The episode starts from Nicole's point of view, being forced to deal with a hyperactive 4-year-old Gumball, who does all sorts of mischievious things, such as catapulting oranges, putting objects in the washing machine, breaking the ceiling, and is somehow able to bring both sand and snow into the house. She goes upstairs to find Richard in a bath of grape soda. She then finds Gumball in his room, acting so cute his mother can not even stay mad at him. Tired of their son's behavior, and in desperate need for sleep, the parents decide to get him a pet fish. Gumball is fascinated with his new pet, and decides to call it Darwin. Despite Darwin being unable to respond to his owner, Gumball enjoys playing with him very much. However, one early morning, Darwin does not wake up, and Nicole and Richard realize he is dead. Not wanting to upset Gumball, Richard buys a new fish to replace the dead one without telling his son that his first fish died.
After many fish end up dying because of Gumball and or Richard's irresponsibility, Richard goes to the pet store to buy yet another fish. While there, he is interrupted by Larry, who tells Richard the last two fish jumped out of the tank when they saw him coming. As Richard walks home wondering how he is going to explain this to Gumball, Richard is offered a fish by a man from a mysterious van. As Richard purchases the fish, the man tells him that this fish is very special, and must be treated with good care.
The new Darwin is placed as Gumball's new pet fish. Later on, Gumball is seen playing with Darwin under the kitchen table. However, he notices that Darwin is unusually intelligent for a goldfish, as he is able to understand everything he says, and is able to mimic facial expressions. Out of curiosity, they both reach their hands out for each other, and unknowingly establish a strong bond between them, which they can feel in their hearts. Then, Darwin demonstrates his ability to talk. Gumball, amazed at this wants to surprise his parents, and tells Darwin to look as dumb as possible. As he goes to tell Nicole, Richard walks into the kitchen and sees Darwin floating motionless in his bowl, thinking he is dead. Richard almost flushes him down the toilet, but Gumball stops him at the last second. Nicole then decides to take a family picture. When she tells everybody to say "Cheese," Darwin jumps out of his bowl to say it. Nicole and Richard are startled by this, and accidentally throw him out of the bowl. He lands on the lever and the toilet, and gets flushed, much to Gumball's horror. A title card saying "To Be Continued..." then comes up on the screen.
Running Gag: Every time a pet fish dies, Richard sings "Swing Low" six times, followed by him buying a replacement fish from the pet store.
The Awesome Store later appears again in episodes such as "The Puppy" and "The Disaster" due to the fact that characters end up purchasing mysterious items from it.
Gumball's question, "If I ate myself, would I grow twice as big, or would I completely disappear?" is answered in "The Procrastinators."
Richard's "grunge" outfit reappears in this episode and the next. It previously appeared in "The Treasure" and "The Hero."
Pictures from "The Hero" appear again.
The mysterious van shopkeeper's warnings about Darwin is a reference to the 1984 fantasy/horror film Gremlins.
The episode aired in Italy on February 12, which was chosen due to it being Charles Darwin's birthday.
This episode is similar to the Studio Ghibli movie Ponyo, in which the main character, a fish, gains magic powers and transforms into a human to find her owner, Sosuke.
Richard sings lyrics from an American Negro spiritual, called "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" every time he flushes a fish down the toilet.
The shirt with the logo that Richard is wearing is a reference to the American rock band, Nirvana.
The scene where Gumball makes fire cereal for his parents is a possible reference to an infamous fire cereal scene from an episode of The Simpsons, "Homer the Smithers."
The scene where Gumball moves at super fast speed while everything around him moves super slow is similar to Clock-Up from the Japanese tokusatsu superhero television series, Kamen Rider Kabuto.
This episode contradicts several previous episodes:
In "The Party," Darwin's full name was "Darwin Raglan Caspian Ahab Poseidon Nicodemus Watterson III." But in this episode, it is shown he was not the third Darwin the Wattersons had, in fact, he was the eighth.
In "The Game," the skeleton of Darwin the First was found under Gumball's bed, but this episode shows he was flushed down the toilet.
In "The Hero," one photo shows that Darwin was a Christmas present for Gumball, but in this episode, he was not bought by Richard on Christmas.
When Nicole is trying to find Gumball in his room, Gumball is seen without shoes, but in the next scene, he has them again.
When Richard sees Darwin in the kitchen and thinks he is dead, his stubble disappears.
In Gumball's room, there is a picture of Nicole and Richard. Nicole can be seen wearing her Rainbow Factory uniform in the photo, despite not having started working there.
When Gumball scares Richard, Darwin and the water drop into the toilet leaving the bowl empty. However, when Gumball puts him back into the bowl, water is already in the bowl.
[The episode starts off outside of the Wattersons' house. Two oranges suddenly fly through one of the windows]
Nicole: Gumball! Stop using my bikini to catapult oranges at your dad!
[On the front porch, water and bubbled soap begins seeping out from under the front door]
Nicole: What the? Gumball! When I told you to clean your room, I didn't mean to put everything in the washing machine!
[Cut to the interior of the house, we things from from Nicole's point of view as she climbs the stairs]
Nicole: Oh, not a moment's peace around here. Oh, where is he now?
[Nicole then opens the bathroom door, where she then finds grape soda in bathtub, overflowing onto the floor]
Nicole: Gumball? Why is the bathtub full of soda?!
Richard: He must have been trying to make some kind of amazing home-made jacuzzi. I think it's important to encourage the creativity of a child because--
Nicole: It was you wasn't it?
Richard: [Peers out from behind shower curtain] Yes.
[Nicole sighs and closes the door. She looks down at the ground, then to her right, where she finds grains of both sand and snow leading to Gumball's room]
Nicole: Gumball! How did you manage to bring both sand and snow into the house?
[Nicole then looks up at the ceiling, and sees a large hole]
Nicole: I'm not even going to ask about that.
[Nicole then approaches Gumball's bedroom door]
[Nicole opens the bedroom door, only to find Gumball is not there]
Nicole: Gumball? Oh my gosh! Richard! Get the hunting net, he got out again!
Gumball: [Young voice] I'm here.
[Nicole then looks down to find a toddler Gumball standing there with a cute smile on his face. The camera cuts back to third person perspective, where we find a very tired Nicole, who is wearing a 90's styled outfit]
Nicole: [Sighs with relief] You're lucky you're so cute! Otherwise I'd have sold you to the freak show by now. [Picks Gumball up and kisses him on the cheek]
Gumball: What's a freak show?
Nicole: It's like our family, but people pay to see it.
[Nicole then walks out of the bedroom with Gumball in her arms]
Getting Gumball a Pet
[At the table, Gumball is babbling and moving his arms around at hyper energetic speed. Nicole and Richard (the latter dressed differently, as well as sporting a mustache and goatee) are watching him]
Richard: Uhnn... [Brings a spoonful of food towards Gumball as Nicole prepares to take a picture with her instant camera. Gumball hits the spoon, causing the food to fly onto Richard's face right as Nicole takes the photo] Ahh! That's the twenty-seventh time!
Nicole: [Sighing as she looks at the pictures she took, all of which are Gumball making bizarre faces] I was an energetic kid, but this one operates in a different time frame.
[Gumball continues babbling and waving his hands all around his high chair. Richard then points another spoonful of food at him]
Richard: EAT! By the power of lunch, I command you to eat! By the power of lunch, I command you to eat!
[Gumball then stops and his head falls on his baby table]
Richard: Ah! I killed his appetite! Or maybe worse...
Nicole: Shh! He's finally gone down! Quick! Sleep while you can!
[The two then fall on the table as well and begin to snore for a few seconds]
Gumball: Second wind! [Resumes his hyperactive behavior]
[Nicole and Richard both wake up and groan]
Nicole: [Sighs] This can't go on...
[The two think about a way to stop the madness, then they both gasp as they come up with solutions]
Nicole: Wait a minute!
Richard: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Nicole and Richard: Let's...
Nicole: Get him a pet!
Richard: Go back in time and make sure we never... [Nicole looks at him suspiciously] We get him a pet! [Laughs] What a good idea we both just had...
[Gumball splatters baby food on their faces]
[Cut to later, a goldfish in a bag is lying on the table, as Gumball watches it swim in circles. Nicole and Richard watch him, both looking very tense. Richard looks at his watch]
Richard: He hasn't moved in over thirteen seconds.
Nicole: And there isn't any alphabet soup on the ceiling.
[Both of them then laugh in a sign of relief for a bit, then they stop]
Nicole: So what are you gonna call him, sweetie?
[Gumball then looks at his alphabet soup, then shakes it around a bit. Gumball then looks into the bowl]
Gumball: [Gasps, whispers] Darwin.
[The bowl of soup is shown, with the letters spelling "JPXFRD"]
Nicole: [Confused] What? But that spells "JPXFRD." We really need to get you enrolled in school...
[Scene then cuts to Gumball's room, where Darwin the First is swimming around inside the water-filled bag on Gumball's play table]
Gumball: I can see from your serious expression that you ask yourself a lot of important questions. Like, "If I ate myself, would I get twice as big, or just disappear?"
[Darwin the First floats in place, and only opens his mouth. Nicole and Richard are seen watching Gumball from his doorway]
Nicole: [Sighs] Oh, thank goodness, someone else to listen to his questions.
Richard: I know, I got a nosebleed thinking about "if there's nothing faster than light, how did the dark get there first?"
[They sigh and leave Gumball's bedroom, but as they do, their muscles begin to sag down below their faces]
Nicole: [Lisping] My muscles. They got all loose...
Richard: What happened to us?
Nicole: [Lisping] I think we just relaxed... for the first time in years...
[Nicole and Richard both laugh again, then collapse onto the floor]
[In Nicole and Richard's bedroom, an alarm clock on Nicole's nightstand goes off at six AM. Nicole wakes up and presses the snooze button, but the alarm does not turn off, so she continues to attempt to turn it off, growing more and more frustrated. As she growls and starts hitting the clock, Richard wakes up and makes a continuous scream. Nicole picks up the clock and smashes it on the table, but finds that even though it is unplugged, the noise persists]
[The camera pans to the left, revealing Gumball to be standing in their bedroom and making the noise. He continues for a little bit, then finally stops]
Gumball: [Quietly] It's time to wake up! I made you breakfast! [He holds up two bowls, both of which are full of fire]
Nicole: [Takes bowls] Thank you honey, but don't you have anything else to do?
Richard: [Eating his burning breakfast] Go play with Darwin. [Continues eating]
Gumball: I can't. He won't wake up. He looks like this. [He then jumps on the bed, landing on his back and imitating the look of a dead fish. Nicole and Richard nervously look at each other]
Richard: [Gets out of bed, speaks nervously] Oh... excuse me wife and my son, I'm just going to the store to buy another f--orange! By which I mean the same orange. Why don't you both stay here in this room [Takes random clothes from the wardrobe] while I get rid of the old orange in fact there is no old orange there's just one continuous orange. Okay, bye!
[He leaves the bedroom. Richard, now in Gumball's room, approaches the bowl containing the now dead Darwin the First. He sighs and picks up a fishing net. He is then seen in the bathroom]
Richard: [Singing in a low, opera-like voice] Swing low... Sweet chariot...
[As he sings, he flushes the toilet to dispose of Darwin the First. Richard then arrives at the pet store and points to the fish he wants. The cash register adds a total of $2.50, and Larry gives Richard the new fish. At home, Gumball looks at Darwin the Second suspiciously]
Gumball: Wait a minute...
[Nicole gasps in terror]
Gumball: Did you just go to the store wearing that?
[Richard is then seen wearing a leotard, a ski mask, and one roller blade. He and Nicole sigh in relief]
[Later on, Gumball is seen jumping on the trampoline, holding Darwin the Second's bowl, unaware of both the fish and the water repeatedly leaving the bowl. Darwin the Second finally lands near Richard and dies almost instantly. Richard tosses his handheld gaming device aside, panics, then drinks water and spits on Darwin the Second to try and revive him. Richard is then seen in the bathroom, disposing of Darwin the second just as he did his predecessor]
Richard: Swing low...
[The toilet flushes again. Richard then goes to the pet store, chooses a fish, pays, and receives it from Larry, just as before. Darwin the Third is then seen in a shopping cart with Gumball, while Nicole pushes it to the car. Nicole buckles Gumball up, but forgets to take Darwin the Third off the car roof. As she drives off, the bowl falls and shatters. Richard again disposes of Darwin the Third in the bathroom]
Richard: Swing low...
[The toilet flushes, and Richard makes a repeat trip to the pet store. Darwin the Fourth is seen, although this fish has black scales. Richard realizes his mistake, then rushes offscreen and comes back with a bucket of orange paint. Just before he dips the brush into the water, he is then seen flushing the toilet again, with the water this time being orange]
Richard: Swing low...
[Richard returns to the pet store and buys a fifth fish. He then brings Darwin the Fifth and Gumball to a lake. In the background, Banana Bob and a young Banana Joe are seen fishing. Banana Bob casts his line, and accidentally catches Darwin the Fifth, to which Richard quickly carries away Gumball and an empty fish bowl. Darwin the Fifth then meets the same fate as the others]
Richard: Swing low...
[The toilet flushes again, and Richard once again buys another fish. The next morning, Nicole enters the kitchen and sets a glass of water down next to a can of fish flakes and a pack of vitamins. Yawning, the tired Nicole pours the fish flakes into her water, and then drops the vitamin into Darwin the Sixth's bowl. Richard is once again seen in the bathroom, disposing of the dead fish]
Richard: Swing low...
[The toilet flushes again, now with purple water. Richard once again purchases another fish. The Wattersons are then seen at the park, when a soccer ball lands behind Darwin the Seventh's fish bowl. A younger Leslie (who has not sprouted yet), accidentally kicks the fish bowl. Richard later flushes Darwin the Seventh]
Richard: Swing low... [Richard is then seen at the pet store, now pointing at an empty tank while singing] Sweet chariot...
Larry: I'm sorry, there are none left.
Richard: What? What do you mean? I need a fish now! [Bangs fists on the table]
Larry: I'm afraid the last two jumped out of the tank when they saw you coming.
Richard: Aww... [He then slowly walks away from the pet store]
Unexpected Last Resort
[Richard sadly walks through the empty mall parking lot and approaches his car, unaware of the van to his right]
Richard: What am I gonna do? [Sits on the car's hood] What'll I say to Gumball?
Van Shopkeeper: Psst.
Richard: [Gasps] The call of a freshly opened soda!
Van Shopkeeper: No, over here.
[Richard looks to his right, and sees the van right before him]
Richard: [Gasps] A talking van!
Van Shopkeeper: No... I'm inside...
Richard: [confused] My head?
Van Shopkeeper: [Frustrated] No! The van!
[The Shopkeeper then pulls Richard inside the van, and the shot cuts to black. It then fades back in, showing Richard standing amidst the mysterious items inside the van]
Richard: [Gasps in amazement] Ahh...
The Shopkeeper then speaks to Richard, with only his eyes visible
Van Shopkeeper: What do you seek? Please choose from the many wondrous items in my store...
[Richard nervously walks past several items, before finally stopping in front of a pedestal with a small fish bowl perched atop a pillow]
Richard: What about this?
Van Shopkeeper: No, no... That's not for sale...
Richard: [Confused] Then why is it on a pillow under a spotlight?
Van Shopkeeper: Oh, we- oh, it's part of the game, you insist, I say- oh, whatever, it's a hundred dollars.
Van Shopkeeper: Fifty.
Van Shopkeeper: Okay, ten.
Van Shopkeeper: What?
Richard: Okay, a hundred! But you're twisting my arm!
[Richard tosses some money towards the Shopkeeper and picks up the bowl. Inside the castle within the bowl, a small Darwin peeks out but quickly hides. He then peeks at Richard again. Richard makes an awkward face, and Darwin imitates it]
Van Shopkeeper: There's just one thing... [Richard turns around] Whatever you do, don't get it wet...
Richard: [Confused] Uh... it's a fish.
Van Shopkeeper: Wait, no, there was something else, uhh... don't feed it after midnight...
Richard: [Still confused] But it's... kinda always after midnight.
Van Shopkeeper: No, no, no, that wasn't it, there was something... Well anyway, [Richard steps out of the van] be careful. That fish is more special than it seems...
Gumball and Darwin's First Interaction
[The next day, Gumball is sitting under the kitchen table, viciously playing with dinosaur and shark toys, as Darwin watches]
Gumball: [Throws his toys to the side] As a fish, can you tell be who would win in a fight between a shark and a thousand piranhas? [Darwin then makes the face of a piranha, and pretends to snap his mouth] Hmm... you seem different today. Sort of more... awake. [Gumball begins to think about the situation, then Darwin mimics his moves. Gumball turns around to find Darwin still copying him, then Darwin stops] Hmm... [Gumball then makes a goofy face, which Darwin mimics. Gumball gasps] Are you... copying me?
[Gumball reaches his finger towards the bowl, which Darwin imitates. When the two touch the same spot on the bowl, causing a blinding light to surround both of them. They pull apart, and Gumball jumps, causing his head to hit the table]
Gumball: Ow! Did you... did you feel that? [Darwin nods again, then points to his heart] Yeah, me too. In my heart. [He then points to his heart as well, then realizes something] Wait a minute... can you understand everything I'm saying?! [Darwin then nods again] This is amazin- [He jumps up, but bumps his head on the table again] Ow! Okay, okay, my name is Gumball. Gumball.
[Darwin sticks his head out of his bowl and speaks]
Gumball: Ah- wait up. [Grabs a bicycle helmet and puts it on his head, then jumps up and hits the table again] This is amazing! [Laughs] Wait 'til mom and dad see this, this is gonna blow their minds! [Sets Darwin on the counter] Um... let's surprise them! Act as dumb as possible, okay?
[Darwin responds by imitating Richard]
Gumball: [Laughs] Not bad, but dumber! Dumber! [Darwin then plays dead. Gumball claps his hands excitedly] Perfect, stay like that! When I bring 'em over, you don't move a muscle until I say so, okay? [Runs out the door] Mom! Mommy! You gotta come see this, mom!
[Richard comes into the kitchen and gets a sausage from the refrigerator, but before he can take a bite, he looks over to Darwin and screams, thinking he is dead. Outside, Gumball is trying to bring Nicole inside]
Gumball: Mommy, mom, mom! There's something you gotta see, mom! [As Gumball talks, Richard looks at Nicole through the kitchen window, making several moves and gestures to indicate that Darwin is dead. Nicole understands, and looks at Gumball nervously] Mommy, mom, mom come on you gotta see this, it's amazing, come on mom! You gotta see! He talks, and he [Starts tripping over his own words] And he... mom, mom, mom come look!
Nicole: Honey, I've been trying to avoid this but, I need to be honest with you. Darwin is not the first fish. The ones before him, well.... they stopped moving which means that they... [Gumball slowly frowns] they... they're asleep! And your father put them on a super fun water slide that goes round and round and round to a magic place where they hang out with all their friends and fishy friends and they dance and dance forever! [Laughs and dances maniacally]
Gumball: Are you saying you replaced the fish because they croaked and then dad flushed them down the toilet?
[Nicole inhales sharply.]
Gumball: But it's okay 'cause Darwin hasn't stopped moving! [Camera dramatically zooms into Gumball's face] I feel like I should be worried about something but I don't know what. [Camera zooms into his face again] Nope, still don't get it. [Camera moves slowly with more dramatic music] No. [Camera moves back and hits Gumball's face, causing him to fall onto the ground. He then hears his exact words to Darwin]
Gumball: [Voice] Don't move a muscle until I say so.
[Gumball leans up]
Gumball: DAD NO! [Nicole picks up Gumball]
Nicole: Gumball, it's too late, honey.
Gumball: I'm a hyperactive four-year-old! I live on a different time scale! It's never too late!
[Gumball starts running at hyper sonic speed to save Darwin, making everything else appear to be moving super slow. Gumball runs too fast, flies through the roof, and lands in the backyard]
Gumball: Too fast.
[Gumball runs back to the house and tries to open the bathroom door, but is too small to do so. He groans, grabs a chair from the living room, and tries to take it up the stairs, but he is holding it in a way that it cannot go up the stairs. He flips it around, garnering the same result. He sighs, lifts it upright, and rushes to the bathroom door. As Richard continues to dump Darwin into the toilet, Gumball tries to open the door, but fails to since it is locked]
Gumball: Oh, come on! [His scream becomes very high-pitched to the point it shatters the glass on the paintings and window in the hall. He then runs out to the street] Okay, this is it! [Runs back into the house, breaking through the bathroom door] STOP!
[Richards yells and drops Darwin in the toilet]
Gumball: Darwin, I'll sav- [Stops, then walks away and comes back wearing a pair of gloves] Darwin, I'll save you! [Picks Darwin up and puts him back in the fish bowl] There. You can stop faking now.
[Darwin stops acting dead and moves around]
Richard: Aw, I'm sorry. I thought he was deaaaa- asleep! And ready to go to a magic place wonderland where-
Nicole: He knows.
[Richard sighs as Nicole enters the bathroom through the hole in the door]
A Happy End...?
Gumball: Buddy! I thought I 'd lost you! Give me a hug. [Both try hugging each other, but they only hug the bowl] Oh. [Both try to figure out a way to hug around the bowl. Gumball sticks his finger in the bowl and Darwin hugs it, but both are dissatisfied] Ah! [Holds his breath and sticks his head in the bowl. Darwin hugs his face. Nicole then walks over to Richard and hugs him]
Richard: I guess that fish was special after all.
Nicole: Oh, let's take a picture! [Nicole grabs a camera. The next shot is then seen through the camera lens]
Gumball: Welcome to the Wattersons, Darwin.
Nicole: Okay, everybody say "cheese!" in three, two-
Darwin: [Pops out of the fish bowl] Cheese!
[Nicole and Richard scream, causing Richard to launch Darwin out of the bowl. Darwin bounces off of the toilet, hits the handle, and falls into the toilet, resulting in him being flushed]
[The episode ends on a black screen with text reading "To be continued..."]