This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (May 2016)
|First appearance||"What a Night for a Knight" (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode, 1969)|
|Created by||Joe Ruby|
Velma Dinkley is a fictional character in the Scooby-Doo franchise. She is usually seen wearing a baggy orange turtleneck sweater, a short red pleated skirt (or in later episodes an A-line skirt, or sometimes shorts), knee socks, Mary Jane shoes, and a pair of black square glasses, which she frequently loses. She is seen as the "brains" of the group.
On February 10, 2021, it was announced that Velma will have her own streaming television series which will be released on HBO Max. Titled Velma, the series will be adult-oriented, and Velma will be portrayed as being of South-Asian descent rather than being a German-born Jewish character like in the canon source material.
Throughout her various incarnations, Velma is usually portrayed as a sarcastic female of a genius intellect with an interest in both science and mysteries. She is also often portrayed as being very well-read on obscure fields such as Norse writing (as in the third Scooby-Doo series The Scooby-Doo Show). In Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, Velma is described by her younger sister Madelyn as having been "born with a mystery book in her hand." Due to her intelligence and problem-solving abilities, Velma is typically the first one to solve the mystery and, like Sherlock Holmes and many other fictional detectives, often keeps her conclusions secret till the end of the story. Velma Dinkley was inspired by the brainy sweater girl 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 a villain), saying "My glasses! I can't see without my glasses!" whenever she accidentally loses her glasses. Another running gag occurs when other frightened characters leap into her arms despite her being drawn as the smallest character.
Velma is the most skeptical of the gang and is most likely to discount any paranormal explanations to their mysteries. This is particularly evident in the films Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost and Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island, in which she discounts ghosts and zombies (which are real within the context of the franchise) that could not be unmasked by claiming they must be hallucinations.
Like all of the Scooby-Doo kids, later ret-conned as Mystery Incorporated members, Velma has differing personal backgrounds and histories in different series.
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 (as stated in the episode "Spirited Spooked Sports Show"). In the film Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, it is revealed that her middle name is Daisy.
According to Scooby-Doo: Behind the Scenes, before she said "Jinkies!", Velma just said, "Oh, my!" Velma says it was not that catchy; the catchphrase originated from Shaggy. Her parents pushed her from an early age to excel in her studies, resulting in hundreds of awards for outstanding achievement. Because of this, she can be a bit more vocal than her comrades would like, but she also does her share of sweet-talking too.
During the first season of the 2010–2013 series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Velma is in a romantic relationship with Shaggy, much to the distaste of Scooby-Doo. Their relationship ends in "Howl of the Fright Hound" (season 1, episode 10). This series' incarnation of Velma is shown to be secretive and controlling. In the second season of Mystery Incorporated, Velma is shown secretly working for the series' overarching villain, Mr. E, alongside Marcie "Hot Dog Water" Fleach who is Velma's former rival in science fairs. The two become friends after Velma returns to the gang and by the time of the series finale, Velma and Marcie are teammates at the Tri-state Olympiad of Science.
While addressing comments on his Instagram in 2020 about the episode's director labeling Mystery Incorporated's version of Velma as bisexual, producer Tony Cervone claimed in response that his intention was for this iteration of Velma to be depicted—as clearly as would be permitted at the time—as a lesbian. Her relationship with Marcie in the series finale was intended to be written as romantic, with her previous relationship with Shaggy, in contrast, as uncomfortable and unsuccessful. Similarly, the screenwriter of the 2002 Scooby-Doo film James Gunn also stated that Velma was written as a lesbian in early drafts of the script in accordance with the film's original intent as an R-rated deconstruction of the Scooby-Doo canon (Shaggy was also intended to be a stoner, and Fred a gangster).
Relatives of Velma shown during the series' run include:
- Dale and Angie Dinkley: Velma's parents in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (2010–13), 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 connected to the supernatural or the unexplainable.
- Madelyn Dinkley: Velma's sister in Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, voiced by Danica McKellar. She appears to be in her late teens and somewhat resembles Velma in appearance and personality. Velma refers to Madelyn as a nerd and does not seem to realize how much alike they really are. She helps the gang when the magic school where she's enrolled is 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?.
- Marcy: Velma's cousin and the daughter of Meg and Evan. She is studying mechanical engineering in college. She was born on Halloween which over time led to her hatred of the holiday as it usually upstaged her birthday. Consequently, she used a local legend and her engineering background to create mechanical scarecrow monsters to terrorize the town on her eighteenth birthday.
- Aunt Thelma: A marine biologist at the Coolsville Marine Institute whose dolphins were being stolen in the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode "Scooby Dude".
- Fred Rogers-Dinkley: Velma's son with Shaggy Rogers (named after Fred Jones), as seen in the final volume of Scooby Apocalypse.
- Uncle Dave (Walton): A member of the U.S. Border Patrol, as seen in the episode Watch Out! The Willawaw!
- Great Uncle Dr. Basil Von Dinkenstein: Velma's infamous great-uncle, who purportedly created the Frankencreep monster in the film Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy. He is the reason for Velma's crime-solving business. In-universe, his monster supposedly inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein, while in reality, he is based on the main character from Shelley's book.
- Verona Dempsey: Velma's rival importer in What's New, Scooby-Doo?.
From 1969 to 1973, Nicole Jaffe voiced Velma. From 1976 to 1979, Pat Stevens voiced the character. From 1979 to 1980, Marla Frumkin provided her voice. After the character's absence from the 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, then reprised her role in all films from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island on through Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase as well as an episode of the Adult Swim animated series, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Nicole Jaffe returned temporarily to voice Velma in the direct-to-video films Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire and Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico.
From 2002 until 2015, Velma was 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 then-upcoming series Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!. Trisha Gum voiced Velma in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Velma was voiced by Ariana Greenblatt as a child and Gina Rodriguez as a teenager in the animated film Scoob!, and makes a cameo as a spectator in Space Jam: A New Legacy. In February 2021, a spin-off adult animated prequel of her is in the works with Mindy Kaling voicing Velma while executing producing with Charlie Grandy, Howard Klein, and Sam Register. So far, the casting choice of Velma in the up-and-coming show has received criticism when announced.
Additional voice actors
- Patricia Parris (Hanna-Barbera Educational Filmstrips)
- Robyn Moore (Pauls commercial)
- Grey DeLisle (one line in Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, Mad)
- Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed: The Video Game, Robot Chicken)
- Bets Malone (singing voice in Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire)
- Cristina Vee (Scooby-Doo! Playmobil Mini Mysteries)
- Lori Alan (Family Guy)
- Meredith Salenger (Mad)
- Julie Nathanson (Mad)
- Kathryn Griffiths (The Demon Road Trilogy, as Linda)
- Joanna Adler (The Venture Bros, as Val)
- Clare Grant (Robot Chicken)
In the 2002 and 2004 live-action films, Velma is played by Linda Cardellini, who then voiced her for the Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed video game and Robot Chicken. Lauren Kennedy portrayed young Velma in a flashback sequence in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Velma is portrayed by Hayley Kiyoko in the 2009 live-action film Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and its 2010 sequel Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster. Sarah Gilman portrayed the young Velma in the 2018 direct-to-video film Daphne & Velma.
Additional live actors
- Jane Silvia (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001))
- Randi Rosenholtz (Scooby-Doo! in Stagefright – Live on Stage (2001))
- Laura Sicurello (Scooby-Doo! and the Pirate Ghost - Live on Stage (2009))
- Michele Dumoulin (Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries (2013))
- Louise Wright (Scooby-Doo Live! The Mystery Of The Pyramid (2014))
- Rebecca Withers (Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries (2016))
- Authors, Various (June 15, 2013). "D20 Girls Magazine – Summer 2013". Le Nurd Mystique LLC. Retrieved December 22, 2016 – via Google Books.
- Dresner, Lisa M. (November 27, 2006). The Female Investigator in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-2654-6. Retrieved December 21, 2016 – via Google Books.
- Ventura, Varla (January 1, 1998). Sheroes: Bold, Brash, and Absolutely Unabashed Superwomen from Susan B. Anthony to Xena. Conari Press. ISBN 978-1-60925-202-1. Retrieved December 21, 2016 – via Google Books.
- Evanier, Mark. (July 10, 2002).Post Archived May 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine on "News from Me" blog for Povonline.com. Retrieved March 27, 2006. Excerpt: "Fred was based on Dobie, Velma on Zelda, Daphne on Thalia, and Shaggy on Maynard."
- Mansour, David (June 1, 2011). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7407-9307-3. Retrieved December 22, 2016 – via Google Books.
- Sammut, Mark (April 4, 2018). "25 Awesome Secrets Only True Scooby-Doo Fans Know About Velma". TheGamer. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
- "Scooby Doo (2002) Script (on ScriptDB)".
- Poteet, Britt (March 25, 2019). "Scooby-Doo: 19 Things About Velma That Make No Sense". Screen Rant. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
- "Tony Cervone on Instagram: "Marcie and Velma – Mystery Incorporated. I obviously don't represent every version of Velma Dinkley, but I am one of the key people that…"". Instagram. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
- "Mitch Watson [Interview]". ScoobyAddicts.com. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
- Entertainment Weekly, 636/637 – Jan 25 Issue. Page 38
- "The early cinema of James Gunn". Den of Geek. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- TV Shows (October 13, 2015). "Harvey Birdman Season 1, Episode 3" – via YouTube.
- Kit, Borys (March 1, 2019). "Will Forte, Gina Rodriguez and Tracy Morgan to Star in Animated Scooby-Doo Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Scooby-Doo Film ‘Scoob’ Finds Its Young Velma and Fred (Exclusive) The Wrap, May 23, 2019,
- "Pauls Scooby-Doo Ice Cream (1981) (Australia) Commercial". YouTube. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
- "Voice(s) of Velma Dinkley in Mad". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
- "Voice of Velma Dinkley in Robot Chicken". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
- "Voice of Velma Dinkley in Family Guy". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
- "The Velma Chronicles: Character adds smarts, sensibility to 'Scooby-Doo' production". Las Vegas Sun. March 5, 2003. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
- "What's new, Scooby- Doo? Almost zilch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
- "Scooby-Doo and the Pirate Ghost, Mayflower, Southampton". Bournemouth Echo. March 20, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
- "SCOOBY-DOO LIVE! MUSICAL MYSTERIES Comes to Houston, 6/1 & 2". Broadway World.com. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
- "Cast announced for Scooby-Doo on stage". Official London Theatre. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- "Scooby-Doo musical – London cast unmasked". Musical Theatre Review. Retrieved November 19, 2020.