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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Scooby-Doo
Shaggy is on some sort of drug.
OK, we shouldn't lose anyone here. Not only does he have conversations with his dog, but he is also constantly hungry (the munchies) and extremely paranoid about the existence of ghosts. The only thing is, we can't tell exactly what he's on. The constant munchies suggest pot, but the talking dog and paranoia things suggest a hallucinogen of some sort. Oh, and how do you justify the rest of the gang understanding Scooby? Contact high.
  • Even better: pot actually is a hallucinogen at very high doses or with certain strains, or so I heard.
  • Paranoid about the existence of ghosts? It's not paranoia. There really are (fake) ghosts out to get him all the time. (Eventually, real ones as well.)
  • Scooby Snacks are hash brownies. Or maybe hash cookies. This is why Shaggy is so willing to eat them and why they cause him to exhibit odd behaviour.
    • Hash brownies all the way. The sad implication is that Daphne (who doesn't eat them) carries a box of them just to bribe him and Scooby into danger. Exploit your friends' vices: this is the Aesop.
  • Everything that happens in every series, including the traveling and the existence of the other characters, is just Shaggy hallucinating from too much LSD, or some related drug. To explain the constant munchies, he's just a regular old Big Eater.
    • This could mean that Scooby is either just a normal dog or not really there at all. And anyone else who communicates with Scooby is just yet another hallucination from Shaggy, since the entire show is from his point of view.
  • The idea of Shaggy being a druggy has been around for nearly as long as the show has been on, but what confuses this troper is why people choose weed as his most likely drug of choice. It would explain the munchies, but that's about it - it wouldn't explain any other aspects of his personality, and it some cases it would contradict them! The drug generally relaxes people, an effect we never see on Shaggy, and his general nervousness, shivery movements, and hallucinations that cause him to think his dog can talk suggest that he's in fact recovering from an intense heroin battle! The addiction caused him to lose loads of weight (which is why he's so skinny) and he wants to reverse those effects and return to normal ASAP (which is why he eats so much)!

Shaggy is a Vietnam Veteran who was in a K9 Unit.
He somehow was stranded in Vietnam, his dog was killed, and he ran out of food and he ended up having to eat the body of his dead dog. This explains his constant desire to eat (he's not particularly hungry, he just never wants to be hungry again) and his hallucination that Scooby-Doo can talk: it's caused by guilt because he feels that it was wrong to eat the dog. Also, he is always afraid of getting into scary situations more than the scary situations themselves, which could be because he wants to avoid ever being in danger again, and/or is afraid that he'll snap and hurt someone if he ever gets too frightened.

Each member of the gang represents the "Five Colleges" in Massachusetts.
  • Daphne= Mount Holyoke
  • Velma= Smith
  • Fred=Amherst
  • Shaggy=Hampshire
  • Scooby=UMass

A popular legend explained on This site

  • That or the Claremont Colleges in California.
    • That would mean Velma is Harvey Mudd and Daphne is Scripps, but what about the other three?
    • Shaggy would be from Pitzer and Fred from CMC, so Scooby could be from Pomona. Honestly though, the last one doesn't seem a particularly strong fit. Can anybody do better?
      • The reasoning that one can apply to Scooby = Pomona is that each could be considered the best known of their respective groups. However, it is rather a stretch.
      • Scooby is also not necessarily representative of a college, as he could be considered an adjunct to Shaggy.

The Scooby Gang are on a paid tour of enacted "mysteries".
They signed up for a package deal— travel to a few dozen "haunted" houses around town (often made up to look like they're in various parts of the country), and try to figure out the scam at each one. The so-called "breakdowns" that "coincidentally" put them on the doorstep of a building that someone in a rubber mask is trying to "swindle" away, are all part of the act. Even Shaggy and Scooby enjoy the events; they act scared to get into the spirit of the event.
  • They took a mystery cruise once. They ran out of pretend mysteries quickly.

All the monsters are real...
And ripping off their heads kills them. Shaggy and Scooby just perceive it as a mask being taken off. This is why, episode after episode, they keep thinking the current monster is real: It is. It's the insanity battling with the reality.
  • We are watching the show through Shaggy and Scooby's own drug-induced influence! If this is the case, then the show from a true omniscient POV would be unsuitable for the Animation Age Ghetto.

Some member(s) of Mystery Inc. are Reality Warpers
Whichever one or ones of them that are reality warpers are powerful anti-mages like Doctor Thirteen. As explained in The Books of Magic, not believing in magic strongly enough can actually cause magical events to lose their magic and become reality.

Velma has known everything since the beginning
She just runs away because she's not trained to fight against bulky guys. (That, and she can't see without her glasses, which makes them an Achilles' Heel.) She told the others to solve mysteries, but she was the only one who was skeptical and knew what to do. If we don't take the later shows into consideration, she was the group's leader, but acted like the shy nerdy girl.

She also might have a Death Note hidden somewhere. It's rare to hear about or see a bitter criminal wanting revenge; she kills them as soon as they enter prison.
  • Since this only applies to earlier shows - what's the cutoff?
    • When the monsters started being real?

The different incarnations of the show are from a different character's perspective
The original series, with a more serious take on things was Freddy's perspective with him as the hero. What's New, Scooby Doo? is Daphne's viewpoint, with things being Lighter and Softer. The upcoming Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated is Velma's perspective, with things being much more grounded in reality and her being the main heroine. Finally, the movies are when things got way too real for Shaggy.

The Monsters are always real.
What's more, the main characters know it, and are government/Technocracy agents whose job it is to dispose of the reality deviants, wizards, and monsters; cover up the evidence; and convince the locals it was all a hoax. This explains why after so many 'hoaxes' they don't just tackle the guy in the mask at the beginning, and how someone in a bulky costume exhibits super-strength.

Shaggy and Scooby hail from an alternate timeline or universe...
...where their laws of physics are quite different and they escaped into Fred, Velma, and Daphne's world for some reason.
  • This would explain how Shaggy and Scooby can eat so much.

Freddy and Daphne are straight
...And in love with with each other for real. They're not The Beard for each other. Velma isn't a lesbian, she just hasn't met anyone she'd like, or everyone she meets turns out to be evil. (Ben Ravencroft anyone?) I know that this is a WMG bordering on insane since every knows that everyone on that show is homosexual.

The only person Velma's ever kissed was Scooby (Pup episode) and in the movie "Camp Scare" she is repulsed when a camp ranger flirts with her. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has her pining for Shaggy. So who knows?

  • Velma's love interests didn't really occur until the later years. In the original she dances with Shaggy once but it's used for a gag to let Scooby cut in.

Scrappy's father is the dog from Duck Hunt
The only way it makes sense...

Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders is an allegory for the Holocaust.
I was watching the movie earlier today and found the ending message of tolerance towards what you don't understand a bit confusing. They can't really mean tolerance towards aliens, can they? that won't be an issue for at least another century! Well maybe they mean tolerance towards other races/homosexuals, but that makes even less sense when one remembers that the good aliens weren't obvious at first and that they were in a heterosexual relationship with Shaggy and Scooby during the movie. So that leaves one final group: The Jews.

The rest began falling into place: The gang gets their car into a slump (Post-world war one economic downturn for Germany) and are led to believe that ugly green aliens are to blame (Jews with steriotypical jewish features and traits)and decide to help their new friends at Seti (Hitler and other heads of the Holocaust) find them before they can cause more problems (Representing the transition from German citizen into nazi soldiers). Along the way both Shaggy and Scooby meet Girls simelar to themselves whom they assume are from Earth (Germany) and court them, being them not interested much in finding the aliens (Carrying out Hitler's master plan) Meanwhile the other three try to dig deeper into the alien mystery (Carrying out the war) but are kept away from some sort of secret mountain(The camps) by MP's (The Gestapo). Wishing to get to the bottom of things, they sneak into the mountain(camp) and discover that the members of Seti (Hitler&Co.) are creating the false image of the green aliens (Evil jews) so that they may carry out their master plan: diggin up mountains of gold (Taking over the world and killing jews.) and that they paid off the MP's (Gestapo) to do their bidding.

The game steps in to stop them, but their machinery (Economic/political) power is too great. So in step two mysterious outsiders to stop them: both aliens (Jews) at first the gang is horrified, but then they come to realize that these aliens (Jews) are Shaggy and Scooby Doo's girlfriends. At this they stand togeather and turn in the thieves (Overturn the rule of the Nazi party). And though whatever anti-extraterrestrial (anti-semitic) has been done has been undone, the Benevolent aliens (The reality of jews; normal, un-evil people) realize that Earth (Germany) is no longer a good place for them and that they should return to where they belong: Their home planet (Isreal).

Ok, first off I'm not anti-semitic, this is just an allegory, and second this is a WMG, who cares?

This so-called "monster" is a criminal in a costume!!!
The ghouls and goblins are actually normal men and women who take advantage of superstitions based on local legends in order to scare people away, lest they discover a hidden treasure or an illegal operation that the "ghosts" are trying to keep underwraps.
  • I never thought of that! And the things they use that make them seem real are all machinery or trickery as well?
  • OH WOW! I DIDN'T THOUGHT OF THAT!It is Word of God, duh.

The gang is actually a group of ghosts being faced with eternal torment in purgatory for past crimes.
Here's my theory: All of the kids are really dead, Scooby is a demon tasked with watching over them while they work at solving "mysteries" to make up for their past crimes, which are:

Fred: A bullying, womanizing sociopath in life. Explains his pushy, overbearing attitude and his constant insistence on solving the next mystery. He still hasn't learned his lesson and is only wanting to finish his punishment as easily and quickly as possible. An egotist, he postures himself as the leader despite his flawed plans.

Daphne: A vain woman who used her body to get what she wanted, very promiscuous and obsessed with fashion and social hierarchy, sometimes to the point that it clouds her better judgement. Seeing Fred as the strongest and with the most power, she placates him with sex in order to curry favor with him, which is why they're usually seen going off together.

Velma: An introverted bookworm who gave more attention to her studies than she did to friends and family and purposely isolated herself from the outside world. Mixed with what she once considered "common riffraff", she must learn to cooperate and build relationships with other humans if she ever hopes to ascend to a higher plane.

Shaggy: A junkie who died of a drug overdose. He has formed a bond with Scooby over time and, though he hasn't learned his lesson in the least, has inadvertently provided the rest of the gang with the semi-freedom they enjoy. Because he is high all the time, he's the only one who doesn't notice that Scooby isn't nearly as afraid of everything as he would have the gang believe.
  • Or alternatively Shaggy: A young man drafted to serve in Vietnam who killed himself (drug overdose or otherwise) rather than be forced to serve in Vietnam. He experience the same things that the soldiers there did: constant hunger and starvation (no matter how much he eats, it will never be enough), terror that an unknown enemy that turns out to just be other humans can hurt or terrorize him at any time, but he also is given the camaraderie that soldiers feel with Scooby so that he knows it would have been better to live.

Scooby Doo: A high-level demon who was assigned to keep watch over the four kids, ensuring that they each learn their lesson and is not allowed to release them until they do. He has gotten attached to them over tim, Shaggy, in particular, due to them being Birds of a Feather, and as such Scooby has loosened his grip on their leash quite a bit, allowing them luxuries they wouldn't have normally had otherwise(like staying in hotels and going to barnyard dances). Should they get to comfortable in one place, however, the goofy and lovable act will quickly fade as a much more aggressive side becomes more prominent. He may secretly care about the group (Shaggy in particular), but they all see him as a horrible monster that they must fight to one day escape.

They are never allowed to stay in one place for long, and the kind and friendly behavior they exhibit is merely a ruse they put on to seem more convincing. They're learning, however, slowly but surely. The Mystery Machine is their tomb, which they can't stray too far from without inciting Scooby's demonic wrath. The fear of that wrath is the only thing holding them together. If it was gone, they would split up(for good) and haul ass to the ends of the earth in an attempt to escape the canine horror that mocks them with his silly grin and put-on cowardice.

Scrappy, on the other hand.... He's just a manifestation of Scooby's inherent demonic sadism created to torment and undermine the group's suffering when he feels that they have grown too complacent with their current situation. Or, alternately he could be Scooby's apprentice, who he dislikes, but has to keep around.

  • You just ruined my childhood. I hope you're happy.
  • On the other hand, you just made my day. Bravo.

The gang is dead, and in purgatory, take two.
A slightly different interpretation of the "they're dead" WMG above. The Gang where traveling in the "mystery machine" sometime in the late 1960s, when they where in a car accident that killed them all. After death their souls became trapped in purgatory. This explains why every building they visit is abandoned. Scooby Doo, who in life was a normal, non-talking dog, takes on the role of a sort of "spirit guardian" who's job it is to keep the gang safe after his death. He is the only member of the group that is in purgatory of his own free will. He could've gone to heaven, but instead decided to enter purgatory. This is because of his strong domestic dog instinct to protect his humans, and a sort of "animal sixth sense" that helps him understand the actual danger the gang's in even if they don't. The monsters are actual demons, which Scooby Doo, in his role of protector, ends up defeating in every episode, this is because since Scooby Doo is the only member of the group without sin, he's the only member who the demons don't actually have power over. After Scooby defeats the demons, the gang's minds, causes them to hallucinate that the demon is actually just a guy in a mask. This is to protect their psyches from learning the truth they're not ready to learn. The world is derived from their collective sub-conscious, for example the "creepiness" of the places they go, and the forms the demons take comes from Shaggy, the biggest coward of the group, while the "clues" that Velma find are fabrications of her rational mind trying to makes sense of what's happening.

Scooby thinks that he's the reason the oddballs in the costumes are chasing the Gang.

Every so often, Fred or Velma will ask Scooby to act as a sort of bloodhound and get him to pick up the scent of the petty felon in the mask messing with them; the problem is that they tend to be hazy on the fact that Scooby can't turn his sense of smell on or off like a machine. Like any other of his senses, it's on twenty-four/seven; that means that the costumes can't and don't keep him from knowing who the crook in the suit is. To him, it's just another suit of clothing that the person happens to be wearing; since people know that he can speak English, he thinks that his ability to identify the malefactor du jour is a source of danger to the teenagers that happen to be in his vicinity. He only feigns a belief in monsters so that the gang doesn't realize this and put themselves in harm's way trying to protect him.

Scrappy's family doesn't want him either

why so you think the first time we see him he's stuffed in a crate and shoved out of a train?
  • Fridge Logic. Scrappy is related to Scooby.
    • I dunno, lots of people call family friends or guardians "Uncle." Scooby's explanation of Scrappy's parentage could just be a way to save face and protect Scrappy's feelings.
    • Sort of Jossed by Scrappy's Birthday. Scrappy tells his mother he wants to go with his Uncle Scooby. If the credits are canon, perhaps Scrappy snuck away mailing himself in the package. If you were Ruby Doo, would you want your son running around with your brother that runs into some monster everywhere he goes 24/7?

Crystal and Amber are Plumbers.

As we know, they described themselves as police officers from a distant solar system; given that they probably know Max Tennyson, it's not hard to realize that their excuse about dressing like hippies because the TV signals they've picked up date from 1970 is a lie. They're probably following his "If you find a look that works, stick with it" philosophy.

Eating Scooby snacks makes you part dog.
This is why Shaggy understands Scooby, he's at least partially dog. The others don't really understnad Scooby, they just kinda guess by his gestures, something any human can do. But Shaggy is the only to respond to Shaggy's words. I can also explain some of the other things that most people pin on a drug habit. Dogs also have a large appetite. And his heightened senses make him paranoid because the human mind isn't designed to deal with that much input.

The cast is college age
Really, they go all around the world without ever getting in trouble with the law for being underage. I guessed they were 18+ because you could be a legal adult and on your own at age 18.
  • They hated being called "kids" in Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost.

Scooby does not exist.
In the earliest cartoon, none of the characters interact with him and what he does is just part of Shaggy's high or brain-damaged mind. Whenever Scooby does anything, the other characters are condescending - like they're talking to a child with an imaginary friend.

The show is set in the midst of an economic collapse.
Cracked came up with this first.

Most of the bad guys that Mystery, Inc. deals with are geniuses able to create realistic monster costumes, project full-scale holograms and carve out high-tech hideouts in abandoned mineshafts, and many of them had impressive skills before they turned to crime — in the original run, for example, three were PhDs, and two were lawyers. Yet their motivations usually involve money, finding work, getting revenge on their bosses who fired them, or getting revenge on robots, the quintessential job stealers. Plus, there's the fact that seemingly every area in the Scooby-Doo universe — ski resorts, amusement parks, mansions, airfields — looks deserted and dilapidated. The setting of Scooby-Doo is a dystopia where the economy has collapsed and skilled workers are forced to turn to crime in order to make a living.

Plus, there's the fact that the show first premiered at the end of The Sixties, the tail end of America's postwar "golden years", and is most associated with The Seventies, the age of economic malaise.

The Mystery Gang work for the FBI.

This cartoon is a precursor to The X-Files.

Scrappy is actually a very kind and shy puppy off the set
He rarely talks to anyone, or at all at that. He deeply regrets his roll on the show, and wishes he could have taken it back if he could.

The gang actually sets up all the monster hoaxes and "stops" them for fame and money.
Think about it. Why else would it be that EVERY town they stop by suddenly has a monster issue? They find someone in town to think of a motive and dress up as a monster to scare people. The gang catches and exposes the monster to make it appear that they solved the mystery. They share part of their reward money with the "criminal".

The reason Shaggy connects so well with Scooby and enjoys Scooby Snacks is because he's a werewolf.
It's established in Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf that Shaggy is next in line to be the wolf-man. That's why he displays super speed, strength, stamina, etc, and why he can eat dog treats. He has canine genes. Even before and after his transformation the werewolf genes were dormant inside him.

  • Probable. As long before Reluctant Werewolf we find Shaggy's family had a werewolf curse. So it turns the fact that he was destined to be that Dracula's new werewolf become a mythology gag.

The reason Scooby can talk.
The people in the Scooby-Doo universe can use Full Metal Alchemist like alchemy and they created Scooby-Doo as a talking human/dog hybrid chimera who just happens to look very very dog like.

The reason Shaggy and Scooby are afraid of ghosts is because they had to kill a demon once.
As it turns out, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated seems to be the origin story of the Gang. Since Scooby and the others remember the fight with the Nibiru entity, he and Shaggy are worried that all the oddballs in the costumes might herald in a lesser version of the same monster.
  • Let's not forget that they had to watch as the Entity ate pretty much everyone that they knew. Sure, they came back afterwards but hanging around the previously dead isn't going to do wonders for anyone's peace of mind.

"Coolsville" is an ironic name the gang have given their home town of Crystal Cove.
To continue on with this, the Gang all have a certain degree of trouble dealing with the fact that saving Crystal Cove has made it no longer the town they all remember. While they like the idea of the people living happy lives free from the Nibiru entity's influence, part of each of them sees the place as being half-way to being a Mary Suetopia and thus refer to it by a seemingly-complimentary nickname that hides their real feelings.

Stage Fright's promises a twist....
...and my guess to it would right up the "Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits" neighborhood. The gang had decide to set a trap. Freddie explains the trap as usual — but before he can send Shaggy and Scooby-Doo out to get the villain. They heard a a lot of noises similar how Freddie imagines Shaggy and Scooby-Doo would have made from the trap. The villian is trapped, unmasked, and his plan reveal. The gang is about to leave when they heard voice similar to Scooby-Doo and Shaggy from the trap. They pull out another Shaggy and Scooby-Doo from the trap. This puzzle the gang and Daphne is amount to groan about feeding four cowardly eating machines — but another Daphne enters with another Freddie and another Velma. This second Mystery Inc. is the gang from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. As the two Shaggy and two Scooby-Doo eat, the Crystal Cove gang and the Coolville gang compare notes on their hometowns.

The crew behind "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" most likely did not watch the original series.
This is likely, because the animation instead is done in Warner Bros. Animation's typical house style, and for the most part attempts to be more "realistic" and like real life, compared to the originals' more cartoony tones. The gang is all exaggerated parodies of how they originally were, such as Fred being a more ditzy and scatterbrained version of himself, Daphne becoming more fashion-conscious, etc. in a manner similar to A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, implying that the staff mainly only watched that series for research and references in the series' production process. The staff also most likely hated Hanna-Barbera's famous Stock Sound Effects, and instead gave the sound editors only a small portion of the library and ordered them to make new effects from scratch, to make the show sound more like the real world as well.

  • It seems better to pass that buck along now. What's New updated the show and made some alterations, which to be fair had happened over the course of the series in Hanna Barbera's day. The lack of sound effects may be true but they did go as far as to throw some references to the older fans.

Compare and contrast with Mystery Incoproated, that aimed to be Cartoon Network's "smart" scooby series yet raises a whole lot more question if those writers ever "got" what made Scooby popular (or Hanna Barbera in that sense) in the first place.

At some point, the gang from "Be Cool, Scooby-Doo" will run headlong into the cast of "Scooby-Doo, Mystery Incorporated."
This is because the people from the Denser and Wackier version of the timeline are the people that the Gang that destroyed the Nibiru entity believe themselves to have displaced. Every so often, the gang from the new series will come across clues that there's another van with another group of meddling kids and a talking dog with a speech impediment on their own road-trip. At one point, the Scooby who knows that he's part alien will end up in the wrong van; the end result will be that both gangs will end up comparing notes about crooked real estate developers in rubber masks.

Scrappy is dead
In the first live action movie, he tries to kill off an island, steal their souls and take over the world, in a later series, Scrappy appears as an exhibit in a museum, that Scrappy is the real Scrappy who was killed and stuffed, that's why Fred said they vowed to never speak of him again.

Shaggy is a furry
Shaggy has worn a number of animal costumes and masks, and he also got to be turned into a werewolf, and he probably secretly enjoyed it in the back of his mind. He also apparently enjoyed masking up as Scooby-Doo at the end of "Never Ape an Ape Man," which helped to fuel Shaggy's furry fetish. In 2003's "A Scooby-Doo Halloween," Shaggy even dressed up as Scooby for his Halloween costume. This would also explain why Shaggy has such a strong relationship with Scooby-Doo (though he most likely is still straight, as seen in some productions.) If Furaffinity existed in the Scooby-Doo universe, Shaggy would probably have an account there.

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