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Characters: Courage The Cowardly Dog Main Characters
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Voiced by: Howard Hoffman (pilot only), later Marty Grabstein
Serves as the titular character who is a pink and black spotted dog (of no known specific breed) who saves his owners Muriel and Eustace from all the creatures. No matter if they're Nightmare Fuel
, Uncanny Valley
, or just plain weird.
- Action Pet
- All Men Are Perverts: Even the dogs! In one episode, Courage is scrambling around a laboratory and opens a door with a woman showering in it. He closes it, but doesn't leave before getting a second glance.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife
- Amusing Injuries: Courage takes a lot of pain in many episodes (most notable perhaps in Mecha-Courage), but he's usually okay, and even laughing (albeit as if slapped silly).
- Animal Reaction Shot: At almost everything he finds scary, it instantly cuts to him scream with his mouth open. Different things happen during the screams each time so that each scream doesn't get repetitive.
- Classical Antihero: Though just barely. Would be a straight hero, and often is, if not for his massive cowardice.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "I know something fishy is going on, or my name is (insert random weird name). And it's not!"
- Butt Monkey
- Captain Obvious: In the early episodes. Though he got better as the first season went on, this probably contributed to him becoming a Speech-Impaired Animal in later seasons.
- The Cassandra
- Catchphrase: Several, with "Aaaahhg!" and variations thereof being the most common.
- "The things I do for love..."
- "I know I'm not gonna like this."
- "What do I do? What do I do?"
- "...or my name is [strange name] and it's not."
- Civilized Animal
- Cool Pet
- Deadpan Snarker: When he can talk.
- Determinator: No matter how terrified he is or how powerful his opponent may be, Courage will never back down. Best exemplified in the battle with Mecha-Courage.
- Heroic Willpower / Heroic Resolve: On at least two occasions, Courage has been hypnotized or otherwise have his mind controlled by something (a hypnotic advertisement in King of Flan and the GodBone in Stormy Weather). In all of these cases Courage fights off the effects through a combination of sheer will and remembering that Muriel is relying on him to come through for her. There are also many cases where he faces his fears by remembering that Muriel is in trouble unless he saves her as well.
- Dogs Are Dumb: Inverted. Courage is one of the smartest characters in the show.
- Evil-Detecting Dog
- Fur Is Clothing: In "The Quilt Club" and "Le Quack Amnesia Specialist," the lower half of Courage's fur is ripped off. In both instances, he's wearing briefs.
- Gag Nose: With a zigzag on it.
- Genre Savvy: He KNOWS when something's wrong.
- Heroic Dog
- Humanlike Foot Anatomy
- Ironic Name: Although he does prove otherwise.
- Large Ham
- Lovable Coward: Justified considering how horrifying his foes tend to be. Strangely subverted as he seems to prove his name more than the Cowardly part of the title. Therefore, he's more like a...
- Loyal Animal Companion: No matter how scared Courage gets in an episode, he lists Muriel's safety over his own.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: How he defeats the Villain Team-Up.
- Made of Iron: He never seems to have any permanent bruises from his injuries... & he suffers a lot of them.
- Healing Factor: Which makes every single injury that he sustains disappear, regardless of how severe they are.
- Meaningful Name: Despite all his screaming, he doesn't run away when his owners are in trouble because "Courage is not having no fear. Courage is fighting and overcoming your fears."
- My Greatest Failure: His inability to save his parents as a child deeply affected him, and remembering the event was enough for him to have an Heroic BSOD.
- Narrative Shapeshifting: Mainly uses this to try to tell a story to Muriel or Eustace. It is unknown if this is just an ability Courage is able to do, as it's mainly used for laughs. But on rare occasions, he uses it to get himself out of a jam.
- Nervous Wreck: Very, very often.
- Nice Guy
- Only Sane Man
- Parental Abandonment: Revealed in the last episodes of the series when an evil doctor rocketed his mom and dad in hopes to create a race of super strong space dogs. Luckily, Muriel found him as a baby in a nearby alley.
- Phrase Catcher: "Stupid dog!"
- Properly Paranoid
- Sanity Slippage: It's heavily implied that this happened to Courage at the end of "The Great Fussili".
- Silent Snarker: In his non-speaking moments.
- Rubber Man: He is able to change into different forms & in fact, he does that often.
- Speech-Impaired Animal: Subverted in the early days of the show, where he spoke more freely usually. Due to perhaps Executive Meddling, he played it more straight later.
- Even in the later seasons, it's occasionally subverted. Notably, the episode "Muted Muriel" cheats a bit by having him explain to Muriel, in perfectly coherent English, how the Monster of the Week needs to be staved off.
- Talking Animal: He was very talkative during the first season. But afterwards, the creators decided to try and make him not quite as chatty and mostly saying one liners now and then.
- Undying Loyalty: To Muriel.
- The Unintelligible: As the series went on, Courage spoke coherent English less and less, to a point he would just babble and other characters would know what he was saying (except Eustace and Muriel, of course). In the later seasons, the gibberish-to-English ratio tipped towards the former to a major degree.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: He typically does this to explain what terrible situation Muriel and Eustace are in.
- Wife-Basher Basher: To Mad Dog for Bunny - let's elaborate. He jumps through the back of his car and drives it in front of a train.
- Wild Take: Frequently.
Voiced by: Thea White
A sweet old lady of Scottish descent who found Courage abandoned by an alley and took him home. She is constantly in danger from the things that come to Nowhere, but she always smiles at some point during the episode. And she loves Eustace despite his Jerkass
personality. She also loves using vinegar in all
of her cooking, and in an early episode picked up playing the sitar and also has a fondness for tea.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Once successfully defeated KATZ when he was strangling Courage.
- Blind Without 'Em: Shown in "Muriel Meets Her Match".
- Bratty Half-Pint/Spoiled Brat: When she was a child, as seen in the episode "Little Muriel".
- Captain Oblivious
- Catchphrase: "Oh my!"
- Courage! So good to see ya!"
- "[[name of the dish]]...with a wee bit of vinegar."
- Cool Old Lady
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: She's undeniably a good cook... but tends to add "a wee bit of vinegar" to everything, including candy and even dog food.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes around Eustace.
- Distressed Damsel: She is commonly the reason Courage goes so far to try to beat the many villians that attack the Middle of Nowhere.
- The Ditz: Although she means well, she seems to not be that very smart and never seems to expect all the horrible things that head toward their house.
- Friend to All Living Things: Her fatal weakness.
- Genre Blind
- Granny Classic
- The Ingenue: Usually too innocent to realize she's in danger.
- Iron Buttmonkey: Muriel can take a lot of wear and tear, in sharp contrast to her husband's frail frame. This was lampshaded in "Muriel the Magnificent".
- Mama Bear: Whenever Eustace scares Courage, she bashes him over the head with a rolling pin or whatever else may be handy at the time.
- Morality Pet: Is one of the few things that Eustace cares about. Sometimes.
- Multiple Choice Past: Currently, Muriel has white hair from old age. Whenever a younger version of Muriel appears, her hair color is never the same; it has been shown brown (in a flashback), red (in what was either a painting or photo), blonde (in a dream sequence), and even white (when she was actually turned into a child)!
- Never Mess with Granny
- Nice Lady
- Opaque Lenses
- Parental Substitute: To Courage, of course.
- Rolling Pin of Doom: Her Weapon of Choice.
- Sesquipedalian Smith
- Too Dumb to Live: Most of the time, though she does have her moments of clarity (ex. Family Business).
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Pretty much became a female version of Eustace after having her kindness removed by an extraterrestrial brain in "Car Broke. Phone, Yes?". However, she managed to get it back by the end of the episode.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: Does this sometimes.
- Weirdness Magnet
Voiced by: Lionel G. Wilson (episodes 1-33), later Arthur Anderson
A self-proclaimed farmer that tends to be grumpy and isn't really a nice guy to anyone. He thinks he can fix anything and grow anything, but this is never the case. He also has an insatiable greed for money. Early on, he had no backstory whatsoever and seemed to deserve what happened to him in each of the episodes, but later we learn that he didn't have that great of a childhood with a non-loving mom and an always better Big Brother. He turns into more a Jerkass Woobie
who you can genuinely feel sorry for.
- Abusive Parents: His mother.
- Anti-Role Model: He's greedy, mean, cruel toward his dog, bossy toward his wife ("Wheres my dinner?"), and generally unpleasant.
- Anti-Villain: He tends to have a Freudian Excuse for his behavior, and generally loves his wife.
- Bald of Evil: He's very embarassed about his hair loss.
- Berserk Button: Cheating him out of money, and messing with his hat, chair, or truck.
- Courage's mere existence seems to be one for him.
- Big Bad: of Ball of Revenge, with Katz, the Queen of the Black Puddle, the Clutching Foot, and the Weremole as his accomplices.
- Big Eater
- Blind Without 'Em
- The Bully: Towards Courage.
- Butt Monkey: Eustace totally deserves everything that happens to him.
- Captain Oblivious
- Catchphrase: "Stupid Dog!", "Ow, Wicket!", "Big deal", "Who the heck are you?", "Blah Blah Blah", "Muriel! Where's my dinner?!" etc.
- Eustace apparently has the greatest amount of catchphrases of all the characters in the show, possibly in all of Western Animation.
- The Chew Toy: Many episodes end with Eustace suffering some horrible fate, such as Demonic Possession or getting Eaten Alive. Of course, since Status Quo Is God, he's shown to be alive and perfectly okay by the next episode.
- Cool Mask: That he uses to scare Courage and a Monster of the Week.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas
- Evil Old Folks
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul
- Flanderization: From grumpy and selfish to a Psychopathic Manchild.
- Freudian Excuse: And how. His mother is much worse than he is and his brother was The Ace and rubbed it in his face his entire life (his brother's entire life that is). The end of "The Curse Of Shirley" has his 'true self' shown to him by a mirror (well, it was broken, but considering it was supposedly magic). What was it? A sad little boy. No wonder he's so screwed up.
- Get Rich Quick Scheme: Tries this many times, never works out for him.
- Greed: Many episodes have him obtaining (only to lose it later), wanting, or basically bathing in money he found.
- Grumpy Bear
- Grumpy Old Man: Should be obvious with what he does for most of the series.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- Iron Butt Monkey
- It's All About Me
- Jerkass: Typically towards Courage.
- Laughably Evil
- Lack of Empathy / No Sympathy
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Well, nix the "justice" part.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He gets struck by this almost every episode...Eustace is literally karma's punching bag.
- Lazy Bum
- Lazy Husband
- Lean and Mean: In contrast to his wife who is an overweight but sweet Cool Old Lady.
- The Load: On most trips.
- Man Child: He's basically a Bratty Half-Pint in an old man's body.
- Meaningful Name: Eustace Bagge could be interpreted as 'Useless Baggage', which is what he is during most adventures. Could also count as a Stealth Pun for "Money Bag", given Eustace's meaning.
- Money Fetish: He's often convinced to help Courage's Rogues Gallery for money, and even bathing in cash.
- My Beloved Smother: And how!
- Never My Fault
- Nice Hat: Pretty much the only nice thing about him.
- Opaque Lenses
- Perpetual Frowner
- Personal Raincloud: In "Curse Of Shirley".
- Pet the Dog: Sometimes, though none of these moments involve Courage.
- In "The Demon In the Mattress", he helps Courage to save Muriel when she was possessed by a haunted mattress.
- In "Mother's Day", when his mother is desperate about her hair loss, he tries to comfort her and tells her that she looks good to him no matter what.
- In "The Curse of Shirley", a hallucination caused by the curse has him see Courage as himself as a young boy with no hat. So he gives him the hat in order to protect him from the rain.
- In "Katz Kandy", he also defends Muriel and even puts up a fight with Katz.
- In "The Mask", he seems genuinely concerned about Kitty's past, and reassures Muriel when she worries about her faults.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: He's supposed to be a farmer, yet he doesn't have any farm animals and is very rarely seen doing any farm work. In The Magic Tree Of Nowhere, it's mentioned that he hasn't grown anything in fifty years, not even weeds.
- Psychopathic Man Child
- Running Gag: Him pulling out a green mask and yelling "BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!" to scare Courage whenever he feels like it.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!
- Small Name, Big Ego: "I'm a farmer! FARMER, FARMER, FARMER!"
- Strong Family Resemblance
- This Is My Chair
- Token Evil Teammate
- Too Dumb to Live: "WHAT'S YOUR OFFER?!". Keep in mind that he said this to an incredibly powerful undead pharao who demanded his sacred slab back. Guess how well that went.
- Took a Level in Badass: In "Katz Kandy".
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In "Ball of Revenge".
- Ungrateful Bastard: No matter how many times Courage saves his life, Eustace will still treat him like crap.
- The Unfavorite
- Villainous Glutton: A rare skinny example.
- Villain Protagonist: By the end of the series, he's pretty much this.