Almighty Tallest Red


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Homeworld Irk
Rank Almighty Tallest
Gender Male
Eye Color Red
Equipment The Massive
Affiliation(s) Irken Empire
Notable facts Red is one of the two current Irken leaders. The voice actor of Red, Wally Wingert, was originally cast to voice Tallest Purple.
First appearance The Nightmare Begins
Voice Actor(s) Wally Wingert (English)
Paco Mauri (Spanish)
Jan Spitzer (German)

Almighty Tallest Red is the co-ruler of the mighty Irken Empire alongside Almighty Tallest Purple. As their title suggests, Red and Purple oversee and dominate their species as they spread their reign across the universe.

Although they are nearly identical in appearance, their personalities are starkly different: When there is a crisis, Tallest Red is the most likely of the two to solve it. In terms of authority, however, both Red and Purple are little more than figureheads. The Control Brains hold all the real power; even the Tallest must accept their rulings.


Red overview

Red's design from the middle of the first season and onwards.

Along with Purple, Red's design and body structure is much different from that of a normal Irken: He has a slender build.

His arms end in unusually bulgy gauntlets, he has only two thin fingers (instead of the normal three for an Irken), and an unusually thin waist and neck.

His feet may also be different from that of an average Irken, but it is hard to tell since he is always levitating. This appears to be the case for all of the Tallest, as concept art of Almighty Tallest Miyuki and Almighty Tallest Spork showed them as having the same design.

Almighty Tallest Red Waves to You

Almighty Tallest Red in The Nightmare Begins

Both Tallest were re-designed in the middle of the first season; Jhonen Vasquez decided to make their torsos thinner, as well as other major updates to their suits and overall physical appearance.

This bizarre physical structure was implied by the Invader Zim crew to have been at least partially the result of surgical enhancement: they stated that all Tallest traditionally have their thumbs chopped off in a ceremony to show they can rule the Irken Empire with only two fingers (they also noted that the current Tallest would likely have foregone this procedure in favor of simply hiding their thumbs in their gauntlets). In the film, however, they were redesigned with hands more typical of the Irken species, complete with thumbs. The reason behind this change is currently unknown.

Before the middle of season one, Red sported a pink, purple, and white outfit instead of dark red, black, and gray-white, as well as pink eyes. The torso is also remarkably thicker. His PAK is also light gray with pink spots prior to the change, after which it is light gray with dark gray spots.


Shock from discovery

Red is seen snacking very frequently.

Red is considered the more serious and capable half of the Tallest, though he is still shown to be inept and unfocused. In "Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars", he tried to take control of the problem, whereas Purple opted to panic.

He is also more independent than his co-Tallest, as he is seen more often than not making crucial decisions for the Irken Empire, like choosing to change Invader Larb's mission from Blorch to Vort, deciding to turn the Slaughtering Rat People's homeworld into a Parking Structure Planet, deciding to send Invader Tenn the Megadoomer X-3 Combat Stealth Mech, and sent Zim far away to Earth, among other things.

Red has a tendency to punch or throw objects at Purple, seemingly without much forethought and simply for his own enjoyment. However, as shown in "The Nightmare Begins", there may be some functional purpose to this. He seems to enjoy playing the showman, dominating in speeches and asserting his role when Purple stops to take a pause. Whether for sheer self-gratification or the budding seeds of a power-complex, Red does continually physically assault his co-Tallest, however despite this, he and Purple do enjoy many of the same things; like eating snacks, tormenting others shorter individuals as well as other alien races, watching puppet shows, and ruling the Irken Empire.

Red casual after Purple is zapped in the eye by a laser.

While he enjoys the spotlight, he is not the most adept with wordcraft; in "The Nightmare Begins", he struggled to remember the word for the 'Armada' (opting to call it a "Big... Space Ship... Gang.") Furthermore, in "Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars", while seemingly aware of the general goings-on of the Massive, he ineloquently ordered for "some kind of... laser thingy..." to be fired.

This implies that Red may be absent minded at times or ironically maybe even lacks the vocabulary that the leader of the Irken race should have in order to lead his people, something that surprisingly Purple has no problem with as he is seen correcting Red in such rare cases of ineloquence.

Red is also generally more tolerant of Zim's shenanigans than Purple is, this can be as a result of the fact that he also has to deal with Purple who is also quite immature and therefore has a lot of experience dealing with people who are annoying.

Mad Red

Red displeased when Zim called them.

During Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, Red is shown to have forgotten about Zim since he didn't contact the Tallest for quite some time, and when he did call them, Red showed great frustration at seeing him alive.

Even when Zim tried to remember Phase 2 of his latest plan, Red shouted that they didn't care, showing that he still disregards Zim's efforts to please his leaders, having such a negative opinion of him that he thinks any plan Zim provides is doomed to fail.

Inexplicably towards the end of the movie, Red's personality shifted from being the smartest of the Tallest to being just as immature as Purple, as he not only refused to change course but also complained about how miserable he was now that Earth was in their flight path.

Horrified Tallest

Red and Purple are unhappy that now Earth is in their path.

In this, he was showing not only a refusal to change plans but also a disregard for the lives of everyone around him by the very obvious fact that they were endangering Operation Impending Doom II, since they were flying the Irken Armada not only in Zim's direction but also towards a Florpus Hole despite being told several times by the Comms Officer that it would doom them all.

Instead, he was more concerned about making sure they flew in a straight line because "turning isn't fun"; Red even went as far as to mock the officer childishly for not following orders, and in the end he simply cheered at the "crisis averted" when Earth was put back in its original orbit, ignoring the fact that they were flying towards their doom.

Role in Invader Zim

Main article: Almighty Tallest

Red enjoying his status.

Like Purple, Red has supposedly ultimate power. He and Purple are the ones who assigned the Invaders to their respective planets, sent Zim to his exile on Earth, and created GIR.

They oversee the progress of the Invaders on their mission planets, as well as the overall Irken grip in the universe. However, they are far less productive than would be expected, typically preferring to lounge around eating and soaking up the luxury of their positions. On the other hand, Operation Impending Doom II appears to be coming along quite well under their rulership.

Purple and Red laughing hysterically

Red and Purple laughing uncontrollably after hearing Zim's statements.

The cancelled episode "The Trial" would have revealed that Red and Purple have known Zim since childhood, and that they were in the same class in the Irken military academy on Devastis, subsequently becoming Irken Elites at the same time.

Despite Red's hatred for Zim, Tallest Red is more patient with him than Tallest Purple is, since in "Walk for Your Lives", despite saying he hates the Irken Defective and questions if they should inspect him, he still allowed Zim to try and amaze them with his "time stasis field." He was even patient enough to listen to Zim cry "MY TALLEST!" (the proper, respectful way to address the Tallest) for three hours straight waiting for them to respond, as seen in "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars".

Despite his general incompetence, both Purple and Red usually underestimate Zim; even though Zim is far away from Operation Impending Doom II, he still finds ways to ruin it. Sometimes other aliens (who are slaves to the Irkens) sabotage their operations, such as The Resisty.

Their hatred for Zim has led to their own disasters (even causing the Irken Empire to be endangered when Invader Tenn got malfunctioning SIR units instead of Zim, which caused Tenn to be held hostage by the Meekrob). In "Hobo 13", he was also shown to be a (slightly) better liar than Purple, managing to cover up Purple's multiple slips of the tongue without arousing Zim's suspicion.

Facts of Doom

  • Both Red and Purple received a major redesign after their first appearance; along with the more unusual body structure, Red's colour scheme was changed from pink and red to a darker red and black.
  • The voice of Almighty Tallest Red was done by Wally Wingert, who also did the voice of the Cluster Ambassador (who is also red-colored) in one episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot, another Nickelodeon series that was canceled. Wally also voices Renji Abarai in Bleach (who has red hair).
    • Wally was also the announcer on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He is well-known for voicing the Riddler in all the Batman Arkham games.
  • Since Red was the one to hastily make GIR in "The Nightmare Begins" one could technically say that he is the SIR Unit's father.
  • An Irken who looked similar to Red appeared in Jhonen Vasquez's comic, Squee.
  • Later in the series, the crew had Red be more of a commander, thus making him seem more intelligent than his counterpart.
  • He, along with Purple, were originally supposed to die in "Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars", but Jhonen Vasquez refused to let this happen. Given Jhonen's desire to kill off certain characters such as Iggins in "Game Slave 2" and Keef in "Bestest Friend" and "Return of Keef", to some this might sound surprising. But, on the other hand, he may have needed the Tallest for future episodes, such as the series finale, which is why he scrapped the idea. Wally Wingert himself pleaded to have them die, but he refused.
  • Red is never referred to by name in the actual show, he and Purple being collectively referred to as The Tallest by everybody else, despite the previous Tallests being referred to by name. As a result, both the fans and the Invader Zim production crew have taken to calling Red and Purple by these names. However, Purple's name was finally confirmed as such in the cancelled episode "The Trial" as well as in the beginning of Issue 4 of the comic series, implying that likewise, his partner's name is indeed Red.
  • In "Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars", before he finds out where the signal controlling the Massive comes from, it shows a side shot and also he appears to be standing instead of the usual levitating.
  • It's possible that Red and Purple are the first-ever co-rulers of Irk, since their predecessors, Miyuki and Spork, were both lone rulers. However, in their case, they had no consort.
  • Ironically, despite Zim's total obedience of them, Red and Purple are arguably bigger antagonists to Zim than Dib is.
  • In Zim's mind he believes that since they were all in the Academy together he thinks that the Tallest are his friends while in actuality they hate him.
  • According to Steve Ressel, if the Tallest were to tell Zim the truth about his mission, he wouldn't believe them since he is too arrogant.
  • Despite the fact that the Tallest presumably had their thumbs cut off, in the trailer for the upcoming special they have them again, though it has been implied that they have forgone this by simply hiding their thumbs inside their massive gauntlets.
  • Despite the fact that Red and Purple look like twins, they are not actually related, as Irkens don't have families. Their appearance may therefore be due to the Control Brains using random DNA to create them at the same time.
  • They may be older than Zim, due to the fact that they were most likely hatched before he plunged Irk into darkness for five years, on what became known as "Horrible Painful Overload Day."

See also

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