The episode begins on a rather chaotic night in the the Watterson household as Nicole struggles to provide dinner for her family. However, her family only shows impatience and irresponsibility which eventually leads to a disaster. Nicole finally loses her temper and is about to lash out on her family. However, she suddenly wonders how it all came to this situation before quickly realizing where it all started: the day she met Richard. Shortly after this realization, Nicole recalls back to her childhood, specifically the day that the two met.
It is the day of a karate tournament, but Nicole and her parents are stuck in traffic. Her mother is chastising her for her grades (despite the fact that they are all 'A's) and planning her entire life for her while her father is experiencing road rage, causing the family car to break down; left with only five minutes, Nicole has no other choice but to run to her tournament.
As she runs through the park, she passes by a younger Gary and child or teenage versions of Banana Bob, Harold, Steve, and Sal Left Thumb. Somehow, Nicole deters from her intended course and gets lost; once she realizes this, Richard appears from a tree stump. Modern-day Nicole then wonders what would have happened had she taken a different path. She first imagines a future where she passes through Gary's cement work, arriving at her tournament on time. This leads to her winning first place, graduating, becoming rich, getting elected as President, becoming a futuristic overlord, and eventually becoming dethroned by revolutionaries in a post-apocalyptic future.
Nicole decides to avoid such a heinous scenario by taking her normal route, but this time, she takes up Banana Bob as a potential suitor. The banana manages to win her over romantically via a song, and the two eventually get married. Despite his good intentions, Banana Bob's constant singing of the word "banana" causes Nicole to snap and become insane.
Concerned about her sanity, she ignores Banana Bob and instead stops by Harold, who proceeds to negg her (i.e. "that creepy thing where guys criticize girls to lower their confidence so they'll go out with them"). He continues to be verbally abusive throughout the marriage. Feeling degraded, future Nicole becomes very submissive and tries anything to win Harold's respect, with her appearance being greatly modified with plastic surgery to impress him. Regardless, her inability to appease his whims causes her to finally break down and burn their mansion down, resulting in her arrest.
Nicole tries again to redeem her future, this time stopping by Steve Small, who is advocating the use of hugging as an alternative to modern medicine. Nicole tries to imagine a future following his path, but she realizes that his beliefs would end up killing her. She then considers how the tiniest changes can have the grandest consequences, and wonders what would have happened if she had missed hopping onto the butterfly while leaping over the hippie protest. The butterfly ends up flying into her mouth and getting lodged in her throat, after which Mr. Small comes to her aid with a hug to cure her. It does not.
Desperate, Nicole visualizes a potential future where she takes a young Sal's and his crew's offer for a moped ride without a helmet; once again, this scenario only results in her death. She finally realizes there are no viable ways to prevent her encounter with Richard, and accepts her fate.
The young Nicole stops and greets a young Richard, and noticing that he is stuck in a log following a poor attempt to observe squirrels. As Nicole is about to leave for her tournament, Richard questions its importance. Nicole explains that she wants to be successful so people will like her. However, Richard claims that people already do like her, himself included. Suddenly, the clock strikes 2:00 and Nicole laments on how she has failed everyone and wonders what she should do with her life. Richard suggests that she should live her own life instead of trying to please others.
These words trigger a filmstrip montage of the happy memories shared by Nicole and Richard, accompanied by a piano piece. She remembers them playing in the park together the same day they met to the times of their awkward teenage years. We then see a teenage Nicole leaving her parents' home and become estranged with them after a huge argument, and how Richard (whose mother also kicked out of the house) was there to walk with her into the journey of life. The feeling of pride returns when she remembers the time she learned she was pregnant with Gumball, only for the feeling of shock to come when she and Richard realized they weren't actually married. The memory of her wedding then returns, and although the feeling of sadness comes when her parents don't arrive, Richard is more than enough to make her happy.
Gumball's birth is the next event to hit Nicole, and she remembers how content she and her husband were when they had their first son. She then recalls the time when they bought their home (trashed at the time) and how the new family built it up. Suddenly, the memories of Gumball's first steps, Darwin's reunion with Gumball, and Anais' birth; she finally ends her trip down memory lane with a family photograph taken recently.
After such an emotional experience, Nicole realizes that she is truly happy with her family and that she wouldn't trade her current situation for the world. She then un-pauses from her flashback and begins to have a food fight with her family. The episode ends with the five laughing and throwing food together.
Similarly to Carl and Ellie Fredrickson from Pixar's Up, a filmstrip-like montage of young Nicole and Richard's relationship between when they first met and the present day plays, completely instrumental with no dialogue, from when they were kids, to when they got married, to when they purchased a rundown house which they then fixed up together, to when they gave birth to a child.
Nicole's hair as a teenager has a slight resemblance to Ramona Flowers' many hairstyles from the Scott Pilgrim series.
She was first seen with this hairstyle in "The Rerun," when she and Richard were aging backwards, except her hair clips were grey instead of pink.
The shirt Richard wore when Granny Jojo kicked him out of her house resembles the Snaggletooth logo from the popular metal band Motörhead.
In the scene where Nicole is shown as a futuristic ruler, the sculpture in the background bears strong resemblance to the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, a symbol of the dictatorship.
This episode has many contradictions to past episodes:
Nicole and Richard are married in a park, instead of the church like shown in "The Wand" and "The Ape." Nicole also wears a different wedding dress than the one from "The Dress" and those other two episodes.
Richard was not screaming during the wedding like in "The Wand."
In "The Treasure," Gumball was deformed as a baby, but in this episode he appears to be quite healthy as a baby.
In "The Hero," Gumball learns to walk in the backyard of the house but in this episode he learns in front yard of the house, and without Richard supervising (which was basically the base story for "The Hero").
In "The Man," Nicole is still with her parents when she was a young adult.
During the food fight at the end of the episode, Nicole disappears for a frame. Likewise, Anais disappears in a different frame.
In "The Signature" Richard was living in their current house as a child, but in this episode it was shown to be abandoned.
Apart from contradictions, Nicole's mom says that Nicole will graduate in 54,321 minutes (equivalent to 37 days), get her diploma from law school in 374,582 minutes (260 days), and get married in 754,471 minutes (1.4 years).
At the wedding, Karen is sitting in a chair at first, but when Nicole and Richard are shown, she is behind them.
Gumball, Darwin and Anais: [Thumping the dinner table] WE WANT FOOD! WE WANT FOOD! WE WANT FOOD!
[Gumball, Darwin and Anais' faces freeze as Nicole begins to narrate]
Nicole: It was a day like any other—by which I mean, just as terrible as the rest. All I wanted was for us to behave like a normal, civilized family at meal times. I might as well have wished for it to rain pancakes.
[A pancake falls on Nicole's head, the scene then changes with Richard in view and a piece of pancake on the ceiling peeling off]
Nicole: And not just the one the kids made for breakfast.
[Gumball, Darwin and Anais continue to chant]
[Richard is annoyed and takes the matter in his own hands]
Richard: Kids, please. It needs to be way louder to have any effect.
[Richard starts chanting with them]
[Scene changes to Nicole, who is annoyed and stirring in the pot faster]
Nicole: Was that really necessary?
Richard: But it works better on your pressure. Anyway, I helped.
Nicole: You were supposed to salt the potatoes, boil the carrots and tenderize the meat. But instead...
[Nicole opens the oven to show the meat, potatoes and carrots inside]
Richard: It's okay if it's not perfect, honey. It's just nice to eat together for once.
[Richard sniffs, then touches the back of his head]
Richard: Hmm, something's burning. Oh, it's just your eyes burning a hole in the back of my head. Oh, scratch that, it's your pot catching fire because I distracted you.
[Nicole turns around and gasps, then Gumball jumps over the counter]
Gumball: Don't panic! In case of fire, you should stop, drop and roll!
[Richard and Gumball drop on the floor and roll]
Nicole: What the?! Somebody get a blanket!
Richard: Leave it to me!
[Richard races to the dinner table and pulls the table, causing the tablecloth to fall, and the plates and glasses to break]
Richard: Gumball, grab the tablecloth!
[Gumball hurriedly grabs the tablecloth and fans the fire, which only serves to]
Anais: It's getting worse!
[Gumball, Darwin and Anais begin to shriek and panic, but Nicole places the lid on the pot, effectively smothering the fire. Darwin jumps over the counter]
Darwin: I got this!
[Darwin sprays a can of whip cream at the pot, but it hits Nicole's face instead. Nicole wipes some whip cream off her face, revealing a red eye. The family gasps and, just as Nicole is about to muster up her anger, the screen freezes]
Nicole: That was the moment I asked myself, "How did it come to this, where did I go wrong?" [The camera focuses on Richard] That's it, it was the day I met him. I was on my way to the tournament with Mom and Dad.
The Events That Started It All
[Nicole flashes back to a moment in her childhood. She sits in a car with her parents, on the highway]
Mrs. Senicourt: Nicole, we need to talk about your report card.
Nicole: But, I got straight As!
Mrs. Senicourt: Not here. [Turns to Nicole, pointing to her gender as "F"] Gender.
Nicole: Uh, yeah! "F" because I'm female!
Mrs. Senicourt: Being a girl is not an excuse.
[The Senicourts' car reaches a traffic jam]
Mr. Senicourt: Ugh, what is it with this TRAFFIC?!
[Mr. Senicourt freaks out and punches the steering wheel, causing the engine to hit the car in the front]
Nicole: Dad! Now what am I gonna do?! How much time have I got?
Mrs. Senicourt: Fifty-four thousand three hundred and twenty-one minutes until your graduation, three hundred and seventy-four thousand five hundred and eighty-two minutes until you get your diploma from law school, and seven hundred and fifty-four thousand four hundred and seventy-one minutes until you marry a doctor.
Nicole: I mean before the tournament.
Mr. Senicourt: [Looks at his watch] Five minutes. You'll make it if you run.
[Nicole gets out the car, about to jump over the barrier, Nicole's mother says something to her]
Mrs. Senicourt: And remember—
Nicole: I know, I know. Love you too.
Mrs. Senicourt: No, I was gonna say second place is first place for losers but yeah, that too.
[Nicole jumps over the barrier and runs through the park. She spots two people pushing a stroller in her direction and jumps over them with a front flip]
[Nicole sees a construction worker, Gary, who had just finished cementing the floor]
Gary: Well, it took me all day, but I got the job done.
[Nicole grumbles and takes detours]
Banana Bob: Hey, do you wanna hear my son—
[Nicole runs past him, leaving a trail of fire behind]
Banana Bob: Wait, you didn't answer my—
[Bob notices the fire spelling "NO"]
Banana Bob: Oh.
[Harold walks by and turns around, seeing Nicole racing past]
Harold: Hey girl, you don't have to run. I ain't going nowh—
[Nicole runs over Harold]
Mister Small: Mother Nature is my doctor! Prescription hugs! Prescription hugs! [Noticing Nicole] Hey, a moment of your time?
[Nicole jumps on peoples' heads, then on a butterfly. She continues to perform a series of stunts through the park]
Sal: Hey, you need a ride?
[Nicole jumps and lands on a spray can guy, causing him to spray the face of his friend]
Nicole: Then, I realized I was lost.
[Nicole stops running. Next to her, Richard can be seen stuck in a log]
Richard: Uh.. Hello?
Nicole: And that's when I saw him.
Richard: A little help, please? [He smiles]
[The screen freezes on Nicole's face]
Nicole: That was the moment.
[Nicole flashes back to reality]
Nicole: But, what if I hadn't turned right. Where would I be now?
[Nicole flashes back to the moment she encounters Gary]
Gary: Well, it took all da—
[Nicole speeds past, causing cement to fall on Gary. She eventually makes it to the tournament and wins it, leading her to graduate, become rich and own a mansion, be voted for president and become a dictator until she dies, causing Principal Brown and others to topple a statue of her]
Nigel Brown: Thank heavens she's gone.
[Mr. Small throws his slipper at the statue. Nicole flashes back]
Nicole: 'kay, I'll try not to dwell on what that says about me. Maybe I should've listened to Banana Bob's song.
[Nicole runs up to Banana Bob]
Banana Bob: Hey, do you wanna hear my song?
[Banana Bob begins to play the guitar]
Banana Bob: Bana-na-nan-na-banana...
Nicole: [Chuckles] You're funny.
[The scene cuts to Banana Bob and Nicole's wedding, with Bob singing the same melody as their wedding song. He sings it again during her birthday, and in his sleep instead of snoring. Then the scene cuts to Nicole sitting in the basement, rocking back and forth, wearing a torn yellow outfit, and surrounded with drawings of bananas]
Nicole: Banananana... Bananana...
Banana Bob: Nicole, are you okay?
[Nicole turns around, revealing she now has Bob's eyes, moustache and mouth]
Nicole: BANANA-NANA. BANANA-NANA.
[Nicole flashes back]
Nicole: Ugh, banana not. Banana— Guh, better not!
[Nicole races past Banana Bob]
Nicole: But, what about Harold?
Harold: Hey girl, you don't have to run.
Nicole: Okay, whaddya want.
Harold: Have you lost weight? Your head looks bigger.
Harold: Nothing. I just wanted to say I like girls with really short legs.
Nicole: What? What's wrong with my legs? Wait, are you doing that creepy thing where guys criticize girls to lower their confidence so they go out with them?
Harold: You're way too intelligent for that kinda trick. Your parents don't love you.
[The scene changes to show Harold and Nicole's wedding]
Harold: You look better with the veil on.
[Nicole puts the veil on]
Harold: [Waving at the crowd] H-heh. Hey!
[Scene changes to Harold and Nicole in a house, with Nicole looking kinda extraordinary]
Nicole: So, how do you like the sushi? It took me hours.
Harold: It's cold.
Nicole: Let me heat it up for you.
[Cut to Nicole being arrested, with the house on fire in the background]
Nicole: Is that HOT enough for you?! Is it? Is it HOT enough? IS IT HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?!
Mister Small: Hey there, have you ever considered using the power of hugs as and alternative to modern medicine?
[Nicole considers it and ends about thinking about her gravestone]
Nicole: Ah, makes sense. The hugs will only transmit diseases faster.
[Nicole jumps over peoples' heads]
Mister Small: Hey, moment of your time?
[Nicole is about to step on the butterfly, but she thinks about it]
Nicole: Wait, they say the single flap of a butterfly's wing can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. So what would've happened if I'd never stepped o—
[Nicole accidentally chokes on the butterfly, causing Mr. Small to hug her, thus showing her gravestone]
Mister Small: Don't worry, a hug will cure you!
[Nicole flashes back]
Nicole: Ugh, whatever they only live for a day anyway.
[Nicole runs and exits the Prescription hugs section]
Sal: Hey, you need a ride?
Nicole: No— Oh wait, I do actually. Uh, you got a spare helmet?
Sal: You don't need a helmet when you're cool!
[Nicole's gravestone is seen yet again]
[Nicole flashes back]
Nicole: I'm gonna have to write the mayor about how dangerous this park is.
[Nicole performs her stunts and ends up in a section of the park with nobody there, except Richard]
Richard: Uh.. Hello? A little help, please?
[Richard rolls over, putting his hand up]
Richard: I'm Richard.
[Nicole stops the flashback for a second]
Nicole: I guess there was no other way around it.
[Nicole resumes the flashback]
[Nicole shakes Richard's hand]
[Richard rolls back, showing his face again]
Richard: I know.
Nicole: So, how?
Richard: Well, I was feeding a squirrel some nuts.
Richard: To see where he hides all his nuts.
Richard: And it worked a little too well.
Nicole: Okay, don't move.
[Nicole screams and prepares to chop up the branch]
Richard: AHH! N-NO-NO-NO— DON'T HIT ME AH—
[Richard runs into a tree, breaking the log]
Nicole: Okay, I gotta run now.
[Richard gets back up and puts on his cap]
Nicole: To compete.
Nicole: 'Cause... I have to fight?
Nicole: Because, I have to be the best.
Nicole: So people will like me?
Richard: [Shrugs] But lots of people already like you.
Nicole: Really? Like who?
[Richard blushes, followed by Nicole. But after that a bell chimes]
Nicole: Oh! It's two o' clock already! I'm too late!
[Nicole plumps herself on a log, crying]
Nicole: I gotta go home and empty-handed.
Richard: Not quite empty-handed. You have...
[Richard shows Nicole a nut in his hand]
Richard: ...a nut!
[Nicole takes the nut. Richard checks his back pocket and realizes he is out of nuts, so he tries to get Nicole to give him half]
Richard: Half a nut?...
[Nicole eats half of the nut, giving the other half to Richard]
Nicole: Hm. What would you do if you were me?
Richard: If I had done everything you've done? Sleep 'til I'm forty.
Nicole: I mean...what should I do with my life?
Richard: Hm. Maybe start living it?
[A montage starts showing Richard pushing Nicole on a swingset, presumably on the same day that Nicole missed her tournament. It then shows Nicole trying to push Richard on the swingset, but failing, due to Richard being extremely heavy. It then shows them both laying in a field of grass. Richard points at a cat-shaped cloud, then Nicole points at a bunny-shaped cloud, then they both point at a heart-shaped cloud, following with them blushing. The next series shows a time in Richard and Nicole's teenage years, where Richard, who now has acne, braces, and teenage attire, knocks on the Senicourt's house's door, with Mr. Senicourt appearing in the doorway. Richard holds a bouquet of flowers, as if asking if he could date Nicole, followed by Mr. Senicourt closing the door on Richard. Richard realizes one of his pants' legs got stuck in the doorway, and they rip, followed by him falling down the doorway. The next series shows Nicole and Richard in their later teen years, with them about to kiss in their car on top of a mountain, but the car suddenly rolls down the street. It then shows Nicole storming out of her house, with a bag of luggage, while yelling at her parents, both glaring. Her mother then looks distraught, and starts crying, while her father goes back inside still angry. It then shows Granny Jojo kicking Richard out of the house. Nicole and Richard meet up, they sigh, and then hold hands and walk off. They are then seen in their early adult years living in a small apartment. In the apartment, Richard prepares a cup of Ramen, Nicole gets out of the shower with a towel around her head and body, and when the both are about to eat, a train goes by their window, startling them, but are not harmed. The next scene shows Nicole and Richard in a doctors office, and the doctor tells Nicole that she is pregnant. Nicole and Richard happily hug, but their happiness turns to fright when they realize that they have to get married. At the wedding, Nicole looks sad as she looks at two empty seats reserved for her parents, who did not show up. She sighs, but then she and Richard put on each other's wedding rings. Richard dips Nicole as he kisses her, and he then jumps on top of her. The next scene shows Richard holding a newborn Gumball, who holds his finger. Nicole wakes up and smiles as Richard feeds Gumball with a carton of milk taped to his stomach. The three move into an old home, where they begin to fix it. Richard is painting the front of the house, and he calls Nicole outside as Gumball begins to take his first steps. Richard is so excited he accidentally throws the paintcan he was holding, which lands on Mr. Robinson, who was mowing his lawn. Gumball is now a toddler, and Richard is measuring how tall he is. We then see scenes from "The Origins" as the Wattersons adopt Darwin, and Darwin growing legs and becoming Gumball's brother and best friend. A few years later, a pencil erases the "ia" on newborn Anais' hospital bracelet and writes "ai" in its place. The person who did this was in fact Anais herself, who smiles while the rest of the family looks confused. The montage ends with a current family photo of the Wattersons]
After the Montage
[At the family picture, Nicole stops the flashback, and goes back into paused reality]
Nicole: Actually, you know what? I wouldn't change a thing.
[The screen unfreezes and Nicole laughs for a bit before throwing whipped cream at Darwin]
Gumball: [Raises his hand] Food fight!
Nicole: Oh no little man, this is a food WAR!
[Everybody starts throwing food as the camera pans out to show the house, with only the Wattersons' laughter being heard]