"Dexter's Rude Removal" is a once-lost episode of Dexter's Laboratory that was promptly pulled by Cartoon Network before airing due to its content. It was produced in 1997, and there are reports of people who had seen the short at conventions back in 1998.
The episode involves Dexter inventing a device to remove the rudeness from people, but it backfires when it splits Dexter and Dee-Dee into both rude and nice versions of themselves. The rude versions swore in the short, and although it was censored, Cartoon Network believed it was still too inappropriate.
The earliest record of the episode comes from Michelle Klein-Häss's account of the 1998 World Animation Celebration, where it was screened on February 21st, as reported by Animation World Magazine in March 1998 (referred to erroneously as "Rude Remover"). The episode's existence was also briefly mentioned in an article by Deseret News on July 27th, 1998, in which Craig McCracken (a storyboard artist on the show) confirmed its existence. A copyright for the episode was registered with the United States Copyright Office on October 14, 1999.
On May 27, 2007, Big Cartoon Forum user TyphoidTimmy posted about seeing an uncensored version of the short at Comic Con. Although the link to this post no longer works, it has been republished on Big Cartoon Forum by David Koch and on Know Your Meme. Since the only known copy of "Rude Removal" is the censored version, the validity of this uncensored copy is undetermined.
On October 26th, 2010, Fred Seibert, founder of Frederator Studios, reported that he contacted McCracken about the existence of "Rude Removal." McCracken confirmed its existence again, stating, "Actually there was one episode that they didn’t air. It was called ‘Rude Removal.’ Dexter made foul mouthed duplicates of him and DeeDee. Every time they swore we bleeped them but standards didn’t like it." McCracken later confirmed its existence a third time on DeviantArt, saying that he wrote and storyboarded the episode but that he did not have a copy of the episode. In addition, Tumblr user pan-pizza asked Calvin Wong (a storyboard artist on Regular Show) if he ever saw it. Wong answered, "They deny they have it at the CN media library."
On August 10th, 2012, 5 days after McCracken confirmed the validity of "Rude Removal" on DeviantArt, YouTube user RebelTaxi (Tumblr user pan-pizza) uploaded a video about the lost episode, asking people to trend "#RudeRemoval" and spread interest in the episode. Later, on September 27th, 2012, Dexter's Lab creator Genndy Tartakovsky confirmed its existence once more during a Reddit AMA.
After Tartakovsky's Reddit AMA, Adult Swim aired bumps regarding the episode, stating that they had plans to try and get it on the air. Months passed, until December 1, when Adult Swim sent out a tweet asking if there was still interest in the the episode, to which many have replied favorably, indicating that Adult Swim did have intentions to air the episode at some point. They then confirmed, through a bump, that they did indeed have the episode, and asked users to, "remind us to tell Jeff to put it up in the next week or so," using the hashtag, "#TellJeff". Six weeks passed, and many believed Adult Swim to have been lying about ever having the episode at all. However...
On the 21st of January, 2013, Adult Swim posted the title card for the episode on their Twitter account, along with a statement saying that "Rude Removal" would be uploaded the following day, sometime in the afternoon. At around 1:00 PM (Atlanta time) on January 22, Adult Swim sent out a final tweet that simply stated "With love, from Adult Swim" and contained a YouTube link to the episode, much to the delight of fans, who responded with praise in masse to Adult Swim.
UPDATE 10 Feb '13: Adult Swim have made the YouTube video private for some reason, and have also removed the streaming link from their site, but that hasn't stopped people spreading it around.
On August 30th 2016, a Youtuber by the name of Rebeltaxi confirmed on a podcast that an uncensored version of Rude Removal does indeed exist on a VHS.
- 1998 World Animation Celebration report by Animation World Magazine: http://www.awn.com/mag/issue2.12/2.12pages/2.12hasswac.html
- Deseret News report on "Rude Removal": http://www.deseretnews.com/article/643555/Conan-cant-shake-off-rocky-start-as-host.html?pg=all
- United States Copyright Office's "Rude Removal" entry: http://www.webcitation.org/6LmSdqRx9
- David Koch repost of TyphoidTimmy's account of "Rude Removal" http://forums.bcdb.com/t/i-have-seen-dexters-rude-removal.1971/
- Know Your Meme article on "Rude Removal" containing TyphoidTimmy's account of the episode: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/dexters-rude-removal
- Fred Seibert contacts Craig McCracken about "Rude Removal": http://fredseibert.frederator.com/post/4725807053/bad-dexter
- Craig McCracken confirms "Rude Removal" exists on DeviantArt: http://comments.deviantart.com/4/6465375/2677292349
- Calvin Wong on "Rude Removal": http://calwong.tumblr.com/post/17201071065/you-worked-at-cn-you-ever-see-the-infamous
- Genndy Tartakovsky AMA: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/10l1an/i_am_genndy_tartakovsky_the_director_of_hotel/c6ede4b
- Adult Swim's first mention of "Rude Removal": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYLmB4o6X8E
- Adult Swim brought "Rude Removal"'s demand to the attention of their boss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_YBSkYkeyw
- The first tweet sent out by Adult Swim regarding "Rude Removal". Retrieved 01 Dec '12.
- Adult Swim announces their intentions to put "Rude Removal" online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dORjHquN_IQ