Chuck: The Major Key

Why you need a Chuckie Finster in your life 

It is impossible to find success in this world on your own. We all rely on the advice and support of our friends and family. Batman had Alfred. The Lone Ranger had Tonto. The Brain had Pinky. Among the hundreds of TV heroes that have graced the small screen Tommy Pickles stands out. He’s the perfect package: brilliant problem solver, natural-born leader and dashingly good looks all in a streamlined 12 month old package. A true wunderkind. While I could go on about my fellow bald head brother, this is not what my column is about. While lauding the accomplishments of Tommie would be the column you want to read, I’m going to present to you the column that you need to read. The column that will make you the Tommie of your own little personal Rugrat crew. I’m telling you that if you want to be a Tommie, you need to find a Chuckie.

You can’t be serious

Charles Crandell Norbert Finster Jr doesn’t seem like he’d be a great friend, much less a game changing X-factor at first glance. The most accurate description of him is that he’s the scaredy-cat in the group. He’s always trying to persuade the group to not go on adventures and he’s the first person to run away when there is the slightest hint of danger. In addition, he sickly. He’s always talks about his allergies and his voice is defined by the nasally tone of a nose that is permanently blocked by mucus. To top it all off, he’s a ginger. Therefore it can be assumed that he has no soul. Basically Chuckie seems like that awkward kid you didn’t like, but had to hang out with because your parents are friends.

As an “adult,” I’ve been given the opportunity to write on this blog and reexamine all of the TV shows of my youth. While re-watching Rugrats, I rediscovered Chuckie. Instead of seeing the fragile boy mentioned above, I found in Chuckie one of the bravest, most loyal characters I’ve had the pleasure to watch. It’s hard, at first, to see but consider this change in perspective. Instead of looking at the way Chuckie is, think about what Chuckie has been through and how that affects his view on the world.


Chuckie is raised by Chaz Finster, a single father who, truth be told, is a little over his head in raising a child. Chuckie’s mother died when he was still an infant but the “Mother’s Day” episode shows that the one memory Chuckie has of her is when she taught him not to be afraid. When taking this into consideration, the character of Chuckie seems more like a protective older brother than a craven. Unlike the other babies in the series, Chuckie has experienced loss. He understands that there are risks and consequences for our actions. Heavy stuff to contemplate for a one year old. When he warns his friends not to go through with a plan because it doesn’t sound like a good idea (and he’s right most of the time), it’s because he doesn’t want to lose them like he lost his mother.

Episode after episode he takes it upon himself to be the voice of reason among his peers even though he knows it will make him the object of ridicule and contempt, especially from Phil and Lil. Yet he does so anyway. It reminds me of a quote from Albus Dumbledore, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” #neviellehive

Chuckie in Action

Chuckie’s value as a friend best displayed in the Rugrats Movie. The plot of the movie is that babies are lost in the woods and trying to find their way home. Complicating these matters is Tommy’s useless infant brother Dil. Another challenge the crew faces is avoiding a band of circus monkeys that have escaped due to a train wreak. These monkeys are in constant pursuit of the babies because of Dil’s banana flavors baby food.

In the heat of this stressful situation, Phil and Lil start pushing hard for the crew to abandon Dil. While Tommy, being a responsible older brother, obviously is against this, Chuckie goes beyond the call of best friend duty to support him.

  • Chuckie was the one that didn’t talk shit when Phil and Lil were dissing Tommy behind his back
  • Chuckie was the only one who was fighting to protect Dil when the monkeys were trying to steal him
  • Chuckie was the one who did all of this for Tommie despite not having his glasses

Even after Chuckie snapped on Tommie and removed himself from this toxic situation, he was still Tommie’s biggest support while away.

  • Chucke was the one still trying to convince the twins to go back and help Tommy after they left
  • Chuckie was the one who personally sacrificed himself to be a diversion to lure the the monkeys away
  • And once again, Chuckie was the one who did all this despite walking around with broken glasses.

At the end of the day, every time Tommy needed Chuckie, he came through with flying colors. Thanks to Chuckie’s bravery and support throughout the whole movie, Tommy was able to be the hero of the film and the hero that Dil needed. Note that Chuckie this all without one thank you from Tommy. But that’s OK because seeing his friends happy is good enough for Chuckie. That’s why he’s a Major Key.


It’s a big world out there and there will be many people you’ll have the pleasure of making acquaintance with. Some of them you’ll consider friends but not everyone will have your back. There are some friends who will hang around you when everything’s OK but will disappear at the first sign of trouble. These are your “Phil and Lils”. There’s nothing wrong with these people, just make sure not to lean on them too much. There are also those “friends” that are only looking to use you. Those are your “Angelicas”. Stay away from them. Then there are your “Chuckies.” Friends that may not be the most exciting or helpful on the surface but when push comes to shove and the shit his the fan, they are right by your side.

As brilliant as Sherlock Holmes was, he needed Watson. Mr. Burns would be nothing without Smithers and Michael Scott had Dwight. If you want to make the world a better place, you need to start ditching the Angelicas and surrounding yourself with a couple of Chuckies and you’ll be alright. Or better yet, return the favor and be a Chuckie for someone else.







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