I absolutely adored Doug when I was a kid, his neurotic fear of embarrassment and failure was something I was all too familiar with and the way he used his bombastic, technicolor imagination to make sense of the world made me feel like less of a weirdo for employing similar coping strategies.
This pioneering cartoon was not afraid to dig into the insecurities and hopeless feelings every adolescent feels overpowered by sometimes, but there are some people that theorize the source of Doug's anxiety and overactive mind are way darker than teenage angst.
In a Creepypasta story/fan theory I stumbled across during my daily internet forage it is suggested that Doug was molested by Mr. Dink shortly after he moved to Bluffington which resulted in him taking acid to cope, and if you are dark of mind, it kind of makes sense.
Although personally I think this is a case of seriously overanalyzing the show and actively seeking horrifying themes to fit the Creepypasta house style, I've broken the theory down for you below to see what you guys make of it.
In episode one, where Doug first arrives in his new neighborhood, Mr. Dink seems incredibly eager to meet his young neighbor and get him back into the house to watch an "informative movie" repeatedly. Later on in the same episode, Mr. Dink unexpectedly springs from the bushes with a camera to snap a photograph the 'Neematoad' that Doug has captured.
The Creepypasta theorizes that, as a grown adult, Mr. Dink would know that there was no such thing as a Neematoad as was trying to snap pictures of his adolescent neighbor on the sly.
Behind Closed Doors...
Throughout the show, Mr. Dink invites Doug into his house house to look at various expensive objects and inventions that he has dreamed up. The majority of the time, the action occurs behind closed doors so as viewers we have no idea what Mr. Dink is doing with Doug in there.
The sinister minded among us will also find the fact that the shed seems to have a wealth of security measures to prevent unwanted intruders a tad suspicious...
A Troubling Tree
If Mr. Dink befriending his 11 or 12-year-old neighbor and spending hours in his shed with him doesn't seem suspicious to you, the fan theory also points the finger at a rather troubling incident when Doug is on Scout camp.
Mr. Dink, who is the local Scout leader, goes into the camp to find a suitable spot to pitch their tents and when Doug and Skeeter go looking for him, he is found staring down at them totally naked in a tree.
Not really the sort of behavior that is appropriate for a teacher of any kind, and bizarre even for Mr. Dink's standards.
Escapes into Acid
The theory goes that while he was behind closed doors with Mr. Dink, Doug was molested and that he ended up taking acid to cope, hence some of his more disturbing imagination sequences.
But, just how would a preteen in a small town get hold of some seriously potent psychedelic drugs? The creator of the Creepypasta seems to think that Judy is the key and this is why she was so adamant Doug always kept out of her room.
Daydreams vs. Trips
According to the writer of the theory, the well-trained eye can tell the difference between Doug's daydreams and his acid trips. The unnamed author explains that:
It’s important to note that you must make distinctions between Doug’s day dreams and his acid trips. Typically, Doug’s daydreams are more fantastical and have no effect on the world around him. Doug’s acid trips tend to be more “realistic” and show a distorted view of the world around him. In addition, Doug’s interactions with his hallucinations are usually observed by other people who are viewing Doug.
Examples are given of the drug-fueled escapes from reality that Doug supposedly flees into, but unfortunately I haven't been able to find any clips to illustrate them.
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of this theory, from what I've heard about LSD, I would imagine it to be one of the worst possible substances to drop when you have a troubled mind like this theory suggests Doug has. Not to mention how reading this has made me feel sorry for the irrepressibly annoying Mr. Dink's besmirched reputation.
What do you guys think?