Both Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have nearly insatiable appetites, as well as tendencies towards goofing off and cowardice. Due to these similarities, Shaggy typically treats Scooby as a normal person rather than his pet. Shaggy uses his catch phrase "Zoinks!" whenever he's surprised or scared, which is frequently. Although usually considered a coward, Shaggy often proves useful in ferreting out the "monsters" and "ghosts" that are usually at the heart of the gang's mysteries (sometimes by reluctantly acting as "live bait" for a trap), and providing a necessary distraction for their eventual capture.


The leader of the group, and (usually) the driver of the gang's van, the Mystery Machine, Fred is a blonde, neckerchief (often confused for an ascot)-wearing, statuesque and brave youth; everything that the group's other male human member, Shaggy, is not. In later spinoffs, Fred is also shown as having a great interest in various types of sports.


Together with her other teenage cohorts, Fred Jones, Shaggy Rogers, Velma Dinkley, and Shaggy's pet Great Dane Scooby-Doo, Daphne would engage in solving various mysteries the gang would run across.


Velma is the most intelligent in the group and often makes great use of her skills in such areas as reading Chinese, deciphering scientific formulae, operating communications equipment, and so forth. A running gag of the series is Velma's trouble with keeping her glasses on her face (usually from being accidentally knocked off of her face while being chased by the villain), as she is very nearsighted. When Scooby and Shaggy are too afraid to volunteer for a mission (which tends to be most of the time), Velma often offers him a dog treat called a "Scooby Snack" as a bribe.