintstones" had replaced the original instrumental theme music, "Rise and Shine."
  • Borrowing the Beatles: The episode "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes" has a cameo by a band called the Four Insects, whose "bug music" is the only thing that annoys Fred's hillbilly cousins. Since the Flintstones want to get rid of the Hatrocks, they put on moptop wigs and play bug music themselves, joined by the Rubbles and the Gruesomes.
    • In "Shinrock-A-Go-go", the Beau Brummels appear as "The Beau Brummelstones", a Stone Age version of themselves, performing "Laugh, Laugh"; their animated faces are drawn, somewhat resembling those of the Beatles.
  • Bowling for Ratings: Fred and Barney are frequently shown bowling, either by themselves or as part of an organized group.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Downplayed with Arnold Johnson, the paperboy, who frequently outwits Fred whenever Fred goes double or nothing when wagering on the newspaper subscription, or Fred accidentally gets hit by the paper (usually unintentional).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty would this every so often, as well as some of the animals who used as different appliances.
    • Perhaps the most significant example comes when Fred learns that Wilma is pregnant and he runs off to tell everyone the news. After doing this with his neighbors, including the Rubbles, Fred turns to the camera and declares:
      "It's true, folks, the Flintstones are gonna have a baby. And I want everybody the whole wide world to know it! YABBA-DABBA-DOO!"
    • In "Little Bamm-Bamm", Barney and Betty wish on a falling star, and neither one of the Rubbles reveals what they wished for. Barney turns to the TV audience, giving a subtle hint by asking the if the viewers can guess what the Rubbles wished for.
  • 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-Window Warning: Fred is an umpire at a Little League baseball game, and makes a very unpopular call that costs the local team the game. Days later, he gets a rock note through his window saying "Change your decision or else... Yours Truly, Anonymous." Betty sees the note, and says, "Well at least we know it's not from Barney. He doesn't know how to spell 'anonymous."
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes.
  • Bumbling Dad: Fred, after Pebbles was born. Also, Barney, after adopting Bamm-Bamm.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Dino is a pretty startling example. In his debut episode, he has a different color (blue instead of magenta), 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 becomes their butler... 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).
    • Barney being Mister Slate's long-lost nephew. Didn't last past the end of the episode that used it.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Fred's iconic phrase "Yabba-dabba-doo!", which was the cheer of Fred and Barney's lodge, The Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes.
    • Whenever Barney says or does something that sounds ridiculous, Fred's reaction is an irate "Oooh, boyyy..."
    • 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 Resemblance: Several real-life people were drawn to be characters within the show. Most were given "Rock" or "Stone" parodic names, like Ann-Margrock (Ann-Margret) or Stoney Curtis (Tony Curtis). Some didn't get names but were very recognizable, such as when Fred was demonstrating his new dance for "Mr. President," who was a caricature of LBJ.
  • 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.
  • Clamshell Currency: The characters use whole clams as money. It doubles as a Pun, since "clams" was slang for "money" at the time the show was made.
  • Closer to Earth: Wilma is much more mature and level-headed than Fred, who borders on Manchild.
  • Company Cross References: One episode has Fred and Wilma going on a picnic. Their picnic basket is stolen by fellow Hanna-Barbera character Yogi Bear.
  • Cool Car: Fred's iconic Flintmobile.
  • 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.
  • Creepy Family:
  • 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.
  • Crying Wolf: In "At the Races", when Fred comes home, he makes up a story about being robbed, which Wilma doesn't buy. Later in the episode, after Fred digs up his winnings which he buried in a hole in the ground, he is actually robbed for real, and Wilma still doesn't believe Fred's story.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The animated movie Flintstones on the Rocks. Fred and Wilma's silly cartoon fighting is turned into them being a genuinely unhappy married couple, and the opening scene is them at a marriage counseling session that quickly and very suddenly devolves into physical violence.
    • 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.
    • The Man Called Flintstone film — 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.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Betty gets an episode of her own — her only one — called "Old Lady Betty." She disguises herself as a little old lady running errands to raise money for Barney's birthday present, but she doesn't know her employer is really a counterfeiter.
  • Debating Names: Fred and Barney win a contest in which the prize is a new pleasure boat. Fred wants to name it "Nautical Princess," while Barney prefers "Queen of the Sea." They compromise a la Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs and have NauSea chiseled onto the stern. Their wives instantly recognize what a mistake this is, but elect to let their men learn the hard way.
  • 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.
  • Does Not Wear Shoes: Due to the prehistoric setting, the entire cast is constantly barefoot (an exception is spats worn with tuxedoes, but even then they just covers the top of the foot). Lampshaded in a Comic-Book Adaptation story in which shoes are invented, but fail to catch on.
  • Door Focus: Trying to escape the lair of Dr. Sinister, Fred and Barney run through a door and shut it behind them. Beat. Then they run back out, slamming the door to keep the snarling crocosauruses from catching them.
  • Doorstop Baby: Bamm-Bamm was found by the Rubbles this way.
  • 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 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 Flintstones' house when Barney blabbed and gave away his disguise, where the two wives became domestically abusive. "Wife-beater" may be considered a serious term, but it's not clear whether the same is true of "husband-beater". This is downplayed later on thanks to Character Development, as Wilma and Betty became more sweet-natured, although Wilma isn't above hitting Fred whenever he behaves in an exceptionally bad way, usually giving him a Dope Slap to keep him in line.
  • Downer Ending: Very common in the early seasons and especially the first. The episode endings became cheerier as the series progressed.
  • Dream Sequence: From time to time, notable examples being in Groom Gloom, Rip Van Flintstones, and No biz like show biz.
  • Drive-In Theater: Featured in the (second) opening and (second) closing credits.
  • Driven to Suicide: A heartbroken Barney attempted suicide 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.
  • Driving Up a Wall: One episode has Barney building a racecar and Fred deciding to drive it in the Indianrockolis 500 for prize money. At one point, Fred gets ahead of the other racers by driving across the track's outer wall.
  • Drunk with Power: Fred, in the first live action movie.
    • Then there was the episode where The Great Gazoo granted Fred's wish to be boss for a day...
  • Dub Name Change: In the Latin American dub, the show was renamed "Los Picapiedras" (The Stonecutters), and changed pretty much everyone's names. Some examples include:
    • Fred as Pedro Picapiedra.
    • Barney as Pablo Mármol, usually called "Enano" (Shorty) by Fred.
    • Wilma as Vilma Picapiedra.
    • Betty stayed the same, only changing her surname to Betty Mármol.
    • Mr. Slate to Sr. Rajuela.
  • Dumb Dinos: Dino and the other tame dinosaurs are friendly, but not particularly bright.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The show in its original run 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 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. Boomerang reruns include the restored first and second season title sequences.
    • During the first two seasons, the show was sponsored by Winston cigarettes and originally intended to appeal primarily to adults... until the kids started getting interested in watching it. To avoid setting a bad example for kids, Winston pulled their sponsorship, with Welch's grape juice taking their place.
    • Betty had a different hairstyle in the original pilot ("The Flagstones"; itself an example), and in the first episode.
    • In "Hot Lips Hannagan", Fred says he went to high school, which doesn't fit later on, such as a few episodes in "Love Letters on the Rocks", when Wilma says they both went to Boulder High.
    • Dino's color in the first two seasons was inconsistent. In the original theme, he was blue. In several episodes in season 1, it was pinkish. In "The Long, Long Weekend", he is red and has a tuft of hair. It wouldn't be until late season 2 where it would settle on purple.
    • Early in the first season, Mel Blanc played Barney with a nasal, high-pitched lilt that was sort of a cross between Bugs Bunny and his normal speaking voice. As the season progressed, Mel began playing Barney with a deeper, dopier voice, 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.
    • In one episode, when Betty and Wilma are taking off on their airplane, Betty tells Barney "Don't forget to feed the cat". With the exception of the cat seen in "High School Fred", the Rubbles' only pet was Hoppy.
    • In Dino's "first" appearance, he was less a pet and more a member of the household; he spoke eloquently and did chores. In all other appearances, and in the credits, he's a Big Friendly Dog.
    • In the earliest episodes, the main cast consists entirely of Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty. Dino was not introduced until the 18th episode (although he appeared in "No Help Wanted" and "Arthur Quarry's Dance Class"), while Pebbles was born in Season 3, and Bamm-Bamm was adopted in Season 4. All of those three characters became pretty iconic, so it might feel like something's missing if you watch those first episodes with that in mind.
    • In the first season, the rock buildings in Bedrock are colored white/grey, but they're light brown in the rest of the series.
    • In the first season, Fred and Barney are members of the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs. The Water Buffaloes first appeared in "The Long, Long Weekend" and in the second season, Fred and Barney have become Water Buffaloes themselves.
  • Embarrassing Ad Gig: In "Before and After", Fred brags about being in a commercial for a diet program, even hosting a viewing party. To his embarrassment, the ad puts him as the "before" in a pair of "Before" and "After" Pictures, when he was expecting to be the "after". He and Wilma go to the TV studio to complain, and that's when the producer suggests that he lose weight in one week as part of a promotion.
  • 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.
  • Evolving Credits: From the third season onward, with the completely revised "Meet the Flintstones" opening sequence. It began with Fred taking Wilma and the pets for a night out on the town. As the cast continued to grow, Pebbles, Barney, Betty, and Bamm-Bamm (the second and third of whom earned a Promotion to Opening Titles in the process) joined their activities.
  • Expository Theme Tune: "Meet the Flintstones", beginning in the third season.
    They're the modern Stone Age family...
  • Expressive Mask: Any time Fred Flintstone dresses up full body as a dinosaur (specifically in "The Monster From the Tar Pits," "The Masquerade Ball" and "Son of Rockzilla"), the rubber dinosaur mask's mouth moves perfectly with Fred's, and the eyes match his own expressions.
  • Fan Disservice: Fred and Barney in speedos in the Flintstones: On The Rocks special.
  • Feud Episode: Multiple episodes saw Fred get mad at Barney, completely disown him, forbid Wilma from seeing Betty (aka "fraternizing with the enemy"), and make amends in the end. How antagonistic Barney was about it was a case of Depending on the Writer, as he'd either be fighting fire with fire or completely clueless about what even provoked the given situation. By the time of I Yabba-Dabba Do!, Fred's tendency to do this is treated with complete indifference by Wilma, Barney, and Betty (all of whom are familiar with the well-worn pattern by that point in their lives).
  • Feuding Families: The Hatrocks and the Flintstones in "Bedrock Hillbillies". They declare a truce with the Flintstones and have found even more annoying neighbors than the Flintstones in "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes".
  • The Film of the Series: The two Live Action Adaptations.
  • First-Name Ultimatum: Fred's call of "WIIIILMAAAA!" has become one of his Catchphrases, as it happens most often after he's locked out of the house during the end credits.
  • Foot Bath Treatment: In "Here's Snow in Your Eyes," Wilma and Betty wear swimsuits for a Beauty Contest at a ski resort, and end up catching colds. At the end of the episode, Wilma is shown giving herself a heated foot bath.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: In "The Drive-In", Wilma and Betty find that Fred and Barney have been acting strange in keeping a drive-in restaurant a secret from the girls, with two young teenage waitresses Fred and Barney hired. Lampshaded when the Flintstones and Rubbles go out to dinner, with Fred and Barney being humiliated when Wilma and Betty put on a reprise of the carhops' song with specific lyrics targeted at their husbands, who shrink from embarrassment:
    Wilma, Betty [singing]: Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble..., Are to blame for all our trouble...
    [song pause] And if they think that we'll forget...
    [song concludes] They're outta their mind, mind, mind, mind, mi-i-ind!
  • Forced from Their Home: In the closing scene, Fred Flintstone put the cat out. It's a large saber-tooth cat, plunked unceremoniously on the front stoop. Disliking this outcome, the cat leaps back into the Flintstone home through a window (glass hasn't been invented yet), and returns the favor by plunking Fred on the stoop before slamming the door shut. This leaves Fred to pound on the door, demanding entry while calling for his wife, Wilma.
  • 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: As if you'd expect any different from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Wilma Flintstone (melancholic), Betty (phlegmatic), Fred Flintstone (choleric), and Barney Rubble (sanguine).
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: A number of times, including once where Fred and Dino swap bodies.
  • French Maid: Parodies in an episode where Wilma had Betty pretend to be a French maid to impress Stony Curtis.
  • Gainax Ending: In "The Story of Rocky's Raiders", the final episode of the original series, Fred is reading from his grandfather's diary of Stone World War I and the adventures of Rocky's Raiders, which abruptly ends with no further writing. A moment later, as the Flintstones and Rubbles are wondering whatever became of them, Grandpa Flintstone is engaged in a ground-to-air dogfight with his old nemesis as the episode closes out.
  • 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:
  • Gilligan Cut: Happened quite a lot, and like F Troop before it, uses here also predate the Trope Namer.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: In their crossover with Bewitched, Fred and Barney challenge Wilma, Betty and their tag-along new friend Samantha to a bunch of camping activities expecting to win, but thanks to Samantha's magic the girls have it all easy and the boys get an extremely absurd Macho Disaster Expedition.
  • 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: So many of Fred's schemes end in him falling or having things fall on him.
  • 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 this way than Fred and Wilma, especially 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.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: In "Dino Disappears", Pebbles rocks so hard in her crib that she tips the whole thing over. Seeing her in danger, Dino runs over and grabs her just as the crib hits the floor. Hearing the crash, Fred runs in and, upon seeing Dino with Pebbles in his mouth, assumes that he attacked her.
  • Henpecked Husband: Put it this way: don't make Wilma and Betty (or every other wife on the show) angry!
  • 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.
  • Holiday Pardon: If you know how the Fruity Pebbles commercials starring The Flintstones go, you know they always involve Barney doing some antics to steal Fred's pebbles. In two Christmas-themed commercials, Barney attempts to steal Fred's pebbles by pretending to be a holiday figure. After Fred finds out Barney's ploy, another character in the room reminds him of the holiday spirit (Santa in the first one, Pebbles in the second). After which, Fred gives Barney a bowl.
  • Hollywood Prehistory: The Flintstones have a pet dinosaur while the Rubbles have a pet dinosaur-kangaroo. Perhaps the Trope Codifier for cavemen and dinosaurs living contemporaneously.
  • Hood Hornament: One episode has a character who's a Western-stereotype rich cattle guy, and his stone-age car sports a pair.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Dino is just like a dog, except he's a sauropod dinosaur (or, as it's known In-Universe, a "snorkasaurus"); Hoppy is a kangaroo-like "hopparoo".
  • Housewife: Both Wilma and Betty, though Betty occasionally took up part-time jobs.
  • Human Head on the Wall: In "A Haunted House is Not a Home", Fred and Barney have to spend the weekend in a haunted house with creepy servants who try to kill them and Fred hides by pretending to be a head mounted on the wall next to a row of mounted animal heads.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: After Barney accidentally drops a bowling ball on Fred's foot, he varies his usual Catchphrase shout to "Yabba-dabba-di-yi-yi-yi-ee-hee!" and inadvertently creates a new dance craze among Bedrock teenagers with his hopping.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • "Wilma, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!"
    • In the episode The Sweepstakes ticket Wilma and Betty don't tell the boys about it, for fear that they will go and charge everything in town...when they had done the exact same thing when Fred bought a sweepstakes ticket the previous year.
  • Identical Stranger: Fred's lookalikes J.L. Gotrocks (in "The Tycoon") and Rock Slag (in The Man Called Flintstone movie). Plus there's 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—at least, not in any of the animations (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.
    • Fred's physical appearance is a composite of Alan Reed, his original voice actor, and Jackie Gleason.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Echo: In the first season episode "The Drive-in", there's Wilma & Betty's slightly-altered reprise of the Earworm song from carhops Daisy & Gwendolyn. See Shameful Shrinking below for Fred & Barney's reaction.
  • I Will Show You X!: In one episode Fred complains about his dinner being late, commenting that he expects it and himself to hit the wire in a photo finish.
    Wilma: I'll give you a photo finish, Fred.

    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 "The Buffalo Convention", the cake at the Water Buffaloes' convention in Frantic City was supposed to have showgirls inside. It had their angry wives instead, rolling pins in hand.
    • In the episode that had Pebbles' first birthday, a bachelor party girl jumped out of one meant for the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos, but it was at the wrong place, while the Lodge got a clown and kiddie drinks.
    • 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.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Hoppy, the "hopparoo".
  • Karmic Misfire: In "The Tycoon", J.L. Gotrocks trades places with Fred, being a snobbish jerkass to Wilma and the Rubbles, while Fred finds the office work a hassle. Things go downhill when Fred gets severely chewed out for Gotrocks' actions, while Gotrocks apparently gets a slap-on-the-wrist punishment for ditching a business meeting.
  • 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. Same for her own children Chip and Roxy.
  • Laugh Track: As was typical of 60's-era Hanna-Barbera. Notably edited out in the syndicated airings on Boomerang, and also absent from The Man Called Flintstone, which made it a surreal viewing experience for those used to watching the show with canned laughter, but justified since it was a theatrical film.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: In "Swedish Visitors", Fred and Wilma are camping at a local nature park resort, setting their picnic baskets on a table. Yogi Bear and Boo Boo make a guest appearance, with Yogi making off with the "pic-a-nic" basket.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: Fred goes through one of these to become "Frederick J. (Mumblemumble)" so he can hang out with the snooty wealthy of Bedrock on their own territory.
  • Limited Animation: Though it improved to a degree in the third season.
  • Limited Wardrobe: It was extraordinarily rare to see any of the characters wearing any outfit other than what you see in the picture at the top of this page.
  • Literal Money Metaphor: Bedrock's currency is literal clams.
  • Loud Sleeper Gag: The episode "Pebbles' Birthday Party" begins at night when everyone is asleep — or is at least trying to. Fred is snoring so loud and strong, the palm trees outside the window are literally swaying back and forth with each breath.
  • Man in a Kilt: Every male character wears a prehistoric man-kilt.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • A meta-example on the part of the studio audience in the pilot "The Flintstone Flyer". Fred and Barney get out of going to an opera with Wilma and Betty via Fred playing sick and Barney staying to watch him so they can go bowling. It turns out that the bowling alley that Fred and Barney go to is right across from the theater where the opera is, and when this is revealed to the viewers (right when circumstances result in Wilma and Betty going over to it to use a phone to check on the supposedly ill Fred while Fred and Barney are still there), you can hear the studio audience reacting in shock. (Of the "Oh no, they're in for it now" variety.)
    • A more in-universe example occurs in "Sleep On, Sweet Fred". Just as the story is about to resolve, Pebbles grabs a brick out of Fred's hand (he was pretending he was going to break into the mink warehouse) and throws it at the window of the warehouse, activating the alarm system. All that Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty can do is shout "Pebbles!" in horror.
  • Master Forger: One episode has Betty pretending to be an old woman so she can work for a crippled old lady who needs a gofer for her grocery purchases. It turns out that the "crippled old lady" is a notorious forger who's using Betty to test her newest batch of fake dollars as a Fall Guy. Fred has to trick the police into a high-speed chase to expose the real forger.
  • Mean Boss: While Mr. Slate is quite amiable at times, he has his mean moments, usually whenever Fred does something stupid.
  • 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 Bad Vision: In "Itty Bitty Fred", Fred's homemade reducing formula shrinks him to the size of a mouse; when Dino sees him he freaks out. Later in the episode Wilma gets a call that Dino is at a vet trying to get prescription glasses, which he is shown wearing later and after seeing tiny Fred again he breaks them and starts sobbing.
  • Mistaken for Fake Hair: In the episode "Moonlight and Maintenance", Fred goes to a wig store to purchase a disguise. The owner happily sells him a toupee from right off his head. Then at the last second, Fred decides to grab the matching mustache. The store man says
    "The joke's on him, that mustache was real. EEYOWWW!"
  • 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.
  • Mistaken from Behind: In the dream sequence from "Rip Van Flintstone", an elderly Fred walks to his house and decides to surprise Wilma. From behind, it looks like Wilma, but when Fred grabs her to face him, it turns out to be a different woman, who accuses him of being a masher and sics her pet dinosaur on him.
  • Mock Hollywood Sign: Hollyrock, Hollywood's stone-age predecessor, has a giant "HOLLYROCK" sign on the mountain overlooking the city.
  • Motionless Chin: As was typical of Hanna-Barbera's Limited Animation of the era.
  • The Movie: The Man Called Flintstone.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Notably, Bamm-Bamm is drawn to be far more attractive than every other male character in the series as he grows older, having much more realistic and less cartoony proportions. Naturally, he goes shirtless frequently.
  • 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, being changed to "Flintstones" because there was — and still is — a comic strip called Hi and Lois (co-drawn by Mort Walker) whose family is named the Flagstons.
    • It has been said that Bamm-Bamm was inspired from Ubble-Ubble, the cave boy in The Ruff & Reddy Show story arc "The Chickosaurus Caper".
  • Negative Continuity: Among other things, Fred and Barney's friend Joe Rockhead literally has a completely different design every time he appears.
    • The design, voice and personality of the Joe used in "The Picnic" got used the most.
  • 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 that could also kill him. The gang uses increasingly creative methods to keep Fred awake.
  • New Baby Episode: "The Blessed Event" is about the Flintstones and Rubbles preparing for Wilma's eventual delivery, ending with the birth of Pebbles.
    • The Made-for-TV Movie is centered around the Flintstones and Rubbles visiting their children Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm when the latter announces Pebbles's pregnancy. The movie ends with Pebbles giving birth to twins, making Fred and Barney grandparents.
  • 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.
  • 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 the real Ann-Margret.
    • Fred and Barney's sergeant in "The Astra' Nuts" is drawn and voiced as a clear reference to Sgt. Bilko from The Phil Silvers Show, complete with Silvers' glasses and voice (provided by Jerry Mann, not by Silvers himself). The bandleader who leads their sendoff when their would-be space capsule is launched, meanwhile, has a similar voice to Lawrence Welk, and recites Welk's signature phrases "Wunnerful, wunnerful"note  and "A-one, and-a-two".
    • In "The Time Machine", the Flintstones and the Rubbles' first stop is Imperial Rome, where the gladiatorial games in the Colosseum are stopped so that Emperor Nero can "entertain" the crowd on the violin. Nero's "baby blue" eyes, visibly receding hairline, terrible rendition of Rodolphe Kreutzer's Etude No.2, and indignant "Well!" when Betty asks him to stop playing are all references to Mel Blanc's friend and sometime employer Jack Benny.note 
    • In "The Blessed Event", Fred sees two doctors at the hospital who look and sound like characters from the TV series Ben Casey. The two characters were also used as the basis for the doctors in "Monster Fred".
  • 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.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: In "Hollyrock, Here I Come", Barney asks Fred to turn around as he's finishing carving a letter to Betty, because he's about to write "something personal". Fred turns, but the audience gets to see the "personal message" is just a couple of Xs.
  • Not So Above It All: On occasion Wilma would pull a Zany Scheme of her own, usually to try to improve Fred. They would end about about as well as Fred's.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The Great Gazoo is only visible to Fred and usually Barney.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Wilma's mother.
  • On One Condition: In "A Haunted House is Not a Home", Fred and Barney have to spend a night in Fred's uncle's mansion in order to inherit his fortune.
  • 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.
  • Organic Technology: Possiby the Trope Codifier. Animals are the most advanced technology in this setting, and many of their appliances are simply domesticated animals. Vacuum cleaners are baby mammoths; waste disposals are carnivorous dinos; washing machines are ornery pelicans.
  • Out of Focus: Betty has the least amount of screentime among the four main characters and possibly has the weakest characterization of them all.
  • Paranormal Episode: The series had a handful of such episodes, such as the time the gang traveled to the present day in 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.
  • Pendulum of Death: In "Dr. Sinister", Fred and Barney are caught in a situation like this one. Fred asks Barney what James Bondrock would do in such a situation. Barney remembers him using the pendulum to cut his hand bonds — which he does and it works!
  • Pet Positive Identification: In "Rip Van Flintstone", Fred dreams that he's been asleep for 20 years and goes to see Barney, who is now a multimillionaire. However, Barney had met several phonies claiming to be his missing friend, so he proves Fred's identity by calling in Dino, who promptly pounces and licks his old master like always.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Roxy and Chip in 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.
  • Pokémon Speak: Bamm-Bamm gets his name from the only phrase he speaks as an infant.
  • 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 to come 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.
  • Post–Wake-Up Realization: Near the end of "The Surprise", Fred prepares to go to sleep as Wilma tells him he's going to become a father. In this case, he does a triple take before he asks Wilma to confirm the truth.
  • 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.
  • Primitive Clubs: One episode has Fred relaxing at home, watching a televised fight. The two opponents stand in a boxing ring, taking turns whonking each other on the noggin with a club. Each man gets three whonks before Wilma calls Fred away from the set. They built guys sturdier in those days.
  • Prince and Pauper: In "The Tycoon" Fred swaps places with a rich business tycoon who looks like him. While Fred masquerades as the tycoon at his office, the tycoon in the meantime behaves like a Jerkass around town, putting Fred on the outs with Wilma and his friends. In the end, Fred goes back to his old face a furious Wilma, Barney and Betty.
  • Proud Papa Passes Out the Cigars: In "Carry On, Nurse Fred", following Pebbles' birth, Fred and Barney celebrate with cigars. Unfortunately, they are promptly confiscated by Pebbles' nurse.
  • Punny Name:
    • 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, but still followed this trope. The Flintstones (who should have been called Los Pedernal) were instead called Los Picapiedra (the Stonecutters).
    • 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. It could get confusing, since there were at least three dubs, each with wholly different voice-casts.
    • A Robot Chicken sketch parodied this 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." Later in that sketch, Barney finally gets fed up with the puns, and in his rage redoubles his efforts to brutally murder every single appliance in Fred's house.
  • 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: Whenever 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.
  • Reel Torture: The episode "Reel Trouble" has Fred's latest obsession with home movies get him into trouble when he accidentally films a robbery in progress. When the two perpetrators come to Fred's house to steal the film, they are accidentally incapacitated by Fred's bowling ball landing on their heads. When the police arrive to arrest the crooks, they find them tied up and forced to watch Fred's home movies of Pebbles. The crooks are actually relieved to be taken away.
  • 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). However, the first theme also eerily sounded a lot like "This Is It", the theme to the Looney Tunes anthology series The Bugs Bunny Show, which premiered the same season on ABCnote .
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The entire original Hungarian dub is in rhyming prose. Often considered one of the greatest non-English examples of Woolseyism.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: During "Alvin Brickrock Presents" Fred suspects the title character is really Albert Bonehart and he has killed his wife. While it's assured that Brickrock isn't Bonehart it's revealed he did kill his wife with his man-eating fish.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: The Green Goose and his pet sabre-tooth tiger Ferocious in The Man Called Flintstone.
  • Ring Around the Collar: The men wore ties while the women wore necklaces in order to facilitate animation shortcuts.
  • A Rotten Time to Revert: In "Itty Bitty Fred", Fred invents a diet drink which ends up shrinking him to about a foot tall. Barney decides to put little Fred into a ventriloquist act, one impressive enough (no wires attached, can talk even while drinking water) to get them on the Ed Sullystone Show. But right in the middle of the performance, the diet drink wears off, causing Fred to revert to his normal size. They are both promptly kicked out of the studio.
  • Running Gag: A number of them, such as:
    • Fred going "Bet-bet-bet-bet-bet!" whenever gambling is mentioned;
    • 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; or
    • Fred's often fruitless attempts at inventing things.
    • In "Hawaiian Escapades", Wilma and Betty would constantly try to barbecue steaks, but every time, they would end up being distracted, resulting in the steaks being burned.
    Fred: Wilma oughta have a long talk with Smokey the Bear!
    • Expect some variation of "It's a living" or other Aside Comment from an animal every time it performs the role of an appliance or other modern technology.
  • Satellite Character: Betty doesn't have so much characterization beyond being Wilma's best friend and Barney's wife.
  • Schemer: Both Fred and teenage Pebbles.
  • Schizo Tech: Hoo-boy. This show is probably the codifier. What do you expect when the opening theme uses the phrase "Modern Stone-Age Family"?
  • 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. It was then renewed for two more seasons.
  • 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.
    • Then there was the time Fred made a wish to the Great Gazoo to be the boss over Mr. Slate, only to face the Board of Directors, and with each question they fired, Fred shrank like a violet.
  • Shear Menace: In "A Haunted House is Not a Home", Fred and Barney have to spend a night in Fred's uncle's mansion in order to inherit his fortune. Also in the house are three servants who will inherit if Fred fails to do so. All of them are carrying weapons, with the gardener carrying a huge pair of hedge clippers that he wields with ghoulish abandon.
  • 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.
    • In the first season, there was a strange trend of randomly referencing a fictional private eye named Perry Gunnite, most frequently in conversations between Fred and his paperboy, Arnold. Perry Gunnite eventually starred in his own series of comics from Western Publishing.
    • "The Rolls Rock Caper" starts out as a stone-age version of Burke's Law, until Aaron Boulder reveals that Fred and Barney had just starred on a Candid Camera-like show known as "Smile, You're On My Favorite Crime".
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: Hanna-Barbera openly admitted that the show was inspired by The Honeymooners. Naturally, Jackie Gleason, who created, produced, and 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 Gleason would thereafter be known only as "the guy who killed The Flintstones".
  • 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 (usually cigars, which are easier to animate), 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.
  • Spinoff Babies: The Flintstone Kids and the largely forgotten Cave Kids
  • Spin-Offspring: The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show.
  • 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!"
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Like a lot of men at the time this show first aired, Fred believes a woman's place is in the home (mainly so he can have someone to cook for him when he gets home). He even shows dissatisfaction with more women working and having equal rights to men in the 1980s special Wind Up Wilma.
  • Stock Femur Bone: Dino often chews classic femur bones.
  • Stone Punk: You can't miss this, it's all over the place. The Flintstones is arguably the most famous example.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Subverted in "A Haunted House Is Not a Home" in which involved Fred and Barney having to share a bed. After Barney complains about it, the bed is split in half.
    • Averted in "The House Guest" with the Rubbles staying at Fred's house for a few nights. The women sleep in the double bed without comment, but Fred and Barney keep quibbling over who gets the couch and who has to struggle lying across two side chairs.
  • The Theme Park Version: It's early-1960s suburban America transposed into the Stone Age, with dinosaurs.
  • 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 the third season. 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 Boomerang reruns 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: One of the most iconic examples.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Barney wasn't quite as friendly in the earlier seasons, like a number of other things on the show, he softened affter the birth of Pebbles.
  • Too Many Halves: In one episode, when Fred and Barney take up songwriting, Fred looks up statistics on what kinds of songs people prefer. Barney points out that the percentages add up to 140%.
  • 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 Bamm-Bamm 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, Daws Butler filled in for Blanc for several episodes while he was recovering from the crash, and thus Barney also sounds different.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: I Yabba-Dabba Do! had this forced on Bamm-Bamm. He had planned a simple proposal at a romantic restaurant, but as one of her co-workers had just gotten dumped, Pebbles misinterpreted what he was trying to say as a prelude to dumping her in a public place so she wouldn't make a scene. Bamm-Bamm ends up doing his proposal loudly in the middle of the street, while holding onto the dinosaur bus that Pebbles was trying to leave on.
  • Wall Bonking: A running gag while Wilma is caring for Pebbles is the toddler crawling into a wall only to get stuck treadmilling merrily away until her mother picks her up and sets her on a new heading.
  • 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.
  • Weapons of Their Trade: In "A Haunted House Is Not A Home", Fred and Barney are menaced by a trio of sinister servants. Creepers, the butler, carries a large carving knife (one of a butler's traditional duties to carve the meat); the cook Potrock carries a meat cleaver bigger than he is; and the gardener Wormstone carries a pair of jagged hedge clippers that can snip through stone.
  • Web Games: A Flash-based game was released in 1998 on Cartoon Network's site called Fred's Bowling Nightmare, a Pac-Man clone.
  • 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.
  • Wham Shot: "The Surprise" completely changes the series when Wilma demonstrates why she's so upset about Fred grousing about babies by holding up a bootie she knitted. Of course, Fred initially thought it was a nose cover.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Flintstones' saber-toothed tiger/housecat (named Baby-Puss according to sources), who ends every episode with putting Fred outside and locking the door, only actually appeared in a couple of episodes and never again since.
  • 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.
  • Wild Child: the live-action version of Bamm-Bamm 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.

Flintstones! Meet the Flintstones!
They're the modern Stone Age family!
From the... town of Bedrock,
They're a page right out of history!
Someday... maybe Fred will win the fight,
Then that... cat will stay out for the night!
When you're... with the Flintstones,
Have a Yabba-Dabba-Doo time!
A Dabba-Doo time!
We'll have a gay ol' time!

We'll have a
gay ol' time!!

Alternative Title(s): Flintstones


The Flintstones

Fred's badmouthing of his boss at the masquerade ball comes back to bite him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShamefulShrinking

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