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Heartwarming / Courage the Cowardly Dog

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What courage you have.
Courage the Cowardly Dog may be a horror-comedy series but that doesn't stop this show from having heartwarming moments... or entire episodes, even. The things you do for love, Courage.

  • The deer playing tag in "Farmer Hunter, Farmer Hunted". Makes Eustace attempting to shoot them with a laser rifle make him even more of a jerkass.
  • The baby raccoons who kidnap Muriel. They just wanted a mother. Though at first they act jealous of Courage, after he saves them, they happily hug him and carry him back to Muriel.
  • In the "Curse of Shirley" episode, a curse is placed on Eustace that causes a storm cloud to hover over his head, raining on him everywhere he goes. The curse cannot be lifted until he finds generosity in his heart. Of course, given Eustace's personality, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Eustace is eventually forced outside on the roof, where he loses his glasses and starts thinking he's seeing monsters, his hygiene rapidly declines as mushrooms grows on his body, and he seems to be generally loosing his sanity. In an effort to get him back to normal, Courage is told the only way to get him to find generosity is to show Eustace who he really is by showing himself his own image in a mirror. When Courage tries to show him the mirror, he accidentally breaks the glass, and improvises by standing in front of the mirror himself, which results in Eustace seeing Courage as himself as a little boy, miserable and crying because his head is burning out in the hot sun and he doesn't have a hat. Eustace visibly feels sorry for him, places his own hat on his head, and the cloud vanishes. Add the fact that it was one of first few episodes which showed Eustace in a positive light.
    • Unfortunately, Eustace steals back his hat seeing it on Courage's head which brings back the cloud, right as the episode is ending. Of course, that doesn't reverse the fact that he actually did something good. He is who he is for a reason. He was that little boy once.
      Eustace: Who are you, boy?
      Young Eustace: (cries) It's so hot! My head is burning!
      Eustace: Where's your hat?
      Young Eustace: I don't have one!
      Eustace: No hat?.. Oh, That's not right, a little boy without a... a little boy should have a hat...
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    • This is actually a first for both the young Eustace and present day Eustace. As a boy, Eustace was neglected by his parents and bullied by his older brother, never being given any love. Adult Eustace is loved by his wife, but is embittered by his childhood and never shows any kindness to anyone. With this one act, young Eustace was finally given what he'd never received and old Eustace gives what he'd never given to anyone: kindness.
  • A lot of the episodes do this, though in most episodes, it's offset by the Nightmare Fuel. Still, one episode with less Nightmare Fuel comes to mind. A cruel rich man dies, and his shadow is left to walk the earth. He eventually comes to the middle of nowhere and starts scaring everybody. When Courage manages to wear the shadow out, they sit and talk. The shadow tells Courage that his true dream is to be a star. So, Courage suggests that he goes and be a shadow for real stars up the sky (as opposed to the Hollywood stars he was referring too). Err... it's more heartwarming in context.
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  • In "The Uncommon Cold" as soon as Courage comes back with the Book of Bayou magic that can not only cure Muriel of her sickness, it can release the slugs who are held captive by the Snake, while the young slug is eager to finally get the chains off, the older one insist that Muriel gets better first, even though it's presumed that they have been captive for a long period of time. In return, Muriel repays them with her nail file.
  • The episode "Perfect". After being hounded by a Sadist Teacher about being imperfect for the entire episode, Courage is suddenly reminded that there is no such thing as perfect and he's fine just the way he is, and the family is at once all happy together. Seeing as this was the finale to the whole series, it can be noted that it was a touching ending.
    • What the deepsea lizardfish in the bathtub tells him brings it on home. It's basically telling him to be himself:
      Lizardfish: There's no such thing as "perfect". You're beautiful as you are, Courage. With all your imperfections, you can do anything.
    • And immediately afterward, Courage looks around him and sees that the Bagges are perfectly happy with their own faults; Muriel chuckles over some ruined baked goods (she says the baklava she made tastes more like gum, which is unlikely what it's supposed to be) and Eustace plays his broken trumpet while happily declaring that he should start a band. It's the final boost Courage needs to know the fish was right.
    • The episode ends with Courage eating dinner with the Bagges, but most importantly, they're all a happy family at long last. After an entire series of Courage getting scarred by almost everything in the world and his life being put on the line so many times, it's nice to see Courage's story ends with him having a pleasant dinner with his family after clearing his self-doubts. Even Eustace doesn't seem to mind him sitting at table this time.
  • The end of "The Mask" is a true Tear Jerker, since Kitty offers nothing but her own gratitude towards Courage for saving her best friend Bunny from a toxic, abusive relationship.
    • "I was wrong. Not all dogs are bad!"
    • There's a long-reaching one as Courage overcomes his (not entirely irrational) fear and hatred for Kitty. It starts when he reads the inscription on Kitty's mouse, prompting the rat bartender to tell him all about "the sweetest gals" Kitty and Bunny and how bad-off Bunny is without Kitty. Both his curiosity and his empathy piqued, Courage heads to the wrong side of the tracks and witnesses Bunny's treatment at the hands of Mad Dog and his gang; he is openly horrified at how badly they treat her and risks his life, multiple times we might add, to save the friend of someone who earlier outright stated his entire species was nothing but a bunch of horrible monsters.
    • "It's okay, Muriel. Nobody's perfect." Coming from Eustace, of all people!
    • Also earlier he consoles Muriel when she feels bad about her own habits.
      Muriel: Eustace, do you think I eat too much?
      Eustace: Nah.
    • This line from Bunny after Courage saves her from Mad Dog. It's simple, but also reminds us that he's called "Courage" for a reason:
      "You are a brave dog!"
  • The episode "Remembrance Of Courage Past", which revolves around flashbacks to the day that Courage's parents were taken from him (well, more like "launched into space by a mad veterinarian" wanting to test dog's growth, but...). At the end of the episode, the last flashback is about how Muriel found him and gave him his name. And then, at the very end of the episode, we're treated to the sight of the mad vet being beaten up by the dogs he's been launching into space, including Courage's parents.
    • In the Latin American dub, the scene manages to become even more heartwarming when, upon finding Courage, Muriel says "I'll call you Courage. And you're going to be okay."
      Muriel: Poor thing. Out here, all alone? What courage you have! Would you like to come home with me?
      Baby Courage: (whimpers, and smiles)
      Muriel: I'll call you Courage. We'll have a grand time.
  • A particularly touching episode is the one where Courage is trying to teach a dragon named William how to fly (so that said dragon won't eat Courage or Muriel... though he already ate Eustace). He grows increasingly frustrated and chases Courage and Muriel into a lake where they meet a water-dwelling dragon that only eats fish. The heartwarming moment? William is a water-dwelling dragon himself (though he doesn't realize this since he was adopted by flying dragons) and is the long-lost brother of the latter dragon. It's a rather touching scene when he enters the water and realizes, after spending most of the episode lamenting over how he's a dragon that cannot fly, now has a place where he truly belongs.
  • Zalost and his rat at the very end of "The Tower of Dr. Zalost".
  • The near-end of "Profile of Courage", when Courage shows the cutouts being paper isn't so bad after all.
    • With paper-Eustace appreciating Courage.
      • "Me too! Fold me, stupid-er, nice. Nice dog." He even sounded GENUINE.
  • All of "The Hunchback of Nowhere". The Hunchback is one of the most irrepressibly kind characters in the series, and his and Courage's friendship despite how much everyone (especially Eustace) beats down on them is likewise one of the most wonderfully idealistic and heart-softening plots the series has. The episode also introduces this theme, which afterwards is almost always used in the series' most heartwarming friendship moments (such as in "Robot Randy," listed below).
    • A small detail: after the hunchback finally calls Eustace out for his behavior towards both him and Courage, Eustace is startled and falls off the barn's roof, clinging to the edge and yelling for help. Without a moment's hesitation, Courage and the hunchback immediately run over to try and help Eustace, despite everything he did to them throughout the episode (and the way Eustace treats Courage in general). Yes, Eustace ends up falling off anyway, but still.
  • Most of "Magic Tree of Nowhere".
  • The entirety of "The Last of the Starmakers".
  • Courage helping the duck brothers save their third brother from being cooked in "The Duck Brothers".
  • The understanding of Courage's name. Although he behaves like a coward, you realize that the definition of courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain. Now think of all Courage has done.
  • The end of "The Snowman's Revenge" when the Snowman learns that Courage fixed the hole in the Ozone Layer and restored his home, as well as all his friends. He's then reunited with his girlfriend and the two leave in peace to return home. Even more touching as he's one of the few villains to get a happy ending.
  • The end of "Robot Randy", where Randy finally earns the acceptance of his people by making and selling carved reindeer. Especially since he was afraid that they would laugh at him for wanting to pursue his dreams instead of destroy things for fun. The aforementioned music used is especially effective here.
  • The three-headed chicken is sent to destroy Courage for revenge of killing their father (the chicken from the pilot "Chicken from Outer Space" and then his cooked self returns for "Return of the Chicken from Outer Space"). The mother tells them that they have to destroy Courage or else they can't go back home. After failing quite miserably, they break down and cry... but then Courage decides they could 'fake' his demise with pictures, so the three-headed chicken could go back home.
  • Every episode in the show. Despite being scared shitless of all the surreal and frightening occurances that threaten his family, Courage swallows his pride and dashes into the heart of the occurrences in order to save his family, and sometimes even helps out the villains.
    • Which is fitting, considering his name. Courage doesn't mean never being afraid, it means being able to fight past them.
  • "Courage Meets Bigfoot" started a whole line of non-villainous monsters of the week, such as the Hunchback, the Starmaker, Carmen, and the Magical Tree.
  • Dr. Gerdhart and his sentient house. Though it was mostly spurned on by trying to save Muriel and Eustace, Courage manages to calm down the raging monster house, and even get Dr. Gerdhart the neighbours and friends he so desperately wants. Particularly evident when in the beginning, the house used its carpet/tongue to swat Courage, and in the end, it's affectionately licking him.
  • Eustace's mother sneezes and blows off her wig and breaks down crying after spending the episode bullying Eustace and loving on Courage, and the former makes an effort to console her afterwards.
    Ma Bagge: My hair! My hair! I'm UGLY! How could you ever love a mother who has no hair?
  • Courage, having been made a licensed therapist by the Computer, helping Muriel and Eustace rediscover their love for each other in "McPhearson Phantom", and then applying similar therapy on Ma Bagge. Doubles as Tear Jerker.
    Ma Bagge: (is shown a Rorschach test by Courage) I see an old woman with a hideous wig, who carries a lot of pain...
  • In "The Ride of the Valkyries", Muriel is mistaken for Brunhilde, leader of a group of constantly-singing valkyrie sisters who fight against trolls. The episode ends with Courage and Muriel discovering the real Brunhilde has fallen in love with the Troll King in spite of the rivalry, and when the Valkyries and Trolls find them, Courage is acting as a minister marrying Brunhilde and the Troll King, and the two groups immediately set their rivalry aside for the sake of their respective leaders.
  • A small example with "Freaky" Fred, but despite how creepy he is, it's strongly implied that he genuinely loves Muriel (who happens to be his aunt). And the feeling is mutual, as she's shown to dote on him despite his more...unpleasant, tendencies.
  • In "Muted Muriel", Muriel spends the entirety of the episode refusing to speak because Eustace won't listen to her. But by the end of the episode, the one thing that finally gets her to speak is seeing Courage in danger, causing her to scream his name. She then runs towards him and hugs him in relief. The beautiful choral music that plays during this scene just makes this moment all the more heartwarming.
    • Courage also lets Muriel know that her words matter to him.
  • A minor one, but in "Serpent of the Evil River", the captain starts to plan using Muriel as bait to lure the river's serpent. Eustace tells him "don't look at my wife as if she's bait", but the captain tells him he'll share the money... You'd expect Eustace to say "works for me" or something of this nature as he always does... But instead, Eustace shows genuine concern, asking if this is *really* safe and sounds sincere. Even though he went with it, it was one of the few times Eustace showed worry and care for someone else.
    • Points to Carmen, the serpent too. She didn't want to hurt anyone, she just wanted people to listen to her singing. Awww...
  • The ending of "A Beaver's Tale" certainly qualifies. After courage gets stuck in cement and starts trying to use his yoyo to break the beaver's dam and gets it stuck on a pipe and starts tugging at it. The beaver tells Courage his woes. He wanted to be a jazz bongo player when he was a kid but his dad roped him into the family construction business instead. So Courage decides to motivate him by using his yoyo as an impromptu bass. The beaver joins in and finds his passion for music again. One jam session later and the dam flooding Nowhere is demolished and the episode ends on the two playing in a jazz club with both their families watching. And the beaver's mother is clearly proud.
  • One of the Cartoon Network Groovies, "Courage: Hearts Full of Love" has an endearing moment of Eustace showing his nicer side when he grabs Courage after he runs in fear to get him back in the house and points out to the dog that the woman is singing about him.
  • The Sandman being overjoyed when Courage gives him back his lost teddy bear and agreeing to give Muriel her sleep back in "The Sandman Sleeps".
    Sandman: Teddy! I thought I lost you forever. No wonder I couldn't sleep!
  • While often cited as one of the biggest Nightmare Fuel episodes of the series, the "Harvest Moon" episode has one near the end, after Courage uses Eustace's sweat to make the flower grow, and prove him a farmer.
    Eustace: Did I grow that? It's...pretty!
    Muriel: You always said you had green thumbs.
    Eustace: Of-of course I do! I'm a farmer, you know!
    Moon Spirit: For the first time, you are! Happy planting!
  • At the end of "Mega Muriel the Magnificent", Courage saves both Muriel and the Computer from a dangerous power plant, getting zapped instead. Also, in the episode the Computer finally sees Courage (who continuously risks his life, even while trembling in fear) in a new light. After all the stunts, he carries the poor dog back to the house, returns Muriel's body back, and even writes a happy ending for Courage's memoirs without prompting.
    The Computer: I just don't understand you. You're scared of your own shadow, yet you feel the need to risk your life to try to stop me? People are such puzzles.
    The Computer, in the end of the episode: *Causing the keyboard to type on its own* And they all lived happily ever after


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