Hanna-Barbera's Dexter's Laboratory told the story of Dexter, a bespectacled young boy who just happened to be a genius. The title referred to the enormous laboratory Dexter built in his room, unbeknownst to his parents. But despite his tremendous I.Q., Dexter could never figure out a way to ward off the plague that was his annoying older sister, Dee Dee.
Dexter was an outcast with a very active imagination. He was the apple in his teachers' collective eye, which, combined with his intelligence, made him an obvious target amongst his peers at Huber Elementary School in California. Escaping from the rest of the world, the oddly-accented Dexter took his revenge in the lab. With the aid of his computer, he designed weapons of mass destruction, like atomic-powered robots and other exotic machines.
The only person he couldn't escape was his ballet tights-wearing pest of a sister. Bug-eyed Dee Dee was the only person who knew of her little brother's lab and ongoing scientific experiments. In typical older sister fashion, she took it upon herself to single-handedly thwart any and all efforts made by Dexter, scientific or otherwise. She destroyed his lab, constantly made fun of him, and generally made life even more miserable for young Dex. However, in the name of science, Dexter usually prevailed, with his moronic parents none the wiser.
Dexter's Laboratory debuted as part of The Cartoon Network's compilation show, World Premiere Toons, but it soon became clear that the budding genius was big enough for his own show. Both the writing and the animation were extremely clever, calling to mind other modern-day classics like Ren & Stimpy. There were plenty of cultural puns interjected throughout the episodes, making viewing a pleasure for parents as well as kids. In past episodes, allusions have been made to classic films, karate movies, and Japanese animation. Other animated segments were occasionally interjected into the series, including Justice Friends and Dial "M" For Monkey.
For all the smart, sensitive kids out there, Dexter proved that it doesn't matter if you aren't a cheerleader or a football player; all that matters is the size of your lab.
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