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The Big Flush

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Season 2 Episode 22b
TheBigFlush-TitleCard
The Big Flush
Original Airdate March 28, 1993
DVD release Season 2
Previous Episode The Slide
Next Episode King Ten Pin
The Big Flush is a Season 2 episode of Rugrats.

Characters Present

Synopsis

At the local health spa, the Rugrats discover a large swimming pool for the first time. Thinking it's a giant potty, they search for the handle to flush it. Meanwhile, Stu tries to confront his fear of diving boards

- Description of Klasky Csupo

Summary

The Pickles, DeVilles, and Chaz sign up their kids for baby swimming lessons. But the babies think the pool is a giant toilet and want to flush it.

Recap

At Tommy’s house, Stu and Howard are at the kitchen table, talking and having coffee; Tommy is also under the table, and gets a hold of one of the slippers that his father is wearing and proceeds to dip it in Spike’s water dish. Didi and Betty come in though the double doors in the kitchen and tell Stu and Howard that, on their way back from their aerobics class they saw a notice for swimming lessons. Howard however states that they already know how to swim, but also remarks: “well, except for Stu.” Stu however rebuttals Howard’s remark and states that he’s a great swimmer; but Howard reminds Stu of a time he choked on the high dive (which Stu denies ever happened). Didi however stops Stu and Howard and states that they were talking about swimming lessons for the babies. As Stu confirms that it’s a good idea and states that Tommy will be an excellent swimmer, he puts on his his now soggy slipper that Tommy got wet and this causes him to panic (“AAH! IT’S WET! IT’S COLD!”) and dash off.

We next see Tommy, Chuckie, Phil and Lil, and their parents, Stu, Didi, Howard, Betty, and Charles arriving at the swimming center where the babies’ swimming lesson is to take place. As they enter the pool, Stu remarks to Charles that the place brings back memories, and Charlies replies: “Yeah, like the time you froze on the high diving board and they had to call the fire department to get you down.” Stu (not wanting to talk about it) tells Charlies to “can it”. We then focus on the babies: Lil wonders why they are wearing “these funny pillows” (life jackets) and Phil wonders where they are. Tommy states that he doesn’t know, but comments that it smells funny. Lil thus ponders that perhaps they are at a Kitchen as her parents’ kitchen smells funny, but Phil denies this as there aren't any big clouds of smoke. Lil then ponders that perhaps they are at a basement, but Tommy denies this as he doesn’t see any old junk. Chuckie then ponders that they are at a bathroom; but just as Tommy questions this by pointing out there needs to be a Potty, the group arrives at the actual swimming pool and the babies recognize the pool as a Potty, so Tommy tells Chuckie that he was right (and that they are in “the biggest bathroom in the whole world”). The adults then take the babies out of their strollers (sans Chuckie, who is not using one) and take them to another smaller kiddie pool where their lesson will take place.

At the babies’ lesson, we see Howard, Betty, Didi and Charles holding (respectively) Lil, Phil, Tommy and Chuckie and standing in the shallow kiddie pool with the instructor, who briefs the parents and their children (in a calm and gentle voice): “The water is your friend. The water is your pal. The water won’t hurt you if you treat it with respect.” Betty comments to Didi that the instructor might have “inhaled a little too much chlorine”. The instructor has the parents hold their babies close to the water so that they can “meet” it, and then has their parents slowly and briefly dip their babies in the water and then pull them out (repeating 6 times); the babies however don’t like it and struggle to avoid it to no avail, and Didi comments to Betty that what they’re doing doesn’t seem very nice. The instructor then tells the parents to let their babies blow some bubbles so that they can become more “friendly with the water”. Charles briefly dunks his son Chuckie completely underwater (and he briefly chokes on the water and accidentally swallows some) and then pulls him out; Chuckie coughs and gasps for breath and the instructor comes over and remarks “maybe that was a little too friendly”.

The lesson ends and the adults take the babies to the pool’s nursery so that they can head to the main pool and swim themselves; on the way, Betty remarks that the lesson was fun, and Charles remarks that he isn’t sure as Chuckie didn’t seem to like it. Just after the babeis are dropped off, Chuckie remarks to Phil and Lil that the water they were dipped in tasted horrible; Tommy replies “of course it tasted bad Chuckie, it was Potty water.” Chuckie goes on to remark that they should flush it once in a while, and Tommy replies that it would be neat to flush a giant potty. Phil and Lil agree that would be fun, but Chuckie tries to talk everyone else out of it and points out that they don’t know where the flusher is, and that the people in the “Giant Potty” will get flushed too. Tommy ensures Chuckie that they will find the flusher someplace and that the people shouldn’t be swimming in the Potty in the first place, and Chuckie is forced to follow along (“well, can’t say I didn’t try”). As the babies escape from the nursery start on their way, we cut back to the adults: Betty comes out of the pool and sits next to Didi on the edge and suggests that they go to the Sauna, but Didi suggests she stay and give some moral support to her husband as he’s practicing his diving on the low diving board. Stu jumps off the diving board, but chokes up and screams mid air and splashes water on Didi and Betty as he hits the water flat on his stomach; Didi then agrees to the sauna.

We focus back on the babies as they enter an exercise room as they search for the flusher that flushes the “giant potty” (Chuckie is skeptical); they pull levers on the exercise equipment everyone is using, and this causes trouble for everyone (although they don’t notice the babies are causing it). We focus back on Stu, who we see dive off the low diving board backwards and land in the water; Charlies remarks to Howard that perhaps they should stop him and then asks a coughing Stu if he’s ok. Stu replies that he’s fine and believes that he’s ready to try the high dive; knowing what’s about to happen, Charlies and Howard look at each other and say “Uh-Oh”. Meanwhile, we see Betty and Didi arrive at the Sauna (marked “Steam Room”, although a Sauna and a “Steam Room” are not the same thing); Betty ensures Didi that she’ll love it, but Didi warns that she must come out after 5 minutes to avoid getting wrinkled. Just after Didi and Betty get in the Sauna and close the door, the babies come into the scene still looking for the flusher. Lil notices a lever on the floor (which actually controls the temperature of the sauna and is positioned in a way that it will block the Sauna’s door shut if set all the way to hot) and pulls it all the way to hot, but it of course doesn’t flush the “giant potty”. Chuckie begins to ponder that they are all “lost forever”; Tommy asks Chuckie if he ever got the babies lost forever, and Chuckie recalls examples from other episodes of the show. The babies then walk away as Chuckie continues to bring up examples of Tommy getting everyone lost; and just as they are out of sight, we hear the trapped Didi and Betty banging on the Sauna door (which is blocked by the lever Lil pulled) and hollering for someone outside to let them out.

Back at the pool, Howard and Charles and trying to talk Stu out of trying to dive off the high diving board as he makes his way toward it; but Stu brushes them aside, tells them to stop worrying, and assures them he’ll be fine. Stu then begins to climb the high dive’s ladder. Meanwhile, the babies are still walking around and Chuckie is still giving examples of when Tommy got everyone lost; but Tommy manages to find the entrance to the main pool (“the giant potty”); Lil comments that Tommy sure knows his way around the world, and Tommy leads everyone toward the pool. We focus back on Stu, who’s still climbing the ladder and starting to notice he’s getting rather high up and feeling a little woozy; Stu however makes to the high diving board, but screams in fright as soon as he looks down and freezes up. Everyone turns their attention to Stu, concerned; Charlies says to Howard that he can’t watch as the whole thing is making him nauseous, and Howard replies that they can’t just abandon Stu as he’s their best friend. A lifeguard comes over and asks them both if they know “that crazy man”; they both reply “no”. Meanwhile, the babies are relieved to have finally found the “giant potty”, but Chuckie impatiently asks where the flusher is; Tommy notices the low diving board and he and the rest agree that it is the flusher they are looking for.

The lifeguard from earlier climbs to the top of the high dive and tries to calm down a scared stiff Stu; he suggests he and Stu climb down together. Stu agrees and begins to turn around real slow; but Stu slips and falls on his stomach, and all the other patrons looking onward from below gasp in fright. Meanwhile, the babies make their way over to the low diving board and Tommy, Phil and Lil climb on it (unaware they are putting themselves in danger); Chuckie asks Tommy what he’s doing, and Tommy replies: “How else are you going to push a flusher this big?” Chuckie sighs nervously and then climbs on with everyone else, and they all make their way to the other end of the diving board. Back on top of the high dive, the still frightened Stu orders the lifeguard to “GET BACK!” The lifeguard tells Stu to not do anything crazy as they are not insured; Stu orders the lifeguard not to touch him, claiming: “cause if you do, I might just do it! I might just…” The patrons below then start chanting “Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump…” Stu then looks down at the low diving board and notices that the babies are on it and have put themselves in danger of falling into the pool (“OH NO! TOMMY!”). The lifeguard sees the babies and then shouts down below: “DAH! KIDS ON THE LOW DIVE! GET ‘EM OFF! GET ‘EM OFF!” Tommy tells everyone that they need to “jiggle the handle”; Chuckie asks how, and Tommy orders everyone to jump up and down (Chuckie: “But Tommy!”), putting themselves in greater danger. Realizing that his only son will fall in the pool and risk drowning otherwise, Stu faces his fear and dives to get down quickly save his son from possible death. Both Howard and Charlies say “wow” as Stu dives impressively. Tommy is flung off the low diving board and heads straight for the water; but Stu arrives just in time and catches his son before he can fall in and drown. They both emerge unharmed, and the crowd cheers for the redeemed and heroic Stu Pickles and his son, Tommy Pickles. Chuckie, Phil and Lil, who have all stopped jumping, sigh in relief that Tommy has been rescued, all as Stu and Tommy embrace each other and smile at each other.

We then fast forward to find Stu, Howard, Charles and the babies making their way though the hallway; Howard and Charlies congratulate Stu on his impressive dive. They come to the sauna and Stu suggests a quick sauna before they all go home. Stu notices the lever is blocking the door and pulls it back so he can open it. The door opens and Betty and Didi emerge, overheated and dehydrated and barely able to stand. Didi is too dizzy to speak, but Betty asks desperately for water before both she and Didi collapse offscreen, and the episode ends.

Transcript

The transcript can be found here

Quotes

Stu: Ahh! It's wet! It's cold!

Trivia

  • The original episode title was called "Swimming Lessons."
  • Chuckie mentions things that were shown in previous episodes, such as going down into the basement and Chuckle getting stuck in the mattress , getting themselves locked inside the toy store, going through the mirror into Mirrorland, going after that big wedding cake, getting lost in the Museum and snuck into Tommy's Aunt's room.
  • Nickelodeon wanted the Rugrats to wear life-jackets when they were near the pool unattended, but they didn't want them to wear them during the swimming lesson where the parents are holding them in the shallow end of the pool.
  • Nickelodeon originally requested that someone calls the fire department in the scene where Stu is too terrified to get down from the diving board.
  • In the early script of the episode, there were judges near the deep end for a diving contest of some sort, but the judges were later removed from the episode.
  • When the Rugrats got on the low board, there was supposed to be a line-up of other kids at the board, but this was cut because Nickelodeon thought it was confusing.
  • In the original episode scripts, Didi and Betty weren't in the sauna, but at the pool with the other adults. There was a line where Didi comments that she has to help Stu and Betty was supposed to have Chaz & Howard come down after they went up themselves.
  • Both this episode and "The Slide" deal with conquering fears.

Gallery

The gallery for this episode can be found here

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