At Elmore Shopping, Nicole skillfully fights off any attempt by the rest of the Wattersons to purchase any sweets or treats from the store. However, she is justified in doing so as it's the end of the month and she is financially deprived, being paid literal peanuts. She then sniffs out a good bargain and finds a 1960s tray of corned beef under an aisle for 20 cents, out of her "super ability to save money." A man ends up finding the tray at the other side of the aisle, and after the shelf is knocked over due to their reckless fight, Nicole recognizes that the people on the other side are her parents.
Nicole gets angry over the kids inviting their grandparents to their house due to overdue Christmas presents and reveals to Richard her long-term separation with her parents.
In an awkward situation with Nicole and her parents aloof from each other, Gumball goes in and makes a joke, creating a spontaneous and violent argument between them. As Gumball regrets his attempt at lightening the mood, the rest of the Wattersons decide to analyze who is in the wrong by asking them to "air their issues."
Nicole takes the first argument to explain that her parents had "insane expectations" for her success, arguing the point that they made her wear "ridiculous clothes [her] whole life," even back when she was just born. Nicole's mother Mary notes that Nicole was hard to manage too, taking her Mother's Day painting, full of thumbs down, to justify herself. Nicole brings up other times where her parents ridiculously enforced their expectations, like the fact her first name is "Doctor," giving an A+ blood type instead of B-, and signing her up to several after-school clubs at the same time.
Her parents make the counterargument that her anger and outbursts had given them trouble also. They give the examples that she kicked their neighbor's car beyond repair, literally landed a child into the hospital, and stole their car to end up literally landing in court.
Nicole then brings up her parents disapproving Richard as her partner. After revealing their set-up with another man, her mother makes a direct remark of Richard to end up with self-embarrassing responses.
Nicole's father seriously questions her separation from them, Nicole revealing her wanting to "start over and create something better." She then brings up that they had never come to her wedding (calling back to "The Choices"), and her mother reveals that they had went to a different place for their wedding due to a misreading. Nicole and her parents continue to trace back their earlier reasons of why their issue had started until they end up not remembering anything before.
As Gumball performs a song, the Senicourts, realizing both being separated was for the best and what their high expectations of Nicole and their obsessions with her success led to, decide to leave the house in shame. Their departure greatly upsets Nicole, and her disappointment and their memories of her, combined with the heavy regret over what they have done all those years leads the couple to return. They hug in reconciliation at long last.
Gumball explains that he was singing about the Christmas presents Nicole's parents owe the kids as grandparents, disappointing Darwin, Anais, and Richard. Darwin slaps Gumball on the back of his head into the window in response.
It is revealed in this episode that Nicole's first name is "Doctor," and "Nicole" is actually her middle name.
It is revealed that Mr. and Mrs. Senicourt's names are Daniel and Mary.
This is also their first appearance in the present day. Previously, they had only appeared in flashbacks to Nicole's youth.
It is revealed that Nicole has been estranged from her parents for twenty years up until this episode.
Given that Nicole and Richard are thirty-eight, this means Nicole was only eighteen when she left her parents.
This episode reveals that the reason why Nicole's parents did not show up at her wedding in "The Choices" was because they mistook RSVP for Rsvp, a small town in Moldavia, although in real life there is no town in Moldova called Rsvp.
Mary refers to the country as Moldavia, which is the correct English denomination for the historical region. Today, the nation is referred to in its Romanian name as Moldova, after its annexation by the Soviet Union.
It is revealed Nicole was forced by her parents to take every extracurricular activity in school, including karate, violin, baseball, track and field, chess club, football, and drama club.
It is revealed that Nicole's blood type is B-.
During the flashback to Nicole in preschool, Nicole is wearing a dress and socks similar to Anais, although Nicole's dress is yellow while Anais' is orange.
The scene where Nicole storms out of her parents' house is used, although the footage is flipped.
It is revealed that in the scene where teen Nicole and Richard are about to kiss in a car at a lookout point, only for the car to roll down the hill, Nicole took her parents' car without permission, and the car rolled into a courthouse. However, Richard was in the driver's seat when the flashback was shown in "The Choices."
In Nicole's flashback to the time when she was young and performing in multiple extracurricular activities, her voice was different from "The Choices."
This may be due to the fact she was in middle school, and according to Nicole, she was eight years old in the flashback.
In Nicole's flashback to her time at the Elmore Kindergarten, the oval family can be seen in the background in the same age as in the present, despite Nicole's flashback taking place over 20 years prior to the present day.
Mary's tail disappears after she tells Daniel that they should be on their way after Gumball starts to sing.
When Nicole tells her parents she just wants them back, her mouth is colored wrong.
In the season 1 episode "The End," Nicole told Gumball that his grandfather lived to be 102. This is contradictory with the appearance of Daniel, as well as the prior appearances of paternal grandfather Frankie Watterson.
[The episode starts at Elmore Shopping, where Nicole is shown leaving the cart as Anais nervously waits behind a shelf breathing heavily. She then tries to slam dunk a box of strawberry ice creams into the cart, just as Nicole returns back and launches herself to kick it off her hands]
[Gumball and Darwin summon out of the shelves, and Richard crashes through a box of cans, accidentally splitting his legs. They are all each carrying a box of treats]
[The trio runs up to Nicole. Gumball tries to combat her and fails as she grabs his arms and pulls up his sleeves, as Darwin tries to reach into the cart, Nicole tangles Gumball's sleeves around them and chokes them, and Richard comes up to the battle, ending up with his arms also getting tangled. The trio gets thrown off. Anais, from behind, tries to sneak her box into the cart. Nicole notices and kicks the cart, catapulting the product away into Darwin's arms. She then slams the fridge door into Darwin's face, stuffs Richard into the fridge, and kicks the flying product, launched by Gumball and caught by Anais, into a mess of marshmallows. She roars]
Gumball: Why can't we just have one treat?
Nicole: Because it's the end of the month, and I work a dead-end job where I get paid peanuts.
[All except Nicole sigh]
Nicole: That's not a figure of speech, by the way. [Shows wallet full of peanuts]
Gumball: Then why are we even here?
Nicole: Because I asked for an advance on my next quarter, and they said "Yes." [Shows a quarter]
Anais: [Sarcastically] Great! I know a place where we can get a full shopping cart for twenty-five cents. It's called the eighteen-sixties. [Frowns]
Nicole: But not if you're shopping for a good deal. [Sniffs around]
Darwin: What's she doing?
Richard: Sniffing out a bargain. Your mom's family always had this super ability to save money. I mean, she had a bowl haircut until she was six, but her parents didn't want to wear down a good bowl, so technically, she had a "doing a handstand in a pothole" haircut.
Nicole: [Sniffs, notices] Aisle thirteen. [Reaches behind shelf] Ha-ha-ha! [Drags out box of corned beef] Corned beef!
Anais: [Reads can] "This can can be opened by women of reasonable intelligence with limited male supervision"?
Nicole: Well, they're from the sixties, but look, only twenty cents for the whole pallet. I guess times were easier then if you were a man and not a minority and were comfortable with the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Ha, how things have changed, huh?
Richard, Gumball, Darwin, and Anais: [Inhales] Mm…
Nicole: [Dejectedly] Yeah.
[The box of corned beef is being dragged by a man at the other side]
Nicole: Hey. Hey! [Pulls back] This is our food for the next month.
Old man: [Off-screen] Back off, lady! We saw it first!
Nicole: I grabbed it first!
Old man: [Off-screen] Just leave it already. It's ours!
[Nicole generates muscles and pulls the box with all her might, cleaning the shelves off of items. Nicole gasps, as the scene reveals her parents]
Nicole: Dad? Mom?
Inviting the Senicourts
[Scene switches to the Wattersons in the car. Richard is shown eating corned beef off a can]
Nicole: Oh, I can't believe it!
Richard: Yeah. You'd think that finding a tooth in this can would've put me off, and yet—
Nicole: [Slaps can of corned beef off] I meant how could you kids invite them to the house?
[Scene switches to Nicole's parents driving their car and following the Wattersons]
Gumball: Because we deserve it, Mom. Think of it as a gift to us.
Nicole: [Sighs] True. I can't deny you the right to know your grandparents just because of a grudge.
Gumball: What? No! I meant that they owe us hundreds of Christmas presents.
Nicole: I really thought I raised my children better.
Gumball: Yeah, you're right. I'm sorry. We'd profit much more if they bought one awesome, huge, lump present instead of a bunch of crummy ones.
Richard: [Talking to his can] Come on. Let's give this another chance.
Richard: Just promise me you'll be good this time.
Nicole: I can't just promise that.
Richard: Why won't you open up?
Nicole: There's so much bad history between us. I mean, we stopped talking over twenty years ago.
Richard: Why are you so hard inside?
Nicole: I guess it's a way to protect myself, but… [Sighs] you're right. I'll try my best to be open. Thank you, Richard.
Richard: [Throws away bolt from corned beef can] Uh… anytime?
[The Wattersons' car and the Senicourts' car stop in front of the house]
A Tense Atmosphere
[Scene switches to the inside of the Watterson house, where Nicole and her parents sit at the table, having no eye contact with each other. The rest of the family stands in the kitchen with a translucent wall formed in front of them]
Gumball: [Muffled] The atmosphere is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Anais: [Muffled] What?
Gumball: [Muffled] Oh, hang on. [Cuts a square hole into the translucent wall] I said, "The atmosphere is so thick you could cut it with a knife." [Sticks his head through the hole] Maybe I'll join them and try to lighten the mood.
[Gumball slides through the hole and sits at the table]
Gumball: Hey, how about a joke? I like my coffee the way I like jokes about the way I like my coffee. I don't. [Laughs once]
[The scene cuts to Nicole and her parents arguing and throwing things in the background. Gumball enters the kitchen]
Gumball: Wow, that's the second worst that joke ever went down.
Richard: It's not you, son. They just blame each other for what happened between them, but no one really knows whose fault it is. It's like "potato," "potart-wah." [The kids stare at him confused] Who's to say which is wrong?
Darwin: There's only one way to find out.
Richard: Of course. A backyard royal rumble. Last one standing gets to name the vegetable.
Darwin: I mean we ask Mrs. Mom, Grandpa Daniel, and Granny Mary to air their issues, and we'll decide who's in the wrong.
Richard: And then we—
Anais: It's pronounced "potato"! And no one's doing a Canadian Destroyer off a shed in the backyard!
[Scene shows Nicole and the Senicourts standing aloof and frowning off of each other. There is a mess of smashed plates, and the couch is flipped over, as the rest of the family hides behind it]
Nicole: Okay, I'll start. [Inhales deeply] You have always been disappointed in me.
Mary: Only because we loved you.
Nicole: No! Because you always had insane expectations for me. Like how you made me wear those ridiculous clothes my whole life!
Mary: In life you have to dress for the job you want.
Nicole: Don't you think you started a little early?
[Scene switches to in the hospital, when Nicole was just born. Mary lies in her bed alongside Daniel]
BandageDoctor: Congratulations. It's a…
[Newborn Nicole is shown wearing a formal suit]
Mary: Well, you were hardly easy yourself. Remember that finger painting you did for Mother's Day?
[Scene shows toddler Nicole in Kindergarten handing her mother a finger painting]
Mary: Hmm? [Turns painting, showing five thumbs up in different colors] Aww.
[Nicole frowns and turns the painting to show thumbs down; Mary frowns and sighs. Flashback ends]
Nicole: Well, maybe it all comes back to the stupid name you gave me!
Gumball: Uh, what's wrong with "Nicole"? [Shudders]
Nicole: "Nicole" is my middle name. My first name is "Doctor"!
[Stifled laughter across the Wattersons behind the couch]
Nicole: Oh, it's all very funny until someone shouts, "Is there a doctor in the house?" and your parents say, "Yes." Turns out people choking on a chicken wing rarely stay conscious long enough to enjoy the punch line!
Daniel: But we only wanted the best for you.
Nicole: What? Like the time I needed a blood transfusion and you gave me the wrong blood type?
Daniel: Why settle for B minus when you can have A plus—
Nicole: Nothing was ever enough! You forced me to join a gazillion after-school clubs!
Mary: We gave you every possible chance to succeed!
Nicole: Yeah! All at the same time!
[Scene shows when young Nicole was a student; she is playing the violin, hits an incoming baseball with the violin over a goalpost, runs while jumping over hurdles, leaps a huge distance to a seat with a chessboard, and kicks a costumed lady over to the ground, touching a baseball base]
[The referee blows his whistle and enters]
Melted Cheese Guy: That's a foul, Doctor Nicole.
Melted Cheese Guy: It wasn't a karate match. It was a drama-club rehearsal of "Madame Butterfly."
[Nicole sighs. Yuki suddenly appears and kicks her away]
Melted Cheese Guy: That was the karate.
Nicole: What kind of childhood was that? I was only eight years old.
Daniel: Well, at that age, I was already ten.
[Nicole's forehead turns red as she crushes her cup]
Mary: See? That's your problem. You always let your anger get the better of you.
Daniel: I spent years fixing the consequences of your outbursts.
Nicole: Oh, please! There's nothing a child can break that can't be fixed with a bit of duct tape.
Daniel: What about the time you kicked the neighbor's car?
[Flashback briefly shows Daniel slowly applying a piece of duct tape over a completely wrecked car. When the hood pops, he runs away, and the flashback ends]
Nicole: Come on, I wasn't that bad.
Daniel: You kidding me? You landed a kid in the hospital!
[Flashback shows a child literally flying into the hospital and ends]
Daniel: Literally. Not to mention the time you stole our car to see your boyfriend and landed in court!
[Flashback shows teenage Nicole and Richard in the car crashing backwards into court]
Nicole: Oops. [Smiles awkwardly]
Daniel: Again, literally.
Nicole: What else was I supposed to do? You always disapproved of Richard! You never thought he was good enough for me!
Mary: That's not true.
[Nicole points at a formally dressed bank employee holding flowers from behind the window. Mary signals to cut off his encounter with Nicole, and he awkwardly shuffles away]
Nicole: Really? Still trying to set me up with some banking dweeb?
Mary: [To Richard] No offense, but we always thought she could do better than a slacker with a dead-end job who got their pants at the Army surplus store… in the parachute aisle.
Richard: How dare you! My wife's behind is so small only bats can hear her toot.
Mary: I meant you.
Richard: [Sing-song voice] Then the joke's on you! I don't have a job.
Daniel: But did you really have to walk out like that?
Nicole: I left, because [Voice-over] there was no point in trying to fix something that was beyond repair.
[Scene fades to a flashback from "The Choices", where Nicole is seen arguing with her parents before leaving]
Nicole: [Voice-over] I wanted to start over and create something better.
Daniel: Us too, but we were too old to have another CHIIIIILD— We have a dog now!
Nicole: [Sighs] You never even came to our wedding.
Mary: We did. We went to Rsvp.
Mary: On your invite, it said, "Rsvp."
Nicole: No, Mom. It said, "R.S.V.P."
Mary: Oh, right. Well, we went to the town of Rsvp in Moldavia.
[Flashback shows Nicole's parents in Rsvp, Moldavia, a barren city, along with a constantly barking dog]
Mary: [Voice-over] I was the only woman in the region. Everybody tried to marry me, even a dog!
Daniel: Like I said, we have a dog now.
Nicole: Wait, is that why you sent Richard and I divorce papers for our first anniversary?
[Scene goes through several flashbacks]
Mary: [Voice-over] No, that was because you sent me retirement-home leaflets for my fiftieth birthday… With glitter!
Nicole: [Voice-over] Well, that's because you tried to ship Richard to Guatemala!
Daniel: [Voice-over] No, that was after you took power of attorney over us and got us committed for six weeks!
Nicole: [Voice-over] No, that was after you paid for our honeymoon, but replaced Richard with a neurosurgeon!
[Scene cuts back to the present]
Daniel: Well, that was after— After… Uh… Uh… Mm. I don't remember.
Nicole: [Gasps] Me neither.
Darwin: Then why are you still angry at each other? Why can't you just make peace?
Nicole: We were at peace, Darwin, separately.
"If It's Too Hard to Forgive"
[As the Senicourts get angry in reaction, solemn music plays]
Gumball: [Sighs] Okay. I know this is the cheapest, dirtiest kind of emotional manipulation, but there's too much on the line here, so...
Gumball: [Sings]Ten thousand reasons to give up
Too many words that piled up
Mary: [Spoken] I think we should go.
Gumball: But you refuse to try and mend
Your broken past before the end
Your heart's too hard to understand
That sands of time slip through your hands
And no excuses can erase
The scars of time left on your face
If it's too hard to forgive
Then just give
Let go of the weight that won't let you live
Why keep playing this sad game
Of who should really take the blame?
The memories will fade away
They're growing further every day
You want the stream to change its course
Before it floods you with remorse
You only need to hit the brakes
To free yourself of your mistakes
If it's too hard to forgive
Then just give
Let go of the weight that won't let you live.
Mary: [Spoken] Nicole, I—
Nicole: [Spoken] Look, I don't wanna hear your excuses. [Tears up] I just want you guys back.
[The Senicourts all hug each other]
Gumball: Mm, mm, mm-mm, mm
Mm, mm, mm-mm, mm
Anais: Well done, Gumball.
Richard: You really summed up their relationship with each other and helped them reconnect.
Gumball: [Spoken] What's that now?
Anais: You know, "If it's too hard to forgive, then just give."
Gumball: Pfft! That wasn't about them. That was about the Christmas presents they owe us!
[Richard, Anais and Darwin express disappointment. Darwin slaps Gumball on the back of his head into the window, ending the episode]