A popular Saturday Morning Cartoon from Hanna-Barbera that premiered in 1969 and quickly became one of the most popular animated franchises in history. Through various retools over the decades, it has survived long enough to outlive all of its original creators, three of its original voice actors, and the very studio responsible for it.
At its core, the series features four teenagers Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville "Shaggy" Rogers along with their talking dog Scooby-Doo, road-tripping in a van called the Mystery Machine. The basic plot, especially in the original incarnation of the show, usually involved the gang encountering a mystery involving some form of spooky monster which, more often than not, turned out to be a hoax meant to frighten the locals away from the villain's real operation, and would be resolved at the end by unmasking the villain, who would inevitably utter a variant of "I would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for You Meddling Kids, and that dog too."
Two years after the show's birth in 1969 saw the debut of the New Scooby-Doo Movies which had hour-long episodes in which the gang encountered and solved the mystery for, or with, a celebrity (usually, if not always, said celebrity was voiced by themselves) or a famous fictional figure/ensemble such as Batman or The Addams Family.
Afterward, the show returned to its roots in the form of the Scooby-Doo Show, with a half-hour format and no more celebrity cameos. Two relatives of Scooby; Scooby-Dum and Scooby-Dee, were briefly introduced and removed in the course of a few episodes.
The 1979 effort to avoid cancellation, Scrappy-Doo, managed to stick and became a recurring main character for the next nine years.
After nearly a season of traditionally styled Scooby-Doo episodes with Scrappy's presence as the only alteration, the writers dropped Fred, Daphne and Velma from the series (because they weren't working) and the show's format changed into a three Three Shorts style, with just Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy, with real monsters, innocent fluff, cartoonish hijinks and all woven together with a general tongue-in-cheek strangeness in terms of tone that makes it loved by some and despised by others, (but that's neither here nor there)
After three years with the shorts, Daphne returned to fill The Leader position in the 1983 season, and the show returned to its "Scooby-Doo" Hoax roots in a Two Shorts format for two seasons. Fred and Velma did have some guest appearances.
The next season, in 1985, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo debuted, a series focusing on the core four from the last show along with an Artful Dodger named Flim-Flam and Vincent Price voicing a warlock Ink-Suit Actor, as the group sought to find and contain thirteen ghosts that Shaggy and Scooby accidentally set loose. This was the first serialized version of Scooby and was canceled after its first season, with only eleven ghosts caught (it was dropped after its first repeat cycle in March 1986 and replaced with repeats of Laff-a-Lympics).
1986 saw only repackaged reruns of the 1980-1982 shorts, and 1987 likewise, though with the release of what would be the first of three Direct to Video movies, the other two being released in 1988.
After this, Scrappy-Doo was seen no more and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, a spin-off series featuring prepubescent versions of the cast, debuted only four days after Reluctant Werewolf and ran from 1988 to 1991. After Pup was canceled in 1991, it joined the other incarnations living out in syndication.
By the early-to-mid-90's, the franchise was basically moribund and nobody saw anything of it except for reruns, some Burger King toys, marathons, advertisements, and a brief run as licensed characters in a comic book series published by Archie Comics. Scooby's voice actor passed away and Hanna-Barbera was absorbed into Time Warner's media empire, beginning their gradual overhaul into Cartoon Network Studios. However, an extremely well-received direct-to-video movie in 1998 jump-started the franchise, including one new DTV movie per year since 2000, several new and highly ambitious TV shows which either use, play with, subvert, or even ignore the classic formula (and are utterly unconnected to each other), and the occasional video game.
The Turn of the Millennium saw the release of two theatrical Scooby-Doo movies, one in 2002 simply titled Scooby-Doonote and its sequel, 2004's Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed,note starring Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy fame as Daphne and her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred. They were followed by two made-for-TV prequels, which featured a different cast. All four were loaded with Continuity Nods, and lampshaded the show's own clichés. A live-action prequel movie focusing on Daphne and Velma was released on DVD in 2018.
A CGI animated film, SCOOB!, was released in 2020, and is intended to kick off a Shared Universe of Hanna-Barbera properties. Though it was originally intended for theatrical release, it was instead released digitally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been several Scooby-Doo comic book adaptations over the years, through Western Publishing (Gold Key Comics imprint), Charlton Comics, Marvel Comics, Archie Comics, and most recently DC Comics. As of 2015, the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You comic was the longest-running non-superhero DC title. Most Scooby comics consist of stories similar to the original cartoons, with the occasional crossover with other Hanna-Barbera cartoons or DC superhero property. In 2016, as part of a new line of "reimagined" Hanna-Barbera cartoon titles aimed to older audiences, a new Alternate Universe comic called Scooby Apocalypse was announced. As you might have guessed, it's Scooby-Doo IN THE APOCALYPSE! This also features yet another radical redesign and shift to modern times for the ol' gang.
In 2005, the shownote briefly beat The Simpsons for most episodes produced of an American cartoon.
After so many years in both first-run and reruns, this franchise is so thoroughly embedded in American popular culture that even people who have never seen it are familiar with it. It's also earned more than a few shout-outs from other franchises; the ad-hoc vampire-hunting team that formed around Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer called themselves "The Scooby Gang".note note 2 It has also become Cockney rhyming slang for "clue" (as in "Haven't a Scooby, mate"). In 2018, one of the biggest-profile tributes to the franchise occurred when the TV series Supernatural aired a full-out animated crossover episode that re-introduced the characters to a new generation of viewers (while also attracting first-time viewers to Supernatural).
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969-1970 CBS) - The original classic series, and the "bread and butter" core of the franchise. Despite it being a major hit from the start, only 25 Episodes were made across two seasons.
- NOTE: A set of episodes of "The Scooby-Doo Show" made in 1978 for ABC had been tagged as an unofficial third season in their original broadcasts (being shown with the original opening/closing sequences), but all subsequent airings feature the proper "Scooby-Doo Show" opening/closing, thus removing the connection. That hasn't stopped them from being released to DVD as "Season 3" of Where Are You.
- The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972-1974, CBS) - This featured appearances from animated versions of real-life celebrities and crossovers with other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Unlike all the other series, the episodes of this series were an hour-long with commercials (though some syndicated broadcasts split episodes into two standard half hours). Otherwise, this show mostly followed the classic formula. 24 Episodes (or 48 split-episodes).
- The Scooby-Doo Show (1976-1979, ABC) - A return of the original "Where Are You?!" formula, but with a slightly (yet noticeably) cheaper budget and occasional appearances from Scooby-Doo's relatives (e.g. his cousins Scooby-Dum and Scooby-Dee). 40 episodes.
- NOTE: The original broadcasts of these episodes were featured in package shows like "The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour" (Eps. 1-16), "Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics" (Eps. 17-24), and "Scooby's All-Stars" (Eps. 25-40). Eps. 25-40 were originally shown with the opening titles of "Scooby-Doo! Where Are You?!" (not attached to a package show), and is often seen as a sort of third season of the original series (and have been released to DVD as such). Other shows in these packages include Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Laff-A-Lympics
- Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979-1980, ABC) - Scrappy's debut. Basically "The Scooby-Doo Show" with Scrappy. 16 Episodes.
- The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show (1980-1982, ABC) - A completely different formula, with only Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy being caught in various adventures in seven-minute shorts (three-per-episode). 33 Episodes (99 Shorts). Of the 99 shorts, 13 didn't feature Scooby-Doo, instead featuring Scrappy-Doo with his other uncle, Yabba-Doo in the west.
- NOTE: Similarly to The Scooby-Doo Show, these episodes were broadcast in package shows. The first 20 episodes (60 segments) aired with Richie Rich (1980) and the latter 13 episodes (39 segments) aired with The Puppy's New Adventures.
- The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show (1983-1984, ABC) - Return of the "mystery" formula, but only with Shaggy, Scooby, Scrappy, and Daphne as the lead characters. 13 Episodes.
- The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries (1984-85, ABC) - A continuation of the previous series, but with occasional appearances from Fred and Velma (Both for three episodes, reuniting the gang, one each showcasing their careers, and a Christmas Special with just Fred). 13 Episodes.
- The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985-1986, ABC) - A new formula, and the first retool to be considered a completely separate series; basically a twist of the previous two shows, featuring new characters (Flim Flam, Vincent Van Ghoul, and villains Weerd and Bogel), the voice of Vincent Price, and was the first Scooby-Doo show featuring an overarching storyline, though the show's cancellation left it unresolved. 13 Episodes.
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (1988-1991, ABC) - Features a more modern animation style, with the gang solving mysteries as kids. The series was the first time the franchise acknowledged via good-natured self-referential parody the clichés and tropes of the original formula. 31 Episodes.
- What's New, Scooby-Doo? (2002-2006, The WB) - A new series, returning to the original format, but with a very contemporary style. 42 Episodes. The first TV series in the franchise to be produced by Warner Bros. as a consequence of the Time Warner/Turner merger of 1996.
- Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! (2006-2008, The CW) - A big departure from the original formula, featured an overarching story, but only with Shaggy and Scooby (and a few appearances from Fred, Daphne, and Velma), and Scooby getting powers from special Scooby Snacks. 26 Episodes.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (2010-2013, Cartoon Network) - Features a slightly enhanced version of the original design, an overarching plot, a twist on the classic formula, occasionally darker storytelling, as well as appearances from some other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. 52 Episodes.
- Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! (2015-2018, Cartoon Network / Boomerang) - This incarnation falls back on the classic premise as the gang hits the road on summer vacation only to bump into mysteries and monsters. Like A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, focuses largely on humor and self-parody of its own cliches. Notable for being the first series (not counting the prequel A Pup Named Scooby-Doo) to make a radical departure from the character designs in place since 1969, although most of the current voice actors returned. 52 Episodes.
- Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? (2019-, Boomerang) - In this iteration, the gang meets celebrities in cartoon form as well as established fictional characters, similar to The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
- Velma: an upcoming HBO Max original focusing on Velma (here voiced by Mindy Kaling) and her pre-Mystery Inc. origins. Notably intended for adults.
- Scooby Goes Hollywood (1979, ABC, prime time special)
- Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987, made-for-TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988, made-for-TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988, made-for-TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights (1994, made-for-TV movie)
- The Scooby-Doo Project (1999, a series of shorts parodying The Blair Witch Project)
- Scooby-Doo! Spooky Games (2012)
- Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays (2012)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Scarecrow (2013)
- Scooby-Doo: Mecha Mutt Menace (2013)
- Scooby-Doo: Ghastly Goals (2014)
- Scooby-Doo and the Beach Beastie (2015)
- LEGO Scooby Doo: Knight Time Terror (2015, Lego Special)
- Scoobynatural (2018, an episode of Supernatural where the two franchises Crossover)
- SCOOB! (2020)*
- Scooby-Doo Direct-to-Video Film Series
- Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost (1999)
- Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000)
- Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire (2003)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico (2003)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster (2004)
- Aloha, Scooby-Doo! (2005)
- Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy? (2005)
- Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006)
- Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! (2007)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King (2008)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword (2009)
- Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo (2010)
- Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare (2010)
- Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur (2011)
- Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire (2012)
- Big Top Scooby-Doo! (2012)
- Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon (2013)
- Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright (2013)
- Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery (2014)
- Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy (2014)
- Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness (2015)
- Scooby-Doo! And KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery (2015)
- Scooby-Doo! and the WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon (2016)
- Scooby-Doo! Shaggy's Showdown (2017)
- Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Gourmet Ghost (2018)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost (2019)
- Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island (2019)
- Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! (2020)
- Scooby-Doo! The Sword and the Scoob (2021)
- Scooby-Doo (2002 theatrical movie)
- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004 theatrical movie)
- Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009 TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (2010 TV movie)
- Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map (2013 direct-to-video movie)
- Daphne & Velma (2018 direct-to-video movie)
- Scooby-Doo... Where Are You! (Gold Key, 1969-1972)
- Scooby-Doo... Mystery Comics (Gold Key, 1973-1974 except for issue #26, which was a reprint of Where Are You! #6)
- Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (Charlton, 1975-1976)
- Scooby-Doo (Marvel, 1977-1979)
- Laff-A-Lympics (Marvel, 1978-79; Scooby and Shaggy appearances)
- Scooby-Doo (Harvey, 1991; reprints of Charlton issues)
- Scooby-Doo (Archie Comics, 1995-1997)
- Cartoon Network Christmas Spectacular (Archie Comics, 1995, featured a Scooby story)
- Hanna-Barbera Spotlight (Archie Comics, 1996; issue 6 featured A Pup Named Scooby-Doo)
- Scooby-Doo (DC, 1997-2010)
- Scooby-Doo! World of Mystery (DC, 2004-2006)
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (DC, 2010-)
- Scooby-Doo! Team-Up (DC, 2013-2019)
- Scooby Apocalypse (DC, 2016-2019)
- Scooby-Doo: Mystery Inc. (DC, 2020)
- Scooby-Doo Game: Where Are You! (1973)
- Scooby Doo och Monstret (1978)
- Scooby Doo Game (1980)
- Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Game (1983)
- Scooby-Doo! Thrills and Spills (1999)
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Mansion Game (1999)
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Card Game (1999)
- Scooby-Doo! Get That Dog (1999)
- Scooby-Doo! Expandable Card Game (2000)
- Monopoly: Scooby-Doo! Fright Fest (2000)
- Scooby-Doo! Cyber Chase (2001)
- Scooby-Doo! Bobblehead Game (2002)
- Scooby-Doo The Movie Game (2002)
- Monopoly: Scooby-Doo Collectors Edition (2002)
- Scooby-Doo! Hide & Shriek (2003)
- Group Photo: Scooby-doo! (2003)
- Scooby-Doo! Monster Chase (2004)
- Scooby-Doo! Who Are You? Game (2005) - Themed version of Guess Who?
- Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? (2005)
- Scooby-Doo! Coolsville 500 (2005)
- Scooby-Doo! Monster Mystery Game (2007) - Small game produced to be given away in McDonald's happy meals.
- Scooby-Doo! Haunted House 3D Board Game (2007)
- Scooby-Doo! DVD Board Game (2007)
- Scooby-Doo! Board Game: The Maze of Mayhem! (2007)
- Scooby-Doo Gold Rush Game (2007)
- Scooby Doo: Escape from the Vortex (2007)
- Jungle Speed Scooby Doo (2008)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Monster Mall Board Game (2010)
- Scooby-Doo Mystery Mine Board Game (2013)
- Scooby-Doo! Amazing Chase Game (2014)
- Scooby Doo Story Telling Dice (2014)
- Scooby-Doo Fright at the Fun Park (2016)
- Rory's Story Cubes: Scooby Doo (2016)
- Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion (2020)
- Betrayal at Mystery Mansion (2020) - Themed version of Betrayal at House on the Hill
- Scooby-Doo: The Board Game (2021) - CMON Kickstarter funded game.
- Scooby Doo's Maze Chase (1983)
- Scooby-Doo (1986 video game)
- Scooby-Doo Mystery (two 1995 adventure games)
- Scooby-Doo: Mystery of the Fun Park Phantom (1999 video game)
- Scooby-Doo: Mystery Adventures (2000 Point-and-Click adventure)
- Scooby-Doo! Classic Creep Capers (2000 platformer)
- Scooby-Doo: The Cyber Chase (2001 platformer)
- Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights (2002 action-adventure game)
- Scooby-Doo (2002 action-adventure game)
- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004 action-adventure game)
- Scooby-Doo: Mystery Mayhem (2004 action-adventure game)
- Scooby-Doo! Unmasked (2005 video game)
- Scooby-Doo, Who's Watching Who? (2006 platformer)
- Scooby-Doo: First Frights (2009 action platformer)
- Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky Swamp (2010 action platformer)
- Scooby Doo! & Looney Tunes Cartoon Universe: Adventure (2014 platformer)
- LEGO Dimensions (2015 Massively Multiplayer Crossover video game featuring characters from the series)
Other frequent tropes:
- A lot of running past a Wraparound Background.
- Velma losing her glasses, especially in the earliest series (she's Blind Without 'Em).
- Catchphrases: "Zoinks!" for Shaggy, "Jinkies!" for Velma, "Jeepers" for Daphne. Scrappy had two: "Let me at 'em, Let me at 'em!" and "Da-da-da-da-da-da, Puppy Power!". Not to mention the infamous "Let's Split Up, Gang!!" for Freddy as well as "Looks like we have another mystery on our hands!" and, in the 2010s, "Hold the phone!", and of course, Scooby's "Scooby Dooby Doo!" and "Rut Roh!" In some of the newer episodes/movies, Scooby responds to any mention of a dog with "Rog? Rwhere?"
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo mercilessly lampooned and lampshaded these. And invented several new ones. And then lampooned and lampshaded those.
- The catchphrases are also lampshaded in Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword. After something bad happens, they each say their catchphrases, except for Fred, whose catchphrase doesn't fit into that situation and instead laments his apparent lack of a catchphrase.
- Shaggy and Scooby consuming very large sandwiches. Also stealing food from one another, or occasionally having their food stolen by a random mouse, chipmunk, or bird.
- Scrappy's attempts to use his super strength against the "ghost".
- Daphne getting abducted and tied up. Lampshaded in the original series; she's called "Danger-Prone Daphne" more than once.
- Lampshaded in Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster by Daphne's cousin Shannon, who describes the Blake family as a whole as being the type to get caught in all sorts of traps and kidnappings, summing it up as being "Danger Prone". A mural on the wall of the family castle behind her even depicts this.
- A chase sequence through a room with a series of random doors with entryways that break the laws of physics.
- A long slapstick-filled chase sequence with upbeat music playing in the background.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax is nearly universal, although a few later movies and movie-length episodes, and Thirteen Ghosts, had the ghosts turning out to be real. The New Scooby-Doo Movies (and, once, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo) also featured real monsters as guest stars, with the real monsters haunted by a fake one! The show likes playing with the trope as much as it likes playing it straight.
- The monster in the first-season episode "Foul Play in Funland" was technically "real", though there was nothing supernatural about it.
- Scooby and Shaggy dressing up in costumes and making a short skit to confuse the chasing monster.
- Despite the Plan - A convoluted plan to catch the villain that never goes as planned.
- The Reveal in the form of a Dramatic Unmask at the climax of the episode. "Let's see who this monster really is!"
- Hilariously subverted in the What's New episode "It's All Greek To Scooby" when Velma triumphantly announces the identity of the Centaur and pulls the mask off to reveal a character she had never seen before. Velma calls a foul and declares it doesn't count.
- Played with in the classic series episode "A Clue For Scooby-Doo." Fred and the gang are about to unmask the Ghost of Captain Cutler to see if it was really Ebeneezer Shark (the beachcomber they interrogated earlier). It turned out to be thanks to Shaggy's placement of some seaweed Captain Cutler himself. (Scooby and Velma were the only others to have recognized this denouement, but Fred and Daphne announce it as well, and they weren't even at Widow Cutler's home to have seen the Cutler portrait.)
- The Summation at the end of the episode, where the gang thoroughly debunks all of the supposed paranormal activity and explains its role in the criminal racket they have uncovered. Sometimes there was no crime committed, and the hoax was performed for a noble reason (for example, in "Haunted House Hang Up", the first time this occurred, the culprit disguised himself to scare people away, not to cover up some criminal behavior, but because he was afraid somebody would steal his family treasure).
- One or more characters who come across as particularly suspicious, yet turn out to have nothing to do with the actual plot. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo went so far as to make one a regular supporting character with the actual name "Red Herring".
- The ghosts being real, at least for two series and The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
- Scooby getting scared and jumping into Shaggy's arms.
- Amusingly, it's sometimes reversed, with Shaggy jumping into Scooby's front legs.
- Other times, Velma carries the whole gang in her arms.
- Several versions of the opening credits incorporate a Bat Scare, and this happens occasionally in-story also.
- The Cartoon Network revival in the early 2000's used the franchise characters in comedic vignettes that lampshaded most (if not each) of the above tropes.
- The characters all have a distinctive way of running, every time:
- Fred swinging his arms and plodding heavily.
- Daphne leans forward slightly while running, her hair flowing.
- Velma runs with her shoulders back and arms hooked, and her bust out.
- Shaggy runs leaning forward extremely, almost at a 60-degree angle.
- Scooby has two, depending on the episode:
- Running with all legs spinning like propellers (most of the time).
- Hopping forward (rarely).
- Shaggy losing Scooby and calling for him with "Scooby-Doo, Where are you?".
- Scooby being berated by some small, angry animal, usually a mouse.
"And I would have gotten away with editing this TV Tropes page if it hadn't been for You Meddling Kids and your dog!"