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Recap / Rugrats S 1 E 8 Real Or Robots Special Delivery

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The eighth episode of the first season of Rugrats.

Real or Robots?

After watching a movie about robots, Tommy and Chuckie try to find out if Stu is a robot.

Special Delivery

Stu orders a doll from his competition in the toy-making industry, and Tommy thinks this means he's getting a new sibling, so when he and Stu go to the post office, he searches the whole place for her.

"Real or Robots?" Provides examples of:


  • Bedsheet Ladder: Tommy makes one to get out of his crib when Stu taped it shut to prevent him from getting out of it and into his bedroom.
  • Brick Joke: Didi mentions that the last time Stu sleepwalked, he tried to make an omelet on the floor. When he starts sleepwalking during the climax of the cartoon, he does it again.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In this episode, Stu tells Chuckie that his Mom and Dad would come to pick him up in the morning. It is eventually revealed in "Mother's Day" that Melinda Finster is deceased. In addition, Tommy is seen wearing a red shirt rather than the light blue one he normally wears.
  • Foreshadowing: Didi tells Stu that the last time he sleepwalked, he tried to make a thirteen-egg omelet on the kitchen floor. That's exactly what Stu does when he sleepwalks later in the episode.
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  • Here We Go Again!: The episode ends with Tommy and Chuckie realizing that Stu isn't a robot after all, but then Chuckie wonders if his dad is a robot.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: Tommy and Chuckie watch a scary movie where a Mad Scientist replaces all the children's parents with robots, which, as Stu points out, is way too scary for one and two-year-old children to watch. This makes Tommy and Chuckie wonder if Stu is a robot.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: In the movie, the Mad Scientist uses a lightning rod to activate his robot.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: When Didi finds Stu half-asleep in the living room, she asks him if he's okay. He tells her, "Yeah, I guess so, Ramona.". Didi then angrily asks Stu, "Ramona? Who's Ramona?", and Stu tells her, "My assistant.". Fortunately, Didi realizes that Stu had just been dreaming.
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  • Noodle Incident: Didi mentions that the last time Stu walked in his sleep, he rearranged his sock drawer and tried to make a thirteen egg omelet on the kitchen floor.
  • Sleepwalking: As a result of not getting a good night's sleep (thanks in part to Tommy and Chuckie believing he's a robot), Stu begins to sleepwalk.
  • Take Over the World: This is the goal of the Mad Scientist from the movie Tommy and Chuckie watched, planning to replace all of mankind with his robots.
  • Zombie Gait: When Stu sleepwalks, he walks in a Frankenstein-like manner, with his arms held out. He also crashes into everything, and due to Tommy and Chuckie being in his path, they assume he's chasing them.

"Special Delivery" provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Tommy goes through an obstacle course of mail sorting machines, getting weighed, sliding down chutes, trapped on conveyor belts, marked as junk mail and almost ends up stuck in the dead letter office if he didn't pull the right switch. As usual, none of the adults are even aware that Tommy is gone in the first place. It's no wonder Tommy says "You'll like it at home. It's a lot nicer than here!" when he meets Tina Trousers.
  • Adults Are Useless: Besides the fact that neither of Tommy's parents are aware that Tommy is gone, one post office worker is reading a magazine, completely oblivious to the chaos happening behind him.
  • Delivery Stork: Phil believes that babies come from these.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Chuckie mentions in this episode that his mom told him he came from the hospital. As with the previous episode, this was before it is revealed in "Mother's Day" that Melinda Finster is deceased.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Tommy arrives at the post office via a mailbag the delivery guy was carrying, and he reads a magazine called "American Baby" which has a Playboy-like centerfold. When he opens it up, he says "Baby!" with awe. Remember, this is a magazine about babies.
    • Tommy ends up in the dead letter office at the post office and nearly falls down a chute that leads to a pile of unreturnable letters and a human skeleton (possibly a post office worker who fell in there years ago).
  • Human Mail: Tommy sneaks into the mailman's bag and explores the post office to find a "baby" (really a toy his dad ordered to compare with his own handmade doll) that will be delivered to his family. Tommy gets mistaken for a piece of mail and is sent through the system of mail sorting machines and chutes, almost gets stuck in the dead letter office, and finds the package, climbing into it and going home this way.
  • Mailman vs. Dog: Not only does the postman get attacked by a dog during the trip back to the post office (with the whole street seeming to have a dog at each house), there's even a medical ward for all postmen who were injured in dog attacks, showing several other postmen looking similarly mauled.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: When Tommy looks for his new baby sister in the post office, there is a package that, if you pay attention, is labeled "Ming Vase," being sent through the mail. Predictably, it is shattered in the process.
  • Wedgie: A machine at the post office carries Tommy by the back of his diaper.

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