Dexter's Laboratory "Rude Removal" (found unaired Cartoon Network animated series episode; 1997)

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This article has been tagged as NSFW due to its discussion of profanity.


Title card originally released by Adult Swim.

Status: Found (censored version)
Lost (uncensored version)

Date found: 22 Jan 2013 (censored version)

Found by: Adult Swim (censored version)

"Rude Removal" is an unaired episode from the second season of Cartoon Network's 1996 animated television series Dexter's Laboratory.[1] The episode revolves around one of Dexter's inventions separating both himself and Dee Dee into respective rude and polite versions of themselves, resulting in a tirade of swearing (albeit censored) and general rudeness.

Though it was fully produced for the second season, the episode was pulled before premiering due to Cartoon Network executives' fear of backlash at the (censored) foul language. Series creator Genndy Tartakovsky occasionally brought a copy of the episode with him to screen at conventions, including once at the 1998 World Animation Celebration on February 21, 1998, and another during a lecture given at the Rhode Island School of Design on November 15, 2008.

During Tartakovsky's 2012 Reddit AMA, a question about "Rude Removal" instigated trending searches for the banned episode online. Adult Swim's Twitter account asked followers if there was any interest in seeing the segment, and the account's followers showed approval. On January 22, 2013, Adult Swim uploaded the full episode on their YouTube channel.[2]

Original rediscovery

Before "Rude Removal"’s relatively recent unearthing, many dismissed it as fake until 2010, when Frederator's Fred Seibert (who served as president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons from 1992 to 1996) confirmed its existence and the fact that it was indeed pulled before airing via his Tumblr page, after consulting Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of the show) during a senior animation class, in which the episode's existence was brought into question by a student.[3]

Prior to 2013, cartoonist Craig McCracken, an art director and storyboard artist for seasons 1 through 4 of Dexter's Laboratory, attested to the episode's existence via his DeviantArt account.[4] Shortly after that, in September of 2012, Tartakovsky conducted an IAmA session on Reddit to promote his then-upcoming, animated feature film directorial effort Hotel Transylvania. Eventually, a comment regarding "Rude Removal" came up and quickly gained traction, rising to become one of the thread's top comments. After giving a first-hand account quite similar to Seibert's and McCracken's, when asked if the episode would ever find its way online, he replied "it might", also stating that he would bring it with him to his next public appearance.[5]

Adult Swim's Involvement

In the weeks following Tartakovsky's IAmA session, Adult Swim, realizing the increasing amount of public interest in "Rude Removal", began airing bumpers suggesting that they were going to attempt to acquire the episode and have it aired on TV. After a handful of bumpers regarding the episode, Adult Swim went quiet on the issue until December 1, when they sent out a tweet asking if there was still interest in the episode.[6] Following an overwhelmingly positive fan response, Adult Swim aired a follow-up bumper the next day stating that they had succeeded in obtaining a copy and were in negotiations to get it put online "in the next week or so", advising users to "remind us to tell Jeff to put it up" by using the Twitter hashtag #tellJeff.

Weeks passed with no word from Adult Swim whatsoever; people started becoming bitter, some suggesting that Adult Swim never actually had the episode in the first place and that the whole thing was nothing more than a cruel publicity stunt. However, on January 21, 2013, Adult Swim ended any doubts by tweeting a picture of the episode's title card, along with the notification that the episode was to be uploaded the afternoon of the following day.[7] Keeping to their word, Adult Swim uploaded a (censored) high-definition rip of "Rude Removal" to their YouTube account on January 22, 2013, at around 1:00 PM Atlanta time (Atlanta is the location of Adult Swim's Williams Street headquarters), along with a tweet simply stating "With love, from Adult Swim"., also containing a link to said YouTube video (albeit embedded on a page via Adult Swim's official website).[8]

The episode's unearthing was generally well-received despite some people's disappointment at the fact that it was censored, and Adult Swim's efforts were met with mass praise. The episode, however, was removed from Adult Swim's YouTube channel just a few weeks after it had been uploaded, with no explanation, although by that time, many mirrors had popped up, ensuring that the episode can still be watched by the general public.

Unedited Audio

Ever since the episode's original resurfacing, rumors of an alleged uncensored version actually existing, possibly on a VHS tape in possession of one of the show's former crew members, float on the web. It's unknown if the copy Adult Swim obtained had the censoring on it originally or if they added it themselves, and none of the rumors have been confirmed or denied. On July 15, 2017, Craig McCracken officially confirmed via Twitter that uncensored audio was originally recorded for the episode.[9] In another tweet, Craig said that he doesn't know if Cartoon Network has the original uncensored version, only knowing that Adult Swim uploaded one of the versions in 2013[10] – the censored version.

The unreleased nature of the unedited audio eventually attracted the attention of fans trying to earn an advantage from the situation. Forgeries coming from people claiming to own copies of the uncensored episode arose, with the most famous one being sourced from a "YouTube Poop" published by mrSimon (at the time known as electricthecheese) shortly after the episode's airing in early 2013. In this edit, the censored episode has its bleeps replaced with audio clips from other episodes altered to resemble profanity, giving the illusion of uncutness.[11] Users abusing of bad faith took advantage of this and re-uploaded the video without proper credits, passing it as the official uncensored version.[12]



"Rude Removal" (censored version).


LSuperSonicQ's video on the subject.

See Also

Anthology and Short Series


Bumpers and Interstitials



Other Cartoon Network Series

External Links