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Sour Pickles Gallery Transcript
Season 3 Episode 8b
Sour Pickles
Original Airdate November 14, 1993
DVD release Season 3
Complete Series
Previous Episode The Last Babysitter
Next Episode Reptar 2010

"Sour Pickles" is an episode of Rugrats from Season 3.

Characters Present


When Stu and Drew begin bickering, Grandpa Lou reflects back on their childhood in the 50's, when they were "Rugrats" themselves.

- Description from Klasky Csupo


After Angelica and Tommy quarrel over a kaleidoscope, Grandpa Lou recalls a turning point in the childhoods of Drew and Stu while Stu and Drew are on a feud.


Angelica is looking through a kaleidoscope Drew had recently bought her. Tommy wants to look through it, too, but Angelica taunts him, claiming that they're not for babies.

Their fathers, meanwhile, are arguing about the kaleidoscope. Stu feels insulted because he makes kaleidoscopes, while Drew insists the one he purchased is better than one Stu could make. Didi tries to get them to stop (possibly because their argument is setting a bad example for their children), but Grandpa Lou manages to do so, at least temporarily. When Grandpa Lou reveals they've been fighting since they were babies, Angelica becomes curious and wants to hear more. Grandpa Lou starts to tell everyone the story when Stu was Tommy's age, and the episode goes into a black and white flashback to 1959.

In 1959, Lou owns a repair shop called Lou Pickles' Magic Wrench that the family lives above. His wife Trixie is out of town, so Lou is cooking breakfast (though not very well). Elsewhere in the house one year old Stu and two or three year old Drew are playing in a playpen. When Drew can't open his toy cash register, Stu opens it and says his rocket ship is a better toy. They start to argue, but stop because their favorite TV show is on: Blocky & Oxwinkle.

The brothers watch peacefully. The segment ends and the next one is advertised to begin in a half hour. Stu exclaims "that's almost forever!" but Drew says they can play Haggle. Drew tries to bully Stu into playing, but Stu refuses and they begin to fight again. After Stu kicks Drew's cash register, Drew throws Stu's rocket and breaks a vase.

Back in the present, Stu and Drew are arguing over whose fault it was the vase broke, but Grandpa Lou breaks up the fight. Angelica, however, is more interested in their lack of a color TV. Grandpa Lou says they didn't have remote controls back then either. Didi asks what happened next. Grandpa Lou explains that he was furious, of course, and punished them. Angelica comes up with several outrageous punishments, but Grandpa Lou says what he did was much worse than any of the things she guessed.

Back in 1959 Lou's punishment is to not let the brothers watch (the rest of) the next segment of Blocky and Oxwinkle, causing Stu and Drew to cry, but Lou doesn't care how much they cry; he still refuses to change his mind. Lou says if they're good for the rest of the day, he'll let them stay up to watch The Lawrence Welk Show, but of course it doesn't help. Lou carries the boys downstairs to the playpen in the shop, and then opens up for the day.

Stu and Drew blame each other for the punishment, but Stu says they'll be able to watch Blocky and Oxwinkle and not their mom, dad, or even the President will be able to stop them. Drew says he isn't with Stu, but will go along anyways. The brothers break out of the playpen and head back upstairs while Lou deals with the first customer of the day, and his electronic cash register.

Upstairs, Stu and Drew head over to the TV, which not only doubles as a radio, but as a record player too. They have trouble with the device and first activate the record player, and then the radio. Finally they get the TV portion on, but just as their show starts, the device breaks! Stu says they have to use on the TV's in Lou's shop and rush back downstairs.

Lou is still dealing with his customer. Just as he's taken the cash register to the back, the customer returns, explaining that his Edzell car won't start. Lou says he's not a mechanic, but agrees to take a look at it anyways.

Meanwhile, Drew is trying to stand on a vacuum in order to reach one of the TV's. He accidentally turns it on and goes zooming all over the place, knocking broken appliances everywhere. Drew crashes into a jukebox, which briefly activates before short-circuiting. Stu however, has an idea, and the two push a small trampoline over to the shelves where the TV's are. Stu is under the impression Drew will do this, too, but Drew forces Stu to do it.

Stu starts to jump and turn on the TV's. The first TV is airing an episode of The Dimstones. Stu turns on a second TV, this one airing an episode of The Stetsons. Stu tries the third and final TV within reach, which is airing Blocky and Oxwinkle, but the screen is distorted because Lou hasn't fixed it yet. Stu whacks the TV, and the picture clears!

Outside, Lou watches the Edzell be towed away after failing to fix it. He heads back inside and finds the store a wreck, and Stu and Drew jumping on the trampoline to watch their show. Lou starts to yell at them and scold them, but then is surprised when he notices they fixed the TV. At the show's dramatic cliffhanger, Lou touches the antenna and sends the TV screen into static.

Back in the present, Angelica is surprised that Grandpa Lou didn't punish them. Grandpa Lou explains he didn't have the heart to, especially since they were getting along like he wished. Angelica asks Drew if she can have a trampoline. Drew says yes, they'll go to the toy store later to buy one. Stu offers to make one for them, but Drew insists he wants to buy one. The two begin to argue again, but stop when they hear something: the end of the Blocky and Oxwinkle they never got to watch in years, and it is in color! Grandpa Lou mentions that some things will never change. The two brothers start to laugh together, and Angelica decides to share her kaleidoscope with Tommy, who is delighted at the colorful changing patterns.


  • Blocky and Oxwinkle is a spoof of Rocky and Bullwinkle, whereas The Dimstones is a parody of The Flintstones and The Stetsons is a parody of The Jetsons.
    • On a side note, The Flintstones and The Jetsons didn't air in 1959. They started airing in 1960 and 1962 respectively.
  • During the second part of the flashback, Young Lou mentions Peyton Place (starring the late Dorothy Malone and the late Warner Anderson). Peyton Place made its television premiere on September 15, 1964.
  • Even though Blocky and Oxwinkle parodies Rocky and Bullwinkle (called Rocky & His Friends in 1959), it only parodies the Rocky and Bullwinkle segments and not any of the other shorts that were part of the show. 
  • In this episode, Blocky and Sveltana the Spy are voiced by June Foray, who voiced Rocky and Natasha Fatale in Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • Sveltana saying phrases like "Borderkauv!", "Kalamazzov!" and "Ruscaldiacov!" is a reference to Boris Badenov's common catchphrase "Raskolnikov!"
  • At the time this episode originally aired, Nickelodeon was actually airing reruns of the original Rocky and Bullwinkle show, under the title Bullwinkle's Moose-o-Rama.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower is mentioned as President of the United States. A news report mentions his attempt to cover up the U-2 incident which happened in 1960, a year after the flashback takes place.
  • Young Lou looks very similar to Groucho Marx.
  • Lou also mentions his wife working for Estes Kefauver, Democratic Senator from Tennessee and vice presidential candidate in 1956.
  • In the flashback, Stu looked and acted (and sounded) like Tommy (but with more hair) and Drew acted like Angelica, but with Chuckie's front teeth. Also, Stu was Tommy's age and Drew was Angelica’s age.
  • The end credits music is the Magic Wrench jingle, as sung by Mark Mothersbaugh. The jingle itself is based on the theme from The Donna Reed Show, which debuted a year before the setting. That series, still on the air at the time of the setting, ran until 1966. 
  • When playing "haggle," Drew stated "Here's twenty," though you can clearly see that the bill he handed Stu was actually a hundred dollar bill. However, this is likely not an error on the animators' part and simply showcasing Drew's young age/lack of knowledge of numbers.
  • Mr. Namby, Lou's customer, owns an Edzell car that fails to start and ends up being towed. This is a parody of the Edsel, an automobile that was heavily marketed by the Ford Motor Company as "the car of the future." The Edsel failed among automobile buyers of the time and was discontinued in 1960.
  • The singer of the Magic Wrench jingle is none other than Mark Mothersbaugh who composed all of the music for the Rugrats series and films.
  • This is the third time Lou was shown when he was younger after "Grandpa's Date" and "King Ten Pin".
  • This is the final time Lou is in his old flashback design. Starting in "The Mattress", his flashback design has been changed where he then had a different hairstyle that looks exactly like his son Drew's, rounder glasses and no mustache. This new design would be used for the rest of his flashback appearances.
  • Moral: Don’t fight and bicker especially if you have children; your child would want to do the same with their brother or sister. Monkey see monkey do.

Video Clip


Stu and Drew Pickles HATE Cackhander Happy