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|First appearance||Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Season 1, Episode 1, "What a Night for a Knight" (1969)|
Velma Dinkley is a fictional character in the Scooby-Doo franchise. She is prone to losing her glasses. She is usually seen wearing a baggy orange turtleneck, short pleated skirt (or in later episodes an A-line skirt, or sometimes shorts), knee socks, and Mary Janes. She is seen as the brains of the group.
Throughout her various incarnations, Velma is usually portrayed as a highly intelligent young woman with highly specific interests in science (which in the Scooby and Scrappy Doo series leads her to pursue a career as a NASA research scientist) or merely being very well read on obscure fields, such as Viking writing (as in the third Scooby-Doo series The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries). In Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, Velma is described by her younger sister Madelyn as being "born with a mystery book in her hand". Consequently, Velma is usually the one to figure out the mystery, sometimes with the help of Fred and Daphne. Velma Dinkley was inspired by the brainy tomboy Zelda Gilroy, as played by Sheila James, from the late 1950s/early 1960s American sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
A running gag in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and The New Scooby-Doo Movies is Velma's severe nearsightedness and her trouble with keeping her glasses on her face (often resulting in them falling off while she is being chased by the villain). Another running gag is that despite the fact that she is the smallest of the Scooby-Doo gang she can actually carry away the whole gang in her arms from a villain.
When Scooby-Doo is too afraid to volunteer to help with a mission, Velma often offers him a dog treat called a "Scooby Snack" as a bribe. Her catchphrases are: "Jinkies!" and "My glasses! I can't see without my glasses!" (when she accidentally loses her glasses).
Like all of the Scooby-Doo kids, later ret-conned as Mystery Incorporated members, Velma has differing personal backgrounds and histories depending on which series one is referring to.
In the original flagship Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! series, Velma attended the same high school as the rest of the gang (as stated in the inaugural episode "What a Night for a Knight"). However, by The New Scooby-Doo Movies, Velma is said to have graduated from a different high school than her friends (as stated in the episode "Spirited Spooked Sports Show").
Relatives of Velma shown during the series' run include:
- Dale and Angie Dinkley
- Velma's parents, voiced by Kevin Dunn and Frances Conroy. They own the Crystal Cove Mystery Museum, which has in its display all of the costumes from the villains the gang has defeated over the years, as well as other objects that have connections to the supernatural or the unexplainable. Angie constantly tries to help her daughter in any way she can, while Dale tends to reprimand Velma.
- Madelyn Dinkley
- Velma's younger sister voiced by Danica McKellar. She appears to be in her late teens and somewhat resembles her older sister in appearance and personality. Ironically, Velma herself refers to Madelyn as a nerd and does not seem to realize how much alike they really are. Unlike Velma, Madelyn was not exactly sure what she wanted to do for a living and had previously attended clown college until she discovered a fondness for stage magic and enrolls in a school for stage magicians. Madelyn has a huge crush on Shaggy Rogers and as a result of this, Shaggy refers to Madelyn as "Doe-eyed Dinkley" or by simply "Madds". She plays an important role in Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, when the magic school she's enrolled in is being terrorized by a giant griffin.
- Aunt Meg and Uncle Evan
- Velma's aunt and uncle (voiced by Julia Sweeney and Diedrich Bader), who live in a small town called Banning Junction which features in a Halloween episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo?.
- Velma's cousin and the daughter of Meg and Evan. She is studying mechanical engineering in college, but unlike Velma, she is fashionable. This along with Marcy's interest in Fred made her Daphne's rival of sorts. She was born on Halloween which over time led to her hatred of the holiday as it usually upstaged her birthday (even her parents have forgotten it). Consequently, she used local legend and her engineering background to create Mechanical Scarecrow Monsters to terrorize the town on her eighteenth birthday.
- Aunt Thelma: works with dolphins at a marine institute.
- Uncle Dave (Walton)
- Uncle John: works as an archaeologist.
- Uncle Cosmo: also works as an archaeologist.
- Uncle Elmo: a doctor.
- Uncle Ted: also works as an archaeologist.
- Great Uncle Dr. Von Dinkenstein: Velma's infamous great uncle, resembling Frankenstein. He's the reason for Velma's crime solving business.
Velma has been voiced by several actresses. From 1969 to 1974, Nicole Jaffe voiced Velma; from 1976 to 1979, Pat Stevens voiced the character. From 1979 to 1980, Marla Frumkin provided her voice. Velma did not speak in the Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo final episode, "The Ransom of Scooby Chief". After the character's absence from 1980 to 1983 series, Marla Frumkin reprised the role of Velma as a guest star in The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries. Velma was absent again until A Pup Named Scooby-Doo when Christina Lange voiced the role. B.J. Ward voiced Velma in a Johnny Bravo crossover episode. From the animated movie, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, B.J. Ward reprised her role in all movies through Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. Nicole Jaffe returned to voice Velma in the movies, Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico.
In What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, as well as all cartoon movies made since 2004, Velma is voiced by Mindy Cohn of The Facts of Life fame. In Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map, Velma is voiced by Stephanie D'Abruzzo. On July 8, 2015, it was announced that Kate Micucci would take over the role of Velma in the upcoming series Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, with Cohn continuing to provide her voice for future direct-to-DVD movies and games. In the 2002 and 2004 live-action movies, Velma is played by Linda Cardellini. Velma is portrayed by Hayley Kiyoko in the 2009 live-action movie Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and its live-action sequel Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.