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The Mystery Inc. Theory That Changes Everything On Scooby-Doo

There are few cartoon TV properties as iconic or popular as "Scooby-Doo." The animated franchise first launched with "Scooby-Doo! Where Are You?" back in 1969, but has been rebooted and reinterpreted multiple different times in the decades since then. The property has been kept alive through multiple different TV shows, like "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" and "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated," animated films, and has even been adapted into a pair of poorly-received live-action films in the early 2000s. Even through all the "Scooby-Doo" movies and TV shows that have come and gone over the years, though, the property's central premise has generally stayed the same. 

The franchise is centered around a group of teenagers and their lovable pet (Scooby himself) as they travel around in their blue, green, and orange van solving local and national mysteries of varying size and importance. However, despite the property's heavy focus on solving mysteries, there are a few questions about the "Scooby-Doo" franchise itself that have plagued fans for years and remain unanswered to this day.

Was Scooby-Doo's Mystery Inc. team brought together by the Vietnam War?

One of the biggest questions that "Scooby-Doo" fans have always had about the property is why Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby even got together in the first place. The characters are so different from each other, and it's never made much sense how they teamed up in their van and started solving mysteries together. Fortunately, there are plenty of "Scooby-Doo" fans who have come up with different answers to that very question.

In fact, one popular "Scooby-Doo" fan theory speculates that the franchise's core group got together as a result of the Vietnam War. Given the show's 1969 launch, the theory argues that Fred may have been drafted for the war but ran away to be with Daphne, his fiancée. The theory also posits that Shaggy — a clear hippie — and Velma — an obvious activist — may have joined up with Daphne and Fred because they were also against the war. Scooby, meanwhile, just came along with Shaggy.

It's an interesting theory, and one that incorporates the franchise's late 1960s origins in a way that feels legitimately believable. So, although this is one question that may never be concretely answered, this theory does offer up an explanation for Mystery Inc.'s formation that adds a level of realism and fascinating historical context to what is ultimately a pretty lighthearted and delightfully silly cartoon property.