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Recap / Rugrats S 1 E 4 Baby Commercial Little Dude

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The fourth episode of the first season of Rugrats.

Baby Commercial

Phil and Lil tell Tommy the story of how they appeared in a diaper commercial.

Little Dude:

Didi takes Tommy to the school where she teaches to use him as a demonstration, and he becomes friends with Ramon, the coolest kid in school.

"Baby Commercial" provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Jonathan constantly misnames Bob "Bud".
  • Adult Fear: Betty is rightfully concerned when she finds out that Lil has somehow crawled her way onto an overhead catwalk.
  • Advertisement:
  • A Day in the Limelight: This is the first episode that focuses primarily on Phil and Lil. Curiously, this is also the only episode to focus on a baby besides Tommy until the start of Season Two.
  • Doomed Supermarket Display: A variation; Lil's toy car bumps into the pyramid of diaper boxes, causing it to collapse, to Jonathan's horror and fury.
  • JerkAss: Jonathan Witt, the director, seems more concerned about his diaper box pyramid and his headache than the twins' safety and well being.
  • Mama Bear: Upon learning that Lil has wandered off, Betty is rightfully pissed at the fat man for failing to look after her. Once the commercial has been filmed, she refuses to let Phil and Lil star in Jonathan's commercials again.
  • Off-Model:
    • Throughout the flashback, Phil and Lil are dressed in pajamas specifically for the commercial. Just before Jonathan enters the studio, Phil and Lil are dressed in their normal attire.
    • Advertisement:
    • When Phil crawl towards the camera, his shoes and parts of his pajamas are pink, like Lil's.
  • Old Shame: In-universe. Betty regrets having Phil and Lil star the commercial because of the horrors she experienced on the set. She brushes the conversation with Didi to offer her some coffee, and when Jonathan Witt visits to recruit the twins for another gig, Betty slams the door in his face.
  • Straying Baby: Betty asks a fat guy to look after Lil while she tries to get Phil to do his act. Lil strays away to play with her toy car, and somehow manages to crawl onto an overhead catwalk.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: Despite all the odds against Jonathan, the studio executives are very pleased with the final product of his commercial, and he tries to convince Betty to get Phil and Lil to star in more commercials. Unfortunately for him, Betty has had enough and refuses to let Phil and Lil star in any more commercials.
  • Advertisement:
  • Whole Episode Flashback

"Little Dude" provides examples of:

  • Baby See, Baby Do: When he gets home, Tommy tosses his mashed potatoes at Lou, imitating the food fight that broke out in the cafeteria earlier that day.
  • Banana Peel: Tommy finds one in the back of a janitor's truck. He then wanders into a basketball field, where a basketball player is having a hard time scoring a goal. The basketball player then slips on the banana peel, and by sheer coincidence, manages to score a goal.
  • Bookshelf Dominoes: Happens in the library when Tommy wanders through it.
  • The Diaper Change: Didi brings Tommy in to her school for the class she is teaching. A scene occurs where she has a student change Tommy's diaper as a parenting example but nobody is willing until Ramon does so. Turns out he has a baby brother at home and is quite used to it.
  • Food Fight: One of these breaks out in the cafeteria when Tommy accidentally splatters chocolate pudding on a football player's shirt. Amid the chaos, Ramon gets everyone to stop fighting momentarily so he can get Tommy out of the crossfire. When he safely has Tommy out of the cafeteria, he allows the food fight to continue.
  • Greaser Delinquents: Ramon, who is essentially a parody of Arthur Fonzarelli.
  • Papa Wolf: When Ramon sees Tommy in the cafeteria during the food fight, his first instinct is to get him out of the line of fire.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Ramon is a biker who works in an automotive class, who has a soft spot for little children, thanks in part to having a baby brother of his own.
  • The Reveal: Didi is revealed to have a job as a high school teacher in this episode.
  • Shout-Out: The sign on the door to Didi's classroom says, "HOME ECONOMICS, RM. A113". A113 was the classroom number used by character animation students at the California Institute of the Arts. Many of its alumni (including Pixar staff) have used the number in their professional works. It is said to appear in some way, shape, or form in every Pixar film.
  • Straying Baby: When Didi's students put Tommy in the back of a janitor's truck to talk to a football player, the truck drives away. When it comes to a stop, Tommy climbs off it and wanders around the high school.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Downplayed. Didi works at a high school named 'Eucaipah', which is similarly named to the Southern California town of Yucaipa, near San Bernardino, so it's possible that the Pickles' home is either in that city or at least close to it.
  • Wingding Eyes: Stars appear in Kirsten and Ramon's eyes when they see each other.

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