The Shmoo is an unusual supernatural animal whose species is simply known as a "shmoo" who was kept by Fred Flintstone during his time on the police force. The Shmoo along with Fred and Barney were the main characters of the "Bedrock Cops" segments in The Flintstone Comedy Show, a spin-off of the original series, The Flintstones but the Shmoo would appear in the other segments as well, usually residing with Fred and his family.
The Shmoo is actually a creature originating from the 1934 comic strip series Lil' Abner by Al Capp and first appearing in the August 31, 1948 strip. In the comics, the Shmoo was an ancient and mysterious creature who was considered a "scourge" for humanity because of how "good" it was. This paradoxical nature was due to that they were loving creatures that could be used for anything and produced limitless resources but they also had the unprecedented effect of making humanity rely on them too much and almost causing societal collapse. The Shmoo was a major hit during the middle of the 20th century. However the character's popularity began to wane somewhat in the 70's as the comics strips reached their end in 1977, but after Al Capp's death in 1979, it caused a resurgence of interest in the character and Hanna-Barbera produced animated media based on the Shmoo, although nothing directly based on Lil' Abner.
The Shmoo made his animated series debut in the 1979 Saturday morning animation packaged titled Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo which featured segments from The New Fred and Barney Show and the Shmoo's own cartoon The New Shmoo, however Fred, Barney and the Shmoo only interacted during the show's intro and bumper segments.
The Shmoo would formally be added to the Flintstones family starring with the 1980 animated series The Flintstone Comedy Show. After Fred joined up with the Bedrock Police, the Shmoo was given to him by Sgt. Boulder as a volunteer police animal trainee. Since then, the Shmoo fell under the ownership of Fred and the Shmoo could occasionally be seen living with Fred, as well as Dino who he had a good friendship with. The Shmoo would usually aid and protect Fred and Barney while they were on the job or at their home from any potential criminals or day-to-day hazards. The Shmoo would appear most frequently in the "Bedrock Cops" segments of the show but would also appear in the other segments as well.
After his run on The Flintstones Comedy Show, the Shmoo would continue to make minor appearances in the Flintstones (and some Hanna-Barbera material), such as the The Flintstone Funnies, some merchandise, television bumpers and promotional material throughout the 80's and early 90's. However the Shmoo would be absent entirely after the 90's, possibly due to issues with Capp Enterprises (the owners of the Shmoo), although most Hanna-Barbera characters were slowly being retired by the late 90's and 2000's, including the Flintstones. Despite this, the Shmoo would continue to be regarded and remembered as a Flintstones and Hanna-Barbera character by audiences of the late 20th century and onward as the character's media of origin Lil' Abner fell into obscurity.
Like all Shmoos, the Shmoo is a highly affectionate creature who lives to please and does all he can to serve others. He is very fond of Fred who he affectionately coos and cuddles whenever he can. He is very protective of both Fred and Barney, using his shapeshifting abilities to transform into anything they could need. Unlike most Shmoos, Shmoo is not fond of the thought of being eaten, being visibly frightened by Rockjaw's attempts at eating him, however this may be due to his greater love for Fred and Barney.
The Shmoo is a typical Shmoo, in that he resembles a doughy and amorphous white creature with whiskers and marshmallow-like properties who can shapeshift into any form he or anyone else desires, such as springs, parachutes, furniture, tools and even vehicles.
- Despite not having been a part of the Flintstones franchise in any form since before the release of the 1994 film, the Shmoo would make an appearance in the 2000's Cartoon Network animated series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, which also had Fred Flintstone and Barney appear as guest characters, although the Shmoo would appear separately from Fred and Barney.