In what alternate universe could a show like Courage the Cowardly Dog be called children's programming? Everything about the premise of the show is utterly horrific with the sole intent being to instill lifelong nightmares into kids. Nothing about this beyond creepy show is remotely okay by any standards. Living with an abusive owner in the middle of absolutely nowhere, Courage faces a never-ending conveyor belt of haunted demons and creepy crawly creatures ready to possess and torment an elderly couple and their nervous pooch.
"Horrifying" is an understatement. It's almost like the creators derived some sick pleasure from creeping kids out so bad that they harbor unresolved, deep-rooted fears for the rest of their lives. Courage the Cowardly Dog never fails to push the boundaries of what's appropriate children's television.When you're watching as a kid, you don't really realize how messed up this show truly is, but re-watching as an adult makes it abundantly clear. Also calling Courage "cowardly" is outright insulting. That pink/purple pup always sucked it up and tackled those monsters head on. That's a lot more than you or I would have been brave enough to do. There's a lot of things about Courage the Cowardly Dog that makes this show truly haunting. But there are several characters and moments that really stand out. If you've tried to wipe your memory of these terrifying cartoon moments, get ready to relive them all over again. These are the most horrifying things from Courage the Cowardly Dog.
After Eustace comes across a stone tablet worth a sizable chunk of change, he refuses to return the relic to the tomb of its rightful owner King Ramses. That would all be fine and dandy, except King Ramses stalks Courage's front yard chanting "Return the slab" and promising a variety of curses until Eustace gives the stone back. You've probably never stolen an ancient tablet, but you'd almost certainly be willing to return it if doing so meant the ghostly Egyptian pharaoh outside your window would stop appearing.
Freaky Fred is Muriel and Eustace's nephew who comes to visit the farm. He happens to have an insane (and almost sexual) obsession with skinning hair off people until they are completely bald. What's weirder is that when Fred shaves his victims, he hears the faint laughter of children in his head. If you ever had an irrational fear of barbers growing up, prepare for that fear to resurface. That sinister smile is enough alone to give up haircuts altogether. Unfortunately for Courage, the poor pup fell victim to Freaky Fred a handful of times.
Scary Violin Girl
Scary Violin Girl only has a brief cameo, but it's enough to permanently scar viewers for the rest of their childhood. In "Courage in the Big Stinkin City," Courage creeps up to Violin Girl's room. On the way up, he utters, "I just know something bad is going to happen." And oh boy is he right. Her back is facing him, but she turns around and reveals a horrifying claymation face with nightmarishly bulging eyes. It's the animated equivalent to all those terrifying pop-out YouTube videos your friends used to prank you with.
The "You're Not Perfect" Thing
After Courage fails several training classes with The Perfectionist, he has nightmares about being "imperfect." Apparently failure is being haunted in your dreams by whatever the hell this guy is. So incredibly creepy and random, no matter what this "Perfect" thing actually is, you'll never want to see it again.