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Western Animation: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

"And I got away with it thanks to those meddling kids and their dog."
Iwao Takamoto, character designer for Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, discussing the show's success

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is a popular animated television series created by Hanna-Barbera, launched all the way back in 1969. It consisted of two seasons which originally aired Saturday mornings on CBS. The series spawned the famous Scooby-Doo franchise, which is still running to this day, lasting over forty years!

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! featured a gang of four mystery-solving teenagers, and their talking Great Dane, Scooby-Doo. In each episode, the Scooby Doo Gang runs into some sort of paranormal activity, and it's up to them to solve the case. In nearly every episode, however, it just turns out to be a man in a mask, though the gang never seems to catch onto this.


Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! provides examples of the following Tropes:

  • '70s Hair: The characters were designed in 1969, but close enough.
  • Abandoned Area: The most common setting of the series.
    • Abandoned Mine: There's one in the episode "Mine Your Own Business".
    • Ghost Town: Gold City, also from "Mine Your Own Business".
    • Haunted Castle: The primary location in "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts" and "Hassle in the Castle" naturally.
    • Haunted House: Of course! Standout examples include "A Night of Fright is No Delight", "What the Hex Going On", and "Haunted House Hang-Up".
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: In "Spooky Space Kook", Shaggy and Scooby build one only to find out that the door opens outwards instead of inwards.
    • In "Mystery Mask Mix-up", we have this:
    Shaggy (after they've finished nailing the door shut): He won't be able to open that door.
    The wall lifts up, revealing the ghost.
    Shaggy: Wouldn't you know he'd come through the wall?
  • Always Night: The monsters and ghosts only appear at night (and for good reason) and daylight scenes occur on only a few occasions throughout the entire series.
  • Amusement Park of Doom
  • Assurance Backfire: "What A Night For A Knight" has this at the onset, when Shaggy and Scooby hear a noise in the bushes and Shaggy tells Scooby to see what it is.
    Shaggy: Don't worry...I'm right behind you.
    Scooby: (sarcastically) Thanks a lot.
  • Bannister Slide: In "A Night Of Fright Is No Delight". As the two green ghosts are fleeing Shaggy and Scooby, they jump on to a stair's banister and slide down in in an attempt to escape.
  • Bat Scare: The opening credits, every time.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: The Phantom of Vasquez Castle, although he subverts the typical ineptitude such a costume usually implies by being transparent and intangible for the majority of the episode.
  • Beneath Suspicion: The show plays this trope straight constantly during its early incarnations, although they begin playing with it in later series and spinoffs. In the original series, the one character the gang briefly meets early on in each episode disappears and is never seen again... Until the monster is captured. He usually tries to make himself extremely helpful during the brief time he's seen, which is another hint. However, as shown below, there were exceptions.
    • Subverted in one episode where the gang meets a rather creepy-looking farmer who tells them about a ghost haunting a nearby abandoned airfield. They investigate, and find out that the phony ghost is not the farmer, but the farmer's next-door neighbor (who we haven't even seen until now) who was trying to scare the farmer off his land. And the police who show up at the end? The creepy farmer called them himself when he got worried about the Scooby gang's own safety!
    • Double subverted in one episode, where the kids meet a creepy old man who tells them a creepy story of a haunted house, then disappears. They spend most of the episode trying to catch a headless ghost in said haunted house, only to find out it's the inheritor of the house (a person they've never seen before), trying to keep treasure hunters away until he can recover his grandfather's fortune. The next moment, a masked burglar wearing a bedsheet on his head breaks into the house. They catch him and guess what? He's the guy they met in the beginning.
    • In another episode, they are alone for the first half without meeting anyone. This one has no disguised villains, just a malfunctioning robot and an inventor trying to repair it, and his wife, who doesn't like robots, and only appears at the very end.
  • Big Eater: Guess.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. From liverwurst and fried chicken sandwiches to peanut butter pizza with anchovies and chocolate sauce. Shaggy once even wanted to put fish food on his sandwich along with the other condiments, but he changed his mind when the goldfish in the tank got angry.
  • Black Belt in Origami: In "Mystery Mask Mix-up", Shaggy tries to bluff the ghost: "Go on, I dare you to cross the line, but I warn you, I know judo, chop suey, and Chinese checkers!" The ghost (being Chinese) was not intimidated.
  • Blind Mistake: Velma made a few blunders after losing her glasses. Among other things, she once approached a statue and thought it was Shaggy, petrified with fear.
  • Blind Without 'Em: "My glasses! I can't see without my glasses!"
  • Boyish Short Hair: Velma Dinkley has short hair that reaches up to her chin.
  • Brainy Brunette: Velma is portrayed as a highly intelligent young woman.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: "The Backstage Rage" starts with Shaggy and Scooby discovering a violin case full of money. It's the start of a counterfeiting caper.
  • The Butler Did It:
    • In "Go Away Ghost Ship", the Scooby gang has to chase a ghost pirate. Their employer, Mr. Magnus, has a big, creepy-looking butler who is an obstacle into going to see him. At the end of the episode, when the pirate is unmasked, Shaggy is surprised:
    Shaggy: Like, I thought the butler always did it.
    • In "Nowhere to Hyde", all clues initially point to the housemaid Helga, but in the end it turns out that all those clues were planted by the real villain, who reveals himself when Shaggy and Scooby accidentally find a true clue.
  • But This Is Ridiculous!: Twice.
    • Velma, when Shaggy goes off dancing with Scooby:
    Well, I've been a wallflower before, but this is ridiculous!
    • Shaggy, when he has to carry Scooby over to "investigate".
    I've heard of holding somebody's hand when they're scared, but this is ridiculous.
  • Buzzsaw Jaw: In "That's Snow Ghost", Scooby rapidly bites a log in two after Velma tells him to "make like a beaver."
  • Captain Colorbeard: Redbeard, from "Go Away Ghost Ship."
  • Cartoon Juggling: Shaggy in "A Tiki Scare is No Fair" while distracting the Witch Doctor.
  • Cartoony Tail: Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane and has a tail like one◊, but it often curls and waves like that of a cat.
  • Catch Phrase
  • Chase Scene: Just about every episode. Sometimes with music.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Closed Circle or not, the gang can't help but to lend a hand. It's pretty much lampshaded in "Go Away, Ghost Ship".
    C.L. Magnus: What's going on in here?
    Daphne: Would you believe we're here to help you?
    Shaggy: Like, Good Samaritan joes!
  • Cobweb of Disuse: In "Mine Your Own Business", Shaggy and Scooby get cups full of them. In "Nowhere to Hyde", the attic has a collection of them.
  • Conveyor Belt-O-Doom:
    • In "Don't Fool with a Phantom", the last episode of the original Scooby-Doo series, the Wax Phantom (the Monster of the Week) left Shaggy and Scooby tied up on a conveyor belt that would dump them into a tank of melted wax, and Shaggy quipped, "That bit went out with the silent movies!" You know it's a Dead Horse Trope when it's being parodied in the early 1970s.
    • Not that this stopped the Snow Ghost from tying Velma to a log and sending it towards a buzzsaw in "That's Snow Ghost"...
  • Danger Takes a Front Seat: the Creeper.
  • Delaying The Rescue: In "Scooby Doo and a Mummy Too", Shaggy leaves the professor Bound and Gagged after getting his word that he's all right. "Groovy. Be back for you later."
  • Distressed Damsel: Danger-Prone Daphne.
  • The Dog Bites Back: at the end of "Decoy for a Dognapper", the kidnapped dogs chase and tree the villain.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Done in "A Clue For Scooby Doo". The villain is disguised as the alleged ghost of a dead sailor. The episode presents two suspects: the dead sailor's wife, and another sailor. The villain turns out to be the dead sailor, who was not so dead after all. (However, his wife was an accomplice.)
  • Dramatic Unmask/The Reveal: At the end of every episode.
  • Drives Like Crazy:
    • Velma, believe it or not, in "Foul Play in Fun land" after losing her glasses.
    • Fred also briefly resorted to this, including crashing through walls, during the Chase Scene in "Mystery Mask Mix-up."
  • Expospeak Gag: In "Hassle in the Castle", Velma translates her own Expo Speak.
    Velma: When the barometric pressure dropped and the warm offshore air came in contact with the midland cold front, we ran into some unnavigable nucleation.
    Fred: You're right, Velma — whatever you said.
    Velma: I said, we're lost in a fog.
  • Fine, You Can Just Wait Here Alone: In "Spooky Space Kook", Shaggy and Scooby declare they aren't going any farther. Fred responds, "Fine, if you want to stay here — alone." A ghostly laugh sends the two running to catch up.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Floorboard Failure: in "Mine Your Own Business". Justified as the mine is decades old.
  • Ghostly Gape: The Phantom Shadows from "A Night of Fright is No Delight" have orange spots for eyes and a gaping orange mouth.
  • Ghost Pirate: The villains from "Go Away Ghost Ship" which shockingly features a...
  • Ghost Ship
  • Gone Horribly Right: In "Go Away Ghost Ship," the gang goes out on a speedboat and use a recorded foghorn to pose as the freighter that Redbeard's ghost is after. Their plan works all too well, and Redbeard's ship rams their speedboat and splits it clean in two.
    Velma: Our plan worked too well. It's going to ram us!
  • Hero Stole My Bike: in "Decoy for a Dognapper", Shaggy asks a friend if he has anything for him to follow Scooby's abductors. When the friend says, "Only my motorbike", Shaggy roars away with it. At least he asked...
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Nowhere to Hyde", Fred, Velma, and Daphne scare the Villain of the Week so badly that he falls through his own Trap Door.
  • Hoist Hero Over Head: The Snow Ghost hoists Scooby over his head in preparation for throwing him off a ledge.
  • Impact Silhouette: Shaggy and Scooby tend to leave these when they're running from the villain.
  • Implied Love Interest:
    • In this series, it was strongly implied that Fred and Daphne were boyfriend-and-girlfriend, such as dancing together at parties and whatnot, but it was never confirmed if they were an Official Couple.
    • The same could be said for Velma and Shaggy at times. At times they are designated dance partners but in one case it was only a set up for a Scooby joke as he interrupts to dance with Shaggy. Some more convicing arguments come from earlier episodes where he carries her spare glasses on him at all times and she brings his cough medicine when he's ill. Such could be read as Implied Love Interest or sibling-like care.note 
  • Imprinting: Scooby has a baby chick do this in one episode. When he returns it, a whole nest of eggs hatch and all of them imprint on Scooby.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: in "Who's Afraid Of the Big Bad Werewolf".
  • In Universe Nickname: Danger-Prone Daphne.
  • The Ketchup Test: Fred pulls this off in "What a Night for a Knight", in order to confirm that the 'blood' on the museum floor wasn't blood. It was paint.
  • Knew It All Along: In "Never Ape an Ape Man", Shaggy gets "grabbed" by a stuffed ape. When Velma tells him it's not real, he answers, "Well, I hope you don't think he had me fooled for a minute. I knew it all the time."
  • Large Ham: Scooby. "What a ham," indeed.
  • Laugh Track
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Trope Namer.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins: Velma does it to the Creeper.
  • Look Behind You: The episode "Don't Fool With A Phantom" has Shaggy pulling this when Fred details his plans to catch the wax phantom using Shaggy and Scooby as bait:
    Shaggy: Fred, like the plan is faaaaaan-tastic, except...
    Fred: Except what?
    Shaggy: Like, we won't do it. Right, Scoob?
    Scooby: Right!
    Fred: Have you got a better idea?
    Shaggy: Sure. Like, look out there (he points ahead) and tell me what you see.
    Daphne: The wax works. (Shaggy and Scooby dart away as the others turn towards the direction Shaggy pointed) They've disappeared!
    Velma: Of all the nerve!
    Fred: I have to laugh at myself. Those two chickens fooled us!
  • Lost My Appetite: Shaggy, of all people.
    Old Man: I'm the hermit of the hills, and you're just in time to join me for dinner! (Laughs)
    Shaggy (laughs): I just lost my appetite.
  • Lumber Mill Mayhem: In "That's Snow Ghost", the ghost ties Velma up in a saw mill and tries to cut her in half.
  • The Movie: Besides the series of revived direct to video films, it did get two theatrical ones.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Scooby and Shaggy have a run-in with an alligator while trying to get away from the ghost of Mr. Hyde.
  • Noisy Nature: The bats that flutter across the screen at the start of the opening credits all chitter their little heads off. Disturbed bats generally book it without emitting cries that humans can hear, as they're too busy echolocating so they don't run into one another.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying over You: In the episode "Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too", Shaggy did this over a stone statue of Scooby: "He was like a brother to me! (the real Scooby approaches him) Look, Scoob, you've been turned to stone!"
  • Notable Original Music: Season 2 features several "chase songs" in a bubblegum-pop vein. In the '90s Rhino Records put out a CD, Scooby-Doo's Snack Tracks, containing most of these.
  • Now I Know How an X Feels: Shaggy in "Scooby's Night With a Frozen Fright".
    Velma: Are you all right?
    Shaggy: Yeah. But now I know how a baseball feels when it gets knocked out of the park.
  • Ominous Fog: Becomes a plot point in "Go Away Ghost Ship".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Fans didn't learn that Shaggy's first name was Norville until years later (he has a younger named Maggie in later series, but her nickname is "Sugie").
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: For starters, they're all just people in costumes, but that's not to say the villains didn't get creative. Examples range from a floating white sheet to glowing blue alien with a skull head, and even a "ghost" who could actually walk through walls (by using a mirror-projected image of himself).
  • Painted Tunnel, Real Train: During the chase sequence in "Don't Fool With a Phantom", Shaggy and Scooby paint a fake door on the wall before fleeing the room in another direction. When the Wax Phantom catches up to where they had been he opens the fake door...and promptly crashes into (and through) the very real brick wall behind it.
  • Panty Shot: Velma in "Decoy For A Dognapper." She and Shaggy flail their arms and legs warding off a flock of bats; Velma kicks her skirt up high enough to show panties the same color as her skirt.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Plenty! Some examples include:
    • Shaggy and Scooby disguise themselves as the titular villain in "Which Witch is Which?" using nothing but a purple sheet and a mop. It works.
    • "Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too" combines this with Nobody Here but Us Statues. Shaggy and Velma disguise themselves as a museum display of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, respectively: Shaggy wears a centurion's helmet, and Velma puts on a green sheet and wears a feather in her hair.
    • The best example—in terms of sheer ludicrousness—might be "Mystery Mask Mix-Up." Scooby and Shaggy are pursued by two ghostly figures, and run into a small room. About two seconds later, the figures open the door...and discover Shaggy and Scooby dressed as Chinese restaurant waiters. They quickly seat the ghosts at a table and proceed to serve them "chocolate chop suey with spare ribs a la mode." The amazing thing is that this disguise works, despite the fact that the ghosts saw Scooby and Shaggy enter the room.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Velma. She's the shortest but can lift all the other members of the group at once.
  • Rapid-Fire Nail Biting: Spoofed in "Nowhere To Hyde", where Shaggy does this after Velma calls him out for being scared, but he's actually biting Scooby's nails.
  • Real Estate Scam: Frequently the villain's motive.
  • Rise from Your Grave: The zombie from "Which Witch is Which?" is brought 'back to life' by the eponymous witch.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Trope Namer. Though used before Scooby-Doo, this series could've made it famous.
    • Also of note, Scooby doesn't actually use this trope until it's second season.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: Once again, the Trope Namer.
  • Security Cling: Scooby often jumps into Shaggy's arms. Shaggy jumps into Velma's once. Velma also clings to Shaggy during a chase scene in "Mystery Mask Mix-up".
  • Shaggy Search Technique: Trope Namer once again.
    Daphne: Look! A secret passage!
    Fred: You're right! Shaggy, you're a genius!
    Shaggy: I am?
    Velma: Sure. Who else but you could've sat down on the rock that opened the secret passage?
    Shaggy: I thought that rock was pretty suspicious.
  • Shout-Out: Check it out here.
  • Smoke Out: Used by the witch in "Which Witch is Which?" as well as by Velma in "Scooby Doo and a Mummy Too".
    Velma: Pardon me; it's time for a smoke-screen exit.
  • Spooky Painting: The first of many appears in "Hassle in the Castle".
  • Spooky Seance: The gypsy fortune teller provides one to the gang in "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts". Needless to say, it does nothing to deter their curiosity.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: In "Haunted House Hang-Up", a chase ends with Shaggy, Scooby, and Velma falling into a well, leading to the following exchange:
    Shaggy: Help! Help, I'm drowning! Call the Coast Guard!
    Velma: Stand up. The water's only knee-deep.
    • Also, from "Foul Play in Funland", after the villain has upset their boat:
    Shaggy: Don't worry, I'll save ya!
    Velma: Thanks, Shaggy, but why don't we just walk out?
  • The Straight Man: This is the reason why Fred and Daphne often disappear into the background, the writers preferred focusing on more interesting characters.
  • Stranger Behind the Mask: Happened in some episodes, such as "Spooky Space Kook."
  • The Summation: Every time the monster is revealed to be fake, the gang explains why the masked man went through all the trouble he did, how he did it and how the gang managed to piece the clues together.
  • Taken for Granite: The gang learns that the mummy of Anka turns anybody to stone that disturbs his resting place. The mummy (presumably) turns a professor and a doctor and Scooby to stone, but the gang soon learns that they were cast duplicates made of concrete.
  • There's No "B" in Movie: In "Nowhere to Hyde", the gang discusses a movie called "I Was A Teenage Blob".
  • Title Theme Tune: In the lyrics: "Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you?"
  • Toon Physics: Applied several times, sometimes characters (usually Shaggy and Scooby) could do things like hang from ceilings by jackhammers or leave things suspended in midair.
  • Video Will: A variant, Colonel Beauregard recorded his will into a record.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: In "A Night of Fright is No Delight", the gang gets trapped between the encroaching walls of the room they're in. Only Scooby "playing" the piano saved them.
  • Wax Museum Morgue: The last episode of the series "Don't Fool With a Phantom" takes place in one, although given that this is Scooby-Doo there are no actual dead bodies.
  • Witch Doctor: Two prominent examples as both are featured in the theme songs of their respective seasons. Firstly, the Navajo inspired witch doctor from "Decoy for a Dognapper" and the Hawaiian inspired one from "A Tiki Scare is No Fair" with the latter being a more iconic example.
  • Wolfman: In the episode "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf?". One also makes an appearance in "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts".
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: in "A Night of Fright is No Delight", Scooby alone of all the potential heirs manages to stay the night in the "haunted" castle. Unfortunately, the million dollars that are legally his are all Confederate.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Over all the range of villainy across the series is wide, while some are pretty low key and just out to scare people off, there are certain ones that are willing to completely do away with the meddling kids if need be.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Scooby expresses this to Fred in both "Hassle in the Castle", and "Don't Fool With a Phantom".
    Fred: Okay, Scooby. Go in and take a look around. We'll keep watch out here.
    Scooby: You're kidding.
    Fred: No, I'm not kidding.

    Fred (after chipping Scooby out of wax he accidentally encased him in): Okay, Scoob?
  • You Just Had to Say It: Of the "original speaker" variant, in "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf?" Shaggy comments, "I wish I knew how Mr. Hairy fits into all this." When Fred answers that they'll figure it out, Shaggy groans, "Oh, why don't I just keep quiet?"
  • You Meddling Kids: And they would've gotten away with it, too.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: Invoked verbatim on more than a few occasions.
  • You Wouldn't Hit A Girl With Glasses: Yes, the Creeper would.

Alternative Title(s):

Scooby Doo Where Are You