The episode begins with everyone packing up their belongings into Stan's RV. Stan announces that the crew of the Mystery Shack is going on a road trip across Oregon to visit all of the other tourist traps that are there. Every year, they all prank him, and this year, Stan's making sure he gets his revenge. Stan, Dipper, Mabel, Soos, Candy, and Grenda are all heading on the trip.
Mabel has packed everything, including a box belonging to Dipper labeled: "DO NOT TOUCH." Mabel drops it and the contents spill out onto the floor, revealing numerous photos of Wendy, and the paper he had written about her in "Into the Bunker." Dipper scoops them up while Mabel and Soos tell him that he should really get over Wendy and that this road trip is a good chance to move on and meet other people. After drawing inspiration from a picture on a brochure, Dipper becomes enthusiastic, and they set off.
Their first stop is Granny Sweetkin's Yarnball, its attractions include the world's biggest yarn ball, and the world's biggest knitting needles. Dipper tries to get over Wendy by talking to a girl, however, he crumbles due to lack of confidence and is rejected. Dipper asks Stan for advice on girls, and gets told that the key is confidence and comedy. They unravel the ball of yarn by tying it to the RV, and leave while Granny Sweetkin launches a giant sewing needle at the back of the RV.
Their second stop is Upside-Down Town, and its attraction is a house that is upside-down, where one uses Velcro shoes to stick to the ceiling. Dipper tries out Stan's advice and by talking to a girl name Emma Sue and receives her email address. Dipper's confidence is boosted and he greets Mabel, Grenda, and Candy, complimenting them while doing so and causing Candy to notice, happily, that he's "good different". Stan and Soos turn the attraction right-side up and leave in a hurry. The boss yells "Stan Pines!", after a woman comments that his house was normal and lovely. Their third stop is Log Land. Stan releases a beaver to destroy it, as Dipper meets a new girl and gets her phone number. Their fourth stop is the Corn Maze. Stan sabotages the maze by releasing corn weevils as Dipper meets another girl. Soos ends up getting stuck in the corn maze and is left behind.
They stay overnight at Septic Ridge RV Park. In the hot tub, Stan tells Dipper some stories from his past (about him and girls). Dipper asks Stan if it is a good idea to lead the girls on, as he only wanted to move on from Wendy. Nearby, Mabel, Candy and Grenda sit around a campfire eating marshmallows and playing Truth, Dare, or Don't. Mabel and Grenda learn that Candy now has feelings for Dipper, as Mabel devises a plan to get them together.
Their final stop is Mystery Mountain. On the way, Mabel and Grenda try to get Dipper and Candy together. Mabel tells Stan that she will get carsick at the back and she wants to sit at the front and Grenda questions if she can she take two seats and Stan lets them, forcing Dipper and Candy to sit together in the back. Candy seizes the opportunity to ask Dipper out on a date when they get to the mountain. Dipper, afraid to hurt Candy's feelings, accepts.
When Dipper questions Stan about his methods of getting girls at Mystery Mountain, Stan assures him that his methods are fine and demonstrates on a ticket booth worker named Darlene. They end up going out on a date at Widow's Peak. Dipper and Candy go to "Mummy Town, U.S.A", where Candy begins making advancements on Dipper. Suddenly, three of the girls that gave Dipper their phone numbers and email find him. They ask him to choose which one he likes, pressuring Dipper to confess that he didn't like any of them and that he was just trying to learn how to talk to girls. They all storm off, including Candy, leaving Dipper alone.
Meanwhile, Stan and Darlene are at a spider attraction, where Darlene reveals herself to be a spider-person and kidnaps Stan by trapping him in a web. Stan manages to radio Dipper and he alerts Mabel, Grenda, and Candy. When Darlene transforms into a full spider, she gets a drink to go with Stan. While she's away, Dipper, Mabel, Grenda and Candy rescue Stan and run.
Unfortunately, the sky tram they ride is the slowest in the world, the Trambience, allowing her to catch up and cover the whole vehicle in spider silk. Candy, using the pamphlets she read in the RV, releases the Trambience. They fall down the mountain safely, as Darlene becomes trapped under the boot of a Paul Bunyan statue. Darlene attempts to trick Stan into releasing her, however, the kids stop him and they leave. In the RV, Dipper and Stan have a heart to heart about girls, as Dipper apologizes to Candy using a pamphlet he made. Candy then says that she has lost interest in Dipper when she saw him run away from Darlene screaming, and they reconcile. They arrive at the Mystery Shack, decimated by the owners of the previously pranked tourist attractions. They leave, and Dipper asks if they have to clean it up. Mabel responds that Soos can take care of it, before realizing that he is not with them.
During the credits, Soos is standing in the center of the corn maze. He remembers when Abuelita told him that if he ever gets lost, he should stay exactly where he is, and does just that. He then remarks that he would make a great scarecrow.
- Written by:
- Directed by:
- Storyboarded by:
- With the Voice Talents of
- Additional voices
- Casting by:
- Candy is in the sixth grade. Though it is unspecified as to whether this means she is going into sixth or seventh grade in the fall.
- Stan Pines was married to a woman named Marilyn, who divorced him after only six hours.
- Stan had a girlfriend named Beatrice who slapped him for being a cad.
- Soos was duct taped to the ceiling of the Mystery Shack for 78 hours last summer.
- As established in "Dungeons, Dungeons, and More Dungeons" and "The Last Mabelcorn," Dipper hasn't completely gotten over his crush on Wendy.
- The letter Dipper intended to give to Wendy in "Into the Bunker" is in his "Do Not Touch box" along with pictures of Wendy.
- On Stan's map of tourist attractions around Oregon, the Tent of Telepathy is crossed off, as it is no longer a tourist attraction due to Li'l Gideon's arrest.
- Carla McCorkle is mentioned again as a previous love interest of Stan Pines, since her debut in "Boyz Crazy."
- Mabel tries to get Candy and Dipper together. In "The Love God," Mabel put figurines of Candy and Dipper next to each other in her category "Future Matches?"
- On Stan's map of tourist attractions in Oregon, there is Ye Royal Discount Putt Hutt, seen in "The Golf War," and the Petting Zoo seen in "Mabel's Scrapbook: Petting Zoo."
- In "Irrational Treasure," Quentin Trembley's State of the Union speech focused on what he thinks is mankind's only true fear, "gigantic man-eating spiders." It should be noted that a species similar to giant man-eating spiders, Arachnimorphs, are introduced in this episode, thus proving that President Trembley was just mistaken as an unintelligent man during his time.
- Although it's not canon, the "Fire Retardant Racoon," found at Mystery Mountain, was first depicted as "Retardant Racoon" in the unaired pilot.
- A partial image of Candy from this episode was seen in Bill's eye in "The Last Mabelcorn" while he was picking his pawn.
- The cryptogram references Old Goldie from "Soos and the Real Girl" as the best girlfriend Stan ever had, which refers to their trip in Las Vegas.
- On the side of Stan's map of the tourist traps, there is a box with text in it which reads:
"Oregon is known for its natural beauty, but, lets be honest guys, trees get boring after a while."
"That's why man created tourist traps. There's a really big shoe, for example. And the yarn ball is neat. I haven't been there but I've heard good things."
- Alex Hirsch and Rob Renzetti have been animated and can be seen riding the Trambience.
- One of the numbers written on Dipper's arm ends with "0618."
- In the Vigenere cipher for this episode, it is claimed that Soos has befriended a talking bulldog, though in "Dreamscaperers" Bill shows that Soos' nightmare is a talking British bulldog.
- Stan's ex-wife, Marilyn, is mentioned in the episode's cryptogram, but she was actually supposed to first be mentioned in "Dreamscaperers." For a production art shot of a hallway in Stan's mindscape there is a cryptogram that reads "EWTUG AQW OCTKNAP." Once decoded using a "two letters back Caesar cipher," it reads "CURSE YOU MARILYN." However, in the actual episode, this message is edited out.
- Marilyn might be a reference to Alex Hirsch's Grandma Marilyn.
- The Fire Retardant Raccoon was originally supposed to be named the "Fire Retardant Bear."
- Many of the locations the characters visit in the episode were inspired by locations visited by Alex and the crew during a 4 day long roadtrip they took in 2013 between production of season 1 and 2, called Mystery Tour.
- Darlene originally had a much more terrifying design.
- The episode is often cited critically by fans due to the oddness of its plot and placement. The episode airs between 2 major plot-related ones and has no mention of characters like Ford. It's also noted for being odd due to why the characters would go on a roadtrip right after the shack was Bill-proofed to begin with. Other points of criticism cited include Dipper's odd behavior and the resurfacing of his crush on Wendy after it seemed it was over after "Into the Bunker".
- Many assumed due to the timing of the roadtrip that the episode was set before the events of "The Last Mabelcorn". However Journal 3's release led to that being not the case as in it, Ford is revealed to have been the one who wanted Stan to take the kids on the roadtrip while he figured out how to patch the rift which had begun cracking. This in turn means this episode is indeed set after "The Last Mabelcorn".
- Despite being negatively viewed by fans, "Roadside Attraction" isn't the lowest ranked episode (according to IMDb). It isn't even in the bottom 10.
- In the deleted scenes reel found in the full series box set, it was revealed that the episode had a different cold open planned. In it, Dipper, Mabel and Soos are getting ice cream and come short on the bill. They send a reluctant Dipper to see if he can get spare change from some girls. It ends poorly and they chase him away while throwing coins at him. With Soos and Mabel laughing, Dipper wishes for a distraction which arrives in the form of Stan with the RV.
- This Cold Open differs greatly to the one in the episode as it removes Dipper not being over Wendy as the source of why he goes on the roadtrip and tries to talk to other girls.
- Alongside the cold open, another cut scene showed the corn maze was meant to have a longer bit in the episode with Dipper meeting a group of German girls there who are unamused by the maze and talking and getting to know one of them. The girls are visiting all the worst museums in America and also share with Dipper their disinterest about corn mazes.
- Candy also learns that if you laid all the corn in the maze end to end, you'd be wasting your time.
- Emmy Cicierega originally pitched a different end credits scene to the one in the episode. In it, Soos rolls around in the corn maze and eventually spells out "HELP! IM BORED." A passing helicopter sees the message and travels to it. The pilot then hands Soos something and flies off. Soos looks at what he is given and it ends up being a book full of maze puzzles and a pencil. The scene was never used due to how weird it was.
- During the end credits of this episode, there is a cryptogram that reads "VCDH, PZNS P CSSOS VDPUHB GTXILSKTV, VYSCIYROZN USLQR WXW NDM WDQVZOGS, EEG PTUVZHBSTH R WOAZMEJ PJAPURU PCH JDGHN GRW OADRX WVT LEP." Once decoded using the Vignère key DOPPER it reads, "SOOS, LIKE A NOBLE GOLDEN RETRIEVER, EVENTUALLY FOUND HIS WAY HOMEWARD, AND BEFRIENDED A TALKING BULLDOG AND SASSY CAT ALONG THE WAY."
- The keyword "DOPPER" can be found in the spider webs to the left and to the right of Dipper and Candy, near the mummies.
- The cryptogram in the episode's end page reads, "21-23-6-12-23 11-21-21-9-6-13-12-19 6-19-4-3-6-10-19-20 23-12-12 16-15-5 18-12-9-1-19-6-5, 11-23-6-15-12-23-10 20-15-2-9-6-21-19-20 16-15-11 23-18-4-19-6 9-10-12-25 5-15-26 16-9-3-6-5, 22-19-23-4-6-15-21-19 5-12-23-8-8-19-20 16-15-11 18-9-6 22-19-15-10-17 23 21-23-20, 9-12-20 17-9-12-20-15-19’5 4-16-19 22-19-5-4 17-15-6-12-18-6-15-19-10-20 5-4-23-10 19-2-19-6 16-23-20." Once decoded using the combined cipher it reads, "CARLA MCCORKLE RETURNED ALL HIS FLOWERS, MARILYN DIVORCED HIM AFTER ONLY SIX HOURS, BEATRICE SLAPPED HIM FOR BEING A CAD, OLD GOLDIE’S THE BEST GIRLFRIEND STAN EVER HAD."
Click here to view this page's gallery.