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"Not What He Seems" is the eleventh episode in the second season of Gravity Falls, and the 31st episode overall. It premiered on March 9, 2015.

Official overview

After government agents take Stan into custody, Dipper and Mabel question how much they really know about their Grunkle Stan.


The episode opens with Stan working on the machine. He rigs up some drums with toxic chemicals, as he exclaims how he does not care how dangerous it is. He sets off a timer, and syncs it up with another one on his wrist. A side effect of the machine is temporary gravity anomalies.
The next day Mabel shows Dipper a closet full of fireworks. Grunkel Stan invites them to set them off on the roof.

A special op proceeds to tackle him, and Agent Trigger comes up behind him to signal others to secure the shack. Worried and perplexed, Dipper and Mabel inquire what is happening, before they notice Agent Powers and Trigger, whom they thought had been eaten by Zombies. The agents tell the children that a mysterious person stole toxic chemicals last night, they presume the culprit is Stan. They proceed to put Stan in their car, sending him away to be interrogated. They also take Dipper and Mabel and inform them that they'll be going to child services.

Dipper and Mabel decide to clear Stan's name by finding the security tapes from last night. They escape the car, and head back to the shack. The agents try to interrogate Stan, Stan talks to Soos through the walky-Talky in his car. He tells him to guard the vending machine with his life. Dipper and Mabel end up at the Mystery Shack, they use Mabel's grappling hook to sneak into the attic. They find the security tapes in Stan's office, and review the footage. They are able to find video surveillance of Stan restocking the shelves. Seemingly proven innocent, they start to celebrate, when Stan suddenly leaves the shack. They fast forward the footage to see that a few hours later, Stan comes back as the man that stole the toxic chemicals.

After realizing the truth they find a hidden box in the office with fake ID cards of Grunkle Stan, as well as a newspaper with a headline saying "Stan Pines Dead!". Now Mabel and Dipper are unsure if Stan is really who they think he is. Mabel suddenly finds a paper with the combination to the vending machine door inside the box. Meanwhile Stan manages to escape the agents by using a gravity anomaly from the machine.

They head down to punch in the code, when they are stopped by Soos. After fighting him for a bit, Dipper finally manages to put in the code as the machine opens up. They all go in to find Stan's secret lab. Dipper finds the last 2 journals he's been looking for, and angriy doubts Stan. He puts the books together to form the blueprints of the machine. He uses his blacklight to reveal a hidden message by the writer. They find out that if the machine is activated they whole universe could be destroyed. Dipper finds out how to shut it off. After activating 3 keys to unlock the emergency shut off switch. Stan shows up telling them not to push it. Dipper refuses, but Stan interferes. Another gravity anomaly occurs lifting everyone in the air. Mabel makes it to the shut off button, with Dipper telling her not to trust Stan and push it. Stan begs Mabel to trust him and not press the button. Mabel cries at the decision she has to make. Finally Mabel decides not   After the device activates, what seems like an explosion occurs and nearly destroys everything in the shack. Everyone in the world appears to be okay, including our main characters.With the portal still functioning, a mysterious man walks out. He places his hand on the first journal, revealing six fingers in total. Stan reveals that this man is the author of the journals. The man removes his hood to reveal he is Stan's long lost twin brother. Mabel asks if someone should be fainting, as Soos replies that he'll faint.

End Credits: Appears to be Stan and his brother as kids quietly swinging next to the sea in front of a sunset.


Production notes

See also: List of allusions and List of goofs.

Character revelations

  • As a child, Stan excelled academically, earning the grade of "A+" in nearly every subject. However, he was weak physically, as evidenced by a "D-" in physical education
  • Stan has stolen nuclear waste, which he used to fuel up the universe portal."Fight Fighters." Zach Paez, Alex Hirsch (writers) & John Aoshima (director). Gravity Falls. Disney Channel. September 14, 2012. No. 10, season 1
  • The U.S. government has tracked numerous illegal activities regarding Stan, including activities relating to the Mystery Shack (as shown by the deed being on the board of evidence). It is shown that he has been spied on for a long time.
  • The Author is "Stanford Pines"' brother.
  • In the end credits of the episode, Stan and his unknown brother are on swings near the ocean.

Series continuity

  • Numerous prior episodes have alluded to the events of this one:
    • cryptogram at the end of the opening sequence states that "Stan is not what he seems."
    • Bill Cipher references the onset of "something big" in "Dreamscaperers" and "Sock Opera." In the former episode, he tells Gideon Gleeful that he has been working on something, and describes "a darkness [approaching]. A day will come when everything you [Pines] care about will change."
    • In "Blendin's Game," Blendin steers his suit-watch, and one of the camouflages that appear is the Gravity Falls Police Station.
    • "Into the Bunker" reveals that the Author predicted a catastrophic event and prepared enough supplies to last him several decades.
    • In "Northwest Mansion Mystery," Old Man McGucket's calculations suggest an impending apocalyptic event occurring in less than a day, and Agents Powers and Trigger reference picking up a reading. Bill's return is also foreshadowed, and the cryptogram from the theme song is repeated in the end credits.
  • Stan's altercation with Will E. Badger in his attempt to steal him from "Soos and the Real Girl" has been noted by the agents.
  • Stan's failed self-made vacuum brand from "Dreamscaperers" is referenced.
  • The nuclear waste used to power the Universe portal from "Society of the Blind Eye" is mentioned to have been stolen by Stan.
  • Stan continues to sport the bandaged wound he first acquired in "Society of the Blind Eye," which was consecutively seen in "Blendin's Game" and "The Love God."
  • Agent Powers and Trigger's survival of the zombie attack in "Scary-oke" is mentioned.
  • Dipper's birthmark is seen again.


  • A countdown leading to this episode could be viewed here.
    • Unfortunately, due to the website's author not accounting Daylight Savings Time, the countdown is off by an hour.


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Start a Discussion Discussions about Not What He Seems

  • The swings

    4 messages
    • Bladebringer wrote:Friends, where can I find people for swing parties? Such information can be found on the Internet on dating sites. but...
    • I can recommend reading reviews about adult sites, you can read if the registration is free or paid there, and the prices. You will be able...
  • 8 Ball/Stan?

    8 messages
    • HAY
    • Did anyone try the combined code for ep 20? Or the A1Z26 code?
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