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Recap / Gravity Falls S 2 E 16 Roadside Attraction

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Stan takes the Twins, Candy, Grenda, and Soos on a road trip to sabotage other tourist traps in Oregon. While this is happening, Stan gives Dipper some advice when it comes to girls, which inadvertently catches the attention of Candy, who begins to develop a crush on Dipper, but things come to a head when the group discovers a spider woman at one of the tourist traps and takes Stan hostage.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Absentee Actor: This is the first and only episode since his introduction in which Ford does not appear.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Dipper calls himself Dopper.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: While Candy only starts having a crush on Dipper after he takes Stan's advice to be more confident, she's still hurt by Dipper's philandering ways.
  • An Aesop: Be careful about what you say to people and be serious about who you're trying to seduce.
  • Audience Surrogate: Mabel and Soos give agonized groans upon discovering Dipper's stash of Wendy pictures, likely echoing a lot of the audience at the show threatening to bring his crush back.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Stan is trapped in Darlene's lair, at first, it looks like he's praying to god, but he's actually praying to Paul Bunyan, who actually comes to Stan's aid in a way.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Dipper never got a new girlfriend, Candy got over her crush for him, the Mystery Shack was vandalized, and Soos was left behind. But Dipper then manage to reconcile with Candy and got over his own crush on Wendy.
  • Breather Episode: To quote Alex Hirsch: "Just a little break before things go OFF THE RAILS in the next one".
  • Brick Joke: Stan prays to Paul Bunyan for help while webbed up in the cave, and then thanks to Candy's plan, Darlene gets squished by the giant Paul Bunyan statue's boot ("My one weakness!").
  • Butt-Monkey: Even when he doesn't appear, Toby Determined is still mocked. Dipper states he fears he'll grow up to be like him, but Stan tells him to never say that about himself.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Candy reading the pamphlets about the tourist site.
  • Contrived Coincidence: All the girls Dipper talked to met each other at the mummy exhibit when he's alone with Candy.
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  • Creator Cameo: An animated Alex Hirsch appears in one of the Skytram cars.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The other tourist traps pranked Stan which cause him to prank them which in turn causes them to prank him...
  • Dead Guy on Display: Darlene's MO is displaying the corpses of her victims in plain sight as a mummy attraction.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Roadside Attraction" refers not only to the various tourist traps Stan visits with the kids, but Dipper's attempts to learn how to talk to girls and Candy's brief crush on Dipper.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of Candy's pamphlets is on "arachnimorphs", beings depicted as having various combinations of human and spider anatomy. Later, a woman at one of the tourist traps named Darlene is revealed to be one.
    • The mummy exhibit has a sign saying "new mummies daily", Dipper discusses this wondering how it's possible and it seems like a joke about the mummies being just as blatantly fake as the Mystery Shack's oddities. It turns out the mummies are Darlene's victims.
    • Darlene's ticket booth being underfoot of the Paul Bunyan statue.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A careful look at how Darlene is pinned shows that, unless she is Made of Iron, that Paul Bunyan's foot is crushing her abdomen. This would be a death sentence for normal spiders, and could be one for Darlene.
  • Funny Background Event: The girls playing in the giant ball of string, as Dipper somehow can't come up with a metaphor for how things are unraveling.
  • Game Face: Darlene uses four limbs to peel back her remaining human visage from her mouth to reveal her full spider appearance.
    Darlene: Allow me to slip into something a little more horrifying.
  • Generation Xerox: After a series of episodes emphasizing Dipper's similarity with Grunkle Ford, this episode features Dipper copying Stan's flirting tactics and bonding over their shared failures with women.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Stan's advice on flirting with girls causes Dipper to unintentionally catch Candy's attention.
  • Human Notepad: Dipper lets each girl he flirted with write their contact info on his arms. When he and Stan hot tub, he has to keep his arms out of the water to avoid running the ink.
  • Hopeless Suitor:
    Dipper: Look, earlier this summer I ruined my chances with Wendy.
    Stan: (Uncomfortably) Heh yeah... "chances."
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Under the guidance of Stan, Dipper learns how to flirt with girls and move on from Wendy. However, Dipper accidentally causes Candy to develop a crush on him. Dipper wasn't interested in a serious relationship and was convinced the road trip would be consequence-free. He believed everyone would leave feeling better about themselves but was soon confronted by all the girls he encountered before and was soon dumped by all of them.
  • It's a Small World After All: Dipper play-flirts with the girls to boost his confidence and get over Wendy. After voicing his concerns, Stan assures him that, realistically, he's unlikely to reencounter those girls again. So his behaviour should be fairly innocent and consequence-free. Sure enough, the same girls do meet Dipper again at the exact same spot. Just as Dipper was with Candy, who had a crush on him at the time and was hoping the moment would start a relationship between the two. The girls are, understandably, offended by Dipper's tongue-tied response and Candy is left heartbroken.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Even though Stan is portrayed in the wrong for convincing Dipper to be more confident on the road trip. He isn't wrong and he was, in fact, more helpful than Mabel in getting Dipper to move on from Wendy. Dipper did become more confident around girls and did learn to accept Wendy's rejection. He just didn't expect Candy to fall for him, or expect to see the other girls again.
  • Karma Houdini: Besides Stan being saved, Darlene practically gets away with what was implied to have been killing many men. She even says that as long as there's gullible men she'll be free to feed on them. With that said, she is trapped under Paul Bunyan's boot, with her abdomen crushed, and perhaps if no men come up the mountain then she'll starve.
  • Laugh of Love:
    • When Dipper gives a girl he meets at Log Land a "log on a stick", she giggles before giving him her contact details, and she goes on a log ride with him, which she describes as "romantic" (though the latter incident is only mentioned later in the episode).
    • At the Mystery Mountain, Candy giggles when she lays her head on Dipper's shoulder while they're on their date.
    • Darlene laughs when she's around Stan. She's exploiting it to make him think she's in love with him, in order to lure him into a trap.
  • Luminescent Blush: Candy turns bright red when Dipper compliments her on her glasses and later when Mabel asks if she likes someone.
  • Meaningful Name: Darlene's nest is the summit of Mystery Mountain, called "Widow's Peak". As in, "black widow".
  • Moral Myopia: Played for Laughs. When the other tourist trap owners retaliate by vandalizing the Mystery Shack, Stan's horrified response is "I completely don't deserve this!"
  • Never Mess with Granny: The owner of the first tourist trap is an old woman named Granny Sweetkins, who owns the worlds biggest ball of yarn and set Stan's car on fire on two non-consecutive occasions. After they unravel her yarn ball, she throws a giant knitting needle at Stan's RV hard enough for it to stick.
  • Never My Fault: After the tourist trap owners vandalize the Mystery Shack for revenge, Stan exclaims that he did nothing to deserve this.
  • No Name Given: All the tourist girls Dipper tries to put the moves on, except Emma Sue.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • One of the owners of a tourist trap taped Soos to the ceiling for over 3 days.
    • It's revealed that Stan has been divorced. The cipher in the credits give more details about it and others:
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Candy gets too close to Dipper during her crush. Whenever they sit together, she edges closer to him and later rests her head on his shoulder.
  • Old Faithful: The woods around Mystery Mountain contain one of these, and it's accurate to the second.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The girls note that Dipper seems uncharacteristically cheerful, unaware he just got a girl's e-mail. This is what starts Candy's temporary crush on him.
  • Puppy Love: Candy temporarily develops a crush on Dipper.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Dipper shows us this episode that even if you accept rejection from someone you have a crush on, moving past that crush isn't easy, nor is it an overnight process.
    • When Mabel and Soos discover that Dipper still hasn't moved on from Wendy, Mabel simply tells him to "Move on". Since Dipper has a poor understanding of flirting and is socially awkward. He has trouble doing so and resorts to listening to Stan's advice since he's giving Dipper better, more specific advice on his problem. As shown by the episode; people, like Dipper, need more advice and support than just "move on" when they are faced with a problem.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Candy's glasses become this when the other girls Dipper talked to interrupt their moment.
  • Serial Killer: Darlene definitely counts as one.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mabel and Grenda for Dipper/Candy. Mabel already considered the paring before.
  • Ship Sinking: Dipper has no romantic feelings for Candy, and though Candy starts crushing on Dipper, she's over it by the end. This reinforces what Alex Hirsch said about Dipper/Candy, as he said the concept was "Grasping at straws".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Something We Forgot: The group leaves Soos in the middle of a corn maze and don't realize they forgot him until they get back home. A post-credits scene reveals he was told by his grandmother to stay put if he got lost. A coded message reveals he eventually found his way back to the Mystery Shack.
  • Space Whale Aesop:
    • As Soos demonstrated, when you get lost, staying where you are is normally a good thing...except when you're in the middle of a maze with nobody around.
    • Also, being a pick-up artist will hurt people's feelings, cause trouble, and possibly get you eaten by a spider-monster.
  • Squee!: When Mabel and Grenda find out that Candy is crushing on Dipper, they give an extraordinarily loud squeal of delight. The scene cuts to Dipper and Stan in the hot tub, and the screen shakes from the force of the girls' combined squeal. Stan thinks the noise is coming from coyotes.
  • Tempting Fate: When Dipper expresses concern over flirting with so many girls, Stan assures him that he won't see any of them again. They all show up at Mystery Mountain.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Dipper does this with the first girl by accidentally calling her not cute.
  • Visual Pun: Dipper tries to explain to Stan how his words get tangled, but can't come up with a proper metaphor, while Mabel and her friends are playing with a giant ball of thread.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mabel, Candy, and Grenda are furious at Dipper for talking to the other girls. They get over it later when Dipper tells them that Stan was captured by Darlene.
  • Youkai: Darlene is a Western version of a jorogumo, a spider-creature that disguises itself as an attractive human woman and preys on men.


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