Irken Crowd



Light green, lime, green, dark green, and olive


Ruby, pink, purple, red, navy, cyan, green, amber, light brown and Sky blue

Notable Facts

Antennae, PAK, monochrome eyes, no nose and hair or ears


The Irkens are an imperialistic race of green-skinned humanoids from the planet Irk. The basic goal of the Irken race is total universal conquest; they mostly attain this feat with the aid of their vast armada, which aids in planetary destruction via a sort of final attack called the Organic Sweep.

Appearance and Biology

Main article: Irken Biology

Irkens bear a similarity to the humans' archetypal concept of aliens as "little green men" - they have light green skin, sport a pair of angular antennae atop their hairless heads, and have solid-colored eyes (usually ruby).

They are generally somewhat short in comparison to humans, usually approximately three to five feet tall. An unique aspect of Irken biology is the PAK device that is attached to every Irken's spine at birth, and serves not only as an ever-present Swiss Army knife, but also a backup brain.

Irken Society

Main article: Irken Society

Irken society is best described as a hierarchy based solely on height; tall individuals are respected and usually assigned to high-ranking jobs. Short individuals, such as Zim and Skoodge, on the other hand, are looked down upon both figuratively and literally, and are usually assigned to menial labor. The tallest living Irken (or Irkens, should there be two of the same height) is selected to rule the Irken Empire as the Almighty Tallest.

As "Hobo 13" reveals to us, the Irkens have the exact same number system as humans. This is demonstrated when Bob is crunching the numbers on his calculator. The rest of the universe that know of the Irkens consider them to be bloodthirsty, tyrannical and dictatorial, which may be true to an extent.

However, the Almighty Tallest and the Control Brains determine what the Irken population thinks through PAK programming. Considering Irkens bloodthirsty and tyrannical is therefore a matter of perspective, because Irken thoughts are actually pre-programmed. Despite this, they do have a brain capable of independent thought. Irkens do not seem to sleep (see footnote on Irken Biology), though it is not known why; even though, on occasion, they have been shown to be capable of sleep and dreaming.

Zim is an Irken Defective; due to "forty schmillion" errors in his PAK ("The Trial"), he is not programmed like the other Irkens. However, even then he is still extremely militaristic and feels a need to conquer, and thus it is logical to assume the general Irken mindset is focused on universal domination.

Irkens are born in DNA vats deep under Irk's surface, and have their PAK installed seconds after. Immediately after this, the baby Irken, or smeet, gets all existing knowledge in the Irken database downloaded into his or her brain, and then immediately reports for duty. Until they are of age, however, young Irkens aren't permitted on Irk's surface.

Methods of Conquering

Irken Insigna

The universal Irken insignia which serves as the Invader insignia as well as to show when a planet is under Irken rule.

The Irkens implement the Organic Sweep after one of their own, an Irken Invader, has successfully infiltrated and taken over a planet they intend to conquer and has learned of its main weaknesses.

When the intelligent inhabitants of the planet have succumbed to Irken persuasion, they are typically forced to work as slaves; non-sapient inhabitants are most often simply killed off.

The planet is then given a single purpose: For example, Foodcourtia became an intergalactic food court, the planet Vort became Irk's top military research prison, the Screwheads' home world became the Conveyor Belt Planet, and Blorch became a parking structure planet.

Facts of Doom

  • The Irkens share some similarities with the Daleks, from the British show Doctor Who. Both are alien races hell-bent and biologically engineered (the Irkens, to some extent) for simple universal conquering and destruction of all races they consider "inferior" to themselves, which is pretty much all of them. Both are single-minded in their goal and possess complete apathy and lack of mercy for others in their pursuit of conquest. Also, like the Empire in the Star Wars franchise, they are inspired by and based on the Nazis.
  • Irkens' teeth were originally drawn as being rectangular and shaped more like human teeth. Starting with "Career Day," their teeth are drawn rounded, resembling gums.
  • Irk means "to annoy" which is fitting in a sense as Zim can be quite irritating and Jhonen Vasquez stated that Irkens use all caps "because they're annoying."
  • Jhonen Vasquez has said that Irkens can feel love but its unlike the type of love humans are familiar with.

See also


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