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I told you they were ill! Look At Them!
~ Miss Simian Telling The Nurse and Principal Brown that she was right.

The Huggers, or Joy Zombies, are the eponymous main antagonists of The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Joy".


A hugger is any infected individual who has gone through all five stages of infection. They are mindless, zombie-like, and highly contagious. its triggered when a "Wonder Hug," a hug filled with all of the love and happiness in the world, is given. It is unknown if it affects the person who gives the hug. The Wonder Hug will cause a rainbow-colored mushroom cloud to appear, and the person becomes "patient zero."

Here are the 5 stages of infection:

  • Stage 1: Smiling: The infected individual will start smiling uncontrollably. The face will remain this way, and any way to change it usually results with the face distorting itself in order to return to the smile. An alternative form is heel-clicking, but the heel-clicking will eventually become smiling.
  • Stage 2: Singing: The infected individual will then start to sing in an auto-tuned voice. After that, the individual will then begin to laugh hysterically for short periods of time, and they will begin to cough up a rainbow-colored fluid.
  • Stage 3: Hallucinations: At this point, the individual begins to hallucinate. The individual's pupils dilate, which shows they are in the middle of the infection.
  • Stage 4: Hugging and Kissing: Shortly after hallucinating, the individual will feel a dominant need to hug and kiss people. This is how the infection spreads.
  • Stage 5: Final Moments: The individual will begin to laugh very hysterically, cough up rainbow fluid, then pass out for a short period of time, while they are unconscious their heart beat monitor plays a small song from the beeps and fills with rainbows.

Mental Traits

These can denote a hugger mentally.

  • Huggers lose most of their intelligence and memory when they pass out. They remember basic skills, such as running and hugging, and have retained some memory, as when Gumball hugged (and infected) Penny, after kicking away an infected Banana Joe.
  • They are easily fooled. If one acts like a hugger, the person can get through an entire horde with ease. However, they are attracted to yelling, discipline, and unhappiness, and will try to infect any depressed person.

Physical Traits

Here are some traits of a hugger.

  • The huge grin.
  • The rainbow fluid, which the infected individual would continuously cough up before passing out, will now ooze out of their mouth.
  • The dilated pupils. In Mr. Small's case, the pupils are smaller and red, and in Tina's case, her pupils seem "demonic", and Gumball gains eyelashes.
  • Arms held out.
  • Hysterical laughter.
  • Ripped clothes.


A hugger infects people rather quickly. The more huggers, the quicker the infection will spread. Following this rule, one or two huggers can infect an entire school within five minutes.

The infection for people hugged by a hugger is faster; the infection stages speed up greatly, causing a hugged person to be fully infected within five seconds, unless they are very miserable, like Miss Simian, which in that case the infection will take longer (up to 30 seconds). The Joy Virus vaccine is kind of like a camouflage. If you dress up multicolored, for example: Tobias, the infected will think that you are already infected. The only known possible cure is to play depressing music, such as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Because of the music's dark and depressing nature, this combats the virus and forces huggers to flee. The hugger's pupils are no longer dilated and will return to its original look. It is unknown if prolonged exposure to this music can completely revert the effects of the virus.


One Monday morning, a grumpy Gumball and Darwin stomped to the table and splatted milk and butter on their faces during breakfast, then stormed off. Anais suggested that Richard should give them a hug, which he obliges. Richard gives the boys a special hug called a Wonder Hug, and a rainbow mushroom cloud appeared.

At Elmore Junior High, Darwin was smiling, and Gumball was heel-clicking while walking down the school hall. While Miss Simian was in her office watching the sad and depressed students and faulcity on her TV, she saw Gumball and Darwin extremely happy down the hall.

In class Miss Simian, discovers that Gumball and Darwin were auto-tune singing and coughing up rainbow liquid, then Gumball laughs hysterically, much to Miss Simian's horror.

Miss Simian tries to warn Principal Brown about the outbreak of joy, but he doesn't believe her.

At the infirmary, Miss Simian examines the infected Gumball and Darwin, who now have big grins and dilated pupils. Gumball tries to make himself unhappy, but his face rotates back to the smile. Then, Darwin hallucinates and the duo attempt to kiss Miss Simian, but she splashes cough syrup on them. The two infected boys are now in the quarantine room, laughing hysterically until they cough up rainbow liquid and pass out, along with the monitor playing a happy tune with a rainbow screen.

Miss Simian then tells both Principal Brown and the nurse that she was right. Just as she was dancing, Gumball and Darwin (who are now fully infected Huggers) attack the principal, infecting him and the nurse. Miss Simian watches in horror as the Huggers infect more students. Miss Simian throws a tantrum in her office, until she discovers that the sad music is the cure. It also cured Principal Brown, and he runs away.

Miss Simian now walks down a darkened school hall, as well as avoiding an infected Anais, quickly disguises herself as a Hugger, making her way through the Huggers, but gave herself away by yelling out, "Dress code!" at Banana Joe, attracting the attention of the Huggers, who chase Miss Simian down the hall, avoiding an infected nurse, and an infected Tina. She quickly runs to the principal's office to rewind and play the tape, but the infected Gumball and Darwin caught her off guard and infect her.

Miss Simian play her final moments on tape, saying that this story came to a happy ending and laughs hysterically.


  • It could be possible that Richard created the Joy Virus after giving Gumball and Darwin the Wonder Hug. However, Miss Simian stated that she had seen it before.


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