To make up for not getting a present for Gumball's birthday, Richard gives him a knockoff video game console called "Game Child," which he bought from the Awesome Store. Gumball is slightly disappointed, but Richard reminds him how everything in their home is a knockoff of something and leaves the room. Gumball turns on the console to discover the game Inverted Paradox: The Enemy Within, a JRPG. When Gumball starts the game and selects to go to the bedroom, he finds the world around him starting to pixelate into blackness which terrifies him.
When the screen is back up, Gumball finds himself in his room, where Darwin asks him what his name is. Gumball looks at the screen and realizes, to his delight, that he has trapped the town inside a video game. He calls himself MYBUTT, causing Darwin and Anais' dialogue to sound funnier. Darwin and Anais join Gumball to fix the universe that Gumball messed up by turning on the video game.
They walk outside and encounter a shrub blocking their path. After seeing their limited options, Gumball kicks the shrub, forcing the team to go into battle with a large, flower monster. Gumball acts overconfident before being damaged by the monster. Anais suggests damaging the creature with fire and activates Science, where she mixes two chemicals and throws it at the monster, which burns it away and gives the trio the victory. When they enter back into the neighborhood, they find out that the monster was Leslie, who was briefly changed into the monster after buying some fertilizer from the Awesome Store. When they get tired of Leslie talking, Gumball uses the dialogue box to knock him out and the three run away.
They go to Mr. Robinson's house, where Gumball starts looting the place since he can get away with it in JRPGs, and grab the old man's VHS player. Despite Anais and Darwin objecting, Gumball is proven right when Mr. Robinson tells them that they may take whatever they need for their quest. Gumball then steals money from his wallet and takes a break by sleeping on his bed.
The siblings go outside and discuss possible outfit options for Anais. Gumball bumps into Penny, who challenges them to a fight with an electronic object stuck to her head. Gumball refuses to fight her, but Darwin tells him that it is the only way they can progress. As Penny charges her attack, Gumball tries to calm her down by giving her the VHS player as a gift, which unintentionally knocks Penny out and gives the team a bittersweet victory. Penny, now with a dented head, thanks Gumball for saving her, explaining that she was possessed by a cellphone bought at the Awesome Store. She then gives it to Gumball to help him on his quest, as he can use it to summon allies to the battlefield. Gumball apologizes to Penny for disfiguring her with the VHS player and gives her a kiss before they leave. Penny passes out shortly afterwards.
They find Alison, whom Darwin thinks has a clue for them. She asks Gumball to find her missing pigeons, which are all over the town. Gumball is distraught, as the tedious sidequest preys on his gamer weakness of the need to 100% complete the game. After finding all the pigeons and becoming a fat nerd, Gumball receives the "No Life" trophy.
In the world map, Darwin spots the Awesome Store to the west under a thunder cloud. Gumball suggests that the three grind by defeating menial enemies to improve their stats. After defeating some small woodland creatures in the park, they take out some bystanders to increase their levels enough to take on the Awesome Store. Once they finish, they resume their quest.
The siblings arrive at the mall parking lot, where Gumball panics as he forgot to save before starting the cutscene to take on the Awesome Store. The Van Shopkeeper greets them and begins explaining something, but the children don't listen and immediately destroy the van. The Shopkeeper tells them that he is not the enemy and that the Game Child is the true villain of the game. The console comes to life and challenges the trio to one, final battle.
The last boss turns out to be very powerful, as it knocks the three of them down to 1 HP with one attack. Gumball tells Anais that if they lose, they either die in the real world, or have to restart the game from the beginning. While avoiding the lasers from the Game Child, Darwin suggests using their potion, but Gumball ends up throwing it at Game Child instead. Anais suggests using the phone to summon allies in battle. Gumball activates it, allowing him to summon Sarah, Hector, Banana Joe, Carrie, Granny Jojo, Nicole, and Richard to defeat the Game Child once and for all. After one last victory pose, the game's end credits start. Anais and Darwin are glad that it is over, but Gumball is dissatisfied that he only achieved 89% completion. When it offers Gumball the option to start a new game, Anais and Darwin desperately try to stop him as he presses "Yes" on the screen, ending the episode.
The fourth wall is broken several times in this episode:
Gumball smacks Leslie's face with a dialogue box.
When Penny falls over, the dialogue box does too.
The credits for Inverted Paradox list Ben Bocquelet as the director.
When Gumball, Anais, and Darwin momentarily appear in a fully pixelated overworld, the town looks similar to the one used in the promotional video for the Japanese ending theme song for The Amazing World of Gumball.
In the dialogue sequence where Gumball, Darwin, and Anais grow "anime hair," Gumball and Darwin's resemble the haircuts of Cloud and Sephiroth, respectively, while Anais' resemble the haircut of Rizelea from Trinity Universe, along with a resemblance of Sakura from Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
The episode's theme and the battle music of Inverted Paradox: The Enemy Within is extremely similar to the battle theme, "Let the Battles Begin!"
The victory fanfare of the Final Fantasy series is also referenced.
Several attacks used on the final boss are references to attacks in the Final Fantasy series:
The initial scene where the creature is pulled into another dimension is a reference to the Summoned Aeon attack of Anima from Final Fantasy X.
Banana Joe's pose is a reference to the Cactuar creature, and the attack "Thousand Blows" is a reference to the Cactuar's signature move, "1000 Needles."
Richard's attack is a reference to Bahamut Zero, a variant of Bahamut from Final Fantasy VII that strikes its enemies with a Flare attack from above the Earth's atmosphere.
The final attack when Gumball uses the phone to summon all his friends is a parody of Ultimate End, the strongest Summon in Final Fantasy VII. Both attacks involve a myriad of characters ganging up on an enemy.
[Gumball is lying on the couch reading a comic book. Richard approaches with a sly smile and clears his throat]
Gumball: [Annoyed] What?
Richard: Remember your last birthday present?
Gumball: [Sarcastically] How can I forget? My present was an IOU.
Richard: Well, I'm afraid I'm gonna need that back.
Gumball: [Sighs and sits up] Really?
[Gumball holds out the IOU, which Richard takes and rips in half]
Richard: Because... [Pulls out a handheld gaming console from behind his back]
Gumball: [Screams excitedly and takes the console] You got me a Game... [Looks at the front of the console, which is labeled GameChild™] ...Child? [Turns the console over] Made in Chainor? This is such a knock-off even the country it was made in is a knock-off! [Sighs] Did you buy it from the back of that van?
Richard: Yeah, the Awesome Store. What's the problem? Everything we have is a knock-off. Our TV? It's a Soppy. Only two letters different, but that never stopped you from watching it. Your superhero, Badman, he's a knock-off too. But you love his morally dubious adventures. Even our doctor only has a doctorate in fine arts, [Lifts up his shirt to reveal stitches in the shape of a fruit plate] but he did a great job on my appendix scar.
Gumball: Okay, thungs.
Gumball: That's knock-off for thanks.
Richard: [Turns to leave] That's the spirit. [Walks out of the room]
[The console turns on as it makes a "ping!" sound]
Gumball: "Inverted Paradox: The Enemy Within?" [Sighs] JRPG titles never make sense; They're just random words thrown together. The fashion equivalent would be wearing a Hawaiian shirt, ski boots and a top hat. Actually that does explain how the characters normally look.
[Gumball struggles to operate the console]
Gumball: Dad, your console's not working! [Reads] "Go to bathroom, attic, bedroom"?
[Gumball presses the 'bedroom' button, and the entire scene starts to fade to black as he screams repeatedly, then he teleports to his bedroom]
Gumball: [Screams] Dude, what is going on?!
Darwin: There you are! Sorry, I forgot your name.
[The screen shows a name selector]
Gumball: Please enter name? [Gasps] I've trapped us inside a video game! Awesome!
[Gumball types in a name]
Darwin: Please, MYBUTT, tell me what is going on.
Gumball: [Giggles as Darwin and Anais talk]
[Anais walks in]
Anais: A foul curse has been released upon our town by MYBUTT.
Darwin: You mean the gates of doom were opened by MYBUTT?
Anais: The fabric of the universe was ripped apart by MYBUTT.
Darwin: MYBUTT has made quite a mess.
[Gumball begins laughing hysterically]
Gumball: Surely this is gonna get old at some point.
Darwin: Here's some healing ointment to help MYBUTT in the heat of battle!
Gumball: [Gumball continues laughing, wiping a tear away] Nope.
["Anais and Darwin have joined your team"]
[Ping! The screen shows that Gumball has received the bottle of healing ointment]
Darwin: Oh no, the path is blocked by an awkwardly placed shrub! and we're apparently too stupid to walk on the lawn.
Gumball: [Gumball selects an axe from the console]
Voice: MYBUTT uses AXE. It is ineffective.
Gumball: [Gumball selects a saw]
Voice: MYBUTT uses SAW. It is ineffective.
Gumball: Can MYBUTT just use common sense and walk around it?
Voice: MYBUTT uses SARCASM. It is ineffective.
Gumball: [kicks the shrub]
[Screen spins and reveals a hideous leaf monster. It sends leaves toward Gumball]
Gumball: Pfft, I'm pretty sure I can handle a few le-[Monster attacks Gumball] Ow! Ow! Ow! Ah! Ach! [Gumball falls to the ground]
Voice: MYBUTT receives CRITICAL damage.
Anais: A leaf monster would be susceptible to fire attacks.
Gumball: Yes, I think most things are susceptible to fire attacks. [Gumball selects "Science" attack on the console]
[Anais rises with powers; dramatically pours chemical from test tube to test tube and then throws it at the leaf monster, defeating it]
All: Woah! Yeah! Awesome!
Darwin: We did it! [poses in victory]
[Gumball, Darwin and Anais walk towards the path and seemingly out of nowhere, Leslie appears behind them]
Darwin: Leslie? What happened to you?
Leslie: I bought some fertilizer from THE AWESOME STORE. I went home after visiting the AWESOME STORE and used the fertilizer I'd just bought at THE AWESOME STORE but...
Gumball: Okay! Okay! We got it, we got it. The awesome store is the villain.
Leslie: THE AWESOME STORE...
Darwin: MAKE IT STOP!
Gumball: I can't! There's no command to skip through his cutscene.
Darwin: DO SOMETHING!
Gumball: Hold on! [Gumball takes the dialogue box from the bottom of the screen and proceeds to hit Leslie with it. Leslie left unconscious. The letters in Leslie's text box are now mixed up]
Anais: We could've just walked away. But now maybe we should run.
[The Wattersons run. The scene fades to black and switches to the porch of the Robinson household]
Anais: What are we doing at Mr. Robinson's?
Gumball[Searching through items] Getting loot.
Anais: I think you mean looting.
Gumball No, if there are items hidden in these pots, they must be for me.
Anais: No, I'm pretty sure the mailman hid them there so people like you wouldn't steal them.
[The Wattersons enter the house]
Gumball: No, that's how it works in RPGs. Whatever you find, you take.
Darwin: I don't know. There was no *BUDABLING* sound when you took that VHS player. Right now it just feels like you're ransacking an old man's house.
Gumball: I'm sure Mr. Robinson doesn't mind.
Gaylord Robinson: Welcome to my home. Please take whatever you need for your quest.
Gumball: Hm. [takes Mr. Robinson's money] I'm gonna go sleep in his bed now.
[A single tear slides down Mr. Robinson's face. The scene transitions to the street]
Anais: What's with this new outfit? Can someone explain why this gigantic sword has a trigger?
Gumball: Yeah, well you did reject the alternative outfit.
Anais: Yeah I don't think that was age appropriate.
Gumball: But those leather platform boots would have given you plus five vision!
Gumball: Well, they make you taller, don't they?
Anais: [gasps] Oh, that actually makes sense.
[Gumball walks into Penny, equipped with a mechanical eye, who turns around and roars. Scene cuts to a battle scene]
Gumball: Oh, man. I can't fight my girlfriend!
Darwin: You have to!
[Penny roars and is about to attack Gumball]
Gumball: Uh, okay, I'll try to calm her down. Oh, how 'bout a gift?
[Gumball selects "Item." He throws a VHS player]
Gumball: I love you!
[VHS player hits Penny in the head; the battle ends. Gumball, Darwin, and Anais do the victory dance in a horrified manner]
Penny: [in a slurred voice] Thanks for saving me. The cellphone I bought from [shouting] THE AWESOME STORE took possession of me. [spawns a smartphone] Here, take it. It will help you in battle.
Voice: Smartphone acquired. You may now summon friends in battle.
Gumball: Thanks Penny. Sorry about the whole disfiguring you with the VHS player thing.
Penny: No problem. Just a scratch.
[All but Penny exit offscreen. Penny and her dialogue box fall. Scene cuts to the trio]
Darwin: Wait, I think this person has a clue for us!
Gumball: Really? I wonder what makes you say that.
[It is shown that Alison is feeding her pigeons. Gumball commences his interaction with her by pushing a button on the console]
Alison: Hello. I've lost my pigeons. Will you help me find them?
[The screen shows a map indicating all the spots the pigeons are at]
Gumball: No! A super tedious side quest that preys on every gamer's weakness!
Anais: Tortilla chips and sugary drinks?
Darwin: The sun?
Gumball: No, the compulsive need to complete every game 100 percent.
[Screen reads, "400 packs of tortilla chips, 300 cans of energy drinks LATER." Gumball, shown as an overweight nerd, enters back to Alison, letting her take the pigeons]
Voice: You've earned the NO LIFE trophy.
Gumball: Worth it.
Preparing for the Awesome Store
[Scene cuts to the world map]
Gumball: Okay, we need to find this AWESOME STORE before we all start growing anime hair.
[Anais grows an anime hairstyle resembling Rizelea's]
Anais: But where is it?
[Gumball grows an anime hairstyle resembling Cloud Strife's]
Gumball: There must be a clue somewhere.
[Darwin grows an anime hairstyle resembling Sephiroth's]
Darwin: How about that?
[Camera moves to show a building with a gold skull and a thundercloud above it]
Gumball: Yeah, that'll be it.
Anais: Wait, we can't go yet! We don't have enough XPs to fight the boss.
Gumball: Then, we'll do the things that make up most RPGs— GRIND!
Anais: What's that?
Gumball: Fighting menial enemies until we're stacked!
[Scene transitions to a battle montage involving fighting squirrels, birds, rats, butterflies, squirrels again, birds again, and a bunny, squirrel, and bird; a battle theme plays. They no longer have anime hair]
Anais: Hmmm. We still need more XPs. But there are no enemies left to fight.
[They look around, and proceed to attack several residents of Elmore]
Billy: No, no, no— Aah!
[Victorious music plays]
Darwin: We're finally strong enough to take on THE AWESOME STORE! Let's go!
Gumball: Wait, don't you kinda want to hear that awesome battle music one last time?
[Battle theme plays]
Gumball, Darwin, and Anais: Do-ba-do-ba-do, do-do-do-do-do-do-do, do-ba-do-ba-do, ba-na-na-na.
[Scene cuts to Gumball, Darwin, and Anais about to go through the entrance of the building; menacing music plays]
Gumball: You guys ready? 'Cause there's no turning back.
Darwin and Anais: Mm-hmm.
[All go through]
Gumball: No, no, wait. I forgot to save! I forgot to save!
Darwin: It's too late! The cut scene already started!
Gumball: No, no, no— No!
[Thunder crashes. Pipes drip, while the scene cuts to the trio walking through with worry]
Van shopkeeper: Welcome.
[They gasp. Scene cuts to a man, showing only his eyes, opening the Awesome Store]
Van shopkeeper: Welcome to the end of your quest. Prepare to fight your true enemy.
[Gumball, Darwin, and Anais abruptly attack the Awesome Store with magic powers]
Van shopkeeper: JEEZ LOUISE! I was about to explain how we're allies not enemies.
Gumball: Oh, uh, sorry. It's just you looked so evil, and you sold people all those cursed objects and stuff.
Van shopkeeper: What do they expect when they buy things from the back of a van?
Gumball: Fair point. Anyway, what were you saying?
Van shopkeeper: The secret is not a game. The secret to beat the game is to beat the game.
Gumball: Uhh, what?
Van shopkeeper: The console is the enemy.
Gumball: Ohh! "Inverted Paradox— The Enemy Within." So the name actually meant something. Makes sense, because we're playing the game in real life and the enemy is— Aah!
[Gumball screams; the Game Child console turns into a "boss" creature and the scene cuts to a battle. It roars]
Anais: How do we fight? We don't have the console anymore.
Gumball: We take it on, hand to hand. Hi-yah!
[He performs a karate chop, but it doesn't reach the console creature]
Anais: Aren't you supposed to actually hit it?
Gumball: I'm not touching that with my bare hands. I don't know where its tentacles have been.
[The console attacks them, causing them to have 1 HP (health point) left]
Anais: Wait, what happens in this game if we perish?
Gumball: I guess we perish in the real world, too. Or worse, we'll have to restart the whole game from the beginning.
[The console roars and shoots lasers that force the three to dodge them]
Darwin: Use the potion I gave you!
Gumball: But we might need it later!
Darwin: Dude, we literally only have one XP left!
Gumball: Aw, fine. Yah! [throws potion; however, it gives the console 650 more health points]
Darwin: I meant, use it on us!
Anais: Gumball, we still have the phone!
Gumball: Of course! [Prepares to throw the phone]
Anais: No, we can use it to summon friends in battle!
Gumball: Oh, yeah, right.
[Gumball dramatically dials his friends and family. Sarah is summoned, and she uses BRAIN FREEZE: she pulls off her head and throws it at the monster, freezing it and taking out 999 health points. Hector is summoned and uses PSYCHE!: he is about to punch it, but instead flicks it, taking out 999 health. Banana Joe is summoned; he uses THOUSAND BLOWS: he dons a run pose, and continuously moves his arms and legs up and down, emanating multiple lasers, each taking 100 health. Carrie is summoned, and she uses STOP HITTING YOURSELF: she possesses the console and hits itself numerous times, each hit taking 100 health. Granny Jojo is summoned; she uses GIVE US A KISS: she pulls out her dentures and throws them at the console creature, and the dentures bite the monster, taking out 999 health. Nicole is summoned; she uses I'M NOT ANGRY JUST DISAPPOINTED: she stares at it with a very stern look, surprisingly taking out 999 health. The camera zooms out, showing a giant Richard in the background. Scene cuts to space, where Richard uses RING OF FIRE: he eats power and farts out a ray of light at it. Gumball presses the phone, and the console screeches as it dies. The battle ends; Gumball, Darwin, and Anais do a victory dance. The game cuts to the credits, displaying the text: INVERTED PARADOX THE ENEMY WITHIN, CREDITS: Directed by: Ben Bocquelet." Scene abruptly cuts to Gumball, Darwin and Anais back in reality, on the couch]
Back to Reality
Gumball: Ah, no one cares about the credits. "Congratulations, you completed the game at eighty-nine percent."
Darwin and Anais: Yay!
Gumball: What do you mean, eighty-nine percent? "Do you want to start a new game?"
Darwin and Anais: [Gasps] NOOOOO!!—
[Gumball selects "YES," and the episode abruptly ends]