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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

"Grunkle" Stanley Pines

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grunkle_stan.jpg
"Sounds like something a responsible parent wouldn't want you doing... Good thing I'm an uncle!"
Voiced by: Alex Hirsch

"When life gives you lemons, you call them 'yellow oranges' and sell them for double the price."
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Stan Pines, also known as Great-Uncle Stan and Grunkle Stan, is Mabel and Dipper's humorous, sly, money-loving great-uncle. He runs the Mystery Shack, a tourist trap full of questionable oddities.


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    A-F 
  • Abusive Parents: About the worst thing you can say is that he occasionally overworks and frequently mocks Dipper (partly because he feels the need to toughen him up and make him capable of fighting his own battles, but mostly because child labor has low overhead). But he still shows them a lot of affection, even if he is cheap. However, come "A Tale of Two Stans", and in hindsight there's something deeply unsettling about Stanley basing his treatment of Dipper off how his father treated him (most likely down to him misinterpreting Filbrick's abuse as simply trying to toughen him up).
  • Adorkable: Surprisingly at times. Particular examples include his overeager attempts to make friends in "Legend of the Gobblewonker", and shyly attempting to flirt with Lazy Susan in "Dipper vs. Manliness".
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted. When he's first introduced he's set up as your classic useless comedic cartoon adult who seems practically blind to all the Weirdness going on in Gravity Falls. Later on, he would prove himself a lot more shrewd that you'd expect when dealing with Gideon, and even assist the kids on a few adventures like in "Boys Crazy" or "A Land before Swine"(where he ends up kicking major ass). In season 2, it's all revealed to be an act he put up to discourage the kids from investigating the supernatural for their own safety, in part because of what happened to his brother. Turns out he knew all along, has his own share of dangerous secrets, and is generally more of a complex multidimensional character than you'd ever have expected from him.
  • Agent Scully: He adamantly doesn't believe that there is anything weird going on in Gravity Falls, telling Dipper that it's all drummed up by guys like him to sell merchandise to gullible tourists. Despite this he is willing to accept the existence of living dinosaurs, with the caveat of insisting that they "don't count" as supernatural because they're just big lizards. However, this is just a ruse to hide his knowledge of the journals and all of the oddities related to it. As of the start of season 2, he's dropped the ruse and admitted to the twins that he knows about the supernatural things going on. But he still hasn't told them about his secret room or his ultimate plans, although in "Not What He Seems", the twins discover the room on their own and Stan begins to confide in them.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Was a victim of bullying in his youth, which, along with his father's mistreatment, contributed to the insecurities he carries to this day.
  • Always Save The Boy: Has a history of going great lengths to assure that he and his brother stay together, or get reunited, at great personal costs but also at the expense of everything else, including what said brother himself might want. Stan even spent 30 long years working to repair a portal that could destroy the universe. Unlike most examples, this winds up having serious repercussions as the portal's reactivation ends up creating a dangerous rift in spacetime that gets his whole family targeted by Bill and is ultimately used to unleash Weirdmageddon. Ironically, said brother is very much a The Needs of the Many person and as such, absolutely furious at Stan for reactivating the portal. It's later revealed that Stanford also finds this trait of Stan's unbearably smothering. In the finale he stops thinking like this as when Ford is prepared to let Bill know how to break the barrier around Gravity Falls just for a chance to save Dipper and Mabel, Stan convinces him to try another way.
  • Ambiguously Evil: It does not help that one of the cryptograms in the show's opening reads "STAN IS NOT WHAT HE SEEMS." It only gets even more ambiguous in "Gideon Rises", where his underground lab, equipped with a large portal generator, is finally shown. "Scary-oke" implies he's using it to search for something, and feels confident that he won't "get caught", implying questionable safety/legality at best (which is standard for Stan) or outright villainy at worst. "Society of the Blind Eye" leans towards the former in a Well-Intentioned Extremist kind of way, as both a symbol substitution cipher in the Journals and McGucket's video logs reveal the Author of the Journals believed that the portal could benefit all of mankind, while Stan acknowledges that the risks of activating the portal mean little to him in light of the possible rewards for doing so—specifically, seeing his brother again. Taken Up to Eleven in (the admittedly non-canon) "Little Gift Shop of Horrors" — he apparently drugs a customer and put him on display in the shack because he didn't buy anything.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Like the rest of the family. Alex Hirsch originally stated that the Pines family is not canonically Jewish, but after being questioned about Journal 3 stating that Stan had a Bar Mitzvah, he suggested that Stan was raised Jewish and became an atheist later in life. It also helps that he's a big-nosed miser who speaks with a Jewish American dialect, including the occasional "Oy!" and "Moses!".
  • Anti-Hero: He may be a greedy jerk and con artist, but he does have a soft spot in his heart for the twins.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "Bottomless Pit!" Grunkle Stan still states that everyone's stories are far-fetched, even though he is falling through a bottomless pit even as he speaks, and even lived through one of the stories. In "Scaryoke", it's made clear that this is an act, and he's very much aware of the strange goings-on around Gravity Falls.
  • Art Evolution: His head is differently shaped in Season 2.
  • Attention Whore: As seen in "Headhunters". The below quote is also the page quote
    Grunkle Stan: But enough about me. Behold, me!
    • Also, in "Boss Mabel" when he's on Cash Wheel. In fact, he got on the show by using his "old man powers" to fake a heart attack.
  • The Atoner: Spent thirty years working to bring his brother Ford back from the portal, which Stan himself accidentally knocked him into during a fight.
  • Badass Normal: He's just a normal guy with no special powers or cool tech, but he still punches pterodactyls in the face and kills zombies by punching them with brass knuckles.
  • The Barnum: Most of his revenue seems to come from swindling rubes in really obvious ways.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: In an epic moment of his career as a shyster he gives Bill Cipher a lousy deal of his own.
    • Very literal when he defeats Probabilitor in "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons".
  • Berserk Button:
    • "Irrational Treasure" shows that he really doesn't like Pioneer Day.
    • Also he doesn't like being questioned about the tattoo on his back that he keeps denying, and will go nuts if someone tries to uncover it and video record it. It's revealed it's actually from a burn on his back that he got in a fight with his brother, ending in his brother being sent into another dimension, which goes a long way towards explaining why he's so angry about it.
  • Beware the Honest Ones: Turns out Stan is much harder to deal with when he can only tell the truth as seen in "Bottomless Pit!".
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's shown to care a great deal about his twin just like Dipper for Mabel. The last half of season 2 reveals that he invested a lot of time into bringing Ford back from another dimension.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Has a practically huge grey pair.
  • Book Dumb: Academically miles behind his brother, considered useless by his father, no college education…still a brilliant scammer who can wring money out of anyone and managed to fix the portal on his own. In the finale, this trope ends up working to his advantage, because he literally had nothing Bill wants, which is what made his mind the perfect vessel to defeat Bill in.
  • Boxing Battler: His father made him take boxing lessons as a child, and he's shown to still have some moves in "The Land Before Swine" and "Scary-oke".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He comes across as rather bumbling and silly over-the-top at times, but make no mistake, he's actually very sharp when he puts his mind into it, particularly as a salesman (and Con artist).
  • Brains and Brawn: Was the Brawn to his brother Ford's Brains when they were children. Downplayed in the present, as although Stan is still the stronger of the two, he's also pretty bright in his own right and Ford is no push-over in a fight.
    "Good thing you got your smarts, Poindexter. I got the other thing. What's it called? Oh, right. Punching!"
  • Break the Cutie: "A Tale of Two Stans" shows how he went from a cheerful and optimistic kid to a disillusioned wreck.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: His savings are stuffed inside a duffelbag hidden behind a painting in the Shack.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Stan isn't stupid. He is, however, very good at making things up as he goes along, and managed to pick up enough know-how to repair the portal in his basement. "A Tale of Two Stans" shows him being able to sell several of his con-products and later hold his own business, which is basically just one big con, which shows that he is an amazing salesman. If he had gotten a legitimate sales job he'd probably gotten rich a lot sooner.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: Stan's fez vaguely resembles those worn by the Shriners. He also remarks how "the boys from the lodge" won't go fishing with him.
    • Journal 3 reveals that it's his father's fez, from "The Order of the Holy Mackerel".
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Stan may be a bruiser, but he's as soft as a marshmallow when it comes to his family... not that he wouldn't threaten to punch you for pointing it out.
  • Carpet of Virility: Shown off at the end of Dipper Vs Manliness. Mabel attempts to trim it as part of her makeover for him to impress Lazy Susan, but it immediately grows back.
  • Cerebus Retcon: It's hard to look at him the same way again when you learn that his love of money is the result of being disowned by his family after accidentally sabotaging his brother's future.
  • The Charmer: How he manages to get customers into the Shack despite it being nothing but junk. He's a fast-thinker, and can make a joke about just about anything, and the crowds love it.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: While certainly not as spacey as other examples on the show, you can tell where Mabel gets it from.
  • Collector of the Strange: It's a given when you own the Mystery Shack.
  • Combat Pragmatist: His fighting advice to Dipper is along those line.
    Stan: Just bonk him over the head. It's nature's snooze button!
    • And when outnumbered by zombies, he's got no problems using a grandfather clock to even the odds.
    • Best demonstrated by his method of taking on and defeating three government agents in "Not What He Seems".
  • Comical Overreacting: Ties into Cloudcuckoolander - he's known to frequently engage in Large Ham actions, and he apparently considers having a mullet to be incredibly horrifying.
    Stan: You think you've got problems? I've got a mullet, Stanford!
  • Companion Cube: He becomes a bit overly attached to a wax statue of himself in "Headhunters", and the end credits of "Soos and the Real Girl" show him marrying the Old Goldie statue in Las Vegas. His concern over the wax statue took a bit of a darker turn when we learn it was because Stan had lost his real twin to the Portal.
  • Con Man: Not only does Stan fool tourists with the fake attractions at the Mystery Shack, but he also has a long record of financial crimes. However it comes in handy in the finale when he manages to out-con Bill.
  • Consummate Liar: He's an inveterate shyster and proud of it. This trait comes back to bite him hard in "Not What He Seems". Only Mabel, who bases her decisions primarily off emotions instead of facts, is willing to trust him still after the extent of exactly how much he's lied to everyone is revealed. Even Soos, who sees Stan like a father, doesn't trust him anymore. This is also apparently one of the reasons his father threw him out of the house as a teenager. Eventually, however, this is subtly proven to be a subversion—even though Stan is excellent at lying, even he has his tells: in situations that involve his missing brother or him trying to hide something he knows a lot about, Stan crosses his arms and looks up to the side.
  • Cool Uncle: For starters, he punched a pterodactyl in the face to rescue his great-niece's pet pig.
  • Counterfeit Cash: Has been shown paying for merchandise with "Stan Bucks", crudely drawn fake dollar bills with his face on them. A cutaway gag shows that he also roped in Dipper and Mabel into hand-painting actual counterfeit bills.
    Mabel: The county jail was so cold.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: A silly and lazy conman he may be. But, in "The Land Before Swine" he punched a pterodactyl in the face. Repeatedly. Come Season 2, he continues to show how much of a badass he is by fighting off an entire horde of ravenous zombies, half of them with his bare hands. In "Not What He Seems", he takes out three government agents while he's handcuffed to a chair, using a gravitational anomaly to get the drop on the agents, and manages to steal one of their wallets in the process. He's even the one that deals the final blow to Bill in the finale of the show.
  • Cutting Corners: How Stan operates all his business ventures. Especially his carnival.
    Stan: There she is, the cheapest fair money can rent! I spared every expense. (cable car falls from the sky next to the twins)
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Before his hair became gray. Due to the art style it's usually impossible to tell the characters' eye colors, but Stan's are brown as confirmed by Alex Hirsch.
  • The Cynic: Much like Dipper, Stan is somewhat cynical and not up for idealism and wonder, which makes his conflicts with the similarly cynical Dipper and bonding with the upbeat Mabel especially humorous. It's later revealed in "Dreamscaperers" that he's harder on Dipper because Dipper reminds him of himself.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Bullied during his early childhood, was an academic failure, accidentally cost his brother a scholarship to his dream school, was disowned by his parents, and was forced to go on the road to fulfill the impossible task of making up for what the Pines family lost because of his horrible mistake. He spent time as a Snake Oil Salesman and failed at it miserably, getting run out of towns all over the country - and possibly in more countries, considering he claimed to have been thrown in jail in three countries. He was also forced to somehow chew his way out of a car trunk, and before going to the Mystery Shack to meet his brother, he was in a rathole apartment with only a peso to his name, and he was behind on his rent. Then he accidentally threw his brother into another dimension and spent 30 years trying to get him back. Oops.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He wears an all-black suit, and while he may be a crook, he's one of the good guys and is ultimately responsible for Ford's return and the defeat of Bill.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Much like Dipper, Stan posses a quick wit and never misses a chance to mock the silliness of those around him.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The real Stanford Pines, AKA The Author, has been trapped on the other side of a portal for 30 years. The Stan Pines we've been following is actually his twin brother, Stanley Pines. However, see "Faking the Dead" for more. After Weirdmageddon was foiled, it's implied he's going by Stanley again, as the news refer to him as such.
  • Dented Iron: He can throw some mean punches and is quite spry, but age has impaired his senses and a lifetime of bad eating habits has turned his body into a hot mess from the shoulders down.
  • Determinator: When Stan puts his mind to it, nothing can stand in his way, be it pterodactyls, government agents, child psychos, or his own lack of knowledge of physics. The best example being how he spent thirty years working on bringing his brother back from the other dimension he accidentally knocked him into. For this he completely self-taught himself how to maintain and work the Portal (all from his brother's Journal, with a third of the instructions) and went as far as stealing toxic waste from the Government to pull it off.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: And trying to get her back didn't work out so well either, since according to him, he deliberately ran his rival's car off a cliff.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the Series Finale, he punches Bill in the eye while they're both inside his mind, causing him to shatter into a million pieces.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Nobody out-cons Stanley Pines. Not even Bill Cipher.
  • Dirty Business: The Mystery Shack is a tourist trap in the sleepy town of Gravity Falls, filled with an assortment of hand-made oddities in both the attractions and overpriced merchandise. It turns out that the Mystery Shack is actually his twin brother's cabin: he was determined to bring his brother back to the extent where he ran out of money. The residents of the town had mistaken Stan for his brother, and he was utterly shamefaced at the realization that he had no choice but to take his brother's name, convert the cabin and some of Ford's research into an attraction in order to continue paying the mortgage and work on repairing the portal.
  • Disco Dan: He still uses vinyl, doesn't understand texting and the interior of the Mystery Shack is straight out of the 1970s/early 80's.
  • DreamWorks Face: During the main title theme, he makes one in the group photo that falls atop a pile of other photos before the series logo appears.
  • Drives Like Crazy: "Road safety laws, prepare to be ignored!" He also has cataracts and broken headlights. And then there's the time he let a bear drive the car... though he had a prescription from Doctor Medicine for that.
  • Dumbass No More: Compared to how he was in his youth, when he relied on his Good Old Fisticuffs to stay ahead and was unequivocally the Brawn to Stanford's Brains, Stan's main strengths in the present is easily his craftiness and silver tongue. There is also the fact that he taught himself enough theoretical physics to successfully repair the portal Ford was working on.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Hot Belgian Waffles, did he! After 10 years living on the streets, 30 years of working on the Portal, and Weirdmageddon, Stan finally reconciles with Ford, is named the town hero, and the two decide to travel the world together on the Stan-o-War II.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite the fact that Stanley outright lied to them about his intentions and deliberately witheld information from them, as soon as Dipper, Mabel, and Soos heard his story, they immediately forgave him without any signs of distrust towards him. This is especially the case for the former considering that Dipper isn't really the type to let go of a grudge easily as shown with Pacifica.
  • Exact Words: Stan says he doesn't have a tattoo. He's not lying. It's actually a brand burned into his back by accident.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Wears a superfluous one while the Shack is open.
  • Faking the Dead: Stanley faked his own death and is the Stan Pines the headline "Stan Pines Dead" was about.
  • Family Theme Naming: Stanley and Stanford as well as their brother Shermie (Mabel and Dipper's grandfather).
  • Fan Disservice: Rips off his shirt in "Dipper vs. Manliness". Not pretty. Lampshaded by Dipper moments after.
  • Fat Slob: Played for Laughs in "Dipper vs. Manliness". After telling Mabel she had to marry Gideon in "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel", to which she ran out of the room screaming, he assumed she was upset by his appearance.
    Stan: (calling after her) Bodies change, honey! Bodies change...
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • In a way surprisingly similar to Dipper, it becomes apparent that Stan has issues with trust and confiding in others. He often lies to avoid having to do so, which comes back to bite him in Not What He Seems. If he had trusted the twins with the truth earlier, the episode probably would have been far less traumatic for all of them.
    • Stan's temper also proved to be another one, it led to him accidentally destroying his brother's science project, ruining his chance of getting into his dream college, and severely damaging their relationship. It was this again which caused him to accidentally knock his brother into the Portal, meaning the two didn't see each other for thirty years. And this again very nearly led to Bill winning after Stan broke a magic circle to attack Ford over his grammar being corrected.
    • The flashbacks in "A Tale of Two Stans" shows that he has (or had) a familiar problem with oblivious selfishness. He automatically assumed that his brother wouldn't want to go to the best college in the country, so they would stay together as they did as children, completely oblivious to what his brother actually wanted. When he finally realized Stanford was seriously considering the offer, he felt extremely threatened and hurt because he saw this as his brother choosing to leave him behind. His acting out over this is what started the collapse of their good relationship, and being reminded of this old pain is what causes his fits of anger listed above.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Adding more parallels with Dipper and Mabel, flashbacks to their youth show that Stan was the foolish to the Author's responsible, showing The Author studying diligently on a test while Stan kicks his feet up on the desk one over. It's a bit more complicated in the present; Stan recognizes that the weird stuff in town is highly dangerous, and that the kids should stay away from it. However, his method to do this was to put on an act of Selective Obliviousness, shrugging any claims of monsters as imagination, while at the same time tinkering with the Portal, the most dangerous thing in Gravity Falls. Ford actually calls Stan out on his recklessness.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The Cynic. Stan is a reasonably cynical man, not one up for wonder and idealism, he prefers to focus on practical matters. It's down to his experiences he is like this, as a "Tale of Two Stans" shows he used to be lot more optimistic before he lost his relationship with his brother.
  • Freudian Excuse: He's greedy for a reason, namely that he got kicked out of the house before graduating high school, told he couldn't come back until he made his family a fortune, and left to fend for himself.
  • Friendless Background: The only friends he seems to have made in life are his twin brother and two Colombian criminals who hoped he died. Which might explain some of his Jerkass behavior.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric: Ambitious with a hair-trigger temper.

    G-M 
  • Gag Nose: His nose looks like it belonged to a Muppet.
  • Genius Bruiser: Although old, Stan is still a powerful figure and likewise proves he can tangle with the best of them, being a brilliant fighter. He's likewise very strong and very quick for his age. However Stan also shows on multiple occasions he's highly intelligent, being an incredibly shrewd and cunning man, able to match wits with the likes of Gideon and Dipper, and win. Business skills aside, he's also clearly got a pretty good understanding of advanced science considering how well he was able to operate and maintain the portal. Made all the more impressive with the reveal he is completely self taught, in both science and showmanship.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Suddenly having to hang around with two kids has forced him to tone down his language. This is addressed and parodied in a scene in "Not What He Seems".
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Stan's got Journal #1, and he's been looking for #2 and #3 for years to complete the set. He finally got all 3 at the end of Gideon Rises.
    Stan: After all these years... Finally, we have them all.
  • Greed: His desire to make money is the driving force behind his work ethic.
    "My one and only dream - which was to possess money - has come true!"
    • Played with in that it's revealed that a lot of the money he makes goes toward repairing the portal in order to save Stanford. And he spent about ten years in continuous poverty. Then again, Stan is still a complete money-grubber even after Ford comes back, so he may have become the mask at some point.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Very fond of complaining.
  • Gun Nut: We never see them, but he claims to own ten guns due to his fear of ladders.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Stan has a quick temper, to the point he near ruined his commercial over him constantly mispronouncing a word. It is not a good idea to be on the receiving end of his temper.
  • Heroic Build: Had one as a younger man and uses a dapper suit to make it look like he still does.
  • Heroic BSoD: Had one after he accidentally flung his brother into another dimension. He could have been in the shack for anywhere from weeks to months.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath:
    • His greed verges on this now and then, but his Refuge in Audacity on-screen criminal behavior and his Child Hater tendencies (toward Gideon - not his family) place him firmly in this territory.
      Stan: "Yes, yes... Burn the child..."
    • The various crimes he manages to pull off on-screen also cross into this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices his mind in the finale in order to trap and weaken Bill enough to destroy him. Thankfully, as shown with McGucket and having not been mindwiped long, he managed to regain his memory just due to being reminded of it thanks to Mabel's scrapebook.
  • Hey, You!: He often addresses Dipper and Mabel as "kid", apparently simply due to his gruff personality.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being considered an idiot by his parents and teachers, he was able to secretly repair Ford's dimensional portal by himself with nothing but his brother's journals to aid him.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Most of the exhibits in his House of Mystery are fake. It's deconstructed, as "Boss Mabel" implies that while he could get real oddities for the Mystery Shack like Dipper did, they would be difficult (if not impossible) to control and would terrify and/or hurt customers.
  • I Have No Son!:
    • After it becomes clear that Ford has no interest in reconciling with his brother and won't even say "thank you" for bringing him back to our dimension, Stan point blank tells him that Mabel and Dipper are the only family he has left as far as he is concerned.
    • Stan himself was also disinherited because he accidentally ruined Ford's chance to get into his dream college.
    • Played for laughs when Stan warned the twins that if they started talking like pioneers on Pioneer Day, then he would disown them.
      Stan: "You're dead to me. DEAD TO ME!"
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Stan's family disowned him when he accidentally broke Stanford's science project, so he treasures the relationship he has with Dipper and Mabel. He initially wanted to reconcile with Ford, but their combative behavior and mutual stubbornness makes it impossible for now. This is a driving force behind many of his decisions, such as announcing his candidacy for mayor.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: In "The Legend of the Gobblewonker", he spends most of his time looking for fishing buddies.
  • Indy Ploy: Stan is almost preternaturally good at this. He survived for years with nothing but his wits and a baseball bat, has apparently escaped by the skin of his teeth (perhaps literally, given that he somehow chewed his way out of a car trunk) multiple times, and managed to turn his brother's house into a passable tourist trap and thriving business by making it up as he went along.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: So much so that tumblr fans are calling his his younger self "Hunkle Stan". For reference, here's a flashback to him in the 70's. Hello, Handsome. invoked
  • Iconic Outfit: Grunkle Stan is usually seen in a fez and a black tuxedo. When sitting around the house, he is almost always dressed in nothing but a tanktop, blue-striped boxers, and the fez.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: In-Universe, he claims the picture in "Gideon Rises" of him in a devil suit in front of a wall of fire is this.
    Stan: That picture's taken out of context.
  • Jacob and Esau: Downplayed. His father seemed cold and resentful toward his "wimpy" sons in general but valued Stanford as his talents might make the family money, while his mother - possibly because of their similar personalities - seemed at least somewhat fond of Stanley, calling him her "little free spirit", but ultimately didn't lift a finger when her husband decided to throw him out of the house.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In "Boss Mabel", it is shown that his iron handed rule over the Mystery Shack, use of fake exhibits in the museum and strict no-refunds policies are in fact necessary to run the Shack properly. When Mabel attempts to run things her way, Soos and Wendy either take advantage of her lax attitudes or screw up their jobs, putting real monsters in the Shack proves to be a disaster that hospitalizes two visitors, and Mabel's liberal refund policies ends up costing them nearly all their earnings.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though he's a greedy con artist and is Ambiguously Evil, in season 2, after it's revealed the Author is his brother, it turns out that everything he has done was really for his family, for their safety, their love, and their protection.
    • In "Double Dipper", he claps for Mabel when everyone was voting for her via applause. Granted, the other candidate, Pacifica, is a rich Alpha Bitch, but it goes to show that he really cares for Mabel and wanted to support her, even if he usually doesn't show it.
    • And in "Dipper vs. Manliness" he's the one to tell Dipper that standing up for what he believed in was a manly thing to do.
    • And in the very first episode, he let Mabel and Dipper choose something from the shop to cheer them up.
    • Really shows through in "Boyz Crazy", where he not only immediately agrees to help Dipper expose Robbie's mind control of Wendy through subliminal messaging in music (even if partially motivated by his own experiences as a young man), but also tells Dipper, after Wendy angrily brushes him off, that he can just hang out with him until things sort out with Wendy. This is the best father figure moment for Stan in the series thus far. Plus, he was more than willing to give Dipper The Talk in "Carpet Diem", when you'd think he'd be the kind of character to avoid doing that. Even if it was Mabel in Dipper's body. It's an odd show.
    • In "Land Before Swine" he saves Waddles from a pterodactyl out of sheer love for Mabel.
    • "Dreamscaperers" shows that even though Stan is tough on Dipper by making him do terrible chores like cleaning the toilet and chopping firewood, he does it to toughen him up so he learns to fight back.
    • In "Gideon Rises", when he feels like he finally lost to Gideon, he's very disheartened that the kids have to suffer with him too, and while down on his luck and almost out of money, with what little he has left he buys bus tickets to send the twins home. Thankfully though, it got better, but still.
    • "Not What He Seems" and his back story show his conman career was ten years in barely surviving poverty without even a high school diploma trying to earn his way back into his family, and that the only reason he's even been living in Gravity Falls for the last thirty years is to fix the portal his brother built and bring him back to atone for accidentally sending him through it in the first place.
    • In "Weirdmageddon Part 3: Take Back The Falls", he, a selfish con man, has saved dozens of humans and monsters that aren't family. And then there's his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Jerkass Realization: After his petty grudge with Ford ended up ruining the chance to truly stop Bill, Stan realizes just how much of petty jerk he is to Ford and blames himself for it. The latter, having the same realization, reassures him that it's not entirely his fault and in the end, they finally decide to bury the hatchet in order to stop Bill in the process.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Stan will gleefully and shamelessly steal anything he wants or needs. Often while outright saying it straight to the rightful owner's faces.
    Man: These wax statues come at a terrible price!
    Stan: $20? I'll steal them while you're distracted.
    Man: What?
    Stan: I said I'm going to rob you.
  • La Résistance: Though he only gets one brief scene in "Weirdmageddon", in "Weirdmageddon Part 2" it turns out Stan was alive and well, hiding out in the Shack and leading a holdout against Bill.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Though the "Justice" part is definitely in question.
  • Large Ham: Part-and-parcel of being a showman, he tends to ham it up during tours of the Mystery Shack... of course, not that he doesn't display similar tendencies outside of that.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Despite the reveal of him knowing all about the general weirdness of the town, he still seems to have no idea of Bill Cipher's existence, or that it's why Ford was so angry at him for turning the portal back on. Stan chose not to care because of personal grievances against his brother.
  • Lovable Rogue: While immoral, shady and sometimes outright criminal, Stan remains a beloved character, and makes it clear to the audience that he is good at heart. The people in-universe are far less lenient; it's stated as early as the second episode that Stan has no friends ("The guys at the lodge don't 'like' or 'trust' me."), due to his dishonest business practices. His campaign for mayor was torpedoed by his own criminal record, and "A Tale of Two Stans" strongly implies that his amoral tendencies were the reason he got disowned by his family, with the accidental ruining of Ford's college admissions being The Last Straw. His attempts to get rich through various scams and swindles all ended in failure. The only place a blatant criminal like Stan can operate more-or-less unhindered is Gravity Falls with its stupid populace.
  • Made of Iron: In "Not What He Seems", he gets slammed into a metal pipe hard enough to buckle the metal and crack the stone wall behind it, and he's completely unharmed. Its shown in "The Tale of Two Stans" he's had this from childhood, as he didn't even notice the multiple splinters in his hands (from breaking a plank) until he saw them.
  • Mean Boss: He yells at his employees a lot, but his strictness is how he can keep things in order. When Mabel acted as the Benevolent Boss, she was taken advantage of by Wendy and run up the wall by Soos' ineptitude.
  • Messianic Archetype: He sacrifices himself to save everyone from the resident Satanic Archetype, and he gets better soon after, but he will forever be remembered for it.
  • Miser Advisor: Stan sometimes takes this role with the twins, especially Dipper.
  • Misery Builds Character: Stan's belief in this is why he's so tough on Dipper. It's also why Stan's father had him take boxing lessons. Starting to move towards a deconstruction, as it's shown that his father's treatment of him gave him huge and long-lasting emotional scars. Not only that, but him singling Dipper out to give him this treatment made their relationship crash so badly Dipper was convinced Stan legitimately hated him and it nearly drove him to stop caring about Stan completely. Despite Dipper now knowing that Stan is trying to invoke this, it still causes major underlying emotional tensions that haven't been entirely dealt with.
  • Money Fetish: Stan's love of money, sometimes borders on obsession, he shamelessly (and unnecessarily) strips when he get an opportunity to go in the money shower.
  • Mysterious Past: He claims to be from the east coast originally, and that Gravity Falls is the only town where the police don't know where he is. "Not What He Seems" shows that he's accrued a number of false IDs over the years. It's revealed later on that he's from New Jersey, in "the lead paint district." That said, there's still things we don't know, like how he was jailed in three countries and escaped, what he did when he "went around the world", and why he escaped a car trunk by chewing his way out.
  • My Greatest Failure: He accidentally sent his twin brother through an interdimensional portal during the middle of a nasty fight. He had spent years living with that memory on his mind. He had been collecting the Journals, hoping to one day be reunited with his long-lost brother.
  • My Sibling Will Live Through Me: After losing his twin brother Stanford to an alien dimension 30 years prior to the series, Stan took on his name and identity so as not to arouse suspicion. As of the real Stanford's return, he has been given until the end of the summer to return his identity to its rightful owner.

    N-R 
  • Never My Fault: Shows shades of this in Land Before Swine when he claims "It's not my fault your pig's potentially delicious!". That said, it's still an improvement over how he used to be, with him telling his brother he ruined his life, only for his brother to shoot back that yes, Grunkle Stan ruined his own life. He's grown out of this as the show's progressed, being fully willing to acknowledge that he's screwed up. As proof of this, he doesn't even end up blaming anyone for his own misfortunes in A Tale of Two Stans. In the present, anyway. However he constantly blamed Ford for causing The End of the World as We Know It. Yes, Ford did build the portal and it was a huge mistake and was a potential for disaster, but Stan is equally accountable for blatantly disregarding every single written instruction by Ford not to use the portal for any reason whatsoever, even if it was to save him, and Stan's one use of the portal led to the left over rift that Bill was able to open. That said, after ruining the destiny circle which almost gave Bill complete victory, Stan does come to realize this and even blames himself after seeing Bill nearly kill Dipper and Mabel.
  • Nerd Glasses: Started wearing glasses as part of his attempts to impersonate Ford. Since he never stops wearing them, it's probable he legitimately needs them now.
  • Nice Hat: He's never seen without his fez, except in "Little Dipper" and when he goes on vacation in "Boss Mabel".
    • In the end, he gives the hat to Soos and replaces it with a different hat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • He manages to get enough material to re-power the portal and bring his brother back into the main dimension. But unwittingly created a dimensional rift in the process which is why Ford was angry at him upon returning as he knows Bill needs the rift to cross over. However Stan is never told this.
    • In the finale, Ford manages to make a destiny circle that could potentially defeat Bill. However Stan was needed for it and, just as it was being powered up, got into an argument with Ford over grammar. This gave time for Bill to return and stop them, nearly costing everyone. Luckily Stan made up for it.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: As revealed in a security tape from "Not What He Seems", his frequent use of "Gosh Darn It to Heck!" actually stems from him making an effort to watch his language when Dipper and Mabel are around. He's quite gleeful when he gets a chance to actually cuss when he's alone.
    Stan (drops a barrel of radioactive waste on his foot) Gah! HOT BELGIAN WAFFLES! Wait... I'm alone! I can swear for real! (takes deep breath) SON OF A— (Dipper pauses the tape while Mabel covers her ears) invoked
  • Not So Different: From Bill. Both are theatrical conmen with tons of charisma and guided by a ruthless personal objectivity, to the point where in the Weirdmageddon version of the show's intro, Stan is replaced by Bill predominantly. It's this very shared trait that spells the end for Bill.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: "Boss Mabel" hints that Grunkle Stan might know more than he lets on. "Gideon Rises" confirms it. Stan has had Journal #1 the whole time, and in this episode manages to obtain #2 from Gideon and #3 from Dipper. He uses them to activate some sort of machine, which began to use to search for his brother as of "Scary-oke".
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Stan, a man old enough to be a great uncle, vs Gideon, a psychopathic child, though admittedly Stan usually takes a unwitting backseat to the twins when fighting Gideon.
  • One-Man Army: Wipes the floor with the zombies attacking the Mystery Shack.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted - his name is actually Stanley (see Dead Person Impersonation) and his brother's name is Stanford, though his brother has thankfully dispelled any confusion by preferring to be known as Great-Uncle Ford. The show chalks this up to his father being unimaginative.
  • Only Sane Man: He's the only one in Gravity Falls who recognizes that all of the weird and supernatural happenings are highly dangerous, which is why he tries to dissuade Dipper from investigating them.
  • Out of Focus: Rather jarringly too considering he is one of the main characters, but after "A Tale of Two Stans", most of his appearances aren't tied to the Myth Arc of the series and his two focus episodes are Filler at best. Averted in the series finale where he gets a ton of focus regarding his resentment of his brother. He is even the one who comes up with the plan that ultimately defeats Bill by performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite having very questionable morals and standards, he does obviously care about Mabel and Dipper. Enough to drop some heavy, extensive research it took him years to find, in order to protect the twins from a group of hungry zombies, and winning. He also tells his brother Stanford to stay away from the Twins, mainly because his research could put them in danger.
    • In the series finale he pulls the old Twin Switch with Ford on Bill, allowing him to trap the demon in his mind when Bill enters his head while Ford uses the Memory Eraser gun to delete both Stan's mind and Bill. He even manages to deliver a punch that destroys Bill before his mind is fully erased. Why? Because Bill made the mistake of messing with his family.
  • Parental Favoritism:
    • Was at the less fortunate end of this as a child.
    • Subverted with Dipper and Mabel. Because he's more permissive and openly affectionate toward the latter, both kids assume that Mabel is his favorite, with Dipper even doubting whether Stan cares about him at all at one point. The truth is a lot more complicated as Stan's own father figure was emotionally distant and Dipper strongly reminds him of both his estranged brother and his own younger self, leading Stan to be harder on him to toughen him up and spare him both his and his brother's mistakes. He has actually got a real soft spot for the boy as we see whenever he tries to give him advice, or when Mabel (in Dipper's body) tries to annoy him to assure Dipper doesn't get the new room, only for Stan to react with fondness and praise "Dipper" for finally standing up to him.
  • Parental Substitute: After Soos realized that his father ran away from his family, Soos began working for Stan so that he can have a new father figure in his life.
  • Perma-Stubble: Never grows a beard but never seems to shave.
  • Pet the Dog: Grunkle Stan gets a moment like this after feeling guilty for insulting Dipper and Mabel and lets each of them take anything they want from the Mystery Shack. In true Grunkle Stan fashion, he tells them to do it before he changes his mind. He also saves Waddles because he wants Mabel to talk to him again and in "Dreamscaperers" when we find out why he's so tough on Dipper.
  • Playing Gertrude: Stan is 60+ years old. His voice actor, series creator Alex Hirsch just turned 30 in 2015. invoked
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Stan is a greedy shyster, contrast his super-genius brother, Ford, who appears to be well-intentioned.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Delivers a fantastic one in the series finale to Bill.
    Stan: You're a real wise guy, but you made one fatal mistake. You messed with my family.
  • Properly Paranoid: His claim to have denied the existence of the supernatural in Gravity Falls was because he believed it to be dangerous. Considering how many of the strange things and oddities have tried to hurt the twins, he's got a point.
  • Rage Breaking Point: He goes through one when Gideon takes the best pool chair in "The Deep End".
    Grunkle Stan: GIDEON! GET OUT OF MY CHAIR, KID!!
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Stan gets away with A LOT of crime, mostly due to Rule of Funny, but the buck decidedly stops at stealing toxic waste from the United States Government. Theft of government property NEVER goes unnoticed.
    • Also, his criminal record gets him disqualified from the election of Gravity Falls' new mayor.
    • Despite Stan's good intentions, his treating Dipper as The Unfavorite to toughen him up (by mocking Dipper whenever the opportunity hits, making Dipper do most of the hard and dangerous work around the Shack, and refusing to express any positive feedback towards him lest he "get a big head") drove Dipper to dislike him immensely and almost destroyed their relationship entirely.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: After the Big "NO!", Stan gets really into The Duchess Approves (think Downton Abbey) in "The Inconveniencing" (to the point of throwing the TV out the window out of rage at one of the plot elements).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to his twin brother Ford's Blue.
  • The Reveal: His real name is Stanley, and he has a twin brother named Stanford, who is the author of the journals. When Stanford got flung into the portal, Stanley faked his death and took on Stanford's name and identity.
  • Rock Bottom: Has ended up at this three times that we've seen in the show - the first was when he was disowned and kicked out of the house while he was still in high school, the second was when he threw his brother into Another Dimension, and the third was when Gideon kicked him out of his own house. invoked
    • It is hard to say whether the Colombian jail sentence was one of those, as he seemed pretty chipper about something that would be the low point of anybody else's life.
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    S-Y 
  • Sad Clown: Stan certainly admired the portrait of the sad clown, and he's quite the funny guy that's seemingly nonchalant about all the shady business he does. It's not a coincidence: he's actually emotionally burdened for decades after he overheard his principal literally refer to him as a clown and spoke with Brutal Honesty about Stan's bleak future—the moment where Stan's entire life crumbled. It's made more evident when Stan makes a spontaneous dour response while wearing the truth telling teeth about life during a certain juggling clown's act on the TV in "Bottomless Pit!" invoked
    Bud: It's imported! All the way from Colombia!
    Stan: Wow... I went to jail there once. [whistles] Some digs you got here. [sees the clown painting] Oh, this... this is beautiful.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Two of the times we've ever seen Stan get teary-eyed (once during the funeral for his wax replica and the other when Mabel knit him an "Our Hero" sash), Stan has the tendency to say he's got something in them rather than admit he's crying.
  • Scars Are Forever: His tattoo is actually a burn scar he received during a scuffle with his brother Ford 30 years ago.
  • Schemer: Stan is a very cunning man, and normally concocts a variety of schemes, normally to help him make more money.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: He's rude, grumpy and money-grubbing and makes no secret of it. He's also old, so he can get away with it.
  • Screwy Squirrel: In "Little Shack of Horrors".
  • Self-Made Man: Was disowned by his father before he even graduated high school, he spent years trying to enter personal sales himself, and after many failures finally found one that worked, namely the Mystery Shack.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Dipper's Sensitive Guy. Of the two Stan's more gruff and unfeeling, preferring to focus on more practical matters, also when working or doing something serious he is highly dedicated and a no nonsense figure. Unlike Dipper, he's also far better at hiding his fears and concerns, though he has his tells.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: His default outfit.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: In "Not What He Seems", Dipper and Mabel discover that Stan has been hiding a lot from them. He has acquired multiple fake IDs, assumed the identity of a dead man, stole radioactive waste from the government, been in possession of Journal #1 the entire time they've known him, and both constructed and activated the Universe Portal, a device capable of annihilating the entire planet. For the first time, the kids have to fight Stan himself. However, when Mabel chooses to trust Stan and allow the device to activate, his motives are quickly made clear.
    Stan: I wanted to say that you're gonna hear some bad things about me, and some of them are true, but trust me. Everything I've worked for, everything I care about, it's all for this family!
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: If Dipper and Ford actually managed to seal the rift which directly prevents Bill from unleashing Weirdmageddon, Stanley would have surely suffered this fate. Basically, the entire reason he worked for 30 years in the Shack is that he hoped that he could bring back his brother from the other dimension, after he accidentally sent him to it following a fight. He hoped to make up with his brother after all he had done. What he gets instead is Ford greeting him with a punch and outright refusing to forgive, thank or even reconcile with him, completely ignoring the fact that he wasted 30 years just to save him. Instead Stan is demanded to relinquish ownership of his identity and house and abandon the whole Mystery Shack forever. As a result, everything Stanley had done felt like a complete waste of his time and he disowns his brother in the process. Weirdmageddon helps subverts this by having Stan finally reconcile with his brother, the very thing that he strived to do in the first place and go out into the sea with Ford as his childhood dream.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • With Gideon; until the events of "Gideon Rises", Stan never treats Gideon as a serious threat (except to his bottom line), but rather an irritating little pest who has to be occasionally swatted out of the Shack with a broom. Whenever they meet casually in public, they're shown to antagonize one another in exceedingly petty ways, and Stan's dialogue in "Dreamscaperers" implies that he's been foiled off-screen as well.
    • Bud, as Stan's direct business competitor when it comes to scamming the townspeople, also gets this treatment; when their "truce" falls apart, Stan even steals a velvet clown painting from Bud's home and runs off. It only gets worse in "The Stanchurian Candidate", when both run for mayor and Bud immediately resorts to cheap shots.
  • Skyward Scream: In "Irrational Treasure" after going through a Humiliation Conga:
    Stan: PIONEER DAY!!!!
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Generally not liked among the town, despite playing himself up as this grand mysterious figure. The town eventually warms up to him a bit after the events of "Gideon Rises".
  • The Smart Guy: Much like Dipper, Stan is a lot smarter and more cunning than he lets on. Scenes from "Not What He Seems" even show his report card with consistent As, except in Gym class. However, it seems that report card was actually his brother's, with a flashback in "A Tale of Two Stans" presenting him as a comparatively lazy and poor student in comparison. Never the less, through pure effort he managed to teach himself nearly everything he knows.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Managed to outwit Gideon in "Little Dipper", Dipper in "Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained: Stan's Tattoo", and even Bill in the finale. He also managed to teach himself enough about theoretical physics and the fringe science Ford was working on to restore the portal to working use. He only really needed the journals in order to figure out how to turn it back on when he had done so.
  • Smoke Out: He employs smoke bombs in his showmanship with the Mystery Shack, to further entertain and con the masses into giving him money. Using them is also his preferred escape method after he's done something shady.
    • In "Summerween", Stan uses a smoke bomb to rob a store after the clerk asks security to escort them out.
    • Subverted in "The Stanchurian Candidate", where Stan attempts to flee a store with a smoke bomb just like he did in "Summerween" after confessing his plans to shoplift in front of the clerk. The smoke bomb is long past its expiration date, however, and Stan is effortlessly tackled by security.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Once tried to market shards of broken glass as rare and valuable crystals, and sells spray-painted rocks under the guise of them being gold nuggets. It's later revealed that he spent a lot of time as this before he came to run the Mystery Shack. It went horribly wrong, with him managing to become Banned from Argo in almost every state in the country.
    • It's this quality that makes Ford believe Stan would've seen right through Bill Cipher's trickery at the very first moment.
  • Spanner in the Works: The one Pines Bill never took interest in was the one Pines he should have always watched out for.
  • Stealth Mentor: Making Dipper do difficult chores is Stan's sneaky way of preparing him to fight back as revealed in "Dreamscaperers". It seems to be working.
  • Stepford Smiler: A minor case; Stan seems to genuinely love most aspects of his life, such as scamming people and spending time with his young charges, "A Tale of Two Stans" hints that underneath it all is a man who's haunted by the guilt of sending his brother into another dimension. After Ford comes back and makes clear his intent to take back his house and name after the summer, Stan covers it up with his usual gruff nature.
  • Street Smart: As expected of any self-respecting carny, Stan is shrewd, has a knack for deception, and is good at thinking on his feet.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: "Dreamscaperers" shows that Stan looks a lot like his father. Kid Stan even looks a little like Dipper. Stan and his brother also look extremely similar to each other, to the point where in the past it was possible to confuse them. And, as Bill discovers to his chagrin, even in the modern day after a clothes swap.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Especially when it comes to Soos and Wendy.
    I'd fire all of you if I could.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome/Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Believe it or not. It's more noticeable in "Little Dipper", when he's seen without his fez.
  • Technologically Blind Elders: He mistook a CD for a record player, and doesn't know what "texting a photo to someone" is. When Gideon claims to have kidnapped Dipper and Mabel in "Little Dipper" and offers to send him proof, Stan can't even understand him.
    Gideon: I have them in my possession! You don't believe me? I will text you a photo!
    Stan: "Text me a photo?" Now you're not even speakin' English!
    Gideon: But-
    Stan: (hangs up)
  • Theme Twin Naming: He and his twin brother (The Author) are named Stanley and Stanford, respectively. This is because, as the puzzle after the credits in "A Tale of Two Stans" reveals, their not-too-creative Father Filbrick didn't plan to have twins.
  • Thicker Than Water: Stan would risk causing the apocalypse to bring back his brother.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In his youth, he was severely picked on; Stan's dad had him take boxing lessons, and in his senior years, he still knows how to fight.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He becomes a much nicer person in season 2, which must be due to his confession knowing about all the weirdness in Gravity Falls all along.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Cuts quite a triangular figure while wearing his tux; even without it on, he's been shown to have a very broad chest and shoulders, thick arms, and skinny legs (it all just happens to get a little overshadowed by his gut).
  • Tough Love: A Deconstruction. Stan's father, Filbrick Pines, was an emotionally abusive Jerkass. Stan, however, seems to have read his actions as tough love even if it most definitely wasn't, and decided that following dad's example was the best way to toughen up Dipper. It made their relationship crash so badly Dipper became convinced Stan hated him and wanted him gone. Even with knowing Stan does care, there are still signs Dipper's keeping a lot of bad feelings about this bottled up.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He's shown in one episode to like Toffee Peanuts. It's to the point where, in the very same episode, in a flashback to back when he and Ford were in high school, a bag of Toffee Peanuts at the scene was all Ford needed to incriminate Stan for sabotaging his science experiment.
  • Tritagonist: Stan gets the third largest amount of focus, after Dipper and Mabel.
  • Tsundere: Shows shades of a platonic form of this towards the kids at times. He tries to continue this act during the series finale (in a gut wrenching kind of way). invoked
  • The Unfavorite: Was this in his family since he apparently didn't contribute to them as a teenager. And really got strengthened when his father threw him out of the house after he accidentally broke Stanford's machine and ruined his chances to go to his dream college. His father even accused him of riding on his brother's coattails.
  • Unreliable Narrator: In a number of his flashbacks, he's designed to look like a composite between himself and Ford (not to mention his memories painting his dad as being not a heartless jackass).
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: All of Stan's efforts to bring his brother back (after having set in motion the chain of events that trapped him offworld in the first place) created a chain of bad events that lead up to the End of the World as We Know It. His efforts to bring Ford back left behind an unstable dimensional rift, every subsequent event related to that MacGuffin slowly created tension between Dipper and Mabel, especially with Dipper spending more time with Ford. Mabel's broken emotional state over the idea of being apart from Dipper made her vulnerable to Bill Cipher's manipulations. It doesn't help that Stan disregarded every warning against using the portal, and now everyone, including himself has to suffer the consequences of his foolishness. He also agitated the first signs of an emotional rift between Mabel and Dipper by joining with and at times even encouraging Mabel to pick on Dipper for the sake of "humorous" jokes. This alienated Dipper emotionally from both Stan and Mabel, adding to the reasons Dipper would choose to spend most of his time with Ford when he arrived—since not only was Ford his idol, but he also didn't pick on Dipper like the rest of the family. It's this choice that convinced Mabel her paranoia over their relationship was legitimate, which built until she reached her breaking point in "Dipper and Mabel Vs. The Future".
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As a kid, he was nice and cheerful. However, getting disowned by his family forced him to become a criminal just to survive, resulting in the bitter old man that he is today.
  • Vanity License Plate: If you look closely, the plate on Grunkle Stan's car says "STNLY MBL." Which is odd, since according to Gideon, his full name is 'Stanford'. His real name is actually Stanley, but he faked his death and took up his brother's name Stanford while he went missing in the portal.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having:
    • He used to have a crush on Lazy Susan. But when he finally went out on a date with her, he decided that she looked "weird up close", and quickly bailed.
    • He spent thirty years desperately trying to rescue his brother from the portal, only to be reminded of how strained their relationship was once Stanford was back. It's not a total loss however, as Stan does want Dipper's happiness, and if his brother can make that happen, he won't stand in their way.
  • Weirdness Censor: Subverted. If the end of "Gideon Rises" tells us anything, he knew about all the weird stuff. In "Scaryoke" he all out admits to knowing, but claimed otherwise in an attempt to keep Dipper and Mabel from getting too close and being in danger.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Disowned by his father for accidentally ruining their chance at a fortune, Stan spent years trying and make money to be accepted back. Fittingly, one of the books he owns is called Daddy Issues.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: "[T]rust me. Everything I've worked for, everything I care about, it's all for this family!" And that "everything" includes committing various felonies, deceiving and endangering his own family, deliberately causing gravitational anomalies that at the very least destroy a good chunk of the town, and gambling the entirety of the human race on the off chance that the Portal in his basement, despite all evidence to the contrary, won't end the universe. His actions in Not What He Seems in particular are so extreme that even Soos is temporarily against him by the end of the episode.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In their childhood, Stan and his brother Stanford were each other's Only Friend and did everything together. Because of an accident and their father throwing Stan out for costing their family a fortune and Stanford his dream school, their relationship was strained. Over 10 years later, Stanford called Stan to Gravity Falls. It wasn't to reconcile, but to ask him to hide the last of his journals and he still blames him for ruining his chances, despite Stanford managing to still gain a Ph.D. and a large amount of money. Their fight landed Stanford in another dimension that Stan has been trying to free him from 30 years, only to receive no thanks and a demand that Stanford get his life back at the end of the Summer. As shown near the end of "A Tale of Two Stans", it seems the two want to reconcile (particularly Stan), but are too bitter over how their lives have gone, and Stanford being trapped in another dimension, have made this near impossible. Luckily, they eventually manage to repair this.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Not What He Seems", Dipper comes to his breaking point when Stan begs them to trust him about the Portal despite having lied to them about everything else.
    Dipper: And I should trust you why?! After you stole radioactive waste? After you lied to us all summer?! I don't even know who you are!
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He was afraid of heights, though he has since been cured.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He has no compunction with smacking Gideon around with a broom, although Gideon more than deserves it.
    Stan: Soos, broom.
    Gideon: Oh no, not the broom!
  • Younger Than They Look: Mild example. He's possibly 58 or, at most, in his early sixties. Darlene mistakes him for over seventy. It's only that noticeable as he has an identical twin brother who is in significantly better shapenote , while Stan wound up with a lot more grey hair and health issues due to a life of stress, on-and-off poverty, and the resulting bad habits. On top of that, he has Fat Slob tendencies and has a tendency to be extremely lazy around the Shack.

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