Doug was the first animated series to air on Nickelodeon, making it a rather historic Nicktoon. This classic cartoon followed the daily life of an 11 year-old boy navigating everyday problems with the help of his endless creativity. While stressing over issues like fitting in at school, being bullied, and having to eat liver and onions, Doug would take to writing about it in his journal and imagine how his alternate personas would tackle the situations instead.
His daydream sequences featuring his various personas (from a superhero to a secret agent) spiced up many of the series’ episodes and have become some of the most memorable parts of the show. Some of them are more entertaining than others, though. Here are each of Doug Funnie’s alternate personas ranked from least interesting to most amusing.
The Chameleon is a master of disguises and is especially sneaky. He’s able to blend into his surroundings to surprise his targets. He sounds really cool, but is just Doug in a trench coat who speaks with a forced old timey gumshoe detective. On top of that, he only appeared once in the series and didn’t really help Doug find out who stole Beebe’s radio. In fact, Doug taking on the identity of a detective almost gets him in trouble and almost causes a rift between him and his best friend, Skeeter. It does allow for some fun visual gags, though, like him and porkchop being disguised as a baby in a stroller and a mother.
Like the Chameleon, Durango Doug only appears in one episode. He’s mostly just a stereotypical cowboy, but he represents important character development for Doug. Doug uses Durango Doug as a way to gain confidence to tell the truth to his classmates and to ride a rather threatening horse. Doug is a timid kid, so forming this persona helps him overcome that. Plus, there’s some catchy songs narrating Durango Doug’s adventures.
Despite Jack Bandit only appearing in one episode of the series, he’s an especially fun and even quotable imaginary persona. This persona is formed when Doug is worried about getting in trouble at school because of his science fair volcano erupting. For a young kid, especially one that is never a troublemaker, getting in trouble in school can be quite scary. Jack Bandit is a personification of the guilt and fear that Doug feels. Jack is a criminal in hiding, exactly like how Doug feels. Jack is also willing to get into trouble where Doug isn’t, making him represent the “bad” parts of Doug when needed (which clearly isn’t often since he’s such a good kid). Any officer of the law would be foolish to try to catch… “wa-na-na… JACK BANDIT!”
This persona is seen a handful of times throughout the series. Race Canyon is clearly based on Indiana Jones and is often used by Doug to figure out how to overcome daunting physical or dangerous tasks like getting past a scary guard dog to retrieve Patti Mayonnaise’s Wacky-Wizzer frisbee. Since Doug is timid and not very athletic, it makes sense for him to imagine himself as an action hero who can perform feats that he cannot. Doug imagining himself as Race Canyon encourages him to be more courageous. Confidence is something that many kids need at his age.
Smash Adams is easily one of Doug’s most entertaining alternate personas, and shows up more than most of the others. Adams… Smash Adams is a secret agent meant to parody James Bond. Smash is extremely important because Doug daydreams himself as him in order to overcome a wide variety of situations. He’s brave, sneaky, and charismatic; all things Doug is not. If he doesn’t want the rest of the school to see his artwork, Smash Adams can stealthily steal it, protecting him from embarrassment. If he’s getting nervous flirting with Patti Mayonnaise, Smash Adams can be the smooth-talker he can’t be. Smash Adams is someone who has a way out of every situation Doug doesn’t want to be in, which is what Doug wants most at times. Plus, he has an extremely catchy theme song.
Quailman is by far the most well-known and beloved alternate persona that Doug has. He’s also been featured in the series much more than any of the others. Quailman (along with his sidekick, Quaildog) is a superhero from the planet Bob who is always ready to protect the innocent whenever the quail call is sounded. The Quailman segments throughout the series are all incredibly entertaining to watch as the hero takes on villains like the evil Dr. Klotzenstein (who resembles Doug’s bully, Roger). Doug is often too afraid to stand up for himself or others, but Quailman isn’t. Doug’s Quailman daydreams help him to get the courage he needs to stand up against Roger, be more confident in school, and look cool in front of Patti. What kid doesn’t imagine themselves as a superhero at some point in their lives? Quailman has become a nostalgic icon for anyone who grew up in the 90s.