As you may already know, Gravity Falls is very unique and remarkable. It’s a cleverly written, wonderfully animated, devilishly puzzling cartoon that poignantly portrays the magic of childhood summers while also building a diabolical series-length mystery in the vein of Twin Peaks and Lost.
1. Mabel Pines
Dipper’s sister, who he shares with their mother, is a cute little tornado of energy and enthusiasm who provides an essential contrast to their brother’s rigor. She may not share her brother’s interest in the unknown, but she will be better equipped to deal with whatever they encounter thanks to her unwavering self-assurance and unconventional way of looking at things.
She’s a far more versatile protagonist than Dipper, and she fits in well with any plot, so she doesn’t seem out of place in the mythology-focused episodes. She’s just as vital to the plot as Dipper, and just as endearing to the audience, but she also provides far more laughs and excitement.
2. Dipper Pines
Dipper is the show’s central character since he is the would-be adventurer who is constantly investigating the secrets of Gravity Falls. Dipper is nice and earnest (maybe too much so), but what really sets him apart is the combination of his intelligence, scout mentality, quiet courage, responsibility, and dependability.
Maybe he would be if he weren’t a 12-year-old boy going through all the turmoil and change it entails. Dipper is the most capable person in Gravity Falls and also the most admirable, despite the fact that his massive crush on Wendy and desire to be cool lead him to make a lot of questionable mistakes. However, he couldn’t be any of those things without…
3. Wendy Corduroy
While it’s difficult to pick a favorite among the Pines family’s core characters, by the end of the “Weirdmageddon” episode, viewers will have fallen head over heels in love with Wendy. She becomes the Mad Max of Weirdmageddon after thriving in Bill Cipher’s post-apocalyptic hellscape.
The sort of person we’d like to be and the kind of person most of us are, she’s already established herself before then as the character you’d most want to be friends with. She’s cool and laid back on the surface, yet eager to let her friends know how worried she truly is inside.
4. Grunkle Stan
Sure, he’s old and full of flaws—greedy, he’s cheap, harsh, vulgar, petty, vengeful, selfish, impatient, and so much more—but he also loves his family very dearly.
Even after the search for his long-lost twin brother grows cold, he never gives up. Though he presents a cold exterior around Mabel and Dipper, he clearly cares for them, and their relationship is the show’s emotional centre. Additionally, he is probably the most consistently entertaining character, which is crucial.
5. Old Man McGucket
The saddest figure in the program is also a metaphor for the show’s metamorphosis from lighthearted silliness to something more serious and profound. Although McGucket is initially little more than a cartoon stock type—the old hillbilly/prospector who has gone mad, somewhat unlike to the redneck cliché of Cletus from The Simpsons—he develops into something far more meaningful as time goes on.
He is an integral part of the show’s overarching mythology and a living warning of what Dipper and Mabel risk encountering as they delve further into the town’s mysteries. As funny as he is, his character has a tragic undercurrent.
6. Soos Ramirez
When the show finally gets around to developing Soos, the Mystery Shack’s handyman, he quickly becomes a fan favorite. When the show does delve into his life, it is defined by tremendous melancholy but also by the life-affirming warmth that Soos himself brings to most circumstances. Seeing Soos struggle so much with dating and making friends adds to the subtle sadness already there in his situation of living alone with his sweet, doting grandmother.
One of the saddest and most devastating parts of the entire series is the subplot in which we learn why he hates birthdays: his fleeing father would habitually send him postcards saying he’d show up for his birthday, only to leave Soos high and dry. Soos is in such high spirits despite everything that has happened, and he is always willing to provide a hand to the Pines family (even if he messes most things up).
7. Bill Cipher
Chaos, the mysterious demon at the center of the show’s mythos, is legitimately terrifying and humorous. It’s not easy to find the right balance between those two elements. A motormouth insult comedian lifted straight from the dollar bill and every Illuminati conspiracy theory, he is BOB from the first season of Twin Peaks.
A frightening presence despite his cartoonish representation, Bill always amps up the tension tremendously whenever he appears, and his unique brand of anxiety-inducing madness courses throughout the show’s best episodes, the three-part “Weirdmageddon” series finale.
8. Stanford Pines
Grunkle An classic pulp hero brought to life in Gravity Falls, Stan’s long-lost twin brother is a bright scientist turned heroic adventurer whose brains and bravery largely exist to contrast with Stan’s far more troublesome disposition. His worst flaw is that he gives friends and family too little credit.
You can see that in the way he treats his brother, and in the way he tries to get Dipper to become his apprentice instead of going back to their mother, Mabel, and their other siblings at the end of the summer. That doesn’t make him a bad person, and by the conclusion of the series he’s learned his lesson, but it does suggest that Stanford isn’t quite as internally robust or as intellectually capable as his sibling.
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