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Bernard Matthew "Barney" Rubble is a next-door neighbor, best friend of Fred Flintstone, and a fictional character of the original series, The Flintstones and its' spin-offs, live action adaptations and commercials.

Background

Personality

Barney's personality was based on that of Ed Norton on the 1950s television series The Honeymooners, played by Art Carney. Like Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners, Fred was constantly on the lookout for get-rich-quick schemes, while Barney, like Norton, found life satisfactory as it was, but participated in said schemes because Fred was his friend. Usually, after Fred had hatched one of his plans, Barney showed his agreement by laughing and saying, "uh hee hee hee... OK, Fred!" or "hee hee hee... whatever you say, Fred!"

Barney is more jovial, easygoing and good-natured than Fred is, though he often plays funny little insult jokes on his best friend. He is very caring and devoted to his wife Betty as he never wanted to be romantically involved with another woman. Barney is brave, annoying (sometimes), immature, respectful, noble, encouraging, judicious, responsible, understanding, big-hearted, benevolent, loving and extroverted. Also, he is fatherly to his adopted son, Bamm-Bamm.

Although Fred and Barney are best friends, Barney loses his patience with Fred occasionally. The best example comes in "I Yabba-Dabba Do!": after losing his patience with Fred for ruining Pebbles's and Bam-Bam's wedding, Barney decides to leave Bedrock. He changes his mind after Fred apologizes. Fred is often annoyed by Barney's inveterate cheerfulness, but he does truly care for him.

Barney is not as emotional as the other characters including Fred, and rarely cries. He cries, however, after saying, "I hate to see a grown man cry," or "Oh gee, if there's one thing I can't stand is to see a grown man cry."

Physical Appearance

Barney is a short and diminutive caveman with fair skin, yellow hair, thick black eyebrows and eyes that are depicted as two ovals or (occasionally) circles and shown only as dark circular outlines in the first through fifth seasons and later with black, very similar to Wilma's eyes in the sixth and final season of the original series. He also wears a brown loin cloth with a black letter X-shaped shoelace on the top.

Occupations and Interests

Barney's interests included bowling, playing pool, poker, tinkering around in Fred's garage and playing golf (though there were episodes where Barney did not know how to play golf). He, like Fred, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos lodge and its predecessor in earlier episodes, the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs. He is also a talented pianist and drummer. In the first episode of the original series he was an inventor of a hand-powered helicopter.

While the subject of Barney's occupation (or even if he had one) was never given during the original series, subsequent spinoffs suggest Barney went to work at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company quarry alongside Fred at some point after the original series; possibly in some office role. An episode of the original series does have a brief scene of Barney working at the Granite Building.

When speaking to an upper-crust snob in another episode, Betty declares Barney is in "top-secret" work; but that might have been a cover for a low-level job or unemployment, or perhaps an in-joke meaning that Barney's job was unknown even to the show's writers. It could also be possible that both Fred and Barney work at the quarry, but may work in different sections of it, under different bosses.

In one episode, Barney's boss tells him to "put down his broom," which implies some sort of janitorial works is involved. In a majority of spin-offs and movies, Barney has been portrayed as working in the quarry as a dino-crane operator, alongside Fred.

Biography

While the mid-1980s spin-off series The Flintstone Kids depicts Barney as a child, the series seems to be mostly apocryphal due to its presenting Barney as a childhood friend of Wilma and Betty.

Several episodes and spinoffs suggest that Barney, along with Fred, spent some time in the army early in their marriages, though said references may be to Barney and Fred's military service in the episode "The Astra' Nuts."

Relationships

Family

In, The Flintstone Kids, Barney had at least one younger brother, Dusty, who was a childhood friend of Fred, and the son of artist Flo Slate Rubble and car dealer Robert "Honest Bob" Rubble might be taken as valid. The original series also suggested in one episode that Barney was the maternal nephew of Fred's boss, Mr. Slate, though subsequent episodes and spinoffs don't seem to support this claim.

He was later married to Betty, with whom he adopted their son, Bamm-Bamm and also had a pet hopparoo named Hoppy. He later became grandfather to Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm's children, Chip and Roxy.

Love Interests

Unlike Fred, Barney has never been shown with any woman aside from his wife. However, an exception for this is made in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas when he is invited to go to a buffet with Chip's secretary, Roxy, though he is not married to Betty at this point, but they are dating. Betty sees Barney wiping cream off Roxy after he accidentally knocks a cake onto her. Betty is hurt, mistakenly believing this to be an intimate gesture.

Another exception is made in A Flintstones Christmas Carol when an actress named Maggie appears and every man at the Quarry, including Barney, is surprised over her beauty.

Appearances

Television shows

Films and specials

Video games

Portrayals

Television shows, films and specials

Other

Gallery

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The Flintstones has a collection of images and media related to Barney Rubble.

Notes/Trivia

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