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Recap / Rugrats S 2 E 4 Showdown At Teeter Totter Gulch Mirrorland

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The fourth episode of the second season of Rugrats.

Showdown at Teeter-Totter Gulch

Tommy squares off against a bully at a playground.


Tommy and Chuckie want to find out what lies on the other side of the mirror.

"Showdown at Teeter-Totter Gulch" provides examples of:

  • An Aesop:
    • Bullying is wrong.
    • Don’t be afraid to defend yourself and your friends.
  • Big Bad: Prudence, also known as "The Junkfood Kid" acts as this for the episode, terrorizing the playground for her own amusement.
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  • Brutal Honesty: Chuckie pulls this on Belinda after her Traumatic Haircut, to hilarious effect.
    Chuckie: You're almost as bald as Tommy!
    Belinda: (starts crying)
    Tommy: Don't worry Belinda! We'll make sure the Junkfood Kid stays out of your hair!
    Chuckie: Or what's left of it!
  • Bubblegum Popping: Tommy defeats Prudence by popping her bubble gum while she's blowing it, causing it to get in her hair.
  • The Bully: Prudence started off as a worse playground bully than Angelica.
  • But Now I Must Go: Parodied; At the end of the episode, Tommy and Chuckie prepare to head home for the day. Belinda is sad and asks when they'll come back. Tommy shrugs and goes "I dunno. Maybe tomorrow."
  • Circumcision Angst: This disconcerting quote from Chuckie:
    "I didn't meet Tommy till' he was eight days old. I don't know what happened to him during those first eight days, but he sure don't like to see people get pushed around."
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  • Cowboy Episode: Tommy defends an old-western-esque playground from a bully in this episode.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: When Prudence returns after Tommy stood up to her and causing her to get gum in her hair, they invite her to play, and she accepts. She also offers some of the carrot sticks she's eating.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone on the playground is afraid of the Junkfood Kid, and with good reason.
  • Eat the Camera: An unusual example occurs when Tommy and Chuckie are playing with Belinda, and she crawls right into the camera, her laughing mouth filling the frame and turning it black, and it wasn't even transitioning to a different scene.
  • Gum In Hair: Prudence's most common form of punishment was getting gum into the other children's hair, forcing their parents to have to get it cut. Thanks to Tommy, this ends up becoming her undoing near the end of the episode.
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  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of the episode, Prudence is more soft-spoken and kinder to the other kids, and takes up eating carrot sticks, which she shares with the other children.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Towards the end of the episode, Tommy gives Prudence a taste of her own medicine by popping her bubble as she inflates it.
  • Nice Girl: Despite Prudence's actions causing her to be victim of a Traumatic Haircut, Belinda still kindly asks Prudence if she would like to play with them after she gets a taste of her own medicine.
  • Noodle Incident: When Tommy faces off against Prudence, Chuckie tells Belinda about the time Tommy got his tongue stuck to an ice cube.
  • Off-Model: When Prudence shoves her popsicle down Tommy's diaper, Tommy's diaper is blue and his shirt is white.
  • Ship Tease: A mild one occurs between Tommy and Belinda. Belinda appears to be intended to fill the role of a sweet Southern Belle love interest to the protagonist of a Western and she and Tommy smile coyly at each other after Prudence is defeated.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Prudence becomes a lot nicer after she winds up getting gum in her hair.
  • Traumatic Haircut: This first happens to Belinda. When Prudence puts gum in her hair, her parents have to cut it short. When Prudence gets her comeuppance by getting gum in her hair, she reappears with it cut short, too.

"Mirrorland" provides examples of:

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Didi brings home a Mystery Box filled with this stuff, including wigs and costumes.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Didi can't see anything without her glasses. She inadvertently loses them when she changes into her ballerina outfit, and ends up walking into a closet.
  • Historical Longevity Joke: This exchange between Lou and Didi.
    Lou: Antiques, huh! Back in my day, we had no use for antiques!
    Didi: But, Pop, I thought back in your day, there were no antiques.
    (Didi giggles)
    Lou: (angrily) Very funny! A fella could bust a gut around here!
  • Mirror Universe: Tommy believes the mirror to be a portal to a dimension called Mirrorland, and thanks to a series of contrived coincidences, Hilarity Ensues.
  • Noodle Incident: To prove to Phil and Lil that he's not a "Mirror boy", Chuckie reluctantly tells them about the time he got his head caught in a sock as the time he was the most afraid.
  • Panty Shot: When Didi comes down stairs to retrieve her glasses from Lou, after she tells him to "take off that ridiculous hair," he chuckles and says "Hey, where's the ballet?", referring to Didi (who's wearing a ballerina outfit) inadvertently flashing her white undies. Surprised and mortified, she hurriedly adjusts her tutu and blushes.
  • Spot the Impostor: When Tommy and Chuckie return from their adventure, Phil and Lil believe them to be “Mirror boys”. They ask Tommy what the funniest thing in the world is, and Chuckie when he was the most afraid.
  • Spraying Drink from Nose: To prove to Phil and Lil that he's not a "mirror boy", Tommy describes milk coming out of your nose as the funniest thing in the world.
  • Wearing It All Wrong: When Tommy and Chuckie go to Stu and Didi's bedroom after going through the mirror, Chuckie sees it looks the same as before, so Tommy tries to prove that Mirrorland is real by wearing his diaper on his head, since that's what a mirror baby would do.

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