Fanfic / The New Adventures of Invader Zim

The New Adventures of Invader Zim is an Invader Zim fanfic by Zim'sMostLoyalServant.

Beginning some time after the end of the canonical series, New Adventures continues the story of Zim's attempts to conquer Earth, opposed by his Arch-Enemy Dib Membrane. However, the battle between the two becomes more complicated when they encounter the vampire Norlock, who soon allies with Zim. This begins a whole new series of conflicts, as allies and enemies old and new join the fray, with the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance.

The series is ongoing. Season 1 can be found here.

The New Adventures of Invader Zim contains the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Just like when they showed up in canon, Zim finds the Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer disgusting, and doesn't want them around, even though they worship him.
  • Accidentally Broke the MacGuffin: The fight over the Meekrob crystal in Episode 13 just ends up shattering it.
  • The Ace: Norlock, Tenn, and Tak are all great at what they do. Though Tak becomes more of a Broken Ace later on as her obsession with Zim consumes her.
  • Action Girl: Gaz, Viera, Tak, Tenn.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Gaz was always snarky, cruel, and mean-spirited in canon, but both the show and comics (more the latter) did occasionally show a lighter side and an ability to care for Dib. Here, she openly identifies as a misanthrope who doesn't care what happens to Dib or the world.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Episode 4 focuses on the sidekick group of GIR, Phil, Minimoose, and MIMI.
    • Episode 8 focuses on a rivalry between Viera and Gaz, with Dib and Norlock each appearing for one scene.
    • Episode 10 focuses almost exclusively on Tenn and her mission on Meekrob.
    • Episode 14 also focuses on Tenn as she adjusts to life on Earth, with Tak alone being the only other main character to show up more than once or twice.
    • Episode 18 is entirely about Gaz, with the only other major character who shows up being Dib, and he's only in it for one scene.
  • Adults Are Useless: Just like on the show, most of the adults here are too dumb or apathetic to help the heroes. Subverted with Agent Darkbootie, who does try to help at times.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Skoodge, as Dib points out, is such a nice guy that it's sometimes easy to forget that he's an alien soldier dedicated to conquering planets.
    • Unless he's angered, Norlock is always unfailingly polite, even when he's about to kill someone.
  • Agree to Disagree: Dib ultimately gets Steve and Viera to settle on this regarding their Magic Versus Science debate.
  • Aliens and Monsters: As per canon, you have aliens, and an assortment of other paranormal creatures running around.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: So far, we haven't met any nice aliens.
  • Alien Blood:
    • Irken blood is dark green. And not edible to vampires, apparently.
    • Norlock has a black ichor in place of his own blood.
  • Alien Geometries: The inside of the crashed Meekrob ship is noted as being very confusing, with the passages twisting and turning in logic-defying ways. It's later established that this is a standard of Meekrob architecture, as they try to maximize the use of interior space.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Just like in canon, every species speaks the same language. Lampshaded by the surprise of the agents holding Tenn in Episode 13, when they try to figure out how to communicate with her, only to find out she already understands them.
  • All for Nothing: Subverted. In Episode 5, Dib's efforts to retrieve Van Helsing's diary result in it turning out to be useless, but the events of that chapter do lead to the twins being assigned to team up with him, finally giving him help.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Like in canon, Dib is a pariah among the skoolchildren, a status which rubs off on the twins when they team up with him. Bitterly lampshaded in Episode 7, when Dib comments on the upside of being able to go wherever he wants because no one cares if he's not present at skool.
  • Almighty Janitor: Nny is a dark example. He's of strong enough will to not be intimidated by the likes of Norlock, Gaz, or even Miss Bitters, but settles for just cleaning up messes around the skool. Admittedly, these messes tend to be the result of him killing people who piss him off...
  • Aloof Big Brother: Inverted in Dib and Gaz's relationship.
  • Alternate Continuity: The fic does not consider the Invader Zim continuation comics as canon.
  • Ancient Evil: Exactly how old Norlock is has never been stated. Though at one point, he claims he built pyramids for a living when he was human.
  • Anti-Advice: Skoodge gives Tenn some friendly advice in Episode 14 to deal with being stuck working for Tak. She writes it off as "sad and stupid", but still finds the drive to keep going.
  • Anti-Hero: Dib is a mild example, as he sometimes shows willingness to break rules or indulge in morally grey actions if it aids his goal of saving the Earth.
  • Anti-Villain: Skoodge, as Dib points out, is a genuinely nice guy. But he's still just as dedicated to conquering Earth as Zim or Tak.
  • Apathetic Citizens: As per canon, most people either don't notice the strange happenings around them, or don't care.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Zim and Dib, as per canon, with Tak completing the trifecta.
    • Viera quickly becomes one to Gaz, as neither can stand the other.
  • Ascended Extra: In canon, Tenn had a silent cameo in the pilot and a couple of scenes in one other episode. Here, her presence helps give a massive boost to the Story Arc, and the Tallest end up ordering her to be Tak's partner in conquering Earth.
  • Astral Projection: How the Dream Walker spell works.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Viera's attempt to pull a Break the Haughty on Gaz just pisses her off enough that she actively starts tormenting Viera in return.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Steve and Viera argue a lot, but they do care about each other.
  • Ax-Crazy: Zim and Nny, obviously. But Tak and Gaz also have shades of this as well.
  • Bad Boss:
    • The Tallest, as per canon.
    • Zim isn't a very good master to his minions, either.
  • Badass Cape: Norlock wears one over his suit.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Episode 16 ends with Zim gets his hands on the Meekrob crystals, giving him the means to find Project Domination.
  • BFG: In Episode 11, Dib carts around one of his father's anti-Santa guns to fight Zim's plant monsters with. He later sets it to blow up and lets the Central Root eat it, destroying it.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In Episode 6, Dib plays on Zim and Tak's egos and tempers in order to get their pet monsters to attack each other, giving his team an opening to destroy them.
    • In Episode 15, Dib uses reverse psychology to get Zim to help his plan of fighting the sea hydra, by condescendingly suggesting that Zim couldn't help anyway. Naturally, Zim is insulted enough that he goes all in on the plan.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Norlock can transform into a giant demonic bat.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Episode 17, Purple moans about wanting something exciting to happen to alleviate his boredom. By the end of the chapter he's gotten plenty of excitement, in the form of Zim revealing he has the whole crystal, later followed by him going rogue. Preemptively lampshaded by Senior warning him that he shouldn't be Tempting Fate.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 15 sees the skool send everyone to the beach on a mandatory field trip. It results in Dib, Zim, and Tak's groups having to team up to fight a demon sea hydra.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Tak's obsession with conquering Earth before Zim can has led her to being Not So Different from him.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't mention Twilight, or any similar vampire movies, around Norlock. And don't call him useless.
    • Don't interfere with Gaz's video games, don't call her out on being selfish, and don't dare suggest Dib is saner than her.
    • Nny Hates Being Touched. Also, don't hurt the skool children.
    • Don't ever compare Tak to Zim.
    • Don't call Mortos a mooch or hack. And don't mess with his ice cream.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Zim and Tak, in competition to conquer Earth.
  • Big Brother Bully: Inverted with Dib and Gaz.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Dib for Gaz, who doesn't want or need it.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Phil is this most of the time, unless he switches into aggressive mode.
  • Big Red Button:
    • Dib's Spittle Runner (formerly Tak's) has one on its dashboard. It's an emergency brake.
    • There's one on the City Cesspool control panel which triggers an emergency purge of the tank.
  • Black Cloak: The members of SMOG wear these, complete with hoods, with the Grandmaster's being styled with gold trimming.
  • Black Speech: Norlock is occasionally, when using magic, described as speaking in a language no one can understand. A bit of it is finally portrayed during the Halloween Episode when he summons the monster army. Word of God is that it's gibberish he randomly typed out.
  • Blade Brake: Iggins does this during one of the games he and Gaz play in Episode 18.
  • Blind Obedience: Zim, to the Tallest and the Empire. Until it's broken in Episode 17 when they betray him.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Nny has some weird morality — he hates most people and will kill them for the slightest offense (such as touching him), but at the same time has presented a protective nature over the skoolchildren.
  • Blunt "Yes": Zim, when Desmond Flapp asks if he thinks the Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer are stupid.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The Tallest feel that Zim's a dangerous lunatic, while Norlock sees him as being a genius capable of great things. Both are shown to be right.
  • Brick Joke: In Episode 8, Norlock gloats how people in Doomsville are so oblivious that he can kill someone and waltz their corpse down the street. He does exactly this in Episode 16.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • In Episode 2, Zim mocks Dib's fear at Norlock showing up by asking if he'd like a change of pants.
    • Upon seeing the monster army in Episode 16, Skoodge states that he needs to change his pants.
  • Broken Ace: Tak is a highly skilled Invader, but her original defeat by Zim has led to her becoming obsessed with beating him and proving her superiority.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Bill is insane and incompetent, but somehow leads his own organization.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Skoodge goes through a lot of crap.
    • Also Dib at first, but things start to look up for him as time goes by.
    • As per canon, being the Villain Protagonist doesn't stop plenty of bad stuff from happening to Zim.
  • Call-Back: Full of them. There's at least one reference to canonical episode, or earlier chapters, per chapter.
  • Caligula's Horse: The Trope Namer was apparently Norlock's idea. Though he does state that it was said in jest when they were both drunk, and didn't think that Caligula would actually do it.
  • Canis Major: Norlock's pet wolf Phil is described as being the size of a small horse and "built like a silverback gorilla".
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Purple, who gets totally wasted after two and a half drinks in Episode 17. This leads to him telling Zim the truth about his mission.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    • Norlock openly refers to himself as evil, more than once.
    • Most Irkens, with the possible exception of Skoodge, are displayed as having an openly villainous mindset.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Norlock considers himself a ladies' man, but if his disastrous date with Miss Bitters in Episode 12 is any indication, his skills are lacking. Of course, he also says he hasn't been on a date since the Peace of Westphalia, which definitely puts his abilities in question.
  • The Cassandra: Par for the course with Dib, with Steve and Viera joining in on it later — not even the rest of the Swollen Eyeball Network believes most of what they encounter.
  • Challenging the Chief: When Iggins and Gaz are facing off in Episode 18, he wagers his position of Grandmaster of Gaming on the outcome of the competition. He ends up losing, and she takes control of SMOG.
  • Character Development:
    • Dib and the twins all get this.
    • Similarly, Zim and Skoodge both hit a significant turning point when they learn their mission is fake and rebel.
  • Characterization Marches On: In her first appearance in-story, Tak keeps her canon attitude. But as time goes on, she becomes more obsessed with beating Zim, becoming Not So Different from him in the process.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several in Episode 10. When Tenn first shows up, she barely escapes a monster called a Scuttling Flesh-Render, and later notes that she's got her rampaging SIR Units locked up. Later, she uses both of them on the Meekrob chasing her.
  • The Chew Toy: Skoodge. Something bad happens to him at least once per chapter.
  • Child Hater: Miss Bitters, as per canon. Though she specifies that she Hates Everyone Equally, children just specifically hit her worse.
  • Code Name: The Swollen Eyeball members, as per canon. In addition to the ones we've met, Steve is "Agent Silverfish", and Viera is "Agent Silver Sparrow".
  • Competition Freak: Zim, Tak, and Tenn are all this to various degrees.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Bill, Dib's guide from the "Career Day" episode, appears in Episode 13 leading a whole group of these.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In Episode 2, Zim mentions he keeps cows in his basement to experiment on, and fed Phil one of them. In the following chapter, when he's spraying Phil with a hose to stop him from eating Skoodge, Zim tells the wolf to stick to the cows.
    • MacMeaties gets blown up in Episode 4. Episode 6 mentions it's still being rebuilt, a process which is completed by Episode 17.
    • While otherwise self-contained, the events of Episode 6 are a direct result of Episode 5.
    • In Episode 9, Dib notes that the powerpoint count on his spell drives is low, while Viera looks embarrassed. Clearly, the count is low from her use of spells against Gaz in the previous chapter, which neither girl has mentioned to anyone.
    • In Episode 11, part of a building falls on Skoodge. The following chapter shows that he's still in a full body cast from the damage he suffered.
    • In Episode 13, MIMI clearly recognizes and is still fearful of Phil after their encounter in Episode 4.
    • The freak storm created at the climax of Episode 14 creates an upswing of good weather, creating the opening for the beach trip in Episode 15.
    • In Episode 17, Senior notes that he got the job of chief communications officer on the Massive to replace the guy who got Thrown Out the Airlock in Episode 10.
    • In Episode 18, it's mentioned that the Vasquez Convention Center was closed for renovation when the Sunset convention from Episode 12 happened, hence why it took place at the Mall instead.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Dib alludes to feeling like this a few times. However, things get better for him later on.
  • Crapsack World: Just like in canon, this is an awful world to live in.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Dib and Steve take a lot of equipment with them on what's supposed to be a simple beach trip, but it all comes in handy.
  • Crossover: Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is the skool janitor.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In Episode 6, Team Save Earth's first outing sees them effortlessly defeated by Tak, due to their infighting.
    • In Episode 12, Slab Rankle fights Norlock, and gets his ass kicked. In the end, he actually wins, but only by tricking Norlock onto a rocket and launching him out of the Mall.
  • Cult: The Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer are an alien worshipping cult, as was subtly played as in canon.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon:
    • An angry Norlock at one point threatens to make Skoodge eat his own face.
    • During a rant, Gaz says she's going to pound Viera's head in so hard it'll come out of her ass.
    • While angrily speaking with a superior over the phone, Miss Bitters threatens to rip their spleen out through their nose.
    • Zim threatens to make Mortos eat his own legs. Norlock says he's actually done that to people.
  • Cutting the Knot: A literal example — when Bill tries to distract Norlock with a tied and knotted rope (as per some vampire lore), the latter simply cuts it with scissors. Then he claims he taught that trick to Alexander the Great, the Trope Namer.
  • Death Glare: Gaz has a powerful one. Miss Bitters' is worse.
  • Death Trap: The Swollen Eyeball Network's private library is booby-trapped with plenty of these, to ward off intruders.
  • Death World: Planet Meekrob is this to anyone who isn't an evolved Energy Being.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: As usual, Zim has a tendency to fall into this when ranting.
  • Destination Defenestration: Tak forces Sara to do this to herself in Episode 15.
  • Destroy the Evidence: When Tenn evacuates her base on Meekrob, she makes sure to scuttle her computers before she does so.
  • Deuteragonist: The story is as much about Dib as Zim, with Tak as the Tritagonist.
  • Devil in Plain Sight:
    • Just like Zim, Norlock is clearly an inhuman, evil monster, and most people don't notice or care.
    • As per his own canon, Nny is openly a Serial Killer, and gets away with it.
  • Didn't Think This Through: This is one of Zim's major flaws, as his inability to fully think out his plans tends to bite him on the ass.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Norlock several times shows this towards Zim's plans. As well as towards the way the Tallest treat Zim.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: In Episode 13, the Meekrob crystal leading to Project Domination is shattered, leaving all three teams in possession of a piece. At the end of Episode 16, Zim reunites the pieces.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In Episode 8, Gaz's response to Viera humiliating her with a prank is to send her security dolls to maul her. Lampshaded by Viera.
    • In Episode 11, Nny kills a man for touching him.
    • In Episode 12, Norlock tries to kill an entire convention of vampire movie fans, just because he doesn't like their portrayal of vampires.
  • Divided We Fall: Team Save Earth's first outing falls apart pretty quickly, due to Steve and Viera's ongoing magic vs science feud. Fortunately, the next time around, Dib gets them to agree to focus on the mission, not their feelings about it.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Zim and Skoodge rebel against the Tallest after learning their mission is a lie.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: As per canon, the word "doom" is used a lot in dialogue, it pops up in a few chapter titles, and at its logical extreme, the unnamed-in-canon city the series takes place in is named "Doomsville".
  • Door Stopper: At eighteen chapters, it's almost 200,000 words long. And Word of God is that there's still a while before it's going to be finished.
  • The Dragon: Norlock takes on this role to Zim after beginning their partnership. And given his raw physical power, he's clearly the worse threat.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Lightning cracks when Zim first sees Norlock's castle, despite there not being a cloud in the sky.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Gaz is this to her classmates, and most everyone else.
    • Likewise Ms. Bitters, who is even more feared than Gaz.
  • Dream Walker: Dib spends most of Episode 9 doing this. Deconstructed quite a bit, as the moral implications of entering other people's subconsciousness are discussed.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Dib dresses up as Zim for Halloween, in order to troll him.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In Episode 14, Tenn does this with soda and doughnuts to deal with the stress of being forced to work with Tak.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: GIR pulls this trick on Dib in Episode 4, during an argument over whether the latter has a big head.
  • Eagleland: Slab Rankle is presented as a Type 2 — he's boisterous, aggressive, has flags planted everywhere just so they can flutter behind him dramatically when he wants to make a point, and his answer for why he built a rocket beneath the Mall is simply "Because America!"
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In Episode 3, Dib and Tak team up to fight off Norlock when he shows up to kill her.
    • In Episode 11, when Zim's plant monsters turn on him, he's forced to team up with Team Save Earth to destroy them. And then Tak shows up to reluctantly help as well.
    • In Episode 13, Zim and Skoodge team up with Tak to rescue Tenn from CREAM. Lampshaded by Tak quoting the Trope Namer, when Norlock points out that they don't have to like each other to get it done.
    • In Episode 15, Team Save Earth and both Irken factions reluctantly work together to fight the sea hydra.
  • Enfant Terrible: Gaz is agreed upon by everyone to be this.
  • Entitled Bastard:
    • The Tallest still expect Zim and Skoodge to blindly obey them even after effectively exiling them, simply because they're in charge.
    • Zim, Tak, and Tenn, all to various degrees, are shown to feel that they're owed success.
  • Epic Fail: Team Save Earth's first fight, against Tak. Norlock unfavorably compares it to the Charge of the Light Brigade.
  • Establishing Character Moment: All the OCs get them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Zim finds the Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer disgusting enough to counter any benefits that come from them being dedicated to him.
    • Norlock directly references this trope when he displays his disgust at the thought of entering people's dreams.
    • Also a little bit downplayed with Norlock earlier, as he was unnerved when he came across Nny flaying someone.
    • Tenn feels that Tak is far too petty in her rivalry with Zim.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Viera may fight with her brother on occasion, but she's disgusted when Gaz admits that she doesn't care about Dib.
    • Dib may believe in just about anything, but even he thinks that Bill's outlandish theories are insane.
  • Evil Is Petty: Zim, Tak, and Gaz.
  • Evil Mentor: Norlock has a hobby of doing this to pass the ages, having mentored some of history's vilest people. Now he's trying to mentor Zim (though he's hampered somewhat by Zim's ego).
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • Zim and Tak are in competition for conquest of Earth.
    • Episode 12 sees Norlock face off with Slab Rankle.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
    • Miss Bitters and Nny are both completely unaffected by Gaz's demeanor. And in the case of the former, most people actually consider her scarier.
    • Dib feels that Norlock is much more of a threat than Zim's cartoony evil.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Dib does this twice in the first chapter — first, when he overlooks the Big Red Button on the Spittle Runner's console, and later when he's trying to escape Norlock's castle and doesn't see a nearby window right away.
    • In Episode 2, Dib is keeping an eye out for Zim at the Parent Teacher conference, and yet Zim's whole group sneaks up behind him.
    • At the start of Episode 4, Zim and Skoodge somehow fail to notice Phil is in the same room as them, despite his size.
    • In Episode 7, when Dib and Steve are hiking through the woods to reach the unburied Meekrob ship, they completely miss a dirt road leading right there. Though Dib comments it wasn't on the map, so it's not their fault.
    • Also in Episode 7, Zim fails to notice Dib and Steve's presence in the Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer camp, until they speak up.
    • In Episode 16, Team Save Earth fail to notice the monster army attacking the city until Mortos points it out to them.
  • Fan Convention:
    • There's one for Sunset in Episode 12, which Norlock attacks.
    • Gaz attends GameCon in Episode 18.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Aliens, vampires, monsters, magic...
  • Fatal Flaw: Zim and Tak both have pride as theirs, though in Zim's case he's also got his shortsightedness when it comes to plans.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Defied in Episode 3, as Tak makes it clear to Dib that just because they fought Norlock together out of necessity, that does not make them friends.
    • Played straight with Dib, Steve, and Viera. They don't really work as a team at first, but after fighting Zim and Tak at the climax of Episode 6, they come together and become great friends.
  • Flat Scare: Norlock pulls this on Dib when they meet for the first time after Norlock follows him and Zim back to Doomsville. He sneaks up on Dib at Parent Teacher Night and when Dib turns around and sees him, merely says "Boo". Dib ends up shrieking like a monkey and scuttling away.
  • Flaying Alive: Nny is doing this to some poor bastard (whom Nny implies is a pedophile) when he first appears in Episode 2.
  • Foil:
    • Gaz and Viera — both are Goths, but while one is every anti-social, misanthropic cliche in the book, the other is a genuinely nice and caring person.
    • Zim and Tak both fled demeaning assignments to prove themselves as Invaders, and are obsessed with proving themselves.
    • Skoodge and Tenn are both Hypercompetent Sidekicks to more maniacal partners.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Norlock notes that he and the Irkens can do this, and they do.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Episode 5 is set up by a throwaway line of dialogue in Episode 4.
    • Early in Episode 18, Gaz proves her gaming skills with the motto "play smarter, not harder". She ultimately beats Iggins in their tournament by focusing on winning on points, rather than trying to rush through each game, the way he does.
  • Free-Range Children: Dib and the twins run around all over the place with no adult supervision.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Steve and Viera's intense arguments over science and magic stem from the life philosophies they developed in response to being raised by former hippies.
    • Tak becomes so obsessed with beating Zim because he defeated her last time, and this is her last chance to prove herself as an Invader.
  • Friendship Moment:
    • Zim and Norlock bond over a shared love of other people's suffering when they first meet.
    • Dib and the twins have several.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • Episode 13 gives us the Conspiracy Reaction Engagement Analysis Monitors. Steve is quick to lampshade it, and one of the group's agents admits they didn't look at how it was written until after they had copyrighted the name.
    • Episode 18 is built around the secret society of gamers known as the Secret Masters Of Gaming. Gaz is the one to point out the stupid name this time.
  • Game Changer: In Episode 17, Red and Purple tell Zim the truth about his mission. With prodding from Norlock, he proceeds to go rogue, with plans to build his own empire and rebel against the Tallest.
  • Garden of Evil: Episode 11 (which is actually titled "Zim and the Garden of Evil") features Zim unleashing genetically-engineered plant monsters on Doomsville.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: In Episode 17, when Zim goes into a Villainous B.S.O.D. over learning the truth of his mission, Norlock snaps him out of it by hitting and insulting him until he's angry and starts fighting back.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • At the start of Episode 2, Dib makes a comment about planning for whatever evil plot Zim is up to, and it cuts to Zim and Skoodge simply having breakfast.
    • In Episode 11, Zim is bragging to himself about his newest plan, only for it to then cut to the Computer disagreeing:
    Zim: I'm a genius!
    (cut to the lab)
    Computer: You're an idiot.
  • Glad I Thought of It:
    • Zim has a habit of taking credit for his minions' good ideas.
    • Tak also occasionally takes credit for Tenn's ideas.
  • Glory Hound: Tak and Zim both fight more for recognition than anything else.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: In Episode 12, Zim and Team Save Earth both sit back together to enjoy the show as Norlock verbally bashes fans of a cheesy vampire movie franchise, and then fight Slab Rankle.
  • Good Victims, Bad Victims: Nny's first onscreen victim is an implied pedophile. Later victims, however, are chosen at random, usually for petty reasons.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Averted in Nny's first appearance (which has him flaying a man), but played straight in later chapters, where things tend to cut away before he can kill anyone.
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: Viera, and it's implied Gaz as well.
  • Grew a Spine: Skoodge is usually pushed over by absolutely everyone, but he finally stands up for himself in Episode 17, when he rebels against the Tallest with Zim.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In Episode 12, Norlock at one point uses the MC of a vampire movie fan convention as a bludgeon against the assembled fans. Later, he throws the movie's stars at Slab Rankle.
  • Groin Attack: Norlock pulls one on Mortos during their fight.
  • Grudging "Thank You": Zim to Norlock after the latter retrieves the Meekrob crystals.
  • Halloween Episode: Episode 16
  • Hates Being Touched: Nny, to the point he'll kill someone for it.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: Miss Bitters clarifies this is the case with her. She just hates children a bit more than everyone else.
  • Hate Sink: Gaz, due to her more negative attributes being played up, with no redeeming qualities.
  • Hidden Depths: Skoodge is harboring some serious resentment over how the Tallest have treated him. It leads to him going rogue with Zim.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Dib feels this is why the Swollen Eyeball Network's secret library is in such an overt location.
  • Historical Rap Sheet: Norlock has acted as Evil Mentor to most of history's most famous warlords, conquerors, and criminals.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Skoodge genuinely believes that Zim is his best friend, when it's clear Zim doesn't care about him.
  • Humans Are Morons: Just like in canon. Though Norlock notes that he remembers them being smarter back in the old days.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • Nny believes that most people are either idiots, assholes, or both.
    • Gaz thinks that the world is full of disgusting and stupid people who deserve to be conquered.
  • Human Resources:
    • In Episode 4, Nny kills several food delivery men in order to replace some lost meat supplies in the cafeteria.
    • Episode 12 would imply that the skool got into the habit of this after the above, as Nny says the meat he's serving Norlock and Miss Bitters came from a box labeled "long pig".
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • Minimoose in Episode 4, as he gets dragged across the city by GIR and Phil, repeatedly getting slammed into things, and finally getting tossed into a meat processor.
    • Viera puts Gaz through this in Episode 8 in an attempt at teaching her humility, first through a bad luck curse, and then magically dressing her up as a clown in front of the whole skool.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Norlock and Skoodge to Zim. Also Tenn to Tak, though there the competency gap is smaller.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Viera gives Dib a speech about responsible use of magic, one chapter after using it to pull a Humiliation Conga on Gaz. Word of God points this out, and offers a partial justification by stating that she's young, so it's to be expected.
    • As Dib points out, Bill's attempts to expose government conspiracies just leads to him carrying out his own.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Despite Viera's hypocrisy for criticizing Dib's use of magic irresponsibly one chapter after pursuing a personal vendetta against Gaz, she's still right.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Tak and Tenn both grouse about how they've been cheated out of success.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Zim does this all the time, as Dib points out in Episode 12.
  • Imagine Spot: Zim has one in Episode 11 about his newest plan.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The Tallest in Episode 17, after Zim reveals he has the crystal.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: Episode 5 seems like just another case of "Dib tries to find an edge on Zim and suffers Epic Fail" like so many in canon. However, his actions cause the senior Swollen Eyeball agents to decide in the following episode to assign Steve and Viera to help him, thus significantly changing the status quo.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Zim, all the time, as per canon.
    • Slab Rankle and Bill both run on this as well.
  • Invisible Parents: The twins' parents have yet to show up, or even be named.
  • Irony:
    • When Tak first came to Earth, she really was just focused on conquering it, despite Zim's belief she was out for revenge on him. Now, despite her denials, she really is obsessed with making him miserable and showing him up.
    • Dib alludes to feeling like a Cosmic Plaything few times, but things have been getting better to the point it's almost like the universe is apologizing to him.
  • It's All About Me: Zim, Tak, and Gaz all have this attitude.
  • I Warned You: Norlock warned the Tallest not to underestimate Zim's capabilities, something he reminds them of when they toss Zim aside and he rebels against them.
  • Jerk Ass: Gaz. Zim and Tak too, to lesser extents.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Dib's superiors in the Swollen Eyeball Network are mostly dicks to him, but they're right that he has a very poor track record with them.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: Dib can be a little aggressive sometimes, but he's a decent person deep down.
  • Kaiju:
    • In Episode 6, Tak's latest plan is an enhanced, giant cyborg rat. And then Zim shows up with a similarly enhanced snake.
    • Episode 11 has Zim unleash an army of genetically-engineered plant monsters, which turn out to be a single network controlled by the monstrous Central Root.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Everything Viera does to Gaz in Episode 8 should be considered cruel, but it is Gaz, after all.
    • Though it's not a major focus, there's the awful things Tak does to the cruel skoolchildren on occasion.
    • The way the Tallest treat Zim and Skoodge — while both are utterly loyal to them, Zim is a cruel Invader who brings destruction to all around him, while Skoodge is, despite his genial personality, just as dedicated to conquering the Earth as Zim is.
  • Kid Detective: Dib, Steve, and Viera all play this part.
  • Lack of Empathy: Zim and Gaz are both fully incapable of caring about other people.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • The Humiliation Conga Viera puts Gaz through in Episode 8 is a direct result of the latter being exceptional cruel to her for no reason.
    • The Tallest' treatment of Zim ultimately results in him going rogue and costing them Project Domination.
  • The Leader:
    • Dib for Team Save Earth.
    • Zim for his group.
    • Tak tries to be this in her partnership with Tenn, but Tenn forces her to accept a more equal arrangement.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The closing line of Episode 18 is Gaz reflecting on how her encounter with Iggins and SMOG was an interesting diversion, but now she wants to get back to the fun (of her convention). This reflects the author's views on the chapter as a whole, which was a last bit of filler before getting to the seasonal climax.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Gaz just wants to play her video games, and does not care at all for the battle for Earth.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: A couple of times, Dib rushes into things without fully thinking them through.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Monster or not, Norlock is still a native of Earth who is actively aiding in attempts at conquering it. Later inverted, when Norlock convinces Zim to go rogue and conquer the Empire.
  • Lesser of Two Evils:
    • In Episode 3, Dib states this as the reason he helps Tak fight Norlock.
    • In Episode 8, Mr. Elliot is ordered (threatened) by Miss Bitters to punish Gaz for an accident. Caught between a student who might make his life hell for the rest of the school year and a co-worker who will torture him forever, he follows the order.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Zim and Dib apparently have this understanding regarding the canon episode "Bolongius Maximus".
  • Literal-Minded: In Episode 11, Norlock comments on Zim developing a green thumb (in regards to his Garden of Evil plot). A confused Zim points out that both of his thumbs have always been green.
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: Zim uses one to spy on Dib in the first chapter.
  • Lost Superweapon: Invoked with the Meekrob device known as Project Domination. The other Meekrob were so offended by its existence that they imprisoned its creator and sent it to drift in space so no one would find it.
  • Made of Iron: Phil seems to be able to shrug off just about anything.
  • Magical Library: The Swollen Eyeball Network's secret library, full of books about the paranormal.
  • Magic Versus Science: When first introduced, Viera and Steve have a rivalry based on their differing views of which of these are more important. Dib finally gets them to Agree to Disagree, and thus work together better.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Norlock has been this to his pupils through the ages, and intends to do so with Zim as well.
  • Man-Eating Plant: In Episode 11, Zim unleashes an army of these on Doomsville. Unsurprisingly, they eventually turn on him.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The story quickly becomes this when Tak returns, as she competes with Zim for conquest of Earth, with Dib opposing them both.
  • Metaphorgotten: Norlock drifts into this when first taking note of how oblivious the general human population is.
    [He felt] like a wolf among the sheep. Admittedly, a very large wolf among a bunch of sheep who all appeared to be blind and deaf, and probably collectively lacking a sense of smell too… where was he going with this again?
  • Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Parody: GIR does this during the Halloween Episode, dressing up as Jackson from the "Thriller" video, singing a few of the lyrics, and leading some zombies in a dance.
  • Misanthrope Supreme:
    • Gaz outright refers to herself as misanthropic, and makes it clear she doesn't care if Zim or Tak Take Over the World.
    • Played with in regards to Nny. He hates most people, but shows protective tendencies towards the the skool children.
    • Miss Bitters clarifies in Episode 12 that she hates everyone, it's just that children are particularly annoying to her.
  • Monster Mash: The horde of monsters summoned by Norlock in Episode 16 is composed of every different kind of monster that the author could think up.
  • Motive Rant: A heroic example in Episode 6, as Dib gives one to the Swollen Eyeball leaders for criticizing his methods for fighting Zim.
  • Mugging the Monster: In Episode 18, the members of SMOG abduct Gaz by tasering her and then tying her up when she's still in shock. When she recovers, she breaks free of her binds and beats them all up.
  • Must Be Invited: Norlock needs an invitation to enter someone's home. Interestingly, though, it doesn't need to be given at the house to work. Also, anything adjacent to the house (say, a garage) doesn't count.
  • Mutagenic Goo: Zim uses some in Episode 11 to create his plant monsters.
  • My Card: Norlock gives Gaz one for in case she ever wants some mentoring.
  • My God, You Are Serious:
    • During their first conversation in Episode 3, Norlock states that the Tallest must have seen something in Zim to send him on his mission to Earth. The Tallest burst into laughter, and it's only when they note Norlock's confusion that they realize he hasn't figured out yet that Zim's mission is fake.
    • Steve and Viera are shocked when Dib suggests teaming up with Zim in Episode 11.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Tak views her mission as this. Technically it is for Zim, too, though he doesn't see it that way.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Skoodge apparently has this problem with other languages. For example, he apparently once somehow turned a simple greeting in Vortian into "I would like to fill your pants with shrimp".
    Zim: …Huh, I always wondered why that waitress slapped you.
  • Mythology Gag: Despite being in a different continuity from the comics and most of the unproduced episodes, the fic occasionally references them:
    • Truth Shrieker, the paranormal magazine/website introduced in the comic, is referenced a few times.
    • This exchange from Episode 2 is lifted almost verbatim from the first issue of the comic:
    Zim: [You're] A constant squak in my shmoopsquizz.
    Dib: A what in your huh?
    • In Episode 7, Steve and Dib try to placate the Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer by saying they love aliens like Zim, only for Dib to give up on it because he hates Zim too much. This is similar to Issue 3, where Dib tries to get out of the "Art Hater's Closet" by claiming to actually love Zim's artwork, only to likewise admit he hates Zim too much to lie about it.
    • In Episode 8, Nny mentions having been to Hell, and how an Eldritch Abomination used to live in his basement wall. Both are a reference to his own comic series.
    • Episode 9 has Dib mention a dream he had where Zim conquered the city with organic pants. This references both the cancelled episode "When Pants Ruled", and issue 8 of the comic, which adapted it.
    • Zim's dream in Episode 9 has him dressed up like Emperor Zim, his future self from issue 12 of the comic.
    • In Episode 10, the Tallest try to torment Zim by sending him after a Snarl Beast on Sylvestria (which he does of his own volition in issue 10), but are thwarted by the fact he's already left the planet to go to a "space mall" (which he does prior to the events of of issue 7).
    • Episode 11 has Dib referencing Gretchen's conspiracy theories about Miss Bitters' origins from issue 15. He also mentions the rumor that she never leaves the skool and it was built around her, which has been floating around the fandom for years.
    • Episode 12 features a cameo by Jeff Sheffy, a TV reporter introduced in Issue 3.
    • Episode 13 has an unnamed cameo by Agent Batflaps, Dib's online nemesis from the comics.
    • In Episode 14, it's revealed that Invader Larb was officially declared the best Invader, something that happened in Issue 18.
    • Episode 14 also briefly shows Zim in his "scheming nook", which featured in Issue 13.
    • Also in Episode 14, Tenn at one point wonders if there's something in the food making humans stupid. In Issue 21 of the comics, Gaz (who is in Zim's body) takes over the world partially thanks to solving world hunger via laced with chemicals that make people stupid.
    • In Episode 17, a drunken Purple calls Zim "Shmim", part of his artist alias in Issue 3.
    • Episode 18's plot, involving Gaz being forced into a series of immersive VR games, is based on (and meant as a counter to) what she puts Dib through in Issue 5.
    • Jhonen Vasquez is referenced at least twice — the diner where Tenn and Skoodge meet in Episode 14 is called Jhonen's, and Episode 18 features the Vasquez Convention Center.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Inverted in the case of Ch'rell. Most Meekrob are Space Elves who want nothing to do with the rest of the universe, but he believed they were a Master Race and wanted them to conquer all other species.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The host of Mysterious Mysteries was never given a name in canon. Here, he's christened as John Mysterioso.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: The story does this for the most part.
  • Negative Continuity: Averted. Word of God is that, unlike the source material, this trope won't be at play in this story.
  • Never My Fault: Zim and Tak both have a tendency to blame other people for their mistakes.
  • Nice Guy: Skoodge is a genuinely friendly and decent person.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Dib accidentally blowing up Norlock's castle leads to the vampire allying with Zim.
    • Viera's attempt to pull a Break the Haughty on Gaz just makes the other girl actively and personally despise her (rather than just a general dislike).
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Episode 11 has Zim failing to put proper control precautions in his plants monsters, forcing him to team up with Team Save Earth to stop them.
    • In Episode 13, Tak's desire to one up Zim leads to her breaking their truce, which ultimately results in the Meekrob crystal everyone's fighting over being broken, delaying either her or Zim from finding Project Domination.
    • Tak again in Episode 14, when her ignoring Tenn to carry out her latest plan leads to it backfiring and almost destroying her base and killing them both.
    • In Episode 17, the Tallest' treatment of Zim and Skoodge results in them going rogue, costing them the chance of gaining the Meekrob crystal.
  • Noodle Implements:
    • When GIR first appears, he's coated in chocolate pudding. And the only explanation we get for this is from Minimoose, so we don't really learn why.
    • Dib and Steve are "initiated" into the Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer after being carried into a tent filled with torture tools, gym equipment, old fashioned medical tools... and livestock. We then cut to them being welcomed into the group.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In Episode 4, it's mentioned that Dib once broke into a zoo. He clarifies that he was trying to catch a chupacabra that was feeding on animals in the petting zoo.
    • Dib references a "Radioactive Macaroni" incident in Episode 6. We get no details on this.
    • According to Viera in Episode 9, when they were eight, Steve strapped himself to a rocket for some reason.
    • In Episode 12, Dib offers a critique of Slab Rankle's zombies, with the implication that he's got experience with them, but doesn't offer clarification on how. According to the author, this is a reference a canon Noodle Incident where Membrane implied that Dib raised the dead once.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Episode 12, Norlock attacks a fan convention for a Twilight knockoff called Sunset, complete with actors who are parodies of the Twilight cast.
  • No-Sell:
    • Laser blasts bounce right off of Phil. As do cars.
    • Nny and Miss Bitters are completely unaffected by Gaz's Death Glares.
    • The Central Root is impervious to exterior attack. It has to be blown up from within.
    • The sea hydra isn't affected by any wounds short of decapitation, which just gives it more heads, anyway.
  • Not So Different: Episode 14 makes it clear that Tak is more like Zim than she'd probably like to admit, in her egotism and desire to win no matter what.
  • No Sympathy: Gaz, for her brother or anyone else.
  • No True Scotsman: Gaz views Viera as a fake Goth due to being so nice.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Swollen Eyeball leaders act as this towards Dib in Episode 5, blocking his mission with red tape.
  • Obviously Evil: Norlock, even more than Zim himself. But of course, no one but Dib and the twins realize it.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Episode 11, Tak is seen being attacked by a swarm of Zim's plant monsters. Later, she appears almost entirely unharmed and manages to track down the Central Root. The author merely says that it's because "she's just that good".
  • Oh, Crap!: The Tallest' reaction in Episode 17 when they learn that Zim has the Meekrob crystal.
  • Only Friend:
    • Skoodge to Zim.
    • Steve and Viera are this jointly to Dib.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Norlock for Zim's group.
    • Downplayed with Dib at first with Steve and Viera, though it evens out later.
    • Tenn to Tak.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After retrieving the Meekrob crystals, Zim is so excited that he actually thanks Norlock for his work (in his own condescending way).
  • Operation: [Blank]: The Meekrob Mad Scientist Ch'rell created a Weapon of Mass Destruction he rather bluntly titled "Project Domination".
  • Original Character: Norlock, Phil, Steve, and Viera are the most prominent. There are also a few minor oneshot ones as well.
  • Original Flavour: Strives very hard to be this. The consensus so far is that it's succeeding.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Norlock actually looks like a corpse, is burned by direct sunlight, sleeps in a coffin, has a Healing Factor fueled by the blood he drinks, can hypnotize victims, can see astral projections, knows magic, Must Be Invited into a home, and can transform into a demonic bat monster. Later, he also establishes that he can cross running water, doesn't have Super OCD, and holy symbols only burn him if the wielder has faith in them.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Just like in canon, Zim gets by with these. And he makes Skoodge and Norlock go with them too.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Norlock messes with Dib a bit by spending night after night by sitting outside his house watching him, dropping threats of attacking the house, knowing it'll keep him from sleeping and slowly drive him crazy.
  • Pardon My Klingon: The alien characters often drop phrases from their native language into dialogue (usually swears).
  • Pass the Popcorn:
    • In Episode 3, MIMI goes into blue-eyed mode during Norlock's fight with Tak and Dib, and starts eating popcorn while watching. The fact that she's got no mouth to eat with doesn't slow her down.
    • In Episode 7, GIR does this while Zim's fighting Tak in the Meekrob ship's control room.
    • In Episode 12, Zim eats popcorn out of GIR's head while watching Norlock attack the fan convention. Viera and Steve help themselves to some later on.
    • In Episode 14, Zim's reaction to Tak accidentally creating and losing control of a storm that threatens her and the city is to sit back and watch it play out, ordering GIR to bring him some popcorn to enjoy it with.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The code for opening the entrance to the crashed Meekrob ship? "Open the door." The one for the ship's Self-Destruct Mechanism is simply "Blow up."
  • Perky Goth: Viera is a Goth, and a very nice person, in sharp contrast to Gaz.
  • Pet the Dog: Zim actually thanking Norlock for retrieving the Meekrob crystals.
  • Pillar of Light: One bursts out of Tak's base in Episode 14 when she supercharges the Meekrob crystal. All this energy has the side effect of creating a massive storm.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Norlock's favorite magical attack is to launch blasts of black fire.
    • In Episode 11, Viera gains an amulet called the Eye of Fire, which shoot fire on command.
  • The Pollyanna: Skoodge never lets anything get him down.
  • Power Trio: Dib, Steve, and Viera.
  • Previously On: Every chapter (except ones where the author forgot) opens with a recap of what happened in the previous one.
  • Prompting Nudge:
    • Zim kicks Skoodge to get him to go along with the cover story of the latter being the former's cousin.
    • Red does this to Purple to keep him from accidentally revealing to Tenn that they forgot all about her.
  • Protectorate: A dark example with Nny, a vicious Serial Killer, who has a protective nature around the skoolchildren.
  • A Rare Sentence: Norlock in Episode 13, after he accidentally shatters the Meekrob crystal:
    "Don't blame me! This wouldn't have happened if your moose hadn't electrocuted me! (beat) Wow, that's a sentence even I've never had a reason to say before."
  • Ray Gun: In addition to the energy weapons that the Irkens all have at their disposal, Steve creates some makeshift ones for his team. They work pretty well, except they seem to short out after too much use.
  • Reality Ensues: Dib tries to stake Norlock in the heart with a piece of wooden debris, but it can't penetrate the vampire's rib cage.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Agent Darkbootie, in contrast to the other senior Swollen Eyeball agents, is willing to give Dib a chance more often than not.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over:
    • While his pale, corpselike skin is an aversion of this trope, Norlock otherwise fits. His clothes are red and black, as are his eyes.
    • Subverted with Viera. She wears a black and red theme, but is one of the good guys.
  • Red Eyes! Take Warning: The sclera of Norlock's eyes are blood red, highlighting his black pupils and irises.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: Defied in Episode 2, when Dib decides to protect everyone at the Parent-Teacher Night despite them being a bunch of "oblivious jerks".
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Dib and Zim will often bring up past exploits, often to the confusion of the new characters.
  • Revenge: Tak both averts this and plays it straight. She makes it clear that her mission to conquer Earth instead of Zim is more about getting the recognition she feels she deserves, rather than petty revenge on him. But at the same time, she says she'll settle for simple revenge as far as things with Dib (and Gaz, by extension) go. Later, it becomes clear that despite her protests, she really is obsessed with one-upping Zim and making him suffer.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Tak has developed shades of wanting to beat Zim no matter the cost.
  • Rogue Agent: Zim ultimately goes rogue after the Tallest reveal his mission is a lie, and convinces Skoodge to join him.
  • Rousing Speech: After snapping Zim out of his Villainous B.S.O.D., Norlock gives him a speech inspiring him on how to move forward.
  • Running Gag:
    • Zim insists on referring to Norlock as his minion, rather than partner, to Norlock's annoyance.
    • Zim is also completely unable to remember who Steve and Viera are.
    • Miss Bitters getting a phone call from her bosses that so angers her that she destroys her phone.
    • Tak's denials of being out for revenge even when people point out she clearly is.
    • Also with Tak, there's her doing something horrible to a classmate for being rude to her.
    • Dib complaining about how he's the only one on his team without a unique Weapon of Choice.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Norlock does this after the Epic Fail of Team Save Earth's first outing.
  • Scary Librarian: The aptly named Miss Bookman, who runs the Swollen Eyeballs' secret library.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Iggins threatens to use SMOG's to blacklist Gaz from the gaming community if she doesn't go along with his challenge. She's convinced her father's own connections could be used to counter it, but ultimately doesn't want to risk it.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: How Dib justifies breaking into the Swollen Eyeballs' library.
  • Seen It All: Norlock's reaction to seeing the massive energy storm over the city in Episode 14? Casually commenting on it and calmly going back inside the base.
  • Selective Obliviousness:
    • Tak believes that this is part of the reason why humans don't notice the obvious paranormal around them (like Zim) — they can't accept the existence of things outside their worldview, so they just ignore it.
    • Norlock noted this back in Episode 2, but notes that it seems to have gone up a notch compared to how things were centuries ago.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The crashed Meekrob ship in Episode 7 has one, which ends up accidentally triggered during the fighting. Fortunately, it's also equipped with an emergency teleport system that get everyone clear in time.
  • Serial Killer: Nny, as per canon.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Dib spends all of Episode 5 trying to retrieve the journal of Abraham Van Helsing, hoping that it'll contain information he can use against Norlock. After fighting his way through various death traps, he ultimately finds out that the journal is useless, just containing random ramblings.
  • Share the Male Pain: When Norlock pulls a Groin Attack on Mortos, every other male present (human, Irken, and otherwise) wince in pain.
  • Ship Tease: Between Norlock and Ms. Bitters, of all people.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Steve and Viera, though it goes from intense to more friendly later.
  • Sibling Team: Dib's new partners are the twins Steve and Viera.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Steve and Viera, Dib and Gaz.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Zim seems to regularly deploy spy drones on Dib personally, and the city in general.
  • Sixth Ranger: Norlock and Phil for Zim's team, Steve and Viera for Dib's, Tenn for Tak.
  • Skyward Scream: Tak screams Zim's name at the end of Episode 16, when she realizes that he, or rather, Norlock, has stolen her Meekrob crystal.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Zim, of course. Slab Rankle and Bill as well.
  • Spit Take:
    • In Episode 10, when Norlock tells the Tallest about the crashed Meekrob ship, Purple chokes on a mouthful of fries and Red spits out his soda.
    • In Episode 17, when Zim reveals that he has the whole crystal, Red chokes on a doughnut.
  • Split Personality:
    • MIMI has one like GIR's, alternating between a cold, dedicated robotic servant, and a crazy Cloudcuckoolander. Though in an inversion of GIR, the former personality is dominant.
    • Phil has something similar, usually being a big lovable puppy, but turning into a fierce beast when angry.
  • Spooky Silent Library: The Swollen Eyeball Network's library.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Norlock gets a somewhat disproportionate amount of focus in the first few chapters. The author later realized this, and started trimming back on his appearances.
  • Spy Speak: Lampshaded in Episode 18, when two SMOG members are communicating over walkie-talkie, and one uses code ("The fly is in the web") to state that he's located Gaz. The person he's talking to doesn't understand what he's talking about, having not read the code-sheet.
  • Squick: In-Universe, Zim and Skoodge have this reaction to Norlock flirting with Miss Bitters.
  • Start My Own: Norlock ultimately convinces Zim to go rogue and create his own empire, before using it to conquer the other Irkens.
  • Status Quo Is God: Directly averted. The author has made it clear that major changes will stay in effect when they happen, and will not be subjected to Negative Continuity.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    • Zim pulls this on Dib in Episode 2.
    • Norlock, as a vampire, is capable of doing this. And does so, more than once.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Dib muses on this near the end of Episode 17.
  • Storming the Castle: Tak and Tenn assault Zim's base in Episode 17 in order to retrieve the Meekrob crystal, with Team Save Earth sneaking in behind them to do the same.
  • Story Arc: The hunt for Project Domination. Though more of a Half-Arc Season, as most chapters have nothing to do with it.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Anyone who isn't a main character (and even a couple who are) are total morons.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Meekrob security measures mostly qualify as this, due to how complacent they are in their defenses. At least some of this is actually invoked.
  • Synchronous Episodes: Episodes 7 and 8 take place over the same three day period, but focusing on different characters.
  • Take Over the World: As per canon, this is Zim's goal, with Tak now in competition with him.
  • Take That!: Norlock, an actual vampire, does not like Twilight. Episode 12 even sees him attack a fan convention for a Serial Numbers Filed Off version of the franchise, taking the time to air a lot of the same complaints people have about Twilight in real life (though the story also takes the time to lampshade how petty some haters of the series can be).
  • Team Title: Dib and his friends ultimately choose the name "Team Save Earth" for their group.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Steve and Viera, when first introduced. Dib helps them get over this.
    • Tak and Tenn do not work well together at all to start with. They only reluctantly agree put aside their differences and move forward, but time will tell how this works out.
  • Tempting Fate: Characters often do this. Usually lampshaded.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Iggins' named underlings in Episode 18 go by the code names "8-Bit", "Expansion Pack", "DLC"... and Tim.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: A throwaway joke in Episode 7 has Tak reflecting on how she's installed a filter on her computer's scans of the internet, in order to avoid the Brain Bleach-worthy content (alluding to the infamous "2 Girls 1 Cup" video).
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Zim makes it clear that Norlock that he won't let anyone else kill Dib but him. He later extends this to Tak as well.
  • This Means War!: Gaz declares this in Episode 8, after Viera magically dresses her up as a clown.
  • Through His Stomach: Norlock believes in this. Nny thinks it's stupid.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: In Episode 10, the Tallest do this to a technician who points out that they've been ignoring an emergency beacon from Tenn for a year.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • The SEN assigning the twins to work with Dib, giving him both backup and friends.
    • Episode 18 is a meta example. The author is well known for his dislike of Gaz, yet in this chapter he ultimately has her come out on top.
  • Token Good Teammate: Downplayed with Skoodge, who is this for Zim's faction, but is still very much a bad guy.
  • Too Dumb to Live: It's commonly held by the main characters that this is a problem for most of humanity.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Tak somewhat, as her desire for revenge on Zim is overriding her usual cunning.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Tak again. While never nice to begin with, she was at least professional and coldly civil. Now she's just petty and spiteful.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer whip these out from Hammerspace when they realize that Dib and Steve are anti-alien, and proceed to chase them.
    Dib: Question logic later, run now!
  • Torture Cellar: Nny apparently uses his spacious janitor's closet as this.
  • Twitchy Eye: A common occurrence among the characters.
  • Überwald: What little we see of Bransloatia, the country Norlock lives in when Zim and Dib first encounter him, seems to paint it as one of these.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Iggins' canonical one is lampshaded when he admits that it makes no sense that he survived that elevator crash.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • For the most part, played straight with Zim, who condescends or overlooks all help given to him by others. Notably subverted, however, when Norlock retrieves the Meekrob crystals; Zim's so pleased he actually thanks Norlock, albeit in a backhanded manner.
    • The Tallest towards Zim and Skoodge. Justified with Zim because of the destruction he causes the Empire. But played straight with Skoodge, who is in fact a skilled Invader that the Tallest mock and abuse for their amusement because of his height.
  • The Unintelligible:
    • Minimoose, as per canon, can only speaks in squeaks, but everyone can understand him just fine.
    • The Blotch, which is kept as a prophet by the Children of the Bright and Shining Saucer and can only speak in squeals and moans. Subverted, in that even its spokesperson, Yoa, admits she can really understand it and is just guessing.
  • Unknown Rival: Zim seems completely incapable of remembering Steve and Viera's names, referring to them both as "Not Dib". And that's when he can even remember who they are.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Norlock's swears, such as "Mother of Hell" and "Satan's hemorrhoids".
  • Up to 11: In Episode 15, Team Save Earth fight a sea serpent. Which then turns out to be a sea hydra. And then it turns out to be a demon sea hydra.
  • Villain Cred: The Tallest are both impressed and disturbed by Norlock.
  • Villainous B.S.O.D.: Zim undergoes one in Episode 17 after the Tallest tell him the truth of his mission, until Norlock forcibly snaps him out of it.
  • Villainous Friendship: The Tallest and Norlock quickly gain a rapport with each other. This seems to end when Norlock convinces Zim to go rogue.
  • Villainous Rescue:
    • In Episode 6, Norlock swoops in and saves Dib's new team from Tak, knowing Zim wants Dib for himself.
    • In Episode 11, Tak shows up in time to save Zim and Team Save Earth from the Central Root.
  • Villain Team-Up: Zim and Norlock at the end of the first chapter.
  • Waking Non Sequitur: In Episode 3, Red nudges Purple awake, and he blurts out "Potato dumplings!"
  • Weak-Willed: Norlock's victim in Episode 2, Mrs. Slunchy, is this so much that he doesn't even get to finish hypnotizing her before she falls unconscious.
  • Weapon of Choice: Viera's Eye of Fire, and Steve's blasters. Dib complains about being the only one on his team who doesn't have his own weapon.
  • Weirdness Censor: Just like in canon, normal people tend to overlook or outright ignore evidence of the paranormal. Norlock, Steve, and Viera are all shocked at the level it gets to (while Dib is himself shocked that this doesn't apply to the twins).
  • We Can Rule Together: Near the end of Episode 12, Slab Rankle repeats his offer to Zim to rule the Mall with him. Since Zim still wants to conquer the entire Earth, he once again turns it down.
  • We Have Become Complacent: The Meekrob, due to their highly evolved nature and advanced technology, along with the natural defenses provided by their Death World, don't put much effort into security measures. Which means Tenn is very easily able to infiltrate them once she finds the weak spots.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Slab Rankle will do anything to protect the order of the Mall.
    • Bill is fighting for a greater good. At least, according to his delusions.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 1: The series starts off with a bang, as it introduces Norlock and sees him ally with Zim.
    • Episode 3: Tak returns to Earth, and Norlock convinces the Tallest to officially make the conquest of Earth a competition between her and Zim.
    • Episode 6: The Swollen Eyeball senior agents assign the twins to team up with Dib, changing his status quo in a positive way by giving him allies and real friends.
    • Episode 7: A more subtle example, as while nothing seemingly major happens, it lays the groundwork for the season's main Story Arc.
    • Episode 10: Tenn uncovers the truth of the Meekrob ship discovered in Episode 7 and what it was carrying, and is dispatched to Earth by the Tallest to help find it.
    • Episode 13: Tenn arrives on Earth and allies with Tak after the data crystal shatters, leaving all three teams with a piece of it.
    • Episode 16: A seemingly standard Halloween Episode fight with Norlock and Zim takes a sudden swerve in its last scenes, which reveal that the whole monster invasion was a decoy from stealing Team Save Earth and Tak and Tenn's pieces of the Meekrob crystal.
    • Episode 17: When the Tallest task Tak and Tenn to retrieve the Meekrob crystal, Zim manages to force them (and Team Save Earth) to retreat, only for a drunken Purple to reveal to Zim that his mission was a fake and they don't care about him at all. Zim briefly undergoes a Villainous B.S.O.D. but gets snapped out of it by Norlock; he then goes rogue from the Irken Empire (and convinces Skoodge to join him, pointing out how the Tallest abused him too). After a confrontation with Tak and Dib in the City Cesspool, the Meekrob crystal ends up lost in the sewers.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Episode 6 opens with Dib being reprimanded by the SEN leadership for his actions in the previous chapter.
    • Later in the same chapter, Dib chews out Steve and Viera for letting their petty personal grudge interfere in fighting Tak.
    • Episode 9 sees Dib being given the riot act by Norlock, of all people, for his continued use of the immoral Dream Walker spell.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Tenn has developed a fear of crazy robots.
  • Wicked Cultured: Norlock puts on airs of this, with the fine suit he always wears, and his insistence on always acting as melodramatically polite as possible.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Skoodge honestly believe that everything little thing he does helps Zim.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger:
    • Being siblings, Steve and Viera obviously already have a history prior to teaming up with Dib.
    • Zim and Skoodge are the closest thing each has to a friend, and now they're working with Norlock.
  • With Friends Like These...:
    • Skoodge genuinely thinks of Zim as a friend, but it's clear Zim doesn't care about him, and treats him horribly.
    • Actually the title of Episode 6, where the twins are introduced, and where their arguments leave them too busy to help Dib in their first battle. However, they feel guilty about it and apologize to him, after which they work out their issues and the three become a great team.
  • World of Snark: Just about every character gets their Deadpan Snarker on at one point or another. Dib, Steve, Viera, Gaz, Tak, Red and Norlock are the most frequent suppliers
  • Xanatos Gambit:
    • At Norlock's prodding, the Tallest set up Zim and Tak's competition for control of Earth as this — if Tak wins, Zim finally dies. If Zim wins, they appoint him ruler of a completely out of the way planet, keeping him out of their hair. And either way, they add another planet to the Empire. This falls apart in Episode 17 when they tell Zim the truth in an attempt to keep Project Domination from him, causing him to turn on them.
    • At the end of Episode 16, Norlock lectures Zim on this trope, how having multilayered plans are the best way to achieve victory while explaining that the episode's events were one — if the invading monsters successfully destroy the city, that's great, but even if they don't, they keep everyone distracted from the theft of the Meekrob crystals.
  • You Are What You Hate: Tak is becoming more like Zim as time goes on.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: A common reaction to the insanity that happens in the series.
  • You Keep Using That Word: In Episode 12, Norlock calls out Slab Rankle for his continued use of the word "punk".
  • You're Insane!: Dib states that Zim is this for teaming up with Norlock.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/TheNewAdventuresOfInvaderZim