Jinkies! Velma’s officially lesbian in new movie “Trick or Treat Scooby Doo!”


Iris Libson

New Scooby-Doo movie makes Velma explicitly lesbian after decades of hints about her sexuality

Carmela Cadja, Design Editor

On Oct. 4, streaming service HBO Max released “Trick or Treat Scooby Doo!,” inciting excitement online after a brief scene showed a flirtatious interaction between Velma and a female character, explicitly unveiling Velma’s sexual orientation. 

Debuting in 1969, “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!” followed a group of teenagers and a Great Dane named Scooby as they traveled in the iconic “Mystery Machine” to investigate spooky mysteries, usually involving faux ghosts or monsters. Their leader Fred typically romanced with Daphne, the stereotypical boy-crazy damsel in distress. However, Velma—easily identified by her orange sweater and maroon skirt combo and brunette bob—is the notably intelligent member in the group who pieces the uncovered clues together to solve the mystery.

“Trick or Treat Scooby Doo!” includes a scene where Velma meets fashion designer Coco Diablo, a self-assertive and clever woman who also sports glasses. She refers to Velma as “the cute one” and places a hand on her shoulder, causing Velma to utter her catchphrase “jinkies” with a smitten smile spread across her face. 

Inevitably, people saw the scene as trying to please the “woke police,” but Velma has been lesbian for 20 years. Best stated by Tony Cervone, the supervising director of the show “Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated” (2010-2013), “there’s no new news here.” 

James Gunn, the director of the live action movie “Scooby-Doo” (2002) explained that the only thing stopping her sexuality from being present on screen was censorship from studios. “In 2001 Velma was explicitly gay in my initial script,” Gun previously tweeted. “But the studio just kept watering it down [and] watering it down, becoming ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version) [and] finally having a boyfriend (the sequel).”

Velma’s identity was continued by Tony Cervone, the supervising director of the show “Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated” (2010-2013). In an Instagram post from July 2020, he explained that he has dropped hints to Velma’s sexuality, especially during her ambiguous relationship with Marcie Fleach, a woman who also wore glasses. “I don’t think Marcie and Velma had time to act on their feelings during the main timeline, but post reset, they are a couple. You can not like it, but this was our intention.”

Lesbian actress and singer Hayley Kiyoko, who played Velma in two live action movies from 2009 to 2010, was not surprised by the reveal. “It was my first big role in a movie but I specifically remember thinking to myself ‘I wonder if they know they hired a lesbian as Velma’ and here we are 14 years later!” Kiyoko said on her Instagram story. 

Though many praised the official coming out, opposers were quick to swat the significance down. 

Some within the LGTBQ+ community deny the fact that Velma is lesbian and label her as  bisexual due to her past flirtations and relationships with men, including Shaggy. The phrase “bi erasure” is often included in the conversation, which expresses how bisexual individuals’ sexualities feel invalidated, commonly due to outsiders imposing a “gay” or “heterosexual” label on relationships between two people. 

“I’ve said this before, but Velma in ‘Mystery Incorporated’ is not bi. She’s gay. We always planned on Velma acting a little off and out of character when she was dating Shaggy because that relationship was wrong for her and she had unspoken difficulty with the why,” Cervone stated on Instagram two years ago. 

Other arguments against Velma’s sexuality are blatantly homophobic. Conservative channels like the website One Millions Moms, who vow to “stand against the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media is throwing at your children,” clearly show their distress with the fictional character’s existence. One Millions Moms describes the scene in the film as “openly pushing the LGBTQ agenda” and “indoctrination” as they push for Christian mothers to boycott the film. 

Fox News anchors shared the same disgust when introducing the movie on air. “I’m waiting for them to tell us that Scooby and Shaggy shared more than a Scooby Snack in that mystery mobile,” a news anchor on “The Ingraham Angle” said.

Aside from fallacious beliefs that having LGTBQ+ characters in media influences children to be homosexuals themselves, Velma’s coming out has given the lesbian community a character to identify with whose personality is rarely represented. As a sharp-witted and modest woman, she avoids the stereotype of a helpless damsel in need of a man to save her (sorry, Daphne!) by taking the lead in piecing together discoveries throughout their adventures. Seen with Marcie and Coco, Velma certainly has a type: a confident woman adorned with glasses to dive right into solving any mystery that comes their way.