"TV Shorts 1" is the 14th animated short of Gravity Falls to air between season 1 and season 2. The episode first aired on December 25, 2013 on Disney Channel Russia. It premiered on Disney XD on April 23, 2014.
Channel flip through a Mystery Shack TV Commercial hosted by Grunkle Stan.
Mabel's sits in front of the TV ready to watch Gravity Falls Public Access TV and turns it on. First up is a commercial for the Mystery Shack hosted by Stan. He introduces the viewer at home to the Mystery Shack and makes thoroughly inept use of green screen as he does so. The commercial has awful production values and untimely edits slapped together to make the final piece. Among the "astounding" and "bizarre" images he showcases is a brain in a jar, the Singin' Salmon, and a photo of himself shaving his back. He tries appealing to the kids, while exhibiting a shot of a partially eaten Popsicle, which has strands of curly hair and a fly buzzing around it.Stan superimposes a video double of himself to talk to, but the videos aren't synced properly and they miss each other's cues. At the end, Stan sits at his desk in the office and tells viewers to come down to the Mystery Shack, where the real mystery is "whether you'll make it out alive." He then laughs unconvincingly and tries to play the statement off as a joke. A disclaimer then quickly scrolls past the screen.
The TV changes channels to Soos Says Some Words where Soos sings a jingle over the title card. Soos, who was painting the Mystery Shack green, turns and ponders to the audience, "If you accidentally eat the prize inside your cereal, does that make you a specially marked box?" The episode then ends.
The channel changes again, to a commercial of a new show being broadcast from Gravity Falls Maximum Security Prison called, Li'l Gideon's Big House! Gideon Gleeful welcomes the viewers at home from behind a glass pane and says that even though he's currently incarcerated, he's turning his life around by turning the prisoners' lives around. The commercial showcases clips of Gideon giving "therapy," encouraging creativity, and complimenting the muscles of a prisoner. Gideon tells viewers the show airs on weekdays at 6 until he gets out. Another prisoner, Ghost-Eyes, threatens viewers saying they'd better listen to Gideon as he punches open the glass. Gideon thanks him and they fist bump. The prison alarms sounds and the two panic and make a run for it. The screen cuts to a "technical difficulties" message as Bud Gleeful's voice-over says the show will return as soon as they contain the riot.
Mabel turns off the TV, saying, "It's always worse than you remember."
- Kristen Schaal as Mabel
- Alex Hirsch as Grunkle Stan and Soos
- Thurop Van Orman as Li'l Gideon
- Stephen Root as Bud Gleeful
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Ghost-Eyes
- Mabel wears the same sweater she wore in "The Legend of the Gobblewonker."
- Gideon is seen in prison after his arrest in "Gideon Rises."
- The Gravity Falls Maximum Security Prison, which was first glimpsed on Bill Cipher's body in "Dreamscaperers," makes an appearance.
- The two-headed wolf "fairy" may be an improved version of the new attraction Soos was gluing together in "Boss Mabel," a chicken with a single wolf head.
- The cash register in the Mystery Shack commercial reads $6.18.
- The bottomless pit from "Bottomless Pit!" is mentioned in Stan's Mystery Shack commercial.
- The "please" sticker from Boss Mabel is still on the cash register.
- The short aired in Disney Channel Russia before any other country.
- During "Li'l Gideon's Big House" an instrumental version of "Widdle Ol' Me" is heard in the background.
- The disclaimer at the end of the Mystery Shack commercial says:
"Mr. Mystery does not assume liability for disappointment, strange rashes, or accidental plunges into the Bottomless pit. Visitors may experience loss of vision, loss of balance, loss of children, or loss of wallet. Please do not look Mr. Mystery directly in the eye. Not responsible for uncontrolled fits of rage or fits of pants. Remember to tip your waitress. In the event of no waitress, remember to tip your Mr. Mystery. In the even [sic] of no tip, you will be escorted from the premises. Kids’ admission $30 because they smell bad and that one keeps doing that weird thing with his legs. Side effects may include existential quandaries and sudden moral relativism."
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