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20px-Cquote1.png People of Earth, prepare to taste the mighty foot of my planet!

Invader Zim Episode
Battle of the Planets
Battle of the Planets (Title Card).png
Previous: Game Slave 2
Next: Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom
Episode No: Episode 13
Production No: 13
Airdate: April 5, 2002
Writer(s): Jhonen Vasquez

"Battle of the Planets" is the 13th episode of the first season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on April 5, 2002, on Nickelodeon.

Plot Summary

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

Get of my head GIR.

Following Invader protocol, Zim sends out space probes to the planet Mars to see if it has any potential use for the Irken Empire. When his probes bring back images of artificial-looking structures, he flies the Voot Cruiser to Mars with GIR in order to figure out what wiped out the "Marsoids" who built them, and determine whether it can be used by Zim to destroy Earth.

After investigating, Zim stumbles upon a structure known as the Face on Mars, which turns out to be the control interface for Mars itself, which the Martians had converted into a giant spaceship, which ultimately resulted in their extinction. After noting how his own people could cheer for him, Zim decides to use Mars to crush out life on Earth. Meanwhile, he calls the Almighty Tallest regularly to fill them in on his plan while the Tallest are busy performing the Organic Sweep on planet Blorch (which includes launching Invader Skoodge, the Invader who conquered Blorch, out of a cannon instead of Skoodge initiating the launch himself). Zim contacts the Tallest and informs them, and the Planetary Conversion Team, of his plan, and the Irkens cheer for Zim and his efforts, only for the Tallests' praise to turn to derisive laughter after Zim signs out (the other Irkens are, surprisingly, still cheering).

Skoodge is about to be launched.

However, Zim's plan is discovered by Dib, who has been monitoring the Mars probe video feed on his computer. Upon discovering that Zim has taken control of Mars and begun flying it toward Earth, Dib rushes to NASAPlace in an attempt to alert the authorities. However, his efforts prove fruitless: Not only do NASAPlace's employees (having had several encounters with Dib in the past) refuse to accept his words, but he is also unable to direct their attention to their own camera feeds of Mars' surface (since they have been prohibited from even looking at the feed after not having received funding).

Fortunately, a mysterious janitor at NASAPlace approaches Dib as he leaves, and offers to help him defend Earth. The janitor reveals that, prior to converting Mars into a spaceship, the Martians converted another planet: Mercury. In order to reach Mercury, the janitor allows Dib to pilot an old rocket from the days when NASA launched monkeys into space. Right as Dib is about to take off for Mercury, the janitor finally reveals himself as a fellow member of the Swollen Eyeball Network.

Zim vs Dib.

Meanwhile, Zim and GIR are on their way to crash but Zim is annoyed that he's not heading towards Earth fas enough until he finds some boosters, much to his delight which makes him, GIR and the Holographic Martian laugh at Earth's doom Dib makes it past them and Zim temporarily thinks he heard him until he brushes the idea away thinking Dib couldn't make it tp space, much to his chagrin just as they're about to start squishing all life on Earth, Dib (now at the helm of Mercury) knocks the Irken off-course, and the battle of the planets finally begins. The battle takes them to the Sun, then to Saturn, but Dib and Zim are evenly matched for most of the fight.

The Tallest laughing, unaware Mars destroyed part of their Armada.

In the end, neither Zim nor Dib are the victor; As Zim tries to lose Dib in the asteroid belt, but Dib doesn't follow (thinking that going into an asteroid belt is "just stupid"), thus Zim is rewarded for his rash actions by getting pummeled by asteroids, as for Dib, he would have succeeded in exposing Zim during the battle, but the video cameras he was using to record it were stolen by GIR.

Zim calls the Tallest later to tell them he wanted to do a warm-up before he conquers Earth, calling himself an "unstoppable death machine". This brings gales of laughter erupting from the Tallest and other Irkens, which in turn made them unaware that Mars flew by, destroying a significant amount of the Armada in the process.

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

Facts of Doom

Cultural References


  • This is the first half hour episode of the series in which both Zim or GIR do not wear their disguises.
  • This episode marks the first and only time that a Swollen Eyeball agent's real identity was revealed: Agent Darkbootie, who works as a janitor at NASAPlace.
  • Gaz's voice was heard in this episode, but she wasn't physically seen. Similarly to what happened in "Planet Jackers" as she again insulted Dib.
  • This is also the second time we see Zim in his space suit. The only other time in the series was in "Planet Jackers" and later in Issue 9.
  • "Game Slave 2" may have foreshadowed Blorch's fate, as the Rat People, who are very similar to the Slaughtering Rat People, were also doomed by a parking lot.
  • This episode is a favorite of Nickelodeon's, because it actually helps the plot along, unlike other episodes.
  • In one scene, both Almighty Tallest Red and Purple talked and laughed about the time when Zim called being covered in meat. This could be a reference to one of the previous episodes entitled "Germs", as was shown to the viewers that Zim came to school covered in meat at the end of that episode. However, Red says that the meat fused into Zim's skin and he almost went blind, which must have happened off-screen. This could mean that the Tallest appear to be watching his missions without Zim noticing himself.
  • This episode utilizes semi-3D animation more than any other episode.
  • This is the second episode where Skoodge makes an appearance before series cancellation. The third and final time would be "Hobo 13"
  • The audio from scene where Courtney Lilly is almost crushed by Mars was popular as a voice meme on Flipnote Hatena when it was active.
  • Despite Courtney Lilly making an animated cameo as the screaming man holding the Poop Cola can, Jhonen Vasquez provided the screaming, and it was done in one take.
  • This episode is listed as "Battle of the Planets of Doom" on Amazon Video.
  • This episode was referenced in Issue 25 by Fitzoo-Menga.
  • This is the first time that the Irkens cheer for Zim, the second is in "Hobo 13" (the game Nicktoons MLB does not count as it is non-canon).

Changes & Cuts

  • This episode was originally planned to be the season one finale, though Nickelodeon later expanded the season order, making "Tak: The Hideous New Girl" the season finale.
  • According to the interview with the crew, there was going to be a scene where the face of Mars and the Butt of Mercury were going to be "face to face" but was cut at Nickelodeon's request.
  • The storyboards show Mars crushing a flying plane as it enters Earth's atmosphere, but this is absent from the final animation.

Things You Might Have Missed

  • As the Tallest are launching the organic sweep on Blorch, you can see one of the Rat People about to eat a rabbit-like creature.
  • When the Tallest initiate the Organic Sweep, the Shuvvers laser the Irken symbol onto Blorch.
  • When they re-enter earth's atmosphere, GIR can be seen roasting a hot dog, as if the heat from the atmosphere is a campfire.
  • Mars can be seen approaching Earth when Dib's rocket splits.
  • When Skoodge gets launched onto Blorch, the Shuvvers in the background are black with red "eyes", instead of being purple with yellow-green "eyes".
  • Two Bloody GIRs are seen in this episode; one on the bottom right corner of GIR's sand face, before he puts the eyes on it, and the other on Professor Membrane's most visible foot when Dib is talking to him on his desk.

Inconsistencies and Animation Errors

  • When Zim drives Mars after activating the thrusters and after the scene where everybody was screaming, Zim was eating a sandwich with a Irken insignia on it. However, in the next scene, GIR had the sandwich, without the insignia on it.
  • During the scene where GIR goes to Mercury to mess with Dib, the face on Dib's shirt is missing.(also in this scene GIRs antenna changes colors twice. It turns teal after being red then turns back to red and then back to teal.)
  • When Zim launches Mars' moons (Phobos and Deimos) at Mercury, it causes a crater to appear on the front of the planet. However, the crater disappears after a few scenes.
  • Dib's rocket broke into separate parts when it flew by Zim, though it appeared to be connected together when Dib was seen on Mercury after Zim says, "You horrible interfering Dib!".
  • When Dib is flying past Zim, headed to Mercury, he appears as if he is going in the wrong direction; however, since the planets are often in varying orbits, he may have had to pass Mars to get to Mercury.
  • When Zim contacts the Almighty Tallest in his bear suit, his eyes become crooked for a moment.
  • Although it took Zim a while to get to Earth, during the battle both Dib and Zim went out as far as Saturn in no time at all. However, Zim was going at full throttle and with the boosters on during the battle, so this could be possible.
  • In the episode, Mercury was colored grey even though the planet is brown.
  • It was impossible for GIR to take Dib's cameras; The cameras can still be seen after GIR flies away from Mercury, yet they are gone later, this suggest that GIR took the cameras off-screen.
  • When Zim first takes off the hood to the bear suit, his antennae are green like his skin, not black.
  • If you watch carefully, you can see Zim's PAK disappear for a moment when he is getting the data from the Mars probe.
  • When the face of Mars is transforming and GIR falls in, when Zim yells, "GIR!", his tongue is orange, the same color as the sky.
  • When Zim is wearing the bear suit he goes down a tube, but when he exits it the bear suit is gone.

See also