Courage the Cowardly Dog
Courage the Cowardly Dog

The Mask is the seventh episode of Season 4. It is one of only two double-length episodes in the series' history, with the other being "The Tower of Dr. Zalost".

The episode was produced in 2002 and premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on October 18 of that year.


A masked woman with a mysterious past comes to the Bagge's farm and begins attacking Courage. Fearing the safety of his owners, Courage must repair the root of her problems so she can leave.


The episode begins with Muriel collecting eggs inside the henhouse while Courage peacefully naps on the nearby ground. A woman wearing a mask appears out of the horizon and proceeds to repeatedly whack him with a washbasin as she menacingly proclaims that "all dogs are evil". When Muriel comes out, she is oblivious to the Mask attacking Courage and misidentifies that they are playing together as friends. Muriel then invites the Mask to stay over at the farmhouse. Over lunch, the masked woman reveals her name is Kitty. She explains to the Bagges about her best friend Bunny, who entered an abusive relationship with her gangster boyfriend, Mad Dog. Upon realizing Mad Dog’s true colors, Bunny tried to flee but was eventually overpowered and restrained by Mad Dog, who threatened to kill her and Bunny if Kitty ever returned. Since then, Kitty has been drifting from place to place while lamenting that she will never see Bunny again. At this point, Eustace tells her to remove her mask to which Kitty angrily responds by smashing her plates off the table and utters her hatred for dogs.

Afterwards, Kitty opportunistically attacks Courage while he watches television alone in the living room and later when he is unplugging the toilet in the bathroom. At dinner, Eustace comments on Kitty's mask again which prevents her from drinking or eating. Kitty responds that she wears it because she is incapable of dealing with reality. Muriel replies that eventually everyone must face reality to which Kitty retaliates by highlighting their own issues, such as Muriel's nightly habit of excessively consuming sweets and Eustace's embarrassing incompetence at repairs.

After eating, Muriel prepares a room for Kitty in the garret. As everyone prepares for bed, Courage spies on Kitty to see her with a toy mouse that was a gift from Bunny. Once Kitty takes off her mask, Courage is terrified to learn she is actually a cat and becomes wholly convinced that the mask is evil as he begins to generate frightening thoughts. Courage frantically tells Muriel and Eustace that the Mask is an evil monster to no avail; so, in an attempt to protect them, Courage locks his owners and Kitty in their rooms while he steals the latter's toy mouse, supposedly as evidence for the police.

Courage drives to the diner and learns from Charlie the Mouse that Mad Dog has been keeping Bunny in his apartment. Meanwhile, Muriel, Eustace, and Kitty try to break out of their rooms. Muriel and Eustace fight over Kitty's criticisms at dinner, and as if proving her point, Eustace is unable to unlock the door and almost detonates a hefty pile of explosives before Muriel hands him a bobby pin to unlock the door.

Kitty escapes the room by climbing out the window and begins searching for her stolen toy mouse, who correctly assumes was snatched by Courage. Courage soon finds Bunny who was scared of him for being a dog until she sees her gift to Kitty. Courage then saves her from Mad Dog and get involved in a high-speed chase as they bolt towards the train. To rescue Bunny from being run over, Courage jumps into Mad Dog's car and accidentally drives onto the railroad tracks. Mad Dog gets hit by an Amtrak passenger train, but he survives with injuries, and Courage safely survived.

Back home, Muriel and Eustace have reconciled over their fight. As Courage and Bunny have escaped the clutches of Mad Dog, they hear Kitty distantly crying out Bunny's name and pulls Bunny onto the train's caboose with her. As the train speeds off into the night, the happily reunited pair thank Courage for his help, with Kitty finally acknowledging that not all dogs are bad. Courage returns home in the morning to Muriel, who tells him that Eustace now uses the mask Kitty left behind as protective gear for dangerous projects. As the episode closes, Eustace futilely asks Muriel for a bobby pin as he struggles to repair the furnace.


Major characters

Minor characters


Charlie: "He and his gang live down the road. You know where, after you get Bunny out of there. Tell her Charlie says 'Hey.'"

Mad Dog: "I take you from a two-bit joint and make you a class act, and you want to make me second rate? If I even SMELL Kitty, I'll bury the two of ya!"

Kitty: "I was forced to leave my home, and my best friend, Bunny. I'm lost without her. I can't bear to face the truth - that I'll never see her again."

Bunny: "You dogs are all the same - animals! Animals!"

Muriel: "Ohhhh, Eustace, Kitty was right about you. You can't fix a thing!"
Eustace: "Oh, yeah? You want some chocolate?"

Muriel: "Oh, Eustace, I'm sorry for the terrible things I've said."
Eustace: "That's okay, Muriel. Nobody's perfect."


  • This is the first and only appearances of Kitty, Bunny, and Mad Dog.
  • This is also the second two-parter episode in the series, the first being "The Tower of Dr. Zalost".
  • Although the train in this episode is powered by a steam engine, it has an air horn. This type of engine is based on a New York Central J-3A Dreyfuss Hudson, while the diesel horn sound effect is from Sound Ideas.
  • Courage's paranoia gets the better of him in this episode, as Kitty's hatred was directed only at him because he was a dog - she posed no threat whatsoever to Muriel and Eustace.
    • In Courage's defense, however, the only other cat that he knows is his archnemesis Katz, who has done recurring harm to them.
  • Whenever Courage is thinking about Muriel and Eustace, only Eustace's lower body is shown. During Courage's final thought bubble, he only rescues Muriel from Kitty's mouth, despite that Eustace was also devoured by the Mask in one of the previous bubbles.
  • John R. Dilworth stated in an interview that he "could not believe Cartoon Network allowed this episode to be aired" due to its strong themes of abuse, relationships, and domestic violence.
    • This is often considered the darkest episode of the series because of the above themes in addition to misandry, disillusionment, feminism, domestic violence, and homosexuality.
    • Dilworth has also confirmed that Bunny and Kitty are canonically lesbian and in a relationship.[1]
  • The episode's title is a reference to the 1994 movie of the same name starring Jim Carrey.
  • The title card somewhat resembles the cover of the Mötley Crüe album Theatre of Pain with the use of the sock and buskin.
  • The car's license plate is ''K-9''. 'CA'='K' and 'NINE'='9' The term is from the English and French word 'CANINE' (which means 'DOG'). And K-9 is also a police dog where German Shepherds are mostly used.
  • A portrait of Nedd can be seen on the Bagge's bedroom wall, a character from John R. Dilworth's short series Noodles & Nedd for Sesame Street.
  • The lyrics of the 1992 hit song “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” tell a very similar story to this episode, even to the point of the abusive partner being referred to as a dog. The only difference is that the narrator (whose role is similar to that of Kitty) describes herself as a monkey rather than a cat.