Utilizing Meta Humor to Hook Viewers

From its first episode, which aired on Cartoon Community in 2011, to its closing particular episodes in 2019, The Superb World of Gumball has been watched by youngsters and adults alike for a bit over a decade. This present constantly offers a singular and memorable leisure expertise for all ages. Regardless of being aired similtaneously exhibits comparable to Journey Time and Common Present, The Superb World of Gumball has turn into immediately recognizable by its refusal to stay to at least one particular animation model. Its animators use all the pieces from conventional 2D-animation to 3D-Animation, to even live-action at instances to make this world really feel pumped filled with creativity and uniqueness. It would not be unusual to see characters like Gumball (voiced initially by Logan Grove) and Darwin (voiced initially by Kwesi Boakye) interacting with college students actually made out of paper, or maybe a big, 3D-animated T-Rex scholar as an alternative. The present’s different 2D-animated characters even have wildly totally different kinds, comparable to Alan the balloon (voiced primarily by Hugo Harrison) or Carmen the cactus (voiced primarily by Alix Wilton Regan). The one present in latest reminiscence that has been prepared to try such a definite mix of kinds can be that of Uncle Grandpa. Whereas that present, although, drives its humor from being unpredictable and random, The Superb World of Gumball sources its comedy from actual life.


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Picture by way of HBO Max

Whereas it’s true that the visuals of the present are commendable and recognizable on their very own, the writing is the place one can actually inform that the present is aware of its viewers nicely. It’s because the present makes use of loads of meta humor. To elaborate, the writers are very literate with regards to cartoon tropes and in style media, they usually use these bits of media to craft their very own type of humor. For instance, in Season 2’s episode “The Sweater” Gumball and Darwin discover themselves in a state of affairs very harking back to older movies and exhibits through which they need to battle a rival group with a view to earn their respect. As an alternative of the 2 enjoying out the situation in the way in which that one may anticipate them to, coaching, working laborious, and overcoming all odds by way of the facility of friendship, the 2 boys as an alternative try to don’t have anything to do with the continuing plot. Your entire humor of the episode is that the plot strikes alongside precisely how one would anticipate it to, however the protagonists have completely little interest in participating within the state of affairs. The writers use what information they’ve a few narrative trope and from it create a brand new situation for viewers to take pleasure in. That is known as “parody” and it’s a huge a part of how meta humor works for the present.

Parody is utilized by the writers in a plethora of the way, going as far as to parody a present that might attraction way more to older audiences than to newer ones. In Season 6, there may be an episode titled “The Woman” which is kind of a direct parody of The Golden Ladies. The episode revolves across the boys’ father Richard Watterson (Dan Russel) pretending to be an aged lady by the title of Samantha (Lorelei King). Samantha shares a placing resemblance in the direction of The Golden Ladies’ Blanche (Rue McClanahan) as does the remainder of her group of associates. The episode is affected by references to the basic sitcom. By creating an episode round this premise, the writers discovered a option to take an already in style sitcom and parody it in such a manner that each youthful and older audiences would take pleasure in it.

Together with utilizing parody of their writing, The Superb World of Gumball additionally combines each visible and narrative codecs to create distinct and memorable episodes. An instance of this comes from an episode in Season 3 titled “The Cash.” The premise of this episode is that the Watterson household is broke, and consequently they’ve their belongings repossessed after selecting to not sponsor a model and “promoting out.” Nonetheless, the repossession does not cease with simply their bodily possessions. Slowly, the Wattersons discover themselves being drained of colour and animation as it’s revealed that “when you do not have cash, your entire world falls aside.” Not solely is that this a intelligent technique for the writers to critique the capitalist setting our societies are constructed upon, however additionally it is one other technique for them to create a meta state of affairs for the household to sort out. They’re continually conscious of the truth that their world is cartoon in nature, and thus the glitches and lack of particulars will not be one thing that’s inherently world-shattering for them, however slightly simply one other impediment for them to beat. As scenes progress, issues get much more meta, finally attending to the purpose that as an alternative of an animated setting, the household is introduced on storyboard notes. That is performed fairly actually, with the Wattersons being utterly conscious that these modifications are occurring. Finally they attain the burger place after changing into literal doodles on sticky notes. Because the household indicators the contract, they regain their unique types.

The explanation that this meta humor works so nicely is as a result of newer generations are rising up with quick access to the web. As such, they’re usually uncovered to a wide range of humorous posts referred to as “memes” named after the time period “meme” which was invented by Richard Dawkins in 1976. The time period “meme” is outlined by Merriam-Webster as, “An thought, habits, model, or utilization that spreads from one individual to a different in a tradition.” Within the context of Web memes, it’s a technique of stating an thought through the use of a pre-existing thought as the inspiration. For instance, a meme may present in style Muppet character Kermit the Frog sipping tea with textual content giving a sassy assertion adopted by “however that is none of my enterprise.” One might substitute any sassy assertion into the meme format, and it might nonetheless work as a result of culturally everybody understands the tone of the meme instantly.


Memes are rapidly changing into the kind of humor to which youthful generations are continually uncovered. In a quickly evolving web tradition, memes are getting used increasingly more for folks to work together with each other on platforms comparable to Reddit. This pertains to The Superb World of Gumball as a result of the present will not be afraid to make use of fashionable tradition to form its writing, and memes are simply one other type of that tradition being formed into new methods. The present’s use of parodies falls beneath the definition of “meme” and as such it takes full benefit of the brand new generations’ publicity to memes to formulate something from one-off bits to complete episodes that may be loved and understood with out a lot context. Those that have by no means seen The Golden Ladies will seemingly nonetheless discover the parody episode above humorous, however those that have seen the basic sit-com will get way more enjoyment out of it as a result of they perceive the cultural background that serves as the idea for a lot of of its jokes. The present thus makes use of our quickly rising understanding of how memes work so as to add a brand new layer of comedy into its situational humor.

Regardless that The Superb World of Gumball the collection has formally concluded, a brand new film is ready to be launched in 2022 on HBO Max. The Superb World of Gumball was a present that was forward of the curve relating to adopting meme-like animation, and it served as yet one more instance of the motto, “The one option to survive is to adapt.” The writers used this quickly rising type of comedy to create a present that knew precisely who its viewers was and what made them chuckle for over ten years. Hopefully the brand new film will observe in these footsteps.

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