King Ten Pin Gallery Transcript
Season 2 Episode 23a
King Ten Pen
King Ten Pin
Original Airdate April 4, 1993
DVD release Season 2
Previous Episode The Big Flush
Next Episode Runaway Angelica

King Ten Pin is a Season 2 episode of Rugrats.

Characters Present


Grandpa Lou is competing in a local bowling championship against his longtime rival, Billy "Strike" Maxwell. He tries to tell Stu and Didi about what happened to him at a championship game fifteen years earlier, but Stu says there's no time if they want to arrive at the bowling alley on time.

When they arrive, the babies are confused to what the bowling alley is. Lil thinks it's a garage while Phil thinks it's a cave. When Chuckie says that he thinks it's an earthquake factory, Angelica explains to them what a bowling alley is (sort of). The babies then wonder what a "championship" is, but when Angelica gives her explanation, it's obvious that she doesn't know what a championship is either, because she explains that a championship is a giant chocolate chip (like what you would put in a chocolate chip cookie, but way bigger). Tommy, Chuckie, Phil and Lil want in on the chocolate chip, but then Didi puts them and Angelica into the bowling alley's nursery. Angelica is being mean to the teenage girl in charge, but she turns on a Dummi Bears VHS for the kids to watch instead of properly watching them. Tommy sees this as their chance to get out, but is horrified to find his friends hypnotized by the video! Luckily, Tommy shakes them out of it (except for Angelica), and they escape the day care while the teenage girl flirts with a boy.

Meanwhile, Lou is doing excellent in the tournament so far, which worries Maxwell, as he had not expected Lou to do so well. Maxwell then signals to a man, Ed, hiding behind the pins to start helping him win. Ed is extremely nervous hiding back there, but does his job by planting an unknockable pin whenever Lou bowls so he cannot get anymore strikes, while blowing air whenever Maxwell bowls in order to knock down more pins.

The babies explore the alley and mistake bowling balls and trophies to be candy and candy dishes, but find nothing edible. The group feels discouraged until a voice suddenly begins to speak. It's an arcade machine, but the babies think it is talking to them, telling them the chip is in a cave. Tommy concludes it is the area behind the pins, and leads them to the back. They encounter Ed and accidentally frighten him, which in turn scares them, and causes all of them to rush out of the back area, and the babies run back to the nursery.

Ed ends up falling onto the lanes, yelling about there being something back there, but the bowling alley employees only find his airgun. As he is escorted out of the bowling alley (all the while trying to explain that it was all Maxwell's idea to cheat and that he was just a patsy), he drops the unknockable pin, and Lou suddenly realizes the real reason he has been losing against Maxwell and why he lost the tournament 15 years ago. But there is still no time for the story, so they go back to the game, where Grandpa Lou finally defeats Maxwell fair and square.

Back at the day care, Chuckie is furious because of how frightening the "monster" was for nothing, in addition to missing the rest of the film. Soon a large group walks by with Grandpa Lou, cheering him on for winning the championship. Lou declares a party at his house, much to Stu's dismay.

Back home, the adults and the babies are relaxing after the party. Didi's flabbergasted that Maxwell would actually stoop to cheating just to win something as trivial as a bowling tournament. Didi, Stu and Drew ask to hear the story of the bowling tournament Lou lost all those years ago, but Lou refuses to tell them as they had kept on interupting him before. The babies are thoroughly satisfied because the party included a chocolate chip cake for them to eat. However, Angelica is still hypnotized from the Dummi Bears film.


  • It is revealed that Lou is into bowling.
  • When they got to the bowling alley, Stu reveals that he has not been in one since he took second place in a bowling tournament when he was in middle school. Drew claims that Stu would have won if Stu had listened to Drew on his advice to win (something about chanting a mantra).
    • Stu tells Drew that he does not believe in chanting mantras.
  • This episode is an example of showing that Angelica's not as smart as she thinks she is:
    • She said that the bowling balls are "big, heavy boulders," the bowling shoes are "clown shoes" and that the bowling pins were "milk bottles."
    • And as mentioned above, Angelica thought that a championship was a giant chocolate chip.
  • In an early episode script, Ed (the pin guy) said: "I'm a patsy!", but Nickelodeon insisted on him saying: "I've been framed."
  • Nickelodeon didn't understand the part about the leaf blower (which was one of the methods used for cheating in the bowling competition), but the part stuck.
  • Originally, Nickelodeon wanted the flashback of Lou's bowling competition seen in its entirety, but apart from the "teasers", he flashback never was shown.
  • There was a line in the episode where the words "Halycon days" were discussed, but Nickelodeon wanted the line cut out because they felt the word "halycon" refers to drugs.
  • If you look at the end of of the Happy Dummi Bears video during the credits, you will find a hidden message.
  • It is implied that Lou lost to Maxwell in the bowling tournament years ago, but never really knew why until now.
  • Drew gives bowling tips from reading a book called Zen and the Art of Bowling. The Zen book series is pretty much like the real-life For Dummies books.
  • Moral: Cheating is not the best way to win a contest, play the game with good sportsmanship.
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