‘The Flintstones’: Is the Series Set in Prehistoric Times or a Post-Apocalyptic World?

We all remember everyone’s favorite modern Stone Age family fondly. Fred and Barney, along with their families (including their pet dinosaurs!) made families around the world laugh for six years back in the 60s, which was a landmark accomplishment for an animated series at the time (back before The Simpsons changed the world of animation forever). 

The whole premise behind The Flintstones is that it takes place back in the Stone Age, but one bizarre fan theory suggests that we might have had it wrong all this time.

What is ‘The Flintstones’ about?

The Flintstones
The Flintstones | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

The cartoon premiered on ABC in 1960 and lasted for six seasons, which was a huge accomplishment for an animated series; it was the longest-running cartoon on television until The Simpsons came along in the 80s, and the first animated series to win a primetime slot. 

People all around the world fell in love with the Flintstone family and their next-door neighbors, the Rubbles. The two families were typical American, suburban, blue-collar families, except for one very important detail: they were cavemen!

The cartoon takes place in a modern adaptation of the Stone Age, complete with woolly mammoths and adorable pet dinosaurs, Dino and Hoppy. The families live in a town called Bedrock and get around using stone vehicles that they power with their own two feet.

Other than these Stone Age details, the characters’ lives and the dilemmas they run into resemble any family in suburban America at the time the show aired. Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble are the figureheads of each family, and work blue-collar jobs (Fred works as a “bronto-crane operator”). The mothers, Wilma and Betty, are loyal and have a penchant for shopping with their husbands’ money, and chase their rambunctious children, Pebbles and Bamm Bamm, around the house.

Some fans think that ‘The Flintstones’ doesn’t actually take place in the Stone Age

Even though it’s right there in the theme song that the Flintstones are a “page right out of history,” one bizarre conspiracy theory says that perhaps the fictional people of Bedrock didn’t belong to the Stone Age at all. To understand the theory, you need to know about The Jetsons, another animated series that was on television at the same time as The Flintstones. 

In stark comparison to the prehistoric world of Bedrock, The Jetsons took place in a utopian future, with the family having access to gadgets that made their lives a million times easier.

The fan theory goes that the Flintstone and Jetson families are actually originally from the same place: a post-apocalyptic world. The theory points to the fact that all of the humans in Bedrock behave as if they’re familiar with modern conveniences; they might not have the same technology as the Jetsons, but they have cars, movie theaters, stereos, cranes – and the list goes on and on.

Maybe everyone in Bedrock is actually familiar with modern-day life, but lost everything when the world came to an end and humans had to start from scratch, the theory says. They tried to recreate modern life with the tools and materials they had at their disposal, resulting in things like feet-powered cars.

How do the Jetsons play into this theory? Well, fans think that the Jetsons live in the same post-apocalyptic world, but they had the luck (or wealth) to escape the apocalypse and build a new city in the skies. Bizarre, but interesting!

You can catch ‘The Flintstones’ again in a reboot

RELATED: A ‘Flintstones’ Reboot For Grownups is in Development

The Flintstones fans are yelling, “Yabba-dabba-doo!” after learning that a reboot of their most beloved cartoon is in the works. Warner Bros. Animation and Brownstone Productions (Elizabeth Banks’ company) allegedly have an adult-oriented Flintstones reboot in the works, It’s suspected that the series will stream on a service like Warner Bros.’ HBO Max. The details are still slim, but fans can’t wait to see the Flintstones and the Rubbles back on their televisions again.