“Tourist Trapped” is the first episode of the first season of Gravity Falls. It aired as the series preview of the show, after the premiere of the Disney Channel Original Movie, Let It Shine, on June 15, 2012.
When Dipper and Mabel Pines arrive to spend their summer break in the remote town of Gravity Falls, Mabel’s suspiciously weird new boyfriend causes the twins to come face to face with the town’s strange and uncanny secrets.
Twelve-year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines arrive to spend their summer break with their Great Uncle Stan Pines, more commonly known as Grunkle Stan, in the remote town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. Dipper describes Gravity Falls as a "sleepy" town. Once there, they have to work at Stan's tourist trap called the Mystery Shack. While hanging signs advertising the shack in the "spooky part" of the woods, Dipper finds a metal, hollow tree. Inside, he finds an electronic device that looks very old and has one of its two wires severed. After Dipper fiddles with some switches, a trapdoor opens in the ground, startling Gompers, who was standing close to the hidden opening. Inside he finds a mysterious journal with facts and notes about Gravity Falls' creatures that hint to an even greater cover-up hidden within the town's wondrous past and present. Dipper then believes that Mabel's new boyfriend, Norman, is a zombie when he starts acting strangely, and resolves to gain some evidence. When Mabel is with Norman, Norman eventually reveals to her that he was actually a gnome named Jeff standing on top of a few other gnomes. Dipper asks Wendy if he can use the Mystery Cart to save Mabel, convinced that she will be eaten by Norman (still presumed to be a zombie). Wendy gives him the keys and tells him to try not to hit any pedestrians. As Dipper drives the Mystery Cart to save Mabel, Soos gives Dipper a shovel for the zombie and a baseball bat in case he sees any piñatas. Dipper drives the Mystery Cart into the forest to rescue Mabel from the gnomes.
Dipper takes the Mystery Cart and finds them in the forest. After a gnome vomits rainbows, Dipper questions what the heck is going on, gets hissed at by a gnome, and Mabel explains that Norman turned out to be a bunch of gnome jerks. Dipper realizes that he was way off and checks the journal, only to see that there is no known weakness for the gnomes. The gnomes tie Mabel to the ground. Jeff begins to explain that this is a big misunderstanding by saying "She's not in danger, she's just going to marry all one thousand of us and become our gnome queen for all eternity." Dipper commands them to release Mabel or else. Jeff begins to explain that Dipper won't be able to stop them because they are a powerful race, but Dipper stops him in mid-sentence and chucks him with the shovel. He then uses the shovel to free Mabel from the ground and they begin to drive back to the Mystery Shack.
Once Jeff and the gnomes realize that Dipper and Mabel are getting away, they assemble together, becoming one big monster gnome. Mabel worries that they will catch up to them, but Dipper isn't because gnomes have tiny legs. They then realize that the gnomes formed a big monster (controlled by Jeff). The monster begins to chase after Dipper and Mabel. The army of gnomes begins launching gnomes at the Mystery Cart. Dipper and Mabel fight them off one by one and Dipper bashes a gnome named Shmebulock on the Mystery Cart's horn three times. One of the gnomes lands on Dipper's face, and Mabel punches it several times to get it to let go, and the gnome takes the hat Dipper was wearing with it. After Dipper thanks Mabel for saving him, the monster then picks up a tree and throws it in the middle of the road. Dipper and Mabel closely slide under it and crash the Mystery Cart on its side in front of the Mystery Shack. Dipper and Mabel crawl from the Mystery Cart. Dipper warns the gnomes to stay back, so he throws a shovel at them, but they smash it to the ground. Dipper and Mabel both scream and Dipper wonders where Grunkle Stan is (Stan is inside showing tourists "The world's most distracting object", distracting himself in the process).
Mabel then tells Dipper that she has to do it. Dipper doesn't trust her plan, but she tells him to trust her. Mabel agrees to marry Jeff. Jeff gets excited, climbs down from the giant gnome monster and goes to put the ring on Mabel's finger. Once Jeff successfully places the ring on Mabel's finger, he wants to hurry and get Mabel back into the forest, but Mabel says that he must kiss her first. Jeff puckers up, but to his surprise, Mabel uses a leaf blower against him. Mabel sucks and shoots Jeff out of the leaf blower for revenge because he lied to her, broke her heart, and messed with Dipper. As he flies through the air, he crashes into the gnome monster and says that he will have his revenge. Without their leader, the rest of the gnomes are confused as to what they should do next. Mabel then begins blowing them with the leaf blower, forcing them back into the forest. One of the gnomes gets caught in the plastic from a 6-pack soda and is carried away by Gompers. Mabel feels sad that her first boyfriend turned out to be a bunch of gnomes, so Dipper tries to cheer her up by saying that her next boyfriend might be a vampire. They then proceed to do an "awkward sibling hug."
Dipper and Mabel walk into the Mystery Shack. Grunkle Stan tells them they can each take anything they want from the Mystery Shack because he "overstocked some inventory." Dipper chooses his now signature blue pine tree hat, and Mabel chooses a grappling hook. Mabel is then seen jumping on the bed, playing with her grappling hook while Dipper writes about the events that happened that day in the mysterious journal he found. At the end, Dipper tells Mabel to turn off the light, but instead she shoots it out of the window with the grappling hook, and they laugh about it. Meanwhile, Grunkle Stan opens a secret door downstairs by typing in a secret code on the vending machine, which leads to a secret room in the basement. He mysteriously closes the door, making sure no one is following him, which hints that he may have something to hide. During the end credits, they replay the clip of a gnome throwing up rainbows, except it's longer and lasts the entire credit roll.
- Written by
- Directed by
- With the Voice Talents of
- Additional voices
- Casting by
- Viewership: This episode was watched by 3.4 million viewers on its premiere night.
- The title of the episode is most likely a combination of "tourist trap," which is a trick shop trying to make tourists spend all their money on different objects (referring to the Mystery Shack), and "trapped," since Dipper and Mabel are "trapped" in Gravity Falls, Oregon for the summer.
- This episode was available as a free download on iTunes for a limited time.
- The 618 appearances for this episode are as follows:
- The Mystery Shack's address is 618.
- The cash register reads $6.18 when Wendy is introduced.
- The first page of Journal 3 is dated June 18 (June is the sixth month).
- The Whack-A-Mole machine in Dipper and Mabel's bedroom has its score stuck at 819, 618 when looked upside down.
- "Tourist Trapped" received two nominations for the 40th Annie Awards, including Ian Worrel for Best Production Design in a Television/Broadcast Production, and Kristen Schaal for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production.
- The unaired pilot was an earlier version of the episode.
- This is the one of only two episodes in which Dipper wears a different hat than his usual "Pine Tree" trucker cap; the other is "The Stanchurian Candidate."
- This episode was also released as a Starbucks Pick of the Week, free for anyone who received the code.
- This is the only episode to feature narration from Dipper.
- In some releases, the word "Butt" is cut from Mabel's line "YOU GUYS ARE BUTT-FACES," therefore making her only say "YOU GUYS ARE FACES."
- For unspecified reasons, in the Philippines, this episode is played in a slightly faster speed. The time (not counting commercial breaks) is reduced from 22 minutes to only 20 minutes.
- In the show's opening credits, the show's title card, designed to look like a used postcard, contains a stamp and postmark. Appearing on the stamp is the profile of Ian Worrel, the Art Director for Gravity Falls and former Cal Arts room-mate and longtime friend of Alex Hirsch, the show's creator.
- During the end credits of this episode, there was a cryptogram that read "ZHOFRPH WR JUDYLWB IDOOV." Once decoded, it reads "WELCOME TO GRAVITY FALLS."
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