The episode starts out with the students receiving their instruments for the marching band, Gumball asks Principal Brown what his instrument is, which Principal Brown responds to by assigning him the triangle.
Darwin gets a swanee whistle and plays a beautiful merrily tune, surprising the students and Principal Brown. As a reward, Darwin gets the solo in the marching band, replacing Leslie, and making Gumball jealous. He tries to mask it by tapping Darwin playfully on the cheek, which slowly progresses into slaps. However, Darwin can see through the act. After realizing this, Gumball tries to guilt-trip Darwin, who sarcastically tells Gumball to come back and try to guilt him when he can muster tears.
At the cafeteria, Leslie is impressed by Darwin's new solo. Darwin then tells Leslie that he is a little nervous to play the solo, Leslie responds by advising Darwin to try to picture everyone naked. At first it works fine, but Mr. Small mistakenly spills Darwin's peas and bends over to pick them up right in front of Darwin. Embarrassed, Darwin tells Leslie that he will play his whistle outside, but Gumball comes back and tries to hold Darwin back as he tries to get to music practice. When they finally arrive, Principal Brown tells the two that they are right on time. Leslie tries to sabotage Darwin by inserting gum into his whistle. When Darwin tries to play his whistle again, a bubble inflates out of his whistle and pops in his face, making everyone gasp. Principal Brown realizes that someone sabotaged Darwin’s whistle, he takes a lick of the gum, then accuses Gumball. Darwin then tells Gumball that he was jealous from the start, he tried to get him down to his level, and that he sabotaged his swanee whistle when he did not succeed. Gumball tries to deny this claim, but Principal Brown bans him from the marching band nonetheless, and his triangle is relinquished by Darwin, much to his dismay.
Outside the stadium, while the band continues to play, Gumball suddenly realizes that somebody else is jealous, not just him. He thinks it is Banana Joe who he accuses due to his constant scowling expression. In the locker room, Gumball attempts to apologize to Darwin, but he points out Gumball's lack of compromise and envy, thus getting dismissed by Principal Brown, kicking him out of the locker room. Suddenly, Gumball notices a duck walking into the bathroom and steals his costume, revealing an actual duck named Archie.
Outside the stadium, the fans are cheering for the marching band. Gumball, disguised as Archie the Duck, attempts to warn Darwin that somebody else is jealous of him. It turns out that the culprit was Leslie, who is trying to sabotage Darwin, and thus is the one who framed Gumball earlier. Gumball tackles Leslie and fights him, but Gumball gives Leslie the same statement Darwin gave him earlier. They soon realize their mistakes and decide to watch Darwin play his solo. Darwin tries to play beautifully, but due to stage fright he plays scratchy notes on his swanee whistle, and the fans boo at him, but Leslie and Gumball watch him happily, ending the episode.
Leslie mentions he was "discarded like a slice of pickle on a cheeseburger" due to Darwin's solo, a possible reference to "The Ghost," where Carrie takes the pickle out of her cheeseburger while possessing Gumball's body.
Gumball makes the same evil face as in "The Move."
[The school bell rings. Coach Russo is seen walking down the hallway, with the sound of a timpani with every step. She peels a banana, and a slide whistle plays with every peel. A trumpet blares loudly and scares her, making her drop her banana as a sad trombone plays. She bends over to get it as a baritone plays, but Mrs. Simian then bumps into Coach, accompanied by the sound of crash cymbals. The scene cuts to the gym, where Gumball and his classmates are preparing for the school marching band]
Nigel Brown: Excellent, Banana Joe. Now everyone has their instruments for the marching band.
Gumball: What about me?
Nigel Brown: Ah, yes, the triangle.
Gumball: [Sighs] The triangle again?! Dude, if this instrument were a dance, it would look like this.
[Gumball does a ridiculous and stupid-looking dance]
Darwin: Oh no! In the hands of an expert, the triangle can be a subtle and very expressive— [Sighs, cut off by Gumball hitting the triangle] Come on, why don't you try to be good at something for once?
Gumball: Hm... nah. You see, when you try but fail, people think you're a loser. But if you skip the trying and decide to fail right away, then everyone thinks you got the talent but you're too cool to waste it on them. It's like chickens; no one knows if they can really fly or not. That's what makes 'em cool.
Darwin: So that's your life plan, huh? Be a massive chicken?
Gumball: Yes, and cackle at the eagles when they crash and burn.
Nigel Brown: Leslie, you have the solo as usual.
Leslie: Sussie, give me an A.
[Sussie rubs the top of her head and the musical sound A comes out. Leslie matches the pitch and starts to play an action-sounding solo while dancing around the room. Everyone stares at him unimpressed before Banana Joe cuts him off]
Banana Joe: Hey, wait! How come I don't get to play a solo?!
Nigel Brown: Okay, play a solo.
[Banana Joe steps up, takes a deep breath, and starts repeatedly hitting his crash cymbals, making an obnoxious sound]
Nigel Brown: That's why, just concentrate on hitting them at the right mo— [Cut off by a crash by Banana Joe] —ment.
[Banana Joe stares intensely]
Darwin: Principal Brown, may I audition for the solo?
Gumball: Dude, are you crazy?
Darwin: Life is too short to live like a chicken.
Gumball: Do you even know how to play that thing?
Darwin: Nope! But I'll never know until I try.
[Darwin takes a deep breath and plays the beginning Clair de lune on his slide whistle. Everyone is awestruck]
Alan: I've got goosebumps on my goosebumps...
Nigel Brown: The hairs on the back of my everything are standing on end...
[Sussie cries, her tears filling the entire room with water]
Nigel Brown: Sussie, please stop crying or we're gonna have to call the coast guard. Everyone, let me introduce our new soloist. Well done, Darwin.
[The students comes up to Darwin to congratulate him. Eventually, the water sends them all bursting through the door]
[After floating into the hallway on Sussie's tears, Gumball and Darwin land on the floor and get up. Gumball offers Darwin his hand]
Gumball: [Shakes hands with Darwin] Well done, man, I'm really proud of you.
Darwin: Are you sure?
Gumball: Of course!
Darwin: 'Cause you're kind of breaking my hand right now.
[Gumball is holding Darwin's arm with both hands, crushing it]
Gumball: Oh! Sorry dude, it's 'cause I'm so proud!
[Gumball pinches Darwin's cheek and pats his face, slowly escalating to slaps]
Darwin: Alright, stop! What's the problem?!
Gumball: Nothing! I'm pleased for you. [Frowns]
Darwin: Really? 'Cause your face doesn't look pleased.
Gumball: Trust me: on the inside, I'm pleased.
[Darwin opens Gumball's inside, where a fiery monster claws at him]
Fiery Monster: I HOPE YOU CRASH AND BURN, DARWIN WATTERSON!
[Frightened, Darwin slams Gumball shut]
Darwin: You're lying. What's the problem?
Gumball: [Sighs] I'm sorry, man, it's just... it was fun to be losers together, but it's... kinda depressing to be one just by myself.
[Gumball tries to cry.]
Darwin: Come back to guilt trip me when you can actually muster a tear.
Gumball: Ugh, whatever. [Walks away]
Leslie Offers Advice
[In the cafeteria, Leslie puts his food tray down on Darwin's table and sits in front of him]
Leslie: Darwin, I just want to say that in spite of the fact I was discarded like a slice of pickle in a cheeseburger, I thought you played beautifully, and I'm glad you are playing the solo at the parade.
Darwin: Thank you! Although I am a little bit nervous. I get very self-conscious in front of crowds.
Leslie: Well, I just imagine 'em without their clothes on.
Darwin: [Chuckles] Does it work?
Leslie: Of course it does, try it!
[Darwin tries it. He the sees Juke without any clothes on.]
Darwin: It does work! [Keeps chuckling]
[Mr. Small walks by, but accidentally spills Darwin's peas]
Mister Small: Sorry, Darwin. [Bends down to pick up the peas he dropped. As he does so, Darwin and Leslie look in horror as they imagine him naked with his butt in their faces] Well done on being the new soloist, by the way. When I was your age I played the bongos. Hours and hours of slapping those skins made me the man I am today. Anyway, see you at the parade! Whoopsie, missed one. [Does one final stretch] Oh!
Darwin: [Takes his eyeballs off as new ones pop out of his head] No, I can still see it. I'll just go practice somewhere on my own.
[Darwin sits alone at the school courtyard practicing his swanee whistle. Gumball approches, prompting Darwin to whistle angrily. Gumball whistles and moves closer; Darwin whistles back and moves further. Gumball whistles and reapproaches, causing Darwin to whistle aggressively. Gumball lets out a final, sad whistle]
Gumball: Can we just use words?
Darwin: Are you gonna try and guilt trip me again?
Gumball: Would it work?
Gumball: Then all I want is a hug!
[Gumball gives Darwin a hug. The school bell rings]
Darwin: Alright, I gotta get back to rehearsal. [Gumball suddenly locks his feet around a bar on the bottom of the bench, trying to trap Darwin] Is this how it's gonna be?
[Darwin sighs and starts walking to class, stretching Gumball's torso out]
Darwin: Dude, you're gonna make me late!
Gumball: I know.
Darwin: Dude, they're starting, I'm gonna be late for that solo!
Gumball: Yeah, that's right.
[Meanwhile, the class plays their instruments in the gym poorly]
Nigel Brown: Ok, ok, now that you are all tuned up, let's take it from the top.
Alan: We weren't tuning up. I'm afraid that was it, Principal Brown.
Nigel Brown: Are you kidding me...? We only have a few rehearsals left, so if you don't make a significant improvement I'm canceling the parade. Now, how do we get better?
Sussie: Through a training montage!
Nigel Brown: Precisely, Sussie. But we don't have time for that, so I'm just gonna tear these calendar pages off while we play.
[Principal Brown runs back and forth throwing calendar pages about, imitating a training montage; all the while, Gumball continues to weigh down Darwin. Eventually, Gumball's torso snaps back, sending Gumball and Darwin flying through the gym door]
Nigel Brown: Ah, bang on time for your solo.
Darwin: [Takes his swanee whistle from Gumball] Give me that!
[Darwin starts playing, causing gum to inflate from one of the whistles' holes, exploding all over him]
Nigel Brown: Someone has sabotaged Darwin's instrument! [Rubs his hand along the whistle and tastes his finger] Hm, I have no idea why I just did that, it was pretty obvious it was gum, which means it can only be you, Gumball!
Gumball: [Yelling] What? Why?
Nigel Brown: Because it's gum. Gum, ball. It adds up.
[Everyone glares at Gumball]
Gumball: [Yelling] What kind of proof is that?!
Darwin: Because all you've been trying to do is drag me down to your level. You've been jealous from the start, you tried to stop me getting to rehearsal, and when you didn't succeed, you sabotaged my swanee whistle!
Gumball: Dude, I would never do that. [Beat] To you.
Nigel Brown: That's it! You are banned from the band! You are done raining on our parade. [To himself] Been waiting to say that for weeks.
[Gumball sulks and leaves the gym]
Darwin: Gumball, wait! [Gumball turns around, excited] That's school property.
[Darwin snatches the triangle out of Gumball's hand and slams the gym door in his face. Gumball sighs sadly and walks off]
Framing Banana Joe
[Prinicpal Brown and the marching band stand in the middle of the school track field]
Nigel Brown: And remember, you are playing not for yourself, not for your family, not for your country, but to not embarrass me in front of hundreds of people. Take it from the top one last time.
[The band starts playing. The scene cuts to Gumball, who is watching from behind closed gates. He turns around and sees Darwin's silhouette, causing him to jump in shock, undoing the gate's lock in the process]
Gumball: Oh, dude! You scared me. Hey, you know I just wanted to say that, well, I know you're nervous about playing in front of all those people, but you've got a real talent, man. Yeah, you're playing in a small school stadium right now, but tomorrow you could totally be playing on subway trains, or outside the mall, with people throwing money in your hat. And you know I didn't sabotage your swanee whistle. You believe me, right, dude? Right? Dude? [Gumball touches "Darwin," revealing him to be a cardboard cut-out with dart holes in it. Gumball gasps] Someone else really is trying to bring down Darwin. First the swanee whistle, and now this. But who could it be? [Cuts to a pan of the school band, showing Banana Joe staring angrily from behind Darwin] It could be anyone. [Another pan, with more emphasis on Banana Joe] Everyone's a suspect. [Another pan, with even more emphasis on Banana Joe] There's no way of knowing who did this. [The camera repeatedly zooms in on Banana Joe, eventually getting so close that the lens breaks, causing Gumball to stumble] Alright alright, Banana Joe, I get it! [Rushes to the gate; Gasps] They're gone!
[The scene changes to show Darwin and his class practicing and socializing in the boy's locker room. Darwin stands at his locker]
One Final Plan
Gumball: Darwin, listen to me, you mustn't play that solo.
[Darwin pushes his locker door wide open, revealing Gumball's semblance in his mirror]
Darwin: No! You listen to me: this isn't about me being good at something, it's about you refusing to make the effort to better yourself. And you know the definition of that kind of person?
Gumball: A loser?
Darwin: No, a — Wait, yeah, a loser. So now just please let me concentrate, and get out of my head!
Gumball: Dude, that's a reflection. [The scene pulls back, revealing Gumbal to be standing right next to Darwin] I'm right next to you.
Darwin: Just get out of here! Get out!
Nigel Brown: And stop raining on our parade, I know I've said it before, but it still works.
[Gumball is thrown out of the locker room]
Gumball: No, wait!
Nigel Brown: [Through door] And I'll expel you from the school if I see your face again.
[Gumball suddenly sees the Archie mascot walk by and makes the evil face. The scene cuts to Archie sitting on the toilet in the school bathroom. Gumball's hands reach over the stall and take off the top half of his costume]
Archie: Hey, my costume! [Gumball removes the bottom half of the costume; Archie blushes and crosses his legs] Ahh, I'm naked!
Leslie All Along
[The school band is performing for a packed audience as they march along the track. Darwin plays blissfully, unaware of Banana Joe standing right behind him. Gumball suddenly darts out of one of the gates in-costume and starts gesturing helplessly at Darwin]
Gumball: Darwin, watch out! Banana Joe's gonna stop you from playing your solo! Darwin! Darwin!
[Darwin fails to take notice. Gumball suddenly sees himself, dressed as Archie, on the jumbotron]
Announcer: And here comes Elmore's favorite mascot, Archie the Duck!
Gumball: What the—
Fan: Archie the Duck, can I have your autograph?
[Gumball haphazardly runs down the steps, drawing a black marker streak across their autograph pages and faces. One audience member cries]
Gumball: Darwin! [Runs over barricade to try to approach the band] Darwin! Darwin, look out, he's behind you! Banana Joe's behind you! Darwin, Darwin! [Gumball's tunnel vision causes him to run into a football goalpost] Banana Joe, no!
[The scene zooms in on Banana Joe as he is about to crash his cymbals, but he does not end up actually hitting Darwin at all]
Banana Joe: [Breaking face] Yeah, right on time! Now back to counting. [Returns to his stare]
Gumball: Well if it's not Joe, then who is it?
[Gumball suddenly sees a dart fly past him toward the crowd, hitting close to Gary and making a hole through his drink]
[Another dart fires, before cutting to a piece of cheese in the crowd with a massive hole in their chest]
Cheesy D: [Gasps] There's an extra hole in my chest! [Faints]
[There is a sudden close-up on the culprit's eyes: Leslie was firing the darts all along through his flute]
[Leslie reorients his flute to be facing Darwin as he prepares to fire at his head. However, Alan's trombone hits the back of his head, causing the dart to shoot across the field and undo a wound-up American flag. Annoyed, he readies another shot at Darwin's head, Gumball jumps in his way and knocks Leslie into the dug-out]
Gumball: No! [The two tumble; Gumball lays on top of Leslie] What are you doing?
Leslie: The solo was mine, not Darwin's! He stole my spotlight, and flowers need light to grow.
[Leslie tries to get up and reach for his flute, but Gumball slaps him back down]
Gumball: Dude, you're a flower boy who plays flute in the school band. You don't want this to get violent.
Leslie: You're talking to someone who has danced since the day he was born.
[Leslie proceeds to dance, beating up Gumball with ease. Gumball's costume gets mangled and he collapses]
Gumball: [Removes mascot head] What I meant was, violence is never the answer. Dude, you're supposed to be happy for your friend's success! This isn't about Darwin being good at something, it's about you refusing to make the effort to better yourself. You know what the definition of that kind of person is?
Leslie: [Shutters] Ugh, I wouldn't want that to happen.
Gumball: So why don't we just enjoy the success of our friend, even if it means we get left behind?
Leslie: [Sniffs] You're right.
Gumball: Quick, he's about to play his solo!
[Gumball and Leslie return above ground to watch Darwin's solo. Darwin, however, gets stage fright and plays terribly. The audience jeer Darwin, while Gumball and Leslie happily watch. The episode ends]