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Why 'Doug' Changed So Much From Its Early Days On Nickelodeon

Updated November 12, 2019 824.5k views12 items

Let's reminisce about Doug. It was a popular cartoon in the '90s, created by Jim Jinkins, about an average kid going through average trials and tribulations. He had an active imagination, some low-key social anxiety, an unrequited crush, and a great taste in music. For all those reasons, Doug was immensely relatable. The show ran on Nickelodeon from 1991-1994, took a brief break, and ran for another few years – from '96-'99. Over its two distinct runs, however, Doug underwent some changes, many so seemingly minor that they didn't register to casual viewers. To fans, the difference was unmistakable.

This list explains the many on-screen and behind-the-scenes changes that led Doug to become a subtly yet unmistakably different experience.

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  • The Voice Actors Stopped Recording Their Dialogue Together, Resulting In Less Dynamic Interactions

    Photo: ABC

    Voice of Patti Mayonnaise, Constance Shulman, noted that the change in procedure, in terms of recording, diminished the show. "I missed all the gang crammed in the studio, waiting for their turn for the big group scene. Someone just dimmed the magic a bit."

    She's right about that. There was less pop between characters, less cohesion. It was a small change, and one the average viewer might even have trouble putting their finger on, but on some level, even kids could probably feel something lacking in comparison. 

  • Connie Benge's Transformation Made Her A Less Unique Role Model

    Connie Benge was a friend of Patti Mayonnaise, and while she wasn't a main character, she was noteworthy because she had a body-type that was woefully under-represented in cartoons: she was curvy.

    Over time, however, she apparently went away to a "beauty farm" and came back noticeably thinner.

  • Roger Got Rich

    Photo: ABC

    Roger, the bully in Doug, lived in a trailer park for much of the show's run. His socio-economic status was an interesting element of the character that could perhaps explain his tendency to lash out.

    But ultimately, Roger became rich when his mom sold the land their trailer was on. If Roger was at all relatable previously, it was because of his status, but that was taken away, and he became just another bully character lacking in pathos.

  • Skeeter's Appearance Changed

    This one's a bit nitpicky, but it's also legitimate because Skeeter was one of the most beloved characters of '90s cartoons. It might not seem like the most daramatic change, butSkeet's signature lightning bolt shirt became a simple ring shirt, but the real issue was his physical appearance – they made him look more like Doug.

    His nose got a little bit bigger and his face a little rounder. It was just another example of how the character designs became subtly homogenized.