''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4627351/1/Invader_Zim_The_Series Invader Zim: The Series]]'' is an ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' fanfiction by [[http://www.fanfiction.net/~ckhttp://www.fanfiction.net/u/573595/ngrey651 ngrey651]] and is an adaptation of the insanely popular animated series ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim''.
The basic plot is simple: It's the story of one certain Invader who's trying to take over the world, one human that's determined to stop him, a sister that would rather be playing video games, a robot just along for the ride, and the eccentric but very lovable InteractiveNarrator that's trying to make sure they don't all kill each other while the story is continued to be told.
The sheer amount of misfortune the narrator goes through alone is hilarious, and the story contains dozens of jokes about the Invader Zim canon and fanon, and is a surprisingly faithful adaptation to the source material while also providing a surprisingly satisfying and heartwarming ending to the series as a whole.
Also, it is recommended that you read two other stories by the same author that provide important [[AllThereInTheManual background information]] for the series:
''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4472525/1/Invader_Darth Invader Darth]]'' which provides the BackStory for major secondary character [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Invader Darth]].
''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4803016/1/Invader_Skoodge Invader Skoodge]]'' which tells the story of how ''[[ChewToy Skoodge]]'' of all people managed to take over a planet, as well as planting the seeds of the main story's latter StoryArc.
!!This story provides examples of:
* AdultsAreUseless: This happens so, so often. In fact, most of the universe seems to be filled with idiots or bastard coated bastards with bastard filling.
* ADayInTheLimeLight: Most of the characters from the show get their own small subplot at least once in the story. One of the more touching ones is when Skoodge and Gretchen develop a touching little crush on each other. This includes sappy poetry.
* AgentMulder: Dib and the Swollen Eyeball men. This is further expanded upon when [[spoiler: Dib’s future self shows up as a super-agent of the Men in Black]]
* AIIsACrapshoot: Skoodge’s first SIR unit actually went insane on Blorch and tried to terminate the poor lump. And he insulted his weight. Now that was just mean. >.<
** There's also ERROR, the AxCrazy A.I. that work's for Spork's LegionOfDoom during the final StoryArc - and the best part? [[TheReveal The Reveal]] in the last chapter that [[spoiler: ERROR ''is'' Skoodge's original SIR in a new body]].
* AlienAmongUs: The premise.
* AliensAreBastards: The Irkens are out to conquer other species for [[ForTheEvulz no good reason]], and most seem to be pretty warped and sociopathic in their own way. This comes back to haunt them so...so badly. This is also the primary reason for the "Man In Blue's" hatred of aliens.
* AliensAndMonsters: A good number of the characters.
* AndIMustScream: The ultimate fate of [[spoiler: Zoburg]]. Not that he didn't deserve it...
* AnyoneCanDie: Nick dies so frequently that [[spoiler: when he actually blows his own head off to save his friends and doesn’t immediately come right back, everyone is absolutely horrified beyond belief that this time...it’s apparently for real. Also, say g’bye to Sizz-Zorr, MIMI, Skoodge’s SIR unit VENT, DL, Darth’s brother, Jhonen Vasquez, pretty much all of the Irken Armada...]]
* ArchEnemy: Zim has so many of these it’s actually kind of something to brag about.
* AudienceParticipationSong: There’s a KICKASS one at the end of the story.
* AuthorAvatar: The author is the narrator. Nuff said.
* BecomingTheMask: Erin, member of the Resisty, gets close to Tallest Red in an attempt to earn his trust and ultimately use that relationship to bring ruin to the empire...yet the lovey-dovey attitude she fakes at first becomes real as she begins to fall in love with him, and he with her.
* BerserkButton: Don't hurt Darth's loved ones. Just ''don't''.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Nick actually goes practically insane with rage after Zim uses him in a world domination plot and almost beats him to death, screaming how Zim broke his trust.
--->'''Nick'''"You…LITTLE…BASTAAAARD! I went to bat for you! I defended you when nobody else did! I was your FRIEND! I would have DIED for you…and you stabbed me in the back by using my power for THIS!”
* BigBad: Sue has this role during her StoryArc, before being demoted to secondary villain later on. Spork then takes over as BigBad for the latter end of the story, though the last couple of chapters make him more of a DiscOneFinalBoss to [[KnightTemplar Sarong]].
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Most of the Irken race subscribes to this school of thought. Even the “nice” ones like Skoodge want to have power and rule over others, they’d just be civil and kind about it. Needless to say, this ends up backfiring horribly when their poor treatment of other races comes back forcibly to bite them in the ass near the end of the story.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: This happens all the time. In fact, there pretty much IS no fourth wall.
* BountyHunter: Frequency, an OC from some of ngrey651's other stories, appears here as a mercenary hired by Sue to serve as her [[TheDragon Dragon]].
* ButtMonkey: Dib is one. When you’ll been turned into bologna, you know you’ve reached a new low. Nick, the Narrator, seems to get even more crap dumped on him though, most likely because he’s the opposite of Jhonen. Even Zim gets this treatment sometimes.
--->'''Zim:''' “AAA! Why must this BEEEE?".\\
'''The Narrator:''' Uh, cuz you're trying to take over the world?
* CassandraTruth: Dib. Dib, Dib, Dib.
--->'''Dib:''' "No matter how hard I try nobody's really willing to openly HELP and the only few people who COULD help don't believe Zim's such a threat!"
* ChekhovsGun: “The End” is discussed as some kind of awful, yet incredible power that could put an end to the entire universe as the characters know it. There’s a huge build-up as to just what it is and what it does, and when it finally shows up...[[spoiler: Nick hides it away, ensuring that Invader Zim never really HAS an end in a touching metaphor, while at the same time teasing the audience with MultipleEndings]].
* ChekhovsGunman: You know that insane SIR unit of Skoodge's that tried to kill him? [[spoiler: It pops up again during the final StoryArc as the LegionOfDoom's SixthRanger]]
* ChristmasEpisode: Several of them, actually.
* ColdBloodedTorture: In chapter 72, Spork has Erin tortured for information on the Resisty.
** And near the end, Zoburg tortures [[spoiler: DL to death]] for [[ForTheEvulz no good reason]].
* CoolChair: All Lard Nar really wants is a frickin’ rotating chair.
* CreatorCameo: Jhonen Vasquez, creator of Invader Zim, appears as God in the story, and the narrator is the author of the story himself.
* CrowningMomentofHeartwarming: Gaz tells a fairytale story to GIR until he falls asleep. Also serves as a catharsis for her, and in the end she actually cries a single tear.
** There's also Zim and Nick's reunion after [[spoiler: everyone thought Nick had been KilledOffForReal]].
* CynicalMentor: Jhonen is one to Nick. This doesn’t mean Nick’s not bawling like a baby when [[spoiler:Jhonen dies from knife wounds in the hospital]]
* CynicismCatalyst: This is the reason why Proffessor Membrane is the way he is, his wife died in a tragic lab accident. Also, Darth wants to kill Zim because Zim’s invention ate Tallest Miyuki alive, the only mother figure he ever had. [[spoiler: Though she’s actually still alive]]
* DarkActionGirl: A Taaaak, A Taaaak! Tak is skilled, suave, and is very good at what she does. This includes [[RunningGag throwing knives into Nick’s head]]. And when Gaz actually gives a damn, she fits this trope as well.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Darth, a former invader and interrogator for the Irken Empire, is most decidly dark, but is actually a very kindly sort despite being creepy and blind.
* DeathIsCheap: Nick dies so often it’s something of a RunningGag.
* DisneyDeath: A great deal of these. Typical of ngrey651’s work.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: [[spoiler: Spongebob Squarepants is behind the Swollen Eyeball Network and wants to kill off all "dark" cartoons.]]
* DoorStopper: Digital version. The total story is over 469 ''thousand'' words long, which for Fanfiction.net is saying something. Not to mention many of the later chapters are quite long on their own, and take some time to read through.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Let us see. Irken Empire devastated by a war with religious fanatics and on the verge of seeing their kind wiped out by genocide? Check. Implacable foe, impossible odds? Check. Their best hope for [[strike: peace]] victory just blew his head off a chapter ago? Check. Zim’s life in danger with Dib poised to destroy all of Irk? Check. There’s almost no indication the story would end happily...[[spoiler: until the final chapter, when Dib spares the Irken race whilst simultaneously making Zim realize how terrible HE’S been, Miyuki agrees to rule justly over the Irkens, the Earth is spared from harm, humans accept the existence of aliens and everyone gets together in a touching finale to watch the Earth from the moon in a [[TearJerker Win]], [[CrowningMomentofHeartwarming win]], ''[[CrowningMomentofAwesome win]]''.]]
* TheEmpire: The Irken Empire.
* EnemyMine: "Bolognius Maximus", "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom", "Tak: The Hideous New Girl", “The Terror of the Pies”...which leads into FoeYay, actually.
* EnergyBeings: The Meekrob, who are also ruled by a KnightTemplar.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: The reason for most of the [[HeelFaceTurn Heel Face Turns]] in the story.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: Zim and Dib’s constant stream of failures in trying to defeat each other is actually lampshaded a few times. In fact, Nick, the Narrator has a bet with Gaz that Zim’s plans could fail in less than three minutes. The shortest time it took for one of Zim’s plans to fail? One minute, eighteen seconds.
* [[FantasticRacism Fantastic Racist]]: Zim. He’s just...just Zim. But what can you expect from the archetypical Irken?
** There's also Sarong, who hates the Irkens.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Zim, The Tallest, Tak, Darth, Sarong, etc...
* FiveBadBand: The LegionOfDoom from near the end of the story qualifies:
** BigBad: Spork (the one who brought them together)
** TheDragon: Sue (the most loyal to Spork, and is the last defeated before him)
** EvilGenius: Zoburg (though Spork has his moments)
** TheBrute: Sizz-Lorr
** TheDarkChick: Tak, and possibly also Sizz-Lorr as well, since they just want revenge on Zim, as opposed to the others, who also want to take over the Empire
** SixthRanger: You could say [[AIIsACrapShoot ERROR]] is this, as he joins after the group has formed.
** SixthRangerTraitor: Frequency, though [[spoiler: Tak and Sizz-Lorr]] later join him in a HeelFaceTurn
* FriendlyEnemy: This happens quite often with Zim and Dib, actually. When they’re not being jerks to each other.
* GambitPileup: During the "Top of the Line" two-parter: Zim enters the SIR unit competition in order to earn the position of Fleet Commander; Tak enters the competition to kill Zim and win the position for herself; Darth and Sizz-Lorr place themselves near the competition (they don't have [=SIRs=], so they can't enter) in order to kill Zim; Sue hires a [[BountyHunter bounty hunter]] to kill Zim; and the Resisty plan to attack and kill the Tallest and all the Invaders.
** Unlike most pileups, however, none of these plots even interact until the Resisty attack, at which point it becomes a big battle.
* GodModeSue: Invoked and explored.
* TheGrinch: Zim and Gaz. OH is Gaz a Grinch. One notable scene proving this is Nick finds Gaz has been keeping Christmas gifts she bought for other people hidden away because the people she was going to give them to “wronged” her in some way. This leads to a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
* HappilyMarried: Red and Erin, by the end of the story.
* HeelFaceTurn: In another standard of ngrey651's stories, most of the villains ([[spoiler: Darth, Tak, Spork]] to name a few) eventually [[HeelRealization see the error of their ways]] and change sides. However, some ([[spoiler: like Zoburg and Reg]]) stay evil throughout.
* HeroesWantRedHeads: Erin Nightshade, member of the Resisty and last of her kind, happens to draw a lot of attention due to her creativity, her beauty...and her STUNNING red-hair.
* HeroicSacrifice: Skoodge's SIR unit VENT [[spoiler: uses up all his power to defeat ERROR.]]
** Also the method of [[spoiler: White and Nick's seemingly final deaths.]] Ironically, the fact that they ''were'' Heroic Sacrifices is what allows [[spoiler: them to come back to life afterwards]].
* HumanAliens: Erin the Aroesian
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Zim thinks this of most humans even though their only real crime is standing in the way of conquering THEIR home planet, something Nick keeps trying to-unsuccessfuly-draw attention to. The misanthropic Gaz is a good example of this trope as well.
* HumansAreMorons: Most of the Universe could be categorized as this. Almost every alien and human is an idiot, except for the main characters, and even THEY have their moments.
* InsectoidAliens: The Irkens, though the opening narration of the story points out that they have some aspects of the LizardFolk about them.
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: Gaz seems to share this in common with Zim, much to Nick’s chagrin.
* InteractiveNarrator: Nick doesn’t get the good luck of just sitting on his duff most of the time. No, bringing a happy ending to the story means you’ll occasionally get blown up.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: White is one of these. Although he admits he’s freely selfish, he really does care about Gaz and the others, and acts as a savvy, intelligent source of help for the gang, especially in the fight against the Sues.
* KarmicDeath: Reg, a xenocidal Irken with pyrokinetic powers who would have become Tallest had Darth and his friend Trik not stopped him centuries ago, returns reincarnated and tries to bring about more pain and suffering, this time to Earth instead of Irk. Ironically, he burns to death in his own ship.
* KnightTemplar: Nick, who has a strong and idealistic moral compass (the main difference between his goals and canon), skirts this line but manages to back down from it.
** There's also Sarong, leader of the Meekrob. He wants to destroy the Irkens at all costs, and doesn't care who gets hurt in the process.
* LargeHam: [[WorldOfHam Almost EVERYONE at some point]], with some more frequently than others. Nick actually lampshades this in “The Trial” when he shows up for what he THINKS is Zim’s birthday.
* LaResistance: The Resisty, of course.
* LaserGuidedKarma: This happens quite often, mostly because the Narrator learned from the best, aka Jhonen Vasquez.
* LegionOfDoom: Most of Zim's enemies form one during the final StoryArc.
* LightIsNotGood: The Meekrob are EnergyBeings who emit light from their forms, and they're led by a KnightTemplar who wants to wipe out the Irkens and seems to think [[FantasticRacism his people are better than everyone else]].
* LoveRedeems: Love transforms the bad side of Nick into a decent guy, makes Tallest Red mellow out and begin to care more about his people, and even Gaz’s hard outer shell begins to crack the more she allows herself to love others.
* LukeIAmYourFather: At the end of the story, it's revealed that [[spoiler: Spork is Erin's father]].
* MagicMusic: Nick’s greatest power, so much so that it’s lampshaded a few times.
* MixedAncestry: At the end of the story, it's revealed that [[spoiler: Erin]] is half Irken, due to [[spoiler: being Spork's daughter]].
* MoralityPet: Darth’s little brother, DL.
* NiceGuy: Nick. He’s a good example of this trope.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Dib. Poor, poor Dib.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: The final fate suffered by Zoburg is especially cruel compared to all the other villains. However, considering he had a long string of KickTheDog moments (including killing [[spoiler: Darth's [[MoralityPet little brother]]]]), [[LaserGuidedKarma no one was complaining]].
* PsychicPowers: Darth has telekinetic and telepathic powers, and it’s implied that many other Irkens and humans have hidden powers of their own lurking deep within, waiting to be unlocked, Dib and Zim included.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: The ''Film/ThreeHundred'' [[MemeticMutation meme]] gets parodied twice:
** First, in chapter 19, where Zim is trapped in his house for a year by/with GIR (ItMakesSenseInContext), he finally snaps and screams out "This is madness!" at which point a floating TV screen apparently playing "300" pops up and gives the trope name.
** Then, ten chapters later, when Iggins calls Gaz's RoaringRampageOfRevenge against him madness, she replies with "This... is Revenge!" - at which point the story cuts away to Nick, who [[BreakingTheFourthWall breaks the fourth wall]] and comments on how much he hates this particular meme.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Sizz-Lorr is killed helping Nick, Tak, and several others escape from [[LegionOfDoom Spork's group]]]]
* RedHerring: Early on, Darth announces his plans to go after Zim on Earth, then sort of disappears from the plot. Later, we meet a new student at the Skool named DL, who has mysterious powers and is blind, just like Darth. Of course, even later on, we eventually see the two of them in the same room at the same time, so we know they're actually different people after all[[note]]and as it turns out, they're unknown half-brothers[[/note]]. This may actually be an AbortedArc, as some of the author's early IZ work on Deviant Art suggests that they really ''were'' planned to the same person originally.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: This is a commonly-used tack in ngrey651’s work. The biggest example is when his girlfriend breaks up with him in a “Dear John” note in the middle of school.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Usually, perpetrated by Gaz. To great effect.
* RuleOfCool: This is why Mars is actually a spaceship.
* ShamingTheMob: Near the end of the story, when Zim's identity is revealed, an angry mob attacks and prepares to lynch him. Tak (in her human disguise) placates them by ''viciously'' flogging him; the mob is so disturbed by the violence that they ultimately back off. Though Gaz threatening to kill them all if they didn't probably helped.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Invader Zim’s universe seems to fall far, far to the cynical side of the scale. Anyone who isn’t a moron is an apathetic jerk, and everyone else is constantly getting dumped on. Yet, ultimately, it’s idealism that triumphs in the end as everyone bands together to make their CrapsackWorld into a better place...and hell, they’ll probably succeed.
* ShipTease: All over the place. The ships that get the most attention are Red/Erin, DATR, and ZAGR (the last one never really goes anywhere, but it is strongly implied by the end that Zim and Gaz have crushes on each other).
* ShoutOut: There’s so many of these leveled at the author’s fans, sources of inspiration, etc.
* ShutUpHannibal: Nick gives so many of these that it’s practically a staple of the story. Dib also gives one to Gaz after she finally pushes him a BIT-TOO-FAR.
--->'''Dib:'''"I'M SICK OF IT! I try to love and care about you and I look after you when Dad's not here which is almost all the time and all you do is treat me like CRAP! Well I'm SICK OF IT! You are NOT better than me! You are going to treat me with more '''respect''' from now on! '''GOT it''', little sister?!"
* SongFic: Obnoxiously so. As in, every character breaks out into song every other chapter. [[spoiler: Or maybe it's just Nick who breaks out into song, but his character is so involved in everyone else's lives that it's hard to separate the characters as individuals anymore.]] At the very least, there is at least one song breaking up the story in bold text, so it is impossible to miss.
* SelfInsertFic: Nick is a self insert of the author who's online handle and real life name is Nick. True to the trope, this character is a Mary Sue and the entire fic wish fulfillment.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The fate of Relationship Sue the first time around, and of [[spoiler: Zoburg, who is crucified to a rocket and launched into low earth orbit to endure a painful death as he slowly and agonizingly runs out of air.]]
* ThereWillBeToiletPaper: Once Nick needs to shave, White gives him a razor, saying it’s going to become his new best friend, but Nick knows better, having “seen that episode of Fairly Oddparents”.
* UnexplainedRecovery: This is a running gag for Skoodge who manages to survive getting shot into a planet by a cannon, getting attacked by a Hogulus, being blown up by a hunter-seeker drone, etc. It also works for the long-suffering Nick, the narrator. He was turned into a cow once.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Just prior to the battle with Relationship Sue, we're introduced to her minions (all of whom are Sue archetypes). There are four of them, but only three show up during the fight, and the one who doesn't is never mentioned again in the story.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart: Nick’s diabolical self, Michael White, is an albino with a fairly nice complexion...and is dead sexy. He also happens to be capable of going super fast and screwing around with time.