The Scariest Moments That Scared Kids

Courage the cowardly dog is a wonderfully weird Cartoon Network classic that follows the titular pooch as he deals with chilling supernatural misadventures. The comedy horror series is set on an isolated farmhouse where he lives with loving Scottish wife Muriel and cruel grumpy Eustace, and features the many fearsome enemies and forces that Courage must protect the duo from. After debuting in 1999, the show ran for four chilling seasons and was a smash hit for the network, winning both an Annie and a Golden Reel Award during its tenure.



From terrifying demons to flesh-hungry zombies, ancient Egyptian curses and even a fetid mushroom, the program had its fair share of spooky moments that left audiences old and young sleeping with the lights on. Fans of the paranoid pooch rejoiced when the character and the show headlined a crossover film with scooby-doo called Straight out of nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meet Courage the Cowardly Dog in 2021. The series has earned a reputation for its heart-pounding content and is undoubtedly one of the most memorable and iconic cartoons of the 90s and 2000s. These were some of the scariest moments that scared the children.

Viewers with a major disdain for feet were further repelled by episode “The Clutching Foot,” which depicts the villainous Eustace as he discovers a hideous, bright purple fungus that has begun to invade his entire body after having started at his feet. His swollen, ever-growing foot hilariously features five talking gangster toes, with Big Toe being the leader of the 1930s-inspired gangster gang.

It gets disturbing when the mushroom completely consumes Eustace and threatens to crush Muriel unless Courage helps them rob a bank, leading to an epic showdown between the petrified pooch and the villainous mass of mushrooms. Making the episode even more disgusting, Courage’s only way to defeat Big Toe and his henchmen is to lick his medicine-infested saliva off the foot.

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8 Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Demon in the Mattress

Inspired by the classic 1970s horror film The Exorcist, “The Demon in the Mattress” follows Courage as he desperately tries to save his beloved master Muriel from a demon that inhabits the mattress, who possesses her and transforms the beloved woman into an evil and sinister being. The bizarre episode pays homage to the ’70s horror staple and its main character Reagan by turning Muriel’s sweet Scottish drag into a deep, eerie growl and even spinning her head, completing the terrifying homage. making her vomit all over Eustache. Just like its inspiration material The Exorcist, the episode is downright chilling and gives viewers an eerie feeling in its entirety.

Related: The Exorcist: Is The Original Still One Of The Scariest Horror Movies?

seven Courage the cowardly dog: the mask

Perhaps not the scariest on the list but definitely the most unsettling, the episode titled “The Mask” centers on a mysterious woman wearing a haunting porcelain mask who shows up at Bagge’s farm and silently stalks Courage, attacking finally the character while maliciously stating “All dogs are bad.” The fact that the strange masked figure initially remains silent and lashes out at man’s best friend is alarming, as is the menacing organ music that plays upon his arrival. As the enigmatic figure ultimately turns out to be a feline named Kitty looking for a little help to save her friend, Courage becomes convinced that the unnerving porcelain mask is evil and the root of everyone’s problems. and its dead-eyed design is haunting.


6 Courage the cowardly dog: everyone wants to achieve

Lights, camera, zombies! In “Everybody Wants to Direct”, Courage, Muriel and Eustace are visited by macabre filmmaker Benton Tarantella, who claims to want the older couple to headline his new creature feature at the Bagge Farm but secretly want to play a infamous ritual on earth. Benton desperately seeks to resurrect his deceased partner Errol Von Volkheim and manipulates Muriel and Eustace into staging the rite; Courage learns that the two “directors” are actually serial killers who pretended to be in show business in order to lure their victims. The episode shows Benton’s body parts falling off (revealing his true zombie nature) and features the undead duo trying to eat Muriel, with Courage, finally saving the day in no time, but not before a bunch of disturbing insinuations.


5 Courage the Cowardly Dog: Freaky Fred

With his unsettling Cheshire smile, unsettling green eyes and menacing furrowed brows, “Freaky Fred” is one of Courage the cowardly dog‘s the weirdest and scariest characters in the series. In the sinister episode, Muriel’s odd nephew Fred arrives for a visit, unnerving the audience the second his creepy face appears on screen. Fred’s bizarre demeanor and chilling voice describing his interior monologues instantly get you on your nerves, especially when discussing the “naughty” things he’s done in his life.

Related: Best Cartoon Network TV Shows of the 90s, Ranked

The smiling menace is revealed to have escaped from an insane asylum to pursue a career as a barber, eventually trapping poor Courage at the end of the episode and razing him. The episode is a parody of the popular musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Streetand while ultimately quite innocuous, creates a spellbinding and unforgettable character.


4 Courage the Cowardly Dog: Queen of the Black Puddle

After an intense thunderstorm, an ominous puddle remains which Courage cautiously investigates, and he is shocked when she transforms into a stunning queen who bares her razor-sharp teeth and hisses at him. The evil woman bewitches Eustace and tries to lure him into the sewers while bathing in a gruesome sequence, later kidnapping him and dragging the old man into the ominous puddle.

Courage rightly hates Eustace, but realizes that to make Muriel happy again, he must save her cruel husband, by following the pair to the Queen’s lair. Viewers are panicked when the once-beautiful character becomes a hideous monster bent on utterly devouring Eustace, with Courage chillingly noticing skeletons littering the ground around them. The dramatic transformation of the queen and pseudo graveyard from previous fallen prey is downright chilling.


3 Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Curse of King Ramses

One of Courage the cowardly dogis the most infamous and tingling episodes was none other than “The Curse of King Ramses,” which follows the Bagges as they discover an ancient Egyptian relic worth a million dollars that was stolen from the tomb of a pharaoh. Eustace decides he wants to keep the slab and make a big profit, resulting in the family being plagued by three curses attached to it. The ghost of Ramses coldly appears outside the farmhouse the following night, threatening Eustace to “turn the slab” in a creepy fashion; the terrifying villain flows ominously in the wind and unleashes violent plagues upon the Bagges, including water consuming their home, an incessant repeating record, and destructive locusts. The episode is widely considered by fans of the series to be one of the scariest of all time.


2 Courage the Cowardly Dog: A Night at the Katz Motel

Courage faces many foes throughout the spooky series, and the program kicks off its thrilling run with the nervous dog facing off against an evil cat. The Bagges are forced to stay at the Katz Motel when they’re stranded during a storm, and its titular owner uses a monstrous spider to attack Muriel in the tub (in a really tense scene), who manages to flush her down the toilet. When Courage goes down to the basement in pursuit of Katz, he is alarmed when he finds himself right in the middle of the giant spiders’ lair. Those with arachnophobia could barely watch the creepy installment, as poor Courage is nearly choked to death by the creatures before Muriel saves him from the demented Katz.


1 Courage the cowardly dog: ox heads

Meat lovers everywhere bit off more than they could chew as they listened to the unsettling “Beef Heads” episode, in which Courage and Eustace dine at a mysterious burger joint which leaves the dog worried that something sinister is afoot. Even though the establishment is run by two seemingly innocent pigs, Courage becomes paranoid that they may not be using cow meat after seeing a man enter the establishment but not leave.

After some research by the cowardly pooch, Courage is convinced that the pigs are eating the customers and using them as a secret burger ingredient, eventually escaping their clutches. Although it’s revealed that pigs aren’t actually cold-blooded killers, the grotesque imagery and concept of cannibalism in a kids’ show definitely gave viewers the heebie-jeebies.