When I was younger, I was pretty obsessed with the Rugrats cartoon, and I could never understand why. Three seasons went by and then they went on hiatus. When the show came back however, there was something different, and yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. The show pretty much changed in the worse way possible, and I couldn’t understand why I started to hate a show that I loved so much.
I thought that maybe it was because I was starting to grow up. I started watching old reruns of the show in high school and eventually in my junior year of college, and it was then I finally figured it out.
Between seasons three and four, they completely dumbed down the show so that it would be more relatable to a younger audience.
Part of the charm of the first three seasons is that it was written for both children and adults (but more for adults) like Nickelodeon’s other shows at the time. There are episodes in those first three seasons that really resonate with the adult me. Even as a young child, I had very adult sensibilities and preferred anything with a deep complex plot.
If you haven’t watched this show, here are a couple episodes you definitely need to watch. You can probably YouTube most of these episodes or find them on Netflix, but they’re usually about 12 minutes a piece. Here are some episodes where the show gets too dark for its own good
“Cradle Attraction:” Touching on the subject of love and infidelity.
“What the Big People Do:” Touching on the joys and problems of growing up.
“The Big House:” A daycare episode that parodies a lot of prison movies.
“The Sky is Falling:” A Giant Mad Max Parody
“The Mysterious Mr. Friend:” An epic Terminator and Child’s Play parody rolled up in one.
“Touchdown Tommy:” If you’re a football fan, then this is as good as parodies get. You’ll enjoy this way more if you’re a Dallas fan.
“Chukie vs The Potty:” I’m pretty sure there are some Green Mile references in this episode.
“Grampa’s Date:” If you’re a couple and you’ve tried to get some, but your kids cockblocked/clamjammed you every step of the way? This one’s for you.
“Let Them Eat Cake:” An episode about wedding jitters.
“The Mega Diaper Babies:” A Parody of many shows of that era. “The A-Team,” “Captain Planet,” and more.
“I Remember Melville:” This episode deals with death and the cycles of grief, this one though simple on the surface will kick you right in the feels.
“No More Cookies:” After a bad night, Angelica tries to give up cookies. This episode heavily mimics addiction and withdrawal.
“The Odd Couple:” You know that moment in college where you have a best friend and you decide to be roommates? So you finally decide to be roommates only to realize you fucking hate each other and it almost destroys your relationship? This one is for you.
“Chuckie is Rich:” A perfect example of how money can change people and splinter friendships.
“Chuckie’s Wonderful Life:” Chuckie screws something up so badly that he wishes that he never existed. He then has a dream where his “guardian angel” takes him around town to show him a world where he had “never been born”. If you watch this episode more carefully, it actually mimics an alternate universe where Chuckie died.
“The Trial:” A parody of many procedural dramas.
“Mother’s Day:” This is technically from the fourth season, this answers a question that lingered for years (what ever happened to Chuckie’s mother). It was a pretty deep episode and will definitely kick you in the feels.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90’s.