Dib Membrane

Dib by rondex

Dib etfmov.transparent

Homeworld Earth
Gender Male
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Brown
Affiliation(s) The Swollen Eyeball Network
First Appearance The Nightmare Begins
Voice Actor Andy Berman

Dib Membrane is an eccentric young boy who is obsessed with the paranormal. He is the brother of Gaz Membrane and the son of Professor Membrane, as well as Zim's greatest nemesis on Earth. Self proclaimed "defender of earth", he attends skool with Zim and is determined to stop him from conquering Earth and expose him as an alien, though almost nobody believes him. He is highly unpopular at school and at home for his said obsession with the paranormal, and is often dismissed as "crazy" or "insane". Though the antagonist of the series, Dib is by no means a truly bad or evil person. His intention to protect the Earth from Zim’s schemes actually paints him as a somewhat heroic character. However, he has shown signs of selfishness, such as dreaming of dissecting Zim for fame and lack of compassion for others. Also, since Zim is considered incompetent at his mission, this usually leads to pointless encounters between the two where neither actually advance towards their goal or endgame. In Issue 0 of the Invader Zim comic "TruthShrieker", it is confirmed that Dib's (and Gaz's) last name is "Membrane". He is the author of an article about Zim's mysterious disappearance, and the article is by "Dib Membrane". The surname was concreted again when it was quoted in Issue 5. However, before it was confirmed in the comics, the surname was previously mentioned on an entry of Jhonen Vasquez's blog published on March 7, 2010 that was overlooked.[1]


Dib is around 11-13 Earth years old (during seasons 1–2, including the unfinished episodes)[2] and resembles his father Professor Membrane. Both have black, scythe-like hair; in "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom", Dib's got more jagged and bigger with age. Many people claim that Dib's head is big, a running gag in the show, but it's not visibly bigger. The redesign process God Save the Dib, however, actually gave him a bigger head.
Screen Shot 2012-08-04 at 4.07.32 PM

His hair spike seems to be solid, and retains its shape even when getting wet. It took a water balloon of ridiculous proportions dropped from Earth's orbit and a second normal water balloon in order to get it to bend, as seen in "The Wettening". Dib seems to be able to zip-line with his hair spike (using the spike as the runners), as seen in "Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars" and Issue 17. Likewise, it seems solid enough to punch through a brick wall like any part of his body if Dib is flung hard enough, as seen in "Mortos der Soulstealer". He wears a pair of round glasses and a trademark black trench coat along with a blue shirt with an unsmiling grey face on it, pulled directly from Squee!, in which the main character, Todd, also known as Squee, wears exactly the same shirt. In some of the comics, the gray face on his shirt is replaced by a ghost.


Dibs 1

Dib and his "future self".

Dib is separated from the rest of his peers by his exceptional intelligence and determination. Also, Dib continues to seek out the paranormal despite the considerable ridicule he receives from both peers and family. He considers himself to be the sole defender of Earth against Zim's plans of conquest, and rightly so; he is in fact the only one who knows and cares that Zim is an Irken Invader bent on world destruction.

Dib in Enter the Florpus

When Zim first landed on Earth, Dib was initially shown to be more antagonistic, obsessed, and desperate, making it his sole goal in life to expose Zim as an alien by any means necessary. However, he eventually realized that any efforts to reveal Zim would be wasted on his oblivious peers, and Dib eventually lost his obsessive, desperate edge, becoming a more humorous and more sympathetic character overall. Dib shares his father's scientific and technological prowess, with skills that far exceed the average human being: He has been known to created advanced technology entirely from scratch (for example, an advanced water balloon-launching apparatus). These skills aren't limited to just Earth-based technology, either; Dib has on multiple occasions proven a keen understanding of Irken technology as well, whether it be hacking into Zim's base, reverse-engineering a rogue Invader's crashed vessel or remotely flying the Irken flagship itself.


Past with Mysterious Mysteries

Dib is also obsessed with his favourite television show, Mysterious Mysteries. He even got to make an appearance on the show in the episode "Mysterious Mysteries" (though he has evidently appeared on it before; that occasion resulted in the host of the show somehow acquiring a scar on his face, though how is unknown). He tried to prove that Zim is an alien on that episode, but the host concluded that he was crazy. He also concluded that GIR was "definitely crazy" and that, while he felt bad for the "green kid" but states that there was probably a good chance that he was also crazy... but not an alien.

Role in Invader Zim

Dib 2

Even though he's antagonistic towards Zim (who's interpreted as an anti-hero), Dib can be considered a hero. This means that while he's technically a hero, he's considered to be an antagonist in Zim's point of view. He's declared himself "Sole Defender of Earth", and is there to thwart Zim's plans, but the two have teamed up on more than one occasion when it benefits them both (such as in "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom" or in "Bolognius Maximus").


Crazy bucket

Dib in a "Crazy Bucket"

Dib is often called "crazy" or "insane" and is constantly mocked for his theories. He even got put in a "Crazy Bucket", a possible alternative to a straitjacket. Overall, most of his classmates try to ignore him. Dib is also known by NASAPlace and even the FBI for his paranormal-related antics. He's been on the front page of the newspaper twice (shown in "Dark Harvest" and "Mortos der Soulstealer"), so it is likely that a good deal of the city is aware of the trouble he frequently ends up in.


Dib- Earth's Hero-0

Dib; self proclaimed "Defender of Earth."

He believes Zim and GIR are the "bad guys", while he and Gaz are the "good guys" who are Earth's last hope against the coming alien invaders. He makes every effort to stop the two at every possible turn (although he tends to disregard GIR). This often leads to increased social difficulties at Skool, as they are constantly making a scene in class or in the cafeteria. While trying to expose Zim in front of his peers, Dib actually only damaged his own reputation even further as the rest of the skoolchildren think of him as a "crazy boy" which ironically helps Zim fool everyone into making Dib look like the "bad guy."

As Agent Mothman

Agent Mothman is Dib's secret agent name for The Swollen Eyeball Network. It is unknown how long he has been a part of the network, but all the other operatives seem to know who he is and his reputation for being crazy. Dib seems on better terms, however, with Agent Darkbootie. Darkbootie has helped Dib at least once in "Battle of the Planets," and gave him a chance to present the Network with all of his findings on Zim in "Battle-Dib." Dib is also less ridiculed by Agent Tunaghost, who helped him in "Gaz, Taster of Pork." The rest of the agents either find him annoying, crazy, or a disgrace to the Network.

"Head" Gag

Dib's giant head!

Dib's giant head!

Repeated cracks about the size of Dib's head have been made ever since a line of GIR's in "Door to Door" ("Whyyy is his heeead so biiig?"). Since this episode, jokes about Dib's head have been made in just about every episode:

  • In "Battle of the Planets", Professor Membrane said that Dib has been monitoring Mars since he was a baby with an "ENORMOUS HEAD!"
  • In "Future Dib", when the robot gnomes shoved him in the cage, his head didn't quite fit.
  • In "Tak: The Hideous New Girl", Invader Zim said that "Despite his large head, the Dib-monkey is quite stupid." Dib protested against this, but Zim didn't catch it.
  • In "Gaz, Taster of Pork", the Mysterious Mysteries anchor described him as a boy with "the largest head", accompanied by a picture of Dib's head that is captioned with "Still growing?". Later, when Dib was going through a list of spells on his Spelldrive, he said, "Too bad, a smaller head would be cool."
  • In "Mysterious Mysteries", one of Dib's classmates asked: "What's up with his head?" (which was ironic, considering the bizarre knot that is located on that particular student's forehead). The anchor in "Gaz, Taster of Pork" also described him as a boy with a "horribly large head", and Dib's introductory slide captioned him as a "large-headed believer".
  • In "Backseat Drivers From Beyond the Stars", Zim said, "...And to make it even sweeter, I'll land the
    Zim dib and dwicky 1

    Dib's height, head included.

    Massive right on top of your landing-pad-size monster of a head which is disturbingly large!". Dib ran away screaming while saying, "Quit making fun of my head!"
  • In "Walk for Your Lives", when Dib fell out of Zim's garbage chute and into a neighbor's lap, she said, "Hey, look at that! It's one of them big-head boys!"
  • In "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom", the (nonexistent) Meekrob told Dib that "no one else had a head large enough to accommodate so much power."
  • Also in "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom", Gaz asked him, "Why do you have to have a head?"
  • In "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom", numerous cracks were made about Dib's Head. The nightmare version of himself even told him his head is big, to which Dib replied, "My head's not big! Why does everyone say that?". Later, when a trick-or-treater shouted "Trick or treat!", Dib randomly shouted out, "My head's not big!" Finally, toward the climax of the episode, he appeared to have begun to accept his head's size, thinking, "maybe my head IS big..."
  • In "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff", GIR's field of vision described the Dib hologram as "Big Head Boy."
  • In "Vindicated!", Invader Zim was shown to be thinking ". . . It's the size of a hippo, that head."
  • In "The Voting of the Doomed", Zim brought up Dib's head as part of his campaign, saying "Just what does [Willy] plan on doing about the size of Dib's giant head?"
  • In "The Sad, Sad Tale of Chickenfoot", a foreign ambassador asked the Professor, "Who is the big-headed boy?".
  • In "The Frycook What Came from All That Space", Tallest Purple asked "Who's that large-headed kid?" when Dib called them.
  • The head gag would return in Issue 8 of the comic series, when Groyna questions why Dib's head is as big as a turkey, trying to push him through a vent. Later in the issue, Ubertrouser mistakes Dib as the leader of Earth, believing that Earth's leader is the one with the largest head.
  • In Issue 9, Dib posts a video of Zim on the TruthShrieker Forums, getting negative feedback, with one of the comments saying that Dib's giant head is slowing his/her internet speed down.
  • In Issue 17, Zim comments that humans lack the technology to make a hat big enough to fit on Dib's head. Later, he tells a (clearly false) story about a time Dib's head grew so big it blocked out the sun, and Zim had to change the Earth's rotation to fix the problem. Later still, Dib finishes his own story of saving the world and capturing Zim by stating that everyone loved him and never made fun of his head again.
  • In Issue 29, when Fizzmitz is beginning to explain the true origin of Poop Cola to Dib, he calls him "little large-head".
  • In Issue 30, when Dib is late to joining Poopwatch's assault on Nightnubs' lair, one of the wizards tells Fizzmitz that they can't "trust a kid with a head that big".
  • In Issue 33, upon being apprehended upon breaking into the Conglamo factory, Dib is referred to as a "large-headed kid" by one of the security guards.
  • Dib doesn't appear in Issue 36, but is mentioned by Recap Kid, who comments that if they dressed up in a Dib costume they'd have to give it a "big round head".
  • In Issue 37, a trophy for "Largest Head" can be seen in Dib's room. And during his presentation in class, Zim makes repeated reference to Dib's big head.
  • In Issue 38, the fact that the head of GIR's Dib costume is so big is used as proof that he's the real Dib.
  • In one of the stories in Issue 40, it's noted that Dib, or rather the actor playing him in the in-universe play, has a big head.

Facts of Doom


Dib listening to "The Great Assigning."

  • Dib is the first human to make an appearance on the series' premiere "The Nightmare Begins". This is fitting considering he serves as Zim's main rival on Earth.
  • Dib is among the most antisocial character in the show; he has no friends due to most of the other Skoolchildren ridiculing and bullying him most of the time. The only person who is more antisocial is his own sister, who seems to actively despise humanity because they seem to interfere with her life all the time.
  • Dib might have OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). This is suggested by one of lines in "Gaz, Taster of Pork": "How did I miss that?! Me, the obsessive-compulsive Dib!!".
  • The episode "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom" seems to suggest that, like his sister Gaz, Dib may have been granted phenomenal powers and abilities far beyond those of normal humans. These abilities may have been given to him by the Meekrob in Dib's dreamlike illusion.
  • At some point in his life, he tried to raise the dead, as referenced by Professor Membrane twice in "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars". It's inferred that he succeeded, as Membrane shouts "There better not be any walking dead up there!"
  • Despite his determination, he loses far more battles against Zim than he wins. Even when he wins, his plans don't work out the way he plans them. Before the seventh or so script, his profile on said he was never able to win.
  • A misconception of the end of "Future Dib" is that he aged, but he'd been there for a month and the beard was most likely a momentary gag.
  • The creators took a liking to his unique hairstyle, and in "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom", they wanted it to grow into a longer, more jagged, lightning-bolt shape.
  • Dib, like Zim, doesn't know that Zim's mission to Earth was actually meant to be something to keep Zim out of the way while the actual Operation Impending Doom is in effect. If Dib knew this, he might possibly see Zim differently, but that's just speculation.
  • Ironically, Zim is the closest thing Dib has to a friend.
  • Although perceived as insane, he's in many ways the most sane and human character in the series to some viewers.
  • His Swollen Eyeball codename may derive from the legend of Mothman, who would appear right before a disaster as a warning.
Dib christmas 1
  • Whenever he talks to Tak's ship and Zim's Dib Robot (both share Dib's personality), he starts to notice why people see him as obnoxious.
  • Dib is Jhonen Vasquez's favorite character in the show.
  • In the commentary for "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy", Jhonen Vasquez jokingly stated that the original idea for the episode was for Zim to kill Dib permanently, and for Dib to be replaced with a new kid named Louie. However, Nickelodeon wouldn't permit it.
  • Dib is one of the two characters to have technically died on the show, the second being Skoodge.
  • On Verizon cable, in the summary for "Mysterious Mysteries", Dib's name is misspelled as "Dub" rather than "Dib".
  • Dib had a yellow shirt in the pilot.
  • Dib was first seen in a commercial for Invader Zim before it premiered; the commercial started off seemingly as a typical Nickelodeon bumper, until it was interrupted by Dib, who stated "Zim is coming!"
  • On Nickelodeon an Invader Zim special aired before the premiere, and at one part they "call" Dib. [3]
  • Dib is not playable in Nicktoons MLB, but he has a collectible card. The card mentions that he knows that there is 'alien activity' going on in the major leagues and that he is undergoing psychological screening. However, the card does not acknowledge Dib knowing or caring that his sister is partnering with his mortal enemy.
  • Dib's Japanese voice actress (Ayumi Kida) also voiced Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory, and the two characters show some similarities.
  • According to the creators, if the show had continued, Dib would have discovered that he was a clone or creation of Professor Membrane's rather than a naturally-produced biological son.
  • It's never stated in the show how or why Dib is capable of seeing through Zim's terrible disguises. It is also clear that its not his intelligence alone, since neither Professor Membrane or Ms. Bitters realize that Zim is alien despite being smart in their own rights.
  • According to polls on the internet, Dib is the most liked character in the show (other than GIR of course).
  • Dib's glasses, like many cartoon characters', seem to contort to his facial expression on many an occasion. However, not only do his glasses reflect his expression, but they sometimes disappear when Dib closes his eyes. Also, his glasses don't have earpieces. As a result, the only way to tell when he's wearing glasses or not is if you look for the nose piece, signified as a straight line connecting his eyes.
  • It can be interpreted that some of the "big head" insults towards Dib might not be literal; since nobody believes Dib's claims of paranormal activity, they may viewing him as arrogant/self-centered, or "big headed".
  • It should be noted that he joined the Evil Syndicate in the video game Nicktoons: Globs Of Doom, and Zim joined the good guys, so it's possible he did this just to stay away from whatever side Zim was on. But, it should also be noted that the video game is most likely non-canon to the series.
  • It has been implied that Dib is quite self-loathing, possibly to the point of suicide; in "Dibship Rising", Dib reprograms Tak's ship to have his memories and reflect his personality, and it immediately crashes itself.
  • Dib also seems to have hair on the back of his head (instead of just on top) in the comics. Jhonen has said this is due to his desire to make Dib seem more his age.
  • The issue of Dib's eyes changing color in Issue #1 was a layering effect error.
  • Dib has a new hairstyle in the comics. The sides of his head are no longer shaved. This was done to make him more like an 11 year old boy. [4]
  • Jhonen Vasquez has confirmed that Dib, his sister Gaz, and their father are all Mexicans.[5]
  • On the Jhonen Vasquez variant cover of Issue 2, Dib is shown wearing an outfit different than his normal blue shirt with a face on it. This time he wears and orange ghost shirt with matching orange boots.
  • In Issue 8, it's revealed that crying makes Dib uncomfortable. 
  • In Issue 11, it's revealed that Dib is allergic to animal dander. 
  • In Issue 13, when Dib is being transformed into Humungodib by the humungoserum, the face on his shirt changes as well, becoming an angry face. 
  • Issue 18 shows that Dib is a fan of burritos, as he's shown arriving at the Burrito King for some of the free burritos being given away (unaware that Zim is the one giving them away). 
  • In Issue 19, it's suggested that Dib has been repeatedly going to the police to try and expose Zim, and apparently thinks that they're voluntarily working with him. However, it's clear that the police barely know Zim exists, and don't care about him. 
  • Oddly, in Issue 26, Dib is never once shown wearing his glasses. 
  • His name may be a reference to Muad'Dib, an alias used by the main character, Paul Atreides, in Frank Herbert's Dune.
  • According to Jhonen Vasquez on his blog, Dib has a clubfoot.[6]
  • Interestingly, despite being a child, Dib is the only one (aside from his sister Gaz) who is capable of stopping Zim's plans and lives to tell the tale, while the Tallest, Sizz-Lorr, or Tak end up nearly getting killed any other time they encounter Zim.
  • In Issues 8, 29, and 30, Dib narrates by means of a "paranormal investigator's log", but is never actually shown to be recording into anything. This suggests that he's simply taking mental notes.
  • Unsurprisingly, Dib has come in contact with magic more times than anyone else in the series as mentioned in "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" and seen in "Mortos der Soulstealer", "Gaz, Taster of Pork", as well as Issue 29 and 30.
  • Vasquez has stated that the four main characters aren't evil and that Zim and Dib are both "good guys" but on "different sides".
  • Some people have noted similarities between Dib and Dipper Pines, the protagonist of the animated series Gravity Falls, in that both are investigators in the paranormal who aren't believed by anyone around them.

Voice Actor

Dib is portrayed by Andy Berman in the original American version and by Ayumi Kida in the Japanese dub of the show. In the German dub, he is voiced by Tobias Müller, and in the Spanish dub, he is voiced by Carlos Enrique Bonilla and Eduardo Garza on one occasion.[7]


See also

External links