Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Rugrats S 4 E 13 The Turkey Who Came To Dinner

Go To

The thirteenth episode of the fourth season of Rugrats.

The episode begins with Didi telling the babies the story of the First Thanksgiving. In her story, she mentions that the Pilgrims were people just like their parents, and long ago, they came from far away. She then tells them Thankgsiving is the day the Pilgrims chose to say "Thank you" for the many wonderful things they had, such as their family and their new friends, the Native Americans who helped them through hard times. She concludes the story by saying that they finish the holiday by having a lovely dinner, which includes corn, potatoes, stuffing, and pie. Before she can reveal the turkey as the main course, she is interrupted by Betty and Charlotte, who are arguing over whether to slather the turkey in butter or mustard. Didi finishes the story, and tells the babies to paint the turkeys while she tries to stop the argument. As Didi walks towards the kitchen, the doorbell rings, and Stu, who is busy installing satellite dishes in his backyard, asks Didi to get the door.


Didi answers the door, and Chas and Chuckie have arrived. Chas, who is carrying his television set, wishes Didi a happy Thanksgiving, and asks her where he should put his television. Didi tells him to put it on the table with the others. Chas puts his TV down on the table as Stu and Drew greet him. They tell him that once every satellite dish is installed, they'll be able to see every football game in the country. They then tell Chas to help them, and Chas tells Chuckie to play with his friends while he goes outside to help Stu and Drew.

Chuckie walks up to the table, and asks Tommy, Phil, and Lil why they're wearing feathered headbands. Tommy tells him that they're playing "Nakie Americans", and hands Chuckie a headband. Chuckie then asks Tommy if he has to take his clothes off, but Phil assures him that he doesn't, and what he does have to do is wear a feathered headband and have a nice, big dinner. Lil adds that they also make turkeys, and shows them a picture of the turkeys they painted. Tommy tells Chuckie that it's "Hanksgiving", and Chuckie asks him who "Hanks Giving" is. Tommy explains to Chuckie that "Hanksgiving" is a holiday where they have a big dinner with their family and friends and remember how happy they are. Chuckie asks if that means they're supposed to invite Angelica, and Tommy, missing the point, finds this a great idea. Chuckie tries to stop him, but to no avail.


Tommy asks Angelica, who is sitting next to a sleeping Boris, if she wants to come to their Thanksgiving Dinner, but Angelica tells them she is too busy watching the parade, where a turkey balloon is highlighted. Tommy decides that they can still have their dinner without Angelica. They'll just have to find a new friend and invite him.In the kitchen, Didi reminds Betty and Charlotte that since they're only going to have one turkey, they'll have to cook it together. Howard asks Didi where the turkey is, and Didi tells him that Lou told her he was getting the turkey, but he should have been back by now. Lou arrives with balloons and a bag of groceries, and Didi asks him where the turkey he bought is. Lou tells her that he did better than that; he won a turkey as the first prize at the Senior Center's Thanksgiving Cribbage Cavalcade, and shows her the trophy he won. Minka asks him where the turkey is, and he tells her it's being delivered, and will arrive at 4:00 at the latest. The adults are all shocked when they hear this, but Lou, missing the point, tells them not to thank him. He then tells them that he's going to play football with Stu and Drew. Betty tells the other adults that if they don't get a turkey in the oven soon, Thanksgiving dinner will be cancelled. Minka suggests a quick trip to the store, and Betty tells Howard to start up the car. Didi tells Stu to keep an eye on the kids while she and the other adults go out, and Stu, who is busy installing satellite dishes, tells her he will.


Chuckie asks Tommy what they'll be having for dinner, and Tommy tells him that so far, their dinner will consist mostly of Reptar Cereal. He then asks Angelica if she'd like to help them with their dinner, but Angelica refuses, as she wants to put on a parade, like Tracy does on television. She wants it to be the biggest and best parade ever, and tells the babies that they're going to help her. Tommy tells her that he and his friends are too busy making their Thanksgiving dinner to help her. Angelica decides that she's going to make her parade by herself, and that the babies will only just mess things up.

In the backyard, Lou asks Stu, Drew, and Chas if they want to play football with him, but Stu tells him they've got to get their satellite dishes installed by 2:00, so they can watch their football games. Lou asks Stu, Drew, and Chas if they'd rather watch football than play it, and they tell him yes. Chas tells Lou it's much safer, but loses his grip on the ladder Stu is standing on, causing it to fall. Lou then says that he should have had daughters.

As the babies prepare their Thanksgiving dinner, a delivery boy arrives and wakes up Boris. He asks Boris where he should put the turkey, and Boris tells him to put it in the kitchen. The delivery boy does so and leaves. The babies find the box with a live turkey in the kitchen and open it. The turkey jumps out of the box, scaring the babies, then he looks lovingly over at Spike, chasing him away. The babies watch from the living room, and Tommy asks Chuckie if turkeys are friendly. Tommy tells Chuckie that turkeys have to be friendly, as Didi told him they're a big part of Thanskgiving. He then decides that they should invite the Turkey to their Thanksgiving dinner. Chuckie tells Tommy that the turkey looks scary, but Tommy assures him that if the "Nakie Americans" and the "Penguins" can be friends with each other, then surely they can be friends with the Turkey. As they decide to go outside, Stu, Drew, and Chas go back inside, having finished installing their satellite dishes. As Stu and Drew take the table to set their pyramid of TVs on, Chas asks Stu and Drew if they can use one of the TVs to watch the highlights of the parade. Stu and Drew then realize that they completely forgot about the parade.

Lou finds the empty box that had the turkey in it in the kitchen, and asks Boris where the Turkey is. Boris tells Lou that a delivery boy came earlier, and he told him to put the Turkey in the kitchen. Lou assures Boris that the Turkey isn't there anymore, and Boris asks him how that's possible. Lou tells Boris that this particular turkey is alive. Lou asks Boris if he'd rather watch football or hunt turkeys. Boris isn't enthusiastic about either, but decides to help Lou find the Turkey. Lou assures Boris that the Turkey must be here somewhere, completely oblivious to the Turkey chasing Spike outside.

Didi, Betty, Charlotte, Minka, and Howard go to Superama, relieved that it's open on Thanksgiving day. They find one turkey left in the poultry aisle, and come face to face with a lady with a shopping cart. Betty and the Lady both run towards the turkey, and the Lady pushes her shopping cart at Betty, knocking her out of the way so that she can get the turkey for herself. Howard tells Betty that she had a good try as he helps her out of the cart, and Betty tells him that she could have taken the Lady down. Charlotte then asks them what they're supposed to do now. Didi tries to come up with an idea, but Betty interrupts her and tells her that she's not leaving the store empty-handed. Howard, Charlotte, and Minka all follow behind her, leaving Didi behind.

Back at Tommy's house, Angelica goes outside with her parade floats, which she made from her toys and Lou's trophy. She then spies the babies, and says that she made the best parade floats without their help, but then loses her balance and falls on her floats, knocking them down. The babies observe how much the Turkey likes Spike, and Phil tells Tommy to ask the Turkey to come to their dinner. Tommy tries to do so, but the Turkey continues to chase Spike. Angelica sees the Turkey and follows him to Spike's doghouse. She then asks the babies what they're doing with the Turkey, and Tommy tells her that they're trying to invite him to their Thanksgiving dinner. Angelica then gets a nasty idea; she tells the babies that the Turkey is going to be the Thanksgiving dinner. Tommy asks Angelica how the Turkey can be dinner if he's alive, and Angelica tells him he can't. She then tells the babies that she's going to tell the adults about the Turkey so that they can cook and eat him. Tommy tells Angelica that the Turkey is their friend, and on Thanksgiving, you're supposed to be thankful for friends, not eat them. Phil, Lil, and Chuckie all agree, and Angelica tells the babies that she may keep the Turkey a secret, but it all depends on whether or not they help her with her parade. Tommy sees Lou and Boris looking for the Turkey, and he, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil all reluctantly agree to help Angelica.

In the second act, the babies help Angelica build new parade floats, putting Lou's trophy in Tommy's wagon. Tommy tells Angelica that they're done, but Angelica tells him that they still have to add the main attraction, and she decides to use the Turkey to fulfill that role. Tommy insists otherwise, but Angelica reminds him that it's getting closer to dinnertime. Tommy gasps, then decides that he'd rather have the Turkey be the star of Angelica's parade than tonight's dinner.

Inside, as Stu and Drew watch their football games, Chas changes the channel to a nature documentary. Drew takes the remote and changes the channel back as Chas tells him that he was watching that nature documentary, but Drew tells him that nobody watches nature documentaries on Thanksgiving. A dejected Chas decides to read a magazine as Stu and Drew watch their football games on their pyramid of TVs.

Outside, Angelica hosts her parade, using her stuffed animals and Tommy as her audience. She tells Chuckie to start the parade, and Chuckie pulls Spike, whom the Turkey follows behind, pulling the floats. Angelica then says that she made the floats all by herself, which Tommy knows is not true. As the parade continues, Chuckie trips on a rock and lets go of Spike. Spike then runs away as the Turkey chases him, pulling the floats and tying Angelica up in them. Tommy tells Angelica that her parade was great, but Lil says she thought the parade went on a little too long. Angelica accuses Chuckie of letting go of Spike on purpose so he would ruin her parade, and tells the babies that just for that, she's going back on her word and telling the adults about the Turkey anyway, so they can cook and eat him.

Meanwhile, as Lou and Boris continue looking for the Turkey, Lou tells Boris about the time he got lost in the French wilderness for a week. Even though he couldn't speak French, by the time he was found, he could catch fifteen trout at once with his bare hands. He then finds what looks like the Turkey in the closet, but it is soon revealed to be a feather duster, which makes Lou sneeze. Boris then tells Lou that all that fishing he did wasn't in closets.As Stu and Lou continue to watch their football games, Angelica tries to tell them about the Turkey outside, but they're too busy to pay attention to her. Angelica then holds her breath, causing concern from Drew. Having finally got Drew's attention, Angelica leads him outside and tells him about the Turkey. Drew doesn't see the Turkey, as it is hiding under Tommy's blanket, and thinks that Angelica made the turkey up. He then tells her that he has to go back to his football game, and to tell Charlotte about the Turkey next time she sees it.

Chuckie tells Tommy that they can't just keep hiding the Turkey. Tommy agrees, and decides that they should get him out of the yard. He then thinks that, because the Turkey is a bird, maybe he can fly. He tries to teach the Turkey how to fly, but to no avail. Chuckie then suggests to Tommy that the Turkey needs a good running start before he can fly. After all, it worked for his kite when Chas took him to the park. Tommy likes this idea, and decides to try it.Betty, Charlotte, Howard, Minka, and Didi all return, with Charlotte having gotten the last frozen turkey dinner, and Betty having gotten turkey franks. Angelica tries to tell Charlotte, who is trying to get one of Betty's turkey franks, about the Turkey, when Didi asks Betty and Charlotte why they can't just share what they have so there'll be enough for everyone. Charlotte accuses Didi of saying that because she doesn't have anything like they do. Charlotte, Betty, and Howard all head for the microwave, with Angelica following behind them, leaving Didi behind again.

Back in the backyard, Chuckie tries to get the Turkey to fly, only to run into the fence. Tommy then realizes that turkeys don't make good kites. Angelica sees the turkey, then tells Charlotte, who is opening a can. Having gotten her attention, Charlotte sees what looks like the babies playing hide and seek. She then thinks that Angelica needs attention, and decides to have her help her with Thanksgiving dinner.

As it turns out, the Turkey is dressed in Chuckie's clothes. When the coast is clear, Tommy tells Chuckie, who is standing naked behind a bush, that their plan to disguise the Turkey worked. Lil tells Chuckie that he's the bestest "Nakie American" of all, and as she and the other babies help him put his clothes back on, Chuckie tells them he'd rather be a dressed-up American. Lil then asks the other babies how they're going to get the Turkey out of the backyard if he can't fly. The Turkey then chases Spike across the seesaw, and this gives Tommy an idea; they can put the Turkey on one end of the seesaw, and drop something heavy on the other end to launch him into the air and over the fence. Lil then asks how they're going to get the Turkey onto the seesaw, and Spike reluctantly decides to help them.

In the kitchen, Betty puts various turkey products in the microwave, some before they're even taken out of their packages, then sets the microwave to "Mega Nuke" for ten minutes. In the living room, Stu and Drew continue watching their football games as Angelica tries once again to get their attention. She then sees Lou and Boris continue to look for the turkey, and decides to help them.

Back outside, Phil, Tommy, and Chuckie climb on top of each other as Lil uses Spike to lead the Turkey to one end of the seesaw. Phil jumps onto the other end, launching the Turkey into the air. Lou hears the Turkey from inside, and tries to call for it using his Allegheny turkey call, which Boris mistakes for indigestion at first. Angelica catches up to Lou and Boris and tells them about the Turkey. Back outside, Chuckie decides that Phil isn't big enough to launch the turkey, and Tommy decides that since Chuckie is bigger, he should jump onto the seesaw. He asks Chuckie if he'll do it, and Chuckie asks him if he can keep his clothes on. A confused Tommy tells him yes. Chuckie decides that he will do it, but only because the Turkey is their friend. Lil uses Spike to lead the Turkey to the seesaw again, and Chuckie jumps onto the other end, launching the Turkey into the air. Angelica, Lou, and Boris make it outside and see the Turkey flying through the air. Lou tries to catch the Turkey in his net, but to no avail as Angelica tells the babies their plan to save the Turkey failed. Lou and Boris chase the Turkey to the seesaw, launching him into the air again, this time, causing him to land on the satellite dishes, knocking them over and causing interference with the many football games Stu and Drew are watching. Things get worse when the turkey products catch fire in the microwave, ruining Thanksgiving dinner. Didi rushes outside to check on the babies as Betty uses a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

All the adults rush outside and see the Turkey amongst the fallen satellite dishes. Angelica tells the adults that she told them the Turkey was real. Stu says that the Turkey ruined the football games, Angelica says that he ruined the parade, and Betty says he ruined their dinner. Drew reminds everyone that dinner isn't completely ruined, as they still have the Turkey. Chuckie tells Tommy that the grown-ups are going to eat the Turkey, and Tommy decides that they're gonna have to eat him first. Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil all surround the Turkey, and the adults are surprised to see them protect him. Betty asks the other adults why they'd do such a thing, and Chas says it's because they think they want to eat him. Charlotte tells him they do, as the Turkey ruined their thanksgiving. Didi tells the other adults that the Turkey didn't ruin Thanksgiving, they all did by arguing over what to eat and what to watch. She then says that Thanksgiving isn't about food, football, or parades, much to the ire of Angelica, who tells the adults they didn't see her parade. Didi then says that Thanksgiving is about family and friends, and if the babies can be friends with a Turkey, surely they can be friends with each other. She then tells the adults to apologize to each other, and they all do. Boris finds this moment touching, but points out that without the Turkey, they still don't have anything to eat. Tommy then walks up to him with a box of Reptar cereal, giving Betty an idea.

That night, everyone has a Thanksgiving dinner of Reptar cereal, much to the ire of Angelica, who was looking forward to eating turkey. Lil tells the babies that this has been the best Thanksgiving she ever had, to which Phil points out it's the only Thanksgiving she ever had. Tommy tells the other babies that he's thankful that they're all his friends, and Chuckie says that he's thankful that they're not eating the Turkey. Spike, who isn't afraid of the Turkey anymore, shares his food with the Turkey, ending the episode.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The turkey really likes Spike. Spike is not pleased.
  • Adopt the Food: Due to store running out of turkeys, the adults send away for one but get a live one. The babies befriend the turkey, which the adults eventually think is too cute to let them kill it.
  • Breath-Holding Brat: When Angelica tries to tell her father, Drew, about the turkey in the backyard, but he and Stu are too busy watching many football games to pay attention to her, Angelica manages to get Drew's attention by holding her breath until he gives in.
  • Call-Back: When the babies invite Chuckie to play "Nakie Americans", Chuckie asks if he has to take his clothes off, referencing the events of a previous episode, "Naked Tommy".
  • Discount Lesbians: Well, half an example—the turkey is stated both by the babies and the adults to be male and he's clearly head over heels for Spike. Likely the only reason this didn't cause any moral outrage nor was hailed as any sort of breakthrough is because the ostensibly gay character is a non-anthropomorphic bird. Spike meanwhile, isn't interested in him.
  • Interspecies Romance: The Turkey has a crush on Spike, who unfortunately, does not return his affections.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Angelica tries to alert Drew about the Turkey outside, but Drew is too occupied watching many football games with Stu. It takes Angelica holding her breath to get his attention.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Angelica tries to alert the adults about the live Turkey in Tommy's backyard, but thanks to the babies' attempts to hide the turkey (hiding him under Tommy's blanket, dressing him in Chuckie's clothes), Drew and Charlotte think Angelica made the Turkey up. They find out that the Turkey was Real After All near the end of the episode.
  • Reality Ensues: When Didi convinces everyone not to eat the Turkey and to apologize to each other, Boris still points out that without the Turkey, they still don't have anything to eat for dinner. Fortunately, Tommy has a solution in the form of Reptar Cereal.
  • Seesaw Catapult: In an attempt to get the Turkey out of Tommy's backyard, the babies have the Turkey stand on one end of the seesaw, and Phil, and later Chuckie, jump onto the other end. While chansing the Turkey, Lou and Boris fall onto one end of the seesaw, launching the Turkey a third time, and causing him to land on Stu and Drew's satellite dishes, causing interference with the many football games they're watching.
  • Senior Sleep Cycle: Averted with Lou, who usually falls into this territory, but played straight with Boris, who is asleep on the couch throughout much of the first act.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Thanksgiving is spent in the Pickles' house. The babies befriend a live turkey and try to prevent the adults from cooking and eating him.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: