Why Gravity Falls is my Favorite Childhood Show

Whenever I hear someone mention the show “Gravity Falls,” I’m taken back to my brother and I sitting on the living room floor, giddy in anticipation of the new episode airing that Friday night. It’s nostalgic and heartbreaking all at the same time. A total of two seasons, 40 episodes, ranging from 2012 to 2016, and the Journal 3 replica. Not enough to satisfy my brother’s and my own hunger. The show was more than I originally anticipated.

I won’t lie when I first watched the first episode, I told my brother, “Do you really want us to watch this?” At the time it didn’t really seem like a series I could get behind. My brother shutdown my suspicion and said: “Yes, I have a feeling that this show is going to be our favorite cartoon from now on.” I took my brother's word for it and after that, I was hooked. Every Friday night I and my brother would wait up to see the new episode.  It was different from what was airing on TV at that time.

Yes, “Gravity Falls” appeared to be a show about a set of twins, Dipper and Mabel, going to their great uncle's house (or as they like to call him Grunkle Stan) for the summer in Oregon. Getting into trouble, making friends, and solving mysteries. It was interesting and fun watching all the funny shenanigans the set of twins would get up to. Their personalities reminded me of my brother and I.  As the show grew from heartwarming and getting to know the characters to more mysterious with supernatural tendencies surrounding the town, I realized that my brother was right the show was more than it seemed. As we started reaching the end of season one, we realized that there was a bigger mystery here, not like Goosebumps, Scooby Doo, Ducktales, or Courage the Cowardly Dog. It was more like Twin Peaks, which later on I realize that it was an inspiration the creator took from.

Image Via: Annel Chavez

Each episode would start with Dipper or Mabel getting into trouble and having to use Journal 3 (a book Dipper found in the first episode with the lines “TRUST NO ONE”), and having their friends, each other, or a supernatural phenomenon solve the problem. The usual stuff like in any other kid’s cartoon,  except that there was a bigger plot to it. It was one of the first cartoons airing on TV that had an overarching plot. It was interesting trying to figure out who’s the author of Journal 3 and what happened to them? And where is this show even going?

Following the twins and coming up with your theories along with them, was part of the thrill.  We as the audience would always get more information than the twins (at times). For example, there would be codes or secret message hidden in the episode, opening, and end credits. It was my first time experiencing a show that was interactive with its audience, which is one of the reasons why “Gravity Falls” had such a huge fandom. My brother and I followed the show since the beginning and making sure we were caught up with all the latest theories. When the plot twist was finally revealed, my brother and I lost it. We expected it (there was a very popular theory floating in the community), but they decided to show it in a different approach than what we originally anticipated. The big bad at the end was also a shock. When the show ended, I was heartbroken. After the show had run for so long and having to solve the mystery along with Dipper. Mabel, Wendy, Soos, and Grunkle Stan. It was hard letting the characters go after growing up alongside them for five years. Yet, when I look back at the fun my brother and I had, I’m glad we had a chance to have this experience.

“Gravity Falls” is a show that no matter your age will touch a part of you.