Angelica Pickles was the main antagonist in Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, but a fan theory suggests a very dark origin to her behavior towards the babies. Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó in the early 1990s, Rugrats was one of the original Nicktoons (along with Doug and The Ren & Stimpy Show) and a key element in building Nickelodeon’s reputation.
The success of Rugrats was such that it had special episodes (such as “A Rugrats Passover” and “A Rugrats Chanukah”), three films (including a crossover with The Wild Thornberrys), two spin-off series, and a bunch of merchandise that went from toys to video games and clothing. But like with many other successful children’s shows, some viewers have come up with crazy and dark fan theories, and the most disturbing one about Rugrats involves none other than Angelica.
Rugrats' Angelica Pickles was Tommy and Dil’s cousin, “rival” of their friends (Chuckie, Kimi, Phil, and Lil), and frenemy of Susie, Tommy’s neighbor. She was spoiled and selfish, always seeking attention through tantrums, and constantly threatening the babies physically and verbally – but according to the following fan theory, there was a very dark reason behind this. It all goes back to Angelica’s family life: her biological mother died of a heroin overdose, and her dad married Charlotte, a workaholic woman obsessed with success who only wanted Drew for his money. Her Cynthia doll was made after her mom’s image, hence why it was missing chunks of hair and her clothes were tattered. As a result of this, Angelica imagined all the babies, but here’s the trick: they weren’t entirely imaginary.
Angelica took some bits of what was happening around her to put together the image of the babies that viewers met in Rugrats. Her cousin Tommy was a stillborn, which is why Stu was so obsessed with creating toys for the son he never got to know. Phil and Lil were aborted, and because their parents never found out the baby’s sex, Angelica imagined twins: a girl and a boy. Chuckie and his mom died in a car accident, and his father was so depressed he married a Japanese prostitute named Kira, who had a daughter, Kimi. Kira had a substance abuse problem and Kimi was taken away from her, so Angelica imagined her from the stories told by Kira.
The only baby that was real was Dil, which is why he’s the only one who can’t speak in Rugrats. Angelica couldn’t understand why she couldn’t control this baby like the others, and hit him constantly. The theory goes as far as to connect with the Rugrats spin-off All Grown Up!, saying that the reason why Dil acted so weird and constantly wore hats was because the physical abuse he went through as a baby left him deformed and with brain damage. Angelica’s only friend was Susie, who pretended Angelica’s imaginary friends were real because she cared for her.
Luckily, this is nothing more than a (very disturbing) fan theory. Klasky and Csupó got inspiration from their own children, and that’s how the idea for the series came to be – as simple as that. Although Klasky has openly expressed that she never liked Angelica, it didn’t go as far as to give her such a tragic backstory. Fan theories can be fun and sometimes point out some mistakes or subtle details that could lead to other things, but this particular Rugrats theory is just frightening and depressing.