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Headscratchers: Courage the Cowardly Dog
  • In "The Mask" episode when Courage fantasies about how he's going to rat on Kitty and she'll turn out a wanted criminal and the government will send tanks and bombers after her...why do all the crafts in his dream suddenly bear five-point Red Stars?! It's flattering, of course that in his darkest hour Courage places his hopes in the awesome might of the Red Army, but it's just so random.
  • Why can't Courage just let the monster kill Eustace? Are there any episodes when Courage gets fed up with Eustace's attitude?
    • The ONLY POSSIBLE TIME Courage ever killed Eustace was when he was a chicken-alien in "The Chicken from Outer Space" but due to Negative Continuity Eustace will just return in the next episode alive and human again.
    • He doesn't want Muriel sad. And she's been shown to be sad if Eustace isn't around.
  • So, what exactly does Muriel see in Eustace? The guy's a greedy, old man who abuses his dog. Hell, he once put his wife in danger just to get revenge on Courage.
    • Um, once?
      • Muriel's just so Optimistic, she found him attractive.
    • Maybe he was a better man long time ago, and she is willing to ignore the fact that he grew older and worse because he was an awesome person? It's a little depressing if you think about it, but it might make sense... if, of course, canon haven't provided any evidence in contrary(about Eustace ever being cool, that is)
    • Eustace and Muriel, despite their flaws, do show cases of Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other throughout the series. Eustace isn't evil so much as he is a cranky old man who takes out his frustrations and insecurities (Remember, his mother was quite abusive towards him and he pretty much lived in the shadow of his more-successful late brother) on Courage. For example, in the episode Evil River he asks if Muriel being the "bait" for Carmen (the Monster of the Week) was safe hinting that he wouldn't go through with it if he thought Muriel was in any real danger. Likewise, in an episode involving vengeful widow ghost (I forget the name of said episode) Courage helps pull their marriage back together (due to said ghost trying to separate Eustace and Muriel by making Eustace think that Muriel was trying to kill him) and they are shown to be quite happy together. Not only that, but in the same episode, Eustace's Mother (who teams up with said ghost) says that Muriel is a terrible wife with Eustace retorting "You don't know what you're talking about" showing that, despite his Jerk Ass behavior towards her, he does care for her deep down inside. Plus, I've always seen Ball Of Revenge as HORRIBLY out of character for Eustace since, throughout most of the series, he was pretty much apathetically indifferent towards Courage rather than downright hating him...especially since earlier episodes actually showed that Eustace would (though reluctantly, and mostly for money) help Courage with some of his plans ("Kick 'em in the dishpan hoo hoo hoo?").
      • I would not say "horribly OOC", but maybe a little: Eustace would get rid of Courage ... but only if the opportunity presents itself and, generally, also if you give him something beneficial to himself in return. Besides, on several occasions is shown that he enjoys Courage's pain.
    • Plus, Muriel did call Eustace out on how he always ignored her in the episode "Muted Muriel." Courage even had to ask Shirley to do a curse that can be reversed with the sound of Muriel's voice. He also had to duct tape Eustace's mouth closed at the end of the episode.
  • Can Courage talk or not?
    • He can.At least, he used to back in season 1.
    • Maybe he has a speak impediment, and when he's excited, scared, or frustrated, he can't speak as clearly as he normally could. Thus we have moments where he talks clearly, and others where he's just an incoherent babbling mess.
    • He can speak normally, but he completely loses the ability when he's scared (which is usually).
    • Actually, I think when we hear him talk, it's really animal speak being translated for us. That's why he can't talk to humans but he can talk to animals.
    • This troper actually asked John R. Dilworth on hotmail about why doesn't Courage talk to the Bagges but talks to everyone else and the only explanation he gave was "It's because I feel the intimacy between family members can never be truly comprehended" However My theory is perhaps Courage thinks Muriel always wanted a normal non-speaking dog so he decided to not talk to her even though it would've been helpful if he did talk to her.
  • In Ball Of Revenge, the Duck Brothers showed up for a "Half Time Show" while Courage was fighting the old villains. I'm wondering whey they didn't try to help Courage, considering they parted with him on good terms.
    • Hey man, rule number one of small bands living gig to gig: never get yourself too involved in politics.
  • In "Invisible Muriel", Dr. Vindaloo cuts himself shaving his legs while on the phone with Courage, and he asks Courage to bring him a bandage when he comes by. As a doctor, shouldn't he already have, like, thousands of bandages of varying size, shape, and color in his supplies?
    • Dr. Vindaloo is also a quack, remember that point.
  • In previous episodes, whenever something was wrong with Courage,they would take him to Dr. Vindaloo.But in "Remembrance of Courage's past", they take him to a vet.
    • Well, I haven't rewatched some of the episodes yet though I think it's usually when Muriel and Eustace gets hurt is when they go to Dr. Vindaloo. The few times Courage went to the doctor was by himself to get surgery in "The Transplant" and by ambulance in "Night of the Weremole."
    • Well... Comprehensible. After a childhood experience like Courage's, i wouldn't trust vets neither.
  • In "The Hunchback of Nowhere", Eustace scares Courage with his eyes instead of the mask he's always carrying, so are there any other episodes he does that?
    • Yes in the episode "The Shadow of Courage"
  • "Snowman's Revenge", is one example that's been bugging me. So Snowman's homeland, The North Pole, melted due to holes in the ozone layer letting heat through. Fair enough, but what really causes these holes is the burning of greenhouse gases. You'd think that they'd say something about that.
    • The hole in the Ozone layer is due to Chlorofluorocarbons, not green house gassed.
  • How was the Banana Suit Dealer in the current time period in "Katz Under The Sea"? This has confused me since I saw that episode. As "1,000 Years Of Courage" suggests, he only existed 1,000 years into the future.
    • He is a Banana Time Lord?
    • Characters got reused all the time, like Frith the mustached mayor/cop/pilot/general. Also, a banana man is not exactly out of place in the current time period considering all the kinds of weird people that already exist there.
  • In "Ball Of Revenge", Eustace called in the Cajun Fox (Whom Eustace did not know because he didn't appear in the Cajun Fox's episode), the Gangster Foot Fungus (Who took over his body, so Eustace himself was the Fungus), The Weremole (Whom he thought was a mouse), and the Black Puddle Queen (He was hypnotized whenever she appeared, so he would have no knowledge of her). Any explanations for any of these?
    • The Gangster Foot Fungus could've possessed some unknown victim but this is all I can come up with.
    • Perhaps the people he did call in were acquainted with the people he didn't; I doubt Eustace (at that point, anyway) would have said no to "Hey, I know this other creature who hates that stupid dog, too; mind if I invite 'em?"
    • As a kid, this troper came up with a simple explanation: at the beginning of Eustace's phone call, he tells the operator, "I'm gonna need a few numbers..." my theory was that he simply asked the operator to give him the numbers of any residents of Nowhere who happen to hate a pink dog. It sounds corny, I know, but it made sense to me.
  • Speaking of which, this troper would like to know how the Fungus Foot managed to come back any... the other villains who showed up were never actually done away with, but Fungus Foot was... did it some how become reincarnated when someone else in Nowhere had fungus on their foot too?
  • What would any of the villains gain from attacking Eustace and Muriel? They didn't do anything to the villains for them to want revenge, they're not rich enough to rob from, and Courage just stops them, anyways. But you could ask that about most fictional villains.
    • It doesn't help that according to "Everybody wants to direct" the Bagge Farm was built over a graveyard and Von Volkheim's carcass was buried in that very graveyard. And so just like the movie Poltergeist, a house that is built over a graveyard is going to attract evil supernatural stuff that would turn Winston Zeddmore white... literally!
    • Some do have something to gain, even if thwarted. A few examples, if I may:
      • The Windmill Vandals weren't specifically after them per say, but rather attacked them because they became owners of the windmill as the computer had stated in the legend. They're attacked out of plain ol' bad luck.
      • The zombie serial killer duo (Von Volkheim and Bentin Tarantella) wanted to eat. They just took their work on the road.
      • Weremole was actually acting out of instinct rather than serious gain.
      • Fox: Eat the old lady. Apparently human meat is good before it dies.
      • Katz: Serial Killer, mad scientist, shrewd businessman, and as something awful would likely put it: a top-of-the-line rear end in a top hat.
      • Conway: Depending on your Interpretation of the character, he was most likely an innocent man who wanted to share his longevity with the Bagges, but it shows that the lifestyle is not for everybody.
      • Shirley: Revenge in a odd sense. The times she curses them are usually after Eustace swindled her or showed hostility.
      • Basil the burglar: Nuts
      • The demon in the mattress: Buyer Beware. The old couple were only attacked because they took the sale. Same with the Dome of Doom plant-life.
      • Horst's Box Demon: Guardian doing what it does.
      • Eggplants: Revolting on owners on a drought they could not control.
      • The Goat: Misanthropic animal who hated humans for driving away his species.
      • Velvet Vic: Money was a second goal. If I understand the way his weakness works; in order for him to be free of his record, he's got to have somebody take his place when the music stops. That's what he needed another person for. Like the Windmill Vandals instance earlier, the fact that he chose Muriel was plain bad luck.
      • Freaky Fred: Well, Psycho Barbers much like Fred, cannot stop their compulsion until all hair is shed, that visit did make him see red, which made him feel rather...nauuuuuuuughtyyyyy. Being Muriel's nephew gives him an excuse to visit her home.
      • Le Quack: He's just a greedy Con Man who would do just about anything to get any kind of money.
      • The Snowman: Global warming.
      • The Buck: He's tired of being the hunted, so he decided to be the hunter. If you were an intelligent deer, wouldn't you do that too?
  • Do the Bagges even have children/grandchildren/ next of kin?
    • I don't think its ever stated that they have children, but they're supposed to be in their late 60s IIRC. Any children they would have would would have moved out, and possibly had children of their own, by now.
  • In the episode "Little Muriel" the twister breaks the Pinwheel. In an earlier (or later,I forget which) episode it said that if the pinwheel stopped spinning a group of headless horsemen would come and try to kill the Bagges family,so why when the Twister destroyed it in 'Little Muriel" why didn't the headless horsemen come?
    • Probably Negative Continuity.
    • Maybe if it's outright destroyed then it doesn't count?
      • Negative Continuity. When the Goose God zaps the windmill, it is still standing but unable to spin. The horsemen are nowhere to be seen.
  • How come Eustace never realizes Courage saves his life? He should appreciate it at least a little.
    • Four words: Status Quo is God
      • Well that and it's one of the reasons why Shirley refers to him as "The Stupid One"
  • Can Courage actually shape-shift, and it's not just a metaphor for his babbling and gesticulation? If so, is it meant to be ironic that he's so scared of these relatively mundane or one-note supernatural threats (alongside the actual dangerous things) despite being one of the most fantastic, horrifying creatures on the show? That's not even counting his Hammerspace pockets...
  • This Troper lampshaded this fact but with all the freaky messed up stuff that constantly happens on the Bagge Farm... WHY THE HECK HASN'T THE BAGGES MOVED AWAY FROM THE HOUSE? If this troper lived in a house where scary messed up stuff keeps happening then this troper would move far away and complain to the son of a gun who had him move there.
    • Negative Continuity, determination from the monsters, Muriel's ignorance, Eustace's selfishness/greed/carelessness. As well, several notable events are NOT on the farm but instead when they go on vacation or go to town.
    • According to the episode "The House of Discontent", they lived there for almost their entire lives.
  • In "The Mask", Courage locks Kitty in the attic, then shortly thereafter, locks Muriel and Eustace in their bedroom... now, why exactly did he do that? Kitty, I can understand, but why lock Muriel and Eustace too? My only assumption is that perhaps if she were to wake up, and start yelling and banging on the door, that Muriel or Eustace might come let her out.
    • Maybe it was to keep Kitty from getting to them if she breaks out of her room.
  • Has anyone noticed that Courage never refers to Eustace by his name, but rather, just calls him "The Farmer"? I wonder if this stems for Courage lacking any kind of empathy towards him, considering Eustace is always cruel and hostile towards him, and very rarely (only two occasion), actually refers to him by his name as well, and just always "Stoopid Dog!"
  • Why was the name Bagge so hard for Cartoon Network to remember? I mean, it's stated during the main title of every single episode, "Abandoned as a pup, he was found by Muriel, who lives in the middle of Nowhere, with her husband, Eustace Bagge." The name is even said several times throughout the series, and was even written on screen in "Rumpledkiltskin", yet it's like Cartoon Network could never keep it straight. Sometime in the early 2000s, they did a special spoofing award ceremonies, and at one point, Muriel was a presenter, and was introduced as "Muriel Bain", even her name was displayed as such on screen. Later still, in a couple of issues of the old Cartoon Cartoons comic books, one issue mentions "Muriel and Eustace Bagges" (unless that was meant to be plural), and another issue says "Muriel and Eustace Hoebagge" (which composer Jody Gray confirmed was John Dilworth's original name for the characters, but CN rejected it, probably because it contained the word "hoe").
    • "Bain" could have been Muriel's maiden name.
    • OP here. Something else just now confused me about "Rumpledkiltskin": he says Muriel is the last of the Bagges who knows the Bagge clan tartan kilt... only half of that makes sense. On the one hand, yes, Muriel is originally from Scotland, but unless Bagge also happened to be her maiden name as well and/or she already had some history involved with the Bagge clan, it wouldn't make sense otherwise. She married a Bagge, but only because (according to a CN book, which may or may not have been entirely accurate) Eustace traveled to Scotland once in an attempt to purchase livestock, and ended up coming home with Muriel as his wife instead. Of course, if there is a Bagge clan, then Eustace would have some bloodline tracing back to it. I don't know, it's a cartoon, I shouldn't think too deep into it.
  • So... Mad Dog was prostituting Bunny? I remember either listening to or reading a review/recap of "The Mask", and the reviewer pointed out prostitution as a Getting Crap Past the Radar moment for when we see Mad Dog and his accomplices return to their hideout with Bunny, to whom, Mad Dog says, "Move yer tail, Bunny!" Maybe I'm naive and not familiar with a lot of that stuff, but is, "Move yer tail," really some kind of prostitution terminology/phrase/euphemism/whatever? When I was a kid, I simply took it as Mad Dog basically telling Bunny to hurry up and get out of the car and come back inside as if she were just sitting there in the car, or taking too long getting out.
    • It's sort of a listen-between-the-lines thing when you hear Mad Dog ranting at her later, especially the part about "I take you from a two-bit joint and turn you into a class act".
  • I was watching, "Aqua Farmer," the other day, and... does anyone else besides me find the cameo made by Di Lung's aunt (the Evil Empress of China) to be really random and rather unnecessary? I know this is one of those shows where Status Quo Is God, especially as far as Eustace is concerned. But really, Courage defeated her in the previous episode, allowing the original (good) Empress to regain control of the kingdom... for her to pop up at the aquarium watching Jo Jo the Dolphin with the rest of Nowhere seems odd and out of place, even for this show.
    • It's a pretty weird show. And like you said, status quo.
  • Eustace's mother is the CEO of Growth Industries and yet she can't afford to move away from her trailer.
    • She's cheap ( in more than one sense of the word). Eustace had to get it somewhere.
  • Why does (or what made) Eustace hate Courage so much? Granted he's a jerk to everyone, but he seems to despise the "stupid dog" with a passion. You'd think after Muriel whacked him so many times he'd calm down.
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