YMMV / Courage the Cowardly Dog


  • Alternative Character Interpretation: There's a fan theory that states that the events in the show are just normal events as seen from a dog's perspective. Some specifics of the theory include:
    • Courage actually lives on a regular farm. He just thinks it's in "the middle of nowhere" because his owners are too old to walk him and he doesn't know what's outside.
    • The "monsters" in the show are just normal people or objects that Courage imagines as something completely different. That would explain why Eustace and Muriel rarely seem to notice any of them. Courage is actually freaking out over a postman, or a vacuum cleaner.
    • Eustace gets severely injured or killed in many episodes, yet is always completely fine in the next one. In reality, he could just be going to the store, or something, and that Courage simply believes he has passed away. One of the Cartoon Network Groovies uses the concept of this theory, though it was created several years before the idea became mainstream. Nothing particularly scary is happening but Courage still is freaked out by everything.
    • Is Eustace a Jerkass Woobie with a Freudian Excuse or an evil irredeemable asshole who doesn't deserve any sympathy? For that matter, was he a nicer person in his younger days? It would explain why a kind woman like Muriel would ever want to be with someone like him. A couple of Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moments support this theory and it's possible he hates Courage because he's jealous of his close relationship with Muriel.
  • Awesome Music: The Tower of Dr. Zalost's haunting leitmotif, to the point that it's sometimes the only thing that can be heard, even when the titular character is firing cannonballs at our hapless hero.
  • Base Breaker: Eustace. He had a very bad childhood, being mistreated by his mother and bullied by his older brother. For that, some of the audience sympathize with him for what he had become. However many other viewers can't forgive him for his actions and, bad childhood or not, his cruelty towards Courage (Up to Eleven in "Ball of Revenge") is not justified at all since Courage has saved the old man's life multiple times.
  • Broken Base: Season 4's "Ball of Revenge" is arguably the most controversial episode of the entire series. On one hand, fans enjoyed seeing many of the villains (including Katz, Le Quack, and the Cajun Fox among others) return towards the series' end to seek their revenge. On the other hand, many other fans considered it to be a huge missed opportunity by leaving out so many other villains that were all still alive last time they were seen and had lingering grudges against Courage and his family. Plus there's the fact that Eustace was the one leading them which many fans thought was far too cruel and straight up evil of him to actually want to kill Courage over something as minor as a blanket. Finally, several of the villains returning made no sense in context considering that some of them actually tried to harm Eustace specifically in the past (the Queen of the Black Puddle) or were just mindless animals with no motivations (the Weremole).
    • The conclusion of the episode seems to be a base-breaker as well: Courage screaming at the top of his lungs for almost a straight minute to defeat the villains is either awesome because he takes them out all at once in a way probably no one expected, or it sucks because it's so out-of-character for Courage to use his screaming as a weapon rather than outsmarting the villains like he usually does.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Courage and the Bigfoot as fruit dancers. The preceding food fight was already weird enough, but this whole scene doesn't really seem to have any purpose.
    • A dragon coming out of absolutely nowhere (pun not intended) and eating Eustace in the last five seconds of the episode.
    • Eustace getting mauled by a Siberian Tiger while deer hunting.
    • Seems as though animals are always coming out of nowhere to attack Eustace, as he got attacked by a giant squirrel in "Family Business".
    • Most of Courage's nightmares from the last episode could count, especially that blue thing. It really had no importance to the rest of the episode except to scare you straight and it really wasn't seen or mentioned again in those other nightmares.
    • When Eustace gets cursed by Shirley the Medium to always have a black cloud following him, at one point he passes a man poking his head out of an alleyway. The man is being strangled by a green tentacle and hurriedly asks Eustace if he will deliver a message to his fiance that he won't be able to make the wedding. Eustace completely ignores him and the man is whisked down the alley by...whatever that was. It has nothing to do with the plot other than to show that Eustace is still a selfish asshole.
    • The way Katz gets defeated in "Katz Under the Sea".
    • "Snowman's Revenge" has Snowman breaking out into a So Bad, It's Good musical number about... a chilly love story? Huh?
    • "Courage Meets The Mummy" opens with an archeologist dusting off a gem inside the Mayan temple, which then shoots out a beam of light which gets reflected off some things and causes a disco ball to come out of the ceiling while some music plays for a brief moment. Afterwards, the archeologist just shrugs it off and continues dusting off the gem stone.
    • In "The Magic Tree of Nowhere," Courage digs a moat around the tree and adds Instant Eel to the water. That makes sense in context. The eel then singing "Danny Boy"...not so much.
    • Immediately after King Ramses summons a horde of locusts, Muriel rushes into her kitchen in order to prepare food until she becomes exhausted. There is absolutely no reason for her to do this and nor does this even correlate with the rest of the episode.
    • The violin girl in "Courage in the Big Stinkin' City".
  • Cargo Ship: In "The Gods Must Be Goosey", the Goose and Eustace's Truck are getting married at the end of the episode.
  • Complete Monster:
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • The soundtrack to the episode "The Tower of Dr. Zalost".
    • Also the end of the Doc Gerbil episode during the boat chase scene.
    • The person who composed that disturbing yet awesome theme in "Windmill Vandals" deserves a medal.
    • The trumpet music that plays at the end of "The Shadow of Courage" and "Last of the Starmakers" is hauntingly beautiful.
    • The subtle organ music that plays during certain events. It plays quite a bit clearer in the quilt club episode, one place where it's really noticeable.
    • Katz's Leitmotif.
    • The Snowman's song from "Snowman's Revenge".
    • The Great Fusilli's theme, in its entirely appropriate Creepy Circus Music style.
    • The music that plays during Katz and Courage's tennis match in the first episode.
  • Dork Age: Season 3 is generally considered the weakest season of the series, having few episodes that were as good or memorable as "King Ramses Curse", "Freaky Fred", "Ball of Revenge" (which, for all it's controversy, stands out more than most of season 3's episodes), "Courage In The Big Stinkin' City", "The Mask", "Remembrance of Courage Past", "Last of the Starmakers", "A Night At The Katz Motel", "The Tower of Dr. Zalost", "Evil Weevil", and "Perfect".
  • Ear Worm:
    • The themes for Doc Gerbil and King Ramses, as well as Flan King's hypnotic command to "buy Flantasy Flan".
    • There's no time to rest our laurels, when we must repair the corals!
    • Freaky Fred's theme. Terrifying, but weirdly catchy.
    • What, no special mention to KING RAAAAAMMMSEEEEEEES (The man in gauze, the man in gauze)?
    • Half time show! (dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun) Half time show! (dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun) Yeah, yeah! No, no! Half time show!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Freaky Fred. He's easily one of the most harmless villains in the show but he makes up for it by being one of the most... memorable.
    "NAAAAUUUUUUUGHTY".
    • The creators seemed to have picked up on this reaction, considering Fred's last second cameo in "Ball of Revenge".
    • Di Lung. The recurring Asian guy.
    • The blue... thing from "Perfect" attained a following due to how uncanny and nightmarish it is... even in this show.
    • King Ramses also qualifies for his unnerving design, technically benign intentions, and catchy song.
    • The lint lady from "Human Habitrail."
    • The computer, "you twit".
    • Violin Girl from "Courage and the Big Stinkin' City" for the same reasons as the trumpet from "Perfect". Claymotion never fails to put you off.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Queen of the Black Puddle.
  • Fanon: Katz and Kitty are siblings.
    • The thieves in the beginning of "King Ramses's Curse" are also portrayed by fans to be related to Katz.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: To some, Katz and Courage. The extent of what these two do to each other in the eyes of fans are... Of course, you don't need to think about that.
  • Genius Bonus: The difference between the words "bravery" and "courage" is that a brave man isn't afraid to start with, while the courageous man is afraid but does what has to be done in spite of his fear. That's Courage the Cowardly Dog in a nutshell. And it's why he's awesome.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This line from Courage in "Courage Meets Bigfoot": "Someone was at the end of that pie, or my name is Owlowiscious. And it's not!" Cue squeals from the brony community.
    • Muriel and Courage making a deal with a Scottish Rumpelstiltskin.
    • The Mission To The Sun became some sort of prediction to Sunshine due to both of them premise on a mission to rekindle the sun while being sabotaged by another person (Pinbacker for Sunshine and the worm for Courage).
  • Ho Yay: Eustace and his appreciation for Velvet Vic can easily be interpreted as a fan with a celebrity crush.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Eustace, in his more humane moments. His family has been just as bad to him as he's been to everybody else, and his life is largely a study in failure.
    • Kitty from "The Mask". Her hatred of dogs is perfectly justified when you find out what happened to her best friend...
    • Freaky Fred. He may be a little sympathetic, but he's still let his shaving obsession upset others with absolutely no remorse.
  • Les Yay: Kitty and Bunny from the episode "The Mask".
  • Love to Hate: Katz. He is undoubtedly the most popular villain in the fandom.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Katz.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Watch where you're goin', ya foo!"
    • "STUPID DOG! YA MADE ME LOOK BAD! OOGA BOOGA BOOGA!"
    • "Naauuughty!"
    • "I am no longer a head of lettuce!"
    • "No sir, not gettin' out of this chair."
    • "You see that door? You wanna know what's behind that door? You don't wanna know what's behind that door."
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Eustace crosses this in "Ball for Revenge" when he gathers up many villains to kill Courage.
    • As for Katz, good luck guessing which of his many evil deeds helps him cross it.
    • Mad Dog trying to run over Bunny and Courage.
    • The vet that sent Courage's parents to the moon.
    • Le Quack is not only ready to assault old people to break into their houses and steal all valuables but also has a bad habit of slaughtering whoever stands in the way of his freedom.
    • Fussili has increased his collection of puppets through innocent every day people and enjoys playing with their puppet-dead bodies and reenacting what they did in life.
    • Schwick was wanted for many disappearances, in other words he fed quite a few people to his monster behind the door.
    • The Queen of the Black Puddle has feasted upon many men by using her supernatural charms to lead them to their doom. Whoever followed ended up as a grinning skeleton in her garden of death.
    • Ma Bagge abused and neglected Eustace through most of his childhood. Bad enough, but far from her only candidate. She also kidnapped and experimented on people for her firm, planned with the Mc Phearson Phantom to "cripple" Eustace and frame Muriel, planned on abandoning the Bagges to the whale and attempted genocide against and underwater population of little smurf-like creatures for money.
    • Di Lung has proven to be a total sociopath, when he had his robot brutally beat up Courage, kicked him in a manhole out of spite in another episode and also removed Muriel's bones for a dark ritual, laughing while he did it.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • The Spirit of the Harvest Moon can look pretty creepy... until one realizes it looks similar to certain meme faces on the internet (even then though, it is still somewhat creepy).
    • King Ramses is generally considered one of the scarier characters on the show, but the "Oh come onnnn..." line kind of humanizes him in a odd way.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Courage gets quite a few.
    • When saving Kitty's friend Bunny, Courage kicks the tar out of Mad Dog's henchmen.
    • When he first dealt with the Duck Brothers he at first couldn't take them, but soon overpowered them and ran them off.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Fred in "Freaky Fred", Kitty and Bunny from "The Mask", the blue nightmare creature from "Perfect", the Blue Fish, and the Violin Girl.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Kitty could see Eustace and Muriel doing things in secret (sneaking cake, not fixing things) when they couldn't tell.
  • Periphery Demographic: Aside from many older fans, the show also has a large African-American following.
  • Seasonal Rot: See Dork Age.
  • Signature Scene: To some, the Perfect Trumpet Thingy
  • Squick:
    • The idea of on of the Valkyries falling in love with the incredibly disgusting Troll king, and soon the other Valkyries and the trolls falling in love is just, gross. Don't think about their Honeymoon to much...
    • That scene doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny because the as the Valkyrie and Troll King were singing about how much they love each other, they would not. Stop. Singing , Despite the fact that the rest of the Valkyries and Trolls were on their way to the cave. Added bonuses include going to the scene of the Valkyries and Trolls running their way over there, and cutting back to the Valkyrie and Troll King, STILL SINGING, and cutting back over and over, but also Courage Lampshading it.
    • The entire "The Clutching Foot" episode. Namely the scene where Courage licks the foot as a cure.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Hunchback Of Nowhere.
    • Most characters, due to the art style.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The first nightmare in the episode "Perfect".
    • And the Harvest Moon in "The House Of Discontent".
    • The Magic Tree of Nowhere.
    • The Demon Head in "Courage In the Big Stinkin' City".
    • King Ramses' in "King Ramses' Curse".
    • Kitty's mask.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: A lot of people probably think Courage is for an adult audience with all the strange horror and black comedy. One extreme example of this is the episode called "The Mask", which is basically a cross between a psychological thriller and a gangland drama (with implications of a lesbian relationship). And that's not even mentioning how abusive Eustace is to both his wife and his dog on a regular basis.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: John Dilworth is clean, but he is a big fan of Salvador Dalí and has been known to do surrealist art of his own.
  • The Woobie:
    • Courage takes a lot of crap.
    • The Hunchback of Nowhere.
    • In direct contrast to most "villains", Freaky Fred is a perfectly kind individual whose shaving... thing lost him his pet, his girlfriend, his job, and landed him in a mental institution.
    • Bunny from "The Mask".
  • Woolseyism: In the Latin American Spanish dub, the fish in "Perfect" was given a gratuitous Argentinean accent and at the end of his speech he also says "I swear to Dieguito Maradona!", making it both a Crowing Moment of Heartwarming and Crowing Moment of Funny.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/CourageTheCowardlyDog