In this episode, Angelica learns that her mom is going to have another baby, and the thought of adults diverting their attention from her spoiled little self for one second sends her into a straight tizzy.
She has a nightmare in which her parents have forgotten all about her and focus entirely on her baby brother, who is actually gigantic and threatens Angelica with a terrifying, mob boss voice. He and his terrible lisp chase Angelica through the house until he catches up to her and EATS HER, exclaiming, "Now you're num-nums!" I can tell you that from an oldest child's standpoint, this episode cut deep.
Less than a minute into this episode, Chuckie is surrounded by Alice in Wonderland-level trippy sights, like a snake made out of a hose, giant flowers, and a creepy naked man only wearing leaves around his...sensitive areas. Shortly after, the most horrible thing imaginable happens. Chuckie asks Tommy what's going on, and Tommy turns around, has the face above, and exclaims in a terrifying clown voice, "I'm not Tommy!"
Chuckie awakes from his nightmare, relieved to find it was just a dream. But then the dream within a dream continues...
This was the most personally traumatic episode of Rugratsfor me, due, in part, to the kidnapping, but mostly due to the crusty, dusty, crazy old ladies. Tommy accidentally ends up in a car that makes its way to the Grey Gardens-esque world of Emma and Clarice Pendragon, two sisters who have way too many cats and live in the squalor of a dark, dank and decrepit old mansion.
They take a liking to Tommy because they think he resembles their father (he doesn't). Emma and Clarice dress him in creepy doll clothes and start calling him "Bostwick," and they stop the butler from calling the authorities because they believe Tommy was sent to them to be the heir to their nonexistent family riches.
Though Tommy is returned relatively unharmed (physically at least) at the end of the episode, we were scarred for life.
In this beyond depressing episode, based on It's a Wonderful Life, Chuckie decides to run away. But before he does, his "gardening" angel appears and shows him what life would be like if he didn't exist.
In this bizarro world, Chuckie's dad is 100% bonkers; his house is covered in floor-to-ceiling greasy pizza boxes and he talks to a sock puppet. Phil and Lil are monster children who run around breaking things, most of all their defeated parents' hearts.Tommy is left starving and dirty while his parents slave away to serve all the food they can find to a bloated, greedy Angelica who's too fat to move.
"Hi, I'm Boppo," repeats the boomerang clown toy that terrorizes the Rugrats in this episode. Chuckie is obsessed with Boppo until, of course, Angelica makes him realize Boppo's just a creepy, old clown; then Bops becomes instantly terrifying. And let's just say deflating giant inflatable clowns doesn't make them less scary.
The classic horror movies start with a babysitter home alone with the kids, mysterious phone calls, blackouts, scary noises and a monster in the basement. That is also what happens in this super-scary episode of Rugrats. Although it turns out not to be a real monster in the end, there are enough spooky shadows and door slamming to scare even the hardest horror fans.
Ah, the classic "Adult-tells-kids-an-inappropriately-scary-story-and-they-freak-out-at-everything" episode. Grandpa takes the kids camping (in the backyard) and tell the troop of toddlers the legend of the Sasquatch. The Rugrats hear "Satchmo" and spend the episode running and screaming from branches swaying in the wind and shadows of Stu. Even though you knew they were safe, the spooky darkness of the episode was fairly legit.
Parenting 101: If you want a kid to learn to use the potty, don't put a terrifying clown face on it. Also, don't let your child be routinely tortured and traumatized by an evil, blonde toddler. It will lead to horrible nightmares equating the potty with the electric chair (tough stuff for kids).
You KNOW you ate inches around the watermelon seeds when you were a little kid because of this episode. If one evil toddler could scare us all into thinking watermelons would grow inside of us, it was Angelica.
Grandpa needs a new mattress but he's really stubborn about it. Never mind that it's the nastiest mattress on the planet, frightening in and of itself, and looks like Norman Bates's mother's bed from Psycho. That was surely imprinted on the minds of all of the impressionable youth that watched this episode. Oh, and also the dream sequence when the mattress comes to life and chases after them.
This episode of Rugrats explores the horrifying experience everyone has where you change something about your appearance and you don't even recognize yourself anymore. All the adults say they can "hardly recognize you!" and you lose your sense of identity and die alone.
Okay, so maybe that doesn't happen, but it's a real fear! Change is hard. And evil. And no one should ever do it, ever. That's definitely healthy.
In the second part of the episode, Chuckie tells Tommy about the dream in which he was a clown, but it soon becomes clear this is also a dream. (Or should we say, nightmare?) The Rugrats climb stairs upon stairs, only to come to a hall with portraits of babies with no necks and six eyes. Chuckie leaps into space and falls until he wakes again.
Then, Chuckie finds himself right at the start of his first dream. We do not trust this reality farther than we can throw it. And neither does Chuckie. Convinced he's dreaming, he goes into the neighbor's yard and confronts their scary dog, which makes him realize he's definitely awake.
That night, Chaz tucks Chuckie into bed and goes to find Stu in his living room. ONLY IT'S EVIL DREAM CLOWN STU who says, "I'm not Stu!" and laughs maniacally and that's the end of the episode.
Spring cleaning is horrible enough to make any adult run screaming, let alone kids. This episode has Angelica spooking Chuckie and Tommy with false tales of dust bunnies, evil bunnies that only come out when the furniture is moved. They're pictured as scraggly things with long serpentine ears that wrap around Chuckie and drag him to his death. You know, classic kid stuff! NOT. Terrifying even today.
This episode, like all haunting moments as a child, begins with Tommy and Chuckie watching a movie that's way too scary for them. A mad robot scientist with an evil chuckle takes over the world by changing all the dads to robots. Though Stu turns off the movie, it still rattles Tommy's mind as he tries to sleep, and they decide they have to find out if Tommy's dad is real or a robot.
Of course their investigation coincides with Stu's struggle with sleepwalking and the kids find themselves chased by a dad zombie all over the house.
After a night of partying, Grandpa lies to Stu and Didi, says he's got a "bug," and goes to sleep it off. Of course, the Rugrats think an actual bug is inside of him and they spend the whole episode trying to get it out. Thinking his poor innocent uvula is the bug, they reach toy pliers right in there and yank while he's asleep!
In case that isn't gag-worthy enough for you, the kids also fill sleeping Grandpa's bed with "good bugs" that will help get the bad bug out of him. If you've ever gotten an itch while in bed and become convinced you're entirely covered in creepy crawlies, maybe skip this episode.
When Tommy sneaks his way into the mailman's bag, he ends up at the post office, where he goes through a conveyor belt maze and ends up getting thrown down a shoot with "cancelled" packages. He almost ends up in this bin with a skeleton visible at the bottom, suggesting that this happened to a person once before and that that person ACTUALLY DIED DOWN THERE.
Stu Pickles' mad scientist/inventor ways led to many creepy contraptions throughout the course of the show, but none so overtly, horrifically terrifying as Mr. Friend. From the Frankenstein beginning of the episode to the Rugrats' misunderstanding of the robot clown's name (Mr. Fiend) to the army of them that go after the Rugrats at the end, this episode is full of nightmares.
In "Regarding Stuie," Tommy's dad hits his head and wakes up as a baby. This is all fun and games for the Rugrats until Tommy realizes with "Stuie the baby" around, his dad, Stu, is GONE FOREVER. That's some heavy stuff for a kid in diapers. It's heartbreaking and terrifying and Stu doesn't even go to the hospital for the concussion he most certainly experienced.
Chuckie goes through a lot of changes throughout the show, being the older of the Rugrats. In this episode, he gets his very first big boy bed, and there's obviously a monster with horrible, sharp teeth living under it that offers him candy to join him in the dark. Monsters may not exist, but they're still scary!
We all remember Dr. Lipschitz, the child psychologist Didi is obsessed with in Rugrats. Well, in this episode, he actually comes to the Pickles residence for dinner. He's a vaguely European Dr. Phil slash mad scientist type, and he might be Chuckie's new "mommy" (much to his dismay).
Lipschitz is left with the kids in the Pickles house, so naturally he decides to take a bubble bath, roll on the floor in a robe crying and give the kids piggy back rides. You probably don't remember this episode because it's extremely disturbing and problematic in every way imaginable.