Gravity Falls was one of the BEST shows on Disney. Smart, funny, eccentric AS EVER, with weird characters, relatable characters, good heroes, amazing INCREDIBLE, DANGEROUS villains (okay villain it’s Bill Cipher people Gideon was just okay compared to that guy) and an incredible fun story not just for kids but young adults too….And just plain adults seeing as internet star Doug Walker and his brother got very much into the show…Like every show, there are highlights, and flaws. However, with Gravity Falls, there seem to be only highlights as there are no BAD episodes…Lesser ones sure. But more great episodes rather than bad…And here is a list of what I think are the best of the show.
THERE ARE GOING TO BE SOME SPOILERS IN THIS LIST. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. But really if you haven’t seen the show….Short version is go watch it.
1) The Hand That Rocks the Mabel
I almost kept this one off the list, but it was the one that got me into the show and for good reason. This episode introduced the little creeper known as Gideon Gleeful, the child “psychic”. This is the one that Gideon and Mabel try dating….it doesn’t really work and she needs the help of her twin to decide what to do. The way Gideon “Comes on” to poor Mabel is reminiscent of Gaston from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The way Mabel steps up and is able to put an end to things with his amulet was nice, and the Pines laughing it up in the shack was fun…But that’s not what got me into the show. Nope. It was the ending. There’s always an episode in TV that makes you swear, or gasp. The ending to this….Made me do both. In complete and utter SHOCK. After seeing the second Journal, I was HOOKED.
2) Tourist Trapped
A good fun episode to kickstart a good fun yet relatively serious show. We get our introduction to Dipper and Mabel, and some of the first look at the weirdness that is Gravity Falls, Oregon. We also get a fun look at their Great Uncle “Grunkle” Stan, who may not be what he seems. The two siblings are immediately likeable for different reasons, and their first encounter with the strange and paranormal is with the gnomes. Who you’d think wouldn’t be all that dangerous. This episode is well paced, and a good start to the series….but what made me interested in the mystery aspect of this show….Was the ending…See Stan has this vending machine…
3) Blendin’s Game
This episode is low on the list because while the Tron themed Blendin’ vs The Pines Twins was fun, this episode sheds some light on the loveable goof Soos. He does have quite the sad backstory regarding his father, and the resolution at the end is just full of feels. This episode also really highlights just how well Dipper and Mabel work together regardless of their differing personalities. If this episode didn’t have the Soos plot though, I would’ve traded it out for another filler episode. This episode makes you really feel for Soos.
Who doesn’t love Halloween? It’s by far MY favorite holiday. It’s a day both adults AND kids can have fun, and the one night it’s completely okay for kids to go to strangers and ask for sweets. In Gravity Falls, they have their summerween-Halloween in the summer. This episode has a special homage to Spirited Away, once again focuses on the Wendy/Dipper one sided thing, and is just a solid episode. It should be noted that when Mabel was upset with Dipper, it was the first time she simply wouldn’t speak to her brother. It also was the first to hint at Mabel’s fear of growing up and facing the future…Something that would come into play later on.
5) Into the Bunker
Yet another legit dark and scary episode from this show. There were some moments in this episode as well as others that had me going “Yeesh”…wonder how a kid would react to a shapeshifter taking on this hideous form of both Mabel and Dipper…Of the ominous warning the shapeshifter leaves for Dipper “this is the last form you’ll ever TAKE.” Good luck sleeping tonight indeed after this episode. It’s a simple fun adventure into the author of the journals’ bunker, where the group encounter the shapeshifter, and Dipper finally comes to terms with his failed crush on Wendy. Kind of a filler episode when you think about it, yet during the episode, that’s the last thought on your mind. It’s an episode that furthers the need, this insatiable thirst for knowledge and of finding out who the author really is.
6) Northwest Mansion Noir
Oh It’s amazing what children’s programming can get away with. Dirty sexual innuendos, dirty jokes “no no finger prints” is a great example of that one, or just a straight up horror episode that’ll be fun for the kids. There’s no terrifying Bill Cipher in this one (not physically at least) and Dipper instead has to deal with a very malevolent spirit out for vengeance against the Northwest family. This episode is clearly an ode to a lot of good horror films as well as Thriller. There’s a nice shot in particular that’s a great callback to Nightmare on Elm Street. We also get a nice “redemption” or sympathetic story with Pacifica, with indicators of child abuse through a simple ringing of a bell. Yeesh. And there’s also nice horror filled moments of Dipper being turned into wood in a pose that’s pretty similar to that of the shapeshiter’s final form (a screaming Dipper), BLOOD LIKE ACTUAL BLOOD dripping form the eyes and mouths of animal heads while they chant “ancient sins” and we get to see a lumberjack AXED off pretty much on screen….you know….FOR KIDS. This episode also ends on a more omnious note, with ignored warnings of the end times, and a final shot of Bill Cipher on a burning tapestry above people screaming and cowering in fear….Again….VERY kid friendly this show.
7) Sock Opera
Who doesn’t love this show’s villain? Fun, funny, smart (seemingly I call his bluff on being able to see everything), cunning, manic, hilarious, and downright scary AF. He makes his return to the show in this episode and WOW….Did people ever find a new ship to launch in Bill/Dipper aka Bipper (shudders)…There’s even a fun theory that comes from this episode…Because Dipper makes a rookie mistake in trusting Cipher and making a deal-since the demon needed a “puppet”. Dipper thought he’d use of his twin’s sock puppets for her show she’s putting on for her crush of the week. When Bill Cipher takes over his body, it’s a race against time and the demon to get to the journal before he does and restore Dipper back to his body.
This episode is FULL of whacky humor thanks to Cipher. Again he’s a great mix of funny and terrifying. A lot of good funny quotes are in this episodes. “Boy these arms are DURABLE.” And “Oh hey children fighting…I can SELL this.” Are among them. It also won’t be the only time Cipher utters “eenie meenie miney YOU” when making a decision.
This is an episode that had little dark moments thanks to Bipper (Bill when inhabiting Dipper), but was mostly lighthearted and outrageous thanks to that sock opera Mabel did.
8) Not What he Seems
Holy CHRIST ON A CHEESESTICK WHAT A LOADED EPISODE. I mean we didn’t find out much just the fact that Grunkle Stan knew all along about the journals, was using them to rebuild this dangerous machine, and has a twin brother Grunkle Ford. This episode was completely LOADED from start to finish, and set up the rest of the season quite nicely when one thinks on it. It’s fascinating that here out of all episodes you see how different Dipper and Mabel are and wonder how they ever make their relationship as siblings as close as it is; Dipper makes like the journal and ”trusts no one” while Mabel’s motto becomes “I still believe”. It also sheds some light on the characters that hasn’t yet come out of the darkness-how far Dipper will go as long as his heart is in the right place, what Grunkle Stan is willing to do for his family, and how far Mabel Pines is willing to trust someone she cares about. The episode is emotional, high staked, and has one of the biggest “holy $%#!” moments in cartoon history at the end. What a great mid-season finale.
This is a part one episode to the season 1 finale; it takes place almost entirely in Grunkle Stan’s mind, and it’s our first true look at the main villain-Bill Cipher a dream demon. For some, he was funny but not threatening. For others, he was an immediate threat from the get go. His manic personality and unpredictable behavior make him on par with some of the great Disney feature film villains. He was extremely well executed and would become a HUGE fan favorite (come on not ONE damn Illuminati joke or reference? Aside from Bill himself? For SHAME Mr. Hirsch) This episode also really helps develop Stan’s relationship with Dipper as well. Featuring a fun fantasy fight between our heroes and Cipher, all around it’s a great episode and great buildup to the season 1 finale.
10) The Weirdmageddon Trilogy
Is it cheating if I put the entire trilogy of the series finale on this list? I can’t help it; first seeing what Cipher has done to the Falls, then dealing with that aftermath as well as finding and freeing Mabel, and the final epic showdown between the Pines family and Bill Cipher brings this series to a close in an epic and touching way. We see how dangerous Cipher truly is in this episode, while it was hinted at in some episodes prior, this trilogy, “Take Back the Falls” in particular, really hammered home “This villain is DANGEROUS.” Especially when he straight up states “I have some children I need to make into CORPSES.” Good job Disney on terrifying a new generation of children through Cipher. The way everything is wrapped up is a BIT like LOTR but there are several “Endings” that hit home-Dipper’s monologue, and when it seems Grunkle Stan has lost his memory for good. It was just a nice bittersweet ending to such an extremely wonderful show.
This show exemplifies everything great about cartoons today. There was real effort put into this, and the ending left with a bittersweet note, with us longing to return to the Falls. We still have the show while the characters have their memories. Those are my favorite/best episodes…comment down below which were your favorite.