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The first of the three original Nicktoons and, thus, first Nicktoon overall, 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. In the first episode, he gained a best friend in Mosquito "Skeeter" Valentine, a nemesis and 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 at a time 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 retitled for later episodes and reruns) for ABC (which Disney had just bought out); starting in 1997, it became one of the focal points of the new One Saturday Morning block. 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. You can also find the complete Nickelodeon series here. The Disney series meanwhile, is currently available to stream on Disney+. According to creator Jim Jinkins, Disney still holds the rights to the series and has not expressed any interest in reviving the franchise. Nevertheless, Jinkins says he has more stories to tell if a revival is ever green-lighted, complete with bombshells for longtime fans.

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    Tropes A-M 
  • The '90s: Aside from the fact that the show debuted early in the decade, most of the clothing and technology in the show definitely represent the decade. Perhaps a little too much. Nevertheless, the themes still ring true.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Non-romantic version. Todd Bentley, an eight-year-old in "Doug's Fan Club" who looks up to Doug with something like Big Brother Worship and even changes his own name to "Doug." Doug enjoys being idolized until Todd literally starts following him everywhere, and finally loses it when Todd embarrasses him in front of Patti. Todd also has an Annoying Younger Sibling named Wesley who insists on imitating everything Todd does, so Doug ends up with two Abhorrent Admirers.
  • Accidental Art: The entire premise of the episode "Doug's a Genius": Porkchop knocks over Doug's easel while chasing a raccoon and gets paw prints in paint all over the canvas, and Doug's art teacher, Ms. Perrigrew, thinks it's a brilliant work of art, hails Doug as a genius and enters it in an exhibit for local artists. When Doug tries to explain, Ms. Perrigrew even thinks "Porkchop" is the name of the "painting."
  • Accidental Athlete: After the coach sees him accidentally kick a football over the fieldgoal along with his shoe while fooling around, he recruits Doug for a position on the school football team. Unfortunately, he can't do the kick a second time, but turned out to be really good at football strategy.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Doug is the victim of this occasionally, called "Dan" by Mayor White and "Dirk" by Mr. Bluff. Patti isn't immune either, as Mayor White mistakenly calls her "Peggy" and Doug's mom once refers to her as "Patsy."
    • 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.
  • Accidental Public Confession: In "Doug Didn't Do It," Roger steals Mr. Bone's yodeling trophy and plants it in Doug's locker. When Doug is punished for the crime, Roger shows up in the office and gloats about getting away with his frame-up, not realizing he accidentally turned on the P.A. System by sitting at Mr. Bone's desk and putting his feet on the P.A. button. Everyone in the school hears his gloating, including Mr. Bone, who immediately returns to the office and reassigns Doug's punishment to Roger.
  • 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, getting irritated at one point that Doug is beating her at several games.
  • ACME Products: Parodied with S.T.U.A.R.T. in the Quailman universe in Disney's Doug. Their enormous product palette only serves one purpose, namely to annoy the customers with things that malfunction at the worst possible time.
  • Acting Out a Daydream: Doug frequently gets so lost in his daydreams that he acts them out.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Doug finds himself in trouble with Mr. Bone after a cartoon he drew making fun of the Magic Meat in the cafeteria gets published in the school paper, resulting in the paper itself getting banned, and the students themselves nearly revolt. The whole incident gets defused when Mr. Bone receives a call from the principal, saying he saw Doug's cartoon and thought it was really funny. Mr. Bone, as a result, is forced to eat crow and reinstate the school paper, and Magic Meat is officially taken off the school menu. Not that its replacement (Happy Meat - the guidance counselor's idea) is any more appetizing.
    • Even though Doug is bummed out that Patti gets sick mid-show during "Leonardo" just before their kiss scene, necessitating Judy to substitute for her, he actually smiles when seeing a card from Patti and flowers for his great performance, since it was hilarious that his own sister stole the show. Then he imagines himself and Patti trying to do the scene, but Patti Corpsing during each take, much to Doug's amusement.
    • Doug draws a cartoon of the construction workers saying, "We're working on it!" All of the students howl in laughter when he shows it o them. Even the former finds it hilarious at the end of the episode.
  • An Aesop: Most (if not all) of the episodes had one. The writers were even expected to write the intended moral of the episode at the top of each outline. The show got E/I branding ("Illuminating Television", as ABC called it) during the Disney run. Doug himself usually voices the moral via voiceover as he writes in his journal at the end of each episode, although it was still usually done in a non-Anvilicious way, especially in earlier episodes when Doug struggled to come up with the right words to voice the moral, adding additional humor.
  • 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 by laughing after exposing her bad haircut 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 11 when he moved to Bluffington (the flashback in the Disney series premiere reveals that the move happened just after his 11th birthday) and lived there during the Nickelodeon birthday episode, the only logical conclusion one could draw is that he had two 12th birthdays!
  • Airvent Escape: Attempted by Roger in "Doug's Secret of Success" to escape detention. Turns out all the airvents lead directly to Mr. Bone's office for this exact reason.
  • All Just a Dream: Although Doug's fantasies were usually the result of daydreams, this trope was played straight with Doug on a few occasions. One example is in "Doug Gets Busted."
  • 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. According to his quote in "Not Just Cartoons: Nicktoons!", Jinkins did this deliberately as a way to push racial equality. David Campbell added in "Slimed!" that the idea was to make sure the series could be appreciated by anyone and everyone who watched regardless of their race, ethnicity, station in life etc.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Doug's parents sometimes fall into this category.
    • In "Doug Throws a Party", where they seem to forget how old their son actually is and try to make his party more suited for kids half Doug's age (complete with "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" and Phil dressing up as a party clown). It doesn't help that Skeeter accidentally brings over a CD of children's songs instead of the Beets CD he'd meant to bring.
    • Doug fears this will happen in "Quailman VII: Quail Dad" when Phil takes him to a Beets recording session. Instead Phil ends up surprising him as he and the Beets quickly hit it off upon discovering they have similar tastes in music, and he impresses them with his his amazing drumming skills.
    • Bill Bluff is this for Beebe in the Nickelodeon season 2 premiere, "Doug Takes the Case," while lecturing Mrs. Wingo's class about his radio which went missing after Beebe brought it to school. He hugs his daughter and rails about the injustice of her property being taken during Show and Tell, which causes Beebe to cower under her desk in embarrassment while her classmates laugh.
      Beebe: Daddy, PLEASE! We don't have Show and Tell! We're not babies!
  • Ambiguous Disorder: As outlined by this article on Cracked, there is a strong possibility that Doug has schizophrenia.
  • Ambiguously Christian: Although never shown explicitly in the series (the closest it gets to a mention of God is Doug declaring that "someone up there must like me" when he finds out that Patti didn't get his video tape by mistake in "Doug's Secret Song"), Jim Jinkins has mentioned in interviews that the Funnie family are churchgoers, and that one would have to look for subtle hints such as the way they're dressed on Sunday afternoons (i.e. Phil in a dress shirt but loosened up) to notice this. This is another way in which the series reflects the childhood of its creators, as both Jinkins and David Campbell were raised Christian. After the Nickelodeon series of Doug concluded, Jumbo Pictures made some more explicitly Christian animation, including the series Hoop Dogz and a series of direct-to-video animated Bible stories.
  • Amusement Park: Funkytown.
  • Anachronism Stew: Eagle-eyed viewers may notice that Doug's phone number, in "Doug's Runaway Journal," is listed as Jumbo 1-559 - either an anachronism (telephone numbers like this that began with an exchange name began to be phased out in the late 1950s as all-digit dialing was introduced) or a sign that Bluffington, even by the 1990s, STILL hadn't converted to all-digit dialing.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Parodied with Quailman.
  • Anti-School Uniforms Plot: The plan to use uniforms is announced at the beginning of the episode. Over the course of the episode, the student body collects signatures on a petition, forms an interest group, sets up protests, and eventually splits based on difference of opinion. By the end of the episode, the student body has accepted the imposition of school uniforms, but because the adults can't decide on a design, the plan is put on hold indefinitely.
  • Anxiety Dreams: For Doug. Most commonly (in almost every episode, in fact) in the form of Anxiety Daydreams, but sometimes played straight.
  • 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 (in the first season), it's the notorious menu number for liver and onions at Doug's favorite restaurant, etc.
  • Art Evolution: Relatively minor in mostly the animation style, in later episodes the characters are less rubbery. Character designs and animation are rather inconsistent during the first Nickelodeon season, but become more uniform beginning with the second season, when the French studio Ellipse (now Ellipsanime) took over animation production duties. By the end of the Nickelodeon series, the animation is very clean. Nevertheless, there are some scenes with frame rates approaching those of anime.
    • There is a quite noticeable evolution in the art between the first and second episodes. 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 (it actually looks closer to Jim Jinkins' original drawings). This effect was toned down severely by the second episode, and is gone entirely by the end of season one.
    • Brand Spanking New, which shifted animation production from Ellipse to Plus One, a Korean studio, modifies the Limited Wardrobe of the characters. Doug's sleeves are longer and shorts are baggier, while Patti, Beebe and Judy go from wearing skirts to pants. Small changes are also made to the character designs between proportions of hairstyles, which makes sense considering they are supposed to be older, but the animation style is functionally identical, despite the change in animation studios. The biggest change is in the musical style, from a cappella to more orchestrated.
    • In addition to being a minor character at first, 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 supporting character in the second season, and even more so in the Disney series, where she becomes the central figure in a few episodes.
  • Author Appeal: Madonna, quite obviously. Both shows mention her by name, and she's the only Real Life character ever mentioned in the show. And when Doug introduces Beebe to the Quailman line-up, she becomes Material Girl.
  • Babysitting Episode: The episode "Doug Loses Dale" is about Doug babysitting Skeeter's younger brother, Dale.
  • Back for the Finale: The last episode of the Disney series, "Doug's Marriage Madness" featured cameos from characters who hadn't appeared in the show since the Nickelodeon series, including Doug's Grandma Opal and Mrs. Wingo.
  • 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.
    • Also the B-plot of "Doug's Big Comeback," a Disney episode, in which the overly competitive Chalky is pushing his teammates too hard and they rebel by going on strike.
  • Beam-O-War: Quailman and Dr. Klozenstein engage in this with their Quail Eye and Brain Drain, respectively, in "Doug is Quailman".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In the Disney episode "Doug Gets a Roommate", Doug, fed up with Ned picking up on him yells at him, "Ned Cauphee, someday, you'll get yours, and I can't wait to see it!". Moments later, Ned's house burns down.
  • 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.
    • Don't call Doug's journal a "diary" to his face.
  • Beta Couple: Skeeter and Beebe would become this to Patti and Doug eventually.
  • 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.
    • Judy utters almost this exact phrase in "Doug's Christmas Story" after Porkchop gets in trouble for biting Beebe.
  • Big Damn Movie: Doug's 1st Movie, though it ended up being Doug's only movie.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: To an extent, the entire town of Bluffington could qualify if the menu options at the Honkerburger and other local restaurants are any indication (largely consisting of more ways to cook beets than you ever knew existed). And in "Doug's Cookin'", the pizza Doug and Patti make for a school cooking assignment ends up topped with banana pudding by accident, and everyone thinks it's delicious. In the ending few minutes we see Doug himself eating a banana and dipping it in a can of pizza sauce.
  • 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, one-timers, and extras, who are pretty much the only characters to have normal eyes. Given, that is, like, 10 characters.
  • Black Dot Pupils: The few characters who don't have Black Bead Eyes, such as the ones mentioned above in said trope name.
  • Blame Game: In the final episode of the Nick version, Doug and Judy blame each for getting lost on their way to the Painted Gorge. Bored from the long drive, Doug wanted to visit two places he thought would be fantastic, only to find them to be lame tourist traps. While mocking Doug, she asked what's the next stop. Doug mentions Blythe Field, which Judy wants to go, which is just an empty field with a rock imprinted with Blythe's name, which is many miles from their course. So Judy is essentially correct to blame Doug.
  • Bland-Name Product: Several in the Nickelodeon series, including the Super Pretendo, "White Foul" cigars (never smoked, only appears on a cash box), and "Poopsi" cola.
  • Blinding Camera Flash: In the school photo episode, there's a Running Gag about people being blinded by the camera and wandering around dizzily. Skeeter even really gets into it.
  • 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.
    • Skeeter is something of an aversion, as he's an average student himself in the Nickelodeon version (despite his high intelligence) but mentions that could be because he chokes on tests. In the Disney series, he's one of Ms. Kristal's best students.
  • 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.
    • The Nickelodeon series qualifies as well, as it begins with Doug moving to Bluffington and ends (except for "Doug's Bad Trip") with his graduation from sixth grade. Also, "Doug's Bad Trip" has the Funnies nearly being run off the road by, of all things, a moving van.
  • Boring, but Practical: "Doug Flies A Kite" features 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.
  • Bowdlerise: In 2015, Disney briefly released "Doug's Secret Christmas", along with the Christmas specials of their other '90s cartoons, on On-Demand services. With that, they cut part of the scene where Doug and his father finally have The Talk, in which Doug outright utters the word sex. The episode is uncut on Disney+. On the other hand, the Clumsy Copyright Censorship on "Doug's Chubby Buddy" (see Very Special Episode below) remains,
  • Brand X: 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. A little less so in the Nickelodeon version, in which at least one episode hinted that Beebe's parents spoiled her perhaps a little more than she liked - for example, the ballet episode in which Beebe's mother tried pulling strings to get Beebe the lead role (even though Patti was the best dancer), only to have Beebe blow her audition on purpose because she didn't want the lead.
  • "Brave the Ride" Plot: In the Halloween Episode, Doug and Skeeter are scared to go into a haunted house ride with Roger taunting them all the while. Eventually they work up the courage to do so but it shuts down halfway due to the park closing. They later find out Roger was hiding in the attraction to scare them. But they get even by teaming with a mysterious figure who shows them the inner workings of the ride and use it to scare Roger.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In a fantasy sequence in "Doug Door to Door," Doug, fed up with having to peddle inedible "Bluff Scout Booster Bars" door to door, imagines having a chance to sell something people actually want, like a fantasy product called the Knife-O-Ma-Jig, which includes not only a knife, but scissors, a water purification system, a satellite dish, a solar-powered washer and dryer... and a toothpick.
  • 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 counselor everyday as a result. Later on, Doug passes by the guidance counselor's office, and a voice calls out, "Hey, Doug." To which Doug responds, "Oh... hey, Skunky."
  • Broken Aesop: The episode in which Doug ends up in a fight with Larry. The message is of course that violence isn't the way to solve problems. Except Larry, who was clearly in a rage over being bullied, started the fight with Doug, even though he had nothing to do with it. Doug knocking Larry out should have been called self defense since Larry made the first swing, and hit Doug first.
  • Broken Treasure:
    • "Doug Needs Money": Doug and Skeeter smash Mr. Dink's beloved personalized grill while playing catch. They are unsuccessful in trying to make enough money to replace it, but Mr. Dink forgives them when he learns how hard the boys worked to try to rectify their mistake.
    • "Doug's Servitude": Doug is forced to buy Judy's silence by becoming her personal slave after she witnesses him accidentally break a family heirloom. When the things Judy has him do get increasingly bizarre, Doug finally confesses to his mom, and ends up grounded, more for waiting so long to confess than for breaking the object (which his mom didn't really care about anyway).
    • "Doug and the Yard of Doom": Doug and Skeeter accidentally throw Patti's Wacky-Wizzer Frisbee into a neighbor's yard, where it gets mauled by a vicious dog despite their efforts to get it back intact. Turns out the Frisbee isn't such a treasure after all, because Patti has lots more just like it: her dad gets them for free from work.
  • 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".
    • When we get a look at a page of Doug's journal in "Doug's Runaway Journal" (as Roger is explaining he couldn't read it because Doug's handwriting is illegible), we see a drawing of Doug in his slug costume from "Doug Can't Dance."
    • For as many continuity errors as the Disney series had with regard to the Nickelodeon series (and even with regard to itself), it did contain a number of (correct) references to events that took place during the Nick series. For example, in "Doug's Dougapalooza," Connie makes reference to the Nick episode "Doug's Garage Band" with Doug's band that had 17 drummers.
    • In "Doug's Fan Club" and "Doug's Magic Act," Doug's Magical Incantation for his magic act is "Veni, vidi, vici" (Latin for "I came, I saw, I conquered"), a quote often attributed to Julius Caesar. In "Doug Cheats," an original story featured only in the Disney Chapters book series for elementary-level readers, Doug's history test includes a question asking for the meaning of "Veni, vidi, vici."
  • 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 always struggles to confess his true feelings to Patti.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Doug: "How did I get into this mess?"
    • 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".
    • "Cool, man!" escaped Skeeter's lips just as often as "Honk-honk" did. In fact, Skeeter says it so often that his little brother Dale is starting to pick up on it ("Doug's Big Nose").
    • Roger: "Sayonara, suckers!!!"
    • Grandma Opal: "Life's a picnic and I'm starving to death!"
    • Mr. Bone: "This is going on your permanent record!" Also, "That is all," when he concludes an address to his students.
    • Roger uses the expression "Joey Cucamonga" to express shock in only one episode of the Nickelodeon version ("Doug's in the Money"), but in the Disney seasons this was elevated to a catch phrase.
    • Disney also had the previously unseen Skunky using "torque" as an interjection.
    • Patti (during Doug's fantasies): "Oh, Doug, you're so *adjective*".
  • Cats Are Mean: Stinky is, at least.
  • Cats Are Superior: In Judy's opinion at least, as she states it in "Doug's Fat Cat." Porkchop is not amused. She even goes goo-goo over Stinky (she's never been shown to do the same with Porkchop) and tells Doug about how the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. But when she finds a sick  Stinky in her costume chest getting fur all over, she wants the "beast" out of the house.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Doug's favorite comic Man-O-Steel Man is a Superman Expy. In Doug's 1st Movie, a couple of the police officers are having a debate over Batman and Superman.
  • Chair Reveal: In "Doug Graduates", Doug finds himself in Principal 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, although per Word of God Doug is not actually bald - it was just his minimalist way of depicting Doug's hair. Oddly enough, there was an episode where Doug worried that he was going bald.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: The Disney Chapters book "Doug Cheats," in which Roger finds a copy of the answers to Mr. Mayonnaise's history exam. Doug gets a copy of the answers but decides at the last minute not to use them and to take the test honestly. Good thing, because unfortunately for Roger and his cronies, the answer key is a decoy with all the wrong answers.
  • Cheeky Mouth: Often used by the animators, especially in the later Nickelodeon seasons and the Disney series.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Skeeter, so very much. He managed to win over Muffy Silverton, Loretta Laquigley, a nameless girl that looks like him (all during the Nick show, all referenced by Doug in the Disney show) and eventually Beebe Bluff.
    • Doug as well, in some of his fantasy sequences.
  • 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.
  • City People Eat Sushi: Doug's more worldly and free-spirited grandmother introduces him to sushi, something he considers exotic and out of his comfort zone.
  • Comical Overreacting: Mr. Bone treats having a wart removed as major surgery, and for some reason is lying in a hospital bed when Doug arrives.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Skeeter many times, especially in the Nickelodeon series. Example is in "Doug's a Big Fat Liar," when Doug and Skeeter are trying to pass Porkchop off as "Doug's sick Cousin Melvin" when Patti and Connie pay an unexpected visit.
    Doug: This'll never work!
    Skeeter: Yeah. His nose is cold. That's a dead giveaway he's not sick.
  • Compressed Vice: Roger is particularly prone to this.
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: In the episode "Doug and the Weird Kids", Doug is paired off with Al and Moo Sleech for a school report where they have to get to know each other. While the Sleech twins investigate Doug's life and habits, they provide him a document containing information about themselves. However, when it comes to their father, they only provide a heavily redacted profile where the only words visible are "and", "but The", "An", and "McDonagh." Doug decides to investigate who their father actually is, and it turns out the twins are ashamed of him because he's a baker and not a scientist like them.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment:
    • In "Doug Didn't Do It", after Roger brags about stealing Mr. Bone's yodeling trophy, Mr. Bone orders Roger to polish trophies for him all night long. It seems to not be so bad, until Mr. Bone brings out the final trophy to be polished...
    • Mrs. Wingo is more flattered than angry at "Doug's Doodle," but still makes him clean all the desks in the classroom after school.
    • In "Doug's Servitude" (aka "Doug Is Slave for a Day"), Doug gets grounded for waiting so long to confess to breaking his mom's vase, but it turns out to be not so bad with Judy serving as his personal slave (in return for cleaning the basement so Judy could attend a party).
  • Cool Big Sis: Judy, when she wasn't being a Cloudcuckoolander and/or Jerkass to Doug.
  • Cool Old Lady:
    • Grandma Opal, who rides a motorcycle and eats sushi.
    • Mrs. Wingo in the episode "Doug Meets Robobone" as she appears as excited about the Beets concert as her students are (she dons a Flounder wig and starts playing air guitar right there in class).
  • Cool Shades:
    • Judy.
    • Beebe is sometimes shown wearing shades during lunch period as well ("Doug Takes the Case").
  • Cool Teacher: Ms. Kristal.
  • 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.
  • Couch Gag: Each episode's title card would always vary at the very end. In the Nickelodeon series, there were a handful of different recurring animations at the end of the title sequence that involve the screen going black in some way (usually Doug or Porkchop turning the light off), while some special episodes were completely unique. The Disney series then made it so each episode's title card was unique to the episode, usually involving something related to the plot.
  • Cousin Oliver: Cleopatra Dirtbike Funnie, Doug's baby sister introduced early in the Disney run.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: Fentruck's holiday celebrations.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Opening credits in this case; the Nickelodeon opening credits featured a line being drawn against a white background and interacting with the main characters in different ways, like Doug first appears as though the line was the bottom of a curtain and Patty tightrope walks across the screen, with the line turning into a heart shaped balloon. Shortly into the episode a standard title card showed Doug would also enter a dark room and turn on the light, revealing his name along with the episodes title being revealed in some fashion, typically via paint with Porkchop filling in the rest.
  • Credits Gag: The prologue to the episode "Doug's a Genius" featured a variation of the series opening "gone horribly wrong." It was then followed by a typical episode opening featuring Doug and Porkchop.
  • Credits Jukebox: A unique aspect to the cartoon is that there was never a consistent closing credits theme; it was always different, and usually a piece of BGM recycled from the episodes that just played. In season one, the music changed once Porkchop slipped on his headphones and started playing his Walkman.
  • Creator Cameo: The vocal quartet that makes appearances in such Nickelodeon episodes as "Doug Inc.", "Doug's Christmas Story" and "Doug's Big Feat" includes a white-haired fellow most likely based on musician/voice actor Fred Newman.
  • Cult of Personality: Bill Bluff supposedly is a descendant of Bluffington's founders (although in one episode Doug and Skeeter discover that it's actually the Dinks who may be the town's founding family), 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.
    • In a number of Doug's fantasies, though, it wasn't only Patti but all of his classmates who needed saving, which would technically make Beebe, Connie, etc. damsels in distress as well.
  • Dated History: In "Doug Is Quailman," Beebe is called on in science class to name the planet with the longest orbit around the sun. In the years since the episode aired, Pluto (the correct answer at the time) has been downgraded to a dwarf planet, and the correct answer today would be Neptune.
  • 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).
    • Patti, when she's mad. See "Doug's Magic Act."
    • Even Skeeter got in a few, particularly when creating Silver Skeeter in "Doug's Comic Collaboration."
  • Dean Bitterman: Mr. Lamar Bone. "One second late and it goes on your permanent record!"
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Man-O-Steel Man.
  • 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: Stinky (Roger's pet cat) and Chalky in the Disney series.
  • Detention Episode: "Doug to the Rescue" had Roger, Patti, Doug and Skeeter all serving detention together: the former two for fighting in classnote , the latter for continuing to talk immediately afterwards.
  • Diary: Although Doug prefers the term, "journal". Most of the episodes are usually one of Doug's journal entries.
  • 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.
  • Dodgy Toupee: Mayor White's at times, notably in "Doug, Mayor for a Day".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Nic-Nacs.
  • Dork in a Sweater: Doug has a sleeveless green sweater as part of his main outfit.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The pilot is animated with Line Boil and Doug calls his journal his diary. Also in the pilot, Mr. and Mrs. Dink hung out with the kids at Bluffington Elementary School, and Roger was Doug's romantic rival for Patti (the role would later be given to Guy in the Disney series) and he had a different gang (whether they're early versions of Ned, Willy, and Boomer or completely different characters is unknown, as none of them were given names). All of the scenes featuring Skeeter also appear to have been added later on, as the animation style in his scenes is cleaner and more reminiscent of the rest of Season 1.
    • In the first season, Connie has purple skin and yellow hair, as opposed to green skin and bluish-purple 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 Can't Dance" and "Doug's Math Problem.")
  • Edible Theme Naming:
    • Patti Mayonnaise, Porkchop, The Beets.
    • "Doug's Secret Song" takes this trope to the next level as the lyrics compare Patti to various edible condiments and toppings - i.e. "the pickle in my coleslaw," "the sugar in my tea," "the ketchup on my fries" etc.
  • 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.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: In "Doug Is Hamburger Boy," Patti and Skeeter, unaware that Doug is playing the titular role, can't figure out why he is avoiding them. After the whole business is over, Patti tells Doug she's figured out his secret, but that it's nothing to be ashamed of: lots of people can't swim. (She does suspect the truth for a hot second, but convinces herself it couldn't be true.)
  • 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 it got to the point where it nearly broke their friendship. When Judy asked what happened...
      Doug: He got smart.
      Judy: Oh. [grabbing a Walkman] Well, I'll take this if you're just throwing it away.
      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. They're both unhappy with the idea of going to a different place, but at least their friends will be there too.
    • And another in "Doug's Disappearing Dog" when he realizes why Porkchop ran away, because he "treated him like a dog" without even realizing it.
    • Similarly in "Doug's Pet Capades," Doug had one (with Skeeter and Larry's help) on the day of the performance when Porkchop refused to perform, and realized it was because he'd been so concerned with beating Roger that he hadn't cared what Porkchop wanted.
  • 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 Has Standards: The premise of "Doug Saves Roger". When Principal Bone's brutish nephew Percy starts bullying Roger, it looks like perfect karma at first, but soon Percy's antics become more and more sadistic, with Doug thinking it's too cruel even towards his usual tormentor. He ultimately tries to stand up for Roger after the latter begs Doug to save him from Percy.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Doug for Patti.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Or so apparently Miss Mayo thinks whenever she says Rupert Schmupert's name. Much to his dismay.
  • Everytown, America: Bluffington. Doug's family is unusual, in that they moved there from a nearby city called Bloatsburg. Most of Bluffington's residents were born and raised in Bluffington and lived their whole lives there, and their families have lived there for generations. It's been suggested by some that the setting for the series is someplace in Virginia, which is Jim Jinkins' home state.
  • Exact Words: In "Doug Says Goodbye", Skeeter is told by his father to pack his bags because he's moving. It turns out that his parents were moving his room to the basement as a surprise.
  • Expy:
    • The Beets' name and Liverpool accents are obviously based on The Beatles (although singer Monroe Yoder looks more like Roger Daltrey). Sonically, their music bears more resemblance to The Who (particularly "I Need Mo' Allowance") or even punk rock acts like The Ramones than the Beatles.
    • Many of the characters are reminiscent of Peanuts characters. Doug is similar to Charlie Brown in personality and character design, Porkchop is Snoopy, Patti Mayonnaise is a cross between Peppermint Patty and the Little Red Haired Girl, Skeeter is a quirkier 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, Patti=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" – While spending a Saturday in detention, Doug draws a Quailman comic in which Quailman defeats an enemy known as "The Rulemeister" (modeled after Principal Bone) by finding a loophole in one of his rules. When Bone seizes the comics, Doug asks him if he’s immune to the same rules. When Bone states that everyone must follow his rules without exceptions, Doug accuses him of breaking the rule against grabbing other people's comics, the punishment of which is a Saturday detention. 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.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Some of Porkchop's Deadpan Snarker reactions suggest this.
  • Fake a Fight: In "Doug's Big Brawl", Doug accidentally beats Larry in a fight and the two are forced into having a rematch. Neither Larry nor Doug want to fight again, but Doug notes that the other kids will think he is a coward if he doesn't fight and the other members of the AV club demand a rematch and threaten to kick out Larry if he backs down. Doug and Larry stage a fight on the school TV, conveniently knocking the camera to the side so that nobody can see the nonexistent fight, with Skeeter providing sound effects.
  • Fake Nationality: invoked Loretta LaQuiggley claiming to be from Yakistonia is called out on this by Fentruck because she wants to be liked.note  She actually is Yakistonesian but she wasn't born there and doesn't know much of the language so Fentruck likely doesn't see her as a native.
  • Faked Kidnapping: In-universe in "Doug and Patti P.I.", which has Doug reading a Kid Detective book called Whiz Kids. The solution to the book's case of the titular Kids' father disappearing is that he "kidnapped" himself to test their sleuthing skills.
  • Fanservice:
    • At the beginning of the episode "Doug On His Own", Judy wears a dress that shows her back and cleavage. Her Egyptian getup in "Doug's Fat Cat" shows quite a bit of skin as well.
    • Beebe's Madonna-esque, midriff-baring outfit in the "Bangin' on a Trash Can/Think Big" music video.
    • Mr. Fanservice: Skeeter stands on his head in nothing but his underwear (and shoes) during a game of Truth or Dare.
  • 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.
  • Fighting Back Is Wrong: In one episode, Doug accidentally punches Larry, leading to Doug being challenged to fight him again, which Doug considers. However, his father finds out and isn't encouraging, giving him the saying "Show me a man who resorts to violence and I'll show you a man who's run out of good ideas". In the end, it turns out Larry doesn't really want to fight (he had pressure from the AV club since it embarrassed them), and Doug felt pressure from the rest of the school to go through with the fight, so they end up pretending to fight behind closed doors, with the other students watching on a deliberately bad monitor, thinking that they are actually fighting.
  • Fired Teacher: Ms. Kristal in the Disney episode "Doug Gets His Wish," chiefly because she didn't vote for Principal White when he was mayor (although the reason on paper is that her students allegedly aren't learning anything). She is replaced by Principal White himself, who later replaces himself with his son Willie of all people. Doug cleverly comes up with a way to get Ms. Kristal reinstated.
  • First Kiss: The subject of an episode. It ends up being Doug and Beebe.
  • Flanderization: In the early episode "Doug Rocks," Mr. Valentine's Buffy Speak and inability to remember the simplest words seems to just be because Skeeter is making so much noise that he can't hear himself think. But later episodes show him doing this all the time.
  • F--: In "Doug's Bum Rap," he imagines getting a score of -60 on his English test.
  • Food Porn: The image gracing the page shows the show had its share, largely thanks to the Honker Burger. It wasn't all positive, though: see Through His Stomach.
  • Forced to Watch: Doug invokes this on himself in "Doug's Nightmare on Jumbo St."
  • Foreign Queasine: In "Doug on the Wild Side", Grandma Opal takes Doug to a sushi shop for lunch, where Doug finds out to his horror that sushi is fish eaten raw. Averted when he finally tries some and ends up loving it.
  • Free-Range Children: The eleven-year old cast behaves much more like older teenagers the way they run about their town.
  • Friendly Enemy: Roger is the bully of the show, but over time him and Doug are not completely at odds with each other and have done some projects together. He notably helped organize a party with Doug's other friends to celebrate his one year anniversary in Bluffington, even if trying to play it off as he didn't care.
  • Funny Foreigner: Fentruck's occasional malapropisms due to not being a native English speaker. But at the same time the trope is averted, as he's otherwise portrayed as not being that different from his Bluffington-native classmates - he even finds Mr. Bone's having the class welcome him with a traditional Yakestonesian greeting (while wearing traditional Yakestonesian clothing) amusing, as the people of his country are now as modern as the rest of the world.
  • Gang of Bullies: Roger is often seen with fellow delinquents Willie, Ned and Boomer. However, they don't blindly follow Roger's lead in everything; see No Honor Among Thieves.
  • Garrulous Growth: In "Doug's Huge Zit", Doug gets a pimple right before a big dance. It makes him too embarrassed to go. In his imagination, the pimple becomes sentient. It mutates and says in a gruff voice that he hopes he isn't too late for the party. He also imagines the mutated pimple to ask Patti for any request right before he — the pimple — attempts to kiss her. In another imagine spot, Doug gets three pimples who play cards and somehow manage to order pizza.
  • 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. Skeeter eventually made it onto a trivia bowl team in the Disney version, but he choked when asked a question. He is arguably less of this in the Disney series where he's portrayed as one of Ms. Kristal's best students (when Ms. Kristal is fired, he's the only one who cares enough to circulate a petition to try to get her back).
  • The Ghost: Skunky Beaumont in the Nick episodes. Principal Buttsavitch from the Nick episodes. Also the Lucky Duck Lake monster before The Movie.
  • God-Mode Sue: In-Universe, Silver Skeeter is constantly having New Powers as the Plot Demands, much to Doug's annoyance. Not to mention Skeeter doesn't get the criticism.
  • Gold Digger: In "Doug and the Little Liar," Doug imagines that Loretta might be trying to do this to Skeeter (in a fantasy he imagines Loretta goading Skeeter into buying her an entire mountain range). It turns out that she's not, though: she genuinely likes him and the lies she told were only so he would think she was cool.
  • Got Me Doing It:
    • In "Doug's Cartoon", Mr. Bone says that if everyone just did everything they wanted, everything would be all "higgledy-piggledy". Later in the episode, Doug says the same thing.
    • Throughout "Doug Flies a Kite," Doug's dad Rhymes on a Dime, much to Doug's embarrassment. But at the end Doug catches himself rhyming too.
  • Graduate from the Story: More or less. The last regular episode of the Nickelodeon version has the characters graduating from Bluffington School.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • The beginning of "Doug Flies a Kite" shows him flipping through the TV channels and seeing the same romantic scene repeated in English, Spanish, Japanese, and Scottish dialect.
    • Gratuitous French: In "Doug Meets Fentruck," Doug tries speaking in broken French to ask Patti to be his lab partner. And in "Doug's Cartoon," Judy sings "La Marsellaise" - in French - at the rally she organizes in Doug's support.
  • Gratuitous Rap:
    • The "Doggie Rap" (performed by Fred Newman) - said to be Porkchop's favorite song - in which the verses are rapped lists of dog breeds or dog-related tropes. In "Doug's Runaway Journal," Porkchop is shown blasting it on a boombox and dancing to it at the beginning and end of the episode. In "Doug's Pet Capades," Skeeter and Larry perform the rap at the pet talent show while Porkchop dances in a "rapper" outfit.
    • Skeeter also raps in "Doug's on Stage" as part of Judy's unorthodox Founder's Day Pageant performance. Roger gets his own verse as well with a supporting line from Beebe.
    • And in "Doug's Secret Song," Doug imagines himself in a music video performing a rap of his own, with Patti, Connie and Beebe as his backup dancers/singers.
    • Connie freestyles an unflattering rap about Beebe in "Doug's Dougapalooza."
  • Green Around the Gills:
    • "Doug's Fat Cat": After Doug 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.
    • "Doug's Pet Capades": Skeeter tastes a free sample of a snack food at the mall, without realizing he's eating "Doggie Delights." Almost immediately he turns green and runs off to be sick.
    • "Doug's Dinner Date": In a fantasy, Doug, a medieval knight, turns green when he sees he'll have to eat liver and onions to win Princess Patti's hand in marriage.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper:
    • In "Doug on the Wild Side", Grandma Opal suggests Doug tell Patti "You look nice today." In Doug's daydream, he tries it out but Patti takes it the wrong way: "I don't look nice other days?" Doug shrinks in embarrassment and walks away. Of course this is just Doug's insecurity showing: when he says those words to Patti in the real world, she's flattered.
    • Referring to Doug's journal as a "diary" in "Doug's Runaway Journal" provokes this reaction in him. Oddly, in the pilot episode, Doug himself calls it a diary.
  • Hash House Lingo: The Honker Burger, at least in its introductory episode, uses such an idiosyncratic menu that Skeeter has to translate Doug's order for him.
  • 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?"
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Principal Buttsavitch.
  • Held Back in School: Roger eventually reveals to Doug that he spent three years in the sixth grade.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": Male version; 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. Patty also joined in during the Disney years. Quailman is actually more of an aversion, as he had few real superpowers, but solved most problems with cunning or diplomatic solutions. When Doug shares his Quailman stories with friends, it's shown he is aware of the Invincible Hero and avoided making the character too much wish fulfillment. Silver Skeeter is a very straight example though, and is even criticized for using his abilities without considering the possible consequences.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Doug Battles The Rulemeister", Doug gets out of Saturday detention after calling Mr. Bone out on breaking one of his own rules when he said the school's rules apply to every person without exception.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf:
    • Patti has songwriting talent as evidenced in the Disney version's episode about the town anthem contest, but her singing is hilariously bad. However, she isn't nearly that bad in previous episodes such as Nick's "Doug's Secret Song" or Disney's "Doug's Big Panic," and even sounds remarkably pleasant while singing a self-penned song in Nick's "Doug's No Dummy," though it's likely her singing in that episode was dubbed by one of the show's more musically inclined actors, like Alice Playten or Becca Lish. Constance Shulman, who is not a great singer, recalls having to do multiple takes whenever an episode required Patti to sing.
    • In "Doug's Secret Song", Doug and Skeeter hear Mr. Dink apparently moaning in agony. They ran to his house to see a video of Mr. Dink badly singing.
      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 the first time, boys.
    • Doug isn't exactly Pavarotti either, as his attempts at singing while playing his banjo in "Doug's Dog's Date" and "Doug's Secret Song" meet with sarcasm and/or teasing from his friends. Even his singing in "Bangin' on a Trash Can" isn't great. On the other hand, Billy West's portrayal of him as a normal, amateurish kid fooling around and having fun with music is endearing and rings very true.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: In "Doug's Comic Collaboration," Doug and Skeeter are in a fight over their failed attempt at writing a comic book together, each having insulted the other's superhero alter ego. But when Roger sees the comic and starts making fun of them, each one jumps to the other's defense and praises the very aspects of Quailman and Silver Skeeter that they criticized before. This leads to their making up and successfully finishing the comic.
  • 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 and wanting tips on "getting girls." It was moments like these where their actual age was evident.
  • I Am Big Boned: Connie describes herself as such in "Doug Tips the Scales."
  • I Have This Friend...: Practically Doug's catchphrase. He often follows it up with "It's not me," as well.
  • "I Want" Song: The Beets' "I Need Mo' Allowance."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episode titles always start with "Doug" or "Doug's" - until the second season of the Disney series and especially the third season, when more Judy- and Patti-centered episodes were added to the mix, as well as full-length Quailman adventures.
  • 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.
  • Impact Silhouette: Happens in one of Doug's daydreams in "Doug Throws a Party." While playing Truth or Dare, Skeeter dares Patti to kiss Doug, and Patti flees in terror from an overly excited Doug, leaving this when she crashes through a door.
  • 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 has had to go to the counselor every day since (see Brick Joke above).
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • It's a journal. Not a diary.
    • And no, Miss Mayo, Rupert Schmupert's name does not have a French pronunciation.
  • Interclass Friendship:
    • Working class Patti Mayonnaise is best friends with Beebe Bluff whose family are rich and also the founders of Bluffington.
    • There's Doug Funnie whose parents are in the working class being friends with Mr. Dink who is implied to be rich since his house is twice as big as Doug's and buys very expensive stuff.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Doug's Cartoon", Mr. Bone says, "If everyone did whatever they wanted, everything would be all higgledy-piggledy!" Later in the episode, Doug (much to his own surprise) says the exact same thing.
  • Ironic Name: In one episode, Doug orders a pizza from Speedy Pizza, and they arrive a few hours later. One of the delivery guys said they should really change the name.
  • It's Like I Always Say: Roger says this in the Disney episode where Doug and his friends decide to switch homes for a day. Skeeter says he never said that, but Roger keeps insisting that he does.
  • 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…note 
  • Jerkass:
    • Roger is definitely this (well, most of the time).
    • Mr. Bone as well, of the Dean Bitterman kind.
    • Mr. Bone's nephew, Percy Femur is even worse, as he takes sadistic pleasure in bullying Roger.
    • Among authority figures at least, even Mr. Bone can't compare to Coach Spitz in the Jerkass department, however. He's needlessly rude to anyone and everyone who doesn't meet his standards, including Doug and Skeeter. He's sexist, as illustrated when he won't let Patti join the baseball team just because she's a girl. And he shows no regard for his athletes' well-being, of which perhaps the most disturbing example is when he refuses to step in to stop Patti's starving herself in the Disney "eating disorder" episode even after she's already fainted due to malnutrition because "thinner athletes run faster." He's willing to endanger his athletes' health and welfare as long as they can still perform, which arguably puts him above even Percy Femur as the worst Jerkass of the series (as Spitz is not only an adult but an authority figure and should know better, whereas Percy is still a kid).
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • Doug himself can hold it on occasion (e.g. in "Doug's Brainy Buddy" - although Skeeter's not blameless as he admits he was trying to make Doug jealous a little). The most notable example in the Disney series is probably "Doug's Big Comeback." What sets him apart from say, Roger, though, is that Doug realizes he's in the wrong and does what he needs to do to make it better.
    • The formerly meek and insecure Connie got her chance to hold it in "Doug's Dougapalooza," in which she became insufferably arrogant about entering a local song contest, including coming up with off-the-cuff, insensitive songs about her friends. When her friends tell her she's being a Jerkass, she brushes them off.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Roger on other occasions. He even helped organize Doug's 1-year anniversary in Bluffington.
    Roger: Yeah, well it doesn't mean that we're getting married or anything.
  • Just the Way You Are: "Doug Tips the Scales" ends with Doug overcoming his insecurity over his bodily shortcomings and encouraging his friends to do the same, once he realizes that they have insecurities just as he does (Skeeter feels he's too skinny, Patti is embarrassed about her bony shoulders, etc.).
  • Karma Houdini:
    • In "Doug and Patti, P.I.", Roger steals supplies for the family wheelbarrow 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.
    • In "Doug's Math Problem," Doug isn't punished for trying to break into his parents' mail or for failing the math test; the "consequence" - being tutored by Patti - is something he actually enjoys.
    • In "Doug Takes the Case," Beebe is not punished by Mrs. Wingo for fabricating a story about the theft of her father's radio to cover up the fact that she broke it. She is even willing to let everyone get detention, noting there are worse things.
    • Patti doesn't get angry at Doug for his lie about "Cousin Melvin" in "Doug's a Big Fat Liar." However, Doug also gets a form of Laser-Guided Karma when he's forced to listen to Connie recite every lie she ever told in her life while they dance at the hoedown.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Doug and Skeeter win tickets to see the Beets, but Skeeter's parents ground him before he can go. Doug decides to just stay with Skeeter, grounded or not, giving up his own good time to make his friend happy. Mr. Valentine eventually un-grounds Skeeter later that night, long after the concert started. They go to the Honker Burger, where they meet the Beets in person, and even briefly rock out with the band itself, getting their jackets.
    Doug: No one's ever gonna believe us!
    Skeeter: Who cares, man?!
  • Kick the Dog: Roger, occasionally. Especially when he goaded Doug into throwing 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: One of the most well-known examples of the 1990s. It detailed lots of slice-of-life concepts relatable to kids around Doug's age, including first crushes, growing up, and dealing with more responsibility as one matures.
  • Kissing Warm-Up: Doug practices kissing on a balloon. And, in one Disney episode, on a sandwich.
  • Lame Comeback: Played absolutely straight with Doug, who isn't particularly known for thinking up snappy comebacks - his stock response to being heckled or insulted by Roger seems to be "Oh yeah?!" or something even lamer. In the Disney episode "Doug's Big Comeback," he attempts to do something about this, even watching footage of stand-up comics to learn new insults. The result is that he becomes something of a human version of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, hurling funny but hurtful insults at everyone from Porkchop to Patti to his own mother, and gains a reputation as the town's number one Jerkass (bigger even than Roger, because none of Roger's insults ever made a teacher cry.)
  • Lampshade Hanging: In one scene, Skeeter greets Porkchop by imitating Porkchop's bark perfectly. Both Skeeter and Porkchop were voiced by Fred Newman.
  • Large Ham: Judy, and Ms. Kristal in the Disney series.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Roger is often hit with this. Whatever transgression he pulls, karma will never hesitate to smack him back to reality.
    • Doug sometimes gets a taste of this as well, though what makes him different from Roger is that he admits he deserves it and is eager to do what's necessary to make things right, usually without complaint.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Invoked and ultimately subverted since we BARELY miss seeing him in the final episode of the Nickelodeon run with Principal Buttsavitch.
  • 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. But does it last? Jim Jinkins has suggested that it doesn't.
  • Last-Name Basis: Roger almost always refers to Doug (and Skeeter as well) by their last names. In fact, the only time Roger calls Doug by his given name is when he needs Doug's help with something (like needing a babysitter for his cat, or wanting Doug's help in wooing Judy), or else if it's serious business.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Doug, Patti, and Skeeter are clearly wearing Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars shoes. There are even costumes where the shoes are actually used. One can even see a white circle on Skeeter's, representing the "Chuck Taylor All-Stars" logo.
  • Leitmotif: Several characters have one, for example Judy (flute and drum music), Roger (electric guitar), and Mr. Dink (sound effects made into a tune).
  • Less Embarrassing Term: "It's a journal, not a diary!"
  • Let's See YOU Do Better!: In "Doug's Big News", the kids of Mrs. Wingo's class criticize Mr. Bone's news show for being dull and boring, and Mr. Bone responds by challenging them with this trope. The kids take Mr. Bone up on his challenge.
  • Lethal Chef: The anime cliche that cute girls can't cook applies to Patti in the Nickelodeon version. When she and Doug are paired up for a Home Ec cooking assignment, she outright admits she can't cook, and demonstrates her culinary ineptitude by making a disaster of the first recipe she and Doug attempt - carrot cake. However, she and Doug make a good pizza by the end of the episode, and by "Patti's Dad Dilemma" in the Disney series, her cooking skills have apparently improved to the point where she's able to handle meatloaf.
  • Lie Detector: Mr. Dink invents one called the "Truth-O-Matic" in "Doug and the Little Liar." It works a little too well.
  • 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 only taking it too far. 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 the new outfit the TV star wears, which looks the same as Skeeter's.
  • List Song: The Doggie Rap, whose verses are largely lists of dog breeds or dog-related tropes.
  • Literal-Minded: Doug on occasion, but more often Skeeter.
  • 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, and his phone number is Jumbo 1-559.
  • Long-Runners: Mrs. Wingo. She's old enough to have taught Mr. Dink and parents of Doug's classmates.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Beebe, on her better days.
  • Love at First Sight: Doug is lovestruck the second he sees Patti bike past outside the Honker Burger in the very first episode.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Skeeter readily forgives Doug for ditching their game of Barnyard Chess to play Beetball with Patti because "I know Patti makes you crazy. Beet salad has the same effect on me."
  • Made a Slave: It's the main point of the Nickelodeon episode "Doug Is Slave for a Day" (aka "Doug's Servitude"), in which Judy makes Doug her personal slave in return for not telling Mom that Doug broke a vase. Judy starts taking it too far and extends his servitude for breaking a few rules on the contract, and threatens to tell mom if continues to argue. Later, Doug flips the script on Judy when he ends his servitude by confessing to Mom (and is grounded as a result), and makes Judy his personal slave in return for helping clean her costumes out of the basement so she can attend a party.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Billy West (Doug, Roger, and Boomer in the Nickelodeon series) and Fred Newman (Skeeter, Porkchop, and Mr. Dink among others) are the most notable examples in this series of an actor voicing multiple characters who sound virtually nothing alike, but Doug Preis (Mr. Bone, Phil, Chalky, etc.) and Becca Lish (Judy, Connie, Theda, etc.) are no slouches in this department either.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Patti in "Quailman: The Un-Quail Saga". She's in the middle of giving a news report when air coming from a huge vacuum hose causes her skirt to begin to blow up. But as she holds it in place, she gets sucked up by the vacuum hose, attached to a machine that collects beets.
  • 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 (but not all) preteens are pretty nervous when it comes to dealing with matters of the heart for the first time.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The title object in "Doug's Lucky Hat" lands at Doug's feet on a windy day. When he puts it on, he appears to become a good luck magnet as he finds the only Sky Davis trading card he doesn't already have, wins a KBLUF radio phone-in contest, has his Smash Adams X-ray specs rescued from the laundry by his mother, and tracks down Patti's wayward guinea pig Hamlet. Skeeter believes the hat really is lucky, but Doug is embarrassed to think so, especially when it becomes clear that Patti is dubious about the idea; Roger believes it, though, and forcibly "borrows" the hat - and actually passes a biology test (with a D-) while wearing it. Patti, however, tells Doug that while the hat may have made him feel like a winner, he's a winner with or without it. Whether or not the hat really is lucky is left to the viewer to decide; by the end of the episode Doug isn't sure himself, but it's implied he can live without it as long as Patti thinks he's a winner, and he doesn't object when Roger tells him he's not giving the hat back. He was perfectly fine when the hat gets blown by the wind again, feeling it's someone else's turn to wear it. He remains optimistic for the day he'll see the hat again. Jim Jinkins has said this is his favorite episode of the Nickelodeon series.
  • The Meaning of Life: The Teaser of one episode has an Imagine Spot by the eponymous character in which he plays a game show and is mocked for being an idiot when he can't answer the question, 'What is the meaning of life?'
  • 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.
    • Actually subverted with Patti Mayonnaise, as her character was based on (and named after) a childhood crush of Jim Jinkins'; it was merely a coincidence that Constance Shulman was cast in the role after Jinkins saw her in a mayonnaise commercial on TV.
  • Meat-O-Vision: In "Doug's Dinner Date," Doug dreads having dinner at Patti's after she tells him she's serving his least favorite meal - liver and onions - and asks Skeeter to hypnotize him so he can work up the nerve to try the noxious dish. It succeeds only in Doug having a hallucination of Skeeter as a hot dog (It Makes Sense in Context). Later, at Patti's, she clarifies she was joking (she knows Doug hates liver and onions) and is really serving Honker Dogs and fries for supper. Doug suddenly has a vision of all of his friends as hot dogs and faints. At the end of the episode, Porkchop, after hypnotizing himself, has a hallucination of Doug as a soft-serve ice-cream cone and goes after him.
  • Megane: The Sleech brothers and Fentruck.
  • Meganekko: The unnamed girl with curly hair who often appears as an extra in the Nickelodeon series, and a short pudgy girl with a beehive hairdo and Opaque Lenses identified as Dory in one episode. Also, several friends of Judy's, including Queue.
  • Merchandise-Driven:
    • Disney's Doug had as much merchandise as say, High School Musical or Hannah Montana. Compare this with the Nickelodeon version which had relatively little merchandising. Aside from a Bluffscouts-related board game released in 1992, merchandise related to the Nick series was mostly limited to Valentine cards, home video releases, fast-food kids' meal toys, and the like. However, it's been reported that a prototype for a Doug Funnie doll was developed during the Nickelodeon series run and that Nickelodeon producer Vanessa Coffey still has it.
  • Microphone Swinging: Doug has a fantasy where he is a member of his favorite band, The Beets, and he's joyfully swinging around the mic by its cord over his head (while wearing a blue punk rock wig) and screaming "Killer Tofu!"
  • Minor with Fake I.D.: Roger uses an incredibly fake ID to buy Nic-Naks, a thinly veiled stand-in for cigarettes (but closer to tobacco sticks), which he then sells to the other kids, after convincing the principal to hold an assembly on that Nic-Naks are bad — but without explaining how or why they're bad — to make them Forbidden Fruit and drive up sales.
  • Missed Meal Aesop: In a Lower-Deck Episode focusing on Patty, she asks Doug if she's overweight, to which he sarcastically replies, "Yeah, you're huge." This drives her into a bout of anorexia, during which she only lets herself eat a single raw tomato a day. During the climax, she faints after winning the long jump during a Track-and-Field tournament. The school nurse tells her that simply not eating causes the body to start digesting itself and should never be considered as a viable method of weight loss.
  • 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 her status 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!
    • Also happens in "Doug's Doodle," when a mortified Doug realizes that he accidentally turned in his sketch of Mrs. Wingo instead of his homework essay. He tries to remain calm since he hopes that Mrs. Wingo might not even know he drew it. But then Mrs. Wingo holds up a paper before the class and asks who did this, and a panicked Doug yells tearfully that he did it and apologizes. Turns out Mrs. Wingo only wanted to know who had written the essay titled "My First Pair of High Heels," since it didn't have a name on it (it was Beebe's).
    • "Doug and the Little Liar": Doug goes to Mr. Dink for advice about Loretta's lies to Skeeter and starts to explain by invoking I Have This Friend.... Mr. Dink, assuming Doug is talking about him, immediately bursts into tears and confesses to lying about being captain of his high school football team (he was really the equipment manager). Doug forgives him (even though he wasn't talking about Dink), and it gave him the idea to get Loretta to confess as well.
  • 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: Doug's fantasies are often shown.
  • 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.
    Tropes N-Z 
  • Never Bare Headed: In "Doug's Lucky Hat", when Doug is fully convinced that his hat is lucky, he vows never to take it off, even while he's sleeping, showering, and getting his haircut (perplexing his barber Joe Sweeney). This lasts up until Roger steals the hat to try out its luck.
  • Never My Fault: Roger shows signs of this when his shenanigans get him in trouble along with others. In "Doug Battles the Rulemeister," when he tricks Doug into putting polka-dotted underwear on the Thaddeus Bluff statue and Mr. Bone gives Doug and all of his friends a Saturday detention just for being in the vicinity, Roger blames Doug for it.
  • Never Say "Die": When the famous "I expect you to die!" line from Goldfinger is parodied, it's tweaked to: "I don't want you to talk, Quailman, I want you to suffer!"
  • 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: "Brand Spanking New Doug!"
  • New Year's Kiss: In the episode "Doug's Midnight Kiss," Doug plans to kiss Patti at midnight during Beebee's New Year's Eve party to fulfill his New Year's Resolution of showing Patti how he feels. Roger's plan, on the other hand, is to break a new record for how many girls he can kiss at midnight.
  • 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. Mayor Bob White was a parody of then-president Bill Clinton. Also see Shout-Out.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Doug's Servitude" when Doug explains that he has to be Judy's servant because she has dirt on him, Skeeter replies that his brother has some dirt on him too. "Good thing he can't talk yet."
  • Not a Date: The premise of "Doug and Patty Sitting in a Tree".
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Played with. There is a progression of time but it moves slower than the real world, with about four years over seven seasons. Multiple episodes do explore things like graduating elementary school, celebrating Doug being in Bluffington for a year, and so forth. The characters were about 11 at the start and by the end should be approaching 16, and this coincides with changes in character designs between the Nickelodeon and Disney versions that indicates some change. It's just that the characters already acted a bit older than they realistically should have been (going to neighboring cities for concerts or amusement parks by themselves) and so their emotional maturity as they grow up are not as apparent.
  • 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 manages 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).
  • Nutritional Nightmare: "Doug vs. the Klotzoid Zombies" features a Quailman fantasy in which Dr. Klotzenstein hypnotizes the kids into becoming his zombie slaves with junk food such as "Zombie Chips" and "Greasy Puffs." There's even a game show called "Wheel of Snack Food" in which participants get to "play for" a junk food of their choosing. Quailman discovers that the only way to free his friends is to get them to eat beets.
  • Off-Model: The Nickelodeon series at least had its fair share of animation errors. For example, in "Doug's Comic Collaboration," there's a scene in which Doug's left arm appears to be in front of Skeeter and around Skeeter's shoulder at the same time. In "Doug's Nightmare on Jumbo Street," Tippi Dink is colored turquoise-blue like Skeeter, instead of purple as she normally is. And in the pilot episode, her hair color goes from blonde to green repeatedly in one scene.
  • 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.
  • One-Note Cook: Before he and Patti attempt pizza in "Doug's Cookin'", Doug's area of culinary expertise consists mostly of grilled cheese sandwiches. He even fantasizes about becoming a master grilled-cheese chef.
  • Only One Name: Flounder of The Beets.
  • Only Sane Man: It sometimes seems that Porkchop is this for the Funnie household, or at least the most sane one.
  • Opposing Sports Team: The school softball team and Bloatsburg in football.
  • Our Founder: Thaddeus Bluff.
  • Pantomime Animal: "Doug's On Stage" has Doug Funnie and Roger Klotz having to play Grendle the brave horse in the Bluffington Founders' Day School Play, which of course they don't enjoy.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Doug Says Goodbye", while hiding out from home, Skeeter attempts to use his Chap Lipman costume as a disguise during a visit to the Honker Burger. It fools no one.
  • 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. The Dinks, for instance, come from the acronym "DINK," which stands for "Dual Income, No Kids." The Dinks exemplify this perfectly, having no children of their own, but having lots of money to throw around on "very expensive" hobbies.
  • Parlor Games: "Truth or Dare" in "Doug Throws a Party."
  • Pepper Sneeze: This kickstarts the plot of "Doug on the Trail." Doug is carrying both the Bluff Scouts' navigational computer and a pepper mill while standing precariously in a canoe, when the pepper makes him sneeze and he falls out of the canoe, drops the computer and breaks it. This forces Mr. Dink to leave camp to get the spare computer.
  • The Permanent Record: Mr. Bone routinely threatens students with this.
  • 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.
  • Pets as a Present: "Doug's Christmas Story" reveals that Doug received Porkchop as a Christmas present.
  • Pie in the Face:
    • In "Doug's Comic Collaboration," the biggest insult one can give the Wacky Weatherman is that he isn't funny - including when he presses a button on his aircraft console to launch a pie into his own face, leading to a "meh" reaction from Quailman and Silver Skeeter.
    • Not a pie, but Doug gets a bowlful of banana pudding in the face courtesy of Roger in a daydream sequence in "Doug's Worst Nightmare."
  • Pilot: The original pilot, which has yet to resurface, was an early version of "Doug Can't Dance". It was eight minutes in length, and this version didn't establish Skeeter being Doug's best friend.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The main problem in "Doug Rocks the House". Doug had no idea that the house he knocked down was Patty's old one from before her mom died. Nobody would tell him why she was mad and treated him like he already knew the history behind it, forgetting that he'd moved to town long after Patty and her dad had moved to their current house.
  • Precious Puppy: The handful of times Porkchop is shown as a puppy in flashback sequences. As seen at the beginning of the Nickelodeon episode "Doug's Dog's Date," puppy Porkchop is adorable. A picture book featuring Porkchop as a puppy was also published during the Disney years.
  • Protagonist Title: Plus the title is always the first word of every episode name in the Nickelodeon series.
  • 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". This differs a bit from the usual example as he asked to be put in because the team needed an extra player to avoid forfeiting and they didn't win.
  • 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.note  That changed when Disney got its hands on the series and went on to promote it 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.
  • Rated M for Manly: "Targetman"- the violent action movie all the kids in Bluffington want to see in "Doug's Movie Madness". It's a RoboCop/Terminator/Judge Dredd sci-fi film starring Bruce Claude Von Rockenwagner complete with a Hurricane of Puns (most of which involve missing body parts). There's concern from adults about kids seeing it (even the normally laid-back Mr. Dink thinks it's too violent for kids) and aside from Connie, none of the female characters have any interest in seeing it (Judy argues that it has no redeeming social value of any kind). Roger and Doug are forbidden from seeing it by both of their parents (Roger by his normally absent father, who drags him out of a showing at the theater). Doug goes anyways and this trope gets subverted when it turns out Doug and Skeeter both really aren't prepared for the levels of violence in the film, resulting in Doug having nightmares and unintentionally confessing to his parents that he saw the film, resulting in him getting grounded.
  • Readthe Fine Print: This is how Roger's family originally got rich in the Disney version. After the original Middle School that Doug and his classmates were going to was torn down, Mr. Bluff decides to buy a mobile home park and build a new Middle School for his daughter and classmates. However, during construction Mr. Bluff finds out from Roger's mother that while she hadn't lived in the mobile home park for years, she still owned a small section of land and was building the new school right over her property. Mr. Bluff, fearing a court case and delay in construction, paid a huge sum of money for the land, causing Roger to be rich overnight.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • "Doug Gets His Wish": Principal White tries to fire Ms. Krystal on the grounds that she didn't teach Willy anything, and because she didn't vote for him as mayor. When Doug finally tells the School Board, Principal White thinks that he can use the opportunity to slander Ms. Krystal further. Before he can start, Tippi Dink gives him a reality check: "You can't fire a teacher because they didn't vote for you." Then Doug proceeds to prove that Willy got a thorough education on English literature, dispelling his dad's claims that she didn't teach anything. Mayor Tippi Dink had heard enough; she not only reinstates Ms. Krystal but punishes Mayor White for the blatant abuse of his authority.
    • "Doug's Disappearing Dog" has it played straight. Porkchop goes missing and has packed up his home, so Doug is trying to retrace his dog's steps from the previous day, suspecting maybe one of his acquaintances hurt his dog. Everyone has a different story, with some consistent details: Porkchop wasn't allowed to go on the rides, participate in a three-legged race, or enter the local restaurant for shakes. Why? Because Porkchop may be Doug's best friend, but he is also a dog. Thus, he can't do human things. Doug realizes that he inadvertently mistreated Porkchop by leaving him behind and tying him outside.
    • "Doug's Midnight Kiss" has a hilarious one. Roger mentions he kisses a lot of girls on New Year's Eve and sees it as a record. Cue him doing so, as Doug gets cold feet about kissing Patti because he doesn't feel ready. The thing is that none of the girls consented to Roger kissing them. He has to run from an angry mob of them, making his act Pyrrhic Villainy. Meanwhile, Patti spends the rest of the time with Doug because she said she wasn't ready for any kissing, and is happy to be with a guy who gets it.
    • Patti finds out that her dad was secretly seeing a woman with the initials "E.K." and becomes concerned. Her big fear is that it's Roger's mother, who is single. Doug thinks it's not a big deal while helping her figure out who the mystery woman is, hoping that the answer will assuage her worries. Patti actually reacts worse when learning it's their English teacher, Ms. Krystal, and having an Imagine Spot of Ms. Krystal replacing her mother. She freaks out, yells at her dad and Ms. Krystal, and runs off in tears. As her dad acknowledges, breaking the news would have hurt regardless of the timing.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Principal Buttsavich, too bad we never see him.
    • Mrs. Dink as mayor.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Doug is on the receiving end of one from Patti in "Doug's Magic Act," when Patti gets angry that Doug's "magic act gone wrong" made her late for beetball practice and accuses him of being selfish. Even though her anger isn't really unjustified, she immediately apologizes when she realizes she hurt Doug's feelings.
  • Recursive Canon: In "Doug's Secret Christmas," we see Skeeter and his family at home watching "Doug's Christmas Story" on TV.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Doug's father Phil in "Doug Flies a Kite." It drives Doug crazy through the entire episode, but at the end...
    Doug: The Funnie 5 was the simplest kite there, but it's the one that did best in the air. ... AAHHH! Now he's got ''me'' doing it!
  • Rich Bitch: Beebe, though not nearly as bad as some examples (usually). Roger is a worse, male version in the retool.
  • Road Trip Plot: 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. "They're nature's candy, don'tcha know!"
    • Mr. Bone threatening that something Doug does will go on his permanent record.
    • In the Disney incarnation of the series, Bebe Bluff Middle School opens when it's halfway constructed. Throughout the series, Doug or one of his friends would encounter an incomplete part of the school or a room where something is malfunctioning. A construction worker would reply "We're working on it/that!"
  • Ruritania: Yakistonia, homeland of the exchange student Fentruck.
  • Sadist Teacher: Doug had Mr. Bone & Mrs. Wingo in Doug's own nightmarish imagination. Mr. Bone is one in real life, though Mrs. Wingo, although sometimes a Stern Teacher, isn't.
  • 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.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Doug.
    Doug: [accidentally handcuffed to Patti, but not wanting to go to the magic shop to have the handcuffs removed] We can't let people see us like this!
    Patti: [irritated] You're right. Let's just spend the rest of our lives handcuffed to each other.
    Doug: [excited] Really?!!
  • Scenery Porn: The last shot in the series finale of the Nickelodeon series, "Doug's Bad Trip". The family spends the entire episode trying to get to a place called the Painted Gorge (an obvious nod to the Grand Canyon). They finally arrive at the end after a lot of hardship, and it is beautiful.
  • School Is for Losers: Connie develops this attitude in "Doug's Dougapalooza," a Disney episode, as she can't see what school has to do with her dreams of being a rock star and starts blowing off homework and tests. She even participates in a local song contest with a song about how much she hates school, and only after she learns what major role lack of education played in The Beets' breakup does she come around.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Roger seems like a tough guy until he screams... Doug has a pretty high-pitched scream as well, particularly when Billy West voiced him.
  • Script Swap: After taking the credit for the Tribute to Mr. Bone in "Doug's Big News," Roger hands Doug a paper that supposedly contains the news he's supposed to read next. However, it actually says "Mr. Bone wears pink underwear," which Doug ends up reading on the air.
  • 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.
  • Second Person Attack: One of the episode title card Couch Gags in the Nickelodeon series had Porkchop hurl the black paint he used to write the episode's title with at the camera, turning the frame black. Usually it made an appropriately wet, sludgy sound, but in some second-season episodes, it made a simpler "sssss" sound effect.
  • 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: To minimize these, all of the production staff were required to learn the contents of the "series bible," which included character profiles and a history of Bluffington among other things. Nevertheless, a few slipped through, in both the Nick and Disney series:
    • 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 premiere that the Funnies have lived in Bluffington for three years.
    • Another example involves Porkchop's age. Flashbacks in episodes such as "Doug's Christmas Story" and "Doug's Dog's Date" show Porkchop as having lived with Doug since he and Doug were both infants or toddlers, which would put Porkchop's age anywhere from 7 to 11 (49 to 77 in dog years). There's also a children's book released during the Disney series called Porkchop's Puppy Days, which seems to suggest the same. However, the official Nicktoons trading cards list Porkchop's age (during the Nickelodeon series) as 1 1/2, which would, assuming Doug got him as a puppy, mean Doug got him when he was about 10, and would make Porkchop about 10 or 11 in dog years (or roughly the same age as Doug).
    • In the same vein, the first flashback in "Doug's Dog's Date" shows a baby Doug riding on puppy Porkchop's back, but in "Doug's Christmas Story," the flashback to when Doug first got Porkchop shows Doug about 4 or 5 years old.
    • In "Doug on the Wild Side," Phil calls Grandma Opal "Mom," indicating that she's Doug's paternal grandmother. But in "Doug Tips the Scale" and in the Disney series, Phil's mother is a completely different character named Grandma Edna Funnie, implying that Opal must be Theda's mother.
    • Doug's favorite of Mr. Swirly's ice cream flavors is Chocolate Swirly in "Doug, Mayor For A Day," but Butter Brickle in "Doug Loses Dale" and in the Disney series.
  • Serious Business: Just about any school sponsored event is this. Willie White's campaign for Student Council Treasurer takes this Up to Eleven - even in-universe. Mocked here: [1]
  • Shameful Shrinking: Happens to Doug in a daydream in "Doug on the Wild Side", where Doug's perfectly innocent compliment to Patty gets taken the wrong way.
  • 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: Has its own page.
  • Shouting Free-for-All: In "Doug's Christmas Story", Doug calls all his fantasy personas to figure out how to get Porkchop out of the pound. After several attempts fail, they all start arguing and shouting all at once until Doug realizes he shouldn't be trying to solve the problem the way they would anyway. He then decides to take care of it his way.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Patti, You're the Mayonnaise for Me." Also the song Doug plays on his banjo in his daydream of riding the Ferris wheel with Patti in "Doug's Fair Lady."
  • Slice of Life: As a Kid Com, this is almost entirely what the show revolved around. Going to school, first crushes, picture day, and growing older and graduating were all concepts the show explored. The presentation was sometimes surreal given the art style, made-up pop culture and Doug's Imagine Spot moments, but the core stakes of any given episode were highly relatable.
  • 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.
  • Smart Animal, Average Human: Porkchop is the Snoopy to Doug's Charlie Brown.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: The "Nic-Nacs" episode is built around this, even though cigarettes are never mentioned by name. And in the Nickelodeon series episode "Doug's Brainy Buddy," one of the reasons Skeeter decides to stay in sixth grade and not go to college early, despite being a genius, is that everyone in college smokes.
  • Snipe Hunt: Roger and his buddies offer to take Doug on one of these in the Nickelodeon premiere.
  • 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 hus-band ("YECH!"), dark glasses are not worn i-insi-i-de the-e house, and a dinner made entirely of pruuunes!
      • The first half is apparently a Shout-Out to Julie Andrews movie musicals, complete with stratospheric high note. For example, the intro is reminiscent of "A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins.
    • "Doug Throws a Party": Listen closely in Doug's daydream sequence in which mad scientist Roger's "truth ray" makes Doug confess his love to Patti, while Patti is yelling "Somebody stop him! Don't listen to him! I HATE you, Doug Funnie!" and you'll hear Doug sing "I love you, Patti/Oh yes I do/I love you, Patti/You know it's true" to the tune of "We Love You Conrad" from Bye Bye Birdie.
  • Special Effect Failure: An In-Universe example. The costume of a supposedly scary movie monster has a visible zipper.
  • Sports Dad: In "Doug On First," all the parents of the Pulverizers except Mr. Mayonnaise become a variation on this trope. Each one wants their own child to be the pitcher, so they take control of the team and make the kids take turns pitching, even though Patti is by far the best pitcher and the team does worse under their parents' management than they ever did on their own.
  • Stage Mom:
    • Beebe's mother in "Doug Wears Tights" - she's prepared to pull strings to get her daughter the lead role of the Sugar Beet Fairy although Patti is a better dancer, until Beebe blows the audition. Mrs. Bluff rails against Doug for "sabotaging" Beebe's audition, until Beebe tells her mother that she blew it on purpose because she didn't want the role.
    • Doug himself acts like a Stage Dad to Porkchop in "Doug's Pet Capades," when he enters Porkchop in the Pet Capades to beat Roger and Stinky. He makes Porkchop, Skeeter and Larry learn an elaborate dance number and works them to exhaustion rehearsing it, until finally Porkchop refuses to perform. Then Doug realizes he's been doing it all for himself, apologizes, and lets Porkchop perform the rap number he really wants to do.
  • 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 when students misbehave, although usually she's quite kind. "You're knocking on trouble's door"!
  • Stock Audio Clip:
    • Doug's scream from "Doug Bags a Neematoad" (after he imagines being honked out of Bluffington) is reused in several subsequent episodes.
    • Almost every time Willie, Boomer and Ned laugh in unison, usually following one of Roger's insults, the same cackling laughter is used.
    • Any time something shocking happens in front of a group of kids, the same reaction is used, mainly consisting of a girl saying "Whooooaaaa...". It is used twice during the scene where Doug visits the Honker Burger for the first time, and it is used five times in the episode "Doug's Big News".
  • Stock Ness Monster: The Lucky Duck Lake Monster.
  • Stock Sound Effect: One of Fred Newman's most used sound effects has been described by fans as the "beeyou". It is often used whenever something or someone slowly falls or sags. The most noticeable use is in "Doug's No Dummy", when a tall plant dies after Porkchop pours a bucket of Doug's sweat in its pot.
  • 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.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Chalky is a smart, athletic, popular and all-around good guy. Seems like he has it made. But in the episode where he cheated on an English test by copying Doug's answers, we find out he has a lot of pressure on him, at least partly because of his older brother's success. Their dad shows Doug a huge trophy room full of Chalky's awards and accolades. His dad then says that he still has a long way to go to catch up to his brother.
  • Sudden Name Change: At least the German dub of the Disney show gets inconsistent on two of the Beets' names in later episodes. Flounder suddenly becomes Flounders, and it isn't really clear if it's supposed to be Monroe Yoder or Yoger.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: After Doug and Skeeter accidentally break Mr. Dink's barbecue grill, they decide to work odd jobs throughout the neighborhood in an attempt to buy him a new one, but they only end up earning $11.57, and on top of that, with all of the money they spent on supplies, their actual profit was -$9.50.
  • 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 Home Alabama: The show takes place in a fictional suburb of Richmond, Virginia. Many of the characters have Southern or country accents, and there's a subtle but notable Southern culture present in Bluffington.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver:
    • In "Doug Out In Left Field," Patti Mayonnaise tries to get on the softball team, attempting to pass herself off as a boy tucking most of her hair underneath her baseball cap and wearing dark glasses and a catcher's mask and deepening her voice. Despite hitting a ball out of the park, the sexist Coach Spitz is not amused when the "catcher" reveals herself as being a girl.
    • Judy Funnie, being the aspiring actress she is, has done this a couple of times, such as in "Doug's a Big Fat Liar" when posing as Doug's nonexistent cousin Melvin, and in "Doug's On Stage" when she disguises herself as an older gentleman to get into the Founder's Day pageant she had been fired from directing so she can regain control and save the failing show.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: When Mr. Bone's nephew, Percy, starts picking on Roger, it is at first seen as just desserts. Then Percy's bullying becomes more sadistic, culminating in Roger begging Doug to protect him. Despite being Roger's favourite victim, even he thinks it has gone too far, and tries to get Percy to stop.
  • 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.
    • Apparently Roger's mom procrastinated in giving it to her son, as Roger is surprised in "Doug's Fat Cat" when Stinky has kittens and Roger admits he didn't even know Stinky was female. His mother tells him, "Son, we're overdue for a very important talk."
  • Teen Drama: The show-within-a-show Teen Heart Street, of which Doug and most of his classmates are big fans. Patti pooh-poohs the show in "Doug's Chubby Buddy," but in the earlier Nickelodeon episode "Doug's En Vogue," she's wearing the same "hot fashions" inspired by the show (which just happen to look exactly like the way Doug, and later Skeeter, dress every day) as everyone else.
  • 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 repeatedly tries to comfort him by telling him that "No one over the age of five watches this show." Cue Roger bursting through the door, wearing a cowboy hat and spurs...
    • In "Doug's Secret Songs", while a nervous Doug is getting ready to record, Skeeter asks if he's worried about forgetting some of the words to his song or suddenly get the hiccups.
      Doug: (anxious) Skeeter, don't give me any ideas!
      Skeeter: Alright, I take it back! You won't forget your lines, and you won't get the hiccups!
      Doug: I... (hiccup) forgot... (hiccup) my lines. (hiccup)
  • The Theme Park Version: Of middle school.
  • Those Two Guys: The Fat and Skinny guy.
  • Through His Stomach: Doug's paternal grandmother—-unlike Grandma Opal, who would encourage him to go out and have adventures—-stuffs him with cake, pizza, ice cream and sticky buns to the point where Doug gains weight and is embarrassed about it. Some Fridge Horror when you realize his paternal grandfather is nowhere to be seen.
  • Time for Plan B: In the side plot of the "Brand Spankin' New" era episode "Doug's Bloody Buddy", Connie, who has developed a habit of creating baseless rumors, claims that a spy from Bloatsburg could be hiding in their band class. The band leader responds by developing "Plan B", eventually cancelling band practice to work on it. It culminates in a bee being released to distract the band leader's Bloatsburg rival from conducting.
  • Token Minority:
    • Refreshingly averted in this series due to its Amazing Technicolor Population, with the possible exception of Fentruck, although he's not so much a minority as a generic Funny Foreigner (on the other hand, Loretta, who is also of Yakestonesian descent, does not have an accent, owing to the fact that she's revealed to know very little of the Yakestonesian language).
    • Also, having Patti Mayonnaise speak in actress Constance Shulman's natural Tennessee dialect has been noted by some as a daring move, although Patti displays no Southern Belle tropes and just happens to be a "normal" girl who speaks with a drawl. Interestingly, Patti's father, Chad, has no Southern drawl. Neither does Beebe Bluff, although both of her parents do.
  • Token Rich Student: Beebe Bluff
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Patti and Beebe. Patti was arguably less of this in the Nickelodeon series, where she wore a skirt; on the other hand, her character design for the Disney version adds hoop earrings.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While Doug wasn't always the soul of tact in the Nickelodeon series, several Disney episodes had him taking the Jerkass factor up to eleven. It seems out of character for Doug to insult Skeeter, Porkchop, his own mother, and even Patti - for absolutely no reason - the way he does in "Doug's Big Comeback." And he didn't begin to feel remorse until after he insulted Patti. In addition, Connie, a target of Roger's bullying in the Nickelodeon series, turns into somewhat of a bully herself in "Doug's Bloody Buddy" by becoming a malicious gossip.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Beets, for most everyone in the town (interestingly, creator Jim Jinkins hated beets as a kid). For Doug, banana pudding, as explained in one of the early Nickelodeon promos. And for Porkchop, Peanutty Buddies (an apparent takeoff on Nestle's Drumstick ice-cream treats) - to the point where when Porkchop turns down a Peanutty Buddy in one episode Doug figures he must be sick and takes him to the vet.
    • For Mrs. Stinson the babysitter, prunes.
  • Trash Can Band: Played straight with "Doug's Garage Band." Their song is even called "Bangin' on a Trash Can" and features Skeeter doing exactly that.
  • 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.
  • Turns Red:
    • Skeeter's dad, literally, when he loses his temper.
      Mr. Valentine: One, two... TEN!!!!
    • Larry, when angered in "Doug's Big Brawl."
    • Fittingly given his skin tone, Skeeter turns purple when he's blushing or embarrassed.
  • 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.
  • Unfortunate Names: "Doug Funnie", "Mosquito Valentine", "Patti Mayonnaise", "Guy Graham", just to name a few.
  • 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.
  • Vague Age: The characters are supposed to be 11 at the start, 14-ish by the end. Across both shows they behave more like they are 15 in terms of the social circumstances they get involved with and their ability to wander around unaccompanied. One episode involved Doug and Patti going on a date, which had some teasing by the other kids, but when it was over they were asking Doug what it was like.
  • 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.
  • Wacky Cravings:
    • In "Doug's Fat Cat," Doug has to take care of Roger's cat Stinky, who refuses to eat anything except pizza and ice cream. When Stinky gets sick soon afterward, Doug thinks it's all his fault for giving the cat the junk food. But it turns out that Stinky's "sickness" was actually labor.
    • Throughout "Doug's Last Birthday" (the first episode of the Disney series), Theda Funnie is uncharacteristically shown eating junk food, and in one scene a pickle. This foreshadows the end of the episode, when she and Phil announce that they're having another baby.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Doug when he tries to open the school notice in "Doug's Math Problem" - he tries to use scissors but cuts off too big a piece of the envelope and has to tape it back on; he tries to use a pen knife and slices his finger open; he spills correction fluid while trying to use that to cover the bloodstains on the envelope; and finally, while trying to get tissues to clean up that mess, he knocks over his inkwell, creating an even bigger mess.
  • Wedding Finale: The final episode of Brand Spanking New Doug sees Mr. Mayonnaise wed Ms. Krystal.
  • Weight Woe:
    • The episode "Doug Tips the Scales" has him gain several pounds after spending a week with his grandmother, who feeds him sweets and fattening foods round the clock. As a result, he dreads Beebe's upcoming pool party. On the flip side of the coin is Skeeter, who is also dreading the pool party because he's too skinny and tries gorging himself with junk food in an attempt to gain weight.
    • Averted in the Nickelodeon series with Connie Benge: although she is pudgy and insecure, her weight is never a major plot point and her friends accept her as she is.
    • The Disney series had "Doug's Chubby Buddy," in which this became an obsession for Beebe, Connie and Patti. Patti takes it too far and ends up starving herself while exercising compulsively. It stops just short of being a full-out eating disorder, but it does create a medical emergency when lack of nourishment causes Patti to faint. Interestingly no mention was made in this episode of Connie's plus-sized past.
  • 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.
    • In "Doug's Hot Property", Doug is invited to join the league of superheroes that Man-O-Steel Man leads. His superpower? He has the rare first issue of "Man-O-Steel Man". That he bought fair and square.
  • What Year Is This?: In the Disney episode "Doug on the Road", Doug and Judy unknowingly end up in a living museum section of Funky Town where the employees dress and act like Pilgrims and can't help Doug and Judy without breaking character. Doug believes they somehow traveled through time, so Judy attempts to disprove him by asking a nearby girl today's date, only to be told it's June 14, 1683.
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Refreshingly averted with Patti Mayonnaise's father, Chad, who despite being wheelchair-bound is otherwise no different than the other parents. His disability is never a plot point during the Nickelodeon series. Not until the Disney series do we learn that he was paralyzed from the waist down in the automobile wreck that also killed Patti's mother.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: "Doug's Midnight Kiss," played straight since it takes place on New Years' Eve.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: In "Doug's Birthday Present," when Doug's dad opens his own photo studio, he becomes so busy that the family barely sees him anymore and Doug misses him. The overworked Phil is also miserable with the arrangement, and in the end, after Doug makes it clear that he'd rather have his dad around than more money and expensive presents, he goes back to his old job.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's never made clear where Bluffington is. Or Bloatsburg (where the Funnies came to Bluffington from), for that matter. It's possible it's Virginia where creator Jim Jenkins is from. In one episode Skeeter has a "Visit Virginia" sign on his wall. One Nickelodeon promo for the show around 1994 stated that Bluffington was in Indiana, however this is not brought up in the show itself. (For what it's worth, there is a Bluffton, Indiana.)
    • Also, the radio station Doug and his friends listen to is called K-BLUFF, which, according to FCC rules, would seem to place the series in a state west of the Mississippi River (unless "K-BLUFF" is a station nickname and not an actual radio station call sign).
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Most episodes are structured this way, as Doug writes about it in his journal.
  • With Friends Like These...: Roger's gang may follow his lead in tormenting Doug, but they aren't exactly his real friends. In "Doug on the Trail," Willie, Boomer and Ned allow Doug, Skeeter and Porkchop to take the canoe to find Mr. Dink despite Roger's rule that only he can use the canoe, and they even lead the revolt against Roger as head Scoutmaster. And whenever Roger gets some kind of comeuppance for his bullying (such as when he's bullied by Percy Femur or when Connie slugs him and calls him a big baby), they seem to enjoy it as much as everyone else. It's telling that when Roger needs someone to babysit Stinky, it's Doug he turns to and not one of his own gang, suggesting that Roger himself knows that while he doesn't have any real friends, Doug will always do the right thing (or try to).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You Didn't Ask: When Doug found out he knocked down Patti's old home, he asks Skeeter why he never mentioned it before. Skeeter assumed he already knew because everyone else did. Doug says he just moved to Bluffington only recently, so he didn't live in the town long enough to know that.
    Skeeter: I know that, I'm your best friend, remember?
  • You Need a Breath Mint:
    • Doug has an Imagine Spot wherein Klotzilla captures Patti, who must be rescued by Quailman. In the course of the daydream, Patti tells Klotzilla he needs a breath mint—and then throws an entire pack of them down his bottomless throat.
    • Doug has an Imagine Spot where Patti tells him this during the Leonardo show, just before their kiss scene. Cut to him brushing his teeth to avoid that scenario.
  • 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 realizes he's right and compliments his "insights".
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Roger's cat Stinky fell into this trope, complete with Wacky Cravings.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Disneys Doug, Brand Spanking New Doug


Doug's Train Problem

A very difficult equation like this causes Doug to flunk a math test... and imagine himself in a train wreck.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / TrainProblem

Media sources:

Main / TrainProblem