Mayor Jones: did years of Becoming the Mask leave him with some affection for his "adopted" son? Did he save Fred's life because he cared, or because he feared the wrath of Brad and Judy Chiles?
"Nightmare in Red" confirms that he truly did grow to love his son. He didn't show it usually because his good side was literally trapped in his subconscious. Through talking to said good side, Fred forgives him and acknowledges him as his the only true father he ever had.
Fred's almost narrow-minded obsession with traps and difficulty reading other people have led a few viewers to conclude he falls somewhere on the Autism spectrum.
Angst? What Angst?: The ending. A Cosmic Retcon results in a universe where just about everyone is happy and has a perfect life. However, besides being initially confused by the changes and expressing surprise at the new developments, none of the gang seem to have problems adjusting to the universe. Namely Fred, whose parents tried to kill him and now are Doting Parents despite having been raised by the man who is now his principal; as well as Daphne, who doesn’t seem to feel bad that her sisters are put down and don’t have successful careers in this universe. On the other hand, since this scene was towards the end of the finale, there understandably wasn’t enough time to bring up the issues and it’s possible that Ripple Effect-Proof Memory will eventually let the gang remember both timelines to make adjusting to this timeline easier.
Badass Decay: Mr. E's actions never quite stop being threatening or competent, (with the exception of one instance of being Out-Gambitted) but you have to admit knowing he's grotesquely overweight and actually playing his background keytar music doesn't do a whole lot for his air of menace, and it gets particularly bad when he ends up being personally intimidated by a confrontational Shaggy at one point.
Scooby and Velma. Some sympathize more with Scooby than Velma in the "love triangle" with Shaggy, while some sympathize more with Velma. And some sympathize with neither of them because they both displayed creepy Yandere behaviour towards Shaggy. Many longtime Velma fans are twisted oved her persona in the cartoon as well. There's a split who prefer her snappier portrayal while other fans think it ruins her.
Cargo Ship: Fred and traps. Seriously, he can't walk past a net or a cage without swooning over it.
Complete Monster: The Greater-Scope Villain, the Nibiru Entity, is a member of a normally benevolent inter-dimensional alien race called the Anunnaki; his own kind considers him the most evil member of their entire species. He's spent untold centuries corrupting and manipulating the people around him, especially the Team Pets of mystery solving teams, by perverting his species' ability to use animals as mediums to communicate, all working towards freeing him from his prison. In the process he's ruined and ended countless lives through his Unwitting Pawns (including Professor Pericles, who the Entity turned into a murderous psychopath) without a second thought. When he's finally released in the Series Finale, he proceeds to gleefully eat his loyal minions alive along with Mr. E. He follows this by turning Crystal Cove into Hell on Earth and devouring the entire town with sadistic glee, planning to move on to the rest of the universe when he's done, all for the sake of power. When Mystery Inc. finally kill him, erasing him from time in the process, we see what Crystal Cove would've been like without his influence: a normal town with everyone living good, happy lives, showing just how much pain and misery he was truly responsible for.
Continuity Lockout: As the show progresses and all the plot points and backstory are piled on about the questions about the Conquistadors and the original Mystery Incorporated, it becomes rather unfriendly to newer viewers regardless of the Previously On segments. The show's ending, however, at 52 episodes and 2 seasons, may mitigate this. It is nonetheless a lot better in one sitting.
Both shows have a strong emphasis on Comedic Sociopathy, family and friendship, dramedy, and supernatural mysteries, along with a Myth Arc involving a reopened case about a missing predecessor(s) who is connected to an important object found by The Smart Guy in the first episode.
Both shows were two seasons long with a third season considered, as well as having infamously long hiatuses.
Both feature Linda Cardellini as a prominent major character, involved in a crush with The Smart Guy, and plays a major role in the series finale. (Wendy/Hot Dog Water)
Both feature a comedic sociopath relative wearing a Suit with Vested Interests and glasses, takes the tourism business seriously, and is supposedly allied with the protagonists, only for their true motives and true identity to be revealed in a (mid-)season finale, leading to much heartbreak. (Grunkle Stan/Mayor Jones)
He becomes wary when The Smart Guy shows him the important object, as it turns out later that he is involved in the disappearance of that person(s) and knows more than he lets on, though Velma showed it to Mayor Jones in the first episode while Dipper showed it to Stan in the final episode of the first season.
At one point, after a rift grows between him and his estranged relative, the main characters end up having a Journey to the Center of the Mind episode where they find his subconscious, with his relative initially accusing him of starting trouble again only to discover he's trying to help them, then later reconciling with each other after being chased away by the monster-of-the-week and before leaving.
A difference is that Stan, while he can be a jerk, does genuinely care for his relatives and sticks up for them more regularly than Jones does.
There's an Election Day Episode between two Suit with Vested Interests characters, with the one allied with our protagonists winning, though it doesn't last because it turns out he's a criminal, resulting in him being replaced by someone who is slightly more competent but is unambiguously good.
There's a Valentine's Day episode featuring a supposed god (Love God is genuinely Cupid but he looks like a regular guy, Aphrodite looks like a monster and is actually a costume) casting love spells on people.
The first season prominently features a character in a Suit with Vested Interests that is Ambiguously Evil and is a Villain with Good Publicity that only the protagonists aren't fond of, only for their true motives and status as the Arc Villain to be revealed at the end of the season, which turns everyone against him (namely the police) and gets him thrown in jail, but still has an influence on the show's events. He ends up getting redeemed by the end of the show. (Gideon/Mayor Jones)
The show ends with an Earn Your Happy Ending, with the cast achieving a happy life, finding closure with each other, and leaving town.
Crazy Awesome: Just about all of the Monsters of the Week qualify to some degree, but Ernesto, Mary Ann Gleardon, Alice May, and Mrs. Wyatt really stand out.
Creepy Awesome: Professor Pericles. Creepy? Oh yeah. Awesome? Udo Kier makes it so.
Critical Research Failure: In the first episode, Angel Dynamite gives the call letters and frequency of her radio station, naming 101.4 on the AM dial. Two problems with this for anyone who has ever taken a look at a radio: AM stations are between 540 and 1610, in increments of 10 and no decimals (e.g. 760 AM, 1370 AM). In the US, FM stations, which do have decimals, only use odd numbers for the tenths place (e.g. 101.1, 101.3, 101.5 but never 101.4). Alternatively, this could be 555 applied to radio stations.
Draco in Leather Pants: Misinterpretations of all of Fred's parents have led to some viewing Mayor Jones as the better of the three solely because of his Papa Wolf moment at the end of Season 1, helping out the gang in "Wrath of the Krampus", and tight-on-schedule reconciliation with his good side in "Nightmare In Red", despite the fact that he put Fred in a stage of near-death in the first place (not to mention the many times he didn't show affection towards Fred), he was responsible for ruining the lives of the original Mystery Incorporated in the first place too (as well as ruining Brad and Judy's never-could-be family by taking their son), Fred's wording in "Wrath of the Krampus" implying that Jones only helped out of Revenge against Pericles, and Jones's good side being just as innocent as everyone else in the Sitting Room including Brad and Judy themselves. According to Word of God, the intent was to make Brad and Judy look so despicable that Jones would be sympathetic by comparison.
The fate of the original Mystery Incorporated members being that they went into hiding and took up new identities, or are at least somehow related to known characters in some way. A few common theories included Mayor Jones being Brad, Angie Dinkley being Brad's brother, Mayor Jones' lover & Fred's mother being Judy Reeves, Angel and Cassidy being the same person or related, and so on. Ultimately, they were right about Angel and Cassidy being one and the same, and they were kind of close about Judy being Fred's mother, albeit for the wrong reason (it was believed that the woman in the photo was an older Judy Reeves, though they were right about the resemblance between Fred and young Judy).
Whatever Nova meant in "Nightmare In Red" about things becoming undone once the Entity is defeated. General consensus was that either there would be a Reset Button Ending in which all of the relationships built during the show would have to start from scratch or that everyone afflicted by the curse would get their good side back and everyone who died because of the Myth Arc would come back to life. It ended up being a Cosmic Retcon in which everyone is happy with little to no catches.
Evil Is Cool: Professor Pericles, the chief Big Bad, is easily the most popular and memorable villain in the show for this reason.
Alice May, especially as Obliteratix in episode 25.
For some people, Mayor Jones, apparently.
Fan Nickname: As it turns out, Nibiru is not the name of the thing inside the sarcophagus seen with the cursed treasure. Nibiru is the name of a certain time when the thing's homeworld and Earth are able to interact with one another.
Velma confiding to Marcie about the events of the show in the new timeline, due to her status as The Sixth Ranger and her final scene showing that she isn't against the idea of alternate worlds, while also making Velma/Marcie a thing.
Similarly, in smaller circles, Fred confiding to Jones about the same subject since he's the only character that says they have a funny feeling about their ties to the gang, albeit he's harder to convince, while also dealing with Fred's possible identity crisis in regards to the situation about all of his parents in the new universe.
A lot of Mayor Jones' "wacky" moments from early in the season become this after seeing the finale...
Mayor Jones being rumored to have eaten a live bear in his college days. He gets eaten by the Entity at the end of the show, but it's played for Nightmare Fuel/Tear Jerker.
"Mystery Solvers Club State Finals" is an amusing episode, and the reveal of Mudsy as the villain is rather funny. Season 2 then starts to imply that the animal or any unique companion to a Mystery solving group will turn evil because of the mystery of Nibiru.
Daphne's "radical idealist friend" Ernesto seems to be named after Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
"Hatecraft"'s ravenous follower Robert E. Howard is named after the author of the Conan the Barbarian novels, who really was a correspondent of Lovecraft's while he was in his twenties.
Growing the Beard: The first season, while starting strong, did struggle with balancing the mysteries, story arc, humor, and romance. As the first season progressed and romance mostly dropped, the show caught a better balance, using the characters to play off each other and develop, and focusing on the main Story Arc with goofy episodes in-between.
Mayor Jones's voice actor, Gary Cole, also voiced Infiltration Unit Zeta. Zeta's first anti-terrorism mission was to pose as an innocent man associated with terrorists, which required him to be around the man's family. Upon seeing the life in the man's family—particularly, seeing his daughter ride a bike for the first time, he had a Heel–Face Turn, because he couldn't bear to tear apart a family. Mayor Jones deprived Brad and Judy of their own baby son by kidnapping him as a hostage, and later attempted to turn him into his Villainous Legacy all while being incredibly neglectful.
In "When the Cicadas Cry", Mayor Jones entertains the idea of having Fred getting Eaten Alive by the Cicada Monster for a boost in tourism. At the end of Season 1, he nearly kills him in a confrontation but can't bring himselfto do it, and at the end of the show, he himself gets eaten alive by a real monster.
Angel helping the mascots save their friends in "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals", because she herself is the Token Good Teammate of the original Mystery Incorporated who are now all gone and/or bad people, and thus she technically represents her old club in the reunion.
In "The Shrieking Madness", Shaggy reacts unfavorably to the vegan burgers being served. Funny because Casey Kasem insisted that Shaggy become a vegetarian in order to bring him more in line with Kasem's strict vegetarian diet.
In “Escape from Mystery Manor”, Angel gives Daphne the diary of Cassidy Williams, and the first thing she reads out loud from it is an entry about how hot Ricky is. Angel is Cassidy.
Hollywood Homely: In "The Creeping Creatures", the landlady refuses to let Velma sleep in the same room as Daphne because she (the landlady) thought Velma was a boy. In the second season, Velma's Hollywood Homely has became a Running Gag, almost at Meg Griffin's levels.
Velma. You can't help but feel sorry for her when Shaggy picks Scooby over her. Granted, Shaggy probably wasn't a good match for her anyway...Feel more sorry for her; she's all alone now that the gang's split up. Oh and remember...she's being blamed for it by Daphne.
Sheriff Stone can fall into this territory too, especially in "Dead Justice" and "All Fear the Freak".
Danny Darrow when he was a child; he and his family go crazy with greed after finding a piece of the planespheric disc, and their house sinks underground where he's forced to live out his life (about 75 years), obsessed over the piece, while he and his family grow old, and they all die. A run in with the original mystery inc. leads him to set traps all over the house, and he almost kills the current ones with them, and later with a fire poker. In one scene, the gang sets a trap, and Scooby lures him in while pretending to be his mother, he responds with a genuine hopeful smile and says "Mommy, you came back to me?" Despite knowing that she died years ago.
The members of the original Mystery Inc., with the possible exception of Professor Pericles, due to how the curse of Crystal Cove completely ruined their lives and warped them all into awful people, with both Ricky Owens and Cassidy Williams undergoing a doomed romance and ending in Redemption Equals Death, while Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves start as decent people who love each other and their son but gradually turn into hateful psychopaths who only care about themselves.
Magnificent Bastard: Professor Pericles definitely qualifies — nearly every episode he shows up in, he gets exactly what he wants, usually at the expense of the gang. "The Wrath of Krampus" was the first time he's suffered a defeat. And that was because the entire town and rogue gallery were in on a Batman Gambit.
Internet culture a few years after the show ended didn't hesitate to have fun with Fred's exaggerated love of traps in this continuity. A meme that mostly originated from the growing anime community at the time was jokes about the Wholesome Crossdresser trope and transgenders being used for Moe or Fanservice bait in anime, labelled as "traps"note It should be noted that it has derogative connotations.
Comparisons to Persona 4. Both feature a group of Amateur Sleuth teenagers uncovering a supernatural mystery involving monsters, even ending with a fight against a god and winning it via the Power of Friendship, among other things.
Mayor Jones being open to the idea of letting Fred getting eaten by the Cicada Monster in "When the Cicadas Call". This is another one of his Comedic Sociopathy moments, but it's one of his most egregious acts towards his son, only exemplified later when we discover that he's a Manipulative Bastard.
Brad and Judy getting plastic surgery to look like their own son and his girlfriend to trick the gang. Not to mention burning down City Hall, being compliant in enslaving the people of Crystal Cove while being more concerned about being unable to undo their plastic surgery, and letting Pericles kill Hot Dog Water.
The Nibiru Entity gets one when, after it is freed, it proceeds to kill Professor Pericles from the inside, eat Brad and Judy (after they had pledged their servitude), then Mr. E., then the rest of the town, all for power (and you can tell it's enjoying it), and it claims it will go on to devour entire galaxies! Then again, it is the most evil Annunaki ever. It's being the cause of corruption of all villains, even Professor Pericles, stands out too.
Narm / Narm Charm: Scooby ending his promise to get the gang back together and go after Pericles with "or my name isn't Scooby Dooby Doo!" either undercuts the tension entirely or just sort of works depending on who you are.
Nightmare Retardant: The Entity is terrifying for the most part, its initial appearance is.....not. Thankfully it doesn't stay in that form for very long, and its new look is a complete 180 in frightening.
This series has done this for Fred. He used to be the Trope Namer for Standardized Leader (aka 1-Dimensional Leader). This show's interpretation of the character is arguably the most popular incarnation of the character yet.
Mayor Fred Jones Sr. was rescued twice. People hated him for being a Jerkass who put money ahead of his child's safety. The first time he was rescued he was revealed to be the Freak of Crystal Cove, the first season's Big Bad, meaning that one was supposed to dislike him, and he fell into Love to Hate as a truly nasty Knight of Cerebus, or if not then Hate Sink. He was rescued again when it was revealed that for all his faults, he's actually a better fit for a parent for Fred than his biological ones; Brad and Judy, whose greed exceeded the mayor's due to them being more closely connected to the curse. His best part's reconciliation with Fred and his later Cosmic Retconned self pulls him from being hated.
Romantic Plot Tumor: A general consensus for the first half of Season 1 was that too much time was spent on the relationship drama between the characters. It's considered to have gotten much better from Season 1's second half and onward.
The final battle being against an Eldritch Abomination, though it's less that people have actually watched it themselves and more due to word of mouth caused by "Holy Shit!" Quotient that a Scooby-Doo cartoon went there.
While the show is considered very good by a lot of people, a very large amount of old school Scooby-Doo fans hate it because of things like drastically changing or "derailing" old characters, ditching "Coolsville", focusing more on relationships than mysteries, and not having Scooby Snax (or at least not as prominently). The most passionate of haters even play the "ruin my childhood" card!
In a more specific example, the Hex Girls were hit with this considerably. While people love that Luna got her original skin-tone back and consider "Trap Of Love" one of the best parts of the cartoon, everything else is divisive. Their new designs received mixed reactions to the point where they later showed up in their traditional looks. Their music style was changed to a more contemporary style which made a lot of fans of their original songs disappointed at the newer versions of their songs, especially "Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air".
Mayor Jones is Demoted to Extra after Season 1, so his actions and strained relationship with Fred are barely touched upon, though hastily found closure in one of the final episodes of the show.
Mayor Nettles is revealed to be former Air Force, but she never establishes herself as an Action Girl and it mostly just serves as a Handwave for her to pilot a helicopter to accompany the gang in one episode.
A few anime fans were disappointed that "When the Cicada Calls" didn't make any further Shout Outs to Higurashi: When They Cry besides the episode name, the local festival, the victims being catatonic after being attacked, an environmentally-unfriendly company harming the town, and the hospital patient that flatlines from a heart attack. But then again, this is probably as far as the show can go when referencing something as violent and bedwetting as Higurashi.
Brad & Judy and Jones never have a confrontation. The nearest they ever get to each other in the present day is "Gates of Gloom" by a few yards, but still in different scenes — Jones's appearance is even just The Cameo. Brad and Judy never even talk about Jones besides once in "Hodag of Horror" when they explain that he threatened to hurt Fred if they didn't leave. Similarly, Ricky and Cassidy never talk to Jones either besides the former expressing disdain of him (though he didn't know that Jones and the Freak were the same person at the time) and the latter showing disgust when it turned out Jones was the Freak.
The ending, though it's understandable as there wasn't enough time left in the episode to further delve into it. The Cosmic RetconReset Button Ending means that almost everyone has a perfect life, but no one except for the gang remembers the original timeline. The gang also feel like strangers in a familiar land, since the people they're surrounded by are not the same people they knew and they don't remember any of the good experiences they've had in this new timeline (especially regarding Fred, who got to grow up loved as Brad and Judy's son), but this identity crisis is not touched upon any further.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Daphne's sisters losing their successful careers and marriages in the new timeline. It's supposed to be something of a Break the Haughty moment where those who succeeded at Daphne's expense were punished while she was rewarded, and Daphne's status as The Unfavorite is removed. Except, they didn't succeed at Daphne's expense, and her parents, who escape punishment, were the one's who held her in such little regard, and constantly reminded her of it. To make matters worse is that of her sisters, only Daisy was a Jerkass, three of them didn't show much personality (one of whom went unnamed), and her other sister, Delilah, was nicer to her than her own parents.
"The Creeping Creatures" involves a case with three gator-men trying to scare people away from their town. There are only three people around, all of them act super creepy, and the shapes of their heads match the three gator-men. Just in case that wasn't enough, this is the Scooby-Doo franchise we're talking about. Are we even supposed to see a mystery in this?
"The Secret Serum" tries to fool the viewer into thinking Daphne's mother is the vampire attacking the town. The misdirection might have been more successful if she wasn't accompanied by a very obviously creepy, shifty-looking and pale assistant who's accompanied by creeping sound effects and walks without seemingly moving her feet.
In "Menace of the Manticore" it was painfully obvious that Hot Dog Water was the Manticore. And since they bring it up in season 2 it could also be a Late-Arrival Spoiler.
The entire point of "The Gathering Gloom"'s mystery. The rest of the gang chides Velma for immediately suspecting Count Evallo as the Monster of the Week, and begin investigating the incredibly friendly Oktoberfester blonde and her three beautiful daughters. Velma manages to find the evidence to prove Evallo's guilt, with the help of just Scooby and the Sheriff. To make things worse, while Velma was totally right, the Count, being a count, had diplomatic immunity.
In "The Song of Mystery", not only is Mary Anne is the only other character besides Luis, she's the only child that isn't affected by the song, and she's just the right height to be the monster!
The intention might have been to lead someone to trapped victims who needed medical help.
The whole gang still not having realized the gaping hole in Alice May's Daddy's Little Villain con by the time of her reappearance.
Season 2, Episode 9: While leaving fake evidence at Dougal McGuines' house was a somewhat smart move on Gary's part, leaving his own yearbook with his name in it and trying to frame a person that would give the gang evidence was not.
Brad and Judy aren't too bright. Their whole reasoning behind their Face–Heel Turn is to protect Fred from seeking the treasure and becoming corrupted. And thus the predictable outcome to this plan happens: THEY become corrupted and end up so obsessed with the treasure that they forget all about the son they were supposed to be protecting and willingly hurt him in order to get to the treasure.
In "The Man in the Mirror", Fred knows that his parents are searching for the Planispheric disk. So why, oh why, does he lead them directly to its hiding place at the abandoned factory instead of literally anywhere else?
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: This show is surprisingly darker, violent, gorier and scarier than the previous shows have (threats to kill the gang have occurred, stuff blows up, people get injured, etc.) yet it was rated TV-Y7-FV! Ironically, its sister show The Looney Tunes Show was rated TV-PG, yet is much tamer.
Fred. Fred. and Fred. The Season 1 finale reveals that he's a kidnapping victim, abducted by Mayor Jones as a baby and taken away from his real parents — parents who were into mystery-solving like him — as leverage to keep them away from Crystal Cove forever for a treasure that might not even exist. He's been lied to his entire life by a man who didn't even support him because he was always his enemy. It's no wonder why he decides to leave town to find his parents. But deep down you can feel him sob and choke because all this time his real parents have been worried sick about him. Fred gets it worse in the Season 2 premiere. Daphne's moved on, the plan failed, The Bad Guy Wins, oh, and he's been living as a hobo for a while now... someone give him a hug. Then his parents move in, and they're just as good as one could hope!Until they join Mr. E and Professor Pericles. And Fred moves out of his house, instead of kicking them out.
Don't forget Daphne. She was waiting to marry Fred but Fred has stated that the engagement is off and that Mystery Inc. is Dead. She's last seen crying that everything has just fell apart.