"Doug's Birthday Present" is the first part of the sixth episode of the fourth season of Nickelodeon's Doug.
Doug is impressed by Mr. Bluff's gift to Beebe. Phil feels pressured to make more money for a better birthday gift to his son, so he decides to start his own photography store. At first, Doug is excited by the thought of more money, but when he sees the effects on his father and their family, he realizes that money can't buy happiness.
The episode begins at the Busy Beaver where Phil takes a picture of a baby. Doug, Porkchop, and Skeeter visit him there and tell them that Doug's birthday is roughly a week away and he is looking for a gift. They find that Beebe's father Bill Bluff is giving Beebe a speedboat for her birthday and Phil looks down sadly at his gift for Doug. When Doug asks him that the speedboat is the coolest gift ever, Phil agrees gloomily and it isn't long before Doug realizes his father's sorrow.
Back at the Funnie house, Phil is seen pacing back and fourth in the kitchen while Doug explains the gift Beebe got for her birthday. As Doug delineates the speedboat to his family, Phil later announces that he is terminating his job at the Busy Beaver to open his own photo shop, much to the family's surprise. Doug is delighted about this as Phil also adds that the family will be financially secure.
Doug's imagination: Doug is seen wearing a blue hat and matching suit riding the speedboat along with his father. Phil asks Doug if this is the life, to which Doug responds in an English accent "Top drawer, father." Porkchop is also seen grabbing onto the string with a sail tied to his back. Phil presses the Aero Flux button, which activates the wings of the boat as it flies into the air. Phil also shows a building named "Phil and Doug's Photorama". Doug thanks Phil as he continues to fly the boat in the air.
Phil shows the family the place he decided to run his own business in. He enhances the place by making a grand opening of it and naming it Phil's Family Photo. When no customers show up, he decides to make the prices 25% off. When no customers still don't show, he changes the price to 50% off instead. When no one still shows up, he goes as far to make the price free which brings in a lot of customers. The family pitches in to help with the business, but the pictures they take aren't exactly the best.
During closing time, when Phil calculates the prices they made since the grand opening of his new photo shop, Judy finds a quarter in the sofa (which Phil says is the family's first profit, implying that they haven't made much for the business). The family leave to go home, except for Phil, who needs to print the photos out in the darkroom since he doesn't have any assistance. Due to his work, he doesn't make it back home the next morning or night.
During dinner, the phone rings and Doug, convinced that it is his father calling, answers it, only to find out that he is still working. Phil starts working all week and only comes home during closing time. When Doug wakes up late at night to see Phil arriving home, he hops out of bed to see him, but discovers that he is leaving once again to go to work, much to Doug's dismay.
Doug's imagination: At the docks, Doug is celebrating his birthday with his mother, sister, and dog when a butler comes around to inform Doug that his father is very busy, thus won't make it back on time. So Doug has him send in his birthday present, which appears to be a large box wrapped up. When the assistants unwrap the gift, balloons disperse out, and Doug is delighted when he sees his father standing there. He runs upto him to give him a hug, only to find that it is really a cardboard cut-out of his father.
Doug starts missing his father and rides to the shop after school. He knocks on the darkroom door and Phil, looking tired and sleepy, comes out to greet him. Doug says that he and the rest of the family miss him, but Phil is now in stupor and quickly falls asleep against the wall. He is quickly woken up by the impatient customers and gets back to work. Doug begins to leaves in disappointment, but not before Phil tells him that he will see him at his birthday tomorrow.
During the day of Doug's birthday where he, Judy, and Theda are sitting at the table with the cake on it, Phil finally arrives and Doug blows out the candles of the cake which Phil serves to everyone. He even offers Doug the gift he bought him and Doug apologizes for making a big deal of the speedboat. Doug says that the gift he really want is his father as well as a football (which was Phil's gift to him).
As he is later seen playing catch with his father at the park, Doug states voice-over that Phil had gotten his job at the Busy Beaver back and that even though you could save money for a speedboat, no amount of money can buy a great dad.