An episode of Jhonen Vasquez
's brilliant cartoon, Invader Zim
. It was first aired on March 29, 2001
. It was written by Eric Trueheart
(one of the head writers on the show) and Courtney Lilly
To briefly summarize the plot: The Skool's budget for desks has run out, and the kids are forced to use a variety of bizarre substitutes (rat-infested trash cans, beached whales, piggies, etc.). However, the Poop Cola Corporation comes to the rescue and offers to help supply the Skool with new desks, if the kids go on a fund raiser to sell some rather disgusting chocolate bars (which, it turns out, are made entirely of sawdust). A number of prizes are also at stake - the grand prize being a special Mystery Prize. Zim, naturally, gets it all wrong and becomes madly obsessed with obtaining this Mystery Prize. Using advanced Irken technology, he uses persuasion helmets to scare the unsuspecting denizens of the neighborhood into buying the candys.
The episode was originally scheduled to air on September 14, 2001, but the events of 9/11 put it on hold. A scene in which Zim shows a couple of obese parents a nightmarish future vision in which the Irken Armada destroy a suspiciously New York-ish looking city (along with a the line, "All that you know and love lies in ruins!", spoken by Zim), had to be replaced, as per the American standards of babysitting its citizens to the point of ridiculousness. (Jhonen Vasques, the creator and producer of the show, initially resisted making the changes, fighting for the cause of rationality, but was persuaded when the Nickelodeon offices in New York called him and reminded him that they could still smell the burnt, charred bodies from the streets below.)
An oversight by Nickelodeon, however, caused the original, unedited version to be aired on March 29th. Subsequent reruns, however, featured the edited scene. Non-American countries that carry Invader Zim, such as Australia, aired the unedited version.
The unedited version is freely available for download on various Invader Zim sites, including www.roomwithamoose.com.