Daphne was never my favorite character in Scooby-Doo. Each character had a "thing" that made them unique from the others. Scooby was the cowardly dog, Shaggy was the cowardly best friend of Scooby with a never-ending appetite, Velma was the genius or the group, and Fred was the ascot-wearing leader. Compared the them, Daphne seemed unappealing. What was Daphne's "thing?" She was the fashionably pretty damsel in distress. That appeared to be her only "thing."
As Scooby-Doo got more television iterations, as well as some movies, Daphne developed as a character, and she became more palatable. She wasn't the only one who was routinely captured, and she even became one of the more enthusiastic members of Mystery Inc. At one point, when the group had temporarily disbanded, Daphne even pursued a career in journalism. (She chased down stories of ghosts, but still, I think that's better than being a career damsel.) She still never became my favorite character (I'm a Velma fan all the way), but she definitely got improved.
Despite this, Daphne still had her moments, and by moments, I mean times when she either had some of the weirdest things happen to her or she made some of the strangest decisions of the gang. The amount of trash she has had to endure is insane. Even I, a huge Scooby-Doo fan, was surprised by a lot of these things. Read on if you want to go over some of the most unbelievable occurrences that Daphne has had to put up with.
25 And His Name Is...
One of the cool things about watching Scooby-Doo is that you occasionally get to see an episode with a really cool guest star (or a mediocre one, but I won't judge). Famous actors, singers, and sports stars have given their voices to cartoon versions of themselves and helped Mystery Inc. solve a confounding mystery. Even wrestlers are not immune to the charm of appearing on Scooby-Doo. John Cena got a spot in a Scooby-Doo special, to hilarious effect. (I can't stop hearing John Cena memes now.) At one point, a giant boulder rushes towards the gang, and John Cena leaps in front of it and wrestles it away. No, I'm not joking. That's actually what happens. Daphne finds herself immensely taken with the muscular John Cena, and she keeps making subtle hints in his direction.
Whenever John Cena was near, it was like Fred who?
Unfortunately for Daphne, John Cena was completely immune to her charms. No matter how hard she tried to get his attention, it was like she was trying to entice a wall to hang out with her. John Cena clearly had his mind focused on the mystery. Poor Daphne. The show goes out of its way to say that Daphne is a catch, but then, when it comes to her trying to actually gain the favor of someone, she fails. Failing to entice John Cena may be one of the saddest moments in Daphne's life. (And, conversely, one of the happiest moments for Fred.)
24 The Size Curse
It's not often that a cartoon will offend me. I consume South Park and Robot Chicken like it's my bread and butter. With fare like that, it's not easy for a show to deal a shock to my sensibilities. Scooby-Doo managed to do just that when it featured a story that had Daphne suffer a strange curse. In a movie called Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy, all of the gang have to lose something that they hold dear. Shaggy and Scooby, for instance, lose their appetite. (Those two are adorable.) Daphne loses her looks. And by losing her looks, I don't mean that her face becomes hideously scarred or anything like that.
Nope, the curse changes Daphne from a size 2 to a size 8. I have two major problems with this. Firstly, if gaining some weight is truly Daphne's worst fear, that just proves that she is a really vain person. I would not want to be associated with a person whose biggest fear is taking on a few pounds. Secondly, a size 8 is not overweight at all! They grossly misrepresented what an actual size 8 figure looks like. And to add injury to insult, they gave Daphne this frizzy set of hair, as if all-around disorder accompanies being a size 8. Frankencreepy offended me with this heavy-handed fat-shaming. It may have been unintentional, but it was a severely messed-up message to send to any children who may have been watching.
23 No Sick Days
Having never worked as a mystery-solver, I have no idea what the hours for that profession look like. Judging from what I've seen from Scooby-Doo shows and movies, it seems like a pretty lax job. Mystery Inc. appear to go from place to place vacationing, and then they just solve whatever mystery they stumble upon. Still, it does look like an incessant stream of jobs find their way into the gang's lap. When Daphne feels ill one day and decides to refrain from going out to solve mysteries, I completely sympathize with her. Who wants to go out and about finding clues when your throat is sore or when your head aches?
However, because they're a bunch of paranoid cowards, Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy get it into their heads that Daphne is turning into a vampire. For evidence, they point to the fact that she does not want to go out in the daytime. Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy may be entertaining rascals, but do they not understand what it's like to suffer from a cold? Can't they let Daphne have one day off from solving mysteries without them accusing her of being a vampire? Despite the case they built up against her in their heads, the three of them eventually figure out that Daphne is a normal human being who was merely feeling under the weather. Took them long enough.
22 The Babysitters Club
When you're a teenager and you're looking for a bit of a disposable income, you'll take the odd job that comes your way. One of the jobs that a lot of us might have had experience with is babysitting. It's almost a trope now that teenagers babysit for a side job. Daphne Blake is no stranger to the concept of babysitting. Unfortunately for her, her babysitting job does not go as smoothly as could be expected. Daphne decides to babysit this young boy named Arthur Baywosenthal (that's a mouthful) at the worst possible time. Arthur and the rest of the neighborhood kids have made an agreement to run their parents out of town. A bunch of them dress up as monsters and then roam around their houses scaring the adults.
Daphne has the misfortune to be caught in the middle of this endeavor, so you can bet she got scared out of her skin when little monsters started jumping around the houses in town. Why is it that children can be so scary in horror scenarios? What is it about young humans that makes them so creepy? Is it their high-pitched voices? Either way, I do not envy Daphne her position when Arthur and the rest of the kids began to go wild. It was like the beginning to a Children of the Corn situation. Luckily for Daphne, she doesn't have to go through this alone. With the help of Mystery Inc., she discovers who was in charge of this enterprise.
21 Toddlers And Tiaras
Daphne is the queen of fashion in the group, so you would think she would be more than okay with being in a beauty pageant. That perspective of her changes in the television iteration of Scooby-Doo called Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! In this show, Daphne is definitely more quirky than we're used to seeing her. And while she still wears her signature purple look, she is not as fond of her beauty as she has been shown to be in previous stories. In Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, Daphne's mom signed Daphne up for child beauty pageants. These pageants were called "Little Miss Wow" pageants, and Daphne loathed them. From the way she talks about the experience, you can tell Daphne wanted nothing to do with those things.
While Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! was not my favorite Scooby-Doo iteration, I did appreciate this change in Daphne's character. She was no longer a person who admired beauty for beauty's sake. This Daphne was a strange Daphne, and perhaps the most wildly different version of her I've ever seen. Seeing her reminisce about those Little Miss Wow pageants made me feel sorry for her. She would rather put her life in danger solving mysteries than go on being in beauty pageants. That should tell you something about what those pageants are like.
20 I'm Cat-Man
As a kid, I was spooked by the villains on Scooby-Doo. Looking back at those old episodes, I feel like slapping my younger self in the face. Those cartoon bad guys were not scary at all! They wore brightly colored suits with garish masks that were obviously fake. How could I have been frightened? Still, despite the blatant fake quality to their costumes, I would not want any of those guys creeping around my house. Daphne's aunt gets her own personal monster lurking around her place, and Mystery Inc. has to help her out with the situation. This fellow in a giant cat costume has been plaguing Daphne's aunt, and even though it just looks like a bipedal cat, this is one of those villains that terrified me.
Cat-Man has an actual cat face on its head, with a muzzle and sharp feline teeth. The villain's face is not just concealed by a cat mask. That's a cat face there! And of course poor Daphne's relation is the person who has to be on the receiving end of the Cat-Man's dastardly ways. What's worse, the man responsible for the Cat-Man is Daphne's aunt's physician, a man who is supposed to be looking out for her. Instead, he tries to steal her things and then blames her for it by pretending she is mentally ill and unstable enough to become a feline monster.
19 A Bad Warranty
When Daphne chooses to purchase a creepy-looking, golden mask, all I thought of the situation was that it was odd. Why would she buy that? It did not look like the kind of thing she would use, and since Daphne never appeared to have a stable home, it wasn't as if she could just mount it on the wall of her house. (That's what I assume people who buy decorative masks do with them.) As per usual, Daphne buying the mask was a plot excuse to have her get captured by the people who really wanted it. Apparently, the mask was accidentally sent to a curio shop when it was actually worth quite a lot of money. The leader of a smuggling ring who was supposed to get the mask himself saw Daphne buy it and followed her in order to get it.
There was no reason in the world for Daphne to buy that mask.
I know the gang was in a curio shop, but still, the mask looked hideous! You would think that Daphne, with her fashion sense, would not buy a scowling mask on a whim. There was also no reason as to why the mask should have ended up in the curio shop in the first place. You would think a smuggling ring would keep a closer watch on their goods. This was the first example of Daphne getting herself stolen away for no reason other than to have Daphne get stolen away.
18 Above The Limit
Forget John Cena. Another one of the great guest stars that Scooby and his friends had on the show was the delightful Dick Van Dyke of The Dick Van Dyke Show fame. I only ever really knew Dick Van Dyke from his role in Mary Poppins. In his appearance on Scooby-Doo, he's way older than he was as Bert, the friendly chimney sweep. But his old age does not stop Daphne from being...overly friendly with him. That's right. Just like how Daphne made the moves on John Cena, she made the same display with Dick Van Dyke. Van Dyke is more than old enough to be Daphne's father, but he and she still engage in this casually flirtatious manner regardless of that fact.
Dick Van Dyke has always appeared to be a bit of a charmer. That's kind of his shtick. He's smooth, suave, and endearingly clumsy. I know what you're thinking. How can someone be both suave and clumsy? It's possible. Just watch some of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about. It's a lost art form, really. Anyways, even as a kid, when I was watching how chummily Van Dyke and Daphne were acting towards each other, I felt that something was a bit off with the situation. Daphne was already the member of the group most likely to get caught. Did she have to be the resident relationship fodder?
17 Looking A Bit Crabby
Scooby-Doo and his friends have been around long enough for them to run the gamut of crazy costumed villains. They have encountered men dressed as clowns, men dressed as apes, men dressed as ghosts, men dressed as zombies, men dressed as vampire, and men dressed as werewolves. Any monster you can think of, Scooby and the gang have met them. As such, as more episodes of Scooby-Doo have come out, people have to get a little creative when coming up with the monsters they face. You can tell they're scraping the bottom of the barrel when Mystery Inc. has to battle the "Man Crab." I think that name alone says it all.
And who do you think the Man Crab selects for capture when he attacks? That's right, you guessed it. It's Daphne. When this larger-than-life crab creature attacks the beach, out of all the random citizens ripe for the plucking, the Man Crab zeroes in on Daphne and nabs her into the clutches of his evil claws. See! Even when the villain is the lowliest of the low, they still know that Daphne is the one to take. It's like it is hardwired into all Scooby-Doo villain-brains that Daphne is meant to be the helpless one. She can now add "being captured by the Man Crab" to her repertoire. Not that that is a skill she would want to be known for.
16 Laffy Taffy
Along with meeting various villains, Mystery Inc. gets to visit various locales. They investigate haunted mansions, villages, mines, shipwrecks, dungeons, forests, islands, and so on and so forth. One of their adventures takes them to a haunted candy factory. I've never been to a real candy factory. The only reference I have for what a candy factory could look like is Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, and I'm fairly certain that is not an accurate representation. The candy factory that the gang visits is nowhere near as fantastic as Willy Wonka's, but liberties were still taken when depicting some of the machines you could see in a candy factory, most notably, the taffy machine.
At a local fair, I've seen homemade taffy get stretched out on a small scale. The contraption that made taffy in the haunted candy factory was insanely huge, and it spewed out these huge strands of taffy. While in pursuit of the bad guy, the gang finds themselves engulfed in the taffy. In cartoons, taffy always works like tar. Once caught in it, you're trapped. The good thing about this situation is that Daphne wasn't the only one who found herself taffy-trapped. The bad thing about this situation is that Daphne definitely had more hair on the line than everyone else.
15 The Other Girl
One of the worst things that Daphne has ever experienced (aside from multiple captures by creeps) is a rival for Fred's affections. Meet Alice May, the girl who almost took Fred to prom instead of Daphne. In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, we see the gang when they're still in high school. Not only do they have to deal with mysteries, they have to deal with the rigors of going to school. In this particular series, Fred and Daphne are not a couple. Surprisingly, they're a will-they/won't-they pair. You know, two people on a television show that are meant to be with each other, but since suspense has to be drawn out, they're not with each other?
In one episode, Daphne desperately wants Fred to ask her to prom, but he's being a bit obtuse about it. Another girl named Alice invites Fred to go with her instead. Daphne is totally crushed, until Fred decides to ditch Alice and go with Daphne instead. (Classy, Fred, real classy.) Don't stop to feel bad for the spurned Alice May though. She ends up being a bad guy. She dresses up as this villain named Ghost Girl who specifically preys on teenage boys that are going to prom. Fred was just going to be another one of her victims. Heaven forbid that an actual challenger for Daphne's beau actually existed.
14 A Possessive Boyfriend
The live-action Scooby-Doo movie was not bad at all. After a nasty split, Mystery Inc. gets back together to solve a mystery on an island, and at the end of the movie, they've all learned something new about themselves. Daphne, tired of being the damsel in distress, learns martial arts, and she is able to save herself without requiring help from anyone else. You would think this is a big step in the right direction. Well, it would have been, if the movie also had not included an awkward case of body invasion. The magical horrors being performed on the island are eerily real, and Mystery Inc. figures this out when everyone, except Shaggy and Scooby, gets their souls removed from their bodies.
Shaggy is able to free their souls, but when he does, a bunch of them go flying off in the wrong direction. Fred's soul enters Daphne's body by accident. He's appropriately freaked out for a quick second, but after he realizes whose body he is inhabiting, he begins to smirk when he thinks of all the advantages he is now endowed with. Instead of rushing out to find his real body, he takes a moment to peek at said "endowments." If I had been Daphne, I would have been more upset with Fred than she appeared to be when they finally meet up. (Daphne's soul had likewise landed inside Fred's body.)
13 A Slight Reaction
Springtime is not always a pleasant time for me. With all of the flowers in full bloom, my allergies kick into high gear. My nose starts streaming faster than Niagara Falls, and I can't stop sneezing every five seconds. Sometimes, if the spring is being especially vicious to me, my eyes get red and watery and I get an itchy throat. It gets so bad that I bemoan the coming of spring. However, I do thank my lucky stars that while I may have seasonal allergies, I do not have any terrible food allergies. I feel nothing but compassion for those who suffer from dire food allergies. Not only are they prevented from eating something that may be potentially delicious, but the act of consuming something they're allergic to can result in a horrible reaction.
Daphne is one of those people who has a bad food allergy.
During one of her sisters' weddings, Daphne eats some seafood, and she gets the worst allergic reaction I've ever seen portrayed in a cartoon. Her skin gets covered in these angry red patches of discoloration, and these patches have what look like pus-filled boils on them. It didn't look like a fun time for Daphne, and it definitely did not sound like a fun time for Daphne either. Seriously, those allergies were bad. Daphne's allergic reaction was more terrifying than any monster I've ever seen Mystery Inc. face. I would rather run into Cat-Man in a dark alley than Daphne after she's eaten a whole plate of calamari.
For a lot of people, public speaking is more terrifying than the final good-bye. Some people would say that is crazy, but I can empathize with that statement. I can't imagine standing in front of a large crowd and saying intelligible words. That's terrifying. Some people actually do really well with being in the spotlight. All of our famous actors and singers are professionals when it comes to being in front of a crowd. Daphne uncovers a hidden talent for this when she briefly joins a band called the Hex Girls. The Hex Girls are being bothered by a bad guy, so Daphne joins them on stage to see if she can draw out whoever it is that is messing with them. She disguises herself as the main singer, and totally rocks out during the performance.
If Daphne ever gives up clue-hunting, she would make a pretty good singer.
Of course, Daphne's debut performance (even if it was undercover) is interrupted by the Phantom who has been hassling the Hex Girls. The trap that Mystery Inc. laid for the Phantom is ruined and Daphne is once again captured. Even when Daphne is intentionally the bait, she still gets herself accidentally caught. You would think that with all the preparation that goes into planning a trap, Mystery Inc. would manage to see it through to completion.
11 The Brave And The Bold
Crossover team-ups are the best. You get unlikely partnerships between two sets of characters you would never think would meet, which means you get unexpected adventures as the two worlds collide. In one such team-up, Batman and Robin join forces with Velma, Shaggy, Scooby, Fred, and Daphne to take on the dastardly villainy of the Joker and the Penguin. (In reality, the World's Greatest Detective would never need the help of Mystery Inc. Batman is the world's greatest detective for crying out loud.)
Sadly, the gang doesn't get to participate in any real crime-fighting. Daphne still has her moment to shine though. What, you didn't think regular baddies in silly costumes were the only people who could capture Daphne, did you? Regular baddies just don't cut it when the Batman is involved. This time around, Daphne gets taken prisoner by the Joker and the Penguin, both of whom are super baddies in costumes. It's not every day that Daphne is taken by villains of such pedigree, am I right?
At least she's not the only one to be caught.
All of Mystery Inc. get to experience the joy of being captured by a villain this time around. Despite my griping on Daphne's behalf, I did enjoy the team-up. I'm a huge Batman fan, so even though it was a very mellow Batman story, it was nifty to see him working alongside Scooby-Doo and company.
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! provided a new take on Daphne's character. No longer was Daphne the pretty popular one of the team. Instead, she was made into the quirky weird one of the team. And by weird, I mean really weird. They couldn't just make Daphne a normal person, could they? No, instead, they made her a crazy person who takes up new talents like they're popcorn kernels. In one episode, Daphne takes on falconry. She goes around the episode with a falcon glove on her hand and a falcon named Dwayne constantly perched on it. Needless to say, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! was a dramatic departure from previous iterations of the popular TV show.
The show seemed more concerned with getting laughs out of the audience than providing engaging mysteries for the gang to solve over the course of an episode. Daphne's falcon gets loose and flies away from Daphne at the end of the episode I'm talking about. This wouldn't be an issue if it hadn't chosen to make its escape while they were all still in the museum where they had had their adventures. Once it flies free, all you can hear are the sounds of things crashing and people screaming as the falcon does who knows what off screen. During the ruckus, Daphne makes no attempt to try and get it back. She just lets the chaos happen.
Clowns terrify me all on their own, so an evil clown frightens me even more. There's an episode of Scooby-Doo where a clown haunts a circus, and Mystery Inc. goes over to investigate the scene. Right off the bat, I knew I wouldn't like this episode. It had nightmare written all over it. (Anyone else hear the word "clown" and then get intense Stephen King It flashbacks?) This clown was not armed with anything more than a shiny gold coin at the end of a chain. But he used this coin to hypnotize people, and he manages to hypnotize both Shaggy and Daphne before being stopped by the rest of the gang. It's a relief to see that Daphne is not the only one who the clown selects for hypnosis, but she still draws the short straw when it comes to what the clown ordered her to do.
When Shaggy got hypnotized, he was told that he was a lion tamer, so he was sent to the lion's cage with a whip. That's pretty bad, but wait till you hear what the clown told Daphne to do. She got hypnotized into getting out of her clothes, putting on a tutu, and riding a unicycle on a wire. How come Daphne had to change what she was wearing?! All Shaggy had to do to become a lion tamer was put on a hat. I'm sensing more than a little discrepancy between how the male got hypnotized and how the female got hypnotized.
8 Game On
Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase was a unique idea for a Scooby-Doo story. In the movie, a video game about Mystery Inc. is being made by a friend of the real Mystery Inc., and through nefarious means, the gang is somehow zapped into the game world. When they're in the game world, they get to hang out with their cyber selves. For the most part, they get along with themselves. The two Velmas are geniuses together, the two Shaggies are ravenous all the time, and the two Scoobies are cowardly partners. The only pair that seems to have any problems getting along are the Daphnes.
As soon as they meet, they criticize what the other is wearing.
Later on in the movie, they eventually end up bonding. But what they bond over is how pretty they both are. Come on! How much of Daphne's vanity are they trying to shove in our faces? There's a moment where the two of them are in a hall of mirrors, and Cyber Daphne shrieks when she sees a fat image of herself in one of the trick mirrors. Real Daphne has to assure her that it's not a true image and that she thinks she looks very pretty. (She is literally complimenting herself.) Cyber Daphne then compliments Real Daphne in return, and it becomes a very self-congratulatory moment. Is this what Daphne should be reduced to? Why is she the only one who obsesses over her appearance? Fred does this too, I suppose, but definitely to a lesser extent.
7 Climbing The Social Ladder
Most of the worst things that happen to Daphne can be separated into two categories. They either have to do with getting nabbed by a bad guy or with getting into problems with those she is romantically involved with. This entry has to do with one of the latter moments. In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Daphne's parents do not approve of her interest in Fred Jones.
Instead, they try to set her up with a guy from a rich family, since they themselves are rich too. This boy that they introduce Daphne to is the heir to a ladder company, and his name is Rung Ladderton. If you barked out laughter just then, don't worry. I did the same thing. I had no idea that a ladder company could propel you to the heights of wealth. And I have to wonder if it is a coincidence that Rung's last name is "Ladderton."
Part of me believes that his family changed their name when their ladder company became successful. I also wonder what they were thinking when they decided to name their boy "Rung." Clearly, it has some connection to the structure of a ladder. But it's a close rhyme to the word "dung," which would prevent me from ever naming a child of mine by that name. Rung Ladderton does not linger long in Daphne's life. As with most people who could be a thorn in the Daphne/Fred relationship, Rung ends up being a costumed bad guy too.
6 Beddy Bye Time
I adore when bad guys have obvious and theatrical names. It's like a callback to simpler times, when things were clearly cut into black and white categories and you never had to worry about shades of grey. (In freaking Game of Thrones, you can't always tell who to root for because everyone has problems! They're all relatable.) Scooby-Doo was the best when it came to making names for their villains. One of my particular favorites was Maldor the Malevolent. You may not remember him because he was around during the era when only Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, and Scrappy were solving mysteries together. (That long ago time when Shaggy wore a red shirt instead of a green one.) When this small group goes up against Maldor, only Daphne ends up getting captured. (Of course. At this point, you should expect no less.)
She slides down a trap and ends up in a prison shaped like a bed.
There, Maldor puts her into an enchanted sleep, and it's up to every male in the group to rescue her. At least when Velma was around, there was at least one female who could solve the mystery when Daphne was out for the count. With Daphne as the only woman of the group, it was made ten times clearer who were the real powerhouses at solving mysteries. Maldor the Malevolent (such a cool name) gets beaten by Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy, and Daphne gets woken up from her nap at the end.
5 Bring On The Back Abs
Here's another case where one of Daphne's love interests ends up being a bad guy. In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, after a very short time being together in a relationship, Fred and Daphne call it quits. Still, they're destined to be with each other, so even though it looks like things are over, we all knew they weren't. When we met Baylor Hotner, Daphne's new man, we knew for a fact that he wouldn't last.
He existed only to make Fred jealous.
As you can probably guess from his name, Baylor Hotner was quite the good-looking fellow. I actually liked Baylor. He had these cartoon abs on his back that Daphne called his "babs." That is hilarious. Of course, the show could not keep Baylor around for long if Daphne was meant to be with Fred. So they did what they usually do with Daphne's love interests. Baylor Hotner ends up being a bad guy who goes by the name of the Crybaby Clown. (Oof, that's not one of the good villain names.)
Is it not possible for Daphne to have a relationship with someone other than Fred Jones without them becoming a masked criminal? I'm starting to suspect that Fred might be behind the villainy of some of Daphne's exes. There are just too many instances where they end up turning bad. Poor Baylor Hotner is forever relegated to the ever-growing list of villains Mystery Inc. has faced down.
4 I Now Pronounce You
If there's one thing I like less than only Daphne getting victimized, it's Daphne and Velma both getting victimized. At the very least, I want one girl to be an effective mystery-solver. In Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword, the gang gets to meet a friend of Daphne's named Miyumi. The movie starts out promisingly for the girls because both Miyumi and Daphne are participating in a martial arts tournament. We get to see Daphne kicking butt and taking names during her bouts, and it feels empowering merely observing the constant damsel fighting capably. The empowerment couldn't last for the whole movie though. I guess that would be hoping for too much.
The gang, Miyumi included, go on an adventure to an island in the Pacific, and while they're there, the three girls, Velma, Daphne, and Miyumi, are nearly married against their wills. (Have you ever noticed that no one tries to marry a guy against his will?) They almost had it. They almost had a Scooby-Doo movie where Daphne was not captured at all and we were never reminded that she was a helpless female. And then we were reminded in the most blatant way possible that not only is Daphne a female, Velma and Miyumi are females as well, and they are more likely to be taken prisoner than your average Joe.
3 Fantastic Facial Hair
If you needed any more evidence that the Daphne in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo is the weirdest Daphne ever created, look no farther than the episode where Daphne tries out how it feels to sport a beard. She just wants to try it out for the heck of it, and it drives Fred insane. For the life of him, he can't understand why a girl would want to wear a beard. He spends most of the episode trying to convince Daphne to get rid of it. Daphne makes full use of the beard too. When contemplating a particularly problematic mystery, she strokes her beard, and doing so helps give her the inspiration to figure out a clue. At the end of the episode, she decides to lose the beard but keep the mustache.
Seriously, it's like no one could figure out how to make Daphne a unique character, so they just decided to make her zany. That's the full spectrum the personality of her character can have. She is either the popular, ditzy girl who cares about her looks far too much, or she's the insane, eccentric girl who likes to place a fake beard on her face just to see what it feels like. To her and her beard's credit, Daphne did make a difference in the case while she had her beard. But that's another kind of insult all together if you think about it. It's only while sporting male facial hair that Daphne proves to be an asset.
2 Let's Split Up
My jaw dropped in shock when I saw the Johnny Bravo crossover with Scooby and the gang. I expected Johnny Bravo to be his suave, occasionally crass self. But I did not expect the moment that happened between Fred and Daphne when the group decides to split up. Daphne takes charge in the decision-making for once, telling Scooby that he and Fred should check the upstairs of a house while she and Velma should check the basement. Her moment of leadership is ruined, however, when Fred steps up from behind her and mutters a whiny, "Daphne!"
Daphne turns to glance at him, and he gives her a very pointed look.
After that, she reverses her previous decision and says that Velma and Scooby will check the upstairs while she and Fred check the basement. Holy cow, I've never seen such a disregard for behavior guidelines in a kids cartoon before. Aside from the inappropriate exhibit of Fred's wishes, this was also a horrible moment for Daphne too. Not only was she undermined in her decision, she was undermined for the dumbest reason. I know there are never any real stakes when it comes to a Scooby-Doo episode, but can't Fred at least pretend that solving mysteries is a serious business and should not be interrupted by whatever goes on in the basement between him and Daphne?
1 What's In A Nickname?
One of the worst things to happen to Daphne is the bestowal of a certain nickname by the rest of her so-called friends. After so many years of being the one who is caught, tied up, imprisoned, and stolen away, Daphne has supposedly earned herself a new name. The rest of the gang decided the Daphne had earned the moniker of "Danger Prone." Daphne fell into a bad guys hidey hole? "Oh, that's just Danger Prone Daphne." Daphne got captured by some men in masks? "Danger Prone Daphne got herself caught." Daphne stepped on the wrong floor tile and is now trapped behind bars? "Oh no! Danger Prone Daphne is at it again."
Several times in the original iteration of Scooby-Doo, Fred, Velma, and Shaggy call her "Danger Prone" Daphne. Okay, first of all, the trouble that Daphne always finds herself is more than a little dangerous. Second of all, it's not her fault that she falls into the evil clutches of villains! Calling Daphne "danger prone" is like saying she's a little clumsy. It's like saying that she's accidentally getting taken prisoner. Bullturkey! The only person responsible for putting Daphne in danger is the one who is doing the capturing, not her. The gang's nickname for her is a kind of victimization in itself. Fred and the rest are blaming Daphne for the actions that other people take against her.