Doug's Mail Order Mania is the second part of the fifth episode of the fourth season of Nickelodeon's Doug.
Doug becomes the victim of a contest scam that promises to make him rich. But after trying so hard to pay a lot of money, Doug later realizes he may not be as close to winning as he thinks.
Doug's Journal Entry: Dear Journal. I was working on my sculpture for the Tri-county Art Festival when something neat came in the mail.
Doug is at his porch working on his sculpture when the mailman hands Theda some mail. Theda gives Doug some junk mail and Doug opens the envelope, reading a letter that says that he is a semi-finalist in the Ponzi Publishing sweepstakes, which would make him eligible to win a voluminous amount of money ($1 followed by at least 1,155 zeroes, or $1 quintagintillion tretrigintricentillion), much to his impression.
Doug attempts to finish a puzzle so he could send it in in order to win the sweepstakes. However, after he unscrambles the words, the circled letters are ACCEGILMMORTWY and the answer has 19 boxes, so this "contest" is clearly a scam. Doug then wonders how many people could possibly figure it out.
Doug's imagination: At the Ponzi Publishing sweepstakes building, two men are sitting at the table,talking about how nobody has won the puzzle after forty-two years. But his partner reads one of the puzzles and is impressed when he learns that Doug has won it. The two men literally jump for joy.
After sending in the puzzle, he spends weeks on his sculpture, and one day, the mailman comes by and gives Doug a letter, which tells him that he has made it in the Super Semi-finals. He not only has to send in a second puzzle, but he has to pay a $25 fee. He asks his mother for the money. But Theda tries to convince him that the contest is nothing more than a scam.
Nonetheless, Doug completes the second puzzle, but he needs the money to send it in too. The answer to this puzzle has 42 boxes, but the circled letters are AACEFLLLMNOPPSSTUUUXY (nevertheless, Doug somehow figures out that the answer is "Ponzi Publishing is proud to pay plentiful prizes"). So Doug decides to just forget about it and gets started on his sculpture. As he builds his sculpture, he stares at the puzzle on his desk.
Doug's imagination: A ship approaches Doug's house and the owner of the sweepstakes asks him if he has the twenty-five dollars to give to him. Doug tells him that he doesn't have the money. So the ship rides away as the owner tells Doug that all the money could've been his.
As Doug counts his money, he finds that he is only $9.74 short of $25. He goes to Skeeter's house and asks if he has has enough money. but Skeeter doesn't have enough to complete the price and he and Doug, with their combined money, are still $2.87 short. Doug finds a few coins in his house and goes on a coin search, even going as far to skip the art festival.
He and Skeeter waited for the mail man everyday after Doug and Skeeter earned enough money to send along with the puzzle, and on the next day, Doug and Skeeter are waiting outside of Doug's front porch, instantly turning down a bicycle ride to the Honker Burger offered to them by Patti, Beebe, and Chalky. A few seconds later, Doug finally gets mail. When he reads the letter, it says that he has reached the Grand Super-Bonus finals and that he has to send $50 along with the puzzle to complete. So Doug and Skeeter work together to raise the money themselves, but on the day of the deadline, he has a choice: he could cash in his savings bond (which Doug says that his grandmother gave him for his college education) or ask Judy for the money, who predictably refuses and tells him that he should just stick to art instead.
Doug's imagination: At an old house in the village, Doug is seen in the bedroom wearing a white jacket and a black beret sculpting his latest sculpture, with Porkchop, wearing a wig, playing the piano. When Porkchop notices the fire going out inside the fireplace, he stops playing the piano and attempts to throw the music book inside. But Doug stops him, saying that it is his turn to burn the masterpiece. He takes his sculpture and throws it into the fireplace.He then stares down through the window, where he finds a rich guy gambling at the casino, with a $50 bill to win.
So Doug decides to uses savings bond instead. After his father tries to convince him to think harder about what he tries to do, Doug takes off and attempts to cash it in the post office, only to discover that it is now closed. But the postman take his postmark and tosses it into a pile of other Ponzi puzzles sealed in envelopes. It isn't long before Doug realizes that the sweepstakes is nothing more than a scam to take everyone's money.
Doug is later at his porch regretting his decision. Theda gives him a letter from a mail, which Doug refuses to open. But Judy compels him to do so and he complies. Doug reads the mail and finds that Judy had entered him in the art festival, which he won third place in for his sculpture. He thanks Judy in the process.
Doug writes in his journal and states voice-over that get rich quick schemes are just scams used to get people's money. He later watches the news channel that shows Porkchop winning a zillion of bones for entering the canine sweepstakes.