Fan Fic / Invader Zim: The Series
Invader Zim: The Series
is an Invader Zim
fanfiction by ngrey651
and is an adaptation of the insanely popular animated series Invader Zim
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 Interactive Narrator
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 background information
for the series:Invader Darth
which provides the Back Story
for major secondary character Invader Darth
which tells the story of how Skoodge
of all people managed to take over a planet, as well as planting the seeds of the main story's latter Story Arc
This story provides examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: This happens so, so often. In fact, most of the universe seems to be filled with idiots or bastard coated bastards with bastard filling.
- A Day In The Lime Light: 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.
- Agent Mulder: Dib and the Swollen Eyeball men. This is further expanded upon when Dib’s future self shows up as a super-agent of the Men in Black
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Skoodge’s first SIR unit actually went insane on Blorch and tried to terminate the poor lump. And he insulted his weight.
- There's also ERROR, the Ax-Crazy A.I. that work's for Spork's Legion of Doom during the final Story Arc - and the best part? The Reveal in the last chapter that ERROR is Skoodge's original SIR in a new body.
- Alien Among Us: The premise.
- Aliens Are Bastards: The Irkens are out to conquer other species for 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.
- Aliens and Monsters: A good number of the characters.
- And I Must Scream: The ultimate fate of Zoburg. Not that he didn't deserve it...
- Anyone Can Die: Nick dies so frequently that 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...
- Arch-Enemy: Zim has so many of these it’s actually kind of something to brag about.
- Audience Participation Song: There’s a KICKASS one at the end of the story.
- Author Avatar: The author is the narrator. Nuff said.
- Becoming the Mask: 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.
- Berserk Button: Don't hurt Darth's loved ones. Just don't.
- Beware the Nice Ones: 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!”
- Big Bad: Sue has this role during her Story Arc, before being demoted to secondary villain later on. Spork then takes over as Big Bad for the latter end of the story, though the last couple of chapters make him more of a Disc-One Final Boss to Sarong.
- Black and Grey Morality: 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.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: This happens all the time. In fact, there pretty much IS no fourth wall.
- Bounty Hunter: Frequency, an OC from some of ngrey651's other stories, appears here as a mercenary hired by Sue to serve as her Dragon.
- Butt-Monkey: 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?
- Cassandra Truth: 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!"
- Chekhov's Gun: “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... 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 Multiple Endings.
- Chekhov's Gunman: You know that insane SIR unit of Skoodge's that tried to kill him? It pops up again during the final Story Arc as the Legion of Doom's Sixth Ranger
- Christmas Episode: Several of them, actually.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: In chapter 72, Spork has Erin tortured for information on the Resisty.
- Cool Chair: All Lard Nar really wants is a frickin’ rotating chair.
- Creator Cameo: Jhonen Vasquez, creator of Invader Zim, appears as God in the story, and the narrator is the author of the story himself.
- Crowning Momentof Heartwarming: 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.
- Cynical Mentor: Jhonen is one to Nick. This doesn’t mean Nick’s not bawling like a baby when Jhonen dies from knife wounds in the hospital
- Cynicism Catalyst: 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. Though she’s actually still alive
- Dark Action Girl: A Taaaak, A Taaaak! Tak is skilled, suave, and is very good at what she does. This includes throwing knives into Nick’s head. And when Gaz actually gives a damn, she fits this trope as well.
- Dark Is Not Evil: 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.
- Death Is Cheap: Nick dies so often it’s something of a Running Gag.
- Disney Death: A great deal of these. Typical of ngrey651’s work.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Spongebob Squarepants is behind the Swollen Eyeball Network and wants to kill off all "dark" cartoons.
- Door Stopper: 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.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: 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
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... 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 Win, win, win.
- The Empire: The Irken Empire.
- Enemy Mine: "Bolognius Maximus", "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom", "Tak: The Hideous New Girl", “The Terror of the Pies”...which leads into Foe Yay, actually.
- Energy Beings: The Meekrob, who are also ruled by a Knight Templar.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The reason for most of the Heel Face Turns in the story.
- Expanded Universe
- Failure Is the Only Option: 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.
- 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.
- Faux Affably Evil: Zim, The Tallest, Tak, Darth, Sarong, etc...
- Five-Bad Band: The Legion of Doom from near the end of the story qualifies:
- Big Bad: Spork (the one who brought them together)
- The Dragon: Sue (the most loyal to Spork, and is the last defeated before him)
- Evil Genius: Zoburg (though Spork has his moments)
- The Brute: Sizz-Lorr
- The Dark Chick: 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
- Sixth Ranger: You could say ERROR is this, as he joins after the group has formed.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Frequency, though Tak and Sizz-Lorr later join him in a Heel–Face Turn
- Friendly Enemy: This happens quite often with Zim and Dib, actually. When they’re not being jerks to each other.
- Gambit Pileup: 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 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.
- God-Mode Sue: Invoked and explored.
- The Grinch: 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 "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Happily Married: Red and Erin, by the end of the story.
- Heel–Face Turn: In another standard of ngrey651's stories, most of the villains ( Darth, Tak, Spork to name a few) eventually see the error of their ways and change sides. However, some ( like Zoburg and Reg) stay evil throughout.
- Heroes Want Redheads: 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.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Skoodge's SIR unit VENT uses up all his power to defeat ERROR.
- Also the method of White and Nick's seemingly final deaths. Ironically, the fact that they were Heroic Sacrifices is what allows them to come back to life afterwards.
- Human Aliens: Erin the Aroesian
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: 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.
- Humans Are Morons: 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.
- Insectoid Aliens: The Irkens, though the opening narration of the story points out that they have some aspects of the Lizard Folk about them.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Gaz seems to share this in common with Zim, much to Nick’s chagrin.
- Interactive Narrator: 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 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.
- Karmic Death: 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.
- Knight Templar: 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.
- Large Ham: 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.
- La Résistance: The Resisty, of course.
- Laser-Guided Karma: This happens quite often, mostly because the Narrator learned from the best, aka Jhonen Vasquez.
- Legion of Doom: Most of Zim's enemies form one during the final Story Arc.
- Light Is Not Good: The Meekrob are Energy Beings who emit light from their forms, and they're led by a Knight Templar who wants to wipe out the Irkens and seems to think his people are better than everyone else.
- Love Redeems: 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.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: At the end of the story, it's revealed that Spork is Erin's father.
- Magic Music: Nick’s greatest power, so much so that it’s lampshaded a few times.
- Mixed Ancestry: At the end of the story, it's revealed that Erin is half Irken, due to being Spork's daughter.
- Morality Pet: Darth’s little brother, DL.
- Nice Guy: Nick. He’s a good example of this trope.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Dib. Poor, poor Dib.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: The final fate suffered by Zoburg is especially cruel compared to all the other villains. However, considering he had a long string of Kick the Dog moments (including killing Darth's little brother), no one was complaining.
- Psychic Powers: 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.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The 300 meme gets parodied twice:
- First, in chapter 19, where Zim is trapped in his house for a year by/with GIR (It Makes Sense in Context), 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 Roaring Rampage of Revenge against him madness, she replies with "This... is Revenge!" - at which point the story cuts away to Nick, who breaks the fourth wall and comments on how much he hates this particular meme.
- Redemption Equals Death: Sizz-Lorr is killed helping Nick, Tak, and several others escape from Spork's group
- Red Herring: 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 allnote . This may actually be an Aborted Arc, as some of the author's early IZ work on Deviant Art suggests that they really were planned to the same person originally.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: 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.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Usually, perpetrated by Gaz. To great effect.
- Rule of Cool: This is why Mars is actually a spaceship.
- Shaming the Mob: 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.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: 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 Crapsack World into a better place...and hell, they’ll probably succeed.
- Ship Tease: 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).
- Shout-Out: There’s so many of these leveled at the author’s fans, sources of inspiration, etc.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: 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?!"
- Song Fic: Obnoxiously so. As in, every character breaks out into song every other chapter. 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.
- Self-Insert Fic: 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.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The fate of Relationship Sue the first time around, and of 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.
- There Will Be Toilet Paper: 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”.
- Unexplained Recovery: 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.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: 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.
- White Hair, Black Heart: 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.