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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.


As Stan is hit with a water balloon, Dipper and Mabel come up to him, ready to honor him as "not just [their] great uncle, the greatest uncle." While flattered, Stan struggles to tell his niece and nephew of a secret he has been keeping, but opts to hold off on informing them. He takes to pacing in solemn reflection of his situation, when he notices that he has several red dots on him and has been targeted by government agents.
S2e11 gift shop clear

Government agents capture the Shack.

A special op proceeds to tackle him, and Agent Trigger comes up behind him to signal others to secure the Mystery Shack. Worried and perplexed, Dipper and Mabel inquire what is happening, before they notice Agents Powers and Trigger, whom they thought had been eaten by zombies. The agents clear up their situation to the children and proceed to put Stan in their car, sending him away to be interrogated about suspicious activity. Mabel and Dipper are sent off in a government car as well. They decide that the only way to prove that Stan is inocent is to get the security footage from the shack. They create a diversion causing the government car to crash. Fortunatly they make it back into the shack without being caught by using Mabel's…grappling hook! They go into Stan's office and find the hidden footage. They seem hopeful until they see Stan comitting the crime. The start to doubt knowing Stan after they find a box of fake ID's and a old news article saying Stan is dead. Before the device activates they find a peice of paper with a code on it with an identical key pad to the one on the vending machine. They open the vending machine, and Dipper, Mabel, and Soos go inside. There are minutes left when Stan barges in. Mabel is about to press the button that stops the machine when Stan convinces her not to. 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 brother. Mabel asks if someone should be fainting, as Soos replies that 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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