×

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nicktoons, 25 Years Later

The 25th anniversary of NicktoonsRugrats,” “Ren & Stimpy” and “Doug” has arrived! While these Nickelodeon cartoons stirred the imagination of many children, there are several behind-the-scenes tidbits that have gone mostly unknown.

Here are ten things you didn’t know about “Rugrats,” “Ren & Stimpy” and “Doug”:

All of the Babies on “Rugrats” Were Voiced by Women 
Phil and Lil are voiced by the same actress, Kath Soucie, who also voiced their mother Betty. Chuckie was voiced by Christine Cavanaugh, who was also the voice of Dexter in Cartoon Network’s “Dexter’s Laboratory.” Angelica was voiced by Cheryl Chase and Tommy Pickles was voiced by Elizabeth Daily.

The Co-Creator of “Rugrats” Didn’t Like Angelica
Arlene Klasky, co-creator of Klasky-Csupo and “Rugrats,” confessed that she never really liked Angelica, finding her and her signature catchphrase, “You dumb babies!,” “too mean.” She admitted to the New Yorker that the original “Rugrats” creative team struggled to keep the show edgy while also appropriate for children, and that the Angelica conflict was the reason for the team’s breakup.

“Rugrats” Got a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
“Rugrats” was not only a commercial success, but also gained critical acclaim. The show won over 20 awards, including four Daytime Emmys, seven Kids’ Choice Awards and five Emmys. Not only that, but “Rugrats” is the only animated kids show to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh Composed the “Rugrats” Theme Song
Those memorable child-like sound effects came from none other than Devo’s frontman. In a 2013 interview with Spiltsider, Mothersbaugh also said that Chuckie Finster “gained some of his characteristics from observations of me.” “We both had thick-glasses,” he said. “We’re both near-sided. And had I pretty wild hair back then.”

“Rugrats” Was Inspired by a Single Question
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Arlene Klasky said she asked herself, “If babies could talk, what would they say?” and the concept for the timeless cartoon was born. She also said she wanted to know “the logic that drove tiny humans to desperately want to stick their hands in the toilet.”

“Doug” Creator Jim Jinkins Revealed that Doug and Patti Don’t Make It
According to “Doug” creator Jim Jinkins, Doug Funnie and Patti Mayonnaise, unfortunately, do not end up together. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, “It doesn’t happen because, really, people don’t end up with their first love.”

“Doug” Story Elements Took Clever Inspiration From Real Life
Many of the story elements found in “Doug” took inspiration from the real world. The phrase “Dual Income, No Kids” was used to name the Dinks.  Doug’s vice principal was inspired by Don Knotts and the Beets by, of course, the Beatles.

Creator John Kricfalusi Was Fired From “Ren & Stimpy”
“Ren & Stimpy” creator John Kricfalusi, who was also the voice of Ren, got the axe from his own show. One of Nickelodeon’s biggest grips with the creative was that he was not meeting delivery deadlines. Kricfalusi told the Los Angeles Times in 1992 that the demands of the collaboration took too heavy of a toll — he wanted to stretch the boundaries of animation, while the network wanted to stay safely within age appropriateness. “Nickelodeon wants something for the show. I want something for the show,” he told the publication. “When you mix two really strong visions, it’s going to take a long, long time to do the work.”

Bill West Appeared in Every Episode of “Ren & Stimpy”
Billy West, who voiced Stimpy in the Nickelodeon episodes, took over the voice of Ren after Kricfalusi was fired. As a result, West became the only voice actor to be in every episode.

Ren and Stimpy Were Inspired by a Photograph and Tweety Bird
Ren was modeled after an Elliott Erwitt photograph on a postcard called “New York City, 1946,” which showed a chihuahua dressed in a sweater, lying at a woman’s feet, Kricfalusi revealed in a 2010 blog post. Stimpy, on the other hand, took inspiration from “A Gruesome Twosome,” a Tweety Bird cartoon where the cats had big noses.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Kirsten Dunst'On Becoming a God in

    Kirsten Dunst Talks 'Little Women,' 'Interview With a Vampire' Reboots

    Kirsten Dunst was just 11 years old when she skyrocketed into stardom as Claudia in “Interview with a Vampire,” but now Dunst says her age is the only thing keeping her from reprising the role in a hypothetical reboot. “I mean I’m too old, right?,” she told Variety at the premiere of “On Becoming a God [...]

  • A Planned Parenthood clinic is seen,

    Variety to Forgo Annual Emmy Party for Donation to Planned Parenthood

    Variety has decided to make a donation to Planned Parenthood in lieu of hosting this year’s annual Emmy Awards nominees party in partnership with Women In Film. The decision comes in response to Planned Parenthood’s Aug. 19 announcement that it will drop funding over the current administration’s “unethical” rule blocking the organization from discussing its [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    TV News Roundup: Rebel Wilson to Host First Australian Amazon Original Series

    In today’s TV news roundup, the NFL and Pluto TV announce the launch of a new channel, and Rebel Wilson is named as the host of the first Amazon original series to come out of Australia.  CASTING Rebel Wilson is set to host and executive produce the Australian Amazon original series “LOL: Last One Laughing,” the [...]

  • Moffatt Family with the Himba tribe

    U.K.’s Channel 4 Takes British Family to Africa in New Reality Show

    U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has greenlit new factual entertainment format “The British Tribe Next Door,” which will see a British family spend four weeks with a remote tribe in Namibia. The twist in this format is that, unlike most adventurers, the participants don’t say goodbye to the comforts of their home — instead, they take them with [...]

  • Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa - The

    'Walking Dead' Star Christian Serratos in Talks for Selena Series at Netflix

    Christian Serratos is in negotiations to star in the upcoming Netflix series based on the life of Tejano music star Selena Quintanilla, Variety has confirmed with sources. The series was announced back in December and is described as a coming of age story following Selena (Serratos) as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: 'American Horror Story' Makes 'Suddenly Last Summer' Sizzle Again

    FX Network’s “American Horror Story” returns for a ninth season next month, and promos for the next chapter of the anticipated series, dubbed ‘AHS 1984,’ have been airing frequently across cable television throughout August. In the short yet effective spot (see below), the Motels’ melancholic, moody “Suddenly Last Summer” plays as aerial footage of an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content