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 and another twenty-episode third season shortly after the second season premiere, bringing its total to 29 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.It also has its own wiki.
The Amazing World of Gumball provides examples of:
Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Gumball does this with his head, ears, and torso in "The Virus" while also making his legs retract in and out of his body. Subverted in that he had to go to the nurse's office afterwards to see if his body was okay.
Nurse: Well, your heart's in your stomach and you'll be breathing out of your arm for a while but apart from that you're hunky-dory.
Abuse Mistake: In "The Fight", Gumball gets a black eye from running into a door, which Anais assumes is from Tina Rex bullying him.
Between Gumball and Penny in "The Party" and "The Pressure". Principal Brown and Miss Simian have one in "The Party" as well.
Principal Brown and Miss Simian have one of these again in "The Sock" before being interrupted by Gumball.
In "The Skull" Miss Simian almost kisses Principal Brown who freaks out and jumps out the window, since it's not really Principal Brown but Clayton having shapeshifted into him.
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.
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.
And I Must Scream: In "The Game", Anais is frozen in place through the results of picking up a dodj card from the board game. Darwin, panicking, then makes his point of the dangers of the game by stating that if all the Wattersons were to get trapped by a dodj in a similar fashion without finishing the game, they would remain stuck forever.
Animation Bump: The animation of Hector on the rampage in "The Colossus" approaches Disney quality.
Animesque: The Wattersons' facial expressions seem to invoke this.
Apocalypse How: Richard getting a job nearly causes the destruction of the universe!
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.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "The Internet" when trying to talk Gumball out of deleting him, the Internet screams "Think of what the world would be losing! Think of the educational content! Think of the freedom of speech (except for the 2/3 of the world that don't have it)! THINK OF THE KITTENS!
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 squares rather than their usual character models.
Background example: In contrast to the show's usual live action backdrops, the tennis match in the second half of "The Sweaters" (which takes place in a different school) is fully animated in the same style as the human characters — right down to the sky.
In "Christmas" Santa's Reindeer and Sleigh are 2D while on the ground, but CGI while flying.
Artifact of Doom: The game "Dodj or Daar" can warp reality for the players. Such as causing a player to literally be unable to stand on the floor due to it being "lava", or having two players do whatever the other's left arm is doing, or even cause the player's to be unable to breathe until it ends.
Badass Boast: "If you throw that doll out the window then you'll unleash the full fury of my terrifying anger. Mountains will shake! Cities will crumble! The skies will be ripped apart and the meteor of my wrath will grind you into DUST!" Didn't work.
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.
Badass Mustache: Richard instantly grows one in "The Refund" after offering help to Gumball and Darwin to get a refund. After the store alarm goes on, he instantly loses it.
Bad Bad Acting: Seen when Darwin and Gumball produce their own version of "Alligators on a Train" to try and fool the DVD store owner. It doesn't work, because not only are they bad actors, the "movie" only lasts about 5 seconds, they're filming it with one camera while fighting cardboard alligators, and only put their own names in the credits.
Darwin: I TOLD you we should have put some other people's names in there!
Batman Gambit: In a surprising show of intelligence for someone usually Too Dumb to Live, Richard pulls a skillful Batman Gambit on Gumball and Darwin in "The Laziest" to get them forced to do the chores Nicole tries to get him to do.
Be Yourself: The moral of "The Gi". Nicole becomes concerned when Gumball and Darwin want to wear their karate outfits to school, oblivious to the teasing of their peers, but she decides to let them do it after Penny sticks up for Gumball and praises him for being himself. Just like she did for Richard when they were kids and he wore a superhero cape to school everyday
Darwin after Gumballoopseggwobbleunderpant from Gumballnowigbattle-axeninja's head pops.
When her doll is thrown off the bus, Anais gives a big no and several smaller 'no's.
Richard (again) in "The Painting", after being told to get a job. Doesn't even finish before the scene transition. You think he's going to stop after awhile because his voice starts to trail off, but then he just goes back into it.
Gumball, Darwin, and Anais start yelling a very loud no after Richard (working as a pizza guy) presses the doorbell to deliver pizza in "The Job."
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.
Bland-Name Product: Averted by the photographic backgrounds in "The Spoon". Though the logos on the brand name products are obscured, British viewers should recognise some of the brands.
As the title suggests, "The Finale" was written as a Grand Finale in case the series wouldn't make it to the third season. A third season was announced several months before the airing of the episode so ends up being Hilarious in Hindsight given the Negative Continuity lampshading running through that episode will itself also be undone.
Bond One-Liner: Richard gives three at the end of "The Ape", each time followed by a short laugh by the family and Nicole admonishing him because Ms. Simian could be seriously hurt.
In "The Flower" Jealous!Gumball gives four, the first three coming out badly after which he gives up and says a better one later.
Bowdlerise: Like many Cartoon Network shows, numerous scenes were cut or shorted in the CN Asia or Australian airing. Also, in "The Skull" an entire sequence is left out in the American airing involving Gumball, Darwin, and Clayton electrocuting each other which rendered the episode completely confusing due to unexplained decisions based on it.
British English: In an Easter Egg, a sign in the Parking Garage states that there shall be "No Kung-Fu fighting in the Car Park", however most people who learn American English would probably stumble a bit as "Car Park" is the British/Australian/New Zealand term for "Parking Garage/Parking Lot."
In "The Tag", Richard gets out a bag of Nacho Crisps as opposed to chips.
In "The Knights", Gumball accidentally snaps the rear view mirror on Mr. Fitzgerald's car off by leaning on it. At the end of the episode Mr. Fitzgerald swerves his car to avoid hitting Penny, but then come so close to hitting Tobias that the same mirror glances his head and again falls off.
In "The Job", early on Richard mentions cutting strips out of the pizza, eating them, then sticking the rest of the pizza together. At the end, this finally gives Larry a reason to fire him, thus saving the universe.
Mid-way through "The World", a soda can is offended by Darwin throwing him away and swears revenge. Near the end of the episode we see Darwin in a grocery store and the same can shows up on a stack (apparently having been recycled) and brings the whole thing down on Darwin.
Call Back: The picture of Darwin trying to kiss Gumball on the roller-coaster from "The Dress" can be seen framed on the wall in "The Curse".
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.
In one of his first appearances Anton, a living piece of toast, is seen eats sandwiches. Lampshaded when he is then devoured by birds in that same scene.
The donut cop in "The Spoon" tries to eat a donut, and in "The Ghost" a Carrie-possessed Gumball tries to eat him. She also interrupts Anton's sandwich-eating.
When Gumball tries to pass an "I love you" to Penny off as "I love peanuts" in "The Meddler", she says that's like if she said she likes to eat cats.
A poster in the background of Elmore Middle School listing rules includes not eating other students.
In "The Flower", Leslie tries to convince Penny that by eating vegetables, she's a traitor to plantkind, and should become a carnivore instead.
In "The Bumpkin", Idaho (a potato) asks Richard what the french fries he's about to eat are. When Richard asks, Idaho confirms he is a potato, so Richard changes the subject. Later Idaho begins to eat french fries when he parties with Gumball.
All the food (and everything else) is sentient and talks, and "The World" shows that some of it really doesn't want to be eaten.
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.
Clip Show: The start of "The Finale," in which the Wattersons, in amusingly forced nostalgia, reminisce on past episodes and lampshade the aesthetic changes between seasons, some of their more absurd experiences, and the Negative Continuity inherent in the show's nature. The latter quickly comes back to bite them, though, when all of Elmore catches up with the damages they've done to the town and its residents and seeks justice on them for the rest of the episode.
Clueless Mystery: Partially in "The Mystery". When Principal Brown is found shaved, painted green, wrapped in toilet paper and stuffed into Gumball's locker the culprit is not made clear to the audience at all. However, there are a few hints and some foreshadowing threaded throughout the episode that play a role into the conclusion.
Colossus Climb: Gumball has to do this to get to Hector's ear and play a tune that will put him to sleep and stop his rampage during "The Colossus".
Comedic Sociopathy: Gumball and Darwin destroy Lawrence's life in "The Laziest" just to get him to turn back to Lazy Larry in hopes he'll out-lazy Richard.
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.
In "The Phone", the cement bricks on the House are clearly not the same shade as the ones Gumball and Darwin are shaping up and placing down after Ocho destroys the top half.
In "The Fridge" we see Gumball is incapable of playing a triangle—or even hitting it. In "The Apology" a quick look at Gumball's report card show that his grades vary from moderately above to moderately below average, except for music where he has one F and three F Minuses.
Two of ElmorePlus comments in "The Voice" reference previous episodes: Penny's says she's seeing a doctor about her blueberry allergy (we saw her have an allergic reaction when Gumball made her eat a blueberry cupcake in "The Dream") while Hector mentions his hamster isn't eating (in "The Colossus" we saw Hector hasn't figured out his hamster is dead).
Cut Himself Shaving: Subverted in "The Fight." Gumball gets a black eye from running into a door, but when he tells his family they think he's doing this to hide the fact he's being bullied by Tina (though she was chasing him at the time).
Deranged Animation: Anything in Elmore can come to life and conventional wisdom has been thrown out the window.
In the second season episode "The Fridge", Nicole puts war paint on her face. The way she does it covers her whiskers, making them look longer, and thus more like they did in her character model before it was redesigned for the second season.
In "The Storm", Masami has a crush on Alan. In the pilot, they're a couple.
Digital Piracy Is Evil: Invoked in "The DVD", with Darwin giving the whole "You wouldn't steal a car/purse/cell phone" speech.
Dissonant Serenity: A momentary example combined with Stepford Smiler, being Played for Laughs when Gumball and Darwin are lost in a forest. Gumball suggests they watch the stars to find their way, pointing out that the sun is a star. They both stare at the sun for a moment, before turning around to reveal their eyes are on fire.
Darwin:*Still smiling* "There are no words to express the amount of pain I feel right now."
Gumball: "Sure there are." *Both start screaming in pain.*
Diving Save: Double Subverted in "The Debt": we get a Slow No of Gumball trying to push Mr. Robinson out of the way of a falling stage light but Gumball's jump falls short and the light is stopped just above Mr. Robinson by its own power cord, but after he refuses to get out of the way Gumball successfully pushes him out from under the light which does fall.
At the beginning of "The Third", Gumball and Darwin's discussion about having a 'third best friend' is strongly suggestive of the stereotypical conversation between partners about trying polyamory... a conversation at the end sounds like a couple's rejecting it.
Dream Walker: In "The Dream", Gumball and Darwin go into their own dreams by wearing a Tin Foil Hat that supossedly forms a connection between their two heads.
Droste Image: One in "The Phone" of Darwin coming out of an envelope, opening his mouth to reveal another envelope with another Darwin.
Dude, Not Funny!:invokedPlayed with. When Miss Simian drives over an unfinished bridge, Richard tries to cut a lighthearted Bond One-Liner and Gumball, Anais, and Darwin all chuckle along. Then Nicole reminds them that she might be seriously injured...which leads to Richard cutting another joke...and then Nicole telling them to stop again...and then another one.
Epic Fail: After twice demonstrating his inability to catch objects, Gumball fails to not catch one he's getting chased for carrying.
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.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In "The Gi" Nicole sees Gumball and Darwin watching an online video posted of them "practicing" (for lack of a better term) their karate. When she asks who posted it, Gumball replies "Some kids at school did". When a close up of the screen appears, the user account is "SomeKidsAtSchool".
Explosive Instrumentation: When Gumball goes down a hill too fast he catches on fire, and the radar gun a police officer uses on him also catches on fire.
For Doom the Bell Tolls: Invoked in "The Helmet". After Nicole, Richard, and Gumball first start arguing over the hat, Anais smells trouble brewing and bangs a pot like a gong saying it was "the sound of doom for the Wattersons".
Forgot About His Powers: In "The Pressure", Masami keeps chasing after Darwin, who decides to hide from her in the swimming pool... by holding his breath.
Friction Burn: The series gives us an example where Gumball is trying to start a fire through the friction & stick method. He ends up setting his hands on fire, and while he's running around screaming in pain, the wood he was trying to ignite catches on fire a few moments later.
He also caught on fire from air friction when going down a hill to fast, while the friction with the ground tore the bike apart.
This happens to Gumball at the beginning of "The Curse" when he slips on a bar of soap while taking a shower.
Penny's pet tarantula, Mr. Cuddles was accidentally flushed down the toilet by her father in "The Date". However, it's subverted as he hid under the toilet seat, and Gumball finds it and returns it to Penny, but not before getting bitten multiple times in the process.
Darwin and Gumball flush themselves down a toilet in "The Secret" to escape from the boys bathroom in school when they're locked in. They return home through a pipe leading to their toilet at the end of the episode.
Gag Censor: In "The Colossus", When Gumball and Darwin visit Hector's room, Gumball discovers a "Captain Punch" comic, the following scene is a sequence where all the violent scenes and dialogues from the comic has been edited to be more friendly.
Gang Of Bullies: Anton and Jamie are members of Tina's gang, whether they want to be or not.
Gasshole: The Panda from "How to Ratatwang Your Panda".
Genius Loci: "The World" shows that the Earth is alive.
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.
Genre Blindness: In "The Storm", when Alan is in danger as Masami becomes Yandere and literally becomes a living tornado which abducts him, Carmen tells Gumball to save him but only for Penny to stop him and decides to do it herself because Gumball made Alan and Carmen's relationship complicated despite him trying to fix it. But because she is not the protagonist nor the character focus of the episode which are Alan and Carmen, she gets hurt for her effort and changes her mind for Gumball to do his part.
Genre Savvy: In "The Sweaters", new student Sarah thinks that Gumball and Darwin are "hardcore" because of all the wild stories she heard about them. While they are tempted to lie and accept that title, they quickly refuse because they know something will go wrong if they lie. True enough, the rest of the episode is spent with students from Sarah's old school trying prove that they're not hardcore, much to the two's total indifference.
Earlier, in "The Photo", when nothing has gone wrong with trying to make Gumball more photogenic, the duo immediately assumes someone is out to sabotage the photo, and they're right (though they don't know who).
Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: When Gumball and Darwin have to spend spring break in detention for cheating in "The Lesson", they have break a number of rules to bribe the other students into not beating them up. By the end the two double cross one of the other inmates to escape ("Well played." "I learned from the best.") and Gumball says the lesson he learned was "never get caught".
Hat of Power: A tinfoil hat that gives the wearer good luck in "The Helmet".
Here We Go Again: The endings of "The Kiss" note Gumball gets traumatized once more by one of Grandma Jojo's kisses after spending the whole episode trying to snap out of it., "The Refund"note The store manager has cheated the Waterson's out of a lot of money again, and they're ready to try to get that money back., "The Robot"note Bobert failed to steal Gumball's identity, so he's just going to try and take Darwin's., and "The Picnic"note Gumball and Darwin reach the picnic site and get something to eat (trash), but then get left behind by the rest of the class again and still don't know which way to follow.
Heroic BSOD: Gumball has one when Grandma Jojo kisses him on the lips by accident.
Not nearly as bad as Gumball's example, but in the same episode, Anais spends the whole episode (the entire weekend) trying to push Granny Jojo's heavy luggage up the stairs to her room. When she finally makes it, she proudly announces it to Granny Jojo, who tells her "That's nice dear, now bring it back down stairs. The bus will be here soon." The screen turns red and the camera slowly pans in on Anais' shocked face. You could just feel the despair in her eyes bleeding out.
Hilariously Abusive Childhood: In "The Fridge", Nicole decides she needs to get Gumball to a "winner". Her methods include making him carry her (who is several time his size) up a flight of stairs on his back, abandoning him on a desert road to walk home, and having him hold up a metal golf club stand on their roof in a lightning storm.
As evident by the name, Gumball climbing Hector in "The Colossus" is an homage to Shadow of the Colossus including climbing to a giant's weakspot by grabbing their fur and the way Hector falls over when he goes to sleep.
From that same episode, the design of Hector's mother is an homage to Yubaba from Spirited Away.
When Gumball and Darwin are temporarily turned into ghost during "Halloween", they try to possess Tina Rex. Their difficulties in controlling her body—having to manually operate her limbs—mirror the gameplay of QWOP.
When Gumball is being controlled by Carrie, the scene is very similar to the music video for The Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up."
In one portion of "The Tape," Darwin attempts to make his and Gumball's tape more serious by showing time-lapse shots of nature and the movement of people and cars to music similar to that of Philip Glass while narrating and presenting "science" in a Saganesque style.
The first skit in "The World" after the intro jingle has the Sun, Moon, and Earth parody the intro to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Hypocritical Humor: In "The Responsible", Gumball and Darwin violently smash the TV (and somehow manage to set it on fire) so that Anais won't be subject to the violence on TV.
In "The DVD", Darwin keeps telling Gumball he should "tell the truth and face the consequences of [their] actions" when they accidentally break the DVD, but Gumball keeps saying no. However, later in the episode, Gumball tells Darwin the same thing, and Darwin punches him in the arm.
"The Finale": A troll lady comes to present Mr. Watterson's dad with a bill, and he says he's surprised he was actually held responsible. She asks if he thinks he lives in a fairy tale, right before hopping on her broom and vanishing into the sky.
I Meant to Do That: At the end of "The Microwave" Gumball is knocked into the valve for the hose Kenneth swallowed, and when this saves everyone he pretends it was his idea.
I Owe You My Life: "The Debt", where Mr. Robinson "saves" Gumball (stops his slow-moving car when Gumball was too busy panicking to get out of its path) and Gumball decides he has to save Mr. Robinson in return, nearly killing him several times. Given Gumball had just shown to be a rather dedicated fan of Mr. Robinson, the whole thing may have just been an excuse to follow him around.
I Surrender, Suckers: Nicole tries to shoot Gumball in the back at the end of the family Paintball game in "The Fridge". Gumball could hear her reloading behind his back and shoots her anyway.
In "The Picnic" Gumball reasons that, because everything (including food) is made up "circles with circles around them" (atoms), a rock is the same as a chicken nugget.
In "The Meddler" Gumball reasons that by joining the cheerleading squad, he'll impress Penny with his masculinity and out preform her in the competition to make her love him.
The doughnut officer looks at something disturbing or a suspected crime scene, then at something else that looks dangerous, then at the only person conscious and treats them with unreasonable hostility. Despite having no knowledge of anything or no evidence.
In "The Spoon" he looks at a knocked out Darwin and Gumball, then Nicole, then a sausage and assumes she hurt them.
In "The Sock" he looks at Gumball and Darwin, then the filing cabinet, then a phone, and assumes they're responsible.
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.
It Came from the Fridge: The monster from "The Microwave" originated when a bunch of gross stuff Gumball put in a jar was put in the microwave.
It's All My Fault: Subverted in "The Responsible". Gumball decides to take the rap for flooding the house, but when he sees the fire in his mom's eyes, he shifts the blame to Darwin. After they quarrel, Richard eventually decides to blame it on the Internet, to which everyone agrees.
Anais admits to filling in Darwin's aptitude test in "The Genius".
It Was Here, I Swear: In "The Job" after Richard gets a job Nicole has a bad feeling about it and starts seeing things. Anais (and possibly the viewers) think this is all in her head at first, but then this strange phenomena is reported on the news and everyone can see it.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Played with in "The Prank". Gumball and Darwin almost get their father killed in the severity of their pranks, who in turn almost kills them.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "The Castle" Darwin points out that Gumball's voice has changed, referencing his actor's voice breaking.
Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded, as Gumball is especially distressed to find out his sweater came from a sewage pit because "I wear this all the time."
In "The Job" Anais present the fact that the family are wearing the exact same clothes they were wearing last year as evidence that really need Richard to hold down a job.
Line-of-Sight Name: Gumball tries this in "The Dress". What are the first things he sees? Someone chewing gum, and a ball. Which he quickly amends with "oops�egg�wobble�underpants." And then when he's asked where he's from, he sees gum and a bald head... and then "no, wig, battle-axe ninja!" His classmates ended up interpreting the whole thing as "Gumballoupseggwobbleunderpant from Gumballnowigbattle-axeninja".
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.
Locked In The Bathroom: In one episode, Gumball and Darwin literally get locked in the school bathroom. They decide to tell each other a secret they'd been keeping, but they're rescued by the janitor before Dawin can tell his. Gumball spends the rest of the episode being driven crazy by not knowing the secret, until Darwin tells him that he was only going to tell him because it looked like they were going to die. So, Gumball locks them in the bathroom again, only to find out that the secret Darwin had been keeping was that he didn't like some food Gumball made. They get out this time by flushing themselves down the toilet, arguing the whole way, finally ending by angrily yelling that they love each other.
Logic Bomb: In "The Bet", Gumball tells Bobert (who is a robot) to divide by zero, resulting Bobert having a massive computerized freak-out.
Made of Explodium: In "The Watch" Richard assumes a pair of electric scooters will explode when they crash into each other. They're so slow that when they go right into each other they stop without either being damaged... then explode a second later anyway.
Magic Skirt: In "The Poltergeist" Nicole spends a good part of the episode hanging upside down in one of the traps Richard has set for "the ghost". Her gray pleated skirt doesn't move an inch.
Major Injury Underreaction: At the end of "The Prank", Richard rather nonchalantly mentions that he broke five ribs pretending to go on a rampage.
In "The Mystery", when seeking out whom to accuse of stuffing the principal in his locker, a spotlight shines on whoever is being accused. When he tries to accuse Rocky, the spotlight doesn't come on at first. Gumball then looks offscreen and says "I said him!"
Mistaken for Cheating: "The Plan": Gumball, Darwin, and Anais find what appears to be a love letter to Nicole from "Daniel Lennard," spend the whole episode drawing up an elaborate plan to stop "him," and find out in the end that "he" is actually a cosmetics brand.
Mr. Seahorse: While disguised in the dress in "The Dress", Gumball has an imagine spot about Darwin marrying him (because Darwin doesn't realize he's just Gumball in a dress). In the Imagine Spot, Gumball is surrounded by cat/fish babies as Darwin comes home and yells "I WANT MORE KIDS!"
Missing Trailer Scene: Almost every trailer for the show had complete original scenes and were never in the actual episodes.
Mythology Gag: When we see Gumball's Elmore Plus account in "The Colossus", the photos and video seen in the corner are the same ones featured on Anais' flickr account and the ElmoreStream Youtube videos.
Nails on a Blackboard: Used in "The Kiss" as part of a regimen to make the trauma of kissing his grandmother on the lips not seem so bad.
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 Ontological Inertia: Exaggerated in "The Flower", as when a spirit of his concentrated jealously is rampaging, Gumball ceasing to be jealous makes the shockwave from an explosion it caused freeze in midair and disappear.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Nicole does this to Tina's father at the end of "The Fight". She completely demolished his house in the process. Note that he is (presumably) a T-Rex whose eyes were shown to each be larger than Nicole's entire body.
Noble Shoplifter: Convinced that the impending solar eclipse will cause the end of the world, Gumball, Darwin, and Richard raid the local grocery store for supplies... with every intention of paying, of course, but the lines are obscene and the self-checkout refuses to behave. In the end, they charge out the door with a cart full of groceries and throw a fistful of money in the pursuing security guard's face.
The episode "The Game" later confirms this when Gumball unearths the skeleton of "Darwin I" underneath his bed.
Not a Date: Inverted in "The Date". Penny invites Gumball to her house and he thinks it's a date because he was too lovestruck to hear everything she said; it really wasn't one, it was a funeral for her pet tarantula.
Not Now, Kiddo: Anais spends most of "The Painting" trying to tell everyone that she doesn't think there's anything wrong with her family but Principal Brown and her mother won't let her talk.
"Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Referenced in "The Responsible". Richard had to go to the parent-teacher conference without pants (because he can't find a pair that fits) and says he feels like he's in "one of those dreams. The ones where you go to school naked."
Played straight in "The Dream", where Gumball and Darwin dream that they are naked in the mall. They try making everyone else naked, but they find it just as embarrassing.
Nuclear Option: Mirrored, in "The Robot" when Bobert nukes Gumball despite being the exact opposite of a 'last resort.'
Organ Autonomy: Gumball's brain leaves his head when he tries reading a book in "The Genius."
Orphaned Punchline: At the beginning of "The Date" Richard finishes telling the family a story referencing the urban legend of mixing Pop Rocks and soda. His appearance at that point suggests he attempted it and the mixture blew up in his face.
Out of Character: Nicole in the episode "The Fridge" is a cruel character who abandons Gumball in a desert, attempts to electrocute him during a storm, persuades him to fight an elderly woman, forces him to carry her up stairs, and has him walking around in light clothing during cold weather. Its funny for a temporary episode but as a whole series, Nicole's actions are the exact opposite of what she advocates her children to do. Keep in mind this is the same character who flipped out and fought the parent of a bully because Gumball received a black eye.
Also in "The Genius", where Gumball suddenly becomes so dumb he can't operate a computer and suddenly forgets what the Internet is, despite in early episodes being able to clearly shoot a movie, edit it on the computer, and even suggest pirating a feature length film.
Darwin claims to have been a pacifist (or as he says it a pacifish) but constantly commits acts of violence and advocating to hurt something like in "The Microwave" with the monster and punching Gumball in the arm, hitting Gumball in the face with a ball over and over again and so on. Although it was to be expected, it was unlikely any character wasn't going to harm something in a show as action filled as this.
Though it's entirely possible she got another identical Daisy at some point after giving Tina the other one.
Overly-Long Gag: In "The Picnic", Gumball and Darwin spare a caterpillar only for it to be grabbed by a hawk-like monster... which are both eaten by a large monster... which is eaten by a larger monster... which is eaten by an even bigger monster than that.
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.
Panty Shot: Anais shows her underwear briefly to her brothers to emphasize she wasn't wearing any diapers in "The Responsible."
Parental Bonus: An entire episode is dedicated to Darwin and Gumball finding a third best friend. The conversation is funny to children, but absolutely side splitting to adults.
Gumball: It's only awkward if you MAKE it awkward.
Passing Notes in Class: In "The Party", the kids at school are about to attend Rachel's party, but they all have to bring a date. Gumball gets a mysterious note flown to him while in the cafeteria, saying "Will you be the jelly in my peanut butter sandwich?". It eventually turns out to be from Penny, who is literally a peanut.
Subverted in "The Mustache", when Gumball and Darwin are passing a drawing of themselves as adults and Miss Simian catches them, but decides since she's talking about puberty they're actually on-topic and continues her lecture.
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.
Prank Call: Nicole makes one in "The Game," ordering a pizza with disgusting, hard to find ingredients and having it delivered to the restaurant she's ordering from.
Prayer Is a Last Resort: Subverted in "The Apology." It looks like Ms. Simian is attending church and praying for guidance on whether it's right or wrong to frame Darwin and Gumball for vandalism. Turns out she's talking to her father('s skeleton) in the natural history museum.
Prop Recycling: A lot of the characters are rejected advertising mascots.
Pun: Darwin claims to be a "Pacifish" in "The Ghost".
Puppy-Dog Eyes: Both Anais and Gumball use this on each other when she tries to convince him to go over to Tina's house to rescue Anais' doll. Anais wins.
Tina does it later in the episode. It works.
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 since 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 now 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.
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!
Race Against the Clock: Basically, "The End" episode. Gumball, Darwin, and Richard race against the 'supposed' End of the World
Rage Breaking Point: Nicole spends most of "The Limit" being harassed by her kids and husband because she won't buy them candy, but finally gets sent pastthe limit when Richard tells the kids to just shoplift what they want.
Rapid Hair Growth: Richard is able to grow a mustache to look tough. The minute he drops the act, it recedes right back into his face.
Reality Breaking Paradox: Richard unwittingly does this in "The Job", because apparently him having a job goes against the rules of the universe.
Reality Ensues: In "The Finale", the Watersons are held accountable for all the damage they've done through the course of the series.
Released to Elsewhere: In "The Game", Gumball uncovers the skeleton of the Wattersons' first family pet, Darwin I, under his bunk bed while cleaning it in the presence of Darwin and Nicole. A confused Darwin then recalls that Gumball and Nicole previously explained his disappearance by saying that he "went to live a happier life on a farm with other fishes."
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: Certain episodes have their own running gags.
The Laziest: Characters referencing the Summer of '83, but getting interrupted by Gumball.
The Flower: Characters responding with a flat "Wow" every time something surprising happens.
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.
Sadist Show: Frequently dips into this now and then, played mostly for laughs.
"The Kiss": Gumball spends the whole episode trying to forget his grandmother kissing him on the lips. He manages to do so, but this results it the same thing happening again at the episode's end.
"The Lesson": Gumball and Darwin pull off The Great Escape from detention, but as they're limping off Principal Brown points out they're "escaping" from school, so their parents will just make them come back the next day.
"The Tape": Once Gumball and Darwin finish the tape them and a bunch of other people were working on they accidentally delete everything.
"The Plan": Gumball, Darwin, and Anais perfect their plan to protect Nicole from Daniel Lennard, only to find that Daniel Lennard is the name of a cosmetics line.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: In "The Pressure", Masami decides that Darwin is her boyfriend to impress her own friends. Darwin's attitude throughout the episode is pretty much this, even down to saying the trope name word for word.
The first-person montage when Carrie possesses Gumball is reminiscent to the music video of "Smack My Bitch Up".
Also in "The Ghost", when Gumball is possessed by Carrie, he crawls along the ceiling and then rotates his head 180 degrees, just like the baby in the detox-hallucination scene in Trainspotting
In "The Quest," the scene when Gumball accidentally wakes up Tina Rex when he finally retrieves Anais's doll Daisy bears a slight resemblance to the scene from the first The Land Before Time movie when Sharptooth wakes up as Cera charges, scaring her away.
In "The Tape", Carrie's last name is revealed to be Krueger. Her first name is probably also a reference.
As pointed out above, the cheat code Ocho uses and Gumball attempts is the Konami Code. The first time Ocho uses it, he summons a Super Mario Bros.-style item block in the air that Gumball attempts to use, only to hurt his head.
In "The Photo," Gumball turns his eyes into mouths, apparently emulating The Corinthian.
"The Internet" briefly features an edit of Gumball's video where Gumball's face is similarly Corinthian-esque.
For the ending jingle of "The World," Gumball's eyes once again briefly go Corinthian so they can join the chorus of the inanimate objects of Elmore.
Soft Water: Inverted; when Gumball jumps off a diving board into the school swimming pool, he belly flops so hard against the surface of the water that it takes a couple seconds before the surface gives way and he finally sinks.
Ocho, who looks like a ship from Space Invaders, has a mother that is a giant flying vehicle. She's a mothership.
An example applied to a Visual Pun in "The Lesson": In detention (which had been portrayed like a prison all episode) a teddy bear attacks a living cupcake by tearing off the cherry on top and crushing it between his jaws. Gumball reacted to seeing it with the line "Did you see what that bear did to that guy's cherry?" He popped his cherry. After seeing that, he are Darwin are especially sure they need to break out.
Another example with a Visual Pun is in the opening musical number of "The World": we're shown a live action silverware-holder,◊ and the center slot has a pair of spoons that are stacked a short distance apart and on their sides. This image was shown when the line "We love" was sung, because they're spooning.
Sticky Situation: Banana Joe gets into one of those after using the tube of glue Gumball pierced in "The Banana". He made numerous "sticky situation" puns until he ripped his own eye out.
"How to Ratatwang Your Panda." Contrast to the main show's Medium Blending, it is made entirley in crude CGI with very obvious animation errors. It also relies on fart jokes for humor, and the character models look straight-like they were ripped from Video Brinquedo.
The humans from "The Sweaters," who manage to stick out of the rest of the cast like sore thumbs — an impressive feat for a show with as much Medium Blending as it has. Their animation is deliberately very stiff and jerky, and their designs look like they were taken from 70s or 80s era cartoons. To make this more obvious, during their match with Gumball and Darwin the crowd members seem to be something like cardboard cutouts, with one of them falling over after being hit.
Sudden Anatomy: A particularly over-the-top example in "The Robot" has Gumball's regular cat-like ear being replaced by a gigantic human-like ear when trying to listen to something across the room.
In "The Tag," Gumball and Darwin blackmail Mr. Robinson into stopping his feud with Richard by threatening to change his clock radio to play "young people music"-followed by a snippet of a "Baby" parody, which causes Mr. Robinson to scream in agony. "HE SAID THE WORD 'BABY' OVER 17 TIMES!!!"
"The Ghost": Everytime Carrie possesses Gumball she forces him to overeat, and he wakes up the next morning with a Balloon Belly. He is back to normal by the time he's at school.
"The Laziest": When Lawrence turns back into Lazy Larry, he suddenly balloons to become as big as his couch.
"The Mustache:" Gumball, Darwin and Anais become hairy and muscular after eating a muscle-building supplement bought by Richard instead of their morning cereal.
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).
The Dog Was the Mastermind: The one sending Darwin and Gumball threats in "The Voice" turns out to be William, a character who had never said a word and barely ever appeared in the entire show before then. In fact, that's why he was after them: he didn't realize he was unable to talk, and thought they were just ignoring him.
Theme Tune Cameo: Darwin's insult song in "The Words" has a section that sounds suspiciously like the theme song.
This Is Reality: When presenting Richard with a bill for all the damage done to the town in "The Finale", Hector's mother tells him that this isn't a fairy tale, where things just magically turn out all right... just as she gets up on her Flying Broomstick.
Timmy in a Well: When Mr. Small is stuck in his file cabinet, Gumball and Darwin have to get help even though he told them not to speak anymore. They try to non-verbally get help from Principal Brown, who thinks they're saying Ms. Simian is trapped in a well, and jumps out a window to try and rescue her. When they try again with Ms. Simian she ALSO thinks they mean she's trapped in a well and likewise jumps out a window to save herself. When they try to tell Rocky he understands exactly what they mean, gives them some crowbars to help, and then jumps out the window anyway.
Also said in "The Boombox" as a sarcastic guess as to what Juke was trying to say.
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.
To a lesser extent, Gumball. When Darwin once asked him "Did she [Miss Simian] say go around or go through the Forest of Doom?"
Heck, everyone, even Anais, has had their moments at least once throughout the show.
Took a Level in Jerkass: In "The Mystery" Miss Simian makes the transition from simple Sadist Teacher to Tyrant Takes the Helm when she destroys evidence that implicates her and tries to have Gumball unjustly expelled. Another episode reveals that she was a complete Jerkass to Nicole for no reason and she pretends to be friends to Gumball and Darwin just to get an award.
Darwin in "The Words" when Gumball tries to get him to be a little more assertive, and he goes right through it and out the other side.
Tomato in the Mirror/Tomato Surprise: Both done at once in the "The Voice": we see a flashback of Gumball and Darwin talking to William where they ignore his request to be friends. At the end of the episode both William and the audience find out they ignored him because he didn't say anything—he isn't actually capable of speech because he doesn't have a mouth.
Training Montage: Gumball gives one in "The Genius" to his brain, complete with upbeat training music.
Translation: Yes: In "The DVD", Darwin says "I don't really know how to speak Chinese because it is really hard to speak and I only know a little Chinese to speak so I can't speak it." in Chinese, which is subtitled as "No."
Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Parodied in "The Tag". Richard and Mr. Robinson both seem to be doing this with identical explanations of their house arrest and blaming the other, but then:
Gumball: Dad, could you explain that again, this time using full sentences? Richard: I would love to, but I'm too busy... (camera remains on Richard) Mr. Robinson: (yelling from offscreen) Plotting my revenge!
Two-Teacher School: Elmore Junior High only has a principal, one teacher, one guidance councilor, and one guy who does everything else. This is 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.
Turn Out Like His Father: The entire thought process with Nicole in the "The Gi" was the possibilities of Gumball and Darwin turning out like Richard. Presumably fat and lazy, without a job and being laughed at by children.
Ugly Cute: In-universe, Gumball and Darwin certainly think so about Kenneth, their "son". At least before he starts growing to tremendous proportions after eating people alive.
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.
Villain Song: Parodied in the episode "The Words" with the song "No More Mr Nice Guy!" by Darwin, only for him to get cut off by Gumball slapping him in the face.
Visual Pun: "Everybody's bending over backwards for me!" Cue Mr. Small walking by, literally bent over backwards.
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.
Vocal Tag Team: Gumball and Darwin do this when singing about growing up and impersonating a rap video.
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.
Wallpaper Camouflage: Richard pulls a trick on some trick-or-treaters by making himself blend seamlessly into the front door and doorbell of his house to scare them off and drop their candy. His efforts are rewarded with nothing but raisins and granola bars.
What the Hell, Hero?: When Nicole and Anais find out that Gumball and Darwin talked about how embarrassing Richard was to their classmates, they flat out refuse to do anything else for them until they apologize.
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).
Wingding Eyes: Lampshaded. When Darwin asks Gumball why his eyes just turned into hearts, he says it's allergies.