Scoobert "Scooby" Doo is one of Hanna-Barbera's most iconic characters, debuting in 1969 on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. His name comes from scat lyrics at the end of Frank Sinatra's song "Strangers in the Night". In designing the character, Iwao Takamoto studied Great Danes and then gave Scooby the opposite traits.
Different iterations of Scooby-Doo have been developed and expanded in the various series featuring the characters, many of them contradicting, such as the original series and recent live-action movies where Shaggy and Scooby-Doo first meet as older teenagers for the first time, contradicting A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, where they know each other from childhood (especially considering that such amounted to a "prequel" series).
In all versions of the character, Scooby-Doo and Shags share several personality traits, mostly being cowardly and perpetually hungry. But their friends (Velma, Daphne and Fred) encourage them to go after the costumed villains, usually with "Scooby Snacks", a biscuit-like dog treat or cookie snack (usually shaped like a bone or, in later versions of the cartoons, Scooby's dog tag), though Scooby's inherent loyalty and courage do often force him to take a more heroic stand.
Scooby has a speech impediment and tends to pronounce most words as if they begin with an "r", though most characters are able to understand him perfectly. In most iterations, he keeps his sentences relatively short, usually using charades for anything longer than three or four words. His catch phrase, usually howled at the end of every episode, is "Scooby-Dooby-Doo!" or "Rooby-Rooby-Roo". He also usually says, at least once per episode, "Ruh-roh, Raggy" ("Uh-oh, Shaggy"). His quirky chuckle is often also in an episode, but it changed slightly when Frank Welker took over the voice of Scooby.
Scooby's voice is similar to that of the earlier character Astro from The Jetsons.
Appearance and anatomy
Scooby is brown from head to toe with several distinctive black spots on his upper body. He is generally a quadruped, but displays bipedal 'human' characteristics occasionally. Scooby also has opposible thumbs and can use his front paws like hands. He has a black nose and wears an off-yellow, diamond shaped-tagged blue collar with a stylised "SD" (his initials). He has four toes on each foot and, unlike other dogs, Scooby has only one pad on the sole of each of his feet (so that it was easier to draw in the Scooby-Doo Annuals in Great Britain).
Scooby has a fully prehensile tail he can use to swing from or press buttons. Both his head and tail are malleable and useful as a communication aid or creating a distraction.