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This show contains examples of the following tropes:

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  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects:
    • All the vehicles are rendered in CG (Stan's car, the golf cart), and so is the water in certain shots from the second episode.
    • The floating dollar balloon from "Little Dipper".
    • The giant Gideon robot is rendered in CGI in some shots, though with shading touches, it doesn't really make it a problem. Otherwise, he's drawn traditionally.
    • The same applies to the giant robot McGucket builds out of the Mystery Shack when it's in motion and not part of a background.
    • Used for Waddles' cart in the "Abaconings" story of "Little Gift Shop of Horrors".
    • The various dice and Probabilitor's game board in "Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons".
    • The fake smoke bomb in "The Stanchurian Candidate".

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Li'l Gideon. His advances toward Mabel become increasingly deranged, and hits his lowest point when he tries to murder Dipper for breaking the news that she's not interested in him.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Boyz Crazy ends with Wendy getting mad at Dipper for trying to ask her out seconds after breaking up with Robbie. Dipper laments Wendy hating him and wondering if she'll ever forgive him. However, in Wendy's very next appearance, she's back to being on good terms with Dipper like nothing ever happened.
    • In The Land Before Swine, a T-Rex is shown thawing free a few times, implying that it was going to return in a later episode. It eventually returns as part of the giant Mystery Shack robot, but not as a plot point.
    • In Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons, Ford locks the Infinity Sided Dice and suggest saving it for when they might need it. However, it's never used again.
    • Northwest Mansion Mystery seemingly builds up to Preston Northwest being a major antagonist. He has a tapestry of Bill in his mansion, implying that he's part of a cult that worships Bill. However, the most that comes from that is him getting his face distorted after attempting an alliance with Bill during Weirdmageddon. There was also a scene where he gifts Mayor Befufftlefumpter an aggressive chimpanzee, which may have been leftover foreshadowing for when he was originally going to be Stan's opponent in The Stanchurian Candidate.
  • Abusive Offspring: Gideon is shown to verbally torment both his parents. His mother can barely function and is shown uttering a Madness Mantra while it's hinted that his father joined the Society of the Blind Eye to forget about what Gideon does to him.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Pacifica's parents treat her like a trained dog. She's trained to respond with obedience whenever her father rings a tiny bell he keeps in his jacket, and is quite terrified of it.
    • Stan's parents are revealed to have been this, being emotionally distant at best. At worst, they throw their son out of the house and tell him he can only come back when he's made them a fortune.
  • Accidental Hug: Pacifica gives one to Dipper in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" after they escape and successfully capture the vengeful Ghost of Northwest Manor.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: Bill Cipher's inexplicable Nightmare Realm appears through flashbacks, a dream, and the near finale. The Author notes in the defictionalized Journal 3 as being a "lawless, unstable crawl space between worlds that only the strangest and most unknowable beings call home".
  • Action Girl:
    • Mabel, Grenda and Candy have all displayed Action Girl traits.
    • Wendy proves herself beyond a shadow of a doubt as one of these in "Into the Bunker." Then she takes it Up to Eleven in "Weirdmageddon Part 1" by surviving Bill's apocalyptic hellscape, fighting through Gideon's gang, and proving herself a Badass Driver (without knowing how to drive) through a landscape peppered with madness bubbles.
    • Pacifica proves capable in "The Golf War" and "Northwest Mansion Mystery."
  • Action Figure Speech: The unicorns in "The Last Mabelcorn" don't move their lips when they talk; instead, their horns glow and pulsate with each word.
  • Actor Allusion: In "Blendin's Game", Blendin Blandin tells Lolph and Dundgren that he will continue stammering until the twins are found. The voice actor, Justin Roiland, voices the title characters of Rick and Morty, two characters that stammer a lot.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Dipper, who is twelve "almost a teen", keeps trying to make himself seem older than he actually is. Don't tell him you think so.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Grunkle Stan, particularly in "Tourist Trapped". There are times, however, when he manages to avert it like when he punches a pterodactyl. Much of this is revealed to be Obfuscating Stupidity on Stan's part in "Scary-oke," when it turns out he'd been lying about his knowledge of the supernatural to try to keep Dipper and Mabel away from it.
    • With the introduction of Ford, aka the Author of the Journals, as a main cast member, this trope practically gets thrown out the window. While some adult cast members are still pretty useless (Blubs and Durland, bless their hearts), a lot of the second season is dedicated to fleshing out the adult characters' backstories, such as Fiddleford McGucket and the Stan twins, to the point where the show is almost as much about Stan and Ford as it is about Dipper and Mabel.
    • Downplayed with Soos, who's usually ready to lend a hand in monster hunts. Then again, he doesn't act much like an adult.
    • Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland combine this with Police Are Useless.
  • Advertised Extra: When the show first came out, many of the promos featured Norman. He turned out to be the first episode's Monster of the Week: a bunch of gnomes in disguise who wanted Mabel to be their queen. They weren't seen again until the first season's finale.
  • Aerith and Bob: The gnomes are named Jeff, Carson, Jason, Steve, and Shmebulock.
  • An Aesop: Has its own page.
  • Aesop Collateral Damage:
    • McGucket unintentionally taught Dipper and Mabel that forgetting a memory isn't as great as it sounds, and that the past can never be avoided no matter how much you try to remove triggers for that memory or try to cut it out of your life. He had gone insane due to excessive use of the memory gun in order to forget his encounters with the creatures, which resulted in him previously living in a junkyard and his own son abandoning him and ignoring him due to embarrassment and disappointment.
    • Both Dipper and Mabel have learned about romance by seeing each other suffer from rejection, such as Mabel’s many failed summer romances and Wendy gently rejecting Dipper's crush on her. Dipper taught Gideon that you can't force someone to love you, and Mabel helped Robbie learn that he shouldn't focus his life on repairing a failed relationship. Unlike Gideon, however, Mabel used a love potion to make Robbie see the errors of his ways.
  • Affably Evil:
    • The ghosts from "The Inconveniencing" would be just like any other sweet old couple... except they entrap and torment any teenager that comes into their store.
    • Zombified Soos, who combines the ruthless killing instinct of the undead with the cheerful personality of... well, Soos. "Sorry, dude, but I just really want those brains!".
    • Jeff, the leader of the gnomes, and the only one with a major speaking role. He has a very easy-going and helpful attitude, and would be a perfectly nice guy weren't for the fact that he wants a twelve-year-old to marry him and all his gnome brethren and isn't taking no for an answer. He also seems suspiciously inclined to cannibalism. The squirrel bathing isn't evil, so much as odd.
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: Downplayed by Pacifica, who is 12-13 but dresses like a high school-aged valley girl.
    Grunkle Stan: Is it legal for a child to wear that much makeup?
  • Agent Mulder: Dipper and Soos, the former spurred on by a supernatural compendium. For example, in "Tourist Trapped," Soos says the mailman's a werewolf and believes Dipper's theory about Mabel's boyfriend being a zombie, a theory Dipper came up with after looking though the book.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: "Soos and the Real Girl" features .GIFfany, the romantic lead of a Dating Sim. Not only is .GIFfany sentient, she's obsessive and prone to homicidal fits of rage. She openly confesses to murdering the programmer who created her in retaliation for attempting to delete her.
  • Air-Vent Passageway:
    • Dipper uses one to get into the convenience store in "The Inconveniencing".
    • The wax head of Larry King used the Mystery Shack's air ducts to make his escape. Apparently, "He's still in the vents."
  • Alien Blood: Used on a few occasions in the second season, first with the zombies in "Scary-oke," and then with the shapeshifter in "Into the Bunker". Both bleed green blood, which is likely the only reason why the pretty significant amounts of violence against them were allowed on the Disney Channel in the first place.
  • All for Nothing: The Bill Cipher wheel (canonly known as The Zodiac) was foreshadowed since the very first episode, but in the final episode it was disrupted by Stan and Ford's argument, which caused all but Stan, Ford, Dipper and Mabel to be captured. The Zodiac was then replaced by Bill being defeated by underestimating the bond between the Pines family.
  • Alliterative Family: The Northwests - Pacifica and her parents, Preston and Priscilla.
    • The Pines Brothers - Stanley, Stanford and Shermy.
  • Alliterative Name: Gideon Gleeful, Blendin Blandin, and Nathaniel Northwest.
  • All Myths Are True: Nearly every fantastical creature is listed in one of the journals.
  • All There in the Manual: Lots of info on characters, secret codes, screenshots, and animated GIFs of 4 and beyond, as well as information taken from online games and otherwise, were being thrust into the public's hands before most folks could barely watch Episode 2.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Mabel and her friends are obsessed with boys. It's frequently Played for Laughs and provides the plot for several episodes. In the aptly titled "Boyz Crazy," she even starts huffing and puffing like an addict when her pet boy band is being taken away from her.
  • All Part of the Show: What Mabel tries to invoke after her sockpuppet show burns down. The audience doesn't fall for it.
  • Alpha Bitch: Pacifica Northwest's debut in "Double Dipper" flags her as this, as she demanded the party crown and insults Candy, Grenda and Mabel. Pacifica ends up becoming Mabel's rival through her chastising and haughty attitude until her later character development in season two.
  • Always Identical Twins: The show focuses mainly on the adventures of fraternal twins, Dipper and Mabel Pines, occasionally referred to collectively as the Mystery Twins. They're sort of a Downplayed example of Half-Identical Twins, because while physically similar, they have different hair and clothes. Their characters are a different story entirely.
    • It's hard to tell given the art style how similar-looking Dipper and Mabel are supposed to be. Physical similarity is never a plot point (neither disguises themselves as the other, for example). Fan art in different styles pretty much always makes them as similar-looking as possible, though.
    • Eventually, we find out about the original Mystery Twins, Grunkle Stan and his brother, Ford. They are family, and the fact they are both twins, is correctly shown, as such thing can happen in real families. These two are first assumed be fraternal twins, given certain differences—most notably one having six fingers on each hand, despite the fact such things also can happen to identical twins, with one not having it (this is part of the individual evolving of the embryo). However, like Dipper and Mabel, they have enough of a Strong Family Resemblance to switch clothes and fool the Big Bad in the finale.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The 38-sided die from "Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons". D38s do exist, but their faces are non-uniform, meaning that they aren't ideal for dice, unlike D12s (dodecahedrons) and D20s (icosahedrons). Oddly enough, whenever Dipper is playing the titular game except during the climax, it's always portrayed as a D20, with all sides being triangular.
  • Always Someone Better: In "Little Dipper," Mabel vents her frustration that Dipper seems to always beat her at everything.
  • Ambiguously Bi: The titular character in "The Love God". He can be seen exiting his rock-star van accompanied by a woman and Tyler, both of whom he explicitly identifies as groupies.
  • Ambiguously Brown:
    • Nate and Tambry, two of Wendy's friends.
    • Soos was this for a number of episodes, until "Gideon Rises" finally confirmed he was Hispanic, with a shot of his driver's license in "Blendin's Game" confirming that his full name is Jesus Alzamirano Ramirez.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Stan Pines loves his family and repeatedly demonstrates that he would do anything for them, but he's also a cheater, a con artist, and an unashamed thief. He is so comfortable in his criminal nature that he announces his thefts ahead of time, steals in broad daylight in front of people who are trying to make him stop, and openly mocks the police. While this is often Played for Laughs, it also formed part of the central plot for season 1 and 2, which relied heavily on the character's moral ambiguity for its tension and drama.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Tyler Cutebiker. He shows up in the restaurant where Mabel and Gideon go on a date, calling the two adorable. His shorts are... pretty short, and he has visible eyelashes, which otherwise, only female characters have. In "Irrational Treasure" he and Manly Dan are briefly seen sharing a plate of meat between themselves. In "Boyz Crazy," he, along with Old Man McGucket, are in the audience at the Sev'ral Timez concert. Finally, in "The Love God," we see the titular Love God exit his rock-star van accompanied by a woman and Tyler, both of whom he explicitly identifies as groupies.
    • Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland act very much like a married couple most of the time. Blubs' pronunciation of "Durland" sounds suspiciously like "darlin'". In the final episode, they claim to be "mad with power...and love!" while holding each other's faces and look longingly into each other's eyes. It was later confirmed off-screen that they are indeed a couple.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The Pines family. Mabel and Grunkle Stan occasionally use Yiddish words ("mazel tov," anyone?), and Mabel herself has been known to put "Moses" where others would use "Jesus Christ". Dipper and Stan fit a couple of stereotypes respectively. There's also the fact that "Pines" is an eastern Ashkenazi Jewish surname. However, despite Alex Hirsch's Judaic background and the fact that he based the Pines on himself and his family, he has confirmed that the Pines family are not necessarily Jewish, and welcomes people to their own interpretation. In another tweet, he proceeded to draw the twins wearing Santa hats, while A Tale of Two Stans shows a Mezuzah outside Stan's house. The official release of Journal 3 confirms that Stan had a Bar-Mitzvah, though Alex said in a tweet that he is now an atheist, and Dipper and Mabel were raised non-religiously but Mabel insists on observing all the Jewish holidays.
  • Amusing Injuries: All over the place. Lampshaded by Bill during his time in Dipper's body. Ironically, it's one of the instances in the series where the pain is played for all the horror it can.
    Bill: Pain is hilarious!
    • Played mostly for laughs when Dipper regains control. He jumps up triumphantly, announcing, "Yes! I'm back in my own body!" ...and then doubles over in pain, clutching his back.
      Dipper: ...And it's just as underwhelming as I remember. Ohh... everything hurts.
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • The wax sculptures from "Headhunters."
    • Wendy during, "Into the Bunker," with Dipper taking a turn while Wendy is occupied with Experiment 210.
    • The Lumberjack Ghost in "Northwest Mansion Noir/Mystery".
  • And I Must Scream:
    • "Little Gift Shop of Horrors" has the tourist that refused to buy anything from the Mystery Shack gift shop and instead gets drugged and stuck in a "The Cheapskate" display case.
    • In "Northwest Mansion Mystery," the people at the mansion's party are turned into wood by the Monster of the Week; in particular, Dipper gets frozen mid-scream, knowing what is happening to him. Even after the effects are reversed, he takes in a large gasp of air.
    • After his Deal with the Devil in "Sock Opera," Dipper is forced to watch his own body be controlled by a demon, and no one can see or hear the real him.
    • Another Black Comedy moment in "The Deep End" shows a little boy trapped in a pool grate, having to watch all the other kids have fun in the pool while he remains stuck. The end of the episode shows how he has been in there for over a year.
    • Here's the clip of that with music from the Futurama example:
    • Taken literally in "Weirdmageddon 1," where Bill Cipher responds to Preston Northwest's attempts at bribery by rearranging the parts of his face, leaving him with no mouth.
    • And then, there's "Weirdmageddon 2," in which Bill turns the inhabitants of Gravity Falls to stone and then assembles their contorted bodies into "a massive throne of frozen human agony". "Don't worry! They're not conscious any more. Probably." Yes, they are.
    • To complete the cycle, in "Weirdmageddon 3," Bill transforms the non-Pines members of the Zodiac Ten into tapestries; their faces are frozen in silent screams.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: The gnomes' intentions after Mabel politely rejects them during "Tourist Trapped."
    Jeff: We'll never forget you, Mabel... because we're going to kidnap you.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Soos is transformed into a zombie in "Scary-oke" after Dipper accidentally awakens the dead. Thankfully, the journal came with a cure.
  • And This Is for...: Mabel launches into this during "Tourist Trapped."
    Mabel: That's for lying to me! That's for breaking my heart! And this is for messing with my brother!
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: In "Into the Bunker," Dipper finally confesses his feelings to Wendy in a fit of grief as he tries to awaken her seemingly-dead body. Fortunately, it wasn't actually her, and she was standing right behind him the whole time.
  • Animation Bump: While the show itself looks pretty good, the entire intro is drawn with more detailed shading and fuller animation.
    • The intro scene where Dipper is investigating, gets scared by a monstrous skeleton and drops his candle was animated by renaissance-era Disney animator James Baxter.
    • The sea monster in "Legend of the Gobblewonker" is particularly nice.
    • When he tests out his new voice in "Bottomless Pit!", Dipper’s mouth movements are more fluid.
    • Rumble in "Fight Fighters," due to being animated entirely by Paul Robertson.
    • Robertson's sprites get even more complex in "Soos and the Real Girl"; justified in-story, as the dating sim Romance Academy 7 has much more processing power than an arcade game from the 1980's.
    • The animation during the climax of "Not What He Seems" is gorgeous, as it was animated by Dana Terrace and key frames by Matt Braly.
    • Stan’s destruction of both Bill and his memories were animated by Dana Terrace, and are gorgeous and cathartic to watch, considering how much Bill hurt the Pines family.
  • Animesque: .GIFfany in "Soos and The Real Girl," as she's from a Japanese Dating Simulation game called Romance Academy 7.
  • Anti-Mutiny: What the clone Dippers try to do to Dipper in "Double Dipper". When Tyrone realizes that the original plan wasn't working, they laugh it off and share a soda instead.
  • Apathetic Clerk: Wendy is often this, meeting the crazy antics of Stan with either apathy or snarky remarks, and is usually slacking off with her friends or lazing around instead of doing any actual work at the register.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • Dipper reads the page quote in Journal #3 about the author needing to hide the book away before it trails off.
    • In the Season 2 episode, "Society of the Blind Eye," the main cast and Old Man McGucket find that the Society of the Blind Eye uses a device to remove memories of paranormal activity. They recover Old Man McGucket's memories of inventing the device from the Society, and watch them depicting his descent into insanity by repeatedly wiping his own memories.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Justified by Grunkle Stan. In "Bottomless Pit!," Stan 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 "The Land Before Swine," Stan refuses to accept magic, but is totally okay with dinosaurs alive in the summer of 2012 specifically because they aren't magical. It's revealed in "Scary-oke" that he was aware of the supernatural the entire time, and had been trying to pretend that none of the supernatural events in the series were happening to keep Dipper away from it all.
  • Arc Number:
    • The number, 618, appears in several episodes, as June 18th is the birthday of series creator, Alex Hirsch, and his twin sister, Ariel.
    • 3 also appears a fair amount of time over the course of the series. There are three journals, the show takes place over the course of the three months of Summer, Ford's disappearance took place 30 years (three rounds of ten) before the series, there are three floors in Ford's underground lab, there are three Pines brothers (Stan, Ford and their mentioned brother Shermie-who is Dipper and Mabel’s grandfather.), the show's Caesar Ciphers always use a key of three, the Grand Finale is broken into three parts, and one of the show's main arc symbols is a triangle.
      • There are also three major story arcs. The first takes place throughout season 1, and is centered around the twins learning the secrets of Gravity Falls, with Gideon as their primary antagonist. The second occurs over the first half of season 2, which focuses on Dipper attempting to uncover the identity of the author and the secrets Stan has been hiding, with Agent Powers and Agent Trigger as the main antagonists for this arc. The third and final story arc occurs in the second half of Season 2, and focuses on Ford's return to Gravity Falls, and his efforts in trying to prevent Bill Cipher from bringing the town into the apocalypse, with Bill Cipher being the main antagonist of this arc, as well as the main antagonist of the series as a whole.
  • Arc Symbol: A simple drawing of an eyed pyramid with limbs and a top hat is all over the series, from the opening credits to the Mystery Shack's windows. He turns out to be an extremely powerful demon named Bill Cipher.
    • In-universe, important characters appear to have their own symbol designated to them, which Bill Cipher uses to identify them verbally and on the Cipher Wheel. The appearance of these symbols in the show are often signs to who and what will be important later. It is revealed in the Grand Finale these symbols represent The Chosen Many who have the power to destroy Bill forever:
      • Dipper is the pine tree
      • Mabel is the shooting star
      • Ford is the six-fingered hand
      • Soos is the question mark
      • Robbie is the stitched heart
      • Gideon is the pentagram with an eye (the Tent of Telepathy emblem)
      • Wendy is the bag of ice, for being cool in the face of danger
      • McGucket is the spectacles, for being scholarly
      • Pacifica is the llama
      • Stan is the Mystery Shack emblem, a golden fish
  • Arc Villain: Gideon Gleeful is the primary antagonist for the first season, then Bill Cipher takes on a more active role.
  • Arc Words: "Trust no one."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • The Mystery Shack crew discusses their past encounters with Gideon Gleeful:
      Mabel: Remember when I wouldn't date him and he tried to destroy us?
      Stan: He's always trying to trick me into losing the Mystery Shack.
      Wendy: One time I caught him stealing my moisturizer.
    • When Dipper looks up Bill Cipher in Journal #3, a cryptogram behind Bill's picture translates into "LIAR, MONSTER, SNAPPY DRESSER".
    • From the same episode:
      Bill Cipher: Remember: Reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold, bye!
    • Near the start of "Society of the Blind Eye," Mabel looks through her scrapbook and laments her bad luck with boys.
      Mabel: [points to a picture of Norman] Turned out to be gnomes... [points to Li'l Gideon] Child psycho... [points to Gabe] Made out with his own hands...
    • In "Little Gift Shop of Horrors," when Waddles explains what he can solve with his Smarticle Accelerator:
      Waddles: The origin of life. The meaning of existence. Why dudes have nipples.
    • In a flashback in "A Tale of Two Stans," Stan angrily explains to his twin brother Ford what he's been through since they last saw each other.
      Stan: I've been to prison in three different countries! I once had to chew my way out of the trunk of a car! You think you've got problems? I've got a mullet, Stanford!
    • In "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons":
      Ford: [talking about the possibilities if one rolled the infinity sided die] Our faces could melt into jelly. The world could turn into an egg. Or you could just roll an eight. Who knows?
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Agent Trigger gives this to Dipper, causing him to question the events of the episode, "Not What He Seems".
  • Art Shift:
    • In "Fight Fighters," the video game is shown pixelated. Rumble remains pixelated when Dipper brings him out of the game.
    • .GIFfany in "Soos and the Real Girl".
    • Mabel's Imagine Spot in "Legend of the Gobblewonker."
    • During the short "Clay Day" in "Little Gift Shop Of Horrors," Mabel, Dipper, Stan and Soos visit the mansion of Harry Claymore. The cyclops and skeletons are a product of claymation. Soos even gets turned into clay at the end.
    • In "Dreamscaperers," Bill Cipher causes Xyler and Craz from Mabel's Imagine Spot to appear in Stan's mind. They retain their art style while interacting with the normally-drawn environment.
    • In "Weirdmageddon Part 1," this is one of the effects of the bubbles of pure madness.
  • Art Evolution: It's subtle, but the art did change between seasons one and two. For example, Bill Cipher no longer has a black outine in season 2.
    • Stan’s facial features are more evened out in Season 2, making him less of a Gonk.
  • Artists Are Attractive: Comes up more than once.
    • It's strongly implied that Wendy's ( temporary) attraction to Robbie is due in large part to the fact that he plays guitar in a band. Dipper is fully aware of this and is resultantly threatened by him. In "Double Dipper", Dipper tries to keep Wendy away from Robbie when he sees her swoon when Robbie pulls out a guitar, and even has a jealousy fantasy about it. In "The Time Traveler's Pig", he again tries to keep Wendy away from Robbie since the latter has "tight pants and a guitar." In "Boyz Crazy", Mabel outright states that Wendy likes Robbie because girls like musicians, which she and her friends demonstrate themselves by fawning over the members of Sev'ral Timez throughout the episode.
    • In "The Deep End", Mabel says "and you can play at least one chord on the guitar" to Mermando after she tells him he's the coolest guy she's ever met.
  • As Himself: In "Headhunters," the Coolio and Larry King wax figures are voiced by the real Coolio and Larry King.
  • Ascended Extra: After spending a season and a half popping into scenes to drop his Catchphrase, Tyler gains relevance to the plot in "The Stanchurian Candidate," where he runs against Bud Gleeful and Stan Pines in the race for mayor. As the only candidate who filled out his paperwork, Tyler wins by default.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Grunkle Stan apparently knows of his fan nickname.
    • Dipper's "The nachos tricked me!" line in "Weirdmageddon" forms a pretty apt reference to the fandom's jokes comparing Bill to a Dorito.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Candy Chiu is Korean and has shown her innovative side on a couple of occasions, such as taping forks to her fingers to eat popcorn in "Double Dipper", suggesting to reflect a rainbow from a waterfall to the Mystery Shack with a mirror in "Mabel's Guide to Color", and enjoys reading informative pamphlets during a road trip in "Roadside Attraction".
  • Asymmetric Dilemma: Dipper pulls this one from "The Time Traveller's Pig":
    "I think the sky-tram is broken. Also, most of my bones."
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Soos 100% of the time and Mabel most of the time. This saves Soos' life in "Scary-oke." As a zombie, he avoids being with the rest of the horde when their brains are exploded because he gets sidetracked watching TV.
    Mabel "Don't worry, brother. Whatever happens I'll be right here, supporting you every step of the— oh my gosh a pig!"
  • Attractive Zombie: Subverted in "Tourist Trapped". Mabel gets a crush on a local named Norman, and Dipper suspects he's a zombie from his unusual behavior. He turns out to be a bunch of gnomes instead.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname:
    • Invoked in "Double Dipper." Dipper #2 decides on "Tyrone" because he's always liked that name.
    • Fiddleford Hadron McGucket
  • Awkward Father-Son Bonding Activity: Double subverted in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker." Grunkle Stan takes Dipper and Mabel fishing, which the characters and audience immediately assume is some kind of ploy or a cover for his latest con. In the end, however, it's revealed that he really just wanted a fishing trip with his family all along.
  • Ax-Crazy:

  • Badass Boast: Wendy delivers an epic one in "Weirdmageddon Part 1"
    Wendy: "This isn't going to work, Gideon."
    Gideon: "Oh? And why's that?"
    Wendy: "Because after I break Ghost Eyes' arm and steal that key from your neck, I'm going to wear your butt on my foot like a rhinestone slipper."
    Gideon: (laughs) "And what makes you think you can do all that?"
    Wendy: "Because I'm A FLIPPIN' CORDUROY!"
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • Dipper is very rational, observant, and is the go-to guy for information about Gravity Falls. He also gradually gets more and more badass as the series goes on, shown off best during his No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with Gideon in "Gideon Rises".
    • The Author is the very definition of this trope. He wrote the series of Journals that told of many of the anomalies and dangers in Gravity Falls, many of which are very dangerous— including Bill Cipher. He invented a transdimensional portal, and when he was sucked into it, he survived for 30 years on the other side. He's very physically fit despite being in his 60s. He's also a certifiable genius, with 12 doctorate degrees.
  • Badass Family: All the members of the Pines family shown up to date fit some form of Badass or another. There's Badass Bookworm Dipper, who regularly takes on supernatural menaces and emerges the victor, with his twin sister Mabel, right by his side. The twins' Great Uncle Stan was a boxer in his youth, and can still punch out a Pterodactyl, or a horde of zombies, or three bald eagles (while hanging from an electric tower), or an interdimentional demon (not to mention scale a construction frame and climb a mountain bare-handed to rescue his great niece and nephew) despite being in his sixties. Handyman Soos (who is more or less one of the family) has great strength and surprising athleticism. And as of the second half of Season Two, we also have Stan's long lost twin brother, the Author of the Journals and a literal genius who not only creates devices that shouldn't theoretically be possible (like a perpetual motion machine), but managed to survive being trapped inside nightmare dimensions for thirty years.
    • The fact that the Pines are all twins is keeping them together.
  • Bad Future: Apparently, in the future, a time baby will destroy everything and take over humanity. On the plus side, humanity gets time travel.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: A bar named Skull Fracture appears in "Headhunters" and in "Bottomless Pit!". It's a dimly-lit and shabby building guarded by a tough-looking bouncer and has rugged bikers, various other strongmen, and other shady people hanging out there. There's even been least one unconscious patron lying on the floor (with Mabel commenting that "he's resting").
  • Balloon Belly: Mabel gets one after eating too much Smile Dip.
  • Banishing Ritual: In the Grand Finale, Ford knows of a ritual that can send Bill Cipher back to his dimension, which requires all of the show's main characters to take part. Unfortunately, the ritual is interrupted by Stan's arguing with his brother, which results in Bill capturing them all.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted regularly. Whenever a character is shown shirtless, they have nipples.
    • In "Dipper vs. Manliness", Dipper is shirtless in a good number of scenes throughout the episode, and has visible nipples in all of them. The Manotaurs are also shown with visible nipples, and one gag even features a Manotaur with fists for nipples.
    • In "The Deep End", Dipper, Soos, Gideon, and Mermando all have visible nipples.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Wendy wears an ensemble of this type to the Wood Stick Festival in "The Love God".
  • The Barnum: Grunkle Stan has no problems with conning tourists with fake attractions. He's openly shrugged off the actual anomalies in Gravity Falls in both "Boss Mabel" and "Scary-oke", though from both episodes, his reasons are justified: visitors had thought an actual monster was fake, and he's well aware of how dangerous the paranormal can be.
  • Bathos: The Big Henry scene in "Golf War". It'd be incredibly sad and jarring (and some people found it that way anyway), were it not for the fact that it takes place right under the noses of completely oblivious golfers and involves little people with golf balls for heads.
  • Batman Gambit: In "Tourist Trapped", Mabel tricks the main gnome into separating from the rest of the gnomes with an offer to kiss him, and uses a leaf blower when he's close enough to suck the small gnome in and shoot him back into the forest.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The protagonists first encountered and fought Bill Cipher in Stan's mindscape. Notably, this is also how Bill met his end in his final appearance.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: In "A Tale of Two Stans," this is how Stanford deals with the government agents, by using a memory wipe and authoritatively claiming to be a representative of a different agency who is taking it from here.
  • Beach Episode: "The Deep End" gives the cast an opportunity to have some fun at their local pool. Dipper and Wendy have fun as lifeguards, Mabel meets a new crush, Soos embarks on a quest to liberate the downtrodden, and Stan battles Gideon over the perfect pool chair.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: After screwing multiple people with bad deals over the course of the series, Bill Cipher finally gets screwed back by one such deal.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with many female characters, even very girly ones. Wendy, Mabel, Candy, Grenda, and Pacifica have all been shown sustaining as much injury or damage in skirmishes as the show's male characters—an example being Wendy sporting a full-on black eye after a fight in "The Last Mabelcorn". Wendy and Pacifica also use the bathroom (off-screen) in "Double Dipper", and Mabel gets a Balloon Belly in "The Inconveniencing".
  • Behind the Black: In "Dipper's Guide to The Unexplained #82," there were several points where people, including Dipper, could have seen that the man was a robot that had no right side.
  • Beneath the Earth: In "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future," Dipper learns from Ford that there's an ancient UFO crash site located underneath the town. A significant part of the episode takes place there.
  • Beneath the Mask: Quite a number of characters.
    • Most notable is Grunkle Stan, who isn't a laid-back, confident man that doesn't believe in spooks or the supernatural; he believes in the supernatural but pretends not to in order to try to discourage Dipper from seeking out dangerous things. And while he is a conman, he's secretly self-loathing, racked with his own repeated failures with his own brother.
    • Wendy isn't actually as laid-back and cool as she lets on; underneath, she's almost constantly stressed out.
    • Robbie acts like an apathetic Jerkass to virtually everybody, but secretly he's very awkward, lonely, and insecure.
    • Pacifica appears to be a quintessential Rich Bitch, but she's also a Lonely Rich Kid who doesn't appear to be loved by anyone, not even her own parents.
    • Even our own Dipper is a mild case. In "Society of the Blind Eye," he revealed that he's playing up the cooler and smarter parts of his personality on purpose in order to hide crippling pre-pubescent insecurity.
  • Benevolent Boss: Mabel starts off as this in "Boss Mabel" after making a bet with Stan: she was lax and trusting with Wendy, supports Soos's ideas, and lets Dipper run off to find a real creature to put on exhibit—her accommodating attitude doesn't last when everything backfires.
  • The Bet: Stan and Mabel make a bet on who could make more money: Mabel while running the Mystery Shack, or Stan while on vacation.
  • Better as Friends: After Dipper's confession to Wendy, she confesses to having suspected it and while very flattered, she says this.
  • Beware the Honest Ones: In one of the vignettes from "Bottomless Pit," Stan is given magic teeth that compel him to honesty. The consequences of this decision are nearly disastrous, as Stan proceeds to horrify the family with his honesty and even tries to confess to all of his crimes when the police come by.
  • Beware the Silly Ones:
  • Beyond the Impossible: Several scenes in the episode "Fight Fighters," as well as the entire minisode "Lefty," could not take place in a 3D universe, and suggest that Gravity Falls's universe is 2D.
  • BFG:
    • Ford has one: the Quantum Destabilizer. It gets used exactly once. Unsuccessfully. It manages to blow a hole in freaking Bill Cipher, although he immediately regenerates.
    • The Mystery Shack Humongous Mecha is equipped with one, and is used to repel the Henchmaniacs. Successfully.
  • Bicolor Cows, Solid Color Bulls: Any cow that appears in the show is black-and-white, while any bull that appears in the show is brown.
  • Big Bad:
    • "Li'l" Gideon Gleeful serves this role in season 1, driving several episodes with his machinations to destroy the Pines family and take possession of the Journals and the Mystery Shack.
    • In Season 2, Bill Cipher is shaping up to be one, given his big role in "Sock Opera" and the tapestry in the Northwest Mansion implies that he's planning on bringing upon the apocalypse.
    • Bill's Big Bad status is finally confirmed as of "The Last Mabelcorn," where it's revealed that he plans on merging his nightmare realm with the real world, causing the apocalypse in the process.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Dipper watches out for his sister's well being and safety. He doesn't smother her, but whenever the two of them encounter danger, her safety is always his number one priority. This tumblr post really sums it up best. Even in less dire moments, like when she needs emotional or moral support, he's always there to lend her a hand and will stop at nothing until she feels better. For example, in "The Land Before Swine," when Dipper finds out that a pterodactyl took Waddles, he is dead-set on helping his sister get her beloved pet back.
    • Mabel also has had several instances of Big Sister Instinct. In fact, her brother being threatened or hurt is one of the few things that manages to bring out her more serious side. For the record, Mabel is older by five minutes.
    • Soos and Wendy both have this for the twins, despite not being their actual relatives.
    • Stan proves several times to have a big gruncle instinct towards the twins, going out of his way to protect them from danger and obfuscate the perils of the town. And of course, there is the 30 years he spent laboring to rescue his brother from exile in some extra dimensional plane of weirdness. And how he sacrifices himself for the sake of his brother and the twins at the end of the series.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: In the climax of "The Deep End," Mabel gets her first kiss this way after rescuing her merman crush, Mermando, from the isolation of a swimming pool.
  • Big Eater: Several characters.
    • Soos is more often than not, seen eating something, whether he's doing maintenance at the Mystery Shack or adventuring with the twins. The scene where he's first introduced features him eating a chocolate bar. In "Dreamscaperers", one of his big questions about chasing Bill through Stan's mind is whether or not he can bring his snacks with him, which he does. In "Blendin's Game", he uses the Time Wish to get an infinitely regenerating slice of pizza.
    • Mabel is shown eating on-screen more often than any other character besides Soos. Pick an episode and she more than likely eats something in it. She especially loves junk food and...things that aren't traditionally eaten. In "Dungeons, Dungeons & More Dungeons", she even made a contraption that lets her eat all of her favorite snacks at once.
    • Wendy also counts. She's frequently seen eating (usually junk food of some sort) while working at the Mystery Shack, she takes more snacks than is authorized while working temporarily as a lifeguard in "The Deep End", and in "Double Dipper", when Dipper asks her what her favorite snack food is, she replies that she can't pick just one.
    • Waddles, Mabel's pet pig, eats a lot.
  • Big Fun: Soos is a big, funny Manchild who's great friends with the kids.
  • Big "NO!": There are three in a row in "Carpet Diem": one from Mabel, one from Dipper, and one from Soos.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Northwest family, going back to Nathaniel, has been a decades-long line of classist swindlers. Preston Northwest controls his own daughter through Pavlov-style conditioning, and encourages her to act like a brat. Pacifica, however, appears to be growing out of this.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: In "Tourist Trapped," Mabel calls the gnomes butt-faces. When Mabel insults someone, it's usually this trope.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Mystery Shack, which has enough space for an oddity museum and gift shop, plus living quarters and the hidden rooms that always seem to be popping up. Not to mention Ford's lab and study underneath it.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • The spell Dipper does in "Dreamscaperers" is part actual Latin and part Canis Latinicus joke, and it can be roughly translated to: "See everything, Master the Mind! Magnesium to man! Masterpiece! May you have your body! Inceptus Nolan Overratus! Master the Mind, Master The Mind, Master The Miiiiiiiind!"
    • The spell Gideon uses (also in Latin) to release Bill Cipher, however, makes much more sense in English: "Triangle, I invoke you! I come to the defensive barrier of the mind! I will see the barrier destroyed!"
    • "Abuelita" is Spanish for grandmother.
    • The Ambiguously Jewish manotaur, Chutzpar, is a double one: more obviously, it includes the Yiddish word "Chutzpah," with its own connotations. Less so, it includes the Hebrew word "Par," meaning bull.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • In "Soos and the Real Girl," Soos meets Melody, an overweight, but light-hearted and fun-loving goofball like him. They hit it off effortlessly.
    • Both Invoked and Double Subverted in "The Love God." Mabel tries to match-make Robbie with Tambry, but when the date seems to be going poorly, she resorts to stealing love potion from a cherub to make it work. While her methods are questionable, the two seem to genuinely complement each other, and Mabel ultimately decides against undoing it. By the end of the episode, they're still together and it's unclear if that's because of the magic or if they really were compatible with each other once they got past their initial hesitance.
    • Soos and Mabel are a platonic version—while both of the twins are close with the former, it's clear that Mabel has a lot more in common with him. They're both fun-loving characters with Cloudcuckoolander tendencies that sometimes inconvenience those around them, but are also intelligent in their own ways and quite competent when necessary. They both also eat a lot, love to hug, and don't always recognize sarcasm.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Li'l Gideon is introduced with a catchy song-and-dance that endears him immediately to the public. On the surface, he's a polite and adorable ten-year-old. However, when he's not in public, he is a cruel manipulator plotting to annihilate the Pines family and steal the Mystery Shack, resorting to measures such as ransom, bombings, and even summoning a demon to achieve his goals. He also regularly abuses his parents.
  • Bite the Wax Tadpole: Product name "Pitt Cola" is a bit awkward to Swedes because "pitt" (spelled and pronounced that way) is a highly profane word for "penis" in their language. So it's essentially saying "Dick Cola," which make it more surprising that the translators haven't even bothered to censor it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Has its own page.
  • Bizarre Beverage Use: Played with in the episode "Sock Opera", where Bill Cipher possesses Dipper Pines' body. He opens a soda and announces that he is going to "drink it like a person", then proceeds to pour it in his (Dipper's) eyes.
  • Black Comedy Burst: In the "Lefty" short from "Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained," the twins investigate a man who seems to only ever show his left side. And the end, it's revealed that this is because he's actually a robot with his right half completely gone, and he's being operated by a bunch of small amoeba-like creatures. Upon realizing that their cover has been blown, they all immediately commit mass suicide on camera by shoving green pills down their throats. One of them even protests by saying that he has a family, causing one of his comrades to tell him "You signed the oath!" and then shove the pill in for him. This is Played for Laughs as Dipper and Mabel flee the scene, hastily agreeing to destroy the tape.
  • Black Dot Pupils: The standard design for most of the cast. Exceptions would be the some of the creatures, the members of Sev'ral Timez, a few extras and the cursed wax figures.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • In "The Inconveniencing," Mabel discovers Smile Dip. It's Fun Dip with hallucinogenic effects.
    • This trope is Lampshaded by Dipper in "Summerween," when he reads off the odd brand names of Stan's Summerween candy.
      Dipper: Ugh! What is this stuff? I've never even heard of these brands. Sand Pop? Gummi Chairs? Mr. Adequate Bar?
    • Soos finds an "Shmez" dispenser in Ford and McGucket's bunker, which is an obvious spoof of the Real Life "PEZ" handheld candy dispensers.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: In-universe, all the dialogue of Rumble McSkirmish and the "Fight Fighters" game. This is also played for laughs in "Soos and the Real Girl." The videogame Soos plays to learn how to interact with real women is the English translation of a game that was originally released in Japanese. It contains lines like, "Anthyding can Hadplen."
  • Blood Knight: Both of the show's Action Girls, Mabel and Wendy, are this trope.
    Mabel: Alright, here's the plan. I'll take out those two guard guys, you karate chop the other dude in the neck and then we'll back flip through the front door!

    Wendy: Finally! A place where I can be violent with zero reprecussions!
  • Blood-Stained Letter: The page in a journal on how to summon the demon Bill Cipher is covered in blood, with the words, "Do not summon at all costs" written directly in blood.
  • Blush Sticker: Mabel and her friend, Candy, have permanent circles of pink on their cheeks.
  • Bob from Accounting: Tad Strange, the only man in town who isn't a tad strange.
  • Body Horror: In "Into the Bunker," the Mystery Twins encounter a shapeshifter who uses this in his morphs, at one point becoming both of the twins' heads conjoined at the neck with giant, sharp-toothed mouths and spider legs.
    Shapeshifter: Should I be one? Or the other? How about both?
    • The season 2 finale features some spectacular shows of this.
      Bill Cipher: How about instead I shuffle the functions of every hole in your face?
  • Bookcase Passage: First shown in "Tourist Trapped". Stan has a passage hidden behind his vending machine that leads to a secret basement. It's later revealed that there's a research facility in the basement housing a colossal machine that could threaten the fabric of space and time, which Stan has been trying to figure out for the last thirty years.
  • Bookends:
    • The ending of "Tourist Trapped" (the pilot) shows Stan entering his secret vending machine passage, and the ending of "Gideon Rises" (the season one finale) shows Stan entering his secret vending machine passage... revealing that he's been hunting the books for a while, and needs them to summon an ultimate power. Both episodes also climax with the twins being pursued by a villain piloting a larger version of themselves.
    • "Tourist Trapped" and "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls" (the first and last episodes of the series) both end with Dipper narrating an entry he's writing in a journal.
    • The ciphers to the first and last episodes of the series are "WELCOME TO GRAVITY FALLS" and "GOODBYE GRAVITY FALLS", respectively.
    • In "Tourist Trapped," the beginning of Dipper and Mabel's story arc, Mabel gives a boy a questionnaire which asks "Do you like me?" with the options being "Yes," "Definitely," and "Absolutely." The episode also ends with Dipper and Mabel having an "awkward sibling hug." In the end of the final episode of their arc, "Weirdmageddon 2: Escape from Reality," Mabel offers Dipper an awkward sibling hug, to which he replies, "Yes. Definitely. Absolutely."
    • The first episode ends with Dipper swapping the brown hat he came to Gravity Falls in with his iconic pine tree cap. "Take Back the Falls" ends with Dipper returning home in a brown hat again— specifically, Wendy's hat, which she swapped with his own pine tree cap.
    • In the show's non-canon pilot, the Gnome King turns to stone when he is defeated, and there is a shot of a bird sitting on his hand. In the show's finale, the same happens to Bill Cipher.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Stanley and Stanford in "A Tale of Two Stans". Stanley only wanted to spend the rest of his life with his brother, who was his only friend. When he saw they might grow apart, he acted out and accidentally ruined his brother's chance at a prestigious college, which his father punished him for with extremely Disproportionate Retribution. He resorted to illegal means to make money and ended up poor and homeless, with no contact with the rest of his family, and when he finally meets Stanford again, his brother, in panicked frustration, throws all of his failures at his face. Stanford, on the other hand, worked for years to achieve a PhD ahead of schedule and attain a grant so he could do field research and better mankind, only for all of his research to turn out to be so horrifically dangerous it (and possibly a certain triangle) drove him to the brink of madness and he decided it had to be split and separated from him for the good of mankind. The only person he trusted with his research was his brother, who refused to cooperate and hide his notes because Ford was showing such blatant disregard for Stan's opinion and circumstance. Then Stan accidentally pushed Ford into the portal, and thirty years later, Stan brought him out, but risked ending the very world Ford was trying to protect in doing so. Ford was self-centered, Stan nearly ended the world, and both have good points about the other.
  • Bottomless Pits: Gravity Falls has one not far from the Mystery Shack, which Stan uses to destroy evidence. It becomes the focus for the episode, "The Bottomless Pit."
  • Bowdlerise: The Latin American translation avoids a certain word. This doesn't ruin most jokes, but the scene in which the twins read the headline, "Stan Pines Dead," in Mexico reads that "Stan Pines Meets His End," ruining the shock value and giving a more open context.
    • A weird and kinda arbitrary (considering that Disney Channel did cut the scene) case also occurs in the Latin America version of, "Northwest Mansion Mystery". The scene in which the taxidermy heads start oozing blood is not censored, but their chant is from "Ancient sins" to "Unfinished business".
      • By this, also the fact that the Disney Channel version of the episode cut this scene.
  • Boy Band: Parodied in "Boyz Crazy" with the group Sev'ral Timez, who are revealed to be replaceable clones grown in jars for market appeal.
    • In "Not What He Seems," we see that Manly Dan's truck has a Sev'ral Timez sticker. In order to escape from Agent Trigger, Mabel writes on her car window, "Sevral Timez is overrated," which causes Dan to run his truck into the car Mabel is in, throwing it off the road.
  • Brain in a Jar: The Mystery Shack has two, dressed in wigs. Apparently, one's a man and one's a woman.
  • Brainless Beauty: The beautiful, but absolutely clueless members of Sev'ral Timez.
    • The tour guide in "Roadside Attraction" appears to be this. Subverted; she just pretends to be brainless to lure in jerks like Stan.
  • Brains and Brawn:
    • It's subtly portrayed, but Dipper is more inclined to planning and reading while Mabel is more of a girl of action.
    • The dim-witted but strong and capable Soos also fills in for the Brawn portion from time to time, teaming up with Dipper.
    • When he was young, Stan formed the Brawn portion of the combo opposite his twin brother, Ford. Ford was both well-educated and intelligent while Stan was Book Dumb and had to cheat off Ford's tests, but Stan made up for it with brute strength and earnestness until their falling out. While they still show this in their adulthood, Stan is also clever and Street Smart while Ford gets stronger and better at physical combat.
  • Brainy Pig: In the episode "Little Gift Shop of Horrors", the segment "Abaconings" invokes this trope. Waddles the pig eats a substance that causes him to become very intelligent, to the point in which he even gains the ability to build inventions. However, at the end of the story he realizes that he'd rather spend time with his friend/owner Mabel, and decides to reverse the effects of the substance.
  • Brawn Hilda: Mabel's friend, Grenda, is a muscular behemoth who shouts every line of dialogue at the top of her lungs, courtesy of a completely undisguised male voice actor.
  • Break the Cutie: The backstories of Stan, Ford, and McGucket.
  • Break the Haughty: Pacifica. She starts as a typical Alpha Bitch, happy to rub her status as a member of Gravity Falls founder's family. Then, she sees her family origin exposed as a fraud, discovers that her ancestors are a bunch of criminals with good PR, she loses her father to Body Horror in the Weirdmageddon and both her parents Taken for Granite and is reduced to dress with a potatoe sack and to wear one of Mabel's sweaters.
  • Breather Episode: "The Golf War," which comes after the plot-heavy episodes "Scaryoke" and "Into the Bunker" and precedes "Sock Opera".
    • "Roadside Attraction," placed between "The Last Mabelcorn" and "Dipper and Mabel vs. The Future".
    • "The Love God" follows "Society of the Blind Eye" and "Blendin's Game" and is followed by "Northwest Mansion Mystery".
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Parodied by the "Insert Token!" machine at the arcade, which only requires players to do one thing to win: insert tokens.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Episode 2, there's a Cutaway Gag of Grunkle Stan and the kids forging money, and he remarks that their Benjamin Franklin looks like a woman. Several episodes later, the twins find a repository of America's embarrassing secrets that includes a folder about which Mabel remarks: "Oh man, Benjamin Franklin secretly was a woman!"
    • Episode 11, "Little Dipper," has Mabel rant about an "invisible wizard" in their closet as a theory on how Dipper is suddenly a millimeter taller than her. Come episode 16, "Carpet Diem," Grenda steps out of the same closet after an obviously intense sleep over, her face covered in kiss marks, stating, "I don't know what I was kissing in there, but I have no regrets!"
    • The head of Wax Larry King is shown to survive the events of "Headhunters" in the credit scene, with the coded message saying, "HE'S STILL IN THE VENTS". He shows up again in "Weirdmageddon 3" as one of the survivors hiding with Stan in the Mystery Shack... in a vent, no less.
    “The head of Wax Larry King demands nom-noms.”
  • Broken Tears: Mabel has a moment of this in "Not What He Seems," breaking down after being forced to confront that her beloved Grunkle Stan has been lying and possibly manipulating her for as long as she's known him.
  • Broken Pedestal: Almost the entire town (save for Dipper, Mabel, Stan, Soos and Wendy) practically worships the ground Gideon Gleeful walks on, and doesn’t care when Gideon takes The Mystery Shack and throws the Pines out. But when Stan exposes that Gideon has been lying about his abilities and spying on everyone, they’re devastated and immediately turn on him. Deputy Durland, Manly Dan and Tyler Cutebiker take it especially hard.
  • Brother–Sister Team: The Kid Heroes, Dipper and Mabel Pines, are a set of twins who work together to solve mysteries and puberty.
  • Buffy Speak: Mabel can slip into this, using phrases such as "hotty melty things" or "some kind of magicky thing."
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being quite peculiar and immature, Soos is more than capable of fixing most mechanical problems and creating some genuinely impressive stuff.
    • A bigger example would be Old Man McGucket, an insane old hillbilly who's a master mechanical/robotics engineer. Justified in that he was originally an engineering genius before his brain was fried by repeated memory wipes.
  • Butt-Monkey: Invoked by Thompson, whose entire role in Wendy's social group is to be picked on by the others. Any time he's onscreen, he's being humiliated so the rest of the group can laugh at him. He puts up with it because he likes being included in the gang, and in "The Love God," Thompson is able to end the group's falling out and reunite everyone by deliberately making himself the object of ridicule. They laugh so much at his 'Butt-Monkeying' that they patch up their petty arguments.
    Thompson: All according to plan.
    • Soos is occasionally this. He gets turned into a zombie once, eaten by a monster and stalked by a violent AI.
  • But Thou Must!: Mabel pulls one on some guy with a note.
    Do you like me?
    Mabel: I rigged it!

  • The Cake Is a Lie: Grunkle Stan attracts visitors to the re-opening of his wax museum by promising them free pizza. He then claims that this was a typo.
  • The Caligula: The reign of Quentin Trembley, the 8 1/2th President of the United States, has been heavily covered up because of this. He waged war on pancakes, appointed babies to the Supreme Court, and issued the De-Pantsication Proclamation.
  • Caligula's Horse: Quentin Trembley appointed six babies into the Supreme Court.
    Quentin Trembley: Chief Justice Num-Num, you're spitting up on yourself! Oh, come on! This is a courtroom! Ugh... this is a dark day for America.
  • Call-Back
    • Mabel makes Grunkle Stan sing the "Stan Wrong Song" in "Boss Mabel." In the "Mabel's Guide to Fashion" short, we hear him sing it again, but this time willingly.
    • The crop circle design in young Ford's book of anomalies is visible on the wall of the Mystery Shack, and in the flash of light in the sky as Weirdmageddon ends.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • As a consequence of being a fighting game character, Rumble McSkirmish does this a lot in "Fight Fighters." At one point, he even calls taking a drink as "Bowl of PUNCH!"
    • Stan learns to do this from boxing lessons when he was a kid.
      Stan: LEFT HOOK!
  • The Cameo: Jason Ritter and Linda Cardellini briefly appear as live action versions of their characters Dipper and Wendy in "Weirdmageddon Part 1".
  • Campfire Character Exploration: In the finale episode, the night before the attack against Bill is spent with almost the entire cast discussing their future (and trying out Mabel's "apocalypse sweaters.") Grunkle Stan also confesses his bitter feelings over the plan and the resentment he harbors against his brother.
  • Camp Straight: Gideon's speech and mannerisms are very similar to that of a Southern Belle stereotype, not to mention he's very conscious about his looks and is often drawn with visible eyelashes. However, considering his obsession with Mabel, he's pretty clearly straight.
  • Canis Latinicus: Downplayed in "Dreamscaperers." The spell Gideon uses is actual Latin, and most of Dipper's spell is, too. However, "Inceptus Nolan Overratus!" from the latter is a case of this. (As well as a Take That! at Inception.)
  • Card-Carrying Jerkass: Stan is actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but even on his best day, he's a Consummate Liar and a shameless scam artist, and at worst, he will gleefully prioritize profits over people. (Though he does have limits in that regard; he's perfectly happy to force his niece and nephew to work in his shop and do humiliating stunts to make more money, but he'd never actually allow them to be hurt.) He freely admits he's a criminal and total sleaze, though he bristles at being called a genuinely bad guy.
    Stan: That's right, I'm a jerk.
  • Car Radio Dispute: In the episode 'Society of the Blind Eye', Soos continuously turns on 'Straight Blanching' and Wendy is outraged by it.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cathartic Chores: Gideon's mother uses this technique to not draw attention to herself. She's anxious, stressed out and terrified of the kid because her son literally wants to take over the world. "Just keep vacuumin', just keep vacuumin'" is her Madness Mantra.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While still primarily a comedy, the show became noticeably darker in its second season, possibly due to its Channel Hop. Even the humor became more reliant on Black Comedy than it was before, and it also gets emotionally heavy at times after Ford’s return. Once Weirdmaggedon shows up it gets even darker, and most comedy is about death, pain, or insanity.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Has its own page.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Explored in the episode, "Boss Mabel," in which Mabel tries to prove that she can run the Mystery Shack better than Stan could by being nice and giving everyone what they want. This backfires miserably and she's ultimately forced to crack down on Dipper, Soos, and Wendy in the same way Stan does in order to make the Shack into a profitable business. By the end of the episode, she has the chance to stay in charge and quickly refuses it, no longer wanting any part of the leadership role.
    Heavy is the head that wears the fez.
  • Chair Reveal:
    • Gideon does one in "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel".
    • Mabel does one in "Boss Mabel".
  • Cheerful Child: Mabel. Given the nature of the series, this can verge on Pollyanna status at times.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Tourist Trapped," the leaf blower Mabel used for kissing practice is later used to defeat the gnomes.
    • The grappling hook that Mabel got in "Tourist Trapped" returns in "Gideon Rises," saving them from falling to their doom later in the episode. Also in "Not What He Seems," allowing the twins to enter the Mystery Shack unnoticed.
    • "The Last Mabelcorn" features a classic example. One of the memory eraser guns from "Society of the Blind Eye" is briefly seen sitting on Ford's desk when Ford and Dipper enter his private study. Near the end of the episode, Dipper fears Ford has been possessed and grabs the memory eraser off the desk in self-defense. After a brief standoff, he fires it.
    • Both guns return in the final episode: The grappling hook allows Dipper and Mabel to escape Bill's murderous rage as he tries to kill them, and the memory eraser is used on Stan after he tricked Bill into entering his mind, destroying Bill along with all of his memories. Stan gets better, fortunately.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Early in the episode, "Soos and the Real Girl," when they visit a mall to look for a date for Soos, you can see Melody (the girl Soos later dates) working at a meat stand.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In "Dipper vs. Manliness," Dipper receives training in many aspects of traditional masculinity, including physical prowess. Part of the training montage has him jumping over cliffs. In "Gideon Rises," Dipper puts this skill to use, leaping off a cliff to attack Gideon's giant robot.
  • Chekhov's Hobby:
    • In "The Inconveniencing," Mabel embarrasses Dipper by telling Wendy that Dipper used to do the Lamby Lamby Dance. We get to see the dance for ourselves in the climax, when Dipper saves everyone by performing in front of a pair of ghosts who want to see him do something adorably childish.
    • Mabel's mini-golf skills are introduced in the Season 1 episode, "Carpet Diem" and then come back as a plot point in the Season 2 episode, "Golf War".
    • Mabel makes her own sweaters. This becomes relevant when Pacifica has to wear one, revealing which position she is for the zodiac symbol.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: In "Sock Opera," when Dipper is possessed by Bill, he almost never stops pulling one of these. Behold.
  • Chest Burster: Two of them in "Summerween".
    • Invoked by Stan in an attempt to scare a pair of jaded trick-or-treaters using Mabel's pig Waddles.
      Stan: Why?! Why is there a pig jumping out of my chest?!
    • At the end of the episode, after being eaten by the Summerween Trickster, Soos eats his way out of the creature after discovering it's made of candy.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Alex Hirsch, aka Bill Cipher, his speech when he finally escapes the one dimension, and merges his nightmare realm with gravity falls. Alex Chews the WEIRD scenery oh so well.
    "This party never stops! Time is dead and meaning has no meaning, existence is upside down AND I REIGN SUPREME!! WELCOME ONE AND ALL TO WEIRDMAGEDDON!"
    Bill Cipher But you can call me your new Lord of Canon and Trope Master for all of Eternity
  • The Chew Toy: Toby Determined only ever shows up to be abused and humiliated for the audience's benefit. Whether it's his failed attempts at journalism, his crush on Sandra Jimenez, his general ugliness, or some other failed dream of his, Toby is always the butt of one joke or another. The characters frequently join the audience in laughing at Toby's misery.
    Dipper: Now, if we band together… If we combine all of our strength, our smarts, our… whatever Toby has—
    Toby: Various rashes!
  • Child Eater: The Summerween Trickster punishes children for not living up to the spirit of Summerween. In the process of condemning Dipper with Trick-or-Treat-or-Die, the Trickster emphasizes the severity of the situation by devouring Gorney, another Trick-or-Treater who just had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gorney survives, but not for lack of trying.
  • Christmas in July: Gravity Falls loves Halloween so much they celebrate it twice via Summerween. It's the same holiday, but with watermelons standing in for pumpkins.
  • The Chosen Many: The finale reveals the presence of the Zodiac Ten—ten individuals who have the power to vanquish Bill Cipher, each represented by a different symbol. Specifically, the Zodiac Ten are Dipper, Mabel, Grunkle Stan, Ford, Wendy, Soos, Gideon, Robbie, Pacifica, and Old Man McGucket.
  • City of Adventure: Gravity Falls, where mystery lurks around every corner.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Dipper is shy, awkward, and entering puberty. Several episodes revolve around his fears, insecurities, and self-doubt, with Dipper having to overcome these issues in order to save the day. Examples include:
    • "Dipper vs. Manliness." Dipper feels insecure about his masculinity and seeks the assistance of the Manotaurs to teach him how to be a man.
    • "Double Dipper." Dipper wants to spend time with his first crush, Wendy, but is awkward and nervous about how to approach her and concocts a long-winded and ridiculous plan for how to get her attention.
    • "Fight Fighters." Dipper is challenged to a fight against a teenager and is afraid for his life, so he recruits a fighting game character, Rumble McSkirmish to fight on his behalf instead. This quickly gets out of hand, forcing Dipper to find the courage to fight the unstoppable warrior his cowardice unleashed.
    • "Little Dipper." When Dipper finds out his twin sister is slightly taller than him, he seeks out size-changing crystals to correct the crippling blow to his pride that this minor detail has inflicted.
  • Classic Cheat Code: In "Fight Fighters," Dipper finds one engraved on the side of the titular Fight Fighters machine with the helpful explanation, "Ultimate Power." Inputting the code allows the player to select a fighter from the game to be released into the real world.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • "Dreamscaperers": After spending the entire episode trying to thwart Gideon's plans to steal the Mystery Shack's deed, the episode ends on Gideon pulling off his B Plan and blowing open Stan's safe with dynamite. The episode ends on Gideon's triumphant victory as his father brings in a wrecking ball to demolish the building.
    • "Gideon Rises": In the final moments of the first season finale, the audience gets to see what's in Stan's secret basement: a massive technological wonder of unknown purpose. Stan makes vague references to how long he's been working on this, then reveals that not only has he swiped Journals 2 and 3 from Gideon and Dipper, but he had Journal 1 the entire time. As Stan begins to power up the mysterious device, the credits roll.
    • "Northwest Mansion Mystery": In the final scene of the episode, Old Man McGucket desperately tries to get Dipper's attention to show him the laptop he's been working on, but Dipper blows him off. There's a countdown clock ticking down to a disastrous event that will occur the following day. As McGucket worries over it, the camera pans up to show an ominous tapestry depicting Bill Cipher and the end of the world. Roll credits.
    • "Not What He Seems": This episode ends on one of the most earth-shattering reveals in the entire show. The mysterious device in Stan's secret basement has finally done was Stan wanted, and a mysterious figure has emerged from the portal it created.
      Dipper: Who is that?
      Stan: The author of the journals. My brother.
  • Cloning Blues: Double Subverted in "Double Dipper." Dipper uses a supernatural copying machine to make duplicates of himself as part of an overcomplicated plan to spend time with Wendy. The first clone he creates, Tyrone, has no qualms about being a clone and even reminds Dipper that he can just dissolve him with water if things get out of hand. However, Dipper abandons the plan after enjoying a natural conversation with Wendy. The clones didn't share the experience or epiphany, and so they turn on Dipper in order to keep to the plan, locking him in a closet so that one of them can dance with Wendy instead.
    Dipper: Guys, c'mon. We said we weren't going to turn on each other.
    Tyrone: I think we all knew we were lying.
  • Closed Circle: The town of Gravity Falls becomes this during the last few episodes when, after Bill's emergence from the universal rift, the town is completely sealed off from the rest of the Universe by the formation of an enormous bubble.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The entire populace of Gravity Falls is culturally out-of-touch and borderline insane.
  • Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Dipper often has to keep Mabel's wackiness on track during their investigations.
    Dipper: I just feel like I'm one puzzle piece away from figuring out everything.
    Mabel: Don't worry, Dipper. [picks up Waddles] Lord Mystery Ham is on the case! "I play by me own rules! Wot wot?"
    Dipper: I don't know why I tell you things.
  • Clueless Aesop:
    • "Little Gift Shop of Horror" has the short story "Abaconings", which goes out of its way to show that using your gifts to help better humanity isn't as important as your best friend being comfortable with your life choices. Also, you shouldn't accept changes in your friends even if they're happy about them, and are right to ask them to return to how they were if the changes make you uncomfortable.
      • This actually takes on greater after "A Tale of Two Stans" as it can be interpreted as a Stan fictionalizing his relationship with Ford and changing the ending to the one he'd have preferred.
      • Becomes more heartbreaking after noticing the intelligience-enhancing machine looks like the portal.
    • "Roadside Attraction"'s "Being a playboy is wrong" aesop is cool until you realize that the reasons they give for it being wrong run along the lines of "girls will misinterpret any interaction you have with them as deeply romantic and meaningful to you both, so giving attention to more than one at once is a bad idea."
    • In "The Last Mabelcorn", Mabel tries to win the approval of a Unicorn who will give a lock of it's hair to anyone who is pure-of-heart and after struggling for half the episode to prove how good she is, it's revealed that that Unicorns can't see into people's hearts and was putting Mabel though the ringer just to screw with her. After hearing this Mabel decided to for-go being nice and just take the hair by force. Mabel perfectly sums up the aesop at the end of the episode with the line "Morality is relative" (she needed the hair to protect her family so beating up and stealing from a unicorn was okay.) The unicorn was being a massive lying bitch, so she could have been sarcastically directing towards her.
  • Clueless Deputy: Deputy Durland is dim-witted even by comparison to Sheriff Blubs.
    Dipper: I have a feeling those cops weren't at the library to check out books.
    Mabel: I don't think the one with the bell can read...
  • Collector of the Strange: Invoked by Stan. His business model depends on people paying to explore the weird and mystical objects he collects inside the Mystery Shack, but it's all a sham. He crafts the attractions himself. His brother, Ford, plays this trope straight.
  • Comical Overreacting: A common joke. For example, when Mabel and her friends find out a concert they want to go to is sold out:
    Grenda: This night is ruined!
    [Candy falls flat on her face]
    Candy: I welcome you, death.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Several of Dipper's experiences in Gravity Falls include learning about himself, defending a first crush, and boldly standing up for what is right; all elements of this trope.
    • To a lesser extent, Mabel as well. She deals with first love, first kiss, breaking up with somebody, and learning to put others needs above her own wants.
  • Con Artist: Grunkle Stan's life has been spent moving from one sham to the next. The Mystery Shack is his magnum opus, loaded with a wide variety of mysterious oddities, all of which are as fake as the eye patch he wears when presenting it.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Robbie Valentino wears fingerless gloves with his regular attire, and if "The Love God" is any indication, he gets quite defensive whenever someone implies that they don't look cool.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: The bowling shoes in this shot.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Dipper never misses a chance to probe the hidden depths of Gravity Falls for secret meanings and connections. The more he discovers, the more questions he has and the harder he works to find the truth. In "Tourist Trapped," Mabel implies Dipper's always been like this and that the discovery of Journal 3 just gave him a legitimate conspiracy to pursue.
    Mabel: Norman and I are going on a date at 5 o'clock and I'm gonna be ADORABLE, and he's gonna be DREAMY, and I am not gonna let you ruin it with one of your crazy CONSPIRACIES!
  • Continuity Cavalcade:
    • "Into the Bunker": In one scene, the Shapeshifter rapidly changes into the Gremloblin from "Boss Mabel," one of the gnomes from "Tourist Trapped" and "Gideon Rises," and the Hide-Behind from "Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained."
    • "The Time Traveler's Pig": While fighting over a time travel device, Dipper and Mabel revisit the events of "Legend of the Gobblewonker," "Headhunters," and "Tourist Trapped."
    • In "The Love God," the titular character entices Mabel with a love illusion potion, which shows all of Mabel's ex-crushes from previous episodes, like Mermando ("The Deep End") and Gabe ("Sock Opera").
    • "The Last Mabelcorn" shows us when Dipper is hooked up to Stanford's mind-reader machine, several quotes he's said in previous episodes, including singing "Disco Girl" from season 1 episode, "Dipper vs. Manliness".
  • Continuity Nod: Has its own page.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: While there have been hints of a greater presence throughout the previous seasons, "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future" fully confirmed without a doubt that Gravity Falls is a story of Lovecraftian proportions.
  • Cool Boat: Downplayed in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker." Soos's "S.S. Cool Dude" is a fairly average motorboat, but it might as well be a yacht compared to the "Stan-o-War," the rickety junker Stan owns.
    Soos: Dude, you could totally use my boat for your hunt! It's got a steering wheel, chairs - normal boat stuff.
  • Cool Car: Stan's car, the appropriately-named Stanmobile. It's appearance is based on the 1965 Cadillac Deville. Aside from being a classic car, it seems to have some unstated supernatural abilities of its own, considering Stan's questionable driving skills, and his claim that it's been torched at least twice. Flashbacks show he had the car when he was kicked out of his house, meaning he's had the car for at least 40 years. "Irrational Treasure" shows him to be on a first name basis with a local car mechanic, so maybe he's just careful to keep the car in tip-top shape.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grunkle Stan is a senior citizen who tends to steal the spotlight whenever he's around.
    • Also, his brother, Ford. Anyone who was in an alternate dimension for 30 years is this by default.
  • Couch Gag: The backwards whisper at the end of the theme song when the title pops up, varying from episode to episode, which is a clue to decode the cryptogram that appears in the end credits.
  • Crack in the Sky: The series finale involves a big cross shaped crack in the sky granting access from another dimension.
  • Crappy Carnival: In "The Time Traveler's Pig," Stan sets one up. The rides are unsafe and the games are rigged. Stan puts himself up on the Dunk Tank, heckling the crowd to trick them into lobbing balls at the dunk target, which Soos has welded to be immovable.
    Stan: There she is, Mabel. The cheapest fair money can rent. I spared every expense.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Mabel Land, on the surface, is a colorful and happy paradise with everything you could ever hope for. But just under the surface, it is a maggot infested trap and surveillance system built by Bill.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: In "Dipper vs. Manliness," Stan's date with Lazy Susan goes south in part because of this. During the messages she leaves on his answering machine, she takes the time to have each of her cats say hi, then gets angry when Mr. Cat-Face gets fussy about it.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Lil' Gideon's attempts to woo Mabel become steadily more manipulative until Dipper is forced to break off the courtship for her. Gideon takes this as incentive to murder Dipper in retribution for ruining his relationship.
    Dipper: I told you, she's not into you!
    Gideon: Liar! You turned her against me! She was my peach dumpling!
  • Crazy-Prepared: Dipper brings 17 disposable cameras for a monster hunt in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker". This is because he's Genre Savvy enough to realize that cameras keep getting destroyed or lost during monster hunts. He was right to bring so many; by the end of the hunt, they're down to one.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The bottom half of Alex Hirsch's face appears on one of the photographs during the title sequence.
    • In "Bottomless Pit," Alex Hirsch appears briefly on the television.
    • In "Roadside Attraction," Alex appears in one of the trams during the chase scene.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits sequence of "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls," being the Grand Finale, is totally different from the rest of the show's usual credits, being presented in a scrapbook format with its pictures showing moments from the twins' subsequent summer vacations to Gravity Falls.
  • Credits Gag: Has its own page.
  • Creepy Child: Li'l Gideon is a malevolent 10-year-old whose free time is spent plotting the annihilation of his enemies. While typically a Villain with Good Publicity, he goes back and forth between unsettling terror with creepy whispers and screaming outrage over being challenged. Even his parents are terrified of him; his mother tries to avoid attention by neurotically cleaning the house at every second, while his father joined the Blind Eye Society to use their Memory-Eraser Gun to forget the trauma of Gideon's behavior.
    • Bipper fits the general pattern in "Sock Opera," although he's an ancient demon possessing Dipper rather than a literal child.
  • Crossover Punchline: This video [1] teases a minor crossover with Rick and Morty.
  • Crush Blush: Dipper is very prone to doing this when talking to or about Wendy.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: In "Time Traveler's Pig," Stan tells Soos to rig the dunk tank to resist any attempts to dunk him. Soos confirms that it would take "some kind of futuristic laser Arm Cannon." At the end of the episode, Stan goads a time traveler, who successfully dunks him by blasting the target with his laser gun.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Zig-Zagged in the fight between Dipper and Rumble McSkirmish, a character unleashed from a fighting game. Dipper never had a chance at beating Rumble and he knows this going in, but during the course of the fight, he gains the upper hand and delivers a flying uppercut to Rumble's chin, knocking him on his back. This takes off about 2% of Rumble's HP meter, and the rest of the fight is spent anticlimactically beating Dipper into the ground. Rumble's victory seals his doom, however. By defeating Dipper, Rumble beats the game and is erased from reality to await his next New Game.
    Dipper: You, sir, truly are the greatest fighter ever.
  • Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: Mabel eats Smile Dip by getting the candy powder on the stick, then swallowing the rest of the bag instead.
  • Cutaway Gag:
    • In "The Legend of the Gobblewonker," Dipper mentions the family's last bonding day, prompting a brief cut to Dipper and Mabel counterfeiting money for Stan. The gag Crosses the Line Twice.
      Mabel: The county jail was so cold.
    • In "Headhunters," a flashback is used to explain how Stan acquired a set of cursed wax statues.
      Seller: I must warn you, these statues come at a terrible price.
      Stan: Twenty dollars?! Eh, I'll just take them when you're not looking.
      Seller: What?
      Stan: I said I was gonna rob you!
  • Cute and Psycho: When Li'l Gideon isn't being an adorable child, he's abusing his family, swearing bloody vengeance against his enemies, summoning demons, and plotting the downfall of the Pines Family.
  • Cutting the Knot: In "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons," when Stan, Mabel, and Grenda go to rescue Ford and Dipper from Probabilator, they encounter one of Probabilator's henchmen, who tells them they must complete seven dangerous quests in order to progress. Grenda merely knocks out the henchman by hitting him the head with a sofa.

  • The Dandy:
    • Li'l Gideon Gleeful is a Sissy Villain, who, in Mabel's words, is "one dapper little man." He loves fancy clothes, sparkles, big hair, and having makeover parties with Mabel (before she found out he was evil, of course).
    • Robbie also seems quite a bit metrosexual. Besides sporting Guyliner, he shows off his new jeans by striking a pose in "The Time Traveler's Pig", and in "The Love God", he references stealing Wendy's make-up.
  • Dangerously Garish Environment: "Weirdmageddon Part 2" takes place in a colorful fantasy land designed to protect Mabel from her tragic reality. This being Mabel's fantasy, it's extremely adorable, energetic, and popping with fun neon colors and sparkles. However, as soon as the threat of reality sets in, the place breaks down into a nightmare and tries to eradicate anybody who supposedly threatens Mabel's happiness.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Some of the characters had this. But most notable are Soos, Wendy, Pacifica, and especially Grunkle Stan.
    • Poor Soos never got to see his dad in all birthdays he had.
    • Wendy is cool and popular mostly because of her stress her family gives her. Word of God says her mother died (though it is unknown how their relationship went), her Long List of exes and out of all, Robbie's manipulation of her and making it look like he has a crush on her.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • "Dreamscaperers" marks the point where the series undergoes this shift; it's even helped by the picture on the sweater Mabel wears being a sunset over water.
    • Season 2 takes more liberties with what it can get away with than the first season. The violence is more brutal, the comedy is darker, and the episodes explore subject matter such as murder, abduction, and the end of the world. There are several instances of bloody violence recolored green, and one noteworthy moment in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" where uncensored blood flows from the mouths of decapitated wildlife.
  • Dark Reprise: Happens a few times, especially when the cast has hit Rock Bottom.
    • In "Boss Mabel", a frantic instrumental version of "Mabel’s The Boss Now" is heard while Mabel’s struggles hit a boiling point.
    • In the credits of "Dreamscaperers", a slow melody of the theme plays over a scene of the woods as the reality of Gideon’s takeover of The Mystery Shack sinks in.
    • In "Weirdmageddon", a distorted version is used in the opening with images of the town being taken over by Bill.
    • In the Grand Finale’s ending, the music transitions from a quiet piano tune to an acoustic version of the theme. But this time, it’s more bittersweet as the show is ending, but everyone is safe and the future is bright.
  • Dartboard of Hate: The Gleeful house contains one with a picture of Stan.
    • In "Gideon Rises," after Stan reveals that Gideon has been monitoring everyone via camera, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in which one of the screens shows Pacifica shooting darts onto a picture of Mabel.
    • Robbie has one of Dipper.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Grunkle Stan.
    • Dipper has his moments as well.
    • Not to mention Wendy, the teenage cashier in the Mystery Shack. Also Pacifica, the most popular girl in Gravity Falls.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Downplayed by Stanley Pines. His twin brother, Stanford, disappeared through the Universe Portal in his basement. In order to keep the house and search for him, Stan faked his own death and has been impersonating his brother for thirty years.
  • Deal with the Devil: In "Sock Opera," Dipper is trying to figure out the password to a laptop. After too many failed entries, the laptop warns him that it's about to erase all data, prompting him to begrudgingly makes a deal with Bill Cipher to access it. Bill requests a puppet while Dipper forgets to even make a demand while making the pact. The end result: Bill gets to use Dipper as a puppet, and Dipper doesn't even get the laptop access he wanted out of the deal.
  • Death By Genre Savvy: In "Scary-oke," Soos sets himself up for this.
    Soos: Dudes, stay calm. I have been training for this moment my whole life. With all the horror movies I've seen, I literally know all there is to know about to avoid zombies.
    [a zombie bites Soos from behind. He turns instantly.]
    Soos: Second thought, gonna flip the script. Can I eat your brains, yea or nay? I'm seeing some yea faces over here....
  • Debate and Switch: In "The Last Mabelcorn," a unicorn claims Mabel to be impure of heart. Rather than addressing the legitimate parts of Celestabellebethebelle's criticisms or showing why Mabel is a good person despite her flaws, the episode concludes with Celestabellebethebelle being revealed as a fraud and the rest of the unicorns as "jerks" who are all actually terrible people with no ability to rightfully judge Mabel at all, thus dodging the issue entirely.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Played with in "Irrational Treasure". Dipper holds up a postcard of the town square, then lowers it to a sepia-toned town square. He was really just looking through some very dirty glass that was being carried across the street.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • In "The Inconveniencing," a pair of ghosts use Mabel as a vessel through which to speak to their intended victims.
    • In "Sock Opera," Dipper makes a Deal with the Devil with Bill Cipher. It backfires in record time. He doesn't even get anything out of it.
    • Bill also did this to Ford as revealed in "The Last Mabelcorn" and expanded upon in Journal 3. It ended badly.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • One of Stan's attractions at the Mystery Shack is the "Rock That Looks Like a Face" Rock: The Rock That Looks Like A Face.
    • Dipper and Wendy are fond of the arcade game, "Fight Fighters."
    • The novel series "The Sibling Brothers" is written by someone named Jenkins W. Jenkins and one of the novels is titled "The Case of the Caper-Case Caper".
  • Description Cut: In "Fixin' It With Soos", Soos says he's fixing a cuckoo clock Stan broke by accident. A flashback shows Stan whacking it with a baseball bat and saying things like "Stop making that noise!"; "I hate you!"; and "This is definitely not an accident!".
  • Detectives Follow Footprints: How Dipper and Mabel found the axe in "Headhunters."
  • Deus ex Machina: In an incredibly clever Tear Jerker, Stan literally loses his mind in the finale only to recover with no consequences minutes later, even after Ford, the expert, stated twice that it was impossible.
    • Incidentally, Old Man McGucket recovered his memories earlier in the series after using the memory gun on himself for years. The real life Journal 3 reveals it took a week for Stan to fully recover, which is still pretty fast.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: With the exception of Dipper and Mabel, the whole town of Gravity Falls tends to be gullible when it comes to awful people in their midst. They have a frequent habit of looking up to the wrong kind of people:
    • They frequently shop at the Mystery Shack despite Stan's status as a crooked huckster being well-established. He lies, cheats, and steals from them on a regular basis, but they still consider him a trustworthy business proprietor.
    • The townspeople fawned over Gideon, an Ax-Crazy little brat who attacked Dipper using lamb shears, summoned a demon so he could steal Stan's deed to the Mystery Shack, and chased after the twins using a giant robot. They finally learn the truth when Stan exposes Gideon's illegal surveillance cameras.
    • They also look up to the Northwest family, the founders of Gravity Falls, in spite of their snobbish, classist attitude. And as it turns out, the Northwests were not the founders and have been cheating and scamming the townsfolk for a century and a half.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Grunkle Stan enters into fisticuffs with everything. Zombies. Pterodactyls. Kraken. Bill Cipher.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Bill Cypher gets tricked into entering Stan's mind rather than Ford's by them switching clothes (with Stan even wearing Ford's six-fingered gloves). In all likelihood it was Stan's plan.
  • Disappeared Dad: Soos's father walked out on him when he was a kid.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "The Legend of the Gobblewonker," Old Man McGucket indicates that this has become a hobby.
    Old Man McGucket: I made lots of robots in my day! Like when my wife left me and I made a homicidal pterodactyl-tron or when my pal, Earnie, didn't come to my retirement party and I constructed an eighty-ton SHAME-BOT THAT EXPLODED THE ENTIRE DOWNTOWN AREA!!! Well, time to get back to work on my Death Ray.
  • Distinguishing Mark: The Big Dipper-shaped birthmark on Dipper's forehead, and Stanford's polydactily.
  • Ditzy Genius: Soos is actually quite smart, with competent knowledge of machinery and construction, and many nuggets of wisdom to give to the other characters. You would never guess this based on how he acts.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • In "The Inconveniencing," Mabel discovers Smile Dip, a hallucinogenic candy that was banned in the United States. She quickly discovers why after downing the entire package, once the Mushroom Samba sets in.
    • In "The Society of the Blind Eye," the titular society uses a memory eraser gun to prevent the people in Gravity Falls from discovering the supernatural elements of the setting. It's indicated that the Society uses the memory eraser on themselves to manage the pressures of their day to day life, creating parallels to addiction and substance abuse.
      Blind Ivan: Everyone has something they'd rather forget. In fact, your own sister was about to use that ray on herself. Isn't that right?
      Dipper: Mabel? Seriously?
      Mabel: Maybe....
      Dipper: Don't you see? This is ruining lives! What about Old Man McGucket? He lives in a hut and talks to animals, thanks to you. Don't you feel bad about that?
      Blind Ivan: ...maybe a little. [Ivan zaps himself with the Memory Eraser] But not anymore!
  • Dogged Nice Guy:
    • Gideon. He is devoted to Mabel but she just wants to be friends, and in-universe, everyone seems to think that his attempts to win her over are charming...but the truth is, Gideon is an Ax-Crazy, Entitled Bastard who uses emotional manipulation to trap Mabel into a relationship. He performs over-the-top acts of kindness, manipulates her into going on more dates with him by asking her very publicly in front of large crowds of Gravity Falls citizens who think it's just "so adorable" that Gideon might finally get a girlfriend, and completely ignores her wish to not be in a relationship with him. Eventually, Dipper tries to break the news to Gideon that Mabel is not interested in him, and Gideon responds to this by attempting to murder Dipper because he believes that Dipper got between him and Mabel. Thankfully, Mabel sees this and intervenes, and she rejects him, not only romantically, but as a friend now, too.
    Mabel: [after rejecting Gideon again] But we can still be makeover buddies, right? Wouldn't you like that?
    Gideon: Really?
    Mabel: [rips amulet away from Gideon] No, not really! You are, like, attacking my brother, what the heck!
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: "Society of the Blind Eye" reveals that background characters Toby Determined, Bud Gleeful, Farmer Sprott, the burly man who guards the Skull Fracture, the man married to a woodpecker, and a random woman are members of a secret society that make the inhabitants of Gravity Falls forget the paranormal activities they encountered. Subverted with the leader, who has never been seen before.
  • Domain Holder: A ghost can practically become The Omnipotent over whatever area he/she haunts.
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    • In "The Legend of the Gobblewonker," when trying to recruit fishing buddies, Stan interrupts a man about to propose to his girlfriend with this joke: "My ex-wife still misses me, but her aim is getting better!" After repeating the punchline, he explains, "It's funny because marriage is terrible."
    • Candy dresses like a piece of candy in "Summerween". She jumps into a wheelbarrow full of pieces of candy while Mabel is counting them and states, "36. You see? Because-," prompting Mabel to tell her that she gets the joke.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted in "Soos and the Real Girl," where .GIFfany's attempts to control, manipulate, and eventually abduct Soos are depicted as horrible and disturbing.
  • Double Take: The phrase "Wait, what?" shows up quite often on the show.
  • Downer Ending:
    • "Dreamscaperers" ends with Gideon successfully claiming the deed to the Mystery Shack and preparing to tear down the building.
    • "Tale Of Two Stans" reveals the horrible lives both Stan and Ford have lived, and ends with both of them still bitterly disappointed in the other.
    • "Dipper and Mabel Vs. The Future" ends with Mabel's plans for her and Dipper's birthday crushed, the twin's relationship at an all-time low, and BILL SUCCESSFULLY TEARING A HOLE THROUGH SPACE AND TIME AND STARTING THE APOCALYPSE.
  • Dream Walker: Bill Cipher is capable of entering dreams and using them to access the dreamer's memories in order to get information out of them.
  • Drunk on Milk:
    • Justified in "Gideon Rises," where Stan briefly tries to get drunk on very expired apple cider. Apple cider ferments with age.
    • In "Mabel's Guide to Color," Grenda drinks expired milk, saying, "I can see rainbows!" Then she passes out.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Grunkle Stan ignores many laws. Traffic is no exception.
    Stan: Road safety laws, prepare to be ignored!
    Dipper: Grunkle Stan, are you wearing a blindfold?
    Stan: No, but with these cataracts I might as well be. What is that, a woodpecker?
    Stan: [singing] Singing the driving song. headlights are out, can't see where I'm going...
  • Dysfunction Junction: In Gravity Falls, family drama and deep-seated psychological issues are commonplace. Nearly everyone is creepy, incompetent, or criminal in one way or another. One man even married a woodpecker. This is so prevalent that the entire Blind Eye Society is staffed with people who joined the society to use the Memory Eraser to remove those memories that make their lives harder.
    Gideon's tantrums / Misspelled tattoos / Shandra's rejections / Society's views / A fear of witches / A life of regret / These are the things that they try to forget.
    • The Pines family are not exempt from this. Dipper's deep-seated self-worth issues and dependence on the label of being the "smart" twin, Mabel's occasional selfishness, fear of growing up and dependence on the label of being the "good" twin, Stan's dishonesty and temper issues, Ford's pride and obsessive tendencies; and both Stan and Ford's tendency to unwittingly trivialize things important to others and project their own past experiences onto their two young charges all lead to horrendous consequences down the line. By "Dipper and Mabel Vs. The Future," their problems have formed into a Poor Communication Kills clusterscrew of a mess, and it's actually the Pines family unknowingly tripping over each other's major emotional issues that allows Bill to take advantage of them and cause the Apocalypse.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe. In "Society of the Blind Eye," Soos enrages Mabel and Wendy when he makes a joke about Lazy Susan's mascara.

  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Lazy Susan appears in the diner for a moment in the pilot, and isn't formally introduced until five episodes later.
    • A picture of Robbie can be seen posted on the bulletin board among the other suspects in "Headhunters".
    • Li'l Gideon is featured in a magazine advertisement two episodes before Dipper and Mabel actually meet him.
    • Mr. Poolcheck appears in the Skull Fracture bar an episode before he is introduced in "The Deep End".
    • The band Sev'ral Timez' movie appears in "Carpet Diem".
    • Bill Cipher appears many times throughout the show both before and after his introduction in "Dreamscaperers," including a brief flash in the show's intro, the -12 Dollar Bill in "Irrational Treasure," and an arcade machine in "Fight Fighters."
    • Blendin can be seen in the background in "Tourist Trapped," "The Legend of the Gobblewonker," and "Headhunters," fixing the time anomalies Dipper and Mabel produced later on in "The Time Traveler's Pig".
    • Retroactively, Ford made some cameos in "The Time Traveler’s Pig", "Carpet Diem" and "Dreamscaperers":
      • When Dipper and Mabel end up at the Shack several years before their birth, someone thought to be a younger Stan appears....but his facial features and glasses are noticeably different.
      • When Dipper, Mabel and Soos find the hidden room, Stan is fairly upset about it, and is seen taking a pair of glasses from a dresser. Later in the episode, he’s seen looking at the glasses and looking uncharacteristically somber. Because he’s thinking about Ford.
      • In a flashback to Stan as a child and his father in boxing class, one of the kids in the stands has similar brown hair to Stan and reading a book, his hands covered by boxing gloves. A photo in "A Tale Of Two Stans" would conform that it was Ford, who took boxing alongside Stan. And before Dipper, Mabel and Soos go into his mind, Stan appears to be having a nightmare, acting like he’s pushing someone and saying "No! I’m sorry!" His nightmare is reliving the accident that resulted in Ford’s disappearance.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Invoked in "Not What He Seems." The Universe Portal is revealed to have the ability to cause this. In the end, the damage is limited to shattering much of the town, the shack, and the audience's minds.
  • Earworm:
    • In "The Hand That Rocks The Mabel," Gideon arrives at the Mystery Shack's doorstep and Mabel quotes one of his song lyrics in surprise.
      Mabel: [gasp] It's widdle ol' you!
      Gideon: [chuckle] Yeah, my song's quite catchy.
    • In "Society of the Blind Eye," Wendy vents her frustration over being unable to get "Straight Blanchin'" by Li'l Big Dawg out of her head. Near the end, she almost resorts to using the society's Memory Eraser to wipe the song from her mind.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In "Dreamscaperers," Gideon's chant to summon Bill Cipher might sound like gibberish, but when played backwards, it reveals a secret: Gideon is saying "Backwards Message" backwards.
    • Smaller secret messages appear during the show. For example: the binary code that appears during .GIFfany's flashback in "Soos and the Real Girl" translates to "SPACEJAMTWO".
  • Eaten Alive:
    • In "The Land Before Swine," Old Man McGucket is eaten by a pterodactyl.
    • Both Soos and Gorney are eaten alive in "Summerween".
      Gorney: I've been twaumatized!
  • Eating the Enemy:
    • In the episode, "Summerween," Dipper and Mabel are pursued by the Summerween Trickster, a creature made of all the Summerween candy that no one likes which is intent on eating them. He eats Soos, which later backfires on him as Soos then proceeds to eat him from the inside. In fact, he actually likes that type of candy. This actually makes the Trickster happy, since all his life he just wanted someone to think he tasted good.
    • The Stinger for "The Land Before Swine" reveals Old Man McGucket ate his way out of the pterodactyl that ate him earlier.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: Gravity Falls is home to some downright weird people, even without The Reveal in a certain Wham Episode. The weirdness was caused by brain damage due to constant memory erasing.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: In "Into the Bunker," Dipper and Mabel discover that the Author of the Journals has a large underground laboratory under the forest not far from the Mystery Shack.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Bill Cipher is a mysterious entity that exists solely in the mindscape. Older than the universe itself, Bill has been involved with the development of human history since time began. Evidence of his existence can be found in cave paintings, tapestries, and even on the -12 dollar bill. Originally identified simply as a demon in "Dreamscaperers," the full extent of Bill's nature, origin, and motives is called into question during "The Last Mabelcorn," and the only certain answer is that nobody knows.
    • Time Baby is a massive, time-devouring baby from another dimension, frozen in an Antarctic glacier until the ice caps melt and he conquers the Earth in a hostile takeover. Bill Cipher’s AMA identifies Time Baby as “the last son of an extinct race of time giants,” but what he wants, what he’s capable of, and where his race came from remain a mystery.
  • Eleventy Zillion: Mabel, while high on Smile Dip, responds to Dipper's question of how many packs she's had with, "Bleventeen".
  • Embarrassing First Name: One of the writers once joked that Dipper's first name is Llamanic, due to a "tragic" misspelling of Dominic. This does end up being the case with his actual real name of Mason, which he asks Ford to keep a secret.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Robbie's middle name is revealed in "The Love God".
    Mrs. Valentino: Robbie Stacey Valentino! There's a little girl here to see you!
    • Wendy's middle name is Blerble.
  • Emo Teen: Robbie, but he was once a nice kid in grade school.
  • End of the World as We Know It:
    • Very narrowly averted in "Not What He Seems". After the machine that brought him back from the multiverse nearly tore the world apart, Ford destroyed it for good and contained the collateral damage to either prevent it, or at least delay it from happening.
    • Then in "Dipper and Mabel Vs. the Future," it actually happens. We see very little of it before the episode ends, but things really aren't looking too good...
    • Forms the central plot of “Weirdmageddon” parts 1 through 3. Although the damage is initially confined to Gravity Falls (thanks to the town’s “weirdness magnetism” factor) and later gets reverted thanks to a Heroic Sacrifice / Batman Gambit, an Imagine Spot from none other than Bill Cipher himself implies it could have been a lot worse. Case in point: Bill makes himself the same size as Earth and carves a smiley face into North America. Bystanders screaming in terror as the colossal finger collapses skyscrapers make it very clear this is not metaphorical. And then Bill bites the planet in half.
      Ford: So this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a boop-boop!
  • Enemy Mine: In "Northwest Mansion Mystery," after several episodes establishing the enmity between Pacifica Northwest and the Mystery Twins, Pacifica is forced to come to Dipper for help with supernatural happenings at her family manor.
    Dipper: Guys, in case you've already forgotten, Pacifica is the worst. And that's not just jealousy talking. I'd say that to her face. [answers the door]
    Pacifica: I need your help.
    Dipper: You're the worst. [slams the door]
    • The Grand Finale is one which brings together the Twins' allies, as well as former and current enemies, against Bill Cipher.
  • Enfant Terrible: Lil' Gideon uses his status as an adorable child to win the love and adoration of the town, all while plotting malevolent schemes to destroy the Pines family.
  • Escort Distraction: In "Double Dipper", Dipper and his clone Tyrone decide to create two more Dipper clones, and task them to distract Robbie by stealing his bike, so Dipper would be able to spend time with Wendy.
  • Establishing Series Moment: That whole opening scene where Dipper and Mabel are being chased by a horrific abomination and are making their escape on a golf cart is a good intro, but the real moment comes when it's revealed that "Norman" isn't a vampire as Mabel hoped, or a zombie like Dipper suspected, but a bunch of gnomes.
    Mabel: [stunned silence]
    Jeff the Gnome: Is this weird? Is this too weird? Do you need to sit down?
    Mabel: [more stunned silence]
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Gideon Gleeful, the ten-year-old whose hobbies include abusing his parents, summoning demons, and murder via oral mutilation, was legitimately disturbed by the actions of Bill Cipher. Not because he was morally opposed to them, but because he just found them sporadic and outlandish.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Parodied at the end of "Summerween." The Pines family agrees that the true point of Summerween is pure evil and everyone shares in an Evil Laugh. However, the family stops laughing just before the credits roll, to stare uncomfortably at Soos when he delivers this unsettling line.
    Soos: I ate a man alive tonight.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The credits only refer to Tyler as "Cute Biker," despite his canonical, in-universe name (as established in “The Stanchurian Candidate”) being Tyler Cutebiker (pronounced kyoot-bəkər).
  • Everyone Has Standards: Several characters on the show have had moments of this.
    • Mabel is a hyperactive goofball who seems to take every opportunity to do whatever strange thing comes into her head. But in "Sock Opera," when she found out her crush of the week was so obsessed with puppets he sometimes makes out with them, even she considers it just a step too weird.
    • Robbie is a complete Jerkass who houses a serious dislike for Dipper for having a crush on Wendy, his at the time girlfriend. But when presented with an unresistant opportunity to give Dipper a beating, he can't bring himself to go through with it.
  • Everything's Better with Llamas: One of Mabel's sweaters has a picture of a llama on it.
    • One of the symbols on the Bill Cipher Zodiac is a llama, which corresponds to the above sweater, which Mabel gives to Pacifica in the Series Finale.
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    • Bill Cipher never misses a chance to chew the scenery. His voice is loud and unnatural, his lines are strange and sporadic, and his voice pattern is just as unpredictable as he is. One minute he could be talking to you normally, the next he's Suddenly Shouting in a demonically deep tone.
    • When he's not playing to the crowd, Gideon often slips into pure ham, complete with maniacal laughter and screaming threats of vengeance.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Gideon returns in "Irrational Treasure" to throw tomatoes at Stan when he's locked in a stockade.
    • Gideon steals Stan's favorite pool chair in "The Deep End".
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Stan, Dipper, Mabel, Wendy, Soos, Grenda and Candy indulge in one in "Summerween" after Stan's Spoof Aesop.
    • Bill Cipher is very prone to this.
  • Evil Old Folks: Ma and Pa, the ghost owners of the abandoned Dusk-2-Dawn convenience store. They blame teenagers for their deaths and wreak horrific vengeance upon any teenager that wanders into their store.
  • Evolving Credits: At the end of the opening sequence, there's a lot of small Polaroid-like photos showing several adventures. For Season 1 and the first half of Season 2, the last of those small pictures shown is the pterodactyl from "The Land Before Swine," but starting in "A Tale of Two Stans," it switches to Ford holding Journal 1.
    • Then there's the three parts of "Weirdmageddon" (for which see more under Special Edition Title). Part 1's titles introduce the Henchmaniacs replacing the protagonists in the usual footage, Part 2 is a condensed version of the Weirdmageddon opening, and Part 3 has the usual footage of Dipper, Mabel and Stan, but keeps the altered music.
  • Exactly Exty Years Ago: There are multiple references to something big happening exactly thirty years ago. The author disappearing, the portal's first activation, McGucket going insane, etc. This event is revealed to be Ford creating (and later being sucked in) the portal).
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The "Insert Token!" machine has no other gameplay beyond its title. The player inserts a token to win the game.
  • Exact Words: At one point, Stan tells Dipper that he doesn't have a tattoo, despite everyone being able to see that thing on his back. It's a burn mark from when he sent his brother into the portal.
    • Bill Cipher takes advantage of this in "Sock Opera." He tells Dipper he'll give him a hint to open the laptop in exchange for a puppet. Dipper assumes he meant one of Mabel's many sock puppets; upon completion of the deal, Bill uses him as a puppet.
    • Played for Laughs in "Headhunters".
      Dipper: Sorry Grunkle Stan, but we got a big break in the case.
      Mabel: Break in the Case!
      Dipper: We're heading into town right now to interrogate the murderer.
      Mabel: [Takes out an ax from Dipper's backpack] We have an ax. [Makes slashing noises]
      Stan: Huh, this seems like the kind of thing a responsible parent wouldn't want you doing. Good thing I'm an uncle. Avenge me, kids. AVENGE ME!!
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Dipper has perpetual bags under his eyes. Even when he and Mabel switch consciousnesses in "Carpet Diem", Mabel (now Dipper) has the same affliction.
  • The Exit Is That Way: Discussed in "The Hand That Rocks The Mabel":
    [Grunkle Stan exits, slamming door behind him]
    Soos: Dude, wouldn't it be funny if that was a closet, and he had to come back out again and walk out the real door? [opens door and looks out] Nope, real door.
  • Expy: The Shapeshifter in "Into the Bunker" directly resembles the monster from The Thing (1982).
    • The character of Bud Gleeful (a relentlessly cheerful, portly car dealership owner in a T-shirt and shorts) was directly inspired by "The Family Man," the star of a bizarre series of local Florida commercials Hirsch once saw while on vacation.
    • Gideon Gleeful's appearance is almost a dead ringer for 1950s child preacher Larry Larimore.
  • Extra Digits: The author of the journals, Stanford, has six fingers on each hand.
  • Extra-Long Episode:
    • The episode "A Tale of Two Stans", which introduces Grunkle Stan's twin brother/author of the journals Stanford Pines, originally ran without commercial breaks for a full half hour. Rather than cutting it down for rebroadcast, the show is run in full, with 15 minute episodes of other shows filling out the time.
    • The finale is an hour-long special.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • Mabel invented Mabel Juice, a mysterious concoction containing a strange cyclops Troll Doll and several dice, all in a green fluid. She also once ate a whole tube of toothpaste because "it was so sparkly".
      Stan: It's like if coffee and nightmares had a baby!
    • Old Man McGucket is even more so, having eaten such things as books and a live pterodactyl.
  • Eyes Are Mental: Whenever Bill Cipher possesses someone, their pupils and scleras change to resemble him. Unlike Voices Are Mental in regards to Bill possession, the changed eyes are not just for the audience's sake and are visible In-Universe.
  • Eye Colour Change:
    • In "The Inconveniencing," Mabel's eyes turn green when she's had too much Smile Dip.
    • In "Boss Mabel," looking into the Gremloblin's eyes causes the eyes of two tourists to match the creature's bright yellow ones.
    • Whenever somebody is possessed by Bill Cipher, their sclera turns yellow and their pupils narrow to a vertical slit. This happens to Dipper in "Sock Opera," Ford in flashbacks during "The Last Mabelcorn" (and is used by Dipper to make sure Ford ISN'T possessed outside of the flashback) and by Blendin in "Dipper and Mabel versus the Future"