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Recap / Rugrats S 4 E 2 Mothers Day

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The second episode of the fourth season of Rugrats.

The episode begins with Tommy, Phil, and Lil playing with a bowl of macaroni, until Angelica stops them and asks them what they're doing with it. Tommy tells her that they were just playing with it, but Angelica takes the bowl away and tells the babies that her macaroni isn't for playing with, rather, it's used to make art. She uses the macaroni to make a sculpture, and Tommy asks her if it's the art she's talking about. Angelica assures him it is, and Phil and Lil are impressed with the sculpture. Tommy asks Angelica what she's doing with the sculpture, and Angelica tells him she's going to give it to her mother as a present. Phil asks her what for, and Angelica tells him that today is Mother's Day. Tommy asks Angelica what Mother's Day is, and she tells him that on Mother's Day, people have to give their mothers presents. She then tells the babies to leave her alone so she can work on her sculpture.

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Tommy, Phil, and Lil decide that they should give their moms presents as well. Phil remembers that he has been saving a piece of candy, and he tries to pull it out of his pants, but it gets stuck. Tommy tells the twins that if they look around, they could find great presents for their moms. Lil asks Tommy where they should look, and Tommy suggests the inside of the couch, since that's where they find the best presents for each other.

In Didi's bedroom, Didi asks Betty what Howard's going to do for her for Mother's Day. Betty tells Didi that she gave Howard the day off, since he cooks breakfast for her every day. Betty then asks Didi what she's going to do with her mom for Mother's day. Didi tells Betty that she's taking Minka to her favorite health spa, the International House Of Mud. Betty finds this a great idea, but Didi certainly hopes so, as she and Minka have never been able to agree on anything, including her troll costume for the third grade pageant.

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Back downstairs, Lil finds Lou's glasses in the couch, and Tommy finds a cookie, which Phil and Lil both eat. Tommy reminds Phil and Lil that their moms work really hard for them, and they can't just eat their presents. Phil and Lil apologize upon hearing this.

Back upstairs, Betty tells Didi that the IHOM imports mud from all over the world. Didi is excited, when Stu comes in, ready to prepare the ultimate breakfast in bed. Betty tells Stu that it's almost lunchtime, but Stu tells her that his surprise took a little longer than he expected. Didi gets back into her bed and tells Stu that it's the thought that counts. Stu then claps his hands, and a vacuum cleaner robot rolls in. Betty is unimpressed, but Stu assures her that there's more to his invention than meets the eye. He claps his hands again, and the robot attempts to make a fruit shake, but accidentally makes a mess of Didi's bedroom. Stu tries to turn the invention off, but to no avail. The invention at least cleans up the mess it made, which Didi is relieved to find out.

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Later that day, Chas arrives with Chuckie. As Chas drops Chuckie off, he asks Didi if he can speak to her alone. Their conversation is interrupted by Stu being chased by his invention. Betty tells Didi and Chas that they can continue their conversation while she tries to help Stu with his invention.

Chuckie walks up to Tommy, Phil, and Lil, who have gathered many things from under the couch, and asks them what they're doing. Tommy tells him they're looking for a present for their moms for Mother's Day. He asks Chuckie if he'd like to join them, and while Chuckie would like to, he doesn't know who to give his present to. Lil realizes that Chuckie doesn't have a mom, and Phil asks him why. Chuckie tells him that he isn't sure, but all he knows is that he just doesn't have a mother. Tommy still invites him to join him, Phil, and Lil in their search, but Chuckie decides that Mother's Day is just for kids who have moms, and declines.

Meanwhile, Chas asks Didi to hold onto a box he's been saving for a while. Didi asks Chas what's in the box, and Chas tells her that it's a few things that used to belong to Melinda, his wife and Chuckie's mom. He doesn't want Chuckie to find out, and as he tries to explain why, Didi tells Chas that it's been hard for him since what happened to Melinda. Chas then interrupts Didi and tells her that lately, Chuckie's been going through a phase where he's getting into everything. Didi then takes the box and puts it in the closet, promising Chas that nothing bad will happen to it.

In the basement, the printer prints out a long piece of paper, and Betty asks Stu what's on it. As he fixes his invention, Stu tells her that it's the entire central programmer for his invention, and he programmed it with everything there is to know about being a mother. Betty finds this hard to believe, and as Stu gets chased by his invention after giving it a test run, she finds what Stu wrote to be bologna, and decides to rewrite it.

Outside, Tommy, Phil, and Lil continue looking for presents. Chuckie asks them if they found anything good yet, and they tell him they haven't. Lil tells Chuckie that finding good presents is hard, then shares her memory of the first present she and Phil gave to Betty. In Lil's memory, she and Phil were newborns being breast-fed by Betty. After being breast-fed, the twins laughed, and so did Betty. As the flashback ends, Lil tells Chuckie that Betty told them their first laugh was the best present she ever got from them. Tommy then shares his first memory of Didi, back when he was a premature newborn in an incubator. Back then, he felt very alone and scared, when Didi came. Back then, he didn't even know she was his mom, but when she held his hand, he didn't feel scared anymore, and as long as he was there, she never let go. As his flashback ends, Chuckie tells Tommy he wishes he could remember what his mom was like. Lil asks Chuckie if he has any memories of his mom. Chuckie tells her he doesn't, but he does sometimes dream about having a mom. It's usually the same dream, where they're outside, where there's lots of grass and flowers. A butterfly flies past them, and he isn't even afraid of it. Tommy tells Chuckie that his dream was nice. Chuckie agrees, but realizes that since his Mom is only in his dreams, he can't give presents to her. Tommy then has an idea; he, Phil and Lil are going to find Chuckie a mom. Chuckie likes this idea, but isn't sure that finding a mom will be easy. Tommy assures him that if he can find his shoes in the mud and most of a cricket in Phil's pants after Betty washed them, it should be easy.

Tommy, Phil, and Lil first try to have a dress form be Chuckie's mom, but Chuckie finds it too cold and bumpy. Tommy tells Chuckie that he tried, since Didi dresses the dress form in her dresses, and it does kind of look like a mom. Chuckie tells Tommy that he at least got a hug. Lil then has another idea; Chuckie should have a mom that gives him kisses. Tommy then walks up to Spike and tells him to kiss Chuckie. Spike licks Chuckie, which Chuckie finds disgusting. Phil then suggests that Spike get Chuckie a cookie, and Tommy tells Spike to do so. Spike instead takes a drink from his water dish. Spike then scratches himself, which Chuckie originally believes to be Spike waving to him. Tommy reminds Chuckie that Spike is just scratching, much to Chuckie's disappointment. Phil and Lil then come to the conclusion that a real mothers are supposed to be human girls.

Lil then gets the idea to be Chuckie's mom. She tries to do so by cleaning Chuckie's face, but spits on it instead of the tissue. She then tries to feed him a bottle, but Chuckie asks him where she got it. Lil tells him that she found it under the refrigerator, and licked all the ants off. Chuckie spits the bottle out upon hearing this.

Meanwhile, Angelica complains about how hard she's working as she finds a new bottle of glue in the drawer near Lou's chair. She then wishes she could be a mom so someone could give her a present. At this very moment, Lil tries to burp Chuckie, who has had enough and tells her she is a worse mom than Spike. Lil then tells Chuckie that he's just cranky and needs a nap. She tries to pick him up, but he is too heavy for her to carry, and he lands into a wastebasket. Tommy asks Chuckie if he is okay, and while Chuckie assures him he's fine, he begins to lose hope of finding a mom. Angelica walks in and asks the babies what's wrong with Chuckie. Phil tells Angelica that Chuckie is upset over not having a mom, and Tommy tells Angelica that Lil didn't work too well, thought Lil disagrees. Angelica then volunteers herself to be Chuckie's mom. Chuckie asks her if she'd really do that for him, and Angelica tells him she will, under one condition; he helps her with her macaroni sculpture. Chuckie agrees to it, as he'll do anything for her if she'll be his mom.

In the second act, Chuckie works hard on Angelica's macaroni sculpture. Tommy, Phil, and Lil come to see him, as they feel sorry for him now that Angelica is his new mom. Chuckie assures them that Angelica is the best mom in the world, since she told him herself. Tommy asks Chuckie if he'd like to help them look for presents, but Chuckie tells him that he's too busy working on Angelica's macaroni sculpture. Tommy asks him if he can do it afterwards, but Chuckie tells him that after he finishes it, Angelica is going to take him to the park and buy him things. Angelica then runs in and tells the babies not to bother Blaine while he works on the macaroni sculpture. Tommy then asks Angelica who Blaine is, and Angelica tells him that she was referring to Chuckie, but since "Chuckie" is a stupid name, she called him "Blaine" because it is a TV name, and TV names are better. She then tells them to leave and play their baby games since Blaine is busy. Tommy says goodbye to Chuckie, but isn't used to calling him Blaine.Meanwhile, Didi takes Minka to the IHOM, eager to please her. Minka tells Didi that she'll be scraping mud out of her wrinkles for weeks.

Back at Tommy's house, Chuckie finishes Anglica's macaroni sculpture, and Angelica begins to act like Charlotte by talking to Jonathan on a toy cell phone, telling him that Blaine did a good job, and all he has left to do is put a hat on it. Chuckie asks her why, and she tells him that all good sculptures have hats on them. Chuckie asks her what kind he should get her, and she tells him any hat will do. Chuckie tries a variety of different hats, but none of them impress Angelica. Chuckie tells Angelica that he tries, and Angelica tells him that maybe a hat wasn't the right idea. She then decides they could use a flower instead, as it's something even he can't get wrong.

Back in the basement, Betty continues rewriting how to be a mother for Stu's invention, including getting someone who criticizes how you take care of your children in a standard headlock.

Outside, Phil and Lil try to pull the tree out from Tommy's backyard to give to Betty, and argue over which one of them gets to give it to Betty. As they do this, Angelica, who is now dressed in her bathing suit, leads Chuckie outside. Chuckie asks her if a flower will really make her sculpture complete, and Angelica assures him it will. She then spots a flower that she wants to use, and tells him to get it for her. Chuckie tries to get the flower, but a bee lands on it. As Angelica relaxes on her lawn chair, she asks Chuckie why he isn't picking the flower. Chuckie assures her he will get it for her, but is too nervous to pick it out of fear of the bee stinging him. Tommy, Phil, and Lil all walk up to Chuckie and ask him what he's doing. Chuckie tells them he's trying to pick the flower for Angelica. Tommy tells Chuckie that the flower has a bee on it, but Chuckie tells her that that flower is the one Angelica wants. Tommy tells Chuckie that all the flowers look the same, but Chuckie tells him that Angelica is the only mom he has, and that flower is the only one she wants. Tommy decides to stand up to Angelica and tell her to tell Chuckie not to pick the flower with the bee on it. When he does so, Angelica acts sad and tells Chuckie that she'll have to tell Charlotte she didn't give her a present this year. Chuckie gives in, and Angelica decides to go inside to watch TV. Chuckie picks the flower, and as a result, the bee chases him. Phil tells Chuckie to keep going, and he claps his hands, which turns on Stu's invention as Stu tries to fix it nearby. Chuckie is now cornered by both the bee and Stu's invention, and hides in a bush as Stu's invention sucks up the mud from a nearby puddle. In the struggle, Chuckie's flower ends up losing most of its petals.

Inside, Chuckie tells Angelica that he brought her the flower. An angry Angelica tells him that the flower is just "A green stick with a thing on it". Tommy, Phil, and Lil catch Angelica being mean to Chuckie and tell her to stop. Angelica tells Chuckie to go play with them, and a nervous Chuckie accidentally backs into Angelica's sculpture, knocking it off its stand and destroying it, much to Angelica's ire.

Angelica sends the babies into the closet for a time-out so long, that by the time they get out, they'll be as old as Lou. She then tells Chuckie that he can forget about having a mom, ever. Chuckie blames himself for getting them into trouble, and tells Tommy he doesn't deserve a mom. Tommy tells him that he does deserve a mom, but he deserves a good one, not like Angelica. Phil and Lil tell Chuckie that a real mom is one who loves him and helps him in his time of need, and Tommy tells him that a real mom would love his flower, even if it is just a green stick with a thing on it. Chuckie then tells Tommy, Phil, and Lil that he kind of has someone like that. Lil asks him who it is, and he tells her that it's his dad, Chas. Upon hearing this, Tommy tells Chuckie that he can look for presents with them after all, and the babies are excited upon hearing this, but their excitement is cut short when Lil reminds them that they're still in time out. That doesn't stop Tommy, as he finds a plunger in one of the boxes. Phil and Lil then find a trowel, and Tommy asks them where they found it. They tell him they found it in a box. That box just so happens to be the one that Chas wanted Didi to keep safe from Chuckie. There, they also find a diary with flowers inside, and Chuckie finds a picture of Melinda, whom he recognizes as the mother from his dreams.

Back in the basement, Betty finishes rewriting the mothering program in Stu's computer, which unfortunately, causes it to overload. Stu's invention then rolls out of the mud puddle just as Charlotte stops by to pick up Angelica. Angelica is upset that she worked really hard to make Charlotte a macaroni sculpture, but the babies wrecked it, and explains the situation to her. Charlotte tells Angelica that she loves what's left of her sculpture, as it's so deconstructionist. At this moment, Didi and Minka return. Minka is upset that she had to bathe in mud with a bunch of strangers, and complains about having to spend $80.00 on mud when you could get it for free in your own backyard. At this point, Stu's invention rolls up to the front door as Didi opens it, causing mud to splatter everywhere. Didi tears up, and Minka asks her what's wrong. Didi tells Minka that she just wanted to do something they both liked. Minka tells Didi that what she likes best is having her for a daughter, and gives her a hug. Stu then walks in and gives Didi a flower as he wishes her a happy Mother's Day. Both Didi and Minka laugh, when Chas and Betty walk in, wondering where their children are. The closet door then opens as Phil and Lil fight over a plunger. Betty asks them what they were doing in the closet, then the twins compromise and give her the plunger together. Didi finds this moment cute, then Tommy walks in and gives her a flower. Didi is happy, as she now has a Mother's Day gift from both her husband and her son.

Chuckie runs up to Chas and shows him the picture of Melinda. Chas doesn't know what to say to Chuckie at this point, and after a long silence, he decides to put the picture away in a safe place. This saddens Chuckie, and Tommy can't seem to understand what Chuckie did wrong. Chuckie is worried that Chas didn't like the picture. As Chas puts the picture back in the box, Didi tells him that now might be the time to share his memories of Melinda with Chuckie. Chas tells Didi that he's afraid Chuckie will miss her, but Didi tells him that they can miss her together. Chas takes Didi's advice and tells Chuckie that Melinda was his mother.Later that day, in Chuckie's backyard, Chas tells Chuckie about Melinda, and how she used to love to garden, and planted all the flowers in their backyard. She also loved playing with him, and in a flashback, Melinda encourages an infant Chuckie not to be afraid of the butterly that flies past them. Chas then shows Chuckie the diary that Melinda kept when she was in the hospital, and the last thing she wrote in it was a poem, explaining that while she can't be with him in person anymore, she will always be with him in spirit.

As the spirit of Melinda recites her poem to Chuckie and the viewers, Chas watches as Chuckie plays with Tommy, Phil, and Lil in the backyard. He then keeps Melinda's picture and a poem in frames that he puts on the nightstand. Chuckie explains to his friends that he has a mom after all, and her spirit is all over his backyard. The show wishes the viewers a happy Mother's Day as the episode ends.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Bee Afraid: At one point, Angelica wants Chuckie to pick a flower that a bee is on. Rightfully so, Chuckie is afraid to do so out of fear of the bee stinging him. Sure enough, the bee chases Chuckie when he picks the flower.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: This episode has shades of this, but it's an odd example. Chuckie starts out upset that he apparently has no mother, having honestly no idea who she was and only remembering her in dreams, and is ultimately is comforted to find out about her, skipping the usual grieving. However, it includes his father Chas having to deal with his own sadness in order to comfort Chuckie and tell him that his mother is still with them in spirit.
  • The Lost Lenore: Melinda serves as this to Chas. Part of the reason he hid mementos of her was because he was still mourning her.
  • Missing Mom: In the first few seasons, Chuckie's mom was occasionally mentioned, but never seen or heard. In this episode, it's indicated (but never outright stated) that she is deceased.
  • Never Say "Die": While earlier episodes such as "Stu Gets a Job" and "I Remember Melville" avert this trope, by this point, Nickelodeon had started issuing standards and practices prohibiting the use of the words, "Dead" and "Die". However, it is revealed in this episode that Melinda (who is only seen in flashbacks) is deceased, and the show does everything short of saying the actual word to indicate it.
  • Noodle Incident: It is revealed in this episode that when Didi was in third grade, she wore a troll costume for a pageant that she hated, but Minka liked.
  • Rip Van Tinkle: After explaining the dreams he has about his mother to Tommy, Phil, and Lil, Chuckie tells them that he usually wakes up needing to go potty.
  • That Man Is Dead: A variant; when Angelica decides to adopt Chuckie as her son, she decides to call him "Blaine" because she thinks that "Chuckie" is a stupid name, and since "Blaine" is a TV name, it's better.
  • Time Out: As punishment for destroying her sculpture, Angelica gives the babies one of these in the closet, not wanting them to come out until they're as old as Lou. This is how Chuckie finds the box that Chas wanted Didi to keep safe from him.
  • Trouser Space: Phil is revealed to have been keeping an old piece of candy in his pants, which has gotten sticky from staying in there for too long.
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