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This show contains examples of the following tropes:
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- Papa Wolf: While not their dad, Stan is the twins' great uncle and he does not take it well when his great niece and nephew are threatened, considering that they're the closest family he has.
Stan: You're a REAL wiseguy, but you made one fatal mistake. You messed with my family!
- Ford becomes this fairly soon after his return, despite not having known Dipper and Mabel very long.
- Paranormal Investigation: Dipper and Mabel are always investigating reports of paranormal activity around town.
- Parental Bonus: Loads. So much so that it's considered one of the most Parental Bonus-ridden shows Disney has aired in a long, long time. This gets lampshaded in "Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons", where Ford mocks Stan for loving a kids' show:
Stan: I'll have you know that Ducktective has a big mystery element! And a lot of humor that goes over kids' heads!
- Parental Substitute: In "Blendin's Game", Dipper and Mabel learn that Stan became one of these for Soos after his dad skipped town on him.
- Passing the Torch: In the Grand Finale, Stan makes Soos the new Mr. Mystery as he leaves to travel the world with Ford and reconnect.
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Considering the magnitude of what lies behind that door, the code to unlock the Mystery Shack's underground lab is incredibly weak. You simply have to enter A, 1, B, C, 3 on the vending machine. This password includes every character on the keypad except for "2", and the characters can apparently be entered in any order. You know you have a problem when a couple of 12 year-olds can look at the code on a piece of paper and immediately figure out it corresponds to a vending machine.
- Potential justified in that Stan was likely the one who put the vending machine door in place. Ford would have had no reason to have a vending machine in his private house.
- Pet the Dog:
- Grunkle Stan gets a moment like this after feeling guilty for insulting Dipper and Mabel and lets each of them take anything they want from the Mystery Shack gift shop. In true Grunkle Stan fashion, he tells them to do it before he changes his mind.
- He also saves Waddles because he wants Mabel to talk to him again.
- In "Dreamscaperers" when we find out why he's so tough on Dipper.
- Pet Heir:
- In "Soos and the Real Girl," Mabel mentions that she's leaving everything to Waddles, which isn't surprising for an animal lover like her.
- In "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel", when Gideon is demonstrating his alleged psychic abilities, he tells an elderly woman that she wishes her son would call her more often. She responds that she's leaving everything to her cat.
- Phony Psychic: Gideon claims to be a psychic, but in reality Hes a fraud who uses hidden cameras in his pins to spy on the entire town. He was getting away with it until the feedback affected Stans hearing aid.
- "A Tale Of Two Stans" reveals that Stan and Fords mother was a pathological liar masquerading as a phone psychic, which is why Stan didnt trust Gideon.
- Phoneaholic Teenager: Tambry is perpetually glued to her phone. If she's not texting, it's only because she paused to snap a humiliating photo so that she can text it to everyone in town.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Dipper wears a blue and white hat and a blue vest; Mabel isn't as consistent but frequently wears pink/purple/red clothes.
- In "Irrational Treasure", when Dipper and Mabel "break in" the Gravity Falls Museum of History, the woman working at the front door gives them free day passes as well as two balloons; she hands a pink one to Mabel and a blue one to Dipper.
- Dipper and Mabel's beds are sometimes shown with a blue blanket and a pink blanket, respectively.
- Pink Is Erotic: A child-friendly example, the Love God is a cherub who has the ability to use potions to make people fall in love. When the Love God uses a pink potion on a snake and a badger as a demonstration for Mabel, she says, "They're gonna make a snadger!"
- Pint-Sized Kid: Every kid in the series, major and minor.
- Proportional Article Importance: In the episode "The Legend of the Gobblewonker", Dipper tries to point out an ad for a monster photo contest, but Mabel zeroes in on the ad on the previous page for human-sized hamster balls.
Mabel: (gasp) I'm human-sized!
- Platonic Valentine: We see a flashback to when Dipper and Mabel were little kids. Mabel got loads of Valentine's Day cards and was celebrating, until she realized Dipper didn't get a single one. Dipper locked himself in a closet to hide how upset he was, until he saw a card being slid under the door: a collage Mabel made of all the cards she got, with the glittery text, "For My Favorite Brother."
- Playing Gertrude: Creator Alex Hirsch, who's in his late 20s/early 30s, voices 60-year old Stan. He is voiced by the creator. He's also voiced other old people like Old Man McGucket and President Trembley.
- Plucky Girl: Despite the many setbacks and heartbreaks she's suffered, Mabel rarely allows her chipper attitude to be bruised. She may stumble from time to time, but she always bounces back sillier than ever.
- Pointless Bandaid: Old Man McGucket has one on his beard. Lampshaded in "Society of the Blind Eye".
McGucket: Why does my beard have a bandage? Does that even make sense? Why has no one pointed that out?
- We find out it has a reason to be there, even if it is currently pointless: It was originally applied to his chin after a car crash he suffered 30 years earlier. The Sanity Slippage he was undergoing at the time caused him to forget it was there, meaning his beard grew out from under it. A Freeze-Frame Bonus in "Sock Opera" hinted at the revelation: the laptop, which later turns out to be McGucket's, has its own band-aid.
- His cast is also from the same accident meaning that it's this trope as well, only turned up to eleven.
- Pokémon Speak: Shmebulock the gnome can only say "Shmebulock." Lost Legends reveals that it's a curse.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Smart and conventional Dipper and energetic optimist Mabel. This image◊ of Dipper sitting in his bed writing in the journal while Mabel is jumping in hers best shows their dynamic.
- This also applies to their great uncles, possibly even more so. Unlike Mabel and Dipper, who complement each other and still have enough common ground to consistently enjoy each other's presence, Stanley's and Stanford's very different skill sets, priorities and interests drove them apart to the point that they can barely tolerate living under the same roof. Their significantly less supportive environment might also have had something to do with it.
- Police Are Useless: Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland rarely even pretend to do their jobs. Although easily fooled by deception, they can also be evaded by a sharp verbal jab.
Sheriff Blubs: (on the Pines family setting off fireworks) Do you have a permit for those?
Stan: Do you have a permit for being totally lame?
Sheriff Blubs: (chuckle) Well, I can't argue with that. Carry on!
- Police Brutality: In "Boyz Crazy," the news report of the band manager being arrested ends just as Blubs and Durland are lifting their billy clubs, implying that they are about to start beating him. Note that he is handcuffed and restrained against his car at the moment.
- Police Code for Everything: An officer about to fit a cantaloupe in his mouth is a "23-16", and a citizen delving into the true story of the town's origin is a "Code Sepia".
- The Pollyanna: Mabel often verges on this, but the first true example is during the episode "Not What He Seems". Throughout the entire episode, she simply will not accept the possibility that Stan is hiding villainous intent from them, despite the evidence continuing to pile up more and more as the story goes on. She very nearly breaks during the climax, but in the end, it's her optimism and faith that manages to get back the Author.
- Poor Communication Kills: A lot of the drama in the show is caused by this.
- The entire climax of "Not What He Seems" could have been avoided if Stan simply explained what the portal is supposed to do.
- The entire back half of the series could have been avoided if Dipper and Mabel just talked to each other more about their feelings. If Dipper had voiced his concerns about Mabel and Stan's picking on him really starting to bother him, they could have talked it out instead of letting it drive the twins apart badly enough Dipper was considering staying with Ford while Mabel went home. While if Mabel had stopped to listen and talk out this decision with Dipper, he may have changed his mind and it would have avoided Bill manipulating her into causing Weirdmageddon.
- If Stan admitted he broke Ford's machine, Ford could have repaired it before the science fair, but because he didn't, Ford thought that Stan had sabotaged him out of spite, which resulted in Stan being kicked out and starting the brothers' resentment for each other that lasts for almost their entire adult lives.
- Port Manteau: "The Stanchurian Candidate" reveals that Stan's criminal record includes a crime called "burglebezzlement." The title of the episode is also a portmanteau, of "Stan" and "Manchurian."
- The Power of Family: One of the major themes of the series is the bonds between the Pines family, and no matter what happens, they will always care for one another, and be right by their side.
- The Power of Love: Subverted in "The Love God". The titular character has magic powders that make people fall into all sorts of love, including one that has the opposite effect. At no point is the idea of "true love" ever mentioned.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In "Soos and the Real Girl", Soos launches one just as he's about to throw the CD which keeps Giffany alive into a burning oven.
Soos: Game over, Giffany!
- Precocious Crush: Downplayed by Dipper's crush on Wendy. She's not an adult but she is three years older than him which, at 12 and 15, respectively, is a significant age gap.
- Prefers the Illusion: The finale shows the only reason Mabel hasn't freed herself from Bill's bubble prison by the time Dipper, Wendy, and Soos break in to rescue her is because she's aware of the nature of the bubble and has decided she'd rather stay. Leaving the bubble would result in facing the next year (and the future in general) without Dipper, she believed he intended to stay in Gravity Falls when she returned home for school. The bubble lets her live in a world filled with glitter and rainbows, populated with talking stuffed animals and a cooler, more supportive version of Dipper (a.k.a. Dippy-Fresh). It takes a lot of convincing on Dipper's part to get her to leave the bubble, which she eventually does.
- Pre-Insanity Reveal:
- Old Man McGuckett was an inventor who worked with the writer of the Journals, until he invented a memory ray to erase his memories of whatever it was that he was involved in. Repeated use of the memory ray eventually made him crazy and with no memories at all.
- The Society themselves have also been using the mind wiping device, but are mainly experiencing holes in their memories, rather than the wholesale devolution of their minds, though Lazy Susan seems to be showing some Sanity Slippage.
- Press Hat: Toby Determined wears a variant of the popular reporter hat, which says HAT instead of PRESS.
- The Promise: Because of the rift between them, Ford made his brother Stan promise to give him back his home and leave at the end of the summer. In the end, Ford asks Stan to give him another chance after they forgive each other and themselves for what has happened between them, effectively revoking the deal. Stan does end up losing the Shack anyways, but because he gave it up willingly.
- Properly Paranoid:
- Double subverted in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker". Old Man McGucket frantically tries to raise awareness of the titular Gobblewonker, but nobody will take him seriously. Dipper and Mabel run afoul of the Gobblewonker but, in the process of escaping, discover that the whole thing is a robot operated by McGucket himself in a bid for attention. At the end, however, we see that an actual Gobblewonker does exist after all.
- In "Headhunters", Old Man McGucket inquires to know if the Mystery Shack's wax figures are alive and whether he can survive their uprising. The figures are not only alive, but murderous.
- The Author of the Journals degenerated into a paranoid mess by the end of them, with tidbits like "Don't trust anyone," and "He's always watching," sprinkled throughout. In "A Tale of Two Stans", he greets Stan at his door with a crossbow to his face, then shines a flashlight in his eyes to verify his identity. By the end of the first season, the audience has a clear understanding of exactly what it was that the Author was so afraid of, and it is very real.
- Prosthetic Limb Reveal: Dipper asks the public pool's boss if he can be hired as the assistant lifeguard. The boss says that he likes him, but emphasizes that it's not an easy job, Chewing the Scenery with his claim that it's "anarchy out there". When Dipper looks at the pool and sees nothing unusual going on, he skeptically reassures the boss that he can handle this. The boss then responds by showing his artificial hand, claiming that he lost the real one to a pool filter.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: "The Time Traveler's Pig" treats Mabel and Dipper as justified for screwing around with the time stream for their own benefit, though this is corrected nineteen episodes later.
- Psychic Block Defense: The Author had a metal plate installed in his head to prevent any more possession by Bill Cipher. He also has a safer alternative which 'bioelectrically encrypt' one's thoughts so it cannot be read, and was installing one for Dipper before the process was interrupted.
- Psychic Powers: In "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel", Li'l Gideon has an amulet that grants its bearer telekinesis. The amulet is destroyed by the end of the episode, preventing its powers from appearing again.
- Ptero Soarer: The "pterodactyl" from "Land Before Swine", which looks like an unholy mixture of all stereotypes, down to the scaly skin, being called a "dinosaur", having eagle-like hindlimbs, leathery wings, having a Pteranodon crest alongside rather mismatched teeth, making chicken-like nests and having zero to no body fat. Strangely enough, though, it walks quadrupedally, like a real pterosaur.
- Pumpkin Person: The Summerween Trickster, who wears a mask with a Jack-O'-Melon type face.
- Pun-Based Title:
- From Season 1, there's "Headhunters", "The Hand That Rocks The Mabel", "Double Dipper", "Irrational Treasure", "Little Dipper", "Carpet Diem", and "The Land Before Swine".
- From Season 2, there's "Sock Opera" (played with "Rock Opera" and "Soap Opera"), "Soos and The Real Girl" (Shout-Out to Lars and the Real Girl), "Scary-oke" (Homophones of "scary" and "karaoke" together) and "The Golf War" (Play on The Gulf War).
- Mabel's story "Trooth Ache".
- Averted and lampshaded with Soos' story: "Soos' Really Great Pinball Story: Is That A Good Title? Do They Have to Be Like Puns or Whatever?"
- Punch Catch: Dipper catches Gideon's fist during their fight in "Gideon Rises". He then twists his hand around and punches Gideon with his own fist.
- Punny Name:
- The Quisling: Preston Northwest attempts to be this to Bill Cipher. Bill isn't amused and instead decides to rearrange the features of his face.
- Gideon is a straighter example. He works for Bill hunting down the Pines twins, although following his HeelFace Turn, he's forced to dance for Bill in a cage.
- Quirky Town: Even with the paranormal phonomena that surrounds it, Gravity Falls is one kooky place.
- Deconstructed in "Society Of The Blind Eye": The reason why the town is quirky is because the people are suffering long term brain damage due to the Memory Gun constantly wiping their brains. But theyre still full of quirks even after the end of the episode.
- Raging Stiffie: In "The Last Mabelcorn", we aren't shown anything, but one of Dipper's thoughts when hooked up to Stanford's mindreader machine is, if you look close enough, "MAYBE IF I CROSS MY LEGS NO ONE WILL NOTICE", which implies that Dipper has experienced this, to his apparent dismay.
- Raptor Attack: The raptor from "Land Before Swine". Like the Ptero Soarer from the same episode it is guilty of possessing all pop-culture stereotypes: oversized, lack of feathers, pronated hands, and reptilian eyes. It also has two-fingered hands, a feature that doesn't correspond to any known deinonychosaur.
- Rapunzel Hair: Mabel, Wendy and Pacifica all sport hair that reaches below their waist.
- Real After All: At the end of "Legend of the Gobblewonker," Dipper's camera falls overboard and we get a shot of the real Gobblewonker.
- In "Dippers Guide To The Unexplained", Dipper and Mabel try to find a cryptid called "The Hide-Behind". Unfortunately, their efforts fail, and Dipper gives up, leaving his camera in the woods
Only to reveal the creature right behind him.
- The Real Spoofbusters: The brown jumpsuit-clad Ghost Harassers, a parody of Ghost Hunters, appear as a still image in a brief TV ad on the town's public television channel. Dipper is a fan of them.
- Reality Warper: Downplayed in "Dreamscaperers". Inside the mindscape, anything you can imagine becomes real. Dipper, Mabel, and Soos use this newfound information to defeat Bill.
- Less downplayed in Weirdmageddon, where Bill gains a physical form and the ability to bend much of reality to his whims.
- Recurring Extra: Tyler the Cute Biker, whose appearances are limited to showing up when events are happening to drop his Catchphrase, "Get 'em! Get 'em!" Tyler becomes an Ascended Extra when he runs against Stan and Bud for mayor in "The Stanchurian Candidate" and wins.
- Theres also Free Pizza Guy, several tourists, a guy dressed in American Flag clothing and a pair of kids who resemble Dipper and Mabel who are named Smipper and Smabel, according to Word of God.
- Manly Dan and his sons, a.k.a; Wendys father and brothers.
- Redhead In Green: Wendy inherited her family's red hair, which she offsets with a green, flannel button-up.
- Red Herring:
- In "Headhunters", Dipper and Mabel attempt to solve the murder of a wax statue. The murder weapon was an axe, leading them straight to Manly Dan. The identification of the weapon as left-handed puts them on a hunt for left-handed people until they finally arrive at the door of Toby Determined, the only person who could have committed the crime. Both turn out fruitless.
- There were so many hints dropped that Old Man McGucket is the author of the journals that a good number of fans accepted it as canon. He's not, he just worked with him.
- "Northwest Mansion Mystery" heavily implied Bill Cipher was behind an impending calamity. At the end of the countdown, he's nowhere to be seen.
- In "Not What He Seems", Dipper and Mabel find some newspaper clippings that announce the death of Stan Pines while a picture of the man we've come to know as Stan Pines is identified as an unnamed grifter who is still at large, leading the twins to think that the man they thought was their Great Uncle is actually an impostor. Granted, they're ''technically'' right, but not for the reasons they think. The man they've known all summer as Stanford Pines is actually Stanley Pines, Stanford's twin brother, who's been impersonating him since the former's disappearance 30 years ago. The bit about Stan's death was just him Faking the Dead for unspecified reasons.
- The mysterious tattoo on Stan's back. The symbol is referenced a few times (most notably by Bill Cipher) and hints were dropped in places of a secret society in Gravity Falls, implying that Stan is a member (reinforced by the secret room behind the vending machine). There is indeed a secret society, but it has nothing to do with Stan or the tattoo. In fact, the tattoo isn't even a tattoo at all; it's a burn mark caused by Ford's portal device and the symbol is mostly inconsequential.
- The Cipher Wheel itself! After featuring extremely prominently throughout every part of the series and possibly being the subject of more Wild Mass Guessing than any other subject in its history bar the identity of The Author, the Cipher Wheel turns out to be the key to defeating Bill according to an ancient prophecy... Except that, in the final episode, after bringing all the correct characters together and solving its mystery it actually fails in the last moment! The characters must find a different way of defeating Bill... That said, depending on one's interpretation of the prophecy, it is possible to claim that it did work, after all, even if not in the way anyone expected.
- Red Right Hand: When possessed by Bill Cipher, Dipper's body manifests yellow sclera and slitted pupils. It's later implied that possession in general can be identified via the eyes—when Stan comes to the shack to reconcile with a paranoid, nervous Ford, the first thing Ford does is grab him and shine a penlight into his eyes to make certain he's not possessed.
- Rescue Romance: Downplayed, but Pacifica noticeably stops being disrespectful to Dipper after he saves her from a vengeful ghost in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" and her behavior since then became Ship Tease.
- Resemblance Reveal: At the end of "Not What He Seems", we finally see the long-lost Author of the Journals in person... and as he removes his protective eye-mask and face wrappings, we see he looks just like Grunkle Stan, confirming Stan's claim that the Author is his brother.
- During the airing of season one, Alex Hirsch revealed on his blog that Soos came to work at the Mystery Shack by answering a want ad in the local paper. However, "Blendin's Game" showed that he was essentially drafted by Stan after returning a screwdriver with the Mystery Shack label on it (left outside his house by the time-traveling Dipper and Mabel). Since time travel is involved this may be justified by being an in-universe retcon too.
- In "Society of the Blind Eye," the recording of the younger McGucket said that he had been helping a "visiting researcher" (implying that he was native to the town). However, "A Tale of Two Stans" shows that McGucket originally resided in California. Gravity Falls: Journal 3 also revealed that he grew up in rural Tennessee.
- In both "The Legend Of The Gobblewonker" and "Fight Fighters", Stan mentions "the guys in the lodge" and "the boys", implying that hes in a group. But by the end of Season One, its clear that he doesnt really have any friends outside the Shack.
- The Reveal:
- "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel" is another serial adventure plot that doesn't seem to have any greater significance than the previous three episodes until the end, when Gideon is revealed to have Journal #2.
- At the end of "Gideon Rises", we learn the truth of what Stan's been doing in his secret basement room, first seen in "Tourist Trapped". A secret laboratory housing a massive device and Journal #1, which has been in Stan's possession the entire time.
- In "Not What He Seems", we finally find out who the author of the journals is; it's Stan's brother.
- Rewatch Bonus:
- The episodes have subtle hints of future plots and cameos of characters before they become important. One example: time traveler Blendin Blandin can be seen in the background in early episodes.
- Knowing that Grunkle Stan has known that Gravity Falls has supernatural oddities makes more sense when you go back and watch the episodes where he denies it.
- The reveal of the Author's identity causes a ton of it. One specifically pointed out by Alex Hirsch himself is that Stan's initial reaction to the sculpture of himself in "Headhunters" is because, for a moment, it seems like his brother has somehow returned.
- Rewatching The Time Traveller's Pig, it's apparent that Ford opens the door to the Mystery Shack when they go back in time, not Stan. Note the sideburns and gold pips on his eyeglasses, as well as the sci-fi blinking antenna outside the Shack.
- After reading the real life journal 3, some episode plots were mentioned and it changes the viewers' perspective towards the characters' behaviour when they rewatched the mentioned episodes.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mabel's beloved pet pig, Waddles.
- Rich Bitch: Pacifica Northwest. She is the richest kid and always expects everything to go her way. When things don't, she (and her family) use their money to fix it. She's also arrogant, bossy, and mean to anybody who doesn't immediately bow to her whims. As of "Northwest Mansion Mystery" she starts improving.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons:
- Dipper thinks that Mabel's new boyfriend isn't normal and he's a zombie. He was right that Norman isn't normal, but he's actually a bunch of gnomes.
- Dipper and Mabel's theory that the Stan they know isn't really Stan is technically correct, their conclusion was just way off the mark. They thought that the man they've known all summer as Great Uncle Stanford Pines was really a dangerous grifter who murdered him. In actuality, "Stanford Pines" is really Stanley Pines, Stanford/The Author's twin brother, who's been impersonating him ever since Stanford's disappearance 30 years ago.
- Ring Around the Collar: Mabel always wears some colorful turtleneck sweater, whose oversized collar obscures most of her neck. Dipper's vest has its collar turned up, which serves a similar effect, even though more of his neck is visible.
- Rivals Team Up: Mabel and Pacifica team up against the Lilliputtians in "The Golf War".
- If you count Dipper as also being Pacifica's rival, then you get them fighting the ghost in "Northwest Mansion Mystery."
- Room Full of Crazy: Downplayed when McGucket's memories are finally exposed. The room he's seen standing for most of them gradually gets more and more demolished as his Sanity Slippage progresses, with the words "HELP ME" eventually showing up in (hopefully) red paint. It's the only one shown, but it's very big and we don't get to see very much of the room, implying this trope.
- Rubik's Cube International Genius Symbol: The "What-The-Heck-A-Hedron" is essentially a very hi-tech Rubik's Cube, from the makers of "Stresseract" and "Annoyangle". It eventually gets solved by a hyperintelligent Waddles.
- Rule of Cool: In Gravity Falls: Dipper's and Mabel's Guide to Mystery and Nonstop Fun!, Dipper describes a blue pine tree hat as the most important clothing item you can bring on a paranormal investigation, "because, well...it's just really cool."
- Running Gag: There are a couple of potential running gags, like Grunkle Stan being unable to find his pants and Manly Dan beating something up while the Cute Biker cheers him on.
- We have:
- Dipper dropping ice that he gets for Wendy.
- Dipper's hat catching fire.
- The Dipper and Mabel look-alike kids.
- Effigies of Grunkle Stan getting destroyed, usually through burning.
- A human or humanoid scampering away on all fours. Some examples include the gnomes in "Tourist Trapped", and Old Man McGucket in a later episode.
- People chanting something excitedly.
- Someone describing what they're doing in a sing-song voice.
Soos: Doo doo doo, walking to my car~ (2x05)
Stan: Putting a rainbow wig... On a big white gorilla~ (2x09)
Wendy: Headin' into work. Doo-doo-doo-doo-doooo. (2x11)
- Sarcasm-Blind: Mabel and Soos have both displayed shades of this trope.
- Sassy Black Woman: Not a literal case of this trope, but after Grunkle Stan drinks the voice altering potion he ends up sounding like one.
- Satellite Character: The cute biker started off as one to Manly Dan.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Dipper and Mabel, respectively.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Mabel does this on a fairly regular basis, as do other characters.
- "Tourist Trapped":
Dipper and Mabel, during their "awkward sibling hug": Pat, pat.
- "Dipper vs. Manliness":
Stan: Tap, tap.
(later) Lazy Susan: Wink!
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax:
- Played straight in "Legend of the Gobblewonker", with the Gobblewonker. Even this straight example is subverted in the final moments of the episode suggesting that there really is a creature, but it just hasn't been seen (yet?). Otherwise averted in most other episodes, with the monster or ghost proving to be very, very real.
- Inverted in "Headhunters". After Dipper and Mabel spend half the episode searching for a human culprit responsible for the decapitation of Wax Stan, they discover that it was actually done by a cursed set of wax statues. Even worse, they attacked the Wax Stan by mistake, and were actually intent on murdering the real Stan.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Subverted by Stan. After a season and a half of exposure to Stan's abrasive personality, "A Tale of Two Stans" reveals that it has nothing to do with his age; Stan was always like this.
- Secret Circle of Secrets: The Blind Eye Society. They have the ability to erase people's memories, and they're the main reason everybody in town is so ignorant to all the unusual happenings going on.
- Secret Room: The Mystery shack has a fair number of them. These include the wax figure storage room (door wallpapered over), the room with the Body Swap rug (later revealed to be Fords room.) (door hidden behind a non-revolving bookcase) and the many rooms in the basement (path hidden behind a vending machine).
- Selective Enforcement: Blubs and Durland will ignore a man snatching an old lady's purse right in front of them, but are quick to respond to reports of excessive giggling.
- Self-Serving Memory: In "The Land Before Swine", when Stan tells Mabel how the pterodactyl managed to steal Waddles, the details were somewhat off.
- In "A Tale Of Two Stans", Ford hides the fact that he was working with Bill, making it seem as though he came up the Universe Portal idea on his own.
- Sense Freak: Bill becomes one in "Sock Opera", with a focus on pain because he finds it "hilarious!".
- Serial Escalation: It started off as a relatively innocent cartoon about twins exploring an apparently sleepy city while staying at the tourist trap of their mysterious Grunkle Stan. Cue Season 2, which opened with the monsters being zombies, and then continues to evolve possessed brothers, a videogame girl wanting to keep Soos forever, a missing family member who's been traveling 30 years through different dimensions, dark pasts, the Genki Girl losing hope and locking up in a Lotus-Eater Machine, and finally the end of the world. That escalated quickly.
- Series Goal:
- Dipper's is to find the missing author of the three journals who can unlock the secrets of Gravity Falls and its weird anomalies.
- Mabel's is to have, in her own words, an "epic summer romance" with a cute guy.
- Sequel Hook: Despite Hirsch himself saying that Gravity Falls is over, several things happen in the finale- and throughout the series- to suggest future adventures:
- Blendin vanishes in part one of Weirdmageddon, and his appearance◊ at the end of Gideon Rises is never explained.
- Stan and Ford plan to go to the Arctic to investigate an anomaly there. (Possibly the present!Time Baby.)
- As Bill is dying, he shouts out a phrase in backwards speech: AXOLOTL / HEY XOLOTL, MY TIME HAS COME TO BURN, I INVOKE THE ANCIENT POWER THAT I MAY RETURN. Interestingly enough, while this is a clear reference to Alex Hirsch frequently responding with a picture of an Axolotl when asked spoilery questions, Xolotl is the name of the Aztec god of death... and twins.
- At the very, very end, There's a few frames of an actual statue of Bill, presumably hidden somewhere in the woods of Oregon, and the cipher for that episode is encouraging people to find it...
- SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER!
- Serious Business: Mr. Poolcheck puts a lot of angry violent determination in making pool time safe. He, and a bar of angry men, also don't take kindly to prank calls.
Mr. Poolcheck: I lost my hand to a pool filter. The pool may seem friendly, but she can turn on you in an instant. Which is why you must respect her rules! Do you think you have what it takes, boy? Do you?!
Dipper: Sure, I guess.
Mr. Poolcheck: Welcome to the deep end, son.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: After spending most of "The Time Traveler's Pig" attempting to Make Wrong What Once Went Right, Dipper succeeds only to discover that he set too much wrong, costing Mabel her new pig Waddles in the process. After seeing how distraught his changes to the timeline had made Mabel, Dipper resigns himself to put the timeline back the way it was originally, sacrificing the goal he'd set out to achieve in the process.
- Set Wrong What Was Once Made Right: The resolution to example above ("The Time Traveler's Pig") counts as this.
- Sheet of Glass: Parodied in "Legend of the Gobblewonker," when they fly through a pane of glass held between two boats on a lake.
- The Sheriff: Sheriff Blubs.
- Ship Sinking:
- Wendy breaking up with Robbie in "Boyz Crazy" is one. It sunk even more after "The Love God", in which Robbie became an Official Couple with Tambry.
- Those who were fond of Mabel/Mermando felt their hearts sink when "Society of The Blind Eye" revealed that Mermando is forced into an arranged marriage with a manatee princess for political purposes. Memando himself is clearly unhappy about this based on the photo sent.
- Ship Tease:
- "The Last Mabelcorn" implies that Dipper still thinks a lot of Wendy, though whether this was recent (post-Wendy's rejection) or far back (pre-Wendy's rejection), which started giving some shippers hope. Despite Dipper himself realizing that it is hopeless at times, the show has several episodes where the tease appears reciprocate:
- A couple of other notable episodes include "The Inconveniencing" with their first session of really hanging out and "The Deep End," where Dipper and Wendy continually chill and have fun together as lifeguards at the pool.
- Then there is "Into the Bunker." This episode begins with teasing but ends with sinking. The tease happens in the beginning with Dipper and Wendy watching a movie at her house, and there is a bit of it when they get trapped in the closet and bump into each other. After that, however, the ship sinks after Wendy kindly rejects Dipper, and her praise is also seen as a tease in and of itself.
- There is a little more teasing after that, reviving the ship, though, when Dipper and Wendy hug in "Weirdmageddon Part 1."
- "Weirdmageddon Part 3" is ultimately the biggest revival of the ship with Dipper and Wendy switching hats as they part ways until next summer.
- A lot between Dipper and Pacifica in "Northwest Mansion Mystery", especially the part when she hugged Dipper out of joy when they sealed the ghost within the mirror. Their reaction afterwards sells it. This is not helped at all by Alex Hirsch's deliberately vague but provocative answers to questions regarding the nature of their relationship.
- On the "See you next Summer" letter to Dipper, she signs her name with a pink hearted-shaped dot on the "i".
- The Ship gets briefly teased again in Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets.
- Finally, Journal 3's entry that Dipper wrote about the events of "Northwest Mansion Mystery" has him mention she looks "okay" in an evening dress and that she smells like champagne and flowers, the latter information crossed out. The last sentence, also crossed out, is him wondering if there was some vibe going on between them.
- Candy hanging onto Dipper after the Trickster's threat in "Summerween" was enough to send some shippers into fits of squeeing. There were already Candy/Dipper shippers before, but this was the first real interaction that was remotely shippy they could latch onto. With the subtle peek that Mabel would have tried this with them in "The Love God", it might just get larger. In "Roadside Attraction", she canonically gets a temporary crush on Dipper, of which Mabel and Grenda are way too eager of helping them get alone time together. However, due to Dipper feeling uncomfortable about her crush, and her losing interest by the end of the episode, this doubles as Ship Sinking.
- Soos takes off his shirt rather often, and in "Stan's Tattoo", he tries to get Stan to do the same. Stan is disgusted.
- Shoulder Cannon: The Mystery Shack Humongous Mecha is equipped with a BFG on its shoulder.
- Shout-Out: Has its own page.
- Shovel Strike: Soos gives a shovel to Dipper in the first episode when Dipper races off to save Mabel from the gnomes. He also gives him a baseball bat in case he sees a pinata.
- Show Within a Show: Many, including Duck-Tective, Tiger Fist, Why You Ackin' So Cray-Cray?, Ghost Harassers, Baby Fights, Cash Wheel, and World's Most Terrifying Skydiving.
- Theres also several movies such as: The Duchess Approves, Nearly Almost Dead But Not Quite!, Dream Boy High, and Believe In Yourself.
- Shown Their Work:
- The Scenery Porn of the opening scene, as well as many of the show's backgrounds, is very accurate to actual Oregonian landscape.
- Similarly, almost every real-life animal seen living wild in Gravity Falls is actually native to Oregon, including the somewhat obscure purple finch. See Misplaced Wildlife for exceptions.
- Gompers has rectangular pupils, just like goats in real life.
- In "Northwest Mansion Mystery", the mudslide that killed the lumberjack was the result of the deforestation that ensued from him building Northwest Manor . Deforestation can cause mudslides, because the lack of trees destabilizes the soil, so whenever it rains in a treeless era, the ground becomes saturated and slides.
- For all the stereotypical paleontological inaccuracies present in "Land Before Swine", the episode did get quadrupedal pterosaurs right and portrayed Ceratosaurus with three laterally-flat horns.
- The beavers from "Legend of the Gobblewonker" have yellowish teeth like real beavers.
- In "Little Dipper", Dipper feels insecure because Mabel is revealed to be growing faster than he is, despite them being the same age. This makes sense: as anybody with a similarly-aged sibling of the opposite sex can attest, there is an awkward phase growing up caused by the fact that girls hit puberty earlier than boys.
- Fans often say Dipper and Mabel have a 'heart', or more 'heart' than the other pair of twins, Stanley and Stanford. Turns out that opposite gender twins are a lot more accepting and open-minded than same gender twins.
- Shrink Ray: Dipper makes one out of magic crystals and a flashlight.
- Sibling Seniority Squabble: According to Alex Hirsh◊, Mabel often remarks that "you'll get it when you're older" due to being older than Dipper by five minutes. It often drives him nuts, since "Dipper vs. Manliness" proves that he wants to grow up and become a man because he hates being a wimpy 12-year old.
- In one episode Mabel tries this, and Dipper angrily responds that they're twins. "Girls mature faster," she says smugly, which is especially ironic in their case.
- Further Word of God (albeit of the off-the-cuff variety: "you just witnessed canon being born") has it that Ford is older than Stan by fifteen minutes and that this accounts for his superiority complex with regard to their relationship..
- Signs of Disrepair: The Mystery Shack's sign regularly loses the second "S" to spell out "Mystery hack", including in the opening theme. Rather fitting considering Grunkle Stan's personality.
- Silence Is Golden: Each episode plays a short clip over the credits to wrap things up or get in another quick gag before it's over. The episode "Not What He Seems" just shows two young boys quietly sitting on a swing set, with but the quiet beach breeze for company. Especially effective because of what immediately preceded it.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
- Dipper and Mabel both have one. Dipper and Robbie strike up an enmity almost immediately after meeting which only intensifies once a Love Triangle forms around their mutual desire for Wendy's affections. Mabel forms an enemy out of Pacifica Northwest, the Alpha Bitch of Gravity Falls. Due to Mabel's kindhearted optimism, and Dipper's over-protective nature, Pacifica also serves as his rival in several episodes.
- Subverted by Li'l Gideon Gleeful, introduced as Stan's rival con artist. Gideon runs the Tent of Telepathy with about as much legitimacy as the Mystery Shack. He quickly made enemies of Stan out of wacky shenanigans like stealing his parking space. But lurking beneath the façade of minor rival was a truly malevolent individual, willing to manipulate and murder to achieve his goals and destroy the Pines family.
- Skeleton Key: The President's Key can open any lock in America.
- The Slacker: Despite being employed at the Mystery Shack, Wendy Corduroy never misses an opportunity to just hang out in the shack and not do any real work.
Stan: You two are going to wash the bathrooms, right?
Soos: Yes, sir!
Wendy: Absolutely not!
- Slapstick Knows No Gender:
- Mabel is frequently the target of physical comedy, up to and including being mauled by cats, walking into a door hard enough to get her braces stuck in the screen, and having a microwave fly towards her face at incredibly painful speeds.
- In "The Time Traveler's Pig", Wendy gets hit by a lot of baseballs, in increasingly painful and exaggerated ways.
- Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Interestingly enough, the show shows shades of the comedy dominant variety. While the show mostly treats itself like a straight-up comedy, the premise of each episode frequently deals with the supernatural, with some containing scenes so creepy that you have to check periodically that you're watching a Disney show.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: While a bit Darker and Edgier than your usual Disney animation show, the show is still heavily on the idealism end of the scale.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: Mabel (slob) was initially an enemy to Pacifica Northwest (snob). However, they made up and became friends between "The Golf War" and "Northwest Mansion Mystery".
- Extra points for Stanley (slob) and Stanford "Ford" Pines (snob).
- Slumber Party: Mabel has one with Candy and Grenda in "Carpet Diem".
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Lampshaded by Dipper in "Little Gift Shop of Horrors" where he puts on a pair of glasses and says, "Professor glasses. They make me look like a genius!"
- Played straight with Ford. Both he and Stan wear glasses in the present; but in flashbacks, only Ford has glasses.
- Smitten Teenage Girl: Mabel, with every Guy of the Week that comes along.
- Smoke Out: Grunkle Stan employs smoke bombs in his showmanship with the Mystery Shack, to further entertain and con the masses into giving him money. Using them is also his preferred escape method after he's done something shady.
- In "Summerween", Stan uses a smoke bomb to rob a store after the clerk asks security to escort them out.
- Subverted in "The Stanchurian Candidate", where Stan attempts to flee a store with a smoke bomb just like he did in "Summerween" after confessing his plans to shoplift in front of the clerk. The smoke bomb is long past its expiration date, however, and Stan is effortlessly tackled by security.
- Socially Awkward Hero:
- Dipper is terrible in social situations, especially in comparison to his sister.
- Downplayed by Soos in "Soos and the Real Girl". He's usually pretty good at interacting in social environments, but when pressure is put on him to find a date, Soos panics and humiliates himself several times by overthinking it. As soon as he's in the comfort zone of having what passes for a girlfriend, Soos is right back to being charming and likable and gets a date effortlessly.
- Society-on-Edge Episode: The Season 1 finale has Gideon take over the Mystery Shack, and the Grand Finale revolves around Bill Cipher unleashing Weirdmageddon.
- Something Only They Would Say: Twice in "Into the Bunker".
- When Dipper and Wendy run into Soos and Mabel, Dipper initially worries that they might be the shapeshifter. Their goofy antics convince him they aren't.
- When Wendy is wrestling against a shapeshifter disguised as her in the climax of "Into the Bunker," Dipper asks for a sign. The shapeshifter winks, while Wendy mimes zipping her lip and throwing away the key, a special sign she and Dipper have had since "The Inconveniencing."
- During "Weirdmageddon 2: Escape from Reality," Wendy suggests to Dipper their age difference could be solved using Mabel's abilities in Mabeland, allowing the two of them to be in a relationship. He's almost persuaded, up to the moment she winks at him, and he immediately pings on the fact she's an imposter.
- Something That Begins with "Boring": Mabel tries to start a game of "I Spy" in a dark and empty bottomless pit.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside:
- Though she hides it well, Pacifica's revealed to be very insecure due to her Abusive Parents, as well as conflicted about her family's history.
- Beneath his Jerkass persona, Robbie is actually very insecure and lonely. After he's hit rock-bottom, Mabel picks up on this and makes it a personal goal to try and cheer him up, which succeeds, leading him to Take A Level In Kindness.
Mabel: Listen, Robbie, I always used to see you as a creepy jerk. Like the human version of rat poison.
Robbie: ...uh...go on?
Mabel: But when I saw you at the cemetery today, I realized Robbie's not a bad guy. He's just a heartbroken soul who needs love. And gloves with fingers!
- Grunkle Stan has shades of this. "A Tale of Two Stans" shows he was always coarse and bitter, he became even more so when he was ostracized from his family.
- Southern-Fried Genius: Both Li'l Gideon Gleeful and Old Man McGucket.
- Spaghetti Kiss: Apparently Old Man McGucket had one with a raccoon over a piece of meat they were fighting over.
- Special Edition Title: The "Weirdmageddon" episodes use a different version of the opening with an altered instrumental track and new visuals that replace several characters with Bill in different costumes and show the nightmare he's turned Gravity Falls into.
- Spiritual Successor: It could possibly be considered one to So Weird, an early Disney Channel show from the 90's famous for its supernatural mystery story line, dark themes, nerdy paranormal investigator-type protagonist, heavy Myth Arc, and focus on family dynamics.
- Spit Take:
- Spoiler Opening: Paying attention to the part with the photos in the opening shows Gideon, the gnomes, Blendin Blandin, and the Summerween Trickster. Following this is a split-second image of Bill Cipher.
- Spoof Aesop:
- In "Summerween", Stan learns the true spirit of the holiday; where the whole family comes together and celeberates what matters... "Pure evil!" Cue everyone in the shack laughing evilly.
- In "Love God", Stan learns that being loved is overrated and being feared is priceless.
- In "Irrational Treasure", Mabel decides not to spring the knowledge that Pacifica's ancestor is a fraud on her, being content with herself. Dipper, on the other hand, gladly does so, and declares that revenge is awesome.
- Stable Time Loop: Happens in both of the Time Travel Episodes.
- "Time Travelers Pig": Blendin Blandin is sent from the future to Set Right What Once Went Wrong by cleaning up temporal mess that was apparently started by the twins. He ends up running into them by accident, and after a series of events, the twins end up stealing his time machine. Their misuse of said time machine is what causes the mess that Blendin was supposed to clean up.
- "Blendin's Game": At the beginning of the episode, Soos teaches the twins a trick on how to get free snacks out of a snack machine. After going back in time, Mabel ends up teaching the same trick to a 12-year-old Soos.
- Also in play in both episodes regarding Stan's red screwdriver. Blendin stole it during "Time Traveler's Pig" in order to fix his time machine, and had kept it until "Blendin's Game," where he accidentally drops it in Soos' yard, which prompts him to go to the Mystery Shack and get hired by Stan in the first place.
- Stage Whisper: Because he Cannot Spit It Out that he has a secret crush on Wendy, Dipper just tends to mutter about it to himself instead, while still at a distance that she could likely hear. Subverted, as Wendy eventually tells him she knew all along, partly because of how obvious he was about it.
- Stalker with a Crush:
- In "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel", Lil' Gideon courts Mabel. It starts out innocently enough but gets increasingly manipulative until Dipper tries to break it off for her. Gideon responds with attempted murder. Downplayed afterward; although Gideon's infatuation with Mabel never quite goes away, it takes a backseat to his other nefarious deeds, only coming back up from time to time as opportunity strikes.
- In "Soos and the Real Girl", Soos meets Giffany, the love interest for the video game Romance Academy 7. Her clinginess and possessive become evident right off the bat. Soos is okay with it at first, but when he tries to break it off with her to pursue a relationship with an actual woman, Giffany snaps. She interrupts his date and attempts to force him to be with her forever.
Giffany: What's important is that you won't have to talk to real girls ever again. You and me can be together FOREVER.
Soos: Wow, that's awesome! Sort of a red flag, but mostly awesome!
- Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male: Averted with Giffany. There are points in the episode where her relentlessly stalking Soos is played for comedy, but it's not because she's a girl and he's a guy; it's because she's a computer program and he's a human. The stalking is otherwise depicted as very serious and disturbing. Soos himself notes the situation is one big red flag, but he's so happy for the attention he goes along anyway.
- Status Quo Is God:
- In "Boss Mabel", Mabel makes a deal with Stan to be the Mystery Shack boss for 3 days and if she makes more money in that time, she becomes the boss for the summer. When Stan returns with no money, she declines after realizing how hard it is to be the boss.
- Downplayed in "Carpet Diem", Dipper and Mabel fight for the newly discovered room to get away from each other. Dipper convinces Stan to let him have the room, but both Mabel and Dipper miss rooming together, so they give the new room to Soos to replace his horrible break room. However, later shorts show that Soos keeps the new room. Although Dipper and Mabel's situation reverted to status quo, the room itself isn't forgotten.
- Double subverted in the last two episodes of season 1. In "Dreamscaperers", Gideon successfully get the deed to the Shack and the Pines are forced to live at Soos's grandma's. However in "Gideon Rises", Dipper defeats Gideon and everybody can go back to the shack.
- Also subverted in that episode when Gideon's scam is revealed to the townsfolk and he his sent to jail.
- Parodied in "Gideon Rises". For most of the first season, the "S" in "Shack" on top of the Mystery Shack had been detached. While rebuilding the Mystery Shack, the "S" in "Shack" falls off once again.
- ...and then pretty solidly averted in "Not What He Seems." Once the Author emerges from the portal, he's there to stay. In doing so, he reveals one of the biggest mysteries in the series, and from then on just about every episode in the series has something heavily plot-relevant.
- Stealth Pun:
- Steamrolled Smart Guy: Dipper likes to heavily research his surroundings before taking action, while Mabel often runs headlong into danger without a second thought.
- Stock Ness Monster: Double Subverted in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" by the Gobblewonker, a colossal sea monster found in the Gravity Falls lake that strongly resembles good old Nessie. Given that the creature is a robot, it can look like whatever it wants to. That is, it could if there wasn't really a Gobblewonker, briefly shown at the end of the episode.
- Stock Punishment: Grunkle Stan gets subjected to it in "Irrational Treasure."
- Strangely Specific Horoscope: In "Carpet Diem" while Old Man McGucket is chasing Soos in Waddle's body.
Deputy Durland: A bearded witch chasing a talking pig!
Sheriff Blubs: My horoscope came true.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: It appears that Ford and Bill separately had the idea of calling the nonsensical hellscape Bill plans to turn the world into "Weirdmageddon".
- Stumbled Into the Plot: Dipper Pines finds a mysterious journal buried in the woods when sent out to hang signs on trees. The journal, as a Great Big Book of Everything, tells Dipper that the town he's in - the titular Gravity Falls - contains a variety of supernatural phenomena, piquing Dipper's interest and leading him to start exploring the hidden secrets the town has to offer.
- Stylistic Suck: The "Fixin' it with Soos" shorts. Soos claims to have edited them himself, and they're rife with badly animated clip art, lousy green screen effects, and the watermark of the free trial software he uses to make them. The "Gravity Falls Public Access TV" shorts also get it on it, showing a Mystery Shack TV ad with lousy editing and green screen footage.
- Subliminal Advertising: Parodied in "Boyz Crazy". Stan admits to using subtle, hidden messages in the gift shop music.
Loudspeaker: BUY MORE KEYCHAINS!!!
- Subliminal Seduction:
- At the very end of the theme song when the logo pops up, a backwards whisper can be heard, which, depending on the episode, is the answer to how to decode the cryptogram in the end credits. The only exceptions are "Not What He Seems", where the whisper says "Stan is not what he seems," and the Grand Finale Weirdmageddon arc, where Bill whispers "I'm watching you nerds" in the first part, and a more angry "I'M WATCHING YOU" in the second, and the third has the more appropriate "Goodbye Gravity Falls."
- In "The Inconveniancing", the speech of one of the Flavor Pups in Mabel's Smile Dip hallucination sounds like the phrase "must distrust Grunkle" when played backwards.
- In "Boyz Crazy", Robbie ends a fight with Wendy by pulling out a CD he claims to have written for her, which contains a hypnotic message to place her under his control. It's never quite clear if the message really worked, as Wendy believes she gave him a second chance because he wrote a song for her, and breaks up with him because he lied about it.
- Gideon's message to summon Bill in "Dreamscaperers" has him repeat the phrase "Backwards message!" in reverse. Similarly, when he chants the incantation to possess Bud in "The Stanchurian Candidate", he is repeating "Spooky evil spells!" in reverse.
- The most significant message is in the Grand Finale when Bill is being destroyed. Just before he is wiped out, Bill cries out in reverse: "A-X-O-L-O-T-L, my time has come to burn! I invoke the ancient power that I may return!"
- Suck E. Cheese's: Hoo-Ha Owl's Pizzamatronic Jamboree, complete with an animatronic rock and roll badger. Stan calls the place a nightmare, but is instantly seduced by the amount of money it can pull in.
- Sudden Downer Ending: "Dreamscaperers" ends with Bill Cipher defeated, the deed to the Mystery Shack defended, and Dipper finally understanding Stan's treatment of him and bonding. Everyone lives happily ever after for about three seconds, whereupon Gideon blows open Stan's safe with dynamite, steals the deed, and begins demolishing the building, which continues in "Gideon Rises".
- Sunglasses at Night: Sheriff Blubs wears sunglasses while on a nighttime raid in "Headhunters".
- Survival Mantra: Mrs. Gleeful has one to deal with the trauma of her terrible son. "Just keep vacuumin', just keep vacuumin'..."
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
- From "Double Dipper":
Dipper: Oh, tough break. I wonder who those guys are who aren't me because I'm right here.
- From "Fight Fighters":
Grunkle Stan: There's a great uncles day?
Mabel: Of course it's not a day I made up!
- From "The Deep End":
Mabel: There's certainly not a mermaid in there if that's what you're implying. Who said anything about a mermaid?
- From "The Land Before Swine":
Grunkle Stan: I'm not acting suspicious! You're acting suspicious! What's a pig?!
- From "A Tale of Two Stans":
Steve Piningtonnote :
The Rip Off
won't give you rashes. I repeat, it won't
give you rashes. Grunkle Stan:
It gave you rashes.
- Tagline: "Just west of weird." Sometimes expanded to "Just west of weird, slightly east of eerie, and always north of normal."
- Take That!:
- Grenda and Candy wanting to read "Wolfman Bare Chest", an obvious Expy of Twilight, on their sleepover. Dipper (in Mabel's body), is disgusted.
- The entirety of "Boyz Crazy" is a Take That! towards the manufactured, artificial nature of 90's boy bands.
- One of the chants in "Dreamscaperers" is "Inceptus Nolanus Overratus," which roughly translates to "Inception [by] Nolan [is] Overrated."
- In "Soos and the New Girl", there's a store in the mall clearly modeled after Hot Topic called "Edgy on Purpose".
- The "Clay Day" short from "Little Gift Shop of Horrors" makes a jab at CGI animation for killing off Stop Motion animation, but also at people who claim that CGI is inferior to Stop Motion because it "has no heart".
- At the start of "Northwest Mansion Mystery", Dipper is watching a show called Ghost Harassers on the Used To Be About History Channel. Other programs include Crawdads in Tiaras and Florida: The Show.
- Ford designed a prototype mind-control tie for "Ronald Reagan's masters" so that he could serve as a talking head.
- Take That, Us: In "Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons", the Ducktective season finale is on. It reveals that Ducktective has a twin brother. This parallels an event that happened in the show two episodes ago. All the characters exclaimed exasperatedly at the TV, complaining about how unoriginal it is, and how some of them had already called that fact.
- In "Little Gift Ship of Horrors," Grunkle Stan explains to Mabel that claymation is just figures being moved around by "an anti-social shut-in." Soos follows up with, "Those people are called 'animators.'"
- Taking Advantage of Generosity: Wendy takes advantage of Mabel's Benevolent Boss attitude in "Boss Mabel."
- Tank-Top Tomboy: Wendy sports this look in "The Last Mabelcorn", "Into the Bunker" (when she fights the Shape-Shifter), and during Weirdmageddon.
- Tap on the Head: Discussed in "Fight Fighters." Stan's advice to Dipper regarding a bully is to hit him on the top of the head, calling it "nature's snooze button."
- Taxidermy Terror: The Lumberjack's Ghost in Northwest Mansion Mystery animates all the taxidermy in the house, making them bleed from the mouth, chant about "ancient sins", and attack the guests at the party.
- The Only One I Trust:
- Defied by Dipper. In "Tourist Trapped", he finds Journal #3 which warns him to trust nobody in Gravity Falls. He proceeds to share information about his investigation with his twin sister Mabel, the shack's Handy Man Soos, store clerk Wendy, and makes several attempts to bring his Grunkle Stan in on it as well. In "Scary-oke", he takes it a step further by attempting to share his investigation with the FBI.
- In "A Tale of Two Stans", with his back against the wall and nobody else to turn to, Ford reached out to his twin brother Stan for help.
- In "Dungeons, Dungeons, and more Dungeons", Dipper is the only one Grunkle Ford tells about the dimensional rift. Ford takes the warnings inside the Journal more seriously than Dipper. This makes sense, of course, because he wrote them.
- The Talk: Stan decides to give one to Dipper in the episode "Carpet Diem". Unfortunately, it's Mabel in Dipper's body. Blink and you'll miss it, but the title of the book Stan uses is Why Am I So Sweaty: Your Body Explained in Horrifyingly Uncomfortable Detail.
Mabel: Goodbye childhood...
- The End... Or Is It?: In the final episode, the Pines family's story comes to a pretty definitive end as Dipper and Mabel head back home, Stan and Ford leave to travel the world together, and Soos becomes the new owner of the Mystery Shack. However, we do get some hints that Bill may not be as gone as it seemed: he chants an incantation vowing to return during his death scene, and the episode ends with live action footage of his petrified physical form alone in the woods.
- There Was a Door: When Mabel drives away with Mermando in "The Deep End", she breaks an entirely new hole in the chain-link fence instead of going back out through the one right in front of her. This could be attributed to Rule of Cool or Rule of Funny, though.
- Team Pet: Waddles the pig joins the cast in "The Time Traveler's Pig" when Mabel wins him at a carnival.
- Gompers the Goat also qualifies.
- Tears of Joy: The Summerween Trickster cries tears of candy corn when Soos eats him.
- The Teaser: Each episode begins with a cold open.
- Technologically Blind Elders: Stan's not up-to-date with modern technology.
- In "Boyz Crazy", Dipper and Stan think that Robbie is brainwashing Wendy with his music, so they take his CD and try to listen to it slowed down. Stan mistakes it for a vinyl record, and puts it into a record player. It doesn't work, and Stan is confused.
Stan: We're doing something wrong here, but I can't put my finger on it.
- In the episode "Little Dipper", Gideon kidnaps Dipper and Mabel, and he calls Stan for ransom. Stan doesn't believe him.
Gideon: You don't believe me? I will text you a photo!
Stan: "Text me a photo"? Now you're not even speaking English. (hangs up)
- Ford also has very little concept of modern technology, but he at least has the excuse of not being in this dimension since the 80s. He asks the FBI agents for all their floppy disks and 8-tracks, and looks briefly confused when they hand him a USB thumb drive.
- Teens Are Monsters: Averted with Wendy and her friend group. They're snarky, subject each other to a lot of good-natured ribbing, dare each other to do stupid things, play pranks, love mischief, etc.—but it's all in good fun, and they never intend to seriously harm anyone. The most serious kind of trouble any of them ever get up to is graffitiing here and there, and maybe some drinking, as a party at Tambry's house is advertised with a flyer reading, "No photos better end up online!".
- Tell Him I'm Not Speaking to Him: Mabel gives Stan the silent treatment in "The Land Before Swine".
- Tempting Fate: In "The Time Traveler's Pig", Soos comments that the only thing that could possibly cause the rigged dunk tank to dunk Stan is a "futuristic laser arm-cannon."
- Testosterone Poisoning:
- Theme Music Power-Up: After three episode intros with a warped theme song due to Weirdmageddon, the original theme makes a triumphant return in the show's finale during the battle between Bill's minions and the Mystery Shack robot (and with an electrical guitar thrown in, no less).
- This Is My Chair: Stan and Gideon battle over a poolside chair in "The Deep End".
- 13 Is Unlucky:
- In "The Legend of the Gobblewonker", Dipper accidentally breaks his thirteenth camera.
- Weirdmageddon occurs right before Dipper and Mable's thirteenth birthday.
- Those Two Guys: Lee and Nate are two members of Wendy's circle of friends. They're fairly standard teenagers with a strong bond, but rarely interact with the plot for more than a few lines.
- Time-Travel Episode:
- "The Time Traveler's Pig" featured Dipper and Mabel using time travel to Make Wrong What Once Went Right and keep Wendy from dating Robbie.
- Its sequel, "Blendin's Game", brought back Blendin Blandin and featured the Time Patrol pursuing Dipper and Mabel to compete against him in a gladiatorial challenge.
- Time-Travel Romance: Subverted in "Blendin's Game". Upon travelling ten years into the past, Dipper ends up running into a five-year-old Wendy. She thinks he's cute, which gives him a taste of his own medicine.
Dipper: You're super young, so this is weird.
Mabel: Heheh, now you know how she feels, creep.
Dipper: (chuckles) Yeah, I... huh. Wow. Woooow.
- Title Drop: Since the show's name is the name of the town this all goes down in, this is a given, but the most impressive use of this is probably in young!McGucket's bizarre prophecy to Ford after seeing Bill Cipher's true plans in the portal:
"When gravity falls and earth becomes sky, fear the beast with just one eye."
- Toilet Humor:
- Rarely, though when it does come up, it's usually with Mabel, of all people.
- In "Society of the Blind Eye," she scribbles "BUTTS" on Blind Ivan's phrenology-map skull tattoo.
- In "Fight Fighters", she gets Rumble Mc Skirmish to shout, "POOP! POOP AND BUTTS!".
- She's also very amused (as is Stan) by the DD&MD rule-book's use of the word "buttress" in "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons".
- Near the end of the episode "Fight Fighters", the symbol that appears on Rumble's back is the Chinese character for "fart".
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- Between Wendy and Mabel, the former is the Tomboy to the latter's Girly Girl. Wendy's into things like tree climbing, pranking, indie rock bands, and zombie flicks, while Mabel likes knitting, bejeweling, boy bands, and teen romance movies. Though the two of them have some notable things in commonthey both adore stuffed animals, enjoy the outdoors, and love to brawl. Hanging out with Mabel tends to bring out Wendy's girlier side.
- Conversely, Mabel is the Tomboy to Pacifica's Girly Girl. Mabel is an unapologetic goofball with no qualms about eating an old taco from behind a car seat, whereas Pacifica is a vain Alpha Bitch (later Lovable Alpha Bitch) who's repulsed by the idea of eating in a car, period. While Mabel does love makeovers and bejeweling her face, she isn't nearly as interested in looks as Pacifica is. She's also a rough-and-tumble Girly Bruiser who looks forward to adventure, while Pacifica (despite being a capable Action Girl when necessary) seems to view adventuring and fighting purely as a means to an end.
- There's also Wendy and her friend, Tambry, with the former as the Tomboy to the latter's Girly Girl. While not immediately obvious, Wendy wears flannel shirts and tends to be as rowdy and mischievous as the guys, whereas Tambry wears a skirt, dyes her hair and spends almost all of her time texting.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Journals can easily be seen as this. While most of it is fairly innocuous cataloguing of the various supernaturals in the town, it also contains a spell to raise a horde of zombies, forms the schematic of the Universe Portal, and perhaps most dangerous of all, the instructions to summon Bill Cipher.
- Tongue Trauma: In "Carpet Diem", an owl apparently tried to eat Dipper's tongue while he was sleeping outside.
- Too Broken to Break: The Society of the Blind Eye try to use their memory wiping machine on crazy Old Man Mc Gucket, but it has no effect on him because "you can't break what's already broken!" It's later revealed that using the machine multiple times to forget the things he's witnessed while working for the Author is what drove him insane in the first place.
- Took a Level in Badass: Invoked in "Dipper vs. Manliness". Dipper undergoes training from the Manotaurs intended to make him a real man, including weathering the Pain Hole and leaping from cliffs. His final task is to hunt down and slay the Multibear, a ferocious creature made of assorted parts of multiple bears. Dipper defeats it quite handily, but refuses to kill it after bonding over their mutual love of Icelanding pop sensation BABBA. Having stood up for his principles, he returns to his life, and it's unclear if he actually kept the skills the Manotaurs taught him in later episodes.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Bill Cipher is a non-corporial being, so he can't experience physical sensations. That is, until he tricks Dipper into letting him possess his body. He describes pain as "hilarious" and goes out of his way to abuse his new body as much as possible.
Bill: *slamming Dipper's arm in a drawer repeatedly* Boy, these arms are durable.
- Too Much Information: In the "Trooth Ache" section of "Bottomless Pit", Stan ends up wearing a set of false teeth that make him incapable of lying, and, apparently, discretion.
Dipper: Stan, what do you do in secret everyday during your lunch break?
Stan: Usually, I spend the hour aggressively scratching myself in places I shouldn't mention. Now I'm going to avoid making eye contact by pretending to read this newspaper and going to the bathroom without washing my hands. (Leaves)
Dipper and Mabel
Stan: (Yelling up to Dipper and Mabel, who are in their room:) Kids, I think I have a growth forming on my back. Just wanted to be honest with you guys.
- Torso with a View:
- Happens to Dipper in "Dreamscaperers," though justified because he, Mabel, and Soos were inside Grunkle Stan's head trying to stop a mind-invading demon from stealing the combination to Stan's safe.
- Also happens to Tyrone in "Double Dipper" after he drinks some soda, which begins to dissolve him from the inside-out. Again justified, because it's fairly obvious that the clones don't have normal human anatomy internally, since they die when they're touched by water, and since Paper Jam Dipper was somehow able to live while looking like a slinky.
- Happens in "Weirdmageddon" when Ford's ray gun missed Bill and fires a hole in his hat instead. What makes it this trope is that the hole is filled with surprisingly realistic looking bone, muscle and sinew, making it clear that while it looks like a hat, it's actually part of Bill Cipher's body.
- Totally Radical:
- Due to being a parody of 90's boy bands, the members of Sev'ral Timez use period slang constantly.
- Mabel's fantasy boys, Xyler and Kraz from Dream Boy High, appear to have stepped out of the 80's and into her dreams. They certainly talk like it.
- Tough Love: Deconstructed. Filbrick Pines, Stan's father, was an emotionally abusive Jerkass. Stan seems to have read his actions as tough love even if it most definitely wasn't, and decided that following dad's example was the best way to toughen up Dipper. It made their relationship crash so badly Dipper became convinced Stan hated him and wanted him gone. Even with knowing Stan does care, there are still signs Dipper's keeping a lot of bad feelings about this bottled up.
- Town Girls:
- In Mabel's friend group, we have Mabel, Candy, and Grenda. Genki Girl Mabel is the Femme, Brawn Hilda-ish Grenda is the Butch, and Asian and Nerdy Candy is the Neither.
- We also have Mabel, Wendy, and Pacifica. In this dynamic, the athletic, axe-wielding, Ladette-ish Wendy is the Butch. Pacifica, who exemplifies Vanity Is Feminine, is the Femme. Hardy and adventurous Girly Bruiser Mabel is the Neither.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Downplayed. Only a handful of townsfolk are in on the secret due to the efforts of the Blind Eye Society to keep it under wraps.
- Trademark Favorite Food: The recurring extra in the "Free Pizza" shirt really likes... pizza.
- Tragic Dream: Gideon's Villainous Crush on Mabel turns out to be this, as he commits a HeelFace Turn and a Heroic Sacrifice for her.
- Training Montage: Both Dipper and Grunkle Stan go through one in "Dipper vs. Manliness".
- Transflormation: All the party guests in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" get turned into tree-statues.
- Tricked into Signing: In "Little Dipper", Lil' Gideon tries to trick Stan into signing away the deed to the Mystery Shack by hiding it in a giant novelty sweepstakes check. Stan was onto him and signed it "Go suck a lemon, little man."
- Trophy Child: Pacifica Northwest was neglected and abused by her parents, who favored their own social lives and status over her, and scolded her for the most minor mistake. In addition, she was taught to see herself as above everyone else, while still being conditioned to obey and be inferior to them.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Gideon's hobbies include attempted murder and demon summoning.
- True Companions: The crew of the Mystery Shack grows into this more or less, thanks to Dipper and Mabel. The twins' arrival helps the group grow closer, even when things are complicated by the return of Stanley's brother, Ford a.k.a. the Author. Nonetheless, they, along with various others, work together to stop Weirdmageddon and defeat Bill Cipher, with Grunkle Stan performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Best shown in the intro, with the last shot before the title being a happy picture of Dipper, Mabel, Wendy, Soos, and Grunkle Stan.
- Truncated Theme Tune: Starting with "Northwest Mansion Mystery", a shorter cut of the intro is used.
- 20 Minutes into the Past: The show is set in the summer of 2012, exactly when the series debuted. Later seasons become this trope though it seems to be intentional, given the supposed 2012 apocalypse.
- Twin Switch: Aside from Stanley faking his death and pretending to be his lost brother Stanford for 30 years, we also have the instance in the series finale of Stanley and Stanford switching their clothes and pretending to be each other in order to trick Bill Cypher into making a deal with the wrong man.
- Two Girls to a Team:
- The Mystery Shack is made up of three guys and two girls.
- Not counting the twins, Wendy's gang of friends is made up of four guys and two girls.
- During "Dungeons, Dungeons, and more Dungeons" Candy is unusually absent, so that the team ends up still just being two girls (Mabel and Grenda) and one or three boys (Grunkle Stan at first, then Dipper and Grunkle Ford once they catch up with them)
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Most, but not all episodes, feature two plots. Usually, the A plot is the twins encountering weirdness and dealing with it, while the B plot follows Grunkle Stan on one of his capers. Other times, the A plot will be about one twin, and the B plot about another, oftentimes with Stan in tow.
- Vacuum Mouth: The skull from the Tumbleweed Terror pinball game.
- Vague Age:
- Gideon Gleeful. His white hair suggests he's Older Than He Looks, but he's extremely short and has a baby face. It's revealed in "Blendin's Game" that he is ten years old, as when Dipper and Mabel travel back in time ten years, an advertisement is seen for Bud Gleeful's "Just Had a Baby" sale.
- Soos was this until the episode "Blendin's Game", where it's finally confirmed that he's 22.
- Wendy was also this until "Double Dipper", where Dipper mentions that she's 15. Her tall build, Younger than She Looks appearance (nothing about her design sans her Youthful Freckles suggests she's a teenager), and the fact that her friend group consists of people old enough to drive unsupervised and have tattoos make her exact age hard to pin down.
- Vagueness Is Coming:
- Bill Cipher gives on of these to Soos and the twins near the end of "Dreamscaperers", telling them that "a day will come in the future where everything [they] care about will change".
- They get the same treatment three episodes later, this time by Experiment 210.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Mabel certainly thinks so.
: (To Dipper)
I'm obsessed? Look at you! You look like a vampire! And not the hot kind!
Norman: Uh, Mabel, now that weve gotten to know each other, theres...(exhales)...theres something I should tell you.
: Oh, Norman, you can tell me anything! (Thinking:)
Please be a vampire, please be a vampire!
Mermando: Mabel, I have never met anyone like you.
Mabel: Same here. Except for a zombie, a gnome, and a couple of cute vampires.
Dipper: I don't remember the vampires.
- Vanity License Plate: If you look closely, the plate on Grunkle Stan's car says "STNLY MBL". This is a hint that Grunkle Stan has replaced his brother since everybody thinks he's Stanford.
- Vengeful Vending Machine: Happens briefly in "Blendin's Game". Soos teaches them how to get around the problem, leading to a Stable Time Loop when Mabel goes back in time to teach him the same trick.
- Verbal Backspace: This happens multiple times in The Legend of the Gobblewonker when Dipper needs to reasses the number of back-up cameras he has when they get smashed.
- Vignette Episode:
- "Bottomless Pit"; the gang tells stories to pass the time while they're trapped in the titular pit.
- "Little Gift Shop of Horrors"; Stan tries to convince a stranger who arrives at the Mystery Shack after hours to buy stuff by telling tales about them.
- Vile Vulture: In "The Love God", Robbie is lying in an open grave and mopes loudly about how much he misses Wendy. A vulture shows up, and Robbie tells it to just go ahead and eat him already. Once it does, however, he quickly backtracks.
: AAAH! I was just being dramatic! Quit it! Ow, my face!
- Villain with Good Publicity:
- Villainous Breakdown: Bill Cipher rapidly loses his cool in the finale with a sequence of Oh, Crap! moments- first when he's been tricked into Stan's mind, rather than Ford's, second when he realizes Stan's letting his mind be erased with Bill trapped inside, and finally, realizing there's absolutely no way out.
- Villainous Crush: Gideon has one toward Mabel. Bill Cipher (while inside of Dipper's body) also hits on Wendy at one point, though whether he's attracted to her or just trying to razz Dipper isn't certain.
- Visual Pun:
- Candy dresses like a piece of candy in "Summerween". It's even lampshaded by her at one point when 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.
- At the end of Headhunters the wax statue of Larry King is reduced to a stereotype of news anchor—a talking head.
- Vocal Evolution: It took Alex Hirsch a few episodes to settle into his Grunkle Stan and Soos voices. They sound a little off and unusually high-pitched in the beginning.
- Voices Are Mental: In both cases, this is just for audience convenience. None of the characters seem to notice.
- In "Carpet Diem", the voices switch along with the characters as they move from body to body.
- Bill Cipher's voice will come out of whoever he is possessing.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Experiment 210, an Eldritch Abomination that the gang encounters while seeking out the Author.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: In "Carpet Diem", Mabel, in Dipper's body, pukes into a toilet.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: But don't worry. Gnomes puke rainbows.
- Walking Spoiler: Ford Pines, AKA the Author of the Journals
- Weaker in the Real World: Averted big time during Weirdmageddon. With his When Dimensions Collide plan brought to fruition, Bill graduates from affecting the world through the mindscape to a genuine Reality Warper. Thankfully, he was still unable to leave the mystical boundaries of Gravity Falls.
- Webcomic Time: While the show aired from 2012-2016, the show itself all takes place during the summer of 2012.
- Weirdness Censor:
- Weirdness Magnet: It's true that Dipper often goes off looking for the supernatural, but more often than not, the supernatural finds him first.
- And invoked directly by Ford in Weirdmageddon. Namely, the town itself is so weird that Bill and the Henchmaniancs can't escape to wreak weirdness on the rest of the world.
- We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: An In-Universe example. A game called Dungeons, Dungeons, and Dungeons attempted to go Totally Radical at one point. Dipper was horrified.
- We Will Meet Again: Used three times so far: the leader of the gnomes, Gideon and Blendin Blandin all swear revenge after being defeated.
- Wham Episode:
- "Gideon Rises": The kids finally tell Grunkle Stan about the journal and other weird mysteries that surround the town, which he appears to shrug off as them having overactive imaginations. However, the episode's final moments reveal that Stan knew about the journals and the mysteries of the town the entire time, having had Book #1 in his possession for several years. And with Books #2 and #3, he uses them to activate a strange device underneath the shack.
- "Society of the Blind Eye" reveals the truth about the town's Weirdness Censor: part of the reason the citizens of Gravity Falls seem so oblivious to the supernatural weirdness in the town is that a secret society has been kidnapping people and erasing their memories. The history of Old Man McGucket is also revealed: he was not only a close associate of the Author of the Journals, who was trying to use his research to help humanity, but a founding member of the Blind Eye. The character's senility was caused by abusing the memory-erasing gun he invented, in order to forget the tragic happenings that occurred while working with the Author.
- "Not What He Seems": Stan's been stealing radioactive waste to power his world ending machine before he gets arrested by the FBI. The twins discover that their grunkle has led multiple lives, even faking his death at one point. It all leads up to a confrontation as gravity fluctuates when the portal rips open, revealing that Stan's actions were all working towards bringing back the author of the journals, Stan's brother.
- "The Last Mabelcorn": Ford is revealed to have worked closely with Bill Cipher in order to build the portal, and Bill is planning to link the waking world with the nightmare dimension, which would ultimately cause the end of humankind. Furthermore, now that he is unable to make direct contact with the Pines family, Bill plans to control one of the town's residents to continue his plans.
- "Dipper and Mabel Vs. The Future": Dipper is offered Ford's apprenticeship, and the episode ends with an unaware and emotionally compromised Mabel giving the rift to a possessed Blendin Blandin after being promised that it would stop time forever. Bill, as Blendin, proceeds to shatter the rift, thus achieving his ultimate plan to merge the waking world with the Nightmare Realm. Cue the Grand Finale.
Ford: "We're too late. It's the end of the world."
- Wham Line:
- In "Tourist Trapped", Mabel discovers that her new boyfriend is actually a group of gnomes. They ask her to marry them and become the new Gnome Queen, but she's forced to let them down gently. They take it pretty well.
Jeff: I understand. We'll never forget you, Mabel. Because we're going to kidnap you.
- From "Gideon Rises", we get to see what's behind the vending machine. An underground laboratory where Stan kept Journal #1. And now he has all 3 of them.
Stan: After all these years... finally, I have them all.
- In "Sock Opera", Dipper reluctantly makes a bargain with the demon Bill Cipher. All Bill asks for his part of the deal is a puppet, which Mabel's been churning out in large quantities. He walks right into Bill's verbal trap, getting possessed for his troubles.
Dipper: So what puppet are you going to pick, anyway?
Bill: Hmm, let's see. Eenie meenie mynie... YOU!!!
- In "Not What He Seems", after the Universe Portal activates, a strange man steps out. Placing his six-fingered hand on one of the Journals makes him immediately identifiable as the long-awaited Author. What comes next out of Stan's mouth compounds the Reveal.
Stan: The author of the journals...my brother.
- At the end of "The Stanchurian Candidate", Gideon is still in prison and his plan for escape has been thwarted. With nowhere else to turn, he finds solace in a poster on his wall, before tearing it down and completing an effigy of Bill Cipher. Before the audience has time to process what Gideon's doing, he lays it out there.
Gideon: I'm finally ready to make a deal.
- Wham Shot:
- At the end of the very first episode, we see that there's a passageway behind the vending machine. At the end of Season 1 finale, we get to see what's in the passage: a highly advanced underground laboratory, where Stan has been keeping Journal #1.
- At the end of "Northwest Mansion Mystery", McGucket has fixed the laptop. There's a timer on it counting down to the apocalypse. It's less than 24 hours away. And then the camera pans to a banner the Northwests have in their house of a familiar triangle with an eye, over an image of what looks like people burning alive.
- In "Not What He Seems", Stan's portal finally opens and a man steps out. He then puts a hand on the journal on the floor; a hand with six fingers.
- And before that, the twins discover a newspaper clipping with the following headline: STAN PINES DEAD.
- "The Stanchurian Candidate" ends with Gideon, still in prison, finishing a chalk drawing of Bill Cipher (and his wheel), which then glows ominously.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Mabel after waking up from her sleepover with Candy and Grenda.
- What Doyou Mean Its For Kids: For a show on the Disney channel, a fair number of people meet grisly fates.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- It was never revealed whether or not the mailman from "Tourist Trapped" was a werewolf or not.
- The two Dipper clones that rode away on Robbie's bike in "Double Dipper" have yet to return. They make a surprise appearance in the credits of the final episode.
- Grenda was introduced with a pet chameleon. She never has it after that.
- As has the wax head of Larry King from "Headhunters", which finally reappeared in the finale.
- A minor example: in the fourth episode, Mabel saves a lobster that was going to be eaten at a restaurant then bring it to the shack's tank. In later episodes, the tank is empty.
- A more major example is Dipper's subplot from "Boyz Crazy" where Wendy becomes mad at him for asking her out for bowling, IMMEDIATELY following her nasty break up with Robbie, before running off into the woods crying, since in the episodes that followed they appear to be on good terms again without any explanation or any mentioning of the issue whatsoever. note
- Its unknown what happened to Filbrick and Caryn Pines after Stan was kicked out. But given that Stan speaks of them in the past tense, its possible that they died some time ago.
- What Have I Become?: In "Boss Mabel", Mabel reaches her breaking point with Soos and Wendy. She tells them off for their goofing off in a Stan-like manner, ending up with the fez on her head. She quotes this verbatim when she looks in the mirror. Dipper answers her with, "What you had to, Mabel. What you had to."
- When Life Gives You Lemons...: Each member of the Pines family has a character-establishing quote based on this:
Dipper: "When life gives you lemons, extract the juice and use it to draw a treasure map in invisible ink. That really works! Seriously!"
Mabel: "When life gives you lemons, draw faces on those lemons and wrap them in a blanket. Ta-daaa! Now you have Lemon Babies."
Grunkle Stan: "When life gives you lemons, call them 'yellow oranges' and sell them for double the price."
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Parodied in "Summerween". Soos hits the Trickster and shatters him completely when he was about to kill the kids, and freaks out when he thought he accidentally hit a guy. After Soos discovers he's a monster made of candy, he shows no hesitation about eating the Trickster. Even the Trickster approves and the episode draws to a close with an Everybody Evil Laughs Ending, abruptly subverted by Soos nonchalantly adding "I ate a man alive tonight."
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: In "Tourist Trapped", the map of Oregon shows Gravity Falls to be dead-center in Oregon, somewhere between Crook and Deshutes county. But in "Scary-Oke", a doppler map places it closer to Baker City, almost on the border with Idaho. It is off both interstates that pass through Oregon and far from the coast and Portland, so its almost certainly in the middle of the state or in eastern Oregon.
- Stan, Ford and Shermies hometown, the fictional Glass Shard Beach is somewhere along the eastern coast of New Jersey, but never stated where. It could be a stand in for Atlantic City, since New York City isnt mentioned to be anywhere near the town.
- Which Me?: Happens between Dipper and his clones in "Double Dipper" a few times.
Tyrone: Hey buddy, it's me, you.
- Whole Episode Flashback:
- "Bottomless Pit!" is focused on the characters telling stories, at least one of which we discover actually happened. Also qualifies as a Vignette Episode, as listed above.
- Parodied in "Little Gift Shop of Horrors". Stan spends this Vignette Episode attempting to sell merchandise by telling the wild and mysterious stories behind individual pieces, but openly confesses to having made those stories up.
- "A Tale of Two Stans" is an Origins Episode in which Stan and Ford explain their histories together, as well as the creation of The Journals and how Fiddleford came to Gravity Falls.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: It's revealed in "Double Dipper" that Dipper is Only Known by Their Nickname, causing Wendy to remark "I thought your parents just hated you or something".
- Widget Series: Definitely the most off-kilter series on the channel. Things literally get very, very weird in the series finale with Weirdmageddon.
- Wild Goose Chase: In "Not What He Seems", Stan pays a taxi driver to drive in the opposite direction he's running in order to misdirect the government agents trying to arrest him.
- Wild Teen Party: One is alluded to (but not shown) in "Summerween," when Robbie and Wendy say that they are going to a party at Tambry's house while her parents are out of town.
- The Wild West: The theme of the Tumbleweed Terror pinball game.
- Stan is a fan of the Western film "Grandpa The Kid."
- Wild Wilderness: Many adventures in Gravity Falls take place in the gorgeous rainforest and mountains surrounding the town.
- Wimp Fight: In "The Hand that Rocks the Mabel", Dipper and Gideon fall off a cliff. On their way down, they slap each other a few times before getting into a slap-fight. This is a stark contrast to the more visceral fight that they have in "Gideon Rises".
- Win Her a Prize: Dipper tries to win a stuffed animal for the girl he has a crush on, Wendy, by knocking down glass bottles with a baseball. He knocks them down, but the baseball hits her in the eye. Then, Robbie, Dipper's rival who also likes Wendy, shows up with a sugar cone to help ease the pain in her eye while Dipper was getting ice.
- A Wizard Did It: A number of plot holes are filled by the reminder that Quentin Trembley passed a lot of weird laws in his time in Gravity Falls office and nobody apparently bothered to change them. It's why holding the physical deed to a building - holding it in your hand - means you own the building, and why the police are allowed to send a nine-year-old to adult prison.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
- Giffany counts for some, given that she has abandonment issues and that no one in her debut episode treats her like a person: Soos breaks up with her because she can't attend his cousin's engagement party, Mabel and Dipper encourage Soos to date real girls and return Romance Academy to the store, and three other people have apparently returned her without even a Mercy Kill. That said, she is more "destroyer" than "woobie" in that she takes over Hoo Ha's Jamboree to stalk Soos, force him to upload his brain into the game, and break him by talking.
- The lumberjack ghost in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" has no qualms about hurting children in his quest for revenge on the Northwests, but he and the other lumberjacks who died were cheated out of a party supposedly held in their honor, and he suffered a Cruel and Unusual Death. Dipper even expresses some Sympathy for the Devil while exorcising the ghost to keep Mabel safe.
- Mabel is a literal and figurative example in "Dipper and Mabel Vs. The Future." She attempts to remove Gravity Falls from the time stream so she won't be left alone and won't have to confront her fear of the future, something that has so much Fridge Horror connected to it, fans temporarily assumed it was the terrifying event that "changes everything" promised by Alex Hirsch. But her attempt surprisingly backfires since the person who offered her the deal was possessed by Bill, so it instead causes the Apocalypse.
- World-Healing Wave: Happens in "Weirdmageddon Part 3: Take Back The Falls" after Stan destroys Bill in his mind as Ford shoots him with the Memory Gun. While most of the town and natural landscapes are restored, theres still some cleanup to be done and The Mystery Shack goes through major repairs. Its later revealed in Gravity Falls: Journal 3 that all three Journals were restored to even better than before, too.
- World of Badass: Every major character is some form of badass, be it often or only when the situation calls for it.
- World of Mysteries: The Gravity Falls itself is this; enforced by the Society of the Blind Eye keeping things secret from the townsfolk, and caused by the town having a 'Weirdness Magnetism' that literally attracts bizarre events, people, creatures and phenomena to the area.
- Worst News Judgement Ever:
- Worth It: Dipper is driven from their shared room by Mabel's slumber party and tries to sleep outside, only for a wolf to begin savaging his leg. He momentarily panics, but a quick glance at Mabel and her friends still jumping around and screaming has him decide the wolf is still better and he goes back to sleep with it still gnawing on him.
- In "Tourist Trapped" Grunkle Stan sends himself into a coughing fit after scaring Dipper. He manages to cough out "worth it."
- Would Hurt a Child: As a consequence of being an action series starring children, most supernatural creatures the kids encounter are willing to harm them.
- The cursed wax figures in Episode 3. They try to murder Dipper and Mabel without hesitation.
- Also, in "Summerween", the Summerween Trickster. In fact, he makes it look like he KILLED a child until the end of the episode!
- Rumble, the Fight Fighter, was genuinely trying to kill Robbie, endangered Stan and Mabel by toppling the water tower, and beat up Dipper with a nearly lethal combo attack just because Dipper had lied to him.
- Bill Cipher would gleefully hurt children or even kill them. Of note are his abuse of Dipper's body while he was in possession of it and the moments before he was tricked into entering Stan's mind, when he was nanoseconds away from murdering Mabel in cold blood.
- "I've got some children I need to make into corpses!" and "When I get my hands on you kids, I'M GONNA DISASSEMBLE YOUR MOLECULES!"
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The convenience store ghosts in Episode 5. They would hurt teenagers though.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Mabel in "Sock Opera" after setting off an entire box of fireworks during her stage production, many of which fly at the audience and narrowly avoid causing harm.
Mabel: Don't worry, I have seen enough movies to know this is the part where the audience thinks this was all part of the show and loves it. Cue applause!
- Wrestler of Beasts: Invoked in the episode "The Land Before Swine". Grunkle Stan lies to Mabel about fighting a Pterodactyl that captured her pet pig Waddles under his watch (in reality, Stan set the pig outside so it wouldn't disrupt his business.) Eventually, while searching for Waddles, the truth comes out and a very angry Mable gives her uncle the silent treatment indefinitely. Thankfully, her respect for him is restored when Stan ends up having to do this for real in the episode's climax.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: In "A Tale Of Two Stans" we finally learn that the twin's grandfather is Shermie Pines the younger brother of Grunkle Stan and Stan's twin brother Stanford Pines. However Shermie is much younger than Grunkle Stan: He is at least fifteen years younger than him, and Stan was a young child during the 60's. Shermie was probably born during the 70's. If the series takes place in 2012 then Shermie would be a very young grandfather to have two grandchildren who are twelve.
- However, this is all based on that during the flashback, Stan and Ford's mother was holding baby Shermie It could be possible that the infant is actually Shermies son, as in Dipper and Mabel's father, making Shermie an older brother.
- Grunkle Stan at one point says he's almost 70. However, if you piece together his time line, he left home when he was about 20, was away from Ford for 10 years, and then spent 30 years trying to get Ford back. That would make him around 60, not 70 (20+10+30= 60)
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Bill Cipher has a slitted pupil, and his sclera turn yellow when he possesses a body.
- You Are Number 6: How Dipper names his clones, with the exception of Tyrone (who refuses to be called "Number Two") and Paper Jam Dipper.
- You Can't Fight Fate: In "The Time Traveler's Pig," no matter what he tried, Dipper would always inevitably hit Wendy in the face with a baseball. The one time he finally figured out how to avert this he needed Mabel to help so she wasn't there to win Waddles and Pacifica got him instead. For Mabel's sake Dipper had to go back and hit Wendy again.
- "You!" Exclamation:
- In "Double Dipper", after melting his photocopied clones to mush, Dipper believes they're all gone. Until he hears Tyrone exclaim "YOU!" from behind.
- In "Boss Mabel", Mabel gives one of these to Grunkle Stan when she gets tired of the shabby treatment he gives his employees and his customers.
- In "The Land Before Swine", Grunkle Stan gives one to Mabel's pet pig Waddles after the latter eats the former's corn-cob sculpture of a unicorn, driving away Stan's customers.
- Bill Cipher tosses out a few in "Dreamscaperers."
- Rumble McSkirmish gives Dipper a really over-dramatic one in "Fight Fighters".
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: One of Mabel's fantasy boys, Kraz, has bright blue hair.
- You Killed My Father: Parodied in "Fight Fighters". Dr. Karate killed Rumble McSkirmish's father (again), making it his motivation for fighting. Rumble also assumes that this is the reason Dipper wants him to fight Robbie.
Rumble: Did he kill your father?
Dipper: Well, he's dating this girl I like and he posts a really annoying amount of status updates.
Rumble: And then he killed your father!
Dipper: Uh, sure.
- Your Worst Nightmare:
- You get to see it if you look into a Gremloblin's eyes.
- In "Dreamscaperers," Bill unleashes Mabel and Soos's personal nightmares on them after they stop him from getting the safe code.
- Your Mom:
Nate: Good job throwing the kid off the fence, genius!
Lee: Your mom's a genius.
- Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb: In "The Inconveniencing", the twins tag along with Wendy and a bunch of her friends while they break into an abandoned convenience store, and they aren't able to do a darn thing once it turns out to be haunted.