I’m getting a lot of “So it’s basically Mystery Inc?” comments on my scooby foo post so I think I should clarify where I’m coming from with the development of my interpretation of Scooby Doo.
Basically my Daphne “Fight Me” Blake is a synthesis of several incarnations/interpretations of Daphne. First and foremost there’s the obvious nod to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s asskicking blackbelt Daphne in the live-action Scooby Doo movies along with Gingerhaze’s “the muscle” Daphne. I combined this with (Don’t hate me) Be Cool, Scooby Doo’s goofball-who-is-exploring-a-different-completely-random-interest-every-week Daphne.
What I like about Be Cool Scooby Doo is that Daphne is no longer limited to, ‘Oh no these ghosts are totally messing up my hair/outfit!” jokes. Like the thing about Be Cool Scooby Doo’s Daphne is that she’s doing different weird shit with every mystery and the gang just rolls with it—and what’s more is she’s allowed to actually show some talent/improve with these interests as she practices and works with them. On the surface, yes it’s gimmicky, but Daphne’s able to find a way to use whatever weird-ass interest she’s into at the time to somehow help the gang solve the mystery, so I figured there’s something there worth working with.
I thus decided to couple it with Daphne’s general family background in “Mystery Inc” where Daphne has a bunch of sisters who are all smart and talented and basically have their lives all figured out while Daphne is rolling around with a bunch of weirdoes in a van solving mysteries and she honestly doesn’t know where her life is going. So when you couple a privileged albeit anxiety-ridden background with an absurdly wide range of skills and interests you get a Daphne who miraculously comes through in the clutch.
Imagine a situation where Fred’s like, “Oh no! The Headless Horseman is riding away!” and looks to see Daphne hopping astride a horse and is like, “What are you doing?”
And Daphne’s just like “5 summers of equestrian camp. I’ve got this,” and takes off.
A yeti is chasing Velma around and Daphne just body slams into it with no fucks given because lacrosse.
The gang is being threatened by a pirate ghost and Daphne drops her duffle bag on the ground, pulls out her fencing foil and moves forward like “Get behind me.”
Shaggy’s like, “Daph! Like what are you doing?!”
Daphne’s just like, “I’m going to sword fight a fucking ghost.”
And the gang literally just shuts up and accepts it because this is what Daphne is here for.
Scooby Doo idea: Daphne Blake as the weird rich kid whose parents signed her up for a shit-ton of rich-kid extracurriculars like polo, fencing, and all of this other shit so they wouldn’t have to deal with her/bolster her college resume. She puts a lot of effort into actually being good at all these extra-curriculars bc she’s competing with all of her ~super successful and talented~ sisters for attention and ends up athletic as hell and socially stunted and like…really aggressive and competitive and never quite satisfied with anything she’s doing. The only other ‘High Society’ kid who can put up with her is Norville “Shaggy” Rogers —an anxious stoner with freaky strict parents whose only friend prior to Daphne was his equally anxious rescue dog—Daphne’s been beating up Shaggy’s bullies for years. Then there’s student council dweeb Fred Jones who’s always been groomed to be this ‘leader’ by his parents and is always pressured to go to these youth leadership things and stuff and yeah he’s pretty good at directing group projects, but really Fred’s kind of shy and more interested in engineering, forensics and maybe criminal justice and he’s been friends with this chick Velma Dinkley in engineering club who’s brilliant but she’s also tactless, awkward and very bitterly sarcastic to cover up for the fact that her book smarts far outweigh her social skills.
So then there’s this mystery downtown and all five of them show up and there’s a mutual, “Oh hey it’s you: The weird kid from my school. What are you doing here?” and everyone goes around. Fred’s like, “Oh I knew the owners of this place and they said they might have to close down because of this ghost and I told Velma about it and Velma thinks we can get to the bottom of this.” And Shaggy’s like, “Scoob and I didn’t want to be home right now and we honestly didn’t know about the ghost but hey Daphne’s here so we feel safe enough to hang out and maybe Scoob can sniff out some clues or something.” And then everyone turns and looks at Daphne and Daphne’s just like, “I want to fight a fucking ghost.”
“Hey, you guys, look, I know I’m just the dude that carries the bags. But it seems to me we all play an important part in this group. I mean, we’re just like a big, delicious banana split. Fred, you’re the big banana. Daphne, you’re the pastrami and bubble gum flavored ice cream, and Velma, you’re the sweet and sour mustard sauce that goes on top.” Scooby Doo (2002) dir. Raja Gosnell
This is a very important Scooby-Doo item of mine. When I was 13, I went with dad’s side of the family to a Christian camp in Indiana. There was a woman there who owned this awesome Scooby-Doo bag. I told her about how big of a fan I was.
On the last night at the camp, she gave the bag to me after a very emotional service in the camp’s church. It’s a bag I will keep and cherish for a long time.