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Fanfic / The Rugrats Theory

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The Rugrats Theory is a fan interpretation of Rugrats. Originally a Creepypasta-inspired narrative, the theory proposes that the titular Rugrats are actually figments of Angelica Pickles' imagination. Through various means, each titular baby ends up becoming manifested in Angelica's delusions. Infamous for its content, the Rugrats Theory has been regarded as one of the darkest fan theories ever made, with several people claiming that it destroyed their perception of the series. It also inspired a Vocaloid song simply entitled the Rugrats Theory.

In late 2016, the creator of the series, Arlene Klasky, has confirmed that the theory wasn't true during an interview with Buzzfeed.


The Rugrats Theory provides examples of:

  • Based on a True Story: The story suggests that Angelica was actually real, as was Susie. After Angelica's death from drug overdose, it is said that Susie went to work for Nickelodeon, and created the show as a tribute to her late friend.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Angelica ultimately follows in her mother's footsteps, dying of an overdose by the time that All Grown Up! finished its run. Despite that, Chaz and Kira both lived relatively happy together despite her cocaine addiction.
  • Creepy Child: Angelica displays this behavior due to her mental illness.
  • Dark Fic: The premise of the Rugrats theory is that most of the babies were dead all along and that Angelica pretended they were alive as part of some delusion.
  • Death by Adaptation: All the Rugrats (sans Kimi, Dil, and Susie) are dead.
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  • Deus Angst Machina: Just how much tragedy can strike a neighborhood anyway? The residents are hit with a car accident that kills both Melinda and Chuckie, Stu and Didi experiencing a stillbirth, the DeVilles having an abortion, a little girl suffering from mental illness and eventually dying from a drug overdose, and a boy who is left with permanent brain damage after he's violently hit in an attempt to make him go away.
  • Downer Beginning: "The Rugrats really were a figment of Angelica's imagination".
  • Dying Alone: Angelica ultimately succumbs to an overdose, and no one is there to comfort her as she dies.
  • False Friend: Susie goes along with everything that Angelica tells her, and exploits it by penning The Rugrats to Nickelodeon.
  • Gold Digger: It's mentioned that Drew remarried to an unnamed gold digger.
  • Junkie Parent:
    • Charlotte died of a heroin overdose when Angelica was an infant. In the "tweaked version" of the theory, Angelica's mental illness is an outright result of her mother's drug usage while pregnant.
    • Chaz's second wife Kira starts as cocaine-addicted but tries to get clean.
  • The Lost Lenore: Chaz lost his wife — and son — in a car accident.
  • Mature Work, Child Protagonists: The fanfiction is a Dark Fic based on Rugrats focusing on three-year-old Angelica. It has themes such as mental illness, drugs, and a case of Childhood Brain Damage that's Played for Drama.
  • Missing Mom: Angelica's birth mother died of a drug overdose.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Angelica began to indulge in drugs after she saw that Dil was suffering from mental retardation due to her striking him when he was a baby.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: All of the parents, but particularly Stu who, according to the theory, continually makes toys in his basement for the son who never got to live.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: Charlotte is depicted as Angelica's stepmother instead of her biological mother like in canon.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: The theory says that the entire Rugrats series is seen through Angelica's delusional eyes.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Tommy was stillborn, resulting in Stu’s obsession with inventing toys for a son who could never play with them.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Angelica violently hits Dil in an attempt of making him go away and begins to heavily use drugs as a preteen.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Angelica beats up baby Dil enough to give him brain damage. This is because she couldn't tell that he was real, unlike the other babies. When she's older she regrets this, which leads to her drug addiction.