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20px-Cquote1.png I was born with webbed fish toes. Like some kind of horrible fish-boy. Wanna see?
— Dirge
20px-Cquote2.png

Invader Zim Episode
Bestest Friend
Title 02a
Chronology
Previous: The Nightmare Begins
Next: NanoZIM
Information
Episode No: Episode 02a
Production No: 02a
Airdate: April 13, 2001
Credits
Writer(s): Rob Hummel
Roman Dirge
Jhonen Vasquez


"Bestest Friend" is the 1st segment in the 2nd episode of the first season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on April 13, 2001, on Nickelodeon.

Plot Summary

SPOILER WARNING OF DOOM: This section or article may contain spoilers!

Zim creepy

The Final Test

During lunch, Zim overhears Jessica talking at another lunch table. Wondering why Zim has no friends, she comments that having no friends is so "inhuman". Hearing this, Zim fears that his lack of friends will expose his identity as an alien, leading him to be captured by human scientists.

Seeking to rectify this, he goes over to the "Rejects" table, and asks which of them wishes to be his best friend. After talking to a couple, he poses three challenges to the remaining children. He tests their absorbency, electro-conductivity, and issues a "final test" that includes a beaver and a toy taxi. What happened during this test is hidden from the audience, but evidently causes great pain, as the children Zim is testing are heard screaming during the procedure. After all the tests are concluded, Zim determines a red-haired child named Keef to be the winner, and thus dubs him his best friend. 
Keef's Eyes Ripped Out (Bestest Friend)

Keef getting new eyes, courtesy of his "best friend."

Following a bizarre montage of friend-filled weirdness, Zim dismisses Keef and states that he requires Keef's services no longer. Keef, however, fails to receive the message, and proceeds to stalk Zim.

In a final attempt to rid himself of Keef after hearing of a surprise party Keef is throwing for him, Zim builds a "present" for Keef, which removes his eyes in a gruesome fashion and replaces them with new, artifical eyes. These new eyes have hypnotic properties, and Zim uses them to convince Keef that a territorial squirrel is him. The episode closes with Keef falling off a rooftop and getting caught in a giant explosion, with GIR superimposed on the screen stirring his cake batter.

End of Spoilers: There are no further spoilers for this section or article. You can breathe now.

Facts of Doom

Cultural References

  • Keef continually riding his bike in front of Zim's house is most likely an homage to the horror movies The Omen and The Shining.
  • The picture that Keef draws of him and Zim is an homage to a piece entitled Madonna and Child, with Keef as the former and Zim as the latter.
  • GIR's transformation into his dog costume may be an homage to Sailor Moon's first transformation, Moon Prism Power, as both go in loops. A quicker version occurs in Tak: The Hideous New Girl, without the loops and dog bone background.

Trivia

  • When Zim's "present" removes Keef's eyes, it can only be seen as a shadow on the wall. The Invader ZIM crew had to censor it with shadows, most likely because some viewers would find it too violent for a children's show.
    Friend 1

    Zim's horrible drawing.

  • We find out in this episode that Zim can't draw very well.
  • This is the first time that all of GIR's teal components turned red as he went into "Duty Mode".
  • Jhonen Vasquez repeatedly referred to this episode during Comic-Con 2005. He said, "Zim ripped a kid's eyes out of his screaming head and gave him new cooler, more high-tech eyes... That I would kill for!"
  • Dib and Gaz (playing her Game Slave) only make cameo appearances in the cafeteria.
  • In the scene where Zim is imagining the whole population of Earth at his doorstep, you can see Jessica, even though she wanted no part in his "party".
  • There was originally going to be a "sequel" to this episode, titled "Return of Keef", but it was never animated. The script exists, however, and voices were recorded.
  • Keef has normal eyes in every other episode with him, despite the fact that his eyes looked different in this episode.

Cuts & Changes

  • In the DVD commentary it was stated that Jhonen wanted a blood splatter on the wall in the "Taxi and Beaver" scene after Gretchen and Melvin are charred and blackened. Of course, parents' complaints and Nickelodeon itself forbade him from using it.
  • The title was in the squiggly Invader ZIM font instead of the "Invader" one. It is the first episode to have this.
  • When Keef is attacked by the squirrel and falls off a building, he was originally supposed to either fall onto a telephone wire and get electrocuted to death, or crushed by a car tire. Nickelodeon and some parents objected to Jhonen's ideas and demanded a change.
    • The reason why Keef says "You don't like waffles?" after falling off the building is to show that he isn't dead.
  • This episode was originally set to air with Dark Harvest, but they were deemed "too twisted" to be aired together. So instead, this episode aired with "NanoZIM". These two air together in other countries such as Australia.

Inconsistencies & Animation errors

  • Bestestfriend2

    Thank you Zim!

    Melvin originally throws away his party invitation, but still goes to the party anyway, though he disappears during one of the later scenes at the party.
  • While Zim is jumping on the table from the peas, Zim's pants turn pink for about a second. They turn black before he stops flopping around, however.
  • When GIR goes into Duty Mode, only his eyes turn red, like in "The Nightmare Begins". However, in the very next scene, all the cyan parts of his body turn red.

Music

Main article: The Kevin Manthei Invader Zim-phony Special
  • Dark Daydream
    • Is played as Jessica's voice echoes "Inhuman, inhuman, inhuman...." and ends when Zim approaches the reject table.
  • Bestest Friends
    • Plays during the friendship montage.
  • Bike Stalker
  • Party Favors
    • Is played when GIR walks past Zim with the bag filled with party stuff.
  • Carnival Nightmares
    • Starts playing when Zim says "Humans and their fffilthy friendship. It brings nothing but trouble. I can see them now..." and ends after Zim's daydream.
  • They're Coming
    • Plays while Zim, Keef, and GIR are screaming in slow motion, and while Zim is holding Keef's "present" and laughing maniacally.
  • New Eyes
    • Starts when Keef opens up his "present".

See also

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