"The Friend" is the thirtieth episode of Season 3 of The Amazing World of Gumball, and is the 106th episode overall.
The episode starts with Gumball and Darwin in the backyard, where Anais has prepared for a party. They run through a field of popping balloons to go eat Anais's cupcakes. The duo manage to take cover, only to confront Anais herself. Even when they succeed in distracting her and eating her cupcakes, they find that her cupcakes were actually lemon and baking soda decoys. After they realize this, Anais blasts them with a bottle of soda and mint. The brothers try again on eating her cupcakes, this time by "blending with the crowd." Though they succeed again, they notice the lack of a real crowd and ask Anais about this. Anais sadly reveals she has no friends to invite, although the purpose of the party was to make friends. Gumball and Darwin come up with an idea to create an imaginary friend for their sister, and along with her start imagining. They stop when they see a chimera near them.
When the chimera says that they did create him after Anais asks him about this, they all become excited. Gumball tries to talk with the chimera, but it becomes awkward after he gets scared by the chimera using its nose to high five him. Anais's brothers encourage her to make friends with him, helping her to make eye contact, smile, and talk together. After the chimera and Anais become friends with each other, Darwin declares party time.
Inside the house, Nicole and Richard watch the news and learn of an intruder breaking into houses across the neighborhood. While they do this, the chimera continues to have fun with Anais and her brothers. After he sends their piñata beyond the sky, they go back inside to make another. When Nicole sees the chimera, she panics and Richard calls the police. Anais promptly lets them out of the house, thinking that they'll be calming down soon.
Instead, the Elmore Police Department arrives on the scene. As the Doughnut Sheriff and Nicole argue with each other, and demand the chimera to "release" her children, Gumball, Darwin, and Anais also demand to know why the chimera pretended to be their imaginary friend. The chimera reveals his true story: that he was created by a lonely toy maker, and was best friends with his creator until his death. He wandered the streets and went into houses after this, trying to look for a new friend. The Watterson kids are swayed, and set up traps to protect him when the sheriff informs them that the police will be coming in in two minutes.
With the two minutes up, the police raid the house, but the traps set are so successful that all the police officers are taken down. The sheriff resorts to sending in Nicole if they do not get out in 30 seconds. This finally makes the chimera leave the house. Outside, he threatens to blow himself up with mints and 3 bottles of soda. The sheriff soon orders his men to fire their tasers at him, and this causes the mints to fall in the chimera's mouth and cause an explosion.
At night, a sad Anais thinks of her friend in the bedroom. But she becomes happy when she sees that the chimera is still alive after his parts reassemble back. The chimera thanks her, and says goodbye. He promises to visit sometime, and they smile at each other as he leaves.
- Sal Left Thumb (cameo)
- Cops (Antagonists)
- This episode was originally supposed to air on January 15th, 2015, but, it was pushed to January 22, 2015, and "The Saint" was aired instead.
- This episode revealed that Anais has no friends.
This is the second time Jolly Hamburger scatters. The first was in "The Butterfly."
- This episode is largely an homage to the 1999 movie The Iron Giant, in which a nerdy child befriends an enormous robot from outer space. The two stories share major plot points:
- When they first meet, Anais and the Chimera teach each other some social graces. In The Iron Giant, the child teaches the giant to talk.
- In both The Iron Giant and "The Friend," the townspeople are initially frightened of the giant, and the authorities are sent in to attack.
- The Chimera, like the giant, sacrifices himself in an explosion to save the town.
- As in the ending of The Iron Giant, Chimera reassembles himself after being blown apart.
- The booby traps set up by the kids to thwart the police are reminiscent of the traps used in the Home Alone movies.
The Chimera's hand reappears on his arm even though it is tickling Anais.