Courage the Cowardly Dog
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Courage the Cowardly Dog

"King Ramses' Curse" is part one of the seventh episode of Season One, preceding "The Clutching Foot". The episode was produced in 1999 and premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on January 7, 2000. [2] Its plot involves King Ramses' cursed Ancient Egyptian slab that has been stolen by thieves, who toss it from their vehicle near the Bagge Farmhouse. Upon finding the slab, Eustace agrees to return the slab only for a sum of money.

Synopsis

Courage discovers an Egyptian stone slab near the waterpump of the farmhouse. The stone slab turns out to be a relic, stolen from a Pharaoh's tomb, that is worth one million dollars. Eustace refuses to return the stolen slab without payment, and the entire family faces the wrath of its three curses as a result.

Plot

In the dead of the night, after stealing an Egyptian stone slab from the tomb of King Ramses, two feline grave robbers are fleeing from the scene of the crime in their car. Pursued by the police, the duo decides that the best course of action is to hide the slab, and return to its location once the authorities have given up the chase in order to retrieve it (for the sake of concealing any incriminating evidence). They pull over to bury the slab at the nearest landmark in sight, which is the Bagge's water-pump. As they re-enter their vehicle in order to escape, they are confronted by King Ramses himself, who demands that his slab be returned lest the thieves suffer his curse. The confused thieves, unaware of the curse, do not have a chance to react before they are surrounded by a swarm of locusts, which quickly devour both them and the car. Puzzled by the scene, Courage watches with curiosity from the farmhouse, but does not investigate further.

The next morning, Courage cannot contain his curiosity and unearths the slab. The slab contains symbols of Ramses, water, a record player, and locusts. Courage shows it to his owners, but Eustace dismisses the slab as "garbage" and tosses it out the window. However, Eustace's opinion changes after learning from the Nowhere Newsman that the stolen artifact is worth one million dollars. Courage notices that the first symbol, the Ramses, disappears from the slab and wails in dismay. Eustace contacts the Nowhere Newspaper to place an ad for the slab, despite Muriel's condemnation of his behavior. Professor Frith arrives and tries to reclaim the slab, but Eustace refuses to give it up for free.

That night, the ghost of Ramses returns, and this time threatens the Bagges. He orders Eustace to return the slab or he would be visited by three "plagues", each worse than the last. Eustace, believing that the ghost is the professor in disguise, gives the ghost his customary response of "What's your offer?" and then slams the door on the ghost when the ghost repeats himself. The ghost unleashes the first plague. The second representative symbol on the slab, the water, disappears, and the house subsequently begins to fill up with water. While Muriel is drowning, Eustace uses his snorkel gear. Courage swims to the basement and pulls a drain stopper and all the water drains out from the house thus defeating the first plague much to the ghost's annoyance. Unfazed by the ordeal, Eustace again refuses the ghost's request asking for an offer, initiating the second plague. Again, the representative symbol on the stone slab, the record player, disappears. A skipping record that repeatedly blares "King Ramses, the man in gauze," permeates the air, causing the family audible pain. Eustace alleviates the noise by plugging his ears using cotton, but leaves Muriel suffering. Courage finds the source of the noise behind a boulder, destroying the phonograph with a baseball bat to stop the racket. King Ramses once again demands the return of his slab. Muriel insists that Eustace return the slab, but Eustace still refuses to do so without getting paid.

The ghost then unleashes his third and final plague: the locusts. The final symbol disappears from the slab, and the insects begin to devour the house starting from the roof. As the house is devoured by the locusts, Muriel prepares food as a stress relief tactic. Courage and Eustace wrestle over the slab. Eustace finally gives in once he realizes how close they are to being devoured, allowing Courage to toss the artifact toward Ramses, which ends the curse. However, Eustace reclaims the slab after the locusts had left and taunts Ramses, thinking that he, since he used three different plagues, is now powerless. Annoyed, Ramses simply reuses the third plague by summoning the locusts again, and Eustace is devoured. 

Within the carnage in the wake of the locusts, Muriel is rocking Courage as usual, watching TV. On TV, Professor Frith explains that the slab has been returned to the Pharaoh's tomb in Egypt and will remain protected for all time. This episode ends by showing the sarcophagus of King Ramses, where Eustace has now apparently replaced Ramses on the slab, as punishment for his greed. 

Characters

Quotes

  • Eustace: Well, judging by the markings and the obvious age of the relic, I'd have to say it would be... garbage! (he tosses the slab out of the house)
    • Muriel: Eustace!
    • Eustace: Garbage! From King Garbage! Of the Garbage Dynasty! Stupid dog, always bringing garbage into the house.
  • King Ramses: Return the slab or suffer my curse!
    • Eustace: What's your offer?
  • King Ramses: Aw, come on!
  • Professor Frith: At last, the illiterately cursed slab has been returned to King Ramses' crypt where it will remain buried in antiquity for all time.
  • Song: The man in gauze, the man in gauze, King Ramses! He's no Santa Claus!
  • Muriel: (plugging her ears) Courage, make it stop!
  • Eustace: Nice try, professor! (slams the door) Who's he kidding, I can see the zipper on that cheap costume!
  • Eustace: A million dollars! You know what that means? New lawn chairs!
  • King Ramses: Return the slab!
    • Muriel: Oh! Eustace, what you waiting for?! Till we’re six feet under?!

Trivia

  • This is the first (and only) appearance of King Ramses and the first appearance of Professor Frith.
  • When Courage transforms into a boat, a sailor version of the Freaky Fred music can be heard.
  • King Ramses does not give the cat thieves three chances to return the slab, unlike the Bagges, most likely because they stole the slab first.
    • Unless the thieves have already encountered Ramses and his first two plagues during the pursuit before they hid the slab and are unable to survive the last plague.
  • This episode is featured at the end of the VHS of Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders.
  • Courage only has one line of dialogue in this episode, not counting his yelling and screaming.
  • This episode is commonly thought by fans to be one of the scariest episodes of the series, with many viewers confessing to having had nightmares caused by it.
  • The Cat Burglars at the beginning resemble Katz.
    • Most fans claim Katz is the one who sent these thieves to steal the slabs in exchange for their payment but failed due to King Ramses who have parish them with the locust plague. Unless this was part of his plan as in Katz didn't expect the thieves to give him the slab, only to watch Courage and the Bagge family suffer because Katz knew Eustace couldn't resist his greed intentions for million dollars which will lead him to his demise.
  • A piece of the "Man in Gauze" theme was sampled by Kanye West in his song "I'm in It".
  • King Ramses' line, "This night, you'll be visited by three plagues, each worse than the last.", is a reference to A Christmas Carol when Jacob Marley's ghost announces the arrival of three more spirits to visit Ebenezer Scrooge, whom each are worse than the last.
  • The Locust plague turned out to be too powerful to be defeated unlike how courage managed to undrain the flood in the basement and destroyed the loud tone record behind the rock. For any other weakness to the third plague Courage could have done to defeat Rameses is could have used a bug spray repellent or a bug zapper lamp.
  • This episode features a deer head hanging in the living room, which also appears in "Farmer-Hunter, Farmer-Hunted".

Mistakes

Factual errors

  • While locusts are frighteningly voracious, real-life locusts only eat plant life, not living creatures and inanimate objects, as this episode suggests.

Continuity

  • When Muriel runs away from the locusts (screaming), she runs into what is supposed to be the kitchen, but what the animation shows is clearly the backyard.
  • When Courage is about to toss the slab out, the symbols on it reappear, even though at this point they should all be gone.
  • The record that "The Man in Gauze" is played on seems to be warped, which should cause it to skip instead of playing the full song clearly.

Gallery

Cat Thieves

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