|First appearance||Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Season 1 Episode 1 "What a Night for a Knight"|
Daphne Blake is a fictional character in the long-running American animated series Scooby-Doo. Daphne, depicted as coming from a wealthy family, is noted for her red hair, lavender heels, fashion sense, and her knack for getting into danger, hence the nickname "Danger Prone Daphne". Daphne has appeared in more adaptations than the other characters, aside from Shaggy Rogers and Scooby-Doo.
The Daphne character was inspired by the sophisticated and money-hungry teen character Thalia Menninger, as played by Tuesday Weld, from the late 50s/early 60s American sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Be Cool, Scooby-Doo shows her birthday to be December 25 to create a personal conflict for her regarding Christmas overshadowing her birthday.
Together with her other teenage companions, Fred Jones, Velma Dinkley, Shaggy Rogers, and Shaggy's Great Dane, Scooby-Doo, Daphne would engage in solving various mysteries. In the first series, Daphne was portrayed as the enthusiastic but clumsy and danger-prone member of the gang (hence her nickname, "Danger-prone Daphne") who always follows her intuition. She serves as the damsel in distress and would occasionally get kidnapped, tied up, gagged, and then left imprisoned. But as the franchise went on, she became a stronger, more independent character, who could take care of herself.
During the series' fourth incarnation, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, some of the episodes focused on Daphne. In the episode, "Shiver and Shake, That Demon's a Snake", Daphne buys an idol which is cursed by the snake demon. On the sail boat, the snake demon attacks Daphne and demands an idol to return. Daphne throws it to Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy. In the episode, "The Scary Sky Skeleton", Daphne is reunited with her old friend, Wendy.
In the episode, "I Left My Neck in San Francisco", Daphne becomes sick and she's unable to help the gang to solve the mystery about The Lady Vampire of the Bay. Due to the vampire's look, Daphne's unseen reflection in the mirror, the bat flying around Daphne's bed and herself returning to bed a little later, Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy are convinced that Daphne is a vampire. When the vampiress is revealed to be Lefty Callahan, Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy realize they made a mistake with suspecting Daphne and she's feeling well again.
When the original Mystery Inc. group took a hiatus from the franchise in the 80s, Daphne was initially absent too, with the series focusing on the comedy antics of Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy. However, when the "Whodunnit?" aspect returned to the series with The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Daphne returned, now an accomplished investigator assisted by Shaggy and the two dogs, investigating supernatural occurrences. She continued to help Scooby battle evil forces of the supernatural in the 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo series.
The youthful Daphne portrayed in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo would commonly call upon her butler, Jenkins, to do various tasks. The younger Daphne is shown (along with her parents) to not believe in ghost/monsters/supernatural (one of her catchphrases in that series was "There is no such thing as ghosts (monsters)!), a trait she lacks outside the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo series.
In the movie Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Daphne as a young adult, had a very successful investigative TV series called Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake on a fictional channel called "Americana", which the show had aired on for two seasons. The producer of the show was Fred Jones.
Throughout the various incarnations of the character, there has been speculation that Daphne and Fred had an attraction toward each other. This is emphasized in many of the direct-to-video movies and the TV series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. By the time of the second season, they are shown to be actively dating, showing more of his feelings toward Daphne. In the first live-action Scooby-Doo movie, the two initially are just friends with but as the film progresses they begin to develop a romantic interest in each other and briefly kiss after saving Spooky Island. In the sequel: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, they are in a relationship.
In Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, Daphne is portrayed as being an eccentric non-conformist, usually having a different odd obsession each episode (such as puppets, false facial hair, etc.)
Her usual appearance in the franchise consists of a purple mini dress, pink pantyhose, purple shoes, and a green scarf. In Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island and Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost and Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, she wore a purple and green three-piece suit with matching shoes. In Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, she wore a purple sleeveless shirt with pink shorts and purple trainers boots or shoes.
As a child, she wore a pink sweater, red skirt, and pink pantyhose with white go-go boots. In The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, she wore other purple and pink clothes. Some included a purple jumpsuit and a purple dress with a white belt. In Scooby-Doo, she wears various outfits, but mostly a purple/pink dress with pink knee high boots.
Relatives of Daphne, including her four identical sisters, shown during the series' run include:
Note: Frank Welker, Kath Soucie and Jennifer Hale voice the Blakes in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated series, Vanessa Marshall voiced Danica in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? series and Grey DeLisle voiced Shannon in the film Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster (direct-to-DVD). Welker also voiced George on A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. The late voice actor Don Messick voiced two of Daphne's uncles: Matthew "Matt" Blake on The Scooby-Doo Show and John Maxwell on Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!.
Daphne was portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the film Scooby-Doo and its sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Her husband Freddie Prinze, Jr. played Fred in these same Scooby-Doo movies also.
In the movies, Daphne and Fred began a relationship in the first that followed on through the second. Unlike the previous incarnation of the character, Gellar's version of Daphne is trained in martial arts during Mystery Inc.'s 2 year-long departure in the first film, as she is tired of being a damsel in distress on every case that she is involved in with the gang.
Though in the first movie she is captured by the masked wrestler Zarkos, she beats him in a fight at the end. Daphne is portrayed by Kate Melton in the third film Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (released as a TV movie in 2009) and its sequel Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (which premiered on October 16, 2010).
Members of the fanbase of the original Scooby Doo speculated that Daphne and Fred Jones 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 the presence of 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.
Coincidentally, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. who portrayed Daphne and Fred in the 2002 live-action film and its 2004 sequel, are married in real life. The couple have been married since 2002.