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Melinda Finster (September 13, 1957 - July 12, 1990) was Chas Finster's first wife and the biological mother of Chuckie Finster. She was voiced by actress Kim Cattrall in the episode Mother's Day.

Backstory

In the show's first two seasons, Chuckie's mom was sometimes mentioned, but was never seen, and later implied to no longer be around. After the series' revival, Chuckie's mom, named Melinda, was finally given more detail as she was shown onscreen in flashbacks in the episode Mother's Day. In that episode, it was explained the Melinda passed away of a sudden, terminal illness shortly after her son was born.

Melinda was an expert gardener, planting most of what grew in the Finster's yard. She was also very creative with squash. Little was known about her personality but it is assumed that she was a calm, loving, supportive, and patient woman that she loved both Chas and Chuckie dearly. When Chuckie shows Chas her pictures, everyone suddenly goes quiet.

The love Chuckie had for her was to the point that she gave him courage when he needed it, such as when he saw a butterfly. She assured him it was alright and he smiled, welcoming the butterfly. When she soon fell ill and was sent to the hospital, she began keeping a journal that she wrote in often. The last thing she wrote, most likely just before she died, was a poem for Chuckie.

Throughout Mother's Day, Chuckie is searching for a mother, but is unsuccessful. Finally, Chas talks with Didi Pickles, who tells Chas that he should talk with Chuckie about Melinda, and Chas finally tells Chuckie and suggests he tell Chuckie the truth. This would later pave a way for Klasky and Csupo to create a plot device in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, where Chuckie finally finds a new mother in the form of his stepmother, Kira Finster (Chuckie also gains a new sibling in the form of Kira's daughter, Kimi Finster).

Mother's Day

Melinda made her first appearance, though only through mentioning between Chas and Didi and photos, in the Rugrats episode Mother's Day. Chas had been going through a box of Melinda's belongings and decided to give them to Didi, so that he could hide them from Chuckie, who apparently had been getting into things lately. Didi hides the box in a closet.

Later on, Chuckie mentions his mother to the other babies; however, he only knows her as a dream, even though he admits he doesn't know who the lady is in his dreams- only that she's very pretty and nice, and helps him to not be afraid. After some attempts to find a mom for Chuckie on Mother's Day (Spike, Lil, and Angelica), Angelica puts the babies in time-out in the closet after they ruin her Mother's Day gift, declaring Chuckie will never have a mom. They unwittingly go through the box and Chuckie finds his mother's photo, exclaiming that he has found a photo of the lady in his dreams. Not knowing it's his mother, he decides to give it to Chas for Mother's Day (believing Chas to be the closest thing he has to a mother). Chas appears to hold back crying and looks at the gang of the house, going very quiet when he sees Chuckie with the photo, smiling at him. The group, including Angelica, falls silent as he takes the photo and quietly goes to put it in the box. Chuckie is sad, thinking Chas doesn't like the gift.

At first Chas tries to put Melinda's things away, until Didi comforts him and encourages him about needing to share the things with Chuckie. Chas finally admits he's afraid Chuckie will miss his mother. Didi sympathetically tells him that they can miss Melinda together. Chas listens to Didi and tells Chuckie that the woman in the photo is actually his mother. The two go home and he spends the rest of the day explaining that she was an expert gardener and planted the flowers in their yard. He reveals that she loved to take Chuckie outside when she gardened and play with him, the flashback being Chuckie's dream. A butterfly lands on Chuckie, who looks scared. Melinda softly tells him that it's okay and to not be afraid. He smiles as the butterfly takes off. He then reads the last poem Melinda wrote in her diary, which she kept when she was in the hospital.

After reading the poem, Chas puts the poem and Melinda's photo in a two-picture frame. At the end, when Chuckie tells Tommy, Phil, and Lil, it's shown that Chuckie actually understands the poem his mom wrote for him (somewhat, at least), and says that his mom's in the flowers, clouds, grass, sun and in the wind, feeling his mother is always with him.
Melinda

Chaz met Melinda when she was selling organic produce at a swap meet.

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

In the second Rugrats film, Chas begins to realize that Chuckie is somewhat lonely for a new mom, as becomes evident during Lou and Lulu's wedding reception. The DJ requests for the kids and their mothers to dance together. Chas sits alone at a table, and notices that Chuckie watches sadly while his friends are with their moms. Chas goes over and asks if Chuckie wants to go home, as the boy reaches up for his father.

Melinda is seen only in photos and Chas talks about how he still misses her. It is also shown that she made Wawa, Chuckie's teddy bear, for him. He reminisces about his late wife and bets that she is in Heaven looking down on them, feeling that it is time to get back into dating mainly so Chuckie can have a new mother.

Chuckie sees a cloud formation of him and Melinda in the song I Want a Mom That Will Last Forever during the plane sequence of the movie, showing how much he'd like to have a mother. As the song ends, the cloud separates the Cloud Chuckie and Cloud Melinda from one another

After Coco LaBouche tricks Chas into marrying her, only so she can have a promotion by looking like a woman who loves children (even though she hates them), she intends to have Wawa thrown away as she saw the toy as disgusting. She throws the bear to Kira, ordering her to dispose of it. Kira sadly looks at the bear and holds it close to her, feeling terrible for what has happened to Chuckie, and what will happen to Chas. However, after the wedding is stopped, Chas sees Coco is not what she seems to be. Soon after, Chas and Kira fell in love after she returns Wawa to Chuckie, apologizes for keeping Coco's plans a secret from him, and revealing she has a love of poetry- reciting one of her favorite poems (that Chas is also a fan of as he finishes the verse), and get married sometime after returning to America. Chuckie not only gains a new mom in the form of Kira, but also a new sister in the form of Kimi Finster (who also gains a father in the form of Chas, even though her real father is still alive). During the wedding reception, Kimi asks Chuckie if he still misses his real mom, Melinda. Chuckie admits that he does sometimes, but that he knows she's watching over him in heaven. Chuckie says that he's lucky because he has two moms to look after him now. Chuckie joins Kimi and dances with his new mother, Kira, at the reception while Chas dances with Kimi.

A Poem to Chuckie (From Melinda)

My sweet, little Chuckie, though I must leave you behind me.

This poem will tell you where you always can find me.

When a gentle wind blows, that's my hand on your face.

And when the tree gives you shade, that's my sheltering embrace.

When the sun gives you freckles, that's me tickling my boy.

When the rain wets your hair, those are my tears of joy.

When the long grass enfolds you, that's me holding you tight.

When the Whippoorwill sings, that's me whispering, "Night, night."

Looks

Melinda's photo

Chaz and Melinda's wedding photo

Melinda was a pale peach color. She had a pair of white eyes with black pupils and orange hair. She also has freckles, which have been passed down to her son.

Appearances

Melinda was first mentioned and was seen in memories (Chuckie thought the memory was a dream) in Mother's Day. She also makes a cameo in Finsterella.

Chuckie and Chas go and visit her grave during autumn because it was her favorite time of year; she loved decorating gourds (seen in Acorn Nuts & Diapey Butts). Chas also reveals in this episode how they met. At a swap meet, she was selling organic produce. For Chas, it was love at first sight as he began to break into a sweat, and found he couldn't breath and was tongue tied-later finding out it was because of an unknown allergy to adzuki beans and his tongue was swollen to the size of a football. Melinda began to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on him, and the two were together ever since. As Didi, Howard, and Betty look at the father and son, Didi comments how she hopes Chas will find a nice woman. Betty doubts that will happen, saying he will never love a woman as much as he loved Melinda.

Trivia

  • When Chuckie presents her photo to Chas, all the adults go quiet, implying that in life Melinda knew Stu Pickles, Didi Pickles, Howard DeVille, Betty DeVille, Drew Pickles, Charlotte Pickles, and even Minka Kropotkin, Tommy Pickles and Dil Pickles's maternal grandmother.
  • The above would suggest that Melinda could have been around for Angelica to have even a brief memory of her (i.e a glimpse, the sound of her voice or a brief interaction) She, however, never implies this. In Mother's Day, she acts as though it hadn't occurred to her that Chuckie didn't have a mom much less that she didn't know why. 
  • In the episode Real or Robots?, Stu says "your mom and dad will come pick you up in the morning" to Chuckie. At this point, the writers had not yet decided the fate of Chuckie's mom. It also could have been a simple production error.
  • In the episode 'Barbeque Story', in a quick senary pan shot, Chas is seen sitting next to a mysterious woman with red hair and glasses much like himself whom he seems to be interacting with. This is believed to be Melinda before it was decided that Chas would be a single father. 
  • It is possible Melinda had no living or close relatives, as Chas has never mentioned them in regards to visits or contacts or even if he'd ever met them or if they knew/know about Chuckie.
    • In The First Cut, Chuckie is absent for most of the episode and is said to be visiting his grandparents - never saying if it is Chas's parents or Melinda's. It is most likely his paternal grandparents though, as they are the only ones ever mentioned or seen.
  • She was mentioned in the All Grown Up! episode Super Hero Worship.
    • Even though Dil didn't talk throughout the series of Rugrats, he knows that Chuckie lost his mom because in Super Hero Worship, as he says to Tommy that Chuckie knows what it's like to lose someone.
      • It is unknown how Dil knows Chuckie's mom died, whether he found out later in life or perhaps was able to understand more at under a year-old in the original series than anyone was aware of.
      • Melinda was also seen in a Christmas video that Chuckie and Tommy where watching in the All Grown up! episode The Finster Who Stole Christmas (Episode).
  • In an interview, the creators admitted to being unsure of their preference of reason for Melinda's absence and mentioned either divorce or death but as it's a children's show both topics were too sensitive so it was decided that it would be left unexplained. However, when the show was revived with new writers, 'Mother's Day' was written against their wishes much to their dismay.   

Gallery

You can find Melinda Finster gallery here.