Cartoon Classroom: 6 Lessons This Generation Learned From 'Rugrats'

by Darren Bridges

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or just haven’t been online recently, I want to bless your life with some good news.

Nickelodeon is working on bringing all of your favorite 90s cartoons back on their own, special channel. The channel is rumored to be called "The Splat!" and there have already been numerous teasers out for us to revel in.

A Twitter profile was created, a YouTube teaser video was uploaded and a website was recently launched. It's a pretty big deal.

If there's one thing we 90s kids love to talk about (more than how hard it is to find a job), it is the past. Specifically, the times when we would watch our favorite cartoons and not have a care in the world.

It was probably our constant whining that ignited "The Splat!"

One cartoon that vividly sticks out in my mind is "Rugrats." When I think of Nickelodeon, that is the first show that pops in my head. Although it is one of many Nickelodeon classics, it is the only one I can truly say I watched consistently, even when I wasn’t within their age demographic.

As I think back to what "Rugrats" meant to me, I realize the show instilled good values within us at a young age.

Here are six life lessons learned from watching "Rugrats."

1. Friendship isn’t about sameness.

Phil, Lil, Tommy, Chuckie, Susie and Kimi (Angelica, on a good day) were friends, regardless of their lack of sameness in appearance and personality. As babies, they probably didn’t comprehend the idea of race, ethnicity and gender, which puts them far ahead of some people in today’s society.

Those people probably didn’t watch "Rugrats" as kids. The toddlers' personalities were also different from one another. In spite of that, they were the best of friends and accepted each other for who they were.

2. Not everyone has the same point of view.

As kids, we had no idea how big the world truly was. Our lack of knowledge and experiences made our opinions and points of view about things pretty biased.

"Rugrats" really understood how views are interpreted differently, and made it a core part of the show. Every episode was a tale about how the babies misconstrued the actions of the adults.

"Rugrats" taught us not everyone thinks the same. We must walk in their shoes and learn something new to really grasp someone else’s point of view.

3. Never underestimate the underdog.

Tommy was one smart cookie.

As the ringleader, he was always the one to get them out of that contraption they called a "playpen." Those babies ran around the entire house without supervision, and barely ever got caught. Either they had really bad parents, or the Rugrats were smarter than everyone else.

Either way, this taught us we should never underestimate people -- especially the ones who seem like they don’t know what's going on.

4. Families come in different shapes and sizes.

Back then, it was natural to think families consisted of a mom, a dad and two kids. That was the norm.

But "Rugrats" showed us something different. We saw the single dad life. We saw the tomboy mom and the wimpy dad. We saw a family go from two to four through marriage.

We also saw a too-busy mom and a pushover dad, which resulted in the spoiled brat known as Angelica. The family structure is forever changing, and the new norm is just a family made of love.

5. Travel is good for the soul.

Tommy and the squad went on a lot of adventures. Although their imaginations made their backyard something it could never be, they also showed us traveling opens up a lot of doors.

We become more cultured, more open-minded and just more well-rounded when we travel to new places.

6. Sometimes, it pays to be a bitch.

I know I’ve been bashing Angelica for the majority of this article, but she taught us a valuable lesson as well.

Sometimes, you have to be ruthless to get what you want. Being an honest and nice person doesn’t always work out for the best. Karma doesn’t always do its job.

Sometimes in life, you have to be an Angelica.