Prior to Dipper and Mabel's arrival in Gravity Falls, Bud founded and ran Gleeful's Auto Sale, and later, his wife gave birth to their only son, Gideon. Through his son's manipulation of the paranormal in Gravity Falls, the Gleeful family successfully created the Tent of Telepathy, a tourist trap advertising Gideon as a child psychic. Due to his son's horrific tantrums, however, Bud sought to join the illicit Blind Eye Society under the leadership of Blind Ivan, intending to suppress the memories of these violent outbursts alongside keeping the town's supernatural secrets hidden. It is quite possible he oversaw the brainwashing of his wife, whose memories can be seen in the Headquarters of the Blind Eye Society beneath the Gravity Falls Museum of History.
Bud can be heard narrating a TV advert for the Tent of Telepathy in "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel," and joyfully welcomes spectators into the attraction himself, instructing guests to place their cash into Gideon's "psychic sack." He then accompanies Gideon on playing the piano during his performance, and later meets with Stan over Mabel's date with his son. While the two eventually agree to forge a business partnership between their tourist traps during the relationship, Gideon quickly breaks off the engagements after swearing vengeance on the entire Pines family. Bud swiftly sides with his son, thus ending the terms of their contract and making the two enemies once more.
Later, in "Little Dipper," it is revealed that Bud sells used cars, although most of the vehicles are worn-out and broken. While Bud's wife seems to be terrified by her own son, Bud thinks otherwise, even though Gideon often manipulates his father and verbally abuses him. Later in the episode, after Gideon's plan to take over the Mystery Shack fails, Bud tells his son he'll get his revenge on the Pines family one day, but Gideon angrily tells him it's not just about revenge; he wants the Shack because of the hidden secret inside the Shack.
In "Dreamscaperers," Bud is heard once again narrating a commercial for Tent O' Telepathy. Far later in the episode he partially destroys the Mystery Shack sign with a wrecking ball on his son's orders.
In "Gideon Rises," Bud is first seen playing the piano for Gideon when he unveils the Mystery Shack's Grand Closing and their new temporary mascot Waddles (or "Li'l Gideon Jr." as they call him) Soon after, he retrieves his clown painting that was stolen by Stan, and asks Gideon why he is spending his time reading Journal 2 instead of celebrating his newly gained property. Gideon then reveals to him the secret behind the journals and what his true intentions are. Afterward, when Gideon is searching for the other journals he tells him that he has "guests," who are actually Dipper and Mabel trying to regain the Mystery Shack by force. After this fails, Gideon runs in the Shack with Journal 3 and yells at Bud and his wife to get out, they are then frightened and quickly leave without hesitating. Later, right after the explosion of the Gideon-bot, he is seen trying to sell a Gideon T-shirt. Near the end of the episode, Bud is quoted in the newspaper supporting Gideon's arrest, implying that it was time for his son's attitude to change.
In "Society of the Blind Eye," it is revealed that Bud is a member of the Blind Eye Society. However, after Dipper, Mabel, Soos, Wendy, and Old Man McGucket find the society, and the society members are defeated by them, his memories about the society are erased along with the other members.
When Dipper and Mabel travel ten years into the past in "Blendin's Game," a younger Bud is briefly seen, first on an ad for his car dealership, then alongside his wife, with baby Gideon in a carriage.
Bud appears near the end of "Not What He Seems," holding onto one of his cars as it flies into the air during an anomaly occurrence.
In "The Stanchurian Candidate," with the mayor dead, Bud runs for the position but finds his efforts hindered by Stan, along with some of the other candidates. It is then revealed that he ran for mayor in order to pardon and release Gideon from jail. With Stan eventually leading in the polls, however, Gideon then resorted to possession and took control over Bud's body during the final debate to win over the town.
In "The Last Mabelcorn," while Bill Cipher is deciding on who to be his next pawn, Bud appears among the characters shown in Bill's eye (Which additionally, is a scene taken from "The Stanchurian Candidate").
In "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls," Bud makes a fire out of Gideon dolls to warm himself during the apocalypse. After Bill's defeat, Bud attends Dipper and Mabel's thirteenth birthday party alongside his son and wife.
Unlike his son, Bud is very polite, kind, and friendly. He isn't afraid to act like a father towards his son, from nurturing him to yelling at him, but he usually gives up and sides with Gideon by giving him whatever he wants. It is hinted that Bud could be scared of his amulet, as this was most noticed when Gideon was ruining his room with the amulet's power. It is also hinted that he was starting to get annoyed with his son's behavior, telling by his quote in an article of the Gravity Falls Gossiper detailing Gideon's arrest, where he quotes, "He could use a time out."
In Season 2, Bud is revealed to be a well-intentioned extremist. When he joined the Blind Eye Society he believed that he was helping his town by removing their memories of the supernatural, but was actually giving the residents brain damage as a result, which could have resulted in the residents descending into madness if Mabel and Dipper hadn't stopped them. He has been an antagonist to Dipper and Mabel but without any directly malicious intentions due to only acting out on the orders from his superiors, such as Gideon or the Blind Eye Society.
When Stan challenges him for the mayoral position, Bud shows a malicious and spiteful side of himself, threatening that Stan wouldn't like the Gravity Falls that would come about from his victory, and punching the image of the Mystery Shack in the map behind him for emphasis. He also proves himself to still be terrified of Gideon and following his orders, in spite of the fact that Gideon is locked up in prison.
Bud Gleeful is a large, slightly portly, balding man with long brown sideburns going down his face. His eyebrows appear to be very bushy. He has a Southern accent and wears a salmon floral button-up shirt with a collar, a white undershirt, a straw hat, tan pants, and white pointed shoes.
Ten years prior to the present, Bud had a full head of hair, in a similar (albeit much smaller) pompadour style to that of his son's.
- 14. "TV Shorts 1"
- 207. "Society of the Blind Eye"
- 208. "Blendin's Game" (no lines)
- 211. "Not What He Seems" (no lines)
- 214. "The Stanchurian Candidate"
- 215. "The Last Mabelcorn" (pictured)
- 217. "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future" (no lines)
- 220. "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls"
"Step right up here, folks! Put your money in Gideon's psychic sack!"
"From now on, it's all name brand food and clown paintings!"
"Friends, I wish I was a highway so I could be rode upon by automobiles as fine as these ones right here. *pats a car, which causes the hood to fly open and a possum to jump out* Engine possums for no extra charge."
- He narrates Gideon's commercials for the Tent of Telepathy and plays the piano for the shows.
- He and his auto sales store was inspired by a commercial of a cheap car dealership in Melbourne, Florida, that Alex Hirsch saw while he was on his family vacation to Orlando.
- At the end of the ad for the Tent of Telepathy, he says, "Carla I've always loved you but never had the guts to say it."
- One of the reasons he joined the Blind Eye Society was to forget about Gideon's tantrums. This is revealed in the cryptogram at the end of "Society of the Blind Eye."
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