Mabel accidentally gets her braces caught in the screen door of the Gift Shop. Soos pries the braces out with a screwdriver, before bidding goodbye. Shortly after he leaves, Mabel ponders over what Soos does in his spare time. It is now revealed that Soos usually spends the remainder of the day playing video games. His grandmother informs him about his cousin Reggie is having an engagement party, and Soos is surprised that his cousin had become so successful, to which his abuelita replies that Soos is now a grownup and needs to start acting like one before his grandmother passes away. His grandmother then asks Soos to bring a date along to Reggie's engagement party. Soos says he could get a girl by the end of the week but quickly realizes that he wouldn't be able to fulfill his promise.
The next day in the Mystery Shack, Stan confronts a kid and asks him if he wants to see Old Goldie, an attraction of the Mystery Shack. The kid is doubtful, so Stan demonstrates the attraction by inserting his nickel into it. The worn-out Goldie barely manages to tip his hat before he begins screaming as his eyes pop out and oil begins spewing from his mouth, which causes the kid to run away in fear, crying. Wendy suggests that Stan should get rid of Goldie. Stan declines, but accidentally slips and gets his arms caught in Goldie's mouth, causing Stan to panic and yell "Kill it!".
Meanwhile, Soos' attempts at getting a date by asking customers in the Mystery Shack fail spectacularly. Dipper and Mabel notice and they decide to repay Soos for all he does for them by getting him a date for his cousin's engagement party. Mabel then decides to take Soos to the mall along with Dipper to try and find a date as Stan follows them to find a replacement for Goldie. Mabel then advises Soos on how to get a date: eye contact, conversation and confidence, all in which Soos fails when he tries to flirt.
Meanwhile, Stan is seen throwing Goldie away into the dumpster and, after an awkward parting, follows some children into Hoo-Ha Owl's Pizzamatronic Jamboree. Stan believes the arcade is some kind of nightmare. Before long, an animatronic badger and animatronic band appears, putting on a show for the children before requesting money from the kids, in which the kids fanatically oblige. Seeing the badger as just what he needs, Stan asks the manager to sell the badger to him, but he declines. The manager, Gary, says that Stan is too old and couldn't handle it. Stan vows to get the badger after the insult.
Back at BeeblyBoop's Videogames store, Soos, Dipper, and Mabel are sitting on a bench. Soos laments that he will never get a date. Seeing Reggie and his fiancée, he hides in a video game store, not wanting to be seen without a date. He then finds a video game named "Romance Academy 7," which will "virtually improve your dating skills." Although the game has received high ratings, the cashier warns that three people had returned it. Moreover, a note warned that the game must be destroyed at all costs, with a table flip emoticon "(╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻)." Meanwhile, Soos tries to flirt with a cardboard cutout of a woman, and so Mabel decides to risk it and rent the game.
Back at home, Soos starts up the game and is introduced to .GIFfany, a pink haired girl that studies at the game's setting, a magic romance academy. .GIFfany asks Soos to carry her books, and Soos chooses the wrong answer, but .GIFfany forgives him allowing Soos to choose the right answer. .GIFfany attempts to continue but Soos then decides to click .GIFfany's face. .GIFfany finds him amusing and laughs leading Soos to wonder why anyone would abandon the game as it was so realistic it was almost as if .GIFfany was alive. .GIFfany replies eerily: "Yes... almost." before laughing. In a corner, it is shown that the computer was not plugged in, yet was still able to run the game.
The next day, Stan describes to Wendy how effectively the badger animatronic conned others out of money even though she does not care. Dipper and Mabel appear asking where Soos is, to which Stan replies that he had not come to work today, for the first time ever. Dipper and Mabel head towards Soos' house, where they find him still slouched in front of the computer, having interacted with .GIFfany for 13 hours straight without seeing sunlight. They force Soos to head back to the Mall to re-attempt getting a date. .GIFfany begins to stalk them, making use of the electrical wires and appliances which she can apparently travel through. His abuelita now sneaks in before reading Soos's diary.
Mabel scares all of the women out of the toilet at the mall by screaming at them with a bull horn and Dipper is forced leave to deal with the security that arrived to investigate, leaving Soos to find a date alone. Soos cannot decide how to interact with any of the women due to them having "too many dimensions" and there not being any "explanatory menus." He fails to attract any women once again and wishes he was back home talking to .GIFfany. .GIFfany now appears in a television behind him. Soos is relieved but confused as to how she managed to get to him. .GIFfany now reveals that she was a sentient game that attacked her programmers when they tried to delete her. She says that now Soos won't have to talk to real girls ever again and that they can now be together forever to which Soos responds positively. .GIFfany says they can do anything Soos wants, which apparently is riding a toy train.
Soos and .GIFfany seem to be having a great time until his time runs out and he must insert another fifty cents. Melody, a nearby worker at Meat Cute, finds this very amusing and approaches Soos and introduces herself. She says that she admires his uniqueness in riding toy trains even though he is a grown man. After some small talk, they realize that they have a lot in common. Soos then tells Melody about "Hoo-Ha Owl's Pizzamatronic Jamboree," a restaurant that he finds out both he and Melody like. They then decide to go there on a date at eight o'clock. After giving Soos fifty cents, Melody leaves but before Soos can continue to ride the train he is tackled by Mabel and Dipper. Dipper reveals that they had seen the whole thing and that he had performed perfectly. They say that the game really worked and that he can toss it out now. Soos is reluctant to throw it out as he says that he likes .GIFfany and says that she's predictable. When Dipper asks if he can take .GIFfany to his cousin's party though, Soos realizes that he has to "break-up" with .GIFfany.
After telling .GIFfany about it however, she becomes enraged saying that he's her boyfriend and no-one else's. Startled, Soos pauses her and takes her disc out with the intent of returning her after his date. What he does not know however, .GIFfany managed to stay on the computer. Feeling betrayed, she stalks him to the pizzeria.
Meanwhile, Stan begins to prepare to break into the same pizzeria, putting on gloves which he calls his old friends, and saying that he has to be careful this time to avoid any more "Colombian nights." Wendy attempts to persuade him to change his mind, to no avail. Stan says, as he is leaving through a window, that "sometimes a man has to steal an animatronic badger," and then proceeds to fall out of the window.
Back at the mall, Mabel and Dipper are preparing Soos for his date, Mabel by shouting questions at him on what his "love crew" has taught him. Shortly afterward Soos meets up with Melody and they enter the pizzeria just as Stan prepares to steal the animatronic. Soos engages in some conversation with Melody but gets a fright when he sees .GIFfany on one of the arcade screens with the caption "You paused me?". .GIFfany, through the monitors in the arcade, expresses her distaste for Melody and that wants she to get rid of her. After making an awkward excuse, Soos flees to Dipper and Mabel, who have been watching their date, and tells them that .GIFfany has somehow returned and is stalking him. Dipper tries to tell Soos that .GIFfany isn't real but is soon interrupted by .GIFfany who glares at them from the television screens. She soon travels through the arcade games onto the main stage.
Soos tries to get Melody away from .GIFfany, but is interrupted by the ongoing show. .GIFfany then possesses all the animatronics and attempts to stop Soos from escaping. This possession also causes the animatronic Stan is about to steal to attack him. .GIFfany then blocks Dipper, Mabel, Soos and Melody from the exit before turning some nearby skeeball games into cannons that shoot balls at them, causing them to take cover behind an arcade machine. Soos tells Melody to stay with Dipper and Mabel and attempts to lure .GIFfany away from the group as the rest of the group tries to escape from the remaining animatronics.
Meanwhile, Stan attempts to fight the animatronic that is now attacking him but is unable to. He manages to dodge one of the blows, causing Goldie, which was sitting in a pile of trash, to start biting the arm of the animatronic, with Stan cheering him on. Back in the pizzeria, Dipper, Mabel and Melody try escape the animatronics but end up being captured. With Soos surrounded, .GIFfany persuades Soos that real girls would only end up hurting him and that Melody was no exception. She asks Soos to allow her to download his brain into the game so that they could be together forever. .GIFfany prepares to download Soos into the game, but Soos rejects her offer, opening up the pizzeria's oven and throwing the game disc in. With the game destroyed, .GIFfany crashes to death, and all the animatronics deactivate, with the one .GIFfany possessed severely overheating, causing the suit to melt, and revealing the endoskeleton. The animatronic that Stan was fighting also deactivates, with Stan believing it to be Goldie's doing. He states that he and Goldie are going to Las Vegas.
Standing in the ruins of the pizzeria, Soos invites Melody to the engagement party. She accepts the offer but reveals that she won't be in town much longer after the party as she has to return to Portland in a few weeks. She proposes that they video chat when she leaves and although this arrangement was not much different from .GIFfany's, he agrees, happy to finally converse with a real girl. Mabel and Dipper are glad that Soos managed to get a date in the end. His abuelita, who surfaces from the ball pit, is too. When asked if she had been following them all day, she confesses that "Soos' life is [her] soap opera."
As the credits roll, images of Stan and Goldie are shown having a ball in Las Vegas. First in a limousine with beautiful show girls, then staying at a hotel and enjoying "rich people water" in a hot tub. They enjoy raking in the chips gambling, but are so successful, they're kicked out by security. They escape on a helicopter at some point (Goldie at the wheel), and then get married at a Las Vegas chapel by an Elvis Presley impersonator. Eventually, they look to hitch a ride out of Vegas.
- Written by:
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- Additional Voices:
- Casting by:
- Soos has never missed a day of work at the Mystery Shack prior to the events of this episode.
- Soos keeps a diary, which his grandmother reads.
- Soos understands, at least a little bit, of Japanese Katakana.
- Soos' cousin Reggie makes his first physical appearance since being mentioned in "Fight Fighters."
- Agent Powers and Agent Trigger from "Scary-oke" briefly appear in Gravity Malls.
- Soos mentions inhabiting Waddles' body in "Carpet Diem."
- Robbie's explosion muffin appears on the dumpster that Stan throws Goldie away in.
- Hoo-Ha Owl's Pizzamatronic Jamboree carries Fight Fighters in its arcade selection.
- Rumble McSkirmish from "Fight Fighters" makes a brief appearance and challenges .GIFfany to a fight.
- Dipper mentions bringing a video game to life, referring to the incident with Rumble McSkirmish in "Fight Fighters."
- During Soos' date with Melody, he sings the words "Like a big old panda," which has a similar tune to the one in "Stan's Tattoo."
- Hoo-Ha Owl's Pizzamatronic Jamboree also carries NORT, a game first seen in "Fight Fighters."
- A "Virtual Owl Trowel" arcade game can be seen, referencing the Owl Trowel advertised in "Gideon Rises."
- BeeblyBoop's Videogames, the video game store that Soos sits in front of, is the same company that produces Soos' keyboard from "Headhunters" and "Double Dipper" and Candy's keyboard from "Sock Opera."
- Posters of Tiger Fist from "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel" and Pony Heist from the short "Mabel's Scrapbook: Heist Movie" hang in Soos' bedroom.
- Soos' "Pterodactyl Bros" shirt from "Land Before Swine" can be seen in his bedroom.
- Soos' dream woman poster from the short "Mailbox" appears on the left side of his desk near the TV.
- The password for Soos' computer is "fixinit1," a reference to his self-made series of shorts.
- Caps aside, this is the same as his license plate.
- Grunkle Stan mentions his nights in Colombian prison, as previously referenced in "The Hand That Rocks the Mabel" and "Dreamscaperers."
- The symbol of the Blind Eye Society from "Society of the Blind Eye" can be seen graffitied on a dumpster.
- One of the animatronics strongly resembles Bear-O, Mabel's creepy puppet from the "Tooth" short.
- Viewership: The episode received 0.8 million viewers on its premiere.
- The episode title is likely a reference to the film Lars and the Real Girl, in which the character Lars also finds a substitute for an actual girlfriend.
- This episode has two background characters who are based off of and voiced by Nicolas Isler and Mariah Amundsen, who visited the Gravity Falls studio through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- The equation on the chalkboard in the classroom in the background when .GIFfany talks to Soos is a Schrödinger Hamiltonian which in quantum mechanics is the operator corresponding to the total energy of a single particle.
- The episode was partly inspired by director Matt Braly and Manzi DeYoung (Hirsch's girlfriend at the time of airing) being "Weeaboos."
- Soos says he doesn't know whether to pronounce .GIFfany's name as ".GIFfany" with a hard G, or "Jiffany." This is a reference to the common internet dispute about whether "GIF," a file format, is pronounced with a hard or soft G.
- Alex Hirsch revealed at BigFest 2016 that .GIFfany is not dead, and still around somewhere. It was later confirmed in Gravity Falls: Journal 3.
- Alex Hirsch appears as one of the men in one of the end credits scenes, next to Goldie and Stan.
- The short animation .GIFfany shows to Soos about her developers briefly shows that she is an "accidental artificial intellegence".
- When she first appears, Melody is shown working at "meat cute" a play on the phrase "meet cute", an event when two love interests first meet in a sweet and somewhat awkward way, echoing the initial interaction she has later has with Soos.
- The robots and the pizzeria setting could be a reference to the 2014 horror video game Five Night's at Freddy's as the robots also come to life and it is in a pizzeria, plus Rat in a Barrel could be a reference to Foxy the Pirate Fox in the video game.
- The American visual novel game Doki Doki Literature Club! was released on the same Disney XD air date of this episode at 2017. The game resembles a sentient character, named Monika, eliminating anybody who gets in her way trying to be with the player. The game also starts as lighthearted then becomes dark later. But unlike .GIFfany, Monika has no directions in the game to be with the player.
- The binary on the computer screen during .GIFfany's backstory (which is repeated in the "WEAKNESSES" box on her target-analysis screen) says, "0101001101010000010000010100001101000101010010100100000101001101010101000101011101001111" which means "SPACEJAMTWO".
- During the credits, there is a cryptogram that reads "BRTYMEMNX QBR HRRQPEE" Using the vigenère cipher, it translates to "ANTHYDING CAN HADPLEN" - the second subtitle in the opening scene for Romance Academy 7
- Found on a pizza box in the kitchens of Hoo-Ha Owl's Pizzamatronic Jamboree: "BEARO".
- The page section at the end of the episode says, "1-15-10-10-15-10-17 16-19-23-6-4-5 22-25 20-23-25-12-15-17-16-4!" on the top left, "8-9-5-5-19-5-5-15-10-17 6-9-22-9-4-5 22-25 11-9-9-10-12-15-17-16-4!" on the top right, "16-19-6 19-11-9-4-15-9-10-23-12 22-23-17-17-23-17-19 15-5 23 6-19-23-12 18-6-15-17-16-4!" on the bottom left, and "5-16-19 16-23-5 4-16-19 9-10-19 10-23-11-19 17-15-18-18-23-10-25!" on the bottom right, which translates to "WINNING HEARTS BY DAYLIGHT!", "POSSESSING ROBOTS BY MOONLIGHT!", "HER EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE IS A REAL FRIGHT!", and "SHE HAS THE ONE NAME GIFFANY!", after being put through the combined cipher. This is a reference to the old DiC/CWi dub's theme song to Sailor Moon.
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