WTFAW: Rugrats

Dave: Good news!

Oh really? What could it possibly be? Oh, I know. You’re about to present yet another fan theory about something I care deeply about.

Dave: That’s right! I’ve got a theory about the show Rugrats!

Oh. All right then. Go ahead.

Dave: That’s it? No threats? No rage? No ranting about how I might ruin a beloved childhood show for you.

Of course not. I don’t like Rugrats. Never have.

Dave: Oh…. so I won’t risk being beaten to a pulp this time?

I’d say it depends on the theory, Dave. So, what have you got for me?

Dave: The theory is that the babies are simply figments of Angelica’s imagination.

I see. And what are the arguments?

Dave: So, Tommy was stillborn, and that’s why his father is always in the basement, building toys. It’s his way of coping with the trauma. Chuckie died, along with his mother, leaving his dad a nervous wreck. And Phil and Lil’s parents had an abortion, and Angelica imagined both a boy and a girl, not knowing the gender of the baby.

Aha. Anything else?

Dave: Hmm.. nope, that’s it.

Well, I must say, it’s very interesting. As far as fan theories go, it’s a very impressive effort.

Dave: Thanks!

Granted, it’s got more holes in it than a slice of tilsit cheese, but still. An impressive effort. So, where to begin with this one?

You say that Tommy was stillborn, and Stu is in the basement, building toys for a child he doesn’t have. He’s clearly suffering a severe breakdown…which is why he is cheery and positive, friendly and really showing no signs of psychological trauma whatsoever. He appears to be completely normal, unlike someone going through deep seated denial and repression about having lost a child.

Dave: But why is he making toys all day, then?

Because it’s his JOB! That’s what he does to make money! He invents toys to sell!

Then there’s Chuckie, who supposedly died along with his mother. His mother is established as having died, but she died of a sudden, terminal illness. There’s nothing to suggest that Chuckie died as well. In fact, several episodes deal directly with his dad trying to raise his child. Call me a bluff old cynic, but that’s PRETTY FUCKING TRICKY if said child is DEAD!

Dave: Uh….

And then, there’s the twins. Here, let me ask a simple question. Dave.

How old is Angelica?

Dave: uhm…

She’s three years old. Do you really think a three-yearold is able to comprehend a heavy subject such as “abortion”? Imagining two people because you don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy is not “playful imagination”. It’s “delusions due to severe psychological trauma”.

Dave: Which is why she is imagining the babies! She’s coping!

See, I would argue that, at three years old, you are too young to fully grasp the concept of mortality to such an extent.

But even if that’s not the case, the idea doesn’t work! The entire theory is fundamentally flawed, because if it was true, it’d mean she was the only one able to see the babies. But she clearly isn’t! All the adults see and interact with the kids! The parents, the grandfather, the dog, everyone!

Even if we ignore that (which we shouldn’t) there are plenty of situations where they behave in ways Angelica doesn’t expect, and whole scenarios where she doesn’t appear at all! A bit strange, isn’t it, considering she’s supposedly imagining it all? Speaking from my own experience, when I imagined adventures, not only did they tend to be more impressive in scope than “bathtubs are scary”, but I was the protagonist. I didn’t invent a fictional being and then simply step aside and let things happen to them!

A three-yearold child who’s main characteristic is being spoiled and selfish would be no different! In fact, her imagining a bunch of kids makes absolutely no sense, simply because of her personality! One could make the perfectly valid argument that the reason she’s mean to the babies is because they take away the attention from her. She resents them, because she’s worried she might be forgotten.

The whole show is about growing and learning and coping with the world. Hell, in the movies, Tommy has to deal with the idea of having a brother!

Dave: Ah, but-

And yes, the movies are canon. I know it, you know it, don’t bother trying to argue it.

And finally, there’s the basic problem with the theory.

Dave: Which is…?

You have provided details about all the children, but you haven’t actually provided a single, solitary scrap of evidence to support the theory! Your reasoning with the twins is “Angelica didn’t know the gender”, and your only evidence to support that statement is the fact that they’re twins.

That’s completely backwards logic!

This is really the quintessential stupid theory, because you have reached the conclusion that all the babies are imaginary, and then actively twisted facts and fabricated scenarios to justify it, with no real backing whatsoever.

Dave: I thought you said you didn’t like Rugrats.

That’s right. Your point?

Dave: So why couldn’t you just let me have this one, then?

Because I don’t have to like a subject to recognise stupidity concerning it. I actually would like this theory to be true, believe it or not.

Dave: You would?

Yes. You see, I can only assume that the reason this theory exists at all is because someone desperately wanted to make the show interesting. It’s a valiant effort that, like I said, just doesn’t work.

But because of that effort, and the fact that I don’t really care about Rugrats, I will not, in fact, beat you savagely. Consider it a Christmas present.

Dave: Oh… thanks, I guess.

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