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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • In the PS1 video game Rugrats: Search for Reptar, this trope pops up during the Golf game stage:
      Tommy: We just gotta get the balls in the hole, and we'll get a whole mountain of ice cream!
      • Not helped by the questionable look of Ice Cream Mountain itself.
    • Lil by way of Children Are Innocent or Irony (the choice is up to you) in "At The Movies".
      "I hate kissing movies. Nothing ever happens."
    • In "What The Big People Do", Tommy says you can have babies and get married in that order. It kinda sounds like he's talking about having kids out of wedlock.
  • Adorkable:
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    • Chuckie is gawky, neurotic, jumpy, and sweet-natured. And bespectacled.
    • Stu is good-natured, loves to invent, and bumbling at times.
    • Chaz is shy, awkward, nervous and wears glasses.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Was Tommy the heroic, assertive and fearless leader of the babies or an overbearing Designated Hero and Manipulative Bastard comparable to Angelica who coerces his friends (particularly Chuckie) into doing what he thinks they should do based on his perceptions and getting his way? The episodes "Farewell, My Friend", "Garage Sale" and "The Odd Couple" showcase the theory of him being more than a little Innocently Insensitive (such as continually painting Chuckie's interests as "weird" and being an overall lousy houseguest or giving away all of his parents belongings to their immense chagrin, particularly Stu's).
    • Similarly such episodes also totter as to whether Phil and Lil were good if occasionally weak willed friends to Tommy and Chuckie, or merely neutral brats who could be easily influenced, even having times they sold out the other babies to Angelica when she coaxed them with good things rather than bullying them. Their cowardice, while maybe more reserved than Chuckie's, could arguably also be seen as more prevailing, as shown in cases like "Farewell, My Friend" where they gladly left Tommy to his fate, which Chuckie found he could never live with doing (eg. "Dust Bunnies" or The Movie).
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    • Many fans view Angelica as a sociopath based on her Troubling Unchildlike Behavior as seen in "The Trial" as well as her out of nowhere freakout in "The Box" and it's assumed that her Freudian Excuse is that her parents are somewhat negligent towards her and clueless about her that it probably kinda warped her and, as a result, she gets a strange kick out of telling lies to her cousin and his friends and she has no idea how to be a good friend.
    • To go along with that, other fans believe Angelica is a neglected and lonely kid who, not fully aware of her own Freudian Excuse, takes out her sadness and frustration on the babies. Episodes in which she's nice to or protective of Tommy and friends, such as "New Kid in Town" and "Moving Away" lend support. There's also the fact that in "Angelica Runs Away", her response to Drew disciplining her for the first time is to run away from home and then she fears he's actually happy she's gone. And in "Mommy's Little Assets", when Charlotte is disciplining her, Angelica tearfully asks if she's going to be fired.
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    • In one episode, Charlotte tells Angelica that she's having another child, and Charlotte and Drew are both thrilled. In the end however, Charlotte tells her, while sounding rather sad, that they're no longer having a baby. Naturally, she didn't give her 3-year-old daughter any details, so just what happened has stumped fans for decades. Was it a miscarriage, or just an inaccurate and disappointing test result?note 
    • Assuming "Chuckie's Wonderful Life" is All Just a Dream, Chuckie can be painted as a Small Name, Big Ego who convinces himself that the whole world would fall apart at the seams if not for his constant direction. Alternatively this along with other episodes like "The Odd Couple" might suggest he suffers from Super OCD, a known psychological element to the disorder is believing terrible things will happen if you do not commit to things in an exact way.
    • Another episode involves Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, and their parents attending a wedding. While most of the guests are happy for Tommy's Uncle Ben and his bride Elaine, Chuckie's father Chas is shown crying his eyes out. Could it just show how sensitive he is, or is it because he's thinking about his own wedding to Melinda? The fact that Hulu's captions describe his crying as "weeping" may lean towards the latter explanation.
    • While nearly everyone agrees that Susie is a much-needed example of representation for Black children, the verdict on her is out: is she a refreshing, popular Team Mom who counterbalances Angelica's nastiness, or one of the most blatant examples of Positive Discrimination in 90's cartoons? It's notable that in her early episodes, Susie had quite a few negative traits. Her very first moment on the show was her screaming and crying that her older brother took her lollipop, and other plots showed her as being quick to anger (as seen when she blamed Angelica for stealing her tricycle without any evidence). As the seasons progressed, though, Susie gradually lost those bad qualities and became more of a saintly, wise character who could do no wrong and was generally a paragon of good to the babies. All Grown Up! went out of its way to give her some flaws (the first episode saw her get conned out of a lot of money), suggesting that the writers wanted to make a more balanced character.
      • Susie's parents also suffer from the same "needed representation versus Positive Discrimination" debate. Both of them are wealthy and successful in their careers (Randy is a writer for the Show Within a Show The Dummi Bears and Lucy an OB/GYN), which stands apart from the other parents' struggles and less glamorous jobs (Drew and Charlotte are probably in the same tax bracket, but Randy and Lucy are generally shown as being more loving and attentive to their children than them). The Carmichaels are also shown to be excellent parents who are raising four kids, including one teenager, with very little trouble. Furthermore, Randy has very little characterization besides being good at his work, and in Lucy's debut, she casually rattles off a Long List of everything she's accomplished in her life (including being a professionally-trained French chef and airline pilot) that almost makes her seem like an in-universe Parody Sue. Granted, there's nothing wrong with having successful Black characters in children's TV, but the issue is that unlike the other, more rounded parents on the show, Randy and Lucy are only successful and never seem to make any mistakes.
  • Alternative Joke Interpretation:
    • In the episode "The Smell of Success", Chuckie gets his blocked nose temporarily cured and can smell things he never could before. He observes that Phil and Lil smell bad and Tommy says, "You'll get used to it." Some people think that it means Phil and Lil always smell bad because they play in the mud and trash but other people think that it just means they need to be changed.
    • In "Naked Tommy", when Betty snaps at Didi "the sixties are over and we lost" - is she suggesting that she and Didi were merely hippies in their youth? Or that they actually tried to be nudists for a while?
  • Archive Panic: 172 half-hour episodes over nine seasons, and that's not including the three movies, the two direct-to-video films adapting the fairy tales "Snow White" and "Jack and the Beanstalk", the short-lived Preschool Daze spinoff, and All Grown Up!.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The second movie's soundtrack is nothing to sneeze at.
    • Having Mark Mothersbaugh score the show isn't anything to sneeze at either.
    • "Reptar On Ice" stands out among individual episodes.
    • And "Vacation".
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Angelica is the biggest case of this. When the show was still airing on T.V, Angelica was actually considered one of the best characters in the series by most fans and critics. Not only was she was one of the reasons the show was so popular, she was the show's only character to make it into TV Guide's 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters countdown. However, by the late 2000s, public opinion turned against her for being too mean to the babies and a sociopath of sorts note  Another interesting fact is that until around the time the first movie came out, Arlene Klasky didn't like her either, as she found Angelica to be too cruel and not punished for her actions enough. Angelica was also not in her and Gabor Csupo's original plans for the series, but was Paul Germain's idea, as he'd based the character off of a girl who'd bullied him in his childhood. The New Yorker even wrote an article about this, focusing on how Angelica tore apart the K-C staff, until The Rugrats Movie came out, where Klasky recanted her opinions on the character and said she "loved" Angelica, since by that point her character had been softened up considerably.
    • Susie Carmichael. Some adore her, some see her as the worst case of Positive Discrimination ever. Not helping is that she was introduced as a more realistic child - prone to crying fits and exaggeration, before becoming the Foil to Angelica through Characterization Marches On.
    • A lot of fans dislike Tommy's younger brother Dil Pickles because he does very little to contribute to the plot and is often The Load, but there are just as many people who find him adorable and enjoy the moments where he and his older brother get along.
    • Kimi Finster also has a divisive reception, mainly due to making her debut during the show's Seasonal Rot.
    • Chuckie amassed this mostly due to his latter seasons self where his cowardice was Flanderized into being afraid of everything, and it would be Played for Drama far more often than comedy - which makes him The Load to some. But others still love him for being The Woobie.
    • Charlotte, Angelica's mom. Some fans love her for being a Ms. Fanservice type, as well as getting the most radar-dodging moments. Other fans hate her and see her as a Flat Character who does little other than make phone calls to her assistant, Jonathan, for work-related purposes. They also hate her for putting little effort into disciplining Angelica, being one of the reasons why Angelica is spoiled and mean.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • "This World is Something New to Me" in the first movie. It's a song sung by the newborns in the maternity ward about the newness of the world outside their mothers' wombs. The song isn't expected because they were wandering around hospital looking for Dil: not a situation where you'd expect a song and if there was one, you'd think it'd be one about looking for Dil. It makes no sense because babies are established not to be able to even speak Baby Language until they're older than three months except for a few words like "mine" and "poopy" and yet here are lots of newborns singin' away. It's also never mentioned later at all and nobody points out that the newborns can talk.
    • How the Toy Palace episode ended, with an animatronic Reptar pushing an animatronic gorilla into a time machine, sending it to the period when Washington crossed the Delaware River. And this wasn't one of the babies' Imagine Spots.
  • Broken Base: As gathered from Seasonal Rot below, fan opinion is sharply divided as to when the series started going downhill. Depending on who you ask, the show either went downhill once the series was first revived in 1997, after the first movie, or after the second movie. A small group of fans even prefer the later episodes over the original 65 episodes, while others think the show stayed consistent throughout its whole run.
  • Catharsis Factor: As Season 1's "Candy Bar Creep Show" was before Angelica really started getting her comeuppance more often - it was very cathartic to see her getting terrified by the babies in the haunted house. The episode likewise ends with the babies enjoying Reptar Bars, while Angelica is too scared to go in and get one for herself.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Baby Dil. As soon as he was added, potty humor was cranked up.note  Not to mention the amount of times Tommy has to learn to be a good big brother to Dil, who never learns any Aesops himself.
    • Taffy. She was a babysitter introduced late in the series who everybody on the show loved, but almost everybody watching it hated. She mainly existed so that Amanda Bynes could have another Nickelodeon show to star in.
  • Delusion Conclusion:
    • The Rugrats Theory has become quite infamous for interpreting the series as one colossal dark fantasy: the babies except for Dil are either dead (Tommy, Chuckie), never existed (the twins), or were taken away by child services (Kimi) and Angelica's imagining the whole thing.
    • There's also a semi-popular theory that the episodes after "Visitors from Outer Space" are the delusions of Angelica trapped on the planet.
  • Designated Villain: In "Silent Angelica", where both Drew and Charlotte tell Angelica they'll buy her a toy if she stays quiet for a half an hour. She genuinely tries to obey them but then the babies decide to exploit this to make a mess, enraging Angelica so much she finally snaps. She ends up getting blamed for the mess the babies made and doesn't get either toy. At the same time, this could be her comeuppance for he Karma Houdini status she had early on in the series.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Of the babies themselves, Chuckie and Angelica are by far the most popular—in fact, Angelica was the only one of the Rugrats to make it into TV Guide's 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters countdown. Her father Drew is one as well in recent years, thanks to Barney Bunch videos and his arguments with Stu.
    • Reptar has more fans on Facebook than the series itself does. This hasn't gone unnoticed by Nickelodeon, who released T-shirts of the character.
    • "THORG HUNGRY! THORG WANT EAT!"
  • Fan Fic Fuel: The mystery of how Chuckie's mother died has become a staple of fan theories about the show and many a fan fic for the series.
    • The possibility that Charlotte had a miscarriage in "Angelica's Worst Nightmare" has also led to some fan-fics trying to expand the story.
  • Fanon: There's a pretty popular theory that Charlotte had a miscarriage in "Angelica's Worst Nightmare" (instead of just getting a false positive on her pregnancy test), explaining why she didn't have another baby. If true, this would make the episode a pretty somber case of Be Careful What You Wish For, since Angelica spends most of the episode hoping that her mother won't have a baby.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: When the series ended depends on who you ask. Before the first movie? After? Before the second? After? After the first series? And even the people who like All Grown Up! don't like to mention the third movie.
  • First Installment Wins: Due to the increased tension between the Rugrats and the focus on preteen issues in timeskip spinoff, many fans prefer the original series.
  • Friendly Fandoms: The Rugrats fandom and the Recess fandom are very friendly toward each other; a contributing factor would probably be because the latter was created by two Rugrats writers, Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere (And written by their writing team)
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "The Santa Experience", Angelica meets a shopping mall Santa and one item she tells him she wants is a "911 working emergency stethoscope kit", pronouncing "911" as "Nine-Eleven".
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In "A Visit From Lipschitz," the song he's humming is the German national anthem. The "dog broomer's" name is Ilsa Umlaut. An umlaut is the little dots over vowels (lïkë sö), found in many languages of which German is one.
    • Lou mentions in a flashback episode that his wife is working for Estes Kefauver's Presidential campaign.
    • In "Mirrorland" Didi comes home with an antique mirror that she claims is a "genuine Louis the XIX." You'd have to be pretty familar with your French history to know that poor old Louis Antoine never actually reigned.
  • Growing the Beard: Not that season 1 was bad, but the show really hits its stride in season 2 where it focuses on all of the babies rather than mostly Tommy. The Animation Bump, Chuckie becoming less of a complainer, Angelica getting Hidden Depths and the other parents' personalities getting fleshed out all happened in Season 2.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "The Santa Experience" has Chaz lamenting that his childhood Christmases were never that enjoyable and he worries that it'll be the same for Chuckie. Fast forward to the Christmas Episode of All Grown Up! where we discover that Chuckie's Christmases are indeed miserable because of Chaz. So much so that he's driven to stealing a Christmas tree.
    • A couple of episodes deal with Angelica's loneliness and jealousy of the babies' friendship, notably "The Unfair Pair" where she gets annoyed that the twins exclude her. By the last season she's the only one of the babies without a sibling — and an episode explores her wanting one.
    • In the 1994 episode "Pickles vs. Pickles", Drew's nightmare involves a pair of lawyers named "Alan Dershowitz" and "F. Lee Barnum"—thinly-veiled No Celebrities Were Harmed parodies of Alan Dershowitz and F. Lee Bailey—battling it out in a courtroom over his custody of Angelica. While you might think that's a reference to the O.J. Simpson murder trial, it's actually not: Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered just a few months after the episode aired.
    • Many things relating to Chas and Chuckie's relationship thanks to "Mother's Day":
      • "Chuckie vs. the Potty" has Chuckie describe getting potty-trained as "the worstest thing that's happened to me since my mom put me on the bottle." Perhaps she put him on the bottle because she knew she was dying. There's also the fact that he still remembers her in this episode, but by the time of "Mother's Day," his infantile amnesia seems to be kicking in and he only has dreams about her without remembering that she really existed.
      • Remember when Chas was crying his eyes out during Ben and Elaine's wedding in "Let Them Eat Cake"? There's a chance it's bringing up painful memories of losing his wife.
      • In "My Friend Barney," Chuckie having an imaginary friend is not too far off from how real-life children, and even adults, who are coping with loss often have imaginary friends so they can talk to someone as if they were physically present.
      • There's also "Dummi Bear Dinner Disaster," which makes a passing remark about Chas going to see a psychiatrist. If you think about it, it is implied that the death of Melinda left him an emotional wreck, and that the only thing preventing him from losing his sanity completely is their son Chuckie.
      • In the aforementioned "Chuckie's Wonderful Life," Chuckie sees that, without him, Chas' sanity is completely broken: he's unemployed and lives in poverty, with empty pizza boxes for furniture and a sock puppet as his only friend. Considering that he's lost his wife and Chuckie is their only son, this is justified... and heartbreaking.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The 1992 episode "The Big House" is about Tommy being put into a daycare similar to a prison and he then attempts to break the rest of the babies out. One of the babies is voiced by Pamela Segal, and the episode was written by Paul Germain. Flash forward to 1997, where the plot of the episode becomes almost the basis for Paul Germain and fellow writer Joe Ansolabehere's new Disney series, where Pamela Segal is one of the major characters.
    • In one episode, Chuckie comments that he was afraid of eating green Jell-O because it could've been alive. A couple of years later, Jell-O's slogan was actually "It's alive!"
    • In the episode "Garage Sale", Didi gets mortified when the kids stumble upon her and Stu's old disco memorabilia, and when Angelica asks her what "disco" is, she tells her that "It's something that happened a long time ago, and it's never, never coming back!" (which is currently the page quote for Deader Than Disco). Years later, the pilot for All Grown Up! would revolve around Stu and Didi competing in a disco dance competition.
    • In "He Saw, She Saw", Chuckie was hanging out with a girl who had an overprotective brother who, initially, refused to let Chuckie hang out with her. Chuckie later takes on this behavior with Kimi in All Grown Up, freaking out with she starts hanging out with a bad boy and being upset over his best friend (possibly) crushing on his little sister.
    • In "Unfair Pair", Angelica mentions how Phil and Lil are the only ones among the main characters who have siblings. Later on in the series, Tommy and Chuckie get a brother and a sister respectively, leaving Angelica the only one without any siblings. Additionally the episode "Angelica's Worst Nightmare" has her worrying about the news that she could possibly get a sibling, which is hilarious with the episode where she demands Drew get her a brother or sister.
    • In "Graham Canyon," Stu and Didi get on route to the Grand Canyon, but, after a wrong turn and a troubling time with the mechanics, they decide to go to the Clam Canyon (a waterpark and seafood restaurant), instead. In the All Grown Up! episode "RV Having Fun Yet?", the Pickles family finally go to the Grand Canyon proper.
    • The scene where Stu orders 144 eggs, far more than needed for the cake he and Drew were making, becomes this when during the 2018 Olympics, due to a translation error, the chefs for Norway's team acccidentally ordered 15,000 eggs when they only needed 1,500. Fans were quick to note the parallels.
  • Ho Yay: In "Potty Training Spike," Chuckie offers to be "Spike's other dad" along with Tommy.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Some people ship Chuckie and Kimi together. At least they are only step-brother and step-sister. Tommy and Angelica get shipped, but it's more rare.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Angelica in some episodes, like "The Santa Experience" and "Angelica's Worst Nightmare". Other episodes show that she does care for the babies deep down but she hides it behind brattiness and aggression.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Chuckie Finster has been paired with Angelica, Lil and Susie (and more) over the years. Though to be fair, in the original series Chuckie has had Ship Tease moments with all 3 of the aforementioned girls.
    • Tommy in All Grown Up! is also paired with just about every female character the show has.
  • Memetic Molester: Drew is one for no discernible reason, thanks to the efforts of the Barney Bunch and their troll videos.
  • Memetic Mutation: A pageful, in fact.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales:
    • Didi's parents Boris and Minka didn't bode well with some viewers, who felt that they resembled the anti-Semitic caricatures published in Nazi Germany and found their stereotypical Jewish behavior offensive. Ashkenazi Jews, on the other hands, absolutely loved them, feeling it was an accurate portrayal of their people (it helps that Klasky-Csupo was founded and run by Jews). Tellingly, Nickelodeon's Jewish then-president Albie Hecht was baffled by this controversy, while his Gentile successor Herb Scannell completely agreed with it and asked that the characters be downplayed.
    • The show's token African-American character Susie Carmichael also has an impressive Afrocentrist fanbase, despite her Positive Discrimination being subject to criticism. (Word of God says she's supposed to be "the anti-Angelica," and since Angelica is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All...). Cree Summer has said she's been thanked for years by people who were glad that a black character was part of their favorite cartoon. She also points out that at the time, it was often the case that white actors voiced characters of other races.
  • Moe:
    • It's a show about babies, what did you expect!?
    • Chuckie is the prime example; he's a shy and tenderhearted Nice Guy with glasses.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The Pickles Household's doorbell buzz.
  • Nausea Fuel: "Chuckie Loses His Glasses" has the infamous scene where Angelica pukes directly into the camera and her father gets drenched in her vomit. It's now a video example so watch it if you dare.
    • Phil and Lil's antics can often veer into this. They'll pick up, touch and eat most anything.
  • Narm Charm: In "Spike Runs Away", the scene where Tommy sobs over Spike being missing loses some of its tearjerkiness when Tommy is drawn with a Volumetric Mouth, but it's still pretty sad to see Tommy so depressed.
  • Nightmare Fuel: See here!
    • In-universe example: the episode when the adults took down Chuckie's crib and replaced it with a bed. The first night Chuckie sleeps on the bed, a monster from under the bed keeps talking to him and telling him that he's going to eat him (not even Tommy heard the voice when he slept over the next night). When Chuckie first investigates, he's frightened, thinking he actually spotted a monster reaching at him, and Chuckie jumps right back into bed, frightened. But as it turns out, the monster was actually [Chuckie's dad] Chaz's sweater with one sleeve poking out, and the darkness concealed the cooler colors, making the sweater look threatening.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
    • Rugrats: Royal Ransom for the Nintendo Gamecube and Playstation 2 is often regarded as a diamond in the rough among the series' many licensed games due to having well-designed gameplay and levels, excellent presentation, and actually posing quite a challenge, especially on higher difficulties.
    • Rugrats Castle Capers, released on the Game Boy Advance one year prior to Royal Ransom is also a decent game. The game's plot is similar to that of Royal Ransom, the graphics are well-done and cartoonish like the TV series, there are six different babies to play as, the first five levels can be played in any order the player chooses, with the sixth and final one being unlocked once the first five stages are completed, and it improves upon the flaws of the Game Boy Color games. Levels have the simple "get from Point A to Point B" objective without having to collect a select number of items, the babies are given different forms of Edible Ammunition to use against the enemies, they can get to higher places with ease by using the Human Ladder move, and each level ends with a boss fight against Angelica.
    • Rugrats Adventure Game by Brøderbund. It's actually a well-made point-and-click adventure game (as should be expected from that late developer), although the transitions between scenes and movements are somewhat long. Also, good luck trying to run it on a modern computer; not even Windows XP can run this game, so a virtual machine running Windows 95 or 98/ME is a must.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: At least, Paul Germain thinks he did. He believes that the show went through Seasonal Rot after his involvement with it ended. YMMV on whether he's right or not, since Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo were also the show's creators and they stayed involved with the show throughout its first run.
  • Periphery Demographic: Despite the cutesy antics of the babies, the show is quite popular with older viewers, largely due to the sly amount of jokes they seep in through the babies' naïveté and the humorous characterisations and side plots of the parent characters, as well as some well written episodes that touch on surprisingly deep and meaningful family matters, especially in the earlier seasons.
  • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: Pertaining to Tommy's maternal grandparents, Boris and Minka: They're Holocaust survivors. Due to Boris and Minka's devout faith, it can easily be argued that they more likely escaped Russia while Hitler and the Nazis were just beginning to conquer Europe. While it may be difficult for some to believe, not every Jewish person who lived in Eastern Europe in the early to mid 20th century experienced the concentration camps.
  • Popularity Polynomial: Around 2002-03, the show steadily declined in popularity. SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents were quickly overshadowing it to become Nickelodeon's most popular shows even though Rugrats was still considered Nick's flagship show at that point. Following the critical and commercial failure of Rugrats Go Wild!, the series ended with little fanfare in 2004, and subsequently faded into obscurity for the rest of 2000's, with only a handful of new material seeing release throughout the rest of the decade. By the early 2010's, Rugrats got more attention again as the generation that grew up on it entered adulthood. As a result, the show has returned to Nickelodeon's schedule in small intervals, new merchandise has been produced throughout the decade (though this time around it gets lumped into general "old school Nick" marketing with other shows from the era) and even a reboot was greenlit by Nickelodeon. So as of today, even though SpongeBob and FOP have most definitely overshadowed it in overall pop culture impact, Rugrats has remained a steady franchise in some form or another compared to where it was in the mid-2000's.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Far too many examples, unfortunately:
    • Rugrats in Paris: The Movie on the N64 and PS1 in 2000 was a medicore Mini Game Game that didn't even follow the film's plot. Instead, it involved the babies running around an empty EuroReptarLand looking for tickets. The tickets you needed to play the mini games, and there were never enough of them in the park. The games themselves were mostly overly-kiddie carnival attractions like hit 50 targets with pies, do a kart race, and such. To say it was tedious was an understatement. Apparently, you had to collect 100 or so tickets overall to save the Reptar princess or something, but few players got that farnote . There was also a lackluster multiplayer mode. Interestingly, the game was made by Avalanche Software, who went on to make the far better Rugrats: Royal Ransom in 2002.
      • The GBC versionnote , made by a different developer, was the same thing, just on a miniscule screen and with awful music. You can imagine how that went down.
    • The Rugrats Movie was a clunky platformer for the GB and GBC in 1998. Not following the movie's plot at all, it involves Tommy marching through levels based loosely on the film's set pieces. Controls were difficult, and a ticking timer made the whole experience a pain. Even short parts where you could play as the other babies and ride in mine carts did little to ease the monotony. The sole good thing to say about this title is its nice colour palette on the GBC.
    • Rugrats: Time Travellers was another clunky platformer for the GBC in 1999. The story involves the babies screwing around with a time machine in a toy storenote  and being whisked away to stereotypical time periods (Egyptian times, prehistoric times, etc). There were so few interesting historical elements used, one wonders why the developers even bothered with a Time Travel plot. Controls were broken, and the ending was extremely unsatisfying. The only saving grace of this game was its colourful graphics.
    • Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt was an incredibly boring Mario Party ripoff on the N64 in 1999. Despite sporting good graphics for the time, minimal loading screens, and the TV series' actors reprising their roles, it featured excruciatingly slow gameplay, a lack of any sort of mini games (ya know, the main reason people even play the Mario Party series?), a total of three game boards, and repetitive voice clips. It's easily one of the worst games on the Nintendo 64.
    • Rugrats: Totally Angelica on the PS1 in 2001 was yet another Mini Game Game. Starring our resident scrappy Angelica in a lame fashion show, it had crappy mini games, no replayability, and was too easy on the hardest difficulty level. The one review of it on the internet is well worth a read.
      • The GBC version from 2000 is a scaled-down version, lacking Mark Mothersbaugh's soundtrack, O.K.-for-2001 3D graphics, and basically anything that made the console version tolerable. Oddly enough, it had a completely different storynote , and was a tad more polished in a few ways, such as including an actual Boss Battle. IGN has a rather entertaining review here.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • There are those whom found Dil to be a lot more likable in All Grown Up! (in which even certain people whom did not like the show would agree to that). This is because while, in the original, he never really had a personality, in the sequel series, he became a weird, conspiracy-and-alien obsessed guy who just happens to like being an oddball.
    • Similarly, Kimi was also better received in All Grown Up! than she was in the original series.
    • Susie is also much less of an Ace than she was in the original series. In fact the first episode has her getting conned into giving a woman $1,000 thinking it's for a record deal. Other episodes give her proper flaws such as worrying she's too perfect, becoming jealous of Angelica in her house and being unable to juggle two hobbies at once.
    • Within the show's staff, Angelica was hated prior to her Character Development in later seasons. Arlene Klasky in particular, who stated in excess how much she loathed the character initially, admitted her fondness for her by the time of the first movie.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Out of all the parents in this show, Charlotte gets most of the criticism for her parenting. Fans make her out to be the worst, forgetting the fact that she: never left her kid at a public places and never allowed Angelica to get lost in the woods. What's more is that Charlotte has never had a problem disciplining Angelica, and it's Drew who usually gives into his daughter.
    • Angelica herself gets treated like a monster and described as sociopathic by a lot of fans. This is ignoring the fact that she's three years old and most of her problems are down to indulgent parenting by Drew. She is nasty to the babies, but numerous episodes show that she does have Hidden Depths and cares for them in her own special way, particularly after the original 65-episode order (see Villain Decay below). Not to mention All Grown Up! showing that she did mellow out as she grew older.
    • Barney Bunch videos portray Drew Pickles (of all characters) as a misogynistic homosexual rapist who will do anything to get the satisfaction he needs.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The babysitter Taffy introduced in the show's last two seasons gets a lot of hate because many saw her as a completely unnecessary Creator's Pet.
    • As far as the classic era is concerned, Dr. Lipschitz tends to be disliked because, while many parents, especially Didi and Chas, rely on him for parenting advice, it is shown that he himself knows nothing about how to raise children (despite his delusions to the contrary).
  • Seasonal Rot: After the second movie and Kimi became a regular. Her presence did not ruin the show, however, it was the fact the Baby Talk was dumbed down. They dumbed down baby talk.
    • However, after Kimi's introduction they did begin basically recycling plots to shoehorn her in. For example, despite Rugrats having several holiday specials in previous years (including in the first season which dealt with the babies' first Halloween), after Kimi becomes part of the babies, the Halloween special is treated like the first with none of the babies nor Angelica remembering what had happened a 'year' ago.
    • Not to mention randomly retconning things: such as Tommy, Chuckie's, Phil, and Lil's first meeting, Angelica's first walk, etc. It was almost like the old writers had never seen the earlier series.
    • There are some fans who believe the show started to go bad after the 1997 revival, some after the first movie, some after the second movie, some after All Grown Up!, and the rest who either believe the show was sweet mana from above or jumped the shark from the beginning.
  • Self-Fanservice: Discussed in this column by Eric Molinsky, a former Rugrats storyboard artist who says that fanart of the characters as adults tends to render them too attractive and glamorous for the show's "lumpy" Eastern-European style, and shows some art of his of how the Rugrats kids would look like as adults in a way much more characteristic of the show.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: It can be the closest thing to an animated spin-off of Look Who's Talking as both the series and the film are told from the viewpoint of an infant. Interestingly, the voice of the baby character Mikey of the said film, Bruce Willis, would later voice the character of Spike in the cartoon's The Wild Thornberrys crossover film Rugrats Go Wild!
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
  • Toy Ship: Tommy/Kimi, Chuckie/Lil, Chuckie/Angelica, Tommy/Lil among others.
    • Tommy/Chuckie. "Home Movies" has Chuckie depict Tommy as a superhero with a lush head of hair who carries Chuckie around, while "The Odd Couple" pokes fun at the adjustment period roommates — and newly cohabitating couples — frequetly go through.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Ilsa the dog groomer just wants to do her job, and it's Didi who hired her. Yet it's Tommy's wild imagination that makes him think Ilsa has sinister intentions, and the babies terrorise the poor woman. It's hard not to feel a little sorry for her when she breaks down crying over how the situation turned out.
    • Cindy the teenager working at the Java Lava. While she wasn’t a good employee for her poor customer service skills (she should have been fired for that alone), she still didn’t deserve the torment she got under the hands of the babies (because they thought she was Angelica's doll turned human). They even try to pull out her belly button ring, which could have had gruesome results if this weren't a children's cartoon. She's fired when the babies make a mess, and Betty chews her out for stooping low enough to blame them (even though they were responsible - and one teenager versus six hyperactive infants is not likely to be able to keep things tidy).
    • Stu gets this quite often when you think about the franchise as whole. The man is a constant Butt-Monkey who really tries his damn hardest to balance his work and family life (far more than any other parent can say) but is constantly looked down on and blamed whenever anything goes wrong (such as the first and third movies). His fun, loveable personality boarding child-like makes it hard to see how everyone thinks he's a screw up and feels more like bullying.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Drew gets this regarding his relationship with Angelica. For all the times he complains about her behavior, it rings pretty hollow due to him raising her to be that way (for all the backlash against Charlotte, her way of disciplining her daughter is actually effective). Worse, considering how he acted as a kid, especially towards Stu, it all comes off as Laser-Guided Karma.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Angelica is The Friend Nobody Likes and the babies all fear her. Yet for years she was one of the show's most popular characters.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • It's difficult to imagine a show with a character like Angelica, who is a bully but is sometimes depicted sympathetically, airing in The New '10s when an increasing awareness of the negative effects of bullying, especially when a twelve-year-old tries taking extreme measures to escape it, has led to Angelica's more heinous behavior, especially in Season 1, coming off as Harsher in Hindsight. It doesn't help that she's overall a very unflattering depiction of a three-year-old and that she was originally intended to be a Karma Houdini.
    • Minor example. Didi in Season 1 is embarrassed to admit that she's afraid of clowns. In the early '90s, the concept of the Monster Clown hadn't really taken off yet (aside from a few forerunners like the Joker and Stephen King's IT). After years of evil clowns in horror movies and plenty of people on the internet sharing their coulrophobia... Didi may as well be admitting she's afraid of spiders or snakes.
  • Values Resonance:
    • "The Clan Of The Duck," where Chuckie and Phil wear Lil's dresses with a hugely positive message about not conforming to gender stereotypes. That was in 1997!
    • Chuckie offering to be "Spike's other dad" with Tommy in the episode where the babies try to potty-train their dog. Granted, it's still a joke, but it otherwise doesn't say there's anything wrong with someone having two daddies.
    • Lil is also quite unconventional for a female character in a 1990s cartoon. She enjoys doing gross boyish things like playing in the mud with her brother, while also happily playing with dolls and enjoying some girly things too. She's not pigeonholed into the Tomboy or Girly Girl box because of it.
    • Lil's mother Betty is also refreshingly unconventional. She's a Lad Ette and the more masculine member of the De Villes, while Howard has more attributes associated with femininity. Betty however is treated with lots of respect in-universe, and shows that an unconventional woman can still be a loving wife and mother if she wants. This continues into the spin-off, where the boys talk up times that Betty has saved the day and it's clear that she and Howard have a very loving marriage.
  • Viewer Name Confusion:
    • Kimi has a Japanese name. It's frequently mistaken for a variation on "Kimmie" (even on closed captioning) and many fanfics give her a "full name", despite "Kimi" being her full name.
    • Chuckie's name is sometimes spelled Chucky by fans who don't know better.
    • Chas Finster's nickname is sometimes spelt "Chaz", with a Z, by fans.
    • Some viewers think Dil's name is spelt Dill.
  • Vindicated by History: The show garnered a lot of internet hatred during the Dil and Kimi eras alongside Klasky-Csupo's other cartoons at the time, due to flanderizing the baby talk, and many people thought that it was over-saturating the network. But in later years, those seasons are as held in high regard as the seasons before those. It's gotten to the point of where people have hardly noticed the changes (minus additional characters) that happened throughout the show's run and think that the show has been consistent in quality and not nearly as bad at over-saturation as SpongeBob SquarePants or Fairly OddParents.
  • The Woobie:
    • Chuckie certainly has his moments especially during the Mothers Day episode. You could argue he's this in just about every other episode. (Well, maybe not the earliest ones when he was a bit of a Bratty Half-Pint.)
    • Tommy in "Weaning Tommy", when he is being weaned, in "Regarding Stuie" after he thinks that he'll never see his father again due to Stu getting amnesia and thinking he was a baby. However, Tommy's woobiest role is in the first movie when he feels unappreciated whilst his parents spend a lot of attention to Dil.
    • Chaz, due to his nervousness and the fact that his wife died.
    • Angelica was a regular one in "In The Naval" when her favorite toy is eaten by a marlin, her father refuses to listen her because he's too distracted by fishing, and her attempt to get it back gets her punished by Drew.
    • Stu in "Angelica Breaks a Leg", most notably the scene were he makes Angelica chocolate pudding at 4:00 AM only to discover she doesn't want any. His reaction when he hears that her doctor got the X-rays mixed up? Tears of Joy.

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