Recap / Renand Stimpy1x 00 Big House Blues

Stimpy: What's the big sleep, Ren?
(Ren brings Stimpy's ear close to his mouth, as if to whisper)
— Ren on The Big Sleep

Big House Blues is the pilot episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show.

The cartoon opens with Ren and Stimpy, an asthma-hound chihuahua and a fat, dopey cat, roaming the streets homeless and unable to find any food. After being run over by the local dogcatcher's truck, they are escorted to the city pound where they are assured that they'll love it. All goes well until one fellow inmate, Phil the Dog, is taken to be put in "The Big Sleep", in the words of Jasper the Dalmatian Pup.

The next morning Stimpy coughs up a hairball on Ren, making him look like a poodle. This attracts the attention of a little girl who falls in love with Ren, adopts him and promises to love him, and squeeze him, and everything. But Ren won't go unless Stimpy does, too.

At their new home, Ren receives a sweater from his new owner, while Stimpy receives his "foist material possession": a litterbox.


  • And Call Him "George"!: The little girl who adopts Ren and then Stimpy.
  • Animation Bump: One of the most lavishly animated episodes of the entire series and the only one to be inked by hand.
  • Bowdlerization: Ren kissing Stimpy in his sleep, thinking he's a beautiful woman, and the punchline of Ren freaking out and washing his mouth out in the toilet was cut by Nickelodeon. Spike TV reinstated this scene when they ran classic Ren and Stimpy episodes with the Adult Party Cartoon episodes.
    • Ironically, despite that scene being cut, the opening theme song sequence, which has clips from Big House Blues, has the part where Ren runs to the toilet to clean his mouth.
    • Another edit to this episode: after the dog catcher gives Ren and Stimpy party hats, he effeminately wiggles his butt and says, "Go ahead. Have fun. See if I care." It is unknown whether this was a time cut or if the Nickelodeon censors thought the dog catcher was acting stereotypically Camp Gay.
  • Conjoined Eyes: Stimpy briefly has these as he's pulling at the bars in heartbreaking agony.
  • Its Pronounced Tropay: The start of the Running Gag about the pronunciation of Ren's last name.
    Ren: That's "Ho-ek", not "Hoak"!
  • Never Say "Die": Subverted. "The big sleep" is used as a euphemism for "death," but only until Ren explains to Stimpy what "the big sleep" really means.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Complete with human toilets in the barred cells.
  • The Quiet One: Oddly enough, Stimpy doesn't have any speaking lines until halfway through the episode and even then he only has three lines total.
  • Title Montage: The opening for every Ren and Stimpy episode is a rapid-fire montage of clips from this cartoon including the scenes that got cut by Nickelodeon.
  • Shout-Out: Jasper was based directly off of "Pooch the Pup", a character created by a classic comic artist, Milt Gross.

Alternative Title(s): Big House Blues