Eustace Bagge is one of the three main characters in the Cartoon Network series Courage the Cowardly Dog and serves as one of the major (on-off) antagonists of the show, specifically to Courage. He is Muriel's husband and an elderly, skinny, jaded, disgruntled, cynical, greedy, hard-working American man who is interested in money and obsessed with his truck. Eustace is also the current owner of the farmhouse, which was previously owned by his now-deceased brother Horst. Eustace wears glasses identical in appearance to Muriel's, and his brown hat shields his bald head.
Eustace often refers to Courage simply as "Dog" and rarely addresses him by name. Eustace is commonly the subject of an unpleasant ending, whether it is a backfire of his get-rich-quick scheme or the villain of the episode going after him, or better yet, getting his comeuppance at the end, often in quite brutal or fatal ways.
Lionel Wilson originally voiced the character, but left midway through the third season (and eventually died five months after the show ended) and was replaced by the late Arthur Anderson. In the 2014 short titled The Fog of Courage, Wallace Shawn replaced Anderson as the voice of Eustace, while in the 2021 Scooby-Doo/Courage the Cowardly Dog crossover film Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog, Jeff Bergman took over as the voice of Eustace.
Intentionally Stupid Qualities
- He is malicious, nasty, and ill-tempered throughout the show. It even seems as though he cannot comprehend the concept of kindness.
- He loves to torture Courage by mistreating him and scaring him (mostly by his mask), frequently calling him a "stupid dog" and rarely calling him by his actual name.
- He regularly demeans and mistreats Muriel as well.
- In "Dr. Le Quack, Amnesia Specialist", Muriel develops amnesia after getting a concussion from a falling wooden plank and Eustace takes advantage of this by simply convincing her that she is a "slave woman", making her do all the chores and cooking around the house.
- He is completely oblivious as to what he does wrong, as such when he constantly asks what he did when he is punished by Muriel.
- He is completely selfish, for example in the episode "King Ramses' Curse" where Eustace asks "What's your offer?" as he refuses to return the slab to King Ramses.
- He is jealous of Courage just because he receives more attention from Muriel.
- His greed not only makes him look bad but often leads to his downfall.
- Speaking of greed, he is extremely greedy as he cares about money. One example could be in "Muriel Blows Up", he bribes the General to give him $10 million for a giant carrot that can blow up and only the General could disarm it.
- He is honestly just plain stubborn.
- He was so horrible in the episode "The Precious, Wonderful, Adorable, Lovable Duckling" that he rewards the duckling for tattling to him on Courage which makes Eustace kick him out of the house for nothing he did and after the latter assaulted Courage by grabbing him and threw him in the bathtub loaded with wet cement Eustace laughs at him. He also didn't punish the duckling for trying to kill his wife.
- Other episodes that are at his absolute worst:
- In "Hothead", he uses a hair serum just to grow hair, even though it can have side effects like making you explode after getting angry.
- In "The Curse of Shirley", he never takes criticism due to the curse on top of his head (rain cloud), because he intentionally slams the door at Shirley, resulting in refusing to help others.
- In "Angry Nasty People" he brutally tortures Courage because Benton Tarentella provides him to become a star.
- In "Ball of Revenge", he calls Courage's past enemies like Katz, Le Quack, Cajun Fox, Big Toe, Black Puddle Queen, and Weremole to kidnap Muriel, who is his wife, and Courage because he wants his colorful sheet.
- Other episodes that are at his absolute worst:
- The real reason Eustace is mean to Courage is because his mother Ma Bagge, and his brother Horst (who had died) made him act like this.
- Worst of all he manages to make Sarah the same way because of the bad things these two have in common whenever Courage and the Eds do nothing wrong but it leads Eustace here and Sarah to punish all 4 of them anyway for amusement.
- His voice by Arthur Anderson (who had replaced his original voice actor Lionel Wilson, due to his suffering from pneumonia) in the rest of season 3 is downgraded by him, making Eustace speak in a Scrooge-like accent rather forced to be menacing, which was thankfully improved in season 4.
- He can be quite funny and has very memorable quotes, such as "Stupid dog", "Ooga Booga Booga!", "What did I do?", "Big Deal.", "What's huh?", "Get away from me!", "Muriel, where’s my dinner?!", and "No sir! Not getting out of this chair!"
- Despite how harsh he is towards Courage, he has helped Courage out on several occasions.
- His cruel personality and skinny character design make a good contrast to his much kinder and chubby wife.
- Also his personality is only because of how his mother Ma and brother Horst treated him, respectively calling him "Stupid Boy", "The ugliest boy I ever did see" and "Useless". In addition, Eustace was once nice back when he was a child.
- Despite how flawed he is, he has his fair share of moments where he is good-hearted, polite, and caring.
- Eustace generally gets his comeuppance at the end of each episode when he's an antagonist, so at least he's not a Karma Houdini.
- He does sometimes show that he cares about Muriel, as evidenced by his concern for her well-being in a few episodes.
- He was likely supposed to be hated due to his constant tormenting of Courage.
- The late Lionel Wilson, the late Arthur Anderson (who improved voicing him in season 4), Wallace Shawn, and Jeff Bergman do perfect jobs voicing him.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog wouldn't be as good without him.
- Eustace is one of three characters (the others being Courage and Muriel) to appear in nearly every episode. "Cajun Granny Stew" is the only episode Eustace does not appear.
- During Anderson's time in the role, many of Eustace's catchphrases that were originally voiced by Wilson were reused as stock audio. Such phrases include "Stupid dog!", "What's, huh?", and he laughs.
- Some of his lines, such as "That's it! I'm gettin' me mallet!", became internet memes.