Grandpa’s Teeth/Momma Trauma

Quick note: Hey guys, just to inform you, another recap is half-done and will be up soon.  And yes, it includes the “Real or Robots?” episode… perhaps the funniest episode of the series.  Since the crappy connection where I live interferes with media being uploaded onto this site, there won’t be any screencaps for these recaps.  But I’ll insert them for the next one!

Grandpa’s Teeth

Synopsis: Lou loses his dentures at a picnic. This episode is every bit as disgusting as it sounds.

We open on Lou playing a sweet solo on his trumpet. Wait, Lou can play the trumpet? Is this ever mentioned again? Doesn’t matter; everyone’s fawning over him like he’s Satchmo… until he makes allusions to taking out his new dentures in order to eat the potato salad Didi made. Then everyone’s bitching and pleading for poor Lou not to take them out until he’s home. (Drew, in particular, is pretty nasty about it.) Granted, they do have a point: apparently Lou previously lost another set of dentures the year before. Still, they could’ve been nicer about it.

This episode takes place at a veterans’ picnic, and Lou is part of a band comprised of vets who served in World War II. Well, on behalf of all of us young ‘uns who watched Rugrats as kids, thanks for your service, Lou!  When Didi, Stu and Drew have all left the picnic table, Lou takes out his dentures and sets them on a napkin next to what looks like a plate of ribs. Ick. Tommy and Chuckie, who are watching from a playpen set up near the food table, make some pretty awesome faces demonstarting their surprise, then express envy at the fact that Lou can take his teeth out, mainly due to the fact that if you bit your tongue without your teeth, it wouldn’t hurt. They then try to pull on their own teeth (Tommy has like one little tooth and Chuckie has only his two front teeth… which I’ve always found rather odd. Was there ever a baby in existence that grew their two top teeth first, rather than the two teeth on the bottom?) as Lou samples everything from Didi’s potato salad to lime Jell-O. Then they see Spike take the dentures into his mouth, along with a rib, and run off.

At that moment, Didi yells at Lou to put his teeth back in his mouth. But of course, the teeth are gone. Didi asks Lou the last thing he did with his teeth, and Lou thinks they probably fell into the potato salad. We get a lovely shot of the bubbling surface, then Stu pulls back his sleeve and sticks his hand into the salad, making a squishy noise. Blaargh.

Tommy decides he wants to retrieve the dentures from Spike. Chuckie, of course, wants to forget the whole thing and tells Tommy, “Maybe he’ll grow some new teeth!” Heh. Dumb toddler. Tommy then goes off on a rant about how Lou is the only grown-up at the house that actually gives a shit about him, and how he actually takes care of him and plays with him when he’s not lying unconscious in a chair with the TV on. Yeah, that’s about right. Tommy produces a screwdriver hidden underneath the fabric lining of the playpen, and the babies escape. And by the way, no, the adults don’t notice at all during this episode. They’re too busy looking for Lou’s dentures. By the way, why did they bring the dog to the picnic in the first place? It just seems like a weird plot device, as does the fact that Drew is there but not Angelica, and Chuckie’s there but not Chaz. But whatever.

Spike has a run-in with a menacing bulldog, who is automatically frightened by the sight of Spike’s teeth in addition to the dentures. Tommy and Chuckie find Spike burying his rib by the lake and start making their way back. Huh. That was anti-climatic.

But soon, they are confronted by a bunch of oddly territorial geese who don’t even honk; the sounds they make sound more like growls. Spike barks at them and inadvertently spits out the dentures. The “head” goose gets them and chases after them, followed by the other geese. What is with these geese? Are they on ‘roid rage, or possessed by demons, or something?

Elsewhere, a little kid brats to his dad about not wanting to ride ponies because they might go too fast. The dad assures him that they can barely even trot on account of they’re so old. At that moment, the geese appear and scare the shit out of the pony, who starts running with the kid on the saddle and the dad screaming and clinging on to the reins. Wouldn’t you know it, the kid loves ponies now! The pony, the geese, the babies and Spike all run across the park to where a couple of old guys are playing shuffleboard. The goose with the dentures slips on a puck and the teeth come flying out of his mouth. Tommy retrieves them and he, Chuckie and Spike finally make their way back to the picnic area, where Lou is still frantically looking for his teeth. When he tells Didi to check a bucket of friend chicken, Stu spits out his food, which happens to be a drumstick. God, what the hell? I don’t remember this episode being that gross.

It’s time for the band to perform the national anthem. Without his dentures, Lou sounds like crap on his trumpet. Spike, with Tommy and Chuckie riding on his back, shows up just as the band begins their performance, only to be stopped by the same flock of crazy geese. Spike is running so fast that it’s too late for him to come to a safe stop, and he runs into the geese like a bowling ball. The dentures fly out of Tomy’s hand and by chance Lou sees them headed his way. He quickly catches them, dunks them into a nearby glass of water, sticks them in his mouth and plays the last few bars of “The Star-Spangled Banner” effortlessly, finishing off with a cheesy grin.

Chuckie and Tommy, unscathed and alone long after the crowds have parted (yeah, apparently no one has bothered still to check the playpen at this point) decide that being old sucks ass and that it’s best to keep your stuff (i.e., teeth) where it belongs… until they see a guy take off his toupee and wipe sweat off his dome. Then Tommy looks at Chuckie’s thick red hair and decides he wants to yank that shit off. Naturally, Chuckie tells him to fuck off.

Seriously, what was up with those crazy geese?

Momma Trauma

Synopsis: Stu and Didi take Tommy to a shrink.

Didi walks in on Tommy humming “Red River Valley” (?!) and coloring on the walls in the hallway with crayons. She decides he’s so emotionally fucked up that she needs to take him to a baby therapist. Stu is rightfully against the idea and Didi says Tommy doesn’t have a proper creative outlet. Okay. First of all, it is not unheard of for a child to color on the walls. If anything, it’s common. Hell, my sister did it when she was a toddler – she colored my mom’s bathroom with lipstick. Second, he’s one. He doesn’t need a creative outlet at this point. All he needs is a secure environment and age-appropriate toys. What is he even doing with crayons? He’s an infant! Third, the only problem he has is that the adults in his life are so fucking negligent that most of the time, they don’t even notice when he wanders off! And that goes for the rest of the parents on this show!

Didi and Stu take Tommy to the office of a Dr. Lepetomaine, Ph.D and M.D. Not only does Didi claim to take Lepetomaine’s writings as gospel (I thought she was all about Lipschitz?), she actually tells the doctor what could be wrong with Tommy. Let the man do his job, you fucking dumb broad! Stu is exasperated and tells Dr. L that he doesn’t feel like they should be there in the first place and wants to leave two minutes into the session. Hey, for once I agree with you, Stu-meister. Dr. L starts in on Stu and starts asking him questions… at which point, Tommy notices the open door and sneaks out right under their fucking noses. Which, considering what I just said about the parents on this show being a bunch of negligent asses, is not hard for him to do. He crawls into the lobby, where this receptionist with blonde hair and a shit-ton of dark green eyeshadow, who just seconds earlier was eavesdropping on the session, is listening to loud music on her headphones and dancing with her eyes closed. Moron.

Tommy spots a bunch of parents and children walking past the lobby and crawls out into the hallway to follow them. He crawls past a scary janitor who talks to himself and somehow gets into the elevator and rides all the way up to the top floor where, conveniently, he spots the same crowd of parents and children. They walk around a corner and he sets off to find them, crawling past the law office of Sockem and Suem (womp, womp) and a studio where some pervy painter is trying to score points with his model. He finally makes his way to the Snow, Steele and Trickum Agency (womp, womp) and finds the kids and their moms and dads. So what’s the payoff here? Well, it turns out the agency is helping a toy company test out new toys by letting the young ‘uns play with them. The toy being tested today is a plastic robot called Super Plasto-Man, a robot action figure that shoots a bouncy ball from its chest. That actually doesn’t sound too bad. Tommy removes the ball, which looks like one of those bouncy balls with a fabric covering, and the other kids follow suit. It turns out they prefer the ball to the overall robot toy, and the kids start playing with it, bouncing it, tossing it, what have you. Tommy accidentally loses his ball and it bounces its way down a stairway. So Tommy crawls out of the office and decides to take the elevator down.  Yeah, sure, why not?

The agents are losing their shit because the robot toy was top-secret and if they don’t retrieve the ball and return the robot to the toy company in one piece, shit’ll hit the fan and they’ll lose their jobs. I don’t see how losing a small, replaceable part of a toy is such a problem, especially since the other robot toys are apparently back in one piece, but whatever. Tommy somehow miraculously makes it to the floor where the ball has landed and finds it in an ashtray. He climbs onto one of those high-powered, electric floor cleaners to get the ball out of the (full – ick!) ashtray. He falls backwards and hits the on switch, and the creepy janitor from before plugs in the cord for the floor cleaner. Tommy whizzes past some offices, including – conveniently enough – Dr. L’s office. He then lands in a cart full of mail, and a mail clerk (voiced by Jeremy Piven, interestingly enough – I looked at the credits after completing the review) wheels it to (where else?) Dr. L’s office, where Stu is sobbingly breaking down over shit that happened in his childhood involving his older brother Drew, and Dr. L… is asleep. Didi and Stu both seem to be oblivious to that, just as they’re oblivious to the fact that Tommy has been gone the whole session and just came back.

Ironically, Stu and Didi have changed their respective opinions about Dr. L. Didi is upset that Dr. L didn’t even talk about Tommy and the bill for the visit was expensive, and Stu is happy someone was willing to listen to him bitch and moan about his problems with Drew and doesn’t seem at all concerned about the fact that the meeting was really supposed to be about Tommy. I have to agree with Didi that Dr. L’s “qualifications” seem phony. Any legit child psychologist would’ve straight up made the observation that they’re both shitty parents.

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3 thoughts on “Grandpa’s Teeth/Momma Trauma

  1. Actually I’d say the geese were fairly realistic. Despite what “Fly Away” wanted you to think, they are nasty, territorial birds.

    • Hi! Thanks for posting the first comment on my blog!

      Yeah, I am aware that wild geese are not the gentle, harmless birds depicted in films like Fly Away Home (right? The one with a young Anna Paquin? I never saw it but I definitely remember the trailer for it). In fact, deer and other animals we generally perceive to be gentle are violent and possessive in actuality, which is why we’re told to keep our distance. Don’t bother them and they don’t bother you, is basically what I was told. But I assumed the depiction was a little more exaggerated in the episode.

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