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 onwards, 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).

    open/close all folders 

  • Anton, the toast kid, always ends up getting eaten by birds or similar creatures. It's his body. Now imagine it happening to yours. Possibly worse is something when we find out just how he "survives" all of this.
  • Tina.
    • 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.

    Season 1 

  • 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...
    • Earlier in the same episode, when Mr. Robinson is trying to clear his throat to practice, Gumball mistakes it for choking. He then proceeds to attempt the heimlich maneuver on Mr. Robinson which causes his heart to come out. Mr. Robinson then weakly tries to put his heart back in by using his tongue. Sure, it's Played for Laughs but it can be quite uncomfortable to some.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      PRANK TIME!!
      • 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" is bizarrely dire: 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 the movie Big (particularly the protagonist who went 13 to 30) you'd have that basic idea of Nightmare Fuel.
  • "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.

    Season 2 

  • The ending of "The Remote". Anais locks whole family outside the house and she tunes into the Daisy the Donkey show. What follows is a Staggered Zoom towards Anais' dissonantly serene smile, slowly clapping her hands and dancing on the couch as the Daisy the Donkey theme song takes a turn for the worse..
    • How about the fact that almost everything was a cleverly maneuvered plan by Anais just to get the remote/get the family to stop fighting about it. Anais has more of these 'smart people are scary' moments than anyone else. And she's only like FOUR. This entry might be also count as awesome and funny but still...
  • In "The Job", things get EXTREMELY creepy when Nicole has a mental breakdown, Richard turns everything into chaos and so on. This is by far the darkest and creepiest episode in the series.
    • In the same episode a couple made of pizza watch in horror as Gumball murders their child in front of their own eyes.
      • When Mr. Small eats a vegetarian pizza (which is just an assortment of grass and bubblegum) he falls to the floor and his pupils disappear from his eyes. The only evidence that he's still alive is a bubblegum bubble that blows out of his mouth.
    • Remember how Richard couldn't get a job to save his life when Anais' principal suggested he do so? "The Painting" episode was just an appetizer. This episode is why. It's entirely possible that the door of the office building not working whenever Richard tried to go through was because the universe was trying to stop him from erasing reality by holding down employment.
  • "Halloween" was very creepy at some points, especially that scene with those ghosts using Gumball and Darwin's lifeless bodies and begin playing with them. Anais comes around the house and sees the lifeless bodies being moved around... it's really disturbing. Sure, it was Played for Laughs but still.
  • "The Apology" has the scene where Ms. Simian was chasing Gumball in a bout of primal rage.
  • Hector, when Gumball convinces him to let his feelings out. There's a reason his mom tries to keep him level-headed and Hector's mother justifies the enforced of the My Beloved Smother trope.
  • Pretty much the entirety of "The Flower." Gumball, under the effects of Jealousy actually attempts to murder Leslie via a death-trap. What makes this even more horrifying is that he would have succeeded if Jealousy had glued more than Leslie's pot.
    • And then there's the exorcism...
  • Gumball takes "smile with his eyes" to a horrifyingly literal level in "The Photo".
    Gumball: *speaking with a Voice of the Legion due to his eyes being replaced by tiny mouths* This is horrifying, isn't it?
    Darwin: Yeah.
    * Gumball starts crying*
    Darwin: Er, are you crying, or drooling?
    Gumball: I DON'T KNOW!
  • Gumball and Darwin when they dehydrate from crying too much in "The Tag".
  • "Dodj or Daar" from "The Game", due to it being a Artifact of Doom that warps the player's reality until they finish the game, especially considering some of the cards one can pull.
    • The worst of them all goes to the Dodj card that prevents all players from breathing for the remainder of the game. It could give Jumanji a run for its money!
    • Another highlight is when Dodj or Daar is first retrieved from under the bed. Gumball and Darwin already know how dangerous the game is, but Dodj or Daar still wordlessly makes an effort to tempt them into playing again, mostly with ominous Drones of Dread. To reiterate: Dodj or Daar wants to be played.
    • Richard's squashed body, especially his face, when he's stuck with the "gravity is your enemy" dodj card.
  • Nicole when her Berserk Button gets pushed way too many times in "The Limit". The result is not a pretty sight.
    Gumball: What's wrong with mom?!
    Richard: That's not your mother anymore! That's a whirlwind of fury!
    • Particular note for how she was limping this whole time because her spine was rendered crooked.
    • At one point during her rampage, a security guard who tries to stop her ends up being so frightened by her glare that he literally turns white (including his eyes) and ages on the spot. He then faints and has a hard time breathing.
    • There's also the fact that Nicole herself told everyone to run right before she went into her berserk state.
  • "The Promise" has Banana Joe getting smashed under a set of weights. It all gets worse from there.
  • "The Voice": Someone is constantly watching Darwin and Gumball and holding a grudge, but they fail to remember him. They remain oblivious to who it really is, even as the audience sees he's getting angrier and has some sort of incredibly destructive power. The Reveal that it was all a misunderstanding arguably makes it worse: William was getting utterly furious at people who were incapable of realizing why or that he was even mad in the first place. If he hadn't figured out he couldn't talk at the last second, he almost certainly would have murdered them both without either party really knowing why.
    Look at me. I'm talking to you. Look at me.
  • The demonic voice and penance stare Nicole gives Harold at the end of "The Castle."
  • Carrie's Jumpscare in The Tape is this one. Especially to the younger viewers.
  • In "The World", there are a few moments of this:
    • The trees talking while Penny and her family are out camping.
    • The living pillow saying that it likes to listen to your dreams.
    • The scene with the living food being eaten.

     Season 3 
  • "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.
    Darwin: It was "pastricide".
    • 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 Screamer Prank 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: Mrs. Parham 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.
  • The video in "The Safety" is this in-universe.
    • Speaking of that episode, it's ripe with some 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 similar to a Nazi symbol. It's accidental, but that could have been an indication of if he went one step too far....
    • This.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy this little moment from the end of "The Countdown". Eyes should not work that way.
  • In "The Nobody", Gumball and Darwin find out that someone has been living in their house without them noticing!
    • What makes it worse is the fact that somebody was living in the basement for a long time without anybody finding out. What makes it truly terrifying is the fact that this could actually happen in reality. It has.
    • That someone turns out to be Rob, who managed to escape from the Void by clinging to Janice, but ended up terribly scarred and distorted in the process, and after regaining his memories he swears revenge on Gumball and Darwin for leaving him behind, essentially becoming the Big Bad of the show.
  • "The Downer":
    • Everyone disappears with no warning and everything related to joy or happiness is made negative somehow.
    • And Gumball thinking the sudden disappearance of everyone is a sign of the Biblical end of days...
    • A formless black misty/oozy mass begins to consume Elmore, similar to Mr. Popo absorbing Garlic Jr.
    • While Gumball is running from the black mass, he stops at an intersection and waits for the light. It finally changes from "Don't Walk" to "No Escape".
    • It's revealed that Gumball imagined everyone being gone and the black mass is implied to have been his negative feelings trying to take him over. Yes, the plot was Gumball pretty much having a mental breakdown.
    • When Gumball tries to cheer up by watching TV, there is an ad featuring a creepy-looking woman that parodies heavily Photoshopped models. She is downright unsettling, especially when she laughs robotically at the end of the ad.
  • "The Money" where the Wattersons' lose their money and refuse to sell out to make more as it turns out their money seems to be proportional to the show's budget, as they rush to sell out, the world is downgrading/disassembling in various ways, 2D characters become uncolored animatic stills, 3D characters become twitchy low-rez wireframes, and the show soon degrades to storyboards and amateur drawings on Post-It notes.

    Season 4 

  • "The Return":
    • Richard's imprecise, unsettling memory of his children's appearances, including imagining them as demons in Hell who berate him for being a lousy father.
    • It's brief, but Richard's own reflection disagreeing with him when he proclaims that he's a good father. Whether you hate Richard for being an Idiot Houdini for so long or pretty sympathized with his incompetence due of his mother, this is quite unsettling.
    • The whole episode can be pretty terrifying. From Richard's Adult Fear of losing his kids to the three kids being forgotten, trapped in a ball pit and locked in a shipping container for almost twenty four hours. Not to mention what would happen if Nicole finds out that Richard fails to check their children...
  • "The Signature"
    • Richard's CREEPY nightmare face as Louie signs the adoption form.
    • Nicole's equally terrifying nightmare face.
  • The Sale
    • Although it fails in hilarious fashion, the build-up to Darwin's jump scare is legitimately scary.
  • "The Gift"
    • Gumball, Darwin, and Larry's pupils bleed into their eyes after receiving another explosive birthday party invitation.
    • Masami states to some of her friends that she would accept a birthday present as simple as a flower. Leslie responds by tearing his own head off, and he screams in pain.
  • The Uploads
    • Mr Small's video in which he exhales so much that he breathes himself inside out! Gumball rightly reports the video.