Courage the Cowardly Dog/Nightmare Fuel

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

You're not perfect...[1]

Courage the Cowardly Dog has a ton of freaky stuff in every episode, with some comedy to add a little Nightmare Retardant in. However, some episodes tend to avoid the comedy angle, and we end up getting these. In fact, these moments are so frightening that you may actually wonder why this show airs on the daily Cartoon Network timeline instead of the Adult Swim timeline, which would actually fit there.

  • There are plenty of scary episodes, but "Freaky Fred" stands out. He's obviously not right in the head, and he has sharp pointy objects within reach.
  • The scene in the episode "Courage the Fly" where Eustace is chasing Courage as a fly. At one point, he gets Muriel's face stuck with fly paper and physically tears it off.
  • "Retuuuuurn the slaaaab...Retuuuuurn the slaaaab...", or to elaborate, King Ramses from "King Ramses' Curse". See it for yourself. To some, it's not even so much the voice, or his equally creepy Leitmotif, but the way he moves. The way they animated him makes him looks just like an Uncanny Valley reanimated corpse. And he just stood out in front of their house the whole time, never moving from that spot, but always watching them.
    • In the beginning of "King Ramses' Curse", a giant black swarm chases the thieves who stole the slab. They bury it just in time for the cloud of doom to reach them. The camera pans to the side as they scream, and when it pans back, there's nothing left of the thieves or their car.
  • The episode "Perfect" had the Perfect Trumpet Thingy, pictured above. This is most definitely the scariest thing to ever appear on the show.
  • There's also a nightmare factory of an episode that is "Courage in the Big Stinkin' City". The whole episode is creepy, but it really cranks it Up to Eleven when Courage enters the house to retrieve a package. He opens a few doors that have cartoonish things in them (like an oncoming shark, or King Ghidorah), but when he opens the third door, he sees a puppet girl playing the violin. She soon turns around revealing a freaky demon face and screams! And the camera is zoomed really close.
    • The Fridge Horror that is the monster behind the door from the same episode. Complete with skeletons around the room and a "help me" message written on the window.

Schwick: You wanna know what made these bones? You don't wanna know what made these bones.

    • Also, the whole entire reason Schwick sent Courage to get the package with a squeegee inside was only because he needed to remove the "help me" message. Possibly to lure more victims without suspicion.
  • "The House Of Discontent" is about as intentionally scary as the above examples. The premise involves an Uncanny Valley spirit harvest moon with a creepy white human face and dark soulless eyes trying to entrap and melt the Bagge family because Eustace failed to grow a plant to ensure his farmer status. Again, like Ramses, the Spirit Harvest Moon's Leitmotif is quite creepy.
    • The voice was surprisingly deep and ominous as well, but the real thing that made this terrifying was that this was an eerily-out-of-place live-action black-and-white disembodied head, interacting onscreen with Courage and his owners. The fact that they were shown onscreen at the same time just seemed to add to the guy being convincingly scary, and the different styles were even more dissonant than the Uncanny Valley-CGI Ramses, who never shared the screen with any other characters.
  • Any episode featuring Katz. Katz has no qualms about killing Courage or just about anyone, and he seems to have no traces of comedy whatsoever. His Leitmotif might be as equally creepy accompanying his appearances.
    • "A Night at the Katz Motel" is arguably his worst appearance, as his monstrous schemes at its worst take place in the middle of the night in a rundown motel. This episode is definitely not for arachnophobes.
    • He's a Serial Killer and most of his episodes imply the family are only the first in a long line of victims to fall into his traps...and the only ones to leave.
  • The zombie director episode "Everyone Wants To Direct". This episode had a dark atmosphere with barely any humor, and the plot involving killing someone in a movie for real is all too real. Also, said zombies turned out to be past serial killers who managed to slay a dozen people on a kid's show.
  • Some of Courage's screams can be very terrifying for kids, especially when some body parts are deformed or organs come outside. Watch it, if you dare. By far the scariest is the scream from "Car Broke, Phone Yes".
  • "Cabaret Courage". Getting dropped into a room which looks like (is?) the inside of a body, talking to a guy that looks like an ulcer, performing for that guy, getting dropped into somekind of digestive acid...
  • "The Mask", which features a girl in a flowing white dress wearing a giant creepy doll mask (and a terrible, raspy voice) who beats the shit out of Courage due to a hatred of dogs and spies on them to look for any sign of hypocrisy. The back story about her friend's abuse by a pack of dogs is a (not even thinly) veiled depiction of domestic abuse and forced prostitution. Courage the Cowardly Dog, a children's cartoon series with an episode revolving around an inner-city gangland drama.
  1. Aaaaand cue childhood trauma!
  2. To give an example for the sake of comparison, the "Wiz Kids" segment of Treehouse of Horror XII had a scene involving Bart Simpson trying to turn a frog into a prince, only for the poor thing to become an incomplete mutant being constantly vomiting and begging Bart to kill it.
  3. (because of the saxon genetive in the URL, linking to the article is impossible, but you can look for it in the already mentioned article for the episode)