|“|| Dear Journal,|
Funny how in the brink of the best holiday of the whole year, the worst thing that could possibly happen happened.
— Doug's opening narration
"Doug's Christmas Story" is the first Christmas episode of the animated television series Doug, produced near the end of the show's original run on Nickelodeon. It premiered on December 12, 1993, as the tenth episode of the show's fourth season.
Christmastime has arrived in Bluffington and the children of the city are enjoying their just-started winter break. At Lucky Duck Lake, Doug Funnie and his friends are playing hockey, unaware that a "Thin Ice" sign nearby has just fallen into the lake through a hole in the ice. When the pine cone the kids are using as a hockey puck is accidentally knocked away from their field of play, Beebe Bluff, the daughter of the town's owner, goes to retrieve it, somehow not noticing the hole in the ice. Porkchop, Doug's dog, realizes she's in danger and goes to pull her away, only to accidentally hurt her leg in the process. Doug angrily scolds Porkchop for his actions, not realizing what was actually happening.
Later, while Doug and his sister Judy are at the mall doing Christmas shopping, Bluffington's former mayor, Bob White, who is now running a radio show after having lost the mayoral election a few episodes ago, receives a call about Porkchop "attacking" Beebe. When Doug and Judy return home, they and their parents are caught off guard when they find Porkchop being arrested and taken away to the city pound by Bluffington Police and Animal Control officers. To make matters worse, they then receive a letter saying that Bill Bluff, Beebe's father and owner of the city, is pressing charges against Porkchop for attacking her.
Under the advice of his parents, Doug goes around town circulating a petition to have his dog set free. Unfortunately, most of the citizens are too busy thinking about Christmas to even think about Porkchop's safety. Doug then passes by a television playing in the window of an appliance store and sees it playing a dramatic (and obviously inaccurate) reenactment of the incident. Outraged at this, Doug goes to the hospital to talk to Beebe, but her dad refuses to let him see her. Doug insists that Porkchop never intended to hurt Beebe, but Mr. Bluff won't listen and says they'll have to let the court decide on that.
Realizing he needs help, Doug imagines himself calling together the three heroes he often imagines himself as - his own comic book superhero Quailman, and his favorite movie heroes Smash Adams and Race Canyon - for help on how to free Porkchop from the pound. After the imaginary Smash asks him if he knows anyone who can provide him with high-tech gadgetry, Doug, back in reality, goes to visit Al and Moo Sleech, who provide him with a smoke bomb disguised as a cupcake. Doug and Skeeter go to the pound, and Skeeter tries to distract the guard while Doug looks for Porkchop. Unfortunately, the guard tries to eat the cupcake, which sets off the smoke bomb inside, and then throws the boys out just as Doug has found Porkchop. Back home, Doug feels hopeless and imagines himself visiting Porkchop's grave on Christmas.
The trial happens on Christmas Eve, and it is revealed that Beebe is now in a wheelchair, all the while Porkchop tries to communicate with Doug through charades. Before Judge Peterson can pass the verdict, Doug stands up for his dog, asking if they could go to the lake and allow Porkchop to tell his side of the story. The judge initially refuses, but Doug then makes a speech where he reminds everyone how helpful Porkchop has been in the past, and how close-minded they have become. Eventually, the judge obliges to Doug's request, and they all head to Lucky Duck Lake.
Out on the lake, Beebe, now using crutches, begins approaching the spot where Porkchop bit her. Porkchop begins panicking at this, and Mr. Bluff thinks the dog is trying to attack his daughter again. But just then, Beebe ends up falling through the thin ice, and Mr. Bluff's anger dissipates upon realizing his daughter is in real danger. Fortunately, Porkchop breaks free from the guard's grip and rescues her, leading everyone to finally realize that he was actually trying to save her earlier. Afterward, Porkchop is considered a hero by the citizens of Bluffington, and on Christmas Day, Mr. Bluff thanks him by hosting a fancy dinner for all the dogs from the pound, and Bob White uses his radio show to find homes for all of the dogs. During the dinner, Bill gives a Christmas toast to Porkchop.
"Doug's Christmas Story" was aired annually on Nickelodeon from 1993 to 2002, on the NickToons network from 2002 to 2008, and on TeenNick from 2011 to 2017 (for some reason, the show's third and fourth seasons were removed from television reruns in 2018). The episode also ran as a one-shot special (along with the Rugrats special "The Santa Experience" and the Rocko's Modern Life special "Rocko's Modern Christmas!: Can't Squeeze Cheer From a Cheese Log!") in syndication on certain affiliates in the 1990s.
Sony Wonder released the episode to VHS on August 31, 1994. It was notably the only VHS of the original Doug series to be re-issued by Paramount Home Video after they obtained the home video rights for the Nickelodeon shows. Paramount's 1997 reissue also included another episode from the show's fourth season, "Doug's Fan Club", as a bonus cartoon. The special was later made available again on the Doug: The Best of Season 4 manufacture-on-demand DVD set, sold exclusively on Amazon.com, in 2009. Its most recent release was as part of the Doug: The Complete Nickelodeon Series manufacture-on-demand DVD set, which was released on June 26, 2014.
|Billy West||Doug Funnie|
|Constance Shulman||Patti Mayonnaise|
|Eddie Korbich||Al Sleech|
|Doug Preis||Mr. Phil Funnie|
- Doug Wiki: Doug's Christmas Story
- "Doug's Christmas Story" at TV.com
- "Doug's Christmas Story" at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- "Doug's Christmas Story" at the Internet Movie Database