The Amazing World of Gumball may not have the cult audience of some of Cartoon Network’s other hits, but the show has developed a reputation as one of the funniest, strangest shows on the network. Other cartoon producers have taken notice, however, and when one company went a bit too far with its Gumball-inspired show, the Cartoon Network series clapped back.
A series of Chinese cartoon shorts called Miracle Star is the culprit here. They hew pretty closely to Gumball’s animal collective comedy, with some very slight differences. For example: Instead of a kitten protagonist, they star ... a billy goat. It’s not just Miracle Star’s aesthetic that looks eerily like Gumball’s; the show also takes shots and scenes wholesale.
Fans picked up on this back in 2015, and the video above shows a direct comparison between the two. While Cartoon Network hasn’t taken any action against Miracle Star, it’s basically an open secret at this point that the Gumball lookalike exists.
It wasn’t until The Amazing World of Gumball’s newest episode, which made it online earlier this week, that Cartoon Network addressed the Miracle Star debacle more directly. An episode called “The Copycats” features a cartoon about a family remarkably like Gumball’s, made up of a mixed crowd of animals. (The one major difference? Gumball’s little sister is curiously missing from the family, which one viewer says may be a nod to China’s one-child policy.) Not only are these “copycats” very similar to the main cast, but they’re almost direct copies of the characters from Miracle Star.
In short: The team behind The Amazing World of Gumball took on its show’s own real life copycat by using its own method against them. The whole scene can be found in the tweet below, and it’s gone viral as a perfect example of how to take on anyone who tries to profit off your success without proper credit.