Welcome brothers and sisters to this week’s meeting of the Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel!
In this week’s meeting I discuss the first episode of Dipper’s Guide to the Unexplained!
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Brothers and sisters, this video marks our 25th meeting! And to celebrate this milestone of half a year’s worth of mystery solving, challenge taking, and code cracking – I’ve decided to tackle dissecting the series of Gravity Falls shorts, Dipper’s Guide to the Unexplained! A topic SO MASSIVE that I’ll be taking 6 meetings to discuss it. One for each episode, and a final meeting to talk about the secret image at the end of each short and what is formed when they’re combined!
The first episode of Dipper’s Guide to the Unexplained starts off in the middle of Dipper’s Guide to the Unexplained – Gravity Falls Anomaly #13: The Mobius Chicken Strip. Though this is quickly abandoned for the sake of the core plot (chasing down the unnamed monster that loves Summerween candy), it’s a very important puzzle piece to analyze.
A Mobius Strip is a shape with only one side. Think of it as a road that’s looped in a way that if you walked in one direction long enough you would walk on both the top and the bottom of that road without having to change sides. This is important because the Mobius Strip is usually represented by the symbol for infinity.
The infinity symbol sort of looks like a sideways number 8 (∞) – but the symbol can also be shorthand for the Ouroboros. The ouroboros is a symbol that looks like a snake eating it’s own tail, and it’s woven throughout a few religions, but notably it’s used by alchemists.
For alchemists the ouroboros represents the equilibrium and balance of the universe. The unending cycle and unbreakable repetition of death and rebirth. Decay and growth. the permanence of matter in it’s most basic of forms. Alchemists seek the power to work outside of these rules.
This is important to note, because it’s just the first of many direct references to the symbol in Dipper’s Guide to the Unexplained.
This short also breaks the floor plan for the second story of the Mystery Shack! When Dipper chases after the unnamed candy stealing monster, we see a brief 3D recreation of the upper floor of the Mystery Shack. This quick sequence locks some locations into place that completely warp the internal space of the shack!
We know that the triangular window opposite the doorway to Dipper and Mabel’s bedroom leads to the front door of the Mystery Shack (The assumed main entrance to museum for visitors). We know this because Mabel fires her grappling hook out the window in Tourist Trapped. We also know that the stained glass window near the stairs opens to the green awning over their rear porch (the main entrance for their private quarters) . We see Dipper escape Wax Sherlock Holmes via that window. The problem is that Dipper runs from his bedroom to the stairs passing the stained glass window to his left. There’s no way that can work though, because the building isn’t L shaped – it’s rectangular.
But what do you think? How will alchemy play a part in the unfolding story of Gravity Falls? How can the Mystery Shack warp it’s internal space like that? How did Dipper and Mabel get the Candy Monster out of the house – and will we see it again in the future? Leave your theories and suggestions in the comments below!