| That last piggy should've reduced him to nothing! What happened? Where did history go wrong?!|
|Invader Zim Episode|
|Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy|
|Previous:||Invasion of the Idiot Dog Brain|
|Next:||A Room with a Moose|
|Episode No:||Episode 08b|
|Airdate:||August 24, 2001|
"Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy" is the 2nd segment in the 8th episode of the first season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on August 24, 2001, on Nickelodeon.
SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!
Zim finally finishes one of his self-proclaimed brilliant inventions, a space-time object transfer device, by which he plans to send a giant robot back in time to finish Dib. However, when the robot isn't compatible with the temporal field, he throws a rubber pig into the vortex instead, which turns out to be compatible, and causes Dib to crash his tricycle in the past.
Zim decides to send many more rubber pigs into Dib's past, which ultimately affect him in the future. Pigs are switched with a hover helmet, which causes an airborne Dib to crash, a video camera, which startles him and causes him to fall off a jungle gym, and an AED, which instead of restarting Dib's heart, ends up crushing his bones. Zim then believes Dib to be dead, but Professor Membrane brings him back to life with a robotic suit. Unfortunately for Zim, the robotic suit turns out to be incredibly large and strong, which allows present Dib, to crash his way into Zim's Base, trying to get to Zim to enact his revenge.
Zim desperately throws more rubber pigs into the time machine, hoping that there's a point in the past where Dib is still vulnerable. But Zim only makes Professor Membrane add even more modifications to the suit in the past, and making it even more deadly. Using the last piggy before Dib seemingly kills him with a punch on the face, Zim sends a note to himself in the past, warning him to not use the time machine. At the last second, everything returns to normal, except that the object the piggy replaced in the past was Zim's brain.
End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.
Facts of Doom
- Walton Chunky's name is similar to that of Milton Bradley.
- Professor Membrane's TV show, Probing the Membrane of Science, seems to parody real-life science educational programs such as Watch Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
- When the kid on Professor Membrane's show asks his question, music very similar to the Jeopardy! theme plays.
- JTHM, a comic also made by Jhonen Vasquez, might have been the origin for the name -Bad Bad Rubber Piggy -. When Johnny decides to shoot himself to end his pain, his bunny nailed to the wall and odd pig toy begin trying to convince him that either he shouldn't or should do it. At one point, the exasperated pig yells "Bad, bad, lying bunny!"
- Dib and Gaz's much younger selves appear in this episode. When she was younger, Gaz wore a bow in her hair and sounded much more girlish.
- This is one of the rare cases in which Gaz isn't mean or easily annoyed with her brother, possibly because of his injuries he has gotten because of Zim's meddling with the timeline, implying she will not harm people with poor health and/or traumas.
- In the DVD commentaries, it's revealed that this episode takes place in Zim's "making stuff room" which was mentioned in the pilot.
- Zim writes the note on the piggy in all capital letters, consistent with how Irkens are stated to write things. However, he doesn't capitalize the "i" in his own name, despite the fact that his name is completely capitalized in the show's scripts.
- Although Dib is unpopular at Skool, this episode shows that at least when Dib was three years old, he had friends, as they were many kids attending his birthday party during the scene in which Zim sends the first rubber pig to make Dib crash his tricycle. As Dib's friends aren't seen as of the present time, it must be a hint that maybe they stopped being friends with Dib for his obsession to the paranormal or just went to a different school, given the fact that they were never seen at the Skool.
- While it's likely that in the original timeline Zim was killed when Dib's robot suit punched him in the face, the episode doesn't reveal GIR's fate afterwards. Whatever happened in that timeline, both Zim's apparent death and GIR's possible destruction were erased from existence after Zim altered the timeline ultimately sending a warning to his past self.
- At one point, GIR brings up the possible paradox inherent in Zim's plan to alter the past. Something similar later happens in Issue 12, when Dib brings up the same problem regarding Zim's fight with his future self Emperor Zim (as does Emperor Zim himself). In both cases, the concerns are brushed off.
Things You Might Have Missed
- There is an instance of Bloody GIR as Zim throws the last piggy into the portal.
- Even though Irkens do not associate crowns with royalty, Zim's diagram on his machine shows him wearing a golden crown on top of his head; this might suggest that Zim began to pick up on some of Earth's customs during this time.
Changes and Cuts
- During Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy's commentary on the DVD Doom Doom Doom, Jhonen states that the original idea was for Zim to kill Dib permanently in this episode. After Dib's death, he wanted to replace Dib with a joke character, Louie. Squee was also supposed to be an option. Nickelodeon didn't allow killing in a children's show, though.
- However, by this standard, it is unknown why Nickelodeon let the episode air at all, because Dib was technically dead for about thirty seconds following the crushing of his bones by the paramedic's part in the episode prior to being revived by Professor Membrane.
Inconsistencies and Animation Errors
- When Zim snatches the piggy from GIR, it's right there in plain sight. However, when the other piggies come from GIR's head, it disappears. It appears again when GIR is crying.
- The gnomes in this episode are somewhat bigger than normal. They also disappear during one of the scenes and are replaced with a sign.
- Before the first temporal change, Dib already has a metal claw, even though there was a flash afterwards to indicate the first change.
- Once Dib falls off the tower in the past, there is an overhead shot of him on the ground and his cracked air tank above his head. Then the paramedics say" clear" and hit him with the pigs. In the very next shot, you see Dib and people standing over him but no air tank. The tank comes back on the next overhead shot.
- In the scene where Breakfast Chunks change to Breakfast Squid, the image on the cereal box stays the same.
- In the scene where piggies are shooting out of GIR's head, in a quick frame one appears to cut into his face.