"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 was originally broadcast on December 12, 1993.
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. 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 scolds Porkchop for his actions, not realizing what has happened.
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, 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, intending to have Porkchop sentenced to death via being euthanized.
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 preoccupied to even think about Porkchop's safety. Doug then passes by a television playing in the window of an appliance store and sees that it is showing 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, in his imagination, calls together the three heroes he often imagines himself as - his own comic book superhero Quailman, and 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.
Porkchop's trial happens on Christmas Eve, and it is revealed that Beebe is now in a wheelchair. The judge prepares to pass his verdict, but after Porkchop tries to communicate with Doug through charades, the boy stands up for his dog, asking if they could go to the lake and allow Porkchop to tell his side of the story. Judge Peterson initially refuses, but Doug then makes a speech where he reminds everyone how helpful Porkchop has been in the past and how close-minded everyone has become. Eventually, Peterson 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 tries to break free of the officers restraining him, but Mr. Bluff thinks the dog is trying to attack his daughter again. Peterson also considers thinking the same thing, but just then, Beebe ends up falling through the thin ice. Any anger Mr. Bluff had toward Porkchop vanishes as he sees his daughter plunge into the freezing water and fears for her life. Fortunately, Porkchop breaks free from the officers and rescues her, leading everyone to finally realize that he was actually trying to save her earlier. As a result, a repentant Mr. Bluff drops all charges against Porkchop, vindicating him in return for saving his daughter. Soon, 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.
Sony Wonder released the episode on VHS in 1994. It was notably the only VHS of the original Doug series to be re-issued by Paramount Home Video after it acquired the home video rights for the Nickelodeon shows; Paramount's 1997 reissue also included a bonus episode of the series, "Doug's Fan Club". 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, released on June 26, 2014.
|Billy West||Doug Funnie|
|Fred Newman|| Porkchop|
|Constance Shulman||Patti Mayonnaise|
|Eddie Korbich|| Al Sleech|
|Doug Preis|| Mr. Phil Funnie|
- "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