The sounds of '90's nostalgia: 'Doug' never made me feel 'Beeeyouuuuuu'

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Image Credit: Everett Collection

Like Charlie Brown, Beaver Cleaver, and even Tom Sawyer before him, the most extraordinary thing about Doug Funnie was the fact that he wasn’t extraordinary at all. During his three years on Nickelodeon (and another three on Disney), Doug never got bitten by a radioactive spider or found an all-powerful amulet. He never stopped a speeding missile or solved a grisly murder — or even managed to grow a full head of hair. He was just a gawky 11-year-old boy growing up in the city of Bluffington (the Bumper Sticker Capital of the World!), playing with his dog Porkchop, eating Honker Burgers with his best pal Skeeter, and pining after the dreamy Patti Mayonnaise.

Which isn’t to say his life was dull. Thanks to a hyperactive imagination, Doug turned everyday events into epic adventures. His cast of alter-egos — superpowered Quailman (my personal favorite), James Bond-ian Smash Adams, dashing Race Canyon — let him be a hero in his dreams instead of the fumbling, nebbish kid he was in reality. (Anybody else feel like Doug was modeled on a tweenage Woody Allen? They even have the same hairline.) But even in these sequences, which were usually my favorite parts of each episode, whimsy was always more important than action. An episode of Doug wasn’t about high stakes or huge laughs; it was a gentle ode to the humdrum ups and downs of life, from bullies to crushes to sibling rivalry. (Special shoutout here to Judy, a misfit drama queen of the pre-Glee era.)

Even though the animation in Doug was always colorful and creative, the things I actually remember most clearly about the show aren’t the images — they’re the sounds. When I think of Doug, I immediately hear that theme song with its Seinfeld-style a cappella pops and “aaaahs.” I hear Patti’s croaky Southern drawl, Skeeter’s “Honk honk!” and of course, the beloved “beeeyouuuuuu” — the drooping noise that told you Doug had just run up against another one of the myriad disappointments of life.

Which brings me to this post’s poll:


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Comments (46 total) Add your comment
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  • Wyn

    I also hear the music of Doug’s favorite band, The Beets. Killer Tofu and Shout Your Lungs Out.

    • Cate

      I eat my sugar cereal/But it makes my teeth bacterial!

      • Being Ordinary is COOL

        It was disturbing over the past decade where all shows had central characters that were famous or trying to be famous. The classics like Boy Meets World, Doug, etc were the best with normal characters. Disney is correcting their problem with “Good Luck Charlie”

      • RudyB

        And don’t eat TA-TA-TA-TA-TA too much fried foods!

    • Stacie

      Ah-ee-oooo, killer tofuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

      • Nerwen Aldarion

        Oooo ee oooooo Killer TOFUUUUUU!!!!

    • Krystal

      or the bangin on a trash cans strummin’ on a street light. that was dougs band right?

    • Rachel

      haha me too. I will randomly think of their song ‘ I need more allowance.”

  • Ryan

    The Nick one was great but I was not a huge fan of the Disney one.

    • S.C.

      I thought the Disney version was OK, but it didn’t have the same lovable quirks that the original had. Oddly, however, I had remembered the Disney theme song better than the original until the TeenNick block started.

    • L

      Disney had a version of Doug? I totally missed that.

    • Elbean

      Disney ruins everything it touches, I think its on purpose. Buy the rights to a rival cartoon and destroy it with poor episodes after. But doug was awsome pre disney!! :o)

  • MM

    What about the music that would play anytime Doug saw Patti?

    • Lori

      Aww, that was good music

    • Noah

      Yeah! How could they overlook that?! It was definitely a highlight. Put it in the poll!

  • Amy

    I hear Doug’s classic song” “Bangin on a trash can, drummin on a street light, strumming on my banjo. One little voice is calling me, calling me. One litlle voice is calling me!” Think Big!

    • L

      Me and my friends used to pretend to be in a band when we were little and we’d always sing that song like we wrote it or something. I forgot all about that!

  • Joey

    I NEED MORE ALLOWANCE!!! YO DA LAY HEE OOOOO!!!

    • pdt

      Why? BECAUSE I DO.

  • fred

    I always thought that Doug was a paranoid schizophrenic

    • Jamal

      I thought I was the only one!

  • cj

    Patty you’re the pickle on my coleslaw

    Patty you’re the sugar in my tea

    Patty you’re the relish on my hot dog

    And Patty your the mayonnaise for me

    Whoa whoa whoa

  • JRockAI

    I never watched Doug…but I do remember Nickelodeon’s intro to the show (was it the theme song?)…. “Dooo D Do D Doo D Dooo D Dooo Doo o….Doo D Doo D D D Doug!”

  • BK

    I loved Doug. I think I remember more about episodes of Doug than anything else in the ’90s nick line-up. It was relatable and fun. It was the only show that spoke in an “inside voice” in a line up of shows full of actors screaming at the viewer.

  • AC

    One little voice is callin’ me, callin’ me … this song should’ve been a hit! And, of course, Killer Tofu!

  • Michael J

    I always think of the Mayor of the town saying, “Vote for me!” after everything! A friend and I still do it occasionally!

  • Elbean

    Doug was one of my favorite nineties cartoons! It totally by passed rugrats, which was also good. But if you’re a preteen kid watching doug, you can kinda relate to some episodes of doug. Which made it all the more awsome:-)

  • V

    I liked the music they played for Judy. Recently, at work, came across Doug on TV. A grown man sitting down watching cartoons while eating lunch. Glad no one walked in and witnessed that.

  • Annette

    Patty Mayonnaise what a very cool name for a fictional character!

  • James

    Great article. Good to hear from someone who really GOT the show. Honestly, nothing says 90s to me like “Doug”.

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