"Scooby-Doo! Where are you?"
—Norville "Shaggy" Rogers
The original Breakfast Club
, a popular Saturday Morning Cartoon
that premiered in 1969 and lasted in various forms up to the early Eighties (and episodes are again being made today) featuring four teenagers (Fred Jones, Velma Dinkley, Daphne Blake and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers) and their talking dog Scooby Doo (a classic Speech-Impaired Animal
) in a van called the Mystery Machine
. Each episode they'd encounter a mystery involving some form of spooky supernatural monster which would more often than not turn out to be a hoax meant to frighten the locals away from the villain's real operation
, and which would be resolved at the end by unmasking the villain, who would inevitably utter a variant of
: "I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for You Meddling Kids
, and that dog too." Reportedly also full of drug references
(hey, it was The Seventies
), depending on how you read it (what the hell do they put in those Scooby Snacks, anyways?).
Since the 1970s there have been many incarnations, including several direct-to-video movies, a series with real ghosts called The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo
and a series with prepubescent versions of the cast
. One such incarnation added Scooby's nephew Scrappy Doo
(a classic Talking Animal
) to the cast, which was when the franchise as a whole is considered by some to have Jumped the Shark
. (Mark Evanier
, who wrote the pilot episode of Scooby & Scrappy Doo,
told a crowd at San Diego's Comic-Con of how people thought Scrappy ruined Scooby-Doo, to which he would retort, "It's Scooby-Doo. How do you ruin Scooby-Doo
?") After that point the show frequently operated with just Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy. Daphne often came along for the ride due to Popularity Power
at the time. The show has stayed on the air in all its various incarnations because it is consistently the most popular show of choice by focus groups of 6-11 year olds.
"Scooby Doo" is so thoroughly embedded in American popular culture that the ad-hoc vampire-hunting team that formed around Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
called themselves "The Scooby Gang".note
It has also become Cockney Rhyming Slang for "clue" (as in "Haven't a Scooby, mate").
Has also been made into a series of live-action movies. The first two (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
fame as Daphne and her husband Freddy Prinze Jr. as Fred
) were theatrical films. The third and fourth (prequels with a different cast) went straight to video. These were loaded with Continuity Nods
, and lampshaded
the show's own clichés.
In 2005, the show briefly beat The Simpsons
for most episodes produced of an American cartoon.
The most recent incarnations are What's New, Scooby-Doo?
(A modernized return to the mystery format), Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
(which is much flatter animation-wise and rather weird, featuring nanotech Scooby snacks and a message from Fred
[no relation] in the title), and the critically acclaimed Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
premiered July 12, 2010 (with actual character development, an overarching plot, and a Darker and Edgier
feel). The newest series, Be Cool Scooby-Doo!
was announced for the 2014-2015 season, with the plot hinting at a comedic summer road trip focus.
Make sure to visit the Characters
page, and don't overlook the Analysis
. See the Shout Out page here
Over the ages, the Scooby-Doo
franchise has gathered a rather impressive amount of tropes:
open/close all folders
Scooby-Doo Television Series
Other Scooby Productions
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969-1970 CBS)- The original classic series, and the "bread and butter" of the franchise. 25 Episodes.
- NOTE: A batch of episodes of "The Scooby-Doo Show" made in 1978 for ABC had been tagged as an unofficial third season in their original broadcasts (being shown with the original opening/closing sequences), but all subsequent airings feature the proper "Scooby-Doo Show" opening/closing, thus removing the connection.
- The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972-1974, CBS) - This featured appearances from animated versions of real life celebrities and crossovers with other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Unlike all the other series, the episodes of this series were an hour long with commercials (though some syndicated broadcasts split episodes into two standard half hours). Otherwise, this show mostly followed the classic formula. 24 Episodes (or 48 split-episodes).
- The Scooby-Doo Show (1976-1979, ABC) - A return of the original "Where Are You?!" formula, but with a slightly (but noticeably) cheaper budget and occasional appearances from Scooby-Doo's relatives (e.g. his cousins Scooby-Dum and Scooby-Dee). 40 episodes.
- NOTE: The original broadcasts of these episodes were featured in package shows like "The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour" (Eps. 1-16), "Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics" (Eps. 17-24), and "Scooby's All-Stars" (Eps. 25-40). Eps. 25-40 were originally shown with the opening titles of "Scooby-Doo! Where Are You?!" (not attached to a package show), and is often seen as a sort of third season of the original series.
- Scooby and Scrappy-Doo (1979-1980, ABC) - Scrappy's debut. Basically "The Scooby-Doo Show" with Scrappy. 16 Episodes.
- The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show (1980-1982, ABC) - A completely different formula, with only Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy being caught in various adventures in seven-minute shorts (three-per-episode). 33 Episodes (99 Shorts).
- The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour (1982-83, ABC) - Co-produced by sister studio Ruby-Spears, the show also featured Petey, a puppy first seen on ABC's Weekend Special series. 13 episodes (26 shorts). Scrappy appeared separately with Scooby's wild west brother Yabba Doo.
- The All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show (1983-1984, ABC) - Return of the "mystery" formula, but only with Shaggy, Scooby, Scrappy, and Daphne as the lead characters. 13 Episodes.
- The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries (1984-85, ABC) - A continuation of the previous series, but with occasional appearances from Fred and Velma (both appearing in two episodes each, including one together, reuniting the gang). 13 Episodes.
- The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985-1986, ABC) - A new formula, basically a twist of the previous two shows, featuring new characters (Flim Flam, Vincent Van Ghoul, and villains Weerd and Bogel), the voice of Vincent Price, and was the first Scooby-Doo show featuring an overarching storyline, though the show's cancellation left it unresolved. 13 Episodes.
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (1988-1991, ABC) - Features a new, more modern style, with the gang solving mysteries as kids. The series was the first time the franchise acknowledged via good-natured self-referential parody, the cliches and tropes of the original formula. 31 Episodes.
- What's New, Scooby-Doo? (2002-2006, The WB) - A new series, returning to the original format, but with a very contemporary style. 42 Episodes.
- Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! (2006-2008, The CW) - A big departure from the original formula, featured an overarching story, but only with Shaggy and Scooby (and a few appearances from Fred, Daphne, and Velma), and Scooby portrayed as being more like a cyborg. 26 Episodes.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (2010-2013, Cartoon Network) - The newest incarnation. Features a slightly enhanced version of the original design, an overarching plot, a twist on the classic formula, as well as appearances from some other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. 52 Episodes.
- Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! (2015, Cartoon Network) is the forthcoming latest series which falls back on the classic premise as the gang hits the road on summer vacation, only to bump into mysteries and monsters.
And too many Direct-to-Video animated features to list, so they got their own page.
- Scooby Goes Hollywood (1979, ABC, prime time special)
- Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988, made-for-TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1988, made-for-TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988, made-for-TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights (1994, made-for-TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo Mystery (two 1995 video games)
- Scooby-Doo (live action-movie, 2002)
- Scooby Doo Monsters Unleashed (live-action movie, 2004)
- Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (live-action made-for-TV movie, 2009)
- Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (live-action made-for-TV movie, 2010)
- Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights (2002 video game)
- Scooby-Doo! Spooky Games (2012)
- Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holiday (2012)
- A lot of running past a Wraparound Background.
- Velma losing her glasses, in the CBS series. (She's Blind Without 'Em.)
- Catch Phrases: "Zoinks!" for Shaggy, "Jinkies!" for Velma, "Jeepers" for Daphne. Scrappy had two: "Let me at 'em, Let me at 'em!" and "Da-da-da-da-da-da, Puppy Power!". Not to forget the infamous "Let's Split Up, Gang!" for Freddy, and of course, Scooby's "Scooby Dooby Doo!" and "Rut Roh!" In some of the newer episodes/movies, Scooby responds to any mention of a dog with "Rog? Rwhere?"
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo mercilessly lampooned and lampshaded these. And invented several new ones. And then lampooned and lampshaded those.
- The catchphrases are also lampshaded in one of the cartoon movies. After something bad happens they each say their catchphrases, except for Fred, whose catch phrase doesn't fit into that situation and instead laments his apparent lack of a Catch Phrase.
- Shaggy and Scooby consuming very large sandwiches.
- Scrappy's attempts to use physical violence against the "ghost", almost always stopped by Scooby grabbing him by the scruff of the neck.
- It actually works a few times in Scooby-Doo meets the Boo Brothers.
- Daphne getting abducted and tied up. Lampshaded in the original series; she's called "Danger-Prone Daphne" more than once.
- Lampshaded in the Loch Ness monster movie by Daphne's cousin Sharron, who describes the Blake family as a whole as being the type to get caught in all sorts of traps and kidnappings, summing it up as being "Danger Prone". A mural on the wall of the family castle behind her even depicts this.
- A chase sequence through a room with a series of random doors with entryways that break the laws of physics.
- A long slapstick-filled chase sequence with upbeat music playing in the background.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax is nearly universal, although a few later movies and movie-length episodes and Thirteen Ghosts had the ghosts turning out to be real. The New Scooby-Doo Movies also featured real monsters as guest stars, with the real monsters haunted by a fake one! The show likes playing with the trope as much as it likes playing it straight.
- The monster in the first-season episode "Foul Play in Funland" was technically "real," though there was nothing supernatural about it.
- Scooby and Shaggy dressing up in costumes and making a short skit to confuse the chasing monster.
- Despite The Plan - A convoluted plan to catch the villain that never goes as planned.
- The Reveal in the form of a Dramatic Unmask at the climax of the episode. "Let's see who this monster really is!"
- Hilariously subverted in the What's New episode "It's All Greek To Scooby" when Velma triumphantly announces the identity of the Centaur and pulls the mask off...to reveal a character she had never seen before. Velma calls a foul and declares it doesn't count.
- Played with in the classic series episode "A Clue For Scooby-Doo." Fred and the gang are about to unmask the Ghost of Captain Cutler to see if it was really Ebeneezer Shark (the beachcomber they interrogated earlier). It turned out to be—thanks to Shaggy's placement of some seaweed—Captain Cutler himself. (Scooby and Velma were the only others to have recognized this denoument, but Fred and Daphne announce it as well, and they weren't even at Widow Cutler's home to have seen the Cutler portrait.)
- The Summation at the end of the episode, where the gang thoroughly debunks all of the supposed paranormal activity and explain its role in the criminal racket they have uncovered. Sometimes there was no crime committed, and the hoax was performed for a noble reason (for example, in "Haunted House Hang Up", the first time this occured, the culprit disguised himself to scare people away, not to cover up some criminal behavior, but because he was afraid somebody would steal his family treasure).
- One or more characters who come across as particularly suspicious, yet turn out to have nothing to do with the actual plot. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo went so far as to make one a regular supporting character with the actual name "Red Herring".
- The ghosts being real, at least for two series and The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
- Scooby getting scared and jumping into Shaggy's arms.
- Amusingly, it's sometimes reversed, with Shaggy jumping into Scooby's front legs.
- Several versions of the opening credits incorporate a Bat Scare, and this happens occasionally in-story also.