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If cats have nine lives, Courage must have about a thousand. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Terrifying Courage the Cowardly Dog Moments."
For this list, we’re looking at the most disgusting, painful, and terrifying incidents to befall Courage the Cowardly Dog. Please note a spoiler warning is now in effect.
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Having to Lick a Fungus Foot
This episode really tests Courage's gag reflex. When Eustace contracts a foot fungus, rather than do the sensible thing and visit a doctor, the farmer concludes that a quick nap should fix the problem. Long story short, Eustace was wrong. After consuming the irritable farmer's entire body and transforming into a disgusting gigantic purple foot, the fungus starts to boss Courage and Muriel around. Eventually, the heroic dog learns that the only way to cure Eustace's itchy infection is to give the fungus a thorough licking. Is there nothing Courage won’t do to protect Muriel?
Living in the middle of nowhere and constantly under attack from all manner of weird creatures, Courage's life is loaded with hardship. As the only person who doesn’t try to intentionally maim the timid canine, Muriel is Courage's one beacon of hope. In the show’s second episode, however, a blow to the head causes Muriel to come down with a bad case of amnesia and completely forget him. Suddenly, Courage is truly alone. Eustace instantly throws the poor dog out of the house, and he gets back in only to face a conniving con-artist. When it rains, it pours.
Having to Perform an Exorcism on Muriel
If Eustace and Muriel had any degree of common-sense, most Courage the Cowardly Dog episodes would have ended after about a minute. Despite Courage's earnest warnings and the clearly shady deliverymen, Muriel accepts a new mattress and ends up becoming possessed. When a thumb war with the demon fails to do the trick, Courage discovers an incantation that should help; unfortunately, the exorcist has to wear a silly dress and spout a bizarre chant. Scaring the dog half to death is apparently not enough, Courage also has to be humiliated.
Getting Chased by Carnivorous Vegetables
It’s the attack of the killer vegetables! When even food is out to get you, you know the universe is not on your side. With barely anything to eat, the Bagge family call in an expert, who installs a greenhouse for veggies. Sounds simple enough in theory, but there’s one thing that the specialist forgets to mention: These particular vegetables happen to be the human- and canine-eating kind. Be it cabbages, beans, or headphones-wearing tomatoes, all of them are hungry, and Courage seems like the ideal main course.
Suffering the Ridicule of the Perfectionist
Compared to some of Courage’s other antagonists, this intimidating school teacher might seem relatively normal. But don’t be fooled! When Eustace's constant mockery causes Courage to obsess over his flaws, the dog accidentally summons the Perfectionist. Seeking to teach Courage how to be perfect, the teacher puts the poor animal through various hellish lessons and berates every tiny mistake. By the end, the hero is plagued by nightmares and starts to second-guess everything. While the dog has been through deadlier encounters, the Perfectionist wreaked havoc on Courage's psyche.
Being Shaved by Freaky Fred
No barber should be this terrifying! Freaky Fred is among Courage the Cowardly Dog's most fondly remembered villains, although Muriel's nephew is not truly all that evil. Unable to resist the urge to cut hair, Fred immediately fixates on Courage's purple coat and psychotically begins to slowly strip the pup down to nothing. Eventually, Fred is taken away by the authorities, but Courage's tail is the only part that survives the ordeal with any fur. Hair might grow back, but Courage's memory of the undesired shave will probably last forever.
Enduring a Plague of Locusts
At one point or another, every nightmarish insect has attempted to use Courage as a toothpick. Apparently, the dog just looks really appetizing. When a stolen Egyptian slab lands on the farm's doorstep and Eustace refuses to return it, King Ramses' ghost unleashes three plagues on the family. The first two curses prove no match for Eustace's stubbornness, but King Ramses' final move is to unleash a horde of hungry locusts. With the house already gone and Eustace still acting like a greedy idiot, Courage barely avoids being on the receiving end of some biblical-level punishment.
Starring in a Reality TV Show
Reality TV can be mean-spirited, but certain lines should never be crossed! Benton Tarantella, a zombie serial killer who used to moonlight as a film director, turns Courage's everyday torment into a source of entertainment for the whole world to see. In the reality show, fueled by Eustace's appalling treatment of Muriel and Courage, the director pushes the farmer to progressively commit even more heinous acts with each passing episode. While the dog is no stranger to dangerous situations, this marks the only time Courage's misery was broadcast to a wider audience. At least, that he knew.
Playing in a Dodgeball Game Against His Enemies
Bringing together six of the cartoon's most notorious villains, the episode "Ball of Revenge" sees the lovable mutt facing near insurmountable odds. Determined to finally get revenge for every defeat endured at the hands of the cowardly dog, the villains kidnap Muriel and challenge Courage to a deadly game of dodgeball. On paper, the group's plan might sound kind of stupid, but the match is really an excuse to pelt Courage with balls. Once the onslaught is complete and the hero is rendered defenseless, the despicable six move in to extract their pounds of flesh; luckily, Courage unleashes a devastating scream that turns the tables.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions:
- Almost Getting Melted Alive
- Having the Son of the Chicken from Outer Space Try to Kill Him
- Being Choked by Dr. Zalost
Being Owned by Eustace Bagge
In a series packed with sadistic and horrifying villains, this obstinate old man is the lowest of the low. After Courage's parents were abducted by a veterinarian, the puppy was adopted by Muriel, a decision that did not sit well with Eustace. Belittling Courage at every given opportunity and not above getting physical, Eustace is an abusive owner who should be kept as far away from animals—or humans—as possible. Regularly referring to Courage as a "stupid dog," Eustace's arrogance and jealousy are to blame for most of the terrible things that happen throughout the show.