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Fanfic / A Triangle in the Stars

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It was just a regular Saturday evening. Steven Universe was just chilling on the beach. Soon, however, he comes face to face with Bill Cipher's statue, as it had somehow crossed the ocean and wound up on Beach City. He decides to take it back home, since the Gems are away. This, obviously or not, leads to trouble...

A Triangle In The Stars is a collab crossover fanfic between Steven Universe and Gravity Falls created by Vampire Tails and Anonymistress, otherwise known as Ace, or Gay, the Demon, both of whom are on Google Plus where this story originated as a roleplay May 2016. It has then been uploaded to by the former on June 24th, 2016, where it is 'completed' in 70 chapters, and in Ao3 on November 26th 2020.


A Triangle In The Stars provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 
    Tropes: A - C 
  • Abusive Parents: It was hinted at in several chapters and finally confirmed in Chapter Thirty that Bill Cipher suffered from these for several years. And that's not all. Alex himself confirmed he had a much WORSE childhood than Stanley Pines did. OUCH.
  • Achilles' Heel: As mentioned below, Steven's shield, if thrown, can hurt Bill in places other than his eye. It's even been exploited by his little adopted brother, Gabriel. Lightning, as implied in Chapter Forty-Four, also carries the capability to maim or kill beings like Bill, since it's made of energy itself.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Bill gets this treatment, especially when he starts regrowing his empathy.
    • As if Pearl didn't have enough to suffer over, she has to deal with wanting to know exactly what happened in the Zodiac Temple, starting in Chapter Thirty-Eight, but no one, particularly Garnet and Keyhole, will tell her and keeps her Locked Out of the Loop, adding to her frustration. And it also involves Rose.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the school arc Bill and his friends band together to rescue Steven from Gabriel, with varying degrees of reluctance and of excitement.
    • Peridot is a lot more empathetic and kinder than how her canon self started out. And her go-to mindset is curiosity rather than violence.
  • Adaptation Expansion: This story is of course set after the end of Gravity Falls and after Ocean Gem. So it's more like expanding Gravity Falls.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While she does retain her care for Steven, Lapis's disregard for Earth and the people who live upon it is more highlighted here, simply because she has more screentime, and she's also more manipulative, drawing more parallels between her and Bill. She also goes along with Jasper, though it's often unwilling and vitreous.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter Fifty-Six focuses on Peridot, and in it she explores Beach City, having gotten tired of sitting in the boat. This, unfortunately, leads to her getting poofed and captured in the next chapter.
  • Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: As noted by Lars in Chapter Five, Bill Cipher can switch between these at the drop of a hat.
  • After Action Patch Up: After Bill rescues a then-poofed Steven from Gabriel, Steven heals the triangle's wounds via his famous healing spit.
  • Alternate Continuity: See directly below. Since the story picks up after Ocean Gem, there's bound to be a difference in plot.
  • Alternate Universe: Of course, that's where the Adaptation Expansion stops and the trope above goes full speed. It has few differences, but the differences can be staggering. For example, there's no Cluster and a few Gems are quite different. Not to say that there aren't minor references to the episodes after Ocean Gem, however.
    • Ocean Town, which was visited and explored in Chapter Twenty-Four, falls into this after Last One Out of Beach City aired. In this story, its economy reached a dead end and it and the citizens never recovered from the riots. In the episode, it's confirmed that it was simply set on fire.
  • Angel Face, Demon Face: Since the start of the story, Bill Cipher has been wearing a demon face, obviously. Harsh, quick to anger, arrogant, sociopathic and insensitive, etc etc. His physical features even reflect this. However, it started to change, and ultimately, in Chapter Thirty-Two he starts reflecting more of an angel face.
    "His expression was a lot softer than it had been, like an enormous weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and there was a subtle warm glint in his eye. It made his hellish pupil seem unnatural now..."
  • Anti-Magic: Downplayed, but Steven's shield and bubble inexplicably have this effect on Bill's and other demons' magic; even the demons themselves as they can't break out, much like the unicorn hair barrier. It's downplayed because some attacks are reflected, not ceased to be.
    • It's even shown that thrown shields actually hurt Bill and waver his own shields, though how much of this is because Bill isn't at his full strength is unknown. Either way, Gabriel notices, tests it out in Chapter Twenty and takes full advantage of it in Chapter Twenty-Nine.
  • Arc Villain: Of course there'd be a lot of these in such a large story.
    • Bill Cipher serves as villain zero, the one who antagonizes and plans from the get-go. For a while anyway.
    • First official one gives us Gabriel, a star dream demon and younger adopted brother of Bill, seeking revenge.
    • Second are Stan and Ford, coming to erase Bill from existence because of a call from Wendy in Chapter Twelve.
    • Third are Lapis and Jasper, coming to capture the rogue Peridot. Later, however, Jasper takes an interest in Steven. See Idiot Ball.
      • Later, they fuse into Malachite to deal with Bill in Chapter Sixty-Four.
    • And the fourth is the Void. Its motive is to destroy everything and everyone. It also seems to be the Man Behind the Man, if Chapter Forty-Three is of any indication.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Quite a lot of these. The first one in particular, by Steven to Bill, in Chapter Seventeen. It leaves Bill almost speechless, due in part that he thought Steven wouldn't stick around to ask this:
    "Then... I can only ask... why did you spare me?"
    • In Chapter Forty-Four, Bill, after a quiet, self-depreciating speech, asks Steven this, which shocks the boy:
  • Ascended Extra: All of Bill's friends get more attention and are fleshed out more in this story, albeit with the authors' interpretations of their characters. Kryptos and Hectorgon especially, since they're said to have been Bill's friends years ago, long before the rest, and had been spared from dying in their dimension when the fated day came.
    • Lapis also counts, since she has a lot more screentime to allow for her full personality to shine, and also details what happened between her and Jasper when she was captured in Chapter Forty.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Keyhole planned to kill Bill for Gabriel. It didn't go as planned, and in Chapter Twenty-Seven took three failed tries. He's rewarded with Pyronica tossing him away, literally, from the group.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Both literally and figuratively in Chapters Thirty-Two and Thirty-Four, almost respectively. The clouds are much closer in the latter, and distant thunder is even heard. And Bill himself begins to feel something he'd never felt in a long while...
  • Badass Bookworm: Connie Maheswaren, of course!
    • Wendy Corduroy herself seems to have turned into this.
  • Badass Normal: There are three young ones here: Connie, Sadie and Wendy. Each of them have their moments where their badassery shines through. Stan and Ford also count.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: One of the main reasons Bill Cipher changes. Steven was the only one who stuck by his side and was genuinely kind and understanding to him through and through. Everyone else either hated him, suspected him and wanted him dead at one point, saw him as a boss, or perhaps merely took pity upon him. No wonder Bill came to care for the boy so much.
    • It's also the reason Kryptos and Hectorgon were spared all those years ago. They were the only ones who were and remained nice to Bill.
  • Becoming the Mask: Ultimately happens to Bill Cipher, though it isn't entirely just him wearing it long enough for it to become real, as he does let it slip often.
  • Beneath the Mask: This happens twice with Bill under different circumstances.
    • Chapter Four, literally called A Glimpse Underneath the Mask, has Bill raising his innocent mask in order to get a rise out of Lars. It's not for the audience, however, for they already know. But Lars...
    • Second time around Bill has been reformed, so this time his mask is happiness. It cracks every now and then, breaking apart even, but it's always glued back together. Both times Steven isn't really aware of just how deep they go until they break.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Bill Cipher:
      • Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT take his hat and/or take selfies with it if you want to see the light of another day.
      • People backing out of deals, as carried over from his home series, still gets him angry. Especially when they're trapping deals.
      • Betrayal, or more-so perhaps wasting time, is also a big one, and Keyhole learned it the hard way.
      • Touching him is a minor one. He won't outright blow up, but he'll be miffed. Except for the first time, which was a hug. This goes away by Chapter Twenty-Nine.
    • Steven Universe: As in the show, it's really tough to get him angry, but there are times when he does...
      • He snaps at Bill after he insults Sadie, fed up with the demon's attitude.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While he definitely wasn't nice in the start, Bill Cipher comes to genuinely care about Steven. So any and all attempts to hurt the boy will make him angry.
    • Steven Universe is a more played straight example, just like his canon counterpart.
    • Wendy Corduroy, usually laidback, kind and calm, doesn't hesitate to threaten Bill in Chapter Eleven. It falls flat, since he's still stronger, but they even engage in a "glaring contest" afterwards. It doesn't even stop until Steven comes back and drags Bill away.
    • There's also Sadie, who stands up to Bill and keeps him from messing up the school as badly as he initially wanted, Peridot, whose metal powers activate with feelings of frustration and Kryptos, who banged his hands on the bubble keeping him and the remaining Henchmaniacs trapped upon hearing that Pyronica betrayed Bill.
  • Big Brother Bully: Inverted because of age, but this is what Gabriel was implied in Chapter Thirty-Five to have become towards Bill when they were growing up. All the love and especially the hierarchy of their society went to his head.
  • Big Damn Heroes: What Xanthar and 8-Ball were expecting in Chapter Twenty-Nine after being freed from the bubble. But Gabriel was one step ahead of them.
  • Bitchin Sheeps Clothing: Definitely Bill. He puts on an air, sometimes thin, of friendliness and innocence, moreso for Steven, only letting his true colors slip occasionally, and his hidden plan is to backstab everyone he can string along when his powers get restored.
  • Body Horror: The Cluster Demons from the school arc. They're reminiscent of the Gem Mutants from the primary home series, punished amalgamations of different demons who refused to break their loyalty ties from Bill to join Gabriel.
  • Bonding over Missing Parents: It's brief, but Steven and Bill touch upon the fact that their parents, one or both, are no longer with them in Chapter Thirty.
  • Book Ends: The story begins with Steven and Bill alone in the Beach House. At the end of Chapter Sixty-Five, Steven and Bill Cipher are alone in the Beach House, since everyone had left to their homes or rooms or some other destination. But Bill isn't plotting, and Steven is slightly depressed.
  • Break the Cutie: Steven ends up taking a lot of this trope. And so does Bill in a way. See below.
  • Break the Haughty: Bill. Nuff said.
  • Breather Episode: Quite a few chapters are like this. Chapters Forty-Six and Forty-Seven come to mind. Because even the characters have to relax sometimes.
  • Brick Joke: During the school/Steven Rescue arc, Bill thinks about chicken and how it would sound good as he's trying to catch 8-Ball. Later, when the arc's all over, and they get home, Bill summons chicken sandwiches for himself and Steven.
  • Broken Tears: Bill Cipher cries these in Chapter Sixty-Eight, while no one's looking. But Greg notices because of the redness in eyes that usually result from crying. He then proceeds to cry more while speaking to the man about how perfect a parent he is.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Though both boys, Bill is definitely brooding, and Steven is gentle, helping the triangle through his troubles. And sometimes, especially later, it's swapped and Bill helps back in his own way.note 
    • Gender Flipped and Downplayed with Steven and Connie, unlike in the show proper. It's especially highlighted in Chapter Forty-Six, where Connie can't even play Citchen Calamity because Bill was sitting right across from her, whereas Steven thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
  • Cain and Abel: Way before this story begins, Bill was the Cain to Gabriel's Abel, though they initially got along excellently. The triangle just got fed up with how he was treated and how Gabe was so loved, and Gabriel in fact grew to be condescending towards his older brother. Instead of murder, the "Abel" was simply imprisoned. In the present, the school arc, the roles switch, for obviously different reasons. Interestingly, it's the Abel who kills the Cain.
  • Catchphrase: Some characters have things they say a lot.
    Pyronica: We don't have time for this!
    Bill: Eh/Well, <insertsentencehere>.
  • Character Check: Bill has one in Chapter Twenty. Ronaldo had shown up to the school to record for his blog. The demon treats him with condescension, showing that, even though he's changing, he hasn't changed that much.
  • Character Development: There's lots of this spread out along the main characters.
    • Bill Cipher slowly evolves from the angry, condescending yet giddy Jerkass Sociopath he was in the show to a relatively kind character struggling with empathy and depression and who deeply cares about Steven.
    • Steven Universe becomes less happy, and more serious as the story goes on. Even his relationship with Connie seems to be going downhill, and it's mutual. The poor boy is also becoming depressed and less excitable.
    • Gabriel goes from a rampaging revenge seeker to a remorseful, slightly quiet Atoner. However, it's more or less revealed in Chapter Forty-Three that it was mostly the Void's fault.
    • Pyronica goes from a selfish mole, to a depressed wreck, and then blossoms into a relatively good person, er, demon.
    • Cowardly Keyhole evolves from his indecisive, quiet It's All About Me personality, to a Cowardly Lion who, while still a follower, often makes his own decisions.
    • Wendy Corduroy has gone through this in the half year before the story starts. She's become more of a recluse, takes school seriously, and has also become a bookworm and laid off her particularly rebellious activities. She's still the same cool redhead we all know, though, but has had enough of Gravity Falls's constant weirdness and just wants a break, and thus isn't particularly prone to engage in weirdness any more than she has to.
      • In the story itself, her development is mainly focused on how she sees and treats Bill, from hostile to sympathizing yet wary to friendly, along with getting her out of her solitary shell.
    • Connie, at first friendly to Bill, turns hostile when she sees him again in Chapter Thirty-One. Turns out, as revealed in Chapter Forty-Six, Wendy gave in and told her what happened. She goes through this again in Chapter Forty-Six, where she learns that she can trust Bill, that he's changed, and goes back to being friendly. And at the beginning of the story, she was friendly to Steven, as close as she was to him in the show. But later she begins growing more reserved towards him.
    • Stanford, after spending the majority of the story being hateful towards Bill, for good reason, starts to realize he's not so bad now, and the realization is solidified by Chapter Sixty. He even attempts to save Bill from Jasper when he saw how courageous and sacrificing Bill was by helping them rescue Peridot, something the Bill he knew wouldn't do.
  • The Chessmaster: Bill's main modus operandi. Even after his Heel–Face Turn, it's hard to break. It does prove useful, but at one point while playing Citchen Calamity with Steven and Connie, he even sees the little characters as pawns, like a chessboard.
    • Steven himself shows heroic signs of this, particularly in Chapter Forty-Five, where he tells Connie to come over and have a sleepover. All so he can get her to see that Bill's changed. Wendy was just an added, unprecedented success.
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: It's implied that Bill's hat makes anyone other than him who wears it slowly start obsessing over wearing it and becoming more or less egomaniacs.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Ronaldo, as displayed in Chapter Twenty. He shows no fear or apparent concern towards what's happening to and in the school, only there to record for his blog. He also shows no fear when he walks up to Bill and his friends and even expresses excitement. He's lucky Bill didn't do anything but sneer and that the only thing Pyronica did was set his camera on fire.
  • Color Failure: In Chapter Eighteen, Bill suffers a downplayed version of this when he's told that one of Gabriel's Cluster Demons poofed Steven, by Gabriel himself.
  • Completed Fic: Unofficially. Since Ace has moved from the story, Vampire Tails was unable to continue the story without Ace, since it wouldn't work without them.
  • Covers Always Lie: In, the cover is the Crystal Gems on the front ready to fight with Bill Chipher looking down on them from behind. However, not only are the Crystal Gems (except Steven) on a mission, Bill Cipher pulled a Heel–Face Turn, and has no need to antagonize Steven anymore.
  • Crossover: Obviously.
  • Cuddle Bug: This portrayal of Steven is more so than the one in the show, as he's always quick to hug people. This dies down, to asking before he hugs, to not at all. At least until Bill's Character Development.
    • Chapter Thirty-One hints that Bill Cipher himself used to be one. And in Chapter Forty-Six, it's stated that he used to play with stuffed animals, and is slowly warming back into that.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: While not really much of a battle, Void!Steven puts Pyronica and Gabriel out of temporary commission within seconds and minutes in Chapter Forty-Three, all while boasting about it.
  • Curiosity Causes Conversion: Yet another reason Bill Cipher performs a Heel–Face Turn. He eventually became so curious as to why Steven behaved the way he did that he couldn't ignore it any longer. See Evil Cannot Comprehend Good/First Time Feeling.
    Tropes D - F 
  • Daylight Horror: One Cluster Demon goes after Steven on Gabriel's orders, offscreen however. And before that, a Gem Monster and the result of Bill's chaos in Chapter Six terrorize the school. It was during the morning.
    • After the storm clears up, which Bill didn't want to happen, in Chapter Fifty-One, Stan and Ford resume their journey to Beach City to destroy Bill.
  • Defector from Decadence: Peridot, whom Stan and Ford meet in Chapter Twenty-Three. Unlike Canon Peridot, she's always had doubts about whether she belonged to and in Homeworld, and disliked what her species did regularly. It's Downplayed, however, in that she goes along with her new crewmates because she's curious about them and Earth, and is happy helping them.
  • Demonic Possession: Happens twice so far, to Steven. Surprisingly, Bill isn't the one who does either.
  • Depower: Bill has lost the majority of his powers, which is initially why he sticks with Steven. However, he knows he'll get them back, and steadily regains the abilities he's lost as time goes on.
    • But with this, he also needs to sleep, and using too much power at a time exhausts him and causes him to lose abilities for a while if it's bad enough.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Bill Cipher grows into this after his Character Development, but he's a very minor case. This was shown in Chapter Thirty-One, where he silently wished the hug from Steven lasted longer and even got a little sad. He also wants people to trust and love him, wanting to move on.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Downplayed, but this is what Bill is. Everyone else who met him saw it or realized it except maybe Steven, who ends up changing him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • While Lars did insult Bill one too many times, did he really have to shock his ear, an already sensitive part of the body, to the point that it REALLY hurts?
    • In Chapter Four, Sadie takes Bill's top hat so he can uphold his end of the deal. Bill resolves that when he betrays them all, she'd be the first to die. Mitigated somewhat with the events of Chapter Thirty-Two. That hat was the only thing about him that his father was proud of...
    • Bill's reaction in Chapter Eight to discovering Steven and Sadie taking selfies with his hat after having left him behind at the school. It looked like he was going to kill them. Word of God, one of them at least, stated he would have snapped their phones in half if Steven had failed to offer deleting the selfies. And definitely something even worse as well had Steven failed in general...
    • For wasting them valuable time from rescuing Steven in Chapter Twenty-Eight, Bill was about to kill Keyhole with a severe, infernal burning attack. He misses on purpose after thinking on it, but still...
    • Gabriel himself indulged in this, with the creation of the Cluster Demons, as mentioned above, and said monstrosities still weren't entirely loyal to him. So he, as said by the author responsible for Gabriel, changed up his former prison, the Void, into an emotional one, tossed them into it and waited until their very will and ability to think for themselves was gone...
  • Driven to Suicide: In Chapter Forty-Four, all of Bill's depressing thoughts, and eventually suicidal thoughts, ultimately lead up to him taking this route, via lightning bolt, hoping it would overload him and finish what his parents had started. He fully and truly believed the world would be better off without him, that every single person hates him and wants him dead (which is and was actually true but for three genuine exceptions), and that he shouldn't have existed in the first place. He also had done such reprehensible things that he was almost constantly mentally being given hell over. Thankfully, after protecting him from the bolt Steven manages to talk him down, with a Cool-Down Hug to boot.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Bill falls victim to this in Chapter Forty-Seven. Wendy tells a scary story, and Bill tries to help it by supplementing it with an image of the monster. He laughs. The others don't, and Connie calls him out, which confuses him for a bit.
  • Dumb Struck: Bill Cipher undergoes this in Chapter Seventeen after Steven asks him an Armor-Piercing Question, mostly because he wasn't expecting Steven to stick around long enough to ask. It's temporary though, but he describes it as a computer going BSOD.
  • The Empath: Steven Universe, of course. How do you think he reformed Bill in a matter of days? He also reforms both Gabriel and the Void, the latter with Pyronica's and Gabill's help.
  • Empathic Environment: Averted, particularly and seemingly with the dark, ugly storm that occurs much later in the story. It doesn't go away after Bill and Steven settle their issues in Chapter Forty-Four, and is actually lampshaded by the narrative.
    • It finally passes in Chapter Fifty-One. It actually turned out to be empathetic, because it didn't go away until Wendy and Connie began to fully trust Bill and see the good that lay within. But, unfortunately for Bill, it signals possible doom...
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Bill develops this in the school arc, specifically Chapter Twenty-Six, but it's more from anxiety and even worried fright. It doesn't go away, and at times gets worse.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Bill suffers from this for the grand majority of this story. He often calls Steven, the Good, an enigma, which comes as a shock to him. Even after he figures it out. Read: "is told".
  • Eye Scream: Bill tends to get his eye hurt. A lot. Enough to be a sorta Running Gag.
  • Fatal Flaw: While it doesn't lead to death, Steven and Bill share a bad habit of holding things in until they can't anymore, but for different reasons that seem to connect. Steven does it because he doesn't want to hurt anyone or become a burden, and Bill does it because of his Pride, that he can depend on himself and can fix it on his own.
    • Connie's curiosity, were it not for Steven's intervention in Chapter Ten, would have gotten her killed or worse.
    • Jasper's recklessness and impatience. Luckily most of it is reigned in by Lapis.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Cluster Demons suffer from this, as described above.
    • Gabriel also experienced it, having been tossed into the Void, and purportedly having his soul ripped apart and spread throughout dimensions, long before the story began.
  • First Time Feeling: Bill experiences, and later struggles with, this throughout, since Chapter Three, starting with confusion. But it later grows into indecision of whether he loves it or hates it. And later feels like a train station and like a tree is growing inside him. It's empathy. Something he lost a long, long time ago.
  • Fish out of Water: Peridot definitely fits this trope. She doesn't know what oil, rain or money is. She's extremely curious about Earth and its inhabitants. She uses the Salute of the Diamonds instead of the Earth salute and had to be taught that by Stan. Among other things. Most importantly, she's stuck there, and can't return to Homeworld even if she wanted to. And she doesn't.
    • A variation but Keyhole initially feels this way among the Crystal Gems.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing
    • In Chapter Ten, Connie runs off to the pool to get a lifeguard. Who else do we know who got a brief job as a lifeguard? it's Wendy Corduroy.
    • In Chapter Twenty-Three, Wendy half-heartedly jokes to Connie about there being a secret room in the library. Guess what happens several minutes later?
  • Flaw Exploitation: Gabriel picks up on Bill's unwillingness to fight or kill him while he's in Steven's body. Were it not for Steven retaking his body, Bill would have been dead or worse. Nonetheless, he almost constantly picks on him for it.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: It's implied that Bill and Gabriel are this, with the former as the responsible one and the latter as the foolish one. Nonetheless...
  • Foreshadowing: Wouldn't be a "proper" Gravity Falls and Steven Universe fic without em.
    • In Chapter One, Steven drew a detailed star on the beach, which sadly gets washed away. Later, in Chapter Fifteen, a star demon named Gabriel appears and possesses Steven.
    • In one nightmare caused by Bill in Chapter Two, it depicts Lapis being caught by a net and waterfalls spilling through her eyes and mouth, like in Chille Tid. Steven then expresses worry that she may be trapped somewhere. In Chapter Forty, it's revealed she's become a prisoner on Jasper's ship, and is not happy about it.
      • The last nightmare of the chapter has Steven exploring the ravaged Beach City. In it, he also finds Lars and Sadie dead. In fact, they are the first people he finds. Now, who are the first people who later anger Bill in the story?
      • In the same nightmare, amongst all the shattered-into-powder Crystal Gems there is a dark blue and also a green mixed in. Hmm...Spoiler 
    • While cleaning up the picnic in Chapter Seven, Sadie ponders about Bill's "ungrateful jerk" outburst back in Chapter Five, wondering, albeit doubtfully, if there was a reason for it. There is. Bill was abused by his parents long ago and was thus driven by envy, and furthermore exasperated by Sadie having taken her mom and the stuff she did for her for granted.
    • Connie seems to gravitate towards the mention of Gravity Falls in Chapter Ten, certain she heard about it a time ago, but is unable to remember, much to her dismay. Fast forward to Chapter Twenty-Three, and it's found out that her memory of it had gotten erased by the Blind Eye. And they probably got her family too, and told them to leave...
    • Pyronica always chose to go left. Seems funny and like a quirk, yeah. But with what do people usually associate that direction? that's right. Pyronica later betrays Bill, revealing that she was on Gabriel's side the entire time.
    • In Chapter Thirty, Bill indirectly tells Steven that in his dimension, stars surpass triangles in the hierarchy. Later, Steven begins to have thoughts that aren't his own. They say, "Lowly triangle. Mighty star." And Steven himself is a star; he noted that himself. And the kid was already more powerful than Bill, due to circumstances.
    • Throughout the majority of the story, there are hints pointing towards a certain.. "trait".. Bill has buried deep inside, and even blatant digs are made at the issue. He turns out to suffer from severe, but well-hidden, depression due to his past actions, his past in general, and his newfound empathy makes it no better and in fact caused it all, having forced him to see all his past actions as horribly wrong, minus killing his parents. Ultimately, in Chapter Forty-Four, he tries taking his life. Fortunately, Steven talks him down. The storm that occurs during that painful event, as mentioned above, also foreshadows this.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Gabriel faces this from Bill, who realizes from his speech that they're not that different, in Chapter Thirty-Six. If Steven could forgive Bill and give him chances, then he could forgive him and offer chances too, but not before this was said:
    He whispered darkly, "If you make me regret this, I swear to God..." and then he chuckled bitterly, "no, not even He would be able to help you..."
  • Forgiveness: Steven himself is full of this, given how often he forgives Bill and how he pardons his past actions. In fact, it's the overall theme of this story. No matter what somebody did, if they try their hardest to change, to turn over a new leaf, and want to change, they're worth forgiving. Especially if what they did wasn't (particularly) by choice.
  • For the Evulz: The events at the school of Chapter Six, fleshed out in Chapter Fourteen and further in Chapter Twenty-Two? Bill did that because he was bored and itching to cause a grander scale of chaos. More specifically, he messed up the school on a Sunday despite Sadie watching him, long story short, and got a lot of people hurt and/or traumatized, much to then unknowledgeable/ignorant Steven's chagrin and Bill's own hidden amusement when watching the results on the news in Chapter Fourteen. As for Chapter Twenty-Two, that's a witness account of the horrors.
  • Freudian Excuse: This trope is dealt with at least two times.
    • Bill especially has it bad, having slowly had his empathy extinguished and sanity degraded by the abuse and mistreatment. It's no wonder he's an insane, psychopathic, evil jerk. Unlike most examples, he eventually realized that he was definitely in the wrong for every other thing he's done since then. It's also part of the reason he tries to kill himself in Chapter Forty-Four.
    • Gabriel, the story's first Big Bad, had been tossed into the Void for more than a trillion years. Of course he'd be out for vicious revenge, even though it was mostly his fault, and have lost more than a few marbles too. Turns out, as revealed in Chapter Forty-Three, this behavior was mostly the Void's fault.

    Tropes G - I 
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Bill's pupil glows a dangerous blue or red whenever he's plotting or threatening (blue), or sufficiently angered (red). Naturally, the blue part goes away later on.
    • Peridot's eyes glow blue when her ferrokinesis activates. The wording is important, for she's not aware.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: True to the show, Steven can't grasp the fact that someone can be truly, thoroughly evil, and believes there's a reason behind everything. He's right.
  • Good Feels Good: Bill experiences this sometimes, particularly when he makes Steven dinner in Chapter Eleven. It doesn't last, and he doesn't understand.
    • However, along a different kinda vein, in Chapter Thirty-Two, he comes to realize that hugs release a much higher euphoria than pain ever did. Even better, it lasts longer!
  • Guile Hero: Bill ends up as this, more or less.
  • Guilt Complex: Believe it or not, Bill has this trope in spades. It stems from his past, especially his growing empathy, which causes him to draw negative attention to all his wrongdoings, and especially the meaning of his true name. Alongside his depression, he hides it extremely well and represses it, only letting off hints every once and a while. Until it explodes.
    • Steven has a mild case, not as bad as it is in the series proper since this story starts after "Ocean Gem". But he also doesn't talk about it much and tries not to think about it.
  • Hates Being Touched: Bill has this characteristic, as first shown when he squirms out of Steven's hug and yells at him in Chapter One. He doesn't like it when humans touch him. This fades by Chapter Thirty, when he finds just how valuable and helpful hugs are.
  • The Heart: Steven, much like his canon counterpart. Even in spirit, he provides emotional motivation for the Crystal Gems to return to him safely and as quickly as they can. And, most importantly, he consistently provides Bill with warmth and kindness and support. It eventually leads to Bill unwittingly regrowing his own heart. He also settles Connie's quiet hostility and distrust towards Bill down in Chapter Forty-Six, and is overall relatively quick to resolve conflicts in the first place.
  • Heel–Face Turn: A few characters experience this, but the most prominent one is Bill Cipher. It's cemented by Chapter Thirty-Two, where he throws his plans to backstab Steven Universe away, having found he could no longer go through with them.
    • Other characters are Pyronica, Gabriel, and the Void. Keyhole, maybe, but he was less evil than a little misguided.
  • Heel Realization: Bill Cipher, while he's had others too, has a rather harrowing and permanent one in Chapter Thirty-Two, realizing he had become worse than his parents. He gets better.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bill, while not exactly a hero at that point, goes through a brief one in Chapter Twenty-Nine, after Gabriel cracked Steven's gem.
    • Steven suffers this in Chapter Thirty-Four that lasts for a while, when he learns that he was actually telling his problem to Bill, who had disguised himself as Sapphire to activate the Warp Pad and was unwilling to change back and that it wasn't a dream like the demon had led him to believe. It's one of many, and one Bill especially feels guilty for.
    • Wendy is reduced to silence in Chapter Thirty-One and had even broke down offscreen crying over Bill's backstory.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bill tries a nonfatal method in Chapter Fifty-Five to keep Steven safe from Jasper. It's bungled by Steven, despite his warnings.
    • In the chapter before that, Gabriel jumps in the way of the Quantum Destabilizer's shot toward his brother. Everyone, except Stan, is shaken by this.
    • Earlier, in Chapter Forty-Three, Bill wants to be sacrificed to save Steven from the Void, but ultimately and secretly wants to die. Thankfully, Gabriel and Pyronica shoot it down, especially since the Void would have used him for its plans.
    • And Pyronica herself takes on this trope twice. Both weren't followed through due to other people meddling.
  • Hero of Another Story: Sometimes, the story will focus on the Crystal Gems and their adventure away from Beach City.
    • Ford and Stan also get this treatment.
    • So do Lapis and Jasper.
    • A more Played Straight example, but Peridot, to the point that the author wants to write it out.
  • Hidden Depths
    • Bill Cipher
      • Despite how he appears to be happy, he is actually very depressed. It takes several chapters to reveal, or more like hint at, this aspect, but it and the turmoil from his empathy regrowing ultimately culminates in him trying to take his own life. Thank goodness Steven was there...
      • Chapter Eleven reveals he's an excellent cook, despite having never cooked before.
      • He deeply treasures his hat. Since, as mentioned before, it was the only thing his literal square of a father was proud of.
      • Chapter Thirty-One hints that he used to love and play with stuffed animals as a shapeling, which further hints at his childhood personality.
    • Pyronica can be rather nice and supportive when she wants to be.
    • Sadie proves herself to be a badass yet again in Chapter Six, standing up to Bill Cipher himself.
  • Hope Spot: In Chapter Fifty-Four, Ford was willing to kill Bill. But Steven managed to convince him that things have changed. The two lower their guard and relax, but then Stan grabs the gun and shoots anyway.
  • Hostile Weather: Thanks to Lapis trying to delay Jasper reaching Steven's home in Chapter Forty, the already-ensuing storm becomes much, much worse, bringing Jasper's ship down and in Chapter Forty-One threatening to tip over the Stan O' War II. Because of this, Stan, Peridot and Ford have to wait just outside the perimeter of the deadly waves and rain until the storm clears up before they can head on to Beach City.
  • Humiliation Conga: Downplayed. A more serious one than most, Bill Cipher goes through much confusion when his efforts to appeal to Steven's darker side, for lack of a better explanation, backfire. This, and other events that play more to the Trauma Conga Line, lead to his confidence shattering.
  • Idiot Ball: Steven grabs this in Chapter Fifty-Five. Instead of listening to Bill and going along with Lapis, he decides to take matters into his own hands and reveals himself as half-Gem to Jasper so he would get taken instead. Naturally, given what kinda gem he has, it doesn't end well, and Bill called him out on it. It's also even called out by the co-author in an author note.
  • Imprinting: A minor case of this involving Peridot and the Stans. She still has her own personality, and they're definitely not the first humans she meets, but she picks up a few of their character traits and gestures - mostly Ford's.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Steven resembles this in spades, albeit Downplayed. To count:
    • In the battle to get Steven back from Gabriel, Bill was about to lose, and despite being stuck in his gem and to the star's form, he managed to stop the weapons before they hit and killed Bill.
    • While Gabriel's essence activated and was getting worse within his mind, he managed to hear Bill's pep talk and pop the bubble.
    • When Pyronica reached him within his mind, he was still Steven, and swore he could handle Gabriel and reform him.
    • However, he can still seemingly become corrupt, as seen in Chapter Forty-Two. Turns out, in the chapter afterwards, this was the Void's doing, and Steven turns out fine.

    Tropes J - L 
  • Jerkass: Bill, and to a much lesser extent, Lars. He makes Lars's attitude seem like a "failed bully", at worst. Bill slowly mellows out into a relatively Nice Guy though.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Occurs quite a bit, mostly from Bill since he's one of the main characters.
    • In Chapter Three, while Bill did take a mildly extreme route to punish Lars, Lars had insulted him one time too many beforehand. He may have deserved it, but not like that. Steven, naturally for him, calls the demon out, but Lars actually thinks about it.
    • While it made Sadie cry and Steven fed up for a while, Bill's outburst about humans being ungrateful jerks towards Sadie in Chapter Five, he was right in that Sadie was indeed ungrateful for the things her mom did for her. Even if it was a bit hypocritical, which Steven again points out. Sadie, in Chapter Seven, muses that Bill was absolutely right, even if the outburst was mean.
    • During his brief stint as one, Steven claims, among other things, that he's fed up with Bill. The demon considers this, thinking that maybe he was right, that he'd given him a hard time anyways. It doesn't stick, since the demon figures out that Steven would never say such things, especially in such a cruel manner, but still...
  • Jerkass Realization: Lars has this in Chapter Three, after Steven stood up for him against Bill. Time will tell if this sticks.
  • Just a Kid: One of the main reasons Bill often underestimates Steven and what the boy can handle. It shows signs of fading around Chapter Forty-Four, but he's still worried.
    • It's also why Wendy won't tell Steven and Connie what happened between her and Bill in Chapter Ten, for fear that it may traumatize them. Subverted, for she eventually caved and finally told Connie about Weirdmageddon off-screen.
  • Kick the Dog: Bill plans to backstab Steven and several others right from the getgo. He also delves into minor ones. How fortunate that he lets this go later on.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gabriel suffers this in Chapter Twenty-Nine, at the brutal, magical hands of an angry Bill. He later returns, albeit now on the side of good.
  • Knight of Cerebus: There are ultimately two of these. Jasper and the Void. When either of these two show up, or are even mentioned, the story noticeably darkens. Gabriel tried and succeeded, but once these two start rolling in he barely holds a candle to them, and Bill himself started off as a mild one, but ultimately passed the torch as well.
  • Lackof Empathy: Bill Cipher, of course. But this doesn't last.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: As if Steven didn't have enough weight on his shoulders having to take care of the Crystal Gems and sometimes Connie, Bill, of all people, eventually comes to depend on him for support. However, while he likes the encouragement, given his Pride he often doesn't like being so helpless and so dependent and often tries to fix things himself (read: hold things in).
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Steven definitely counts, for nearly the entire story, and he calls especial attention to it in Chapter Forty-Six and in the next one too. Unlike the Crystal Gems canonically, Bill is actually learning rather quickly to let Steven in on important events, vague though his words can be sometimes. But even he has secrets that are yet to be revealed at first for his own evil gain, but that drains into fear he will lose the boy's friendship and trust, and/or traumatize him...
    • Pearl and Amethyst become this in Chapter Thirty-Eight, but Pearl is more emotional, upfront and anxious about it. She knows Garnet and Keyhole are hiding stuff from her, but they won't tell her and won't let her find out, as seen in Chapter Thirty-Eight. It's enough to drive a wedge between the team.

    Tropes M - P 
  • Magnetic Hero: Steven is definitely this, having reformed Bill in a matter of days, Gabriel in one day, and the Void within an hour at least - the latter two having been in his head, and the lattermost requiring help from his demon friends. It's even Discussed by Wendy and Connie over the phone in Chapter Forty-Six:
    Connie: I don't know... Steven's got this way with people.
    Wendy: Even with sociopaths... wow, man. That sure is something... he sure is something...
  • Magnificent Bastard: Bill Cipher certainly fits this for a while anyway. His plan was to string along everyone he could so he could betray them later. However, his Character Development involves him shedding this, and he ends up as more or less a Guile Hero who's still somewhat prone to manipulating Steven, as shown in Chapter Thirty-Four, much to his regret and shame. Habits do indeed die hard.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Downplayed, but this is more or less what the school becomes because of Bill messing with it. Lights flickering off when the halls are filled, demons crawling out of former chemicals, computers acting up, and chemistry equipment going berserk certainly add to the perfect chaos for high school students and staff. Oh, and there's a Gem Monster loose.
    • And it's not the first time. Second time around has forks in halls, one three-pronged. It's not possible for those to be there. And at one point the lights go out. Twice. And there are Cluster Demons roaming the place, however unseen they are. Bill speculates that this was Gabriel's doing.
  • Meaningful Rename: Bill does this in Chapter Fifty-Five so Jasper and Lapis wouldn't figure out who he was. Curiously, he uses his birth name, the same one he threw away all those years ago.
  • Mental Fusion: This is what, Connie realizes in Chapter Sixty-Four, Lapis and Jasper are at risk of becoming the longer they stay Malachite, for the fusion itself, instead of going solely after Bill like Lapis wanted, goes after the Crystal Gems too.
  • Morality Pet: Steven is this to Bill.
  • Mirror Character:
    • Surprisingly, Steven Universe and Bill Cipher are this. And both are very much aware of this: Bill, at one point, catches himself when thinking about it; Steven even muses over this in Chapter Thirty, considering the fact that at least one parent is dead. But there's more to this than ever thought... not helped by the fact that they're already kinda similar canonically, almost as if it was For Want of a Nail. In Chapter Forty-Three, it comes up again, as a thought in Bill's mind, and that time he actually finishes it.
    • There's also comparison between Lapis and Bill Cipher, as they were both trapped in some way and don't like or are scared of water for a while, and Amethyst and Bill Cipher, since they can be mean sometimes but had gone through things, also by Steven in Chapter One and Chapter Thirty, and by Connie in Chapter Ten, with Lapis.
    • Gabriel and Bill hold some similarities, which was outlined in Chapter Thirty-Five. They both had done terrible, horrible things, but were eventually reformed and forgiven.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: A variation. In Chapter Eight, Bill Cipher was exploring more of the school, still bound by Sadie's deal. He soon comes across a mirror in the girls' bathroom, and doesn't like what he sees. It's quickly interrupted and ignored, however, but it's his very first, however brief, Heel Realization and that's quite pivotal.
    The demon soon recovered, and shook off the offending water, before he exited the stall and floated in front of a mirror. He hadn't seen what he looked like since what seemed like forever. But, for a split second, for some reason, he didn't like what he saw. And it wasn't because of his missing hat either. But there was something... something else...
    He liked the way he looked, all things considered—triangular and golden—but...
    His eye widened soon enough and he stopped this train of thought forcefully.
  • Moment of Weakness: Bill Cipher has had many throughout the story, but the biggest one is in Chapter Sixty-Eight. He basically cries even more in front of Greg, despite vowing never to cry in front of anyone except Steven, spills what he thinks about him, that he's perfect, without even thinking. Because of the way Greg looked at him, affectionately. Something he'd never experienced from his own parents. He regrets it immediately, of course.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Peridot's Homeworld hat fell off even before the final straw that made her flee. She's also, unlike her canon counterpart, more empathetic, and hates what her species does and has made her do.
  • Never My Fault: Gabriel couldn't comprehend or accept that anything was his fault, particularly most of Bill's past. As with his other antagonistic behavior, this was also mostly the Void's fault.
  • Odd Friendship: You'd think an angry, sociopathic demon and a sweet, empathetic half-Gem wouldn't mix.
  • Offing the Offspring: Bill's parents had tried to kill him while he was still an infant, as revealed only to the audience in Chapter Thirty.
  • Only Friend: Bill comes to consider Steven this, since he overall thinks Kryptos and Hectorgon only befriended him out of pity, and the rest only see him as a boss.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: See Tranquil Fury for one of Bill's.
    • Others:
      • As the story continues, Bill can't seem to understand Steven, and he understands everyone.
      • Bill also begins to exhibit signs of depression, and also kindness.
      • Steven himself gets unnaturally quiet at some points. He also begins mistreating both Bill and Gabriel in Chapter Forty-Two and overall acting mean. Turns out the Void was causing this.
      • Connie showed signs of giving up on researching Gravity Falls in Chapter Twenty-Three to find out what she lost.
      • Wendy in Chapter Thirty-One is unnaturally quiet, not saying a single word. The narrative actually lampshades this.
      • In Chapter Thirty-Three, Pyronica suffers a drastic, longer version of this. Because of the Void, she's reduced to a depressed, crying wreck who clings to Bill and waits for his command. It takes about two chapters for it to clear up.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Bill does this to Lars in Chapter Three after one too many insults. Mainly by having the little cloud above his head shock his ear and then rain on the young man. Steven doesn't take it well, unlike usual witness examples to Asshole Victim, which surprises and confuses the demon.
  • Pet the Dog: There are quite a few moments when Bill decides or is moved to be kind to Steven.
  • Power Incontinence: Peridot suffers from this. Whenever feelings of frustration run high, her ferrokinesis goes wild. One catch: she's not even aware of it. So far, it's happened thrice in the story.
  • Precision F-Strike: Steven pulls this in Chapter Forty-Two, much to Bill's shock. Thankfully, it wasn't really Steven.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Pyronica and Keyhole get this treatment In-Universe, cutting off loose ends and because of betrayal respectively. They're not seen again, particularly Keyhole, for several chapters.

    Tropes Q - S 
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Downplayed. Bill just stares at the mirror, sees something he doesn't like, but turns away from it and punches down the feeling. He doesn't punch the mirror, but he punches away that feeling.
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away: This occurs on Stan's, Peridot's, and Ford's part in Chapter Forty-One. While the rain is in fact very nasty, they decide to pull out and wait on the cusp, opting to playing a game of Poker until it lets up. Ten chapters later, it finally does.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: While Steven is undoubtedly the Red Oni to mostly everyone else, he's the Blue Oni to Bill Cipher's Red. Later, however, Bill evolves into more of a Blue Oni, and Steven himself bounces back and forth from Red to Blue.
    • While usually the Blue Oni in the show, Connie is actually the Red to Wendy's Blue. Though they very rarely switch roles.
    • Stanley Pines is the Red to Stanford Pines's Blue, and Peridot is the Blue, and sometimes Red, to both of them.
    • Garnet is the Blue to Pearl's and Amethyst's Red, and Pearl is the Blue to Amethyst's Red. When Keyhole joins, he becomes the Blue to Pearl's Red.
    • Gabriel is and has always been the Red to Bill Cipher's Blue.
    • And finally, Jasper is the Red to Lapis's Blue. It helps that they're actually a version of red and of blue respectively.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Bill Cipher has a small tendency to this when he's not depressed. For one, he in Chapter Sixty-Four approached Jasper with clear intentions of shattering her and has to be reigned in by Connie.
  • Rejected Apology: Pyronica is on the receiving end of this in Chapter Thirty-Three. Bill may have rescued her from the Void out of pity and telling himself that Steven wouldn't leave her behind but he doesn't forgive her betrayal. Eventually, it's Subverted in Chapter Thirty-Four, where he finally does before she goes to sacrifice herself to save Steven from Gabriel's influence.
  • The Resenter: Bill Cipher secretly resents just about everyone because they've had a much better life than he did. Steven especially, with his parents. He also had become this towards his little adopted brother, Gabriel, and it didn't help that the latter became a bully.
  • Reread Bonus: A lot of the older chapters and the content become more important in light of newer chapters.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Gabriel, Bill's adopted brother, goes through great lengths to get revenge on Bill for killing "his" family and tossing him into the Void before "liberating" their home dimension. Tricking, which fails, and possessing Steven so he could go and "convince" Bill was only the first.
  • Running Gag: Quite a few of these.
    • Bill gets hit in the eye some way or another if the opportunity presents itself.
    • Pyronica favors going left.
  • Sad Clown: Bill, although a less humourous version, seems to be heading this direction. Maybe he always was one of these...
    • Amethyst, like in the show, is also one, especially in Chapter Thirteen.
  • Sealed Evilina Can: Bill Cipher starts off as this - the statue he became in Gravity Falls's finale. Steven comes across it, which kicks off the plot. It's ultimately Subverted, since Bill finds that he's lost some powers. But over the course of the story, he steadily regains them...
    • Gabriel is another one. He had gotten thrown into the Void, though he wasn't evil then.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Steven is the sensitive one; Bill the manly one (in an abrasive type of way). Bill mellows out into Sensitive as well later, but he has his moments.
  • Shipper on Deck: Steven seems rather eager to bounce on the idea of Wendy and Bill being a couple, much to their annoyed dismay. It stops there, however - as in, no attempts are made to bring them together.
    • Later, Connie pulls this, however Downplayed it is, asking the girl if she and Bill had dated. Her reaction is priceless.
  • Shout-Out: It has enough for its own page.
  • Sick Episode: In Chapters Sixty-Six and Sixty-Eight, Steven gets sick, so Bill calls in Greg despite how he feels about him.
  • Slumber Party: This is, combined with a variation of Camping Episode, what Chapter Forty-Six and Forty-Seven are, strung together by Steven so he can get Connie to see that Bill isn't a bad guy anymore. Wendy joins as well, near the end of Chapter Forty-Six.
  • Stepford Smiler: Both Steven and Bill are this, especially Bill. It's even confirmed in their respective series. Their smiles indeed hold a lot of pain...
  • Sugar Bowl: Mostly Averted. This combined world certainly has some problems, but it's not enough to call it a Crapsaccharine World and is relatively a nicer world than some.
  • Suicide for Others' Happiness: Absolutely bungled in Chapter Forty-One, but Bill honestly believed that everyone would be better off without him. He's actually right in some cases, but Steven proves him wrong by bringing up his changes. See Driven to Suicide/Talking Down the Suicidal for more details.
  • Sympathy for the Devil
    • Wendy in Chapter Thirty-One shows massive sympathy for Bill Cipher that lasts, though at this point he isn't much of a devil anymore. Despite all he'd done, Wendy sympathizes for him because of the life he'd lived.
    • Bill in turn shows sympathy for Gabriel in Chapter Thirty-Six, and it's what has him give another chance.

    Tropes T - Z 
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Steven Universe ends up doing this to Bill Cipher, of all people. He pursues the demon up a cliff in a severe storm, where Bill planned to use himself as a conduit for the lightning to detect and strike, overloading and killing him. Steven bungles the suicide attempt, which frustrates Bill despite the heartwarming words. He threatens to throw himself off the cliff if Bill went through with it, but that only makes matters worse and deepens the depression, which the boy realizes. Finally, after much severe confusion and suffering on Bill's part, Steven succeeds in talking the demon down, complete with Cool-Down Hug. It has to be read to be believed and fully appreciated.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Bill's seems to be pancakes. And sandwiches.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Connie takes one towards Bill in Chapter Thirty-One.
    • Also Steven, in Chapter Forty-Two. Turns out it was the Void, not Steven himself.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Several characters. Bill, Gabriel, and Pyronica, to name a few.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Gabriel, Bill's adopted brother keeps one in the form of a photo of Bill's parents.
  • Tranquil Fury: Bill, of all people, enters this state when his brother cracks Steven's gem. If you ever get a usually full-on raging demon exhibit cold fury, you've done something horribly, horribly wrong and should probably be running. Too late...
  • Trauma Conga Line: Bill Cipher, not only has he gone through this in the past, he's also going through it in the present. It ends up absolutely breaking him by Chapter Thirty, and it doesn't even stop there.
  • Triumphant Reprise: A variant. While the original, "Don't You See Now?", sung by Steven in Chapter Thirty-Two, was fairly upbeat, the atmosphere is a little downtrodden. But then in Chapter Sixty-Eight, it comes back, with the title "I Do See Now", sung by Bill as a gentle victory song, as he now understands exactly what empathy is.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Steven does this to Bill, giving him chance after chance and showering him with kindness, which confuses the latter to no end. Eventually, it pays off.
  • Voice of the Legion: Bill delves into this from time to time, especially when he's mad. Eventually, he doesn't anymore.
  • Verbal Tic: As stated above, Bill Cipher says "Well" or "Eh" a lot.
  • Vitriolic Best Friends: Bill Cipher and Steven start off as this, much like Lars and Steven canonically. But Steven is the one who is friendly towards him throughout, only calling him out sometimes when he messes with his friends. However, Bill didn't consider Steven a friend until much later, and by that time the vitriol is out of the equation.
  • Walking Spoiler: There's a reason Gabriel has been censored. Talking about him at all would spoil the majority of the story.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Bill and Gabriel in their childhood. They used to be excellent brothers, despite the hierarchy, but then the latter started to behave badly towards the former.
  • Wham Episode: Plenty of chapters are like this. Chapter Ten is only the first one.
  • Wham Line: As it is a long story, there are several of these, enough for its own page.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Related to First Time Feeling. Bill often questions the little feelings that often come up, wondering what they are and why they exist within him. Even after he's told in Chapter Thirty-Two what it is, empathy, he spends a lot of time trying to figure out how it works. More than a trillion years without a feeling tends to do that.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: It should be obvious that this trope would be involved. Both in Gravity Falls and in Chapter Thirty, Bill is revealed to have destroyed his own home dimension, sparing only Kryptos and Hectorgon, and by extension Gabriel by tossing him into the Void. Abuse can kill.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Pyronica finds out Gabriel had played this trope on her, having promised her cosmic domination alongside him. She was sent away before she could do or say anything about it though.
    • And in cruel irony, she pulls this on Bill beforehand.
    • Steven was this to Bill. At first...
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Implied numerous times for Bill Cipher.
  • Villainous BSoD: The result of the Trauma Conga Line and Humiliation Conga Bill had gone through. He loses his haughtiness for a good while and his depression becomes more and more tangible.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Steven invokes this trope very often, all to Bill. The most major one (of two) is the one in Chapter Forty-Four, where this particular snippet ultimately talks and shocks the demon down from suicide, because he never actually thought he was a good person, much less better than a human being.
    "Because you're a good person, Bill. You try. That's more than someone like Lars can say. So please... don't do anything. Prove that you really have changed..."
    • The first major one is in Chapter Thirty-Two:
    "Then you're not worse. You're awesome, you know? you might have made some mistakes but just by making an effort to get better you're fixing them. And that's awesome."