Doug is Slave for a Day is the first part of the second episode of season three of Doug.
Judy catches Doug breaking a vase that belonged to their mom. To keep her quiet, Doug must agree to be her slave for a week. He suffers until he realizes that the only way out is to tell the truth.
The episode begins at sea where a sailboat afloats. Inside there are slaves (Doug, with a beard around his mouth, being one of them) working to keep the boat moving and Doug states voice-over that a slave's misery depends on the kind of master one has. As Doug reaches for the pail of water, Judy, dressed as a viking, squelches his attempt, telling him to do a list of demands, much to his annoyance.
The next scene cuts to a football game being watched on television and Doug and Porkchop play the game in the house. While playing catch, Doug causes the ball to bounce off his fingers and hit his mother's vase. As the vase falls off the shelf, Doug attempts to catch it, and the vase shatters to pieces as it lands on the floor. Judy catches this and Doug begs her not to tell their mother.
Judy has Doug sign a contract to become her slave for a week starting Saturday at four o'clock. He washes the dishes for her, pours her a glass of fruit juice, and cleans her room. By the next day, Doug becomes exhausted and Judy takes advantage of him by having him do the most assiduous and absurd work.
Doug's imagination: Doug and the other slaves are inside the ship rowing the boat. As the big guy on the drum falls asleep, Skeeter pulls a bobby pin out of his beard and uses it to unlock the locks, setting the other slaves free. The big guy wakes up, and Doug uses a rope to swing on top of the sail of the ship. He snatches the whipping rope from Judy's hand as the slaves cheer for Doug's work.
When Doug tells Judy that she is going too far, Judy once again attempts to blackmail Doug by telling their mother, only for Doug to finally give in and do her chores out of deference. Skeeter comes to visit and finds Doug in Judy's room wearing her dress while rolling on the floor, "Bohemianizing" it. Doug tells him about working for Judy and that he is relieved because it's only for one more day. When Judy comes around, however, she informs him that he can't whistle while working in proximity to her (which she said he did while re-skinning her bongos, but Doug claims that his nose was actually wheezing), and to make up for the broken rule, he must serve another week of slavery. So Doug, Porkchop, and Skeeter then work together to do Judy's dirty work.
Doug's imagination: In the Family Court, Doug, Skeeter, and Porkchop, the former two of the three with beards, walk to the plaintiff stand as the announcer announces that Doug is Judy's slave and doesn't like it. Judy, dressed in a black dress and a viking helmet, is also shown standing on the defendant stand as the announcer announces that she has a contract for Doug, who has no choice, naming the case "The Case of the Reluctant Flunky." As the trial starts, the judge, portrayed by Mr. Dink, tells Doug that he is slumped right before calling for the next case. Judy laughs evilly while Doug sighs in annoyance.
The next day, Theda tells Judy that she has to clear her costumes out of the basement before she attends her party, to which Judy responds that it needs a scrub down as well. Doug overhears this and is distraught because he knows that he the one doing it. Angered that the contract may have Doug be Judy's slave forever, he reads the contract again. As Doug reads the contract, he finally discovers how to free himself from it.
When Judy comes inside Doug's room to order him to clear the costumes in the basement, Doug tells her that he has already told his mother what happened (she didn't really care about it), which resulted in him getting grounded for a week for not telling her sooner. Because of this, the contract is now void and he is no longer Judy's slave. Judy begs Doug to clear her costumes out of the basement so she can go to her party, saying that she would do anything.
The next day, it is implied that Doug has done Judy's job yesterday and Judy is now Doug's slave for the week that he's grounded. Doug has her turn each page of his comic book he is reading while he is in bed and makes her do a list of his chores as well.
- Family Court is a parody of the long-running People's Court.
- The title of this episode is incorrect, as Doug is made a slave for a week, not a day.