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Recap / Gravity Falls S1 E10 "Fight Fighters"

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At the Gravity Falls Video Game Arcade, tensions mount between Dipper and Robbie. Robbie is unusually threatened by a twelve year old boy trying to "steal" his girlfriend, and Dipper is still convinced that a chick as cool as Wendy deserves someone much cooler than Robbie. As Wendy is going camping with her family this weekend, Robbie declares a fight between the two of them to settle things once and for all after Dipper accidentally breaks the emo's cell phone.

Dipper is quickly dismayed when he realizes how completely outmatched he is. Even Grunkle Stan would bet against him. But things start to look up when, hiding out at the arcade, Dipper finds a cheat code scratched into the side of his favorite game, Fight Fighters. When he unlocks it, Dipper finds he is able to bring his favorite character, world fighting champion Rumble McSkirmish, to life! Now that'll scare the daylights out of Robbie, for sure!

Except things get out of hand rather quickly...

Meanwhile, Mabel tries to cure Stan of his fear of heights.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Mabel manages to win big at Omaha poker despite not even knowing what they're playing.
    "King me!"
  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Rumble talks this way. Mabel takes full advantage of it.
    Mabel: Wow! He's got a crazy voice! Here, say these words.
    Rumble: (reading from card) Ef-fer-VESCENT! Ap-ple FRITTER! Ri-bo-FLAVIN!
  • Affectionate Parody: To late 80s/early 90s arcade games.
  • And Then I Said:
    Wendy: So, then I told Thompson: "Hey, save some for the rest of us!"
  • Angry Collar Grab: Robbie does this to Dipper after the latter ends up destroying the former's phone.
  • Asshole Victim: Robbie nearly became a victim of Rumble's wrath.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    Dipper: I wish one of these guys would fight Robbie for me.
  • Big "NO!": Rumble's reaction when he dematerializes after his fight with Dipper.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Near the end of the episode, the symbol that appears on Rumble's back is the Chinese character for "fart".
  • Black-and-White Morality: Being a character from a fighting video game, Rumble has this mindset. While in the real world, it functions as Black-and-White Insanity.
  • Bond One-Liner: Dipper gives one to Rumble after Rumble wins their fight, but is about to be sent back to his game as a result.
    Rumble: Winners don't lose!
    Dipper: I wouldn't be too sure about that, man...
  • Brick Joke: Mabel's comment on how girls choose to hate each other in silence, as opposed to how boys choose to express hatred by fighting, is repeated by Robbie near the end.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
  • Captain Ersatz: Rumble is Ken (and a little bit of Ryu and Sagat, with Akuma's back tattoo) from Street Fighter, down to his fighting stance, moves, and motivations. Dr. Karate appears to be a mashup of M. Bison and Guile.
  • Captain Obvious: Rumble has "Winners don't lose!" as a victory line.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: When Mabel changes into her scout's honor/fingers crossed sweater, she manages to also change her skirt and hair band. No, it's not a coloring mistake.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Mabel asks if she should sic Waddles on Robbie as she did in the previous episode. Another to the same episode is how Mabel is alerted to Robbie by smell again, though this time she says he smells like 'anger and hormones' instead of body spray.
    • You can see Robbie's graffiti muffin at one point when Mabel, Stan, and Robbie are on the water tower.
    • Looks like Grunkle Stan finally got around to fixing the jackalope figure that broke in "Tourist Trapped".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Dipper really never stood a chance against Rumble.
  • Death Is Cheap: Apparently this is true within the Fight Fighters universe, as Dr. Karate killed Rumble's father "again".
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • The arcade game the episode is named after is called Fight Fighters.
    • Rumble's opening move against Dipper: "Fireball-throw-lightning-ball-throw! FIRE!!"
  • Did You Die?: A third-person example: Soos tells Dipper a story about how his cousin Reggie got beat up by a teen once and thinks Reggie might have died. Then Soos adds that he was just talking about it with Reggie.
  • Diegetic Visual Effects: When Dipper distracts Rumble from killing Robbie, the view shifts to a letterboxed close-up on Dipper's face. Then the camera zooms out to reveal the effect is from Dipper holding up a pair of black-colored planks, which he throws away.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Robbie challenges Dipper to a fight for breaking the former's phone when it was a total accident.
  • Do Wrong, Right: Stan comes out and calls out Dipper and Robbie for starting a fight... because they need to wait for Stan to settle in and place bets. Unfortunately, Robbie Gave Up Too Soon before Stan could elaborate.
  • Enforced Cold War: Dipper and Robbie realize that if they actually fought they both would lose Wendy, so they both agree to hate each other in silence. Like girls do!
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: Rumble's finishing attack on Dipper causes a mushroom cloud shaped like a fist.
  • Eyedscreen: Invoked by Dipper with a pair of boards to catch Rumble's attention and stop him from killing Robbie.
  • Final Boss: Rumble sees Dipper as this.
  • Foreshadowing: When Dipper is explaining why he doesn't like Robbie, he mentions that Robbie posts 'an annoying amount of status updates. Later, in 'The Love God', Robbie ends up dating the chronically-online Tambry
  • Funny Background Event: The game next to "Insert Token" is called "BG Painter Extreme".
  • The Game Come to Life: Dipper meeting Rumble is the current page image.
  • Get It Over With: After the whole ordeal with Rumble, Dipper outright tells Robbie to give him what he deserves because Dipper just wants to get it over with. No tricks, no running. Robbie decides beating up Dipper would be no fun if it's going to be this easy.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Discussed by Dipper as he's looking for power-ups for Rumble in the fridge.
    Dipper: Well we don't have any traditional power-ups — turkey legs, pizza boxes, or gold rings.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: Lampshaded when Dipper tells Rumble to stand still, which of course, he can't.
    Rumble: This is as still as I can stay!
  • Inside a Computer System: Soos tries to go into a the arcade game Nort by actually climbing into the cabinet. He gets stuck in there and thinks it's the same as being Trapped in Another World.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: When Stan sees Robbie about to beat Dipper up it looks like he's coming to help, but he just wanted to watch with his friends and place bets.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Rumble picks up increasingly dangerous objects on his way to fight Robbie, Dipper comments "this street has really dangerous litter."
  • Large Ham: Rumble McSkirmish shouts nearly every line he speaks and over-reacts wildly to things.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Dipper starts fighting Rumble, Soos tries to help by interfering with Rumble's health bar, though his hand just phases through.
  • Limit Break: Rumble has at least two: his "FIST PUNCH RAIN!" and the combo with the Overly Long Gag name that he uses to finish Dipper.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded when Robbie points out that Dipper wears the same shorts every day.
  • Love Triangle: Robbie quickly found out about Dipper's crush on Wendy in the beginning and now it has become your typical love triangle between those two.
  • Lying Finger Cross: On the back of Mabel's sweater.
  • Meaningful Echo: Done by Soos when Dipper realizes his responsibility to finish what he starts.
    Stan: You can either go face [Robbie] like a man, or you can hide indoors like a wimp. What'll it be?
    (smash cut to Dipper in the arcade, hiding under a pinball table)
    Soos: 'Wimp' it is!
    Soos: You sure you wouldn't rather hide like a wimp?
    (Dipper punches the "START" button to begin the fight with Rumble)
    Soos: 'Fight like a man' it is.
  • Medium Blending: Rumble is designed like a 16-bit game sprite. All pixel animation in this episode was done by Paul Robertson, a sprite artist who's done work for video games such as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game.
    Robbie: Who's your friend? And why is he... blurry?
  • No Peripheral Vision: Parodied. Rumble physically can't look up because he "has no 'looking up' animation." Even though he looked up not moments ago to locate Robbie on the water tower; maybe that part counted as a cutscene because Rumble hadn't initiated the fight with his opponent yet.
  • Noodle Incident: During a Fight Fighters cutscene, Rumble shouts that Dr. Karate has killed his father again.
  • The Nose Knows: Mabel senses Robbie coming when she smells anger and hormones.
  • Not What It Looks Like: After all the fracas, Wendy comes across a battered Robbie and Dipper. She grills them about if they've been fighting and says she hates it when boys do. The irony is that if Dipper hadn't summoned Rumble, then she would have been right.
  • No, You:
    Mabel: Grunkle Stan, why you ackin' so cray-cray?
    Stan: You're the one who's ackin' cray-cray!
  • Oh, Crap!: So, Dipper's plan to scare off Robbie with Rumble is working like a charm! Now he'll never bother— wait, why is Rumble still beating him up?
    Rumble: I will not rest until the man who dishonored you is destroyed!!! (punches a tree with one of Robbie's posters on it)
    (Rumble runs after Robbie while tearing up the town)
    Dipper: ...this isn't good.
  • Overly Long Gag: Rumble's finishing move against Dipper lasts for about ten seconds: SUPER POWER NINJA TURBO NEO ULTRA HYPER MEGA MULTI ALPHA META EXTRA UBER PREFIX COMBO
  • Pass the Popcorn: Stan comes out of the shack carrying a bag of popcorn, prepared to watch Dipper and Robbie fight.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Dipper lands an uppercut on Rumble, with dramatic slowdown and reactions to accentuate the impact. Dipper then looks at the lifebar, sees his opponent only lost 0.5% health, and runs away in panic.
  • Schmuck Bait: Mabel's suggestion to Stan to go to nowhere in particular and her confronting him over his fear of heights really should have tipped off Stan that they were gonna go somewhere high. He later acknowledges that he should expected it to happen when he finds himself on the water tower thanks to Mabel.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Soos plays an arcade game called NORT, with gameplay resembling the Light Cycle sequence of TRON, except on Segways.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: More or less how Dipper beats Rumble. When avoiding him and attacking back prove not to work, Dipper calmly lets Rumble pummel him and take his remaining "game life". Rumble wins the fight but in doing so ends his "game" and is sent back to the arcade to his horror. "Game Over" indeed.
  • Shout-Out: Numerous video game references throughout the episode. See the series' Shout-Out page for more complete list.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: Soos tries to manipulate Rumble's health bar to help Dipper. It doesn't work.
    Soos: It was worth a shot.
  • Spit Take: Mabel surprises Grunkle Stan with a proposition to go out for a walk to "nowhere in particular" while he is drinking a Pitt Cola and watching TV.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: While Dipper explains why he hates Robbie, Rumble repeatedly asks whether Robbie killed Dipper's father, and Dipper eventually shrugs and says, "Sure, why not?" This comes back to bite Dipper hard.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: During Mabel's first attempt at "Operation Get Stan Over His Fear of Heights".
    Mabel: Happy Great Uncle's Day!
    Stan: (startled) Wha? There's a Great Uncle's Day?
    Mabel: (laughs uncomfortably) Of course it's not a day I made up!
  • Tap on the Head: Grunkle Stan's advice to Dipper for fighting Robbie.
    Stan: Just bonk 'im over the head! It's nature's snooze button.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Rumble.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Grunkle Stan is revealed to have a fear of Heights. The B-plot involves Mabel trying to help Stan conquer his fear. By the end of the episode, Stan no longer shows any fear of heights. But Mabel suddenly develops a fear of heights of her own after the fight between Dipper and Rumble.
  • Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell: Played for Laughs. Rumble requests that Dipper takes him to the Soviet Union to challenge the world's strongest Fight Fighters, as Rumble comes from a turn-of-the-90s arcade game. Dipper responds that it'd be difficult "for a number of reasons."
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: As angry as he is for nearly getting him killed by a living video game character, Robbie can't bring himself to lay a hand on the unresisting Dipper.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • In the Fight Fighters game, Rumble's motivation is to avenge his father's death — er, deaths — at the hands of Dr. Karate.
    • Rumble assumes that Robbie killed Dipper's father. Dipper just goes with it, which proves to be a mistake when Rumble insists on killing Robbie to avenge Dipper's father. Dipper has to come clean about the lie and redirect Rumble's attention to himself to get the warrior to back off.


Video Example(s):


Fight Fighters

Dipper gives an impressive attack on Rumble...which barely has enough effort.

How well does it match the trope?

4.65 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / PunchPunchPunchUhOh

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