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Recap / The Amazing World of Gumball S3E35 "The Countdown"

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Gumball and Darwin miss the bus and have only six minutes to get to school or face expulsion, but when Gumball hits the screen and breaks the timer, the duo begin messing with time and reality.


  • After the End: The first attempt to go advance the clock forward to zero instead results in skipped to post-apocalyptic Earth—possibly so far that the sun explodes.
  • Alternate Timeline: Gumball and Darwin go through a variety of these after they start messing with the clock on the screen.
  • Behind the Black: Darwin and Gumball invite Alison to push them off the bus once it stops, oblivious to the out-of-frame bridge that the bus is on the edge of.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The German Sarah and Tobias shout out doesn't mean what their angered tone suggests.
    Sarah: Ich geh gern ins Diskothek! (I like to go to the discotheque!)
    Tobias: Keine Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung auf der Autobahn! (No speed limit on the freeway!)
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  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: While the fact that Gumball and Darwin are aware of the timer definitely counts, the more important instance (which causes the plot to spiral out of control) is Gumball running into (and breaking) the camera.
  • Buses Are for Freaks: Gumball claims that the public bus is full of degenerates and gives advice (hit the first person that looks at you sideways) that's typically given for people in prison. It's actually nowhere near as bad as he expected, which causes Gumball to apologize, but claim Darwin was the one who thought it was like that.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Darwin and Gumball accidentally mess with some apes in prehistoric Earth and try to fix it, which results in numerous weird versions of the present with things like everyone being a quadruped, everyone looking like the two of them, everyone being fat, and everyone looking pissed off and yelling in German.
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  • Continuity Nod: Darwin and Gumball try to read the Captain Punch comic from "The Colossus" that they said was too intense for their mom to let their dad read and that Hector the giant's mom had to censor in her efforts to sedate her son.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Gumball and Darwin end the episode in a timeline that doesn't appear any different than it was before.
    Gumball: This looks suspiciously normal.
    (Darwin and Gumball blink with vertical eye slits)
    Gumball: Eh, I can live with that.
  • Friction Burn: Since time is frozen, Gumball opening a page on a comic book moves it so fast that it instantly bursts into flames.
  • Funny Background Event: When the Darwin and Gumball copies all start coming out, the apes they interrupted stare at them annoyed, with the one that was on the cliff angrily crossing his arms.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The countdown starts at six minutes, twenty-three seconds when there's more than ten minutes left in the episode. Sure enough, the clock runs out, is stopped, and things spiral out of control from there.
  • Le Parkour: Gumball tries to use parkour to get to school because he thinks it's the fastest way to get anywhere, but he just slows things down by taking time to jump and climb over things.
  • Missed the Bus: The episode begins with the school bus pulling away from the Watterson house as Gumball is just getting out of bed.
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: When Gumball can't remember Miss Simian's lecture on tardiness, Darwin's face looks like Miss Simian's as he imitates her voice and explains they'll be expelled if they're late again.
  • Mind Screw: Oh yes. Probably the weirdest episode of the show so far, and that's saying a lot.
  • Never My Fault: Gumball tries to blame Darwin for harassing the people on the bus, letting Alison shove them out of it, and making the clock jump forward a minute, which were all his fault.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Gumball and Darwin run into a bunch of time travel duplicates during one scene where they try to correct the past. They get into a big argument until the pair the episode is following simply says none of the others should even exist and they all vanish out of reality.
  • Ninja Prop: A driving plot element: A typical Race Against the Clock ensures for the first half of the episode, but the actual clock on display is completely visible to Darwin and Gumball, and they begin interacting with it in several ways.
    • The clock corresponds to time spent on-screen, rather than how much time would seem to pass in-universe. A cut where Darwin and Gumball go from their house to the street is pointed out to have happened in only a few seconds.
    • No time passes during a cut of Darwin and Gumball falling onto a truck and being carried out of town, which Gumball points out makes no sense.
    • With seven seconds to spare, Gumball and Darwin Screen Tap. They break the screen and the clock on the screen, and therefore, Time Stands Still.
  • Overly Long Gag: Gumball's dramatic announcement that they'll need to take the public bus is accompanied by a Scare Chord that last ten solid seconds.
  • Pass the Popcorn: After a crowd of Gumballs and Darwins are made through time travel, one last pair comes with food and drinks.
    Gumball 5: What're you guys doing here?
    Gumball 6: We're here to watch the fight.
    Gumball 4: What fight?
    Gumball 6: The one about who gets to go back to the present.
  • Puff of Logic:
    • When Gumball questions how a truck carried him and Darwin to the outskirts of town with only four seconds on the timer passing, a solid minute is instantly subtracted from the clock. Gumball almost points out that this should have taken hours, but Darwin stops him, and they instead say they must be close enough to also get back in town in one minute. Cut to them in town with the clock only advancing one minute.
    • Gumball points out a bunch of Darwins and Gumballs being in the same place at once would be a Time Paradox. They all agree and then disappear, which makes the apes mistake them for gods.
  • Ret-Gone: Gumball and Darwin trying to prevent themselves from interfering with the timeline seemingly results in killing their past selves, which Gumball points out means they should disappear into nothingness. Luckily, another set of Gumball and Darwin put down a trampoline.
  • Stylistic Self-Parody:
  • Time-Freeze Trolling Spree: When time is frozen, Darwin and Gumball pull a bunch of pranks, including switching Tony's ice cream cone with his dog's butt. They also foil Sal's purse-snatching, but Gumball decides that's too heroic and pants Gary who they set up to look like the hero.
  • Time Travel: Messing with the countdown timer allows Gumball and Darwin to travel through time.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Don't try to make sense out of the time travel in this episode.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Gumball throws a piece of food into Pantsbully's mouth when time is frozen, which dislodges one of his teeth. Gumball tries to put it back, but embeds it so far into his gum that it's not visible anymore. When he attempts to get it back out, Pantsbully ends up with a fire hydrant shoved into his mouth and one of his arms ripped off.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: Gumball and Darwin are ecstatic when they think time has frozen in place, using it do things like pulling pranks and reading comics they wouldn't normally be allowed to. In fact, when they foil a purse-snatching and make it look like Gary's the hero, Gumball seems opposed to the idea of using their power for good.
    Darwin: Dude, we're superheroes!
    (Gumball puts lipstick on Gary.)
    Darwin: Right. I guess we're still above average.
    (Gumball pulls down Gary's pants)
    Darwin: I guess we're more like OK.


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