Hamhocks and Armlocks is the second part of the third episode of Season Two in Dexter's Laboratory. It aired on July 30, 1997. In this episode, Dad locks horns with a truck driver named Earl in an arm wrestling match. Earl's strength is too much for Dad, and with Dexter's help, he wins the competition.
Dexter, Dee Dee, Mom and Dad are on a road trip. Shortly after being startled by a large truck, the family's car runs out of gas. Fortunately, the family arrives at Fix 'N Fixins, a small restaurant that also serves as a truck stop. Dexter is nervous and suspicious, but Dad brushes these suspicions off and takes the family into the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant, however, is a giant truck driver named Earl, who challenges nearly every trucker he sees to arm wrestling matches. Due to his enormous size and strength, Earl has won 175 arm wrestling matches (and proceeds to win 5 more in the episode) without ever losing. As Earl wins yet another match, Dad arrives into the restaurant with the family and looks for the mechanic to repair the car. The waitress, Midge, also happens to be the mechanic, and her waitress shift doesn't end for another hour, so the family stays at the restaurant to get something to eat to pass the time.
Earl continues to dominate his opponents, and their screams of pain frighten Dexter, but Dad assures him that the locals are laughing and not screaming. When Midge arrives to take the family's order, the restaurant only serves hamburgers, ham sandwiches, and hamhocks; Midge forces the family to order the hamhocks. Still not intimidated, Dad decides to go to the jukebox and change the music, stopping the melancholy country tune in favor of an upbeat, big band theme. The change of music distracts Earl in the middle of a match, which causes him to lose for the first time ever.
Earl angrily tries to get Dad to arm wrestle him so he could get revenge for losing, but Dad refuses, looking to set an example to Dexter and the family. Earl even destroys the family's car to incite a match, but Dad still refuses. Before the family decides to leave, Mom forgets her purse in the restaurant, and when she walks back in, Earl refuses to hold the door for her. This finally gets Dad to snap and he finally challenges Earl to an arm wrestling match. With an hour to spare before the match, Dexter knocks out Dad with sleeping gas and builds him a giant robotic arm to help him win.
Eventually, Dad wakes back up, and meets with Earl for the arm wrestling match. Dad's robotic arm allows him to match Earl's incredible strength, and Dexter soon sets the arm to full power, resulting in Dad slamming Earl through the wall to win the match. The locals stand in stunned silence before celebrating, and Dexter, Dee Dee and Mom run up to congratulate their victorious father. However, Dad accidentally begins to crush the family with his robotic arm, jokingly saying "I guess I don't know my own strength!" as the episode ends.
Dexter wears a hat called "Wiz Kid", the term Whiz Kid refers to an intelligent kid who exceeded beyond his age of development.
When everyone celebrates Dad's victory over Earl, underwear can be seen in the air.
Earl has won 180 consecutive arm wrestling matches, including 5 more matches in the episode, before losing to an unnamed trucker and then to Dad with the robotic arm.
Although this episode along with "D & DD" aired in 1997, they were actually made in the same year according to the credits.
The cowboy mudflap seen when Dexter is deciding which mudflap to use on his dad's new arm is based on the Yosemite Sam mudflap seen on many trucks in the US.
While Dexter is deciding in which mudflap to use, the cartoon character Yosemite Sam from Looney Tunes can be seen with the text Back Off. A woman in a pose on the mudflap is also a popular phenomenon.