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Fridge / Ego Trip

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For the main Fridge page for Dexter's Laboratory, go here.

Fridge Brilliance:

  • During Dexter's "fight" against them, the robots from the future merely stand there and do nothing, making it seem like the animators were very lazy. But after it's revealed that the Dexters created the robots in the future and sent them back to the past to kill Dee Dee, it makes perfect sense why they just stood there and did nothing- he's the Dexter who gave them their orders in the first place!
  • The whole climax involves Dexter and his three future incarnations trying to defeat Mandark and "save the future", failing, and forced to helplessly watch Dee Dee do it instead. They then build the above-mentioned robots that the past Dexter will just destroy anyway. How can none of the future Dexters not remember what's going to happen and point out "This isn't going to work!" Old Man Dexter had his senility as an excuse, true, but what about the others, who don't? The reason: Dexter's ego is so massive that his desire to be the hero makes him forget about it even as he re-lives it over and over again! The movie took the concept of "those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it" and takes it to a ludicrous yet brilliant level. Not only that, but it makes the movie's title — Ego Trip — a perfect choice!
    • This is even further displayed by the fact that despite his knowledge that Mandark ruined the world and exactly how he came to power in the first place, Dexter has no desire to act to prevent it despite how easily he could have done so. Twelve and Action Hero Dexter (the ones closest to the events) don't even bother to suggest such a solution, putting out a hit on their own sister- who had no idea what she did- out of pure jealousy. Why would he let his worst rival put himself and humanity through hell for decades? Simple: his ego's so great that he simply can't accept a future where his brilliance isn't worshipped by mankind, and doesn't care who has to pay for it.
    • To be fair, given the nature of time loops and paradoxes, if they’d attempted to break the loop and stop the reason they time travel in the first place, it’d cause a paradox that’d just ensure the same basic chain of events would play out.
    • Each Dexter also has other reasons that would effect their memory. Kid Dexter forgets because he's 8 years old, as illustrated by the very end of the movie where he gives up on trying to understand the Stable Time Loop. Number 12 forgets because soon after he returns, Mandark activates the negated protocore. While Dexter still remains as smart as ever by the time we see him as Action Dexter, it wouldn't be surprising if the protocore caused him to forget some things. And finally, Action Dexter eventually lives long enough for age to begin to deteriorate his mental faculties when he's visited by his past selves as Old Man Dexter.
  • Mandark's ego doomed him to repeat his mistakes too- you see, it’s implied that Overlord Mandark got into contact with his other selves before the final battle (they clearly seem ready for a fight when they make their appearance). This means he would’ve met Braindark, a future self who (unlike Old Man Dexter) remembers exactly what happened in that fight. So here’s the big question- once Overlord did contact him about his plan, why didn't he take the opportunity to warn Overlord that he's doomed to fail once Dee Dee appears? There's no reason for Overlord not to listen to him (they are the same person), and if he had, he could've taken precautions to insure she couldn't interfere!
    • Not only that, Kid Mandark should've remembered his defeat after being returned to the present day-so why didn’t he have the time machine destroyed the second he gained control of Dexter’s lab? It'd prevent Dexter from traveling to the future in the first place, considering the time machine still needs to exist (and be in working condition) in the time period you're going to. Better yet, since he's such a copycat, why didn't he make his own machine to prevent the loop from starting in the first place? Easy: He probably thinks he'll make better decisions than his future selves did, and this blind arrogance leads him to repeat their actions.
    • On a more mundane note, they may all have been too smitten with Dee Dee showing up to remember anything besides them losing.
  • If you pay attention, Dexter was the one who saved the future, albeit indirectly. Pay attention to the aftermath of his first battle with Mandark:
    1. He tells Dee Dee to get out, accidentally pointing her towards the time machine when he meant to point to the exit.
    2. Dee Dee, too upset by Dexter's rejection to realize the mistake, goes through and enters the time machine instead of the door.
    3. Dee Dee appears at the perfect moment in the final confrontation between the assembled Dexters and Mandarks- a point where they're stuck in place due to their grappling for the Core's controls. The Dexters are simply too confused by her sudden presence to act, but the Mandarks- too stupefied by the sight of their Villainous Crush to realize that she’s about to ruin everything they've worked to achieve - let her walk right past them with absolutely no resistance.
    4. Dee Dee reaches the core unopposed- and sees a button she just can't resist pressing. This resets the corrupted Core's negative energy flow back to positive, which restores the world's intelligence (costing Mandark dearly in the process) and ends his reign of terror for good, finishing the job that Dexter (unable to reach the controls himself due to the fight) couldn't.
    5. The Dexters, furious at having their thunder stolen, make the robots that lead Dexter to cause the loop in the first place, not realizing that Dee Dee's intervention helped them to fix the mistake they'd made when they pushed her away, and serves as a punishment for their selfish attempt to get back at her for stealing the spotlight!
  • Overlord Mandark's decision to call in his other selves to "even the playing field" gives insight into his character: it's been established that since he's unable to come up with any original ideas, he just copies whatever Dexter does- and he just saw that he somehow brought in his past selves!
  • Despite their different methods and upbringings, Dexter and Mandark are practically the same person, two sides of the same coin- and what's the one thing that always throws them off their game, the one thing they have in common besides their egos and love of science? Dee Dee- their Morality Pet and greatest distraction, who ends up fixing everything their selfishness ruined!
  • If Dexter hadn't told Dee Dee to go away and just let her stay for a little longer, the robots he sent to get rid of her for saving the future (and stealing his spotlight) never come and the loop never starts. Without the robots to give him a reason to be curious about what the future held in store, Dexter never would’ve time traveled in the first place. While the future with Mandark as Dexter’s corrupt boss would still happen regardless (and certainly isn't an ideal situation), Mandark wouldn't have gotten any further in his petty villainy than that- because without the young Dexter to stumble across the Core and its blueprints (and accidentally leave them out in his haste to leave), they'd still be safely hidden away in the walls of Twelve’s cubicle, with Mandark none the wiser to their whereabouts. Great job, Dexter.
  • Why’s Old Dexter so senile? Because he spread his intelligence too thinly using the Core.
  • Good Is Dumb, and since Good Cannot Comprehend Evil, Action Dexter was affected by the neuro-transmitter and failed to understand Mandark's true motivations. Dexter says that Mandark reversed the machine accidentally, but it's clear that Mandark is still a genius and his plan all along was to take over the world. After all, in his 20s, he was sadistic enough to brutally whip Dexter. Also Action Dexter, being underground, would have no way of knowing or finding out from the stupid citizens what happened. Dexter is still such a genius that losing his intelligence didn't render him a fool, but it does explain how he still forgot where his lab was.
  • Christine Cavanaugh voices Dexter through every stage of his life except at around the same age Dexter's father, at which point he's voiced by Jeff Bennett, the same actor as Dexter's father.
  • While smugly lording his superiority over Twelve during the final battle, Executive Mandark steps on Twelve’s glasses, inadvertently pressing his Berserk Button. As mentioned under Call-Back, this recalls a scene from "Dexter Dodgeball", when Dexter's glasses were stepped on by some schoolyard bullies — which means that Executive Mandark unwittingly replicated their actions, causing Twelve to relive this childhood trauma. No wonder he snapped — Executive Mandark touched a nerve!
  • Also, Executive Mandark brutally punishing Twelve for almost being late calls back to his motive for hating and wanting to ruin Dexter. Not because he outshone him, but because he laughed at him for his girly appearance and name during their first meeting. In the end, Mandark just wanted any reason to hurt Dexter, and in their present day, uses his stolen position of authority to take every opportunity to do it, even if it means he has to make up the flimsiest of excuses to justify his abuse of power.

Fridge Horror:

  • Dee Dee is never shown in any of the futures Dexter visits at all. Sure, she may be safe at home but the fact that she's totally out of the picture (to the point that Mandark hasn't seen her in ages either, as shown by the older versions' reactions to her sudden arrival in the end fight) in a very dark civilization is pretty unsettling.
    • Dee Dee doesn't appear because she’s traveling through time in the time machine. We probably don't see her in the distant future because Dexter wouldn't want her anywhere near his tower.
    • Then she goes back to the present and lives through Mandark's world, only for the Dexters to fix it later (after living through it themselves).
    • Remember that all the Dexters when we last saw them were so enraged by Dee Dee stealing their thunder that they vowed to kill her. We only see present day Dexter afterwards to know that he calmed down.
  • Near the end of the movie, Mandark and his future selves are distracted by Dee Dee, all of them sighing in affection at the sight of her... but Mandark's future selves, just like Dexter's, are all adults, so they're lusting over an underage girl.
    • While this is just as creepy as it sounds, it's very obvious that none of the Mandarks ever matured beyond childhood, no matter how old and powerful they got. Their shared attraction to Dee Dee is a remnant of their childhood self.
  • Old Dexter had better hope that he has a backup plan in case he croaks, otherwise all that utopian peace and knowledge will be lost.
    • This ends up being both a combination of Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror, since it really shows that despite the utopia vs dystopia parallels between him and Mandark's vision of the future, both of their empires will fall as a result of their eventual demises. Old Dexter's utopia might be outwardly more benevolent, but it's still a fragile one built on him being the keystone that keeps the whole thing together, much like how things improve immediately when Mandark has no more influence on the Protocore. And it makes sense why Old Dexter would never consider to have a proper backup plan; because much like Mandark, his ego would never allow for the possibility of his ideal society to be built on anything except his own glory.
  • While they never appear in the movie, it's well established that the heroes from Justice Friends and Dial M For Monkey are part of the same setting as Dexters Laboratory, yet none of them were able to stop Mandarks conquest of the world. What if, rather than risking any pesky superheroes ruining his plans, Mandark made sure to wipe them all out in their weakened state once the Protocore activated? Major Glory, Val Hallen, Krunk, Monkey, Agent Honeydew, all gone...
  • Executive Mandark’s abuse of Twelve is calculated to ensure no one will dare try to help him - by televising his punishments to the employees every time he “slips up” (and outright saying he's deducting the time spent watching Twelve’s “discipline” from their salaries), it not only serves as a reminder of what he’ll do if they displease him, but also ensures they'll hate Twelve for ruining their paychecks.