As one of the most iconic children's shows and cartoons of the 1990s, the Nickelodeon series Rugrats has stood the test of time. Featuring incredibly vibrant and lovable characters, super smart humor and pop culture commentary, and a unique animation style, the series follows the lives of a group of babies and toddlers as they go on one everyday adventure after another. Characters like Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, and Phil and Lil DeVille have remained beloved fan favorites even after all this time.
But while the babies may be the real highlight and heart of the series, supporting characters also made substantial contributions to the show's success and popularity, too. Arguably one of the most important of these minor characters was everyone's favorite fierce Tyrannosaurus Rex, Reptar. Here, we take a look at some surprising facts about the beloved dinosaur that even the most dedicated of fans may not know.
10 His eyes changed colors
The look and feel of even the most iconic characters are prone to change in the early stages of development. Apparently, Reptar is no exception to this rule. Reptar's look is totally iconic: neon green skin, turquoise spikes, red-orange eyes with black irises, and a menacing purple mouth with sharp white teeth.
However, this iconic look wasn't totally set in stone throughout the series' first season. Two episodes in the first season, "Candy Bar Creep Show" and "Incident in Aisle Seven," feature Reptar with almost the same design, except his eyes are white. It may have just been a matter of the eyes not being colored in, but the difference is shocking all the same.
9 There were real Reptar amusement park rides
Over the course of the series, and the subsequent movies as well, Reptar's global fame just seemed to grow - as did Stu Pickles's relationship to it. In Rugrats in Paris, a massive scale robotic Reptar was built, showing the potential for future amusement park types of Reptar. Reptarland existed in expanded universe materials, too.
And as it turns out, there were once real-life counterparts to Reptar theme park rides. In the early 2000s, amusement parks in Ohio, North Carolina, and Australia featured elaborate Reptar themed rides that Tommy and his friends would most definitely approve of, even if they were much too short and small to ever make it on the rides.
8 There's an official Reptar rap song
In the last handful of years, Nickelodeon has leaned quite heavily into revisiting nostalgic favorites like Rugrats. Nickelodeon introduced a series of programming originally called The 90s Are All That, and later The Splat, NickSplat, and NickRewind, back in 2011. But it was in 2015 that Nickelodeon released a truly one of a kind music video.
The minute and a half rap song "They Call Me Reptar," performed by the artist Foley, was posted in October 2015 by Nickelodeon. The music video features hilariously 90s graphics and truly iconic lyrics like "I may be a monster but I got a lot of feelings" and "I mean, come on, my biggest fans are five little babies!"
7 There's a funny timeline goof in terms of Reptar's introduction
In the third episode of the entire series, "At the Movies," Rugrats introduces the titular babies to Reptar on their trip to the movie theatre. While they're supposed to go see the latest Dummi Bears movie, the babies instead are entranced and tempted by the prospect of going to see a Reptar movie. What follows is one of their signature mischievous adventures, featuring the group of babies wreaking havoc around the movie theatre as they try to learn more about Reptar.
The show makes it very clear that this is the first time the kids have learned about Reptar. However, a later episode in the series, the eighth season episode "A Step at a Time," finds a much younger Tommy playing with a Reptar doll before he is even able to walk.
6 The Reptar Wagon had a crazy celebrity voice
Rugrats had its fair share of famous voice actors, especially in the theatrically released movies. Spike, for example, received a voice in the films, provided by none other than Bruce Willis. But the beloved dog wasn't the only Rugrats creature to get a truly surprising celebrity voice.
The Reptar Wagon, one of Stu Pickles' many, many creations, is allowed to recite a few lines as part of its programming, including "I am Reptar! Hear me roar!" and "I am Reptar, king of the dinosaurs!" Fans of rap, in particular, might recognize the deep, booming voice: the one and only Busta Rhymes was chosen to bring the iconic vehicle to life.
5 Reptar cereal and candy bars were made in real life
Given Reptar's popularity within the universe of the series, it was only a matter of time before Reptar became franchised. Tommy and the kids often played with various Reptar toys, and soon enough, other items including Reptar Bars and Reptar Cereal were introduced - not to mention all the different Reptar related items that Stu Pickles would invent on his own.
Years after the series ended, fans everywhere finally got to experience the snacks of their dreams in 2017. In conjunction with the popularity of the Nickelodeon Splat franchise, Nickelodeon partnered with entertainment retailer FYE to produce both Reptar Crunch Cereal and Reptar Bars, fulfilling the lifelong dreams of Rugrats loving millennials everywhere.
4 Even though he was inspired by Godzilla, Reptar was often a hero
It's clear that Reptar is based on the iconic movie villain Godzilla. Even with as little characterization as Reptar receives throughout the series, the glimpses of movies that are shown usually feature Reptar attacking towns or facing off against other super-sized creatures like Robo-Snail.
But even though it would have been easy enough for the series to continue portraying Reptar in a villainous light, given his inspiration, Reptar is, instead, often portrayed as a hero, and a friend to the babies. Tommy, in particular, idolizes the larger than life dinosaur and loves him more than almost anything else.
3 Reptar has his own collectible Funko Pop figures
Is something truly iconic unless it has a Funko figure rendered in its image? That seems to be a real topic of discussion these days, given the popularity of these adorable little collectibles. Recently, Funko launched a line of Rugrats themed Funko Pop figures, including Tommy Pickles and Chuckie Finster.
But the brand also included a Reptar Funko Pop, in his signature iconic color design, as well as a collectible Purple Reptar Funko Pop figure that is a Chase edition and is therefore much harder to find. Either of these figures are definite must-haves for the Reptar fans in your life.
2 A lawsuit led to Reptar featuring less prominently in the series
We've already discussed Reptar's existence as a clear parody of the iconic movie creature, Godzilla. But according to rumor, the company behind Godzilla himself may not have been so pleased with the unauthorized inclusion of a character so reminiscent of their own icon.
Klasky Csupo, the creatives behind Rugrats, were reportedly sued by Toho, the owners of the Godzilla brand, in 2002. The lawsuit eventually led to Reptar featuring in the series far less prominently in its final run. However, Reptar continued to appear in products, and in recent years, as we've seen, his public profile has experienced a resurgence in terms of social media marketing and merchandising both.
1 Reptar has a sad storyline in All Grown Up, the Rugrats spinoff
While All Grown Up, the Rugrats spinoff series that followed now tweenage Tommy Pickles and friends, was never as successful as its predecessor, the series did deliver a truly surprising and deeply emotional storyline involving everyone's favorite dinosaur. A third season episode finds the grown-up Rugrats unexpectedly reunited with a Reptar toy from their past.
It's not immediately clear that the kids remember just who Reptar was to them, but over time, it becomes clear that Reptar is still important to them - especially Tommy, who takes the Reptar toy they unearth for himself and keeps it safely guarded. It's one of the more emotional episodes for the series and a fitting farewell and tribute to their once beloved dinosaur friend.