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Recap / Gravity Falls S1 E12 "Summerween"

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"You must trick or treat... Or die!"
"Summerween" - It’s Gravity Falls’ version of Halloween in Summer with Jack-o-Melons and lots of trick-or-treating. Dipper and Mabel are excited to join in on the fun, but when Wendy casually mentions that trick-or-treating is for kids, Dipper’s whole outlook on the evening changes. The night gets even more complicated when a monster that Dipper accidentally insulted makes them fulfill his candy quota by night’s end or else he will eat them. Meanwhile, Stan tries to scare away the kids who come over to ask for candy.

Tropes in this episode:

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  • Accidental Hero: Soos, when he hits the Trickster with his truck.
  • Ambiguously Brown: The clerk at the Summerween Superstore.
  • And Show It to You: When Soos bursts out of the Trickster. The candy he eats kind of looks like a heart.
  • Anthropomorphic Food:
    • Candy dresses up like a peppermint candy for Summerween. "I am so sweet, I could eat myself!"
    • The Summerween Trickster turns out to be an amalgam of unwanted "loser candy".
  • Big Damn Heroes: Soos (temporarily) saves the gang from the Summerween Trickster by ramming into it with his pickup truck. And then permanently saves it by devouring the Summerween Trickster's candy heart, telling him he actually tasted good and putting him to rest.
  • Bland-Name Product: The "loser candy" includes such products as Mr. Adequatebar and Gummi-Chairs.
  • B-Movie: At the end of the episode, the gang watches a horror movie marathon, which includes a film called The Fear Guy From Terror Town Street that apparently consists of alternating shots of a screaming woman and a growling crappy-special-effects alien.
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  • Cape Swish: Stan pulls off a nice one with his costume.
  • Chest Burster:
    • One of Stan's attempts to scare the trick-or-treaters is this. The children are unimpressed (the fact that the "creature" is an adorable pig might be part of the problem).
    • Soos provides a rare heroic version when he eats his way out of The Trickster.
  • Christmas in July: Or rather, Halloween in June.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Three of Wendy's friends from "The Inconveniencing" appear in the Summerween Trickster's flashback.
    • Also from that episode, the explosion/muffin Robbie painted on the water tower makes another appearance.
    • The biker Mabel meets in "Headhunters" turns up again at one of the houses the twins visit.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The twins weaponize it to get as much candy as possible.
  • Disney Death: Gorney and Soos, both eaten by the Trickster, get out of it alive at the end of the episode, although Gorney declares he's traumatized.
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  • Everybody Laughs Ending: An evil laugh variation.
  • Foreshadowing: Waddles pulling a Chest Burster on Stan mirrors Soos's escape from the Trickster's innards.
    • Mabel names everyone's qualities with which they'll solve the problem, then gets to Soos and... can't think of one. But it's Soos who saves everyone in an unpredictable manner. Twice.
    • Dipper hucks a candy bar at the Trickster, which absorbs it into its body. Later it turns out it's made of candy.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Summerween Trickster wants revenge for all of the discarded candy that no one liked. All he wanted was for someone to say that he tasted good.
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless: Both Gorney and Soos survive getting swallowed by the Trickster.
  • Halloween Episode: Naturally, even though the show takes place during the summer. This is justified by Gravity Falls having its own version of Halloween that they celebrate in summer called Summerween.
  • Horny Vikings: The costumes worn by Manly Dan and his sons.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": Soos seems have a Big Damn Heroes moment by smashing the Trickster with his truck, but the first thing he does afterwards is ask if that was a pedestrian.
  • Idiot Ball: Soos's preoccupation with the talking skull toys at the Summerween store drive him to fool around with one when they're trying to sneak past the Summerween Trickster. Even worse, it's out of batteries, so Soos tears open a fresh pack of batteries and sticks them in before pressing it again. Naturally this gets him eaten and everyone else caught, but luckily it pays out in the end.
  • I Got a Rock: There's a running gag about "loser candy" like black licorice and chalky old chocolates. Then it turns out the Summerween Trickster is the embodiment of all those unwanted candies.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Robbie teases Dipper for planning on going trick-or-treating, Wendy pipes up that he’s too old for that. This gets Dipper to think that he really IS too old for that, and decides to ditch it. May also be a case of Unwitting Instigator of Doom, as this action causes Dipper to anger the Summerween Trickster and almost get eaten by them.
  • Jump Scare: The trick-or-treaters scare Stan with a cat video that suddenly ends with a shot of a ferocious monster snarling.
  • Let Them Die Happy: The Summerween Trickster dies with Tears of Joy after Soos told him he tasted good. See Freudian Excuse.
  • Light Equals Hope: The Trickster's deadline was "before the last Jack-O-Melon is blown out". The kids rally after Dipper ends up dumping the candy, but townsfolk have begun blowing out their melon-lanterns. Grenda grabs the last one from Old Man McGuckett before he blows it out. But her gusty sigh of relief is enough to snuff the candle and count as blowing it out. The Trickster immediately looms out of the darkness ready to attack.
  • Manly Tears: A biker dude sheds a Single Tear with a wistful smile on his face on seeing Dipper and Mabel's "Twins" dance.
  • Masked Luchador: Soos dresses up as one.
  • Memetic Mutation: Invoked in the credits reel, which has Waddles starring in LOLCats-esque pictures.
  • Naked People Are Funny: How Stan manages to finally scare the two bratty trick-or-treaters, albeit unintentionally. The boys ran into the shack demanding candy and caught Stan just as he was about to take a bath. Yeah, that would scare anyone. (A camera-angle switch shows he's still wearing boxers, but...)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In his overzealous attempt to try and impress Wendy, Dipper throws the wheelbarrow of candy into some bushes without looking what was behind it. Turns it out was a cliff leading into a creek and all the candy winds up dumped into it. If that wasn't bad enough, the kids were just one candy short of getting their goal (which Mabel managed to acquire) and the Trickster comes calling soon after.
  • No, You: Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland dressed as each other.
    Sheriff Blubs: You make a great me.
    Deputy Durland: No, you make a great me.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Trickster bulks out and grows extra arms when he decides to kill the kids. After Soos runs it over, it reassembles itself into a more monstrous, spider-like form.
  • Plot Hole: The Trickster says the kids have until the last jack-o'-melon goes out to bring him the candy, but by the end of the episode, Stan’s jack-o'-melon is still lit.
  • Race Against the Clock: The kids have until the last jack-o'-melon goes out to get 1,000 pieces of candy if they want to live.
  • Red Herring: At the start of the episode, Soos is implied to be the Summerween Trickster. He tells the kids about the trickster's existence, he's absent when the Trickster first appears, and then suddenly appears after the Trickster leaves. However, as the characters trick or treat, the Summerween Trickster ambushes them and Soos, proving that the Summerween Trickster is real.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Parodied. A new kid named Gorney suddenly shows up, and is quickly eaten by the Trickster. As he goes down, he yells "Remember me!" When he is freed later on, Soos says "'Sup, Gorney."
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Mabel asks Dipper what’s worse: Getting eaten by a monster, or going trick-or-treating? Dipper is about to go with the latter.
  • Right Behind Me: As he talks to Wendy’s and Robbie who happened to be driving by, Dipper quickly ditches his costume and pretends to not care about trick-or-treating as he talks to them, saying he’ll be at their party. After they leave, it cuts to behind Dipper to show a stunned Mabel, who had just come back from getting the last piece of candy, and apparently heard the whole conversation.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: When Soos tells the twins about the Summerween Trickster.
  • Screamer Prank: The trick-or-treaters inflict one on Stan.
  • Security Cling: When the Trickster pokes at Candy while threatening the children, she clings to Dipper next to her in fright.
  • Shout-Out: The Summerween Trickster's true form looks an awful lot like Noh-Face from Spirited Away.
    • The music playing the Summerween store is a clear pastiche on "Monster Mash."
  • Silent Treatment: After Mabel finds out that Dipper didn’t care much about trick-or-treating, lied to her by pretending to be sick, and lost all the candy that almost got them all killed, she refuses to answer his quips he throws at her, and hardly even looks at him on the ride home.
  • Skewed Priorities: Dipper cares about looking cool and going to the Halloween party over the fact that he and his friends might die.
  • Spoof Aesop: According to Stan, Summerween is about families getting together to celebrate what really matters: PURE EVIL!
  • Think of the Censors!: The party flyer was originally supposed to read "Bottles will be spun"; after Alex Hirsch couldn't get it past Standards and Practices, it got changed to "Not S&P approved".
  • Too Old to Trick-or-Treat: Dipper and Mabel are excited to join in on Summerween, but when Wendy casually mentions that trick-or-treating is for kids, Dipper's whole outlook on the evening changes.
  • Visual Pun: Candy Chiu's costume is a peppermint candy.
    "I am so sweet I could eat myself."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Gorney somehow cannot be seen when the Trickster is hit by Soos’ truck, but does reappear when Soos eats him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mabel lays it hard on Dipper upon finding out that he lied to her and was more concerned about a party than saving them from the Summerween Trickster.
  • Wild Teen Party: One is alluded to (but not shown) when Robbie and Wendy say that they are going to a party at Tambry's house while her parents are out of town.


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