Alumni in the News

Remembering ‘The Rugrats’ Hanukkah episode

An animated still from the Nickelodeon television show "The Rugrats," picturing characters left to right, Chuckie Finster, Lil and Phil DeVille, Angelica Pickles, and (center) Tommy Pickles.

“A Macca-baby’s gotta do what a Macca-baby’s gotta do.”

Children who grew up in the 1990s remember the beloved quote from the Hanukkah-themed episode in the hit Nickelodeon animated series about talking babies, “The Rugrats.”

Teri McGuire, MA’16, is one of millions who grew up on the show. However, she took her love and interest in “The Rugrats” to the next level by making the series the primary focus of her master’s thesis, “Don’t Close the … Door: ‘Rugrats’ and its Impact on Jewish Children.

McGuire, a native of Rockland County, New York, presented the thesis to the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Protagonist Tommy Pickles delivered the Macca-baby statement during “A Rugrats Chanukah.” In the episode, Tommy and his friends learn about Hanukkah from his intermarried family; parts of the episode even feature the babies acting out the Hanukkah story.

“The Rugrats” – and the Hanukkah episode in particular – have had a lasting impact on millennials, particularly Jews. McGuire spoke to BrandeisNOW about why.

Read the interview on BrandeisNOW.

Date: December 6, 2018