Scooby-Doo has been a part of multiple generations. The franchise, which premiered in 1969, has expanded from television into books, games, movies, and more merchandise than you can imagine. The series' success has mainly come from the show’s titular character, Scooby “Scoobert” Doo. The odd-looking great dane spends his time solving mysteries and facing his fears in exchange for self-referential “Scooby Snacks.”
Many fans of the franchise have gotten hours of joy from Scooby’s many incarnations. The world of Scooby-Doo is vast and includes everyone from The Harlem Globetrotters to The Addams Family. Even the villains are extremely varied. While some were men in masks, many of the monsters were real. This took the show from a light-hearted cartoon about mystery-solving teenagers and their dog to a thriller series with a much darker tone.
Even before the monsters stopped being men in masks, Scooby-Doo had some dark and complex moments on TV, in movies, and even behind-the-scenes. Not everything in Scooby-Doo was all defeating the bad guys and teenagers having fun. Actors were sometimes unhappy with the show, parents were unhappy with television as a whole, and some episodes were deemed too scary for their child audience. However, fans are still devoted to Scooby and the gang, even almost fifty years later.
Through the light-hearted beginnings all the way through the much scarier shows and awful live-action movies, Scooby and his friends have graced television and cinema screen for devoted fans. However, even a show that brings so much joy is hiding a few dark secrets.
25 A Lost Episode?
Even though Scooby-Doo is already a thriller, some fans want to make it even scarier. Fans create their own Scooby-Doo stories, but one in particular is set in the real world, and it is extra intense. The story is about a babysitter bringing over a copy of a Scooby-Doo episode.
The episode starts out normally, but gets progressively weirder.
There’s even an intense ghost girl that’s much scarier than what would ever be allowed on the children’s show. At the end of the episode, an argument breaks out. Each viewer remembers different events. Some even remember some of the characters ending. Eventually, the babysitter flees in terror. When they try to watch the episode again, they are unable to replicate the experience.
Now, they’re unable to find any evidence that this episode ever existed at all.
24 A Different Comic Book
Even though Scooby-Doo started out as television show, there have been a number of books published for the franchise. This includes comic books. Most recently, DC Comics, known for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Justice League, began publishing a monthly title called Scooby Apocalypse.
In this series, the gang battles a post-apocalyptic world where the monsters are real. DC has released several other Hanna-Barbera comics, but this one has a T+ rating. This rating signifies that it’s content is only appropriate for older teens. The dark storylines and the scary imagery and concept give the series its high rating. The gang still solves mysteries, but their main mission is to cure the world of the nanite virus that makes everything much, much scarier.
23 Fred And Daphne?
For years, fans have speculated on the relationship between Fred and Daphne. Though Scooby-Doo has been on the air in various incarnations for decades, their relationship was only recently confirmed. However, fans couldn’t help but notice the chemistry between the two from the beginning. Moreover, the two were always going off alone, so many couldn’t help but assume the two were engaging in some grown-up fun.
The creators of the show insisted, however, that this wasn’t what was going on.
Instead, the show’s creators simply stated that Fred and Daphne always went off on their own because they were the least interesting characters. Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby were deemed to be the more compelling characters, so they were the ones the show focused on during the main investigations.
22 Scooby’s Weird Voice
Scooby’s voice is extremely recognizable. Though he has gone through multiple actors, the great dane’s voice is always one of the show’s defining features. Scooby’s original voice actor, Don Messick, stuck through the show through several incarnations.
However, Messick later claimed that he had lost the ability to perform Scooby.
Though Messick was a smoker throughout most of his career, he eventually gave up the habit. Though he had quit performing Scooby, while performing his characters at charity events, he was unable to give Scooby the raspy quality his voice needed. He continued to voice Bamm-Bamm, Boo-Boo Bear, and Papa Smurf, but he could no longer voice Scooby. Though he had improved his health, he lost some of the tone needed to play TV’s most recognizable dog.
Art by JackiePainting.
21 Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island changed the Scooby-Doo franchises in a big way. In the real world, it signaled the beginning of a long line of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films. Some of these are better than others, but they have kept the series going. Moreover, it was the first Scooby-Doo where the monsters were real. But even the zombies and terrifying cat creatures were the darkest part of the film.
The film was the first in the franchise to show characters changing in a real way.
Because the zombies were real, they had clearly each passed on before the film’s events. This was a first for Scooby-Doo. Also, at the end of the film, Jacques, Simone, and Lena all age hundreds of years suddenly and pass on. This was quite the turn from the sanitized Scooby beginnings, and it marked a new, darker era for the franchise.
20 Lots Of Scooby-Doo
Most fans of Scooby-Doo can name a few of the iconic direct-to-video Scooby-Doo movies. Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost is a classic and introduced fan favorites Thorn, Dusk, and Luna, AKA The Hex Girls. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island kicked off the series of films and even started the trend of the spooky supernatural villains being real. Still, these films are not as well-known as the original series or the more modern series.
However, fans may not know just how many movies there are.
Though none of the series have lasted more than a few seasons, the Scooby-Doo movies come out quite frequently. Since Zombie Island first premiered, one or two movies per year has come out: totalling to 27 films. That’s a film almost every nine months. In these movies, Scooby has gone on his own adventures and had crossovers with The WWE and even Batman.
19 Tim Curry In Scooby Do?
The live-action Scooby-Doo movie and its sequel were generally considered to be a bad idea. Though they got several popular actors, including Sarah Michelle Gellar when she was still in Buffy, to play the main characters, it didn’t distract from the main issue that it was a live-action version of a franchise that worked best as a cartoon. Some actors even refused to be in the movie based on the script.
Tim Curry was originally slated to be Mondavarious.
The actor, best known for his roles as Pennywise in It and Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was slated for the role, but turned it down when he discovered that Scrappy-Doo was to appear in the film. Scrappy ended up being the villain, but the unpopular character was enough for Tim Curry to turn down the part. He did, however, appear in Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost.
18 Cicadas Everywhere
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated was the darkest Scooby-Doo series so far. The show included truly horrifying monsters and scenarios that scare even the most seasoned Scooby-Doo fans. One particularly terrifying episode, “When A Cicada Calls” included a cicada monster that terrorized the employees of Crystal Cove’s Destroido.
The cicadas attack the workers of Destroido, including getting one character while he was in the shower. Each person who is attacked has to go to the hospital so the cicadas can be removed and they can be treated for their injuries. Eventually, they unmask the villain to find out that she was not a supernatural creature after all. She was, however, using real cicadas, controlled by sound waves, to attack her victims. At that point, the monster may as well have been real.
17 Scooby Do Fan Theories
The original Scooby Doo, Where Are You? episodes follow a strict formula. The gang is alerted to a mystery, usually a supernatural being terrorizing a business or town, they go on a chase, set up a trap for the villain, and unmask them to find out who is really behind the mystery. The villain then explains why they committed their crimes and curse Scooby and the gang.
Some fans have noticed that the crimes have one thing in common: money.
Out of the first 27 villains on the show, 23 committed crimes involving money. This is particularly odd considering that the villains are often in respected, secure careers like professors or museum curators. This has led some fans to believe that the show takes place during an economic depression. This depression causes even the most respected members of the community to turn to crime.
16 Is Shaggy Always Scared?
Shaggy is known for being one of the most easily-scared characters on Scooby-Doo. Despite this, he’s always willing to help solve mysteries, and even often acts as the bait for traps. He does this simply in exchange for food and time with his friends. However, what most fans don’t know is that Shaggy is so scared for a reason. In Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur, it is revealed that Shaggy suffers from acute-threat-avoidance-hypertrophy disorder.
Though this is a made-up disorder, the name alone explains many of Shaggy’s actions throughout his decades of mystery solving.
His doctor explains that he suffers from an overreaction to fear. Shaggy tries various remedies, including aromatherapy and hypnosis. The hypnosis does help him, but only when he hears his trigger word. By the end of the film, hypnosis has caused all of Mystery Inc. to turn into Shaggy: disorders and hunger included.
Art by VPizarro626.
15 Cartoons Were A Lot For Kids
Though the original Scooby-Doo series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? is about a group of teenagers solving mysteries, the show is actually very light-hearted. The most dangerous encounters Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby face are whacky chases through buildings and Fred’s elaborate traps.
As much as the premise implied that the show’s genre would be at least a thriller, the show was more of a comedy.
This was planned from the beginning. Parents’ groups, like the Action for Children’s Television, were upset by the themes and actions of the characters in shows like Space Ghost, The Herculoids, and Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. Parents wanted cleaner television, but the networks still wanted to provide some action for the children watching. Scooby-Doo satisfied both of those needs.
14 A Real-life Chase
Scooby and the gang often chased and were chased by villains in abandoned buildings and other creepy areas. It seems that one California woman took the show too much to heart. In a 1994 Chrysler painted like The Mystery Machine, the iconic van from the show, the 51-year-old woman fled authorities at speeds of 100 mph.
The news story attracted national attention, and many news networks covered the chase.
The woman fled after police tried to stop her in a traffic stop. She had a previous history of run-ins with the police, and she was apparently trying to avoid getting busted for a probation issue. She led the police down highway 36 in California before exiting the vehicle. The helicopters monitoring the chase eventually lost track of her. Despite all of the hubbub around the chase, no one knew why the van was painted like The Mystery Machine.
13 A Weird Trend
Some say that the 1980s were the golden age of cartoons. Many of the greatest cartoons of all time came out during this decade. Thundercats, The Smurfs, The Simpsons, and Jem all premiered during this decade. These cartoons and others have remained prominent in pop culture and have helped to inspire the next generation of cartoonists. But the 80’s weren’t all original cartoons. There were also quite a few cartoon spin-offs.
The trend of babe-ification, making characters actual babies, was popular in the 1980s.
Most remember The Muppet Babies from this time period. Notable, this is when A Pup Named Scooby-Doo premiered. It featured younger versions of the Scooby-Doo characters. It also introduced some original characters. The show remains prominent in most fans’ minds as being one of the most out-there Scooby series. Nowadays, having spin-offs where characters go to high school in an alternate universe is the more popular choice.
12 A Speech Issue
Scooby-Doo’s speech patterns are inseparable from his character. To imitate the TV dog, all you need to do is add an ‘r’ to the beginning of each word. One of his most iconic lines, “ruh-roh, Raggy” (“uh-oh, Shaggy”), is a good example of this. In the show, this odd speech is never explained, but it’s also never explained why everyone just accepts that they have a talking dog either.
Some speech pathologists have referred to Scooby’s odd speech as “rhotic replacement.”
This basically means that Scooby has phonological disorder. While phonetic disorders are often caused by a physical hindrance to pronunciation, like a lisp, phonological disorders are often neurological in nature. So, the rhotacization that Scooby uses is not because dogs pronounce this words differently due to their physiology, but because of some other factor.
11 Shaggy Was A What?
Shaggy’s love of food is a defining feature of his character. He and Scooby will do anything for food, including face danger and possible supernatural beings. Shaggy, unbeknownst to some, actually has some dietary restrictions, despite his insatiable appetite. Shaggy, in some incarnations of the franchise is a vegetarian for one unusual reason.
Casey Kasem, the original voice of Shaggy, was a vegan, and wanted Shaggy to be a vegetarian.
This wasn’t the original direction of the character, but, because it was important to Kasem, also known for his popular radio show, the showrunners decided to let Shaggy become a vegetarian. All was well. For a while. Eventually, Shaggy started to stray from his vegetarian backstory and was even scheduled to do a Burger King commercial. Kasem refused to do the commercial and quit as the Shaggy actor. Eventually, he did return, and Shaggy was a vegetarian once again (and still is!).
10 Shaggy’s Mother Makes An Appearance
Scooby and the gang have faced bad guys of every variety. They’ve faced every type of monster, both real and fake, and have met every unkind or selfish person possible. Who would have thought that one of the worst villains on the show would be related to one of the main characters?
Shaggy’s mother is not just mean; she’s downright evil.
In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Paula Rogers is just bad to her son and his beloved dog. After Shaggy goes to jail, she angrily declares that he is to be sent off to military school. This is terrible enough, but what’s worse is that she decides to send Scooby to “a nice farm.” Most viewers will know what she really means when she says that. Thankfully, however, she does not really send Scooby off to the unthinkable. Instead, she really does send him to a prison-like farm. Scooby and Shaggy are, however, reunited the next season.
9 You Can’t Save Them All
The characters Shaggy, Scooby, Velma, Daphne, and Fred met on Scooby-Doo are often just meant to provide a few jokes and break up the monotony of the formulaic episodes. Guest characters like The Addams family or The Hex Girls are often put into dangerous situations, but the audience knows that the characters will make it to the end of the episode.
However, one episode called “The Midnight Zone” changed that for the mystery series.
In “The Midnight Zone,” a character named Cassidy Williams calls the gang for help. She is stranded in a radio station being attacked by WWII robots coming from deep underwater. The gang investigates the issue, and even finds the source of the problem. However, they are unable to defeat the villain, Professor Pericles. Though the episode started with Mystery Inc. attempting to rescue Cassidy, the episode ends with Cassidy rescuing Mystery Inc. and perishing in the process while Professor Pericles escapes.
8 The Original Series Villains
The original series villains were cheesy, even if they had some pretty terrifying costumes. Often, the bad guys would simply chase scared townspeople. However, some of the villains took this a step too far. Despite only wanting money, some bad guys got way too into their characters. Though Scooby and his friends rarely face significant danger, when they do, it’s especially terrifying.
The ghost of Dr. Coffin was just supposed to scare people.
Dr. Coffin wasn’t really a ghost, however. It was just Officer Oldfield trying to cover up a gold robbery. By using the ghost costume to scare people away from Shady Sanitarium, he was able to steal gold bars. However, this doesn’t explain why Dr. Coffin took it upon himself to capture Shaggy and Scooby with the intent of using them for his experiments. Though he admitted to his greed, it seems he had much darker urges.
7 Is Shaggy Really Alone?
Creepypastas are one of the fastest ways to ruin childhood nostalgia. Writers on the internet create theories about shows and stories about horrifying monsters to scare readers and make them wonder if there’s more than meets the eye. Not even Scooby-Doo is safe from this treatment.
One scary story speculates that Shaggy is the only real character.
As Shaggy was growing up, his only friend was his stuffed great dane. His brothers used to chase him around in monster costumes and call him a “meddling kid” when he tattled. One day, after being pushed too far, Shaggy finally defeated one of his brothers. He was sent to the hospital where he imagined that his medication (Scooby Snax) could make him brave and defeat monsters with his friends, who he created in his mind to cope with his actions. This is why all of the monsters say the same things when they’re caught.
Art by nandomendonssa.
6 Scrappy-Doo Is The Worst…
Scrappy was a controversial figure in Scooby-Doo history. He was original introduced to combat falling ratings, but his inclusion causes divisiveness among Scooby-Doo fans. Scooby’s mischievous nephew was meant to shake up the Shaggy and Scooby dynamic while also providing a fun new character for viewers. However, many disagreed on how “fun” Scrappy was, and the character was shelved until the 2002 movie, where he was revealed to be the main villain.
Oddly enough, one of the biggest problems the network had with Scrappy was that he was “too independent.” They though it set a bad example for kids. It’s weird to think that children’s networks would want kids to not be independent, but, to be fair, Scrappy wasn’t the best role model. He was often causing more difficulties than were required to solve the mystery. This was intended to be fun, but ended up being really annoying.
5 Fred Or Freddie?
Fred Jones is known for being the trap-setting jock of Mystery Inc. His name is synonymous with his iconic blond hair, ascot, and van driving skills. Additionally, it’s hard to separate him from his will-they-won’t-they relationship with Daphne. However, according to one odd line he utters, it seems that Daphne has some competition.
In one episode, Fred declares that only people he’s dating can call him “Freddie.”
The strangest part about this is that everyone in the gang calls him Freddie. While Daphne might call him that the most, the others have definitely called him Freddie at various points in time. Is this to signify the gang picking up on Daphne’s habits, or is Fred dating everyone in Mystery Inc. The latter may be the stuff of fan fiction, but according to Fred, it may be canon.
4 Scooby Do and ...Korn?
Scooby-Doo is so ingrained into pop culture that it’s practically a right-of-passage for it to be parodied. It’s been featured in everything from Wayne’s World to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. And, oddly enough, it’s even been parodied in South Park. However, rather than feature Mystery Inc., South Park elected to have a band play the famous sleuths instead.
In “Korn’s Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery,” Korn solves mysteries in South Park, Colorado.
The episode focuses on the passing of Kyle’s grandmother in addition to other South Park-style shenanigans. Pirate ghosts factor into the plot, which are revealed to simply be light tricks, despite the fact that some townmembers were attacked by the pirate ghosts. Korn solves the mystery in Scooby-Doo fashion, and then they play a concert for the town of South Park.
3 A Famous Fan
Scooby-Doo fans can be found everywhere. The show has lasted so long and provided so much entertainment that it’s unsurprising that the show would have a few famous fans. However, the fans weren’t simply actors or animators looking to be involved. Some were in different fields entirely and just admired the show’s message.
Carl Sagan, best known from the show Cosmos, was a fan of the show’s skepticism.
Though people were afraid of the monsters at the beginning of the show, by the end of the show, the monsters were unmasked and the gang had found an explanation for the weird happenings. Sagan was a skeptic himself, so he liked the show’s portrayal of the supernatural, and he thought that other children’s programming should follow suit.
2 Jigsaw And Danny Darrow
Although Scooby-Doo can be scary at times, it’s surprising, to say the least, that they would have an episode paying homage to the Saw franchise. However, this is just what “Escape From Mystery Manor” was about. Shockingly, this episode featured a member of the original Mystery Inc. repeatedly attacking Scooby and the gang in the style of Saw.
The traps throughout the episode are extremely similar to the ones in the popular horror franchise.
Even the disembodied voice giving them instructions on what to do during the course of the episode pays tribute to the films. During the episode, Danny Darrow, one of the original Mystery Inc. members and the creator of the traps, calls the gang by the names of the old Mystery Inc. characters, further confusing and distressing them.
1 “Mary Jane”?
The Scooby-Doo live action movies are a controversial topic. Some enjoy them, but others hate them. To be fair to those involved with the film, originally, it was supposed to be much different from what it ended up being. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn originally intended to make a PG-13 movie that pokes fun at the series and addresses some of the more adult rumors. However, the film ended up cutting most of the more mature plotlines (though they can still be found in the deleted scenes) in order to keep it family-friendly.
Still, some of the jokes make it to the final cut of the movie. To address Shaggy’s suspected habit, his love interested is named Mary Jane, which he claims is his “favorite name.” Older fans will know that this is a reference to a special substance, which Shaggy has long been accused of having, explaining his hunger and paranoia.