The episode begins with Nicole asking Gumball to return a DVD of Alligators on a Train back to Laser Video to avoid paying a fine, and after a bit of deliberation and a violent outburst from Nicole, Gumball fearfully obliges.
He goes to the kitchen to ask Darwin of the DVD's whereabouts, only to find Darwin using the disc as a pizza cutter. Gumball grabs it from him and tries to clean it with a sponge, but he accidentally uses the rough side of it, scratching the disc up and causing him to freak out. In the ensuing panic, he accidentally drops the disc into the sink's garbage disposal, shredding it to pieces. Gumball then decides they need to find a way to replace the DVD without their mom finding out.
First, he tries to replace the DVD with a cardboard cut-out, but the trick fails to deceive Larry, who sends them increasingly urgent notices. Instead of facing the consequences, however, Gumball decides the next best solution is to beg for money on the street to pay off their debt, though unsurprisingly, it fails to work either (with Hobo getting rich in the process by taking their earnings and winning the lottery).
Back at home, Gumball and Darwin search for jobs in the newspaper, eventually settling on a job in cosmetics for make-up testing. The two go in a booth that manually applies the make-up, but Gumball suffers an allergic reaction, horrifying the employee.
They return home once more, where Gumball discovers a lot and more of the letters from Laser Video. He realizes that he and Darwin are in trouble and he tells Darwin that they have to hide the letters before Nicole gets home. Then, they get a call from Nicole who suspects something is amiss; when the two try to assure her that the situation is under control, she suspects that they are lying and tells them she is coming home. Panicked, they double down on one last resort, however degrading and unlikely to work it may be. Right as Nicole arrives and discovers the letters from Laser Video, Gumball and Darwin run away from the house. A chase ensues, with Nicole trying to chase them down to reprimand them, but it ends when Nicole accidentally slams into a wall.
Gumball and Darwin arrive at Laser Video and hand over the disc, which turns out to be a homemade version of "Alligators on a Train," featuring cardboard cut-outs and the pair's names exclusively in the credits. Larry is unconvinced, and they break down, telling him about what happened to the original DVD and begging him not to tell their mom, who turns out to be right behind them. She pays off the fine of $25 for the lost DVD, telling Gumball and Darwin that she still loves them no matter what they do. Unfortunately, she failed to account for the late fee on the DVD, totaling $700, and the episode ends with a freeze frame of them running away from Larry to avoid paying it off, then the episode ends.
Nicole is the first character to speak in this episode, making her the first character to speak in the entire series. If one counts the early reel, Gumball is the first character to speak.
Nicole and Gumball are also the first characters to appear in this episode, making them the first characters to appear in the entire series.
Gumball is allergic to make-up, as shown when his face is severely swollen during the scene where they try to get money from doing a make-up test.
When this episode is shown by itself, or when it is seen on Hulu, an extended version of the Alligators on a Train credit song will play on the closing credits of the episode. It is currently the only episode to have an alternate credits theme.
Assuming 30 days to a month, a late fee of $700 over three months and three days means that it costs around $7.50 a day to rent from Laser Video.
A preview of the episode aired on May 3, 2011, and gathered 2.120 million viewers. When the episode aired on May 9, 2011, it gathered 1.937 million viewers.
Though this episode aired in the US as the series premiere, it was actually the final episode of Season 1 to be produced.
Nicole's line "I wasn't the one who watched Alligators on a Train seventy-two times" is a reference to "seen Star Wars twenty-seven times," a phrase that originated in Freaks and Geeks.
When Nicole jumps on Judith in the pool, there's a sound effect from the original Donkey Kong arcade game.
The Russian title of the episode, "Run, Mom, Run" ("Беги, мама, беги"), is a reference to the line "Run, Forrest, run!" from Forrest Gump.
When Darwin uses the DVD as a pizza cutter, a logo saying "HD DVD" can clearly be seen on it. HD DVDs were manufactured by Toshiba, and were the main high definition DVD format before the Blu-Ray format was released.
DVD players aren't normally able to play HD DVDs, meaning that the Wattersons' DVD player may be a rare model.
At one point, Nicole phones home because her "mother senses are tingling." This is a reference to Spider-Man's "spider-sense".
When Gumball is watching TV, the Laser Video letters are not on the floor. But when Darwin enters the room saying they received another letter from Laser Video, Gumball says to put them in the pile of letters that now appears on the floor. The letters then disappear again when the camera zooms out.
When both Gumball and Darwin wink, Darwin's eyelashes disappear. This also occurs when they are out on the streets to get money to pay for the DVD fine they owe Larry.
When Gumball and Darwin are running from Nicole, Gumball's whiskers disappear for a split-second.
Patrick is seen living in the same neighborhood as the Wattersons, but in "The Knights," he is seen living in a different neighborhood, even voicing his displeasure of the Wattersons' neighborhood. It is possible that he moved to a different neighborhood.
When Nicole face plants, Darwin's shadow and eyelashes disappear.
Despite the fact that Gumball is allergic to makeup in this episode, he has no reaction to the makeup he wears in "The Procrastinators."
Although Gumball and Darwin don't have much money when they are out on the streets, when the Hobo takes their money, Gumball asks him if he could have $3 back, even though Gumball and Darwin didn't have $3 in the first place.
After Larry watches the fake Alligators on a Train, he says that the video is 5 seconds long. If timing it, its duration is actually 37 seconds long.
When the camera zooms in on the pizza, the position of the pepperonis changes.
Čeština (Czech): DVD (The DVD)
Español (Spanish): El DVD (The DVD)
Français (French): Le DVD (The DVD)
Italiano (Italian): Il DVD (The DVD)
Magyar (Hungarian): Kölcsön lemez visszajár (Loan plate returned)
Polski (Polish): DVD (The DVD)
Português (Portuguese): O DVD (The DVD)
Türkçe (Turkish): DVD (The DVD)
Українська (Ukrainian): Тікай, мамо, тікай (Run, mom, run)
Русский (Russian): Беги, мама, беги (Run, mom, run)
[The episode starts with Gumball on the couch watching television, while Nicole is folding laundry by the front door]
Nicole: Gumball, don't forget to take that DVD back today, or we'll get a fine.
Gumball: [Scoffs] Can't you do it? You're the one with the car.
Nicole: I wasn't the one who watched Alligators on a Train seventy-two times.
Gumball: Ah! But technically, you rented it with your money.
Nicole: The money I have to go and earn to feed you kids.
Gumball: The kids you decided to have.
[Nicole punches a hole in the door]
Gumball: Yep! No problem, Mom, I'll take it back!
Nicole: [Carries laundry basket] Oh, very kind of you, honey. And don't forget to put on some pants. Bye-bye.
[Gumball walks into the kitchen, where Darwin is cutting a pizza]
Gumball: Darwin, have you seen that DVD anywhere? I— Darwin! What are you doing?!
Darwin: I'm using the pizza cutter.
Gumball: That's not the pizza cutter! That's the DVD! Oh, gimme that! [Grabs the DVD] Aw, man, you really have to be careful with these things. [Wipes the DVD with a sponge] The slightest scratch, and they're ruined... forever!
Darwin: Uh, Gumball...
Gumball: Ap-ap-ap. I am fed up with your carelessness, Darwin. This disc utilizes laser technology. You have to treat it with respect.
Darwin: You're using the wrong side of the scrubby sponge.
[Gumball screams, accidentally throwing the DVD into the garbage disposal and grinding it up]
Gumball: No! No! What are we gonna do?!
Darwin: Face the consequences of our actions and tell Mom?
Gumball: Don't be silly. I've got a much better idea.
[In front of Laser Video, Gumball puts a cardboard replica of the disc into the DVD case]
Gumball: There. You can make anything with cardboard, and no one will notice the difference.
Darwin: Really? It looks kind of obvious.
Gumball: Man, you say that, but I lost my trousers three weeks ago, and still no one's noticed. [Walks away awkwardly in cardboard pants]
Darwin: Everyone's noticed that walk, though.
Darwin: You look like you went to the bathroom in a spacesuit.
[At the Wattersons' house, Gumball is lying on the couch watching TV. Darwin runs in with an envelope]
Darwin: Dude! It's a letter from Laser Video!
Gumball: Ah, so what? Put it with the others.
[A small pile of letters is shown beside the couch]
Darwin: No, this one's red! It means urgent!
Gumball: Red envelope or red writing?
Darwin: Red writing on red envelope. It's really hard to read actually. [Opens the envelope] It says we have to pay twenty-five dollars for the DVD.
Gumball: Ah! What are we gonna do?!
Darwin: Face the consequences of our actions and tell Mom?
Gumball: No, no, no, no, no. Just give me a little time to think.
On the Streets
[Outside a convenience store, Gumball and Darwin are shown begging for money using an old hat]
Darwin: It took you two days to think of this?
Gumball: Less complaining, more begging. How much have we got anyway?
Darwin: [Rifles through the change in their hat] Like three dollars?
Gumball: Great. Twenty-two more, and we can pay for the DVD. Now pinch me. We get more when it looks like I'm crying.
[Darwin pinches his arm, causing him to tear up]
Hobo: The reason you guys are on the streets is to pay a DVD fine?
Gumball: Yeah, I know. It's crazy, right? People don't understand how hard our life is.
[The hobo reaches down, switching his empty hat with theirs]
[When Gumball tries to take their money back, the hobo starts grunting. Every time his hand moves towards the hat, the hobo growls. Darwin starts to beatbox, and the hobo grunts along to the rhythm. Gary passes by and drops money into the boys' hat]
[The hobo swipes the money and walks into the store]
Darwin: That guy stole our cash!
Gumball: [Sighs] Well, Darwin, sometimes in life, you have to realize that there are less fortunate people than ourselves. He needs that money more than we do.
Hobo: [Exits the store] Woo-hoo! I won! I spent your money on a scratch card, and now, I'm a millionaire!
Gumball: That's great! So, can we have our four dollars back?
Hobo: Oh, uh, s-sorry, guys. I-I don't have any, any change. [Walks away, the sound of numerous coins jingling in his coat; Gumball sighs]
[Back at the house, Darwin checks the answering machine]
Machine: You have eight new messages.
Larry: [In message] Hi, Laser Video here— [Darwin skips the message] Hello, it's Laser Video, we— [Skip] You need to bring back— [Skip] You need— [Skip] to bring— [Skip] the film— [Skip] back to the shop. [Skip] Ha, ha, I knew you were trying to skip my messages.
Darwin: Gumball, I think we need to get a job.
Gumball: [Looking through the newspaper] Hmm. Can you cook?
Gumball: Can you drive?
Gumball: Can you speak Chinese?
[Darwin speaks fluently in Chinese. The subtitles say "No."]
Gumball: Can you provide inspirational leadership to a core team of thirty people, covering both national or international markets?
Darwin: Mmm, no.
Gumball: [Excited] Wait, how about this one? "Looking for a person with no skills or training to serve as a scientific subject for the cosmetics industry."
Darwin: What does that mean?
Gumball: It means they'll put makeup on us and see if it looks nice.
Darwin: [Gasp] Kind of like modeling?!
Darwin: I've always thought I'd make a good model.
Gumball: What makes you think that?
Darwin: My cheekbones.
Gumball: There are bones in there?
[Gumball pushes his hand into Darwin's cheek]
Gumball: Oh, huh. There are.
On the Job (With a Makeup Mishap)
[Cut to the cosmetics building, Gumball and Darwin answer questions from the Cupcake Woman]
Cupcake Woman: Are you boys eighteen?
Gumball: Uh, does it count if I've been both eight and ten?
Cupcake Woman: [Sighs] I suppose so. Now step into the makeup booth.
Voice: Please relax. Look into the red dot, and pout.
[As the machine applies the makeup, Gumball screams and falls, while Darwin stands perfectly]
Darwin: [Looks in the mirror] Hey, that's not bad! Looking good. [Screams] What happened to you?!
Gumball: [Swollen] I think I'm allergic. [Slurps] How come you look so good?
Darwin: I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with my... perfect skin.
Gumball: I think I'm gonna get this off. [Wipes his face with a cloth, causing both the makeup and his eye to smear] What happened? Why am I looking at the floor?
Cupcake Woman: Okay, boys. So how did the tests go? [Sees Gumball] Aah—
Mom Senses Tingling
[Cuts back to the Wattersons' house]
Gumball: I can't believe she only gave us five bucks. It cost more than that to get home on the bus. [Struggles to open the door, because there is now a huge pile of letters behind it] Huh? Oh man! More letters from Laser Video! Oh, we are in so much trouble. We have to hide these before mom gets home.
[The phone suddenly rings, and Gumball goes to answer it]
Nicole: Honey, are you in trouble? Because my mother senses are tingling. I can smell trouble.
Gumball: Trouble? [Chuckles nervously] No, we're fine. Absolutely fine. No trouble here, bye.
Nicole: Are you lying?
Gumball: [Laughs] Oh, no, of course not.
Nicole: Right. You're lying. I'm coming home now.
Gumball: Mom's on her way home. Now.
Darwin: [Gasps] What should we do? Should we tell the truth and face the consequences of our actions?!
Gumball: What is it with you with and tryin' to be honest all the time? No! We need a copy of Alligators on a Train. I know. I'm gonna download it.
Darwin: [Gasps] Gumball! You wouldn't steal a car! You wouldn't steal a woman's purse! You wouldn't steal a cell phone! Piracy is stealing!
Gumball: I know. I'm... I'm so sorry.
Darwin: Anyway, I got a better idea.
Gumball: Is it stupid, desperate, and very unlikely to get us out of this mess?
Gumball: Is it humiliating?
Darwin: If we get it wrong.
Gumball: Are we likely to get it wrong?
Gumball: In the time it's taking me to ask you these questions could you have just told me what it is?
Gumball: Should we get on with it then?
Darwin: Yeah, we better.
[Cuts to the front of the house, where Nicole's car pulls up]
Nicole: [Walks towards the house, but stops after passing the mailbox, sniffing the air like a dog picking up a trail. The trail leads her to the mailbox, which dumps letters at her feet as she opens it. She picks one up and reads it] I knew it! You are in so much trouble!
[Gumball and Darwin are in their bedroom putting a DVD into the Laser Video case when they hear Nicole]
Gumball: We need to get to Laser Video before Mom kicks our butt!
[Gumball and Darwin race out the back door, with Nicole right behind]
Nicole: What did you do this time?!
Nicole: Stop right there!
Gumball: Quick! [Grunts and pulls Darwin over the fence]
Nicole: Where do you think you're going?! Don't you dare run away from your mother!
[Gumball and Darwin run through a yard, knocking over an umbrella, a table, and a lawn recliner. Nicole vaults up the umbrella, leaps off it, grinds across the table edge on the grill cover, then flips through the air, slides down the chair, and lands perfectly on her feet]
Gumball and Darwin: Whoa!
[Gumball and Darwin run through the Fitzgerald's back yard, crossing the pool by jumping on Patrick and his inflatable raft. Nicole crosses by jumping off Judith’s head. Gumball and Darwin then land on a trampoline in the next yard, with Nicole coming right down at them like a pouncing tiger]
Gumball and Darwin: Aah!
[Gumball and Darwin manage to bounce away, taking the trampoline with them, resulting in Nicole face-planting into the dirt]
Gumball: [Worried] Mom, are you okay?
Nicole: [Muffled] You're in so much trouble.
Gumball: What was that?
Nicole: [Lifts her head] You're in so much trouble!
[The boys scream, then resume running. They jump over another fence, only to find themselves confronted by an angry dog on a leash. They edge around the fence, but Gumball notices the stake holding the dog's rope coming loose]
[Gumball and Darwin escape through a loose plank on the other side of the fence, as the pursuing dog smacks into it, and keeps barking. Nicole enters the yard from the other side, and the dog turns its attention to her. The boys stop running when they hear Nicole scream]
Darwin: Gumball, we have to help Mom!
Gumball: I don't know, I mean m-maybe she'll be all right? [Chuckles nervously]
Darwin: [Angry] Gumball! There's a monstrous creature attacking our mother! We need to face the consequences of our actions and help her out!
Gumball: Yes. I'm— I'm sorry. You're right. [Suddenly the barking stops] Wait a minute. Why has it gone quiet?
[There's a brief moment of tension as they watch the fence. Then suddenly, Nicole bursts through the fence, riding the dog]
Gumball and Darwin: Aa-a-ah!
[A birds-eye view is shown of several more yards being crashed through]
Nicole: Stop right now!
[Gumball and Darwin stop, separating just as Nicole and the dog rocket between them, leaving a long line of fence holes in their wake until they collide with a brick wall. Gumball and Darwin look at each other a moment, then run off]
Sometimes You Just Have To Run
[Scene cuts to Laser Video. Gumball and Darwin race inside]
Gumball: [Panting] Stop the letters! Stop the letters!
Larry: [Looks up from a newspaper] Ah... the Wattersons. It's about time you showed up. I assume you have my money?
Gumball: Better than that, Larry. We got the DVD.
Larry: I hope you don't mind if I make sure it's real. Last time it was a piece of cardboard.
Gumball: Heh, go for it.
[Gumball and Darwin wink at each other. Larry loads the DVD into a DVD player. The screen cuts through static to an obviously homemade version of the movie. Darwin's hands are seen holding a cardboard sign with "Alligators on a Train" written in crayon]
Darwin: Alligators on a Train. [The movie cuts to Darwin, wearing a fake mustache, standing in front of a cardboard alligator and a cardboard train backdrop. The backyard fence is visible through the train windows] OH NO! There's alligators on this train! [Darwin is shown "fighting" the "alligator" for a while, then he wipes the sweat off his brow, before saying his next line. The alligator, however, is still in the background] Thank goodness we got all the alligators off this train.
[The scene then changes to the backyard, where the sun is setting. Gumball and Darwin are standing with their backs to the camera, their arms hugging themselves]
Gumball: [Feminine voice] Thank you so much for saving us from all the alligators on this train. [Kissy noises]
[The movie then shows a list of credits, almost all of which are credited to either Gumball, Darwin, or "cardboard"]
Gumball: Doo-doo-doo. Alligators off this train. [Humming] Alligators off this train. [Humming] Alligators on a train!
Larry: [Turns to Gumball and Darwin, unimpressed] This had better be a joke.
Gumball: Aw man, what gave it away?
Larry: Dude, it's five seconds long and every name in the credits is one of you two.
Darwin: [Whispering] I told you we should have put some other people on the credits.
Gumball: [Whispering] What? And let them have all the glory?
Larry: Well there's no way I can accept this. You need to give me the real DVD now!
Gumball and Darwin: [Sobbing] We can't! We used it to cut a pizza, and then we scratched it with the wrong side of the scrubby sponge, and then we threw it in the waste disposal! Please don't tell our mom!
Nicole: [Standing right behind them] I already know. [Gumball and Darwin scream] How much is the DVD, Larry?
Larry: Twenty-five dollars.
Nicole: What?! You made me leave work and chase you through the neighborhood on a dog for twenty-five dollars?!
Gumball: But... But we were scared to tell you.
Nicole: Oh, silly... There's nothing you can do that will ever stop me loving you. Come here. [She hugs her sons] Now, let me pay for that.
Gumball: See Darwin, you should always tell the truth and face the consequences of your actions.
[Darwin looks surprised, then punches Gumball in the arm]
Nicole: Come on. Let's go home, you little troublemakers.
Larry: [Stopping them] Uh, just a minute. There's also the lateness fee.
Nicole: Oh, yes, of course. How much is it, please?
Larry: Let me see. [Calculating] Three months and three days late. That will be seven-hundred dollars.
Nicole: [Chuckles] You see, boys, sometimes in life, you really have to face the consequences of your actions. And sometimes you just... run!
Larry: Hey, hey, hey!
[The episode ends with a freeze frame of Nicole, Gumball, and Darwin running from Larry]