Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tear Jerker / Gravity Falls

Go To
"And when you look at your left, you'll see Miserable Mabel, a girl who went bonkers after her dreams were shattered by some heartless jerk. Oh, hey, Dipper!"

"Mabel, how can everything be so amazing and so terrible all at the same time?"
Dipper Pines, "Into the Bunker"

While Dipper and Mabel's summer in Gravity Falls was often chock full of hilarious, heartwarming, and sometimes downright terrifying moments, it wasn't uncommon for the twins and others to have rough times that evoked sympathy. These heartbreaking bits get cranked up during Season 2 as more mysteries are solved, and suddenly some of the breezy Played for Laughs moments of previous adventures might not seem as funny anymore...

Beware of unmarked spoilers!

    open/close all folders 


Season 1

    The Legend of the Gobblewonker 
  • Grunkle Stan brings Dipper and Mabel to Lake Gravity Falls to go fishing with the twins, specifically to have family bonding time with them. He even gives both of the kids fishing hats complete with their names (allegedly) hand-stitched on the hats. When Dipper and Mabel opt to search for the Gobblewonker instead, Stan ends up bothering other people to not feel as lonely: he tells a joke to a couple and gives fishing tips to someone else's child. He even jealously boos an Oddball Doppelgänger grandfather and twins for their Heartwarming Moment.
    Shmipper: Maybe he has no one who wuvs him, Pop Pop.
  • The relationship between Old Man McGucket and his son, Tate McGucket. Tate is ashamed of Old Man McGucket for being a "local kook" and doesn't visit his father. He even sprays Old Man McGucket with a spray bottle at the start of the episode because he didn't want his dad scaring away customers. It got to the point where Old Man McGucket resorts to creating a robotic Gobblewonker to try to get Tate's attention.

  • Stan is so startled by the sight of wax Stan that he falls over. It seems a little over the top...until you realize how likely it is that, for a split second, Stan thought it was Ford. How much of Stan's attachment to the wax figure was narcissism, and how much of it was a reaction to the chance to live out the good old days, when he and his twin brother were best friends?
    • Not to mention the funeral he gives wax Stan after his beheading. After The Reveal about Ford, he’s clearly thinking about him during the eulogy.

    The Hand That Rocks the Mabel 
  • It's pretty rough seeing Mabel become so emotionally overwhelmed that she screams and runs off to be alone to sit and hide in her sweater. When Dipper finds Mabel, she gloomily replies with, "Mabel's not here. She's in Sweater Town."
    • Anyone that's ever felt pressured to go out with a "nice guy/girl" by both the guy/girl him/herself and the people around them can probably shed a tear for Mabel here. This is a situation incredibly upsetting for adults, and here's Mabel having to deal with it at the age of twelve.

    Dipper vs. Manliness 
  • While Dipper pulled a Cry Cute, it's so hard not to feel sad for him.
    Unnamed scout lady: Oh, I'm sorry. I was looking for the mailman.
    Dipper: Oh, what? Are you saying I'm not a "male man?" Is that what you're trying to say? I'm not male? I'm not a man? Is that-is that what you're getting at?
    Unnamed scout lady: Are you crying?
    [Dipper tries not to cry and runs off.]

    Double Dipper 
  • In a sort of screwed up way: "It's better this way for Paper Jam Dipper."
  • The whole moment where Dipper and Tyrone realize that Robbie was chatting with Wendy while they were fighting over who gets to dance with her.
  • When Mabel was upset over losing the party crown to Pacifica, and assumes she disappointed Candy and Grenda.
  • It's kind of hard not to feel bad for Tyrone when he dies.
    Tyrone: It's okay, dude. I had a good run.
    Dipper: Tyrone! You were the only one who understood.
    • It's even sadder in "The Last Mabelcorn", when Dipper's thoughts reveal he still misses Tyrone, even after all this time. The poor kid really needs more friends who understand him. Then again, Dipper needs friends in general.

    Irrational Treasure 
  • Pacifica saying that Mabel "looks and acts ridiculous" in front of the crowd, and chastises Mabel's sweater and her nacho earrings. Mabel's blushing in embarrassment at the latter and becomes terribly self-conscious, and tries to prove she can be serious.
    Mabel: I knew it! The nacho earrings, the sweater. I thought I was being charming, but I guess people see me as a big joke. [throws off her nacho earrings, takes off her sweater, and ties her sweater around her waist]
    Dipper: C'mon Mabel, you love that sweater!
    Mabel: I did before Pacifica ruined it for me. She ruins everything!
    • This is made harsher since Mabel did not hold ill will towards Pacifica after she lost the party crown to her in the "Double Dipper" episode.
    • Asides from "The Deep End", this is the only episode where Mabel takes off her sweater and hides the design on it—really anchors how genuinely upset Mabel was when Pacifica shamed her.

    The Time Traveler's Pig 
  • In "The Time Traveler's Pig", Dipper and Mabel meet a time traveler named Blendin Blandin. Dipper uses the time traveler's device to go back in time to ensure that he doesn't hit Wendy on the eye with a baseball so Robbie wouldn't ask her out. However, this requires Mabel's help, and because of this, Mabel misses out on winning a pig who became her best friend. She's so distraught about it that she ends up losing her mind and bangs her head against a totem pole for at least a month until Dipper decides to set things right and lose out on a chance with Wendy.
    • When Dipper tries to indirectly apologize in advance before letting the baseball hit Wendy...
      Dipper: [sigh] Wendy, I just wanted to say that, well I just wanted say that people makes mistakes, and when they do, you should forgive them. And also that tight pants are overrated.
      Wendy: Dude, you lost me.
      Dipper: I know...
      • His whole reaction the first time Robbie asks her out is just soul-crushing.
    • Poor Blendin Blandin. All he was trying to do was prevent time anomalies... nothing goes right for him. That said, things get better for him in his next episode.

    Little Dipper 
  • "Little Dipper" is a tall case of Height Angst. Dipper becomes insecure of his height when Soos notices Mabel is one millimeter taller than him... it doesn't help that Mabel and Stan was making fun of Dipper being shorter. He's upset enough that he resorts to looking for and using one of the altering crystals mentioned in Journal 3 to make himself taller.
  • Mabel's confession: the reason she kept lording her extra millimeter of height over Dipper is because he is so much better than her at a lot of things, and it was the first time she ever felt like she was winning at anything between them. This is further accentuated when Dipper goes through his scoreboard of all the games he has completely trounced her in during the summer.

  • Mabel giving Dipper the cold shoulder in "Summerween", because she thought Dipper didn't care about her as much as he did for Wendy.
    • While Mabel feeling betrayed is bad enough, imagine how regretful Dipper was.
    • Mabel's explanation why Dipper going trick-or-treating was so important to her: the twins are getting older and she's afraid there won't be many Halloweens left together.
      • She seals off this by stating that she didn't realize until now that this one was going to be her last one. As if she's finally accepted that her brother is never going to trick or treat with her ever again. Wow...
        Mabel: That's exactly why we need to, Dipper! We're getting older, there aren't that many Halloweens left... [sigh] I guess I didn't realize this was our last one...
      • It gets worse if you take it another way: that she had accepted the fact that they were all probably going to die.

    Boss Mabel 
  • Soos pulling a No Longer with Us and briefly crying is a Cerebus Retcon: he's expressed wanting to be the boss of the Mystery Shack back in the "Little Dipper" episode, and it's revealed in later episodes how much he sees Stan as his father figure.
  • Imagine playing in a game show, and you having hundreds of thousands of dollars. You decided to risk your money in a bonus question. However, you answer the question incorrectly. There goes your million dollars... Don't like that sad idea? Then don't watch the "Boss Mabel" episode.
  • While it was teaching an excellent lesson, the way Mabel struggles to keep her customers happy is a bit hard to watch, especially since the normally cool and big sister-ish Wendy kind of walks all over her instead of knowing when to work (with Soos, the revealing costume and lack of social skills makes his hesitation understandable). Everything that doesn't work, eventually comes to a distraught end when Mabel finally snaps, and realizes why Stan is so stern.

    Bottomless Pit! 
  • Dipper taking everyone's teasing about his voice cracking to heart in "Voice Over", and drinking a tonic that changes his voice only to freak everyone out and still not be accepted. By the end of the story, he's crying, being chased, and miserable. It's impossible to not wanna hug him when he goes back to the junkyard.
    Dipper: I even sound ridiculous when I cry!
  • Stan's downer speech about life while watching a tv show with the twins in "Trooth Ache." Sure, it's hilarious in how abruptly out of nowhere it comes, but the thought that Stan secretly ponders such bleak things is pretty depressing.
    Stan: Sometimes, I think. Is this all there is? Is life just some kind of horrific joke without a punchline? That we're all just biding our time until the sweet, sweet, release of death?

    The Deep End 
  • Mermando missing his family. It's hard not to feel for him when he makes that sad little dolphin squeak.
  • Mabel and Mermando's goodbye.
  • Mabel's little speech to Dipper towards the end can get to some people.
    Mabel: Dipper! Don't you know what it's like to fall for someone... even though you know in your heart it'll probably never work out... but you would do anything for that person?
    • As she asks this, it never occurs to her that this is how Dipper feels about Wendy, and never makes that empathetic connection throughout the whole series.
  • Even though it's Played For Black Comedy, that poor, Pool Jail kid stuck in solitary confinement. He was completely forgotten about. For an entire year.

    Carpet Diem 
  • During the slumber party, Dipper forces himself out of their room because Mabel and her friends was too loud and tried to give him a makeover, and he chose to sleep outside with dangerous animals (namely a wolf that tries to gnaw his leg off) instead. The next morning he's not only miserable, but also heartbroken over seeing their destroyed mini-golf course.
  • Dipper and Mabel's confession that they never wanted to move out of their room. Dipper tells Mabel how he feels when she brings Candy and Grenda over, and that he has nobody to hang out with. It makes Dipper realize that Mabel is the closest thing he has to a friend his own age anywhere in Gravity Falls, and probably everywhere he's been.
    • It's very easy to miss, but the shocked look on Mabel's face when Dipper suggest they sleep in separate rooms. You can tell Mabel was hurt by the mere thought of Dipper not wanting to share a room with her.
  • After the secret room is discovered, not only does Stan seems to be irritated about it, but he also takes a pair of glasses on a dresser and puts them in his pocket. He is later seen looking rather painfully at them in the living room and rubbing the frames with his thumb, ignoring the television and the chaotic body swapping. Both the glasses and the room are later revealed to belong to his twin brother, Stanford, who was accidentally sent through the portal in the Mystery Shack decades ago.

    Boyz Crazy 
  • Wendy's break-up with Robbie in "Boyz Crazy", and her response to Dipper after he asks her to hang out. Dipper treats it as his victorious moment without giving Wendy breathing space to deal with what is a tragic moment to her. Even if you rooted for Dipper from the beginning, you can't help but feel a little bad...
  • No love for Mabel? She's keeping Sev'ral Timez in her room even though Candy and Grenda are asking her to let them go. Mabel's response is that every boy she's fallen in love with has left her (Norman turning out to be gnomes and Mermando leaving to find his parents). And in the end she gets a massive guilt trip from a song which is enough to let the band go free.
    • That song Sev'ral Timez sang to Mabel was sad because A) the guys can't bear to show malice to the girl who actually rescued them, so they guilt-trip her, and B) they acknowledge that Mabel DOES care about them, while also expressing their need to be free.
      Sev'ral Timez: [singing] Mabel girl, we know you love us so!
      Mabel: And that's why I've got to let you go...

  • Whatever happened between Bill and the Author that took their relationship from "Bill has proven himself to be one of the friendliest and most trustworthy individuals that I've ever encountered in my life. What a guy! I honestly can't trust him more. Not evil in any way, Bill is a true gentleman", to large bloody red letters reading, "Can't Be Trusted!" and "DO NOT SUMMON AT ALL COSTS!" must have really hurt the Author. Thinking about how the Author of Journal 3 must have felt when "the friendliest and most trustworthy individual" they knew had betrayed them is honestly heartbreaking.
  • While Stan's sleeping, at one point he shuffles around a little, and you hear him mutter, "No, I'm sorry!" Gosh, I wonder what unpleasant memory that could be dredging up?
  • The shot of the broken swing set, when you consider what it was like back in Stan and Ford's childhood.
    • The right swing is broken—that's Stan's swing. It's a subtle representation of how Stan felt that his childhood wasn't all that great.
    • You can't help just wanting to give Dipper a hug when he thinks that Stan wants to get rid of him and hears Stan say, "The kid's a loser. He's weak! He's an utter embarrassment! I just wanna get rid of him." while looking at Dipper trying to cut wood. Especially when you consider how painful Stan's past really was.
    • Doubles as Heartwarming, but The Reveal when Stan talks to Soos about why he is so strict with Dipper: he explains that he used to be considered the "biggest wimp on the playground" and was bullied. He toughened up thanks to his dad bringing signing him up for boxing, and believes that Dipper needs be toughened up too. "So when the world fights, he fights back."
  • "Dreamscaperers" ends with Gideon successfully stealing the deed to the Mystery Shack. The worst part? The usual end credits scene is replaced with a tranquil shot of the forest and a river while a somber version of the opening theme plays. To Be Continued indeed.

    Gideon Rises 
  • "Gideon Rises" starts off with the Pines family staying over in Soos's Abuelita's house after getting kicked out of the Mystery Shack in "Dreamscaperers." It also reveals Soos's depressing and somewhat unkempt living condition: the walls of the house are cracked and missing paint, some of the floorboards are broken, the kitchen cabinets are battered and missing nails, there's cockroaches, a broken toaster, and there isn't even any batteries for Soos's race car set. Soos's grandma saying, "This is not good. I cannot feed such a big family." was no joke either especially with Soos suddenly being jobless—there was only less than a cup of milk in the fridge.
  • When Wendy briefly arrives in front of the Pines and Soos, and explains that she would be forced to move to work at her cousin's logging camp if she's jobless. Dipper's expression and speechlessness during the fade transition really reflects how much Gideon owning the Mystery Shack is taking its toll on everyone that worked and lived there.
    • Wendy is still dealing with Robbie trying to win her back...
  • When Stan lies to Dipper and Mabel's parents about the living conditions. You can see him slowly come to the conclusion, both during and after the phone call that the situation is too much for the kids.
  • Just when you thought Gideon couldn't get even more heartless, he burns a framed photo of Stan, Mabel, and Dipper's fishing trip.
    • Poor Waddles was trying to climb out of one of the Shack's windows, and ends up cowering in fear of Gideon when he shouts and uses a training whistle at the pig to get back in his corner. Waddles even huddles down and covers his eyes with his ears.
  • The whole scene where Grunkle Stan admits to the twins that he can't take care of them anymore and that it's best that they go home instead is upsetting. He's clearly uncomfortable with telling the truth, and it's worse that he was giving up so easily.
  • Dipper and Mabel's plan to get the deed back fails, and Gideon has Journal 3. With no other options left, they have to leave Gravity Falls, leaving a sad, hunched over Stan, Wendy, Candy, and Grenda behind. The latter two are holding each other sadly.
    • The fact that Wendy looks forlorn as the bus drives away really says something.
    • You can tell that things are at their Darkest Hour when they don't even make a joke at the act break.
    • Stan being at Rock Bottom in his life. Again. Though it's mitigated a bit by the Parody Commercial that comes on at the end.
      Stan: Well, Stan, this is it. Rock bottom. No friends, no family, stuck watching infomercials for whatever that is...
    • After Season 2, it gets worse in hindsight: Not only is Stan homeless, jobless and separated from Dipper and Mabel....he has no way to get his brother back.
    • Notice how Mabel's legs are tucked into her sweater on the bus ride. She's in Sweater Town again.
  • Dipper and Mabel desperately trying to hold on to each other as the Gideon-bot picks them up.
  • Gideon's taunting of Dipper in this episode was just awful, especially if you've ever thought little of yourself. Gideon is just rubbing it in Dipper's face that he's a weak little kid, which is Dipper's worst fear.
    Gideon: What are you gonna do? No muscles, no brains... face it, kid! You're nothing without this [journal].
  • Even though the townspeople enabled Gideon, you have to feel sorry for them when Stan proves that he was scamming them. They put a lot of trust in him, as well as money. So it’s a shock to find that he was using them and invading their privacy. Durland and Tyler Cutebiker take it especially hard.
  • Stan receiving all three journals, as it's revealed that Stan really does know more than he lets on, and that he just unlocked a secret that might change Gravity Falls as we know it is sure to shed some Manly Tears.
    Stan: After all these years... finally. I/we]] have them all.

Season 2

  • In "Scary-oke", Dipper is very nearly eaten by zombies. If Grunkle Stan hadn't pulled a Big Damn Heroes moment, what would Dipper's last words have been?
    Dipper: Mabel, I'm sorry!
  • If Stan hadn’t arrived in time, he would have seen Dipper and Mabel get killed.
  • While Mabel quickly bounces back from it, she’s clearly disappointed in Dipper that he didn’t listen to her about not doing anything supernatural. Especially since it put her friends Candy and Grenda in danger.

    Into the Bunker 
  • "Into the Bunker" has Dipper struggling to tell Wendy how he feels. He pulls out of an attempt while watching a movie at her house, and ultimately decides against doing it all together by the time the adventure has started; but Mabel intervenes and, before long, Dipper ends up letting it slip. As expected, the age gap between them means that (for now at least), they'll just be friends. However, the Heartwarming kicks in when she reveals she wasn't bothered, but actually quite flattered and lets him down gently.
    • The circumstances under which Dipper reveals his crush to Wendy. After a confrontation with Experiment 210, Dipper finds Wendy on the ground, unresponsive. Believing her to be hurt or possibly dead, he ends up admitting his love for her out of guilt and begins crying. Jason Ritter's acting really doesn't help, especially in the last few lines of dialogue.
      Dipper: Oh no, oh no! This is all my fault! If I had told you when we were in the closet, we wouldn't be in this mess! But I was too scared and now you could be hurt, or WORSE and... I never even got a chance to tell you I'm like... in LOVE with you, Wendy!
    • The fact that the real Wendy was fine and the unconscious Wendy was really 210 hardly diminishes the moment.

    The Golf War 
  • The whole sequence with Big Henry in "Golf War." Like the infamous "Feed the Kitty" cartoon, an over-the-top scenario of hysterics wound up affecting some of the audience in ways the writers probably didn't expect. At the very least, this is the first cartoon to get you to cry over the death of a golf-ball gnome.
  • It's brief, but learning that Pacifica's father and mother are a couple of self-absorbed and neglectful stage parents really puts the snobby girl's usual attitude in a sadder light.
    • The whole scene is Harsher in Hindsight knowing the above. Preston tells Pacifica "Whatever happens, remember: you're a Northwest. Don't lose." When Pacifica returns home, a special light show and banner of congratulations are turned on for her. Putting two and two together, it means that Pacifica's parents knew the only reason Pacifica would even be returning home is if she had won. If she had lost, she would never come back since she understood perfectly well that her parents would disown her and thus wouldn't want her back.
    • This resurfaces in "Northwest Mansion Mystery", showing that it's even worse than that: Her parents see her as a Trophy Child, and have mentally abused her via Pavlov's Dog-style conditioning to follow their snobby, selfish and heartless ways, without a single thought or care to her own feelings so long as she continues to make their family look "respectable" (in their terms of the word, of course.).

    Sock Opera 
  • A big portion of "Sock Opera", especially Dipper and Mabel arguing.
  • The way Bill tempts Dipper to lend him a "puppet": by projecting a series of all the sacrifices Dipper's made for Mabel this summer while asking, "Besides, what's your sister done for you lately? How many times have you sacrificed for her, huh? And when has she ever returned the favor?" The worst part is that he's absolutely right.
    • Worse still, the fact that Dipper accepts the offer despite himself.

    Soos and the Real Girl 
  • "Soos and the Real Girl" highlights that Soos has never had an actual girlfriend before. A good chunk of the episode consists of Soos struggling to flirt with various women so he could appeal to his Abuelita's wishes of him having a girlfriend and showing up to his cousin's engagement party. His flirting is so bad and awkward that he scares so many of the women away, making him feel especially insecure when he catches sight of Reggie and his fiancee at the mall.
  • .GIFfany herself from the same episode. Her entire behavior just oozes of abandonment issues. Not to mention how this line comes across upon learning more about her and her backstory had more than one viewer genuinely feeling sorry for her. Especially with the above mentioned likely abandonment issues in mind.
    .GIFfany: And I'm sure you won't abandon me, new boyfriend.
    • It goes a bit deeper than that, her creators essentially wanted to delete her for being too advanced (acting like an individual, rather than a product), essentially making her first relationship with anyone similar to a parent trying to kill their child. She's so desperate for the affection that she puts her trust into someone to the point that she'd do anything to make sure the relationship works (she seems to strain herself a little when receiving compliments from Soos for instance).

    Little Gift Shop of Horrors 
  • Mabel's depressed reaction to Waddles becoming intelligent and leaving her behind to pursue science in "Little Gift Shop Of Horrors."
    • Even sadder when you realize Stan was actually telling the story of himself and Ford's childhood, but with the ending changed to make the Ford stand-in stay with him instead; it gives the story a whole new meaning...
      Mabel [representing Stan]: Welcome to May May and the Hogg. Top story today: coping with crippling loneliness after losing my co-host.

    Society of the Blind Eye 
  • Mabel bursting into tears at the beginning of the episode when she reads Mermando's letter, informing her of his arranged marriage, as well as the miserable look on Mermando's face in his picture. It's depressing to imagine a twelve year old kid being forced into a such a heavy burden, with a manatee, no less, all to prevent a war. Oh, the huge manatee... she's so beautiful...
  • Old Man McGucket's melancholy reaction to his reputation as a local kook. He's just lucid enough to know how much of an outcast he is. Not to mention the sequence at the end, where McGucket watches himself slowly go mad thanks to repeated use of the mind-erasing gun.
    • Old Man McGucket's first name is Fiddleford, and he was actually sane before constantly using the memory gun to erase unsettling memories. He had been so traumatized from what he had found out in a previous project he was working on that he ends up creating the memory gun and established the Blind Eye Society so that he and others could forget bad or disturbing memories, or to remain unaware of the weirdness in Gravity Falls.
    • Mabel's reaction to watching is heart-wrenching, both in content and how her VA delivers it with total believability:
      Mabel: Oh... McGucket, I'm so... sorry...
    • The latter makes his son's treatment of him even Harsher in Hindsight, as well as his wife.
    • It's mostly a Moment of Awesome, but the fact that McGucket has destroyed his mind to the point where he's attained Insanity Immunity really goes to show how far gone the poor man has become.
    • In the same episode, Wendy admitting that her laid-back personality is actually a front for how stressed her family makes her.
      • To take it just a step further, Word of God revealed that "Wendy's mom is no longer with her."
    • Dipper admits that he's not sure of his identity besides being the smart one.
    • The decoded text for the cipher at the end of "Society of the Blind Eye":

    Blendin's Game 
  • In "Blendin's Game", we find out that Soos really dislikes celebrating his birthday. It turns out he has a really good reason: his dad left him when he was four years old, and every year on his birthday, he gets a half-hearted postcard from him that always says more or less the same thing: that he's "busy" and he'll be sure to show up next year. On his twelfth birthday, Soos finally had to face the fact that his dad was never going to come back, and ever since then, he's carried around that same old postcard, and a deep dislike for birthdays. Poor guy could really use a hug...
    • The way his dislike is revealed is no slouch in this department, either. He looks incredibly perturbed and loses a lot of his energy, awkwardly excusing himself like he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Even from that point, you know something went terribly wrong if Soos is acting like this.
      • Even sadder, he has an absolutely shocked, trapped expression when he first sees all the effort they went to for him, meaning that he's likely feeling guilty about disappointing his friends as well.
      • Dipper and Mabel's situation, even without Time Travel and Blendin is pretty sad: You have a friend who's a big brother to you, and you find out it's their birthday and they seem to have forgotten. You throw them a party, only to find out that they don’t like their birthday. And when you try to fix things for the friend, you find out that it's something beyond your control. Luckily, nobody is angry at them for it (Soos tries not to show his sadness and Wendy and Stan understand that they didn't know), but it's still pretty heavy.
      • According to Word of God, Soos' mother is Hispanic and his father is white. When we see his extended family at the party, they're all clearly from his mother's side…which implies that not only is his dad not around, neither are his parental relatives.
      • And to top it off, his mom isn't around either…
  • Blink and you'll miss it, but if you pay very close attention during the time travel segments, you can spot the Gleefuls walking by with a newborn Gideon in a baby carriage. They looked like a perfectly normal, happy family. Just... what happened...?
    • This ended up being indirectly answered in the defictionalized blacklight edition of Journal 3: Gideon's amulet had corrupted his soul. It's why he's so evil and authoritative towards his own parents, and his parents were unaware of this since it seems he's had the amulet seemingly ever since he was an infant.

    The Love God 
  • Even though Robbie's been a Jerkass towards Dipper for most of the summer, it's pretty awful that he was avoidant of his friends, and had been moping over his break-up with Wendy for weeks. He favored sulking in an open grave and dumping dirt over himself instead of getting over the break-up. (Mabel certainly noticed.)
  • "The Love God" is pretty dour. The hardest part to watch would be Wendy's group of friends being broken apart after Mabel uses a Love Potion on Tambry and Robbie.
    • Thompson's pleas to the group to not break apart, saying he'll be alone again without them. It's sadder since he's deliberately been the Butt-Monkey of Wendy's group.
    • Dipper's predicament in the episode. He was amazingly happy to be part of Wendy's social circle and they were as happy with him and Mabel there. Then everything went down.

    Northwest Mansion Mystery 
  • Pacifica in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" is one little bundle of sad. During Dipper's "Reason You Suck" Speech to the Northwests, he calls out Pacifica for being no better than her parents. She's visibly affected by it but can't defend her actions because of her father, and is only able to blush in frustration and humiliation at her powerlessness. Then when she discovers that she comes from a family that has always been thieves, cheaters and liars, all she can do is sit in the dark flicking a flashlight. Also, the family portrait shows a younger Pacifica... with a goofy smile very similar to Mabel's.
    • Listen to her saying "Dipper, you came back!" before he starts accusing them all of what they did. She has genuine joy in her voice, since someone she actually considers a friend might party with her. And then there's a split second shot of her before she apologizes, with her face filled with regret at being faced with betraying one of the few people who actually cared about her.
    • When she says to Dipper, "You were right about me all along. I am just another link in the world's worst chain," her voice actually cracks, as if she's doing all she can to hold back from crying.
    • Her parents literally use Pavlovian training on her... It's to the point that she's terrified to so much as step foot on their expensive carpet with dirty shoes and would rather take her chances with a vengeful Lumberjack Ghost. She never had a choice in betraying Dipper. Her father and mother chose for her.
      • Pacifica fearing the bell so much that she wears that seafoam dress, stops defending herself when Dipper is accusing the family of knowing about the curse, and worst of all, almost not opening the doors to the mansion to break the curse when her father begins ringing it multiple times. You can see the horrified look on her face every time it's rung.
  • The ghost's story is pretty heartbreaking, and if he wasn't Ax-Crazy and out for Revenge, even on people who don't know the truth, it would be pretty easy to root for him.
    • Lumberjack Ghost was commissioned along with many others by Pacifica's ancestor to build the Northwest Manor, and in return a grand party would be held to honour their hard work. For what is implied to have taken at least years, the construction took a hefty toll as many had died due to intense labour and cruel conditions of nature. In the end, the manor was complete, and those who had survived made their way to the promised party, only to be betrayed by the Northwests and cast out. Then to put icing on the cake, the Lumberjack demanded entry, only to be swept up in a mudslide, and be killed by an axe sent flying into his skull.
  • Dipper's horrified expression when the mirror breaks and releases the Lumberjack Ghost, realizing that he inadvertently put Mabel (and everyone else) in danger.
  • When Mabel, Candy, and Grenda get turned into trees, they had spent their last moments yelling at each other, completely unaware of the danger. Just imagine that being your last true memory of your friends, and you're not even able to apologize afterwards.

    Not What He Seems 
  • The sheer horror Dipper and Mabel go through when they discover that Grunkle Stan is an imposter that had lied to them about the journals, and think he is going to destroy the universe. After seeing Stan and the twins bond over water balloons, it's heartbreaking to see them think the worst of him. Even Soos loses faith in Stan.
    • An easy to miss Freeze-Frame Bonus: Stan has a "Daddy Issues" book on his shelf amongst an assortment of other books.
    • When Soos guards the vending machine, he comments that he wants Stan to adopt him. Not only does this confirm that Stan is his father figure, it's really harsh when viewed through the lens of his father situation in "Blendin's Game."
    • "Don't press that button." Knowing what Stan has to lose upon rewatch, coupled with Alex Hirsch's brilliant acting.
    • Even worse is Mabel's increasingly desperate insisting that the whole thing is just one big, horrible misunderstanding.
    • Dipper's complete and utter disgust and outrage at the whole thing is particularly hard to watch. Jason Ritter was on his A-game during those scenes.
      Dipper: And I should trust you why?! After you stole radioactive waste?! After you lied to us all summer?! I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
    • Mabel being forced to choose between trusting her brother or great uncle—a case of logic vs feelings. The reversed gravity makes it clear that she's in tears.
    • That little crack in Mabel's voice when she says "I want to believe you..." is such a jarring contrast from her normally bright, loud voice.
    • Stan desperately pleading that everything he did, he did for the sake of the Pines family, even as he acknowledges that he did some bad things. No matter what, Stan does truly love Dipper and Mabel (and his brother), and you can feel how much it hurts him that the twins are doubting that, especially Mabel judging by the pain in his voice when he asks, "You really think I'm a bad guy?"
    • "Grunkle Stan... I trust you."
    • Not to mention the hurt and anger in Dipper's voice when she chooses to trust Stan over him, especially after declaring her his closest confidant at the beginning of the series.
    • Stan was willing to risk destroying the entire universe just to see his brother again.
    • In retrospect, Stan's comment about Dipper and Mabel: "It's unnatural for siblings to get along as well as you do." Does this imply that Stan was not a good friend to his brother before he disappeared? Worse; "A Tale of Two Stans" shows that they got along famously as kids, but one accident and several years of mutual bitterness completely destroyed whatever friendship they had before. It's as if Stan has forgotten what a good sibling relationship is supposed to look like.
      • To add to this, Stan's repeated desperate line when he's being held up by the fed: "I have to be there when it happens!" Keep in mind that at this point he feels all will go as planned with the machine and his brother will return... he is just that obsessed with being the first person his brother sees upon arrival, to welcome him back and possibly beg his forgiveness for their past troubles.

    A Tale of Two Stans 
  • First off, there's a lot of things about this episode that has massive amounts of Tear Jerker moments that make earlier gags and one-off moments Harsher in Hindsight or Funny Aneurysm Moments, to the point you could say a non-canon tagline for the episode is "it's not funny anymore." Good luck looking at almost anything involving Stan, or watching the show at all without feeling sad inside after this...
    • Most of the jokes about Stan's conman past also fall into this category now that we know he was doing it all just to earn enough money for his family to take him back and never succeeded, and had forced himself to fake his death and take Stanford's name in order to maintain his brother's mortgage for the Mystery Shack to continue to try to bring the real Stanford back.
    • In "Dreamscaperers", a part of Stan's mindscape has a creepy Abandoned Playground. At the end of "Not What He Seems", we see the playground again... where Stan and his brother sat together and watched the sunset as children.
    • All of the moments regarding Stan in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" can be seen as a big Wham Episode. Stan's fishing boat, the Stan O' War, is a lot more heartbreaking after we see that he and his brother used to own a different boat under the same name before their falling out.
    • Stan's interest in the Sad Clown portrait from "The Hand That Rocks The Mabel" falls into Cerebus Retcon for two reasons: Stan had overheard his principal actually call him a clown and hammered down with Brutal Honesty about Stan's bleak future, and Stan's spontaneous dark response about life in the "Bottomless Pit!" short, "Trooth Ache", happened while he, Dipper, and Mabel was watching a certain someone juggling and riding a unicycle on the television. Although Stan doesn't admit it, it's safe to assume that he liked the portrait because he relates to it—he feels as if he's the Sad Clown.
    • Stan in the episode "Little Dipper": "My one and only dream, which is to possess money, has come true!"
      This episode: Stan and Ford's father: "And until you make us a fortune, you aren't welcome in this household." Ouch.
    • Remember when Stan was hilariously overreacting to "The Duchess Approves" from "The Inconveniencing" episode? Specifically, that scene where he sobs, "It's just like my life!" as the Duchess ends up disagreeing with her mother? There's a chance it's bringing up painful memories of being disowned.
    • Remember when Stan being in the Colombian prison in "Dreamscaperers"? And that joke from the Gravity Falls Gossiper podcast where he said he was in Gravity Falls because it was the only place the police didn't know where he was? It's now revealed that he engaged in a lot of illegal activities that got him put in jail three times, and he managed to break out every time.
      • Even the line where he says the two convicts are the best friends he could have had is harsher in hindsight now, considering The Reveal of his Friendless Background.
    • Stan's tattoo. He wasn't lying when he said he didn't have a tattoo—because it's a burn scar. It's the mark of his final, stupid argument with his brother. In addition, when rewatching the "Dipper's Guide" short, "Stan's Tattoo", after watching "A Tale of Two Stans", Stan getting angry at Dipper for trying to see his "tattoo" is not funny anymore.
      Stan: You're never gonna see it, kid. Never. Gonna. See it.
    • While this one isn't funny, remember how irritable Stan was over the hidden room, and how he spent a lot of the "Carpet Diem" episode moping while looking at a pair of glasses? It's revealed in this episode that he spent close to a month in that room in a Heroic BSoD, and the glasses are his brother's. He was remembering how he accidentally sent his brother into another dimension. Small wonder that he boarded the place up.
    • Stan being fairly lenient with Wendy, Soos, and Gompers suddenly makes sense since he's probably feeling sympathetic for them despite often being indirect about it.
    • Stan telling Dipper he's grounded AFTER the party in "Scary-oke" now makes sense, seeming like a light punishment at the time, and a punishment that Dipper and Stan both forget after the former summons zombies; Stan knows what it's like to get Disproportionate Retribution for a huge mistake in the family.
    • A "Funny Aneurysm" Moment variant, but while at first glance Stan's initial shock at seeing his wax counterpart and his later overemotional reaction to its "death" in "Headhunters" just seems like the hammy and hilarious outburst of a narcissistic old man, the reveal that Stan has a twin brother who he's been separated from for the past three decades makes it much more tragic. Especially if you take into account that Stan may have been using the wax version of himself as a substitute for his brother...
    • Back in "Little Gift Shop of Horrors", Grunkle Stan told a lighthearted story about Waddles becoming an Uplifted Animal and getting isolated from his best friend Mabel, who wanted him to be fun and dumb. Now he retells the tale—with his brother as Waddles and himself as Mabel. Suddenly, the story isn't so funny...
  • The first thing Stanford does after walking out of the portal is punch his elated twin brother in the face.
    • When Stan asks for a thank you from Ford for saving him, and Ford replies with how dangerous the whole action was and with bottled up resentment over the incident with his old high school project. Stan calls Ford ungrateful and nearly reciprocates the punch back.
  • When Stanley and Stanford were kids, they used be bullied by a boy named Crampelter and his friends. Stan used to be harassed for being weak (as depicted in a memory in "Dreamscaperers"), and Ford was bullied for his intellect and having six fingers on each hand.
  • In their senior year of high school, Stanford and Stanley were brought to the principal's office with their parents but Stanley's told to wait outside. Stanford is told by the principal that he's a genius, his future's bright, and that the admissions team of his dream college is coming to look at his latest experiment, and this makes his not easily impressed father proud. When their mother asks about Stanley's chances of success, however, the principal dismissively responds with:
    That clown? At this rate he'll be lucky to graduate high school. Look, there's a saltwater taffy store on the dock. And somebody's gotta get paid to scrape the barnacles off of it. Stanford's goin' places. But hey, look on the bright side: at least you'll have one son here in New Jersey forever.
    • And unbeknownst to any of them, Stanley overhears the entire conversation and just sits huddled against the door, crushed emotionally and almost on the verge of tears.
  • Stanford created a perpetual motion machine for the science fair for an opportunity to go to his dream college, and Stan ended up accidentally breaking it by angrily pounding on the table that it was displayed on. This made Stanford lose a college scholarship, and ruined his chances to go to his dream school. In response, the Pines family disowned him, claiming that he wouldn't be allowed back into their home until he made up for the money they would have gained. As a result, Stanley was left homeless, and worked as a traveling Snake Oil Salesman just to survive. This continually failed, leaving him with only about a peso to his name.
    • Stanley was thrown out of his home. This is sad enough, but consider that he hadn't even graduated high school at this point. Given that his birthday is in June, Stan was only seventeen at this event. His parents not only kicked their son out of his home, which is already awful, but he really was still a child at that point.
    • Even worse, in hindsight the machine breaking might not have been Stan's fault at all.
    • And lastly, an already harsh moment made even harsher. Remember how heartbroken Stan was when he asked Mabel if she really thought he was a bad guy? Aside from the bond he formed with the twins being close to be broken, it turns out that a member of his family thinking he was a bad guy caused him to lose his brother, and it was really close to happening again.
  • The fact that Stanford thought Stanley intentionally sabotaged the machine and cost Ford his dream school because he thought Stan cared more about his treasure hunting idea than what his brother actually wanted. Ford's so upset that he refused to believe that it was an accident nor intervenes when their dad kicks Stanley out.
  • The moment where a destitute Stanley contacts Stanford through a pay phone but finds he cannot bring himself to say anything or plead for help. Notably, this is a moment of Unreliable Narrator as Stanley fibs that he was doing great and needed help from no one.
    • It also teases what could have been. There's no knowing that had Stanley been more open, perhaps Stanford would have accepted him back in his life.
  • Fiddleford was the only person Stanford became friends with while he was in college, and was the only person he trusted to help him with researching on all the weirdness residing in Gravity Falls. After Fiddleford accidentally catches a glimpse of the other side of the portal, he quits working on the Interdimensional Portal with Ford after seeing the repercussions of it fully functioning. Ford thereafter slowly begins to lose his sanity and becomes a disheveled, tremendously paranoid wreck—he adds a "STAY OUT" and a "NO TRESPASSING!" signs along with fences and wiring around the cabin, and doesn't want anyone to visit him asides from Stan. Ford was doing the the most significant note he wrote in Journal 3: TRUST NO ONE!
    • This was the moment that traumatized Fiddleford and when he began constructing the memory gun and eventually recruiting members for the Blind Eye Society.
    • This moment was also where Ford omitted explaining what and who exactly caused his intense distrust and paranoia entirely out of shame—he deliberately made it sound like his intense paranoia was only because Fiddleford quit when it was actually much worse than that: he was an Unwitting Pawn. Stanford only confides in a later episode titled, "The Last Mabelcorn."
  • Despite the entire incident with Stanford's project and his poverty, Stanley drives all the way to Gravity Falls after receiving a postcard from Ford. Stan was still greatly ashamed of the accident that he hesitates to knock, and talks to himself for reassurance before knocking on Ford's door.
    Stan[to himself]: You haven't seen your brother in over ten years. It's okay. He's family. He won't bite. [knocks]
  • How Stanley's face changes from joyful hope to disappointment and anger when his brother asks him if he remembers their old treasure-hunting plans, then tells him to sail away and never come back.
  • The actual moment when Stan accidentally sends Ford through the portal. This, along with that last fight and the burn mark that reminds Stan of it, was too poignant, even when you were expecting it. As soon as Ford starts floating toward it, Stan immediately panics and instantly regrets fighting with his brother, and then helplessly calls out his name after he's gone. Seeing what he was like afterwards, lying wide awake in bed, staring at the ceiling as he huddles his brother's glasses and journal against his body like a scared child is just heartbreaking.
    Stan: Stanford? Stanford, come back! [starts pounding on the portal] I didn't mean it! [tries to pull the portal's lever] I just got him back, I can't lose him again! Come on! STANFORD!!
    Stan [narrating]: I'd lost him. I didn't know if he was dead or alive in some distant galaxy, but I knew his journal must have the answer to getting him back. Somehow...
    • The moment when Stan's in the grocery store trying to buy bread, and he only manages to pull a peso, a scrap of paper, and a paper clip out of his pocket. Really drives home just how much he's lost.
      • This was partially mitigated when some of the people of Gravity Falls garner interest in him and mistake him for Ford, the "mysterious owner" of the cabin. Stan's in a lot of discomfort at the positive claims, but after they mentioned that they're willing to pay for tours of Ford's cabin, he knew he had to utilize his conman experience. The pauses in his response and his sorrowful expression as he says his name is Stanford really seals in how much remorse he has for this decision.
  • Stanley spent every day of thirty years trying to make up for an angry, impulsive mistake and get his brother back. Ford's response? To tell him he's only allowed to continue sticking around until the kids leave at the end of the summer, then he has to fork over the house, take all his junk, and get lost.
    • Stan's response to that? He ruefully asks, "You really aren't going to thank me, are you?" then adds that he will leave, as Ford wants him to, but only if Ford keeps away from Dipper and Mabel, because, "as far as I'm concerned, they're the only family I have left." Him not wanting Dipper and Mabel getting into more trouble than they already did is sweet, but him disowning his twin brother is soul-crushing, especially since we see his sad, hesitant face afterwards before he leaves, as if he wonders if he should or could say something to make it, or everything that happened before, better. Arguably worse is that we don't see Ford's reaction and have no real way of knowing how being rejected and considered a danger affected him. Also bears remembering that Stan admittedly faked his death so he could play Ford, which means that if Ford sticks to his demands and kicks him out at the end of the summer, Stan not only has nowhere to go, not even to Dipper and Mabel's, but has to assume a fake identity again. And if Grunkle Stan doesn't, what happens to Ford? How does he explain having been in another dimension for 30 years?
  • The general decline in the Stans' relationship is one of the sadder things to watch in the show as it is very realistically portrayed. They were inseparable as children, then fell out completely near the end of high school after Stanley accidentally destroyed Stanford's perpetual motion device in a fit of frustration. Rather than giving the cathartic reunion that the audience wants (and Mabel awkwardly expresses a desire for by suggesting that the Stans "hug it out"), the episode ends with Stanley and Stanford still on horrible terms and with no sign that this is likely to improve.
  • Considering Stan's age, it's pretty safe to assume that Stan and Ford's parents are dead at this point. Which means that the last conversation Stan ever had with his parents was them disowning him. While Stan and Ford can still potentially make amends and rekindle their friendship, Stan will never accomplish his goal of making his parents proud of him again, not that he really cares anymore.
    • It's especially sad if you remember "Dreamscaperers", where Stan's flashback to his father showed that he did in fact care for Stan at one point.
    • There's a worse alternative. The only person we hear say Stan's father cared for him was, well, Stan. It's very possible Stan's father was always an uncaring jerk... and Stan's explanation was nothing more than a rationalization for his dad's behavior. "He was trying to toughen me up" is a much easier pill to swallow than "he never cared about me."
    • On top of this, Stan being kicked out is the last time we see or hear about their parents. It's never mentioned when they likely died of old age, but considering when Stan took Ford's identity, it's entirely possible if they ever wanted to make amends, the only one they could turn to is Stanford, and Stanford himself probably wouldn't help after their feud. Alternatively, the last thing they heard of the son they kicked out was that he died in a car crash, possibly from foul play, in a con life he turned to out of desperation for survival and to win their approval back. It's almost sadder to imagine they did care, since they would go to their graves assuming they Never Got to Say Goodbye and a pretty terrible case of Parting Words Regret.
    Filbrick: All you ever do is lie and cheat right on your brother's coattails. Well this time you cost our family potential millions! And until you make us a fortune, you aren't welcome in this household.
  • The fact that, in spite of not attending the college of his choice, Stanford still got everything he had initially wanted (hell, he states he didn't even mind working harder, and got a sizable grant anyway) effectively making his anger at Grunkle Stan completely unnecessary and pointless. The fact that he actually holds on to this point even when it's shown that his spiral into being a mystery obsessed hermit is his own fault is at the same time infuriating and depressing.
  • Mabel's fear that she and Dipper will end up like Stan and Ford. Even after Dipper reassures her, you can still tell it bothers her.
  • Ford is shown constantly hiding his hands behind his back, and even gives a handshake using a fist. It just shows how deeply his insecurities go…
  • The biggest tragedy of all is the sheer pointlessness of continuing the argument; Stanley was telling the truth when he said it was an accident and didn't need to be kicked out as long he did, even though it wasn't his first choice Ford still achieved his grades with the grant money, and their parents were never going to get the grant money because it was for Ford's use only. Their anger and stubbornness drove a wedge that could never be removed.

    Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons  
  • At the start of the episode, it's hard to not feel bad for Dipper when he thinks that Ford, the mysterious author he's been trying to find for most of the summer, seems to have no interest in spending time with him.
  • Dipper not being able to find a friend to play a game with him can be relatable to some people.
    Dipper: Maybe I should start obsessing over Wendy again...
  • Mabel's sad look on her face as she realizes that Dipper is drifting away from her and towards the Author because of her teasing. There's a painful realization that she's doing what she was afraid of last episode—growing apart from her twin and having a bad relationship with him.
    Dipper: I knew the Author must be cool, but he's better than I imagined! And... he doesn't make fun of me all the time the way you and Grunkle Stan do.
    Mabel: Give him time! Ha ha, HEY-OH!
    Mabel: Nah, you got me. [turns away sadly] You got me.
  • Ford admits that his abandoning his work at the drop of a hat to play the game with Dipper was because after thirty years on the other side of the portal, he's desperate for human companionship. And it doesn't seem likely to come from Stan any time soon.
  • Ford allowing Dipper to see what he's been doing at the end has some small moments here and there, but also heartwarming in that he trusts Dipper enough to show him.
    Ford: You asked me earlier what I was working on. Well... [removes curtain to reveal the destroyed portal] I dismantled the portal. An interdimensional gateway is too dangerous for the world it feeds into. That's why I was mad at Stan for using it. He saved me but, as I feared....
  • Deputy Durland's Heel Realization while he, Soos, and Blubs was in a FCLORPing session at the end credits scene. It's poignant since Durland is the most childish of the bunch, though Blub's response prompts Durland to pull an Ignored Epiphany shortly after:
    Durland: Guys, do you ever think that maybe we're doin' this 'cause our lives aren't special enough? That we use fantasy as an escape to avoid the self-improvement we all need? That maybe we should just go out and grow as people?

    The Stanchurian Candidate 
  • There's few moments from the episode that really stand out. But what really cements this episode for the category is what it reveals about Stan. He feels as if he gets no respect, and is depressed with what he's done with his life.
    • He specifically feels overshadowed by Ford, and had felt Soos and the kids was going to end up favoring Ford over him (just like his parents did). It's made worse when he originally didn't want Ford anywhere near the twins, whom he felt was the "only family" he has left.
    • There doesn't seem to be any hope for Ford or Stan reconciling any time soon as Stan's words to the twins were simply that he gets "a bigger tombstone than Ford."
  • Dipper's outburst when he voices his and Mabel's thoughts that they have zero faith in Stan if he decides to run on his own without their (and indirectly, Ford's) help, as well as Stan's reaction to this.
  • His reaction when he ends up losing the town's favor during the final debate due to speaking his mind. His expression of hopelessness coupled with the realization that the twins were right about him is just heart-breaking.

    The Last Mabelcorn 
  • Ford's dream at the beginning of this episode has a swing set, the original Stan O' War, and a partially deconstructed Interdimensional Portal behind him—they're all symbolic moments Ford regrets the most in an endless field of wheat, quietly looming in the murky, polluted sky and reflecting how much Ford is subconsciously upset over his broken relationship with Fiddleford and Stan, especially Stan...
    • Unlike the swing set in Stan's mindscape, the swing set in Ford's dream is in good condition: It reflects how Ford assumed Stan was fine during their childhood.
    • Ford was close to potentially getting an epiphany from musing about what everything in his dream represented—but then an "old friend" appears and turns the dream into a nightmare.
  • When Stanford calls out a family meeting, Stanley is shown hearing the call but does not join in. Stanford proceeds without Stanley. It really is ambiguous whether Stanford would have welcomed Stanley into the meeting or moved on simply due to the urgency of the matter.
  • Mabel going into a Heroic BSoD because of the unicorn telling her that she's not pure of heart. Her expression after hearing, "It's not my fault you're a bad person" is absolutely crushing.
    • To further twist the knife, it turns out the unicorn was lying the whole time, and only pulled the whole "pure of heart schtick" so the others would leave her alone. To rub salt on the wound she taunts Mabel with a mocking tone after admitting this. The ensuing punch to the face is VERY cathartic.
  • It's kind of a downer that, according to Ford's mind-reading machine, Dipper still misses Tyrone.
    • Not as bad as the above, since it's Played for Laughs, but he hasn't gotten over Wendy either.
    • Ford clearly has a few regrets of his own.
    • Ford also heard Stan calling him "a dangerous know-it-all" with his work being "just as dangerous." This was on his mind while he was thinking about his past with Fiddleford and Bill, and it's a nice Call-Back to Stan hearing the principal call him a clown and a loser. Ford does care what his brother says because it was the truth, and he won't ever admit it.
    • It is shown that Dipper is quite traumatized by the events of "Sock Opera" and becoming Bill's puppet. While his mind is being scanned, the phrase "Eeny, Meeny, Miney, YOU!" is shown—the exact words Bill used before he possessed Dipper. That thought coming up when Bill is only mentioned puts his trauma in a real light. He even tried to erase Ford's memories in sheer panic because he thought Ford was possessed by Bill.
      Dipper: Trust no one, trust no one, trust...
      • Mabel made a joke about it earlier, but Dipper's fear of Bill is not played for laughs even slightly during his brief fight with Stanford.
        Stanford: Just put the gun down, p—
        Stanford: I was going to say please, kid!
      • The fact that Dipper literally echoed the note, "TRUST NO ONE!" back to Ford especially when the situation and the cause are both the same: paranoia on overdrive and the fact that Bill had tricked and possessed both of them. This is right after it was shown that Ford is one of the people Dipper can relate the most to, and his only real companion when it comes to "nerdy stuff." The fact that Dipper was willing to try and erase his memories really drives home just how much of a mark Bill has left on him.
  • Ford's expression when he starts to confess what happened between him and Bill. After revealing his metal plate blocks the memory ray, it hits him that Dipper has the right to know, being a twelve-year old boy that has seen more things than a kid his age ought to. He has to swallow his pride and reveal that he's not all-knowing or incorrigible.
    • Ford's explanation makes him Properly Paranoid as he tells Dipper about how he was an Unwitting Pawn for Bill. Stanford had considered Bill to be a great, trustworthy friend until he found out that Bill had tricked him into creating the Interdimensional Portal, which would cause The End of the World as We Know It. It makes some of his writings in Journal 3 and his retelling in "A Tale of Two Stans" and Harsher in Hindsight, as he genuinely felt he did not have anyone to trust after Fiddleford quit, and no friends to fall back on—a true Ineffectual Loner.

    Roadside Attraction 
  • Dipper's still not over Wendy. And he knows he should be, but he can't change how he feels.
  • Stan pretends to know what he's talking about, as usual, but turns out he's never been able to have a real relationship with a woman either (cemented by one of the ending cryptograms being about his lousy love-life). And he's so desperate for affection that he almost lets himself get tricked into freeing a vicious spider-lady that was trying to eat him a few minutes ago just with a few nice words from her.
  • Stan apologizing to Dipper for his terrible dating advice, revealing his past romantic history which includes a divorce. The way that he looks at Dipper, expecting disapproval and rejection before Dipper reassures him, really sells the scene.
  • Dipper finally learns how to talk to girls, but he makes a mess of things and ends up hurting a lot of feelings, including Candy's.
  • The episode ended in a Bittersweet Ending: While Dipper got over his crush on Wendy and reconciled with Candy, he still hasn't gotten a new girlfriend, Candy got over her own crush on Dipper, the Mystery Shack was vandalized, and Soos was accidentally left behind. Though the ending cryptogram revealed that he got home anyway, via a Shout-Out to Homeward Bound.

    Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future 
  • Right off the bat, the teaser reveals a very uncomfortable truth to us: summer's almost over. Given what has happened, there might not even be another summer, let alone another day.
  • This is the episode where the twins' relationship falls apart. To say this episode is a tear jerker is a huge understatement.
  • From the quick scene in the High School registration, it looks like Wendy, Robbie and Thompson have a pretty terrible time in school.
  • Due to a series of circumstances, nobody can come to the twins' party. Mabel even describes it as "going down in flames."
    • This is particularly worse for Mabel since Dipper doesn't actually hear his sister say this, as his walkie-talkie wasn't functioning properly at the time. So he wasn't aware of how upset she was, nor was he able to comfort her.
  • Dipper is automatically conflicted when Ford suggests him to stay and become his apprentice: his first thought was of school, along with how Mabel would be alone without him in California, and how they've never actually been separated like this before. Sure, he's got Ford complimenting him and his contributions to Journal 3, plus giving him a big opportunity to "fight monsters, solve mysteries, and protect [Gravity Falls]," but it's a drastic, life-changing decision—and Dipper is only twelve-years old.
  • It really stings to hear Ford describe being a twin as "suffocating", especially given how their memories in "A Tale of Two Stans" showed Stan supporting him in literally everything up until the family-ending incident. Either that feeling was always there to some degree and we just didn't see it in what was shown of the two's life before things went to hell, or perhaps some combination of everything that went wrong or was wrong even then has left Ford too jaded over their relationship to really see those memories fondly anymore.
  • While most of Stan's talk with Mabel is pretty sweet, his comment about how not everyone can have a sibling there for you like Dipper is for her, makes it very clear that even with all the hostility between the two, he still very much misses Ford. And worse still, after living together for at least several weeks by this point, there is no sign of their relationship truly improving. This also begs the question of what's going to happen to Stan after his brother will evict him at the end of the summer... assuming everyone makes it to the end.
  • Because the walkie-talkies were still on, Mabel overhears Dipper accepting Ford's offer to be his apprentice, meaning that after everything else that's gone wrong that day, she'll also be leaving Gravity Falls alone. From Mabel's perspective, Dipper's choosing sharing an adventure with the man he's known for all of a couple weeks at most over sharing a childhood with her. Dipper's efforts at letting her down gently when he gets back to the Shack doesn't help, and she ends up running out into the forest alone in tears, which is just the opening Bill needs.
    Mabel: Ford's apprentice? Seriously?
    Dipper: Look, I was thinking, and... this is a huge opportunity for me.
    Mabel: Well, it's a horrible opportunity for me! I had the worst day of my life! When we turn thirteen, summer ends and I have to leave everything behind. You're the only person I can count on, and now you're leaving me, too!?
    Dipper: Look, I've been thinking about it. I won't be gone forever, okay? I'll still visit you at home and... we'll chat online. We'll make it work.
    Mabel: I don't want it to work! I just wish summer could last forever...
    Dipper: But it can't, Mabel. Look, things aren't gonna stay frozen this way. It's part of growing up. Things change. Summer ends.
    [Mabel runs out of the room crying]
    Dipper: Mabel, wait! I didn't mean it like that! MABEL, COME BACK!
  • Mabel's return to Sweater Town, feeling like it's a week until her birthday and it (and the rest of her life) is already ruined.
  • Grenda and Candy's plans become Retirony as of the end of the episode, unhappy as they are with said plans. For Grenda, her big problem is that Marius has invited her to his mansion, and he's very "clingy." Candy in the meantime is dreading "music camp." Thanks to their best friend having a breakdown, neither may even make it to those events.
  • The clip that plays over the credits is a lingering shot of a poster for Dipper and Mabel's 13th birthday lying on the ground with the sounds of carnage in the distance. It really symbolizes how their childhood and innocence has truly ended there and then.

    Weirdmageddon Part 1 
  • Preston is turned into a Body Horror right in front of Pacifica. He may have been an abusive bastard who didn't truly love her, but he was her father nonetheless and witnessing that happen to him will leave some lasting scars on the poor girl.
  • The altered intro has several notable bits:
  • Grunkle Stan is missing.
  • Ford's expression when Bill tells him that he'd fit right in with his demonic friends because he has six fingers. Especially when he looks at his fingers the exact same way he did when he was a child.
  • Ford getting turned into a gold statue by Bill to use as a backscratcher after he refuses Bill's offer to join his freakish group. Dipper attempts to punch him after being goaded over his weakness and mocked for his reliance on the journals, Bill proceeds to burn all three of them, all the while claiming Dipper "shouldn't be a hero", and using Ford as an example of what happens to "heroes" in his world.
  • Considering they've been around since the beginning of the series seeing Bill destroy the journals is pretty upsetting to see. To ram it home, the insignia on Journal 3, the journal that was with Dipper from the start, is shown being burned and warped. Finally, the final scene before the commercial was the last remnant of Journal 3, a burnt piece of the page with Bill's entry, on the ground.
    • It goes far beyond just that. Until the portal incident, Stanford had dedicated his life to investigating the mysteries of Gravity Falls, and all of his knowledge was recorded within these journals. His research was the reason why he started dealing with Bill in the first place, why he created the portal to the Nightmare Realm. And just like that, it's all gone. With nary a gesture from Bill, years of Ford's work, of his blood, sweat and tears, of braving dangerous creatures and phenomena for the sake of knowledge... all gone up in flames, just like that.
  • Doubles as Heartwarming Moments, but this is possibly the lowest point in the series. The end of the world has come; the journals are destroyed; his family is scattered; his mentor is gone; he's spent three days living on the streets by himself during an Apocalypse, hunted by living nightmares—and amongst all this, Dipper decides that the one thing he needs most is Mabel.
  • After jumping the gorge causes the car to crash, Dipper spills out the side door, battered and covered in bruises. Then he looks up to see how close they are to Mabel's bubble and starts dragging himself towards it.
  • When Dipper is trying to convince Gideon to help him save Mabel, Dipper says he knows you can't force someone to love you, while looking over at Wendy.
  • Of all people, Gideon, the Big Bad of Season 1, pulls a tear jerker with a single line: "Would you tell her what I did?" Context implies that he's certain he won't be around to tell her himself. A nine year old boy is going to what he assumes is his death because he wants to become the person someone he loves can be proud of.
    • While it's downplayed for Gideon's redemption, Gideon finally realizing that Mabel will never return his feelings for her is empathetically tragic for a lot of the viewers who had bad experiences with romance.

    Weirdmageddon 2: Escape From Reality 
  • Despite the cheery setting, Mabeland is another version of Sweater Town for Mabel. She's only there because she's afraid of going back to the real world. She even states that she wanted to hide in her sweater forever when she thought Dipper would be leaving her.
    • Another example is shown when one rewatches Dipper, Soos and Wendy's entry into Mabeland. If you look at the face of the clocktower, you'll see it is divided into four - each section marked with a sun and the word "SUMMER". In other words, Bill granted her wish from the previous episode - summer would never end.
  • Dippy Fresh, the Totally Radical Dipper doppelganger Mabel (or Mabeland, since Mabel says it gives her things "before you realize you wanted them") dreamed up. While he's played for laughs, it's kind of sad that Mabel imagined a "better", more supportive version of her brother to replace him. In a way, she knows that the real Dipper and her perfect world are incompatible. No wonder Dipper hates him.
  • When Wendy's friends drive up in the monster truck, Robbie is not with them. This possibly means that Wendy may still have some deep-seated resentment towards Robbie for what he did to her.
  • Mabeland's method of tempting Soos, playing catch with his father. Which it has to create out of a couple other memories, since Soos has no idea what the guy looks like.
    • Even worse, in that Soos knows it's fake—but he can't pass up the chance to play just one game of catch with his "dad."
  • During the trial, Dipper is shown two memories from his and Mabel's past to argue that the fantasy world is better than reality. The first is the twins' photo day in 2nd grade. Mabel is cheerfully ready to take the best photo ever until a mean girl sticks gum in her hair and makes her cry. The second is in 4th grade on Valentine's Day when Dipper doesn't get a single valentine card, prompting the other kids to laugh at him and send him running out of the room in tears.
    • The scene is more poignant because it shows that Dipper and Mabel were somewhat ostracized for their personalities and that they barely have any friends before moving to Gravity Falls. This makes Mabel's desire to be friends with Candy and Grenda, as well as Dipper's desire to hang out with Wendy and her friends Harsher in Hindsight since they didn't have any friends at their summer home.
    • Arguably Dipper has this treatment worse—while Mabel was shown to have had a bully in 2nd Grade, she still received a sizable collection of Valentine's Day Cards in 4th Grade. Dipper got no cards, and was subsequently mocked by the entire class for it. Add in that Word of God states that Dipper is jealous of how socially competent Mabel is, Dipper's friends in Gravity Falls may be his only friends. Puts his earlier desire to stay and become Ford's apprentice in a completely different light...
  • The man who married a woodpecker is okay, but his avian wife has been petrified, and frozen on his arm.
  • Pacifica is the only member of her family to survive the abductions. They may be horrible people but being the only survivor or the remaining member of something is far from great for the mental state.
    • It gets worse when Pacifica sees what's become of her parents in the next episode.

    Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls 
  • What's the backwards message at the end of the theme? Goodbye Gravity Falls...
  • Ford going Oh, Crap! when Bill figures out that the twins are his weakness. Ford, who's been resisting Cold-Blooded Torture from the dream demon, begs Bill to not attack the kids as he's turned to gold.
  • Sheriff Blubs, Pacifica and Wendy's Cry Cute to seeing their families (and Durland) captured on the throne.
  • As the chosen ten townsfolk form the Zodiac in a last ditch effort to stop Bill, Stan and Ford still can't get along, which disrupts the ritual long enough for Bill to imprison everyone except for Dipper and Mabel. While imprisoned, Stan laments over dooming everyone because of his inability to let the past go and just take Ford's hand, calling himself "a screw-up" in the process, while the latter takes the blame for making a deal with Bill all those years ago, leading the two to finally bury the hatchet.
    Stan: How did things get so messed up between us?
    Ford: We used to be like Dipper and Mabel. The world's about to end and they still work together. How do they do it?
    Stan: Easy— they're kids. They don't know any better.
    • The reaction Ford and Stan have to Bill going after Dipper and Mabel with the explicitly stated desire to kill them, with Ford screaming and banging on the gates of their prison cage, not even trying to squeeze through the bars. It embodies the fear that your kids are in danger right in front of you and you are powerless to do anything about it.
    • What started the situation in the first place. Stan refused to cooperate with the plan, blaming Ford for the whole mess and refusing to help him solve it. When Ford asks him for a chance to make it right, Stan agrees under the condition of Ford thanking him for bringing him back to their dimension after thirty years. It's very heartbreaking to know that in spite of Stan spending three decades working tirelessly to save his brother and Ford spending weeks in the Mystery Shack, he never once thanked Stan for his sacrifice and still views him as "the selfish jerk" who ruined everything just by being there. Even sadder is that Stan has to blackmail Ford with The End of the World as We Know It to actually get him to do it... and even then his gratitude's half-hearted.
  • After the Zodiac plan backfires, Ford decides upon an alternative: let Bill into his mind. There's only one problem: due to the metal plate in his skull, they cannot use the memory gun to erase Bill for good because Ford's memories can't be erased... but it will work on Stan. But Bill wants Ford for his knowledge of how to bring the weirdness barrier (which is keeping him locked in Gravity Falls) down, and Ford is nearly willing to give in to save Dipper and Mabel. So what do they decide to do? Twin Switch. Stan takes Ford's place, tricks Bill into entering his mind, and lets Ford wipe his mind.
    • Plus, not all of Stan's memories might return. There's at least ten years that none of the Pines were with Stan, while he was estranged.
    • Unconscious Stan kneeling as Ford shoots him. He's completely defenseless, but has accepted his fate.
    • So, what was the payoff to those "Stan on fire" foreshadowing bits throughout the series? His mindscape burning away due to the memory gun.
    • Related to the above, Stan's self-deprecation throughout the whole episode, evidenced by sentences like "Somehow it's always 'Stan's the screw-up, Ford's the hero!'", "Dad was right about me, I am a screw-up...", and gets the idea to perform a Twin Switch and Heroic Sacrifice after Ford laments that his plan to use the memory gun on himself after Bill enters his mind won't work because the metal plate in his head prevents memory erasure, asking "What if he goes into my mind? My brain isn't good for anything..."
  • Stan's line "Guess I was good for something after all." For approximately forty years, Stan has felt like his life and existence is meaningless. But, as he fades from existence, he realizes he was perhaps one of the most important people to ever live. He sacrificed everything to save the universe and his family. He's so happy he doesn't even care that, in a few seconds, he won't remember any of it.
  • Ford knew what he had to do, but that doesn't lessen the pain or the realization that he's "killed" his brother by wiping his mind. The expression on his face and the Manly Tears sell the moments during and after the deed.
    • Also the moment before he pulled the trigger. Keep in mind, this is Ford. A man who, from his very first introduction, has been established to be a composed, somewhat stoic badass who can handle any problem that comes his way. Just a few episodes ago, he was pointing a gun at an alien and was so composed he wasn't even showing chemical signs of fear. Now, with being tasked to erase Stan's memories, he can't even look at him. Ford can handle any intergalactic monster that comes his way, but losing his brother is too much.
    • Not only that, he had to—even if it was for a short time—live through what Stan suffered for three decades: believing he'd killed his brother by his own hand, and no way to know if he'd ever see him again.
  • The entire segment of Stan without his memories. Especially when Dipper and Mabel first receive the news and their heartbroken, weeping reactions.
    • Ford kneeling down and tearfully hugging his brother. Keep in mind, the first thing Stan did when Ford returned was try to hug him. Stan had wanted that hug from the moment he reunited with Ford, and probably the thirty years beforehand, and when he finally got it he didn't even know who Ford was.
    • After J. K. Simmons has played so many strong, tough characters, it's incredibly jarring to hear him sounding like he's genuinely about to cry on the line, "You're our hero, Stanley."
    • Dipper having to drag Mabel from the mind-wiped Stan as she sobs, "Grunkle Stan, it's me!"
    • Anyone who's ever watched a beloved older relative suffer dementia or Alzheimer's might get a little misty when Grunkle Stan fails to recognize the twins.
    • While Dipper wasn't as verbal as Mabel, he was quietly crying next to her with his hand on her shoulder. He even briefly holds onto Stan's hand after breaking down the Mystery Shack's busted door.
  • Because of the Northwests needing to downsize after Preston lost much of their fortune, Priscilla tells Pacifica that they can only afford to "keep one pony" now. While clearly Played for Laughs, she's genuinely shocked when she hears this...
  • Soos's reaction to Stan wanting to close the Mystery Shack, but he's tearfully touched to be its new owner.
  • The brief shot of the now abandoned attic that Dipper and Mabel shared as a bedroom, as well as the subsequent shot of Dipper's String Theory papers, and his letter to Wendy, in the trash can.
  • Mabel having to say goodbye to Waddles because her parents won't let her bring him back to California. Waddles himself doesn't want Mabel to leave him too, and even tries pulling at her skirt in an attempt to stop her from leaving. Thankfully, Stan decides to make Waddles go with Mabel anyway, declaring that if he had to deal with Waddles the whole summer, it's the parents' turn.
  • Alex Hirsch has said the one scene that still gets him choked up even after watching the episodes so many times that they're basically white noise to him, is Stan saying goodbye to Dipper and Mabel at the end. Since he provides the voice of Stan and has a similar job entertaining people with a bunch of weird stuff, it's basically him saying goodbye to Dipper and Mabel too, as well as Jason Ritter and Krysten Schaal, and everyone else who worked on the show.
  • The credits is both heartwarming and tear jerking for the fans since it features the offscreen moments with Dipper and Mabel spending moments with their friends and family. It highlights the end of the series and how fans have loved the characters.
  • In a meta way, the fact we don't get the original theme song one last time. This is the last episode of the series and all we hear is the terrifying "Weirdmageddon" version and the (to be fair, pretty awesome) rock cover playing during the battle between Shacktron vs. Bill's Henchmaniacs.
    • Luckily, the original theme was implemented into the "Between the Pines" special that aired one week earlier. So even though we didn't get it in the main series, at least that makes up for it.
  • Hell, even Bill gets a moment. While he's proven himself to be absolutely irredeemable, it can be pretty sad to listen to him begging for his life, and offering riches and fame to Stan, despite the fact someone with any sense of morality would have not even tried. Even worse if you are one of Bill's many fans, as this is the last moment of his life. Maybe.
  • Dipper's closing narration can easily bring a tear to one's eyes:
    "If you've ever taken a road trip through the Pacific Northwest, you've probably seen a bumper sticker for a place called Gravity Falls. It's not on any maps, and most people have never heard of it. Some people think it's a myth. But if you're curious, don't wait. Take a trip. Find it. It's out there somewhere in the woods, waiting."


    Supplemental Materials 

18-23-20-19-20 8-15-21-4-3-6-19-5 22-12-19-23-21-16-19-20 22-25 5-3-10note 
4-16-19 4-23-12-19'5 4-9-12-20, 4-16-19 5-3-11-11-19-6'5 20-9-10-19note 
15-10 11-19-11-9-6-15-19-5 4-16-19 8-15-10-19-5 5-4-15-12-12 8-12-23-25note 
9-10 23 5-3-10-10-25 5-3-11-11-19-6'5 20-23-25note