The Profound Influence of Scooby Doo on Who We Are Today

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Iain McParland
| March 29, 2024
hello world!

Scooby Dooby Doo, Where Are You? 

Well, isn’t there a Scooby Doo inside all of us? There certainly is inside me. GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER, PEOPLE! What I mean is, without me knowing anything about it, my love for the Scooby Doo cartoons has shaped what I like and who I am

Don’t laugh yet because what I’m about to describe could also apply to you. YES, YOU, dear reader. Mystery Inc. is an important part of all of our childhoods, and it’s about time they received some damn credit!

Except for Scrappy. Screw that guy.

1. I Love Puzzles

Research is scary

The core concept of Scooby Doo, Where Are You! is that Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma hop in their transit van of love and tour the country, solving mysteries of a supernatural nature. Ten Thousand Volt Ghost? Mystery Inc. is on the case. A Snow Ghost is scaring away your tourists? They have got you covered. 

It’s a whodunit! The fun is trying to figure out who the villain behind the mask is. Not only has this influenced my love of trashy detective dramas (Bones, Monk, Columbo, to name just three), but it’s also led me into my career. 

I studied Math(s) at University (I’m a robot, apparently), which is just one big puzzle. You have to logically work out an answer given the tools at your disposal and a decent memory. In my job, I’m a problem solver in software integrations, using my attention to detail to uncover issues before they happen.  

WAKE UP. 

Pretend I said I’m a Super Cool Ninja Assassin for a sec. OK, cool. Well, I couldn’t solve problems for my Super Cool Ninja Assassin squad without having a basic passion for mysteries. 

Thank Scooby Doo.  

2. Light Horror is My Jam

Whatcha mixing, my friend?

So there’s horror, and then there’s light horror. Horror is genuinely scary and sticks with you for a few days. It usually involves nuns or creepy little kids singing creepy little songs – Or both.

*shudders*

Light horror is movies like Scream, Happy Death Day, and Ready or Not. They have a decent kill count and an undercurrent of tension throughout, yet they are also comedic in nature. Slashers are a staple of this genre, movies with one or more killers running around in a mask, stalking their victims and gutting them like a fish. 

What is a Slasher movie if not a more violent Scooby Doo episode? It’s a dude in a mask running around causing havoc, scaring the locals. Scoob just has a lower body count. 

Furthermore, Scooby’s villains are all designed to be supernatural and scary. There are witches and ghosts and monsters (oh my). As a kid, all of these were imprinted on me. It was no wonder it led into other gateway horror shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural.

3. I Have An Unhealthy Relationship with Food

One heck of a sandwich.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Scoob is the same. Whenever there’s a free moment, he and Norville (I still find it funny that’s Shaggy’s real name) go to a kitchen and make themselves a metric crap-ton of food. We’re talking about the biggest sandwiches you’ve ever seen with a healthy bread-to-filling ratio. 

Food is Scooby’s crutch. Scooby Snacks are used as comfort food when Fred or Velma wants to coerce him to be brave. He can’t do anything without them, at least nothing productive. He gets that dopamine hit, and he gets a burst of courage to carry out the task in front of him. 

It’s like holding up a mirror. I binge food when I’m either terminally bored or stressed out of my mind. If I’m bored, I find myself getting up from my chair and going to the kitchen JUST FOR SOMETHING TO DO! I eat whatever’s there and then sit back down. Stress eating is worse! In particularly difficult periods at work, I find myself snacking A LOT. Seriously, don’t have an open pack of Pringles around me because they’ll be gone before you know it. 

The one difference is that my Scooby Snacks don’t give me courage; they give me guilt!

4. I’m a Scaredy Cat

I always questioned why Shaggy and Scooby were part of Mystery Inc. They don’t want to be there. Yeah, their friends have this “business” (although I’ve never seen them earn any money) solving supernatural enigmas across the US, but they don’t have to go along with them. 

Shaggy and Scooby aren’t built for ghostly goings-on. When they’re confronted with scary crap, they always run. However, it’s not just physically, it’s mentally too. Because haven’t they been running from the serious conversation they need to have with the rest of the gang, telling them they hate this? Come on, guys. Grow a backbone!

I say hypocritically. 

Despite my love of horror, I’m absolutely a scaredy cat. My first instinct is always: RUN! In the classic “Fight or Flight” response, I’m 90% the latter. And, again, it’s not just courage in the face of a monster or ghost, but bravery to have difficult conversations or taking risks on new relationships (or even ending ones). 

Look at me, having psychological breakthroughs whilst writing a Scooby Doo article!

Conclusion

OLD MAN RIVERS! How could it be?!!

I watched way too much Scooby Doo when I was young. I arrived home from school, immediately turned on Cartoon Network, and watched two episodes before dinner time. I was obsessed, and I still am. 

It’s definitely had a profound impact on my life, for better or for worse. 

*salutes*

Here’s to you: Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, Velma Dinkley, Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, NOT YOU SCRAPPY, and last but not least, Scooby Doo. 

Champions, all of you.

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