Courage the cowardly dog is an early 2000s Cartoon Network show that’s not for the faint-hearted. The show was never shy about pushing the envelope, and many felt the cartoon was too scary for kids due to the intense storylines and creepy villains trying to ruin the lives of Courage, Eustace, and Muriel.
Courage was the cute, brave and relentlessly loyal dog who did everything to protect his owners. There was always mischief going on in Nowhere, Kansas, and the three residents were frequent victims of conspiracies by evildoers and paranormal beings. All along Courage the cowardly dog, a lot of scary villains appeared.
ten The cruel vet experimented on dogs
The cruel vet appeared after Courage had a heartbreaking flashback of his parents being sent into space in a rocket by the vet. Courage was almost part of the experiment himself but escaped through a garbage pipe, and Muriel found him crying in the street.
By chance, Muriel and Eustache brought Courage to that same vet years later, and all three narrowly escaped being sent into space as part of the “space dog” experiment. While this villain didn’t look mean or scary, there was something sinister about giving a pet to a vet just to betray that trust and use dogs for science.
9 The violin girl was a jump scare
Viewers saw the Violin Girl when Courage opened a door in Schwick’s apartment. Although he was prepared to face a terrifying sight, all he saw behind the door was the back of a blond girl playing relaxing music on the violin.
Suddenly, the girl turned around to show a red, monstrous face with bulging eyeballs and a giant mouth. This jump scare terrified Courage and viewers, even if it only lasted a second. It was pretty spooky and scary for most of the kids watching.
8 Schwick was any entomophobia’s worst nightmare
Schwick was a big, sneaky bug living in the basement of Radio City Music Hall who lured tourists to their deaths with the promise of free concessions. It was a giant cockroach with spiny legs, pincer mouths, and long, mismatched eyeballs.
Not only was he physically scary, but he was a giant human-sized cockroach and led people to their deaths via a mysterious monster behind a wall. It was also disturbing to see how his claws moved when he spoke, adding to his goosebumps.
7 The mattress demon possessed the most vulnerable
Many consider sleep sacred because it is when people become most vulnerable and peaceful. The mattress demon used this time to prey on its victims. The demon lived inside Muriel and Eustace’s mattress and possessed Muriel while she slept, giving her green skin, flowing red hair, and a deep, demonic voice.
After Courage took the demon out of Muriel, he then possessed Eustace before completely getting rid of the mattress. Like many of Courage the cowardly dog villains, the idea behind the Mattress Demon’s villainy was scarier than her physical characteristics.
6 Katz’s spiders could have given children nightmares
When Courage, Muriel, and Eustace arrived at the Katz Motel for a night, viewers spotted at least six giant, human-sized spiders. The arachnids had huge claws, blood red eyes, and oozed venom from their mouths at the mention of the food, which Katz intended to be the three guests.
Not only were the spiders scary, but human skulls and bones littered the room they inhabited, leaving no room for imagination regarding their diet. Any viewer who fears spiders wouldn’t fare well with these particularly spooky villains.
Conway the Contaminationist was a pilot who claimed living in filth was the secret to a longer life and claimed he was 193 years old to prove that point. He looked like a moldy potato with green skin and growths, a brown, lumpy tongue, and protruding eyeballs.
When Conway arrived at the farm injured, he asked for mud in the gutters, which healed him. This miracle promoted the idea that living in garbage and being as dirty as possible resulted in a long life. Although Conway never really meant to hurt Muriel and Eustace, he encouraged them to embrace his lifestyle and nearly killed them, leaving Courage to save the day again.
4 The big toe was disgusting
The big toe was a foot fungus that invaded Eustach’s body, turning him into a giant purple foot with heads on each toe. The biggest toe had a fungus-covered nail that looked like hair, and yellow bumps lined the entire foot.
In order for Courage to free Muriel and Eustace from the grip of the big toe, Courage had to lick the foot, which was a particularly gross idea. The Big Toe was one of the scariest villain concepts we’ve ever crossed Courage fan screens.
3 Katz was a creepy motel manager
Katz was a ginger cat that looked like a fox and had a triangular face and purple stripes down its back. The trio first met him at the Katz Motel in an episode that seemed loosely based on Alfred Hitchcock’s. psychology. Katz spied Eustace through a portrait and spied Muriel in the bath through the showerhead, another creepy element of her character.
Katz attempted to kill his guests by feeding them his “loves” (the giant spiders). He was one of the most frequently used villains, appearing in five episodes rather than one or two. His hatred for Courage grew even stronger with each episode, and he tried to thwart the dog in increasingly creative ways.
2 The black puddle queen lured men to their death
The Black Puddle Queen was one of the most recognized villains in Courage and was based on the mermaids of Greek mythology. He was an underwater demon who could travel between any body of water, even in a teacup. She brought men to her underwater palace, dancing for them before ripping all the flesh from their bones.
The queen looked scary, with long purple hair, blue skin, and pupilless pink eyes, but her ways of trapping and killing males were what made her terrifying. The episode made it clear that the queen lacked mercy and had an unrelenting appetite through the hundreds of skeletons lying around her castle, all with the same shell necklace that Eustace wore.
1 Fred was a sadistic barber
Fred is the scariest and most memorable Courage bad. Fred was a sadistic barber who appeared when he came to visit his Aunt Muriel. He had an overwhelming compulsion to shave people’s heads and beards against their will, including his childhood sweetheart and a man who walked into his barbershop.
Fred was tall and lean with wispy blonde hair and a huge creepy smile that took up most of his face and never left. He also had an uncanny calm. Fred’s inner monologue spoke only in rhyme and told the episode. His compulsion took over when he tricked Courage into the bathroom and shaved him. Fans widely considered Fred the scariest Courage the cowardly dog villain of all time.
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