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Rugrats Wiki
Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing Gallery Transcript
Season 0 Episode 1
Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing - Rugrats Logo.png
Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing
Original Airdate 1990
VHS release Decade in Diapers Vol. 1
DVD release Decade in Diapers
Previous Episode N/A
Next Episode "Tommy's First Birthday" (August 11, 1991)

"Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing" is the original unaired pilot episode of the Rugrats series. The first official episode of the series, "Tommy's First Birthday", followed this episode. This episode can only be watched on the Decade in Diapers DVD and the Decade in Diapers - Volume 1 VHS.

Characters Present


The 6 1/2 minute pilot was produced in 1990 and featured all the Rugrats that appeared in Tommy's first birthday, except Angelica and Chuckie. The adventure focuses on Tommy going into the Pickles' bathroom and making a mess as he swings precariously from a plunger - Klasky Csupo


After watching his grandfather enter the bathroom, Tommy Pickles is determined to find out what the large white thing (toilet) located inside the bathroom is.


Grandpa is getting ready in the Pickles' bathroom, whilst Tommy stares in awe at the toilet. Tommy crawls up to the toilet, and slowly reaches out to touch it, but is prevented from doing so when Grandpa picks him up, telling him that the bathroom is no place for him, before walking out with Tommy in his arms. Tommy is put into the play pen where he tells Phil and Lil that he heard a noise from the bathroom, and went inside and saw a "big white thing". The gang try to figure out what the big white thing is (suggestions ranging from a giant dog bowl to a fish bowl). Tommy believes that it is alive, and that the burping sound (the flush) was its attempt to speak to him. He then plans to go and talk to it during the night.

After being put to bed by his parents, Tommy pretends to fall asleep, and waits for Stu and Didi to leave. After they do, he moves his teddy bear, revealing a screwdriver that he uses to sneak out of his crib, where he then ventures to the bathroom, as the door has been left open. Tommy looks at the toilet in awe, before walking up to it and knocking on it, asking if anybody is home. Naturally, he doesn't get an answer. Tommy, dissatisfied, sees the toilet flusher and climbs a sink plunger to reach it, he jumps on the toilet bowl, but upon seeing his reflection in the water, he screams in shock. Because of this, Tommy nearly falls in, accidentally flushes the toilet, and tries to use the shower curtain to steady himself, unintentionally pulling it down and into the toilet. Still trying to regain balance, Tommy jumps onto the toilet paper roll, which unravels it all over the floor, he then jumps onto the plunger, and swings around on it, he tries to grab onto the sink, but turns the tap on instead, frightening him once again, making him swing back on the plunger, which gets him covered in the still-unraveling toilet paper. He then swings over and grabs onto the sink, climbing up onto it, but due to the toilet paper covering his eyes, he unintentionally grabs and squeezes a toothpaste tube, causing the cap to launch off, bounce off the wall, and hit a small tub of bubble mixture, which foams up the entire sink. Tommy gets foam in his mouth, and drops the toothpaste tube, which splatters onto the ground.

Spike comes into the bathroom, and sniffs the toothpaste, Tommy drops onto his back, and after a quick drink from the toilet bowl, Spike walks down to the living room, and stops where Grandpa is watching TV. Spike sits down to watch TV with Tommy, and Grandpa, unaware of Tommy's presence, scratches Spike on the head, and gets up to go to the bathroom while the commercials are on. Tommy and Spike watch TV while Grandpa goes to the bathroom, who is shocked when he notices the mess. An uproar of yelling ensues as Stu and Didi blame Grandpa for the mess, as he tries to explain that he didn't do anything. As the three of them continuing arguing, Tommy changes the channel to one playing music, and both Spike and him swing along to it. As the end credits roll the theme music is heard.


  • This pilot features the regular Rugrats theme tune.
  • Tommy is voiced by Tami Holbrook rather than E.G. Daily in this episode, thus giving Tommy a completely different voice. This is also the only time Tami Holbrook voices a character for the series.
  • This is the first appearances of Tommy, Phil, Lil, Lou, Stu, Didi, and Spike.
  • Chuckie and Angelica do not appear in the pilot, and are not mentioned or seen in an image either, implying that their characters were added after the show was picked up by Nickelodeon.
  • The only characters that have the same design and voice are Didi, Phil, and Lil.
  • At the beginning of the episode, the title card is shown under the Rugrats logo. The logo is different from the logo used after this episode.
  • When Stu and Didi are in the kitchen, they are talking with a man and a woman that are only seen in this episode. It is suggested that these people are caricatures of Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo, or possibly the early design of Betty and Howard DeVille, or maybe both.
  • Tommy and Spike dancing in this episode is shown as a flashback segment of the episode "All Growed Up", and used it as a promo for Nickelodeon's channel, despite the fact that this episode never aired on the channel.
  • E.G. Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, and Cheryl Chase are the only main cast members from the series who did not lend their voices in the pilot.
  • Apart from exhibitions at animation festivals and conventions, this episode was never seen by the public until August of 2001, when it appeared on Volume 1 of the Decade in Diapers video as a bonus feature, which was released as part of the Rugrats 10th anniversary on Nickelodeon.
  • In this episode, Tommy wears his trademark blue shirt in the beginning, but towards the end, he wears an orange shirt, probably a nod to Nickelodeon. This may be because of the dark lighting during the night-time scene, but it is also orange when Tommy goes into the bathroom, which has its light on.
  • Around 1991, Klasky-Csupo had plans to extend this pilot into 11 minutes and have it televised on Nickelodeon by 1992. Sadly, this never got aired and most likely not even produced.
  • Lou's name is listed in the credits as Stu Pickles, Sr. while Stu's name is listed as Stu Pickles, Jr.
  • The pilot episode was created and copyrighted in 1990.
  • Parts of the pilot were used for a station identification for Nickelodeon.
  • Tommy is only a few months old in this pilot. He turns a year old in the series premiere, "Tommy's First Birthday".


  • When Tommy, Phil, and Lil are waiting for Grandpa to leave, Tommy is seen next to them, but after Grandpa leaves, he is seen emerging from behind his ball.
  • When Tommy first rolls on his ball, he is shown to be bigger than it, but after coming out from behind it, he is shown to be smaller than it.
  • When Tommy is put to bed, his crib is empty, even though his teddy bear is seen after he gets up to exit.
  • As Tommy and Spike dance, the camera starts zooming a bit past the background frame. This is noticeable at the bottom of the screen.
  • In the start of the episode when Grandpa is getting ready, as the camera pans away, he disappears.



Rugrats Pilot