Richard goes on strike to prove that his work around the house is under appreciated by Nicole.
The episode starts with Nicole, at the Elmore Ranbow Factory. She is picking up phone after phone talking to clients. A coworker informs her Mr. Yoshida needs to see her. Nicole puts everything down and heads to Mr. Yoshida. After speaking with him, Nicole busts down the door and starts a rap number. She is awarded employee of the month. She comes home, informing her family she got a pay raise.
She hung up her employee of the month framed picture, after some conversation with her family. She replaced the painting of the family with her employee frame, to Richard’s discontent. He complains about not having a photo. Anias points out the framed newspaper with an article about Richard ruining a baby shower. Nicole gets out a phone book and starts calling everybody in the phone book about her accomplishment.
Richard complains about not being appreciated. Gumball tried to cheer him up, and Anias recommends Richard talk to Nicole about his feelings. It goes to a shot of Nicole celebrating her award with fireworks. The fireworks harass the citizens below and the moon in the short film “a trip to the moon” is referenced. Richard is encouraged by his kids to talk to Nicole. Richard blends a bunch of idioms in a hunoirous way, and his kids set to help him.
The next day, Anias sets up a pumpkin on a stool outside, illustrated to her mom’s likeness. Richard is instructed to talk to the pumpkin to work on talking to Nicole on not being treated fairly. He gets embarrassed in front of the pumpkin, and freaks out. Nicole walks into the house sometimes later with a variety of bags, full of stuff she just bought. Anias goes to Nicole and tells her to talk to Richard. To Nicole, he talks about how he feels under appreciated. There is a montage of Richard’s unconventional parenting, which is entertaining and productive, although pretty weird. Nicole is outraged, Richard goes on strike.
Nicole gets home from another day at work, and Richard is still on strike. Richard argues with Nicole, and she heads inside. When she gets in, the light doesn’t work and the walls are covered in drawings. The house is on fire and a complete mess. Nicole is startled by the ringing of the phone. She answers it. Nobody speaks. Raw chicken being destroyed in the garbage disposal is shot though the phone. After some more shenanigans, she finds Anias, with a mischievous laugh and distorted face. Gumball, with a similar distorted face, throws the Grandfather Clock down the stairs.
In another room, a party of ghosts has caused a mess. All the ghosts disappear, leaving only Carrie in a wedding dress and Darwin with a distorted face. Carrie disappears as soon as she can. Nicole threatens to call the cops, and the kids mock her. The cops have already been called and eaten. Nicole runs out of the house, and goes to Richard. Richard says the whole mess is because the kids had no supervision. Nicole goes in the house to be thrown out immediately. Nicole gives in to Richard, and lets him take control.
The kids are about to catapult a neighbor in the backyard, and their parents spy on them. Richard gives Nicole 3 rules about dealing with the kids, from a book about dogs. Richard walks into the yard and tries to stop his kids. Nicole gets the neighbor just as Gumball lets go of him. Anias pokes her head through the bushes. The kids surround the three adults, running in circles. The three get into a group and threaten Richard with swiping their hands to scratch, but from a distance.
Richard asserts that he will not let the kids catapult the neighbor over the house. Then, he asks which one of three will. The three fights over which one. The kids wind up asleep in the ground. Richard shows his ability parenting. Nicole gets up and accidentally catapults the neighbor over the fence.
In "The Worst", the episode right before this one, Nicole asked Mr. Yoshida why there had never been a female Employee of the Month before and even suggested that "maybe it's time for a change", while Mr. Yoshida initially completely dismissed the idea responded "It would distract all the men." it seems that he has since grown in ideals.
Being disregarded as canidate for employee of the month due to being a woman was Nicole's driving force for the plot of the episode.
The firework rocket hitting the Moon's eye is a reference to the iconic scene from George Méliès' A Trip to the Moon.
After Anais convinces Richard to talk to Nicole, he mixes up several proverbs, namely "You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink," "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs," "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king," and "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
In that same scene, he misquotes Yoda's line "Judge me by my size, do you?" in the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back, as well as the memorable quote from Field of Dreams "If you build it, he will come."
The scene where Richard tries to calm the children down is a reference to the raptor scene from Jurassic World.
Richard calling Gumball "Blue" is a reference to the raptor of the same name.
The scene where Nicole approaches the "house" and notices the destruction inside, the music playing is a reference to the Rick and Morty theme song.
The scene where Anais attacks Richard from a bush and he says "Clever girl" is a reference to a similar scene in the first Jurassic Park film.
The upsidedown horseshoe is a reference to the story of The Smith and the Devil. The story is the origin of the horseshoe superstion, where the position of the horseshoe over a doorway is meant to prevent the devil from invading their homes. If the horseshoe is upsidedown then the devil is free to enter an unprotected home.
[The episode starts at the Rainbow Factory, where Nicole is answering calls in her office cubicle]
Nicole: [On the phone] Elmore Rainbow Factory, yes, of course, I'll get that order completed for you today. Oh, one moment please. [Picks up a second phone] Elmore Rainbow Factory?
Karen: Uh, Nicole, do you have a moment?
Nicole: When has anybody on two phones at once ever had a moment? [Picks up a third phone] Sorry, how can I help you?
Karen: It's just that Mr. Yoshida needs to see you in his office immediately.
[Scared, Nicole drops all of the phones and cautiously approaches Mr. Yoshida's office. She breathes heavily and walks in, kicking the door down moments later and starting to rapping about being the new employee of the month across the factory and back to the house]
Nicole: I'm employee of the month.
That's a fact, fools!
Made money and adhered to my job's rules.
Climbed the ladder, did my work, and kept my desk neat.
Haters choking on my well-planned spreadsheets.
No vacations and I never took a sick day.
If you blink, you'll miss what goes into my in tray.
Took the health and safety training, didn't have to.
Lift the box with my back straight, like you're supposed to!
I put Jim from account in the corner like a baby,
Carol from HR straight trippin', she can take me,
Employee of the month, so check my white collar,
Got a pay rise, fool.
Three cents on the dollar!
[Nicole ends up at the Wattersons' house; Richard and the children are sitting on the couch]
Anais: That's great, Mom, but what does it mean?
Nicole: It means they really appreciate all my hard work.
Richard: Well, I do rap about my day, too. [Clears throat] Today, I found a fry under the sofa, and then… um… [Moans]
Gumball: Yeah, Dad, that was the rap equivalent of British dental work. So Mom, what we talkin' in terms in green?
Nicole: It comes with an extra ten dollars a month. It means we no longer have to shop at the thrift store, and we can pay off our credit card bills by February.
Richard: This February?
Nicole: Nope. A February. Plus, [Displays her Employee of the Month photo] I get this cool framed photo.
Anais: That says "Nicole Wertterson."
Nicole: Okay, it's a typo, but you get the idea. Maybe we should put it [Takes off family photo to hang her plaque] here, so everyone can see it!
Richard: [Sighs] I don't see any photos with my name on them.
Anais: Sure there is. There's one right over there.
[An ElmoreTimes newspaper is displayed on the wall]
Gumball: [Reading] "Local loser ruins baby shower." Why did you frame that?
Darwin: [Noticing that Nicole is dialing on the telephone] Oh cool! Are we having pizza to celebrate?
Nicole: Nope, I'm just letting people know my good news.
Aaron Aaronson: [On the phone] Hello?
Nicole: [Answering] Hi, is that Aaron Aaronson? It's Nicole Watterson. I know you don't know me, but I just wanted to let you know I'm employee of the month! Bye! [Hangs up] Okay, let's see the next one is Adam Adamson.
Richard: Don't you want to hear what I did today?
Nicole: [Answering]: Hi, my name is Nicole Watterson, and I kick butts…
Darwin: You okay, Mister Dad?
Richard: [His pupils dilate] I wish someone appreciated me.
Gumball: Hey, they do. Joyful Burger would go out of business if it wasn't for you.
Anais: [Sighs] He means Mom. Why don't you talk to her about it? After all, she is a calm, reasonable wom—
[The scene cuts to outside the house; Nicole expresses astonishment as fireworks light up the night, saying "Nicole Watterson / Employee of the Month." The Man in the Moon is struck with a capsule, screaming with an unpleasant shrill; the neighbours are struck with the stars of the fireworks. The scene abruptly cuts back to Richard and the children on the couch]
Richard: You're right. I'm gonna march right up to your mother and tell her, "Things have to change. You can't lead a horse to water without breaking a few eggs! Judge me not by my thighs, for the one-eyed man is worth two in the bush! If they build it, I will come, and if you've got a problem with that, buddy, well then, welcome to the Hotel California!
Gumball: Dad, what are you talking about?
Richard: I have no idea.
Anais: He's gonna need some practice first.
[Scene changes setting to the backyard, where Richard and the Watterson children are present. Anais places a pumpkin on a stool]
Anais: Okay, let's say this pumpkin is Mom. Use it to practice your pitch on her.
Richard: Okay. [Clears throat] Hi, honey. Uh, I got something to ask you. Please don't look at me like that.
[The pumpkin stays idle]
[Gasps] How could you say that in front of the children?
[The pumpkin stays idle]
[Gasps] You swore you wouldn't bring that up! It's not that unreasonable to assume the citizens of Turkey would be delicious birds.
[The pumpkin moves, creaking]
Aah! Please! Please don't leave me! Don't leave me! Kids, stop the simulation! It's too real! Deactivate! Deactivate! [Sobs]
[The Wattersons react by pulling puzzled expressions]
Anais: Well, that could've gone better.
[While Richard is still sobbing, the pumpkin appears to be absent]
Gumball: Dad, where's the pumpkin?
Richard: She left me for a butternut squash.
[Given the circumstance, the Watterson children cringe at each other]
Confronting with Nicole
[While the rest of the Wattersons are outside, Nicole enters the house, carrying with two arms several shopping bags and wearing sunglasses]
Nicole: [Refreshed] Oh, I got to tell you, it's so refreshing to go to a store where "a clean up on aisle three" actually means someone's spilled some food.
[Anais quickly, but nervously, enters]
Anais: Uh, Mom, listen, Dad's got something he wants to tell you.
[Gumball and Darwin, offscreen, push Richard in for him to confront and face Nicole]
Richard: [Nervously] Uh, Nicole, honey, sweetie, light of my life...
Anais: [Under her breath] Reign it in, Dad.
Richard: [Clears throat] I don't think you notice all the work I do around here, and I think it's about time you appreciated me!
Nicole: Oh really, Richard? Then why don't we check up on all this hard work of yours?
Richard's Hard Work
[The scene cuts to Nicole looking down at the grass, frustrated. Richard is also shown]
Nicole: Can you please explain why the grass is so long?
Richard: Because the kids [Brings up a cereal box of "Daisy Flakes"] haven't had their breakfast yet. [Sprinkles the cereal all over the grass; imitates a goat]
[The children are shown to eat the grass like goats, which is what they appear to be, therefore trimming it down]
And they're eating their greens!
[The scene subsequently transitions to Richard serving an entire try of spaghetti, with Gumball, Darwin and Anais eagerly sitting around the table and Nicole standing about]
Richard: Food fight! [Launches the spaghetti to Gumball, commencing the "food fight"] See, no plates and no cutlery means no washing up.
[Nicole is hit with a chunk of spaghetti]
And at least thirty percent of it goes in their mouth.
Nicole: Look at the state of them, and the tablecloth!
Richard: Ah-ah! [Gathers up the tablecloth, making a portable sack with Gumball, Darwin, Anais and the cutlery gathered up within]
[He then dumps the sack into the bathtub full of water after they go to the bathroom. Nicole reacts with complete surprise and shock, then grabs the sack up from the water]
Nicole: Are you insane?! [Proceeds to open the sack, leaving the children laying on the floor with water surrounding them]
Richard: No, there's baby shampoo in there as well as fabric softener, so their eyes won't sting. Alright kids, time to dry off. [Clicks a button on a boombox]
[Loud music plays; the kids head-bang with horn gestures and Darwin plays an air guitar]
Richard: Oh, I'd stand back if I were you! This also shakes out the head lice.
[Crawling sounds can be heard]
Nicole: Aah! They're all over the floor!
Richard: Not for much longer! [Pushes another button]
[Irish dance music plays, and the kids dance out of the room, squashing the lice]
Richard: [stops the music] And that's the way I do it every single day, so it's about time you appreciated it.
Nicole: [Angrily] Well, it's the wrong way! You're a terrible parent, and this house is disgusting! I would stamp my feet in anger but the floor is so sticky I can't actually move anymore!
Richard: Ridiculous! I could eat off this floor! [Attempts to eat off the floor, but his face gets stuck and rips off] Okay, I'll give you that one, but you need to appreciate what I do.
Nicole: Richard, you're ridiculous. [Walks away with pieces of wood glued to her feet] The only things with worse parenting skills are cuckoos and stage moms!
Richard: Fine, then I'm going on strike!
Nicole: [Half-laughs] I think we'll be fine. [Slams the door]
[The scene fades to black]
Richard is on Strike
[The scene fades to Nicole driving her way home, noticing Richard on the front yard on a beach chair]
Nicole: Hmm? [Stops the car] So you were serious about this strike business?
Richard: Yes! I've been sitting here all day!
Nicole: And how's that different from usual? Apart from not being able to see the TV. And what's with the banner?
[The scene shows some balloons and a banner across the house saying "Happy Birthday!"]
Richard: It was all they had in the store. They didn't have anything that said, "Fight for your efforts to be recognized by some heartless she-beast!"
Nicole: Maybe they were all sold out. And the balloons?
Richard: [With gritted teeth] I happen to like balloons.
Nicole: [Walks up to the front door] I'll go ahead and assume dinner's not ready.
Richard: Ha! You won't last five minutes in there!
Nicole: Oh please, I'm employee of the month! I can handle anything. Especially an evening without Nanny McFail.
[Nicole opens the door, with a stern expression. She turns on the light switch, but nothing is illuminated]
Nicole: Well that's weird. [Notices something offscreen] What the...?
[The scene reveals that everything in the house is wrecked, some parts lit up with fire; the dinner table is stuck to the ceiling upside-down, with Anais' toys. Nicole gasps in shock and horror, but reacts a bit calmer when the scene reveals a renaissance-like painting depicting Nicole and Richard being tormented by three Gremlin-like creatures]
Nicole: Oh, not bad.
[All of a sudden, the phone rings]
Nicole: [Surprised] Oh! [Nervously picks up the phone] Hello?
[The phone sounds out a harsh grinding sound, which turns out to be the chicken grinding in the sink; the chicken bits are transported through the phone and splattered all over Nicole's face]
Nicole: [Gasps] Raw chicken! At least it didn't go in my—
[A piece of chicken launches directly into her mouth; Nicole screams, running to the sink and attempting to turn it on. It does not dispense any water; the fridge, now corrupted with electricity problems, blows a flame all over Nicole's face, causing the chicken and her eyebrows to burn off]
Nicole: [Infuriated] Who rewired the whole house?!
[A giggling sound is heard off-screen, causing Nicole to look around and open a cabinet. Anais, in her Gremlin-like form, causes Nicole to scream in horror and assails her by throwing a toaster at her; she runs away]
Nicole: Hey! Get back here.
[The toaster then vacuums Nicole's face, making her struggle to get it out. When she manages to do so, her mouth is formed as a toaster]
Nicole: I said come back here!
[She shakes her head, restoring its original form; as she is about to climb up the stairs, Gumball, in his Gremlin-like form, holds and shakes a grandfather clock, blocking the stairway]
Nicole: No! Don't you dare! That's a precious family heirloom! That I haven't got around to selling online yet.
[Gumball pushes and rides the clock down the stairway; Nicole avoids by jumping over it, as it crashes through the door. She catches Gumball]
Nicole: [Not recognizing Gumball] What are you doing in my house?!
[An automated cuckoo bird pops out of Gumball's mouth, making Nicole react with surprise]
Nicole: [Surprised] Ahh!
[Gumball giggles and escapes off-screen; Nicole goes to her bedroom and finds a gathering of ghosts, all creating a commotion]
Nicole: [Infuriated] What are you doing in here?!
[Once she catches all the ghosts' attention, they immediately disappear, including Carrie, who was about to kiss Darwin, in his Gremlin-like form, while wearing Nicole's wedding dress]
Nicole: Is that my wedding dress?!
[Darwin runs away]
Nicole: [Turning around, facing the children who are behind her] Get out of my house!
Gumball, Darwin, Anais: [Mocking Nicole] Get out of my house. [Cackle]
Nicole: I said get out or I'll call the cops!
[Gumball vomits a piece of the Doughnut Sheriff]
Anais: [Wearing the Doughnut Sheriff's hat] Send more cops!
GumballDarwinAnais: Cops, yum yum!
[Nicole screams in agony and horror; she runs out the house. Richard relaxes still with a smug expression]
Nicole: [Shocked] What happened in there?! What are those things?! And where are the kids?!
Richard: Those things are our kids in their natural, unsupervised state.
Nicole: What? What have you done?!
Richard: Nothing, and that's what happens. Still think everything will be fine?
Nicole: [Huffs] Right. I'll deal with this.
[Once she enters the house, she is thrown through the window, back to the frontyard with her head on fire]
Richard: How'd that go?
Nicole: [Gets up; puts away the fire] Well, at least there's nothing left in the house for them to destroy.
[The entire shed is launched from the backyard over the house to the frontyard, crashing into pieces]
Nicole: Oh. I forgot about the garden. [Sighs] Okay, I'll do it your way.
[Silence occurs. Richard is still pulling a smug expression]
Richard: Uh, just give me a minute. My face is stuck. It's not used to pulling a smug expression for this long.
Catapulting the Neighbor
[Both parents go to the backyard fance; Richard looks through the peephole. It is revealed that Gary Hedges, one of their neighbors, is about to be catapulted by the demon-like Gumball and Darwin]
Richard: [Gasps] It's worse than I thought. They've got the neighbor.
Nicole: Mister Robinson?
Richard: No, the other one. The one we don't know the name of.
Nicole: Oh, it's not so bad then. What do we do?
Richard: Okay. There are three rules. One: stay calm and do not raise your voice. It just tells them they're winning. Two: never turn your back on them. That's when they take advantage. And three: always carry a little plastic bag.
Nicole: Uh, where did you get all this from?
[Richard shows an instructional book, named "How to Train Your Dog"]
Richard, that's for dogs.
Richard: Still works.
[Gumball pulls the slingshot back, causing Gary to whimper in shock. Richard's first step catches their attention]
Richard: Stand down.
[Gumball snarls at him]
Blue, blue, what did I just say?
[Gumball bites at him]
Nicole: That's it, Gumball, you're grounded.
Richard: No, no, no! Do that, and they'll never trust me again.
[Gumball bites and snarls at him]
Richard: Back off, back off.
[Gumball pulls the slingshot even further]
No. Nicole, the neighbor!
[Nicole jumps and lands at Gary, preventing him to be launched; Gumball goes away]
Nicole: Hi, I'm Nicole Watterson. I live next door.
Gary: Yeah, I got that.
[Gumball and Darwin stand in a stance, ready to attack]
Richard: Orange, I see you. Stand down.
[Gumball snarls at him again]
Richard: Wait a minute. Where's your sister?
[Richard sees Anais hidden behind the bushes, ready to attack]
Richard: Clever girl.
[Richard pulls his hand away as Anais is about to jump and bite into it. The Watterson children separate and circle around Gary and the parents]
Nicole: [Gasps] What are we gonna do? We're surrounded. Richard, do something.
[The children snarl and go closer to Richard; he stares at them sternly]
Richard: Okay, okay, stop!
Gumball, Darwin, Anais: Huh?
Richard: I'm not gonna let you all catapult the neighbor over the house.
[They react by snarling at him]
Richard: But... I am gonna let one of you do it.
Gumball, Darwin, Anais: Huh?
Richard: I'll let you fight over which one.
[The children fight against each other]
Nicole: Richard, how is this helping?
Richard: Ah. Five, four, three, two...
[A thud sounds offscreen; the scene reveals Gumball, Darwin and Anais in their normal ungremlin-like state soundly sleeping in a pile]
Richard: You see, the best way to deal with kids is to turn them against each other until they've worn themselves out.
Nicole: Richard, you— You did it. Whatever it is you do, it works. [Kisses Richard]
[Richard kisses her back; he licks her face]
Nicole: [Giggles] What are you doing?
Richard: [Chuckles] You taste like flame-grilled chicken. [Licks]
Gary: Excuse me. Can I go home?
[Along with Richard, Nicole freaks out, letting go of Gary. The slingshot catapults him as he is screaming. The episode ends]