|Hey, I helped YOU when we were transforming into giant bolognas!
|Invader Zim Episode|
|Gaz, Taster of Pork|
|Previous:||The Voting of the Doomed|
|Next:||The Frycook What Came from All That Space|
|Episode No:||Episode 25|
|Airdate:||Australia: December 27, 2003|
United States: August 12, 2006
"Gaz, Taster of Pork" is the 5th episode of the second season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on December 27, 2003 in Australia. In the United States, it was first released as part of the Horrible Holiday Cheer DVD on October 12, 2004 and it made its TV debut on Nicktoons on August 12, 2006. It is the 25th episode overall.
SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!
After the Mysterious Mysteries host explains to the viewers that Spelldrives are an electronic book which utilizes magic, he grudgingly says Dib has "the largest collection of these ancient sources of mystical knowledge" and does a brief but annoyed interview with him.
Nonetheless, Dib is happy to have appeared on his favorite show yet again and is even happier having realized that he still has unused cast points on it so he decides to use it. Dib comes across a spell that sounds interesting, but casts it on his sister, Gaz, first, in order to test and see if the spell is one he'd like to use on himself. However, the spell makes everything Gaz eats taste like pig.
Once Gaz figures out Dib is behind this, she threatens to destroy him with an army of flesh-eating robotic toys if he doesn't help her get back to normal. Dib has trouble finding a cure, so he talks to Professor Membrane. All their father does, though, is put Gaz inside a cage and has the media treat her like a freak. Dib even tries to ask Zim for help, but the latter mockingly refuses to aid him. Zim then goes on about planning his diabolical scheme, to which Dib didn't pay any attention while leaving.
Next, Dib goes off to ask the Swollen Eyeball Network if they have any advice on his situation. They report back that there is only one way for Gaz to get her sense of taste restored: she must travel to an alternate piggy dimension and ask the Shadowhog to return her to normal.
After helping his sister break out of the cage, Dib and Gaz travel to Mystical Hill while using one of Dib's Spelldrives to transport themselves into the realm of the Shadowhog. There, after much convincing, the Shadowhog agrees to cure Gaz, but only if she passes "The Trial". Gaz readily agrees to these terms, but Dib becomes concerned for his little sister, as she knows so little about the paranormal, and she must pass on her own.
In truth, once Gaz enters the arena where her trial takes place, the Shadowhog asks her two questions, both of which she answers correctly. Then they spend the rest of their time hanging out and talking. Meanwhile, Dib is outside the arena trying to break in and help Gaz as he's beaten up in the process.
When Dib finally makes it inside, he assumes Gaz failed and begs the Shadowhog to punish him instead, after confessing it was his fault Gaz was cursed. Both the Shadowhog and Gaz decide to do as he wishes. Soon, Gaz goes home back to normal, while Dib is stuck in the piggy dimension cleaning out the Shadowhog's toilet with his head.
End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.
Facts of Doom
- Near the end of the episode, Gaz references the infamous Konami Code, saying that Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right A, B, B, A, Start is the code she said for gaining unlimited lives in Super Kicky Fighter, a parody of Super Street Fighter. This same code is used for the NES game Contra, where it gives you 30 extra lives, the one difference being that the first 'A, B' is missing from the real life code, which is up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right, B, A, Start.
- Pig Girl (Gaz) might be a parody of various girls’ characters and fast food restaurant mascots like Big Boy, Hello Kitty, Wendy, My Little Pony, etc.
- This entire episode is based off of a "MEANWHILE" featured in the back of Squee's Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors, a comic by Jhonen Vasquez. The "MEANWHILE" features Tickle-Me Hellmo (parody of the popular Tickle-Me Elmo), a demonic children's toy who puts kids through several levels of torture. The eighth level is that it "alters child's taste buds so that everything tastes like pork".
- The hill that Gaz and Dib are on in beaver costumes is Mystical Hill. It's called Lover's Hill in JTHM. It's where Nny and Devi go to on their first date.
- The design of the MacMeaties where Dib encounters the Hobo is based on the famous 1942 painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper.
- Steve Ressel has admittedly stated in the commentary for this episode that it's his least favorite in the series. He also explains in Ask Steve that he and Mary Harrington wanted to cancel this episode so they could put two episodes in its place. Nickelodeon also disliked this episode, and it is very divisive among fans for both Dib and Gaz's actions.
- Surprisingly, Rikki Simons and Melissa Fahn loved the episode.
- GIR has one line in this episode ("I got monkeys in me!"). Rosearik Rikki Simons (GIR's voice actor) said that he actually got paid just to say that.
- This is the only episode in which GIR appears in more scenes than Zim, appearing in two whereas Zim only appears in one.
- This episode marks the first and only appearance of the Hobo, a down-and-out bum with a big bushy beard, whom Dib meets at MacMeaties. The Hobo was slated to have a more major role in an unfinished episode called "Roboparents Gone Wild".
- Despite Gaz's dark and cruel nature, she still sleeps in pink pajamas; however, these pajamas have frills and lace in one scene rather than having little bat wings on the back of them.
- The episode reveals that Gaz has some robotic stuffed animals that she keeps in her room, which she uses for security purposes. However, she only turns them on whenever Dib makes unauthorized entrances, and she has programmed them to feed on human flesh.
- In the commentary, Melissa Fahn and Jhonen Vasquez both confirm that at heart, Gaz is girly, implying that Gaz has a feminine side she doesn't want others knowing.
- During the montage where scientists are trying to figure out Gaz's "illness", one of Professor Membrane's assistants resembles Devi from JTHM and I Feel Sick.
- This episode never aired in the United States until 2006, but it has aired in other countries years earlier, such as in 2003 in Australia.
- This episode marks Dib's second time he appears on Mysterious Mysteries; the first time being in "Mysterious Mysteries".
- Unlike Dib who rants about Zim being an alien, Gaz told the Shadowhog that he indeed was an Irken Invader and he seemed to believe her, this shows that Gaz has more credibility than her brother. Considering she is inspired by Dana Scully from The X-Files, according to the show bible.
- Ironically, Gaz might have made friends with Shadowhog thanks to the curse Dib put on her.
- This episode has a mixed-to-negative reaction from fans. Some fans praise the episode for giving Dib and Gaz greater roles rather than Zim and the concept of the Spelldrives, but others hated or criticized it for both characters being somewhat out-of-character, confusing writing, and Jhonen rejecting the good ending for being "too boring", making the episode to be one of the worst or weakest episodes of the show.
Changes and Cuts
- The episode's original ending, according to Jhonen Vasquez on his blog, had Dib defeating the Shadowhog in hand-to-hand combat, thus saving Gaz and ending this episode with the two Membranes eating pizza together. However, when Vasquez considered this ending "pretty boring", writer Eric Trueheart came up with the ending that made it into the finished version of the episode. Like the rest of his blog, whenever this is true or not is unknown.
Things You Might Have Missed
- There is a poster on Gaz's bedroom door that says "Outside is Stupid".
- There is an Irken-like doll next to Gaz's bed in her bedroom. It can be seen as the spell is being cast on her. Also, Gaz seems to have a smile on her face as she is dreaming.
- After Gaz summons security to get Dib out of her room so she can go back to sleep, there is a poster behind Gaz that reads "Swollen Squirrel". It's unknown if the man on the right is Johnny C.
- When Zim asked for Dib's help in "Planet Jackers", Dib refused. Now, when Dib asked for Zim's help, it's Zim's turn to return the favor.
- When Dib is asking Zim for help and Zim refuses, Dib remarks “I helped you when we were turning into giant bolognies!”, which is a reference to a previous episode entitled "Bolognius Maximus". This recollection implies that the two were cured in the time following the events of that episode, although it isn't explained how they got cured.
- Look closely when Dib looks into the Shadowhog's "Filthy Toilet of Filthy Piggy Filth". When Dib is screaming, there is a lens on the toilet.
- During the Bloaty's Pizza Hog commercial, one kid sinks into Bloaty's fat and then reemerges on the other side.
Inconsistencies and Animation Errors
- When Dib and Gaz appear to be holding hands in one scene, it's stated to have been an animation error by Jhonen Vasquez himself. Further evidence shows that their hands seem to be completely gone and their arms seem stuck together.
- When Gaz says "You better lift it soon or...", her mouth isn’t moving.
- Gaz eats the hot dog and says it tastes normal, though it should have tasted differently since the bun would have also tasted like pig. This is discussed in the commentary.
- In different scenes, Gaz's height and size change.
- When Gaz is on the cover for The Little Pig Girl, her eyes are purple instead of the usual brown and her eyes are the same color as her skin. Also, when Pig Girl is shown as a balloon, she has purple eyes instead of brown.
- When Dib is asking Zim for help, GIR's nose becomes a human one.
- When Pig Girl is seen on the monitor, the hot dog’s bun becomes the color of the hot dog and the hot dog is the color of the bun.
- The surroundings around the yard and entrance to Zim's base seem smaller in size in comparison to other episodes (or in other cases, the characters are drawn larger in the surroundings).
- When Zim says "I've loaded GIR full of explosive monkeys and I'm about to...", the color of his lenses is pink instead of purple.
- When GIR is yelling "I got monkeys in me!", his teeth can be seen.