"Big House Blues" is the pilot episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show. It was originally screened in film festivals several months before the show debuted on Nickelodeon. It was first aired in place of the first segment of the show's fourth episode, "Fire Dogs". The episode was then re-aired as part of the show's eighth episode, partnered with "Ren's Toothache", and was eventually partnered with "In the Army" in reruns as well as on The First and Second Seasons DVD set.
Ren Höek and Stimpy J. Cat are a dog and a cat searching hopelessly for food and shelter when one day, they get caught by the Dog Catcher. At the pound, the Dog Catcher allows them to go party with the other dogs in their cell. There, they meet Phil, who gets taken out by the dog catcher. Jasper the Pup tells Ren that Phil has been put to sleep, and Ren, misunderstanding him, decides he could use a nap himself.
The next morning, Ren dreams about kissing a woman, but wakes up to find out he's actually kissing Stimpy. Ren exclaims that he's been poisoned, and runs off to the toilet to wash himself of Stimpy's germs. Then, Ren walks to Jasper and asks him what happened to Phil. He told him again that the dog catcher put him to sleep. Ren says to wake him, but Jasper explains "You don't wake up from the BIG sleep." Ren panics and starts whimpering as Stimpy asks him what the big sleep is. Ren calms down, then yells at him that it means Phil is dead and they'll be next if they don't get out.
Later, Stimpy vomits hairballs on Ren, which leads to him smacking Stimpy multiple times. The dog catcher comes for the duo, but a little girl mistakes Ren for a "cute little poodle", due to the hairballs on him, and wishes to adopt him. The dog catcher gives Ren to the girl and Ren is excited to leave alive. Then, realizing Stimpy is still left alone in the cell, Ren reluctantly explains to the girl that he's not going with her unless she takes Stimpy as well. The girl accepts, resulting in a happy Stimpy jumping on top of Ren.
At Ren and Stimpy's new home, they meet a woman who appears to be the the little girl's mother. She gives Ren a sweater, and Stimpy a litterbox (his first material possession). Stimpy, overcome with joy, states that he can hardly wait to try it.
Home video releases
- The Best of Ren & Stimpy
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: The First and Second Seasons
- This episode aired on Spike TV with the banned episode, "Man's Best Friend". It also contained the TVMA rating.
- The opening sequence to The Ren and Stimpy Show is made up of clips used in this episode.
- On Nickelodeon, the scene where Ren is unknowingly sweet talking in his sleep to Stimpy and then rushes to the toilet to wash his face was censored (though clips of the latter part were oddly kept in the intro sequence). Both the original uncut version and the Nickelodeon broadcast version are included on The First and Second Seasons DVD release.
- "Big House Blues" at the Internet Movie Database (original version)
- "Big House Blues" at the Internet Movie Database (televised version)