| You're a worse pilot than I am! Wait....|
|Invader Zim Episode|
|Tak: The Hideous New Girl|
|Previous:||Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom|
|Next:||Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars|
|Episode No:||Episode 20|
|Airdate:||May 10, 2002|
|Writer(s):|| Jhonen Vasquez|
SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!
Zim is of course horrified by the meat (due to his allergic reaction) while Dib gets meat slabs from Gretchen; he wants to know how the whole "meat thing" was started, as long ago people used to give out cards and candy on Valentine's Day, but Ms. Bitters hardly gives a satisfactory answer. Suddenly a new girl named Tak arrives (as well as her cat MiMi) and then she starts giving out sausages to everyone, except for Zim, who she instead recites an ambiguous poem to, and then she promptly begins to assault with meat.This makes Zim believe that she has a crush on him, and so he attempts to exploit the opportunity to examine "human love rituals." However, when said attempts only cause in one humiliation after another, he heads home and then he decides that Tak is no longer "useful to him."
Much to his surprise, Zim doesn't have to wait long to see Tak again, as she followed him home. When he attempts to "break up" with her, she laughs evilly and mockingly, revealing herself to actually be a member of the Irken race.
Tak explains that 50 years ago she was on planet Devastis hoping to get the opportunity to being a part of the Irken Elite and, should the need arise, to be chosen as an Invader. Unfortunately because Zim wanted to get a snack from a broken vending machine, he used a Maim Bot to bust it open, which resulted in blowing up the power core for half of the planet. Tak was left trapped inside a building just outside the vending machine at the time, unable to escape due to the power outage caused by Zim. Because she was late, Tak was denied by the Control Brain to have a chance to take the test and she was sent to planet Dirt as part of a Janitorial Squad for the duration of 70 years. Eventually, she escaped and then spent her time tracking down Zim, as he was responsible for "ruining her life."
Then Tak reveals that she wants what is "rightfully hers", namely Zim's mission; she wants to impress the Tallest with a plan that will make her worthy of being an Invader. Of course, this isn't something Zim would permit so easily; he vows to stop her, as he claims the Earth is his planet to destroy. Tak scoffs at Zim, then commands MiMi to unleash a swarm of nanobots to destroy his base. She then disappears with her cloaking device to proceed with her plan.With his base crippled, Zim and GIR are forced to team up with Dib and Gaz in order to stop Tak's plan of hollowing out the Earth's molten core and filling it with snacks for the Tallest. Even as Tak's magma pump begins to siphon out the magma beneath Earth's crust, Dib searches for a way to shut it off, while Zim draws Tak away by engaging her in a harrowing chase in his Voot Cruiser. Meanwhile, Gaz and GIR wreak remote havoc with the memory disk of Tak's SIR Unit. Thanks to their collected efforts, Tak is eventually forced to flee in an escape pod.
After dealing with Tak, Zim tells the Tallest of his achievements (and claiming she said all kinds of lies about them). Zim congratulates himself that he still has a mission and that Tak's plan was ruined, only for the Tallest to be quite displeased, as they like snacks, something Zim acknowledges at the last minute.
Meanwhile, Dib is in his usual spot on the roof of his house, gazing at the stars and telling Gaz that they've only seen aliens and wondering if someday they'll see what's out there. Gaz, of course, is indifferent and walks into their house, when suddenly something falls from the sky and crashes into the lawn. Shocked, a slightly singed Dib looks into the burning crater, and he finds Tak's ship. He smiles.
End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.
These tracks are found in Kevin Manthei's Amazing Invader Zim-Phony, and are in order, as follows,
- Tak's Lair
- Tak's Theme
- It's Love
- Happy Day?
Facts of Doom
- Tak's human clothes were based on the clothes Nny (Vasquez's main character of his first comic Johnny The Homicidal Maniac, or JTHM) wears at the beginning of the comic.
- When Tak makes her exit from Zim's house, she turns herself invisible from the neck down by merely waving her hand in front of her face. This is in reference to the anime film Ghost in the Shell, where Major Motoko Kusanagi did such in the scenes right before the opening title.
- In the animatics feature on the Complete Invasion DVD, the the original uncut montage of Zim trying to get close to Tak can be viewed. Jhonen Vasquez had it removed (as it contained a scene in which Zim kissed Tak's hand, as well as her cringing, then smiling at him and embracing him in a falsely warm, forced hug); he did not approve of this scene at the time, as he did not wish to imply any hints of romance between the characters.
- In the animatics, when Ms. Bitters mentions having a Valentine once, the camera pans to a thought bubble over her head which features a mass of tentacles.
- Tak's shirt has the bottom half of the Irken insignia on it, hinting towards her true identity.
- At the very beginning of the episode, just as squirrels are dancing around on the windowsill and Ms. Bitters starts yelling 'no' into the phone, Zim can be seen messing around with what looks to be the spying tool he used to look for Dib in "The Wettening" and the "Pilot". However, it vanishes the next time he is shown.
- The squirrels dancing around at the beginning of the episode are cyborg squirrels.
- This episode marks the first time that a Control Brain is seen. The second time is in "The Frycook What Came from All That Space", and the third would have been in the cancelled episode "The Trial". In Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, they appear in a daydream Zim has where he's demoted from Invader to "Nothing."
- The way Tak is sending the lava to space is reminiscent of how Zim drained the water from the city in "The Wettening".
- When the lava goes back into the Earth, a satellite can be seen that says 'Property of Earth' on its side. This satellite can be seen also in "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom" and "The Girl Who Cried Gnome".
- Tak's disguise only has three fingers, while most people in the series have four (with the exception of Keef). This is the only flaw in her otherwise perfect disguise.
- This is one of the few episodes with DVD easter eggs.
- Even though this episode is a Valentine's Day episode, it first aired in the month of May instead of February.
- In the commentary for this episode, a joke is made about Gaz being Zim's love interest. Some fans took this idea seriously. Jhonen Vasquez confirmed in the 2012 InvaderCON that had he wanted to put romance into the show, he would have actually paired Zim and Gaz together.
- When Zim busts through Tak's base, he says that the Earth is his to conquer, and that he already promised the moon to GIR. This would've been more evident in the cancelled and unfinished episode "The Trial", where throughout the whole time Zim is away during this episode, GIR takes over Earth by using a laser Zim has built on the Moon.
- When Tak and Dib are talking on the fence, a puddle of Gretchen's tears shows the reflection of Tak refusing meat from Dib, meaning that she is already aware of the reaction it causes. She also uses meat to harm Zim more than once. This would also imply that Tak has been on Earth for some time before making her appearance, seeing as she had a perfect disguise, plan, and already knew enough about Earth to blend in well.
- No one in the episode seems to notice anything strange about Dib appearing to befriend Tak, even though he doesn't have any friends. This would imply that Tak likely used her hypnotic powers off-screen so as to not arise suspicion.
- Being Irken, Tak should've been in pain when she touched meat or barbecue sauce, but she wasn't when she touched a wiener, ribs, and the sauce, this suggests that she could have covered herself in paste similar to Zim. However, her skin steams beneath her disguise when Gaz splashes her with Poop Cola.
- When Zim is talking with Professor Membrane, he drinks some liquid, but it doesn't bother him. Though, it burns him when he is splashed with Poop Cola.
- This is the second time Zim uses the on-board weapons on the Voot Cruiser during the space battle with Tak. The other time is in "Hamstergeddon".
- When Dib asks about underground classrooms, one can hear Zim scream "Why does it hurt?", one of his lines from "The Nightmare Begins".
- When Zim holds up Tak's "Kick Me!" note, the smiley face on it has female Irken antennae.
- When Zim is shown halfway inside a mailbox, on the mailbox is the same symbol used on the Conveyor Belt Planet, an Irken shipping and handling planet.
- As Tak flees, she ejects the inside of her ship from its outer shell. However, when it crashes to Earth, it is whole once more, leaving up to debate how Tak got away alive.
- When Zim uses GIR as a tracking device, it's most likely a reference to the "Pilot" when Zim places a listening device on the back of Dib's head.
- Tak makes a reference to the Roboparents in this episode, although she had never actually met them. This is either a mistake by the writers, or a hint that Tak had been following Zim for quite some time.
- This episode is titled Invader Tak on the Nickelodeon website.
- When Gaz asks the computer if there are any video games in Zim's base, the response is no. However, in the "Pilot", Zim can be seen playing a video game. Also, Keef asks Zim the same thing in "Bestest Friend", and Zim replied in the affirmative. Zim is also seen playing video games on the Mariel Cartwright variant cover of issue 1, this would suggest that Zim doesn't want to share his video games which would explain why the Computer said no.
- It is hinted in this episode that Invader Zim does in fact take place in a futuristic time, because Dib recalls that people used to give out candy and cards.
- It is shown that Gretchen has a crush on Dib since she was the only one to give him meat. This is contradicted in the earlier episode "A Room with a Moose" where Gretchen is seen mocking Dib along with the rest of the Skoolchildren. However, she could have changed her opinion of him at some point.
- Dib only saw Tak's true Irken form in Zim's computer screen and he only found out about her true intentions because Zim told him.
- This is the fourth time that Zim saves the Earth since "Planet Jackers", "Hamstergeddon" and "Lice", the fifth would have been in "Invader Poonchy", the sixth would have been in "Squishy: Hugger of Worlds", and the seventh and ultimate time would have been "Invader Dib." This, however, is the first time he needed assistance from GIR, Dib, and Gaz to save the Earth, most likely because Tak is craftier than his previous foes.
Changes & Cuts
- It was originally supposed to be called "Zim and the Hideous New Girl."
- The montage of Zim trying to win Tak's affection is very different in the animatics. The deleted segments include a scene where Zim kisses Tak's hand and they hug, a scene where Zim does his hair and puts on make-up and a scene where Tak gives Zim a beehive before shoving him into a locker.
- In the animatic, Zim wears his disguise in the scene where he, GIR, Dib, and Gaz go to his base to uncover Tak's plan, but in the final episode, he's out of his disguise in this scene. This was most likely changed because there was no need to wear his disguise when they already know he's an alien.
- This episode was going to be a one hour episode. However, Nickelodeon didn't want a hour-long episode unless it was something very important to the series, so it was cut down to just twenty-two minutes (thirty minutes with commercials).
- Zim and GIR were originally going to meet the Ham Demon.
Things You Might Have Missed
- The screens on the Control Brain from when it sees the future features clips of the Irken Armada from the opening scene of "The Nightmare Begins".
- When Tak opens up her locker and finds the meat (Zim's 'courtship gift' to her), you can see a picture of Zim taped to the side of her locker, though it's ripped in half.
- When Zim walks into his base and GIR is upside-down looking at him, the television in his base is playing the Acne Blast Man commercial from the episode "Rise of the Zitboy".
- The girl that the wieners attack disintegrates when the camera moves away.
- When Dib first enters Tak's base, you can see a pizza box fly by on one of the lifts.
- This episode shows the most Bloody GIRs; the first one is seen on the back wheels of the Meat Ship when Tak first appears, and the second is seen on her left shoe when Dib confronts her in her base.
- When Zim says "Yes, yes, so you blame me for your horrible life, blah blah, big deal!", he is holding a can of Poop Cola, which he is sprayed and burned by later. This means he can handle it internally, but not externally.
- When the students first greet Tak, and the jet outside takes off, the last couple of frames of the shot shows someone's math homework with some egregiously incorrect answers.
- Shnooky makes a cameo appearance when Tak's magma pump is starting up.
Inconsistencies and Animation Errors
- If one looks close enough as Tak blows a hole in Zim's house and leaves, one can see that Zim has no lenses on. The lenses are back on in the next frame.
- When Tak laughs after Zim says "WHAT IS THIS, and what is this plan?", the neck of her uniform is purple when it is normally pink.
- During the scene in Dib's kitchen, while Zim and Dib argue on top of the table. The cup of liquid that Zim set down when Dib walked in the room disappears and reappears randomly throughout the argument.
- Also, when Zim jumps out the window, the chair that Professor Membrane was sitting on suddenly disappears.
- When Zim is talking to Dib at the table, his tongue turns blue for an instant when he says "planet".
- When Tak pours her food tray on Zim's head in one scene, one can see that her arm is shown as it's when out of her disguise.
- When Tak first confronts Zim, GIR is in his dog disguise. However, when she finishes, GIR's costume is nowhere in sight.
- When Zim claims that Tak "stole this plan from me", the. colors on Zim's PAK are reversed. However, when GIR says "No she didn't!" and Zim yells "BE QUIET!", the colors return to normal.
- During the scene in which Tak explains to Zim how he ruined her chance of becoming an Invader, there are stripes on her arms when there normally aren't.
- When the GIR-controlled MiMi is about to grab Tak's face, the SIR Unit's eyes are normal instead of blue.
- When they are listening to Tak's plan, Dib's ears are missing, this is the second time in the series which such an animation error occurs, the first in "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom".
- When Zim, Dib, Gaz, and GIR are about to listen to Tak's plan while they're walking they suddenly appear out of nowhere.
- As the camera pans over to Zim's house after his meat incident, there is a road behind his house, which is not supposed to be there.
- When Tak is laughing after Zim rejected her, her mouth opens really wide and her nose disappears.
- For a minute when Zim yells "THERE"! and the viewer can see Tak laughing, she stops laughing. For a few frames when her eyes are wide open, her right eyelash is purple instead of black.
- When Zim is talking to the Tallest, watch closely: The black PAK pods on Tallest Red's puppet repeatedly disappear and reappear in some moments.
- When Gaz says "Hey, what's this thing?", her mouth doesn't move until the camera pans over to her.
- During the scene where Dib tells Zim that he likes Tak, his nose disappears for a few frames.
- Just as the transmission is cut the first time Zim calls the Tallest, his right antenna disappears and then reappears behind his head.
- When Dib turns his head to ask Ms. Bitters about the old traditions of Valentine's Day, his nose goes missing for a couple of frames.