Nightmare Fuel: The Amazing World of Gumball
"I'm gonna' PRANK YOU!"
You wouldn't think an adorable, innocent show like The Amazing World of Gumball
could give you nightmares, would you?
Well, it does. Season one is relatively kiddie, but from season two on, the show's humor has gotten a bit dark and disturbing, but still has that whimsical kids' show charm. While most of it can be taken in good fun, some can cross the line (by TV-Y7 standards, anyway).
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- When Mr. Robinson gets crushed by the platform in "The Debt". Of course he's fine, but it's still disturbing to see someone just get flattened like that...
- In the episode, "The Ghost," when Carrie possesses Gumball, his design is horrifying and nightmarish◊. The same can be said for Richard when Carrie possesses him at the end.
- To add more to this there's the expressions of sheer fear when Carrie is possessing Gumball and the cut off scream when she's finally done.
- There's also her incredibly menacing father◊, who is so tall that he can't even fit the frame of the camera, and apparently eats tresspassers. Yikes.
- AND NICOLE CAN KICK HIS ASS WITH EASE when pissed off. There's a reason Gumball is more terrified of his own mother angry than a freaking T-Rex. Even Tina finds Nicole scary.
- When Mr. Small wore his skin-tight interpretive dance suit◊ in season one, it was only a little disturbing, but when he wore a similar one in season two... OH GOD.◊ You don't know whether to scream, puke or give the poor bastard a sandwich.
- Well, he stated himself in "The Job" that he was on a diet where he was supposed to only eat sunshine...
- And this is the most frightening thing of all. In real life there are actually people convinced that they can live off of just sunshine and water.
- When Anais freaks out over the loss of her Daisy the Donkey doll, Gumball reminds her that it's just a toy. Anais' Nightmare Fuel response? NO. IT'S. NOT.
- Can't mention that scene without mentioning this one◊.
- Leslie without water◊. How the hell did they manage to make a flower descend into Uncanny Valley?!
- Another example in "The Prank", when Richard pretends to snap, nearly crushing Gumball and Darwin with a bucket full of solidified cement and then chasing them through the house giggling like a lunatic, up to the point of bursting through walls.
- That psychotic Slasher Smile he makes after they are almost crushed is damn terrifying.
- Also the line "I'm gonna Prank you...", as shown in the picture above.
- Bobert's Kill and Replace attitude toward Gumball in "The Robot".
Gumball: When I said you could copy me, I didn't say to steal my life!
Bobert: But that's the logical solution of this course of action. Observe, assimilate...REPLACE.
- Half the stuff Gumball and Darwin encounter when they get lost in the forest in "The Picnic".
- Especially this◊ freaky looking thing.
- The predators make some really freaky sounds when they're eating each other in the Always a Bigger Fish montage.
- The premise of "The Genius", in which the government takes Darwin away for testing, apparently including brain dissection, simply because he's too smart.
- They would likely do the same with Anais.
- In said episode Nicole gets very disturbing. After Darwin is taken away, Rocky says that he has nowhere to stay and asks if he can crash with them. While under their roof, she makes him wear Darwin's clothes, fake flippers and tail, changing his name to Rockwin and to top all that the incredibly creepy way she says "Just call me Mom...." while her eyes get more and more insane looking.
- There's a bit of Fridge Horror in "The Mustache", where Gumball and Darwin completely shave themselves to rid them of hair. In the next scene they're both seen with pink skin, implying that Darwin ripped his scales off.
- That whole episode itself can be considered Fridge Horror since their bodies were changing and it was terrifying them, but not through puberty, their bodies were literally physically aging through Richard's testosterone pills. How scary is it to be a kid one day, then have an adult body the next, too afraid to tell anyone and run away to get a job and move into a crappy apartment to never be able to face their friends and parents again? If you've seen "Big" you'd have that basic idea of Nightmare Fuel.
- Anton, the toast kid, always ends up getting eaten by birds or similar creatures. It's his body. Now imagine it happening to yours.
- "The Microwave" gives us the blob creature that Gumball and Darwin created, who they call Kenneth, which proceeds to swallow live creatures (like Anais, the postman, a pigeon, etc) whole.
- And after he is returned to his normal size and everyone is freed near the end of the episode, Gumball and Darwin decide to raise him again, claiming he will not be hostile because they will do it right this time. Cut to Gumball and Darwin standing at the outskirts of the neighborhood with Kenneth, who is the size of a Kaiju, in the background with houses on fire and sirens blaring. The episode ends with Gumball saying that he should have went with Dad's plan to kill Kenneth with a shovel.
- Heck, the very fact that dumb, lovable Richard was even justifiably driven to kill with a blunt object.
- "The Fan" shows how terrifying a stalker Sarah can be. Like, in her video, explaining how she's been there through most of the events of previous episodes, sneaks into their rooms, watching them while they're sleeping and explaining that there's lots of places to hide in their house, and that their windows don't lock.
- In "The Coach", Gumball and Darwin remember three of the most horrible things Jamie has done to the other characters: feeding Anton (a piece of toasted bread) to ducks, chewing Teri's (a paper doll) leg off and spitting it back in her face, and making a sundae out of Sarah (an ice cream cone) and Banana Joe. They're supposed to be visual gags, but thinking about it from their perspective is terrifying. Even Gumball comments on how horrible it is.
- "The Joy" starts off with Gumball and Darwin getting some kind of Joy-Causing Disease that makes them seem way too happy. It gets worse when their eyes turn completely black, they start drooling rainbow colored slime and start attack-hugging everyone else, infecting almost the entire school. All with those damn smiles on their face.
- "The Puppy" A turtle is bent on eating the Watterson kids while making creepy faces the whole time. The worst part is probably when he jumps Gumball who was posing as bait.
- Darwin's face when he saves Gumball from the turtle isn't much better. It's played for laughs though.
- "The Recipe" (easily one of the darkest episodes so far) has Gumball and Darwin make a clone of Anton. When they lose the first one, they make an army of clones. Gumball later asks where Darwin's group of clones went, and Darwin mentions that he told them to split up to cover more ground and that they may have taken it literally. The clones are just bread, but they're sentient. There's just something really unsettling about the way the screen pans out on Darwin's face as you see silhouettes of the Anton clones killing each other and screaming.
- Not to mention he montage of Gumball and Darwin frickin' KILLING Anton (crushing him with a bowling ball, giving him a heart attack by showing him a viral video, having Tobias eat him as part of a sandwich, the chemistry explosion in science class, putting him through a paper shredder, exploding while playing a slide whistle, getting slammed between a door, getting hit in the face with a baseball, getting stomped on by Tina Rex, and birds popping out of his locker and pecking him to pieces).
- Zach in "The Name", and how he tries to rewrite Gumball's memories, hoping to make sure that Gumball lost his identity and faded away, especially with how Crazy-Prepared he was in regards to the family's attempts to stop him.
- In-universe, the background characters staging a Hostile Show Takeover in "The Extras".
- As much as it's played for humor, the basic concept of "The Void" is incredibly unsettling: The World of Elmore is apparently sentient enough to toss you into an seemingly infinite empty space if it decides your very existence is a mistake. Everyone, even your close friends will forget about you, and if someone manages to come in after you, the universe will try to trap THEM there as well. And even though Mr. Small, Darwin, and Gumball escape with Molly, the universe managed to erase their memories of everything, so nothing is keeping this from all happening again.
- Between this, 'The Job', 'The Finale', and a few other examples, it is apparently clear that the "El" in "Elmore" is short for "Eldritch". The universe will collapse thanks to one lazy man getting a job, it decides when you have to go to a realm of no return and have everyone forget you, negative continuity is a ticking time bomb...You know what? Aside from Ooo, this has to be the most fantastic, yet VERY terrifying location in the Cartoon Network universe, which we now know is actively SCREWING with everyone.
- "The Boss" was chock-full of this, such as...
- The receptionist morphing into a purple demon lion thing.
- Rocky's zombified state, complete with white pupiless eyes.
- The implication that the boss was possessed by the green contractor demon.
- The Law: The orange woman going insane after Doughnut Sheriff gets fired, by hijacking an ice cream truck, driving through the town without any regard for whatever or whoever is in the way, and threatening to kill the Doughnut Sheriff's boss (a sentient bucket of fried chicken).
- The Sheriff himself had some rather creepy facial expressions when trying to prove that he's cool. It doesn't help that he has teeth but not lips, basically giving him a Slasher Smile by default.
- The Burden: Chris Morris and the pile of hair that's not him (though that's more Squick or Nausea Fuel, considering the opening scene of Principal Brown waxing himself).
- The montage of Gumball and Darwin playing with "Chris Morris," where the song keeps jumping back and forth between a feel-good song about friendship to Gross-Up Close-Up shots of hair with a horrible buzzing noise blaring each time. It's disgusting and creepy all at the same time.
- Darwin's time with Chris Morris revealing how he feels about Gumball being with Penny is rather unsettling, flipping from calmly telling Chris Morris about it to going Laughing Mad to curling up in the fetal position and rocking back and forth in wide-eyed catatonia to angrily telling him off to crying over it (and briefly stopping to say hello to Leslie the flower), then back to realizing that he should accept the fact that Gumball has his own life and he should be happy for him.
- How quickly society collapsed all because of how overworked and undertipped Larry was (thanks to the Wattersons) in "The Pizza."
- The butterfly with the live-action face in "The Butterfly" is a slice of Uncanny Valley, even by this show's standards.
- In "The Saint" Gumball and Darwin participate in "highly experimentally testing" and turn into horrifically mutated abominations. Especially Darwin.
- Gumball selling Alan's parents and showing Alan video footage of Alan's parents being twisted into balloon animals while they scream in agony.
- The last shot of "The Oracle," which shows that Banana Barbara painted another prophetic painting; this time, showing the Wattersons confronted by a crumbling Elmore while an ominous shadow covers them. Her creepy, vacant stare is also unsettling for some.
- It also implies that the void from a previous episode, or something even worse that came from there, is about to be released...and it's anything BUT friendly.
- The video in "The Safety" is this in-universe.
- Speaking of that episode, it's ripe with some...rather creepy brainwashing.
- DARWIN TO A P. Sure, most of it is played for laughs, but it's hard to see him go from asserting to dead serious about essentially taking over the world. For bonus points, one symbol in his room looks too similer to a Nazi symbol. It's accidental, but that could have been an indication of if he went one step too far....
- The Screamening, the movie from "The Spoiler", is this in-universe. Poor Anais, she should have listened...
- Gumball pulls a Jump Scare on Anais and the audience.