Doctor Girlfriend

multipleissues
unreferenced = October 2007
in-universe = October 2007
weasel = October 2007
VBCharacter


caption = Dr. Girlfriend in the Monarch’s lair
character_name = Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
debut_ep = “The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay
voiced_by = Doc Hammer
real_name = Sheila The Monarch (nee Girlfriend)
char_alias = Queen Etherea, Lady Au Pair, Charlene, Dr. Ex-Girlfriend, Dr. Fiancée, Dr. Wife, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
profession = “Number Two” (second-in-command/love interest)
characteristics = Can hotwire anything; expert melee combatant; extremely deep voice
alliances =The Monarch, The Guild of Calamitous Intent
prev_alliances = Phantom Limb, Truckules
relatives = The Monarch (husband)
a Mother
In-Laws ("deceased")

Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (formerly Doctor Girlfriend, birth name Sheila) is a fictional character on the Adult Swim animated series "The Venture Bros." She is the professional partner and wife of the supervillain The Monarch. Dr. Girlfriend is voiced by co-writer Doc Hammer, though she was voiced by Jackson Publick in her first appearance, “The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay.” After the finale of season 2 and beginning with season 3, she is referred to as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

"Skilled and capable, she is often the only thing that makes the Monarch's plans even remotely viable." [http://wiki.adultswim.com/xwiki/bin/The+Venture+Bros./Dr+Girlfriend]

Background

Very little is known about the past of the villainess currently known as Dr. Girlfriend save that her first name is Sheila and that she is a veteran super-villain, serving as second-in-command for many different super-villains and having used an assortment of costumed aliases over the years. It is not known if she really has a doctorate degree. A former stripper or burlesque performer, she enrolled in a general studies program with the Guild of Calamitous Intent at the urging of Phantom Limb, her lover at the time. Her association with Phantom Limb goes back to his days as a College professor, where she was a student of his (it is implied that she originally attempted to seduce him for schoolwork-related purposes).

The future Dr. Girlfriend first started out under the alias “Lady Au Pair,” a nanny-themed villain whose henchmen (called “murderous moppets”) were highly-trained dwarfs dressed up as children. Though she stated she was feared and respected by all, flashbacks revealed that she was a failure as Lady Au Pair, and that she was lowered to a number two position in the Guild when her moppets grew too difficult to control. As she maintains an amicable relationship with later "murderous moppets", it is possible that she has had several.

Disappointed by the lack of options the Guild provided for female sidekicks, Dr. Girlfriend accepted Phantom Limb's offer of training and protection, and took the name Queen Etherea. As Queen Etherea, Sheila donned a very revealing sheer costume. The design of the costume resembled the costume worn by Silk Spectre of the "Watchmen"Fact|date=April 2008. Sheila met butterfly-themed villain “The Monarch” at a guild event. The Monarch seduced her and, after an evening of passion spent in the back of his car, Sheila left Phantom Limb.

The Monarch rechristened Sheila "Dr. Girlfriend." As Dr. Girlfriend, Sheila wears outfits similar to those of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (including the former first lady’s trademark flip hairstyle, pillbox hats and pink Oleg Cassini suits). Curiously, however, in "Home Is Where the Hate Is," Dr. Girlfriend appeared to have absolutely no idea who Jackie Onassis was. Dr. Girlfriend quickly demonstrated greater intelligence and competence than The Monarch. Dr. Girlfriend has quietly established herself as the power behind the throne. She single-handedly runs the day-to-day operations of The Monarch's organization.

At the start of the series, Dr. Girlfriend’s relationship with the Monarch had already begun to suffer due to his vendetta against the Venture family. In hopes of trying to bridge the gap between the two sides, she briefly convinced the Monarch to reach out to Hank and Dean Venture as a friend when Monarch confided to her the revelation that Dr. Venture emotionally neglected his children on a regular basis. Despite her efforts, the Monarch continued his vendetta against the Venture family throughout the first season, until their breakup in "Trial of the Monarch".

Dr. Girlfriend was frequently an active (though sarcastic) partner in the Monarch’s schemes to destroy Dr. Venture; the most notable instance involved her disguising herself as a woman named Charlene and injecting him with a compound that turned him into a giant caterpillar. Ultimately, however, she felt pity for Venture and discreetly administered an antidote before he became a butterfly. Dr. Girlfriend also developed an adversarial relationship with Brock Samson, who believes Dr. Girlfriend (due to her deep, masculine voice) to be a transsexual.

Seeking refuge at the home of the Phantom Limb, Dr. Girlfriend soon became a pawn in a much larger game. Phantom Limb used the fight between the two lovers to frame Monarch for murdering a police officer (who had been bribed with wealth and a new life as the husband of a super-model to allow the Guild of Calamitous Intent to fake his death) as part of a larger scheme to kidnap the deformed supervillain prosecutor Tiny Attorney. Dr. Girlfriend agreed to help in the scheme, believing that it would teach the Monarch a lesson and that the Guild would help Monarch escape during his trial after they capture Tiny Attorney. Phantom Limb doublecrossed his former girlfriend, proclaiming that the Guild needed the Monarch to rot in jail in order to appease the local authorities, who allow the Guild to operate freely (in exchange for large donations) as long as no local authorities are harmed by their members.

Realizing that she couldn’t help the Monarch, Dr. Girlfriend was allowed to place two post-hypnotic suggestions inside the Monarch’s head: the first was one to make the Monarch believe that Dr. Girlfriend did not participate in the Phantom Limb’s plot to frame him and the second was to make the Monarch believe that it was Hank and Dean Venture who framed him for a murder he did not commit.

The relationship between Phantom Limb and Dr. Girlfriend (now once again calling herself “Queen Etherea”) resumed though their relationship became quite strained as Dr. Girlfriend became disgusted at Phantom Limb’s elitist attitude and his insisting on engaging in harmless white-collar crimes like selling stolen artwork to wealthy gangsters. Meanwhile the Monarch escaped from prison and made several attempts to win Dr. Girlfriend back, only to be rejected due to what had become the single major issue that Dr. Girlfriend had with her ex-boyfriend: his vendetta against the Venture Family.

Ultimately, it would take the arrival of Dr. Killinger as the Monarch’s new “number two” to bring Dr. Girlfriend back to the Monarch, as Monarch henchman #21 was convinced that Monarch was being manipulated by the fearsome Dr. Killinger for sinister reasons. Dr. Girlfriend confronted Dr. Killinger, who shocked Dr. Girlfriend by giving her Monarch’s diary, which featured Monarch’s feelings of love and devotion towards Dr. Girlfriend in written form. Dr. Killinger then left the Monarch, having revealed that he only took the job as the Monarch’s number two so that he could reunite the estranged lovers.

Killinger’s work succeeded, as the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend reunited. But fear of Phantom Limb forced them to keep their relationship private until finally Dr. Girlfriend offered Monarch an ultimatum: if he would abandon his vendetta against the Ventures, Dr. Girlfriend would leave Phantom Limb for good and marry the Monarch. Dr. Girlfriend also stipulated that if married, she would be Monarch’s equal and not his “number two.”

Monarch agreed but on the eve of his wedding, his henchmen ambushed the Venture family and captured them as a wedding present for their boss. But the Monarch had not informed his minions of the deal he made with Dr. Girlfriend, resulting in him quickly declaring that the Venture family would be part of his wedding party, with Dr. Venture as his best man. The wedding was interrupted by the Phantom Limb, who along with Guild members loyal to him, launched an assassination attempt on the Sovereign (a title given to the leader of the guild, currently a shape shifting David Bowie.) The attack ultimately failed and Phantom Limb escaped in the chaos following.

Ultimately the two married and on their honeymoon, Dr. Girlfriend reveals her first name to be “Sheila,” and says “I’m...” which shocks the Monarch greatly. Dr. Girlfriend stated in the first episode of season 3 that she had made a promise to the Guild to force the Monarch to stop arching Dr Venture in exchange for agreeing to marry him. However, the secret is never stated explicitly to the audience. She is now known as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. She really hasn't shown her true villainess prowess until late in the third season where in the last episode she pretends to sympathize with H.E.L.P.eR who she walks in on being tortured and sweetly extracts information on the Venture family's current location; afterwards quickly dropping the act giving the coordinates to track them down and kill them and embracing her husband.

Personality

Dr. Girlfriend’s attractive appearance and intelligence and her (possibly inaccurate) reputation as "easy" has resulted in her gaining a favorable reputation amongst super-heroes in the "Venture Bros." universe. Many heroes have attempted to convince Dr. Girlfriend to become their arch-enemy, though she’s turned them down due to her preference to stay with the Monarch and not strike out on her own. Phantom Limb acknowledged that Dr. Girlfriend had the strength and determination to be one of the world’s greatest villains if she would commit herself to her craft.

Relationship with the Monarch

Dr. Girlfriend has a dysfunctional but genuinely loving relationship with the Monarch. [http://wiki.adultswim.com/xwiki/bin/The+Venture+Bros./Dr+Girlfriend] Though the two break-up at the end of season one, their reconciliation was the major focus of the second season of the program, culminating in their marriage during the season finale. The Monarch’s devotion for Dr. Girlfriend was shown to be so great that he devoted just about every page of his diary to chronicling his feelings of love and honor for her. Though he argues with her at times, he shows respect for her intelligence and support for him, has proven very loyal (it is never suggested he cheats on her when they are in a relationship), and is an enthusiastic and creative lover to judge by the couple's conversations.

The Monarch's worst flaw in the relationship is he has trouble getting over her past entanglements with other men, which causes his jealousy and insecurity to surface. In such a state he can be mean, petty, and cruel, often to his own regret.

Despite her love for the Monarch, Dr. Girlfriend’s evolving disdain for the Monarch’s obsession with killing Dr. Venture served as a major stumbling block for their relationship. After her (possible—the show is unclear) one-night stand with Rusty, Dr. Girlfriend came to the conclusion that Monarch and Dr. Venture are a lot alike and that it’s baffling to her that the two are not good friends because of their similarities.

Relationship with the Monarch’s Henchmen

Dr. Girlfriend and the Monarch have a bizarre, almost parental relationship with their henchmen. She seems to take most of the responsibility of caring for the Monarch’s henchmen, providing dinner, lunch and snacks for them on a daily basis with only minimal complaint. In spite of her skill as a surrogate mother, 21 says that Dr. Girlfriend seemed somewhat distant. Despite this, however, 21 goes to Dr. Girlfriend in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills” for help with dealing with Dr. Killinger. In contrast however, the Monarch mentions in a previous episode that the henchmen “cried themselves to sleep.” It is possible that this is just an attempt by the Monarch to win Dr. Girlfriend back than an actual truth. Dr. Girlfriend herself did not want to argue with the Monarch in front of the henchmen in "Tag Sale – You're It!" because she was worried that it would upset them. Therefore, it seems likely that 21 was remarking about a newly distant Dr. Girlfriend.

Relationship with her "Murderous Moppets"

Despite having had problems with her Moppets, the henchmen of her past incarnation as Lady Au Pair, she's extremely protective of her current Moppets, Kevin and Tim-Tom (who may or may not be the originals). Despite the two being vicious killers and fighters, she considers them delicate and sensitive, treating them frankly like children. This allows the two to be abusive towards the Monarch's Henchmen. It was revealed in “Home Is Where The Hate Is” that they may be trying to kill her, but are very sexually attracted to her.

Relationship with Dr. Thaddeus Venture

At the beginning of the series, Dr. Girlfriend participates in several of The Monarch's plans to murder Dr. Venture, and had even told him "on their first date" that she hates Dr. Venture. However, once she actually met Thaddeus (in Mid-Life Chrysalis), her opinion of him softened considerably, so much that she sabotaged The Monarch's plan for his demise.

As part of the plan, she spent the night (chastely) with Dr. Venture. Although this apparently meant nothing to her, Dr. Venture fell in love with her. He continues to make overtures toward her every time he sees her, but Dr. Girlfriend reacts with dismissive indifference and keeps reminding him "nothing happened".

Relationship with Phantom Limb

The only other character on the show who has been shown to have been in a sexual relationship with Dr. Girlfriend is the Phantom Limb. [http://wiki.adultswim.com/xwiki/bin/The+Venture+Bros./Dr+Girlfriend] The two were longtime lovers and friends, until the Monarch came along and seduced the then-Queen Etherea (however in first season episodes, such as Tag Sale - You're It!, the Monarch was unaware of any prior relationship between the two). The two remained close after their break-up, though the Phantom Limb harbored a deep-seated hatred for the Monarch for stealing his girlfriend away from him. This hatred took center stage in the episode “The Trial of the Monarch,” when the Phantom Limb bribed a police officer into allowing the Guild to fake his death and make it look like the Monarch murdered him. The plan, as explained to Dr. Girlfriend (who had a fight with Monarch and had sought refuge with the Phantom Limb) was to use Monarch to lure out Guild nemesis Tiny Attorney so that he could capture the deformed attorney for punishment for his successful prosecution of many high profile Guild members. Monarch would then be sprung from custody during the kidnapping, at which point Monarch would be humbled and willing to reconcile with Dr. Girlfriend. But Phantom Limb doublecrossed Dr. Girlfriend, announcing that the Guild needed Monarch to rot in jail because of the Guild’s treaties with local law enforcement agency prevented them from aiding any villain accused of murdering a police officer. The Monarch himself didn’t make any of this easier for Dr. Girlfriend, who was furious when Monarch proudly proclaimed that he was through with his ex-girlfriend.

Dr. Girlfriend (now “Queen Etherea” again) resumed her relationship with Phantom Limb, he having apparently eliminated his rival from the picture. But the Monarch escaped prison and Dr. Girlfriend found herself becoming disgusted at how Phantom Limb was no longer the exciting, adventurous villain he was when they first dated. Phantom Limb was more interested in trafficking stolen artwork and running the bureaucratic side of the Guild of Calamitous Intent rather than performing acts of exciting supervillainy. She also found his pretensions to being cultured boring.

Rumors of transsexualism

One of the running gags of the show’s run is the rumor amongst characters that Dr. Girlfriend is in truth a transsexual. These rumors are partially based upon the fact that the character is voiced by Doc Hammer, whose portrayal of the character’s voice is a deep, raspy masculine sounding tone. Hammer also played Dr. Girlfriend in live-action on a first-season "Venture Bros." DVD extra which showed behind-the-scenes, on-set interviews with the cast of a fictional live-action "Venture Bros." movie.

Jackson Publick (who voiced Dr. Girlfriend in the show’s pilot episode) admitted in a first season DVD commentary that his first attempt at providing her voice was primarily a poor imitation of Harvey Fierstein. (Reviews tend to observe her voice more resembles that of Tony CurtisFact|date=January 2008.) Furthermore, the animation for the pilot episode “The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay” and season one premiere episode “Dia de Los Dangerous!” have Dr. Girlfriend appearing to have an Adam’s apple, an error in animation that was removed for all subsequent episodes involving the character.

The writers themselves have fueled the rumors by having characters on the show acknowledge the rumor that Dr. Girlfriend used to be a man. One example of this rumor was a conversation between Pete White and Billy Quizboy in the episode “Tag Sale—You’re It!” in which they recount a rumor that she has a transplanted baboon uterus. (On the other hand, in “The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay,” White and Quizboy were shown to be gossips when they expounded the theory that Dr. Venture and Brock Samson were a gay couple, so their conversation at the yard sale may be more of the same.)

There is also Brock Samson’s own skepticism that Dr. Girlfriend is a transgender woman. While shown to be utterly indiscriminate in his sexual pursuits, Brock has never once thought about having sex with Dr. Girlfriend, much to Dr. Girlfriend’s own disappointment. He later incurred the wrath of Phantom Limb during a team-up by repeatedly insisting that she must bear scars from breast implants. (Phantom Limb claimed she doesn’t.)

Also, the episode “Victor. Echo. November.” has the character herself acknowledge and debunk the rumors when Triana Orpheus and her friend Kim encounter Dr. Girlfriend in the ladies’ room. Dr. Girlfriend sighed and said, before being asked any questions, “Yes, I belong in here, I just have a deep voice.”

The writers have implied that Dr. Girlfriend’s deep voice is the result of Dr. Girlfriend being a long-time smoker. In the episode “Fallen Arches,” Blacula-hunter Jefferson Twilight inquires, upon hearing Dr. Girlfriend’s voice, whether she merely smoked cigarettes or ate them (which prompted an offended Dr. Girlfriend to leave). In the episode "Home Is Where the Hate Is", the Monarch catches her smoking a cigarette. Dr. Girlfriend states that she has been smoking since 1989, and the Monarch starts listing all the clues he should have picked up on. Sgt. Hatred interjects, "I'll say it. The three-pack-a-day voice". Jackson Publick has denied that Dr. Girlfriend’s raspy voice was the result of her having her throat cut at some point in her past. Publick has instead commented that much like her passion for the clothing of Jacqueline Kennedy, Dr. Girlfriend’s voice is based upon the former first lady’s own deep, semi-masculine voice. This may also give the smoking theory more credibility, as the former first lady was herself a heavy smoker.

References

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