Season 1 Episode 3a
At the Movies
Original Airdate August 25, 1991
VHS release Return of Reptar
DVD release Season 1
Previous Episode Waiter, There's a Baby in My Soup
Next Episode Slumber Party

At the Movies is the first segment of the third episode of season 1, and the third Rugrats segment overall.

Characters Present 


The kids go to the movies, upset the patrons, wreak havoc at the concession counter, terrorize the projectionist and unwind film from eight different movies.

- Description from Nickelodeon.


Tommy wants to sees a movie about Reptar, but instead his parents take him to see The Dummi Bears in: The Land Without Smiles at the Westside Octoplex. They decide it'd be perfect as Tommy's first movie, and also invite Betty, Howard, and Chaz to bring their kids so they can all see the movie together.

At the movie theater, Tommy tells Chuckie, Phil and Lil about Reptar. This causes them to want to see the movie about Reptar instead. As the film starts, they walk out of the Dummi Bears movie (which Grandpa Lou derisively refers to as "The Land Without Brains") and try to find Reptar.

While searching they walk into a theatre featuring a romantic film. As they watch a couple kissing on the big screen, their silhouettes block some of the screen, as a man shouts at them down and front. An usher comes in as the babies hide around the seats to avoid being caught, inadvertently interrupting a couple having a date in the process. They leave with Lil stating that she didn't like kissing movies, because "Nothing ever happens."

They then wander to the concessions stand. There the babies find popcorn, orange and grape sodas, lids, napkins, cups, candy bars, ketchup, mustard and straws (the two teenage employees in charge, Larry and Steve, don't notice the babies because they're arguing over comic books). Tommy checks the popcorn both for Reptar, while Phil and Lil take interest in the soda dispensers, pushing the buttons and spilling the soft drinks on the counters and floors until eventually they get stuck continuously pouring soda. Meanwhile, Chuckie, after sampling some candy, notices some stairs leading up while Phil and Lil start playing with the ketchup and mustard dispensers by the hot dog sections. Phil & Lil plays with straws and spill all the straws. After Chuckie points out the stairs, Tommy concludes they'll find Reptar upstairs. As soon as the babies leave, the two teenagers notice the massive mess and scream.

They climb up into the projection booths, perceiving the film projectors as "spaghetti merry-go-rounds". They check each movie until they find the right one, and are awed by the movie. As Phil tries to get a look because the others are crowding the window, Phil falls onto one of the film projectors and starts riding it around. Soon the rest of the babies start riding them. Then they grab the film and run around with them, tangling them up together as the films begin to unravel and break.

Seeing the damage they've done, the babies quickly rush back downstairs as the projectionist notices the incredible mess and tries to save the film unsuccessfully. Grandpa Lou finds them after getting some snacks from the concession stand (he comments on the mess the babies caused, telling Larry and Steve how in his time they knew how to keep a work place clean). Grandpa Lou takes them back with him to the Dummi Bears movie, which catches in the projector and melts at the climax.

Stu is angry at the fact they only saw part of the movie, and is especially mad that it went out at the climax. The other theater patrons leave equally furious because they did not receive a refund even though they didn't see their movies end. They don't have enough money to go to the movies, because they ran out of money, their money is broken like a ghost. The picture just goes black and the money is scary. They also complain about the poor quality of the food from the concessions stand due to Tommy, Phil, and Lil wrecking the place. Because they didn't see the ending, Didi and Stu decide to go out to see their movie again next week, but at a different theatre. Tommy takes notice of a flashing Reptar billboard as they drive by.

Movies Playing at the Octoplex

  1. Reptar - A parody of the Godzilla movies, the babies were interested in seeing this.
  2. The Dummi Bears in the Land Without Smiles - A parody of Care Bears and the Land Without Feelings, it was Intended to be Tommy's first movie; Grandpa Lou hated the film.
  3. My Dad, the Kid - Unseen; possible comedy.
  4. In Love - The "kissing movie" that was a parody on Ghost the babies walked in on.
  5. Total Mayhem - Total Recall parody; possibly seen by the babies in the projection room.
  6. The Adventures of Idaho Ike - A parody of the Indiana Jones series of movies; seen by the babies in the projection room.


  • This episode marks the first appearance of the Dummi Bears and Reptar.
  • Betty, Howard, and Chaz appear in this episode, but don't have any lines
  • In this episode, the characters do not know much about Reptar, but in further episodes, they claim that Reptar is their favorite fictional character, and seem more familiar with the franchise.
  • This episode marks the second time Angelica does not appear.
  • MGR: Minor Guidance Recommended is a parody of the real life rating PG: Parental Guidance Suggested.
  • This episode appears on the Return of Reptar VHS tape.
  • In the later episode, A Step At A Time, Tommy is seen with a Reptar doll right before taking his first steps. This could suggest he knew about, and loved, Reptar before this episode.


  • When Reptar grabs hold of the large flying monster, its wings look like arms. However, this may have been done intentionally to let the viewer at home see that it is an actor in a poorly made costume.
  • At the end of this episode, it shows the Pickles after the movie in a light green car backed into a parking spot. In the next scene it shows them backing out of the parking spot in a blue car.


  • Lou [after seeing the title card for the Dummi Bears movie]: Land without brains is more like it!


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