Expansion.jpg This needs a stretch. (Feel free to remove when satisfied of completion.)
Needed: Synopsis is incomplete; including the actual beginning and end.

Bedlam in the Big Top is the tenth episode of the first season of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!


The gang stumble upon a circus that is supposedly haunted by a ghost clown who hypnotizes people with a gold coin.


Mystery Inc. is driving through the woods and encounter two carnies experiencing bike trouble. Samson the Strongman and Max the Midget introduce themselves, and explain they are leaving the circus because of strange happenings. Mystery Inc. goes to the circus and speaks with the manager, Mr. Barnstorm, who explained that there is a ghost clown haunting the premises and warns them to leave. Freddy, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy leave, but Scooby is mistakenly left behind and hypnotized by the ghost clown with a gold coin.

The rest of Mystery Inc. return and split up to look for Scooby. Velma and Shaggy find Scooby balancing across the high wire in a trance and managed to save him, while Fred and Daphne go into the costume tent, where Fred is locked in a trunk by the clown, who then hypnotized Daphne. Scooby, Velma and Shaggy find her riding a unicycle and wearing a ballerina costume. They save her as well, thanks to the spray of an elephant, and rescue Freddy. Then the gang set up a trap to capture the ghost clown in a cage, but it backfires when the clown hypnotizes Shaggy and sets him taming lions. Scooby saves Shaggy and they flee, with the clown in pursuit. They manage to lead the clown into the cage, but he vanishes from inside it.

Fred's frustrated cry unlocks Shaggy's memory; the clown uses a gold coin to hypnotize his victims. Going out again, the clown tries to hypnotize both Shaggy and Scooby, but the two counter-act with a mirror (while closing their eyes) and trick the clown into hypnotizing himself into acting like a chimp. They lure the chimp-clown into a cage and then unmask him as Harry the Hypnotist. Harry used to be a hypnotist in his own act with the circus, but he was caught stealing and was fired and imprisoned as a result. He came back to get revenge and dressed up as the ghost clown to do so.


Main characters:

Supporting characters:


Other characters:

  • Elephants (single appearance)(no lines)
  • Lion (single appearance)(no lines)
  • Circus attendees (single appearance)(no lines)





  • None


Culprit Motive/Reason
Harry the Hypnotist as the Ghost Clown To get revenge on Mr. Barnstorm for firing him and having him sent to prison.


Don Messick Scooby-Doo
Mr. Barnstorm
Max the Midget
Casey Kasem Shaggy Rogers
Frank Welker Fred Jones
Stefanianna Christopherson Daphne Blake
Nicole Jaffe Velma Dinkley
John Stephenson Samson the Strongman
Barry Richards Ghost Clown

Full credits

The following credits are how they are seen on-screen (or as close as possible).


  • In this episode, Shaggy states that Daphne cannot ride a bicycle, and he implies that he is good at track athletics.
  • Mr. Barnstorm's name is a play on words; it means "to tour rural districts putting on shows, esp. theatrical, athletic, or acrobatic shows".
  • This is the first time members of Mystery Inc. have been hypnotized; namely Scooby, Daphne, and Shaggy; Fred and Velma, on the other hand, are the only ones of the Mystery Inc. gang who do not get hypnotized.
  • The exciting circus music heard during Scooby's stunt is from Wacky Races, another Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
  • This episode marks the first time that Shaggy is the one who devises a working plan which actually captures the villain.
  • It is revealed that Scooby can speak and understand the language of the elephants, as he was able to speak with one of the them to squirt water and wake up Daphne (who was hypnotized).
  • Harry The Hypnotist looks very similar to Pietro, the culprit from the previous episode "The Backstage Rage".
  • Coincidentally, in a trance Shaggy called a lion Simba, decades before Disney's The Lion King, which features a lion named Simba as the protagonist. This can be easily explained, as "Simba" is the Swahili word for "lion".



Animation mistakes and/or technical glitches

The Ghost Clown's miscolored mouth.

  • When Velma reacts to the tandem bicycle going out of control, Daphne's lips move (or at least just barely).
  • Samson points off to his left, saying that Max flew off the bicycle in that direction, yet Scooby finds him hanging from a tree off to the strongman's right.
  • Velma's mouth doesn't move when cheering for Scooby after he rescues Max.
  • It takes mere moments for the rest of the gang to get out the van and out of its reach, after Scooby saves Max.
  • At first, Max is standing behind Scooby, with Samson next to him, then suddenly Max is by Scooby's side, and Samson is gone.
  • While unhypontizing Scooby when the Ghost Clown says you shall not work in this circus his eye sockets turn yellow
  • When Shaggy says, "Don't tell me that there are two of them", his head is up instead of right.
  • The Clown's lips are colored red, but when hypnotizing Daphne, they suddenly turn grey. It does flicker red at the beginning of his sentence, though.
  • Perhaps for more detail, Daphne is not only given white sclera, but also blue irises when being hypnotized by the Ghost Clown.
  • When the Ghost Clown yells "Give me back that whistle", the black part of his costume is colored red.

Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities

Balloon in shape of Scooby's head.png
  • Samson hangs onto the bicycle handlebars, keeping his arms in exactly the same position, even though the handlebars are no longer attached to the bike.
  • It is revealed in this episode that Daphne can't even ride a bicycle. However, she rode one in the The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair, very proficiently. Logically, she could have practiced a lot since then.
  • Velma's fine with clowns in this episode, which contradicts the later produced What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode A Terrifying Round with a Menacing Metallic Clown, in which claims she's had a phobia of clowns since her 5th birthday.
  • How did the gang not even realize that Scooby is not with them when they were leaving the circus?
  • When the gang (minus Scooby) were leaving the circus with the Mystery Machine going from left to right it is obvious that the animators simply flipped the cells of it going from right to left. Unfortunately, this results in the steering wheel being on the left side and the gang being in the opposite positions (Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy from left to right) from where they should be when the animators change to the front view.
  • The Ghost Clown was controlling Scooby like a puppet but that is impossible to do since he just hypnotized him.
  • The Clown attempted to convince the gang that there were two of them when they attempted to capture him. The Clown they captured was a balloon that was deflated to make it appear as though the Clown had disappeared into thin air. However, wouldn't the gang have seen the balloon in the cage once it had deflated? (Perhaps they did not check until after they had caught him.)
  • Right before the Clown is finally captured, Scooby and Shaggy hold up a mirror to prevent themselves from being hypnotized. The Clown should have stopped the hypnotism chant when he saw the mirror; instead, he hypnotizes himself.
  • Mr. Barnstorm states that the lions had begun acting like scared kittens, yet the one Shaggy tames seems to be acting perfectly normal. It is possible the Ghost Clown reversed his hypnosis on that lion, assuming this is why the lions were acting scared.
  • Shaggy says about going back to the hero sandwich in the cage (that the Ghost Clown balloon would be caught in), but there would be no reason why it would be there, especially since he would've surely eaten it not long after getting it.
  • Shaggy, Velma, and Scooby hold the net tightly to stop Daphne and when it doesn't work, Shaggy and Scooby are thrown on top of musical instruments, but why wasn't Velma thrown with them too?
  • Daphne says she hopes Scooby doesn't try the high wire again, even though she wasn't on-screen with Velma and Shaggy when it happened. It's possible she peeked inside the tent off-screen and saw Scooby on the high wire.
  • It is not revealed how the Ghost Clown/Harry the Hypnotist was brought out of his trance.
  • At the end of the episode, a young boy in the audience is inexplicably holding a balloon shaped similar to Scooby's head.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Brazilian Portuguese Confusão na Elevação Confusion at the Elevation
French Le Fantôme du Clown
Quel cirque sous le chapiteau
The Ghost of the Clown
What a Circus Under the Tent
Greek Ο Κλόουν του Τσίρκου
Παλαβομάρες σε Σχοινί
The Clown of the Circus
Crack-braining on a Wire
Hungarian A bolond bohóc The Crazy Clown

Home media


Ghost Clown: (hypnotising Daphne) You will pay attention for a time... and soon your thoughts shall all be mine. Watch the pretty coin of gold, and you will do as you are told.

Mr. Barnstorm: (upon seeing who the Ghost Clown really is) I know that man. He’s Harry the Hypnotist. He had an act with us, but we caught him stealing and sent him to prison.
Velma: Looks like he wanted to get revenge.
Daphne: As the Ghost Clown, he knew he could ruin your circus.
Fred: He sure had us fooled with this balloon copy of the Ghost Clown. You see, he inflated it with this gas cartridge, and it disappeared when he deflated it.

External links

Previous episode: Series: Next episode:
The Backstage Rage Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Season 1
A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts