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The Shell

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"The Shell" is the twentieth episode of Season 3 of The Amazing World of Gumball. It is the ninety-sixth overall.


After accidentally cracking open Penny's shell, Gumball encourages her to show the world who she really is.



Important details about the plot or story are up ahead

(Skip section)

Gumball and Penny are acting out the final scene of their school play, Beauty and the Beast, Gumball as the Beast and Penny as Beauty. At the final resolution, Penny announces they should kiss, Gumball fills with shock unsure of what she was doing because their was never any kiss in the script or in rehearsals, because she is improvising one. But the play is fast drawing to a close, so he attempts to kiss her but does so too quickly and inadvertently head-butts her through so.

In the dressing room, Gumball is upset over having fumbled on his kiss, and it turns out his headbutting has caused Penny's shell to crack on her eye. She is worried, and Darwin tries to cover her crack up, without success. Reluctantly they all decide to face Mr. Fitzgerald, who is dismayed upon discovering the crack on his daughter's face. Gumball argues that whatever is underneath her shell is nothing to be ashamed of, but Mr. Fitzgerald prohibits him and her from seeing each other again.

At the Wattersons' house, Gumball is too distraught to eat dinner or even discuss his problem with his family. He goes to his bedroom alone to cry, and soon Penny shows up at his window. She announces that her father is considering moving her to another school. Shocked, Gumball protests and encourages Penny to be herself. She takes his advice to heart, and sheds her shell, revealing her true form. Gumball is too stunned to finish his sentence to tell he how she looks quickly enough, leading Penny to misinterpret his response as negative, so she thinks she must look ugly, causing her to shape-shift into an ugly creature. He tries to explain, but she shape-shifts through her emotions thinking she must be a monster and flees his bedroom, before he can declare that she looks "extraordinary."

Gumball goes after Penny, trying to tell her what he really thinks of her, but Penny keeps evading him. Soon, Penny encounters Tobias' parents in their car. After Harold flees, Jackie calls the pest control. Penny continues fleeing from Gumball. On another road, Penny encounters her father in the car (who is surprised and distraught to see her out of her shell). Gumball then goes to Penny and protects her from her father's remarks (that are unintentionally offensive to Penny especially when he remarks that she's become a monster). After Penny shape-shifts to a dragon and flies away, Gumball finally stands up to Mr. Fitzgerald for speaking without thinking. After that, he tells him to "pop the hood" of his car (on which Gumball is standing) and Gumball is sent flying to Penny.

He clings onto Penny's leg and struggles to cling on. By this point, he has gathered that Penny only shape-shifts based on her emotions, Penny says that he might get hurt and that he is too heavy for her to keep flight upwards. Then Gumball lets go and smashes into The Bananas' house and Penny lands on the roof of the house. After finding his way through the house, Gumball jumps out of another window and grabs on to Penny's leg. Penny starts flying again, and they fly through a road filled with cars. To stop Penny from hitting a truck, Gumball says that "She is nothing!" to make her shrink to a much smaller form, to which she does. Gumball catches her, and barely avoids the cars on the road, but she didn't know that he only said that to make her shrink and avoid hitting the truck. She then shapeshifts to another ugly form and continues to the forest.

Pest control arrives, and the pest controller takes a tranquilizer gun. Just as he is about to shoot Penny, Mr. Fitzgerald rams into his van, making the pest controller miss his shot and encourages Gumball to go after Penny. The pest controller loads another dart into his gun and fires a second time, but this time he hits Nicole by accident. The rest of the Wattersons (aside from Gumball) arrive with her.

Gumball goes to find Penny in the forest, and he finds her in a wolf form. Penny says to Gumball that she knows he was just trying to protect her, she also grieves her appearance and asks Gumball if he could really love her. Gumball assures her that her looks do not define who she is but rather just how she feels. Then Gumball finally admits his true feelings for her by kissing her. This makes Penny feel beautiful and joyful again and so she reverts back to her default form as a fairy.

The two then embrace their mutual love now it is finally confirmed and the beginning of their relationship as a couple and they gaze at each other affectionately. Gumball's family and Mr. Fitzgerald gather round to watch them happily, Richard announcing as he realizes that the way they have come to be as a couple is exactly the same as how the characters they played in the school play did, to which Anais comments on how everyone had already figured that out.

End spoilers


Main Characters

Supporting Characters

Minor Characters


  • This episode reveals what Penny looks like without her shell. It also marks the last time she is seen with her shell, and the first time she appears without it.
  • This was the first episode of Season 3 to be revealed.[1]
  • The wig Gumball wears for the play is identical to his hairstyle seen in "The Void" after using hairspray.
  • The soap and hair dye in Banana Bob's bathtub has Daniel Lennard's name as the brand.
  • Later in the episode, Banana Barbara's painting shows the next scene that comes right after hers.
  • Gumball breaks the fourth wall when he asks why Penny and him are always in space when they want to kiss.
  • This episode reveals Mr. Fitzgerald's first name is Patrick.
  • This episode contained the most characters in any episode of the series with 46 character appearances, beating "The Finale" and "Christmas," until being recently beated by "The Butterfly" with 65 characters.
  • In "The Sock", Darwin says Gumball will never make the first move on Penny, then he does in this episode, this is either an error in continuity, or evidence that Darwin lacks faith in his best friend.
  • This episode won a BAFTA for best animation in children's animation category.[2][3]
    • This episode also won two British Animation Awards for the categories Best Children's Series and Children's Choice.
  • This is Guillaume Cassuto's favorite episode of Season 3.


  • One of the faces Gumball makes is exactly like the one he made in "The Sweaters" when Penny told Gumball that he was brave to fight Carlton and Troy.
  • This is the second time Penny sneaks away from her dad, and goes to the Watterson's house. The first was in "The Knights."
  • This is the fifth time that two characters kiss on the lips. The first time was in "The Kiss," the second time was in "Halloween," the third was "The Boombox," and the fourth was in "The Extras."
  • This is the first episode in which Gumball and Penny kiss on the lips successfully. It is also the third time they had attempted to kiss, and they were in space when attempting, but the moment was spoiled.
  • This is the first episode where the status quo was not restored at the end, as Penny was still shell-less and was dating Gumball in the next episode.
  • This is the fourth time Patrick has crashed his car. He crashed his car three times in "The Knights" and "The Internet."
  • Music from "The Password" was reused.
  • A filler character can be seen, looking like Pantsbully's old design.

Cultural References

  • Ben Bocquelet described the episode as "Miyazaki-esque."[4]
    • References are made to some of Hayao Miyazaki's films, such as when Penny morphs into a dragon (similar in form to Haku when he is in his dragon form in Spirited Away), and a wolf, a la Princess Mononoke.
    • Gumball kissing Penny who is in another form (specifically her wolf form) could be somewhat similar to Howl's Moving Castle, when Sophie kisses Howl (who is also in another form, specifically his bird form).
  • The school play is "Beauty and the Beast," a well-known fairy tale written by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, and published in 1756.
  • The logo on the Pest Controller's van resembles the Ghostbusters logo and the van resembles the Cockroach Man's van in Men in Black 1 and Mouse Hunt. It also references that the driver is actually a giant cockroach taking the form of a human in the same movie.


  • After the Pest Controller accidentally shoots Nicole, Anais and Darwin help her by "beating" him up with her arms. But when they were with Gumball and Penny, The Pest Controller is not seen. It is unknown of what happened to him during that event.
  • When Darwin says "pass me the paint roller," his eyelashes are gone.
  • During the play, when the spotlight cuts to Darwin, Gumball disappears. But when the spotlight cuts to Penny, Gumball reappears.
  • When Darwin was explaining to Nicole what was wrong with Gumball, her food and bowl changes colors.
  • When the camera moves towards Darwin in the scene where the family was sharing each other's food, Nicole, her food, & her bowl leave the screen too early.
  • After Penny announced Gumball her father was taking her to a new school, Gumball's eyes turn back to white.
  • When Richard says "No! All of that could've easily been avoided if he just finished his sentence!" there is another picture of the Wattersons (Like the one downstairs) but the upstairs one is backwards.
  • When the Wattersons are eating, notice how Anais eats food from nobody as Richard waits Gumball to feed him.
  • When everyone watches Gumball and Penny drift after kissing, Nicole's and Richard's eyelashes are missing.
  • When Patrick crashes his car into the Pest Controller's truck, it shows the truck and Patrick's car on one highway lane, the other highway lane blocked by a guard rail. When Nicole stops her car to stop the Pest Controller preparing to shoot at Penny, the Watterson's car is on the other lane which is blocked by the guard rail, and Nicole is on the same side as the Pest Controller's truck and Patrick's car. In the Pest Controller's scope, Nicole had no struggle of going over the rail like it wasn't there.


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