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"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, and the sixth season was extend by two episodes, bringing its total to 50 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. On June 22nd, 2016, it was announced that the show was renewed for a sixth season. In September 2016, series creator Ben Bocquelet confirmed that the sixth season will be his last season, but that this is not necessarily the end of the show.

In March 2018, Ben Bocquelet asked users in his Twitter if they would like a movie based on the show. Due to mostly positive responses for The Movie, he later announced he would try to make it happen.

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. There's also a best episode crowner. 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:

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    Tropes A to M 
  • Adapted Out: In the comic, most characters who aren't related to the school or parents of a students are replaced with characters exclusive to the comics.
  • 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, a flashback shows Masami's mother as a clothed humanoid even when she was young, but maybe that's just a result of the flashback's Art Shift.
  • 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 the Donut Sheriff 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, 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.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Despite Masami, Sussie, and Nicole all having episodes dedicated to their birthdays, they never seem to get any older. In addition, Gumball's and Penny's birthdays have been mentioned in passing as happening a few months earlier, but both are still twelve.
  • 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.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Patrick Fitzgerald has two daughters, Penny and Polly.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Animesque: Some of the characters are occasionally drawn with stock anime expressions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Penny is the beauty, Carmen is the brain, and Tina is the brawn.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Blinding Bangs: Jamie has these as of the third season.
  • 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.
  • 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 six years, yet none of the characters have aged a single day. This becomes even more apparent when one considers that both Christmas and Halloween have been celebrated twice 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.
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier / Denser and Wackier: Manages to be both simultaneously. Season 1 took fairly realistic, lighthearted Slice of Life plots and contrasted them with the surreal, wacky world of the show. From season 2 onwards, however, the humor got much darker, raunchier, and less subdued, Gumball Took a Level in Jerkass, and an actual story arc involving a genuinely dangerous villain and the idea that the universe is sentient and controlling the world emerged. At the same time, however, the episode plots became increasingly surreal and nonsensical, the fourth wall started to disappear, and Bizarro Episodes started to become the norm. The end result of this is the show becoming far funnier.
  • Death Glare: Nicole has one that can produce a shelf-clearing shock wave, and that's when she's in control. When she passes her Rage Breaking Point it's horrifying enough to Disease Bleach your hair in seconds.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Skewers pretty much every cartoon and sitcom trope it comes across. However, it tends to do this less through subverting them or applying logic to them, but by taking tropes that normally tend to be taken for granted (such as Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, Not Allowed to Grow Up, Status Quo Is God and Snap Back) and having characters acknowledge and question them, leading to a lot of Fridge Horror. ("The Void", "The Kids", "The Job", "The Finale")
  • Demonic Spiders: In-Universe. The offspring of the Evil Turtle. They immediately send Elmore into chaos by biting through anything, swarming places at breakneck speed for being really small but numerous.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: When Gumball and Darwin have a minute left before school starts in “The Countdown” Instead of just simply running straight to school, Gumball goes lengths to parkour his way there because “it’s the fastest way to get from point A to point B.” He even passes a bench and then goes back to parkour under said bench.
  • Domestic Abuse: "The Choices" flashes back to the day Nicole met Richard, and examines what her life would have been like if she made different choices that day. One of those has Harold (Tobias' father) manipulating Nicole into marrying her, making her get hideous plastic surgery, and constantly treating her like dirt. Him demeaning her for having the sushi be too cold is the Rage Breaking Point that causes her to set the house on fire, possibly killing Harold while she screams "IS THAT HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?". This is played for laughs.
  • Either/Or Offspring: Children whose parents are different species seem to be either parent's species at random.
  • 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 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.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Hot Dog Guy is, well, a hot dog guy. And the Donut Sheriff is a Sherriff that's a donut.
  • 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 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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").
  • 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.
  • 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 underwear using balls from a ball pit to cover her breasts.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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" and "The Allergy" both show Gary living on the house opposite to the Robinsons' house, in "The Remote" he lives across the street, and in "The Nest", to the left of the Wattersons).

    Tropes N to Z 
  • Nature Is Not Nice: The Forest of Doom from is a dangerous place filled with hostile monsters, including the squirrels, that has managed to nearly kill Gumball and Darwin every time they've entered it. It even looks like a skull from the sky.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • 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.
    • As of Season 4, "kill" has become slightly more common but only in contexts such as killing a virtual snake creature in what Richard believes to be a video game ("The Uploads"), killing someone's appetite ("The Origins"), or as part of the saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" in a song ("The Advice"). The use of the word in a direct reference to the act of killing someone has thus far been avoided.
    • Finally averted in "The Loophole" when Gumball calls Bobert a "potential killing machine."
    • Averted again in "The Vase" , where Nicole says "Never show your feelings because it's impolite. Sit on them until you die."
    • Averted again in "The Heist", where Nicole says she'll "kill (Richard)
    • Averted once again in "The Singing", where the Showerhead refers to Nicole as looking "half-dead"
    • Averted once more by Sarah in "The Shippenings", where Sarah says the sun could "kill (her)"
  • 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 the idea that he works the majority of Elmore's businesses 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, but in "The Schooling", he tells Gumball and Darwin that he takes many jobs because he was a dropout student and couldn't get a single well-paying one.
    • Rocky does most school jobs that's aren't teaching or administrative positions, like the janitor/groundskeeper, the bus driver, cafeteria worker, and the lost and found clerk.
    • Karen, Larry's girlfriend, has been seen working as a grocery store sale associate, office worker (at several different companies), 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"), worked at the Justice Department informing the Watterson of a class-action lawsuit against them ("The Finale"), and worked at the bank ("The Signature"). A cupcake man also works at the bank and Chanax.
    • 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," them (or orge-like version of them) are the tollbooth operators. Two work at Chanax in "The Founder".
    • 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", "The Wicked" and "The Anybody" shows the mini-figs as firemen. In "The Founder", one works at Chanax.
    • The quartet of prisoners first seen in "The Finale" (the butter knife, the green goblin, the dolphin-bird hybrid, and the can of spray-paint) have also been seen as repo men and as businessmen. The green goblin hoodlum is also the head of Chanax Industries, 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.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: While most characters are drawn with a 2D, 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. As of "The Matchmaker", it is Darwin and Carrie.
  • Off-Model: Used often to hilarious effect - often for exaggerated facial expressions, which sometimes qualify as Nightmare Face.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In "The Parents", Richard is actually talking about a can of corned beef, and Nicole thinks he's talking about reconciling with her parents:
    Richard [opening a can of corned beef]: Come on, let's give this another chance.
    Nicole: Okay.
    Richard: Just promise me you'll be good this time.
    Nicole: I can't just promise that.
    Richard: Why won't you open up?
    Nicole: There's so much bad history between us. I mean, we stopped talking over 20 years ago.
    Richard [eating the corned beef from the can]: Why are you always so hard inside?
    Nicole: I guess it's a way to protect myself, but... you're right. I'll try my best to be open. Thank you, Richard!
    Richard [continues to eat the corned beef]: Uh... anytime?
  • 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, the only ones with known siblings are Margaret and one of Ocho's parents, while Richard, Nicole and Rocky are only children.
  • Pacman 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: the most...
    Anais: Amazing!
    Darwin: DUDE!
    Nicole: I don't have time...
    Richard: 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.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: Richard isn't just unemployed because he's terminally lazy and generally unemployable. Apparently, giving him a job is so contrary to the natural order it can tear the very fabric of reality apart.
  • Reality Ensues: Nicole had Abusive Parents that tried to force her to be an overachiever, and she disowned them in her teens due to her being tired of them controlling her life and her love for Richard. Richard, for his part, grew up with a Disappeared Dad, a My Beloved Smother, and also got kicked out of the house by his mother possibly because she didn't want him as a Basement-Dweller. Instead of playing this off as an Hilariously Abusive Childhood, both Nicole and Richard have deep-seated and crippling neuroses.
  • Retcon:
    • 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.
    • Kip the reporter was originally a human from season 3 until "The News", where he was turned into a newspaper puppet.
    • Ocho was supposed to only be able to make arcade sounds and not be able to communicate with other characters; he never even showed a mouth. In season 2 onwards, however, he gets a mouth to talk or express, and can speak normally.
    • Anais was described as the smartest character in the entire show in early production text and a DVD. However, she began to be described as the smartest member of the Watterson family only, and Bobert is now said to be the smartest in the school.
    • No matter how late in the show they are introduced, new characters are treated as if they've been there forever, and show up on flashbacks.
  • 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!
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Larry works most of the jobs in Elmore simultaneously, so when Larry goes on strike, in just 20 minutes, it causes 4 pizzas to be worth $9,000 and $100 being worth next to nothing.
  • 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 and Asian 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 Evil 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").
    • When something explodes, it's normally followed by a Smash Cut, such as the Rainbow Factory in "The Fan", Mr. Robinson's heart monitor at the end of "The Boss", and Rob's exploding burger that he was going to use to destroy Banana Joe (but Gumball ate instead) in "The Ex".
    • Gumball getting covered in some kind of dirty substance. Every time it happens he's visibly annoyed but ends up clean by the next part.
  • Seesaw Catapult: The Early Reel sees Gumball and Darwin waiting at one end of a seesaw while a series of Batman Gambits transpire into a Rube Goldberg Device that they believe will launch him over the schoolyard fence to freedom. The good news: the sequence happens exactly as planned. The bad news: the actual launch from the seesaw has gone hilariously wrong, instead sending them straight between Hector's buttocks.
  • 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 regardless of gender. 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: The show is overwhelmingly idealistic, even if it makes no bones about how awful many parts of the Wattersons' lives are.
  • 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 and in "The Kids" when Gumball and Darwin get new voices (though this is justified as the entire episode is a farewell to the original voice actors for Gumball and Darwin [Logan Grove and Kwesi Boakye] and an intro to the new ones [Jacob Hopkins and Terrell Ransom, Jr]).
  • Surreal Humor: Comes part and parcel with a series that celebrates, parodies, and deconstructs Toon Physics and every animation and entertainment trope under the sun.
  • 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. Not only that, but Ocho means 8 in Spanish, and he is animated in 8 bit style.
    • 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 teaching cavemen 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. She outright refuses to perform CPR on Anton when he drowns in the pool, but rather instead uses the opportunity to teach the other kids how to save a life. The kids are clearly traumatized when Anton turns to mush.
    • 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.
  • Take That!: It has quite a few, mostly in the later seasons.
    • "The Upgrade" is essentially one long Take That against Apple and unnecessary upgrades.
    • "The Nest" mocks sensationalist news.
    • "The Comic" has a jab at improbable poses by comic book artists.
    • "The Copycat" is one against "Miracle Star", the blatant Chinese rip-off of Gumball.
    • "The Best" has one against Tumblr, as well as the common behaviors of the users that frequent it.
  • 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 is 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 MGM Cartoons, 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.
    • When Gumball invents "The ENTERTAINENATOR, he insists that you have to say it in a deep, dramatic voice.
  • 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: Has its own page.
  • 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...