Ultra Instinct Shaggy

A discussion on the strongest warriors in fiction might include some fairly standard picks, like Goku, Superman, or Saitama. An individual that shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is Shaggy Rogers from the "Scooby-Doo" franchise. Put simply, Shaggy is a character whose presence makes games even better. What may be underestimated, though, is his limitless power.

From obscure fan meme to playable reality, Ultra Instinct Shaggy has taken the world by storm. The character set a major precedent for the power of the gaming community. What was initially a joke just for "Dragon Ball" and "Scooby-Doo" lovers has now become canon to Warner Bros. and its properties.

In November 2021, Warner Bros. announced crossover fighter "MultiVersus," which includes Shaggy Rogers as a playable (and powerful) character. With this incredible reveal, it feels like the right time to track the history of the infamous meme. How did a bizarre meme eventually become so strongly embraced by the actual rights-holders? The rise of Ultra Instinct Shaggy is absurd and nonsensical, but more relevant than ever. Here’s how it all happened.

The origin of Ultra Instinct Shaggy

Shaggy being grabbed

"Dragon Ball Super" is a major factor in the creation of Shaggy’s new form. The sequel series to "Dragon Ball Z" is a battle anime in which a colorful cast of characters duke it out and obtain new powers and forms. At one point in the series, the main character, Goku, achieves a new transformation that allows him to run purely on instinct and reaction. This form is called Ultra Instinct, and many a slow-motion action sequence is later scored with the "Ultimate Battle" music.

History was made when a YouTuber named Midya took it upon themselves to edit a scene of "Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur" with a number of "Dragon Ball" influences. In this viral clip, an out-of-context scene of Shaggy beating up thugs in a bar is backed by Goku’s "Ultimate Battle" theme and some slow motion editing. Although taken down (per KnowYourMeme), secondary channels have since re-uploaded the video to preserve Ultra Instinct Shaggy’s first appearance.

Despite the fact that "Scooby-Doo" typically has little to do with climactic battles or even action altogether, the marriage between "Dragon Ball" and Shaggy’s fight is perfect. It’s no wonder the meme took off the way it did. This was just the beginning, however, as countless other artists and creators would put their own spin on the Warner-owned character.

Shaggy becomes Dragon Ball’s newest fighter

Shaggy with Ultra Instinct glow

After a spotlight was placed on the "Legend of the Phantosaur" scene by Midya, more memes came along that aimed to seamlessly embed Shaggy into Goku’s world, making things even more hilarious.

One infamous piece of fan art, created by MielSibel, is of an ominous, smirking Shaggy undergoing the iconic transformation, surrounded the Ultra Instinct glow. Others made fan art of Shaggy throwing down with other "Dragon Ball Super" characters, complete with a giant "KO" screen that seems pulled straight from "Dragon Ball FighterZ."

Eventually, fans took their love to the next level, creating mods for video games like "Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2" Seeing a Shaggy character skin doing battle atop the "Tournament of Power" stage further blurred the line between fan dream and fighting game reality.

While other mods would put Shaggy in games like "Grand Theft Auto 5," the majority of fan jokes were hellbent on portraying Shaggy in an anime style. However, the memes would eventually bleed over into live-action.

Buff Shaggy screaming
Shaggy giving thumbs up
Shaggy kicking Scorpion
Ed Boon interview
Shaggy eating a sandwich
Shaggy looking off to the side
Batman flies out of Batmobile
Shaggy charging up