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  • Adored by the Network: From 1998 to 2003, this show was pretty much the forerunner of Nickelodeon back in the day until SpongeBob SquarePants came along, and even then when his show premiered in 1999 they focused mainly on this and other Klasky-Csupo shows.
  • Author Existence Failure: Played straight four separate times; starting with David Doyle (Grandpa Lou), who died in February 1997, before the episodes he recorded for the new season were even completed and began airing in the summer of that year. Joe Alaskey took over for the rest of the series and himself died of cancer in February 2016. Additionally, Stu's voice actor Jack Riley died of pneumonia in August of that same year as well, and Christine Cavanaugh, Chuckie's original voice actor, had died of leukemia in December 2014.
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  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Due to a certain image circulating the Internet, many fans believe that there's a scene from "Grandpa's Bad Bug" where Grandpa talks about playing Russian Roulette. The actual dialogue was just Grandpa telling Stu and Didi that he was sick, Didi offers to take him to the doctor but he tells her he just wants to sleep it off. The dialogue in the aforementioned image is lifted from an episode of King of the Hill.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For Klasky-Csupo and Nickelodeon (though credit should also be given to Doug and The Ren & Stimpy Show as those two shows also helped Nickelodeon gain fame in the 1990s).
  • Celebrity Voice Actor:
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  • Channel Hop: Strangely, the show has aired on Nick Jr. a few times, even as far back as 1994.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Up until the movie, Arlene Klasky hated Angelica and following the episode "The Trial"note  she complained to the writers that the babies were starting to act too old for their age.
    • Original co-creator Paul Germain, who left after season 3, felt the series went downhill from the revival onwards.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: In the series' tenth anniversary special, "Still Babies After All These Years", the cast got to share their favorite episodes with the viewers. Specifically;
    • Elizabeth Daily has stated that her favorite episode is "Naked Tommy".
    • Gabor Csupo has stated "Chuckie Vs. the Potty" as one of his favorite episodes.
    • Kath Soucie has stated that her favorite episode is "I Remember Melville", due to how touching that episode's subject isnote .
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  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Played straight in the English cast, as all the male babies are voiced by women. Zigzagged in some of the foreign dubs for example, the French dub had Tommy done by a male.
  • Defictionalization: As of 2017, actual Reptar Cereal and Reptar Bars are being sold exclusively at FYE.
  • Direct to Video: The two Tales From The Crib movies, Snow White and Three Jacks And A Beanstalk, which were unsuccessful attempts to make the series popular again. The hour-long special Vacation was first released on VHS, too.
  • Dueling Shows: The reboot is in a duel with Animaniacs, another reboot of a 90s kids' show that was extremely popular.
  • Early-Bird Release: Several episodes of the show were released on VHS months or on a rare occasion even YEARS before they aired on TV:
    • A Rugrats Passover was originally released on the Passover VHS 2 months before it would air.
    • Hiccups/Autumn Leaves was released on Dr. Tommy Pickles 7 months before it would air. Oddly, commercials advertising the tape said it would air around 4 months after release... that being said the episodes were meant to air much earlier during season 4 but were held over.
    • Grandpa's Bad Bug was released on Dr. Tommy Pickles 8 months before it would air.
    • The Word of the Day was released on Angelica Knows Best 2 months before it aired.
    • Runaway Reptar was released on the aptly-named VHS 3 months before it would air.
    • Both Dil We Meet Again and Big Babies were released on Make Room for Dil a whopping TWO WHOLE YEARS before they aired in the USA. That said they aired much closer to the VHS release on Telemundo.
    • Be My Valentine was released on I Think I Like You a month before airing.
    • Discover America was released on the VHS of the same name 5 months before airing.
    • A Rugrats Kwanzaa was released the VHS of the same name 3 months before airing.
    • Bow-Wow Wedding Vows was released on Easter 1 month before airing.
    • Babies in Toyland was released on the Rugrats Christmas VHS 3 months before airing.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Cheryl Chase had such a hard time playing the mean Angelica that to get into character, she had directors tell her that the girl was the show's version of JR Ewing.
  • Executive Meddling: As noted under Characterization Marches On, Susie's personality changed a lot from her first few appearances. According to Cree Summer, this was down to network executives wanting her to be a good representation of a young girl of colour - saying she was told to make sure Susie sounded very well-spoken.
  • Hostility on the Set: Tensions between the creators in the original 65 episodes run were quite real. Arlene Klasky and Paul Germain clashed on creative directions; the former wanted the characters to act more like realistic babies, while the latter favored strong characterization. Angelica was the big point of argument - Arlene Klasky not wanting an antagonist and hating how mean she was, Paul Germain instead wanting to show Hidden Depths and explore why a child might become a bully. He ended up leaving the show before the episodes even aired. Arlene Klasky continued to be unpopular with a lot of the animators; she would speak to some of them in baby talk to illustrate how she wanted the Rugrats to act, and they made a Running Gag out of Didi's obsession with the terrible advice of Dr Lipschitz specifically to mock her - as she was a great believer in such parenting books.
  • In Memoriam: The episode "Lady Luck", where Grandpa Lou plays a major role, is dedicated to his voice actor David Doyle, who passed away before the episode aired.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The show got tons of VHS releases, but of course those are all now out of print and only a select few episodes were ever released to DVD. The complete series was released in 9 season sets on DVD from 2010-2014, exclusively on Amazon through their CreateSpace service, using their DVD-R manufacture-on-demand service. The series can also be purchased digitally on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. The CreateSpace DVDs went out-of-print in 2017, and Paramount Home Entertainment has re-released the first four seasons since; Hulu's rights to the series nearly expired in October 2020.
  • Missing Episode:
    • "Cuffed/The Blizzard" from Season 3 was pulled from US reruns on Nick and Nicktoons by the mid 2000's, probably over concern of small children playing with handcuffs. It still aired in other countries and is available on DVD and iTunes, and TeenNick's programming block The Splat aired it on December 20, 2015.
    • Because of music licensing issues with the song "Vacation" by The Go-Go's, the Season 4 episode "Vacation" was rarely aired on TV and is not available on iTunes or Amazon Instant Video. However, it was included on the Decade in Diapers DVD, Season 4 DVD from Amazon, and it is included on Paramount's 2018 release of Season 4.
    • Due to a manufacturing error on Amazon's Season 3 DVD, the contents of the fourth and fifth discs were exactly the same, meaning the episodes that should have been on Disc 5 are lost entirely, and despite being pulled so Amazon could rectify the issue, the discs were apparently still the same. The episodes in question are available on digital services, and Paramount's third season set was unaffected. Also, the original Season 2 DVD set only covered the first half of the season, and the Season 3 set skipped right over the missing episodes (which included Susie's debut). The Season 2 set was eventually reissued with the missing episodes. In addition, for unknown reasons, the masters for three episodes couldn't be located in time for the Season 9 set, and it was instead issued as a "Best Of" collection without them. It was later reissued with them restored back in.
    • No complete videotape recordings of the Rugrats Magic Adventure show that was at Universal Studios Hollywood from 2000 to 2001 are known to exist, only the show's audio and some excerpts can be found.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Susie's mom, Lucy Carmichael, has the same name as Lucille Ball's character from The Lucy Show.
    • Kira is in no way similar to Light Yagami.
    • In the episode, "Opposites Attract", Tommy and Chuckie meet two kids who have personalities similar to theirs; a girl named Sam, and a boy named Freddie. They have the same names as Carly Shay's two best friends.
    • In early episodes, a pair of teenagers named Larry and Steve occasionally showed up, not to be confused with the man and dog of the same name from what would later evolve into Family Guy.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • After David Doyle's death, Joe Alaskey took over as Grandpa Lou's voice actor beginning with Season 5. Joe Alaskey himself passed away years after the show was cancelled, so the upcoming revival will have to replace him if Grandpa Lou returns.
    • Also, when Christine Cavanaugh — the original voice of Chuckie Finster — retired from voice acting and left the show during Season 8, she was replaced by Nancy Cartwright (from The Simpsons). Try as she might with the role, Ms. Cartwright's take on Chuckie made him sound like Ralph Wiggum, which didn't sit well with a lot of fans.
    • Chuckie was also played by Candi Milo in two video games instead of Nancy Cartwright.
    • "The Last Babysitter" had E.G. Daily (the voice for Tommy) voice Susie Carmichael rather than Cree Summer, who was unavailable.
    • Susie's siblings change voice actors often.
    • In the Japanese dub, there's a different voice cast between the characters from the TV series and the movies.
  • The Other Marty: Tommy was originally voiced by Tami Holbrook in the pilot short. Holbrook voiced him for the first couple episodes, but it was decided that she wasn't working out, so they hired E.G. Daily to replace her and re-dub her lines.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: The first Halloween Episode "Candy Bar Creep Show" originally premiered in January 1992, which was close to three months after Halloween. Then as if that weren't enough, it usually wouldn't be rerun on Halloween or around the season (in most cases another mundane episode pairing would air on Halloween day.) Though this changed in October 2000 when Nickelodeon played "Candy Bar Creep Show" a lot during the month, often pairing it with "Ghost Story" from Season 6 (though the Halloween day 2000 airing paired "Candy Bar Creep Show" with its' original sister episode, "Monsters in the Garage.")
    • Subverted with "Mothers' Day," its' original airing at the actual holiday and subsequent reruns around that time of year closed with at title card reading "HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY" in the usual Rugrats font. On the occasions this episode aired outside of the Mothers' Day season, the title card would be edited out.
  • Posthumous Credit: David Doyle died in February 1997, several months prior to the Uncancelled seasons beginning airing, though had finished enough voice work as Grandpa Lou to complete Season Four and even the Season Five premier, "Grandpa's Bad Bug"/"Lady Luck", the latter of which was dedicated to his memory. The final aired episode starring him was "Autumn Leaves", a holdover from Season Four released over a year and a half after his passing.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: Elizabeth Daily and Tara Strong voice brothers in this, and sisters in The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Reclusive Artist: Tommy's original voice actress Tami Holbrook seemingly vanished off the face of the Earth after the pilot episode.
  • Release Date Change / We Interrupt This Program: Depending on the area, the premiere of Rugrats on Nick on CBS, which was on February 1, 2003, was either delayed until the next week (with the episode "Be My Valentine" on February 8, 2003) or interrupted halfway through the episode "Finsterella" because of news coverage of the Columbia Space Shuttle explosion, which happened the same day. Some affiliates, including WDJT in Milwaukee, ran the show as scheduled.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: When the show was in its infancy (no pun intended) they introduced a giant Kaiju dinosaur called "Reptar" which served as a background fictional in-universe character for the main characters to love and idolize. Originally it was treated as a tribute to Godzilla. The problem with any animation series is, it has to earn its daily bread not through ratings, but merchandise. Reptar's popularity soon soared, and thus the demand for him to feature more predominately in and out of series. Toho never takes kindly to parodies of its intellectual property, and soon couldn't help but become aware of Reptar. Klasky Csupo was taken to court in 2002 and had an injunction put in to return it back to its minor role, thus featuring the character much less. Though this had negligible effect overall, since the show was well past its prime at this point and would be cancelled in another two years.
  • Sleeper Hit: Arlene Klasky describes the sudden success as "when the show started, we had two employees. When it ended, we had 550."
  • Screwed by the Network: On CBS, the show suffered this under their thumb. It premiered on their Saturday morning block in February 2003, but only stayed on for the next five months; only episodes featuring the not so well-liked Dil and Kimi were shown. It aired by default at 7AM, when its target audience was still asleep, although some stations aired the show in different timeslots; including KPIX in San Francisco, which aired it in the afternoon at 3:30PM; KIRO in Seattle, which aired it at 5AM on Sunday mornings, when absolutely no one would be awake; and WIVB in Buffalo, New York, which aired it at 8AM, directly against Nickelodeon's Rugrats broadcast.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Phil, Lil, and their mother, Betty, were all voiced by Kath Soucie.
    • Michael Bell voiced Drew (Angelica's dad), Chas (Chuckie's dad), and Boris (Tommy's maternal grandfather).
    • Didi and her mother were both voiced by Melanie Chartoff.
    • Don't forget about Larry and Steve, both of whom were voiced by Scott Menville.
    • In Mexico and Japan, it's Dil and Susie. In Sweden, there's Tommy and Angelica.
  • Uncanceled: The show originally ended in 1994 due to contractual reasons as a rule that no Nicktoon at the time could be renewed over 65 episodes, but due to everlasting popularity in reruns, the show was renewed for a further six seasons until being cancelled again in 2004 as a part of a dispute between Klasky/Csupo and Nickelodeon (The dispute being that they couldn't agree on a price to produce the shows).
    • Due to growing popularity once again, Nickelodeon has recently hinted that Rugrats may be on the list of shows being resurrected, due to popular demand. To test the waters, apparently, a new comic book series was revealed in 2017. One year later, an official revival (plus a live-action/CGI film) was announced.
  • Unfinished Episode: According to RugratOnline, some episodes were written in the outline stage for the second and third seasons, but never got produced. Such examples include...
    • "Tommy the Sage," where Tommy would be giving words of wisdom to his friends, apparently in a flashback sequence. Nick didn't think it fit the series.
    • "Didi's Cold," which would've been a Sick Episode featuring how the babies react to Tommy's mom coming down with a cold.
    • "Chuckie Gets Trapped," where Chuckie would get his head stuck in a banister. Arlene Klasky rejected this episode because she felt it presented a danger issue.
    • "Dog Show," which Klasky-Csupo scrapped because they did not want to center on Spike too much.
    • "Tommy the Gambler," where the adults would take the kids to a horse race where they place bets. It was rejected not due to the gambling issue, but because back then Klasky-Csupo had difficulties with big crowd scenes. Another episode, "The Parade," was scrapped for the same reason.
    • "The Seance," where the adults and possibly the babies partake in a Spooky Séance.
    • "Angelica Takes a Candy Bar," a.k.a. "Shoplifting", which involves Angelica stealing a candy bar from a store. Nickelodeon rejected it.
    • "The Case of the Missing Eggs," a possible Easter Special, was rejected by Klasky-Csupo because they already had a mystery-themed episode for the second season, "The Case of the Missing Rugrat."
    • "Glasberg's Polynesian Restaurant," which Nick rejected because it was too similar to "Waiter, There's a Baby in My Soup" and presumably another story allegedly titled "Client Dinner" (which was either another unproduced episode, or a Working Title for "Baby in My Soup.")
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The first three seasons are chock full of nineties pop-culture references, such as Siskel & Ebert, and Charlotte's cell phone a). being big enough to see and b). only making phone calls. The "Vacation" episode shows Las Vegas as being a family-friendly vacation destination. It was somewhat like this back in The '90s, but has since gotten more raunchy and adult-only. Not to mention the Heimlich & Bob performance which was an obvious reference to the Siegfried & Roy show at the time before they had to cancel their show following Roy's near-fatal injury in 2003.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Apparently, up until the "Mother's Day" episode, the creators didn't know what to do with Chuckie's mother. In fact, the only time the classic-era episodes explicitly point to Chas being a single dad was in "My Friend Barney" where Chuckie finds a stuffed fish plaque, and Chas tells him, "Your mother never liked this fish much, but hey, I guess now we can hang it back up in the dining room!". In "BBQ Story," a woman often interpreted to be a prototype of Chuckie's mother can be seen alongside Chuckie's fathernote and in "Real or Robots" Stu says Chuckie's "mom and dad" will pick him up in the morning. According to Paul Germain, it was at one point considered for Chuckie's mom to still be alive, but divorced from Chas, but Nickelodeon felt both divorce and death were too sensitive subjects for a children's show - but they came around for the early death of a mother during the revival.
    • Originally 20th Century Fox had a deal with Nickelodeon to release movies of the Nicktoons in 1993 but this fell through. The Rugrats Movie did come out in 1998 through Paramount after Viacom's acquisition of the studio, but whether the plot details were the same remains unknown.
    • In the original pilot Lou's name was Stu Pickles Sr.
    • Before Angelica was made, early on it was considered having Chuckie be the bully to the other babies.
    • As noted under Early Installment Weirdness, Angelica was first conceived as a Karma Houdini who would never be punished - to teach kids the Hard Truth Aesop that sometimes life isn't fair. But the show runners quickly came to hate how nasty Angelica was, and had her punished frequently. Season 2 onwards started showing her Hidden Depths.
    • There was a rumor that if Rugrats Go Wild! was successful, then a fourth movie would've been made with the characters in their grown forms.
    • After Christine Cavanaugh retired from voice acting, Candi Milo was considered for Chuckie's new voice actress, even playing him in two video games. However, Klasky-Csupo brought Nancy Cartwright in instead, thinking that having a more "famous" voice actress off of The Simpsons would bring in more prestige and viewers as the popularity of Rugrats was slowly starting to wane. Milo still replaced Cavanaugh as Dexter in Dexter's Laboratory.
    • Additionally, Klasky-Csupo was planning to make an eleven-minute version of the pilot, "Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing," to air with the rest of the series. It would've either been a complete remake of the pilot, or would've extended the existing pilot with newly-animated sequences (the way Klasky-Csupo also did with the Aaahh!!! Real Monsters pilot, along with the pilots for two other Nickoons Doug and Rocko's Modern Life.) It never got made, and the pilot continued to only be shown at animation festivals until it was finally released on the "Decade in Diapers" DVD in 2001.
  • Working Title: Arlene Klasky's idea for a title was 'Onesomething', after the TV show thirtysomething.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Tommy was based on Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó's son, and was named after co-creator Paul Germain's son, Thomas.
    • Angelica was based off a girl who used to beat up Paul Germain as a kid. In fact, until he brought it up, Angelica was going to be a boy.
  • Writer Revolt: Didi's obsession with Dr Lipschitz was a Take That! from the writers to Arlene Klasky, who was a great believer in such doctors and parenting books.

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