Are you wondering what happened to Scrappy Doo in Scooby-Doo? How did he go from franchise savior to the most hated cartoon character in cartoons? The answer may not be what you think, and it isn’t because of him as a character. To understand this, we must first discuss why he was created, his downfall, and his entry into the pop culture hall of fame because of his hatred.
Why Isn’t Scrappy Doo in Scooby Doo Anymore?
Twenty-five episodes of the original Scooby-Doo series ran from 1969 to 1972 on CBS. However, its two creators, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears left to work for a rival company. Hanna-Barbera tried to continue the franchise by introducing the Scooby-Doo movies, where they would meet up with a star guest every movie.
After the ratings dropped, CBS canceled Scooby Doo until it was revived on ABC, and the original creators were brought back in an attempt to fix the franchise. The Scooby-Doo Show was born, and after a few seasons, it regained its popularity. However, the repetitive formula, caused by the writers not being able to develop new content that hadn’t been done before, caused the ratings to decline again.
As a last-ditch effort to save the franchise, they returned to the drawing board where Scrappy-Doo was created. Joe Barbera said that if this newly created character doesn’t work, then Scooby-Doo is dead.
Let Me at ’em… I’ll Rock ’em and Sock ’em!
Scrappy-Doo is often thought to be inspired by Henry Hawk from Looney Tunes, but that was never officially confirmed. The writer put in charge of the pilot episode was Mark Evanier. He used an idea from a storyline he used in a Scooby-Doo comic. Lennie Weinrib initially voiced him, most notably known for voicing Prince Lotor of the 1984 Voltron series.
Scrappy-Doo, Scooby Doo’s nephew, was meant to contrast Shaggy and Scooby since he was brave and always charged into situations, whereas the other two were always scared and ran away. He first appeared on September 22nd, 1979, and helped save the Scooby-Doo franchise because of sinking ratings.
Scrappy-Doo was a considerable success and single handily charged in to save the franchise after being added to the gang for a single season. However, this would be the beginning of the end for him and eventually lead him to be the most controversial and hated cartoon character.
We All Promised Each Other that We Would Never Speak of Him, Not Ever
Officially, Scrappy-Doo was dropped from the Scooby-Doo franchise in 1988, with his last appearance being in Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf. However, in the 1990s, with the invention of internet forum boards, the hate for him grew immensely as people had a forum to discuss their hatred with other fans worldwide.
Since Scrappy’s demise, he often pops up for a quick cameo or is negatively mentioned by the other characters and is hated by them. However, Casper Kelly states that most writers do not hate Scrappy and are mandated to keep the joke about hating Scrappy-Doo alive.
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Since then, Scrappy-Doo has been used as fodder by other cartoons and social media. So while he may no longer be in Scooby-Doo, he lives on forever in pop culture. For instance, in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, we often see Scrappy either being killed or as a corpse shown in various unflattering scenes. Another example of this hate is shown in Harvey Birdman: Attorney General, where his corpse is shown in the sewers of Washington, D.C., during an episode.
Scrappy-Doo also became social media fodder when the news about his corpse being found in Miami was retweeted a ton. This became a thing when an author of a Scooby-Doo fan fiction depicted the gang solving crime in Miami with Dexter Morgan. Author WakeGirl14 published “Darkly Dreaming Scooby” and then posted the Tweet that started it all. The original tweet, the first line from her fan fiction, can be found here:
Scrappy, for the Thousandth Time, There’s No Such Things as Ghosts!
So then, why all the hate? With decades having passed since the fall of Scrappy-Doo, it is evident that Scrappy-Doo himself wasn’t the problem. The first season he was included was a hit, so fans everywhere loved him as a character. Instead, it was the fact that the creators overused him after his initial success because they got greedy and wanted to capitalize as much on the success as possible.
His downfall also happened because they made him the show’s primary focus, removed three main characters (Fred, Thelma, and Daphne), and then gave their character traits to Scrappy. They even removed Shaggy and Scooby from the equation in a failed experiment.
Unfortunately, he also suffered from poor writing, character development, and the long-running “hate” that kept being recycled by the writers. As a result, Scooby-Doo fans are stating they think it is time he is given an overhaul as a character and should be included in the franchise again. What do you think?
- This article was updated on April 6th, 2023