Frederick "Fred" Flintstone, also known as Fred W. Flintstone or Frederick J. Flintstone, is the protagonist of theanimated sitcom The Flintstones, which aired during prime-time on ABC during the original series' run from 1960 to 1966. Fred is the husband of Wilma Flintstone and father of Pebbles Flintstone. His best friends are his next door neighbors, Barney and Betty Rubble, who have an adopted son named Bamm-Bamm.
Fred lives in the fictional prehistoric town of Bedrock, a world where dinosaurs coexist with modernized cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy "primitive" versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles, and washing machines. Fred's trademark yell is "yabba dabba doo!", a phrase that was originally his club's cheer and later adopted as part of the theme song from the third series on and used in the 1994 live-action Flintstones movie.
Since the original series' run, Fred has since appeared in various other cartoon spinoffs, live action adaptations, music videos, andcommercials.
While the mid-1980s spin-off series The Flintstone Kids depicts Fred as a child, the series may be apocryphal due to its presenting Wilma as a childhood friend of Fred and Barney; the original series asserts that they first met as young adults. Still, the series' depictions that Fred is the only child of Ed and Edna Flintstone (a handyman and a homemaker, respectively) might be taken ascanon.
As young adults, Fred and Barney worked as bellhops at a resort. There, they meet and fall in love with Wilma and Betty, who were working there as cigarette girls. Wilma's mother, Pearl Slaghoople, also met her future son-in-law, and took an instant disliking toward Fred (and vice versa), starting a long-lasting rivalry between the two. An unspecified amount of time later, Fred married Wilma.
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 earlier episodes). Fred's job title in the second season episode "Divided We Sail" is "geological engineer".
During the original series' third season, Wilma gives birth to the couple's daughter, Pebbles. Years later, when Pebbles is a teenager, Fred and Barney join the Bedrock police force for a time as part-time police officers. Eventually, Fred becomes a grandfather to the adult Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm's twins, Chip and Roxy. Fred's family grew again in A Flintstone Family Christmas, when he and Wilma adopted an orphaned caveboy named Stony, and despite a rough start, Fred and his new son bonded well.
The Flintstone family's paternal side originally came from the prehistoric U.S. state of Arkanstone, where they had been engaged in a feud similar to the Hatfield-McCoy feud. The feud was originally started by an ancestor of Fred's making a joke about a Hatrock family portrait ("I don't know what the artist got for doing that painting, but he should've gotten life!"). In the fourth season episode "Bedrock Hillbillies," the feud is ended when Fred helps rescue Pebbles and a Hatrock baby, only to start up again when Fred makes the same joke as his ancestor. The Hatrocks later appear in the follow-up fifth season episode "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes", where they visit Bedrock. The last of the Arkanstone Flintstones was Fred's great-great-uncle Zeke Flintstone.
Other relatives of Fred include: Giggles Flintstone, a rich, eccentric practical joker whose jokes drive Fred into a mad rage; Uncle Tex Hardrock, Fred's rich Texan uncle; Tumbleweed and Mary Lou Jim, Fred's rich Texan cousins; Rockbottom "Rocky" Flintstone, Fred's grandfather, who was a veteran of Stone World War One; Stony Flintstone, Fred's grandfather and James Hardrock, Edna's father.
Fred's personality was based on that of Ralph Kramden of the 1950s television series The Honeymooners and Chester A. Riley fromThe Life of Riley, both of whom were originally portrayed on television by Jackie Gleason (Riley was originally portrayed on radio, film and later television episodes by William Bendix). 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. Also like Ralph, despite his harshness, he has a loving heart, who is very devoted to his family and cares a lot about his best friend and next door neighbor Barney Rubble. Fred loses his temper easily and is very impatient, but he seems free of malice and never holds a grudge. Although his loudness irritates the people around him, Fred proves friendly, often going out of his way to help others. Also, although Fred often annoys Wilma with his immaturity, he is known to go to great lengths to please his family and apologize when he goes too far.
Fred's interests include bowling, playing pool, golf, poker and lounging around the house. Fred has won championships with his bowling skills; in one episode, he goes so far as to take ballet lessons in order to improve his game. The nickname of "Twinkletoes" stuck with him when Fred attended a local university and became eligible to play on their football team, and it became his call sign. Fred is also an excellent golfer. Fred is 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 (sounding like a clucking chicken) and go on gambling binges. Fred is also an avid driver. In the fifth season episode "Indianrockolis 500," Fred entered the famed prehistoric auto race under the pseudonym "Goggles Pisano".
Fred's catchphrase is "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!"; Alan Reed, voice actor who provided Fred's voice from 1960-1977, reportedly said that the inspiration for the phrase came from his mother, who used to say, "A little dab'll do ya," probably borrowed from a Brylcreem commercial. When the script called for a simple 'Yahoo!' Alan either asked if he could alter the phrase or he ad-libbed. It inspired, in the 1970s a short-lived fruit drink called "Yabba Dabba Dew" and may or may not have also inspired George Jetson's similar sounding catchphrase, "Hooba-dooba-dooba" (or "Hooba-Dooba"). It does, however, become 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 sees Fred (with Barney, who is a skilled drummer) perform at a nightclub with his musician friend "Hot Lips Hannigan" where his singing caused teenage girls to swoon over him; on this occasion, he was nicknamed "the Golden Smog". In another first season episode, "Girls' Night Out", Fred recorded a demo record at a carnival of the song "Listen to the Rocking Bird", which ended up making him a teenage singing idol named "Hi Fye." As the series progressed, however, his voice became worse and worse, eventually to the point that a temporary maid the Flintstones hired quit rather than having to hear Fred sing.
Due to his impulsive and short-tempered behavior and stubborn and naive nature, Fred seems to be accident-prone. Even his most innocent and mundane actions often cause widespread confusion.
According to the original series' third season episode "The Birthday Party" (originally aired April 5, 1963), Fred's birthday is February 2. Fred's address has varied through the series' run, with addresses given for the Flintstone residence including 345 Cave Stone Road, 1313 Cobblestone Way, Fred's address was cited as "55 Cobblestone Rd" in the 1961 episode "The X-Ray Story". and 222 Rocky Way.
- Alan Reed was the original voice artist of Fred (minus the original short pilot where he was voiced by Daws Butler) until his death in 1977. Henry Corden, who had provided the singing voice for Reed (and Fred) in The Man Called Flintstone, took over until his retirement in 2000, although he continued to voice him in Post Pebbles commercials until his death in 2005. Corden voiced Fred's father and mother in The Flintstone Kids. James Arnold Taylor voiced Fred in commercials following Corden's death, up until 2011, as well as his guest appearance in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Jeff Bergman started voicing Fred for Cartoon Network bumpers in 1999, and voiced him in The Flintstones: On the Rocks, his guest appearance in Johnny Bravo, some episodes of Family Guy, and more recently The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown!.
- In The Flintstone Kids, young Fred was voiced by both Lennie Weinrib and Scott Menville at different points.
- In the first live-action film, The Flintstones, Fred was played by John Goodman. In the prequel film, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, in which Fred is portrayed as younger than he was in the original, he was played by British actor Mark Addy.
He makes an appearance in the episode "Dammit Janet!" as the interpretation of the police's description of Peter Griffin after the Cuba-bound plane was hijacked. The interpretation of Peter's wife Lois was of Wilma Flintstone, Fred's wife.
In Patriot Games, he bet with Stewie on the Mike Tyson vs.Carol Channing episode of Celebrity Boxing saying "Bet-bet-bet-bet!" just like he did in the episode "Betting Freddy".
Fred is also seen in "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air" during the Quahog Men's Club ball. He is talking to best friend Barney Rubble about how, when he poked his head into Barney's house and watched Betty undress for such a time that he ended up getting an erection.
In "Peter's Daughter", he is seen demanding a divorce from Wilma because the cat locks him out during the closing credits of the original series and Wilma won't open the door, calling her a passive-aggressive bitch.
He also appears in "Stew-Roids", when Lisa states that Chris smells like Fred's ass. Fred responds angrily that nobody asked her to smell it.
In "Quagmire's Baby", Fred is featured on a Wildest Police Chases video tape being chased by cops which ends at a drive-in theater where he places Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm on the top of the car. He crashes into a concession stand and runs for a fence but gets beaten by the cops.
Fred appears as the judge in "The Simpsons Guy".
In these appearances he was voiced by Jeff Bergman.