After hearing Grandpa's mythical story about a moose, the Rugrats go look for one.
- - Description from Klasky Csupo.
Didi is trying to feed her son, Tommy, some sort of orange-brownish baby food in the kitchen; she scoops some of the food in a space-craft shaped spoon made for babies and tells her son “Nummy-Nums; that’s right, Nummy-Nums” to coax him into eating it. Tommy however doesn’t seem to find the food to be very appetizing and covers his eyes as his mother tries in vein to feed it to him; noticing that her son is resisting the food, Didi calmly tells her son: “Oh come on Tommy, I know you’re hungry. Really honey, you’ve got to eat something.” She then attempts the old “trying the food [herself] and saying [she] likes it” trick by saying “Look, Mommy likes it” and pretending to eat it (she really only puts the food close to her mouth and dumps it back into the bowl, hoping Tommy won’t notice) and saying “Mmm!” Her husband, Stu thens walks into the kitchen from the backyard, dotting gardening attire, and tells the two “Ahh, the great outdoors! Working in the yard really makes you.. you know.. ‘in tune with nature’.” As he washes his hands in the kitchen sink, his father Lou comes into the scene and interjects: “Heh, nature? You call that ‘mudhole’ nature?” Stu replies, “Well I’m not finished yet pop, I-I still gotta put the trees in” and we get a look out the window and see that Stu is landscaping the family’s entire backyard; from outside the window, we see mounds of dirt, holes in the ground, and recently purchased young trees next to the holes, ready for planting. Lou scoffingly replies: “Trees? You call those ‘twigs’ trees? Ha, ha. Why when we lived up in ‘moose country’, we didn’t bother with anything smaller than a mighty redwood.” Stu questions (as he wipes his wet hands dry with a towel): “Moose country? I don’t remember any moose back home pop.” Didi interrupts and tells her husband “Now Stu, don’t forget: We have Phil, Lil and Chuckie coming soon”; Stu replies “Oh yea, we gotta get going; I gotta get some more mulch.” Didi then puts Tommy’s bowl of food down on the table of the height chair Tommy is sitting in and walks away with the spoon, and she openly suggests that they set up a playpen outside for the babies and that Lou keeps in eye on them. Lou agrees to the task; and while no one is looking, Tommy picks up his full bowl of food and puts it on his head like a hat, and the bowl’s contents trickle down Tommy’s head and he licks some of the food.
We then fade to later on in the backyard, where Tommy, Chuckie, Phil and Lil are all in said playpen (this is a different kind of playpen than the simple barrier in the family living room they usually keep the babies in, and the babies can only be lifted out of this sort of playpen), and Lou is in the middle of recounting an encounter and had his own father supposedly had with a “ginormous bull moose” decades earlier. Lou claims that the moose was “just a hair bigger” than the house, but then takes it back after a pause: “Well, maybe he wasn’t as big as the house; but he was certainly bigger than the garage!” Tommy and his friends are nevertheless intrigued by his grandfather’s supposedly true story. Lou continues: “Anywho, the whole Pickles clan had moose for breakfast, lunch and dinner the remainder of the great depression [slightly mispronounced as ‘deperson’]; now that was real food, not like that ‘green’ mush you’ve been eating. And just what did that moose look like you say? Well, I just happen to have his picture, right here in my wallet.” Lou then takes out his wallet and produces what appears to be a small black-and-white photograph of a large moose standing on a rock in the middle of a forrest with the sun shining in the background; he holds the photo up in front of his grandson’s face and states “Here he is! 15 tons! A bull moose!”, and Tommy smiles back, quite interested. Lou then sits down in a reclining lawn-chair and states that he can still sometimes taste said moose, and he then promptly falls asleep. We then shift attention to the babies; Tommy points out to his friends that his grandfather has fallen asleep and he suggests that they themselves go look for a moose like how he was talking about, Phil and Lil reply “Yeah!” Chuckie, who’s looking closely at an insect on the floor of the playpen, adds in “There’s no moose around here Tommy.” Tommy rebuttals “how will we know for sure if we don’t go out and look for one?”; Chuckie then points out that the kind of playpen they’re in is inescapable, but Tommy then notices how the insect Chuckie was looking at was able to climb up the side and fly away, and this gives him an idea.
Tommy has Chuckie stand against the side of the playpen and he then climbs up onto Chuckie’s head; this causes Chuckie to loose his balance, stumble around and almost fall over, and Tommy instructs Phil and Lil to hold Chuckie’s hands to keep him steady. Phil and Lil scramble to get a hold of Chuckie (both walking around him in circles) as Chuckie stumbles back over to the side of the playpen, but they eventually get themselves secure (though Chuckie continues to strain under Tommy’s weight); Tommy then produces a squeak toy in the shape of a hot dog, tells his friends to watch, and begins to squeak it whilst holding it up. The squeaking gets the attention of Tommy’s dog, Spike, who’s rolling around in a patch of flowers and thick grass on the side of the house; a straining Chuckie gruntingly states: “Come on Tommy, you’re too heavy!” Spikes then runs over, grabs the squeak toy with his teeth, and begins to tug on it whilst Tommy continues to hold on; and in tugging on the toy whist Tommy holds on to it and hangs on the playpen’s side, Spike (with the help of the babies’ weight shifted to the side of the playpen) also tips the playpen onto it’s side and this knocks the babies out - the babies now free, Tommy releases the toy and Spike runs off with it. As Chuckie, Phil and Lil lie on the ground, Tommy states “Wow, Moose Country!” Chuckie, thinking for a moment that Tommy was referring to the insect from earlier that’s now on the ground next to him, replies: “It’s not a moose Tommy, it’s just a bug.” Tommy then corrects him: “No not that, that [pointing to the backyard, where the young trees ready to be planted, potted plants and the mounds of dirt so somewhat make it look like something of a vast countryside to someone the size of a toddler].” As Tommy and his friends pick themselves up (strangely, Tommy was standing up before the camera view changed), Tommy continues “Come on Chuckie, we’re gonna find us a moose”, and he, Phil and Lil start on their way; and after a brief pause, Chuckie somewhat reluctantly follows. But not long after, Chuckie begins to have second thoughts, and he stops, looks back toward the house, and states “I don’t know Tommy, I don’t think this is such a good idea”; but Chuckie then turns around and notices how for behind he now is, and (not wanting to be alone) rushes to catch up with everyone else.
Just as Chuckie catches up to Tommy, Phil and Lil, they all stop at a deep hole in the ground that Stu had apparently dug earlier (presumably for a large tree he intends to plant); the babies stand on said hole’s edge and stare down into it in awe and Chuckie openly wonders: “What is it?” Tommy kicks a rock down into the hole and it lands in a shallow pool of mud on the bottom, and Tommy openly figures “Maybe a moose lives here”; he then asks “Who goes in first?” Phil and Lil both instantly decline, and Spike just then comes up behind them (with the Hot Dog squeak toy from earlier still in his mouth) - though none of the babies notice Spike. Chuckie states to everyone that he hopes it isn’t a footprint, and just then, Spike puts the speak toy down and barks at the babies; Spike’s bark startles the babies and they all fall into the hole at once as a result (though the pool of mud at the bottom gives them a soft landing). As they all pick themselves up, Lil chuckles and comments “Yuck!” Chuckie then shakes some mud off of his arms, and in doing so accidentally flings it all over Tommy, Phil and Lil; after a pause, the three then decide to retaliate by scooping up some mud and throwing it into Chuckie’s face (a-la snowballs). Chuckie is hit in the face and Lil says “Got-ya’!”; an annoyed Chuckie then wipes his face, scoops up some more mud and throws it back at Tommy, Phil and Lil. It then escalates into the babies having a friendly mud-ball fight (a-la a snowball fight) for a brief moment, but as Lil gears up to throw another ball of mud, she feels something moving around in the mud she’s holding and gets distracted; after getting hit with more mud and wiping it off her face, Lil then takes a closer look at the mud and an earthworm emerges (Lil openly asks: “What’s this?”). Lil holds her ball of mud up so that everyone can get a close look at the earthworm; apparently however, none of the babies have ever seen an earthworm before, and with no adults around to explain, Phil makes it out to be “Chocolate Spaghetti”. Chuckie points out that it’s “dancing” (squirming around); Tommy then picks the earthworm up with his fingers to get a much closer look at it, and not knowing any better, he ingests it to see what it tastes like! As Tommy chews and swallows the poor earthworm, Phil and Lil eagerly ask Tommy “What’s it like?”; Tommy replies that while it doesn’t taste like “Chocolate Spaghetti”, it “‘dances’ all the way down”. The rest of the babies then eagerly try to find more earthworms to eat; and we briefly focus on Chuckie, who finds another earthworm in the mud and ingests it, but promptly retches and spits it out because of the taste, leaving the poor, chewed up earthworm to struggle back home.
Tommy then interrupts everyone, stating that while “Chocolate Spaghetti” is ok, they’re main task at hand in finding a moose, and he also mentions: “Maybe, if we’re real quiet, we can sneak up on one”; they all then proceed to climb out of the hole. Tommy, Phil and Lil manage to climb out quickly, but Chuckie finds the he’s unable to pull himself out and is left behind; the babies (sans Chuckie) then start to wonder around the yard, looking for a moose. Phil points out a silhouette that indeed looks like a moose sitting down, but upon a closer look is revealed to be a potted plant on top of a small grey box that itself is on top of a much larger box of fertilizer for the yard; Lil then points out another silhouette bearing great resemblance to a moose, but this upon closer look is also revealed to not be a moose at all but rather a blue shirt hanging on an upside-down rake that’s leaning up against a box of “Hi Grow”. As they continue to wonder around, the 3 babies come up to a pile of bags of fertilizer; the bags are arranged in such a way that the 3 babies are able to crawl under 2 of said bags that are leaning up diagonally against the rest, and an open bag of fertilizer is also perched on top of this edifice of bags. As the babies crawl under said bags, Spike (with the Hot Dog speak toy in his mouth) dashes over and leaps on top of the bags before leaping away and accidentally knocking over the open bag of fertilizer, which spills its contents onto Tommy as he emerges from under the bags (leaving him as well as his 2 friends filthy). We briefly focus on Spike as he shakes the toy around in his mouth and sends it flying into a pile of cut down branches near a tree; Spike chases the toy into the branches, digs around for it, and emerges with 2 modest sized branches stuck on his head, which bear resemblance to a pair of antlers. The 3 babies then peak though some bushes and tall grass and see a silhouette of Spike with the branches on his head, which altogether grant him great resemblance to a moose, and the babies thus figure that they have finally found a moose; Tommy asks Phil and Lil how they intend to catch it. Lil suggests digging a big hole for the moose to fall into and get stuck in, but Phil suggests using a net; Phil and Lil have one of their trademark arguments for a brief moment on whether to use a net or a hole, but are suddenly interrupted as Spike begins to walk over. The babies fail to notice that the silhouette is really Tommy’s own dog and think that the moose they think they found has spotted them and intends to get them; a frightened Tommy thus shouts “RUN AWAY!” and the babies all run for their lives, leaving a confused but intrigued Spike behind.
As the three babies run back the way they came, they come across the big hole that they were down in earlier and that Chuckie is still stuck in; Chuckie, hearing his friends approaching, holds both his hands up whilst jumping and shouts for help. Tommy, Phil and Lil stop by the hole and find that Chuckie is indeed stuck; Chuckie orders Tommy to get him out. Tommy tells his friend that they have to hurry as they believe a moose is coming after them; Chuckie however has become too impatient to want to hear anything more about mooses and skeptically replies: “Tommy, there is NO moose in your backyard! Now will you please get me out of here!?” Without another word, Tommy, Phil and Lil slide back down into the hole to help Chuckie out; they give Chuckie a boost up, and Chuckie is able to just stick his right hand above the edge of the hole and feel around for something to grab onto. Chuckie (unable to see what he’s grabbed) grabs onto the tiny handwheel of a valve on a long, green water tube that’s part of the Pickles’ sprinkler system; Tommy, Phil and Lil give Chuckie a big push up and while this successfully gets Chuckie out, it also causes an unprepared Chuckie to roll over and accidentally pull the valve (headwheel and all) clean out of the water tube, leaving behind a rupture in the sprinkler system - which is apparently designed to operate at a water pressure much higher than that of mains water pressure, with the extra pressure achieved via an electric water pump - and releasing a huge geyser of water several feat straight up high above the house (the water also washes the disembodied valve up to the sky with it)!! As a lightly dizzy Chuckie picks himself up, and as his friends climb out of the hole and join up with him, the water begins to rain all over the yard, including all over the babies (this also washes the fertilizer from earlier off of Tommy, Phil and Lil); we also see that the ruptured sprinkler system is siphoning a huge amount of water from the town’s water entire system, severally reducing everyone else's water pressure!! We cut to a view of Tommy’s maternal grandparents, Minka and Boris, and we see Boris filling their birdbath with the garden hose when the water suddenly stops because of the reduced pressure; a confused Boris peaks into the hose and says to himself (in his trademarked Russian accent) “What’s with this water?” We then cut to a view of another couple (no one that any of the main characters know), who are both wearing swimsuits, listening to music though headphones and relaxing on lawnchairs next to a spitting water fountain; the fountain’s water is also stopping because of the reduced water pressure, but the couple doesn’t notice (they’re looking away from the water fountain and they can’t hear the water stopping as they have headphones on).
We then cut back to the Pickles’ residence and find that the geyser of water is indeed still spewing from the rupture in the sprinkler system and that airborne valve is falling back down to earth, and Tommy feels that it’s plummeting straight toward his sleeping, paternal grandfather, Lou (Tommy: “Grandpa!”); but the valve instead falls onto the roof, falls down the rain gutter, bounces off the back of the reclining lawn-chair that Lou is sleeping on, bounces off the door handle of the sliding door between the backyard and the living room, and finally lands on top of the programmer-timer box that turns the now ruptured sprinkler system on and off - after spinning around for a brief moment, the valve falls down the side of the programmer-timer and lodges onto one of the trippers on the timer’s dial and pulls it forward to the point where it clicks the system off. Thus, the Pickles’ ruptured sprinkler system shut’s down, the huge geyser of water stops spewing, and the town’s water system is able to build pressure back up and stabilize itself - though not without causing more chaos all over town: We cut back to Boris and Minka and see that Brois is still examining their garden hose by looking down into it, when the water pressure is suddenly restored and the hose sprays an unexpecting Boris in the face; as Boris struggles with the hose and is sprayed in the face, he hollers out to his wife to turn the hose off. We then cut back to the other couple who are reclining next to their spitting fountain, who still haven’t noticed what happened to their fountain’s water; the water pressure is suddenly restored, but the sudden spike in pressure damages the fountain and causes it to squirt a large torrent of water across the yard and all over the couple, who are both equally surprised and soaked (and likely thankful that they were wearing swimsuits). We then cut back to the babies; as a soaked Chuckie shakes himself dry, Tommy asks him if he’s ok. A frustrated and quite irritated Chuckie replies: “Am I ok? Am I OK!? First you talk me into breaking out of the playpen! Then you leave me in a hole! Then you get me all wet! AND FOR WHAT!? HUH!? A MOOSE!? [as Chuckie continues to share his pain, Spike, who still has the branches stuck on his head, comes into view behind Chuckie, but the other babies still see him as a silhouette and thus still think he’s a moose] I don’t see any moose; WHERE’S THE MOOSE TOMMY!? WHERE!? WHERE!?” Tommy interrupts Chuckie and points him in the direction of Spike’s silhouette, and Chuckie turns around and sees Spike’s silhouette - he also doesn’t see it’s really Spike and also believes it’s a moose, and a flabbergasted Chuckie says “Wow!" in awe at that he sees. After a brief moment however, Spike comes into a much clearer view and he also manages to shake off the branches that were stuck on his head; the babies finally see that their moose was really Spike (Tommy, Phil and Lil: “Spike?”) and Chuckie (with his ego inflated as he finds he was right all along) adds in: “Huh! Some moose.”
Just then, the babies hear Tommy’s father, Stu coming into the backyard whilst carrying heavy bags of fish fertilizer (he hollers to his wife “Open the door Didi, this fish-fertilizer weighs ‘a ton’”), and they all rush back to the playpen to avoid being seen and getting into trouble; just in the nick of time, the 4 babies make it back to the playpen - which is still on it’s side, thank goodness as the babies won’t have to climb back into it - and they jump into the floor so that it tips right-side-up again with all of them back inside. The noise at last wakes up Lou, who is without a clue that anything happened while he was asleep; Didi opens the door and she and her husband walk out into the yard. Stu asks his father is everything is under control; and Lou, who of course wasn’t awake to see what the babies had been up to, replies “All quiet on the western front.” Didi then looks at their yard and notices that everything is soaking wet from Chuckie accidentally rupturing their sprinkler system; but of course none of them know about what Chuckie did and can’t see the small rupture he made in the system’s tube from where they’re all standing, and all Didi can think to ask Lou is: “Say, it didn’t rain or anything while you were out here, did it?” The three adults briefly look up at the sky to check for rain clouds; they don’t see any, and Lou replies to Didi “Not today, no.” Stu then decides to take a nap and starts walking back into the house, and Lou then asks his daughter-in-law “Say Didi, did I ever tell you about the time me and my pappy bagged a great northern bull moose?”; Stu stops when he overhears his father recounting his story to his wife. Before Didi can answer, Lou cuts her off and goes on: “How big was he you say? Well, I just happen to have a picture of him right here [and he gets out the black-and-white photo of the moose that he showed his grandson and his friends earlier to show Didi].” Just before Lou hands the photo to Didi, Stu walks over, cuts in and takes the photo from his father for a closer look (Stu skeptically says: “Let me see that”); upon turning the photo over, Stu discovers that the photograph is actually a pocket sized insurance calendar, revealing that Lou’s family never had an encounter with the moose in the calendar’s picture in the first place and thus invalidating it as proof of his story. Stu hands the insurance calendar back to his father, stating to him “This is an insurance calendar, pop”; as Lou takes a closer look at the back of his calendar, Lou replies: “Well, maybe it isn’t his actual photo, but he was just as big.” A skeptical Stu and Didi then begin to walk back inside the house and Stu rebuttals “Sure pop”; Lou adds in “Bigger in fact!” and a still skeptical Stu replies “Sure pop, bigger.” Seeing that his son and daughter-in-law are skeptical as to whether his childhood story is really true, Lou mumbles to himself in light irritation.
We then focus back on the babies: Chuckie tells Tommy “I told you there was no moose out there, Tommy”; Tommy openly wonders why his dog “dressed up like one” (as he’s too young to understand that Spike didn’t intentionally stick the branches on his head), and Phil and Lil add in “Yeah.” Tommy then openly figures that perhaps his dog was trying to tell them all something; Phil rebuttals “Like what?” and Lil adds in “Yeah, like what?” Tommy figures: “Maybe… that we only have to go ‘a little bit further’ to get to moose country.” Phil and Lil openly agree (Phil, Lil: “Yeah!”); but Chuckie, clearly not up for another moose related adventure (especially if it involves going “a little bit further” than they had already gone), puts his left hand on his head in grief and shouts, “OH NO!”. We switch for an overhead camera angle and pan outward for a final overhead view of the backyard, and the episode comes to an end.
- This is the first time one of Grandpa Lou's exaggerated stories set the plot of the episode.
- On Amazon.com, it states that this is the second episode of season two, though it is actually the sixth episode of season one.
- This is the first episode where the kids discover worms.
- Although the babies eating the earthworms is a play on how babies wouldn't know any better not to do certain things that could make them sick, earthworms are however actually safe for human consumption (though they should be cleaned and cooked before they're eaten).
- Historic Fact: This episode was aired on Nick on 9/11/2001 at 8:30 AM East. Before the first hijacked plane crashed into WTC 1.
- When Phil and Lil are fighting over how to catch the moose, they are shouting "hole" and "net" at each other, but neither of their mouths are moving.
- In a couple scenes on this episode, Chuckie can be seen with a full set of teeth, but he usually only has two.
- When Tommy, Phil and Lil go back in the hole to help Chuckie get out, they are covered with fertilizer. During several cuts back to them pushing Chuckie, they're clean, but when they climb out of the hole, they're dirty again.
- Angelica, Betty, and Howard don't appear in either the first episode or this one. However, they are still shown in the credits, unlike Boris and Minka, who are in this actual episode.
- Grandpa Lou claims that the moose he encountered weighed 15 tons. More likely, he meant 1500 pounds. 15 tons would be a more realistic estimate for the now-extinct Asian straight-tusked elephant, Palaeoloxodon namadicus.