Banned in China: In 2017, the series was banned in Kenya for adult-oriented humor.
Big Name Fan: On the commentary for "Blendin's Game", Hirsch reveals that Graham Linehan, creator of The IT Crowd, is a fan of the show. In particular, he loves Time Baby and jokingly offered to write for a Time Baby spin-off, should one arise.
Bilingual Bonus: In 'Fight Fighters', when Rumble defeats Dipper, his victory pose mimics that of Akuma. However, unlike Akuma's kanji 天 (meaning Heaven), the kanji on Rumble's back is 屁 (meaning a fart, or alternatively something so worthless it's not worth considering - either interpretation satisfies the joke).
The start screen for Romance Academy 7 in "Soos and the Real Girl" has three choices. Start, Quit and SHIZENHAKKA. The last one translates to "Spontanious Combustion", which if Soos had known, might have saved him some trouble.
The first season premiered its episodes on Disney Channel, while the second season had a majority of its episodes first air on Disney XD.
Disney itself has the rights, but after a failed attempt at releasing it on home video themselves, they licensed the home video rights to Shout! Factory, which released the complete series on Blu-ray and DVD on July 24, 2018.
Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Surprisingly and unfortunately happened in a Disney Channel Scandinavia miniseries called The Mystery in Gravity Falls (not to be confused with the fan-run website and YouTube channel "The Mystery of Gravity Falls"). It was a 6-part series that repeated the same things over and over again and, of course, got some things completely wrong. For example, claiming that "ONWARDS AOSHIMA!" was a big mysterious clue when it was just a reference to John Aoshima, who was a director on the show's first season.
Minor example, but former writer/creative director Michael Rianda said they regret giving some characters like Dipper and Mabel only four fingers based on what looked visually better rather than being consistent, since the author of the journals having six fingers is a plot point.
Another minor example, Hirsch regrets the placement of "Roadside Attraction" being the second to last episode before the three-part finale.
Some official pieces of merch are: Dipper's hats, Mabel's shooting star sweater, Grunkle Stan's fez, Soos's Mystery Shack Staff and Pterodactyl Bros. shirts, Wendy's bomber hat, Robbie's hoodie, Gravity Falls postcards and many more.
Not the show ending after two seasons, as Hirsch made sure to emphasize that it was entirely his own decision for quite a while, but it was because of the Disney execs that he didn't tell everyone right when he made that decision, as they hoped he'd change his mind about ending Disney XD's highest rated show. Hirsch also commented that Disney gave him a remarkable amount of creative freedom for a first-time showrunner; his only major complaint was that the legal department would frequently veto jokes, parodies and song choices that were too close to existing material.
One of the couples in "The Love God" was supposed to be a sweet old lesbian couple getting together, but Disney refused to allow Hirsch to feature it; he has an interview discussing that and some other instances of Executive Meddlinghere.
"Hunkle Stan" became prevalent after the season 2 opener "Scary-Oke" aired and many fans confessed an attraction to Stan in full-blown badass mode smashing zombie heads. It's even been addressed semi-canonically. Naturally, there's a substantial following for Hunkle Ford as well.
While the name "Bipper" for Bill-possessed Dipper in "Sock Opera" appeared in the episode itself, it was only used once, by Mabel ("Bill-Dipper BIPPER!"). The fandom uses it by default, often treating Bipper as a separate character from Dipper, and frequently extends the formula as shorthand for non-canon cases of Bill possession (i.e. "Babel" = Bill-Mabel). Not to be confused with BillDip (the ship), although there is some uncomfortable overlap.
Some have taken to calling Pacifica, "Paz". "Ciffy" and "Pacy" aren't uncommon either.
With The Reveal concerning The Author AND a confirmation of the "Stan has a twin" theory, people first took to calling the Author "Author Stan" or "Stanley", which was the most commonly theorized name for Stan's twin... Until "A Tale of Two Stans" came in and confirmed the Author's name was Stanford and the beloved Grunkle was Stanley.
"Mystery Twins Classic" for Stan and Ford, possibly inspired by the clones' reference to the original Dipper as "Dipper Classic" in the episode "Double Dipper." This nickname was in use well before the Stan twin theory was confirmed!
"Gideon Rises": Stan has Book 1 and he is aware of the crazy supernatural stuff that happens in town but lies about it.
"Into the Bunker": Wendy knows about Dipper's crush on her and the author of the books has 6 fingers.
"Scaryoke": Soos becomes a zombie.
"Society of the Blind Eye": Old Man McGucket was intimately involved with the mysteries of Gravity Falls before he went crazy — though he turned out not to be the author of the journals, as a number of fans assumed, but merely the true author's lab assistant.
"Not What He Seems": The author of the books is Stan's brother and Stan was trying to use the machine to bring him back. This one is particular is the culmination of the infamous "Stanley" or "Stan's Twin" theory, which was very well known but often a hot subject of debate. (Though basically everyone assumed that the lost twin was Stanley and Grunkle Stan was Stanford, as he was called in the show itself prior to the reveal that it was actually the other way around.)
"Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future": Mabel becomes so afraid of the future after Gravity Falls, she breaks the Rift, something that a majority of the fandom had predicted since the reveal of its existence.
The slightly less-obvious symbols on the intro's Cipher wheel were confirmed in the Grand Finale. Wendy is the ice bag, Pacifica is the Llama, and McGucket is the glasses.
Anyone who thought that Mabel and Dipper had similar names like Stan and Ford did, and proposed Mason as Dipper's real name, were validated in Journal 3.
Inspiration for the Work: Hirsch was inspired to make the series by his own childhood experiences spending summer vacation with a great aunt. He's made it clear that Dipper and Mabel are basically just cartoon versions of himself and his twin sister.
Old Man McGucket is not the author of the journals.
Despite the occasional allusion to Judaism, the Pines aren't practicing Jews. While Stan's parents did follow the faith, as a Meuzuzah◊ outside of their door implies, Hirsch states that Grunkle Stan is an atheist, while the kids are raised non-religiously.
Grunkle Stan is Stanley and the Author is Stanford. Most fans had the names swapped around in their theories prior to the airing of "A Tale of Two Stans", not expecting Grunkle Stan to take Stanford's name in order to hide his brother's disappearance.
Neither of the two Stans are Dipper and Mabel's grandfather. It was a popular theory for them to be Stanford's, with the other option being Grunkle Stan merely pretending to be their uncle after the incident thirty years ago. It turns out that the Stans were in a family of five with the last, previously unknown sibling, being Shermy.
The fact that the Stans were a two sibling family is another Jossed theory.
Man of a Thousand Voices: Hirsch voices at least five different characters in the show, and they all have their own distinct voice.
More specifically, he voices: Stan, Soos, the gnomes, Bill Cipher, Quentin Trembley, Old Man McGucket, Norman, Paper Jam Dipper, and additional background characters, including Mayor Befufftlefumpter, ancient and reclusive mayor of Gravity Falls.
Grey DeLisle also voices many incidental characters on the show, some of the most notable being Mrs. Gleeful in "Little Dipper," the Summerween Superstore clerk and Gorney in "Summerween", Grunkle Stan's new voice in "Bottomless Pit", and the woman who asks Soos for directions and ends up falling in love with him in "Carpet Diem."
Meaningful Release Date: The very first episode, "Tourist Trapped", is released on 6/15/12 (June 15, 2012, when written using the American date system). The Grand Finale is released on that date with its numbers reversed, 2/15/16 (February 15, 2016), fitting with the series' use of secret messages and codes.
Name's the Same: Same company example: The Lamby Lamby Dance in the episode, "The Inconveniencing", shares its name with a character on Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins.
Old Shame: Hirsch is, according to a reddit thread, not terribly fond of the 11-minute pilot used to pitch the show, though he did release it as a reward for completing the Cipher Hunt.
"Any chance we'll see the full unaired pilot at some point in the future?"
"Oh lord I hope not. That thing was a mess, haha! That would be like showing you awkward photos from my high school prom. We all have dark horrible secrets. That 11 minute Flash pilot was mine."
Strangely enough, in a commercial for Gravity Falls mealbags at Subway, Kristen Schaal does not voice Mabel. Even stranger, all of the dialogue for the twins in that CM is taken from clips of previous episodes, and they didn't dub over Jason Ritter's voice for Dipper. Maybe Schaal just doesn't like Subway.
In the Russian dub of season 2, Tatiana Vesyolkina was the voice of Wendy in most episodes, until the "Weirdmageddon" episodes, where Olga Shorokhova, Wendy's original voice actress, returned.
The Other Marty: Following the public reveal of Louis C.K.s sexual harassment history in December 2017, it was found that Hirsch went back and redid the lines for The Horrifying Sweaty One-Armed Monstrosity, a one-shot character that CK originally voiced in the three-part Grand Finale. This version is currently available on Hulu, has since aired on both Disney XD and Disney Channel and is the version included on the complete series set.
Out of Holiday Episode: Inverted. "Summerween" aired in October where Halloween is, but In-Universe it's in the middle of the summer. Justified since the people of Gravity Falls like Halloween so much that they celebrate it twice a year.
Disney XD in the UK airs "Tourist Trapped" as the fifth episode of the first season, and "Scaryoke" as the third episode of the second season.note In both cases, this was probably because of the production codes, which only indicate when an episode's script is finished; "Tourist Trapped" was the fifth-finished Season 1 script, while Scaryoke was the third-finished Season 2 script.
Premieres between episodes within the same season in the US can be anywhere from two weeks to four months. It took over a year for the first season to air, and it took another year for the second season to make it on-air. In fact, Hirsch himself was happily surprised when he learned that the second season would premiere earlier than he initially believed.
Hirsch learned his lesson from when it happened in Season 1, and constructed Season 2 more like two mini-seasons, suspecting correctly that there would be a long hiatus at that point.
For the first few episodes of Season 2, they would air on Disney XD Monday and then on the Disney Channel Friday. But after "Little Shop of Horrors" it's now months before new episodes air on Disney Channel.
The hiatuses have happened so often and the gaps are so long that some more conspiratorially minded fans believe that Disney is trying to kill the show, when ironically, it's the opposite - instead they're trying to milk the show for as much money as it's worth due to the second season being the final one and being unable to convince Hirsch to continue the series.
He saved the biggest one of all for the series finale, as the ten symbols that appear at the beginning and end of every episode, causing every fan to wrack their brains about their meaning and what each one represents, turn out to be an ancient prophecy about the people who can defeat Bill...and ends up being completely meaningless when Stan wrecks it.
Troubled Production: The show suffered constant issues due to its creator Hirsch's lack of experience in running an entire show (he was only 27 years old when it started). By the time the first season wrapped, Hirsch was so exhausted that he seriously considered ending the show right there, leaving it forever on an incredibly tantalizing Cliffhanger. It wasn't until he shared his plans with Jon Stewart, a huge fan who was horrified at the idea, that he decided to press on for another season. The Disney Channel execs weren't very happy about losing one of their most acclaimed shows so soon, and forbade him from revealing the plan to end the show to the public until the season was almost over, spending the entire time in between trying to talk him into continuing it to no avail. When the announcement finally couldn't be put off anymore, Hirsch was a complete stand up guy about it, making clear that the two season run was entirely his own decision and the fans shouldn't blame anyone at Disney for it, and ultimately came out of the experience with a highly acclaimed project he got to end on his own terms, about the happiest ending to the story possible.
There were several episode ideas that never materialized:
There was going to be an episode based on the David Bowie film Labyrinth. Mabel would love the film, but Dipper would hate it due to a fear of puppets. Dipper wouldn't admit to being afraid of the puppet; he would just call it dumb. Mabel would summon the Goblins to take Dipper away so she could watch the film. The Goblins would come out of the film take Dipper to the Labyrinth. The Goblin King would try to get Mabel to go through the labyrinth to find Dipper, but Mabel would instead want to spend time with the Goblin King. The episode would end with Dipper admitting his fear of puppets. The episode wasn't made because the studio execs didn't think the audience would get the reference, but they still managed to sneak a Labyrinth reference into one of the "Mabel's Guide to Life" shorts (where Mabel, Grenda and Candy dress Soos up as the Goblin King for one of their "flash makeovers").
"Sweater Off Dead" would've been about Mabel finding a sweater at a swap meet that was haunted by the ghost of the old lady who'd died wearing it who possesses her. This would lead to the gang getting trapped inside the Mystery Shack where they'd have to perform a sweater exorcism on her using knitting needles. While the episode never came to be, Hirsch liked the image of Mabel being possessed Exorcist-style which lead to the idea being used in "The Inconveniencing".
"Jimmy Snakes" would've been about an old biker friend of Stan's coming to town, who has a Ghost Rider-esque curse. You can see Stan's old biker helmet in his room in Scary-oke, which was meant to be a hint towards this episode.
One second season episode was to have Waddles catch a severe illness with Mabel being forced to visit Gideon in jail as he was the one with the antidote.
The reason why Wendy never got a full-fledged episode of her own was because the crew never felt like any idea they came up with for a Wendy episode would gel well with her personality. One such episode would've focused on her home life where she would somehow gain weather controlling powers. The episode was very close to being produced before Hirsch scrapped it to write the episode that ultimately became "The Last Mabelcorn" in just two days (which explains why he's the sole writer of that episode).
One unused episode, turned into an unused page of Journal 3, was about Dipper and Mabel selling Stan merchandise door-to-door after Grunkle Stan ordered too many bobbleheads. One of the people interested in buying the bobbleheads is a mysterious doll collector who wants to make Dipper and Mabel part of her collection, having already done so with Gideon.
Hirsch described another Wendy/Stan B-plot pitch that never came to fruition at the Amazing Houston Comic Con, where Wendy was threatened by her dad to avoid trouble, before she goes on a museum heist with Stan.
Hirsch wanted David Lynch to play Bill Cipher, but he declined. Alex later said that it turned out to be a blessing, because not having to work around his schedule allowed them to turn Bill into the Big Bad.
In an interview, Hirsch revealed that Bill Cipher was originally meant to play a much smaller role in the series, playing a comic relief role by merely invading Dipper's dreams and yelling conspiracy theories at him just to annoy him. The conspiracy theory aspect of his character was briefly shown in Dreamscaperers, but never again.
Remember! Reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold, BYE!
Originally, Gideon was meant to become the mayor of Gravity Falls as part of his plot.
He eventually does attempt this in "The Stanchurian Candidate", with help from his father.
Word of Gay: Hirsch confirmed during a YouTube livestream charity event hosted by him and Dana Terrace that Deputy Durland and Sheriff Blubs are in a homosexual relationship. This was no surprise there as fans pretty much knew that Durland and Blubs confirmed their relationship in the series finale.
Word of God: Hirsch, for all intents and purposes, is incredibly young to be the creator and show-runner of a Disney animated TV series, and frequently connects with his fans while answering questions on his Twitter feed, and is into a lot of the same nostalgic things from the same time periods of the fans.
According to the show's model sheets, Wendy's brothers are named Gus (the youngest son, with the crew-cut sides), Kevin (the middle son, with the mullet), and Marcus (the oldest son, with the Blinding Bangs and peach-fuzz mustache).
"Northwest Mansion Mystery" was first announced as "Northwest Mansion Noir".
As seen on the deleted scenes featurette on the complete series box-set, the original title for Not What He Seems, was Return of Stan.
Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Surprisingly enough! The writers elaborate on the series' DVD commentary that, while they knew the backstory of the author, nearly everything else was thought up as they worked along. Several details were thrown into the series, with the plan to figure out what they meant later on. Including:
Originally, they had no idea what role Bill Cipher would play in the series, if any role at all. Much less his connection to The Author and eventual role as Big Bad.
The phrase "Search for the Blind Eye", Arc Words that were teased between the Season 1 and 2 hiatus. Hirsch threw it in because he thought it sounded cool, then had to figure out what it meant later.
The journals and their respective owners were not even conceived until the production of the fourth episode.
Hirsch admits that during production of the pilot, the writers had no idea what was behind Stan's vending machine.
The wheel of symbols surrounding Bill in the opening credits had no meaning upon conception.
Before Old Man McGucket was revealed to be The Author's old lab assistant, he was originally just meant to be a one-off character.
I asked what the rules were, and they said, Its a game of imagination! There are no rules! and then proceeded to argue about the rules for an hour and a half. I havent played since. But I should probably give it another try.
Dipper is based on Hirsch himself and each of the other main characters on people he knows. Mabel is based on Hirsch's twin sister Ariel, Grunkle Stan on their Grandpa Stan, Soos on Hirsch's one-time roommate Jesus and Wendy on a girl he had a crush on in his youth.
Writer Conflicts With Canon: Alex Hirsch once said the show doesn't necessarily take place in 2012, or any set year for that matter. However, the show itself has proven otherwise many times: 1982 is said to be 30 years ago, and 2015 is an upcoming year.
The location of Gravity Falls: a postcard in the first episode puts Gravity Falls almost dead center of the state, in Crook County. However, the second season episode "Scary-oke" puts the location around Malheur National Forest.
Hidden depths? Judge Kitty Kitty Meow Face-Shwartstein's last name, translated from the closest German sound equivalent, is "Black Stone". William Blackstone, an 18th-Century British Jurist, wrote the definitive guide to British common law. Reaching a LOT further, it could also be "Black Rock." The 1955 American film "Bad Day at Black Rock" (with Spencer Tracy, Anne Francis, Robert Ryan and Walter Brennan) is about a small group of friends trying to help one of their number escape from a town controlled by a seemingly all-powerful enemy. Bad Day in Mabeland?