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Western Animation: Doug
The main characters as they appeared during the Nickelodeon era.

Dear journal...

One of the first three original Nicktoons, featuring eleven-year-old Doug Funnie and his experiences with his friends, family and community. Creator Jim Jinkins developed the concept and drew inspiration from his own experiences growing up. Beginning with Doug's arrival in Bluffington, he dutifully writes about his every adventure in his journal, which frames almost every episode. Very early on, he gained a best friend in Mosquito "Skeeter" Valentine, a nemesis in school bully Roger Klotz, and a love interest in the tomboyish Patti Mayonnaise. His dog Porkchop frequently steals the show with his antics, not unlike Snoopy. Many other colourful characters (both literally and figuratively) were featured.

In many episodes, Doug pretends to be one of his personal superheroes to solve the problem; the methods the hero uses are adapted to fit a real-life situation. For example, one episode has the vice principal Mr. Bone refusing to have a popular rock band play at their school; he considers it heathen entertainment. Doug pretends to be Quailman dealing with the strict alien robots called Robo-Bones. When Quailman couldn't overpower the robots, they turned on him with horrible yodeling (Mr. Bone was part of a yodeling quartet). Quailman ended up saving the day by suggesting that they sing in key and form a band, which made everyone happy. Doug learned that, instead of fighting Mr. Bone, they should make a compromise. He suggested Mr. Bone's yodeling group to open for the rock band, figuring that the student body suffering for five minutes was worth it.

Those imaginary characters were homages to other heroes in pop culture. Smash Adams was James Bond, Race Canyon was Indiana Jones, and Quailman had some resemblance to Superman. Skeeter once revealed his personal superhero as Silver Skeeter, obviously based on the Silver Surfer.

This show breaks away from the borderline-Negative Continuity of other Nickelodeon shows, even getting a Grand Finale when the network prized being able to not pay attention to airing order.

After its initial run, the show was bought and Retooled by Disney into Brand Spanking New Doug (Or Disney's Doug as it was later branded). It wound up changing a few things from the Nickelodeon version (the first episode even addresses this with the new changes of Doug's life) with many characters getting new looks and various supporting characters changing jobs and roles. Despite the changes, it was still a continuation of the original series, and ended up with a longer run than the original. Like the Nickelodeon version, it also concluded with a Grand Finale (something very few Disney cartoons have managed).

A theatrical film, accurately (and optimistically) titled Doug's 1st Movie was released in 1999. It also got its own stage show at Disney-MGM Studios, Doug Live!, which ran from 1999-2001.

Nickelodeon's Doug is now in reruns on TeenNick's "The '90s Are All That" block. You can also find the complete Nickelodeon series here, though there's no word of a DVD release for the Disney produced series.

Not to be confused with the YouTube series Doug Derky.

This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace:
    • Chalky Studebaker was the star athlete of every athletic team, and was the swim team. Deconstructed when Doug learned that he has insecurities about having to be the best at everything due to constantly being compared to his even more overachieving older brother, including when Chalky cheated off of Doug during an exam..
    • Silver Skeeter was this in his first appearance, much to the annoyance of Doug
    • Patti has her moments.
  • Accidental Athlete: Doug becomes field goal kicker of the football team.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Subverted by Patti in the later Quailman comics who keeps pronouncing Guy Graham/Rupert Schmupert's last name the French way which he keeps correcting.
  • Adorkable: Both Doug and Skeeter.
  • An Aesop: Most (if not all) of the episodes had one. The show got E/I branding during the Disney run.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • One episode has Larry, due to a misunderstanding, starting a fight with Doug, which Doug surprisingly wins (after actually taking a punch). Doug's dad overhears Skeeter talking Doug up, then Dad scolds Doug and turns the episode into "Physical Violence is for those who've run out of good ideas", even in self-defense.note  Then, near the end of the (Nick) series, Roger hits Connie's Berserk Button verbally and gets the wind knocked out of him with no repercussions, just everyone having a good time. Yes, Roger's an undeniable Jerkass, but it also leads to the other issue of Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male.
    • In "Doug Saves Roger", Roger begs Doug to convince Mr. Bones' nephew Percy to stop bullying him, even saying that he'll never bully Doug again. Doug does so, but now Percy wants to beat up Doug, only for Roger to save Doug. In the end, while acting as a friend, Roger starts to go back on his promise to stop bullying Doug by putting a sign on Doug's back.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Played straight in the Nickelodeon episode "Doug's Birthday Present," to the extent that the Disney series opened with an episode about him turning 12. Since he was 11½ when he moved to Bluffington and lived there during the Nickelodeon birthday episode, the only logical conclusion one could draw is that he had two 12th birthdays!
  • Alliterative Name: Several characters, like Beebe Bluff.
  • All There in the Manual: Connie apparently had a crush on Roger in the Disney series.
  • Almost Kiss: Doug gets one with Patti.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: White, blue, purple, green? (Word of God says it's been Jim Jinkins's art style ever since he liked to color in his coloring books as a kid.) Makes it all the odder that Doug and Patti's families have more realistic skin tones. Roger's pale yellow skin, while not uncommon in animation, is still playing the trope straight.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: As outlined by this article on Cracked, it is a strong possibility that Doug has schizophrenia.
  • Amusement Park: Funkytown.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Parodied with Quailman.
  • Anything But That!: When faced with liver and onions in one of his fantasies in "Doug's Dinner Date."
  • Arc Number: 47. It's on many street signs, it's Doug's locker number, etc.
  • Art Evolution: Relatively minor in mostly the animation style, in later episodes the characters are less rubbery.
    • Brand Spanking New modifies the outfits but is otherwise almost identical. The biggest change is in the musical style, from acapella to more orchestrated.
    • There is a quite noticeable evolution in the art between the first and second episodes, though. The pilot features a very wobbly style where the characters' outlines are constantly moving, making the show's world look more surreal and scribble-like. This effect was toned down severely by the second episode, and is gone entirely by the end of season one.
      • In addition to being a minor character at first (see below), Connie was purple like Beebe and the Dinks in the first season. In the second season, she becomes green like Chalky and Roger, coinciding with her increased prominence.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Sleech brothers in the Disney series.
    • Connie only has minor roles in a handful of first season episodes ("Doug's New Shoes", "Doug Babysits") but becomes a major character in the second season.
  • Babysitting Episode: The episode "Doug Loses Dale" is about Doug babysitting Skeeter's younger brother, Dale.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: When Doug ends up being a Burger Fool at the Honker Burger (usually it's Mr. Dink).
  • Balloon Belly: Doug gets one in "Doug Tips the Scale".
  • Baseball Episode: Two, actually. "Doug Out in Left Field", where Patti forms her own baseball team for the kids who were rejected from the school's team, and "Doug's On First", where the parents of the kids on Patti's team think it's unfair about what position each player is playing.
  • Beam-O-War: Quailman and Dr. Klozenstein engage in this with their Quail Eye and Brain Drain, respectively, in "Doug is Quailman".
  • Being Good Sucks: "Doug's in the Money." Doug returns the money to the old lady, gets a piece of gum for the reward, loses the respect of Roger and some other kids, but gains the respect of Judy, who from that moment on is less of a Cloudcuckoolander Jerkass towards him and more of a Cool Big Sis.
  • Berserk Button: Implying that Mr. Bone wears pink underwear, which earns the offender one of his harshest punishments. Doug and Roger both trick each other into running afoul of this.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Connie proves this when Roger knocks her hat off at Doug's party and exposes her bad haircut, causing her to punch him in the stomach.
  • Beta Couple: Skeeter and Beebe would become this to Patti and Doug eventually.
  • Big Damn Movie
  • Black Bead Eyes: Everyone except for Skeeter, Porkchop, Stinky, Mrs. Dink, Mayor White, Larry, Coach Spitz, Beebe's mother, Muffy, Brian, and a variety of animals, who are pretty much the only characters to have normal eyes.
  • Black Best Friend: According to Word of God, Skeeter.
  • Blinding Camera Flash: In the school photo episode, there's a Running Gag about people being blinded by the camera and wandering around dizzily.
  • Book Dumb: Doug was an average student and an average athlete, but part of the success of the show is that he is socially savvy enough to figure his way out of problems using a more natural intelligence rather than school learned.
  • Book Ends: The first and last episodes of the Disney series, "Doug's Last Birthday" and "Doug's Marriage Madness", both revolve around big changes in Doug's life.
  • Boring Yet Practical: "Doug Flies A Kite" centers around a kite-flying competition, with Doug ignoring his dad's advice to make a simple diamond-shaped one and trying to improve on it. When none of his improvements work, he eventually settles on the regular kite, which then outlasts everyone else's more elaborate designs.
  • Brand X and Bland-Name Product: Several.
    • One notable example would be that Bluffington has a Worst Eastern hotel.
    • Also, the Pretendo (also used in Muppet Babies), and Beebe's laptop is a Beet... with an interface that looks suspiciously like it's copied from classic Mac OS.
    • Bonus points for one comic from the Disney era (printed in Disney Adventures) having a literal Brand X, which was the discount version of cool jacket brand Brand A.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter:
    • Judy the drama queen, who thinks that anything involving Doug is a cue to burst into nonsensical hysterics.
    • And Beebe Bluff in Disney's Doug.
  • Brick Joke: In one early episode, Doug was framed for stealing Mr. Bone's yodeling trophy. He goes to Judy for advice on how to get out of trouble. She suggests pleading insanity. Doug shoots it down explaining that Skunky Beaumont tried that a year earlier and still has to see the guidance councilor everyday as a result. Later on, Doug passes by the guidance councilor's office, and a voice calls out, "Hey, Doug." To which Doug responds, "Oh... hey, Skunky."
  • Brother-Sister Team: Doug and Judy sometimes find themselves in this role, such as when they need to outsmart a strict and annoying babysitter.
  • Call Back: In "Doug's Pet Capades", Porkchop suggests using ventriloquism for the dog show, using the same dummy he used at the end of "Doug's No Dummy".
  • The Cameo: Doug shows up in the role of the Bloody Head Fairy in the Ren and Stimpy episode "Haunted House". This is particularly funny if you consider that Billy West was at various times the voice of Doug, Stimpy and Ren.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Doug.
  • The Cast Showoff: In both versions of the show, Skeeter Valentine was voiced by Fred Newman, who, much like Skeeter, is highly talented at providing sound effects with his mouth. In addition, Newman did most of the music on the show with just his mouth sounds.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Mr. Dink is middle-class, just like Doug's family, but he has enough money to buy whatever he wants. So his favorite things are "very expensive".
    • Roger uses the expression "Joey Cucamonga" to express shock in one episode of the Nickelodeon version, but in the Disney seasons this was elevated to a catch phrase.
    • Disney also had the previously unseen Skunky using "torque" as an interjection.
  • Cats Are Mean: Stinky is, at least.
  • Chair Reveal: In "Doug Graduates", Doug finds himself in Mr. Buttsavich's office, with the back of the office chair facing him. Doug nervously asks for Mr. Buttsavich a few times, and the chair spins around to reveal... Roger.
  • Character Title
  • Charlie Brown Baldness: The title character. Oddly enough, there was an episode where Doug worried that he was going bald.
  • Chick Magnet: Skeeter, so very much. He managed to win over Beebe Bluff, Loretta Laquigley, and many other girls along the way.
  • Christmas Episode: Two. "Doug's Christmas Story" from the Nickelodeon run and "Doug's Secret Christmas" from the Disney run. The former is a Wham Episode (and rather infamous among fans) while the latter is much more light-hearted and feels like a typical Christmas Special.
  • Circle of Shame: Doug has a fantasy about this happening Once per Episode.
  • Compressed Vice: Roger is particularly prone to this.
  • Cool Big Sis: Judy, when she wasn't being a Cloudcuckoolander and/or Jerkass to Doug.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Bluff. He's bad enough during the Nickelodeon run, but the Disney episodes and movie have him really running with this.
  • Cousin Oliver: Cleopatra Dirtbike Funnie, Doug's baby sister introduced early in the Disney run.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: Fentruck's holiday celebrations.
  • Credits Jukebox: A unique aspect to the cartoon is that there was never a consistent credits theme; it was always different, and usually a piece of BGM recycled from the episodes that just played.
  • Cult of Personality: Bill Bluff supposedly is a descendant of Bluffington's founders, and thus owns most of the businesses and services in the city; also, Bluffington Middle School is in the shape of Beebe Bluff's head.
  • Damsel in Distress: Patti's role in the Quailman series well into the Disney episodes. Then, however, she becomes the reporter Miss Mayo who works for the Guy Graham stand-in Rupert Schmupert and who doesn't believe Quailman trying to explain to her that Schmupert is Golden Salmon, and that Golden Salmon is a supervillain. Then she becomes the superheroine Supersport who outclasses Quailman in just about everything he does.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Mrs. Dink. Judy has her moments (despite being a Large Ham), and while Porkchop can't talk, many of his expressions suggest this.
    • Mrs. Wingo also has plenty of moments.
    • Doug can also be this on occasion (especially when he's interacting with Judy).
  • Dean Bitterman: Mr. Lamar Bone. "One second late and it goes on your permanent record!"
  • Depraved Dentist: Subverted with Doug's dentist Dr. Kay, but played straight with the Smash Adams' villain Dr. Decay.
    Doug: (As Smash Adams in a fantasy sequence) You'll never make me talk, Dr. Decay.
    Dr. Decay: I don't want you to talk, Mr. Adams. I want you to suffer! (gets a big drill)
  • Demoted to Extra: Chalky in the Disney series.
  • Disappeared Dad: Roger lives alone with his mom, but his dad is never seen until the Disney series, which revealed in a flashback that his parents divorced.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? / G-Rated Drug: Nic-Nacs.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The pilot is animated with Line Boil and Doug calls his journal his diary.
    • In the first season, Connie has purple skin and yellow hair, as opposed to green skin and black hair.
  • Eat The Camera: Happens quite a bit when Doug screams, especially if it's at the end of a cold open (such as in "Doug's Math Problem.")
  • Edible Theme Naming: Patti Mayonnaise.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Walter "Skunky" Beaumont as revealed in one of the Disney episodes.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Played with in "Doug Didn't Do It", in which Roger tells Doug he stole Mr. Bone's trophy while sitting with his legs across Mr. Bone's desk— with his foot on the PA system button, and the "on-air" light flashing. It's played with, in that Doug was more than happy to accept the punishment for something he didn't do, had no intention of tattling on Roger, and had even tried to warn Roger about what he was doing. He's just that nice a guy. The school heard it, including Mr. Bone, and Roger will be polishing trophies 'til they put him in the grave.
  • Episode Title Card: Doug will walk through a door, offer up the title, and happily declare, "That's me!" before Porkchop shows up, screws him into the ground, and turns the lights off. All of this is accompanied by a Theme Tune Cameo.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • In "Doug's Brainy Buddy", Doug just couldn't believe Skeeter is a genius, and gotten to the point where it nearly broke their friendship. When Judy asked what happened...
      Doug: He got smart.
      Judy: Oh.
      Doug: What do you mean "oh"? I'm not jealous of him if that's what you think? (he laughs at this) *beat* I am jealous, am I, Porkchop?
      (Porkchop nods)
    • Doug gets another one in "Doug Graduates" when he finds out why he's unhappy about graduation, while talking to Roger who feels the same way.
    • And another in "Doug's Disappearing Dog" when he realizes why Porkchop ran away, because he "treated him like a dog".
  • The Everyman: Doug is a mild-mannered, Book Dumb student with a mostly unrequited crush on a girl, is only a moderate athlete, and can never stay ahead for long.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Doug for Patti.
  • Expy:
    • The Beets' name and Liverpool accents are obviously based on The Beatles (although singer Monroe Yoder looks more like Roger Daltrey).
    • Many of the characters are reminiscent of Peanuts characters. Doug is kind of like Charlie Brown in personality and character design, Porkchop is Snoopy, Patty Mayonnaise is the Little Red Haired Girl, Skeeter is Linus, amongst many others. This is Lampshaded in the series premiere of the Disney series when Doug sees a computer simulation of possible haircuts and one is that of Charlie Brown. He even says good grief.
    • Or it could be Archie: Doug=Archie, Skeeter=Jughead, Patty=Betty, Beebe=Veronica, Porkchop=Hot Dog (even though he's Jughead's dog)
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is seen often with many of the incidents where those who target the titular character and his friends, mostly the bullies.
    • In "Doug Saves Roger", Roger, a known bully, falls victim to the bullying of Percy Femur, Vice Principal Lamar Bone’s nephew and who’s bigger than Roger. Doug stands up for Roger and almost pays for it. Roger tells Mr. Bone about his nephew's bullying, explaining to Doug that he ran out of ideas.
    • "Doug Battles The Rulemeister" – In The Quailman comic, Doug models Rulemeister after Bone when he finds a loophole. When Bone seized the comics, Doug asks him if he’s immune to the same rules. When Bone states without exceptions, he realizes what he was doing. While Bone still enforces the rules, he knows he can be overruled by anyone either the same position as him, or higher like Buttsavitch, who’s the principal.
  • Extreme Doormat:
    • Doug had shades of this.
    • Larry plays this totally straight.
  • Fake Nationality: invoked A girl claiming to be from Yakistonia is called out on this by Fentruck because she wants to be liked. At least some of her stories were true however, as her Aunt (whom everyone is convinced is a lie) appears in person at the end of the episode.
  • Fanservice: At the beginning of the episode "Doug On His Own", Judy wears a dress that shows her back and cleavage.
  • Fanservice Pack: Happened to formerly pudgy Connie Benge between the Nick and the Disney shows. Explained with her and her mother having been to a beauty farm.
  • Forced to Watch: Doug invokes this on himself in "Doug's Nightmare on Jumbo St."
  • Free-Range Children: The eleven-year old cast behaves much more like older teenagers the way they run about their town.
  • First Kiss: The subject of an episode. It ends up being Doug and Beebe.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Gang Of Bullies: Roger is often seen with fellow delinquents Willie, Ned and Boomer.
  • Genius Ditz: Skeeter's revealed to be this in one episode, though it was hidden because he's Book Dumb. The only reason they found out was because Skeeter didn't realize the IQ test was a test; he mentions how he panics with tests. It took Doug the entire episode to accept it, reluctantly. It came up again in the Disney version, where Skeeter eventually made it onto a trivia bowl team but he choked when asked a question.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has its own page.
  • The Ghost: Skunky Beaumont in the Nick episodes. Principal Buttsavitch from the Nick episodes. Also the Lucky Duck Lake monster before The Movie.
  • Give Geeks a Chance:
  • God-Mode Sue: In-universe, Silver Skeeter, much to Doug's annoyance. Not to mention Skeeter doesn't get the criticism.
  • Graduate from the Story: More or less. The last regular episode of the Nickelodeon version has the characters graduating from Bluffington School.
  • Green Around the Gills: This happens to Doug in "Doug's Fat Cat", after he tastes some not so appetizing cat food to show Stinky just how good it is. But he ends up feeling queasy and excuses himself to vomit.
  • Hates Being Touched: "He's touching me. Why is he touching me?"
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Roger says "Yeah, what do you know, Skeet-Face?"
  • Held Back In School: Roger eventually reveals to Doug that he spent three years in the sixth grade.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Principal Buttsavitch.
  • His Code Name Was Marty Stu: Many of Doug's Imagine Spots fill this role. There's also the episode where Doug and Skeeter collaborate on a comic, with both of them as superheroes. Quailman actually averted this, as he had few real superpowers, but solved most problems with cunning or diplomatic solutions. Silver Skeeter is a very straight example though, and is even criticized for using his abilities without considering the possible consequences.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf:
    • Patti, in the Disney version's episode about the town anthem contest. One can contrast this with her singing in "Doug's No Dummy", a Nickelodeon-era episode.
    • In another episode, Doug and Skeeter hear Mr. Dink apparently moaning in agony. They ran to his house to see a video of Mr. Dink singing badly.
      Mr. Dink: I made it this morning. Do you like it?
      Skeeter: Like it? We thought you were dying!
      Mr. Dink: (stops the tape) What was that, Skeeter?
      Doug: Uh, he said we were dying to hear your song.
      Mrs. Dink: Right you are the first time, boys.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Roger and many of his male classmates at school teased Doug when Patti asked him on a date. After the date Roger and the others stopped him on his walk home, asking him what it was like. It was moments like these where their actual age was evident.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episode titles always start with "Doug" or "Doug's."
  • Idiot Ball
    • The Nickelodeon-era Christmas episode has Porkchop bite and injure Beebe to keep her away from thin ice/hole in the ice and is then taken away because he is believed to be dangerous. Out of context the logic can at least be followed if one didn't know of the thin ice, however; the thin ice was marked as such then a hole formed in the ice that she was heading straight for, he had never shown any signs of aggression at any point and during his "trial" Beebe was instructed to recreate the incident i.e. walk on ice towards a hole in but now in a cast with crutches and Porkchop seems to be the only one who notices she is about to die and has to break free to save her again. Granted, everyone that wasn't Doug and his inner circle was holding the Idiot Ball that episode. Bill Bluff, Beebe's father and owner of Bluffington, had gone to great lengths to paint Porkchop as a monster and everyone believed him over Doug, no one gave a care about the dog come Christmas and it forced Doug to call everyone out at Porkchop's trial.
  • I Have This Friend: Practically Doug's catchphrase. He often follows it up with "It's not me," as well.
  • Insanity Defense: In one episode, Roger is attempting to frame Doug for stealing Mr. Bone's trophy. Judy suggests attempting the Insanity Defense, only for Doug to say that the last person who tried it still got in trouble and had to go to the counselor.
  • Ironic Name: In one episode, Doug orders a pizza from Speedy Pizza, and they arrived a few hours later. One of the delivery guys said they should really change the name.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Played for Laughs in one episode, when Doug tried to sell chocolates door to door for charity, but couldn't make any sales because his neighbors complained that the chocolates "tasted like cement". In a bizarre twist, it turned out that there actually was cement in the chocolates because of an accident at the factory where they were made. Though how Doug's neighbors knew what cement tasted like is anyone's guess… Perhaps it was more of a commentary on the texture - an unbreakable hunk that performed well as a doorstop.
  • Jerkass: Roger. Doug, too, on occasion. Such as in "Doug's Brainy Buddy."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Roger on other occasions. He even helped organize Doug's 1-year anniversary in Bluffington.
    Roger: It doesn't mean that we're getting married or anything.
  • Karma Houdini: In "Doug and Patti, P.I.", Roger steals supplies for the family wheelbarrell race because he wanted to participate but couldn't because his father lives far away and his mother's feet were too sore for her to fill in. However, he doesn't get punished for his actions and ends up participating anyway since Mr. Dink wanted to participate but didn't have any kids.
  • Kick the Dog: Roger, occasionally. Especially when he made Doug throw a rock at Patti's old house, knowing Patti would walk by, and let Doug think she would be impressed. Then, after it was completely knocked down, he and his gang laugh when Patti was angry with Doug.
  • Kid Com
  • Kissing Warm Up: Doug practices kissing on a balloon.
  • Last Minute Hookup: After seven seasons of crushing and "Will They or Won't They?", Doug and Patti finally get together in the last few minutes of the final episode.
  • Leitmotif: Several characters have one, for example Judy, Roger, and Mr. Dink.
  • Less Embarrassing Term: "It's a journal, not a diary!"
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded and turned into an episode. Doug always wears brown khaki shorts with a green vest over a white shirt. When their favorite TV star wears the same outfit, everyone copies the style, and they think Doug has, too. He spends the entire episode trying to prove that he isn't a lemming, even showing everyone his entire wardrobe of identical clothes, but to his frustration everyone still thinks he's trying to be like the TV star. So he tries to dress differently, then eventually gives up, figuring that it's not worth the trouble... only to find everyone is now copying a different outfit the TV star wears, which looks the same as Skeeter's.
  • Logo Joke: Skeeter has a poster of the Jumbo Pictures (Doug's production company) egg logo (minus the words) in his room. Doug also lives on 21 Jumbo Street, also having to do with the company.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Beebe.
  • Love at First Sight: Doug is lovestruck the second he sees Patti bike past outside the Honker Burger in the very first episode.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Porkchop.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Patti Mayonnaise. One episode she actually asks him out on a date, which ends kind of awkwardly. This back-and-forth behavior continues throughout the rest of the series. This is justified due to their ages—after all, most preteens are pretty nervous when it comes to dealing with matters of the heart for the first time.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The name Dink comes from the acronym for "Double Income, No Kids."
    • Doug's sister Judy, a Shakespeare buff and all-around drama queen, is likely named after Judith Shakespeare. To drive the point home, her mom always calls her Judith.
    • Mr. Bone has a rather large nephew named Percy Femur, large enough to effectively bully Roger, which he does. The femur, (the thigh bone) is the largest bone in the human body.
    • The Ponzi Puzzle Sweepstakes. The name itself says it's a scam.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Disney's Doug had as much merchandise as say, High School Musical or Hannah Montana.
  • Middle School Rocks
  • Missing Mom:
    • Patti's mother died in a car accident. This actually makes her the first character from a Nicktoon with a dead parent- Chuckie's mom being dead on Rugrats wasn't confirmed until after Doug had left for ABC and during the time Doug was on Nickelodeon, the writers of Rugrats were keeping where she was ambiguous.
    • To a lesser extent, the Sleech brothers have a father, but not a mother. What happened to her is never mentioned.
  • Mistaken Confession: Happens while Doug tries to tell his friends he's not copying a teen star.
    Doug: I suppose you're wondering why you're here? Certain accusations have been made recently.
    Roger: Alright, I did it! Big deal!
    Doug: Did what, Roger?
    Roger: Oh, you don't know? Never mind.
    Beebe: Get to the point, Doug!
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Doug enjoys writing in his journal as well as writing and drawing his own comics. According to other characters he's actually pretty good at the latter, and this is evident from his Imagine Spots as part of the show's structure.
  • The Movie: Creatively titled Doug's 1st Movie. (However, maybe a more accurate title would be Doug's Only Movie.)
  • The Moving Experience: Doug actually thought Skeeter was moving in one Nickelodeon episode. Turns out, he was... to a new room in his house's basement.
  • Mr. Imagination
  • Mystery Meat: Magic Mystery Meat was served to unwilling students. In a subversion of the trope, in one episode Doug was being overly nostalgic, and went so far as to believe that Magic Mystery Meat was not only edible, but tasty as well.
  • Myth Arc: Disney's Doug had Doug and Skeeter occasionally visiting Lucky Duck Lake in an attempt to discover if a monster exists in there (a nod to the legendary Loch Ness Monster). The monster itself finally makes an appearance in The Movie and plays an important role.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In-universe. Doug actually calls Skeeter out on this in one episode when the latter's superhero alter-ego, the Silver Skeeter, kept showing off new powers that came out of nowhere and were just what he needed to save the day.
  • New Season, New Name
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Doug does this to Patti's old house which is falling apart. Later, after she apologized for calling him "terrible", Doug was relieved since he didn't know why Patti would be angry at him for knocking down "some cruddy old house", which caused Patti to be angry at him again, confusing him more.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Doug's favorite rock band was named The Beets in homage to The Beatles, who even split up much later in the shows run. They also had an Arnold Schwarzenegger parody (Ronald Weisenheimer). Mr. Bone is clearly based on Don Knotts.
  • Not a Date: The premise of "Doug and Patty Sitting in a Tree".
  • Not So Different: In "Doug Rocks the House", after Doug finds out he knocked down Patti's old house, he didn't understand why she was upset about it until he remembered how he felt when he first moved away from Bloatsburg.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In "Doug's Nightmare on Elm Street", Doug has nightmares of a shapeshifting monster from a scary movie, which he didn't even see what he looks like. Until he manage to face his fear by seeing the ending of the movie, which is a guy in a ridiculous-looking suit with his zipper showing.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The premise of the first episode of Disney's Doug, where Doug finds the world he knows has changed — the Jerk Jock bully got rich on a real estate deal, his favorite movie character has been Retooled, his favorite band has broken up, his favorite restaurant has gone up-scale, and his usual barber shop is under new management. Doug decides to change a bit himself (specifically, his haircut).
  • Oh, Crap: After Doug appeared on a goofy Western-themed kid's show (which his aunt was the director for), Skeeter reassures him that at least no-one they know saw it. Cue Roger dramatically entering, wearing a cowboy hat and spurs. When his aunt realises that Roger appeared on the show as a kid, Roger has the same reaction when Doug threatens to show everyone the footage of his Old Shame unless he knocks it off.
  • One Judge to Rule Them All: Bill Bluff in the contest to name the new school in "Doug's New School". He names it the "Beebe Bluff Middle School" after his daughter, making the whole contest (and conflict of the episode) pointless.
  • Only One Name: Flounder of The Beets.
  • Opposing Sports Team: The school softball team and Bloatsburg in football.
  • Our Founder: Thaddeus Bluff.
  • Panty Shot: Judy gets one in "Doug Needs Money" when she falls over rollerskating. Notable in that her character model usually always wears black tights.
  • Parallel Parking: The plot point of "Doug's Behind the Wheel"; Judy can't parallel park, thus she can't pass her driver's test and can't drive Doug and Patty to Funkytown.
  • Parental Bonus: Many.
  • Pet the Dog: Roger and Judy actually get some of these. Judy moreso, but that makes a lot of sense when you consider she is his sister.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Punny Name:
    • DINK (or DINKY) is slang for an affluent couple with no children.
    • Mayor Robert "Bob" White. A bobwhite is a species of quail.
  • Put Me In, Coach!: Doug goes in for the final play of the football game in "Doug's Big Feat".
  • Quietly Performing Sister Show:
    • In its original run, Doug was sort of this to Ren & Stimpy and Rugrats. Doug didn't become the pop-culture smash and merchandising bonanza that its fellow Nicktoons did, but was popular enough to remain on Nick's schedule in reruns years after its cancellation. Nickelodeon did promote the show when it was still running, if for no other reason than the fact that they show was popular with kids and especially parents, who thought Ren and Stimpy and other shows like it were too obnoxious. Averted with the Disney series, which was promoted almost as much as Hannah Montana!
    • In 1995-1997, Doug was Nickelodeon's second-highest rated show (behind Rugrats) and weekday evening airings regularly placed in the Top 10 for highest rated shows on cable. By the time it really started to take off, though, Disney had already bought Jumbo pictures, so Nickelodeon was only able to order more Rugrats episodes.
  • Rabble Rouser: In one episode of Brand Spankin' New Doug Ned Cauphee's house burns down, leaving him and his ten rambunctious siblings staying with various families in Bluffington, which quickly gets to be too much for them. Mayor Dink gives a fiery speech calling the townsfolk to action, then leads them on a march right to the Cauphee's...and start repairing their house.
  • Rags to Riches: When Bill Bluff had the new school built on Fat Jack's trailer park, it turned out that the patch of land on which Edwina Klotz's trailer stood was her own property. She sold it to him for an enormous amount of money.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Patti's Pulverizers in "Doug Out in Left Field".
  • Rampage from a Nail: In one episode, a giant monster created by Dr. Rubbersuit called Klotzilla is rampaging throughout the city. Quailman discovers that said monster has a thorn stuck in his foot and removes it, stopping the rampage.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: "Doug's Disappearing Dog". Doug lampshades how everyone remembers the previous day differently. This helps Doug realize why Porkchop ran away.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Principal Buttsavich, too bad we never see him. Mrs. Dink as mayor.
  • Recursive Canon: In "Doug's Secret Christmas," we see Skeeter and his family at home watching "Doug's Christmas Story" on TV.
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Road Trip Episode: The Funnie family trip to see the Painted Gorge, which gets sidetracked by several stops to visit what turn out to be tourist traps, followed by the car getting stuck in the mud and requiring everyone to get out and push it free.
  • Running Gag:
    • Beets.
    • Mr. Bone threatening that something Doug does will go on his permanent record.
  • Rich Bitch: Beebe, though not nearly as bad as some examples (usually). Roger is a worse, male version in the retool.
  • Ruritania: Yakistonia, homeland of the exchange student Fentruck.
  • Sadist Teacher: Doug had Mr. Bone & Mrs. Wingo in Doug's own nightmarish imagination.
  • Samus is a Girl: In the episode "Doug Out In Left Field," auditions are held for Bluffington's baseball team, and one kid who always wore a catcher's mask during the audition exhibits sheer excellence in hitting the ball, catching the ball, and throwing the ball. Coach Spitz recruits the star to the team and asks his name, and at that point the star player removes the mask and reveals herself as Patti Mayonnaise. After this revelation, Coach Spitz rejects her just because she's a girl.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Roger seems like a tough guy until he screams...
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Doug proves this when he returns an old lady's money to her instead of keeping it, despite all of the insults he received from most people about it.
  • Secret Diary: Roger gets his hands on Doug's journal in "Doug's Runaway Journal". Turns out he couldn't read any of it because Doug's handwriting is so bad.
  • Sentimental Music Cue: Played straight in many instances, such as when Roger steals Doug's "lucky hat" and when Doug walks home after apologizing to Patti's dad about destroying her old house.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the first episode of the Disney series, Doug celebrates his twelfth birthday. In a flashback Judy says they were moving to Bluffington on his eleventh birthday although there was a Nickelodeon episode where he celebrated his birthday. In an earlier Nick episode Doug's friends had a party to celebrate his first anniversary of moving to Bluffington. Gets made even more complicated when Beebee mentions in a couple episodes after the Disney pilot that the Funnys have lived in Bluffington for three years.
  • Serious Business: Just about any school sponsored event is this. Willie White's campaign for Student Council Treasurer takes this Up to Eleven. Mocked here: [1]
  • Shaped Like Itself: Dr. Rubbersuit, a Quail Man villain in the Disney episodes, is... an evil doctor in a gaudy rubber suit.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: Doug's free candy and soda bill in one of his fantasies from the episode "Doug Runs".
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Spacemonks" game that Doug plays is a small tribute to Wing Commander, using several similar scenes from the game, including the infamous space funeral.
    • "Silver Skeeter" (see Superpower Lottery below) is a tribute to the Silver Surfer.
    • A rather blatant one to Arthur appears in the first episode of Disney's Doug.
    • One episode has a sequence where Doug dreams he performs in a concert wearing a really big suit.
    • Doug lives on 21 Jumbo Street, a shout to the then-popular cop show 21 Jump Street.
    • In one episode, Doug goes to see a Smash Adams movie that opens with an evil dentist about to torture the titular character with a dental drill while shouting "Is it safe? Is it safe?!"
    • In the episode where Doug has to get used to a new barber in his new hometown, his old barber's name was Mr. Sweeney. Maybe Doug should be glad to have a new barber...
    • When Doug, Skeeter and Roger visit Bloodstone Manor, notices can be seen that says "Abandon all beverages, ye who enter."
    • One of Doug's imagine spots is a near duplicate scene from the movie of The Who's "Tommy", specifically, Elton John's character getting out of the limo at the start of "Pinball Wizard". Similar styled music is even used for the scene.
    • In an episode where Doug's home alone for the first time, what's the first thing he does? Slides across the floor in his underwear, jamming to rock music.
  • Slice of Life
  • Slumber Party: Doug and Skeeter are forced to crash one when Doug fears an amateur music video is in Patti's hands. Turns out it wasn't: it was in Mr. Bone's. And Mr. Bone has Doug's.
  • Snipe Hunt: Roger and his buddies offer to take Doug on one of these in the pilot.
  • Soap Box Sadie: Judy, in one episode.
  • Song Parody: In "Doug's Babysitter", the second half of "According to the Rules" features different lyrics to "The 12 Days of Christmas":
    Mrs. Stintson: (singing) No telephone calling, no reading comics, no crazy outfits, my late husband ("YECH!"), dark glasses aren't worn inside the h-h-h-house, and a dinner made entirely of pruuunes!
  • The Southpaw: Doug is left-handed. It was a plot point of two episodes: One where Doug is on Patti's baseball team (never having played baseball before) and she realizes that he is left handed and tells him to stand on the right side of home plate so he could have an easier time swinging at the ball. He manages a hit almost instantly. In the other his journal goes missing and he start freaking out over the possibility of someone reading it, except they can't because his left-handed writing is smeared and illegible.
  • Special Effect Failure: An In-Universe example. The costume of a supposedly scary movie monster has a visible zipper.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Beebe Bluff's father owns most of the town, but she goes to a public school and is an alright person. She also saves them in The Movie.
  • Start My Own: After being rejected by the Honkers softball team because she's a girl, Patti forms the "Patti's Pulverizers" softball team.
  • Stern Teacher: Mrs. Wingo. "You're knocking on trouble's door"
  • Stock Ness Monster: The Lucky Duck Lake Monster.
  • Story-Breaker Team-Up: Done inside the show itself when Doug and Skeeter teamed up their imaginary heroes: Superman Expy Quailman and Silver Surfer Expy The Silver Skeeter.
  • Superpower Lottery: Skeeter's superhero Silver Skeeter has a superpower for any and all situations, which Doug finds annoying because it lacks any serious tension.
  • Superstition Episode: There was an episode that invoked this. Doug seemed to have a lucky streak at winning games against his crush, Patti. After she gets ticked off about it, he tries to break his luck by breaking a mirror, running under ladders and doing his weird ritual involving mashed potatoes. Afterward, he is having all sorts of bad luck, but since he wants to lose a game against her, it would be good luck for him to lose, and his winning streak continues.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Judy gives one when Doug shows up at her school and her friends see him: "I don't know him, I've never seen him before, and he's definitely not my brother."
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: Admit it, after watching an episode, you feel really good inside. It manages to be sweet and adorable without tasting like diabetes
  • Take a Third Option: Most of Doug's problems are solved through compromises between him and whomever he happens to be confronting.
  • Take the Wheel: A fantasy in which Doug and Skeeter are truck drivers. Skeeter's request to take the wheel ends up with Doug giving it to him.
  • The Talk: A Running Gag of Disney's Doug has his father trying to initiate the conversation, which is usually offset by Doug being concerned with something unrelated. It doesn't help that he keeps trying to segue using nonsensical metaphors ("The salmon swims upstream"). This was put to an end on the Christmas episode where Doug just tells his dad that he already knows about sex from school.
  • Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: The breakup of The Beatles homage band The Beets plays out like this, with all four members of the group facing away from the microphone and saying things like this ("I'm not telling them, YOU tell them!") before one finally has enough and very curtly says that they're splitting up.
  • Tempting Fate: After Doug's aunt gets him on a children's cowboy show, Skeeter tells him "At least no-one we know saw it." Cue Roger bursting through the door, wearing a cowboy hat and spurs...
  • The Theme Park Version: Of middle school.
  • Those Two Guys: The Fat and Skinny guy.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Patti and Beebe
  • Traumatic Haircut: Connie gets one before Doug is hosting a party, and reluctantly goes to the party, concealing it in a hat. Half her head is shaved and the other half is short.
  • Traveling Salesman Montage: Happens when Doug tries to sell chocolate bars door-to-door in one episode.
  • Trial Balloon Question: See "I Have This Friend"
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe, Porkchop (the dog) leaves footprints all over Doug's canvas, and it's hailed as an artistic masterpiece.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Smash Adams.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Mr. Dink temporarily appoints Roger the scoutmaster of Doug's Bluff Scout troop while he is away, and his abuses are such that even his own cronies turn against him.
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: Mayor White. Unusually for this trope, he's eventually voted out and replaced by Doug's neighbor, Mrs. Dink.
  • Umpteenth Customer: Doug enters what looks like a video game store and looks around, only to discover that he's the one millionth customer and has won a Pretendo. This was the setup for the episode's Aesop.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Mr Dink. Very expensive! Word of God says Dink stands for Dual Income No Kids
  • The Unreveal: What Principal Buttsavich looks like. Despite it being the driving plot point in the second to last episode of the Nickelodeon series, Doug (and the audience) miss out on seeing him.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Skeeter's little honking noises he makes.
    • Mayor White's "Vote for Me!"
    • Willie White also has a verbal tic considering he starts most of his sentences with "Duhhhh".
    • Mr. Dink's "Very expensive."
  • Very Special Episode:
    • In the Disney version, there was an episode where Patti thinks she's fat after overhearing Doug comment on her weight (when he was referring to a homemade vehicle he was making to catch the Lucky Duck Lake monster), prompting Patti to become anorexic. (Also, at the end of that episode, there was Patti's spoken Public Service Announcement on how to help out on eating disorders by locating or contacting institutes or places or medical centers, right before Toon Disney and the Disney Channel overdubbed her voice through Clumsy Copyright Censorship.)
    • The Nic-Nacs episode could count too, aside from the whole G-Rated Drug business. Though it's very different from typical anti-drug/anti-smoking episodes, and just as much about being skeptical of marketing messages as it is about avoiding dangerous substances — and openly hostile toward the company behind the product in ways that a program that relies on sponsorship from Philip Morris subsidiaries (they owned Kraft at the time) could never get away with had they not substituted a made-up product for cigarettes.
  • Welcome Episode: The first episode of the series, which features Doug moving to Bluffington and meeting most of the main cast.
  • Wham Episode: "Doug's Christmas Story".
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Subverted. Quailman's main superpower is the hypnotic "Quail-Eye," but he rarely encounters a situation that he could fix through sheer force, forcing him to take a third option. This is a superhero whose main attributes are a belt on his forehead and wearing his underwear over his pants. He's Doug. He'll never purposely hurt anyone.
  • Where The Hell Is Bluffington?: Or Bloatsburg (where the Funnies came to Bluffington from), for that matter.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Most episodes are structured this way, as Doug writes about it in his journal.
  • Write Who You Know: In-universe example: Doug writes and draws almost the whole cast of the show into his Quailman comics, sometimes multiple times.
  • With Lyrics: The end credits for "Doug Graduates" features lyrics to "Pomp and Circumstance"... which consist of just "Pomp and Circumstance" sung to the music.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: In the episode where Doug is accused of cheating on a test, Roger gains a new-found respect for him and attempts to recruit him to help cheat on further exams, much to Doug's annoyance. Later, Roger tries to show him that he can use his hat to signal answers, when Doug points out their teacher would notice Roger realize he's right and compliments his "insights".
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Roger's cat Stinky fell into this trope.
  • YouTube Poop: A few Doug-centered poops have been made. Among them are those of Disney's Doug.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Connie wears Grade C after her beauty farm visit.

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alternative title(s): Doug
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