|Gender||Technically genderless, portrayed as a male.|
|First Appearance||The Nightmare Begins|
|Voice Actor(s)||Rosearik Rikki Simons (English)|
Wasabi Mizuta (Japanese)
Irwin Daayán (Spanish)
Sabine Manke (German)
Wendel Bezerra (Brazilian Portuguese)
GIR (Garbage Information Retrieval Unit) is one of the two deuteragonists (alongside Dib) of the Invader Zim series and the secondary antagonist in Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. He is the insane, hyperactive robotic assistant of Zim and the closest thing the incompetent Irken has to a friend, having been constructed from scrap parts by the Almighty Tallest just before it was handed to Zim, instead of a regular SIR (Standard-issue Information Retrieval) Unit.
Despite of being one of the main characters, GIR only played a main role in three episodes: "Walk of Doom", "Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain" and "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff", and would have played another major role in the cancelled episode "GIR's Big Day." In every other episode he either played a secondary role, or appeared just as a cameo.
The only differences between GIR and regular SIR units are the unique coloration of the luminous parts of GIR's body (teal instead of red, although they do go red when he is in Duty Mode), a different configuration for the eyes, and his cross-hatched mouth. The similarities in construction suggest that the components from which he was built came from an out-of-date model of SIR unit.
GIR's usual Earth disguise consists of a green "mongoose-dog" suit with a zipper on the stomach, and a head that can be pulled over like a hood. It also includes a small tail that he is inexplicably capable of wagging like an Earth dog. The large eyes sometimes blink while at other times, they do not. Also, the mouth will sometimes open when he speaks, whereas other times it stays closed.
GIR also has a small child disguise with blonde hair and the mouth hanging open so he can see, but it was only used in two episodes.
GIR is happy-go-lucky, enthusiastic, energetic, excitable, and extremely hyperactive, and will eat just about anything, regardless of whether it is edible or not. Most of the time he spouts nonsense, but does have a few, short moments of clarity: for instance, in "Walk for Your Lives" he actually contemplated whether making the explosion go faster would make things worse ("But if the big 'splody goes fast, won't it get all bad?"), and in "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy" he questioned the wisdom of sending a machine into the past to destroy Dib.
GIR usually fools around when Zim gives an order, and always goes right back to what he was doing before once he has completed the order (which is only done occasionally) or, more often, when Zim leaves. Zim has described GIR's intelligence as "bad"; indeed, the little robot is often one of the many reasons why Zim's plans frequently fail. But, Zim has taken advantage of GIR's poor intelligence in the past, having once attached GIR to a power amplifier in "Plague of Babies" to incapacitate Sergeant Shnooky and his underlings with an amplified wave of the little robot's stupidity. However, despite his stupidity, GIR also has shown an occasional manipulative side, having used his antics in the past to bend others to his will.
GIR has also been known to disobey orders whenever it conflicts with getting something he wants, such as rubber piggies or food.
Unlike Zim, GIR does not mind getting involved with typical Earth culture; on several occasions, he has even admitted to loving Earth. GIR also has a strong love of Earth food, such as tacos, taquitos, candy, waffles, cupcakes, tuna, biscuits, chicken with mayonnaise, pizza, Suck Munkeys, numerous Poop products, mashed potatoes, muffins, corn, etc. He can eat and enjoy them (even though he is a robot) and was even shown somehow becoming fat in the "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom" after stealing and devouring all of the Halloween candy from trick-or-treaters.
Despite his sub-par disguises, GIR is actually quite good at blending in with the humans, due to his behavior and intelligence being similar to theirs. In "Attack of the Saucer Morons", he even befriended multiple teenage human females.
Similarly in Issue 26 of the comics, GIR disguised himself as a human boy to able to go to skool with his master, in the process he befriended several skoolchildren, easily blending in and becoming one of the "popular kids" on his first day, even when the kids saw him in his dog costume, they still loved him.
His favorite assignment from Zim is "monitoring Earth broadcasts" (in other words, watching TV); when doing so, he usually watches The Scary Monkey Show, which he has declared to be his "favorite show".
His favorite movie is Intestines of War, which he has seen over one hundred times ("FBI Warning of Doom"). GIR is also very loyal to Zim, despite disobeying him often and mainly being a hindrance to his plans. There have been times where Dib has "tricked" him into doing things, like putting a camera in Zim's Base in "Zim Eats Waffles", and even inviting him into the base during "The Frycook What Came from All That Space" and Enter the Florpus.
This is probably because Dib doesn't seem to bother GIR as much as he does Zim, saying in "Planet Jackers" that "he seems nice". By the time of "Mysterious Mysteries" however, GIR seemed to be aware of Dib's antipathy toward his master, and flat-out defended him, though this was probably because Zim told GIR exactly what to say.
GIR also seems to possess the uncanny ability of bending others to his will as he was able to make Zim dance in the elevator of the base during "Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain" and more surprisingly, Gaz in "Tak: The Hideous New Girl".
GIR does not hate or dislike anyone, which contrasts very sharply with Zim, Dib, and especially Gaz. He instead approaches everything in the world, living or not, with boundless affection and enthusiasm.
|21. "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars":||Appears|
|22a. "Mortos der Soulstealer":||Appears||22b. "Zim Eats Waffles":||Appears|
|23a. "The Girl Who Cried Gnome":||Appears||23b. "Dibship Rising":||Appears|
|24a. "Vindicated!":||Appears||24b. "The Voting of the Doomed":||Appears|
|25. "Gaz, Taster of Pork":||Appears|
|26. "The Frycook What Came from All That Space":||Appears|
|27. "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever":||Appears|
|1. "Roboparents Gone Wild":||Confirmed||2. "Simon Sez Doom":||Does Not Appear|
|3. "Invader Poonchy":||Confirmed||4. "Nubs of Doom":||Confirmed|
|5. "Ten Minutes to Doom":||Does Not Appear||6. "GIR's Big Day":||Confirmed|
|7. "Return of Keef":||Confirmed||8. "Day of da Spookies":||Confirmed|
|9. "Mopiness of Doom":||Confirmed||10. "Those!":||Unconfirmed|
|11. "Top of the Line":||Confirmed||12. "The Trial":||Confirmed|
|13. "It Feeds on Noodles":||Unconfirmed||14. "When Pants Ruled!":||Unconfirmed|
|15. "Squishy: Hugger of Worlds":||Unconfirmed|
|1. Issue 1:||Appears||2. Issue 2:||Appears|
|3. Issue 3:||Appears||4. Issue 4:||Appears|
|5. Issue 5:||Cameo||6. Issue 6:||Appears|
|7. Issue 7:||Appears||8. Issue 8:||Appears|
|9. Issue 9:||Appears||10. Issue 10:||Appears|
|11. Issue 11:||Appears||12. Issue 12:||Appears|
|13. Issue 13:||Appears||14. Issue 14:||Absent|
|15. Issue 15:||Absent||16. Issue 16:||Appears|
|17. Issue 17:||Appears||18. Issue 18:||Appears|
|19. Issue 19:||Appears||20. Issue 20:||Appears|
|21. Issue 21:||Appears||22. Issue 22:||Appears|
|23. Issue 23:||Appears||24. Issue 24:||Appears|
|25. Issue 25:||Appears||26. Issue 26:||Appears|
|27. Issue 27:||Appears||28. Issue 28:||Appears|
|29. Issue 29:||Appears||30. Issue 30:||Appears|
|31. Issue 31:||Absent||32. Issue 32:||Appears|
|33. Issue 33:||Appears||34. Issue 34:||Appears|
|35. Issue 35:||Appears||36. Issue 36:||Appears|
|37. Issue 37:||Imagined||38. Issue 38:||Appears|
|39. Issue 39:||Appears||40. Issue 40:||Appears|
|41. Issue 41:||Appears||42. Issue 42:||Appears|
|43. Issue 43:||Appears||44. Issue 44:||Appears|
|45. Issue 45:||Appears||46. Issue 46:||Appears|
|47. Issue 47:||Appears||48. Issue 48:||Appears|
|49. Issue 49:||Appears||50. Issue 50:||Appears|
|Q1. Quarterly 1:||Appears||Q2. Quarterly 2:||Appears|
|SP. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus:||Appears|
Every so often, GIR will display brief instances of complete functionality. Usually triggered by Zim giving an order, this "Duty Mode" is made manifest by the teal parts of GIR's body and eyes flashing red, his voice changing from high-pitched to harsh, deep and rough, and GIR himself snapping to attention, alert and utterly obedient. He concludes it with a salute and response of "Yes, sir!". These random bouts never last for long, though, and after a few seconds, GIR is right back to his gleeful, hyperactive self.
As it turns out, however, this brevity is probably a good thing for Zim: As he learned the hard way when he tried to lock GIR into Duty Mode via a Behavioral Modulator, if GIR was fully lucid all the time, he would quickly realize that his own master was a threat to their mission to conquer Earth, and would quickly eliminate him. (As seen in "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff"). However, GIR still seems to retain some of his original childish actions when locked into Duty Mode, jumping out to scare Zim before attempting to kill him.
GIR possesses "superior geographic abilities" that were given to him by Zim. In his head there are an array of various weapons, but he rarely uses them. There is also a great deal of empty space that he uses to store things, like a giant pile of rubber piggies, a puppy, or even a beehive. This is implied to be the "thermos" function stated by Tallest Red to be built into all SIR units.
He also has X-ray vision, the ability to shoot lasers from his eyes, and jets in his feet.
GIR can also analyze living things and inanimate objects, from species to intelligence.
Role in Invader Zim
GIR serves as Zim's "evil" henchman, but he is usually more of a hindrance than a help. As stated above, he has complied when Dib asked favors from him and replaced vital equipment with food in "Walk of Doom".
Moreover, his erratic behavior has often ended up having catastrophic consequences and ruining Zim's plans. However, GIR has bailed Zim out occasionally, saving him from alien fanatics in "Attack of the Saucer Morons". He can also be used as a form of transportation when the Voot Runner is unavailable, such as in "The Nightmare Begins".
- Main article: Bloody GIR
Bloody GIR is an Easter egg visible in several episodes of Invader Zim. Bloody GIR was born when Nickelodeon refused to allow a scene involving GIR covered with blood. The crew inserted the forbidden image into single frames in a few episodes.
Post-production supervisor Jason Stiff has confirmed that the image appears in "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy."
The existence of Bloody GIR has been confirmed by director Steve Ressel in interviews. The frames were reportedly scattered throughout the episodes following "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy" by Ressel and Chris Graham.
Bloody GIR can be seen the most clearly during the opening in "Mortos der Soulstealer", when the purple pipe from Zim's house envelops the shot right before Dib's sequence. In fact, it is almost in plain sight. Although many claim to see Bloody GIR in almost every episode, Simons stated at the 2011 InvaderCON that he only inserted Bloody GIR into a couple of episodes.
Facts of Doom
- GIR is voiced by Rosearik Rikki Simons. He was voiced by Wasabi Mizuta in the Japanese dub, Wendel Bezerra in the Brazilian Portuguese dub and while Irwin Daayán voiced him in the Latin American dub, he was credited erroneously the voice actor Víctor Ugarte voiced him in duty mode in "Gir Goes Crazy and Stuff." but this was a mistake in the final credits.
- GIR's Japanese voice actress is also known for voicing Doraemon from the series of the same name.
- Being this other character that she shares with Gir's Latin Spanish dubbing actor.
- GIR's Brazilian Portuguese voice actor is also known for voicing SpongeBob and Goku from Dragon Ball series.
- GIR's Latin Spanish voice actor is also known for voicing Yugi Muto from Yu-Gi-Oh! series and Sheen Estevez from Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius also the movie and the series.
- Rikki Simon's first voice for auditioning GIR was trying to imitate his mother-in law, but was said to be "too shrieky". Rikki remembered when he played hand puppets with his father, voicing the puppets, so he did that voice for GIR.
- Rikki Simons originally had his recorded dialogue increased in pitch post-recording to voice GIR, his natural voice being much too low to perform it. A metallic effect is also added to make his voice sound more mechanical. At OMGCon 2010, Simons claimed he had learned to perform GIR's voice without the need to digitally increase the pitch, although the metallic effect was still necessary.
- Jhonen Vasquez wanted someone without experience in voice acting as he felt it would be a reflection of how messed up of a machine GIR could be.
- GIR's Japanese voice actress is also known for voicing Doraemon from the series of the same name.
- Seeing as GIR was made by the Tallest because they didn't want to waste a perfectly good SIR on Zim, it is conceivable to think that before being re-activated, he actually was a fully functional robot before presumably becoming obsolete by newer versions of the SIR Units.
- Ironically the Tallest unwittingly saved Zim's life by giving him GIR as a joke assistant, had they provided him with an actual SIR Unit, they would've freed the Irken Empire from his shenanigans once and for all as it nearly happened when GIR was stuck in duty mode during "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff."
- Another irony is that despite GIR being a defective SIR Unit, he's still far more advanced than any A.I. on Earth, as he not only has a guidance chip, can fly, has enormous strength, serves as a thermos and is built with powerful weaponry within him, but is also capable of emotions, has the ability to eat, sleep and laugh, basically giving him anthropomorphic characteristics, something humans currently haven't been able to achieve in robotics.
- It was for a long time speculated that GIR's full name was Garbage Information Retrieval unit, given that he was made by the Tallest mostly from parts in a garbage can. However Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of the show said the "G" doesn't stand for anything.
- It's possible that GIR is a one of a kind SIR Unit, as it's unlikely that any other robot given to Invaders has such anthropomorphic qualities.
- One could argue that the Tallest made GIR the most "human" character of the show.
- In Duty Mode, GIR can show hate, unlike his normal malfunctioning self.
- In "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff", it was revealed that there's a SIR Unit code that enables a SIR Unit's free will in the event that they and their master's mission is under threat. Interestingly, GIR knew this while in Duty Mode, which may mean that he does know this when he is his regular self but his malfunctioning nature prevents him from fully understanding it. In this sense, GIR is the only SIR Unit in the series to have free will.
- GIR is shown to be somewhat aware of his surroundings, however he most likely isn't aware that he's a robot, much less that he is technically meant to assist Zim in the enslavement or annihilation of humanity.
- Despite Irk being GIR's homeworld, he has never been seen setting foot on the planet, and he was actually assembled on Conventia.
- During the early stages of the show, Jhonen Vasquez considered the idea of GIR storing meat into his disguise to give his dog suit the appearance of a "fleshy consistency" something that was later done in "Invader Poonchy."
- GIR apparently has a "defensive mode" activated by voice command via Zim, although it typically results in GIR being actually even more unhelpful than usual. In "Abducted", for example, Zim activated GIR's Defensive Mode with the intent of preventing two aliens from abducting them; instead, GIR simply leaped into the sack that the aliens had brought. Defensive Mode was used again in "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom", when Zim was barricading the house against an onslaught of trick-or-treaters; its activation led GIR to cheerfully hop out of the nearest window. Defensive Mode was last used in "Zim Eats Waffles", when Zim activated it in desperation against an attacking Giant Flesh-Eating Cyborg Squid; GIR responded by offering the squid two snow cones out of his head as it beat Zim with a microwave.
- GIR literally breaks the fourth wall by running into the screen during the title sequence.
- GIR's feet squeak when he walks, regardless of whether or not he is wearing his dog disguise.
- He also appears in many games like Nicktoons: Globs of Doom, Nicktoons MLB (as an announcer) and is playable in a game called Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots, although in AOTTB DS edition, his voice is a lower pitch then his normal voice, resembling his voice in the Pilot Episode despite the fact he is still voiced by Rikki Simons in the games.
- He is the color commentator in Nicktoons MLB, according to his collectible card. When he was told he was going to be the CC, he said, "I WON ALL THE SQUISHY TACO SOAP!".
- He seems to like anything he sees, but especially loves tacos, cupcakes, monkeys, pigs, T.V., and most food.
- GIR is one of the most popular characters in the series, being an all time fan favorite.
- As a result, he has been featured on more Invader Zim merchandise than any other character.
- In the title sequence when Zim falls into his Voot Cruiser, GIR's eyes appear green.
- GIR's brain consists of pocket lint, a paperclip, a penny, and a marble, all of which were the contents of Tallest Purple's pockets at the time he was hastily assembled.
- How GIR able to function is unknown, considering Tallest Red made him hastily and his brain is made of miscellaneous objects as mentioned above; By all accounts he shouldn't even be able to be activated, let alone possess the cognitive ability to talk or do all his crazy shenanigans.
- Since Tallest Red made him, one could say that he is GIR's father.
- GIR's famous "bacon soap" quote from "Rise of the Zitboy", much like Courteney Lily's shouting from almost being crushed by Mars in "Battle of the Planets", had also become an audio meme on Flipnote Hatena when it was still active.
- There is a consistent error, in both the show and comics, regarding GIR's Duty Mode. Sometimes, his eyes and chest panel will both change color from blue to red, and other times just his eyes change, leaving the chest panel the same.
- GIR has a habit of keeping small live animals in his head. This includes: a bee hive ("Walk of Doom" and Issue 17), a smelly puppy (“Walk for Your Lives”), a poodle (Issue 1), a chipmunk (Issue 4), a space slug (Issue 7), puppies (Issue 9), a squirrel, and a cat (Issue 11).
- Interestingly, in the comics, GIR's speech bubbles are the same color as any other character (black letters on white background), even though every other robotic character's speech bubbles are color inverted, being white on black. This may be done intentionally as GIR is more sentient than any robot in the series and comics.
- In Issue 22, the disguise that GIR wears as the assistant to Zim's "Engineer Scientist" has been noted as making him look like Fonzie from the TV series Happy Days, likely as a tribute to the character.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was shown that GIR actually does have a fondness for his master as Zim was in GIR's "like pack" in Issue 23.
- In 2011, Rosearik Rikki Simons was approached to do some GIR shorts for Nickelodeon. Although Simons would have been very much open to reprise his role as GIR, negotiations ultimately fell apart and no shorts were ever produced. At Long Beach Comic Con 2019, Simons said the reason why these GIR shorts never went anywhere might have been because "It's kinda weird to do GIR by himself. I don't know what that would be."
- Vasquez has stated that the four main characters aren't evil; this can be proven with GIR since he is a malfunctioning robot and befriends just about anyone he makes contact with, regardless of whether or not it's alive.
- There’s a character from the heavily cult-followed western-styled anime Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt named Chuck; his appearance is strikingly similar to GIR’s dog disguise.
- Because of this, Jhonen stated later he found it amusing seeing the character in the anime series.
- There’s another character who’s very similar to GIR named Clank, the deuteragonist from the popular PlayStation game series, Ratchet & Clank. But unlike GIR, he’s much like a polar opposite of him, being very smart and highly-focused.
- Zim apparently washes GIR’s dog disguise and needs to bribe him with Girly Rangers cookies to do so as seen in "Issue 17."
- It seems that GIR is infatuated with Gaz as seen in "Bloaty's Pizza Hog", and when he even managed to kiss her in "Tak: The Hideous New Girl". He’s the only character in Invader Zim to ever kiss someone.
- GIR is one of the four characters to have conquered the Earth, as in the cancelled episode "The Trial" he uses Zim's attack satellite and ends up being worshipped by the human race. The other three are Gaz (in Zim's body) in Issue 21, Emperor Zim in Issue 12 and Zim himself in Enter the Florpus.
- The comic series has a running gag of GIR being obsessed with bones. In Issue 10, he complains about not having bones, clarifying that he does but they're not his; in Issue 41, he steals some bones from Dib's skeleton when he finds it wandering the city and is last seen playing with them; and in Issue 43, when a Plim comments that they don't have bones, GIR cheerfully pulls a bunch out of his chest compartment.
- In Issue 38, when GIR is impersonating Dib and gets carried away with the role, he ironically gets a lot closer to convincing people that Zim is an alien than Dib ever has.
- A day before the movie was available for streaming, Netflix released some promotional art, presumably made by Jhonen Vasquez. If the art is canon, it confirms that GIR has a heart.
- This might be a reference to the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, who was a metal man who wanted a heart.
- In Enter the Florpus, it’s revealed that GIR is an excellent songwriter (by the show's standards) as he worked diligently on the song "Peace is Nice", which inspired the children of Earth to hold hands, which was crucial to Zim's plan to teleport the Earth into the path of the Irken Armada.
- Foodio 3000 and GIR are the only known robots in the series who are seen cooking, but only the latter has the ability to eat.
- GIR's dog disguise is green, which could be a reference to the fact that he is a robot and not an actual dog.
- George Dvorsky from io9 specifically praised GIR, saying, “Science fiction has portrayed its fair share of glitchy and bumbling robots over the years, but none hold a candle to Invader Zim's GIR. Quite possibly the most erratic and unhelpful robot to ever hit the screen, GIR has become one of the most loved and often quoted characters to appear in a sci-fi cartoon in years.”
- Dvorsky added that, “In a show that features a nasty array of selfish, mean-spirited, and indifferent characters, GIR is a symbol of child-like innocence and free-spirited rebelliousness. He may have weapons that pop out of his head, but he never once uses them. He hates no one, and despite the mission, actually comes to love the planet Earth."
Gallery Of Doom
- SIR Unit
- Zim and GIR's Relationship
- Dib and GIR's Relationship
- Gaz and GIR’s Relationship
|Characters of Invader Zim|
|Zim • GIR • Dib Membrane • Gaz Membrane|
|Almighty Tallest Purple • Almighty Tallest Red • Ms. Bitters • Professor Membrane|
|Invader Skoodge • Keef • Minimoose • Tak • President Man • Roboparents • Lard Nar • Skool Principal|
|Adult Dib • Old Kid • Hobo • Alan • Meef • Skoolchildren|
|Mortos der Soulstealer • Sergeant Slab Rankle • Sergeant Hobo 678 • Shadow Hog • Chickenfoot • Sizz-Lorr • Gashloog • Willy • Iggins • Walton Chunky • Pigboy|
|Louie • Digestor • Almighty Tallest Spork • Almighty Tallest Miyuki • Bloody GIR • Cthulu • Cybernetic Kitten • Dinky • Little Timmy|