Hello, Spongey here.
In this day and age, the three main kids networks, Disney Channel, Nickelon, and Cartoon Network have been very…mixed. in the mid 2000’s they all went downhill and it’s been debated if they will get back to their former glory.
However, recently they have had their bright spots. While Disney seems to have shifted animation to XD, (proving why I was right about it), all of their cartoons are still great. Nick is…mostly weak but not as horrible as people claim, although TMNT and Harvey Beaks are great.
Then there’s Cartoon Network…which is on fire right now. While Nick held more memories for me as a kid, Cartoon Network has always had a special place in my heart. It hit probably the worst dork age of the 3 due to the CN Real Bullshit.
But now they’re pretty good again with some really great creator driven shows that challenge what’s okay for kids shows. Adventure Time is like an acid trip that gets very emotional and fun. Regular Show is more of an Adult Swim show half the time (in a good way), and we all know how awesome Steven Universe is.
But with all those shows taking up the spotlight, people forget CN has other shows that are worth watching. Sonic Boom is one of the better Sonic shows and it’s funny (probably because Dave Polsky is on it). Clarence is a nice simple show, and hell, I actually enjoy Uncle Grandpa. Sure, Teen Titans go is mediocre (not as horrible as everyone says) but that’s about it aside from …uh…Ben ten spin off 5000 or whatever’s on.
Then we have the show we’re discuss today: The Amazing World of Gumball.
Created in 2011 by Ben Bocquelet, this show is certainty interesting. It was on the CN Monday Line up with the other stuff, and it seemed to be going in the same direction in terms of popularity.
However, CN thought it was a brought idea to move it to Tuesday around Season 2 or so and honestly, I’m shocked it’s still going strong. Usually, when a show is moved to another day away from the usually lineup, it dies.
And since this show isn’t as well known or popular as those shows, I figured it would sadly die. However, it raged on with mostly consistent airings. Then with Season 3, they finally put it back on the normal line up, Now it’s getting almost as popular as those, but that might be just cuz those shows are winding down.
(After writing this, I found out Adventure Time and Regular Shoe are getting Season 8. Meh)
I always liked the show but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to marathon all of it. But before I get into it, let’s cover the basics. Ben made the show using rejected characters he made he had created for commercials and put them all in one series. And what series it is.
Gumball revolves around the life of a young cat named…well, Gumball Watterson and his frequent shenanigans in the city of Elmore, accompanied by his adoptive goldfish brother/friend, his intellectual younger sister Anais, and stay-at-home fat lazy father Richard ,and workaholic mother, Nicole. On paper, it sounds kind of typical but it’s very…creative.
Besides Gumball being a cat with a fish brother, and his sister and Dad being a Rabbit, the show is odd. The city is full of unique character of different types. Not just other animals, but tons of weird creatures. Some citizens are edible food, and some are indescribable. There doesn’t seem to be two one of creature.
This is all hard to describe, but this world is insanely creative, due to how odd the people are. It’s a fully realized world and as the show goes on, they do more crazy things with it. Not to mention they use a variety of animation techniques on the characters. Some are simply stylized 2D, some are CG, and one is even a freaking puppet.
The animation itself is very impressive, and it gets even more interesting as the show goes along. The show does a good job at mixing typical kids show stuff, with some really creative scenarios.
The characters can bit a bit typical but they tend to be very likable, from the kind hearted Darwin to the lazy father. I’ll talk more about them as we go on but I will say I especially love the side characters, from the teacher, Mrs. Simian, to Banana Joe. One of the characters is a balloon that sounds and acts like a girl but is actually a boy…for some reason.
One of the show’s strengths is its humor. It tells plenty of good dramatic stories, but it can also be really funny. It gets very creative with its gags, and matter what it does, it spins things in some insane and fun directions.
Sure, it can get a bit too mean spirited at times, as I discussed back in my Bad episodes of good Cartoons list, but more often than not it hits. This is one of those shows that ranges from pretty good to flat out great.
But for the most part, it’s just really good. I considered doing A look At, but I didn’t find myself having a lot to say. I don’t have a ton to say about the characters and I would have ended up talking about certain episodes anyway.
It’s the dark horse of the CN lineup, as it’s not quite as popular as the big 3, but I argue it can be just as good when it’s at its best. It’s a fun alternative if you feel those shows get too dramatic at times.
Today I’ll show why it’s so good with a look at my favorite episodes. Which episodes have the best Comedy and writing? Let’s take a look.
This, is my Top 11 Amazing World of Gumball Episodes
11. The Colossus
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Jon Foster, James Lamont, and Mic Graves
Okay, I already talked about this episode in my Bad Episodes list, but I think it deserves a spot on here. Many episodes were on here at one point but I eventually went with this one because of how much I respect it.
Since not everyone has read that list, and it’s in a unrelated section, I will go over it again.
Gumball and Darwin want more friends on Elmore Plus (Discount Facebook), and one of their school friends, a giant named Hector, declines their friend request, which sucks because his only friend is his Mom.
They investigate and find out his Mom shelters him and prevents him from doing anything exciting and goes stuff like censor his comic books. The two try to get her to change her mood and convince Hector to stand up against his Mom, but things go sour when gets so worked up he rampages all over the city.
This is one of those episodes I appreciate more than anything else. It’s solid but there are better stories, and funnier episodes. However, it’s amazing just due to what it does. I explained it in that list, but I have more to say, especially in contrast to the rest of this show.
We’ve seen this plot often before, and usually they just say that kids should not be sheltered. Typicall they do out and get hurt but say they don’t mind because they have fun. This can be done well but sometimes it can turn out bad. I know this is an easy target but one such example is Sam and Cat’s #OscarTheOuch.
You think this should would go that route since it isn’t exactly known for doing new dramatic takes on typical plots, at least at the time.
But instead, they actually say it’s fine for Hector to be like this. It becomes a moral about respecting other people’s life choices. That moral in itself is gone, but combined with this plot, it becomes something special.
This choice could have easily fallen flat on it’s ass, since it’s rather odd to advcator a lifestyle like this. But somehow, it works!
Mostly because they make sure to show that this isn’t hurting Hector. Honestly, he’s fine the way he is. He’s nice, he has okay friends at school, and Mom is only doing this to prevent him from going crazy.
They aren’t saying it’s going for everyone, just that some people need it, at least when they are young. (Although I have no idea how old he is, given he’s a giant bigfoot thing). Hector is fine the way he is, and he doesn’t need all that stuff.
Sure, it’s not quite perfectly done but they at least try to justify it with this character. Besides, respecting life choices is a good moral in itself. The episode also has some decent Comedy, with plenty of amusing moments, my favorite bieng the Censored comic.
Because it’s read straight, like it’s a dramatic comic, making the silly censorship even funnier. As a side note, the animation on Hector is so flowing and good. That makes this episode even better given he has to do some crazy stuff near the end.
The show has better written stories, but this sticks out due to his unique it is. It would have been so easy for them do the cliché thing, or fall on it’s face with the moral they picked. As I explained before, not even Steven Universe could pull it off.
So they deserve a lot of credit for pulling it off at all. It may not be the best written episode ever, but it’s a gem that does a tricky subject very well with a good moral and some decent Comedy.
Overall, it’s just a well done episode that serves as a nice way to start our list. Now for the episodes I haven’t talked about it before!
10. The Kids
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Guillaume Cassuto, Mic Graves, and Tobi Wilson
The problem with having actual kids voice child characters is that kid grow up. So that means sometimes you have to age up the character (like they did with Finn on Adventure Time) or change the actor.
Most shows would just do it and move on. …But Gumball is smarter than that, so they made an entire episode to explain it!
Gumball and Drawin find that their voices are changing and have to deal with the fact that they are growing up.
Honestly, this episode got on here just for the concept. The fact that bothered to actually transition into the new voice actors instead of just having it happen. But it’s made even better by the execution and HOW they do it.
It’s yet another story that deals with growing up and while it’s not exactly the deepest, they still handle it fairly well. They mostly use it for a Comedy but there a few little sad moments here and there.
It’s hard to mix in Comedy with a slightly serious topic, but this episode does it really well. The whole thing builds up a punch line that could have ruined the episode, but instead makes it even funnier.
Speaking of Comedy, there are plenty of good jokes to be found here, mostly with how their voices keep randomly changing. One accident with Penny’s Dad on the phone leads to the best part of the whole episode.
Why is the best? …Well, try to guess what they are spoofing here:
“Now listen to me. I have a very specific set of skills. Skills I’ve acquired over a very long career. In real estate. If you never call by daughter again, that… will be the end of it. But if you do, I will look for you. I will find you. And I will build a house around you. With no doors. “
….10/10, best show ever.
Speaking of amazing things, the icing on the cake is the song. Or should I say…rap? Yep, they have a whole rap number about how they should still have fun while they are kids.
It’s amazing. Not only is catchy but it flows well and has tons of great jokes.
Then of course, there’s the ending. After all of this, their voices become young again…but they find that they sound even younger than before. Earlier they were told only a small percentage of people stay young forever, and now they find out they fall into that category.
They cheer….but get a bit sad upon realizng what that means. The end! Yep, we have a semi downer ending….that works because it’s played for laughs and it’s really funny. That’s how you do a funny downer ending.
Plus, it perfectly transitions into the new voice actors. If you wan to know, I think they are pretty good. Honestly, I barely notice they have changed and after a season and a quarter, they have really grown into these roles.
This episode is just really clever, in how it uses a voice actor change to squeeze some good jokes and tackle an interesting subject. It doesn’t really say anything, but it gives you some stuff to think about it.
But really, it’s the concept that puts it on this list. I love that they did this and they pulled it off really well. It perfectly introduces the new voice actors, and it has a great song and a lot of good jokes to boot.
For all of those reasons, it’s another great episode, and was a solid way to start Season 3.
9. The Gi
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Jon Foster, and James Lamont
Like pretty much evry show ever, Gumball’s first Season was a slow start. Thankfully, it was still very good, showing off all the creatvity and Comedy the rest of the show has. But it did start off a bit slow, but being too funny and lacking a real idenity for a while.
As a result, there aren’t too many Season 1 Episodes on this list. However, it still had plenty of gems, and this is one of them.
Gumball and Darwin are ridiculed for their martial-arts costumes by their schoolmates, and their mother tries to convince them to take them off.
Surprisingly, I don’t have as much to say about this one. Which is odd cuz I remebeted this one being meatier. See this was one of the earlier episodes to prove that the show could tell a good story, on top of being funny.
While it’s not as deep as some other stories we would see later on, this is still a good start. It’s rather simple but it works surprisingly well. Although I can see some seeing the moral in a different light.
Basically, Mom is worried about how they are getting mocked, mostly because the same thing happened to Richard as a kid. We even get a flashback as Nicole actually stood up for him back then.
While maybe slightly cliché, it’s a nice touch as it gives her a better reason outside of just not wanting them to wear the outfits all the time. Also, the mocking from the kids is done well because none of it is mean spirited.
It’s just typical school yard teasing, nothing more. I suppose I should say off the bat that my only complaint is that Gumball and Darwin are a bit too obvlious. To be fair, this was an issue Season 1 that they mostly fixed, but it was still an issue.
While I wouldn’t call them smart, they aren’t stupid either and are usually aware of the world of around them. But sometimes they are dumbed down for the sake of the plot. Here, they have no idea they are being mocked until the end.
But it kind of works here because of how the story is told, and you can argue they were just in denial. Anyway, the big thing that makes this episode work is the heart. Yes, it has quite a few sweet scenes, most notably a rather depressing song.
It’s not the biggest tear jerker ever, but it’s rather interesting. The story is decently interesting despite it being rather simple compared to other episodes. It’s a simple case of someone not wanting a loved one to go down the route or some other loved on, and gives some slight development for Nicole.
In the end, she allows the kids to keep wearing the Gi’s and gives Richard his old cape back. Why? Because Penny ended up standing up for them saying they were at least “brave enough to be themselves”. Nicole said the same thing Richard, so you can see it effected her.
I could see some people seeing this the wrong way, since it’s not exaclty good to just parade around like an idiot like they are doing. Not to mention they aren’t exactly being themselves. ….However, I think it works fine in context, since the moral of being yourself is fine in this context.
I think the emotion is what makes it all work. The story could have failed in lesser hands, but they put a lot of effort into making this a heartfelt story. The sweet and genuine moments really help.
I know this isn’t as all that fair, but if this was in a different season, this may not have been on the list. Oh, it’s a very solid episode with a well told story….but there are better stories out there.
I mostly put this on her to show it as an early example of the show being able to tell a good story. I needed at least one Season 1 episode on here, and I thought this was a good pick. Don’t worry, if it wasn’t as good as it was, I would just take it off, but it’s place in the show is why it’s even here.
But even with that, it is a solid episode. It’s not all that funny, but it makes up for it with a solid and heartfelt story. It may not be the best episode ever, but it’s certaintly good enough to be on this list somewhere.
And trust me, this is where the episodes get ….interesting. Anyway, great episode.
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Ben Cottam, Mic Graves, Kieran Hodgson, Tom Meltzer, Jess Ransom, Joe Parham, and Tobi Wilson
Remember my whole spiel in the Phineas and Ferb Season 4 list about Zombies and how homages to them are a dime a dozen? I said 2014 alone had quite a few of them, and I went into Randy and Wander’s takes on it.
….Well, Gumball gave one of the 2014 ones, and while Night of the Living Pharmacist was probably the funniest, this is….almost as fantastic. Yep.
When Richard gives Gumball and Darwin a “Superhug” to cheer them up, they ending become deformed and cause an outbreak of joy-infused Zombies, which only Miss Simian can stop.
So this is similar to the Wander Over Wander one with the set up, but the execution is way different….and way better. Like any good Zombie story, they slowly build up to the out break but manage to keep things interesting.
We have Gumball and Darwin dealing with this random happiness they feel, and Miss Simian getting concerned about this. It actually takes a while for the out break to happen but I was already invested so I didn’t notice.
They fit In plenty of jokes as Simian is trying to prove there is something wrong with them while the nurse thinks she’s crazy. This leads to some really funny interactions. We have a good mood as he wonder what the heck will happen to Gumball and Darwin as they become happy zombies.
Eventually, they pretty much die and become the zombies. …How else would I describe it? They randomly drop down as something leaves their bodies and become drooling happy undead people!
That’s when things get real. Any one can captured a creepy tone in a zombie parody. Even Kirby Buckets did it. But how many shows can be genuinely disturbing? Yeah, it gets interesting.
While it’s not all that gory, it’s pretty disturbing for a family show. We have a dirkly lit hallway full of kids drooling rainbows, looking all dead eyed. At one bit, Simian sees Anias from the back and tries to get her out…only for her to turn around and reavel herself to be a zombie.
It’s a pretty creepy reveal, especially this is a little girl we’re talking about. The whole episode is like. They create a really creepy atmosphere, which makes everything feel real, even though it’s played for laughs.
Of course, even during all of this, we have a few jokes here and there that work. But it doesn’t distract from how creepy this thing is. They really make this feel like a dire situation.
And during all of this, Simian is filming her progress with the case. Yep, this is kind of a found footage episode. Although it mostly places emphasis on the bits with her telling us about what is happening instead of going full Paranormal Activity on us.
It’s a nice touch, as it makes this feel even more real. Then there’s the ending. Pretty much all of these zombie homages have a happy ending, since this is still a kids show. Sure, sometimes there will be a twist ending, or a crazy non canon ending that is somehow canon.
I’m not bitter.
This episode on the other hand…does not have that. I won’t dare spoil the details but it actually does not have a happy ending. It’s…incredibly dark and a bit depressing actually. It’s played a bit for laughs, and even ends on a joke….but that somehow makes it even creepier.
This whole episode is a perfect combination of funny .and creepy. Much like Night of the Living Pharmacists, they play the homage straight and it works so well. It could have been just another boring example of the genre, if it didn’t capture what makes these stories so good to begin with.
Pharmacists captured what it’s like to see your loved ones be taken by a zombie out break ,while this one shows how just damn disturbing this can be. As I said, it’s not exactly bloody but they got away with a lot in this.
Overall, this is another great Zombie homage. Not only is it funny, but it also captures a feeling of dread, and is surprisingly creepy. This episode is way better than it needed to be, but the writers and animators were able to make this great.
The animators deserve even more credit to be honest, but you know, it’s got good writing too.
Despite it’s grim subject matter, it’s an episode that will bring you some creepy joy.
7. The Safety
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Louise Coats, Joe Parham, and Tobi Wilson
Satires of Censorship are pretty common, and pretty much all of them end up saying the same thing: Censor ship is bad. It’s pretty easy to do, but it’s not easy to make interesting.
As you can imagine, Gumball pulls it off. Does it say anything new? …Not really, but it’s freaking hilarious.
After watching a safety video, Darwin wants to make the whole safe and naturally he goes overboard.
Like I said, the plot isn’t anything too new, and they don’t exactly have a big new angle. However, it still works really well. It’s still a good message after all. Sometimes a little danger is fine.
With a been done plot, you can make it work by writing it better than most…or by filling it with tons of amazing jokes. …Gumball does the latter.
Seriously, they may not change the moral much but they have a lot of variety with the jokes. Even at the start, we have a great parody of cheap safety videos that is nightmare inducing, even to the characters.
From there, they come up with tons of creative ways to have Darwin censor things. They do a few typical things like just preventing them from doing some things, but then he goes and somehow calls the charectors in a cartoon to get them to stop being violent!
One of Darwins reasons for censor is that jokes could cause kids to choke from laughter. …I could use to harshly mock an unfunny kids show I dislike, but that’s way too easy.
This is easily one of the funniest episodes, with just how many jokes they pack in. There’s a nice variety. They use various ways to make fun of censorship and stuff like that.
There’s also jokes not related to it that work, like a great fake out joke with Richard I won’t spoil. I find that most stories like this fail because they just end up saying the same thing over and over again, or they make it so doesn’t work if you just don’t care about what they are saying.
Here, they are more focused on just telling jokes with it. Sure, it has a point but if you don’t care, you have plenty of jokes to laugh at it. And even on a story level, it works fine and doesn’t carry too many bad implications for the most part.
Oh, and doing becoming a crazy joke works. In this kind of show, where everything is silly, this kind of radical change works. The “jerk for the sake of the story” thing works well in shows that have a world where this kind of makes sense.
I say that because of course, there are people who sometimes bash the episode because Darwin is a jerk or whatever. I’d rant on this isn’t the place for that, and I will have other places to bitch about that mentality.
Anyway, this is episode just plain funny, even forgetting the nature of the plot. It’s always good when they have a sold plot or do something great, ubt sometimes just being hilarious will make your episode stand out.
My only problem is that the ending is a bit rushed. They just slap the moral there and it just kind of ends abruptly. The ending gag is funny but they could have done it better.
Otherwise, this is a really good episode. While it’s premise has been done before, they still do it will and fill it with tons of creative and funny jokes. It’s another example of how funny this show can be, no matter what it’s doing.
With all of that, I can safely say this is one to check out. ….Sorry.
6. The Authority/The Man
Writers: Jon Brittain, Jon Foster, James Lamont, Mic Graves (Authority Only), and Guillaume Cassuto, Joe Parham, Tobi Wilson (The Man Only), and Ben Bocquelet.
Yep, we have a tie. I put these two together they are thematic linked. Not to a huge extent, but I couldn’t pick between them and I think they both deserve a spot. Both of these episodes serve as development with Richard and his mother.
Let’s start with The Authority. When Richard is hurt, Granny Jo notices how dangerous their house is, and comes in to help fix it, but goes a bit overboard.
This episode pretty much explains why Richard is the way he is. See, Jojo is very over protective and basically takes some really insane safety measures. She basically makes it so they never have to do anything.
From this, they figure that this is why Richard is so lazy and dumb. Jojo made him this way with how she took care of him. Yeah. How often do they actually explain why the dumbass Dad is a dumbass Dad?
This is a really interesting turn and it kind of makes you feel sorry for him. It doesn’t exactly excuse his weaker actions but it does explain everything. On top of that, it helps give a good moral about being over protective.
It’s one of thing to make sure your kid is safe, but it’s another thing to basically do everything for them. …And yes, I know I praised The Cloassus for doing the opposite, but here’s the thing.
That episode just said that SOME people work better with that set up, and in that all she did was prevent him from doing things that aren’t important, or may set him off. Here, she basically went overboard and stopped him from doing anything.
That’s way different. It’s interesting how those episodes show two sides to this coin. What makes the moral even better is the ending when Richard ends up driving an out of control car, and he’s too dumb now to know how to use the breaks.
Nicole forces him to learn on his own. It seems dangerous but it’s really interesting to see play out, as it shows just how much she trusts him to do the right thing. Nicole gets some spotlight here, as she wonders is she’s a bad mom with how she fails to protect her kids, but learns a bit after seeing Jojo’s methods.
It’s not exactly saying she’s a perfect mother, but she’s at least trying not to go overboard. She has two sides to her character by sometimes being a bitch (in a fun way) and trying a bit harder to be good. Both work depending on the episode, and it’s not too jarring.
Oh, and this episode is also funny. They do some great jokes with how she goes overboard. That mixed with the story and moral make this episode a really good one. The moral works and Richard’s sort of development was awesome.
Now onto The Man. Jojo starts dating again and Richard isn’t happy about it. Yeah, another sort of cliché plot but it works really well, because of Richard’s development. It’s a bit typical for someone to accept that their Mom can date someone, but it’s not too typical for an adult to have to go through this.
So it becomes funny and they do plenty of jokes with this. However, like with the other episode, it goes deeper into his character. It goes into how he really feels about all of those, and it becomes really compelling.
Mostly becauase of the real reason. See, we find out that his father left him a long time ago, and Richard thinks he went out to get cig-I mean milk and will come back. ….Yeah, this show touches on abandonment to an extent.
It’s nothing deep but they handle it really well. Richard is forced to accept that his Dad is gone, and that Jojo should date Louie here. It gets fairly emotional and it’s really well done.
It’s interesting to see him go through this, and helps makes Granny Jojo more likable. And of course, they do have quite a few jokes, including a man off near the end. Nothing huge, just a bunch of little jokes are that are funny and keep the pace up.
While the Jojo/Louie thing isn’t too deep, both characters are likable here and have enough good jokes to make them enjoyable. Oh, and this was the 100th individual episode. A good way to celebrate, I think.
Both of these episodes serve to develop Richard very well. Both work to make him more likable and interesting. They also make Jojo more interesting and both tell really good stories with solid jokes, and even some emotion.
They serve as good companions given what they do as a whole. …And there’s actually a 3rd part to this trilogy in Season 4, but I couldn’t put it here due to that Season not being allowed yet, but I felt I should mention it.
Oh, and spoilers, it belongs here just as much as these two episodes. Yeah.
Overall, these two episodes are great for the development we get, and the stories they tell. If you are wondering, they are about equal to me. The Man is a bit better with the story, but the authority is slightly funnier at times.
This is certainty a double feature worth checking out.
5. The Hero
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Jon Foster, James Lamont, and Mic Graves
Hey speaking of Richard, we’re not done with him quite yet. We still have this gem. This episode actually gets a bit of flack as well as praise. And I can kind of see why to an extent.
This episode has a decent of flaws, and with them, it usually wouldn’t belong on this list. …But goddammit, what it does right is amazing.
When Richard overhears Gumball and Darwin talking about embarrassing he is, he gets sad and must prove he can be their hero.
So what are the problems I mentioned, and why do some people hate this episode? Well, for one, it’s another screw up story, as well as an embarrassing father story. But as we’ve seen, you can get past a cliché story if you pull it off well.
And to be fair, they had to do this kind of story eventually with how much of a cliché Richard is to begin with. The execution …while flawed, is rather interesting.
The big point of contention for people is how Gumball and Darwin are treated. After hearing about how sad Richard is, Nicole decides to punish them by refusing to care for them or let them use stuff she pays for.
Yeah, they are forced to fend themselves, such as getting their own food and finding their own shower. …Now that I type this, I realize how bad this sounds. You can see some people disapprove of a form of child abuse.
This is why the episode was a bit debatable until a certain point. It was debatable, because I can see where they are coming from. They just want to punish them for being so bad behind Richard’s back.
But yeah, it goes overboard. But I can’t hate it for that because it gets past that quickly. The over flaw is Gumball. He is a bit too dick-ish here. At the start he’s fine but he gets worse.
He refuses to apologize even after being called out, and he keeps heckling Richard while he’s doing his best to try to save them from a serious situation! …But he does end up making for it with the end.
With all of these flaws, why the hell is this on the list at all? …It’s all about the emotion. And I’m not just saying it has some sweet moments.
No, it becomes the biggest tear jerker in the whole show. While I don’t find myself crying at cartoons too much anymore because of how much I’ve seen, sometimes one will get me emotional enough to get close…and some moments in here are one of those.
The big one is a musical number Richard is. Yep, another song and it’s amazing. He sings about how he once was Gumball’s hero as a kid, and how that has changed. It’s an incredibly heartfelt song with the lyrics, tune and even singing.
They clearly tried to make this the most tear jerking song ever, and damn, did it work. It doesn’t even feel forced because they try too hard for it to just be a lame attempt. It does an excellent job of getting you on his side, and after this, I knew this episode would be special.
And that’s not all! The two stage a plan for Richard to save them from something, which kind of fails, so he has to save them for real. We get plenty of little moments from this but then there’s the ending.
I can’t sum it up but well…damn it is amazing. The emotion really shines here as they all make up. It’s so simple but done so darn well. Yes, Gumball was a prick for most of this but in the end he apologies for real.
Not to mention that Richard shows his worth. I can kind of see the usual flaws in this story, as Richard is shown to do a lot wrong and all that. However, they try so hard to make you feel bad for him that it works. He doesn’t do anything that bad until the end but it’s not 100 percent his fault anyway.
They write it just decently enough for Richard to be likable, even before the big moment. Is it manipulative? …Maybe, Gumball is forced to be a bit more dick-ish. …But screw it, the emotion is so good.
I suppose it’s better for the presentation than the writing. It has good moments there like how it expands on their relationship, but it is a bit forced and odd at times. But they capture the mood so well, and really make you care with the great moments.
As I wrote this, I realized how flawed this one truly is. But I think it deserves to be on the list because it proves the show can be very emotional, even when it’s flawed. Also, I have an emotional connection with this one, and when you have, it’s hard to not think highly of, or be bugged when people hate it.
But I still it’s well done enough to make it here. The ending is good, so at least it leaves you with a happy feeling. This is another episode that deserve praise because how it pulls off great things despite big flaws.
Besides, the flaws are things I can forgive since the ending makes up for them. While I do get some may not like this one, I think they should give it more of a chance. It’s too heartfelt to really hate.
Then again, the internet has been good at ignoring heart to be cynically about things. Oh, and yes, is another screw up story where people’s issue is not the screw up. It’s like thing I’ve talked about lately, haw haw.
Overall, this episode is kind of like Richard. It’s not perfect, but it means well and is trying so hard, that it’s hard not to love it. At least to me anyway.
4. The Plan
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Jon Foster, James Lamont, and Tobi Wilson
I think will be the shortest section ever, because this episode is good for one simple reason: It’s funny. And…that’s really it, although there is more to say.
The kids suspect that Mom might be cheating on Dad with a man named Daniel Leonard, so they plan to stop this from happening.
And by that might, I mean the whole episode is about them coming up with plans to stop Daniel. That’s it, that’s the whole episode.
It is hilarious. Seriously, this is a perfect example of how good and creative the shows comedy can be. This is one of those shows that can creatre gold of very simple premises.
This take the simple idea of making a plan and makes it so crazy. The plan keeps getting crazier and they put so much detail into every aspect and how they interact with the imagine spot.
There’s so little going on, yet so much. Yes, the premise is cliché but they make it work so well. Hell, even the abrupt ending works because it’s so abrupt it’s funny!
I could just end it there because I would not want to spoil the jokes. Trust me, it’s best go into this blind. I like how it starts out simple but then gets so crazy to the point where time travel is involved.
Yes. It’s amazing.
This episode is just a blast. While there is one episode that makes me laugh more, this is still the most creative they have gotten when it comes to a slightly cliché story. It kind of reminds me of The Brainstorm from Wander Over Yonder, as the whole thing is just about coming up with a plan.
It shows that you don’t need a really original premise to be funny. Just use a concept that you can get great jokes out of, and you’re good.
Honestly, that’s all I can without just spoiling all the jokes. There isn’t any plot to analogize, it’s just a ton of great jokes, one after another. That is all you need to know. No warnings or problems here, really.
Don’t worry, there’s more to say in the next 3 entries….to say the least. This is a nice breather before we get to those.
Overall, this is proof this show can take anything and get some good comedy out of it. It’s just a really funny episode. And that’s all you need sometimes.
3. The Finale
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Jon Brittain, Tom Crowley, Jon Foster, James Lamont, and Tobi Wilson
This episode is the most unusual entry on the list. Why? Because it’s not technically one of the best by conventional means. It’s not the funniest, it’s not the best written, and it can be seen as morally confused or mean spirited.
So why is it a favorite? Because it’s so…fascinating!
The episode starts with he family looking over an photo album, reminiscing over past adventures. Yes, this is a clip show parody at the start, and there are even a few clips ready on.
Although it’s more of a continuity porn episode than a clip show. Things turn sour when Hector’s Mom shows up and gives them a bill for all the destruction that Hector caused back in the Colossus, as it is technically their fault.
“Weird, that lady gnome seems to think that things we’ve done in the past have consequences in the now. “
And that’s the whole episode. Everything they did in previous episodes come to bite them in the ass all of a sudden. Gumball and Darwin are held back because they do nothing in school, and they must pay for all the damage they have done over the years.
The whole thing is a deconstruction of Status qou is god. And it’s….interesting. They don’t really go any deeper into it, nor do they teach any kind of moral. It’s just a thing that happens.
Gumball often makes fun of common tropes, like the retcon in The Void. They even mocked Status Qou already in The Job. But this takes it to a new level and plays it for drama just as much as Comedy.
I don’t even think it’s meant to teach anything. They just wanted to see what would happen if some cartoon characters suddenly had consequences for their actions. It’s just really interesting to see.
The whole episode has them scrambling to fix this, only to find that nothing really works. They can’t apologize because people like Larry are too afraid of them (after The Laziest, I don’t blame him) and the mess just keeps getting bigger.
It’s classic case of just everything going wrong. And really, you have to feel sorry for them. They are nice people, they just got used to these odd things happening. You want them to get their lives back in order as they go around trying to fix things.
But I don’t feel it’s too mean because it’s such an interesting plot, and they break it up with some pretty good jokes. I likely should hate this one bcause it’s not kind the characters and unfairly punishes them for most of this.
But somehow, I don’t. The plot is just too interesting. I like seeing the status qou come undone, and I like all the antics. Not to mention the callbacks. It really likes a fitting finale, building off previous episodes.
This written to be the most insane series finale ever…but it got renewed for Season 3. Whoops. But somehow, it makes this episode even funnier. Mostly due to the ending.
Okay, you can skip now if you don’t want spoiler, because the ending is too good not to go into. I didn’t have a spoiler warning until now since this show doesn’t exactly have epic plots, but this is an exception.
Okay, so in the end they try to fix things by making things so bad they just reset. ..Not the best plan and it fails. Everyone gets insanely pissed, create a huge mob of almost every character in the show.
They gang up on the Wattersons, as everything truly seems lost. Then..
“The only thing that could save us is reality being completely reset by some kind of magic device! “
Yes, that’s how it ends. I am not making a joke. Every single version of that episode, on every platform that exists, ends like that.
That has to be…the most hilarious abrupt ending in anything ever. It’s just so…wow! There’s making fun of the rest button, then there’s this. The story doesn’t complete itself. It doesn’t; build to nay kind of moral or take away, it just ends!
Usually this would be bad, but the way it’s done is so….awesome! It makes me laugh just as much as it shocks me. I remember seeing this for the first time and just being weirded out.
And I think that’s why I like the episode so much. Very few episodes get that reaction out of me. Not only does it bring up interesting points about status qou and gives us good callbacks and solid jokes, but it leaves me speechless with the crazy Non-Endng!
The fact that this is never brought up again makes it even better. If the show did end here. It would be hilarious, but the fact that it kept going just makes it even more of a great oddity.
It’s just a thing that kind of happened. This episode is just a fascinating piece of the show, as it brings up interesting ideas and is a fun and odd experience.
I’m not even sure it belongs on the list, because it all bring is weird and confusing stuff. As I said, it can be seen as mean and it has no moral or point. But it’s different and interesting that I can’t help but love it.
No episodes interests me like this one, with how it’s done. So while there are better episodes, this gets high up for just for what it is. If you hate it, that’s fine. I get. I just think it’s one of the shows best even when it should not be.
Overall, an odd but still great Season finale in it’s own way.
2. The Shell
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Guillaume Cassuto, Tom Crowley, and Tobi Wilson
Every show has that one episode. The one that every fan seems to love. The one that everyone says is the best. Even if many disagree, is still seen as the one episode everyone will remember the show for.
For Gumball, The Shell is that episode.
Some people likely expected this to be number one, because it is just that good. And you know what? In many ways it is the best just for how powerful it is. …But it’s not my favorite.
I debate on which spot this would take but as much as I love this one,i thought the top spot should go to a more unique choice, which you’ll see in a bit. But hey, this is still great so let’s go over it.
Gumball has had a crush on this peanut girl thingy named Penny since the show began, and they did a good job at not making this too cliché, We knew she did kind of like him, they just had a few bumps on the way to this episode.
It was wisely played for laughs, even in episodes focused on them like The Party. But they knew they had to something with them eventually, so we got this episode.
Penny’s shall cracks, revealing her true self, but this doesn’t sit with her father and she starts to wonder if her true self is any good.
This episode is a cliché story, and the writers knew this. The whole episode pokes fun at the tropes of this story, just as much as they do it justice. The episode opens with the school putting on a play of Beauty and the Beast.
It’s very subtle foreshadowing.
The episode hits the beats you expect, but does in a way that makes it work. It’s pretty emotional and sweet, as Gumball tries to get Penny accept who she is inside.
Like so many episodes, they use emotion to makes cliches work. Gumball is usually very clueless when it comes to Penny, so it’s great to see him be rather confident, even if him goofing up ended up starting this to begin with.
Actually, this may be Gumball’s best performance to date. I like him typically but he can be jerk-ish sometimes, so whenever he’s likable, it’s good. And here he is really admirable. He comforts penny, tries to tell her to do the right thing, and calls out her father while understanding his position.
It’s still in character since of course he will speak up when something doesn’t go his way, and he still has funny quips.
“Are you crying?’
“No, my eyes are really sweaty….no wait, that’s disgusting. Yes, I was crying”
Whoa, they did a joke better than Phineas and Ferb. The world is over!
This episode also is a stand in for …certain things. Penny’s Dad says she must be fixed and that she doesn’t know what she wants. That can mean many things but the way it’s done implies a few…interesting things.
Speaking of Penny’s Father, he may come across as a big cliché but they actually make sure not to make him a huge monster. With just this one line:
“Do you realize you were wrong? Good! But don’t beat yourself up about it, parenting is hard!”
With that quick bit, they cover something we may have been thinking, in a very funny way. Little things like that make this one as good as it is.
Back to the emotion, the ending is great. They have a talk and it’s really sweet, as they use the perfect words and the two finally get together. It’s really satisfying and just ends things really well.
It’s very heartfelt, which gets you invested in the story despite how cliché it is. Plus, it is interesting to find out Penny is this weird fire….creature that can morph depending on her mood.
Speaking of which, the animation is great here. Penny’s true form is really cool looking and her character animation is very fluid and detaield. Her other forms just add to it, and the whole thing just looks great.
But don’t think it isn’t funny, because there are some hilarious moments in here. They don’t forget this is Comedy. It even ends on a joke. An abrupt end but I can forgive it this once.
I won’t care spoil my favorite joke, but it has little fun moment aside from the big moments. So if the story isn’t your cup of tea, you will find something to like here.
Back to a point I made before, they know this story is cliché and they make fun of it. They play it straight but they lightly mock certain aspects of this story so that it doesn’t too pretentious.
My favorite line has to be this:
“It’s a tragic misunderstanding that could have been easily avoided if he just finished his sentence in time!”
I know I say this a lot, but I WILL be using that line in reviews.
The reason that critics see this as the best is that it’s the complete package. It’s further proof the show can tell a good story, and it’s actually rather betufatul in places. It has creative visuals, plays with common tropes, has all the characters in top form, and has many hilarious jokes, some of which mess with the censors.
Everything the show can do is present here, and more. True, most of it’s fans are shippers but even people who watch the show for the humor have it as a favorite. And not cuz it’s OMG SO SHIPPY, but cuz it’s just that good.
The only problem I could find is that suppose now everyone will like the story. Some may find it cheesy or still not like the cliches. It’s not a huge deal but it’s something to keep in mind.
But honestly, I have no real issues, aside from dumb things that don’t matter like the abrupt ending. This episode deserves to be called the best, even if it doesn’t top the list.
Overall, The Shell manages to be a gripping and sweet story that uses cliches well, and has stunning animation with good characters and great jokes. It’s everything I love about the show and more.
Sometimes, a fan favorite deserves that status.
But of course, we must go over a few Honorable Mentions before we hit number one. This was one of the harder Number 11’s to pin down because so many good episodes almost made it, mostly really funny ones that just aren’t as creative as something like The Plan.
The Extras/The World: Both of these are sketch episodes, with one being about inanimate items, and the other being about background characters. Both are really creative, and hilarious all the way through. They even have some good dark humor.
The Remote: This opened Season 2 with a bang. If you’re family has fought over the remote, you will love this one as it captures what that is like with some great energy and a great twist.
The Question: Gumball and Darwin try to figure out the meaning of life. It’s as funny as it sounds, and the ending is brilliant.
The Sweaters: Gumball and Darwin end up in a cliché story with the underdogs going up against the big rival team…and they want no part in it while everyone else is super into. That is a great premise and it’s just so damn funny how they play with these cliches.
The Procrastinators: Gumball and Darwin must take out the trash by 6 but put it off and just …do stuff. This episode pretty much has no plot but it proves just how great these writers are because this one is incredibly funny and creative. But since I could only put so many “funny” episodes, I went with one I felt had more to it.
And my number one Amazing World of Gumball episode is….
1. The Tape
Writers: Ben Bocquelet, Jon Foster, and James Lamont
When doing a list of your favorite episodes of any show, there are two types of episodes that tend to battle it for the top spot. There’s the episode that does something big that no other episode does, which makes it the best. Then there’s the one just simply sums up why you love the show, and gives you a little extra.
Sometimes it can be both, but typically it’s either one. That’s how I decided to put Irrational Treasure at the top of my Gravity Falls list. And in the end, that’s why I picked this episode over The Shell.
While I love that this show can tell a good story, I also love that it can just be plain funny. Sure, plenty of shows can be funny but it’s amazing how creative this show can be with it’s jokes.
It can take almost any premise and squueze tons of jokes out of it. While plenty of episodes can do that, there’s one that tops them all, and it’s this one.
I’d say the story is simple, but there pretty much is no story. Gumball and Darwin are filming films and…that’s about it. Seriously, that’s the best way I can sum it up.
They go all around filming stuff, doing various skits ranging from just doing normal crazy things, to spoofing Commercials and movies. It’s basically an excuse to have a bunch of sketches involving the Elmore gang, although only a couple others like Carrie get skits of their own.
It’s easy to make this kind of episode good, but it’s hard to make one as hilarious as this. Like The Plan, I almost want to end it here because I wouldn’t want to spoil a single second of this episode.
The fun is seeing all the insane stuff they come up with. Some of it is tame but still interesting, then some of it is incredibly hilarious. They do so many creative things here, and you never know what to expect.
I won’t spoil anything but one commercial parody leads to another one that builds off the previous one and it’s just great. Then a gag from it come back later! Each bit goes on as long as it needs to, and they just keep getting funnier.
I suppose the only problem is that maybe or two could have been cut or shortened so they could put in more. It’s the kind of episode that you never want to end because there’s so much to like here!
They did make other episodes in a similar skit format like The Extras, and those are pretty awesome, but this one just makes me laugh more. This makes me laugh the most and hardest of any episode of the show.
Mostly because they use so many ways to make you laugh. Crazy unexpected gags, cliché mocking, style mimicking, and of course, characters just plain being themselves. There’s so much Comedy here and it’s great.
I suppose I could spoil one joke: One skit has Gumball narrating a typical scene with Richard and Nicole, like a Nature Documentary. It’s creative and incredibly funny despite being such a simple concept.
Very few shows can be make laugh as hard as this one episode. Hell, I’d go as far to say that it’s almost on par with Pre-Movie Spongebob. …Okay, it might not be as quotable but I stand by my comparison.
This is an episode that makes me laugh really hard every single time. Although on my last viewing, I couldn’t wake anyone up so I just had to smile in place of that and my face hurt a bit after awhile.
Yeah. I might be exaggerating a tiny but this is still a really funny episode. It shows just how strong these characters are, as you can put them in a simple set up like this can get Comic gold.
In a sea of stand out episodes, this stands as my favorite…because it’s funniest. It may not be the most epic story ever, but it’s just really funny. It’s a perfect example of how good these writers are at comedy. It shows the creativity of the show, and all the crazy things it can do.
While I could have picked the big tear jerker one, sometimes I have to pick an episode that shows that this series can great while just doing normal Comedy. It might be a different Comedy but the comedy is the same as ever.
Really, that’s all I can say about it. Saying more would spoil the great comedy this episode has to offer. All you need to know is what this episode means to me and all that.
It’s my favorite because it is the funniest, and in a comedy show that is really important. There are plenty of episodes that are very funny and could be at this spot, but this episode just happens to have funnier jokes to me.
Even the lesser skits still have something interesting and funny, like the bit with Gumball trying cheat codes in real life with….odd results.
This show in general is very surprising with how interesting and good it can be. I figured it could be funny but I never imagined it would be this funny on a regualr biases, no less have an episode as good as this.
Overall, this episode may not be the best written but it’s funny, and really, that’s all that matters to me sometimes. That is why The Tape is my favorite episode of The Amazing World of Gumball Episodes.
And those are my Top 11 Gumball episodes. I must say, when I started watching this show I didn’t think it would be worthy of a top list. It’s not exactly best Toon of the Century materiel, but it’s impressive in what it can do compared to other comedy cartoons.
It has tons of crazy art styles, it can be creative, it can tell interesting stories, and it can be just plain funny. It’s amazing that I could get a list out of this show and still have plenty of painful cuts.
I did really want to put The Sweaters on there.
As usual, I hope you liked this list and respected my picks. Of course you may mention your favorites in the comments if you wish. If you haven’t seen this show, you should give it a shot. It might be seem kind of lame, but it really is worth watching. Any of these episodes would be good to check out.
After this, you may think two lists are enough for one month. But nah, let’s do another one. But what’s next? Well….let’s just say we’re still on Cartoon Network, to look at some gems.