I was born with webbed fish toes. Like some kind of horrible fish-boy. Wanna see?Dirge
|Invader Zim Episode|
|Previous:||The Nightmare Begins|
|Episode No:||Episode 02a|
|Airdate:||April 13, 2001|
SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!
During lunch, Zim overhears Jessica talking at another lunch table. Wondering why Zim has no friends, she comments that having no friends is so "inhuman". Hearing this, Zim fears that his lack of friends will expose his identity as an alien, leading him to be captured by human scientists. Seeking to rectify this, he goes over to the "Rejects" table, and asks which of them wishes to be his best friend. After talking to a couple, he poses three challenges to the remaining children. He tests their absorbency, electro-conductivity, and issues a "final test" that includes a beaver and a toy taxi. What happened during this test is hidden from the audience, but evidently causes great pain, as the children Zim is testing are heard screaming during the procedure. After all the tests are concluded, Zim determines a red-haired child named Keef to be the winner, and thus dubs him his best friend.Following a bizarre montage of friend-filled weirdness, Zim dismisses Keef and states that he requires Keef's services no longer. Keef, however, fails to receive the message, and proceeds to stalk Zim. In a final attempt to rid himself of Keef after hearing of a surprise party Keef is throwing for him, Zim builds a "present" for Keef, which removes his eyes in a gruesome fashion and replaces them with new, artifical eyes. These new eyes have hypnotic properties, and Zim uses them to convince Keef that a territorial squirrel is him.
The episode closes with Keef falling off a rooftop and getting caught in a giant explosion, with GIR superimposed on the screen stirring his cake batter.
- Keef continually riding his bike in front of Zim's house is most likely an homage to the horror movies The Omen and The Shining.
- The picture that Keef draws of him and Zim is an homage to a painting entitled Madonna and Child, with Keef as the Virgin Mary and Zim as Baby Jesus. Specifically, an animator mixed elements of two Giovanni Bellini paintings, Madonna and Child (1480) (for the hand), and Madonna and Child with Saint Peter and Saint Sebastian (1487) (for the baby). The mixing of elements was likely done to avoid copyright issues.
- GIR's transformation into his dog costume may be an homage to Sailor Moon's first transformation, Moon Prism Power, as both go in loops. A quicker version occurs in "Tak: The Hideous New Girl", without the loops and dog bone background.
- When Zim's "present" removes Keef's eyes, it can only be seen as a shadow on the wall. The Invader Zim crew had to censor it with shadows, most likely because some viewers would find it too violent for a children's show.
- We find out in this episode that Zim can't draw very well. However, he drew the designs for his base pretty well in "The Nightmare Begins". He might've been pretending not to draw very well.
- This is the first time that all of GIR's teal components turned red as he went into "Duty Mode".
- Jhonen Vasquez repeatedly referred to this episode during Comic-Con 2005. He said, "Zim ripped a kid's eyes out of his screaming head and gave him new cooler, more high-tech eyes... That I would kill for!".
- Dib and Gaz (playing her Game Slave) only make unspeaking cameo appearances in the cafeteria.
- In the scene where Zim is imagining the whole population of Earth at his doorstep, you can see Jessica, even though she wanted no part in his "party".
- There was originally going to be a "sequel" to this episode, titled "Return of Keef", but it was never animated. The script exists, however, and voices were recorded.
- Keef has normal eyes in every other episode with him, despite the fact that his eyes looked different in this episode. It might be possible if Zim gave his eyes back after the episode.
- This is the first 11-minute episode.
Changes and Cuts
- In the DVD commentary, it was stated that Jhonen Vasquez wanted a blood splatter on the wall in the "Taxi and Beaver" scene after Gretchen and Melvin are charred and blackened, possibly as a reference to his previous comic book Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Of course, parents' complaints and Nickelodeon itself forbade him from using it.
- The title was in the squiggly Invader Zim font instead of the "Invader" one. It is the first episode to have this.
- When Keef is attacked by the squirrel and falls off a building, he was originally supposed to either fall onto a telephone wire and get electrocuted to death or get crushed by a car tire. Nickelodeon and some parents objected to Jhonen Vasquez's ideas and demanded a change.
- In fact, the reason why Keef says "You don't like waffles?" after falling off the building is to show that he isn't dead.
- GIR was originally going to be featured faded following Keef's fall at the episode's end. His appearance, however, was ultimately cut because the crew didn't found any funny line for him.
- This episode was originally set to air with "Dark Harvest", but they were deemed "too twisted" to be aired together. So instead, this episode aired with "NanoZIM". These two air together in other countries such as Australia.
Inconsistencies and Animation Errors
- Melvin originally throws away his party invitation, but still goes to the party anyway, though he disappears during one of the later scenes at the party.
- While Zim is jumping on the table from the peas, Zim's pants turn pink for about a second. They turn black before he stops flopping around, however.
- When GIR goes into Duty Mode, only his eyes turn red, like in "The Nightmare Begins". However, in the very next scene, all the cyan parts of his body turn red.
- Dark Daydream
- Is played as Jessica's voice echoes "Inhuman, inhuman, inhuman...." and ends when Zim approaches the reject table.
- Bestest Friends
- Plays during the friendship montage.
- Bike Stalker
- Plays while Keef is riding his bike past Zim's House.
- Party Favors
- Is played when GIR walks past Zim with the bag filled with party stuff.
- Carnival Nightmares
- Starts playing when Zim says "Humans and their fffilthy friendship. It brings nothing but trouble. I can see them now..." and ends after Zim's daydream.
- They're Coming
- Plays while Zim, Keef, and GIR are screaming in slow motion, and while Zim is holding Keef's "present" and laughing maniacally.
- New Eyes
- Starts when Keef opens up his "present".