Rugrats (1991)

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This page is dedicated to Christine Cavanaugh (August 16, 1963 – December 22, 2014).
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"A baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do!"
Genre: Adventure
Running Time: 23 Minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: August 11, 1991 – August 1, 2004
Network(s): Nickelodeon (US run)
Network Ten (Australian run)
Created by: Arlene Klasky
Gábor Csupó
Paul Germain
Distributed by: Paramount Media Networks
Starring: E. G. Daily
Christine Cavanaugh (1991 - 2002)
Nancy Cartwright (2002 - 2004)
Kath Soucie
Cheryl Chase
Tara Strong (1999 - 2004)
Cree Summer
Jack Riley (Original run)
Melanie Chartoff (Original run)
David Doyle (1991 - 1997)
Joe Alaskey (1998 - 2004)
Dionne Quan (2001 - 2004)
Dan Castellaneta
Seasons: 9
Episodes: 172
Next show: All Grown Up! (2003-08)
Rugrats (2021) (2021-present)

Rugrats (1991) is an American animated television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of toddlers; most prominently Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and Angelica, and their day-to-day lives, usually involving common life experiences that become adventures in the babies' imaginations. Adults in the series are almost always unaware of what the children are up to.

The series premiered on Sunday, August 11, 1991, as the second Nicktoon after Doug and preceding The Ren & Stimpy Show. The final episode aired on August 1, 2004, bringing the series to a total of 172 episodes and 9 seasons during a 13-year run.

As of 2021, it spawned a revival reboot series on Paramount+.


Rugrats is a show about 4 babies, Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, and twins Phil and Lil Deville. As we see their lives unravel, we get to hear them talk. On the sidelines are Tommy's mean cousin Angelica Pickles, their friend Susie Carmichael, and everybody's parents.

Why These Seasons Gotta Do What a Baby Gotta Do

  1. Despite being the second Nicktoon, it was officially considered the very first true Nicktoon, which was Nickelodeon animation in its purest form.
  2. The intro and the credits music are creative.
  3. Memorable characters such as Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica (despite not being likable in the first place as mentioned below), and the twins, Phil and Lil.
    • The side characters are also memorable such as: Harold, Lulu Pickles, Kira Finster, Spike and Fifi (who all three were previously seen in Rugrats in Paris) and their new puppies: Spiffy and Pepper.
  4. Great voice acting for the most part, especially from The Simpsons cast such as Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright (Seasons 8 & 9) and Dexter's Laboratory cast such as Kath Soucie and Christine Cavanaugh (Seasons 1-7).
  5. Goofy and fun plots.
  6. The Hanukkah episode. It was refreshing and a nice change of pace from the usual Christmas episode.
    • In addition to the Hanukkah episode, it even had episodes about Passover and Kwanzaa, which is very unique for a kids show.
  7. Smooth and cute animation for the most part, especially during seasons 2-9 thanks to it being animated by Anivision, even the intro is better animated.
  8. Some dramatic and sad episodes, like the episode, Mother's Day where we learn that Chuckie had a mother who died when he was very young and he's desperate for a new mom.
  9. The spin-off was also good too.
  10. It teaches good morals for kids, and even for parents too.
  11. The episode "All Growed Up" was a great way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series.

Bad Qualities

  1. Some scenes are pretty disturbing, such as this.
  2. A lot of toilet humor is in the show. However, this is justified since the show is about babies.
  3. There are a few bad episodes like:
  4. The babies parents are highly incompetent, since they lose their infant children in every episode.
  5. The animation was quite poor during Season 1; this was because it was animated by Wang Film Productions as opposed to Anivision.
  6. The babies cry way too often throughout the series, which can get extremely annoying (although this is understandable & somewhat justified since they are babies). In fact, the number of times they are not seen crying can be counted on one hand. Thankfully, they seemed to have matured a lot in All Grown Up! until it returned again in the 2021 reboot...
  7. Some of the characters are flawed:
    • Angelica, while also memorable, is often the worst offender, since she bullies the babies and is a spoiled brat (even though she was meant to be unlikable).
    • Dil, who was introduced in season 5 after the movie, is an annoying and useless character, since he doesn’t walk or fully talk, compared to the other babies.
    • Even though Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil and Susie are likable characters, they are incredibly spoiled (both in the original and revival series) and are overindulged to near-danger levels, as they often cry for no reason and get away with their horrible behavior. Then again, their constant crying, while annoying, is justified since they are babies
  8. Angelica's teeth always showing whenever she moves her mouth can contrast heavily with her cute appearance and become uncanny to watch.

Reception and Legacy

Since its debut in 1991, Rugrats has received critical acclaim. In a 1995 interview, Steven Spielberg (who, at the time, was producing several competing animated series for Warner Bros.) referred to the show as one of several shows that were the best children's programming at the time. Spielberg described Rugrats as "sort of a TV Peanuts of our time". It was named the 92nd-best animated series by IGN. Rugrats was also considered a strong point in Nickelodeon's rise in the 1990s. In a press release celebrating the show's 10th anniversary, Cyma Zarghami stated, "During the past decade, Rugrats has evolved from a ratings powerhouse, being the number one children's show on TV, to pop icon status. It has secured a place in the hearts of both kids and adults, who see it from their own point of view". According to Nickelodeon producers, this show made them the number-one cable channel in the 1990s. Jeff Jarvis reviewed Rugrats and stated, "When The Simpsons was a segment on The Tracey Ullman Show, it was just a belch joke with hip pretensions. As a series, it grew flesh and guts. It was my favorite cartoon. Until I discovered Nickelodeon's Rugrats, a sardonic, sly, kid's-eye view of the world that skewers thirty-something parents and Cosby kids." In 2017, James Charisma of Paste ranked the show's opening sequence #11 on a list of The 75 Best TV Title Sequences of All Time.


Rugrats was noteworthy among contemporary children's television for depicting observant, identifiable Jewish families. Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious groups gave the show high praises for their special holiday episodes. Nonetheless, at one point the Anti-Defamation League and The Washington Post editorial page castigated the series for its depiction of Tommy Pickles' maternal grandparents, accusing their character designs of resembling Nazi-era depictions of Jews.


  • It had a crossover with Aaahh!!! Real Monsters in the episode "Ghost Story".
  • Originally there was going to be a live-action/CGI film based on the show in 2021 but was canceled in November 2019, so far speculated due to the backlash of Sonic the Hedgehog's unusual design from the 2019 trailer for the 2020 film of the same name.
  • This show is well-known as one of the earliest NickToons, alongside Doug and The Ren and Stimpy Show, premiering after Doug and before The Ren and Stimpy Show.
  • The 13-year run (with the 2-year break) ties Rugrats with King of the Hill as one of the eighth-longest-running American animated television series. The show is Nickelodeon's third longest-running animated series, behind SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents. It is one of the longest-running animated series of all time.
  • Rugrats gained over 20 awards during its 13-year run, including four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids' Choice Awards, and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The show was also a rating success and anchored Nickelodeon as the network's top-rated show from 1995 to 2001.
  • This show was the longest ran Nicktoon before SpongeBob SquarePants aired its 173rd episode in 2012.
  • Arlene Klasky, like the fans, hated Angelica herself.
  • In 2002, Angelica Pickles wad ranked #7 in TV Guide's Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters list (which also included SpongeBob SquarePants at #9 and Ren and Stimpy at #31). SpongeBob was notably the most recently-created character to be featured on the list at the time of its publication.This show returned to Paramount+ in 2021 as a CGI animated series to the original with some of the classic cast reprising roles as the children and new actors for the parents starring in the series and premiered on May 27, 2021.
  • David Doyle died in 1997 and Joe Alaskey died in 2016 (both played Grampa Lou Pickles), along with Christine Cavanaugh (Chuckie's first actor for the first 8 seasons) in 2014 and Jack Riley (who played Stu Pickles) in 2016.
  • Though The Ren and Stimpy Show was known for its hostile work environment, Rugrats itself wasn't too far behind. Arlene Klasky and Paul Germain were at each other's throats, especially regarding Angelica (Klasky didn't want an antagonist, while Germain wanted to explore why Angelica was the way she was). Paul Germain left the show after the original run, but Klasky was still unpopular along with her co-workers; Didi's obsession with Dr. Lipschitz's awful advice was specifically to mock Klasky, who unironically believed in such parenting books.
  • Because nearly all of the original voice actors for the parents have passed away, it was necessary to replace them with the new actors for the parents in the 2021 revival series while the children are still voiced by E.G. Daily, Nancy Cartwright (for seasons 8 & 9), Kath Soucie, Cheryl Chase, and Cree Summer.
  • The Simpsons cast such as Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright (Seasons 8 & 9) and Dexter's Laboratory cast such as Kath Soucie and Christine Cavanaugh (Seasons 1-7) are in this show.
  • The older wiki Terrible TV Shows & Episodes stated that the last three seasons were bad, this has now been fixed.



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