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Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! is a movie in the long-running Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD movie lineup written and directed by Maxwell Atoms (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy). In this one, Mystery Incorporated must fight off Jonathan Crane a.k.a The Scarecrow, who has mutated pumpkins into his own savage Jack-o'-lantern army. Helping the gang are Bill Nye the Science Guy and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Together, they must save Crystal Cove before Scarecrow's army plunges it into a never-ending nightmare.

The movie was released on October 6, 2020.

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Tropes associated with the movie:

  • Action Survivor: Townsperson Mike and his daughter Michelle get dragged into the new mystery with the gang, as he's the only one with a car on the other side of a fissure with Shaggy and Scooby. He gets stressed out, while his daughter is mostly blissfully oblivious.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief:
    • Maxwell Atoms said how Daphne here is like how she was in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, and as such, is much more of a silly goofball here.
    • Fred is once again characterized as comic relief fixated on traps and the Mystery Machine. If anything, Velma acts more like The Leader in this film.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Scarecrow ultimately turns out to have only been in the Halloween festivities in Crystal Cove because he's a fan of Elvira, and wasn't trying to stir up trouble at all. He also repays Mystery Inc. for releasing him from his prison by helping fight the Jackal Lanterns.
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  • Advertised Extra: Scarecrow doesn't actually have as much screen-time as advertised as part of a misdirect. He shows up at the beginning and doesn't show up again until Velma interrogates him about halfway into the film.
  • An Aesop: It's okay to be afraid, so long as you don't let it control you.
    • Green Aesop: To a lesser extent, it's a plot point that the true mastermind was trying to illegally obtain lithium that would cause catastrophic environmental damage.
  • Animation Lead Time: Production started in 2019 (and in fact was originally intended to be released that year), but by the time it was released it was during the COVID-19 Pandemic which made Halloween celebrations like parades not exactly likely in real life, especially when there's no masks or social distancing. Although you could reasonably Wild Mass Guess that it didn't occur in this universe especially if they have the super-science of the DC Comics here.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite living in the same universe as Scarecrow, Bill Nye mentions that Aquaman's powers wouldn't work in the real world.
  • Avengers Assemble: "Mystery Incorporated, Incorporate!"
  • Bait-and-Switch: After Crane is initially busted, he says his drones were on a dead man's switch and will now unleash enough fear toxin to cause 76 hours of terror. The drones start exploding before they can release their payload. It's not Batman, but Shaggy and Scooby who save the day.
  • Big Bad: The Mystery Gang are fighting off Jonathan Crane this time. Yes, that Jonathan Crane.
    • It turns out that Crane himself is being framed, and he was only there to watch the parade and Elvira. The real Big Bad is the Sherif, who is really Cutler Toe, a disgraced Corrupt Corporate Executive the gang had exposed in the (unseen) past and came to Crystal Cove impersonating a sheriff and unleashed the Jackal Lanterns in a plot for revenge.
  • Big "NO!": Fred, when the Mystery Machine blows up (of course).
  • Bookends: When Scarecrow is arrested at the opening of the movie, Mystery Incorporated say he won't be terrorizing traffic on Highway 13 any more. At the end, he attacks Cutler Toe and his "very fast sports car" on Highway 13.
  • Brick Joke: After the Mystery Machine has been wrecked, Fred remarks whether they need to get dishwashing jobs to pay for repairing it. During the Creative Closing Credits, all of Mystery Incorporated are shown to have taken a dishwashing job.
  • Broad Strokes: Rule of Cool fully in effect here, in a drastic reversal from the previous two movies of Ret-Canon, this film mixes and matches Scooby history at whim. Even down to using the town name of Crystal Cove from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated but also referencing A Pup Named Scooby-Doo twice where their hometown was Coolsville.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Using one of Gotham City's most dangerous villains, the Scarecrow, as a patsy is definitely never a smart idea. Cutler Toe was just asking for it for daring to try.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Shaggy calls the living, attacking jack-o'-lanterns "Jackal Lanterns", and the term sticks.
  • Call-Back: The gang's hometown in this continuity is Crystal Cove, which was hinted at earlier in a namedrop reference in Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: In addition to embracing the fact that he's insane, Scarecrow has absolutely no qualms in saying that he's a supervillain. If anything, he's disappointed when Velma says he's ranked 53rd worldwide.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Shaggy thinks the moral of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is that you have to practically be eaten by the monster for people to believe you.
  • Cool Car: Bill Nye gives Mystery Inc a high-tech futuristic car. It even has a bowtie!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Cutler Toe is behind the Jackal Lanterns as part of a plan to steal the lithium under the town and get even with Mystery Incorporated for ruining a past scheme of his.
  • Covered in Gunge: Everyone is covered in pumpkin guts by the end of the film, except (interestingly enough) Dr. Crane.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Of course Elvira has a cutting torch.
  • Crossover: This is the first direct-to-video animated film in which the gang will face off against a Batman villain by themselves without the Caped Crusader — The Scarecrow.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, of course.
  • Denser and Wackier: Given who directed it, this is a given; chases, inane jingles, offbeat gratuitous cameos, gradually fraying mental conditions, mutant armies, and more! Also, candy.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Crane is unfazed by the Jackal Lanterns taking buzz saws to his prison van. Been through stranger things perhaps.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The gang had glimpsed The Scarecrow in Arkham Asylum back in Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • Enemy Mine: Scarecrow might be an unapologetic villain, but he does form a brief alliance with our heroes to take on the Alpha Pumpkin, especially since he might have already suspected Cutler Toe as the real mastermind and already has a grudge with him.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Many vehicles explode in this movie when they crash or are hit by something, even the Mystery Machine!
    • Played for Laughs in a Simpsons-esque fashion when the clown-themed party supply truck that is under control by the Jackal Lanterns nearly crashes into a tree, but its big red clown nose gently presses against the tree, and then the truck blows up a second later.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The Mystery Machine X sports laser weapons. They only get used once to take out a float, and they are rendered inoperable by the Alpha Pumpkin.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Velma cites the "Scorpion and Frog" variant as she prepares to free Dr. Crane, showing she's aware that it's a risky move. It is ultimately an aversion, as Crane displays Noble Demon traits and doesn't turn on Mystery Incorporated.
  • Flat "What": How Scarecrow proves that it's definitely not him in response to learning about the Jackal Lanterns.
  • Foil: Bill Nye for Jonathan Crane. Both are scientists, and both talk about logic and reason. While Nye is helpful and supportive of Mystery Inc., Crane is antagonistic and villainous. At least until he distracts the Alpha Pumpkin to defeat a common enemy.
    • Velma and Crane are also foils to each other, with Crane embracing fear (to the point of trying to make it his gimmick) while Velma denies her fear in the name of "rationality".
  • Freudian Slip & Full-Name Ultimatum:
    Daphne: Frederick Herman Jones! Don't you torchsplain to me when I am carrying a torch for you!
  • The Generation Gap: Jonathan Crane snarks about the "avocado toast generation" at one point.
  • Genre Savvy: Bill Nye points out that exposure to chemicals aren't likely to cause the sorts of extreme mutations that the Jackal Lanterns seem to be. He's right.
  • Halloween Episode: The second movie in the direct-to-video film series to take place during Halloween, following Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King twelve years prior.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Scarecrow/Dr. Crane to Velma.
    Dr. Crane: You said that fear was an irrational reaction. You are incorrect. Fear is ancient. Primordial. Fear knows the answer before you do, Ms. Dinkley.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Invoked by Mike, who tries to convince Michelle that none of what's happening is real to distract from the potentially traumatizing situation.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Daphne tells Elvira that the two of them should swap clothes because Elvira being famous means that the Jackal Lanterns will try to eat her first, but if Daphne wears Elvira's clothes, Elvira can be safe. Oddly, Elvira buys it.
  • Karma Houdini: The conclusion has Scarecrow getting payback on the real Big Bad and escaping.
  • Kill and Replace: Daphne is trying to pull a non fatal version on Elvira. According to Shaggy, she's swapped places with Phyllis Diller in the past. Elvira (oddly enough) seems to approve, or is at the very least flattered.
  • Large Ham: Dwight Schultz was clearly enjoying his role as Scarecrow/Jonathan Crane.
  • Literal Metaphor: Daphne walks a mile in Elvira's shoes.
  • Loony Fan: As it turns out this was Jonathan Crane's only motivation for going to the Halloween parade. He's a big fan of Elvira, even sending her a fan letter before his strike.
    • Daphne's attempt to subsume Elvira's life probably puts her in this category, as well. The gang mention that she's done this before; they once solved two mysteries with Phyllis Diller before they realized she and Daphne had switched places.
  • Luminescent Blush: Daphne, after Elvira asks her if she's ever done circus work like getting shot out of a cannon, wrestling a bear, or breathing fire. Daphne blushes demurely and states that it wasn't officially for a circus.
  • Mad Hatter note : During Velma's interrogation of Scarecrow, when she denies that he'd escape Arkham just to stalk a celebrity, he counters by proclaiming that he is in fact mad, none of that "he called me a lunatic" stuff here
  • Mary Sue: In-Universe. Elvira suggests that Daphne is one after seeing her in Action Girl mode.
  • Meaningful Echo: Velma cites "Extenuating circumstances" when she goes to pay Dr. Crane a visit. He repeats it when asking her to return his gear.
  • Mutagenic Goo: The apparent source of the mutant pumpkins is a leaking tanker of toxic waste mixing with a canister of fear gas, which turns it from glowing sickly green to an eerie purple.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Daphne shouts "Jeepers, it's the creepers!", referencing a famous episode title from the Where Are You series.
    • Like the small animals that routinely got angry at Scooby or Shaggy and berate them back in Where Are You, an angry owl pecks at Shaggy's head before flying away.
    • The movie takes place in Crystal Cove, their hometown in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. It even references the crystals that become an important plot element in the lore.
    • One man watching the Halloween parade is costumed as the Blue Falcon.
    • Also from Mystery Incorporated: the Mayor of Crystal Cove gets Eaten Alive...again.
    • Velma tells a reporter it all got started when they met A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.
      • Related to that, there's a scene of a man with red, curly hair fleeing a truck labled "Red Herring's Party Scares".
    • Daphne's subplot where she tries emulating Elvira is similar to Daphne's subplot in LEGO Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood , where she tries emulating Stella Diabolique, who's an expy of Elvira, right down to also being voiced by Cassandra Peterson.
    • A non-Scooby Doo one is that plot of the movie is eerily similar to the Halloween Special Billy and Mandy's Jacked-Up Halloween. Makes sense, since Maxwell Atoms is the writer.
    • Fred mentions a previous Halloween where they spent all night chasing the ghosts of The Three Stooges. That sounds very familiar.
    • Shaggy mentions solving cases with Phyllis Diller, which (along with the reference to the Three Stooges) is a nod to The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
    • The man who initially tows the Mystery Machine away for repairs is Buck, the tow man from Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders.
    • When Elvira asks Daphne if she's ever done circus work before, she vaguely hints yes, likely referring to either Big Top Scooby-Doo! or the Ghost Clown episode from Where Are You.
    • Much of Cutler Toe is a nod to Captain Cutler in the "A Clue for Scooby-Doo" episode of Where Are You, including the gang not recognizing either of them at the reveals due to both Cutlers lacking a beard at first.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Daphne's desire to trade places with celebrities led the gang to solve two mysteries with Phyllis Diller before they wised up.
    • Elvira describes the events of this story as the fourth weirdest Halloween night she ever had.
    • Cutler Toe was a crook exposed in a past case that Velma calls "The Mystery of the Trash Monster of Scranton".
  • Police Are Useless: The gang frequently encounter a Sheriff (the same one from Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return To Zombie Island) who constantly tells Mystery Inc. to leave things to the professionals. Somewhat subverted later since as it turns out, he's actually a disgraced CEO named Cutler Toe that impersonated a sheriff to try to break down the gang's morale...not that the SWAT Team guarding Crane are that much better.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Scarecrow is arrested in front of a "Red Herring's Party Scares" truck, foreshadowing that he is a red herring of the real mystery.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: The antagonist of the movie is Scarecrow, a Batman villain. While the gang had faced off against Batman villains in the past, Batman had usually been present, marking this as the first time Mystery Inc. battled an Arkham rogue on their own. Subverted when he turns out to not be the main villain, and he in fact ends up an ally to Mystery Inc.
  • Save the Villain: Velma insists on saving Dr. Crane, but she also reminds herself of the story of the Scorpion and the Frog before doing so.
  • Scary Scarecrow: The villain of the movie is one of these. Justified, since the identity of this scarecrow is the Scarecrow, Jonathan Crane.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
    • Two from Aliens. Shaggy asks "How can they cut the power? They're vegetables!" Later, Mike says "Game over, man! Game over!"
    • Fred does Arnold's bit from Predator.
    • One float is Frankenstein Jr..
    • Costumes include Fred Flintstone, Dorothy and the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow's fellow Batman rogue Harley Quinn.
    • Two of the lasers on the Mystery Machine X are clearly patterned off of those on the X-Wing fighter.
    • In a nod to Spaceballs, Velma requests that they go "ludicrous speed."
    • As the pumpkins overwhelm his car, the sheriff moans, "The horror!" from Apocalypse Now.
    • Mike directly namedrops Westworld when trying to convince his daughter that the Jackal Lanterns are all an illusion.
    • Velma mentions that Scarecrow's Fear Toxin is derived from a blue flower found in Nepal, just like in Batman Begins.
    • Velma interrogates Scarecrow in a glass cell in the back of the van, an homage to Silence of the Lambs, complete with Jonathan Crane being a psychiatrist much like Hannibal Lecter.
    • Velma describes her Mind Palace the same way as Sherlock.
    • One Jackal Lantern ends up with the heel of Elvira's shoe buried in its forehead, a reference to the Mistress of the Dark's first film.
    • A glowing green chemical is one the components of the mix that brings the Jackal Lanterns to life. Ironic, because at one point (though not in this film) the Scarecrow was voiced by Jeffrey Combs.
    • The Jackal Lanterns are heavily similar to the (animated) Killer Tomatoes.
    • The finale of the Creative Closing Credits has Fred yell, "She's alive! She's alive!!" like Dr. Frankenstein shouting, "It's alive!"
  • Sickly Green Glow: Toxic waste is faked with an entire tanker full of glowstick juice.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The opening credits and climax are underscored by an upbeat pop tune, even as they deal with Scarecrow terrorizing people and the gang smashing pumpkins respectively.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Lots, to the point where it feels like an animated Michael Bay movie. It's especially prominent when the Scarecrow attacks earlier on, and this is how several of the mutant pumpkins are destroyed when their possessed vehicles are hit or crash.
  • Tagalong Kid: Michelle, although her father also comes with.
  • Uncertain Doom: The last that is seen of Cutler Toe is him screaming as the Scarecrow comes toward him.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: A mild instance. When Shaggy and Scooby try to warn everyone about the Jackal Lanterns, Velma, irritated that they're interrupting a news interview, tells them off for hiding in the Mystery Machine when Scarecrow attacked, conveniently forgetting that Shaggy and Scooby were the ones who took out the drones carrying Crane's fear toxin.
  • Villainous Valor: Scarecrow does help Mystery Inc against the mutant pumpkins after Velma frees him.
  • Weird Crossover: Scooby-Doo is no stranger to crossovers, but name another adaptation of Scooby-Doo where they must defeat the Scarecrow (the Scarecrow, from Gotham) alongside Bill Nye the Science Guy and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: At the start of the film, Shag and Scoob declare they're not with Mystery Incorporated and lock themselves in the Mystery Machine. Daphne angrily yells, "Are you serial?!"note 
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: As it turns out, the sheriff seen in the previous two movies is actually Cutler Toe, a guy in charge of a technology company who wanted revenge on the gang for foiling his Trash Monster scheme and sending him to jail.
  • Worthy Opponent: It's worth noting that Scarecrow compares Velma to "the one person I care about", and Velma (after his unmasking) only ever refers to him by his title of Dr. Crane.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Velma remarks that the Jackal Lanterns might possibly be the dumbest monsters yet and is in disbelief at the possibility that they might be real.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Shaggy and Scooby witness the Jackal Lanterns mutating to life and frantically try to warn the rest of Mystery Incorporated as they're being interviewed by local news. Velma eventually gets fed up and shuts them down, saying she doesn't have to believe them because they bailed out on helping capture Crane, are covered in chewed up candy, and probably imagined it from the sugar rush.
  • You Meddling Kids: Dr. Crane absolutely refuses to say it, although he does say meddling "young adults".

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