Ed is Dead: A Thriller! is the second segment of the third episode in the third season of Rocko's Modern Life, and the 55th episode overall.
The episode opener shows a shadow, which is revealed to belong to Heffer, who’s eating a chicken leg. He tells a macabre tale titled "Ed is Dead," opening the curtains to reveal the Bigheads' straightening up their front lawn in the process. The two end up arguing and Bev rebukes Ed for his indolence. The latter uses a spontaneous wart on the left side of his butt as an excuse for not pushing himself to work harder. Meanwhile, Rocko accidentally tosses the ball in the Bigheads' yard while playing fetch with Spunky. He orders Spunky to get the ball. But the dog just sits around. So Rocko reaches under the fence to grab the ball himself and Bev picks him up. She and Ed get into another altercation and Rocko retrieves his ball. He watches as Bev, still filled with anger, hedging the bushes and slowly leaves.
During the nighttime, Rocko is asleep until he hears clamor outside. He suddenly becomes wide awake when he hears Ed screaming and looks through his window to see the silhouettes of Bev lifting a weapon over Ed's head through their window. Rocko then hears scraping sounds and through the Bigheads' window, Ed's silhouette is shown dropping to the floor, to which Bev responds, "What a mess. I'll get it tomorrow!" Realizing what he has just witnessed, Rocko becomes terrified and hides his face under the sheets.
The next day, Rocko comes out of his sheets and is convinced that it was all a nightmare and what he saw last night never really happened. Spunky hops onto his bed, startling Rocko as he leaps up into the ceiling of the roof. With his head stuck on the roof, Rocko takes a view of the Bigheads' house and notices the tranquility of it. Wanting to make sure everything is okay, Rocko checks the Bigheads' home and views Bev digging up the yard. The hole that has been dug up is shaped just like Ed's body, and Bev is seen carrying a mysterious object covered with sheets. Bev says that it didn't turn out like she wanted and tosses it into the hole. She walks back inside the house and Rocko catches a view of her smiling malevolently as she cleans up a gardening tool and walks upstairs to her bedroom, where she grabs her suitcase and walks back outside and into the garage. As she drives away, Rocko sneaks into the Bigheads' house and searches for clues. Looking for Ed, he walks upstairs and looks inside the bedroom, where he finds a mysterious body lying through the inside of the blankets. Rocko lifts the blanket and finds that it is only a bunch of tools lying under. Things get worse when Rocko finds that Bev has returned home. He runs to the front door, only to find that Bev is making her way inside. He quickly hides inside the basement, where he sees the back of a mysterious head sitting on a wheelchair. He walks up to the wheelchair, only to find that it is really Earl, who promptly attacks Rocko in the process. Rocko runs out of the basement and runs into Bev, who’s cutting up a bug and asks if Rocko would join her for dinner, even adding that Ed won't be here. Rocko screams in terror and runs away.
During a stormy night, Rocko is inside his house sweating in fear. He’s convinced that Bev has murdered Ed. Just then, someone cuts a small hole under the back door, and Spunky runs through and through the Bigheads' fence. Rocko chases after him and finds that Spunky is looking at the hedge. The lightning reveals that the bushes say "Kill Ed," which prompts Rocko to scream in terror as he runs away, only to run into Bev. Rocko tells her that he has seen and heard everything and interrogates her. Bev responds by saying that she had clothes in her suitcase to take them to the dry cleaners, the power tools on her bed are therapeutic for her and Ed, the hedge (which spells different words) was only his imagination, and the hole shaped like Ed's body was from the shovel that is also shaped like Ed's body as an anniversary gift. When Rocko tells her that he witnessed Ed being attacked through the window, Bev says that she was just working on a meat loaf sculpture for Ed's art class, which Ed screamed in embarrassment of. When Rocko finally asks Bev where Ed is, she stares at him in a sinister manner and attempts to get her hands on him. The wind blows harder, blowing away the houses and a bright, sunny morning suddenly emerges. A taxi cab pulls over, and Ed hops out of it. It’s revealed that Ed has gone away to get his wart surgically removed. When Rocko tells him that it's great to have him back, Ed thinks that Bev told him about the wart, but Rocko says that his secret is safe with him, thinking that Ed had his tonsils taken out instead.
Everything is back to normal, and during the night, Rocko and Spunky look outside their window. Rocko says that they can't believe everything they see. Later, Ed and Bev's silhouettes of them kissing each other are shown through their window.
- In the beginning, Heffer does a parody of the opening of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
- This episode is a parody of the film Rear Window.
- The scene in which Rocko goes into the Bigheads' basement and mistakes Earl in a wheelchair facing the corner for Ed's corpse is a parody of a similar scene in Psycho. It also pays homage to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
- Surrealism is abundant in this episode. Scenes of surrealism include the outside of the Bighead's house when Rocko is stuck on the roof, to the creepy interior.
- Expressionism is also shown in this episode. One notable example is when Rocko is creeping up the Bighead's stairs, we see a picture of Ed in a picture similar to Munch's The Scream.