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Changes (Dexter's Laboratory)

1995-02-26 - Pilot 'Changes'.png

1 (4c)
Production Code:
February 26, 1995 (first airing)
May 19, 1996 (second airing)
Art directors:
Craig McCracken and Paul Rudish
Creator, writer, and director:
Genndy Tartakovsky

Changes (originally called Dexter's Laboratory) is the pilot episode of Dexter's Laboratory. It first aired on February 26, 1995, and it re-aired as part of episode 4 of season one on May 16, 1996. In this episode, Dexter makes a remote that turns people into animals, only for Dee Dee to get ahold of it.


The episode begins outside with a newspaper delivery guy riding on a bicycle. He passed by Dexter's House and throws a newspaper on the doorstep. Mom comes out and picks it up and she goes inside and stops by the stairs and asks Dee Dee to go check if Dexter is ready for school. Dee Dee comes out of her room and asks what she said and Mom repeats for her to go and check if Dexter's ready for school. Dee Dee makes an excited face and she comes out of her room dancing across the hallway toward Dexter's room. She stops by his room and quietly knocks on the door and calls his name very quietly. There is no answer so she tries opening the door but it is locked. So she uses a credit card to break the lock open. The door opens up and Dee Dee looks into his room. Dexter is not in there and so she goes into his Laboratory to find him.

Dee Dee finds Dexter working in his laboratory on an invention. Dexter finishes his invention and quotes "At last! My greatest invention is now completed!" and puts it safely on a cushion and puts in in a glass casing. Dee Dee comes up to him and yells "Hi Dexter!" Dexter falls back and yells back at her "Dee Dee! Get out of my laboratory!" Dee Dee ignores him and proceeds to mess around and destroy stuff in his lab and discovers that Dexter is experimenting on her doll. Dee Dee gets mad at Dexter and starts backing him up against the pillar holding his invention. Dexter hits the pillar and the invention land in Dee Dee's hands. Dee Dee then quotes "Oooh! What does this button do?" and Dexter replies "Dee Dee no! Don't push that button!" Dee Dee presses the button and the machine zaps Dexter turning him into a rabbit.

Dee Dee starts hugging Dexter and then Dexter breaks free. Dexter asks her what she would like to be more than anything in the world. Dee Dee states that she would like to be a princess. Dexter uses the machine to turn her into a frog and puts it back up on the cushion and Dee Dee takes it off of there again. Dexter explains to her that the machine is called the "Animal Atomizer" and how it works while Dee Dee keeps changing him into animals such as a pig, a bison, an orangutan, an ostrich, and a hyrax. Dee Dee is still not listening to him and turning him into animals. Dexter takes the animal atomizer and turns her into a tiger. Dee Dee roars and starts chasing Dexter. As Dee Dee chases Dexter, she turns him into more animals such as a cow, a walrus, and a penguin. Dexter leaves him laboratory and goes into the hallway and goes down the stairs. Dee Dee chases after him and slips on a roller skate and lands on the floor. Dexter jumps on the animal atomizer turning Dee Dee into a camel. He zaps her again turning her into a vulture, a snake, and a whale. Mom is reading the newspaper while all of this is occurring behind her. Oblivious to the chaos that's happening, she tells them to brush their teeth before they come downstairs for breakfast.

Dexter and Dee Dee have turned into a beaver and a tyrannosaurus rex. Dexter struggles to reach his mouth while Dee Dee just brushes her big beaver teeth. Then, they both come down as a grizzly bear and a chicken to eat their breakfast. Dee-Dee eats the entire table while Dexter pecks at his cereal still remaining subliminal to Mom. Mom tells them to go upstairs and get ready for school. They both see the animal atomizer and rush after it breaking the table in half as they run. Dexter turns Dee-Dee into a goat and Dee-Dee starts running after him Dee-Dee rams into Dexter as she turns him into a hippopotamus. Dexter goes flying into the air and he lands on the floor of the hallway. Dexter runs into his room as Dee-Dee chases after him.

They go up into Dexter's room Chaos occurs as both Dexter and Dee Dee turn each other into various animals, including an elephant, a hawk, a panther, a lobster, a chimpanzee, and an octopus. Mom starts wondering what their doing up there and she comes upstairs. At this time, Dexter and Dee Dee are a tortoise and a snail and the animal atomizer is in between them. They both start quickly going for it as Mom starts coming upstairs. They both manage to hit the button at the same time turning themselves into themselves again just before Mom comes in. Mom tells them that they'd better stop playing around and come downstairs before they miss their bus. After she leaves, it is revealed that Dee Dee is in Dexter's body, and Dexter is in Dee Dee's body. Dee Dee who is in Dexter's body quote "Last one down is an icky slimy spider." and she runs downstairs dancing. Dexter who is in Dee Dee's body replies "Why not? I've been everything else today." and the episode ends.



Cultural References

  • This episode is quite similar to a Calvin and Hobbes storyline where Calvin invents a transmogrifier machine where during an argument between them they transform each other into various animals.
  • When Dee Dee opened Dexter's door, she used an express card.

Episode Connections

  • The newspaper delivery guy at the beginning of the episode is seen again in the episode "Last But Not Beast".
  • This episode was referenced to in the episode "Rude Removal" when Dee Dee asked Dexter if he was building a machine that changed people into animals.


  • When Dexter is turned into a bunny, his shadow is shown to be in his human form.
  • When Dexter is turned into an animal, he doesn't seem to have his glasses, except when he's a penguin.
  • Dee-Dee is turned into a goat and she rams a hole through Dexter's bedroom door. Later in the episode, Mom comes up to the door and the hole is not there.
  • When Dee Dee goes into Dexter's room and looks into his lab, the bookshelf doorway is not there.
  • When Dee Dee opened her door, it revealed that the inside of her room was teal, but in most episodes, such as "Dee Dee's Room", her room was pink.

Production Notes

  • The episode was originally titled "Dexter's Laboratory" before it was later renamed "Changes".
  • When Changes aired as the third part of the fourth episode in season 1, its sister episode, Dial M for Monkey: Barbequor, was later replaced with Dexter's Lab: A Story due to copyright infringement over the character Silver Spooner.