Who lives on the ground in the world of The Jetsons? Homeless people and walking birds. This isn’t a fan theory. This is canon. Fight me.
Whenever I see jokes about The Jetsons on Twitter (and there are a lot of good ones) people inevitably float fan theories about the show. Some people believe that maybe The Flintstones takes place in some post-apocalyptic world after The Jetsons, which is indeed a fun theory. And other people have theories about why there are no black people in the world of the future. But another thing that often comes up are questions about what’s going on at ground-level.
How do I know that there are homeless people and walking birds beneath the utopian techno-future of George and Jane? There are very few times that we see the ground level in the 1962-63 series. (And yes, another fun fact: there was only one original season of The Jetsons before it was revived in the mid-80s.) But one of those times we clearly see a homeless person.
We get a crystal clear shot of the ground in the seventh episode of The Jetsons, which debuted on November 4th, 1962 and was titled “The Flying Suit.”
That same episode has another cutaway gag where we venture down to nearly ground level and spot a hobo. Yes, the futuristic world of 2062 has delivered magical utopian wonders like flying cars and jetpacks, but humanity still hasn’t figured out poverty. In that way, I guess The Jetsons is the anti-Star Trek, a world of post-scarcity delights where we reach beyond the stars after we’ve conquered the basics needed for humans to survive comfortably.
So there you have it. The next time someone makes a crack about the zombie apocalypse happening at ground level in The Jetsons you can politely correct them. There is indeed a dystopian underworld happening at ground level. But it’s made up of birds that can’t fly and homeless people who haven’t benefited from the cruel oppression of George and his capitalist overlords.
Try it. It goes over great at parties.