Stupidity still existed back in the Stone Age, apparently.
- The pilot episode, "The Flintstone Flyer": Barney invents a flying machine and Fred wants to start a business selling the machine for people to fly in. He states that he'll be president and Barney will be vice president in charge of production, even wanting to change the name from "The Barney Copter" to "The Flintstones Flyer".
You'd Expect: That since Barney was the one who made the invention, and Fred had initially mocked him when he first told him about, to immediately refuse. He would state that he would be the head president in charge of the company and Fred would having nothing to do with his new business.
Instead: Barney actually agrees, despite not being too happy about it. However, Fred gets injured while testing it out, and walks out on the project (but later re-elects himself president of the company when it works out better).
Later: Fred pretends to be sick so he won't have to go the opera and instead go bowling with Barney. They take the flying machine there, but coincidentally the bowling alley is right next to the opera theater where Wilma and Betty are!
You'd Expect: Fred and Barney would notice this when they arrived at the alley, and go find another bowling alley to play in,
Instead: They assume Wilma and Betty won't go into the alley at all, but they do, and are nearly caught, but luckily, Fred and Barney use to black broom bristles as fake mustaches which fool the girls.
Later: The boys manage to beat the girls back to the house, and Fred resumes his sick act and Barney his caretaker act when the girls arrive, who feel guilty about ever doubting them.
You'd Expect: Barney would just not do anything that would give the charade away.
Instead: He scolds the girls as the German mustached man he pretended to be at the bowling alley along with Fred , which gives the game away.
Finally: In order the escape the wrath of their pissed wives, they take off on the flying machine.
You'd Expect: They would take turns pedaling and operating it, so that they won't tire out quite as quickly and hopefully stay up long enough for the girls anger to cool down.
Instead: Barney does the pedaling all by himself, and eventually grows exhausted. The episode ends as the girls comment on how Barney will "run out of gas" in no time, and be ready for them.
- In "The Golf Champion", after Fred wins his lodges golf tournament, Barney, who is the club's president at the time, will not award him his trophy because he is behind in paying his membership dues
You'd Expect: That Barney would remember that Fred, who was also in the election for president with Barney, had graciously withdrawn from the election, just so Barney could have the honor of being club president for once, and let him off the hook just this once and give him the trophy.
Instead: Barney ungratefully still refuses to give him the cup, resulting in another feud between him and Fred.
Earlier: While Barney was making his speech about president after Fred dropped out of the election from him, promises to be good president and help the lodge by start charging back dues.
You'd Expect: The members would start booing and throwing things at Barney for starting to add payment to their membership.
Instead: They all actually cheer for him!
You'd then expect: Fred to just pay his dues and get the cup.
Instead: He demands Barney return everything he borrowed from him, which turns out to just be one can opener. Barney then demands the same thing from Fred, making the situation a nightmare.
Later: After Barney is successful in this stallmate for quite some time, Betty suggests that he go over to Fred's house and nicely ask him to pay the dues promising to give him the cup the moment he does so.
You'd Expect: Barney to listen to Betty's advice. Given Barney has been somewhat of a jerk to Fred about this lodge dues issue, perhaps he'd be more willing to listen if Barney was more friendly about it.
Instead: Barney decides to do it the way he's been going about it the entire time, "Give me the dues ya big cheapskate, or ya don't give the cup!"
The Result: Fred crowns the cup onto Barney's head again (like he did in the tournament after confiscating the cup). Although Barney doesn't mention that he was still a jerk to Betty of course.
- In "The X-Ray Story", Dino is sick, so Fred takes him to the vetenarian. The vetenarian takes an x-ray of Dino, and discovers that he has a disease called a "dinopeptic germ", that is harmless to dinosaurs but incredibly virulent to humans. After Fred and Dino leave, the nurse writes Fred's name on it to store it in his file, but when she is called into another room the the x-ray is accidentally blown out the window, and is discovered by a police officer who takes it down to the police laboratory
You'd Expect: The police to not make any immediate assumptions about the x-ray, since they don't even know its source, and to try locate the source to question them about it.
Instead: They immediately jump the conclusion that it's Fred's x-ray simply because it has his last name on it, and that he has the Dinopeptic Germ (which is very dangerous to humans).
The Result: The police laboratory scientist goes to Wilma and tells her she must keep Fred awake for 72 hours (as the disease only attacks when the patient is asleep) in order for him to be cured, without telling him why (for the shock would be harmful). So Fred has a long and miserable night all for nothing.
- "The House Guest": After he "fixes" their plumbing, Fred invites the Rubbles to stay with him and Wilma for a week while their house is being repaired, but Wilma and Betty are reluctant because they thinks two couples living together will be hard. Fred assures her she is wrong, and she relents. But Barney turns out to be a completely selfish, inconsiderate, and rude house guest, for reasons that could have been avoided, like these.
First: At bedtime, while the women get the bed, Fred plans to sleep on the couch, and as for Barney...
You'd Expect: Fred to rent a cot for Barney to sleep on.
Instead: Fred, apparently wanting to save on money, sets up two chairs. Understandably displeased by that idea, Barney claims the couch for himself.
You'd Then Expect: Fred and Barney to calmly try to find a compromise, like maybe having one sleep on the couch one night, and the chairs the other.
Instead: Fred angrily demands Barney to get up and Barney won't budge.
The Result: Fred has to sleep on the chairs the whole week.
It Gets Worse: Barney plans to get up at 5:00 A.M. the following morning, and sets his alarm clock for that time.
You'd Expect: Barney to give Fred a heads up about this, so he won't be startled in the morning. Or even ask if it's okay with him
Instead: He doesn't, and Fred has a rude awakening.
Later: Barney is reading his newspaper in the living room, but does not want to be bothered by the telephone.
You'd Expect: Barney to simply go find somewhere else to read his paper where he won't hear the phone ring.
Instead: Barney takes the phone off the hook so it won't ring. It just so happened that Fred was expecting an important phone call from Mr. Slate that day, and never gets it!
You'd then Expect: Fred to realize that having the pride of being right is not worth putting up with Barney's selfish behavior, and finally berate him for it in front of the girls.
Instead: He still puts up with it.
- In "The Rock Vegas Caper", the gang arrives for a two week vacation in Rock Vegas.
You'd Expect: That since Fred has a major gambling problem and they are staying in a place known for gambling more than anything, that that the gang would probably realize it would probably be better if Wilma held the money they brought for the trip.
Instead: Wilma leaves Fred with all the money they brought.
So: Wilma warns him not to gamble with their vacation funds while she and Betty go to the pool.
You'd Then Expect: Fred to heed his wife's warning and stay away from the casino or at the very worst keep the gambling to an absolute minimum.
Instead: Fred immediately disobeys Wilma's order and loses all their money playing a slot machine!
The Result: They must work as employees at the hotel to pay their bill (thought the owner, who was an old friend of Fred's had offered to let them stay for free, which Fred turned down). It is kind of fun though, and Betty and Barney get to sing an awesome musical number together on stage.
- In "Divided we Sail" the gang's new houseboat has hit a rock and begins to sink. The life raft can only hold three people, leaving Fred and Barney to argue over which one of them has to stay. Wilma asks if she can hold the raft for Fred.
You'd Expect: Fred would realize that Wilma wanted to do this so she and Betty could escape while Fred and Barney were arguing, and refuse.
Instead: He gives it to her, and Wilma and Betty sail off while Fred and Barney continue arguing and the ship sinks.
- In The Happy Household, Wilma and Betty go to get jobs, and the employment agency tells to go to a famous television network. They ask Wilma to sing, and she does amazingly, and then they tell her to sign a contract.
You'd Expect: Wilma, to maybe...read it first!
Instead: She signs without doing so, and is forced to be star of a television show called Happy Housewife or will be sued.
Later: Fred, with no wife home to cook for him, is offered to eat at Betty and Barney's. But Fred does not like Betty's cooking, cause it's different than Wilma's.
You'd Expect: Fred to keep his opinions to himself, because Betty is being so kind to him by offering to cook him dinner for several weeks.
Instead: He tactlessly criticizes Betty's cooking, and Betty then kicks him out.
- "The Gravel Berry Pie King": Fred's coworkers want him to take a list of grievances to Mr. Slate, but refuses. The Great Gazoo advises him to do so as well, claiming that he bets Mr. Slate will be impressed with his courage.
You'd Expect: That since Mr. Slate is not the friendliest boss in the world and that taking the Great Gazoo's advice has gotten him in deep water before, that Fred would refuse.
Instead: Fred does it anyway, and gets fired.
Later: Fred meets a rich grocery magnate who likes Wilma's homemade pies, and offers to market them in exchange for 40 cents. They do so, but the families soon realize they're losing money from the transaction, and the Great Gazoo suggests they explain the situation to the magnate (Mr. Safestone) and ask to increase their payment to 64 cents, so they make 12 cents. Fred decides he wants more, so he decides to raise the price to 75 cents. Barney doesn't think Mr. Safestone will like that (which was a lot back in those days.
You'd Expect: That Fred would realize Barney is probably right, and settle for the 64 cents a pie, thus making the 12 cent profit.
Instead: Fred asks for the new 75-cent payment, to which Mr. Safestone says is ridiculous. When Fred says take it or leave it, Mr. Safestone leaves it and angrily kicks them out.
- "At The Races": Fred expresses interest in buying a popular pool hall from its retiring wealthy owner, knowing it'll result in the Flinstones' (and the Rubbles') fortunes turning around. However, Fred and Barney don't have enough cash on hand to acquire it, so they put their life's savings into a bet on a nearby horse, er, dinosaur race. They manage to win by the skin of their teeth and head home to tell Wilma the good news. Before they get there, however, Fred begins to fear how Wilma will react to how he won the money in the first place. Thus, he and Barney decide they need to hide the check from Wilma, just in case she blows her stack.
You'd Expect: Since Barney is with him and knows the whole story, Fred can just have him wait outside with the check while he tells Wilma about his big win. Thus, all Fred and Barney have to do is have Barney walk in with it if she is ecstatic about the big win. (Which she ultimately is.)
Instead: Fred and Barney decide to hide the check under a rock a fair distance away from the house (where just anyone could stumble upon it) as they tell Wilma. Now when Wilma is ecstatic about the win and what Fred plans to do with the money, they have to go all the way back out to find the ticket. They then fall victim to a Diabolus ex Machina in the form of a mugger who over-powers both Fred and Barney and relieves them of the check, resulting in a Downer Ending.
Additionally, You'd Expect This: They'd call the police or the bank to either find the check, replace it (since it wasn't cashed in yet), or find the mugger. Heck, if he tries to cash it, the teller would likely see that the check wasn't the mugger's and call the police and the Flintstones. (It's not like he could have cleanly scribbled out who the check was made for; like everything else in Bedrock it's made of stone! It's also not like Wilma would refuse to believe Barney's story about how they lost the check forever, either.)
Instead: It's clear from the rest of the series' run that none of this happened and the check was treated as gone forever. Granted, it likely would have ended the series if the two couples had moved on up like that from buying the pool hall and becoming wealthy, but still...
- "The Engagement Ring": Barney shows Fred the titular engagement ring, a beautiful diamond ring that no doubt costs well over thousands of dollars in lump sum, which was the engagement ring that Barney could never afford during his engagement to Betty. Being the ever-so-trusting individual that he is, Barney decides to give the ring to Fred so that he can hide it for him and present it to Betty when the opportune moment arrives. Remember, we're dealing with Fred Flintstone here, so does it even need to be explained as to why this is a bad idea, if not catastrophic? In case that it does...
You'd Expect: Barney wouldn't even trust Fred with that ring considering that almost every time a plot device is in Fred's hands, something bad is bound to happen to it. Barney would've asked someone else he had faith in, preferably someone without a spouse who also didn't get an engagement ring from their husband.
Instead: Barney gives the ring to Fred to hide, anyway. This will surely not go wrong at all. No, sir, it can't possibly go wrong AT ALL.
Later: Fred has to hide the engagement ring. Try to guess the first place that comes to his mind, and before you think of obvious places that anyone with more than half of a functioning brain would hide the ring, remember that we are dealing with Fred Flintstone here. You'll never guess what he chose to hide it in and where.
You'd Expect: Because this is such a beautiful and very expensive ring, Fred would hide it in his bedroom, in a small container, in a hole, or maybe even under something.
Instead: Fred hides it in a flour jar. In the kitchen. Where Wilma busts her butt cooking for him, as well as clean. Fred should have really known better than to put it in a flour jar. It's not like she's going to cook for him later or anything, right?
It Gets Worse: Fred almost gets himself caught by Wilma in the midst of hiding the engagement ring, wondering why exactly he's standing on a chair.
You'd Expect: Fred to just tell her the truth as to what he's doing and why. Wilma would have been envious of Betty, sure, but she would have understood and perhaps even help Fred find a better hiding place for the ring. It really would've saved Fred and Barney a whole lot of grief that happens later on.
Instead: Fred lies to her about finding a mouse, which she buys.
Later: Fred is reading the newspaper and he hears Wilma busy baking a cake. He doesn't realize the implications of why that's bad until he explains it himself., especially considering that cakes use flour. Fred races into the kitchen, and confronts Wilma about it.
You'd Expect: Again, for Fred to tell Wilma the truth about the ring, even if it might sound ridiculous.
Instead: Not being able to trust his own wife, Fred makes the flimsiest excuse you could ever hear coming his mouth: he has to watch his weight. Does it even need to be explained as to why that this excuse is incredibly asinine? Fred has the appetite of a horse and then some, for God's sake! The idea of Fred Flintstones dieting is so bullshit, that even Wilma points out how stupid that is.
It Gets Worse: Fred tries to look for the ring in the flour jar, only to come up empty-handed and be covered with flour as a result, coming up with no ring, wasting the flour and getting Wilma frustrated with him. Fred then tries, and fails, to search the batter for the ring, only getting Wilma more annoyed when she catches him red-handed after getting an egg from Betty.
Next: Wilma then puts the cake in the oven, with the ring still inside the batter.
You'd Expect: Fred to stop her from putting the batter in the oven and confess as to why he's acting so strange. If not for himself, then at least to appease Wilma's curiosity.
Instead: He STILL refuses to crack and lets the ring cook with the cake. True, the ring did survive being baked with the cake, but there's the chance that the heat could've damaged the ring and/or the gem.
It Gets Worse: After reading the paper to try to get it out of his head, he winds up going back on his word, opens the oven and much to the surprise of almost no one, the cake falls flat, getting Wilma more appalled with Fred and throwing the cake out. and that isn't the end of it; the garbage man just so happened to be there that day, so Fred hijacks the garbage truck instead of just calmly asking the man for the ring. Fred didn't get the cops called on him, yeah, but that's how it could have panned out.
Later: Fred manages to recover the ring and he decides to hide the ring in the bowling ball. Now, that might sound like a good idea on paper, but sure enough, it all goes to crap when Wilma finds the bowling ball with the ring in it.
You'd Expect: Given her history with Fred when he acts weird or has some zany scheme up his sleeve that Wilma would question why there would be an expensive diamond ring in the hole of a bowling ball of all places.
Instead: Wilma immediately thinks that Fred had bought the ring for her due to the fact that she never got an engagement ring from him. Thus, Wilma becomes so starstruck and grateful to Fred. Now, this should have been the point where Fred tells Wilma the truth, but with Fred, nothing is ever that simple.
Later: Unsurprisingly, Fred still refuses to tell Wilma the truth about the ring and why she found it where she did, with Wilma being so elated only exacerbating that hesitation further. So now, he has to go up to Barney and break the bad news to him about Wilma finding the ring. Fred does so, and Barney seems to take it well.
You'd Expect: Barney to be angry with Fred about letting Wilma have that ring and say he had no right to do so, walk up to the Flintstones' place, and explain the whole situation to Wilma and get his engagement ring to Betty back. That ring no doubt has sunk Barney into thousands of dollars in debt that he has to pay in small increments on a monthly basis until his debt is repaid.
Instead: Barney agrees to let Fred keep the engagement ring after hearing the whole story. The issue with that is it'll take YEARS to clear him of that debt, and now he's paying for a ring that someone else's wife gets to enjoy rather than the intended recipient. Fred is VERY lucky that Barney is that forgiving. So, he decides to put the next ring's bill on Fred. They decided to go to the jewelry store and have Fred buy the ring on credit, but they are immediately denied after the clerk checks up on Fred's credit score, which is so bad that Fred can afford no more than the price of a postage stamp and Barney can't get another ring on credit because of the debt with his current one. They have no choice but to fight with a champion boxer.
Fortunately: It all works out. Had it not been for Betty and Wilma "convincing" the manager to give the boys the money, it more than likely would've ended with Barney not being able to get Betty a ring.
- The outro of the show has the family returning home and Fred setting the cat outside. The cat hops inside the window and tosses Fred out instead.
You'd Expect: Oh yeah! The cat got inside through the window! So surely, Fred could do the same as well.
Instead: He continuously bangs on the door shouting out Wilma's name at the top of his lungs.
- The Bedrock Hillbillies: The Flintstones and Rubbles find out that Fred is the last adult of the Flinstone line AND his family is engaged in a mortal blood feud with the Hatrock clan, stemming Fred's ancestor, Rory Flintstone, insulting a portrait of the Hatrock matriarch. At the end of the episode, with the feud officially called off, Fred is shown the portrait that started it all and is asked his opinion of it.
You'd Expect: Fred to lie. Or stay silent. Or do anything besides...
Instead: Fred repeats the same line that started the original feudnote . A line he was explicitly told was what was started the feud. The feud is back on and the episode ends with the Flintstones and Rubbles running for their lives.