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"The Laughing"
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"The Laughing"
"Big Bots" Big Bots
The Laughing
Season 2, Episode 23b
Episode name reference to/pun on: The 1977 horror novel The Howling, which was later made into a film.
The Laughing
Air date January 21, 1998
Production number 227b
Written by Paul Harrison
Storyboard by Bryan Maille
Genndy Tartakovsky
Directed by Robert Alvarez
Genndy Tartakovsky

The Laughing is the second segment of the twenty-third episode in season 2 of Dexter's Laboratory. It first aired on January 21, 1998.

In this episode, Dee Dee has a birthday party in her house's backyard. While there, as a clown performs and tells jokes, a pair of dentures fly out of his mouth and bites Dexter's arm. However, the bite from the dentures makes Dexter transform into a clown nightly and he goes to cause chaos in the city. As Computer makes an antidote, Dee Dee learns the secret of miming so she can stop her out-of-control brother.


Dee Dee is coming back home from grocery shopping on her bike and notices several cars parked outside her house. She tries to go into the front door, but instead goes through the fence door. In the backyard, everyone jumps out and yells "Surprise!" to Dee Dee and wish her a happy birthday.

As the kids have fun and eat the birthday cake, Mom tells everyone to gather on the grass and the kids watch as a small yellow car comes out from behind a tree. The car suddenly stops and a clown comes out, making the kids, except Dexter, cheer. The clown kicks things off by performing tricks, imitating animals, and throwing a pie in his own face. Following a joke, the clown trips over a rock and hits his bottom jaw on the grass. A pair of dentures fly out of his mouth and bite Dexter's arm, which the clown apologizes for.

During dinner that night, Dee Dee explains everything that happened at the birthday party she had earlier that day. As the family laughs, Dexter suddenly has a laughing fit and excuses himself to his room. In there, Dexter continues laughing as he slowly transforms into a clown. He then jumps out of his window and runs to the city. At the park, Dexter interrupts a date between a man and a woman by telling a joke, hitting the man with a balloon, throwing a pie in the woman's face, and pointing a gun in the man's face, with a flag saying "BANG!" as Dexter pulls the trigger, making him faint. Dexter then shows the woman a can of fake snakes, making her faint. Dexter then rides off on his unicycle.

The next morning, Dexter wakes up with no recollection of what happened until Dee Dee shows him the morning newspaper. With no idea what happened, Dee Dee draws an outline of Dexter over the clown, comparing the two. Dexter goes to his lab to operate on himself. Computer then shows Dexter the bite marks on his funny bone and he orders her to make an antidote. Following a long process, the antidote is not made. Dexter watches as two robots bump into each other and he once more breaks into a laughing fit.

In Dee Dee's room, she is having a tea party with her stuffed pig. Dexter enters begging for her help and, without warning, transforms into a clown before her very eyes. After telling a joke, Dexter inserts a cigar into Dee Dee's mouth and explodes. Plotting to stop her brother, Dee Dee thinks of a way. In the city, Dexter pulls a crossing guard out of sight and enters in his place. He signals the many cars to go in their directions, instead causing them to crash into one another. The crossing guard notices the chaos and calls for help.

At a mime school, Dee Dee enters and sees many mimes at work. She explains her plight to them and asks for their help, but the mimes instead cover their ears. One of them walks over to Dee Dee and, with the other mimes' aid, teaches her the secret to becoming a mime. After a long practice session, Dee Dee is then given her own mime outfit. As she leaves Mime World, she thanks the mimes for their help, with them covering their ears again.

Back in the city, Dexter is sending several police officers and a police dog on a wild chase. The chase is interrupted as Dexter runs into an invisible wall. With her newly-learned miming skills, Dee Dee manages to capture Dexter then "boxes" him up and takes him home with her. Back at the lab, Dexter's funny bone is properly cured and he thanks Dee Dee for her help. He boasts about thinking how to get out of it, only to find himself trapped by a set of invisible walls Dee Dee put up.




  • Running gag: The joke "Why is 6 afraid of 7?" and its response "Because 7 8 9!".
  • This is the second episode in Dexter's Laboratory that deals with a character's birthday, with the character in question being Dee Dee. The first birthday episode was "Surprise!".

Episode Connections[]

  • The music that played during Dee Dee's party was reused as the title card music for the later episode "Framed".
  • Dexter's laugh during his clown transformation was recycled in the theatrical short "Chicken Scratch".

Cultural References[]

  • The chase scene involving Dexter and the policemen through the city is a reference to the silent film Keystone Cops.

Production Notes[]

  • This episode is one of the two episodes written by Paul Harrison.
  • Although this episode along with "Sister Mom" were aired on January 21, 1998, they were actually produced in 1997 according to the credits. They are the final episodes to be made in 1997.
  • This episode alongside "Sister Mom" are the first two episodes without a mini-segment.