Invader Zim TV Poster Image

Invader Zim



This little green guy has one big 'tude.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Zim doesn't value others' lives at all and is bent on world domination by any means necessary. But Dib does his best to foil all of Zim's evil plans.

Violence & scariness

Sci-fi laser gun action and plenty of smashing.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

No swearing, but lots of put-downs, like "dumb" and "idiot."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sci-fi cartoon is dark, sarcastic, and satirical. It follows a little alien space invader named Zim who wants to take over (and destroy) Earth. That goal leads to a fair amount of cartoon violence, mostly in the form of bashing about and laser gun use. There are no real lessons here, but younger tweens will probably find it entertaining.

What's the story?

Created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez, INVADER ZIM is the zany, satirical story of one little extraterrestrial out to conquer Earth. Sent away from his home planet, the Irken Empire, after a botched military exercise, Zim (voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz) -- a narcissistic green space invader with a Napoleon complex -- seeks to submit Earth to his rule in order to prove his abilities to his elders. Accompanied by a silly robot named GIR (Rosearik Rikki Simons), Zim finds his conquering efforts foiled by his nemesis/schoolmate (Zim is mistaken for a child thanks to his undercover tactics) Dib (Andy Berman), who's the only human to realize Zim's true identity and mission.

Is it any good?


Invader Zim is a perfect example of a cartoon that straddles the line between children's and adult entertainment. It's full of dark humor, humans are depicted as less-than-intelligent life forms, and Zim has a complete lack of concern for life -- all of which might raise some parents' eyebrows. What's more, Zim's vocabulary is full of put-down words like "idiot" and "stupid."

As a result, families should be cautious about letting younger children watch Invader Zim. But tweens, older kids, and adults will probably enjoy the show's comedy of errors -- certainly many of us can relate to Zim's desire to rule the world and will enjoy his laugh-out-loud attempts to get some "space cred."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Zim's motives -- and how he goes about trying to achieve them. Why do you think he wants to take over the Earth? What is he trying to prove? And to whom? Is there a better way he could make his point? Families can also discuss the fine line between kid-oriented cartoons and those meant more for adults. What should kids do if they're ever uncomfortable with something they see on TV?

TV details

Premiere date:March 30, 2001
Cast:Andy Berman, Melissa Charles, Richard Steven Horvitz
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Adventures, Robots, Space and aliens
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySlipperyQ June 8, 2011

An Eye-Opening Show

There is only one reason the age for this show is higher- it's not as funny if you don't have the experience to relate. Here is an innovative cartoon that is sure to raise some eyebrows- and having heard quite a bit about the man behind it, this is not surprising. But kids today are exposed to so many sick things every day, that it doesn't throw us. Did you know that I can no longer walk down a school hallway without hearing something that would get me grounded? And I don't care. Because it's normal. I don't call my generation mean, or disturbed, or anything else, though. I call us UNAFRAID. That's what Invader Zim is- UNAFRAID. Zim is, like many real people, angry and hurt. His people do not want him, and he wants somebody to believe in him. And, like many real people, he goes about it the wrong way. Growing up watching him (and many people I know in real life) make the wrong choices reminds me now that it is not okay. There's a right way to gain respect- this is not it. His determination is astounding, however, and admirable. Dib, the antagonist character, is quite blatently a neglected child feeling very much the same as Zim. Dib's struggle for the attention of his father - a man, I might add, who is not really worth all the effort - happens in the real world. It shows me that when a person isn't good for you, chasing them will only make things worse. If they can't accept you the way you are, they're not worth impressing. Also, the fact that Zim and Dib are so similar personality- and situation-wise makes it clear how ridiculous it is that they are enemies, simply because they are on opposite ends of the universe. If they stopped for a moment and acknowledged each other as friends, neither would need to go through with petty goals and dangerous missions, because the entire point of it is to gain acceptance and love. Some things they could just as easily give each other, and be far happier. There's something to be learned from that, surely; I know I will never make the same mistakes. At first glance, Invader Zim seems to be sending off the wrong signals, but it's exactly the opposite. Kids watch this show with clarity; they can see that what is going on is not right. They know that things like this (though perhaps not on as large a scale) happen all the time. Many of them, such as myself, have watched it happen. I've spoken to kids at my school who are neglected, abused, and bullied. Just like on TV. And because of this show, I know that becoming bitter and violent is not the way to make things better; only to lose yourself. God bless Invader Zim.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old August 2, 2011


THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER INVENTED!!!!!!! INVADER ZIM IS THE RHOMBUS!!!!! Zim will always say funny things like "Filthy humans", "Humans and their filthy Friendship! Invaders need no one! NO ONE!!!!!", "Humans and their filthy food", "Stupid human" or "Crazy earth filth!". There is nothing to worry about in Invader Zim! BEST SHOW EVER CANNED/MADE!!!!! Gir is really cute like how he sleeps or what he says is cute too. NICK!!!!! I HATE YOU SO MUCH NICK!!!!! YOU REPLACED THE OLD NICK, CANCELED INVADER ZIM AND GOT A BUNCH OF NEW DUMB SHOWS, I MEAN "EARTH FILTH" AND RUINED NICKELODEON. AND THE SLIME LOGO IS GONE FOREVER!!!! I AM GOING TO KILL YOU NICK!!!!! GET INVADER ZIM BACK NOW!!!!!!! I LOVE INVADER ZIM FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE INVADER ZIM MORE THAN ANYTHING!!!!!!!! I LOVE INVADER ZIM EVERYTHING!!!! Dib's head is not big!!!! He is smart! But you can't hate him because he is the enemy of Invader Zim, That's ME!!! ZIM IS ME!!!!!!! ZIM IS ME!!!!!! ZIM IS ME!!!!!! ZIM IS ME!!!!!!!! INVADER ZIM WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER!!!!!!!!! I AM LIKE THE BIGGEST INVADER ZIM FAN THAT EVER LIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bySarahGirl5 April 19, 2012

Don't watch ever

Don't listen to everybody saying that this is the best show ever. I saw this show when I was 10 and I was freaked out for practically months. It's not violent but it is very scary (in one episode a kid has his eyes ripped out). Please don't watch this show no matter how mature you are. It will give you nightmares for years. This show doesn't deserve to be on Nickelodeon.
What other families should know
Too much violence