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YMMV / The Flintstones

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    The Cartoon 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • A few viewers have speculated that the Flintstones are actually a Post-Apocalyptic society using what it can to recreate the destroyed technology, even if it means reverting back to the Stone Age, and the supposed prehistoric animals in reality are produced by radioactive mutation. Which makes a lot more sense if you consider that they celebrate Christmas and seem to have similar cultural norms to modern Americans, and the fact that creatures of different Geologic Ages, like mammoths and dinosaurs, can coexist in the same time.
    • The Great Gazoo could be the most evil character ever created. He was sent to earth as punishment for creating a doomsday device that would destroy the universe. And he is cute, not menacing. Obvious evil is easy to spot and thus not as dangerous; insidious or hidden evil is much worse.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: A bit of a meta example, but this is the reason why the infamous cigarette and beer ads are considered surprising for so many people, as the show was first created before the Ghetto even existed.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The "Meet the Flintstones" theme song.
    • The "Rise and Shine" theme song that came before it.
    • "The Car Hop Song" from "The Drive-In" ("Here we come, on the run / With a burger on a bun / And a dab of coleslaw on the side...")
    • "Bedrock, twitch twitch!"
    • "Let the Sunshine In"
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: A meta-example. Betty Rubble, who had been basically Demoted to Extra in terms of merchandise, apparently generated a lot of sympathy by fans wondering why she was being upstaged by, of all things, the Sabre Toothed Tiger from the end credits, a car, and even The Great Gazoo. In the end, a huge campaign to bring her to prominence was launched, and Betty finally got her vitamin, with 91% of the votes!
    • An animation fan publication listed Betty as one of the sexiest cartoon females ever created: "A prehistoric Snow White eternally betrothed to a man half her size and twice her girth. Not the brightest light on the porch, but unlike Wilma, she's not a nag when she complains."
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Though by no means a "family friendly" commercial due to alcohol, this commercial seems to promote getting people good and drunk to get them to do whatever you want.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The infamous cigarette ad becomes this when you realise that Jean Vanderpyl (Wilma's original voice actress), died of lung cancer in 1999. The commercial even shows Fred lighting up a cigarette for Wilma, before lighting one up himself.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The show and its live-action movies were very popular in Quebec thanks to being dubbed in the local vernacular (as opposed to the "international French" most movies and TV shows use even when localized in the province).
    • The cartoon's localized version was also a major hit in Hungary, as the entire dialog had been rendered in witty rhymes by a famous poet. Due to the dub's success, some later dubs of cartoons and comedy movies used the same tactic. The show's later seasons and the spin-offs aren't that well known, though.
    • The same goes with the Mexican Spanish dub, since it uses lots of local references in the dub, not to mention the great quality of the acting.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Most Beautiful Baby in Bedrock is a lot less funny in the age of Toddlers & Tiaras.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay / Les Yay: Fred and Barney. Also, Wilma and Betty.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Betty's not a vitamin!"
    • The Winston cigarette ads.
    • "Braaack, it's a livin'."
    • The theme song itself is a meme, by way of Joel's exasperated remarks (FLEENTSTONES?!) when he encountered it in a bootleg Mario game (specifically, "7 Grand Dad", which itself is a meme). A conglomerate of musicians known as SiIvaGunner have taken this and run with it.
  • Older Than They Think: The idea of "Flintstones and wrestling? Those don't go together" in response to a direct-to-video animated film starring the Flintstones with stone age versions of WWE wrestlers has become a web reaction, even though, yes, an episode of the original series had a wrestling match take up most of the plot. This not counting all the times Fred and Barney watched "the fights" on TV either.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Great Gazoo, for being an annoying reality-warping alien in a series about a modern stone-age family. His introduction was a contributing factor for the show's eventual cancellation.
    • Pebbles herself —and Bamm-Bamm to a lesser extent— have this distinction to the older seasons.
    • Pretty much every character besides Fred in the early seasons. A number of fans initially didn't like Wilma and Betty because they were always beating up their husbands for comparatively small reasons (a notable example being in the very first episode) and always sabotaging Fred and Barney's schemes. Barney wasn't particularly likeable in the early seasons either, notable examples being The Golf Champion, The Sweepstakes Ticket, and The House Guest where Barney was extremely inconsiderate towards Fred and received no commeuppence.
  • Seasonal Rot: Some have noted that after Pebbles was born, the show shifted its tone to be a bit more child friendly, and consider it to have dropped in quality as a result. While this viewpoint isn't universally accepted among fans, a way more common viewpoint is that the show's quality took a major drop when the Great Gazoo showed up.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: It's easy to forget, but much in the same vein a modern shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy, The Flintstones was a Prime Time cartoon aimed at adults. This is what led to things like the cigarette commercial. It wasn't until later on, much like the Looney Tunes, that the Flintstones was wrongly associated as a kids-only franchise, although the introduction of Great Gazoo, the greater emphasis on Dino, and episodes such as the famous musical Fred Saves Christmas episode suggests the change in tone was already well underway.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Take out the prehistoric setting, and you have The Honeymooners: The Animated Series. Jackie Gleason, the creator and star of The Honeymooners, noticed this and considered suing Hanna-Barbera over it, only for his lawyers to point out that, even though he'd probably win in court, getting one of the most popular shows on television canceled would permanently tarnish his reputation.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • The original theme music, "Rise and Shine", sounds a bit like "This is It", the theme to The Bugs Bunny Show. This might've been the reason the song was changed to "Meet the Flintstones" in the third season, with the first two seasons having the new theme edited in for syndication. However it was likely coincidental given the two shows debuted within two weeks of one another (with Flintstones debuting first).
    • "Meet the Flintstones" was itself based on part of the "B" section of Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 17, Movement 2.
    • The music heard in the bowling alley scene from the first live-action film sounds a lot like the theme song for The Ren & Stimpy Show.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • There were commercials for Winston cigarettes promoted by Fred and Barney. It should be noted that at the time the commercials were made a) The Flintstones was not considered a children's program and b) smoking was not a forbidden subject on TV. After a couple of seasons, when the show's popularity with children was established, the cigarette ads vanished and suddenly the show was now sponsored by products such as vitamins.
    • There are also quite a few jokes sprinkled throughout the series that would, today, be seen as sexist or misogynistic. One episode featured Native American stereotypes and was actually banned in some parts of Canada in the 1980s as a result.
    • One early episode featured Wilma and Betty taking judo lessons to defend themselves against a burglar whose been breaking into houses around Bedrock. Considering the time period that the show aired in, their judo instructor looks and sounds exactly like you would expect.
  • What an Idiot!: You know, after getting locked out of his own house by a cat in the end credits, Fred could've avoid causing such a commotion banging on the door demanding Wilma to let him in by crawling through the glass-free window.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • Technically, The Flintstones was not intended for kids, but was simply an animated sitcom expected to appeal to adults and younger viewers (which is one reason why the network sold advertising spots to a cigarette company early on). As such a number of episodes touched on domestic storylines not too far removed than those seen in The Honeymooners, its direct inspiration. And some episodes went rather dark, such as one of the show's Bond parody episodes in which people actually get killed. The story arc about Wilma's pregnancy was also something not associated with children's programming at the time (as fans of I Love Lucy know, even live-action shows had problems with the topic of pregnancy back in those days).
    • Speaking of which, the arrival of Bamm-Bamm is built upon the none-too-subtle indication that either Barney is impotent/sterile or Betty is unable to bear children, leading them to adopt a son. None of these topics had ever been broached in a cartoon before.
    • The 2001 made-for-TV movie Flintstones: On the Rocks is rated TV-G. However, the special is significantly Darker and Edgier, as it turns Fred and Wilma's cartoon bickering into genuinely real feeling marital problems, and has many instances of Does This Remind You of Anything?.
  • The Woobie: A meta-example. When it came to merchandise, Betty always seemed to get the short end of the stick, having notably been left out of the Flintstones Vitamin assortment, and even being upstaged by the Sabre Toothed Tiger from the end credits for a Push Pop flavour (which was, to add insult to injury, blueberry flavoured.) Apparently, enough people complained about this, as Betty finally got her own Vitamin in 1995, twenty years after that fact. There is even an FAQ on the official website, the last question asking about her presence in the Vitamin lineup.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: In the episode where Fred and Barney get a camera and try to make money as photographers, they try to take pictures of a baby girl. Even though there were several actresses in the cast that could convincingly voice babies (Jean Vander Pyl voiced both Wilma and Pebbles, for example), the little girl is inexplicably voiced by Mel Blanc.

    The 1994 Live Action Film 
  • Cant Un Hear It: John Goodman as Fred Flintstone.
  • Critic-Proof: The film was panned by critics (22% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 38/100 "generally unfavorable" on Metacritic), but was a huge box office success. It spent its first two weeks at #1 in the United States, and ended up grossing $130.5 million domestically (and selling more than 31 million tickets). It fared even better overseas, grossing another $211.1 million, for a total worldwide gross of $341.6 million, more than seven times its $46 million budget.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A music video was produced of The B52's cover of the iconic theme song featuring the cast performing with the band, including Halle Berry. On the line "Then the cat will stay out for the night" the video cuts to Berry, who mouths the word "cat". The Flintstones ended up being something of an Old Shame for the Oscar-winning Berry ... along with a later film, Catwoman.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Cliff Vandercave crosses this by kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and trapping them on a giant mining machine. He then starts the mining machine on with the intent of killing both the children even though Fred and Barney has given him the Dictabird before, and attempts to shoot Fred and the Dictabird, but not before Sharon knocks him out with a money bag.
  • Never Live It Down: Rosie O'Donnell as Betty Rubble; it continues to raise eyebrows even among the film's strongest defenders to this day.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Few would call the film a great movie, but on sheer nostalgia and Narm Charm, not to mention the commitment to its silly aesthetic, it's difficult to not enjoy it at least a little.
  • Special Effects Failure: Some of the animatronics weren't that great at the time, and haven't aged that well since. The Dictabird is particularly obvious.
  • Uncanny Valley: Translating Dino's overtly cartoonish design to live-action was bound to cause this reaction. Especially with those uncomfortably realistic eyes.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: One of the primary criticisms of the movie was that its main storylines (embezzlement, office politics, and Fred being tempted into an extramarital affair) are at best confusing and at worst highly inappropriate for the kids in the audience. The irony though was that the show was likewise rather mature for its time and really only got more kiddie in the late 70s and 80s. So the plot is pretty par for the course of the show.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Rosie O'Donnell played Betty in the live-action movie, of all people. She was apparently given the part because of her perfect imitation of Betty's giggle.
    • A bigger "WTH" goes to Elizabeth Taylor as Wilma's mother.
    • Rick Moranis raised a few eyebrows in being cast as Barney, too (though he was generally well-received in the final movie). About the only actor whom virtually everyone agreed was perfect for his role from the start was John Goodman as Fred Flintstone.

     The Comic 
  • Anvilicious: The series wears its social satire on its sleeve and gets a lot of mileage for the sheer blatancy to which its ideas are presented as befitting a group of Cavemen trying to piece society together. Depending on the reader and depending on the subject it tackles the comic works because of this, in spite of this, or it doesn't work.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Like most of the Hanna-Barbera reboot comics, it suffers from this. Although the comic has received strong critical acclaim, good reviews from comic sites, and good sales, ultimately your opinion of the comic will most likely come down to how you feel about the idea of Fred Flintstone discussing suicide, marital fears, and PTSD.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The comic does quite a lot to save The Great Gazoo as a character, by turning him from a wacky and out-of-place Genre Refugee whose only purpose was cheap gags to a competent and well-intentioned "game warden" whose people are more integrally tied to the plot.
  • Broken Base: The comic's tone and its Darker and Edgier take on everything. On the one hand many readers are surprised at how well the story turned out, with the prehistoric setting used to good effect and the comic's lessons balancing optimism and cynicism in a mature way. Others can't get past the whole "It's the Flintstones, but edgy now!" premise and feel the comic tries too hard in places, like trying to tie Yabba Dabba Doo into PTSD.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Adult subject matter and heavy-handed political commentary is, well, going to evoke a strong emotion. When it's delivered by the Flintstones cast, not infrequently paired with one of its classic recurring jokes or some kind of Mythology Gag, it can become downright hilarious.
    • As just one example: Joe, a war veteran with PTSD, calling the suicide hotline, is not funny. Joe calling the veteran's suicide hotline and being put on hold goes so far beyond wrong that it circumnavigates the Earth and returns in the space of a single panel.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mr. Slate's been reimagined into a crass capitalistic Bad Boss. In spite of this, issue 6 affords him the same glum humanity as everyone else when he gives everyone the day off and confesses a fear of Dying Alone, knowing he's made no lasting friendships and only has his business to his name.
    • To his credit, Slate becomes progressively nicer as the series goes on, culminating in the final issue of the series, where he gives Fred a promotion despite being angry at Fred for costing their bowling team a tournament.
  • Memetic Mutation: "We participated in a genocide, Barney."note 
  • Never Live It Down: Yes, Fred does in fact do more than talk about participating in genocide in this comic, including quite a lot of jokes, classic Flintstone Theming gags, and other lighthearted moments, but you'd never hear otherwise from this comic's detractors.
  • Older Than They Think: While it was NOWHERE near the level of this comic, the Flintstones were always pretty subversive and not afraid to touch some deep issues for a cartoon like infertility and (in a TV movie made years later) marital problems.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The Great Gazoo is a stern but compassionate cop instead of the wacky trickster from the show, and actually ends up saving the Earth from the Neighborhood Association.
  • Snark Bait: The Darker and Edgier tone and extremely heavy-handed politics have made it a source of many jokes. This has died down, for the most part.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • In issue 1, when everyone ignores Wilma's hand print paintings and she laments that no one gets it, not even Fred. Then she explains their hand prints' importance as a reminder of her family.
    • In issue 4, Fred's speech about how he worries that Wilma will stop loving him someday, and that their marriage is just a attempt to keep her from leaving him.
    • Mr Slate's soliloquy about dying alone.
    • Vacuum Cleaner dying just before he could hear a joke for the first time.
  • Win the Crowd: While the idea of a Darker and Edgier Flintstones reboot was head tilting, the series has received many good reviews and is considered one of the best of DC's Hanna-Barbera revamp on the rack.


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