Rugrats was an animated kids TV series for Nickelodeon, which aired from 1991 to 2004. It followed the lives of eight (mostly loveable) babies and their dog as they got in to all kinds of sticky situations while their parents remained oblivious. Just like real life then.
The main character was Tommy Pickles - the most daring of the babies. He was flanked by red-haired Chuckie Finster who was basically scared of everything and needed a lot of coaxing from Tommy to venture outside of his play pen. Their were also twins Phil and Lil DeVille who were up for anything, and of course Spike the dog, which belonged to Tommy. The kids communicated in baby talk, which the TV viewer can understand, and for comedy effect it's peppered with a few mispronunciations such as "poopetrator" instead of perpetrator. Genius!
Of course, the show wasn't all sweetness and light, as the babies were tormented by Tommy's cousin, Angelica Pickles, aged three. She played on the babies' naivety in most episodes and gets away with murder when she twirls her long blonde hair at the adults. There's always one, isn't there!
The babies were joined in 1998 by Tommy's baby brother, Dylan, after he first appeared in The Rugrats Movie. And in 2000, after Rugrats In Paris: The Movie, Chuckie gained a step-sister in Kimi Finster. Subsequent Rugrats movies included: Rugrats Go Wild and Rugrats: All Growed Up, and later a number of video games were released under the Rugrats brand for those of us who really couldn't get enough.
The kids' escapades all happened while Tommy's dad Stu is busy inventing toys in the house's basement, his mum Didi is busy trying to be the perfect parent and multitasking way too many chores/events/work projects at once, and his sweet granddad Lou is snoozing in the background. Clever little Tommy keeps a plastic screwdriver in his nappy (yes, ewww!) to aid their escape from the play pen, and usually Angelica gets blamed if ever the babies do escape or leave behind them any chaos. Well, how could babies manage to cause any trouble?! The escapades they do undertake were always quite advanced, with one taking them into a forest where they battles crazed werewolves who were after their baby food.
Kids and adults alike loved Rugrats - even Steven Spielberg once referred to it as: "sort of a TV Peanuts of its time". Praise indeed. It certainly helped build up the Nickelodeon channel, alongside other hit cartoons Ren and Stimpy and Hey, Arnold. Airing every day, Rugrats became the longest-running Nicktoon to date, although has just been surpassed by today's cartoon of choice, the magnificently ridiculous Spongebob Squarepants. But Rugrats still has its own star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame, though, and is forever etched in our memories, There's a big kid in all of us, and don't you forget it.