"Well, if it isn't the Kids Next Door. Have you arrived to abscond with my birthday cake like you do every year? "
-- The Delightful Children from Down the Lane
The Delightful Children From Down The Lane, or the DCFDTL for short, are the snobbish, conceited, "perfectly behaved" secondary antagonists of the series, bent on the destruction of the Kids Next Door Organization and the supremacy of adults over children. The DCFDTL are, for all intents and purposes, one single being; they always speak in perfect synchronization and stand together in group formation at all times. Their known normal names are: Bruce (short, blond boy), David (tall, brunet boy), Lenny (boy in football helmet), Constance (short, dark brown-haired girl) and Ashley (as she as referred to by fans) (tall, blonde-haired girl) Although the Delightful Children answer to Father, they are seen acting independently from him just as often. The Delightful Children rarely partake in direct physical combat, usually sending other villains to do their work and controlling large combat machines. Although the secondary antagonists of the show, they make more appearances in the series than any other villain, and more than any character other than the five members of Sector V. They are also obsessed with behaving properly and wish to become adults as soon as possible.
All five children have icy, light blue eyes. They wear school uniforms; the three boys are wearing blue uniforms with gray badges, red ties and brown shoes, and the two girls wear white sailor-like dresses with sky blue stripes and matching scarfs with white Mary Jane shoes and pink socks.
- Bruce has blond hair similar to Numbuh 4.
- Lenny is African-American and wears a red football helmet with a white stripe in the middle.
- David is tall and has brunette hair that covers his eyes.
- Ashley has sandy blonde hair and wears a pink bow.
- Constance is chubby, has dark brown pigtail-braided hair tied in a red hair-tie, and wears glasses.
The Delightful Children from Down the Lane are emotionless, creepy, and evil, but nevertheless delightful. They were more emotionless and cool-minded in the first few seasons, unless their plans were thwarted by the Kids Next Door. In later seasons, they show more emotion such as irritation and fear, and become more determined to destroy their enemies.
Even though they act as one single being, they acknowledge that they are 5 separate people with individual names (as proved in Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R.), and can act individually. When startled, the Delightful Children become disoriented and briefly cease their synchronization with each other.
It is revealed in Operation: Z.E.R.O. that the Delightful Children are the operatives of the legendary "lost sector" of the KND, Sector Z. They were captured by Father and placed in his prototype Delightfulization Chamber, which had much stronger effects than intended ("Eleventy Billion-fold", in fact), and completely destroyed the children's individual identities, destroying the unstable machine and creating the hive mind that is the DCFDTL.
The Delightful Children celebrate "their" birthday five times a year, as they are technically five people. Each time, they prepare a delicious cake which they intend to eat without sharing with any other kids and force their "guests" to watch as they do so. Sector V personally attempts to stop them from eating their cake at all costs whenever they celebrate their birthday, which occurs six times throughout the series and composes a recurring storyline, throughout which this simplistic scenario is repeated with several variations and exaggerated to absurd lengths. In each of these episodes, the cake is stolen, destroyed or in some way rendered inedible for the Delightful Children, save for Operation: S.I.X., where Numbuh 2 is tricked into personally delivering their cake to them. This leads to Numbuh 362 giving the mission to Sector W in Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.. Their first appearance was in Operation: C.A.K.E.D., the very first episode of the series after No P in the Ool and the first installment in the aforementioned "C.A.K.E.D." series. Their connection to Father was first revealed in Operation: G.R.O.W.-U.P., also the latter's first appearance, in which he gives them use of the "Really Really Incredibly Destructive Machine" and the Age-Changing Cigar from Operation: C.A.B.L.E.T.V.. Using these items, the Delightful Children successfully destroy Sector V's treehouse and turn Numbuh 1 into an adult, but they are later defeated along with Father at the end of the season finale.
The Delightful Children have almost never gotten along or worked together with Sector V. However, in Operation: Z.O.O., they and Sector V had to work together to escape their zoo enclosures (which they were not on board with at first), only to later reveal their entrapment was part of an elaborate set-up to destroy Sector V.
In Operation: P.A.R.T.Y. they called Sector V to help them get the Teenagers out of their mansion before Father returns home. At first, Numbuh 1 doesn't care about this situation, but the Delightful Children remind him that it's the KND's job to help kids no matter what the consequences are, to which Numbuhs 2-5 agree with the Delightful Children. Numbuh 1 does agree eventually, but he still doesn't trust them.
In Operation: F.U.G.I.T.I.V.E. it was revealed they keep their toenails in a jar, which Numbuh 86 finds disgusting. Later on, they lose their grip on the jar. When the jar spills, the majority of the toenails land in Numbuh 86's hair, making her scream and run around in circles. When Numbuh 3 and Numbuh 5 saw her covered in toenails, they were grossed out. The Delightful Children, unconcerned about Numbuh 86, tell them, "Don't just stand there! Help us pick up our toenail collection!"
In Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R., Lenny, the child with the helmet, is apparently revealed to be an undercover KND operative and leaves the DCFDTL to assist the team during their attack on the coffee rig, during which time he functions independently and acts like a normal kid. However, this is revealed to be a ruse, and Lenny returns to the Delightful Children towards the end of the episode. Even after this is revealed, Lenny alone is responsible for the error that causes the Delightful Children's defeat, for which the other four call him an idiot, which could mean he might be still against their plans.
In Operation: F.O.U.N.T.A.I.N., it was revealed that the Delightful Children were responsible for making Numbuh 1 bald, which was done in such a way that his hair would never grow back. This occurred shortly before he joined the KND, and is never shown and only briefly mentioned, leaving the circumstances of the incident up to the imagination of the viewer. At that same episode, they kidnap Leaky Leona and attempt to destroy the Fountain of Youth in order to prevent anyone from remaining a kid forever, but they failed.
One of the worst things that the Delightful Children has done was in Operation: B.U.T.T. when they were going to put a picture of Numbuh 1's butt in the school yearbook to attempt to make him quit his team, with thousands of Robot Crabs taking a picture of his butt. The plan was foiled by the rest of Sector V, and are left embarrassed and run away from the Robot Crabs.
In Operation: E.L.E.C.T.I.O.N.S., they make a deal with Chad to let the students of his middle school enslave the students of Gallagher Elementary in exchange for being "promoted" to middle school level, thereby becoming "that much closer to glorious adulthood."
In Operation: C.A.K.E.D.F.I.V.E., Father creates a moon-sized ice cream cake for his children and attempts to destroy all other ice cream in the universe, planning to have all the children in the world watch as they eat the last ice cream in existence. Father's plan failed, and the delightfuls are covered by the cake itself upon crash landed.
In Operation: I.T., the Delightful Children betray their "father" in order to stop his plan to spread broccoli throughout the world to force feed to children, which even they are against, because they are still children, and even they hate broccoli, so they help Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 362 to stop Father.
In Operation: Z.E.R.O., after the revelation of Sector Z, the Delightful Children are re-commissioned by the re-commissioning Module, restoring them to their former selves as KND operatives; Numbuhs 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5. However, the effects of delightfulization were so powerful that any reversion is temporary, and the re-commissioning module's effects wear off during the final battle on the moon base. Sector Z's final words to Numbuh 1 as the delightfulization takes hold again are "Tell... the Kids Next Door... that we miss them!" Now, back to their delightfulized selves forever, they pummel Numbuh 1 mercilessly. But Nigel defeats them, and sending them to space in a escape pod.
The last we see of the Delightful Children is in Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S., where they are in a Titanic-like ship, being carried by trucks, as today is their birthday. Sector V attempts to chase them, but the delightfuls escape. Then, both Sector V and the DCFDTL clash again in Sector V's Treehouse, alongside Father, for filming a movie of the delightfuls eating the cake, much to Sector V's dismay.
To their horror, however, Numbuh 74.239 appears instead of the cake. Later on, the children talk to Father about the scavenger hunt in their mansion, and decide to participate to retrieve their cake. They actually get ahead of themselves, as they presume to cheat the competition. When Numbuh 1 returns to the amusement park with Father's pipe, the children furiously begin to battle him for it, and end up on a log-river ride. They get him into a hold by using Numbuh 1's S.P.L.A.N.K.E.R., and are about to end him once and for all, when Nigel grabs onto a sign, while the delightful children are hit by it. Their last words are, "No" and this is their last line in the show, before screaming as they fall into a broken part of the ride, and into a giant toilet below. It is unknown what happened to them after they fell, but with their father breaking in and realizing that Nigel had gone. It is a relatively common belief in some that DCFDTL all died during the fall or after the fall, but this is highly unlikely as they have gone through much worse in the past. When Numbuh 5 stated that 'one last battle with the Delightful Children' while being interviewed, she was really referring to the last time Numbuh 1 fought them before joining the Galactic KND, meaning that the KND have surely fought them since.
- The Delightful Children are similar to both the possessed alien children from Village of the Damned and Children of the Damned and the children from John Wyndham's novel The Midwich Cuckoos.
- Lenny was the first of the DCFDTL to have his name known to the audience, in Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R..
- Additionally, Lenny is the only member of the DCFDTL to be voiced by the same actor who portrays his Sector Z counterpart.
- Although the viewing audience know the Delightful Children's individual names, Lenny and David are the only ones who are actually addressed by these names over the course of the series.
- Bruce's name was confirmed in a tie-in comic book, and Constance's name was revealed on the Rainbow Monkey Website. The blonde girl is the only Delightful Child who is yet to receive an official name, though is referred to by fans as Ashley.
- Before the chubby girl received the name Constance, fans referred to her as Ogie.
- Sector V does a perfect impersonation of the Delightful Children as seen in Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R. (to which Lenny comments, "Hey, you guys are good at this!"). This may be a reference to how Numbuhs 1, 4 & 5 are voiced by the same actors as the DCFDTL.
- In Operation: C.A.K.E.D.T.W.O., one of the Delightful Children's eyes are seen not to be sky blue along with the others when he was looking up (David). As well when his pants were being ripped off by Sector V in Operation: B.U.T.T.. But throughout the series, his eyes are hidden by his long hair and/or eyes remain sky blue.
- The Delightful Children seem to display some acting skills as seen in Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y. when they were disguised as Sector V.
- The Delightful Children in rare situations can split up, as seen in Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R. Despite this, they are seen merging back together once their recommissioning wears off.
- In Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R., the DCFDTL password to the coffee rig is sheep, because they act like sheep, also referring to when they were sheep in Operation: G.R.A.D.U.A.T.E.S..
- Constance is the only one of the five who has never spoken individually, even during their temporary reprive of the Delightfulization. Although, some may argue that out of the five, Constance has the strongest voice, as hers can always be heard clearly.
- It is unknown if Numbuh 1 told the rest of the KND operatives that the DCFDTL was the missing Sector Z or not or if they ever found a way to permanently recomission Sector Z during or after the series.
- Constance appears to be shorter than Bruce most of the time, but she is sometimes seen to be taller in certain episodes.
- When the effects of the Delightfulization are reversed in Operation: Z.E.R.O., Constance is the only one who is not given her own "moment" in the movie, unlike the other four, who have their own moments.
- In Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R. Lenny's Brace/Helmet can morph on his face.
- The DCFDTL were the first characters apart from Lizzie or Sector V to have called Numbuh One "Nigie". They called him that in Operation: D.A.T.E. and later in Operation: F.E.R.A.L..
- If "Delightful Children From Down The Lane" is typed into the GKND website, the response is "Classified".
SuPer Educated Guesses Unfortunately Lack Actual Surety However Is Included On Notes
- Because they don't speak in unison when frightened or nervous, its reasonable to assume that the Delightfulization weakens slightly when their individual emotions surface.
- No explanation is ever given as to why Lenny wears a helmet. However, in Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R. Lenny is shown to be wearing a mouth brace beneath his helmet, and he may wear his helmet to keep it from getting damaged.
- Although as "the perfect children" who are supposed to obey all adults (notably Father), they were shown to disobey his orders when he was in a depressed state, implying that they refuse to obey an adult if they are considered weak. It's also possible that the Delightfuliazation process does not cause the children to become as perfect as Father thought.
- Also, despite apparently fearing Father, they have been shown to physically overpower him when he seemingly turns on them, as they did in Operation: Z.E.R.O.
- Because Sector Z has been considered lost for many years now, and the Delightful Children never seem to age, it is reasonable to assume that they may have achieved biological immortality, or at least life-long youth, through their unique Delightfulization. This is rather ironic, considering that the Delightful Children's main ambition is to grow up.
- However, since they are 5 people and there are 7 C.A.K.E.D episodes, it is possible they did it 5 times the first year, and the rest of the C.A.K.E.D saga could be their last 2 birthdays of one of the Delightful Children. Based on that, it is possible they were actually delightfulized when them and current operatives were roughly a year younger than they are now.
- Because they have much more individual freedom in the earlier seasons, including the ability to separate from their regular formation, their hive-mind ways may have been a simple running-gag originally intended to be a gimmick, rather than a forced function from their Delightfulization. Characters speaking in unison is usually attributed as creepy and abnormal, traits intended for the characters.