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Recap / Invader Zim S 1 E 36 Tak The Hideous New Girl

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One Valentines Day at skool, a new student shows up, a mysterious girl named Tak who claims to be the heiress of the Deelishus Weenie cooperation. She then recites an angry poem for Zim about how he's going to pay before throwing meat covered in BBQ sauce at him, burning him. Zim concludes that this can only mean one thing: she's in love with him. Taking this as an opportunity to learn about Earth romance, Zim asserts himself to the status of Tak's boyfriend and spends the next several days taking her abuse before declaring that Earth love isn't all it's cracked up to be.


Tak shows up at Zim's house one afternoon only for Zim to declare that he's breaking up with her. As it turns out, Tak has an announcement for him too: she's an Irken in disguise, and her hostility towards Zim was a long time coming. Half a century ago, Tak was in the running to become part of the Irken Elite, but missed the test when Zim caused a blackout on her side of the planet trying to get snacks from a vending machine, locking her in her apartment. Unable to retake the test for another seventy years, she was given a degrading janitorial job on planet Dirt until she escaped and vowed revenge on Zim for ruining her life.

Determined to stop Tak from stealing his mission from him, Zim enlists Dib and Gaz's help to infiltrate her base at the local Deelishus Weenie stand and discover that she plans to hollow out the Earth of it's molten core and fill it with snacks as an offering to the Tallest. Together, they stop her plan from succeeding and save the Earth (for now), and Tak is never heard from again. That night as he's stargazing, Tak's discarded ship crash-lands in Dib's back yard, and he smiles excitedly at this reward for his efforts.



  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Tak attacks and cripples Zim's base to keep him from interfering in her plans.
  • Blatant Lies: Zim angrily accuses Tak of stealing his plan to hollow out the Earth's core and fill it with snacks for the Tallest, but GIR say she didn't.
  • Call-Back: The "Acne Blast" commercial from "Rise of the Zitboy" is playing on the TV when Tak comes to Zim's house.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Even after Tak explains her entire reason for being on Earth, Zim assumed that she's there to... steal his robot bee.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Had Zim actually listened to Tak when she started to explain part two of her plan rather than scream about his base being crippled over and over, he could have defeated her much more quickly.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Tak's first scene has her throwing meat at Zim, burning his flesh, and the first act of the episode has her more or less acting as his abusive girlfriend. Granted, Zim is a Villain Protagonist and she already has every reason to hate him, but try imagining Zim doing these things to Tak and finding it as funny.
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  • Dull Surprise: Zim returns home from his day with Tak with smoke rising off of his body. GIR tells him he's on fire, but all Zim can muster is a half-hearted "Am I? Oh well..."
  • Enemy Mine: Zim teams up with Dib and Gaz to defeat Tak.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Dib doesn't do much better than his classmates for once.
    Dib: (on a giant On/Off switch the size of a room) How did I miss that?
  • Foil: Tak is better than Zim in literally every way. She has a more convincing disguise, a more obedient SIR unit and an actual plan of attack, where as Zim has a Paper-Thin Disguise, a malfunctioning SIR and no plan beyond individual acts of petty vengeance.
  • For Want of a Nail: Tak missed the testing for the Irken army and, by extension, a chance to join "Operation: Impending Doom" because Zim blew up a power cord with a Humongous Mecha trying to get a snack out of a vending machine, which caused a blackout on Tak's side of the planet, but not the side where the testing was taking place. As a result, she misses the test, which she can't take for another 70 years, and is forced to work as a janitor in the meantime.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: After The Reveal that Tak is an Irken, the entire beginning of the episode where Zim, under the impression that she's human, tries to be her boyfriend is disregarded.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Tak's base is a hot dog stand the size of a warehouse. Tak says the only reason she hasn't been found out yet is because the humans are generally too stupid to question this.
    Dib: You can't do this! People will know somethings up. I mean look at this place, it's enormous!!!
    Tak: The great thing about your people, Dib, is that most of them don't notice. All they see is another corporate venture, not a plan for world conquest!
    Dib: Wait, is there really a difference?
  • It's Personal: Tak is hellbent on stealing Zim's non-mission to destroy Earth both out of revenge for costing her a place in the Irken army and her belief that she deserves a mission, any mission, more than Zim ever did.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Olivia d'Abo (Tak) had previously starred in The Wonder Years as Kevin's older sister Karen alongside Andy Bearman (Dib), who played Chuck Coleman.
  • Noodle Incident: The second half of the episode opens with Zim in the middle of a fight with a Ham Demon. No explanation for this is ever given.
  • Overly Long Gag: Zim screaming "My beautiful base! No!" over and over when Tak cripples it, so much so that she doesn't even stick around to tell him the rest of her plan.
  • Put on a Bus: Tak is launched into space at the end of this episode and never appears again. There were plans to bring her back, but the show was canceled before they could be implemented.
  • Season Finale: The final episode of the first season.
  • Self-Deprecation: During their final battle, Zim yells at Tak that she's a worse pilot than he is. He even pauses after he realizes what he's just said.
  • Shout-Out: Tak wears Johnny the Homicidal Maniac's boots.
  • Spanner in the Works: Zim had no intention of keeping Tak from joining the Irken Elite. He didn't even know she existed. He just really, really wanted some snacks.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Tak is prone to this.
    "Part one [of my plan] involves crippling your base so that you can only watch... AS I RUIN YOUR LIFE!!"
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: How did Zim cause a blackout on Tak's side of the planet? A vending machine right outside her apartment wouldn't give him the snack he wanted, so he blew it up with a Humongous Mecha.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After saving the Earth from destruction by aliens as he'd always said he would, resident Butt-Monkey Dib is rewarded by having Tak's ship crash land in his back yard for him to keep and experiment on.
  • Tough Love: Zim thinks this is what Tak is doing to him.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The warehouse-sized Deelishus Weenie stand where Tak's secret base is located. The vendor doesn't even notice how strange it is until Gaz points it out.
  • Valentine's Day Episodes: In Name Only. The Valentines aspect of the episode is disregarded as soon as Tak reveals her true form.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: Dib asks Miss Bitters why people no longer give out cards or candy for Valentines Day instead of meat. She tells him he doesn't want to know.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Dib's reaction to finding out that the Irken's leaders are in charge just because they're taller than everybody else.

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