|Season 3 Episode 5a|
|Original Airdate||October 24, 1993|
|DVD release||Season 3|
|Previous Episode||The Legend of Satchmo|
|Next Episode||The Stork|
Intrigued by the neighborhood circus show, Angelica puts on a show of her own, with the Rugrats volunteering (actually drafted)
- Description from Klasky Csupo
The episode begins at Rinkim and Dinky's Bargain Circus, where a clown that has messy red hair and glasses identical to Chuckie's performs. The clown scares Chuckie, who cries. The clown then explains to Chuckie that he is just acting, and underneath his costume, he is a regular guy, just like his dad. Chuckie looks up at Chas, and misunderstanding what the clown said to him, thinks Chas is really a disguised clown, cries again. Tommy cries as well, as does every other baby in the circus. Didi tells Stu that maybe they should leave. On their way out, an elephant advertising the circus poops in front of the entrance. As Didi walks towards the elephant poop, Stu tells her that they haven't seen the amazing human rolodex. As Stu, Chas, and Drew follow behind her, Angelica asks Drew why she has to leave, as she wasn't crying like Tommy, Chuckie, and the other babies were. The Man at the Ticket Booth then tells Stu, Didi, Chas, and Drew that he won't refund their money.
As Stu drives his car back to Tommy's house, Didi tells Stu that she's glad they left the circus, as she forgot how unsanitary they are. Stu tells her that circuses are an American institution, and part of everyone's childhood. He concludes by saying that kids love the circus. In the back seat, Chuckie proves him wrong by saying he hates the circus. Tommy tells Chuckie that the circus is over now, and they're going back home. Chuckie is relieved to hear this, and thanks Tommy for crying with him to back him up, as he felt stupid crying all by himself. Tommy tells Chuckie he's glad to help him.
In Drew's car, Angelica complains that she had to leave the circus just because Tommy, Chuckie, and the other babies were crying. Drew tells her that they got to see a lot of good stuff. He asks her if she remembers the big, scary lion, and Angelica complains that the lion had no teeth. Drew then tells Angelica that he bought her cotton candy, popcorn, and a stuffed turtle she was screaming for. Angelica complains that the stuffed turtle doesn't do anything, and slams it against the car door, tearing it and exposing its stuffing. Annoyed, Drew complains that he just wasted $16.95 on the stuffed turtle. Angelica complains that the entire circus was dumb, and Drew tells her that if she had her own circus, she do everything her way. This gives Angelica an idea.
At Tommy's house, Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil are in the playpen, playing with a set of wooden blocks. Angelica comes comes in and asks them to guess what she's doing. The babies gasp and ask Angelica what, and Angelica tells them that she's going to run her very own circus, and if they do everything she says, they get to be in it. Chuckie objects, saying that circuses have wild animals running around, acrobats flying through the air with no one to catch them, and clowns with big glasses, and red hair sticking out (which he ironically has). Tommy, Phil and Lil all like the idea of being in a circus. Lil suggests getting a big tent, and Phil suggests inviting everyone to come. Tommy decides that he could be a lion tamer, and Spike could be his lion. Phil wants to be an acrobat, and Lil tells Phil that she wants to be one, too. Angelica tells them they both can be acrobats, but she's gonna be the "ringmonster", and if they want to be in her circus, they'd better do as she says. Chuckie nervously asks Angelica what would happen if one of them decided they didn't want to be in the circus. Angelica responds by showing him her now-ruined stuffed turtle, saying he didn't want to be in the circus, either. Chuckie gulps, and reluctantly decides to join Tommy, Phil, and Lil in Angelica's circus.
A few minutes later, in Tommy's backyard, Chuckie runs up to Lil and climbs on her, knocking her down. Angelica tells him he was supposed to jump into Lil's shoulders, not crawl all over her, and it's the third time he missed. Chuckie tells Angelica that he quits, and he can't do what she says. Angelica tells Chuckie if he wants to quit, he can, as he doesn't have to be in the circus if it's too hard for him. Chuckie asks Angelica if she really means it, and she tells him she does. However, if he quits, he will have to explain to Tommy, Phil, and Lil that the circus isn't coming. Chuckie, seeing how much fun Tommy, Phil, and Lil are having forming a human pyramid, asks Angelica if the circus really will be cancelled because he refuses to participate. Angelica tells him it will, and Chuckie asks her why. Angelica tells him that everyone in a circus works as a team, and without him, there won't be any circus. Chuckie, realizing he really is important, tries to tell Angelica he's changed his mind, but Angelica announces to Tommy, Phil, and Lil through a toilet paper roll that the circus will be cancelled because Chuckie doesn't want them to have one. Tommy is shocked when he hears this, and Phil and Lil ask Chuckie if he wants to play and have fun with them. Chuckie tries to tell them that he does and he never said he didn't want them to have fun either, but Phil interrupts, asking him why he won't let them have a circus. Chuckie tells Angelica he's changed his mind, and he wants to be in the circus after all. Tommy, Phil, and Lil all cheer, but Angelica isn't sure she wants Chuckie in her circus after all, since he can't really do anything, and circus people have to do tricks. Tommy tells Angelica to at least give Chuckie a chance to see what he can do, and he, Phil, and Lil beg her to consider it. Angelica tells them she will, and for them and Chuckie to stand on their heads. The babies do nothing at first, but after she yells at them to stand on their heads, they all try to do so, but all fall over. Angelica walks up to Chuckie and yells at him, and Chuckie yells at her that he's trying his best.
A few minutes later, Angelica picks a tomato from Didi's garden and hands it to Chuckie, saying that juggling is like playing catch, only by himself. Chuckie tosses the tomato into the air and catches it, then announces to Tommy, Phil, and Lil that he can juggle. Angelica hands him another tomato, telling him to juggle two tomatoes by throwing them up real high. Chuckie does so, and tries to catch the first one, but misses, and it splats on the ground. The second one splats on his head.
A few more minutes later, Angelica builds a ramp with a big-wheeled tricycle at the top near Tommy's kiddie pool. She tries to push Chuckie up the ladder to it, but they both fall over. Chuckie asks Angelica if there's something easy he can do. Angelica then sarcastically says he could take a nap, play in the sand and eat cookies. Chuckie, unable to understand sarcasm, says that could work. Angelica tells Chuckie to forget it, and as she tries to walk away, she stops, thinking of something he could do after all. She tells Chuckie that he could be the human "candyball". She then says the circus will go on after all, and Tommy, Phil, and Lil all cheer in approval. As they and Angelica run away, Chuckie asks what a human "candyball" is.
After setting her circus tent up, Angelica is dressed as a ringmaster, announcing her circus. As the lion tamer, Tommy is wearing Spike's food bowl like a hat, and a pair of red boxer shorts over his diaper, and as the acrobats, Phil and Lil are wearing footed pajamas. Susie comes over, pulling a wagon filled with stuffed animals. She asks Angelica if the circus is really hers, as it doesn't look like the one she went to. Angelica tells her to look at the tent harder. Susie squints her eyes, and Angelica's tent looks a lot more like a real circus tent. Susie then tells Angelica that she brought some friends, in the form of her stuffed animals. Angelica says it looks like a big crowd tonight. Meanwhile, Phil tells Lil she's rolling too fast, and Lil tells Phil he's rolling too slow. Tommy tells Spike that he's going to be a ferocious lion, but only as an act. Spike responds by licking Tommy's face. Chuckie, who is dressed in orange footed pajamas and a bucket, asks Tommy what he's supposed to do, as he doesn't know how to be a human "candyball". Tommy tells him not to worry, as Angelica said it'd be easy. Chuckie then asks Tommy why he's dressed in orange footed pajamas, and as he pulls on his boxer shorts, Tommy tells him that everyone in the circus wears funny clothes, as they're what makes it fun. Chuckie tells him he isn't having fun. Rather, he is having a stomachache. Inside her tent, Angelica asks the babies if they're ready yet. Tommy, Phil, and Lil all tell her they're ready, and Chuckie asks her if they could go over the concept of a human "candyball" again. Angelica tells him that all he has to do is sit one on end of the seesaw, and wait for her to blow the whistle. Chuckie asks her if that's it, and she tells him it is, pretty much. Chuckie thinks it won't be so bad after all.
Angelica begins her circus, with Susie and her stuffed animals as her audience. In her fantasy, her circus is filled with many performing clowns and wild animals. Angelica then says a lot of work went into making her circus, but she was happy to do it, as she really thinks it's the greatest show on Earth. She then announces her first act, with Phil and Lil as trapeze artists. Outside the tent, Phil and Lil argue over who gets to go first, until Angelica pulls them both in. In Angelica's fantasy, Phil and Lil fly through the air and land gracefully, and all the stuffed animals cheer. Phil and Lil then get hoisted up to the platform on ropes, and perform as trapeze artists. After their performance, everyone cheers. Angelica then announces her second act, featuring Tommy as a lion tamer. Outside the tent, Tommy pushes Spike in, and in Angelica's fantasy, Tommy looks more like a lion tamer, and Spike looks more like a lion. Tommy tames Spike, and everyone cheers. Angelica then pushes Spike and Tommy aside, and announces the third and final act, featuring Chuckie as the human "candyball". Unfortunately, Chuckie doesn't show up. After announcing a second time, Chuckie still doesn't show up. Angelica tells Chuckie to get in the tent. Chuckie wants to talk to Angelica, and Angelica walks up to him, telling him everyone's waiting for him to perform. Chuckie then tells her he forgot what to do. Annoyed, Angelica tells Chuckie to pay attention, as this is the last time she's gonna show him. She tells Chuckie to sit on one end of the seesaw as she demonstrates by doing so herself, then to stay on it. Then, she tells him that she'll blow her whistle, demonstrating by doing so. This gets the attention of Phil and Lil, and before she can explain the last step, Phil and Lil get on the other end of the seesaw, launching Angelica into the air, and causing her tent to come crashing down. Tommy and Chuckie emerge from the fallen tent, and Tommy tells Chuckie that Angelica's circus was a lot better than the real circus. Chuckie tells Tommy that he thinks he likes the circus now. Angelica, dazed, wraps herself in the tent and says that she's a human "candyball". Susie watches as Tommy tames Spike, Phil and Lil act as acrobats, and Chuckie juggles two balls as the episode ends.
- The episode name is a reference to the Circus Maximus, which is a racing chariot stadium and entertainment venue located in Rome.
- This was the first episode for Chuckie to be scared of clowns, though he was nervous of them in "Toy Palace" and "The Trial".
- In the scene where Phil and Lil cannon Angelica screaming flying into the air and hits the circus tent!, the audio is taken from "Cool Hand Angelica."
- This episode was used as a level in Rugrats: Search for Reptar.
- At the beginning of this episode, the clown looks a lot like Chuckie. When he removes his wig and glasses, his true form resembles Tommy!
- Angelica's quote, "If I ran a circus," is the same as the title of one of the stories written by Dr. Seuss.
- Moral: Teamwork involves everyone working together no matter what.
- In the earlier episode "Reptar's Revenge" Didi revealed that she has a fear of clowns. Yet at the circus the clown didn't bother her.
- At the beginning of this episode, we see Tommy, Stu, Didi, Chuckie, Chas, Angelica, and Drew at the Circus. After they leave the circus Drew and Angelica are in one car and Tommy, Stu, Didi, and Chuckie are in another. Chas was in neither car. He apparently has disappeared.
- At the end of this episode, Chuckie, although wearing a circus costume during the entire rest of the scene, is briefly visible in his regular blue shirt in the shot when he is speaking to Tommy about the circus being fun after.