|Date of birth
|Planet of origin
|See Family section
|First canon appearance:
"Space Pilot 3000" (1ACV01)
First actual appearance:
"Love's Labours Lost in Space" (1ACV04)
Lord Nibbler (real name unknown) is a member of a proud and ancient race, the Nibblonians. Born 274 BC, he is old and wise, and with a high status in the Nibblonian world, yet he prefers to be Turanga Leela's pet, and a member of the Planet Express crew.
Lord Nibbler was responsible for pushing Fry into the cryogenic tube and sending him to the year 3000. Nibbler was stationed on Vergon 6 until Leela discovered him there and instantly fell for his cuteness. He is the Nibblonian Ambassador on Earth and has recently become a member of the Planet Express crew.
Stationed on Vergon 6
Lord Nibbler was born on Planet Eternium in 274 BC, making him almost 3300 years old, one of the oldest characters in the series. Not much is known of Nibbler's biography before New Years' Eve, 1999, at which time he was stationed at the planet Vergon 6 alongside a great number of his species. At this time, the Nibblonians had learned that Philip J. Fry was "the Mighty One", the only being in the universe capable of stopping the Brain Spawn over a thousand years later. However, because Fry lived in the 20th century, Nibbler got the mission to make sure that he fell into the cryogenic tube at Applied Cryogenics, frozen until the year 3000.
Nibbler continued to be stationed on Vergon 6 for the next thousand years, but due to Dark Matter being the excrement of the Nibblonians, the planet's core was slowly filled with the valuable Dark Matter. As a result, a DOOP mining operation started, and as the core was mined out, the planet was left hollow and as a consequence dangerously sensitive for a coming implosion. The Nibblonians soon fled the planet, but Nibbler was pooping at the time, and was thus left behind.
Hiding his intelligence
On 13 April, 3000, the Planet Express crew - Leela, Bender and Fry - landed on Vergon 6 to rescue the animals left from the coming implosion of the planet. They encountered Nibbler (who ate the rest of the animals), and fled moments before the planet's doom. Nibbler hid his real identity and intelligence from the crew, and indeed from all non-Nibblonians he would encounter, and pretended to just be a dumb pet. Leela took Nibbler in, in the belief that he was dog-like in intelligence, and made him her pet.
Lord Nibbler hid his intelligence until the day the Earth stood stupid, when he told Leela the truth about his origins. This eventually helped Fry defeat the Brain Spawn, an enemy to the Nibblonians. Thanks to the Brain Spawn's psychic attack, Leela couldn't remember Nibbler's intelligence. Fry, on the other hand, was not affected by the Brain Spawn, thanks to him lacking the delta brainwave, but no one believed him about the Brains. Later, Nibbler then revealed himself again to Fry, because Fry needed to destroy the Brain Spawn's Infosphere. Afterwards Nibbler erased Fry's mind so he could remain undercover.
Revealed to the crew
In 3007, he finally revealed his true nature to the whole crew during a failed attempt to avert disaster and on seeing the formation of a dangerous tear in the time-space continuum. Nibbler escaped the universe by swallowing himself, forgetting to blank everyone's memories. He returned in 3008, after Yivo was gone. It is unknown how he managed to get back to our universe. Nibbler was kidnapped by Mom's sons and imprisoned in a dark matter farm with hundreds of other Nibblonians. After this, he once again didn't wipe their memories. Despite everybody knowing that he was sentient, the Planet Express crew continued to treat him like a pet... until August of 3010, when he was granted the status of crew member.
Appearance and clothing
While at the headquarters, he always wears a red cape, small yellow shoes and baby diapers. When accompanied by other Nibblonians and on missions, however, he is much more formally dressed. He also has a naval uniform which he dresses up in on occasion, and in which his best friend for some reason died.
As Nibbler remarks in "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", his true name is not really Nibbler - that was just the name that Leela gave him when first finding him.[1ACV04] The other Nibblonians uses this name as well, however, when speaking in English, because his true name would take too long to pronounce properly, or so he claims.
As shown in "The Why of Fry", Nibbler was already an adult with no apparent physical changes in 1999 as compared to the 31st century. In the same episode, he tells Fry that his species "live long". As a bonus to the Volume Two DVD, Nibbler's age was revealed to be 3,277.
When Nibbler's right fang broke in "I Second that Emotion", the veterinarian told Leela that the rings on his tooth could indicate his age ("if he's anything like the common tree"). Taking his word for granted, this had Leela assume that Nibbler was five years for a while.
Nibbler has no known direct family, although Leela could be seen as his adoptive mother, or owner.
While on the surface pretending to be a cuddly pet - long even disguising his intelligence entirely - Nibbler is highly intelligent and sophisticated. He enjoys being Leela's "schnuchoms", but sometimes longs for intelligent conversation and approval in the human world.
The character of Nibbler was planned before the pilot, including that he would really be a talking, intelligent alien, and that he would hold the truth of the greater conspiracy that had Fry frozen. While everything wasn't planned out from the beginning, the writers included Nibbler's shadow for a short second as Fry falls into the tube in "Space Pilot 3000", in spite of Nibbler's first real appearance being several episodes later, and in spite of the bigger conspiracy starting to unveil several seasons later.
His original appearance was hard to pin-point. Matt Groening insisted that he was supposed to be extremely cute, but that when looking at his separate components - his eye stalk, his one nostril, his fangs - he seems really ugly. In one original design of Nibbler, he would have drool constantly hanging from his nostril, but without ever dripping.
Nibbler's shadow, as seen in the first episode.
- Nibbler is featured on one of the discs of The Complete Collection 1999-2009.
- When Nibbler's right fang broke in "I Second that Emotion" (when he chewed at Bender's butt), it was replaced by a tooth of belonging to a veterinarian.
- If you look closely, you can see Nibbler's shadow under the chair when Fry falls into the tube in "Space Pilot 3000".
- In "Anthology of Interest I", when Fry misses the freezer by an inch in the alternate future the What-If Machine shows, Nibbler's shadow is gone, though this may be why Fry doesn't go to the future in that separate version of the timeline.
- However, in "The Why of Fry", when Fry tries to cross Nibbler and eventually decides to let himself be sent to the future after all, there are two shadows under the desk - those of Nibbler and Fry (seen earlier in "Jurassic Bark").
- Nibbler's spaceship, parked inside a container near the Planet Express headquarters, is just big enough to accept him and an adult human - if Nibbler scootches up his seat, that is.
- The dark matter he excretes was used to fuel the Planet Express ship, before the events of Bender's Game.
- He comes in the Toynami action figure line as an one of the Professor's accessories.
- It is unknown if Nibbler was present in Universe Gamma during the events of the second movie, as he fled it by the end of the first one.
- He won a Tony Award for his performance in Nibbler on the Roof.
- He planted a tracking chip in Leela's Wristlojackimator for emergencies.
- His third eye can summon his ship and change the appearance of other beings (this has only been done to Fry), however, this drains his strength and he can only keep it up for a short period of time.
- Nibbler ate himself to get out of Universe Γ, implying that his stomach transports matter to another universe.
Fry: But I know you in the future, I clean your poop!
Nibbler: Possible, my people live long and are celebrated poopers.
Nibbler: The poop-eradication is but one aspect of your importance.
Fry: I did do the nasty in the pasty.
Nibbler: Yes, that past nastification is what gives you your special powers.
Nibbler: Alas, our kitten-class attack ships were no match for their mighty chairs. The universe is doomed. Doomed!
Fry: Can I pull up my pants now?
Nibbler: Everyone out of the universe, quick!
Nibbler: Stop, you fools!
Leela: Nibbler! You--you can talk?
Nibbler: I can do more than talk. I can pontificate!
Nibbler: We must remove the time-tattoo as quickly and painlessly as possible!
[Cut to Fry's apartment. Fry is on the sofa screaming in agony while the Professor, Bender and Bubblegum hold him down. Leela and Lars keep watch at the door. They see the Scammer Aliens approaching.]
Lars: Quick, they're coming!
[Nibbler finishes lasering the tattoo off Fry's butt.]
Nibbler: The tattoo is gone. I saved the space-time continuum and 40% of your rectum.
Bubblegum: That's all you need!
Episodes and films in which Nibbler speaks
- "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" (3ACV07)
- "The Why of Fry" (4ACV10)
- Bender's Big Score
- Bender's Game
- "That Darn Katz!" (6ACV08)
- "Overclockwise" (6ACV25)
- "Game of Tones" (7ACV23)
- ^ DVD special features menu (as 3,277) on Volume Two, disc 2.
- ^ Nibbler mentions that he was stationed on Vergon 6 in his conversation with Fry at Applied Cryogenics on 31 December, 1999 in "The Why of Fry".
- ^ "Love's Labours Lost in Space" commentaries: "In designing Nibbler I went– I wanted to do– I wanted to see if I could make a character that was really ugly when you looked at the components, he's got one nostril, he's got fangs and an eye ball on a stalk on the top of his head. And yet he is really– pretty cute, huh?" - Matt Groening (transcript)