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Invader ZIM (TV Series 2001–2006) Poster

(2001–2006)

Trivia

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In the episode "The Nightmare Begins", when Zim is picking a disguise to use on Earth he claims one is "too ugly" and another "too stinky". Those disguises are pictures of Series Creator Jhonen Vasquez and Director Steve Ressel respectively.
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Bloody GIR is an Easter Egg visible in several episodes of the series. To see him, one would likely need a DVD player capable of viewing screens frame by frame. The most visible instance of bloody GIR is in the opening sequence of Mortos der Soulstealer. The image is evident for at least two frames in the end of one of the pipes that snakes out of Zim's house. Bloody GIR has also been sighted in Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy as the last pig goes through the "space time object replacement device". He has also been seen in the voot cruiser sequence in the opening of Plague of Babies. He is seen looking in the window of the voot at the left hand corner of the screen several times, some more noticeable than others. Bloody GIR was born when Jhonen drew an image of GIR covered in blood. He wanted to make an episode that featured bloody GIR but Nickelodeon would not allow it. He decided to slip the image into several episodes without their knowledge.
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One of the many running gags in the show is the unnaturally frequent use of the word "Doom" and its derivatives. It's the most common word in the episodes' titles (not counting the "The", of course), and is also spoken by at least one character in most of the episodes themselves, especially in the first episode where it's uttered about 100 times by four different characters.
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Frequently, after GIR drinks something, he launches into an inexplicable coughing fit. What you hear are actual recorded real-life coughing fits of GIR's voice actor, the asthmatic 'Rikki Simons', who could not perform GIR's enthusiastic slurpy drinking noises without aggravating his breathing.
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Before Richard Steven Horvitz got the job, Mark Hamill and Billy West were hired to voice ZIM. At the time, Horvitz was doing the voice for Dagget on The Angry Beavers (1997), and Nickelodeon didn't want the same actor on two current shows. Hamill originally voiced ZIM for the pilot episode. When Hamill was dropped, his parts were dubbed over with West's voice. The creators decided that both Hamill and West were too well-known, and finally hired Horvitz when the The Angry Beavers (1997) series ended.
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Jhonen Vasquez based all of the main characters in Invader Zim on exaggerated, villainous aspects of his own personality. Zim is his confidence and determination, Dib shares his passion for aliens and the Paranormal, Gir is his declining sanity and Gaz represents his cynical and apathetic side and also shares his love of video games.
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Four completed, unaired episodes were left hanging in the balance when Nickelodeon canceled the show. Those episodes are titled "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" (#2.1), "Mortos Der Soulstealer/ZIM Eats Waffles" (#2.2), "The Frycook What Came From All That Space" (#2.3), and "Vindicated!/The Voting of the Doomed" (#2.4). All four were included on Volume 3 of the Invader ZIM DVD release.
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On the Nickelodeon Animation Podcast, Richard Horvitz fondly recounted how Invader Zim's recording sessions got so spirited that they disrupted production of Dora the Explorer going on in the next room.
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Although Zim is the show's title character, the most frequent title character of the episodes themselves is Dib - four episode titles contain his name in one form or another: "Battle-Dib", "Future Dib", "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom", and "Dibship rising." Zim's name appears in only two titles ("Nanozim" and "Zim Eats Waffles"), while GIR, Gaz, Tak, and Mortos have one title each.
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The voice of GIR is provided by Jhonen's friend, Rosearik Rikki Simons. Simons is also a colorist on the show.
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The vampire featured in the game Gaz is playing on GS2 is D from the Vampire Hunter D movies.
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The original name for Zim's ship was to be the "Spoot Cruiser" but the phrase spoot had already been made big in The Angry Beavers (1997), so they made it the "Voot Cruiser" instead.
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In the episode "A Plague of Babies", the goth vampire from series creator Jhonen Vasquez's "Meanwhile..." comic is visible in the background of the first baby's house.
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Jhonen Vasquez began work on Invader Zim when he was only 22 years old. Prior to Invader Zim, Vasquez had dropped out college and was working on independent comic books when Nickelodeon executive producer Mary Harrington contacted him about pitching an animated series to Nickelodeon. Vasquez accepted the offer even though he had absolutely no experience in animation at the time.
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Jhonen's infamous "Z?" logo appears frequently in the show, as well as Fillerbunny, one of Jhonen's comic characters.
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A blue sky only appears once in the entire series.
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Nickelodeon canceled the series largely due to the fact that it was too frightening and unappealing to young children, which resulted in the show receiving low ratings. It was also due to the fact that the series went over-budget, and the fact that its ratings were overshadowed by those of SpongeBob SquarePants (1999) and The Fairly OddParents (2001).
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While the series did have exceptionally high ratings during its run, a majority of its viewers were in the teen and adult demographic despite the fact that it aired on a network targeted at children. Series creator, Jhonen Vasquez, stated that he intended to have this show appeal more to the teen demographic, which he seemingly accomplished.
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In July 2018, creator Jhonen Vasquez told website Polygon that the mission of Invader Zim "was not necessarily to make a kids' show, and it wasn't to make a show trying to shock people, either. It's just a particular kind of stupid."
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The show's main characters all have names that are three letters long (Zim, Gir, Dib and Gaz).
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The idea for the chatacter, "Invader Zim" was already created and designed, before it's show's pilot was even brainstormed. You can see Zims first appearance in one of Jhonen's earlier works, his comic book series, "Squee". Jhonen Vasquez's comic books, and illustrated stories, both solo and team created, were published by the company, " Slave Labor Graphics". A comic book publishing company that targets those more intrigued by the macabre and obscure. Jhonen's comics created were, 'Happy Noodle Boy', 'Bad Art Collection', 'Johnny The Homicidal Maniac', 'Squee', and 'I Feel Sick'. In the series, 'Squee' (spin off of JTHM) a neglected and unfortunate young boy is always getting into horrific, traumatic situations, and getting abducted by aliens. In one issue, Squee is being ordered from his room by his dad. In the block he's looking up around his shoulder, lying on the floor drawing. You can clearly see the simple sketch of Zim.
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Invader Zim has it's own fan convention known as "InvaderCON". InvaderCON has been held three times to date, all in different locations. At each one, fans showed up in the thousands and there were various Invader Zim themed panels and activities, including panels where the voice cast read scripts from unfinished episodes.
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In the episode, "Walk for your lives", the Ice Cream Van has an Irken logo as one of the popsicle choices.
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Kevin McDonald, who voiced Almighty Tallest Purple, also voiced Pleakley, an alien coming to Earth in Lilo & Stitch (2002) and its spin-offs.
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Throughout the show, multiple background and supporting characters (such as Keef and Iggins) were originally intended to be killed off, however Nickelodeon refused to have characters die in a kids show and forced the studio to rewrite the episodes to where they wouldn't die. They complied, however did so in a intentionally forced and sarcastic way to purposely convey their disagreement and reluctance toward the decision (such as a sarcastic "No characters were harmed in this episode" end-card message at the end of the episode "Hamstergeddon" where many background characters "died" onscreen).
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The director, Steve Ressel, makes several cameo appearances in the background of episodes. He is the fat man with long black hair and glasses. The creator, Jhonen Vasquez, also makes several cameo appearances in the background of episodes. He is the tall man with orange spiky hair and glasses. Vasquez later asked the animators to stop putting cameos of him in the series after about episode 10. He felt that the cameos drew attention away from the show and that people would only watch for the cameos.
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Series creator Jhonen Vasquez personally does not view ZIM as a villain, for in his eyes he is doing what he feels is absolute necessary for his people, in this case conquering the Earth.
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Jhonen Vasquez does not actually know the reason why Invader ZIM was canceled, but he thinks low viewership from children, parental concerns, high production costs, executive meddling, poor scheduling and advertising, among other things all played a part in it.
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According to director Steve Ressel, Nickelodeon held a test screening for the episode "Dark Harvest" during which one kid ran out of the room crying before the episode was over and others were visibly shaken and clearly terrified at what they saw.
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Whenever there is a shot of planet Earth from outer space, it always has a large hurricane on it, appearing to be about to make landfall in Florida. The size of the hurricane suggests that it would be a category 5 hurricane.
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Invader Zim finished with a total of 27 of its initially contracted 40 episodes leaving at least 17 episode segments and a TV movie titled "Invader Dib" unfinished. Concept art, scripts, voice recordings, storyboards and animatics for some of these unfinished episodes can be in the special features of some of the DVDs or online.
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The episode "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever" was broadcast out of order, as evident by the presence of the new character, Minimoose, who did not get a proper introduction. Minimoose's introductory episode is called "Nubs of Doom" and was originally intended to air before "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever", but because Nickelodeon was planning on canceling the series, the show's staff had to pick and choose their final episodes very carefully and Jhonen Vasquez said that he was more excited for "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever", so that episode was made instead, leaving "Nubs of Doom" unfinished.
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Jhonen Vasquez said in an interview that Zim has no canonically definitive age, but he is older than any living human being, perhaps older than any being who has ever lived on Earth. However in Irken years Zim is quite young, although he's not a child or adolescent.
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Rebecca Sugar, the creator of the Cartoon Network animated series Steven Universe, is a fan of Invader Zim and reportedly drew fan art and wrote fan fiction for Invader Zim when she was a teenager. Sugar has said, "I owe a whole lot to Jhonen Vasquez. His show Invader Zim was my gateway drug to the independent comic world. [...] Someday I hope to meet [Jhonen Vasquez] and thank him for changing my life".
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Bryan Konietzko, the co-creator of the Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, was a storyboard artist and art director on Invader Zim. Konietzko has said that the character of Aang was inspired by a drawing of an adult character he had originally designed while working on Invader Zim. When Konietzko first redesigned the character as Aang for Avatar: The Last Airbender he left visible "traces of Jhonen Vasquez's idiosyncratic style in the character's poses".
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Invader Zim became a controversial series when the show was mentioned at Scott Dyleski's murder trial in 2005. Dyleski, who was 17 at the time of the trial, was convicted of murdering his neighbor, and cited the Invader Zim "Dark Harvest" as his motivation for committing the murder. Dyleski said that after watching "Dark Harvest" he became "fascinated with collecting body parts" and "curious as to how the human body would function without certain organs", which inspired the murder-although the people who defended Dyleski said that these comments were made in jest.
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The uncut version of "Door to Door" was accidentally aired on Nickelodeon on March 29, 2002, which was the first time the episode premiered. All subsequent airings of "Door to Door" were of the cut version.
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Fans of the show initially thought that Zim was named after Sargent Charles Zim from Starship Troopers. However, Jhonen Vasquez states that the name Zim comes from the name he gave to his girlfriend's Tamagotchi and that the character was nameless for a long time during the show's pre-production.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

If the show had not gotten canceled, the following events and stories would have taken place: Invader Skoodge would have moved in with Zim on earth, Dib would have discovered he is a clone of Professor Membrane and not actually his son, Tak would have returned, Zim and Dib would have left Earth and had a season where Dib chased Zim across the galaxy on their way to Irk, The Resisty would have returned, and a series finale movie entitled "Invader Dib" would have had a full scale war against the Irkens.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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