[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Supernatural” Season 13, Episode 16, “Scoobynatural.”]
“Supernatural” waited until lucky Season 13 to visit another spooky series known for its good-looking sleuths who take on ghosts and monsters. On Thursday’s “Scoobynatural” episode, Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles) acquire a wide-screen TV that not only has great resolution, but also transports them into an episode of “Scooby-Doo.”
It just so happens that they fell into “A Night of Fright Is No Delight,” the 16th episode of the first season of “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” We know this because apparently, Dean is a huge Scooby stan since the cartoon was always on TV no matter where their childhood monster-hunting travels took them.
“These guys were our freaking role models, man,” he tells Sam. “Just think about it. We do the same thing, we go to spooky places, we solve mysteries, we fight ghosts.”
Much like the last time the brother were zapped into a TV (because why not?), they must play their part in order to return to the real world. And this is where Dean’s knowledge of the Hanna-Barbera series will come in handy.
In the original “A Night of Fright Is No Delight,” Scooby-Doo is named one of the heirs of a Southern gentleman named Col. Sanders after saving him from drowning in a fish pond. The pup joins Sanders’ other heirs – Nephew Noble, Cousin Simple, Cousin Maldahyde, and Cousin Slicker – at a mansion to listen to a message that Sanders left on a vinyl record that instructs them to stay overnight at his haunted mansion. Whoever is left the next morning would split the inheritance of $1 million. In the end, it turns out that Sanders’ lawyers Creeps and Crawls had been scaring away the inheritors by dressing as Phantom Shadows. It didn’t matter anyway since the inheritance money was worthless Confederate bills.
“Supernatural’s” version of the episode follows the original premise but begins to diverge once the actual overnight stay begins. The plot really doesn’t matter though, because “Supernatural” worked in a healthy amount of stylistic references and Scooby-specific tropes that even Dean would approve of. Here’s a list of all the ones IndieWire caught:
1. Scooby and Shaggy’s appetite – At the diner, the duo are celebrated for their capacity to eat seen in photos on the wall. Dean, who has been known to enjoy his share of meals on “Supernatural,” joins them in creating his own towering Shaggy sandwich, which he’s able to consume in one go since now his jaw is lacking a hinge in this cartoon world.
2. All the news you can’t read – Sam points out the newspaper announcing the colonel’s death lacks some important information: “There are no words in this newspaper, Dean!”
3. No sex – Even though Dean continues to make moves on Daphne, she’s completely clueless. Even when he offers to bunk down with the ladies, she responds, “Boys and girls don’t sleep in the same room, silly.”
4. All the catchphrases – Everyone gets to utter their signature exclamation: “Jinkies!” (Velma), “Jeepers!” (Daphne), “Zoinks!” (Shaggy), and “Ruh-roh!” (Scooby)
5. The Shaggy-Scooby armful – Whenever the duo would get startled, they’d often pile into the arms of their nearest pal, but in this episode, they made a new friend: Castiel.
6. Splitting up and searching for clues – This never makes sense and yet, the gang always does it. Dean is on board because it gets him more time with Daphne. It also makes for some interesting interactions with guest stars.
7. Ubiquity of masked villains – Velma is a skeptic and points out to Sam that ghosts and monsters do not really exist and that “Monsters are just crooks in masks, usually real estate developers.”
8. Haunted house = fun house – The mansion is equipped with a trap door that for some reasons leads to several cool slides down into the basement.
9. A chase montage – All the gang runs at once trying to get away from the monster as the “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” theme song plays. Some of the tropes we see here are them hiding out in urns and when they all accidentally run into each other, fall to the sound of bowling pins falling.
10. Velma’s glasses – As always, they fog over, but without them, she’s completely blind.
11. A classic Shaggy line – When Shaggy falls from a great height, and Scooby jumps to save him, Shaggy observes, “You’ve got me, but who’s got you?”
12. “What a Night for a Knight” reference – When Shaggy’s arm is broken, he’s astounded because “I have jumped out of a biplane in a museum and was fine. How did this happen?” In the cartoon episode he’s referring to, Scooby and Shaggy hide out in a biplane in the relic room of a museum. But when Scooby accidentally flips on the power, the biplane takes off, buzzes around the room, and then crashes into the villain, a person dressed as a black knight in a suit of armor.
13. Booby trap – Fred and the gang sets up an elaborate booby trap that’s half Rube Goldberg machine, and half random assortment of items, such as coconuts.
14. Villains past – When Dean gives the Scooby gang a pep talk, he makes references to various villains or monsters they’ve taken down it the past, including: Zeke and Zeb (“Which Witch Is Which?”), Old Iron Face who rode sharks that had torpedoes (“The Creepy Case of Old Iron Face”), the Black Knight (“What a Night for a Knight”), Mamba Wamba (“Mamba Wamba and the Voodoo Hoodoo”), Space Kook (“Beware the Beast From Below”), Ghost Clown (“Scooby-Doo! Who’s Watching Who?”), and Miner 49-er (“Mine Your Own Business.”)
15. Exposition of the solution – Back in our reality, Sam and Dean use a storytelling device for the cartoon, in which the walk through how they solved the case and implicated the villain, during which flashbacks reveal the events as they happen.
16. Best. Villain. Line. Ever. – As he’s being led away, the man the Winchesters caught utters the classic line, “It’s not fair. I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids.”
17. The ending Scooby laugh – Dean spells this out at the very end as the frame irises out on him and he declares, “Scooby-scooby-doo! (Scooby laughter)” Sam may not have been a fan, but we were.
Were there any classic tropes or references we missed?
”Supernatural” airs at 8 p.m. ET on Thursdays.