Has there ever been a cartoon character as universally hated as Scrappy-Doo?

Ever since this puppy started hanging around his Uncle Scooby and the Mystery Inc. gang, he’s been reviled as nothing more than a desperate gimmick to attract younger viewers. Although kids loved him when he first broke out onto the scene back in the late 70s, those kids have since grown up into Scooby-Doo fans of more refined taste. These fans have demonized Scrappy as an annoying sidekick that ruined the integrity of a show about an anthropomorphized stoner dog that solves mysteries.

Scooby-Doo fans hate that Scrappy’s energetic puppy personality completely overshadowed the rest of the characters. It doesn’t help that the plot of any Scrappy episode involves preventing him going totally aggro on the monster of the day. The hatred for Scrappy is so unanimous that the main villain of the live-action Scooby-Doo film was a roided-out demon Scrappy living inside the body of Mr. Bean (it wasn’t a great movie).

With so much hate for Scrappy-Doo it seems the little guy can never catch a break — even his name has become a term used to describe the most hated character in any given work of fiction. What do Wesley Crusher, Snarf and Jar-Jar Binks have in common? They’re all considered the Scrappy of their respective universes. But while everyone is busy loathing Scrappy and dragging his name through the mud, nobody ever stops to think of the positive qualities that he brings to the table.

Like the fact that Scrappy is the only member of Mystery Inc. who ever remembers that monsters aren’t a real thing.

Each episode of Scooby-Doo follows one formula: some salacious business owner sets up an elaborate monster hoax to help broker a shady real estate deal. The gang always uncovers the ruse, but only after a half hour of getting into madcap hijinks involving musical chase sequences and giant sandwiches.

Can you really blame Scrappy for wanting to drop all pretenses and just start punching dicks? Isn’t that a more direct solution than running around in an abandoned amusement park, trying to set up complex Rube Goldberg traps that only end up backfiring anyway?

Worst-case scenario, the monster ends up being a real thing — in which case Scrappy is covered by his comically disproportionate superhuman strength. If Scrappy can break down brick walls with a single punch, what chance does a monster’s skull have when it meets his fists of fury?

Alas, that may be Scrappy’s true folly—the fact that he makes the rest of Mystery Inc. look like a bunch of chumps who are holding him back. If Scrappy were only just a rambunctious puppy that needed to be reined in every now and then, fans would be able to stomach his antics. Instead he’s a rambunctious puppy that needs to be reined in so that his direct approach to mystery solving doesn’t spoil a half hour’s worth of wild goose chases and buddy comedy bits for the rest of the gang.

Maybe Scrappy would have gotten a better deal if he had broken away from Mystery Inc. and starred in his own spin-off. “Scrappy Unleashed” could have featured a grown-up Scrappy travelling across a post-apocalyptic wasteland that’s been savaged by greedy business owners dressed like monsters.

One by one they would all die by Scrappy’s hand.

A version of this article was originally published on Kris’s blog, K is for Komics.
Photo by tOkKa on Flickr

  • Anonymous

    Thing is, he wasn’t strong enough to do it the way he did. If he ever actually had a direct confrontation, he would lose and lose badly. These criminals always had some pretty nasty things they could do to you–that’s why everyone took the indirect route.

    But, the thing is, I think most people hate Scrappy because he came around right when they were retooling the entire show. He’s even more annoying when it means that Fred and Velma are gone, Daphne’s barely there, and the ghosts all suddenly start to be real.

    • ScrappyCorneliusDoo

      Scrappy was very very strong.

      He’s punched through brick walls, lifted heavy barbells, he can lift his uncle easily, who is probably at least 250, He could clearly handle the villains on his own, his uncle just holds him back all the time

  • Scott P. Moore

    I’m with the haters that directed the Scooby Doo live action movie – Scrappy was horrible. Made me not want to watch. When they got rid of the geek (Velma) and the jock (Freddy), the show lost it’s forward motion. Scrappy was just the topping and made me hate it as a child.

    • Guest

      moron X )

    • Esp

      See I always felt that Fred, Daphne, and Velma had no personality, except for in the live-action movies and “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo”, and that’s why the only real entertaining series were those where either Scrappy appeared or where they had guest stars

  • Josh

    I never minded him, even when I was a teenager. Some of my favorite scooby doo’s were the 90s movies with Shaggy, Scoob, and Scrappy on their own, with both Scrappy and even Shaggy getting to be competent mystery solvers.

  • ScrappyCorneliusDoo

    I Love Scrappy Doo.
    The only good character, let’s face it.
    his cartoons with the real ghosts and monsters wasn’t the best, so therefore scrappy got a bad rep, he was the right character in the wrong cartoon, he needs his own show!

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