Betty lives in the fictional prehistoric town of Bedrock, a world where dinosaurs coexist with barefoot cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy primitive versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles and washing machines.
Betty's personality was based on that of Trixie Norton, wife of Ed Norton on the 1950s television series The Honeymooners; each of the four of the series' principal adult characters is an analogue of a Honeymooners character. Much like Trixie spent a lot of her time socializing with Alice Kramden, Betty spent a lot of her time socializing with Wilma, and the two would often end up working together to bail their husbands out of whatever scheme of Fred's had landed them in trouble.
Betty can be considered the least developed character in the show, as she is rarely seen not following the lead of either Barney or Wilma, the latter of whom she often seems merely an echo of, generally. In spite of this, Betty is shown to have a distinctly emotional marriage with Barney, which more often included pet names and a more obvious affection, as opposed to the more dynamic and energetic interaction between Fred and Wilma. The occasions when Betty leads the action are extremely scarce: one episode centers around her working undercover as a gentle old lady to earn money for a present for Barney, and on another occasion the plot for her and Wilma was led by her suspicions of Barney being involved with another woman (which turns out to be Fred in a disguise contrived in order to attend a ball game free of charge). This lack of protagonism (almost as background-set as supporting characters such as Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm or Dino, except for her more continuous presence) makes Betty less of a protagonist as is implied by the general concept of the show. Betty can also be quite emotional. She starts getting angry when Barney is not behaving, she starts crying when something goes wrong. But mostly, she is a happy women, and often talks to Wilma.
While the mid-1980s spin-off series The Flintstone Kids depicts Betty as a child, the series seems to be mostly apocryphal, owing to its presenting Betty as a childhood friend of Fred and Barney (the original series asserts that they first met as young adults) and that the four enjoy watching Captain Caveman (The Flintstone Comedy Show asserts that adult Betty is ignorant of Cavey's superhero identity when working with him at the Daily Granite newspaper). Still, the series' assertions that Betty was a childhood friend of Wilma and that her parents ran a convenience store may be considered canon.
As young adults, Betty and Wilma were employed as cigarette girls/waitresses at a resort. There, they first met, and fell in love, with their future husbands, Fred and Barney. Eventually, Betty and Barney were married, presumably not long after Fred and Wilma.
Betty became a homemaker, keeping house with such prehistoric aids as a baby mammoth vacuum cleaner, pelican washing machine, and so forth. Betty, much like Wilma, also enjoys volunteering for various charitable/women's organizations in Bedrock, shopping, and (occasionally) getting to meet the celebrities of their world, including "Tony Curtis", "Cary Grant", and "Ann-Margret". Betty at one time also has a job working for an 'old lady' who turns out to be a young lady in disguise and who was using Betty to pass phony money; this was the only episode centered principally around Betty.
Around the fourth season of the original series, Betty and Barney find an abandoned infant on their doorstep, by the name of "Bamm-Bamm." After a court battle in which they defeat noted prehistoric lawyer "Perry Mason", the couple are allowed to adopt Bamm-Bamm. The Rubbles never had children of their own.
When Bamm-Bamm is a teenager, Betty gains employment as a reporter for one of Bedrock's newspapers (or, more accurately, news-slabs), the Daily Granite (presumably a parody of the Daily Planet of Superman fame), under the editorial guidance of Lou Granite (presumably a parody of Lou Grant of the contemporaneous eponymous series, and formerly of The Mary Tyler Moore Show). While employed there, she shares various adventures with prehistoric superhero Captain Caveman, who (in a secret identity) also works for the newspaper.
Later still, after Bamm-Bamm grows up and leaves home, Betty starts a successful catering business with her neighbor and friend Wilma, before becoming a grandmother to Bamm-Bamm's twin children, Chip and Roxy.
June Foray voiced Betty in the original pilot titled The Flagstones. Bea Benaderet voiced Betty in the first to the fourth seasons of The Flintstones before taking leave to pursue other projects. Gerry Johnson took over the role for the fifth and sixth seasons before taking leave shortly afterword. Gay Autterson, Julie McWhirter, Betty Jean Ward, and Grey DeLisle have since all performed the role in later Flintstones media.
In the 1994 film, Betty was portrayed by Rosie O'Donnell, a casting decision somewhat controversial with fans as the plus-sized O'Donnell did not match Betty's slender figure from the animated series; O'Donnell reportedly won the role because she captured the high pitch laugh at her audition. Jane Krakowski's version of the character in the second movie was generally received better, though was largely overlooked owing to the film's poor overall reception.
- Betty has been seen in the Dexter's Laboratory episode Dad is Disturbed talking to Dexter's Mom, but was tied up by Dexter's Dad.
- Betty has been seen in the I Am Weasel episode I Am My Lifetime, where she is placed in the Retirement Home for Sidekicks (which is actually Baboon's trailer).
- In the Comedy Central animated film The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!, she can be seen trying to kill Toot Braunstein (she misses and shoots a dinosaur instead), for finding out that her husband Barney Rubble cheated on her and got Toot impregnated (Toot's baby is revealed to be Bamm-Bamm Rubble).