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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.
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.
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.
"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.
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 FIVE.
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? 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 . . .
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".
"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.
Particular note for how she was limping this whole time because her spine was rendered crooked.
At one point during her rampage, a police officer 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.
"The Promise" has Banana Joe getting smashed under a set of weights. It all gets worse from there.
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.
"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 ending where Miss Simian tries to videotape instructions on how to get rid of the Joy, but can't remember the name of the musical piece to use nor can she sing it, and ends up being overcome by the virus, doesn't make things better
Gumball's laughter is absolutely PSYCHOTIC. So much so that Miss Simian is visibly frightened. Miss Simian is NEVER frightened.
"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).
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.
"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 and presumably died when the demon leaves his body, and his "transformation" when he is fully taken over.
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 Allergy: Darwin's sneezing gets pretty destructive as time goes on.
The Burden: Chris Morris and the pile of hair that's not him. That is all.
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 curling up in the fetal position and rocking back and forth in wide-eyed catatonia to telling him off to crying over it (and briefly stopping to say hello to Leslie the flower). Seriously crazy mood swings, although some may find it somewhat hilariousin a dark way.
How quickly society collapsed all because of how overworked and undertipped Larry was (thanks to the Wattersons) in "The Pizza."