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Western Animation: The Amazing World of Gumball

"I started looking back at the characters that I created for commercials. It was a big mash-up of 2D, stylized 3D, realistic 3D and even stop motion. I lined them up and the result looked varied and unusual. I really liked the idea of a show without graphic unity. All these characters had been rejected; they served no purpose. I found that quite endearing. I integrated them in the photo of a schoolyard and was quite excited with the outcome."
— Creator Ben Bocquelet

Created by Ben Bocquelet, the series is the first commission from Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe. Combining a mixture of several animation techniques with live-action backgrounds, the series follows the misadventures of a hapless twelve year old cat named Gumball, who lives in the quaint little town of Elmore - where nearly everything has the power to come to life! Joining him is his best friend Darwin, the one-time pet fish who grew legs and joined the family. The two of them go to Elmore Junior High where all sorts of strange characters roam the halls.

The series received a twenty-episode second season before the eighteen-episode first season even premiered, another twenty-episode third season shortly after the second season premiere, and two more twenty-episode seasons right before the third season premiere, bringing its total to 49 hours worth of episodes. It got a "sneak peek" (i.e., the first of two episodes) in the UK on May 2nd, 2011, and in the US on May 3. The official US premiere was May 9 and the UK on September 5th.

You can check out the show's Recap page here and the character page here. It also has a page for trivia and Shout Outs. Please list examples relating to specific episodes and characters on the corresponding page.

It also has its own wiki.


The Amazing World of Gumball provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Some episodes have it stronger than others. Nicole is pretty much the only consistently competent adult in the show, though she does have her wild moments.
  • Aerith and Bob: Most of the cast have normal given names, albeit Anais and Masami are French and Japanese ones respectively, except Darwin (which is normally a family name), Ocho, Juke, and Gumball.
  • All There in the Manual: Darwin is Gumball's Adopted Brother who grew legs when he was overfed, but you wouldn't know that unless you read it online from the creators despite being heavily implied through-out the series.
    • The DVD (the DVD, not the episode) also makes mention of this in the "Meet the Wattersons" feature.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Gumball and Nicole are blue cats, and Anais and Richard are pink rabbits.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: EVERYTHING in Elmore is a living, sentient being. Lampshaded in "The Internet" where Darwin scoffs at Gumball's idea that they can track down the internet, as it is an object not a person and everything in the room they're in comes to life and suggests otherwise.
    • "The World" takes this Up to Eleven, focusing on the everyday lives of the objects themselves.
  • Animesque: The Wattersons' facial expressions seem to invoke this.
  • Arc Number: The number 700 frequently pops up, particularly in "The DVD" where it's the cost of the overdue fee for the titular DVD, "The Refund" where it's the cost of the game console the manager sells Richard, and "The Watch" where it's how much the titular watch is worth.
  • Art Evolution: The designs of the 2D characters has been streamlined in the second season. Now they're drawn with thicker lines and some of them were completely redesigned; Penny, for example has a more curved shell.
    • Also, the shadows on Darwin's arms and legs underneath his body are almost nonexistent.
    • Tina and Ms. Simian's designs have also been simplified.
  • Art Shift: Strangely, whenever there is a wide shot wherein the characters are meant to be far off in the distance, they are represented by bold single-colored rectangles rather than their usual character models.
  • Badass Family: In "The Club", the family uses their own odd traits to impressively take out some nerds. Nicole used her anger to take out a locked door, Richard managed to stall another nerd in a board game, Anais used static electricity to short circuit a robot and hacked a computer to intercept Gumball's embarrassing video, and Darwin's dance skills distracted the other nerd into dancing with him. Subverted with Gumball however, who fails to stop the video uploading, and is recognized as so lacking in talent even the nerds don't want to touch him.
    • Even moreso in "The Ape" where they work together in a car chase to stop Mrs. Simian after she tricked them.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Gumball, Nicole, and Richard. Anais (Who, oddly, wears socks with no shoes) and Darwin have footwear.
  • Big "NO!": Richard does one after dropping a piece of toast in the series trailer.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Rocky's shirt from season 2 onwards has the word "Bisou" on it. Which is French for KISS.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Tobias is short and squat, with hair covering his face. However, his sister Rachel is taller and more humanoid. This also extends to their parents, with Harold being covered in hair and their mother being more humanoid.
  • Bowdlerise: Like many Cartoon Network shows, numerous scenes were cut or shorted in the CN Asia or Australian airing.
  • Calvinball: "Dodge or Dare", a board game that Gumball and Darwin created, which involves taking a card and doing whatever is says on it. The trope applies in that, while the concept is (very loosely) structured with a set of "rules", the "rules" themselves are only there to ensure that sheer chaos results from playing it.
    • In "The Car", Gumball is told to build a Rube Goldberg Device in order to launch a projectile into the air using anything found in the trash. The projectile in question is a bowling ball, and when it finally fires off, it malfunctions and launches right at Gumball's face. Right before it hits him, Darwin pauses the moment like a VCR (complete with line of static and jumpy tracking) to point out that the card says that Gumball can't use his hands to block, leading to him getting his face smashed in.
  • Carnivore Confusion: All of the food and everything else in Elmore sentient, can talk, and some of it doesn't like being eaten. Anthropomorphic folk will sometimes eat the not-humanlike (but still sentient) version of their own kind. Sometimes the anthropomorphic folks even other anthropomorphic folk—a poster in the background of Elmore Middle School listing rules includes not eating other students.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Most of the characters don't even share the same art style.
  • Cats Are Mean: Naturally not the case, since Gumball and his mother are cats.
    • Though she does have quite a temper, while Gumball tends to be quite selfish and judgemental.
      • Justified considering the personalities of her husband and sons.
  • Cats Hate Water: Averted with Gumball, judging by how long he took his shower in one episode.
  • Character Blog: Richard's Twitter account, and Anais' Flickr account.
  • Cheated Angle: The Wattersons always have their faces in view, no matter which way their bodies are facing. Darwin's whole body is always in .
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Tobias' sister Rachel hasn't appeared since season 1, due to Ben Bocquelet and other members of the production staff not liking her.
  • City of Weirdos: Elmore is basically a city where some completely useless thing like a paper hat, is alive and can have children with Mount Rushmore and everything will be okay. It's just Tuesday for Elmore.
  • Conspicuous CG: The CG itself isn't any more out of place than anything else, but occasionally it will be out of sync with the 2D objects or characters. For instance, in "The Poltergeist" Mrs. Robinson put something in the mailbox and while her hands moved and a sound was made the mailbox stayed closed.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Occasionally happens through-out the series, usually when a character moves something amongst a series of things that were put in the background.
  • Crapsaccharine World: For a series which takes place in a brightly coloured, whimsical world were anything can happen, the humour is surprisingly rather cynical most of the time, with a hefty amount of Black Comedy thrown in.
  • Deranged Animation: Anything in Elmore can come to life and conventional wisdom has been thrown out the window.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: There's one in the show's logo.
  • Everything Talks: A central premise of Gumball's universe. Everything is alive and sentient, as seen in "The World".
  • Everybody Owns A Ford: Mid-1980's to 1991 Crown Victorias, to be exact.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: In every flashback, even the year book, all the adults in Elmore no matter what age all seemed to have attended Middle School around the same time.
    • In "The Wand", Mr. Robinson is at Elmore Jr. High despite being way older than Richard.
      • Even weirder is the old man that's purple and has antlers also was in the same year as Richard.
    • In "The Gi" Nicole went to the same school, revealing Mr. Small, Mr. Fitzgerald, and others went to the same school.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Elmore Stream
    • There's also JUNK
    • Seemingly everyone in Elmore Junior High is on ElmorePlus; ironic given its namesake does allow anyone under the age of 18.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Cuddles, Penny's pet tarantula.
  • Gang Of Bullies: Anton and Jamie are members of Tina's gang, whether they want to be or not.
  • Genius Loci: "The World" shows that the Earth is alive. The stars and planets are as well.
  • Gender Equals Breed: Inverted. Gumball's parents are a female cat and a male rabbit. He's a male cat, and his sister is a female rabbit.
  • Gonk: Many of the live-action and CGI characters.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Gumball and Darwin seems to be locked in an everlasting battle to out-ham one another.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title is "The [noun]", except the holiday specials.
  • Interspecies Adoption: How Darwin became a member of the Watterson family.
  • Interspecies Romance: Mr. and Mrs. Watterson, but considering in the same universe a cactus and a balloon can fall in love with each other, this isn't too unusual.
    • Also Principal Brown and Miss Simian, Gumball and Penny, and Carmen and Alan.
  • Laborious Laziness: Richard is a master of this.
  • Limited Wardrobe: All of the Wattersons have one set of day clothes and clothes that they sleep in.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The character page on the official site already lists 30 different named characters. And that's not even the entire cast � there are also a sauropod named Molly and a chin puppet named Sussie, the latter of whom even appears in the intro.
  • Medium Blending: The Trope Codifier. I mean, just look at the page image.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Almost every trailer for the show had complete original scenes and were never in the actual episodes.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Gumball ends up naked fairly often.
  • Never Say "Die": Originally subverted then played straight with Carrie. First, she was said to be a dead girl, both in the show and Word of God. The Halloween special retcons this to say that Carrie was born a ghost, and this is actually pivotal to the plot, as it explains why Carrie is not bound to face the limitation other ghosts have, such as being forced to live in the Underworld. Of course, the Halloween special also subverts this trope, since the other ghosts, who are all dragged to the Underworld in the end, would logically be dead people.
  • No Theme Tune: It has an Instrumental Theme Tune actually, but in the U.S. it was only aired for the sneak peek.
  • Non Humans Lack Attributes: Averted with Gumball, who's body is pixellated when he doesn't wear clothes, but played straight with a lot of other characters who don't wear clothes at all.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: While most characters are drawn with a flat, stylized look, there are also quite a few that run the gamut from paper cutouts to photo-realistic dinosaurs.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Happens every once in a while, often British voice actors lose their American tongue for a second.
    • In the "The Robot" when Bobert says "How you talk" it sounds astonishingly British, which doesn't make a lot of sense seeing as how the character he's impersonating doesn't have a British voice actor.
    • Nicole, in some scenes where she's talking calmly and smoothly.
  • Out of Order: Word of God has stated as such, and also said it's why they're not doing any multi-part episodes.
  • Pac-Man Fever: Video games seen at various points all have very 8/16-bit looking graphics. This trope is possibly lampshaded by how "The Refund" has Gumball trying to put what looks like an SNES cartridge into the disc drive of a console that looks like an Xbox 360 (with the controllers of an SNES) before realizing there's something wrong.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: Played straight and inverted. Nicole is a slightly lighter shade of blue than Gumball, but Anais is a slightly darker shade of pink than Richard.
  • Picky Eater: When Carrie takes over Gumball's body and starts binge-eating everything in sight, she takes a moment to remove the pickle slice from a hamburger before devouring the whole combo meal.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Anais and Gumball. Inverted with Richard and Nicole. This even stays true when their genders are momentarily reversed in "The Job".
  • Pixellation: When Gumball is naked, he gets this. What's extra funny is that in some frames they missed applying it, and as you might expect there isn't anything to cover.
  • Quarter Hour Short/Two Shorts: A somewhat odd case, as while several of the first episodes were aired as Two Shorts, both new, it's then changed to a new Quarter Hour Short and a rerun played subsequently with one opening and ending between them, then close to the end of the the first season they switched the new and old episode around. Or two different quarter-hours rerun. Which confuses the heck out of most DVRs since it thinks that it's a new episode every time just because those two episodes haven't been paired before. For season three, each new quarter-hour episode shares a half-hour slot with Clarence.
  • Quote Mine: Seen in one of the show's trailers, where Gumball stitches together quotes from several of his friends and family members:
    Ms. Simian: GUMBALL!!
    Carrie: ...is the most...
    Anais: Amazing!
    Darwin: DUDE!
    Nicole: I don't have time...
    Richard: ...to say all the good things...
    Mr. Small: ...abooooout...
    Banana Joe: ...this!
    Anais: Amazing!
    Darwin: DUDE!
  • Retro Universe: Most of the appliances have a very 70's/80's aesthetic but there are still DVD players, a YouTube equivalent, and in "The Refund," Darwin says this:
    Darwin: Why is [this store] called [the Ripley] 2000 anyway? It's not like it's the future anymore!
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: The majority of the show's scenery starts as live-action photograph, but with filters and some objects drawn to make them clash with the characters less.
  • Running Gag:
    • Characters smashing through the school's windows is a common occurrence throughout the series, happening in "The Mystery", "The Sock" and "The Bet".
    • In the second season, Darwin bluntly but cheerfully (or sometimes snidely) pointing out Gumball's personality faults - usually at inappropriate times - often getting hit by something immediately after.
  • Series Continuity Error: The Halloween special explains Carrie was born a Ghost. Her first appearance in the series, however, makes clear she used to be alive.
  • Ship Tease: Hoo, boy, where do we start?
    • The most prominent one, Gumball/Penny, especially in "The Party", "The Pressure" and "The GI". He has also several small ship teases with various female classmates (Carrie, Carmen, Tina etc)
    • Darwin has some too, with Masami ("The Pressure"), Rachel ("The Party") and Carrie ("The Halloween")
    • Gumball and Darwin have actually tons of it.
    • Bobert and Tina in "The Bet".
    • Tobias flirts with several female characters in "The Tape", (Carrie, Masami and Sarah).
    • Averted with Penny and Leslie. They're actually cousins.
    • Carmen and Alan, though they're pretty much official.
  • Show Within a Show: The Daisy the Donkey Show.
  • Slapstick Knows no Gender: Gradually comes into effect over the course of the series. Early on the physical comedy was far more often toward the male cast, with Nicole and Ms. Simian being the occasional exception. Around the second season, slapstick becomes more likely to be applied to anyone. Sarah and Teri seems especially prone to this—within the first couple episode of season three, both have been maimed, melted, burned, or partially eaten.
  • Snap Back: Deconstructed and subverted in "The Finale." It starts off as a Clip Show, but as the Wattersons begin to reminisce, the various people come to them and demand restitution for all the damage they've done to them and the town. After failing to make amends to the townspeople and having to escape jail, they decide to only way to get their happy ending is to take their destructive habits Upto Eleven and cause more trouble than ever before. This ends up causing the entire town to form an angry mob and corner them in their home and Gumball proclaims that the only way out of this is "some magical device that resets everything" right as the episode ends. It's the credits.
  • Status Quo Is God: Lampshaded in "The Finale", in which the credits are a magic reality-resetting device.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Penny is a female peanut with antlers. You know, a doe-nut.
    • Darwin is a fish with legs.
    • Ocho, who looks like a ship from Space Invaders, has a mother that is a giant flying vehicle. She's a mothership.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Generally inverted. Lots of male characters have feminine features (particularly Darwin, who also has a very feminine voice), while lots of female characters don't have any (Nicole is a full-grown woman and has a completely flat chest).
    • Lampshaded at the end of "The Coach".
  • There Are No Therapists: Double Subverted thanks to adults being useless- the school's counselor Mr. Small is a recurring character, but he almost always makes things much worse.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Carmen and Alan; she's easily twice his size. To a lesser degree, Gumball and Penny, who's about one and a half times as tall as him.
  • The "The" Title: Used to title the episodes.
  • Two-Teacher School: Elmore Junior High only has a principal, one teacher, one guidance councilor, later on a nurse and a coach, and one guy who does everything else. This is subtly lampshaded in "The Bet", when it's implied Bobert preventing Brown, Simian, and Small from doing their jobs cancelled school because they were literally the entire faculty.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Nicole and Richard.
  • Unmoving Plaid: Mr. Small's rainbow-patterned shirt.
  • Unnamed Parent: Oddly, Gumball's parents aren't this in the actual show (they're referred to as Nicole and Richard), but both the credits and website only call them Mom/Mum and Dad. One of the writers joked that Gumball is the one who made the credits.
  • Vocal Evolution: Gumball and Darwin's voices both got deeper in Season 2, especially Gumball's (whose delivery also got a little more relaxed). For that reason, both will be re-cast in Season 3.
  • The Voiceless: Penny's Mom.
  • Voice Of Dramatic: Parodied in one of the show's commercials, where Darwin adopts a deep, dramatic voice to narrate the commercial in the style of a movie trailer.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Richard is the wacky parent to Anais' serious child.
  • We All Live in America: The show's writers and most of the cast are British, while animation is done in London, Germany, and (in the first season) Ireland. Although any connection Elmore has to real life geography is tenuous at best, they deliberately try to make the setting America-like because the show is made with American audiences in mind. This is rarely obvious, but some bits of British English and other culturally specific bits slip by:
    • Cars are sometimes shown driving on the lane to the driver's left instead of the right.
    • In "The End", Richard sees there are a bunch of people in front of them at the checkout and shouts "Queue!", but the more common term in America is "line".
    • In "The Laziest", a digital clock on a car radio uses a period instead of a colon, something usually only done in Germany.
    • In "The Curse", a door in the Watterson's house is labelled "W.C." for water closet, rather than bathroom.
    • In "The Car", a European fire siren can be heard during the scene where the Watterson house is on fire.
    • In an Easter Egg in "The Remote", a sign states that there shall be "No Kung-Fu fighting in the Car Park", rather than "Parking Garage/Lot".
    • A bank statement shown in "The Treasure" list dates as [day]/[number], instead of the other way around.
    • Nicole and Granny Jojo have an argument in "The Authority" about which way to look first before crossing the road. Granny Jojo says you see the closer oncoming cars first by looking to your right, which is only true with left-handed traffic.
    • In "The Tag", Richard gets out a bag of Nacho Crisps, as opposed to chips.
    • In "The Coach", a stammering Gumball's subtitle reads "apologised". Likewise captioned bird speak in "The Extras" uses "realise".
    • In "The Joy", a clock shown throughout the episode uses a twenty-four hour clock, something more common in the UK and Germany than the US, but still uses "AM" and "PM" on top of that.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Most of the jobs around Elmore done by one of four people: Larry (cashier or clerk), Rocky (stuff at school), a blue thing named Pantsbully (construction), or a elderly, pink muffin lady (interviews for jobs and product testing).
    • Lampshaded in "The Finale" when Larry says that any time he so much as looks at a Watterson something terrible happens, and that's why he goes through so many jobs.
  • World of Weirdness: The town of Elmore, where anything can (and will) come to life or spontaneously evolve from pet to family member. Not to mention the wackiness that happens from day to day.

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