Mortal Kombat 11 is plenty ridiculous. The time-hopping adventure bridges the series’ past and present timelines to bring young and old versions of its fighters together — mostly so they can punch each other. On top of that, Netherrealm Studios is famous for adding DLC fighters to its roster. Those have included absurd guests like Freddy Krueger and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But now fans are asking about another character. Could Shaggy be in Mortal Kombat 11? Like… Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. That Shaggy.
It seems like an absurd question. Then again, putting the Alien, Predator, Jason Vorhees, and Leatherface all in Mortal Kombat X also seemed strange at the time. Although those characters at least match the fighting game series’ penchant for over-the-top violence. Shaggy is decidedly… less aggressive than Scorpion and Shao Kahn. At least in his official depictions.
Hack and Slash Shaggy variation ????pic.twitter.com/TGFhfwAVkX
— Ed Boon (@noobde) February 1, 2019
A recent internet meme painted Shaggy more as an omnipotent, cosmic warrior — like if Jeff Lebowski could go Ultra Instinct. This “Powerful Shaggy” gag has many permutations, and you can read about their history here, but they mostly share one thing in common. These versions of Shaggy could put any Johnny Cage fatality to shame. Fans of the series (or just a lot of people who love a good meme) agreed. And they banded together to make a Change.org petition to put Shaggy in Mortal Kombat; it garnered just over 375,000 signatures.
There’s also some behind-the-scenes smoke to the “put Shaggy in Mortal Kombat 11” fire. Netherrealm Studios is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Warner Bros. also owns the Hanna-Barbera brand, under which the Scooby-Doo license falls. And there’s a long, long history of Hanna-Barbera properties being used in strange and adult ways — mostly in the form of Adult Swim cartoons.
Have you ever watched The Venture Bros. or Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law? Both series include many once family friendly characters in satirical, sometimes violent scenarios. So why can’t Shaggy shoot a lightning bolt through Sub-Zero’s head? Why can’t he call in Scooby as an assist to bite off Kitana’s legs? It would certainly be funny (in a gruesome kind of way).
The answer is probably because Warner still uses Mystery Inc. and its underage employees in modern products. The company reboots the cartoon series every few years, runs with a new concept for a couple seasons, and starts all over again. The 2010 series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, that ran for two seasons on Cartoon Network was even actually very good — funny and satirical in a more kid-friendly fashion. By comparison, nobody really seems to care if Jonny Quest is portrayed as an abused drug addict (at least not during the first two seasons of The Venture Bros., before the show renamed this version of Jonny to something more off-brand).
— Mortal Kombat 11 (@MortalKombat) February 5, 2019
Of course, there’s a sad, short answer to “Will Shaggy be in Mortal Kombat 11?” And that would be no; he is not going to be in Mortal Kombat 11, or likely any other Mortal Kombat game from now until the end of time. Netherrealm confirmed as much during an episode of its Kombat Kast video series. Community Manager Tyler Lansdown even called Powerful Shaggy a “dead meme” (how dare he?) before moving on.
So that’s one dream shattered, but it does leave room for speculation as to who the next Mortal Kombat guest character could be. And that’s still pretty fun to ponder! Hell, if Mortal Kombat X is any indication, we’ve got a lot more than just one piece of guest character DLC to anticipate going forward. Although none of them will likely be able to live up to the fan-fueled power of Shaggy.
Maybe that’s the real reason Shaggy won’t be in Mortal Kombat 11. It would be unfair to everyone else on the roster to face such an unstoppable being.