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Back to School Gallery Transcript
Season 8 Episode 10a
Back To School Title Card.jpg
Back to School
Original Airdate January 3, 2003
DVD release Season 8
Complete Series
Previous Episode Murmur on the Ornery Express
Next Episode Sweet Dreams

"Back to School" is a Season 8 episode of Rugrats.

Characters Present


Didi decides to go back to school to get her masters in Child Development, so the Rugrats think everything is going backwards. (At least in Tommy's house, according to Angelica!) The babies decide to let Tommy experience what school, work and child rearing would be like before he goes back to where he was before he was born. - Description from Klasky Csupo


The moms of the Rugrats are in the living of Didi's house while their kids are all playing (Dil's teething on a book and Tommy, Chuckie, Kimi and the twins are all playing with the laundry). Kira compliments Didi on her parenting instincts, although Didi admits that she got some of it from following the advice of Dr. Lipschitz. Stu takes Dil to the hospital for a doctor's appointment, and Didi admits that she doesn't know what she'd do without Lipschitz. Betty points out that the Lipschitz book Didi has, "Dr. Lipschitz A to Z, Birth to 5," only goes to age five. After realizing that, Didi begins to worry about what'll happen once the kids turn six. Her friends suggest her taking classes in childhood development, which Didi thinks is a great idea (she loves the subject and has always wanted to earn her master's degree, but was too busy raising her kids). Didi makes the decision to go back to school.

Lil overhears Didi saying that she's going back to school, and tells Tommy about it. Tommy's confused by it, wondering why his mom would back to school if she already went to school. Angelica overhears Tommy says this and gets an idea. She tells the babies that everything's going backwards. Tommy's the only one who doesn't believe her, but she makes all of them believe when she turns the head on Tommy's toy robot backwards and makes it walk towards the babies, which they see. Then they see Spike walk by with a baby bottle in his mouth (Dil's bottle) and they think that Spike thinks he's a puppy again. Then Stu walks by with Dil and says they're going back to the hospital, to which Tommy points out that he came from the hospital. The babies get scared about what they think will happen to them and they start crying about it.

Angelica comes by and asks why they're crying. Tommy explains that they're scared about everything going backwards. Angelica gets another idea and claims that only stuff at Tommy's house is going backwards, and that she, Chuckie and Kimi, and the twins can all go home later. But Tommy's friends decide to stay with him to help him get through this. Meanwhile, their moms are in the kitchen and Didi's looking through a book about the local college that has some good classes in childhood development. Kira feels that Didi will be good resource to all of them for parenting advice, but Charlotte feels that she won't really need it, as she feels that Angelica's a "perfect angel" (which she's not).

The babies and Angelica are outside now, and after Angelica taunts Tommy, she leaves. Chuckie, Kimi, Phil and Lil try saying that being a baby isn't that great, but Tommy starts feeling sad about the stuff he thinks he'll miss out on, like going to school, getting a job and being a dad. Chuckie suggests that maybe they could do all that stuff now so Tommy won't really miss out on it. First they simulate what school would be like, based on what Angelica's said about her experiences at preschool. Then they simulate what getting a job would be like (and Tommy reveals that he wants to be a superhero) and then Tommy practices being a dad to his friends. Angelica comes out again and points out that it's getting late and things will be going backwards for him soon.

The babies then try thinking up ideas to make Tommy's place go forward instead of backward. Tommy remembers the video his mom played at the beginning of the episode, and pushes the play button to make everything go forward instead of backward, and then they go and see if it worked. Meanwhile, their moms are still in the kitchen, and Betty sees the robot with the backwards head, and thinks that Phil did it, so she corrects it. Didi finds a box of her old college stuff, one of which is a giant foam dog bone, which Spike takes. The babies see the robot and Spike with the bone, and Stu comes back with Dil, saying that he grew an inch. Didi tells Stu that she's made the decision to go back to school, but claims that they should call it "forward to school," which Tommy overhears and tells his friends about.

Stu's proud of Didi for her decision, but points out that with her going back to school and him and the rest of the parents working (and with Lou off at Withering Oaks with Lulu), they're going to have to find a steady babysitter to look after the kids whenever they can't. Didi says they will, even if they "have to turn the whole city upside down," which Chuckie overhears and starts worrying about. Tommy admits that he's not sure, but claims that he can only deal with one problem a day.


  • Tommy's favorite song is "I'm Happy To Be a Duck".
  • Stu is the only father of the Rugrats who's seen in this episode, while all the moms are in this.
  • Stu and Didi's mission of finding a babysitter is solved in Happy Taffy, thanks to Stu and Drew's stepmom, Lulu, who suggested they hire her grand-niece, Taffy (Taffy's mom is the daughter of Lulu's sister).
  • In a flash-forward sequence, Didi imagines what Tommy's sixth birthday would be like, especially since at that time, he would confess his hatred for the Dummi Bears. Consider it, kind of, a "Not Quite All Growed Up".
    • It is unknown how Didi found out Tommy would really look like this (Because he does in All Grown Up) but it's possible she thought of it because Stu has spiky hair.
  • Coco LaBouche is mentioned by Chuckie as the "smelly French woman".
  • 6-year-old Tommy's shirt looks exactly like Dil's in "All Growed Up".


Tommy (age 6, at his birthday): This is chocolate vanilla cake and I wanted vanilla chocolate... and I'm sick of the Dummi Bears!