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20px-Cquote1.png That last piggy should've reduced him to nothing! What happened? Where did history go wrong?!

Invader Zim Episode
Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy
Title Card - Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy
Previous: Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain
Next: A Room with a Moose
Episode No: Episode 08b
Production No: 07b
Airdate: August 24, 2001
Writer(s): Eric Trueheart

"Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy" is the 2nd segment in the 8th episode of the first season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on August 24, 2001, on Nickelodeon.

Plot Summary[]

SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!

I'll Save You - Past Dib - Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy

Zim finally finishes one of his self-proclaimed brilliant inventions, a space-time object transfer device, by which he plans to send a giant robot back in time to finish Dib.

However, when the robot isn't compatible with the temporal field, he throws a rubber pig into the vortex instead, which turns out to be compatible, and causes Dib to crash his tricycle in the past.

Zim decides to send many more rubber pigs into Dib's past, which ultimately affect him in the future. Pigs are switched with a hover helmet, which causes an airborne Dib to crash all the way towards the sewer system, a video camera, which startles him and causes him to fall off a jungle gym, and an AED, which instead of restarting Dib's heart, ends up crushing his bones.

Rubber piggy 1

Zim then believes Dib to be dead, but Professor Membrane brings him back to life with a robotic suit. Unfortunately for Zim, the robotic suit turns out to be incredibly large and strong, which allows present Dib (who is extremely angry about ruining his childhood), to crash his way into Zim's Base, trying to get to Zim to enact his revenge.

Zim desperately throws more rubber pigs into the time machine, hoping that there's a point in the past where Dib is still vulnerable. But Zim only makes Professor Membrane add even more modifications to the suit in the past, and making it even more deadly.

Using the last piggy before Dib seemingly kills him with a punch on the face, Zim sends a note to himself in the past, warning him to not use the time machine. At the last second, everything returns to normal, except that the object the piggy replaced in the past was Zim's brain.

End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.

Facts of Doom[]

Cultural References[]

  • Professor Membrane's TV show, Probing the Membrane of Science, seems to parody real-life science educational TV programs such as Watch Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
  • When the kid on Professor Membrane's show asks his question, music very similar to the Jeopardy! theme plays.


  • Rubber Piggy
    JTHM, a comic also made by Jhonen Vasquez, might have inspired the episode's name. When Johnny decides to shoot himself to end his pain, his bunny nailed to the wall and odd pig toy begin trying to convince him that either he shouldn't or should do it. At one point, the exasperated pig yells "Bad, bad, lying bunny!".
  • Dib and Gaz's much younger selves appear in this episode. When she was younger, Gaz wore a bow in her hair and sounded much more girlish.
  • In the DVD commentaries, it's revealed that this episode takes place in Zim's "making stuff room" which was mentioned in the pilot.
  • This episode is one of the most popular due to its dark tone. It is also one of the darkest as Zim mercilessly tortured Dib physically and psychologically for years and takes sadistic joy in it. However, it was officially considered the darkest episode of the series.
  • This is the first episode of the show in which both Zim and GIR do not wear their disguises.
  • Technically Zim was successful in killing Dib even if temporarily, this would actually happen again and repeatedly throughout the course of The dookie loop horror final issue of the comic book series.
  • Zim writes the note on the piggy in all capital letters, consistent with how Irkens are stated to write things. However, he doesn't capitalize the "i" in his own name, despite the fact that his name is completely capitalized in the show's scripts and supposedly Irkens write in all caps.
  • At one point, GIR brings up the possible paradox inherent in Zim's plan to alter the past. Something similar later happens in Issue 12, when Dib brings up the same problem regarding Zim's fight with his future-self, Emperor Zim (as does Emperor Zim himself). In both cases, the concerns are brushed off.
  • The tricycle Dib is seen riding as a child is in the background of the garage scene from the Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus movie.
  • In the original plot outline for the episode, the second period of Dib's life altered by Zim was not him using a hover helmet. Instead, it was him going swimming in a lake, starting to drown, and being saved by a life preserver which ends up replaced by a pig.
  • In the Latin American version of the episode when Zim said that the “last piggy should have reduced Dib to nothing” he instead said that “that last piggy should have sent him to the next world”, suggesting that Irkens believe or at the very least are familiar with the concept of the afterlife.
  • Indirectly GIR was responsible for Dib’s pain as it was his rubber pig toys that made it possible for Zim to go on with his plan to try and erase Dib from existence.
  • The last time this episode (along with "Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain") aired on Nicktoons is October 29, 2016.

​Things You Might Have Missed[]

  • Cutephoto

    The photo moments before being destroyed.

    There is an instance of Bloody GIR as Zim throws the last piggy into the portal.
  • Even though Irkens do not associate crowns with royalty, Zim's diagram on his machine shows him wearing a golden crown on top of his head; this might suggest that Zim began to pick up on some of Earth's customs during this time.
  • Zim owned a small framed picture of himself and GIR, but it was unfortunately destroyed by Dib.

Changes and Cuts[]

  • During this episode's commentary on the DVD Doom Doom Doom, Jhonen states that the original idea was for Zim to kill Dib permanently in this episode. After Dib's death, he wanted to replace Dib with a joke character, Louie. Squee was also supposed to be an option. Nickelodeon didn't allow killing in a children's show, though.
    • However, Eric Trueheart would later explain in his book that this was a joke on Jhonen's part, and that there was never any serious consideration towards killing off Dib.

Inconsistencies and Animation Errors[]

Face pig cut

The pig that cuts into gir's face.

  • When Zim snatches the piggy from GIR, it's right there in plain sight. However, when the other piggies come from GIR's head, it disappears. It appears again when GIR is crying.

    Dib in his supersuit.

  • The gnomes in this episode are somewhat bigger than normal. They also disappear during one of the scenes and are replaced with a sign.
  • Before the first temporal change, Dib already has a metal claw, even though there was a flash afterwards to indicate the first change.
  • Once Dib falls off the tower in the past, there is an overhead shot of him on the ground and his cracked air tank above his head. Then the paramedics say "clear" and hit him with the pigs. In the very next shot, you see Dib and people standing over him but no air tank. The tank comes back on the next overhead shot.
  • In the scene where Breakfast Chunks change to Breakfast Squid, the image on the cereal box stays the same.
  • In the scene where piggies are shooting out of GIR's head, in a quick frame one appears to cut into his face.
  • When the gnomes are grabbing Dib by the end of the episode, in a quick moving frame, his nose dosen't appear until it shows his entire face.

See also[]