In the early 2000s, Nickelodeon took televisions most famous babies and had them grow up in a major way. Before Tommy had even celebrated his second birthday, suddenly he was 11 years old and navigating pre-teen issues. Originally, this was meant to be a one-time special in honor of the tenth anniversary of the show, but it was an unexpected hit, and Nickelodeon ordered a full All Grown Up! series.
This had mixed results with the fans. While some enjoyed All Grown Up!, others disliked the departure from the dreamy, almost magical Rugrats. All Grown Up! was much more grounded in reality. Instead of going on adventures, the gang dealt with issues many teens and pre-teens face. The show focused on the characters developing identities as individuals, and there were hardly any extended dream sequences.
Still, Nickelodeon leaned into All Grown Up! For its teenage audience, Nickelodeon developed a plethora of merchandise themed to the older characters. They even canceled the original series so, for a few years, fans only had the older versions of the characters. Rather than try to accumulate new audience members in the desired Rugrats age bracket, Nickelodeon aimed for the audience that had grown up with the babies, in the hopes that the older audience would find their adventures more compelling.
Even with a handful of loyal fans, the show was canceled. Though the show has a sordid history, it’s come back into relevance with talks of a Rugrats reboot and a fan base that is devoted even a decade later.
25 Klasky And Csupó Were Forced To Do The Show
Despite the resume boost and paycheck that comes with producing a show for a major animation network, not every artist will love their work. It seems that’s the case with Klasky and Csupo, the team behind Rugrats and All Grown Up. Rumors say that Klasky and Csupo wanted to continue working on Rugrats, but Nickelodeon forced them to work on All Grown Up instead.
It seems that there were some creative differences in the Nickelodeon offices. While the studio wanted to work on the spin-off, hoping to reach the audience they captured in the original special, animators, and creative heads preferred working on Rugrats. Rugrats was canceled shortly before All Grown Up’s tumultuous final two seasons. In the end, both shows were canceled.
24 Season Four Aired Over Two Years
For some shows, waiting years between seasons is an unfortunate reality. Between getting all of the cast in the same place at the same time and production needs, shows take a while to be filmed. But, it seems like it shouldn’t be as much of the case with a cartoon, especially in the middle of a season. However, All Grown Up really stretched out its fourth season. Despite the fact that season 4 episode 1 aired October 5, 2005, the last episode of the season didn’t air until November 20, 2007.
Making the schedule even more odd, season 5 premiered the next day. All Grown Up fans were treated to plenty of episodes to make up for the show’s odd absences in the Nickelodeon line-up. In just under two weeks, the first eight episodes of season 5 were aired. The final three episodes of the season (and the show) were aired the following summer.
23 Fans Demand Justice For TP+KF
While many criticized the show, it would be unfair to say that All Grown Up had no fans. Even if fans preferred the more imaginative and dreamy Rugrats, fans did migrate to and watch the pre-teen comedy. The characters have been the source of inspiration for fan creation, and, even a decade later, the spin-off still has loyal fans.
Some of these loyal fans demand a more satisfying ending for the show. In particular, one fan thinks that the lack of resolution for the TP+KF plot was unacceptable. TP+KF, for those unacquainted with the show, is the will-they-won’t-they romantic subplot for Tommy and Kimi. A fan started a Change.org petition that is still currently active with 217 fans signing the petition. The petition demands a movie to resolve the romantic subplot and give a more satisfying ending to the show.
22 The Voice Actor For Chuckie Changed Between All Grown Up! And Rugrats
As the characters grew older, the actors playing the babies needed to figure out how their voices would change and develop. Interestingly, every baby on Rugrats and teenager on All Grown Up! was voiced by a woman, regardless of the character’s gender. In fact, every actor voiced their character in the spin-off show except one.
Christine Cavanaugh, the original voice of Chuckie, was the only one to not follow her character to the new series. Though the show was not popular among those who worked on Rugrats behind-the-scenes, it was not due to creative differences. Cavanaugh was simply retiring from acting altogether. Nancy Cartwright, best known for voicing Bart Simpson, took over the role of Chuckie for All Grown Up!
21 The Pickles Family Has A Connection To Aliens
Dil isn’t the only member of the Pickles family to have a connection to aliens. In All Grown Up!, it’s revealed that Grandpa Lou worked in Area 51. This military base in Nevada is well-known due to urban legends that it’s the crash landing site of a UFO. Rumors of aliens have circulated around the base since its installment. Still, despite the rumors, the purpose of the base is unclear.
Though many of the supernatural or extraterrestrial appearances center on Dil, Tommy also has an alien experience. In the episode “Brothers Grimm,” Didi takes away the television, and the other parents soon follow suit. However, it seems that television may have been distracting Tommy more than he knew. Towards the end of the episode, Tommy, looking up into the sky, sees a flying saucer.
20 Lil And Susie Both Have A Crush On Chuckie
Chuckie was the unexpected Casanova of All Grown Up! Even though Tommy has appeal as the protagonist and Phil has appeal as the funny, athletic character, several of the women in the show are attracted to Chuckie. Though Tommy and Phil have their fair share of dates with supporting characters, the women on the main cast seem most interested in Chuckie.
Even platonic relationships, like with Angelica, seem stronger with Chuckie than the other male characters. Angelica, for instance, is the only main character to know Chuckie’s full name. In the show, Chuckie and Susie go to multiple school dances with one another, implying that there is more to their friendship. Moreover, in the episode “The Finster Who Stole Christmas,” it’s implied that Lil has feelings for Chuckie as well.
19 There Are 10 All Grown Up! Books
Admittedly, not many fans saw value in the All Grown Up! series, but, like the video game, Nickelodeon still created plenty of merchandise. Because so much of All Grown Up! focuses on school, it’s unsurprising that books based on the show were published. The books have titles like Angelica for President and Welcome to the Fifth Grade, showing that the books focuses mostly on school.
Fans have been able to follow the Rugrats characters through the written word for quite some time. There is a Rugrats comic and numerous books starring the characters. The books chronicle the events of the shows and movies. Some are also original stories focusing on different issues. While the Rugrats books are meant for much younger children, the All Grown Up! books are written for the show’s pre-teen and teen audience.
18 The Animators Didn’t Like “Pretty” Fan Art
Fan art helps to develop fan communities. It’s a way for devotees of a work to produce content and develop their own skills through obsessing over various franchises. Though the art is inspired by a work of media that may already have official art, it’s normally drawn in the artist’s own style. This helps the artist practice while also creating content for the fan community. It seems like everyone should come out the winner in this scenario.
However, in 2015, an animator for the Rugrats characters who also worked to develop the characters for All Grown Up, blasted artists for creating “pretty” rather than “lumpy” characters. The artist, Eric Molinsky, then drew the adult versions in canonical style. However, the fans struck back, particularly those whose art had been specifically called out as being “wrong.” They argued that they were fan artists drawing in their own style rather than an artist hired by an animation company.
17 Having The Babies Grow Up Was Groundbreaking
Unlike live action shows where the actors age along with the characters, in cartoons, characters can be suspended in time. With the addition of new characters, it was clear that time was passing in the Rugrats universe. However, having the ten year age jump broke new ground in cartoons.
Because the show was about babies, it was unsurprising that intent was for the characters to stay babies. Having a significant age jump would deviate from the plots and themes of the show. This is what happened in All Grown Up! The characters age caused them to no longer be interested in baby things. This experiment ended up being one of the downfalls of both shows. Over the course of a few years, both All Grown Up! and Rugrats were canceled.
16 The Shift In Art Was Planned Beforehand
Fans of the show will notice that the art drastically changed between season one and season two through five. While shows sometimes update their art style in later seasons, shows with a specific style, like All Grown Up! usually don’t adjust so early on. However, according to the show’s creators, the art shift was intentional.
When the show began, the showrunners intended for the art to be similar in style to Rugrats. In the first season, it’s almost identical. In season two and beyond, while it’s still similar, the show began to develop its own art style. The lines are cleaner and shading was used on the characters to make them look more three dimensional. This was not as developed on Rugrats. While some artists may have protested the change (more on that later), it helped to give the show its own look.
15 There Was More Than One Rugrats Spin-off
With the popularity of Rugrats, it’s no surprise that Nickelodeon wanted to turn the successful show into a franchise with spin-offs. Though it was originally meant to simply be a television special, the wild success of the special led to more development in the franchise. At the time, there were other specials in the works, but the studio felt that what the Rugrats audience wanted was to see the babies as pre-teens.
One of the potential spin-offs was Pre-School Daze. The show would follow Angelica and Susie as they attended pre-school. There was even a pilot episode aired. However, the show never got off the ground and was canceled. The second followed the Carmichael family to Atlanta. The Rugrats episode about Kwanzaa was meant to be a pilot for this series, but Klasky Csupo wanted to simply focus on Rugrats.
14 A Dark Fan Theory Explains Why Dil Always Wears A Hat
Rugrats is a delightful show about babies going on adventures in a world built for adults. But some fans see a much, much darker side of the show. One of the most pervasive (and creepiest) fan theories is that Angelica is imagining the show in her head. The babies have not survived to babyhood for various reasons. The exception is Dil.
The fan theory takes All Grown Up into account. In her frustration with Dil as a child, she repeatedly attacked him. This, the theory states, lead to massive scarring on his head. This could explain Dil’s hat, which almost never leaves his head. It could also explain his odd behavior as a baby and older child. Either way, if the theory is true, then Dil is likely as psychologically damaged as Angelica.
13 The Pickles Were Shown Even Further In The Future
Aging the babies in All Grown Up was most of the shtick of the show. It was interesting to see the famous cartoon babies as preteens and teenagers. And, an episode in season one aged them even further. In the season one episode “Brother, Can You Spare The Time?” the Pickles family is shown even further in the future.
This particular part in the episode is a dream sequence. Dil imagines his future, and the audience sees Tommy, Didi, Stu, and Dil all as adults. Tommy is a successful director, but everyone else is similar to their All Grown Up personas, if a bit older. This is likely the closest that fans will get to see the babies as adults in the Rugrats canon. However, this was also a dream sequence, so, if there ever were to be a reboot with the cast decades in the future, the animators would likely still have some artistic liberty.
12 The Teasers Didn’t Show Plots From The Episodes
Fans hate false advertising. Most movie-goers and TV-watchers like to analyze trailers for potential storylines and hidden meanings. So, when the final product doesn’t match up with what is advertised, the audience can get enraged. Still, studios continue to inexplicably produce false scenes for trailers.
This same situation happened with All Grown Up. The trailers showed scenes with Tommy and Dil fighting, Tommy filming Chuckie for a video, Angelica and Susie running for class president, and many more plotlines that weren’t actually featured on the show. It’s unclear why Nickelodeon chose to feature these scenes rather than clips from the actual episodes. The first season had been in production for a year at that point, so the episodes were available for advertising. Even more strange, the show had already aired the first episodes.
11 Angelica And Susie Disappear At The End Of The Show
Despite the show’s odd schedule, what kept it going was the fans’ connection to the Rugrats characters. However, Nickelodeon made an odd choice at the end of season five, the final season of the series. After having fans wait almost a year for the final episodes, Nickelodeon aired them in August of 2008. However, two characters were conspicuously absent from the last batch of episodes: Angelica and Susie.
Though the two are mentioned by other characters, it’s an odd choice to have them completely absent from three episodes. Angelica was one of the first characters ever on the show, and Susie had become the moral center of the growing pre-teens. The erratic schedule and lack of major characters in the final few episodes showed audiences the chaotic nature of the show behind-the-scenes.
10 Susie And Angelica Almost Say Good-Bye
Rugrats has never shied away from dramatic plotlines. Grandpa Lou’s inattention to the babies often led them into dangerous situations. There was even an episode that focused on Tommy being kidnapped and held for ransom. However, the show remained light-hearted by putting everything through the perspective of a baby who wouldn’t know how close his life was to being drastically changed. However, when the characters on All Grown Up! were put into dangerous situations, they were fully aware.
In “Susie Goes Bad Lite,” Susie risks her life to show that she is more than a goody-goody. The episode ends with Angelica and Susie dangling from an electrical cord many feet in the air, desperately trying to hold on before they fall. Both girls lose their grips, but are saved at the last minute by the emergency crew. This was foreshadowed earlier in the episode when Angelica explains how students at a rival school nearly lost their lives in the same fashion.
9 There’s A Terrible Game
Even though All Grown Up! itself was a spin-off, it still created works into multiple forms of media. Like most Nickelodeon shows, it tried to capitalize on Gameboy and other gaming systems popular at the time. One such game was All Grown Up!: Express Yourself.
Even for being based on a show with mixed reviews, most agreed that the game was bad. Despite the fact that she often took on the role of mean girl or someone cartoonishly insecure, the only playable character was Angelica. There wasn’t much in the way of gameplay. The premise was the Angelica was a local news reporter (likely a reference to her tendency to gossip) telling the other character what is going on. The game signaled the beginning of the end for the doomed franchise.
8 Kimi Sometimes Wears Cheongsams
Kimi’s Japanese heritage is a major plot point throughout All Grown Up! She explores her Japanese culture while living in America. Her relationship with her biological father, who isn’t often mentioned in Rugrats, helps to define Kimi’s identity. To further promote this, Kimi is often seen wearing Asian-inspired clothing. However, some fans have noticed that, though Kimi is Japanese, she often wears Chinese clothing.
Kimi dresses in a few shirts based on a cheongsam. A cheongsam is a type of Chinese dress. Being as interested as she is in her heritage, Kimi should have known the history of this style of clothing. However, it is also possible that she simply likes the style. More likely, an animator didn’t realize that cheongsams are Chinese rather than Japanese.
7 Didi Has Changed Her Way
In Rugrats, Didi, though she has an obsession with Dr. Lipschitz, isn’t a psychologist. Instead, she’s a home economics teacher. An episode of Rugrats confirms this when Didi brings Tommy to work. Her interest in psychology likely came in handy as a teacher, but her background was in education.
However, in All Grown Up!, Didi has undergone a career change. In the episode “Lost at Sea,” Didi tells Tommy’s girlfriend that she is a child psychologist. In the ten years between Rugrats and All Grown Up!, it seems that she’s had a bit of a career change. Her interest in child psychology was apparent throughout the show, but it wasn’t until late in All Grown Up! that it was officially addressed. Perhaps Dr. Lipschitz became more of a mentor to Didi over the years.
6 Charlotte Knows All Of Mega Corp’s Secrets
One of the biggest changes from Rugrats to All Grown Up was Charlotte. In the original series, she was CEO of a huge corporation, even with a toddler at home. She was always on her cell phone talking to Jonathon, and her ambition, drive, and career were her defining features. However, in All Grown Up, Charlotte, shocking everyone, loses her job.
Charlotte, so dependent on her career for defining her as a person, quickly resorts to threats. In her hysteria, Charlotte declares that she “knows where the bodies are” and other unsavory dealings happening in the corporation. This stunning revelation really ups the ante. Before this episode, it was implied that Charlotte would do anything for her career, and it seems she really did.
5 Chuckie Loses His Towel
Showering at school is a common fear among adolescents in gym class. As such, many television shows have addressed this issue in one or more episodes. All Grown Up! is no exception. In the season five episode “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” Chuckie and his friends combat this issue, and they each deal with it in their own way. Chuckie goes the route of avoidance, and makes excuse after excuse to avoid the post-gym ritual.
However, the episode ends with Chuckie facing his fear in a big way. When clad only in a towel, the edge of his only coverings gets caught in an emergency door, which locks behind him. This causes Chuckie to lose his towel and run across the school’s campus. Though Rugrats episodes dealt with this sort of freedom before, it’s very different when it deals with older characters.
4 Dil Can Communicate With More Than People
Despite its origins in the dreamy Rugrats, All Grown Up! is much more grounded in reality. The show deals with situations that all teenagers face. However, in Dil, the show found a way to make everything a bit weirder. All Grown Up! veers into magical realism, and Dil is often at the center of these plots. Not only is Dil totally unfazed by the weird and supernatural, but he is also able to communicate with them.
Throughout the show, Dil talks to ghosts, Roman gods, and aliens. He even visits aliens of his own volition. He hangs out with them for a while and comes back to earth in time for his laser tag game. Dil even shows a unique ability to talk to animals. Whether it’s the supernatural or creatures more terrestrial, Dil’s odd behaviors actually hint at something more.
3 The Pilot Episode Was Extremely Successful
Despite the show’s mixed reviews, the original special, “All Growed Up,” that also acted as the pilot for the series, was majorly successful. To celebrate Rugrat’s tenth anniversary, Nickelodeon produced a special where the babies were ten years older. Though it was originally meant to be speculative, the special reached “Super Bowl levels of success.”
Nickelodeon did not anticipate that over 12 million viewers would tune in to see the babies ten years older. However, after realizing that the audience was there, the studio ordered an entire series. While the rest of the show didn’t reach the same levels of success, the first episodes intended for the show were still Nickelodeon’s most watched premiere. Eventually, the viewership began to steadily decline until the show’s eventual cancellation.
2 Klasky And Csupó Were Divorced When The Show Began Production
Fans of early Nicktoons can easily remember the Klasky Csupó tag at the end of each Rugrats episode. What at the time may have seemed like nonsense words were actually the last names of the team working on the show. Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó were business partners and married at the time the Rugrats aired on Nickelodeon. However, by the time All Grown Up was in development, the pair had divorced.
While this may seem like the kiss of death for a team that helped to define children’s cartoons of the 1990s, they actually handled it all pretty well. Though they divorced in the middle of several projects, they continued to work together today. There are even rumors of secret talks with the pair to reboot classic Nicktoons.
1 It Was The First Nicktoons Spin-off To Actually Air On Nickelodeon
Nicktoons were an essential part of creating Nickelodeon’s brand in the 1990s. The three original Nicktoons, Ren & Stimpy, Doug, and Rugrats, all quickly became cultural icons. The three shows were integrated heavily into many childhoods, and they paved the way for the cartoons that came after. This also solidified Nickelodeon’s place as a contender with Disney and Spike.
All three original Nicktoons were given their own spin-off. However, All Grown Up was the only one to actually stay on the channel. Nickelodeon declined to produce the final episodes of Doug, and ABC offered to buy the rights to the show. When Disney acquired ABC, they bought Doug as well. Ren & Stimpy, due to the adult nature of the show, started airing episodes on Spike. This eliminated all cover that it was a show for children, and the episodes were able to deal with more adult themes.