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Index: The Mystery Shack (Dipper Pines | Mabel Pines | Grunkle Stan) | The Author | Main Antagonists | Bill Cipher | Adults of Gravity Falls | Youth of Gravity Falls | Creatures and other Oddities

Bill Cipher
"Oh, I know lots of things...
Voiced by: Alex Hirsch

"A darkness approaches. A day will come in the future where everything you care about will change... Until then I'll be watching you! I'll be watching you..."

A dangerous interdimensional dream demon that was summoned by Gideon in his efforts to take over the Mystery Shack. Bill Cipher is the true main antagonist of the series who works behind the scenes in the first season, becomes prominent in the second season, and (potentially) exists in a meta level than the rest of the show's cast. He is a jovial and sadistic trickster who makes devilish deals to get what he wants, and claims that something big will soon change the world...

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  • Above Good and Evil: Suggested heavily by Dipper and Mabel's Guide to Mystery and Nonstop Fun where he writes "Nostradamus was a hack! Morality is a mental cage designed by the weak! How's Annie?"
  • Achilles' Heel:
    • The one thing that keeps him from being more dangerous is that he's unable to leave the mindscape and doesn't possess a physical form. Among other things, this is keeping him from attacking the Time Baby.
    • "The Last Mabelcorn" reveals two more: Unicorn hair can act as a barrier to his magic, and in a quite ironic twist, the memory erasing gun McGucket created to get Bill's horrors out of his head turns out to also be a handy way to kick him out of a person he's possessing.
    • If Bill can't get out of the mind as it's being wiped, forced or not? He gets erased along with it, or weakened enough that the mind's subconscious can finish him off. This ends up being his final fate at the hands of Stanley.
    • Lastly, whatever force that's responsible for turning Gravity Falls into the haven for weirdness it is, it is apparently stronger than Bill as for all of his reality-shattering power, he cannot break out of this weirdness-attracting field.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: His home realm of existence, the Nightmare Realm. It is populated by many other Eldritch Abominations, who have been trapped there for one trillion years or more. Not only this, but Bill describes his dimension as "decaying". Naturally, they want out, and in "Dipper and Mabel vs. The Future", a gateway finally opens for them to the physical world, with the Nightmare Realm visible on the other side.
  • Action Figure Speech: When speaking, his body flashes slightly due to having no visible mouth.
  • The Ageless: He claims to have been trapped in his dimension for one trillion years, making him way way older than our universe. See Time Abyss, below.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of background information is dubiously revealed or implied by his Character Blog on Reddit.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: He's apparently the bigger fish to the Time Baby, and presumably the smaller fish to the Axolotl.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Was Bill's Motive Rant to Ford even true? Bill said himself he was a compulsive liar. Also, was Bill really Killed Off for Real or is he lying dormant in Stanley's mind?
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To the Time Baby. It's more evident when he is confronted by, and then obliterates Time Baby. For the most part, he treats his torments on the people of Gravity Falls as a game. But in the case of the Time Baby, his murder was a lot more malicious and spiteful.
    • In Journal 3, one of Bill's cryptograms mentions the Axolotlnote  and Time Baby in the same sentence, with Bill calling it the 'big frilly know it all,' implying Bill's relationship with it is similar to his and Time Baby's only the Axolotl gets the last laugh on Bill. The Axolotl's own words on Bill show if nothing else, it has a very low opinion of Bill in return.
    • On a lesser-scale, The Pines family. He manipulates Stanford into building a portal machine so he could bring Weirdmageddon through it; he antagonizes the Pines Twins, Dipper in particular; and lastly there's Stanley since he was the one who destroyed him.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Bill is both terrifying and the leader of the Eldritch Abominations for good reason, in "Weirdmaggedon Part 1" he conquers the entire town with his chaos magic and the help of his demonic friends, twists and mangles the face of Preston Northwest, immobilizes Stanford Pines and turns him into a golden statue/backscratcher, and completely obliterates the Time Baby.
  • Ax-Crazy: A psychopathic, omnicidal creature who enjoys pain and destruction.
    Gideon: You're insane!
    Bill Cipher: Sure I am. What's your point?
  • Back from the Dead: Bill invokes this trope in his backwards message just before he's destroyed by Stan: "A-X-O-L-O-T-L, my time has come to burn! I invoke the ancient power that I may return!" It's not clear whether this will hold true or not. Journal 3 references to The Axolotl as some sort of divine being, and axolotls are named after an Aztec god of death (and twins) called Xolotl. However, other materials imply this isn't so clear cut: apparently, the Axolotl is Bill's enemy, and he was both acting out of complete desperation and will have a price to pay for doing so.
  • Bad Boss: When things are going his way, he's the Life of the Party among his Henchmaniacs. When things turn sour, he starts randomly discharging his power in anger with no concern for their safety. He also insensitively tells his Henchmaniacs to "Walk it off!" when they were hurt slamming into the Force Field.
  • Badass Adorable: While his adorable personality is false, his appearance is still pretty cute, even when he does terrible things.
  • Badass in Charge: The leader of the Eldritch Abomination army that invades the earth and accomplishes quite a lot. He conquers the entire town with his chaos magic and the help of his demonic friends, twists and mangles the face of Preston Northwest, immobilizes Stanford Pines and turns him into a golden statue/backscratcher, and he completely obliterates the Time Baby.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: As "Bipper", he wears a snazzy reverend outfit. Even as a basic triangle, his black limbs, cane and bow-tie suggest a dapper outfit in a minimalistic sort of way.
  • Bait the Dog: Because he's funny, goofy and charismatic, the threat he presented wasn't immediately obvious to the characters or the fanbase until it was too late.
  • Been There, Shaped History: We don't get to see the full extent of his impact on the world, but he's been around for a long time, and he has been busy. Wherever you see the Eye of Providence or a similar symbol, that's a sure sign that Bill has been involved.
    • Also given the heavy use of triangles in their architecture and necessity of parts from their ship to build the dimensional portal Bill is heavily implied to have influenced the aliens who crashed in Gravity Falls.
  • Benevolent Boss: He's unfailingly nice to his Henchmaniacs at first...though then again, they're also every bit as insane and evil as he is. However, he's also been shown to summon a mini storm, not caring about their safety, and yell at them when things don't go his way.
  • Berserk Button:
    • It seems that he really hates his deals being broken. In his first appearance, Mabel's interference caused him to be unable to fulfill his end of the deal, which resulted in him lashing out at them in rage ("Do you know what I'm like when I'm MAD?"). In the flashback between him and Ford where the latter called him out, he's visibly annoyed while saying that "A deal's a deal".
    • Bill has a special kind of hatred for Time Baby, whom in his Reddit Q&A session he promised to see murdered in quite a horrible fashion. Come Weirdmageddon Part 1, he makes good on his word.
    • Bill seems to get really angry when his eye is damaged. He had plans to kill Mabel because she sprayed him in the eye.
    • Bill takes a lot of pride in his deals, he sees himself like the best bussinessman ever. Saying his deals are bad, is exactly like telling him, he doesn't know how to negotiate.
    • Bill despises being called a "pointy jerk". In fact he become a more demonic monster, in the moment Mabel said that.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's a rather silly-looking pyramid thing that wouldn't look out of place on a neon sign, and has a laid-back, jokey personality. He's also every bit as dangerous as his reputation suggests, and can make your life hell in a variety of inventive ways.
  • Big Bad: The main antagonist of season 2, and the entire series. Bill's goal is to unleash Weirdmaggedon, a "party that never ends" which would ultimately collapse space time in this dimension. He succeeds in "Dipper and Mabel vs the Future", when he possesses Blendin and tricks Mabel into giving him the dimensional rift, letting him enter this dimension in Gravity Falls. However, the "weirdness magnet" keeps him from leaving the valley Gravity Falls is located in. The rest of the series focuses on the denizens of Gravity Falls, lead by Dipper and Mabel, trying to stop Bill before he can escape the valley and take Weirdmaggedon on a "world tour".
  • Big Bad Ensemble: In his first episode, he teams up with Gideon. But his second appearance is entirely independent of Gideon.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's fairly affable if everything's going his way. Unfortunately, if he's talking to a normal human, that just means he's luring them into a false sense of security so he can manipulate them to his own ends. If things aren't going well for him as he wreaks his brand of carefree mayhem and he becomes even slightly inconvenienced, he's pissed.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: His eye doubles as his mouth. Also, in his Reddit AMA one user asked him about the length of the sides on his body, prompting him to respond with "THATS A SICK QUESTION YOU PERVERT".
  • Bizarre Alien Sexes: His home dimension has 14 billion different gender identities and there was paperwork involved in determining sexual orientation. He's not exactly been keeping track of his.
  • Breakout Villain: In season 1, he was originally a one-shot villain, but with so many cameo appearances and having some connections to the author, Ford Pines, he became the main and final villain of the entire series, also having a special intro of him succeeding.
  • Bright Is Not Good: His default form is a bright yellow triangle, and he lights his hand with vibrant blue flames when he's about to make a deal. His One-Winged Angel form in Weirdmageddon Part 3 is a red pyramid with glowing yellow arms.
  • Brown Note: "Bill Cipher" is a name he goes by to make his dealings with mortals easier — his real name would apparently turn a human to dust if said aloud.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He's fully aware that he's a madman and proud of it. Whether he's being directly antagonistic (Sock Opera) or not (Dreamscaperers), everything he does is without remorse and with insane glee.
  • Catchphrase: He's rather fond of saying 'Well, well, well' to start a conversation in a number of instances. Taken to a greater extent when he taunted Ford in his dream.
    Bill: Well, well, well, well, wellwellwellwellwellwellwell!
  • Character Blog: Bill has a Reddit account run by the show's staff, and did an AMA session with it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Bill appears as a Freeze-Frame Bonus at the very end of the opening theme, and the Eye of Providence itself is an Arc Symbol that sometimes appears as a drawing of him.
  • The Chessmaster: Bill has been engineering events for at least the last thirty years, all to complete his plan of merging his world with the real world, freeing him and his other nightmare demons. This was just the final and first successfully completed plan in a long line of plans executed since, presumably, the beginning of the universe. Previous plans included convincing a shaman to try and build a portal long before it was technologically feasible. When the shaman found Bill out, he set himself on fire ("DRAMA QUEEN"). Also, the original intention for Ford's portal was simply a gateway for Bill and Co. to pass through which Ford thought was for his own research purposes. After Ford spent thirty years in various dimensions, breaking the Rift the portal created upon his return became the new plan. As a Visual Pun, he's seen playing chess with Ford. Ford also writes in code in the journal after he discover's Bill's trickery, "INTERDIMENSIONAL CHESS ISN'T FUN WHEN YOU'RE A PAWN."
  • Chess Motifs: His first interaction with Ford included a chess game, where he played black and immediately cheated by going first.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: During his Shapeshifter Swan Song, Bill keeps spawning various forms of himself in a last ditch effort to break out of Stanley's mind before it's erased, but the erasure screws all of them up so badly that he can't even maintain them for more than a second. When he finally gets a form that's stable, it's so weak and fragile that Stan destroys him in one hit.
  • Clothing Appendage: That "hat" is part of his body. When Ford blasts it with a gun, you can see what appears to be bones and organs.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He thinks deer teeth and a permanently screaming head are good rewards.
  • Consummate Liar: He wrote the 'bible' for compulsive lying, in fact.
  • Cool Car: He may be a sadistic, inscrutable and unpredictable Eldritch Abomination, but damn that's a wicked hot rod he has, and it flies!
  • Cute and Psycho: His simplistically goofy design, generally small size, shrill voice, cartoony effects and general cheerfulness can sometimes come across as cute. Like when he was messing with Gideon, or trying to convince Dipper to make a deal with him. When possessing the latter, most of his actions come across as both this and creepy.
  • Cyclops: Most of his forms only have one eye. The only exceptions are his One-Winged Angel form and his Shapeshifter Swan Song.
  • Dark Is Evil: In some episodes he takes on a pitch black appearance. Like in the beginning of "The Last Mabelcorn" or "Weirdmageddon, Part 1".
  • Dark Messiah: He either sees himself as a messiah or is actively posing as one. Either way, his hench-maniacs certainly seem to place him on a high pedestal and at one point the farmer tries to hold him on messiah status to try to get on his good side. It didn't end well.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • He agrees to help Gideon take over the Mystery Shack in exchange for help with his secret plan. He acts as the devil in this scenario, and the way he phrases the deal implies that Gideon wouldn't agree to help if he knew what was in store for him. However, Mabel's interference keeps Cipher from upholding his end of the bargain, so Gideon gets off with no consequences. However, at the end of "The Stanchurian Candidate", Bill gets another chance when Gideon summons him to make another deal.
    • He tries it with Dipper in "Sock Opera". Dipper knows that it's a horrible idea, but he ends up agreeing to help Bill anyway in return for the password on the laptop, after the laptop prepares to erase all of its data due to too many incorrect passwords. Naturally it goes horribly, with Bill taking Dipper's body and destroying the laptop before trying to get his hands on the Journal. Bill could still give him the password meaning he hadn't actually broken their deal, he'd just rendered the password useless, so he didn't get kicked out of Dippers body.
    • He makes one with Ford and Stan in the finale... but finds out too late he was the one on the losing end that time.
    • Expanded Universe stuff implies that his final invocation was one on his end, as the Axolotl gives a cryptic statement that he'll have to invoke its name (which he does) and there's 'one way to absolve his crime.' Add to this the implications in the same material that he and the Axolotl are enemies, and it becomes apparent it was out of pure desperation on Bill's part and there will be a price to pay on his end. Ironically, this one is more a Bargain with Heaven, just a very (deservedly) one-sided one.
  • Death Cry Echo: Lets out one when Stan finally destroys him completely.
  • Demonic Possession: Bill Cipher can take control of a mortal body if he obtains the consent of his host (or tricks them into giving consent), thus allowing him to directly interact with the physical world. He has done this to Dipper (in "Sock Opera"), Stanford (as seen in a flashback to the past from "The Last Mabelcorn"), and Blendin Blandin (in "Dipper and Mabel vs. The Future").
  • Discard and Draw: His entrance to the physical world. He gains near omnipotent power, but because his omniscience came from watching the physical world from the Nightmare Realm, he loses his ability to keep an eye on everything at once (since both worlds are now the same thing). Because he is now physical, he can (unlike before) be directly confronted and destroyed.
  • Domain Holder: Inverted. He's a nigh-omnipotent Reality Warper in his natural state, but noticeably weaker in someone else's Mindscape, having to actually fight the heroes rather than just Baleful Polymorph them away. When said Mindscape is being erased, his powers fail to work at all and he's in danger of being actually killed.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Went from Gideon's "minion" to unleashing madness on Earth by merging it with the Nightmare Realm and effectively turning Gideon into his Dragon.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Somewhat to Gideon in Dreamscapers. Bill is very much his own boss and the deal was only temporary. Upon his plan being thwarted, he compliments the heroes and leaves Gideon to eventually be defeated.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He only followed Gideon's orders in his debut because they match up with his goals (which have something to do with Stan Pines), and because Gideon agreed to aid him in return.
  • The Dreaded: The journal describes him as the single most dangerous creature in Gravity Falls. Even Gideon is scared of him. Hell, he's even portrayed with very real dread, as evidenced by Dippers and Great Uncle Fords interaction.
    Stanford Pines: Just hand me the gunnote , p-
    Dipper: Pinetree? Is that what you were gonna call me?
    Stanford Pines: I was gonna say "please", kid!
    • The real life version of Journal 3 goes a step further and describes him as the most dangerous being in the known multiverse.
  • Dream Weaver: He's a Reality Warper on his own, but even restricted to interacting through our world mostly through dreams, he still retains near total control over that environment.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Very quirky and seemingly affable, but is at least a trillion years old, and is still a very alien and incomprehensible being. Even his moniker as a "demon" is rather superficial. The 3D form he takes after breaking into the physical world in "Weirdmageddon Part 1" is an even better fit than his standard 2D form.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: His plan is to merge the human world with the dream world, which will destroy the world according to Ford. He dubs the event "Weirdmageddon" and as of the end of "Dipper and Mabel vs. The Future", it's begun.
  • Energy Being: Describes himself as a being of pure energy.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Upon first appearing, Bill psychically ripped out a deer's teeth and gave them to Gideon as a gift, showing both his powers and his psychotic nature.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Though ultimately a False Friend to Ford, the implication exists that Bill genuinely found something of an interesting kindred spirit. Or at least a favorite toy, which is about as close as Bill gets to caring about anybody.
    • Despite being an implied Self-Made Orphan, according to the Axolotl he misses his home and wishes to return.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Apparently hates (those he perceives to be) perverts. When asked by a fan on reddit whether his triangle sides were equilateral or not, Bill retorted "THAT'S A SICK QUESTION YOU PERVERT".
    • In his first appearance, when he was disguised as Soos, he watched a very invoked Squicky memory of Stan's, which caused him to cringe in disgust.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Bill is incapable of understanding that someone would put the well-being of another ahead of their own. This is apparently why Bill's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Mabel fails.
    Bill Cipher: I mean, who would sacrifice everything they've worked for just for their dumb sibling?
    Mabel: ... Dipper would.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Stanley. They're both rather ruthless con men, they're man children and they have a knack for making deals with people. It's these similarities that allow Stan to trick and defeat Bill in the finale.
  • Evil Former Friend: The journals have Ford speaking favorably and personally of Bill until a certain point where he suddenly starts calling him insanely dangerous and untrustworthy. Given his behavior, Bill was likely a False Friend even back then. Turns out Ford had made a deal with Bill in the past, helping him build the portal without telling him that it would lead to the merging of his world with ours. Ford, of course, didn't take this betrayal well and shut down the portal.
  • Evil Genius: He's a clever demon and been manipulating everyone behind the scenes.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: The things Bill considers funny or 'rewards' tend to be bizarre and gruesome, like telekinetically yanking all of a deer's teeth out (Deer teeth! For you, kid! Ahahaha!) or gifting Dipper with "a head that's always screaming".
  • Evil Is Angular: Bill Cipher is the big bad: a mind-travelling and conniving demon with nigh Reality Warper powers originally from a 2D universe... and also best described as a yellow pyramid with an eye (yes, a single eye), a tophat consisting of two rectangles and a walking cane.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Regardless of motives, he's definitely immoral and a hell of a ham.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Gideon was out of his depth the minute he summoned Bill.
  • Evil Is Petty: A major part of Bill's driving motivation, according to Word of God, is pent-up anger over small frustrations he's experienced throughout his eons of existence. This results in his desire to MC to the biggest non-stop party ever, an act that proves to be extremely hazardous to human life.
    Alex Hirsch: I think Bill is angry at the world for the same reason anyone can get mad at the world. Everyone has days where they don't get their way, where you have to go to bed early or you have too much homework to do or you can't eat the candy you want or your miss your favorite TV show, and in those moments you just want to tear the whole world down. Bill is a character who's been around for countless billions of eons, but he hasn't grown up in that time. He's a character who has accumulated many frustrations, many moments of destruction like that, and they've built up over time. Now he's decided he wants a world where there is no homework, where there is no bedtime — where you can eat any candy you want and do anything you want.
    • In the cut song:
      Bill Cipher: Look at this loser,
      Drinking coffee.
      Now it's decaf!
  • Evil Laugh: Alex Hirsch actually strained his vocal chordes.
  • Evil Plan: He plans to open a doorway from the Nightmare Realm to the real world so he and his fellow dream demons can enter the real world and terrorize it, in effect, bringing about The End of the World as We Know It. An earlier hint to this was one of the ciphers in Sock Opera:
    "No Puppet Strings Can Hold Me Down, So Patiently I Watch This Town, Abnormal Soon Will Be The Norm, Enjoy The Calm Before The Storm."
  • Evil vs. Evil: He hates the Time Baby's guts, and wants a physical form partly just to get at him. The Time Baby, in turn, is aware of, and unnerved by, his existence.
  • Evil Wears Black: His black top hat and bow tie evoke this. When he takes control of Dipper, he wears a black reverend's outfit to infiltrating Mabel's play.
  • Eviler Than Thou: To Gideon, whom he Demoted to Dragon. Also Preston Northwest, whom he turned into a Butt-Monkey.
  • Eye Beams: One of his powers.
  • Eye Scream: A Running Gag in the finale. "AAAAAH, my eye!"
  • Exact Words: When he asks Dipper for a puppet, he never claims it has to be one of the ones that Mabel created, and when he gets consent, he makes Dipper into his own puppet (i.e. a mortal body for him to walk around in). Other than that, he actually averts this trope and lies constantly.
  • False Friend: To Stanford, claiming to be a muse of geniuses while manipulating Stanford for his own ends.
  • Famous Last Words: [reversed] A-X-O-L-O-T-L/Hey, X-O-L-O-T-L, my time has come to burn! I invoke the ancient power that I may return! [normal speech] STANLEY!
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Bill has a lot of confidence in his power and knowledge and this causes oversights of critical details — such as how much Mabel loves her brother or Dipper is capable of fighting with or without the Journals despite his insecurities. Bill also likes toying with enemies rather than treating them like actual threats and simply eliminating them (for example, he put off destroying Journal 3 to mess with Dipper), which can give them time to gather themselves for a Heroic Second Wind. His biggest one however, is the flaw of every tyrant — his big fat ego, and that's what does him in.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The author's entry on Bill goes from nothing but compliments to a caps lock warning that he's not to be trusted under any circumstances which implies that this is Bill's MO. By playing nice and downplaying his sinister, ulterior motives, he's able to coerce people into going along with his plans without realizing just what they've signed onto.
  • Fighting a Shadow: A recurring problem fighting him: he's still an incorporeal entity in another dimension, so no matter how badly damaged the body he's using is, Cipher himself isn't hurt. He loses this when he assumes physical form, but he also becomes nigh-omnipotent, so it doesn't help much.
  • Final Boss: He's the final and one of the most dangerous demons the Pines ever face.
  • Flaw Exploitation: As a being that can only influence the world through the deals he makes, Bill is an expert in using what he knows to push just the right buttons to get people to agree to his deals. He manipulates Dipper through his desperation and desire for knowledge, the Author through his intelligence, and Mabel through her fear of the future.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
    • The fourth wall doesn't even protect the show's creator. Showrunner Alex Hirsch has been "possessed" by Bill on at least three occasions.
    • Some of the end page cryptograms are clearly written from Bill's perspective. Given he's constantly watching everyone, it's possible most of them are.
    • During the "Weirdmageddon" episodes, the theme song is taken over by Bill, with the "Created By Alex Hirsch" replaced with "Created By Bill Cipher". The reversed message at the end of the opening titles, up to this point a whispered hint to unscramble the end credits' cryptogram, becomes Bill saying "I'm watching you, nerds!"
    • In the finale, Bill's backwards messagenote , the cryptogram on the busnote , and the very last shot of the seriesnote  vaguely hint that Bill died in the world of Gravity Falls, but came back in ours.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A lot about Bill can be viewed in the Journal's pages if checked close enough.
  • Freudian Excuse: Maybe. According to Word of God, his relationship with his family was even worse than Stan's.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Implied in this case. In the Gravity Falls: Lost Legends comic (specifically the third story, which is set after Weirdmaggedon), 8-Ball and Keyhole, two of his former Henchmaniacs, can be seen in another dimension (presumably their home dimension) looking at a statue of Bill labelled "he was the worst".
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: If we take his account of his origin as being trustworthy, he was originally a citizen of the flat, second dimension. He got bored with that, so he "liberated" his world, resulting in him becoming what he is now.

  • The Gloves Come Off: Throughout the last episode, Bill's henchmaniacs get curbstomped and Bill himself gets put through the wringer solely because of Dipper and Mabel's planning and quick thinking. By the end, he has had it with the younger Pines twins and decides they need to die now, taking his most monstrous form ever seen in the show and outright stating he will murder them horribly. He nearly follows through on it until "Ford" gives in.
  • Gonk: While non-canon, Alex Hirsch said "canon" human Bill would look like this. Talk about a Take That, Audience!
  • Graceful Loser: Averted when his Faux Affably Evil goes straight out of the window when his plans are ruined, but then played straight when he decides to let the kids go for their effort.
    • Completely averted in Weirdmageddon, where he loses with no grace or dignity, begging Stan for a chance to save himself.
  • Grand Theft Me: Takes over Dipper's body after Dipper agrees to a deal with him.
    • He does the same thing to Blendin.
  • Great Gazoo: So long as he's in the Dreamscape, he can bend it to suit his whims.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Bill was introduced as someone Gideon summoned for a job near the end of the first season, but with vague mentions of a wider plan. He quickly became the Big Bad proper in the second season, and turned out to have been a major figure in the Author's background as well.
  • Hell on Earth: A bridge to the Nightmare Realm would allow him and his fellow nightmare creatures to cross over to Earth, where Bill's Dream Weaver powers would become straight up Reality Warping and they could do whatever they wanted forever. He's finally successful in "Dipper and Mabel vs the Future".
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: It's clear that he's planning something, but it's not clear what it is. Finally revealed in "The Last Mabelcorn." He wants to bring the Nightmare Realm into our world, effectively bringing on The End of the World as We Know It. As of "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", he's succeeded. Uh-oh.
  • Hidden Depths: Who would have thought an ancient, extra-dimensional nightmare being liked playing piano and singing?
    • At some point, he had a family, and the Nightmare Realm isn't his home dimension — the Second Dimension is. But, as Bill puts it "flat minds on a flat world with flat dreams"; it's expressed that the stiflingly static nature of the dimension drove him to madness, and he obliterated it in turn.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: He turns bright red when he's angry enough.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Turns out that Dipper wasn't an ideal host because he'd been sleep-deprived from obsessing about the laptop (which Bill himself manipulated into his favor in the first place). Constantly and senselessly damaging the body he was in didn't help.
    • Even more fittingly, his ultimate fate came from being burned by one of his own deals.
  • Humiliation Conga: "Take Back the Falls" is essentially this for him. In order, when the resistance arrives in a giant robot, he sends his henchmen, thinking that they'll be able to take care of the problem, only for them to fail horribly. When he decides to fight himself, he finds out that the shack is protected from him and gets his eye yanked out, the first part has him being thrown around like a rag doll before finding the robot's weakness. When it looks like he has the upper-hand, he gets sprayed in the eye, allowing Dipper and Mabel escape and outmaneuver him until he manages to catch them, forcing 'Ford' to make a deal with him. However, when it seems like he's finally won, it turns out that Stan conned him and traps him in his mind while they both get erased, reducing Bill to a screaming, begging wreck.
  • Hypocrite: He hates deals that ended up being broken yet he almost never stick up to his end of his bargain and always backstab anyone whom he made deals with.
  • Ignored Epiphany: The Axolotl states that he misses his home dimension and is saddened by its destruction, but he also refuses to admit the fact that he destroyed it in the first place.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: His core motivation. He grew sick of being stuck as a 2D being bound by restrictive physical laws and responsibilities, so he unleashes Weirdmageddon to permanently remove anything that might impede his freedom.
  • I Let You Win: He claims to have stopped fighting in "Dreamscapers" by his own choice and responds sarcastically when Dipper referred to that as defeating him. He's got a vested interest in seeming undefeatable, though, so he might not be the most unbiased authority on the subject. A Freudian Slip during his last episode Villainous Breakdown reveals that yes, the Pines twins' victories over him were legitimate, and it drives him up the wall.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Despite being older than the universe itself, he has the mindset of a rebellious child.
  • Immortals Fear Death: When he's about to be erased after living over a trillion years, Bill is terrified. It's the first, and naturally last, time he shows any fear. Expanded Universe materials imply his invoking Axolotl to save himself was an act of complete desperation to avoid his fate that will have a price to pay on his end.
  • Insistent Terminology: No, Bill isn't destroying dimensions, he's liberating them. Glaringly, this is the only matter in which Bill refuses to own up to his madness, whereas everywhere else he's all-too-happy to revel in it, because it's the one thing he might actually regret.
  • Insult Backfire: We see that calling Bill insane is never an insult to him. Both Gideon and Ford called him this and he readily admits to being so.
  • Ironic Echo: Bill seems to be a fan of this. Bill's "Eenie, meenie, miney, you" phrase has been said by Stan in the first episode, in the end of "Dipper and Mabel vs The Future", the cryptogram asks "DID YOU MISS ME?", something he asked Dipper in Sock Opera and he says "Right? Isn't that what you're all thinking?", something Grenda asks in Sock Opera.note 
  • Jerkass: A selfish and sadistic jerk through and through.
  • Jackass Genie: Mostly averted. Bill doesn't necessarily have to complete his side of any bargain he makes. His usual level of trickery results in getting what he wants beforehand, such as gaining Dipper's permission to possess him with some clever wording, and once that happens he typically ignores his side of the agreement. That being said, if the person making the agreement can't be immediately tricked into giving Bill what he wants, Bill has been compliant in fulfilling his part of the bargain. Further more it appears that without finishing the contract, Bill's magic isn't permanent. For example, he asked for a puppet from Dipper, as a means to possess him, in return for access to the Author's laptop. Bill destroyed it instead to protect his plans, but the next time Dipper's body fell asleep, Bill got kicked out, giving Dipper control over his body again.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He finally gets his comeuppance at the end of "Weirdmageddon".
  • Karmic Death: After making twisted deals the entire series to harm others, he's destroyed when Ford and Stan turn his final deal back against him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Twists and mangles Preston Northwest's face, then turns him to stone. Preston being a lying, no-good, thieving, rich jerk who had just attempted yet again to profit at the expense of others, it's hard to feel too bad for him.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ford completely erased him in Stan's mind, with his brother punching him directly in the eye. However, Bill invokes what seems to be a regeneration spell in his final moments via translated backwards audio, but it's unclear whether or how it worked. After everything returns to normal, a statue of Bill remains in the woods...
  • Knight of Cerebus: Introduced in what's being considered the darkest and most terrifying episode of the series to date, despite his Laughably Evil personality and oddball design. Within his first few seconds onscreen, he telekinetically yanks out a deer's teeth and gives them to Gideon. At least he undoes it a moment later, though it's still rather horrifying. He only gets worse in his second episode, where he starts by he gives Dipper a "present" of his own: a severed head that's constantly screaming. Even his entry in Journal #3 is horrifying. Not only are the pages covered in what is likely blood splatters, a warning is written in red never to summon him. Take into account the Author wrote both Journal #2 (which summons him) and Journal #3 (which has an incantation to fight against him), it was an early hint about what happened between him and Ford. Even more so after he merged Earth with his Nightmare Realm, causing an Apocalypse How.
  • Knight Templar: His would-be Villain Song definitely implies he sees himself as The Hero.
    Bill Cipher: Look, I'm just a triangle trying to save you
    From the delusions society gave you
    Look at these people, calling me evil
    Right back at you, now you're all statues!
    • He does try framing himself as a liberator when trying to convince Stanford to reveal how to get around the weirdness magnetism, though its not clear if he's being genuine or not since all he shows is his personal indulgence.
  • Knowledge Broker: Very knowledgeable, may potentially know all the answers to the greatest mysteries. Every deal he has made so far has been leveraged with information only he could provide or acquire. He's often suggested that knowledge is the key to true power. Ironically, he is forced to go to Ford for help in the finale because Ford knows how to bypass the Weirdness Magnet effect of Gravity Falls and Bill does not. This likely means that Bill's vast knowledge is due to his Dream Walker abilities more than actual omniscience — since Ford safeguarded his mind against Bill's intrusions later on, the dream demon did not have access to some of his latest discoveries.
    "Oh, I know lots of things! LOTS OF THINGS..."
  • Lack of Empathy: He actually seems to be confused by the human concept of empathy.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When he start Weirdmageddon, he taunts Dipper to actually punch him, knowing full well there's nothing he can do. When trapped in Stan's mind as it's getting erased, Stan takes him out with one punch since he's now vulnerable.
  • Laughably Evil: All of his villainy is accompanied by a strange and twisted sense of humor. Taking over and/or destroying the world is no different; he's doing it because it's all just a funny, cosmic joke to him.
  • Laughing Mad: He combines this with his Slasher Smile as he tricks Mabel into bringing about the apocalypse.
  • Leitmotif: Two. Whenever he appears in a talkative mood, a soft, mischievous bass figure with cascading high notes plays; when he gets angry and begins to show the full extent of his powers, though, he's backed by a frenzied Shepard's Tone synth arpeggio.
  • Light Is Not Good: Bill is always accompanied by a bright glow. It's also based on the Eye of Providence and The Illuminati's solar/eye symbolism.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: When Stan punches him, he shatters into pieces.
  • Logical Weakness: When he pulls a Grand Theft Me on Dipper, he is bound by the physical limitations of his body. As Mabel points out, she knows all her brother's physical weaknesses and Dipper is very sleep deprived.
  • Louis Cypher: One of his namesakes.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: His cut Villain Song "It's Gonna Get Weird" is an upbeat, cheerful number...about him raining down Weirdmageddon on Gravity Falls and all the horrible things that entails.

  • The Mad Hatter:
  • Manipulative Bastard: He takes advantage of people's desperation to keep them from examining his own motives too closely. He's also only been seen making deals when the other party is either overconfident, or not in their right mind. He expertly manipulated Stanford Pines into creating the portal, through a combination of charm and appealing to Stanford's ego.
  • Meaningful Name: It's no coincidence that the most mysterious entity of the show (and possibly the one with the answer to all the mysteries) has almost the same name as one of the most famous unsolved cipher codes in US history. note  "Bill" might also refer to a banknote, as Cipher's body shape closely resembles the Eye of Providence found on the US dollar bill (which was confirmed in the Between the Pines special). Last but not least, a possible reference to Louis Cypher.
  • Mind Rape: His bubbles of pure madness drive anyone who makes contact with them insane.
  • Monster Fangirl: Discussed by Bill on his Reddit AMA regarding his fangirls:
  • More than Three Dimensions: Inverted; Bill is heavily implied to be a two dimensional being.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: His 3D form in "Weirdmageddon Part 1". He also uses this trope several times throughout the final episode
  • Mysterious Past: Was in Gravity Falls a long time ago and he has some connection with Stan Pines and the author. He also possessed a body at some point. Considering the banner hanging in their mansion, he may have a connection to the Northwest family. His AMA states that he used to have family, is old enough to imply that the Egyptian pyramids were designed to look like him, and that the tapestry in Northwest Manor depicts a prophecy that would have come true on time for Bill had a shaman accomplice of his been more cooperative. He also apparently made a banking deal with Thomas J. Beale, and regrets it thoroughly.
  • Necessary Drawback: Bill Cipher's abilities allows him to invade another person's mind. Unfortunately for Bill Cipher, in the event that he's inside someone's mind and their memories end up being erased, he'll be erased along with them.
  • Never My Fault: According to the Axolotl, he regrets the destruction of his home dimension, but refuses to admit that it was his fault.
  • Never Say "Die": Zig-zagged, usually he'll have some colorful substitute for murdering something (i.e. "I've got some children I need to make into corpses"), though at the same time he explicitly states his intention to kill one of the twins in the series finale "just for the heck of it".
  • Nice Hat: A skinny topper. In contrast to his body, it's three-dimensional. It's not really clothing, though, it's part of his body.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: By unleashing Weirdmageddon, he inadvertently saved the crumbling relationship between the Pines family, allowing them to earn their happy ending in the first place.
  • The Nicknamer: When speaking to someone, he'll often refer to them by a symbol associated with them (typically visible on an article of clothing; they've also appeared in a circle around him), e.g. calling Dipper "Pine Tree" and Soos "Question Mark." The only times he drops the habit are when he's addressing close friends or people he respects, or when things have gone to hell in a handbasket.
  • No Indoor Voice: He seems to shout everything he says, not unlike the Williams Street interpretation of Brak. Somehow, he manages to shout even louder when he loses his cool. This is a holdover from the original intention of having David Lynch voice him, which fell through. Instead, Hirsch does an impression of Lynch's character Gordon Cole, who always shouted his lines because he was hard of hearing. In the AMA, every answer he writes is in ALLCAPS.
  • No Mouth: Or nose. He's quite expressive with his single eyeball, though. His outline pulses in turn with his words. It turns out that his mouth IS his eye, by way of morphing the lids to act like lips to eat/drink like he does in Weirdmageddon.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: After Bill and his fellow abominations enter the physical world, Bill finds his lair assailed by Time Baby and the Time Police. Bill's response is frighteningly abrupt.
  • Not Quite Dead: Hinted at in "Gravity Falls: Lost Legends", where two cryptograms say "CIPHER LIVES" and "BILL LIVES".
  • Not So Different: From Grunkle Stan. Both are theatrical conmen who enjoy pulling the wool over others' eyes. They also share similar speaking habits ("Eeney-meeny-miney-you!") and traits, to the point where Bill predominantly replaced Stan is his own opening credits. It is their similarities that eventually make Stan the best candidate to take Bill down.
    • Apparently, they both had lousy childhoods.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: He claims he wants to liberate the heroes' dimension, and make it a fun world with no rules or restrictions. However, that would render it pure chaos inhospitable to non-demonic life, and it and his Weirdmageddon back in his own decaying world is heavily implied to be why it's decaying in the first place. Considering his sadism and how he admits he's insane either way, it's very likely his claim is just an excuse for his own enjoyment.
  • Noodle Incident: The author wrote in the journals that he considered Bill his best friend. Then something happened that made him cross out that entry out and write "Can't be trusted" and "DO NOT SUMMON AT ALL COSTS!" His entry in Journal #3 is covered in blood. Eventually revealed to be that Bill had told the author that he was a muse who came to visit and assist geniuses once a century, he helped the author with constructing the portal, but when the truth got out, the author changed his mind about everything. Also, it turns out that it's red pen ink, not blood. Then even more is revealed in the Journal 3 book release — some of it is blood; Ford's eye bled after Bill possessed him and dropped onto the page.
  • Oh, Crap!: An epic one when Stan traps him in his mind, allowing Ford to use the memory gun to weaken Bill before Stan destroys him.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: He creates a floating citadel in the shape of himself (i.e. a pyramid). Then he names it the "Fearamid".
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Time Baby tells Bill that if he doesn't stop, he could possibly destroy the fabric of the universe. Bill doesn't care.
  • The Omniscient: Claims to see a "kaleidoscope of temporal probability with fluctuating range" and infinite alternate universes as well as alternate versions of himself.
  • One-Winged Angel: While just getting a physical body probably counts, one of his shapeshifted forms in particular stands out: the form he chases Dipper and Mabel through his castle with is by far Bill's most terrifying incarnation in the show. He goes 3D, his body turns red, he gains an eye (now with black sclera) on each side, his bottom segments become mouths with jagged yellow teeth (with the bottom-most having two tongues), and he has six arms (two of which come out of his bottom mouth).
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: As revealed by his AMA on Reddit, "Bill Cipher" is just an username since if we'd hear his real name we'd evaporate to dust with an expression of horror and ecstasy on our face.
  • Opt Out: In his first appearance, he leaves of his own accord after deciding that killing Dipper, Mabel and Soos was more trouble than it was worth.
  • Our Demons Are Different: He's referred to as a demon on two separate occasions, though he hasn't use this term himself. While looking and acting very atypical, he has almost all of the powers and methods that you'd expect a demon to have: shapeshifting, possession, using fire, temptation, and striking up deals in order to get what he wants. He's implied there is a hierarchy of sorts by his comments on dressing for the job he wants instead of the one he has, and has claimed other demons would be lucky to be on good terms with him.
  • Out-Gambitted: Twofold and both times by the elder Pines twins.
    • Firstly, while he does manage to get the rift and blend Gravity Falls with the Nightmare Realm, Ford took precautions to make sure both the Mystery Shack was protected and that he didn't disclose about the barrier over the town which keeps Bill from getting any further. Bill has to practically try to force Ford into removing it so he can take continue his world domination plan.
    • And secondly when trying to convince Ford to join him doesn't work, he holds Dipper and Mabel hostage to get Ford to cooperate. Not only does keeping the kids contained take a large amount of effort, but he made the mistake of leaving Stan and Ford together to hash out a quick plan "B" and forgetting to take into account that the two are twins, thus leading to him accidentally bargaining with Stan rather than Ford. By the time Bill's realizes his mistake, it's far too late. He's back in the dream world where's he vulnerable, Ford erases Stan's mind with Bill trapped inside, and no amount of bargaining is going to keep Stan from taking him out.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: When he poses as Soos, there are a few tells that can clue in an astute viewer just before the reveal. He expresses disgust at a flashback of Stan, in stark contrast to Soos' usual hero-worship of him; and makes casual reference to his ‘big fat arms' when the real Soos is very sensitive about his weight, as shown in "The Land Before Swine".
  • Overarching Villain: He is the one who was behind the creation of the Portal, and was the one the Author was hiding his journals from. His ultimate plan is merging his home dimension, a Nightmare Realm full of other demons and abominations, with Earth, to try and rule both realms and cause the Apocalypse (or "Weirdmageddon", as Ford calls it). The end of "Dipper and Mabel vs. The Future" shows him finally having opened the gateway.
  • Paper People: He's quite specifically a triangle, not a geometric pyramid. He implies Edwin Abbott Abbott guessed the closest to what his origin may have looked like. His entrance into the physical realm involves him taking a 3D form, and though he takes on several different triangular and pyramid-like shapes, his Shapeshifter Default Form is still a thin triangular plate. Justified; if his account of his origin is truthful, he was originally from the second dimension; continuing the Flatland, he decided the Gospel of Three Dimensions was thinking too small.
  • Perpetual Smiler: His affable tone in his pyramid form suggests this, but he has No Mouth to smile with. Once he possesses Dipper's body and actually has a mouth, it stays in a cheery grin for most of the time.
  • Pet the Dog: Within seconds of being introduced, he rips the teeth out of a deer. He undoes it afterwards and, considering who Bill is, this is actually rather kind of him.
  • Pintsize Powerhouse: Although he is a Sizeshifter, he tends to stay small most of the time.
  • Playing with Fire: Although he uses blue fire, as seen on the picture.
  • Practically Joker: Is a nigh-invincible Eldritch Abomination who planned to make the universe itself the ultimate rave party not caring that his reckless actions could result in the destruction of reality. Bill advocates chaos over order, has a disturbing sense of humor, and loves messing with the minds of his pawns. He also has a Mysterious Past and occasionally espouses Straw Nihilist views.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He's impressed by the Pines and Soos' efforts to beat them, and remarks they might come in handy later, so he lets them be. The fact that they were visibly causing him pain obviously had no influence on his decision.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Ford said Bill's plan to merge the Earth with the dreamscape he's from is just a game to him. When Bill and his fellow demons were taunting Ford about it being inevitable, they sound like a bunch of guys excited for a night on the town. Once he and his gang are free to roam the physical realm, he acts like a bully who picks on people just to impress them, and their party at the Fearamid is a Teen Comedy Romp, complete with Bill telling everyone to play it cool once the Time Cops show up.
    Alex Hirsch: Bill is a character who's been around for countless billions of eons, but he hasn't grown up in that time.
  • Pungeon Master: Bill really likes puns, from literally turning himself yellow when saying "ny'hello?" to his numerous eye/I jokes.
  • Punny Name: Given his name, Sinister Surveillance and the ubiquitous Eye of Providence on US dollars, having bills on you means having Bill on you.
    • It's also a pun off of the Baele Cypher, the most complex cypher in American history (and much like Bill, almost certainly all a lie/scam to boot)
  • Reality Warper: Is pretty near omnipotent... when he's in the dream realm. Not so much in the waking world, until he makes the two one and the same.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: He has this color scheme in the final form he takes before Stan literally punches him out.
  • Sad Clown: The Axolotl flat out states that when he claims to be happy, he's a liar and deep down does feel sad he lost his home dimension and everyone in it... but will never admit he's responsible.
  • Sadist: Bill likely has no physical needs and doesn't age. On a most basic level, his actions are purely motivated to control and torment people in creative ways for his own amusement.
  • Satanic Archetype: A more subtle example, and despite also being rather Lovecraftian, Bill fits this trope quite well. For starters there is the Cipher part of his name, while obviously connected to the algorithm of encryption, but also to Louis Cypher. He also uses a lot of common tropes associated with Satan and devils, including Deal with the Devil, Demonic Possession, Voice of the Legion, and is outright called a "demon". His association with light connects him directly to Lucifer, and the "Eye of Providence" symbol that he is based on is connected to God and His angels, who often are described manifesting as strange, geometric shapes (including a whole choir called Wheels). On top of all that, the actual Stanford Pines mentions in his backstory that a friend of his referred to a "beast with one eye" when he accidentally peeked into an Alternate Universe.
  • Self-Made Orphan: According to Bill's reddit AMA, he used to have a family, and now doesn't. He hints in "Weirdmaggedon: Take Back The Falls" that he didn't just kill his family, but everyone who lived in his entire dimension. The Axolotl implies Bill does feel bad for it, but will never admit it's his own fault.
  • Sense Freak: Bill mentions that he hasn't been in physical form for a long time, so he enjoys the physical sensations he can experience while possessing Dipper's body, especially pain, which he inflicts on the body throughout the episode. This contributes to his defeat later.
  • Sensory Overload: When he possesses Dipper, he regains his senses and instead of being horrified by the damage he inflicts on himself, he finds it hilarious. He deliberately falls down the stairs and messily drinks soda. When Alex Hirsch drew a canon human version of Bill in a charity livestream, he portrayed him as morbidly obese and highly deformed with crooked teeth. Hirsch drew him this way because he imagines Bill overindulging himself and neglecting his personal health.
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: Goes through one as he's being erased along with Stan's mind.
  • Sigil Spam: Look closely in past episodes. Pictures of a triangle with an eye are seen in otherwise random places.
  • Sinister Geometry: He's a simple triangle with an eye in the middle, yet he can still draw plenty of terror out of people by simply manipulating his size.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Yeah, those images of him mentioned earlier? Those are peepholes he can look through from the Dreamscape. A page about him in Journal #2 has a picture of him on the -$12 bill that says "Semper vigilantem", "Always watching". Becomes Ascended Fridge Horror at the end of "The Last Mabelcorn" where it shows him spying on the Pines family. He loses this when he merges the two world, resulting in him being easier to take off guard.
  • Slasher Smile: He sports a rather unsettling smirk while possessing Dipper Pines, and later Blendin Blandin.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Horror dominant, since he's The Dreaded. But he still has a very twisted sense of humor.
  • Smug Snake: Bill has three layers to his personality. A goofy facade while buttering up up to his potential partners, a smug mocking state when he's got the upper hand and all parties know it, and a petulant state when he knows he's been bested and needs to save face. No matter which mode he's in, he positively oozes condescension.
  • Smug Super: Once Weirdmageddon begins and Bill gets a physical form, he brings his Reality Warper abilities with him and proceeds to flaunt his power at every opportunity, conquering the town within minutes. The number of scenes where he doesn't flaunt can be counted on one hand. He's gradually brought through a Villainous Breakdown in the finale as the heroes repeatedly prove that his vast power doesn't make him invincible.
  • The Sociopath: Bill shows all the symptoms of sociopathy. Superficial charm without any empathy, manipulativeness and consumate lying; an ability to help others while only using them to serve his own whims (seeing them only as tools to use and discard thereafter), a grandiose sense of self-worth, and a pathological need for stimulation: in his case, Ax-Crazy Sadism; an unbridled taste to sow chaos and hurt others. What little empathy he does feel is toward those he sees as just like himself, namely, his group of close demon friends (who're more like groupies or underlings that he controls). It doesn't help that he's fully aware of his actions and doesn't care. According to Axolotl, he also refuses to believe anything is his fault, including the destruction of his dimension and possibly his race.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His name is often mispelled Bill Cypher, even though his name is spelled out on his page in Dipper's journal. Spell My Name With An Eye?
  • Stepford Smiler: According to Axolotl, Bill's not as cheery as he always seems, implying that he might regret destroying his own dimension.
    Saw his own Dimension burn. Misses home and can't return. Says he's happy. He's a liar.
  • Surreal Horror: All the time, thanks to his eldritch powers and warped sense of humor.
    "You deserve a prize! Here, have a head that's always screaming."

  • Take Over the World: Bill's ultimate goal is to merge the Nightmare Realm with the Physical Realm, and let loose his demon friends to rampage through our dimension and rule over what remains.
  • Taken for Granite: When he leaves his physical body to re-enter the dreamscape, his body turns to stone.
  • Technicolor Death: He starts thrashing around glitching out more horribly than the T-1000, as Stan's mind, memories, and him, are being slowly erased.
  • Time Abyss: He claims that he's been trapped in the Nightmare Realm for over a trillion years, making him at least some 70 to 80 times older than the projected age of the universe.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: You wouldn't expect some guy called "Bill" to be a powerful dream demon who managed to cause an apocalypse on a city and coming close to unleashing it on the entire universe. Despite his name, he is the Big Bad of the show and the most dangerous creature the heroes have faced.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: As shown in "Sock Opera", it has been so long since he possessed a physical body (Dipper's in this case) that he enjoys inflicting pain on himself. He slaps himself, tumbles down the stairs, smashes his arm in a drawer and stabs it with forks. When Dipper gets his body back towards the end of the episode, Dipper discovers that Bill caused so much damage to his body that he feels he need to go to a hospital.
  • The Trickster: Described by Alex Hirsch as a "trickster jerk."
  • Uncertain Doom: Bill definitely did die, but cried out the name of "Axolotl" (backward) asking to return. It's unknown if it worked, and it may have just stabilize his Shapeshifter Swan Song long enough to make one last attempt on Stanley. Some of the comics released after the series have suggested Bill really did come back (Gravity Falls: Lost Legends has cryptograms baldly spell out "BILL LIVES" and "CIPHER LIVES"), but also that the Axolotl is a benevolent being with no plans to aid Bill's misdeeds. It states Bill can only "absolve his crime [in] a different form, a different time", implying he'd only be resurrected/reincarnated as someone much less powerful and dangerous.
  • Undignified Death: Grunkle Stan faces the prospect of his whole mind being erased with calm acceptance. Bill goes out panicking and begging.
  • The Unfettered: Big time. In fact, he's so dedicated to his own freedom that he destroyed his home dimension to break down all physical laws and restrictions, which he now seeks to do again by bringing Weirdmageddon.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: His response to being summoned by Gideon is to terrify him by pulling a deer's teeth out in front of him. (Unless that was Bill's idea of gratitude.) Either way, he then promptly tries to sucker Gideon into a deal that would probably have blown up in his face if it hadn't fallen through for other reasons.
  • Vagueness Is Coming:
    • His warning as he leaves: a mysterious darkness that will change everything they care about.
    • Comes up again in "Sock Opera", and we learn this time that Bill will somehow be responsible for the "big changes" ahead but nothing more.
    • Eventually, we learn that Bill's Evil Plan is to use the inter-dimensional portal to merge his home (the nightmare realm) with our dimension.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Had shades of this from the start, but officially crossed into it in the Weirdmageddon arc. Basically, in a show with a fair share of Slice of Life and daily moments, Bill manages to be the darkest villain who ever appeared in the series.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Bill isn't too proud to fold when his plans become unsalvageable. He also tries to spin it that he was in control the whole time. How true this is is up for debate.
  • Villainous Crush: He hits on Wendy a couple times while in Dipper's body, though whether it's to troll Dipper or because he's actually attracted to her is uncertain.
  • Villain Has a Point: It was a strategy to manipulate Dipper, but Bill wasn't wrong when he pointed out that Dipper has made constant sacrifices and compromises for Mabel and that at best she has pretty much done nothing to pay him back and at worst keeps putting herself before him.
    Bill: Besides, what's your sister done for you, lately? How many times have you sacrificed yourself for her, huh? And when has she ever returned the favor?
  • Villain Teleportation: Part of his Dream Walker abilities is teleporting and going wherever he wants in the dreamscape.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • In "Dreamscaperers", losing the code to the vault and Gideon cutting off his deal does not make him happy. So he reaches a Unstoppable Rage level and Turns Red. This is then subverted when he calms down, concedes the fight, compliments the group for their ingenuity, gives some cryptic warning and vanishes.
    • When he realizes that he and his creatures are trapped in a bubble around Gravity Falls — and even worse, he doesn't know why — he snaps. His outburst even scares his Henchmaniacs, with whom he never raises his voice.
    • His ultimate breakdown in the finale is when he becomes increasingly enraged as he starts to lose the final battle; it finally comes to a head when he's about to be erased, the powerful dream demon gets reduced to begging for his life as his body rapidly changes into out of control forms before he's destroyed by Stan.
  • Villain Song: The Musical-style tune "It's Gonna Get Weird" written by Neil Cicierega, where he sings about how he's going to remake reality to suit his preferences. It didn't actually make it into the show, but it can be heard online.
  • Villains Want Mercy: He pathetically begs Stan to spare him, offering Stan anything he could imagine. Stan has none of it and finishes him off. The Axolotl implies itself that his invoking it 'so he may return' was also this trope, as it likens it to trying to shirk the consequences of his actions in the last moment, and the two are implied to be enemies.
  • Vocal Evolution: In his first appearance Bill's voice was much calmer and less filtered in comparison to his second appearance only a few episodes later.
  • Voice of the Legion: When he wants to emphasize something.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Takes the form of Soos to trick the twins into showing him the combination to the safe.
  • Walking Spoiler: His relationship to Stanford as well as his plan to bring about the apocalypse by merging his nightmare realm with the world makes it hard to explain much beyond his surface motives.
  • We Can Rule Together: Offers Stanford Pines an opportunity to join him twice during the Weirdmageddon. The second time he gives quite an awesome speech to make it sound good.
    "Listen, Ford, if you just tell me that equation, finally your dimension will be free. (Projects himself drawing a smiley face in the midwest United States, then takes a bite out of the Earth and flies past his friends, who are destroying other planets, then to Ford, who is standing in the middle of a galaxy) Anything will be possible. I'll remake a fun world— a better world! A party that never ends with a host that never dies! No more restrictions! No more laws! You'd be one of us. All-powerful. Greater than anything you've imagined! And all I need is your help."
  • We Will Meet Again:
    • He says this to Dipper and company at the end of their first meeting.
    • He sings Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again" from the film Dr. Strangelove to Ford in "Weirdmaggedon, part 3".
  • Weaksauce Weakness: He really hates synthesized music. No problem with dance music, though.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: He reveals to Ford that he was a denizen of a flat "Second Dimension", but that he "liberated" it by causing a Weirdmaggedon there as well. The Axolotl says he feels guilty about it, but refuses to admit that it's his fault .
  • Worthy Opponent: He compliments Dipper and company's wit, and as such, claims to have let them live. He seems to have kept this viewpoint in "Sock Opera" to the point that he sees them as a threat to whatever his plans are. Word of God says that he felt the need to destroy Journal 3 because with it, Dipper was capable of discovering and stopping the activation of the Portal and thus stopping Bill's Hell on Earth plan, which is what would have happened if not for Mabel. However, Bill maintains the ideology that because they're weaker than him, they're still not a critical threat, which comes back to bite him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As "Sock Opera" clearly demonstrates, Bill has no qualms about hurting children. In fact, while he is possessing Dipper's body he hits Dipper in the face, throws his body down a flight of stairs, pours soda in his eyes, and repeatedly slams his arm into a drawer — only to retract said arm with forks sticking out of it. By the end of the episode, Dipper outright says he thinks he needs to go to a hospital.
    • In "Weirdmaggedon Part 1", he vaporizes the Time Baby.
    • The finale has him drop all pretensions of civility and flat out intending to kill Dipper and Mabel unless Ford gives him what he needs to break the barrier surrounding the town. "I've got some CHILDREN I need to make into CORPSES!" and "When I get my hands on you kids, I'M GONNA DISASSEMBLE YOUR MOLECULES!".
    • Included in Journal 3 is a note from Bill written while inside Dipper outright stating that he subjected Dipper's body to stabbing, burning, and drowning. He then goes on to mention that his ultimate goal, had Mabel not forced him out, was to throw Dipper from the water tower and make it look like the boy committed suicide! He then ominously asks Mabel if she would like to get in on the "fun".
  • You Can't Make an Omelette...: An... interesting variation in his reddit AMA.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry:
    Bill: Do you have any idea what I'm like when I'm MAD?

Remember, reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold, bye!


Video Example(s):


Bill Cipher's downfall

It's the endgame and the initial plan to stop the evil dimensional being, Bill Cipher, has failed with only Dipper, Mabel, Stan, and Ford left standing against him. Bill looks to have won, but some last minute thinking ultimately ruins his plans and, in the end, even a godlike being can be backed into a corner and left begging for mercy.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / VillainousBreakdown

Media sources:

Main / VillainousBreakdown