Have you ever watched Scooby Doo? I mean, really watched it? If you have, then you've probably been as confused as I have been.
Usually a standard Scooby Doo episode starts with the gang driving somewhere, and a monster appears, though not usually where anyone can see it. Instead, it lurks in the shadows, growling and hissing and generally acting monster-iffic.
This is the first stumbling block we have to logic in the Scooby Doo universe. Why exactly would anyone do this? Oh, sure, if they actually were monsters, it would make sense. But these aren’t monsters. These are people in monster costumes. Yet here they are, prowling around in the dark, acting like monsters when there’s no one around to see them. Certainly, it’s possible that one or two are method actors and really into their role, but that just can’t be true for all of them.
Speaking of staying in character, the monsters (or rather, people in monster costumes) rarely, if ever, break character. The mystery gang never stumbles upon the monster acting remotely like the person underneath the mask, even when Scooby Doo and Shaggy pull their “Let’s pretend we’re barbers” schtick. The monster goes along with the act for at least a little while before realizing, “Hey, I’m supposed to be a monster!” Even when the monster is being tricked, he doesn’t act like a human.
Perhaps the biggest mystery to Scooby Doo is Scooby Doo himself. Why does this dog talk? Nobody remarks on this in the show, but clearly, talking dogs are a rarity. As far as I can tell, the only talking dogs in the Scooby mythos are the Scooby clan themselves. One can’t help but wonder why?
Why do the mystery gang keep running across monsters in the first place? Surely, this can’t be mere coincidence. It’s as if fate itself is drawing our intrepid gang of teens into these strange adventures. Indeed it is, as we shall soon see.
The secrets of Scooby Doo begin long before the show starts, perhaps long before the Scooby clan was even born. My theory is that, at some point in the past, a person performed a spell that brought dark magic to the earth. This magic manifested in the form of cursed monster costumes.
That’s right. Cursed monster costumes.
It’s a sensible explanation. How else can you explain costumes that are so realistic that they can simulate anything ranging from an evil bug from the future, a 10,000 volt ghost, or a tar monster? Think about this for a moment. How can anyone take a wetsuit and a car battery and make themselves into an electric monster? Or a tar beast? It's not possible, at least without some magic on your side.
These costumes were spread around the earth by sinister forces. Every so often, a person of questionable moral fiber discovers them. The costumes use their powers to coerce these vulnerable souls. If the soul is vulnerable enough, the idea of running around in a monster costume to frighten people makes perfect sense.
Compelled by dark forces, the person puts on the costume and actually becomes the monster. This is why they never break character, why they enjoy lurking in darkened woods, and why they can manifest surprising powers such as super strength. It's magic that makes it happen.
Over time the costume becomes more controlling. Its eventual goal is to transform the person from a costume into a genuine monster. Often, by the time Scooby and the gang are involved, this is dangerously close to happening. This is why, even when caught, the “monsters” will rarely admit defeat. It’s only after their mask has been removed and their humanity exposed that the spell is broken and they become human once again.
Here’s the real twist. What does any of this have to do with Scooby Doo, you might ask?
The entire Doo family is cursed. I don’t know why. I don’t know if they had anything to do with the magic that unleashed the costumes or if they just happened to make some powerful enemies. Either way, they were cursed into searching the world for these monsters. This is evident with the sliding scale of humanity exhibited by the Doo family.
As for Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne, I haven’t quite figured out their place in the battle. Perhaps they are merely along for the ride, thrill seekers. Or maybe they’re genuinely good people out to stop the forces of darkness. Or perhaps there is a more sinister purpose at work, a truly terrifying secret that we dare not explore at this stage.
I’m looking at you Fred and Daphne.
But that’s for another time.
Credited to A. Lee Martinez