Scooby-Doo is a series that will never truly die. We’re talking about a show that has been going strong for over 50 years and will most likely not end any time soon. Heck, the same voice actor who played Fred Jones in the original series is STILL playing him to this very day! Scooby-Doo is just a show that’s easy to replicate and create new adaptations of, due to its simplistic formula.
The show revolves around four teens and their talking dog, who happens to be the titular “Scooby-Doo”. The four teenagers are Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred, all of whom have their own unique personalities and quirks. The five have to work together in order to solve “mysteries” on a weekly basis, which includes looking for clues and analyzing the finer details of the many situations they get into.
The original Scooby-Doo had a pretty basic and simplistic formula: Kids go somewhere, find a monster, dig for clues, and then unmask the monster at the end. It remained like this up until “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo”. This was the first Scooby-Doo show to focus entirely on “real” ghosts, even if some of the previous shows did pull the supernatural into them on occasion.
13 Ghosts was also the first entry in the franchise to feature a series-wide story arc. After the show ended, the series wouldn’t be referenced again for nearly 30 years. During that time, Scooby-Doo continued forward with a ton of weird and interesting iterations and spin-offs. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island would revitalize the series in the mid-90s, leading the show to become popular once more.
Why do I bring all this up? Well, I bring up these many iterations for one simple reason: They aren’t connected at all. Despite being part of the franchise, each iteration of Scooby-Doo remains relatively separate and in its own universe. This all changed with “Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated”, which created a rather interesting reason as to why the Scooby-Doo continuity seemingly resets with each new show.
Keep in mind that I will be discussing HEAVY SPOILERS for Mystery Incorporated. If you’ve never seen it, then do yourself a favor and binge it when you get the chance. Honestly, it’s one of the best animated shows ever made and it’s got something for everyone. Anyway, Mystery Incorporated was a show revolving around the Mystery Gang doing their usual mystery solving shtick.
It started out like any other iteration of the series, but became gradually more darker and complex as the series went on. This culminated in a battle against an otherworldly horror, who was promptly destroyed by the gang working together. The destruction of this horrible creature lead to the entire universe resetting! With the Scooby-Doo universe rebooted, the gang finds themselves in a much better world, one that is devoid of horrific monsters and entities.
However, what happens next completely changed how many fans viewed the series. The gang receive a message from “Mr. E”, a mysterious individual who claims to be aware of every time reality resets. Yes, this has happened many times before! The scene is also punctuated with an out-of-place laugh track, similar to the original show.
In some ways, it felt almost like a prequel to the original series. Surprisingly enough, that’s exactly what the creators were going for! Mystery Incorporated’s ending was billed as a prequel to not only the original, but almost all subsequent entries as well! The main implication is that the various incarnations spun-off from the Mystery Incorporated timeline during its many resets.
Of course, there are some plot holes with this ending, like how elements and characters from earlier shows appear before the universal reset. Regardless, this was an interesting twist on the classic Scooby-Doo formula. It was nice seeing them change up the lore of a popular franchise into something truly unique.
It was honestly a cool concept for an ending to arguably the best entry in the franchise. While it doesn’t make a lot of sense as a prequel to everything in the Scooby-Doo series, it does offer quite a bit of food for thought. Honestly, I’m still surprised a Scooby-Doo show went for an ending like this. This ending feels more like something out of the Devilman series, rather than that of a franchise aimed at kids. It just goes to show that a good series with a good ending can trump any preconceived notions.