A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
"Courage" apparently has very little, although he always fights his cowardice and comes through for his owner. Another main character regularly tries to harm Courage, and all characters except two are prone to cruel remarks and behavior toward one another (to say the least).
Violence & Scariness
All of the characters are subjected to extremely gross, graphic animated violence, including exploding organs, weapons of all sorts, growing extra limbs, turning inside out -- you name it. It's intended to be so over the top that it's funny, but it's still very strong for a cartoon.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very occasional references, such as "this is one of those naughty men's clubs, isn't it?" when a character is tied up.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this show isn't appropriate for any child young enough to believe in the reality of a cartoon character on any level. Every episode begins with Courage's owner's husband behaving in a nasty, abusive way to his wife and dog, and overall the show is about as violent and gross as it's possible for animation to be (and not in the Bugs Bunny way that many parents feel is funny even to young kids). That said, it's all so extreme -- characters grow extra arms, turn inside out, etc. -- that it's next to impossible to take it seriously, even though it's also hard not to wince if you've got a young kid in front of the television when it comes on.
Is It Any Good?
Cynical and over the top, COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG was pretty cutting edge in 2000, when it was created for the Cartoon Network. And it's still fairly out there in its willingness to take both violence and sheer gross-out gore to extremes in the name of humor. The creators spoof the horror genre in many episodes, and fans of horror movies will undoubtedly find plenty of inside jokes.
But while the show is funny -- and certainly both unique and unpredictable in its storylines -- it's not a particularly kid-friendly cartoon. Younger viewers will do better with Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry, which have plenty of slapstick 'toon violence without the graphic images.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.