List of Invader Zim characters
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Invader Zim is an American animated television series created by Jhonen Vasquez and originally aired on Nickelodeon from March 30, 2001 to August 19, 2006. The recurring cast includes voice actors Richard Steven Horvitz, Rodger Bumpass, Kevin McDonald (The Kids in the Hall) and John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Vasquez voices parts in the show. The show was cancelled early in its run and some episodes were unfinished. The show ran for two seasons before its cancellation.
Invader Zim (voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz, Billy West in the pilot and Melissa Fahn as a newborn in his flashback of "Parent-Teacher Night") is an incompetent Irken invader, who is foul-tempered, overzealous, impulsive, megalomaniac and convinced of his own greatness. He dreams of regaining his leaders' trust by taking part in Operation Impending Doom II, so Zim is assigned to Earth, a planet which the Almighty Tallest believe has little to no chance of existing. However, against all odds, Zim makes it to Earth and establishes a base on a fake conquest mission. Because of his very small stature, Zim disguises himself as a human child using a hairpiece to cover his antennae and contact lenses to make his eyes look normal.
No one realizes that Zim is an alien, except Dib and Gaz. Zim has no friends, and physically harms his classmates e.g. in "Dark Harvest", when he takes their organs and replaces them with gadgets, if they attempt to befriend him. However, they always defend him when Dib calls him an alien. He is equipped with a PAK, a backpack with, (among other gadgets,) long, retractable robotic spider legs that enable him to move about quickly and climb almost any obstacle.
Zim constantly schemes to enslave or destroy mankind, and despite his access to potent Irken technology, his plans are never successful. Zim also has a high opinion of himself, and will sometimes refer to himself in the third person.
GIR (voiced by Rosearik "Rikki" Simons) is a malfunctioning and dimwitted robot SIR (Standard-issue Information Retrieval) Unit who was assigned to Zim. He was built by The Almighty Tallest out of SIR unit remains from a trashcan and rubbish they found in their pockets. GIR was passed off to Zim as a "top-secret" and "advanced model". His name is an unexplained, self-applied moniker. He disguises himself in public by wearing a green dog suit which fools most humans, despite looking and acting nothing like an Earth dog. Out of the pair GIR is the one who has more interaction with Earth's social and cultural life-style. This is because his personality is much friendlier and is much more easy-going. GIR also has a love for Earth that his master does not share. Throughout the series GIR has also demonstrated some talents like cooking and dancing.
GIR has no sense of who is a friend and who is an enemy. He also rarely understands the severity of the predicaments he finds himself in, unless it involves pain or very severe danger. However, to his credit he often understands it more than his master and has on rare occasion predicted the correct out-come of a very dangerous situation.
GIR's upbeat, clueless, thoughtful and friendly personality is a contrast to Zim's self-centered, imperious behavior. GIR enjoys taking part in Earth's culture, while Zim distances himself from it in order to complete his mission. GIR does not usually obey Zim, which leads to Zim furiously shouting at GIR. However, GIR and Zim occasionally seem to care for one another. Zim often calls GIR a "horrible little robot" and has referred to GIR as insane, though Zim will occasionally show some affection. He also watches classic cartoons on TVs in Zim's base and house. GIR's personality is however, flipped in the episode "GIR Goes Crazy And Stuff" after Zim incredibly increases GIR's Behavioral Modifier to a very high level. At first GIR obeys Zim without trouble or question, but as the episode rolls along the much more dangerous, cold, well-focused, rebellious, darker and serious side of GIR is shown. He also shows a very powerful thirst for knowledge about the entire planet, so it can be invaded or destroyed by Earth's much more worthier opponents. GIR also comes to view his master as an idiot who is incapable of completing his duties. GIR's new personality combined with Zim's idiocy and misuse stoke GIR's resentment. However, as the episode ends, Zim retores GIR's "normality", and the excitable robot returns to his old-self once again.
Dib Membrane (voiced by Andy Berman) is a young eccentric paranormal investigator who spends his time studying the supernatural and paranormal. He tends to thwart Zim in his schemes to take over the world. Dib is generally hated by his classmates because they see him as annoying and crazy. His classmates also tend to bully him a lot, but Dib is reluctantly determined to save them anyway. Zim and Dib often fight because one is trying to destroy the planet and the other is trying to save it. While they are often portrayed as enemies, they have at least once been forced to work as reluctant teammates. They normally both hate each other with a passion and would like nothing better than to destroy each other. Despite the both of them hating each other, an unfinished episode of the series revealed that when Dib lost interest in the Zim and the paranormal, Zim gave up on destroying the earth and only got back up when Dib decided to hunt Zim. Dib is sensitive over the size of his head and usually overreacts when people point out its largeness. It is revealed in some episodes that his head serves multiple purposes; in the episode "Gaz, Taster Of Pork", it served as a portal into other worlds.
When dealing with people like the police, the F.B.I., NASA Place or the secret society that he belongs to called The Swollen Eyeballs, they all find Dib annoying and get mad whenever he calls or swings-by. A precious few of these people realize just how sane Dib is and are kind enough to help him. The Swollen Eyeballs are a secret society dedicated to discovering the paranormal and separating the fake superstitions from the real ones. They all have secret code names and some of them are Dib's heroes. Dib's secret codename is Agent Mothman. Late in the series, Dib is actually seen arguing with some of these people and gets irritated when many of them decide not to help him or remind him of a situation of where he got no help when he really needed it. In the episode "Zim Eats Waffles", where Dib is seen spying on Zim by using a hidden video camera in his kitchen he talks to another member of The Swollen Eyeballs and the F.B.I. When he is asked if he ever got that ghost ninja out of his toilet he replies angrily "Yes! No thanks to you!". Because he is cried wolf so many times, Dib finds it very hard for people to believe him and is thrilled on the rare occasion when he finds someone who does. Nonetheless, he is willing and prepared to strongly defend the paranormal field of study whenever someone makes fun of it or says it is not a real field of study.
Before the comic book series was launched in July 2015, it was unknown what Dib and Gaz's surname was, if they had one at all. At the time of the television series, series creator Jhonen Vasquez claimed that their father Professor Membrane was actually using his first name in his title. However, the comic series has had Dib addressed as "Dib Membrane" multiple times, with the first being in a pre-Issue 0 and in an official Issue 5, leading to the assumption that Jhonen had changed his mind on this idea. Before the comics the Membrane surname had only been used by some of the fanbase for both Dib and Gaz.
Gazlene "Gaz" Membrane (voiced by Melissa Fahn) is Dib's "scary" sister who enjoys playing video games and eating soda and pizza, particularly from her favorite restaurant Bloaty's Pizza Hog (a pastiche of ShowBiz Pizza Place and Chuck E. Cheese's). If and when someone or something stands in the way of her getting those things, she will thrust them into "a nightmare world from which there is no awakening." She knows that Zim is an alien, but does not care because she believes he is incapable of conquering the Earth. As Gaz very rarely displays happiness, most viewers believe that she is humorless. However, in the episode "Parent Teacher Night", she is amused twice at Zim and Dib's misfortunes. She is portrayed as psychotic, cynical, antisocial and apathetic.
In the series, Gaz has either a lukewarm or a cold relationship with most of the other characters. She mostly dislikes her brother Dib. The only exception to all of these people might be her famous father Professor Membrane. He seems to have a warm relationship with Gaz, even though it is not shown all that often. Professor Membrane is very rarely ever home due to the world always needing his help. However, he does make it a point to once a year have a family night with his kids and spends Christmas with them. Whenever he is home, Gaz seems to strongly prefer to spend time with him over listening to her brother's annoying, enthusiastically long, crazed rants. Because she has a closer relationship with her father, the professor tends to call Gaz "honey" or on occasion by her name which he never does to Dib. She often spends time with him by going down to his lab to talk with him whenever he's home. She has made it known to her father that Dib greatly irritates her and that just the sound of his voice alone sends her into a very deep rage.
Gaz's relationship with Zim can be described as distant, cold and unfriendly as the two very rarely interact with one another and whenever they do interact they mostly say one-liners, with the exception of the episodes "Bloaty's Pizza Hog" and "Future Dib". Zim considers Gaz as a very minor threat (he often overlooks or is ignorant of her ability to easily defeat him). This could be due to the fact that he interacts chiefly with Dib and has a better knowledge of Dib's reactions than Gaz's. However, it should also be made known that Zim thinks that Gaz is scary, and that even he as obsessive and power-crazed as he is, he does not wish to provoke her wrath. Whenever Gaz is questioned about her opinion of Zim, she acknowledges that he is an alien, but also says that he is too dumb and incompetent to take over the Earth. In the episode "Lice" it shown that Gaz can endure pain (in that case, the lice eating her scalp) and even calls the students who complain about the pain "whiners". Another example of Gaz's toughness is shown in "Dark Harvest" when Zim steals and replaces one of her organs with her Game Slave, but she continues to play her game, even though it is inside of her. Furthermore, in the episode "Mysterious Mysteries", when talking about Zim, she calls him "stupid Zim", when talking to the show's host. In turn, Zim often refers to her as either "Little Gaz" or "Dib's Little Sister".
Gaz has a neutral relationship with GIR and seems to tolerate him better than Dib (although their relationship is only seen in two episodes- "Tak, the Hideous New Girl" and "Bloaty's Pizza Hog"). In an episode called "The Voting Of the Doomed", Gaz was seen with GIR again, but again there was no verbal contact and she just ate peanuts out of his head. Gaz is the only character in the series that has ever gotten an onscreen kiss on the lips, albeit an unwanted one (from GIR).
Unlike most characters in the rest of the series, Gaz has special powers, but they are rarely ever demonstrated and the only other people who know about them are Dib and Iggins (although Iggins is only seen in one episode with Gaz which is "Game Slave 2"). According to what's seen in the series, Gaz can levitate herself very high while in a fit of having a really deep rage and a very strong sense of hate as seen in "Gaz, Taster Of Pork", control the weather as seen in "Game Slave 2" and control electricity as seen in "Dibship Rising". Please note that these powers are only seen in the three episodes as mentioned above and that when she levitates, the background becomes purple and her eyes (which are rarely ever wide-open) turn from a pretty and light shade of hazel into a deep and sinister shade of red. She also has a very strange and creepy way of stalking people who have significantly pestered, or upset her—like Dib or the video game crazed boy named Iggins. This strange ability has appeared in only two episodes which were "Battle Dib" and "Game Slave 2".
In "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom," when Dib throws a muffin at Zim's head and Zim reacts in an outraged and wild type of manner, Gaz does admit that it was kind of funny to see Zim's reaction after he left the cafeteria in a very angry manner. In the episode "Gaz, Taster of Pork", at the end of the episode when she is out eating with her father, he asks her where Dib is and Gaz says that he is in a pig-filled netherworld. Her father laughs at this and calls her his funny child. In "Battle Dib", at the end of the episode as Dib was being shown out the door Gaz smiled and waved at him. In "Game Slave 2" after getting the latest version of the game device from Iggins, Gaz smiled as the sun came out—after she made everything in her world right again.
- Almighty Tallest (Kevin McDonald as Purple; Wally Wingert as Red): Co-leaders of the Irken race. The Irken Empire has a hierarchal class structure, where shorter individuals are both figuratively and literally looked down upon. The tallest Irken born in a specific generation takes command of the Empire as "the Tallest", but since Red and Purple, the two current Tallest, are exactly the same height, they share equal (and high-supreme) power. While the Tallest function mainly as figureheads, doing little to organize the society (preferring to lounge around and eat snacks), they do hold absolute power over the populace. They travel around to observe and supervise Operation Impending Doom II in the Massive, the largest and most powerful ship in the Irken Armada. They appear to mostly use their unlimited powers of state to amuse themselves- sending loyal Irken soldiers to painful deaths ("Battle of the Planets"), forcing others weaker than themselves to obey their random whims ("Hobo 13") and starving their own command crew ("Backseat Drivers"). Red is often considered to actually have a slight focus on ruling the Irken race, as is usually seen as being more intelligent than Purple. This is seen in the episode Backseat Drivers, where, while Purple floats around screaming and eating doughnuts, Red finds out that Zim is controlling the ship via the power core, and switches it with the Resisty's core, thus saving the Massive from hitting Earth. They love to cause other Irkens pain ("Walk for your Life") and, Purple especially, puppets (also "Walk for Your Life). They are not related, as it sometimes seems, which is proved in the unaired episode "The Trial". Their main hobby is making fun of Zim. They often demonstrate an unsettling obsession with snack food and puppets. They both hate Zim (as does the rest of the Irken Race) and according to the unaired episode "The Trial" they seem to have known Zim since all of them were of a rather young age.
- Professor Membrane (Rodger Bumpass): A scientist who hosts the popular television show Probing the Membrane of Science and the father of Dib and Gaz. Membrane's scientific abilities are offset by incredibly poor parenting: his primary method of managing his children is by way of a floating digital projection screen-and his messages to them are often not only prerecorded, but woefully out of date. He has sometimes urged Dib to give up on the paranormal and focus on "real science". His scientific achievements ranged from useful to bizarre, ranging from restoring power during a blackout to useful inventions like "SuperToast".
- Ms. Bitters (voiced by Lucille Bliss and later Candi Milo in some video game adaptations): The teacher of Zim and Dib's class. She is a tall, slender, and elderly woman who is very grumpy and a devoid of any compassionate emotion and possesses a cynical dislike for life. She is often shown applying the school's unreasonable rules, or applying unreasonable punishments of her own invention for comedic purposes, often on Dib. She often slinks around to the sound of a rattlesnake and is often shown literally emerging from people's shadows. This and other factors often serve to hint Bitters as not being a human throughout the series, although this may be intended for comedic purposes rather than an actual characteristic of hers. Ms. Bitters, or at least a character highly resembling her, is also a teacher in creator Jhonen Vasquez's comic series Squee.
- Tak (voiced by Olivia d'Abo): A female Irken invader who had an unfortunate encounter with Zim. The incident trapped her in a building on Devastis, the Irken military training planet, causing her to miss her chance to take the test to become one of the Irken Elite Soldiers (and an Invader). Instead, she was relegated to janitor duty on Planet Dirt for 70 years but she escaped to hunt down Zim. In "Tak: The Hideous New Girl", she comes to Earth, disguised as a human girl, and attempts to usurp Zim's mission and destroy Earth, but she is thwarted by Zim, GIR, Dib and Gaz, who reluctantly work together to defeat her.
- MiMi: Tak's SIR unit, built for in the planet Dirt. Her disguise is also holographic, to be generated as a black cat. Like GIR, she is easily distinguishable from other SIR units. She has no dialogue in the show and is taken over with GIR's personality and is dismembered in the process. She thinks of GIR as arrogant.
- Piggy: A live piggy that GIR has been seen having tea and watching movies with and seems to have a fascination with piggies, because he also has a large collection of rubber ones, which are thrown into a time machine by Zim to destroy Dib.
- Computer (Jhonen Vasquez): Zim's computer is normally seen talking with Zim. He is scattered around the house and base so Zim can talk to him whenever he needs to. The computer also seems to display defects, similar to GIR, in both that he lacks information on Earth and will occasionally change his voice tone to a much harsher version at usually completely unnecessary times and situations. In the episode "Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain" Computer's brain is replaced with GIR's.
- Roboparents: Zim's helpers that guard his base and help make him seem more human. The Roboparents are poorly built and have an utter lack of normal parental behavior. The Roboparents frequently act inappropriately (for instance, Robo Dad once said "C'MON, son! Let's go play in the TOILET!") or attack visitors to Zim's house, although in "Parent-Teacher Night" they actually reassured a parent about their son not making a soccer team, impressing even Zim.
- Minimoose (Jhonen Vasquez): A floating purple moose-shaped thing with stubby legs and antlers, Minimoose is introduced as Zim's other sidekick. However, not much of the character's history was explained before the series was cancelled.
- Invader Skoodge (Ted Raimi): An unlucky Irken Invader who was assigned to planet Blorch, home of the slaughtering rat people, due to his shortness. He was the first Invader to successfully conquer a planet in Operation Impending Doom II, but is prejudiced against by the Almighty Tallest, who proceed to launch him into the planet as the first shot of the destruction. Somehow, he survived. When Zim says "But I thought the Tallest killed you" on Hobo 13, Skoodge replies "Yeah...But I'm okay now." Skoodge is very loyal to The Almighty Tallest who hate him. He was planned to be included in future episodes of the show, but it was canceled with the ones unfinished.
- Keef (Danny Cooksey): A clingy child that attends the Skool with Zim. He is seen to be overeager to have a friend in the second episode, "Bestest Friend", where Zim befriends him to appear normal. In the episode, Zim grows tired of Keef's constant presence, and when Keef's "surprise party" for Zim jeopardizes base security, he tricks him into thinking a squirrel was Zim by replacing his eyes with robot eyes. He was supposed to appear in "Return of Keef" but the animation is unfinished due to the show's cancellation. He (or someone identical) is seen in the background in numerous episodes, and has a few lines in "Lice".
- The Swollen Eyeball Network (various): A group (including Dib, known within the group as "Agent Mothman") who are determined to prove the paranormal. Some Agents are Agent Mothman (Dib's alias), Agent Darkbooty (Revealed to be a NASA janitor), Agent Tunaghost, Agent Disembodied-Head, and Agent Nessie. Found in episodes "Battle of the Planets", "Battle Dib", "Zim Eats Waffles" and "Gaz, Taster of Pork"
- Gnomes: The gnomes protect the exterior of Zim's house when people are in the yard, with the ability to shoot lasers from their eyes and once threw Dib from Zim's yard.
- Lard Nar (voiced by Fred Tatasciore): The leader of the Resisty, a group whose goal is to defy and ultimately bring down the Irken Empire. His only appearance is in Back Seat Drivers From Beyond The Stars. He is from the planet named Vort which has since been conquered by the Irken Empire.
- Bloaty (voiced by Rosearik Rikki Simmons): The owner and/or mascot of the Chuck E. Cheese-like restaurant, Bloaty's Pizza Hog. He is mostly seen in commercials. He was only seen out of his pig costume once, in the episode "Bloaty's Pizza Hog," and apparently has an eating disorder. He is an elderly, morbidly obese man, to the point of being fatter out of costume than in it.
- President Man (voiced by Jeffrey Jones): The President of the United States who appears in the series, with his most significant role being in "The Girl Who Cried Gnome". He is essentially a figurehead, being the incompetent fool he is. The stupid things he's done include leaving the coat hanger in his suit, giving up his power to "Santa", (who was really Zim in disguise) and trading the fate of a "crisis" for Ninja Star cookies, which he is exceedingly fond of.
- Nick (Jhonen Vasquez): Excessively happy human held captive by Zim for experimentation. His most notable feature is the enormous drill-like "happiness probe" in his head. He appears in "Zim Eats Waffles", "GIR Goes Crazy And Stuff" and "The Girl Who Cried Gnome". He is a parody of Nickelodeon, and is to make fun of Nickelodeon for wanting the show to be less dark and "happier".
- Sizz-Lorr (Jim Wise): Zim's chef boss who appears in one episode, "The Frycook What Came from All That Space". He kidnaps and takes Zim back into Shloogorgh's Flavor Monster on the planet Foodcourtia for leaving before the first episode, but Zim defeats him, by escaping from a massive amount of snacking and the gravity to prevent anyone from leaving there for 20 years.
- Bill (Adam Paul): Moronic paranormal investigator who believes that ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, and Bigfoot are fake, while cereal box characters such as Count Chocofang and Frankenchokey are real. Seen in "Career Day" and "The Sad, Sad Tale Of Chickenfoot".
- Mr. Elliot (Simon Scott Bullock): Gaz's teacher. Appears to have a positive outlook but is not revealed to have very much intelligence. Seen in "Gir Goes Crazy And Stuff", "Gaz, Taster of Pork", "Parent-Teacher Night", and was going to appear in the unfinished episode "Simon sez Doom".
- Iggins: Gaz's enemy. An obsessed video game nerd who was prominently featured in the episode "Game Slave 2." Iggins takes the last Game Slave 2 console, (and the American version of Vampire Piggy Hunter), thus incurring the wrath of Gaz, who sends him crashing down to earth in an elevator after reclaiming the Game Slave 2. Although it appears he is dead, Iggins bursts yelling his name forth from the wreckage at the very end of the episode. He is seen again in Walk For Your Lives, but has a non-speaking role. In the later episode he is seen getting arrested by a cop for just doing nothing and the cop appears to be angry.
- Peepi: The class hamster who was turned into a giant monster by Zim in "Hamstergeddon".