Betty, The Queer Icon From ‘Rugrats’, Is Now A Confirmed Lesbian And Conservatives Are Losing It

"I was today years old when I learned that Betty from 'Rugrats' wasn’t always gay."

rugrats betty lesbian

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Rugrats, easily one of the best kid’s shows from the ’90s, is back with a modern reboot but not all are happy.

Despite how progressive the show was when it premiered in 1991 with its diverse cast that explored important topics like child grief, varying religions, and gender norms, conservatives are seemingly unhappy that the reboot features an openly gay character.

Now, for anyone who watched Rugrats growing up, Betty DeVille aka Phil and Lil’s mum being gay won’t come as a surprise.

Betty, with her iconic female symbol jumper, was heavily coded to be gay and even though Betty had a husband in Howard, he was rarely ever on screen. In fact, Howard was such a non-character that it wouldn’t be that much of stretch to think that Betty was actually a single mum throughout the original series.

And look, in an ideal world, Betty and Howard would both be gay. The dream scenario is that Betty and Howard had a happy marriage, separated a few years later after realising they were no longer attracted to each other, but continued to be supportive best friends who would co-parent the twins beautifully together.

However, Paramount+ decided to just write Howard out completely and make Betty an iconic single lesbian, which is why conservatives are so damn mad.

You see, despite right-wing Bible thumpers constantly complaining about the apparent “gay agenda” being pushed onto “our children” through tv and movies, conservatives are actually suddenly very accepting of queer characters! Instead of hating gay characters, prudes are just very upset that Rugrats stole a man’s wife and made her a lesbian instead of just introducing a new gay character. Sure, Jan.

Some also fixated on the idea that “turning Betty into a lesbian” was stereotypical and implied that any strong woman who had short hair must instantly be a lesbian — totally ignoring that Kira Finster, who was introduced in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie to eventually become Chuckie’s new mum, also had short hair but is straight.

The reality is conservatives were never going to be happy with any gay characters in the rebooted series. Whether it was Betty who was gay or if they introduced a new bisexual neighbour called Sam, there would always be an issue because some people just love to hear the sound of their own voice.

Natalie Morales, the actress who voices Betty in the new Paramount+ reboot, herself admitted that “anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia.”

“Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that,” Morales said in a statement to AV Club.

“And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but 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.”

So there you have it, confirmed lesbian Betty DeVille for president!!

You can stream the ‘Rugrats’ reboot on Paramount+, which launches in Australia on August 11.