Dr. Girlfriend (first name Sheila) 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. She enrolled in a general studies program with the Guild of Calamitous Intent at the urging of Phantom Limb, her lover at the time.
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, which followed along the standard "female costumed evil/good-doer" look (tight, sheer, and with a slight bondage look to it). Sheila met butterfly-themed villain “The Monarch” at a guild event, where after an evening of passion in the back seat of his car, she decided to leave Phantom Limb and become The Monarch's number 2.
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 Chanel suits), though she states in "Home Is Where the Hate Is" that she has absolutely no idea who Jackie Onassis was. Dr. Girlfriend has demonstrated greater intelligence and competence than The Monarch: quietly establishing herself as the power behind the throne, and single-handedly running 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 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".
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 insistence on engaging in 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 and appealed to Dr. Girlfriend for aid. 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. 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, in addition to the first mention of her first name (“Sheila,”), she states: “Monarch, I’m...”; the unheard portion of the sentence shocking The Monarch. We learn 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, though this is not explicitly stated. She is now known as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. She really hasn't shown her true villainess prowess until The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II), where she pretends to sympathize with tortured H.E.L.P.eR, and sweetly extracts information on the Venture family's current location; afterward quickly dropping the act and giving the coordinates to the henchmen, embracing her husband, and remarking at her disgust for H.E.L.P.eR.
Dr. Girlfriend’s attractive appearance and intelligence and her supposed 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 MonarchEdit
Dr. Girlfriend has a dysfunctional but genuinely loving relationship with the Monarch. 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.
Shortly after their relationship began, Dr. Girlfriend decided to put a tracing chip in the Monarch, explaining to Dean that she put it in her mouth and jammed into an unnamed location, presumably without asking his permission first.
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.
Relationship with the Monarch’s HenchmenEdit
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; though when Henchman 21 goes to Dr. Girlfriend in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills” for help with dealing with Dr. Killinger, 21 also mentions how Dr. Girlfriend seemed "kinda distant". This contrasts with the Monarch mentioning in a previous episode that the henchmen “cried themselves to sleep.”, and her not wanting 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"Edit
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. Though the two are vicious killers and fighters, she considers them delicate and sensitive, treating them frankly like children, and this is reinforced by the common occurrence of them addressing her as 'Mum'. 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 VentureEdit
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 under the pseudonym 'Charlene'), her opinion of him softened (possibly taking some pity on him as a rather harmless and lonely failure), 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. Nothing sexual ever took place between them. Although this apparently meant nothing to her, Dr. Venture still lusts after 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 LimbEdit
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. Her association with him goes back to his days as a College professor, when she was a student of his. It is implied that she originally attempted to seduce him for schoolwork-related purposes. After her failed attempt to strike out on her own, Sheila worked as Phantom Limb's number two, until the Monarch seduced the then-Queen Etherea (in first season episodes, such as Tag Sale - You're It!, the Monarch feigned unawareness of any prior relationship between the two). Phantom Limb harbored a deep-seated hatred for the Monarch for stealing his girlfriend away from him, culminating in season 1 with his frame-up of The Monarch for the murder of a police officer; Dr. Girlfriend, having had a quarrel with The Monarch, then moved back in with Phantom Limb, and resumed wearing her Queen Etherea costume.
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 transsexualismEdit
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 Curtis.) 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. Sergeant 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 also 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.