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"I am Zim, and Zim shall rule!"A pint-sized alien from the planet Irk, with an ego as big as he himself... isn't, Zim is a walking disaster area that somehow remains oblivious to his own shortcomings and the contempt his people hold him in. He thinks he was sent to Earth as an Invader to ready the planet for hostile takeover, but really his leaders were just trying to get rid of him by sending him as far away as possible (they didn't even know there'd be a planet there for him to try to conquer). On Earth, he aims to Take Over the World, but is of course continually thwarted, through Dib's interference, GIR's stupidity, or sheer bad luck, but often as not Zim's greatest obstacle to success is himself.
- Abusive Alien Parents: "I love you cold, unfeeling robot arm!"
- Aliens Speaking English
- All of the Other Reindeer: Even though he's completely oblivious to it, his reputation among the other Irkens is less than amiable. He's not really liked on Earth, either.
- Amusing Alien: It's amusing to look at his schemes unless you're Dib.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Despite being an enormous thorn in their side, the Tallest and the Control Brains usually just punish Zim by demoting or banishing him. That's for all the death and destruction he caused. The crime that ultimately puts him on the fast track for termination during "The Trial"? Having a faulty PAK.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Zim has incredibly poor listening skills, and seems to retain only information he likes. "Walk for Your Lives" is probably the worst example, where Zim ignores literally everyone around him (even GIR) telling him that to speed up a time-locked, city-destroying explosion would produce... exactly that.
- Dib: Zim, you're just going to blow us all up?!? This is stupid! This... is stupid stupid!
- Awesome Backpack: If you don't think that a backpack with spider legs, an organ-stealing device, goggles, an entire personality and history, memories, and a hologram device isn't cool, then you need to taste some DOOM. That backpack is part of what allows Irkens to live. Without it, they literally can only survive for ten minutes at a time, and it also serves as a backup brain, effectively making them amnesia-proof. Unfortunately, according to the unaired episode "The Trial," Zim was given a defective PAK, which is the reason (or at least part of the reason) why he is so uncontrollable.
- Ax-Crazy: Incredibly so.
- Berserk Button:
- Beware the Silly Ones: Zim is deeply silly, but he's also dangerous.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: "Gah, my squeedlyspooch!"
- Blatant Lies: But most humans are too stupid to realize this. Who has a skin condition that includes earless and noseless side effects?
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Almost Blunt Words Trauma. Although Zim speaks perfect English, he has a tendency to mix up words, or in some cases he just doesn't listen and ends up hearing the wrong thing.Dib: You're just jealous!
Zim: This has nothing to do with jelly!
- Burger Fool: Zim was banished to a planet called Foodcourtia where he had to do community service for royally screwing up Operation Impending Doom I. Also, he works in a fast food restaurant on Earth in "Career Day".
- Butt Monkey: He fares slightly better than Dib.
- Card-Carrying Villain: "Now...back to my filthy evil, I guess..."
- Catch Phrase: "YOU LIE!!", "SILENCE!!!", and "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
- Chaotic Stupid: He has repeatedly shown himself to be determined enough to not only easily conquer Earth but the entire galaxy, yet his impetuous nature and his COMPLETE lack of consideration for the consequences of his actions results in utter failure and/or the deaths of people he WASN'T trying to kill.
- Clark Kenting: Zim's human form is basically himself but with human eyes and a slick hairstyle.
- Cloudcuckoolander: In one episode, when confronted by fully mobile talking babies, he stated that 'I knew it! Earth babies come from space!'. More pointedly, in an unfinished episode called "The Trial", he is kidnapped and brought to court among his people; in spite of the flagrant evidence that it is, in fact, a trial for his continued right to exist, he insists on believing it to be a party in his honor. In what was to be that episode's ending, Zim is scanned for defects by the robot "control-brains" that run the planet. His insanity drives the machines to madness, and they declare him the greatest of all Irkens. The Tallest weep as Zim is temporarily placed in command of the Tallest's ship and proceeds to smash it into everything.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Gir all the time, even though he's a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander himself.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Most of his insane, self-centered and manipulative deeds are Played for Laughs.
- Cosmic Plaything: Sometimes. There's a good chance that circumstances will contrive to force him in the most hilariously painful way possible... then again, sometimes he succeeds and that doesn't really matter. But when his leaders want him gone, or for him to fail, it will blow up in their faces. More than any situation involving him usually blows up in someone's face, considering that it's seemingly impossible for him not to destroy anything.
- Crossdressing Voices: In the Japanese and Mexican dubs and as a smeet.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: When he does put up a fight ("Hobo 13"), he can be quite competent and quick-witted.
- Cultured Badass: Hilariously averted. He's neither really formal with the Tallest although he tries, and neither is he really badass in comparison to most Irken soldiers.
- Determinator: Continuing his "mission" even after being exiled due to his entire species loathing his very existence, although there's disagreement as to whether he merely ignores their scorn or he really is that stupid.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Or with a Paper-Thin Disguise...
- Disguised in Drag: At one point in "Walk For Your Lives", he's disguised as a giant old lady.
- Doom Magnet: Thanks to his stupidity, insanity, and lust for violence, he tends to cause wanton destruction everywhere he goes. He's both hated and feared among his own people for this very reason.
- The Dreaded: Hated, Ridiculed and Feared by his entire race.
- Enfante Terrible: He was capable of causing apocalypse-level damage even as a smeet (Irken baby).
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In his case, GIR is the closest thing of a loved one he has given his behavior toward him.
- Evil Is Hammy: And how! Most of Zim's plans come with long tirades.
- Evil Laugh: In the theme song.
- Expressive Mask: His contact lenses change pupil size like real eyes.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
- Faux Affably Evil: The few times Zim teams up with Dib to stop a more chaotic evil.
- Foreshadowing: His first appearance in the comic proper has him doing stretches. It's soon revealed that he's warming himself up after doing nothing for a number of weeks as part of his Batman Gambit.
- Galactic Conqueror: As the show's title speaks for itself.
- General Failure: He really is a moron. His stupidity is usually what prevents him from conquering anything at all (if Dib or Gir has no interference). The most common assumption for this is that he carries a defective PAK, which is basically an Irken invader's brain, knowledge and competence. A recent interview with Richard Horvitz (which you can find on Tumblr) said this is partially because of his blind allegiance to his planet. Horvitz said Zim would tell right away GIR was just trash, but because the Tallest said he was "advanced," Zim instantly believed them.
- Genius Ditz: It can be hard to credit, but he's demonstrated some true cunning on occasion. He's more insane than stupid, but his insanity is what makes him do stupid things in the first place, so it's hard to tell the difference.
- Girl Scouts Are Evil: When he's selling Poop candy bars for a school fundraiser to get the mystery prize in "Door to Door".
- Gray Eyes: In his human disguise.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- Harmless Villain: If it isn't Dib who stops him, it's because of his own stupidity. Gaz herself lampshades it.
- Hates Being Touched:
Keef: (hugs Zim) I'm so happy!Zim: (pushes Keef away) Don't touch me.
- In "Mortos Der Soul Stealer", Dib wasn't touching him per se, but holding him down so Mortos could steal his soul. Zim reacted very negatively to it.
- In "Germs", he really doesn't want to be hugged by Gir, though this could be due to his germophobia.
- This dialogue in "Bestest Friend":
- Hidden Depths: When he doesn't have time to let himself swell up in his own ego, he can be quite dangerous and a really skilled opponent. He's very intelligent, just reckless and too loyal to his race for his own good. He also has vivid fears: he's very obsessive-compulsive (to the point of almost crying when he discovered how filthy is house is) and has very specific fears of being discovered by humans, mutilated, and kept in a dark room for the rest of his life.
- Humanoid Aliens: He has the general shape and proportions of a human child but also has green skin, no ears, a lizard-like tongue, red insect eyes, and antennae. Funnily enough though, everybody on Earth except Dib and Gaz is so stupid that with just contacts and a wig he's able to pass off his green skin and lack of ears as a "skin condition".
- Humans Are Ugly: A firm believer of this. In fact, he sticks with his counter-productive Paper-Thin Disguise because he doesn't want to look too human.
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: Sees them as stupid and revolting, which to be fair, is not entirely inaccurate when it comes to humans in this show. Secretly, though, he's also terrified of humans; one of his recurrent fears is being captured and mutilated by human authorities.
- Hypocritical Humor: (laughs) "Inferior human organs! ...Ow, my squeedlyspooch!"
- I Have Your Wife: Coerces Vortian Prisoner 777 for information by holding his children hostage and threatening to "erase" them.
- Insane Troll Logic: "My Tallests, a new child attacked me with meat. My conclusion? SHE'S IN LOVE WITH ME!" Given that the customary Valentine's gift in their world is meat, this might in fact be one of the few times Zim was actually paying attention to the humans.
- Insectoid Aliens: Zim, and all other Irken, resemble generic humanoid bugs, not helped by the fact that their PACK's contain mechanicalspider legs.
- I Reject Your Reality: Zim's remarkable ego is a great example of this.
- It's All About Me
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he would never admit it, he can occasionally be a little attached to Gir.
- In Battle of the Planets, when Gir was actually being helpful (in his standard crazy state, no less), he said to himself: "Maybe that little robot isn't such a bad evil minion after all."
- In an unfinished episode, he screamed in sorrow when Gir transformed into a beef.
- "And I already promised the moon to Gir."
- In "Halloween Spectacular Of Spooky Doom", he was worrying if Gir could take on all the "zombies" all by himself.
- Once Zim gives Gir a lollipop when he cried, though it was mostly to shut him up.
- When Gir gets the two lost and Zim snaps at Gir, causing him to cry, Zim looks uncomfortable and comments that yelling will get them nowhere which is as close to an apology as Zim might ever get.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: In "FBI Warning of Doom" and "Planet Jackers".
- Karma Houdini: Sometimes, sometimes not. The most prominent example is "Dark Harvest".
- Kill All Humans: That or enslave them — he changes it from enslaving, ruling, killing, poisoning their food supply and cutting their legs off depending on the episode. The bottom line is that the Earth needs to be ready for the other Irkens to conquer, so the humans need to be gone or easy to enslave.
- Lack of Empathy
- Large Ham: So large it has its own gravitational pull.
- Laughably Evil: Even though he tried to destroy Dib and Earth multiple times, he really isn't all that bad.
- Lethally Stupid: On his home planet, where he had a killing rampage on his own home planet. In the unfinished episode "The Trial", it's revealed that he destroyed several planets by scratching himself. Unfortunately, where it's required for him to actually destroy everything (Earth) he doesn't quite succeed.
- Little Green Men: The Irkens, the race which he belongs to.
- Mad Eye: This is a Jhonen Vasquez production.
- Mad Scientist: He was once formerly a military scientist, albeit one responsible for killing the previous Tallests.
- Made of Iron: Probably another good reason the Tallest fear him. He gets burned by toxic rain water, gets his lenses boiled by the sun, takes a brutal beating from a Planet Jacker, gets flayed alive in Lice, gets grotesquely swollen up by a cosmic eclipse, and gets feasted upon by a brain Parasite,among other injuries. He never loses his confidence, and if anything these just seem to encourage him to keep trying.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: In the unproduced episode "The Trial," it's revealed that he has, in fact destroyed more than one planet. By scratching himself.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain
- The Napoleon: He is from a society that determines rank from height, and is the size of a human child. As a result he's perpetually eager to please his leaders, but being a Too Dumb to Live Genius Ditz he only succeeds in making things worse.
- Neat Freak: In "Germs".
- Nice Hat:
- In "GIR Goes Crazy And Stuff", he wears a police hat he took from Officer Squidman.
- When he works at the fast food restaurant in "Career Day".
- No Indoor Voice: "You lie! You liiiiiiiiiiiiie!!!"
- Not So Different: Him and Dib share a lot in common. Both of them are looked on as incompetent or crazy by regular member of their respective races due to past incidents. Both of them are Not So Harmless. Both of them are mocked by their own race for a perceived physical quirk (being small in Zim's case, having a big head for Dib). Both of them are obsessed with proving their worth and success to their peers.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Several episodes such as "The Wettening" or "Dark Harvest" show that he can be a pretty big threat.
- Off Model: In one shot in "Megadoomer", his uniform is red instead of pink.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He even scurried about on a destruction spree on his own planet. Either he didn't understand how much holocaust he caused or he just doesn't care.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Consists of a wig and contact lenses (that apparently are very uncomfortable and can be knocked out just from hitting him in the head) doing nothing about his vibrantly green skin. Which may may you think at first, since Irkens have the technology to make themselves look completely human, but he only picked that one because he thinks he's too attractive to be covered up. He claims he has a skin condition, which is also the reason why he doesn't have ears...
- Person of Mass Destruction: Tricky to place, but Zim does do a lot of damage, intentionally or not. According to the unmade scripts, he single-handedly started a crippling global blackout when he was about four minutes old. And according to that same script, he once seemingly blew up a planet just by standing there while scratching his butt. In fact, he was sent to military research because, in the words of the Tallest Miyuki (the Tallest at the time) "He destroys everything he touches!"
- Pet the Dog: Rather literally, Zim has had a few moments of genuine-seeming kindness directed at GIR."And I already promised the moon to GIR..."
- Pick on Someone Your Own Size: His rivalry with Dib... although, technically, they ARE the same size...
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He's absolutely tiny compared to a lot of characters in the series but he's ridiculously destructive. And insane.
- Psycho for Hire: He prefers Humongous Mecha and his Kill Sat instead of killing and maiming directly, but it's hard to ignore the maniacal glee with which he steals organs or reduces cities to rubble.
- Puppeteer Parasite: His PAK would have been revealed to be one in "Ten Minutes to Doom".
- Really 700 Years Old: Word of God has him "older than any human alive," at any rate.
- Real Men Wear Pink: His uniform is pink.
- Reassigned to Antarctica
- Sanity Has Advantages: He has proven himself several times to be pretty badass and can be very intelligent... if he wasn't totally out of his mind, he'd be the best soldier the Irkens have. As it is, his erratic nature, immaturity, and delusions mean that he's more a threat to the Irkens than to anyone else.
- Secret Identity: On Earth, through his Paper-Thin Disguise.
- Screaming Warrior: Mostly averted; Zim attempts this but usually ends up with a high-pitched squeal.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: And this is how he screams when he's afraid or in pain.
- Sheathe Your Sword: The first issue of the comic has Zim reaping the fruits of a very simple and effective Batman Gambit he set up against Dib. By doing absolutely nothing for a prolonged period of time, he knew that he'd make Dib so paranoid as to what he was plotting that he'd waste all his time and energy trying to seek him out with his surveillance equipment, neglecting his body and turning himself into a fat, noodle-armed impotent who would be incapable of interfering with Zim's real scheme.
- Slasher Smile: In many of his Ax-Crazy moments.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He is despised by his species due to the combination of this trope and Too Dumb to Live.
- Smug Snake: His super ego is what usually prevents him from succeeding, because when he doesn't have time to let his ego have any impact on his decisions, he's actually quite badass (especially prominent in "Hobo 13").
- The Sociopath: Given that he is part of a race who's obsessed with conquering planets for petty reasons, it's not surprising. Justified still, since he isn't very good at acting out false feelings, however, the humans are too stupid to notice.
- Spider Limbs: Almost a crossover with Awesome Backpack.
- Stupid Evil: He veers between this and Chaotic Stupid:Zim: I put the fires out!
Tallest: You made them worse!
Zim: Worse... Or better?
- Super OCD: "GERMS!!"
- Sycophantic Servant
- Take Over the World: The premise.
- Temporary Bulk Change: He becomes enormously bloated in "Dark Harvest" as a result of stealing organs from his Skool classmates and eating them.
- That Liar Lies: Zim's proclamations of lies, and how they usually bring out his hamminess, is a Running Gag.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: If it's not his personal motto, it ought to be.
- They Would Cut You Up: Zim fears this would happen if he were caught by Earth's natives. Dib explicitly threatens him with it. At one point he's seen vividly imagining his fate, human scientists stuffing him in a jar, dancing around his helpless body, cutting out limbs and eyes and keeping him a dark room for the rest of his life.
- Third-Person Person: "I am Zim, and Zim shall rule!"
- Too Dumb to Live: Unable to learn from his various lethal mistakes... and it doesn't help that he often comes out of them unscathed.
- Twitchy Eye:Zim: We cannot fail, Gir. Even as a small Irken smeet my dream was to pass Probing Day like a sloorbeeze passes her young; JIGGLY! And full of juice. (twitch twitch)
- Villain Protagonist: An alien trying to Take Over the World. He is juxtaposed to Dib, a preteen paranormal investigator trying to stop him
- Villains Blend in Better: His disguises are garbage, but he can be rather charismatic and deceptively personable once he has enough information about his targets. In the comics, he uses his newly acquired knowledge of alternative art scene pretension and lingo to create a front for an enormous mechanism to summon the Star Donkey.
- Weaksauce Weakness: To water. It was supposed to be to polluted water only, but that didn't come across to the writers/animation team/storyboarders. Though, given Earth's state in this setting, one could argue that ALL water has been polluted.
- Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: A Running Gag with him is that he'll continually interrupt people trying to tell him something, demanding they tell him about the very thing his interruption is preventing them from saying in the first place."Who are you?""I AM —""Who are you?""I AM —""WHO ARE YOU?"
Zim: Hey, these [waffles] aren't bad. What's in 'em?Zim: YOU'RE LYING!
- Another is for him to randomly accuse people of lying for no apparent reason.
- Would Hit a Girl: In "Bestest Friend".
- Would Hurt a Child: Considering that he is actually an adult and that he has no issues with trying to kill or harm any children who get in his way, he is an example of this. Sometimes, they don't even need to be in his way. In Attack of the Saucer Morons, for instance, he deliberately veers his escape ship so that it's heading straight for a baby. Note the look on Zim's face.
- You Don't Look Like You: His Series 2 Palisades toy is missing his PAK.
Voiced by: Rosearik Rikki Simons
"I like waffles!"Zim's robot sidekick, on Earth disguised as a dog. Supposedly a "SIR" (Standard-Issue Information Retrieval) unit assigned to all invaders, but GIR is an "advanced" model the Tallest specially gave Zim. And by "advanced", we of course mean "moronic," thanks to having a head literally full of garbage.note While usually too flighty to be of any consistent help, GIR will now and again go into "Duty Mode," signified by a change of eye-and-panel color from blue to red, and act like a real SIR.
- Affably Evil: Definitely, compared to Zim.
- Ambiguous Innocence: GIR is, indeed, innocent — it is hard to imagine he even has the mental capacity to understand that there is a difference between right and wrong, much less know what that difference is. GIR often relishes in destruction only seemingly without malice, but an increase in understanding and competence (such as in the episode "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff") would simply provide the needed motivation to apply that destructive force purposefully. In short, just because he's dumb and innocent doesn't mean he'd be a sweet-tempered do-gooder if left to his own devices.
- A.I. is a Crapshoot: While GIR's usual level of helpfulness is questionable at best, when Zim temporarily locks him into hyper-competent Duty Mode, GIR decides that Zim himself is a threat to the mission and decides to take over.
- And I Must Scream: According to Rikki Simons, there is a perfectly competent "inner-GIR" desperately wanting to fix the outer "broken GIR" in order to get out and/or gain control of himself.
- Anti-Villain: Type IV (unless he "goes crazy and stuff")
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!
- Ax-Crazy: In duty mode.
- Badass Adorable: He's a pretty cute robot taking over the world all by himself in an unfinished episode, and he wasn't in duty mode.
- Bag of Holding: The inside of his head.
- Berserk Button: Don't make the Taco Man die in front of him, not even if it's fake.
- Beware the Nice Ones: It would be hard to say if he is nice or mean, but he isn't as evil as Zim, and he's too dumb to realize how evil he is... and when he's in Duty Mode...
- Beware the Silly Ones: In one episode, Zim locks GIR into "Duty Mode" (the red-eyed, serious version), and he promptly becomes much more evil and competent than Zim himself, including deciding that Zim is a threat to the mission and needs to be eliminated. Long story short, Zim just barely turns him back to normal in time to prevent a Klingon Promotion.
- Blue and Orange Morality: We have absolutely no idea why he does anything he does, and if we could look into his thought processes our brains would a splode.
- Big Eater: Waffles and tacos mostly.
- Bumbling Sidekick: To Zim.
- Catch Phrase:
- (in duty mode) "Yes, sir!"
- "Okie dokie!"
- Chaotic Stupid: Even more than Zim, due to his utter lack of reasoning capabilities or self-restraint.
- Chick Magnet: Was seen dancing with a bunch of girls at a club, then dropped off at the house hours later by his new friends.
- Cloudcuckoolander: However, Jhonen has gone on record to say that humor involving GIR isn't random as it's all rooted by the fact that the robot's brain is literally junk.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Blue/green = regular GIR. Red = duty mode.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: His duty mode proves this without a doubt, especially in "Gir Goes Crazy and Stuff". Not to mention that he managed to Take Over the World all on his own in an unfinished episode.
- Cuddle Bug: "Aww, somebody needs a hug!"
- Curtains Match the Window: Well, not quite — his eyes are the same color as the lightbulb on the antenna on the top of his head.
- Cute and Psycho: In "Gir Goes Crazy and Stuff".
- Death Glare: When delivering his "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Zim in duty mode in "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff".
- Deadpan Snarker: During his moments of clarity, GIR can be pretty snarky towards Zim.Zim: You now possess superior geographic guidance abilities, GIR.GIR: Finally.
- The Ditz: He is amazingly ditzy. He often heads into Cloudcuckoolander territory, depending on the local humidity and/or piggy count.
- Dumbass Has a Point: When Zim get's freaked out about a baby spotting them note , GIR says this:
- GIR: Dib's seen us before. And he knows where we live.
- Dumb Is Good: Subverted; GIR's impulsive stupidity leaves him with little regard for others' safety, and he causes destruction for entertainment on a whim. Note that portraying him as "good" was never the intent, but the fandom picked it up and ran with it. GIR is often misconstrued as a harmless or even compassionate character rather than a merely stupid one. "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff" was in part a measure dedicated to correcting that; without his mental issues distracting him, it turns out he's naturally as cold and evil as any other SIR unit.
- Easter Egg: The infamous "Bloody Gir" (an image of GIR in duty mode and covered in blood), hidden as a Take That! against the network for not allowing the image into a scene.
- Eating Optional: being a robot, GIR doesn't need to eat, but he does anyway out of enjoyment of Earth food.
- Extreme Omnivore: To name a few... A live chicken, tacos, burritos, taquitos, cupcakes, waffles made outta peanuts and soap, a fish (or tried to), pizza, Acne Blast acne cream, puppies (maybe)...
GIR: I ate baby there!Zim: He did.
- In the first issue of the comic, GIR claims to have eaten a baby.
- Flat Joy: This line in "Gir Goes Crazy And Stuff":Duty!GIR: Blend in with the indigenous life, analyze their weaknesses, prepare the planet for the coming badness. Yay.
- Floating Limbs: His metal legs. Averted in the toys, where his legs are attached to his body.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Sanguine.
- The Glomp: He loves anything cute and especially clings to Zim more than once.
- Hanlon's Razor: Well, he actually never has an malicious intent whenever he does help Zim, but in duty mode...oh boy, is this trope ever averted.
- Head Pet: He rides on Zim's head in a few episodes such as "Battle of the Planets" and "Attack of the Saucer Morons". In "Tak, the Hideous New Girl", he uses Dib's head instead.
- Heh Heh, You Said "X":Zim: I'm going to attempt to lock you into duty mode with this behavioral modulator.(GIR giggles)Zim: What?GIR: Doody.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: In duty mode. Unfortunately for Zim, that usually only lasts for a few seconds. Although non-duty mode GIR has moments of surprising clarity that Zim repeatedly fails to pay any heed, like in "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy". The best example of this would be the time he tried to point out to Zim that speeding up a slowed down explosion (It Makes Sense in Context) would be a bad thing.
- Keet: His electronic robot voice coupled with his bizarre enthusiasm for everything makes him a very notable example.
- Killer Robot: In duty mode.
- Lethal ChefZim: GIR! Your waffles have sickened me! Fetch me the bucket!
- Lethally Stupid: Especially in "Invasion of The Idiot Dog Brain".
- Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM.
- The Millstone: If it isn't Zim himself or Dib who foil his plans, it's usually Gir who does.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Sometimes; in particular he holds no malice toward Dib (or anyone, usually) and helps him on occasion.
- Not Afraid to Die: His reactions to impending doom can be downright gleeful, and he's even expressed disappointment at avoiding it. Doesn't quite cross the line into Death Seeker territory, though.GIR: Aww. I wanted to explode.
- Ocular Gushers: "WHYYYYYY?! WHY, MY PIGGY?! I LOVEDED YOU PIGGY! I LOVEDED YOU!"
- Paper-Thin Disguise: His beast mode isn't much better than Zim's own "human" disguise, up to and including the prominent zipper.
- Person of Mass Destruction: In Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: In duty mode. Occasionally in his "normal" mode as well. In "Megadoomer" he was able to carry a contact five times his size without any troubled effort.
- Punch Clock Villain: He only does what Zim says because he is his servant. Not that he often does what is asked of him, anyway.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In duty mode, again.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: For some reason, he enjoys eating food, watching TV, and consistently demonstrates emotions. And then, of course, there's the fact that his constantly malfunctioning A.I seems to be suffering from Schizoaffective disorder.
- Robotic Psychopath: GIR is one of the few cases where A.I. is a Crapshoot is a good thing. In just the ditzy sense, he is always this, but in the Ax-Crazy sense he's this in duty mode. Zim learnt this the hard way when he locked him into duty mode...
- Servile Snarker: Not often, but can be this during his moments of clarity. Not to mention when he's in duty mode.
- The Starscream: In GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff. Especially since the episode was made in attempt to show fans that he isn't supposed to be good-natured.
- Stepford Smiler: If one is to take Word of God in the commentary of "Bestest Friends" literally, "GIR hates life and he wants to die", which would make him Type A. His glee at being ordered to self destruct in "Dib's Wonderful Life Of Doom" seems to back this up, as does his admission in "GIR Goes Crazy And Stuff" that he even when he was normal (normal for GIR, anyways) he despised being Zim's servant.
- Superpowered Evil Side: GIR's Duty Mode briefly becomes this when Zim locks him into it.
- Talkative Loon: "OOH! LEPRECHAUNS!"
- Temporary Bulk Change: The metal he's made of is apparently very flexible because he grew to a massive size in "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom" from eating the candy stolen from a bunch of trick-or-treaters.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tacos and waffles.
- Transformation Sequence: The first time he assumes dog form, he leaps into the air, poses amid a field of spinning bones, lets out a slow howl, and lands, picking up his costume and zipping it on snugly.
- Twitchy Eye: When locked into duty mode permanently, and Zim leaves the room, you can clearly see his twitching.
- Wolverine Publicity: Good god. If we had a dollar for every individual piece of merchandise that featured GIR in his dog suit, we'd have enough money to bribe Nickelodeon into uncanceling Invader Zim.
- You Don't Look Like You: In the toys that feature Robot!GIR, his legs are connected to his torso instead of floating apart from it, for obvious reasons.
Voiced by: Andy Berman
"My problem is that the human race seems to want to be destroyed!"An 11 year old (at the beginning of the show), (or thereabouts) self-styled "paranormal investigator", and one of only two people on Earth (the other being his sister Gaz) to realize Zim's extraterrestrial origin. Dib's goal is to expose paranormal phenomena to the rest of the world, but is regarded as a loon by pretty much everyone, and essentially treated like crap by the very people whose lives he's trying to save. Nonetheless, while he means well, he's fairly ruthless (at times bordering on sadistic) when it comes to dealing with Zim, making them Not So Different from each other.
- Adorkable: His little dance with GIR near the end of "The Frycook What Came From All That Space" comes to mind. Also, this exchange.Zim: "Your loony "PARA-CHUTING" powers don't scare me, Dib. All it does is make you look stupid!"Dib: "It's para-NORMAL, and you're wrong, it makes me look cool!"
- Agent Mulder: Dib tends to come across as a desperate Agent Mulder making all number of bizarre claims, but it becomes apparent in later episodes that he's actually fairly rational and even skeptical. His problem is other people's stupidity and/or apathy, plus his horrible luck in losing his proof at the worst possible moment, every single time.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Like Zim, he's extremely disliked in skool, assumably for his "insane" outbursts.
- Anime Hair: And according to "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom," it gets more and more extreme as he ages.
- Anti-Hero: He may be trying to save the world, but he's only doing it for himself. Over time it becomes a little clearer that Dib is actually genuinely good, seeing as he is willing to put his ego aside in order to save people he hates. Also his speech in the Christmas Special shows he really does care. Still, he can be a little brutal when dealing with Zim.
- Arch-Enemy: to Zim
- Artificial Human: In the DVD commentary, Eric Truehart says he wanted this to be a reveal later on in the series, had the show not been cancelled.
- Badass Bookworm
- Badass Longcoat
- Badass Normal: In "NanoZim," he hangs upside down from the ceiling, does a series of ninja backflips to evade the security system of Zim's house, and escapes without a scratch.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Gaz...sometimes.
- Buffy Speak: Quite often—"I'll be there, DOING STUFF!" and the meme-tastic "Things he do!" "Score one for the human race! Score zero for the...Zim...thingy...race."
- Butt Monkey: Dib is the butt of everyone's jokes, due to his perceived insanity regarding the paranormal (as well as the size of his head). An interesting example as he is the show's designated protagonist. His father is generally absent, using the little time he has with Dib to bemoan his "insanity" and pressure him to study "real science"; his younger sister, Gaz, is eternally unsympathetic to him and often turns horribly violent if Dib, for example, takes her last piece of pizza or talks too much. One could say the Halloween episode "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom" quite literally "put him through Hell." (In a twist, by the end of the episode he was the only character who wasn't injured).
- But Not Too Black: Word of God states that he and his family are all very pale skinned Mexicans.
- The Cassandra: Arguably Dib's strongest character trait is that he constantly talks about things that are true, but nobody believes him. In Halloweenies, he explains to the psychiatric counselors that he's not crazy, he's slipping between dimensions because he used his father's inter-dimensional viewing device. Even the fact his father is right there and confirms that such a device exists doesn't keep the counselors from shipping him off to an insane asylum.
- Character Development: Arguably more than any other character in the series. He starts off as something of a Knight Templar, but by the end of the series has definitely become its primary Straight Man.
- Child Prodigy: He could spell the word "aliens" when he was still in diapers, and by the time of the show can hack extraterrestrial technology.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: There's a good chance that most, if not all of what he says is completely true. Unfortunately, the stuff that's true is so bizarre that it makes him into The Cassandra.
- Collector of the Strange: Haunted gummy bears and magical "spell drives."
- Conspiracy Theorist: Though he's often right, and is often contrasted with even more insane and deluded conspiracy nuts.
- Crossdressing Voices: In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Ayumi Kida.
- Crying Wolf: He has the reputation of making bizarre and unverifiable claims (see Noodle Incident below), although it's quite possible he was right about those too. It doesn't help his case, though.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: "Dib's Wonderful Life of Doom". Subverted at the very end when the sequence was revealed to be part of a Lotus-Eater Machine,
- Disney Death: In "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy."
- Deadpan Snarker: "How did you pass the verbal portion of the exam?"
- Demonic Possession: He would have been on the receiving end of it (sort of) in "Ten Minutes to Doom".
- Deuteragonist: To Zim, of the opposing kind.
- Determinator: By necessity.
- Dork Knight
- Eye Glasses: The lenses even disappear as he closes his eyes. His glasses also have wire-thin frames and no earpieces. Some fans didn't even realize he wore glasses until Zim mentioned it, at which point we suddenly realized what that narrow line connecting Dib's eyes was supposed to be.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic.
- Good Is Not Nice: Particularly earlier on, where it's not only clear that just because he's right about the alien invasion doesn't mean he's not crazy, but that when he is right about stuff he tends to engage pursuit almost cruelly, Zim just being the most recent example. He loses a bit of that as the show goes on, though.
- Hero Antagonist: A paranormal investigator trying to prevent the alien Zim from taking over the world, there are numerous Villain Episodes where Dib is the main character, making him the protagonist (and usually casting Zim as the antagonist) a good portion of the time.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: In spades.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood
- Idiot Hair: His hairstyle appears to be an ahoge.
- Informed Deformity: His supposedly big head."My head's not big!"
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: His classmates go out of their way to avoid him and are sadistically vicious when they do have to acknowledge him.
- Iron Butt Monkey: He has taken a lot of damage. He's been killed at least once, had his whole childhood ruined in horrible pig-related accidents, turned into bologna, turned inside out while having a hole ripped in his head...
- I Take Offense to That Last OneZim: Despite his large head, the Dib-monkey is quite stupid.Dib: MY HEAD'S NOT BIG!
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Becomes more and more like this as the series continues.
- Kid Hero
- The Klutz: He can display some impressive moves in the middle of a battle, yet tends to trip over and bump into things in normal situations.
- Leitmotif: A violin, which goes with Gaz's harpsichord.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Briefly sheds his Butt Monkey status several times, one of the most noteworthy being "Battle of the Planets."
- Mr. Exposition: Dib. "Wow.....WOW! I'm boring! Do I always explain everything like that?"
- The Necromancer: One of Professor Membrane's lines from "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" implies it."SON! There better not be any walking dead up there!"
- Noodle Incident: A Running Gag is that someone will allude to some crazy-sounding paranormal event that Dib claims to have discovered before. Given how weird this show is, it's plausible that they really happened.Greg from the FBI: Hey...you're DIB...right? Heh-heh, you ever get that ninja ghost outta your toilet?
Dib: Yes, no thanks to you!
Professor Membrane: Son, there better not be any walking dead up there!
- Whatever led to Dib bringing the dead back to life the first time.
Dib: It's nothing to worry about, dad! And I said I was sorry about that!
The Letter M: Yeah, what's wrong with you? All you talk about is aliens and ghosts and seeing bigfoot in your garage!
- Then there was this little gem in "The Nightmare Begins":
Dib: He was using the belt sander...
Dib: (talking to a spaceship clone of himself) Remember our fifth birthday when we fought off that swarm of alien... ghost... bee babies?
- From "Dibship Rising":
Random kid: Hey, Dib's being all weird and giant again!
- Don't forget whatever gave the Mysterious Mysteries host his scar. Speaking of which, the Mysterious Mysteries host has an entire room (apparently very large) that's overflowing with reports from him, which he lives in mortal fear of having to visit. Honestly, it's probably safe to say that Dib's entire life is one big Noodle Incident.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: Also from "Dibship Rising":
- No Respect Guy
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Given the sheer weirdness of Dib's world, it's very plausible that Dib really has seen all the paranormal craziness he claims to have seen — in "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy", we actually see Dib trying to catch what is quite clearly a baby Sasquatch, despite its own claims of being a human kid. Not to mention the whole thing about Zim really being an alien, even though nobody believes or recognizes it.
- Only One Name: Played with. At one point, he is addressed as "Dib... Whatever your last name is," and Dib says that's correct.
- Only Sane Man: Which is saying something, as he sometimes seems not entirely sane himself.
- Parental Neglect: Although it's more workaholic neglect then outright abandonment, Membrane scarcely acknowledges him.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Towards Zim at times.
- Properly Paranoid: Dib has the Cassandra Truth reputation going strong. But he's right — Zim is indeed an evil alien bent on conquering humanity. What's more, whenever he's seen engaging in other paranormal studies (such as chasing a hairy kid he thinks is a baby Bigfoot), he continues to show much more awareness of the world around him than... well, the world around him. Maybe he'd be more credible if he stopped talking to himself.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "You will pay for ruining my childhood, Zim! You! Will! PAY!!!"
- Running Gag: So, how many fans are convinced Dib's head really is drawn larger than the rest of the cast's, I wonder? In the animation project God Save The Dib, Jhonen changed him so he actually does have a larger head.
- Sanity Slippage: Most obvious in "Vindicated!" and "The Fry Cook That Came From All That Space".
- Scary Shiny Glasses: In the opener.
- Seeker Archetype: His anxious following of his favorite TV show Mysterious Mysteries is this trope objectified.
- Speech Impediment: Temporarily as a result of Zim screwing with his past in "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy".
- Surrounded by Idiots: "Okay, am I the only one who sees the alien sitting in class?"
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist
- Thinking Out Loud: A habit he frequently lampshades in later episodes.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Fanon seems to have established that he likes Chinese food.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Does displaying a desire to strap Zim to an autopsy table and dissect him to see his alien organs count?
- The Unfavorite:
Prof. Membrane: My poor, insane son.
- Dib's dad seems to notably favor his sister, just because she's not 'insane'.
Prof. Membrane: (to Gaz) You're my funny child!
- Subverted in "Bloaty's Pizza Hog" when Professor Membrane refuses to leave Dib behind on Family Dinner Night.
- Twitchy Eye: At the end of "Vindicated!", and arguably during his mental breakdown in "The Fry Cook That Came From All That Space".
- Verbal Tic: "NYAH!!!"
- Vocal Evolution: Andy Berman couldn't seem to make up his mind: in some episodes, Dib sounds like he did in the premiere (more nasal and fast-paced), and in others, Dib's voice is much rougher and lower, and he talks more slowly. The latter voice makes him sound more teenaged.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: The few times he does interact with Membrane. It's never easy when your dad is a strong skeptic of everything you're trying to prove.
- Worth It: This dialogue in "The Wettening".Dib: It was worth it! Score one for the human race! Score zero for the Zim...thingy...race.
- Worthy Opponent: "You're one of the only people who can appreciate the amazingness of this plan, so I'm going to let you in on what "it" is..." And if the series were not canceled a season early, he would have taken it a level further by attempting to take over Irk.
Gazlene "Gaz" Membrane
Voiced by: Melissa Fahn
"What you need is to give the Game Slave to me or I will plunge you into a nightmare world from which there is no waking!"Dib's younger sister. Like Dib, she knows Zim's real origin, but unlike him, she doesn't much care, on the grounds that he really isn't very good at the whole world-conquering thing. That, plus she seems to be something of a misanthrope herself. (She did once have a very hard time deciding whether to destroy all life on Earth or not, when putting a can in a super-powered microwave.) Mostly Gaz sticks to her video games and snarks at the insanity around her.
(after getting a negative response): "I hope ya like NIGHTMARE WORLDS!"
(after getting a negative response): "I hope ya like NIGHTMARE WORLDS!"
- Actually Pretty Funny: She's laughed at some of the stunts Zim's pulled on her older brother. Oddly, her saying this line near-verbatim after one of Dib's stunts proved unexpectedly hilarious was one of the closest things she's had to a Pet the Dog moment with him.
- Adaptational Heroism: While still snarky, cruel and mean-spirited, Gaz comes off as much more emotionally invested in things in the comics than she ever did in the series. She's also generally more civil with Dib.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Bloaty's Pizza Hog", "Game Slave 2", and "Gaz, Taster of Pork"
- All There in the Manual: According to this◊ issue of the Nickelodeon magazine, her full name is Gazlene.
- Anime Hair: It doesn't look like the hairstyles her brother and father sport, but it deserves its own mention — it's shaped like a set of jaws.
- Ax-Crazy: Not to Zim's level, but she has her moments.
- Badass Biker: In the script for "Ten Minutes to Doom", she drives a motorcycle from the arcade all the way to her father's lab to retrieve Zim's PAK (long story).
- Berserk Button: Take her stuff (especially her Game Slave) and you will pay.
- Big Eater: She's shown eating in the majority of her scenes and tends to react violently when her food is taken away or when her abilities to obtain or enjoy food are jeopardized.
- Boyish Short Hair
- But Not Too Black: Like her brother, she is actually a very pale Mexican.
- Bystander Syndrome: Generally. She does help on occasion.Gaz: Are there any video games around here?
Zim's Computer: No. Not really.
Gaz: I guess I'll save the Earth, then.
- Characterization Marches On: Jhonen has expressed a desire to have her be less "one note" in the comic. Partially by having her behave as "an actual sister" and also by having her react more vividly to situations like this◊
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Creepy Child: She frightens grown men.
- Daddy's Girl: An odd example, but she does seem to have some affection for her father.
- Deadpan SnarkerDib: "Did you hear that, Gaz? Humans don't have squeedlyspooches!"Gaz: "I've got a squeedlyspooch."Gaz: "Why do you have to have a head?"
- Death Glare: She's VERY good at it.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Particularly in the episodes "Game Slave 2" and "Battle-Dib", Gaz is prone to waging all-out war against those who cheat her of what is rightfully hers... even if it's just a pizza or a gaming console, it's Serious Business.
- And then there's Issue 5 of the comics; see Evil Is Petty.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Her treatment of Dib for bothering her is downright psychotic in some episodes, but Played for Laughs.
- Enfante Terrible
- Evil Is Burning Hot: Sometimes when she gets angry, the background behind her bursts into flames.
- Evil Is Petty: "Battle-Dib" is basically her doing everything possible to foil Dib, just because he took her last piece of pizza.
- Expressive Hair: When she's angry at Iggins, rain pours down and straightens her hair. When he finally gives the game to her, her hair is restored to its normal state with a magical glow.
- Eyes Always Shut: When she does open them, she's either in an enraptured trance or about to hit you.
- Feel No Pain: She completely ignores the itchy lice attack on her head in "Lice" and isn't bothered when Zim steals one of her organs and replaces it with her Game Slave in "Dark Harvest."
- Forehead of Doom
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic.
- Flat Character: Other than tormenting people she doesn't like and eating pizza, she really doesn't have much of a personality. Jhonen Vasquez himself has gone on record saying one of his biggest regrets in the series was underwriting her character and making her come off as shallow and one-note.
- Gamer Chick: She would rather play video games than just about anything, and she is very very good at them. And terrifying if you get in her way.
- Hair Decorations: When younger, she wore a bow in her hair as seen in "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy."
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to set her off, especially if it's from her brother.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: If she can be bothered to help at all, she's this.
- Hidden Depths: She occasionally shows glimpses of a softer side, like in the unproduced "Mopiness of Doom" episode where she is disturbed by Dib giving up on the paranormal and relieved when everything returns to normal. She also seems to really want to spend time with her father.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Implied a few times, but primarily in Bloaty's Pizza Hog.
- Improbable Weapon User: She used cans of Poop soda against Zim, Dib, Tak, and MiMi in "Tak, the Hideous New Girl."
- Jerkass Has a Point: When Dib points out to her that Zim is trying to wipe out the human race, Gaz states she doesn't care because Zim is "so bad at it." As Zim is repeatedly shown to be a Harmless Villain who constantly screws up due to his own stupidity, she does have a point.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: On VERY rare occasions, she can be this, as seen in "Tak, the Hideous New Girl."
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Also this trope. She does save her brother, but only because she wants to go to Bloaty's Pizza Hog.
- Karma Houdini: On occasion, though other times (like in "Battle-Dib"), she gets her comeuppance.
- Kids Are Cruel: Sometimes. Other times, she's just apathetic.
- Lack of Empathy: She tends to care little for some people, because she thinks she's surrounded by thoughtless people.
- Leitmotif: A harpsichord.
- Little Miss Badass: Gaz is all badass. The fact that she's only around 10-12 and has already beaten the living crap out of her older brother at least three times for bothering her; coupled with the fact that she terrorized a guy for taking the last video game system in stock that was rightfully hers, making her qualify.
- Little Miss Snarker
- Little Sister Instinct: Sometimes, she can be this to her brother. However, these moments are often motivated by her own interests.
- Off Model: The shape of her head is inconsistent between certain scenes in "The Wettening."
- Offscreen Teleportation: When stalking Iggins in "Game Slave 2".
- Only Sane Woman: She is one of the few people who know perfectly well that Zim is an alien who wants to conquer/destroy the Earth. She's also largely uninterested in the conflict, quipping rather correctly that Zim isn't very good at what he does.
- Pet the Dog: In Issue #14 of the comics, she tricks Dib into drinking one of Dr. Membrane's formulas, not knowing that it'll make him explode if he becomes too upset at any point in the day. Out of concern for Dib's life, and guilt that it would be her fault she begrudgingly spends all day accompanying Dib on his paranormal adventures instead of letting him blow up.
- The Power of Hate: Her raw hatred seems to manifest itself as supernatural abilities at times.
- The Smurfette Principle: In the quartet of main characters, she's the only girl.
- Spoiled Brat: Membrane gives her everything she actually needs.
- Supernatural Is Purple
- Surrounded by Idiots: While Dib still has some hope for humanity, his sister, Gaz, on the other hand sees everyone around her, including Dib, as idiots. She knows Zim is an alien, but doesn't really care.Dib: Don't you care that ZIM is trying to destroy all mankind? Huh?Gaz: But he's so bad at it.
- To the Pain: Takes great care to explain to Dib how she will make him suffer in Gaz, Taster of Pork, complete with glowing Red Eyes, Take Warning and levitation.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza, to the point where it's one of the accessories that comes with the Palisades toy of her.
- Tranquil Fury: When you have screwed up big time, she almost never goes ballistic; she's too mad for that.
- Twitchy Eye: "I'm trying to draw a little piggy. Can't you see I'm trying to draw a little piggy?!"
- Villain Protagonist: In "Game Slave 2."
- Vocal Evolution: Like with Dib, Gaz's voice would shift on occasion from low-pitched and rough, to higher and softer.
- When She Smiles: When playing as her in the online game Dib's Nanochase, she will smile upon the player's victory.
- Wingding Eyes: She gets swirls in her pupils when distracted by a commercial in "Bloaty's Pizza Hog."
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Purple Hair.
The Almighty Tallest
Voiced by: Wally Wingert (Red), Kevin McDonald (Purple)
"The universe will be ours for the taking! It's only a matter of time before all the races of the Universe serve the Irken Empire!"The leaders (or more accurately, figureheads) of Irken society. Their height being the only qualification for office, they're not necessarily well-equipped in the brain department, although Red does seem to have it together more than Purple. Pretty much they sit around snacking and acting like jerks. Their role can be likened to a pair of teenage bullies picking on and ordering around a bunch of smaller kids.Red and Purple weren't the first Tallest. Some of the previous leaders were slated to appear in flashbacks if the show hadn't been canceled.One should address the Almighty Tallest respectfully as "My Tallest", the equivalent of "Your Majesty" (or, more appropriately, "Your Highness") on Earth. As a general rule of both grammar and respect, "My Tallest" is never pluralized, even when two Tallest rule in tandem.
"I'll have them serve me curly fries."
"I'll have them serve me curly fries."
- Aliens Speaking English
- All There in the Script: Their real names are Red and Purple. (Guess which is which.)
- Bare Your Midriff: The design of their "Tallest" outfits.
- Big Bad Duumvirate
- Bad Boss: Both of them treat their minions badly. Most often, Purple is the one who orders them to be thrown out of the airlock.
- Big Eaters
- Brilliant, but Lazy: In certain situations Red shows himself to be quite competent, however he seems to prefer not to have to exercise his intelligence, instead allowing underlings to handle problems for him in all instances save those in which his personal safety is being directly threatened.
- Butt Monkey: Purple to a degree, mostly due to Red's abuse of him.
- The Caligula: Both of them, although Purple is especially useless.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: You'll never guess which one is Red and which one is Purple.
- Culture Clash: They are utterly baffled when Zim explains to them that adult humans are generally a lot taller than Irkens, but are also on average incredibly stupid. Since this goes directly against the ideals of Irken society, the Tallest have trouble wrapping their minds around it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Other than hysterical laughter or blank shock, their usual reaction to Zim's antics.
- Zim's base explodes during a videoconferencePurple: Well, you look real busy exploding, Zim...Red: What a shame, moving on now...
- Divergent Character Evolution: In the first episode they each got alternating moments of stupidity and intelligence. By "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" Red seems to be the smarter one, though he still spends plenty of time acting lazy and stupid along with Purple.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": They're referred only as the Tallest in the series.
- Evil Empire: They are the figureheads of the Irkan Empire.
- Faux Affably Evil: They're lazy and generally genial, but that won't stop them from committing genocide or jettisoning their own soldiers for not being tall enough.
- Fingore: They only have two fingers on each hand as opposed to a normal Irken's three. According to the Zim wiki, the production staff said somewhere when a Tallest is chosen, their thumbs are chopped off in a ceremony to prove that they can rule without them.
- Greater Scope Villain: They're the ones who sent Zim to Earth to take it over, albeit not intentionally. They didn't even know Earth existed; they just wanted Zim off their planet while their conquered the rest of the universe.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Fans debate if they're this, twin brothers (from the same cloning tank, maybe?) or gay lovers.
- More obvious in the comics, where they are shown playing together.
- Hidden Depths: Red in "Backseat Drivers" — namely, he's Brilliant, but Lazy.
- Irony: The two of them only managed to become the rulers or Irk because Zim accidentally killed the previous two Tallest. Now they're saddled with having to constantly deal with the destructive individual who made their ascension possible.
- Jerkasses: Big time.
- Karma Houdini: Except in "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars".
- Finally averted in comic issue 4. Their game of torturing Zim with a large Cheese Puff literally blows up in their faces.
- Large and in Charge
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Red is smarter, more competent, and more dominant than Purple.
- Lean and Mean: In addition to being the tallest Irkans, they're also rail-thin despite their love of junk food.
- Meaningful Name: Red is the first color in the rainbow and purple is the color associated with royalty.
- Moral Myopia: Averted. While the Irkens treat all other races as nonentities, the Tallests still have no qualms about shooting their own people out of cannons or airlocks.
- Not So Harmless: Par for being part of the Irken race, their childish egotism and decadence mask their ruthlessness and greed.
- Orcuses On Their Thrones: They don't do much except lounge around their mothership.
- Palette Swap: Of each other.
- Pet the Dog: That's hard to believe as they are two sociopaths. However, they have some care and companionship toward each other at one occasion. Red is even seen protective toward Purple, although he abuses him most of time.
- Psychopathic Manchild: They are sociopathic overlords of multiple galaxies and they love sweets and junk food, bicker over simple things, and make their servants present their planet-conquest strategies with puppet shows.
- Purple Is Powerful: Purple, of course.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Red, of course.
- Smug Snake: They're extremely arrogant.
- Sociopaths: Don't be fooled by their laid back attitudes, these guys are genocidal monsters.
- Sweet Tooth: It goes in hand with their big eater status — although it's possible that sweets are part of a healthy diet for Irkens.
- Those Two Bad Guys
- Thrown Out the Airlock: They like to do this to people they don't like.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Of a sorts.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Purple's reaction to the parasite eating Zim's brain at the end of "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars."
- While Rome Burns
- You Don't Look Like You: Red's Series 2 Palisades toy gives him a darker shade of green skin than Purple.
- Younger Than They Look: They look older than Zim, but the script for the unproduced episode "The Trial" reveals that the three are about the same age.
Voiced by: Roger Bumpass
Friend to the world, enemy of Santa Claus.The father (at least allegedly) of Dib and Gaz, Membrane is a scientist who also hosts the Show Within a Show Probing the Membrane of Science. He keeps a very busy schedule, to the point he can only manage to eat dinner with his children once a year.
- The Ace: With as often as he's used for comic relief, it can be easy to forget that in the universe of the show he's the most well respected scientist on earth and for good reason.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: He refuses to believe any of Dib's paranormal claims, but he does believe in Santa Claus. (Then again, so does everyone else.) In one episode he yelled that Dib better not have any walking dead in his room. (Dib SAID he was sorry about that!)
- Anime Hair: Where Dib gets it from.
- Badass Bookworm: Can restore all of the power on earth by launching an energy beam from his hand! There's no indication of whether or not this was an invention he'd created or if he just has amazing superhuman abilities, but it's amazing either way.
- Big Good: To a degree for humanity. While he's oblivious and indifferent to the presence of aliens, he is pretty much singlehandidly responsible for the massive technological leaps humanity has taken by the series beginning and is respected, admired and trusted by the world's leaders.
- But Not Too Black: Like his children, he is Mexican but very pale skinned.
- Ditzy Genius: Despite his incredible scientific intellect, he seems as dense as everyone else when it comes to the obvious extraterrestrial activity that's constantly happening around him.
- Evil Laugh: "There are no curses, son. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
- The Faceless: Never seen without a high collar and goggles, even as a kid.
- For Science!!
- Goggles Do Nothing: That we know of.
- The Grinch: A mild case as he doesn't appear to hate the holiday itself, just Santa.
- Hot Scientist: He has fangirls who will defend this trope.
- Large Ham: Possibly the biggest one in the series. Considering the kind of world he inhabits, it's quite an accomplishment.
- Mad Scientist: He built a space-time object replacement device, a perpetual energy generator, and possibly cloned Dib.
- Mundane Utility: Using a Hand Blast to open a door.
- No Mouth: It's covered up by the collar of his lab coat.
- Parental Favoritism: He does appear to favor Gaz. Not that he hates Dib, he just thinks he's crazy. ("My poor, insane son.") Just how bad it is depends on the episode. In Halloweenies, he listens to Dib explain he's slipping between dimensions because he messed with the Professor's inter-dimensional viewing device and then lets the apathetic psychiatrists sentence Dib to being sent to an insane asylum without a qualm. In Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy, though, after Dib gets killed by Zim's time travelling attacks, he scientifically revives his son and implants him into a protective suit of exo-armor — and when Zim starts hurling more pigs into the past to try and re-kill Dib, Professor Membrane responds by constantly upgrading Dib's exo-armor with bigger and badder weaponry.
- Parental Neglect: He loves his kids but is hardly ever there for them.
- Show Within a Show: The aforementioned Probing the Membrane of Science.
- So Proud of You: In the unfinished episode "Mopiness of Doom", he has this reaction when Dib decides to stop chasing Zim and study "real science."
- Strong Family Resemblance: From what we can see of his face, anyway, Dib takes after him a lot.
- Truly Single Parent: Allegedly, had the series continued, it would have eventually been revealed that Dib was an experiment created by Membrane (Fanon generally says Membrane's clone, given their resemblance). Where Gaz comes from in this scenario is open to speculation.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Not a perfect example, but his kids are at least more snarky and less hammy.
Voiced by: Lucille Bliss
"The universe is just doomed. Doomed! DOOOOOOOMED!"Teaches Zim and Dib's class.
- Ambiguously Human: She's almost definitely not, but we're not quite sure what she is. Sunlight burns her. Although, in the Halloween special she says she was a Fairy Princess once.
- Anti-Villain: She doesn't seem to be outright evil, just extremely nihilistic and apathetic, and doing what's necessary to keep the Skool in check.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Despite the obvious hatred she has for her students and all the horrible stuff she's told them before, she refused to divulge just what happened that led people to start giving out meat on Valentine's Day. Her response to Dib's question was "you don't want to know". She even expressed "moral outrage" to the principal allowing the kids to celebrate the holiday.
- Evil Old Folks: While not evil per se, she's cantankerous and lives up to her name.
- Humanoid Abomination: According to one source, Miss Bitters didn't come to teach, as she's always existed on that land... the school was simply built around her.
- Living Shadow: She sometime sneaks up on people by becoming their shadow. Literally.
- Multiple-Choice Past: She was supposedly a fairy princess once and went into space as a kid, until the rocket imploded. Meanwhile, tie-in materials claim that she's always been where she is now, and the skool was built around her.
- Noodle Incident: See Multiple-Choice Past. There were apparently supposed to be more of them, but they got cut for one reason or another.
- Obviously Evil: Very much so.
- Sadist Teacher
- Scary Shiny Glasses
- Snake People: She's tall and thin and swirls through the air and curls around people like a boa constrictor. Rattlesnake sounds show up when she speaks or gets annoyed.
- Straw Nihilist: Played for Laughs.
- Transplant: She was Squee!'s teacher.
- Weakened by the Light: She has to wear heavy, hooded robes on the one occasion we see her leave the building.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Implied at times by her numerous backstories.
- Was Once a Man: See above.
Voiced by: Ted Raimi
"So that no Irken boot has to come in contact with any unsavory alien filth! HOO-HA!"An incredibly short Invader, and something of Zim's only friend. Had the show continued, he would have become a reoccurring character, and lived in Zim's basement.
- Affably Evil: He doesn't really come across as being evil for its own sake, but Irkens in general seem to have an Always Chaotic Evil bent and at the very least he is complicit to genocide.
- Amusing Alien
- Butt Monkey: He was sent to a planet of Slaughtering Rat People, used as artillery against said planet after he pacified it, and then had his achievement given to someone else.
- Brother Chuck: With the exception of a variant cover for issue 10, he's absent from the new comics.
- The Chew Toy
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's the first Irken Invader to single-handedly complete his mission, and he survived being on a planet as it was being blown up. If it wasn't for his gullibility, he'd be an Irken to be reckoned with.
- The Dragon: What he would have been to Zim.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick
- Made of Iron: Even more so than Zim, Dib, and Keef combined.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain
- No Respect Guy
- Unexplained Recovery: Blatantly and repeatedly.
Voiced by: Olivia d'Abo
"I should have been an Invader! I should have been part of The Great Assigning! I shouldn't have to be stealing this planet from you!"A female Irken out to seek Zim's mission and prove herself as a worthy Invader to the Tallests. Fifty years ago, Zim caused a blackout that caused her to miss her test to become an Irken-Elite. Not to be confused with the main character of another Nick franchise, Tak and the Power of Juju.
- Aliens of London: Tak has a British accent while none of the other Irkens do.
- Beauty Mark
- Best Served Cold: Tak wants to conquer Earth before Zim, since Zim was the one who made her fail her military exam and sent her to work as a janitor (on Planet Dirt) for fifty years. She actually doesn't view it as revenge so much as setting things right, though—-as she (correctly) points out, she's a highly competent invader who deserved to get assigned a planet, while Zim was sent there just to get him out of the Almighty Tallests' antennae.
- Butt Monkey: Somewhat, particularly being exiled from her planet despite being an excellent invader but Zim's idiocy caused this, and getting thwarted by Zim and being almost killed in a spaceship crash. Tak just couldn't catch a break.
- Cats Are Mean: Her S.I.R. Mimi takes the guise of a cat, and is nasty powerful enough to kick Zim and GIR's asses.
- Compelling Voice: It only works on idiots though.
- Dark Action Girl
- Evil Brit: She is not a Brit of the humans, although her accent is clearly Brittish.
- Eviler Than Thou
- Evil Laugh: It's so hideous in contrast to her appearance.
- Evil Versus Evil
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: The animators might have over did it a little bit because it actually looks pretty nice, especially in Dib's eyes.
- Freudian Excuse: Zim ruining her chance to become an Irken-Elite.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Not one in canon, but is portrayed as such in fanart.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Tak seems to possess these in the form of some sort of device in or near her eyes. While in disguise, a flash of her eyes allows her to erase short-term memories of her victims (unless their mind is too strong, like Dib's and Gaz's were) and, in one case, impose her will over others.Girl: Looks like Zim has a girlfriend!Tak: It's not NICE... to embarrass people! You should apologize... and... [eyes flash] eat your eraser!Girl: (With Mind-Control Eyes) Yes, Tak! I'm sorry, Zim. [Takes a bite out of her eraser]
- Irony: Had Zim not stopped her from taking the exam, she might've wound up among the invaders he blew up in Operation: Impending Doom 1.
- Large Ham: It leads to Ham-to-Ham Combat when she argues with Zim.
- More Deadly Than the Male: And how!
- Motive Rant
- Nothing Personal: Claims she's not out for revenge, just wants another chance to prove herself to the Tallest. You wouldn't be able to tell by her actions toward Zim, though.
- Parody Sue: Tak has these tendencies: arrives at the Skool out of nowhere on an incredibly cool and expensive-looking jet, gets Dib's attention (while shooting down Zim's futile courtship attempts), turns out to be another rogue "Invader" like Zim — only incredibly more competent, and so on. And yet, she's still so Genre Blind as to put a Big Red Button to disable her master plan and gets defeated by the very people she denounced as worthless.
- Purple Is Powerful: Instead of the standard dark pink Irken uniform, she wears a purple one. Her eyes and the spots on her PAK are purple too.
- The Rival
- Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: She's essentially a competent, intelligent version of Zim.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is her SIR unit named Mimi or MiMi?
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Female Irkens have long eyelashes and curled antennae.
- Uncanny Valley Girl
- Unexplained Accent
- Villains Blend in Better: Or in this case, Competent Villains Blend In Better.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her human disguise.
"You haven't seen the last...of the RESISTY! (That's right, that's still our name!)"Latecomers to the series, the Resisty are a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits from different planets who banded together to... well, resist the Evil Irken Empire. Led by Lard Nar, a former engineer from Planet Vort.
- Aliens of London: Like Tak, Lard Nar has a British accent, for some reason.
- All There in the Script: The character's names.
- Character Development: It's only in one episode, but you can still kinda see Lard Nar come into his own over the course of "Backseat Drivers" — from a guy who completely freaks out over the slightest setback, to a leader undaunted at even the loss of his entire ship.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Shloonktapooxis.
- Cool Chair: Lard Nar's.
- Cool Ship: Too bad they had to shrinky self-destruct it.
- La Résistance
- Lovable Cowards: To a man.
- Mood-Swinger: Lard Nar, at least to start with.
- Multiple Head Case: One of them, although he isn't given a name.
- No Name Given: All of them except for Lard Nar, Shloonktapooxis, Spleenk, and Ixane, and even they only get them in the scripts.
- One Shot Characters: They were meant to be more, but the show was cancelled before their plotline could get past its introduction. Lard Nar does show up in a non-speaking role in the unproduced script for "The Trial."
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Again, Lard Nar. Though he quickly clears his throat and tries to look like a badass again.
- Unexplained Accent: Lard Nar.
"We will take your ship! And for the trouble you've caused, we're going to destroy your base, leaving you stranded here. Just like we were."A race of aliens led by Gorkspace Sergeant Shnooky who were stranded on Earth posing as human babies after an incident in a maternity ward. They attempt to take Zim's ship and use it to fly back to their home planet. It doesn't end well for them.
- Aliens Speaking English: As is standard for aliens in the Invader Zim universe.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Zim refuses to let them take his ship. They threaten to take his ship, destroy his base, report him to the human authorities, and leave him stranded on Earth.
- Fate Worse Than Death: At the end of Plague of Babies, Zim uses the power amplifier to reduce their intelligence to that of real babies.
- Fusion Dance: "Now, my minions! FORM GIGANTO-BABY!"
- Human Outside, Alien Inside
- No Name Given: Like the Resisty, most of them are not given individual names.
- Poisonous Person: One of them spits out an acid-like substance to melt through the wall of Zim's base.
- Proud Warrior Race
- Vocal Dissonance: Shnooky talks with a very deep voice.
"Nobody escapes from Sizz-Lorr. I will find you, Zim. I will search all of space's dark corners to hunt you down. AND I WILL FIND YOOOOOUUUUU!!!"Zim's boss during his exile on Foodcourtia, an Irken frycook who runs Foodcourtia's premier restaurant. After Zim escaped the planet, Sizz-Lorr swore to make him come back if it was the last thing he did.
- Almighty Janitor: He is the biggest, strongest, and probably the most powerful Irken ever seen in the show. And his job is being a fry cook. Though in his defense he is the highest ranking Fry Cook in the entire Irken Army.
- Bad Boss: He was like this to Zim even before the latter ditched him on Foodcourtia and left him stuck there for 20 years. Well, Zim was already there in exile.
- Big "YES!"
- Chef of Iron: The natural result of combining his role as a chef and a badass. He even suits up in battle armor with a giant spatula as a weapon.
- Clark Kenting: Zim was unable to recognize him without his fry cook hat. And Sizz-Lorr was wearing his name tag.
- Improbable Weapon User: His laser-spatula...thing.
- Large and in Charge: And how - he is taller than any other Irken we have ever seen, perhaps even surpassing Tallest Red and Purple.
- Large Ham: It's a given.
- Nice Hat: His frycook hat.
- Purple Eyes
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: After he finds out that Zim is gone in the flashback, his eyes momentarily glow red.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the climactic scene of The Frycook What Came From All That Space.
"We think Dib's even crazier than normal today! Can we use one of our Crazy Cards to send him to the Crazy House for Boys?"The other kids in the Skool which Zim and Dib attend, which includes Miss Bitters' class. They mostly act like normal kids and have absolutely no idea that Zim's an alien.
- Aerith and Bob
- All of the Other Reindeer: Dib's class makes no effort to hide how much they hate him.
- Amusing Injuries:Zootch: Argh! My organs!
- Anime Hair: Peyoopi◊
- Butt Monkey: Due to having Zim as a classmate, and Miss Bitters as a teacher.
- Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Gretchen.
- The Bully: Torque Smacky is usually portrayed as this in Fanon, despite the fact that he doesn't actually do anything mean to Dib on-screen.
- Chunk is this in both the show, and Fanon.
- The Ditz: Willy.
- Evil Redhead: Chunk and Rob.
- Genre Blind: Keef. In the Crapsack World you live in, you probably wouldn't be so perpetually cheerful.
- Kids Are Cruel: Miss Bitters' class could give Gaz a run for her money in this department. The only ones to be exempt from this are Gretchen, Keef and a handful of recurring kids who don't pick on Dib.
- Even Gretchen is seen laughing at Dib in "Room With a Moose" and "Frycook What Come From All That Space."
- Nice Guy: Keef.
- Nice Hat: Carl, who wears a red stocking cap.
- No Indoor Voice: Screamy, who appears in the unfinished episode "Ten Minutes to Doom."
- No Name Given: The One-Scene Wonder student president in "The Voting of the Doomed."
- O.C. Stand-in: Gretchen and Zita in particular get this on occasion.
- Recurring Extra
- The Pollyanna: Keef.
- Teacher's Pet: Zita is the only student who Miss Bitters seems to like.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In the earlier episodes, while they never liked Dib or Zim, they hardly did anything worse than make minor insults to them or talk badly about them behind their backs. Later episodes have several of them cruelty mocking and physically humiliating them, to the point where Zim attempts to trap them in an alternate dimension and Dib questioning if they're even worth saving in A Room with a Moose
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Zita and Gretchen have purple hair, Peyoopi has green hair, and Sara has blue hair.
- Younger Than They Look: Old Kid.
Voiced by:Danny CookseyAn overly optimistic schoolboy with an abnormal resistance to injury, Keef is the first (and likely only) human Zim attempts to make friends with.
- Ambiguously Human: Not only incredibly durable, absorbent, and unnaturally optimistic, but he also has only three fingers, the same as Irkens.
- Cheerful Child: Nothing that hasn't been stated before.
- Determinator: Keef never seems to lose his cheery demeanor and hopeless optimism, brushing off the most gruesome injuries with a cheeky smile.
- Dumbass Has a Point: In "Return Of Keef" he redecorates Dib's room and gets rid of his paranormal stuff, because its "making him sad." Considering how ninety percent of Dib's suffering comes from his obsession with hunting monsters, it's hard to argue with that.
- Eye Scream: Zim's "friendship" present. Don't worry, he was fine by the next episode.
- Fiery Redhead: To the point where he literally explodes from enthusiasm at one point.
- Stepford Smiler: Implied a few times. Before he meets Zim at the Rejects' lunch table, he looks unusually downtrodden like the rest of his friends. Later, he frowns briefly when his invitations to Zim's "Party" are rejected.
- Made of Iron: Good god. If he wasn't so obliviously cheerful and well-meaning, Zim could use him as a soldier.
- Nice Guy: But way too nice for his own good. Not that he'd realize this.
Countess Von Verminstrasser
"You dare question me?! Question my methods!? You who stand to benefit the most from my research? You disgust me!"
Voiced by:Mindy SterlingThe extremely paranoid, short tempered, and militant head of the "Delousers" an organization devoted to stopping rapid lice infections. Dib initially thinks she's nuts, but there's more to the issue than meets the eye.
- Badass Labcoat: Comes with the occupation.
- Foil: An older and angrier female counterpart for Dib. She could be considered one for Tak as well, since both are much more competent and ruthless than their male foils and actually come damn close to a full victory.
- Good Is Not Nice: Wants to stop lice for the good of mankind, but she's not a pleasant person.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Very quick to snap and argue with anyone who criticizes her work.
- I Did What I Had to Do: As she justifies her extreme methods:"Some will suffer yes, but for the greater good!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A much more subtle example. She's extremely egotistical and her methods are ridiculously cruel, but she's still desperate to keep the public safe from the threat of the "Queen Lice" and is quick to congratulate and credit Zim for his (incredibly unwilling) role in stopping it.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Using Zim as lice repellent, all while completely unaware of what he is.
- Knight Templar: Goes to frightening extremes to contain lice and has no regard whatsoever for how the students feel.
- Mama Bear: Ironically has this attitude toward Zim during the final showdown as she's flaying him alive."Hold on, baby!"
- Narcissist: Like Dib, Verminstrasser really wants to be validated by her peers as a hero, but she's a far, far more dangerous case of this. It doesn't help as much by the fact that her beliefs turn out to be right.
- Properly Paranoid: As it turns out, all her years of ranting about a giant Queen Lice were correct.
- Never Mess with Granny: She's still significantly younger than Miss Bitters.
Because Dib's life isn't screwed up enough,his subconscious is a gateway to a dark netherworld,whose inhabitants are grotesquely twisted versions of almost everyone he knows.
- Always Chaotic Evil: They make the Irkens look reasonable.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Nightmare Bitters is their leader, and rips apart Zim's mech very easily.
- Alas, Poor Villain: The ones who end up banished by Nightmare Bitters,considering how their comrades are visibly saddened to see them leave.
- Bad Boss: Nightmare Bitters has a bad habit of banishing her underlings to the "Realm of Eternal Screaming and Restlessness" even for things that aren't their fault.
- Body Horror: As you'd expect, they're all grotesquely twisted in appearance, with each creature being different.
- Dark World: And yet,it's all found in Dib's large head.
- Knight of Cerebus: Amusingly inverted. While Nightmare Bitters, the leader of a race of war-mongering extra-dimensional monsters,should be this, she's actually somewhat childlike and fun-loving, especially compared to her main show counterpart.
- Monster Lord: Again, Nightmare Bitters.
- Our Monsters Are Weird
- Punch Clock Villain: Their attitudes when not terrorizing or being "spooky" isn't much different from everyday folk.