‘Rugrats’: 1 Annoying Detail in the Pilot Episode You’ll Never Unsee

Older millennials, or the 90s kids, will remember a hit TV show named Rugrats. The show featured misadventures and world views from the eyes of toddlers. The series resonated with younger audiences at the time. 

Several beloved Nickelodeon shows had news of a revival, and Rugrats was one of them. As fans revisit their favorite cartoon, they might come across the pilot episode. Viewers may notice a small detail that they had not before. 

‘Rugrats’ was a cartoon on Nickelodeon

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Rugrats was an animated kid’s show that aired from 1991 to 2004 on Nickelodeon. It was the second Nicktoon to appear on the network. The series ran for nine seasons and had over 170 episodes. Some of the stars included Tara Strong and Cheryl Chase. 

The story revolves around a group of toddlers and babies. The main characters are Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, and Angelica. The children often go on little adventures, with many of them occurring at Tommy’s house. The parents appear distracted at times, leaving the toddlers to roam free from playpens and strollers. 

The show portrays the innocent views points that the kids have. The relationships between the characters are compelling as they discover the mysteries of the world. Rugrats quickly became a massive hit among viewers. It was not only the young millennials who enjoyed the cartoon. Critics praised the show, and Rugrats won multiple awards. 

The success of the series led to the production of a few films. There was even a popular spinoff show called All Grown Up! that lasted five seasons. 

Tommy is the protagonist of ‘Rugrats’

Tommy Pickles is the central character of Rugrats as well as the spinoff series. His iconic appearance is a plain shirt paired with a diaper. He also is bald and has large eyes. Tommy does not wear shoes most of the time unless he has a specific outfit. 

In the show, Tommy is only a year old. However, he acts as the leader of the group and leads the other children on expeditions when the parents are not around. Angelica is Tommy’s cousin, but she tends to be antagonistic towards him and the gang. Angelica sometimes tells lies, which results in Tommy leading the group into trouble. 

At some point in the series, Tommy gets a little brother named Dil. Fans of the show may recall that he initially was annoyed by Dil but became protective of him. Another character trait of Tommy is that he displays a sense of bravery. 

Tommy’s shirt was different in the pilot

The "Rugrats" star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
The “Rugrats” star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame | Vince Bucci/Gettty Images

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A pilot is a standalone episode of a TV show. The purpose is to sell the premise of the series in hopes a network will pick it up. People can view the pilot episodes for some of their favorite shows. It is not uncommon for one to remain unaired, especially if it was not great. 

Usually, the creators will make changes from to pilot to the rest of the series, such as actors and character names. An article by Mental Floss listed multiple facts about Rugrats. One of them had to do with its pilot. Anyone who has seen the show knows that Tommy’s shirt is blue.  

In the first episode, “Tommy’s First Birthday,” his shirt is red. Not to mention, he is wearing overalls instead of a diaper. The original unaired pilot, “Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing,” also switches the character’s shirt color to red partway through the episode. It is a small detail, but viewers may keep paying attention to it now that they are aware of it.