Doug Penhall is one of the main protagonists of 21 Jump Street and made an uncredited cameo in 21 Jump Street (film).
Both of his parents were alcoholics that eventually killed themselves. He lost his mother at age 6 and his father nine years after.
Joining the Jump Street Program
He met Judy first. It took a long time before they started to get along. Later, they became very close and almost dated.
Stint in Major Crimes
Jump Street was widely endorsed by most people. However, one council member insisted that it be closed down. Towards the end of Season 2 of what could have been the series finale, Captain Adam Fuller told everybody to get new jobs immediately. Doug continued to work at his new job after Jump Street reopened, albeit with Dennis Booker spying on them. Doug's new job was in Major Crimes.
Doug loved his new job and planned to stay permanently. Around this time, he and his date decided to buy a house and she told him to act his age. Despite growing a beard, his overconfidence ruined the life of an innocent man. In order to get closure he told the man that he can easily get custody of his daughter and told him to never give up on life. When Doug was ridiculed just as much as the victim he decided to quit his job. Captain Fuller gladly welcomed him back to Jump Street.
Proving Hanson's Innocence
Tom, Doug, Harry, and Judy were on an assignment to put an end to Gentrification. Two police officers from a different precinct plotted the deaths of any body that got in the way. They recognized Harry and tried to kill him. Tom could not wait for the approval to get a search warrant of a police officer which most likely would have been denied. He snuck in his house and discovered the information about the trade of weapons which incites violence among the residents. The information was there to bait for Tom. Additionally, they stole Tom's gun and replaced it with another. Tom was stopped by the police officers and initiated a Shoot To Kill. Tom fired back immediately and jumped out a closed window from upstairs. He limped away while the Officer ran out of his house. The second Officer was hiding behind a car waiting for Tom. He used Tom's weapon and shot the other Officer. Tom was supposed to be framed for the attempted killing of a police officer. Unfortunately, the officer died. The officer that shot him snuck in the other officer's house and got rid of the evidence. Tom was sent to jail and sentenced rapidly. When Doug attempted to find the people they were too late. The residents moved away, many of them thrown out by force. During this time Doug and Booker were not speaking to each other. Booker was on an assignment with one of the Culprits. Seeing Harry on Life Support, he reported to the prison that Harry died. They released Tom in the Custody of Booker. He backed them into a corner and forced Doug to listen. They began the endless search for the missing weapon and found it had been sanitized and reassigned to a Rookie. Tom was exonerated while Booker was not. He left his post for a job at a Japanese Electronics Company.
Tragedy in El Salvador
One of Doug's assignments was to investigate a Cult Leader about sending Humanitarian Aid to El Salvador, which at the time was being destroyed. He met Marta, one of the workers and arrested her. When she was found to be innocent, he paid all of her fines and made sure she released. He slowly earned her trust and by the end of the week, they got married. She was discriminated against and had a court hearing. The judge found her to be guilty after all despite not illegally selling children. She also frowned on an Officer who was previously not on her side attempting to marry her for extortion purposes. They dragged Marta back to El Salvador.
Tom, Doug, and Sal were on assignment / vacation to investigate Spring Break Parties in Florida. Their close proximity to El Salvador (Jump Street is supposed to be in Washington State.) compelled Doug to go to El Salvador to find Marta again. They were in the middle of Ten Thousand Battles which killed Marta moments before they found her. She has a sister whose husband was killed also and their Mother who is still alive as well as a young boy. Doug's Sister In Law insisted that he stays with Doug.
Clavo enjoyed his new home. His reaction was mostly high spirited and got along with Doug perfectly. Clavo made a good friend who ended up staying with his mother on the East Coast. This was a painful reminder that everybody lives very far away. They wrote letters to each other after he moved. Clavo also wrote to his mother.
Assignment with the Biker Gang
Booker had transferred to a Japanese Technology Company that was under attack. The people behind the attack were also after The Bikers. One of the wifes was warned about this. When her husband was killed, she went to Jump Street and Testified.
Joey wanted to get a job to spend time with Doug and to settle down. However, Doug made him stay in a Convent which deprives people of sleep. Otherwise the Convent is legal and Doug was unable to convince Joey to return to The Cold Outside World. Joey had a girlfriend and immediately regrets leaving the Convent.
Doug was nearly killed. During his Coma, he had a Premonition that he was going to lose Clavo if he did not change. The shooting bothered Clavo so much that he wanted to run away. Since Clavo hated Police Stations, Doug decided to give up being a Police Officer entirely and move very far away to Pennsylvania. He contacted a retired Police Officer that opened a successful Bowling Alley. Joey moved in to his Brother's old Place.
Doug usually is the most down to earth person at the station that easily makes other people happy. He has a few causes that he participates in. Doug has excellent parenting skills. Other times he is completely irresponsible and annoying. He has a bizarre sense of humour such as times he mimicks violence and after that mimicking agonized victims. This results in an overconfidence which caused an innocent man to lose his livelihood. Another time he abandoned his partner on assignment.
His girlfriend is Dorothy which they knew each other a very long time. His apathy to chores resulted in Dorothy kicking him out and then leaving before he got a chance to talk to her.
During this time he encountered Marta. Within one week they got to know each other and got married. She was dragged to El Salvador and killed. She left behind a Mother, Sister, and Nephew.
Doug and Judy enjoyed working together. Tom was inseparable and trusted each other implicitly. Booker had a similar personality and at times clashed with each other. However, he and Tom ended up having some of their best moments with him. It was a pleasure for Doug to have worked with Harry, even pretending to be husband and wife. Anthony began a friendship with Doug and Joey. Adam did not want to accept his resignation. Sal gladly let Doug stay with him multiple times.
He has an uncle and brother.
It is possible that his uncle is dead, despite his actor Dom DeLuise was alive during the T.V. Show. The DeLuise family portrayed The Penhall Family.
During Doug's final episode, it is depicted that his father is willfully ignorant towards parenting. It is also insinuated that the reason why his mother killed herself is because she could not stand her husband.
- In 21 Jump Street (episode), Penhall mentions his mother is Jewish, and Ioki says his father is a priest. In Best Years of Your Life, Penhall states his mother committed suicide when he was six years old. He also reasserts that his father was a priest but drank himself to death, suggesting that neither of them would have been alive in 1987 when the Pilot aired.
- In his finale episode, it is revealed that Doug and Joey are Catholics.
These episodes are Doug-centric or are otherwise very informative about his life.