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Professor Rotwood's Thesis is the seventh episode of season one and the eighth episode overall.


In an attempt to raise enough money to replace the vase they broke, Spud and Trixie unknowingly give Jake's dragon form over to Professor Rotwood.


The Huntsman and Huntsgirl had set up a hunting decoy to capture a leprechaun for his gold until the American Dragon intervened. Professor Rotwood was out to capture evidence of the existance of magical creatures and managed to capture a photo of Jake's dragon form flying before being caught by the police. The next day at his mythology class, Professor Rotwood showed his picture (which was horribly unfocused that Spud believed it was his mother's lasagna) to the class and offered a five hundred dollar award for more physical evidence of the creature.

At Trixie's apartment, the trio of friends were playing video games when Trixie's mother told Trixie she had to leave for her job. During their victory celebration, Trixie accidentally broke her mother's crystal vase. When it turned out that a new vase costed about six hundred dollars, the trio began to do odd jobs that resulted in humorous events in order to earn money but failed to earn enough.

Realizing that he could easily get the five hundred dollars reward from Professor Rotwood, Jake went to take pictures of himself as the American Dragon and delivered the pictures to his teacher. Professor Rotwood believed that the photographs were hoaxes as they were in good quality. Jake then gave Rotwood dragon scales and claws but Rotwood, under misguided information, believed that dragon claws glowed in the dark and that dragon scales smelled like lavender.

Jake left and as he walked down the street, Jake overheard the leprechaun's cries for help. Jake went to stop Huntsgirl but was kicked against the wall, knocking him unconscious. Jake landed in front of Trixie and Spud when they were skateboarding through the alley. Recognizing the dragon from Professor Rotwood's picture, Trixie and Spud took Jake to Professor Rotwood. After Professor Rotwood paid them, Spud and Trixie decided to go tell Jake about their earned money.

Professor Rotwood locked Jake in his reinforced armored car and began to record documentations of his activity as he planned to reveal the dragon to the press conference within two hours. Trixie and Spud had arrived at Jake's home. When Spud sits on Jake's keyboard and the two see digital photos capturing Jake's transforming from dragon to human, Trixie realized that Jake was the dragon that they had sold to Professor Rotwood and immediately felt guilt.

They go to Professor Rotwood to retrieve Jake but Professor Rotwood refused and instead gave them a dragon costume. They sought Grandpa's help and told them about the press conference Rotwood planned to have. After causing a traffic jam, Trixie and Spud arrived at the Horoken Scientific Institute where Rotwood was having his press conference to help Jake escape. Just when Fu Dog and Grandpa believed they were too late, Professor Rotwood opened the door to reveal Jake in his human form wearing the dragon costume mask. Professor Rotwood was arrested for having Jake locked up.

Fu Dog created a mind-erase potion for Jake to give to Spud and Trixie because the World Dragon Council would never allow Trixie and Spud to know about Jake's identity. Using the leprechaun gold Jake got from the leprachaun's appreciation, Jake bought the crystal vase for Trixie. Trixie and Spud told Jake that they didn't care about his magical background since they were friends for life and in the end, Jake decided not to give the mind-erase potion to them.

Back in his prison cell, Professor Rotwood began his new theory about dragon's shape-shifting ability and began to suspect of Jake.


  • This episode debuts Trixie's mother in a cameo.
  • The viewer learns many things about Trixie in this episode:
    • Her last name is revealed to be Carter by Jake.
    • Her mother is a commercial airline pilot.
    • Trixie frequently writes letters to her father.
    • Her grandmother may or may not live with her. If she does, it could be that she takes care of Trixie when her parents are gone due to their work.
  • According to Haley, Jake sleeps with a night light since he was two and has a teddy bear collection.
  • Professor Rotwood also seemed to have a lost Aztec tablet of Monteirubio before it got destroyed.
  • According to Professor Rotwood, dragons go for the throat because they have acute allergies to the human buttocks.
  • Grandpa mentions he doesn't have a driver licence but Fu Dog has a dog licence.


  • In both instances when the photos are shown prior to Jake printing them out (live and on the computer screen), the backgrounds are clearly visible. But on the printouts, it's just Jake's dragon form on a white sheet of paper.
  • Professor Rotwood clearly gives Jake back the ripped-up photos of his dragon form. But in the end of the episode, he has the same photos taped up to his prison wall.
  • In Jake's computer there were three photos of Jake dragoning up, then three photos of Jake posing in dragon form. But Haley never took any pictures when Jake dragoned up unless she did so off-screen.


  • This is the only appearance Trixie's mother makes in season one.
  • Because Disney would air the episodes out of order, this episode premiered after "Act 4, Scene 15" (where they clearly knew his secret) and before "Shapeshifter" (where Jake had to make an excuse for why he was constantly absent).
  • One of Jake's job was break-dancing on a subway platform. Before his voice actor, Dante Basco, began his career as an actor, he was a breakdancer in San Francisco.[1]

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • This title is a reference to the movie Mr. Holland's Opus.
  • Professor Rotwood's basement is crammed with creepy Tim Burton-esque equipment and mystic artifacts.
  • Jake getting pictures of himself as the American Dragon for money is an allusion to Spiderman as Peter Parker takes pictures of himself as Spiderman. Both settings also take place in New York.

Episode NavigationEdit


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