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A Lesson in Recycling
[Episode starts in a dramatic setting as Gumball reaches for a glowing blue crystal and epic music plays. He is about to grab it when a voice is heard]
Darwin: GUMBALL!! Think about what you're doing!
Gumball: I have... to save... THE PLANET!!
Darwin: Yes, but you're supposed to rinse it out and peel off the label first!
Gumball: Ugh. [Scene transitions to reality; they are standing by some recycling bins in front of a store, and the diamond has turned into a bottle] Why do they have to make recycling so complicated?
Darwin: Dude, any time you recycle anything, you act as if you're single-handedly saving the world!
Gumball: Ugh, I'll just throw it in the regular trash. It's easier to carry the guilt than to carry the bottle.
[Right as Gumball nonchalantly throws the bottle over his shoulder, Mr. Small swiftly bursts out from the store doors]
Mister Small: [in slow motion] NOOOOO!!
[He does a slow-mo diving save for the bottle, but it hits him square in the stomach with a "honk" sound. Back to normal speed as he flops to the ground] I misjudged! [gets up, handing Gumball the bottle] You have to recycle this!
Gumball: Ugh, but I never know which bin to use!
[Pan on all the recycling bins with increasingly bizarre names: Paper, Plastic, Cards, Greetings Cards, Cardboard, Board Games, Storyboards, Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Rock, Soft Rock, Soft Toys, Bees]
Mister Small: Then you need to learn more about recycling! Take a leaf from my book. Well, don't actually take a leaf, 'cuz that would harm the tree that the book was made from. Actually, don't make a book at all, because the trees are dying! Just--use recycled paper, okay?
Gumball: Who wants to use something that's already been used? Isn't it weird making new stuff out of old stuff?
[A shot of Mr. Small's season one design appears. As he says his next line, a two-second clip of him talking is continuously looped]
Mister Small: With today's sophisticated recycling techniques, you can reuse old stuff and most people can never tell the difference! [Back to normal]
Gumball: Nah, I think it just looks cheap.
Mister Small: All I'm saying is, we all need to be aware of the impact we're having on the planet. Look at me. I have so little impact that when I'm gone, it'll be like I never even existed! Doesn't that sound fulfilling?
Gumball: No! If we ruin this planet, can't we just move on to the next one? It's what the founding fathers would have done!
Mister Small: It's exactly that kind of glib attitude that led to the near-extinction of the great Stink Ape of Elmore Woods! [Close-up on a painting of the Stink Ape on the side of Janice]
Gumball: Wow. That ape must've been seriously glib for it to lead to its own extinction.
Mister Small: I will make this as clear as I possibly can. The people were glib; the ape was not glib.
Gumball: How do you know the ape wasn't glib?
Darwin: I guess everyone has a bad day sometimes!
Mister Small: Right. I-I-I feel like we're getting away from the point.
Gumball: That's true. I don't even know what glib means. Uh--why is this Bigfoot-creature thing called the Stink Ape anyway?
Mister Small: Its scent was reminiscent of a skunk. Or rotting flesh. Or rotting skunk flesh.
Gumball: And just to confirm, you wanna save this animal, not destroy it with fire? Wait-- [sniffs] I can definitely smell something! Can you smell it, Darwin?
Darwin: [sniffs] It smells like miscellaneous herbs and body.
Gumball: Uh, I was going for THE STINK OF HYPOCRISY!!! [points accusingly at Mr. Small]
Mister Small: Excuse me!
Gumball: Well, everything you do has an impact on something!
Mister Small: Not me! Come, walk a mile in my sandals, I'll show you! [walks off]
Gumball: I don't think those things can last a mile, but whatever. [They follow him]
I've Never Harmed A Single Living Thing!
[Scene cuts to Gumball, Darwin, and Mr. Small walking into Organic 'n' Stuff, a small hipster-style grocery store. Larry greets them at the counter]
Larry: Welcome to Organic 'n' Stuff!
Mister Small: [to Gumball and Darwin] I think all ethical living has to start with what you buy. Which is why I never buy from big corporations! I shop at thirteen different free trade, independent grocery stores like this one. [picks up a basket and starts filling it] Sure, it may take me roughly three tanks of gas and a full set of tires to get me my groceries, but all the food here is locally sourced.
Gumball: Really? Were the coconuts locally sourced? And the Hungarian goulash? And this Himalayan goat curd? How did that get here? [hands a tub of goat curd to Darwin]
Darwin: [reading back of container] Truck, truck, boat, train, plane, truck, tanker, moped, truck, unicycle.
Mister Small: Well, it was locally sourced in its country of origin! [Takes his basket to the checkout] Thanks, Larry! Hey, am I paying extra for this warm feeling inside?
Larry: Ha ha! Yes. [Mr. Small hands him a bill and as Larry puts it into the register, he keeps his hand outstretched, eagerly awaiting change. Larry just looks at him, annoyed. Mr. Small sighs glumly and leaves.]
[Outside the store]
Gumball: But Mr. Small, how can you justify having money? It's made from paper, which comes from trees, which need to be cut down!
Mister Small: But--I also use a bank card!
Gumball: A plastic bank card, perchance?
Mister Small: FINE!! [throws his bank card on the ground]
Gumball: Littering, Mr. Small? Really?
Mister Small: Ugh. [walks off]
[Scene cuts next to Gumball, Darwin, and Mr. Small walking into Tea 'n' Stuff, a hipster coffee and tea shop that looks suspiciously similar to Organic 'n' Stuff. Larry greets them once again at the counter]
Larry: Welcome to Tea 'n' Stuff! What kind of blend are you vibing today?
Mister Small: Yeah, yeah, yeah, just my usual.
Gumball: [looks around suspiciously] Haven't we already been in here?
Larry: [nervously] Ha-ha, no! Tea 'n' Stuff is not connected to Organic 'n' Stuff, and neither of them are affiliates or subsidiaries of Chanax Incorporated!
Gumball: Are you sure about that?
Mister Small: Of course! They do poetry readings and jazz nights! There's a chalkboard with inspirational messages on it! [The chalkboard on the wall is shown to say "Coffee Helps make A Normal Afternoon Xtra-special"] It can't be a big corporation!
Gumball: Look closer, Mr. Small.
[Sure enough, the Chanax name is hidden everywhere in the store: on a poster, in the initial letters on the chalkboard, even on a tattoo on Larry's arm. He covers his arm sheepishly]
Mister Small: Fine! Then I'll just drink tap water! [takes a paper cup, fills it with water from the water cooler and takes a big sip]
Gumball: Just accept it! Everyone has an impact on something!
Mister Small: Well, not me! I have never harmed a single living thing! [Walks out holding the cup]
Larry: Hey, he hasn't paid!
Gumball: But it says the water's complimentary!
Larry: Yes, but the paper cup is $13.50.
Living In The Forest
[Mr. Small drives away from the store]
Mister Small: [in his head] I've never harmed a single living thing! I've never harmed a single living thing! [suddenly out loud] I've never harmed a single living thing! [smugly] Wow. I really nailed that line. But--maybe he's right! [Looks into his water cup. A microscope image of four microbes is seen.]
Young Microbe: I'm home!
Microbe Dog: [barks]
Young Microbe: Oh hey, Patch! Hey, buddy! Mom, Dad, I've got some news! I got into Yale! For microbes.
Microbe Mom:: Oh, we're so proud of you!
Microbe Dad: A chip off the old cell lining. Twenty-four generations of our family have lived in this water for almost an hour and you'll be the first to go to university, son!
[Suddenly, they are all swept away by a wave, screaming. It is revealed to be Mr. Small drinking the water. Back to reality]
Mister Small: What have I done?! [A fly lands on his windshield]
Fly: What did I ever do to you?!
Mister Small: I'm so sorry! Let me just- [Turns on his windshield wipers to free the fly, but only ends up squishing him more. Mr. Small screams and veers off the road, bumping into a tree. A branch bends downward. He looks up and from his perspective, it looks like the tree is pointing at him accusingly, with a face and all. He screams again and runs off into the wilderness]
Mister Small: AAAHHHHH!! I'M A MONSTER!!! [Hears some annoyed-sounding animal noises] Sorry. Sorry. Sorry!
[Later, in a sun-filled forest clearing.]
Mister Small: Ah. Maybe this is meant to be. I am meant to be completely at one with nature! EMBRACE ME, EARTH MOTHER!!! [Out of nowhere, it starts to downpour] Or don't. I guess you wanna be more of an earth aunt who only calls once a year.
[A few days later. It's a beautiful day in the forest, but Mr. Small is exhausted, hungry, and covered in dirt and twigs. He finds a squirrel, who mimes to him that he is hungry.]
Mister Small: Hungry? Yeah, I am hungry. Lead on, little buddy.
[The squirrel hops off, and Mr. Small crawls after him. They arrive at a small clearing, where a hungry horde of squirrels awaits. They all ravenously attack him and start biting.]
Mister Small: AAHH! AAAAAHHHH!! He meant he was hungry!
[Mr. Small is now walking through a river. He lifts up his leg and finds a leech]
Mister Small: AAHH! A LEECH!! Well, take what you need, I've got more than enough. [The leech sucks him completely dry.] A little too much! [He squeezes the leech and returns to normal, then pulls it off and throws it away.]
[Some time later, Mr. Small is meditating and some butterflies land on him.]
Mister Small: Ah, beautiful. Not all nature is out to get me! [More butterflies land on him and start lifting him up.] Huh? [They slowly lift him into the mouth of a giant leech.] AHHHH! [The worm starts to swallow him]
The Pain of Guilt
[Meanwhile, at Elmore Junior High in Miss Simian's classroom]
Nigel Brown: Now class, it seems Mr. Small has taken a leave of absence. And his senses... so I'll be taking his class today.
Darwin: Do you feel bad about Mr. Small?
Gumball: No, I mean he's always struck me as the type of guy who would eventually throw his life away and go live in the woods. I don’t think it has anything to with me. My conscience is clear. [Enters Gumball's conscience, with Gumballs trying to put up with the guilt]
Other Gumball 1: [Russian accent] Captain, what is wrong?
Gumball: Nothing's wrong. Put up the denial shields.
Other Gumball 1: They're already at maximum! They won't take any more.
Other Gumball 2: Captain, we appear to be running low on soda on one of the vending machines on level three.
Gumball: Why would you tell me that now?
Other Gumball 2: Well, excuse me for wanting to a be part of something.
Other Gumball 1: The denial shields are down! Facts are getting in!
Gumball: Prepare for emotional impact.
[Back to Miss Simian’s classroom]
Gumball: Yeah, you’re right, I feel super guilty. And the ship's out of soda.
Gumball: Nothing. Look, we gotta see if he’s okay. I mean, it’s probably too late, but maybe we can help identify him.
Finding Mister Small
[Nighttime. Gumball and Darwin are out in Elmore Woods looking for Mr. Small.]
Gumball: MISTER SMALL!!! MISTER SMALL!!!
Darwin: Dude, don't shout! There could be anything out here. You'll make us a target!
Gumball: Good point. I'll do a different voice. He won't know it's us! [sing-songy] Mister Sma-all!! Mister Sma-AAAAAHHHH!!
[They fall into a hole and land in front of a cave. Heavy breathing is heard from inside the cave.]
Gumball: Uh- you okay? [Darwin nods and moves his mouth with the breathing noises] Dude, you need to get some exercise. You sound like a French bulldog in a sauna.
Darwin: That's not me. And... [sniffs] Can you smell something?
Gumball: [sniffs] Yeah, it kinda smells like rotting flesh!
Darwin: Or a skunk!
Gumball and Darwin: OR ROTTING SKUNK FLESH!!
[Two bright red eyes open from inside the cave. The two turn around in fear.]
Darwin: [whimpering] It's the ape!
Gumball: On three. One, two, three...[Darwin runs away] STAY PERFECTLY STILL!! [He notices this and catches up with Darwin.] Why did you run?!
Darwin: You counted down!! Who does a countdown to nothing?!
Gumball: Lonely people on New Year's Eve?
Darwin: Yeah. Fair point. [They speed up.] IT'S COMING!!! [A shadowy figure walks towards them.]
Gumball: [sees a log on the path] Quick! In here!! [They crawl in, but the figure keeps coming closer.]
Darwin: It's right outside! What do we do?!
Gumball: We're gonna roll this thing! [He pushes on the side of the log, and it rolls down a cliff. They land, but with swapped limbs.] Maybe one more roll?
Darwin: Yeah. [They keep rolling, and hit the side of a rock, back to normal.]
Gumball: Ah, that's better. Okay, the coast is cle-AAAAHHHH!!! [The figure's hand blocks the side of the log, and his leg blocks the other side. He punches into the top, but his arm gets stuck.] Its arm is stuck! Go, go, go!!! [They crawl under his arm, get out of the log, and suddenly find themselves cornered by the figure.] This is it. It's all over.
[Darwin reaches out his hand, and Gumball takes it. He quickly pulls back.]
Darwin: Ugh! Your hands are really sweaty!
Gumball: Yeah, I know, I'm sorry about that, but I didn't want to leave you hanging. And I didn't have time to wipe.
[The shadow gets closer. The boys grab each other, screaming.]
Gumball and Darwin: DAAAAAHHHHH!!!!
[The light comes on the shadowy figure. It's none other than Mr. Small, battered and filthy.]
Mister Small: Boys! I'm so glad you're okay!
Darwin: Mr. Small!!
Gumball: Why were you chasing us?
Mister Small: I was trying to warn you! These woods are not safe! Trust me. These have been the hardest eight months of my life!
Gumball: You've been gone half a day.
Mister Small: I figured I would not survive another winter. [His eye twitches]
Darwin: But on the plus side, you're living at one with nature!
Mister Small: And it's all thanks to you! [Gives Gumball and Darwin a big hug. Gumball's face dries up in disgust.]
Gumball: It seems you've buried the stink of hypocrisy under a far worse smell!
Darwin: We thought you were the Stink Ape!
Mister Small: Ho-ho! I'm afraid it doesn't exist. I've been out here long enough to know that there's no such thing.
Darwin: But if there's no Stink Ape, what's so dangerous about the woods?
Mister Small: Oh, I've set traps everywhere.
Gumball: Wait, traps?! You're a vegetarian! What happened to living on nuts and berries?
Mister Small: Turns out there's competition for the nuts and berries! And...turns out the competition is tastier than the nuts and berries.
Gumball: Okay, but if there's no Stink Ape....what's that?
[Another shadowy figure walks towards them. Glowing mushrooms grow on the ground where he steps.
Mister Small: Oh my goodness! It's real! [The light comes on him. Sure enough, it's the real Stink Ape.] It's come to greet me as a brother of the forest! Embrace me, noble creature-[The ape falls into a deep hole. Mr. Small gasps.]
Darwin: Will it be okay?!
Mister Small: I don't know. This is one of my more brutal traps.
Gumball: Eh, it's just a hole. I guess he'll-[Darts fly into the hole, and a huge boulder falls on top. The ape let out a muffled groan]
Mister Small: I think I was doing less damage in the real world.
Gumball: Uh, see you back at school tomorrow?
Mister Small: Yeah. [Episode ends.]