It’s always fascinating to learn about any “hiccups” that TV shows may have in their timeline – whether they’re minor or major. Today, we’re examining Nickelodeon’s classic hit series Rugrats, and a topic that still runs through the minds of many fans today. No we aren’t discussing any disturbing creepypastas or anything else that would give you the chills, but this topic does include the discussion of death. Just another cartoon theory coming through? You can be the judge of that. Now by writing this piece, I am in no way trying to “call out” the amazing team behind the Rugrats series. I just feel that this certain topic and the pieces that go along with it are just too interesting to not discuss. This topic is regarding Chuckie Finster’s biological mother, Melinda Finster. Throughout the series we eventually learn that she is deceased after three seasons.
On season 4 episode 2 “Mother’s Day” it was the big reveal. We learn that Melinda Finster passed away when Chuckie was a small infant, from what many can assume, a terminal illness. Chas Finster implies this when he showcased the tragically beautiful poem that she wrote for Chuckie, which he states she wrote while she was in the hospital.
Death can be a very controversial subject in children’s shows. Co-Creator Paul Germain explained in a 2016 interview with EW, that they originally wrote Chuckie without a mother because they simply did not want an extra character. By season 2 or 3 they had to make a decision whether to let the fans know what really happened to her. Both divorce and death were subjects that Nickeledeon thought were too sensitive to younger audience members. The Rugrats team eventually went ahead and decided that Chuckie’s mom was to be deceased. Germain also reveals that this is something he regrets. Did the Rugrats team make a mistake? Your answer can be formed as an opinion, or even as a fact. Let’s take a deeper look:
So it is confirmed that Melinda passed away shortly after Chuckie’s birth, but could a few of those aforementioned “hiccups” in the show disprove that? Rugrats fans have been speculating whether Melinda Finster was actually alive and well in the earlier seasons. This can be assumed due to the fact that in season 1 episode 8 “Real or Robots?”, Stu tells Chuckie that his MOM and dad will come pick him up in the morning. This implies that Melinda was still alive at the time when she was supposed to be deceased, since Chuckie was already two years old in that scene.
Rugrats fans also pointed out that in season 1 episode 2 “Barbecue Story”, Chas was sitting next to a woman wearing green glasses that kind of resembles his (image shown above). It is assumed that she was originally suppose to be Chuckie’s mom. This argument could be backed up because of the fact that many other couples were seated or standing around Chas and this mystery woman, like Boris and Minka or Betty and Howard. This is one of the earliest episodes so who knows how things were planned to play out back then. I feel like divorce could’ve been slightly been a better option than the dark nature of death, but this option could’ve led down to other dark rabbit holes as well. The question of why Chuckie’s mom didn’t have custody of him eventually would’ve came about. Divorce is way too common in American families today, so if the Rugrats were to come out in the recent years, it wouldn’t have been too big of a deal.
So what have we got here folks? This may just be have to be ruled as a case of TV writers hiccups, or maybe a “glitch in the matrix” in the Rugrats world. If you like posts like this follow Cartoon Buzz and don’t miss another!