Nick is one of Zim's test subjects, who Zim performs happy experiments on to test human "happiness centers".
Nick first appeared in the episode "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff" for one scene, and had little lines. After this episode, Nick appeared in other episodes, but mainly served as a background character with little, if any, dialogue.
Nick's first, semi-major appearance was in the episode "Zim Eats Waffles", in which Nick eats waffles with Zim and has numerous lines. After this episode, Nick rarely appeared, though he did make a cameo appearance in "The Girl Who Cried Gnome", being loaded into Zim's Voot Cruiser along with various other belongings.
As a result of the incredibly large "Happiness probe" screwed into his head, Nick is freakishly happy about everything, even when horrible things are happening; in "Zim Eats Waffles", while Zim is being attacked by cyborg zombies, Nick declared the mindless pleasure he was feeling.
In Nick's first appearance, he was shown inside a tube with various other tubes inserted in his neck and head. In all subsequent episodes, he has appeared with his trademark head probe.
His shirt bears the old Nickelodeon logo shaped like an orange splatter. Given his excessively happy nature, it's likely that the character was created as an act of ridicule against the studio, as they did not permit Jhonen Vasquez to incorporate some of his intended ideas into most of the episodes (such as blood or characters getting killed) and forced him to change them to make the episodes more tame.
Nickelodeon didn't even seem to realise that Nick was based on them, even though it was rather blatant. Through the character Nick, he was apparently subliminally stating that the studio wants every show to be sweet, happy and saccharine, no matter how horrible the events corresponding actually are.
Facts of Doom
- Nick is voiced by Jhonen Vasquez himself, who has also voiced numerous other minor characters.
- The fact that Vasquez voices Nick is ironic as he was basically voicing the studio who as stated above wants all of their shows to be "happy" and Nick was that to a ridiculous extreme.