Woo DAMN I’VE BEEN WAITING ON THIS ONE. SCOOBY DOO DON’T DIE, HE JUST MULTIPLY.
What can be said about Scooby Doo? It’s the longest running cartoon entity on television that’s still in production….that may not be exactly true but if the President-elect doesn’t have to fact check then neither the hell do I.
Scooby-Doo has been on the air since 1969 and has been cancelled and revived in various forms. Each rendition takes on its own tone and purpose with a few of them being almost identical……it’s a pretty standard formula that you’re really NOT going to break. Scooby and the Gang get involved in some kind of mystery with some kind of supposed supernatural element that happens to just be a guy in a mask (they could solve half the mysteries by just going to the local Party City and checking purchase history) with a few exceptions here and there. Scooby Doo’s success inspired a slew of knockoffs like “Speed Buggy”, “Jabberjaw”, “Josie and the Pussycats”, “Fangface” and more. It’s easily one of the most influential and parodied programs out there and completely invented the cartoon mystery solving genre. Episodes can be found all over the internet and if you haven’t checked out some of the 12 series I’m about to review then I suggest you start looking around.
#12. Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo (1979-82, 49 episodes)
Let me start by saying I hate EVERYTHING about Scrappy Doo. From his chippy ass attitude to his forced catchphrases to his unnecessary existence. Seriously, why did y’all add him? What did he bring to the franchise? He just runs around everywhere screaming “LEMME AT EM, LEMME AT ME! PPPPPPPPUPPPY POWERRRRRRR!” Scrappy Doo is so annoying that PETA doesn’t even want anything to do with him. Anyway, Scooby and Scrappy Doo basically introduced Scooby’s never-before-ever-heard-the-hell-of nephew, Scrappy Doo to the series. Scrappy was braver, smaller version of his Uncle Scooby and Shaggy and basically took over Fred, Daphne and Velma’s roles in the series. If you don’t believe me that Scrappy was annoying there are two things you can do:
a) go back, re-watch and be annoyed as hell
b) realize that Scrappy has a TROPE named after him. He is the name for the character that everyone hates.
#11. Scooby Doo and Shaggy Get A Clue (2006-08, 26 episodes)
I’ve never seen this. Didn’t know it existed. Looks trash. Next.
#10. What’s New Scooby Doo? (2002-06, 46 episodes)
WNSD was the series’ first series since “A Pup Named Scooby Doo” and essentially surfaced after the series of cartoon and live action Scooby Doo movies in the 90s/early 00s. What’s New Scooby Doo attempted to return back to a sense of normalcy for the series and basically served as an updated version of “Scooby Doo Where Are You”. I don’t necessarily hate this adaptation, but it’s bland.
#9. New Scooby Doo Mysteries (I don’t care if this was the same as #14)
This intro was peak 80s and so was the series. From the Monster’s doing the moonwalk to the fact that they added Daphne back just to give the crew the cover of working for a teen magazine. Just keep replaying the opening and make yourself happy.
#8. Scooby’s All-Star Laff A Lympics (1977-79, 24 episodes)
I mean TECHNICALLY it’s just a “let’s put all these classic Hanna-Barbera characters in a show together and slap Scooby on the cover” but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t good. They had Mildew Wolfe and Snaggletooth as hosts even, Captain Caveman parading around with teenage girls like a creep and an early precursor to Dick Dastardly and Muttley. I think. That or they were a knockoff. Whatever.
#7. Be Cool Scooby Doo (2015-Present)
Believe it or not, this one is actually funny. It doesn’t take itself seriously, at all, and it holds true to form on the characters while exaggerating Fred’s love for traps, Daphne’s airheadedness, and Velma’s “only sane man” qualities. Worth a watch if you get the chance.
#6. 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo (1985, 13 episodes)
Only lasted one season, but was a pretty damn good show that tried to follow a somewhat linear format. Scrappy is here but less, er, Scrappy. Flim Flam is the original Joanne The Scammer and Vincent Van Ghoul was voiced by Vincent Price. Followed the crew with Daphne as the lead trying to recover their plane after a crash in the Himalayas and accidentally opening the chest of demons in the process. They have to travel the world to recapture them, unfortunately it got cancelled before they could do so.
#5. Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (1969-70, 25 episodes)
You can’t go wrong with the original. As stated before, Scooby Doo Where Are You inspired a humongous list of knockoffs that I don’t think any other series has done:
Josie and the Pussycats
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids
Goober and the Ghost Chasers
THE AMAZING CHAN AND THE GODDANG CHAN CLAN
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
The Funky Phantom
The New Schmoo
You become responsible for at least 15 other shows in your television genre? You’re a legend.
#4. A Pup Named Scooby Doo (1988-91, 30 episodes)
Aside from “Where Are You?”, Pup is the version a lot of us 80s/90s babies grew up with. It was witty, funny and an all around solid kids show. It also was part of one of the oddest trends of the 80s and 90s: revamping old characters into kids. Pup Named Scooby Doo was part of a long line of shows following the same formula: The Flinstone Kids, Tom and Jerry Kids, etc. Whatever, doesn’t matter, it worked and Pup was a big success, especially in re-runs. Also, one of the Pointer Sisters sung the outro and it is heavenly.
#3. Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated (2010-13, 52 episodes)
Mystery Incorporated is actually kind of dark, especially for a Scooby cartoon. It actually uses the typical mystery solving formula early only on, but quickly dives into a deeper storyline with a linear plot progression. There are several mysteries intertwined into the plot within the first season that finally get solved in the second season. It’s definitely worth the watch and can be found on Netflix now, so if you own Netflix and haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it. I’m warning you now, it gets dark, dark for a Scooby cartoon, but still unexpectedly dark. It’s the only Scooby cartoon that has a finale to it with a proper send off and actually serves as a precursor to the main series.
#2. New Scooby Doo Movies (1972-73, 24 episodes)
This was a hard one, I couldn’t decide which of the two remaining series belonged at #1. New Scooby Doo Movies was almost perfect in every way. Took the regular formula, extended the show 30 minutes and featured guests. Scooby was solving mysteries with The Harlem Globetrotters, Batman and Robin, the 3 Stooges, Adaams Family, Phyllis Diller, Dick Van Dyke and more. It was funny and a large part of my childhood, judge away.
#1. The Scooby Doo Show (1976-78, 40 episodes)
What else can I say? This show took the original series, built upon it and bettered it in every single way. While “Where Are You” launched the genre, The Scooby Doo Show perfected it. The only thing they did wrong was add Scooby Dumb.
No, seriously, why is he there? Get him out of there and into a clinic. He needs help.