- Alternate Character Interpretation: Cracked makes an interesting argument highlighting some Fridge Horror about the Scooby Doo universe. Namely between the sheer number of abandoned areas and the fact that many of the criminals Mystery Inc., encounter are highly-skilled yet desperate for money, it carries the implication that the economy in the country has completely collapsed
Preston Xander: In the 25 episodes of the original Scooby Doo, Where Are You? cartoon, our gang comes across four deserted mansions, two abandoned castles and an empty ski resort, amusement park, ghost town, mine, Hawaiian village, airfield and mill. And of the 27 villains the gang encounters, 23 are motivated by monetary gain via theft, smuggling or land speculation. The Mystery Machine crew isn't running into domestic disputes or drug-related crimes. They are dealing exclusively with people who need money so badly that they voluntarily squat in the basements of abandoned houses for the off-chance of landing a paycheck. And if the villains don't need money, they need work. The remaining four motives? Winning a dog show, getting an acting gig, revenge for getting fired and a hatred of robots. Those who don't need money or work are acting out of a hatred for robots, the quintessential job stealer.
And Scooby-Doo villains are not run-of-the-mill criminals: They all have the uncanny ability to manufacture realistic monster costumes, project full-scale holograms and carve out high-tech hideouts in abandoned mineshafts. Many of them already had impressive vocational skills prior to their criminal lives — three of the villains were PhDs, two were lawyers, one had the ability to produce near-identical forged paintings, one could repair boats, one was a magician, one was a stuntman and one could hypnotize people.
See that? That's the educational system, art world, maritime engineering and entertainment industries — all in the toilet. Each of these villains showed creativity, intelligence, diligence and ambition. In our world, they would easily be employed, maybe even famous. But, in the universe of Scooby-Doo, it simply wasn't enough. The Scooby gang ran into a new, desperate genius every single week for decades. Either brilliance is simply run-of-the-mill in their universe, or else the entire economy has collapsed, and what we're witnessing is the death throes of society itself.
- During 2015 it became very popular to interpret the gang from the original 1969 series as being draft-dodgers who were attempting to get to Canada. More on it here.
- For some reason a lot of fans seem to think that Shaggy is a Manchurian Agent and that Scooby (as well as the entire Doo family) are the result of illegal government experimentations to make hyper intelligent animal soldiers.
- Awesome Art: Limited Animation aside, there's no denying the artists of the series didn't go all out with the visuals (especially considering it's Hanna-Barbera!). Especially when it came to their backgrounds and character designs.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: None of the villains actually say, "And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for You Meddling Kids!" word for word, but a few do paraphrase it.
- Depending on the Artist: Similar to the fluctuation of models and layouts in Looney Tunes depending on the various directors, animation in Where Are You! never consistently stuck to one specific model per episode, and the variety of Hanna-Barbera's animators drawing styles often showed from scene to scene.
- Ensemble Darkhorse:
- The Creeper is, far and away, the most popular and iconic Monster of the Week ever to be featured on this show. Notably, he's one of the few characters on the original show outside of the main Mystery Inc. gang to become a well-remembered character in his own right, and was even popular enough that his daughter became a featured villain in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (which aired four decades after the Creeper's only episode).
- And then there's the Space Kook, for his Crazy Awesome design and laugh.
- First Installment Wins: This show seems to get remembered more fondly than those from the 1970s and '80s.
- Franchise Original Sin: Scooby-Doo facing real monsters is usually an argument for where Scooby stopped working for some fans, but examples of this crept in even to the original series.
- In "Foul Play in Funland", the villain is a real robot gone haywire. The franchise would later feature more.
- At the end "A Night of Fright Is No Delight", a bone on a platter mysteriously floats out to Scooby with no explanation. Again, plenty more real ghosts would later enter the series.
- And while not as concrete, in "That's Snow Ghost", we see via flashback a character dealing with a real yeti. It looks very much like the Snow Ghost, but of course this flashback took place years before the Snow Ghost the gang was currently investigating ever designed a costume.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- The episode where they're trying to stop the Monster Clown. Said clown hypnotizes Shaggy into being a lion tamer. Shaggy is found in there yelling, "Back up there, Simba!"note
- In "Mystery Mask Mix-Up", the chase scene ends when the Mystery Machine runs over a banana peel and spins out.
- At the end of "Never Ape an Ape Man", Shaggy says that he and Scooby oughta be in the movies. Even ignoring the animated movies like Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island or the live-action movies, the gang's next series was The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
- Ho Yay: From "Jeepers, It's the Creeper": At the school's barn dance, Shaggy is dancing with Velma when Scooby enters and asks Shaggy to let him cut in. To Velma's shock and disappointment, Scooby goes off dancing with Shaggy.
Velma: Well, I've been a wallflower before, but this is ridiculous!
- Memetic Mutation:
- "Scooby Snacks", Scooby's manner of speech, "You Meddling Kids", and (after the villain is unmasked) "It was Mr. Jameson, the fairground owner!"
- The popular Millennial slang term "creeper" (used to describe someone perceived as threatening or unsavory) may well have originated as a reference to this show's popular Monster of the Week, the Creeper.
- Has its own page.
- Moral Event Horizon: Some of the things pulled by the villains of various episodes—the Ghost Clown trying to feed Shaggy to a lion; the Snow Ghost trying to saw Velma in half and then sending dynamite after her and Scooby; the ghost of Captain Cutler locking Fred, Daphne, and Velma in an underwater room, etc. Not to mention the kidnappings that were more prevalent. This gives Shaggy and Scooby a reason for their Lovable Coward moments, because there's an element of real danger despite the ghosts being fake.
- Nightmare Retardant: The Phantom of Haunted Isle looks like a cheap Bedsheet Ghost, especially when compared to the other, more threatening-looking villains in the series. His laugh, on the other hand...
- Tear Jerker: In "Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too", Shaggy is pretty upset when he thinks Scooby's been turned to stone, as is Scooby when he finds out...."Look, Scoob, you've been turned to stone!" (Both proceed to cry)