Barney Rubble

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Barney Rubble
The Flintstones character
Barney Rubble.png
First appearanceThe Flagstones (1959)
Created byHanna-Barbera
Portrayed byRick Moranis (1994 film)
Stephen Baldwin (2000 film)
Voiced byDaws Butler (Pilot, 1959, 1961, 1965–1973)[1][2]
Mel Blanc (1960–1989)
Hamilton Camp (The Flintstone Kids)
Frank Welker (1990–2006)
Joe Alaskey (1990-2000)
Jeff Bergman (2002–2009)
Kevin Michael Richardson (2001–present)
Scott Innes (Toshiba commercial)
Brad Abrell (2011 commercials)
Stephen Stanton/Dave Coulier (Robot Chicken)
James Arnold Taylor (The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!)
In-universe information
OccupationFurniture reprocessor (original series)
Police officer[3]
Crane operator[4][5]
FamilyRobert "Bob" Rubble (father)[6]
Flo Rubble (mother)[6]
Mr. Slate (uncle [?])
Roxy Rubble (adoptive granddaughter)[7]
Chip Rubble (adoptive grandson)[7]
Dusty Rubble (brother)[6]
Pebbles Flintstone (goddaughter/adoptive daughter-in-law)
SpouseBetty Rubble (wife)
ChildrenBamm-Bamm Rubble (adopted son)

Barney Rubble is a fictional character who appears in the television animated series The Flintstones. He is the diminutive, blond-haired caveman husband of Betty Rubble and adoptive father of Bamm-Bamm Rubble. His best friend is his next door neighbor, Fred.[8]

Barney's personality was based on that of Ed Norton on the 1950s television series The Honeymooners, played by Art Carney.[9] Like Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners, Fred was constantly on the lookout for get-rich-quick schemes, while Barney, like Norton, found life satisfactory as it was, but participated in said schemes because Fred was his friend. Usually, after Fred had hatched one of his plans, Barney showed his agreement by laughing and saying, "uh hee hee hee... OK, Fred!" or "hee hee hee... whatever you say, Fred!"

In early episodes, Barney had a New Jersey accent but was soon changed to a deeper, more chuckle-like voice. In "On the Rocks" and the late 2000s his Jersey accent returns.

Barney's interests included bowling, playing pool, poker, tinkering around in Fred's garage, and playing golf (though in some episodes, Barney did not know how to play golf). He, like Fred, was also a member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes lodge and its predecessor in earlier episodes, the Loyal Order of Dinosaurs. He is also a talented pianist and drummer.[10] In the first episode of the original series, he was an inventor of a human-powered helicopter.[11] Another time Barney actually built an advanced sports car racer; which almost but did not win a $50.000 race because the cars stone wheels crumbled at the last minute.[12] Although clearly depicted as being in better shape than Fred, he is not shown to be quite as enthusiastic a sportsman as Fred is. This distinction can be attributed to Fred's fondness for food, though Barney is shown to be almost as capable of excessive appetite on a number of occasions.


Barney grew up at 142 Boulder Avenue in Granitetown [north of Bedrock]. He was acknowledged to be the maternal nephew of Fred's Flintone’s boss, Mr. Slate by Mr Slate himself.[13] As young adults, Barney and Fred worked as bellhops at a resort, where they first met Wilma and Betty, who were working as cigarette girls.[14] Eventually, Barney married Betty (as Fred did Wilma).

Several episodes and spinoffs suggest that Barney, along with Fred, spent some time in the army early in their marriages, though said references may be to Barney and Fred's military service in the first-season episode "The Astr'nuts."

While the subject of Barney's occupation (or even if he had one) was never given during the original series, the majority of subsequent spinoffs suggest at some point after the original series, Barney went to work at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company quarry alongside Fred as a fellow dino-crane operator. An early episode of the original series does have a brief scene of Barney working at the Granite Building.[15] When speaking to an upper-crust snob in another episode, Betty declares Barney is in "top-secret" work, but that might have been a cover for a low-level job or unemployment, or perhaps an in-joke meaning that Barney's job was unknown even to the show's writers. It could also be possible that both Fred and Barney work at the quarry, but may work in different sections of it, under different bosses. In one episode, Barney's boss tells him to "put down his broom", which implies some sort of janitorial work is involved.

Also, in season one, the first fifteen episodes or so, Barney's voice, done by Mel Blanc sounded similar to Elmer Fudd. Later that season, Barney's smart-alecky personality was slowly toned down and Barney's voice at times was like Elmer Fudd and other times in the same episode was Mel Blanc's real voice. At the end of the first season, Mel Blanc nearly died in a car crash so for the first episodes made in the 61-62 season (season 2), Barney sounds more like Yogi Bear as he is voiced by Daws Butler. When Mel Blanc resumed the role, Barney's voice was deeper as Mel used his actual voice from there on in.

During the fourth season of the original series, Betty and Barney found an abandoned infant on their doorstep, by the name of "Bam-Bam". A court battle ensued between the couple and a wealthy man who also had wanted to adopt Bam-Bam. Barney and Betty were successful in their efforts to adopt Bam-Bam because the wealthy man gave up (after winning the case) upon learning his wife became pregnant, after which he became a staple character on the series.[16] For the next nine episodes (though Bam-Bam aired on "Kleptomaniac Pebbles" in the opening scene teaser but not in the body of the episode but would return two episodes later) after Bam-Bam's debut, no sign of him is seen on the show. This was because, while "Little Bam Bam" was made after these episodes, it aired before. Once more episodes were made Bam-Bam aired regularly. In the fifth season, the family buys a pet hopparoo (a combination of a kangaroo and dinosaur) named Hoppy.

When Bam-Bam grows into a teenager, Barney joined the Bedrock police force with Fred for a period of time as part-time officers. Both characters were paired with the Shmoo from Li'l Abner.[3] He later became grandfather to Pebbles's and Bam-Bam's children, Chip and Roxy.[7]

Although Fred and Barney are best friends, Barney loses his patience with Fred occasionally. The best example comes in "I Yabba-Dabba Do!": after losing his patience with Fred for ruining Pebbles's and Bam-Bam's wedding, Barney decides to leave Bedrock. He changes his mind after Fred apologizes. Fred is often annoyed by Barney's inveterate cheerfulness, but he does truly care for him.

In the series' original episodes until the end of season 5, Barney's eyes are drawn as ovals or (occasionally) dark circular outlines (similar to Little Orphan Annie in her comics). In other episodes, and on all the season 6 ones, they are solid black, similar to Wilma's eyes. On three occasions we see the whites of his eyes: in "The Engagement Ring", "Ventriloquist Barney", and "A Haunted House Is Not a Home". In "The Engagement Ring", we see Barney's whites when Fred suggests that he spar with a fearsome boxer to earn enough money to buy Betty a belated engagement ring. In "Ventriloquist Barney", he describes the terrifying facial features of wrestler Bronto Crushrock. In "A Haunted House Is Not a Home", Barney frightens Fred by gargling in the bathroom too loudly, provoking Fred to hit Barney on the head.

Animated media[edit]

Television shows[edit]

Films and specials[edit]


Mel Blanc was the principal voice of Barney Rubble, although Daws Butler (who previously voiced Ned Morton, a mouse version of Ed Norton — the inspiration for Barney Rubble — in the Looney Tunes short The Honey-Mousers) briefly assumed the role while Blanc recovered from a car wreck.[17] Butler also occasionally voiced Barney on records throughout the 1960s and 1970s.[1][2][18] Since Blanc's death, Frank Welker, Jeff Bergman, Stephen Stanton, Kevin Michael Richardson, Brad Abrell, and Scott Innes have all performed the role. Hamilton Camp voiced Barney in The Flintstone Kids.

In the 1994 live-action Flintstones movie, Barney was portrayed by Rick Moranis. In the 2000 prequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, he was portrayed by Stephen Baldwin. In a Toshiba commercial, he was voiced by Scott Innes.


Barney has made cameo appearances on the shows Dexter's Laboratory, Family Guy, Robot Chicken and Saturday Night Live, and in the movie Better Off Dead.

  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy episode "A Grim Prophecy", Grim is shown as a child in the Stone Age, just starting his job as the Grim Reaper. He has a list of living things to reap, and visible on the list is "B. Rubble", which could be either Barney or Betty. During the credits of Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, it reveals what happened to some of the characters afterwards. In the picture shown when it says "Creeper made a fortune selling time traveling pants", Creeper is shown warping into the Stone Age, appearing in front of three Neanderthals. They are apelike versions of Fred Flintstone, Wilma Flintstone, and Barney Rubble.


  1. ^ a b Ehrbar, Greg (March 18, 2014). "Saving Mr. Flintstone". Cartoon Research. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Ehrbar, Greg (July 26, 2016). "Hanna-Barbera Characters Talk 'Safety'-on Records". Cartoon Research. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b The Flintstone Comedy Show, 1980-82, NBC
  4. ^ The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, 1987, syndication
  5. ^ A Flintstone Christmas Carol, 1994, syndication
  6. ^ a b c The Flintstone Kids, 1986-88, ABC
  7. ^ a b c Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby, A Flintstone Family Christmas, 1993, ABC
  8. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 333–344. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  9. ^ Gitlin, Martin (7 November 2013). "The Greatest Sitcoms of All Time". Scarecrow Press. Retrieved 20 December 2016 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Hot Lips Hannigan," The Flintstones, season 1
  11. ^ "The Flintstone Flyer" Season 1 episode 1
  12. ^ "Indianrockaplis 500" Season 5
  13. ^ "Fred's New Boss," The Flintstones, season 3
  14. ^ "Bachelor Daze," The Flintstones, season 4
  15. ^ "The Babysitters," The Flintstones, season 1
  16. ^ "Little Bam-Bam," The Flintstones, season 4
  17. ^ Mel Blanc Archived December 5, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Ehrbar, Greg (November 11, 2014). "The Flintstones' Meet The Orchestra Family (1968)". Cartoon Research. Retrieved June 25, 2020.

External links[edit]