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    #-A 
  • 555: The Wattersons' phone number is 555-0199.
  • Absentee Actor:
    • Gumball doesn't appear in "The Singing" and "The Sucker", and only makes a brief appearance in a screen in "The Spinoffs".
    • Darwin doesn't appear in "The Apprentice", "The Awkwardness", and "The Singing", and only makes a brief appearance in a screen in "The Spinoffs".
  • Accidental Misnaming: Gumball did this to Alan in "The Third", but in all other appearances, he gets his name right. He also does this to Rob until "The Rerun" and to Patrick in "The Shell".
  • A Day in the Limelight: All of Gumball's classmates have had at least one episode where they play a major part. Many other minor and recurring characters also get this.
  • Adults Are More Anthropomorphic: Masami is a tiny white cloud with a simple face and limbs that only come out when she uses them. Her parents are humanoid clouds that wear clothing. Strangely, flashbacks shows Masami's mother as a clothed humanoid even when she was young.
  • Adults Are Useless: Some episodes have it stronger than others. The only consistently competent adults in the show are Nicole (though she does have her wild moments) and Larry (though he sometimes gets crazy because of all the work he does, and in "The Night" he thought he was dreaming and acted crazily towards Donut Cop thinking it was a dream).
  • Aerith and Bob: Most of the cast have normal given namesnote . The exceptions are Darwin (which is normally a family name), Juke, Bobert, Hot Dog Guy, Donut Cop, 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". In Ocho's case, it's justified since it's his nickname, and his real name is Harry. Several minor characters have strange names as well, such as The Green Bear, Fuzzball, Dog, Mushroom, Dr. Butt, Mr. Poop, Pantsbully, Fingathing, and Paperball. Gary’s real surname is also Gedges.
  • An Aesop: In "The Blame", as Billy points out, the supposedly negative influence of video games on children is just a symptom of a much larger problem with how people go about their parenting. What and how adults teach their children is a much bigger influence on their behavior, and they need to own up to it and not scapegoat video games.
    • Subverted in "DVD" and "Responsibility", which are both set up to teach Gumball a lesson about taking responsibility for his mistakes, only for it all to fall apart at the last second. In "DVD", Gumball is forced to come clean about the wrecked DVD and Nichole forgives him and pays for it, only to grab Gumball and run once the clerks tells her she still has to pay the exorbitant late fees, and in "Responsibility" Gumball is about to take responsibility for wrecking the house, only to shift the blame at the last second, leading to a cascade of blame dodging from the entire family until they all agree to just blame it on the internet.
  • Affectionate Parody: "The Console" is one for JRPGs, especially Final Fantasy VII.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Despite Masami, Sussie, Nicole, Tobias, and Granny Jojo all having episodes dedicated to their birthdays, they never seem to get any older. In addition, Gumball's, Banana Joe's, Idaho's, and Penny's birthdays have been mentioned in passing as happening a few months earlier, but they all are still twelve.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • In "The Intelligence", The Internet's attempt to absorb all human knowledge from its users so he can Take Over the World backfires, instead making him dumber and taking down all technology with it.
    • Bobert. In "The Robot", he decides to steal Gumball's life. Conversely, turning super-obedient in "The Bet" made him a vicious Literal Genie. He tends to lose control and try to kill Gumball and Darwin with startling regularity.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • "The Test": Sarah says that, with Tobias as the main character, it's inevitable that everything will turn out to be a dream. Sure enough, Tobias then wakes up from a boating accident where he tried to jump over a shark.
    • "The Brain" turned out to be all a dream by Anais since she facepalmed after Gumball said a week has nine days.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Played for Laughs in one episode where Larry goes on strike. Since he worked most of the jobs in the town simultaneously, within 20 minutes Lots of Inflation kicks in and 4 pizzas cost $9,000 dollars, and $100 is worth next to nothing, and the whole town collapses.
  • Airplane Arms: Young Nicole runs like this on her way to a martial arts tournament in "The Choices".
  • 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.
    • Character descriptions from before the show in the CN website revealed some of their personalities, such as Clayton being a liar, Ocho having anger issues, Hector being a Gentle Giant, and Teri being hypochondriac. However, this wasn't shown in the first season at all, only from season two onwards.
    • Who'd Have Thunk It?, one of the show's licensed books, mentions that Nicole was legally banned from playing patty-cake when she was seven years old. This goes completely unmentioned in the actual show.
  • Almost Kiss: Gumball and Penny in "The Pressure" and "The Party".
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Patrick Fitzgerald has two daughters, Penny and Polly.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • The Game Child from "The Console" was an actual rip-off released in the Game Boy's heyday, but it's unknown if the writers knew about it.
    • The PolyStation from "The Disaster" also exists.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Gumball and Nicole are blue cats and Richard and Anais are pink rabbits. Many normal animals also have different colors than in real life, such as pink bunnies, purple, pink and red squirrels, purple and red snakes, and pink and green bees. This has lessened since Season 4, though it's still present every once in a while.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent:
    • Tina's father is shown several times, but her mother is unmentioned.
    • Billy is usually seen with his mother Fecility, but the one mention of his father makes it unclear whether his parents live together or share custody and Felicity was just dropping Billy off.
    • While Hector's mother is a recurring character, his father is only mentioned to be a giant even larger than his son. Considering Hector is large enough to be seen from miles away, one assumes he doesn't (and probably can't) live in Elmore.
    • Carrie's father turns out to be the Monster of the Week in "The Mirror", but all that's known about her mother is that she's a ghost like Carrie. Whether she lives in Carrie's house (or in the world of the living at all) is unknown.
  • Anachronism Stew: The show is set in the 10's, having episodes set in 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2017, and cell phones appearing recently. However, most of the technology is from the late 80s and early 90s (like computers, video-games, televisions and video tapes). Flat screen computers or televisions are rarely seen in the show.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • "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.
    • Mr. Robinson in "The Console" had no choice but to act as an NPC and let Gumball ransack his house.
  • Animals Not to Scale: Zig-Zagged. Many of the anthropomorphic animals/food/plants/objects are human-sized even when this is much larger or smaller than normal, for example Darwin, Penny, Anais are a goldfish, peanut, and rabbit all the size of human children. Others, like Banana Joe, Anton (piece of toast), Alan (a balloon), Idaho (potato), and Tina Rex (Tyrannosaurus rex), are the exact same size, even when this makes them much smaller or larger than their classmates. Still others are visibly smaller or larger than a human, but still a bizarre size for their species. Ocho and Molly are both of different sizes than human children, but freakishly large for a spider and small for a sauropod, respectively. This is lampshaded by Darwin still sleeping in a fishbowl, presumably the same one used when he was non-anthropomorphic and thus regular-sized, even though he barely fits in it.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Carmen the cactus, Alan the balloon, Masami the cloud, Idaho the potato, Banana Joe, Anton and so on. And that's just among the main characters; EVERYTHING in Elmore is a living, sentient being. Lampshaded in "The Internet" where Darwin scoffs at Gumball's idea that they can track down the Internet, as it is an object not a person and everything in the room they're in comes to life and suggests otherwise. "The World" takes this Up to Eleven, focusing on the everyday lives of the objects themselves.
  • Animesque: Some of the characters are occasionally drawn with stock anime expressions.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Some of the characters are food that live like humans (ironically not Gumball himself).
    • Lampshaded when Anton, a talking piece of toast, is attacked by a murder of crows.
    • This is lampshaded again in "The Job" when the talking pizza couple treat a (non-anthropomorphic) pizza being delivered like getting a new baby. Gumball accidentally drops it, then Darwin steps on it.
    • In one episode Idaho (a sentient potato) eats French fries when Gumball introduces him to the modern lifestyle.
  • Arc Number: 700.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • According to Rocky in "The Boss", Chanax Chanax pollutes, cuts down rainforests, and their boss invented boy bands. Also, Rocky says his father hates him because he's "...an immature deadbeat who never left school, refuses to get a decent job, and dresses like a Canadian."
    • The song in "The Puppets". "We'll make you dance, we'll make you fight, you'll smear yourself with worms all night. We'll make you eat toenails and grease. We'll make you wear an itchy fleece!"
  • 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.
  • The Artifact: The theme song stayed the same though the entire run of the show. The characters' designs were updated (most notably the Wattersons), and Penny came out of her shell, but their old designs still remain on the theme song.
  • 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.
    • When Nicole and Yuki fight in the gymnasium, they're drawn in a detailed anime style reminiscent of Kill la Kill. Misami's flashback to their childhood is also rendered in stills drawn with some similarly to Dragon Ball.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In "The Brain", apparently an amoeba has a brain... And it's bigger than Richard's.
  • Artistic License – Physics: In "The Mothers":
    • Nicole is able to stop and change directions on a dime while "flying" (essentially bungee jumping), which would be impossible even if one has a rocket propulsion system. Not only that, but the force acting upon her waist by the fire hose bungee cord would probably cause some organ damage.
    • Nicole saves Gumball and Darwin by stopping them from hitting the ground with mere inches to spare. Gumball and Darwin would likely still be injured though since they're still colliding into something at great speed, even if said something (Nicole) is soft.
    • Nicole again "flies" heroically into the air with a pulley system right before the episode ends and the fire hose reel plummets to the ground. Unless it's one of those large fire hoses attached to fire engines, which it wasn't, the fire hose should only weigh about 10 to 15 kilograms, which is nowhere near enough to be able to send Nicole careening into the air that quickly. Assuming it for some reason did weigh hundreds of kilograms though, the lamppost it was tied to should have come off its mount instead.
  • 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.
  • Ascended Meme: The infamous Lost Episode creepypasta "The Grieving" is referenced in the episode "The Compilation," with one of the scenes claiming to show footage from the so-called "lost episode." It's a troll fake out by the creators, instead it's just a clip the "saxophone chihuahua" song that was used as a troll video in The Uploads.
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    B 
  • Bad Future: "The Choices" gives us personal examples of what Nicole's life would've been like if she hadn't met Richard. The first bad future involves her becoming everything her Abusive Parents wanted her to be, ultimately resulting in her becoming a megalomaniacal dictator that was so bad, Principal Brown says "Thank heavens that's over with." when the world is seemingly reduced to a barren wasteland.
  • Balcony Wooing Scene: One flashback to when they were teenagers courting has Richard standing on a ladder to serenade Nicole outside her bedroom window.
  • Banana Peel:
    • In the early reel, Hector slips on Banana Joe as part of Gumball and Darwin's plan, though he slips on him whole and not just the peel.
    • In "The Fight" Gumball tears off Banana Joe's peel to trip Tina.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Richard, Nicole, and Gumball all are this; Anais is fully dressed with socks, and Darwin only wears shoes that were given to him by Gumball.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Gumball doesn't have any problems breathing or even talking at space in "The Debt". He is also seen there with Penny and four planets in "The Compilation". note 
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Penny is the beauty, Carmen is the brain, and Tina is the brawn.
  • Behind a Stick:
    • In "The Voice", when Gumball admits to asking Darwin to make a surrogate confession to Penny, he comes out from behind a football goalpost.
    • Averted in "The Guy". Gumball and Darwin try to hide behind a pole, but they're still visible. Darwin tries to make it better by pushing some other poles from across the street.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Darwin becomes a lot more aggressive when provoked in the second season; a prime example would be "The Banana", when he vandalizes Banana Joe's locker and tries to get in a fight with him for damaging his homework.
    • Nicole is sincerely nice, but sometimes she can get really violent, so it's best you run for it if she does.
    • Alan turns out to be Evil All Along in "The Vision".
    • Subverted by Banana Joe, as even if you provoke his wrath he's too tiny, weak, and incompetent to be a threat to anyone.
    • Ocho is typically rather amiable, but boy is he short-tempered.
    • In the very few times Penny has become truly angered, it is not pretty.
  • Big Brother Bully:
    • Gumball sometimes can be this, like when he left Anais out of a party in "Halloween" by hanging her from a tree branch.
    • Rachel appeared to be this to Tobias in "The Party", but as she disappeared from the show entirely, and even though there are only fourteen episodes left she didn't make a single physical appearance since Season 1, this was never further explored.
  • Big "NO!": Richard does one after dropping a piece of toast in the series trailer.
    • Gumball, Darwin, and Richard do a slowed down, overly long "No" when Anais breaks the remote. They stay that way until Anais (not slowed down) tells them how to get a new remote.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • "The Puppy": The turtle rampage was stopped for now, but the Wattersons are basically stuck with her until she dies of old age. Or so they thought, since the turtle escapes with her babies in "The Nest".
    • "The Recipe": Ant-One and the army of Anton clones have been defeated and Gumball and Dawrin are now aware that playing God is wrong... but Anton didn't make it. Ant-Two (unintentionally) took his place.
    • "The Heist": Darwin successfully delivers the bag of money back to the bank, saving Richard from being imprisoned, however the police immediately suspect the bag to be a bomb and quickly blows it up. The Wattersons look at with disappointment the flaming money falling down after the explosion.
  • 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.
  • Bottle Episode:
    • "The Treasure" only features the Wattersons (not counting characters from a movie).
    • "The Procrastinators" features Gumball and Darwin for most of the episode, and Richard and Anais at the beggining and the end.
    • "The Box" happens basically entirely at the Wattersons' house, and, not counting imaginations, The Wattersons and Mr. Robinson are the only characters in the episode.
    • "The Transformation" almost entirely takes place within the Fitzgerald househould during an intense family arguement and Gumball as the Straight Man.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Gumball loves ketchup in everything, and uses it for other things too, like washing clothing wear.
  • 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 gives off the impression that the writers are genuine bigots or actually believe the ideas presented by the jokes).
  • Black Comedy: Season 4 cements the show as this. Almost all of the comedy revolves around pain Gumball's misfortune and how far that cat is willing to go to help others even if it probably screws over everyone else which it usually does. The death counts for characters have also increased.
  • Blah Blah Blah: Gumball sometimes says "All i can hear is blah, blah, blah..."
  • Bland-Name Product: Mr. Robinson's car is branded as a "Marillac" (a French surname) rather than a Cadillac.
    • The Wattersons' TV is from Soppy, rather than Sony (however, it is stated to be a knockoff)
  • Blinding Bangs: Jamie has these as of the third season.
  • Brick Joke:
    • "The Treasure": Some picture found in the attic show Gumball was incredibly bizarre and ugly looking as a baby. At the end of the episode, Richard mentions that, right after Gumball was born, the doctors were trying to figure out why he was so ugly.
    • "The Words": The episode starts on the bus as Darwin is forced to listen to Sussie and tells Gumball to grab the emergency hammer. He says he's not breaking a window, but Darwin clarifies that he wants Gumball to knock him out. At the end of the episode, they're both stuck on the bus with Sussie and they do break a window this time to get out.
    • "The Watch": Darwin mentions early on that Richard tried to give him the watch before Gumball. Once they admit to having lost the watch, Richard mentions offering it to Anais before Darwin.
    • "The Tape": Gumball and Darwin film a commercial for "Baby Anais, The Living Baby Doll" which soon turns into a commercial for "The Annihilator." Much later when Darwin is lecturing about Infinity-finity-finity, Gumball appears out of nowhere with "The Annihilator" and attacks the camera.
    • "The Plan":
      • The episode starts with the kids trying to find the weapons for a Kupock the barbarian toy. One of the terrible fates the two versions of Gumball inflict on each other through Time Travel is sticking Kupock's weapons on the other one's chair.
      • Gumball ignores Anais's advise to work on the the fake e-mail subject line. It later turns out Daniel Lennard was onto them because the subject line Gumball used was "Fake e-mail to Daniel Lennard".
    • "The World": Mid-way through, 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.
    • "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.
    • "The Finale": In response to Mr. Small's lawsuit for giving him claustrophobia, Darwin and Gumball shove him inside an envelope and try to mail him to the smallest country in the world. At the episode's end, Mr. Small can be seen among the crowd invading the Watterson house, and his body is covered in creases, as if he was just unfolded.
    • "The Bros": Darwin led Penny to the toolshed with a line of (toilet) paper roses. They're shown getting set on fire along with the toolshed, and the episodes ends following the trail of fire leading all the way back to the Fitzgerald house, which is burning as the family are standing outside.
    • "The Butterfly": Hank mentioned that patting his son Bobby on the head sent him into the ground until he came out in China, but Bobby was on the first flight home. As Hank’s detached head bounces off a plane's wing, he sees Bobby in the window and asks him to tell his wife he'll be late.
    • "The Oracle": At the yard sale during the episode's beginning, Richard plays with the zoom on a pair of binoculars. At episode's end, the Wattersons are disturbed by Barbara's painting's being a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and we get a zoom in and out on them which turns out to be a P.O.V. Cam of Richard playing with the binoculars again.
    • "The Recipe": When Gumball says that to create an Anton, they need to make the same as his parents did, Darwin ask if he need to put a moustache and kiss Gumball. Gumball says that's not what he meant, and that he would be the one with the moustache. Later Ant-One refers to Gumball as Dad, and that he only wants to be with him and Mom.
    • "The Advice": Darwin intended to flood the classroom in an attempt to "follow your dreams", and after that falls apart, the water is left running. Later, the flooded room is used to put out a fire in the hallway.
    • "The Pest":
      • "The Others" started with Gumball attempting to "go Super Saiyan". In this episode, he manages to pull it off.
      • When Gumball and Darwin see how much of a jerkass Billy has become they allow Anais to beat him up. She appears to walk off in a huff. At the end, after Gumball resolved the issue with him, she comes in with a drop kick since she was getting a running start for full force.
    • "The Gift": All that frog kissing just gave Anais frog flu, necessitating a hospital visit by the family leaving Gumball and Darwin home alone with Masami.
    • "The Ollie": Richard faces a nail gun the wrong way while retiling the roof and accidentally shoots down a hot air balloon. At the end of the scene they all come down and the battering of nail heads knocks him out.
    • "The Sorcerer": During the montage, Gumball stuffs a bag full of trash into a hat. When Mrs. Jötunheim gives him the same hat to stop the troll, all the trash falls on him before he puts it on.
    • "The Best": Early in the episode Gumball tells Darwin that Anais makes a smug face that looks like a wiener dog when she corrects others. When Anais shows up later she makes the exact face, prompting Darwin to laugh.
    • "The One": Gumball tries to tell Tobias that he's not the kind of friend they'd call to move a couch. At the end Tobias declines to help move a couch off a suffocating Darwin, since he's not that close a friend.
    • "The Father": The wallet Richard steals from his father while they're hugging at the end of the episode? It's Louie's.
    • "The Cage": Gumball and Darwin get hurt walking into things while trying to lick their elbows. Later, it's revealed that Mr. Corneille got hurt the same way.
    • "The Ghost": Nicole demonstrates how to say no by putting a sausage on Richard's nose that he's not allowed to eat, and the scene ends with Richard still salivating. Gumball comes back to his house with Carrie after school the next day and Richard is still standing there with a sausage on his nose.
    • "The Picnic": While hunting, Darwin asks if he can use his fins to "fish slap" their prey. Later on, he does this to defend himself and Gumball from a giant monster and the thing immediately goes off crying.
    • "The Goons": At the beginning of the episode Richard, Darwin, and Gumball are playing "butt puppets" (pretending their own butts are heads). At the end Richard seems to be doing it again at Gumball's bedside, but it's actually a doctor that happened to look exactly like Richard's butt puppet, has his voice, and is named "Dr. Butt".
    • "The Mustache": Darwin passes a drawing of himself as a adult, voting, which he later uses as a resumé.
    • "The Meddler": Gumball tries to get his parents' attention by mentioning he did a cartwheel and brags to Penny early on that he could show it to her, which Darwin says is unimpressive. At the end of Gumball's cheerleading tryout he does a cartwheel and it's exactly as underwhelming as Darwin claimed.
    • "The Helmet": Nicole tells Richard that if he won the speedboat on the game show he's going on, he'll never use it and he disagrees. The episode ends with the whole family destroying the street by driving the boat over it.
  • Bubble Pipe: A scrapped character who was originally going to be one of the new characters from "The Others", as an art teacher, had this.~

    C 
  • 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 it 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. The game has the power to cosmically enforce the rules, changing the laws of physics as needed. It nearly kills the entire Watterson family in "The Game" when they draw a card saying that nobody can breathe until the game is over.
  • 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.
    • The Potato goes into this a little bit more. When Darwin tries to quit eating potato's for Idaho's sake, Idaho reveals that sapient potatos and edible potatos are "made" diffrent.
  • 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.
  • Child Prodigy: Anais is four, attends Elmore Junior High at eighth grade, helps Gumball and Darwin on their homework, and used to make their breakfast too.
    • Billy is also four and is just as smart (if not smarter) as her, and also attends Elmore Junior High (though he is not on Anais' class, so it's unclear if he is in other 7th grade or other 8th grade classroom).
  • 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.
  • Comic-Book Time: The show has been on for over seven years, yet none of the characters have aged a single day. This becomes even more apparent when one considers that Christmas has been celebrated twice on the show, and Halloween has been celebrated three times on the show. Despite this, some of the more fleshed-out characters have gone through character growth throughout the seasons.
  • 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.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Gumball and Nicole are blue, Richard and Anais are pink, and Darwin is orange.
  • 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. "The Silence" is the only episode without title card music.
  • 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, Elmore is pretty much an exaggerated take on 21st century American society, where the education system is a joke, The World Is Always Doomed (often because of The Wattersons' antics), crime is freely committed by anyone and everyone and the Police are Useless, and the jerkass and Idiot Ball get tossed around with surprising frequency. The only differences between this and the real world is that Toon Physics enhances all of these problems and there's a surprising amount of Black Comedy Cannibalism (since most of the people in Elmore are based on food products, like Banana Joe, Sarah G. Lato, Anton the slice of toast, and the town's police force).
  • Creepy Child:
    • William. He scares Gumball and Darwin in "The Third" after reversing his eyelid skin.
    • Alan, who wants to become the school president to build happy camps and force everyone to be happy.
  • 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.
    • Series director Mic Graves' name has been seen on everything from books and logos to TV appearances (cf. "The Signal" where half of Gumball's face is cut off with a clip from a talk show called The Jack Dingle Show that has the topic "Mic Graves Ate My Hamster").
  • Cringe Comedy: Many episodes feature this.
    • "The Meddler", where Nicole accompanies Gumball to school and tries to interfere with his social life (urging him to tell Penny how he feels about her and stand up to Tina Rex).
    • "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 Nicole's wedding 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." This eventually gets so cringey that Mr. Small, of all people, brains him with a cafeteria tray and tells him to stop embarrassing himself.
    • "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"). To rub salt into the wound, they followed it up a few episodes later with a sequel that took the cringe factor WAY up to eleven entitled - you guessed it - "The Awkwardness". Later, the trilogy ended with... "The Cringe".
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: "The Best" and "The Worst".
  • Cute Is Evil: Rob is pretty adorable, especially after he exits the Void.

    D 

    E 
  • Either/Or Offspring: Children whose parents are different species seem to be either parent's species at random. Almost always, they're the opposite sex parent's species.
  • 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.
    • In "The Lie", Anais thinks Valentine's Day is a fake holiday.
  • 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 Sal 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.
    • In “The Cycle reveals Tobias’ parents, Carmen’s parents, Alan’s parents, the blue elephant, the teapot who later appeared in “The Line”, Mr. Corneille, the Bensons, Penny’s parents, the hexagon lady, and Karen went to Elmore Junior High as well.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Hot Dog Guy is, well, a hot dog guy. And Donut Cop is a cop that's a donut.

    F 
  • 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 (Sal Left Thumb) uses a spoon that is treated as if it were a deadly weapon by everyone but the Donut Cop. 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.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • In "The Job", when listing rules of the universe that should not be broken, Nicole says cats shouldn't get along with dogs.
    • In "The Saint", Gumball uses Alan's Elmore Plus profile to make a post about how "drawn people" are ruining the economy, destroying Alan's reputation.
    • In "The Extras" among cutout people, one of them gains the ability to move. After praising him for a few seconds, the others all decide to attack him for being different. It doesn't help that the one who learned that he could move, succeeds, and ends up being discriminated for it is black...
    • In "The Potato", Idaho states edible potatoes are different from potato people. Gumball doesn't know the difference.
    • Twice in "The Awareness":
      • First Darwin and Gumball make a comment that Bobert knows a vacuum cleaner, which he indignantly replies as though they assume all machines know each other. They also try to imitate mechanical motion, which only earns them an even more displeased glare from Bobert.
      • The rest of the episode comes about because Gumball says "plants don't matter", which offends Leslie and results in a long string of pseudo-stereotyping of "plant culture" from Gumball.
  • Fantasy Sequence: It has become quite the staple in the series. With all the outrageously strange and impossible things that happen to and around Gumball and Darwin, it's nice to know that some of them are actually all in their heads.
  • 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
    • 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.
  • Fictional Social Network: 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").
  • Filming for Easy Dub: One particularly dubious exchange between Gumball and Darwin in "The Boredom" occurs with their mouths off-screen, possibly indicating that the producers expected it to be cut and didn't want to have to reanimate the scene.
  • Five-Man Band: The Wattersons
  • Flipping the Bird: In The Best, Carmen warns Gumball to hold his pen differently so his hand doesn't cramp. Gumball drops the pen and attempts to raise his middle finger to flip her off, but right on cue his hand cramps, cracking painfully into a twisted shape in a visual equivalent of Curse Cut Short.
  • 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.
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    G 
  • Gag Series
  • 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", "The Love", and "The Night"), 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," "The Flower", and "The Scam"), zombie apocalypse ("The Joy"), horror ("Halloween," "The Vacation", "The Mirror", and "The Nest"), 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"), high-octane action ("The Bus", "The Return", "The Password", the climax of "The Parking", and "The Ape") and medical drama (the second half of "The Traitor").
  • The Ghost: Billy's father, plus several other parents.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Parodied in "The Founder" when Richard has to wait in the car, and when his stomach starts growling, his bad angel shows up on his left shoulder tempting him to go to the vending machine, followed by a good angel on the shoulder of Richard's bad angel, and another smaller bad angel on the shoulder of his bad angel's good angel.

    H 
  • 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.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: For a split second in "The Rerun", Nicole is seen in her panties using balls from a ball pit to cover her breasts.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • In "The Wicked", after acting like the biggest bitch in the universe, karma bites Mrs. Robinson and it bites hard. While driving away from a crime she committed, a streetlight makes her crash several times, get hit by a pair of trucks, launched into the by a humongous fireball, falls to the earth, and get's her head crushed by an ambulance.
    • "The Treasure": Anais looks like an idiot by destroying the chimney, gets smacked in the face by a board, fails to get her brothers' interest, and gets cut off just before she can make her deduction as to the episode's mystery ("Nooo! You stole my thunder!").
    • Leslie gets a massive one in "The Petals". He even gets beheaded.
    • "The Pact": Gumball's part of the pact results in him being mutilated over and over by Miss Simian's breath, and with a pencil stuck... somewhere.
  • Hurricane of Puns: A number of fishy ones occur in "The Roots" episode:
    Richard: "Ray" there buddy, what's going "prawn"?
    Darwin: What?
    Gumball: "Minnow", you've been giving us a lot of "carp" about this whole fish thing, and I "eel" you, no "trout". I'm your "sole" brother after all, know what I "brine"? note 
    Nicole: We don't want you to feel "orca-ward", we're just trying to "kelp" you.
    Darwin: I have literally no idea what any of you are talking about.
    Gumball: We just hate to "sea" you like this, know what I'm "salmon"?
    Anais: We "cod" do "batter" if you let us "fry". Here's some whale song to make you "reel" at home.
    [Whale music starts playing in the background]
    Anais: Wow, it's beautiful, if only we could understand what they're saying.
    (On-screen whale music subtitles): Help me! I have an IQ of 160, but they make me balance a ball on my nose and throw coins into my blowhole.
    Richard: (sniffles) Majestic.
    Darwin: Aah! Look, can you please just get out? I've "haddock" up to here, I mean I've had it up to- Aah, just get out!

    I 
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title is "The [noun]", except the holiday specials ("Christmas" and "Halloween").
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: Billy performs these near the end of the episode "The Pest" to explain why he was bullying Anais.
  • Informed Ability: Before the first season, Jamie was said to be a bully that was held back and hates her new classmates. However, her appearances in Season 1 show her either just making fun of Gumball, or playing with her friends. She only turned to a bully in Season 3, and still, it's never mentioned in the show proper why she bullies others or that she was held back, but it makes more sense Fridge Brilliance why she bullies kids in Miss Simian's class, but never in other classes (except Billy in “The Buddy”) and Hot Dog Guy appears to be her friend. Plus, even then she doesn't bully any of the kids who are physically strong or powerful (except for Bobert).
  • Insufferable Genius: Anais and Billy, especially the latter (who can be either a Jerkass or a polite boy). The former smugly tells others what's logical and correct and getting flustered whenever it proves to be wrong.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Gumball (a cat) and Penny (a sentient peanut with antlers, revealed in Season 3 to be a shape-shifting fairy).
    • Gumball's parents (a female cat and a male rabbit).
    • There's also Alan (a balloon) and Carmen (a cactus). That can not end well.
    • And the school's principal, a furry slug, and Miss Simian, a Baboon.
    • Granny Jojo (a rabbit) dates, and later marries, Louie (a mouse).
    • In "The Signature", it was revealed that Jojo (a rabbit) was married to deadbeat Frankie (a rat). Guess she Has a Type.
    • Darwin (a fish with legs) deep down had feelings for Carrie (a ghost) in "Halloween" which is why he kisses her as a ghost when given the opportunity. As of "The Scam", the feeling is mutual. They're officially together as of "The Matchmaker".
    • All of the Crack Pairings Sarah made in "The Shippening", except for the human Female!Gumball and Darwin.
  • The Internet Is for Cats: The reason Gumball and Darwin don't want the internet to shut down in "The Internet".
  • 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. "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.

    L 
  • Lampshade Hanging: In "The Finale", the Wattersons look a picture of them in Season 1 and point out how different they look.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • "The Sidekick": Tobias is willing to give the game back, but the only one who knows where it is is his mom, who neither Gumball nor Darwin can talk to because they kidnapped her.
    • "The Knights": At the beginning of the episode Mr. Fitzgerald sees the Watterson family and leaves without giving them a chance. At the end of the episode he crashes his car into the Watterson house and they're the ones tearing into him without letting him explain.
    • "The Joy": Miss Simian took glee in the students' misery, and was more happy with being right than concerned about Gumball and Darwin's apparent "deaths". She ends up being infected by the very two.
    • "The Comic": The thief who robs from Gumball later tries to rob Nicole's car. It doesn't end well for him.
    • "The Hug": Darwin spends the whole episode smugly predicting Gumball's actions, then pointing out how his next action will just make things worse. Gumball takes revenge by having Hot Dog Guy hug Darwin too, putting him in the same awkward situation and proving he wouldn't handle it any better.
    • "The Wicked": An attempt to catch Mrs. Robinson for a crime she did fails, causing Darwin to cry out asking if there's any justice in the universe. Then a lamp post she ran into falls over, causing her to get in a very destructive car accident, get blown skywards by an explosion, hit by a plane, and run over by the ambulance that came for her.
    • "The Points": Tobias tricked Gumball and Darwin into doing his chores for worthless points. They end up destroying his house and escape punishment by pulling the same trick on Mr. Wilson.
    • "The Loophole": Darwin avoids direct harm from Bobert after putting Gumball through the ringer testing him, but the next scene he's prevented from being saved from the harm of choking because the Heimlich might bruise him. Then Bobert follows orders to save him any way possible by the undignified method of inflating him through the butt until the blockage pops out of his mouth.
    • "The Grades": Ms. Simian deliberately gets Gumball sent back to kindergarten, but doing so decreases her class size enough that her position is being eliminated. When she gets Gumball back in, she is sent all the way back to 8th grade after Principal Brown overhears that she cheated back then.
    • "The Weirdo": The gang of bullies are all caught in Julius’ explosion at the end.
    • "The Petals": After accidentally putting Leslie in one massive Humiliation Conga, the now-beheaded Leslie chases after Gumball and Darwin with a large pair of scissors after they reveal his head will grow back in spring, which is six months from now.
    • "The Scam": Gumball pretends to be a hero to scam people out of candy. When this brings Gargaroth to Elmore, Gumball is forced to do something genuinely heroic to get rid of him—give up all of his candy to save Carrie. He is then greeted with applause from the whole town, which he is not at all satisfied by.
    • "The Schooling": Most of the Jerkass customers that Gumball and Darwin endure suffer from this.
      • Harold has the bottom half of his soda cup ripped off, making his soda drink bottomless.
      • Gumball intentionally leads the old woman to a police station.
      • Felicity gets accidentally thrown out of a window.
      • Mr. Small gets mauled by several animals after attempting to break them all out.
    • "The Sock": After going through a whole episode of giving Gumball and Darwin confusing lessons in honesty, seconds after resorting to traumatizing them into silence and considering that a job well done, Mr. Small gets stuck inside a filing cabinet past the end of the episode.
    • "The Club": The Rejects Club's plan is foiled, and they are tied up and at the Wattersons' collective mercy.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    • When Gumball's brain tells the government workers who actually filled out to test, he goes halfway through saying a drawn out "her" and pointing to a very shocked Anais, then switches to saying "him" and pointing at Rocky.
    • In "The Parents":
Nicole: I left, because there was no point in trying to fix something that was beyond repair. I wanted to start over and create something better.
Daniel Senicourt: Us too, but we were too old to have another chil— We have a dog now!
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: Banana Joe.
  • Lethal Klutz: All the Wattersons to varying degrees, which is lampshaded mercilessly in The Finale when all their past "accidents" come back to haunt them.
    • Richard Watterson is at the top of the heap; he can bring the whole universe to an end just by delivering a pizza (see Reality-Breaking Paradox below).
  • 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). This is lampshaded in the episode "The Job" where Anais states that she and the rest of the family have been wearing the same clothes every day for a year, hence the reason why Richard having a job and bringing in more money for the household is a good thing .
  • Literal-Minded: Darwin can be this sometimes, such as in "The Ollie". Also, Bobert, who has even pointed out he can't take anything more literally than he already does.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Miss Simian in "The Bet".
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The Wattersons, 26 students in Miss Simian's class (27 with Rob), the kids' parents, the school staff, and lots of recurring adult and child characters. And that's not counting the several minor and one-time characters!
  • Losing Your Head:
    • The ice cream part of Sarah can fall off the cone without any ill effects. Her body can even move independently, though this is difficult for obvious reasons. She's even shown to sleep with her head stored in a freezer.
    • The Chimera also takes his head off in "The Friend".

    M 
  • Mama Bear: Nicole, full stop. For example, when she thought Gumball was being bullied by Tina and she attempted to clear things up with her father...who just happens to be a fully-grown T-Rex. When calm discussion didn't work she took him on with her bare hands and won.
  • Medium Blending: Just look at the page image and Ben Bocquelet's quote about how he created the show.
  • Melancholy Musical Number: The song in "The Faith" is composed of three parts, with the second being a lament from Alan, asking why Gumball and Darwin thought their previous song (which was a very bleak take on life and how almost everything in it sucks) would make him feel better, how his life is crumbling down and asking why should he feel better when everything seems so horrible and isn't going to get better.
  • Missing Reflection: Carrie often lacks a reflection and doesn't show up on film, though this trait is frequently ignored depending on the needs of the plot. This is perhaps best demonstrated in "The Tape": the whole episode is a recording, and though her "introduction" just shows blank space, in several other scenes Carrie is clearly visible.
  • Möbius Neighborhood: The Robinsons are essentially the only neighbors of the Wattersons. A few shots show various supporting cast and Recurring Extras living in nearby houses, but only Gary the mailman is seen consistently—and even he's been shown living in several different houses ("The Wand”, "The Allergy", “The Nest”, and “The Neighbor” all show Gary living on the house opposite to the Robinsons' house, in "The Remote" he lives across the street).
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