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Literature / Gravity Falls: Journal 3

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NOTE: Spoilers from this book are marked as usual. However, as this book is meant to be read after watching the entire series, all spoilers from the show have been left unmarked. As such, You Have Been Warned.

Gravity Falls: Journal 3 is a Defictionalization of Journal 3, the main research and reference journal used by the main characters in the popular Disney Channel mystery/comedy animated series Gravity Falls. The book was written by series creator Alex Hirsch and writer Rob Renzetti, and illustrated by Andy Gonsalves.

Consisting of every page shown in its cartoon counterpart, plus many pages never-before-seen by fans, Journal 3 also includes entries made by main characters Dipper and Mabel Pines over the course of the show, as well as those made by the Author of the Journals prior to his mysterious disappearance in the 1980s.

The first edition of the book released on July 26, 2016. After high sales, a limited-edition versionnote  featuring the all the black-light messages present in the show's journal, as well as several new invisible messages, was released on June 13, 2017.


This book contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Dipper is shown to have been so unfamiliar with Wendy and Soos by the end of "Tourist Trapped" that he called them "Wanda" and "Zeus". Ford later calls Soos "Zeus" as well.
  • Actor Allusion
  • Actually a Doombot: Remember when Bill vaporized the Time Police in "Weirdmageddon Part 1"? According to Blendin's letter, those were only holographic projections which they use on dangerous missions. Time Baby really was vaporized, however.
  • Adapted Out: For one reason or another, Dipper does not catalog the events of "Dipper vs. Manliness", "Little Dipper", "Bottomless Pit", "Boyz Crazy", and "Little Gift Shop of Horrors". However, Ford does inadvertently allude to things that would occur in those episodes (such as the Hand Witch and telling stories for 22 minutes after falling into the Bottomless Pit).
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  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the series, Grunkle Ford was arrogant and high-handed, but everything he did seemed to be For Science!. While he still isn't exactly a villain, Ford's journal entries paint a portrait of an obsessed, arrogant Knight Templar whose arrogance and eagerness for fame (almost as much as knowledge) led him to nearly destroy the world. His dismissal of his newly-discovered family (and contemplation of doing experiments on them) doesn't help. He does start to get better after bonding with Dipper, but it takes time.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Ford gets more focus here, expanding on his time in Gravity Falls, his adventures in the Multiverse and his relationships with Stan and the twins after his return.
    • There's more of Fiddleford prior to his descent into madness.
  • Advice Backfire:
    • Ford's advice to Fiddleford that, as scientists, they must use their own talents to overcome their problems, is what leads Fiddleford to create the Memory Eraser Gun. Subverted by the gun's role in the series finale.
    • Ford realizes that his "Trust no one" warning at the journal's beginning was also a mistake; While trust shouldn't be given unconditionally, you should always give people the chance to earn your trust, and that if he had widened his circle, Bill might have been defeated sooner and Weirdmageddon prevented.
  • All There in the Manual: With this book being the "manual" to the show, tying up several loose ends like the purpose of the monocle attached, what became of Blendin Blandin, Ford's adventures in the multiverse and even Dipper's real name.
  • All for Nothing: Blendin's letter to Dipper and Mabel explaining what happened to him and that he's okay. Ford never decoded it and Dipper and Mabel never see it, and then Ford throws the Journals into the Bottomless Pit, making his efforts moot.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Discussed. Dipper notes that Rumble McSkirmish's eye patch switches eyes every time he turns around, adding, "I may need to write the game company to complain about this dumb animation error!"
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's never revealed if Fiddleford used the Memory Gun on Ford. It's likely that he did, but Ford isn't certain.
  • And I Must Scream: Bill's original plan while possessing Dipper was to kill his body, leaving the real Dipper trapped as a mindscape ghost forever, all while his family thinks he'd lost his mind.
  • Anthropomorphic Typography: One of the alternate realities the Author mentions visiting is the "M Dimension", a place where everyone and everything is shaped like the letter "M". He found the place completely baffling, wondering how things like an M-shaped vacuum cleaner would even work. The locals' tendency to replace the first letter of every word with M, leading to sentences like "Mave a monderful mime", left him feeling "muicidal" by the time he was able to leave.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Ford's first third of the book ends with him going through his paranoid stage before he hides the book. Then Dipper's section cuts off when he's taken into child services and Agent Trigger confiscates the journal from him. Finally, Ford's returning section ends ominously as he prepares to face off against Bill who has just begun Weirdmageddon.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite all of the supernatural and paranormal phenomena he's encountered in Gravity Falls, Ford doesn't believe in the palm reader's predictions, even though she managed to know his childhood nickname.
  • Arc Words: "The path is clear" is this for Ford after his return. It first refers to stopping Bill on his own, but at the end it's referred to fulfilling his and Stan's childhood dreams together.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • When Ford confronted Preston Northwest, the crimes he mentioned the Northwest family had committed were lying about the foundation of Gravity Falls, breaking treaties with natives, and making self promoting weather vanes.
    • The coded adjectives used to describe Bill Cipher at the page stating he can't be trusted are "liar", "monster" and "snappy dresser".
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • The Compsognathus in the book is based on outdated designs (i.e. two-fingered and scaly), never mind the fact Compsognathus wasn't discovered in North America let alone Oregon. Of course, none of the other dinosaurs in the show were accurate either. Interestingly, the book seems to allude to the fact that certain dinosaurs were bird-like, by having the Compy show traits of a Thieving Magpie.
    • Lampshaded when Ford and Fiddleford come across a non-fossilized skeleton of a pterosaur, whose species Ford was unable to identify claiming it is "bigger than anything known to science". Said pterosaur is clearly the same kind as the one in the show, as it also resembles a giant Pteranodon with teeth.
  • Art Shift: Ford, Dipper, Mabel and Soos all have different art styles:
    • Ford's drawings are very detailed and realistic.
    • Dipper's drawings are like Ford's, but less skilled due to his age.
    • Mabel's drawings are more cartoony than her grunkle and brother and use more than one color.
    • Soos's drawings are fairly average but slightly more realistic than Mabel.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: In "Sock Opera", Bill's plan for Dipper's body after burning the journal is unspecified, leading many fans to expect the worst. The journal's recap for that episode includes a note Mabel found that "Bipper" wrote in the car ride:
    Note to self: Possessing people is hilarious! To think of all the sensations I've been missing out on—burning, stabbing, drowning. It's like a buffet tray of fun! Once I destroy that journal, I'll enjoy giving this body its grand finale—by throwing it off the water tower! Best of all, people will just think Pine Tree lost his mind and his mental form will wander in the mindscape forever. Want to join him, Shooting Star?
  • The Atoner: Ford's storyline ends with him as this, determined to become a better person and a better brother to Stan.
  • Been There, Shaped History:
    • According to the journal's hidden messages, Bill had deceived the Egyptians and George Washington into opening a portal to his realm, and the pyramids and the Illuminati symbol on dollar bills were created to appease Bill's anger after they failed to uphold their end of the deal.
    • While Blendin fixed most of the changes Dipper and Mabel made to history in "The Time Traveler's Pig", their presence still resulted in the invention of the high-five over a hundred years early.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: An early entry tells of Ford's encounter with the "Abominable Bro-Man", a Sasquatch-like creature that dresses and acts like a Frat Bro, right down to communicating mainly in the words "bro" and "righteous".
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Decoding the many ciphers littered throughout the book yields some interesting tidbits…
    • The third Dipper clone's name is revealed to be Tracey, which is a play on the Spanish word 'tres', which means 'three'.
  • Birds of a Feather: Dipper writes on his entry on "Dreamscaperers" that one of the memories he saw was of Stan marrying a Las Vegas waitress, Marilyn Rosenstein. It lasted 48 hours because she was just trying to steal his car. Dipper wonders if Stan had really found his soul mate that time.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Ford notes that the Truth Telling Teeth (as seen in "Bottomless Pit") would improve some people, such as politicians, lawyers, and TV executives.
  • Bland-Name Product: All over the place with such things as "T.G.I. Apple Rucker's" and "The Cranky Girl Who Did Chores in Spirit Town".
  • Bloody Horror: You know those infamous blood stains in the journal around the pages describing Bill Cipher? Turns out those are from Ford's irritated eye spilling blood onto the pages.
  • Brain Bleach: Ford once saw a gnome taking a squirrel bath; I wish I could unsee this.
  • Breather Episode: Dipper and Mabel’s entries can be this between Ford’s entries, which can get rather intense.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: More detail is given into just how badly Stan's mind was damaged by the memory gun, with it taking a full week of non-stop therapy before he fully returned to his old self.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: We finally learn the origin of Stan's fez! It belonged to the Pines Brothers' father originally; "He never did tell us about the Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel..."
  • By "No", I Mean "Yes": The entry on the Truth Telling Teeth; I believe honesty is the best policy. Except when it isn't. Which is often.
  • Call-Back:
    • Ford legitimately asks whether Soos is a Man or a Baby, in the same way Soos poses such questions while an exhibit of the Mystery Shack in "Boss Mabel".
    • An encoded message on the UFO suggests that some tiny aliens escaped and live in town in Mobile Suit Humans. Remember Lefty, from "Dipper's Guide To the Unexplained"?
  • Call-Forward: Several in the pre-portal half of the Journal.
    • Much like Dipper would in "Tourist Trapped", Ford got some mosquito bites that spelled out an ominous message. Unfortunately, the "Soothquitos" suffer from Spoonerism, and he wrote off "BATCH OUT FOR WILL" as gibberish.
    • Ford on the Bottomless Pit: "One day I may have the courage to leap into it out of curiosity. Although I might find myself on a plane of existence that I am not ready to handle (or just waste twenty-one minutes telling stories to myself to keep entertained)."
    • On the entry on "The Great Flood" a coded message from Bill Cipher reads "DON'T CARE FOR PRESTON'S FACE / MIGHT FIX IT ONE DAY"
    • In the entry on the Truth-Telling Teeth, Ford notes that he's 90% sure the mailman is a werewolf (a theory also floated by Soos in "Tourist Trapped").
    • Ford warns Fiddleford that he better not see a pig in the shack.
    • Ford laments that the town is so gullible it could set up a savvy conman for life.
    • Fiddleford runs into a young Blind Ivan at the carnival, who wants to forget his life.
    • On hiding the Journals, Ford writes that he hid #2 at the elementary school; Surely no kid could be smart or cunning enough to find it, right?
    • Dipper finds Stan's car license plate rather strange, as it spells "Stanley" instead of "Stanford"…
  • The Cameo:
    • When Ford went to confront the Northwests over their fraudulent history, he wasn't able to meet the family patriarch. Instead, he met Preston, the future father of Pacifica.
    • Ford's entry on a carnival he and Fiddleford went to had a few familiar characters in it:
      • A fortuneteller that is most certainly the Hand Witch from "Little Gift Shop of Horrors" segment "Hands Off!" reads Ford's palm, gives him a cryptic warning...and then hits on him.
      • Blind Ivan working the rides. It's implied that his encounter with Fiddleford eventually led to his membership in the Society of the Blind Eye.
  • Cassandra Truth: Ford is warned about Bill by the Soothsquitos, cautioned about his work by the Hand Witch and Fiddleford tries to convince him to abandon the Portal and publish his research. None of it dissuades Ford until it's too late.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The book starts out with silly, though sometimes macabre, descriptions of monsters and paranormal phenomena. It then turns much more serious as Ford details his manipulation by Bill and falling out with McGucket. Then it suddenly becomes much lighter as Dipper starts writing. When Ford resumes writing the entries, it gets serious again (barring Mabel's entries), but also much more hopeful.
  • Character Development: Throughout both of his parts, Ford goes from an a well meaning but arrogant young man to a humbler and wiser Cool Uncle.
  • The Chew Toy: Turns out Fiddleford went through a lot even before he went into the Portal; he was attacked by a Gremloblin and the Shapeshifter. Being sent through the Portal was just the Last Straw.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: Stonehenge is described as "either a spell-amplification center or a place for the druids to play hide-and-seek".
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: In his entry on the Lilliputians, Dipper mentions that Soos claimed the mini-golf, ATM, and other things were run by tiny people, and then wonders what else he's right about.
  • Connected All Along:
    • Wendy's father Manly Dan built Ford's lab, which later became the Mystery Shack, back when he was known as "'Boyish' Dan Corduroy". The Author's notes on ghosts in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" were also made while renting Dan's shack. Lampshaded by Ford's entry on Wendy.
    • Why were there so many dead people to resurrect as zombies in front of the Mystery Shack in "Scary-oke"? Turns out they were the lumberjacks killed in the flood caused by the construction of the Northwest Manor detailed in "Northwest Mansion Mystery". That's how Ford got the land so cheap.
    • Dipper finds a photo suggesting the lumberjack ghost from "Northwest Mansion Mystery" was a relative of Wendy's named "Archibald Corduroy".
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: Ford included a biography of himself in Journal 3. However, the illustration of himself had a large red blot over the face- and the 'Property of" tag, like in the show, had the name ripped off. Dipper also mentions, in his entry on "Dreamscaperers", that several pages concerning Bill were ripped out, implying that, in the throes of Sanity Slippage, Ford damaged the Journal. Apparently these pages were restored after Bill's defeat in "Weirdmageddon 3".
  • The Corrupter: According to one blacklight message, the mystic amulet Gideon used corrupts the user's soul. It's hinted that this is what made him the villain he was in the show.
  • Cue Card Pause: As in "Boss Mabel", the section on the Gremloblin cuts to the next page when advising that using water only makes it even scarier.
  • Darker and Edgier: The book clearly has looser content restrictions than the show, allowing such things as Ford mentioning abnormalities flat-out killing people, him having a near total mental breakdown, clarifying those red stains actually are blood, and Bill directly stating he was going to make Dipper commit suicide while possessing his body.
  • Determinator: Deconstructed with Ford. His single minded obsessions with creating the Portal in his youth and stopping Bill in the present day blind him to any other solutions or concerns.
  • Direct Line to the Author: The first page is a notice claiming the Journal was found by the Oregon Parks Department, and is now part of a Confiscated Items Sale/Bake-off. Bill's destruction restored the Journals to better than it was before burning it. This allowed Ford to update the Journal to the summer's end then, by Mabel's suggestion, throw it into the Bottomless Pit in hopes that it might inspire future adventurers.
  • Dragons Are Dinosaurs: Dipper compares the little nest a Compsognathus has made from his ill-gotten gains to a dragons' hoard.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Agent Trigger writes down that nobody will forget what he and the other agents will achieve from arresting Stan. They end up forgetting alright.
    • It's revealed that the reason why Ford didn't tell Mabel about the rift is because he feared that Mabel might break it, mistaking it for a snow-globe like the other snow-globes he saw her destroy one day.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Upon returning and inspecting the portal, Ford notes that "Half of the instruments are held together with duct tape".
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: While being taken to child services by Agent Trigger, Dipper writes his frustration that almost no adult in town seems to be straight with him, despite what he's done;
    I wish there was just one adult out there who would play it straight with me, who would tell me the truth and not lie because they think I'm too young to handle what is going on in this town. I've caught monsters, defeated ghosts, survived demonic possessions, and yet NO ONE takes me seriously enough to be honest with me!
  • Easter Egg: Alex Hirsch's message on the book jacket has some letters highlighted in blue. When combined, they spell out "Stay weird".
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Ford acquired one in another dimension with the encouragement of a group of octopus-armed warrior piglets.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Stan somehow managed to smuggle a dinosaur egg after "The Land Before Swine", and the twins decided to hatch it because, hey, wouldn't having a pet dino be cool? Ford also mentions a couple of alternate dimensions where dinosaurs still rule. And this is the reason why the Shacktron had its T. rex fist.
  • Exact Words: Jheselbraum the Unswerving tells Ford that he "had the face of the man who was destined to destroy Bill."
  • Eye Scream: It's hinted that while Bill was possessing Ford's body, he did something painful to Ford's right eye. Hence the blood stains and the monocle attached to the Journal in the show.
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: Ford writes that even some of the friends he made in college felt Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons was "Girlfriend repellent."
  • Faked Rip Van Winkle: After the events of "Irrational Treasure", Soos tried to freeze himself in peanut brittle just like Quentin Trembley. The twins decided to prank him by dressing up as cyborgs, gluing a fake beard to Soos' face, and waking him up to tell him he was in "the year bleventy-billion".
  • Fantastic Racism: Ford engages in a bit of this when he claims that all elves are short and ugly and therefore Probabilitor's elf henchman is "too good-looking to be pure elf."
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Ford's is I Work Alone. Prior to his travels, it was his desire for fame and recognition, which results in going through with the Portal despite Fiddleford's warnings.
    • Dipper's is his struggle to get respect for his supernatural findings, which puts people in danger. He does learn from his mistakes faster than Ford does.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Ford would rather be shot with a death ray than look as emaciated as Tesla when he's in his seventies.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Ford named the giant…thing…that ate his car Steve.
  • Foreshadowing: Inverse examples:
    • In an entry detailing the events of "The Legend of the Gobblewonker", Dipper finds Stan's "StnleyBle" license plate odd. It's actually evidence of who his great uncle really is.
    • Ford's entry and drawing of Wendy has her notably carrying a bag of ice, which is noted in the book from Ford's observations as well, more explicitly linking her to the bag of ice in the zodiac.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • One of the dimensions Ford passed through was a parallel timeline where Stan didn't knock Ford into the portal. Its version of Ford reunited with McGucket, got the portal to work without any risk of allowing entry from the Nightmare Realm, and became well-regarded for his work in the scientific community. This was where he got that BFG he tried to use in "Weirdmageddon Part 1", from Parallel!McGucket.
    • Had Ford actually decoded that secret message he found, not only that he would have found out that Bill was just using him to jumpstart the apocalypse and stopped building the portal, Fiddleford would never have founded the Society of the Blind Eye and lost his sanity. However, Stan would have still been homeless, and running from the authorities and the Mystery Shack wouldn't exist.
      • Had Dipper decoded that secret message, he would've had some doubts about keeping the dimensional rift a secret, and decided to tell Mabel and Grunkle Stan about said rift and what it could do. This would have prevented Weirdmageddon from happening, and Blendin wouldn't have become an outlaw. But Weirdmageddon gave Stan and Ford the push they needed to reconcile and start over.
    • If Time Baby and the entire Time Police hadn't kept on teasing Blendin Blandin for losing Globnar, Blendin would never have made a deal with Bill Cipher. Thus, Bill wouldn't have used his body to cause Weirdmageddon. On the other hand, this would have led to Dipper accepting Ford's offer to become his apprentice. Mabel would have returned home all alone. Stan and Ford's relationship would still have been strained. And Time Baby would still rule future earth with an iron fist.
    • It's unclear if Ford would have been able to expose the Northwests for who they were before he met Bill and worked on the Portal. But if he had, Pacifica and her family might've gone down a different path.
    • If Ford agreed to Fiddleford's offer to get his research published and abandon the Portal, things would have gone very differently for them.
    • After the events of the Grand Finale, Dipper ponders on what would have happened if Stan and Ford didn't fight and the Zodiac worked. Soos believes they would have gotten superpowers, but Dipper doesn't believe it.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's heavily implied that childhood bullying for his intelligence and six fingers drove Ford to eventually be obsessed with getting fame and recognition for his work, especially after creating the Portal. Ford even says outright at one point he wants to "show them all what the "six fingered freak" had accomplished."
  • Friendlessness Insult: It is revealed that, ever since the events of the episode "Blendin's Game", Blendin Blandin is still shunned by others despite getting his job back, and is mocked for being friendless by his piers. Even Time Baby, of all beings, mocks him by calling him "No-Friendin Blandin". This results in Blendin Blandin becoming an easy target for Bill Cipher's Demonic Possession, as Bill promised that Blendin will not be mocked anymore.
  • Given Name Reveal:
    • Dipper reveals his first name, to both Ford and the audience, in an entry set between "The Last Mabelcorn" and "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future". His real name is "Mason".
    • Agent Trigger's given name is revealed to be "Jeff".
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The book starts with a very loose narrative of the Author describing various monsters and other oddities of Gravity Falls. It then transitions into a much more focused story of the Author and 'F' building the Portal, going up until the Author's disappearance. From then, Dipper (sometimes Mabel or Soos) started writing his own adventures in the journal, recapping the events of episodes while telling of some events that happened between, like Dipper crawling through the Mystery Shack's AC system to track down the head of Wax Larry King. Once Ford returns, most of the entries are again written by him, detailing some of his 30 years in the other dimension and experience upon returning.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Discussed. On salvaging parts from the UFO, Ford wonders which was the more advanced species; The one that spends thousands of years inventing new technology, or the one that waits for the first to crash-land on their planet to reclaim it?
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • It's implied that Bill messed with Fiddleford's mind when he went through the portal, since Fiddleford was suspicious of the triangle. If it was the case, then Fiddleford was in no state of mind to fight back for thirty years.
    • A young Preston's reaction to Ford telling him about the lumberjacks suggests this.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: One entry states that after an encounter with the Gremloblin, Ford decided he and McGucket needed some downtime and visited a carnival. Ford's writings make it clear that the excursion was mostly for Fiddleford's sake, as after growing up in Glass Shard Beach and losing much cash on the midway games on the boardwalk, he has no real interest in such things.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Turns out Soos' infinite piece of pizza would not be a solution to world hunger, as the piece only regenerates the parts that Soos eats.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Dipper complains about how dumb Mabel's crushes are and how crushes are a waste of time in general... while writing about how great Wendy is.
  • Icarus Allusion: F warned Ford not to forget what happened to Icarus, but Ford simply retorted that the boy didn't flap hard enough. One coded message after the test of the Portal reads "IF ICARUS COULD SEE ME NOW".
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: At the end of the book, Ford admits that Stan is the hero who saved the world, while he's "A hero's brother."
  • Imprinting: Due to hatching the egg by putting it in Stan's bed (the heating lamp was taking too long), the hatched Compy quickly became attached to his Mama Stan.
  • Inkblot Test: Worried that Mabel was traumatized by the whole Portal experience, Ford subjected his great-niece to one of these. Her answers say a lot about Mabel.
    (Skull-shaped blot: Bunny. Mushroom cloud: Lollypop. Sword: Friendship wand)
    These interpretations are...unusual.
  • In Spite of a Nail: In the "Better World" Dimension, while Ford and Fiddleford's lives are better, Ford and Stan are on bad terms, with Ford not knowing or caring what happened to him after he gave Stan Journal 1 and sent him away.
  • Intimate Artistry: Most of Dipper's drawings portray scenes or creatures as they happened, but his first drawing of Wendy, before he properly realizes he's in love with her in "The Inconveniencing", notably has her smiling with her hair blown in a slight breeze, a few leaves trailing her around. Later, in an entry written after "Into the Bunker", he bemoans his "impossible crush on an impossible girl" next to a beautifully crafted picture of Wendy sitting in profile in front of a forest backdrop. Tellingly, a smaller but similar side shot of Pacifica is drawn on a page recounting the events of "Northwest Mansion Mystery", being one of couple hints in that entry that Dipper had a crush on her.
    • In Soos's entry about the events of "Soos and the Real Girl", there's a cute drawing of Melody.
  • I Never Told You My Name: When Ford goes to meet the palm reader at the carnival, she calls him "Sixer". Ford was stunned that somehow she knew his childhood nickname.
  • Invisible Monsters: Invisible wizards turn out to be real. Ford managed to see the silhouette of one with night-vision goggles, which the wizard responded to by turning them into a bat. When he used Fiddleford's omnispectrascopic goggles, he saw that their true appearance was that of a hideous thing whose silhouette is only in the shape of a Wizard Classic.
  • Inventional Wisdom: In his section on zombies, Ford himself wonders about the logic of including a zombie summoning spell, but chalks it up to wanting to be complete on a subject.
  • Invisible Writing: The special edition includes the entries written in invisible ink from the show, albeit they are more like marks that glow in the dark.
  • Irony:
    • Ford mentions that during his travels throughout the multiverse, he ended up becoming a wanted man much like Stan is on Earth, and was sure to draw attention to the irony.
    • While Ford hopes that the Portal would get him fame and recognition, Fiddleford points out that he also could do it with his previous findings instead. It's strongly implied that had Ford listened to him, he would have indeed found fame and made millions, instead of going near insane and ending up lost in the multiverse for thirty years.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • In the journal's epilogue, Ford realized what a fool he was not to listen to McGucket, that his belief that greatness can only be achieved alone was ridiculous, and that Stan was not the selfish jerk he thought he was.
    • Mabel has a moment of this in her entry for "Bipper" where she felt like a jerk for not only taking the Journal without asking Dipper and being so obsessed with her play for her crush of the week she had no idea Dipper was possessed by Bill the entire time. She felt even more like crap when she discovered the note that heavily implies that if "Bipper" had destroyed the Journal he'd planned to jump off the water tower and make it look like Dipper went crazy. After realizing this, she writes a letter of apology to Dipper and says she owes him a week's worth of ice cream sandwiches.
  • Just Ignore It: Since all a Category 1 Ghost really wants is to be your friend, the way to get rid of one is this trope.
  • "Kick Me" Prank: Category 2 ghosts are pranksters who "Always have "Kick Me!" or "Possess Me!" signs they tape to your back".
  • Kids Are Cruel: In Ford's bio about himself, he talks about a time where he borrowed a shrunken head from the family pawn shop for show and tell. Every other kid brought a football, a football trophy or a book on football. They used them to throw them at Ford during his presentation. Luckily, Stan saved him.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The comments on the back of the book. The first two are genuine praises from Guillermo del Toro and R. L. Stine and the other comment is Grunkle Stan saying "This book is amazing! BUY IT TWICE!!"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: We see the events that led McGucket to build the Memory Ray. It's implied that he used it even before starting the Society of the Blind Eye; Ford mentions seeing lumberjacks helping with the construction of the bunker, but when he questioned them later, they seem to have forgotten everything, and Ford wrote his earlier sighting as a hallucination.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland asked the Pines Twins not to tell anyone about Quentin Trembley or the events of "Irrational Treasure". Naturally, the kids told Soos the first chance they got.
  • Love Potion: As seen in "The Love God", but notably the creepy moral quandaries about using a potion to force someone to like them are played with and ultimately averted. Mabel mentions that the Love God's potions aren't actually permanent. They only work for a few hours and act as more of a nudge between the two people under its effects. If the potion wears off and the two are still in love, then it's true love.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The people whose eyes were glowing yellow at Triple Digits Truck Stop had that either because Bill Cipher was messing with Ford or because the sunrise was "coming in through the window".
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Dipper reveals that Stan stole a Compsognathus egg from the mine with the sap-encased dinosaurs, despite Compsognathus being endemic to Europe. Though given that mine also had other taxa that weren't discovered in Oregon, this should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: One creature mentioned is the Hawktopus, a bird with tentacles for talons and beak. It was deemed, "Too stupid to study."
  • Monster Is a Mommy: According to the blacklight edition, the giant island head creature from the Dipper's Guide to the Unexplained episode "The Tooth" is actually a family man. Despite the backwards talking, Ford can tell he's not Happily Married.
  • Must Make Amends: Ford does this with both Fiddleford and Stan, on realizing that he ruined the former's life and was ungrateful about the latter's sacrifices. He encourages Fiddleford to apply for patents on his inventions, so that the man can be recognized for his genius, and helps revive Stan's memories.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: This is naturally Ford's reaction when he realizes that Fiddleford was right about Bill Cipher the whole time.
  • Never My Fault: As an excuse not to thank him for getting back home, Ford blames Stan for getting him tossed into the portal, stealing his identity, and turning his lab into what he considered a mockery of the paranormal, neglecting both the fact that he was the one that started the fight with Stan that got him thrown into the portal, and that Stan only created the Mystery Shack to pay off Ford's mortgage and bills so that he could fix the portal. He comes to regret this after Stan sacrifices his memories in order to stop Bill for good.
  • Never Shall The Selves Meet: While in an alternate timeline, Ford learns that if the same person from two different universes make physical contact, the resulting paradox will not only kill both of them, but also destroy whatever dimension they're currently in. This is so dangerous that Ford decides to leave almost immediately, despite this world being a much better place to live.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ford had been fighting Bill Cipher during the events of "Not What He Seems", with the portal activating when he was mere inches away from destroying the triangle. Ford had to use a concussion grenade to keep the rest of the demons from following him through the gateway and entering our world. If Stan hadn't made the portal or Mabel hadn't activated (or had waited another couple minutes), Bill would have been destroyed much earlier.
  • No Indoor Voice: Category 4 Ghosts are described as having no indoor voice.
  • Noodle Incident: When writing about the magnet guns, a reminder not to point one at the sky was included, to avoid "another downed helicopter incident."
  • No Ontological Inertia: While it wasn't shown onscreen, apparently the journals were restored along with Gravity Falls following Bill's destruction.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: After the Woodstick Festival disaster caused by Stan's shoddy hot air balloon, Stan expressed no concern about the physical and psychological damage caused by it, claiming that "all press is good press".
  • Not Hyperbole: During "Weirdmageddon", Bill had called the Nightmare Realm a 'decaying dimension'. The book reveals that Bill didn't mean this as an insult and that he thought it was a lousy place to live; the Nightmare Realm was actually breaking down and would one day cease to exist.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    • Ford's illustration of the M Dimension, where everything is made of the letter M, includes this note: No, my niece Mabel did not draw this. This is what it really looks like.
    • Dipper's entry for Rumble McSkirmish has him drawn rigid, and in 2D. He writes that this is exactly what he looks like, since he is a video game sprite.
  • Obsessively Normal: Ford describes society during his childhood as this, and was encouraged to conform and follow the rules. Naturally, Ford was an outcast for being smart and having six fingers.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with Jeff the gnome. As this book reveals, Jeff is also Agent Trigger's given name.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: Throughout the first third of the Journal, Ford referred to his assistant as [F] instead of Fiddleford. Dipper writes his surprise that the crazed hillbilly who built the Gobblewonker and the Author's assistant were Connected All Along.
  • Only Friend: Fiddleford was Ford's one friend as well as his assistant, as Ford refused to socialize with the rest of the town, considering them not worth his time. It explains why Stan was able to pass as his brother after Ford disappeared.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Ford comments that the Hot Elf that was part of Probabilitor's party must not have been a full elf exactly because it was too attractive to be one.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: The Journal features some creatures that were never seen or mentioned on the show proper;
    • The Stomach-Faced Duck, a duck with its eyes and bill on its belly, leaving its head blank. When Ford fed one a cracker, he could see the duck's guts through its open beak!
    • The Plaidypus, a platypus with a plaid pelt that's rumored to be sought after by lumberjacks.
    • Others include: Scampfires, living campfires, Question Quails, birds with question marks on their heads, Geodites, crystal and rock creatures and Barf Fairies, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Overly-Long Name: Rumble McSkirmish's full name is revealed to be "Rumble Fracas Melee Fistcuffs Slapfight McSkirmish".
  • Page-Turn Surprise: After recounting the account of the portal test, the next two pages are nigh-covered with black-ink scrawling, drawings of eyes, and red text spelling out "MY MUSE WAS A MONSTER", "I WAS A PUPPET", and "F WAS RIGHT".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Journal has a picture of Blendin, who escaped into the 19th century when his part in Bill's Weirdmageddon made him an outlaw. Dipper never recognized him because he grew a mustache for the picture.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Dipper writes with blue ink, and Mabel does with pink.
  • Planet of Hats: A few of the dimensions Ford passed through; There was an M dimension, where everything and everyone was shaped like the letter M, a gambling dimension, and so forth.
  • Police Are Useless: In Blendin's secret message, instead of the Time Police planning out a strategy to take Bill Cipher down, they all blamed Blendin for Time Baby's demise. This led to the Time Police chasing Blendin throughout time instead of apprehending the real culprit.
  • Pungeon Master: Ford's encounter with the "Dream Hipster" lead him to discover that the monster likes to confront its victims with horrifying dreams about their worst fears... and then make really corny jokes about it.
  • Precision F-Strike: Ford writes "I'll be damned if I let that demon deceive me again" in one of his journal entries. Granted, it's not exactly a strong profanity, but given that the show never said anything worse than "heck," "gosh," or "darn," it still sticks out.
  • Pride: Ford's writing really emphasizes how his own arrogance let Bill trick him into nearly destroying the world.
    "Don't forget what happened to Icarus," [F] told me as he packed up his things and left.
    "He didn't flap hard enough," I replied.
  • Random Events Plot: Ford's first section starts with various entries on the different creatures he's found, but then starts forming a plot after seeing ghosts at Dan's cabin and then uncovering secrets about the Northwest family. But suddenly, the main plot of the Portal and Bill begins…
  • Rapid Hair Growth: During the trek to Crash Site Omega, Ford mentioned his amazement at how fast "F"'s facial hair grew.
  • Real After All: In "Little Dipper", Mabel at first came to the conclusion that an Invisible Wizard was responsible for Dipper's growth spurt. According to Ford, it actually exists.
  • Recognition Failure: In the journal entries Dipper seems unable to recognize Wax Larry King, simply calling him "Suspenders Man", despite knowing his name in the actual show.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless:
    • Something that Fiddleford pointed out to Ford; the man is a genius with a PhD, who could earn all the fame and glory by publishing his findings about Gravity Falls and they could benefit the world. Unfortunately, he presented it by going behind Ford's back and compiling it in a research paper under Ford's name to prove his point, feeding into his friend's paranoia that Fiddleford wanted to steal the glory from him.
    • As part of his Must Make Amends towards Fiddleford, Ford encourages him to apply for patents on his inventions. Fiddleford does so, with Ford's help, and becomes wealthy as a result. While Ford could do the same, it's not what he wants so he decides to travel with his brother instead.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Despite many references to the other two journals and the fact that the book only has a third of the Universal Portal blueprints, Journal 3 is the only book so far to have been made real-life, leaving us to wonder what occurred in the six years prior.
  • Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...: From the Blacklight Edition:
    Roses are red, Pacifica's blood is blue, I read what you crossed out, I'm onto you! Start combing your hair, Brother! - Mabel
  • Sapient Cetaceans: One of the dimensions Ford visited had dolphins as the dominant species of Earth. And they make the best waterparks, apparently.
  • Saw Star Wars 27 Times: According to Dipper, Mabel has seen "The Cranky Girl Who Did Chores in Spirit Town" eighty two times.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • According to the show, Soos' birthday is on July 13; the journal puts in on an undated entry between July 29 and August 22.
    • The blacklight message for the mystic amulet states that using it whitens your hair, implying it to be the reason for Gideon's own white hair. However, when Dipper and Mabel traveled ten years into the past in "Blendin's Game", Gideon was seen as a baby, already possessing pure white hair. It is possible that it darkened as he aged, then was whitened again.
    • In the show, it is shown that Dipper had his hat since the fourth grade but, in the book, he says he had it since the fifth grade.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Ford and Dipper both have a talent for drawing as well as interests in the paranormal.
  • Shared Universe: The book continues the implication that Ford's portal lead into The Multiverse of Rick and Morty: a Plumbus, a Zigerion scammer, and a cipher on Ford's wanted poster that reads "Rick was here" can be seen throughout the book.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Dipper's first drawing of Wendy, before he properly realizes he's in love with her in "The Inconveniencing", notably has her smiling with her hair blown in a slight breeze, a few leaves trailing her around. Later, in an entry written after "Into the Bunker", he bemoans his "impossible crush on an impossible girl" next to a beautifully crafted picture of Wendy sitting in profile in front of a forest backdrop.
    • When describing the events of "Northwest Mansion Mystery", Dipper mentions he was surprised at how decent a person Pacifica turned out to be. He then writes she "looks kind of okay in an evening dress, I guess". Then Dipper mentions that she smells nice and wonders if they had "some vibe going on," both of which are struck-out but still legible. Pacifica is also illustrated in the same angle, pose, and style as Wendy was earlier in the book. The blacklight edition includes a poem written by Mabel where she implies she noticed the aforementioned entry and advises him to "start combing [his] hair".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spell My Name with an S: One of the last pages misspells Weirdmageddon as "Weirdmaggedon".
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: In Ford's entry on his lab, which Stan turned into the Mystery Shack, Ford is rather disturbed and incensed by the changes his brother made in his absence:
    My inventing room? Now a hall of ludicrous taxidermies! I mean, what the heck is a "HAM-PIRE"?!
    Walking around in my old lab, I feel like a dead man's ghost haunting a strange fun house mirror version of his past life.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Fiddleford H. McGucket had a lot of his country quirks back when he was of sound mind, such as hamboning and chewing tobacco.
  • Spooky Painting: Category 4 Ghosts are behind those paintings.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Human blood tastes bet-(rest of sentence scribbled out). I can only ASSUME human blood tastes better. note 
    • Not in the journal itself, but co-illustrator Andy Gonsalves' biographical blurb on the dust jacket states very explicitly that he is not secretly a reptilian alien disguised as a human.
  • Symbol Swearing: Ford describes the Symbol Dimension's people as "@$$&@!!s".
  • Take That, Audience!: In the Special Edition, a message from Ford can be found which states that Bill would certainly not manifest as a "suave, well-dressed, possible British man in coattails", referencing a popular Head Canon which depicts Bill as such.
  • Tempting Fate: Upon noticing Agent Trigger spotted the journal, Dipper writes "I hope he doesn't ta..." The next page features Trigger's notes. Trigger's last note is about how people will never forget about the arrest they're about to make in "A Tale of Two Stans". Ford uses Fiddleford's memory-erasing ray to make the agents forget.
    • After the encounter with Quentin Trembley, Dipper and Mabel prank Soos into thinking he himself had been transported into the future.
      It's too bad time travel isn't actually real
      [next page, post-Blendin]
  • Thieving Magpie: In this case, Thieving Compy; a Compsognathus hatched at the Mystery Shack ends up stealing from tourists, which Dipper theorizes is a result of imprinting on Stan.
  • This Explains So Much: Dipper's Observation #1 about Quentin Trembley. "Haircut by his third wife, Sandy. (She was a woodpecker. That explains a lot.)"
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The journal details at least a third of the creatures that reside within the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. And, if this note from the State of Oregon Parks Department is to be believed…
    …Since discovering this book, a number of our troopers have had headaches and disturbing nightmares.
  • Totally Radical: One monster Ford encounter was the Abominable Bro-man; a bigfoot in a muscle shirt and cargo shorts. It can only say "Bro" "Righteous" and "Chill out".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Ford's demeanor and relationships with his family start improving after the events of "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons" and he makes more of an effort to fix things with Stan after the Grand Finale.
  • Truth Serum: Ford wonders if the Truth Telling Teeth have a truth serum inside.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Ford believes Probabilitor's elf henchman's parents must be this because the henchman is "too good-looking to be pure elf".
  • Uncatty Resemblance: A Compy starts to resemble Stan in personality, if not looks: it starts stealing money and valuables from the pockets of tourists, and makes a squawk that sounds a bit like, "No refunds!"
  • Unobtainium: Spoofed with the mysterious element that is the only thing both stable and powerful enough to charge the Quantum Destabilizer Ford used in "Weirdmageddon", called NowYouSeeItNowYouDontium.
  • The Unreveal: Alex Hirsch said in "Between the Pines" that Dipper's real name and Mabel's name had something in common. In the profile Dipper makes for himself, the first letter written in the namespace is a crossed out "M", so that "something in common" was the first letter. He actually does reveal his name later, to Ford.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Ford describes "the Nightmare Realm" Bill inhabited, and the portal sucked Ford into, as "not exactly a dimension, but rather a boiling, shifting intergalactic foam between dimensions".
  • Weirdness Magnet: Ford literally describes Gravity Falls in this term, as he demonstrates by dropping an oddly-shaped jellybean and watching it roll uphill towards the town border.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Fiddleford rightfully calls out Ford for his obsession and carelessness, but Ford dismisses him as "superstitious." As soon as Fiddleford is gone, the previous pages of praise for his partner's scientific acumen are replaced by a snappish description of Fiddleford as a useless jumped-up farmer.
    • Ford gives this to himself after the Grand Finale, realizing how badly he messed up.
  • Wham Line: In Ford's second section, he and Dipper are discussing the real theory of weirdness about the town, and bonding over their own abnormalities: Ford's six fingers and Dipper's birthmark. Suddenly, Dipper says his real name:
    Dipper: Mason. My real name is Mason.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Ford once spent a few nights at 'Boyish' Dan's cabin. Back then, the latter told Ford to lock himself in his bedroom before the stroke of midnight or else risk losing his soul.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Following Bill's defeat, Ford writes a final entry that depicts him making up with Stan and Fiddleford, as well as him saying he's thankful to have a family that was there to save him from a disaster of his own making.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Bill reveals that if he had his way in "Sock Opera", he would have forced Dipper's body off the water tower, making it seem like the boy committed suicide. He then implies that he would have subjected Mabel to the same fate.
  • Write Back to the Future: Early in the book is an ancient photograph of what is clearly Blendin Blandin in era-specific clothing, along with an encoded letter intended for Dipper and Mabel.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In Blendin Blandin's secret message, after Dipper and Mabel gave him back his job, Time Baby and the entire Time Police kept on teasing Blendin for losing Globnar to two kids. It got so bad that Blendin made a deal with Bill Cipher to stop the teasing. This unfortunately led to Bill possesing Blendin to jumpstart Weirdmageddon.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It's revealed that, had Bill's plan while possessing Dipper been successful, he would have killed Dipper's body by jumping off the water tower, as he'd no longer have any reason to remain in it.

Alternative Title(s): Gravity Falls