Courage the Cowardly Dog follows the misadventures of a skittish beagle, who constantly saves his elderly owners, the ever-benevolent Muriel and curmudgeonly Eustace, from monsters like zombies, yetis, demons, and evil chickens from outer space. Yes, you heard that right, evil chickens from space. The show’s odd mixture of abject horror and slapstick comedy is so engrossing that it’s no surprise fans have gotten tattoo tributes to Courage and his strange foes; it’s one of the most warped yet adorable series ever to air on Cartoon Network, and that’s what makes it so lovable
Right from the get go, Courage the Cowardly Dog was a smashing success. The pilot was nominated for an Academy Award but lost to Wallace and Gromit’s A Close Shave, which, let’s be honest, is an injustice (no offense to Gromit, but Courage makes him look like a bitch). The seven minute short begins with Courage and his masters relaxing in their little house out in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas, when a UFO lands outside. After a chicken with glowing red eyes emerges from the spacecraft, the otherworldly fowl and Courage engage in a battle of wits. Ultimately, he defeats the feathered space invader in a breath-holding contest and manages to save the day.
It’s always a peaceful day in Nowhere, until some supernatural entity comes knocking on the farm’s door. Pretty much every episode follows the same plot structure as the pilot, but because of the peculiar characterization of each antagonist, the show never gets old. Even if they wanted to, who could ever forget Katz trying to feed Courage to his mutant pet spiders or the revolting giant foot with faces for toes that comes to visit? They’re unforgettable nightmares that will put a smile on your face.
The show is so dark it’s hard to believe it was made for children, but Courage's silly antics keep it just lighthearted enough. The cartoon’s macabre charm is so irresistible that people have even had portraits of some of the weirdos who ever roll up on Muriel and Eustace’s front porch tattooed on their bodies, including Freaky Fred, the psychotic barber who compulsively shaves everything in sight. It’s Courage, however, with his catchphrase “The things I do for love,” who’s stolen the show in the Nowhere of body art.
To see more tattoos based on cartoons, hit up these artist’s Instagrams. If you, too, are a diehard fan of Courage the Cowardly Dog, get a tattoo of him, Muriel, Eustace, or one the other whacky monsters from the cartoon.