The episode begins with Gumball and Darwin discussing Principal Brown's calling of them to his office. Immediately assuming the worst, Gumball screams at him in a socio-analytical rant describing how he and Darwin are victims of their corrupt society. He finishes his rant only to find out that Principal Brown just wanted them to show Sarah, a new transfer student, around the school. While introducing Sarah to several parts of the school, she mentions rumors at her old school relating to how "hardcore" Elmore Junior High was rumored to be. Gumball and Darwin become cocky for a short period of time after hearing her statement, but soon Darwin faces the facts and tells Sarah the truth—that, in fact, he and Gumball are not hardcore at all.
After school, Gumball and Darwin are approached by Carlton and Troy, Richwood High students, who challenge them to a fight on the basis that they heard discussion that Gumball and Darwin thought they were hardcore. Gumball and Darwin, unimpressed and confused by the Richwood High students' reasons for a fight, simply turn and walk away. Sarah catches up with them and tells that Carlton and Troy's father is a powerful man and that walking away was a bad move. Gumball realizes Sarah's transfer to Elmore Junior High was the root of this problem and orders her to stay far away from him and Darwin. Despite this, Sarah continues to follow the boys, all the way home.
The next day, a Richwood High teacher named Mr. Kreese shows up at the Wattersons' house and openly mocks Gumball and Darwin. Unimpressed, Gumball and Darwin sneak out the back door and watch him. Soon after, Carlton and Troy confront them again, stating they heard Gumball and Darwin were bragging to Mr. Kreese. Gumball and Darwin realize Sarah is just making more problems for them, and Carlton threatens to have his father demolish Elmore Junior High to build a golf course if Gumball does not show up for tomorrow's fight.
Left with no choice but to attend the fight, Gumball and Darwin see Mr. Small and Principal Brown for advice. Unfortunately, neither one is of much help. The boys wonder why it seems everybody wants them to participate in the fight. Penny runs up to Gumball, claiming how he is heroic for "sacrificing" himself. While his heart still wants him to stay and live, he decides the pros outweigh the cons, and (mostly out of desire to impress Penny), he accepts the fight.
When they get there, Gumball is surprised to find out that the "fight" is actually a tennis match pitting him and Darwin against Carlton and Troy. Troy serves the ball, starting the game, and Richwood High relentlessly scores points against Gumball and Darwin. Neither Gumball nor Darwin care very much about the game and spend most of it goofing off. However, when Mr. Kreese sees that Gumball and Darwin are still doing nothing, he believes they are plotting an attack against Richwood and orders Carlton to injure Gumball, even though they are only one score away from winning. When Carlton serves the next shot, Gumball, who is not paying attention, is hit in the butt by the ball.
In a locker room, Mr. Small attempts to heal Gumball, but Gumball, discovering he would be in saliva to heal, chooses to go back out onto the court. Mr. Kreese, Carlton, and Troy are impressed by Gumball's endurance and begin to believe he really is hardcore. The game ends with a Richwood High win, but Carlton walks over and gives them his one of his sweaters, calling it his respect. Gumball sees how many sweaters he was wearing, and asks him if he wears sweaters as his underwear. He and everyone else laugh, except for Gumball and Darwin, and Gumball states he was right when he predicted the ending of the episode.
The human characters are designed like late 60s-80s cartoon characters, primarily from shows by Hanna-Barbera, Filmation, and the G.I Joe cartoon. Their mannerisms, on the other hand, are similar to those prevalent in vintage animes such as Speed Racer, along with the use of limited and choppy looking animation.
Carlton calls Gumball and Darwin "Neo maxi zoom dweebies," a phrase that was used by John Bender in The Breakfast Club.
This episode is an obvious parody of the 1984 cult classic The Karate Kid.
The scene where Mr. Kreese orders Carlton to "break" Gumball and Darwin in the final match is a parody of John Kreese instructing Bobby Brown in the final match to "sweep the leg" and injure Daniel LaRusso.
The scene where Mr. Small tries to heal Gumball's injury is a parody of the scene in which Mr. Miyagi tries to heal Daniel's leg before the final match.
Although unlike Miyagi, Mr. Small spits in his hands.
Gumball and Darwin gets cheered on by the crowd after their opponent's loss, much like Daniel.
Mr. Kreese's name is an obvious copy of John Kreese.
The music playing in the background when Carlton and Troy are battling Gumball and Darwin sounds similar to Joe Esposito's "You're the Best", the song playing when Daniel LaRusso was training to fight Johnny Lawrence.
In the closed captions, Mr. Kreese's name is misspelled Mr. Crease.
Carlton has freckles for one scene, though this may have been on purpose to make fun of animation errors in cartoons from the 1980s.
At one point, Jessica McDonald (Sarah's voice actress) accidentally starts slipping into her British accent.
In the closed captions, Sarah's name is misspelled as "Sara."
At the beginning of the episode, when Gumball is yelling at Principal Brown, Darwin's right arm has an incomplete outline.
When Carlton takes off his first blue sweater, his second is green before it is lifted.
On Hulu, this episode is incorrectly named "The Sweater."
The walls at the sides of Elmore Junior High change color from yellow to red.
[Outside Elmore Junior High. Inside Elmore Junior High. Gumball and Darwin are walking from the left]
Darwin: Why does he want to see us? We haven't done anything, have we?
Gumball: I dunno. Let me see if there's anything on your conscience.
[Gumball opens Darwin's top of his head. Light is coming outside of it. As Gumball is looking inside of it, a choir plays]
Gumball: No, your conscience is pretty clean...
[Darwin closes his top of his head]
Gumball: I don't know what he wants. We're nice people, man!
Darwin: But you know he always goes easier on us when we own up right away.
Gumball: Let me handle it.
[The door of Principal Brown's office is shown, followed by its interior. Gumball and Darwin are at Principal Brown's desk]
Gumball: [Screaming] Yes! Yes it was us! But before you judge think about this! Video games! Rap music! Television! The internet! Advertising making us want something your generation shoves down our throats so you can get even richer! [Slams desk] Who's the real victim here?! And while you're at it, think about this! Who is the real culprit; the victim of your corrupt society, or the man that could've done something, but let it happen?
Nigel Brown: [Sweating heavily] Uh…I-I called you in because I thought you wouldn't mind showing Sarah around the school.
[Gumball and Darwin look at Sarah, and Sarah awkwardly smiles]
Gumball: [Whispering] Gahh, dagnabbit man. I just wasted the best excuse material I've ever had.
Showing Sarah around the school
[Scene changes to Gumball, Darwin showing Sarah around the school]
Gumball: That's the library where we hide when it's gym class. That's the gym where we hide when we’re supposed to be in the library...
Darwin: Don't be nervous. You'll settle in quickly enough.
Sarah: I'm not nervous, what makes you think I'm nervous?
Darwin: The bottom of your cone is dripping.
Sarah: Well, it's normal to be nervous with your reputation.
Gumball: [Brightening] Our reputation?
Sarah: Yeah. In my last school, all the girls ever used to talk about is how hardcore you guys are.
Gumball: Oh yeah?
[Cool music starts playing. Gumball and Darwin starts walking proudly]
Darwin: What else did they say?
Sarah: Well. They said that you guys are tough, and that—
[Gumball's head begins expanding like a balloon]
Sarah: You have those, like, awesome adventures—
Sarah: And you're always coming out on top—
Gumball: [Head expands more] Yeah.
Sarah: They say that you don't respect the rules.
Sarah: And they say—
Darwin: [Pops Gumball's head and sighs] As tempted as I am to live this lie, it'll save us the guaranteed shame thing outed later on if I just tell you right now that we are absolutely not hardcore.
Gumball: [Head returns to normal] Yeah, let's face the facts. Some meathead will hear us claim that we're hardcore, and then they'll come and kick our butts. Thanks! But no thanks, and let's get back to the school tour.
[They enter the cafeteria]
Gumball: This is the cafeteria, where you can have lunch.
[A pair of rats fighting roll across the floor]
Gumball: And sometimes see a rat fight.
[The bell rings. Outside of the school, the boys walk]
Darwin: What do you think is the most beautiful: the way the sun comes out after the rain; or the first footstep in newly laid snow?
Voice: So, you think you're hardcore huh?
[Gumball and Darwin look to their side, and see Carlton and Troy posing. A rock guitar riff plays]
Darwin: [Looks around] Sorry, are you talking to us?
Carlton: [Still posing] What do you think?
Gumball: I don't know, man! There's people everywhere here.
Carlton: Are you getting fresh with me, dipstick?
Gumball: What? What does that mean? Look, who are you guys?
Sarah: [Pops out and whispers] That's Carlton and Troy. They're from my old school.
Carlton: And we're here to see how hardcore you really are.
Sarah: Back off, Carlton! You don't know who you're messing with.
Darwin: What part of "we're not hardcore" did you not understand?
Carlton: [Bending down] If you're so hardcore—
Gumball: We just said we weren't.
Carlton: Then what're you gonna do about this— [Pokes Gumball] face-ache?
Gumball: Absolutely nothing, dude.
Carlton: Sounds to me like you wanna fight, dweebazoid.
Gumball: Okay, I don't know what kind of movie you're living in. But I don't wanna be in it. [Walks away]
Carlton: That's right! Walk away before it gets ugly.
Darwin: [Walks away] What do you think we're doing with our legs right now?
Sarah: [Walks with them] Guys, that was pretty stupid to provoke them like that.
Gumball: Uh, you were the one who was stirring the pot.
Sarah: You should be careful. Their father is a very important man, and they don't take kindly to people who stand up to them.
Gumball: Well, how do they take people who do absolutely nothing to them?
Sarah: It's a bit late for that.
Darwin: How many times do we have to repeat this: we want nothing to do with this whole story!
Sarah: [Laughs] You guys are crazy.
Gumball: No, young lady! You're the insane one here. Walk on the other side of the street please!
Sarah: [Walks to the other side]
Gumball: Now stay at this distance for the rest of our lives!
[Gumball and Darwin walk away once more. Sarah follows them]
Sarah: So, are you guys gonna fight them? 'Cause I can call them, and arrange a time and a place and catering—
Gumball: [Sighs] I can't take more of this.
[He walks nearer to Sarah, causing her to move further away]
Sarah: And maybe a paramedic in case of injury and— [Bumps into a fence which causes her head to fall off]
[Gumball and Darwin eat while watching Sarah warily from out a window]
Gumball: This girl's trouble man.
[The doorbell rings. They get it. Gumball and Darwin are greeted by Frank]
Darwin: Ohh, short shorts.
Gumball: [Sighs] What is it now?
Frank: I'm Mr. Kreese. I teach over at Richwood High, and I heard you might have had some altercation with some of my students yesterday.
Gumball: Yeah, we did. They came out of nowhere, and tried to start a fight with us!
Frank: Well, I just wanted to say if that situation ever happens again— YOU WILL LOSE, and THEY WILL WIN! And you'll be like "UGH!" and they'll be like "AAAH!"
Gumball: [Slams door]
Frank: [Goes to window] Oooh, what's the matter? You scared little piggies!?
Gumball: Uh yeah, you're a fully grown man screaming at us and if you continue I'm gonna call the police.
Frank: Just what I'd expect from a couple of cowards like you. Ooooooh! Who's the hardcore one now?
Gumball: Uh…you, I guess?
Frank: That's right![Starts taunting and making weird noises and gestures]
Gumball: Let's go out the back.
[They sneak up on Frank at the porch, and watch him while he continues to make taunting noises, tap his head repeatedly, and point through the window. Gumball shakes his head in disappointment]
Darwin: You know what the worst thing is? This guy is a teacher.
Gumball: No dude. The worst thing is that this guy's got two sweaters, and he's not wearing either of them.
[Gumball and Darwin walk down the street]
Gumball: Where do you think these guys are coming from? They look weird.
Sarah[From afar]: Guys! Watch out behind you!
Gumball: [Sigh] What does she want now?
Darwin: We can't hear you!
[Sarah takes a step forward to them]
Gumball: Ah ah ah! You stay right THERE! Just speak louder.
Sarah: Watch out behind you!
[Gumball and Darwin turn behind them. They see Carlton and Troy posing again. The same riff plays again]
Carlton: So. You thought you'd mouth off to coach about being more hardcore than us. You got some nerve, you neo-maxizoom dweebies.
Gumball: [Groans and facepalms] Okay, dude. First—
Troy: [Bumps with chest]
Gumball: Firstly, that's not what happened. And secondly how did—
Troy: [Bumps with chest]
Gumball: —you even know about it? It was like two—
Troy: [Bumps with chest]
Gumball: Ugh— minutes ago!
Carlton: Sarah told us.
[They look at Sarah. She is still far away from them, and starts walking away]
Carlton: We're gonna crush you tomorrow at four, freakazoids!
Gumball: Nooo. That's not gonna happen because we don't want anything to do with you.
Carlton: Well if you don't turn up, I'm just gonna have to tell my dad to level your school, and build his golf course right on top.
Gumball: [Covering ears] Lalalala not listening. Don't care, and please go away.
[Carlton and Troy disappear]
Gumball: What the what? They just disappeared!
Darwin: Nah. They just climbed up that tree.
[Carlton and Troy are seen trying to get up on the branch of a tree nearby]
Mr. Small's Office
[Gumball and Darwin are at Mr. Small's office]
Gumball: …and they said we have to fight them at four tomorrow, or their super rich dad will bulldoze the school and build a golf course on it. I mean, when I say that out loud, it's like the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
Mister Small: Hmmm. Well, all I can say is…if there were to be a fight at four tomorrow, I would probably be in this office listening to loud music with the blinds closed.
Darwin: Wait, are you actually telling us to fight these guys?
Mister Small: No no no no. No counselor would condone such a thing. I mean think about it: all your friends, the people who work very hard to give you an education. All of this, you shouldn't fight for. [Winks repeatedly]
Gumball: …I think we'll take this further up the chain of command.
Up the Chain of Command
[This time, Gumball and Darwin are at Principal Brown's office]
Nigel Brown: Now, fighting is never okay.
[Inside, the principal is shown bending backwards while pretending to choke someone]
Nigel Brown: [Whispering] But let's say he's got his arm around your neck like this. It might seem like a bad spot, but you'll have to take advantage of your environment. [Aloud] Oh! Lookie what we've got here. His own shoe! You can just grab that, it's really very easy. Most people won't expect it. Now you can throw [Throws imaginary shoe] it across the room, and he will release you because most people usually really want their shoe back. [Continues talking]
Darwin: Has there been some kind of chemical leak today? 'Cause right now, everyone's acting like total psychos.
Nigel Brown: Another trick is that most shoes are opaque [Looks through imaginary shoe] so you can use it to cover his eyes effectively blinding him! Seize the advantage, spin him round, and spank him with his own footwear.
[Gumball and Darwin exit his office. The principal continues talking even as they walk out]
Nigel Brown: BADA BANG BADA BAM BADA BING BADA BA!
Gumball: [Slams door] What is wrong with people today?
Darwin: I don't know. The teachers are nuts, Sarah keeps making things worse, he's still here.
[He points to Frank making rude gestures and sounds from out a window]
Gumball: And I know what's gonna happen if we roll with this: we're gonna have a fight, and it's gonna look like we're losing. But then we'll win thanks to our heart or something. Then those sweater guys will respect us, and they will freeze frame with some kind of high-five mega happy ending cheese pose.
Darwin: You know what? I say we dodge this to save ourselves the trouble.
Penny: Gumball! [Runs to him] I heard you're gonna sacrifice yourself to save the school. I know it's heroic and selfless and— [Aside] kind of attractive. [Gumball gets excited] But I know that there's nothing I can do to stop you but I thought I should try! Listen to your heart. What does it say?
Gumball's heart: Get a restraining order on those guys, and live happily in shame!
Gumball: It says I have to fight!
Penny: [Cries and runs away]
[Darwin sighs. Frank then knocks on the window.]
Frank: [Muffled] See you on the court, losers.
Darwin: [Opens window] What?
Frank: See you on the court, losers.
[The scene switches to a stadium full of cheering people, all (including the sky) drawn in the eighties retro style]
Gumball: I expected more of like a fight fight, not really a tennis match.
[Gumball and Darwin are in a tennis court, drawn in the same way. Gumball waves to the audience]
Darwin: Also, this school's weird.
Gumball: Yeah, I can sorta see why Sarah didn’t fit in.
Carlton: Prepare to suffer!
[A tennis ball is thrown up in the air by Troy. He serves, and the tennis ball bounces on their side of the court before striking one of the seemingly cardboard spectators. The spectators cheer]
Gumball: Well. On the plus side, this should be over quick.
[The scores are put on the scoreboard. Then The Power To Fight plays along with a montage of Carlton and Troy scoring against Gumball and Darwin, who do nothing]
Carlton: Forehand! [Scores] Yeah!
[Carlton scores against Darwin, and Frank laughs]
[Carlton and Troy score multiple times. He, and Troy high-five]
[Troy serves another ball. The ball spins rapidly, and stops in mid-air, just in front of Gumball]
Sarah: Gumball! If you believe in your heart, you can win this!
[Gumball touches the floating ball with his tennis racket. The ball flings the racket away, and Gumball yelps. Then Carlton and Troy continue scoring]
[Gumball limps back to the tennis court. The audience gasps at him as he grabs his tennis racket]
Troy: We were wrong, Carlton. He truly is hardcore.
[There is a clap within the audience. Eventually the crowds starts clapping and cheering]
Gumball: [Confused] How do they clap without moving? Alright! Let's just get this over with, please!
Carlton: [Cries] I'm sorry.
[He serves another ball. The tennis ball falls on their court]
Frank: [Cries] Game, set, and match. Richwood High!
[The crowd cheers, while Gumball and Darwin shrug]
Carlton: Everybody, stop!
[The crowd stops cheering. Carlton walks over to Gumball]
Carlton: Maybe you didn't win this match. But you showed your courage, and for this, I give you not a trophy, but something much more important.
[He starts untying the sweaters on him, and takes off his shirt revealing more sweaters, and another shirt on him. He takes off many layers of the same clothing until he finally reaches the last sweater under all of the layers. He hands this over to Gumball]
Carlton: I give you my respect.
Gumball: Dude, do you actually start dressing in the morning by tying a sweater around your shoulders? And-like do you wear one as your underpants as well?
[Everyone laughs, then cheers]
Carlton: [Laughs] Come on, give me five!
[Gumball does not give him a high five. Regardless, he (and everything else aside from Gumball and Darwin) freeze-frame]