Characters: Dexter's Laboratory
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- Ambiguous Disorder: Much like his sister. He has No Social Skills, a genius, and has trouble when basic concepts.
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: "Dee-DEE, get out of my laBORatory!"
- The Ace: When it comes to science, of course. There was even an episode where one of his teachers clearly has the hots for him.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Taken Up to Eleven in fan-works.
- Aloof Little Brother: To an extent.
- Animals Hate Him: As seen in an episode when Dee-Dee tries to get him to play outside numerous times and animals constantly beat him up.
- Badass Beard and Bald of Awesome: His future self.
- Badass Bookworm
- Berserk Button: Mess with his sister, and you're dead meat.
- Big Good: In "Ego Trip".
- Also in any crossovers with other Cartoon Network franchises, he's either this or the de facto Leader including Cartoon Cartoon Fridays and FusionFall.
- Butt Monkey: Nothing goes right for this kid. Nothing.
- Child Prodigy/Innocent Prodigy: In one episode, he treats a burnt out light bulb as a kid would the death of a beloved pet.
- The Chew Toy
- Clock King: Dexter once bought an expensive popsicle and paid with pennies. When the ice cream man asked Dexter how long it took him to count the pennies, Dexter correctly answered the question.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Of a sort. Dexter tends to fail spectacularly at any form of physical activity, particularly sports... until the backdrop changes from "sports" to "Deedee let a giant monster out of the wormhole machine." Basically, he's an exaggerated stereotype of nerds are wimps up until science is involved. He can also go from deflecting lasers with his wrench like a Jedi to slap-fighting his rival and somehow manages to be in character both times. Rule of Funny is involved, but still.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in his interactions with Dee Dee.
- Depending on the Writer: How smart he is can differ from episode to episode.
- Did Not Think This Through: Tends not to consider the full ramifications of his inventions and schemes. For example, in "Morning Stretch", he used a time-slowing helmet to turn thirty seconds into thirty minutes, allowing him the time to get ready for school. He failed to realise that the slowed time would prevent him from properly taking a shower or making breakfast, and his homework ignited from friction burn when he tried to finish it.
- Ditzy Genius: He's able to time-travel, create robots and build portals to other dimensions, but is utterly incapable of taking care of himself for a single day when his mom is sick. He doesn't know how to cook (having never heard of "flour"), and as for cleaning... Also why would he put buttons and triggers in places Dee-Dee would obviously activates.
- Eye Glasses: The glasses can change shape depending on expression.
- Fiery Redhead: His family is split evenly between this and the Dumb Blonde stereotype; he and his mother are fiery redheads and his sister and dad are happy-go-lucky yellow-haired ditzes.
- The Finicky One
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible to Dee Dee's foolish.
- For Science!: Catch Phrase
- Future Loser AND Future Badass
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Good Is Not Nice: He's an egotistical jerk, but undeniably a good person.
- Grade Skipper: Dexter once went to college. At first, all other students only wanted to party and he refused to join, despite their warnings about getting it out of the system. By the time Dexter proved them right by buckling under the strain, they were the ones who only wanted to study for the upcoming finals. His attempt to make a wild college party happen anyway got him expelled.
- In another episode, Dexter was considered for grade-skipping but needed to improve his P.E. grades. He cheated his way into victory and ended up becoming Dee Dee's yearmate.
- Height Angst: In "Ewww, That's Growth", Dexter and his family want to go on a really big rollercoaster, but Dexter is denied due to being too short. The resulting angst drives him to become as tall as possible, eventually allowing him to finally go on the rollercoaster by the end of the episode. This backfires when he becomes so tall that he hits the ceiling at the very end.
- Herr Doktor
- Identical Grandson
- Improbable Weapon User: He's pretty handy with a wrench in matters of melee combat as well as mechanics.
- Insufferable Genius: He can be very arrogant..
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: But he's not a bad person.
- Large Ham
- Like Mother, Like Son: He's a Fiery Redhead like his mother. She is also the source of his pride and creative impulses.
- Mad Scientist: Not villainous example, obviously.
- The Napoleon
- Nerd Action Hero
- Nerd Glasses
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: Looks forward to hard tests.
- No Respect Guy
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: It may be easier to look for what areas of science Dexter HASN'T covered throughout the show.
- Ping-Pong Na´vetÚ
- Precocious Crush: On Lisa, the babysitter.
- Red-Headed Hero
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Dee Dee's Energetic Girl.
- Science Hero
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to his Father's Manly Man.
- Shorter Means Smarter
- The Short Guy with Glasses: He's two feet tall.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Became one in later seasons due to Flanderization.
- Smart People Know Latin: Or take it, anyway. In "Accent You Hate" he's shown opening his locker and saying "Good morning" to his Latin and math textbooks.
- Teacher's Pet: Although Mandark gives him some competition.
- Took a Level in Badass: In "Ego Trip".
- TV Genius
- Unexplained Accent
- Possibly a meta-Author Avatar related reason: Tartakovsky was born in the Soviet Union and moved to the United States as a child. He (most likely) has one as a child.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Dexter has a very peculiar accent that is either aiming for a stereotypical Eastern European accent, or a Bulgarian accent. Even Genndy Tartakovsky isn't certain what his accent is supposed to be.
Voiced by: Alison Moore (Season 1 & 3), Kathryn Cressida (Season 2 & 4)
- Accidental Hero: At the end of Ego Trip, much to the ire of the Dexters.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Sometimes has hints of this- she lacks a lot of social intuition, can't take a hint, seems to be very temperamental, and even her own friends get frustrated by her odd behavior at times.
- Action Girl: When the situation calls for it.
- All Girls Like Ponies
- Annoying Laugh: It sounds like a horse's neighing, only high-pitched.
- Annoying Older Sibling
- Art Evolution: Had thick eyebrows and seemed to lack a chin in early episodes.
- Berserk Button: Mess with her brother, and you're dead meat.
- Beware the Nice Ones / Beware the Silly Ones
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- The Cutie
- Deadpan Snarker
- Depending on the Writer: How nice or annoying she is varies from episode to episode.
- She also flip-flops from stupid to a Straight Man for Dexter.
- The Ditz
- Dreadful Musician: She has an absolutely terrible singing voice. Doesn't stop her, though.
- Dumb Blonde
- Dumb Is Good: Much more cheerful and pleasant than Dexter.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Dexter's responsible.
- Genki Girl: She's an extremely energetic, hyperactive girl.
- Girlish Pigtails. Blonde gitails.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: She loves her dolls.
- Idiot Houdini: Dee Dee always made a huge mess of Dexter's lab through her sheer idiocy and yet she never got any repercussion for it.
- Subverted in "Sdrawkcab".
- Of course it's mostly because Dexter doesn't want to tell his parents his sister is trashing his SECRET LABORATORY that Dee Dee gets away with everything so it's pretty much Dexter's own fault.
- Innocent Blue Eyes
- Innocently Insensitive
- Kiddie Kid
- Knight Templar Big Sister: Dee Dee may appear to be a flake, but you do NOT harm her little brother. Or she will kick your ass.
- Leitmotif: This whimsical, piano piece that plays when she shows up, usually when dancing.note
- Like Father, Like Daughter: Her dad is where she gets her lack of foresight and curiosity.
- Motor Mouth
- Nice Girl: She's pretty darn sweet and she absolutely adores her little brother. Her destructive tendencies are usually due to clumsiness or carelessness rather than malice, and sometimes it's shown that the reason she's always sneaking into Dexter's laboratory is because she just wants to spend time with her brother.
- No Indoor Voice
- No Sense of Personal Space
- Older Than She Looks: The "Picture Day" episode implies she's in sixth grade. See Kiddie Kid.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Even her parents call her Dee-Dee.
- No Indoor Voice
- Pink Means Feminine: Along with her two friends, who wear the same clothes as her.
- Repetitive Name
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Dexter's Savvy Guy.
- Spanner in the Works: Especially in Ego Trip, when she wanders through the time portal at the end of the movie, goes "Oooh, what does this button do?", then pushes it and leaves.
- Sweet Tooth
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to her Mom's Tomboy.
- Walking Disaster Area: At least whenever she's in Dexter or Mandark's lab. Or being abducted by aliens. Otherwise she manages to keep the property damage to a minimum.
- What Does This Button Do?: The Trope Namer.
Susan "Mandark" Astronomonov
Voiced by: Eddie Deezen
- Always Someone Better: He was this to Dexter before Villain Decay kicked in.
- Asian and Nerdy: Well half-Asian And Nerdy at least.
- Bad Boss: His young adult self in The Movie.
- Big Bad: The closest this series has to one.
- Brain in a Jar: His ultimate fate at the end of "Ego Trip."
- Breakout Villain: Appeared infrequently in Seasons 1 and 2, became pretty much the 3rd main character by the time the show ended.
- Characterization Marches On: He had telepathy is his first appearance.
- Child Prodigy
- Dark Is Evil: His lab in post-finale seasons.
- Depending on the Writer: He's either a villainous mastermind or just some kid Dexter's rivals with.
- Embarrassing First Name: Retconned to Susan.
- Evil Counterpart: To Dexter; Tall and composed to Dexter's short and insecure. His younger sister, Olga "Lalavava" Astronomov, is this to Dee Dee, a short and solemn Technician to Dee Dee's tall and joyful Performer; while Dee Dee unwittingly destroys Dexter's creations but truly loves her brother, Lalavava bullies Mandark mercilessly.
- Evil Genius
- Evil Laugh: "HA haha! HA haha haha!" The fact that he cries, coughs and chews in the same way makes it border on being a Verbal Tic.
- Eye Glasses
- Fat Bastard: In the third future of Ego Trip.
- Flanderization: Became more and more like a stereotypical Evil Genius as time went on.
- No kidding, he was just originally portrayed as Dexter's rival and at best, just wanted his lab shut down. Suddenly it went from that to trying to take over the world.
- To a lesser extent, his crush on Dee-Dee.
- Also, he didn't do freaking everything in the same rhythm as his Evil Laugh when he was first introduced.
- Freudian Excuse: His parents were people perpetually stuck in the 60's (i.e. hippies) and constantly stifled his scientific curiosity. He tried his best to go along with it, but one chance meeting with Dexter on the day he moved into the neighborhood ended with Dexter laughing in his face. Needless to say that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
- Played With. He was hinted to have always been born with a negative disposition and his parents really didn't understand him though when they did realized they were denying some of his needs, they left their home and traveled around, eventually settling in Dexter's neighborhood.
- Harmless Villain: After Villain Decay.
- Not So Harmless: Though Ego Trip eventually proves he can still be a threat.
- Hippie Parents: Has this.
- Hopeless Suitor: Is head-over-heels in love with Dee Dee, who is unaware... at best.
- Insufferable Genius
- Lean and Mean
- Light Is Not Good: Mandark's lab before post-finale seasons.
- Mad Scientist
- Meaningful Name: His vaguely Russian last name creates a parallel with Dexter's Eastern European Accent, and his first name drives him to reject the New Age hippie lifestyle in favor of hard science.
- Multiple-Choice Past: He has two different origin stories.
- Nerd Glasses
- Ominous Opera Cape
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His alternate getup.
- The Rival
- Smug Snake
- Teacher's Pet: Competing for the role with Dexter.
- Villainous Crossdresser: Once Mandark replaced Dexter's mom. No one in the family noticed it, until the real mom came by.
- Villainous Crush: On Dee Dee.
- Younger Than He Looks: He's (presumably) the same age as Dexter (though it's implied that Dexter has skipped at least one grade), but he's as tall as (if not taller than) Dee-Dee, and could easily pass for a teenager.
Lisa the Babysitter
Douglas E. Mordecai III
Voiced by: Kath Soucie
The Infraggable Krunk