Top 10 Scooby-Doo Episodes/Films
I was thinking about posting this later since I typically do one article a month, but there's enough negativity surrounding the franchise lately that I thought it might be good to focus on something more positive! :) Last week, I did an article highlighting my top 10 least favorite episodes/films in the franchise. I thought it would be a fun idea to do the opposite in this post: highlighting my top 10 favorite Scooby episodes/films in the franchise. Those that know me probably already know many of my top episodes, but I don't know if I've ever laid them all out before like this on the blog. Note that this list does include a few culprit spoilers, so if you haven't seen these episodes, you may want to watch them before reading this list.
Honorable mention: Doo Not Disturb
This episode excellently combines excellent comedy with a very sinister tone. It feels like this has a perfect balance of silliness and darkness. The plot of the gang being stuck in a hotel in the middle of a snowstorm feels quite creepy, yet the series still keeps its same goofy tone while also maintaining that darker vibe. The Ghost of Mother is an absolutely terrifying villain, and for that reason, she's one of my favorite villains of the entire franchise. I really appreciate this episode for having such a dark tone while retaining the comedy that I love so much about Be Cool.
10. Wrath of the Krampus
To be honest, I don't think this would be as high as it is without that ending. The fact that the ending reveals everything that happened in this episode is all just an elaborate plan to trick the old Mystery Incorporated is genius. The shocked look on the Old Mystery Incorporated's face at the end is so satisfying haha. This episode also gets major props from me for including such a unique villain that had never been used yet in the franchise, since we're getting to a point where it's hard to come up with a completely different villain type when we've got over 600 episodes and films. I really like everything about the episode, but yeah, that ending is what puts it on that list because it's so shockingly genius.
9. Some Fred Time
I absolutely love this Be Cool episode. I tend to gravitate towards content that has very random, authentically strange comedy, so Be Cool's absurdist humor definitely resonated with me quite a bit. That's why this episode is one of my favorites. It's such a perfect combination of great comedy (especially at the beginning of the episode) and an excellent mystery. I also really liked how we get to know Daphne a bit better through staying at her beach house. In addition to the comedy, the plot of the gang trying to conceal a mystery from Fred made it really interesting.
8. Vampire Bats and Scaredy Cats
I would argue besides Zombie Island, this may be one of the darkest things in the Scooby franchise. If there was one thing season 2 did really well, it was creating plots that had a super dark tone. Certain scenes in this episode are aesthetically just so creepy, notably the vampire calling Lisa from a dark room, Shaggy, Scooby and Scooby-Dum crawling through the ventilation system, and especially Lisa turning into a vampire when Shaggy, Scooby and Dum had barricaded the room. The fact that the vampire is Lisa's uncle also makes this episode dark in a sadistic way, because this man was Lisa's guardian, and he completely betrayed her and tried to scare her just so he'd get all the hotel profits. It's a truly despicable thing to do, and I would argue this is one of the darkest episodes for that reason as well as the overall tone.
7. Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner?
To me, this feels like the most classic haunted house episode in the franchise, at least in terms of how well it captures the essence of Scooby. "A Night of Fright Is No Delight" is certainly in that range as well, and it would ranks somewhere in the early teens of my list of favorites. The length really does this episode justice in the sense that it allows for us to really explore the haunted house in depth. Don Knotts is an excellent guest star, and I love that he didn't just play himself. The fact that Don has made up this entire cast of characters that he's impersonating makes this episode so interesting and really elevates the stakes of the episode, because there's so much going on that you have no idea what kind of madness is going to happen next haha. I also really like the Ghosts of Captain Moody as villains. I have heard the complaint that them not having faces brings them down a bit for some reason, but personally I think it makes them even scarier. Again, I would argue the setting is the real star of this episode, and it may be one of my favorite Scooby settings ever. The depth in which the house is explored from top to bottom, as well as the idea that the gang is truly trapped in this house for the night with no way out makes for an incredible plot for me.
6. Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost
Although I do like Zombie Island slightly better, this film is super close quality-wise. The setting of Oakhaven is so beautifully animated and really draws you into the film. Even though the film takes a little while to get going, I feel like the longer exposition than normal was time well spent. The film does a great job building the characterization so you can really get to know each of the side characters on a deep level, rather than just having them be a random character that we meet for a second and never see again. Like with Zombie Island, the writers did a great job creating a more mature tone for this film. I loved the twist at the end where the first witch is just a publicity stunt, but then Ben Ravencroft unleashes the real ghost of his ancestor Sarah. It was definitely unexpected the first time I saw the movie as a kid! And of course, this film gets major points for introducing the best recurring characters in franchise history: The Hex Girls!
5. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
What more do I need to say haha. Zombie Island is one of the most iconic films in franchise history for good reason. The villains are absolutely terrifying, and the more serious tone of this film allows us to see a more mature side of the gang, which is really cool. The plot is so well-written that it keeps you on the edge of the seat all throughout the film. Not only that, but the backgrounds and animation are absolutely immaculate. I would be overjoyed if we got anything that even moderately matched the tone and detail of this film. You can tell that so much love and care was put into making this film, and I think it will remain a true classic forever for that reason.
4. Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers
This is another film that feels quintessentially Scooby to me. Although there is some uncertainty about whether the ghosts and monsters are real or not, the whole movie being centered around the guys going on a scavenger hunt while dodging ghosts and ghouls feels like it perfectly captures the essence of the franchise. The score of this film in particular feels so Scooby-ish to me. It sounds both spooky yet kind of lighthearted, which captures the franchise in a nutshell. I loved all The New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes that utilized multiple monsters in the same mystery (i.e. "The Spooky Fog," "The Mystery of Haunted Island," "The Exterminator," and "The Haunted Carnival"), so naturally, I loved the use of multiple monsters here as well. All of the villains had amazing designs, and the additional runtime really helped all of the villains to get their moment. I also have always appreciated how this movie is so open-ended, where you could interpret it as all the ghosts being fake, but there's that little hint that Shaggy's uncle's ghost might have been real at the very end. That brief little bit of Uncle Beauregard appearing at the end makes you question if some of the other ghosts were real as well, because there were quite a few inconsistencies with some of the villains. For example, in the Skull Ghost's first appearance, he has glowing red eyes, his bones are clanking, and he wears a cape. However, in all future appearances, he's clearly just wearing a cheesy skeleton suit. It's unknown if the animators intended this or if it was just sloppy animation. If you think about it, throughout the movie, Uncle Beauregard also seems to have conflicting purposes. In some appearances, he seems to want to just warn Shaggy away, while in other appearances, he is actively trying to kill them. All of these little inconsistencies makes the viewer wonder when the ghosts were real, and when they were fake. I love movies that have endings that make you think even after the movie is over, and this film certainly fits the bill.
3. A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle
This episode is my favorite episode of the Scrappy era. The autumn wind blowing at the beginning of the episode pulls you into the setting immediately and gives the episode a Halloween feel from the start. The thing I like most about this episode is how it's a twist on the classic Scooby formula. Instead of the gang trying to solve a mystery involving a ghoul or ghost, the ghouls are the one asking the gang to capture the ghost. It's a really fun idea for the writers to have explored, and I have to say it's pulled off excellently. The Halloween party in the first part of the episode really sets the Halloween mood, and I love that they included Fred and Velma in this episode. The one element I would say could have been done better is that the writers did not really do a good job with characterization. Some of the monsters, like the sea monster and mummy, are really flat as characters and don't have any personality. The sea monster, mummy and invisible man are just dropped completely by the end of the episode, where they disappear and then never show up again without explanation. I love the episode so much that it's something I'm easily able to look past, but it could have been executed better. I've heard some people say that if the franchise would have had more of a creative vision, this episode would have been a good first introduction to real monsters for the gang. I totally agree with this, and I think it would have been cool if they would have explored the gang's disbelief to monsters being real.
2. Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School
As far as I'm concerned, the three Superstar 10 movies are some of the best Scooby films to date. Ghoul School has always been my favorite Scooby-Doo film since I was a kid, because of how unique the plot is. Despite the very different plot of Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy working as teachers, this deviation from the typical Scooby storyline feels like a natural direction for the franchise to explore. Throughout the movie, we see Shaggy and Scooby develop as characters a bit as they have to overcome their fear of monsters to teach the girl ghouls. The antics at the beginning of the movie with the girl ghouls are so heartwarming, and despite that it takes a while for the plot to really get going, it sort of feels like you as an audience member get to warm up to the girl ghouls with Shaggy and Scooby, which is a neat plot element. As a lover of puns, I also have to say I greatly appreciate all the bad puns in this film haha. The second half is just as good, but in a different way. The guys having to battle Revolta causes the movie to take a darker tone, but there's so much going on as the guys navigate her castle that it leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I love how this movie tried something so different in a way that felt very natural and fitting to the characters. You'll probably notice a theme between my #2 and #3, that theme being that I really appreciate episodes that experiment with different elements of the classic formula in a way that still stays true to the core of the franchise. Both Ghoul School and Halloween Hassle did this excellently, in my opinion.
1. The Loch Ness Mess
For those that know me, this comes as no surprise. This episode has everything I could want in a Scooby episode, honestly. The New England setting is absolutely immaculate and the animation is gorgeous. The episode captures the essence of the Scooby franchise so well, with a creepy haunted house plot, three excellent ghosts, and a fun side plot of the sea serpent in the lake. That covered bridge scene and the part with the Lantern Ghost vanishing are two of the most iconic scenes of this series IMO. One of my favorite things about this episode is that it is so atmospheric. The countryside setting, as well as Uncle Nat's house and the lake, just feel so iconicly Scooby to me and really pulls you into the mystery. The Globetrotters also make such great guest stars that they feel like a part of the gang, particularly Meadowlark and Curly.
I hope you enjoyed reading through these rankings of my favorite episodes! If you feel inspired, feel free to do a ranking of your favorite episodes in the comments, and I'm looking forward to seeing them!
Fun Fact of the Week #422
Before B.J. Ward started voicing Velma in the 1998-2001 DTVs, she had a number of other voice roles in the franchise, most notably Shaggy's girlfriend Googie in Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Shaggy's mother and sister in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, and the Ghost of Mrs. Shusham in the Pup episode of the same name.
At New York Comic Con, many fans were curious as to why Scooby-Doo would not be appear in Velma. During his presentation at NYCC, series creator Charlie Grandy said not his motivation for not including Scooby was to attempt to have a more adult take on the other characters, highlighted in an interview with ScreenRant.
"What made Scooby-Doo a kid show is Scooby-Doo. We couldn’t have a take on it, like how can we do this in a fun and modern way." Grandy said. "[Our efforts] coincided with Warner Bros. Animation saying we can’t use the dog!”
In addition, the character designs were revealed for Velma, Daphne and Shaggy at the panel. In addition to Velma being made Indian for the show, Shaggy is now black and Daphne is now Asian. Charlie responded to fan criticisms of changing the race of the characters saying that this is kind of like their version of Into the Spider-Verse, which is a critically acclaimed Marvel film that changed Spider-Man into a person of color. The character designs can be seen above.
Weekly Poll #7 (Redo)
One of my favorite concepts that Scooby has done is lumping groups of monsters from the old Universal horror movies together. Pretty much every episode that utilized this concept is an automatic favorite of mine (except maybe "Who's Minding the Monster?" to an extent, because the joke about Dracula's wife being named Poopsie was dumb lol). This was originally Weekly Poll #7, and it was the second poll after I'd decided to make these weekly polls a permanent staple of the blog. Since it's getting close to Halloween, and the Universal monsters feel very Halloween-ish to me, I thought this would be a fun one to redo now. On the other hand, this will also mean making a very difficult decision, because it feels impossible for me to decide between "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle" and Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School. They're both just so good!
If you're interested in seeing the original results for this poll, they can be found here.
In the original 13 Ghosts poll, Zomba and Maldor tied. Zomba took the lead in this poll and won with 14 votes! Maldor and Asmodeus tied for second place with 10 votes each. Nekara was close behind in third with 9 votes, while Time Slime got fourth with 5 votes. On the lower end of the spectrum, Demondo got fifth place with 3 votes, Queen Morbidia and the Mirror Demon tied for sixth with 2 votes each, and Phantasmo only got a single vote. Captain Ferguson, Marcella, Rankor and Zimbulu all came in dead last with nobody voting for any of them.
This isn't necessarily Scooby news, and it is about a week old, but I thought it was interesting and wanted to share in case anyone didn't know, given all the discussions in the past month or so about the Warner-Discovery Merger. About a week ago, the Collinsville Police Shareholder Board (a shareholder of Warner-Discovery) in Illinois filed a lawsuit against Warner-Discovery. The lawsuit is attempting to sue David Zaslav for exaggerating the number of people who subscribe to HBO Max by over 10 million in a shareholder meeting. The Collinsville Police Shareholder Board claims that Zaslav included everyone who was eligible for an HBO Max bundle in the number of subscribers, despite that many of these eligible people did not actually use HBO Max. This artificially inflated the number of subscribers to look as if HBO Max had 10 million more subscribers than they actually did. TheWrap article which announced this did not specify specifically in what ways, but Zaslav is also accused of hiding information to mislead WB-Discovery shareholders during the merge. In addition to Zaslav, the Collinsville Police Shareholder Board will also be Warner CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels.
For a long time, The New Scooby-Doo Movies was not on iTunes, presumably due to copyright issues. I am not aware of if this was recent or not, but the series has now been posted almost entirely in full (with the exception of "Wednesday Is Missing") on The New Scooby-Doo Movies over a decade after most of the other Scooby series were added. It is also a quite decent deal on the series; only $15 for all 23 hour-long episodes. Thanks ZaroshOfHarule for the info!
A teaser for Velma has been released following the panel at NYCC. The teaser is a parody of Scream, and wittily seems to address the online backlash to the series by having Velma complain to HBO Max about a fake series that changes Judy Jetson's character. Some other context clues can also be picked up from the teaser, that being that Velma's relative is missing, as a poster that says "Missing: Deya Dinkley" can be seen on the wall. A note reading "call Norville" is also on Velma's computer. The series will take place in Crystal Cove, as per a poster on Velma's wall saying "Crystal Cove Fog Fest." I have to admit, I give them mad respect for addressing the Internet hate the show is getting in such an amusingly satirical way. Particularly the line "If there's one thing the Internet agrees on, it's that you should never change anything ever!" is great lol.
For those who were worried about Frank Welker not being in this series, there was some good news announced at the panel. Frank Welker will be voicing Fred's father in this series according to the series page on Twitter.
There was also an interview conducted with Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling at New York Comic Con. They confirmed that there will be one overarching mystery of the show of a serial killer. The teaser trailer also announces that the show will premiere sometime in 2023.
The cast for the first season has also been announced on Deadline, including brand new casting for the entire gang. Constance Wu will voice Daphne, Sam Richardson is voicing Shaggy, and Glenn Howerton will take over the voice of Fred for this series. Jane Lynch, Russell Peters, Melissa Fumero, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Ken Leung, Cherry Jones, Fortune Feimster, Yvonne Orji, Sarayu Blue, Nicole Byer, Ming-Na Wen, Shay Mitchell, Debby Ryan, Kulap Vilaysak, and Karl-Anthony Towns will play unknown voice roles in the series. Two guest stars from Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, Wanda Sykes and Weird Al Yankovic, will also be voicing a character.
Check out the interview below. For some reason, the first five minutes are just a static screen saying the interview will start soon. I don't know why they didn't edit that out of the final video, but regardless, just skip the first five minutes as there's no content.
Wendy's has just announced on their website that their next theme of kids' meal toys will be Scooby-Doo: Pop Up Mysteries. Although no further details have been announced, Captain Cutler can be seen in the banner, so it is likely that he may be one of the toys. The "pop up mysteries" title also makes me wonder if it has something to do with pop-up books. Stay tuned for more info! Thank you to ZaroshOfHyrule for sharing this news!
I wasn't really sure what to expect going into this one. Overall, I really liked it! Please note that this review will have spoilers, so if you have not had time to watch the film yet, I would recommend not reading this review until you do if you are looking to avoid spoilers.
The retcon of Coco Diablo being responsible for all the gang's costumes is interesting. I wouldn't want to just consider it official continuity for the entire franchise now, but I kind of think of it like Get a Clue. It works really well as a continuity on its own, but I don't think it really fits with the franchise. I liked the gang's plan for stopping Coco at the beginning of the film, but I feel it's a bit rushed. There's no real buildup where the viewer gets to be shocked like that amazing reveal at the end of "Wrath of the Krampus," it just kind of happens and then it's over with.
We have to get into the opening song next, because I got a really good laugh out that "no more ghouls and ghosts. Just helpin' folks!" line haha. I love that the gang is helping out Elias Kingston in the grocery store. How very wholesome of them lol.
I thought it was very interesting how Velma was crushing on Coco Diablo. It seems they were perhaps testing out what Velma plans to do in the kids' side of the franchise. From what little I've read online about fan reactions to the film, I do hope that there's not going to be some huge controversy about "omg Velma is a lesbian!" To be fair, Velma does not state she is a lesbian in this film; the film only confirms she is romantically interested in women. It does not retroactively say that her male love interests in the past did not happen, so it's also possible Velma is bi/pansexual as well. Regardless, it was neat they explored it here and I thought it was done in a very natural way.
The prison scene was quite intense. John Simms clearly has some anger issues if he has made a Scooby voodoo doll in prison and is poking it in the mouth haha. In the scene where the warden is shaking down Harry the Hypnotist, it looks as if the bars were so wide that the inmate could have fit through the bars. Speaking of that scene, the warden's veins showing in his arms as he's roughing up the inmate was an interesting thing to animate. Although the animation is rougher and more messy in this film than Guess Who was, I feel like it allowed for some interesting details to shine through, like the vein thing. I will say that all the snot jokes with Trevor were gross and unnecessary.
I really liked the villains, particularly the Misery Company. The fact that their guts and brains were exposed made them even creepier. Coco Diablo worked was as a villain too, and although I'm not always a huge fan of the "the heroes have to be helped by their old foe" type plots (because I feel they're often predictable), I thought it was done in a fun way here. I'll have to admit I did wonder for a moment if it actually was Coco when they were setting it up to look like it was undeniably her, so the fact that it was the warden was interesting. I love how happy-go-lucky the warden is about carrying out the plan, to the point of him kissing all the clues as he's leaving them. I think that's super cute lol. I also found it funny how he exclaimed "Hi Mystery Inc.!" in a goofy voice when he was caught. It was a shame that the one preview kinda ruined that reveal (although I did wonder briefly if it was Coco). I was also happy they included a more diverse selection of villains here, rather than just all Where Are You villains. It was interesting to see some New Scooby-Doo Mysteries villains that weren't even in costumes retconned.
I was interested by the fact they fell back on the "Scooby hates cats" plotline. I feel like they kind of use that trope when they want, but sometimes they drop it. And speaking of cats, it was cool they retconned the Catman. One retcon I was surprised about though was that we see Igor from "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle" among the inmates. That is a major retcon, since he was never arrested (in fact, the ghouls embraced what he did).
Just a random note, as I made quite a few of them as I watched the film, I would have been interested in knowing why Velma got detention lol.
Although I overall liked this movie, I LOVED how the last 20 minutes just divulged into random chaos. Random, absurdist humor is exactly my humor style, so it really worked for me.
I've talked in several posts about how I stan Sassy Fred, and we can now add Sassy Gators to my list of characters I stan for. I loved how those gators came up out of the sewer just to cross their arms and give the gang side-eye lol.
Although I am a cat lover, I didn't love Esteban, although the end had two great scenes with him. The fact that he had a cat computer was super funny. What I most liked though was Scooby rhetorically asking Esteban "do you like me?" to which after not speaking the entire movie, Esteban speaks in a deep voice and says "No!", but then they both agree that they don't like each other and shake hands haha.
I really liked Trevor's Mystery Machine design! One thing I will say though, I am getting a bit tired of "the Mystery Machine blows up" plots. They've done it in Return to Zombie Island, Happy Halloween, and now this one. I wasn't really that bothered by it here; I guess I'm just saying that I'm at the point where I feel like they've done enough of those and should perhaps give it a rest after this film.
I liked the bit with the prisoners escaping at the end. The "I know but this is a family movie!" comment from the Warden was funny. Given this information, I can only assume he was going to shout the f-bomb if it wasn't a family movie lol. It was really neat to see the gang wearing the classic monster costumes. I'm unsure why Captain Cutler believed it was the real ghost of Captain Cutler...you could even see Velma's face through the costume lol. It was cute how Fred wore his ascot over the Knight costume. Speaking of which, I have so much appreciation for Fred's casually saying "Hey Mr. Wickles! What a night for a knight!" It gives off such casual sass and I love it haha. Speaking of Sassy Fred, I also think the fact that the Mystery Machine rearview mirror reads "Objects in mirror are probably Fred Jones" also has major sassy vibes lol.
One plotline I felt they could have expanded upon more was Daphne questioning her role in the gang. I thought it could have been a good plotline, but they just mentioned it once towards the beginning and it's never brought up again until the end. I wish that plotline would have been developed more.
The fact that Trevor was actually a random surfer dude in a costume was hilarious. Definitely the kind of random humor I enjoy.
The one joke I didn't really enjoy, other than the snot jokes, was Scooby breaking the fourth wall to say "this whole franchise is named after me!" That's more of a personal preference than anything and I don't think the joke was objectively bad, but it felt a bit cringey to me.
I realize I'm sort of divulging into random comments now rather than giving a cohesive review, but I have some remaining notes. It was cool how the 10,000 Volt Ghost costume looks kind of like Phantom of Vasquez Castle when it is just the suit that's not powered on.
I've got a long comment to end us off here about that wishing well lol. First of all...where did Fred get that wad of cash?!? Secondly, I love how the ending is just Fred and the gang laughing nervously as they throw dollar bills down a wishing well. I genuinely don't think they could have thought of a weirder ending and I just adore it haha. I absolutely get why they did it, but I honestly think it would have been even slightly better if there was no monster eye at the bottom of the well. The ending should have just been the gang aimlessly throwing dollar bills down the well as they slowly have an existential crisis lol. It'd be dark, but also random and amusing as heck haha. I can't make a GIF since digital download sites don't allow screenshots, but somebody needs to make a GIF of that scene of them throwing dollar bills down the well as they nervously laugh, and caption it "Capitalism be like..." hahaha.
Anyway, that's my review for the film! I really enjoyed this film even a bit more than I thought, especially the last 20 minutes of it for its random chaos. I don't think this is what I would have expected when we first heard about the Trick or Treat project in August 2021, but I am very satisfied with what we got, even if it's the only Scooby movie or show we get this year (and it likely will be).
I decided to do a bit of a different kind of post, and break down my top 10 least favorite Scooby-Doo episodes of all time. I didn't necessarily have a list in mind when I first came up with the idea for this post...I just had a mental list of episodes I felt were bad, so it was a fun exercise trying to condense my list into 10 episodes. That being said, you may be surprised to know Curse of the 13th Ghost, Return to Zombie Island and Arabian Nights are not on this list. The two 2019 sequels were poor in the sense of having numerous glaring continuity errors, and the fact that they were made as sequels to two of the most acclaimed pieces of Scooby-Doo media of all time. However, on their own, I didn't find the plot of either film to be particularly egregious or irredeemable. The problem for me was more that they didn't respect the tone or content of the original, but I think they could have been good if they were standalone DTVs unconnected to the originals. With Arabian Nights, my major gripe with it is that it's advertised as a Scooby film, but Scooby's only in 13 minutes of it. On its own, I've grown to think of it as a decent enough Hanna-Barbera crossover. I have no facts to base this on, but given the title card just says "Arabian Nights," it makes me wonder if "Scooby-Doo" was later slapped onto the title to sell more VHS tapes/DVDs, and it wasn't intended as a Scooby product at all when it originally aired. This top 10 list for me is reserved for the episodes/films that are irredeemably bad. Granted, these are only my own opinions, and I know some people may very well love these episodes, so I don't want to frame this post as if I'm hating on these episodes/films or saying that they're so bad that there's no way other people could possibly like them.
Honorable Mention: Ghastly Goals
Compared to the other five specials, this one had a significant drop in quality. Although the villain was cool-looking, the mystery to me felt quite underdeveloped, and the plot felt thin. The animation quality was also really poor. If you look closely, some of the shots of the crowd are just a complete blur. There are definitely worse plots in some of the direct-to-video Scrappy shorts, which you'll see later in this list, but I really did not care for the plot or mystery in this episode and found it boring.
10. Jeepers, It's the Jaguaro!
I don't think this is too unpopular of an opinion, but I never really cared for this episode. It's not completely irredeemable like the rest of this list, hence it's #10 placement, but there was certainly a lot of stuff that wasn't enjoyable about it. I really liked the Jaguaro's design. It genuinely looks quite frightening. However, the roar is a bit...interesting haha. It definitely sounds like it must be a mix between a sabertooth tiger and a bear, because it sounds very weird lol. I didn't dislike the roar, but it's certainly weird. In a season that was otherwise decent and enjoyable for its globetrotting antics, I found the mystery to be a lot weaker in this episode. The plot feels a lot thinner and meandering, and like it lacks focus. A lot of it is just Shaggy and Scooby's antics in the jungle, which while okay, isn't something I necessarily found all that interesting. The Jaguaro doesn't really feel like he has much presence as a villain, which is something The Scooby-Doo Show is usually quite strong at. What bothers me the most about this episode is the other villains. I don't know what the writers were thinking here, but the representation of indigenous people is perhaps the worst it's ever been in this episode. They're portrayed as people who just randomly capture and kill others for fun. There are certainly tribes that did used to practice headhunting, but it feels like it's represented here as if all indigenous people are savage killers, which is extremely unfortunate, and it's a bit uncomfortable to watch such poor representation.
9. Scooby of the Jungle
While I do like most of The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show episodes much better than The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Show, this one was a dud for me. The plot was pretty boring and strange, and the villain, Randar, was quite lackluster. The episode feels a bit rushed as well in the sense of certain details related to the animation. Oddly, some of the lions and zebras appear the same size as the elephants, which makes no sense (not to mention that lions and zebras don't live in the jungle, but whatever haha). Another scene makes this rise above the rest, and it's kind of uncomfortable to talk about, but when Randar captures Daphne, somehow she is suddenly wearing a Tarzan outfit, despite not being in one before. For my own comfort, I choose to believe maybe there was a scene in between that got edited out and they forgot to explain the outfit, but it's still weird and uncomfortable to watch.
8. A Mystery Solving Gang Divided
I really wanted to like this one because I loved The Funky Phantom when I was younger, but I didn't like this at all and it gets to the point of unwatchable for me. They completely take the Funky Phantom gang out of character, making them all arrogant jerks. I wouldn't have minded if they changed their characters a little, but it felt like they made them into completely different characters. The fact that most of the episode was just the gangs arguing detracted from the mystery and wasted the potential they could have had with the villains. I thought the villains of this episode (and Abraham Lincoln's ghost) were pretty cool, so it's a shame we only get to see them once before the trap is set.
Certain aspects of the plot also seemed rushed and awkward as a result. Augie believing in Abraham Lincoln's ghost without any question seemed odd, since the whole series is about them catching fake ghosts, so it seemed like they rushed that part of the plot rather than developing it (which was a shame, because they certainly could have cut some of the arguing to make room for that). There were also some weird lines that felt awkward and forced, such as Lincoln saying "You must take responsibility for tomorrow!" It didn't fit with anything that was going on in the episode, and it feels like the writers forced it in as a positive message for the kids, but it didn't work. That being said, I don't mean to imply what I listed in this paragraph were the main problems with the episode (I would actually consider them to be quite trivial issues). I'm more trying to get at the fact that the constant arguing took away from the plot, because it dominated the episode so much that other aspects felt awkward due to being underdeveloped.
7. The Ransom of Scooby Chief
This very much feels like a backdoor pilot for the Scrappy shorts that were to come for the next three years. While the plot was at least somewhat more structured than those shorts were, I personally found the episode to be quite boring. Carl and Tony weren't very good villains to me, and I found them more annoying than evil. I'm sure it maybe had something to do with Marla Frumkin suddenly leaving, but it was also weird how Velma has no lines in this episode. I didn't particularly enjoy Duke and Annie's characters either.
6. LEGO Scooby-Doo: Blowout Beach Bash
This is another one that suffers from quite a weak mystery and plot, IMO. It seems this movie is a bit divisive among the fandom, because I've seen some people say they prefer this to Haunted Hollywood. Haunted Hollywood was miles better than this for me, and I thought the LEGO theme fit much better there. Some of the LEGO stuff felt a bit forced here, and the mystery didn't feel all that engaging to me here. However, what made this worse than Ghastly Goals was the songs. Some of the songs were incredibly obnoxious to me, especially the first one. The song could have been tolerable, but the song structure being them saying a short phrase followed by "blowout beach bingo bash!", and then another short phrase followed by "blowout beach bingo bash!" (and the cycle repeats) was really annoying, especially given they sing it for five minutes straight. The annoying songs and the boring plot made this one a skip for me, and I actually haven't watched it since it first was released in 2017.
5. South Seas Scare
I just mentioned that I don't really like these Scrappy shorts due to the way they're written, but this is another one I don't find enjoyable. My main issue with this one is regarding the ending. The writing already falls into the "random chaos" category, and at the end, Scrappy just randomly picks up the Lava Monster and throws him into a volcano, which makes zero sense. If Scrappy could have just randomly picked up the monster at any time, why didn't he just do it at the beginning of the episode so the entire situation could have been avoided? To me, that felt like lazy writing because they couldn't think of a good ending. I actually thought the Lava Monster was one of the coolest villains in the series, so it's a shame they used him in an episode with an ending that's so lazy IMO. The rest of the episode is about the same quality as the rest of the Scrappy shorts, but the cop-out ending is what made this one rise above the rest as being one of the worst episodes.
4. Scooby's Swiss Miss
I don't tend to care for these Scrappy-Doo shorts very much, because they all tend to be random comedy romps that lack structure. However, there are a few that stand out as particularly bad. This one is a very weird one to watch, because it centers around Scooby being chased around a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps by a bulldog, because the bulldog thinks Scooby is flirting with his poodle girlfriend (which he's not). However, the poodle girlfriend continues to make passes at Scooby, which causes even more jealousy from the bulldog. It's very Tom and Jerry-ish with the bulldog trying to find different ways to hurt Scooby, and I don't really care for Tom and Jerry. The ending is also a bit unnerving, for lack of a better word. The bulldog ends up getting injured due to his antics, and winds up in a cast and crutches. The end of the short has the bulldog getting married to the poodle, with the poodle giving up Scooby and embracing the injured bulldog as her husband, saying "well, at least he can't run away!" Basically, the poodle is saying that she will literally do anything to be in a relationship, even if it means emotionally abusing her partner by forcing him to stay when he's immobile. The ending leaves me feeling really uncomfortable and if you haven't seen this, I don't recommend watching it.
3. Picnic Poopers
The plot of this short is extremely uninteresting to me to the point of being substanceless. The plot revolves around a teenager and his bulldog pulling rude pranks on Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy in the park, hoping that he'll ruin the town picnic games. The plot itself isn't what I would look for in a Scooby episode, but what makes this one so terrible is that the characters and the plot in general is just really obnoxious. It's very dull watching these two bullies playing pranks on the guys to keep them from winning. Maybe it's entertaining for those who like Tom and Jerry, but this is so boring to me. What makes it even worse is that they had just done this same plot two episodes ago with "Muscle Trouble," and it wasn't great there either. This plot doesn't really have anything going for it, and the fact that it's a completely unoriginal rehash of what they just did two episodes ago makes this one easily earn its title as worst in the franchise for me (both figuratively and literally, since the title is also extremely awful lol).
We also get this strange scene with someone holding up a sign that says "hooray for guys" with no context whatsoever lol. Was he rooting for Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy, the bullies, or just the male gender in general? We'll never know lol.
2. Hoedown Showdown
This is another antics-heavy Scrappy short. I really dislike this episode's jokes about Southern people being dimwitted hillbillies. I could ignore it if it were just a few jokes, but the fact that the entire episode is just gag after gag about the same stereotypes makes this episode annoying to watch. If there's anybody out here that likes the episode, you could make the argument that Boo Brothers has the same jokes about Southern stereotypes with Billy Bob. In that film, the jokes were kept at a minimum and it was just one character who happened to be very stereotypical in his behavior. However, with this episode, they basically write the entire plot as one big joke around how stupid these "hillbillies" next door are, and it makes this episode drudgery to get through. It gets even worse when we discover the reason for this feud between Shaggy's family and the McGurk family is because one of them, Bubba, doesn't like taking baths, but Shaggy's cousin wants him to take one because he smells. You can't make this stuff up lol. I can think of about a million things I'd rather watch than the McGurk Brothers screwing around for seven minutes straight, so this one's a big no from me.
1. Scooby Dooby Guru
We've made it to the worst Scooby-Doo episode ever in my opinion. I had previously considered it to be "A Mystery Solving Gang Divided!," but when thinking about this list, I realized I kind of thought of the Scrappy shorts as more of a single entity of content I didn't enjoy, and hadn't really deeply thought about ones that I found specifically bad. I rewatched a couple of the ones that I remembered I didn't care for for this list, and wow, a few of them were far worse than I remember. There have been episodes that have elements of poor representation before, such as "Jeepers, It's the Jaguaro" as I mentioned earlier in the post, but this is the only episode I feel where the plot itself is so horribly stereotypical that the whole episode is just flat-out racist. The plot revolves around the guys visiting the Taj Mahal in India. While there, they accidentally knock over a priceless statue. The guard, who is Indian, goes into a blind rage and begins chasing them. What's especially bad about this episode is that the writers rely on some of the most ridiculously incorrect stereotypes of Indian people you could possibly imagine. After the guys knock over the statue, the plot revolves around the guard randomly jumping on an elephant, and rides it chasing the gang around the city. The guard's voice is also an awful impression of how someone from India would sound. I could go on about all the bad stereotypes in this episode, but my point is that even the slightest bit of research would have told them these stereotypes were grossly incorrect. People in India aren't just jumping on random elephants on the street and using them to chase people around town. Besides the bad stereotypes, Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy are unlikeable jerks in this episode. They accidentally knock over the priceless statue in the Taj Mahal, and instead of offering to pay for it or even apologizing, they just run away. A lot of people have called things like Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island a "disgrace to the franchise," but this episode is the real disgrace IMO. It's just embarrassingly bad in every way, both in the sense of being racist, as well as Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy being jerks and taking no responsibility for this awful thing they did.
That about does it for my worst list, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! If anyone else would like to share their worst lists in the comments, I'd love to see them!
~ WildwindVampire ~