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YMMV / Universe Falls

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  • Author's Saving Throw: In the canon episode of Gravity Falls "A Tale of Two Stans", it is not clarified who the baby Ma Pines was holding is. Here in UF's version, MiniJen goes out of the way to confirm that the baby is Stan and Ford's brother Shermy's son, Dipper and Mabel's dad.
  • Better Than Canon: Say what you will about the fic being a novelization, but the story has introduced a lot of new plot elements (like Dipper's bond with Lapis Lazuli and continued concern over the Malachite situation) that have been received with great enthusiasm by readers.
    • As mentioned under Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, a lot of fans believe the Mabel of this fanfic is better written, displaying more genuine development and kindness, than in canon.
  • Broken Base:
    • Some of the chapters are combinations of episodes of both shows, with many elements and even dialogue borrowed from them. While many readers love these kind of chapters, others have stated that they would prefer that the story itself be more original.
    • Some fans weren't happy with the Darker and Edgier direction the author took with "Sock Opera" and the aftermath, while others agreed with Jen that the show should have taken the events and the aftermath more seriously.
    • The Stonemason Arc, despite not being due to happen until the upcoming sequel, has proven to be polarizing among readers. Some like it, feeling it will be an interesting and original story direction, while others feel that it is too Grimdark and angsty. The divide has only increased with "Reunited," with some fans feeling that if the Stonemason Arc is used, than Yellow Diamond's Heel–Face Turn in the later episode upon learning the truth about Steven and Pink Diamond makes her come off as too much of an Easily Forgiven Karma Houdini.
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  • Complete Monster: In the Crystal Falls AU where Homeworld and Earth switch places, Bill Cipher, having long conquered Earth but restricted there, uses humanity as an army to conquer the universe. A sadistic despot, he has his soldiers capture Dipper Pines and has them torture and eventually downright mutilate the child for years on end. Once Dipper finally got reunited with his family, Bill manipulated the boy's resentment at his family for not searching for him to trick him into a deal. This universe's version of Bill Cipher is just as bad as his main counterpart and a truly horrific and monstrous tyrant.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Even well before she was properly introduced to the story, Amber (an OC Gem created for the Stonemason arc in UF 2) was fairly popular with readers, to the point where she was paired up with Lapis as one of Dipper's surrogate moms in some version of the Water Mom and Gem Bros AUs.
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  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Not to the extent of placing it above canon, but Steven/Dipper, AKA SteDip, has been met with near-universal acclaim by the community, and even Jen herself ships it, though she won't be including it in the story.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In "Warp Tour", when listing off names of humans he knows to Peridot, Steven includes Wendy, Soos, and "Mr. Pines" on the list. Then in the Steven Universe season 4 finale "Are You My Dad?"/"I Am My Mom", we find out Homeworld has targeted all the humans Steven mentioned in that list to be taken to The Zoo. Which means Wendy, Soos, and both Stanley and Stanford (and possibly even Dipper since "Mr. Pines" would technically cover him too) are in trouble when MiniJen gets around to writing the Universe Falls version of "Are You My Dad?" in the fic's sequel.
    • Lapis's determination and reasoning for trying to leave Earth in Dipper and Lapis is almost verbatim her canonical reason for leaving Earth in Raising the Barn.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In "Lost and Found", the Gems react pretty badly to learning Rose Quartz had their memories of the Author erased, and why. Then "A Single Pale Rose" aired and revealed an even BIGGER secret Rose had been keeping from them: Pink Diamond is Rose Quartz, and faked her death. This is even true in the fanfic as well.
    • Steven's suggesting to Dipper in "Society of the Blind Eye" to use the memory gun to remove Dipper's trauma of Bill's possession of him in "Sock Opera" in becomes this in "Chille Tid, Part 2" when we learn that removing the other Crystal Gems' memories of their trauma of being possessed by Bill was Rose's motivation for removing their memories of Ford and the portal. Like mother, like son indeed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Keeping It Together", Amethyst is the Only Sane Man to Pearl and Stan while the three of them are chasing Peridot through the Prime Kindergarten. In the season 5 Steven Universe episode "What's Your Problem?", Steven describes Amethyst as the most mature of the Crystal Gems after all the Character Development she's gone through.
    • In "The Return", Old Man McGucket suggested they build another giant mechanical arm to give Peridot's arm-shaped spaceship a friendly handshake. Then in "Reunited", The Cluster gets into an arm-wrestling match with Yellow Diamond's arm-ship.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Dipper and Steven have their moments, particularly when Stepper gets involved. It's not helped by the fact that Dipper has been stated by MiniJen on her Discord to be bicurious. It probably reaches its peak in "Three's a Crowd", when Steven's levitation powers kick in as he and Dipper do a fusion dance, and the two literally dance on air as they form Stepper.
    • There's plenty of subtext in Ford and McGucket's reunion and eventual reconciliation in "Bot Battle", especially when Fiddleford saves Stanford when he falls out of Pearl's robot.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Bill Cipher manages to already cross this in his first appearance by creating a nightmare that psychologically tortures Steven to the point where he eventually starts crying.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: A lot of Gravity Falls fans hated how Mabel was frequently blithely oblivious to others' feelings and rarely faced with the consequences of her actions in canon, and prefer Jen's take on her character, where she does face the consequences and overall has a clearer direction in her character arc.

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