20px-Cquote1.png Tonight, I activate it! If it works, we never have to worry about power again. If it doesn't, it will send out a wave of DOOM that will destroy all life on Earth!
Professor Membrane

Invader Zim Episode
Future Dib
Fd 1
Previous: Mysterious Mysteries
Next: Hobo 13
Episode No: Episode 15b
Production No: 15b
Airdate: March 22, 2002
Writer(s): Rob Hummel

"Future Dib" is the 2nd segment in the 15th episode of the first season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on March 22, 2002, on Nickelodeon.

Plot Summary

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

Future dib 1

Professor Membrane is about to unveil a world-changing machine that will completely remove the entire need for fuel called a Perpetual Energy Generator (abbreviated to PEG).

However, if the machine were to malfunction, it could cause a giant shock wave that would destroy all life on Earth.

Dib gets excited about the news, relishing the idea of being on stage with his famous father, while Zim gets excited by the prospect of using the PEG to eradicate all the humans. But when Dib runs home to get some stuff for the ceremony, he finds another Dib in his bed.

Future Self

Dib meets his "future self".

The second Dib explains that he is from an apocalyptic future where Zim sabotaged the PEG and the entire Earth was destroyed. The explosion opened a rift in time, allowing future Dib to go back and warn himself. The present Dib believes his future counterpart, and follows his instructions to stop Zim.

However, when future Dib leads present Dib into a warehouse, it is revealed that the whole thing was a trap, and future Dib is actually a robot created by Zim. Dib is captured and trapped in a cage facing a screen with Zim on it, the Irken counted on Dib's one track mind to save the Earth to be the perfect way to lure him into a trap.

Din unintentionally gives Zim the idea of using the robot Dib to get past security and sabotage PEG, Zim explains that he's remotely from his space station, so he would be fine when the Earth is destroyed. Meanwhile, back at Dib's house, Gaz thinks that the robot Dib is the real Dib, and they go to the unveiling ceremony together but not before giving him a warning to behave or he will suffer horribly.
Photo (6)

The monkey comes into play.

Robot Dib gets through security easily and makes his way towards the heart of the generator, unfortunately for Zim, Gaz follows the robot, and Professor Membrane refuses to activate PEG without both of his children being there.

Meanwhile, Dib manages to hack into Zim's computer system and gains control over the robot's voice. Zim notices this, however, and sends a monkey into the cage to prevent Dib from accessing the vocal circuit and warning Gaz.

However, Dib eventually tricks the monkey into looking the other way, and presses the button that accesses the robot's voice, then uses it to tell Gaz this is a trap. Unfortunately, the monkey does not like being tricked, and attacks Dib, even as the boy grapples with Zim for control of the robot.

The conflicting forces both trying to manipulate the Dib-bot have the unintended effect of causing the duplicate to act spastically and babble gibberish, which angers Gaz greatly. She proceeds to chase the Dib-bot throughout the PEG's interior, scares Zim and finally corners it and beats it up while still not realizing it is not Dib.

Bearded Dib

Bearded Dib.

Back at the ceremony, Professor Membrane still hasn't activated PEG, and the crowd get restless. Offended by their rude behavior, Membrane becomes very angry and decides that the people are unworthy of unlimited power.

Gaz discovers that the Dib she beat up was actually a robot, and reprograms it to be her slave. Zim is upset that his plan failed, but is instantly cheered up by the fact that he gets to watch a gray-bearded Dib get beaten up by the monkey, since Gaz never rescued him.

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

Facts of Doom

Cultural References


  • This episode marks the second appearance of Zim's crescent-shaped space station from "Bloaty's Pizza Hog".
  • Many references are made to this episode in future episodes, such as "Dibship Rising".
    Future Membrane

    Future Membrane.

Cuts & Changes

  • A robotic, future version of Professor Membrane was going to appear in this episode, according to a concept sketch by Aaron Alexovich[1]. However, it's unknown for what reason he was cut but the most accepted theories was for time constraints or as the plot of the episode changed, there was no need to use Future Membrane.

Things You Might Have Missed

  • As Dib and Gaz look around for the puppy, look at the window on the right in the background: a black figure shows up by the window which is rumored to be Nny from JTHM.
  • Prior to the revelation of Zim's plot, there are several signs in the Dib robot's speech pattern that give away the fact that he is really controlled by Zim:
    • He refers to "Zim's incredible power".
    • He referred to Dib's father as "Membrane" instead of "Dad".
      Future dib 2
    • When the real Dib says that he and his "future-self" would make an unstoppable team, the robot says "Yes, yes, it will be magical!" in a very Zim-like voice.
  • Even though Dib's hair turns grey and he grows a beard, it's only for comic purposes and not a genuine indication of the time that had passed.
  • The Dib robot-spy only makes mechanical noises after its mechanical nature is revealed.
  • The scientist that contacts Dib and Gaz at school refers to them as roommates of Professor Membrane, rather than his children. However, Jhonen and Eric state in the commentary that they were hesitant to include that because it felt like the Professor didn't love his children. [2]
  • When Zim controls the Dib Robot-Spy to say 'Of course, my scary sister. I obey.', look closely at his hand and facial gestures. They appear to be gestures of affection (clasping hands together and smiling sweetly). The robot spy doesn't use these gestures, however, instead opting to place a hand over his robotic heart as if to make a promise.

See also


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