The episode starts off with Gumball, Darwin, and Richard watching Elmore News. The boys are sitting on the couch eating gray pellet-shaped cereal. The display glitches out and then all the color drains from it. Anais comes into the living room, completely grayed-out, and says that there might be a problem with the mirror. She tells Gumball and Darwin that they should notice that they have been eating cat litter rather than cereal. Nicole pokes her head out of the kitchen and explains that everything in the supermarket was gray so she resorted to using the pictures to judge the cereal's quality. She liked the cat litter's cat mascot, and thought that the words "NO CLUMPING" displayed on the package meant that the "cereal" was full of fiber. As she is trying to explain this, she turns gray and starts freaking out. They hear car horns outside their house and look out to see a traffic jam. Some of the cars are still in colour, but the whole jam is slowly turning gray. In the middle of all this, the Donut Cop tries to restore order by telling various gray cars to move forward. However, as they are all gray, the cars simply ram into him. A gas truck smashes through the situation, taking several of the cars and the Donut Cop away.
Gumball and Darwin investigate Elmore. First, they walk past the mall, where Rocky is on Trawlr. His blind date says that she will be the one in gray, but Rocky looks up to see all the girls in sight turning gray. He shrugs, freshens his breath, and then walks towards the girls. The scene cuts to Rocky being violently attacked by all of them. At the Elmore Stadium, the football teams and the crowd supporting them turn gray, meaning that neither can be distinguished from the other. This provokes the milk guy to take up his true passion, magic, since he is no longer under the "spell" of football. The butterknife agrees, but instead says he wishes to take up embroidery. The two sides of the crowd argue and start throwing things and shouting at one another.
The scene then shows a street in town, where Gumball and Darwin are walking. After a while, the whole area is obscured by gray graffiti, leaving objects hidden. Eventually, they encounter the hobo, also covered in graffiti, who tells them that the boy that cleaned the area up quit, and thus the graffiti situation had gotten out of hand. The boys continue on and eventually reach an abnormally bright area, where Gumball notices a smell of popcorn. They see Jeff staggering towards them, warning them to go no further. He begins to turn into popcorn due to the extreme heat, and as he collapses explains that the boy that oversaw the recycling quit. Gumball and Darwin look at each other, and see that their faces have reddened and sagged due to heat. They realise that the buildup of garbage tore a hole in the ozone layer.
Using manhole covers as shields from the light and heat, they continue until they reach the park. The female coffee cop prevents them from proceeding, and explains that the boy who fed the ducks quit, and shows them the situation in the park: several cops being mauled by tiny little yellow ducks. The boys decide to go through the old folks' home, but the cop informs them that the boy who organised bingo there quit, and plays them a live recording from the cops at the home, who are screaming about the old folks "coming through the walls." Upon seeing an explosion within the park, the cop decides it is everyone for themselves, and runs off. She turns around to warn the Watterson brothers not to go to the zoo because the boy who volunteered there quit. She is then attacked by a monkey, who tackles her and knocks her behind a car. Gumball and Darwin decide to go through the park.
They walk into the forest, and Darwin says he feels like they are being hunted. Gumball realises that they are not being hunted, but rather scouted by the scouts, led by Timmy. The scouts tie them up and threaten them with weapons made of common objects like protractors and pencils. Darwin gets the two out of their predicament by offering the scouts badges, upon which Timmy tells them that their scoutmaster quit, and they found his stash of badges. Gumball points out that if they just found the rest of the badges, they had not learned the skills required to earn them, such as knot-tying. The boys easily escape from the loose ropes draped around their wrists, and beat up the scouts. They figure out where the source of the grayness is, and attempt to reach it, only to be faced with a wave of despair that only affects them when they get close to the source, but they push through, weeping, and encounter Alan, sitting alone on a swing. Rain is pouring down, and Alan looks miserable.
They ask him what the matter is, and he explains that he has lost his faith in the world, claiming that people never change. He becomes still more depressed when he observes Gumball's dislike for him, which the latter is failing to hide. He claims that no matter what he does, the world will never be perfect and thus attempting to help out is pointless. The Watterson brothers decide to sing a song to reignite his love for everything, showing Alan that he will always have happy memories to get him through the bad times, and that the world needs him to keep the world happy and positive, and to fix it when it falls into a bad state. Alan realises the truth in their words, and the world's colour returns. Alan, happy again, asks if this means that he and Gumball are friends now, but the latter scoffs at this and walks off, leaving Alan upset. Gumball returns and says that maybe they are friends a little bit, causing Alan to smile.
This is the third episode that includes Lacrimosa. Before it were episodes "The Bumpkin" and "The Sale."
The scene where Timmy attacks Gumball from a bush and he says "clever boy" is a reference to a scene in the first Jurassic Park film.
Before Gumball tries to reason with the boy scouts, for a split second, he has a second mouth layered behind his current one.
When the color first begins disappearing, the cowboy and Harold are seen in traffic, and Susan and the flight attendant are at the mall, but soon after, all of them are seen at the football stadium. Susan was also stuck in traffic at the beginning.
[The episode begins at the Wattersons' house. Gumball, Darwin, and Richard are trying to watch Elmore News, but it is turning grey]
Mike: And in other news, scientists have discovered a completely new color; a mixture of blue and red called "bled." And here it is on TV for the first time.
[Camera pans to the right to show a clipboard man holding a test tube. The screen is grayscaled at this point. Richard then hits the TV to try and fix it]
Richard: Gah, typical! Stuff always breaks just when the warranty runs out!
Gumball: When'd it run out?
Richard: About twenty years ago.
[Anais walks into the living room, grayscaled]
Anais: Uhh, I think there's something wrong with our mirror, too.
Darwin: I don't think that's the mirror.
Gumball: Yeah, you look like a pair of English buttocks.
[Gumball and Darwin giggle]
Anais: Yeah? Well, at least I'm not eating kitty litter.
Gumball and Darwin: [Look at their bowl] Huh?
[Gumball finds out that they have been eating cat litter the whole time]
Gumball: Eww! Mom!?
Nicole: I got confused, okay? Everything was in black and white at the supermarket. I chose that one because I like the picture.
Gumball: [Grabs the cat litter box from the table.] It literally says "non-clumping" on the box.
Nicole: Uhh, I assumed that meant it was full of fiber. [Suddenly turns grayscale] Huh? [Screams]
Gumball: Okay? Something weird is going on here.
[The Wattersons hear loud horns outside, which makes Gumball and Darwin go out and check. The camera zooms out to reveal that the houses, the road and the cars are partially black and white]
Gumball: What the what?
[We cut to a large traffic backup due to the traffic lights losing their color. Doughnut Sheriff tries to manage the traffic]
Donut Cop: Alright! Alright! Everybody calm down. I'll take care of this. Okay, dark grey car, move forward. [Points at his left. The car to his right moves forward, wedging him between two cars] Not you! Light grey. [Signals to his right] Reverse! Reverse! [The car to his left reverses. He becomes even more stuck.] Ahh! Medium grey, move forward. [The second car to his right moves forward, colliding with the car in front of it.] Uggh! Somebody, do something! [A semi truck pushes him and all the other cars out of the way]
[Cut to the mall, Gumball and Darwin observe things turning black-and-white]
Gumball: What is going on around here?
Darwin: It's like the color's been sucked out of the world.
[Rocky enters the mall, wearing a formal suit and holding a rose. He grabs his phone and reads a message aloud]
Rocky: "Excited for our blind date and first kiss. I'll be the one wearing gray."
[Several girls at the mall turn grayscale. Rocky shrugs, uses some mouth spray, and walks over to them. Rocky is then seen getting beaten up by the girls]
[Cut to the football stadium, the whole stadium turns grayscale which stops the game]
Person in audience: The spell is broken!
Milk Guy: I don't have to spend my life supporting this team anymore. Now I can finally dedicate my time to my real passion: close-up magic.
Butterknife: And I can get back to the greatest passion of them all: embroidery!
Milk Guy: Magic.
Milk Guy: [Angered] Magic!
Butterknife: [Angered] Embroidery!
[Milk Guy and Butterknife begin fighting, and several stadium members start angrily shouting as well]
[Gumball and Darwin are walking down the sidewalk, passing an area with graffiti all over the wall and posts]
Darwin: Hmm...what's all this now?
Gumball: There's something we're not seeing. [Smashes into a post that's covered in graffiti] Oh, dagnabbit.
[Gumball checks in front of him by moving his hands while climbing a stairway that has no pathway leading to it. He eventually fall head-first]
Gumball: Aw, come on, man. [Darwin continues walking] No, no, no. Watch out, dude.
Darwin: It's alright, I got this. [Walks into a fire hydrant] Oww! Right in the... neck. [Falls to his knees, holding his neck]
[Gumball continues to walk and check in front of himself. He stumbles upon something in his way]
Gumball: Huh? What's this?
Darwin: What is going on here? This place looks like a gas station restaurant mugged in UV light.
Hobo: [Eyes and nose suddenly appear] I know what happened. [Gumball and Darwin back away in fear] The kid that used to clean up the trash hasn't come for a while.
Darwin: Uh, you got a... you got a little bit of paint on you.
Hobo: [Wipes off part of graffiti on his face] Did I get it?
Darwin: Uh- yeah, sure.
Gumball: One last thing. Could you point the way out?
Hobo: Uh, sure, it's that way.
[Due to graffiti covering his arms, Gumball and Darwin cannot see which direction he's pointing]
Gumball: I really don't know why I thought that would help.
[Gumball and Darwin carefully walk away, continuing to check in front of themselves]
A Hole in the Ozone Layer
[Gumball and Darwin are both seen attempting to shield their faces from the sun]
Darwin: I think there might be trouble ahead.
Gumball: Yeah, I can smell it. [Takes a deep sniff] Uh, actually, it smells like popcorn.
[Jeff is heard screaming in the distance. He then is seen approaching Gumball and Darwin as his kernels pop]
Jeff: You can't stay here!
Gumball: What? Why?
Jeff: [Kernels continue to pop] The sun! THE SUN!
Gumball: What's wrong with the sun?
Jeff: That nice boy who did the recycling has given u- [Faints]
Gumball: Wait, has what?
Jeff: ...has given up. [Left eye kernel pops and faints again]
[Gumball and Darwin are shown with their faces now looking very old]
Gumball: So, what? [Sees Darwin] What the what, dude!? You look like a trucker's elbow!
Darwin: You look like a medieval coinsack!
Gumball: Wait. They stopped recycling, didn't they?
[Elmore is seen getting shined on heavily by the sun]
Gumball: IT BURNED A HOLE IN THE OZONE LAYER! Ah! I got it. [Grabs the sewer lid for form a shade to himself]
Darwin: Of course, the sewers! Good idea. [Jumps inside the sewer.] You meant to use the cover as a shade, didn't you? ..Yeah, that's what you meant.
Society Begins to Collapse
[Gumball and Darwin walk with sewer lids as their shade before tossing them aside. They notice that some police tape is blocking the entrance of the park]
Gumball: Hmm? What's going on here?
[A Coffee Cop suddenly blocks the pathway]
Coffee Cop: Stop! I'm sorry, kid, but you can't go this way.
Coffee Cop: The kid who used to feed the ducks has stopped.
Gumball: Pfft. So?
Coffee Cop: So...
[The Coffee Cop steps aside, showing the other cops being destroyed by ducklings]
Gumball: Ah, I guess we'll go via the old folks' home then.
Coffee Cop: I wouldn't.
Coffee Cop: The kid who used to run the bingo has stopped doing it. [Holds up a walkie-talkie]
Cop: [On radio] Mayday! Mayday! We need backup! They're coming through the goshdarn walls! [Screams]
Gumball: Whoa. Turns out the rules of bingo are the only rules in an old folks' home, huh?
[An explosion happens inside the park]
Coffee Cop: Whoa! All right, you know what? It's every man for himself now. [She runs away] By the way, avoid the zoo! The kid who used to volunteer there has given up, too! [A monkey tackles her]
Gumball: I think I'll take my chances with the ducks. [Points at the park]
[Gumball and Darwin are show trekking through the woods]
Gumball: Dude, the atmosphere's getting kinda creepy.
Darwin: Yeah, It's like we're being hunted.
[Gumball stops Darwin from walking]
Gumball: Not hunted, scouted.
[Gumball points toward a scout, hiding in the bush. He cautiously picks up a rock to throw at the bush. Timmy suddenly shows up in the bush next to Gumball]
Gumball: Clever boy.
Scout Member: Scout.
[Timmy tackles Gumball, and the scene goes black. We see from Gumball's point of view that the scouts are attempting to stab him and Darwin with art supplies]
Gumball: You're scouts! Aren't you supposed to be nice, build birdhouses and play the bugle and junk?
Timmy the Frog: Our scoutmaster left us, so, we're an army without a leader. This is our territory now. You're either with us or against us.
[The scouts continue stabbing Gumball and Darwin]
Gumball: Ah! We're with you, we're with you!
Timmy the Frog: Hah, what's our motto then? I'll give you a clue: it starts with B.
Gumball: Be... lieve in men who wear short-shorts in the woods?
[Scouts poke them again]
Darwin: Badges! Scouts love badges, right? You want badges?
Timmy the Frog: When the leader left, we found his stash of badges. We have all the badges now.
Gumball: Wait, aren't you supposed to earn them by actually learning the skills?
Timmy the Frog: Pff, like technically, yeah.
Gumball: So, did you technically learn how to tie knots?
[Timmy mumbles. Gumball and Darwin discover their arms have not actually been tied. They then growl at the scouts]
Alan and the Society
[Gumball and Darwin exit the woods, tossing away some of the scouts' art supplies and a baseball bat, while cracking their fingers]
Gumball: Meh. Shame they didn't earn their self-defense badges either.
[In the distance, a storm rumbles around the forest]
Gumball: Hmm, looks like we found the source of it all. Come on, let investi- [Walks in and loses all his color and begins crying] WHAT'S THE POINT, DARWIN?! WE'LL NEVER FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING ON!
[Darwin pulls Gumball out of the rain, causing him to stop crying and regain his color]
Gumball: What am I talking about? There's no reason we wouldn't.
[Gumball walks into the rain, again crying and losing his color]
Gumball: NO! LIFE JUST POINTLESSLY STIRS UP THE DUST THAT YOU'LL EVENTUALLY TURN INTO!
[Darwin walks into the rain, pushes Gumball, loses his color, and abundantly cries. The boys then find Alan, sitting alone on a swing]
Gumball: Ah, that makes sense. Alan.
[Cuts to Alan, with tears sliding down his face]
Darwin: If someone like him gives up, then the whole world loses its glow.
[Gumball and Darwin approach Alan]
Darwin: Hey, Alan, what's wrong?
Alan: I've lost it.
Gumball: That's alright, man. Whatever it is, no one ever thought you had it anyway.
Darwin: [nudges Gumball] Psh!
Gumball: [Sighs] Alright, fine. [Teary-eyed] What have you lost, Alan?
Alan: My faith in the world.
Darwin: So that's why you stopped all your voluntary work. But why? You were doing great.
Alan: No matter how much I try, the world will never be perfect.
Gumball: Well, you gotta get back on the horse.
Alan: Oh, why bother?
Gumball: 'Cuz we need people like you to do all that work so that people like me don't have to.
Alan: There's no point, Gumball. People don't change. Goodness knows I tried to stay positive and turn the other cheek. But what happens when you run out of cheeks to turn?
Gumball: Well, I could think of a couple more cheeks—
[Darwin shuts Gumball's mouth and pushes him aside]
Darwin: Alan, you changed the lives of so many people.
Alan: Yeah, but what about him? In spite of all the effort I've made to be friends, he STILL can't look me in the eye.
[Gumball is shown with his eyes twisted away from Alan. Darwin twists his eyes back to normal]
Darwin: Ha, that's not, heh—that's not true. [nudges Gumball again]
Gumball: Yes, Alan.
Gumball: We are frie— [Retches. Alan becomes shocked] We are fri— [Retches again and covers his mouth]
Alan: See? He's physically incapable of saying anything remotely positive about me!
Darwin: Prove him wrong, give him a hug.
[Gumball awkwardly approaches Alan, and Alan looks somewhat cheered up. Gumball hugs Alan]
Darwin: There you go, good job. Give him a good squeeze. That's right. Can you feel the love?
[Darwin checks Gumball and Alan. It's shown that Gumball is tightly hugging Alan in an uncomfortable way]
Darwin: [Nervously laughs, separates Gumball and Alan] No, no, no, no! That's too much love.
Alan: [Deeply pants] SEE!?
Gumball: I'm sorry, man. But that's just not how life works okay?
Alan: [Annoyed] Oh, really? Then how does it work?
Gumball: Well, Alan. Life doesn't work in black and white. [Grabs and holds Alan against his face] Let me give you a little insight.
"Life Ain't Perfect"
Gumball: It's one big shade of gray
[Spoken] And the dark kind, I'm afraid to say.
Because there's war, and fighting, and the bad guy often wins
So you have to find some comfort in the smallest little things
There's shouting and there's stealing, there are mortgages to pay
But that's a grown-up thing and you are still a kid today
The prospects for society are turning for the worst
The [Coughs] environment is suffering and might not be reversed
But at least the nasty kid who makes every day so rough
In the end gets hit by karma which will kinda make you laugh
Darwin: And sure the future's looking pretty grim
The light on the horizon is pretty dim
But you're a kid and all of life is still ahead of you
Unlike the ninety-something guy who caught the avian flu
Gumball and Darwin: Life ain't perfect, it's... meh
Some bits are okay, but most of it's [Retches]
Life ain't perfect it's... meh
You gotta find the good that's in this great big load of [Raspberries]'
Gumball: And yes, the more you work on it, the worse it seems to get
Darwin: Looking at the news can make you break out in a sweat
Gumball and Darwin: That's the way life is, so you gotta deal with it
There's not much else to say right now to lift your spirit
Alan: Tell me how's all that supposed to make me feel better?
My life's unraveling just like threads pulled from a sweater
There's no sunshine in my future, it is gray, desaturated
Tell me why I shouldn't feel so deflated
Gumball: [Spoken] Because... Because...
If you stop halfway up the mountain, you will never see the view
Darwin: When you look how far you've climbed, you'll find the courage to pull through
Gumball: You'll wonder how on Earth you can put up with all of this
Then you'll come across a memory of perfect bliss
Gumball and Darwin: So keep following the light
No matter how much your heart aches
Cuz this sad old world will need your hope to fix it when it breaks
And in times when you can't take it, and you want the day to end
Gumball: Take my hand
Darwin: And you will find
Gumball and Darwin: Life is beautiful, my friend!
The Return of Color
[As the song ends, all the color returns to Elmore]
Alan: [Inhales deeply] Thank you, Gumball. I guess this makes us friends now.
Gumball: What? Pfft, no. [Walks out]
[Alan feels down in response]
Gumball: [Walks back to Alan] Dah, alright, maybe a little.