| Who did this? Who dares to soil my normal-boy head with this... pork cow?!|
|Invader Zim Episode|
|Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom|
|Previous:||GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff|
|Next:||Tak: The Hideous New Girl|
|Episode No:||Episode 19b|
|Airdate:||May 24, 2002|
|Writer(s):|| Jhonen Vasquez|
SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!
While at Skool one day, Zim throws another fit about the lunch food. Dib, tired of letting Zim get away with his "things he do", throws a muffin at him, which causes Zim to run out of the lunch room. That night, a pair of Meekrob come to Dib in his sleep and grant him marvelous superpowers before lulling him back to sleep, which Dib decides to use the next morning to put an end to Zim once and for all.
When Dib manages to suppress Zim with ease, he decides to use his power for the greater good. Dib starts to live out the wonderful life he always dreamed of... perhaps too wonderful. He succeeds in proving that both ghosts and lake monsters are real.
His exploits climax in saving the world when the Irken fleet invade to destroy Earth. It's eventually discovered in a interview with Alan that it was a scheme by Zim to find out who threw the muffin at his head using a Virtual Reality chamber. Dejected, Dib walks out, but a cannon blocks his way and, as Zim's final revenge, it shoots a muffin at his head.
End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.
Facts of Doom
- The episode's title and plot are a parody of the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.
- When they first show Dib in his spaceship, the shot of him is virtually the same as Guld Goa Bowman from the anime OVA Macross Plus.
- The alien race in this episode is called the Meekrob. Meekrob is the name of a Thai dish that Fillerbunny had to eat in Jhonen Vasquez's comic book of the same name. When translated, Meekrob means "crispy noodle".
- The opening scene, where the lunch food invades a kid's eyes, is an obvious nod to the Black Oil from The X-Files.
- Just after the TV studio audience turns into Irkens, there is a scene with Dib in a chair in the middle of a large egg-shaped room. This is a visual nod to the last shot in the 1985 film Brazil, where the main character is strapped into a chair in the torture chamber.
- The scene where the Massive crashes into the desert is similar to the end of Independence Day.
- Throughout this episode are various telltale hints that the events unfolding weren’t real:
- 1. First of all, the Meekrob who came to Earth to help Dib wouldn’t have really done such because nobody (except for the Tallest and the Irken Armada) knows that Zim is on Earth, let alone that he isn’t a real Invader. It was once claimed that there was a plot where Dib would have become the Ambassador to the Meekrob in the untitled season two finale, but that was later confirmed non canon.
- 2. Also, Dream-Zim warns Dib of the arrival of the Irken fleet, but Earth was never actually marked for conquest by the Tallest yet. Still, Zim thinks it is marked for conquest, so his false belief was projected into the illusion. However, to confuse even more, the series' creator stated that while Zim's mission is actually an exile, it was still filed by the Irken Control Brains as a possible planet for conquest that is being infiltrated by an exile, meaning that in a way Zim is an Invader and that his people are giving him more chances to prove himself. Knowing that all of these events we are shown of Dib's life are dreamlike illusions projected by Zim, makes certain lines between Zim and Dib make more sense.
- 3. When the Massive's side pods rupture, Tallest Red is the one who freaks out, while in reality Tallest Purple is the one more likely to lose his head, first. However, it's possible that the loss of his snacks are Red's "weak spot". Despite this, Tallest Purple appears completely calm during Red's freakout, further adding to the confusion.
- 4. When Dib arrived at Zim's house, Zim gave up much too easily which would most likely not happen.
- 5. Gaz wouldn't apologize to Dib the way she did in the illusion, at least not willingly. It's also unlikely that she would join up in her brother's efforts (as shown during the scene where the institute is given its grand opening); with the exception of Enter the Florpus, she never canonically shows any care for him or his interests.
- 6. The Meekrob and Alan had similar voices, hinting that Zim was recycling audio for the illusion.
- This episode marks the only appearance of the Meekrob before the TV series cancellation. They were supposedly going to appear in the series' finale "Invader Dib", but Eric Trueheart claims that that episode was never actually considered, so any plot details are internet rumors.
- The Meekrob demonstrate the ability to cast a sleeping spell in this episode; it is demonstrated on Dib. Whether this have a natural affinity for such magics is unknown.
- Melissa Fahn, Gaz's voice actress, was eating and spitting Triscuits in the recording room for the scene with Gaz and her toast.
- We learn that Dib sometimes sleeps with his blanket around his head, talks in his sleep, and even wiggles.
- This episode makes it clear that Zim knows Dib pretty well.
- Dib is seen to have presumably dated 3 girls in his illusion, but his girlfriends may not have actually existed as real characters.
- In a bitter sense, this episode also shows that maybe for the first time in his life, Dib was actually happy as he received the praise and recognition in the illusion he had been craving for all his life.
- Zim would eventually carry out a plot similar to the one in this episode, albeit for rather different motives, in Issue 37 of the comic series.
Changes & Cuts
- The title of this episode was originally supposed to be The Happy Smiley Dib Show, a reference to the film The Truman Show, which has some plot similarities.
- According to the DVD commentaries, there was supposed to be a song in this episode, but apparently Andy Berman couldn't sing, unlike Richard, Melissa, and Rikki. But he was actually singing in Enter the Florpus in one scene where Dib is jamming to the music in Tak’s Ship to go save Professor Membrane.
Things You Might Have Missed
- At the beginning of the episode, just before the food splashes into the kid's eye, you can see a child with a sword on his belt standing in line.
- An adolescent version of Gaz was planned to appear in one of the scenes, next to an adolescent version of Dib, but then this was removed. Later it was added again, but is only seen as a cameo. This grown-up version of Gazlene still wears her skull necklace, however.
- We see the “Property of Earth” satellite in this episode, which would appear again in the episode "Tak: The Hideous New Girl". It can be seen for a brief moment as Dib's team goes after the Massive, before it's destroyed by an Irken ship. This satellite is also seen in "Bloaty's Pizza Hog".
- When Dib destroys the tree with lightning, play the scene frame by frame: Professor Membrane is hidden in the smoke.
- If you look hard enough, when Dib destroys a ship in the Armada, what appears to be a LEGO brick comes at the screen.
- When Zim's standing on the table yelling and you see it from the crowd's point of view, you can see a kid with orange-ish hair who doesn't have pants on.
- When Dib goes to talk to Zim after he's been captured, you can see Zim is reading a book right before Dib fully opens the door.
- You can also see that his arm falls off mid-conversation.
Inconsistencies and Animation Errors
- When GIR explodes, Zim's PAK is not there, even though Irkens can only survive 10 minutes without their PAKs. In one or two scenes, it's just an outline.
- When Gaz says "Actually, that was kind of funny.", her legs are gone.