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"The Little Stranger" is the eighth episode of the third season and the sixty-eighth overall episode of the original series, The Flintstones. It aired on November 2, 1962.

Synopsis

Fred overhears Wilma on the phone mentioning "a little stranger" who will shortly be visiting the household. Assuming that Wilma is pregnant, Fred summon his dreaded mother-in-law. But the "little stranger" turns out to be Arnold the paperboy.

Plot

Fred is more irritable than usual, complaining about Wilma's prepared meals and bellowing to Wilma that he cannot locate his golf clubs in a cluttered closet when said gold clubs are there, in the precise closet being ransacked by Fred. Fred has not uttered a kind word for several weeks, and Wilma refuses to suffer one more minute of Fred's invective and orders Fred to forgo his planned golf game to visit a doctor for a medical examination to determine if Fred's crankiness is physical in origin.

Accompanied by Barney, Fred walks to a doctor's office and en route encounters Arnold riding a scooter and delivering "newspapers". Fred opts to cancel his subscription to the "newspaper" on the basis of it having reduced its number of comic strips to a mere 15, and so does Arnold propose a special offer to his preferred customer Flintstone, that Fred pay 6 cents instead of 5 cents for the weekday "newspaper" and 10 cents rather than 15 cents for the Sunday edition.

Never particularly adept at arithmetic, Fred believes that he gains from the new sales plan, until Barney informs him that he is now being billed 46 cents-per-week, one cent more than the prior 45 cents-per-week. By this time, Arnold has scootered away from Fred, and Fred's fury is formidable! He and Barney arrive at the doctor's office, where the prattling physician, who enjoys pun-interchanging the words of patients and patience, uses an X-ray with stray butterflies on its lens to no avail in determining the source of Fred's crabbiness and commands Fred to inhale and exhale, the force of Fred's breath intake pulling Barney to a collision with Fred and the doctor.

Exasperated, Fred terminates his consultation with the doctor and his foul mood continues until he overhears Wilma talking about a little stranger that she is expecting. Fred assumes that Wilma is pregnant, and suddenly, Fred is a mellow, considerate husband, serving breakfast-in-bed to Wilma and attending to all of the household duties. Wilma is not really pregnant but is planning to accommodate Arnold for two weeks while Arnold's parents are away from Bedrock- and is reluctant to tell Fred about this until the very last minute before Arnold's arrival at the Flintstone door, knowing as Wilma does that Fred is somewhat less than fond of Arnold.

Fred, meanwhile, is tight-lipped about what he ostensibly knows, and the misunderstanding proceeds, with Fred inviting Wilma's mother to visit indefinitely with Wilma, until Arnold appears at the door and Wilma's mother has already established herself as Flintstone house-guest- for six months! Fred is so aghast that he mentally collapses and really needs a doctor!

Characters

Locations

Bedrock

Objects

  • Bowling ball
  • Fishing pole
  • Tennis racquet
  • Baseball
  • Baseball glove
  • Golf clubs
  • Rockball
  • Daily Bugle news-slabs

Animals

Vehicles

Cast

Alan Reed Fred Flintstone
Jean Vander Pyl Wilma Flintstone
Mel Blanc Barney Rubble
Dino
Hector
Pelicansaurus
Guy
Turtlesaurus
Bea Benaderet Betty Rubble
Woman
Don Messick Arnold
Doctor
Verna Felton Pearl Slaghoople

Notes/Trivia

  • Fred doesn't know what an X-ray is, which contradicts "The X-Ray Story" from the second season.
  • The elephant is called Becky and Arnold's mother's name is Doris.
  • Due to the strict broadcast regulations of the time, the word "pregnant" was not used at all throughout this episode.

Errors

  • None known.


Season 3 of The Flintstones
"Dino Goes Hollyrock" • "Fred's New Boss" • "Barney the Invisible" • "Bowling Ballet" • "The Twitch" • "Here's Snow in Your Eyes" • "The Buffalo Convention" • "The Little Stranger" • "Baby Barney" • "Hawaiian Escapade" • "Ladies' Day" • "Nuthin' But the Tooth" • "High School Fred" • "Dial 'S' for Suspicion" • "Flash Gun Freddie" • "The Kissing Burglar" • "Wilma the Maid" • "The Hero" • "The Surprise" • "Mother-in-Law's Visit" • "Foxy Grandma" • "Fred's New Job" • "The Dress Rehearsal" • "Carry On, Nurse Fred" • "Ventriloquist Barney" • "The Big Move" • "Swedish Visitors" • "The Birthday Party"
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