It's that time of year once again where I love to snuggle up with a good winter Scooby-Doo episode as the weather's getting a bit colder. Since we did the Christmas specials last week, so I won't be including those episodes again, but I will include a list at the end combining my rankings of the winter and Christmas episodes. It's worth mentioning that I did previously review these back in 2016, but a few episodes have come out since then, and I didn't specifically rank the episodes in my original post. Given there are 25 episodes here, this is going to be a very long list, so here we go!
25. Scooby's Swiss Miss
You may remember this one from being on my worst of the franchise list. This is the only winter episode I outright dislike. Even if they are weird, the other ones at least have some level of charm, whereas this one doesn't really have anything going for it. Not only are the antics are very Tom and Jerry like, but the poodle's relationship with the bulldog kinda creeps me out. I won't go into the whole explanation again since I just mentioned it in the Worst Scooby Content post, but the poodle saying "at least he can't run away!" to the bulldog as she's attempting to marry him while he's in crutches leaves me feeling very uncomfortable. I'm sure the writers thought it was funny, but ultimately it comes off as emotionally abusive and for that reason, I don't enjoy this episode.
24. Snow Job Too Small
I love inheritance plotlines and this one works well, but this one has soured on me a bit since my last review of it. The Abominable Snowman has a super cool design, but his voice/roar...is not so cool haha. It sounds as if he's in some sort of pain lol. I felt while the episode had an excellent plot, there wasn't enough time to execute it. It's a bit rushed and I think it would have been a lot better had there been time to develop some of the elements of the mystery. The kid that they are helping with the inheritance, Wilbur, is also very annoying with how entitled he is.
23. Alaskan King Coward
This is about the same level as the last short with me, since it's just them running away from some sort of prehistoric-looking ice monster for the whole episode. However, nostalgia elevates this one a little bit for me, because I have fond memories of watching it as a kid on my Nutcracker Scoob VHS tape. Actually, fun fact, this is the first Scrappy short I ever watched.
22. South Pole Vault
I like this episode for how bizarre it is. The villain is an insane sea lion out for revenge, and some of the antics with the sea lions are truly hilarious. Dr. Carlin with his constant repetition of "millions and billions" is interesting to say the least haha. I really love the reveal as well, where the culprit says "let me out of here!" in a goofy voice while still wearing the sea lion costume. Despite that it's not winter-themed, I also will sometimes watch "Night of the Living Toys" with this one, since it deals with an elf and toys, so it feels somewhat related to Christmas.
21. Scooby-Doo and the Sky Town Cool School!
This was a pretty average episode. Billy Dee's "Cool School" was a cute idea, but the villain was just alright. I felt the pterodactyl was much better done in "Scary Christmas" and "Hang in There, Scooby-Doo." The culprit was also extremely easy to figure out.
20. Caveman on the Half Pipe!
I would say this episode is pretty middle of the road for Guess Who and I like the Where Are You episode that this reimagines ("Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright"). I like the episode well enough and Chloe was a good guest star, but I like the caveman in Where Are You a bit better. This episode was pretty average for Guess Who, and I didn't find it particularly memorable in any way.
19. Rocky Mountain Yiiiii!
I enjoy this episode, although I would say "The Ghost of Bigfoot" does this concept a bit better. I thought the Ghost of Jeremiah Pratt was a decent villain, and I liked the setting of the ski lodge. This is one of the more middling winter episodes for me, but it's good for what it is and I still find myself watching it every year.
18. Scooby on Ice!
I liked Tara quite a bit as a guest star. It was interesting that Simone appeared again for the fifth time, but I was surprised that this was her last appearance. I was a bit surprised that they chose to redesign two Where Are You villains for the two Guess Who winter episodes in a row. The old woman's Snow Devil legend seemed like a reimagining of Fu Lan Chi's legend, and I thought they did it well. I was surprised that they referenced Flim-Flam and the 13th ghosts in this episode. My only real complaint about this episode is that the trap scene went on for too long. It started near the 14 minute mark of the episode and went on for nearly five minutes before concluding.
17. Doom Service
I really enjoyed this episode, although it doesn't particularly stick out as a winter episode to me. The Ghost of Ebenezer Overview was an interesting villain, in the sense that he just looked like a regular human. The setting of the hotel gave the episode a very creepy vibe. I enjoy how weird and quirky this episode is, especially with the lady walking her invisible dog.
16. More Fondue for Scooby-Doo
This is an enjoyable Get a Clue episode. I enjoyed the plot of Shaggy and Scooby having to stop Phibes from attacking a global warming conference, while they have to flee from trained assassins. Misty's attack dog, Carla, is adorable lol. I don't really have a lot to say about this episode since it's pretty simplistic, but it's a lot of fun for what it is and I enjoy watching it every year.
15. The Nightmare Ghost of Psychic U!
This is my favorite of the Guess Who Winter episodes. Whoopi is such a great guest star and seems really into her role. The creepy atmosphere of the gang being in an isolated mansion surrounded by a snowstorm really creates a spooky vibe here. The Nightmare Ghost is also one of my favorite villains of the series. He reminds me a lot of Slenderman, and even with that aside, his super long legs and arms still make him look terrifying. There were a lot of cute moments in this episode, and overall I find it to be very heartwarming.
14. A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright
Of the ones I consider to be classic Scooby-Doo winter episodes, I would say this is my least favorite one. The plot is a bit less exciting than a lot of other Scooby-Doo Show episodes, although the scene in the caves and the dark atmosphere of the village is good. The Snow Beast's design is quite interesting and creative.
13. Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!
I really enjoyed this episode. While I can't say I liked it quite as much as the Headless Snowman, Mr. Roundy was still a very cool villain. The repeated slapstick humor of the gang falling on the ice got a little old after a while, but otherwise, I thought the humor here was good as usual. Being a Boy Meets World fan, it was cool to see Will Friedle voice two characters, Dr. Mason and Eric. I thought it was really fun they named his character at the beginning Eric, given Eric is the name of the character he plays on Boy Meets World.
12. Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
Like I mentioned in my recent movie rankings, I've got a soft spot for this film. It was fun seeing Shaggy and Scooby have an adventure on their own here. Of Abominable Snowmen we've gotten, this is by far my favorite. The reference of Shaggy doing his "DJ voice" always makes me smile as well, given this was one of the final times Casey would voice Shaggy.
11. Naughty or Ice
Some might not consider this episode to be winter-themed, but I count this as a winter episode since it takes place in an Ice Hotel. On the other hand, I do not count "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright" as a winter episode, since the lakes are shown to be open lol. In my original review, I said I didn't really like Daphne's quirk of the week, but it's definitely grown on me, as has the whole episode. I really like this caveman, just as much as I like the caveman in "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright." The scene where Shaggy and Scooby teach him how to speak English and he excitedly exclaims "My name is Ice Man!" is so cute haha. It makes me genuinely feel a little bad for him when it's revealed to all be a trick lol.
10. Uncle Scooby and Antarctica
This episode has continued to grown on me over the years. The fish fiend is such a cool looking villain, and the idea of the gang being trapped in Antarctica is so cool. This is perhaps a hot take, but I would argue this is one of the darkest episodes of What's New, Scooby-Doo? Scooby helping out Little Pete the penguin was so cute, and I think Little Pete is one of my favorite animals that has followed Scooby around (since there's been a lot of them, between the frog from "Mamba Wamba and the Voodoo Hoodoo," the chick from "Jeepers, It's the Creeper," etc. lol). The idea of Dr. Zola freezing himself so he could see the future was also an interesting plot point.
9. Watt a Shocking Ghost!
My favorite part of this episode was the 10,000 Volt Ghost himself, of course! He's arguably one of the coolest and most creative Scooby villains out there, and definitely deserves all the love he gets. I also really enjoy the darker atmosphere of this episode. This is another episode that has really grown on me in recent years.
8. Snow Place Like Home
This episode is just good, silly fun and feels like a great representation of what A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is as a series. The gang staying at a haunted lodge was a fun plot, and I wish they would have spent a little more time in the lodge rather than half of the episode in the mines, but this episode is still a lot of fun for what it is. I also love the Ice Demon as a villain.
7. That's Snow Ghost
I'm sure many of you are thinking that this is super low, and I agree lol. I wish I could have put this higher, because it's such a classic, but I like the other five a little bit better. It's interesting how so many of these winter episodes revolve around ski lodges, but I guess it's the most logical winter destination for teenagers haha. The Snow Ghost remains a classic among classics in terms of villains, and for very good reason. I would also argue that this is the first episode that sees the gang in life-threatening danger, as Velma nearly is sawed in half by the Snow Ghost when he ties her to a piece of wood that is heading towards a gigantic saw.
6. Doo Not Disturb
This is an amazing episode! I love how this episode still had the trademark Be Cool humor, yet was able to create such a creepy, dark atmosphere. The Ghost of Mother is one of my favorite villains of the franchise for what a creepy idea it is. The setting of the gang being trapped in haunted hotel during a snowstorm only made it creepier. This episode is easily interchangeable with "Some Fred Time" as my favorite from Be Cool, Scooby-Doo depending on the day.
5. Night Terrors
This is likely not one most people consider a winter episode, but there's snow here and I really like this episode, so I always make a point to watch this every year around Christmas. I've never seen The Shining, which this parodies, but I absolutely love this episode. I'll admit it took a little while to grow on me, as I found the episode extremely weird upon first watch, but after watching it a few times, I warmed up to it and I feel like the fantastical elements of the plot make it even better. The wolf (credited as "Fiend" in the end sequence) is such a creepy-looking villain, and I love the banshee's design as well. The whole idea of the gang being trapped in a creepy library with supernatural creatures is an immaculate Scooby plot. It makes me wish we had more episodes in creepy libraries lol.
4. Diamonds Are a Ghoul's Best Friend
This remains one of my favorite winter episodes, mainly because I love the twist of Fred having the idea to set a trap immediately rather than waste time looking for clues. It's such an ingenious idea, because it actually kinda makes sense to just capture the person right away, rather than looking for clues and allowing them time to cause more trouble lol. Besides that, this is one of my favorite sports episodes, because it has an amazing villain and I feel the setting of the hockey arena is really well utilized.
3. There's No Creature Like Snow Creature
This is an extremely hot take, but this sticks out to me more as a winter episode than "That's Snow Ghost" does. Despite being the season premiere, this episode perfectly captures the essence of What's New, Scooby-Doo? imo and starts the series off with an amazing plot and villain. It was a neat plot twist to have Fred unable to solve the mystery, which requires the others to step up and take initiative without their leader. Moreover, the Snow Creature is an amazing villain and arguably has the coolest design of any winter villains.
2. Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman
I already loved this episode, but in recent years, this has grown on me even more and has become my favorite episode of the show. Simple Plan flawlessly fits into the gang and I really like how the plot is centered around them exploring this creepy, nearly-abandoned town. It's amazing to think that an Invisible Man had never been a villain before in Scooby, with the exception of the brief appearance of one in "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle," although he only appears for a few brief scenes that are less than 30 seconds. A truly flawless episode is that is a must-add to any winter episode list.
1. The Ghost of Bigfoot
Although "Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman" is flawless, I've got to go with a stone cold classic here from my favorite series, The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Ever since I was a kid, the first half of this episode with the gang running around in the middle of the night to escape Bigfoot is one of the most memorable scenes of this entire series for me. It's just such a fun, creepy plot to have the gang trying to escape a monster in an abandoned hotel in the middle of the night. Laurel and Hardy make great guest stars as well, and the fact that half of Fred's dialogue in this episode is reminding the gang to go skiing is really amusing to me lol. The only thing I dislike about this episode is Fred telling the girls that it's "too dangerous" for them to solve the mystery and abandoning them in the snow outside the mill.
As promised, here's my combined list of the Christmas and winter episodes. You'll probably notice I like a lot of the Christmas episodes better than the winter episodes.
30. Scooby's Swiss Miss
29. Snow Job Too Small
28. Alaskan King Coward
27. South Pole Vault
26. Scooby-Doo and the Sky Town Cool School!
25. Caveman on the Half-Pipe!
24. Rocky Mountain Yiiiii!
23. Scooby on Ice!
22. Doom Service
21. Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays
20. More Fondue for Scooby-Doo
19. The Nightmare Ghost of Psychic U!
18. A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright
17. Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!
16. Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
15. Scary Christmas
14. Naughty or Ice
13. Uncle Scooby and Antarctica
12. Watt a Shocking Ghost
11. Snow Place Like Home
10. That's Snow Ghost
9. Scroogey Doo
8. Doo Not Disturb
7. Night Terrors
6. Diamonds Are a Ghoul's Best Friend
5. A Scooby-Doo Christmas
4. There's No Creature Like Snow Creature
3. Simple Plan and the Invisible Madman
2. The Ghost of Bigfoot
1. The Nutcracker Scoob
I hope you enjoyed this list, and if you want to share your personal rankings, I'd love to see them!
While exploring an idea for another potential article, someone sent me a link that shared a bunch of examples of real-life Scooby-Doo hoaxes where people dressed up as fake monsters. I thought this was such a cool concept that I'd never explored before, so I wanted to highlight some of the most interesting examples. Obviously this isn't an exhaustive list of every instance in the world where someone has tried to pull off a Scooby-Doo like hoax, but I pulled out the most interesting ones that I found and wanted to share them with you all.
As far back as the 1200s, a castle near modern Luxembourg was abandoned due to legends of it being haunted by sinister sounds and eerie lights. King Louis IX hired some Carthusian monks to rid the place of ghosts, but the monks reported back that the "hauntings" were nothing but a group of criminals trying to scare people away from their hideout.
In 1926, an ape-man was sighted on an old farm in North Stonington, Connecticut. Two young girls had recently inherited the farm from their father who tragically passed away. The neighbors theorized that someone was trying to scare the young girls into selling their father's farm, and planned a stakeout to catch the ape-man. It was then discovered that the girls themselves were the ones who created the ape man legend. They created a homemade ape man suit, because they were being pestered by solicitors. The girls wanted to scare the solicitors into thinking the place was unsellable due to being haunted.
In a similar case, Ray Wallace was the boss of a logging crew who was the first person to ever sight Bigfoot's footprints in 1958. After Ray died, the Wallace family divulged that Ray actually faked the whole thing in hopes of scaring away hooligans who were pranking his work vehicle.
Ivan T. Sanderson, a private investigator, uncovered some evidence that the Jersey Devil of 1909 was actually just real estate developers who dressed up to incentivize people to sell their properties by tricking them.
During the Vietnam War, the US used an exercise called Operation Wandering Soul to scare away their enemies. The US Military used tape recordings of eerie moaning and creepy voices to weaken their enemy's morale. The tactic saw varied success. Sometimes the enemy would be frightened away, but other times, the enemy would quickly realize it was a recording and attack anyway.
A British ghost hunter was called by a hotel owner to investigate a haunting. The ghost hunter found no signs of anything, but the hotel owner begged him to just "make up a haunting" because he felt the image of owning a haunted hotel would drive up business.
Thanks Shadowscooby for suggesting this week's poll idea!
"Happy Birthday, Scooby-Doo!" won our birthday episode poll last week with 39 votes! Pirates Ahoy was decently close behind in second with 24 votes. For third place, we had a tie between "Scary Christmas" and "Cher, Scooby and the Sargasso Sea," each of them getting six votes. "Scrappy's Birthday" came in last place with three votes.
Back in 2016, I wrote up a post giving my reviews of all the Christmas and winter Scooby-Doo episodes. However, I never specifically ranked them from least favorite to favorite, so I thought it might be fun to revisit those reviews and rank each of the episodes! I'm just going to stick with the Christmas episodes for this ranking, and I'll save the winter ones for next week! :)
5. Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays
I honestly love all of these episodes so much that it's hard to choose one. When I think of Christmas episodes, this one is the least memorable of the five here, but it's by all means still very good. I thought the Sinister Snowman was a really cool villain, especially his ability to shapeshift! The ending with Santa is also very heartwarming.
4. Scary Christmas
The comedy in this episode is top notch. Fred continually bringing the gang back to the "Big Sad Eyes Orphanage" was really random and hilarious. It was interesting how this episode's Daphneism allowed us to get to know her on a little more personal level too, since we discover her insecurities with having her birthday overshadowed by Christmas. Fred's fixation on not wanting to solve the pterodactyl mystery because it isn't Christmas related is also hilarious. Definitely a must-add to any holiday special marathon!
3. Scroogey Doo
Before this episode came out, I'd wanted a Scooby-Doo episode that parodies A Christmas Carol for years. The story just fits so well with the Scooby-Doo formula. On top of that, A Flintstone Christmas Carol is one of my favorite Christmas specials of all time, so I always wanted a Scooby-Doo version of the story. I know we kind of got that with The Nutcracker Scoob, but I was really happy when Jon Colton Barry announced that he'd be doing a Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! adaptation of the Dickens tale. I really like how JCB and Tom Konkle wrote this story, where in addition to Scrooge being visited by the three ghosts, there is sort of a mystery around why Scrooge is the way he is, and why these ghosts are really visiting him. I thought they incorporated the style and absurdist nature of Be Cool very well into this classic story. Fred's grudge against raccoons and Scrooge worrying what would happen if he got menopause were my personal favorite jokes of the episode haha.
2. A Scooby-Doo Christmas
This is such a classic episode and it was very close to being my favorite Christmas special. The Headless Snowman is a very creative villain. The ending is also super cute with Shaggy and Scooby giving each other presents.
1. The Nutcracker Scoob
Since I was a kid, this was always my favorite Scooby-Doo Christmas special. When I was younger, I remember when Cartoon Network used to play this every Christmas and I would always enjoy sitting down to watch it. Even though it's not a full-on adaption of A Christmas Carol, I love how this episode is kind of an amalgamation of that and The Nutcracker. That scene of Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy dressing up as elves is absolutely adorable. However, I think the most adorable scene of the episode is Snowball dancing at the end of the episode lol. I really liked the villain as well; they were very cool-looking!
I hope you enjoyed reading these rankings. If you want to share your rankings for the Scooby-Doo Christmas episodes in the comments, I would love to see them!
A Nancy Drew book from 1957 called The Haunted Showboat has an extremely similar premise as The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode "The Haunted Showboat" from 1973. Nancy Drew #35 follows Nancy and her friends solving the mystery of a haunted showboat. The showboat is being renovated for a big gala event, but a ghost attempts to stop the event. Without providing any spoilers, the culprit's motivation also involves making money illegally as it does in the Scooby-Doo episode.
It's my birthday today, so I thought it would be fun to do a poll about the birthday episodes! I didn't include "A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown" since it was just a brief flashback of Velma's birthday that was just a few seconds.
In terms of last week's poll results about the best sequel episode, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed blew everything else out of the water with 46 votes. "The Dreaded Remake of Jekyll and Hyde" got second place for 13 votes, while "Cher, Scooby and the Sargasso Sea" and Curse of the 13th Ghost tied for third with 10 votes each. Curse of the Lake Monster got fourth place with 3 votes. Return to Zombie Island came in last with only one person voting for it.