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Dipper's the worst practitioner in his entire family. He's never been great at magic, he's struggling to improve - he doesn't even have a familiar.

Maybe it's time to fix that.

Faking It or also known as the Familiar AU series is a Gravity Falls fanfiction by BurnerAccount.

Set in an Alternate Universe, Dipper Pines is terrible using magic. Not helped is how he lacks a familiar, something which most practitioners have a young age and certainly not as late as him. So Dipper decides to take matters into his own hands and create a fake illusion one to fit in. Sure, it won't be real animal, but it'll stay with him and maybe he finally won't stand out so much.

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This quickly goes spectacularly wrong, as he accidentally ends up summoning and getting magically attached to a person who turns out to be a demon called Bill. This proceeds to cause Dipper more trouble than he could possibly imagine.

There is also a spin-off, Hating It, telling the story from Bill's perspective instead.

The following sequel Confessing It has Bill dragging Dipper along to crash a demon party and using this as a ploy to introduce him to the demon world.

If you were looking for the unrelated MTV series, that's here while the (also unrelated) book is over here.


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Faking It and its sequels provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Bill admits it was a decent comeback when Dipper calls him a keychain.
  • Adult Fear: Ford is horrified when he realizes how close he came to accidentally killing his nephew because he didn't know enough about what was going on.
    • Stan has a similar reaction when an angry Ford yells at him that he had no idea the kind of person Dipper had been spending all his time with.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Bill doesn't hide the fact he still wishes to rule the world and enslave humanity, and only because being Dipper's familiar puts a halt on those plans rather than help as he initially hoped after his fiasco with Ford prior to the story. He usually tries to tempt Dipper to follow his more ambitious side to no success.
  • Axe-Crazy: Bill as usual.
  • Badass Family: The Pines Family. Mabel is a powerful witch, and even Dipper who was initially considered the worst magic user, becomes a talented illusionist thanks to his bond with Bill capable of handling his demon and Stan and Ford when working together were able to "kill" Bill once his nature of a demon is revealed.
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  • Bastard Boyfriend: Or Unconflicted "fake boyfriend" at first. Bill maintains a level of politeness but Stan sees him as the creep he really is and Ford doesn't like the way he treats Dipper. Even Dipper doesn't hide the fact his "boyfriend" is an asshole and evil. The only reason why no stops this relationship is because Bill doesn't do anything to hurt Dipper even if he wanted to and treats him well... in his own way. Luckily for them, Dipper stands against Bill's shenanigans towards him.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Bill hates it when he has to pretend he's dumber than he actually is, Ford due to their history, and generally anyone or demons who touches or harms Dipper, his "possession".
    • Dipper likewise hates it when Bill refers to him as his property or any pet name.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Like in canon, Dipper warns Bill to not do anything to Mabel. He's relieved when Bill admits he likes his sister since she's as chaotic as him, he won't harm or kill her.
  • Bi the Way: Dipper according to Stan.
  • Bond Creatures: The story starts with Dipper and Bill accidentally ending up like this.
  • Brick Joke: Dipper experiments with the Mindscape by throwing (and losing) some of Mabel's stuffed animals and hopes that she doesn't notice. Several chapters later, she comments that she thinks Bill's been eating them.
  • ...But He Sounds Handsome: Bill mentions how it's a shame he hasn't seen the demon Cipher in a long time and that he's an alright guy. Even this much credit to another demon strikes Dipper as odd considering how incredibly self-centered Bill is.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Dipper could've told Ford the truth, but he realized that even if Ford kills Bill's body, Bill will still be his familiar and Dipper had an idea of being close to Bill so that it would lessen the impact of the backlash when Ford reverse the curse. It worked but Dipper starting to analyzed the situation made him suffer some of the backlash.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Dipper created a body for his fake familiar with just theories and his own blood. Turns out he has an affinity for illusions and life magic.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Dipper suggests Mabel can be woken up from the sleep spell with True Love's Kiss. Bill thinks it's bullshit until Dipper points out that the important thing is that it's still something Mabel believes in. Dipper turns out to be right.
  • Crash-Into Hello: At the accidental summons that was their first meeting, Bill ends up several feet off the ground and is forced to obey the laws of gravity, causing him to fall right on top of Dipper who gets his head slammed onto the floor.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Dipper points out to Bill that Ford being aware that Dipper is willing to be with him with no manipulation is the best kind of revenge.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Despite Dipper constantly complaining about how evil he is, most people seem to think Bill's just weird or an asshole (though the fact that Dipper seems to be willing to constantly spend time with him despite what he says probably has something to do with it).
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Dipper makes-out and has sex with Bill and unbeknownst to him until later, seduced the evil entity and marries said evil entity.
  • Dramatic Irony: Readers are aware that Bill and Cipher are one of the same and Dipper isn't aware Bill's last name is Cipher.
  • Empty Shell: Dipper nearly becomes this when Ford reverses the curse and he's hit with the backlash, as it causes thoughts from thousands of different minds to all cram into his head at once, and nearly makes him brain dead as a result. He does act like this trope for awhile afterwards, simply because he can't concentrate on anything except what's going on in his head.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Eventually, Mabel, Ford and Stan all assume Dipper's mind was altered by Bill. This leads to Dipper kicking himself for not telling them everything that was going on earlier, because by that point they don't believe anything he tells them.
    • They also assume the human body Bill's using was taken from someone else, when actually Dipper made it with magic he hadn't yet told them he was adept at.
  • Epic Fail: When a few bullies try to beat up Dipper, he tries to magically put them to sleep. He instead knocks out nearly the entire town. Even Bill considers it a massive failure despite being a huge fan of mayhem and destruction due to how sloppy the spell was executed.
    • When Dipper's upset that Ford found out he'd put the town to sleep and reacted badly to it, Bill attempts to cheer him up. He does such a terrible job that it takes Dipper several minutes to even realize that's what he's trying to do and he starts laughing hysterically instead at the ineptitude. Even after a few days of trying, Bill's made no real progress.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Overtime Bill becomes fond of Dipper as sociopathic and megalomaniac demon can be and declaring him his "property" even though Dipper hates him.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Dipper wonders what Bill really looks like, aware that he's a very powerful mind demon and that he doesn't qualify as an animal (while creatures such as giant centipedes and eldritch abominations do). When he finally sees Bill in his true form, Dipper thinks to himself that he was expecting something less...comprehensible.
  • Face Palm: Dipper does this when he realizes he and Bill, for all intents and purposes, just got married.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: More than once Dipper starts making out with Bill, hoping it will make Ford decide to wander off and not interact with Bill any more than necessary. Bill himself is usually confused by this approach.
  • Familiar: In the setting of the story, people with magic would always have a familiar that gives their magic a power boost and Dipper's lack of one around his age due to his incompatibility with virtually anything motivates him to create a fake familiar, kicking off the plot. Dipper accidentally ends up making Bill his familiar. Which of them is actually in charge is a point of indignation though, since while Bill holds all of the power, Dipper is both incapable of being harmed by him and is the only one who can get either of them into the Mindscape.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Ford believes Dipper constantly claiming Bill's evil means this has been happening.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Dipper initially tried to create a fake familiar. He ends up with Bill as his familiar by accident.
    Bill: Name's Bill, by the way. And boy kid, you didn't get a fake familiar. You got a real one. *smiles wide* And you’re gonna regret it.
  • Head Desk:
    • Dipper hits his head against a tree when he first attempts to light up a candle, except the power boost he received courtesy of his bond with Bill resulted him setting trees ablaze with Bill not helping the situation.
    • Later he hits his head against a tree again when Bill admits he has no idea what kind of cover story Dipper can give to get Ford to stop wondering how he managed to put most of the town to sleep, at least unintentionally.
    Bill: I don’t think ritual sacrifice, or soul destruction, or eating a still-beating human heart could be written off as an ‘accident.’
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Dipper doesn't have a familiar around his age and unlike Mabel, is an Inept Mage. Not to mention the above two reasons results him constantly picked on by other magic users and he is slightly envious of Mabel's familiar bond with Waddles. His accidental bonding with Bill changes all that.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Dipper: You? Bill? Not a problem? It’s the only thing you are. You’ve ruined my life, you asshole. You are the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. That could ever happen to me.
    Bill: *blushing* Aw. Ha! You were even sincere about that! Flattery will get you everywhere, sapling.
    Dipper, with slow regret, realizes that was a compliment. A pretty big one, by Bill’s standards.
    • It turns out insults are basically flirtation tactics by demon standards.
  • Interspecies Romance: The fake relationship between Dipper and Bill soon evolves into a twisted yet humorous and surprisingly genuine supernatural romance.
  • Irony: The rest of the Pines family figures Bill's been controlling Dipper's mind the whole time. The truth (that Dipper himself only recently figured out) is basically the opposite- Bill keeps hanging around Dipper because he can't get into his head, making him interesting and largely unpredictable.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: After Dipper fixes Bill's body as part of their deal and proceeds to make out with him and they were about to have sex until Mabel douses the two with streams of water with her magic, killing the mood. Granted both were about to get really intimate outside the Shack and Stan learned the details of the deal it is justified.
  • Love Redeems: Downplayed. Bill is still his egocentric, conniving demonic self, but has genuinely fallen for Dipper, not that he wants to admit and has stop his plans for world domination for now. In fact Dipper is relieved when he realizes that Bill also has ulterior motives for their marriage even though Bill does love Dipper.
  • The Masochism Tango: Dipper and Bill's relationship runs on them constantly insulting and fighting each other. Anytime one suddenly starts acting like a normal person might is usually treated by the other as either being serious business or profoundly disturbing.
  • The Matchmaker: Although it's mostly to break the curse affecting Mabel, with Bill's help, Dipper was able to convince Pacifica to kiss his sister so that the curse would be broken. This leads to Mabel and Pacifica hooking when it worked.
  • Master of Illusion: After his magic gets the power boost it needed from Bill and because their compatibility in their familiar dynamic, Dipper discovers his talent in illusions. This talent is so potent that he also have a talent in life magic, except the problem is that Bill forbids him from using that type of magic since life magic isn't suited for him as it makes him sick. The only times he allows Dipper to use it is when fixing his body.
  • Mugging the Monster: More than once, bullies try to beat up on Dipper. By this point though, his power level has gotten an extraordinary boost, and the real problem is that he can't control it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Dipper when he accidentally cursed the town, including Mabel.
    • At first angered, Ford becomes horrified when he realizes he could've killed Dipper when he dispels the curse after he learned Dipper was the one who accidentally created it.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ford does this when he realizes what Bill is. Not long after, Dipper does the same, as he had been desperately trying to prevent it.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Whenever Bill or Dipper or not insulting each other or are acting nice, both are taken aback by this.
    • Whenever Bill calls Dipper by his name instead of Pine Tree or sapling or kid. Dipper finds it weird whenever he does that.
    • Bill notes how badly Dipper must feel after almost getting his mind destroyed when he doesn't argue with him. It's also the closest Bill ever comes to actually being nice.
    • When Dipper hugs Bill after Ford founds out his involvement in the curse and Ford's unintentionally but hurtfully accurate words to him leads Dipper to become depress and looking for Bill for comfort. Naturally Bill finds this unsettling.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Both Stan and Ford make it clear to Bill that should he seriously harm Dipper they will end him. Both also show fierce protection over Mabel as well, since her being cursed convinced Ford to return immediately.
    • After Bill's true nature is revealed to them, Ford makes good on his word. Even when both Ford and Bill are at a very rocky stalemate after Bill tricks Dipper into marriage, Ford still offers to deal Bill for Dipper should he get out of line.
  • Playing with Fire: Bill has this ability along with dominion over mind and dreams. Due to their bond, Dipper also shares this ability but has to hide it since his main magic is illusions so having demonic fires would raise suspicion.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Dipper eventually upgrades Bill from "fake boyfriend" to just "boyfriend." Bill on the other hand opts to cut out the middle man and tricks Dipper into marriage instead.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Mabel figures out Bill isn't human from the get-go but doesn't tell anyone or confront Dipper about it, since his weird relationship makes Dipper happy.
  • Seen It All: When Bill tries to intimidate Dipper by making himself much larger while in his true form, Dipper just stares back completely unimpressed. He's pretty jaded by this point.
  • Shipper on Deck: Played with in relation to Mabel. While Dipper and Bill claim to be in a relationship that's really a sham, Mabel steadfastly believes that they really like each other and is always supportive of it.
  • Shout-Out: When listing things he and Dipper could conquer, Bill suggests a “Tri-state area.”
  • Skilled, but Naïve: After his magic got a boost from Bill that it can perform bigger feats than it used to, Dipper's inexperience and confusion on how to use his magic effectively causes problems for him much to Bill's amusement.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Dipper and Bill's dynamic in a nutshell. They constantly insult and argue with each other just as much as they often make-out or have sex. In fact they have sex for the first time after a big argument involving Dipper using life magic.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Mabel. While she's not an academic nerd like her brother, she's the first one to notice that Dipper's "boyfriend" wasn't exactly human.
    Mabel: C’mon, Dipper. I might not know a lot like you do, but some guy that I’ve never heard of shows up suddenly one day, dressed all weird, and with, like, the funky eye. And the teeth, I knew something was up.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Whenever Dipper and Bill are around each other, expect a lot of sarcastic and playful (on Bill's part) banter whenever they start talking. The only time they don't do this is when discussing magical theories and even that is rare.
  • The Sociopath: Bill makes it clear that he isn't capable of human empathy and doesn't believe love exists and Dipper outright calls him a sociopath. Because of his bond with Dipper and growing interest of him, he starts feeling something else aside from viewing Dipper as his possession.
  • Too Much Information: Stan was the only one to thoroughly read over the terms and agreements of Dipper's deal with Bill. Naturally he comes across the price of the deal: Dipper's body.
    "Holy moly, I did not ever need to know that," Stan says holding up his hands. He clasps one over his eyes. "You haven’t actually gone through with-" He grimaces, not sure how to continue. "You shouldn’t sell your…" Stan is about as awkward looking as Dipper’s ever seen, glancing at him, then away again.
  • True Love's Kiss: This mixed with Clap Your Hands If You Believe gets exploited to fix Mabel after Dipper accidentally curses her.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Prior to making Bill his accidental familiar, Dipper's magic wasn't the strongest, but is capable of making complicated theories in magic which he used in his first illusion: Bill's body. Which he unintentionally made an effective demon trap that ensnared Bill and one he cannot escape from.
  • You Didn't Ask: This is Bill's justification for never telling Dipper that he and Cipher were the same person.
    "Name’s Bill Cipher. You never asked if I had a last name, kid."
  • You Got Spunk: While Bill would rather have Dipper completely loyal and obedient to him, he enjoys Dipper's stubborn and defiant attitude. Their witty banter and bickering are basically entertainment to him especially on intellectual level. Turns out Dipper's defiant shenanigans and insults are the demonic equivalent of flirting.

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