Catch Phrase: "A baby's gotta do, what a baby's gotta do" and after the movie, "Hang on to your diapies, babies".
Characterization Marches On: In the earliest episodes, Tommy was a regular baby with no distinguishable personality—an infant version of The Everyman or The Standardized Leader. Later Tommy begins to develop a stronger personality, becoming a brave Determinator who loves adventure. It can be pretty strange to see Tommy being relatively quiet and cautious in his solo adventures. E.G Daily herself even mentions that Tommy was more baby-like and tiny in the earlier episodes, but as time went by, he got alot more mature and wiser in the show's 10th anniversary special documentary.
Determinator: One of the youngest ones you'll find in fiction.
Informed Judaism: Actually averted (unlike most other examples on kids' TV, which always weakly hint that a character may or may not be Jewish). In addition to the token Hanukkah special, his family also celebrates Passover. On top of that, his maternal grandparents (Boris and Minka) are established to be Eastern European Jews (possibly Russian or Ukrainian).
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Could be this on occasions in earlier episodes(though not to the extent of his cousin, Angelica). Unintentionally, he could be seen as downright selfish and obnoxious, examples including "Naked Tommy", and even to an extent, "The Odd Couple". This however doesn't occur ever in later episodes.
Vocal Evolution: In the early episodes, Tommy had a very raspy, quiet voice, and sounded downright feminine in the pilot.
Write Who You Know: Tommy was based on Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó's son, and was named after co-creator Paul Germain's son, Thomas.
Chuckie Finster [full: Charles Crandall Finster, Jr.]
In addition to his uncontrollable red hair, big glasses and bucked teeth, Chuckie is easily distinguished from his friends by his dislike of adventure and irrational fear of particular objects, most notably the "guy on the oatmeal box" (the Quaker Oats logo).First voiced by Christine Cavanaugh, thenNancy CartwrightTropes Associated With Chuckie:
Flanderization: Originally, Chuckie was the voice of reason among his friends, being the only one with any idea/worry of how dangerous many of the thing they were doing were. Starting with the second season, Chuckie's sense of caution was exaggerated to the point where he is so cowardly that he's scared of the guy on the oatmeal box. Then things got worse when his voice actress was replaced...
Redheads Are Uncool: He is danger prone, cowardly, wore glasses that would break from time to time, had a perpetually stuffy nose and was often picked on by other kids. So much so that there were entire episodes devoted to him having an operation that temporarily cleared his nose, him trying to dye his hair black to fit in with the rest of the kids, and his other quirks.
Half-Identical Twins who are alike in every possible way, and even dressed to match. They represent the stage of infancy where babies are forever curious and try to eat and drink anything they can reach. Best known for their love of filth.Both voiced by Kath SoucieTropes Associated With Phil and Lil:
A Large Ham and bossy, Angelica is Tommy's cousin and serves as the main antagonist of the series. She hates Tommy and the other "stupid babies" and lives to make them miserable whenever they're in the same place.Voiced by Cheryl ChaseTropes Associated With Angelica:
Author Avatar: Angelica is essentially a cartoon version of Cheryl Chase (her voice actress, except Cheryl is fairly nice in real life) in many aspects, such as her appearance and some of her interests.
Butt Monkey: If you can believe this, Angelica, despite being the antagonist, gets her comeuppance a lot(eg: sitting in time out and pizza falling on her hair, causing her to cry as she hates the stress of having her hair washed), but sometimes, she can be the show's butt monkey, even when she isn't the antagonist!
Character Development / Villain Decay: In the first season, Angelica was a total Jerkass that acted nice in front of the adults, but had strong hate for the babies and she somewhat mocked people behind their back (Graham Canyon is a great example of this, as when Drew tells Angelica to have a good time, after Angelica's polite response, she sticks her tongue out at Drew). In later seasons (namely two, but mostly, after season 3 and the movie), she grows to like them and becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, whereas she is still mischievous, but there's a nicer tone to it.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: She more or less treats the other babies like crap and has no qualms with freaking them out with random urban legends or stories, mostly to get something she wants. However, she ends up being a team player if something worse threatens them.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Season two onwards. A great list of examples are: "Grandpa Moves Out", where Angelica wanted Tommy to tag along (even if it meant causing trouble), "New Kid in Town", where she was incredibly annoyed at how Josh (the new kid) treated them, so much that she pushed him over and he started to cry, and "Rugrats in Paris", when she was disgusted at how Coco treated the babies. Basically, she's not a jerk (the only season where she was a jerk was season one, really), rather, even though she calls the babies "dumb", she doesn't really mean it, and more than often wants to hang around with them (even Tommy).
Granted she still has lots of Kick the Dog moments in later seasons and even if she's not as consistantly "evil" in depiction as she was early on, she's still an obnoxious and selfish bully on occasions. Depending on the Writer comes a lot into play.
Large Ham: She often likes to see herself as quite the little performer lets just say.
Laser-Guided Karma: Her title in this show could very much be "karma's personal punching bag"; in the event she does something that could be considered even vaguely unpleasant, karma is sure to be there to take her down a peg or two.
Karma Houdini: Angelica manages to pull one in "Barbecue Story," where she deliberately throws Tommy's ball over a fence without any comeuppance. Presumedly, karma wasn't paying attention that time.
Nonindicative Name: Obviously, Angelica's name means "little angel", and she doesn't live up to it. She dresses as an angel on one Halloween, and her father sees her this way.
Only Child Syndrome: Unlike Tommy and Chuckie, she actually stayed an only child throughout the show's run. She did come close to having a sibling on an episode where Charlotte (her mom) thinks she's pregnant and Angelica thinks that her parents will outright neglect her once the baby is born, but by the end, Charlotte reveals to Angelica that the doctor told her that she's not pregnant.
Rich Bitch: It is implied that Angelica's family is better off than most of the other characters', especially given that both of her parents are business executives. However, Chas and Chuckie briefly become richer than her family in "Chuckie is Rich," until Drew makes Chas invest all of his money in a company which fails (possibly out of envy).
Spoiled Brat: Was intended to be one and was a mild one in earlier episodes. But this got changed and she simply became a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. But even back in the day, she was not as much of one as most people seem to remember her as...
Tiny Tyrannical Girl: Although she seems like a big bully rather than tiny, since she's three and the protagonists are babies.
Too Dumb to Live: Shows up on occasion, like the end of "The Trial", where she admits to breaking Tommy's clown lamp & pitting the blame on Tommy... followed by shouting that she did it loud enough for Didi* Tommy's mother to hear.
Tsundere: Some of her "nicer" stories do occasionally give her these kind of vibes as well.
Vitriolic Best Friends: To Susie, especially in the later seasons (given her bossy personality, it is sometimes implied that Susie may be her only real friend outside of the babies).
The Unfavorite: Subverted. Her parents love her more than she realizes. She was worried that this would happen when she got a little sibling.
Susie moved across the street from Tommy early on in the series. A multi-talented, brave, and humble little girl, she served as the opposite of Angelica and often acted as The Rival to her. If Angelica was The Big Bad, Susie would be The Big Good.Voiced by Cree SummerTropes Associated With Susie:
Affirmative Action Girl: Originally added to the cast when the creators noticed that there were too many white, male characters. Luckily, Susie manages to avoid being a token through her Cool Big Sis persona.
Characterization Marches On: In her initial appearances she interacted mainly with Tommy, and was kind of a drama queen and a crybaby, sharing Tommy's naivete and ineptness to the world around her. Not long after that, Susie and Angelica met and she became mostly defined by being the Anti-Angelica; mellow, intelligent and mature (at least for her young age).
Workaholic: Implied. One of his catchphrases is "Let's get down to business." However, he is a much more mild example than his wife.
Mother of Angelica, aunt of Tommy and Dil, and married to Drew. She's the CEO of her own company and is frequently seen talking on a cell phone to an invisible assistant (at least until the episode "Mommy's Little Assets" and some later episodes where he was actually shown) named Jonathan.
Convenient Miscarriage: Very possibly had one in "Angelica's Worst Nightmare" (though she could have just misread her pregnancy testnote She did say she was going to the doctor to get a second opinion)
Missing Mom: Not entirely - she does try to be a good mom and does love her family, but she's also a career woman and, as anyone can tell you, that can put a strain on family life.
She initially played this trope straight as she didn't make her debut appearance until "The Santa Experience" in the second season.
Workaholic: Even when she's not working, she's blabbering on to her assistant Jonathan over a cell phone. She might be the first example of someone using a cell phone in such a manner so extensively in children's media (at least until children's shows in the late 1990s into the 2000s had to keep up with current trends).
Father of Phil and Lil, and married to Betty. He is rather soft-spoken and little seen on the show compared to his wife but does make occasional appearances as a friend of the other babies' dads.
Father of Stu and Drew, and paternal grandfather of Tommy, Dil and Angelica. Being a grandparent and all, he is known for spoiling the babies at every opportunity and is generally considered by them to be their favorite of the grown-ups.
Voiced by David Doyle, and Joe Alaskey after David Doyle's death
Too Dumb to Live: Not him specifically, but the adults constantly rely on him to watch the children, when he will always, without fail, fall asleep and let them get up to their own devices.
When I Was Your Age: Grandpa Lou LOVES this trope, telling many stories about the hardships that he suffered in his youth (some of which contradict each other). He is especially fond of incorporating the number 15 into these anecdotes (ie, "fifteen miles," "fifteen years").
Grandpa Boris Kropotkin
Father of Didi, maternal grandfather of Tommy and Dil, and married to Grandma Minka. He is Ashkenazi Jewish, hails from "the old country", and frequently laments about how much better things were there than in America. He has a knack for storytelling and appears most prominently in the Hanukkah and Passover episodes displaying this talent.
Mother of Didi, maternal grandmother of Tommy and Dil, and married to Grandpa Boris. She displays many of the same stereotypical "Jewish grandparent" personalities as her husband but is generally more mild-mannered and serves as a voice of reason for him.
Dogs Are Dumb: While by far not an extreme example of this trope, Spike does have his occasional moments of doing dimwitted things, such as kicking off one episode's plot by running away in the rain to chase a cricket.
The Scapegoat: A frequent plot point in the show involves the adults blaming Spike for something he didn't do and then the babies attempting to find a way to clear his good name, which is rather difficult for them since they can't talk (see below for a prominent example).
Angelica's white cat, who shares both her pigtail hairstyle and her mean personality. She was first introduced in the episode "Fluffy vs. Spike" as a designated rival for Spike. After that, she became more of a background character.