The Small Gravity Falls Detail That Fans Think Has An Extra Layer Of Meaning

Shows like "Gravity Falls" ultimately might have been preferred by fans if it was shorter-lived. However, it is still massively successful at cramming more meaning into less airtime than longer serialized projects. Granted, that could also be because Alex Hirsch's cryptic mystery show followed a singular, over-arching plotline, something that more and more cartoons are starting to do.

And the fun thing about a series that follows strict continuity is that viewers get to enjoy snippets of character development that can legitimately lead to a result. Sometimes, that result is the culmination of a character's mistakes, corrections, and growth, leaving the audience with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Other times, though, the answer isn't so cut and dry, and the evidence is less pleasant. In this way, some fans have theorized that two of the leading players in "Gravity Falls" had a far worse childhood than anyone might have expected. 

Grunkles Stan and Ford share a unique colloquialism

In a subreddit dedicated to "Gravity Falls," u/Green-Knight- shared a photoset from the series which showed both Grunkle Stan and Grunkle Ford using the phrase "kiss on the cheek" in a taunting way to undermine someone's opinion. In addition, the Redditor said, "it was probably something their father ... said to them." In Season 2 of "Gravity Falls," it's revealed that there's very little love lost between the brothers and even less between Stan and his father, who disowned him for accidentally and irreparably damaging one of Ford's scientific discoveries. Due to other mistakes on Stan's behalf, Ford ends up spending a horrific percentage of his life trapped on another plane of existence, so for both of them to still frequently use such an odd and unique phrase in their later years would indicate a strong connection to it during their formative ones.  

As their father is depicted as an aggressive man, it's not unlikely that he would use emotionally demeaning language to control a conversation. Even when the parent is cruel or otherwise neglectful, it's not uncommon for children to co-opt their habits. It's a very real scenario, and sites like Break Out of the Box and Urban Child Institute detail how that might occur and how it can be corrected. And, sure, "Gravity Falls" is a cartoon, so it isn't inherently going to be realistic, but Disney censors gave creator Alex Hirsch quite a few notes to fight over when it came to dosing the show with realism.  

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.