Quick note: At the request of a friend of mine and my husband’s, I’m including screenshots from here on out. Thanks for the suggestion, Wes!
Synopsis: Lou talks Stu into dressing Tommy in drag and entering him in a beauty pageant for babies.
Lou sees an advertisement in the paper for something called the Little Miss Lovely contest, which…
…you can figure it out, it’s obviously a local beauty pageant for female toddlers… only a lot more innocuous than the shit you see on Toddlers & Tiaras and Little Miss Sunshine. First prize is a shitload of toys for the little girl…
… and a prize for the dads. Lou makes the remark that it’s too bad Tommy isn’t a girl. Yeah, and it’s too bad you don’t have another granddaughter you can enter in the pageant. Oh, wait, you do – her name is Angelica! But you know Lou wants that Kingfisher 9000 at any cost, and we can all predict how he’ll go about getting it.
“Hellooooooo, Tommy!” Yes, Lou is imagining Tommy in drag. Yes, he did just howl that cat call at Tommy. Yes, this creeps me out immensely.
Lou goes down to the basement where Stu is working and talks him into his cockamamie scheme. Stu is clearly against the idea, but he totally loses his spine after Lou whips out the ad and shows him first prize.
Yeah, that was all it took. What a pussy. Any other dad would’ve been like, “He’s my son and I’m not allowing you to lie to everyone about his gender just to satisfy your selfish impulses! If you want a boat, how about you pay for it yourself, pops!” Seriously, grow some cojones and tell the old man to back the fuck off.
What follows that scene is some of the most fucked up shit I have ever seen on this or any other animated series.
It isn’t so much the fact that Tommy is dressed like a girl that bothers me. It’s the fact that Stu and Lou, two grown-ass men, are plotting to manipulate a bunch of people by lying to them about having a little girl while Tommy, an innocent infant, sits there confused as his father and grandfather cross-dress him, all for a fucking boat! Normally I love Lou, but he sucks hardcore in this one. He talks his younger son into dressing his grandson in a wig and a dress and entering him in a contest where the only requirement is you must be a female toddler. Tommy is clearly an infant with a penis, but hey, let’s hide that minor detail all because Lou really wants to fish for bug-eyed carp! Totally foul!
The guys also lie to Didi about where they’re taking Tommy. Their vague descriptions – “doing manly things” – totally screams bullshit, but Didi isn’t tipped off by this or their jumpy behavior. Hmm. Lying to your spouse, confusing your child, manipulating people into getting what you want – way to lead by example. They get there and realize they’re fucked, because…
Oh, God help us all.
By the way, how do Stu and Lou not know about this? Don’t they live just down the street from Drew? Don’t contestants have to be entered at least weeks, or maybe months in advance? In this episode it seems they’ve entered Tommy a day in advance, so I guess Angelica entered at the last minute or something. Still… wouldn’t Stu and Lou have known about Angelica having been entered in the contest?
Didi, on the other hand, knows about the pageant, but Stu and Lou don’t know this until they see her at the pageant. Seriously? I’m confused… don’t they live in the same house? It also seems that Didi came to the pageant to cheer on Angelica at the last possible second. And where the hell is Charlotte? I know she’s played up as this workaholic mom, but would she really miss her daughter’s pageant? What a family.
Oh, let’s just get to the shit-tastic Little Miss Lovely contest….
Angelica is a hit with the judges, but loses points because she can’t sing for shit. (I love that last screenshot of the audience twitching.)
Tommy ends up winning the contest after just standing around and doing a tumble (actually tripping over a microphone wire and falling forward) in his dress and wig, because dressed in drag, he’s cuter than any of his competitors with actual vaginas.
Stu tries to bolt, not because it finally hit him that this was a really bad idea to begin with, but because he knows Drew and Angelica are there and doesn’t want to get caught. Lou is all, “Screw that, I want that bomb-ass speedboat!” despite Stu’s protestations.
Didi finally realizes where she recognizes “Tonya” from after the host says Tonya’s last name, “Pickles.” She’s totally pissed and walks onstage and busts Stu and Lou by yanking the blonde wig off of Tommy’s head, thus revealing to everyone that “Tonya” was packing a little surprise. (I’m pretty sure some of the other contestants were sporting some horrible wigs, as is often customary in toddler pageants, but anyway.)
And presto, Angelica is crowned Little Miss Lovely. Lou feels absolutely zero remorse for involving his son and grandson in something that’s psychologically harmful, but with a shit-eating grin looks down at Angelica and realizes he can reap the benefits of having a pageant-winning granddaughter. Maybe you should’ve thought about that when you saw the ad, asshole!
Of course, instead of Drew telling his father to back the fuck off of the damn boat (which technically belongs to Drew, as the Kingfisher 9000 belongs to the winner’s father), he lets him keep it! Drew, I hate to break it to you, but your father would rather enter his grandson in a beauty pageant than your daughter. If I were you, I’d be pretty fucking insulted, and probably wouldn’t relish in your shitty daughter’s victory too much, since a cross-dressing male infant (her own cousin! Talk about salt in an open wound!) was originally voted as being cuter and more charming (though it should be noted that the latter is not difficult for anyone to accomplish).
So what did we learn here, folks? If you are selfish enough to want something, you’ll get it… even if it means hurting members of your family. And also, Betty can’t tell her own kids apart.
Inside the mind of Tommy Pickles: Well, I’ll be damned!
Synposis: Stu and Lou take Tommy to a baseball game.
This episode is not my favorite, and it certainly isn’t much of an improvement from the last, simply because it’s sooooooo boring. The only comic value it has is Didi passing out and falling flat on her face in slow motion.
Basically, it’s the same shit we see in just about every episode, but in a different setting. That setting would happen to be a baseball stadium. Man, I remember going to baseball games with my family when I was a kid. Not only that, I remember when the Marlins first formed back in 1994 (I was nine), and going to a few of their games, and all the hype surrounding both World Series (1997 and 2003). You’d think a baseball-themed episode of Rugrats wouldn’t be such a snooze fest.
Lou wins a contest on the radio station K-OLD (“Music for the old and old at heart!”) by calling in and correctly answering a trivia question. The prize, of course, is tickets to a baseball game. By the way, Tommy is in a full bathtub while Lou is nearby, shaving, listening to the radio and – to no one’s surprise – not paying attention to his grandson. Drowning hazard, anyone?
Lou and Stu take Tommy to the Grizzlies vs. Boston Boomers game. Boston Boomers? Okay, then. The Pickles men have settled into their seats and are loaded down with souvenirs, including a balloon with a grizzly bear face on it and a teddy bear for Tommy. Tommy is trying to eat a hot dog (oh, my God, why? He only has one tooth!) and play with his stuff at the same time but, being only a year old, he naturally sucks at multitasking. Of course, he eventually lets go of his balloon, then crawls out of his seat and into the aisle to retrieve it but, seeing the Grizzlies’ mascot dancing around, decides he’d rather follow the mascot into the dugout. Naturally, Stu and Lou don’t notice.
Tommy makes it into the dugout without anyone seeing him, and in trying to keep up with the mascot he falls into a box filled with bags of popcorn, which belongs to a blue-haired vendor with an Italian accent named Dominic. Weird. I’m not sure how he doesn’t notice the difference in weight the entire time he’s in the aisles selling popcorn, during all nine innings. (By the way, if anyone cares to know, the Boomers are winning, one to nothing. That’s pathetic.)
Over the course of the game, Stu and Lou have fallen asleep. They are so responsible. (Also, I think that’s what this episode was scientifically engineered to do – induce sleep.) It’s not until the top of the ninth that they wake up… and they still don’t realize they’re one infant short. Dominic makes his way to the press box and starts trading baseball cards with the announcers. Somehow, Tommy’s balloon has floated up to the press box (what are the odds, am I right?), and floats over to the next booth, where an old lady is playing the organ. Tommy crawls over the pedals and the result is some noisy feedback blaring through the speakers. I note this seemingly menial instance because, again, despite the fact that someone is crawling over her feet, the old crone doesn’t think, “Hmm, maybe I should look under the damn organ and see what’s going on down there.” I’m pretty sure any normal person in this universe would have, and upon discovering a baby, would’ve brought him to security and made sure he was returned to his family.
Back at the house, Didi has come back from shopping and finds a note from the guys, saying they’ll be home in time for dinner, and to look for them on channel two, where the game is being aired. So Didi turns on the TV and sees Tommy falling into the bubble gum-chewing star player Bucky Majors’ glove (all the players chew gum, because of course Nickelodeon wasn’t going to promote chewing tobacco; not that I’m complaining, ’cause chewing tobacco is disgusting). Apparently, Tommy somehow crawled up to the nosebleed section, and in trying to retrieve his balloon (which finally floated up there – man, talk about crappy buoyancy; I’m guessing the guy at the gift shop blew up the balloons using the air from his own lungs, rather than filling them with helium), fell off the balcony. Lou and Stu finally realize Tommy’s been gone the whole time (wow, and it only took them nine fucking innings), though not even immediately after seeing Tommy down in the field, and Didi…
Wa-ha! Total face-plant! That was the best moment of an otherwise shitty episode… well, except for a brief appearance of Larry and Steve cheering Bucky Majors, of course. (Hey, when did Larry go ginger?)
Honestly, I doubt if most Rugrats fans find this episode all that memorable. I know I don’t. Dragging out a recap for this one was quite the tedious task. Anyway, we come to our bullshit happy ending where Stu, Lou and Tommy get their picture taken with Bucky Majors, Lou goes off on a boring diatribe about his own baseball days, no one really cares, and of course no one charges Stu or Lou with child neglect. Oh, and this hilariously inappropriate newspaper headline actually happens….