Dexter's Laboratory

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This page is dedicated to Christine Cavanaugh (August 16, 1963 – December 22, 2014), may she rest in peace.
Dexter's Laboratory
"Dee Dee, get out of my laboratory!"
Genre: Comic science fiction
Surreal comedy
Black comedy
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: April 28, 1996 – June 15, 1998 (Original series)
November 16, 2001 - November 20, 2003 (Revival series)
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 and 4)
Allison Moore (Seasons 1 and 3)
Kat Cressida (Seasons 2 and 4)
Tom Kenny
Kath Soucie
Jeff Bennett
Eddie Deezen
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 126

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 1998. It was later revived in 2001 by Chris Savino (who was originally the writer in the previous seasons) and ended 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 The Experiment Is A Success!

  1. This is the first of the Cartoon Cartoons they ever aired, which was a great way start 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. He later on also went on to create adult cartoons on Adult Swim such as Primal
  3. Led to the careers of other animators, such as Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show and writer of Johnny Bravo), Craig McCracken (creator of The Powerpuff Girls (1998), Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, Wander Over Yonder and Kid Cosmic), Butch Hartman (creator of The Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom), Rob Renzetti (creator of My Life as a Teenage Robot), Chris Savino (creator of The Loud House, producer of The first season of Johnny Test (2005) and director of Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil) and Paul Rudish (who developed The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse).
  4. Cleverly hidden adult jokes, it helps that one of the writers is Seth MacFarlane who is the writer behind Johnny Bravo and the creator of Family Guy, American Dad! and other adult cartoons.
  5. Pretty colorful, smooth and detailed animation, especially in the 2001 revival thanks to Rough Draft Studios.
    • The short "Chicken Scratch" particulary has the best animation out of all, thanks to being animated by Galaxy Digimation.
  6. The inventions both Dexter and Mandark create are really interesting.
  7. Amazing voice acting by: Christine Cavanaugh (Season 1-3a), Candi Milo (Season 3b-4, which serves as a great replacement for the original voice actress), Tom Kenny, Jeff Bennet, Kath Soucie, Kat Cressida (Season 2 and 4), Allison Moore (Season 1 and 3) and Eddie Denzen.
  8. Funny phrases, like "Ooh! What does this button do?" and "You are stupid! You are stupid! And don't forget... YOU ARE Stupid!" (of Dexter and Computress Get Mandark!).
  9. 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.
  10. Good songs like the main theme, Breathe in the Sunshine and Aye Aye Eye.
  11. Several good/decent episodes, for example:
  12. Memorable characters like Dexter, Dee Dee, (despite her flaws and having an LCW page), their parents, Mandark, Monkey, Quackor, Dexter’s Computer, The Justice Friends, Puppet Pals, Agent Honeydew, Commander, Mee Mee and Lee Lee, Koosalagooppagoop, Douglas E. Mordecai III, Action Hank, and Mr. Phillips Luzinsky.
  13. Two spin-off segments were also done for the show: Dial M for Monkey and The Justice Friends, and those overlap 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.
  14. The Tie-in Movie Ego Trip, is great.
  15. The 2001 revival was a great way to bring back the series.

Bad Qualities

  1. It can sometimes get mean-spirited.
  2. Season 3 while good, it is also considered to be the weakest out of all, mostly because the title cards are generic and repetitive, as all of them just show the same title card with a completely white background that involves a small oil painting bubble of Dexter or a completely black background with just the titles of the episodes, the removal of some characters (Mee Mee and Lee Lee, Action Hank, Olga Astronomonov, The Justice Friends and Commander) and dull background colors, (although the colors are still vibrant enough and is not as dull as, Rough Draft's other work on the sixth season of SpongeBob SquarePants).
    • While Season 4 is a major improvement by improving the background colors and better title cards, it still has the other characters missing, although The Justice Friends did reappear in the episode "Dexter's Wacky Races" as cameos.
  3. There are a handful of bad/mediocre episodes, such as:
  4. Dee Dee can be annoying and unlikable at times.
    • Dexter can also be unlikable at times, especially in episodes such as: "Babysitter Blues", "Dexter vs. Santa's Claws", "Rude Removal", "Beau Tie", "Dexter's Library" and "Copping an Attitude"
  5. There are some toilet and gross-out humor.
  6. The revival seasons, while good, were completely unnecessary as the series already ended with the 1999 movie "Ego Trip", though these seasons are supposed to take place before the said movie.
    • Additionally, these seasons has a continuity error where it reveals that the rival between Dexter and Mandark started all because Dexter made fun of his name, and Mandark's name (which was Ivan Astronomovich in the previous seasons) being changed to Susan, along with him being rissen by a bunch of hippies and his sister Olga is missing.
    • Copping an Aptitude is purely a pointless non-canon episode since it provides plot-holes, like Dexter is being able to go to college despite being too young to educate. Fortunately, it got reverted with him going back to grade school after the hot tub incident.
  7. Some of the endings tends to be mean-spirited and rushed.
  8. The pacing feels extremely slow sometimes, most notably in "Tee Party".
  9. Sadly, as of May 9, 2023 this along with other Cartoon Network Shows, it has been removed from HBO Max by Warner Bros. Discovery.
  10. The licensed tie-in video games are not very great.


  • 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 the series in 2001 and in general in 2003 and was replaced by Candi Milo for the rest of the series, 13 years later, Christine died on December 22, 2014 at the age of 51.
  • 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, Genndy Tartakovsky was still envolved in the project, though not as the creator. Genndy Tartakovsky was also the creator of the short in 2002 "Chicken Scratch" which appeared in cinemas before The Powerpuff Girls Movie" and aired on TV during season 4 in 2003.
  • 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.
  • This is the second Hanna-Babera show to get a revival, the first being The Jetsons in 1985 and 1987.
  • The older wiki Terrible TV Shows & Episodes stated that the last two seasons were bad, this has now been fixed.
  • The second season is the last season to be animated by Hanna-Barbera before switching to Cartoon Network Studios for the revival seasons in 2001.


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, Chris Savino, Butch Hartman, Paul Rudish, and Rob Renzetti.



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