Inspired by a previous Hanna Barbera monster family, Mr. & Mrs. J. Evil Scientist , the Gruesomes are a family consisting of married couple Weirdly and Creepella, son Goblin (AKA Gobby), and Uncle Ghastly (who is only seen as a hand coming out of the well in "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes" and a shadow in "Meet the Gruesomes").
They first appear in an episode of The Flintstones titled "The Gruesomes". In this episode, Weirdly and Creepella Gruesome (voiced by Howard Morris and Naomi Lewis), along with their son Gobby, move into Tombstone Manor which is next door to the Flintstones. Trying to be neighborly, Fred and Barney agree to babysit Gobby, whose strange pets (including Schneider the spider and Occy the octopus) make for a tortuously eventful evening.
The family reappears in the episode "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes". The Hatrocks, who are hillbilly friends of Fred, come to visit but soon become an annoyance to everyone. Fred enlists the Gruesomes to scare them away, but they are unsuccessful, because the Hatrocks are immune with horror. Fred finally discovers The Hatrocks' aversion to rock music, and uses it to chase them back to the hills. This episode is notable because Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles, Bamm Bamm, Dino, Hoppy and the Gruesomes sing "She Said Yeah Yeah Yeah", which is a takeoff of The Beatles' song "She Loves You".
After The Flintstones ended, the Gruesomes returned for a final appearance on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show in 1971 with Wierdly Gruesome voiced by Don Messick and Creepella Gruesome voiced by Jean Vander Pyl. In the episode "The Birthday Present", Wooly (Pebbles' elephantine prehistoric pet, presumably a woolly mammoth or a mastodon) takes the gift that Pebbles had bought for her mom and buries it in the back yard. Pebbles believes it is stolen by her neighbor the creepy Mrs. Gruesome, so she offers to babysit Gobby for the Gruesomes so that the kids can infiltrate the Gruesome mansion and search for the gift. Thinking that Mrs. Gruesome may have Wilma's gift with her, the gang then crashes a Gruesome family reunion, and Bamm-Bamm is mistaken for a cat burglar. The misunderstanding is cleared in the end and per her mother's birthday wish, Pebbles vows to judge people more fairly.
The family differs greatly in their appearance on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show appearance compared to their prior appearances on The Flintstones. On The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, Creepella has Caucasian skin and black hair (in contrast to the green skin and red hair shown previously on The Flintstones), and speaks with a faux-Transylvanian accent instead of her traditionally high-pitched voice. It is this version of the character that the modern-age villainous Laff-A-Lympics character Mrs. Creepley is based upon. Weirdly and Gobby also differ in appearance; Weirdly's green skin has a muddier tone and his hair is changed from dark green to light brown on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, while Gobby is changed from having light blue skin and purple hair to pale green skin and bright blond hair. In a further lapse in continuity from their prior appearances on The Flintstones, Gobby is still depicted as a child on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show and has not grown into a teenager, even though he was depicted as a couple years older than Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm during the family's original appearances. Additionally, Pebbles perceives the family as scary and untrustworthy, even though they had previously been depicted as strange but harmless friends of the Flintstones and Rubbles. The Gruesomes are the major antagonists.
The Gruesomes are replaced in later spin-off series by The Frankenstones, another monster-themed family who move next door to the Flintstones.
The Creepleys appear on Laff-A-Lympics.In 1977, a family similar to the Gruesomes were introduced as part of the Laff-A-Lympics segment on Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. The Creepleys consist of Mr. Creepley, Mrs. Creepley, and their son Junior Creepley. They are members of the Really Rottens team.
They appeared in the 1978 Laff-A-Lympics comic book series by Marvel Comics.
Appearances in other H-B media
- The Gruesomes appear in two different comic books. They first appear in The Flintstones #24 (published in 1965 by Gold Key Comics), and then had their own back-up feature in Cave Kids (a series starring young versions of the Flintstones, similar to the later Flintstone Kids animated series).
- The family also star in The Flintstones children's books and coloring books.
The Canadian 60's-inspired garage-rock band The Gruesomes took their name after the animated family.