Characters: Courage The Cowardly Dog Main Characters

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    Courage 
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: He has faced numerous horrors that are enough to send a normal human running to the loony bin. But Courage goes through any lengths to save his owners.
  • 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: A pink-furred dog, though he looks purple in low light scenes.
  • 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 screaming with his mouth open. Different things happen during the screams each time so that each scream doesn't get repetitive.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Courage is very loyal to his owners.
  • Badass Adorable: A lovable, easily scared but loyal Heroic Dog.
  • Body Horror: Several of his screams result in such to him, such as his teeth flying out, organs popping out of his body, or even him turning inside out.
  • 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: Courage takes a lot of crap.
  • Canine Companion: However this dog is the main protagonist here.
  • 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: Muriel and Eustace never heed his warnings. Although the fact that he yells at them in gibberish doesn't really help.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "AAAAAAAAHHH!"
    • "NOOOOOOOO!"
    • "YES!"
    • "The things I do for love..."
    • "I know I'm not gonna like this."
    • "Muriel, I'll save you!"
    • "What do I do? What do I do?!"
    • "...Or my name is [strange name], and it's not."
  • Civilized Animal: Courage is the Bagges' pet dog, but otherwise he can act like a human, and occasionally speaks English.
  • Classical Antihero: Though just barely. Would be a straight hero, and often is, if not for his massive cowardice.
  • Cool Pet: To Muriel, of the Loyal Animal Companion variety.
  • Cowardly Lion: Constantly kicking paranormal ass to protect his owners — though he screams the whole way.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's more chicken than dog, but when Muriel is in danger, he'll do whatever it takes to save the day.
  • 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.
  • Dirty Coward: Usually averted, but played straight on at least one occasion; in "Shirley the Medium," while he at first tries to save Eustace from the monster in Horst's money box, when the monster blocks off their escape route, Courage yells, "Okay, you can have him!", throws Eustace to the beast, and bugs out in a hurry.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Inverted. Eustace always calls him "stupid dog" but Courage is anything but stupid.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: He's always the first (and only) to detect danger. He is seldom wrong about his detections.
  • Flanderization: Originally spoke English regularly, but as the series progressed, his lines became increasingly limited to gibberish and screaming, only using English once in a while or when he really has something to say.
  • 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: When Courage sees danger, he always cowers in fear. Then he always rescues his family, in spite of being scared.
  • Heroic Willpower: 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.
  • Ironic Name: Look at the title of the show. Although he does prove otherwise.
  • Lovable Coward: Subverted. Courage is timid and physically feeble (justified considering how horrifying his foes tend to be), but never lets his fear get in the way of saving Muriel. Therefore, he's more like a Cowardly Lion or The So-Called Coward.
  • 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. Which makes every single injury that he sustains disappear, regardless of how severe they are.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: His typical response to suffering a brutal injury, such as getting Squashed Flat or beaten senseless by a monster, is to let out a wheezing cackle.
  • 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 in the finale.
  • 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: He's even willing to help out monsters who aren't as evil as they appear to be.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Courage survives a lot of really painful and serious injuries, due to the show's cartoony slapstick humor.
  • Only Sane Man: Eustace and Muriel are Too Dumb to Live, and Courage is always the only one who realizes they are in danger.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: You know it gets real when Eustace's scary mask doesn't frighten Courage in the absolute slightest.
  • 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: If Courage is scared, there is always a good reason.
  • 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 and in fact, he does that often.
  • The So-Called Coward: He seems to prove his name more than the Cowardly part of the title.
  • 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. And by extension Eustace, even though Courage recognizes him as the literally dog-kicking jerk he is, because Eustace makes Muriel happy.
  • 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. They never listen.
    • This would later bite him in the ass during a joke in "Evil Weevil", where calls in some pest exterminators to deal with Jeeves Weevil. When Courage takes on the form of the insect to explain, he gets hit by bug spray for his troubles.
  • 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, effectively ending his reign of terror. Although Mad Dog survived with cartoonish injuries (but probably brain-damaged).
  • Wild Take: Frequently.

    Muriel Bagge 
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: A Running Gag has her hit Eustace with a rolling pin whenever he abuses Courage. Also, she once successfully defeated KATZ when he was strangling Courage.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Shown in "Muriel Meets Her Match".
  • Bratty Half-Pint: When she was a child, as seen in the episode "Little Muriel".
  • Captain Oblivious: Is always fooled by the bad guys no matter how bizarre or obvious their disguises, even if said villain has menaced them before.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "AAAAAAAAHHH!"
    • "Oh my!"
    • "Courage! So good to see ya!"
    • "[Name of a dish]... with a wee bit of vinegar."
  • Cool Old Lady: A kindhearted and motherly old woman, who is very protective of her dog.
  • 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.
  • Damsel in Distress: She is commonly the reason Courage goes so far to try to beat the many villains that attack the Middle of Nowhere.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes around Eustace.
  • Depending on the Writer: Her intelligence/stupidity. There ARE episodes in which she either seems like the only sane woman or have enough common sense, and there are episodes in which she gets wwwaaaayyyyy Too Dumb to Live.
  • 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: She is quite oblivious to danger.
  • Granny Classic: A kindly old lady who takes in the titular abandoned pup.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Her Fatal Flaw. She is always nice to strangers (usually the Monster of the Week) and fails to see what they are plotting. Oh, and she married Eustace, for some reason.
  • Housewife: A devoted, hard-working one and apparently a good cook.
  • 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)!

    Eustace Bagge 
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's treatment of him echoes his own treatment of Courage. And considering how Muriel acts as a mother figure to Courage, Eustace is a (horribly abusive) father figure.
  • Anti-Role Model: He's greedy, mean, cruel toward his dog, bossy toward his wife ("Where's my dinner?"), and generally unpleasant.
  • Anti-Villain: He tends to have a Freudian Excuse for his behavior, and generally loves his wife.
  • Asshole Victim: Eustace will usually get what's coming to him, often by getting transformed, trapped or imprisoned, seriously injured or killed, or being unlucky enough to have his plans fall through.
  • Bald of Evil: He's very embarrassed about his hair loss. And it isn't because of old age, it seems to have been a problem since childhood.
  • 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.
    • His mom.
  • Big Bad: In "Ball of Revenge", with Katz, the Queen of the Black Puddle, the Clutching Foot, and the Weremole as his accomplices. Also a Non-Action Big Bad since while the rest of his Five-Bad Band is attempting to kill Courage, he just watches from the sidelines.
  • Big Eater: He constantly demands that Muriel cook for him, and his hunger saved Courage and Muriel from Katz once.
  • Blah Blah Blah: One of his catchphrases. He says this when something doesn't interest him.
  • Blind Without 'Em: He once got dragged halfway across the world without him knowing it.
  • The Bully: Towards Courage.
  • Butt Monkey: He has really bad luck due to being karma's punching bag. Then again he is a horse's ass.
  • Captain Oblivious: Just like Muriel, he's always fooled by the bad guys no matter how bizarre or obvious their disguises, even if said villain has menaced them before.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "AAAAAAAAHHH!"
    • "Stupid dog!"
    • [Pulls out mask to scare Courage] "BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!"
    • [After Muriel hits him with a rolling pin] "OW! What did I do?!"
    • "Ah, Wicket!"
    • "Big deal!"
    • "What's your offer?"
    • "Who the heck are you?"
    • "No solicitors!"
    • "Blah Blah Blah!"
    • "Muriel! Where's my dinner?!"
    • "What's — huh?!"
  • 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.
  • Death Is Cheap / They Killed Kenny: Due to Negative Continuity, despite all kinds of injury and death, he is shown alive and well by the next episode.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? / Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: He never holds back on his insults, even in the face of powerful monsters. Not surprisingly, this usually won't end well.
    • For example in "King Ramses' Curse", he repeatedly refuses to return Pharaoh Ramses' tomb slab. After Ramses casts the three curses, Eustace thinks he's got a chance at keeping the slab. Ramses pulls one last curse up his sleeve: he turns Eustace into an engraving on his coffin.
  • Dirty Coward: Big time. In fact, in "The Shadow of Courage", at the end of the episode, the titular Shadow declared Eustace to be an even bigger coward than Courage himself.
  • Dysfunctional Family: He was emotionally abused by his mother and brother. It's unknown what role his father played though, as he's only mentioned and not even seen in flashbacks.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite that love not really being returned. At the end of "Mother's Day", it's implied they have a love/hate relationship.
  • Evil Old Folks: A 70-year-old Jerkass, at least.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He has a low-down and greedy personality, so his glasses do well even as Sinister Shades since his eyes are rarely seen.
  • 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.
  • Genre Blind: Eustace can be very stupidly stubborn in the face of danger.
  • 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: Subverted, Eustace is definitely grumpy, but the show itself is pretty grim and far from a happy and idealistic world.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Should be obvious with what he does for most of the series.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He gets angry rather easily, especially when he's around Courage.
  • Hey, You!: With the exception of one time in "The Hunchback of Nowhere," he never calls Courage by name, instead calling him a "stupid dog" or just "dog."
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: While physically and verbally abusive to Courage and Muriel, he does have some care for them and doesn't throw them out of the house.
  • It's All About Me: Aside from a couple of Pet the Dog moments, he usually never cares about anything other than himself.
  • Jerkass: He hates Courage more than anything, is fairly neglectful to Muriel, and has no patience for anyone whatsoever. The episode "Curtain of Cruelty" even had him labeled "the meanest creep in Nowhere."
  • Kick the Dog: Literally; he takes whatever opportunity he can to torment Courage or even physically harm him. At least some of it stems from jealousy since Muriel tends to pay more attention to Courage than to him, but he also does so just for laughs or to get Courage to leave him alone.
  • Lack of Empathy: Especially when it comes to Courage.
  • 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.
  • Laughably Evil: He has his funny moments, also thanks to his Butt Monkey status.
  • Lazy Husband: "Where's my dinner?!"
  • Lean and Mean: In contrast to his wife who is an overweight but sweet Cool Old Lady.
  • The Load: On most trips.
  • 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.
  • Never My Fault: A Running Gag is that Eustace scares or hurts Courage for fun, which results in Muriel promptly bashing him over the head with a rolling pin or whatever else may be handy at the time, after which Eustace angrily demands, "What did I do?!"
  • Nice Hat: Pretty much the only nice thing about him.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Like Courage, Eustace can get seriously harmed and yet never suffer anything permanent, due to all the cartoony violence.
  • Opaque Lenses: His glasses.
  • Perpetual Frowner: He only smiles when he wants to laugh at Courage or someone else's pain.
  • Personal Raincloud: In "The Curse Of Shirley", Shirley casts a spell that creates a small storm cloud over his head.
  • Pet the Dog: Sometimes, though none of these moments really 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.
    • His moments with Muriel in "The McPhearson Phantom" due to marriage counseling.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Eustace is supposed to be a farmer, yet he is very rarely seen doing any farm work, preferring to just sit and watch TV instead.
    • In "The Magic Tree Of Nowhere", it's mentioned that he hasn't grown anything in 50 years, not even weeds.
    • This later becomes a plot point in "The House of Discontent", when the evil Harvest Moon Spirit challenges Eustace to grow a plant, threatening to kill him and Muriel if he fails.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: He's basically a Bratty Half-Pint in an old man's body.
  • Running Gag: Him pulling out a green mask and yelling "BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!" to scare Courage whenever he feels like it.
  • Screw Politeness Im A Senior: Should be obvious with what he does for most of the series.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: "I'm a farmer! FARMER, FARMER, FARMER!"
  • Strong Family Resemblance: With his parents and his brother. His father looks exactly like Eustace with a beard.
  • This Is My Chair: Eustace always sits in his armchair and in a few cartoons would refuse to get off it and would get mad at anyone who tried to sit in it.
  • Token Evil Teammate: One would wonder how an asshole like him gets such a kindly wife and a loyal dog.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Like Muriel, he often blissfully gets in harm's way.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In "Ball of Revenge", he hired several villains to kill Courage; even going as far as holding his own wife Muriel captive, to use as bait to lure Courage.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Whenever he and Muriel hosted Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, he was way more genial than he would ever be in-show; justified because there it's a case of Animated Actors off the clock.
  • Tragic Villain: Due to his sad childhood and backstory.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: No matter how many times Courage saves his life, Eustace will still treat him like crap. In one episode, Courage was annoyed by Eustace's ungratefulness and decided to drop him during a rescue.
  • The Unfavorite: To his mother. She even likes Courage more than him.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Until his Dysfunctional Family made him too rotten.
  • Villainous Glutton: A rare skinny example.
  • Villain Protagonist: By the end of the series, he's pretty much this. In "Ball of Revenge" he becomes an antagonist for the episode, by hiring some old villains to get back at Courage.