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 (a little over two days) 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. The show is currently in its 4th season and has been renewed up to season five, which will air, according to the creators, "sometime in 2017."

A Comic Book Adaptation published by KaBOOM! Comics was announced in March 2014 and started in June of that year. It is written by Frank Gibson of Tiny Kitten Teeth with art by Tyson Hesse of Boxer Hockey. It ended after eight issues in March 2015.

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 namesnote . The exceptions are Darwin (which is normally a family name), Ocho, Juke, and Gumball. In "The Name", Gumball's name is revealed to actually be Zach. Unfortunately, he develops a psychotic split personality named, of course, Zach, so Gumball shuts him down by legally changing his name to "Gumball".
  • All There in the Manual: Darwin is Gumball's adopted brother who grew legs when he was overfed, but this was never mentioned in-show for the first season, just in promotional material. The DVD (the DVD, not the episode) also makes mention of this in the "Meet the Wattersons" feature.
    • This was later retconned by "The Origins", which explains how Darwin actually grew and got his lungs and legs. Put simply, Gumball and Darwin are connected by their souls and can feel the emotional states of each other, and Gumball's love and refusal to give up on the notion of Darwin (then a regular, if intelligent and capable of speech, goldfish) coming home after accidentally being flushed is what allowed him to go through several million years worth of evolution in the space of a few days.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
  • 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.
  • Arc Number: The number 700 frequently popped up in seasons 1 and 2, 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 store manager sells Richard, and "The Watch" where it's how much the titular watch is worth.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The designs of the 2D characters were streamlined for the second season. Now they're drawn with thicker lines, less shadows, and some of them were completely redesigned.
      • It is lampshaded by Gumball in "The Finale", where he points out that everyone looks off in their family photo with the season 1 designs.
    • The third season made more changes, though they weren't nearly as noticeable: the most notable is that the Wattersons' eyes are always circular instead of switching between circular and rectangular/ovular depending on their expression.
  • 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 or silhouettes rather than their usual character models.
  • Ascended Extra: Nearly every character outside the Watterson family is first conceived as simply a character design meant to fill up backgrounds scenes. The designs the crew end up taking a liking to ended up being expanded into actual characters.
  • 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.
  • Bowdlerise: Like many Cartoon Network shows, numerous scenes were cut or shortened in the CN Asia, Australian, Arabic, and Latin American airings. A small number of episodes have been edited in America as well, leaving the U.K. as basically the only place every episode airs unedited.
  • 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.
    • Jamie has a tail, a button nose, and a cylindrical yellow cap/hair with bull horns poking out. Her dad has no tail, no nose, and a cap/hair shaped like an upside-down golf tee with triangular horns sticking out.
    • Masami is a tiny white cloud with a simple face and limbs that only come out when she uses them. Her father is a humanoid black cloud who wears clothes and looks a lot like Raijin/Fuujin. It's possible this is more because of age difference than sex.
  • Black Comedy Burst: For a series which takes place in a brightly-colored, whimsical world were anything can happen, a lot of the humor and situations in episodes (particularly after season one) are hilarious because of how sick, cynical, or loaded with unfortunate implications they are (but not in such a way that it becomes Family Guy-esque).
  • Bland-Name Product: Mr. Robinson's car is branded as a "Marillac" (a French surname) rather than a Cadillac.
  • Bringing Running Shoes to a Car Chase: In the first issue of the comic, Richard lets Gumball and Darwin drive the family car by themselves. When they drive in front of Nicole, she runs the car down, jumps in front of it, and scares Gumball and Darwin into backing up all the way home.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit":
    • People in Elmore have a variety of strange pets, all of which are called "dogs".
    • One form of wildlife often seen around town are completely black birds. Most viewers assume they're crows, but dialogue indicates they're supposed to be pigeons.
  • Calvinball: "Dodge or Dare" (later "Dodj or Daar"), 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 is sapient, can talk, and some of it doesn't like being eaten. Anthropomorphic folk will sometimes eat the non-human-like (but still sapient) version of their own kind. Sometimes anthropomorphic folk even eat other anthropomorphic folk—a poster in the background of Elmore Middle School listing rules includes one about not eating other students.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Most of the characters don't even share the same art style. As mentioned in the page quote, Ben Bocquelet had a portfolio of characters he created for advertisements and when he superimposed them on a photo of a school, he decided to make a TV show about it.
  • Character Blog: Richard's Twitter account, and Anais' Flickr account.
  • 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 no one objects or sees it as weird. It's just Tuesday for Elmore.
  • Conspicuous CG: The show's Medium Blending includes a lot of CG character and objects. While it 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 throughout the series, usually when a character moves something amongst a series of things that were put in the background. Often, the characters will handle things that are conveniently animated in the same medium as their holder rather than not. Even when other, similar things are animated differently: for instance, the Watterson's TV is live-action but their remote is animated just like they are.
  • Couch Gag: Every title card has a different piece of music that plays over it appropriate to the episode's plot and often a preview of a longer piece that plays later on in the episode itself.
  • Continuity Creep: The show steadily gets more continuity as it goes on, though it remains mostly episodic. The first two seasons have almost no continuity in terms of plot, but a large number of Continuity Nods in background gags. Then the second season finale is a Continuity Cavalcade of the Wattersons facing the consequences on past episodes all at once. The third season has even more Continuity Nods, several Cavalcades, and a few running plot lines, two of which (Rob seeking revenge and Banana Barbara's prophecy of a doomed Elmore) are left open by season end. By the fourth season, episodes directly tied to previous ones become common.
  • Crapsaccharine World: On the one hand, Elmore is a colorful world filled with cartoon characters animated in different styles where the impossible is possible. On the other hand, there are a lot of things wrong with living a world like this:
    • Because Everything Talks, all food is sentient. If Gumball's lunch in "The World" is anything to go by, people do not care whether or not their food wants to be eaten (see also the scene of Gumball as Zach eating Banana Joe's cousin, who's an apple, in "The Name"). Likewise, anthropomorphic non-humans eating each other, while clearly considered equivalent to cannibalism, comes up surprisingly often.
    • Society and the world itself seems constantly on the edge of disaster: A lot of the students at Elmore Junior High basically have superpowers that can cause all sorts of destruction, including a giant who will destroy the whole town if he expresses emotion of any kind, a shapeshifter who turns into monsters whenever she's distressed, angry, or feels bad about how she looks, and a cloud that causes storms whenever she gets jealous. "The Game" shows that a board game (Dodj or Daar) has the power to bend time and space, and force it's players to obey the rules. "The Pizza" reveals that one person is in charge of working almost every job in Elmore and, without him, the town's economy plunges and Elmore turns into a post-apocalyptic warzone. In "The Job", it turns out one person doing something very unexpected of him (namely, Richard getting a job and actually doing it well) can destroy the entire universe. "The Butterfly" shows that even something simple as a butterfly can cause havoc and destruction in Elmore, "The Safety" shows that Darwin can get away with turning the entire town into a dictatorship just because he's so cute. "The Money" shows that the Wattersons' family budget is keeping Elmore from losing their animation quality. "The Wicked" shows that Margaret Robinson freely commits crimes around town (stealing, vandalism, assault, mail tampering, arson, grand theft auto, criminal mischief, and destruction of property just to name a few) and the police are too stupid to stop her.
    • In "The Genius", the government is willing and able to take children who are especially smart away from their families for testing, and no one else seems to care.
    • "The Gripes" and "The Finale" show that Elmore's residents can be callous and quick to violent anger, especially if the Wattersons do anything to upset them.
    • In "The Boss", it turns out at least one major corporation is run by demons who own their employees' souls and keep them working 24/7 for the entire lives. Not even a change in management stopped this.
    • "The Void" show that the universe is sentient and can get rid of anything and anyone it considers a "mistake," from embarrassing fads (jorts, the mullet, and disco) to historical disasters (the sinking of the R.M.S. Titantic and The Hindenberg) to background characters (Molly the sauropod and Rob the cyclops).
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The recurring "Daniel Lennard" cosmetics brand is named after the show's executive producer (and vice-president of Cartoon Network Development Studios Europe), whose face is seen on advertising banners for the cosmetics in some episodes.
    • Book props throughout the show tend to list the author as Mic Graves, the series director.
  • Cringe Comedy: Many episodes feature this.
    • "The Meddler", where Nicole accompanies Gumball to school.
    • "The Gi", where Gumball and Darwin become laughingstocks for wearing karate outfits at school and Nicole is worried that the duo will be karate-obsessed manchildren still living with her past the age of 18 if nothing is done to stop it.
    • "The Dress", where Gumball has to wear a dress to school, causing Darwin to have an awkward crush on Gumball's female alter ego.
    • Any time Gumball and Darwin witness Principal Brown and Miss Simian having a romantic moment during school hours (cf. "The Sock," "The Lesson," and "The Burden").
    • Principal Brown trying to be Gumball and Darwin's friend (first by dressing like a kid and trying to be hip, then by spending the night with them and telling them stories about his relationship with Miss Simian) in "The Fraud."
    • "The Hug" is almost entirely this, and also includes an awkward sleepover (though the one in "The Hug" was more awkward than the one in "The Fraud").
  • Denser and Wackier: As the animation got better the plots went from being light and innocent to having more manic humor being even less subdued.
  • Eldritch Location: Given the entry above, it's not hard to think of Elmore this way. Basically, think of every trope and cliche seen in TV shows and movies (both animated and live-action) turned Up to Eleven and thrusted into one show. Every cliche, though, is a ticking time bomb...
    Mr. Small: Elmore is not a normal place... It's a pretty weird world, and sometimes it makes mistakes.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: Nicole tells her kids that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Bigfoot, and Switzerland aren't real.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The show's logo is a rainbow on a star background, with "The Amazing World of" written in clouds and "Gumball" written with each letter in a different color. The rainbow has six colors, excluding the usual blue, but the letters includes the full Roy G. Biv.
  • 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 and yearbook, 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 and Gary (the old man that's purple and has antlers) are at Elmore Jr. High despite being way older than Richard.
    • In "The Gi" Nicole went to the same school, revealing Mr. Small, Mr. Fitzgerald, and others went to the same school.
    • Ms. Simian has been a teacher there for hundreds of thousands of years, which together with the above means she's been pretty much everyone's teacher.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: None of the police officers use guns, visibly lacking even holsters. Instead they always use tasers they pull out of Hammer Space. The one criminal we always see uses a spoon that is treated as if it were a deadly weapon by everyone but the police. The one time any kind of firearm is shown is during the "Make the Most of It" musical number in "The Kids": Gumball imagines himself as a cowboy holding a revolver, which sounds like a real gun, but the color and shape make it look like a toy.
  • Fictional Counterpart:
    • ElmoreStreamIt (there was even a full episode ["The Uploads"] that showcases all the types of viral videos that both Elmore Stream It and YouTube have regularly, from Let's Play walkthroughs and Epic Fail videos to bizarre livestreams and stock footage).
    • There's also JUNK
    • Seemingly everyone in Elmore Junior High is on ElmorePlus; ironic given its namesake does not allow anyone under 18 years old. An earlier episode has a brief appearance of a site called "Fessebook" ("fesse" being French for "buttock").
    • Pictures are edited using Shotofop.
    • A frequently played video game, with a six-pack rat and hotdog fighting, is called Kebab Fighter. The gameplay itself is similar to Mortal Kombat.
  • Foul Flower: Leslie is a literal living potted plant (which is not the strangest thing in this world). The trope is zigzagged and mostly Depending on the Writer: sometimes he is a straight up Nice Guy, sometimes envious and manipulating (like in "The Triangle" in which he tries to sabotage Darwin's performance), and other times it is subverted (like in "The Flower" which is about Gumball being jealous at him for stealing his girlfriend Penny, not knowing that they actually are cousins).
  • Furry Confusion: Every single thing in the world, solar system, and possibly the universe is sentient and capable of speech, but seem to be divided into two types: the ones who act mostly human and look at least somewhat human and the ones which talk but aren't otherwise very human-like. Sometimes the latter becomes the former, as was the case with Darwin.
  • Genius Loci:
    • "The World" and "The Question" show that the Earth is alive, as well as the stars, sun, and planets.
    • It's very heavily implied in "The Void" that Elmore itself is sentient, and has a desire to remove what it perceives as mistakes and cover up that they ever existed.
  • Genre Roulette: The show's default genre is "magically realistic family/kids sitcom"note , but since season two, a lot of episodes tend to dip into other genres (whether played straight or parodied). Some examples include sketch comedy ("The Tape"), vignettes and character sketches ("The World", "The Extras", "The Butterfly", and "The Love"), coming of age ("The Shell" and "The Kids"), hero's quest ("The Quest", "The Romantic," and "The Routine"), prison drama ("The Lesson"), 1980s teen sports ("The Sweaters"), teen drama ("The Others"), paranormal ("The Ghost," "The Oracle," and "The Flower"), zombie apocalypse ("The Joy"), horror ("Halloween," "The Vacation", and "The Mirror"), science fiction ("The Countdown", "The Dream"), post-apocalyptic adventure ("The Pizza"), mystery ("The Mystery," "The Treasure", and the first half of "The Traitor"), cosmic/surreal horror ("The Job", "The Void," "The Nobody", and "The Signal"), existentialist ("The Question"), family drama ("The Hero," "The Man", and "The Signature"), and medical drama (the second half of "The Traitor").
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Gumball and Darwin seem to be locked in an everlasting battle to out-ham one another. The insult fight between Gumball & Darwin somehow turned this into actual combat.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title is "The [noun]", except the holiday specials ("Christmas" and "Halloween").
  • It's Always Spring: The people in Elmore only ever dressed for cold weather in the Christmas Episode, and even then there's no snow (unless you count Masami making it snow, since she is a weather cloud). "The Lie" is set in January, yet everyone wears their regular clothes and the weather is shown as rainy and overcast. Elmore is eventually shown to be located in central California, though, so this does make sense.
  • Limited Wardrobe: All of the Wattersons have one set of day clothes and clothes that they sleep in (unless they're wearing something that only appears for that episode).
  • 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!
  • Medium Blending: Just look at the page image and Ben Bocquelet's quote about how he created the show.
  • Moebius Neighborhood: The Robinsons are essentially the only neighbors of the Wattersons. A few shots show various Recurring Extras living in the other houses, but not consistently: "The Wand" and "The Allergy" both show Gary living on the house opposite to the Robinsons' house, but in "The Remote" he lives across the street.
  • Never Say "Die": The words "die", "dead", or "kill" are yet to be spoken in full, though equivalent sayings are used freely.
    • Darwin and Gumball frequently make use of the transparent euphemism "iced" in place of "killed".
    • Carrie the ghost mentions her "afterlife" and having a body before (which itself was subject to a Retcon), but never being "dead". Especially noticeable in "Halloween": we see many ghosts, some of them coming out of their graves, but they are never referred to as "dead", only as "spirits" or "from the underworld".
    • "The Origins" two-parter also eschews directly saying that the goldfish Gumball had before Darwin are dead, opting instead for euphemisms and implications.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Larry, Rocky, and a number of Recurring Extras fill different jobs depending on what is needed for a scene:
    • Larry can be cashier or clerk, usually for the video store, the pizzeria, the supermarket, or the gas station. "The Pizza" reveals that Larry has more jobs than that (roadside car repairman, head of pest control, police station accountant, etc) and, without him, the town's economy plunges and everything turns apocalyptic. "The Nobody" parodied this by having Gumball suggest a bunch of jobs to take while multiple Larrys walk by corresponding to whichever vocation was just mentioned. Season four pretty much took what "The Nobody" and "The Pizza" imply about Larry (that he works the majority of Elmore's businesses and that there are a lot of look-alikes of him) and ran with it, as "The Gift" shows Larry as a messenger and an art museum curator, "The Check" showed him as a bank clerk, and "The Girlfriend" has him as a minister during Gumball's vision of his marriage to Jamie and Darwin. In "The Finale", Larry tells Nicole and Anais that because of the damage the Wattersons cause coming of his paycheck, he has to take so many jobs.
    • Rocky does any school job that's not a teacher or an administrative figure, like the janitor/groundskeeper (the most frequently-shown), the bus driver, the lost and found clerk, or a cafeteria worker.
    • Karen, Larry's girlfriend, has been seen working as a grocery store sale associate, office worker, and civil servant. In "The Butterfly," she was shown working the desk at the Elmore Crisis Center, in "The Limit," she was the "free sample" clerk at the grocery store, and in "The Love", she's a Burger Fool at Joyful Burger.
    • An elderly cupcake woman has screened candidates for testing cosmetics ("The DVD"), assisted people seeking employment ("The Mustache"), and worked at the Justice Department informing the Watterson of a class-action lawsuit against them ("The Finale").
    • There are two slightly different-looking orange men shown working security at numerous different locations, mostly the large grocery store that the Wattersons shop at. Sometimes there's shown to be several of the same guy, just differently colored. In "The Spoiler," there was a similar-looking orange man who was wiretapping on Gumball and Penny's phone call about The Screamening. In "The Routine," they're also the tollbooth operators.
    • A pair of men who look like LEGO mini-figs are seen working construction all around town, possibly working for Penny's father, who owns a construction firm. "The Authority" showed one of the mini-figs dressed as a fireman and trying to rescue Gumball from a vending machine.
    • The quartet of prisoners seen on "The Finale" and "The Extras" (the butter knife, the green goblin, the dolphin-bird hybrid, and the can of spray-paint) have also been seen as repo men (as seen in "The Money" and "The Signature") and as businessmen (as seen in "The Parking" and "The Check"). The green goblin hoodlum is also the head of Chanax Industries as seen in "The Apprentice" and "The Boss", though, like the orange men security guards, this may be a case of multiple characters that are palette swaps of each other.
  • Non Humans Lack Attributes: Averted with Gumball, whose 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. Parodied whenever Darwin is naked. He's completely uncensored except his feet.
  • 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, CGI cubes, Muppet-style puppets, and live-action chin puppets.
  • The Noseless: Although all of the Watterson family but Darwin have noses, the majority of the cast have no visible nose, making them more of an exception than the rule.
  • Now Which One Was That Voice?: The show's credits list all the voice actors featured in that season (even if they hadn't appeared in that episode) and only specifies character for the Watterson family, so it is hard to know who voices whom, especially since the roles have changed since season one. The rest have to be confirmed by the actors and staff over the internet—mostly notably, the voice director registered an account on the show's fan wiki in May of 2015, correcting some mistakes that had been standing since the show start four years earlier.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Every once in a while the British voice actors lose their American tongue for a second. Nicole does this in some scenes where she's talking calmly and smoothly.
  • Official Couple: Gumball and Penny as of "The Shell". Other official couples include Alan the balloon and Carmen the cactus and Miss Simian and Principal Brown.
  • Only Child Syndrome: The main character's family has three children, but of his approximately twenty classmates, only three of them (Penny, Tobiasnote , and Idaho) are known to have any siblings while many of the rest are shown to be only children. Among the adults, none are known to have siblings while both Richard and Rocky are only children.
  • Out of Order: Episodes often air out of production order, which was stated by one writer to be why no multi-part episodes were planned in its early episodes (there eventually were in the fourth season).
  • Pac-Man Fever: Video games seen at various points all have very 8/16-bit looking graphics (this also applies to Ocho the spider). This trope is possibly lampshaded by how "The Refund" has Gumball trying to put what looks like a PAL 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.
  • Painting the Medium: Characters related to each-other (such as Gumball & his family) share an art style. This leads to characters being animated in 2-D, 3-D, Stop-Motion, puppetry, and any variation of these effects.
  • 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.
  • Police Are Useless: The police in Elmore are not only stupid, they're also made of food which makes them break into pieces whenever they're hit. According to a chart in "The Nobody," Elmore's crime rate is ridiculously high.
  • Quarter Hour Short: 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. 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. Close to the end of the the first season they switched the new and old episode around, but changed it back to new-then-old for the second season. Season three started with each new quarter-hour episode sharing a half-hour slot with Clarence, but after Clarence went on break, Gumball resumed the previous format and Clarence instead shared a half-hour slot with Steven Universe when it resumed.
  • 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!
  • Real Place Background: The show's backgrounds are made from photographs of real life locations, including both stock images and photographs taken specific for the show. The show has special credits that thank Vallejo, the city and county of San Francisco, and Abraham Lincoln High School for permission to use their photos as backgrounds.
  • Retro Universe: Most of the appliances have a very 70's/80's aesthetic (and have a lot of inventions from that time, like VHS tapes and video rental stores), but there are a lot of late 20th/early 21st century inventions, like DVD players, social media websites (Elmore Plus, which is a mix between Google Plus and Facebook), a YouTube equivalent website (Stream It), and in "The Refund," Darwin says:
    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 blend the character in with the scenery.
  • 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". The Australian airings almost always edits out any of these scenes to avoid copycat incidents.
    • 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.
    • Characters, most often the Watterson kids, tend to use outlandish similes to describe things, sometimes having multiple people suggest them one after another. In "The Poltergeist" Gumball compares an electrified Mr. Robinson to a bulldog staring at the sun, while the turtle in "The Puppy" is described as everything from an angry green hat to an evil wiener poking out of a ravioli.
    • Whenever someone gets injured and an ambulance is called, expect the ambulance to run over the person who got injured (as seen with Miss Simian in "The Mystery", Margaret Robinson in "The Wicked", and Banana Joe in "The Advice").
  • Series Continuity Error: Carrie's first major appearance in "The Ghost" was based around her taking over Gumball's body to taste food again, and she once specifically says she misses having a body. A season after that, in "Halloween", she states she was born a ghost. The later episode "The Mirror" suggests the latter still holds true, as it turns out her parents are a female ghost and a mortal man who used magic so he could interact with that ghost.
  • 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 seem especially prone to this- within the first couple episodes of season three, both have been maimed, melted, burned, and/or partially eaten.
  • Snap Back: Many episodes end in ways with situations barely resolved by episode's end, but they change back by the time the next new episode premieres. 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 Up to 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.
    • Surprisingly averted as of "The Shell" involving Penny's true form and she and Gumball becoming official.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Penny (before she broke her shell) was 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 the mothership.
    • Rocky's T-shirt in season two is for a band called "Bisou" (the French word for the noun "kiss") and modeled after the logo for the American band KISS. It's a French kiss.
  • Sucky School: The facilities at Elmore Junior High seem perfectly sufficient or even excessive for a middle school, but the staff members are universally incompetent/unprofessional:
    • Principal Brown somehow has had his job as principal for 20 years, despite having a fake diploma and is in a romantic relationship with one of his workers (which is considered fraternization and is considered unprofessional).
    • Miss Simian hates her job as teacher (mostly because she's been assaulted and ostracized for teaching subject matter considered subversive or controversial, such as how to make fire and how to use the wheel, as mentioned on "The Pest") and is most likely still a teacher because she's dating Principal Brown, often in school during class hours (as seen in "The Boombox", "The Sock", and "The Burden").
    • Mr. Small, the guidance counselor, is more of an emotional wreck than anyone who comes to see him, has terrible advice that doesn't really help others, and is possibly a stoner (Though "The Advice" reveals that he actually does care about being a teacher and inspiring others, unlike The Coach, Miss Simian, Principal Brown, and even Cool Teacher Mr. Corneille, who all have become burned-out and cynical).
    • The school nurse has to put up with Teri the paper bear's hypochondria, Miss Simian being rude to her, and Gumball and Darwin's lame attempts at getting out of gym class, and spends most of her time huddled under her desk, trying to re-evaluate her career choices.
    • The gym teacher/coach is bulky, out of shape, lets her Barbaric Bully of a daughter (Jamie) push around the other kids, and doesn't seem to care when a student gets hurt or can't do anything she assigns them during gym class.
    • The only competent worker at the school is Rocky, the janitor/bus driver/lost and found clerk/cafeteria worker, though even he can be oblivious and careless on the job, mostly due to listening to music on his Walkman.
  • 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). This lampshaded in "The Party" (Gumball isn't sure if Masami is a girl) and at the end of "The Coach" (it results in Gumball and Darwin not realizing Coach is a woman).
  • There Are No Therapists: Double Subverted thanks to most of the adults being useless- the school's counselor Mr. Small is a recurring character, but he almost always makes things much worse.
  • The "The" Title: Used to title the episodes, save for the holiday episodes "Halloween" and "Christmas" (though some Internet guides will still have these episodes titled as "The Halloween" and "The Christmas," even though it wouldn't grammatically make sense).
  • Toon Physics: Very prevalent, possibly one of the biggest users of this trope next to the Fleischer Studios shorts, Tex Avery's MGM shorts, and Bob Clampett's work at Warner Bros. Due of the show's mixing of different animation styles, nearly every device of cartoon physics imaginable is played with and/or lampshaded.
  • Toon Town: It is somewhat unclear (and inconsistent) whether the show's Funny Animals inhabit all of Earth or if they all live in Elmore, with the rest being (more) like Earth in real life.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: The show has an Instrumental Theme Tune, but the actual opening is only official seen in the UK version and online sources like Hulu. The US airing only has the opening whenever there's a sneak peek of a new episode (the most recent examples being when "The Return" and "The Nemesis" aired on the same week as three of the last four season three episodes).
  • Two-Teacher School: Elmore Junior High only has a principal (Principal Brown), one teacher (Miss Simian), one guidance counselor (Mr. Small), one nurse (the Band-Aid Nurse), a PE instructor (introduced in season three and only referred to as "Coach"note ), a librarian (the old tree lady), and one guy who does everything else (Rocky). "The Bet" lampshaded this when Rocky tells Gumball, Darwin, and Bobert that school's been canceled because Mr. Small, Miss Simian, and Principal Brown aren't here. Subverted in "The Others", where it turns there are and always were other teachers for classes Gumball and Darwin don't have, they were just too oblivious to notice.
  • 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 Mum (the British way of saying "Mom") and Dad. One of the writers joked that Gumball is the one who made the credits.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: "The Oracle" reveals that the town is going to be uprooted by something (possibly from 'The Void'). Something malevolent...
  • 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.
  • Vocal Evolution: As both Gumball's and Darwin's voice actors went through puberty, their voices got noticeably deeper (especially Gumball's) before they were re-cast in Season 3. The first episode of that season ("The Kids") even makes their voice changes a plot point.
  • We All Live in America: The show's creative staff are mostly British and French (including the creator), most of the cast are British, and 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, it is located in the United States, yet some British English and other culturally Euro-specific bits slip by:
    • Cars are sometimes shown driving on the lane to the driver's left instead of the right.
    • The scenes inside stores in such episodes as "The Fridge", "The Castle", and "The Limit" have the prices depicted with a comma separating the dollar and cents values (which is common in Europe) rather than a decimal point (which is common in America). Weight may also be listed in kilograms instead of pounds.
    • Listings for amounts of money (like the bank statement in "The Treasure" and a price for a frozen chicken in "The Fridge") will sometimes have the dollar sign after the number amount (where a Euro sign is usually put in Germany), instead of before it (American).
    • The show's website states Miss Simian is a second grade teacher when most of her students are twelve years old. In the UK, the second grade of secondary school is the equivalent of the seventh grade in the United States. Someone on the writing staff appeared to have noticed this, as Gumball instead states he and Darwin will be "the only seventh graders with beards" if they fail their math test in "The Lesson"
    • Dates are often listed as day first, followed by the month. In America, it's the other way around. Examples include a suspension form shown in "The Apology" and a date stamp on a weather program in "The Laziest".
    • Various doors and signs are labelled "W.C." for "water closet", a term for "bathroom" or "(a room with a) toilet" that isn't typically used in the U.S.. Gumball's emoticon-based chat with Penny in "The Romantic" has a "W.C." placard used to mean "bathroom".
    • 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".
    • A sign in "The Third" lists distance in meters instead of feet or yards.
    • In "The Laziest", a digital clock on a car radio uses a period instead of a colon to separate the hour from the minutes, something usually only done in Germany.
    • In "The Car", the flashback of the last time Gumball, Darwin, and Richard played "Dodj or Daar" had the house on fire. The incoming fire siren is the lower sounding kind used in Europe.
    • In an Easter Egg in "The Remote", a sign states "Strictly no Kung-Fu Fighting in The Car Park." A "car park" is what Americans call a "parking garage" or a "parking lot." The episode "The Coach" also had Coach refer to a parking lot as a "car park."
    • 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" when he finds his bathtub filled with melted cheese. In America, "crisps" are referred to as "chips".
    • In "The Lesson," Principal Brown's calendar for Miss Simian starts at Monday and ends at Sunday. American calendars are laid out so Sunday is the start of the week and Saturday is the end.
    • In "The Coach", a stammering Gumball's subtitle reads "apologised" instead of the American spelling "apologized". Likewise captioned bird speak in "The Extras" uses "realise" ("Dude, you do realise that I'm a guy?") instead of "realize".
    • In "The Joy", the bloodied clock shown throughout the episode uses a twenty-four hour clocknote , something more common in Europe than the US (unless you are in the military or working in a job that calls for using the 24-hour clock instead of the 12-hour clock, like an airline pilot or a foreign diplomat), but still uses "AM" and "PM" on top of that (which is only used for the 12-hour clock system that the US has). Other episodes that show time by the 24-hour clock instead of 12-hour include "The Laziest" (Larry's car radio), "The Uploads," (Richard's computer during his video game review has the time as 15:36 instead of 3:36pm), and "The Parking" (in the shot of Richard spraypainting a parking space, there's a placard in the parking garage showing the opening and closing times, with 24h [midnight] as the closing time).
    • In "The Name", Crocodile Woman refers to the fat under her arms as "bingo wings", which is more of a British term. Though it is used in American slang sometimes, the term "lunchlady arms" to describe fatty upper arms on a woman is used more often.
    • A subtle one: in both "The Extras" and "The Lie", a TV cuts to a colorful test card with a circle in the middle as a frowny face with X's for eyes. That card is actually based on a real one used in the United Kingdom; the American equivalent is the SMPTE color bars.
    • Another subtle example is how a weatherman in "The Law" says the temperature is 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This seems like a randomly specific number unless you know that's exactly 50 degrees Celsius.
    • In "The Pizza", during his goodbye phone call, Larry mentions a pizza special that cost "five dollars ninety-nine". In the U.S., $5.99 is usually said either as "five dollars and ninety-nine cents" or "five ninety-nine".
    • In "The Butterfly," Karen is shown working at the Elmore "Emergency Call Centre", instead of "Center".
    • In "The Traitor," Alan tells Gumball and Darwin that he took his mom to the cinema before taking her to the hospital. "Cinema" is the British way of saying "the movies" or "the movie theater"; in American English, "cinema" is used as either an adjective to describe movies or a collective noun for a certain genre of films.
    • When Richard is looking for something to fix the broken TV in "The Authority", he finds a coupon for TV repair. The coupon's phone number is 0454 454 963 02, which is the UK format of writing telephone numbers rather than the American format.
    • In "The Burden", Principal Brown tells Darwin and Gumball to "clear your diaries" when they need to take care of the school hamster. In "The Love", the hexagon lady says she can't go on a date because "...my diary is full". Both are using the word "diary" to mean "day planner/calendar", a meaning that's used in the UK, but not the US.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Popular fan theory is that Elmore is located in California, mainly due to some of the background shots from the neighborhoods being taken from Vallejo and of the school from San Francisco. The former is seemingly confirmed as a Freeze-Frame Bonus in "The Question": an Astronomic Zoom from Elmore to space shows it as being located exactly where Vallejo, California is in real life.
  • 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. Don't take this lightly, though. There have been moments where it's gotten hostile...