In the 25 episodes of the original Scooby Doo, Where Are You? cartoon, our gang comes across four deserted mansions, two abandoned castles and an empty ski resort, amusement park, ghost town, mine, Hawaiian village, airfield and mill. And of the 27 villains the gang encounters, 23 are motivated by monetary gain via theft, smuggling or land speculation. The Mystery Machine crew isn’t running into domestic disputes or drug-related crimes. They are dealing exclusively with people who need money so badly that they voluntarily squat in the basements of abandoned houses for the off-chance of landing a paycheck. And if the villains don’t need money, they need work. The remaining four motives? Winning a dog show, getting an acting gig, revenge for getting fired and a hatred of robots.
[…] And Scooby-Doo villains are not run-of-the-mill criminals: They all have the uncanny ability to manufacture realistic monster costumes, project full-scale holograms and carve out high-tech hideouts in abandoned mineshafts. Many of them already had impressive vocational skills prior to their criminal lives — three of the villains were PhDs, two were lawyers, one had the ability to produce near-identical forged paintings, one could repair boats, one was a magician, one was a stuntman and one could hypnotize people.
See that? That’s the educational system, art world, maritime engineering and entertainment industries — all in the toilet. Each of these villains showed creativity, intelligence, diligence and ambition. In our world, they would easily be employed, maybe even famous. But, in the universe of Scooby-Doo, it simply wasn’t enough. The Scooby gang ran into a new, desperate genius every single week for decades. Either brilliance is simply run-of-the-mill in their universe, or else the entire economy has collapsed, and what we’re witnessing is the death throes of society itself.