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Recap / The Amazing World Of Gumball S 5 E 8 The Test

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Gumball takes an online test about what kind of sitcom character he is, and it says he's a hyper-critical loser. Gumball decides to improve his popularity by holding in his criticisms, but this ends up making him ill and causing Tobias to fill in the place he left.


Tropes:

  • All Just a Dream: Sarah says that, with Tobias as the main character, it's inevitable that everything will turn out to be a dream... dream... dream... Sure enough, Tobias then wakes up from a boating accident where he tried to jump over a shark.
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  • Analogy Backfire: Gumball tries to claim he's developing an Acquired Poison Immunity to his own bile by comparing himself to that "Roman Emperor guy" who achieved the same. Darwin gets him to admit that the man had his castle invaded and couldn't poison himself to escape it, so being poisoned would have been preferable even if neither situation is desirable.
  • Aside Glance: Tobias starts giving goofy looks towards the camera at the cliched plot points of his stories.
  • Black Comedy Burst: The episode ends with Gumball literally spewing bile on Tobias' face, burning a hole through it. Then everybody starts laughing as Tobias writhes in agony and Joan screams in horror.
  • Body Horror: Gumball holding back his criticisms is poisoning his body, making it bloated, discolored and vascular and his torso writhes whenever he suppresses more.
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  • Brutal Honesty: Gumball tries to restrain his criticism of others to avoid being "The Loser", even when there are times that call for it.
  • Camera Abuse: Sarah throws a guitar at the camera to stop the show from playing closing music before Gumball can lash out at Tobias.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Gumball plays butt-puppets again like he did in "The Goons".
    • In "The Voice", Tobias more or less said that he should be the show's main character, not Gumball. In this episode, we see Tobias really would be if Gumball wasn't.
    • When the Tobias version of the show suddenly changes to a Clip Show, he brings up the times in "The Move" when he hit on Carmen (which Alan meekly objects to, as she's his girlfriend) and Masami.
    • Leslie is still using malapropisms and it's as annoying to Gumball as it was to Darwin.
    • When Tobias takes Gumball's place as Penny's boyfriend, he asks her for a date at the diner named "Dinner" from "The Misunderstanding".
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    • Several episodes such as "The Finale", "The Void", "The Money", "The Signal", "The Disaster" and "The Rerun" all take steps to imply or establish that the World of Gumball is a world set within a TV show. This episodes does likewise.
  • Clickbait Gag: The episode opens with Gumball mocking Sarah for interests in Buzzfeed-style website articles about inane subjects like llama photos and personality quizzes.
    Gumball: The Internet—the power of infinite knowledge, only a click away. A tool to transform the world and unite every being. And this is what they do with it. "Twenty-six pictures of llamas that pretty much sum up the human condition"?
    Sarah: But look at that one having a bad hair day! (laughs)
    Gumball: Sarah, it's just a llama-based ploy to ram as much advertising into your face as possible.
    Sarah: But it's good advertising. Look: "Doctors hate him. Learn his five-step trick for rock-hard abs!"
    Gumball: Sarah, that's a picture of a rock.
  • Cliché Storm: The show once Tobias becomes the protagonist turns into an slipshod pastiche of sitcom cliches, to Sarah's conscientious chagrin.
  • Clip Show: Parodied; Tobias tries to remind Alan of a previous event, but Alan points out he wasn't there. Tobias ignores him and then reminds him of another event that Alan was not there for.
    Alan: Can you please stop doing this? I don't share these memories, I'm just looking at you looking up!
  • Conversational Troping: The beginning of the episode holds a discussion between Sarah and the Watterson boys about character roles. This sets the theme for the rest of the episode. They discuss too many tropes to list.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: After Gumball burns a hole through Tobias' face and Sarah responds with a one-liner, our protagonists share a laugh... until the nurse comes back for Tobias.
  • Fan of Underdog: Sarah thoroughly believes Gumball is "The Loser" the test says he is, but doesn't like him any less for it.
  • Gilligan Cut: Darwin and Sarah try invoking one by vocalizing ironic music cues before one actually happens set to generic rock music.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The plotline of the show with Tobias in charge hastily and constantly shift from one cliche story to the next.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Because Gumball doesn't do his role, Tobias takes over not just his role—making the show a cliched sitcom—but also his family and eventually his girlfriend Penny!
  • Jumping the Shark: Tobias was trying to jump a shark before the boating accident, which helps drive the show to cancellation.
  • Laugh Track: A laugh track follows Tobias and gets louder the worse his jokes are.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: The storyline of Tobias as the protagonist abruptly shifts to a Christmas special where he introduces a CGI robot alien as a new character whose role is lampshaded by Sarah.
  • Law Of Narrative Causality: Both nature and narrative abhors a vacuum and, without Gumball as a viable protagonist, the show shifts focus to Tobias. He suddenly replaces him in all his previous positions in life. The only solution is Gumball going back to his old self.
  • Literal Metaphor: Gumball holding in his snide comments causes a buildup of literal vitriol that makes him sick and burns someone when he spit it out.
  • Nerd: Anais in Tobias' version of the show gains glasses for her beady eyes and a lisp.
  • No Fourth Wall: Gumball acting differently to be more popular causes the show itself to change in ways that Sarah and Darwin readily observe.
  • Orifice Evacuation: Gumball's suppressed criticism manifests as imps made of glowing green acid frantically trying to escape through his mouth.
  • Person as Verb: Darwin refers to Gumballs critical comments as "Gumballisms".
  • Rewind Gag: Gumball's first attempt to stop being "The Loser" is to do the (literal) opposite of everything he usually does. This eventually turns into him eating in reverse, and Darwin stops him before he went to the bathroom.
  • Sad Trombone: Sarah attempts this.
  • Sitcom Homage Episode: The show with Tobias as the main character becomes an outdated and utterly godawful sitcom: impossibly cliche plots begin and end in a disjointed fashion, direction is so poor that the set changes between shots in a single scene, the picture looks out of focus and has noticeable glare, the sound quality takes a nosedive, and the screen shifts to a 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: When Gumball sees Tobias has taken his place in his family, he is shocked. When Gumball sees Tobias has taken his place as Penny's boyfriend, his anger is literally face-melting.
  • Torso with a View: The venom Gumball shoves into Tobias' face burns a free-standing hole through his entire body. Darwin and Gumball laugh as Sarah's Bond One-Liner ("I would say 'in your face'—if you had one!"), but the nurse is rather rightly horrified.
  • Two-Timer Date: Right after Tobias takes over Gumball's role, he gets dates with Masami and Clare (Masami rejected him but changed her mind after Clare accepted), and Sarah is offended that something so cliche would happen.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Sarah and Darwin desperately try to get Gumball back to his old self so he can be the protagonist again and stop Tobias' crappy plotlines.
  • Wham Line: This line, which has the episode go from Tobias taking over the show to Tobias taking over Gumball's life:
    Let me ask my genius sister for help! Oh, Anais!

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