Hello, Spongey here.
You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do a post on this show. But I had no idea when I should do it. Should I do a regular tribute, or an episode list?
Neither seem right to do cuz at that point, the first season wasn’t done, and I figured it would be easier to wait. I thought of this post near the end of the infamous Gravity Falls hiatus, by the way.
So since the season is over, and Season 2 is finally coming, I figured it’s time to do a regular top episode list. A tribute would be redundant since…well everyone’s done one by this point.
I don’t really need to introduce Gravity Falls, but I will anyway. Created by Alex Hirsch, Gravity Falls is a cartoon on the Disney Channel, that got a huge fan base insanely fast. The fan base grew to Adventure Time levels, but not quite My Little Pony levels.
Right from episode one, GF joined Phineas and Ferb on the list of amazing modern cartoons It’s about 12 year old twins Dipper (Jason Ritter) and Mabel (Kristen Schaal) who are forced to live with Great uncle Stan (Alex Hirsch) in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls.
Since their Uncle owns the Tourist Trap the Mystery Shack AND the town holds incredible secrets and weird monsters, the twins end up on seriously epic adventures.
There are a lot of reasons the show is great: Likable characters, incredible animation, good humor, but the mystery is what keeps people coming back. In episode one, Dipper discovers a book with the number 3 on it, which was written by some unknown guy. It holds records of the weird things in Gravity Falls.
What’s this journal? Who wrote it? Where are the other 3? You had to keep watching to find out! The show has a huge mythology that keeps growing. Even with Season 1 over, there are tons of things we still don’t know.
But of course, that’s only part of it. Though we of course, I ask the question: Which episodes are the best? Which episode has the best story, best character development, and of course best humor?
Well, today I’m counting it down cuz clearly only I know what the best episodes are. But since the show only has 20 or so episodes, and a full top 11 would just be all the really important episodes, I’ll make it easier.
This, is the Top 8 Gravity Falls Episodes
8. Carpet Diem
Director: Joe Pitt
Writers: Tim McKeon, Zach Paez, & Alex Hirsch
Body Swap episodes are a dime a dozen, and to be honest, I always love them. Yeah, most of them go through the same basic story but when you have good characters, it’s fun to see them interact with new bodies. This episode, is up there with the best of them.
Dipper and Mabel discover a hidden room in the shack, which means they can finally stop living in one room, bugging each other. However, Grunkle Stan, being who he is, makes them fight for it. Whoever sucks up the most to Stan, gets the room. I’d say hilarity ensues there but it gets weird once they find a rug in that room that makes people switch bodies. This happens to Dipper and Mabel.
Drama ensues. …Nah, it’s hilarity.
Seeing two different characters to be each other always leads to great comedy. This episode pulls that off, as they try to make the other sibling look worse to make sure they don’t get the room. But it gets even funnier once they take full advantage of the premise. How so?
Soos and Waddles switch.
You are laughing at that very idea….that is, if you know who Waddles is. We’ll get to him later, trust me.
This episode is on the list for the humor. Sure, it’s sweet and stuff, but it’s mostly the humor that landed a spot on this list. It has great jokes, from the body switching stuff to the usual odd stuff. For example, Stan is watching TV and he keeps changing it to stuff like Boxing. Every time he changes the channel, he yells “Fight, Fight, Fight”!
He lands on a show with babies….and he still yells “Fight, Fight, Fight!” ….Then it turns out the show is called BABY FIGHTS. That is just hilarious.
This show is full of jokes like that, and it’s great. The best jokes are in the show are those weird ones that make you think that Alex Hirsch has problems. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Another example is when the local town coot, Old Man Mcgucett finds Waddles (after Soos switches with him) and after Soos tells him (I’ll get to that in a sec) that he is a boy in a pig’s body…
“That’s what they all say!”
That’s not all. After everyone switches back, the old man says he’s still gonna eat him. Yes. Okay, now for the actual plot. On the outside, it looks like a typical body swap episode where the characters learn how the other lives and yada yada.
But the writers do something a bit different, as it feeds into the characters in an interesting way. The reason they want that room is that Mabel’s antics, including a wild sleep over, bug him to no end.
Mabel is kept awake by Dipper’s pen which he clicks annoyingly while reading. Clearly she has the better reasoning. Anyway, this is a solid conflict that serves the plot well, and while it’s always fun to see them interact it’s extra fun here.
Though it is odd that they went with the “Voices are mental” thing yet no one finds it odd that their voices are different. Weird. As a side note, I never really minded that trope, as it’s an easy way for us to tell who is who.
When everything is all said and done, Dipper gets the room and he explains why he really doesn’t like Mabel bugging him. It’s not that Mabel’s friends annoy him or anything. It’s that he’s been having fun with Mabel this summer, and seeing her hog his room with someone else, made him angry, jealous and all that good stuff.
There’s a bit more to it that that, but that is the gist of it. I thought this was pretty excellent, as it gives us a new conflict instead of the typical body swap lesson. That is still there, but the story is about something that was always there, and it’s done wonderfully.
You can say it’s cliché but I think it’s sweet, and stuff. There’s even a really nice moment where Dipper finally gets the room and he finds out that he is lonely without Mabel. As we move along, you’ll see even more moments like this.
Long story short, Soos gets the room cuz his previous room was so small he had to be a tetris block to fit in there. That’s not an exaggeration.
This episode does a good job with the body swap storyline by using it in a an “original” interesting story that doesn’t rely on the usual clichés. It has great humor, sweet moments, and it uses one of my favorite cliché cartoon plots.
You may think this is a weak episode to have on the least, but the humor just struck a cord with me. Consider this a starter episode for the more interesting ones we have coming up.
It’s a solid episode with sweet moments, and some of the best jokes in the show. I wouldn’t want to switch it with anything else….except the next 7 episodes but whatever. Short section, but that’s all I got.
Carpet Diem, so good it makes you forgot it was in the same theme weekend as Freaky Fido.
7. Land Before Swine
Director: John Aoshima (ONWARDS AIOSHIMA!)
Writers: Tim McKeon & Alex Hirsch
Much like Carpet Diem, this is slightly less amazing than the other episodes, but it has some sweet moments that make it worthy of this list.
Stan is getting really sick of Waddles, Mabel’s pet pig, and how chummy Mable is with her. So one day he puts the pig outside despite Mabel’s wishes. And naturally, Waddles is taken by a pterodactyl and now the gang must find Waddles in the Land of the lost area where it came from.
Meanwhile Dipper doesn’t want to bring Soos with them because he has been screwing up a bit later. Eventually, both Mabel and Soos learn of what Stan and Dipper really think of them and they get pissed.
First, I would like to discuss the Soos plot. I’ve seen the screw up plot more times than I can count….but leave to this show to do it right. First, we’ve already seen that Soos screws up but we’ve also seen that he has a huge heart and he can be a big help. This episode shows Soos and Dipper being friendly from the start, so Soos screwing up doesn’t come out of nowhere, and it doesn’t make him unlikable!
It doesn’t make Dipper a dick either, as he makes a good point. At the end, Soos admits that he can screw up sometimes, “(It’s not always as loveable as I Think)” and he tries to be more careful but Dipper shouldn’t let that get in the way of their friendship. This subplot, while cliché, was done perfectly and it gave Soos some much needed screen time. Please give him his own episode in Season 2!
But back to the main plot. Mable doesn’t quite change too much in this one, but her relationship with Waddles is adorable. This is mostly a show case for Stan, who is my favorite character. I just like characters like him and he’s always hilarious. However, there have been times where he has shown himself to NOT be an awful person! This is one of those times.
While his development is a little predictable, it’s still very well done. It’s pretty heartbreaking when Mabel says she isn’t talking to him anymore. This episode shows Stan’s development as a whole, since it’s likely he wouldn’t be this easily swayed in the first episode. But the many episodes he has spent with Mabel has soften him up. Now it doesn’t take too much (besides being trapped with dinosaurs) to get him to PUNCH A PTERODACTYL in the face for Waddles.
….Okay, this episode is the best thing ever.
Speaking of which, there’s a running joke where Dipper and Soos are confused on how to pronounced Pterodactyl, as Soos think it’s pronounced P-terodactyl. Eh, I’m with Dipper, since “Girl you P-terodactyl fly” isn’t as catchy.
….GF premiered after Let it Shine. The joke is appropriate!
Anyway, it’s just sweet how Stan turns around and all that. This episode also gives some funny jokes including a bit at the start with the town sheriffs, Blubs and Durland. As the show has gone on, they have gotten…..um..
“Every day with you is a treasure”
And once again, we have Old Man Macgucket giving us some amazing lines.
“I chewed my way through a pterodactyl!”
I think that’s all I got. Yeah, this one may be even shorter! The subplot is a decent twist on an old cliché, the main plot develops my favorite characters, and we get some great comedy. It’s a very enjoyable episode with sweet moments. Trust me, this show is full of episodes like this.
It’s funny, sweet, and just overall, awesome. Land Before Swine, is …..pterodactyl fly.
I’M NOT SORRY.
6. Dipper Vs Manliness
Directors: Aaron Springer & Joe Pitt
Writer: Tim McKeon,
Whoa whoa whoa, hold on a second. Aaron Springer? AARON SPRINGER?! This can’t be the same Aaron Springer who started out with great Spongebob episodes and then made crappy post movie episodes!
….It is? Really? He actually somehow got his talent back and went to work on the best episodes on a great show? And the first SB he did after working on GF was the best of that season?! Man Aaron, I apologize for everything I ever said about you. I was a bit too mean in hindsight. I mean, at least you didn’t write Face Freeze.
….What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, Gravity Falls. This episode is sometimes considered to be the worst. Goddammit Aar-wait, he didn’t write it.
Anyway, why do people dislike it? I have no idea, because it’s great.
Dipper is feeling insecure about manliness and while in the forest he meets a race of creatures called Man-ataurs.
“Half man, half…..taur!”
They are giant Minotaur dudes that thrive on manliness. They teach Dipper how to be manly, but when the ultimate manly task to make Dipper a manly man is a bit too much for him, he might have to reconsider.
Meanwhile, Mabel helps Stan score a waitress at the diner named Lazy Susan. The expected ensues.
There are a few things that make this one as good as it is. First off, the Manataurs are AWESOME. They are Testosterone Pointing personified and it is GLORIOUS. Everything they do is so over top and hilarious.
For example, when Dipper meets the main one we get to know, he scratches his back with the antlers of a deer. As in, he picks up a deer and scratches his back with the antlers. Also, they have names like Testeroatur and Pubataur.
…You know-for kids!
Maybe you’ll find them annoying, but they made laugh every time they did something. They do some pretty cool things, and I freaking love the design of Leadar. He’s so badass, and yet he doesn’t really do a whole lot except have an amazing voice. Everything about the Manataurs is manly and hilarious.
But that’s not the only reason I love this episode. It also features solid development for Dipper, on his own. See, most of his episodes either revolve Wendy or Mabel. But this time, he develops all by himself and it’s awesome.
He is being mocked for his lack of manliness, because he wanted to try a “Manliess” tester at a dinner, and of course in the end he learns an important lesson: Being a man isn’t about lifting weights, beating people up or anything like that. It’s about being mature, and standing up for yourself. He tells the leader dude at the end that he isn’t gonna kill the “Multibear” even though he knows it will end badly.
It doesn’t, but it shows that Dipper did learn something instead of just staying the same. And THAT is how you do a “Be yourself” message. Show that they actually learned something instead of just staying the same.
The Stan subplot isn’t quite as strong but it is funny due to the fact that Lazy Susan is ugly, weird, and voiced by Jenniver Coolidge. Stan’s usual brand of humor makes the subplot hilarious, is a bit pointless. Though Susan does appear again, so it isn’t too pointless. Also, Soos dressed as Susan.
“I’m soft, like a woman”
But the best part of the entire episode is the TRAINING MONTAGE. Holy shit, it’s awesome. It’s amazing and hilarious at the same time.
When the tiger roars, and the mountain cries
You gotta dream the dream, you gotta win the prize
You’re gonna go the miles, you’re gonna face the trials
Never lost sight of the sights you see
You gotta believe your beliefs are real
Now your drinking from a fire hydrant
Teach your uncle how to wear a cummerbund
Now you’re gonna jump a crazy gorge
Keep on shaving that hairy uncle
Uh….I don’t really know what’s happening in this part
Your heart on fire and the fire is in your heart!…
It is amazing. Speaking of amazing songs, Dipper is obsessed with Icelandic pop group Babba, specifically their hit Disco girl:
THAT GIRL IS YOU
How amazing is it? The dreaded multi bears loves it, as he’s actually a nice guy. Oh, and he’s voiced by Alfred Molina, which is amazing. There is just so much about this episode that I love. I suppose it’s better in parts than as a whole, but it’s still great as a whole. Why do people dislike it?
I think maybe it’s because the moral is a bit more generic, or they feel that Dipper isn’t as interesting enough on his own as he is with Mabel or Wendy. I see why that could bug someone, but I love what they did with the moral and Dipper is still awesome on his own. But hey, it’s their opinion.
This one just clicked with me due to the rather brash humor and amazing song. It’s not one of the show’s stronger stories, but it has some of the best jokes in the series. If the subplot had a few more jokes, this could have been higher.
But it’s still an awesome episode. Dipper actually learns an important lesson while also staying true to himself, the humor is top notch, and the Manataurs are awesome. I just like what they did with this generic moral and it’s one I find myself watching a lot for it’s humor.
It’s funny, sweet, and most of all, MANLY. Also, it, along with The Inconveniencing, gave Aaron Springer his groove back. All that makes this episode one of the best. Not much else to say here.
Dipper Vs Manliness. Whichever loses, we won.
5. The Legend of the Gobblewonker
Director: John Aoshima
Writers: Michael Rianda & Alex Hirsch
This was only the 2nd episode, and it’s still one of the best. That’s how good this show is.
While on a fishing trip with Stan, Dipper, Mabel and Soos hear about a sea creature called the Gobble Wonker that lives near Scuttlebut island. So they ditch Stan to find out, which doesn’t work out well for either party.
Since this is the 2nd episode, it’s pretty simple in terms of plot, but it already showed how hilarious this show can be. Even more so than Manliness, it has great joke after great joke. Examples include a perfectly timed gag about Dipper’s cameras, the first appearance of Old Man Macgucket and, quite possibly the best line in cartoon history, courtesy of Stan:
‘Now, who wants to put on some blindfolds and get in my car?!”
Not only is that perfectly timed, hilarious, and radar dogey, but it’s actually the line that got me into this show. I was interested in the show already but after I saw this line in a early promo I knew I would love it.
And here we are., I remember waiting for this episode just so I can finally hear the line in action. I loved it that much. What makes it funnier is the kid’s reaction:
It’s right before the intro but thankfully this one has more to offer in the rest of it’s run time. The simple plot makes room for some great jokes, as the characters get more room to be funny now that everything is established. On top of that, Soos really shines here as he gets more to do. He could have been the dumb one, and he still isn’t the brightest, but he’s mostly goofy and weird. Mabel is the more optimistic/bright side of goofy, while Soos is the….dumber yet still not dumb side. I don’t know.
Watching this again just made me want to see more Soos, and I’m gland Land Before Swine and Carpet Diem, gave him a subplot to an extent. But seriously, where is our Soos episode?
…What was I talking about? Anyway, I couldn’t stress how funny this episode is, with all it’s laugh out loud jokes. My sense of humor is broad but I tend to love self aware jokes (Phineas and Ferb is full of those) or very odd/goofy jokes, which this is full of. So now you know half of the reason I love this show.
I think my other favorite joke is when Stan tells a….joke to this couple.
“My ex-wife still misses me….but her aim is getting better! …But her aim is getting better! …It’s funny because marriage is terrible”
But besides that, this one really made me love Stan beyond just being funny. He takes them fishing because…..he just wants to do some family bonding. Yeah, he has no really motive or plan. He just honestly wanted to bond, in how own Stan-y way.
It could have been OOC for him but the way he forces them early on shows that his previous bonding days have gone badly, and this one mostly just benefited him due to being an activity he likes.
As you can imagine, he doesn’t like it when the twins ditch him. That could have made them assholes but fishing but Stan certainly didn’t seem appealing, and it makes sense that a sea monster chasing adventure looked more interesting. Not to mention the fact that they later regret it.
SOOS: Looks like the only monster in the lake was you two …Just popped in my head.
Stan spend a lot of the episode hiding the fact that he’s sad that the kids left. He tries to make other friends, but he doesn’t work because he’s Stan. There are a lot great jokes in this segment including the marriage one I mentioned.
This was the first episode to show that Grunkle Stan really does have a heart, because it’s breaking. He honestly did want to hang with the kids and realizes that he likes them cuz he misses them. So while the kids really learn the lesson (Don’t leave your uncle to chase a sea monster) Stan does get some development too.
I’ll go ahead and spoil the ending as it’s not too shocking. It turns out the Gobblewonker was actually a robot made by Old Macgucket. See, this old timer was quite lonely, as not even his son (Yes, he has a son) wouldn’t talk to him. He really wanted attention, since everyone ignored him so he made a big fish robot.
“In hindsight, it was kinda contrived”
By the way, he makes a robot every time someone bugs him like that and he didn’t really try to talk to his son because he was busy making the robot. You can guess the real reason why he’s lonely.
Either way, it shows the twins what could happen if they keep avoiding Stan. So eventually they make it back to him and it’s a happy ending. Not the biggest sweet moment but it’s great for the 2nd episode.
It really develops the characters, especially Stan. It mixes it in with great humor, and a nice simple story. Episode 1 fleshed out the characters by introducing them as well as the setting, but this one just lets them run loose and every second of it is great.
It doesn’t have much in terms of mystery, or town development but it has a lot of laughs, a lot of heart, and development for my favorite character. It’s just a great time. While there are 4 others betters than it, it’s still the one that sold me on the show.
The Legend of the Gobblewonker. The 2nd time was the charm.
4. Fight Fighters
Director: John Aoshima
Writers: Zach Paez & Alex Hirsch
Wendy’s boyfriend, Robbie, challenges Dipper to a fight and naturally, Dipper wants to avoid the fight like a coward. But through some magic stuff he accidentally summons a video game characters named Rumble Mcskirmish.Dipper wants to use Rumble as his bodyguard so he doesn’t have to fight Robbie but it goes south fast.
Meanwhile, Mabel tries to cure Stan’s fear of heights.
This is an interesting because people love it yet there are people who think that the story isn’t the show’s strongest. While I admit that it has some flaws, I can’t help but love this episode for it’s humor. I know I keep praising the humor, but this has the most laughs of any episode. The humor is just everywhere in this one, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I don’t think I mentioned Wendy at the top, so I’ll explain her. She’s the teenage cashier/desk lady at the Mystery Shack and naturally, she doesn’t really care about anything but she’s also fun and has….interesting friends. Dipper has a crush on her and you know where this is going.
I know people tend to be mixed on the Dipper/Wendy thing, but I like it as every Dipper/Wendy episode focuses on a different aspect of their relationship to an extent. In two previous episodes, (one of which is coming up on this list), she got involved with this punk kid named Robbie, and in that ep coming up, he became her boyfriend.
Dipper doesn’t like that, so in this episode Robbie notices and long story short, Dipper accidentally picks a fight with him when. He runs like a coward until he summons Rumble with a strange code found on a video game cabinet. Hilarity ensues.
Here is what people mean they talk about the story. Dipper is pretty much bashed for wanting a bodyguard while going up a guy who could kill him. Cuz as Soos said, Teens are killing machines.
“My cousin Reggie got in a fight with a teen once. He broke two of legs, and maybe killed him or something. I was just talking to Reggie about it”
He sort of lies to Rumble (more on that later) and long story short, he is forced to fight Rumble and he gets his ass handed to him. After the ordeal is over, he faces Robbie like a man and Robbie just backs off because it’s not worth if it since Dipper doesn’t care. They then decide to just hate each in secret.
Yeah, perhaps you see the issue here. This ep says you have to face a bully because you totally won’t get your ass kicked! Okay, I know what they were going for. The lesson is to take problems on like a man instead of running like a coward. Yes, it could have been written better, but it still works due to the way it changes Dipper and Robbie’s relationship.
I see why some may find the story weak but who has time to think about it when we have EVERYTHING ELSE?!
The titular game is pretty much a spoof of Street Fighter. What gives it away, besides the very similar style? They released a full list of the in game character names. One of them was N Buffallo.
Rumble pretty much encompasses every badass game character ever, and with him we get a very loving parody of game tropes. Also, dialogue like this:
“Dr karate, you killed my father again!”
“Winners don’t lose!”
It’s amazing. I’m not a gamer but I loved this how this episode payed tribute to games. They pack in so many references to game tropes and stuff like that. Due to that, every joke just hits hard. Rumble is amazing with his crazy voice and art style. He gets all the big laughs, and I won ‘t even try to quote all of them.
But I will mention the part where he goes out to fight Robbie and picks up stuff from the street such a pipes and a sword.
DIPPER: This street has really dangerous litter.
That killed me.
I won’t go into Rumble too much as a lot of the humor is stronger when you see it for yourself. But I will mention one great bit with Soos: He sees a game named Nort (GET IT) and he tries to go inside the game, literally. It …does not work out.
“It was cool in theory but in practice it was really boring!”
Sorry about the quotes, but this is easily the most quotable episode. The subplot isn’t as strong but it still works due to Stan being Stan. He doesn’t change too much but the way they put the plots together was nice.
Also, Stan is so scared of heights that he doesn’t own a ladder.
“They say having a ladder in your house is more dangerous than having a gun. That’s why I own 10 guns. In case some maniac tries to sneak in a ladder!”
Yeah. Not much else to mention for the subplot, so back to the main stuff. I already covered how the plot goes, but I will say the big Dipper/Rumble battle is great. Dipper does show some smarts and they tease the idea that Dipper might win.
But they smartly have him lose to show us the moral I think they were really showing us: Even if you get your ass kicked, you should still be glad you were man enough to try.
Or something like that. Also, Rumble pulls out the BEST COMBO EVER. I won’t even spoil it. There are so many other jokes I left out because I don’t to spoil them for you. The point is, this episode is hilarious.
But wait, I need to mention Dipper’s lie. Rumble thinks that Dipper hates Robbie because he kills his father, cuz it’s the cliché thing to assume. Dipper of course says no, it’s because he stole his girlfriend.
“And then he killed your father!”
“…Let’s go with that”
Eventually, Dippper tells him the truth, and Rumble is pissed and says Dipper is the bad guy. Dipper reluctantly agrees. But wait. Rumble keep INSISTING that Robbie killed his father so it was out of Dipper’s control. Dipper didn’t do anything bad!
That’s only thing that bugs me about this episode, while the rest is just up to other people’s interpretation.
Yes, the story needed some fixing but I like the idea and it does give us some development for Dipper and Robbie. The subplot was pointless but it was still fun and it gave us the first appearance of Waddles since his debut. I swear, it’s coming up.
There’s not much else to say. This episode isn’t perfect, and maybe it should be lower on the list, but I love it because it’s a loving tribute to video games with some of the best jokes in the entire show. It’s just awesome.
Fight Fighters. Insert game pun here.
3. The Time Travelers Pig
Directors: Aaron Springer (!) and Joe Pitt
Writers: Aury Wallington & Alex Hirsch
Told ya. This episode seems to be the most popular. It has been praised as the best episode ever and….yeah, it’s awesome. Not my favorite, but it’s really close.
While at a fair run by Stan, Dipper accidentally hits Wendy with a baseball, and long story short, Robbie comforts her and they start going out. He’s not happy about this, but after bumping into a time traveler (like you do), he gets the chance to fix his mistake, but in true Gravity Falls fashion, it doesn’t turn out so well..
Well, I didn’t mention the pig in that summary. He just isn’t important to the main summary you’d give to someone, but we’ll get to him in a second. This episode is interesting, cuz it isn’t overload with amazing jokes like the others on this list. It’s funny but it’s a more story based episode, which means it’s not quite as fun for me as the others, but it’s still awesome.
It’s not even an early episode thing, this was episode 9, well after some of the other entries. But that’s not important. This episode as a whole, IS important. Wendy and Robbie hook up for real, and Mabel gets WADDLES as a prize at the fair. Ah yes, Waddles. Mabel’s relationship with Waddles makes this episode.
They are just awesome and adorable when they first meet, as they hang out for most of the episode. We see that they already care for each other, and all that. I mention this because this pretty much saves a scene that would otherwise fail in lesser hands.
Before we get to that, let’s discuss Blendin Blandin, voiced by Oscar/Lemongrab/Rick & Morty. He doesn’t get much characterization outside of being awkward but the jokes, he has (not to mention the voice behind him) makes him cool. Oh, and the fact that he was in the show already.
Yes, eagle eyed viewers noticed that he can be in the background of previous episodes. I learned about his appearances before this ep came out so seeing him here was pretty cool for me. I just love that the writers thought this far ahead. That’s not even the only case of this. It’s almost Nibbler’s shadow levels of thinking ahead!
He’s a time anomaly finder guy and he’s at the fair because he thought there were some anomalies there. He doesn’t find any so he takes a break which allows Dipper and Mabel to go back and stop Robbie from going out with Wendy.
It doesn’t go well. Dipper keeps screwing up no matter what he does. He does everything except make Wendy duck or something. Seriously, there are so many ways he didn’t try. Though I guess it’s not a time travel story without plot holes.
Through this, Mabel gets to win Waddles over and over again and it’s really adorable. To make a long story short, Dipper as Mabel help him and boom, Robbie is cockblocked by Dipper. However, Waddles is taken by local Alpha Bitch Pacifica Northwest instead of Mabel.
Mabel takes it well, as she fights with Dipper over the time machine and we get our going through time machine. Including a visit to a future run by the Giant Floating Baby Head’s father, and previous episodes. Yes, really.
Actually, a time travel themed Regular Show episode that aired later that year also visited previous episodes, and like her, the time travel was to prevent a love mistake. People joked about how similar it is to this one, and some even yelled rip off. By that logic, they should accuse RS of ripping of Wizards of Waverly place since that show also used time voodoo to stop a bad kiss. But whatever, that has nothing to do with this.
Eventually, Mabel is forced to live without her pig, and she tells Dipper she will never forgive him for this. Then comes the big scene every talks it, which makes this episode insanely sad/sweet. Dipper tries to prove she will get over, but even when he goes a month into the future, she is still at this tree, talking about Waddles.
SOOS: And that’s Mabel…..whose heart was broken by a heartless jerk.
It’s pretty dang effective. It’s a lot heavier in context, but trust me, it’s awesome. We really see how much she cared about Waddles, even after only a few hours with him. Dipper feels pretty bad for caring more about him than his sister and as you guessed, he has to hit Wendy so that things return to normal.
Though this is where things get odd for me. With what people said about Fight Fighters, you think they would accuse Mabel of being selfish herself, as moping basically gets her what she wants and all that. But here’s the thing.
Dipper just wanted some chick he likes to not be with a guy he likes. While the baseball thing was a mistake, all Robbie did was be in the right place at the right time. Dipper was kind of right to be mad, but Mabel’s want was a lot more genuine than Dippers.
That’s why Mabel doesn’t come across as selfish. Her motivations are far more genuine than Dippers. They could have shown it better but what we got was still great. In the end, Blenin is caught by time cops named Lolph and Dungreen (subtle) and he is forced to go back through time and fix the damage the kids made. And yes, this is why he was in those previous episode. Brilliant.
There’s a lot more to the emotional stuff than I let in, but I think you get it. This is is a very sweet episode where dipper learns that his own selfish needs are less important than the unselfish needs of his sister. That scene m mentioned Is so heartbreaking, than it makes the ending even sweeter.
People consider this the best episode due the sweet moment that makes Mabel more sympathetic, and Dipper more complex. While I still like the previous Dipper episodes, this has him develop rather well too.
But before I wrap this up, I have to quote some jokes!
“I spared every expense”
“When there’s no cops around, everything’s legal!”
Yeah, the only thing keeping this one from being my fave is the lack of jokes. Oh, it’s very funny but it didn’t have as many as jokes as the others. I know that’s unfair, but I personally like the show more when it has hard laughs and hard heart, like in Carpet Diem. But this one ended up high due to how good the emotional stuff was.
If the jokes were as good as Fight Fighters, or my number one pick, this would be a perfect episode. But as it is, it’s still very good. It’s amusing, sweet, complex, important, and it has time travel. How can it not be on this list?
Sorry I explained too much in this section as opposed to the others. It has more to the story so I had more to recap. Anyway, it’s a great episode that deserves the praise it gets, even if it’s only number 3 for me. Also, Waddles is amazing.
The Time Travelers Pig. So good, I won’t pull out a lame time pun.
2. Gideon Rises
Directors: John Aoshima & Joe Pitt
Writers: Matt Chapman, Alex Hirsch, & Michael Rianda
Oh boy, I have a lot to explain before I even get to the summary. This is the Season Finale, and it’s as amazing as I wanted it to be. First, let’s talk about Gideon, voiced by the creator of “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack”, and Flapjack himself. . He’s a child physic whose really kind of a fraud.
In “The Hand that Rocks the Mabel” he fell for her but naturally, he was evil and creepy about it. He was a cool villain but at the end of that ep, we found out he has Book 3. Yes, that was where the show REALLY started. He came back in Little Dipper, in which he becomes a shockingly competent villain despite being small, and voiced by Flapjack. He was now the show’s main villain being funny and evil.
He had some cameos after that….but then came “Dreamscapers”
Consider that one tied with this finale, as it’s equally amazing. In that one, Gideon summoned a weird being named Bill Cypher to invade Stan’s mind and get the combo to the safe that has the deed to the Mystery Shack. Long story shorty, Bill fails but at the end, when everything seems fine, Gideon bursts in with dynamite and gets the deed.
And with that, he comes at the shack of bulldozers and TO BE CONTINUED. It was a hell of a cliffhanger, and the conclusion is beyond PERFECT. At the start, Gideon has taken over the shack and plans to turn into Gideon-land. Stan and the gang now live at Soos’ grandma’s house, with little food and water. It turns out that Gideon wants the shack so he can get the book that Dipper has, as having all 3 unlocks great power.
So this episode is about the characters trying to stop Gideon and getting the shack back. This episode is just amazing, It’s hilarious, sweet, deep, suspenseful and a bit heart wrenching. I got emotional at points, and at the happy ending, I was honesty smiling big time.
I think the main reason this episode works so well is because we see the characters at their lowest point. They have no home, no jobs….nothing. The writers do a good job at throwing some curve balls at us, as we have no idea what is going to happen next, even though it’s obvious.
At every turn, I was emotionally invested and the episode never lets up. But on top of that, it’s funny and suspenseful as well as moving. I actually won’t spoil too much, as this finale is more amazing if you don’t know what to expect. I won’t even spoil the ending!
But I will say that it’s an awesome cliffhanger that both answers questions and raises more. It’s the kind of ending that we’ve been held on for like a year now. It’s awesome.
I know you wouldn’t mind if I spoiled stuff, but this is a case where I simply won’t. That, and if I did I would struggling to organize this section. As it would be like:
“Oh, this part was amazing, and this part was cool, and this was neat and-”
Yes, I do that a lot but this time, I don’t feel like it. Either way, you get that this episode is amazing, right? It’s just a perfect episode, with lots of mystery, lots of badass moments, and of course, lots of heart.
It’s the finale I wanted and that doesn’t tend to happen a lot. Even the very good ones tend to be slightly different from what I wanted. (Spookville is a good example, but that’s a post for another day).
It’s a lot of fun and it has some really nice development for Dipper and Stan in particular. Speaking of, I’ll mention this subplot in Dreamscapers that earned it’s spot tied with this: Dipper is getting sick of Stan always picking on him for no reason and he rewally wants to know hwy Stan makes him do stupid dangerous chores. When they go inside his mind, Dipper goes in a memory and finds out that Stan kind of dislikes him. Dipper pretty much shuts down after that and refuses to protect Stan from the demo dude. Yeah, it’s a bit dickish but in context it makes sense given what he went through.
If you guessed that it turns out Dipper heard Stan’s comment out of context, you are correct. It turns out that Stan has been doing this to toughen up. See, when Stan was a kid, he was a mockable weakling, and his father made him do tough chores an practice fighting a lot. Stan thought his Dad hated him but one day all of that crap helped him fight a bully and get a girl. He had been toughen him up this whole time, so Stan decided to use the same method on Dipper, and so far it seems to be working.
“I’m actually proud of him”
….Okay, maybe I should go back and put Dreamscapers along Gideon Rises. …Nah, I’m lazy. But seriously, this subplot was amazingly sweet, and it gave us new insight into Stan. But back to this episode.
It’s great. Did I say that already? Sorry I can’t go into more detail but trust me when I say it’s best go in blind. This was a perfect finale for a stellar first Season. It answered questions, and gave us new ones, It made Gideon an even cooler threat, it gave us great jokes, epic moments, sweet moments, an AWESOME ending.
Overall, it’s the best Season Finale we could have hoped for. It has everything and then some. Ir’s funny, sweet and just all around awesome. On a pure critical level, it’s the best episode.
Gideon Rises. Who knew Flapjack could be badass?
What could be possibly top that? Well, technically nothing could. Much like P&F’s Summer Belongs to You, it is the BEST episode, but it’s not the one that I love the most. This is a favorite list, after all.
So, after all that awesome-ness, what could top it for me? My number one favorite Gravity Falls episode is….
1. Irrational Treasure
Director: John Aoshima
Writers: Tim McKeon & Alex Hirsch
Is this an odd choice? Perhaps, but it’s the perfect choice for me.
On Pioneer Day, Pacifica Northwest mocks Mabel for being silly, which makes her doubt herself. But things change when they find out about a conspiracy saying that Town founder, and Pacific’s Great great grandfather, is a fraud. So they go on a National Treasure-ish adventure to find out more, but naturally government connected people (aka Blubs and Durland) don’t want the kids to find out the secret behind Nathaniel Northwest.
It seems like my favorite episode of most shows are not the big special one that is terminally the best. My fave P&F episode isn’t Summer Belongs to You, my Fave Friendship is Magic episode is not Twilight’s Kingdom or Canterlot Wedding (spoilers for upcoming list), and my fave GF episode is not Gideon Rises.
Typically, my fave episode is a normal one that goes the extra mile and is amazing. This is a perfect example. This episode sums up everything great about the show, even more so than the other episodes.
Weird, hilarious humor? Check.
Compelling Mystery? Check
Great, refreshing sibling dynamic? Check.
Decent message and heart? CHECK.
Yes, the other episodes have that too but it’s never been more perfect than in here. The great story moves at a fast pace, keeping you interested while also throwing in tons of great jokes. We’ll get to the heart but let’s focus on that sibling thing for a second.
That’s one major thing this show is praised for. It’s well known that most siblings in ….well anything, bicker and all that stuff. They end up loving each other in the end but that either doesn’t last long, or it doesn’t make up for what came before.
Dipper and Mabel have their ups and downs to be sure, but in most episode, they get along and have fun without needing to make a big deal about. While the other episodes have this, this one did it so perfectly. Yes, Mabel has a conflict, but it’s with herself and Dipper is by her side every step of the way.
It’s just cool but it’s only a small part of why this episode is great. I’ll go on to quoting my favorite joke in the episode. At the Poinieer day thingy, where they pretend things are like how they were in the olden days of Gravity Falls, we are told it used to be legeal to marry woodpeckers.
“Oh, it’s still legal. VERY Legal”
….You know-for kids?
That’s not even a one off joke. We later see that guy argue with his….wife, and later on Quetin Trembly hears a woodpecker and thinks it’s his 3rd wife. And they say censors are more lax now.
There are more jokes I could quote, but it’s time to cover more of the story. Eventually, the kids find out the truth behind the founder of Gravity Falls. See, during the I forget the year presidential election, Quinten Trembley won in landslide. As in , a landslide buried the other guys.
He soon became known as the world’s silliest president, declaring the “Depantsitation proclamation” and appointing some babies to the Supreme Court. MUST NOT MAKE BUSH JOKE.
After stuff like that, he was impeached and he ran away. He literally fell into a place he called Gravity Falls, cuz he..fell into it. Due to Gravity. Get it? Anyway, he vanished, so the government hid his existence from the world, and declared local crazy coot Nathinel Northwest the founder of Gravity Falls.
They have been trying to find Trembely’s body for years, and our heroes stumble upon him during their quest. Okay, now for the actual review-y part. This is some amazing world building, as we find out how Gravity Falls came to be, and it ties into the story very well. I’m no conspiracy nut, but I love these kind of stories a lot.
The build up to the big reveal is great too, as I also love mystery/adventure stories like this. It’s cleverly written and it gives Mabel some cool moment as she ends up helping with her weird-ness. Like when she puts a statue’s finger in her nose, which ends up activating a secret tunnel.
As I said, they mix in humor and story well, and it all builds up to a cool reveal. As it turns out, Trembely put himself in…Peanut brittle which was able to freeze him over and keep him alive until the moment he is un…brittled by our heroes. Yes, Peanut Brittle has life sustaining properties and only he figured it out.
I think this is the perfect time to discuss Trembely. He is my favorite one shot character, but I hope he returns one day. He’s so hilarious in how weird he is, but it’s not annoying at all. He does it so seriously, that you can kind of see the logic in everything he does. Also, he proves that Alex Hirsch is one of the best voice actors ever. I mean, would you think Stan and this guy are the same guy?
He’s just an awesome, funny guy giving us some of the best jokes in the episode. As you might expect, he and Mabel bond due to the whole silly thing and together they help save the day. Admittedly, the way they solve the conflict is a bit rushed but it makes sense and there’s enough great build up to make up for it.
I’m not going into too much detail, because I do not want to spoil every little thing this great episode gives us. That and I’m lazy. Now, you could give the argument that Trembely’s weird-ness was a genuine fault as a president shouldn’t be doing shit like putting Babies on the supreme court. But remember, he got enough support to be in the running to begin with.
Which teaches Mabel that being weird can take you to great places, as long as you don’t go too far. They could have made him evil but making him good was a smart choice in the end. Before I get to the…interesting bit at the end, let’s discuss Mabel.
Once all is said and done, she learns to accept herself as her odd-ness ended up being a great thing. She’s even willing to ignore Pacifica’s gloating. Now, this is how you do a be yourself moral CORRECTLY. The trait Mabel is mocked for is not a negative trait and at no point does it have a full on negative impact on her or anyone around her.
Usually in these types of stories, the trait that they mocked for, or are told to fix, is a negative trait that has a negative impact on people. For example, let’s look at Freaky Fido. Avery’s tendency to have no fun causes her to treat her family like shit while making her movie. Yet in the end she is allowed to do this because she must BE HERSELF.
Bullshit. This episode makes it so the trait is a good one, so the moral holds more weight. Now you see why I really hate that moral in FF. Is the moral cliché? Yes, which might be why it’s not seen as the best, but it is done well and it rings true.
You should be proud of who you are, if who you are is good. Mabel changes in this one, even if it seems like she doesn’t. Which is more than I can say for something like Cars 2, which the person learning the message does not seem to change.
Yes, I still like it, but that is a big flaw.
Even if you don’t care about the moral, this episode has a solid mystery and some amazing humor to distract you. Then we have a bit that is amazing. Here we go:
Mabel decides not to show Pacifica the truth about Nathiel since she has learned to ignore her. Then…Dipper says he hasn’t learned anything, and he tells her the truth. Pacifica is pissed.
“Wow, revenge is so underrated. That felt awesome!”
…Okay, this is kind of brilliant. Let me explain In the hands of a lesser writer, this could have been an awful scene that breaks the entire moral. But instead, it’s hilarious, perfectly time, and amazing.
For one, Dipper sees how Mabel learned the moral, so his actions don’t really disgrace Mabel at all. He just wanted to pick on Pacifica, and Mabel seems okay with it. It’s funny because is shows real balls.
Most kids show should be able to get away with throwing away it’s message like that for the sake of a joke, but it does and it’s awesome. It kind of reminds me of a line from an episode of Friendship is Magic, where Applejack says she didn’t learn anything, as she was right all along. That was amazing because it subverted the show’s usual stuff, but the moral was still shown to the other characters.
Yeah, I know I mentioned ponies 3 times here, but screw it, I’m a brony. This ep does that kind of subversion well too, and while it’s less daring, it is much funnier.’
I can see someone hating this scene and funding it mean and un-funny, but I thought it was hilarious and ballsy. It works better in context, if that helps any. This isn’t the moment that made it my fave, as it may still be here without, but it helps a lot.
That’s all I really got. I know I’ve been both too in depth and too vague at the same time, but I really don’t want to ruin all the jokes. I didn’t even ruin some bits in the story. This episode gave us a cool mystery, great world building, a solid story, development for Mabel, and most of all, great humor.
It’s on par with Fight Fighters in the humor department but this has a great story to match it! Most of the episodes, both on here, and in general, showcase the show’s strength. But this episode PERFECTED it, and I doubt anything will replace it in my heart for awhile.
It has mystery, heart, sibling stuff, and humor. Everything that makes this show good. THIS, is Gravity Falls, ladies and gentlemen.
Irrational Treasure. My number one favorite episode, and that ain’t no Mystery.
And there you go, the 8 best episodes of Gravity Falls. It is odd for me to calls GF the best thing ever, since I even hold back on calling my other favorite shows (Adventure Time, Regular Show, etc) amazing, even when they are. But this show does so much right that I just have to praise it.
Phineas and Ferb is still number one for me, because it has more hurdles to jump due to it’s limitations which makes the great humor, and character development even better. However, Gravity Falls is also great for all the reason I’ve mentioned here. I think I’ve made it clear why I like it, so I don’t need to say it again.
I switch between the love I show here, and just enjoying it for the humor and mystery. I don’t want to oversell, as many people already do that. Though I will be the first person to not bash other things, both on it’s channel and in general, to praise it.
“let’s look at Freaky Fido.”
…For the most part.
Overall, Gravity Falls is a great show with a solid overarching story, likable characters, and very funny humor. This list made me realize how much I suck at explaining things well during lists, but it was so much fun to re-watch these episodes.
Is this list perfect? No, and I’m sure if I went back, I could change it a bit, but the top 2 will stay the same, until Season 2. Cuz I have no doubts that it will have stories that top this.
Speaking of which, I hope the wait is damn worth it. It looks it will come in July, which is my birth month. Hell yeah. There’s more I could say about this show, especially when it comes to the story, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.
I hope I sold this show for all 1 one of that have not seen it. I also hope I gave fans a list they will enjoy, and maybe I made someone love the show even more. But that’s assuming I can write for shit.
Okay, let’s end this before I go on further. Good show, good episodes, good bye.