Baby Commercial/Little Dude

Baby Commercial

Synopsis: Phil and Lil recount shenanigans that occurred during the shooting of a diaper commercial.

Wow!  A twin-centric episode!  We don’t even get to the Chuckie-centric or even the dreaded Angelica-centric episodes until the second season.  The episode opens on the twins, Tommy, Didi and Betty watching TV at the DeVilles’ house.  A diaper commercial starring Phil and Lil comes on.  It consists of them bungee jumping onto clouds and wearing hooker make-up.  Didi remarks on how cute the twins look and I think she must be drunk because the twins are wearing false eyelashes, bright red lipstick and obscene amounts of blush.  That’s not cute, that’s disturbing.  To top it off, the phone sex employee narrator of the commercial is all sensual when talking about how “heavenly” Tighties diapers are.  Shudder.  Betty and Didi go to the kitchen to fix a cup of coffee, leaving the babies in the living room.  I gotta say, the living room does not look kid-friendly at all – all of this breakable shit is within the reaching distance of a child, including Betty’s sports awards and trophies.  No toys in sight, either.  Tommy toddles up to the TV and asks how Phil and Lil could be in two places at once.  Phil and Lil explain to Tommy that it’s a commercial that was previously recorded and retell the story of what turns out to be a very disastrous commercial shoot, thus beginning the flashback sequence.

Betty is totally stoked and grinning from ear to ear as she and the twins make their way to Studio 2.  The set includes fluffy clouds, a sky backdrop and a pyramid made of Tighties packages, which apparently can fall apart easily if slightly touched or if someone nearby sneezes.  ‘Kay, whatever.  I’ve never tried constructing a pyramid of packaged diapers, so I don’t know.  Betty, Phil and Lil are immediately greeted by the assistant director, a nice enough guy named Bob.  He introduces Betty to a trio of advertising executives named Snow, Steele and Trickum.  Womp, womp.  Ugh, cue the douchebag director Jonathan Whitt.  I already hate him once he comes in with his entourage and laughs with them at his own stupid joke, and also calls Bob – who, by the way, is his brother-in-law – by the wrong name.  He doesn’t even notice the twins because he’s totally creaming his boxers over the pyramid, which apparently was inspired by a dream he had (Lil: “He really likes diapers.”  Phil: “Yeah, he must not be potty-trained yet!”).  Jonathan scolds the twins for being late (uh, they showed up on the set before you did, you wanker) and orders Bob to take them to make-up.

In the dressing room, the make-up artists are asphyxiating the twin with clouds of hairspray (for what?  They each only have like a tiny tuft of hair!) and applying a crap ton of make-up, and why are they making these children look like the prostitutes in Les Misérables?  On set, Jonathan is getting all philosophical as he tells Phil to crawl over to a box of diapers and wink at the camera.  Dude, he’s an infant.  Of course, once the cameras begin rolling, Phil does little more than stare blankly at the camera and produce a bubble of drool.  Jonathan cuts and calls for Betty, and Betty leaves Lil in the hands of the best boy grip, who subsequently places her on the ground so he can continue stuffing his face with doughnuts.  As always, we all know where this is going.  Even with Betty’s encouragement (“Go for the diapers, baby!”), Phil still doesn’t do anything.  Bob decides to replace Phil with Lil, and surprise, she’s nowhere to be found.  Betty runs over to the best boy grip, yanks the doughnut out of his mouth and demands to know where her daughter is.  The best boy grip points up to the rafters, and sure enough, Lil is crawling around up there, playing with her toy car.  Okay, how the fuck did she get up there in the first place?  The only access to the rafters appears to be a couple of ladders and I highly, highly doubt the possibility of a one-year-old being able to use one.

Everyone except the best boy grip, whose fat ass decides to have just one more doughnut, and Jonathan, who is basically a terminally useless human being, start climbing up one of the ladders one by one.  Um, shouldn’t at least one or two people be down there to catch her if she falls?  Besides Jonathan and the best boy, of course.  Phil crawls over to the camera, which is still running, and starts riding it around the studio.  Cameraman sees this and lets go of the ladder, causing Betty and another crew member to fall off it.  Lil falls from the rafters, but luckily, a hook attached to a rope somehow gets caught in her jumper, and she swings around and squeals in delight.  The camera is zipping through the studio, catching Lil in action.  Phil knocks over the table of doughnuts and the best boy, people are diving out of the way and he charges toward the diaper pyramid.  Jonathan dives in front of the camera and begs Phil to stop, which he does at the last possible second.  Lil finally lands safely on one of the clouds on set, and while Betty and Bob are relieved that the babies are all right, Jonathan has a meltdown and yells at the twins for almost destroying his precious diaper pyramid and to leave the studio.  What an asshole.  The little battery-operated toy car that Phil and Lil had been playing with throughout the episode appears out of nowhere and rolls right into the pyramid.  Predictably, the pyramid collapses… right on top of Jonathan.  He rises out of the pile and screams that the twins will never work in this town again.  Phil and Lil react with glee, and the entire crew rolls their eyes and laughs at Jonathan’s shitfit (as I would).  The advertising execs announce that it’s time to see the playback, which consists of Lil bungee jumping out of the rafters and landing on the cloud, and both twins sitting in front of the pyramid and smiling as it collapses.  The execs love the playback and give Jonathan the back-handed compliment that he’s not as bad of a director as they thought, at which point Jonathan realizes that, whoops, he fucked up royally by yelling at the babies.

Cut to Phil and Lil finishing their story to Tommy.  The doorbell rings, and it’s Jonathan pathetically attempting to convince Betty to let the babies star in more of his stupid commercials.  He even bribes the twins with candy!  But Betty ain’t having it and says “eff you” to Jonathan, his diaper pyramid, his incompetent best boy grip and the make-up crew who thought it was a good idea to make over a pair of one-year-olds into French whores.

Little Dude

Synopsis: Schoolteacher Didi takes Tommy to work.

Lou is practicing his putting in the living room.  Tommy is acting as caddy, which consists of him holding a cup sideways while Lou attempts to putt the ball into it.  During his first attempt, Lou accidentally swings the ball into the window and breaks it.  Heh, whoops.  But then he manages to effectively putt the ball into the cup from ten feet away.  Tommy giggles gleefully and throws the ball back to Lou, who remarks that Tommy has a good arm.  Didi picks up Tommy and announces she’s taking him to work with her.  Didi teaches home economics at Eucaipah High and decided to bring Tommy for the purpose of teaching her students how to change an infant’s diaper.  Now, maybe it’s partly because I went to high school with a bunch of toolish assholes who thought it’d be fun to throw the dolls from the ninth grade health class onto the floor (on purpose), but if I were a high school teacher and had a baby, I wouldn’t even entertain the thought of bringing my child to school with me.  I think it would be okay for older kids during Take Your Child to Work Day (formerly Take Our Daughters to Work Day).  God, I miss Take Your Child to Work Day… my mom never took me, but my aunt used to take me to her office all the time, and I’d have fun with the copier, or watch TV in the break room, or go to the salon with her during lunch.  That was so fun.  Anyway, Lou protests, accusing Didi of using the opportunity to show off her kid (total word!), not to mention he won’t have someone to caddy for him.  Didi suggests letting Spike caddy.  And of course, this proves to be a shitty idea when Spike just rolls over.

Didi’s students consist of several teenage stereotypes, including geeks, jocks, Valley girls, girl scouts (in high school?) and, of course, Not-Bill and Not-Ted (who I just found out are named Larry and Steve – Larry’s the tall, lanky blonde and Steve is shorter and more heavyset with brown hair).  And they all react to Tommy as if they’ve never seen a baby their entire lives.  Tommy has dropped a load in his diapers and Didi says that whoever changes it will get extra credit.  No one wants to do it.  Suddenly, this poor man’s version of Fonzie walks into the classroom and everyone catches their breath and someone in a hushed voice exclaims, “It’s Rocko!”  Didi casually asks Rocko (or Ramone, as she calls him, and so will I from this point on, because that’s a way cooler name than Rocko) if there’s something he wants to share with the class, as if he hadn’t just shown up late to class.  He proceeds to change Tommy’s diaper, and doesn’t suck at it.  Guess Ramone’s getting extra credit, and possibly an excused tardy.  He also balls up the old diaper and tosses it over his shoulder, leaving every other student to toss it to the next until Steve finally dunks it into the wastebasket.  Nasty!  Once Tommy’s in a fresh diaper, he grabs the Ray-Bans from Ramone’s face and everyone gasps.  Okay, I have to ask – what is the deal with this guy and everyone else shitting bricks over him?  Is he a rumored hit man or something?  Dude seems pretty chill to me, despite his obvious idolization of Henry Winkler.  He gives Tommy the alias “Little Dude” and “knights” him with a hair comb.  The bell rings and everyone leaves, except for Ramone who hangs back as Didi praises him for his diaper-changing skills (to which Ramone says that it’s not a big deal since he has an infant brother, and then salutes Tommy with a thumbs-up gesture, which Tommy emulates), and three girls named Kirsten, Pamela and Stephanie, who beg Didi to let them play with Tommy while she takes her lunch break.  Didi agrees on the condition that the girls bring him to the teacher’s lounge if he cries.  You know, I’m having a hard time deciding the bigger fuck-up on this show – adults ignoring their kids, or adults placing their kids in the care of other adults (or teenagers, in this case) who prove to be totally incompetent.

The girls, with Tommy in tow, walk out onto the field to watch the football players.  Pamela’s totally cute and is rocking a snazzy pink and purple outfit with some matching accessories.  Hawt.  Stephanie is sporting a Jane Jetson-inspired ‘do and seems to be the Silent Bob of the trio.  Sadly, she does not supply us with an insightful monologue at any point in the episode.  Kirsten, who for some reason reminds me of Kathie Lee Gifford circa the Eighties (must be the bob with the side-swept bangs and the voice), is creaming her panties over football player number twelve… until he walks up to her and makes some dumb joke about Tommy being her “new boyfriend.”  Kirsten rightfully retorts that Number Twelve is immature… and then she places Tommy on the back of the janitor’s pick-up truck, which immediately begins driving away.  Number Twelve starts gloating that the girls just lost the baby and laughs as he walks off.  What a dickhole!  And to top it off, he doesn’t stay and help even though he saw the truck go around the corner and didn’t say anything until it was completely from sight?  Ugh, asshole.  (Though I have to wonder how anyone could not hear a nearby vehicle driving off when it’s only a few inches away.)  Thankfully, the truck hasn’t left school grounds, just went to a different area on the campus.  Kirsten, Pamela and Stephanie decide to split up and search for Tommy, who the girls happen to miss completely during their search as he roams around the school.  This leads to some unfunny events in the gym and the library.  Tommy then toddles into shop class and grins when he recognizes Ramone, who asks the shop teacher if the lunch bell had rung yet.  Apparently the lunch bell rung like twenty minutes ago… I’m pretty sure lunch break began as soon as Didi’s class ended, unless it’s like my high school where lunch hours were split into four shifts.  It’s plausible.  Ramone drops his comb on the way to the sink, where he washes his hands, and Tommy walks over and picks it up.  Ramone inadvertently throws a towel onto Tommy and breezes past him, and Tommy pouts because he has really, really taken a liking to Ramone.  Awwww, I’m sorry, but I thought that was so cute!  Elsewhere, the girls meet up and Pamela wonders out loud if this will affect their grade.  I say worry about the kid and not your fucking grade.  Kirsten tells the girls to think like babies and figure out where Tommy could have possibly gone, and for some reason this prompts Stephanie to crawl around on the ground.  The fuck?  I’d also like to point out that maybe this would’ve been a good time for her to launch into some words of wisdom, Kevin Smith style.  Like maybe, “Drop the ‘think like a baby’ bullshit and keep looking for the kid!”

And now, we move onto the epic food fight scene.  Tommy makes his way into the cafeteria.  He hides under a table, reaches up and grabs a bowl of… I want to assume it’s chocolate pudding, which is sitting on the tabletop.  He grabs a handful and eats it, then reaches up to get something else and inadvertently flings a spoonful of pudding from another bowl, which flies across the lunchroom directly onto Number Twelve’s jersey.  He starts screaming like a chimp and a hush falls over the lunchroom as everyone stares at him warily, except for Ramone, who is calmly eating another bowl of pudding.  Number Twelve throws a fistful of mashed potatoes in Ramone’s direction, and it lands on his white shirt and black jacket.  The music, as well as everyone’s terrified reaction, tells us that shit’s about to go down as Ramone stares Number Twelve down and walks toward him.  I also love how every time Tommy recognizes Ramone, he smiles and gives him the Fonzie salute.  Ramone takes a fingerful of the mashed potatoes on his shirt and smears it onto Number Twelve’s jersey.  Number Twelve picks up a corn dog with mustard and smears the mustard onto Ramone’s shirt.  Ramone unpeels a banana and stuffs it into Number Twelve’s mouth.  Finally, Number Twelve picks up another bowl of chocolate pudding and attempts to throw it in Ramone’s face, but Ramone ducks and Larry gets beaned right before yelling, “FOOD FIGHT!”  A major food war commences.  Banana peels, pizza, ice cream cones, cans of soda and corn dogs are flying in the air and people are repeatedly smashing pies and shit in each other’s faces.

It.  Is.  Awesome!

Awesome, that is, until Number Twelve finds Tommy under the table and grabs him forcefully.  Ramone bellows, “HOLD IT!” and the food fight momentarily ceases.  He takes the Little Dude from Number Twelve and once he walks out, the food fight resumes.  Kirsten, Pamela and Michelle have been watching everything from the cafeteria window and run up to Ramone to get Tommy.  The girls are all relieved that Ramone saved Tommy from that fucking gorilla, and suddenly Kirsten and Ramone are very, very hot for each other.  Didi appears and Kirsten tells her that she and the girls now have a better idea of what it’s like to be a parent.  Yeah, a parent in the Rugrats universe, where people pay zero attention to their kids and nobody gets in trouble for showing up to class late or starting a food fight.  That’s about right.  Ramone and Tommy exchange parting gifts – Tommy returns Ramone’s comb to him, and Ramone lets Tommy keep his Ray-Bans.  They give each other the Fonzie salute again, and am I wrong for finding their bond fucking adorable?  Ramone walks off and we never see or hear from him, Kirsten, Pamela, Stephanie or Number Toolbag again.  In fact, I think Didi’s teaching career gets like one or maybe two other mentions throughout the series, but I might be wrong.  Later in the day, the family is having dinner and Lou asks the Little Dude what he learned in school today.  Tommy, wearing Ramone’s Ray-Bans and smiling impishly, responds by throwing a spoonful of his food in Lou’s face.  Hey, you asked, Lou-meister.

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