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"Doug Can't Dance" is the first segment of the first episode in the first season of Nickelodeon's Doug. It was made in 1990 as the original pilot and is the very first episode of the series.



Doug is excited about going to his first school costume dance, and having the opportunity to dance with his dream girl, Patti. But, Doug's excitement soon fades when Roger reminds him that he has no dancing talent, so Doug goes to Skeeter for dancing tips.



Doug's Journal Entry: Dear Diary. Hi. It's me, Doug.  You know, the school dance seemed like it happened a long time ago, but I remember it like it was only yesterday.  It all began, well, this afternoon. Me and Porkchop were putting the finishing touches on my costume for the dance, and everything was going fine, when all of a sudden... it hit me.

After Doug checks himself in his slug costume in the mirror, Roger bursts through the door asking if the costume is a pile of manure, and if he's paired up to dance with Patti. After questioning Doug about how he's never danced before, Doug imagines everyone laughing at him.

Main Episode[]

Roger, after telling Doug he can't dance, offers to dance with Patti for him, shoving him in a pile of leaves in the process.  After a walk, Doug meets up with Mr. & Mrs. Dink, who are going as a "grade A thorough-bred chicken" and "the wife of a giant chicken."  After mistaking Doug's costume for dirty socks, the couple drives off.

Doug hangs on a tire swing at the park and plans on not going to the dance, but when Skeeter (after mistaking Doug's costume for Godzilla) comes around, he gives him some dancing tips while beat-boxing. While showing Doug his favorite dance moves, Skeeter ends up tangling his legs around his pockets after demonstrating the spin cycle move to Doug. He asks Doug to pull his foot out of his pocket. But, this backfires. So Skeeter, still tangled to his legs, walks away on his fingers, telling Doug that he'll see him at the dance.

Doug finally shows up to the dance (in which Skeeter is the DJ to) reassuring himself and fantasizing being a great dancer.  Patti then shows up as a sunflower, complimenting Doug on his slug costume (and being the first person to recognize it as a slug).  Before the two enter the building, Roger (as a hammer) tells Doug he wants to dance with Patti instead, but Doug refuses to walk aside.  A furious Roger decides to get back at Doug. After Doug gets the hang of dancing, Roger plans to put ice down Doug's back, but drops some and slips.  As the end of Roger's hammer costume lands on Doug's foot, Doug screams. After people start to laugh at Doug, Patti pretends it's a new dance and everyone joins in, except Roger who has fallen on his back and can't get up.

At home, Doug, with his foot bandaged up, writes in his journal deciding on what he learned, and Porkchop accidentally hops on his foot, making Doug infuriated.


  • This episode aired on the same date as the two other original Nicktoons shows Rugrats and Ren and Stimpy.
  • From this episode until the show's initial series finale, episodes would typically air on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST.
  • Since this was the original pilot for Doug, there are a couple of differences when compared to regular episodes.
    • Doug refers to his 'journal' as a diary.
    • Roger's gang consists of three guys who are prototypes of BoomerNed and Willie.
    • The animation is a lot rougher than other episodes and done on a considerably lower budget, animated domestically at Jumbo Pictures (compared to the rest of the episodes in the Nickelodeon series being animated in Korea by Hanho Heung-Up).
    • Doug's voice is slightly nasally.
    • Roger's voice is louder and higher.
  • Despite this being the first episode to air and the first one produced, the original production code when the final series came into production was 102a.
  • The pilot was originally shorter, at roughly seven minutes long. New animation was added for the episode to air as part of the main series, including all of Skeeter's scenes (where he tries teaching Doug how to dance and when he's deejaying the party), along with an additional scene of the Dinks decorating the school gymnasium for the dance. (The new animation is considerably more polished than the original rougher low-budget animation of the pilot.) This also happened with the pilots for subsequent Nicktoons Rocko's Modern Life and AAAHH! Real Monsters when they were aired as part of their respective series.
  • In Nickelodeon's Top 100 Greatest Moments In Nicktoon History as part of "Superstuffed Nicktoons Weekend", the scene with Doug's dancing mishap is ranked as the 74th greatest moment.
  • If you look harder during the background of the dance, one of the boys is dressed in a Quailman costume, foreshadowing Doug's alter ego Quailman.
  • Also, If you look harder during the background of the dance, A Boy in a Mouse Costume is seen. 6 Years Later, Nickelodeon's Doug became the Property of Disney becoming Disney's Doug
  • There are 2 MC Hammer references: 1 in Doug's imagination and 1 when Roger is dressed as a hammer.

(On Vine and Jumbo Street, we see the Dinks playing golf.) Tippi: Bud, watch your back! Bud: Say, Tippi, want to shag some balls? FORE! Sorry! (Doug is writing in his journal.)

Doug; Dear diary, hi, it's me Doug. Y'know, the school dance seemed like it happened a long time ago, but I remember it like it was only yesterday.