When I use the phrase, “I hate X nearly as much/as much/more than Scrappy Doo,” that means whatever X is in context is really awful. But to understand just how awful X is when compared with Scrappy Doo, you must understand how much I hate Scrappy Doo.
I love Scooby Doo. I don’t know why, but I just do. Perhaps it’s the campy charm of the show, or the absurdity of villains using crazy costumes to scare people away instead of conventional and probably more effective methods, or the convoluted and illogical explanations of how the villain managed to create a complex and totally believable hologram using a movie reel and some shadow puppets. I love it without out all the subtext about what was really going on. I love all of the early incarnations and like some of the more recent ones. I love the cowardice of Scooby and Shaggy and the irony that they always found the monster. I love Fred’s Rube Goldberg-esque traps. I love Velma’s patient, logical thinking. I even love Daphne’s tendency to do the wrong thing at the wrong time (although to be fair she’s been accidentally caught in fewer of Fred’s traps than Scooby and Shaggy). To me, Scooby Doo is just a fun, silly show.
But it spawned Scrappy Doo. I didn’t really mind the expansion of the Doo family, as such. Scooby Dum was probably a caricature of a mentally disabled person (frankly I don’t think Scooby Dum is close to the most offensive stereotype I’ve seen portrayed in that show, but it was the 1970s…), and wasn’t too annoying. But despite the success of Scooby Doo for Hanna-Barbera, which spawned at least seven or eight clones, eventually the ratings of the original slipped and Scrappy Doo was introduced to try to interest younger viewers. This is why he behaves pretty much the same as an obnoxious hyper-active six-year brat (at least in my opinion; your mileage may vary). Also, executive meddling seldom works out well, and this case was no exception.
His bravery was not endearing. His catch phrase was not catchy. I really hated it when he did something stupid, which was often, and that worked out fine. Then, inexplicably, Fred and Velma were removed from the gang, and soon Daphne was gone as well, leaving Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy, and mostly Scrappy. There is not much good to say about the movie Scooby Doo except that the writers made it clear they also hated Scrappy Doo.
I know, cartoons are littered with other characters that may be equally as annoying as Scrappy Doo. Orko from “He-Man” was pretty awful. His magic either didn’t work or backfired horribly, he was always going where he shouldn’t and messing with things he shouldn’t, and yet everyone thought he was adorable. I understand why one might think Orko is worse. But I don’t think Orko ruined the show. Orko was an annoying distraction. Also, the episode Orko got a girlfriend was cute. Snarf from “Thunder Cats” is another candidate to oppose Scrappy Doo. However, Snarf tried to keep Lion-o out of trouble.
I could go on and on, but the point is such characters are not, to me, as bad as Scrappy Doo. These characters did not take over and ruin the show they were in (Slimer in “Real Ghostbusters” came the closest). Scrappy Doo ruined Scooby Doo for me. Maybe if he had been used sparingly, like Scooby Dum, he might not be so bad. But I simply can’t watch the later episodes because of Scrappy Doo. I don’t care if his introduction actually did boost ratings. He somehow just sucks all of the silly fun right out of the show. That’s some puppy power, indeed. I am grateful that all the more recent incarnations of Scooby Doo, despite their flaws, have demonstrated the good sense to leave out that annoying little dog.