Ah Doug, the first cartoon to air on Nickelodeon. Not only was it the first in a long line of awesome Nicktoon series it was arguably one of the best. As a kid who loved to daydream, wear sweater vests and save the world in his underwear, I really identified with the titular character.
Like most children's cartoons, Doug features some clever references that are much easier to catch as an adult. For instance do you remember that poster that Doug had hanging above his bed? Here's a little refresher in case you've forgotten:
Kind of a weird image right? And what the heck do loose lips have to do with sinking ships? Turns out, Doug had some old World War II propaganda hanging in his room. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan that warned citizens of the dangers of talking about ship or troop movements with anybody in public or flippantly, as cover enemy agents may be listening in on what anybody was saying in public. If you ask me I'd say that stuff is a little heavy for a poster hanging in an 11-year-old's bedroom, but then Doug was a really odd show.
Doug also featured subtle commentary on modern American culture. Like Mr. Dink, the eccentric purple-skinned neighbor to the Funnies. You may recall him always buying the latest and greatest gadgets which were always "very expensive". It turns out that "dink" is actually an slang term derived from the acronym formed by the first letters of the phrase "double income, no kids". The phrase, which was popular in the late 80s and early 90s, referred to couples who were pulling down two incomes and were not encumbered by the burden of providing for children. This demographic was often targeted by manufacturers of luxury items and expensive gadgets.
Mr. Dink was a symbol of the crazed dink. The man who bought whatever he wanted because he had all the money in the world, and though he may think he is on top of the world, the rest of the world sees him for what he is: a lunatic...
...a complete and utter lunatic.
Source for Top Photo: http://elvisqcitizens.blogspot.com/2011/09/teach-me-how-to-doug-funnie.html