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What Could Have Been / The Amazing World of Gumball

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Early designs for characters, as described in "Early Production Designs".
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  • Most of the characters of this show were originally going to be mascots for ads and company logos, but all of them were rejected. Penny, for instance, came from a commercial pitch to Nickelodeon and had a gun. Rather than get rid of them or redesign and re-pitch them in the hopes they'd be accepted, Ben Bocquelet superimposed them on a photograph of a school and decided to create a TV series using those characters.
  • In an interview (page 127), Ben Bocquelet revealed the show was originally envisioned as being about rejected cartoon characters being sent to a remedial school so they can become normal enough to star in an animated series. Daniel Lennard, the Vice President of Cartoon Network's European division, found the idea to be too depressing and was looking for family/kids' animated sitcoms, so Bocquelet turned the remedial school into an American junior high school and also added a focus on the main character's family. He also mentioned at one point hoping [adult swim] would be interested in some of his work, although, contrary to some claims, he never pitched Gumball itself to Adult Swim (and the claim that [adult swim] rejected the show for being "too cute" was actually attributed to the short-lived series The Problem Solverz).
  • The idea for Darwin's origin, a fish that grew legs, originated in an earlier show pitch by Bocquelet about a village of cryptids that lived in the backyard of a little boy's house, but were isolated from the rest of the world.
  • The show's name was originally planned to just be "Gumball" and not refer to any particular character. It was then decided to make that the main character's name, and from there the title expanded to The Amazing World of Gumball.
  • Gumball and Richard were at first both thought up as blue dogs, but they figured a family of cats and rabbits would be cuter. Gumball was then going to be a black cat, because he's very unlucky, but it was decided this would limit the stories he could be involved in and make him visually indistinct. Some early sketches of blue dog Richard and black cat Gumball have been posted.
  • Nicole was originally going to be an Invisible Parent because she was always at work.
  • An "Early Reel" was made for the show as a pilot (and is available on YouTube). The most noticeable differences are the fact Darwin was animated in CGI and Gumball had a square head, though other characters looked different too. Teri the paper bear was also a boy, there.
  • Darwin was originally simply the class goldfish who just happened to be Gumball's best friend, and Anais studied in a kindergarten close to Gumball's school (in the actual series, she studies at Elmore Junior High and the kindergarten is an entirely separate place).
  • This image shows a pink Alan with a nose, Carmen without outlines and a more squiggly shape, a white cat, and Ocho with an extra leg and a smaller, simpler face.
    Early Production Designs 
  • The picture above, from 2007, features a very early version of the characters. Notable differences include:
    • Gumball was black, had a bigger square head with bigger eyes, and wore a brown coat.
    • Darwin's body was rounder and he had bigger eyes.
    • Ocho was blue.
    • Carmen had a single, big eye, and had more spikes.
    • Alan had freckles.
    • Rob wore jeans, while his final Season 1 design had red shorts instead.
    • Carrie was fatter and resembled a Boo from Super Mario Bros.
    • Penny didn't have a mouth and her antlers were darker and were at the top of her head.
    • Principal Brown didn't have a mouth or visible eyes, and dragged himself over the ground like a real slug.
    • Bobert had a smaller, round pupil in a otherwise completely black eye (though that could just be a reflection).
    • Tina resembled her Season 2-present design, rather than her Season 1 design.
    • Miss Simian was completely different, and was more ape like.
    • Tobias didn't have lips.
    • Some characters that didn't make it to the final show are seen, such as one with a box in their head, a square red alien with antennae that had really big hands, a black dot with long arms, a red creature piloting a machine with a propeller and robot arms, a snowman, and a blob of blue paint.
  • There is also this picture. It has Gumball in a tuxedo, a grey man with his brain exposing, a blue Bobert, a 2D William, a box robot, a lightbulb guy, a red small creature, a cyclops octopus, a black Alan, a pear-shaped rainbow character with many antlers, a poop guy, and a red dog with a beanie that could possibly be an early draft of Gumball.
  • There were going to be some characters who didn't show up in the final version:
    • A professor who was made of paper, like Teri, and frequently bumped into Gumball at the hallway causing him to break into pieces.
    • Splatty, a paint person who was drawn by some kid in the bathroom.
    • Fragile, creature with several legs that protected himself with a cardboard box and was afraid of getting hurt.
    • A pixel person.
    Changes in Episodes 
  • According to the credits of "The Responsible", the episode was originally going to have a song.
  • In "The Quest", Sussie was going to be the one throwing Daisy with Tobias, eating Daisy and spitting in him, but she was replaced by Carrie.
  • Sal Left Thumb and Exercise Bacon were created both as students of Elmore Junior High, with even the opening screen for a game featuring Sal as a student. They were changed to adults, but Sal can be seen as a kid in "The Gi" and "The Choices", the former featuring his prototype design.
  • "The Downer" underwent a significant rewrite because the initial draft was considered too dark. Bocquelet refused to elaborate on how the first and final scripts differed, and, when asked for some storyboards, said that it was up to the storyboard artist to release that information. He would, however, later describe it as being "just lame".
  • Sarah's comic in "The Comic" was originally conceived as a parody of Rob Liefeld's style, but they liked the style the guest artist came up with better.
  • It was planned at some point for Penny and Gumball to break up in a Two-Part Episode, but this was abandoned in favor of the two staying together.
  • "The Choices" ended up as part of the show's fifth season, but the idea for it came several seasons earlier. This is why James Lamont and Jon Foster have a writing credit for the episode, despite both leaving after the second season.
  • The doppelganger family from "The Copycats" were originally lifted wholesale from the Miracle Star commercials that inspired the episode, even sharing the same names and identical designs. The show's legal advisers wanted to avoid a lawsuit, so sometime between storyboarding and the finished episode, the names and designs were changed to be different, though still obviously similar (and even more like the Wattersons).
  • In "The Fury", Yuki originally dropped Rocky's shopping cart in the storyboards, but he was replaced by Alison Sandra Gator.
  • In "The Shippening", after Mr. Small shows his bride dress to Larry, Gumball would say "Con-drag-ulations" but the line got replaced by "Serving some bridal realness there, Mr. Small!"
  • Similarly, in "The Anybody", when Darwin realizes the fountain he drank water from was actually Clayton, he would say "Did I just drink his—", and Gumball would say "You're in as deep as I am". In the final episode, he just tells him to go away with him before Miss Simian catches them.
  • Ben wanted to do a massive Crossover episode where Gumball and Darwin get a backstage pass from the Awesome Store that would allow them to visit stores from other shows. The two accidentally leave the door open on their way out, causing their reality to get "contaminated" with the realities of other shows. Ultimately, this idea never came to pass, and the closest thing Gumball got to a crossover was Clarence, Uncle Grandpa, and Mordecai, Rigby, and High-Five Ghost's cameos in "The Boredom".
  • If the first synopsis for "The Awareness" is to be believed, the episode was originally about Gumball and Darwin trying to go green, but ending up overrunning the school with vines.
    Changes in Characters 
  • Sarah G. Lato's name was originally going to be Dolly.
  • A Chinese couple was planned to appear in "The Uncle" and had concept art for them, but was scrapped for unknown reasons. It's unknown which scene they would show up. A similar girl which may have been inspired in this art appears in "The Parents".
  • A model sheet from 2009 shows Granny Jojo with an orange-dotted green dress, and Rachel with orange hair, white shirt and a red skirt. Plus, Ocho has some expressions that he never shows in the actual series, while several characters (including Gumball, Anais and Nicole) are shown in side view, while they don't in the show.
  • Several characters, from recurring ones to one-scene gags, went through multiple, significant redesigns before settling on one:
    • Alison Sandra Gator had many possible colors, some of which aren't found on actual crocodiles.
    • The people in "The Sweaters" from Richwood High were originally going to be Funny Animals like everyone else, rather than stiffly animated 70s/80s-cartoon-style humans.
    • Jodie was drafted as an octopi, dogs, moles, pigs, a Russian doll, an owl and a purple bird. The first version of her final design had a blue backpack.
    • Josh was also thought up as strange humanoids and Funny Animals, but in all of them he already had a triangle at top of his head.
    • Daniel Senicourt, Nicole's father, had a total of 15 prototypes before settling on the current one. Before being decided as a Grumpy Cat Expy, he had designs inspired on Danny DeVito and Garfield, and in most, he was blue instead of white. In some, he was more overweight, wore hats, had different shapes (one similar to Richard's), had darker and lighter tones of blue, and wore glasses.
    • Mary Senicourt had only nine prototypes, most closer to the final design, but other ones had her with different head shapes, lighter fur, wearing glasses and different clothes, and looking older.
    • Gworp from "The Test" had two discarded designs. In one, he was purple, had Conjoined Eyes, skinny limbs with gloves, a bigger red nose, and a red bandana in the neck. In other, he was green, wore a tie, had a more separated head and body, had buckteeth, and spring-like ars.
    • The Marshmallow Firefighters from "The News" were always little pink marshmallows, but their face and helmet changed a lot between designs.
    • The Farmer from that same episode also had many prototypes, most of which he was more similar to a human. In one, he was yellow and had a pointy nose.
    • "The Uncle" had rejected designs for Hazmat workers, and seven designs for Uncle Mario. Also, the chinese family mentioned below.
    • The crazy lady from "The Schooling" had at least three scrapped designs. The first had her purple, with a red shirt and a darker purple skirt. The second had her orange, with a much longer hair, a white shirt, a pink skirt, and lipstick. In the third, she was green, with a long neck, a ripped white shirt with a dark green sweater under it, and a gray skirt. Little Timmy also had clothing that apparently caught attention of the censors.
    • Hot Dog Guy's mother used to be more humanoid, in some designs having outlines that looked like clothing.
    • The Tuba Guy from "The Compilation". Instead of just drawing a tuba and putting eyes, teeth and a tongue to it, the designers made eleven ones, where his body parts were in many parts of him.
    • "The Awkwardness" had two. Leonard Daniels, the lightbuld guy that follows Gumball around, was drawn as humanoids, a statue, a gnome, a dog, a peanut, a poop, toilet paper, a cockroach, a female pig, an ear, and a cupcake that resembles his voice actor, Mic Graves. The hand security officer was designed originally as a fire extinguisher, a Mc Flurry, a statue, a walkie-talkie and a brick wall.
    • Byrdie from "The Slide" was possibly had 16 designs counting the final one. In some, she had Margaret's shape, and was The Noseless.
    • The judge from "The Love" had three prototypes.
    • "The Bus": The airport ground crew were originally monkeys, pixel people, stick figures, and humanoids with a small head. The finger pilots were originally ducks, aliens, flies, anthropomorphic airplanes, and a sun and moon.
    • "The Others" had a duck teacher and a humanoid art teacher with a Bubble Pipe, which were scrapped.
    • "The Wicked" features a scene set at the motherhood, and lots of concept art for babies was drawn. The scrapped ones are a nest of eggs, a corn kernel with three corn babies, a catterpillar, a yellowish blob, clams, and sun babies referencing Teletubbies.
    • The clown from "The Procrastinators" originally had a drawing-like appearance with the shape of a bowling pin. Apparently, Darwin's crude drawing would have been completely accurate in regards to the clown.
    • Some dogs drawn to appear in "The World" did not. They are a pink dog with long legs, a cube-head dog who later appeared in “The Origins: Part 2, a purple skinny do, and a blue bulldog. In the same episode, a frog had an alternate design that looked less realistic and more cartoonish, likely because it was the first time a frog appeared in the show.
    • Fenton Benson, the ear of corn, had a design that looked more like a real corn, and the one more closer to the final design didn't have a nose.
    • Lenny Smith the 3D Cube Employee had early designs with hair, pink skin and later blue skin, a double chin, a coat, a larger body, no eyebrows and no mustache.
    • The medical profissionals such as Joan Markham were originally going to be vital sign monitors, instead of bandages.
    • The Joyful Burger mascot, Burgie, has the number "2" in their model sheet not fully seen, meaning they have at least one unused design.

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