- For other incarnations of the character, see Fred Flintstone (disambiguation).
Frederick Joseph "Fred" Flintstone, once known as Fred W. Flintstone, is the protagonist of The Flintstones, as well as the husband of Wilma and father of Pebbles. He is best friends with Barney Rubble, his next-door neighbor.
Fred lives in the fictional prehistoric town of Bedrock, at 345 Cave Stone Road (in some episodes, 1313 Cobblestone Way or 222 Rocky Way), a world where dinosaurs coexist with modernized barefoot cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy "primitive" versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles, and washing machines. Fred Flintstone's catchphrase is "yabba dabba doo!", which is also heard at the beginning of the theme song and the film.
Fred has since appeared in various other cartoon spinoffs, live action adaptations and commercials.
Personality and occupation
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, aggressive, 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.
Fred is a typical blue-collar worker, who works as a "bronto crane operator" at Slate Rock and Gravel Company (also known as Rockhead and Quarry Cave Construction Company in the earliest episodes). However, when their children become teenagers, Fred and Barney join the Bedrock police force. Fred and Barney even coached two baseball teams as well.
The Flintstone family came from "Arkenstone" 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 one episode the feud is ended when Fred helps save a Hatrock baby (and Pebbles) from going over a waterfall only to start up again when Fred makes the very same wisecrack. And in another episode when the "Hatrock" family visited the Flintstone family and being friends until when Bug Music was played & the Hatrocks can't stand the Bug Music. The last of the Arkenstone Flintstones was Fred's Great-uncle Zeke Flintstone. Other Flintstone relatives were Giggles Flintstone - a rich eccentric practical joker whose jokes drive Fred into a mad rage; an "Uncle Tex" and his sister "Aunt Jamima".
Fred's interests include bowling, playing pool, poker and lounging around the house, and playing golf. At the first two of these, he is very skilled, as seen in one of the episodes where he plays against Wilma's unsuspecting mother. Fred has won championships with his incredible bowling skills. In one episode, 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. In one episode he wins the championship only to have Barney repossess the winning trophy cup because Fred is behind in his dues. Fred, like Barney, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos Lodge (named "the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs" in an early episode). 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.
The original series had several stories regarding TV with Fred as a dupe. In one, Fred makes a fool of himself trying to give Wilma acting lessons after she wins a TV appearance – only for the only part of her to appear on TV is her hands. In another, when Fred wins a TV appearance he tries to act like a "Stage parent" - until he comes down with stage fright. A third time Fred appears on a TV commercial in a non speaking role as a "before" picture of a person before going on a diet. Once, Fred even appeared in a movie, but merely as a stunt double.
Fred's catchphrase "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!" (originally derived from the Brylcreem advertising jingle motto "A Little Dab'll Do Ya!"), becomes the subject of a song by Hoagy Carmichael that the singer-songwriter performs in an episode of The Flintstones. Fred's ability to carry a tune was quite good in his younger years. One early episode was where he did a jam with his musician friend "Hot Lips Hannigan", (with Barney,who is apparently a skilled drummer) where his singing caused teenage girls to swoon over him. In fact, in one of the earliest episodes, "The Girl's Night Out", he recorded a demo record at a carnival of the song "Listen to the Mockingbird", which ended up making him a star whereupon he took the stage name of "Hi Fye" and toured for two weeks with Wilma, Barney, and Betty. Fred, as Hi Fye, was a hit until Wilma and Betty tired of road life and told teenagers the truth, that Fred was actually a square. As the series progressed, however, his voice became worse and worse, eventually to the point that his housekeeper quit rather than having to hear Fred sing. It was also referenced in the refrain of the 1989 George Jones song, "The King is Gone (And So are You)."
Also in the Flintstones show credits, Fred would beat on the door and scream, "WILMA!"
Due to his impulsive and short-tempered behavior and stubborn and naive nature, Fred Flintstone seems to be accident-prone. He is able to create the biggest confusion, even with the most innocent and mundane action.
Despite his apparently anti-social character, Fred's actions are shown to be usually free of any malice. And, although he almost constantly shouts 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 annoys Wilma with his immaturity, 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 apologize when he goes too far.