In a sort of screwed up way: "It's better this way for Paper Jam Dipper."
It's kind of hard not to feel bad for Tyrone when he dies.
Dipper: Tyrone! You were the only one who understood.
Mabel's confession in "Little Dipper" that the reason she kept lording her extra millimeter of height over Dipper is because he is so much better than her at so many other things and it was the first time she ever felt like she was winning at anything between them. Extra points for Dipper going through his scoreboard of all the games he has completely trounced her at over the summer.
In Dipper vs Manliness, while Dipper pulled a Cry Cute, it's so hard not to feel sad for him.
In "The Time Traveler's Pig", Dipper and Mabel meet a time traveler, and Dipper uses the time traveler's device to go back in time to ensure that he doesn't hit Wendy in the face with a baseball, and so that Robbie wouldn't ask her out. However, this requires Mabel's help, and because of this, Mabel misses out on winning a pig, who became her best friend. She's so distraught about it that she ends up losing her mind and left banging her head against a totem pole for at least a month (most likely far longer, if not permanently) until Dipper decides to set things right and lose out on a chance with Wendy.
As Dipper rambles about trying and failing to change the past...
Wendy: You lost me, dude.
Dipper: I know.
His whole reaction the first time Robbie asks her out is just soul-crushing.
Mabel giving Dipper the cold shoulder in Summerween, because she thought Dipper didn't care about her as much as he did for Wendy.
While Mabel feeling betrayed is bad enough, imagine how regretful Dipper was.
Also, Mabel's explanation why Dipper going trick-or-treating was so important to her: the twins are getting older and she's afraid there won't be many Halloweens left together.
And she seals off this by stating that she didn't realize until now that this one was going to be her last one. As if she's finally accepted that her brother is never going to trick or treat with her ever again. Wow..
Mabel: That's exactly why we need to, Dipper! We're getting older, there aren't that many Halloween's left...(sigh) I guess I didn't realize this was our last one...
It gets worse if you take it another way: that she had accepted the fact that they were all probably going to die.
Imagine playing in a game show, and you having hundreds of thousands of dollars. You decided to risk your money in a bonus question. However, you answer the question incorrectly. There goes your million dollars... Don't like that sad idea? Then don't watch the "Boss Mabel" episode.
Dipper taking everyone's teasing about his voice cracking to heart in "Bottomless Pit" and drinking the tonic that changes his voice only to freak everyone out and still not be accepted. By the end of the story, he's crying, being chased, and basically miserable. It's impossible to not wanna hug him when he goes back to the junkyard.
Dipper: I even sound ridiculous when I cry!
Stan's downer speech about life in "Bottomless Pit." Sure, it's hilarious in how abruptly out of nowhere it comes, but the thought that Stan secretly ponders such bleak things is pretty depressing.
That poor, poor kid stuck in solitary confinement in "The Deep End." He was completely forgotten about. For an entire year.
Mermando missing his family. It's hard not to feel for him when he makes that sad little dolphin squeak.
Mabel and Mermando's goodbye.
Mabel's little speech to Dipper towards the end can get to some people.
"Dipper! Don't you know what it's like to fall for someone... even though you know in your heart it'll probably never work out... but you would do anything for that person?"
Dipper and Mabel's confession that they never wanted to move out of their rooms. It leads to Dipper telling Mabel how he feels when she brings Candy and Grenda over so he has nobody to hang out with. It makes Dipper realize that Mabel is the closest thing he has to a friend his own age anywhere in Gravity Falls, and probably everywhere he's been.
Its very easy to miss, but the shocked look on Mabel's face when Dipper suggest they sleep in separate rooms. You can tell Mabel was hurt by the mere thought of Dipper not wanting to share a room with her.
Wendy's break-up with Robbie in "Boyz Crazy", and her response to Dipper after he asks her to hang out. Dipper treats it as his victorious moment without giving Wendy breathing space to deal with what is a tragic moment to her. Even if you rooted for Dipper from the beginning, you can't help but feel a little bad...
No love for Mabel? She's keeping Sev'ral Timez in her room even though Candy and Grenda are asking her to let them go. Mabel's response is that every boy she's fallen in love with has left her (Norman turning out to be gnomes and Mermando leaving to find his parents). And in the end she gets a massive guilt trip from a song which is enough to let the band go free.
That song Sev'ral Timez sang to Mabel, who basically kidnapped them and forced them into hiding and doing what she wanted. It was sad because A) the guys can't bear to show malice to the girl who actually rescued them, so they guilt-trip her, and B) they acknowledge that Mabel DOES care about them, while also expressing their need to be free.
Sev'ral Timez:(singing) Mabel girl, we know you love us so!
You can't help just wanting to give Dipper a hug when he thinks that Stan wants to get rid of him.
Whatever happened between Bill and the Author that took their relationship from " Bill has proven himself to be one of the friendliest and most trustworthy individuals that I've ever encountered in my life. What a guy! I honestly can't trust him more. Not evil in any way, Bill is a true gentleman" to large bloody red letters reading "Can't Be Trusted!" and "DO NOT SUMMON AT ALL COSTS!" must have really hurt the Author. Thinking about how the Author must have felt when "the friendliest and most trustworthy individual" they knew betrayed them is honestly heartbreaking.
In "Gideon Rises" - when Dipper and Mabel have to leave town, leaving Stan, Wendy, Candy, and Grenda behind. The latter two are holding each other sadly.
The fact that Wendy looks forlorn as the bus drives away really says something.
You can tell that things are at their Darkest Hour when they don't even make a joke at the act break.
Earlier, when Stan lies to Dipper and Mabel's parents about the living conditions. You can see him slowly come to the conclusion, both during and after the phone call, that the situation is too much for the kids anymore.
Poor Waddles cowering in fear of Gideon when he shouts at him to get back in his corner.
Notice how Mabel's legs are tucked into her sweater on the bus ride. She's in Sweater Town.
Dipper and Mabel desperately trying to hold on to each other as the Gideon-bot picks them up.
Gideon's taunting of Dipper in this episode was just awful, especially if you've ever thought little of yourself. Gideon is just rubbing it in Dipper's face that he's a weak little kid, which is Dipper's worst fear.
Gideon: What are you gonna do? No muscles, no brains...face it, kid! You're nothing without this [journal].
Stan receiving all three books, as it's revealed that Stan really does know more than he lets on, and that he just unlocked a secret that might change Gravity Falls as we know it is sure to shed some Manly Tears.
After all these years...finally. I/we have them all.
In Scary-oke, Dipper is very nearly eaten by zombies. If Grunkle Stan hadn't pulled a Big Damn Heroes moment, what would Dipper's last words have been?
Dipper: Mabel, I'm sorry!
Into the Bunker has Dipper's struggle to tell Wendy how he feels. He pulls out of an attempt while watching a movie at her house, ultimately deciding against doing it all together by the time the adventure proper has started; but Mabel intervenes and, before long, Dipper ends up letting it slip. As expected, the age gap between them means that (for now at least), they'll just be friends. However, the Heartwarming kicks in when she reveals she wasn't bothered, but actually quite flattered and lets him down gently.
The circumstances under which Dipper reveals his crush to Wendy. After a confrontation with Experiment 210, Dipper finds Wendy on the ground, unresponsive. Believing her to be hurt or possibly dead, he ends up admitting his love for her out of guilt and begins crying. That fact that the real Wendy was fine and the unconscious Wendy was really 210 hardly diminishes the moment.
The whole sequence with Big Henry in "Golf War". Like the infamous "Feed the Kitty" cartoon, an over-the-top scenario of hysterics wound up affecting some of the audience in ways the writers probably didn't expect. At the very least, this is the first cartoon to get you to cry over the death of a golf-ball gnome.
It's brief, but learning that Pacifica's father and mother are a couple of self-absorbed and neglectfulstage parents really puts the snobby girl's usual attitude in a sadder light.
Oh, but it's not so brief when it resurfaces in "Northwest Mansion Mystery", showing that it's even worse than that: her parents have mentally abused her via Pavlov's Dog-style conditioning to follow their snobby, selfish and heartless ways, without a single thought or care to her own feelings so long as she continues to make their family look "respectable" (in their terms of the word, of course.)
The whole scene is Harsher in Hindsight knowing the above. Preston tells Pacifica "Whatever happens, remember: you're a Northwest. Don't lose." When Pacifica returns home, a special light show and banner of congratulations are turned on for her. Putting two and two together, it means that Pacifica's parents knew the only reason Pacifica would even be returning home is if she had won. If she had lost, she would never come back since she understood perfectly well that her parents would disown her and thus wouldn't want her back.
A big portion of "Sock Opera", especially Dipper and Mabel arguing.
"Soos and the Real Girl" has Giffany telling Soos that no woman would ever want him and she's the best he can get. It strikes a sharp chord to anyone insecure about their personalities, anyone that feels alone or anyone that is or has been in a abusive relationship.
Giffany herself from the same episode. Her entire behavior just oozes of abandonment issues. Not to mention how this line comes across upon learning more about her and her backstory had more than one viewer genuinely feeling sorry for her. Especially with the above mentioned likely abandonment issues in mind.
Giffany:"And I'm sure you won't abandon me, new boyfriend."
Mabel's depressed reaction to Waddles becoming intelligent and leaving her behind to pursue science in "Little Gift Shop Of Horrors".
In "Society of the Blind Eye", Old Man McGucket's melancholy reaction to his reputation as a local kook. He's just lucid enough to know how much of an outcast he is. Not to mention the sequence at the end, where McGucket watches himself slowly go mad thanks to repeated use of the mind-erasing gun.
The translation to the cipher at the end of "Society of the Blind Eye".
GIDEON’S TANTRUMS, MISSPELLED TATTOOS,
SHANDRA’S REJECTIONS, SOCIETY’S VIEWS
A FEAR OF WITCHES, A LIFE OF REGRET,
THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT THEY TRY TO FORGET
In the same episode, Wendy admitting that her laid-back personality is actually a front for how stressed her family makes her.
Also in the same episode Dipper admits that he's not sure of his identity besides being the smart one.
Mabel bursting into tears at the beginning of the episode when she reads Mermando's letter, informing her of his arranged marriage, as well as the miserable look on Mermando's face in his picture. It's depressing to imagine a twelve year old kid being forced into a such a heavy burden, all to prevent a war.
In "Blendin's Game", we find out that Soos really dislikes celebrating his birthday. It turns out, he has a really good reason: his dad left him when he was four years old, and every year, on his birthday, he gets a half-hearted postcard from him that always says more or less the same thing: that he's "busy" and he'll be sure to show up next year. On his twelfth birthday, Soos finally had to face the fact that his dad was never going to come back, and ever since then, he's carried around that same old postcard, and a deep dislike for birthdays. Poor guy could really use a hug...
The way his dislike is revealed is no slouch in this department, either. He looks incredibly perturbed and loses a lot of his energy, awkwardly excusing himself like he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Even from that point, you know something went terribly wrong if Soos is acting like this.
Blink and you'll miss it, but if you pay very close attention during the time travel segments, you can spot the Gleefulls walking by with a newborn Gideon in a baby carriage. They look like a perfectly normal, happy family. Just... what happened...?
Thurop Van Orman recently sent this tweet, so we'll probably find out in a later episode.
"Love God" is pretty dour when you think of it. The hardest part to watch would be Wendy's group of friends being broken apart after Mabel uses a love potion on Tambry and Robbie.
Thompson's pleas to the group to not break apart, saying he'll be alone again without them.
If you think about it, Dipper's predicament in the episode. He was amazingly happy to be part of Wendy's social circle and they were as happy with him and Mabel there. Then everything went down.
Pacifica in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" is one little bundle of sad. During Dippers "Reason You Suck" Speech to the Northwests he calls out Pacifica for being no better than her parents and she is visably effected by it but she can't defend her actions because of her father, and can only blush in frustration at not being able to. Then she discovers that she comes from a family that has always been thieves, cheaters, and liars all she can do is sit in the dark flicking a flashlight. Also, the family portrait shows a young Pacifica...with a goofy smile very similar to Mabel's.
When she says to Dipper "You were right about me all along. I am just another link in the world's worst chain.", her voice actually cracks, as if she's doing all she can to hold back crying.
Dipper's horrified reaction when the mirror breaks and releases the ghost, who heads back to the party, putting Mabel in danger.
The ghost's story is pretty heartbreaking, and if he wasn't Ax-Crazy and out for Revenge, even on people who don't know the truth, it would be pretty easy to root for him.
To put it into perspective, the Lumberjack Ghost was commissioned along with many others by Pacifica's ancestor to build Northwest Manor, and in return a grand party would be held to honour their hard work. For what is implied to have taken at least a year, the construction took a hefty toll as many had died due to intense labour and cruel conditions of nature. In the end, the manor was complete, and those who had survived made their way to the promised party, only to be betrayed by the Northwests and cast out. Then to put icing on the cake, the Lumberjack demanded entry, only to be swept up in a mudslide, and be killed by an axe sent flying into his skull. How could you not understand this ghost's anger?
A minor one, but when Mabel, Candy, and Grenda get turned into trees, it shows that they spent their last moments yelling at each other without ever noticing the danger. Just imaginethat being your last true memory of your friends, and you're not even able to apologize afterwards.
This alternate ending to Sock Opera by tumblr user modmad is slightly more tragic than the official ending.
Oh, Markmak, how you tug at the heartstings sometimes. this and this are perfect testaments to that.
To elaborate, the first is the closest thing to a Foregone Conclusion we have until the show ends (though knowing this show, it could be different). The latter....well...let's just say you won't look at Waddles the same way again.
Undeadwanker's Depravity Falls AU, which among other things involves Bill possessing Mabel instead of Dipper, and then forcing Dipper to help him with his plans because of him loving his sister too much.
The Gravity Falls Gossiper Podcast, that managed to get Alex Hirsch to guest star as Grunkle Stan, has gone on a long hiatus, possibly cancelled because of the personal troubles of one of the co-hosts who just can't find the time to record it anymore.