This American animated horror comedy television series showcases a pink dog who lives with an elderly couple, Eustace and Muriel, in a farmhouse. Each day, the trio encounters bizarre paranormal and supernatural activities.
This series was broadcasted on Cartoon Network from the year 1999 to 2002. Some of these episodes are so scary that they still make special appearances in our nightmares. Here is a list of some episodes that will send chills down your spine.
1. Freaky Fred (Season 1, Episode 8)
This is one of the creepiest episodes that still can give people chills. Fred is Muriel's cousin who escaped an asylum because he is obsessed with his job of being a barber. With his green eyes, evil grin, and murderous persona, everything is skeptical about him. He talks in a very eerie manner and ends every sentence with "naughty".
When Eustace locks Courage with Fred in the bathroom, he recites his inner monologue consisting of his past deeds as a poem, telling about the beginning of his obsession as a barber. He starts shaving Courage and tells about how he shaved his hamster and his ex-girlfriend bald. He eventually shaves the whole fur of Courage, leaving just the tail.
From a different point of view, this episode talks about the abuse of a child left alone with a relative. This happens a lot in our society but is not talked much about. This show dared to talk about this taboo while being a kid's show.
2. The Mask (Season 4, Episode 7)
This is again one of the scariest episodes since it is so realistic. The episode begins with the entry of an unknown masked creature wearing a spooky mask. The creature calls itself Kitty and has a deep hatred for dogs. When it enters the Bagge’s house, it starts attacking Courage because of its belief that dogs are evil.
Courage is bullied by Kitty so he tries to reach out to the police and gets stuck with Kitty’s best friend Bunny’s affairs. Courage comes to know that Kitty’s best friend Bunny is in an abusive relationship with her partner, a gangster dog, who doesn’t let Bunny leave the relationship and is very abusive.
After knowing all this, he learns that Kitty's hatred towards dogs stems from the behavior of the gangster dog toward Bunny. This episode deals with a variety of adult things such as domestic abuse, prostitution, and people living in delusion.
Ending with the reunion of Bunny and Kitty as Courage helps Bunny escape from the gangster, this episode manages to not become traumatizing for children.
3. The Great Fusilli (Season 1, Episode 13 - Part 2)
This episode isn’t creepy in the beginning but it turned out to have a very grim ending.
In this episode, our main trio, Courage, Eustace, and Muriel get visited by a talking alligator, Fusilli who is the owner of a talking stage. Fusilli has mysterious powers to turn those people into puppets who act on his stage.
He intends to turn Eustace, Muriel, and Courage into puppets. Fusilli recruits the Bagge family to perform on his stage to achieve his goal. Courage comes to know about his real intention but Fusilli successfully turns Eustace and Muriel into puppets.
In the end, Fusilli himself is turned into a puppet and Courage rescues Eustace and Muriel. But the sad part is that Courage is unable to transform Eustace and Muriel back into their natural states. The episode ends on a sad note as Courage goes insane, puppeteering his owner’s bodies the whole life.
4. Perfect (Season 4, Episode 13 - Part 2)
The final episode of the series Courage: The Cowardly Dog is the scariest one too. This episode has the most nightmare fuel with the blue alien-like creature that Courage sees when he falls asleep. The alien creature is supposedly a fetus in Satan’s uterus. The thing is so unnatural that it sends down the creeps through one’s spine.
Courage has always been insecure about him not being enough or perfect which makes him anxious. He creates an imaginary teacher in his mind who constantly tells him how to be perfect. The teacher melts and dies. But this lack of self-confidence turns into abstract nightmares of a blue figure that appears in Courage’s dreams chanting about how he is not perfect.
The episode ends with Courage reassuring himself that he is enough, his existence is enough and his perfection lies within his imperfections. Thus the series ends with a happy ending where Courage is finally able to regain his self-confidence.
5. King Ramses’ curse (Season 1, Episode 7)
This episode is the one that every person who has watched the series remembers. King Ramses, an Egyptian pharaoh, was easily the creepiest character of the entire series.
The episode starts with an ancient cursed slab getting stolen by 2 cats from the tomb of King Ramses. Eustace Bagge, who is greedy and selfish, gets hold of the slab and plans to keep it with himself as the slab is worth a million dollars. The opening scene is one of the scariest scenes of the entire series. King Ramses refuses to leave until the slab is returned and Eustace, being his selfish self, refuses to return the slab.
The animation style of this episode is also very spooky. Even though it has low CGI, it still manages to creep everyone out. The voice of King Ramses is another traumatizing aspect of the episode. He talks in an eerie tone which makes it seem like he is voiced by a dead person. The eerie echoed voice repeatedly asking for the return of the slab manages to terrify its viewers.
6. Heads of Beef (Season 1, Episode 11)
Another episode that is not made for a kids' show is "Heads of Beef" as it deals with human cannibalism. This episode has creepy pigs who supposedly are the cooks within a restaurant.
While looking for some food, Eustace and Courage enter a restaurant offering cheap hamburgers. The owner of the restaurant is a pig named Jean Bon who appears suspicious from the very beginning of the episode. Courage sees a man entering the bathroom and never leaving.
He also sees Jean Bon collecting the man’s belongings so he suspects that something is wrong with the restaurant. He freaks out when he sees the man’s face in his hamburger. Thinking that the restaurant is serving human meat, Courage flees from the place leaving Eustace behind.
In the end, it is revealed that it was all a misunderstanding and the restaurant was never serving human meat. However, the pig still looks suspicious even after all the clearance.
7. Demon in the Mattress (Season 1, Episode 4)
This episode is a parody of the movie “The Exorcist” which makes it very unexpected as the show is supposedly a kids' show. Real exorcism is performed in this show by Eustace to bring Muriel back to normal.
The episode starts with Muriel ordering a new mattress after she gets irritated because of her old mattress. The mattress comes with a demon residing within it which possesses Muriel when Muriel sleeps on the mattress.
Muriel’s skin turns green, her hair turns red and her voice becomes very hoarse and deep. The episode has lots of scary moments such as Muriel’s head-turning 360 degrees and then falling off or her loud scary scream.
The episode ends with Eustace being possessed after performing an exorcism on Muriel and Courage returning the mattress with Eustace trapped inside.
8. The House of Discontent (Season 2, Episode 12)
The episode becomes horrifying because of the giant white floating head with blank black eyes and the booming voice of the spirit of the harvest moon.
Eustace and Muriel are haunted by this spirit because of their negligence towards their farm work. The spirit casts a spell over the land making strange things occur and asks the family to leave the land. When they refuse to leave, the spirit challenges them to grow a certain plant within ten minutes. Eustace refuses and keeps on arguing with the spirit but Courage manages to grow a flower within the given time.
The episode ends with Courage being able to grow the plant and the spirit leaving the family. Technically, the spirit was angry only because of the carelessness and lack of respect of the Bagge family towards their land.
9. Windmill Vandals (Season 4, Episode 3 - Part 2)
Everything is scary in this episode from the design of the vandals to the atmosphere of the episode. And the background music adds up to its chilling vibes.
In this episode, the windmills generating power near Bagge’s house stop working. Courage comes to know about Vandals through the computer which tells the story in a very spooky way.
The computer tells Courage about the legend of Windmill Vandals saying if a windmill having carvings of Vandals ever stops rotating, Vandals will come back and seek vengeance on the people who possess the windmill. As a part of the curse when the windmill stops, four incredibly scary horsemen arrive near Bagge’s land. They start attacking the Bagge family to take revenge.
After several minutes of chaos, the episode ends with Courage, Muriel, and Eustace rebuilding the windmill together, killing the vandals for as long as the windmill continues to operate.
10. Courage in the Big Stinkin' City (Season 2, Episode 2 - Part 2)
This is another creepy episode of the series. The presence of a giant cockroach named Schwick, a mysterious monster in the rehearsal room, and the monstrous Violin girl, all add up to the scary factor of this episode.
The episode begins with Muriel winning a contest that gives her a chance to perform her sitar live in Radio City Music Hall. Muriel, Eustace, and Courage are welcomed by a giant criminal cockroach who calls himself Schwick. Schwick keeps Muriel and Eustace with himself and sends Courage to get some mysterious package.
While looking for the package, Courage reaches an abandoned house that is home to a mysterious Violin girl who turns out to be a horrific claymation monster. Courage retrieves the package and returns to the rehearsal room. Schwick gets infuriated as Courage’s entry destroys the rehearsal room. He then decides to reveal the rehearsal room monster. Courage carries Muriel and starts running away, eventually reaching the Radio City stage where Muriel performs. Schwick is captured by the cops and Eustace is almost eaten by the rehearsal room monster.
This series will always be nostalgic, especially for 90's kids who had nightmares after watching this show at night, in their childhood. Courage has taught us to be brave, no matter what the situation is. Even though this show has been always marketed as a kids' show, some of its episodes have been a little too scary or disturbing for a kids' show. Whatever the case may be, this series will forever remain in our memories.