The Scooby-Doo Show

TV review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
The Scooby-Doo Show TV Poster Image
Fun classic compilation has some dated tropes, stereotypes.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, but does show kids how teamwork can solve problems. Also offers an opportunity to discuss problematic dated stereotypes.

Positive Messages

Teamwork and working together get the job done. Usually, when you face your fears, it turns out the thing you were scared of isn't all that scary. Friends may tease one another, but they always support and care for each other.

Positive Role Models

Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy, and, of course, Scooby-Doo work together to solve mysteries and keep each other safe from the dark forces they face. Daphne is often the damsel in distress, unfortunately, and though Velma is presented as the less attractive, bookish girl, she is super smart and often saves the day. Gender and ethnic stereotypes, as well as cultural appropriation/misrepresentation, are present in many episodes.

Violence & Scariness

Scooby and his friends are often chased by bad actors disguised as ghosts, monsters, and all manner of supernatural, mythical beings. Though no character is ever actively hurt or harmed, small and sensitive children may find the creepy creatures and spooky settings scary.

Sexy Stuff

Repackaged classic installment in the massive Scooby-Doo franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Scooby-Doo Show features episodes of different shows in the Scooby-Doo franchise which first aired in the 1970s, including The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, Scooby's All-Stars, Scooby-Doo Where Are You!, and Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. The gang solves mysteries involving supernatural and mythical creatures in their hometown of Crystal Cove, as well as in other states in the U.S. and far abroad. Mildly scary chase scenes and spooky, often night-time settings don't result in injury or harm, but the implied threats might be too much for very young or sensitive kids. Most kid viewers will quickly recognize that all the scary monsters end up being people in disguise, which may minimize scariness for most. Parents should also be aware that gender, racial, and ethnic stereotypes, as well as cultural misrepresentation, occur throughout the show, so families are strongly encouraged to discuss these topics as they come up.

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What's the story?

The 40 episodes of THE SCOOBY-DOO SHOW began airing as a collective in 1980 and have been consistently available for viewing ever since. The episodes consist of several shows that originally aired over three seasons from 1976-1978. The premise of the show is that the Mystery, Inc. gang stumbles into ghouls, ghosts, and monsters, only to eventually unravel the criminal plans of various bad actors disguised as ghouls, ghosts, and monsters. The teenagers (and dog) that make up Mystery, Inc. -- Fred (voiced by Frank Welker), Daphne (Stefanianna Christopherson), Velma (Nicole Jaffe), Shaggy (Casey Kasem), and Scooby (Don Messick) -- are quite different from one another, though they work well together. Each member of the crew contributes their individual strengths to solving cases (even if accidentally, as is often the case with Shaggy and Scooby), which always end in triumph for the mystery gang.

Is it any good?

Between positive messages about teamwork and facing fears, Shaggy and Scooby's eye-roll but giggle-inducing humor, the kid-appropriate scariness, and comforting predictability (the baddies get caught every time), this series will always be a classic. The Scooby-Doo Show's evergreen appeal for kids -- and adults who grew up on these cartoons -- comes down to the humor, and this will keep kids coming back to the show.

Parents will likely find that many of the episodes rely on problematic character tropes and reflect cultural ignorance. Daphne as the beautiful damsel-in-distress, Velma as the unattractive, bookishly-smart girl, Fred as the ideal man, and Shaggy as the cowardly, disheveled boy-man, are tiresome and limiting gender stereotypes. Characters mock other languages (as in the episode "Scooby's Chinese Kooky Fortune Caper") and cultural histories and practices (see "The Fiesta Ghost is an Aztec Ghost") in ways that border on racism. For families who decide to share this show with their children, it offers an opportunity to discuss how biases have historically influenced our media as they enjoy the otherwise smart humor and hilarious hijinks of this beloved cartoon.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the kinds of teenagers Daphne, Fred, Velma, and Shaggy are. How are they different from one another? How are they similar? Which character do you like the best? Why?

  • Some of these episodes happen outside of Crystal Cove and outside the United States. What do you know about other places in the United States and Mexico, Italy, China, England, or anywhere else the gang travels to? How well did these episodes capture the people and cultures of these places?

  • What makes a classic cartoon like this so funny? How does this show compare to cartoons made in your lifetime?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love classic cartoons

Themes & Topics

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