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  • Accidental Innuendo: In the PS 1 Rugrats video game, this trope pops up during the Golf game stage:
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Tommy really being a pushy insensitive brat trying to get Chuckie to do dangerous things cause he wants him to, or does he realize Chuckie is braver than he thinks he is and is just trying to encourage him? A few early episodes suggest the latter, like when he tells Chuckie he can reach the plane from a long distance and not to give up.
    • Is Angelica just a spoiled bully, or are her actions motivated by jealousy? Not just that the babies get lots of attention, but because she's "too big" for a lot of their activities. She's only a year older than Chuckie, but when you're a little kid that's a big gap. One episode has her try to ostracize Chuckie from the others because she's mad she can't fit into his playhouse. Another one has her feeling left out when the twins keep finding games to play that can't fit her in. She prides herself on being older and bigger, but the same things she brags about set her apart from the group. To add salt to the wound, Susie is her age but is also a Cool Big Sis who knows how to get along with the babies. (Possibly due to having a big sister of her own and trying to follow her example.) Angelica just wants to feel like part of the group, but her bratty nature and jealousy impede her efforts.
  • 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.
  • Base Breaker: Susie. Some adore her, some see her as the worst case of Positive Discrimination ever.
    • Angelica, too. Some fans hate her to the point of thinking she's literally Satan, while others think she's an excellent antagonist who gets too much hate. Notably, she was a base breaker among the creative team themselves: Paul Germain felt she was necessary in order to create conflict and tell a good story, while Arlene Klasky saw her as just a bully who was mean to the babies. Though Arlene did change her mind after Angelica had some Character Development in later seasons.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: "This World is Something New to Me" in the first movie.
  • Creator's Pet: Baby Dil. As soon as he was added, potty humor was cranked up.
    • What about 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 be on.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The seconds movie soundtrack is nothing to sneeze at.
  • Designated Villain: In one episode 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.
  • Ear Worm: "Cynthia, she's a really cool dancer! Cynthia, get it to the groove now!"
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: 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.
    • Reptar has more fans on facebook then Rugrats itself does.
  • 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.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: "In The Dreamtime" has Chuckie unable to tell dreams from reality and starts calling his friends "dream-babies," causing the others to wonder if Chuckie really did dream them all up. While "The Rugrats Theory" is about Angelica's imagination rather than Chuckie's, the question becomes slightly unsettling regardless.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the All Grown Up pilot, the main plot centers on Stu losing his lucky Scorpio medallion. Didi tells him "[He's] not a Scorpio. [He's] a Libra." Yeah, so is every Scorpio born before the year 2011 in the world now.
    • But only if you follow the Eastern Zodiac. The Western Zodiac is still twelve signs.
    • 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 foward 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, Stu gets a head injury that makes him think he's a baby, so he spends the entire episode wearing a diaper and answering to the name "Stuie". This was, of course, several years before another baby named Stewie became a pop culture icon.
    • Depending on your sense of humor, the above "Funny Aneurysm Moment" may be amusing rather than disturbing.
  • Ho Yay: Tommy and Chuckie have a few moments:
    • In "Potty Training Spike," Tommy says he'll be Spike's daddy, and Chuckie will be his other daddy.
    • In "Let Them Eat Cake", Tommy talks about how when people get married, they get a big cake. Chuckie says that sounds like a great idea, and suggests he and Tommy get married. Granted, he may have also meant "let's find girls and get married," but it's easy to take the other way.
    • His home movie ends up being a tribute to Tommy, drawn as a superhero who protects him from ghosts and monsters.
    • When Angelica diagnoses Chuckie with "rhinoceritis", Tommy suggests giving him flowers-just like he saw his father do for his mother when she got sick.
  • 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. She's a spoiled brat and a bully, but she's also an only child who's too big to play a lot of the games her cousin and his friends are into and often feels left out.
  • 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.
  • Mary Sue: Susie, especially in Grown Up.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The Pickles Household's doorbell buzz.
  • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees: Pertaining to Tommy's maternal grandparents, Boris and Minka: They're holocaust survivors.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Rugrats: Time Travelers for the Game Boy Color.
    • Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt for the N64 could count as well, for being a Mario Party rip-off with none of the exciting stuff that Mario Party had and instead, had a unnecessary life system based on cookies, the ability to get cards that were pretty much pointless, and overall, got boring really quickly. See here for a Let's Play on the game by two guys that grew up with the series.
  • Purity Sue: Susie's mother Lucy takes the cake with this one. A successful doctor, she benefits from Positive Discrimination and Women Are Wiser as episodes show her to be an incredibly gifted artist and chef who has studied in France. All Grown Up takes this even further and reveals she was a successful blues singer at age 18.
  • 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.
  • The Scrappy: Kimi to some of the fanbase.
    • Dil also was not seen favorably by a lot of fans. Mostly because Dil was a baby that couldn't do anything, in a series where all the other infants walked around and could talk. Another character that failed to get much love from the fans was Taffy, the generously hyped up character introduced for multiple episodes and then vanishing.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Of course, as Kimi's mother is Kira, it may have been Just As Planned.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The series has been accused of this in later seasons.
    • Parodied in "At the Movies" with the sickeningly sweet Dummi Bears movie.

 Grandpa Lou: Oh, this is stupid!

  • Toy Ship: Tommy/Kimi, Chuckie/Lil, Chuckie/Angelica, Tommy/Lil among others.
  • The Woobie: Chuckie certainly has his moments especially during the Mothers Day episode.
    • Try every other episode.
      • Also Mr. Friend.
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