Happy Halloween! My first recap in months; I apologize, my lovelies. But with work, limited Internet and everything else, I have simply not had time to crank out any recaps. Today, just in time, I recap the Halloween episode. There will be no screen caps for two reasons; one, my computer suffered a huge malfunction and the episodes I had saved are now gone, and two, getting all the appropriate screen caps is very time-consuming and slows my process. I know, boo. And, be forewarned… these episodes invoked quite a bit of hatred within me (she of the blonde pigtails, he of the doofy suit and spiky purple hair)… so be prepared for a lot of swearing and other colorful language. With that said, enjoy today’s spooky recaps!
Candy Bar Creep Show
Synopsis: The babies sneak into the “haunted house” built by the Pickles clan to get their hands on some Reptar Bars.
Here it is, the famous Halloween episode! We open with a very short scene (less than thirty seconds) involving Didi carving a face into a hollowed-out pumpkin and then sticking a lit candle inside and showing Tommy the lit-up face of a jack-o-lantern. I only ever partook in this tradition twice, both times being at school. Maybe it was my inner girly-girl or something, but I thought having to empty out the pulp and the seeds with bare hands was pretty disgusting.
In the next scene, all four babies are in that flimsy-ass playpen and Tommy informs them that lately the grown-ups have been acting “pretty weird.” Angelica appears right then and there just to brag about being allowed to trick-or-treat this year. Joy. She’s excited because this means she’ll be getting Reptar Bars from every house she hits. And from what I gather, a Reptar Bar is chocolate-covered caramel (which Angelica pronounces “KAHR-mull,” a pronunciation that’s popular in the southern part of the U.S.) and peanuts, and the caramel has an artificial green coloring that turns your tongue green. As if her mere presence wasn’t exasperating enough, Angelica then decides to torture the babies by singing the Reptar Bar jingle, then proceeding to take a bite out of a Reptar Bar and sticking out her green tongue. Ick. Then she brags that she gets one and the babies don’t, because it’s Halloween and she’s the only child of the age to trick-or-treat, and bullshit. Bull fucking shit.
For the Lipschitz parents in the Rugrats universe, I guess it makes sense if it were explained that Dr. Lipschitz advised parents against dressing up and trick-or-treating on Halloween in one of his books, for this bullshit reason or that. But this doesn’t serve as a rationale for why Angelica, who is only a year older – a year older, mind you – than Chuckie, is the only child allowed to go trick-or-treating. I guess it makes as much sense as the fact that she speaks and behaves more like a seven-year-old than a three-year-old. I get that the other babies don’t have all their teeth and thus can’t eat any candy, but what exactly is the harm in dressing them up in cute costumes and going along with their parents and older relatives?
Well, apparently Phil and Lil’s parents are busy (probably participating in some sort of Halloween marathon), Charlotte’s most likely stuck in the office (like I said, she doesn’t show up at all in the first season) and Chaz is absent for some reason (did his wife die by this point? Is he in mourning? Is he going to a singles event or something?). Way to dump your kids into someone else’s care on a family holiday.
Yes, Drew, Stu, Lou and Didi are the only adults of present, out in the backyard and working on a “haunted house” tent. Which, I must admit, is pretty damn awesome. They manage to decorate with fun house mirrors, grape eyeballs, skull billboards, a tombstone, a black cat, fake cobwebs, spaghetti worms and a skeleton and spider hanging from the ceiling. To top it off, scary music is played from an LP player. Amazeballs. Didi says the haunted house may be a little too scary for the kids, save for Angelica who is a year older than Chuckie, and says they can experience the “haunted house” next year… when Tommy and the twins will be two, same age as Chuckie is now. Again, you’ve got to love the parenting logic in the Rugrats universe. And I’d like to note that Didi is wearing a hawt, really hawt low-cut red dress with gold stripes on the sleeves, plus some cool skeleton earrings in one shot, before she’s back in her trademark turtleneck dress and gold jewelry in the next shot. Continuity… what’s that?
The trick-or-treaters arrive, and Didi and Stu go inside to change as the babies observe the trick-or-treaters and Drew dressed in a gorilla costume from the screen door, noting that the costumed kids are “scarier and bigger than Angelica.” Bigger, yes. Scarier… that’s debatable. If I had to baby-sit that little twat bubble, I’d run for the hills. Didi is back in her sexy dress, but now there’s some sort of weird yellow drawstring thing closing her lower-than-normal neckline. Sigh. She does have her skeleton earrings and has somehow managed to style her trefoil hairstyle by getting it all into a headband. To top it off, she’s wearing the classic vampire cape. I love Phil’s reaction to her fake vampire teeth where he opens his mouth and points to his teeth. Stu has bolts and fake stitches in his neck, as well as one of those fake Frankenstein flat-tops, and gets into character by doing the same groaning and walking he did in the robot episode.
As the babies watch from the glass door, Didi welcomes the “scary” trick-or-treaters (a princess, a cat and a clown) into the haunted house. A few moments later, the kids squeal excitedly and run out, Reptar Bars in hand. This prompts Tommy to think that you have to scream in order to get Reptars Bars. The kids scream and Didi and Stu rush in to see what’s going on. The kids just smile up at them, eagerly awaiting some chocolate and green caramel. Didi and Stu are confused and think the babies were screaming because the trick-or-treaters scared them. Um, wouldn’t they still be screaming, if that were the case? Whatever. Didi closes the curtain on the glass door and the kids wonder what the trick-or-treaters did differently.
Tommy concludes that they need to scream inside the tent, and he, the twins and a reluctant Chuckie (“I don’t know, Tommy…”) sneak out past a very sleepy Spike through the kitchen. They’re inside the haunted house and are totes impressed. At least, Phil and Lil are. Tommy dismisses the house as “not so scary,” and Chuckie says it’s “a little scary.” Meaning, not at all. So Chuckie plays around the fun house mirror, Tommy squishes some of the grape eyeballs, Phil and Lil play with the spaghetti thinking it’s worms (ah, their trademark obsession with worms).
At that moment, more trick-or-treaters arrive, including Angelica dressed as an angel, and… nah. I’m above that joke. While the babies hide (a sheet off the tent accidentally falls off and covers Tommy), Drew hands out candy to the kids and lets them enter the tent. It is at this point the babies decide to scream their faces off. Angelica and the other trick-or-treaters see the twins’ distorted reflections in the fun house mirrors and thinks they’re zombies covered in maggots (the twins got the spaghetti “worms” in their hair). Chuckie trips over the rope from which the skeleton is hanging, and it falls on Angelica and wrecks her halo. Ha ha, Angelica! She rears back into the bowl full of grape eyeballs and obnoxiously shouts, “Ewwww! Eyeballs!” She turns and sees Tommy in the darkly-colored sheet (which is being blown back by an electric fan), thinking he’s a ghost. And God, Angelica’s voice is soooo grating when she’s screaming in fear. I do get a sick pleasure from seeing her get tortured, though, so it’s an even trade.
Lou walks in, wearing a hideous monster mask, demanding to know why the hell his demon grandchild is screaming. All the trick-or-treaters freak out, drop their bags of candy and run from the tent. Lou takes off his mask, then drops it when he sees Phil and Lil’s distorted, zombie-like reflections. The mask lands on Chuckie, and Lou freaks because he thinks the mask is now haunted. But he nearly shits himself when he sees Tommy’s ghost-like brown sheet blowing in the air. Lou, all the while, is utilizing some pretty epic alliterative exclamations, such as “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat,” “Leapin’ librarians,” and “Hoppin’ hornytoads!” Ha. Nice. He finally bolts.
The babies find all the candy and bags, and drag it back to the playpen. Meanwhile, Didi, Drew and Stu are laughing at Lou who’s telling them about his “supernatural” encounter and that he’s not re-entering that tent. Well, Stu and Drew are. Didi doesn’t even have a line and just stands there and rolls her eyes. Angelica defends Lou in a whiny little voice that makes me want to stick a rusty chisel in one ear and out the other. God, she is fucking grating. On another note, it never occurs to any of them that, even though we the audience know what caused Lou and Angelica to freak out, that it could’ve been vandals or pranksters in there? Hell, didn’t this occur to Lou? I mean, the reactions of the parents just don’t make sense. Here we have not one, but two people saying something happened and three other people dismissing it as an overreaction, but would it really fucking hurt just to look into it, or call the cops to report a possible vandalism? But, I digress.
Lou asks his sons which one of them has the balls to go back into the haunted house to check things out, and Stu and Drew look at each other apprehensively. Oh, for fuck’s sake, go in and look! It’s your house! Or call the cops, but fucking look into it! Angelica brats that she wants Reptar Bars. Inside, the babies are eating the Reptar Bars. Choking hazard alert! And the episode ends with Drew and Stu fighting over who goes into the haunted house first, and Angelica repeatedly screams at the top of her lungs that she wants her damn Reptar Bar. Shut up, Angelica, you little idiot!
Monsters in the Garage
Synopsis: A mysterious disturbance in the Pickles household knocks around and destroys a bunch of stuff in the garage. Spike is unfairly blamed, so Tommy and his friends set out to investigate.
The episode opens with Tommy and Chuckie crawling around underneath a large quilt or something. When they finally reach the edge and get out from underneath the quilt, Spike is right there to greet them with a big, sloppy kiss. Awwww, I love doggies. But this sweet moment is interrupted when a crash is heard from the garage. Lou, ever the responsible baby-sitter, wakes up from a deep sleep as soon as he hears the crash. Stu, who I guess was in the basement hard at work, and Didi, who is in a robe and is wearing an exfoliating mask (that’s right, dump the kids on Lou so you can do a little D.I.Y. spa treatment without anybody bothering you, bitch), rush to the garage along with Lou, to find that a shelf that held paint cans has collapsed. Paint has spilled and is now covering the floor. Spike walks up from the living room, where he was at the time of the crash, and Stu and Lou quite literally point the finger at him. Poor Spike. Also, Lou was in the living room with Spike; did he not notice the kids and the dog in the room when he woke up? Only Didi makes a case for Spike saying there was no way to know if he was at fault for the shelf collapsing. Um, yes, there was. Lou was in the room with him. Also, those shelves were bolted pretty fucking high up on the wall; I doubt Spike would have any reason to somehow jump and reach for something on that shelf.
But, because every adult is a fucking lost cause on this show, Spike is tied up to a doghouse in the backyard. Those mean fucks. Tommy is rightfully pissed as he vents to Chuckie about Spike’s unfair punishment. Yeah, what the hell? They’re going to keep an indoor dog outside, indefinitely, over a mess he didn’t make? Common sense, motherfuckers, have you some! But no time to talk about that, as Betty and Howard pop over with the twins. Apparently Boris and Minka are baby-sitting while the Pickles and Devilles go bowling. Boris and Minka wish them luck and tell them to “make many spare tires.” Well, at least the babies will be in the hands of some competent adults, if only for a couple of hours. I love Boris and Minka, and wish we could have seen more episodes with the two of them. I loved the Passover episode, and the Chanukah episode. Anywho…
Later that night, Boris is telling the babies a monster story from his old country. What I want to know is, how long were the parents gone if it is now nighttime (and, I might add, now thunderstorming)? Boris is really getting into it, and Minka snarks that the babies won’t understand a word that “Mr. Storyteller” is saying. They evoke that classic, cynical grandparent demeanor as they wave each other off and grunt. Man, the grandparents are fucking hilarious on this show. Back to the story, the babies are entranced with Boris’ epic shadow puppets and dramatic gestures as Boris is describing a dybbuk, which is a Yiddish word for a mythical evil spirit that sometimes possesses living beings, only here the definition is simplified to a big, scary monster (like the boogie man, or el cucú, as Spanish speakers call him). We also get a word for a blunt object that could be used for a deadly weapon, called clobbermeister (sp?). Not sure what language that is, but it sounds legit.
We abruptly cut to the next scene. It’s morning and Stu is out in the backyard in his robe and tries to greet Spike, who is still tied up outside and trying to quell his hunger pains with grass.
Wait a fuck.
You left him outside during a thunderstorm?! Okay, not only should you negligent assholes not be allowed to reproduce; you should not be allowed to own a domestic animal! Fuck, I wouldn’t trust these people with a damn rock! I should also note that there’s not a food or water bowl in sight. What the fuck is wrong with these people? Christ, it wouldn’t fucking surprise me if they leave Spike in the car on a hot day, too. Understandably, Spike walks away from Stu and hides in his doghouse. Awwww, I feel ya, Spike. If I had a douchecanoe for a master, I wouldn’t want to be around him, either.
All four babies are in the playpen and Stu bitches to Didi about having to baby-sit again. I don’t know what the fuck he’s complaining about since they never even watch the kids. Whereas Boris and Minka are proactive in child care, the rest of the adults either sleep, pawn their kids off on someone else or go off to another room doing God knows what. Anyway, Didi explains that Betty is training for a marathon and I’m not sure where Chaz is since they don’t mention him at all. So once Dumb and Dumber have left the living room, the babies talk about the dybbuk story Boris told them the night before. Tommy concludes that the same thing must be going on, that a monster or something resides in the garage and is causing trouble for everyone by destroying stuff, resulting in Spike being unfairly blamed for it.
We then see another scene from a varmint’s point of view (seriously, how can you not know the “thing” causing trouble is some type of vermin?) as it crawls out of the garage, through the kitchen, into the living room, up an armchair and onto a bookcase. It knocks over a few books, which in turn knock over a lamp. The lamp doesn’t even break, but Didi and Stu have a hissy fit anyway and go outside to chastise Spike. Spike, who is outside, tied to a fucking doghouse.
The Pickles parents, they are a special kind of stoo-pid!
Chuckie points out what I just did and says that Spike was outside the entire time (yeah, a fucking toddler pieced it together before a pair of fucking adults), and Tommy decides to round up the babies for a little monster-hunting in the garage. But first, they get the appropriate clobbermeisters. Phil and Lil have a squeaky ball and a rattle, respectively, which meets Tommy’s approval. Chuckie has a teddy bear he’s been holding onto the entire scene, so Tommy consfiscates it, gives Chuckie a flashlight and tells him to turn it on when prompted.
They head past Stu and Didi as they make their way toward the garage. Stu, rightfully feeling like a bastard for keeping Spike tied up outside, wants to feed the dog, and Didi bitches that the dog will gain weight. Oh, fuck these two, man! Re-watching this episode is seriously pissing me off; I hate the way they’re mistreating Spike over something they can’t fucking prove. As the owner of not one, but two furbabies, my mind is seriously blown. Did the writers hate dogs or something? I didn’t think a cartoon could piss me off this much!
So the babies are in the garage, and Chuckie notes that it’s pretty dark. Tommy utilizes his stupid “Don’t be a baby!” catchphrase and after everything else I’ve seen, I really want to scream and swear at this damn episode. The babies mistake a car and a pair of lamps for monsters until Chuckie shines a light on them. To be fair, the visuals in the dark are kind of clever, though. Then one of the lamps is knocked over, setting off a chain reaction in which more shit gets knocked over, flies around and falls, leading to an anti-climax in which a small fire log rolls under the car, toward the babies. But then, they see a shadow where the light from the now inexplicably lit lamp hits the garage door. The shadow turns out to be a mouse, and the babies, having never seen a mouse before, are all entranced. Tommy tells the mouse, “We come in peace,” and he and the mouse channel E.T. as they reach out to each other with their index fingers.
The garage door opens and Didi, Stu and Lou appear. Didi wonders how the kids got in there and oh, maybe if you or your nimrod husband had been watching them… Stu starts screaming at the sight of the mouse and after Lou was made fun of during the events of the last episode, it is now Lou’s turn to pass judgment. Ha ha, not so funny when the shoe’s on the other foot, is it, Stu? Stu starts screaming for Spike… uh, and Spike isn’t tied to his doghouse anymore… did we miss a scene? Spike runs to the front of the house and into the garage. Upon seeing the mouse, he barks once, scaring the mouse away. And that’s what it takes for Spike to get redemption from Stu… although, maybe Stu should be trying to make up for his shitty treatment of that poor dog… which he tries to do by declaring that Spike is now allowed to sleep in the bed for the rest of his life, but Didi ain’t having it, and fuck you too, lady! You were just as bad since you just stood by and let Stu starve the dog and tie him up outdoors, and on top of that, even complained about having to feed him. You’re both shitty, shitty dog owners.
The episode closes on the babies discussing the mouse and how it wasn’t so scary, another unspecified crash, and Stu screaming that it’s happening again. Let’s all pray that Spike doesn’t get the blame this time. Who knows, they’ll probably beat him with a baseball bat. I mean, Christ, nothing would surprise me at this point.
Hope you enjoyed the recaps, and again, though I can’t make any promises, I’ll try not to let too much time go between recaps.