20px-Cquote1.png This is no game, this is my life!

Invader Zim Episode
Title 02b
Previous: Bestest Friend
Next: Parent Teacher Night
Episode No: Episode 02b
Production No: 04b
Airdate: April 13, 2001
Writer(s): Jhonen Vasquez
Rob Hummel

"NanoZIM" is the 2nd segment in the 2nd episode of the first season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on April 13, 2001, on Nickelodeon.

Plot Summary

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

Suck Munkey (NanoZIM)

When GIR forgets to close Zim's front door one night, Dib sneaks inside Zim's base, takes a picture of him without his disguise on and escapes before the alien could catch him.

Once at home, Dib inserts the picture on a floppy disk and places it inside an envelope, intending to send it to "Mysterious Mysteries of Strange Mystery", in order to prove that aliens exist.

Zim's nanoship

Little does he know that Zim formulated a plan to shrink himself down to microscopic size to invade Dib's body via a microscopic nanoship.

Once inside, he accesses Dib's nervous system, giving him control of Dib's arms and, as a result, making him crush the floppy disk. When Dib tells him that he has a copy of the disk hidden in his house, Zim attempts to travel to Dib's brain and perform a brain wipe, to stop him remembering where he hid the disk copy.

Fortunately for Dib, Professor Membrane has been working on some technology that may just help Dib stop Zim before it's too late: another microscopic submarine, with videogame-like control. However, Dib has to be careful, because he's extremely vulnerable due to Zim being inside him.

NanoZim Defeated

When Gaz mistakes Dib's efforts to defend himself from Zim for a video game, she gets excited and asks Dib to let her play. Unfortunately, Zim manages to attack Dib's brain, making Dib forget where the disk is hidden.

Zim also attacks Dib's nerves, making him twitch, speak, and move erratically, so Gaz takes his place and begins to play what she thinks is a video game.

Being a highly experienced gamer, she defeats Zim very quickly, inserts her name in a High Score screen and walks away. To add insult to injury, Dib ends the battle by literally flushing Zim from his system.

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

Facts of Doom

Cultural References


Transformation initiated.

  • The episode has tiny ships navigating through the innards of people. This references both the 1987 film Innerspace and the 1966 Isaac Asimov book Fantastic Voyage.
  • The show Mysterious Mysteries is a parody of Unsolved Mysteries, which is a real show that deals with the unknown and paranormal. Also, the TV show itself makes its first appearance.
  • Some sound effects are taken from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (the sixth Star Trek film) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


  • This episode marks the second time Dib has seen Zim without his disguise. The first was in the original pilot at the end, when Dib sees Zim out the window and Zim says "peep" to get him in trouble.
  • This is also the first time Zim is seen without his PAK.
  • Since the Nanoship's controls strongly resemble the Game Slave, it may hint that Professor Membrane is a gamer himself, as in the episode "Game Slave 2" which fittingly involves a video game claimed that "Video Games make kids into better human beings" and in Issue 1 he was actually seen playing one.
  • A game based on this episode, titled Dib's Nanochase, was once featured on Nickelodeon's official website.
  • In the commentary for this episode, Rikki finds Gaz adorable.
  • The title returned with the squiggly Invader ZIM font instead of the official, being the second episode to follow this trend.
  • This episode marks the third episode that Dib and Gaz had a speaking role.
  • Zim is on the TV out of his disguise the entire time, and yet Gaz didn't seem to notice. This could be because she was more interested in the "game" Dib was "playing", or it could be that by this point she was already aware that he was an alien and simply doesn't care.

Changes & Cuts

  • This episode was originally going to be aired with "Germs", but "Bestest Friend" and "Dark Harvest" were considered to be "too twisted" to be aired together. However, this episode and Germs were paired together to stream online on, before its shutdown in early 2016.

Things You Might Have Missed

  • When Mysterious Mysteries shows the alien in the envelope, the shapes in the background are identical to the ones used on Zim's House's wallpaper.
  • When Zim is about to make Dib "not smart no more", you can see three choices on his screen. 'Just a Bit', 'A Lot', and the one Zim chooses is 'Maximum'.
  • When Professor Membrane zaps something with a soldering iron from the ceiling array of tools he uses, before Dib asks for his help, you can see him lift up a smoldering fork.
  • There is a Professor Membrane ashtray in front of the TV and a Professor Membrane lamp behind the couch. These appear again in later episodes.

Inconsistencies and Animation Errors

Dib Says WOW! (NanoZIM)
  • When Zim's robot was hitting Dib the armor was stuck on 70%. When Zim was hitting Dib's nanoship again the armor said 42%, then 33%, then 42%.
  • In the scenes with Zim inside of Dib, Zim's colors are switched around, in which his skin turns pink and his eyes turn green; this gets fixed right when Zim explains his plan to Dib on the television. It could, however, just be how Zim is lit in the ship. This also happens in the Pilot as another goof.
  • A small goof can be seen: when Dib writes on the envelope, it says "...Strange Mysteries"; when he inserts the disk, it's the show's correct title--"...Strange Mystery"
  • A flashback shows Dib eating peas when Zim enters his body when Zim explains how he got into his body. When he first said it, he didn't have peas on his plate, but instead was eating mashed potatoes when he said the lines "Yeah, sick with fear!".
  • In the flashback where Gaz says "Maybe he's sick", she isn't playing her Game Slave, even though she was in the original scene.


Main Article: The Kevin Manthei Invader Zim-phony Special

All tracks are found in the Amazing Invader Zim-Phony and are in order, as follows:

  • Alarm

Plays when the computer says "Security Breach".

  • Dib the Intruder

Plays when Dib is attacked by various robot arms in Zim's House.

  • The Mystery Envelope

Plays when Dib is writing out the address on envelope that has his evidence.

  • Dib's Ship
Plays when Dib first swallows and then pilots the Nanoship.
Nanoship weapons
  • Combat, Part 1

Plays when Zim transforms his Nanoship.

  • Combat, Part 2

Plays when Gaz starts piloting the Nanoship, and the battle reaches its climax.

Kevin Manthei has also created a remix of the following:

  • Dib's Ship
  • Combat Part 1
  • Combat Part 2

The result is a track entitled "Combat Montage".

See also

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