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Gravity Falls is an American animated Disney television series created by Alex Hirsch. After a preview on June 15, 2012, the show made its on-air debut on June 29. The show follows 12-year-old twin siblings Dipper (Jason Ritter) and Mabel Pines (Kristen Schaal) on summer vacation in in the small town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. During this time they live with their great “Grunkle” Stan (series creator Alex Hirsch), owner of The Mystery Shack, a museum and tourist trap. The twins quickly discover the town’s mysterious history, and along with the Mystery Shack’s employees Soos (Hirsch) and Wendy (Linda Cardellini), they set to uncover the town’s secrets. The show is currently airing on the Disney Channel and Disney XD.
Spread and Popularity
Shortly after the first episode’s premiere, /co/ began to make threads about it. Although originally the reason for these threads was an excuse to avoid other threads related to The Legend of Korra, which also had a large peak in popularity at the time, Gravity Falls threads eventually grew to become a daily occurance. On Tumblr, many blogs were made dedicated to the show hours after the sneak preview.
Title Sequence / Made Me Realize
Possibly the most popular part of the show, the opening sequence of the show is acclaimed for its quality and atmosphere, with numerous GIF sets of the various moments from the intro. The music accompanying the title sequence, named Made Me Realize by fans after a demo version of the track found on the composer Brad Breeck’s site, is particularily popular, being a frequent subject of covers, mash-ups and remixes.
One of the most popular remixes of the song is a Mash-Up by the musician Psycosis91 (most famous for his Neutral Milk Hotel/Rap music mash-up album In My G4 Over Da Sea), which combines the theme tune with the vocals from the Wiz Khalifa song Black and Yellow. It has as of the 18th of October 2012 reacher over 11,000 notes on Tumblr and over 68,000 plays of the song. He also created another very popular remix, mashing the theme tune with the infamous vocals from the Quad City DJ’s song Space Jam. 
Mysteries and Cryptography
One of the most well known elements of the show is the large amount of secret or hidden content seen in the show which adds to the “mystery” theme of the show. Fans are quick to decipher and uncover these elements, with many videos and posts on blogs, forums and Youtube about their findings. Secret coded messages are seen during the credits of each episode, with the message either referring to the episode itself or a future/upcoming episode.
Near the end of the opening credits, a whispering message can be heard. When played backwards, this voice can be heard to say “three letters back”, a guide to decoding the decrypted messages found at the end of each episode. Starting with episode 7, a new voice appeared in the opening credits, this one saying “Switch A and Z”, the new method used to decode the secret messages. These codes are known as the Caesar Cipher and the Atbash cipher, full explnations of how they work can be found in the links provided.
- Episode 1 – “Tourist Trapped”
“ZHOFRPH WR JUDYLWB IDOOOV” – “WELCOME TO GRAVITY FALLS”.
This is an introduction to the series.
- Episode 2 – “The Legend of the Gobblewonker”
“QHAW ZHHN: UHWXUQ WR EXWW LVODQG” – “NEXT WEEK: RETURN TO BUTT ISLAND”
This could possibly mean that Dipper and Mabel will return to Scuttlebutt Island in a future episode.
- Episode 3 – “Headhunters”
“KH’V VWLOO LQ WKH YHQWV” – “HE’S STILL IN THE VENTS”
This is referring to Wax Larry King’s head, who ended up in the vents of the Mystery Shack. It is unknown what has happened to him.
- Episode 4 – “The Hand that Rocks the Mabel”
“FDUOD, ZKB ZROW BRY FDOO PH?” – “CARLA, WHY WONT YOU CALL ME?”
This is referring to the end of the “Tent of Telepathy” commercial, where the announcer speaks of the side-effects of visiting the attraction in fast-motion. At the end, he says “Carla, I’ve always loved you but I’ve never had the guts to say it.”
- Episode 5 – “The Inconveniencing”
“RQZDUGV DRVKLPD!” – “ONWARDS AOSHIMA!”
This is referring to the hallucinations Mabel experienced while eating Smile Dip. She is seen riding a mutant dolphin-creature with multiple heads with arms sticking out of their mouths. On the palms of these hands are more dolphin heads. While on the creature, she says “The future is in the past! Onwards, Aoshima!”
- Episode 6 – “Dipper Vs. Manliness”
“PV. FDHVDULDQ ZLOO EH RXW QHAW ZHHN. PV. DWEDVK ZLOO VXEVWLWXWH.” – “MS. CAESARIAN WILL BE OUT NEXT WEEK. MS. ATBASH WILL SUBSTITUTE.”
This meant that the ciphers would stop using Caesarian and would start using Atbash to be decoded.
- Episode 7 – “Double Dipper”
“KZKVI QZN WRKKVI HZBH: ‘ZFFTSDCJSTZWHZWFS!’” – “PAPER JAM DIPPER SAYS: ‘AUUGHWXQHGADRADUH!’”
This is referring to Paper Jam Dipper, a clone of Dipper that got stuck in a paper jam. He talks in unrecognizable babbling.
- Episode 8 – “Irrational Treasure”
“V. KOFIRYFH GVNYOVB” – “E. PLURIBUS TREMBLEY”
This refers to Sir Quentin Trembley III, Esquire. When translated from Latin, the decoded cipher reads “Out of many, Trembley.” This is parodying the phrase on the seal of the U.S.: “E. pluribus unum”, which is “Out of many, one.”
- Episode 9 – “The Time Traveller’s Pig”
“MLG S.T. DVOOH ZKKILEVW” – “NOT H.G. WELLS APPROVED”
This is referring to the author of many popular science fiction books, H.G. Wells. He wrote “The Time Traveler.”
- Episode 10 – “Fight Fighters”
“HLIIB, WRKKVI, YFG BLFI DVMWB RH RM ZMLGSVI XZHGOV” – “SORRY, DIPPER, BUT YOUR WENDY IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE”
This is a parody of the famous phrase from the Super Mario games: “Thank you, Mario! But our princess is in another castle!”
- Episode 11 – “Little Dipper”
“GSV RMERHRYOV DRAZIW RH DZGXSRMT” – “THE INVISIBLE WIZARD IS WATCHING”
Refers to Mabel’s claim that there is a wizard hiding in their closet. After finding out there is nothing inside, she then claims the wizard is invisible.
- Episode 12 – “Summerween”
“YILFTSG GL BLF YB SLNVDLIP: GSV XZMWB” – “BROUGHT TO YOU BY HOMEWORK: THE CANDY”
- Episode 13 – “Boss Mabel”
“SVZEB RH GSV SVZW GSZG DVZIH GSV UVA” – “HEAVY IS THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE FEZ”
Various secrets and hints are present in the opening sequence as well. As well as codes and references to things such as the famous Konami Code, there is also a code hinting towards a major plot development, with a message when decoded reading “Stan Is Not What He Seems”, as was also hinted at in the end of the first episode. Another seemingly important secret is the large circle in the middle of the image. Here, a figure resembling the Illuminati symbol is surrounded by a circle depicting various different objects and symbols. All of these objects and symbols have been revealed to be somewhere in the show at some point or episode.
Multiple other hidden messages, frequently appearing symbols and foreshadowing of future episodes appear from time to time. For example, a tablet in a Gravity Falls Flash themed game on the Disney Channel website includes a code which translates as “Ever Noticed Stan’s Tattoo”. It is unknown at this time what the tattoo means.
Parapines is the nickname given to fan-works which feature crossovers between Gravity Falls and the stop-motion animated film Paranorman. Due to the close release dates of the two (15th/29th June 2012 for Gravity Falls, August 17th 2012 for Paranorman) and the similar subject matter of kids dealing with supernatural problems, art depicting crossovers of the two became fairly frequent. Fan-art crossing Gravity Falls with other series and subjects that focus on supernatural subjects is also a common occurence, including Coraline, Doctor Who, Psychonauts and Supernatural. The phrase is also used as a shipping name featuring ships of one of the two twins, usually Dipper, with Norman.
Paper Jam Dipper
In episode 7 of the series, ‘Double Dipper’, Dipper creates a number of clones of himself with the use of a magical photocopier. During the printing of one of these clones, the machine suffers a paper-jam, causing the creation of the deformed Paper Jam Dipper. Despite his limited screen time (the character dies before the end of the episode), the character became very popular with fans, with a number of pieces of fan-arts and other fan-works based on the character.
Dipper Goes to Taco Bell
Dipper Goes To Taco Bell is a fanfic which takes place in the universe of the 2012 animated cartoon series Gravity Falls. The story and its contents became notorious within the fanbase for its highly gore-filled narrative. It is often compared to other notorious shockfics from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom such as Cupcakes and Sweet Apple Massacre. For more information regarding this fanfic, check the entry linked here.