The Frankenstones are a family of monsters who appeared as recurring characters in the Flintstones franchise during the 70s, 80s and 90s. They debuted in 1979 in The New Fred and Barney Show during the show's second season episode, "Fred & Barney Meet the Frankenstones". Inspired by other monster families of the 60s and 70s like the Munsters and the Addams Family, as well as the Flintstones own Gruesomes, the Frankenstones are a family consisting of patriarch Frank Frankenstone, his wife Hidea Frankenstone, his son Freaky Frankenstone and his daughter Atrocia Frankenstone.
Originally the Flintstones already had its own spooky monster family in the form of The Gruesomes Family who the Frankenstones shared much in common with, but unlike the friendly and passive Gruesomes, the Frankenstones would go through many changes from spooky but friendly neighbors to serving a role of something akin to rivals or frenemies to the Flintstones family in later appearances after their debut, giving them a more unique dynamic with the Flintstones that was more distinct from that of the Gruesomes and more similar to the animosity Fred once had with former neighbor Mr. Loudrock, mostly due in part to Frank Frankenstone's hot temper which was more than a match for Fred Flintstone's own temperament. Because of their success, the Frankenstones would go on to replace the Gruesomes entirely and appear in much of the franchise during the last years of its height.
The Frankenstones made their official debut in 1979 in The New Fred and Barney Show episode "Fred and Barney Meet the Frankenstones" (first aired on September 15) where the Frankenstones had just moved to Bedrock and opened up their own condominium which they dubbed the Deadrock Arms Condorstonium that was home to a large gaggle of monsters. The family at the time was made up of patriarch Frank Frankenstone, his wife Hide, his son Freaky and his daughter Atrocia. Frank Frankenstone notably sounded like Boris Karloff and had a very calm and gloomy attitude. The Gruesomes also made their final appearance here (as well as their only appearance alongside the Frankenstones) where it was shown that they had now moved into the Frankenstone Condorstonium. During their first meeting, the Flintstones and the Frankenstones got off to a good start, although Barney was hesitant, and Fred believed them to be friendly eccentrics with a festive love for Halloween. The Frankenstones were very friendly and welcoming, but their spooky mannerisms proved too much for Fred and Barney who were soon scared away by their antics.
Frank Frankenstone would make his first solo appearance in the 1979 Halloween special The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone (first aired on October 30) where he is portrayed as the rogue and savage creation of Count Rockula.
In September 1980, the Frankenstones would star in the primetime special The Flintstones' New Neighbors which retells their first meeting with the Flintstones in a different manner, with the Frankenstones now having moved right next door to the Flintstones rather than staying at the Condorstonium. The names of all the family members except Frank are changed. Frank's wife is renamed Oblivia, his son Freaky was renamed Stubby, while his daughter is renamed Hidea and is given red hair. The Frankenstones are once again depicted as a friendly monster family with eccentric behavior, however Fred (rather than Barney) is far less welcoming to them, viewing them as freaks who will lower property values, and his disapproval only grows after being invited to their house which is filled with hostile monsters and animals that torment Fred and make him think even less of the Frankenstones. This results in Fred writing insulting signs in town to try and get the Frankenstones to move out, an act which Barney and Wilma did not approve of. Fred's hate reached its boiling point when the Flintstones, Rubbles and the Frankenstones met at the Bedrock Park, but any discourse turned to worry when Pebbles was put in danger by a wild pterodactyl. Thankfully, Fred, Barney, Frank and their families are able to work together to save Pebbles, which puts an end to any animosity Fred had about the family.
In November 1980, the Frankenstones would finally receive their own animated segment in The Flintstone Comedy Show (first aired in November 22) focusing entirely around them. Unlike the primetime specials, the Frankenstones would have their correct names from The New Fred and Barney Show. However as the show took place during Pebbels' teenage years, Freaky was made a teenager but his sister Atrocia was made younger than him and given brown hair, although no explanation was given for this, although she was also made a witch with alteration abilities so one could assume she simply made herself younger or was simply a minor retcon. Frank is also given a different personality and voice, no longer sounding like Boris Karloff and being prone to loud fits of rage much like Fred. The dynamic between Fred and Frank was also changed, with the families no longer being on good terms as they were during Pebbles' infancy, instead they were now hot-tempered rivals who would often argue or fight for any reason they could find and often competing in different things just to outperform one another. This made Frank's depiction more reminiscent of Fred's old rival Mr. Loudrock.
In 1984, the Frankenstones would make their final animated appearance in The Flintstone Funnies, however the show was mostly repackaged segments from The Flintstone Comedy Show.
In 1989, Frank Frankenstone would make another solo appearance in The Flintstone Kids comic series.
The Frankenstones made their video game debut in the 1991 video game The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy. With their home serving as one of the game's levels and Frank serving as the level's primary enemy.
Frankenstone would make his final appearance in the franchise in the 15th issue of the 1995 Archie comic run of The Flintstones, however his appearance here was based more on the generic depiction of Frankenstein's monster.
Each of the Frankenstones has an obvious monster-motif or shares obvious parallels with other TV show monster families like the Munsters and the Addams Family.
- Originally the name Frankenstone was mentioned several times throughout The Flintstones original run, but only as a stone age alteration of Frankenstein since the Frankenstones wouldn't be created until 1979.