stanley pines theory
Disney XD on Twitter
“It’s time to Remember the Falls! Four days of #GravityFalls PLUS new fanfic from Soos!”

So it looks like Disney XD will be having a Gravity Falls marathon February 17th with (maybe) a new short from Soos?

Though even if the latter turns out to not be true, lets just take a moment to admire these little paper cutout puppets from this promo:

Look at these dorks.

So yesterday in Genetics lecture, we learned about something called “incomplete penetrance”.  Basically, it’s when not all individuals with a certain allele display that trait, even if logic says they should.  Normally I don’t share my class notes with the Internet because frankly I doubt anyone wants to see them.  But the example our professor gave us was polydactyly.  Naturally, when he explained this and showed us a picture, my first thought was:

Let me explain why I’m bringing this up.

I just sort of assumed that Ford had six fingers due to an in utero mutation (a spontaneous mutation of an embryo while it’s still developing), because polydactyly, or having additional phalanges, is a dominant trait.  If a child has it, one of their parents does too.  Like inheriting brown vs blue eyes.  But it turns out that polydactyly isn’t that simple.

In order to be a polydactyl, you need at least one copy of the dominant allele (let’s call it “P”; the recessive allele is “p”).  If you have extra fingers you either have two copies (PP) or one copy (Pp).  If you have no copies (pp), you have five fingers on each hand.  However, only about 3/5 of people with either PP or Pp actually have extra phalanges.  Roughly 2/5 of people with PP or Pp have the normal number of fingers.

I promise I have a point.

And here it is: Most of us have been assuming that Stan and Ford are fraternal, rather than identical, twins.  This is not just because of the whole “polydactyly” thing but also because of this: 

Ford has a cleft chin, Stan doesn’t.  Now, my first thought was “okay but Stan could have a cleft chin, it could just be understated for the sake of simplicity, or telling them apart”.  But after a bit of research, I found something out.  A cleft chin is like polydactyly: it’s the dominant trait, but has incomplete penetrance.

The two things that everyone thought meant they weren’t identical have no meaning.  They could still be identical genetically, it was just some weird twist of fate that made them appear to be fraternal.  And if they are identical after all?

Ford isn’t the only anomaly.  

In incomplete penetrance, only a minority of people with a dominant allele do not display the dominant trait.  Stan is a part of that minority.  Ford is weird as hell (that kind of post-axial polydactyly is rare on one hand, let alone two), and from a scientific standpoint, so is Stan.  Not displaying a dominant trait when you have the dominant allele is abnormal.

They’re even more alike than they realize.

it’d be kind of interesting if “abaconings” was foreshadowing of the relationship between stan and his brother. 

stan and his brother the author were best friends…

until the author encountered bill, a supernatural phenomenon that gave him a great deal of knowledge

he became enlightened and pursued knowledge, along with an eager assistant

leaving stan behind

and eventually, they created a machine that would give the world great knowledge

stan feels threatened by his best friend’s quest for knowledge. he wonders if the author is happier with his quest for knowledge than with him

but in stan’s version of “abaconings”, waddles realizes that he does value his relationship with his best friend over his quest for knowledge. he destroys the machine and gets rid of the effects of the supernatural phenomenon

“this brain junk has made you forget who you are! don’t you remember us?”

“it all makes sense now! what good is helping the world, if i can’t help my favorite person in the world?”

“science is a horizon to search for, not a prize to hold in your hand.”

it makes me wonder if this means that in real life, the author actually chose the machine over stan. 

Dippers name

Ok, so in Gravity falls we don’t know Dippers real first name.

What we do know is that a couple of generations above them were another set of pines twin’s names Stanley and Stanford.  At least someone in the pines family gets a kick out of twins with ridiculously similar names. My girlfriend pointed out that possibly Dipper was the same, and maybe the reason they gave only one twin a nickname is because the names were similar, causing confusion. Picking a word out she thought of “Gable” After confirming that Gabel was in fact a real name, we looked up the meaning and…


Just a thought.


My first comic…I tried…

I was just thinking, 30 years in another dimensions is a lot of time to regret things. Just saying if it was me, I’d do whatever it takes to get my knucklehead bro out of such a dangerous place…even if it meant they hated me forever…

Timeline of Stan and Ford

I think this works.

1950: Stanford and Stanley Pines are born in New Jersey

1964: Stan twins find the ship that would become the Stan O’ War
- Ford uses a sharpie-type marker, which wasn’t invented until 1964
- They are about 13

1969: Stan breaks Ford’s experiment and is kicked out of their home
- The portrait in the principal’s office was of Nixon, whose presidency started in 1969
- The twins are around 18

1974: Ford finishes his (first) doctorate, moves to Gravity Falls shortly afterwards
- Degree is finished three years ahead of schedule
- Research to maintain grant money would have had get started as soon as possible
- By this time, it is possible Stan had already been in prison at least once and/or been held at a mental institution [Dipper and Mabel’s Guide to Mystery and Nonstop Fun]
- They are about 23

1978: Stan in Colombian Prison
- Caught as an accessory to a heist most likely (an actual robbery would give him a much longer sentence)
- Stan meets Rico in prison
- Stan and Ford are around 24
Edit: I meant 28. My bad

1980: Ford starts the third journal/ Fiddleford joins Ford’s team
- He had already been in GF for six years
- It is around this time that he meets Bill
- Just past Stan and Ford’s 30th birthday. Over the course of writing in this journal, Ford is in his 30’s

1981: McGucket’s accident/ Ford’s slip into deep paranoia/ Stan released from Colombia
- McGucket spent only one year as Ford’s assistant
- McGucket soon starts the Society of the Blind Eye
- Note: It was around this time that Ford invented the tie for the Reagan Administration
- After around 3 years, Stan is released from prison
Note: This was in Colombia, so I can’t be sure, but American jail times for being an accessory to a burglary or robbery are around 3 years— OR he escaped
- Stan is indebted to Rico after prison and is hiding from Rico’s goons

1982: The Portal Incident
- 30 years before the show’s 2012 summer
- Ford reaches out to Stan, who at this point is still in hiding from Rico
- Start of the Murder Hut
- Stan and Ford are both around 32
- Approximately 13-14 years since high school
- Stan says it’s been “over 10 years” since they last spoke

1983: McGucket memories completely lost/ Stan fakes his death
- McGucket has no memories around 618 days after the incident, according to the memory recording

1999: Dipper and Mabel are born
-  Stan was at the hospital when their mom gave birth

2012: Ford Returns
- Ford spent 30 years in the portal
- Dipper and Mabel are now almost 13
- Stan and Ford are over 62 years old.


Darlene called Stan a 70-something- year-old man, BUT she could have been just assuming, based on his appearance. Stan did not have a healthy lifestyle during his homeless years, and probably aged horrible.

Stan said they were “Pushing 70.” He probably meant “in our 60s, and approaching 70.” Which I suppose is true. He used the wording to express a shortness of years, saying he might as well be 70 with the way he’s aged and how fast his last years will pass.


Basically, 62 is as old as the Stan Twins could possibly be within the timeline of the show. There’s a 2-year cushion which would make them around 60 at the end, but 62 is the absolute OLDEST they could be, and seems to be the most likely age. Hopefully it works with everything. Feel free to rip this apart if something doesn’t add up.

Reblog if you've been in the Gravity Falls fandom since the very beginning in 2012..

This isn’t a test to see who is a better fan, I just wanna see how many of us there actually are..

Gravity Falls Theory time guys!

So, as an art major I’ve taken lots of classes on drawing and especially visual story telling and character design. There are important factors to be taken into account when designing a character and the more I look at how each of the Stan twins are designed it’s led to some interesting questions and conclusions as to the personality of Author Stan. (Since it’s not clear yet which is Stanford and which is Stanley, I’m just going to refer to the Author as Author Stan and the Stan we’ve known the whole series as Grunkle Stan)

The first principle of character design is giving the character an interesting shape and distinct silhouette. Shapes can mean different things and give the audience visual clues of what that character’s personality is going to be like. 

Circles: Symbolically, circles represent eternity, but as character shapes they communicate soft friendly personalities because there are no sharp corners. Most protagonists are given this shape to make them likable and give us a safe comfortable feeling. Dipper, Mabel and Soos are made up of circle shapes, letting us know that they are safe, friendly characters we can trust.

Squares: These shapes are strong and vertical and characters made up of these shapes are stable, confident and strong. They can also be daunting and possibly clumsy. Both Stans are made up of predominate square shapes (I mean just look at their jaw line!) giving us the visual clues that they are strong, heavy hitters that can be depended on. 

Triangles: This is the big shape we all want to talk about since triangles are not only a big part of Gravity Falls environment designs, it’s the shape of the main villain! These are the most dynamic shapes and with sharp angles and points they gives us the feeling of agression and a sinister nature which is why they are usually used in villain designs. Hence why Bill is a triangle with more triangles making up his details (like his bow tie and top hat).

Shape are used consciously in the design of characters as well as background. Villain’s layers are usually made up of triangles and hard angles, made to contrast the protagonists’ home base. Which is probably why Gideon’s tent looks like this:

That’s a lot of triangles! In the shape of the tent, down to the star. But wait a second, if triangles are meant to designate a villain’s layer, then why does the Shack, the home base of the protagonists and former home of the author look like this?

The whole house is two elongated triangles. There are almost no soft edges on it, but instead it’s a very aggressive looking building. When I was getting my sister to watch Gravity Falls for the first time, she commented within the first few episodes that there are a lot of triangles in the shack, like all over the place. It’s not something the background designers did accidentally that’s for sure. They took great pains to give us this visual clue, meaning that perhaps the Author is not as friendly as we might think. 

Need another visual clue? Let’s talk color. 

Color is also an important part of character design as each color represents different things and will give the audience a different emotional response. We have only a few points where we see the Stan twins in the past and I know for a fact that the creators didn’t want to waste any time giving us hints to the personality of these characters. In reality you only have a few seconds to visually communicate your character’s personality, so you have to make the message clear. 

Let’s look at the Stan twins.

Here’s Grunkle Stan as a vacuum salesman back in the 60′s and here he is again with Carla.

Both times we see Stan in a white shirt. White is an important color. It symbolizes purity, innocence and safety. So Grunkle Stan is depicted as a pure, innocent character, even into present day when he wears his white wife beater and boxers, Grunkle Stan, despite his shady nature and past, is someone we can trust and is a pure character. 

Let’s look at Author Stan. 

Author Stan only appears for a few minutes in this scene and it is key to note that he is wearing a black shirt. Alex had only a few seconds to tell us about the author and this is what he chose to dress him in, so let’s pay close attention, shall we?

Black is used to show sophistication (like a black tie party) but it also represents mystery, evil, the unknown and death. It’s a downer color and not only gives us the impression that Author Stan is more mysterious and sophisticated than his scamming brother, it also hints towards a darker personality that maybe we ought to keep an eye on. 

The color scheme contrast continues all the way back to the Stan twins as little kids. The ending scene of Not What He Seems maintains this contrast in the Stan twins. 

Once again, Author Stan is in black and neutral tones, while his more carefree, innocent brother is in a white and red striped shirt. Grunkle Stan is the innocent, pure twin who is mean to be a point of stability in the relationship, much like Mabel anchors Dipper, while Author Stan is dark, mysterious and considering the shape they gave to his house, potentially villainous. 

Over analysis level: Gravity Falls Fandom


So okay, here it is, quick and messy. As usual I just wanted to do a text post, but got carried away. :D Enjoy this theory before it crumbles to the ground and burns tomorrow.

So, if everybody’s ok (especially Stan), I see a scene like this happening after all the fighting and sacrificing. Dipper has to tell Ford he’s not staying with him one way or another, and he has to voice his reasons  I suppose. By that time Ford already almost got his shit together BUT needs a final push, and who better help him with that than our main characters and great siblings - Mabel and Dipper? I totally see the kids helping those two stubborn old men reconcile.

I couldn’t end it on a cheesy note, because I already drew a lot of scenes like that XD
And hey Stan might just return the favor and punch Ford. :D

The twins have always known that Grunkle Stan is a divorced bachelor.

Okay the context of this is actually all kinds of HILARIOUS to me.

SO. Legend of the Gobblewonker. Great episode, no matter which way you look at it. But check out this super specific scene way at the beginning of the episode:

Stan: Good morning knuckleheads! You two know what day it is?

  • Dipper: Umm… Happy Anniversary?
  • Mabel: MAZEL TOV

Stan: *proceeds to smack small child with newspaper*

Okay so inconsequential it seems to the rest of the episode but! The big thing that happened here that caught my eye was that Dipper and Mabel responded with “Happy anniversary” and “mazel tov” in relation to wondering what day it is. They could have said “Happy Birthday”, the actual day of the week, etc. So many jokes to be made! And Alex Hirsch decides to make a marriage joke.

While it technically wasn’t confirmed until Roadside Attraction, it’s always been insinuated that Stan was once married, got a divorce and is now a lonely bachelor. He makes a joke about his ex-wife in this very episode, and Hirsch himself has mentioned his ex-wife at cons. And now we know she exists! Marilyn divorced him after only 6 hours.

But… the Twins know about this. They always have known, and hell it might even be a running family joke; Stan and his 6 hour marriage.

Of course, if the twins know about it, that means this 6 hour marriage happened while Stan was not actually Stanley, but Stanford.

Stan probably married Marilyn while posing as his bro bro.

Think about this, and then think about his marriage being only 6 hours long.

“Now that we’re together, I just wanna let you know…”
“What is it, Stanford?”
“Well, that’s just the thing. Stanford isn’t my real name. I’m kinda posing as my potentially dead brother.”
“We’re getting divorced immediately.”

You guys it was Bill

This whole time we thought it was Blendin and/or Time Baby who broke Ford’s science fair project, cause of the sailboat on Blendin’s invisibility suit, and the graffiti on the boards covering up that cave on the beach. But that stuff only proves that Blendin was present during a time when Stanley and Stanford became closer together. The perpetual motion machine only tore them apart. 

Now, before I continue, I’d like to point out that so far, Stanley’s been pretty much impervious to scams. In Little Dipper, Stanley saw through Gideon’s first charade quick enough to fake being paranoid about the tax collector before tricking Gideon, and during his second stunt he managed to avoid Gideon (armed with a shrinking crystal) without tipping anyone off that he knew about the supernatural. 

Most telling of all is Mabel’s interactions with pretty much everyone throughout the series. She found the gnomes weakness, it took her six hours to uncover a conspiracy that Ford couldn’t figure out in six years, and in Sock Opera, she didn’t make a deal with Bill, even when he tried to manipulate her into doing what he wanted. And in Dipper and Mabel VS The Future, the only reason Bill was even able to trick Mabel was by making her believe that she was talking to Blendin instead. And Mabel heavily parallels Stanley.

If Stanley had been with Stanford in Gravity Falls while the portal was being built, he could’ve seen through Bill’s “choose a genius every century” charade the second he saw the cave painting’s warnings. He’d never let Stanford make a deal with an actual literal demon, much less one that was shaped like the symbol for one of the world’s most notorious secret societies. He’s protective and wouldn’t make a deal with Bill, which are two very big wrenches in Bill’s plans. 

So, in order for Bill to manipulate Stanford, he’d need to be away from Stanley. More importantly, Bill would need to separate them in a way that would make Ford not want to be around Stanley, but would still leave Stanley with a desire to please his family.

So, Bill made a deal with someone, possessed them, destroyed the perpetual motion machine, and framed Stanley. But who did Bill possess for such a task? Obviously, Blendin is a possibility. But there’s someone else who might make a deal with someone like Bill Cipher. If you ask me, Filbrick Pines covers his eyes a little too much for my liking. If you ask me, he was a little too eager to kick his own son to the curb after a relatively minor infraction, regardless of whether or not destroying someone’s chances at college to manipulate them could be seen as an abusive behavior. And if you’ll recall, Filbrick gave Stanley a way back into the family. Make millions, or never come back.

That “Get lots of money and we’ll love you again” ensured two things: one, that Stanley would spend all his energy on get rich quick schemes, and thus wouldn’t have anything to leave behind if asked to come to Gravity Falls, and two, it gave Stanley hope. That maybe it really was all his fault and that if he only made enough money, then his family would love him again and everything would be okay. With Stanley focused on getting rich and making millions (ps, guess who’s in everyone’s wallets? Bill would still be watching Stan even if he did wind up becoming successful) he’s not focused on protecting his brother anymore. Sure, he tried to work up the courage to call Ford, but Stanley didn’t look out for Ford like he did when they were children. Because he couldn’t have, not while he could barely look out for himself. Stanley was distracted in a way that didn’t turn him cold and distant towards his family, and most importantly, Stanford.

Extreme poverty combined with his idolization of Ford laid the groundwork for a thirty year obsession with restarting the portal, and (most importantly of all) creating the rift that Bill wants so badly. Time Baby doesn’t get along with Bill. Blendin Blandin was likely in Glass Shard Beach trying to ensure that Stanley and Stanford would never leave the others side. Because, honestly, if Stanley was with Ford in Gravity Falls they’d have left the town to go find the Loch Ness Monster the moment Stanley figured out Blood Rain was a weather pattern that occurred with any sort of regularity. And no Stanford means no portal, no rift, no apocalypse, and no Bill.

It’s Cipher, all the way down.

You know, I think the reason we’re all panicking and screaming over Stanley being real (aside from the fact that we were RIGHT) is because we honestly still know nothing about him. Is he the kind, caring, soft spoken nerd like we theorized? Or is he a war hardened resentful man who hates his brother for almost destroying the world, or even for getting him stuck in the first place? I guess only time can tell.

Where Was Ford When Stan Opened the Portal?

(Aka it’s 2:30 am and I have entirely lost control of my life)

Alright people, I’ll get right to it. I think I know whereabouts Ford was when the portal opened to bring him back. I’ve just spent the last few hours sciencing the shit out of what we know so far, and I’m gonna share it with you.

I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, by while doing a little research earlier this evening I found out that the symbols around the edge of the portal are actually the symbols for the Behenian fixed stars. These are fifteen stars, used for magical and alchemical purposes back in the medieval days.

Now, there are sixteen symbols around the edge of the portal, but I figure that, if this portal is designed to be used both ways, there should probably be a ‘home’ symbol, right? So my guess is that that last unknown symbols stands for our own sun, Sol.

Now, when the portal stabilises and Ford finally does come back through, some of those symbols are lit up, like in the top image. Why is this important?

Because if you have six points of reference in space, you can calculate the midpoint to get a destination.

Keep reading

Stan turning every time he hears Stanford because he’s not used to NOT being Stanford.

Stan not reacting to his own name sometimes because can’t even remember the last time he was called that before his brother came back.

Stan uncomfortable and nervous about being Stanley again to the world, because Stanley was worthless and had too many enemies and hasn’t even existed for years so maybe he doesn’t anymore. Because Stan doesn’t feel like Stanley anymore, and there’s this disconnect in identity.

Stan trying to avoid people using his name by trying to use fake ID’s, and insisting to his brother that it’s just because it’s easier than bringing a dead man back to life.

Stan having issues with twin problems, like people mixing them up, because he’s already been Stanford enough, and surely he and his brother aren’t that much alike? He’s his own person, but maybe he isn’t because he hasn’t been Stanley. He hasn’t been himself.

Bill Cipher Wheel Theory Confirmed

So we came up with this theory a while ago that Bill was making deals with people in the order of the Bill Wheel found in the title sequence.

First Ford made a deal with Bill, then Gideon made a deal with Bill, then Dipper… In the order found below.

Ford, Gideon, Dipper

So, after the pine tree, the next symbol on the Wheel is Stan’s.

And guess who made the next deal with Bill…

Theory: A Comprehensive Timeline of Stan’s Homeless Years

I’m going to begin by saying that this theory is neither conclusive nor perfect, and there are sure to be plot holes. That being said, I cut it down (a lot) so expect a Part 2 with some secondary evidence. This is already way too many pages (10 without images) and it’s also really late. BUT if at any point you’d like me expand on a point that I made here, let me know in an ask, and I’ll offer a much more comprehensive look at the point you bring up with the evidence that got cut.

There is also a lot of stuff that I guessed at and/or interpreted in my own way, so feel free to disagree.

[Edit/Update: I got a couple questions about why I had Stanley homeless for 13 years instead of 10. I explain it in this timeline here. Stan said “over 10 years” (which I assumed to be 13-14) and the only way for Ford to be in his 30s when he’s in GF (like his journal says) and for them to still be kids in the 1960s (like Stanley says in ATOTS)and for them to be in highschool during Nixon’s presidency (as his portrait is in the principal’s office), is if Stan is kicked out in 1969.]

For this theory I used historical evidence, the memories from Dreamscapers, quotes from the games and book, podcast/interview quotes, as well as these two maps from ATOTS:

Without further ado, let’s begin:


  • Stan is thrown out on the streets at the end of May towards the end of his and Ford’s senior year of high school. It couldn’t have been much sooner, as we see them both at their senior prom, and it isn’t snowing like it normally would be in Jersey earlier in the year. This is also around the time other schools might be finishing up their scouting, which explains the West Coast Tech official complaining about “wasting a car trip”. Stanley was 18 at the time.
  • Stan spends the next few weeks, until mid-June, attempting to treasure hunt on the beaches of Jersey with a metal detector, before he reaches the start of his sales career
  • It takes a month or two for his first company to get started. Stan’s hair is noticeably longer in the video for the Sham Total than it was when he was first thrown out. He’s also just looks older in general, with a more-filled out jawline. He referenced the moon landing, so we know this occurred after the end of July, as the Apollo landed at that point.
  • In August, Stanley is chased out of Jersey and into Pennsylvania. Within the time it takes to grow a mustache that big, about four months (assuming the stache is real and not fake). Stan starts his next business venture: The Rip-Off, and is promptly chased to Ohio shortly thereafter.

(Personal Headcanon: According to the map shown on-screen after Stan leaves Pennsylvania, Stanley headed north, towards New York, after he was chased out of Jersey for the Sham Total debacle, maybe even to catch the first Woodstock Festival in August. However, he got caught up in his Rip-Off start-up, and never made it back in time.)

  • At this point, it is November, and the days are quickly getting colder. Without much to his name, Stanley starts heading south.

Other 1969 Headcanons:

  • Simon and Garfunkle’s “Boxer” would have been one of his favorites.

  • In June, the Stonewall riots occurred, and Stanley, a young man who grew up under his tough-guy and Absolute Asshole™ father, would have been awakened to a whole new world of discovering who he is. He is canonically bisexual, if this tweet has anything to say about it.
  • July-Start of the Vietnam War. Stan may have been secretly happy he was able to avoid the draft by.

  • In July, when the news of the first man on the moon hit the stands, Stan would have immediately thought of how excited Ford must be.

  • Stan wouldn’t have gone to any Anti-War demonstrations (stupid hippies) but he definitely would have been against the government sending young, uneducated kids like him to fight in a war


  • Stanley headed south that winter, and started betting on horses. A photo is shown of him betting in a large derby. My first inclination is to say it’s the Kentucky Derby, which takes place in May. It’s also possible, however, that Stan was betting in the Louisiana Derby, which is run in late March. It’s hard to be sure.

  • While in Mississippi, he went by Andrew “8-Ball” Alcatraz, according to an ID in his Secret Box of Secret Things™ from NWHS

  • After the Louisiana derby finished up, when the weather started warming up, Stanley made his way west into Texas, but then quickly veered upwards. East Texas has been known as a patent-friendly area, being more lenient in its patent and start-up regulations, so perhaps Stanley only showed up here for the looser rules. But then why did he leave so quickly? This implies that there was something about this part of Texas he didn’t like, or he was thrown out as soon as he got there. East Texas is closer to the Deep South, and more religious, so that might have been a factor. (Headcanon: Perhaps they were homophobic?) Perhaps he simply hated the culture; McGucket comes from an area very similar in culture to this Cajun-influenced Appalachian-ized folksy portion of Texas, and Stan has shown annoyance at his more hillbilly-esque traits.
  • (From user the-ford-twin) In this era, the Midwest was targeted by televangelists. Stan (who has been said in an podcast interview with Hirsch to not be above creating entire cults if it meant a profit) probably saw this as an amazing investment opportunity.
  • It is possible that East Texas is where Stanley got his Stan-Vac patented. Over the next few months, Stanley loops around the Midwest, selling his Stan-Vac door-to-door in middle-class suburban homes. (Fun fact: Stanley’s “It sucks more than anything!” is a play on the slogan blunder of Electrolux in the 1960s: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”)
  • By the end of that year, assumedly when it gets cold again, we see Stanley head sharply south through Texas into Mexico. The image show here is of a rainforest setting, so his Mexican location would have to be near the southern tip (extremely close to Central America, nearer to Columbia where he might have made some future friends or enemies.) In the image, we see Stan running away, carrying a suitcase of cash. This implies a product-cash exchange of some kind happened, meaning Stanley probably got sucked up in drug trafficking circles (or even pug-trafficking, because why not) and a deal went bad. Rainforests in Mexico are spread among the states of Veracruz and Tabasco. Veracruz is among the most dangerous places in Mexico, and is rampant with organized crime and drug cartel influence in its government, which we know for a fact Stanley became tangled with later on (more on that later). With that in mind I’d say he most likely made exchanges between Veracruz and the southwest USA states as a pack mule (with his charismatic nature and persuasive ability, I’m sure he’d be the perfect gringo for the job). This was probably Stanley’s first toe-dip into involvement with organized crime. 

Edit: It was really difficult to pinpoint the state Stan was in as Veracruz, but there are also several other tropical states that are great possibilities:  Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Michoacan, Guerrero, and  Oaxaca. You can get some more of a breakdown on the issues with choosing a specific state here. Someone who knows much more about the climate in Mexico offered some sound suggestions, which leads me to believe that Chiapas and Quintana Roo actually also really likely contenders for the main state of Stan’s work in Mexico. It’s impossible to know based on the map in the show, though.

  • Stanley dips back upwards towards Montana, probably to drop off a package, since he quickly veers out of the state and into Idaho. He barely even left the route of the I-90 highway, as though he was eager to get out of there, or at least had no other reason to stay. On that note, he also spent a super small-time in Idaho. Idaho at this time was the holder of the strongest anti-sodomy laws in the country, and it’s possible that the reason Stanley spent so little time here was related to that.


  • It is now early 1971, and Stanley Pines is in Nevada, where he falls in love with gambling and Las Vegas, and likely falls into debt. He probably started doing sex work to pay the bills. Vegas’s prostitution scene was and is among the highest in the country, and it seems like the easiest and most likely way he could have made a living. It is also where he may have fallen into alcoholism.

  • This is also around the time he met Marilyn, who (as confirmed by Hirsch’s stage-time in Russia) was a woman he met at Vegas, and had a spur-of-the-moment marriage with that lasted only 6 hours.

  • After the divorce, Stanley probably realized he had a problem and left for California. However, he still needed a way to pay the bills. It is likely that he continued hooking, and this led to his first arrest.
  • But that’s not all—up until the early 70s, people could be forced into treatment at mental institutions. California law allowed such treatment until 1972, and it is likely that if Stanley was arrested and convicted for sex work, he would have been subject to treatment that included shock-aversion therapy. In Dipper and Mabel’s Guide, we found out that Stanley needed to take Rorschach tests during what he called his looney days. Rorschach tests were given to those suspected of being homosexual, as it was assumed they could detect “deviancy.” Another possible explanation for Stanley’s time in an institution would be suicidal tendencies shown in prison. After Stanley left home (back in 1969) we see him drive the wrong way down a one-way street, which leads me to think that if Stanley is upset, all inklings of self-preservation go out the window until he copes. I wouldn’t be surprised if his first time in prison led to him being at the lowest pits of his depression.

  • As sodomy laws in California weren’t redacted until 1976, it’s very possible that Stanley also had jail time on top of the one year he was most likely sentenced for prostitution, which would only further pressure him to take a plea deal that comes with institutionalization. He may have also plead with insanity (we’ve seen him fake a heart attack to cut in line. I doubt he’s above faking mental illness to get a plea deal.)


  • So, at this point, we are going mainly by the states Stanley is banned from, and the next logical step from southern California seems to be Arizona, a border state he could have been arrested in for having no sufficient documentation. OR he may have been arrested along the border for more drpug trafficking. The summer heat in Phoenix may have driven him out of the state, back eastward, towards more familiar territory. Along the way, he got himself banned from a few southern states he didn’t run through on his first time through the country, including Florida and North Carolina.

  • So you might be asking “But why isn’t Jersey marked on this map?” and the only answer I can think of is because Stanley couldn’t bring himself to cross it out. After all, he was still vying for his father’s love and hanging on to false hope of maybe coming home one day. Which brings us to the next point…


  • It’s been 4 years and Stanley is on the East coast again. We know he traveled to New York before 1974 (more on that later) but to get there, he would first have to have either gone through or around New Jersey. I feel as though Stanley might have gone to try to see his brother, or maybe even to see his father. [Maybe it’s just my angsty little heart, but I can just picture him trying to see Ford, only for his father to open the door and ask if he made those millions, and to slam it when Stan says no.]
  • While Stan’s in Jersey, he meets up with his old highschool sweetheart, Carla McCorkle. Carla is sure to be glad to see the kid who punched that jerk in the face while in line for the movies all those years ago, and they probably started dating again. Stanley got healthier, got more in shape, got more buff and confident (though I gotta say, he looks like he always skipped leg day). Judging by his wardrobe, he might have started dressing like he was younger, because he felt younger. Once again, he had someone great in his life to depend on, someone to buy flowers for, someone to hold at night, but then… it happens. After Carla leaves Stanley for Thistle Down, Stan probably fell back into depression and self-destructive behavior. Perhaps after a while, he decided he needed to clear his head, start a new adventure on his own, go across the sea just like he always thought he should. Which brings us to our next point.

I’m gonna go on a tangent here, and I promise this is important, but first I need to get this out there. Something always bothered me about Stan in the flashback with Carla McCorkle. For some reason, at this point in his life, Stanley Pines had thin fucking eyebrows and they are NOT a good look for him.

Look at them! At every point in his life, even when he was a child, Stanley has had bushy eyebrows, until this one part of his life, when it’s like he decided to go full 1990s Christina Aguilera with them and all he had were these thin drawn-on arches. Everyone else in the fandom was going on and on about the Hunkle and his dancing, but I can’t watch that scene without getting angry, because there’s no way in hell Stanley didn’t either tweeze or thread his eyebrows at this point in his life and I feel like no one has ever even noticed. He’s not even the only one. I’m looking at you, Ford!

Where was I? Oh yeah. Adventuring. So how do we know that Stan decided to go travelling abroad at this point in his life? Well, we’ve seen his visa for one thing. And it says very plainly that he arrived in London and in Seattle (both of these cities are in countries that only issue entry-stamps and not exit stamps, so we know he went to London, and then traveled back through Washington state). Check it out.

And what’s that?


So there you have it. Conclusive proof that immediately after his break-up with Carla, Stanley traveled to London, and (thankfully) grew his brows back.

(Note: after a conversation with the-ford-twin, it came to my attention that thin eyebrows were common fashion in the 70s, but only for women. As for men, it was only much more common for those who were drag queens. But THAT’s a theory for another time. As for Ford’s weird-ass brows, he probably burned them off shaving or experimenting or something. What a dork.)


  • I also predict that at this point in his life, after coming back from London, Stan might have decided to see if he could find Shermy.

(Note: No, I don’t think that baby is Shermy. I think Shermy is an older sibling who probably bailed from life with Filbrick and fled to as far away as he could get from Jersey and his toxic father)

  • After seeing his brother and letting him know he was still alive, Stanley may have stayed with him for a small amount of time. I imagine they had a falling out, or maybe Stanley was still attempting to make millions to win his father’s approval. This is purely speculation, but I feel like Shermie would be disappointed in Stanley for being so hung up on his dad’s demands. 

Update: I imagine he would have started running with Jimmy Snakes somewhere between California and his phonecall to Ford, but there will be more info on that in Part 2, because I haven’t decided on where or when exactly. 

  • Stan is losing money gambling on horseraces in Kansas and Oklahoma, recently banned from yet another state, and with what Shermie said still fresh in his head, Stanley calls Ford but hangs up before they could talk. This event is important to this theory. Because we are able to deduce that this happened in 1974 (which I did here), and we also get the chance to see a full-scale map of where he’s been, with several states crossed out, this map gives us the idea of a few more states Stanley must have traveled through in between returning to the states via Seattle and calling Ford after being banned from Oklahoma (we know he was just recently banned at this point, as he’s crossing out the state from the map right before making the call).
  • After the phonecall, Stanley travels southward to Colombia. He can make money there, at least, and he has a few prison connections who could hook him up with work.


  • So, at this point, Stanley probably spent a long chunk of his life focusing on work for the cartel. There’s lots of need for a white inconspicuous guy who’s good at evading law enforcement, so I picture he got picked up really quick. He probably moved up in the ranks as well, from pack-mule gringo, to look-out man, to getaway car driver, to tough muscle who stands by during negotiations. (For all you Stanchez lovers out there, being a mid-level guy in a drug operation would be the prime time in Stan’s life to meet Rick, but that’s a theory for another time.)

  • In 1978, in Colombia, Stanley was caught as an accessory to a heist. We know this was what landed him in Colombian prison, from the episode “Soos and the Real Girl”, when Stan’s putting on those heisting gloves and muttering to himself about being careful because “No more Colombian nights.” Being an accessory to a robbery gives a minimum sentence of 3 years.

1978- 1981

  • Stanley meets Rico in prison. He would regret this for the rest of his life.

Mid- 1981

  • It’s 1981, and Rico wants his money. Stanley spends the 6-8 months in hiding, jumping from motel to motel, and probably reverting back to hooking to get the cash to feed himself. He’s terrified of Rico, and doesn’t want to be found.


  • Stanley gets the postcard. Ford needs him. He leaves immediately.

When Dipper said he wasn’t taking ford’s apprenticeship I screamed.I knew it was going to happen, but I still hoped that it wouldn’t.

I know that it’s meant to be a good thing. It’s meant to show that Dipper and Mabel are inseparable, and that they have ultimately overcome what set Stan and Ford apart.

But this this ‘solution’ to their fight is basically the equivalent of Ford skipping out on a fantastic opportunity, his dream college, in order to make Stan happy. It’s not even a compromise, it’s just Dipper giving in again.

Of course, Mabel did say that if he really wanted, Dipper could take the apprenticeship. After he had just said that he wouldn’t, in order to make sure Mabel left the Bubble with him. Going back on that now would make that whole fluffy speech seem brittle.

The thing is, even if it’s not what the creators really mean, this ending implies that this is the correct choice. Somehow it has become a choice of dreams vs family when it shouldn’t have. Following your dreams doesn’t make you a villain, it doesn’t mean you chose them over your family. Ford deserved to go to an amazing college and have an amazing future. Dipper deserves to have his every dream come true and study the mysteries of the universe with a relative he genuinely connects with.

Fandom never should have made it seem like it was one or the other, because it never had to be. Stan and Ford’s situation was just a disaster of miscommunication and mistakes. It didn’t have to turn out that way. Dipper never chose his dreams over Mabel, because could you ever see them cutting off contact? He never saw Mabel and his dreams as mutually exclusive.

But Mabel did. (And some parts of fandom cause parallels I guess)

I mean, look at how happy the goobers are to play with someone.

Is it really so shocking that Ford would offer to teach Dipper, when Dipper loves the supernatural so much and might be the first actual friend he’s had in years? Dipper and Ford would have been so excited, solving the mysteries of the universes with a friend just as passionate as themselves

But as soon as Mabel finds out about this, she asks ‘But what about me, huh?’. I know it was a bad day for her, she’s twelve and she is really afraid of growing up, but does that mean she gets to ask this? Well of course she get’s to ask but should she? She’s asking him to give up something incredibly important to him and put her first. Again. And by now she should know that he always does.

In Time Travellers Pig, he puts her over his desire to spend the day with his crush Wendy, because she gets so upset over her pig that she sulks for weeks(as a joke for the audience tho). It’s not a bad thing, she lost Waddles helping Dipper. It’s just that it starts a trend. If she needles or sulks enough, Dipper gives in.

The Deep End. Dipper puts Mabel’s crush over his crush + his summer job

Sock Opera. Dipper puts Mabel’s crush of the week over something he really cares about, the mysteries of gravity falls. And then Mabel asks for more. More help after days of him helping her after she promised to help him.

And then Mabel puts her crush over Dipper ‘Can’t we wait till after the show?

And does so again. Even if just for a second, she gave up what they thought was dipper’s one shot at getting his body back. She put her crush over Dipper’s life and his most precious possession.

And now we have Mabel’s desires on display in the bubble prison, and what do we get? Dippy Fresh, a ‘back-up’ brother that supports her. Wow, a tad hypocritical there.

And now it’s all come down to this. Mabel refused to leave the bubble until Dipper gave in. Maybe this will change next episode, and Mabel will actually encourage him to do what he wants.

But even if she does, he’ll say no, because that would go against the lesson they just taught. A lesson I don’t agree with. It shouldn’t be dreams vs family, and family should never force you to make that decision.


This really breaks my heart. Thank you, @dubsdeedubs for this brilliant theory. I hope you like it guys

If you want more FEELINGS better listen Daughter - Medicine