YMMV / Dexter's Laboratory

  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Dexter wishing away Koosalagoopagoop, and he reluctantly complies. Even if you didn't like the character, you can still feel pity for him, and tell why Dee Dee and even Dexter were upset at it happening.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Thanks to FusionFall (and mildly Ego Trip), Dexter has been seen as Badass Bookworm and a charismatic leader of men.
    • Quite a few fans believe he has Asperger's syndrome, or something similar.
    • One could argue that Dexter's Mom has a form of OCD, especially if the Mother's Day episode is anything to go by.
    • Dee-Dee is often seen as having a form of ADHD.
    • How much of this show is just happening in Dexter's head? The constant Reset Button could be an indication of this.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Dee-Dee is seen as either a good foil to Dexter or an annoying pest. Not helping is the fact that she suffers from Depending on the Writer.
    • Mandark, especially after going through horrific Villain Decay, and the fact that he appeared way too much in later episodes.
    • Mandark's parents, who, like their son, started appearing far too often. This is especially not helped in the odd decision to have them be hippies.
  • Awesome Music: Not too many cartoons can pull off ten minutes worth of music and singing.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The part of "Continuum of Cartoon Fools" where Dexter holds a stopwatch while periodically saying 'BAAAAWT'.
    • Actually, those who have ever did timing scripts for animation dialogue know exactly what he's doing. Word of God says that he was timing a storyboard of the cartoon itself - yet indeed, there was no other reason to put it besides the fact that it was funny.
    • "Oh, just shut up and make me a sandwich."
    • The ending of "That Crazy Robot!" where Dexter shoots lasers from his eyes.
    • The entire Chubby Cheese pizza show scene in "Chubby Cheese". Especially the flying people at the end.
    • The end of "Sun, Surf, and Science" in which after spending the entire episode competing for Dee Dee's affection, Mandark is saved from the surf by the surfer dude she was seeing - next thing you know, they stare longily at each other and walk off into the sunset arm-in-arm.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • "Game Over" tried to show Dexter as a Sore Loser because he didnít want to play video games with Dee Dee anymore. However, the only reason he refused to play with her was because she mercilessly teased him every time she won.
    • A lot of the aesops that Dexter earned involved problems that were started by Dee Dee being a Jerkass, such as in "Filet of Soul".
    • In a certain episode, Dexter finds an old abandoned part of his lab that he has built but has forgotten about. His old robots turn against him, when Dee Dee arrives just in time to save him and show him one of his first inventions. Dexter couldn't care less and just wants to run away to safety, then Dee Dee gives him a nice speech about how his Fatal Flaw is making too much progress and not caring about his old inventions at all... that's not how science works.
  • Broken Base: Over the 3rd and 4th seasons. Some fans think they're completely terrible, while others agree but consider a few episodes to be pretty good.
  • Cargo Ship: Dexter really loves his computer. And the feeling's mutual.
  • Creator's Pet: Mandark and his parents became this in seasons 3 and 4, which is considered yet another symptom of the show's Seasonal Rot.
  • Critical Dissonance: The Movie, "Ego Trip", wasn't all that well received by TV critics. Now, go ask some of the fans what they thought of it. The answer you'll get will likely be pretty different.
  • Crossover Ship: Pairing up Dexter and Blossom is surprisingly popular.
    • And in a lesser extent, Dexter and Buttercup - which, interestingly, is actually supported to a small degree by canon: in a vocal announcement back in the late 90's/early 2000's in during one of the credits, it was announced that Dexter has a crush on Buttercup, because she's sassy. There were even hints in a few Cartoon Network games, such as in the Cartoon Network online game "Cartoon Cartoons Summer Resort", where Buttercup pointed out the feeling was mutual, and the two danced at the disco. And their interactions aren't even Belligerent Sexual Tension either, as others would suspect.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Mandark gets this treatment a lot. It helps that he's just more of an ass than an actual villain.
    • Dexter is a somewhat mild case of this. Although Dee Dee is generally the antagonist, there are several episodes in which Dexter is genuinely being a jerk to her when she doesn't really deserve it, verbally abusing her when her worst crime is being nosy. Some viewers tend to forget that both siblings are capable of being jerks to each other and that Dexter is not 100% innocent.
  • Ear Worm: You're riding that hog, oohh oohh oohh!!
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The shorts "Dial M for Monkey" and "The Justice Friends" are just as popular if not more so than the main Dexter shorts.
    • Within the main cartoon itself, Dexter's Mom and Lisa the babysitter. Guess why.
    • The Touchy-Feely Neighbor Lady is widely remembered, despite only appearing in one episode.
    • Mandark's abrasive younger sister and Dee Dee's rival-turned-friend Lalavava only appeared in one episode, yet has a substantial amount of fanart, enough to have gained her own category in some fandom groups for the show.
    • Lee Lee, one of Dee Dee's friends, is one of these
    • Douglas Mordecai, one of Dexter's friends, despite being a borderline Satellite Character in canon. Maybe just because he was the only character Dexter could talk to like a human being.
    • Val Halen has a ton of fangirls.
    • The Puppet Pals. Some people wished they had their own Spin-Off.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, it's everything after Ego Trip.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Mandark and Dee Dee.
  • Fridge Logic: In "Photo Finish" when Dexter infiltrates a photo processing place to retrieve photos of his lab and comes across the alphabetical storage room, he checks every single section rather than just the one corresponding with his last name (whatever that is).
    • Though it's possible he did that just in case the photos had been misplaced.
  • Genius Bonus: A lot of gags on the show are science references, some of which are fairly obscure.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In one of the DC Comics stories, Dexter finds a comic book based off of his own life, however the last page shows that somehow in the comic, he died. Dexter's first voice actress, Christine Cavanaugh, would pass away in 2014.
    • Mandark's parents are already bad enough for denying him his interest in science, but he's clearly uncomfortable with his birth name of "Susan" and how they try to overly feminize him. For LGBT viewers, it's a little uncomfortable seeing a little kid have both a lifestyle and gender role forced on them that they don't feel suits them. Mandark's rage at Dexter laughing his name is understandable because not only is it cruel, but Mandark himself even hates the name!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Pony Puff Princess. Currently hilarious by the fact that Lauren Faust, wife of Powerpuff Girls creator Craig McCracken, went on to develop My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Idiot Plot: The episode "Sis-Tem Error" has Dee Dee accidentally shutting off the lab's power and spending the rest of the episode tricking Dexter into thinking nothing is wrong by disguising herself badly as Computer, Robot and Mandark.
  • Incest Subtext: Between Dee Dee and Dexter in several episodes, though mostly on Dee Dee's part. Particularly in one episode where she's pretty much infatuated with him and even flirts with him!
    Dee Dee: Hey, Dexter! Whatcha doin'?
    Dexter: Uh...working?
    Dee Dee: [Resting her arms on Dexter's head] Mmmmm, I just love to watch you work.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Dexter and his mother. All in favor of never discussing this any further? AYE!
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dexter and/or Dee Dee, depending on the episode.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mandark, at least before Villain Decay.
  • Memetic Molester: Whether ironically or not, many have branded Koosalagoopagoop a pedophile after the scene where he forcibly shoves a Pepe Wrap into Dexter's mouth.
  • Memetic Mutation: "DEXTER'S SECRET".
    • "MY HAIR IS ON FIRE!"
    • "Omelette du fromage!"
    • "You are stupid! You are stupid! And don't forget: you are stupid!"
    • "Feed me. FEEEEED meeee... Fee-hee-hee-hee-d meee-heeee!"
    • "Dexter's a cookie!"
      • All of "The Parrot Trap". All of it.
  • Moe: The three Adorkable main characters of the series.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Lisa the Babysitter from the episode "Babysitter Blues" where she is a main character.
    • Lalavava.
    • Creepy Eyed Girl manages to be one of the most remembered characters in the show despite only appearing once and having no lines.
    • The dog-brained dinosaur left quite an impression, so much so that some feel he should've been added to the cast as a regular.
    • The Neighbor Lady from the episode "Nuclear Confusion", more for the gag about the words "Dad's Trophy" branded across her massive butt cheeks.
  • Periphery Demographic: Lots of teenagers and adults love this show.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Ego Trip features a clever little detail that hints at the ending. The robots that come back to the present don't attack Dexter or try to fight him even as he destroys them. The first time through, it just seems like Dexter was too fast for them. The second time you realize it's because Dexter built them and they weren't there to attack him in the first place. Dexter's egotistical belief that he had to be the one who saved the future started the whole plot.
  • The Scrappy: Oh, Koosalagoopagoop undeniably. Pray his antics charm you, otherwise the episode just got a whole lot more annoying.
  • Seasonal Rot: The two seasons made without Genndy Tartakovsky after the show was Un-Cancelled due to lackluster plots (with slow pacing), Flanderization, and a new more bland-looking art style. Plus, they got rid of the Justice Friends and Dial M for Monkey segments.
    • Oh, let's not forget that the two final seasons are about everything, but the laboratory mentioned in the title. Most storylines of the new episodes involve Dexter playing chess, Dad playing Golf, DeeDee dying Dexter's hair blonde, and so on. In fact, the final episodes of the show are about: a) Dexter and Dee Dee learning Karate; b) Dexter writing poetry; c) Dee Dee going nuts over an ostrich.
  • So Bad, It's Good: "Dexter and Computress Get Mandark" invokes this for laughs.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Seems to be the general consensus behind the infamous "Dexter's Rude Removal" episode now that it's finally been released. Not really as offensive as expected with the amount of hype, and just generally meh.
  • Self-Fanservice: Dexter and Mandark get a lot of this in fanart.
    • Dee Dee gets her fair share of this, especially when most artists think she'll take after her Mom.
  • Surprise Creepy: Episodes such as "Monstory" and "Filet of Soul".
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Seasons 3 and 4.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Olga/Lalavava. Not helped in that she doesn't even appear after Mandark's parents are revealed.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans think the Un-Cancelled episodes had some genuinely neat ideas (like a backstory for Mandark, more focus episodes for Dexter's parents, the return of "Go, Dexter's Family Go!", etc.) that were bogged down by lackluster writing and animation.
    • And then there's the belief that Dial "M" for "Monkey" and The Justice Friends were strong enough concepts for their own show.
  • Uncanny Valley: Most fans agree that the Un-Cancelled seasons used hideous character designs.
    • Invoked with "Creepy Eyed Girl" and her Spear Counterpart. They have giant eyes that look more like a Precious Moments character than Dexter characters.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The numerous times Dexter is depicted as a Jerkass for yelling at Dee Dee donít hold up due to the Made Out to Be a Jerkass usually being in play. Not to mention that when she isnít destroying his lab, a lot of problems are cause because of her merciless teasing of him.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Dee Dee whenever Dexter destroys something of hers for example in Down in The Dumps. The total disregard she shows for Dexterís things and even Dexter at times makes it hard to feel sorry for her, especially since a lot of those instances were in retaliation for something she did.
    • Her punishment in "Sdrawkcab" is one of the best examples. She makes Dexter puke his lunch out, get in trouble with his mother and even sent her own father to the hospital. Her only reaction to being called out on the awful things she's done is to just stay there and smile like an idiot. If not even dangerously harming her dad makes her feel bad in the slightest, then she might as well cross Moral Event Horizon.
    • Mandark can be this, given (most) of his backstory. See Harsher in Hindsight above for specific details.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Koosalagoopagoop is not well liked in the Land of Koos, but Dee Dee, the audience, and eventually even Dexter like him.
  • Villain Decay: Mandark in the Seasonal Rot seasons, as a possible side effect of appearing to much.
  • The Woobie: Dexter, for those that don't see him as The Chew Toy. And to a few that do.
    • He's especially Woobie-ish in "Old Man Dexter" when his family excludes him from movie night because he's not old enough to stay up late.
    • Mandark at the beginning of "Mandarker". This was before Mandark became the show's borderline Big Bad, so it counts.
    • Dee Dee, sometimes. It's implied that the reason she keeps going into Dexter's laboratory and annoying him is because she wants to spend time with her brother. Many younger siblings could relate to her.
  • Word of Dante: The infamous "Rude Removal" was made for the personal amusement of the show's animation staff as a way to let off steam from the grind of having to work on an animated children's series; it was never intended to be a regular episode of the series proper, and nor was it ever intended to be released to the public... until a few years back. Because of the subject matter, many fans keep insisting that it's a banned episode from the series, even though it was never included in the series, and as such, was never banned.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/DextersLaboratory