Fred Jones (Scooby-Doo)
|First appearance||"What a Night for a Knight" (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode, 1969)|
Fred Jones is a fictional character in the American animated series Scooby-Doo, about a quartet of teenage mystery solvers and their Great Dane companion, Scooby-Doo. He has been mostly voiced by Frank Welker since the character's inception in 1969.
In most series, Fred wears a white and/or blue shirt and blue jeans. In the original series, Fred wears an orange ascot tie. In the 1990s direct-to-video movies, Fred generally wears a light blue shirt sometimes with a jacket. In the 2002 series What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Fred's outfit was given an update, with the removal of his orange ascot and two blue stripes added to his sleeves. He is often shown constructing various Rube Goldberg traps for villains, which Scooby-Doo or Shaggy would often set off by mistake, causing the villain to be captured in another way. Fred usually takes the lead in solving mysteries. When searching for clues, Fred and Daphne usually go together with Velma coming along, but sometimes Fred and Daphne would pair off, leaving Velma to go with Shaggy and Scooby. Although generally a very nice and handsome guy, Fred can be bossy at times and will force Shaggy and Scooby to hang around until the mystery is solved.
According to Scooby-Doo: Behind the Scenes, his nickname was "Pickle". He was voted "Best Looking" in school and was once part of a performance troupe before he devoted himself to solving mysteries. With his dramatic studies, Fred is an expert of getting into the mind of the villains he and his friends face. He sings Show Boat tunes whenever his friends feel exceptionally scared. Fred one day hopes to become a mystery writer where he can put all of his talents to the fullest.
In A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Fred was depicted as being somewhat less intelligent and was often believing in crazy conspiracy theories and legends such as Bigfoot and mole people and liked reading a Coolsville-based magazine called The National Exaggerator whose uncle, Eddie Jones, eventually bought. In each episode, Fred would (often incorrectly) blame the crime on the neighborhood bully, Red Herring (a play on the idiom red herring). This more ditsy and scatterbrained version of Fred was also carried over to What's New, Scooby-Doo? but without his supernatural beliefs. In this teenage version, he is shown to have many interests (obsessions for traps, martial arts, wrestling, and weightlifting).
Fred Jones was inspired by the titular character of the late 1950s/early 1960s American sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, as played by Dwayne Hickman. Some network sales presentation art from an early version of Scooby-Doo, entitled Who's S-S-Scared?, featured early designs of Fred with brown hair;
Originally named "Ronnie" when production for Scooby-Doo began in spring 1969, Fred was named by and after Fred Silverman, who was then head of daytime programming at CBS and a key member of the show's development team. Frank Welker, a young comedian and impressionist, was asked by the network to audition for the voice of Fred, although he had originally intended to audition for first Scooby-Doo (whom he eventually did get to voice after Don Messick died in 1997) and later Shaggy (Casey Kasem, who was cast as Shaggy, had originally wanted to voice Fred). Being cast as Fred led to the start of a long, prolific career in voice work for Welker, with Scooby-Doo being his first voice acting job.
Fred Jones has been given two different first names. In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays, he is called Frederick, while in Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map, he is called Fredward. In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, it was revealed that Fred's father Fred Jones Sr. was not, in fact, his biological father, but instead a man who kidnapped him as a child and raised him as his own son. His biological parents Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves later returned, but Fred continued to use the last name of Jones. In the series finale, when the universe is restarted to where Fred was never raised by Fred Jones Sr., but rather his biological parents, it is never stated what his last name is in the new reality. In Aloha, Scooby-Doo!, his middle name is stated to be Herman.
- Frank Welker (1969–present)
- Carl Steven (1988–1991; A Pup Named Scooby-Doo)
- Freddie Prinze Jr. (2002–2005; Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (live-action), Robot Chicken (voice))
- Ryan Vrba (2004; Young Fred in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed)
- Chris Cox (2004; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed - The Video Game)
- Robbie Amell (2009–2010; Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster)
- Jim Wise (2012; Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire (singing voice))
- Zac Efron (2020; Scoob!)
Relatives of Fred's shown or mentioned during the series include:
- Mayor Frederick Jones Sr.: Fred's illegal "father" in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, voiced by Gary Cole. In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Fred's fake father is the mayor of Crystal Cove. He is self-centered and more interested in his status as town mayor and keeping the town's tourist industry going, something he tries to force on his "son". In the season one finale, it is revealed Mayor Jones was masquerading as a monster known as "The Freak of Crystal Cove", and is the person responsible for the disappearance of the original Mystery Incorporated twenty years prior. In order to make sure two members never returned, he took Fred as an infant as blackmail, raising him as his own son. He is later arrested for his crimes. Later, in "Come Undone", he becomes the coach at Crystal Cove High School and says that he always has loved Fred and feels like a father figure to him.
- Skip and Peggy Jones: Fred's father and mother in the movie Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy!. Voiced by Tim Conway and Edie McClurg.
- Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves: Fred's real father and mother in Mystery Incorporated, voiced by Tim Matheson and Tia Carrere (younger selves voiced by Nolan North and Kari Wahlgren). Both were members of the original Mystery Incorporated searching for the haunted treasure of Crystal Cove until they were blackmailed by Mayor Jones into leaving Crystal Cove forever. (see above)
- Eddie Jones: Fred's uncle from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, voiced by Frank Welker. The publisher of the tabloid newspaper The National Exaggerator.
- The Count von Jones: Fred's uncle who lives in a castle near a factory that makes specialized coffins, and runs a museum. Fred intended to visit him during the “Homeward Hound” episode of What's New Scooby-Doo but Fred was outvoted by the gang, who decided to watch a dog show instead. He is never seen in the series.
- Uncle Karl: Fred's uncle who runs a cheese shop near Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. He appears in “Fright House of a Lighthouse. He is shown to be better than Fred at bench-pressing.
- An uncle who is in the United States Air Force and works for a space agency.
- An uncle who is first cymbalist in the United States Marine Corps band.
- A 3-year-old nephew. Mentioned in The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode that guest-starred The Monkees member Davy Jones, "The Haunted Horseman of Hagglethorn Hall".
- Jed Jones: Fred's cousin working for Monstrous, Fright, and Magic. He is voiced by Chris Edgerly in Scooby-Doo! Unmasked.
- Donald Jones alias Professor Huh?: Fred's father in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! A world renowned criminal who is the reason Fred is always determined to solve a mystery whenever he finds one. Despite his criminal nature, he still cares about Fred and breaks out of prison when his son is threatened by a conspiracy.
- Bobby Flay aka Uncle Bobby in Scooby-Doo! and the Gourmet Ghost.
Reception to relationship with Daphne
Members of the fanbase of the Scooby-Doo series speculated that Fred and Daphne Blake had a romantic attraction to one another. The makers of the Scooby-Doo film originally planned to refer to the rumor by including a scene where Fred asks to stay with Daphne, using a toothbrush to imply that he wanted to stay with Daphne for the night. The scene was not included in the final version of the film. In Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost, Daphne and Velma both inquire as to why Fred always wants to split up with Daphne, and Daphne visibly becomes jealous when Fred is enamored by Thorn, the lead singer of The Hex Girls. In Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, after saving the gang from a lion attack, Daphne kisses Fred for his heroism. In Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, the two are caught kissing at the beginning of the film, it is later stated by Daphne that they are better off just as friends for the sake of Mystery Incorporated. In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Daphne is in love with Fred, and in the episode "Dead Justice" they have their first kiss and Fred asks her to marry him. In later episodes, the engagement is broken off and their relationship continues to evolve. It is never revealed if they became married or not. In the episode "When the Cicada Calls," they have their first date at the Trap Exhibit 3000.
- "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed: The Video Game". Behind The Voice Actors.
- Mark Evanier (July 10, 2002). "News from Me". Povonline.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
Fred was based on Dobie, Velma on Zelda, Daphne on Thalia and Shaggy on Maynard
- "Original presentation boards for Scooby-Doo, Where are You!/Who's S-S-Scared?". Los Angeles: Hanna-Barbera Productions. Archived from the original on May 8, 1999. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- "Original storyboards for Scooby-Doo, Where are You!". Los Angeles: Hanna-Barbera Productions. Archived from the original on April 27, 1999. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
The original storyboards for "What a Night for a Knight" identify the Fred character as Ronnie
- (2006). Interview with Ken Spears. Eerie Mystery of Scooby-Doo and Dynomutt's History. Excerpt: "That character [Fred] started out... I think his name was 'Geoff'... and then he became 'Harvey'. And then all of a sudden, Fred [Silverman] came in and said [the character] was going to be 'Fred'. So, I guess he had something to do with that."
- (2001). Interview with Frank Welker and Casey Kasem. In Their Own Words [documentary featurette from The Scooby-Doo/Dynomut Hour: The Complete Series DVD bonus features]. New York, Los Angeles, CA: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
- Sigesmund, B.J. (June 14, 2002). "The Inside Dope". Web Exclusive. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
- "The Song of Mystery". Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Season 1. Episode 5. August 9, 2010. Cartoon Network.
- Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays. DVD. Warner Home Video. 2012.
- Scooby-Doo! Adventures: The Mystery Map DVD. Warner Home Video. 2013.
- Aloha, Scooby-Doo! DVD. Warner Home Video. 2005.
- Breznican, Anthony. "Are hidden meanings present in the 'Scooby-Doo' movie?, Filmmakers and cast members say some hints are there, but won't be understood by children." Philadelphia Inquirer. June 20, 2002. D10 Features Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2010.