The eleventh episode of the eighth season of Rugrats.
A Step at a Time
Stu thinks Dil took his first step, and sets up many cameras so he won't miss it again.
To get around not being allowed to insult the babies, Angelica asks Harold, her classmate in preschool, to do it instead.
"A Step at a Time" provides examples of:
- Big Brother Instinct: Early in this episode, Tommy wants Dil to join him and his friends in playing with Chuckie's "Follow Me Reptar" toy. He is also shown to be very protective of Dil, as when his friends were coming up with ways to motivate him (a cookie, arguing, a fear of clowns), and the adults were excited of the prospect, Tommy wanted Dil to learn at his own pace. In a Generation Xerox moment, Dil sees Tommy walking by like Chuckie did in Tommy's flashback, and tried climbing up to walk and play with him. He fails, but Tommy, knowing this, assures him again he doesn't have to walk yet and that he'll be close by whenever he does want to play.
- Character Development: Tommy's relationship with Dil has come a long way since the first movie. There, Dil takes utter delight in stealing from and hitting Tommy while Tommy takes care of Dil mostly because he feels he has to and not truly out of love. In this episode, Tommy wants to ensure Dil is included and stands up to his friends when they try to scare Dil. In return, the moment Tommy does this Dil coos "Tommy" in a loving way and wants to be able to walk to play with Tommy. For two brothers who started out as enemies, they turned out to be truly loving brothers.
- Early Personality Signs:
- Angelica loves cookies and a flashback in this episode reveals that she learnt to walk because she saw a cookie.
- The cowardly Chuckie walked for the first time while trying to run away from an ice cream truck.
- Kids Hate Vegetables: One of the ways the babies try to get Dil to walk is by giving him a cookie, as it worked for Angelica. However, the babies don't have any cookies, but Chuckie still has some carrots left over from his snack. Phil and Lil admit that they won't walk, let alone do anything for carrots.
- Series Continuity Error:
- Chuckie didn't start out as being afraid of clowns and was implied to obtain the fear from witnessing Didi's fear of them in "Reptar's Revenge". This was contradicted in this episode where Chuckie first acquired his fear of clowns when he saw an ice cream truck with a clown head on top when he was an infant and took his first steps to run to his father for protection.
- It is shown in both "No More Cookies" and this episode that Angelica's motivation for taking her first steps involved cookies, but the circumstances are very different. In "No More Cookies", it was to get to a plate of cookies on a table at her parents' house. In this episode, it was so her mother could pick her up and enable her to swipe a cookie from a baby who was also being held by his mother.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: At the end of the episode, Dil sees Tommy walking and wants to learn to walk so he can play with him. He tries climbing up the way Tommy did when he first learned how to walk, but as this episode makes very clear, Dil is too young to walk all by himself, and sure enough, he falls over when he tries to pull himself up.
- The Unreveal: Although Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, and Angelica all have their own flashbacks to when they took their first steps, we never see Kimi's.
"Angelica's Assistant" provides examples of:
- Alliterative Title: Angelica's Assistant.
- "Eureka!" Moment: Charlotte threatens to take Angelica's Cynthia Dream Yacht back to the toy store if she catches Angelica being mean to the babies. When Angelica witnesses Jonathan refusing to fire Charlotte's grandmother and telling Charlotte to do it herself, Charlotte tells Jonathan that as her assistant, he's supposed to do the things she doesn't want to do for her. This gives Angelica the idea to make Harold her assistant so that he can be mean to the babies for her.
- Exploding Closet: The babies attempt to clean Angelica's bedroom by putting most of her toys in her closet. When Angelica opens her closet, an avalanche of toys falls on her.
- Food Shove Gag: Angelica has a play date with Harold and is not looking forward to it at all. Harold, however, is, and tells this to Angelica as she's eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When Susie arrives and asks them what's going on, Harold is about to tell her about his play date with Angelica when Angelica shoves her sandwich into his mouth, then says to Susie that he's never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before. When Harold tries again to tell Susie about his play date with Angelica, the stickiness of the sandwich leaves his words unintelligible.
- Gilligan Cut: Used twice in this episode:
- At the beginning of this episode, Charlotte is on the phone with Jonathan, telling him that Angelica will be happy to help him look after the babies. Cut to Angelica insulting the babies.
- Later, Charlotte sends the babies to Angelica's bedroom while Angelica helps her clean up the kitchen. Angelica is horrified when she hears about this, but Charlotte tells her that she needs to learn how to share, and that she's sure the babies will play nicely. Cut to the babies messing up Angelica's bedroom.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After Angelica fires Harold as her assistant, she insults the babies and tells them never to play with her Cynthia Dream Yacht. Charlotte overhears and punishes her by returning the Yacht to the toy store.
- Loophole Abuse: Angelica isn't allowed to be mean to the babies, but no one said she couldn't hire someone to be mean to them for her.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Angelica hires Harold to be her assistant, which includes having him be mean to the babies so that she doesn't have to. Harold makes friends with the babies and can't bring himself to be mean to them.
- Ship Tease: While cleaning up Angelica's bedroom, Harold finds a picture of Clark with hearts on it, indicating that Angelica has a crush on him.
- Time Out: Angelica gets one as punishment for being mean to the babies.