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Aesop / Gravity Falls

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Every episode of the show has at least one aesop, and they're woven relatively subtly into the narratives to boot:

  • "Tourist Trapped":
    • Do not go into the woods alone with a guy you just met.
    • Even when you're stuck in an unfamiliar or undesirable place - such as a decaying Oregonian tourist trap - still try to make the best of your circumstances.
    • It's always better to have someone who's got your back. Trust in them.
  • "The Legend of the Gobblewonker": Spend some time with your elders - they'll appreciate it and you might have more fun that you assume.
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  • "Headhunters": Don't let others tell you you're not good enough to do something.
  • "The Hand that Rocks the Mabel":
    • If you're feeling uncomfortable about where a relationship is going, it's okay to set boundaries and say "no". Even if someone is incredibly nice to you, you are under no obligation to go out with them if you don't like them like that. And if they don't take "no" for an answer or pressure you into saying "yes" when you don't really want to, they're not actually nice, nor are they actually your friend.
    • Confront the problem yourself. Adding a third party brings unnecessary complications.
  • "The Inconveniencing": Sometimes, what sounds really cool in theory isn't that much fun when you actually try it, particularly when it's just done as an attempt to impress others.
  • "Dipper vs. Manliness": Even if nobody backs you up, don't be afraid to do what's right.
    • Don't hold yourself up to somebody else's concept of "manliness" or other ideals, at the cost of what you truly value.
  • "Double Dipper":
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    • If you like someone and want to ask them out, don't be afraid to just talk to them about it.
    • Your real friends will stick by you no matter what happens.
  • "Irrational Treasure": Don't dismiss someone's abilities just because you don't think they're important or useful. A person is unique the way they are and shouldn't have to change for someone else's approval.
  • "The Time Traveller's Pig": You can't always get what you want without taking something away from someone else. Sometimes you have to make a choice, even if it means putting another's happiness above your own.
  • "Fight Fighters": Face things you don't like or are afraid of with grace rather than trying to run away, but Know When to Fold 'Em when you surpass your abilities.
  • "Little Dipper":
    • Don't let your insecurities blind you to your accomplishments.
    • If someone is better than you at something, be mature and let them have their victory. If you're better than them, don't rub it in their face.
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  • "Summerween": Don't be in a hurry to grow up too fast. Maturity does not have to mean letting go of the things you love.
  • "Boss Mabel":
    • Don't get greedy. Know when to settle for what you have already as opposed to unwisely taking a gamble on it all.
    • Sometimes a boss has to be tough and enforce discipline to make a business work, and employees need to be understanding when on the receiving end of that toughness.
  • "Bottomless Pit": Four.
    • Voice Over: Your personal qualities might not be perfect, but they're yours.
    • Soos' Really Great Pinball Story (Is That A Good Title? Do They Have To Be Puns Or Whatever?): Don't cheat, and don't be selfish.
    • Grunkle Stan Wins the Football Bowl: Old people might not always be as useless as you think they are.
    • This story was actually presented as a joke- it's an absurd scene given without context. In this meta mindset: self-aggrandizement does not make you look good, and is usually obvious and tacky.
    • Trooth Ache: Sometimes, you have to tell a little white lie to spare the feelings of others.
    • Though one of these lies was covering up tax fraud, so whether it was really "little" is up for interpretation.
  • "The Deep End": Don't do something without thinking it through. It can lead to doing something needlessly that you will regret.
  • "Carpet Diem":
    • Don't make important decisions when you're angry, you'll say things you'll regret.
    • Don't ignore your old friend's feelings just because you made some new ones.
  • "Boyz Crazy":
    • You should help someone for the sake of making them happy, not for personal gain.note 
    • Exposing your love interest's boyfriend as a jerk so she'll break up with him does not automatically make her "available" for you. You should also understand the border between needing a friend and needing a lover.
  • "Land Before Swine": Lying about something, then trying to perpetuate the lie even though you or someone else might get hurt, is a bad idea.
  • "Dreamscaperers": When parents are tough on their children, it's not always out of malice. Don't take it personally when they're trying to give you the discipline you need to grow strong.
  • "Gideon Rises":
    • True value comes from within, and not from the tools you use to do the job.
    • Fame is a fickle mistress and will abandon you when the chips are down.
  • "Scaryoke":
    • Not telling someone the full truth to protect them could very easily backfire. Best to just be upfront with them about the danger and help them deal with it in a safe, intelligent way rather than risk them stumbling across it on their own and going in completely blind.
    • Don't let your ambitions blind you to potential bad consequences. Think before taking a risk.
  • "Into The Bunker": If you're attracted to someone, don't be afraid to be honest about your feelings. Be aware, however, that they may not return the sentiment, and don't let it ruin your friendship.
  • "The Golf War":
    • Grudges and rivalry will only lead to misery, and the only way to truly end them is to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek.
    • Be careful when getting involved in other people’s disputes, or letting others get involved in yours. Make sure you're doing it for the right reasons, because playing one side against the other for your own gain isn't only deceitful, it's dangerous.
    • And of course, Cheaters Never Prosper.
  • "Sock Opera":
    • Don't take for granted the people that care about you for your ambitions. Any working relationship is built on compromise; one party should never be the only one making sacrifices.
    • Also, be wary of making deals with people who have only been malicious and taken advantage of you in the past. There's a good chance they're out to swindle you again.
  • "Soos and the Real Girl":
    • Don't lock yourself away from the world. A video game is no substitute for real personal interaction. Meeting new people is easier than you might think.
    • Pay attention to red flags. Envy is never any good and can cause more trouble than its worth.
  • "Little Gift Shop of Horror": The episode in general parodies this theme with several Family Unfriendly Aesops. However, each segment does contain a secondary actual aesop as well.
    • Hands Off: Someone who seems cruel or heartless at first glance might only be that way because they're lonely. Don't be too quick to judge before you know a person.
    • Abaconings: Intelligence is meant to enrich your life, not drag it down. Some people are perfectly happy living a simpler lifestyle, so don't assume something is dumb because it's not what you yourself would have picked.
    • Clay Day: Don't be afraid to face your fears. Not every fear is irrational, but panic never helped anyone.
  • "Society Of The Blind Eye": When confronted with uncomfortable, disturbing or even frightening truths, it is better to confront them and learn from the experiences than to forget, otherwise the consequences may hurt you and or others, and you'll make the same mistakes again because you didn't learn. So true if people watched the credits, as McGucket starts to remember who wrote the journals.
  • "Blendin's Game":
    • Your family is made up of the people who love and care about you, not necessarily the people you share blood with. If somebody truly doesn't care about you, don't get hung up over them. Even if they're a parent, if they don't think you're worth their time, they're not worth yours.
    • To hold a grudge is easy and might seem satisfying at the time, but forgiveness can change a life.
  • "The Love God":
    • If somebody you know is in a happy relationship that you're not necessarily comfortable with, the best thing to do is take the selfless route and be happy for them.
    • Everybody deserves compassion, even people who haven't necessarily shown it to you. Even if somebody's a jerk, they still have feelings, and often showing them kindness is the best way for them to start growing into better people.
    • You must always consider the consequences of your actions. Just because you have the best of intentions for someone, it doesn't always mean that what you're doing is positive.
    • Alternatively, before you make a decision, you should consult anyone who might be involved or try to get a second opinion from someone before following your plan. Mabel's plan would have worked without much of a problem if she had only talked to Wendy first or brought up her plan with Wendy and her friends.
  • "Northwest Mansion Noir/Mystery":
    • You don't have to inherit the flaws of your parents. Growing up means making a choice to be who you want to be, not necessarily who you're expected to be.
    • Don't judge a person by their cover. Chances are, when you get to know them, they're more complex and interesting than you thought they were, or could turn out worse than you imagine.
    • Rash decisions made for short-term gain may have disastrous long-term consequences.
  • "Not What He Seems"
    • Don't assume the worst. Doing so will only cause more unnecessary grief.
    • If you have a secret that needs to be said to your loved ones, say it before it's too late.
  • "A Tale of Two Stans"
    • Holding a grudge against someone will make a situation far worse than it is in the future.
    • Being single minded isn't always a good thing; you need to consider the thoughts and feelings of others before following your plan.
    • Before being angry with someone, give them a chance to explain themselves before you do something you'll regret.
    • Be happy with what you have and try not to be depressed or angry about not having more.
  • "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons":
    • Just because you think something isn't cool doesn't mean you shouldn't try it. Who knows? You might end up having more fun than you thought.
    • Also just because you don't share someone's interests doesn't mean you should mock them having those interests.
  • "The Stanchurian Candidate"
    • Don't forget to appreciate the people you have.
    • Don't dismiss people's advice straight away. They might be able to contribute something valuable.
    • Alternatively, if someone doesn't want to take your advice, their decision should be respected, even if it means leaving them to make their own mistakes.
  • "The Last Mabelcorn"
    • Nobody shares the same opinion. Just because someone thinks and speaks negatively of you doesn't mean that everyone shares that mindset.
    • Don't force yourself to live up to someone else's arbitrary standards of purity.
    • Having flaws or making mistakes doesn't make you a horrible person. What matters are your intentions.
  • "Roadside Attraction"
    • It's okay to have to have self-confidence, but you need to understand your limit.
    • Self-confidence is one thing, but don't confuse it with being cocky or treating others poorly. Flirting or expressing an interest in people when you don't really mean it will hurt people.
    • Sometimes attention and affection can come to the wrong person at the wrong time, as they may not understand the consequences of their actions.
    • If someone is constantly nice and flattering to you, then they might actually be too good to be true.
  • "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future"
    • Trust in people. If there's important information on the line - especially if it affects them - they deserve to know before they accidentally do something you'll both regret.
    • Don't make important decisions when you're scared, angry, or upset; you won't think clearly. Also, trying to run away from a problem will only make it worse.
    • Be mindful that your decisions, good and bad, have consequences. Even if you do what you think is right, you might still hurt someone's feelings. Also, everyone has to make peace with their own choices.
    • As hard as it is, everyone has to grow up someday, but it doesn't mean you have to grow apart. Also, summer eventually ends and change is inevitable.
  • "Weirdmageddon Part 1"
    • Never give up hope, even when you're told you can't do something. If told so by your enemies, especially keep this in mind; it may be a form of discouragement.
    • It's never too late to change to do the right thing, at least to prevent things from getting worse.
    • You can't force someone to love you. When they say they're not interested in you, it's not a challenge to prove yourself or done as an act of malice. Just accept their decision and move on.
  • Weirdmageddon Part 2: Escape From Reality
    • While sadness and tragedy is one of the worst things you can go through, it does define who your true friends are.
    • Fantasy will only numb the pain of reality and will not make it stop. You need to confront your problems before they get worse, rather than retreat from them.
    • Life is hard and rough, but you can get through it with the help of friends and family.
  • Weirdmageddon Part 3: Take Back The Falls
    • Never give up or surrender to threats, and always have a backup plan for when your plan fails.
    • Always be grateful to those who helped you in the past, and try to repair broken bonds as soon as possible.
    • Childhood should never be wasted, and you should always try to use as much as time as you can with friends and loved ones.

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