Many fans of 'Rugrats' would agree that the spin off series, 'All Grown Up!', comes nowhere near matching the classic status of its predecessor. However, the series did have some good moments. Here, I have compiled a list of the best episodes from each of the show's five seasons. Definitely worth a watch for classic 'Rugrats' fans. Links to the episodes are provided where possible.
In this episode, Kimi befriends the new boy in class, Z. Chuckie, embracing the protective big brother role he struggled with in the original series, is horrified, instantly pegging Z as a bad boy due to his bright green hair and unkempt appearance. After a series of comical misunderstandings, Chuckie learns the valuable lesson of not judging a book by it's cover.
Kimi: Dad! What happened to your whole "don't judge a book by its cover" speech?!
Chas: Well, it's different now because the book is hanging around with my daughter!
Truth or Consequences
Tommy is desperate to win a local film making contest, the prize being one-on-one time with his favorite director. Unfortunately, his dreams of creating a meaningful film seem destined for failure.. until he turns the camera on his friends during private conversations, Alienating them.
After receiving some sage advice, Tommy re-edits the movie before it's premiere, proving to his friends that there is more to the truth than a few seconds of film.
"I wonder what Dil would be like if we'd never dropped him on his head?"-Phil.
When Betty decides to take the boys white-water rafting, Tommy reveals a long held fear of being underwater. The phobia stems from an accident he had while out fishing with Grandpa Lou as a toddler. When The boys are separated from Betty and Chas, Tommy is forced to face his fear.
"Who cares if you're scared? You're still Tommy, and I still feel better when you're around."-Chuckie.
The Old And The Restless
Due to an emergency with Dil, Stu has to pull out of chaperoning Tommy's field trip to the Human Body Museum, leaving Grandpa Lou to fill in. Two older boys in Tommy's group become frustrated when Grandpa's leisurely pace and long-winded war stories cause them to fall behind.
They learn a valuable lesson when Grandpa's knowledge gets them out of a sticky situation.
"And that's what makes the appendix one of the most impressive, yet utterly useless organs."
Interview With A Campfire, parts 1 & 2
The first of three two-part episodes of 'All Grown Up!', This was often aired as a feature length length special in the 'Nick Flicks' programming block.
The story begins with the kids and their families heading to Camp Everwood for the last week of Summer Vacation. Tommy is disappointed, having failed to complete his planned horror movie masterpiece. His luck changes when he hears the spooky tale of the Everwood Settlers, and learns that Camp Everwood is cursed. Tommy believes the story would make a perfect film. So, with Dil, Chuckie, Phil and Lil, a few of the adults, and Dil's mysterious new friend Bean, Tommy sets off to solve the mystery behind the Settler's disappearance.
"Don't never got no-brain or nothin'!"
Memoirs Of A Finster
While doing research for a family tree project, Kimi decides to embrace her Japanese heritage, joining the school Japanese club and inviting her friends to a Japanese tea party. Chuckie is fully supportive of his sister's new passion for Japanese culture.. until she leaves he and Chas off of her family tree.
Chuckie: See? Friends are like holidays: you can never have enough of them.
Dil: Deep. You make that up?
Chuckie: Nope. I got it off a greeting card.
Miss Nose It All
Angelica breaks her nose while rushing through volunteer work at the local hospital. Fearing total humiliation if she shows up in a nose cast at popular girl Savannah's party, Angelica fakes an illness to get herself admitted to hospital, providing her with a valid excuse to miss it.
While in hospital, she forms an unlikely friendship with a young boy named Spencer who had been suffering kidney issues. Through him, Angelica learns that her own problems are really not so bad.
Angelica: The grass is blue
Doctor: Excuse Me?
Angelica: The couch is on vacation
Susie: Is that the crazy talk?
Angelica: The pillows are hungry..
A fun one for fans of the original series. Angelica is heartbroken when she discovers that her beloved childhood doll, Cynthia, was sent to a charity shop after she asked that everything 'pre-thirteen' be purged from her room. Accompanied by Susie and Harold, Angelica sets out to retrieve Cynthia from a Classic Toy convention.
Susie: Just be honest! Nothing wins people over like a warm smile, sincerity, and... (pauses at Angelica's glare) Maybe I'd better do it.
Fear Of Falling
The gang spends their winter vacation at a mountain lodge, with Chuckie keen to conquer his fear of heights by learning to abseil. Tommy promises he will be there to help his best friend, but is distracted when he develops a crush on Olivia, another guest at the lodge, leaving Chuckie feeling neglected, and just a little bit jealous.
Chuckie: And in case I don't make it back alive, I-I need to know one thing: did you kiss her?
Tommy: Don't tell anybody, but...yeah, I kissed her, MY FIRST KISS!
Angelica: His first kiss?! I'm gonna kill him!
Curse Of Reptar
When the Pickles' backyard is being dug up to make way for a new swimming pool, workers unearth the kid's old Reptar doll. While they enjoy reminiscing about their childhood toy, they ultimately decide to throw it away. Chuckie is uncomfortable with this decision, thinking that Reptar might become mad at them. The other kids dismiss his concerns.. until strange things begin to happen at Tommy's house. The kids decide that the only way to break the curse is to return Reptar to his original resting place.
The episode ends with Tommy dreaming about playing with Reptar as a baby, a nice moment for fans as all the Rugrats appear with their original designs. This is followed by a touching scene in which Tommy retrieves Reptar from the pool and tucks him under his bed.
Lil: So, why'd you even come, Angelica?
Angelica: Are you kidding? Don't you know it's always the gorgeous girl with the naturally bouncy hair who stays behind in the house, and never makes it to the end of the movie? I'd be a goner.
Dude, Where's my Horse?, pts 1 & 2
An old friend of Grandpa Lou's comes to visit, inviting the kids to spend a week at his Dude Ranch. Tommy is the most excited for the trip, but becomes frustrated when he struggles with developing his skills, as opposed to Chuckie, who turns out to be a natural Cowboy. Meanwhile, Angelica becomes the unlikely guardian of a baby Ostrich named Reject when it imprints on her after hatching.
In part 2, the kids are deemed skilled enough to join in on a drive, herding a group of ostriches to another a ranch a few miles away. When head rancher Big Red is injured early on the drive and forced to return home, the kids must go on alone. While Tommy isn't much of a cowboy, his leadership skills are second to none, guiding the group through all the troubles they face along the way.
Tommy: Chuckie, I'm sorry I was kind of a jerk to you the other night.
Chuckie: Nah, you weren't a jerk, just testy, but you seem like you're in a good mood now, did you finally lasso the wooden cow?
Tommy: Nope, I finally accepted the fact that I'm the lamest cowboy on the planet, and I'm completely comfortable with it.
Chuckie: I've always said the key to happiness is... lowered expectations.
RV Having Fun Yet, pts 1 & 2
Susie is chosen to sing at the National Cheese Parade in New York City. The Mothers decide to use the event as a chance for a bond-strengthening road trip with their kids, but not all goes to plan. The rented RV is past it's prime, their electronics have been confiscated, and the stops are boring.
At the beginning of part 2, feeling smothered by their Mothers, the kids sneak out to a party. Betty, planning to drive through the night and shave a few hours off the trip, unknowingly leaves with out them. The kids must go on alone to meet up with their Mothers if Susie has any chance of making it in time for her performance.
Susie: *singing* When I was a little girl I thought there was one kind of cheese..
Oh Bro, Where Art Thou?
Having spent most of his holidays stuck in close quarters with Dil, Tommy finds himself increasingly irritated by his brother's strange behavior. After one annoyance too many, Tommy snaps, telling Dil he needs space.
Tension between the brothers is still high when they, and their friends, are sent to the Cirque Extravaganza day camp. Tommy struggles with clown lessons, while Dil thrives among an eccentric family of contortionists, the stars of the circus. Frustrated at his own lack of ability, Tommy once again lashes out at Dil. This pushes the youngest Pickles into the arms of the contortionists, who invite him to join the troupe permanently.
Tommy must make peace with his little brother, or risk losing him.
"If the inside of the eyelid is pink, why do we see black when we close our eyes?"-Dil.
Blackmailed by Angelica after she catches them in a PG-13 movie, the kids miss their curfew and end up locked in the mall after closing time.
As the stores strangely open up once more, they decide to have some fun. Unfortunately, they aren't the only ones left in the Mall. A pair of robbers are plotting to steal charity money Susie collected earlier in the day, and it falls to the tweenage Rugrats to stop them.
Dil (talking about the robbers) Those guys could be mutant androids that spit acid out of their eyes! (everyone stares at Dil blankly) That's it. No more PG-13 movies movie for me. I'm going back to epic romances.
In The Family's Way
Finally growing tired of Angelica's spoiled, selfish behavior, Charlotte ships her off to spend a week with the Carmichaels, living by their large set of 'Family Rules.' After she struggles on the first night, Susie, Lil, and Kimi believe she won't last the week. Tommy and Chuckie disagree, so they all bet on it.
Susie is shocked when Angelica begins to adapt, finding clever new ways to complete her chores, and using the family rules to her own advantage. Afraid she is going to lose the bet, Susie plots with her brothers to sabotage Angelica, tricking her into doing extra chores with fake family rules.
When Kimi is uncharacteristically upset and irritable for a few days running, Chuckie takes inspiration from her favourite home renovation show. Enlisting the help of his friends, and Angelica to whisk Kimi away for a day, he plans to makeover her room. The renovation does not go smoothly, as they struggle to deal with spilled paint, wrongly measured furniture, and Dil's new passion for feng shui.
Meanwhile, Kimi tells Angelica the real reason she is upset. Her biological father has failed to send her a present for the Japanese Holiday, Children's Day. She fears that she has been replaced by her new baby half-sister. Luckily, there is one more surprise in store for Kimi before the day is over.
Chuckie: A heart is more than one small room. It expands, to let in as many people as it needs to.
While searching the Finster's Garage for material to make their Halloween costumes, the kids uncover a love heart with the initials 'TP+KF' carved into the wall. This leads Chuckie to believe that Tommy has a crush on Kimi. Tommy argues against this, reminding his friend that he already has a girlfriend, but Chuckie cannot be swayed.
This eventually leads to a falling out between the lifelong friends, leaving the others to try and reconcile them before Halloween.
Chuckie (to Tommy): Taylor!
Tommy: That's it, I'm outta here!
Chuckie: Good, then buy yourself a sidekick, you... you... sister stealer!
Kimi: (to Chuckie) AUGH, you idiot, I carved the initials, not Tommy, ME!
Tommy: (to Kimi) You did?!
What's Love Got To Do With It?
Angelica develops a serious crush on her substitute teacher, Mr Fisk, but is troubled when she fails to manipulate him into changing her grades like her previous teacher. Mr Fisk believes she can do better, recognizing her potential as a great debater if she puts in the work.
Hoping to impress him, she joins the school Debating team, leading them straight to the finals where they are due to face long time rivals of the school. Despite Susie's warnings, Angelica is convinced her talent will earn her a date with Mr Fisk.
Susie: You didn't really think he (Mr. Fisk/Harold) was gonna go for you, did you?
Angelica: (crying) No, and that's the worst part, liking someone so much and knowing, they'll never feel the same way about you!
Susie: Now you know how Harold feels?
Angelica: (still crying) I know, how pathetic is that?!
So, that's my list. If you think I've missed any good ones, let me know in the comments.