The reboot of “Rugrats” premiered on Paramount+ on May 27th, where the most notable change from the original is Betty DeVille, the mom of twins Phil and Lil, is now written as a lesbian single mother.
The character is voiced by queer actress Natalie Morales, who’s guest starred in shows such as “Dead to Me” and “The Sant Clarita diet” where she played queer characters as well.
Morales shared how much the representation in the original would’ve meant to her in an interview with “A.V Club”
“Even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.”
She also added that “anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was in the alphabet mafia”, which Betty’s classic pixie cut, head band and her sweater with the female sex symbol on it hold up to. However, in the reboot her sweater was replaced by a Gemini symbol sweater, making her even more sapphic than before.
Along with those changes to her appearance, Betty also own's her own coffee shop called "Betty's Beans", where in the original she simply worked as an operator at the "Java Lava Coffee House."
Having Betty DeVille as the same character as she was in the original, minus a husband (R.I.P Howard Deville) it breaks the tend of having reboots of children's shows becoming gritty and dark in order to both modernize and diversify it. This trend not only ends in bad tv, but also supports the idea that adding LGBTQ+ characters to classic children's shows is something children can't handle.
While there are no major storylines in the five episodes that were added to Paramount+, Betty does mention ex-girlfriends off-handedly, much like Morales mentioned in the interview, and it leaves room for future plotlines in the rebooted show.
You can watch all five episodes of the “Rugrats” reboot an Parmount+, along with the original.