Dexter’s Laboratory

Ahh.. Cartoon Network: the best thing ever invented.  Children enjoy it because it’s a captivating world full of adventures with friends and super heroes fighting crime!  Adults enjoy it for a different reason, but they love it just as much.  Adults enjoy it because it is an easy way to entertain the kids while they take a much-needed nap.  Normally, people do not think about the shows they show their kids.  Parents deem t appropriate if there is no nudity and violence, or inappropriate if there is nudity and violence.  What we do not think about are the other subjects in the show.  What are the underlying arguments in a cartoon?  Are the arguments intentional?  What is underneath the outlandish character and what is the show truly about?

Here is a website giving more information on Dexter’s Laboratory:


I showed a group of four women this episode of Dexter’s Laboratory:

3 out of 4 of the women said they would show this episode to their future children.  All 4 of them said that it was appropriate for 7-10 year olds.  And only one of them believed it was sexist before I pointed it out.  This show accentuates the roles of mom and dad immensely.

This is what “mom” looks like in Dexter;s Laboratory.  She is always wearing an apron and dish gloves and is almost always seen in the kitchen and is never seen outside of the home.

This is “dad” from Dexter’s Laboratory.  He is constantly wearing business casual clothing and rarely pays attention to the kids.  Even though there are large flaws in both mom and dad the show makes them seem incredibly happy because of the house they live in and that they are settled down and in a stable environment.

Why does Dexter’s Laboratory promote such a lifestyle?  Because they want to promote real estate.  Dexter’s Laboratory came out in 1996 right when the housing bubble was beginning.  The government was starting to pass laws that were promoting buying homes because they thought it would stimulate the economy.  Of course, as we know now that is not the case because of what happened in 2009.

Dexter’s Laboratory also promotes having intelligent children.  Dexter, although he is not the best looking child, is very smart and is considered very cool by all of the viewers because of the adventures he goes on and the perks he gets from being intelligent.  He gets to help super heroes fight crime and save the world!  What kid does not want to do that?  Dexter inspires kids to focus more in school so they can help the world some day.  Kids who watched Dexter’s grew up to really respect the show.


Again, why does Dexter’s Laboratory do this?  Take a look at this graph:

As you can see, the graduation rates from 1996-1999 were the lowest in all the years recorded.  Dexter’s Laboratory wanted to promote this in the show so our country could progress and not get stuck in a rut like we did in the 70’s.  As you can see after 1999 there is an increase in graduation rates.  It may be possible that Dexter’s Laboratory has actually done its job.



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