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Dexter's Laboratory (seasons 1 & 2)

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Dexter's Laboratory (seasons 1 & 2)
"Dee Dee, get out of my laboratory!"
Genre: Comic science fiction
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: April 28, 1996–January 1, 1997 (season 1)
July 16, 1997-June 15, 1998 (season 2)
Network(s): Cartoon Network
Created by: Genndy Tartakovsky
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Television
Distribution Turner Entertainment
Starring: Christine Cavanaugh (seasons 1-3 until Sole Brother and Tele Trauma only)
Candi Milo (Rest of Season 3-4)
Allison Moore (seasons 1 and 3)
Kat Cressida (seasons 2 and 4)
Tom Kenny
Kath Soucie
Jeff Bennett
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 13 (season 1)
39 (season 2)

Dexter's Laboratory is a sci-fi comedy cartoon created by Genndy Tartakovsky. Originally aired as part of the What a Cartoon! anthology series, Dexter's Laboratory was given its own show in 1996 and became the very first Cartoon Cartoon, the name given to most of Cartoon Network's original programming that was well known during the late 90s, to mid-2000s.

It originally aired from 1996 to 1999. It was later revived in 2001, but cancelled in 2003.


The story revolves around Dexter, a young boy gifted with an exceptional genius intellect who has a large laboratory that he hide in his parents house. However, to his misfortune, his klutzy and hyperactive older sister Dee Dee is aware of his lab's existence and often barges in and trashes the place. His life is also more complicated by his rival, Mandark, who is just as intelligent as him though luckily has a weakness in the form of having a crush on Dee Dee.

Why These Seasons Were A Success!

  1. This is the first of the Cartoon Cartoons they ever aired, which was a great start to their reputation.
  2. Launched Genndy Tartakovsky's career, who would later go on to create other cartoons such as Samurai Jack and Sym-Bionic Titan, and would also be the director of the Hotel Transylvania franchise.
  3. Led to the careers of other animators, such as Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy), Craig McCracken (creator of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends), Butch Hartman (creator of The Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom), Rob Renzetti (creator of My Life as a Teenage Robot), and Paul Rudish (who developed The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse).
  4. Many hilarious jokes.
  5. Colorful and detailed animation, especially in the "What a Cartoon" pilots, and the first half of Season 1.
  6. Creative inventions and plot devices.
  7. Funny phrases, like "Ooh! What does this button do?" and the "You are stupid! You are stupid! And don't forget... YOU ARE Stupid!" (of Dexter and Computress Get Mandark!).
  8. The dynamic between Dexter and Dee Dee represents the opposite sides of the human brain with the former representing the brain's left side and the latter representing the brain's right side which makes the conflict between them feel genuine but also makes the show a lot more intelligent rather than just being viewed as a wacky cartoon.
  9. Good songs like the main theme, Breathe in the Sunshine and Aye Aye Eye.
  10. Several good/decent episodes, for example:
  11. Memorable characters like Dexter, Dee Dee (Despite her flaws), their parents, Mandark, Dexter’s pet lab monkey, Mandark’s pet lab duck Quackor, Dexter’s computer, the Justice Friends, Puppet Pals, Agent Honeydew, Commander, Dee Dee's best friends Mee Mee and Lee Lee, Koosalagooppagoop, Douglas E. Mordecai III, Action Hank, and Mr. Phillips Luzinsky.
  12. Two segments were also done for the show: Dial M for Monkey and The Justice Friends, and those overlapped with the show as Monkey is Dexter's pet monkey, and the leader of the Justice Friends, Major Glory, is one of Dexter's favorite superheroes.
  13. Its original series finale, Ego Trip, was great. After which, Genndy Tartakovsky left to create Samurai Jack.

Bad Qualities

  1. The series severely declined in quality when it was revived in 2001.
  2. Even before the revival, there were some bad episodes, such as:
  3. Dee Dee can be annoying and unlikable at times.


  • Dial M for Monkey "BARBEQUOR" was banned from airing numerous countries due to a copyright clash with Marvel Comics and was replaced with "Dexter's Lab: A Story" in subsequent airings as well as on the complete DVD set as a bonus episode.
  • Christine Cavanaugh retired from voice acting in 2001 and 13 years later, she died on December 22, 2014.
  • There's another banned episode, called "Rude Removal", which never aired on television mostly due to the characters swearing (and Dee Dee flipping the audience off on the title card). It was finally uploaded to Adult Swim's official YouTube page in a censored form, but can also be found unofficially uncensored. Speaking of which, the episode wasn't meant for airing. Instead, it was meant for private conversations, even though Adult Swim did not exist till 2001.
  • The television movie, Ego Trip was the last episode produced by Hanna-Barbera before the studio was defunct in 2001. Originally intended to be the series finale of the show, but the show was renewed for two more seasons in 2001. It was also the last episode created by Genddy Tartakovsky before he left the show to create Samurai Jack. Even though the last two seasons were created by Chris Savino, Genddy Tartakovsky was still envolved in the project, though not as the creator.
  • This show was very popular in Japan, likely due to Dexter being a bizarre scientist and Dee Dee being the show's resident Moe girl.
  • For similar reasons, it was also well-liked in South Korea.


Dexter's Laboratory received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike and is considered as one of the best CN shows ever made . It currently has a 7.9/10 on IMDb . It was one of the highest rated CN shows and won three Annie Awards, with nominations for four Primetime Emmy Awards, four Golden Reel Awards, and nine other Annie Awards. The series is notable for helping launch the careers of animators Craig McCracken, Seth MacFarlane, Butch Hartman, Paul Rudish, and Rob Renzetti.