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Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing

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Season 0 Episode 1
Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing
Original Airdate November 22, 1989
Previous Episode (none)
Next Episode Tommy's First Birthday (August 11, 1991)

Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing is the original unaired pilot episode of the Rugrats series. The first official episode of the series, Tommy's First Birthday, followed this episode. This episode can only be watched on Decade in Diapers: Volume 1.

Characters Present  


After watching his grandfather enter the bathroom, Tommy Pickles is determined to find out what the large white thing object located inside the bathroom is. 


The episode starts with Grandpa Lou getting ready in the Pickles bathroom whilst Tommy stares in awe at the toilet. Tommy crawls up to the toilet and reaches out to touch it but is prevented from doing so when Grandpa picks him up telling him that the bathroom is no place for him, before walking out with Tommy in his arms. Tommy is put into the play pen where he tells Phil and Lil that he heard a noise from the bathroom and went inside and saw a "big white thing in there". The gang try to figure out what the big white thing is (suggestions ranging from giant dog bowl to a fish bowl). Tommy suggests that it is alive and the burping sound (the flush) was its attempt to speak to him, He plans to go and talk to it tonight.

After being put to bed by his parents, Tommy sneaks out of his crib and ventures to the bathroom where someone has left the door open. Tommy walks up to the toilet, knocking on it asking if anybody is home, strangely he doesn't get an answer. Tommy, dissatisfied with not getting an answer, sees the toilet flush and climbs a sink plunger to reach it, but instead sees his reflection in the toilet and screams in shock. Surprised, Tommy nearly falls in and tries to use the curtain to steady himself, unintentionally pulling it down and into the toilet. Still trying to balance, Tommy pulls at the toilet paper, filling the toilet, and turns on the bathroom tap, spilling foam into the water. Seeing Spike sniffing around close by, Tommy drops onto his back and rides Spike around the house, until they stop where Grandpa is watching TV. Spike sits down to watch TV with Tommy and Grandpa but Grandpa gets up to use the bathroom. Tommy and Spike watch TV. Grandpa Lou and Stu have a great big fight. Tommy and Spike overhear Grandpa Lou and Stu moaning, groaning, panicking, arguing, and fighting and fear that it'll split their family relationship. Didi makes them stop. Grandpa getting out of the bathroom is not seen during the pilot.


Grandpa Lou: Jumpin' jehoshaphat Stu, Didi, Call that plumber Quick!

Stu: Don't panic, You call that plumber quick!

Grandpa Lou: Don't make me call that plumber quick!

Stu: You don't make us call that plumber quick!

Didi: Oh, Look at that!

Stu: What is that? Where's that coming from?

Didi: Oh my! Calm down!

Didi: We're sorry, It's not our responsible, and Tommy and Spike are watching the band perform on TV, right now. Calm down! Stu, You don't do anything! Augh! What?


  • This episode features the regular Rugrats theme tune.
  • Tommy is voiced by Tami Holbrook rather than E.G. Daily in this episode, thus giving Tommy a completely different voice.
  • Chuckie and Angelica do not appear in the pilot, and are not mentioned or seen in an image either, implying that their characters were added after the show was picked up by Nickelodeon.
  • The only characters that have the same design and voice are Didi, Phil and Lil.
  • At the beginning of the episode, the title card is shown under the Rugrats logo. The logo is different from the logo used after this episode.
  • It is possible that the ending was used in a Nickelodeon promo.
  • Tommy and Spike dancing in this episode is shown as a flashback segment of the episode All Growed Up, and used it as a promo for Nickelodeon's channel, despite the fact that this episode never aired on the channel.
  • E.G. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, and Cheryl Chase are the only main cast members from the series who did not lend their voices in the pilot.
  • Apart from exhibitions at animation festivals and conventions, this episode was never seen by the public until August of 2001, when it appeared on Volume 1 of the "Decade In Diapers" video as a bonus feature, which was released as part of the Rugrats' 10th anniversary on Nickelodeon.
  • In this episode, Tommy wears his trademark blue shirt in the beginning, but towards the end, he wears an orange shirt, probably a nod to Nickelodeon.
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