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Zim

Art Zimyelling

Art Zimdisguiseyelling

Homeworld Irk
Assignment To conquer/destroy Earth
Rank
  • Invader (formerly by the Irken Empire; now self-appointed)
  • Food Service Drone
  • Defective
Gender Male
Eye Color Ruby
Weapons PAK lasers
Equipment
Affiliation(s) Irken Empire
First appearance The Nightmare Begins
Voice Actor(s) Richard Steven Horvitz (Billy West in the Original Pilot, Melissa Fahn as a smeet)
Magda Giner (Latin American)
Nao Nagasawa (Japanese)
Bjorn Schalla (German)
Shihab Ibrahim (Arabic)

Invader Zim is the titular protagonist of the series by the same name, a member of the alien Irken race, and a former Irken Invader; however, since his actions usually lead to disaster (having nearly destroyed the Irken homeworld during Operation Impending Doom I) his leaders, the Almighty Tallest, banished him to Foodcourtia. While there, however, Zim heard of Operation Impending Doom II, and - obviously not understanding the purpose of his previous exile - "quit being banished" and ventured to Conventia in the hope of getting an assignment.

Chagrined, the Almighty Tallest sent him on a "secret mission" to Earth, in order to keep him occupied and away from the real Operation Impending Doom II. After arriving on Earth, Zim enrolled in the nearest elementary skool to begin his infiltration and gather information about the indigenous races. There, he became quick rivals with Dib.

Zim's primary desire is to conquer Earth, mostly to prove his superiority and impress his leaders. However, as mentioned by Gaz in "Bloaty's Pizza Hog", "He's so bad at it."

Although he is the protagonist, Zim is morally and ethically a villain, being an overall fairly unsympathetic character, though he occasionally shows some kindness towards certain characters (such as GIR in "Walk of Doom") and is usually only causing chaos and destruction for either himself, his own race, or Earth. As well, almost everyone else he comes into contact with at any time.

Appearance

Stub Zim

Zim's small stature.

Zim, like most of the Irken race, seems to be based off the typical "little green men from outer space" stereotype.

Many Irkens are about the size of a preteen schoolchild, but Zim is exceptionally short, earning him ridicule from his fellow Irkens, who are respected only if they are tall in height.

In "The Nightmare Begins", Zim was shown to be even shorter than the notoriously diminutive Skoodge. In addition to his short stature and green skin, he also has round teeth (resembling gums more than actual teeth), and a long, worm-like tongue.

Zim also has ruby-colored eyes; a very common trait in Irkens. It was also mentioned in "Walk of Doom" that Zim's eyes contain ocular implants. Since the eyes he was born with are not visibly different from subsequent appearances, it can be assumed that these implants are subcutaneous. As he considers himself to still be an Invader, he continues to wear the standard uniform: a red tunic-like garment with three black stripes and a triangular pink collar and sleeves, as well as black boots, leggings and gloves. His PAK is light gray with pink spots.

He also possesses a pair of antennae; their exact function is unknown, but they seem to function like human eyebrows; rising and lowering to convey emotion. It is possible that they also function as an organ in place of ears, as they picked up vibrations in "Battle of the Planets".

Personality

Zim out of his Disguise (Attack of the Saucer Morons)

While most Irkens are expected to be ruthlessly loyal to the Empire, Zim is considered overzealous even by their standards: Brash, arrogant, and overconfident, Zim's tendency to cause wanton destruction makes him a danger to himself and his own people, yet he still considers himself a mighty Irken warrior. In addition, he is acutely narcissistic and megalomaniacal, congratulating himself on even the smallest of successes; these, however, are few and far between.

Despite his self-proclaimed greatness, Zim rarely succeeds in his attempts and is held up as a complete laughingstock by his own people - a fact that he is either oblivious to or simply chooses not to notice. Zim is cluelessly loyal and obedient to the Tallest, the Irken Empire, his planet and his people, and is willing to go to ridiculous lengths to please his leaders. However, his self-absorbed nature prevents him from acknowledging any of his failures, and he chooses only to speak about the better things that came from each incident.

ZimGIRETF04

Zim and GIR exercising in Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus

Zim's laugh and mannerisms can be said to be somewhat derived from a masculine equivalent to the unpleasant "rich person"/"spoiled brat" stereotypes of Western animated cartoons and movies, combined with the "overconfident alien invader" stereotype seen in sci-fi shows and movies.

Despite his frequent displays of stupidity and insanity, it is clear that Zim is highly intelligent in some respects - being a keen manipulator of tools and devices - but has absolutely no apparent interest in thinking things through, and wastes much of his time fretting about or dealing with unimportant "threats." Moreover, it is evident that he is more than capable of conquering the Earth, yet he hardly ever uses this capability properly, and has often been very close to taking over the planet, only to be thwarted by his own negligence.

Zim testing squirrels

Zim testing in his lab.

One of Zim's abilities is his somewhat inconsistent skills at piloting; while in a tense situation he flies masterfully but seems to crash on most other occasions, and his skills pale in comparison to opponents adept at hand-eye coordination or overall agility (such as Gaz). Zim also has admirable engineering ability; in "Walk of Doom" he singlehandedly improved the SIR Unit guidance system chip, and in "Walk for Your Lives" he hand-built a variable time stasis field capable of altering individual time-fields. He is immensely proud of anything he creates, yet is often frustrated when his devices fail to live up to his grandiose expectations.

Smeet Zim

Smeet Zim hugging the "cold, unfeeling robot arm"

Even though Zim often affirms that he wishes to enslave Earth, it has been hinted that he would not actually want to rule it. In "Attack of the Saucer Morons", Zim gained a group of human worshippers who would be willing to do his bidding, yet his only thought was escaping them. In the non-canon Nickelodeon Magazine Special, in which Zim finally took over the world, he did not stay to rule for very long, instead, leaving Earth forever to ride flying alien rabbits and drink soda.

Zim usually shows little to no affection, often claiming to "need no one", but he occasionally lets a softer side of him slip by accident. In "Parent Teacher Night", when Zim thought back to when he was born, he remembered the first thing he ever said was that he loved the "cold, unfeeling robot arm" that "hatched" him from his incubation capsule and activated his PAK.

Zim and Dib fight over the camera

Zim and Dib fighting.

Strangely, it would seem that Zim also relies on the presence of his mortal enemy, Dib, for motivation. He said in "A Room with a Moose" that his mission might not be as "exciting" without Dib around to "annoy him", but also seems to dwell on the big-headed human quite a bit, sometimes more so than his actual mission. In fact, Zim enjoys tormenting and humiliating Dib even if it is unprovoked that he would just do it for the fun of it, making Dib's hatred for him real and his efforts to beat the Invader all the more personal.

This importance was particularly highlighted in "Mopiness of Doom": When Dib briefly decided to give up his pursuit of Zim, the Irken lost all motivation to take over Earth or do anything in general.

Ominous

Zim's plan begins.

In Enter the Florpus, it was shown that Zim has the potential to be an actual threat if he puts his mind to it, as he successfully hijacked Professor Membrane's Peace Day ceremony, but only after Dib unintentionally inspired him (and he even rubs it in his face about it). As a result, Zim used the combination of the Membracelets and Minimoose's powers to channel cosmic energy and teleported the Earth to another part of the universe in the flight path of the Tallest so the Massive would invade the planet.

The TV movie also revealed the lengths Zim is willing to go to in order to finish his mission, even if it means his own demise. When Dib told him that the Florpus Hole would destroy him along with the planet, Zim disregarded his warning saying that the Tallest would arrive long before anything happened, and later on as the Earth was colliding with alternate realities and being torn apart, he victoriously shouted "Zim has won!" because in his mind, he did win.

Earth was moments away from being destroyed and taking humanity with it, Zim showing a complete indifference towards his own life because his mission, even if it was his last one, would've been complete. Him sounding so triumphant while stepping into his own doom is quite fanatical because his loyalty to the Irken Empire knows no bounds and he is no doubt willing to go out like a soldier doing his duty. Of course, it's also possible that Zim is so delusional that he simply didn't realize that he'd be destroyed too.

Zim's PAK

Invader Class Insignia

Zim's PAK prior to his banishment.

Zim, like all Irkens, was fused at birth with a mechanical device called a PAK. Zim's PAK provides him with life support, all the necessary nutrients for survival, and an array of different weapons and tools. These tools include a set of four spider-like mechanical legs, an organ harvester, scanner pads, hand-held communicators, memory drive, charging cell, atmospheric processor, high tech infrared/night vision binoculars, holographic transmitters, and four rocket boosters, as well as a sort of biomechanical rebreather mask used in no air or bad air environments. It can also be 'rebooted' after a sudden shock to the system (like the wave of raw stupidity in "Plague of Babies").
Food services

Zim's PAK after being re-encoded.

Zim's PAK, due to his actions after Operation Impending Doom I, has him re-encoded as a Fast Food Drone; this was part of his banishment to the Irken snacking planet of Foodcourtia, and is confirmed by Frylord Sizz-Lorr during the episode "The Frycook What Came From All That Space." Interestingly, the episode "Career Day" also shows that the job that is the most suitable for Zim is fast food services.

As said by Tallest Purple in the cancelled episode, "The Trial", an Irken PAK contains all of a single Irken's memories, personality, and high scores. An Irken assigned to a specific task has their PAK 'encoded' for that task by an Irken Control Brain, similar to formatting a hard drive.

In the same episode Zim's true status was determined to be "Defective". Although a Defective is supposed to be an individual with a flawed PAK, and Zim's PAK was undoubtedly as the most defective as Smeet Zim stated that it had "40 shmillion mistakes" and his unawareness of his destructive actions is most likely the result of him being a "defect", however it can be seen in the episode that the process of determining an Irken's 'defectiveness' is highly subjective.
Zim's PAK reattaching

Zim's PAK getting re-attached.

In another scripted, but never completed episode by Rob Hummel, "Ten Minutes to Doom", Zim accidentally loses his PAK, which is then stolen by Dib. Zim himself begins to quickly deteriorate and it is revealed that Irkens can only survive ten minutes without their PAK.

The PAK attaches itself to Dib and begins to assert Zim's personality in Dib. Although Zim is almost dead by the time he retrieves his PAK, once he has it back on he is very quickly rejuvenated. As Dib states in the episode, "This device... it IS ZIM. It's his brain and his life support. That means his body is just... something to carry his PAK around."

It should be noted, that only Irken biology is compatible with the PAK. When Dib wears the PAK the madness of Zim's personality is far more overstated than usual. Zim later states that the PAK would have destroyed Dib if he had worn it for more than ten minutes.

Existence Evaluation

Zim is essentially the cause of most of the planet Irk's disasters: a few minutes after his birth he jammed up a chute with another baby Irken that created a blackout (Horrible Painful Overload Day) plunging Irk into darkness for five years. Later, an accident with a security robot caused another blackout (Horrible Painful Overload Day Part II), this one lasting for four years.

Trying to channel Zim's destructive tendencies, the then-Tallest reassigned Zim to the military station on the Planet Vort, where he dismissed the design of the Massive as unworkable and then created an energy-absorbing monster that ingested an infinite energy source which proceeded to eat then-Tallest Miyuki. Years later, it returned to get its collar and devoured Miyuki's successor, Tallest Spork.

Zim plunged half of the military planet Devastis into darkness when he used a maim bot on a malfunctioning snack machine, as seen in "Tak, the Hideous New Girl." During Operation Impending Doom I, Zim was placed in a small circle and told to watch it, but the will to destroy was too great and deciding that the "Empire needed him" he stole a Frontline BattleMech and, out of overzealous excitement, proceeded to destroy half of Irk without realizing that he was still on his own planet - as seen briefly in a flashback during "The Nightmare Begins." Sometime after this, he scratches his butt, causing the planet he's on to explode.

Incredibly, Zim is proud of all these "achievements", and mistakes his Existence Evaluation for a party thrown in his honor, though soon realizes his mistake. When he is finally declared defective, the Control Brains attempting to delete his PAK's data are themselves corrupted by Zim, and go insane themselves. Zim is rewarded with ten free minutes of piloting the Massive and declared 'the most incredible Irken ever' by the insane Control Brains.

Weaknesses and immunities

Zim trying to Hypnotize Gaz (Rise of the Zitboy)

Zim is severely allergic to several Earth substances, including water, meat, barbecue sauce, beans, pizza and most school lunches. The last item may not be considered a weakness exclusively to Zim, as the food in the cafeteria has been shown to be harmful to humans as well. Exposure to excessive grease leads to the creation of an enormous transparent, semi-permeable, hypnotic pimple, known first as Pustulio.

It's unclear whether these effects are due to Zim's alien biochemistry or because the Earth itself appears to be, in the timeframe of Invader Zim, excessively polluted. The episode "Bolognius Maximus" offers an additional suggestion that the Irken body may be physiologically and biochemically much more delicate than a human's. Zim's genetic structure breaks down and turns into bologna much faster than Dib's after exposure to an identical infusion of bologna-DNA.

However, for each weakness Zim has found a compensatory mechanism, he discovered that germs could be repelled by covering his body in "space meat" and using conventional Earth disinfectant sprays (despite the meat then fusing to his flesh). He also discovered his pimples have hypnotic properties over humans. In the episode "Zim Eats Waffles", he thinks that eating enough Earth food will allow him to build up an immunity to it. Whether it has or not wasn't seen.

The wettening 3

In addition, in "The Wettening" after Zim found out about bathing in the school glue, he could be protected against water, at first it appears that he developed a layer of glue that permanently fused to his outer epidermal layer, but it was revealed that Jhonen Vasquez planned to have more scenes where Zim would be seen bathing in paste to have the viewer remember that he needs protection against water but couldn't due to time constraints.

It is first seen in "Door to Door" that Zim can withstand a large amount of water (when the character who Zim asked sprays him with a hose). This was seen in "The Frycook What Came From All That Space", where Zim crashes and has a small splash of water from a hose. In the DVD, Jhonen commentates that "Zim is resistant to water, but he's exposed to polluted water only."
Another freak out

A very over-reactive Irken.

Zim also has an intense fear of germs and anything "filthy." In the episode "Germs", Zim orders a pair of "microgoggles" that allow him to see germs, portrayed in the usual cartoonish fashion of large, pulsating green blobs. Zim panics when he realizes that germs are almost everywhere and begins to spray them with disinfectant. In "Rise of the Zitboy", Zim obsessively rubs his face with soap after being hugged by a grease-soaked GIR.

An unknown substance secretad by his skin kills lice almost instantly, this could mean that he is also immune to other pests on Earth.

His biggest weakness however would be his immense ego as it makes Zim do incredibly reckless things almost all the time, however that seems to have been somehow fixed by Issue 12, as in the future a more competent Zim has conquered Earth.

Disguises worn in public

Main article: Zim's Disguises
Art Zimdisguisepointing

Zim in his human disguise.

In order to blend in with the inhabitants of Earth, Zim has made a series of creative disguises. Zim often wears disguises to try to conceal his identity from the "earth-monkeys" that he plans to eventually conquer; they are often unconvincing and hastily constructed, but he knows that the humans are too oblivious to recognize that he is an extraterrestrial visitor anyway.

Zim's school disguise consists of some contact lenses and a bouffant wig. The contacts give his eyes a human appearance, and the wig covers his antennae; however, everything else about him, including his uniform and green skin, is left unchanged.

He explains away his skin color and lack of ears as a skin condition in the "The Nightmare Begins", and has passed off being caught without his contact lenses as a bad case of pinkeye. It was discovered in the first episode that the sleeve of his right glove can become a self-destruct device, most likely to get rid of an Irken soldier if they believe their mission has been compromised.

Zim's Old Man Costume

Zim in his old man disguise.

He occasionally wears an old man disguise, such as in "Walk of Doom" and other episodes, which he used throughout the first season. This disguise consists of a flowered hat and a white fake beard. It makes him resemble a short, crazy old man; in the same episode, he was mistaken for a hobo and later for a bank robber. Ironically, this is the only disguise Zim wore that nearly got him arrested and even discovered, as was the case in "Attack of the Saucer Morons."

Human Thing

Human?

In the second season of the show, Zim added another disguise to his arsenal: a floppy, huge-headed human suit with a cape, a sewed-on handbag and stuffed puppy, and a name tag reading 'human'. His face was undisguised, but no one saw through it as it was revealed humans saw a human face. This disguise was first seen in "The Girl Who Cried Gnome" and briefly during "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever".

Scientists Z

Professor Zim.

A similar disguise was seen in Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, where Zim kidnaps Professor Membrane and takes over his labs for his new evil plan. The only differences from the above human disguise were that Zim was dressed as a scientist of sorts and was using his contact lenses.

Zim as Santa

Zim in his Santa suit.

Other costumes worn include a fat lady outfit used to hide the time field explosion in "Walk for Your Lives"; a bear suit (use unknown, possibly an I Feel Sick reference) in "Battle of the Planets", a "Baby Inspector" disguise for interrogating "Noogums" ("Plague of Babies"), and the Santa Claus suit and Easter Platypus disguises used to manipulate the public in "The Most Horrible X-mas Ever"; the former was by far one of Zim's most ambitious and advanced disguises, being made from a Vortian liquid substance.

Easter bunny variation

Zim as the Easter Platypus.

The Pilot also featured an over-sized robotic battle-suit shaped like Zim's school disguise for use in the food-fight that occurred. Brief on-screen appearances of other Invaders in "Walk for Your Lives" and "Planet Jackers" showed that almost all other Invaders use even shoddier disguises, so Zim's ineptitude in this regard is not unique.

Alexovich Main ZIM 01

Zim in his various disguises and outfits by Aaron Alexovich.

Sightings






Voice Actors

Zim has had several voice actors before the series had officially started.

In Jhonen Vasquez's original pilot episode, Zim's voice was provided first by Mark Hamill and then by Billy West. According to his DVD commentary, Vasquez ultimately rejected him because Futurama was still on the air and he did not think there should be two sci-fi/humor cartoons with the same lead actor. The pilot episode with West's voiceover track is available as an extra feature on the second disk of the Zim DVD set. Hamill was not cast because Vasquez considered he was unsuited for the role upon hearing his recordings while Nickelodeon considered that he sounded too old.

Richard Steven Horvitz, who voiced Daggett  from The Angry Beavers, revoiced Zim as a tester on the third pass of the pilot and was finally chosen to be the character's permanent voice for the remainder of the American series. If The Angry Beavers had not ended by the time Invader Zim aired, Andy Berman, the voice of Dib, would have voiced Zim. This final version of the pilot was unavailable to the public until Christmas Eve, 2011, when the pilot aired on Nicktoons. At this point, the late Gary Coleman was considered to voice Zim, but according on his blog, Vasquez didn't wanted to cast a celebrity to voice the show's titular protagonist.[1]

Horvitz's style of voicing Zim was influenced heavily by Vasquez's own inflections, and those of Vincent Price. Interestingly, Horvitz played a similar character (Orthopox) in the video game Destroy All Humans!, with similar inflections and personality. On behind the voice actors, it was shown that Melissa Fahn had voiced Zim as a smeet in "Parent Teacher Night"; her only line as Zim was: "I love you, cold unfeeling robot arm."

His foreign dubbers are Nao Nagasawa[2] in the Japanese dub, Magda Giner in the Latin American dub, [3] Bjorn Schalla in the German dub and Shihab Ibrahim in the Arabic dub.

Facts of Doom

CUZ

Zim makes his debut.

  • Zim is fittingly the first Irken to appear in the series, albeit only the upper part of his face is seen in "The Nightmare Begins."
  • Zim could've been considered the first Nicktoon villain to have ever killed anyone onscreen had the show not been cancelled, since the unfinished episode "The Trial" confirms that he doomed two previous Irken leaders by accident; and, during a flashback in "The Frycook What Came from All That Space", it was shown that he blew up all the other Invaders at the beginning of Operation Impending Doom I, and considering that Sizz-Lorr said Zim nearly "destroyed their civilization" it's heavily implied that he is responsible for the death of thousands maybe millions of Irkens, or perhaps the near-death. However, "Invader Dib" was going to show Zim wanting to protect his people from further deaths and atone for the crimes he has been said to have committed.
  • Zim may have appeared in Jhonen Vasquez's comic book Squee! before the start of the series. A poster featuring an alien that looks Irken and wearing a wig like Zim's bouffant wig appears above Todd's bed. The image looks less like Zim, though, since the head is rounded and has mere stick figure hands.
  • Zim has been seen in a commercial on Nickelodeon holding a sandwich, to which he has bad allergic reactions. In it, he was knocked off a wire he was sitting on and thrown into a light, making it explode. This commercial was a crossover of other series on Nickelodeon. After the cancellation of Invader Zim, Zim was replaced with Jenny from My Life as a Teenage Robot, which was also cancelled. However, Jenny wasn't knocked into the light.
  • Zim's personality is based on the part of Jhonen Vasquez's that refuses to listen to anybody that has ever tried to hold him back from achieving his goals, like those who told him that he would never make a living out of drawing cartoons. The only difference is that Vasquez's relentlessness benefits him while Zim's is purely self-destructive.
    • Vasquez also said that Zim is that version of him "highly concentrated", where his greatest superpower is his inability to understand why he might fail.
  • Zim is known to smell things and scents even though he does not have a nose, or his nostrils are so small that they're not visible, as evidenced in "Germs", when he is seen sniffing the scent saying it was the "stink of clean."
  • In Jhonen Vasquez's Meanwhile... comic "Jhonen Vasquez V.S The Devil," there are aliens flying a ship similar to Zim's Voot Runner, though the aliens inside the ship look nothing like Irkens.
  • It's revealed in "Tak: The Hideous New Girl" that he promised the moon to GIR.
    Zim and bee 1

    Zim seeing a bee.

  • In one episode of Fanboy & Chum Chum called "Dollar Day", Zim can be seen on a comic cover in the background. His skin is faintly green and he is wearing his disguise, so one must be careful when looking for him.
  • At some point in the series, Zim had learned to read human writing, as he is seen reading the newspaper, and understanding what it says, in "Zim Eats Waffles".
  • Zim is a playable character in Nicktoons MLB alongside Gaz; best used as a first base-Irken, his bat is one of the strongest in the entire game if Turbo Hit is activated and he maintains his concentration. His clothes and overall body rendering are the same as in the show, only he wears a pinkish baseball cap that transforms into a first baseman's helmet when he is in first base. He also has a collectible card that mentions that he was almost cut from the roster when it was discovered that he was pulling a prank on fellow team players (tying their shoelaces together). His 'up to bat' pose is an action movie-style jump. Gaz cheers him on when he gets a home run, as do the hundreds of Irkens in the stands when he knocks the ball out of the park.
  • Despite Zim being widely hated within the universe of the show, he is also quite respected by some, such as Keef, Professor Membrane, Invader Skoodge, Sergeant Slab Rankle, the Plim, Mooshy and Spoopty among others. He is also quite beloved in the fandom.
  • The fact that Invader Tenn looks quite a bit like Zim may hint at the possibility that the two of them may actually be related since its possible that the Control Brains used similar DNA to create them.
  • Ironically, Zim is the closest thing Dib has to a friend.
  • Only three people during the whole series have been shown to intimidate or frighten Zim; which are Sergeant Hobo 678, Sizz-Lorr and Gaz.
  • Zim's name is spelled in capital letters in the official voice scripts.
    • Other media forms stylize his names in the same fashion, and some people consider it the canonical way of writing his name.
    • Jhonen Vasquez stated that Irkens write in all caps "because they are annoying"[4]
    • Whenever Zim writes his name in the show, he writes it as "ZiM", capitalizing the "Z" and "M" but leaving the "i" lowercase. This is how his name appears in the show's title card as well.
  • In the Japanese and Latin American dubs of the show, Zim is voiced by a woman. In the latter, his Spanish voice actress's voice is pitched down to sound more male in initial episodes.
  • In Japanese, Zim's name is pronounced as Jim, as the language technically lacks a "zi" sound.
  • Zim's Latin American voice actress, Magda Giner, also dubbed Lois Wilkerson from "Malcolm in the Middle". Coincidentally, both characters are known to scream a lot.
  • As hinted in "Nubs of Doom" and confirmed by Jhonen Vasquez, purple is Zim's favorite color.
  • In some rare cases, Zim has a habit of procrastinating on his mission as seen in Issue 1, Issue 20 and the cancelled episode "Mopiness of Doom."
  • Jhonen Vasquez who is an avid gamer has said that Zim likes video games, this was proven as he was seen in the pilot playing "Pain Piggy" in his base while in "Bestest Friend" he told Keef had had video games and in the unfinished episode "The Trial" the script had him playing video games during his existence evaluation. This makes Zim the only other character besides Gaz who is seen playing video games in the series.
  • The unfinished episode "The Trial" implies that Zim may have an actual disorder, as the titular trial amounts to a process of Zim being declared legally insane or suffering from paranoia and mania.
  • Zim is the only known Irken defective to not be deactivated seeing as the Control Brains themselves became insane from all the bad data in his PAK.
  • Interestingly, the Control Brains can re-encode Zim's PAK from an Irken Invader to a Fast Food Drone without any problems but as mentioned above are unable to erase his PAK.
  • In "The Nightmare Begins", Zim draws his base on a tablet first. If you watch closely, this shows that Zim draws it with his left hand. Yet in "Career Day" while taking the ink-blot test, he writes with his right hand. So Zim is ambidextrous.
  • In some earlier episodes Zim has four fingers, but later he has only three, this was probably done so as to make him appear more alien.
  • Since Zim is already an adult by the beginning of the series, it's unlikely that he will grow in height unless Irkens have a growth spurt outside of their home planet, which is something fans have used in fanfics quite a lot.
  • In the game "Don't Starve Together", he is shown as a character mod. He is also a model in Gmod.
  • Ironically despite Zim wanting to enslave or destroy the human race, he seems to have a decent amount of "popularity" among not just the Skoolchildren but with a few citizens as people often side with him rather than Dib even when it is painfully clear that he hates humanity, at least for the majority of episodes that were completed before cancellation.
  • Zim met President Man in "The Girl Who Cried Gnome" and again in Issue 32. This is the only time in the series and comics, respectively, that he comes across one of Earth's world leaders.
  • In the episode "The Girl Who Cried Gnome" it was shown that Zim can whistle, what was odd was that he knew the lyrics of "If You're Happy and You Know It" which may hint he's getting familiar with human culture.
  • In an interview with IGN in 2004 Jhonen Vasquez said that he "always imagined Zim as just being utterly unaware of his shortcomings, to a dangerous extent even. He's not really stupid, but he's got some problems getting priorities straight. He's this alien from an incredibly advanced race (technologically anyhow), with access to a universe of power. And yet he stays in school all day, enduring it, hating it, fearing it and freaking out about it. The thought of sneaking out or setting a robot in his place never crosses his mind. He gets so caught up with the most unimportant details, he ends up getting nothing done; He gets a giant robot, and his plan is to go beat Dib up. It was cool to remind people that he really was in control of some impressive stuff, but that his sense of control was so horrible that it didn't matter if his plans were foolproof." 
  • Interestingly since Zim accidentally discovered Earth, other aliens may be aware of his discovery. One clue can be the fact that mail delivery services are seen sending him stuff to the planet.
  • Zim is the first Irken to have set foot on both Earth and Mars.
  • Zim has the most appearances of the four main characters in both the TV series and the comics. This is unsurprising, since he is the main character.
  • In Issue 7, when Zim landed on a previously lifeless planet, the Voot Runner's leaking fluid started the fast-paced evolution of life on the planet and he accidentally created life.
    Zim's son

    Zim's Smeet.

    • In the same issue, Zim also spits into the fluid, creating a Zim-like smeet which ended up referring to Zim as "papa". This would've made him a father, which would be a first for Irkens in hundreds if not thousands of years as currently the species as a whole doesn't have families.
  • In Issue 13, Zim admits that he has trouble telling human genders apart. He's shown making this mistake in Issue 17, when he refers to Dib as a lady. However, this could simply be a gag, since several times in the series he correctly calls Dib "Earth boy" and the joke could be a possible reference to Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama, since he is also an alien who makes the same mistake all too often.
    • Coincidentally, Billy West, who voices Dr. Zoidberg, voiced Zim in the pilot and almost voiced him for the entire series had Richard Horvitz not landed the role.
  • Zim has been able to create life from scratch, as in the above mention of Issue 7 he accidentally terraformed an previously dead planet and even fathered a smeet for a few seconds, however this may be a less than impressive achievement as it has been hinted that Irkens can create blobs, which are another sentient and non-sentient lifeforms as seen in both the series and comics.
  • Assuming that the comic series is canon, Zim will eventually grow out of his "Defective" nature, finally conquering Earth and succeed in earning the Tallest respect as seen in Issue 12. This can possibly be a result of his PAK finally getting those "40 shmillion mistakes" fixed.
  • In an interview when someone asked Jhonen Vasquez if Zim would ever conquer Earth, he laughed and said yes. The episode "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever", however, suggests otherwise.
  • Issue 25 shows some of Zim's backstory as an Invader in training. But at the moment, it's unknown if future issues of the comic will show more of Zim's past.
  • Issue 28 reveals that Zim doesn't know what hot dogs are made of and claims that "No one knows."
  • In Issue 34, Zim believes that he and Prisoner 777 are "old friends" despite the fact that he has his children hostage on Earth, as revealed in Issue 1.
    • In a twisted way Zim is technically saving the lives of 777's children by keeping them in his base, as it's unknown what Irkens do to young Vortians after they conquered Vort.
  • In Issue 40, it was revealed that across the multiverse, in universes where both Zim and Dib exist, they always end up meeting and are destined to be enemies.
  • It was revealed in Issue 44 that Zim sometimes makes questionable business deals with other aliens. This would explain how he has monies, since it's unlikely that the Tallest pay him.
  • In Issue 45 it was shown that Zim surprisingly knows how to drive a car, as he stole a weenie mobile from the Deelishus Weenie restaurant and even more shockingly took a road trip despite hating everything about Earth.
Z&LMM

Zim and Li'l Meat Man.

    • In the same issue it was seen that Zim is actually capable of feeling love, as he comes to care for Li'l Meat Man as if it really were his child. However, once it fully registers with him that Li'l Meat Man is just a wad of meat, he stops caring about it.
    • Also, as seen in "Parent Teacher Night" Zim has an affection for his cold unfeeling robot arm. This shows that Irkens can feel love as Jhonen Vasquez claimed.
  • in Issue 46, it's revealed that Zim doesn't remember Tak and Skoodge even when they're the Irkens that Zim has talked to the most next to the Tallest.
  • Vasquez confirmed that only polluted water can harm Zim, this is most likely because realistically, there is also water in Earth's atmosphere and if Zim kept breathing the planet's oxygen, it would only be a matter of time till it killed him.
  • Zim has been shown to have memory lapses in many instances, such as in "Gaz, Taster of Pork", when he said that Dib was "making it up" when Dib brought up the events of "Bolognius Maximus"; in "The Frycook What Came from All That Space", when he initially didn't remember working on Foodcourtia (although he could possibly have simply blocked out his time at Shloogorgh's Flavor Monster as the abuse he received from costumers and Sizz-Lorr alike traumatized him); and in the end panel of Issue 3 where he didn't remember the events of that issue. This is often used to play with the series' floating timeline, as other characters can remember certain events, but Zim can't. Alternatively, Zim does remember but pretends not to out of pride.
    • Amazingly, Zim is at the same time capable of remembering things he's not even present for, as he's able to remember something Sizz-Lorr said when Zim was nowhere in sight. Additionally in "The Nightmare Begins", Zim apparently remembered something Dib did despite just arriving on Earth, though this might just be him pretending in order to make Dib look crazier.
    • This hints at the possibility that his damaged PAK is somehow responsible for this ability.
  • Ironically, Zim is arguably a better defender than an Invader seeing as he has saved the Earth a handful of times both in the show and the comics.
  • According to Jhonen Vasquez, Zim is older than any living human and arguably any living being on planet Earth.
    • Vasquez later confirmed that while he himself doesn't know Zim's exact age. He's canonically a young adult by Irken standards but quite old by human standards, and he simply likes spending his free time fighting human children since they're the only thing getting in the way of completing his mission.[5]
    • There was a possibility of Zim's age originally planned to be around 160 Earth years old, but was most likely scrapped; similar to what happened to Dib's last name to be unknown but was later changed to "Membrane" in the comics.
  • Vasquez has stated that the four main characters aren't evil and that Zim and Dib are both "good guys" but on "different sides". This makes sense in Zim's case, as he is a "defective" and can't tell the difference between right and wrong.
    • However, Zim has explicitly proclaimed himself to be “evil”, notably in the episode "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" when he said, “With this, I can pilot the Massive and bring the Almighty Tallest here to witness my ingenious evil!
  • Despite Zim presumably having over a century of military training he is unable to defeat or kill Dib and Gaz who are mere children or "smeets" in Irken terms and theoretically shouldn't be considered a threat to his "mission", this could be due in part to his questionable sanity or maybe that Zim himself has yet to actually reach a level of mental maturity since he has remained the same personality wise for most of his life.
  • At San Diego Comic Con 2018, Jhonen Vasquez said he believes that Zim is hard of hearing, which would explain why he screams so much.
  • Issue 34 reveals that Zim pays to have his enemies (and people he just doesn't like) locked up in the space prison Moo-Ping 10.
  • Zim can actually tell when other species are disguised as an Irken unlike other Irkens, as seen in Issue 43 when he was the only one that recognized Dib even when he was wearing a terrible disguise. This is an ironic reversal of their standard dynamic, where Dib is one of the only humans who can tell Zim is an alien in an awful human disguise.
  • Steve Ressel once said that if the Tallest ever told Zim the truth about his "mission", he wouldn't believe them as he is too arrogant, interestingly the Tallest never told him and Zim realized the Tallest had no intention to come to Earth by himself.
  • In Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, it's revealed that Zim knows some Spanish, as he says "Vamonos" which translates to "let's move on", at one point. This could be because he and GIR were stuck in Mexico at the end of the episode "Walk of Doom", and were stuck there presumably for some time, perhaps long enough for him to learn the language.
  • In the movie its also revealed that Zim's antennae resemble Johnny C's "Bunny hairstyle" when they're bent forward.
  • Zim may have unintentionally saved the universe from the Irken Empire as the Florpus Hole swallowed the Irken Armada, possibly even destroying it, which of course would have left Irk vulnerable from possible attacks by vengeful aliens across the cosmos.

Gallery

See also

References

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