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Fanfic / In Short Supply

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In Short Supply is an Invader Zim fanfiction by Ckret2. In fact it is a Zim/Purple mpreg epic.

The plot in a nutshell: Purple discovers that the gap between the tall and short Irkens is widening, with almost no Irkens of medium height born in hundreds of years. He fears the species will soon split in two, but when Red and the Control Brains determine nothing is wrong he decides he has to resolve the problem himself by creating more average Irkens. Unfortunately, his solution involves having smeets with the shortest Irken alive...Zim.


The story manages to find ways that this all makes some sort of sense (or at least Invader Zim world sense) while Averting or Justifying almost all the usual tropes you would expect. It is probably the most popular Invader Zim story on and has a large following, even among those who don't usually like slash or mpreg.

This story provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Many characters from the show get their own small subplot, including relatively minor ones. Perhaps the best example is Bob, the flat-headed serving drone seen only in "Hobo 13," who becomes a major secondary character.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Control Brains, though what exactly is wrong with them is still unknown.
  • Anyone Can Die: Played with. Since Dib tends to come and go out of the plot, Word of God confirmed he would keep making appearances "until either the fic ends or he dies, whichever comes first." She then admitted she phrased it this way just to mess with people, but didn't rule out the idea of killing anyone off.
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  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: As per canon, Irkens have no genitals, though apparently they did in the past. Zim and Purple have them surgically added in order to reproduce.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: At some point in their evolution- before they switched to sexless reproduction and P.A.K.s -Irkens started to have congenital depression, prompting changes in their culture in order to cope with it and prevent mass suicide(which is why suicide is taboo).
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Virtuous Slarkism, one of the Irkens' religions, holds that good always leads to suffering, which they apparently take to mean that suffering itself is moral, with suicide considered a religious commandment. Zimist Slarkism started as a counter-movement, dedicated to being evil as a way to avoid such suffering. (Bizarrely, in modern times, the Virtuous and the Zimists get along better with each other than with members of other Irken religions.)
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  • Crossover: Word of God confirms that Agent Toadstool/"Uncle Denny" and Agent Gourdy are from other fandoms (though this does little to affect the plot). The former is probably Denzel Crocker from The Fairly OddParents.
  • Death by Childbirth: Narrowly averted the first time Zim laid his eggs.
  • Deconstruction: Of the Irkens' imperial actions, the height system and other aspects never explored in-depth in the series.
    • Reconstruction: Ckret2 has commented that she decided to write a male-pregnancy story specifically because she'd never seen one done well before and wanted to see if she could pull it off.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Irkens, to the extent that they deem either homo- or heterosexuality to be ridiculously limiting. Nevertheless they may have a certain preference—-Purple, for example, likes females more than males, despite "dancing" with both Zim and Red. Which makes sense, considering male and female Irkens have only minor physical differences anyway.
  • Evil Feels Good: The justification for the Irkens' Religion of Evil (see below). Or a mix of "evil makes us forget about our own misery" and "misery loves company".
  • For the Evulz: Zim and Purple go out to throw rocks at puppies in their spare time.
  • G-Rated Sex: What count as sex to an Irken enough tactile stimulation in order to trigger an orgasm and release feel-good chemicals, which is the only purpose current Irkens have for it.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Vermin, sort of. He honestly was overjoyed when his home planet was taken over, as he's become completely loyal to the Irken Empire rather than Vort. However, he's still considered an alien slave rather than an Irken citizen, earning him second-class status.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Poor Keef doesn't know that Zim is an alien that doesn't like humans that way. And to add insult to injury, their different species is pretty much the only issue!
  • Interspecies Romance: Considered creepy by most Irkens, nevertheless Red indulges in this with a hired Vortian "dancer."
  • Meaningful Name: In the story the Control Brains named Zim after a major religious figure just to satisfy his ego, though Bob thinks that it may mean something else. A few other characters have this as well, like Vermin (to represent his class) and some of the smeets.
  • Metaphorically True: When Keef asks Zim if he likes girls, Zim says no...because he thinks "girls" means "female humans" and he doesn't like humans that way, at all. Hopeful Mistaken for Gay ensues.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Zim says no when he's asked if he likes girls, because he thinks "girls" means "female humans". Like most Irkens, he's bi(for his own species).
  • Mistaken for Spies: Dib thinks that Purple is a member of the Swollen Eyeballs, spying on Zim. Purple thinks he knows he's an alien and just chats with him.
  • Mr. Seahorse: At least partially Justified: Zim has to have a sex-change operation in order to become pregnant.
    • Can be justified that Purple does too since all Irkens lack the parts required. So, if the parts not working would ruin the only point of them.
    • Or because it may be ancient by Irken standards but it's actually very advanced by human standards and it gives the recipient functional genitalia.
  • OC: Many, most notably Zim and Purple's children, as well as Count Gwaednerth, Ms. Airy and Miss Fhtagn.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Bob and others.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Specifically, they're parodies of angsty teenagers and the usual vampire cliches.
  • Primal Scene: Dib accidentally gets an eyefull of Zim and Purple having sex.
  • Religion of Evil: Literally: some Irkens practice Zimist Slarkism, which is dedicated to the idea that one should be evil in order to avoid the pain inherent in goodness.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Purple, who risks humiliation and other consequences because he thinks mating with Zim really is for the good of the Empire.
  • Schedule Slip: For twenty-something chapters the author was very good at updating every Friday. Then she missed a week but was up the next. Then there was a three-month hiatus, a six-month one, and then finally it went on hiatus for twelve years before finally starting to update again in 2021.
  • Super Loser: Vampires, it seems, are universally dorks.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Ms. Airy seems to exist just because Zim and Dib logically shouldn't have Ms. Bitters anymore.
  • Time Abyss: Irken recorded history goes back more than 3 million human years.
  • T-Word Euphemism: "Virtuous Slarkist" is the only acceptable way to refer to a suicidal Irken that doesn't involve the use of "s-word".
  • Unequal Pairing: Purple/Zim, of course.
  • Unfortunate Names: No wonder Vermin has self-esteem problems.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Dance" is the Irken term for sex, while a "hired dancer" means a prostitute.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Zim and Purple, frequently.

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