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Fanfic Recs: Invader ZIM
Proof that the remaining 10% is worth taking over the world for here:

These are recommendations made by Tropers for Fan Fics, all of which have been signed. After a few samples, you will be able to judge whether you might be interested in the 'fic, based on who recommended it. No-name recommendations will be zapped. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watchlist, if need be.

Authors, and Websites

Maiden of the Moon
  • Recommended by: Sephirose
  • Comments: Her Invader Zim stories are wonderfully written and characterized. She shows us different sides to the known characters and builds a story like you wouldn't believe. Her other stories are good, as well.

HeCallsMeHisChild
  • Reccomended by tastelightzim
  • Comments: All of Child's stories, espesially her Zim ones, are just amazing. They are definently worth reading if you ever get the chance.

Jaywings
  • Recommended by CMR Rosa
  • Comments: One of the best Invader Zim writers around, she keeps everyone in characters and reading her stores are like reading novelizations of episodes.

Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

Life is Change by csmann92
  • Recommended by: CMR Rosa
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: Dib's miserable high school life takes a strange turn when his long-time arch nemesis Zim proposes a temporary truce. What could Zim be up to this time? Eventual ZADR. ON HIATUS

Feast of Doom by Feebop. Recommended by: Blue Ivywaah
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synposis: The Tallest trick Zim into thinking he is being sent on a special mission to planet Manti - which is ruled by a queen who eats Defective Irkens. They proceed to prepare an oblivious Zim as an entree for a festival in a dark, hilarious, and perfectly-in-character read.

Mirror by Jaywings
  • Recommended by: CMR Rosa
  • Status: Completed
  • Synopsis: Zim builds a portal in his newest plan for world domination, but not everything turns out as planned.

Restitution by Lael Adair
  • Recommended by Extraintrovert
  • Synopsis: Years after Zim disappeared, Dib is once again in the presence of the psychotic Irken, but there's just one problem: he doesn't remember him.
  • Comments: Restitution is what a large portion of Invader Zim fanfiction attempts to be. Zim and Dib retain their canon personalities while still heavily influenced by the events described in the story, but of far more significance is their interactions; the revulsion and loathing that oozes from every word exchanged between the two is both overwhelmingly potent and a welcome reprieve from the inundation of monotonous "romance" a large portion of the fandom produces.

Bitter End by Lael Adair
  • Recommended by Extraintrovert
  • Synopsis: The contest is long since over, and the victor muses on their existence and the fate of their former adversary.
  • Comments: By the same author as the recommendation above, it is of equal quality condensed into a single chapter.

Revenge by SpeakingThroughWrittenWords
  • Recommended by Extraintrovert
  • Synopsis: Zim and Dib's final confrontation, and the consequences thereof (thankfully no Antagonist in Mourning).
  • Comments: Even bleaker and more severe than Restitution. Not for those who don't appreciate Darker and Edgier in their fanfiction.

The Curious Workings of a Mechanical Mind by IndigoClockwork
  • Recommended by Extraintrovert
  • Synopsis: A completely unnecessary backstory for a relatively minor thing. Spaceship dogfights, interstellar romance, political intrigue, and all the angst you can handle.
  • Comments: Quite possibly the only thing you will read in which the main character is a ship's computer.

Dib in the PITS by JoeMerl
  • Recommended by Extraintrovert
  • Synopsis: Dib decides to acquire some allies in his fight against Zim, but in this Crapsack World of his, settling for second best is the optimistic position.
  • Comments: Inexplicably manages to be hilarious while not sacrificing the significant drama of the story, make Dib simultaneously competent and a Butt Monkey, and make Zim simultaneously threatening and a moron. In summation, capturing the series perfectly.
    • Joe Merl: I'm very happy a story I wrote wound up here! Though, being a relentless self-critic, I feel it fair to warn people that one of the characters does get a bit Sueish as the story goes on. But I think the ending makes up for that. Heh-heh.

Fly in a Web by Maiden of the Moon
  • Recommended by: Sephirose
  • Pairings: ZADR
  • Synopsis: Zim finally has Dib in his clutches, and the human boy isn't getting away.
  • Comments: The author brings to light a side of Zim that is rarely seen in the series. A side that we all know he has, but almost never shows. If IZ was less of a comedy and more of a drama, this would be Zim. It keeps you on the edge of your seat with each passing sentence, culminating in a nail-biting finale.
    • I disagree, it's just two pretty well written oneshots but don't deserve a spot on this page.

Invader Time Lord by Lady Hinoto
  • Recommended by Extraintrovert
  • Synopsis: After an attempt to explode Dib's house goes horribly, horribly wrong, Zim is sucked into the Time Vortex and collides with a mysterious blue box. Infuriated that anyone would dare throw a box at ZIM, he steals the box for himself, inadvertently embarking upon an adventure across time and space.
  • Comments: An Invader Zim/Doctor Who crossover that combines the insanity of the former with the irreverence of the latter for hilarious results. Unfortunately incomplete, but what is written so far is brilliant, worth reading if only for the chapter of the Doctor and Jack attempting to capture and interrogate GIR. Contains a fair degree of Flanderization and Rouge Angles of Satin, although most of the former is justified by Rule of Funny and the latter is too infrequent to be a significant problem.

Invader Zim The Series by ngrey651
  • Recommended by Newenglandee
  • Synopsis: An adaptation/novelization of the entire Invader Zim series transformed into fanfiction form, including fan-made episodes and episodes that were never fully completed and/or aired. It is 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 Narrator that's trying to make sure they don't all kill each other while the story is continued to be told.
  • Comments: Most wouldn't expect an IZ story involving any kind of Relationship Sue to be a good one, but when her name is LITERALLY Relationship Sue, and when she gets flattened by an enormous Monster Truck in a scene reminiscent of the film The Lost Boys after Dib and Zim have been turned into Noodle-Sucking vampires...you see? This is just PART of the crazy but incredibly enjoyable work that is Invader Zim: The Series. The fanon characters used within the story aren't too overplayed, and actually add a lot of color to the story, there's plenty of delightful mocking of the entire format of Invader Zim through gleeful examples of Breaking the Fourth Wall, the canon characters aren't ridiculously OOC like so many IZ fics and are very well portrayed, and the head of the Swollen Eyeball Network is revealed to be...I can't say it here. Instances like that are just one of the many Crowning Moments of Awesome within the story. With great characterization, incredible action scenes, lots of hilarious moments and providing what might have been the most incredible end to the Invader Zim series ever, Invader Zim: The Series by ngrey651 is well worth reading.
    • Your Mileage May Vary: Personally, this Troper thought that the 'Narrator' was an irritating and WAY too obvious distraction that took away a lot of the enjoyment of the story. Oddly, this was only while said character was in 'narrator mode'; when in 'Nick the Doom-Spouting Teacher' mode, he's very entertaining to read and fits in well with the rest of the characters.

Dark Harvest by Swing-21 (Disturbing content)
  • Recommended by Rambie
  • Synopsis: 'So, you say that Zim is out there, stealing organs left and right and leaving empty torsos in parking lots and no one was ever able to stop him?!'
  • Comments: A short, satisfying read that's somehow even more horrifying than the episode it's named after, with an awesome Twist Ending.

Karma Circle: Alternate by JoeMerl
  • Recommended by Theweirdwarrior
  • Synopsis: Dib and Gaz mess around with the new Spell-Drive they acquired in Gaz: Taster of Pork. Meanwhile, a Dib and Gaz from a Bizarro Universe are simulaneously fiddling around with their own Spell-Drive. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Comments: Our favorite Irken isn't in this fic, but this one is still worth any reader's time. Kind of like Rambie's review for Dark Harvest, I'd have to say this is short and satisfying. If you wish Dib took less abuse in the show, you'll find this little baby to be downright theraputic.

Kill Zim by Familiar47
  • Recommended by Zim'sMostLoyalServant
  • Pairing: ZATR, Dib/OC, several OC/OC
  • Synopsis: The galaxy's biggest TV show, countless contestants, and all for one thing: to watch every nemesis of our favourite green maniac try to exact their revenge on Zim! Summary does not do this justice!
  • Commentary: Like it says above, the summary doesn't do it justice. An epic saga of romance, adventure, ancient secrets revealed, and pure random humor truly worthy of Jhonen Vasquez himself. Complete, with its sequel, A Dark Power, currently underway.

What If I Never Was? by Intyalle
  • Recommended by Golden Sandslash
  • Synopsis: One day, Dib wakes up and Zim is completely gone, along with any signs of him ever having been on Earth. No one remembers Zim, except for Dib himself. Whenever Dib mentions Zim, everyone thinks Dib is insane, but with no evidence of Zim's arrival on Earth, he just might be, as this fanfic explores Dib's inner psyche. Currently in progress.
  • Commentary: Despite the author being fairly inexperienced, she actually does a rather good job with this one. The reviews are nothing but positive, and she updates very frequently.

Dad Promised by JoeMerl
  • Recommended by Dellanotte
  • Synopsis: "Dib stays up, hoping his father will come home like he promised. In another time, a boy called Mem does the same thing. One-shot."
  • Commentary: Even moreso than "Karma Circle," Joe manages to tug the heartstrings with the simple things: like a little boy waiting for his dad to come home, again. The suspense builds up perfectly as the clock ticks on, just enough, that you really hope that one of these boys actually has their dad be a dad... and you will awwwwww when Mem's dad shows up, and it's (super secret spoiler) Dib, who not only named his son after his dad but is actually trying (and succeeding) in the role when his own dad didn't. There's gonna be a funny feeling in your chest.

Possessed by HeCallsMeHisChild
  • Recommended by Dellanotte
  • Synopsis: "With Dib branded as Irken property and Zim locked deep inside Membrane labs, two wills grapple with the loss of their freedom and question their ability to endure when they don't even possess their own names."
  • Commentary: Oddly enough, this troper actually found this fic through TV Tropes' own "Nightmare Fuel" Fics page. Where it undoubtedly deserves to go, with every last Ironic Hell twist only making the situation worse. The author once again excels in torture both physical and psychological, carried out by perfectly understandable practitioners. Fifteen chapters so far, and the stage seems set for all hell to break loose.

Attack of the Mary Sue by The One They Called Quail
  • Recommended by lillop3
  • Synopsis: "When a new, glittery girl shows up in Zim's class, he knows something is wrong; no one is that perfect. Can he manage to prove it, though, when even Dib has been caught in her net?"
  • Commentary: This is a great Parody Sue story. Everyone is in character (except for Dib in a couple scenes, but it's Played For Laughs). The author manages to make a Mary Sue that you can hate, but isn't so annoying that you don't want to read the story anymore. Perfect for anyone sick of reading about Sues, and one of the better Zim fics this Troper has read.

Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

Keyword:Destiny By Azula Always Lies (Tak/Gaz romance, one minor sex scene but nothing explicit. Both age appropriate)
  • Recommended by His Majesty the Emperor, KentuckyTroper1990
  • Pairings Tak/Gaz
  • Synopsis Parameters: Six years after the last episode of Invader Zim. Target: Gaz, Tak, and a whole bunch of other people who had no idea that what started with a stolen Game Slave, a shaken-up can of soda, and a showdown in an abandoned lemon factory would end up turning the universe upside-down. Keyword: Destiny.
  • Comments: One of the most well written and intriguing stories I have read in a while. I am not normally interested in romance stories or shipping in general, but this story is just amazing in it's faithfulness to the characters and their personalities.

In Short Supply (slash, mpreg note )
  • Recommended by Kila, Puck, Extraintrovert, Marls, Intyalle
  • Pairings: Zim/Purple, some implied-but-not-official Red/Purple
  • Synopsis: Tallest Purple discovers a worrying shortage of average-height Irkens in the population, suggesting that the Irken race may be evolving into two separate species of tall and short Irkens. Having failed to convince Tallest Red of his concerns (namely, that more average-height Irkens are needed to restore balance to the population), he decides that the only way to save the species is to go behind Red's back and combine his own Tallest DNA with that of the shortest Irken in the empire. To his horror, this means making smeets with his least favorite invader: Zim.
  • Comments: Fantastic characterization for everyone included, and one of the most complex, well-thought-out plots this troper has ever seen- in fan fiction or published. The clincher? It manages to do this while being about ZAPR MPREG, something I've long hated. Even if you hate slash, just look at it. You'll be blown away.
    • Extraintrovert: Seconded, seconded, oh [insert deity here], seconded. The background detail to Irken society alone makes this worth reading, and as a believer that anything can be good if written well enough this is an injection of pure win.
    • Bozeia: Thirded as well. And I actually am not really a big fan of either slash or MPREG (especially not MPREG in fact). But...this is good. I love how everything is set up; structure, society, class, Irken occupations, Control Brain Conspiracies (apparently?), and the exploration of (or at least a fan's interpretation of) Irken emotions and Irken biology. Basically, it all takes from the Zimverse, subtracts and adds, multiplies, divides, and then combines it all, allowing the author to effectively make Jhonen's brainchild a fictional mutation that is now part their brain child. As in, their own universe of the pre-established universe so-to-speak. Oh, yayness abounds.
    • Joe Merl: Fourthed. I generally don't like slash, but this story's plot just seemed so interesting that I started reading, and I'm hooked; there's so much interesting stuff here other than the romance that you can overlook the weirdness there. Some of the aspects of Irken culture created for this story seem to defy canon (I'm pretty sure Zim's heard the word "dance" before without any misinterpretation), but it's all so clever and interesting you can pretty much ignore it.
    • Captain Planette: Fifthed. I have always been one of the few people who tends to give mpreg a chance. This was because the first mpreg fic I read was one of the most stunning stories I've ever seen. This wasn't it—but it certainly comes toe to toe with it, if not above and beyond. The author takes small hints towards Irken life from the series and expands it into a detailed, rich history and culture. Character development turns these fictional people into real personalities, however manic they may seem. And the plot is balanced unbelievably well, despite having so many things going on at the same time. This is truly an amazing story, and I would gladly shell out money for it if I found it published in a bookstore.
    • Upside Pickle: Sixthed. I, personally, am an avid slash avoider. I dislike ZADR and I really don't appreciate mpreg at all. But this? Holy *insert adjective here* *insert noun here*, this is one of the best, if not THE best, fanfiction I've ever read, not to mention way up there in the PUBLISHED outlook. I loved it, every word and paragraph. I can't think of one person who would give this a bad review, flame or even consructive criticsm! The plot, characters, backstory, and setting is flawless - leaving you, the reader, wondering how such an unlikely couple would ever slip its way into your heart. Proud to proclaim myself a ZAPR fan...and all because of this. And just like Captain Planette up there, I would glady pay for this if found in a bookstore.
    • Intyalle: Recommendation from me too. It's too bad it's still unfinished, because this is absolutely amazing. Just... wow. Still very in-character (aside from *maybe* the Tallest, but neither of them had much character yet in the show so this was inevitable - they're still believeable) while expanding and exploring those characters much more than the show ever did.

Curiosity by Moe-chama
  • Recommended by emolawyer23, Intyalle, The Togekiss
  • Pairing(s): Zim/Dib
  • Synopsis: Skool has finally decided to have a normal Valentine's Day this year, with the candy, hearts and puppy love. Zim, however, doesn't know anything about this holiday. Unfortunately, Dib does.
  • Comments: Curiosity is, at the very least, a good read. It's very in character, despite being a ZADR fic, and manages to still through in adorable-ness that will make ZADR fans squeal. Also, GIR makes a convincing robot lovechild.
    • Intyalle: Still only part-way through, but it's a blast so far. Really shouldn't be reading it during a lecture, because I'm going to burst trying to hold all the laughter in soon. Honestly, absolutely hilarious, and very much still in character at this stage.
    • The Togekiss: Definitely one of my favorite Invader ZIM fanfictions. Finding a ZADR fanfiction that is kept in character is very difficult to come across, but Curiosity is an exception. It made me burst out laughing, squeal from fangirling, and read it again and again. It's a very enjoyable story, and I highly recommend it.

Sleeper Agent by Emo Fox
  • Recommended by: Oracle Seven
  • Pairing(s): Zim/Dib, Keef/Zim ( horribly one-sided)
  • Synopsis: Dib and Zim must join forces to defeat a new alien threat. Loyalties are questioned. The Tallest are in danger.
  • Comments: A solid, serious fic with a great plot. Characterization is spot-on, even as it moves into ZADR - the relationship seems to flow into the story naturally. It IS rated M for a VERY good reason, so consider yourselves warned.

I Left My Heart At Schloogorgh's by Serendipity1
  • Recommended by Maxi12345
  • Pairing: OC/Skoodge (but you'd love it, trust me)
  • Synopsis: Deep in the greasy, cholesterolladen bowels of Foodcourtia, a romance blossomed. A romance...of DOOM!
  • Commentary: I rarely recommend deadfics, but this one is just too good to be forgotten in the depths of the internet. Five whole chapters of complete and utterly Zimmy madness topped off with a brilliant OC and Skoodge love. Yes, Skoodge love. Read it, you won't regret it.

My Hostage, Not Yours and its sequels My Hostage, Not Yours 2: The Revenge of Player 2 and My Hostage, Not Yours 3: The Inevitable Takeover by RavenFollower13
  • Recommended by UpsidePickle, YinDragon
  • Pairing: Zim/Gaz
  • Synopsis: Bound by secrecy, Zim and Gaz are forced to cooperate with one another until further notice. With a possible invasion on the way because of Gaz's mistake and having to spend every day with Zim, are they just pretend friends, or on the verge of more?
  • Commentary: I have yet to find an Invader Zim fanfiction that portrays ZAGR in a more realistic way. The characterization is great, the plot keeps you hooked, the romance is well-thought out, and the author updates every day. (As long as the story goes, anyhow.) Humor, romance, action and and actually tolerable OCs make My Hostage, Not Yours a great fic to read. Rated T for a good reason, though. If you aren't comfortable with pretty graphic kissing scenes, you might want to skip this. But, all in all, a highly recommended read.
    • YinDragon: seconded, this story is the most realistic ZAGR fic out there.
    • Now has its own page

The Rats of NIMH by Raha
  • Recommended by Reality Phobia
  • Pairing: Zim/Dib
  • Synopsis: One: All will bow to the Irken Reformation Company. Two: All will conform to the Irken image. Three: All non-Irken activities will cease immediately. Four: All individual thought will be banned. Five: All defects will be terminated. ALL! HAIL! IRK!
  • Comments: I could sit here and praise this story until the cows come home, but I'll keep it short. This is a story with a dark atmosphere and out-of-this-world characterization, and it's one of my personal favorites of all time. It takes a darker tone than the show (though not quite as dark as the synopsis makes it sound), which makes sense as it is set approximately ten years later. It also has one of the better descriptions of Irken society I've seen. Everyone in this story is made into a person in their own right, including the villian. The plot is interesting and horrifying, simultaneously. All in all it is a beautiful piece of storytelling, riveting in its execution, that will leave you begging for more.

Don-t Leave-Me by Andyh
  • Recommended by Boatmurdered
  • Pairing: Zim/Gaz Dib/Tak
  • Synopsis: Basically it's Invader Zim done right. I've read a lot of fics where characters fall in love, or hate each other, or kill one another in the Zim universe, but this one does it right. It explores the characters, and develops them in interesting ways, and doesn't just throw the pairings together. Instead it explores why they are the way they are, and it gets them together in an Invader Zim way with madness, misunderstandings, and explosions all over the place all the while understanding that Zim is in fact an alien, and he's not just going to "love" someone other than himself, or even understand it because he's an alien. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's ongoing, updated fairly often, and is over 250k words, and still going strong. It's like watching, or reading another episode of the show.

From the site:Gaz is a solo-gamer who needs a team partner to compete in a national video game competition, but doesn't think much of the humans around her. Neither does Zim, a solo-invader. And how will they manage all that happens after? An eventual ZAGR piece, but it won't happen the way you think it will. It wouldn't be IZ unless something went haywire. Will build up slowly.
Crossover Fics
Stories that blend one universe with another

Nothing but a Weapon by CBREL and Flame Dragonof Doom
  • Recommended by Skepkitty
  • Synopsis: Another one of Zim's plans has gone wrong, but this time all of the universe is at stake. The return of Tak, Zim's sanity and the sanity of Dib's new ally may cause the death of the Human and Irken races alike. Contains violence, OC, and NO ROMANCE.
  • Comments: A JtHM and IZ crossover which manages to combine some of the best elements of both. Violent, but darkly humorous.

Wish by Jaywings
  • Recommended by CMR Rosa
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Crossover with: The Fairly OddParents
  • Synopsis: "This is the last straw!" he shouted, flinging the case file at the wall. Papers, newspaper clippings, and blurry photos flew everywhere. Dib huddled on the floor, pulling his trench coat tightly around him. The last straw for what? He didn't know. But it was too much!
  •   add review 
  • The Crossroads by Jaywings
    • Recommended by CMR Rosa
    • Status: Ongoing
    • Crossover with: Doctor Who and Phineas and Ferb
    • Synopsis: When the Doctor visits a strange town to investigate a world-famous scientist whose experiments may sometimes be regarded as... questionable, the TARDIS vanishes and leaves him behind with no idea where it has gone or who might be behind its disappearance.
  •   add review 

  • Fanfics to avoid

    Just about everything MSTed by The Half-World
    • Recommended by ASBusinessMagnet
    • Pairings: vary, are conveniently listed
    • Synopses: vary, also are conveniently listed
    • Commentary: The Half-World is a fairly new and quickly-becoming-popular blog with really great and funny MSTs note  which may make even such horrible fanfictions attractive. So, if you are reading the MSTs, go for it. If not, avoid these fanfictions at all costs.
      • Skepkitty, who runs The Half-World, would like to 1) express gratitude that her MSTs got recommended, and 2) add that she thinks the MSTs of "Grazie, the Beautiful New Girl" and "Zim's Future" are two of her better (and longer) Invader Zim MSTs. So you might want to start with those. If you want a quick read, anything by the author "vesago" is bound to be terrible.

    How to Write IZ Fanfiction in 6 Steps by Maran Zelde
    • Recommended by Dellanotte
    • Pairings: One or two mentioned.
    • Synopsis: "Do your fanfics suck? Make them suck less by following these steps."
    • Comments: A nice, snarky to-do list on how to make your fanfics suck more—aka deserve to be under this section. Extremely self-aware, if not outright Trope Overdosed, Zelde wastes no time in laying into the sucky section of Sturgeon's Law. Sadly, nothing has changed in the two years since this was written.
    The IncrediblesFanfic RecommendationsIron Man: Armored Adventures

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