The 83 Essential



Here's what I think are the essential stories, and why they are important:
Episode Why it's important
Tommy Pickles And The Great White Thing This pilot was never seen, but it got the Rugrats on Nick
Tommy's First Birthday Introduces just about everyone, especially the original Rugrats -- Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil & Angelica; also features Stu's first-known invention, the Hoverama
At The Movies Introduces Reptar and the Dummi Bears
Moose Country The Rugrats' first adventure -- looking for moose
Touchdown Tommy Sportscaster Chick Hearn appears as himself, and gives play-by-play to the Rugrats' own "game"
The Trial First episode where Angelica shows her evil side
Fluffy vs. Spike Really introduces Fluffy
Graham Canyon Introduces Cynthia; only episode to be written and directed by the same person -- Craig Bartlett (who also created Cynthia, and later, Hey Arnold)
Chuckie vs. The Potty Chuckie gets potty-trained
Angelica's In Love Angelica falls in love for the first time, with Dean
Regarding Stuie Stu becomes a Rugrat
Family Reunion We meet the Pickles' relatives
Grandpa's Date Introduces Grandpa's first love, Morgana
Aunt Miriam Introduces Aunt Miriam
A Visit From Lipschitz Introduces Dr. Lipschitz
The Santa Experience The Rugrats' first Christmas together; introduces Charlotte
Meet The Carmichaels Introduces Susie and the Carmichael family
The Seven Voyages Of Cynthia First episode where an inanimate object has its own adventure
The Slide We learn of Chuckie's fear of slides
Game Show Didi Didi learns how smart she really is; Alex Trebek voices the game show host
Toys In The Attic Tommy & Angelica stay at Boris and Minka's house
Susie vs. Angelica We learn that Susie and Angelica are rivals
Dummi Bear Dinner Disaster Dummi Bear creator Paul Gatsby pays a visit
Chuckie's First Haircut Chuckie's First Haircut
Grandpa Moves Out Grandpa moves out for first time
Angelica Breaks A Leg Angelica's fake broken leg, and an incompetent doctor, turn Stu & Didi into Angelica's slaves
Sour Pickles We looked at Stu and Drew when they were Rugrats, and what Grandpa did in the 1950s
Stu Gets A Job Stu temporarily switches from inventing toys to telemarketing lard
Home Movies The Rugrats make their own movies
Angelica's Birthday Angelica tries to act like a baby
Naked Tommy Tommy gets naked
Chuckie Is Rich Pat Sajak appears as himself; Chazz temporarily becomes a multimillionaire
Mommy's Little Assets We look at Charlotte's line of work as corporate executive
Chuckie's Wonderful Life We look at the world without Chuckie
Spike Runs Away Spike escapes, forcing the Pickles to replace him as their pet
Pickles vs. Pickles Angelica sues her parents
Kid TV The Rugrats make their own TV shows
I Remember Melville Life and death of Chuckie's pet bug
No More Cookies We learn why Angelica loves cookies so much
Cradle Attraction Chuckie falls in love for the first time, with Megan
Moving Away Flashback to how the Rugrats first got together; Angelica's family almost moved out-of-town
Passover We learn the history of Passover, and the fact that Didi's side of the family is Jewish
Chanukah The Rugrats learn the meaning of Chanukah
Mother's Day Introduces Chuckie's natural, and deceased, mother
Chicken Pops The Rugrats get Chicken Pox
The 'Lympics Introduces the McNulty boys
The Smell of Success Chuckie's nose gets unstuffed in this version of "Flowers For Algernon", a.k.a. "Charly"
Dust Bunnies First episode with a 3-D segment
Educating Angelica Angelica starts pre-school
Potty Training Spike The Rugrats try to teach Spike how to use the toilet; we also learn that the twins have an uncle (Bill) and an aunt (Harriet)
Angelica Orders Out Stu's invention makes Angelica sound like Charlotte
Lady Luck Grandpa's second love; David Doyle's last episode
The Word Of The Day Angelica cusses for the first time
Fugitive Tommy Joe Alaskey's first episode as Grandpa
Angelica For A Day Chuckie and Angelica switch places
The Family Tree First appearance of Chuckie's grandparents, Shirley and Marvin; Didi gets pregnant
Chuckie's Duckling First TV appearance of Dil
Angelica's Twin Angelica develops an alter ego
I Do Chuckie and Lil "get married"
Ghost Story First crossover with another Nicktoon -- Real Monsters
Music First musical episode
Wrestling Grandpa We learn that Grandpa was a pro wrestler in the past
No Place Like Home Susie gets her tonsils out
Brothers Are Monsters Betty's brother (and the twins' uncle), Freddy, is introduced
The Big Showdown Goober the Gopher, Didi's replacement for Reptar, is introduced
Accidents Happen Chuckie wets the bed
Miss Manners Mr. Yamaguchi, Charlotte's important client, is introduced
Chuckie's New Shirt We learn why the characters wear the same clothes every episode
Famous Babies The Rugrats rock-and-roll
Acorn Nuts And Diapey Butts Grandpa moves out again, and meets Lulu for the "first" time after being hospitalised; Stu makes a Reptar robot for Euro Reptarland; Chazz starts dating again
Finsterella Kimi, Kira (Chuckie's new mother) and Fifi have their TV debuts; Chuckie talks to the grownups; newlyweds Kira & Chazz formally adopt each other's kids
Angelicon Chuckie & Kimi get a new treehouse; King Kong spoof
Wash-Dry Story West-Side Story spoof
Dayscare Chuckie & Kimi go to daycare
Falling Stars Star Wars spoof
Changes For Chuckie Kira tries to bond with Chuckie
Attention Please Kimi misses Paris
A Rugrats Kwanzaa The Rugrats learn about Kwanzaa; busted spinoff pilot for The Carmichaels
All Growed Up A look at the Rugrats as pre-teenagers; spinoff pilot for All Growed Up
Bow Wow Wedding Vows The Rugrats' first Easter; Spike & Fifi get married and have puppies
Quiet, Please! Chuckie & Kimi's first trip to the library
The Fun Way Day Chazz & Kira open their coffee shop
Hello, Dilly First look at Angelica & Susie's preschool class, to be featured in the new Angelica & Susie's School Daze spinoff (that show's pilot, Preschool Daze, has not yet been televised)

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