Doug

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Doug TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Low-key '90s cartoon has good lessons for grade-schoolers.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 19 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Some good social lessons to be learned.

Positive Messages

The show illustrates positive coping techniques for issues like dealing with bullies, handling embarrassing situations, and treating others with respect. Compassion, integrity, and humility are major themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Viewers see Doug tackle social, academic, and personal troubles in a responsible way that always teaches a lesson kids can relate to their own lives. There's some bullying within Doug's social circle, but it's limited to teasing and name-calling, and Doug's mature response to the incidents offers teaching moments about coping with troublesome peers.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Middle-school crushes are sweeter than they are sexy, yielding some flirting, floating hearts circling heads, and dreamy sequences about the object of affection, and in rare cases, a quick peck on the cheek.

Language

Nothing salty, but the class bully often calls his peers "losers," "idiots," "morons," and the like.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Doug is a '90s cartoon with great messages for grade-schoolers about managing relationships, staying true to your ideals, and overcoming life's daily challenges. The protagonist is an average kid with relatable troubles, and he relies on his family, his friends, and his vivid imagination to help him chart his path. The show's simple style gives it a dated feel that might not appeal to kids at first glance, but if they give it a chance, they'll find that the colorful characters more than make up for the visual blandness. Watch out for some bullying by means of teasing and name-calling ("loser" and "moron," for starters), which probably rules it out for young kids who like to repeat everything they hear on TV.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTheEvaluator August 28, 2013

Visually bland?

Hardly. Maybe if your idea of "not bland" is drawings on a mathematical grid and garish digital paint. Doug's hand-painted settings have an ambia... Continue reading
Adult Written byAl Jackson April 14, 2012

I love this show!

This is one of the best shows on Nickelodeon.Its really funny AND edecational.Just like "Hey Arnold".I love that show too.
Kid, 9 years old May 17, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written byimalwayswaching November 20, 2019

great show

being one of Nickelodeons first original cartoons, it holds up and is a little different from the nick formula, it isn't goofy or silly, it's just abo... Continue reading

What's the story?

DOUG is a '90s cartoon that centers on the misadventures of an average 11-year-old boy named Doug Funnie (Billy West, later Tom McHugh), who lives in a nondescript burg called Bluffington with his parents and older sister, Judy (Becca Lish). Doug relates the ups and downs of his life through the narration of his journal and his imaginative escapades as a variety of heroic characters. Whether it's trouble with the class bully, Roger (West again), or a new development in his relationship with his crush, Patti (Constance Shulman), Doug always has a lot to say about his experiences.

Is it any good?

Kids will like the show's quirky characters, from Doug's loyal, green-skinned best friend, Skeeter (Fred Newman), to his dramatic big sister, for whom the whole world's a stage. It's a sure bet that they'll find something in Doug's life that reflects their own, so there is some value in their seeing how he identifies problems and seeks out solutions based on his personal moral code, not to mention how he turns to journaling as a constructive outlet for his emotions.

Doug was one of Nickelodeon's first original cartoons, airing on Nick for three years in the early '90s before moving to Disney and enduring some character, plot, and title changes. The show's simple animation style makes it easy to overlook -- especially amid the bolder, flashier versions that vie for kids' attention these days -- but the stories are rich with teaching moments that center on issues grade-schoolers will understand, like having a crush on a classmate, being teased at school, and coping with uncomfortable social situations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying. In what ways is Roger a bully to Doug? Have you had experiences with someone like that? What other forms can bullying take besides schoolyard teasing? How can you cope with it if you ever face it?

  • Kids: What outlets do you have for when you're frustrated or overwhelmed? What hobbies help you cope with the pressures of everyday life? How does journaling help Doug cope? To whom do you turn when you need to talk? 

  • Kids: Do you like this show's animation style? How does it differ from that of other shows you watch? Do you think this series shows its age? If so, how? Are the stories still relatable, though? What do you think is the intention of the show? 

  • How do the characters in Doug demonstrate compassion, integrity, and humility? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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