The episode begins with Principal Brown walking into his office to find a delighted Miss Simian attempting to smile. After two more of Miss Simian's failed attempts to smile, Principal Brown asks her why she is so happy. Miss Simian then explains that she has found one of Gumball's failed tests and that his grade point average is void. She then begins to dance with glee and invites Principal Brown to join her.
Later, Gumball is unknowingly taken and thrown out of school by Miss Simian. As he questions her motives, Miss Simian explains that he failed a test in Kindergarten and has to be sent back, much to his dismay. After Nicole drops him off at Kindergarten, Gumball becomes overwhelmed by the toddlers' reckless playing. After his day in the nursery, Gumball complains to his family about how terrible his day was. An envious Anais interprets Gumball's day at Kindergarten as fun compared to their usual school day, which makes Gumball optimistic and convinces him to start enjoying himself.
The next day, Gumball begins to get along with the toddlers as he takes part in various activities such as painting and basketball. Meanwhile, Miss Simian is called into Principal Brown's office, where she learns that by demoting Gumball back to Kindergarten she is one student short of her quota, and will be fired by Friday if she does not get him back. An enraged Miss Simian begins to attack the Principal by biting his hands.
Miss Simian then arrives at Kindergarten to offer Gumball the opportunity to come back. However, Gumball declines, saying that he enjoys his time at Kindergarten more than he does at school. After being told that Miss Simian will get fired if he does not return, a gleeful Gumball becomes more eager to stay at Kindergarten. Miss Simian then attempts to cry, causing a grossed out Gumball to reluctantly accept the offer.
After arriving at school, Miss Simian explains that Gumball needs to pass a test in order to be accepted back into her class. However, Gumball reveals that he has never studied in his life and Miss Simian decides to help him cheat. Gumball is against the idea of cheating at first, but Miss Simian explains that she cheated in the 8th grade, which convinces him to go through with the idea.
On the day of the test, Gumball tries various plans prepared by him and Miss Simian to cheat but fails to use each one. Gumball then decides to take the test without cheating, causing Miss Simian to freak out. Afterwards, Principal Brown reveals that Gumball passed the test without cheating and got an A+. An awestruck Miss Simian congratulates Gumball and almost gives away that she tried to help him cheat by mistake. Gumball tries to cover it up but accidentally reveals that Miss Simian cheated in the 8th grade.
The episode ends with Miss Simian being forced to study alongside Gumball in class.
This episode was nominated for the 45th Annie Awards' Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production category for Nicolas Cantu in his role as Gumball Watterson.
On Gumball's exam, the date in the top right corner would suggest that this episode took place on the fourth of October or the tenth of April in 2015 (two years before this episode's first airing).
The Elmore Biology book from "The Traitor" and My Pet Turtle from "The Puppy" appear in the montage of Gumball getting ready to study.
In this episode, Miss Simian is physically incapable of smiling or crying without her making it look like she is doing something weird, although she was perfectly capable of doing it in the episodes "The Words," "The Apology," and "The Joy."
When Principal Brown says that he wanted to know what he would look like with a tail, he mentions furries.
Principal Brown's deformed face coming out from the back of his head is a possible reference to Quirrell having Voldemort's face growing out the back of his head from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
This could also be a reference to Edward Mordrake, a man from the 18th century who allegedly suffered from a mutation that resulted him having a disfigured face from the back of his head that frequently whispered to him.
[The episode opens at the Elmore Junior High School. It is early in the morning, and classes have yet to start. Yawning, Principal Brown enters the teacher's lounge and flips the light switch. He screams, scattering the stack of papers he is carrying, as his fur stands on end. On the other side of the room, Miss Simian is shown displaying an unsettling grin]
Nigel Brown: Lucy, what's wrong with your face?!
Lucy Simian: I'm smiling, isn't it obvious?
Nigel Brown: No, it looks like you're trying to eat your own chin.
Lucy Simian: [Adjusts her mouth] How about this?
Nigel Brown: Uhh...
Lucy Simian: [Tries again, with frightening results] This?
Nigel Brown: [Recoils] Ugh!
Lucy Simian: Hmm. I just lack practice.
Nigel Brown: Why are you trying to smile anyway?
Lucy Simian: [Sneering] I found it.
Nigel Brown: [Panicky] Ah, let's not jump to conclusions. It could be any Principal Brown on that FBI warrant. It's a common name.
Lucy Simian: [Baffled] Hmm?
Nigel Brown: Oh, um... Listen, I'm not a furry. I just wanted to know what I'd look like with a tail.
Lucy Simian: What?! What else have you been hiding?
[The hair on the back of his head parts, revealing a pale, humanoid face]
Face: [Whispering] She knows! Finish her now before she tells all the others!
Nigel Brown: [Covers it up again] Uh, no, that's it. [Nervous] So what is it that you found, exactly?
Lucy Simian: What is the one thing that would improve the quality of life of everyone in this school by a thousand percent?
Nigel Brown: [Excited] Money?
Lucy Simian: Better.
Nigel Brown: More money?
Lucy Simian: Even better.
Nigel Brown: [Gasps] Real food in the vending machines?!
[The screen turns to an empty vending machine with sheets of paper on it that have images of food on them]
Lucy Simian: No! Even better! I was looking through Gumball Watterson's records, and he failed a test in kindergarten. His grade point average is void! [Laughs] I knew I was right to give up on him early. Let's celebrate! [Shimmies to upbeat music]
Nigel Brown: Um, what is that?
Lucy Simian: Dancing.
Nigel Brown: Hmm. Looks like you're trying to shake out a tapeworm.
Lucy Simian: Come on, join in!
Nigel Brown: [Shrugs; Wiggles his body] See, this is how you do it. Mmm-hmm. Work it.
[The school bell rings. Gumball is seated at a desk in his classroom, reading a textbook. Unbeknownst to him, the entire desk, himself included, is carried from the room and into the hallway. Upon arriving outside, he becomes aware of his surroundings just before Miss Simian dumps him face-first onto the sidewalk]
Gumball: Gah! What the what?! What did I do wrong?
Lucy Simian: [Shows him the test paper] Look at this question on the test you did seven years ago. "I go to the store and buy ten hotdogs, nine burgers, three bags of chips, and six sodas. If I eat nine hot dogs, seven burgers, three bags of chips, and drink five sodas, what do I have?" You answered, "No self-control." That was not the correct answer. Which means your GPA is one point short. Do you know what that means?
Gumball: Uh, Gumball's Peruvian antelope?
Lucy Simian: What?! No! It's grade point average, and it means you're going back to kindergarten.
[Miss Simian grins as Gumball gets shocked]
First Déjà Vu
[Nicole pulls up outside the kindergarten in her car. Apprehensive, Gumball exits the vehicle and closes the door]
Nicole: Well, have a great... second, first day at school, honey. [Drives away]
[Gumball sighs, covering his face with his hands. When he lowers them, he is greeted by unfettered chaos in the form of toddlers. In unison, they notice his presence, the all-too-brief hush that follows signaling both the beginning and end of his respite. Against a backdrop of perpetual screaming, there is little he can do save weather the onslaught. Ears and fur tugged mercilessly, forcibly fed play-doh and toilet paper, covered in glue, glitter, and even food. He suffers through it all. At the end of the nightmare, he makes it home to his family, confiding in them while they are gathered by the dinner table]
Gumball: [Traumatized] They just waddle around with their pants down, grabbing everything they see and putting it in their mouths, even if it's a part of your anatomy. They get into fights for no reason and end up crying and hugging. Then they just go on slurring unintelligible nonsense, until they pass out wherever they feel like it. They're like... They're like...British tourists.
Anais: [Irritated] All I'm hearing, is that not only do you not have homework, but while we were stuck in lessons, today you got to play with toys, took two naps, and won good-boy points whenever you made it to the bathroom on time!
Gumball: What are you trying to say?
Anais: Stop going on about how good your day was.
Gumball: [Gasps] You're right.
Anais: Thank you, finally!
Gumball: No, I mean you're right. My day was awesome! I just need to get rid of my inhibitions.
[Next day at kindergarten, Gumball is seated on the floor with several of the kids. Straining, he reaches into the side of his head and plucks out what appears to be a small piece of his brain. As he tosses it on the floor, his face adopts an innocent, child-like appearance]
Octopus Kid: Eww. What's that?
Gumball: My inhibitions.
Octopus Kid: Your what?
Gumball: Oh, allow me to explain.
[Gumball demonstrates by waving his arms, spouting gibberish, and drawing on his face with a crayon. He then removes his pants, puts them over his head, and runs into a bookshelf. The kids cheer, and begin to emulate his behavior]
Gumball: [On the children's potty] Hey dude, got some TP?
[Kayvon’s hand emerges from the next stall and sticks a roll into his mouth]
Gumball: [Muffled] Thanks.
[Next, he is by an easel and in the process of painting something]
Gumball: A little over there. Hmm. It needs more yellow. [Dabs his brush onto the "canvas"] There.
[Charlie-Ann, now multi-hued from head to toe, squeals happily. Out at the playground, Gumball slam-dunks a basketball into a net only a few feet off the ground, and celebrates with the other youngsters]
When Apes Cry
[Meanwhile, at the junior high, Miss Simian opens the door to Principal Brown's office. She finds him at his desk, weeping in front of a laptop. His fur is drenched in tears]
Lucy Simian: Nigel, what's wrong?! You look like a biscuit that's been dunked.
Nigel Brown: I've been crying.
Lucy Simian: Why?
Nigel Brown: I watched this video of an orangutan saving a baby bird from drowning.
Lucy Simian: Why?
Nigel Brown: To remind myself that apes are not just terrifying creatures that bite people's fingers off when they lose it. [Holds his arms up in self-defense]
Lucy Simian: [Suspicious] Why?
Nigel Brown: [Shakes dry, shudders] Okay, right now I'm talking to you as Nigel Brown, your kind, supportive partner. The man you've loved for years who would never hurt you, and a man you would never hurt.
Lucy Simian: [Aggressive] Go on.
Nigel Brown: [Flinches; Speaks quickly] But that man is also the school principal, and it's his duty to inform you that by putting Gumball in kindergarten, you're one student short of the school board's targets and if he's not back in your class by Friday, you're fired!
Lucy Simian: [Gently grabs hold of his hands] Hmm. I understand
Nigel Brown: Really? That's so sweet of you—
[He screams as she tightens her grip and starts gnawing on his fingers. Back at the preschool, Gumball is lying on the floor, surrounded by toddlers, during naptime]
Timmy the Frog: Gumball, why is air invisible?
Gumball: Because scientists thought it was too ugly to look at, and no one would want to breathe it in.
Octopus Kid: Gumball, where do clouds come from?
Gumball: From bird flatulence.
Polly: Gumball, where does rain come from?
Gumball: It's the moon's eyes watering from all the bird flatulence.
Lucy Simian: [Off-screen] Psst!
[Gumball sits up as Miss Simian opens the front door, then approaches her]
Gumball: Ugh, what do you want?
Lucy Simian: Shh! They'll hear.
Gumball: Meh, maybe. But as long as we use words with multiple syllables, there's no way they'll understand. [Crosses his arms; resentful] What is it anyway? You've already demoted me to kindergarten. Where next, my mom's belly?
Lucy Simian: Do you wanna get back to your old class?
Gumball: No way, I love it here! Everyone looks up to me. I mean, mainly 'cause of the height difference, but it's still a good feeling.
Lucy Simian: [Taken aback] Huh? How can you enjoy it here?
Gumball: It's a world of scheduled nap times, optional pants, and food you don't need to chew.
Lucy Simian: You just described a retirement home.
Gumball: Exactly! I get to retire without ever having a job! [Content] Ahh, I love this place.
Lucy Simian: Okay, I gotta level with ya. If you don't come back, I'm fired.
Gumball: [Gasps] As if I needed more reasons to stay here!
Lucy Simian: Huh? [Closes her eyes; Her lips pucker as she forces a whimper]
Gumball: W-What are you doing? It's weird.
Lucy Simian: I'm crying.
Gumball: [Grossed out] It looks like you're trying to lay an egg with your face. Please stop.
[Her face contorts into other unnerving expressions]
Gumball: Stop it! Okay fine, I'll come back!
Lucy Simian: Ah, thank you.
Gumball: Please! I said I'd come back!
Lucy Simian: I'm not doing anything.
Gumball: Ohh, that's your normal face, isn't it?
[Miss Simian and Gumball travel to the school library]
Lucy Simian: The only problem is you need to pass a test in order to prove you belong in my class. So, you're gonna have to study like you've never studied before.
Gumball: Let's go!
[Rock music plays in the background while Gumball collects different textbooks]
Lyrics: Gotta think big, think deep. Pretty soon you'll make that quantum leap.
[The song ends abruptly, and he stares blankly at a grade eight math book]
Lucy Simian: So?
Gumball: What do I do? I've literally never studied before.
Lucy Simian: Are you kidding me?! All these years of teaching you? Just go to your mind palace or whatever, and try to remember how to study.
Gumball: Okay, I'll try.
[As he delves into his mind, the room around him fades to black. After a short struggle, his entire body is compressed into a small rectangular block]
Lucy Simian: Hmm. More like a mind cupboard. Okay Watterson, time to roll up your sleeves.
Gumball: [Annoyed] What, more work?
Lucy Simian: No, roll up your sleeves so I can write the answers on your arm.
Gumball: But that's cheating!
Lucy Simian: Yeah, but if you rearrange the letters in the word teaching, what do ya get?
Gumball: Uhh, eting... cha?
Lucy Simian: What? No! Cheating.
Gumball: But isn't that wrong?
Lucy Simian: Only if you get caught. Look, when I was your age, I cheated too.
Gumball: [Shocked] What the what right now?!
Lucy Simian: [Places a history book with a photo of cave paintings on the table] I scribbled the answers on the cave wall.
Gumball: Ohh, so that's what cave paintings are. Okay, what's the best way for me to cheat?
Lucy Simian: In your case? Every way.
[Gumball is sitting at a desk in a barren classroom. Principal Brown hands him an exam paper]
Nigel Brown: Right, Watterson. You have one hour. [Parks himself at the teacher's desk] Begin.
[Outside, Miss Simian climbs a ladder that she leans against the window. Her and Gumball exchange a thumbs-up]
Lucy Simian: Okay, plan A.
Gumball: Mm-hm. [Stretches his tongue to see the notes written on it] Uh... I can't read it.
Lucy Simian: Why?
Gumball: It's all backwards. I wrote it in front of a mirror.
Lucy Simian: [Groans] Okay, plan B.
Gumball: [Shuts his eyes] Oh no! It goes dark when I close my eyes.
Lucy Simian: Just pull on them!
[Yanking on his upper eyelids, he studies their interior]
Lucy Simian: [Spots Principal Brown approaching] Watch out!
[She ducks below the window as Gumball releases his eyelids, causing them to snap into place]
Nigel Brown: What is going on here? [Peers at the ink imprinted on Gumball's corneas]
Gumball: Just, uh... visualizing my answers?
Nigel Brown: Oh. I've always wondered what that would look like from the outside. Carry on.
[He returns to his desk, and Miss Simian comes back up]
Lucy Simian: Plan C then.
[Tied to one of Gumball's teeth, is a string that leads down his throat. He tugs on it, and his lower body folds up like an accordion]
Lucy Simian: Pull harder!
[He does as asked, and some of his innards fly toward Principal Brown. When they splatter against the blackboard behind him, he briefly glances up from his magazine]
Nigel Brown: Hmm? [Shrugs]
Gumball: [Worried] I hope that organ wasn't a vital one.
Lucy Simian: Next plan.
Gumball: [Raises his hand] Uh, sir?
Nigel Brown: Yes?
Gumball: Can I use the bathroom?
Nigel Brown: Mm.
[Gumball leaves for a little while, then goes back to his desk]
Lucy Simian: So, did you use the notes we left in there?
Lucy Simian: Ah, good.
Gumball: But I have to say, I prefer two-ply paper. It's softer.
Lucy Simian: What the?! Okay, next plan. Use the water bottle.
Gumball: Oh yeah, thanks! [Guzzles the water]
Lucy Simian: I meant the label, read the label!
Gumball: "Recycle after use." Oh, of course. [Throws the bottle into the bin]
Lucy Simian: [Riled] The answers were written inside the label! What is wrong with you?! [Produces a cheat sheet] Use these!
Gumball: [Squints] I can't read that.
Lucy Simian: Don't worry, I've got this.
[Miss Simian lifts a magnifying glass up in direct sunlight, inadvertently igniting the paper]
Lucy Simian: [Yelps; Drops both items] Never mind! I'll write the answers on the window.
[She tries to fog up the glass with her breath, but it is not very effective]
Lucy Simian: Dagnabbit, it's too hot outside. [Faints; Falls off the ladder]
Nigel Brown: Watterson, you have five minutes remaining.
[Gumball gasps and Miss Simian reappears outside]
Lucy Simian: I'll just mime it. First answer, the birth of Venus.
Gumball: [Realizes that she is nude; Gags and shields his eyes] That's not really necessary! I can hear you!
Lucy Simian: Good point. Question two—
Gumball: Oh, we don't have time for this! I'm gonna do it myself! [Backs up, blindly feeling for the cord to the window shade]
Lucy Simian: What? No, you can't! You're only one IQ point away from being a vegetable!
[He lowers the blinds, then sits down again]
Lucy Simian: Question three, question three!
Gumball: [Sighs] Okay, here we go.
[The exam finally over, Gumball and Miss Simian are waiting anxiously outside the classroom. Before long, Principal Brown exits the room with a stern expression]
Nigel Brown: Okay, Watterson, I've marked your test, and I've got some bad news.
[Gumball takes the test paper and gasps]
Nigel Brown: I'll see you back in eighth grade tomorrow.
Gumball: [Shows it to Miss Simian] Look!
Lucy Simian: [Surprised] You got an A-plus? But how?!
Gumball: Must've been all the time we spent going over it.
Lucy Simian: Wait, so you actually—
Gumball: Yes, I actually learned something.
Nigel Brown: And a pleasure to keep you with us too, Miss Simian.
Lucy Simian: Ah, good job, Watterson. I guess you didn't need me after all to help you chea... oose your pen for the test. [Coughs]
[Principal Brown glares at them suspiciously]
Gumball: [Nervous] Yeah, it really helped. It meant I could focus and didn't need to cheat like you did in the eighth grade.
Lucy Simian: Ah!
Nigel Brown: Hmm...
[Gumball facepalms. Cut to the next day. The school bell rings, and Gumball is once more in his old class. Working on an assignment, he looks over to his left and catches Miss Simian trying to copy from him. He covers up his paper, and she turns away, sighing unhappily. The episode ends]