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!
10/4/2022 09:03:52 am
There is a spoiler confirmation in "Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo!" about one of the gang. I'm starting to think, "Oh, you know what? That's actually a spoiler for people who want to be surprised by this revelation."
10/4/2022 03:57:41 pm
I saw, and I am pleasantly surprised
10/4/2022 08:10:29 pm
It's really interesting that they chose to do this! I'll be curious to see if it's just this movie or if they carry over that continuity now to all future films and series.
10/4/2022 09:06:09 am
Welcome to my list of worst Scooby Episodes, should have just said the Scrappy era is awful, fact. Interesting fact for you though, I'm pretty sure Beach Blowout must hold the record for longest time until the villain appears, watch it, it's over 30 minutes until the pirates appear, crazy!
10/4/2022 05:22:12 pm
That always bothered me too. It felt like it took a long time for the mystery develop.
10/4/2022 09:12:44 am
My Top 5 Least favorite episodes.
10/4/2022 05:44:21 pm
Nice list! Interesting to see you dislike "Picnic Poopers" too since I know that's among your favorite series! Also interesting to see such middling opinions on "The Phantom of the Country Music Hall." I know Matt and Becker love it, but some others seem to really dislike it. I haven't seen any neutral opinions on the episode, it seems to be either a love it or hate it type of episode.
10/4/2022 10:45:35 am
Just bought trick or treat off amazon prime video to watch soon
10/4/2022 05:22:31 pm
I hope to check it out soon!
10/4/2022 10:57:16 am
I have quite a few I agree with you on here, and a few unique selections. I am only going to rank episodes as it is hard for me to rank episodes with movies. Off the top of my head: (I might have changes if there is something I forgot about as I did not do research prior to this list)
10/4/2022 11:03:50 am
Also, I definitely agree the ending of South Seas Scare is terrible on an objective level in terms of storytelling, but I can’t help but find it so stupid that it’s hilarious
10/4/2022 05:24:36 pm
"Watch Out! The Williwaw" is a bit of surprise! I don't find it a particularly amazing episode, but I wouldn't say it's below average for me.
10/4/2022 09:15:18 pm
Well, I do feel like I have been pretty straightforward with my dislike of Willawaw, but even I was surprised it was as low as it was. Probably because I like that series so much and it just flat out disappointed me with the lack of creativity in plot structure
10/5/2022 05:09:49 pm
I had remembered that you didn't like the episode, I was just surprised by it being that low for you.
10/4/2022 12:42:41 pm
This is a great list! The next thing that you should do is your top 10 most favorite Scooby episodes/films. I would definitely read that.
10/4/2022 05:26:34 pm
Thanks! I was actually planning on doing that soon, probably next month :)
10/4/2022 03:42:33 pm
Wow people have truly gone off their rockers They are conviced that Velma is now a lesbain after seeing Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! (facepalm).
10/4/2022 04:01:11 pm
I’ll put a spoiler warning here before getting into what we have seen
10/4/2022 04:14:45 pm
Okay so Velma is a lesiban but my point is that people are exaggerating about it, I think people need to calm down about this.
10/4/2022 04:18:28 pm
I’m not taking user ratings under consideration with this one because this could easily fall victim to homophobic right wing trolls spamming the score
10/4/2022 08:12:21 pm
To be fair, the film doesn't say she is a lesbian. It confirms she is into women, but it does not make clear as to if the male love interests she's had are part of continuity. She could also be bi or pansexual.
10/4/2022 05:24:54 pm
Woah, the whole top 5 is comprised of only Scrappy shorts lol. I don't know why I'm surprised, that series is pretty awful after all. 6 out of the 10 placements being from that show sounds about right haha. Curse of the 13th Ghost would probably take the cake for me, worst Scooby movie imo.
10/4/2022 05:41:10 pm
Haha, I don't find the writing of that series to be the best overall, so when episodes are bad, they're REALLY bad lol. It's funny, I didn't really have a list in mind for my top 10 least favorites either until this post. I'd thought of the Scrappy shorts as kind of this "mostly not enjoyable" entity, but when I really thought about it, there were a few that rose above the rest as just painfully bad.
10/4/2022 06:40:30 pm
Siren's Song is just such a dull episode. First off, it focuses on a Velma that was definitely not at her best point in the show, so that inherently made it less engaging. The rest of the gang is almost an afterthought, which isn't necessarily a bad, as Nightfright was very much focused on Shaggy and Scooby yet it worked as an episode (mostly because Shaggy and Scooby were great characters, unlike Velma lol). But this time around the interactions aren't as interesting. I always found the siren pretty weird, dunno why, her dynamic with Velma didn't click for me. And the actual monsters are extremely forgettable, who turn out to be that annoying Ernesto crew. Plot and mystery are bland, the only saving grace is at the end when Velma confronts Angel about actually being Cassidy. Also, this episode contains that infamous scene about Scrappy and Flim Flam... what a way to deflate you after the theme song.
10/4/2022 08:17:31 pm
I guess I can agree with you that it would have been nice to get a Velma episode in season 2 when she was at a better point. The mermaid worked fine for me. The Scrappy/Flim-Flam stuff is bad and unnecessary but I don't feel like it clouds the entire episode for.
10/4/2022 09:20:05 pm
I disagree on Siren’s Song. Not because it is one of my favorites (it’s absolutely not one of my favorites to watch), but I feel like it was a crucial part of Velma’s character development and her loneliness and showing signs of her sexuality
10/5/2022 01:09:47 am
I don't hate Siren's Song just because of that one scene. As I've said above, it's also really bland in my opinion, the pace and plot are tedious, the mystery and monsters are forgettable, the siren and Velma's dynamic is just strange to me, it being very Velma focused at this point does it no favors, the rest of the gang is an afterthought (the only memorable scene without Velma is the Fred and Daphne in the museum one, which is memorable in a bad way, it doesn't even affect the story in any way, clearly there just to pad it out and show the rest of the gang exists). So yeah, most the elements of this episode really don't come together for me.
10/5/2022 01:12:35 am
As if everyone forgot*
10/5/2022 04:49:38 am
@Wildwind, almost forgot to mention that we did in fact get a Velma centric episode in season 2: The Gathering Gloom, and maybe The House of the Nightmare Witch too.
10/5/2022 04:13:01 pm
It is hard to explain I guess, but I don’t feel like Velma would develop the same way if she didn’t have this peak of loneliness and attachment
10/5/2022 05:15:15 pm
The museum thing bothered me for the same reason. It felt like there was no reason for that scene to be there, both because it was incredibly cruel and it didn't fit with the plot at all. It felt very forced in. I don't really agree about Velma's development in that episode being boring, but I understand and respect your opinion. That's true about "The Gathering Gloom" and "House of the Nightmare Witch" being Velma centric. The latter doesn't feel quite as much of a Velma episode as "The Siren's Song" did, but "The Gathering Gloom" definitely was.
10/6/2022 12:16:52 am
It's not that I think the development is boring, I can't even see the development personally lol. I just don't see how Velma changed in a meaningful way over the course of that episode, especially within the gang dynamic. Idk, maybe it's because it is, y'know, season 1 Velma, and so you don't really wanna follow her much from the get-go. Even if I could see what kind of development she had here, it doesn't change the fact the episode is a slog to get through, it's so dull and uninteresting. Wild Brood is a weirdass episode that annoys me more, but I'd still probably rewatch even that one before I'd rewatch Siren's Song, cuz at least I can feel something other than boredom watching it.
10/4/2022 09:25:56 pm
Perhaps my most baffling take is that when comparing the Scrappy shorts and Guess Who (I have the shorts ranked higher for the record), I think the shorts have lower lows. That is a pretty common opinion. However, I also think the shorts have higher highs which seems nuts but I genuinely feel that way.
10/5/2022 01:16:05 am
I agree there are certain Scrappy shorts that are so weird they're pretty entertaining to watch, but those are only a fraction of the 99 shorts unfortunately.
10/5/2022 04:14:20 pm
To me, that fraction is (somehow) higher than the fraction of things I find interesting in Guess Who though (which is near zero if you scrape away the guest stars and concepts and look at the plots themselves)
10/5/2022 05:17:52 pm
I absolutely agree. Guess Who's issue is more mediocrity whereas the Scrappy shorts feel like complete chaos to me. Certain episodes have all cooled on me over time as well, the voice actor one being one of them.
10/4/2022 05:52:52 pm
The Samurai Sword's my least favourite Scooby film.
10/11/2022 06:20:34 pm
Never thought about episodes so here are some movies I don't enjoy at all in random order.
10/15/2022 08:54:48 am
I agree with pretty much all of these other than the Courage film, which I liked.
10/14/2022 09:52:55 pm
They definitely had creative freedom when it came to the Scrappy shorts. Sometimes Shaggy and Scooby act out of character and that is a little jarring.
10/15/2022 08:55:15 am
Absolutely agreed. It's always weird in the episodes where they're super out of character.
10/23/2022 10:11:57 pm
I gotta say, I like many of the things on here! And some I just don’t remember well enough cause some of those Scrappy era short episodes tend to lose memory space in my head after a while. The only thing on here that I do actively dislike is The Ransom of Scooby Chief as that episode was just really bad!
10/24/2022 06:16:59 am
I remember you saying Haunted Hollywood was your least favorite! I'm glad Blowout Beach Bash worked so well for you!
11/3/2022 05:16:26 pm
8. You're not wrong; like, I get the joke they were going for, but c'mon, did they have to make the "real" guest stars such snobs?
11/3/2022 09:00:45 pm
Yeah, the episode would have been a lot more enjoyable if the guest stars were more likable. There was no reason to make them jerks like they did, especially given it completely changed how they were from the original series.
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