The Wattersons are standing at attention in front of the kitchen fridge. Nicole asks for everyone to announce their achievements during the week so that she may update the fridge's Reach for the Stars chart. Anais received a science award for the discovery of a new strain of bacteria, which places her in the sunny clouds row. Nicole places herself in the star for winning the company paintball day. Darwin learned how to do mating call of the mocking bird, putting him in the cloud row. Richard invented a sausage pen, which also puts him in the cloud row. Gumball, on the other hand, has achieved nothing, leaving him the sole occupant of the rainy cloud row, much to his mother's disappointment. This motivates Nicole into helping her son reach his potential.
The first step starts at 4:00 in the morning when Nicole takes Gumball to the supermarket. They find a discounted chicken at the frozen foods section. Just as Gumball is about to obtain it per his mother's orders, an elderly woman sets her hands on the chicken, also wanting it. After listening to Nicole's encouraging, Gumball wrestles with the old lady for the chicken and eventually wins it, only to listen to her gloating over a discounted salmon she happened upon. After a montage, Gumball and Darwin are at the school gym. Gumball complains about how Nicole made him wake him up in the morning just because she wanted him to reach his potential. Darwin is angered by this, and repeatedly hits him with a dodgeball.
Later that day, Nicole is still convinced that her son has not grasped the meaning of triumph. To remedy this, she strands Gumball in a desert, forcing him to walk home. After sustaining injuries and fatigue, he returns to the house and finds the living room in disarray, with Richard sitting on the couch. He explains to him the disastrous effects of the chart; Darwin and Anais were deeply disappointed for not moving up the chart for their respective achievements, Richard had trashed the house for not having his own achievement acknowledged, all while Nicole moved Gumball up to the sun row. At first, Gumball is impressed with what he had accomplished, but his pride turns into disgust over the chart when Nicole appears behind him, blatantly showing her fixation over turning him into a winner.
On Saturday, the family are at the paintball field for family bonding. The objective of the game is to capture the flag hidden in the playing field, and the wager: the chart is removed from the fridge if Gumball wins. The family separates, and Richard gets shot first by Nicole. With sights set on him, Gumball sprints away from Nicole's incoming shots and falls off a small cliff. Gumball finds Darwin, who unloads his entire stock in a frightened frenzy, each shot missing their mark. From off screen, Anais has her sights set on both boys, using a supply of paint bombs and her paint gun. Upon taking cover behind a tree, Darwin finds himself caught in one of Anais' traps. Seeing this, he wholeheartedly sacrifices himself, urging Gumball to finish the game for the sake of the family. Not long after, Anais appears and holds Darwin at gunpoint, but Darwin takes her with him and sets off the trap, taking both of them out of the game.
The flag stands atop the hill Darwin had informed Gumball about earlier. Proceeding cautiously to the flag, Gumball is startled and fires a few shots at Richard. Continuing on his path, Gumball reaches for the flag, but is halted by a whistle coming from Nicole, locked and loaded. However, her whistle also causes a bird to knock her paintball gun off of her and the paintballs out of the gun. Gumball takes the opportunity to say that he would rather be a carefree disappointment than an obsessive winner. Realizing what she had become and the damage caused by the chart, Nicole apologizes. After telling him to take the flag, Nicole reaches for her gun to shoot Gumball, only to find it empty and be shot at. Both of them share a few laughs and Gumball grabs the flag, meaning the chart is to be taken down.
It is unknown why Nicole didn't show signs of pain when Gumball hit her with a paintball, because getting hit by a paintball is extremely painful and can cause welts on the skin, especially at close range.
This may be due to her having high pain tolerance.
Gumball's paintballs are colored the same blue shade as his coat, but when he shoots Nicole, it turns to a darker shade of blue. This was probably done so the viewers could see where Nicole was hit.
Darwin was the least accurate in the paintball game, even though he had his eyes closed, he was close enough to Gumball to hit him with a paintball, yet he missed every shot.
Of all the Wattersons in the paintball game, Gumball was the most accurate - he never missed a single shot.
"The Fridge" was the first episode of Season 2 announced.
The ranking of the Wattersons in their game is as follows:
5th: Richard: Shot multiple times by Nicole, and then by Gumball (on accident).
4th/3rd: Darwin & Anais: Fell victim to Anais' trap.
2nd: Nicole: Shot by Gumball in the end.
1st: Gumball: Winner.
A rerun of this episode aired on Cartoon Planet's ninety-ninth episode on November 15, 2013.
Running Gag: Someone whistles, then a bird flies through a window/tree.
This episode was the first time where Nicole was seen wearing footwear, and the second time for Richard.
This was the sixth time in the series where Gumball was shown naked.
This is the third time that Gumball has displayed traits of an actual cat. In this case, he hisses at Gary.
Even though Gumball was shown to be very good at playing the ukulele in "The Knights," in this episode while he was reflecting on his week, he is shown to not be able to as much as hit a triangle. It is possible that Gumball was just exaggerating when reflecting on what he failed to accomplish over the week.
The scene where Darwin steps on a paint trap and tells Gumball to leave him is an allusion to the movie, Behind Enemy Lines.
The jungle scene is a reference to the first Predator film.
The mask Anais wore bears a striking resemblance to an ANBU Black Ops mask from the Naruto franchise.
There are three references to the Star Wars franchise:
The scene where Nicole tells Gumball to join her and be a winner is a reference to The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader is telling Luke to join the Dark Side of the force.
Nicole urging Gumball to use his anger is a reference to Return of the Jedi, when Emperor Palpatine tells Luke to use his anger to kill Darth Vader.
Another reference to Return of the Jedi is Richard breathing heavily (akin to Darth Vader) and asking Gumball to remove his mask, which mirrors Vader/Anakin Skywalker spending his last moments asking his son Luke to remove his helmet.
Latinoamericano español (Latin-American Spanish): La Hojita (The Poster)
Español en españa/Castellano (Spanish in Spain/Castilian Spanish): La Nevera (The Fridge)
Français (French): Le frigo (The Fridge)
Italiano (Italian): Il frigo (The Fridge)
Magyar (Hungarian): A hűtő (The Fridge)
Português (Portuguese): A Geladeira (The Fridge)
When Gumball thanks Nicole for letting him win, Nicole's tail disappears. (See "The Fridge/Gallery" for this error).
[Nicole puts Richard's face onto the cloud column, next to Darwin's, and Richard's face slowly changes from happiness to sadness]
Nicole: And what about you, Private Gumball? What have you achieved?
[Cuts to flashback where Gumball is at Elmore High School's pool and loses his trunks while trying to dive off of the diving board, hands a bouquet of flowers to Penny, but a swarm of bees emerge and fly around her, Carmen and Teri, and Gumball fails at hitting his triangle in music class]
Gumball: Meh, I guess I achieved nothing.
Nicole: Again?! Surely there's something you're good at.
Gumball: Hmmm... I guess I'm just good at being happy.
[Gumball smiles at Nicole]
Nicole: Well, that's not good enough, little man! As of tomorrow, I'm turning you into a winner! But right now, you're on the rainy cloud!
[Nicole puts Gumball's face onto the rainy cloud column]
Early Morning Shopping
[The previous scene fades to the front of the Watterson's house at four AM]
Nicole: [Whispering] Wakey wakey, Gumball.
[Scene cuts to a pure black screen]
Nicole: [Whispering] It's time to get up.
Gumball: [Quietly gasps] I... I can't see anything!
Nicole: I'll open the curtains.
[Nicole opens the curtains but there is no change in light]
Gumball: What the... [Stammers] What time is it?!
Nicole: It's four in the morning.
[Scene cuts to the supermarket, where Gumball is shivering in his pajamas and Nicole contently places items into the trolley]
Gumball: Mom, WHY are we in the supermarket, when the rest of the world's asleep?
Nicole: Because winners get up early so they get the best out of life! For example...
[Larry puts a sticker on a chicken saying "-10%" and walks away]
Nicole: ...that discount chicken! Pop it in the basket, sweetheart.
[Both Gumball and the Crocodile Woman place their hand on the chicken]
Gumball: [Looks up] Ew...! Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize you wanted it.
Nicole: I think you had your hand on it first, Gumball.
Gumball: But... [Points to Lizard Woman and whispers] She's just an old lady.
Nicole: An old lady who's going to lose.
Crocodile Woman: Yeah...? Well, we'll see about that!
[Crocodile Woman tries to snatch the chicken away from Gumball, but she fails, she then starts to hit him over the head with her cane]
Gumball: What the...?
[The woman hits Gumball again, making a "bonk" sound]
[Crocodile Woman starts to hit Gumball in a rhythmic fashion]
Gumball: Ow, OK! OK, ow!
[Gumball starts to bawl]
Gumball: Moooooooom! She's hitting me!
Nicole: Wring... the chicken... Gumball.
Crocodile Woman: [Wheezes] Go on, kid! Give it your best shot!
[Gumball and the Crocodile Woman start to pull the chicken away from each other]
Gumball: This... chicken... is...
[Crocodile Woman loses her grip on the chicken and falls backward into the freezer]
Gumball: MINE! [panting]
Nicole: Good job.
[Gumball throws the chicken into Nicole's trolley]
Crocodile Woman: [Jumps up from freezer, with a fish in her hand] Heh heh... keep the chicken, losers! I got myself a half-priced salmon!
[Nicole nudges her head at Gumball, implying for him to take the salmon; Gumball sighs and walks off-screen to try to take the salmon]
[The previous scene cuts to the front of Nicole's car with her and Gumball in it, and Gumball has a salmon-head-shaped mark on his cheek]
Nicole: So, how does it feel to win, son?
Gumball: Mmmm... don't know. Oh yeah, like an old lady hitting me in the face with a wet FISH!
Nicole: Honey, I think there's a few things you don't understand about being a winner.
Gumball: [scoffs] Like what?
[Scene flashes to Gumball carrying Nicole up some stairs]
Nicole: A winner never quits!
[Gumball's back cracks, and he collapses on the cement]
Nicole: [shouting into the sky] A winner stares fear in the face!
[Gumball is standing on the roof of the house, holding a golf club]
Gumball: Ohhh! Oh, oh man! Uh...
[Lightning strikes the chimney, destroying half of it.]
Gumball: Wah! Alright! That's it! I'm not doing this anymore! [Starts climbing down]
[Cuts to the backyard]
Nicole: What does a winner do when life gives him lemons?
[Nicole hands Gumball two halves of a lemon]
Gumball: Uh... make lemonade?
Nicole: No... [Nicole kneels on the ground and points at her eyes] he squeezes them right back into life's eyes!
[Nicole strongly gestures at her eyes]
[Gumball squeezes the lemon halves, squirting lemon juice into Nicole's eyes; she merely laughs, and yells "YEAH" into the sky in slow-motion. Lightning flashes and the scene cuts to a sleepy-eyed Gumball and a cheerful Darwin in the school gym.]
Darwin: Dude, when was the last time you slept?
Gumball: Don't even ask, man. Mom had me up at four in the morning, teaching me how to be a winner with that STUPID FRIDGE CHART!
Darwin: Stupid?! What's stupid about reaching for the STARS?!
[A whistle blows and Darwin picks up a dodgeball]
[Darwin throws the dodgeball at Gumball's face, who falls to the ground; the ball bounces back into Darwin's hands]
Darwin: BOOM! ONE POINT!
[Darwin throws the ball at Gumball again]
Darwin: BOOM! TWO POINTS! [Starts throwing the ball at Gumball's face repeatedly] BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
[The scene cuts to Nicole and Gumball in the car again, now they are in the desert.]
Gumball: And he kept throwing the ball over, and over, and over... and I don't know what got into him!
Nicole: [sighs] You know, there's nothing wrong with a little competitive spirit, honey! Success is like a journey full of hardship. You need to learn that there's no gain without a little pain, which is why I've driven you here.
[The camera cuts to a view of the desert, where the car stops and Gumball steps out]
Gumball: The desert?
Nicole: Yes... you're walking home.
[Nicole drives away while Gumball runs after her]
Gumball: No! Don't you dare leave me here!
[Gumball dives after the car and holds on to the rear bumper, he stammers as his body drags across the desert; he loses his grip and faceplants into the sand]
Gumball: [coughs, then stands up] She'll be back.
[Gumball stares into the sunset, waiting for Nicole to come back. After a brief moment he sighs.]
[Cuts to Gary drinking some sort of drink at a gas station while a dusty, panting Gumball comes into view.]
Gumball: [Walks up to Gary and grabs his drink] Gimme that!
Gary: Ah! Whatever, young man! Keep it!
[Gumball drinks until the cup shrivels up.]
Gumball: [sighs] Where's Elmore?
Gary: About ten miles that way. [points at the direction Gumball just came from.]
[Gumball throws the cup at Gary in a fit of rage and walks away.]
The "Family Outing"
[The previous scene fades to Gumball in front of the house, sadly walking home, to discover that the interior of the house is wrecked.]
Gumball: What the...!
Richard: [On the couch] Oh, oh, cheese.
Gumball: What went on here?
Richard: It all happened so fast. First of all, Darwin got angry because he thought he deserved a sunny cloud for winning some dodgeball game.
Gumball: Yeah, I remember that.
Richard: And then Anais flipped out because Mom won't share top spot on the chart.
Gumball: What? Anais, too?
Richard: And when Mom put your face on the sun, I trashed the house.
Gumball: I got a sun! Wait a minute... YOU trashed the house!
Richard: Darn right! And I'll do it again if she doesn't give me a star for my cheese crayon! YAAAAAA!
[Richard smashes the coffee table on his head, breaking it in half; he then falls asleep and Gumball walks to the kitchen to look at the fridge]
Gumball: [Sees his spot on the chart] Mmmm... not bad.
[Nicole slithers up behind Gumball and chuckles evilly]
[Nicole leans towards Gumball.]
Nicole: Feels good to win, doesn't it?
Gumball: Uh, no, it doesn't! Your chart is ruining this family! They're all behaving like animals! I mean... [whistles]
[A mockingbird flies into the kitchen window]
Gumball: ...Hello? We are all happy before, do you even realize what you're doing to us?
Nicole: That's right. Use your anger... 'cause you're going to need it for our little family outing tomorrow!
Gumball: Why? What's happening tomorrow?
[The scene cuts to a sign outside the Elmore Paintball park. The Wattersons are inside, clad in armor and equipped with paintball guns]
Nicole: Okay, people! First one to capture the flag wins. You get hit, you're out!
Gumball: Oh this is great, paintball with crazy people. I'll be in the car.
Nicole: What have I got to do to get you to show a little competitive spirit?!
Gumball: Okay, I'll play. But only if you tear down that stupid chart.
Nicole: Oh I'll tear down that chart... [Camera zooms in to her face] if you win... [applies black face paint on her cheeks]
Gumball: Alright, you're on. But please everyone, this is a family outing. So let's play fair and try to have a little fun okay? ...Great.
[Fade in to the forest deep in the park, Gumball is walking precariously, until he hears paintball gunshots, quickly followed by Richard screaming]
[Gumball hurriedly moves, then takes cover behind a tree. He pops out, aiming down his paintball gun's sights, and sees Richard lying down, leaning on a tree; he is breathing heavily through his mask]
Gumball: [gasps and runs to Richard, who is covered in splotches of green paint] Dad?
Richard: Please... take off the mask... [Gumball removes the mask and he gasps for air] Oh... thank you. Smelled like other people's faces.
Gumball: What happened?
Richard: I didn't even see her...
Gumball: See who, Dad?
Richard: Your moth- [A paintball hits him square in the chest; he gasps and exhales slowly for an extended period of time, then pretends to pass out. He opens his left eye momentarily.]
[Nicole's laughter echoes around the forest, but Gumball cannot see her. Paintballs start peppering Gumball's area; he screams as they streak past him, and rolls away. He smashes into a tree and falls to the ground, and watches Darwin fall from the tree as well. As soon as Darwin hits the ground, he starts shooting blindly with his eyes closed]
Darwin: [screams] Please leave me alone! I can't take it anymore! [his eyes still closed, he continues shooting, but does not hit Gumball, who is standing directly in front of him; his paintball gun dry fires, indicating that Darwin has no ammo left]
Gumball: Chill out dude, it's only me.
Darwin: [Opens his eyes, panting heavily] ...I'm scared man.
[Paintballs rain down on the Gumball and Darwin, and they run screaming, then dive behind a fallen log; the paintballs continue to fall]
Darwin: You were right! That fridge chart is evil!
Gumball: Look, if we stick together we can beat Mom. All we need is a little time to come up with a pl-
[A red grenade lands in front of Gumball and Darwin]
Gumball and Darwin: PAINTBOMB!
[ They dive away as the grenade explodes, blasting pink paint. Anais laughs, cooking grenades and flinging them at the boys. Gumball and Darwin continue screaming as they narrowly dodge pink explosions and finally seek cover behind a tree. They pant as everything suddenly calms down. Gumball checks the area; there is nothing to be seen]
Gumball: Okay, I think we're safe here, buddy.
[Darwin does not respond]
[Gumball notices Darwin looking at the ground, and sees Darwin's foot on a rope, connected to a splinter. They look up and see a large pink balloon, which would explode if Darwin steps off the rope.]
Darwin: Go on without me.
Gumball: [Sadly] I'm not gonna leave you here!
Darwin: It's too late for me. You're the only one who can save this family from insanity. I saw the flag, from the tree... it's just over that hill.
Gumball: No... no!
Darwin: Just go! Just go...
Gumball: [Hesitates, then leaves sobbing]
Darwin: [Looks back as Gumball runs off, then sighs]
[A paintball gun appears behind Darwin]
Anais: Don't move. I'm winning this thing.
Darwin: I don't think so... [looks up]
Anais: [follows Darwin's gaze and sees the trap] Hmm... one of mine, huh?
Darwin: [nods] You know it's for the best...
[They look up at the balloon together, and as the camera cuts to Gumball, who has made it into a clearing, an explosion is heard. Gumball gasps as he looks behind him and sees pink paint flying into the sky. He sobs, and trudges forward. Back at the trap, Anais, Darwin and the surrounding area are covered in pink paint. Darwin wipes the paint off his mask]
Darwin: Wanna get a sandwich?
[They start walking]
Gumball vs Nicole
[Gumball sees the flag on a hill]
Gumball: [gasps] Thank you Darwin.
[Gumball rushes to the flag, but then hears a twig snap in the bushes]
Gumball: [starts shooting at the bush] DAHH!
Richard: [screams] AH! Hey! [comes out of the bush with his hands up] I'm out of the game! I was on my way to get a sandwich! [walks off angrily]
Gumball: Sorry! [to himself] Right, let's end this.
[Gumball runs to the flag and reaches it, but then he hears a gun cock behind him. A whistle is heard, Gumball looks behind him to see Nicole]
Nicole: Looks like you led me right to- OH!
[A bird flies into Nicole's paintball gun. It falls to the ground, and the paintballs in it spill out. Nicole kneels down to get them back but Gumball aims his gun at her]
Gumball: Enough! I have won! The game is over!
Nicole: Not until you've shot me. Then you'll finally join me... and be a winner.
Gumball: I don't want to be a winner. I'd rather be a disappointment to you than live like this.
Nicole: [Confused] What? Gumball... no no... disappointed? I could never be disappointed in you. I just saw your potential, that's all, and... I wanted you to reach it. I'm sorry if I upset you. Please, just... just take the flag my little trooper. You've earned it.
Gumball: Thanks Mom. [turns around and moves to the flag]
[Gumball has just placed a hand on the flag, and is about to take it when he hears a paintball dry fire behind him. He turns around and sees Nicole aiming at him.]
Gumball: [angrily] Did you just try and shoot me in the back!?
Nicole: [lowers her weapon] ....No.
[Nicole suddenly starts grabbing paintballs and placing them back in her gun, apparently still intent on winning, so Gumball shoots her.]
Gumball: There! You happy now!?
Nicole: [chuckles, then starts laughing] Sorry.
Gumball: [laughs along with her]
[Scene fades out]
[Fade in to the Wattersons, all walking up a hill]
Anais: So, you're gonna take down that chart now?
Nicole: Yep. Gumball won fair and square.
Richard: Typical, I was just about to make a breakthrough with my turkey scissors.
[A bird in the foreground whistles, and another bird smashes into the tree. The episode ends.]