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Gravity Falls Wiki

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"Headhunters" is the third episode of the first season of Gravity Falls. It premiered on June 30, 2012 on Disney Channel.

Official overview[]

When someone tampers with Mabel's life-size wax statue, she and Dipper set out to find the culprit. Meanwhile, Grunkle Stan mourns over the loss of his wax doppelganger.[3]


S1e3 larry king

Grunkle Stan introduces the wax figures.

The episode starts out at the Mystery Shack, with Dipper and Mabel watching a show called Duck-tective. Soos runs in and wants to show the twins what he found while he was cleaning, taking them to a secret door hidden behind the wallpaper. They open it and discover a forgotten wax museum. Mabel admires how lifelike the wax statues are, and Dipper states that one of them isn't as lifelike. It's actually Grunkle Stan, which scares Dipper, Mabel, and Soos and they run screaming.

Grunkle Stan then introduces the wax museum. He says it was one of their most popular mystery attractions - before he forgot all about it. He then notices that Wax Abraham Lincoln has been melted by the sun, and accuses Wax John Wilkes Booth of opening the blinds. Mabel suggests creating a new wax figure to replace it. Grunkle Stan likes Mabel's idea and he agrees to let her do it.

S1e3 grunkle stan wax figure

Grunkle Stan introduces his new wax figure.

Mabel begins to think of ideas for her wax figure. Her first idea is a girl that is part fairy princess and part horse fairy princess. Dipper suggests she carve something from real life and Mabel draws a waffle with big arms. Dipper then suggests she draws someone in her family. Mabel then gets the idea to sculpt Grunkle Stan when he comes into the room looking for his pants. Once she is done, Grunkle Stan loves it and declares that the Wax Museum is back in business.

S1e3 wendy and dipper holding money

Wendy and Dipper holding money.

The next day, they have a grand re-opening of the Wax Museum. There is a mini press conference where Mabel takes questions. A reporter questions where the pizza that was promised on the flyers is. Grunkle Stan claims it was a typo, then shuts down the press conference, throwing a smoke bomb and running off with the admission money. The customers leave infuriated due to there not being any pizza. Mabel thinks it went well.

S1e3 suspects board

Dipper comes up with a list of suspects.

That night Grunkle Stan counts the money he made from the re-opening. He tells Dipper and Mabel to go wash up because they have a long day tomorrow. Grunkle Stan sits down to watch Duck-tective with his wax Stan figure while Dipper and Mabel are brushing their teeth. Grunkle Stan gets up to use the bathroom, but when he comes back, he finds the decapitated body of Wax Stan. Frightened, he calls over Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland, but they deem the case as unsolvable. Dipper believes he can solve the case and takes on the job, even though the police officers just think that it is a waste of time. He does so anyway, and he and Mabel come up with a list of suspects. Dipper says it could be months before they find their first clue. Mabel then notices a clue. She sees footprints that lead them to an ax which the belief is the murder weapon. Mabel realizes that the ax could belong to Manly Dan. They take the ax to Soos who tells them that Manly Dan hangs out at a crazy intense biker joint downtown.

S1e3 toby determined on ground

Dipper and Mabel accuse Toby of being the murderer.

Dipper and Mabel head to the biker joint called Skull Fracture and both use a fake ID to get inside. Mabel begins talking to one of the customers there while Dipper questions Manly Dan. Manly Dan has proof that proves he couldn't be the murderer and also points out that the ax is left handed while he only uses his right hand. Dipper and Mabel go through their list of suspects to see who is left handed. Once they go through several suspects, there is only one person left on the list- Toby Determined who runs the Gravity Falls Gossiper. Angered, Dipper and Mabel get Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland to raid Toby's office, but he also has proof that proves he is not the murderer. Dipper believes that Toby has to be guilty. Toby reveals he was in his office making out with a cardboard version of Shandra Jimenez. Dipper tells Sheriff Blubs to check the prints on the ax. He says there are none, leaving Dipper and Mabel confused and very embarrassed.

S1e3 wax figures 6

The wax figures come to life and attack Dipper and Mabel.

We then see Stan having a funeral for his wax figure with Dipper, Mabel and Soos in attendance (Wax figures are behind them). Stan runs out crying while reciting a eulogy. Dipper then notices that Wax Stan's shoe has a hole in it. He pieces together the clues and realizes that it was the wax figures. The wax figures come to life and threaten to kill Dipper and Mabel. Mabel asks if they are magic and Sherlock Holmes says they're cursed to come to life when the moon is waxing. He reveals how ten years ago they were an attraction in the Mystery Shack during the day, but then had the freedom to do whatever they wanted during the night until they stopped drawing a profit, leading to Stan locking them away and forgetting about them. After bringing them out of storage they tried to kill him for revenge but beheaded his wax figure by mistake. The wax figures then begin attacking Dipper and Mabel. Improvising with a fire iron, Dipper sword duels with Sherlock Holmes and purposely lures him outside to be melted by the sun.

S1e3 mabel trying on sweaters

Mabel asks Dipper what sweater he likes best.

Mabel gets rid of the rest of the wax figures by throwing them into the fireplace. Grunkle Stan walks in and thanks Dipper and Mabel for finding his wax head. Mabel says she is 99% sure she got rid of all the wax figures, but Wax Larry King's head is still in the vents.

The end credits show Mabel trying to decide which sweater to wear, the purple sequins or the yellow llama hair. She asks Dipper which sweater she should pick and, unknown to her, the wax head of Larry King peeks at her through the heating vents and suggests the one with the llama hair because llamas are "nature's greatest warriors." Mabel thinks she heard Dipper and thanks him and leaves to change while Dipper looks around in confusion.

After the Episode[]

As shown in Gravity Falls: Journal 3, between this episode and "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel," more events occurred that weren't present in the show.

According to Dipper, he and Mabel had just finished disposing of the wax figures (which Mabel had turned some of them into lumpy crayons). They were eating sandwiches when Dipper heard the Wax Larry King whispering about something. So Dipper went into the vents to investigate.

He attempted to capture the creature, but was unsuccessful. When he woke up the next morning, he heard Mabel talking to it nonchalantly. Dipper then theorized that the best way to capture it is to let it interview you.



Production notes[]

See also: List of allusions and List of goofs.

Series continuity[]


  • Viewership: This episode was watched by 2.710 million viewers on its premiere night.[2]
  • The title of the episode is a reference to the term "headhunting," which is the practice of taking a person's head after killing them.
S1e3 wax figures character sheet

The wax figures.

  • The featured wax figures are: Sherlock Holmes, Lizzie Borden, Groucho Marx, Queen Elizabeth II, Robin Hood, Thomas Edison, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Genghis Khan, Coolio, Larry King, and Richard Nixon. Also mentioned were John Wilkes Booth and a mostly melted Abraham Lincoln.
    • While most of the wax figures are based on deceased real-life individuals, two of the figures are based on fictional characters (Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood), and only three of the wax figures are based off of real-life individuals who were still living at the time of the show's production: Larry King, Queen Elizabeth II, and Coolio.
      • Coincidentally, all three living real-life individuals later died in the early 2020s.
  • This episode breaks the fourth wall as the letter "S" in Shack falls down just like in the theme song. This will happen again at the end of "Gideon Rises." But, the letter "S" got detached during the sword fight scene between Wax Sherlock Holmes and Dipper Pines.
  • One of the prominent wax figures is Richard Nixon. Alex Hirsch did a short animation featuring Nixon called "Imaginary Friend". Though wax Nixon does not speak, the growl he makes when Dipper kicks him out of the parlor resembles Billy West's portrayal of Nixon's head in the show Futurama. West reprised this role in the aforementioned short, but it is unknown whether he did so for the episode.
  • The axe belonged to Wax Lizzie Borden. The real Lizzie Borden is infamous for allegedly murdering her parents with an axe.
S1e3 toby determined kissing cardboard

Timestamped camera footage.

  • According to Toby Determined's alibi camera footage, Wax Stan's beheading took place on a Saturday.
  • A man, woman, and two boys are seen at the wax museum in the wax figures' flashback, and again during the grand unveiling of Wax Stan, not having aged at all.
  • The first page of the suspect list is: Manly Dan, Old Man McGucket, That Fat Guy, Angry lady, Mikey R., Uncle Phil, and Susie. The last three suspects are not shown in this episode.
  • In the shot where Dipper is interviewing Manly Dan, there is a neon sign in the background which says "Hürzch." This is a reference to the creator's last name.
  • In the original version of the episode, the thug Mabel talks to in the club has a tattoo on his arm that read "STAB." Due to censorship, however, in the release of this episode, it is changed to "BATS."
  • The idea of Mabel getting along with the biker and being so fearless is inspired by a real life event involving Alex and his twin sister Ariel as kids. While at a bar, Ariel saw a woman from a biker gang with a colorful button and compliments her over it.[5]
  • Despite not appearing in this episode, Gideon's theme (as listed by Brad Breeck in his Gravity Falls Soundtrack Playlist on his soundcloud account) plays when Dipper and Mabel discover the wax figure room.
  • Dipper and Mabel make fake IDs in order to get into the bar downtown. They are identified as "Sir Dipping Sauce," age 45, and "Lady Mabelton," age 21.
  • When Dipper and Mabel leave to find Manly Dan, there is writing in the bottom right of the screen that says "G/F#103 BCT126." "G/F" likely stands for "Gravity Falls," and #103 refers to season 1, episode 3.
  • Dipper mocks the Genghis Khan figure after its defeat, and he mentions that it "fell harder than the Jin Dynasty." In fact, Genghis Khan's son Ögedei Khan indeed conquered Jin dynasty at North China in 1234.
  • When Dipper cuts the top half of Groucho Marx, Marx remarks that there's nothing in his hand. (Quote: Hey, why is there nothing in my hand?) The real-life Marx always smoked big Corona Cigars and for comedic purposes he always had his own style of carrying them in his hand. Due to the ban of showing cigars and cigarettes on television (especially children television), the hand of the wax-Marx in this episode was left empty, but still in the position as if he was holding the cigar. Therefore his remark that he was missing something.
  • Alex Hirsch said in the commentary that he wrote the end credits joke simply to see if Larry King would say "Llamas are nature's greatest warriors."[6]
  • This episode is a possible reference to "Fallen Idols", episode 5 of season 5 of the American horror series Supernatural. In the episode, the main characters fought against statues that came to life in a wax museum.


S1e3 ending dipper
  • During the end credits of this episode, there is a cryptogram that reads "KH'V VWLOO LQ WKH YHQWV." Once decoded, it reads "HE'S STILL IN THE VENTS." It is referring to Wax Larry King's head.


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  1. Tyler's character sheet
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pucci, Douglas (July 5, 2012). Saturday, June 30, 2012 Cable Finals: NASCAR, Victorious, Final Destination 5, Boxing. Son of the Bronx. Retrieved on July 10, 2014.
  3. Gravity Falls: Season 1 (2012): Episode 3 - Headhunters. TMDB. Retrieved on April 1, 2024.
  4. Adams, Erik (March 11, 2015). Gravity Falls’ Alex Hirsch on his show’s big cliffhanger. AV Club. Archived from the original on November 13, 2020.
  6. Episode commentary

Site navigation

V - E - H - D Gravity Falls episodes
Season one 1. Tourist Trapped | 2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker | 3. Headhunters | 4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel | 5. The Inconveniencing | 6. Dipper vs. Manliness | 7. Double Dipper | 8. Irrational Treasure | 9. The Time Traveler's Pig | 10. Fight Fighters | 11. Little Dipper | 12. Summerween | 13. Boss Mabel | 14. Bottomless Pit! | 15. The Deep End | 16. Carpet Diem | 17. Boyz Crazy | 18. Land Before Swine | 19. Dreamscaperers | 20. Gideon Rises
Season two 21. Scary-oke | 22. Into the Bunker | 23. The Golf War | 24. Sock Opera | 25. Soos and the Real Girl | 26. Little Gift Shop of Horrors | 27. Society of the Blind Eye | 28. Blendin's Game | 29. The Love God | 30. Northwest Mansion Mystery | 31. Not What He Seems | 32. A Tale of Two Stans | 33. Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons | 34. The Stanchurian Candidate | 35. The Last Mabelcorn | 36. Roadside Attraction | 37. Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future | 38. Weirdmageddon Part 1 | 39. Weirdmageddon 2: Escape From Reality | 40-41. Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back The Falls
Animated shorts Candy Monster | Stan's Tattoo | Mailbox | Lefty | Tooth | The Hide-Behind | Mabel's Guide to Dating | Mabel's Guide to Stickers | Mabel's Guide to Fashion | Mabel's Guide to Color | Mabel's Guide to Art | Fixin' It with Soos: Golf Cart | Fixin' It with Soos: Cuckoo Clock | TV Shorts 1 | TV Shorts 2 | Mabel's Scrapbook: Heist Movie | Mabel's Scrapbook: Petting Zoo
Lists Allusions | Cryptograms | Goofs | International versions
Related Media Unaired pilot | Next Time On Gravity Falls | Creature in the Closet | Creepy Letters from Lil' Gideon | Gravity Falls Journal 3 Infomercial | Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales | Gravity Falls: Even Stranger | The Mystery in Gravity Falls | "Old Man" McGucket's Conspiracy Corner Marathon | Between the Pines | Soos' Stan Fiction | Soos Cast | Gravity Falls – Tug-n’-Talk Shmebulock | One Crazy Summer: A Look Back at Gravity Falls | Call Me Mabel