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Ruthless Tommy Gallery Transcript
Season 1 Episode 6a
Ruthless Tommy
Original Airdate September 15, 1991
DVD release Season 1
Complete Series
Previous Episode Baseball
Next Episode Moose Country

"Ruthless Tommy" is the first segment of the sixth episode of season 1, and the sixth Rugrats segment overall.

Characters Present


Being mistaken for the son of the millionaire Ronald Thump, Tommy is kidnapped by some thugs named Bob and Mike. But the kidnappers soon find out that it was more trouble than it was worth when Tommy begins flushing their stolen loot down the toilet.

- Description from Klasky Csupo


Didi is looking for her car keys and finds that Tommy has them. She grabs them from him and puts Grandpa Lou in charge to look after Tommy as she leaves. Tommy pretends to go to sleep and Grandpa takes a seat in the armchair and watches television. As he eventually falls asleep, Tommy "wakes up" and finds that the front door is wide open. He exits the playpen and walks out through the door. As Tommy plays with a purple ball found on the front lawn, two-dimwitted thugs abruptly kidnap the toddler, believing that they can get a large ransom from Tommy's family, thinking that he is the son of Ronald Thump (due to them getting their real target's house address wrong).

Before they drive away, they write a note that was meant for Ronald Thump, tie it to a brick, and toss it to the Pickles' house. The sound of the brick hitting the wall wakes up Grandpa, who walks outside and picks up the newspaper, along with the criminals' note. When he returns back into the living room, he reads the note. But he needs to put on his reading glasses to get a more lucid view of it. So he proceeds to do so, but runs to the kitchen to get another cup of coffee, oblivious to Tommy's absence.

While in the kidnappers' moving car, Tommy drops his ball. He begins to cry and the thugs try to get him to stop crying. After a few failure, one of the thugs hand Tommy his ball, and Tommy finally stops crying. Later, they get to the hideout which is just the kidnappers' unkept apartment. As Tommy walks inside, he slips on a banana peel and loses his ball again. He begins crying once again and the thugs decide to give him some milk to get him to stop. They walk into the kitchen to make a baby bottle and Tommy stops crying to view his ball on the table. He drags a suitcase to the table and attempts to climb on top of it. His foot hits the buckle, opening the suitcase to reveal jewels and rubies. He grabs some and drops them into the toilet in the bathroom. The hoodlums return and find him doing this. They run to the toilet and argue over who should grab the jewels out of the toilet. While the thieves argue, Tommy walks to the shelf to reach his ball. He climbs onto a vacuum cleaner and inadvertently hits the switch with his foot. The vacuum cleaner is activated, and it starts sucking up nearly everything around the apartment. The kidnappers then notice that the vacuum cleaner is sucking up the money inside the suitcase. They turn off the vacuum cleaner and place Tommy on the floor. They switch the vacuum cleaner in reverse and the money comes out, along with the dust inside. They get covered with dust and find that Tommy is about to head to the window to retrieve his ball. They dive for him and end up falling out through the window. When they return upstairs, they are convinced that Tommy is plotting his next move against them and contrive a way out of their predicament.

Meanwhile, Stu comes in the living room to wake up a sleeping Grandpa and notices the criminals' letter on the table. Before he can read it though, the doorbell rings, and Stu answers it to find the two kidnappers returning Tommy to him. Stu watches the crooks leave in utter confusion. As they drive away, the letter that Stu is holding blows out of his hands through the winds and ends up in the face of one of the kidnappers, causing him to run a red light and crash the car into a fire hydrant. The impact causes the two criminals to eject out of the car and end up through the back of the police car.

Meanwhile, Didi returns and offers Tommy a squeaky banana. But this causes the toddler to cry hysterically as the episode ends.


  • The reason why Tommy cried when Didi gave him the banana toy at the end, was because he was experiencing a form of post traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD). This is caused when someone experiences a traumatic or scary event such as being abducted, attacked, sexually assaulted, nearly killed, the death of a loved one etc. It's triggered when someone or something reminds them of that time and place. For example, while being kidnapped by the thugs, a thug showed him a couple bananas, and he slipped on a banana peel inside of their safehouse. The symptoms are fear, anxiety, depression, and sadness from being reminded of those events.
  • At the beginning of the episode, the grass in the Pickles' yard is colored green. At the end of the episode, the grass is colored brown.
  • This is the fourth episode to only feature one of the main characters (in this case, Tommy is the character).
  • Ronald Thump is a parody and reference to real-estate tycoon Donald Trump, who's also a famous billionaire and 45th president of the United States.
  • When Lou is watching a channel about fish, the channel's music from the pilot episode plays.
  • This is the third and last episode Tommy didn't speak.
  • The episode's plot is based on the plot of the story The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry.
  • This episode was airing when 9/11 took place and was still commonly aired for a while afterwards.
  • Mike is smoking one cigarette throughout the entire episode
  • The title of the episode makes a reference to the 1986 movie Ruthless People starring Danny DeVito.
  • Moral: Keep the front door securely closed and locked, and be careful with whom you trust to look after your children.


  • When Bob and Mike are bringing Tommy back, the grass outside the Pickle's house is pink.
  • When Bob and Mike leave to get Tommy milk, the stuff on the table is gone then when Tommy looks around, the stuff is back again.

Video Clips


The Rugrats Diaper Commercial The Splat


Ruthless Tommy Pickles 😈 Where Were The Parents? 🤷‍♂️ Rugrats NickRewind