Invader Zim is coming back to the small screen! Many years ago, the beloved green alien invader, Zim, and his malfunctioning looney robot sidekick, Gir, stole our hearts while simultaneously giving us mental scarring. While the series did continue in comic book form, it can’t beat the stellar voice acting and amazing combination of 3-D and 2-D animation. As we await the glorious reentrance of the series, let us reflect on some of the episodes that made the show as memorable as it was. Of course, every episode was awesome and there are too many to choose from but I have carefully picked five of my favorite episodes. FYI, I did not put these in any order because some episodes were funnier, while others were more memorable because of the disturbing content and thus ranking them would be pointless.
We are only into the third episode of the series and we see a kid’s EYES GET RIPPED OUT. Boy does that set the bar. Before we get to that part let’s talk about the creepy beginning. Zim needs a friend to seem human so after a bunch of strange and humorous tests, he picks Keef. What Zim later finds out is that, while Keef is well-intentioned, he is a stalker. This unfortunate fact leads Zim to take drastic measures to get rid of him by the aforementioned act of ripping out Keef’s eyes. He replaces them with cybernetic ones that force Keef to believe that a random squirrel is Zim. He then later explodes. This episode sets another precedent in that it lets the audience know that when Zim is faced with a problem, he will crush it by the most brutal and sadistic manner possible.
“Plague of Babies”
Monster babies! They drool acid, have razor sharp teeth, and can morph together into giant baby blob creature; that also has a digital face for some reason. What’s great about this episode is that it is layered and does great foreshadowing. In the beginning, Zim notices what seems like a baby is watching him in his alien form. Of course, Zim takes drastic measures in investigating what seems like a silly matter. Although, as the episode progresses we notice odd details as well. In one of the homes, there is a collection of pictures of the suspect baby that go on for seven years. Yet the baby did not age. Ultimately, it is revealed that the babies are aliens who became accidently stranded and were forced to assimilate into the human population. The battle between Zim and the alien babies is actually quite intense because of the latter’s aforementioned abilities. Zim is victorious in the end, though in his signature sadistic way. He uses a device to essentially make the alien babies brain dead.
Oh, this episode is so much fun. Especially, since it is one of the instances when Zim’s escalations backfires. Seeing two characters slowly turn into bologna and then having them deal with it in such a dramatic way cannot be put into words how hilarious it is. The episode begins with Dib throwing lunch meat at Zim who then retaliates by altering the former’s DNA to become bologna. Dib then later puts Zim through the same process and they then have to work together to deal with their circumstances. This episode really highlighted the prowess of the writers and the voice actors. The writers can come up with the most ludicrous premises and the voice actors can sell them. Moments like when Dib finds out that he is “delicious” which prompts him to ask his sister to taste him are just gold. Her initial repulsion is justified, but later on she just casually takes a chunk out of him and eats it.
“Game Slave 2”
This episode is one of the few ones where Zim is nowhere in it. Instead, the focus is brought to Gaz and her journey to getting a new game. While we have seen Gaz in action before, this episode places her in the Zim role by having her escalate a situation to retaliate against someone. In this case, it is against fellow gamer Iggins who lies to get the final copy of a game that she also wants. The episode then comprises of Gaz stalking and tormenting him to relinquish it. There is also another subplot which involves Dib getting lost in a car garage and meeting the rat people and the whole situation is completely irrelevant and random. The episode had so many fun horror cliches like Gaz suddenly appearing through thundering and lightning and writing threatening messages on a bathroom mirror. In the end, the audience takes away two notes: Gaz is awesome and not to be trifled with.
“Dib’s Wonderful life of Doom”
What if episodes are always fun. This one is centered on Dib and the scenario is that everything went well for him. The beginning of the episode is Dib throwing a muffin at Zim and that night the former is granted superpowers. His whole life is played out from him defeating Zim, rescuing humanity from invasion, and discovering all of the supernatural/paranormal activities of the world. At some point towards the middle, it is heavily implied that the whole situation is a facade because there are subtle moments when it is revealed. There are also points that go against the nature of the show because we know that their universe is comprised mostly of morons so the fact that they listen to Dib is farfetched. The simulation finally ends and Zim reveals that he just wanted Dib to confess to throwing the muffin at him. The look and sound of despair emanating from Dib after all is revealed is a little depressing but it was interesting to see a scenario where Dib won.
Well, there you have it, a list of what I consider my favorite episodes. Now, while you are commenting on how terrible it is and that I have no taste, don’t forget to mention what you consider to be the best episodes and how excited you are for the new series.