I never watched The King of Queens during its primetime run, but I have watched it quite a bit on reruns. My favorite episodes are those that are about money. Since Doug and Carrie make a fairly decent living (as a delivery driver and a legal secretary, respectively), but have wants a lot bigger than their wallets, money (and how to find more) seems to be a recurring theme.
The main financial issue with the couple, especially Doug, is that he can’t rein in his inner child. Let’s call it the Heffernan principle.
1. He sees what others have and wants it too.
In the most recent episode I watched, Carrie’s father, Arthur, who lives in their basement, won $2,500 at bingo. Doug decides the money should be theirs since they help support Arthur. Even though they need a new refrigerator, he wants the money to buy new golf clubs. Once he manages to get the money from Arthur, he’s not satisfied and wants more new clubs to complement the ones he just purchased.
In one funny episode, Doug and his friend, Deacon, are following in a car behind their wives in another car. Deacon mentions that they’re passing a strip club that sometimes leaves the door open and that he likes to peek and see if he can see anything. Of course, Doug can’t resist, so he takes his eyes off the road and promptly crashes into the car the wives are driving in. Doug has to pay for the repairs to Deacon’s car, but he doesn’t want to because he claims Deacon really caused the accident even though Doug was driving.
3. He’s envious of others who work hard and save for their goals.
In another episode, Deacon and his wife, Kelly, invite Doug and Carrie up to their new vacation home–a cabin. Doug and Carrie are immediately envious and determine that the reason why Deacon and Kelly could afford such a nice home is because when the couples go out together, Doug and Carrie pay for everything. Of course, this is not true, but they just can’t accept that another couple making about the same wage as them could save their money and buy something substantial. For Doug and Carrie, money leaks out of their hands far too easily to save for such a large purchase.
The King of Queens is a humorous show about a couple trying to live their lives in Queens, New York while living with her father (who’s also broke, by the way). Like many couples, they struggle with money, but a main reason for that is because Doug can’t rein in his inner child.
While Carrie is well-intentioned and more mature in this aspect, she inevitably is persuaded by Doug and follows along with his train of thought and his antics.
Sure, as the audience, we have fun laughing at Doug and his misguided thoughts and actions, but have you ever thought if you, too, are like Doug Heffernan deep down? Have you silenced your inner child when it comes to money, or are you still struggling as Doug is?