Gravity Falls will have its series finale on Monday February 15th with a one hour episode. While I already wrote up my goodbye to the show (which I still can’t read without tearing up), I want to pick out my absolute favorite episodes. These are my choices for either character development, pushing the boundaries of storytelling, or just simply personal favorites.
First though, there were a small handful of episodes that just missed the cut of my top ten. These honorable mentions are episodes that I couldn’t ignore. I wouldn’t feel right writing a post about my favorites without giving a nod to these.
Weirdmageddon Parts 1 and 2– Yes, I didn’t put the Weirdmageddon episodes in my top ten. They’re epic, fun, gritty, dark, and push the boundaries of what you can do in children’s television. There are many callbacks to the entire series all wrapping up into these finales. I happen to like other episodes better than these two. I also feel I can’t judge the Weirdmageddon as a whole without seeing the series finale.
Summerween– The Summerween Trickster is probably my favorite villain after Bill Cipher. He’s creepy but charismatic highlighting Jeff Bennett’s talent as a voice actor. It’s also a great episode for Dipper and Mabel’s relationship showcasing the difficulties of being a preteen. This episode almost got my number ten spot, but I think Northwest Mansion Mystery is just slightly better because of Pacifica’s change.
Society of the Blind Eye– This episode has great balance between the A-plot and the B-plot. Not only do we get answers about the town of Gravity Falls as a whole, we also get massive growth in Mabel coming more into her own. Our little Shooting Star discovers matters of the heart aren’t easy. Love comes with some disappointing growing pains. It’s also nice to see Wendy’s moments of weakness. Many ladies out there look up to Wendy (me included). It’s humanizing to see she has troubles of her own which is okay. Finally, Old Man McGucket’s story is heart breaking as he was the cause of his own insanity.
Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons– Alex Hirsch created Gravity Falls using inspiration of summer trips with him and his twin sister Ariel. “Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons” reminded me of growing up with my own sister when I was a kid. I’m a nerd and always have been while my sister pretty normal (though, she’s recent discovered Doctor Who which I can gloat over). I was Dipper and Ford in this episode being made fun of for liking an RPG game, while I recognized her as Mabel and Stan. I also think if my life was ever in danger, she would act like Mabel and Stan to save me just like in the episode.
Now, let’s get to it! Here are my top ten favorite episodes of Gravity Falls!
10. Northwest Mansion Mystery
Season two brought the creepy, but this episode takes the cake. You have taxidermy animal heads spewing blood from their mouths while chanting about evil spirits. Holy cow, Gravity Falls. This is crazy. It’s why I respect Mr. Hirsch and the writers so much. They refuse to dumb down their writing, because they know children can handle complex stories. They are at the forefront of revolutionizing children’s television with other shows like Steven Universe, Star Wars: Rebels, Avatar: the Last Airbender, and The Legend of Korra. We also have the character development in Pacifica. Not only does she choose not to follow in the atrocities of her family name, she stands up to the emotional abuse of her father. She saves the day and is no longer an antagonist.
9. Soos and the Real Girl
This episode hit me at a really good time. About a week before it aired, I watched a ton of let’s plays on youtube of Five Nights at Freddy’s. I also have a phobia of artificial intelligence, so this episode scared the pants off of me. That being said, there’s a ton of great moments in this. I totally feel for Soos looking for a girlfriend, because I suck at flirting. Melody is a great addition showing a curvy, full bodied woman. I also see a lot of myself in her personality. Finally, all the anime and role playing jokes were pretty much a summary of my teenage years when I was a total weeaboo. There aren’t many Soos focused episodes in the series. This is one of the better ones.
8. Into the Bunker
This is probably one of the most complex episodes of the series. There’s plot development introducing more elements about the mysterious Author. There’s a suspenseful factor like in the previous episodes I already mentioned. This is all great, but the highlight of the episode is Dipper and Wendy. Dipper’s had a crush on Wendy since episode five that’s carried through the entire series. She’s too old for him, though, and doesn’t feel the same way back. It’s handled beautifully when she says his friendship is more important to her. She’s not friend zoning him like all the whiney piss boys gripe about online. She’s stating the obvious about her age and how Dipper is an important factor in her life.
7. Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future
It’s all come to this episode… almost. This is the final episode before the Weirdmageddon. It’s also an emotionally charged episode. Dipper and Mabel are about to turn thirteen as the summer is coming to a close. Both have different views of the future. They fear growing apart from each other like their Grunkles have. Ford also give Dipper an opportunity of a lifetime. He wants Dipper to be his apprentice and stay in Gravity Falls while Mabel returns home. It will be the twins first time apart in their lives. As the twins fight, Mabel flees into the forest to be tricked by Bill Cipher. She’s captured, and the Weirdmageddon begins. This episode starts as a lighthearted romp about going to high school to a soul ripping feelings fest as the world is ending. It’s riveting television.
6. The Time Traveler’s Pig
I will say I’m incredibly biased to this episode. This was the first episode of Gravity Falls I saw. It’s the one that started it all for me. It’s where I fell in love with the characters and story of this weird little town. It also hit my love for Doctor Who with the time traveling aspects. Mabel high fiving pioneers on the Oregon Trail is still a highlight of the series. We also get some of the best Dipper moments in this. He’s selfless when he gives up his pursuit of Wendy to aid Mabel. There’s also the realization to pay closer attention to the show. You realize that Blendin Blandin has been in multiple episodes before this one. Also, his changing outfit is clues for future stories. Finally, we meet Waddles who is the greatest pig in the world.
5. Double Dipper
This is my favorite Dipper episode. He finds a magical copier that can make live paper versions of himself. He plots using these copies to make the perfect situation to win Wendy’s heart. What’s great about this episode is Dipper is his own downfall, but he also stops and fixes the problem himself. He realizes he gets in his own way. He also sees that when he’s natural and treats Wendy just like any other person, it gets the best result. This might be me reading too much into the show, but I always appreciated how Tyrone handled Paper Jam Dipper. When the other copies didn’t want anything to do with him, Tyrone treated Paper Jam Dipper with respect and care. We also see Paper Jam Dipper was smarter than what he could vocalize. This is an example of how children should treat people with special needs. This moment maybe stuck with me since I used to work as a nanny for special needs children, but it’s my favorite part of the episode.
4. The Last Mabelcorn
In this episode, Mabel became a warrior! This is my favorite Mabel episode, but all the ladies are featured. All women are fighters no matter what they look like or their passions. Candy is the nerdy girl. Grenda is muscular and burly. Wendy is a tomboy. Finally, Mabel is a chipper optimist who loves rainbows and stickers. These four ladies then beat the snot out of some unicorns that tricked them and made Mabel doubt herself. There’s an ongoing thread about how women must always be perfect, pretty, and well, a unicorn. This episode throws that out a window. Women shouldn’t have to follow something they’re not just because society says so. Mabel and her friends love each other, because they’re all unique. Wendy wins the best line of the episode by saying:
“It’s time we stop trying to be so ‘perfect’ and be who we really are. We’re crazed, angry, sweaty animals! We’re not unicorns! We’re women, and we take what we want!”
I probably watched this episode ten times in the week after it aired. We get the main villain of the series! He’s the lovable, mind warping, world conquering, teeth ripping, charismatic Bill Cipher! Yeah, that was a weird sentence to write. Bill is the kind of villain where you love when he’s there, but you’re on the edge of your seat every moment he’s on the screen. He’s a wild card. You truly have no idea what will happen, since he’s pretty much chaos incarnate. This episode also has so many callbacks to previous stories. Also since we’re in Stan’s mind, there are sneak peeks of his grand plan. For example, there’s a broken swing set in Stan’s memories. We now know this was something he shared with his twin brother Ford. Almost two years later, fans are still finding new hidden clues. Writing wise, this is the strongest showing of season one.
2. Land Before Swine
Because “Land Before Swine” is a personal favorite of mine. If I had the choice to sit down and watch any episode, I would most likely choose this one. It encompasses everything I love about Gravity Falls. Stan makes huge strides as an uncle fighting to save Waddles. His fear of disappointing Mabel is greater than his fear of facing a pterodactyl. I love Stan the most in these moments. He’s a con man, a cheapskate, and a bully, but don’t you dare mess with his family. After losing everything, these kids are all he has left. The B-Plot with Dipper and Soos fighting is well done too. It shows that people approach situations differently. Soos might mess up a lot, but he loves and will do anything for the kids. This episode highlights this weird little family we all know and love.
1. Not What He Seems
Mabel, our beautiful Shooting Star, made a choice. She believed in Stan when Dipper and Soos were fighting him. She was the key to the portal opening. As the light poured out and our characters hovered in potential death, I gasped and covered my mouth. Gravity Falls was red in the sunset and broken as buildings floated in the air. Then it all crashed back down. Our heroes groaned and gazed up to a light in the portal. A figure stalked out of the light, picked up the journal, and removed his masked. I jumped to my feet and watched in delight as Stan introduced the Author of the journals, his twin brother Ford.
And I lost my shit!
I cheered and clapped like a loon. I paced back and forth. I pulled up my DVR and watched the scene over and over again. I sat back as tears filled my eyes. I’ve spent my entire life analyzing fandoms. It’s my specialty in my podcast. I was losing it, because the Gravity Falls fandom had called since episode one that Stan had a twin brother who was the mysterious Author. I had never been in a fandom that was 100% correct from day one. Some red herrings led people to believe it was Stan or Old Man McGucket. For the most part, they always disproved this later and jumped on the Stan’s twin brother wagon. The final scene was gorgeous and beautiful. I can’t remember the last time I was so satisfied by an episode of a television show.
Do you agree with my top ten? Let me know your favorites in the comment section!