- The credits theme just feels depressing in general. Sure, the monster-of-the-week is caught and maybe the gang has finally resolved their own issues, but the end of the episode just reminds you of that underlying feeling of hopelessness and cynicism in the show. Everything isn't going to be fine and dandy like it was before in other incarnations. All of their choices have consequences and things will happen that they can't stop.
- "Mystery Solvers Club State Finals"
- Velma insensitively calling Scooby their sidekick, implying that his own friends don't see him as their equal.
- The events of the episode become Harsher in Hindsight for Angel as the season goes on. She used to be a part of a mystery-solving group herself. Is it any surprise that she steps up as leader once the kids go missing after a monster threatens to hurt them if the survivors don't do as he says?
- This also means that Angel's excitement at being at the event is because she's representing the original Mystery Incorporated in place of her old friends, and she knows that.
- Fridge Horror: As the show continues, we learn that there are some truth to dreams because of their connections to other people's minds via the Entity, meaning that it's totally possible that this was hinting at Angel seeking to finish what her friends could not.
- At first, "Where Walks Aphrodite" seems to provide a Hope Spot that Pericles, through Commonality Connection with Scooby for being the Non-Human Sidekick of their respective mystery-solving groups as well as caring for his hometown, could return to the side of good... and then Ed Machine reveals that the entire episode was just a ploy set up by Pericles so that he could get the stuff he needed for his own goals, and that his goals would ultimately lead to the destruction of Crystal Cove.
- Pericles and Angel recognizing each other because Angel is Cassidy, and they were former friends.
- Pericles working together with the gang and Angel was probably reminiscent of how he worked with the original Mystery Incorporated. Unfortunately, the end of the episode reveals that he's not interested in returning to those days. Especially sad because he was working together with his old friend, Cassidy.
- Cassidy sacrificing herself at the end of "The Midnight Zone".
- Mr. E's flashback to him and Pericles meeting when he was a kid in "The Gathering Gloom". Especially his line before it: "Were we ever once so young?" Made worse when they reunite as friends at the end of the episode...while plotting Cassidy's murder. How they have changed.
- Gets rather more bittersweet when the undersea adventure reveals that Pericles wasn't young after all during his first encounter with Ricky, having already begun associating with a previous mystery-solving team's techie in the 1930s. Only Ricky was truly young and innocent at the time; Pericles was just playing at it to better appeal to the child who was treating his injury.
- Mr. E. in general is a tragedy. His relationship with Cassidy crumbled, but they never stopped loving each other. Once he graduated high school, his Big Eater tendencies caught up with him and transformed him from a skinny, goofy, Shaggy-esque nerd into a grotesquely obese, grouchy man who still carries severe emotional scars for the rest of his life, his once-promising life at the end of high school completely destroyed.
- While in disguise as a middle-aged couple in "The Song of Mystery", Fred advises Daphne to not look so happy, because they're married. Given we learn later in the season that Fred's mother supposedly left her husband and son, it implies that Fred believes she left because she wasn't happy with Mayor Jones and also believes that this genuinely hurt his father's feelings too.
- "In Fear of the Phantom", Fred's dilemma over believing that he's not a real man because he has feelings and is hurt by Daphne leaving him is clearly an idea he got from his father. Perhaps he believes that his father became distant because his mother left as a way to cope and/or assert superiority.
- Fred's reaction to finding out his entire life was a lie in "All Fear the Freak". Welker's voice acting really sells it.
- The entire ending to that episode qualifies.
- Fred's O.O.C. Is Serious Business when he ignores Daphne's question about why he brought his mother's photo with them to the investigation.
- Rewatch Bonus: After saving Fred from falling, the Freak just hesitates and looks at him before running away. He turned around to save his son, and he doesn't even know why. And chances are, since he tried to kick him down the cliff in the first place, perhaps he thought he had the heart to kill him for his own goals, but didn't.
- Alternatively, as we've seen with the Darrow family and later Brad & Judy, he attempted to kick him down because he was so focused on self-preservation that he literally did not realize that he almost condemned the boy he's raised as his own for years to die by his own hand.
- Fred's shock at the Freak saving him immediately turning into determined anger to unmask him. By the time they had gotten to the church, Fred had already lost faith in his father. The Freak saving him just confirmed his suspicions — who else would blow their cover for Fred?
- After Fred unmasks him, Mayor Jones can't bear to make eye contact with anyone, particularly not with Fred, without shame.
- Remembering that earlier on in the episode, he seemed sad while looking at that photo of Fred's supposed mother. In hindsight, in all likelihood, he was sad because he was feared he would lose his son if he discovered the truth about him and what he did. At the end of the episode, despite Fred being visibly angry and hurt by his confession, Mayor Jones still believed he would stay with him. In fact, their last conversation of the season is this (as well as Mayor Jones's last words this season as well as for a while):Fred: So all of this for a treasure no one's even sure exists?!
Mayor Jones: Fred, you're still my son! I raised you!
Fred: You used me! Where'd you hide it, in your pocket? [Fred discovers Jones's pocket is empty]
Mayor Jones: It's gone?! We have to find it! That piece is priceless! Fred! [Fred pushes him to the ground and runs away] Fred!
- Fred coldly and angrily pushing the man who he said earlier in that episode that he loved as much as his friends and his passions because he was his father to the ground becomes Harsher in Hindsight. Did Jones deserve it? Yes. Did it still hurt? Yes.
- Hearing Sheriff Stone cry and say to Mayor Jones, "Tell me this isn't true!" at the end.
- Now, imagine what would ensue if Jones was too late to save Fred from falling...
- According to Word of God, Mayor Jones wasn't lying when he said loved Fred.
- A minor case, but according to Word of God, Fred's teddy bear in the Season 2 premiere was given to him from =his "father"]]==. Combined with Fred continuing to live in their house (since he doesn't have anywhere else to go anyway) also hurts. And eagle-eyed viewers may notice that the fireplace doesn't have the framed photos of Mayor Jones, City Hall, Fred, and his "mother" anymore.
- There's something both tearjerking and yet heartwarming in how Fred knew that he could get his false dad to help with the plan, while his real parents would try to steal Mystery Inc.'s disk pieces instead in "Wrath of the Krampus".
- Also both is Fred, who has his real parents, admits that while his fake dad was harsh on him (and not his real dad), he still got attention from the man whereas Brad and Judy mostly ignore him unless they're explicitly using him, to the point where poor Freddie actually feels a void.
- It's even more sad when you realize that at the time, Brad and Judy actually did love their son, but since they didn't raise him, they never learned how to actually be parents. Aside from bonding with him over traps, the only parental thing they tried to do was to protect their son from the treasure's curse, which only ends up leading them down a path of corruption by the cursed treasure instead!
- Fred normalizing his fake father's controlling and neglectful parenting style to the point that he misses it. Damned by Faint Praise or not, it's unfortunately Truth in Television that abuse victims find themselves missing their situation because they've put up with it for so long that they're used to it.
- "Wrath of the Krampus":
- It turns out at the end that ex-Mayor Jones was jumped at the offer to help out in the gang's scheme against the original Mystery Incorporated, even giving up an opportunity at stealing the disc pieces from them. At first, it seems that maybe he did it out of love for Fred... but the Fridge Sadness sets in (especially later on, given a revelation in "Nightmare In Red") that he probably mainly did it because he knew he already lost his chance at getting the pieces for himself, but helped anyway to get back at the original Mystery Incorporated for ruining his plans in the previous season.
- "Nightmare In Red": The Sitting Room.
- It turns out that part of the curse is that everyone involved in the search for the treasure literally loses their good side, which is sealed away in the dream realm. Ex-Mayor Jones laments that the treasure ruined all of them.
- Ex-Mayor Jones, from what little we see of his good side, actually seems to be an amicably good man without the curse.
- Fred, despite saying earlier in the season that ex-Mayor Jones wasn't as bad as of a parent as Brad and Judy and entrusting him with temporarily holding the disk pieces, is still (justifiably) angry at him for everything he's done and almost calls him out for supposedly being the Freak again & harassing Scooby in the dream realm.
- Fred telling Jones that he forgives him and that he was a "great dad" becomes Fridge Tearjerker when you realize that Fred may have only said that to make him feel better, since he never personally got to have a genuinely good parent and became increasingly aware as the show went on that Jones is not a good father. But then again, there's the short time when Jones was a better father in Fred's youth according to Word of God and the short time when Brad & Judy still cared, so perhaps Fred was looking at it glass half-full.
- Jarringly, Brad and Judy are shown in the background as Fred says to ex-Mayor Jones that he considers him his true father.
- It's ambiguous as to whether or not if ex-Mayor Jones in the physical world would remember the encounter.
- Fred made sure he got to say goodbye to his 'father' in the mental world because he knew that there would be no way he could get proper closure with him it in the physical world. The events of that night have made him realize that not all of his sins were his fault, something ex-Mayor Jones literally only knew deep down and would never admit in the physical world, so the man who raised him is effectively dead. Fred already knows that his 'father' had a difficult time showing he loved him, so forget about telling his evil side that he's forgiven.
- Ricky's good side is shown as his teenage self, unlike the others who are shown in their adult years.
- Pericles is not present in the Sitting Room, implying either he has always been evil or the curse is extra bad to the mascots that their good sides are irreversibly destroyed.
- Brad and Judy are back-to-back with their arms folded out of pettiness, not even glancing at each other. The curse has ruined them so bad that the two lovebirds hate each other like schoolchildren.
- The leader of the Conquistadors feels great remorse for the actions he and his men have done under the influence of the curse, and he only wishes to keep those who seek the treasure in the dream realm so that history doesn't repeat.
- "Hodag of Horror": Upon reuniting, the original Mystery Incorporated has nothing to say to each other other than a bitter exchange of "What are you doing here?" and "Who called this meeting?".
- Scooby crying for Shaggy after Shaggy gets kidnapped by the Weird Gnome in "Grasp of the Gnome".
- The whole story behind Dr. Zin and his daughter in "Heart of Evil".
- The Horrible Herd. There's a scene that seems to be a direct shout out to the most traumatizing moment in The Lion King. Except Mufasa's been replaced by Nova. Scooby is understandably devastated. She's found alive, and the Gang rush her to the hospital, but considering how badly she's injured, one wonders if Friar Seras was talking about Scooby when he said "the dog dies"...
- The next episode, The Dance of the Undead, features Nova in the hospital. Scooby visits her no less than five times a day, according to Shaggy. In the end, she flatlines.
- She's apparently still alive as of "Stand and Deliver". The flatlining was likely just a sign of Nibiru's possession.
- Scratch that; the Annunaki's possession.
- The next episode, The Dance of the Undead, features Nova in the hospital. Scooby visits her no less than five times a day, according to Shaggy. In the end, she flatlines.
- The first few minutes of The Devouring give us a quick one, but a gutpunch still. Ricky stares thoughtfully at photos of Cassidy before confronting Pericles about going too far. It's starting to look like the exploitation of his company isn't his only regret. The fact that Cassidy had been willing to work for him after all those years and despite her misgivings was a big hint that their past affection hadn't completely died out on her end, and maybe this was one from his. Too bad it came too late; with her death confirmed on Twitter, he'll never see her again. Unless Pericles gets a little too eager with the cobra venom...
- In "Nightmare in Red" we learn the spirits of El Aguirre and his men don't want the Nibiru entity to be destroyed which would lead to them being freed because they believe they don't deserve salvation after the things they did. Aguirre makes vivid, horrified recollections of the carnage and he and his men inflicted, while the background music shifts to the sounds of swords clashing and people screaming. This really drives in what a heartless, vindictive monster the creature inside the sarcophagus must be if it is capable of corrupting so many individuals to that extent. Aguirre and his men have spent centuries in limbo believing themselves to be complete monsters because of what the entity did to them.
- Also the fact that the Gang believes they are probably only together because of the being, even going as far as to believe they probably would not like each other if it wasn't for that thing manipulating them into being a group.
- In "Gates of Gloom", the Tearjerker entry for "The Devouring" gets so much worse. What we thought was Ricky mourning Cassidy was actually him wondering why he hadn't heard from her. Ricky's been unaware that his actions led to his ex-girlfriend's death this whole time, and has been obliviously cooperating with her killer. Upon finding this out, he steadfastly refuses to obey Pericles's order to allow the massacre of every resident of Crystal Cove...until Pericles tortures him with snake venom, forcing him to comply.
- In the next episode, before she dies, Hot Dog Water tells him she thought he'd be better than this, to which Ricky replies "So did I." Afterwards, there's a scene where Ricky says that none of them will make it out of this alive, then he laughs and says he's so happy about that fact. Ricky has become so disgusted with himself and how far he's fallen that's become a Death Seeker.
- On a lesser note, Fred sacrificing the Mystery Machine. Seeing the iconic vehicle of the franchise blow up like that...
- The parents reacting in horror to the van blowing up. Even Daphne's father was shocked by it, and though he could've just been his typical overdramatic self, it's also just as likely that he thought his youngest daughter was caught in the explosion and died.
- Seeing the parents (including ex-Mayor Jones) and various other characters being forced to dig under threat of being whipped (or worse) by Pericles's robots.
- Ex-Mayor Jones isn't seen later, implying that despite him and Fred reconciling in the Sitting Room, it has no bearing on his physical self, so he still doesn't have the heart or courage to help everyone else in the uprising.
- One must wonder how he would've reacted if he saw Sheriff Stone leading the uprising with Mayor Nettles or Fred's van blow up...
- Hot Dog Water's death in "Through the Curtain", with the camera cutting away to the gang right before the gun fires. Velma's reaction to the sound of the gunfire in the distance and seeing Scooby turn and whimper adds to the punch. "Just keep going, Scooby..."
- Imagine what must've been going through her father's head during the finale. His daughter is missing after Pericles held them all hostage as slaves, and for all he knows, she could be dead or worse, and he never learns of this before he presumably is killed in the finale. Thank goodness for the universe restarting.
- From "Theater of Doom": "The dog dies? Is he talking about me?"
- What about the Entity devouring almost everyone the gang's come to know and love in "Come Undone"? It was bad enough at first that we saw helpless incidentals getting snatched from the streets & their own homes before getting eaten, and then we see Entity grab someone we do know—Mayor Jones (with Fred reacting in shock, especially because they had just reconciled), then the Sheriff, and then Mayor Nettles, with the Mystery Inc. right behind her as she gets grabbed.
- Assuming that the show's entire side cast died before the universe rebooted, then that means that Daphne and Shaggy never properly got to say goodbye or even at least reconcile with their families. The last time they would've seen each other was during the prison breakout in the previous episode, where we at least saw them being willing to listen to their children for once.
- When it's all over, it's kind of sad that all of Daphne's sisters are stripped of their careers and intelligence, which seems to have come from the negativity in the town. Delilah, especially, because she at least seemed nice, if not a tad gruff.
- In general, seeing how the curse affected everybody around the gang and negatively influenced so many people's lives is pretty bad.
- To elaborate, this is the main reason the gang keeps facing people with supernatural gimmicks. The Evil Entity would influence their minds and drive them to villainy in order to keep Mystery Inc. active. Meaning that almost everyone the gang faced (including from the previous series) were probably normal people whose lives were ruined to keep the Entity's plan in motion.
- Since the universe had to be reset all the way back to the beginning, a possible implication is that once you got the curse, it was only a matter of time before it ruined you (from Mayor Jones, to Brad and Judy, to Pericles) or you ended up dead if you managed to hold it off long enough (like Cassidy). It can't be reversed, meaning everyone's inner good would've been sealed away forever in the dream realm even after their deaths (like Cassidy).
- And don't forget at the end of the series, before receiving a disc from the new Mr. E, the Mystery Inc gang feel like they're outcasts because not only did they see everyone and everything dead in their old universe, but because of what happened after defeating Nibiru, none of them feel like they belong to this world, especially because they feel that the unaffected loved ones they saw were not the same ones they actually cared about. You can't help but give these five a hug.
- Going by the show being a Stealth Prequel to Where Are You?, it suggests Fred legally changed his last name to Jones, because he was too used to being Fred Jones, Jr., son of Fred Jones, Sr. He never got to live the life of being Fred Chiles, son of Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves, even if Ripple Effect-Proof Memory comes into play.
- In a meta-tearjerker, hearing Casey Kasem as Shaggy's father one final time in the series finale with the knowledge that the episode will be his final involvement in the Scooby-Doo franchise ever since the franchise started nearly 45 years ago. Kasem passed away about a year and a half after the finale aired, but his final words in the franchise are his character telling Shaggy how proud he is.
- After the mystery in "Dead Justice" is solved, Fred goes looking to his dad for a So Proud of You moment and is practically begging for it. Instead, Mayor Jones just brushes him off and walks away.Fred: You know, dad, Bucky would've gotten away with it if it weren't for us meddling kids. Maybe a little "thank you" might be, uh--
Mayor Jones: Uh, that's great, Fred. Listen, I'm late for a work meeting. [leaves in the wrong direction]
Fred: But work's that way! ...Why do I even bother?
Daphne: He cares, Fred. In his own way...
- Followed up by Fred proposing to Daphne, in part because he just wants to be loved and he doesn't know what he'll do in the future other than be with Daphne.
- And then followed up two episodes later when it turns out that Mayor Jones is Fred's kidnapper, having abducted him from his real parents as a hostage, all while ripping apart the original Mystery Inc. As far as Fred knew at the time, he could've grown up with love and approval he's yearned years for, but his supposed father figure was always a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk—ignoring that what confirmed Fred's suspicions that Mayor Jones and the Freak were the same person was when he saved his false son from dying just minutes earlier.
- It isn't until nearly a complete season later that we learn that Daphne was right: Mayor Jones really did love Fred. But the curse made him inept at doing so due to sealing away his good subconscious, yet this reveal also implies that his good side managed to make itself prominent when Fred nearly fell to his death back in the Season 1 finale.
- Word of God saying that Mayor Jones would have been even worse than Brad and Judy if Fred wasn't in his life "Fred saved him." But Fred couldn't save Brad and Judy...
- Danny Darrow's life. When he was a child, he and his family went crazy with greed after finding a piece of the planespheric disc, and their house sank underground where he was forced to live out his life (about 75 years), obsessed over the piece, while he and his family grew old, and they all died, leaving him alone. 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?" Even though she died years ago.
- The photo spread of the Darrows as yet another historical team of mystery-solvers includes one of Danny holding a cat. Presumably it was a talking cat, same as the other teams have all had talking animals. Yet there's no sign of this cat in any of the flashbacks to the mansion's sinking, implying that the cat died before the quake, caused the quake, was away from home and was left alone to grieve for its family, and/or has completely been forgotten by Danny.
Tear Jerker / Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
"They're good kids. Better than we were."
— Cassidy Williams