Whether you're using the Winter weather as an excuse to be a recluse or you simply like watching holiday specials around this time of year, I think most of us enjoy watching a Scooby special or two (or ten) around the holidays. But unfortunately, I know all too well the busyness and time constraints that come with this time of year for many people, and it's tough to watch all 21 of the Scooby-Doo holiday specials even if we'd like to. That's why I wanted to put together this special holiday article of my reviews and recommendations for which Scooby-Doo holiday specials to watch. In this article, I'll break down each of the holiday specials with abbreviated reviews (just so the article doesn't get too long) and suggest which ones are the best ones to watch.
That's Snow Ghost (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?)
I think it's pretty safe to say that this episode is a classic for all Scooby fans, as it's of course one of the originals and the first holiday special. Although not directly about the holidays, the episode is as follows: On a trip to a ski resort, the gang encounters a vengeful Snow Ghost at their hotel. When they investigate, they find an old Tibetan man who explains that the monster is actually the ghost of the Yeti...and is out for revenge. Besides having an interesting premise, the ghost himself (pictured above) is awesome and creepy looking. This episode is definitely a strong start to the next Scooby-Doo holiday specials and definitely one I would recommend watching. 9/10
The Ghost of Bigfoot (The New Scooby-Doo Movies)
Although it's maybe an unpopular opinion I think this one is the second-best Winter episode hands down. Between Laurel and Hardy guest starring, the creepy villain and the great action in this one, I think it makes for a perfect Winter episode. Daphne's introduction to Winter in the beginning of this episode really gets me in the Christmas-y mood and some of this episode is genuinely spooky. Think about it, the gang is all alone in an isolated hotel that's snowed in, with Bigfoot running around the mostly abandoned hotel, it's a bit spooky sounding, in a good way of course. I love Daphne's line "I think last night was the scariest in my whole life!," that really solidifies the spookiness for me. I'm not going to lie the one thing that bugs me about this episode is how Fred tells Daphne and Velma to stay behind because it's "too dangerous" for them. I won't go into an annoying, feminist-like rant here but I'll just forewarn those who haven't seen it. All I'll say is I've just never understood why that was put in the series, and more than once! At one point in another episode of the series (Ghastly Ghost Town) Fred makes an oddly sexist statement towards women that the desert is like a woman because it "goes on and on and on" (and while Daphne is standing RIGHT THERE!) But overall fantastic episode and one I'd definitely recommend you put on your list. 10/10
Watt A Shocking Ghost (The Scooby-Doo Show)
This is included on the "13 Spooky Tales: Holiday Chills and Thrills" and unfortunately listed as "Whatta Shocking Ghost" and let me just say there is no and will never be such a word as Whatta, Warner Brothers. Okay, mini-rant over, I promise lol. It just really bugs me. So this is a pretty average episode and one I might skip if you're short on time. Here's the summary for this episode: When the Mystery Machine runs out of gas, the gang must spend the night in the town of Winterhaven. While staying with the mayor of the town, they discover the 10,000 volt ghost, a vengeful electrical spirit out for revenge against the town who wronged him. Now this sounds a bit exciting but the episode is a bit blah in my opinion. Everything feels really rushed and the 10,000 Volt Ghost is a bit anti-climatic, even if my summary makes him seem exciting. He has quite an odd groan and is basically just the sizzling outline of a normal person. While I'd say it's pretty good as a normal episode, for a Winter-themed episode it was a bit lacking (which I'll be honest, I have higher expectations when I'm watching holiday specials). 6/10
A Scary Night With A Snow Beast Fright (The Scooby-Doo Show)
This is a pretty good episode in my opinion. The gang must help their friend Professor Krueger after he is captured by a snow beast. I think the Snow Beast (picture above) is a really great villain who deserves to be way more popular than he is among the fans. The scene at the end (with Scooby falling in love with the girl dog) is adorable as well. This one is definitely a classic that you should watch. 8/10
Rocky Mountain Yiiiii! (Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show)
For the Scrappy haters out there, you'd best avoid this one as it is heavy with Scrappy action. However, I find it quite an enjoyable Winter episode. The plot is pretty good, the twist at the end (which I won't ruin) is fantastic along with the creepy ski lodge, and voila you've got yourself a great Winter episode. I can't help but wonder though if Jeremiah Pratt's laugh was recycled from the ghost of Mr. Hyde (you have to admit, the grunts/laughing sound a bit similar). However, it still doesn't live up to the original Winter episodes, likely because I find Lennie's Scrappy voice a bit annoying/irritating. Just my opinion though. This is another fun one to watch. 7/10
Scooby's Swiss Miss (The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show)
Although some may not consider this a wintery episode, I personally do with all the snow and the gang wearing their winter outfits in the episode. I for one though, didn't really like this one very much. The plot felt a bit thin and I felt, as with many of the Scrappy shorts, wrapped up too easily. Unlike several people, I don't hate the Scrappy shorts, but the ones without monsters I feel are a bit too formulaic and Tom-and-Jerry-ish for my taste. Guys find bully, guys run away, bully finds them, the gang takes care of bully once and for all. Don't get me wrong, but I think there should be a little more to the plot than that, otherwise things get a bit old after rewatching. This is one I'd definitely skip. 4/10
Alaskan King Coward (The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show)
This one is definitely better than the previous "Scooby's Swiss Miss" but still lacks a bit in certain areas. This may be me simply overthinking things, but the solution to the episode was way too simple and not really permanent. The guys freeze the Ice Monster/Claim Jumper (as Scrappy calls him), but who's to say he wouldn't just get out again? The same thing that happened to Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy could just happen again, leaving the plot a little lacking. Plus there's always the argument that they should have just frozen him right away instead of waiting so long and letting him chase them. But overall, the episode does have its moments and the monster is really cool/different looking. This one is another one I might skip if you are short on holiday special watching time this year. 5/10
Snow Job Too Small (The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour)
This is one of my favorite holiday episodes and my favorite episode of this particular series, mainly because of how deep it goes for a short. Plus you factor in the fact that I LOVE inheritance / spooky castle types of plotlines, so I'm completely in love with this particular episode. My only real complaint here is that it should have been longer, this is a common complaint of mine with the Scrappy shorts, but the story wasn't really fleshed out enough and it felt rushed. They could have gone so many different ways with this, but the time constraint of 7 minutes ruined the chances. However, this is a fabulous episode otherwise and one I'd definitely recommend you watch. 9/10
The Night Of The Living Toys (The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries)
Quite honestly I haven't seen this episode in a looong time (I wanted to watch it again when I wrote this, but KissCartoon is down :( ). I'll have to improvise a bit with this review and the next, as both these episodes are only available on KissCartoon, so bear with me here. Overall I remember it being a relatively good episode, besides the fact that it's not actually Winter-themed, but more toy-themed and Santa's workshop-like. The elf was a bit creepy and the living toys were a cool touch to the episode. I would recommend you watch this one, if KissCartoon is back up (it appears they're undergoing site maintenance at the moment). 8/10
South Pole Vault (The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries)
This one is an odd episode featuring an insane sea lion as the villain, but surprisingly, it works! Again, I can't give a very well-thought out review for this mainly because KissCartoon is down, but this was a really good and different episode that had an interesting choice for a villain. This is one I would reccomend, however since KissCartoon is down at the moment I'll say skip it for now, unless of course it's back up when you're reading this. 8/10
The Nutcracker Scoob (The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries)
This is for sure my favorite Scooby-Doo holiday special. In my opinion, the whole thing is really well-written plus a cool villain and some really heartwarming moments. You have to admit Scooby, Scrappy, and Shaggy dressing up as elves is adorable, and Snowball (Mr. Nickleby's cat) dancing with everyone at the end is soooo cute! Those of you who know me from ScoobyAddicts probably remember my post last year (I think, or maybe it was the previous year?) about wanting to see A Scooby Christmas Carol, and I think this comes pretty darn close. I still would like to see it more in the "A Christmas Carol" formula (where there are three ghosts and following the plotline more closely) or similar to what The Flintstones did in A Flintstone Christmas Carol (which btw if you haven't watched, do it because it's sooo good), but this is still a wonderful episode and one I would definitely reccommend. The only minor complaint is it would have been nice to see Velma, but I think the episode went pretty smoothly without her. 10/10
Snow Place Like Home (A Pup Named Scooby-Doo)
This one, as with most of the series, is a bit more kiddy and one I'd suggest you skip if you're short on time this year. Don't get me wrong, it has its moments and all the silliness is cute, but this one is definitely not at the top of my list. The "greedy developer trying to buy the land" storyline is alright, but it gets a bit old as it's been done in both Scooby and other HB cartoons so many times. And I'm not saying I hate or even dislike the episode, the others are just a bit better in my opinion. 6/10
There's No Creature Like Snow Creature (What's New Scooby-Doo?)
This is a really good episode with a really good villain, and one I'd definitely reccommend watching. The NATLAS joke is funny (as it's actually quite true of some GPS's, I know mine's told me to "turn right" into a river a few times lol) plus we get some really good moments with the gang. I didn't really pay attention to/notice this the first time I watched this, but upon rewatching it several times I found it interesting to see how the gang interacted/functioned without Fred there. If you think about it, we don't really get to see that much and it really made for a good story in my opinion. 8/10
A Scooby-Doo Christmas (What's New Scooby-Doo)
This is another must-watch episode in my opinion. The headless snowman is an awesome and genuinely spooky villain. The "Wizard Of Oz" reference at the end is great as well! Something about this episode just always puts me in the Christmasy mood. And you'd have to be the Grinch himself to not love Shaggy and Scooby exchanging the gifts at the very end! 10/10
More Fondue For Scooby-Doo (Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue)
For those of you who cringed when you saw "Get A Clue" feel free to skip over this part and move on. This one is a bit tougher to give a review on. It certainly is a fun episode to watch, but for me personally, it's tough not to watch the whole series. In my opinion, this series is better binge-watched because you are able to get into it more. The way the series is written, it's tough to get back into it after not watching for a while unless you watch multiple episodes. All of the episodes of "Get A Clue" are interconnected in a way, plus the characters are a little tougher to get into. I will admit I found Carla (Misty Swiss's attack dog, who is pictured above) adorable! So, while this is a good episode, it's not a fabulous one to watch by itself so I'd recommend skipping it, especially if you dislike Get A Clue. 5/10
Night Terrors (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated)
Now I'm sure I'm one of the select few who considers this one a Christmas episode, but I think this episode is a bit underappreciated. I'll admit, when I first saw this one, I didn't like it. As someone who's never seen "The Shining" (although I really must watch it someday based on how good this episode is), the elements of this were a bit too fantastical and weird for my taste. Even now that I do like it, I still think this episode moves super fast and is not one to just have on in the background while doing something else. After rewatching this episode several times, I've really grown to like it and I'd even go so far as to say it's one of my favorites of the series. All the villains are perfect and something about the gang stuck in a creepy library with several supernatural beings lurking about really gives me the chills, in a good way of course. Although winter isn't the main focus of the episode, I'd definitely recommend putting this one on your list. 10/10
Wrath of the Krampus (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated)
This is another fantastic episode, although if you're looking for pure wintery episodes I'd avoid this one. For those who don't know what the Krampus is, basically it's like the anti-Santa who punishes bad children. For a more in-depth explanation (this article is long enough as it is), I'd go look at Krampus's Wikipedia article for more information. This one's super tough to give a review on without spoiling anything, but I'll just leave it at there are some epic moments in this episode! So if you're into the offbeat holiday type of thing or you have time to watch a lot of holiday specials, this is one I'd personally recommend highly. But, if you want a heartwarming Christmasy story to snuggle up with some hot cocoa, this isn't your episode. 8/10
Scary Christmas (Be Cool Scooby-Doo)
This is personally one of my favorite Be Cool episodes, just because there are so many great jokes in here. Back a few weeks ago in my fun fact (on December 5) I mentioned that Daphne is the only gang member that we know the exact date of her birthday, and this is the episode we find it out in. If you're not familiar with Be Cool, Daphne has a "Daphneism" (or "Daphne Du Jour" as Jon Colton Barry, the show's head writer said it was referred to in production) in each episode, which basically means she just has a new quirk of sorts that is the focus in each episode. This episode's Daphneism is that her birthday falls on Christmas, so she attempts to turn the Christmas holiday into a birthday celebration, which makes for a lot of laughs. Fred's obsession with the Big Sad Eyes Orphanage cracks me up too, in fact it's best joke of the episode in my opinion (I realize that probably sounds really weird if you haven't seen the episode). The pterodactyl as a villain is a great twist as well. This is one I'd definitely recommend. 9/10
Be Cold, Scooby-Doo (Be Cool Scooby-Doo)
Even though an episode where the villain is quite literally named Mr. Roundy may sound silly or unappealing, it's actually quite the good episode. There are a few things that bugged me though. At one point, the gang is in a snowstorm, and the next minute it's sunny, which is a bit jarring and annoying. Then there's the gang falling on the ice bit, and that gets REALLY old really fast. While I certainly understand the point of the joke, it seemed really unnecessary to have the gang repeatedly fall on the ice. It doesn't help that I don't like what I call repeated slapstick humor, basically just meaning I do enjoy slapstick jokes quite a bit on the first go around, but after the second or third time it becomes annoying rather than funny. This episode does have some good moments though, and the snowman's design is really cool looking. While it's certainly a good episode, I would recommend skipping this one if you're short on time. 6/10
Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays
This is another great episode! The snowman's morphing ability is cool, the mystery is really solid and interesting and it certainly does the job of getting you in the Christmasy mood. My only real complaint is how easily Fred, Velma and Daphne were able to get out of the snowman's ice, it just seemed a bit too simplistic and unrealistic in my opinion. However, this is a fantastic episode and one you should definitely have on your list this holiday season. 9/10
Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
The last stop on the holiday episode review train is "Chill Out, Scooby-Doo." Now this may be an unpopular opinion, but I really enjoy when Shaggy and Scooby go off on their own and solve the mystery somewhat by themselves. I personally feel like the "Shaggy and Scooby like to eat and are cowards" thing has been leaned on a little too much lately in the recent DTV films. Someone on the ScoobyAddicts forum the other day (unfortunately I can't remember who) mentioned that it seems to be almost the writer's go-to filler moment to extend the movie time, which I find a bit annoying. Of course, I think overeating and cowardice are a part of their personality, but I think there's such a thing as focusing too much. Anyways, I got a bit off track there but this is a really great wintery film with some great Shaggy-Scooby solo action, and I definitely recommend this for any Scooby lover's holiday/winter marathon. 9/10
I realize I just spouted out a lot of information at once there, so here's a detailed rundown of my recommendation list for a Scooby-Doo holiday marathon:
1. That's Snow Ghost (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You)
2. The Ghost of Bigfoot (The New Scooby-Doo Movies)
3. A Scary Night With A Snow Beast Fright (The Scooby-Doo Show)
4. Rocky Mountain Yiiiii! (The Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show)
5. Snow Job Too Small (The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour)
6. The Nutcracker Scoob (The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries)
7. There's No Creature Like Snow Creature (What's New, Scooby-Doo?)
8. A Scooby-Doo Christmas (What's New, Scooby-Doo?)
9. Night Terrors (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated)
10. Scary Christmas (Be Cool, Scooby-Doo)
11. Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays
12. Chill Out Scooby-Doo!
So, first of all, thanks for reading this incredibly long article and hope it was useful and enjoyable to read! I'll admit it was a bit tough trying to come up with abbreviated reviews for each episode, as I had so much to say for a lot of them, but I wanted to keep the article's length down a bit so it wasn't so long. Next week, be sure to check back here Monday for the final fun fact of 2016, plus two year-end posts to wrap up the year, one being a Year-In-Review post for the Scooby franchise and the other with the results of the "What would you like to see in 2017?" poll.
My question to you readers now is, do you agree with my choices/list, and if not, what are some of your favorite episodes to watch around the holidays? Be sure to let me know if you have an opinion, whether you agree or disagree with my choices, in the comments!
12/21/2016 10:10:20 pm
A Scary Night With A Snow Beast Fright (The Scooby-Doo Show) and Scary Christmas (Be Cool Scooby-Doo) are definetly the best Christmas episodes!
12/30/2016 09:15:00 pm
I agree about both of those being fantastic, but I have to say "The Nutcracker Scoob" trumps those both for me.
Scooby doo fan
12/25/2016 05:54:51 am
I saw the most of them except the scrappy shorts my favorite is chil out because I was watching it again and again as I child. Thanks for the list and have a nice Christmas and new year
12/25/2016 09:27:55 am
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well!!! :)
12/29/2016 04:20:50 pm
Don't forget the WHAT'S NEW SCOOBY-DOO? episode "Block-Long Hong Kong Horror" for New Years!
12/30/2016 09:16:05 pm
You know, I don't actually watch any special episodes for New Years but that's a great idea!
12/30/2016 08:43:27 am
for me the The Nutcracker Scoob will always be the best in my memory. It me reminds me so much of christmas and my childhood. (even tough i live in Brazil and the xmas culture here is a bit diferent, including the weather). Anyway, thanks for this list! Happy Holidays!
12/30/2016 09:16:59 pm
I completely agree, something about it has the Christmasy feeling to it that gets you in the holiday mood. You're very welcome and happy holidays to you too!
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