- ―Fred Flintstone
Frederick J. "Fred" Flintstone, once known as Fred W. Flintstone, is the protagonist of the original series, The Flintstones and the rest of the franchise.
Fred's personality was based on that of Ralph Kramden of the 1950s television series The Honeymooners and Chester A. Riley from The Life of Riley. Thus, much like Ralph, Fred tends to be loud-mouthed, offensive, and constantly scheming ways to improve his family's working class lot in life, often with unintended results. Archie Bunker of All in the Family & Archie Bunker's Place and George Jefferson of The Jeffersons also have similar personalities based on Fred Flintstone.
Due to his impulsive, bellicose, childish, insane and ill-tempered behavior and obstinate and naive nature, Fred Flintstone seems to be accident-prone. He is able to create the biggest bewilderment, even with the most innocent and mundane action.
Fred is mainly a kind-hearted and selfless man, although he gets mad and aggravated quite a lot, usually when his immature friend Barney pesters and bugs Fred, or even laughs at him by going. Other than that, Fred can have other emotions too. His laugh is "Ho, heh, he, he, he, he". He starts crying in some episodes, like "The Babysitters", when Barney tears up the tickets, in "Dino Disappears", when Dino runs away, and "The House That Fred Built", when Fred discovers that 1,000 bucks down the drain wasn't funny anymore.
Despite his apparently anti-social character, Fred's actions are shown to be usually free of any malice. And, although he almost constantly screams and irritates the people around him, Fred proves to be a friendly person; often going out of his way to help someone.
Although Fred often bugs Wilma with his childish behavior, he proves to be a very caring and loving husband and father. Flintstone is even known to go to great lengths to please his family or owe somebody an apology when he goes too far.
Fred is devoted to his daughter and cares for her more than Wilma herself in addition. He’s fatherly and can be overprotective with her at times though.
Fred is a chubby but handsome caveman with fair skin, tan beard stubbles, black hair, thick black eyebrows and a large nose. He wears a raggedy, a deep sky blue or an aqua teal-green necktie and a short-sleeved orange and black-spotted loincloth with a torn hemline.
Occupations and Interests
Fred is a typical blue-collar worker, who works as a "bronto-crane operator" at Slate Rock and Gravel Company (a.k.a. Rockhead and Quarry Cave Construction Company in the earliest episodes). However, when their children became teenagers, Fred and Barney joined the Bedrock police force, but when they went into adulthood and moved away, Fred went back to working for Mr. Slate alongside Barney.
Fred, like Barney, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos Lodge (named "the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs" in three episodes), and both Fred and Barney were rather popular with the other members and even had some degree of influence over the Lodge's events, with Fred briefly even becoming Grand Poohbah on one occasion.
Bowling and other sports
Fred's interests include bowling, playing pool, poker, lounging around the house, playing golf, and both Fred and Barney even coached several baseball teams as well. At the first two of these sports, Fred is very skilled, as seen in "Mother-in-Law's Visit", where he plays against Wilma's unsuspecting mother and beats her effortlessly despite her claims of being the best bowler in Arkanstone. Fred has won championships with his incredible bowling skills.
In fact the only person Fred could never fairly best in bowling was Blowhard Sandstone, an obnoxiously boastful man who had never lost a game in his life and who seemed to have some sort of bad luck "hex" over Fred, as whenever Fred challenged him to a game something bad would usually follow, such as Fred tripping, falling on his back or his ball falling to the way side, all in an unusually uncharacteristic streak of poor performance that was highly unusual for a bowler of Fred's impressive skills.
Although Fred's failures against Blowhard may have only been due to the latter using his demeaning and insulting banter to lower Fred's self-esteem and focus. The streak of bad luck against Blowhard finally ended in "Barney the Invisible", when Fred used an invisible Barney to help him cheat, thus crushing Blowhard's arrogance and pride. Despite this crooked victory, Fred was still the best bowler in town and would go on to win championships on his own skill and merit.
In "Bowling Ballet", he goes so far as to take ballet lessons in order to improve his game which led to his nickname "Twinkletoes". The nickname of "Twinkletoes" stuck with him when Fred attended a local college and became eligible to play on their football team, and it became his call sign.
Fred is also an excellent golfer and occasionally goes to the golf course with Barney to show off his skills. Both also own their own sets of golf clubs which they happily show off. In "The Golf Champion", he wins the championship only to have Barney repossess the winning trophy cup because Fred is behind in his dues.
Fred also has a serious gambling problem; the mere mention of the word "bet" causes Fred to stammer "bet" over and over again and go on gambling binges. Unlike his other skills, Fred is not a particularly good gambler and whenever he goes on a gambling streak, he always gets a losing streak and bets off more than he can offer.
Several episodes suggest that Fred, along with Barney, spent some time in the army early in their marriages, though said references may be to Fred and Barney's military service in the episode "The Astra' Nuts" which was very short lived and ended with them being unsuccessfully launched to the moon. However other episodes such as "The Mailman Cometh" suggest that Fred was a sergeant in the army and that he only had a desk job involving paper clip injuries (which could conceivably have taken place during "The Astra' Nuts"), while episodes that took place before "The Astra Nuts" such as "The Big Bank Robbery" have Fred reveal that he wasn't in the army and learned all his army experience from watching war movies on the Late, Late Show. Fred would later be briefly forced into recruitment back into the army in the episode "Army Dazed" and his last instance of military service was in the 1978 comic "Fred the Barbarian" where he served in the Barbarian Corps against his will, however like in "The Astra' Nuts", he is able to leave the service after the misunderstanding is revealed.
In "Barney the Invisible", Fred is revealed to have started developing an interest in inventing, going so far as to convert his garage into a pseudo-laboratory full of tools, mechanical parts, bottled chemicals, tubes, beakers and cauldrons. Fred claimed he was inspired into this pursuit after reading about brilliant inventors like Thomas Edistone (the inventor of the candle) and Albert Einstone, but its clear that his primary motivation is his desire to invent a new soft drink, miracle formula or revolutionary machine that will make him rich overnight, with Wilma outright revealing to Betty that Fred only started pursuing chemistry simply to create a new kind of soft drink to outmatch Cactus Cola and make a fortune.
His streak as a wannabe "mad scientist" would continue for the rest of the show's run and in the majority of subsequent sequel media, like The Flintstone Comedy Hour, The New Fred and Barney Show, The Flintstone Comedy Show and many comics. By the time of "Barney the Invisible" Fred claims that he had already made 411 attempts at creating a new soft drink, showing that he had been pursuing this goal for quite a while, and by the time of "Glue for Two", Wilma indicates that Fred had invented 778 failed soft drink formulas. Fred tends to name each new soft drink based on the numerical order of their creation, such as naming his 411th failed soda "411up" but he named his 778th soda "777up" (which were obvious spoofs of the 7up brand of soda).
Despite not being the most intellectually inclined caveman around, Fred has proven to be at least somewhat competent at inventing, creating all manner of "soft drinks" with unpredictable effects as well as other things (although even his most successful inventions always tend to backfire):
- "The Fred Flintstone Hiccup Cure", Fred's first invention which is just a paper bag (first appeared in "Barney the Invisible").
- "The Hair Grower", hair growth formula that only grew hair on dodo bird eggs (first mentioned in "Barney the Invisible").
- "411up", a horrible soft drink which causes spasms (first appeared in "Barney the Invisible").
- "412up", a horrible soft drink that was intended to cure hiccups but instead caused invisibility (first appeared in "Barney the Invisible").
- "777up", a horrible soft drink which Fred accidentally turned into a glue after pouring glue into it (first appeared in "Glue for Two").
- "Fred-O-Cal", a weight reducing formula that only worked as a temporary shrinking potion (first appeared in "Itty Bitty Fred").
- "The Flintstone Rockuzzi", essentially solar power and wind-power harnessed for the creation of a solar-powered hot tub, and is probably Fred's most successful invention and created during Pebbles' teen years. It was a small building with a hot tub that on its roof had a windmill that was used to pump water from the ground which was then collected into a trough that was then boiled by a "solar energy lens" that collected and amplified the sun's rays and the water was then poured into the hot tub. The invention and its discovery of wind and solar power proved so revolutionary for the Stone Age that Fred even appeared in the news and dubbed his creation as the ultimate way to "Lick the Energy Crisis", and he was to have a major public event in his honor to reveal it. However a windstorm botched his invention, causing it to go out of control and flood part of Bedrock, resulting in his most successful invention becoming another dud that put him in debt (first appeared in "Fred vs. the Energy Crisis").
- "Invisibility Spray", a more effective version of 412up that doesn't need to be consumed and only sprayed on to turn invisible (first appeared in "Invisible Mouse").
Not much of Fred's life growing up is known, and while the mid-1980s spin-off series The Flintstone Kids depicts Fred as a child, the series seems to be mostly apocryphal. In most media, Fred was born to two loving parents, Edna Hardrock, a very affectionate mother who loved taking pictures of him on a bear rug as a baby and making him seaweed fricassee and Ed Flintstone, a playful father who loved spending time with his son and playing with his son's toys. Fred has known Barney since infancy, with them even being taken on strolls together as babies they were even on the same sports teams together back in their high school days, all the while getting into all sorts of shenanigans even back then.
Fred and Barney would first meet their future wives Wilma and Betty at the Honeyrock Hotel sixteen years prior to the episode "Bachelor Daze" (although "Fred Strikes Out" implies they may have met before then, possibly having lost track of each other after childhood or simply the result of a retcon). There Fred and Barney had just started working as bellboys and it was also the day when Fred had received his first razor blade from his father. One day they were goofing off and pretending to be millionaires in a fancy car they were watching when they first met Wilma and Betty (who also worked at the hotel as maids) who were also goofing off and pretending to be rich girls while hanging out in a fancy car that wasn't theirs.
It was essentially love at first sight for the youths, but both parties were too afraid to pursue their relationships further out of fear that they would be exposed as lowly hotel workers. In the end though, the truth was revealed at the hotel party that night and both parties were greatly relieved to find out they weren't rich, and after being fired for goofing off, they were picked up and taken home by Wilma's mother, Pearl Slaghoople who was less than pleased with her daughter's new boyfriend, Fred, as Fred and her had briefly met at the hotel and got off to a very rocky start which would unsure Fred a very unhappy relationship with his future mother-in-law. Their exact age during this time is unknown other than being teenagers, but Fred eventually started going to the same high school as Wilma around this time and took her to the prom.
Fred proposed to Wilma and married her several years after their first meeting, presumably after high school which Fred dropped out from, with Barney and Betty presumably following shortly after according to "Bachelor Daze" (although how many years they've been together is uncertain, with them being married around thirteen, eleven, ten or eight years, or even less depending on the episode or media). Fred's wedding day proved to be a hectic one when his mother-in-law threw him out of the house after he made a crude comment about her hat, forcing Fred and Wilma to elope and get married in Rock Vegas. They would then spend their honey moon touring across the country and visiting every race track they could find, where Fred gave into his gambling fever over and over, winning big at the Hialeah Race Track but then losing all of his winnings at the Hollyrock Park Race Track. Wilma then had Fred "cured" of his gambling addiction by betting against him in a Poker game and winning, forcing Fred to go see a psychiatrist after losing (as explained by Wilma in "The Gambler"). Fred and Wilma then moved from Arkanstone to the town of Bedrock and it would remain their home ever since.
After marriage and moving into Bedrock, Fred got a job at Slate Rock and Gravel Company years prior to the episode, "The Missing Bus", where he would begrudgingly remain from then on (although how many years he's worked there varies between media, but usually around ten years or less). With their new home and jobs in place, Fred and Barney would spend most of their lives going through many shenanigans and trials, while Fred also tried to balance out his married life, often trying to avoid Wilma's scrutiny or trying to keep her pleased while also getting his needs met. Fred's job would be even more troublesome, as Fred was constantly getting fired and re-hired by his disgruntled and hot-tempered boss Mr. Slate, and although Fred was often able to get a raise, a bonus, or even a promotion to foreman, it would usually become undone eventually due to his own failings or Mr. Slate's own foul disposition.
The most eventful day of Fred and Wilma's lives after marriage came on the day that Wilma announced to Fred that she would be having a baby, much to Fred's unparalleled joy. For the next 9 months, Fred would spend every waking moment preparing for the arrival of his baby, buying all manner of toys and doing all he could to make as much money as possible and raise the standard of living for his family. He even attempted to hire housekeepers and nursemaids to help Wilma which met with very mixed success, especially due to constant interference by his mother-in-law Pearl, who briefly stayed with the Flintstones during this time to help her daughter and to also make Fred's life a constant nightmare.
In the end though, it would all pay off on the eventful day when Wilma finally gave birth to their newborn baby daughter, a day that Fred would never forget, for it was just as hectic as it was a blessing. The couple would then name their daughter Pebbles Flintstone after Fred and Barney remarked that she was a "pebble off the old Flintstone" rather than a "chip off the old block".
Fred's life from there continued to be a hectic one with many more shenanigans alongside Barney while also knowing the joys of fatherhood and getting to see his best friend Barney also become a father after the unexpected delivery of his adopted son Bamm-Bamm Rubble. Fred and Barney would get to go on even more fantastic adventures after meeting the mysterious alien known as The Great Gazoo, and although their time together was short, it would prove to be a very troubling but exciting time for everyone.
From then on Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty would still be inseparable as the years rolled by, and Fred's tiring occupation would become more bearable when his best friend Barney finally joined him at his workplace. Their greatest joy though was watching their children grow up to become teenagers and a lovely couple, who would fittingly enough become much like their parents, with Pebbles often acting as the scheming and adventurous planner, much like her father before her and much to her father's mixed feelings, while Bamm-Bamm would act as the unwilling but loyal sidekick in all her schemes, much like his father before him and much to his father's amusement.
Eventually, Fred and Barney decided to pursue a new career path for themselves by joining the Bedrock Police as part-time officers. It was there that Fred and Barney would first meet the mysterious Shmoo, who proved to be a loving and faithful police partner and pet to the duo both on and off duty, with the creature even briefly living with Fred.
Many more years passed and now the Flintstones' and the Rubbles' children had grown to adulthood with the lives of their own, with Fred's daughter Pebbles becoming an ambitious secretary at the Pyrite Advertising Agency. However, the Flintstones and the Rubbles would receive some life changing news that when Bamm-Bamm announced that he and Pebbles had finally become engaged, a union which would finally seal the Flintstones and the Rubbles together as family forever more.
According to The Flintstone Kids (which is non-canon as the show is more 80s-centric and features all the characters knowing each other as kids, but still features the accurate names of the parents of characters such as Wilma's), he is shown to be the son of Ed and Edna Flintstone. In the special, The Flintstone Kids' "Just Say No" Special, it is shown that he has a cool cousin from Hollyrock who has a band of his own and not only doesn't use drugs, he is in a "Just Say No" club, eventually inspiring Wilma to start one of her own.
What is known is that Fred was the grandson of famed Stone War I hero Rockbottom "Rocky" Flintstone. Fred also had a good relationship with his father, sharing his toys with him as a child and even receiving his first razor from him.
The Flintstone family came from "Arkanstone" where they had been engaged in a feud with the "Hatrock" family which had been caused by an ancestor of Fred's making a wisecrack of a Hatrock family portrait ("I don't know what the artist got for doing that painting but he should have gotten life"). In "The Bedrock Hillbillies", the feud ended when Fred helped rescue Slab (and Pebbles) from going over a waterfall only to start up again when Fred made the very same wisecrack.
In "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes", when the "Hatrock" family visited the Flintstone family and being friends, until when Bug Music was played and the Hatrocks couldn't stand the Bug Music. The last of the Arkanstone Flintstones was Fred's great-uncle Zeke Flintstone. Other Flintstone relatives were Giggles Flintstone - a rich eccentric practical joker who drove Fred into a mad rage with his jokes; an "Uncle Tex" and his sister "Aunt Jemima".
Fred mainly has been shown to be faithful to his wife, Wilma, but this has not stopped him from being attracted to other women. Examples of this include Sharon Stone, his gorgeous secretary in the 1994 film, The Flintstones, who often seduced him in order to distract him while she and his villainous boss, Cliff, framed him for embezzlement. Fred very clearly enjoyed being seduced by the beautiful woman, and was even caught in the middle of a very "intimate" moment with her by his furious wife.
Other examples include Maggie, Fred's beautiful co-star in Bedrock's production of A Christmas Carol in A Flintstones Christmas Carol. The two often enjoyed rehearsing their love scene together, which included a passionate kiss. As well as the "Mystery Woman" from The Flintstones: On the Rocks, who was staying at the same resort as Fred and Wilma while the couple was on their second honeymoon, but Fred spent most of his time fantasizing about her.
- According to Arnold in the episode "Wilma's Vanishing Money", Fred's clothes are actually made from goatasaurus fur.
- Fred mainly used four bronto-cranes while on duty at the quarry which were named Mildred, Hugo, Rocky, and Lulu Belle. With Lulu Belle being his most frequently used bronto-crane in both the show and other media such as comics.
- Fred appeared as a supporting character in the 1995 series, Johnny Bravo, in the 2004 episode "A Page Right Out of History".
- A more primitive and hostile but non-canon version of Fred appeared in the 2000 series, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, in the 2006 episode "Modern Primitives" as an unfrozen caveman that went on a rampage. Aside from being Fred's last supporting role in a Cartoon Network show, 2006 would also be the year that Joseph Barbera passed away. This would also be James Arnold Taylor's only performance as Fred outside of cereal commercials.