Dexter Dodgeball is the first part of the second episode of season one in Dexter's Laboratory, which first aired on May 5, 1996.
In this episode, Dexter is forced to play dodgeball. but after being targeted multiple times, he builds an exoskeleton to combat the bullies.
On Monday morning, Dexter prepares for school and arrives just in time for gym class with his doctor's excuse. The substitute gym teacher finds Dexter's excuse to be fake and forces the boy genius to participate in gym class. Dexter watches in terror as several boys are pelted with dodgeball. When he's the only one left, the dodgeball bullies hit him and break his glasses.
On Tuesday, Dexter runs in circles around a dodgeball that one of the bullies lobbed into the sky. It lands on his head, causing him to freeze in place.
On Wednesday, Dexter runs from a dodgeball rolling toward him, but he fails, causing it to leave a mark on his head.
On Thursday, Dexter spends the entire day running around campus from the dodgeballs chasing him. In the school library, he hides from the dodgeballs by looking inside reference books. Dexter then uses this as an opportunity to escape, and the dodgeballs trap him in front of a window. With nowhere to run, Dexter jumps out the window.
On Friday, one of the bullies hit Dexter in his groin with a dodgeball and he falls over. The boys laugh at him, and later that night, Dexter has a dream where three devil-like shadows laugh at him. Dexter looks up to see his robotic exoskeleton and gets an idea.
Next Monday, Dexter arrives on the playground with his invention and activates it in front of the bullies, causing them to run in terror. After taking the bullies down, Dexter sighs in exhaustion. Dee Dee throws a ball at his brother, and both Dexter and the exoskeleton fall over.
This episode was rated #1 in the US by a marathon that announced #1 episodes in countries around the world, as voted on Cartoon Network's website.
The substitute gym teacher's reaction to Dexter's excuse note is "What's this crap?" Edited versions of this episode have him saying "What's this?" however, the episode airs intact on Boomerang as well as the DVD. This is the only time a swear word was used in the series. (Excluding the banned episode "Rude Removal")