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Fridge: Rugrats

Fridge Brilliance
  • The babies know Angelica is a big liar and that she enjoys tricking them, yet they continue believing her most of the time. This is because, in a case of Crying Wolf, the very few times they don't take her seriously she's actually saying the truth, so they decide to play it safe and continue believing what Angelica tells them. Plus, as she starts her Character Development, many times Angelica actually enjoys teaching them stuff for real, without any mean intention, so, despite everything, they see her as a mentor of sorts.
  • Season 1 episode entitled "Beauty Pageant." Why does Angelica think "Tanya" (Tommy in drag) is the cutest "girl" in the show besides Angelica herself? Because it's Tommy, and they look alike since they're related.
    • In the same episode, Phil and Lil demonstrate how they can switch identities simply depending on who wears Lil's pink bow, and part of this is the fact that Phil can perfectly imitate Lil's voice. Of course he can; they have the same voice actress!
  • In the episode "Reptar's Revenge," the adults take the babies to a carnival. Before they go in, Didi sees a man in a Reptar costume and says "Stu, look at that terrible lizard!" The word "Dinosaur" literally means "terrible lizard" (even though dinosaurs aren't really lizards, but that's a different story).
  • In "New Kid in Town," the babies meet Josh, who offers to let them play on "his" side of the park, seemingly liberating them from Angelica's tyrannical rule. However, Josh ends up being just as bad, if not worse. Throughout the episode, if you pay close attention, you can see that Josh differs from Angelica in his methods of intimidation. Angelica physically bullies the babies, while Josh tends to use more psychological manipulation (lying, making verbal threats, convincing the babies that he's being "fair," etc).

    At the end of the episode, Angelica confronts Josh by launching a water balloon at him. Instead of retaliating physically, he tries to convince Angelica to take two babies while Josh keeps the other two (again, psychological vs physical). Angelica responds by throwing ANOTHER water balloon, and Josh still refuses to resort to any type of physical response. Eventually, Angelica and Josh get into a shouting match, which culminates with Angelica pushing Josh to the ground. Instead of pushing back, he cries and runs off to tell his mother, since he clearly does not like physical conflict.
  • In the episode "Tricycle Thief," Susie accuses Angelica of stealing her tricycle. Tommy tries to give Angelica the benefit of the doubt, and then says to look at Angelica's hands, since they'd have paint on them if she opened Susie's (recently painted) shed to steal the trike. Angelica's hands do indeed have red paint on them, just like Susie's shed. This becomes the "final nail in the coffee," and even Tommy no longer believes Angelica is possibly innocent... because she was literally caught red-handed. Turns out she actually didn't do it, though.
    • Also, during that same episode, Susie tries to console Chuckie by saying "Angelica let go of the balloon" (which was tied to Cynthia's leg, as Susie's way of punishing Angelica for stealing her tricycle). She says "Angelica let go of the balloon the minute she opened my daddy's shed and stole my trike." As she says this, she gestures to the shed, and then to "her" tricycle (the one Angelica claimed was her own). The camera pans from the shed to Angelica's tricycle, and between the two, you can actually see that Susie's tricycle is underneath her porch. None of the characters notice right away.
  • In "Chuckie's Wonderful Life", Chuckie is told by his guardian angel that he's such a good friend that he gives Tommy the bravery to stand up to Angelica and other bullies. Go back a season to "Rebel Without a Teddy Bear", where Angelica is loudly coercing Tommy into throwing his mother's necklace into a garbage can. Chuckie actually stands up to ANGELICA in order to keep Tommy from doing it.
    • There are also a few instances of Chuckie not being around, and Tommy gives in to Angelica's bullying, whereas when Chuckie is around, Tommy usually stands up to her. The logic behind this appears to be that, despite there being four of them, the main characters are essentially two groups of two babies— best friends Tommy and Chuckie, and siblings Phil and Lil. Phil and Lil could possibly be considered Chaotic Neutral characters, in the fact that they're more susceptible to Angelica's negative influence than Tommy and Chuckie, but generally have good intentions otherwise.

      When only Tommy, Phil, and Lil are around, Tommy tends not to challenge Angelica's bullying, perhaps on the grounds that he feels like he doesn't owe it to Phil and Lil, since they have each other. When Chuckie is around, however, Tommy acts as his protector in a way. He keeps Angelica from bullying Chuckie because Angelica feeds on Chuckie's fear of her, and he's more or less helpless. This may be what the guardian angel meant when he said that Tommy needs Chuckie around to stand up to Angelica— if Chuckie's not around, Tommy doesn't have any motivation to do so.
    • There are several times like at the end of "Cuffed" where Chuckie puts his foot down to her. Perhaps the best example occurs in the episode "Rebel Without a Teddy Bear." After "turning bad" at Angelica's behest (since Didi took Tommy's stuffed lion because it was completely covered in mustard), Tommy goes on a rampage and destroys the interior of the house to more of an extent than one might expect a toddler to be capable of. At the end of the episode, Angelica implores him to throw away Didi's favorite necklace (the one she's always seen wearing), but Chuckie steps in, stands up to Angelica, and appears to be the only reason Tommy didn't completely give in to Angelica's influence.
  • Angelica's parents spoil her and while Drew has a backbone at times, he still gives in. He finally punishes her in "Angelica Runs Away" and Angelica is seen being punished more often after this. It serves as a Crowning Moment of Awesome and Character Development for Drew.
  • In the episode "The Dog Broomer" a subtle hint she was a fraud was her mentioning she was from various cities. At first, she says she's from Helsinki, then she says she was from Stockholm.
    • Was she a fraud? She seemed to be a legitimate dog groomer, even though she hated it and was kind of a jerk to Spike. I also believe that she said she was from Helsinki and went to SCHOOL in Stockholm.
    • It's revealed at the end her accent is a fake. Her surname Umlaut means those two dots over letters in Northern European languages, such as German. The fridge brilliance meaning that she could've been lying unless she legitimately traveled around.
  • The size of the characters' houses and yards change in some episodes. This is because it's seen from a baby's point of view, and they see things differently on their adventures.
    • In addition, the intro, which seems to be set in Tommy's living room, appears HUGE compared to how it's portrayed during the actual episodes. This is because the intro is from the babies' perspective, and everything is bigger to them than it is to us.
  • There's a subtle arc with Stu in the first season. In the second episode he meets the owner of Mucklehunny toys who likes his inventions and wants Stu to make toys for him. He also is working on a Patty Pants doll which he finally perfects for Mucklehunny in "Stumaker's Elves."
  • Chuckie calling a Jack in the Box a Jerk in the Box is not just the babies mispronouncing words, it's a Freudian Slip for Chuckie's fear and hatred of clowns.
  • Aunt Miriam and Angelica get along during the first episode to feature "Mim," because Angelica reminds Miriam of herself. Grandpa Lou tells Stu about how, when they were kids, Miriam threw Lou's ball over the fence into the next yard— which is exactly what Angelica did to Tommy in the second episode. Miriam also admits that her bullying of Lou was because she envied his popularity, which can sometimes be inferred about Angelica, towards Tommy (such as at the end of "Tommy and the Secret Club").
  • In The Movie and Rugrats in Paris Aunt Miriam has brown hair while she has grey hair in the show. In "A Visit From Aunt Miriam" it's established her hair is a wig, so it's a different wig in the same hairstyle.
  • Angelica being jealous of Susie in "Doctor Susie" if you remember that she had previously thought of herself as a doctor in "Rhinoceritis".
  • When Grandpa is dreaming in the camping episode he says "Dust Bowl, Shmust Bowl, I'm not moving to California." It's been established they live in California and that the Pickles aren't originally from there, so Grandpa was remembering other than going on a tangent.
  • In "A Visit From Lipschitz" after meeting the Pickles family he decides to change his style of children's psychology. He also quotes Sigmund Freud, who in real life is a case of History Marches On due to new evidence, and it seems Lipschitz himself realized that after personal interaction with the babies.
  • In "Reptar's Revenge" we see Didi freak out when a clown approaches her. This happens right in front of Chuckie, whose legendary fear of clowns develops a few episodes down the line. Studies have suggested that phobias are caused by seeing someone else react with fear to the same thing. Therefore Didi gave Chuckie his fear of clowns.
  • Fridge Logic about the Fridge Horror. Plenty of episodes have a stinger that show that our hero's latest fear was real after all. Could it be that Rugrats and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters take place in the same continuity? And if so, then was Angelica able to describe the monster trio in her story because she's been scared by them before? Or since in Aaahh!!! RealMonsters it's shown that monsters exist specifically because people are scared of them, could it be that it was this very story that created them?
    • Umm why is this scary again? Oblina has made it clear that MONSTERS DO NOT EAT CHILDREN! She says "They don't know where they've been" but monsters eating other monsters is a different story...
  • More Aunt Miriam Brilliance: In "Aunt Miriam" Grandpa wants to go to the Motel Styx during her visit. It's a play on words for the Hotel Six and the River Styx from the Underworld in Greek Mythology. Grandpa's saying he'd rather go to Hell than deal with her!
  • Why does Didi complain about the circus and is happy to leave in "Circus Angelicus?" She has a fear of clowns as noted in "Reptar's Revenge."
  • The "All Growed Up" special showed Didi's dismay over Spike having gained a lot of weight and other health issues over the years, and she doesn't know why. She's making a breakfast of bacon and eggs for Tommy, and Tommy secretly passes the bacon on to Spike. Why? Because bacon isn't kosher, so Tommy doesn't want to eat it.
    • Even more Brilliance - although Didi is the Jewish parent, she clearly isn't that heavy into her faith. We only ever see the family engage in Jewish customs when Boris and Minka are around - which suggests Didi only does Jewish things to please her parents. Which explains why she's even cooking bacon in the first place.
  • In "No Bones About It", the babies play with some masks that are on display and then stand still when a tour group comes by, then start moving again when the group starts to leave, which causes the tour group to scream and freak out. Funny enough on its own, but when you rewatch the episode again and hear the tour guide say that "According to legend, these totems come to life every thousand years to engage in a cannibalistic feast.", it makes even more sense for them to be freaked out!
  • A Running Gag is that Chuckie is scared of the guy on the Quaker Oats box. Quakers wear funny clothes so Chuckie must think he's a clown, which is one of his biggest fears.
  • The episode "Angelica for a Day" opens with a spoiled girl yelling at her dad to get her ice cream, and Drew says "I wouldn't want to be in his shoes." The joke here is that Drew has a spoiled daughter, but Angelica rarely screams at her dad like that. She acts more like a Spoiled Sweet around him and is manipulative to get her own way. She's more of a Spoiled Brat around the babies.
  • In the movies we see that Angelica likes songs from the 1970s and early 80s like "Morning After" from The Poseidon Adventure, "One Way or Another" by Blondie, and Donna Summers' "Bad Girls." We saw in the Valentines Day episode during the decade dance, Charlotte was dressed in 80s attire. We also know that Angelica is impressionable and copied a scene from The Godfather in Rugrats in Paris. Due to Comic-Book Time by the time the movies and that episode aired, we can say that Charlotte grew up around that era and Angelica was copying her and introduced to this music by her.
  • All Growed Up and All Grown Up a show a stark contrast in personalities and fashion. Everyone resembles their infant selves more (except for Susie whose afro was replaced with braids, similar to her younger version), Tommy was adventurous and lacked his passion for directing, Lil was still into gross stuff, etc. This is because All Growed Up is how the babies wanted and expected themselves to be as kids but All Grown Up is what really happened. How many people keep the same personality and wants from infancy to their teenage years?
  • The Passover episode seems to Bowdlerise the last plague (changing it from "death of everyone's first born child" to "first born child is 'taken away'"). But then you remember that in-universe Boris is telling the story to the babies, Angelica and Chaz. Of course he's censoring it, because there are little kids listening to the story!
  • Susie knows where babies come from at the end of "The Stork" because her mom's an OBGYN as established in The Rugrats Movie.
  • Chuckie has a shirt with a planet on it and one episode revealed that his favorite show is a Spinoff Babies version of a parody of Star Trek. The planet on his shirt may be a planet that appeared on that show.

Fridge Horror
  • A lot of the problems the babies face (or think they face) don't make anyone over the age of around 15 bat an eyelash, since we know that most of the things they think are simply wrong and not factual. But imagine things from their perspective, thinking that everything they fear had happened/will happen COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN. Imagine thinking you really DID turn your cousin to stone, and then the motionless statue of her SHATTERED into dozens of pieces, undoubtedly killing her. Imagine truly believing that swallowing a watermelon seed really will cause a full-sized watermelon to grow inside you and fatally rupture your stomach, or that there was an actual, realistic possibility that you could be sucked down your bathtub drain. The Rugrats must have been scared shitless during half the series. When you think about this, it's pretty remarkable how brave Tommy is despite how scary his life is. Or maybe he just doesn't know he SHOULD be scared.
  • If the Nostalgia Filter hasn't fully fogged up your vision of past cable cartoons, try watching Rugrats now in a world where everyone is much more careful when it comes to the safety of children. Shudder at the many instances of neglect. Gasp at the fact that the only thing saving the babies from being crushed, burned, exposed to the elements, abducted, starved, eaten, cut to ribbons, or permanently traumatized was dumb luck or their dim-bulb parents eventually realizing they were missing. It's like the Nickelodeon execs said, "You know, Ren and Stimpy was too gross and bizarre and Doug's too boring. Maybe kids will get a kick out of child neglect and psychological trauma, but we'll hide it under a veneer of adventure and comedy so the Moral Guardians won't get on our asses about it. Then, we'll run it into the ground for ten years and make a spin-off!" I mean, what would've happened if the parents were too late in realizing where the babies were whenever they went off somewhere? One must also consider the many instances in which Angelica plays on the babies' naiveté and paranoia in order to torment/scare them, for fun or for profit. And considering this happened to them while they're still quite young, what negative effects could this have possibly had on their mental health?
    • The episode "Together At Last" is especially notable. Both sets of babies manage to easily sneak out of the house. Tommy, Lil and Chuckie sneak out through the kitchen door while Didi is too busy cooking, and Phil easily gets out of the playpen while Betty is in the other room. Phil climbs on top of a fence and falls off. If it weren't a cartoon, he could have been seriously injured. He's also left alone with Spike and actually forces the dog's mouth open. Yeah if this weren't a cartoon...that probably wouldn't go down too well. And by the end, neither Betty nor Didi noticed that the babies had left.
    • The episode "Chuckie's Wonderful Life" shows that without Chuckie, Chaz is a mess, living alone in his house surrounded by empty pizza boxes and talking to a sock puppet. It gets worse when you realize that his wife (Chuckie's mother) died of an unmentioned disease (according to the Mother's Day special episode). And since Chaz doesn't have a kid, he wouldn't be as close to the other parents and therefore would have no friends to help him through his wife's illness and his own mental breakdown.
      • The episode implies the only thing standing between Chaz and sanity slippage was Chuckie. What better motivator to keep it together than the completely helpless human being you brought into the world with the love you just lost?
      • While it's comically blown into fantastic levels, some of the depictions, abiding by the show's Character Development, aren't grossly inaccurate. Chaz is a Nervous Wreck who frequently displays emotional dependency on Chuckie, Tommy, as the guardian angel emphasizes uses Chuckie as a Living Emotional Crutch, while Phil and Lil are often rambunctious and selfish when the others aren't around to keep them in line. Angelica is already a Spoiled Brat, but her moments of humility from the babies formed most of her Character Development into having any real redeeming aspects. Chuckie genuinely is pivotal to the lives of several people.
      • All Grown Up (thankfully) fixed this, but imagine somebody as borderline sociopathic as Angelica as a teenager or even an adult.
      • Calling Angelica sociopathic, even borderline, goes a bit too far, as she is only three. But yes, it would be terrifying to imagine how a child like Angelica, who receives little to no discipline whatsoever, would be as a teen or adult.
      • There is an entire reality show that's basically dedicated to that.
      • Had Angelica not mellowed out of messing with the babies' heads by the time of All Grown Up!, it's very possible she would've become a female version of Izaya Orihara
    • There actually was an episode where Tommy was kidnapped. The kidnappers returned him by the end of the episode, though.
  • In the episode "Toy Palace" there is a real, working time machine, set up as a Chekhov's Gun for the episode. In the Rugrats universe, not only is time travel possible, it's meant as a toy for children.
    • Fridge Brilliance leading off of this: the existence of time travel explains all the gross negligence on the parent's part, as well as explaining away the Comicbook Time nature of the show.
    • A more common interpretation is that it was just their imaginations again. That explains why they aged and why none of them are phased by suddenly being 10 - 13.
  • From the "New Kid in Town" episode, Josh's game "Pillow" involves him attempting to jump on the babies from the swings. If Angelica hadn't stepped in when she did, the little bastard could've killed them.
  • In the movie and the episode "Barbecue Story" one or all of the babies are in danger of getting mauled to death by animals and are only saved due to Spike. In Barbecue Story a neighbor's dog (who might just be intimidatingly friendly) and in the movie, definitely would be eaten by a wolf.
  • One episode had Angelica trying to rip Chuckie's teeth out to get money from the tooth fairy. Just imagine Angelica succeeding, and the parents finding Chuckie toothless and covered in blood...
  • It has already been established that Phil and Lil eat bugs. With the amount of neglect from their parents in each episode, how would anyone know if they were to eat a poisonous insect? This is especially apparent in the crossover with The Wild Thornberrys, where there are numerous unfamiliar insects that could very well be poisonous. If Lil hadn't insisted on the two of them being vegetarians during that movie, it might have meant death for the twins.
    • On the note of the babies eating bugs, that is rather normal as babies do put thing in their mouth to see what it is and, if they like the taste or, commonly,the feel, they'll be more inclined to eat it, nothing to worry about. On the note of the poisonous insects, well, that would be normal, too, if you take into account no one really expects for babies to eat the bugs, be them poisonous or not.
      • It it something to worry about when it's dangerous. A lot of babies swallow and taste things they shouldn't, such as poisons or small objects.
  • Chuckie is only two. He will forget Melville in time, probably relatively quickly.
  • In "Special Delivery" pausing at the right moment right before Tommy almost takes a tumble into the Dead Letter Office reveals the skeletonized remains of someone in uniform. Either A: This guy fell in accidentally and starved to death or B: The poor bastard was murdered and someone tossed his body in the Dead Letter Office to hide it.
  • The end of "Garage Sale" shows that pretty much everything in the Pickles house was sold, including the furniture. We can only hope that Didi and Stu made enough money from the sale to be able to replace everything...
    • Considering Status Quo Is God, everything is back to normal in the next episode. Either they made enough or managed to explain it to people who came to the sale.
  • In "I Remember Melville", Chuckie, distraught over Melville dying, deludes himself into believing that the bug is still alive. Eventually, he even uses Melville's clearly dead body to do "circus tricks" and such.

    ... imagine if Chuckie was an adult and Melville was a person.

Fridge Logic
  • One would think that the main four babies (Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil) were really just terribly misbehaved children who do things they know they shouldn't, just because. But for the most part, their parents NEVER punish them for anything they do. All they do is stop them from doing whatever they were trying to do, say "No, don't do that," and put them back in the playpen. No wonder the rugrats keep acting up— they're receiving almost NO negative reinforcement for their actions.
    • Um....Yeah they're babies. Babies don't know right from wrong, all you can really do is remove a baby from whatever situation and say "No no don't do that!" The only character you can say really doesn't tend to suffer the consequences of her actions is Angelica. She's 3, she's old enough to be say sent to a time out when she's in trouble.
  • Dil can't talk, yet somehow in the movie in which he's born, a whole bunch of other newborn babies at the exact same hospital perform a song and dance number.
    • So maybe babies can only talk to others of their own age?
    • It's for the same reason that the main babies can understand each other, but the adults can't understand them. It's easier for them to communicate with people who are closer to their own age.
    • Actually, Dil can talk, just not much. Remember, in the movie he says "mine" while fighting with Tommy, says "my Tommy" at one point, and then once randomly says "pooping" while, well, you know...
    • Dil is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, so it could just be that he doesn't have anything comprehensible to say.
  • 'Tanya' is a boy because she's bald.. She's one. A little baby without hair isn't anything odd.
    • That's not damning evidence, but the wig and the manner in which it was pulled off is.
      • For that matter, why did Didi damn near have a heart attack when the host announced the winner as "Tanya Pickles"? As if they're the only family on Earth with the last name "Pickles."
      • Maybe since the baby looked so similar to Tommy, Didi was a little suspicious, and when she heard the name, that just set off alarm bells in her mind. Especially when the host mentioned that "Tanya" was brought to the contest by her father and grandfather; that just led Didi to connect the dots, and...
  • Captain Blasto's oath ends with the line "It's Captain Blasto, wrong or right!" Wrong or right? What kind of superhero is he? Does he just go around beating people up without regard for morals and ethics?
  • Coco Labouche may be a mean spirited, insulting, thoughtless Child Hater, but she is quite a shrewd and cunning business woman, who has made millions for her company, and managed to run a super successful and world famous Theme Park. However she gets passed over for a promotion for that very reason, a woman who chose her career over having a family. Why is this okay? Sure she's not the most sympathetic person but do people really overlook this discrimination because she is supposedly a villain for being good at her job?