The Mystery Machine

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The Mystery Machine
The Mystery Machine.png
Type Automobile
Owned by Fred Jones
First appearance WAY: "What a Night for a Knight" (1969)
13 Ghosts Mystery Machine.png
The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo
WNSD Mystery Machine.png
Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy!
GAC Mystery Machine.png
Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!
Mystery Begins Mystery Machine.png
Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins
SDMI Mystery Machine.png
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
BCSD Mystery Machine.png
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
SCOOB Mystery Machine.png

The Mystery Machine is a van and main mode of transportation for Mystery Incorporated in the Scooby-Doo animated franchise. It is owned by Fred Jones, and he has driven it in most incarnations; except for the Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo shorts and Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, in which Fred had apparently given his ownership to Shaggy Rogers.


The Mystery Machine's appearance is generally that of a panel van from the 1960s, although its exact model has been disputed for years since the debut of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You![1] The vehicle is painted primarly in a medium aqua blue with a wavy, green stripe overlaid in its middle portion, along with two orange flowers decorated on each side. Also on its sides is a green panel with "THE MYSTERY MACHINE" decorated in orange paint. The front of the van has a spare tire carrier, painted in green and with an orange flower in the center. Two roof racks protrude on top of the van for storage purposes, and it is also equipped with hubcaps or wheels that have a flower decoration in the center.


TV series






Video games

Stage performances

Theme park rides



Toys and merchandise

Jada Toys

Main article: Jada Toys
  • Mystery Machine (2020)

A 1:32 die-cast scale replica.

  • Mystery Machine with Shaggy & Scooby-Doo (2020)

A 1:24 die-cast scale replica with non-possible toys of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. Scooby can be horizontally placed in the Mystery Machine.

  • Mystery Machine with Bugs Bunny (2023)

For Warner Bros.' 100th anniversary, they celebrated by licensing a range of Looney Tunes Funko Pops with a Scooby-Doo motif, which included a vinyl collectible of Bugs Bunny (wearing Fred's clothes) riding the Mystery Machine.

Behind the scenes

In popular culture

WARNING: The following section contains content that may be seen as mature or offensive to some readers. Reader discretion is advised.
  • In the film Deathdream, also known as Dead of Night, Andy's bedroom light switch is decorated with a light switch plate/cover of Scooby and the Mystery Machine in his bedroom.
  • In Judge Dredd: The Megazine #13-#15, the "Red Razors" arc, Chief Judge Ricky sends a group of Sov-Block freelance enforcers who call themselves the Spooky-Doo Gang to retrieve the corpse of Elvis Presley. They drive the Mystery Machine, but the van is blue and some of the letters are flipped. In Issue #14, each of the humans deploy their own motorcycle from the Mystery Machine.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Chitty Chitty Death Bang," the town's television transmitter is cut, leaving Peter to wonder what the Scooby gang is up to, with the scene then cutting to an adult spin-off spoof called The Scooby-Doo Murder Files. There is a van in the background with the words "Murder Machine" written on the side as a reference to The Mystery Machine.
  • In the Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch of the Saturday Night Live episode Norm Macdonald hosted, Macdonald as Burt Reynolds replies, "Who is Scooby-Doo?" when asked, "What Sound Does a Doggie Make?" He goes further on to say, "That was a funny dog, Scooby-Doo. He drove around in a van and solved mysteries." Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek says that that is incorrect, but Reynolds says he isn't and that remembers he had a "pal" Scrappy.
  • In the Timon and Pumbaa episode "Werehog of London," a fortune teller warns Timon and Pumbaa that no one is safe from the curse of the werehog, not even "those meddling teens and their pesky dog." Then the camera reveals an orange and blue van resembling the Mystery Machine that has been abandoned after it was knocked into a lampost.
  • In Archie's Weird Mysteries #6, Jughead drives a van called The Mystery Mobile, which is painted in the same colors as The Mystery Machine.
  • In the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jay and Silent Bob are greeted by a shady group of teens driving in a familiar-looking van.
  • In the film Freddy vs. Jason, the van is mocked for looking like a "Scooby van."
  • In the Trouble comics by Marvel Comics, the teenage version of Aunt May is a Scooby-Doo fan, with particular keen interest in The Mystery Machine, first saying in issue #2, that she wants to buy a "Scooby-Doo van," then in issue #3, she wants to buy the Mystery Machine from Scooby himself.
  • In the Baby Looney Tunes episode "The Wheel Deal," Bugs and his friends take their bikes apart to make a new one for Tweety, with the first choice being one that resembled the Mystery Machine, accompanied by a "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" jingle, but the third time is not the charm, and a dissatisfied Bugs commentated, "I'm about to give up the ghost here."
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "The Million Dollar Ghost," the Groovy Gang owns a van with a similar paint scheme to the Mystery Machine.
  • In the TV series Drawn Together, the housemates drive around in Foxxy Love's Mystery Machine-like van which belonged to her former bandmates, the Foxxy 5, as revealed in "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact."
  • In The Venture Bros. episode "¡Viva los Muertos!," there is a group of infamous 1970s serial killers who are patterned on Mystery Inc. and drive around in a van that looks similar to The Mystery Machine.
  • In the Psych episode "In Plain Fright," Lassiter describes Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! without knowing the name, by saying, "He [Shawn] and Gus think they're in some cartoon with a talking Great Dane and a psychedelically painted van."
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "One Hundred," the Aqua Teen Hunger Force becomes a parody of Mystery Inc. called the Aqua Unit Patrol Squad who drive in a truck in similar colors to The Mystery Machine called The Danger Cart.
  • In the story "Remote Control" of Cartoon Network Action Pack! #56, the Collector finds a Mystery Machine toy inside a dumpster.
  • In the So Random! episode "Cole & Dylan Sprouse," there is a "Sally Jensen, Kid Lawyer" sketch, wherein Sally Jensen gets Shaggy and Scooby arrested for being irresponsible cartoon characters in causing impressionable children to act them out, such as a girl who stole her neighbor's Great Dane, and her mother's minivan to find her missing bike, but all her efforts only lead to a messy back seat because the girl had been feeding the dog Scooby Bites the entire time.
  • In the Futurama episode "Saturday Morning Pit," the Planet Express crew is reimagined in a cartoon called Bendee-Boo and the Mystery Crew, in which they are reimagined as a group of mystery-solvers who drive the Mystery Express, which is now a floating van in the form of the Planet Express spaceship and has a similar paint job to the Mystery Machine.
  • There is a van driven by the Mystery Inc. parody in the independent horror movie Saturday Morning Massacre (later retitled Saturday Morning Mystery).
  • In the Wander Over Yonder episode "The Cartoon," there is a cartoon called The Mystery Kids Mysteries, in which two kids and an old man (based on the characters from Gravity Falls) travel in a floating car called The Mystery Ship.
  • AOK's parody called "Scooby-Doo, Who Are You?," the gang drive a van called The Enigma Vehicle.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Midnight at the Mayor's Mansion," the chase through the hallway doors is a parody of chases like those in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The Mayor even says Shaggy's catchphrase, "Zoinks," while passing the screen inside a pink van reminiscent of the Mystery Machine.
  • A van resembling the Mystery Machine pops up as a photo when the main characters think of a getaway car in the film Going in Style.
  • At the end of The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Spinoffs," Rob reads some text off of Timmy, the Internet, finding a show to replace Gumball that would be something akin to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, with a Great Dane and his "kooky friends" who solve mysteries in a van.
  • In the online game Transformice, a box painted with the colors of the Mystery Machine became available to buy from June 4, 2020.
  • In the Sugar and Toys episode "Revenge of the Nerfs," in a segment called "The Scoobidy-Doobidy Cancel Culture Variety Mystery Show," Scoobidy and Shaky pick up Fred, Deedee, and Velma, with Scoobidy driving.
  • In the Young Sheldon episode "Bible Camp and a Chariot of Love," George lays down his authority when Georgie buys a run-down van, so Georgie moves out of the house and into the van, reasoning that "Scooby-Doo lived in a van, and he turned out fine."
  • In Runaways #34, Wolverine makes fun of the Runaways' Steinbus by calling it The Mystery Machine.
  • In the Mom episode "Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steaks," Andy asks Jill if getting Scooby-Doo-themed checks would make him look "cool that I like to solve mysteries or creepy older guy with a van?"
  • In the film The Flash, young Barry is wearing a t-shirt of Mystery Incorporated riding the Mystery Machine.
  • In the Saturday Night Live episode "Jake Gyllenhaal/Sabrina Carpenter," in a skit called "Scooby-Doo! and the Mystery of the Shadow Phantom," the Mystery Machine is parked outside a haunted mansion, which Mystery Incorporated has gone inside to investigate the Shadow Phantom. They catch the ghost and take off the mask to reveal Old Man Franklin underneath, then Fred takes it further by ripping off the man's real face believing that to be fake as well to horrifying results. Chaos then ensues by their reactions, which includes Shaggy losing an arm, Velma losing her head, Fred shooting Daphne, and Scooby shooting Fred. In reality, this is just a commercial for Apple's new Face ID.

Dead Ringers (radio)

  • "Episode 4" (series 2): Alistar Stewart presents a preview of the next Police Crash Bang Wallop (a parody of Police Camera Action!), in which a "brightly covered camper van," is chased by the Headless Horseman on the motorway. Shaggy screams, "Zoinks! Scoob, if Freddy doesn't get us off the M-25, we're doomed!" with a questionable whimper from Scooby.
  • "Episode 5" (series 2): On The Jerry Springer Show, Shaggy is one of the guests because his friends think he is in love with Scooby. Velma says that when they split up, she and Daphne go with Fred, but Shaggy goes with Scooby. Springer also refers to the van, making their situation even more questionable. Scooby gives a couple of affirmative grunts. He wraps it up quickly with a final thought that Shaggy would've gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for his pesky friends.

Doctor Who

  • "The Age of Steel:" Pete called the Preachers "Scooby-Doo and the gang," while adding, "They've even got a van."
  • In Doctor Who Magazine #489, the thirteenth segment of the ongoing The Daft Dimension, depicted parallel universe counterparts of the Doctor and his companions who loosely resembled each member of Mystery Inc. with their mode of transportation a spaceship in the form of a police box called The Mystery Time Machine.

The Fairly OddParents

Main article: The Fairly OddParents
  • Channel Chasers (part 2): There is a TV show called Snooper Dawg and the Clue Crew, which revolves around the Clue Crew and their dog mascot driving around in the Clue Cruiser solving mysteries.
  • "The Wand That Got Away:" When Timmy and his fairy companions go on the search for Cosmo's wand, they take on the roles of Mystery Inc., and Sparky gets his van out he won in a 1970s game show.
  • "Let Sleeper Dogs Lie:" Sparky kept a DVD of his previous owners, which included a group of kids resembling Mystery Incorporated who solved mysteries. Thanks to the Mystery Mobile, they escaped from a castle haunted by a cloaked ghost.
  • Wishology!: In parts one and two, Mr. and Mrs. Turner make their way to the MARF Festival in their specially painted MARF


Main article: Jeopardy!
  • January 10, 1997: In the "Hanna-Barbera Dogs" category for $200, the question was, "In 1969 he began traveling around in The Mystery Machine with Freddy, Daphne, Velma & Shaggy," with the answer being, "Who is Scooby-Doo?"
  • June 12, 1998: In the "Animation" category for $500, the question was, "Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Freddy, Daphne & Velma traveled around in a van with this name," with the answer being, "What is The Mystery Machine?"
  • September 4, 2000: In the "Car Trek" category for $300, the question was, "This TV canine & his human friends sought out the unknown in their van, The Mystery Machine," with the answer being, "Who is Scooby-Doo?"
  • April 17, 2006: In the "Mystery History" category for $800, the question was, "It's the 2-word name for the van driven around by the kids on Scooby-Doo," with the answer being, "What is The Mystery Machine?"

Looney Tunes

Main article: Looney Tunes
  • In DC Comics' Looney Tunes #71, the Conundrum Co. drives around in a van in a similar color scheme as the Mystery Machine.
  • In a Looney Tunes/Scooby-Doo mash-up short for Acme Fools 2023, the Mystery Machine sits in the background as the Looney Tunes cast acts as Mystery Inc. in a mystery involving the ghost of Mr. Hyde.


  • "Pilot:" Chloe's reaction to the bus mysteriously being knocked gets her talking about the weirdness in Smallville, which gets a mocking reaction from Pete who says, Now, you know [me and Clark would] love to join you and Scooby inside the Mystery Machine for another zany adventure, but we got to hand in these permission slips before homeroom."
  • "Instinct:" Chloe makes a quip about Lois "riding shotgun" in his Mystery Machine, which is leaving her "jonesing for a Scooby clue."


  • "Thinman," at a diner, Dean tells the incompetent Ghostfacers to get back in their van which he condescendingly refers to as the Mystery Machine.
  • "Scoobynatural:" When Jay tries to get Alan to sell his pawn shop, a key chain of the Mystery Machine is under Alan's glass counter.


  • "Meat:" The Mystery Machine is alluded to when Rhys suggests the team hides in his van to carry out a sting operation, to which his girlfriend on the team angrily retorts, "What is this, Scooby-Doo?"
  • The House That Jack Built: In this book, Jack mistakingly yells, "To the Mystery Machine!" instead of Ecto-1 when he gets confused after Gwen says "Who ya gonna call?" in reference to the Ghostbusters movie franchise.


  1. ^ a b Peek, Jeff (28 October, 2021). "Mysteries of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine". Hagerty (2021). Retrieved on April 23, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d The Mystery Machine | Complete Guide to History & Evolution. Volo Museum (2020-07-27) Retrieved on April 24, 2023.
  3. ^ Original "Mystery Machine" van created for Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Heratige Auctions. Retrieved on April 24, 2023.