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Broken Base / Gravity Falls

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  • Fans struggling to decide who is "correct" between Dipper and Mabel's differing perspectives has caused this multiple times throughout the series. Depending on which side fans are on, Mabel is either the "good" twin or the "dumb" twin, and Dipper is either the "bad" twin or the "smart" twin. Ironically, the show has gone out of its way to imply that these labels being used towards them in-series have actually been quite limiting and damaging to both twins' sense of self. ("If I'm not the smart guy/a good person, who am I?")
    • There's also division over which of them is more selfish, which began around "The Time Traveler's Pig" and had only grown since.
  • Mabel ended up becoming the main focal point of controversy after "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", becoming possibly the biggest base breaking character of the series: detractors felt Mabel had been too selfish, rarely faced consequences for her actions, learned nothing from her mistakes, and fell back into her impulses often, while defenders cited that she was just a kid and that she showed signs of maturing in the finale. Fans so intensely debated Mabel's character even years after the fact that an Interquel story in Gravity Falls: Lost Legends attempted to address her negative traits and clarify that she eventually admitted to her role in Weirdmaggedon and had indeed begun to mature at the end of Gravity Falls, simultaneously again addressing the fact that she can be very self-centered. However, the offscreen nature of Mabel's confession of culpability in that comic, Dipper's rejection of the apprenticeship still standing, and whether or not the post-cartoon side story focus was too little, too late for her character continues to divide fans.
  • Waddles has a big fanbase who find him cute, and love the dynamic between him and Mabel, but he also has detractors who believe that he causes Mabel to become selfish when he's around.
  • Robbie has fans who see him as a great recurring Foil to Dipper, and others who dislike him and see him as a Jerkass and The Bully. He also suffers from inevitable Die for Our Ship at the hands of Wendy/Dipper fans.
  • Wendy falls into this, as some fans felt she doesn't fit with the rest of the ensemble, and believes she only exists for Dipper to have a quasi-love interest.
    • Happens again when some fans felt Wendy Took a Level in Jerkass in "The Love God", where she, Nate and Lee get mad when they learn that Tambry and Robbie are dating, and agrees with Nate and Lee on not going to the Woodstock Festival together despite Dipper and Thompson's pleas (especially Thompson, who did not want to go back to being friendless and even sold his watch to get tickets, not much to Wendy, Nate, and Lee's concern).
  • While Stanford Pines' introduction was well-received, arguments that he's The Scrappy and a Jerkass was fairly common, considering that he held bitterness towards Stan for decades from a mishap on his chance to get into his dream college.
    • He falls into this again in "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", when he asks Dipper if being a twin is "suffocating" and projects his own frustrations about his relationship with Stan onto Dipper and Mabel. Or, alternatively, when he gave Dipper a chance to develop as an individual and live separately from his sister, unwittingly causing a huge division between him and Mabel.
    Episodes 
  • "The Last Mabelcorn." While many praise its empowering message about how others' judgments do not decide who you are, some fans saw the unicorn's "pure of heart" requirement being a scam as the writers deliberately dodging a good opportunity for Mabel to have some character development via self-awareness, essentially calling the twist a cop out. Alternatively, it has been interpreted by some as a poorly done Take That, Critics!, considering the way it handles those who criticize Mabel.
    Wendy: Mabel's a straight up saint, you judgmental hoofbag!
  • The moral in "Roadside Attraction" has caused this, with some seeing the episode as a good depiction of the complexities and issues with flirting and pick-up artists as a whole, and others seeing its insistence that Dipper is entirely in the wrong for the girls' misunderstanding as unapologetically Anvilicious and one-sided.
  • At the end of "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", fans became divided over who is at fault for the rift breaking (figuratively and literally): Is Ford liable when he insisted in not communicating the danger to anyone but Dipper, and not applying the adhesive immediately to the Rift? Is Dipper responsible for not talking with Mabel and getting her input before making a life-changing decision that would obviously impact her too? Or is Mabel accountable for getting mad at Dipper for exercising his right to decide his own future, and for trying to freeze Gravity Falls in time so she wouldn't have to deal with her problems? Even Stan has been brought into the debate, since he's the one who indirectly created the Rift in the first place. Ironically enough, the blame gets placed on the Pines family more than on Bill Cipher, the one character who planned and caused the Apocalypse on purpose.
  • After "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", some fans see Dipper and Mabel's relationship previous to Ford's arrival as the ideal sibling relationship that they should be trying to return to, and see Ford's offer for Dipper to live with him separately from Mabel as a horrible thing (since their refreshing, loving, non-squabbling sibling team-up is one of the things that drew people into the show). Others interpret Ford's offer as him trying to provide a way for Dipper to grow out of the pattern of unhealthy co-dependence and identity issues being a twin has given both him and his sister—something Stan and Ford didn't manage to do peacefully, hence their awful relationship as adults.
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