Western Animation / A Pup Named Scooby-Doo

"There's a mystery in town, so call the coolest pup around, oh
Scoo-oby, a pup named Scooby-Doo (Scooby-dooby doo, scooby-doo!)"

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is one of the more ambitious additions to the Scooby-Doo franchise, airing from September 1988 to August 1991 for 30 episodes. In it, Mystery Inc. (here called "The Scooby Doo Detective Agency") are aged-down to pre-teens and placed in a new continuity, but still solved supernatural themed mysteries in which the Monster of the Week turned out to be some crook in a mask.

Notable for its Denser and Wackier humor which bordered on outright self-parody, poking fun at all of the tropes and clichés from the previous inceptions of the characters, the most notable being the constant use of a Red Herring foil, seen here Once per Episode in the form of a rotten kid named... Red Herring. This was accompanied by appropriately broader designs and over-the-top cartoon animation which made the original show's already Limited Animation look like still photos by comparison.

The creative team at Hanna-Barbera responsible for the series would leave for Warner Bros. after the first season to work with Steven Spielberg on another, most successful series with similar concepts.

More recently, the concept of revisiting the cast in their earlier years appeared in the movie Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (meant to be a prequel to the original Scooby-Doo live action movie series) and the video game Scooby-Doo: First Frights. The movie set them as meeting in high schoolnote  while the video game had them meet in elementary school.

This was Don Messick's last portrayal of Scooby-Doo.

The show uses several of the same tropes as the original series as well as many of its own. See the Shout-Out page here.


  • Adaptation Expansion: This show is the first to give us Doo Manor and that it is to be Scooby's upon adulthood. In the franchise's Archie comic, this is expanded upon, being Spooky Doo's and is left to Scooby on a part of him knowing his nephew to be a coward. This also explains why during Scooby's puppyhood Dada Doo and Uncle Horton would both be living at their brother's home, until the rightful heir came of age.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In other series, it is either Velma or Fred who is skeptical about the existence of ghosts and monsters. Here, it is Daphne.
    "I keep telling you, there are no such things as ghosts!note 
  • Agent Scully: At the end of "Ghost Who's Coming to Dinner", Daphne still doesn't believe in ghosts even after spending nearly the whole episode interacting with one.
  • Amnesia Episode: "The Return of Commander Cool," where Shaggy is dressed as the titular superhero but ends up with amnesia and thinks he really is Commander Cool for the majority of the episode.
  • And That's Terrible: The Very Special Episode about drugs repeatedly reminded the audience at home that drugs were very, very bad. Every time Velma was bringing up the subject, she'd take a long pause and then virtually spit the word out in disgust ("He was selling...DRUGS!"); similarly, Scooby would react with revulsion whenever the word was spoken.
  • Animation Bump: Common when Glen Kennedy was animating; the characters suddenly moved in a more fluid, bouncy manner, and were more prone to bizarre movements and bouncy wild takes.
  • Antidisestablishmentarianism: In "For Letter or Worse", The first word the contestants playing the titular game show is "Antidisestablishmentarianism". The Brainy Bunch figures it out as soon as the host informs the contestants it's the longest word.
  • Arkham's Razor: Used almost every episode during The Summation, every suspect is listed... and the one character who isn't listed for whatever reason (too unlikely, had an alibi, or the writers simply didn't feel like including him / her) is invariably the culprit.
  • Art Evolution: The first season's animation was more bright and colorful, and often more fluid. It was digitally colored in-house at H-B. From the second season onward, the show's look changed, due to the animation now being produced using hand-painted cels. Glen Kennedy also left after the show's first season, so the animation got less fluid and over-the-top. The final season also had a number of Off-Model moments and other animation problems.
  • Banister Slide: Scooby and Shaggy do this in Scooby's giant doghouse in "The Sludge Monster From The Earth's Core" episode.
  • Batman Gambit: This is how the gang catches the monster in "The Schnook Who Took My Comic Book". The gang pretends to have found another limited edition Commander Cool comic book (the monster had previously stolen the other one). This prompts the monster to show up to take the (actually fake) comic book and allows the gang to catch him. It's a Batman Gambit because this plan would not have worked if the monster's secret identity, the comic book's creator, hadn't been so greedy as to try to make his limited edition the only one in the world.
  • Battle Butler: Dawson, the stand-in for Daphne's usual butler Jenkins, chases off a pack of angry stray dogs by acting even bigger and meaner.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Scooby's dog house. It looks like an ordinary doghouse from the outside, but inside it's a luxurious mansion, enough to make even Daphne a little jealous.
  • The Cameo: Yogi Bear and Ranger Smith appear in "The Story Stick". Yogi notably is portrayed as much more of a vicious wild animal than his regular self, scaring the villain off in one scene, and would be almost unrecognizable were it for the fact that he still has his trademark hat and tie on.note 
    • Yogi and Boo-Boo also appear on a TV in "Lights, Camera, Monster."
  • Catch-Phrase: Many of the same from the original series and many others.
    • "Jinkies."
      • "Velma said, 'Jinkies.' It must be a clue."
    • After Shaggy makes a pun:
      Shaggy: "Get it, Scoob?"
      Scooby: (after much laughing) "I don't get it."note 
    • "Zoinks!"
    • "I would've gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for you pesky kids. Oh, and that puppy."
      • That one is more of an example of a group Phrase-Catcher than a Catch-Phrase.
      • One time the gang said it for the culprit, she said, "How did you know I was gonna say that?".
    • "Would you do it for a Scooby Snack?"
      • Averted in "The Computer Walks Among Us". Scooby enters a dark closet when Velma kisses him.
    • "That will do, Jenkins."
      • "Yes, Miss Blake."
    • "It could only be...Red Herring!"note 
    • "Let's split up, gang!" (always said by Fred when splitting up is completely inappropriate).
    • "There's no such things as ghosts!" Ironically, Daphne doesn't even believe the slightest possibility of monsters existing (even when they met an actual ghost), while in most series she believes, along with Scooby and Shaggy, the monster might be real (or at least more open-minded). Even her parents don't believe in ghosts.
  • Character Exaggeration: Done to Fred, Daphne, and Velma. Shaggy and Scooby are about the same as ever. That may be because it's close to impossible to exaggerate them. They've always had bottomless stomachs, they've always been complete cowards, and they've always done anything for a Scooby Snack or twenty. Sometimes a whole box.
    • Scooby simply adores Velma in this show. She gets as many "wet puppy kisses" from Scooby as Shaggy does.
  • Clear My Name: The gang helped Velma do this in one episode when she was facing suspension after being framed for using a robot (which she did create) to break in to the school lockers.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Freddy, who is completely clueless during every mystery they try to solve. Other than Red Herring, Freddy has also claimed that the Mole People were the culprits (or even that the culprit was working for the Mole People).
  • Clown Car Base: Scooby's dog house. On the outside, it's a tiny dog house. On the inside, it's a mansion.
  • Conflict Ball: In "Night of the Living Burger", Shaggy and Scooby have fallen out and spend the whole episode bickering, and we never find out what they were arguing about in the first place.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Freddie frequently comes up with bizarre theories about aliens (or the mole people, or Red Herring) trying to conquer the earth in the most harebrained way imaginable.
  • Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: Averted for the most part. The setting is the early 1960's (which makes sense, as the original took place in the later 60's), and the music is rooted in Doo Wop and Motown. Though Velma has a computer, it's an impossibly bulky UNIVAC-style model.
  • Continuity Nod: In "The Return of Commander Cool", Carol Colossal's toy company is being tormented by an alien, that turns out to be her secretary, Barbara Simone in an attempt to steal blueprints. Ms. Colossal returns in the episode, "Wrestle Maniacs", revealing that she hired Ms. Simone back on as her secretary through a prison-release work permit. She notes that good help is hard to find.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Velma. She has a Bag of Holding.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Only in the episode "Night of the Boogie Biker" is Freddy right about bully Red Herring being the monster.
    • Played with in another episode, when the gang is planning on creating a movie. Freddy suggests that they make a film about them solving a mystery, and the gang congratulates him on having a good idea. This is apparently so rare that the show is "interrupted" by a special news bulletin featuring an announcer shouting "FREDDY HAD A GOOD IDEA! IT'S A MIRACLE!"
  • Diabolical Dogcatcher: There's an evil dog catcher who sometimes goes after Scooby. What kind of a dog catcher goes after dogs that aren't strays?
  • The Ditz: Again, Freddy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Daphne's parents talk about "Tuesday nights" as if they're special nights to be intimate with each other. When asked why they reference Tuesday nights with a seductive tone, Daphne says Tuesdays are actually for counting money, which usually lasts until Saturday.
    • Scooby's reaction to eating a Scooby Snack. He moans with pleasure, then shoots into the sky as fireworks go off, and finally drifts back to earth with a happy smile on his face. Oh, and Shaggy usually holds him afterwards. This seems to be a Shout-Out to Snuffles the Tracking Dog from Quick Draw McGraw, who would often react that same way to getting a biscuit. Muttley has also done this.
  • Drugs Are Bad: As a result of being produced during the height of the Anti-Drug campaign, this episode is extremely anvilicious when it comes to drugs, even for an American kids show. Most shows had maybe one or two special episodes about drugs, this show had it become a recurring motive.
    "DRUGS?! Drugs can mess you up!"
  • Elvis Impersonator: One episode had an Elvis Presley Expy named Purvis Parker, and the gang met one of his impersonators.
  • Everybody Did It: A variation in "For Letter or Worse." While only one person— namely, Prestina— is the culprit, it turns out that the majority of the suspects the gang met were Prestina in various disguises.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Lampshaded by the characters yelling, "Start the music!" whenever a chase started. The chase montages were even filled with clips of the characters (and sometimes the monster) dancing.
  • Expository Theme Tune: And a catchy one at that.
    There's a mystery in town, so call the coolest pup around! Oh, Scooby! A Pup Named Scooby-Doo!
  • Expy: Daphne in this series looks a lot like Holly from Pound Puppies (1980s), another cartoon by Hanna-Barbera.
  • Fairplay Whodunnit: Usually the clues to figure out who it is will be right there in the episode, although sometimes you'd have to ignore whatever funny antics are going on at the time to see them (for example, a suspect might be carrying some item that in hindsight helps prove he's the monster, but you might not see it because Shaggy and Scooby are having some funny reaction at the time).
  • Feud Episode: In "Night of the Living Burger," Shaggy and Scooby have just had a fight and spend nearly the whole episode with their backs to one another, refusing to speak. This hinders the gang's attempts at solving a mystery involving a giant monster hamburger. Once all is said and the two are speaking to each other again, they realize that neither one remembers why they were arguing in the first place.
  • Headless Horseman: Actually, the headless skateboarder. No joke.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: When Red Herring was revealed once to be the criminal, Fred Jones throws a nasty tantrum.
  • I Will Show You X: In "A Bicycle Built for Boo", Freddie, under the belief that Red Herring stole Shaggy's bicycle and painted it blue, damaged Red's bicycle with a sandblaster.
    Red: I'm gonna whoops you, Freddie!
  • Identity Amnesia: Shaggy loses his memory and believes himself to be his hero, Commander Cool.
  • Idiot Hero: Fred becomes a hilarious ignoramus in this show, a characterization that stuck for a while, showing up in the live action movies, and every once in a while in What's New, Scooby-Doo?, the animated movies and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc.
  • Impact Silhouette: In the opening sequence.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Fred in this series has a vivid imagination and explains things with little to no sense at all.
  • The Jeeves: Jenkins. Dawson, who responds to Daphne's call when Jenkins isn't available, also counts.
  • Jerkass: Innocent in most cases or not, Red Herring is still a huge jerk to the gang.
  • Just Eat Him:
    Shaggy: "Like, Scooby-Doo just ate the Cheese Monster!"
  • Language Barrier: In the episode "Now Museum, Now You Don't", the monster of the episode is a "samurai ghost". However, at one point he tries to steal some valuable swords, and Velma says something to him in Japanesenote . He steals the swords anyway, but that proves he doesn't understand Japanese, since Velma was saying to him, "Those swords are fake." Now why would a Japanese ghost not understand Japanese? It's one of the major clues that he is actually the curator of the museum.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the original wasn't necessarily all that scary, this is even more lighthearted.
    • Also Denser and Wackier, as this series is also a lot more cartoony than the original series.
  • Lost in Imitation: This show developed the personalities of the heroes much more than the original show. Velma's braininess, Daphne's wealth, and Freddy's idiocy all became signature traits and have been a part of the franchise since.
  • Meaningful Name: Red Herring. Freddy always suspects him, to the point where other characters start to Lampshade this, but he was only the culprit once. And that one time was the one time Freddy wasn't allowed to accuse him.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: In "The Were-Doo of Doo Manor", just as the Were-Doo about to attack Shaggy and Scooby, a bell sounds, indicating that it's snacktime, so they all stop what they're doing and go to a table to eat. Once they're finished, Shaggy and Scooby run off and the Were-Doo chases after them.
  • Mythology Gag: This show brings back Ruby Doo, Scrappy's mother, who hadn't appeared since the early 1980s.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: Scooby would often change his appearance to that of the Monster of the Week.
  • No Fourth Wall: In some episodes, the characters would talk to the viewers directly after catching the monster, asking them whether they had figured out who the monster is.
  • Not Me This Time: In one episode, Fred repeatedly accuse Red Herring of committing the crime, which lead to a Running Gag of him saying this in that episode.
    • It was inverted in another episode. The gang challenges Fred to go without accusing Red Herring of any crimes for twenty-four hours, just before a motorcycle is stolen. It turns out that this was the one time Red did do it (he was secretly adding a sidecar to the bike as a present). Fred has an epic Heroic B.S.O.D. at the news.
  • Not Quite Dead: In "Curse of the Collar", the gang deals with the ghost of the dogcatcher with a grudge against the Doo Family, Buster McMuttMauler. Which as usual wasn't real. But then later in the series we see that the real Buster McMuttMauler is still very much alive as well.
  • Notable Original Music: Many episodes had an original song based around the Monster of the Week, which was often played during the chase.
  • Once a Season: An episode where Commander Cool and Mellow Mutt are a significant part of the plot.
  • Once an Episode: Freddy blames Red Herring for being behind everything. Even in the episode where the gang is supposed to prove Red innocent.
  • Opening Narration: Most episode begin with Shaggy narrating what he, Scooby and the gang are doing, often ending in a Title Drop.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Played entirely for laughs, of course. In "The Story Stick", Velma finds a clue as usual and says "Jinkies", but this time nobody chimes in that it must be a clue, because everyone else is busy looking under tree stumps and the like and are too far away. Velma says "Jinkies" louder, but still they don't hear. So Velma gets so frustrated she brings out a megaphone and screams "I SAID JINKIES!!!" prompting Fred to finally say the line about Velma finding a clue.
  • Overly Long Name: One episode features a character named Rosemary Kate Heather Tiffany Bibby Smith Jones Wolfe Nelson. Her birth name is Laura Jane Carla Barbie Mallory Madeline Morton Mitchell. She usually goes by Julie.
  • Panty Shot: Velma in "A Bicycle Built For Boo"; her and Daphne in "The Babysitter From Beyond."
  • Pepper Sneeze: Occurred with newspaper ink instead of pepper.
  • Pre-Teen Genius: Velma went from being The Smart Guy to being an Omnidisciplinary Scientist, having a super-computer devoted solely to crime-solving stuffed in a briefcase, and doing work for NASA even.note 
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Wrestle Maniacs".
  • Real After All: The cast actually does find a real ghost at one point, though it's a harmless friendly ghost named Mr Boo. The Villain of the Week's plan would result in the house he haunts to be demolished, which would mean the good ghost would cease to exist, so the team ends up having to help him.
  • Red Herring: Short of using an actual red fish, you just can't get more literal than this: Red Herring was the name of an actual character, a local bully. Once an Episode, Freddy would accuse him of being the culprit; the accusation always came out of nowhere, with zero evidence to support it. Fred's logic was that Red was a jerk, and thus must be the villain. Red would always respond with an airtight alibi, much to Freddy's chagrin. Only in the episode "Night of the Boogie Biker" was Red actually the monster.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: If only because Daphne's status as a rich girl is played for all it's worth. Apart from Velma, she usually plays the Only Sane Man role (especially with regards to Fred).
    Daphne: "Jenkins? Be scared for me."
    Jenkins: "Yes, Miss Blake. AHHHHHHHH!"
  • Role Reprisal: Casey Kasem and Don Messick reprise their roles of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, while Freddy, Daphne and Velma were voiced by new actors, making this the only instalment of the Scooby franchise to date not to cast Frank Welker as Fred. As mentioned above, this ended up being Don Messick's last performance of Scooby.
  • Running Gag: Among others, Freddy accusing Red Herring of everything.
  • Self-Parody: One of the first Scooby-Doo shows to do so, often lampshading the usual tropes and conventions associated with the franchise.
  • Shaggy Search Technique: Surprisingly, Scooby pulls it off more frequently than Shaggy.
  • Shrinking Violet: Velma. In early episodes, her only lines in the entire show were "Jinkies" and the name of the real crook (when this happened, the other characters would usually exclaim: "Velma talked!" in complete astonishment). Later episodes gave her more lines, with "Jinkies" instead becoming her Verbal Tic that she'd found a clue.
  • Skewed Priorities: Daphne once refused to be saved from a fall because the helicopter Jenkins brought doesn't match her dress.
  • Snub by Omission: After the villains are revealed, they will say the traditional, "And I would've gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you meddling kids." Many times, Scooby would have to remind them to finish by saying, "Oh, and that puppy."
  • Something Completely Different: Toward the end of the original run, one episode was done in a Three Shorts format with simpler, more slapstick-oriented plots, possibly as a shout-out to the franchise's earliest attempts to change up the "monster mystery" formula (though sans Scrappy).
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: Scooby, natch.
  • Start My Own: Lester Leonard left the Critter Getters to start his own monster-catching business.
  • Strictly Formula: Find bad guy, interview suspects, find clues, trap the monster, and let Velma reveal who the monster is. Of course, this formula has been found in many Scooby-Doo spin-offs, so it's naturally lampshaded to a great extent.
  • The Television Talks Back: In one episode, the gang watch a news report about a cheese monster who had been ravaging Coolsville. Tying into one of the shows running gags, Scooby exclaims "A rease ronster??", to which the news anchor on TV replies "No, a cheese monster."
  • Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: Shaggy and Scooby did this throughout "Night of the Living Burger", using Daphne as an intermediary.
  • Title Drop: At the beginning and end of every episode.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Freddie is significantly dumber than he's ever been depicted in previous Scooby-Doo incarnations. The personality trait stuck around in later productions.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Although Shaggy and Scooby are known to eat just about anything, there's nothing they love more than Scooby Snacks.
  • Vocal Evolution: Freddy's voice becomes deeper in later episodes when his voice actor goes through puberty.
  • Wild Take: Several. The animators seemed to have a running bet to see who could make the next wild take even more outrageous and surreal. Glen Kennedy's wild takes have often been the most off the wall.
  • You Meddling Kids: With emphasis on kids this time, and the villains often would refer to them as "pesky kids" rather than "meddling."