Repairanoid "Repairanoid" Premiere Order
"The Continuum of Cartoon Fools" The Continuum of Cartoon Fools
Dexter vs. Santa's Claws "Dexter vs. Santa's Claws" Production Order
"The Continuum of Cartoon Fools" The Continuum of Cartoon Fools
Season 2, Episode 33a
Episode name reference to/pun on: The word "backwards" spelt backwards.
Air date April 1, 1998
Production number 235a
Written by Seth MacFarlane
Storyboard by Clayton Morrow
Directed by John McIntyre
Craig McCracken (Art Direction)

Backwards (Sdrawkcab) is the first part of the 33rd episode in season 2 of Dexter's Laboratory. It originally aired on April 1, 1998. In this episode, Dexter tests a belt that causes him to do everything in reverse, but chaos ensues when Dee Dee gets ahold of the directional switch.


The episode begins with Dexter wearing a belt he made and walking (and talking) in reverse. He says that the belt works, and then tries to call a robot controlling the lever so it can switch it to forward, but he suddenly realizes that he's talking in reverse, and properly speaks backward as if he's saying "Forward". The robot finally responds and switches the direction lever to forward. The light on the belt then changes from red to green, and Dexter walks and talks forward again. After cheering for the belt's success, he reminds himself that in order to be understood, he must speak backward even though he speaks forward. ("Or is it forward so that it sounds reverse?") This indirect command causes the robot to switch the lever to reverse, and Dexter realizes too late. Reversed, Dexter repeats what he said before talking backward like he says "I mean, forward!". The robot switches the lever back to forward, and Dexter reminds it never to oil it again. As Dexter walks off minding his own business, he unknowingly falls off the edge of the platform and is about to land at a steep floor. Dexter shouts "Reverse!" before he could land, and the reverse belt causes Dexter to rise up. ("That was close.") Noticing the edge, he speaks backward and says "Forward!". Before he could land a foot, he falls again, and shouts "Reverse!" He then rises again and speaks "Forward!" in backward again. He falls again, then rises again, then...well, you get the idea. All of this is making Dexter dizzy, and as soon as he's reversed again, he waits until he takes a few steps back before he says "Forward!" in backward talk. Now forward again, Dexter feels hungry and goes into the kitchen to make a sandwich.

After finishing his lunch, Dexter, still wearing the belt, suddenly goes reverse and regurgitates the sandwich (restored instead of chewed up) and his milk. After uneating and undrinking, he suddenly goes forward again, and decides to go to the lab and straighten things out with the robot, whom he thinks is blowing a fuse. Dad notices Dexter and greets him before noticing the sandwich.

Before Dexter could go upstairs, Mom intercepts him and asks him to take the trash out for her (as Dexter dislikes taking the trash out). Reluctantly doing so, he's reversed as soon as he gives the trash bag to the garbage man and walks back inside with it. Mom notices Dexter is not obeying her orders and she gets angry at him. Dexter has no time to take the trash out and walks backward to the stairs, waving at her, before running forward, then backward, then forward again on them. Dad, feeling full, gets knocked down. Now forward again, Dexter runs to the lab and notices that Dee Dee is taking over the lever and playing with it, but before he could get to her, she reverses the lever. Realizing he still has his belt on, Dexter removes it and is finally free. Dexter angrily then reprimands her for the trouble she caused, resulting in his losing his lunch, Mom being angry at him for disobey her and Dad getting hurt. Dee Dee then notices the belt and puts it on. This gives Dexter an idea...

The episode ends with Dee Dee falling off the platform, then rising to it, then falling off it again, and Dexter controlling the lever, as payback for what she did to him.






Production Notes

  • At the start of the episode, unlike typical episodes, the credits are shown before the title of the episode, showing the directors name first, then the storyboard artists, following the title (Sdrawcab), consistent with the backwards theme of the episode. The music plays backwards as well.
  • This episode along with "The Continuum of Cartoon Fools" and "Sun, Surf, and Science" were produced in the same year of 1998 according to the credits.


  • On some cable boxes, the episode is misspelled as "Sdrawcab."

Dexter's Backwards Messages Decoded

  • "Wow This a Incredible Is Work Is Works"
  • "Actually Reverse My bolt in Action"
  • "Okay Robot That is Did now Forward"
  • "Forwaard"
  • "Robot in Store This Bolt"
  • "Silly Me"
  • "Dee Dee"
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