Courage the Cowardly Dog
Courage the Cowardly Dog

Human Habitrail is part one of the fifth episode of Season 2, which aired February 16, 2001, preceding "Mission to the Sun". Its plot features Dr. Gerbil, a traveling salesman who solicits the Bagges into purchasing a new vacuum cleaner. Gerbil's true intentions are revealed when he uses the vacuum to shrink Eustace and Muriel so that he can exploit them as test subjects for cosmetic products.


It's time for spring cleaning at the Bagge house. The house is completely covered in dust, including Eustace's soup, and the broom is making things worse. Muriel gripes about the dust to Eustace and points out that a vacuum would do a better job. At that moment, Dr. Gerbil knocks on their door. He offers Muriel one of his products, a high-powered vacuum cleaner, free of charge. He asks them a series of seemingly random, but suspicious questions. He also distracts Muriel and Eustace with the sound of the motor to cover up faint yelling from within the vacuum's bag. Once the farmer and his wife have their guards down, Dr. Gerbil uses the vacuum to shrink Muriel and Eustace and suck them inside the dust bag (where they meet Lint Lady).

Dr. Gerbil leaves with the vacuum, but Courage follows him to his underground lab. Courage hops on a boat that floats down the underground river. To his annoyance, Dr. Gerbil's jingle is playing on loop as displays of his other household products are displayed. Meanwhile, Dr. Gerbil tests his products on the tiny Muriel and Eustace to "get the bugs out." All of the products cause Muriel and Eustace to swell up or cause parts of their bodies to mutate and explode.

Dr. Gerbil puts them back into their hamster cage prison and leaves to do something else. This allows Courage to break in and rescue his owners by smuggling them out in the vacuum. Dr. Gerbil comes back to see Courage stealing his "specimens" and chases him out to the river. Using the vacuum's exhaust as a motor, Courage races the boat out through the sewer system and down the river, with Dr. Gerbil following on a jet ski. Eventually, they come to a waterfall. Courage manages to guide the boat to safety with the vacuum's suction. Dr. Gerbil tries to jump onto the boat but falls in the water and goes over the waterfall.

Courage gets Muriel and Eustace home safely, but when Eustace tries to finish his soup, hie finds something surprising: Lint Lady, demanding her lint back from him.




  • This is the first time that Muriel goes bald, with the second time being in the very next episode, "Mission to the Sun".
  • Series composer Jody Gray stated in a 2002 interview that the inspiration for this episode came from John R. Dilworth as a "classic switcheroo" on typical animal testing practices where "a gerbil tests cosmetics on humans".[1]
  • The aforementioned interview also revealed the inspiration for the musical score during the boat chase sequence: "We were simply scoring the opposite of what was happening on-screen to rather disconcerting, somber and completely surreal effect! It also played well against the utter silliness of the "It's Doc Gerbil's World" song basically poking fun at 'It's a Small World (After All)'."[1]

Cultural references[]

  • Courage's boat ride is a parody of It's a Small World, a ride in Disney theme parks.

Production notes[]

  • Although this episode premiered in the United States on February 16, 2001, it was actually produced in 2000 according to the credits.
    • This episode was finished in September of 2000.[2]

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Behind the Scenes Interviews: Jody Gray" (May 29, 2002). Fridays: The Fansite. ToonZone. Archived from the original on 2004-10-10. Retrieved 2013-04-18.