Recap: Gravity Falls S 1 E 4 The Hand That Rocks The Mabel

Hey Mabel, wanna go on another date with Gideon? No pressure or anything.

The fourth episode of Gravity Falls.

An alleged psychic called Li'l Gideon has come to town and Soos, Dipper, and Mabel go to see his show against Grunkle Stan's wishes. The psychic turns out to be a little kid who fails to demonstrate any actual powers in his show, leaving Dipper unimpressed. Li'l Gideon and Mabel start hanging out, and soon Gideon is asking Mabel out for a real date. Mabel is reluctant, wanting to remain friends, but agrees to one date so her new friend won't be sad. She keeps getting pressured into more dates and becomes increasingly distressed by her inability to return to just being friends until Dipper offers to break things off with Gideon for her. Dipper breaks the news to Gideon, who claims not to be upset. Later, Li'l Gideon lures Dipper into a trap and reveals that his lucky bolo tie amulet grants him supernatural powers. He tries to eliminate Dipper, whom he sees as being in the way of him and Mabel being together. Mabel arrives just in time to save her brother, smashing Gideon's power source. Li'l Gideon vows revenge and leaves. As the Pines family mock Gideon, the child looks through a journal like Dipper's, marked 2, for ideas.


This Gravity Falls episode provides examples of:

  • And Then I Said:
    Gideon: ...And so I said "Autograph your own head shot lady". Ahaha!
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing/Stalker with a Crush: Lil' Gideon.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During Gideon's song, he faces the camera and winks, saying, "And thanks for visiting."
  • Captain Obvious: The 'predictions' Gideon makes during his show;
    Gideon: You wish your son would call you more
    Old lady with a cat: I'm leaving everything to my cats!
    Gideon: I sense that you've been here before
    Sheriff Blubs, covered in Gideon merch: What gave it away?
    Gideon: I'll read your mind if I'm able / Somethin' tells me your name's Mabel
    Mabel, wearing a sweater with MABEL stitched on: How did he do that?
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Dipper apologizes to Toby Determined for accusing him of murder in "Headhunters".
    • Mabel is seen wearing the llama sweater that Wax Larry King suggested she wear in the previous episode.
    • The S on the Mystery Shack is still detached from the previous episode.
  • Creepy Doll: Gideon has a whole toy line of them.
  • Dartboard of Hate: A photograph of Stan riddled with darts hangs in Li'l Gideon's house.
  • Disproportionate Retribution/Misplaced Retribution: When Dipper breaks up with Gideon in Mabel's stead, Gideon's response was to try to kill Dipper.
  • Distressed Dude: Dipper has to be saved from being killed by Gideon.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mabel tells Gideon they can still be friends after turning him down. She was lying to get the amulet from him; after she gets it, she tells him there's no way she'll be friends with someone who just tried to murder her brother.
  • Ghost Butler: When Gideon lures Dipper to the old cliff-side factory, the first thing he does is slam the door shut.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Gideon pressures Mabel into continuing to date him with these, like training a parrot to squawk out an invitation to a dance, or setting off fireworks that spell out her name.
  • Ignored Epiphany: A minor one, Played for Laughs: Wendy, when listing off her old boyfriends, realizes that she isn't sure if she actually broke up with one of them, and "No wonder he keeps calling me!" She then gets a call, glances at her phone, rolls her eyes at whatever she sees and casually presses "Ignore".
  • Nice to the Waiter: The aversion of this trope is the first hint that Gideon is not a Nice Guy.
  • Noodle Incident: Stan apparently wound up in a Colombian jail at some point.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Subverted. While twins and Stan are mocking Gideon for being harmless after he losing his amulet, Gideon is revealed to have instructions for rebuilding it. It's not yet clear if he will use them or settle for something else.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Gideon when dumped by Mabel.
  • Not-So-Phony Psychic: Li'l Gideon uses obvious tricks in his shows, but actually does have telekinetic powers thanks to his magic amulet, and more occult knowledge from the second journal.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Gideon takes Mabel on one.
  • One Scene, Two Monologues: The conversation between Wendy and Mabel starts with them talking to each other but then turns into Wendy recounting all the guys she's dumped while Mabel realizes she should break up with Gideon herself.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: In-Universe: for Mabel and Gideon, Soos hesitates between "Mabideon", "Gideabel", and "Magidbelion".
  • Puppy Love: Li'l Gideon's crush on Mabel.
  • Psychic Powers: Gideon pretends to have telepathy and an amulets of his actually gives him telekinesis.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Parodied during Gideon's Chair Reveal, as he's holding a stuffed doll of himself.
  • Security Blanket/Happy Place: When Mabel buries her face into her sweater and escapes into "Sweatertown."
  • Shear Menace: Gideon telekinetically pulls out a pair of his own brand of lamb shears, and intended to use them to murder Dipper or at least cut his tongue out.
    Dipper: [Mabel]'s, never gonna date you, man!
    Gideon: That's a lie. And I'm gonna make sure you never lie to me again.
  • Shipper on Deck: Everybody save Dipper wants Mabel and Gideon together.
  • Shout-Out: The inside of "The Club" looks identical to the Black Lodge on Twin Peaks, another show dealing with unusual and supernatural occurrences in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. The naming would also imply a nod to "One-Eyed Jacks" a club/casino/brothel on that show.
    • The title is a reference to The Smiths song "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle".
  • Shoot the Messenger: When Dipper tells Gideon that Mabel no longer wishes to "date" him, he assumes that Dipper is the one who is keeping them apart and attempts to kill him.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Apparently, Gideon is Stan's "mortal enemy".
  • The Exit Is That Way: Soos expects this when Stan storms out of the room. He's disappointed when it turns out Stan did not walk into a closet.
    Soos: Nope. Real door.
  • Twitchy Eye: Gideon gets this when Dipper tells him that Mabel doesn't want to see him anymore.
  • We Will Meet Again: Gideon after Mabel defeat him by destroying the amulet.
    Gideon: My powers! Oh this isn't over. This isn't the last you'll see of wittle...ol' me...
  • Wham Shot: Gideon has the second volume of the journal that Dipper found.
  • Wimp Fight: Dipper and Gideon manage to have one in mid-air after falling out the window of the cliff-side factory.
  • Yandere: Gideon.
  • You Monster!: "Grunkle Stan was right about you, you ARE a monster!"