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.
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 and off for a sandwich.
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, also on his way for a sandwich. 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.
Nicole: "What does a winner do when life gives him lemons?" Gumball: "Uhh... Make lemonade?" Nicole: "No, he squeezes them right back into life's eyes!"
Gumball: Dad! What happened? Richard: I-I didn't even see her. Gumball: Didn't see who, dad? Richard: Your mo- *Gets shot again by Nicole, and starts choking before finally passing out. He opens his eyes a little bit, then closes them again*
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 tolerence.
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.
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.
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 the Purple Moose.
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.