Broken Base: One of the most divisive issues in regards to the franchise is whether or not it benefits with Mystery, Inc. encountering and dealing with real monsters and ghosts instead of just criminals disguised as ghosts and monsters. A primary reason for the naysayers' contempt is how many of the franchise installments with genuine supernatural elements (such as The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, and Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf) were part of the era featuring the polarizing character Scrappy-Doo, while fans supportive of the concept do so because having Scooby and the gang face genuine supernatural phenomenon adds some variety to the formula.
Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch: It's amazing how many people claim to despise Scrappy but then mistakenly call him Scooby's "cousin". note Despite, y'know, him calling Scooby Uncle many times in every single episode he's in?
"Common Knowledge": "Scrappy is weak and the joke is that he doesn't know it." The joke actually was that everyone ignored that Scrappy was capable of insane feats of super strength. This was not a gag, Scrappy was frequently shown carrying a passed out from fright Scooby or Shaggy (or both at the same time). Shaggy and Scooby didn't exactly ignore it, as one episode showed them casually having Scrappy act as a living carjack for the mystery machine. They just would rather run away from the monster. Two episodes actually lampoon this by having Scrappy easily catch the crook early in the episode, but having it not stick through some way or another. The first time was in "The Scarab Lives" where Scrappy ran after the Scarab (a fit, grown man disguising himself as a super hero) and drag him by the leg back to the gang, unfortunately the Scarab performed an instant costume change and the gang thought he'd just caught a random guy.note Sadly, despite that it actually became a clue later that nobody ran past the rest of the gang coming down the hall when Scrappy caught the scarab, nobody at all acknowledged Scrappy's contribution-even though he'd just saved Fred, Velma, and Daphne's lives by jumping off a 20 foot tall conveyor belt of doom to cover the Scarab (who had them cornered and was advancing) around his eyes, putting said villain in the perfect position be steamrolled by Shaggy and Scooby The second time he caught a snake demon in full costume, but Shaggy and Scooby were too scared to think straight, dragged him away, causing him to let go of the monster. He later did catch the monster using an impromptu slingshot (this was, like the last three incidents, again completely ignored by everybody-hence why it's "common knowledge" that he was useless)
Simone Lenoir and Lena Dupree from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, despite being one-shot villains, are quite popular for being the first enemies in the franchise to be treated as a serious threat, being both appealing in human form and outright scary in monster form, having a tragic backstory, and for suffering a Family-Unfriendly Death that would give child fans of the franchise nightmares.
Dr. Amelia von Butch from Scooby-Doo Where's My Mummy is a ruthless, scornful tomb raider, but a well-equipped tomb robber dressed like a video game character, who fights back impressively against the mummies. The same is true of her team, to some degree.
Ben and Sarah Ravencroft once the former starts throwing around his magic and revealing his Batman Gambit in Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost and the latter pulls an Eviler Than Thou on the former as soon as she is summoned.
The villains of Scooby Doo: Pirates Ahoy are a billionaire adventurer introduced flying a jetpack and a very competent hypnotist with a Batman Gambit to steal a meteor of solid gold.
With its simple-but-charming formula, the series is perfect for any fanfic writer to jump in and play with. Much like Doctor Who, it's ultimately just about a group of close-knit friends and their never-ending travels in a Signature Team Transport, where practically anything can happen.
Scrappy's background. Who is his father? What happened to his mother? And what were the circumstances behind him leaving to join Mystery Inc.? What were his early days with the group like?
Daphne/Shaggy. Noticeably in the final seasons where they traveled together with Scooby and Scrappy solving mysteries or battling ghosts, visibly aging and changing clothes, appearance, and van in the final season with no explanation. Surprisingly, (and likely in part to no one willing to admit a Scrappy season had something worth mentioning in it), nobody brings up that the two were together. Seth MacFarlane also has an unhealthy fixation on Daphne/Scooby, as heard on the Family Guy album.
A 1991 article in Wild Cartoon Kingdom magazine theorizes that not only is Velma a lesbian but she's living her alternative lifestyle with Daphne. Velma/Daphne especially caught on amongst fans in the 2010s as an alternative to Shaggy/Velma and Fred/Daphne.
An alternative is Shaggy/Velma due to what could be seen as Ship Tease between the two in early incarnations and due to Pair the Spares. Mystery Incorporated and later Scooby Apocalypse finally make it into Ascended Fanon, although their takes are taken in rapidly different directions.
Fred/Daphne was originally this. In the original cartoon, they were just close friends. Due to fan theories and jokes, it soon spread that they were in a Secret Relationship. Eventually, a romance between the two became Ascended Fanon and it has appeared in almost every incarnation since.
The idea of a polyamorous relationship between the human members of the gang started to rise in popularity, especially on Tumblr.
Fair for Its Day: While there have been several instances of Values Dissonance, as shown below, there were several times where the show was remarkably progressive for the time.
While there were a number of times that First Nations were depicted incredibly badly, or their cultures and language was played for comedy, which is cringe-inducing today, the gang shows plenty of respect to the people themselves, and the First Nations people who are interacted with do not have any traditional stereotypes attached to them. This was unheard of in the '60s and '70s and it still rarely happens today.
While Daphne was all too often depicted as being the one who fell into traps and becomes the Damsel in Distress, there were a number of times where she was able to escape by herself, and at times, throw a wrench into the current villain's plan, which did not happen often in the '60s.
He Really Can Act: Any time Don Messick has to voice both Scooby and Scrappy, a prominent character combo whenever the latter showed up. He plays off of himself so well, a first-time viewer would not at first guess that the two are voiced by the same guy.
The last scene of the What's New episode "Pompeii and Circumstance". Supping on a plate of spaghetti, Shaggy and Scooby are sucking in the same noodle, and...well, you know what happens next. Might be considered Interspecies Romance if Shaggy and Scooby weren't repulsed by the result.
In "Bravo Dooby Doo", when Daphne suggests they split up, she says she and Velma will search the basement. Fred gives her a knowing smirk, so she goes with Fred instead while Velma goes with Scooby and Shaggy goes with Johnny. Although this is mainly ship tease for Daphne and Fred.
Mystery Incorporated had a recurring sub-plot that had Scooby being jealous of Velma as Shaggy's girlfriend. This given a Take That!Curse of the Lake Monster: Shaggy develops a crush on Velma and it has Scooby feeling a bit left out at times only for them to kiss and realize relationships aren't for them.
Scooby: Hmph. Velma, Velma, Velma.
The live-action movie, Daphne And Velma, is about when the two girls of Mystery Inc. first met. LGBT fans ate it up.
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!
Hollywood Homely: Played depressingly straight in a few episodes of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Though that series redesigned Velma to give her a more slim and petite look, there were a few episodes where it was constantly pointed out how fat and unattractive she was.
Daphne and Velma are shown sharing a bed and huddled close in the episode "The Mystery of Haunted Island" of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
In Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! "Greece is the Word", Daphne (her Greek counterpart with the same name) is very protective of Princess Velmonia (Velma's Greek counterpart), even calling her "beloved" at one point.
There's been a long-standing theory that Velma is lesbian. This is due to her character and design fitting many lesbian stereotypes, as well as her general disinterest in romance compared to Daphne (with Velma only having a love interest in a few cartoons).
In the 2000s and especially the 2010s, Daphne caught on as a bisexual icon. This largely has to do with her and Velma becoming a Fan-Preferred Couple.
In canon, Scrappy had super strength and was actually the one to put away the monster for the gang on many occasions. His Hatedom tends to portray him as a Boisterous Weakling with a massive Napoleon Complex. This can be partially blamed on Standards And Practices putting a limit on how much Scrappy could do to help combat-wise, the reasoning being that having a child being so capable would give kids the wrong ideaabout their own capabilities, and the fact that the writers realizing that if Scrappy were able to reliably act on his super strength the story would be significantly shorter. Thusly, they resorted to handing Scrappy a major Idiot Ball to keep him from being too overpowered, or, more often, writing Shaggy and Scooby to carry Scrappy away from the "scary monster" before Scrappy could actually fight it. Due to the fans' hatred for Scrappy, many of them took this at face value.
Shaggy and Scooby are, in canon, fairly goofy and uninvolved in the mysteries, but fairly clever when it came to evading monsters (The only reason they didn't stay far away in the first place was them being pushed or bribed into it by their friends) and Scooby is known to be fairly fierce with spooks when his friends are in danger. They're commonly portrayed in fanworks (And some post-WB reboots) as complete morons who would be literally be unable to function without Fred, Daphne, and Velma holding their hands every single second of their waking lives.
Mis-blamed: Many people blame Scrappy-Doo for ruining Scooby-Doo (specifically, dumping half the original cast, switching to a Two Shorts format, and the franchise's first clumsy attempts to lose the "Scooby-Doo" Hoax) due to the timing of his introduction.
Ironically, Scrappy is what saved the show from cancellation way back in 1979. The writers did work to save Fred, Velma, and Daphne (in the form of giving them spotlight episodes such as "The Night Ghoul of Wonderworld" for Velma, and "I left my neck in San Fransisco" which has Daphne being a victim of a frame-up by the monster of the week and Fred and Velma to carry the investigation B-Plot themselves.) Without Scrappy, they would have faded. With Scrappy, their show was able to survive and they were able to be preserved and return at a later date with stronger characterization (Such as Pup). And the success of that new incarnation of Scooby Doo is likely what has kept the franchise going on for some 40 years. It doesn't help that nearly everyone hates the poor character as if he had destroyed an entire planet despite the fact he was only created by mandate. To put how much people don't like him is ... an understatement.
Moral Event Horizon: There have been some villains that were people dressed as monsters that have actually attempted to murder or critically maim the gang in order to keep their schemes safe (The Snow Ghost, Mr. Hyde, the Ghost of the Red Baron, among others). This explains why Shaggy and Scooby are Lovable Cowards.
Newer Than They Think: Frank Welker is often misattributed of having voiced Scooby Doo since the original series in 1969. While he has in fact voiced Fred since the beginning, he did not start voicing the titular dog until 2002, starting with What's New, Scooby-Doo?.
Periphery Demographic: To some people, the franchise is mere formulaic kid stuff, but science pundit, Carl Sagan, loved the show in the sense that it basically promoted a skeptic point of view of the supernatural with the heroes continually exposing paranormal incidents as mere elaborate hoaxes and providing logical explanations instead.
Popularity Polynomial: This applies to Scrappy Doo, believe it or not. He wasn't terribly hated at the time of his debut, but as time went on, he went down in history as the Trope Codifier for the trope he named. Nowadays, though, more of his fans have come out of the woodwork (and even some of his haters have warmed up to him slightly) and believe that Scrappy could be rescued from his own heap if someone actually tried to improve him as a character. People are more willing defend the little guy, as well, such as pointing out how he actually saved Scooby Doo from petering out. Of course, that isn't to say people don't still hate him now, but the reception to the critter is warmer that it has been in years.
Ironically, it's not Scrappy but Daphne and Fred in recent TV shows and DTV movies. While neither character was ever disliked, they were seen as more generic than their friends early on, but moving forward they were given their own unique personality traits and quirks to better set them apart.
Funny enough, Scrappy himself was rescued for several shows. He matured somewhat and showed capability to actually handle some of the bad guys, unfortunately this largely goes unnoticed and as a result, this didn't stop him from being the Trope Namer for a character that a large amount of people hate.
Before Scrappy, there was Scooby-Dum. Though generally speaking, people didn't seem to mind him as much, as he had a low-key personality in contrast to Scrappy, who started out as high-strung and obnoxious. Scooby-Dum even made it into the Laff-a-Lympics team over the other gang members.
"Fred Bat" in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode "The Vampire Strikes Back".
"Weird Al" Effect: How many modern viewers (heck, how many viewers period) know that the main human characters are all based on the main characters from The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (Fred = Dobie, Shaggy = Maynard, Daphne = Thalia, Velma = Zelda)? Considering that one was a reasonably popular sitcom from the early 60s and the other is one of the longest-running media franchises of all time, chances are slim to none.
Values Dissonance: Given the franchise is 50 years old, some of the older shows have depictions and plots that would make modern viewers cringe.
Depicting Daphne as a constant Damsel in Distress in the 60's and part of the 70's would be very hard to get away with in the current decade due to the rise of several powerful female protagonists. However it should be noted as time went on HB's You Meddling Kids roster included a lot more strong minded and strong willed females and by the 80's Daphne had been reformed to being a role model leader. This is a fact that often gets overlooked by people less familiar with the roster.
Several episodes, especially in the 60's and 70's have played Indigenous culture and language for cheap jokes, or them being used for gags. The increasing awareness about how many Indigenous languages and cultures are imperilled with extinction, along with the issue of cultural appropriation, would make any such depiction impossible today.
The reason the creators made Velma Hollywood Homely was because, back then, the idea of a woman being both beautiful and intelligent was unrealistic.
Vindicated by History: Scrappy-Doo's relentless Hatedom is slowly starting to dissipate, to the point that some people want to see him implemented into the show again outside of being the butt of the joke in various cameos. In hindsight, it's generally regarded that he helped prolong the show and the decline in quality was largely outside of the existence of the character, and even those who find his antics obnoxious in his early appearances warmed up to hi when they watch later series with him such as The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo and the three hour-long specials.
A cut scene had Velma get drunk from a tiki drink and then break out into song atop a piano, serenading (presumably both her crushes) Fred and Daphne with "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" for no reason.
Broken Base: The film's depiction and treatment of Scrappy-Doo. If you never liked the character, his portrayal as a villain and being defeated by Mystery, Inc. in the end is a very satisfying Take That, Scrappy! scenario. If you're one of the characters' fans, you'll likely find it off-putting to see his negative qualities ramped up and the way he's treated by Scooby and the others in the flashback scene coming off as blatantly out-of-character, in addition to the dubiousness of Scrappy wanting to kill his uncle when the cartoons clearly showed him as thinking his uncle is the best thing since sliced bread.
Crosses the Line Twice: Shaggy and Scooby's out-of-nowhere burping and farting contest. So juvenile, so unnecessary... but so funny!
Critical Backlash: Though much is made by Scrappy's very Vocal Minority about how "annoying" he is, viewers can get surprised by how normal he is. Even in his earliest appearances he didn't spout "Puppy Power" a tenth as much as said hatedom implied, and had more personality and dynamics than Fred and Velma.
Cult Classic: Though it received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, it's loved in its own right by fans of early 2000s pop culture.
Designated Hero: Fred, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma, and Scooby are pretty unlikable in this movie due to getting hit with Adaptational Jerkass. When Fred, Daphne and Velma spend much of the movie bickering, Shaggy suggests letting Fred and Velma get eaten after they're abducted by monsters, and the gang (in a flashback) casually abandons Scrappy in the middle of the desert (yeah, he did pee on Daphne and act annoying, but that was still uncalled for), it's hard to feel anything but contempt for them.
Ensemble Dark Horse: The Luna Ghost. He's a Starter Villain who has less than five minutes of screentime, but his cool design and "powers" make him quite memorable, and he'd be right at home among villains from cartoons.
Fan-Preferred Cut Content: James Gunn's original script was much more faithful to the original cartoon. It also served as an origin story for how the gang met, complete with Gunn's trademark offbeat humor. There are also deleted scenes showing Daphne encountering a possessed Velma, and Shaggy witnessing Daphne's soul getting extracted too that explain oddities in the finished film - after the former, Daphne just leaves a locker room looking panicked, and the latter has Shaggy inexplicably knowing to find Daphne's soul in the vat too.
First Installment Wins: For those who didn't like the sequel for being fan-friendly, the film is loved in its own right.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: A passing comment from Velma that Scrappy was a small adult with a gland disorder. It's a quick aside that is clearly meant for laughs, but the actual condition is real and very horrific-other symptoms include severe brain damage, weak and fragile bones, partial hair loss, sluggishness, mental dullness, peripheral nerve paralysis, shortened lifespan, oh, and breeders will euthanize diagnosed puppies, since, because the chronic treatment required for them just to live is so expensive, their demand, and thus their market value is low and they aren't worth selling. The live-action Scrappy only seems to be undersized and has some severe entitlement issues, but other wise seems perfectly healthy, though viewers familiar with the condition will cringe.
He Really Can Act: Matthew Lillard's performance as Shaggy has been heavily praised by critics and the audience for nailing the character so much that he was chosen to be Casey Kasem's successor for the cartoons.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A chief complaint amongst older fans of the franchise is that the basic premise of the film recycles several elements from the 1998 Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island: A disbanded Mystery Inc. is brought together to solve a new mystery, the heroes are lured to a mysterious island by a character with ulterior motives, and the Big Bad's plan involves draining the soul/life out of their victims. The live-action adaptation also lifts a few jokes directly from the older film, such as Shaggy and Scooby having an exaggerated reaction upon eating peppers, or a protagonist pulling a monster's face in ridiculous ways before realizing that it's not a mask.
It Was His Sled: Scrappy-Doo being the villain is the most well-known aspect of the film since it's release.
Scrappy-Doo in his giant One-Winged Angel form looks scary enough, but his voice sounds a little less like a giant monster and more like a teenaged bully trying too hard to sound intimidating. And when he's defeated, he lets out a high pitched scream even before he shrinks down to his normal size.
Never Live It Down: James Gunn is repeatedly blamed by Scrappy Doo fans for cementing him in the status of the trope associated with him. While he would apologize for it, Scrappy's reputation would have him be said trope for years and Warner Bros. endlessly throwing Take Thats towards him, with Scooby Apocalypse being the only material to feature him, even if it's just another version of his character.
Ron the Death Eater: Canonically, in the 2001 film. Scrappy goes from a devoted young child to a very rude and egotistical small adult who also attempts to take over the world. Director and writer James Gunn (yes, that James Gunn) admitted that he put that in specifically because he hates Scrappy.
Ship Tease: Surprisingly, Fred and Velma get this harder then the so-called OTP Fraphne.
To begin with, Fred's character arc is about learning to treat Velma better. Daphne is not involved at all.
After the two year time skip, Fred and Velma are friendly with eachother, and despite neither one knowing the other would be on the same flight, opt to sit next to eachother on the plane.
When Fred decides to have them split up in the castle, He chooses Daphne to pair himself off with, and Velma, clearly jealous, snaps something about Fred choosing bikini babes. Fred prioritizes Velma's feelings over Daphne, immediately shooing Daphne away and clumsily attempting to appease her. It doesn't help much, but he still takes great strides to appease a girl that he wouldn't be obliged to appease if there wasn't something between them
When Velma is reminiscing fondly on Mystery Inc., she dreamily tells metalhead Fred was "So handsome."
Special Effects Failure: Even in 2002, computer graphics weren't quite there in rendering a cartoony character like Scooby in live action, and could only go as far as giving his exaggerated design hyper realistic features. Even for an $80 million feature film, all of the CGI characters look more like something out of a PS1 game. To give one an idea of just how much technology has advanced since, the two made-for-TV prequels, released towards the end of the decade, had better CGI.
Squick: Scooby making Scrappy sneeze and get covered in his snot.
Also, this comment from Fred when he winds up in Daphne's body:
"Heeeeeeeeeeeeey... I can look at myself nakeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!"
Strangled by the Red String: Despite a few token gestures, Fred and Daphne's romantic relationship really only amounts to just a few...moments. Aside from Velma's (possibly drunk) recollection of the two sitting next to eachother looking romantic-like, Fred openly lusting after Daphne when he switches bodies with her, and them sharing a rather abrupt kiss which ends just as abruptly, Fred and Daphne's romantic chemistry is rather...nonexistant, to put a word on it.
The fact that the group not only were separated for two years, but even after all that time still held a grudge is sad for anyone remembering the show for their friendship.
The entire gang splits after Velma quits, leaving only Shaggy and Scooby. Shaggy drives the Mystery Machine away while Scooby looks out the back window for the others, heartbroken.
Shaggy: Looks like it's just you and me now, Scoob.
The fact that as the Gang are fighting, Shaggy tries to smooth things over, and as they quit he can just softly protest.
Even more of a Tear Jerker if you consider "The Mystery Begins" to take place in the same continuity and you learn how Shaggy and Scooby came to join Mystery Inc. in the first place, Scooby had been rejected countless times until he was adopted by Shaggy, who was a Shrinking Violet that had trouble making friends until he met Fred, Daphne and Velma and the reason he stays with the group is that he considered them to be his friends. To have his closest friends, whom he has been with for such a long time to suddenly break up and not speak to each other for two years must have been really hard for him, even more s if you consider what he said to Scooby.
Scooby: (sadly) Do I quit too?
Shaggy: (somberly) No, Scoob, best friends DON'T quit....
The way he says, he probably tried hard to stay strong for Scooby's sake.
In the deleted scenes, Fred's, Velma's and Daphne's descriptions of their lives since the gang split up show that, despite their claims, their lives were not going well since they left the gang.
Took the Bad Film Seriously: The actors, especially Matthew Lillard clearly commit to the film's goofy aesthetic, and their dedication makes it all the funnier.
Uncanny Valley: The CGI designs of Scooby and Scrappy are a little bit off-putting. At least the design for Scooby in the 2004 one was heavily improved. An intentional example appeared with both Mary Jane while possessed and Scrappy's disguise.
Uncertain Audience: The film is intended to be an Affectionate Parody of the franchise, but it takes a lot of liberties with the personalities of the characters, either making them into something they aren't (Fred is a narcissistic jock, Daphne is a ditzy valley girl) or emphasizing their negative traits (Velma is a slightly smug know-it-all, Shaggy is more cowardly and gluttonous than ever). This odd mix of Flanderization and Took a Level in Jerkass makes it seem like the filmmakers didn't understand the source material, and thus didn't know how to make fun of it well. For younger fans who didn't watch the cartoons, they'll be lost by the film's continuity nods to the cartoons and the characters being jaded and bitter after years of working together, and older fans will recognize the problems with the characterization and story and be turned off by them. And either way, the franchise was almost always about fake monsters, here the group ends up fighting real monsters.
In general, the gang comes across as rather unsympathetic here due to their getting hit with Adaptational Jerkass. One rather blatant example is when Shaggy, after Fred and Velma are captured by monsters, replies to Daphne's announcement that they're going to save them by suggesting that he, Daphne, and Scooby make a break for it and let them get eaten. Cartoon Shaggy might be a coward, but he's not the type of character that would abandon his friends.
The Luna Ghost's glow is one of the few CGI effects that isn't dated at all.
After James Gunn revealed that the cleavage was digitally removed with CGI in 2017, it is retroactively stunning.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: A lot of the grosser jokes and sexual content in the movie make sense when you realize it was originally going to be an R-rated self-parody. The edgier content was dialed back just enough to earn it a "hard" PG. This is also why the sequel was comparatively more child friendly.