Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing is the pilot episode of Rugrats, used to sell the 1991 television cartoon series.

The short was never aired as an episode of the show proper, but a few clips were used in the show's first set of commercial bumpers, and the scene at the end where Tommy and Spike are watching TV was repurposed for a station ID (which would later be reused as a bumper for NickSplat). The full pilot was eventually included as a bonus feature on the Rugrats: Decade in Diapers - Volume 1 VHS and the Decade in Diapers DVD.


Grandpa Lou 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 Lou is watching TV. Spike sits down to watch TV with Tommy, and Lou, 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 Lou goes to the bathroom, who is shocked when he notices the mess. An uproar of yelling ensues as Stu and Didi blame Lou for the mess, as he tries to explain that he didn't do anything. Tommy, meanwhile, 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.


  • Rugrats: Decade in Diapers - Volume 1
  • Rugrats: Decade in Diapers

External links