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20px-Cquote1.png That one's got head pigeons, the other one is just annoying. Fix it!
Ms. Bitters

Invader Zim Episode
Dark Harvest
Title 04b.png
Previous: Germs
Next: Attack of the Saucer Morons
Episode No: Episode 04
Production No: 02B
Airdate: April 20, 2001
Writer(s): Eric Trueheart
Rob Hummel

"Dark Harvest" is the 2nd segment in the 4th episode of the first season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on April 20, 2001, on Nickelodeon.

Plot Summary

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

One day at Skool, Dib decides to scan Zim with his brand-new X-Scope. What he finds is incredible: none of Zim's organs bear any resemblance to those of humans.

Fat Zim (Dark Harvest).png

Later in Ms. Bitters' classroom, when Zim gets Head Pigeons, Dib realizes that when the nurse examines him, she will quickly discover his alien nature. However, when Dib blurts this to Zim, the Irken decides that, in order to appear more human, he must obtain human organs.

Meanwhile, Dib decides to get to the nurse's office to ensure that things turn out the way he hoped; he does so by jamming a pencil up his nose, and claiming to Ms. Bitters that it has lodged itself in his brain. She acquiesces, but forces him to take the auxiliary Hall Pass - a radiator.

Dark harvest 2.jpg

However, when Dib finally reaches the nurse's office, Zim is nowhere in sight. He asks the secretary if she saw a green-skinned child enter the office, and she points toward the hall monitor, who is sitting in one of the chairs doubled up in pain and mumbling "the cooing..." over and over again. Dib quickly uses his X-Scope on the monitor, and discovers that one of his organs has been replaced with Zim's Hall Pass.

Dib realizes that Zim has started going around the Skool, ambushing unsuspecting skoolchildren and using a device in his PAK to steal their organs and replace them with various objects. One student that doesn't seem to care is Gaz, who had one of her organs replaced with her Game Slave; as a result, glowing lights appear on her midsection.

Dib quickly teams up with Torque Smackey, the only other kid who has not been caught, and tries to protect him from Zim's gruesome harvest. He eventually fails, however, as he turns away for one second, and Torque is gone. Dib realizes that he is the only one left, and a mysterious cooing sound is growing ever nearer...

Zim pursues Dib throughout the Skool, into its very depths. Unfortunately, Zim finally corners him, and replaces one of his organs with a mooing sound can.


Ultimately, Zim's plan is a success: He manages to fool the Skool nurse, who proclaims him to be "perfectly healthy... with such plentiful organs." Dib, however, isn't so lucky: the organ replacement causes him to produce a mooing sound whenever he exhales, and this causes the nurse to scream that he is not human.

The incident makes the front page in newspapers everywhere, with the headline proclaiming: "Hideous Mooing Cyborg Boy Found!"

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

Facts of Doom

Cultural References


  • This is considered to be the darkest Invader Zim episode.
  • This episode further expands and focuses on the school's pathetic health system.
  • In production order, this is the first time Zim's plan worked while Dib's plan failed. However, in aired order, this is the second time (the first aired episode was "Parent Teacher Night").
  • Gaz didn't get upset that Zim took her organs, likely only because she was still able to play her Game Slave, and was 'in the zone'. Alternatively, the Game Slave also was her organ. However, because of the fact that the show has a floating timeline, the issue is never addressed again in any future episode.
  • This episode is thought to be one of the reasons for Invader Zim's cancellation, as it was referenced by Scott Dyleski who had carved out his victim's organs. During his trial, he stated that he got the idea from Invader Zim.
  • This episode is the first on which Zim's Base hasn't appeared nor is mentioned.
  • DibGarbage1.png
    This episode is the sixth to use the squiggly Invader Zim font instead of the official Invader ZIM font.
  • This marks the first episode (in both production and air order) in which GIR doesn't appear.
  • The Head Pigeon was seen in the background during a shot shown in the Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus! teaser trailer.

Changes & Cuts

  • It was originally supposed to be called The Hearts and Lungs of Zim's Darkness.[1]
  • This episode was originally going to be aired with "Bestest Friend" but was deemed "too twisted" to air together. Instead, "NanoZIM" was aired with "Bestest Friend" and "Germs" was aired with this episode. Though, "Bestest Friend" and this episode are both known for their dark storyline to one another.

Things You Might Have Missed

A picture of Zim's insides.

  • When Dib is looking for a place to run, you can see an arrow on the wall by the vent that says JV, the initials of the creator of the series. It also might mean that he, himself, is in that air vent.
  • Keef can be seen in the cafeteria, sitting beside Gaz.
  • After Dib finds out about Zim's "organ" and listen very close you can hear in the background Zim yelling "HEY!" repeatedly and then shouts "I AM ZIM!".
  • While you can see an X-Ray image of Zim's body, apparently his bones fit the shape of his gloves.
  • On the first shot of the mammoth in the chase, there is a Bloody GIR on the mammoth's right tusk.

Inconsistencies and Animation Errors

  • Amongst the sick students in the cafeteria, you can see Zootch, the kid with one strand of hair. However, when Dib goes over to Torque, you can see Zootch over against the wall near Torque's table looking just fine, despite the fact that he was seen being in pain just moments earlier.
  • When Zim gets hit with the dodgeball, right before he says, "Ow, my Squeedily Spooch!", he has a nose.
  • When Dib sees Gaz in the cafeteria, her entire body is green, in the next instance, she is only green from the neck down, in the next instance, she is fully green again.
  • When Dib was drawing Zim on a autopsy table with his organs spilled out, shocking the doctor and nurse, how is it colored when he only has pencils to work with?


Main article: The Kevin Manthei Invader Zim-phony Special
  • Happy Day
    • Plays in the beginning when the dodgeball is being thrown.
  • First Donor
    • Plays as Zim leaves to go to the skool nurse and steals his first of many organs.
  • The Cooing
    • Plays when Dib discovers that Zim has stolen the hall monitors organs.
  • Harvester Zim
    • Plays in the skool cafeteria
  • Horror Chase
    • Plays when Zim is chasing down Dib for his lungs.
  • Headlines
    • Plays at the very end of the episode.

See also