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"Tele Trauma"
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"Tele Trauma"
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Tele Trauma
Season 3, Episode 5c
Episode name reference to/pun on: The words "television" and "trauma".
Air date February 22, 2002
Production number 306c
Storyboard by John McIntyre
Directed by John McIntyre
Chris Savino

Tele-Trauma is the third part of the fifth episode in season 3 of Dexter's Laboratory. In this episode, Dexter gets fed up with missing his favorite programs that air on television because of him studying, so he invents a helmet that allows him to catch up on shows that he missed. However, the invention backfires, causing Dexter to repeat everything he heard through the radio waves.

The episode was produced in 2001 and premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on February 22, 2002.


Dexter is in his room working on his homework when he suddenly realizes that his favorite TV show, Chimp Family Robinson, is airing. He runs downstairs to the living room to watch it, though by the time Dexter gets there, he sees the end credits rolling. Dexter feels upset as Dad, Dee Dee, and Mom all sit on the couch laughing. The next night, while Dexter is working on his physics homework, he sees that the TV show Gala-Gators is airing and rushes to the living room to watch the show's closing credits.

Tuesday night, while Dexter is doing his homework on his desktop computer, a reminder pops up on his screen and he runs downstairs to watch Dragon's Creek, only to be greeted with an ending card. The following Sunday, Dexter is again reminded with Chimp Family Robinson airing that night, and like before, he misses the show. While Dad, Mom, and Dee Dee discuss the show, Dexter tries to join in, but is ignored. At school the next day, Dexter overhears several students talking about what they saw on Chimp Family Robinson, making him feel left out.

At Dexter's house later that night, Dad, Dee Dee, and Mom are watching The Wild Man. Dexter retreats to his room to study for the debate, but instead gripes about himself missing his favorite programs due to him studying. Suddenly, Dexter gets an idea and goes to his lab to create a helmet with two satellite dishes on an antenna. After inventing it, Dexter activates the helmet and receives TV signals into his brain.

On the way to school, Dexter overhears two students talking about Sword of the High-Kick Queen, to which he starts quoting lines from the show, delighting the others on the bus. Just after, he tells a joke that has everyone laughing. Throughout the day, Dexter mimics everything he heard on TV, surprising the students around him. Later, Dexter gets enough of the helmet and throws it into the locker. Just after, Mr. Luzinsky calls for Dexter from the auditorium to remind him about the debate. He then races in there and onto the stage.

During the debate, Dexter explains to the audience about the debate topic, which was about the positive effects of TV on young people. While doing so, he has an outburst that leaves him embarrassed. Herman, Dexter's opponent, takes advantage of this and writes the things Dexter says down. When Herman has his turn, Dexter sneaks backstage thinking of a way to get rid of the signals. He then races to his locker and modifies the helmet to reverse the effects and runs back to his podium just as Herman's turn ends.

While Dexter responds to Herman's topic, he tells a joke that has everyone in the auditorium laughing, except for Mr. Luzinsky, as reversing the effects of the helmet didn't work. Fed up with Dexter's antics, he declares Herman the winner of the debate and orders Dexter to go to the principal's office. In there, Dexter explains about his bad behavior, but is cut off as he imitates the end of a news broadcast, following with TV static.





  • Mr. Luzinsky: Hmm... odd?

  • Mr. Luzinsky: Dexter, stop that immediately.

  • Mr. Luzinsky: That's enough! I declare Herman the winner and Dexter go the principal's office.

  • Principal: Well, Dexter, your behavior in that auditorium was totally appalling, outrageous, shocking and horrifying. So just what on earth have you got to say for yourself young man?
  • Dexter: Well, sir. You see... All I can say is... This concludes our broadcast day, good night.


Cultural References[]

  • The TV show Dragon's Creek is a parody of Dawson's Creek.
  • As Dexter activates his helmet, sounds from various TV shows are heard.
  • While walking in the hallway, Dexter references the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
  • At lunch, Dexter references Looney Tunes character Elmer Fudd.
  • One of Dexter's lines, "Townsville's in trouble!", is a reference to Cartoon Network's other series The Powerpuff Girls.
  • During the debate, Dexter references the game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.
  • When told to stop making jokes, Dexter tells Mr. Luzinsky "Sit on it, Fonz!" Fonzie is a character from Happy Days.

Production Notes[]

  • Although this episode premiered in the United States on February 22, 2002, it was actually produced in 2001 according to the credits.
    • This episode was finished on July 20, 2001.[1]
  • This segment was the last to feature Christine Cavanaugh as the voice of Dexter; she retired from voice acting soon after, only to pass away from leukemia in 2014. Her replacement for the rest of the series, Candi Milo, had already voiced Dexter in the previously-aired segments, "Poppa Wheely", "The Mock Side of the Moon", and "If Memory Serves". This most likely means that "Tele-Trauma" entered production before these other segments, despite airing afterwards.