Pants! (also known as When Pants Ruled!) is an unfinished episode of Invader Zim.
This was the premise for the episode, written on June 8, 2001.
INVADER ZIM Premise "Pants!" 06/08/01 Dib goes to Skool to find that his classmates have fallen victim to a horrible fashion trend...living, mind-controlling pants. Everyone but ZIM, who has gone missing, eventually wears these disgusting articles of clothing. Dib vows to get to the bottom of this phenomenon and to not fall victim to the stupid,“body snatchers-like" fashion trend. He finds the pants’ hive and learns that the pants are stranded aliens and that ZIM has been using them to control the town... and soon the world. Dib convinces the pants that ZIM is using them and that the Green one is the enemy. Dib dons a pair of mighty Warrior Slacks and rallies his forces. ZIM counters by wearing a pair of Giant Robot Pants and while the two do battle, all the rest of the pants sneak into ZIM's base and teleport home. The warrior pants cripple ZIM's robot pants and Dib is victorious. He has saved the world and an alien race but is now trapped in the giant warrior pants.
This is the final version of the premise as of July 17, 2001.
INVADER ZIM "When Pants Ruled!" Revised Premise 7/17/01 Dib returns to Skool after an absence to discover that everyone has fallen victim to a disturbing fashion trend... organic, disgusting looking pants. Despite being ridiculed for not wearing them, Dib boldly refuses to conform. In a Skool assembly, the principal encourages kids to distribute the pants door to door and to force them onto the kids who won't wear them...especially Dib. Dib is chased by a pants-wearing mob but is rescued by Groyna, a tough jock girl who also has resisted the fashion trend. She tells him that a week earlier, ZIM arrived at Skool wearing these pants and anyone who got near him had to have a pair. Dib vows to stop ZIM and escapes the Skool with Groyna. The world outside seems eerily empty until Dib discovers all the people lined up to buy pants. Dib sees a renegade pair of pants that MOVE AROUND ON THEIR OWN! Clearly, these aren't just ugly, mind controlling devices, but some sort of sentient creatures... He runs to find Groyna but discovers that she has fallen victim to the pants as well. He screams and runs through the pants infested city... Dib, now the only person not controlled by the pants, sneaks around the city, where pants propaganda has spread impossibly quickly. Billboards exhort people to "collect metal" and encourage them to become "building people". Dib is captured by a mob and led to the pants hive where he mindmelds with their leader, the OVERTROUSER. Dib is told how the pants are a group of aliens who drifted through space in their damaged spaceship until they were contacted by a kindly being named The Almighty ZIM who promised to help them build a ship for them to get home if they help him get rid of an infestation of humans. When Dib tells them that ZIM was lying, the pants rebel and head for ZIM's base, where the huge spaceship is almost ready to go. Dib is swept up into The Overtrouser and heads up the rebellion. ZIM, prepared for just such an event, dons a pair of gigantic robot battle pants. ZIM's plan has been to load all the humans and the pants onto the ship and launch them into the sun. The Pants aliens' form of fighting involves much ridiculous dancing. Don't ask why. While ZIM and Dib battle/dance, the rest of the aliens load onto the ship and launch, leaving Dib trapped in the lonely Overtrouser.
- This episode never aired because the network told Jhonen to "leave it be" due to it being too similar to an episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius being planned at the time, When Pants Attack.
- Essentially because of this, even if the series wasn't cancelled, this episode idea would most likely have been scrapped.
- The idea for this episode eventually got used in the Invader Zim comics in Issue 8.