Recap / Gravity Falls S 1 E 13 Boss Mabel
Mabel's in charge. God Help Us All...

Despite her buoyant and energetic optimism, can Mabel handle the pressure when Grunkle Stan challenges her to run the Shack for three days?

Tropes in this episode:

  • An Aesop: You can't be a good boss without knowing when to be aggressive and tough (like Stan), but it doesn't hurt to be nice and polite at other times (like Mabel).
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Dipper wears one as part of his Wolf Boy costume.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Questiony, the question mark, Soos's mascot's idea. The costume was very revealing and left him Exposed to the Elements. And no one suggested just a unitard underneath it in a contrasting color.
  • Benevolent Boss: Mabel starts as this until she snaps at Wendy's idleness and Soos's mediocrity at just 7 hours from the time limit.
  • The Bet: Stan and Mabel make a wager:
    • If Mabel earns more money running the Shack than Stan can in three days while on vacation, he'll let her be boss for the rest of the summer and sing an "apology song" that Mabel wrote.
    • If Stan returns from his three days vacation with more money than Mabel could earn, Mabel will have to wear a "Loser" t-shirt all summer.
    • After Mabel begins acting aggressive like Stan and Dipper using underhanded tactics, they got a net worth of $1 (having to deduct the damages done by the Gremloblin). However, Stan lost all the money he made in a 'double or nothing' segment on Cash Wheel. The word he failed to guess was please, the word he mocked that wouldn't earn money. Mabel and everyone else agree that Mabel will not run the Shack as she realizes the responsibility. Nevertheless, he still does the apology dance. Funnier still, he has to repeat it until he gets it right, taking at least 31 tries.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: "Part gremlin, part goblin. THE GREMLOBLIN!"
  • Break the Cutie: Mabel just does not get a break in this episode until she starts becoming Stan.
  • Brick Joke: "Please."
  • The Chains of Commanding: Mabel learned the hard way how tough it is being the boss. The cryptogram in the stinger even translates into "HEAVY IS THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE FEZ."
  • Comically Missing the Point: Mabel did not quite get Stan's joke about the complaint department.
  • Conspicuous CG: The "Cash Wheel", whenever someone spins it.
  • Cue Card Pause: See Who Writes This Crap?! below.
  • Dark Reprise: As Mabel's running herself ragged, a grim/frantic instrumental version of "Mabel's the Boss" plays in the background.
  • Eye Color Change: When people look into the Gremloblin's eyes, their eyes change to a bright yellow to match his.
  • Fatal Flaw: Stan mocked the idea of using the word "please" for anything, and that he'd never be able to get money using the word. By trying to double his cash out of greed and losing it all because he didn't know the word, he lost the bet he so smugly made with Mabel.
  • Game Show Appearance: Grunkle Stan tries to win the bet by making an appearance on Cash Wheel.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Mabel at the end got to start to be as demanding as Stan (and ended saying the same things as he and getting a backache) to get the Mystery Shack repaired at time.
    • Dipper got to dress as Stan and learn to be a Con Artist to get the tourists' money.
    • The Gremloblin's worst fear is apparently becoming like his father.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    Stan: If you throw money at him, he dances.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Mabel snaps her troll-pen when she finally loses her temper with Wendy and Soos.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Gremloblin's eyes glow yellow when people look into them and see their worst nightmare.
  • Hobbes Was Right: As soon as Mabel cuts the shack employees some slack, Soos and Dipper's ideas turn out to be terrible and Wendy stops doing any work at all.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dipper defeated the Gremloblin using a mirror to make him project its own worst nightmare.
  • I Am Not My Father: The gremloblin's worst nightmare is that he becomes his father.
  • Ironic Echo: Stan can't see how knowing to say "please" will give you money. It turns out that was the winning word in the "double or nothing" segment on Cash Wheel and he ended losing everything.
  • Jerkass:
    • Stan takes his jerkassery Up to 11 in this episode. Heck, it's the reason he ended up on the game show in the first place.
    • Also Mabel has to become one in order to make any kind of profit.
    • Wendy Took a Level in Jerkass as well when she used Mabel's fear of being like Stan to have a paid day off, and Mabel just asked her politely to do her job.
  • Lady in a Power Suit: Taking advice from a business book from The '80s, Mabel wears a business suit with oversized shoulder pads.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • As Stan proceeds to get naked after managing to spin a "Cash Shower", the "Cash Wheel" host desperately runs to block out the camera's view while yelling to cut to commercial. While we don't do that, we do cut to the next scene.
    • Also, Stan's line "It's good to be back" was used in the trailer for the first episode after a long hiatus.
  • Mind Rape: Looking into the eyes of the Gremloblin will show you your greatest fear.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Grunkle Stan stripping down for his Cash Shower.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Mable gave the Gremloblin a key for it's cage, so that it could take a break. It promptly trashes the Mystery Shack upon letting itself out of the cage.
  • No Longer with Us: Soos makes this misunderstanding when he finds Mabel in Stan's office.
    Mabel: Stan is no longer with us...
    Soos: He's dead?! Oh, it should have been me!
  • No, You: After Stan and Mabel make their bet.
    Stan: You got yourself a deal, missy!
    Mabel: No, you got yourself a deal!
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Dipper singlehandedly manages to capture the Gremloblin, a creature that can Mind Rape you if you look into its eyes and happens to be larger than any of the adults seen on the show.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Mabel sports a really dorky pair when she first becomes boss.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After a horrible day working at the shack and dealing with the Gremgoblin, Mabel asks Soos and Wendy to help clean up the wrecked shack. When the two refuse to help, Mabel absolutely snaps:
    Mabel: ENOUGH!! I have had it! I fought a monster to save this business! And this is how you repay me?! I'm gonna get an ulcer from your lollygagging!
    Wendy: "Lollygagging"?
    Soos: "Ulcer"? You're acting different...
    Mabel: You shut your yaps! (Soos and Wendy gasp) I've been doing everyone's jobs while you bums have been bleeding me dry! (Wendy tries to interject) No butts except yours on the floor cleaning! Now quit loafing and get to work!
    Wendy: (Fearfully) Yes, Mabel.
    Mabel: That's "YES, BOSS!" (Slams her fist on the desk and Stan's fez falls perfectly on her head)
  • Raised by Wolves: A wolf family has apparently invited Soos to join them.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Dipper shows a pair of tourists the Gremgoblin. They think it's fake.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Mabel, when Grunkle Stan says to "tell it to the complaints department" and then holds up a trash can.
    Mabel: I'm going to write them such a letter.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: Mabel offered Wendy a hand to improve her working situation, Wendy took the whole arm; even after seeing the shack ruined, she was about to flee out of work until Monday with the excuse of a headache instead of helping until Mabel snapped and turned all Stan on her butt.
  • The Last Straw: Hearing that Stan shot down Soos's idea for a Mystery Shack mascot is what drove Mabel to challenge Stan.
  • Trash the Set: The Mystery Shack is thoroughly trashed, first by Wendy's friends making a mess, then by the rampaging Gremloblin. Repairing the damage means that Mabel only manages to make one dollar after three days.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Played with when we briefly see the tourists from Stan's point of view. They're all walking, talking wallets, and one of them vomits coins.
  • What Have I Become?:
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: “When fighting a Gremloblin, use water... (turns page) ...only as a last resort, because water will make it much more scarier! AH! Who writes sentences like that?"
  • The World Is Not Ready: When Dipper captured a real monster to show in the shack, tourists didn't buy it over the fake attractions; Dipper proves them wrong by letting the monster Mind Rape them, and they end up hospitalized.
  • You Did the Right Thing: Dipper tells Mabel this after her What Have I Become? moment.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Mabel confronts Grunkle Stan with one of these when she gets tired of his shabby treatment of his employees.