Recap: Gravity Falls: Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained

Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained

A series of Gravity Falls shorts airing during "Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained Week" as part of Disney Channel's Monstober 2013. They detail Dipper's various adventures uncovering the mysteries and secrets of Gravity Falls. And they are:
  • #1: Candy Monster
    • Dipper and Mabel hunt down a strange creature that steals their leftover Summerween candy.
  • #2: Stan's Tattoo
    • Dipper investigates the mystery that is Stan's tattoo.
  • #3: Mailbox
    • Dipper and Soos find an odd mailbox in the middle of the forest and try to find out who leaves a series of all-knowing letters behind.
  • #4: Lefty
    • Dipper tails a mysterious citizen of Gravity Falls who always appears to face left.
  • #5: Tooth
    • Dipper and Mabel discover a gigantic tooth on the shore of Lake Gravity Falls and set out to find where it came from.
  • #6: The Hide Behind
    • Upon finding evidence, Dipper goes after a legendary creature that has been heard, but never seen.


Tropes present in these shorts:

  • Ambiguously Evil: Hide-Behind certainly looks very creepy, and has the decidedly unsettling habit of always hiding behind people, never letting itself be seen, but "creepy" doesn't always equate to "evil," and it never does anything especially harmful, outside of maybe freaking a couple people out.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The candy monster is easily distracted by the television. So is Dipper.
  • Behind the Black: The left-sided man is always facing left.....at least for the camera. Other characters seem unable to see his other side even if they're standing in a position where they should be able to.
  • Brain Bleach: After Soos takes his shirt off and poses, Stan states that he's going to go scoop his eyes out with a melon baller.
  • Call Back: The monster in the first episode is eating the candy from Summerween.
  • Creepy Puppet: Bear-O, who's shown to make small children cry.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Stan went into the shower full dressed, waiting for Dipper to try and film his tattoo. Dipper even lampshades this.
  • Cyanide Pill: The creatures controlling the left-sided man all commit suicide using a similar method. Yeah, no clue how Disney let that one slide.
  • Description Cut: Inverted, but played for a similar effect. Sometime after we see Lazy Susan getting herself stuck spinning in circles to see if the Hide-Behind is behind her, Stan says that the people of Gravity Falls are "literally the dumbest people on Earth." Cut to Lazy Susan, still spinning in circles.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: According to the mailbox, it will take place in the year 3012.
    Dipper: Huh. We've got a while!
  • Exact Words: Why Stan claims with a straight face he doesn't have a tattoo. In "A Tale Of Two Stans" it turns out not to be a tattoo but an accidental brand.
  • Expy: The Hide-Behind's design was purposely similar to Groot's, to foreshadow the GotG movie.
    • It also resembles Slender, though that might not be intentional.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The candy monster also eats golf clubs.
  • Face Doodling: Stan writing the word "goober" on Dipper's forehead.
  • Fan Disservice: Soos without a shirt. Stan even lampshades it.
  • Fearsome Critters of American Folklore: The Hide-Behind is one of these figures.
  • For Science!: Dipper says this is the reason to capture the candy monster. This is apparently also the reason needs to get into Stan's shower to get a look at his tattoo.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Each short ends with a snap-shot of part of a parchment with a coded message on it.
  • Funny Background Event: While Dipper is interviewing Manly Dan in "The Hide-Behind", Dan's sons are cutting down a tree... and accidentally bring it down on a cabin.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: After coming to the conclusion that the Hide-Behind was a myth and walked away, it showed up on the camera following him.
  • Getting Hot in Here: Dipper and Soos try to get Stan to take his shirt off by cranking up the thermostat.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Mabel's drawings suggest that she suspects the left-sided man to be one.
  • Implausible Deniability: Stan seems to mention the tattoo he has, but apparently says it doesn't exist.
  • Instant Home Delivery: The magic mailbox functions this way.
  • Leave the Camera Running: After failing to find evidence of the Hide-Behind, Dipper assumed it didn't exist and walked away from his camera that was still recording...which caught footage of the Hide-Behind.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: The left-sided man turns out to be one.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Mabel hadn't intervened with her home video in "The Mailbox", Dipper could've learned everything about the journals' author. Something of a fate-driven Foregone Conclusion, though, as it would've spoiled a big plot point of the then-upcoming Season 2.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: Invoked when Stan turns on the shower while still wearing his suit, knowing that Dipper would interrupt in hopes of a glimpse of his tattoo.
  • Properly Paranoid: Mabel mentions that she thinks Dipper has a few screws loose regarding his suspicion of the left-sided man.
  • Real After All: Dipper concludes that the Hide-Behind is just a myth. The last few seconds of the footage said otherwise.
  • Right Behind Me: The location of the Hide-Behind. All the time. Seriously, all the time. The entire short featuring the Hide-Behind is about actually getting it onscreen for a second. Note that to pull this off, the Hide-Behind possesses speed that nearly reaches Flash Step. But through a meta performance of Loophole Abuse, the creators of the show let us know what the Hide-Behind looks like by filming the backs of the Pine Twins as they walk away.
  • Sanity Slippage: Stan slowly starts to get more and more ballistic when Dipper tries to see his tattoo.
  • Shirtless Scene: Soos has one, much to Stan's disgust.
    Stan: "Watch the shop for a minute, Soos. I need to go find a melon-baller and pull my eyes out."
  • Sitting on the Roof: "Stan's Tattoo" ends with Dipper sitting on the roof, hiding from Stan.
  • Surreal Horror: The Hide-Behind. It hides behind things so nobody will see it, has a tall, slender shape, is totally black aside from yellow "eyes", and it's hard to tell if it has any malicious intent or not.
  • That's No Moon!: The island in the middle of the lake is actually a giant head slumbering underneath.
  • Truth in Television: The Hidebehind is a "real" creature from American folklore.
  • The Unreveal: We never see Stan's tattoo. Based on the show's penchant for keeping major reveals hidden until later and hints from the online game, it might be involved with the Myth Arc.
    • Indeed, in "A Tale of Two Stans", the tattoo is revealed as a scar caused while fighting his brother and getting burned by the paneling of the dimensional portal.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Many have questioned what happened to Dipper's camera or if it was just left in the woods.