Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Rugrats

Go To

Why do babies cry so often? Mostly because they can't talk just yet. But with so much beyond their comprehension, some things we might take for granted (or would just mildly disturb us) make perfect Nightmare Fuel for infants. The Rugrats Movie has its own page.


The Show
  • The original pilot. The animation is much more detailed and makes the characters look ugly or downright monstrous, especially their bizarre, undulating necks, and the whole episode has a cold, alien, feel compared to later episodes. The girlish voice of Tommy and the fact it is mostly at night do not help. The worst part are the two characters who don't appear in the series proper, possibly being early versions of Betty and Howard, but very different-looking. Chuckie and Angelica don't appear either.
  • Whenever you can see the inside of a character's mouth, whether they be crying, eating, or just simply talking, can be somewhat unsettling.
  • The old art style can be this for anyone who only saw the later seasons, then returned to watch it from the beginning when they were older. Many of the characters, especially the babies, have weird proportions when it comes to their bodies.
  • The first aired episode Tommy's First Birthday has Angelica's shadow when she's placed in the crib and she approaches the babies.
  • The episode Special Delivery has Tommy exploring the post office, and goes through the chute to the dead letter office, on a conveyor belt leading to what is best described as the junk-mail pit of death, complete with the skeleton of a postal worker who had apparently fallen in years before.note 
    • There’s also Tommy being mishandled by the mailing devices, notably being grabbed and shaken by a menacing robotic arm, during which he makes cries that sound disturbingly like an actual infant.
  • In the episode Reptar on Ice there was a creepy scene showing the lizard's point of view of how humans look, first Tommy's face up close, then Phil and Lil, it is really horrifying.
  • In Chuckie vs. The Potty, Chuckie has a nightmare where his potty-training is like death row, complete with screams of "Not the chair! NOT THE CHAIR!" Just to make it even creepier, the sequence features all of the babies—Phil and Lil appear as the prison guards that march Chuckie to the chair, and Tommy is an eerily calm priest who tries to console him. The bit ends with Angelica as the executioner, who pulls off her mask to reveal one of the creepiest Slasher Smile and Evil Laugh combinations EVER, and flushes Chuckie down a giant toilet.
    Angelica: Everybody's gotta go SOME DAY! AH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!
    • There’s also the group of snarling, thuggish adult men wearing only diapers leering from their cell at Chuckie.
  • Then there's the episode where Stu's latest invention is Mr. Friend, an unintentionally creepy-looking robotic toy clown. Given the toy's erratic and disturbing behavior, the babies' malapropism "Mr. Fiend" may be a more accurate description. It gets worse when Tommy and friends have to fight off a small army of malfunctioning Mr. Friend dolls.
    • More to the point, how could Stu not see how terrifying the doll was? I mean... babies cry when around it and hide when it's there, and even Didi seemed to find it disturbing (or at least, irritating).
      • It might just be that Mr. Friend isn't meant for infants. Angelica, a toddler, gets her own Mr. Friend and loves him, and is completely baffled by the sheer horror the babies feel around him.
    • Advertisement:
    • One of the Mr. Friends seemed almost... sentient. What with how it hid from Tommy’s parents and was able to "conveniently" wander into the other Mr. Friends and activate them as an army that JUST SO HAPPENED to find the Babies... Innocent child’s toy that Tommy and his pals were simply too young for? Or something... otherworldly?
  • Another episode was played out like a sci-fi movie with the parents as aliens. It turns out to be a dream... but then it ends with Angelica stranded on a desert planet trying to dig for food, after Tommy wakes up.
  • Chuckie's nightmare sequence in Spike's doghouse at the beginning of In The Dreamtime where he approached Tommy (who was facing away from the camera) and tapped him on the shoulder, only to have Tommy's head rotate to reveal a creepy clown face and declare in the most disturbing voice ever, "I'm not Tommy!" before laughing insanely while the background music that plays lets you know something's wrong.
    • The end of the episode had Chaz walk out of Chuckie's room after tucking him in and noticing Stu turned away from him. He says, "Stu, I didn't know you were coming over..." only to be confronted with Stu having a similar clown face that dream-Tommy had and saying, "I'm not Stu!" before also laughing creepily as the episode ends with Chaz waking up screaming in terror. Unlike the Not-Tommy dream, which is already pretty surreal and made obvious it's just a dream before the reveal, the Not-Stu reveal comes out of nowhere and is very hard to tell it's actually a dream until the reveal.
    • However, both could be the inspiration for Ukinojoe's Blonic, which is Nightmare Retardant.
    • Chuckie's second dream, while not nearly as memorable as the above sequences, still is rather unsettling at some points. It starts off normally, the house gets full of Alien Geometries, at which point the background music becomes distorted, and the babies enter a large hall filled with strange pictures of Tommy on the wall. Some of them are just goofy looking (such as a picture of Tommy with a stretched out neck), others are just ...bizarrely creepy (among others, there are such things as a bunch of Tommy heads stacked on each other, a Tommy whose body is his head, a Tommy with six eyes, etc.), to say nothing of poor Chuckie falling screaming into a void...
  • There are moments of this in the episode Real or Robots. It opens with Tommy and Chuckle watching a movie about a mad scientist plotting world domination with his robots. Stu quickly turns it off.
    Mad Scientist: At last, my experiment is almost complete. Soon I will replace every man, woman and child with my robots and take over the world! (Cackles maniacally!)
    (Tommy and Chuckie watch in horror as the mad scientist brings the robot to life via what appears to be a man via lightning power and then stands it upright by tipping the bed forward, as the robot begins to stand up it gradually starts to smile. As the robot begins walking toward a door, a boy opens the door.)
    Boy: Oh, no! Dad! You're a robot!
    (Just as Tommy and Chuckie are about to watch the robot grab the boy, Stu turns off the TV. The babies turn to face him and gasp.)
    Stu: This movie is way too scary for you kids. C'mon, it's time for bed.
    (Chuckie follows Stu, but Tommy stays behind. He turns the TV back on, and gets one last look at the movie; he watches in horror as the robot is carrying the terrified boy in his clutches.)
    • In one of Tommy's attempts to prove his dad's a robot, he undoes his father's nightshirt to find "bolts that open his chest (relating this to the robot on TV, which had bolts where a man would have nipples). He then attempts to use his plastic pipe wrench to twist them, which causes Stu to immediately wake up screaming in pain, and in turn scares Tommy and Chuckie into screaming themselves. Yikes!
    • The scene where Tommy and Chuckie are convinced a sleep-walking Stu has somehow been converted into a robot, especially the scene where Stu chases them.
    • Just Stu sleepwalking and making a wreck of his kitchen... for any child who never had to deal with sleepwalkers before this could leave a pretty freaky first impression. Couple that with Stu moaning like Frankenstein’s monster; can you blame Tommy and Chuckie for thinking he’s a robot? No Sir!
    • The ending exchange:
      Tommy: I'm glad my dad's not a robot, Chuckie.
      Chuckie: Yeah. (Beat) ...But what about my dad?! (Scare Chord plays)
  • In Stu-Maker's Elves, Tommy and Chuckie had to go down to the basement to get a fly-away frisbee. The basement was creepy, but the real nightmare fuel was a creepy first-person view of Chuckie's memory of being spanked by the doctors. We see Chuckie being held upside-down with his freakishly malformed and tube-like arms dangling beneath him, flying around franticly, and the loud "SMACK SMACK SMACK!" coupled with Chuckie bawling. It's probably the most terrifying thing to ever happen in the series.
  • The episode Under Chuckie's Bed where Chuckie gets a new bed to replace his crib and thinks there is a monster under there and imagines that it's talking to him. When Chuckie dares to peek under his bed for the monster he actually saw a dark, demonic-looking humanoid WITH AN ARM REACHING TOWARDS HIM. This image is pictured above, by the way.
    Monster: "Hi, Chuckie!"
    • Angelica's story that she tells halfway through the episode about a boy who got "eaten by a monster under his bed" is also quite disturbing too. It begins with the boy just laying on his bed and reading comic books, when he hears the monster talking to him. The monster tells the kid that he has cake and ice cream under the bed, and the boy, buying the monster's lie hook-line-and-sinker, drops down to the foot of his bed, only for the monster to eat him alive in a scene that looks like it came from a A Nightmare on Elm Street movie. Ending with a horrible belching noise to top it all off as well.
    Angelica: And they never saw little Barnaby Jones again... So remember there's only one place you can hide: Under the covers. And sometimes, the monsters can even find you there. (Flicks Chuckie's teeth and runs around singing) Chuckie's gonna get eaten, eaten, eaten! Chuckie's gonna get eaten by the monster under his bed!
    • To make matters worse on both counts, the monster in question had the exact same voice as Krumm! though that could be Nightmare Retardant depending on who is watching.
  • Chuckie's germ nightmare in the episode "Mr. Clean". The faces that the germs wield do not help.
  • Chaz's psychotic dependency on puppets.
    • "I love you, Boppo."
  • The clown lamp in the episode The Trial. No wonder Chuckie was terrified of it.
  • "Pickles Vs. Pickles": Angelica appears to be suing her parents as revenge because they tried to make her eat broccoli and then sent her to her room when she lost her cool and threw the plate of broccoli against the wall and Drew almost gets thrown in jail. The scenery suddenly darkens as the judge orders him locked up and then the guards take him away from the court, with him kicking and repeatedly screaming "NO! I'm a good father!" while everyone in the audience/jury laughs and cheers for Angelica and the camera zooms in on his mouth... He wakes up immediately after this back in his bed. It was All Just a Dream that Drew was having, but it's still a disturbing scene.
  • The vicious bull dog in the episode Barbecue Story, specifically the part where Tommy and Chuckie are in the bull dog's yard searching for Tommy's ball and the dog growls at them, yanking so hard at its chain that it pulls against the dog house and pulls the dog house out from the ground nail by nail with the dog getting closer and closer to Tommy and Chuckie. Thankfully Spike comes along in a creepy voodoo mask of some sort and saves them.
    • While not nearly as scary visually, the "monster dog" in In the Dreamtime almost ready to pounce on Chuckie while the whole time he thinks he’s dreaming can be nerve wracking. Then Chuckie realizes he ain’t dreamin’...
  • Angelica's temporary Heel–Face Turn in Angelica for a Day can be creepy to some. The smile on her face seems so forced and unnatural.
    • The premise of the episode is pretty creepy, too. By switching shoes with someone, you automatically take on their personality, whether they're a good person or a bad person. What's worse is that the change appears to be permanent unless a new pair of shoes is put on. Thank God it was All Just a Dream.
  • Worst of all is Angelica's would-be baby brother from the episode, Angelica's Worst Nightmare. It begins with Angelica hearing a baby crying. She finds her parents fawning over the new baby, saying how "precious" and "adorable" it is while not knowing who Angelica is. After the Drew and Charlotte leave, Angelica talks to the baby, and, much in the same matter as Tommy and the gang, Angelica's new baby brother can talk. However, he's more like Family Guy's Stewie minus the evil humor and with a horrifyingly deep and raspy voice, and tells Angelica that this house isn't big enough for the both of them, saying that Angelica (the "old baby") should be gone permanently. Angelica tries to flee from him, but the baby keeps finding her, and growing every time there's an encounter between them. The dream enters its horrifying climax as Angelica's now Godzilla-sized baby brother catches her in her getaway car, wondering "what a toy car would taste like". It all ends with Angelica screaming, "No! Please, I'm your big sister!" and the baby replying, "WELL NOW YOU'RE NUM-NUMS!" and putting Angelica (car and all) in his dark cave-like mouth.
    • Even worse: At one point Angelica hides from him in a closet. At first he keeps walking and she sighs in relief, only for him to burst through the door and resume the chase. We don't even hear his footsteps approaching or see his shadow underneath, the door just flies open and he immediately lets out a terrifying "AH-HA!"
  • The episode where they camp out in the backyard with Grandpa and he tells them about the Satchmonote  is damn terrifying. The atmosphere of that episode was just so ominous.
  • In the episode Dust Bunnies, Chuckie becomes scared of dust bunnies. So scared that he has a nightmare where a giant, evil, slobbering rabbit drags him into the basement with its slimy ears, while he screams the whole time.
    • Apparently, it was aired as part of a 3D promotion block called 'Nogglevision', using 'Chroma-Depth' technology. The 3D is still in the episode, as Chroma-Depth requires specific colours, but all the cues are removed. Still, imagine watching this episode when it aired as part of the 3D line-up, in 3D.
  • In What The Big People Do, Tommy and Chuckie have a dream about being grown up and going to work. All is well and good, until they are called into The Boss's office. They have to first walk down a hallway with giant pictures of past bosses and are thrown into the the boss's room by the carpet in the hallway. The doors slam shut, creepy organ music plays, and the entire room is enshrouded in shadows save for the boss' chair, which makes a horrible creaking noise. The Boss is the adult version of Angelica, who threatens to have them "FIREEEED!", and then flames shoot at Tommy and Chuckie from these two Reptar statues she has in her office. They flee while the the past bosses climb out of their portraits to stop them. Angelica calls in some creepy robot minions, and all the time insanely creepy music is playing while the angry-faced robots close in on them. Had to be one of the creepiest things in Rugrats ever.
    • The ending lulls you into a false sense of security with Tommy reassuring Chuckie that being a grown up won't be that bad, and then, for no real reason at all other than scaring the crap out of every kid watching the episode, Angelica appears and says the following in such a creepy and horrifying fashion: "Oh booooyyyyys~ Time to play HOUSE!" Cue her face morphing back into the adult version, complete with a huge Slasher Smile, her Evil Laugh, Tommy and Chuckie screaming in terror and a hard cut to black.
    • To a lesser extent, the sight of the Babies (and Angelica’s) heads on adult bodies can lead to some SERIOUS Uncanny Valley.
  • Angelica explaining to Tommy that parents swap each others children at family reunions, ending with "And you'll never see your mom or your dad or your dumb old dog ever again!" Two takes with Angelica reiterating that line make this even more uncomfortable, with the second reminding her of her own possible fate.
  • In the aptly named episode The Shot, Chuckie describes getting a shot to Tommy (who was going to get one that day), with images of a friendly-looking doctor morphing into a Mr. Hyde-like monster and thrusting a hypodermic harpoon at Chuckie.
    • The doctor introduces himself by saying "Don't you remember me? I'm your friend, Dr. Lector!" Can't fault Chuckie for being scared. NOPE.
    • The whole matter of getting injections in the first place, even without Angelica playing it up to be the most horrible thing ever. Adults can be terrified of needles too, after all. And as the doctor says at the end, some kids can take them, but some kids can't.
  • The first Halloween episode had some pretty creepy background music, as well as views through the eyes of what the babies thought was a monster in the garage. Turned out it was actually just a mouse, but it's still disturbing.
  • ''Chuckie's Wonderful Life'', where Chuckie wants to run away from home when his dad's CD goes missing, and he sees what life would be like if he never existed. What was both terrifying and depressing was when his guardian angel showed him Tommy's dark, grey house, with a beaten, dirty and sad Tommy playing in the trash cans. The dialogue is as follows:
    Chuckie: Why is he out here? Why isn't he inside playing with his toys?
    Angel: Angelica took his toys.
    Chuckie: What about his house?
    Angel: She also took his house.
    Chuckie: What about his parents?... You mean...
    Angel: Yep, she took them too.
    • If that wasn't enough, it then shows a starved Tommy beside a Jabba the Hutt-esque Angelica who has apparently taken over the world since we see fancy blimps with an "A" for Angelica floating over a desolate neighborhood where babies are running around causing trouble while the adults panic. Angelica's throne is located in Tommy's house, where she has Tommy's parents rushing around baking her cakes, completely ignoring Tommy, who begs for food, and is rejected!
      • Also in this episode, Chuckie finds that his father's sanity has been shattered by loneliness, and he lives in a squalid house where empty pizza boxes have become furniture, and his only friend is his schizophrenic outlet: a sock puppet. It even becomes a Tear Jerker if you've seen Mother's Day and you know that Chas' wife is already dead and Chuckie is their only child.
      • Also in this episode, Phil and Lil destroying breakables in their house as their parents sob over their ruined home.
      • But even worse is what lead to Chuckie dreaming this fantasy world. After he mistakenly believes his friends lost his dad's favorite CD (really Angelica stole it) and gets mad at them, Angelica basically tells him this to shatter any confidence he has in himself. Doubles as a Tear Jerker:
    Angelica: Y’see Chuckie there are two kinds of people in this world: people who make thing better; people like me. And people who just seem to... get in the way; people like you...
    Chuckie: Isn’t there anything I can do?
    Angelica: Not really Chuckie. The bottom line is we’d all be a lot better off without you.
  • In Chuckie Loses His Glasses, when Angelica steals Chuckie's glasses, his imagination runs wild without them and he begins seeing ordinary objects as creepy clowns and the like.
  • In The First Cut, Tommy gets cut on a rose bush. He later dreams that when he gets cut, endless amounts of stuffing starts pouring out of the wound, as if he's a stuffed doll (this was inspired by a damaged teddy bear earlier in the episode).
    • The close up shots of Tommy's bleeding finger. Nickelodeon normally rejects episodes that contain blood, but as the usage of blood in this episode is non violent as the show is rated G for the general population, this is likely the first notable exception in Nicktoons history.
  • The Last Babysitter: With only Alisa, Susie's 15-year-old sister, in charge, the power goes out, and Tommy and Susie think that there's a monster in the dark house. At one point, they sneak upstairs to read Susie's book of monsters, one of which, known as Numerid, "eats bones."
    Tommy: Like a dog?
    Susie: No, Tommy. Not like a dog.note 
  • The Fantastic Voyage episode where Angelica had Chuckie convinced that, because he swallowed a seed, his stomach would be ripped open from the inside by a rapidly growing watermelon. The others had to go in there to get the watermelon seed out before it took root, but they were too late and it started going out of control. The environment inside was dark, claustrophobic and kinda gross. Tommy, Phil, Lil, and Angelica hardly got out in time, and only then was it revealed that it was All Just a Dream. To make matters worse, Angelica also almost drowned in mucus and Phil also nearly drowned when he fell into the bloodstream and had to be saved. What kid would want to go swimming after watching that? Be glad it was All Just a Dream.
    • How about the fact that Angelica wants the watermelon inside Chuckie to grow so he'll explode... One can only wonder what was in her mind when she thought up that wicked idea. This is why some fans consider her a "sociopath". Then again, she did realize what would go wrong with her plan if she had succeeded in making the watermelon grow only when Tommy pointed out she will be in Chuckie's stomach when it explodes. Again, it was a dream...
  • Party Animals, in which the babies walk in on a costume party and become convinced that the world has changed via what they believe is Aladdin’s Lamp. Throughout the episode, a man dressed as a baby (Didi's cousin Bucky) is chasing the babies and yelling at them to pull his finger. Worse, he continues to do this, even when it is plainly obvious that the babies are dead terrified. Eventually the babies manage to trap him and lock him in the bathroom. A while after the party has ended, Angelica wakes up and has to go to the bathroom, but Tommy and the gang try and stop her, thinking that the world is still "topsy-turvy". Angelica leads them near the stairs and shows them that the world is completely normal (the adults are just vacuuming and relaxing) and that it was probably all in their heads. She then goes to where the bathroom is, opens the door... and Giant Man-Baby jumps right out, shouting at her, "HEY, PULL MY FINGER!"
    • For some Nightmare Retardant, the man in question was established earlier to be one of Didi's cousins and was mostly just trying to be a Cool Uncle. It backfired a lot though.
    • To make matters far worse? Bucky’s costume consisted of him wearing only a diaper! Now imagine the sight of a fat grown man in only a diaper chasing babies around telling them to "pull my finger!" Even with context this just looks... wrong...
  • The scene in Grandpa's Teeth where a goose wears Grandpa's dentures and kidnaps Chuckie was pretty creepy. Not to mention, the goose roaring at a boy on a horse and causing a massive stampede. As if real geese weren't terrifying enough.
  • The way Susie is introduced into the series in Meet the Carmichaels, namely her running into the camera while sobbing hysterically.
  • Tommy's fever dream sequence in Slumber Party. Surreal doesn't cover it.
  • In Down the Drain Angelica tells Tommy a story (in a similar vein to the 'monster under the bed' story mentioned above) about a nice boy who was swallowed up by his own bathtub.
    • To couple with the above-example in Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing there’s Tommy and Chuckie trying to plug up the bathtub drain with Play-Doh, Tommy climbing in and out of the tub and almost falling over! Two babies left unattended in a bathroom is always a terrifying thought.
  • The episode about the mole people in the basement was horrifying. Especially the ending, which features the basement door opening ...and two glowing green eyes, belonging to a mole person, appearing in the pitch darkness. Eep.
  • A good example of how scary Angelica can be? The episode Tooth or Dare. Specifically when she gets the idea to pull out Chuckie's teeth when she learns about the Tooth Fairy from Susie. "I'M GONNA GET THOSE TEETH IF IT'S THE LAST THING I EVER DO!!!!!"
  • In Spike Runs Away, Tommy's parents briefly adopt a pair of gerbils. Soon there are hundreds of gerbils, covering the entire floor. It's strangely disturbing.
    • Also the tarantula in the same episode. Extreme closeups of spiders' faces are scary enough, but you don't have to be a hobbyist to see the aspect of a joke about smashing to death an animal people keep as pets.
    • When Stu goes to the pet store for a replacement, it's full of a few Freeze Frame Bonuses such as an elephant stuffed in a cage, as well as a praying mantis the size of the adults!
  • Stu's descent into madness after Angelica pretends to break her leg in the episode Angelica Breaks A Leg.
    • Seeing the image of Angelica's entire skeleton and also the skeleton of Bob the x-ray technician as he takes pictures of her insides was quite creepy.
    • Angelica's buzzer? Mildly irritating at worst. Charlotte's buzzer? Terrifying.
  • Regarding Stuie, in which Stu falls off the roof and hits his head. He becomes like a baby and plays around with Tommy and the others. Towards the end, Tommy realizes his daddy is never coming back, because "Stuie" is his daddy, and starts crying for him...
    • The whole episode is honestly pretty horrifying. Stu essentially gets brain damage, gets mentally regressed into an infant, and is convinced by babies to climb up the roof again where he falls again and gets worse injuries... Didi is LockedOutOfTheLoop on all of this...
  • Mega Diaper Babies ends with the babies rescuing their favorite superheroes from a giant robotic Angelica, then waving goodbye as the heroes go retrieve some stolen oxygen ...then Angelica looms over Tommy's house and laughs evilly. The end credits music for the episode sounds kind of creepy as well.
    • After the robotic Angelic is defeated, her head explodes, revealed a skull-like frame for her mechanical headpiece.
  • New Kid in Town, where Tommy and his friends join up with this fat boy named Josh, who decides to play a game called "Pillow". He swings to the highest point he can and then tells the babies he's not trying to jump over them ...but he's going to jump on top of them. This kid looked heavier than all four babies combined, and he was going at least as high at the swing bar. Had it not been for Angelica intervening when she did, imagine what could have happened. Also, this episode appears to be stating that slavery is all right as long as the master doesn't try to kill his or her slaves. No matter what, slavery is wrong and illegal.
  • There was an episode where Tommy wished the worst thing ever would happen to Angelica. Angelica goes home, but Tommy finds a statue of her and is racked with guilt, thinking his wish had turned her to stone.
  • One episode where the kids tell scary stories features the monsters from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters showing up to eat the babies.note 
  • Weaning Tommy. Tommy more or less goes into withdrawal after a couple of days without his bottle. He has a fever dream that cannot be described as anything less than horrifying. At one point, a giant sippy cup with a Slasher Smile chases him around, shouting "DRINK ME!!!"
    • Tommy's dentist Dr. Homer is pretty creepy as well.
  • Toy Palace had an actual working time machine (the Wee Willie Warp Time Translator) and a life-size toy robot got inside after hijinks ensued. It was transported back to the Revolutionary War in the middle of an ongoing battle with no way to return. Tommy and Chuckie, an infant and toddler, could've ended up lost in the past forever in the middle of a bloody battle! Just imagine the trauma that would wreak on their innocent minds...
    • Worse... with a robot toy from the future in that era, there might be an impact on the future. It showed up in plain sight during the war. Maybe it caused alien paranoia...?
    • What about the fact that it never said that there was any way of getting back to the present?
  • Chuckie unzipping himself to reveal that he's an alien in The Alien. Granted it was just a fake story Angelica made up, but still. The alien's chibi dinosaur appearance lessened the scare factor at least.
  • The Santa Experience has some pretty scary moments but the scariest has to be the nightmare Angelica has. The way Santa's so threatening towards her is unsettling, then Santa buries her alive in coal while she screams and Santa just laughs evilly! Imagine the thousands of toddlers and children that saw this and it was just their first time meeting Santa.
    • Not to mention that the Santa here was voiced by fucking Frollo and Megabyte! To be fair, he's also Dr. Lipschitz, but without the goofy accent he puts on like with that character, he just sounds terrifying.
    • There's also the scene where Grandpa Lou is explaining to the kids what Santa brings you if you're naughty. There's something eerie and unsettling about the way he says "A big ugly lump of COOOAAAALLL!", complete with the camera zooming into his mouth.
  • The episode Ruthless Tommy where Tommy is freakin' kidnapped, and the adults have absolutely no idea he's gone until hours later, when the crooks can't handle it and decide to return him.
  • The Sky is Falling. It was not common for a kid's cartoon to tackle the issue of the apocalypse at the time.
  • Grandpa's Bad Bug. Imagine breaking a promise (and lying to hide what you did), then waking up to sights like a bunch of bugs crawling all over you. Sure, we clearly see that the babies brought them in, and it was out of good intentions (wanting some good bugs to fight the "bad bug" out of Grandpa's system), but he had no way of knowing that. When you look at it from his point of view, there could have been something supernatural going on, for all he knew.
    • Tommy pinching Grandpa's uvula. The babies think it's a bug inside his throat and go to extract it with Tommy's toy pliers. What's worse is you see the crumpled-up uvula afterwards, pulsating in pain. Ouch!
  • Pat Sajak! Just look at him!
    • It runs in the family. Check out his dead eyed son.
  • In Spike's Babies, Stu decides to board up the crawlspace entrance, unaware that there are kittens hiding inside. If Tommy hadn't freed Spike, the kittens would have been sealed up and left to starve to death.
  • The Incredible Shrinking Babies may have been All Just a Dream (or was it...?) but it's still plenty disturbing. Basically, Chuckie has a nightmare that he, Tommy and the twins have all shrunken to the size of dolls while Dil is still his normal size and thus much bigger than them. He tries repeatedly to "play" with them and they're powerless to stop him ...and it culminates in him eating Chuckie alive.
  • In Rebel Without A Teddy Bear, there is a long panning shot of the sheer amount of damage Tommy has done to the Pickles house as a result of Angelica telling him to "go bad". Seeing an established setting completely trashed, cartoon or otherwise, is a bit much. Especially seeing just how much damage Tommy has done, most notably seeing the playpen hacked to bits and a smashed huge gap in the large window of the sliding door by said playpen, settings in particular are very familiar to viewers.
  • Gracko in "Diapies and Dragons" was kinda creepy, wasn't he? Especially to young kids who don't get the idea of Large Ham. Whatever.
  • In the earlier seasons after the Klasky-Csupo vanity plate during the "haystack" logo, bizarre sounds are sometimes heard, including one that was just random muttering followed by a sharp screech.
  • Tommy’s very first bruise in Touchdown Tommy is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to Adult Fear. Going by the animation it doesn’t even look like he hit it that hard to make such a whopper of a bruise... but babies heads ARE very soft after all; and had he hit one of the sharp corners getting his balloon... well Didi’s scream when he bumps his head a second time really does say it all...

Other Media

  • From the PS1 game Rugrats: Search for Reptar, there is a level called Let There Be Light in which there's a powercut, and you need to control Tommy to find the light (i.e., the fridge). Little Tommy is only armed with a flashlight and there's freaking ghosts around the entire house. Strangely, he isn't afraid of the ghosts.
    • In the mini golf level, there is a hidden entrance in the pyramid on the eighth hole. Inside the pyramid there is a maze of seemingly empty corridors filled with nothing but Reptar bars. You go around exploring and gathering the bars ...until you hear a strange mechanical noise and follow it to find a mummified version of Mr. Friend which immediately starts coming towards you, by which time, you're running out of there (luckily he is harmless in this encounter, but you won't know that when you first see him and could likely experience quite a Jump Scare from the sudden encounter). The pyramid is dimly lit, just like one in a horror game would be, and you encounter him in a tiny room after turning a very narrow corner, putting him right in your face. This should not have been in a kids game.
      • With the Mr Fiend/Friend, once you realize that he is harmless, if you can handle the creepiness and move slowly enough, he will follow you out of the pyramid. Then he reaches sunlight and breaks apart, which actually makes you feel sorry for him since he is harmless here. Jump Scare and Body Horror aside, it can take up to 3 minutes to get him outside (if you don't get lost), which is a long time in that place...
    • Then there's the actual Mr. Friend level, where you have to fight an army of Mr. Friend dolls. The clincher is the first Mr. Friend coming to life: Tommy is on the ground looking up at the machine, but can't make anything out ...until Mr. Friend springs to his feet. If it doesn't freak you the hell out, you're dead inside.
    Mr Friend: Oh boy, a brand new friend to meet! Let's wash our hands before we eat! You can call me Mr Friend! You'll never, ever be bored again!
    • The Toy Palace level is full on creepy in it's dark, closed store feel and with monsters chasing after you, though the original episode was as well. The worst part of the first section is that you can encounter more Mr. Friend dolls at one point that will attack you, and there's no warning either. Oh, and you have to deal with them to get the Reptar bars they're guarding.
      • The last part of the level has you playing as Tommy collecting boxes to get high enough to press the button to activate Reptar so that he can fight Thorg. Trouble is, Thorg is waiting for you everytime you go to get a box and you'll always hear his loud, metallic footsteps getting closer before you see him.
    • The level in which you play as Angelica and you have to fly, slowly, in an anti-gravity space area is very creepy.
    • The level based on Grandpa's Teeth was rather scary, set in a large maze with bizarre-looking geese popping out every now and then.
    • Just getting a game over was terrifying if you were young enough. If you're playing as a baby they would fall into a sitting position and with a completely pitch black background and start crying. They would always say something, but listening to Tommy was scary and depressing, because he always said something like, "I'm sorry, Reptar..."
  • Studio Tour has the Outside Space levels, one of which features everyone's favorite toy clown Mr. Friend! The atmosphere of the levels don't help either. At least the director's voice was nice to listen to.
  • A Rugrats Halloween Episode storybook called Curse of the Werewuff revolves around Chuckie's fear that if he puts on a werewolf costume, he'll turn into a real werewolf. At one point, he has a nightmare about being hunted down by an angry mob wielding torches and pitchforks.

Side Materials


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: