Though she remained on the sidelines, a Scooby-Doo show quietly gave Velma her first on-screen LGBTQ romance.
Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated, which debuted in 2010, was a radical reinvention of the Scooby-Doo formula. Effectively recounting the full history of the franchise, the series tells an ongoing overarching story about Mystery Inc and their adventures in Crystal Cove.
In the process, they uncovered the tragic secrets of the original Mystery Inc, their own family histories, and nearly unleashed a powerful supernatural entity into the world. But along the way, the show quietly crossed important ground with Velma Dinkely by quietly settling the character in a lesbian relationship that – due to the constraints of the time – remained on the fringes.
A recurring element of Scooby-Doo: Mystery incorporated The first season was Velma’s strained relationship with Shaggy. Although the two were close, there was a clear distance to their romance that Velma couldn’t quite understand. Velma also developed a surprising friendship with Marcie (ironically played by Linda Cardellini, who played Velma in the live-action scooby-doo movies). One of the smartest teenage girls in their town, Marcie — nicknamed Hot Dog Water because of her dad’s job that kept her close to food at the amusement park — was introduced as a rival to Velma. Although she was revealed as a criminal in the show’s first season, her early exit in season 2 saw her take on a bigger role in the show.
When Daphne briefly left Mystery Inc., Marcie ended up replacing her in the group until her return. At the time, Marcie was an agent of Mister E, an enemy of Mystery Inc (and also a member of the original Mystery Inc). But after a change of heart, Marcie betrayed Mr. E and his partner Professor Pericles, helping to keep the precious Planospheric Disc out of their reach. Eventually captured and used as bait to lure Velma and the rest of the heroes into a trap, Marcie ultimately sacrificed herself to buy Mystery Inc. an opening to escape. Although his death was not shown on screen, a series of gunshots in the series’ penultimate episode, “Through the Curtain”, confirmed his fate. Fortunately, the universe has been restored following a cosmic return, with only Mystery Inc. remembering how close the world was to destruction.
In this fixed timeline, Velma and Marcie were safe and reunited – and according to Tony Cervone, one of the main producers of this incarnation of Scooby-Doo, firmly in a romantic relationship. As Cervone explained on Instagram in 2020, “we always planned for Velma to act a bit out of character while she was dating Shaggy because that relationship wasn’t good for her and she was having a hard time. unspoken with the why. There are clues to the why in this episode with the mermaid, and if you follow the whole arc of Marcie, it seems as clear as it could have been 10 years ago. I don’t think Marcie and Velma had time to act on their feelings during the main timeline, but post reset, they’re a couple. You may not like that, but that was our intention.
At the time of Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated broadcast, having an open lesbian relationship would not have been allowed in traditional family entertainment. Although things have changed over the years thanks to shows like adventure time, owl houseand Steven Universe, Velma’s relationship with Marcie was a first step in that direction. The subtext of their romance is prevalent, especially in the second season. Marcie even refers to Velma as “her daughter” in the restored timeline, probably the closest thing to overt confirmation of their romance available at the time. Velma has long been considered by fans as a possible LGBTQ character, developing a strong fan base in the community.
Although her romance with Marcie could not be confirmed at the time, Velma being a member of the LGBTQ community could be seen as a good precursor to the type of romances that can now be openly discussed in mainstream animation today. today. Marcie herself doesn’t feel like an attempt to just give Velma a romantic interest for the romantic interest’s sake, either. She has her own redemption arc outside of her romance with Velma, and is a fully fleshed out character on the show. Velma and Marcie may not have been allowed to be as open as they wanted, but their relationship was quietly a major milestone for mainstream animation and an affirmation of one of scooby-doo franchise’s most popular fan theories.
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