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The Sweet Detail You Likely Missed In Gravity Falls' Series Finale Credits

Before Marvel realized that putting a bit of the movie after the credits sequence would keep audiences in their seats longer, Disney played the same game with animated polaroids. It's still a thing that happens from time to time, and as far as tropes go, it's probably the cutest. For example, consider "Lilo & Stitch," which stole our hearts in 2002 and crammed hundreds of adorably rendered pictures between the list of voice actors and animators. Often, these snippets are used to cement further the choices made by any given character at the end of their story arcs. In this way, they are not required viewing, but they're fun.

They also move fast because credits are long and tedious, so catching everything hidden between the names can be tricky. For Disney's animated mystery series "Gravity Falls," this trope holds true. The series finale credits featured polaroids of Mabel and Dipper Pines as they wrapped up their summer, leaving adorable, smile-inducing details in their wake. 

Mabel is her own epic summer romance

In a subreddit dedicated to Alex Hirsch's animated series, u/hitchtrailblazer posted a photoset from the show, along with a caption that read, "adorable detail from the series finale credits: Mabel learns to love herself!" One of the polaroids depicted a tree Mabel had frequented to carve her name and her current crush's name inside a heart. The continuation showed that all the heart pairings were crossed out, save for one. Mabel carved her name twice into the same heart, essentially saying that she was delighted to be loved by herself. 

This can be viewed in two different ways (that's a lie, but please accept it for the sake of simplicity). Firstly, as Mabel is still a child, it can be construed as a kid parroting social constructs of romance. Considering Mabel is known to enjoy stereotypical media for someone in her age group, this wouldn't be outside the realm of plausibility. That being said, "Gravity Falls" is pretty good at adding extra meanings and character development, so it's much more likely that this was intended as self-love and acceptance. Considering that Mabel is showcased as a creative person and vocally yearned for an epic summer romance, the idea that she would go for this dramatic symbolism is well within reason.

Circling back, yeah, it's probably a ploy to force viewers to digest the credits (which Den Of Geek debates the necessity of), but it's cute, and everyone could use a little extra joy.