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Western Animation / The Magic Roundabout

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The Magic Roundabout is an English dub for a French stop-motion show that aired first on the ORTF, Le Manège Enchanté. When it was translated into English by Eric Thompson (father of actresses Emma and Sophie), rather than voice act the characters, he chose to narrate the whole thing himself. He dubbed the show based purely on the animation, including many gags that appealed to parents. It subsequently became a Cult Classic in the United Kingdom and was adapted into two feature films. Many viewers of the French show, unaware of the redub, were baffled by the show's English popularity.

In the early 1990s, after Thompson's death, Channel 4 acquired some episodes and hired Nigel Planer to adapt them in a pastiche of Thompson's style.

Dougal and the Blue Cat (1970/1972), the first movie, was itself a cult classic. It contained a satirical parody of racism (Blue is beautiful! Blue is best! I'm blue! I'm beautiful! I'm best!) as well as the first (and only?) songs to appear in a Magic Roundabout setting. The other film, a CGI version titled simply The Magic Roundabout (2005), had a much more epic plot and was later released in the US (with all but two of the original British voices re-dubbed) as Doogal. Despite its promise, the American release failed to capture the spirit of the original series and fell into obscurity.

The 2005 film was decently successful in Europe, which led to a 2007 CGI reboot of the show being produced. The series directly follows the film's events and was produced by the same animation studio that worked on the film. This version of the series ran from 2007 to 2010 with two seasons and an overall total of 104 episodes.

As of 2022, Method Animation is currently in development on a second CGI reboot for 2024, with a new style that is based on Danot's original puppets.

This English localization provides examples of:

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  • Accidental Misnaming: This is one of Ermintrude (Azalée)'s character traits in the French version of the original show, as well as Dougal and the Blue Cat, especially with Dougal.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Ermintrude often calls her friends "dearheart".
  • All-CGI Cartoon: It switched to CGI in the 2005 film and continued on with the 2007 Revival series.
  • Amateur Film-Making Plot: "Dougal Makes a Film" involves Dougal trying to make his film that stars Florence as his leading actress with Brian helping as a cameraman. But things don't go according to plan when Dylan and Ermintrude interrupt his filming.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Towards the end of "Dougal and the Blue Cat", everyone, including Dougal was mourning for Brian, until the snail shows up alive and well. In the English version, while out of relief that Brian is alive, Dougal expresses this briefly to him.
    Dougal: Where have you been? You had us all very, very worried!
  • Animation Bump: The animation in the 1974-1977 episodes of the original series, is much more energized and fast-paced, compared to earlier episodes from 1965-1971. Also, gradually throughout the color episodes, certain characters gain eye expressions (Dylan, in particular, gains eyelids whenever he sleeps).
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Dougal particularly loves eating sugar cubes, but in real life, granulated sugar isn't good for dogs.
  • Ascended Extra: Mr. Grimsdale was a minor character when he debuted in the 2005 film, but in the 2007 revival series, he became a recurring supporting character where he has a few episodes centered around him.
  • Babysitting Episode: The CGI Series episode "Arthur" starts off with Florence finding a baby penguin alone on her doorstep and takes him in to look after him as well as giving him a name Arthur. Ermintrude, Dylan, Brian and eventually Dougal (who is warming up to the penguin) take turns to look after him while Florence asks Sam to search for the penguin's parents.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Dylan the rabbit.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: This was said by the titular character to Dougal in "The Wishing Tree" after the latter foolishly used his third wish to make his friends go away, upon making the first two selfish wishes. Fortunately, Dougal makes a bargain with The Wishing Tree to grant him a further wish to return his friends under a condition he must do to his friends.
  • Believer Fakes Evidence: One episode focuses on Dougal refusing to believe in fairies, despite knowing magic exists. His friends get so frustrated at this that they pretend to be fairies in an attempt to trick him, but this backfires when he catches them out... then, real fairies show up, proving once and for all that they exist.
  • Big Bad: Buxton in Dougal and the Blue Cat.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Out of the gang, we have Ermintrude (big), Dylan (thin) and Brian (short).
  • Bindle Stick: Zebedee carries one in "No More Magic, Zebedee" after his magic powers got stripped from him.
  • Birthday Episode: Dylan's and Ermintrude's birthdays are celebrated in the original series. In "Happy Birthday, Dylan", his presents are all of ties, and the last one from Zebedee is a box to keep them in. For "Ermintrude's Birthday", Dougal presents a fireworks show (which Dylan almost ruins), topped off with a cannon of flowers.
    • Florence also has two birthday episodes. In one of them, "Florence's Party" from 1970, she is given a Not-So-Forgotten Birthday surprise, with the entire gang putting on a talent show. In the second from 1976, her birthday is only the subject in the English version, not the original French version. (In the French version, Dougal brings back a large sphinx statue of himself from vacation, where he, Brian, and Ermintrude accidentally get themselves locked in. The English version hasn't been recovered yet, but it's likely that Dougal had gotten the statue as a birthday gift for Florence.)
    • The French version of "Dougal and the Blue Cat" is also set entirely on Florence's birthday. It starts off good when she meets Buxton the blue cat who arrived in the garden, until Florence along with her friends, minus Dougal, are captured by Buxton's army and imprisoned in the dungeons.
    • The CGI reboot series has Basil and Coral's birthdays celebrated in the episode "Florence's Squeaky Toys". In the episode, Florence has ordered some toys for her two friends, but Mr. Grimsdale (who has lost his glasses) mixes the deliveries, and they are sent to Dylan and Ermintrude instead. Further confusion arises when the presents end up with Dougal, who unawarely gets annoyed with the toys and hides them.
    • Another CGI reboot episode celebrates Dougal's birthday in "Brian's Gift to Dougal". In the episode, Brian's jigsaw puzzle is left unfinished when some of the pieces mysteriously go missing. Unbeknownst to everyone, Zebedee has taken the pieces to block the pipes of Mr. Rusty's barrel organ, which apparently doesn't seem to be working.
  • Black Bead Eyes: The characters, with exception of Dylan, Brian, Mr. Rusty and Zebedee, have these kind of eyes in the original series before the post-2005 CGI era changes them to having normal eyes. However, the new characters Solider Sam and Fly will have these bead eyes.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Ermintrude does this to Auntie Primrose after their quarrel in "Auntie Primrose Strikes Again!"
  • Body Wipe: A few of these happen in the 2007 revival series.
  • Brand X: During one scene in "The Carrot Patch Challenge", the original creator Serge Danot's name appears on the side of a crash mat as "S. Danot".
  • Breakout Character: Since his debut appearance in "Florence Wins a Surprise", Dougal went from being the most popular character to the main character of the series (initially an unintentional move on Serge Danot's part) and appeared frequently in merchandising.
  • Break the Cutie: This happens to Florence on a few occasions, with the dungeon scene from "Dougal and the Blue Cat" being one major example.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • At the end of the Eric Thompson version of "Quiet and Not So Quiet" (or "A Peaceful Day") when Zebedee says that it is time for bed.
    Florence: Already?
    Zebedee: It's nearly time for the news, and you've had enough magic for one day.
    • In the Eric Thompson version of "Watch the Birdie", this exchange about why Zebedee wanted a photograph of everyone.
    Florence: (worried) I wonder why.
    Dougal: (chuckling) Well, perhaps they're writing him out of the series... like they do... if you're not careful.
    • Several episodes of the Eric Thompson version have Dougal reference The BBC (where the series was broadcast), including "Dylan's Bagpipes" and "Moody Concerto".
    • Every episode in the 2007 revival series will begin with Zebedee telling the viewer the summary of what will happen in each episode. Most often, he would speak to the viewer about what is going on and what he will be doing.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dougal would get a fair share of this as a result of either bad luck or being outsmarted.
  • Call-Back: In "Dougal and the Blue Cat" there were several call-backs to the episodes just prior to the film, including "Cow Railway" and "Brian and the Train Race", even down to re-using lines of dialogue from the said episodes in the French version.
    • The revival series has episodes which topics that make call-backs to episodes of the original series.
  • The Cameo: A trailer of the canceled CGI movie "Stupid Invaders" note  makes a brief appearance in the "The Magic Roundabout" (CGI reboot) episode "Who's Taken the Moon?". At one point in the episode, it can be seen on the TV while Dylan is at home, depressed after seeing that the moon completely disappeared.
  • Camping Episode:
    • The original series episode "Camping" has Dougal and Brian setting up a camping tent and leave to surprise Florence. But Dylan unintentionally collapses it when taking the strings to replace the broken ones on his guitar.
    • Two of the CGI revival episodes "The Supersonic Spotted Stagbeast" and "The Call of the Wild" are this.
  • Canon Foreigner: Zeebad did not exist in the series. The same applies for Soldier Sam and Mr. Grimsdale, who would later appear as supporting characters in the revival series.
    • Fly and two of Dougal's relatives, his Australian cousin Digger and Auntie Primrose didn't exist in the original series and were created for the revival series.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • "'Time for bed,' said Zebedee." ("Tournicoti, tournicoton!" for Zebedee (Zébulon) in the French version)
    • "'Oh, what's the use,' said Dougal."
      • One of Dougal's expressions in the original French version is "Douce reine" (translating to "Sweet queen")
      • Also for Dougal whenever he's surprised or shocked, "What? What-what-what-what-what-what-what?!" (or "Qu'est que ça que ce que ça?" in the French version)
    • "I'm so evil" for Buxton (in the French version, his catchphrase is "Moi, le chat" which is literally "Me, the cat")
    • In the French version, Mr. Rusty (a.k.a. Père Pivoine) has the catchphrase "Tourne tourne, mon beau manège" whenever he operates the roundabout.
    • The French version also has Brian (a.k.a. Ambroise) frequently exclaim, "Oh va ça alors!" out of shock, surprise, or joy.
    • Dylan's catchphrase in the French version is "I'm very tired" ("Je suis bien fatigant") or "How tiring it is" ("Que c'est bien fatiguant")
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • In "Dougal and the Blue Cat", after seeing everything in the Old Treacle Factory, Dougal tries to tell Florence and everyone that Buxton is evil, but thanks to Buxton shedding crocodile tears, they refuse to believe him, until they realize their mistake when Buxton's army captures them, with the exception of Dougal, and imprison them in the dungeons.
    • In "Dougal's Ball", Zebedee had secretly swapped Dougal's ball (which Florence bought to try and keep him active) with the same one, only enchanted and moves and flies on its own with Dougal trying to catch it. After losing it, Dougal informs Florence of this, but she doesn't believe him. Although, Florence is informed by Ermintrude that something is causing chaos in the gardens, she still doesn't believe Dougal when he thinks that it's the ball that causing the chaos to happen. It isn't until she sees it with her own eyes and after Dougal caught it, Florence apologizes to him for not believing him.
  • Cats Are Mean: The villain of Dougal and the Blue Cat is (who else), the blue cat, Buxton, whose motivation is to become the Blue King and turn the entire world the color blue.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Dougal often tries to cheat to try and win:
    • The French version of the original series' episode "Clairvoyant" involves Zebedee giving Ermintrude powers, which causes her to guess any object in front of her, while blindfolded. Dougal also tries to imitate this, but by cheating.
    • In the CGI episode, "The Race", Dougal orders an electric skateboard to zoom his way to the finish line and setting up bait for the contestants. He nearly succeeds, but Zebedee (when he and Florence find the box of the skateboard behind the windmill earlier and realising his scheme) reverses the skateboard, sending him back to the start and only Brian (who is slow and steady) manages to win the race.
    • In "Higgledy Piggledy", Dougal becomes annoyed and jealous with Ermintrude's love of the game and her winning streak, so he plans to cheat by secretly rigging the game. However, he gets caught by a displeased Florence where she scolds him for cheating, saying that she will be very cross with him, as well as reminding him how much the game means to Ermintrude. Upon hearing that he might win, Dougal makes his way to the final hole and is about to hit the potato into the hole when he sees Florence glaring at him, making her displeasure of Dougal's cheating very clear, and Ermintrude's worried look. These what prompts him give in and deliberately misses the final hole by striking the potato far away from it.
    • In "The Vegetables Are Revolting", Dougal plans to win the vegetable competition by using some of Florence's compost to grow his pumpkin to be large, as well as telling stories to the contestants, i.e. stopping watering the plants because of a water shortage. However, Zebedee soon teaches him a lesson by growing the pumpkin to be that gigantic and carved a Jack-O'-Lantern style face into the pumpkin before making the enchanted pumpkin to chase after Dougal.
  • Cheer Up Episode: The Nigel Planer re-narration of "Hide and Seek" is this where Florence is feeling agitated and couldn't find a way to get herself relaxed, so she and friends play a game of hide and seek to cheer Florence up and make her feel better.
    • The CGI Series episode "Barmy Army" is also this when Sam feels disappointed that his soldier friends are delayed and couldn't come to his party. Feeling sorry for Sam, Florence, Dougal and their friends cheer him up by being acting soldiers in hopes of Sam letting them come to his party.
  • Children Do the Housework: Florence is shown to be quite capable of doing the housework at her age. In Dougal and the Blue Cat, she is shown to be dusting around her bedroom before she leaves to meet her friends at the roundabout. In the 2007 revival series as she is shown to be living independently at her house, Florence regularly keeps the house tidy as well as cooking pies for Dougal.
  • Christmas Episode: The original series episode "Letter to Father Christmas" is this where Dougal writes a letter to Father Christmas and Florence thinking on what presents she wants, but says that she doesn't expect it all.
  • Concert Episode:
    • The original series episode "The Orchestra" has Zebedee's orchestra consisting of Dougal, Florence, Brian, Ermintrude and Dylan for his concert. Things don't go according to plan such as when Ermintrude holds them up and Brian's dilemma when he is stuck on top of the harp.
    • Another original series episode "The Moody Concerto" involves Dougal, Dylan and Brian playing some music. But due to the music sheets being the wrong way up, the music they playing was so bad that Florence couldn't stand much of it and sorts this issue out by turning the music sheets the right way up.
    • In "Can't Sing, Won't Sing", Ermintrude plans the concert at night to raise money for charity "Save the cows" and has a choir on Zebedee's suggestion which consists Dylan, Brian and the reluctant Dougal who schemes to try and get the concert cancelled.
    • In "Dylan's Big Gig", Dylan wants to organise a rock night which is a real big gig. So Florence decides that everyone will help Dylan with his gig. Dougal, of course, isn't keen on the idea, but after accidentally spilling juice on the light and sound system, he makes it up to everyone by helping them fix things to find a solution in order for the sound and the lights to work for Dylan's gig.
  • Consolation Prize: After Dougal lost the race to Brian in "Bicycle Race" and feels defeated, but Florence gives Dougal a lump of sugar. In the English version, she names it as a consolation prize for his best effort in the race.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • The entire plot of "Vote for Me" could have been avoided if Dougal asked Florence if he can bury his bone in her garden. Even Dougal states that Florence could have told him that before he he went through all that trouble to campaign for mayor and get into rivalry with Brian for nothing.
    • Florence lampshades this in "Dylan's Big Gig" while responding to Dougal's remark about the fairies as they were searching for them in order to get them to light up Dylan's stage for his gig that night.
  • Crocodile Tears: Buxton uses this on the gang in Dougal and the Blue Cat to keep them from getting suspicious about his plans, despite Dougal's protests.
  • Crush the Keepsake: Discussed at the beginning of "Clocks Away", Dougal receives an old cuckoo clock from his great-grandmother, which is a family heirloom. Both Dougal and Florence are then startled by the loud cuckoo from the clock, prompting Dougal to suggest getting a big hammer to smash the clock up, but luckily Florence refuses to allow that to happen, saying that it is a present from his great-grandmother.
  • Dance Party Ending: The 2007 CGI revival series has this for all the episodes (with an exception of "Dylan's Big Gig") where Zebedee throws a party when all the problems are solved. While the main characters and whoever's involved dance, Dylan droopily says "I wish it was time for bed, man." before he drifts off to sleep. The second season has Zebedee throwing a party in the village with all the main and supporting characters gathered as they dance. As before, Dylan drifts off to sleep after saying "I wish it was time for bed."
  • A Day in the Limelight: In the 2007 revival series, there are a few episodes that are respectively focused on the new characters from the 2005 film: Mr. Grimsdale and Soldier Sam. There are also a few episodes that are focused on Fly, a new character introduced for the series.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Dougal (his English voice is based on Tony Hancock).
    • Florence would occasionally have her moments in the Nigel Planer episodes.
  • Death Glare: Florence sometimes does this to Dougal in some episodes in the 2007 revival series to show her disappointment or displeasure if he did something bad. A good example of this happens in "Higgledy Piggledy" where she gives Dougal one when he is about to strike the potato into the final hole after she had caught him cheating earlier at the previous hole to try and make Ermintrude lose.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Series 3 of the original series, most episodes have the focus leaning more on Dougal, Florence, Zebedee, Brian and Ermintrude whilst Dylan, Mr. Rusty, Mr. McHenry and Train are reduced to having supporting roles and even sometimes background appearances or cameos on occasion. Regardless, they still have a fair amount of appearances in this series.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Happens in "Emergency Measures", Dylan, Brian and Dougal threw water through the open window of Florence's house to put what they thought was a fire, but this prompted an annoyed Florence to come out, holding a drenched pie in her hand. As she was explaining that there was no fire since the pie only let off smoke because it was a little singed, Dougal tries to take a bite of the pie until Florence sternly moves it away from his open mouth as she continues to tell them off, making it clear that she is not letting Dougal having a bite of the pie or giving it to him for dinner after what just happened, before she angrily went back inside. Afterwards, Dougal notes to Dylan and Brian that the pie that Florence cooked and got drenched was going to be for his dinner.
  • Deus ex Machina: Zebedee serves as this in the original series (and occasionally in the CGI reboot series as well) to solve the protagonists' problems.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In the revival series episode "Read All About It", Florence plans out a staged dramatic situation in an attempt to get Dougal to write an interesting story in the newspaper where it involves Train going out of control with Florence in the carriage. She does reassure her friends that the situation is only pretend and they play along with it. Unfortuantely, Florence didn't consider the drawbacks of what would happen if it went awry until Train runs over a rock which knocks out some gears which causes him to speed out of control for real with Florence now hanging on in the carriage for dear life.
    • In "Mr. Grimsdale's Holiday", when Dougal is tasked to do the deliveries while Mr. Grimsdale is away on holiday, he leaves the delivery cart with Dylan and assigns him to do the deliveries just so he can get out from a bit of work. It's only when Dougal realises that his pies were in the cart after Florence mentions them when he came back whilst claiming that he done the deliveries.
  • Disney Death: In Dougal and the Blue Cat, Brian is seemingly killed when he rushes back to retrieve Zebedee's magic mustache from Buxton's factory, just before it collapses.
  • The Ditz: Ermintrude (especially in the French dub), Brian, and Dylan can come off as this in the original series.
  • Downer Beginning: The English version of the very first episode starts with Mr. Rusty playing his barrel organ, feeling very sad that none of the children came to ride the Magic Roundabout anymore and that the magic has gone.
  • Dreadful Musician:
    • Dougal, Dylan and Brian qualify in "The Moody Concerto" where their music was so awful that Florence, who was listening and couldn't stand anymore of it, has to step in and fix the issue by turning the music sheets the right way up.
    • Mr McHenry became this in the CGI revival series episode "Windbag!" due to Zebedee tampering with his bagpipes giving everyone headaches and causing them to leave. When Basil and Coral made their bagpipes, they quickly become this because Zebedee has tampered with their bagpipes. Fortunately, they still use them to scare away the magpies away from Florence's garden whilst Florence herself is having a lie down inside her house from her headache.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: For the first few of the earliest episodes, the mouths of the children were briefly animated and moved.
    • For Fly's first appearance in the CGI reboot series premiere "Dougal's Bad Smell Day", he is a lot smaller and barely seen. For all subsequent episodes, beginning with "Dougal Goes to the Moon", he is bigger and more visible.
  • Easily Forgiven: At the end of "Dougal and the Blue Cat", the gang, including Dougal, forgives Buxton for his evil actions when they see him tearfully remorseful and begging for forgiveness.
  • Erudite Stoner: Dylan, although obviously he was never actually said to be stoned. He was just tired a lot. Really.
  • Engineered Heroics: In the CGI episode "Read All About It!", in order for Dougal to get a good story in the newspaper, Florence plans out a dramatic situation where it will have her in Train running out of control, but she reassures her friends that the situation is only pretend. They go along with the plan and they managed to get Dougal involved. Just as it was going so well, Train runs over a rock which knocks out some gears, making him go genuinely out of control and puts Florence in real danger. Fortunately, Dougal came to the rescue and manages to apply Train's brakes.
  • Everybody Cries: When Florence sings her sad song in "Dougal and the Blue Cat" when she and most of the gang (except for Dougal) and imprisoned by Buxton's army, she begins to cry and everyone else cries with her. Later near the end of the film, the gang (this time with Dougal) along with a remorseful Buxton, cries again when Brian was seemingly killed after the treacle factory collapse. In addition, when Brian returns alive and well, he also cries Tears of Joy, moved by Buxton's pleas for forgiveness.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • In "Dougal and the Blue Cat", Florence and her friends, save for Dougal, were captured and imprisoned in the treacle factory dungeons by Buxton's army. Even though they finally see his true treacherous nature, they couldn't help but feel sorry for Buxton when they find him crying in the garden after Madam Blue expels him from his title as king and forgives him.
    • Florence may not like any of her friends' wrongdoings where they are being rude, but this doesn't stop her from being sympathetic with them when they are depressed. An example of this occurs in "Rockstar Dylan" where she is disgusted with Dylan's rudeness when he is acting like a rockstar, but she comes over later to comfort him when he is playing a sad tune after nobody comes to his concert. Also, in "No More Magic, Zebedee", Florence may not like some of Zebedee's antics, but she isn't keen on Mr. Rusty's idea of upsetting Zebedee by stripping him from his magic. She nevertheless reluctantly goes along with the idea, and later tells Mr. Rusty to halt the action once she and everyone else saw an upset Zebedee preparing to leave the garden.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: In the Nigel Planer narration of the original series' episode, "Once Upon a Time", Dougal talks rudely about Ermintrude to Brian and Florence and starts calling her names (like a "barrage balloon on stilts"), unaware that she is listening nearby. This shatters Ermintrude's self-esteem, but Dylan convinces her to be herself no matter what others say.
  • Exercise Excuse: In an episode, Ermintrude is leaping about because she is afraid of mice. However, she is too embarrassed to say so and claims she's doing a traditional dance.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire plot of "Dougal and the Blue Cat" happens entirely in one day.
  • Failure Montage: This one occurs in the 2007 revival series episode "The Flying Carpet" where Florence tries to give the carpet something else other than pies - which Dougal refused to give up any of his own pies, but the carpet rejects them.
  • Feud Episode: This happens in the 2007 reboot series episode "Kiss and Make-Up", due to Dougal believing that Ermitrude is shouting and screaming at Mr. Rusty and Brian, he and Ermitrude fall out and refuse to speak to each other, with Dylan and Brian having to send insulting messages back and forth to and from each sender. It's only when Dougal realizes that he got the wrong end of the stick when Mr. Rusty and Brian reveal that she was only helping them (Mr. Rusty asked her to shout down his hearing trumpet to see if it was working and Brian asked her to scream down the mic of his sound recording device) and he was sent by Florence to apologize to Ermintrude in person. The ending of the episode shows them reconciled.
  • Finger Wag: In the Eric Thompson version of "The Lost Boing", Florence gives Brian one when scolding him for using Zebedee's lost spring.
  • Food as Bribe: In the revival series when it comes to getting Dougal to do some housework chores or any tasks for her, Florence would offer him a bone or some pies if he did what she asks him to do.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Follow That Piano!", Florence lets Ermintrude borrow her piano so she can use it for her singing and asks Dougal to bring it to her in exchange of rewarding him with a bone. When she tells Zebedee that she will be missing her piano, he replies that it may come rolling back to her. When Dougal and Brian get the piano to Ermintrude, it somehow rolls its way back to Florence's house and it occurs thrice, prompting Florence to figure out that it was all Zebedee's doing.
    • In "Bones Are For Eating", when Dougal finds Ermintrude in order to get her to sign a petition to protest about bones to be eaten, not for looking at, Ermintrude is seen scratching her back against a tree as she has misplaced her backscratcher. Later when Dougal tries to steal the bone back from Florence and Brian, Dylan and Ermintrude arrive with the latter asking them what they were doing with her backscratcher, revealing that the "bone" Dougal found was none other than Ermintrude's backscratcher that she brought back from holiday as a souvenir.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Dylan, Zebedee and the human characters, including Florence all have four-fingered hands. Averted with the KFC figure of Florence from the 2005 film as she has five fingers on each hand instead of four.
  • Four-Leaf Clover:
    • The entire plot point in "Dylan's Lucky Day", Dylan finds a clover which brings good luck. Dougal finds out about it and offers to look after the clover for Dylan, hoping to get good luck, but it only brings bad luck to Dougal throughout the episode, prompting him to give back the clover to Dylan at Ermintrude's concert.
    • A black-and-white episode of the original series featured Dougal and Brian looking for four-leaf clovers, with some help from Florence.
  • Funny Animal: Mainly Dougal but there are several others.
  • Gag Dub: The English version of the original series used a script that was not a translation of the French, instead it was a new comedic script in English that Eric Thompson thought would suit an English audience
  • Garbage Hideout: Dougal occasionally does this in the CGI Series, with "Dougal's Bad Smell Day" being one example as he hides in a rubbish bin as an attempt to hide from everyone.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: Believe it or not, the original French version of the series went through this. Sometime around the 70s and 80s, Patricia Danot, who voiced Florence (Margote), re-recorded her character for the 1970-1971 color episodes that were made before Pollux et le Chat Bleu (Dougal and the Blue Cat), probably due to a case of Vocal Evolution, since her voice became deeper by the 1974-1977 episodes. Another revision was done in 1983, when the show went into reruns on FR3, and a new theme song was used, along with new scores by Carlos Leresche, replacing the original music by Alain Legrand. The most notable change came around 1989, when AB Productions bought the rights to the series. Along with a new batch of episodes (which were broadcast during the 90s), the original carousel theme was replaced again, this time with an entirely different pop tune, and all of the color episodes also had their original music tracks replaced with new underscores of said pop tune. (These underscores were also used for Nigel Planer and Jimmy Hibbert's English re-narrations in the UK, although the original carousel opening and the closing theme was kept intact.) All the color episodes also used the opening and closing footage from the series 3 episodes, along with a modified opening title card.
  • Good News, Bad News: In the CGI series' episode "Mr. Rusty's Luck", this exchange between Dougal and Florence after what happened to Mr. Pickles, Mr. Rusty's lucky teddy.
    Dougal: I've got some good news and some bad news about Mr. Rusty's lucky teddy. The good news is, I got Mr. Pickles right here.
    Florence: (beginning to frown suspiciously) And the bad news, Dougal?
    Dougal: He's now a lucky bag of bits.
    (He shows her the remains of Mr. Pickles in a paper bag.)
    Florence: (gasps) Dougal! I don't think Mr. Rusty is going to think this is very lucky!
  • Green Around the Gills: Dougal's face turns pale green in the revival series episode "Emergency Measures" as a result of feeling dizzy after he was spinning in Train's carriage which was tied to the Magic Roundabout in an attempt to stop it from spinning out of control. He shakes his head to get rid of the nauseated dizziness afterwards.
  • Happy Circus Music: The opening theme is an upbeat, bouncy organ tune meant to create a cheerful mood for the show, and to fit the titular Magic Roundabout or carousel.
  • Hates Baths: Dougal, as shown in the CGI Series episode "Dougal's Bad Smell Day". He then spends the whole episode evading Florence and everyone else when they try to catch him, even when using a cake for bait fails, due to Dylan dosing off and forgetting to drop the cage on Dougal when arrives to eat the cake. However, after eating it whole, he does fall asleep afterwards, giving Florence and everyone the chance to take him away to clean him up with a bath, much to his irritation.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Dylan.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Buxton in the ending, when he comes to the garden to beg Dougal and everyone else for forgiveness after an outraged Madam Blue has stripped him from his title.
  • Here We Go Again!:
    • The French version of the original series' episode, "Dougal Stands for Parliament" has Dougal in an advertising-crazed mood, becoming obsessed with taking care of his brand image to reach the top. Brian (who continuously tries to avoid getting hit by Dougal's car) and Florence both notice how this crazed obsession is preventing Dougal from taking the time to enjoy life, as it's even kept him too busy to eat any sugar. To teach him a lesson, Zebedee changes it so that Ermintrude's brand image is advertised instead. An enraged Dougal tries to sabotage this, but almost injures himself while driving in his car, causing him to finally admit defeat. Florence then gives Dougal a sugar to make him feel better, as the dog begins to marvel how wonderful sugar is. This puts him right back in his advertising mood again, this time planning to advertise sugar, much to Brian's dismay.
    • The CGI Series Episode "The Cow in the Hat" has Ermintrude acting really bossy under the influence of the "bossy hat" she is wearing and orders everyone to take the one way routes and disallowing them from activities they find fun. Very fortunately, Florence manages to persuade Ermintrude to swap the bossy hat with a beautiful brimmed hat, thus changing her back to normal. Afterwards, Dougal is tasked to throw the bossy hat in the bin, but he initially pauses when he gets to a bin. When the episode begins to end with Zebedee throwing a party and Dylan drifting off to sleep, Dougal immediately arrives wearing the bossy hat, acting completely bossy the same way Ermintrude was being throughout the episode.
    • In "Interior Des-aster", After Ermintrude accidentally wrecks the interior of Brian's house, causing him to stay over at Florence's house whilst Ermintrude redecorates the interior to make it up to Brian. Dougal, of course, is less than pleased when he has to spend the day with Brian, and even tries to deliberately leave him behind by running off, only to get caught out by Florence, Mr. Rusty and Zebedee (who was asked by Florence to keep an eye on Dougal). Ermintrude arrives to show Brian the redecoration of his house interior, but Brian isn't particularly fond of the result, prompting Ermintrude to redecorate again and for Brian to stay over at Florence's house longer, much to Dougal's dismay.
    • In "Special Delivery", when Dougal sees Fly pestering Mr. Grimsdale, he runs to stop him from eating his pies, but causes Mr. Grimsdale to crash into the bandstand. The accident resulted in Mr. Grimsdale injuring his back and his bike being broken that Florence forces Dougal to do the rest of the deliveries on the pull cart. While delivering the things that Dylan needed, Dougal uses Train to do the rest of the deliveries, leaving behind the cart which Dylan falls asleep in and rolls into the village. After finishing the deliveries where he delivers the pies at Florence's house, Dougal sets out to look for her only to encounter the scarecrow that Dylan has built. Mistaking it for a monster who has kept Dylan hostage, Dougal rallies Ermintrude and Brian to help him tackle the monster. When they do, they realize their mistake as they have destroyed the scarecrow just as Dylan shows up with Florence and Mr. Rusty. Just as Dylan begins to feel devastated, Florence reassures him that Dougal will make up for it by helping Dylan make another scarecrow, as well as having to force Dougal into doing that by clearing her throat when he tries to worm his way out of this.
  • Heroic Canines, Villainous Felines: "Dougal and the Blue Cat" has Dougal as the main hero and a loyal dog on the side of good, while Buxton the blue cat is the main villain who wants to take over the garden.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Florence says this nearly word-for-word at the end of Eric Thompson's narration of "Alarm Clock" when Zebedee announces that it is time for bed after she called for him.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: In "Dougal and the Blue Cat", everyone, with the exception of Dougal, had no idea that Buxton was a evil cat who is plotting to take over the Magic Garden.
  • Incessant Music Madness: Happens in "Chilled-Out Brian" where Brian plays loud music at night whilst trying to be cool, and this woke up Dougal, Florence, Dylan and Ermintrude who all got very annoyed with this, as well as his "cool" attitude.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: It's supposed to be "Dougal" and not "Doogal", no matter what the 2005 film's American re-dub might tell you.
  • Injury Bookend: In "Egg-head Dylan", after Florence pays the sleepy Dylan a visit to drop off the things he needed, she leaves in the lift where its rattling in Dylan's home caused Dylan's guitar to fall off the shelf and hit him on the head, changing his personality to be completely activate where he is now wide-eyed and plays cricket non-stop. Although everyone plays along with Dylan's game of cricket with no one is aware of how this happened until Mr. Rusty later points out the bump on Dylan's head where everyone formulates a plan and managed to revert Dylan back to normal by letting a cricket ball to hit Dylan in the exact same spot on the head, returning him back to his sleepy and laid-back self.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Dougal is usually self-centered and arrogant where he brags about himself.
    • Ermintrude in "Mirror, Mirror" where she acts completely vain about her beauty and brags about the magic mirror. This what prompted Dougal to try and play a trick on Ermintrude in order to bring her back to her senses.
  • It's All My Fault: In "Dougal and the Blue Cat", Florence blames herself during her sad song for not believing Dougal's warnings about Buxton that resulted in her, along with everyone else with the exception of Dougal, being captured and imprisoned by Buxton's army.
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • Ermintrude would sometimes grab it in some episodes in the post-2005 CGI era.
      • In "The Cow in the Hat", she became very bossy due to being under the influence of the bossy hat she is wearing, and spends the whole episode acting as a bossy and strict traffic warden where she forces everyone to take the one way route and obey the traffic lights. She even goes that far to clamp Mr. Grimsdale bike in the beginning before she later on plans on doing the same to the Magic Roundabout. This what prompts Florence to get a beautiful brimmed hat from Mr. Grimsdale and convince Ermintrude to swap hats. It manages to revert Ermintrude's personality back to normal when she puts the beautiful hat on.
      • In "Mirror, Mirror", thanks to Zebedee's mischief by enchanting Ermintrude's mirror, she thinks that she is a magic mirror and invites everyone over to her place not only to show off her beauty rather vainly and arrogantly but to show off the magic mirror. This is what prompts Dougal to swap the mirror over with a standard one and acts as the magic mirror where he insults Ermintrude when she talks to the mirror, causing her to almost smack the mirror until Florence and everyone stop her. When everyone, including Dougal and Florence, expresses their discomfort about Ermintrude's vain behavior, she realizes how rude she's been and apologizes.
      • In "The Enchanted Garden Make-Over", upon being inspired by Florence's warm compliment about her garden, Ermintrude spends the day and night making plans to make changes for everyone's gardens before showing them to everyone, against their will and discomfort where Ermintrude doesn't take a hint. When everyone complains to Zebedee about this, he immediately does an entire re make-over on Ermintrude's garden in his style which horrifies Ermintrude and makes her realize the error of her ways that she can't change what everyone likes in their gardens.
    • Dylan also grabs it in "Rockstar Dylan", when he becomes an arrogant and rude rock star under Dougal's mentoring when his guitar begins to sound like an electric rock guitar, due to Zebedee's mischief. Eventually, Dougal realizes how rude Dylan is being and leaves him, leaving Dylan alone to realize the error of his ways until Florence later comes to comfort him after hearing his sad song. She and Dylan realize that his guitar has been tampered by Zebedee's magic and they call him over to reprimand him for tampering with Dylan's guitar.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dougal. Some would argue he's a bit more of a Jerkass in Nigel Planer's re-narration of the original series.
  • Keet: Brian is this in the original series.
  • The Killjoy: One episode features a hat called the "Bossy Hat" which makes the wearer grumpy and bossy, disallowing activities the others find fun.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Dougal will get hit with this whenever he tries to do a nefarious scheme in the original series as well as the CGI series.
    • In "The Experiment", after he tried the hair-growth experiment on Brian and Ermintrude, Zebedee pours the antidote onto Dougal's head which makes his fur come off his ears in order to teach him a lesson before restoring the aforementioned two victims back to normal.
    • In "School's In, Out and Roundabout", Florence's lessons are abruptly ended by the sound of the school bell much to her annoyance when she was trying to teach Dougal and everyone. She and Zebedee find the school bell hidden underneath Dougal's cardboard box desk where they realize that Dougal is secretly ending the lessons by ringing the bell whenever he chooses. So Florence confiscates the bell before the last lesson and when she returns to teach the lesson, she catches Dougal red-headed after seeing his crude drawing of her on the chalkboard complete with his signature that she recognizes and prepares to punish him by keeping him behind after school. Dougal tries to ring the bell to end the lesson but to obviously no avail and Florence reveals the confiscated bell to him before everyone laughs at him.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Florence, the children, Mr. Rusty, Mr. McHenry, and Dylan all wear their signature outfits in each episode of both the original and the revival series. Though Dylan changes his outfit respectively in "Rockstar Dylan" and "The Carrot Patch Challenge".
  • Locked in the Dungeon: This happens to Florence and everyone else, except for Dougal, where they are chained up in the treacle factory dungeons. To make matters worse, they couldn't escape because Buxton has possession of Zebedee's mustache much to the wizard's fury. During Madam Blue's Villainous Breakdown in the climax, Dougal frees Florence and all his friends from their chains.
  • Long Runner: In the UK, the original series initially ran for 12 years, and since then, reruns have been airing until the mid-2000s.
  • Magic Carpet: The original series episode "Flying Carpet" has Dougal getting caught up in a magic carpet that flies him all over the garden.
    • The revival series episode "The Flying Carpet" has a similar plot about Dougal and the magic carpet, except he uses it with Fly to give rides to his friends (with exception of Brian) so he can get many pies as he wants.
  • Match Cut: Used in some of the episodes from the 2007 revival series. One example is "The Flying Carpet" when Florence is watching Dougal using the flying carpet high in the air as she stands on the ground, the scene fades to her riding the flying carpet in the sky with Dougal.
  • Melancholy Musical Number:
    • "Florence's Sad Song" is this which was sung by Florence herself in the dungeon scene in "Dougal and the Blue Cat".
    • Dylan also sings a rather gloomy song in "Rockstar Dylan" after he sees that no one comes to his gig due to his rudeness. A sympathetic Florence, despite being annoyed with his rudeness earlier, gently applauds for Dylan as she comes to comfort him.
  • Mellow Fellow: Dylan.
  • The Movie: Two in fact. Or three, if you count Doogal as a separate movie.
  • Musical Chores:
    • In "Dougal and the Blue Cat", Florence sings her song "Florence, it's a lovely morning" while dusting her bedroom before she leaves her house to meet her friends at the roundabout.
    • In two episodes of the revival series "Florence's Squeaky Toys" and "Pretty bubbles in the Air", Florence was heard humming as she is cleaning her house.
    • Ermintrude herself would be singing opera when she does the washing or any housework around her tower.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Everyone, including Mr. Rusty, has that reaction in "No More Magic, Zebedee" when they see the devastated Zebedee beginning to leave the Enchanted Gardens with a bindle, due to his magic powers being stripped from him when Mr. Rusty removed the magic gasket from the Magic Roundabout to try and teach him a lesson for taking away their favorite things (unknown to them, however, Zebedee only took away because of what he thought he saw them grumbling and moaning with them earlier). Fortunately, Florence, who was against this at the beginning, and Brian, who begins to feel bad for Zebedee after seeing how upset he became, tell Mr. Rusty to stop this and place the magic gasket back in.

  • National Stereotypes: In the original French version, Dougal has a heavy English accent, Zebedee has a Spanish accent, and Dylan has an Italian accent. In the original French show, Dylan simply has mañana attitude. For the French dub of the 2005 CGI film, Dylan's Italian characteristics are replaced with that of his British hippie personality. (This even results in the character having a deep baritone voice, as provided by Eddy Mitchell, causing him to sound nothing like he did in the original French show.)
    • Also, in the original French version, Florence is Chinese.
    • In the English dub of Dougal and the Blue Cat, Buxton has a Northern British accent.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Brian in "Let's Stick Together" after everyone accidentally catapulted him out of his shell and onto the roof of the roundabout when trying to rescue Dougal who has got himself glued to Brian whilst looking for Florence's hankie.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Florence is a sweet-natured and very well-mannered young girl who is always kind and caring.
    • Brian the snail is usually very cheerful and happy-go-lucky (especially in the French version) despite Dougal's insults.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Out of the gang, we have the male characters Dougal, Dylan, and Brian to fit in the roles. Dylan (nice) is easy-going and rarely loses his cool, Dougal (mean) is grumpy, selfish, and sarcastic, and Brian (in-between) is happy-go-lucky, but is sometimes cynical and would show a bit of a cheeky side with Dougal.
    • Whenever Florence is involved in helping out Dougal and Brian, she's the nice one as Florence is more calm, sweet, caring, and sympathetic while Dougal and Brian retain their respective roles.
  • No Antagonist: Both the original and reboot series have no Big Bad, while the only exceptions are the film adaptations (Dougal and The Blue Cat and the 2005 film).
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: As mentioned above, Dougal's voice was based on Tony Hancock. And Dylan's voice is, well...
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Florence says this out of annoyance when the school bell hidden somewhere rings for the second time that abruptly ends the Maths lesson she's teaching in "School's In, Out and Roundabout".
  • One-Shot Character: There were several of these during the original series. One of them, a blue scarecrow was sold as a figurine.
  • Only Sane Man: Despite being a young girl, Florence is the most level-headed member of the gang and the more sensible one. Dougal himself will sometimes have shades of this.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In the CGI series' episode "Brian's Gift to Dougal", because it's Dougal's birthday, Dougal actually acts really pleasant to his friends, especially Brian who is giving a jigsaw puzzle of the picture of Dougal to him as a birthday present, and never makes any rude remarks whatsoever.
  • Ordered Apology:
    • In the Nigel Planer narration of the original series' episode, "Once Upon a Time", Dougal talks rudely about Ermintrude and calls her names (unaware that she's listening), which doesn't please Brian or Florence.
    Dougal: What does it matter what I say? She can't hear me anyway.
    Florence: I still think you should apologize.
    Brian: Yes, apologize to us!
    Dougal: (unapologetic) Sorry, sorry, sorry.
    Brian: Not sorry enough!
    • In "School's In, Out and Roundabout", Dougal, overcome with jealousy with Brian's knowledge of Maths, begins to argue with Brian and starts insulting him, causing Florence (who is the schoolteacher) to stop the lesson to tell Dougal off for his behaviour and orders him to apologize to Brian. Of course, Dougal refuses and Florence tells him that she will keep him behind after school if he doesn't apologize.
    • In "Kiss and Make-Up" after finding out that Dougal and Ermintrude's fight happened because of the former's rudeness and misunderstanding earlier, Florence crossly tells Dougal to go and apologize to Ermintrude immediately. Right after Florence went inside her house, Dougal instead sends Fly to pass on his apology message to Ermintrude. This fails anyway, and when Florence finds out within earshot of Dougal and Fly's conversation, she was more displeased with Dougal but manages to convince him to apologize to Ermintrude in person for everyone's sake, which Dougal reluctantly obliges where he and Ermintrude make up.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping:
    • At the start of "Kiss and Make up", Dougal, from a distance, sees Ermintrude shouting and screaming at Mr. Rusty and Brian, he then leaves, without stopping a bit longer to see that Ermintrude was actually helping them.
    • Zebedee also gets the wrong end of the stick in "No More Magic, Zebedee" when he sees the inhabitants complaining about their favourite things without realizing what they were actually complaining and grumbling about (until he finds out near the end) - Florence was trying to shoo away the insects who are trying to eat her flowers in her garden, Dougal was worried about if he has got all of his bones in his patch, Dylan was getting exhausted when struggling to pull his carrots out of his patch, Ermintrude was worried if she has got all of her cooking equipment, Brian was worried if all of his items are all there in his collection, and Mr. Rusty was trying to get his barrel organ to work. When he takes all of their favourite things away to cheer them up, they were none too pleased, leading Mr. Rusty to give Zebedee a taste of his own medicine.
  • Parental Substitute: Mr. Rusty is this to Florence and the other children when necessary (the parents of Florence and the other children are not present, and are only occasionally mentioned in the French version of the original series).
  • Picnic Episode:
    • The original series featured an episode where Mr. Rusty, Florence, and Zebedee all prepare for a picnic in the Magic Garden. They meet up with Dougal, Brian, Ermintrude, Dylan, and Mr. MacHenry. All throughout the episode, the characters remind each other to make sure they haven't forgot anything. Mr. Rusty brings a corkscrew, Brian brings salt-and-pepper shakers, Ermintrude brings glasses, Dylan brings cushions, and Mr. MacHenry brings the eating utensils. However, in the end, they all realize that they have forgotten to bring any food.
    • The CGI episode "A Nice Day Out" also has Ermintrude inviting Dylan, Brian, Florence, and a grumpy Dougal for a day out in the countryside to try and satisfy Dougal who was bored at the beginning of the episode. When they are having their picnic, the ants steal all their food. While waiting for Train to bring more food, everyone plays a game of cricket. The ball hits Dougal, prompting a switch over to hide-and-seek, where Dougal decides to run off. He does come back to the picnic when he returns the cricket ball to everyone after they hit it in the bushes. After that, Dougal is genuinely satisfied with the day out.
  • Playing Sick: Dougal does this in the CGI episode "A Very Dodgy Exercise" to avoid attending Soldier Sam's exercise class.
  • Precision F-Strike: Only in Nigel Planer's re-narration of "Dylan's Bagpipes", at least, where Dougal says "Come on, you retarded rabbit." at one point.
  • Put on a Bus: For unknown reasons, Mr. MacHenry the gardener fell into this in the 2005 CGI film and was somewhat replaced with a new character, Mr. Grimsdale. Thankfully, he returned (albeit with a redesign) for the 2007 reboot series. (Unlike the original series though, the French dub of the reboot series uses his English name, instead of "Bonhomme Jouvence", while Mr. Grimsdale has the gardener's French name instead.)
    • Later black-and-white episodes of the original series introduced a few additional characters that appeared occasionally amongst the main cast. The characters included a knitting spider named Penelope and a pair of twin birds. Those characters stopped appearing after 1971, although some of the color episodes featuring the characters were resurrected during the early 90s when Nigel Planer began re-narrating the series.
    • Also, the other three kids (Paul, Basil, and Rosalie) who occasionally accompanied Florence made only four appearances in the 1970-1971 color episodes, until they eventually stopped appearing all together starting with the 1974-1977 episodes (although they continued to appear during the show's opening and closing titles).
  • Random Events Plot: Most, if not all episodes of the original series were this. This is lampshaded by Florence and Dougal in the English version of "Washing Machine".
    Florence: I don't know what's going on...
    Dougal: Who does? (chuckles)
  • Recap Episode: The first episode of Season 2 of the revival series "Sweet Memories" is this where Dougal interrupts each character's chance to get a word in about their holiday by recapping memories from previous episodes from Season 1, "Interior Des-aster", "Digger!", "Dylan's Wake-Up Call" and "Dougal Goes to the Moon".
  • Redubbing: The film was redubbed for the American version and retitled "Doogal" from "The Magic Roundabout".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dougal (red) is grumpy, mostly rude, and sometimes selfish while Florence (blue) is more polite, kind-hearted, and caring.
  • Resistance Is Futile: Zeebad says this while advancing on the gang where they back away after refusing to let slip of the third diamond's whereabouts.
  • Rule of Three:
    • In the French version of the original series, the formula for getting to the Magic Garden is by counting to three.
    • In "Follow That Piano", Florence's piano somehow rolls its way from Ermintrude's tower back to Florence's house thrice throughout the episode. On the third time that the piano rolls back to her house and saw it happen with her own eyes, Florence realizes it was Zebedee's doing and calls him over where she chastises him for magically making her piano roll back to her house.
  • Say My Name: The characters can summon Zebedee this way—more specifically, by saying his name three times.
  • Second Episode Introduction: In the original series, the first two characters to appear in the pilot were Mr. Rusty and Zebedee. Florence and the other children were introduced in the second episode, while Dougal (the later main star of the show) appeared a couple of episodes later. Brian, Ermintrude, Dylan and Mr. MacHenry were introduced a little later. (Interestingly, Brian and Ermintrude's introductory episodes are switched between the French and English adaptations, with Brian being introduced first in the French version, while the English show first introduced Ermintrude.)
    • Oddly, some sources (including the 2003 documentary The Magic Roundabout Story) incorrectly claim that Ermintrude and Dylan first appeared on the show after the series switched from black-and-white to color, when they were actually introduced in the black-and-white episodes.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • In Nigel Planer's version of "The Key", Dougal and Florence look for the lost key to Dougal's treasure chest in the key department and eventually find the exact key for the chest. Dougal chases after it, but it was gone out of sight, prompting both Dougal and Florence to look for it in the flowerbed. They had to give up with Florence saying that they'll never know what's in the treasure chest until Dougal reveals the chest was actually empty and he only wanted to open it.
    • In "Bones Are For Eating", Dougal finds a spotted unusual-shaped bone which Brian identifies as a dinosaur where he and Florence display it for everyone to see and to stop Dougal from getting his paws on it and as well as chewing on it. However, Dougal tries to start a protest before resorting to stealing the bone himself, setting off the alarm where he gets caught by Florence and Brian who try to take the bone off him. The squabbling and the sound of the alarm attracts the attention of Dylan and Ermintrude, with the latter revealing that the bone is actually her backscratcher that she has bought as a souvenir.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Train is a female-only in Thompson's English dub of the original show (as well as Dougal and the Blue Cat).
    • Also, the aforementioned blue scarecrow (see One-Shot Character above) is a male was named Jasper in Nigel Planer's English re-dub, despite having a female appearance.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Dylan, the stoner/folk musician rabbit, after Bob Dylan.
    • This line from Dougal and the Blue Cat referencing Hamlet:
    Dougal: To eat or not to eat... that is the question. Whether 'tis noble in the stomach to suffer — (to himself) oh shut up, Dougal!
    • In the Eric Thompson version of "Dylan's Bagpipes", Dougal references the RSPCA (infamous for their nightmare-fueled PS As).
    • In Nigel Planer's re-narration of the Scarecrow episode, Dougal more directly recites the original Hamlet quote.
    • In Nigel Planer's re-narration of "Chimney Sweep", Brian hums the "Um-diddle-um-diddle-um-diddle-ay" scat from "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
    • In Nigel Planer's re-narration of the second part of the "Mr. Rusty's House" trilogy, the characters all recite the chorus line of "Heigh Ho".
    • Also referenced in Dougal and the Blue Cat are NATO, United Nations, Blue Peter (which Dougal names himself as in a disguise to fool Buxton), Snow White (the "Magic Mirror" line, which Florence sings to herself), and NASA.
  • Signature Laugh: In the French version, Mr. MacHenry had a constant chuckle in Dougal and the Blue Cat, but in the series, this was more of a Verbal Tic, which has him saying something like "Hep, hep hep!"
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: Most episodes in the English dub of the original series ended with Zebedee saying, "Time for bed".
    • Similarly, episodes of the 2007 reboot series end with Zebedee announcing "It's time to party!" to which the characters do so, with Dylan drowsily saying "I wish it was time for bed, man..." (or simply "I wish it was time for bed..." in the second season)
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: In the original French version of Dougal and the Blue Cat, Buxton's singing voice is deeper than his speaking voice.
  • Sleepyhead: Dylan.
  • Space Episode:
    • Dougal goes to Mars in "Flower in the Sun" to look for flowers that grow on Mars. The Nigel Planer version, which was retitled "Dougal the Astronaut", has Dougal going to the moon to look for the plant fertilizer.
    • This is averted in the CGI revival series episode "Dougal goes to the Moon" where Dougal thinks he has gone to the moon in his makeshift rocket, but crash lands back in the Magic Garden where he mistakes his friends for aliens due to his goggles. Florence and Brian are aware of this and play along with it while Dylan and Ermintrude are just confused when Dougal mistakes them for aliens.
  • Sticky Situation: In "Let's Stick Together", Dougal gets his nose stuck to Mr. Rusty's brush with glue on it whilst looking for Florence's hankie that was presumably dropped (until Florence later finds out that her hankie was in her basket all along and was hidden behind her groceries) and gets himself stuck inside Brian's shell where the two ending up rolling through the gardens before they settle in Ermintrude's house. Fortunately, Florence finds them and she and everyone manages to pull Dougal free from inside Brian's shell, as well as pulling Brian out of his shell by accident.
  • The Stinger: A few episodes from Season 1 of the 2007 revival series will have small scenes right after Dylan drifts to sleep when Zebedee throws a party just before the closing credits start.
  • Story Arc: The episodes from the original series has a few of these:
    • The 3-part trilogy "Mr. Rusty's House" focuses on Florence and her friends planning on building Mr. Rusty's new house when his old house is badly damaged by the storm.
    • Another 3-part trilogy "The Rainbow" involves Dougal and Florence traveling through different colors of the rainbow to find the missing green color.
    • A 2-part story arc "Glasses" features Florence staying over in the garden with her friends to watch a musical rehearsal performed by dancing glasses.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • In "Dougal Sees Double", after Dougal mistakes the double version of Ermintrude for her sister and the double version of Brian for his cousin due to him wearing glasses that make him see double, he actually sees them in person where they respectively look just like Ermintrude and Brian.
    • Dougal has two relatives who bear a similar resemblance to him. His Australian cousin nearly resembles Dougal, but he has Auburn fur and has a maroon nose, along with wearing a cork hat. Auntie Primrose is also similar to her nephew, except she has dark brown fur and wears green lipstick along with spectacles and a hat.
  • Sugar Bowl: Would almost certainly count if it weren't for both of the movies.
  • Surprise Party: In the CGI Series episode "The Party", everyone, including Dougal plans and prepare a surprise party for Florence to thank her for all her help. However, Florence's fence was blown over and has a hard time trying to ask everyone, Dougal included, to help her fix her fence, but they had to avoid her in order not to let slip of the party to her. This made Florence very upset that no one came to help her, and almost leaves to visit some friends with everyone failing to convince her to come back, until Zebedee secretly lures her back home where everyone manages to pull the party off for her.
  • Sweets of Temptation: In the film Dougal and the Blue Cat, Dougal dyes his fur blue and pretends to be a different dog named "Blue Peter" to infiltrate Buxton's lair. However, Buxton has found out about Dougal's love of sugar. Dougal tries to hide his true identity by claiming he hates sugar. So Buxton puts him to the test by locking him in a room full of sugar. Dougal has to try very hard to resist eating the sugar, because if he does, his true identity will be revealed. Dougal manages to resist eating the sugar by reminding himself that he needs to focus on saving his friends.
  • Talking Animal: Ermintrude is a cow, Dougal is a dog, Dylan is a rabbit, Brian is a snail, Buxton is a cat, and all the characters talk.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine:
    • In the English version of the 1974 episode "Dougal's Experiment" after Dougal used his mixture on Brian and Ermintrude that engulfs them with a lot of hair, Florence calls for Zebedee who then produces a mixture of his own which he poured onto Dougal's head to teach him a lesson before restoring Brian and Ermintrude back to normal.
    • In "Growing Pains" when Dougal made a rude comment to Brian about his gravels, the snail worked with Zebedee to get back at Dougal. As their plan goes, Brian pretends that he has some "magic powder" where he explains the plan to Florence and manages to trick Dougal into thinking that the powder was magic by having him closing his eyes and counting to ten while Brian secretly whips out a gravel tree. Dougal promises to be pleasant with Brian and everyone through the whole day so he can grow a bone tree with some of Brian's powder. Throughout the day, everyone, sans Florence and Brian, were rude to him and Dougal later realises that this was done to teach a lesson at the end of the episode when Florence tells him that it was his rudeness that started the whole thing off.
    • In "The Enchanted Garden's Make-Over", Ermintrude makes plans to redecorate her friends' gardens without their consent and brushes off their discomfort and disapproval to her ideas by saying that some things have to go. When everyone complains to Zebedee about this, he redecorates Ermintrude's garden to make her realise how her friends feel about her plans.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • In the Eric Thompson version of "Florence's Party", the narrator states that Florence weeps tears of joy as she leaves with the gifts her friends gave her for her birthday, with Dougal saying "Keep your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears."
    • At the beginning of the CGI Series episode "Snails Alive!", Florence sheds tears of joy after reading a book of a handsome prince who was turned into a frog, and only the kiss from a fair damsel with pure of heart and kind of nature will turn him back into a Prince.
  • That's Gotta Hurt: Near the end of the revival series episode "Arthur", Florence winces and says "Ouch" when she sees the baby penguin biting Dougal's tail from behind.
  • Token Wizard: Zebedee is the only main character who can do magic. However, one episode of the CGI series, "Magic Fairy Ring" reveals that fairies exist (although they are only one-shot characters).
  • The Tooth Hurts: In "Ermintrude's Toothache" where Ermintrude is in a lot of pain from the toothache, so Dougal suggests to pull the tooth out, despite Florence's concerns. Nevertheless, they all got together to pull the tooth out.
  • Treasure Map: In the beginning of "Pirate Treasure", Zebedee magically slides one in Florence's book about pirates as she was talking to Dougal about stories about pirates. She finds it and invites her friends for a treasure hunt. However, unknown to Florence and everyone else, Zebedee magically moves the "X" in different places prompting everyone to dig everywhere. Florence manages to solve this by burying the kind of treasure that everyone wants with Dylan's help and marking the exact location herself.
  • Trip to the Moon Plot:
    • Nigel Planer's re-narration of "Flower in the Sun" which was retitled "Dougal the Astronaut" involves Dougal going to the moon to search for the plant fertilizer.
    • The third act of "Dougal and the Blue Cat" has Dougal, under the disguise of Blue Peter, being sent with Buxton by Madam Blue to the moon where they are tasked to paint it blue. There, Dougal's true identity was accidentally exposed when the dog fell into the crater filled with water.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Florence and Ermintrude are the only two female characters in the gang.
  • Verbal Tic: Zebedee has this in the French version, in tandem with his catchphrase "Tournicoti, tournicoton!" (Usually after a sentence, he would say "Tournico-" followed by the ending adjective of the last word he says. For example, in the American English dub for Pinwheel, he would say something like, "There he is, tournico-tis!")
  • Villain Song: In "Dougal and the Blue Cat", Buxton has "I Am King" when he has passed his seventh test and earned his title as King Buxton. It doubles as an "I Am Great!" Song. This is followed by "We're Blue" as a Villain Recruitment Song.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: In the original series, Dougal and Brian are a Type 1 example. Dougal often gets annoyed with Brian and insults him on a regular basis, but on occasion, genuinely considers him his best friend.
    • In the French version of the original series, Dougal is more of a Type 1 example with Ermintrude than with Brian.
    • Unlike the original series, Dougal, Ermintrude, Brian, and Dylan seem to be a Type 2 example in the 2005 film.
  • Vocal Evolution: Originally, Eric Thompson never changed his voice for any of the characters (with the possible exception of Dougal who he intendedly based on Tony Hancock) when narrating the stories. During the early 70s, when the series was broadcast in color, he gradually began doing this for all of the other characters as well. (As he explained in an interview, he had been narrating the series for so long to the point that each of the characters eventually became identifiable enough.)
    • Also, in the CGI reboot series, Brian's voice (provided by David Holt, who also voiced Dougal) was originally deeper during the first few episodes of the first series (almost to somewhat match with Jim Broadbent's voice from the 2005 film), but became much higher for the rest of the show.
  • Was Too Hard on Him:
    • In "The Party", while feeling very hurt and upset that her friends, including Dougal, avoided her when she came to ask them to help her mend her fence, Florence angrily leaves to visit some friends who will have time for her. Her friends, who are actually preparing a surprise party for Florence, realise what they've done when Zebedee informs them of Florence's departure, try to convince her to come back, but she crossly refuses, still very hurt at them for avoiding her. Afterwards, Florence begins to feel very bad for being angry with her friends just as Zebedee secretly diverts her back home where they manage to pull off the party for her.
    • In "Sweet Memories", Florence begins to feel that way after she sternly puts her foot down with Dougal for continuously and rudely interrupting everyone's chance to say about their holidays. She, along with everyone else, sets out to find Dougal so she can make it up with him, only to find Dougal (who realises how jealous and rude he's been earlier) giving everyone presents as an apology.
  • What Does This Button Do?: In the 2007 revival series episode "Litterbugs", while Dougal and Florence use Train to vacuum the litter around the village, Dougal notices the Big Red Button and unwittingly pushes it out of curiosity (which both he and Florence didn't hear Mr. Grimsdale's word of caution after they left with the parts needed), causing Train to zoom around wildly sucking everything up in his path, including Brian. Fortunately, Florence stops this by pushing the red button again which turns off the vacuum device.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Florence and Brian call Dougal out in Nigel Planer's version of "Once Upon a Time" for his rude name-calling of Ermintrude.
    • In the revival series, Florence would deliver some well-deserved ones to Dougal whenever he is caught out on his selfish, mean or deceitful schemes. A good example of this occurs in "The Sorcerer's Mate" where she finds Dougal, after finding out from Brian that he was wearing the same sorcerer's hat as her, and severely scolds him for tricking her into letting him wear the hat so he can secretly replicate it where he would play tricks on Dylan and Brian.
  • White Gloves: Dylan and all of the human characters (including Florence and Mr. Rusty) used to wear these during the original series, until the post-2005 CGI era. Zebedee wears them too, although they were blue during the original era.
  • Wipe: As with the 2005 film, it was used for some of the scene transitions in several episodes of the 2007 revival series.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: In "Dougal and the Blue Cat" after finding out Buxton's intentions, Dougal tries to warn his friends, but when Buxton starts to shed tears, they refuse to believe him and feel sorry for the cat. They do realise their mistake once Buxton has them captured and imprisoned in the dungeons.
    Dougal: Don't be deceived! Don't be taken in! That cat is a menace! That cat is dangerous! That cat is a cat!
    Florence: Oh, Dougal, you are dreadful.
    Dougal: You blind fools!


Video Example(s):


The Key

In Nigel Planer's version of "The Key" after Dougal and Florence lost sight of the key, it turns out that Dougal's treasure chest was actually empty and that he only wanted to open it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShaggyDogStory

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