For almost 50 years now, the Scooby-Doo franchise has been one of the most popular cartoons on TV. A simple show about four teenagers and their dog solving mysteries has become a global phenomenon. The original Scooby-Doo concept has spawned live-action spin-offs and has been reimagined on the small screen numerous times. Of course, there wouldn't be a show at all without Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo! They've all become some of the best-loved cartoon characters of all time.
Each member of Mystery, Inc has a unique role to play in the Scooby-Doo universe. Fred builds his traps and takes charge of the group; Velma does all of the smart thinking. Shaggy and Scooby provide plenty of comic relief. Then you have Daphne, the purple-loving, ginger-haired fifth member of the gang who's had a shifting role over the years! She started off as a classic "damsel in distress": she spent almost every episode getting stolen by the bad guy. As the feminist movement took hold, everyone realized that this was perhaps an unfair portrayal of a woman who had so much more to give, and Daphne became a bit more kick-ass. Who can forget her karate expertise in the first live-action movie?
Of course, when a character has existed for over fifty years, it's inevitable that some inconsistencies and plot holes would appear in their portrayal. It must have been hard for Scooby-Doo's writers to keep track of everything they made Daphne say and do over the decades! As a result, there are some things about Daphne that just don't make sense, either due to contradictions or weird writing choices. Here are a few things about this much-loved character that don't add up!
For years, Daphne had a reputation as the “danger-prone” member of Mystery, Incorporated. In recent series, this has been played down a bit due to the whole concept being a little bit anti-women. However, in some of the original Scooby-Doo incarnations, Daphne was stolen pretty much every single episode.
Why her, though?
In a crowded room full of people, the “monster” would always go for Daphne! Either she’s got really bad luck or a sign on her back that says “pick me.” Either way, it’s not great for her!
Over the years, a lot of Daphne’s relatives have appeared in Scooby-Doo episodes or movies. She’s got a whole network of uncles, sisters, and cousins, all of whom show up at some point. One of the most memorable Blake family members has to be Shannon, Daphne’s Scottish cousin. What makes her so special, I hear you ask? Well, she happens to have one of the least authentic Scottish accents ever broadcast on TV. If you thought Braveheart was bad, you’ve seen nothing until you’ve watched Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster.
The identity of Daphne’s parents has been subject to some serious retconning during the Scooby-Doo franchise’s 50-year run. Originally, they were named George and Elizabeth Blake, as shown in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. However, in Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, a totally different couple were introduced as Daphne’s mom and dad!
There’s no mistaking that Nan Blake is Daphne’s mom.
The two look totally identical, even down to their lime-green scarf. As for Barty Blake, he has a slightly disconcerting resemblance to Daphne’s love interest, Fred.
While Daphne’s parents appear quite prominently in Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, in other series they’re barely even mentioned. Since Daphne and her pals are supposed to be high school students in a lot of the Scooby-Doo installments, you’ve got to wonder where all of their parents have got to! Are they totally cool with the fact that their children ride around in a van solving mysteries all day, neglecting their studies and putting themselves in danger? Sounds like slightly questionable parenting to us!
Ah, the Daphne-Fred “relationship”. From the very first Scooby-Doo series to the present day, fans have adamantly insisted that these two characters are madly in love. At first, the franchise’s writers chose to keep the relationship between Fred and Daphne delightfully ambiguous. In more recent Scooby-Doo incarnations, like Mystery Incorporated and the live-action movies, they’ve been a definite couple. However, we’ve got too many mixed messages over the years to know whether Daphne and Fred are truly end game! For now, the obsessive shipping continues…
Over the years, the Scooby-Doo franchise has engaged in crossovers with all kinds of weird and wonderful shows. Perhaps the most bizarre example is the Scooby-Doo-meets-WWE direct-to-DVD movie. Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery saw Mystery, Inc. solve a case involving hypnotism, the WWE belt, and a Ghost Bear.
Multiple WWE stars crop up in the movie, including John Cena.
From the minute Cena shows up, it’s clear that he has a very dedicated fan among the Mystery, Inc. gang. Daphne is all over him! What about Fred, I hear you ask? Well, Daphne seemed to forget that he existed.
You don’t have to be the most dedicated Scooby-Doo fan on the planet to know that almost every episode has the same formula. The gang comes across a mystery; they split up and look for clues; chaos ensues, and they eventually solve the case. Usually, when the gang splits up, Daphne pairs herself off with Fred. This is normally the point at which she gets stolen! You have to wonder why Daphne keeps going with Fred when it never seems to end well for her. Sure, it’s a way for these lovebirds to get some alone time… but still!
You know how Mary Poppins has that magical bag that’s bigger on the inside and seems to contain basically everything you could ever need? Well, Daphne’s got one of those too. She’s been known to produce a whole host of convenient, inexplicable items from that tiny purse over the years! Who knew that a hairdryer could come in so handy when you’re solving a crime, or that a credit card could cut a rope? Daphne’s odd assortment of belongings might be a bit unrealistic even for a cartoon, but they’ve saved the day on multiple occasions.
The Fred/Daphne pairing isn't the only major ship amongst Scooby-Doo fans. Lots of people think that Daphne and Velma are actually the ones who are secretly in love! To be fair, they are pretty close.
But is this just a strong friendship, or something more?
Besides anything else, a Daphne/Velma romance would bring some much-needed LGBT representation to the franchise. While there’s nothing to suggest this pairing is going to become canon anytime soon, an entire movie focusing on Daphne and Velma did come out earlier this year! So much shipping fodder…
Considering the Scooby-Doo franchise has been going strong for almost fifty years now, it’s perhaps not surprising that some changes have been made to the characters over the years. Most of these changes have gone down well, although some have been a little jarring. Take Daphne’s total personality change in one of the recent installments in the franchise, for example! In Be Cool, Scooby-Doo, Daphne is suddenly a total eccentric who has a new weird interest every week. It’s an original take on the character, but just too far of a departure from her usual personality to make much sense!
As we've already mentioned, the Scooby-Doo franchise has undergone quite a few changes over the years. Perhaps the most noticeable shift of all came in 1980, when Fred, Daphne, and Velma were all dropped from the show. Apparently, ABC thought that this move would save the show's slipping ratings.
However, it mostly just annoyed everyone!
For one, it cut out the series' only two major female characters. Who thought that was a good idea? Luckily, this change turned out to be temporary...
Just three years after most of Mystery, Inc. were cut from the Scooby-Doo franchise, Daphne made her triumphant permanent comeback. She was now a reporter working for a teen magazine who solved mysteries with Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and Scrappy-Doo on the side. Fred and Velma came back too, but not consistently: they appeared here and there in the odd episode. You've got to wonder why Daphne was restored to a permanent starring role, while Fred and Velma weren't. Still, we're not complaining!
The live-action Scooby-Doo movies have become cult favorites among fans of the franchise. All of the human members of Mystery, Inc. received a bit of character development in these films, and Daphne was no exception. She made the smart choice of training in martial arts to get over the whole "damsel in distress" thing. In a way, though, this added a bit of extra confusion to the film thanks to the casting of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Let's be honest, her portrayal of Daphne was basically a watered-down Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though!
Throughout the Scooby-Doo franchise, Daphne is portrayed as something of a fashionista. She prides herself on being stylish and on-trend, sometimes to the point of vanity. However, for such a fashionable character, Daphne did have a slightly limited wardrobe.
All of her clothes were purple and pink!
Wouldn't a true fashion icon experiment with different colors and styles, rather than just wearing the exact same dress in the exact same shade? Maybe we're missing something here. Is donning the same ensemble every day without fail the new "in thing"?
Just like a lot of cartoon characters, Daphne seems to have been blessed with magical hair. No matter what she goes through, her ginger locks remain perfectly in place! And let's be real—Daphne goes through A LOT. She's dragged away by monsters and ghouls, constantly has to run for her life, is tied up and kept in all sorts of cramped spaces... But none of it has any impact on her hairdo. Not a single strand of hair is left out of place. It's not fair!
One of the things fans love the most about the Scooby-Doo franchise is just how wacky it is. There are plenty of episodes that have a goofy or downright implausible storyline, but hey—we love them anyway! One of the most bizarre plotlines of all came in an episode of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo when Shaggy and his canine companions became convinced that Daphne was a vampire. As it happened, she was just feeling ill. Talk about rude! Accusations of vampirism are the last thing someone needs when they're under the weather!
Oh, Scrappy-Doo. Everyone knows that this canine relative of Scooby-Doo is the worst character in the entire franchise. Let's look at the evidence here: he's annoying, he adds nothing whatsoever to the show, and he was originally added at the expense of Daphne, Velma, and Fred. Even the first Scooby-Doo live-action movie addressed how hated he is. It honestly beggars belief that for a while in the animated series, Daphne was able to co-exist with Scrappy. How did she not lose her mind due to being in his presence? Nobody knows.
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was a bit of a weird addition to the Scooby-Doo franchise. It featured junior-high-aged versions of Mystery, Inc. who all seemed to have slightly different personalities to their older selves—but not in a believable, "this is their childhood self" way. For some reason, the writers decided to make Daphne a total cynic who denied the existence of ghosts and monsters at every turn. This is a bit weird considering her older self does seemingly have at least some belief in the supernatural. It's a change in perspective that's never really explained!
In Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, it's revealed that Daphne is the youngest of six sisters.
Yep, you read that right—six!
The oldest Blake sibling wasn't even given a name, but we do know that she's an astronaut and that she's married. After that, the animators clearly couldn't be bothered to come up with too many more character designs for the Blake sisters, since Daphne's other four older sisters are quadruplets. Identical quadruplets. What are the chances? Well, very slim, let's be real.
The story of how Mystery, Inc. first got together has been retconned so many times during the Scooby-Doo franchise's existence that we've forgotten which is the most recent explanation. Did they meet in junior high, or high school? Who met who first? We thought we'd just about cracked it, but then the new movie about Daphne and Velma threw another spanner in the works. Apparently, these two met long before they became friends with Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and Fred—a fact that was conveniently left out of every other Scooby-Doo show or movie. So much confusion!
The popular 2000s Scooby-Doo series What’s New, Scooby-Doo? added another slightly strange aspect to Daphne’s personality. Throughout this series, she consistently used items of make-up in practical but slightly nonsensical ways. This mostly took the form of makeup implements being used to unlock cages, doors, and other otherwise barred places.
How does any of that work, we hear you ask?
Honestly, we have no idea. If there was actually a way to use powder and lipstick to crack open a locked door, we think we’d have heard about it by now!
If you thought that the Scooby-Doo/WWE crossover was weird, wait until you hear about the Johnny Bravo one. Yep, Mystery, Inc. really did feature in an episode of the show about everyone’s “favorite” misogynistic cartoon hunk. Johnny needed the gang’s help in finding his missing aunt but clearly had another agenda too. He hit on Daphne pretty much constantly throughout the episode – right in front of Fred, as well! Just… Why? Thankfully, Daphne put Johnny in his place – but for some reason, Velma actually fell in love with the guy. Can we just forget about this crossover forever, please?
The age of all of the members of Mystery, Inc. is something of a, well, mystery. In the early Scooby-Doo series, Fred, Velma, Daphne, and Shaggy are all just generic “teenagers”. It’s implied they’re still in high school, which would make them under 18, but this makes very little sense. As we’ve already noted, the gang spend no actual time at school since they’re too busy solving mysteries. Based on how they look, we’d estimate Mystery, Inc. to usually be depicted as being in their twenties… But nobody’s quite sure if that’s correct.
One of the most memorable episodes of the original Scooby-Doo: Where Are You? series involved Daphne, a “cursed” mask, and some evil “ghosts”. In a nutshell, Daphne bought the mask in question from Chinatown, and it set off a chain of events that lead Mystery, Inc. into danger – as per usual. However, the fact that Daphne even buys the mask is inexplicable in itself. What would a teenage girl want with a supposedly cursed hunk of metal? It’s not like it’d make a pretty room decoration: it’s incredibly creepy-looking!
Over the years, Daphne has had a lot of crushes, most of which have served the sole plot purpose of making Fred jealous. One of these romantic encounters should probably be erased from history for everyone’s sake. For some unknown reason, the popular actor Dick Van Dyke made an appearance as himself in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Despite the fact that he was almost 50 when he made this cameo, the writers of the show decided to give Daphne a huge crush on him. So much nope. Who thought that was a good idea?