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The Trial Gallery Transcript
Season 1 Episode 11b
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The Trial
Original Airdate March 29, 1992
VHS release Tales From the Crib (Paramount release only)
DVD release Season 1
Previous Episode Touchdown Tommy
Next Episode Fluffy vs. Spike
The Trial is the second segment of the eleventh episode of Season 1, and the eleventh Rugrats segment overall.

Characters

Summary

Someone broke "Mr. Fluffles" (Angelica calls it "Mr. Fluffle-Luffles"), Tommy's clown lamp, and Angelica wants to find out who. The finger-pointing, however, eventually points back to her.

- Description from Klasky Csupo.

Plot

While Tommy's being fed in the kitchen by Didi with Betty, there's a crash in the living room which turns out to be "Mr. Fluffles", a lamp with a clown face that was Tommy's favorite. Once Didi and Betty put Tommy and his friends in in the playpen, Betty mentions seeing a lamp like it at a store and discusses with Didi about calling to see if they still have it in stock so it can be replaced.

Tommy laments the loss of his lamp, and demands to know who is the culprit, and why they did it. It is decided that they should hold court to figure out who actually did it. Angelica, who claims that she had been taking a nap at the time, isn't considered a suspect and is allowed to be the "persecutor" (prosecutor) while Tommy's the judge. Chuckie, Phil, and Lil are each called to the stand. Tommy's squeak hammer serves at the "gravel" (gavel), used for calling for order if unnecessary bickering takes place.

Phil and Lil are called to the stand first. The twins say they played tag first, then decided to play ring-around-the-rosie around the lamp. Angelica accuses them of knocking into the lamp when they let go, which caused it to fall and break. Phil and Lil admit they did accidentally knock into it, but not hard enough to make it fall and break. Angelica insists that they're lying, but Judge Pickles believes that they're innocent.

Chuckie goes next. Chuckie wasn't playing with Phil and Lil, and didn't know if they knocked into the lamp or not when they ran off. What he does know is a rabbit monster (later revealed to be Angelica wearing a rabbit mask) chased him, and he hid from it. Angelica insists this is a cover story—since Chuckie has a fear of clowns, Angelica figures that he must've destroyed the lamp on purpose due to his hatred of clowns. Chuckie admits that while he hated the lamp and wanted to break it, he couldn't bring himself to do it since Tommy's his friend and knew that he loved the lamp.

Like with Phil and Lil, Angelica insists that Chuckie's lying, but Tommy believes that Chuckie's telling the truth—but they still don't know the real culprit. Judge Pickles goes on to point out how none of them could've done it: Chuckie was hiding in the couch, the twins were on the other side of the room, he himself was in the kitchen and Angelica was taking a nap…but then Tommy realizes that Angelica had already taken a nap before she came over to his house. He, Chuckie and the twins begin to cross-examine Angelica on how she could've known what was going on in the living room if she was taking a nap at the time, which makes them realize that Angelica was the one who broke the judge's lamp.

Angelica then admits the truth: she wasn't napping, but was looking for a crayon so she could draw on the hallway wall to get Tommy in trouble. She looked in the living room and saw the twins playing together, and found Tommy's rabbit mask from the previous Halloween. Angelica put on the mask to scare Chuckie with (successfully) while the twins were unaware. After the twins moved away from the lamp, Angelica looked at it and concluded it to be an awful lamp, so she knocked it over on purpose and fled the scene.

Angelica gloats and taunts the babies because they can't talk and thus tell the adults—but she unknowingly shouts it loud enough for Didi and Betty to hear. When Angelica notices the two looking down on her sternly, she initially attempts to lie about it, but Betty reveals that they heard the whole thing. Didi and Betty take Angelica into the kitchen and punish her by making her sit in Tommy's high chair until her parents come by to pick her up. Because of this, Tommy guesses that the "persecutor" is the "poopetrator" (perpetrator) this time, and a "spirit" of Mr. Fluffles appears and smiles at the babies.

Trivia

  • This episode is one of the first episodes to only feature Spike as a cameo character.
  • This is the first episode in which we learn of Chuckie's coulrophobia (fear of clowns).
  • This is one of the few episodes where Angelica is wearing a diaper.
  • When Angelica referred to the teddy bears as "The Jerky", Phil and Lil said "the Jury", yet Angelica told them that they are called "The Jerky". This could mean that Phil and Lil are saying it correctly this time around rather than using a malapropism like normal.
  • The Trial was going to be the name of an episode of another Nickelodeon show called Invader Zim, however, the show was cancelled before the episode went into production.
  • Tommy's theme cry effect has one of its biggest roles yet.
  • This is the only time Angelica is sitting in Tommy's highchair as her punishment when she broke Tommy's lamp "Mr. Fluffles".
  • This is the first episode focusing on every Rugrat that had previously appeared.
  • Although Angelica's dad, Drew, is mentioned, Didi and Betty are the only parents seen in the episode.
  • The plot of the episode is very similar to that of an actual trial court.
  • The act of referring to a court prosecutor as a "persecutor" is repeated in The Fairly OddParents episode "A Wish Too Far," when Jorgen Von Strangle acts as the Fairy Court's prosecutor/persecutor.

Goofs

  • When Tommy said the last lines of this episode look closely. When he says those words, he was wearing his "Judge's Robe". When we do a panoramic shot of the room, note that he wasn't wearing a robe.